Accordingly, the people of Maryland insisted upon taking the
words in the sense which history had given them, rather than
in their literal meaning.
The first Assembly (1635) passed a code of laws. Baltimore
vetoed them all, on the ground that the Assembly had exceeded
its authority. To the next Assembly (1638) Baltimore sent a
carefully drawn body of laws. After full debate, these were
rejected by unanimous vote' of all the representatives. Then
the Assembly passed a number of bills, several of them based
upon those that had been presented by Baltimore ; but all these
fell before the proprietor's veto. In the following year,
however, Baltimore wisely gave way, and soon ceased all at
tempts to introduce bills.
53. Another contest concerned the make-up of the Assembly.
The first Assemblies were " primary " gatherings, to which all
freemen might come ; but to the spring Assembly of 1639 each
"hundred" (the local unit in early Maryland) chose two
delegates. Notwithstanding this, from one of the hundreds
there appeared two other men claiming a right to sit as
members because they " had not consented " to the election !
55] GAINS FOR DEMOCRACY 47
Stranger still, the absurd claim was allowed ! But the same
Assembly decreed that in future there should sit only (1) dele
gates duly chosen and (2) gentlemen summoned by the gov
ernor's personal writs. In 1641 a defeated candidate claimed
a right to sit " in his own person," but this time the plea was
promptly denied. The Assembly had become representative.
54. The next step was for the Assembly to divide into two
Houses. At first the Council sat as part of the Assembly in
one body with the freemen or their delegates. Moreover, the
governor summoned other gentlemen, as many as lie phased,
by personal writs, independent of election. These appointed
members sympathized naturally with the proprietor and the
governor, while the delegates sometimes stood for the interests
of the settlers. As early as 1642 the differences between the
two elements, appointed and elected, led the representatives
to propose a division into two " Houses." The attempt failed
because of the governor's veto ; but the arrangement became
law in 1650. 1
55. Summary of Political Progress. Thus the^zr.^ generation
of Marylanders won from the proprietor important rights
guaranteed to Mm by the charter. The form of the Assembly
was no longer determined by him from time to time : it was
fixed, to suit democratic desires, by a law of the Assembly ;
and the Assembly took from the governor all his law-making
powers, except his veto.
The Assembly of 1642 attempted also to secure stated meet
ings, independent of a governor's call, and to do away with the
governor's right to dissolve them. In form, these radical at
tempts failed ; but in reality the Assembly soon learned to con
trol its own sittings, except in extreme crises, through its power
over taxation. It granted supplies only for a year at a time
(so that it had to be called each year), and it deferred this
vote of supplies until it was ready to adjourn.
1 The first colony to establish a two-House legislature was Massachusetts
in 1644 ( 102) ; but the first attempt came in Maryland.
56. Maryland was also a religious experiment. After George
Calvert's conversion to Catholicism, he had a new motive for
wishing to found a colony. He and his son wished to establish
a refuge for their persecuted co-religionists. The charter,
therefore, omits the usual reference to the oath of supremacy
which good Catholics could not take and probably there
FACSIMILE OF INSTRUCTIONS FROM LORD BALTIMORE TO HIS BROTHER,
LEO CALVERT, regarding the treatment of Protestants in Maryland.
was an understanding between King and proprietor that Cath
olics would not be molested. But Maryland was never a
Catholic colony in the sense that the Catholics could have
made their religion the state religion, or that they could have
excluded other sects. The most that the devout, high-minded
Baltimore could do for his fellow worshipers, possibly all
that he wished to do, was to secure toleration for them by
compelling them to tolerate others. From the first there were
57] TOLERATION AND PERSECUTION 49
many Trotestaiits in the colony, possibly a majority. Balti
more's instructions to the governor of the first expedition
enjoined him to permit " no scandal or offense" to be given to
any of the Protestants.
