Wednesday, May 6, 2015

1643 - The United Colonies of New England

February 15 1643- Both ships Fam and Swanen reach the New Sweden colony with new immigrants and the royal governor Johan Printz, appointed a few months earlier.

The Pavonia Massacre
February 25, 1643 - Despite the opinion delivered the previous year by the Council of Twelve Men, Director of New Netherlands Willem Kieft decides to attack the Natives by sending soldiers to Pavonia (present-day Jersey City) and Corlear's Hook.

The 129 Dutch soldiers massacred 110 Indians including women and children. Maryn Andriansen was sent to Corlear's Hook with a group of militiamen while Sergeant Rudolf and his soldiers left Fort Amsterdam to attack the village of Pavonia. Kieft's orders were to kill all warriors and to seize women and children but only Andriansen followed the instructions. At Pavonia, Rudolf and his party slew all Indians after surprising them in their sleep. Some Wecquaesgeek managed to escape to Fort Amsterdam but they were all killed in cold blood and their bodies thrown into the Hudson. Although he had seen his house previously destroyed by the Raritan, De Vries saved some Indians and sent them to hide in the forest. Andriansen made 31 victims and brought 30 prisoners while Rudolf made none but had 80 Indians killed whose heads were carried  to the fort. Despite these inglorious actions, both officers were thanked and rewarded by the governor who took the opportunity to seize crops to Metoac on Long Island.

Fort Amsterdam in Kieft's days
It’s been a few years that the war was brewing between the Indian tribes and the settlers. The personality of Kieft himself was no stranger to the tension which had not stopped rising because of his greed. He had in particular increased his profits by taxing the Lenape on the pretext of improving their safety. On the other hand, quarrels were common between the Dutch and their Wappani neighbors. Finally, the death of wheelwright Claes Switts, killed by an Indian, further angered the settlers as his tribe had not wanted to give him. And personally, a little bloodshed did not displease Kieft, fortified by the 800 inhabitants of New Amsterdam.

 March, 1643 - Roger Williams, the founder of Providence, leaves for England with the aim to be granted a charter for his Rhode Island Plantation.

March 2, 1643 – In a letter written to John Winthrop, the governor of Massachusetts, a group of puritan settlers from Nansemond County, Virginia ask him to send them ministers for worship.

These arrived well to Jamestown but the government refused any difference in the practices of the Church of England. Governor William Berkeley urged the House to pass a law against the dissenters so that, in spite of their popularity, the ministers were ousted from Virginia.

Mars 1643 - William Bradford is re-elected governor of the Plymouth Colony.

March 21, 1643 - Mary Latham and James Britton are hanged in Plymouth after being convicted for adultery.

Mary Latham was eighteen years old when she had reluctantly married an old man. This flighty young woman preferred the company of boys of her age and competed in recklessness when she was caught red-handed in adultery with a man named James Britton. The puritan law punishing for death this kind of fault, she benefited from no mitigating circumstance and was sentenced to hanging with her lover.
..."The woman proved very penitent, and had deep apprehension of the foulness of her sin, and at length attained to hope of pardon by the blood of Christ, and was willing to die in satisfaction to justice. The man also was very much cast down for his sins, but was loth to die, and petitioned the general court for his life, but they would not grant it, though some of the magistrates spake much for it; and questioned the letter whether adultery was death by God’s law now.* This Britton had been a professor in England, but coming hither he opposed our church government, etc., and grew dissolute, losing both power and profession of godliness"...
(John Winthrop, Journal)

Spring, 1643 - Deserting the colony of New Sweden on the Delaware, several settlers take refuge in New Netherland.

Governor Johan Printz sent his agents to get them back under a deal between the Swedish and Dutch colonies stating that deserters would be returned. The fugitives were captured by Dutch soldiers 30 miles from New Amsterdam after being found by Indians who were promised a reward. Prisoners were shackled and escorted to New Sweden.

The Swedish settlers had no right to trade with the Dutch and the Indians, this privilege accruing to the Company of New Sweden. With few exceptions, they had to sell their products exclusively to the Company at the price set by it and got supplies only from it. The sale of weapons and ammunition was strictly prohibited although Governor Johan Printz provided shamelessly the neighboring Indians.

