Benjamin Trumbull.

A complete history of Connecticut, civil and ecclesiastical, from the emigration of its first planters, from England, in the year 1630, to the year 1764; and to the close of the Indian wars .. (Volume 1) online

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Online LibraryBenjamin TrumbullA complete history of Connecticut, civil and ecclesiastical, from the emigration of its first planters, from England, in the year 1630, to the year 1764; and to the close of the Indian wars .. (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 62)
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Civ il and Ecclesiastical,


TO THE YEAR 1764 ;




Containing the original Patent of New-England, never before pub-
lished in America.



District of Connecticut, ss.

'OE it remembered, that on the twenty -second day of June, in the 42d yea*
*-* of the Independence of the United States of America, Maltby, Goldsmith
& Co. and Samuel Wadsworth, of the said district, have deposited in this of-
fice the title of a book, the right whereof they claim as proprietors, in the
Xfords following, to wit : " A complete History of Connecticut, civil and eccle-
" siastical, from the emigration of its first planters, from England, in the year
" 1630, to the year 1764 ; and to the close of the Indian wars. In two volumes.
" By Benjamin Trumbull, D. D. With an Appendix, containing the original
" Patent of New-England, never before published in America" In conformity
to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, " An act for the en-
couragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to
,)he authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned."

Clerk of the District of ConwxtiwJt <

T. G. Woodward, Printer,
State- St. New-Haven.

\ UTHENTIC history is of great utility ; especially, to the countries
XlL and people whose affairs it relates. It teaches human nature, poli-
tics and morals ; forms the head and heart for usefulness, and is an im-
portant part of the instruction and literature of states and nations. While
it instructs, it affords an exalted pleasure. No man of genius and curios-
ity can read accounts of the origin of nations, the discovery, settlement,
and progress of new countries, without a high degree of entertainment.
But in the settlement of his own country, in the lives of his ancestors, in
their adventures, morals, jurisprudence and heroism, he feels himself par-
ticularly interested. He at once becomes a party in their affairs, and trav-
els and converses with them, with a kind of filial delight. While he be-
holds them braving the horrors of the desert, the terrors of the savage,
the distresses of famine and war, he admires their courage, and is pleas-
ed with all their escapes from danger, and all their progress in settlement,
population, opulence, literature and happiness. While he contemplates
their self-denial and perseverance in surmounting all dangers and endur-
ing all hardships, to form new churches, and lay the foundations of new
colonies and empires, and the immensely happy consequences of their
conduct in turning the wilderness into gardens and fruitful fields, and in
transmitting liberty and religion to posterity, he is struck with a pleasing
astonishment. The pious man views a divine hand conducting the whole,
gives thanks, adores and loves. No history is better calculated to pro-
duce these happy effects, than that of New-England and Connecticut.

Connecticut, originally consisting of two colonies, replete with Indians,
and connected as it was with the neighboring colonies, affords much in-
teresting matter for history. An authentic and impartial account of the
affairs of the colony had long been an object of the wishes of the legisla-
ture, and of many gentlemen of principal character both in church and

In these views the writer, many years since, determined to attempt
the compilation of the history which is presented to the public in the fol-
lowing sheets. He wished for the improvement which such a work
might afford him, and for the pleasure of contributing his mite to the ser-
vice of the community in which he received his birth and education, and
has enjoyed such distinguished liberty and immunities.

In pursuance of his design, he collected all books and manuscripts
from which he could expect assistance. He read the records of Connec-
ticut, New-Haven and the United Colonies ; and extracted Avhatever he
judged important. He made a journey to Boston, examined the collec-
tion of the Rev. Mr. Prince, and minuted every thing which he could
find relative to Connecticut. To him, at the time he was about writing
the Chronological History of New-England, the ancient ministers, and
other principal gentlemen in Connecticut, had transmitted accounts of
the spttloment of the towns and churches to which they respectively be-.




longed. In this collection, important information was found, which could
have been obtained from no other source. The author visited most ol
the principal towns, and places of burial, and obtained from records,
monuments, and men of intelligence, whatever they could communicat*
on the subject. Th ministers and clerks of the respective towns, and
other gentlemen of character, assisted him in his researches. The hon-
orable legislature, having been made acquainted with his design, passed a
generous resolve, which gave him access to their records and papers on

