Thursday, October 18, 2012

Accounts from Early Settlers - New Hampshire

Whilst looking at accounts through the Primary Sources website, I was browsing in particular for  significant settler accounts in the New Hampshire colony during the 1600s. The account I found acutely interesting was the 'Agreement of the Settlers at Exeter in New Hampshire, 1639.' Fundamentally, this account evokes God in a strong way, whilst implicit to the notion of Exeter being their own Government, however, obtaining this would be hard. For instance:
"Necessity that we should not live without wholesomne Lawes and Civil Government among us of which we are altogether destitute."

This suggests that the Exeter colony would need to adhere to the laws of Britian under King Charles I to acomplish peace and honesty. The latter part of the sentence indicates that they are without the strong infrastructure that they need to necessitate and thus can function properly. Importantly, it is through God that aids the potential of achieving this:in the sight of God combine ourselves together to erect and set up among us such Government as shall be to our best discerning agreeable to the Will of God professing ourselves."

Moreover, the end part of the account is intriguing as it depicts the confirmation that this colony would abide to the explicit laws required. This can be exemplified by this next quote: "and to all other such Lawes which shall upon good grounds be made and enacted among us according to God that we may live quietly and peaceably together in all godliness and honesty."

To conclude, this Covenant was signed by John Whelewright and thirty-four others. Lastly, to synthesize a legit Constitution, two oaths were created so the rulers and the people could conform to this.

The Elders/Rulers Oath -
"You shall swear by the great and dreadful Name of the High God, Maker and Governor of Heaven and earth and by the Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of the Kings and rulers of the earth, that in his Name and fear you will rule and govern his people according to the righteous will of God, ministering justice and judgement.."

This oath transpired to ensure that at the top of the hierarchy, strength and stability would remain sustained and not subverted.
The Oath of the People - "We do swear by the Great and dreadful Name of the High God, Maker and Governor of heaven and earth, and by the Lord Jesus Christ, the King and Saviour of his people, that in his Name and fear, we will submit ourselves to be ruled and governed according to the will and word of God, and such wholsome laws and ordinances as shall be derived there from by our honored Rulers and the lawful assistants."

Similarly, both oaths are replicated in what is being said and the omnipotence of God is visibly clarified and this would inevitably form a substantial constitution. 

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