"A Smart Rod and
NEVER was any plantation brought unto such a considerableness, in a space of time so inconsiderable"! exclaimed Cotton Mather at the end of the seventeenth century, for "an howling wilderness in a few years became a pleasant land, accomodated with the necessaries--yea, and the conveniences of humane life."1 As New Englanders replenished and transformed the earth, they readily adjusted to life in America and grew increasingly self- confident in their wilderness communities. Within three decades of the founding of Massachusetts, the settlers betrayed their security by disregarding the underlying threats to the colonies of New England. But paradoxically this superficial stability concealed a deeply rooted malaise, an abiding sense of distrust for the wilderness environment. The outbreak of King Philip's War in 1675 brought these counterforces into conflict. Thereafter, the Puritan colonists grappled with the tensions between security and insecurity, cohesion and expansion.
By 1660 the settlers of New England manifested their self-assurance in America by abating their cautious Indian policy. The Bay colony first revealed signs of a thaw in their attitude toward the natives when the authorities____________________