|William Penn||a Quaker|
|Solomon Southwick, Newport, Rhode Island||son of a Quaker|
|Solomon Southwick, Albany, New York,||grandson of a Quaker|
|Isaac T. Hopper, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||Quaker|
|Elias Hicks, New York||Quaker Preacher|
|General Nathaniel Greene, Rhode Island||son of a Quaker Preacher|
|Lucretia Mott, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a Quaker Preacher, and daughter of Quaker parents, of Nantucket, R. I.||daughter of Quaker parents|
|Abraham Lincoln||son of Quaker parents|
|John Bright, Birmingham, England, a Quaker, and , Jacob Bright.||son of a Quaker|
|John Greenleaf Whittier, a Quaker Poet||Quaker parents|
In 1657, William Shattuck, a shoe maker of Boston, being on the first day of the week found at his house instead of coming to the place of worship was taken to the house of correction, where at his first entrance he was cruelly whipped and then kept at work whilst his wife and innocent children were in want on account of his absence. Richard Bellingham, Deputy Governor, said to William's wife that since he was poor and could not pay five shillings per week for not coming to church they should keep him in prison.
John Copeland and Christopher Holder coming to Dedham were taken by the Constable to Boston, when being brought before the Governor, John Endicott, he said in a rage "ye shall be sure to have your ears cut off." Soon after, John Rouse came to Boston and was arrested and put into prison. Then Governor Endicott called the three prisoners by name and said in a great passion, it is the sentence of the Court that you three have each of you his right ear cut off by the hangman. The sentence was executed in private.
In 1658, Sarah Gibbons and Dorothy Waugh came to Boston, and having spoken in the public meetingplace, were brought to the house of correction, and three days before and three days after being whipped were not allowed to have victuals, although they offered to pay for them; and when Sarah afterwards asked Governor Endicott whether this was justice and equity, he answered that it mattered not.
Not long after, Hored Gardner, an inhabitant of Rhode Island, came with her sucking babe and a girl to carry it to Weymouth. Being a Quaker she was hurried to Boston, where both she and the girl were whipped with a three-fold knotted whip. Hored after being whipped knelt down and prayed the Lord to forgive their persecutors.
Daniel and Provided Southwick, son and daughter of Lawrence and Cassandra Southwick, seeing how unreasonably their honest parents and brother Josiah were dealt with, felt themselves encouraged to follow their steps and not frequent the assemblies of such a persecuting generation; for which absence they were fined ten pounds, though it was well known they had no estate. To get this money an order was issued in the General Court at Boston that they should be sold as slaves to any of the English nation at Virginia or Barbadoes to answer said fines.
IN 1656 two women, Mary Fisher and Ann Austin, came to Boston to preach as humble followers of George Fox. There had been no law made against Quakers in New England, yet Richard Billingham, the Deputy Governor, committed these two women to prison on their landing, as being of the sect called Quakers, because one of them in speaking to him said "thou" instead of "you." They were afterwards barbarously treated; they were undressed and searched on pretence of ascertaining whether they were "Witches."
They were kept in confinement five weeks and almost starved; and at last the captain of a vessel was forced to carry them back to England, and the jailor kept their beds, which had been brought on shore, for jail fees: such was the "entertainment" the Quakers first met with at Boston from a people who pretended that for conscience sake they chose the wilds of America rather than the well-cultivated Old England.
Four male and four female "Quakers" who landed about a month afterwards were treated in a similar manner by Governor Endicott, and after eleven weeks stay were shipped back to England.
Cassandra Southwick was arrested July, 1656, for absence from worship.
A law was then made prohibiting all masters of ships from bringing "Quakers" to New England and "Quakers" themselves from landing there under penalty of imprisonment.
Quakers, however, still continued to appear in New England, and most cruel measures were adopted for their exclusion. At length two "Quakers," William Robinson, a London trader, and Marmaduke Stevenson, an agriculturist from Yorkshire, both of whom persisted in frequenting Boston and the neighborhood, were ordered by the court to keep themselves out of its jurisdiction "under pain of death," and as they did not feel "free in mind" to obey the order, were in the latter part of the year 1659 actually hanged, and their dead bodies were stripped and mangled by the hands of the mob. A woman named Mary Dyer was executed soon afterwards.
And in the early part of the following year William Leddra and Wenlock Christison were also hung for same reasons. But these proceedings, which far surpassed anything that had been done against the "Quakers" in England, excited the attention of the English people as well as the "Quakers" themselves, and an application being made to the King, Charles II, a mandamus was addressed by the English government to the authorities of New England, directing that if there were any "Quakers" in that country under sentence of imprisonment, corporeal punishment or death, the proceedings against them should be stopped and they should be sent over to England to be dealt with according to English laws.
This order was so far obeyed that the "Quakers" who were then in prison were set at liberty, and three deputies, Colonel Temple, a priest named Norton, and Simon Broadstreet, one of the magistrates, were sent over to England to inform the King of their release and to deprecate his displeasure.
During their stay in England George Fox and some of his friends found an opportunity of speaking to them and charged them boldly, at least Norton and Broadstreet (who acknowledged that they were concerned in the persecutions), with murder, in having, though subjects of England, put to death peaceable citizens, not by English laws, but by arbitrary enactments of their own; and many of the old Royalists says "Sewel" were earnest with the "Quakers" to bring the New England persecutors or as many of them as possible to trial, but George Fox replied that he would leave them to Him to whom vengeance belonged, and consequently nothing was done in the matter.
It does not appear that any more "Quakers" were put to death in New England, but persecutions were not discontinued and ill-treatment of them by whipping, imprisonment, and other modes of vexation were indulged to a great extent.
In 1657, Lawrence Southwick and Cassandra his wife, an aged and grave couple, inhabitants of Salem, Mass., and members of First church, who for entertaining two strangers, viz.: John Copeland and Christopher Holder, were committed to prison at Boston. Lawrence was released as being a member of First church, to be dealt with by said congregation; but Cassandra was kept in prison seven weeks and then fined forty shillings for owning a paper written by the two aforesaid strangers in reference to the truth and the Scriptures. Gov. Endicott putting questions to her to ensnare her and bring her under the law, which was illegal, said law being enacted to punish any person who should write or hold any heretical papers, said papers were not proved to be heretical but were the truth.
In the 5th Month, 16, 1658, Old Style, Lawrence, Cassandra and their son Josiah were imprisoned at Boston for being Quakers, and were kept there twenty weeks on a charge of violating a law enacted while they were in prison.
1658 and 1659 In the dark days of delusion against the Quakers the whole family of Lawrence and Cassandra Southwick suffer much from fines and imprisonment. When the fines of Daniel and Provided were unpaid, the tender hearted General Court with intent to magnify the GLORY OF GOD ordered them to be sold for Slaves to any Christian in Virginia or Barbadoes.
Lawrence made his will at Shelter Island in 1659 and died there three days before his wife, in spring of 1660; his will was proved at Salem in 1660, in which he mentions sons John, Josiah and Daniel, and daughters Provided and Mary (who married Henry Trask), and some grand children.
IN July, 1656, Cassandra, the wife of Lawrence Southwick, is arraigned for absence from worship.
March 23, 1657 Josiah Hobart is preaching at Cape Ann Side.
Sept. 21, 1657 Christopher Holder and John Copeland, Quakers, attempt to address our people after the Minister closed. They are secured until Monday, then sent to Boston where they received thirty stripes and were imprisoned nine weeks. Samuel Shattuck, for interfering when Holder was apprehended, was imprisoned at Boston till he gave bonds. Lawrence Southwick and his wife, for entertaining Holder and Copeland, were confined in the same town.
In March, 1658, John Small, Josiah Southwick and John Burton are apprehended in Dedham for being Quakers, while on their way to Rhode Island to provide a residence for themselves and families, and to escape from their persecutors. They were released and resumed their journey.
June 29, 1658 Among the persons punished for attending a Quaker Meeting at Nicholas Phelps' are John, Daniel and Provided Southwick, Joseph Pope, Anthony Needham, Edward Wharton, Samuel Gaskin, or Gaskill, Henry Trask and wife, Joseph Buffum's wife and his son Joseph, and Thomas Brackett; the wives of Needham, Phelps, Pope, and Geo. Gardner are indicted; Edward Harnett and his wife Priscilla are fined.
March 11, 1659 As the fines of Daniel and Provided Southwick are not paid they are ordered to be sold into Slavery to any of the English living in Virginia or Barbadoes; but this was not done. Lawrence and Cassandra Southwick and their son Josiah, Samuel Shattuck, Nicholas Phelps and Joshua Buffum are banished on pain of death.
Oct. 18, 1659 Hannah Phelps is admonished, and Wm. King is sentenced to be whipped. Margaret Smith and son, and Mary Trask are in prison; they had attended the trial of Robinson, Stevenson and Mary Dyer in Boston.
Nov. 3, 1659 Edward Wharton is whipped and fined for asserting that the two former were unjustly hung.
Nov. 29, 1659 Joseph Miles, Thomas Spooner, James Smith, and Francis Simpson are arraigned with other Quakers.
May 18, 1660 Henry Bacheller and (June 26) the wife of Edmund Nicholson, the wife of Wm. Vincent, Samuel Salmon, and other Friends are prosecuted.
