Sunday, March 22, 2015

1638 - Anne Hutchinson banished from Boston

Puritan settlers at inn
January 13, 1638 - Snow has covered Boston since November and the bay is completely frozen. Early winter is once again extremely severe. An icy wind’s come up but it does not prevent about thirty people from going to Spectacle Island cut some badly needed wood. This expedition however turns to disaster. It freezes so hard that the settlers try to look for a shelter around. Some will stay outside for two days without fire nor food. They will all get home but two of them will have feet and hands frozen and a third will die.

February 28, 1638 - Governor of  Massachusetts John Winthrop writes in his diary that a boat from Bermuda arrived with a cargo of tobacco, cotton and black slaves. Captain William Pierce of Salem was coming back aboard the Desire after traveling seven months in the West Indies.

Anne Hutchinson during her trial
March 7, 1638 - Anne Hutchinson appears in Boston before the General Court of Massachusetts chaired by John Winthrop. She is accused of "betraying teaching of the ministers."

While she was 46 years old and pregnant with her fifth child, the Court kept her standing for hours during several weeks, facing the stand of her questioners. These never succeeded however, despite their stubbornness, to make her admit that she had blasphemed. They accused her of violating the fifth commandment - you honor thy father and thy mother – blaming her for wanting to deny the founding fathers of the colony and to divert women from their duties to their families. Anne Hutchinson defended herself with a determination that provoked the anger of the judges: "You have no power over my body .... And I believe with all my might that the great Jehovah will free me from your hands . ". She was accordingly convicted of heresy and of lewd conduct for organizing at home, and moreover on Sundays, meetings including  men and women. Anne Hutchinson was subsequently excommunicated from the Puritan Church.

March 22, 1638 - Anne Hutchinson is expelled from the Massachusetts Bay colony.

March 28, 1638 - Having spent winter in Bermuda, Willem Kieft, newly appointed Director General of the New Netherlands, arrives at New Amsterdam aboard the Herring to replace Woutter Van Twiller. He is accompanied with Adam Roelansten, the first schoolmaster of the colony.
Willem Kieft

Willem Kieft (Amsterdam in September, 1597 - September, 1647)  
This merchant to disputed reputation had been hanged in effigy in front of La Rochelle. He was impetuous and emphatic but some regarded him rather as a true scoundrel. He was totally without scruples and quarrelsome. Although an agitator, he corresponded, on the whole, more to what expected the Dutch Company which had sent him to New Amsterdam than Van Twiller, judged too lax and timid.
He had just landed when he was informed that Peter Minuit intended to settle a Swedish colony on the Delaware river. This situation annoyed him especially as hardly arrived, the Swedes claimed all the country west of the Delaware from Trenton Falls to Cape Henlopen. Kieft protested vigorously considering it as an invasion of the New Netherlands territory.

Willem Kieft began his governorship by concentrating in his hands all the executive power, saying that his council and himself  held a legitimacy making irrevocable their decisions. While threatening the Swedes of retaliation, he had also to take account of the grievances of the people of New Amsterdam. He found actually the public administration in a pitiful state and thought  necessary to act autocratically to end pervading confusion. He did away with abuses and a number of privileges enjoyed by the wealthiest citizens. He made restore Fort Amsterdam and build new warehouses. He also made fit out gardens instead of brambles. The police was more supervised as well as religion and morality. A large stone church was built in the fort and Minister Parson Bogardus was proud to preach in the presence of English travelers from Massachusetts and Virginia.

From 1638, the States General of Holland regained control over the Dutch West India Company what had the effect of transforming into real colony the New Netherlands that were previously only subject to a trade monopoly. The Company, however, was not willing to give up its rights and "patroons" sought to extend their privileges and exemptions by obtaining permission to further expand their vast estates and thereby enjoy a real independence. They asked to buy cheap labor and black slaves. This method resulting in concentrating all the lands in the hands of a few wealthy families, might make common people real serves what the Sates General opposed, fearing uncertain aftermath.
They decided instead to liberalize trade throughout the colony territory and to provide each new immigrant and his family a plot of land to farm in exchange for a rent of one-tenth of their crops.
This policy had the effect of providing a real boost to the prosperity of the colony. Would-be settlers flocked to Amsterdam and the Company wisely offered the trip to honorable farmers. Settlers also came from Virginia and Massachusetts because of the freedom of conscience that prevailed in the Dutch Dominions. The only requirement was that foreigners swear allegiance to the States General of Holland.
Facing an increasing land request, Kieft purchased to Indians almost all Queens County on Long Island and the lower part of Winchester County. The English had, meanwhile, begun to settle down on the fertile banks of the Housatonic River and it was obvious that they would before long intend to reach the Hudson River.

