Puritanism and the Wilderness: The Intellectual Significance of the New England Frontier, 1629-1700

By Peter N. Carroll | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VIII
"The Unity of
the English Colonyes"

AS the forest blossomed in the spring of 1643, seven men from the New England plantations at Plymouth, New Haven, and Connecticut arrived at Massachusetts Bay to consummate the confederation of their colonies. Each settlement assigned to its most eminent inhabitants the task of reaching a judicious agreement. In consultation, the representatives "encountered some difficulties," wrote John Winthrop, but since all were "desirous of union and studious of peace," he added, "they readily yielded each to [the] other in such things as tended to common utility" and after "two or three meetings they lovingly accorded" to the Articles of Confederation.1 Despite the retention of autonomy by the separate colonies, the treaty of 1643 enabled the Puritans to expand the notion of the collective society to account for the changes wrought by the wilderness experience. The New England Confederation thereby served as a viable social insti

____________________
1
Winthrop, Journal, II, 98. At the negotiations of May 1643, Edward Winslow and William Collier represented Plymouth, John Haynes, Edward Hopkins, and George Fenwick acted for Connecticut, and Theophilus Eaton and Thomas Grigson served the interests of New Haven. The Massachusetts Court appointed Winthrop, Thomas Dudley, Simon Bradstreet, Edward Gibbons, William Tyng, and William Hathorn to treat with these delegates.

-161-

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Puritanism and the Wilderness: The Intellectual Significance of the New England Frontier, 1629-1700
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I - Two Worlds 5
  • Chapter I - The Good Land 7
  • Chapter II - Sad Stormes and Wearisom Dayes 27
  • Chapter III - A New World 45
  • Part II - The Symbolic Wilderness 61
  • Chapter IV - A Sorrowful Estate 65
  • Chapter V - A Place of Safetie 87
  • Chapter VI - The Pleasant Gardens of Christ 109
  • Part III - A Wilderness Society 127
  • Chapter VII - The Welfare of This Commonwealth 131
  • Chapter VIII - The Unity of the English Colonyes 161
  • Chapter IX - The Further Improvement of the Wildernes 181
  • Chapter X - A Smart Rod and Severe Scourge 199
  • Epilogue 223
  • Selected Bibliography 225
  • Index 241
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