Nov. 27, 1660 The wife of Robert Stone, John Burton and other Quakers are prosecuted.
Dec. 21, 1660 A letter from Mary Trask and Margaret Smith to the Governor, relative to the persecution of their denomination, concludes: "From your house of correction (in Boston) where we have been unjustly restrained from our children and habitations, one of us about 8 months, the other 10 months; and where we are yet continued by you oppressors, yet know no Shame."
March 6, 1661 Of several things for which a fast is observed by the church in Salem is renewal of covenant and adding to it as follows: "Therefore we do covenant by the help of Jesus Christ to take heed and beware of the leaven of the doctrine of the Quakers."(*) (*) How absurdly false this pretence is, for the Quakers did not have any Doctrine or Code of Faith and Belief. They simply by their discipline enjoined the reading of the Bible; and each to interpret for themselves, that the light within each and every person was sufficient to guide them aright, "that he who runs might read, and need not go astray."
March 14, 1661 Edward Wharton attends on Wm. Leddra executed at Boston and assists to bury his body.
Sept. 9, 1661 Josiah Southwick having come from banishment, is ordered by the assistants to be stripped from his girdle upwards, tied to a cart's tail and whipped ten stripes in each of the towns of Boston, Roxbury and Dedham.
Nov. 27, 1661 The General Court vote to comply with a letter from the King (Charles II.) which required them to cease proceedings against the Quakers, and to send such of them as are apprehended over to England for trial. This Royal injunction was brought by Samuel Shattuck from London, whither he had gone after being banished by our authorities.
Dec. 10, 1661 Several of the Friends are fined as usual.
June 6, 1663 Mr Higginson writes to the Legislature; in a postscript is the following: "I doe further entreate yt ye hond. Court will please to consider what course may be taken for ye dissolueing ye Quaker Meetings here which we have frequent and constant without interruption a long time, strange Quakers often repairing hither, yt occasion may be given for others abroad to looke upon Salem as a nest of Quakers from hence to infect ye rest of ye country."
Philip Veren is sentenced to be severely lashed for saying that our authorities "had murdered the dear saints and servants of God, and that he saw one of them murdered at Boston himself."
To build a prison here œ50 are appropriated, which sum was the price of lands taken from Quakers.
Nov. 24, 1663 Twenty-five of this denomination are fined and they continue to be thus treated for several years.
June 26, 1666 John Blevin is among the Quakers prosecuted.
Nov. 24, 1668 Nathaniel Hadlock suffers with the Quakers.
June 29, 1669 Robert Gray, also of the Friends, is fined. The will of Robert Buffum is not allowed, because the witnesses would only testify, and not swear, to its correctness.
July 18, 1676 After a few years' respite, the Quakers are renewedly prosecuted.
Dec. 12, 1695 An order of General Court requires that all the copies of a book entitled "Truth Held Forth," and edited by Thomas Maule, be searched for and seized. This work contained severe reflections on the government for their treatment of the Quakers.
Oct. 14, 1656 Whereas there is a cursed sect of heretics lately risen up in the world, which are commonly called Quakers; who take upon them to be immediately sent of God, and infallibly assisted by the spirit to speak and write blasphemous opinions, despising government and the order of God in church and commonwealth, speaking evil of dignities and reproaching and reviling magistrates and ministers, seeking to turn the people from the faith and gain proselytes to their pernicious ways. This Court taking into serious consideration the premises, and to prevent the like mischief as by their means is wrought in our native land, doth hereby order, and by the authority of this court be it ordered and enacted that what master of any ship, bark, pinnace, catch, or of any other vessel that shall henceforth bring into any harbor, creek or cove within this jurisdiction any known Quaker, or any other blasphemous heretics as aforesaid, shall pay or cause to be paid, a fine of one Hundred Pounds, to the treasurer of the country; except it appear that he wanted true knowledge or information of their being such, and in that case he hath liberty to clear himself by his oath, when sufficient proof to the contrary is wanting; and for default of payment or good security for it, shall be committed to prison and there remain till the said sum be satisfied to the treasurer as aforesaid; and the commander of any such ship or vessel that shall bring them, being legally convicted, shall give in sufficient security to the Governor or any one or more of the magistrates who have power to determine the same, to carry them back to the place from whence he brought them, and on his refusal to do so the Governor or one or more of the magistrates are hereby empowered to issue out his or their warrants to commit such master or commander to prison, there to continue until he shall give sufficient security to the
content of the Governor or any of the magistrates as aforesaid, and it is hereby ordered and enacted that what Quakers soever shall arise in this country from foreign parts or come into this jurisdiction from any parts adjacent, shall forthwith be committed to the house of correction, and at their entrance to be severely whipt, and by the master thereof to be kept constantly at work and none suffered to converse or speak with them during the time of their imprisonment, which shall be no longer than necessity requireth; and further it is ordered if any person shall knowingly import into any harbor of this jurisdiction any Quaker books or writings concerning their Devilish opinions, shall pay for every such book or writings, being legally proved against him or them, the sum of five pounds; and whoever shall disperse or conceal any such book or writings and it be found with him or her or in his or her house, and shall not immediately deliver into the next magistrate, shall forfeit and pay the sum of five pounds for the dispersing or concealing of any such book or writing.
And it is hereby further enacted that if any person within this colony take upon them the heretical opinions of the said Quakers, or any of their books or papers as aforesaid, "ex animo," if legally proved shall be fined for the first time forty shillings, and if they shall persist in the same and shall so again defend it, the second time four pounds; if still notwithstanding they shall again so defend and maintain the said Quakers' heretical opinions, they shall be committed to the house of correction till there be
convenient passage to send them out of the land, being sentenced by the Court of assistance to banishment. Lastly, it is hereby ordered that what person or persons soever shall revile the office or person of magistrates or ministers, as is usual with the Quakers, such person or persons shall be severely whipt, or pay the sum of five pounds.
Oct. 15, 1656 (Page 279.) It is ordered that the secretary forthwith issue out a warrant from this Court to the Marshall General or his deputy, to impress a meet boat and sufficient and convenient help to carry down and deliver the Quakers aboard Mr. Locke.
Oct. 14, 1657 (Page 308.) As, in addition to the late order in reference to the coming or bringing in any of the cursed sect of the Quakers into this jurisdiction, it is ordered that whosoever shall from henceforth bring or cause to be brought directly or indirectly any known Quaker or Quakers or other blasphemous Heretics into this jurisdiction, every such person shall forfeit the sum of one hundred pounds to the country, and shall by warrant be committed to prison and there remain until the penalty be satisfied and paid; and if any person or persons within this jurisdiction shall entertain any Quaker or Quakers or other blasphemous heretics, shall forfeit forty shillings for every hours' entertainment and concealment, and shall be committed to prison until the fine is paid: and it is further ordered that if any Quaker or Quakers, after they have once suffered what the law requireth, come into this jurisdiction, every such male
Quaker shall for the first offence have one of his ears cut off and be kept at work in the house of correction till he can be sent away at his charge, and for the second offence have his other ear cut off, and kept at house of correction as aforesaid. And every woman Quaker that hath suffered the law here that shall presume to come into this jurisdiction shall be severely whipt and kept at the house of correction at work till she shall be sent away at her own charge; and so for her coming again she shall be alike used as aforesaid, and for every Quaker, he or she that shall a third time offend, they shall have their tongue bored through with a hot iron and kept at the house of correction close to work till they shall be sent away at their own charge; and it is further ordered that all and every Quaker arising from amongst ourselves shall be dealt with and suffer the like punishment as the law provides for foreign Quakers.
May 19, 1658 (Page 321.) That Quakers and such accursed heretics arising among ourselves may be dealt with according to their deserts, and that their pestilent errors and practices may speedily be prevented, it is hereby ordered that as in addition to the former law against Quakers, that every such person professing any of their pernicious ways by speaking, writing, or by meeting on the Lord's day, or any other time, to strengthen themselves or seduce others to their diabolical doctrines, shall after conviction incur the penalty ensuing, that is, every person so meeting shall pay to the country for every time, ten shillings; and every one speaking in such meeting shall pay
five pounds apiece, and in case any such person hath been punished by scourging or whipping the first time according to the former laws, shall be kept at work in the house of correction till they put in security, with two sufficient men, that they shall not any more vent their hateful errors or use their sinful practices, or else shall depart this jurisdiction at their own charges; and if any of them return again, then each person shall incur the penalty of the laws formerly made for strangers.
Oct. 19, 1658 (Page 348.) Whereas this Court, well understanding the dangerous events of the doctrines and practices of the Quakers, hath by law endeavored to prevent the same, but finding that some of them do disperse their papers, so expressing themselves therein as that they may deceive divers of weak capacities and so draw them on to favor their opinions and ways. Now for the further prevention of infection and guiding of people in the truth in reference to such opinions, heresies or blasphemies by them expressed in their books, letters, or by words openly held forth by some of them, the Court judgeth meet that there be a writing or declaration drawn up and printed to manifest the evil of their tenets and dangers of their practices, as tending to the subversion of religion, of church order, and civil government, and the necessity that this government is put upon (for the preservation of religion and their own peace and safety) to exclude such persons from amongst them, who after due means of conviction shall remain obstinate and pertinacious, and this work the Court
doth commend to the care and pains of the Rev. Mr. John Norton, speedily to effect.
