American History Told by Contemporaries

Author: William Arnold  | Date: 1769

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U.S. History

Objections to the New Charter (1651)


. . . I THOUGHT it my dutie to give intelligence unto the much honoured court of that which I understand is now working here in these partes. So that if it be the will of God, an evill may be prevented before it come to too greate a head, viz.

Whereas Mr. Coddington have gotten a charter of Roade Iland and Conimacucke Iland to himselfe, he have thereby broken the force of their charter that went under the name of Providence, because he have gotten away the greater porte of that colonie.

Now these company of the Gortonists that live at Showomut, and that company of Providence are gathering of 200£. to send Mr. Roger Williams unto the Parlyament to get them a charter of these partes, they of Showomut have given 100£. already, and there be some men of Providence that have given 10£. and 20£. a man to helpe it forward with speede, they say heere is a faire inlett, and I heare they have said, that if the Parlyament doe take displeasure against Massachusitt, or the rest of the colonies, as they have done against Barbados and other places, then this will serve for an inroade to lett in forces to over-runne the whole country.

It is greate petie and very unfitt that such a company as these are, they all stand professed enemies against all the united colonies, that they should get a charter for so smale a quantity of land as lyeth in and about Providence, Showomut, Pautuxit and Coicett, all which now Roade Iland is taken out from it, it is but a strape of land lying in betweene the colonies of Massachusits, Plymouth and Comitaquot, by which meanes, if they should get them a charter, off it there may come some mischiefe and trouble upon the whole country if their [figure table]

be not prevented in time, for under the pretence of liberty of conscience about these partes there comes to lieve all the scume the runne awayes of the country, which in tyme for want of better order may bring a heavy burthen upon the land, &c. This I humbly commend unto the serious consideration of the much honored court, and rest your humble servant to command.

William Arnold.

They are making hast to send Mr. Williams away.

We that lieve heere neere them and doe know the place and hear their wordes and doe take notice of their proceeding doe know more and can speake more of what evill may come to the country by their meanes, then the court do yet consider off: We humblie desire God their purpose may be frusterated for the country’s peace.

I humblie desire my name may be conceled lest they hearing of what I have herein written they will be enraged against me and so will revenge themselves upon me.

Some of them of Showomut that cryeth out much against them which putteth people to death for witches; for say they there be no other witches upon earth nor devils, but your own pastors and ministers and such as they are, &c. . . .

Thomas Hutchinson, A Collection of Original Papers Relative to the History of the Colony of Massachusets-Bay (Boston, 1769), 237–238.


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Chicago: William Arnold, "Objections to the New Charter (1651)," American History Told by Contemporaries, ed. Thomas Hutchinson in American History Told by Contemporaries, ed. Albert Bushnell Hart (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1897), 401–402. Original Sources, accessed September 23, 2023,

MLA: Arnold, William. "Objections to the New Charter (1651)." American History Told by Contemporaries, edited by Thomas Hutchinson, in American History Told by Contemporaries, edited by Albert Bushnell Hart, Vol. 1, New York, The Macmillan Company, 1897, pp. 401–402. Original Sources. 23 Sep. 2023.

Harvard: Arnold, W, 'Objections to the New Charter (1651)' in American History Told by Contemporaries, ed. . cited in 1897, American History Told by Contemporaries, ed. , The Macmillan Company, New York, pp.401–402. Original Sources, retrieved 23 September 2023, from