Wednesday, December 10, 2014

1634 - Pequots seek Peace Treaty with New England

 January, 1634 - Thomas Prence is chosen governor of the Plymouth colony.

Former governor William Bradford no longer wished to bear the burden while Edward Winslow was preparing  to leave for England.

Thomas Prence (1599 - March 29, 1673) - Hailing from Gloucestershire, he had arrived in New England on November 9, 1621 aboard the Fortune. Known as one of the wealthiest settlers in Plymouth, he was a political leader of this colony and Massachusetts Bay. Later co-founder of the city of Eastham (MA), he would mainly be remembered for his religious rigor and stalking he engaged against heretics, especially the Quakers. He also fought ignorance and tried hard to raise funds to open schools.
He got married three times. His first wife Patience Brewster, whom he married May 5, 1624, was the daughter of William Brewster, the first spiritual leader of Plymouth.

January, 1634 - just banished from Boston, Captain John Stone and 7 members of his crew are killed by Western Niantics near the Connecticut River’s mouth.

John Stone was given a bad name in New England. A smuggler, privateer and slave trader known for his relationship with the Dutch, he was pursued by the government of Plymouth for the theft of a pinnace and had been kicked out of Boston for his loose behavior. Become a persona non grata after being caught in bed with the wife of a settler, rumor had even claimed that he had practiced cannibalism in the Caribbean. The reasons why he was killed by Niantics were never cleared up even if these justified afterward by pleading that they wanted to avenge the death of Totabem,  sachem of the Pequot tribe to which they paid tribute.

February 8, 1634 - Governor of Virginia, Sir John Harvey, makes his report for the past year. The colony has seen its population increase by 1200 newcomers and was able to ship 140 000 lbs of corn to  New England. It has cattle and pigs in abundance but lacks weapons and ammunitions.  The settlers hope confirmation of territories and privileges promised by the king when he has granted Maryland to Lord Baltimore.

March 3, 1634 – Samuel Cole opens the first tavern in Boston.

March 10, 1634 - The ships Francis and Elizabeth are preparing to set sail to New England with on board about 240 passengers each.

The Church authorities began to worry about this emigration, fearing it as an opportunity for people in debt or those who disagreed with them. They had already delayed, in February, the departure of several ships bound for New England just because their passengers were likely to add to the chaos prevailing in the colony. These had been able to leave only after having recognized the Book of Common Prayer used by the Church of England.

March 14, 1634 – Governor John Harvey and the Virginia Council confirm his rights to William Claiborne on Kent Island, while asking him to respect Lord Baltimore's charter.

March 25, 1634 - Leonard Calvert, promoted 1st Proprietary Governor and lieutenant-general of Maryland lands with his brother George and about 300 settlers on St Clement’s Island, located on the north side of the Potomac (present day Blakiston). He founds
the first English catholic colony there.

The voyage had begun in December, 1633 after the two ships of Lord Baltimore left the Isle of Wight. They had made stopover in Barbados and reached in February Point Comfort, at the tip of Virginia. They had been welcomed by Governor John Harvey and left after getting fill of provisions.
They went up Chesapeake Bay and reached the Potomac River mouth where they decided to make a stop on an uninhabited island that they named in honor of pope St Clement 1st, patron of the sailors. It would serve as a first base to new settlers, the time to purchase land to Yoacomoco Indians. A first catholic mass was celebrated by Jesuit Father Andrew White.

Leonard Calvert
March 27, 1634Calvert brothers and their interpreter buy their village to Indians in exchange for axes, hatchets clothes and protection against enemies. They give it the name of St Mary’s City.

For forest people, tools have more value than some acres of land. The Yoacomocos gave up their huts, their fields and surrounding woods. They got on with the newcomers and taught them what they had to know about the area, especially neighboring tribes such as Susquehannocks and Iroquois, regarded as their enemies.

May 17, 1634 - Thomas Dudley is elected governor of Massachusetts Bay.
The Council of the colony was informed  that John Winthrop had deceived by hiding that the Charter of the Massachusetts Bay Colony gave it the same rights and the same powers as free men in England. Winthrop had to renounce his post as governor.
Persecuted in England, Thomas Dudley became once in the New World more radical and narrow-minded than other oligarches. He found in Calvinism all the doctrines able to be applied to each aspect of the life. This proved true in regard to him. He stored, for example, corn to sell it to his neighbors according to conditions that Winthrop considered himself usurious. Dudley was an unflexible man, ready to require the exact weight of flesh, if he considered it as his due. He was actually not less rigid regarding religion, politics and economy.

Late April, 1634 - Captain John Cutting who commands the ship Francis sets sail from Ipswich, Suffolk with 80 passengers aboard, bound for New England.

 May 31, 1634 - The Massachusetts Bay colony annexes Maine.

The Plymouth colony had a trading post on the Kennebec River under its charter. It was under the direction of John Howland who had repeatedly reminded to his counterpart John Hocking, commanding  the post of Piscataqua for Massachusetts, that he did not have the right to attend its waters. This one ignored warnings and the situation escalated. Hocking killed one of the men of Howland before being killed in his turn. John Alden from Duxbury, who betrayed, at the same time goods, in the area, was arrested and taken to Boston while he was in no way involved in the dispute. Captain Myles Standish went in his turn to Boston with a letter from governor Thomas Prence calling for his release. The case eventually found its solution.