Oct. 19, 1658 (Page 349.) It is ordered that the Quakers in prison at Ipswich be forthwith sent for; warrant issued out accordingly and return to the warrant made; the Court convented the said Quakers before them and after much endeavor to convince and reform them, ordered that Samuel Shattocke, Lawrence Southwick and Cassandra Southwick his wife, shall be enjoined at their peril to depart out of this jurisdiction before the first day of the Court of election next, which if they neglect or refuse to do, they shall then be banished under pain of death, and if in the meantime they shall transgress against the new law made by this Court against Quakers, they shall be proceeded with as the said law requires; and it is referred to the County Court of Suffolk to declare this sentence to them, and thereupon release them out of prison.
May 11, 1659 (Page 366.) Whereas Daniel and Provided Southwick, son and daughter to Lawrence Southwick, have been fined by the County Courts of Salem and Ipswich, pretending they have no estates, resolving not to work, and others likewise have been fined for siding with the Quakers and absenting themselves from the public ordinances; and in answer to a question what course shall be taken for the satisfaction of the fines, the Court, on perusal of the law title arrests, Resolve that the treasurers of the several counties are, and shall hereby be impowered to sell the said persons to any of the English nation at Virginia or Barbadoes.
May 11, 1659 (Page 367.) It is ordered that Lawrence Southwick and Cassandra his wife, Samuel Shattocke, Nicholas Phelps, Joshua Buffum and Josiah Southwick, hereby are sentenced according to the order of the General Court in October last, to banishment, to depart out of this jurisdiction by the 8th of June next, on pain of death; and if any of them after the 8th of June next, shall be found within this jurisdiction, they shall be apprehended by any constable or other officer, there to lye till the next Court of assistance, when they shall be tried, and being found guilty of the breach of this law, shall be put to death.
Oct. 18, 1659 (Page 383.) It is ordered that William Robinson, Marmaduke Stephenson and Mary Dyer, Quakers now in prison for their rebellion, sedition, presumptious obtruding themselves upon us, notwithstanding their being sentenced to banishment on pain of death as underminers of this government, etc., shall be brought before this Court for their trials, to suffer the penalty of the law (the just reward of their transgressions), on the morrow morning, being the 19th inst.
William Robinson, Marmaduke Stephenson and Mary Dyer, banished this jurisdiction by the last Court of assistance, on pain of death, being committed by order of the General Court, were sent for, brought to the bar, acknowledge themselves to be the persons banished; after a full hearing of what the prisoners could say for themselves, it was put to the question whether William Robinson, Marmaduke
Stephenson and Mary Dyer, the persons now in prison, who have been convicted of being Quakers and banished this jurisdiction on pain of death, should be put to death according as the law provides in that case. The court resolved this question in the affirmative, and the Governor in open Court declared the sentence to William Robinson, that was brought to the bar, "William Robinson, you shall go from whence you came and from thence to the place of execution and there hang till you be dead. The like sentence the Governor in open Court pronounced against Marmaduke Stephenson and Mary Dyer, being brought to the bar one after another, in same words. Whereas William Robinson, Marmaduke Stephenson and Mary Dyer are sentenced by this court to death for their rebellion, etc., it is ordered that the secretary issue out his warrant to Edward Michelson, Marshall General, for repairing to the prison on the 27th of this instant October, and take the said William Robinson, Marmaduke Stephenson and Mary Dyer into his custody and them forthwith by the aid of Captain James Oliver, with one hundred soldiers taken out by his order proportionately out of each company in Boston, armed with pike and musketeer with powder and bullet, to lead them to the place of execution, and there see them hang till they be dead, and in their going, being there, and return, to see all things be carried out peaceably and orderly. Warrants issued out accordingly.
Whereas Mary Dyer is condemned by the General Court to be executed for her offence, on the petition
of William Dier, her son, it is ordered that the said Mary Dyer shall have liberty for 48 hours after this day to depart out of this jurisdiction, after which time, being found therein, she is forthwith to be executed, and in the meantime that she be kept a close prisoner till her son or some other be ready to carry her away within the aforesaid time, and it is further ordered that she shall be carried to the place of execution, there to stand with a rope about her neck till the rest be executed, and then returned to the prison and remain as aforesaid.
Oct. 18, 1659 (Page 390.) It is ordered that there shall be a sufficient fence erected about the common prison in Boston, and house of correction, such as may debar persons from conversing with the prisoners, and the charge thereof to be borne half by the county of Suffolk, and the other half by the country; that the treasurer of the county of Suffolk see the same effected.
Oct. 18, 1659 (Page 391.) Whereas Christopher Holder, a Quaker, hath suffered what the law formerly appointed, after being sent to England without punishment, presumptuously coming into this jurisdiction without leave first obtained, the Court judgeth it meete to sentence him to banishment on pain of death; in case he be found within this jurisdiction three days after the next ship now bound from hence to England be departed from this harbor, and between this and the ship's departure, with the keeper at his own charge, he shall have liberty one day in a week to go about his business, and in case he shall
choose to go out of this jurisdiction sooner on the penalty aforesaid, he shall by order from the Governor or Deputy Governor be discharged the prison, so as he stay not above three days after his discharge from the prison in this jurisdiction.
Oct. 16, 1660. (Page 432.) For explication of the law or laws referring to the manner of trial of such persons as are found in this jurisdiction after banishment on pain of death, this Court doth judge meete to declare that when any person or persons banished on pain of death shall, after the expiration of their time limited for departure, be found within the limits of this jurisdiction, all Magistrates, Commissioners, Constables and other officers of this jurisdiction, do use their best endeavors for their apprehension and conveying to safe custody, and being there secured, such person or persons shall at the next Court of assistance, whether in ordinary or specially called, according to direction of the law for calling of such Courts, have a legal trial by a jury of twelve men, and being found by evidence of their own confession to be the person or persons formerly sentenced to banishment on pain of death, shall accordingly be sentenced to death and executed by warrant from the Governor or Deputy Governor, directed to the Marshall General, unless they be regularly reprieved in the mean time.
There being some women Quakers now in prison liable to sentence of banishment, whose husbands are innocent persons in that respect as far as we know, and are inhabitants in this jurisdiction, this Court
doth order that the said women, named Margaret Smith and Mary Trask, be committed to the house of correction and there kept to constant labor and mean diet, according to the order of said house, until this Court release them, and that the sentence of banishment upon the said persons be suspended, any law to the contrary notwithstanding, unless their husbands shall choose to carry them out of this jurisdiction, and not return without leave first obtained.
In answer to a motion of the Quakers now in prison that they may have their liberty to go for England, the Court judgeth it meete to declare that all the Quakers now in prison shall forthwith have their liberty to go for England in this ship now bound thither if they will, and for such as will not go for England, shall have liberty to depart this jurisdiction within eight days, as they solemnly engage under their hands delivered by them to the Governor or Deputy Governor, that they will not return into this jurisdiction without leave from the Council or General Court first by them obtained.
banished this jurisdiction upon pain of death, and returning some time since into this jurisdiction, were called before the Court, where manifesting their desire to go for England the Court granted liberty to the aforesaid persons for three days to depart this jurisdiction either for England or elsewhere, the said persons accordingly repairing to the ship then bound for England, but by reason of its fullness of the ships lading could not obtain their passage,
and on their return tendering themselves to the Governor to be secured in prison until they may get passage for England, another ship being bound for England the undertakers whereof being willing to transport the said persons, the Court grants the said persons liberty to pass for England by the next opportunity, and in the interim to be secured in prison, any law to the contrary notwithstanding.
The court understanding that several inhabitants of this jurisdiction have lodged the Quakers now in prison, do order that the secretary issue out a warrant to the several persons and send the same by messenger of purpose to bring them all with speed to this Court to answer to their offence therein.
May 30, 1660. (Page 419.) The whole court met together, sent for Mary Dyer, who rebelliously after sentence of death passed against her, returned into this jurisdiction; being come before the court she acknowledged herself to be Mary Dyer, the person, and was condemned by this court to death. Being asked what she had to say why that sentence of death should not be executed, she gave no other answer but that she denied our law, came to bear witness against it and could not choose but come and do as formerly. The whole Court met together, voted that the said Mary Dyer, for her rebelliously returning into this jurisdiction (notwithstanding the favor of this court towards her), shall be by the Marshall General on the first day of June, about nine of the clock in the morning, carried to the place of execution and according to the sentence of the General
Court in October last, be put to death. That the secretary issue out warrant accordingly, which sentence the Governor declared to her in open Court, and warrant issued out accordingly to Edward Michelson, Marshall General, and to Captain James Oliver and his order as formerly.
May 30, 1660. (Page 419.) Whereas Joseph Nicholson and Jane his wife, Quakers, formerly banished this jurisdiction on pain of death (and being contrary to the sentence of the court, found within the same), were apprehended and committed to prison; this court having called the said Joseph and Jane his wife before them and examined them on grounds of their not departure, do judge meet so far to declare their farther clemency as yet to give them respite on penalty of their former sentence, to depart this jurisdiction by the next fourth day, and if they or either of them after that day shall be found in any part of the same, they shall again be apprehended by any magistrate, commissioner or constable or other person and brought to the prison at Boston, where they shall be kept close prisoners and being legally convicted thereof, shall be put to death.