April, 1643 - For fear of Indians and Dutch attacks, the towns of Guilford and Stamford, recently founded in Western Connecticut, form a union with the colony of New Haven.

April 7, 1643 - George Cleeve from Casco, Maine and Alexander Rigby, a rich merchant of London buy the Lygonia Plantation, a land that was until then subject of a charter known as Patent of the  Plough coming under a huge territory granted to Sir Ferdinando Gorges.

George Cleeve (c. 1586 - after 1666) 
Considered as the founder of Portland, Maine. He  was from 1643 deputy president of the Province of Lygonia.
Born in Stogursey, Somerset he arrived in New England in 1630 where he first moved to Spurwink (near Cape Elizabeth) then to Portland from 1632.
Sir Ferdinando Gorges granted him as well as his partner Richard Tucker a 1500 acre-land but Cleeve spent 
then most of his time to challenge to the governor of Maine ownership of the territory located north of Cape Porpoise, due to his status as deputy president of the Province of Lygonia. He created a Provincial Court at Casco in 1644.

Christopher Levett (York, 1586 – aboard the Porcupine, Atlantic ocean, 1630) 
Writer, captain and explorer, he was “His Majesty Woodward of Somersetshire” but also a member of the Council for New England. He was therefore granted by King James 6000 acres of land to found a settlement in Maine. He had been the first to settle on the site he had given the name of York (present-day Portland Harbor) where he had built a stone house and spent winter 1623-24 with people of his company, all Yorkshiremen. Eager to find funding for the project to found a city at Quack near Casco, Levett had set sail in spring to England, leaving behind a small 10-men garrison. He had finally never returned to America and it is unknown what happened to the group stayed on place.

In 1628, an unscrupulous merchant named Walter Bagnall, called " Great Walt " because of his size, settled in a hut near Spurwink not far from Richmond Island and supplied brandy and cheap junk to the Indians in exchange for quality fur.
 George Cleeve and his family arrived at that time not far from there, at Machigonne, where would later raise the city of Portland. One year before, a group of religious fanatics, the Husbandmen, had received from Sir Ferdinando Gorges a charter known as the Parent of the Plough (from the name of their boat), for the Sagadahoc colony. Disappointed with the place, they had preferred to disperse in other colonies.  Both ambitious and unscrupulous, Cleeve managed to endear himself to Sir Ferdinando, the owner of the province of Maine, and to become from 1635 deputy governor on the basis of false accusations against his predecessors. Stripped of his post once the deceit out, Cleeve returned to London and found a protector in the person of colonel Alexander Rigby, a wealthy merchant who had acquired the Patent of the Plough renamed Province of Lygonia. Cleeve became the deputy president and back to Casco, he summoned in 1644 his first Court, claiming his authority over the territory from Sagadahock to Cape Porpoise. A series of quarrels would arise between Cleeve and Gorges officers which were completed before the Courts of London and Boston. Rigby won his case and Cleeve enjoyed a time his status as governor of Lygonia. But after the death of Rigby occurred in 1650, Massachusetts would assert rights in Maine after an interpretation of its founding charter.

John Haynes
April 9, 1643 - John Haynes is elected governor of Connecticut. He holds this position for the third time.

April 15, 1643 - Forced to leave to England, Governor of Maryland Leonard Calvert appoints Giles Brent, deputy governor, to replace him during his absence.

Giles Brent (1600-1672) was the youngest son of Sir Richard Brent, Lord of Lark Stoke and Admington, Gloucestershire. Little was known about him before he arrived in 1637 in Maryland with his brother and two sisters whose Margaret, a resolutely single woman who was to become a figurehead of St Mary's City. His family got closer to Governor Leonard Calvert and Brent quickly became an important political and economic figure of the province. He received a domain on Kent Island where he established an important plantation and was granted a land of 60 acres in St Mary's county that he called the White House.
He held then various positions, becoming from 1639 successively councilor, treasurer, commander of the island, judge and member of the Maryland Assembly. When Leonard Calvert had to leave the colony for England, Brent assumed from then the duties of governor, lieutenant-general and Admiral of Maryland. Despite his apparent success, he was however to be convinced of treachery and forced to emigrate to Virginia.

 April 15, 1643 - Captain Ridder, former governor of New Sweden leaves the colony and returns permanently to Finland.