When the Puritan Commonwealth was established in Eng
land, the Puritans in Maryland tried to win control in
that province. Lord Baltimore then persuaded the Assembly
to enact the Toleration Act of 1649. This great law, it is true,
threatened death to all non-Christians (including Jews and any
Unitarians of that day) ; but it provided that " no person . . .
professing to believe in Jesus Christ, shall be in any wise
molested or discountenanced for his or her religion." l
57. At a later time the Catholics were persecuted cruelly in
this colony that they had founded. After the English Revolu
tion of 1688, the Catholic Baltimore family was deprived of
all political power ; and, for a generation, Maryland became a
royal province. In 1715 the Lord Baltimore of the day,
having declared himself a convert to Protestantism, recovered
his authority. Meantime the Episcopal Church had been
established in Maryland and ferocious statutes, 2 like those then
in force in England, had been enacted against Catholics, to
blacken the law books through the rest of the colonial period.
FOR FURTHER READING. The narrative is given admirably in Chan-
ning's United States, I, 241-271, or, more at length, in Fiske's Old
Virginia and Her Neighbors, I, 255-318, II, 131-173. The Maryland
Charter and comment on its model, the Avalon Charter of 1623, will be
found in the Source Book.
1 See Source Book, No. 45, or cf . Fiske's Old Virginia, I, 309-311.
2 See a brief statement in Fiske, Old Virginia, II, 167.
THE BEGINNINGS OF NEW ENGLAND
After all that can be said for material and intellectual advantages, it
remains true that moral causes determine the greatness of nations / and
no nation ever started on its career with a larger proportion of strong
characters or a higher level of moral earnestness than the English col
onies in America. LECKY, England in the Eighteenth Century, II, 2.
58. IN 1620, roused by the success of the London Company
at Jamestown, some members of the Plymouth branch ( 25)
of the old Virginia Company reorganized as " The Council resi
dent in Plymouth . . . for the planting of New England,"
and a royal charter gave this body powers similar to those of
the London Company, with a grant of all North America be
tween the fortieth parallel and the forty-eighth. 1
This " New England Council " sent out no colonists. Instead,
it sold or granted tracts of land, with various privileges, to
adventurers who undertook to found settlements. One such
charter it sold to agents representing the struggling Pilgrim
colony, which, by accident, had been founded within the New
England Council's territory ( 64). Some small trading sta
tions, also, were established under such grants ; and in 1623
there came a more ambitious attempt. Robert Gorges, son of
the most active member of the Plymouth Council, was granted
lands near Boston harbor, with a charter empowering him to
1 The Company is styled sometimes The Plymouth Council, sometimes The
Council for New England, or The New England Council. Six years earlier,
Captain John Smith, then in the employ of gentlemen connected with the old
Plymouth Company, had explored and mapped these northern coasts, and had
given to the region the name of New England. The royal charter of 1620
officially adopted this name for the vast district previously known vaguely
as " the northern parts of Virginia." Maps, pp. 51 and 25.
i 59) BUSINESS MOTIVES AND PURITANISM
rule settlers "according to such, lawes as shall be hereafter
established by public authoritie of the state assembled in
Parliament in New England" (cf. 51). Gorges brought to
Massachusetts Bay an excellent company, containing several
"gentlemen," two clergymen, and selected farmers and me
chanics ; but after one winter the colony broke up.
The New England Council had commissioned Gorges "General
Governor" of all settlements in their vast territory. This caused the
feeble Pilgrim colony at Plymouth to fear his coming and to exult at
his going. The gentle Bradford, governor and historian of Plymouth,
wrote with unusually grim humor that Gorges departed, "haveing scarce
saluted the Cuntrie of his Government, not finding the state of things
hear to answer his qualitie."
59. The forces at work so far in settling New England
(except for the Pilgrims at Plymouth) were mainly commercial.
52 THE BEGINNINGS OP NEW ENGLAND [ 60
But success in New England was to come from a new force
just ready to take up the work of colonization.
This force was Puritanism. The " established " church in
England was the Episcopalian. Within that church the
dominant party had strong "High-church" leanings. This
High-church party was ardently supported by the royal " head
of the church," Elizabeth, James, Charles, in turn ; but it
was engaged in constant struggle with a large, aggressive
Puritanism was much more than a religious sect. It was an
ardent aspiration for reform in many lines. In politics, it
stood for an advance in popular rights ; in conduct, for stricter
and higher morality ; in theology, for the stern doctrines of
Calvinism, which appealed powerfully to the strongest souls
of that age ; in church matters, for an extension of the " refor
mation " that had cut off the English Church from Borne.