His excellency governor Trutnbull, than whin no man had a more
thorough acquaintance with the history of the colony, employed his in-
fluence and friendship for his assistance, and furnished him with many
important papers. In a letter to him on the subject, he expresses himself
in this manner " I wish you success, and to afford you all the assistance,
in my power. I imagine the earliest times of the colony will be attended
with the most difficulty, to collect the facts with sufficient certainty
wherein the great excellency of a history consists. Such an one I have
long desired to see. It must be a work of time and indefatigable labour
iind industry, since it has been so long neglected, and the materials, ma-
ny of them, almost lost, and others scattered, and all need so much care
in collecting, time in comparing, and judgment in compiling." The
truth of these observations the author hath fully experienced; how far
he hath acted upon them must be determined by the public opinion.

The honorable George Wyllys, Esq. late secretary of the state, was
second to none in the assistance and encouragement which he afforded.
From these various sources, the author, in 1774, found himself possessed
of an ample and important collection ; and determined to write the first
volume of the history, as soon as might be, with convenience. But before
he had entered upon the work, the war commenced between Great-Bri-
tain and her colonies, and the universal attention was turned to a very dif-
ferent object. It was conceived to be dangerous for any of the public
papers to be kept so near the sea coast as the place of his residence. A
great number of papers, therefore, which he had received from governor
Trumbull, and others which had been taken out of the office at Hart-
lord, were returned to their respective offices.

For a number of years after the war, the state of the country was alto-
gether unfavorable for publications of this kind. It was nevertheless still
hoped that an opportunity would present for the publication of such a
work to advantage, and the design of writing was not wholly given up.

However, before the writer had entered upon the work, he was invited,
by a vote of the General Association of the state, to compile a different;
history. Many objections presented themselves to his mind against en-
gaging in the work proposed by that venerable body. But after these
had been fully communicated, the solicitation was renewed. In conse-
quence of which, and the opinion and advice of some principal gentlemen
of the legislature, he was induced to undertake the writing of a general
history of the United States of America, from the first discovery of thi?
northern continent until the year 1792, including three complete centu-
ries. In making collections for this, and in the compilation of it, all the
leisure hours which he could possibly redeem, by early rising and an in-
defatigable attention to business, from the stated labours of his office,
have been, for nearly ten years, employed. .

In the progress of this work it became necessary to have frequent re-
course to his former collections, which, by this time, had been in a man-
ner forgotten. By this means the ideas of the ample materials which
had been prepared, for the history of Connecticut, were revived in his
mind. When he contemplated the pains aud expense at which they had


been collected, the countenance which he had received from the legisla-
ture, and the general expectations which had been entertained with re-
spect to a history of Connecticut, it appeared to him not very consistent
with that respectful and generous treatment which he owed more partic-
ularly to his own state, to publish a large history of the United States,
while he neglected theirs. It also appeared to be a duty, which he owed
to himself and family, as well as the public, not to suffer all his former
pains and expense, in his collections for the history of Connecticut, to be
lost. Upon a mature view of the case, and the advice of a number of
his brethren in the ministry, he determined to suspend the writing of the
history of the United States, until he should publish one volume, at
teast, of the history of Connecticut. If this should meet the public ap-
probation, it might assist him in introducing a larger work, and render it
more extensively useful. If the history of Connecticut should be unpop-
ular, it would give him a profitable admonition, and prevent a greater
misfortune, by a larger and more expensive publication.

About the middle of December, 1796, he began to look over and ar-
range his papers and to compile the following history. Since that time
he hath examined the papers on file in the secretary's office, and taken
out such as were necessary, composed and copied off with his own hands
the history now published", besides preaching twice on every Lord's day,
lectures on proper occasions, and attending the other duties of his office,

The death of that truly worthy gentleman, the Honorable George
Wyllys, the former secretary, considerably retarded the work, as mor
time has been employed in examining the files than otherwise would have
been necessary.