March 29, 1638 - The Swedish settlers led by Peter Minuit sail along the shores of the Delaware River in search of a suitable landing place. They cast anchor near a rocky point called Minquas Kill (present day Swede’s Landing) and decide to build a fort (Fort Christina: present-day Wilmington) named in honor of Queen Christina of Sweden. Minuit considers as a priority the place to be convenient to trade beaver pelts with Lenape Indians. 

While Dutch captain Jan Jansen who commanded Fort Nassau (located about 27 miles upstream) was visiting at the same moment Willem Kieft in New Amsterdam, his assistant Peter Mey protested against this landing and went to report to Director General. This one ordered Jansen to go back to his post as quickly as possible and to put into Peter Minuit’s hands an official protest for illegal occupation. The latter asserted that the Queen of the Swedes had as much right on the Delaware as the Dutch and had come in the same way as them to build a fort and trade with Indians.

Landing of the Swedes (Stanley M. Arthurs)
Peter Minuit was convinced that the Dutch continued to occupy the territories on the eastern shore of the Delaware while they had abandoned the west bank since the days when he had himself been Director of New Netherlands. It was thus on this side of the river that he chose to establish the settlement. He had for that to meet the Indian leaders representing Delaware and Susquehannock tribes. The meeting took place in the cabin of his ship, the Kalmar Nickel. He asked the sachems to sign the contracts he had prepared to prevent any disputes that might arise with the Dutch. The Indians, however, specified they had already sold a strip of land on the west bank of the South River (Zuyd Rivier, name given at the time to the Delaware) below Schuylkill, corresponding to an area from (present-day) Philadelphia to Maryland. Minuit’s projects were at once in jeopardy and Delaware chief Mattahorn declared at the end of the meeting, "the Swedes had purchased a land a territory bounded by "six trees" and had stolen the rest".
They were only a small group of 26 men, without women nor children to have made the trip. Actually, this colony of New Sweden took place a bit late. The Dutch and the English had already claimed all the neighboring territories. Fort Nassau, which was not far, gave proof of the Dutch occupation. The English presence was less obvious even if Charles 1 had granted in 1634 to Sir Edmund Plowden a vast tract of land called New Albion that covered all the region. The English had moreover built a fort at Erriwoneck, in the Schuylkill mouth before the Swedes arrived.

April 3, 1638 - Banished from the Massachusetts Bay colony after officially supporting Anne Hutchinson, John Wheelwright founds Exeter in New Hampshire.

He settled down with some friends in the Piscataqua region, 50 miles north of Boston where he acquired rights on the Indian village of Squamscott held by the Pennacook Sagamore of Wehanownouit and his son. 

April 4, 1638 - The English government decides in favour of Maryland in the territorial dispute opposing it to Virginia and William Claiborne. The latter loses the rights that he claims on Kent Island.

April 1638 - William Coddington leads a group of exiles from Boston to Providence, Roger Williams’ settlement. He buys Aquidneck Island to Narragansett Indians and founds with Anne Hutchinson the village of Pocasset (present-day Portsmouth).
Before they left Boston on March 7, the settlers have all signed the Portsmouth Compact, a document drafted in Boston by a group of women faithful to Anne Hutchinson specifying the Christian but non-sectarian character of the community.

William Coddington (1601-1678)
William Coddington (1601 - 1 November 1678) 
Hailing from Boston, Lincolnshire, he emigrated to New England in 1630 with the first convoy chartered by the Massachusetts Bay Company. He distinguished himself in 1637 by his religious disagreements with the Puritan authorities and flashed his support to Anne Hutchinson. He chose to move from Boston to Rhode Island with Dr. John Clarke after she was banished from Massachusetts.