60. Two groups of English Puritans stood in sharp opposition
to one another, the influential " Low-church " element within
the church, and the despised Separatists outside of it. The Low-
churchmen had no wish to separate church and state. They
wished one national church, a Low-church church, to
which everybody within England should conform. They
desired also to make the church a more far-reaching moral
power. To that end they aimed to introduce more preaching
into the service and to simplify ceremonies, to do away with
the surplice, with the ring in the marriage service, with the
sign of the cross in baptism, and perhaps with the prayer-
book. Most of them did not care to change radically the
government of the English church, but some among them
spoke with scant respect of bishops.
The Independents, or " Puritans of the Separation," be
lieved that there should be no national church, but that reli
gious societies should be wholly separate from the state. They
wished each local religious organization a little democratic
society independent in government even of other churches.
PILGRIMS GOING TO " MEETING." From the imaginative painting by
THE PLYMOUTH PILGRIMS
Next to the fugitives whom Moses led out of Egypt, the little shipload
of outcasts who landed at Plymouth . . . are destined to influence the
future of mankind. JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL.
If Columbus discovered a new continent, the Pilgrims discovered the
New World. GOLDWIN SMITH.
61. The Pilgrims in Holland. To all other sects the Separa
tists seemed the most dangerous of radicals, mere anarchists
in religion. They had been persecuted savagely by Queen
Elizabeth, and some of their societies had fled to Holland. In
1608, early in the reign of James, one of their few remaining
churches a little congregation from the village of Scrooby
managed to escape to that same land, " wher they heard was
freedome of Religion for all men " :
" ... a countrie wher they must learn a new language and get their
livings they knew not how ... not acquainted with trads or traffique, by
which that countrie doth subsist, but . . . used to a plaine countrie life
and the inocente trade of husbandrey." l
1 William Bradford, in his History of Plymouth Plantation. The quoted
passages in the following paragraphs upon Plymouth are from this source
when no other authority is mentioned.
54 PLYMOUTH PLANTATION [ 62
They first settled in Amsterdam, but had no sooner begun to
feel safe in some measure, through toil and industry, from " the
grime and grisly face of povertie coming upon them like an
armed man/' than it seemed needful to move again, this time
to Leyden ; and
" being now hear pitchet, they fell to such trads and imployments as they
best could, valewing peace and their spirituall comforte above all other
riches . . . injoyinge much sweete and delightefull societie ... in the
wayesofGod" . . . but subject to such " greate labor and hard fare"
that " many that desired to be with them . . . and to injoye the libertie
of the gospell . . . chose the prisons in England rather than this libertie
62. After some twelve years in Holland, the Pilgrims decided
to remove once more, to the wilds of North America. Bradford
gives three motives for this : (1) an easier livelihood, especially
for their children ; (2) the removal of their children from what
they considered the loose morals of easy-going Dutch society ;
and (3) the preservation of their religious principles.
" Old age beganne to steale on many of them (and their greate and
continuall labours . . . hastened it before the time). And many of their
children that were of the best dispositions and gracious inclinations, have-
ing learnde to bear the yoake in their youth, and willing to bear parte of
their parents burdens, were often times so oppressed with heavie labours
that . . . their bodies . . . became decreped in their early youth, the
vigour of nature being consumed in the very budd, as it were.
" But that which was ... of all sorrows most heavie to be borne,
many of their children, by these occasions and the greate licentiousnes in
that countrie, and the manifold temptations of the place, were drawn
away . . . into extravagante and dangerous courses, tending to disso-
lutenes and the danger of their souls. ' '
Winslow (another Pilgrim historian) puts emphasis on a
fourth reason, a patriotic desire to establish themselves under
the English flag, one of their chief griefs in Holland being
that their children intermarried with the Dutch and were drawn
away from their English tongue and manners.
Of these four motives, the religious one was beyond doubt
the weightiest. In Holland, there was no growth for their
63] MOTIVES 55
Society. It would die out, as the older members passed off the
scene ; and with it would die their principles. But, if they es
tablished themselves in a New World,
" a greate hope and inward zeall they had of laying some good founda
tion for the propagating and advancing the gospell of the kingdome of
Christ in those remote parts of the world; yea, though they should be but
even as stepping-stones unto others for the performing of so greate a work."
