Governor John Winthrop landed in Massachusetts Bay in June of 1630 with eleven ships and seven hundred settlers that started the great migration that leads to more than 20,000 Puritans sailing to New England. What does the governor’s role tell us about the settler’s original intentions with Christianity in American History?
Governor John Winthrop and the Articles of Confederation
Winthrop, in 1643, organized the first American federation called the “New England Confederation”, known as the “Articles of the Confederation” which stated the purpose of the colonists of New Plymouth, New Haven, Massachusetts, and Connecticut as to “advance the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to enjoy the liberties of the gospel thereof in purities and peace.” These New England Articles of Confederation between the Plantations under the Government of The Massachusetts, the Plantations under the Government of New Plymouth, the Plantations under the Government of Connecticut, and the Government of New Haven with the Plantations in Combination stated the following in Article 1 of the document:
“Whereas we all came into these parts of America with one and the same end and aim, namely, to advance the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ and to enjoy the liberties of the Gospel in purity with peace; and whereas in our settling (by a wise providence of God) we are further dispersed upon the sea coasts and rivers than was at first intended, so that we cannot according to our desire with convenience communicate in one government and jurisdiction; and whereas we live encompassed with people of several nations and strange languages which hereafter may prove injurious to us or our posterity. And forasmuch as the natives have formerly committed sundry insolence and outrages upon several Plantations of the English and have of late of late combined themselves against us: and seeing by reason of those sad distractions in England which they have heard of, and by which they know we are hindered from that humble way of seeking advice, or reaping those comfortable fruits of protection, which at other times we might well expect. We therefore do conceive it our bounden duty, without delay to enter into a present Consociation amongst ourselves, for mutual help and strength in all our future concernments: That, as in nation and religion, so in other respects, we be and continue one according to the tenor and true meaning of the ensuing articles: Wherefore it is fully agreed and concluded by and between the parties or Jurisdictions above named, and they jointly and severally do by these presents agree and conclude that they all be and henceforth be called by the name of the United Colonies of New England.”
Read more about the John Winthrop here.