June, 1634 - A new system of government is set up in Virginia by order of Charles 1 with the creation of 8 counties originally called shires,  namely :

The Counties of Accomac (become Northampton in 1642), Charles City, Charles River, Elizabeth City (present day Hampton),  Henrico, James City, Warwick River and Warrosquyoake (today Isle of Wight). Virginia has at that time about 5000 inhabitants.

July, 1634 - At the request of Samuel Champlain who, on behalf of king of France, wishes the end of conflicts between the Ottawa and Winnebagos tribes aiming to develop fur trade, Jean Nicolet, accompanied with Huron guides and some other retailers, is the first one to engage in the exploration of the western lands towards a hypothetical China sea.

Jean Nicolet (1598-1642) discovered the shores of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. In Green Bay (Baies des Puants), he met the Menominee tribe of which he became the friend, following his path across a wild and hostile nature, in search of the peaceful Winnebagos. He became the first " white man " to reach the future state of Wisconsin.

July 8, 1634 - Roger Williams tackles religious orthodoxy that prevails among the Puritans of Massachusetts. He is especially going after the punishments for those who do not attend worship.

Puritans who lived in Boston and the surrounding area would not long tolerate that nonconformist words come to blur minds.

July, 1634 - Captain Thomas Young and Lieutenant Robert Evelyn arrive at the Delaware River’s mouth. They represent the interests of Sir Edmund Plowden, granted for two years a royal charter allowing him to establish the colony of New Albion.
They went up the river and settled with fifteen men in a place they named Eriwomeck, located at the mouth of the Schuylkill River. In September, they took place on behalf of the Company of New Albion at Fort Nassau, deserted by the Dutch.

September 27, 1634 - Rev. John Lothrop (1584-1653) and a large group of English settlers coming from Kent move to Scituate, in the Plymouth colony. They find that the place is already occupied by a few houses among which that of Timothy Hatherly, arrived in 1623.

Boston, 1634
September 1634 -  Massachusetts Bay Colony officers receive in Boston a Pequot ambassador and his party. These seek an alliance with the English to face Narragansett threats but are in return shouted about John Stone’s killing.
The English had clearly nothing to do with the death of such undesirable person as John Stone but it was an argument in their favor, because given that it was an English subject, there was no question of letting this crime go unpunished.

The Pequots claimed that Stone had attacked them first and had to reply. They agreed however to hand over two men guilty of John Stone’s killing  and 400 fathom wampum in exchange for a peace treaty. The Boston government considered Pequots as good trade partners and had bought them lands along the Connecticut River but there was such an aura of mistrust that neither one would meet the terms of their agreement.

September 29, 1634 - Edward Kingswell comes to complain to the king of the failure of Samuel Vassall and  Peter Andrews who were in charge to transport him aboard the Mayflower to the Carolina plantation of which he was to be governor.

Kingswell had landed in Virginia in october 1633 but neither Vassall nor Andrews were able to carry him in Carolina due to to their inability to get supplies, he had returned to England to submit his request to the Privy Council.

October, 1634 – the Boston government is informed that 200 to 300 Narragansett warriors are about to attack the Pequot delegation and to kill their ambassador.

Further to this information, The Massachusetts Bay Colony sends its militia to protect the Pequot emissaries but it turned out that these had been a bit exaggerated because Narragansett warriors were actually no more than 20 left for hunting. This mistake did not for prevent the English to clinch an alliance with Pequot Indians.

October 8, 1634 – the king orders the governors of all the English colonies to assist planters on Kent Island so that they can enjoy peacefully benefits of their labour and prohibits Lord Baltimore and his agents to use violence to them.

English official treating with the Pequots
October 23, 1634 - the Pequot send a messenger carrying presents and tribute promises to Roger Ludlow, deputy governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

In the same time, Indian tribes living in the Connecticut Valley are hard struck by a smallpox dramatic epidemic, most probably transmitted by Dutch traders. The populations are decimated to 95 %.
Indians were not immunized against this disease which made few victims among Europeans. This was a historical disaster for the native populations, a tragedy that brooks no comparison in the history of humanity. The Puritans however continued to believe that diseases passed on by Europeans were a plan of God, intended to help them the infidels to take up their lands.

November 7, 1634 – the Pequot send a second delegation to Boston. A treaty is concluded between Massachusetts and Indians. These accept in exchange to bring John Stone’s murderers, pay a a 250  £ allowance by wampum, give up lands in Connecticut, trade with the English and to use them as mediators in their rivalries with Narragansetts.

Being squeezed between Dutch on the West and Narragansetts in the East, the Pequot had every interest in avoiding a third enemy. This agreement was actually never confirmed, Indians objecting that the murderers of Stone were all dead or on the run.

December 16, 1634 - Governor John Harvey complains not to be able to get to Lord Baltimore desired services because of the deep hostility of the people of Virginia to Maryland. Captain Mathews is one of main leaders of this movement and the unrest caused.

King Charles had clearly ordered Virginia to assist the settlers of Maryland in their installation, thereby condemning thereby William Claiborne's illegal actions. On the hand, the people of Virginia resented that Lord Baltimore is granted so many privileges and had given their support to Claiborne. The king had tried to appeal for calm by recognizing the Kentish settlement but strong heads as captain Mathews had chosen to drive wedges.

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