63. From the London Company the Pilgrims secured a grant
of land and a charter ; and, by entering into partnership with
another group of London merchants, they secured the necessary
For many months, says Bradford, this opening business was
" delayed by many rubbs ; for the Virginia Counsell was so dis
turbed with factions as no bussines could goe forward " (cf .
34 and Source Book, No. 49). But when Sandys and the
Puritan faction got control in that Company, the matter was
quickly arranged, the more quickly, perhaps, because Brew-
ster, one of the Pilgrim leaders, had been a trusted steward
of a manor belonging to the Sandys family.
The seventy " merchant adventurers " who furnished funds
subscribed stock in 10 shares. Captain John Smith says
that by 1623 they had advanced more than $200,000 in modern
values. 2 Each emigrant was counted as holding one share for
" adventuring " himself. That is, the emigrant and the capital
that brought him to America went into equal partnership. Each
emigrant who furnished money or supplies was given more
shares upon the same terms as the merchants. For seven years
all wealth produced was to go into a common stock, but from that
stock the colonists were to have " meate, drink, apparell, and
1 Influential frieuds of the enterprise urged King James to aid by grant
ing to the proposed colony the privilege of its own form of worship. A formal
promise of this kind was not secured ; but James allowed it to be understood
that " he would connive at them . . . provided they carried themselves
2 This is probably an overstatement. The articles of partnership may be
found in the Source Book, No. 44.
56 PLYMOUTH PLANTATION [ 64
all provissions." The partnership was then to be dissolved,
each colonist and each merchant taking from the common
property according to his shares of stock.
The arrangement was clumsy, because it involved a system
of labor in common ; but it was generous toward the settlers.
Penniless immigrants to Virginia became " servants," as sepa
rate, helpless individuals, to work for seven years under over
seers, and at the end of the time to receive merely their free
dom and some wild land. The penniless Pilgrims were
" servants " for a time, in a sense ; but only as one large body,
and to a company of which they themselves were part : and
their persons were controlled, and their labors directed, only by
officers chosen by themselves from their own number.
The settlers, it is true, felt aggrieved that the merchants did
not grant them also for themselves one third of their time, to
gether with the houses they might build and the land they
might improve. But it is clear now that under such an ar
rangement the merchants would have lost their whole venture.
As it was, they made nothing.
64. Two heart-breaking years dragged along in these
negotiations with the Virginia Company and the London
merchants ; and the season of 1620 was far wasted when (Sep
tember 16) the Mayflower at last set sail. Most of the con
gregation stayed at Leyden, with their aged pastor, John
Robinson, to await the outcome of this first expedition, and
only 102 of the more robust embarked for the venture.
They meant to settle "in the northern part of Virginia,"
somewhere south of the Hudson. But the little vessel was
tossed by the autumn storms until the captain lost his reckon
ing ; and they made land, after ten weeks, on the bleak shore
of New England, already in the clutch of winter (November 21).
The tempestuous season, and the dangerous shoals off Cape
Cod, made it unwise to continue the voyage. For some weeks
they explored the coast in small boats, and finally decided to
make their home at a place which Smith's map ( 58) had already
christened Plymouth; but it was not till the fourth day of
THE MAYFLOWER COMPACT
January 1 that they "beganne to erecte the first house, for
commone use, to receive them and their goods."
THE MAYFLOWER IN PLYMOUTH HARBOR. From an imaginative
painting by W. F. Halsall, in Pilgrim Hall, Plymouth.
65. Meantime, they had adopted the Mayflower Compact. The
charter from the Virginia Company had provided that they
should be governed by officers of their own choosing. 2 The
grant, however, had no force outside Virginia ; and " some of
the strangers 3 among them let fall mutinous speeches," threat
ening to take advantage of this condition and " to use their own
libertie." To prevent such anarchy, the Pilgrims, before land
ing, drew up and signed a " Compact" believing " that shuch an
acte by them done . . . might be as firme as any patent."
This famous agreement has sometimes been called, care
lessly, a written constitution of an independent state. This it is
1 These dates are New Style. Cf . 37, note. Some common errors regard
ing the Pilgrim " landing " are criticized by Channing, I, 320.
