« PreviousContinue »
[The following Documents are collected from the second volume of the very valuable “ HISTORICAL COLLECTIONS," by EBENEZER HAZARD, Esquire. As they relate to the early history of New-York, and are there scattered through the “ Records of the United Colonies of New England," which have not been so extensively read as they deserve to be; it was supposed that the readers of this Volume would be gratified to see them brought into one view. It is deeply to be regretted that the materials for compiling that part of the History of New-York which relates to the Dutch Colonial Government, are so few and meager. Persons who possess any documents, even the smallest scraps, which can be made to shed a ray of light on that period, wil} render an important public service by communicating them to the Historical Society.]
THE Comissioners of Connecticute complayned of seueral insolencies and iniuries with an high hand lately committed and mayntained by the Dutch agent, and some of his family to the Disturbance of the peace there ; and a protest lately sent by the Dutch Governoure against New Haven, with the answer returned were read. The Protest was written in Latine, the contents in English was as followeth.
We William Kieft generall Director, and the Senate of New Netherlands for the high and mighty Lords the States of the Vnited Belgicke Provinces, for his Excellency the Prince of Orange, and for the most noble Lords, the Administrators of the West India Company to thee Theophilus Eaton Governoure of this place, by vs called the Red Hills in New Netherland, but by the English called New Haven, we give notice that some years past, yours (without any occasion given by vs, and without any necessity imposed vpon them, but with an unsatiable desire of possessing that which is ours, against our protestations, against the law of Nations, and the auncient league the Kings Majesty of greate Britaine, and our superiours) haue indirectly entered the limitt of New Netherland, vsurped diuerse places in them, and Kaue bene very injurious vnto vs, neither haue they given satisfaccon though oft required: And becanse you and yours haue of late determined to fasten your foote neare Mauritius River in this Proviuce, and there not onely to disturb onr trade (of noe man hitherto questioned) and to draw it to yourselues, but ytterly to destroy it, were compeled againe to Protest, and by these presents doe protest against you as against breakers of the peace, and disturbers of the publicke quiet, That if you do not restore the places you haue vsurped, and repaire the losse we haue suffered, we shall by such meanes as God affoords, manfully recover them. Neither doe we thincke this crosseth your publicke peace but shall cast the cause of the ensuinge euill vpon you. Given in Amsterdam forte August 3. 1646 Newstile.
The Answere was returned in Latine to the said protest the Contents as followeth.
To the Right Worshipfull WILLIAM KIEFT Goucrnoure of the Dutch in New NETHERLAND.
SIR, BY some of yours I haue receaued a Protest vnder yonr hand Dat. Aug. 3. 1646 wherein you pretend we haue indirectly entered the limits of New Netherland, vsurped diuerse places in them, and haue offred you many injuries, Thus in generall, and in reference to some yeare past, more particulerly that to the disturbance, nay to the vtter destruction of your trade, we haue lately set foote neare Mauritius Riuer in that province &c.
We doe truely professe we know noe such Riuer, nor can conceiue what Riuer you intend by that name vnlesse it be that which the English haue longe and still doe call, Hudson's Riuer. Nor haue we at any time formerly or lately entred vpon any place to which you had, or haue any knowne title, nor in any other respect beene injurious to you. It is true we haue lately vpon Pawgusett Riuer, which falls into the sea in the midst of the English Plantations, built a small house within our owne limits, many miles nay leagues from the Manhattoes from your tradinge house and from any porte of Hudson's River, at which we expect little trade but can compell none, the Indians beinge free to trade with you, vs, Connecticute, Mattachusetts, or with any others : nor did we build there till we had first purchased a due title from the true proprietors: what injuries and outrages in our persons and estates at the Manhattoes in Delawar River &c. we haue receiued from you, our former letters and protest doe both declare and proue to all which you have hitherto given very vnsatisfyinge answeres : But whatever our losses and sufferinge haue beene, we conceiue we haue neither done, nor returned any thinge euen vnto this day, but what doth agree with the law of God, the law of Nations, and with that ancient confederation and amity betwixt our Superiours at home, soe that we shall readily refer all questions and difference betwixt you and vs euen from first to last to any due examination and iudgement, either heere or in Europe and by these presents doe refer them, being well assured that his Majesty our soueraigne Lord Charles Kinge of greate Britaine and the Parliament of England now assembled will maintaine their owne right and our iust liberties against any who by vnjust encrochment shall wronge them or theirs, and that your owne Principalls vpon a due and mature consideration will also see and approue the righteousnes of our proceedings.
The premisses being duly considered both in reference to Hartford and New Hauen the Commissioners thought fitt to expresse their apprehentions in writinge to the Dutch Gouernor in latine but the Contents as followeth.
To the Right Worshipful WILLIAM KIEFT,
Gouernor &c. SIR, VPON a due consideration how peace (a choice blessinge) may be continued, we are carefull to enquire and search into those differences and offences soe longe continued betwixt some of our confederates and your selues: it is neare 3 yeares since the Governor of the Mattachusets by consent and advice of the Counsell of that Colony, did particularly propounde to your consideration sundry injurious and vnworthy passages done by your Agent vpon the fresh River, and some of his family vpon our brethren at Hartford to all which you returned an Ignoramus with an offensiue addicon which we leaue to a Review and better consideration, what inquiry and order you after made and tooke to suppresse such miscarriages for the future, we haue not heard, but certainly your Agent, and his company are now growne to a strange and vnsufferable bouldnes (we hope without comission) An Indian Captiue liable to publicke punishment fied from her Master at Hartford is entertayned in your house at Hartford, and though required by the magistrate is vnder the hands of your Agent there denyed, and we heare she is either marryed, or abused by one of your men : Such a servant is parte of her master's estate, and a more considerable part then a beast, our children will not longe be secure if this be suffered : your Agent himselfe in height of disorder and contempt of authority, resists the watch at Hartford, drawes and breakes his rapier vpon their
weapons and by flight escapes, had he bene slaine in this proude affront, his bloud had beene vpon his owne head : Lastly to passe by other particulars, some of your horses being pownded for damage done in the English Corne, your Agent and 4 more made an assault, and stroke him who legally sought justice, and in an hostile way tooke away his teame and laden.
We have also seene a Protest of yours Dat. Aug. 3. 1646 New stile, against our Confederates of New Haven with their Answer Dat. Aug. 12th. and deliuered to leiftenant Baxtey your messenger : vpon our most serious consideration of the contents togeither with their title heere held forth, we conceiue their Answere fayre and just; and hope it will cleare their proceedings, and giue you full satisfaction, yet to prevent all inconveniences which may grow by any part of the premises, we haue sent this bearer, by whome we desire such a returne as may testify your concurrence with vs to embrace and pursue righteousnes and peace.
Vpon information that the Dutch Governor in a letter to the Governor of the Mattachusets chargeth Mr. Whitinge, one of the Magistrates of Connecticut that at the Manhattoes he should say The English were fooles to suffer the Dutch to liue there, Mr. Whitinge vpon other occasions beinge nowe at New Haven the Comissioners enquired of him what had passed betwixt him and the Dutch Governoure or him and others at the Manhattoes, end therevpon in English wrote another letter to the Dutch Governoure as followeth:
SIR, SINCE your former dated the fifth of this present we haue spoken with Mr. Whitinge concerninge words you chardge him with in your letter to the