Monday, April 6, 2015

1640 - The Pig War

New Amsterdam c. 1640
January, 1640 - Director General of New Amsterdam Willem Kieft purchases a large part of the future Queens County territory.

During the year, Kieft bought to Indians all the islands near Norwalk and further west, lands matching present-day Westchester County on which he made raise the flag of the States General of Holland. The settlers of New England hardly stood the conciliatory attitude of the Indians and the Dutch claims. Pirates come from Connecticut brought down the flag and mocked the authorities of New Amsterdam but they soon learned that Kieft was not a compromising man.
The government of New Netherlands put an end to these provocations and demanded colonists who settled down on these new lands to swear allegiance to the States General.
Kieft also pursued a tough policy towards the Indian tribes who tried to rise up against the Dutch. By favoring besides the Mohawks who lived at the edge of Fort Orange, he excited the jealousy of the Indians settled along the Hudson. This hostility was moreover fueled by dishonest merchants who sold them liquors and took advantage of them when they were drunk.


Staten Island
Kieft’s greed being the measure of his sense of justice, he made sure that trades were closely controlled, requiring in return that the Indians would pay a contribution for furs, corn and wampum, but when these were forced to drop off expensive presents at the “oppressor’s”  feet, they left with the feeling of being betrayed by the Dutch.
Kieft understood that revolt was brooding and his fears aroused his cruelty. He sought to incriminate those he had deceived by charging shamelessly Raritan Indians of New Jersey with the theft of hogs which he knew that it was actually the work of white settlers, triggering what would later be known as the Pig War.


January, 1640 - Governor Francis Wyatt summons up the general assembly of Virginia to find a solution to the renewal of the royal charter, a subject that causes quite stir through the colony.

George Sandys was chosen in England to represent Virginia and deliver petitions to the king. But Charles received them only in the fall, at a moment when he was totally engaged in the war opposing him to the Parliamentarians. Lest the king was beaten, Sandys relied on the Parliament on behalf of the Adventurers and Planters of Virginia  and obtained from  it the Charter to be renewed under the seal of England. But the turn of events did not however give value to the act.
George Sandys

George Sandys (March 2, 1578 - March, 1644)
 English traveler and poet, he was the youngest son of the Archbishop of York Edwin Sandys. He studied at St Mary Hall, Oxford but left without degree. He travelled then through Europe, visiting France, Italy, up to Constantinople. He went also to Egypt, Palestine and Cyprus. His travelogue published in 1615 is moreover a contribution to the geographical and ethnological knowledge of these countries. He also showed a significant interest for the colonization of America and became as such a treasurer of the Virginia Company of London. He went to Virginia in 1621 together with his niece’s husband, new governor Francis Wyatt. He became a member of council of the colony but strove without success as secretary of the new Commission for the improvement of plantations established in 1631. Shortly after, he preferred to go back to England.
From his extensive  literary work, one retains especially his translation of the Metamorphoses of Ovide completed in 1626.


March 8, 1640 - In a letter to John WinthropRoger Williams complains about the behavior of Samuel Gorton, arrived in the early year at Providence after being excluded from Portsmouth. 

Roger Williams who was known as a tolerant man, ready to welcome dissidents of all kinds, could not bear Samuel Gorton’s standing arrogance. He accused  him of turning upside down Providence as he had done previously at Portsmouth due to what he called his incivilities and his inhuman practices. Williams threatened even to leave himself Providence if Gorton came to settle there permanently.


March 12, 1640 - In Rhode Island, the villages of Newport and Pocasset respectively founded by William Coddington and Anne Hutchinson choose to merge.

April 9, 1640 - Edward Hopkins becomes the second governor of Connecticut.

Edward Hopkins (Shrewsbury, 1600- London, March, 1657)
This rich merchant of London was born in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.Very close to John Davenport, he had decided to accompany him to New England and was present at the foundation of the colony of New Haven. He preferred in 1639 to settle down in Hartford where he was quickly chosen as governor of the colony. He will later hold this position several times, alternating with John Haynes. He returned definitively to England in 1655 further to the death of his older brother. He bequeathed his death most of his lands in New England to the schools of Hartford and New Haven

April, 1640 - The General Court of Virginia takes legal action against Sir John Harvey after he has to give up his governor's place for the benefit of Sir Francis Wyatt at the end of the previous year. This one aims at satisfying his many creditors by promising them the sale of his properties.