2 The exact contents of the charter are not known; but Kobinson's fare
well letter to the emigrants, when they were leaving Europe, refers to them
as having " become a body politik ... to have only for your gouvernors them
which yourselves shall make choyse of " (Source Book, No. 45).
3 Part of the expedition had joined it in England, without previous connec
tion with the Leyden congregation, They had also a few " servants."
58 PLYMOUTH PLANTATION [ 65
not. It does not hint at independence, but expresses lavish
allegiance to the English crown. And it is not a constitution :
it does not determine what officers there should be, nor how or
Hxneixtf- -irtJcrfff**.. firff S* *'<-<>- of $<,, *&*<***&"*****
%?t&&Jyt L*f*f~* ^^V^^.T^Tt
J/Wjf^-w^ c-A*.tc ~/*ir*w** f-^ v, ^'sr^T/^j
A XM ^^/ Wf J *^' t ^- A< ^/ ~/ F Ke/,,c< ,/ 4-f>
^I7^ee/. <c C-^U^^^/^^*^^^^
W ATA ^|rv,.> */f Ace, S ^f^/^^J ^**^'^
THE MAYFLOWER COMPACT. From the original manuscript of
Bradford's Plimouth Plantation.
when they should be chosen, nor what powers they should
have. It resembles the preamble to a constitution. The
signers merely declare their intention (in the absence of estab
lished authority) to maintain order by upholding the will of
the majority of their own company. 1
The way in which the new government was put in action is
told by Bradford in few words :
"Then [as soon as the Compact had been signed, while still in the
Mayflower cabin] they choose, or rather confirmed, Mr. John Carver their
1 Source Book, No. 46. More truly regarded, the Compact is the first of a
long series of similar agreements in America, in regions where settlement
has for a time outrun government, first, on the coast of Maine and New
Hampshire, then in the woods of Kentucky and Tennessee, then on the prairies
pf Illinois and Iowa, and very recently in Western mining camps.
67] DISAPPOINTMENTS AND HARDSHIPS 50
Gouvernor for that year. [Carver had probably been made governor be
fore, under authority of the charter ; such action would now need to be
"confirmed."] And after they had provided a place for their goods . . .
and begunne some small cottages, as time would admitte, they inette and
consulted of lawes and orders."
66. Expectations of quick-won wealth in America still dazzled
men's minds. In 1624 Captain John Smith wrote :
' ' I promise no Mines of gold ; yet, . . . New England hath yeelded
already, by generall computation, 100,000 at least in the fisheries. There
fore, honourable countrymen, let not the meanness of the word fish dis
taste you, for it will afford as good gold as the Mines of Guiana, or
Potassie, with less hazard and charge, and more certainty."
Individual traders, too, had sometimes made sudden fortunes
in the fur trade. Accordingly, the Pilgrims expected to give
most of their energies to these sources of magic riches. Pastor
Robinson wrote, as late as June 14, 1620 :
"Let this spetially be borne in minde, that the greatest parte of the
collonie is like to be imployed constantly, not upon dressing ther pertic-
uler lands and building houses, but upon fishing, trading, etc."
67. Such delusions faded quickly before stern facts. The
first months, in particular, were a time of cruel hardship. Says
"Now, summer being done, all things stand upon them with a wether-
beaten face ; and the whole countrie, full of woods and thickets, repre
sented a wild and savage hiew. ... In 2 or 3 months time, halfe their
company dyed . . . wanting houses and other comforts; [and of the
rest] in the time of most distres, ther was but 6 or 7 sound persons" to
care for all the sick and dying.
Of the eighteen married women who landed in January, May
found living only four. The settlement escaped the tomahawk
that first terrible winter only because a plague (probably the
smallpox, caught from some trading vessel) had destroyed the
Indians in the neighborhood. But when spring came and the
Mayflower sailed for England, not one person of the steadfast
colony went with her. In Holland they had carefully pon
dered the dangers that might assail them, and had highly
concluded "that all greate and honorable actions must be
enterprised and overcome with answerable courages."
For many years more the settlement had a stern struggle
for bare life. For the fur trade, of course, the inexperienced
Pilgrims were wholly un
fit ; and, in any case, to
set up a permanent colony,
with women and children,
called pressingly for at
tention to raising food and
The " supplies " ex
pected from the London
partners came, from year
to year, in too meager