It is ordered that the Quakers now in prison shall there remain until the next Court of assistance and then they shall be tried by a jury accordingly as the law provides in that case.
Oct. 8, 1662. (Page 59.) This court heretofore for some reasons inducing did judge meete to suspend the laws against Quakers as such, so far as they respect corporal punishment or death, during
the Court's pleasure. Now forasmuch as new complaints are made to this Court of such persons abounding, especially in the eastern part, endeavoring to draw away others to that wicked opinion, it is therefore ordered that the last law "title Vagabond Quakers, 1661," be henceforth in force in all respects, provided their whipping be but through three towns, and the Magistrate or Commissioners signing such warrant shall appoint the towns and number of stripes in EACH to be given.
Oct. 21, 1663. (Page 88.) Whereas it is found by experience that there are many who are inhabitants of this jurisdiction which are enemies of all governments, Civil and Ecclesiastical, who will not yield obedience to authority, but make it much of their religion to be in opposition thereto and refuse to bear arms under others, who notwithstanding combine together in some towns and make parties suitable to their designs in election of such persons according to their ends, it is therefore ordered by this Court and the authority thereof, that all persons, Quakers, or others who refuse to attend upon the public worship of God established here, that all such persons whether freemen or others acting as aforesaid shall and hereby are made incapable of voting in all civil assemblies, during their obstinate persisting in such wicked ways and courses, and until certificate be given of their reformation; and it is further ordered that all those fines and mulcts of any such delinquent as aforesaid which are not gathered nor paid to the several treasurers of the Counties, as also what fines shall be
laid on them for the future, shall be delivered by the order of the County treasurers respectively to the selectmen of the several towns whereunto they belong, to be by them improved for the poor of the town.A REVIEW OF THE PAST FROM THE QUAKER STAND-POINT.
Salem, Mass., 9 mo. 30th, 1878. To the editors of the Observer:-- MY DEAR FRIENDS:--Please allow me, through the columns of thy paper, to present a few facts and reflections brought to mind as I have read, with interest, the report of the exercises in Mechanic Hall, 9 mo. 18th, to commemorate the landing of Gov. Endicott upon our New England coast in the seventeenth century. With much, of course, both of the letter and the spirit of those exercises I am in warm sympathy, but I have been led to see clearly that they present to the public, facts, solemn historical facts, in a somewhat one-sided manner. In simple justice to the present and rising generations, it seems to me that more of the truth, the whole truth, in the case should be stated. Had the scenes of violence and intolerance which marred the annals of the early days of this colony, transpired but ten or twenty years ago, we should consider our Christian faith and dignity and charity not a little compromised, if we came together to celebrate them with song and oration and feast; why should the interval of two hundred and
fifty years that has elapsed make us to feel so very differently in the matter? Why not with equal propriety, push this matter of historical research and commemoration yet a little further; perchance we should find a line of descent with some unimportant breaks, running away back, through the years, as far as the founders of the Spanish inquisition.
Now about this time, there were in different parts of England, some ten thousand Quakers, taken from their homes, their vocations, and their meeting-houses, and placed in jails, prisons--honest, industrious, inoffensive and God-fearing people. Many of the prisons were vile and filthy places; oft-times they were placed in the same apartments among murderers and criminals of the lowest order, and numbers of the prisoners died during their incarceration from disease contracted, some being thus shut up for years.
William Penn was about this time committed to Newgate, and in response to Sir John Robinson, who sentenced him and accused him of sedition, he said:--
"We (Friends) have the unhappiness to be misrepresented. But bring me the man that will dare to justify this accusation to my face, and if I am not able to make it appear that it is both my practice and that of all the Friends to instill principles of peace on all occasions, (and war only against spiritual wickedness, that all men may be brought to fear God and work righteousness) I shall contentedly undergo the severest punishment your laws can expose me to. As for the King, I make this offer, if any
one living can make appear directly or indirectly from the time I have been called a Quaker (since it is from thence you date my sedition) I have contrived or acted anything injurious to his person, or to the English government, I shall submit my person to your utmost cruelties. But it is hard that being innocent I should be reputed guilty."
Robinson said to him:--"You bring yourself into trouble, heading parties and drawing people after you." Penn responded:--"I would have thee and all men know I scorn that religion which is not worth suffering for, and which is not able to sustain those who are afflicted for it. Mine is, and whatever be my lot I am resigned to the will of God. Thy religion persecutes, mine forgives, and I desire that God may forgive you all that are concerned in my commitment. I leave you, wishing you everlasting salvation." Well, it was natural amid such surroundings and trials that some should be led to leave their native country and seek an asylum in our then wilderness colony. Endicott now had the opportunity to play the part of a hero and a true Christian; but no, he chose rather to be a tyrant and a persecutor; whippings, imprisonment and death here awaited the coming of the poor, down-trodden Quaker. He had them publicly lashed, confined in jails, and three were hung on Boston Common. Between Penn and Endicott it was not so much a question of time, of education, of generation, (for they both figured in the same century,) as of obedience to the Light; the former followed and obeyed, the latter trampled it
under foot. And surely these must be rated as days of religious declension when high functionaries in church and state could so far come to "believe a lie," as to give their countenance and their aid to the perpetration and the consummation of the follies, the horrors, and the crimes of the witchcraft delusion.
The names of the three victims mentioned above were William Robinson, Marmaduke Stevenson, and Mary Dyer. William Ledra was also executed later, in another place. Mary Dyer is described as "a person of no mean extract and parentage, of an estate pretty plentiful, of a comely stature and countenance, of a piercing knowledge in many things, of a wonderful sweet and pleasant discourse, fit for great affairs." She was a minister in the society, as were also the other two. Nicholas Upsal, notwithstanding the infirmities of old age, was exiled from Boston in the winter of 1656. "He had ventured to remonstrate with the rulers of Massachusetts, on their passing a law for the banishment of 'that cursed sect of heretics lately risen up in the world, commonly called Quakers,' and prohibiting all commanders of ships, under penalty of a heavy fine, from bringing them into that jurisdiction. Leaving his wife and children and the colony in which long before he had taken refuge from persecution at home, the old man at length reached Rhode Island. Although during many years he had taken deep interest in the particular Puritan congregation of which he was a member, he had found that forms and ceremonies could not satisfy his soul, and on hearing the views maintained by Friends he was "much refreshed."
Rhode Island had, with the assistance of Roger Williams, been purchased by the new sect of Narragansett Indians, and immediately these faithful reformers illustrated their forgiving spirit and true philanthropy by enacting that "none should be accounted a delinquent for doctrine." But no Puritanical power, no human hand, was strong enough to suppress the heaven-implanted and divinely directed zeal of the Friends to share their spiritual treasure with others. About this time six of those who had been driven from Boston the previous year believed that the Lord was calling them thither again, and were assured that He would give them grace to endure any suffering they might have to pass through."
In the summer of 1657, eleven Quakers came to America from England in a little craft called the "Wood house." Their names were Humphrey Norton, Robert Hodshon, Dorothy Waugh, Christopher Holder, William Brend, John Copeland, Richard Doudney, Mary Weatherhead, Sarah Gibbons, Mary Clarke. The master of the ship, Robert Fowler, was also a Friend; five of them landed at New York while the remaining six went on to Rhode Island; others came from time to time. Soon after their arrival John Copeland says in a letter to his parents:
"Take no thought for me. The Lord's power hath overshadowed me, and man I do not fear; for my trust is in the Lord who is become our shield and buckler, and exceeding great reward." Thus did God prepare His youthful servant to suffer for His sake. A few weeks later, Christopher Holder and
himself were lying in Boston gaol, without bedding or even straw, lacerated from the effect of thirty lashes barbarously inflicted with a knotted scourge. For three days the gaoler refused to supply them with food or water, but they were sustained by their Saviour, and enabled to rejoice in His manifested love. Being accused as "blasphemers, heretics and deceivers," they issued a declaration of faith, containing the following sentences:--
"In Him do we believe, who is the only begotten Son of the Father, full of grace and truth. And in Him do we trust alone for salvation; by whose blood we are washed from sin; through whom we have access to the Father with boldness, being justified by faith in believing in His name. Who has sent forth the Holy Ghost, to wit, the Spirit of Truth, that proceedeth from the Father and the Son; by which we are sealed and adopted sons and heirs of the kingdom of Heaven.