Both banished from the Massachusetts colony, religious dissident Anne Hutchinson and her husband, purchased a land to Naragansetts on which they based a democratic community that would take the name of Portsmouth.
She organized twice a week women's meetings there, denouncing members of the church of Massachusetts, whom she accused of favoring saving by the works to the saving by the grace, denying women to have their place in matters of church and to have been unjustly 
condemned for heresy and revolt.
First Sunday at New Haven

April 4, 1638 - a group of 500 English settlers led by Rev. John Davenport and merchant Theophilus Eaton found New Haven on the south coast of New England. They conclude a treaty with the local Qinnipiack tribe, promising to grant them protection. The leaders of the new colony claim a particularly stiff and intolerant Puritanism.

Rev. John Davenport (c. 1670)

John Davemport (April 9, 1597 - May 30, 1670) 
Born in Coventry, Warwickshire, he came from a wealthy family. A clothier, his father was also mayor of the city as had been before him his grandfather. His mother Winifred Barnaby was, for her part, descendant of William 1 of Scotland and Henry 1 of England. He studied at Oxford University of , attending Merton et Magdalen Colleges without getting all his degrees. After serving as a chaplain in Hilton Castle, he became minister of St. Stephen, Coleman Street, London and returned in 1625 for completing his studies at Oxford.
He decided to leave the official church in 1633 after a disagreement on welcoming the poor in religious congregations and chose to move to Holland. He got four years later the right to found a colony in Massachusetts and took the boat to Boston together with people of his movement.

Theophilus Eaton (1590 – January 7, 1658) 
From Stony Stratford in Buckinghamshire, he married in second wedding Ann Yale, daughter of George Lloyd, Bishop of Chester. He served for several years as an agent of King Charles 1 in Denmark before becoming a merchant in London. He was since involved in the colonial adventure and expressed his attraction to Puritan ideas. It is from this perspective that he was among the founders of the Massachusetts Bay Company, the first president of which he had particularly been honored to become. He moved to New England aboard the Hector and arrived in Boston on June 26, 1637. He then joined the group of John Davenport with whom he decided to establish a new settlement in Connecticut due to a bad relationship with John Winthrop, governor of Massachusetts Bay.

April 13, 1638 - the Province of Maryland commissions Thomas Cornwallis to capture all those who will trade illegally with Indians and seize their ships and goods. 

Governor of Maryland Leonard Calvert prohibited Virginians from trading in Chesapeake Bay and sent an expedition to Kent Island commanded by Captain Thomas Cornwallis to chase away William Claiborne’s supporters. The latter was captured and some of his companions were even hanged up.

Thomas Cornwallis (c. 1605-1675) was one of the first commissioners of Maryland and its captain during the years following its founding. He was the second son of Sir Charles Cornwallis Beeston of Norfolk, and the brother of writer William Cornwallis. He was, like the members of his family, a strong supporter of the Catholic religion and found for that reason involved in the colonization project led by George Calvert, Lord Baltimore. He accompanied his son Leonard Calvert in 1634 to America and became one of his chief advisers.
William Claiborne
April 15, 1638 - The Director General and Council of New Netherlands prohibit residents of the colony, free men or servants any private fur trade. The offenders will be seized goods and wages.

This ban occurred as an unbridled competition jeopardized the interests of the company, with pelts of much better quality.

May 6, 1638 - Governor of New Amsterdam Willem Kieft sends to Peter Minuit a protest letter against the settlement of the colony of New Sweden, reminding him that the whole river south of the New Netherlands has belonged for several years to the Dutch.

May, 1638 - Further to his defeat on Kent Island, William Claiborne receives, following the advice of his old friend Maurice Thomson, a mandate from the Providence Land Company, the mission of which is to create a new colony on the island of Ruatan off Honduras, in the Caribbean Sea. 

Honduras depended, at the time, on the Kingdom of Guatemala and the Spanish trading posts occupied a wide part of Central America. Optimistic, Claiborne named his new colony Rich Island but the Spanish power was too strong in the area and it was destroyed in 1642.

May 10, 1638 - John Johnson, a black slave having reached the end of his contract is granted a 500 acre-land in Northampton County, Virginia.

May 14, 1638 - An earthquake strikes Plymouth for the first time.

May, 1638 - The soldier Gerrit Jansen is fatally stabbed during a brawl; he is the first victim of a manslaughter listed in New Amsterdam.

May 31, 1638 – Rev. Thomas Hooker declares before the General Court of Connecticut that God gave the people the right to choose its own magistrates. Although he does not think of the separation of Church and State, preferring the independent style of his congregation to the hierarchical structure of the Presbyterian governance, he wants the voting right practiced in agreement with God's will, a design that will deserve him to be later dubbed "the father of the American democracy".

