Monday, December 1, 2014

1633 - Dutch and English battling for the Connecticut Valley

January, 1633 - Edward Winslow is chosen governor of Plymouth for a 1st one-year term and William Bradford Deputy Governor.

January, 1633 - former Indian chief of Nahant Poquanum (aka Black Will), is taken prisoner by mistake during a fishing trip and hanged on Richmond Island in Maine.

He had been recognized as the murderer of Walter Bagnall in October, 1631 while the real culprit was called Squidrayset.
Poquanum, the former sagamore of Nahant - small peninsula North of Boston had given up its lands in 1630 to a certain Thomas Dexter in exchange for clothes and for some cheap junk.

Dutch Settlements , 1633
January, 1633 – After seeing the destruction of the Zwaanendael colony in Delaware Bay, captain David Pietersz. De Vries reaches Fort Nassau.

This fort had been built by Cornelius Mey in 1623, when the Dutch West India Company divided the first settlers in several coastal places from Connecticut River’s mouth to New Jersey. Fort Nassau was build on the northern side of Delaware Bay, on the banks of river called Sassackon by the Indians. Abandoned since many years, the fort was occupied by the Lenapes.

February, 1633 - Virginia enacts laws to limit tobacco planting and reduce the dependence of the colony facing this production.

February 11, 1633 - Captain De Vries and his crew are on reconnaissance on the Delaware River near Fort Nassau when they are approached by fifty Indians. They stand as Minquas (name given to Susquehannocks by Lenapes) living among the " Englishmen of Virginia " and assert having come with 600 other warriors for a punitive expedition, but  consider themselves friends of the Dutch.

De Vries met the next day 3 Indians Armewamen who had reported to him that they fled Minquas, responsible of the death of several of them. According to them, they also had destroyed their crops and burned down their houses. The same Minquas had slain 90 people belonging to Sankhikans, before returning home.

March,1633 - smallpox strikes the tribes of the Connecticut Valley. According to William Bradford, population of 1000 passes under 100. 

Bradford saw through this epidemic a God's sign as the Indians were approached by the Dutch colonists who had just settled a rival trading post a few miles from the one already held by the English. According to his narrative " Indians that lived about (Dutch) trading house there fell sick of the small pox and died most miserably; for a sorer disease cannot befall them; they fear it more then the plague; for usually they that have this disease have them in abundance, and for want of bedding and lining and other helps, they fall into lamentable condition, as they lie on their hard mats, the pox breaking and mattering, and running one into another, their skin cleaving (by reason thereof) to the mats they lie on; when they turn them, a whole side will flee at once, (as it were) and they will be all of a gore blood, most fearful to behold; and then being very sore, what with cold and other distempers, they die like rotten sheep. The condition of this people was so lamentable, and they fell down so generally of this disease, as they were (in the end) not able to help one another; no, not to make a fire, not to fetch a little water to drink, now any to bury the dear; but would strive as long as they could, and when they could procure no other means to make fire, they would burn the wooden trays and dishes they are their meat in, and their very bows and arrows; and some would crawl out on all four to get a little water, and some times die by the way, and not be able to get in again. But those of the English house, (though at first they first they were afraid of the infection,) yet seeing their woeful and sad condition, and hearing their pitiful cries and lamentations, they had compassion of them, and daily fetched them wood and water, and made them fires, got them victuals whilst they lived, and buried them when they died. For very few of them escaped, notwithstanding they did what they could for them, to the hazard of themselves. The chief Sachem himself now died, and almost all his friends and kindred. But by the marvelous goodness and providence of God not one of the English was so much as sick, or in the least measure tainted with this disease, thought they daily did these offices for them for many weeks together."

New Amsterdam, 1633
March, 1633 - Wouter Van Twiller, new Director General of the colony of New Netherland, arrives in New Amsterdam aboard the Zoutburg, an imposing warship.
He is accompanied by more than hundred soldiers who make strong impression on landing in their immaculate uniforms.
He immediately orders to build a new fort and purchases several acres of land to plant tobacco where will be later Greenwich Village. He also buys Nutten Island (present day Governors Isl.).
Van Twiller also makes build the first Protestant church of which Reverend Everardus Bogardus becomes the minister and opens the same year the first school of New Amsterdam.