Believe in the Light, that you may be the children of the light; for as you love it and obey it, it will lead you to repentance, bring you to know Him in whom is remission of sins, in whom God is well pleased; who will give you an entrance into the kingdom of God, an inheritance amongst them that are sanctified." But the Governors would not allow any such assertion to alter their opinion that Quakerism was a dangerous heresy, and terribly rigorous as was the law against its promulgators it was not sufficiently so to satisfy them; for Endicott and Bellingham gave orders that all the Friends then in prison
should be severely whipped twice a week. But the humanity of the inhabitants of Boston revolted at this decree, and the sympathy thus aroused led to the release of the sufferers, who were at once banished from the colony. Soon afterwards, John Copeland and his friend, William Brend, were sentenced to a severe scourging while passing through New Plymouth. The age of the latter awoke no compassion in the hearts of the persecutors. The following year after holding several meetings with William Ledra of Barbadoes, he was imprisoned at Boston, and received such brutal beatings, inflicted with a pitched rope, by a gaoler who had previously kept him without food for five days, and most cruelly fettered him for many hours, that he appeared to be dying; Endicott being alarmed at this, sent a physician to him, who thought his recovery impossible. But the hand of an unseen Healer was laid on him, and he must have been at least ninety when, eighteen years later, the following burial note was made out:--"William Brend, of the Liberty of Katherine's, near the Tower, a minister, died Seventh mo., Seventh, 1676, and was buried at Bunhill Fields." Before returning to England he labored in Rhode Island and the West Indies. In 1662 he was one of the many hundred Friends confined in Newgate, fifty-two of whom died in consequence of diseases caused by the loathsome state of that prison. We may form some idea of the heavenly consolation granted to this venerable pilgrim in his hour of need, by his beautiful "salutation of all Friends," from which a brief extract follows:--"It
hath been upon my heart, when in the sweet repose of the streams of my Father's love and life, by which my heart hath been overcome, to visit you with a loving salutation from the place of my outward bonds." After bidding them "flock together into our Father's fold, to get into His tent of safety, and lie down in the arms of His dear love," &c., he adds: "Oh, in the love and life of the Lamb, look over all weakness in one another, as God doth look over all the weakness in every one of us, and doth love us for his own Son's sake--in so doing peace will abound in our borders, it will flow forth amongst us like a river, and it will keep out jars, strifes and contentions."
As the Governors of Massachusetts were regardless of old age, so were they of the weakness of women. We read of the astonishment of the people of Boston at hearing Sarah Gibbons and her young friend, Dorothy Waugh, offering praise and thanksgiving for the gracious support granted them during a cruel scourging, three days before and three days after which they were kept without food. A little later, Endicott sentenced Hored Gardner, of Rhode Island, to the punishment of the knotted scourge. She had left her home at Newport, from the belief that her Lord had called her to labor for Him at Weymouth, in Massachusetts, where her ministry was cordially received. The maid who had accompanied her on this perilous journey, to assist in taking charge of her infant, was the victim of a similar sentence, and the only protection granted the baby was that
afforded by its mother's arms, who, when the executioner stayed his hand, prayed that her persecutors might be forgiven, because "they knew not what they did." At a later date, Alice Ambros, Mary Tomkins, and Ann Coleman, who was apparently young, and in delicate health, were sentenced to be whipped through eleven towns, covering a distance of nearly eighty miles. Although they were themselves enabled to praise the Lord for the marvellous help He granted them, the sight of their "torn bodies and weary steps" in the third town through which they passed, excited so much pity that one of the inhabitants induced the constable to commit the prisoners and the warrant to his care, and at once set them at liberty. Taking advantage of their unlookedfor release they went to New Quechawanah, where they had a meeting. Subsequently it was for a time feared that Ann Coleman would die from the effect of other barbarous scourgings. To George Fox she writes: "Oh the love of the Lord, who hath kept His handmaid that put her trust in Him; what shall I say unto thee of the love of my Father; none can make me afraid; much service for the Lord in this land, and it hath not been in vain, and so, let thy prayers be unto the Lord for me. In that life and love which is unchangeable art thou near me." Good cause indeed had that patient historian, Sewel, for exclaiming:--"but when should I have done, if I would describe all the whippings inflicted on Quakers in those parts!" Sarah Gibbons and Dorothy Waugh, soon after leaving Boston, returned to Rhode
Island, where they had previously been engaged in religious service, and we now find their names associated with that of Mary Dyer. About this time Humphrey Norton was finding a short respite from persecution in the same colony. A few months earlier his ministerial labors had been interrupted by an imprisonment at New Haven, Conn., where his right hand was deeply branded with the letter H, as a sign that he was a condemned heretic, and he was flogged in such a manner as to make some from the crowd, gathered by the beat of drum, exclaim, "do they mean to kill the man?" But He, who of old caused His children to receive "no hurt" in the midst of the seven times heated furnace, wonderfully upheld him in this hour of extremest need, for he states that his "body was as if it had been covered with balm." Much did the people marvel when, at the conclusion of the infliction, he raised his voice in thanksgiving and prayer. Not long after, Humphrey Norton received another scourging in New Plymouth. His rest in Rhode Island was a very short one, for he soon thought it right to go to Boston in company with a young Friend, named John Rous, who had previously been his associate in service, and sometimes in suffering, for their Lord. He was the son of Lieutenant Colonel Rous, a wealthy sugar planter of Barbadoes, who afterwards became a Friend, having, it is said, been much impressed by the ministry of his son. When Humphrey Norton told John Rous that sleep had fled from him because of the sorrow occasioned by a "sense of the strength of the enmity against the
righteous seed" in Boston, he also felt that he must bear a part "with the prisoners of hope, which at that time stood bound for the testimony of Jesus." Longing to lose no time, they travelled night and day, and on their arrival at Boston were told of the state in which William Brend then lay from the effect of the gaoler's cruelty, and were begged by their informant to leave the town, or they would be "dead men." But they were bound on a holy mission, from which no human power could turn them aside. "Such was our load," says Humphrey Norton, "that beside Him who laid it upon us, no flesh nor place could ease us." And a few hours later we find him, at the conclusion of the usual lecture of John Norton, a minister who notoriously instigated persecution, beginning an address in these words: "Verily this is the sacrifice which the Lord accepts not; for, whilst with the same spirit that you sin, you preach and pray and sing, that sacrifice is an abomination."
Although a charge of blasphemy could not be proved against him, there was no doubt that his companion and himself were guilty of being Quakers, and as such they were sentenced to imprisonment and whipping. The former, as the son of Lieutenant Colonel Rous, who had formerly resided in the colony, was at first courteously treated by the magistrates, who hoped they might induce this young champion of the Cross to cast aside "the heresy" he was upholding. But, notwithstanding their flattery, he steadfastly maintained his ground, vindicated the doctrines which he had adopted, and, as an English
citizen, claimed the right of a trial in an English Court. But the Governors, well knowing what an alarming exposure of their conduct towards Friends would be involved by this, would not hear of such a course. "No appeal to England! No appeal to England!" was their cry. Three days later the prisoners underwent the flogging to which they had been condemned; but when this punishment was soon renewed, the public indignation, already aroused by the treatment of William Brend, became so strong that it soon led to the liberation of the prisoners. In the midst of all afflictions the Friends were aided by the belief that their labors and sufferings were not in vain in the Lord. In a letter to Margaret Fell, John Rous says: "A firm foundation is there laid in this land, such a one as the devil will never get broken up." He writes, when again in Boston prison, where, about a fortnight later, he and his companions, John Copeland and Christopher Holder, underwent the mutilation of having the right ear cut off. Shall we shrink from reading their sufferings when we see the spirit with which they were enabled to endure them? "In the strength of God," is their language, "we suffered joyfully, having freely given up not one member, but all, if the Lord so required, for the sealing of our testimony, which the Lord hath given us;" words which may recall those of Brainerd with regard to his prayers for his brother and himself--"My heart sweetly exulted in the thought of any distresses that might light on him or me, in the advancement of Christ's kingdom upon earth."
So on, and on, and on, runs the record of the inhuman cruelty of these early magistrates, a record which was most carefully avoided at the proceedings of the late celebration; but I hasten on to conclude the narration:--
Early in 1659, William Robinson, who had been preaching in Virginia, where his ministry was much blest, and Marmaduke Stevenson, who had lately come from Barbadoes, felt required of the Lord to go to Boston; the former receiving a clear revelation that his life would be taken, he writes: "Obedience was demanded of me by the Lord, who filled me with living strength and power from His heavenly presence which at that time did mightily overshadow me, and my life did say amen to what the Lord required of me." The two young ministers arrived at Boston on one of the public fast days, and were soon arrested. Like the apostles of old they tarried or they journeyed as they were restrained or constrained by the Spirit of the Lord. In a letter to George Fox from Boston gaol, Wm. Robinson writes: "Oh! my dearly beloved, thou who art endued with power from on High, who art of a quick discerning in the fear of God; oh, remember us--let thy prayers be put up unto the Lord God for us, that His power and strength may rest with us and upon us, that faithful we may be preserved to the end. Amen.
Soon the aged Mary Dyer arrived at Boston, constrained to carry comfort and cheer to her captive fellow-believers there, and was shortly imprisoned also. A Friend, writing with reference to their
preaching before imprisonment, says:--"Divers were convinced, the power of the Lord accompanying them, and with astonishment confounded their enemies before them; great was their service abroad in that jurisdiction for four weeks and upwards." Being brought before the Governor, Wm. Robinson asked leave to read an explanation which he had prepared: --"After describing the heavenly intimation he had received that it was God's will that he should lay down his life for the cause of Christ, he writes: I, being a child, durst not question the Lord in the least, and as the Lord made me willing, dealing gently and kindly with me as a tender father by a faithful child whom he tenderly loves, so the Lord did deal with me in ministering his life unto me, which gave and gives me strength to perform what the Lord required of me. Therefore all who are ignorant of the motion of the Lord in the inward parts be not hasty in judging in this matter. The presence of the Lord and his heavenly life doth ??ccompany me so that I can say in truth, Blessed be the Lord God of my life who hath counted me worthy and called me hereunto. Will ye put us to death for obeying the Lord, the God of the whole earth?"