April, 1643 - further to the Pavonia and Corlear Hook massacres, the Canarsee hook the Hackensack and Tappan into making peace with Governor Willem Kieft but this one proves particularly stingy during the exgchange of gifts. The Dutch conclude on the other hand a treaty with the Mohawks at Fort Orange.

Kieft’s stinginess was hardly appreciated by Chief Pacham who sent his warriors attack three Dutch boats, killing nine people.

May, 1643 - Governor Johan Printz strengthens the defenses of New Sweden. He has just built a fort named Elfborg (near present-Salem)

Its garrison consisted of 13 men under Sven Skute's command. The biggest cannon was positioned towards the river and all vessels sailing in this area were forced to fly their flag to be allowed to pass.
Printz made at the same time build a second fort called New Gothenburg on Tinicum Island, near the place where he had chosen to build his residence.

May 5, 1643- Governor John Winthrop pays 50 £ the coming of blacksmiths from England in Massachusetts. The first ironworks are set up at Braintree.

All the tools used by the settlers were until then imported from England and when ended the Great Migration of the 1630s, maritime traffic between both continents experienced a significant decrease causing the rise in the prices of supplies. John Winthrop, Jr. the governor’s son, got involved in the development of metallurgical industry in the colony. He had studied law at Trinity College, Dublin but also sciences and more particularly medicine and metallurgy. He had in 1641 made the trip to England to find investors and created for that purpose the Company of Undertakers of the Iron Works in New England. During his journey in Europe, he had also traveled to Hamburg, The Hague and Brussels. It is certainly in this last place that he was made familiar with a very sophisticated Walloon process of indirect iron refining, to be 
later introduced on his return in New England at Braintree and Saugus. After an awkward introduction, production really started in 1646.

May 19, 1643 - In Boston, representatives of Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, Connecticut and New Haven form a confederation known as the United Colonies of New England.
It is especially designed to organize a mutual defense. It is about to overcome the military deficiencies highlighted during the Pequot war (1636-1638) and to guard against the Dutch raids. The confederation is headed by 8 commissioners at the rate of two per colony who have authority to declare the war, offensively as much as defensively. The cost of military operations will be proportionally distributed between colonies. The new commissioners are also in charge of Indian Affairs, search for the fugitives and settlement of disputes between colonies.

June 2, 1643 - Sachems of Shawomet Pumham and Sacononoco (Rhode Island) come to Boston to complain about not having been consulted in the sale of the land of Warwick between Miantonomo and Samuel Gorton, considering it as their property.

Knowing the deep tensions that prevailed between Samuel Gorton and the Puritans, they asked to go under the authority of Massachusetts. The general Court took a positive view of their request by sending an armed militia to arrest Gorton and his followers but the case went to get bogged down in quarrels of procedures.

 June 5, 1643 - a storm hits Essex County, Massachusetts.

 June, 1643 - John Winthrop keeps his position as governor of Massachusetts Bay.

June, 1643 - Charles de Saint Etienne de La Tour, a French nobleman settled in New France, lands in Boston intending to get John Winthrop's support in his conflict against Governor of Acadia Charles de Menou d’Aulnay.

La Tour was a colorful, catholic character and his thunderous coming to Boston excited the curiosity of a puritan population naturally suspicious towards French people. His misbehavior to d’Aulnay had earned him few threats from the king of France but stubborn, La Tour continued to claim that he held the rights on the province. He had already sent in Boston his lieutenant Nicolas Gargot of La Rochelle to seek help from the English colony but the mission was unsuccessful
La Tour met personally John Winthrop and John Cotton. He managed to convince them both to rent him four well-armed vessels to go regaining his rights. John Endicott thought however that, unlike d’Aulnay, La Tour was not a right-hand man and there was no reason for giving in to his request. Winthrop poorly supported contradiction but eventually recognized some ingenuity on his part and stood with Endicott. But La Tour had meanwhile taken advantage of the General Court hesitancy to leave with the promised boats. The matter complicated, however, for him. Despite the intercession of his wife who would make the round trip to London to find only a weak support in his favor, La Tour failed in the face of d’Aulnay and returned hastily to Boston, leaving 45 of his men. His sudden arrival was far to be well received while d’Aulnay was now entitled to request compensation to Boston for providing logistical support to his rival. The episode found its conclusion by a treaty and a small gift, a sedan chair offered to John Winthrop and which he got rid ever more freely than he thought it useless.