Wouter Van Twiller
Wouter Van Twiller (Nijkerk May 22, 1606 - Amsterdam 29 August 1654)
He first booked entries in a warehouse of the Dutch West India Company but owed to his marriage to the niece of great patroon Killian Van Rennsselaer to get a true career progress. He had first mission carrying livestock to the family estates located along the Hudson River before being chosen as Director General of the colony. He was however inexperienced in statescraft and subsequently soon disputed for his inability to make important decisions and his concern for details. Upon his arrival in New Amsterdam, he came into conflict with Rev. Bogardus and became involved in quarrels with the English for territorial issues

April, 1633 - captain Jacob Eelkens sails off New Amsterdam aboard an English vessel and lands on the island of Manhattan for bartering with Indians. Governor Van Twiller eventually reaches to pull him out.

May, 1633 - the Plymouth colony is infested by a swarm of insects.

June 2, 1633 - Captain John Stone arrives at Boston on a small ship carrying cows and some salt.

This man from Lancashire was actually charged of piracy by the Plymouth government. Actually, he traded regularly goods between Virginia and New England but was blamed especially for dealing with the Dutch and having a home base at New Amsterdam.

June 18, 1633 Jacob Van Curler, envoy of the Dutch West India Company Governor Van Twiller, buys to Sequins, a clan from Connecticut Indians, a land on which will later be built the city of Hartford.

Pequot Indians Sachem Sequassen disputed at the time this region also coveted by the Dutch, eager to establish a trading post and build a fort, intending to prevent the English to disrupt furs transporting.
Van Curler met, for that purpose, the dreaded Pequot leader Tatobem (Wopigwooit), the new host who had just chased Sequassen. The deal concerned the purchase of a 400 acre-strip in exchange for tools (axes, knives, scissors), clothing and various trinkets. Sequassen was, on the other hand, allowed to return from exile and settle near the new Dutch colony.
At that time, the Pequots (meaning "destroyers") terrorized the neighboring peoples who feared especially their cruelty. They had already submitted most of the Indian tribes living on Long Island and the coastal regions of Connecticut.
Van Curler did fortify the new post called "Fort Hoop" (Fort Huys de Goede Hoop) and fitted out with two cannons. This new settlement was open to all the tribes of the area but the situation escalated when the Pequots slew Indians Mattabesics come sell their furs and viewed by them as competitors. The Dutch responded by abducting their leader Tatobem, demanding a large ransom for his release. The Pequots paid off but Tatobem was returned dead to them. They considered this act as a declaration of war and some of them sought to approach the English who had already expressed land claims. This tragic event resulted in dividing the Pequots into two camps, one remained favorable to the Dutch while the second would side the English. Such a situation was already sowing the seeds of a latent conflict between the two colonial powers whose Pequot nation could quickly suffer the aftermath.
[October 4, 1633]

Summer, 1633 - The Plymouth colony is struck by disease, causing death of more than 20 people. Smallpox particularly affects the Indian tribes of New England, decimating the populations.

The Massachusetts were, once again, plunged into mourning and Squaw Sachem who still reigned over several tribes had to lose in particular three of her sons, including Sagamore John and Sagamore James. The only one, Wenepoykin, then 19-year-old, succeeded in escaping death. He inherited as a result the title of sagamore of Lynn.

Summer, 1633 - Dutch merchants reoccupy Fort Nassau and build a fortified shelter. About thirty colonists come to settle down there.

September 3, 1633 - Famous Puritan minister John Cotton comes to Boston. He will soon be known as The patriarch of the New England. Minister Thomas Hooker and Samuel Stone are also on the trip.