June 5, 1638 - Thomas Prence is appointed governor of Plymouth. It is the second time that he is at the head of the colony.

June 5, 1638 – Founding of the city of Taunton in the colony of Plymouth. Seven families will be counted at the end of the year.

Model of Fort Christina
June 15, 1638 - Once the works of Fort Christiana completed, Peter Minuit leaves " New Sweden " for Stockholm to pick a second group of settlers. Lieutenant Mauno Kling is appointed as acting governor until the arrival of the next one. 

Peter Minuit stopped in the Caribbean to get back a loading of tobacco intended to pay off the costs of his journey. But he was caught in a hurricane off the coasts of St Christopher, shortly after he left for Europe. His ship and the crew were swept away in the storm, killing all on board.

August 1, 1638 - the Dutch West India Company purchases the site of Bushwick (now part of Brooklyn) to Keskeachquerem Indians in exchange for axes, kettles, knives and clothes.

The Company designed to sell land in plots kept for tobacco planting. Ryken Abraham was the first settler to purchase a parcel. Others soon followed and black slaves were used on it from the end of the year.

August 3, 1638 - A hurricane strikes the coast of Massachusetts and especially the Boston area. Two other storms will hit New England October 5 and 19, this year.

August 9, 1638 - Swedish Jonas Bronck bases a farm on the banks of the Harlem River, an area that will later become the Bronx.

Indians had given him that land in exchange for "two guns, two kettles, two coats, two shirts, two adzes, a cider barrel and ten coins."

John Harvard (1607-1638)
September, 1638 - The people of Mattacheese (Yarmouth) are mentioned for the first time.

September, 1638 - In Plymouth, Arthur Peach, Thomas Jackson and Richard Stinnings are convinced of the murder of an Indian, Penowanyanquis, and sentenced to hang. It is the second time that capital punishment takes place in the colony.

September 14, 1638 - Young English minister John Harvard dies of tuberculosis at the age 31,  hardly 12 months after his arrival in the colony of Massachusetts Bay, bequeathing half of his library and a 800-£ sum to the "seminar" opened in 1636.

His family had died of this disease, leaving to John Harvard the property of most of its domain. The city of Newtown on Charles River was accordingly to become Cambridge because he was graduate of its University. The General Court of Massachusetts ordered the next year to name Harvard the college to be built in Cambridge. 

September 21, 1638 - the Treaty of Hartford marks the end of the war against the Pequots. It is jointly signed by the settlers of Connecticut, the Narragansetts represented by their sachem Miantonomo and the Mohegans who undertake besides to live together in everlasting peace.

The survivors of the tribe were distributed as slaves among the allied Indians: 80 go to Uncas and Mohegans, 80 to Miantonomo and Narragansetts, 20 to Ninigret and Niantics.
The Pequots no longer have the right to live on their territory.
The use of the Pequot name was now prohibited, the Pequot slaves having to take the name of the tribe where they were placed.

Miantonomo (1565? - August, 1643) leader of the Narragansetts, he was the nephew of Sachem Canonicus. He maintained friendly relations with the Massachusetts ,Rhode Island and Connecticut settlersbut his unclear attitude at the outbreak of the Pequot War forced him to go personally to Boston to prove his loyalty. He allowed thereafter John Mason and his troops to cross his territories.

October 4 1638 - Governor of Virginia John Harvey decrees that trading with Maryland Indians will now be banned north of a line going from Wiconowe River (commonly called Anancock) to the eastern edge of Chesapeake Bay, without the prior concurrence of Lord Baltimore.

October 8, 1638 - After several months of open dicussion, William Arnold and eleven others are given by Roger Williams a deed for Pawtuxet, a land he bought to Canonicus and Miantonomo, the 2 Narragansett leaders.

William Arnold (Ilchester (Somerset) - Providence,1587) 
Born in a family of wealthy landowners from Somerset, he left Dartmouth to New England where he arrived with his wife and children on September 14, 1635. He was first settled in Hingham, Massachusetts, but moved quickly to Providence to join the new plantation founded by Roger Williams. He was part of the 12 founding members of the First Baptist Church of America without ceasing to keep close relationship with the Massachusetts government.

