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sioners, though all should agree, should bind the colony to engage in hostilities.”
At this declaration, Connecticut and New Haven felt alarmed and indignant. They considered the other colonies too weak, without the assistance of Massachusetts, to contend with the Dutch and their Indian allies. They argued, entreated and remonstrated, but she continued inflexible. They then represented their danger to Cromwell, and implored his assistance. He with his usual promptitude, sent a fleet for their protection, and for the conquest of their enemies; but peace in Europe, intelligence of which reached New England soon after the arrival of the fleet, saved the Dutch from subjugation, and relieved the colonies from the dread of massacre.
After Charles the Second was restored to the throne, Connecticut applied to him for a royal charter. A trifling circumstance induced him, forgetting all his arbitrary maxims, to comply with her wishes to their utmost extent. Her agent, Mr. Winthrop, having an extraordinary ring, which had been given to his grandfather by Charles the First, presented it to his son. He immediately granted a charter more liberal in its provisions than any that had yet been granted, and confirming, in every particular, the constitution which the people had themselves adopted.
This charter comprehended New Haven; but, for several years, the people of that colony utterly refused to consent to the union. In this opposition to the commands of the king, and the remonstrances of Connecticut, they persevered until 1665, when the apprehension of the appointment of a general governor, and of their being united with some other colony, having a charter less favourable to liberty, impelled them though reluctantly to yield.
In the war with Philip, which began in 1675, Connecticut suffered less than her sister colonies. Her aid, however, in full proportion to her strength, was always freely afforded; and no troops surpassed her volunteers in bravery
avery and enterprise. A large number, and many of them officers, were killed at the assault upon the fort at Narraganset.
In 1686, King James the Second, desirous of annulling not only the charters which had been granted to his English cities, but those also which had been granted to his American colonies, summoned the governor of Connecticut to appear, and show cause why her charter should not be declared void. And Sir Edmund Andross, who had been appointed governor of New England, advised the colony, as the course best calculated to ensure the good will of his majesty, to resign it voluntarily into his hands, he having been instructed to receive it. But the people estimated too highly the privileges it conferred to surrender it until necessity compelled them.
Sir Edmund, therefore, repaired with a body of troops to Hartford, when the assembly were in session, and demanded of them the charter. They hesitated and debated until evening. It was then produced and laid upon the table, a large number of people being present. Suddenly the candles were extinguished. With counterfeited haste, they were again relighted; but the charter could no where be found. In the dark, it had been privately carried off, by a Captain Wadsworth, and concealed in a hollow tree. Sir Edmund, however, assumed the government of the colony, and ruled with the same absolute sway, though not with the same oppressive tyranny, as in Massachusetts.
When James was driven from his throne and kingdom, and his governor deposed, Connecticut resumed her former government. The assembly voted a flattering address to King William. The suit instituted for the purpose of annulling her charter was abandoned ; and her inhabitants, while enjoying greater privileges than any of their brethren, had reason to congratulate themselves upon their address and good fortune in preserving them.
But not long afterwards, they were again called upon to defend these privileges from encroachment. In 1692 Colonel Fletcher was appointed governor of New York, and was authorized, by his commission, to take command of the militia of Connecticut. This power having been given by the charter, to the governor of the colony, he determined not to relinquish it, and in this determination was supported by the people.
The next year, when the general court were in session, Colonel Fletcher repaired to Hartford, and required that the malitia of the colony should be placed under his command. This was resolutely refused. He then ordered the trainbands of the city to be assembled. This being done, he appeared before them, and directed his aid to read to them his commission and instructions from the king.
Captain Wadsworth, the senior officer of the militia present, instantly ordered the drums to beat, and such was the noise that nothing else could be heard. Colone! Fletcher commanded silence; and again his aid began to read. « Drum drum, I say,” exclaimed Wadsworth, and a command so acceptable to the players was obeyed with spirit. Once more the colonel commanded silence, and a pause ensued. Drum, drum, I say,” cried the captain, and turning to Governor Fletcher, addressed him, with energy in his voice and meaning in his looks, “ If I am interrupted again, I will make the sun shine through you in a moment."
Deeming it unwise to contend with such a spirit, Colonel Fletcher desisted, left Hartford the next night, and returned to New York. A representation of the opposing claims being made to the king, he decided that the governor of Connecticut should have the command of the militia; but in time of war, a certain number should be placed under the orders of Fletcher.
In 1700, Yale college was founded. It owes its existence to the beneficence and public spirit of the clergy. It was first established at Saybrook; and, in 1702, the first degrees were there conferred. Elihu Yale made several donations to the institution, and from him it derives the name it bears. A succession of able instructors has raised it to the second rank among the literary institutions of the country.
In 1708, an act was passed by the legislature, requiring the ministers and delegates of churches to meet and form an ecclesiastical constitution for the colony. A meeting was in consequence held at Saybrook, the result of which was the celebrated Saybrook platform. At the subsequent session of the legislature, it was enacted that all the churches united according to this platform, should be owned as established by law, allowing, however, to other churches, the right of exercising worship and discipline in their own way, according to their consciences.
In the several abortive attempts to reduce the French settlements in Canada, and in the expedition against Louisburg, Connecticut furnished her full quota of troops, and bore her proportion of the expences. Of these, a history is elsewhere given. After the death of Philip, most of the Indians abandoned her territory, and seldom returned to molest the inhabitants; who, living in the enjoyment of all the privileges they desired, felt no inducement, and were afforded no opportunity to perform such actions as enliven the pages of history.
RHODE ISLAND. ROGER WILLIAMS, who was banished from Massachusetts, for avowing the doctrine, that the