Tuesday, October 28, 2014

1628 - John Endecott, Governor of Salem

March 1628 - William Bradford is re-elected governor of the Plymouth colony for the 7th time in a row.

March 10, 1628 - The first General Assembly of Virginia takes place in Jamestown with the consent of the king.

Although its representatives had met for the first time in 1619, the 1628 session was the first to be organized by the Crown after the dissolution of the Virginia Company of London in 1624. The concerns of the colony had been widely controlled by the directors of the Company and the first settlers had enjoyed the same rights and privileges as the English subjects but Virginia had unfortunately failed in developing as the king and investors would have wished.  In 1618, the leaders of the Virginia Company had authorized the creation of a colonial assembly with the hope that it would allow to tighten the links between London and the settlers and would contribute to open the way to the future. The first meeting was to debate hot topics for the colony as taxes, troubles with Indians and corn production.
By 1624, it had become however obvious that the Virginia Company would be unable to make the territory a populous and prosperous colony. After its dissolution, King James 1 transferred the responsibilities to a governor appointed by the Crown and his Privy Council. In March, 1628, King Charles asked governor Francis West to convene an assembly to discuss the contract under which tobacco produced in the colony would be exclusively sold in England.
Retaliatory measures were besides decided against Indians. 
Corn trade was now prohibited by the General assembly.  All the dwelling-houses should be strengthened against Indians assaults. The English would not have the right to venture nor to work alone and unarmed in their fields. Each corporation of the colony would have to attack the neighboring Indian tribes every July as it had become a tradition since the Great Massacre of 1622. Contacts between Indians and remote colonists were now banned and Indians no longer allowed to approach English villages, except for official missions.

April 7, 1628 - Johannes Michaelius, first minister of New Amsterdam arrives with his family in the colony.  Born in Dieppe, he is however fluent in Dutch. He celebrates his first service the same day in the new church of the Holy Spirit. The town has then 270 inhabitants.

May 1, 1628 - Rumor claims that the setting up of the Maypole by Thomas Morton at Merrymount ended in an orgy with Indian women.

Morton’s concept of religion was harshly condemned by the Plymouth Separitists who suspected him to be " indianized ". Rumors spread, alluding to depravity and licentious sex with Indian women in pagan revels where they honored Bacchus and Aphrodite. Morton had, in fact, implemented in the colony an old European custom that he had updated by combining classical mythology with his own loose trends and a certain zest for life. From a practical point of view, this party was designed to celebrate with the Indian tribes the fruit of hard work together and it was the opportunity for the settlers who were mostly men to find a bride among the native people. The anger of the Puritans was mainly fed by the report that Merrymount was achieving a certain prosperity by benefiting from the fallout of fur trade the Plymouth Plantation of which wanted to hold the monopoly. To help their cause, Puritans used to portray Morton as a led astray man attracting to him " the dregs of society ".

Myles Satndish at Merrymount
May 13, 1628 - Matthew Cradock is elected 1st governor of the Massachusetts Bay Company.

Following the failure of the Dorchester Company, this London-based organization aimed to revive the colonization of New England involving Puritan businessmen willing to invest in a large lasting settlement mainly devoted to tobacco production. Matthew Cradock was elected governor of the Company while staying in London whereas  John Endecott took the lead in the future colony.

June 9, 1628 -Thomas Morton is expelled from the Massachusetts colony after being accused of selling weapons and ammunitions to Indians.

Cutting-down  the Maypole

The Plymouth militia led by Myles Standish met only little resistance when it seized Merrymount. The Maypole was brought down and Morton arrested " to have supplied guns to Indians ". He was kept in Plymouth and, after a mock trial, deported to Shoals Islands off the coast of New Hampshire, until an English ship brings back him to England. Friendly Indians helped him.

June 9, 1628 - John Endecott sets sail from England aboard the Abigail heading up a group of 50 would-be settlers. He is one of the signatories to the chart granted to the New England Company by the Earl of Warwick authorizing the establishment of a plantation in the Massasuchetts territories, in a region located between the Merrimack and the Charles River, extending to the Pacific.

A learned man also speaking French, John Endecott had been chosen to lead this first expedition due to his military experience

September 6, 1628 - John Endecott arrives from England fronting of a group of 50 puritan settlers and moves to Salem, the new name given to the Naumkeag colony founded in 1626 by Roger ConantHe has a patent granted to the Massachusetts Bay Colony the first representative of which he is to land in America.

John Endecott (c. 1588 - March 15, 1665) magistrate, soldier and 1st governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Nothing is known about him before his name appears in the six original patents of the New England Company. He was chosen by the directors of the Company to lead the first group of puritan colonists which settled at Salem. He occupied the post of governor of the colony until 1630.

The authority of Endecott was immediately put to the test. Winter 1628-29 was much harsher than the sweetness of the fall had foreshadowed. The newcomers had never experienced so cold winter in England. Added to severe weather conditions, disease began to wreak havoc. Faced with the problem, Endecott who had heard about the surprising results obtained by Dr Samuel Fuller who practiced in the Plymouth colony, asked Governor William Bradford permission to make him come to Salem.
Fuller's arrival tallied with the beginning of the transformation of Salem into a puritan colony. What was originally a settlement dedicated to trade and fishing turned gradually into an exemplary outpost of Puritanism. Fuller who had some charisma and a great power of persuasion was also deeply religious.

Samuel Fuller (1580-1633) - He had been part of the community of Separatists emigrated to Leyden in Holland before leaving for Plymouth in 1623. Governor William Bradford was related to his second wife. Three years earlier, his brother Edward Fuller had appeared among the Pilgrim Fathers of the colony. He had enough knowledge of medicine to the practice, as well as surgery. But he also served as deacon and his meetings with John Endecott about organizing the church of Plymouth influenced the founding of Salem. He had to die in 1633 during a smallpox epidemic.

September 12, 1628 - Charles 1 renews to the planters of Virginia lands and privileges previously granted to them by former King James. 
Virginia sends during this year about 35000 lbs of tobacco to England.

September 1628 - John Endicott sends the Sprague brothers, William, Ralph and Richard to explore and to take possession of the region around Salem.

The Sprague brothers were all three from Dorset, born in a landowners family. Ralph, the eldest one had been upgraded captain by new governor John Endecott and his brother Richard, lieutenant. They went up Charles River to the west reachingl a neck where lived an Indians' community called Aberginians. These showed themselves friendly and their leader Wonohaquaham, nicknamed Sagamore John suggested to settle on a nearby hill called Mishawum. The colonists called it Charlestown.

1628 - After four war years, the Mohawk defeat the Mahican forced to retreat beyond the left bank of the Hudson River. With this victory, the Mohawk conclude a trade alliance with the Dutch settled at Fort Orange (present-day Albany) which grants them a monopoly on pelt trade. The Indians are given in exchange guns and supplies from Europe.

The Dutch had been trapped by their own system, seeking to capitalize on the competition between both Indian nations. Being able to deal only with the Mohawk offered obviously fewer advantages, (especially as strenghtened by their power in the region, the latter also turned to the French) even though they could always count on their help to protect the colonists settled along the Hudson River against the attacks of neighboring Algonquian tribes.

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