It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood. — James Madison

Story of the Thirteen Colonies - Helene Guerber




The King-Killers

Cromwell having died in 1658, the English, most of whom were still greatly attached to the royal family, soon begged Charles II. to come back and take possession of his throne. He gladly returned to England, where he punished no one for the revolution, except the men who had condemned his father, Charles I., to death. A few of these king-killers, or "regicides," as they were called, fled from England as soon as they heard the king was coming, and three took passage for America.

Two of these men, Goffe and Whalley, after some trouble, reached the New Haven colony, where Puritan friends helped them to hide. The king sent orders to arrest them, and magistrates began to search every house to secure the regicides. For about eighteen years these two men lived in constant dread of being caught; but, thanks to their many friends, they always escaped. They dwelt for a while in a deserted mill, then in a cave, and once hid under a bridge while their pursuers galloped over it, expecting soon to overtake them.

The fact that the New Haven people had sheltered some of his father's judges, added to the complaints of the Quakers and discontented colonists, displeased Charles II. greatly; and he finally declared that New Haven should cease to form a separate colony, and joined it to Connecticut, which received a new charter (1662).

It is also said, however, that these two colonies were united mainly to please the Connecticut people, because they had won the king's favor by sending him a pretty message to welcome him back to the throne. The charter he gave them was the most liberal ever granted the colonists, although the one Roger Williams secured for Rhode Island also granted many privileges.

You doubtless remember the treaty made between the Indian King Massasoit and Governor Carver, when the Pilgrims first came to Plymouth. This treaty was kept forty years, and Massasoit and his tribe faithfully helped the colonists to fight the other Indians. But when Massasoit died, his two sons, who had received the names of Alexander and Philip, began to rule in their turn. .

Alexander knew, by the wampum belts which were the history books of his tribe, that nearly all the land of his Indian fathers had been sold to the white men, piece by piece. It had been given in exchange for beads, kettles, blankets, etc., and now very little was left. But the Indians fancied that, although they had sold the land, they could still hunt and fish there as much as they pleased. The colonists, however, would not allow them to do so, and drove the Indians farther and farther off, until they began to feel cramped for space.

It is said that when one of the colonists once came to bid an Indian chief to remove still farther from the white settlements, the red man invited him to take a seat beside him on a log. Crowding nearer and nearer his guest, the chief bade him move again and again, until he forced him to the very end of the log. But when the colonist declared he could not move another inch without falling off, the chief calmly answered: "It is just so with us. We have moved as far as we can go, and now you come here to ask us to move farther still."

This feeling of unfair treatment made Alexander so angry, at last, that he formed a secret alliance with the Narragansett Indians to kill all the white men. But the Plymouth governor, hearing of this, promptly sent for him, bidding him come and clear himself of the accusation of treachery. Then, as the Indian did not obey at once, Winslow quickly set out, with his men, to bring him by force.

Alexander, furious at being thus compelled to mind, fell seriously ill from fever. The colonists then allowed his followers to carry him home; but on the way back, the Indian chief breathed his last. Ever after, his people were in the habit of saying that he had gone to the Happy Hunting Grounds, where the palefaces could never come to crowd him out.



Contents

Front Matter

Our Country Long Ago
The Barbarous Indians
The Mounds
Where the Northmen Went
The Northmen in America
Queer Ideas
Prince Henry the Navigator
Youth of Columbus
Columbus and the Queen
"Land! Land!"
Columbus and the Savages
Home Again
Columbus Ill-treated
Death of Columbus
How America Got its Name
The Fountain of Youth
"The Father of Waters"
The French in Canada
French and Spanish Quarrels
The Sky City
Around the World
Nothing but Smoke
Smith's Adventures
The Jamestown Men
Smith Wounded
Pocahontas Visits England
Hudson and the Indians
The Mayflower
Plymouth Rock
The First Thanksgiving
Snake Skin and Bullets
The Beginning of Boston
Stories of Two Ministers
Williams and the Indians
The Quakers
The King-Killers
King Phillip's War
The Beginning of New York
Penn and the Indians
The Catholics in Maryland
The Old Dominion
Bacon's Rebellion
A Journey Inland
The Carolina Pirates
Charter Oak
Salem Witches
Down the Mississippi
La Salle's Adventures
Indians on the Warpath
Two Wars with the French
Washington's Boyhood
Washington's Journey
Washington's First Battle
Stories of Franklin
Braddock's Defeat
Wolfe at Quebec
England and her Colonies
The Stamp Tax
The Anger of the Colonies
The Boston Tea Party
The Minutemen
The Battle of Lexington
Bunker Hill
The Boston Boys
The British leave Boston
Declaration of Independence
A Lady's Way of Helping
Christmas Eve
The Fight at Bennington
Burgoyne's Surrender
Winter at Valley Forge
The Quaker Woman
Putnam's Adventures
Indian Cruelty
Boone in Kentucky
Famous Sea Fights
The "Swamp Fox"
The Poor Soldiers
The Spy
A Traitor's Death
Two Unselfish Women
Surrender of Cornwallis
British Flag hauled down
Washington's Farewell