In compiling the history, great pains have been taken to exhibit the
state of the country when the first settlements commenced, to present
every important transaction in a candid and dear view, and to make such,
an arrangement of the whole, as that every preceding chapter might pre-
pare the way for the next, and add perspicuity to the story.

As this is the first history of the colony, and as time effaces ancient re-
cords and papers, and eradicates from the mind of man the remembrance
of former transactions, the compiler judged it expedient to make it more
full and particular, than otherwise might have been necessary or proper.
He imagined, that no person would, probably, hereafter have the same
advantages which he has had, nor take the same pains which he has tak-
en, to examine the ancient records, histories and manuscripts of the
country. He wished to assist future historians, and that nothing useful
and important, respecting church or state, might be lost. As he has
aimed at information and usefulness, he has avoided all circumlocutions,
reasonings and opinions of his own, and attempted to fill every page with
history. The florid and pompous style has been avoided, as unnatural
and improper in historic writings, and the easy and familiar has been at-
lempted. The compiler has judged his time too precious, and the field
of usefulness before him too extensive, to busy himself in rounding peri-
ods, and guarding against every little matter which might afford business
for the critic. He has, however, aimed at authenticity, propriety and
perspicuity. He has wished to avoid the dull and dry manner, and to
write with a becoming deference to the public.

The account which has been given of the sources whence the compiler
has obtained his information, the quotations in the body of the Avork, the
references made in the marginal notes to authors, records, and manu-
scripts, with the appendix, it is imagined, will be abundantly sufficient to
authenticate what has been written. Indeed, very little has been taken
A; pon tradition.

t .(<.! the history been written more leisurely and with fewer avocatioas


it might have been more perfect ; but as it was desired to make as short a
pause as possible in writing the history of the United States, it was judg-
ed inexpedient to employ more time upon it.

The author is under great disadvantages for historic writing. He can
command no time for himself. The work of the ministry, which is his
chosen and beloved employment, after all his application, so engrosses
his time, that sometimes for weeks and months, after all his application,
he cannot find a single day for the compilation of history. When he has
attempted it, he has been able scarcely to write a page without interrup-
tion. Often he has been so fatigued with other studies, as to be in cir-
cumstances not the most favorable for composition,

It may, possibly, be thought a great neglect, or matter of partiality,
that no account is given of witchcraft in Connecticut. The only reason
is, that after the most careful researches, no indictment of any person for
that crime, nor any process relative to that affair, can be found. The
minute in Goff 's journal, published by governor Hutchinson, relative to
the execution of Ann Coles, and an obscure tradition that one or two
persons were executed at Stratford, is all the information to be found rel-
ative to that unhappy affair.

The countenance and assistance which the honorable legislature have
given the writer, by allowing him a free access to the public records and
papers, is most respectfully acknowledged.

The attention and complaisance with which he has been treated by the
secretaries of the state, and their respective families, while he has had oc-
casion to examine the public records and papers, challenge the warmest
expressions of his gratitude.

To his brethren in the ministry, the gentlemen of the bar, and the
towns who have so generously encouraged and supported the subscrip-
tion, he returns his grateful acknowledgments.

The labor of collecting the materials for the history and compilement,
has been almost incredible. The expense of publication will be great.
However, should it meet a favorable reception, assist the legislator or di-
vine, the gentlemen of the bench or of the bar ; should it afford instruction
and pleasure to the sons and daughters of the state, and in any degree
advance its morals or literature, it will be au ample compensation.


INTRODUCTION. The discovery of North- America and New-Eng-
land. Captain Smith's discovery. The country is named New-Eng-
land. New-Plymouth settled. The great patent of New-England,
and patent of Massachusetts. The settlement of Salem, Charlestown,
Boston, and other towns in Massachusetts. Mr.Warham, Mr. Phillips
and Mr. Hooker, with others of the first planters of Connecticut? arrive
arid make settlements at Dorchester, Watertown, and Newtown.
Their churches are formed and they are ordained.


THE patent of Connecticut. The situation, extent, boundaries and area
of the settled part of the colony. The discovery of Connecticut river ;
a description of it, and the signification of its name. The colony de-
rives its name from the river. Description of other rivers. Plymouth
and Dutch houses. Prospects of trade upon the river.