Endicott took up this document, and after reading it pronounced sentence of death on its writer. A few days before his execution, in an epistle addressed "to the Lord's people," Wm. Robinson says: "The streams of my Father's love run daily through me, from the Holy Fountain of life to the seed throughout the whole relation. I am overcome with love,
for it is my life and length of days; it is my glory and my daily strength. I am full of the quickening power of the Lord Jesus Christ. I shall enter with my Beloved into eternal rest and peace, and I shall depart with everlasting joy in my heart and praises in my mouth."
After Marmaduke Stevenson had received his sentence, he solemnly addressed the magistrates, concluding with these words: "Assuredly if you put us to death you will bring innocent blood upon your own heads, and swift destruction will come upon you." It is a remarkable fact that many of these persecutors came to an untimely end, or were visited by severe personal calamities which resulted in death. "The hand or judgment of the Lord is upon me," were the words of John Norton, who, whilst walking in his own house, leant his head against a chimney piece and sank down never to speak again. And Major General Adderton, who had scoffingly said "the judgements of the Lord God are not come upon us yet," was overtaken by a sudden and shocking death.
During his imprisonment, Marmaduke Stevenson wrote his "Call to the Work and Service of the Lord," and not losing sight of his old friends he prepared an address to his "neighbors and the people of the town of Shiptown, Weighton and elsewhere." A few days before his execution he wrote a letter "to the Lord's people" from which the following extracts are taken:
"Lambs of my Father's fold and sheep of His pasture, the remembrance of you is precious to me,
my dearly beloved ones--who are reconciled to God, and one to another, in that which sea and land cannot separate; here you may feel me knit and joined to you in the spirit of truth, and linked to you as members of His body, who is our Head and Rock of sure defence; here we are kept safe in the hour of temptation, and in the day of trial shall we be preserved in the hollow of His hand; here His banner of love will be over us .... So, my dear friends, let us always wait at the altar of the Lord, to see the table spread, that so we may sit down and eat together, and be refreshed with the hidden manna that comes from Him who is our life, our peace, our strength and our preserver, night and day. Oh, my beloved ones! let us all go on in His strength, who is our Prince and Saviour .... If I forget you, then let the Lord forget me. Nay, verily you cannot be forgotten by me; so long as I abide in the Vine I am a branch of the same nature with you, which the Lord hath blessed; we grow together in His life and image, as ??embers of His body, where we shall live together to all eternity."
After Mary Dyer had heard her sentence she only replied by the significant words, "The will of the Lord be done." And when Endicott impatiently exclaimed "Take her away, Marshal," she added, "Yea, joyfully I go;" for her heart was filled with heavenly consolation from the love of Christ, and from the thought that she was counted worthy to suffer for His sake. She told the marshal that it was unnecessary for him to guard her to the prison. "I
believe you, Mrs. Dyer," he answered, "but I must do as I am commanded." From the House of Correction she addressed "An appeal to the Rulers of Boston," in which she asks nothing for herself, but manifests--as an anonymous writer remarks--"the courage of an apostle contending for the truth, and the tenderness of a woman feeling for the sufferings of her people." She writes: "I have no self ends, the Lord knoweth; for if my life were freely granted by you, it would not avail me, so long as I should daily hear or see the sufferings of my dear brethren." It is said that on the day preceding that appointed for the execution, Mary Dyer's oldest son arrived at Boston, and was allowed to remain all night with his mother. He came in the vain hope of inducing her to make such concessions as might be the means of saving her life.
The erection of gallows on Boston Common for these guiltless victims awakened such strong feelings of amazement and indignation amongst the inhabitants, as to give alarm to the magistrates. On the morning of the day appointed for the execution a great number of people gathered round the prison, and gave earnest attention to William Robinson, who addressed them from an open window of an upper room. But the rulers, who always studiously endeavored to prevent the Friends from holding intercourse with the colonists, were afraid for the crowd to listen, at this crisis, to Quaker preaching, and accordingly sent a military captain to disperse them. Finding this impracticable, he entered the gaol in a
violent passion, and hurling some of the prisoners down stairs, shut them into a low, dark cell. One of this little company writes: "As we sat together waiting upon the Lord, it was a time of love, for as the world hated us, so the Lord was pleased in a wonderful manner to manifest His supporting love, and kindness to us in our innocent sufferings; especially to the worthies who had now finished their course .... God was with them, and many sweet and heavenly sayings they gave unto us, being themselves filled with comfort. While we were yet embracing each other, with full and tender hearts, the officers came in and took the two from us (Robinson and Stevenson) as sheep for the slaughter."
Boston Common was separated by the distance of a mile from the gaol, and the prisoners were escorted by two hundred men, armed with halberds, guns, swords and pikes--in addition to many horsemen. It was thought the safest arrangement for this procession to avoid the direct thoroughfare through the city, and the drummers were ordered immediately before the three captives, and to beat more loudly if they should attempt to speak. Thus when William Robinson did so, the only words which were audible were, "This is your hour, and the power of darkness." Marmaduke Stevenson's voice was drowned by the same means. "Yet they went on," as Sewel says, "with great cheerfulness, as if going to an everlasting wedding"--which indeed they were. In reply to a coarse taunt from the marshal, Mary Dyer said: "This is to me an hour of the greatest joy I ever had
in this world. No ear can hear, no tongue can utter, no heart can understand, the sweet incomes and the refreshings of the spirit of the Lord which I now feel." Having bade farewell to his friends and mounted the scaffold, William Robinson addressed the assembled crowd: "We suffer not as evil doers, but as those who have testified and manifested the Truth. This is the day of your visitation, and therefore I desire you to mind the light of Christ which is in you, to which I have borne testimony and am now going to seal my testimony with my blood." Wilson, a minister of the city, changing the scoffing tone he had assumed whilst they were walking to the Common, now exclaimed--"Hold thy tongue; be silent; thou art going to die with a lie in thy mouth." After the executioner had adjusted the rope, William Robinson said, "Now are ye made manifest; I suffer for Christ in whom I live and for whom I die." Marmaduke Stevenson also spoke a few words to the spectators: "Be it known unto you all this day, that we suffer, not as evil doers, but for conscience sake. This day shall we all be at rest with the Lord."
The friends of the martyrs were not allowed to provide coffins for them, nor even to enclose the pit into which the bodies were thrown. Wilson, the minister to whom allusion has already been made, composed a scoffing song on the sufferers. But no amount of indignity which might be heaped upon them could prevent their death from being a solemn attestation to the futility of every effort of a blind bigotry to crush the conscience of those who, bearing
the image and superscription of Christ, rendered unto God the things that are God's and consequently with regard to these "things" acknowledged no ruler but him in whose kingdom their spirits dwelt. So deep an impression was made on John Chamberlain, an inhabitant of Boston, by what he saw and heard that day, as to cause his convincement of the truth of the doctrines held by Friends; before two years were over he had been imprisoned, banished, and also cruelly whipped through three towns; yet his Saviour suffered not his faith to fail, for we learn that this persecution "so far from beating him from the truth rather drove him nearer to it."
After Mary Dyer had ascended the ladder, she was told that if she would return home her life should be spared. "Nay," she answered, "I cannot; for in obedience to the will of the Lord I came, and in his will I abide faithful unto death." To the charge of being guilty of her own blood, she replied: "Nay, I came to take blood guiltiness from you, desiring you to repeal the unrighteous and unjust law; therefore my blood will be required of your hands who wilfully do it." When asked if she wished any of the people to pray for her she said that she desired the prayers of all the people of God; and to the proposal that an Elder should do so, she answered: "Nay--first a child, then a young man, then a strong man, before (being) an Elder in Christ Jesus." When accused of having said she had been in Paradise, she replied without hesitation, "Yea, I have been in Paradise these several days." The few more words she spoke
were on the everlasting happiness now so near at hand. A Friend, who had united in her ministerial services on Shelter Island, sums up his description of her by saying: "She even shined in the image of God."
Some eight or nine months later, Wm. Ledra, who is said to have been a Cornishman, though his home was in Barbadoes, was condemned to death for having returned to Boston after sentence of banishment. When in 1658, after mutual labors for their Lord, he had shared the imprisonment of his friend William Brend in an unventilated cell--the cruelty of which he had been the victim had imperilled his life; and now, notwithstanding the inclemency of a New England winter, he was kept chained in an open prison. On the day before his death he addressed a letter to "the little flock of Christ" in which he remarks that he was filled "with the joy of the Lord in the beauty of holiness, whilst his spirit was wholly swallowed up in the bosom of eternity. As the flowing of the ocean (he continues) doth fill every creek and branch thereof, and then retires again towards its own being and fulness, and leaves a savour behind it; so doth the life and virtue of God flow into every one of your hearts, whom he hath made partakers of His Divine nature." Alluding to his tender yearnings for the young he says: "Stand in the watch within in the fear of the Lord, which is the very entrance of wisdom and the state wherein you are ready to receive the secrets of the Lord. Hunger and thirst patiently, be not weary, neither doubt; stand
still and cease from thy own workings, and in due time thou shalt enter into rest and thy eyes shall behold His salvation. Confess Him before men; bring all things to the light that they may be proved whether they are wrought in God. Without grace possessed there is no assurance of salvation. By grace you are saved." The following day the fetters which had so long bound him were knocked off, and we are told that he went "forth to the slaughter in the meekness of the Spirit of Jesus." He was surrounded by soldiers in order to prevent intercourse with his friends; but before mounting the scaffold he exhorted one of them to faithfulness, and on bidding him farewell added, "all that will be Christ's disciples must take up His cross." A visitor to the city, from England, who witnessed this scene, having asked leave to speak, said: "Gentlemen, I am a stranger both to your persons and country, yet a friend of both. For the Lord's sake take not away the man's life, but remember Gamaliel's counsel to the Jews: 'If it be of men it will come to nought; but if it be of God ye cannot overthrow it; be careful ye are not found fighters against God.'" This courageous stranger also told them that they had "no warrant from the word of God, nor precedent from our country, nor power from His Majesty to hang the man."
