CHAPTER II.
THE PRE-REVOLUTIONARY STRUGGLE.

LEAVING "Sam, the Maltster," to wait through the years that must intervene before the hour shall really strike for him, a survey must be made of the institutions into the midst of which he was born, and of the momentous dispute in which he was presently to stand forth as a figure of the first importance.

According to the original charter, which was that of a mere trading corporation, vaguely drawn, and which was converted without color of law into the foundation of an independent state, the affairs of Massachusetts were to be managed by a governor, deputy-governor, and eighteen assistants, who were to hold monthly meetings for that purpose. These officials were to be elected, and a general oversight to be exercised, by the stockholders of the company to whom the charter was granted. The colonists were "to enjoy the rights of Englishmen," but had no share in the direction of affairs. The company was transferred, however, very soon,

-21-

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