THE state of the country of Connecticut when the settlement of the colO"
ny began. Its trees and fruits. Its animals. Number, situation, gen-
ius, manners, arms, utensils and wars of the Indians.


THE people at Dorchester, Watertown, and Newtown, finding thernselvea
straightened in the Massachusetts, determine to remove to Connecticut.
Debates in Massachusetts relative to their removal. The general court
at first prohibited it, but afterwards gave its consent. The people re-
moved and settled the towns of Windsor, Hartford and Weathersfield.
Hardships and losses of the first winters.

VOL. i. B



THE war with the Pequots. The origin of it. The murder of Captains-
Stone and Norton, of Mr. Oldham and others. Mr. Endicot's expedi-
tion against them. The Pequots kill a number of the garrison at the
mouth of the river, and besiege the fort. Captain Mason is sent dowr>
from Connecticut with a reinforcement. The enemy make a descent
on Weathersfield, torture and mock the English. The court at Connec-
ticut declares war against them. Captain Mason takes Mistic fort.
Sassacus destroys his royal fortress and flees to the westward. A sec-
ond expedition is undertaken against the Pequots conjointly, by Massa-
chusetts and Connecticut. The great swamp fight. The Pequots.
subdued. Sassacus flying to the Mohawks was beheaded. The capti-
vated and surviving Pequots, after the war, were given to theMoheagan^
and Narragansets, and their name extinguished.


EFFECTS of the war. Great scarcity in Connecticut, and means taken to
relieve the necessities of the people. Settlement of New-Haven
Plantation covenant. Means for the defence of the colony. Captain
Mason made major general. Civi4 constitution of Connecticut, formed
by voluntary compact. First general election at Connecticut. Gov-
ernors and magistrates. General rights of the people, and principal
laws of the colony. Constitution and laws of New-Haven. Purchase
and settlement of several towns in Connecticut and New-Haven.


THE progress of purchase, settlement, and law in the colonies of Connec-
ticut and New-Haven. The effect of the conquest of the Pequots or*
the natives, and the manner in which they were treated. Purchases of
them. Towns settled. Divisions at Weathersfield occasion the settle-
ment of Stamford. Troubles with the Ducth and Indians. Capita!
laws of Connecticut. The confederation of the united colonies. Fur-
ther troubles with the Indians. Victory of Uncas over the Narragan-
sets, and capture of their sachem. The advice of the commissioners
respecting Miantonimoh. His execution. Precautions of the colonie.-
to prevent war. The Dutch, harassed by an Indian war, apply to New -
Haven for assistance,


PUBLIC fasts appointed. Indians continue hostile, and commit murder.
Acts of the commissioners respecting them. Branford settled. Towns
in Connecticut. Message of the commissioners to the Narragansets.
Their agreement respecting Uncas. Long-Island Indians taken under

the protection of the united colonies. Massachusetts claim part of
the Pequot country and Waranoke. Determination of the commis-
sioners respecting said claim. Agreement with Mr. Fenwick relative
to Saybrook fort and the adjacent country. Fortifications advanced.
Extraordinary meeting of the commissioners to suppress the outrages
of the Narragansets. War proclaimed and troops sent against them.
Tiiey treat and prevent war. Fairfield object to a jury of six. Con


"troversy with the Dutch. The Indians plot against the life of ^ovem-
-or Hopkins and other principal gentlemen at Hartford. Damages at
"Windsor. Battle between the Dutch and Indians. Losses of New-
HrtVen. Dispute with Massachusetts relative to the impost at Say-
forook. Mr. Winthrop's claim of the Nehantick country. Settlement
-of accounts between the colonies.