After being relieved of his duties, John Harvey who did not already enjoy great popularity within the colony saw befalling him a whole series of difficulties. His Charles River and Jamestown properties were sold and if he was at first allowed to keep the usufruct of his house, he found shortly after placed under arrest in the fort of Point Comfort. He managed however to send a letter to the king describing the ill-treatment he had suffered because of his infirmities. Charles ordered him repatriated to England to share his grievances.

April 17, 1640- Newly appointed governor of the colony of New Sweden Peter Hollander Ridder arrives at Port Christina, on the banks of the Delaware, after a particularly trying 2-month journey. Among the passengers is Peter Gunnarsson Rambo, a 28-year-old single man.

Peter Hollander Ridder (1608-1692)
He was the son of a Dutch immigrant in Finland. He served in Swedish Navy until he was named governor of New Sweden. After a difficult journey aboard the Kalmar Nyckel, he landed in the colony with a handful of immigrants. He rushed upon his arrival to write to Admiral Fleming and Chancellor Oxenstierna requesting them to send new settlers and competent workers. The message will be heard.
He purchased new lands to the Indians Lenape between Schuykill and the Falls of Delaware. He returned permanently to Sweden after completing his mandate.

May, 1640 - Thomas Dudley is elected governor of the Massachusetts Bay colony.

He  had previously held that position from 1634 to 1635. Rival of John Winthrop since their arrival in 1630, he has always been in favor of a rigid and intolerant religious line, not hesitating to exclude from the colony, all those he considers as heretics, including even famous Puritans such as John Cotton. Winthrop was instead a supporter of flexibility even though he had been primarily responsible for Anne Hutchinson's banishment.

May, 1640 - a group of English colonists comes to settle down on a land close to the present town of Hempstead bought to the Indians by Daniel How. Director Willem Kieft orders them to vacate the premises.

They moved to Southampton where they agreed with the Indians for the purchase of a new land where they began to settle in December.


June, 1640 - William Bradford is elected governor of the Plymouth colony. It is the 14th time he holds that office

June 25, 1640 - a provincial Court moves to York, Maine, in order to make this territory an independent entity.

June 30, 1640 - the General Court of Virginia decides to allow John Mattrom and Edward Fleet to form a company of men in Charles River's county and to provide them with weapons and ammunitions to pursue black runaway servants and bring them to the governor.

Baptism of Tayac Kittamaquund
July, 5 1640 - Piscataway leader (tayac) Kittamaquund (? - 1641), his wife and their daughters are baptized in St Mary’s City by Jesuit father Andrew White. Governor Leonard Calvert and Maryland officials attend the ceremony.

Kittamaquund took Charles's Christian name and his wife that of Mary. Other Piscataway chiefs became Christians the same day. Kittamaquund, whose tribe was divided on both sides of Chesapeake Bay, had become Tayac of the Piscataway after killing his brother Wannas whom he suspected of wanting to lead his people in a war against the settlers. Despite criticisms, Kittamaquund built bonds of good neighborhood with Marylanders and was increasingly seen as a wise man. He had met Jesuit priest White in 1639 and befriended this man who spoke his language and it is after being healed thanks to him of a disease against which traditional Indian medicine proved ineffective that he decided to be learned in Christianity. His daughter, Princess Mary would marry deputy governor Giles Brent in 1644.

July 9, 1640 - by decision of the General Court of Virginia, 3 servants who escaped from Hugh Gwyn's plantation are brought from Maryland and sentenced to 30 lashes. The first two are a Dutch and a Scotsman. They see their four-year extended indentures. The third, who is a black named John Punch is condemned to remain the rest of his life in the service of his master. He somehow becomes the first African slave for life of the colony. 