William Ledra's last words were, "I commend my righteous cause unto Thee, O God! Lord Jesus receive my spirit." A few weeks before his death he wrote the following testimony to the willingness of God to supply all the need of his faithful followers:--"I
testify in the fear of the Lord God that the noise of the whip on my back, all the imprisonments, and the loud threatning of a halter, did no more affright me, through the strength and power of God, than if they had threatened to have bound a spider's web on my finger--which makes me say with unfeigned lips, wait upon the Lord O my soul!" Like Josiah Southwick of Salem, he might have said, "Tongue cannot express the goodness and love of God to his suffering people." "Here is my body" were the words of the latter when sentenced to a severe scourging, "if you want a further testimony to the truth I profess, take it and tear it in pieces; your sentence is no more terrifying to me than if you had taken a feather and blown it in the air."
On the day of William Ledra's execution, Wenlock Christison, of Salem, was placed at the bar; he also had experienced, as Milton says, of those days that
"Heavy persecution shall arise On all, who in the worship persevere Of spirit and truth."
Although exiled on pain of death, he had reappeared at Boston and caused such consternation by entering the court just as sentence of death was being pronounced on his friend, as to cause perfect silence for a while. When now in his turn condemned to die, he said, "The will of the Lord be done. If you have power to take my life from me the which I question, I believe you shall never more take Quaker's lives from them. Note my words."
Just at this crisis the rulers of Massachusetts received tidings from England which caused a sudden change in their conduct; for on the day preceding that which had been fixed on for the execution of Wenlock Christison, he and twenty-seven other Friends were set at liberty; and after two of them had been whipped through the town they were taken by a body of soldiers out of the jurisdiction. Would it not be a false refinement of feeling to be unwilling to contemplate the sufferings which, not young and strong men only, but tender and delicate women were enabled to endure for Christ? Moreover, is there not instruction for us in this:--
"Mournful record of an earlier age, That pale and half effaced lies hidden away Beneath the fresher writing of to-day."
"Thou shalt lose thy life and find it, Thou shalt boldly cast it forth; And then back again receiving, Know it in its endless worth."
And here I close my recital of Puritan barbarities, a designation which in truth and justice I feel to apply--a record of cruelty which for atrocity has probably never been exceeded on the American continent; except possibly in the cases of Andersonville horrors during the late war, and the brutal practices of slave masters under the old slave-holding oligarchy.
Compare now for a moment the early days of Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.--Here was strife, contention and constant affright from Indian alarms; there, Penn arrived in 1682 and made his famous
treaty with the Indians, in the which they pledged themselves in their strong, quaint language "to live in love with Onas, (Penn) and his children as long as the sun and moon shall endure." I quote from Penn's biography: "When the account of this treaty reached Europe most of her politicians awaited with sneering smiles the consummation they expected to follow. Going among the cruel Indian savages without arms, and pledging themselves never to use violence towards them! What folly! What madness!" But they waited and watched long, and still no violence or bloodshed ensued. Whilst the surrounding colonists were ever and anon at war with the Indians, and the scalping-knife and tomahawk brought death and terror to many a hearth, the Quakers of Pensylvania and all their possessions remained uninjured.
Safe that quiet Eden lay, When the war-whoop stirred the land; Thence the Indian turned away From their homes his bloody hand.
"He remembered the treaty with the sons of Onas and kept it inviolate." The Friends of Pennsylvania on their side acted truthfully and honestly towards the red men; and the Indian people, even when at war with other English colonies, and when the original parties to the treaty had died off, regarded the lives and property of the children of Onas as sacred. Such was the treaty of peace and amity of which Voltaire remarked that "it was the only one ever made without an oath, and the only one that never was broken." Whittier writes:--
"The Quaker of the olden time ! So calm, and firm, and true, Unspotted by its wrong and crime, He walked the dark earth through; The lust of power, the love of gain, The thousand lures of sin Around him had no power to stain The purity within.
With that deep insight which detects All great things in the small, And knows how each man's life affects The spiritual life of all, He walked by faith and not by sight, By love and not by law; The presence of the wrong or right, He rather felt than saw.
He felt that wrong with wrong partakes, That nothing stands alone, That whoso gives the motive makes His brother's sin his own; And, pausing not for doubtful choice Of evils great or small, He listened to that inward voice Which calls away from all.
Oh! spirit of that early day, So pure and strong and true, Be with us in the narrow way Our faithful fathers knew; Give strength the evil to forsake, The cross of truth to bear, And love and reverent fear to make Our daily lives a prayer."
Had Gov. Endicott listened as attentively to the Voice of Eternal Truth, Justice and Mercy within his breast, and obeyed this light of Christ in the soul, as faithfully as did William Penn, in Pennsylvania, our
New England colony would have been spared those blood-stains upon her name and her fame--the massacre of Indian tribes, and the persecution of Quaker and Baptist settlers. Penn came as an ambassador of the Prince of Peace, and proved himself by his deeds to be one. Endicott, seeking to "serve two masters--God and Mammon," at times allowed the love of fame and earthly power to dim and utterly obscure his spiritual vision. So this same determination to erect a state, to found a nation, at any cost, led on step by step to the perpetration of that national crime, the War of the American Revolution, which was a deliberate setting aside of the Gospel command,--"But I say unto you that ye resist not evil; but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." And likewise that solemn admonition of our Lord:--"My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight."--A crime as clearly the forerunner of our national woes, as that pain and suffering are sure to follow in the train of disobedience.
The Ship of State was launched amid bloodshed and animosity, and hatred, and therefore the establishment and perpetuation of slavery, for so many years in the Southern states, with its blighting influences, as well as the upheavals and terrors of the great rebellion, were but the natural fruit of the tree just planted, and the legitimate consequences of the first sinning.
If we owe something (and we do) to the sturdy
morals of the Puritan, we certainly are equally indebted to the character of those obscure Quakers, who right at the time, at the peril of their lives, protested faithfully, earnestly and conscientiously, against blind and short-sighted bigotry, and against practices and methods which, though Christian in name, were in reality little better than Pagan. These hated and despised ones were true Protestants, holding up in the midst of oposition and persecution, the great truths of the gospel in their simplicity and purity. They were faithful ministers, preachers, witnesses; their Lord owned them, and His peace was their portion. "Little ones," they may have been, but their Master pronounced positive condemnation against any who should "offend one such." We desire to judge no man, or men, uncharitably, wishing always to be found in the mind and of the spirit of Him "who, when He was reviled, reviled not again;" but this same "High Priest," the "Son sent of the Father," hath declared, as touching harm done to His lowly followers: "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
So, if praises and adulation are to-day so lavishly bestowed upon these ancient blinded guides, surely one little word of explanation, one little word of commendation, one little word of blessing, is due to the memory of those innocents slain at the hands of the Puritan governor and his associates; and though we, their spiritual descendents, (the New England Yearly Meeting of Friends), may have but a fraction
of the faith, courage, fortitude and patience of these, our fore-fathers in the Truth, yet, in the exercise of that fraction, it becomes our duty, boldly to state their case, and hold up the bright example of their lives of self-denial, even in these latter days!
And to-day, amid the enjoyment of civil and religious liberty, are we not to look back with as much of gratitude, because of their "faithfulness unto death," as for the deeds and misdeeds of the Pilgrim fathers?
Truly thy friend, HENRY A. CHASE. (Salem Observer, Oct. 5, 1878.)HISTORY OF THE PEOPLE CALLED QUAKERS.
By John Gough, published, 1790, in Dublin, Ireland. Vol. I: Lawrence and Cassandra Southick, their sufferings, p. 349, 361; Josiah Southick, p. 349, 361; Daniel and Provided ordered to be sold for slaves, 376 to 381.
