Monday, November 3, 2014

1630 - Puritans settle down in Boston

Winthrop's Fleet anchoring at Boston Harbor
January, 1630 - the Council for New England grants its third charter to William Bradford and the associates of the Plymouth colony. It grants them a land extending from Cohasset to Narragansett River up to the Pokanoket country and a 15-mile-tract each side of Kennebec River.

February 22, 1630 -  Indians introduce popcorn to the settlers during a Thanksgiving day.

Mars 1630 - William Bradford is re-elected governor of the Plymouth colony for a 9th one-year term.

March 22, 1630 - The government of Charlestown, Massachusetts, enacts the first colonial law forbidding wandering.

May, 1630 - The two last groups of settlers from Leyden (Holland) arrive at Plymouth. The previous one had landed the year before in August 1629.

May, 1630 - A group of farmers founds the Dorchester colony in Massachusetts Bay. 

Coming from Dorset, these new settlers had been recruited by John White, famous rector of the Holy Trinity church in Dorchester. Known for his puritanical sympathies, he wanted to build a settlement consisted of farmers and fishermen whom he felt more able to get quickly used to the hard living conditions of the region.

May, 1630 - John Harvey is appointed governor of Virginia and moves to the new town of James City. He replaces Dr John Pott accused of diverting cattle for his own benefit.

John Harvey had arrived at Jamestown in 1624 as royal commissioner to produce a report on the living conditions in the colony shortly before the crown evicts the Virginia Company. He went back next year to England and returned to America only once appointed a governor.
He wrote to the English authorities, after taking office, to list the needs for the colony, complaining about the lack of carpenters, brickworkers and masons especially since the willingness was to build decent and comfortable houses. 
Despite these good intentions and his governor's qualities, John Harvey managed of becoming quickly unpopular.

John Winthrop arriving at Salem aboard "The Arabella"
June 12,1630 - the fleet of new governor John Winthrop lands at Salem. John Endecott is resigned from office.

The 10 ship-fleet led by the Arabella had left Southampton April 8. This expedition was the largest ever mounted between England and America. It carried 700 would-be settlers. 200 would die the first year and a hundred chose to sail back to Europe shortly after. 400 new colonists would however settle permanently.
Arrived at Salem, the puritan lawyer John Winthrop delivered his famous sermon written during the trip "... wee must Consider that wee shall be as a Citty upon a Hill, the eies of all people are uppon us...."
Among other members of the trip was Sir Richard Saltonstall who had come with his five sons and his two daughters but as these fell ill, he preferred to leave with them next year for England.
Once governor of the Massachusetts Bay, John Winthrop justified his occupation of the Indian territories by reason of a land legally "vacant", claiming that the Natives did not "submitted" the land and certainly get a "natural" right on it but in no case "real" one.

Governor John Winthrop
June 25, 1630 - New governor John Winthrop introduces the use of the fork at his table.

July 6, 1630 - 
Disappointed by the geographical situation of Salem that they consider uncomfortable, colonists decide to move to the bay located in the South. They found Roxbury, Dorchester, Charlestown and Boston.

July 12, 1630 - Governor of New Amsterdam Pieter Minuit buys Gull Island (today Ellis Island) to the Indians.

July 30, 1630 - Foundation of the Watertown church.

A small group of 40 families led by Sir Richard Saltonstall and Rev. George Phillips had just founded in Watertown a plantation on a land bought in May to the Pequosette tribe. 

The Pequosette who were about 300 had welcomed with kindness the newcomers, even favoring their settlement by supplying them foods.

August 6, 1630 - Reverend Francis Higginson dies at Salem when is published his book entitled New England's Plantation.

Francis Higginson was born in Leicestershire in 1586. After graduating at Cambridge University, he became a priest without never stopping being very critical to the Church of England. He joined with his wife and children the first group of puritan settlers sent in 1629 by the Massachusetts Bay Company. He was appointed upon his arrival the first minister of the church of Salem.
His booh entitled New England's Plantation tells the first months of his life in the colony. He writes there in particular that tidewaters are full of big delicious lobsters. It should be noted that lobster was regarded for centuries as a food for the poor.

August 10, 1630 - The Dutch West India Company sells to Michael Pauw a land including Staten Island.
A map published by Johannes de Laet mentions for the first time the names of Manhattan and New Amsterdam.

Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, a pearls and diamonds merchant working for agents of Amsterdam bought a land located on the West bank of the Hudson River (Noordrivier). He offered as compensation to the Indians, tools, knives and wampum for the acquisisition of a long strip of land long about 25 miles extending North and South of Fort Oranje over a width of 13 miles on each side of the river. His nephew Arendt Van Corlaer built there a 1000 square miles settlement which will be named Rensselaerwyck and become more prosperous than New Amsterdam.

September 16, 1630 - John Winthrop establishes his governorship in Boston on the Shawmut peninsula.

Starting from Salem, Winthrop moved first to Charlestown (at the time Mishawum), the colony founded the previous year by the early settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Company, but as there was no pure water in this place, he accepted the invitation of Reverend William Blackstone to come to settle not far from there, at Shawmut where sprang beautiful sources.

Reverend William Blackstone (Durham 1595 - 1663) was an Anglican minister arrived from England in 1623 with Sir Robert Gorges, during a first aborted attempt of settlement at Weymouth. He lived since a few years alone at Shawmut near the Indians. He had first reserved the best welcome to governor John Winthrop but grew fast bored with the intolerance of the Puritans and left settling down in about 40 miles South of Boston on a hill overlooking the Pawtucket River (now Blackstone River).

During the same period, different groups of colonists had moved into the area and founded the villages of Roxbury, Watertown, Mystic and Lynn. 
John Oldham, back in New England after a few years of exile for his disputes with the government of Plymouth, settled especially on an island near Watertown where he became a member of the local church. He did not delay resuming trade with the Indians of coastal Maine.

September 27, 1631 - Josias Plaistow is sentenced by the court of Boston to give 8 baskets of corn to Sachem Chickatabot and his men to compensate the 4 baskets stolen by his servants.

Chickatabot thanked the government of Boston for this fair decision after having himself been condemned on June 14  to pay a beaver skin after one of his men shot a pig. 

September 30, 1630 - convicted of the murder of John Newcome, John Billington is condemned to death and hanged in Plymouth.

John Billington and his wife were part of the Mayflower Pilgrims who had founded Plymouth on December 20, 1620. Although he signed the Mayflower Compact, he had long been reported as a troublemaker, arrogant and disrespectful. He argued for his defense that the settlers were too few to do without his hands but new governor John Winthrop, consulted for the occasion judged that the crime was punishable by death.
Billington was the first English settler sentenced to death and executed on the American soil.

October 8, 1630 - During a meeting in Jamestown, governor John Harvey decrees that for the securing and taking in a tract of land called the forest, bordering upon the cheife residence of ye Pamunkey King, the most dangerous head of ye Indyan enemy, every person who will have chosen to settle down on the south bank of the Pamunkey River, called at the moment York and known as belonging previously to the Indians Chiskiack will receive 5 acres first year and 55 the second as reward and inducement.

October 19, 1630 - the first General Court of Massachusetts Bay meets in Boston.

The charter of the colony conferred to the Court General of Massachusetts the right to elect their representatives and voting laws. The first meeting was only constituted by eight freemen. Indeed, shortly after they created the first Church of Boston, the freemen voted to grant all the legislative, executive and judicial power to the Governor's Council of Assistants formed by the same eight members. These built rules, created taxes and elected officers. With the aim of appeasing those who challenged this method, the eight agreed to move to 118, the number of the freemen composing the General Court but the power remained to the Council. 

October 29, 1630 - the Handmaid arrives at Plymouth with about 60 passengers  of whom the two brothers Eddy from Boxter, Sussex.

November 8, 1630 - thousands of pigeons fly above Boston, almost darkening the sky.

November 22, 1630 - Mayor of New Amsterdam and director of the Dutch West India Company Michael Reyniersz Pauw, Lord of Achttienhoven, is assigned a land as patroon, commiting to create a settlement where will live at least fifty people in the coming four years.

He chose a land on the right bank of the Hudson River that he bought to Lenape. It extended over the site of present-day Hoboken and Jersey City (Bergen). Pauw did not meet, however, the required conditions and had to return the land to the Company in 1633. 

December 1630 - A group of settlers led by Thomas Dudley, his daughter Ann Bradstreet and her husband Simon found New Town (renamed Cambridge in 1638) on a site located upriver from Boston Harbor 

1630 - At the end of the year, the colony of New Netherland would have imported 113 000 guilders of goods and exported 130 000.

1630 - A group of farmers and fishermen base a settlement at Strawberry Banke in New Hampshire, a land granted the previous year to captain John Mason

The new settlement will be named Portsmouth in honor of John Mason, captain of the English port of Portsmouth.

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