At that time, Virginia had approximately 150 black people. This decision was raught with consequences insofar as it formalized a difference in treatment between whites and blacks.

Willem Kieft
July 16, 1640 - Beginning of the Pig War. Governor Willem Kieft falsely accuses the Raritan Indians to be responsible for a theft of hogs on Staten Island. He sends to punish them a 100-armed men company, convinced that a display of force will be enough to intimidate them.

Several of them were killed what caused the anger of neighboring tribes. They refused to pay their tribute and the Raritans killed all the Dutch who ventured into the forests of New Jersey. They also destroyed the peaceful establishment of Staten Island. They had accordingly a price on their head and Kieft attempted to mobilize the people of New Amsterdam. He clashed however with the hostility of the settlers who had no wish to make war on the Indians and upbraided him soon, in addition to his greed, for being the source of all their troubles.

July 18, 1640 : Captain Daniel Patrick (a former officer of the militia of Massachusetts known for having trained Dutch soldiers in Holland), Robert Feak and his wife Elizabeth buy the rights on a land named Mankewego (Sound Beach) to sachem May Mayano, leader of the Siwanoy tribe. They found the village of Greenwich at the border of New Netherland.


The purchasers formed at least a curious mixture. Capt Daniel Patrick was regarded as an adventurist. He had got fired  from Massachusetts for bad behavior, in particular toward women; Robert Feake was a gentleman but, in contrast, suffered from certain mental disorder. As for his wife, Elizabeth, she was none other than the niece of Governor John Winthrop.

July 22, 1640 - 6 white servants and a black fugitive appear before the judges the Court General of Virginia after having been caught running away. Several years are added to their indentures but two of them are also condemned to have their cheeck branded with the letter R while the black runaway named Emanuel and a white servant are sentenced to work for one year with a leg shackle.

August, 1640 - Following the request sent to the king by George Donne of Virginia asking him to come to the aid of former governor John Harvey, Charles 1 orders John West, Sam. Martthews, William Pierce and Georges Menefie to come to England to explain before the Star Chamber. Although the royal directive forces them to take the first boat, it will remain dead letter.


September 8, 1640 - former Governor of Maine Rev. George Burdett appears before the General Court met in Saco under the chairmanship of Thomas Gorges. He is accused of adultery and miscellaneous offences since, while removed in 1638 by the intervention of Captain John Underhill, he has settled down to Agamaneticus (York) where he continues to rule and preach.

It was in Saco that had been established since March 10 the Maine provincial Court for the prosecution of justice.
Thomas Gorges, nephew of Sir Ferdinando Gorges had arrived to Boston in mid-summer where he had been pretty well received by Governor John Winthrop, decided to help him in the procedure for dismissing George Burdett, with the second thought of getting rid of a man who maintained slightly too close relationship with the most hated Archbishop of Canterbury William Laud. He knew that Burdett had already complained in intercepted mails sent to England about the Massachusetts’ tricks to snap up Maine
Burdett was convicted of adultery with two women of Agamenticus (present York), Mary Paddingtion and Ruth Gouch. He was sentenced to pay a £ 30 fine and his livestock was confiscated by Thomas Gorges. Blindsided, he went back permanently to England


October 17, 1640 - A white man named Robert Sweat and a black woman are convicted for fornication by the General Court of Virginia. The woman will be whipped whereas the man should do public penance in the church of James City.

Accawmack County
December, 1640 - In Virginia, the Accwmacks who live scattered at the tip of the Delmarva peninsula are grouped in a 1500-acre land which represents actually the first official Indian reserve. Accawmack County has at that time approximately 700 settlers.

December 9, 1640 - Hugh Bewitt is banned from Massachusetts 
colony for having declared himself free of original sin.

1640 - Governor of Virginia Francis Wyatt issues a decree restricting tobacco growing to a thousand plants. He insists however that the planters produce more corns.
They are about 8 000 colonists in Virginia while the Indians of the former Powhatan Confederation do not exceed any more 5000 when they were 6 times more at the time of the arrival of the English in 1607.

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