.SETTLEMENT of New-London. Salaries first granted to civil officers.
Troubles with the Narraganset Indians. Rhode-Island petitions to be
united with the colonies in confederation. The Massachusetts resume
-the affair of the impost. Mr. Westerhouse complains of the seizure of
his vessel by the Dutch, in the harbour of New-Haven. Murders com-
mitted by the Indians ; resolutions respecting the murderers. Body
of laws compiled. Debates relative to the settlement of Delaware.
The Pequots revolt from Uncas, and petition the English. Resolu-
tion respecting them. Mr. Westerkouse petitions to make reprisals
from the Dutch. Letter to the Dutch governor. Further altercation
respecting the impost. Final issue of that affair. The conduct of the
Massachusetts upon its decision, and the declaration of the commis-
sioners respecting it. Their treatment of Connecticut respecting tho
line between the colonies. The court at Connecticut determine to
avenge the death of John Whitmore, and detach men to take the


COURT of election at Hartford. Grants to captain Mason. The com-
missioners meet and dispatch captain Atherton to the Narragansets.
Their message to Ninigrate. The Dutch Governor arrives at Hart-
ford, and refers the differences between him and the colonies to arbi-
trators. Their determination, and the line is fixed between the Eng-
lish and Dutch plantatiop-s. Agreements with Mr. Fenwick occasion
general uneasiness. Committees are appointed to explain and ascer-
tain them. Towns are invited to attend the committees, by their dep-
uties, at Saybrook. An act for the encouragement of Mr. Winthrop
in seeking and improving mines. Norwalk and Mattabeseck settled
and made towns. The colony of New-Haven make another attempt
to settle at Delaware. The Dutch .Governor seizes the company and
frustrates the design. He pursues his former line of conduct towards
1he colonies. The resolutions of the commissioners relative to his
conduct, to the settlement of Delaware, and the tribute to be paid by
the Pequots. French commissioners from Canada. Their proposals.
Reply to them. The Dutch governor and Indians concert a plan to
extirpate the colonies. The commissioners meet, and dispatch agents
to the Dutch governor. They determine upon war, unless he shouid
manifest his innocence, and redress the grievances of the colonies.
They determine on the number of meii to be raised, and draw a dec-
laration of the reasons of the war. The agents return unsuccessful
The commissioners meet again, and determine to make war upon the
Dutch and Narraganset Indians. The general court of Massachusetts
refuses to raise men, and prevents the war. Altercations between
that general court arid the commissioners, and between that and the
general courts of Connecticut and New-Haven. The alarm and dis-
.tress of the plantations in these colonies. Their genera] courts protest


against the court of Massachusetts, as violaters of the articles of con-
federation ; and write to Cromwell and the parliament for assistance.
The tumultuous state of the inhabitants in several of the towns.


THE death and character of Governor Haynes. The freemen of Con-
necticut meet and appoint a moderator. Mr. Ludlow removes to Vir-
ginia. The spirited conduct of the people at Milford, in recovering
Manning's vessel. The freemen add to the fundamental articles.
Fleet arrives at Boston for the reduction of the Dutch. The colonies
agree to raise men to assist the armament from England. Peace pre-
vents the expedition. The general court at New-Haven, charge the
Massachusetts with a breach of the confederation. They refuse to join
in a war against Ninigrate, and oblige Connecticut and New-Haven to
provide for the defence of themselves and their allies. Ninigrate con-
tinuing his hostile measures, the commissioners send messengers to him,
His answer to them. They declare war, and send an army against
him. The art of Massachusetts and the deceit of Major Willard, defeat
the designed expedition. The number of rateable polls, and the amount
of the list of Connecticut. The Pequots are taken under their protec-
tion. Ninigrate persisting in his hostilities against the Indians upon
Long-Island, the general court adopt measures for the defence of the In-
dians and the English inhabitants there. New-Haven perfect and print
their laws. The answer of New-Haven to the protector's invitation,
that they would remove to Jamaica, Reply of the commissioners to
the Dutch governor. Uncas embroils the country Deaths and char-
acters of Governors Eaton and Hopkins. Settlement of Stonington,
Mr. Winthrop chosen governor. The third fundamental article is al-
tered by the freemen. Mr. Fitch and his church and people remove tq
Norwich. Final settlement of accounts with the heirs of Mr. Fenwick.
Deputy governor Mason resigns the Moheagan lands to the colony.


THE general court of Connecticut declare their loyalty and submission to

Online LibraryBenjamin TrumbullA complete history of Connecticut, civil and ecclesiastical, from the emigration of its first planters, from England, in the year 1630, to the year 1764; and to the close of the Indian wars .. (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 62)