THE severities already inflicted on the members of this society had so affected many of the inhabitants of this colony that they withdrew from their public assemblies and met on the first day of the week, to worship quietly by themselves, for which they were fined 5 shillings per week, and imprisoned. Particularly Lawrence and Cassandra Southwick, an aged couple (who in the last year had been imprisoned and fined for entertaining Christopher Holder and John Copeland), with their son Joseph, were sent to the house of correction, whipped in like manner as those before mentioned, and had their goods taken to
the value of œ4, 15 shillings, for not coming to church. For the same cause Edward Harnet, aged 69, and his wife, 73 years of age, had 37 shillings taken from them without regard to their circumstances, which were but mean, or their age, which would naturally excite tenderness. About this time (1658) there was a meeting at the house of Nicholas Phelps in the woods about five miles from Salem, and upon the information of one Butler, the six following residents were taken up and committed to prison: Samuel Shattock, Lawrence Southwick and Cassandra his wife, Josiah their son, Samuel Gaskin (or Gaskill), and Joshua Buffum, who being kept close in the house of correction during the heat of the Summer, from their husbandry, after three weeks confinement, represented their case to the court in the following letter:
This to Magistrates at the Court in Salem. Friends:--Whereas it was your pleasure to commit us, whose names are under-written, to the house of correction in Boston, although the Lord, the righteous Judge of Heaven and Earth, is our witness that we have done nothing worthy of stripes or of bonds; and we being committed by your court to be dealt withal as the law provides for foreign Quakers, as ye please to term us; and having some of us suffered your law and pleasures, now that which we do expect is, That whereas we have suffered your law, so now to be set free by the same law, as your manner is with strangers, and not to put us on the account of one law, and execute another law upon us, of which
according to your own manner we were never convicted, as the law expresses. If you had sent us upon the account of your new law, we should have expected the jailer's order to have been on that account, which that it was not, appears by the warrant which we have, and the punishment which we bare, as four of us were whipped, among whom was one that had formerly been whipped; so now according to your former law, friends, let it not be a small thing in your eyes, the exposing as much as in you lies, our families to ruin. It is not unknown to you, the season and the time of year, for those that live of husbandry, and what their cattle and families may be exposed unto; and also such as live upon trade. We know if the spirit of Christ did dwell and rule in you these things would take impression on your spirits. What our lives and conversations have been in that place is well known, and what we now suffer for, is much for false reports, and ungrounded jealousies of heresy and sedition. These things lie upon us to lay before you. As for our parts we have true peace and rest in the Lord in all our sufferings, and are made willing in the power and strength of God, freely to offer up our lives in this cause of God, for which we suffer: yea, and we do find (through grace) the enlargement of God in our imprisoned state, to whom alone we commit ourselves and our families, for the disposing of us according to his infinite wisdom and pleasure, in whose love is our rest and life. From the house of bondage in Boston wherein we are made captives by the wills of men, although made free by the Son, (John 8, 36).
In which we quietly rest, this 16th of the 5th month, 1658.
The first victims to this severe law were Lawrence and Cassandra Southick, their son Josiah, Samuel Shattock, Nicholas Phelps and Joshua Buffum. They were called before the court 11th of 3rd mo., 1659, and on their trial (such as it was), the same arbitrary spirit of tyranny appeared in their manner of executing as in passing their laws. The prisoners making a rational objection to their proceeding against them by their law as being in custody when it was made, and therefore as to them an ex post facto law. To their query whether it was for an offence against that law which then had no existence, they were committed to prison and banished, they received no reply; then one of them desired the governor that he would be pleased to declare before the people the real and true cause of their proceedings against them. He answered, it was for contemning authority in not coming to the ordinances of God. He further charged them with rebelling against the authority of the country in not departing according to their order; to which they answered they had no other place to go, but had their wives, children, families and estates to look after; nor had they done anything worthy of death, banishment or bonds, or any of the hardships or ignominious punishments which they had suffered in their persons, beside the loss of one hundred
pound's worth of their property taken from them for meeting together. This remonstrance of their recent accumulated injuries silencing the Governor, Major General Denison made this unanswerable reply, that they stood against the authority of the country in not submitting to their laws, that he should not go about to speak much of the error of their judgements but added he, you and we are not able well to live together, at present the power is in our hand, and therefore the strongest must fend off. After this the prisoners were put forth for a while, and being called in again, the sentence of banishment was pronounced against them, and no more than a fortnight's time allowed for them to depart on pain of death; and although they desired a respite to attend to their affairs and till an opportunity of a convenient passage to England might occur, the unrelenting malice of their persecutors would not grant them even this small and reasonable request; so Samuel Shattock, Nicholas Phelps, and Josiah Southick were obliged to take an opportunity that offered four days after, to pass for England by Barbadoes, in order to seek redress from the parliament and council of state there, but without success.
Lawrence and Cassandra Southick went to Shelter Island, where they soon died, within three days of each other; and Joshua Buffum retired to Rhode Island. The proceedings of these haughty rulers are strongly marked throughout with the features of self-importance, inhumanity and bitter malignity, but I know of no instance of a more persevering malice
and cruelty, than that wherewith they persecuted the aforesaid Lawrence and Cassandra Southick and their family. First, while members of their church, they were both imprisoned for entertaining strangers, Christopher Holder and John Copeland, a christian duty which the apostle to the Hebrews advises not to be unmindful of; and after seven weeks imprisonment, Cassandra was fined 40 shillings for owning a paper written by the aforesaid persons. Next, for absenting from the public worship and owning the Quakers' doctrine, on the information of one Captain Hawthorne, they, with their son Josiah, were sent to the house of correction and whipped in the coldest season of the year, and at the same time Hawthorne issued his warrant to distrain their goods for absence from their public worship, whereby there were taken from them cattle to the value of œ4, 15 shillings. Again they were imprisoned, with others, for being at a meeting, and Cassandra was again whipped, and upon their joint letter to the magistrates before recited, the other appellants were released, but this family, although they with the rest had suffered the penalty of their cruel law fully, were arbitrarily detained in prison to their great loss and damage, being in the season of the year when their affairs most immediately demanded their attendance; and last of all were banished upon pain of death, as before recited, by a law made while they were imprisoned. Thus despoiled of their property, deprived of their liberty, driven into banishment, and in jeopardy of their lives, for no other crime than meeting apart and
dissenting from the established worship, the sufferings of this inoffensive aged couple ended only with their lives. But the multiplied injuries of this harmless pair were not sufficient to gratify that thirst for vengeance which stimulated these persecutors, while any member of the family remained unmolested. During their detention in prison they left at home a son Daniel and a daughter Provided; these children, not deterred by the unchristian treatment of their parents and brother, felt themselves rather encouraged to follow their steps and relinquish the assemblies of a people whose religion was productive of such relentless persecution; for their absence from which they were fined œ10, though it was well known that they had no estate, their parents having been reduced to poverty by repeated fines and extravagant d?? traints; wherefore to satisfy the fine they were orde ?? to be sold for bond-slaves by the following manda?? "Whereas Daniel Southick and Provided Southick, son and daughter of Lawrence Southick, absenting themselves from the public ordinances, having been fined by the courts of Salem and Ipswich, pretending they have no estates and resolving not to work, the court upon perusal of a law which was made upon account of debts, in answer to what should be done for the satisfaction of the fines, resolves, that the treasurers of the several counties are, and shall be fully empowered to sell the said persons to any of the English Nation at Virginia or Barbadoes, to answer the said fines." Pursuant to this order, Edward Butler, one of the treasurers, sought out for a passage
for them to Barbadoes for sale, but could find none willing to take them thither. One master of a ship to whom he applied, in order to evade a compliance, pretended they would spoil the ship's company. Butler replied, no, you do not fear that, for they are poor harmless creatures that will not hurt anybody. The master rejoined, will you then offer to make slaves of such harmless creatures? and declined the invidious office of transporting them, as well as the rest. Disappointed in his designs and at a loss how to dispose of them, the winter approaching, he sent them home to shift for themselves till he could find a convenient opportunity to send them away.
Is it strange that a few people became excited unto ??anity, after such terrible outrages upon themselves ?? friends, as to appear naked in public; rather is ?? not a wonder that more were not made insane?
Page 92. Ebenezer, 39, should be 40.
Page 95. John Southwick, 56, should be 57.
Page 96. Isaac Southwick, 62, should be 63.
Page 116. Abraham Southwick, 59, should be 60.
Page 117. Benjamin Southwick, 61, should be 62.
Page 130. John Southwick, 90, should be 87.
Page 132. Benjamin Southwick, 42, should be 43.
Page 136. Joseph Southwick, 79, should be 171.
Page 138. Ruth Southwick, 205, should be 204.
Page 139. Zacheus Southwick, 195, should be 196.
Page 148. Abigail Southwick, 160, should be 161.
Page 148. Lydia Southwick, 156, should be 157.
Page 150. Moses Southwick, 158, should be 159.
Page 151. Daniel Southwick, 152, should be 153.
Page 151. Caleb Southwick, 153, should be 154.
Page 163. Isaac Southwick, 155, should be 152.
Page 164. William Southwick (III), was born in 1715, and died before 1767. Married first wife, name unknown, Aug. 6, 1748; second, Sarah Elizabeth King; third, Lucy Kilburn, of Rowley.
Page 188. Maria Brown, 369, should be 370.
Page 192. Simeon Southwick (252), was married in 1793.
Page 193. James Southwick (509), son of William and Sarah, married, April 25, 1787, Mary Day, not Persis Peabody.
Page 197. Solomon Southwick, 249, should be 248.
Page 200. Henry Collins Southwick, 522, should be 523.
Page 203. Mary Southwick, 530, should be 531.
Page 213. Elisha Southwick (464), was a tanner at Union Springs.
Page 214. Rachael Southwick, 534, should be 535.
Page 215. Chade Southwick (473), was not a tanner.
Page 227. Hiram Brown, 370, should be 369.