Rev. John Cotton

John Cotton (December 4, 1585-December 23, 1652)
Born in Derby, he studied at Trinity College, Cambridge where he was graduated in 1606. He joined then Emmanuel College, considered as a stronghold of Puritanism where he practiced as tutor for six years. In June, 1612, he was appointed vicar of St Botolph's parish in Boston, Lincolnshire where he began to gain a wide popularity. Having repeatedly asserted his puritanical conceptions, he decided to get out of some rituals prescribed by the official church, what was worth to him being pursued by regulatory authorities. He chose to flee to London where, after a few months spent in anonymity, he took, in July, 1633, the boat to New England. 
Just arrived in Massachusetts, he was chosen as "teacher" in the First Church of Boston alongside Minister John Wilson (1588-1667). He was to stay there until his death. Undoubtedly very popular in Boston, his influence in religious and civil concerns was certainly higher than that of any other minister of New England theocracy. This was generally beneficial although Cotton never went so far as to engage with the cause of religious freedom or democracy.

September 3, 1633 - Captain John Stone, a privateer who makes usually the crossing between Virginia and New England, known as a trouble maker, heavy drunker and blasphemer is accused by John Bancroft from Boston to have been found in bed with his wife.

Although John Stone had a bad reputation due to his provocative behavior, no charge of adultery could be brought against him because he had only been seen by one witness when they had to be at least two. His relationship with influential merchants of London was subsequently worth to him leaving free.

September, 1633 – Dr Samuel Fuller, one of the Pilgrims Fathers who has practiced medicine for years at the service of the settlers dies from smallpox in Plymouth.
Trading beaver pelts

September 26, 1633 – a party of settlers from Plymouth led by Captain William Holmes arrives at the confluence of the Farmington River and the west bank of the Connecticut River in a place called Matianuck by the Indians to found there a trading post (today Windsor).

It has been visited the previous year by Edward Winslow at the invitation of Podunks fugitives who were looking for an alliance with the English to defend against the Pequots who claimed this land and made them pay a tribute.

October, 1633 - the Massachusetts Bay Colony claims the river and territory of Connecticut with the agreement of the king of England.

Gov. John Winthrop
October 4, 1633
- Dutch Director General Wouter Van Twiller sends a polite letter to Governor John Winthrop, requesting the issue of the Connecticut colonization to be debated in Europe by English and Dutch regulators offering to wait for their decision before the Massachusett Bay colony comes to settle there.

A few days later, Capt. William Holmes and a party of determined men including in particular Indians, went down the river to Fort Hoop and defied the fire of the Dutch cannons. Van Twiller sent a company of 70 soldiers to dislodge the English just settled at Matianuck but turned back faced to their resistance.

October 8, 1633 - The community of Dorchester, in Massachusetts Bay, chooses its first City council.

December 5, 1633Massachusett leader Sagamore John dies from smallpox at the age of 26.

Samuel Maverick and his wife had taken care of him at Chelsea during his sickness. Sagamore John offered governor John Winthrop a big quantity of wampum to thank him and died persuaded to go " to find the god of the English". There were many settlers in the neighboring towns who took in Indian orphans whose parents had been struck by disease. The own son of Sagamore John was taken in by minister John Wilson from Boston.
The epidemics which followed one another for a little more than fifteen years had wreaked havoc in some Indian nations such as the Massachusetts. The dead numbered in the thousands while many survivors, wearing on their bodies traces of the disease, often had no choice but to submit to the conditions imposed on them by the British.

Leonard Calvert
November 22, 1633 - Leonard Calvert, the younger brother of Cecilius, Lord Baltimore and Governor of Maryland, leaves the port of Gravesend in England at the head of the first expedition to the new province. It consists of two boats, the 300-ton-Ark and the 50-ton-Dove, both carrying 140 would-be settlers. Seventeen passengers are Roman Catholic gentlemen, the rest being Protestant indentured servants.

While he was preparing the journey, Lord Baltimore had to defend himself against members of the former Virginia Company who were trying to reclaim their old charter, considering that it included originally the province of Maryland, taken in Virginia. They had, informally, tried during years to thwart unsuccessfully Baltimore’s efforts, but had to get a first support through a complaint lodged in July 1633 by the Lords of Foreign Plantations. The complaint alleged that contrary to what claimed Lord Baltimore’s charter, the area had already been colonized by William Claiborne, settled on Kent Island. It also stated that granting so many rights to a sole beneficiary violated settlers freedoms.

No comments:

Post a Comment