October, 1638 - Governor of Virginia John Harvey, confirms the opinion delivered last April by the English government which considered that William Claiborne had no right on Kent Island, property of the Province of Maryland. 

In reply, Claiborne sent George Scovell to recover if possible a part of the seized territory but his request was rejected by the Court of Justice of Maryland. It was considered that archbishop William Laud’s decision left no room for disputes because it had been taken in all impartiality.

While these proceedings dragged on, the Jesuits that had made come Lord Baltimore had started their missionary work. They had already converted many Indians among whom Tayac, the leader of the Piscataquas who had so been baptized as well as several members of his family and the people of Port Tobacco.

November 14, 1638 - Theophilus Eaton and the representatives of the New Haven colony sign an agreement with Quinnipiack leader Momauquin,  by which they undertake to protect his people against his traditional Mohawk and Pequot foes while he gives them in return his rights, positions and interests on the territories where both parties will accept to live without hatred nor hostility.

The Mohawks and the Pequots had virtually crushed the Indians of New Haven, leaving only 40 survivors and it is one of reasons why Théophilus Eaton and his companions made the commitment to protect them. In consideration for the lands given up by the Indians, the settlers offered them coats, hatchets, knives and crockery but also seeds and the right to go hunting freely.

December 6, 1638 - Dorothy Talbye of Salem is hanged in Boston for the murder of his 3-year-old daughter.

During a crisis of dementia, Dorothy Talbye, who had been sentenced a few months earlier for violence against her husband, had killed in November his three-year-old daughter, obeying according to her, Satan's order. She did not show cooperative during her trial, refusing to speak to the point that John Winthrop threatened her to pile stones on her breast until she plead guilty. She refused nevertheless to regret and was sentenced to death. The day of her execution, she struggled as she could, removed the cap that hid her head and tried to run away by the ladder.

Regarding murder, the American colonial rule followed the English custom foundations of which were essentially biblical. In the Bible, the punishment for a crime was inevitably death. The Massachusetts law thus referred to the Books of Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers that offered no alternative. Dorothy Talbye's trial further demonstrates that there was then no distinction between the treatment of an obviously irresponsible woman and a normal criminal. The fact that governor John Winthrop haDs himself acknowledged that she " was possessed by Satan " did not allow her to escape the death penalty.

December 12, 1638 - the ship Desire captained by William Pierce arrives at Boston bringing slaves from Barbados.

It was not the first time when Pierce was engaged in this kind of trade. He was endorsed by the Boston authorities which found there the opportunity to get rid of unwanted Indians like Pequots by exchanging them in Bermuda for African slaves.

December, 1638 - Sentenced to leave Plymouth because of his religious beliefs, Samuel Gorton settles down on Aquidneck Island, Rhode Island.

With the arrival of winter, his wife and children were allowed to stay in Plymouth the time for him to get a new home.

Samuel Gorton (1592-1677)
Born near Manchester, Lancashire, he received from his parents a solid education through private tutors who moreover taught him Greek and Hebrew. He was subsequently able to study the original biblical texts and make his own interpretation.
Fearing persecution because of his personal religious beliefs, he moved late 1636 to Boston with his family. Just arrived in Massachusetts, he found that the land run by the Puritans had nothing different from what he had left. His radical political and religious ideas as well as his outspokenness quickly earned him the wrath of the Government. Courteous man, Gorton had an open mind but did not hesitate to speak out loudly and clearly his opinions.
He defended vigorously the separation of church and state as well as the right to practice one’s religion. He also fought slavery and was the advocate of equal rights for women. The government of Boston did all what it could to to get rid of him and his followers, the Gortonits. He was imprisoned in particular on the pretext that his wife had smiled at church. Driven out of Boston, he moved then to Plymouth where he took part in the life of the community and helped during the Pequot War. But the difference of his religious views eventually opposed him to local authorities who summoned him before the Court. He proved so untractable and offensive to the judges that they gave him 14 days to leave Plymouth with his family.
He moved in December, 1638 to Aquidneck Island, near Portsmouth, Rhode Island. 

December, 1638 - Théophilus Eaton buys to Monotowese, the son of the chief of Marrabesech of vast tract of land for the benefit of the New Haven colony. It is about 10 miles long and 13 wide 15 km long on 20 wide. The English offer in exchange coats, seeds and water hunting right waters to the Indians whose tribe is  only represented by a dozen families.

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