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powers of government

by hunghda 中國1 年前

Gorton, however, was not idle. He had no thought of permanently relinquishing the claim for which he had contended so bravely, and to which he was justly entitled. Within forty days of his release from prison, by a masterly piece of strategy and statesmanship, he inaugurated measures which completely check-mated his opponents, and gave him a permanent advantage in the contest for supremacy. On the 19th of April, 1644, by the earnest advice and solicitation of Gorton, the Narragansett 52Indians, in solemn conclave, constituted their “trusty and well-beloved friends,” Samuell Gorton, John Wickes, Randall Holden and John Warner, commissioners to convey their submission to the British Government.

The deed of submission, signed by the sachems Pessicus, Conanicus, Mixan, Awoshosse and Tomanick, is preserved in the Historical Cabinet at Providence. The tragical death of the head sachem, Miantonomi, in the previous September, at the hands of his bitter enemies, the Mohegans, with the consent of the Boston elders—a story so well told by Dr. Fiske in his “Beginnings of New England” that I need not repeat it here,—as well as the revolt of Pomham and Soccononocco, were powerful arguments with the Narragansetts in favor of seeking the protection of the British Government; while 53the return of Gorton and his companions, unscathed, from the prisons of Massachusetts, convinced the Narragansetts that the power of the Mother Country was on their side, and had stood between them and their oppressors.

In August, 1645, the Commissioners of the United Colonies, in session in Boston, declared war against the Narragansetts, and dispatched a military force to Rhode Island; at the same time warning the General Assembly of Providence Plantations, then in session at Newport, that if they adhered to their declared determination of maintaining a position of neutrality they would be regarded as enemies. They also forbade them to exercise the powers of government under the charter obtained by Roger Williams.

54In response to this threatening action of “the Massachusetts,” Gorton, Greene and Holden set sail, after vexatious delays, under authority of Providence Plantations, from the Dutch settlement at Manhattan for Holland, whence, after more delay, they obtained transportation to England. The exact time of their arrival at London is unknown, but they had been preceded by the agents of Massachusetts, and were compelled to meet the charges already formulated by their enemies. Their answer, prepared by Gorton in “Simplicities Defence,” was published in London on the 3d of August, 1646. Soon after,[44] a patent was issued to Gorton and his colleagues which granted the Shawomet lands to 55them and their successors forever, and guaranteed them protection against all other claimants.

In the troublous times between the King and Parliament the formal submission of the Narragansetts which Gorton had conveyed to England, could not be delivered to King Charles in person, and Gorton accordingly caused it to be published in London. By this admirable piece of strategy and statesmanship he forever blocked the movements of Massachusetts Bay for the control of the Narragansett country. Gorton received safe-conduct from the Earl of Warwick, on his return, through the domains of the enemy.[45]

 

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