Dates in Massachusetts
was the first agreement for
self-government ever put in force in America. It
was drawn up because the Puritans (Pilgrims)
wanted to avoid the failures of earlier colonies
by establishing a government prior to settlement.
It was signed aboard the Mayflower on
November 11, 1620 (old style).
The Governor and Company of
Massachusetts Bay in New England was chartered in
1629, and given the right to govern a tract of
land extending from three miles south of the
Charles River to a point three miles north of the
Merrimac, west to the Pacific Ocean.
involved debt-ridden farmers in western and
central Massachusetts, many of whom were
threatened with loss of their properties and
imprisonment. They demanded court reforms and the
issuance of paper money for paying their debts.
was one of the founders of the colony of Salem in
1628. He served as Governor of Massachusetts
several times between 1630 and 1664, in which
capacity he earned a reputation as
a fair, but strict, leader who rigorously
enforced Puritan religious beliefs and punished,
often severely, those he believed to be
came into conflict with Puritan leaders of the
Bay Colony with her belief that salvation could
be achieved without "assistance" from
any minister or church. That belief led to her
was a leader in the Puritan church who doubted
the effectiveness and fairness of the Salem Witch
Trials while never publicly denouncing the trials
themselves, nor the people who conducted them.
was one of many Boston businessmen who protested
against British policies. His depiction of the
Boston Massacre fueled colonial hatred, and he
was one of the band of "Indians" who
took part in the Boston Tea Party.
came to America with the Pilgrims in 1620,
despite not being a member of their religion. As
military commander of Plymouth Colony until his
death, his military skills served
the Pilgrims well against hostile Native
Americans, but he also had enough diplomatic
skill to establish and maintain peace and trade
relations with friendly natives.
was one of the founders of the Massachusetts Bay
Colony, and then went on to serve as Governor of
the colony twelve times. As Governor, he was
conservative and somewhat aristocratic, but just
and magnanimous at the same time.