 July 23, 1643 - Ann Hett is reinstated within the church of Boston after being excommunicated a year earlier.

This woman who clearly suffered from mental imbalance had twice tried to kill her own daughter. Governor of Massachusetts, John Winthrop, had managed to demonstrate that her disturbance was the work of the devil and that an excommunication could constitute in her case a way of redemption. Actually, Ann Hett showed repentance and admitted her sins so that according to Winthrop, humble submission to religious authority allowed her to save her soul from Satan's works.

August 20, 1643 - Anne Hutchinson and most members of her family are murdered by a group of Siwanoy Indians near East Chester, Long Island.

The famous dissident, come at first to live in Rhode Island after her banishment from Massachusetts in 1638, had gone to settle on lands belonging to the New Netherlands, further to the death of her husband William Hutchinson. At that time, the Indian tribes in the area were at war with the Dutch. During August, a group of Siwanoy led by Chief Wampange appeared at Ann Hutchinson’s who welcomed them friendly but these took out their weapons and massacred eighteen people. Only surviving, Susanna, the youngest of her daughters, then a 9-year-old girl, was taken captive until her family members residing in Massachusetts agreed to pay a ransom. While it is said that she would not leave her jailers, Susanna married in 1651 John Cole, with whom she went to live in Rhode Island.

Miantonomo taken back to Norwich
September 28, 1643Miantonomo, sachem of the Narragansett, is killed by the Mohegan with the agreement of the English officials.

The territorial disputes between Narragansett and Mohegan which lasted since the end of the Pequot war (1638) turned as the months passed into a full blown conflict. Miantonomo invaded the Mohegan territory with about 1000 warriors but was taken prisoner, for lack of mobility due to his heavy chain mail. He proposed then to Uncas, Chief of the Mohegan to form an alliance against the English but this one preferred to put him back to the Connecticut authorities in Hartford. From there, Miantonomo was taken to Boston for trial before the United Colonies of New England commissioners. Although he has led this war with their consent, they found him guilty and entrusted Uncas with the mission to execute him. He was taken back to Norwich where he had been defeated and was killed with a tomahawk by Wawequa, brother of Uncas. It is said that he cut off a piece of Miantonomo's shoulder and ate it in triumph.
Uncas and Miantonomo

September 29, 1643 - John Underhill from Connecticut takes the head of a group of settlers to lend strong hand to the Dutch at war against the Indians.

Director Willem Kieft had suggested offering 25 000 guilders to the Connecticut settlers so that they recruit a company of 150 men. These had seen no objection especially as they had been moved on learning the death of Anne Hutchinson and other English colonists in the New Netherlands. Captain John Underhill agreed to governor's request and formed two companies of volunteers (120 men) including Mohegan scouts.

October, 1643 - the settlers of New Netherlands send a report on their situation to the Dutch West India Company. Many tribes have allied against the colony and begun to destroy crops.

October, 1643 - Beginning of Kieft’s War - a 1500 Indian-army under Mayane, Chief of the 
Siwanoy, invades New Netherlands.

Natives had succeeded in getting on to create a joint force. It included most of the Algonquian tribes of the region among which Wappani and Lenape. They seized first the Pavonia plantations and ousted the Dutch settlers who left seeking refuge to the fort of Manhattan. De Vries just reached to conclude a truce with the Indians, the time to evacuate his farm. 
With 250 men, Director Willem Kieft was likely to be quickly overwhelmed, especially as among the 20 Indian tribes which had grouped together, some had until then always maintained good neighborly relations with the Dutch. The Netherlands being besides at war against Spain, no help could be expected from Europe. Despite this, Kieft did not disarm and succeeded in concluding a friendship treaty and an alliance with the Fort Orange Mohawk and Mahican. Although these two tribes were not directly concerned, the fear of their possible involvement was sufficient to prevent war from spreading farther. 

October 23, 1643 - according to the example of Guildford and Stamford, the town of Milford joins the New Haven colony to form a common administration.

November 6, 1643 - the cities of the New Haven colony adopt a general constitution. This one limits the voting right to members of the church and establishes three courts: the Plantation Court for minor cases, the Court of Magistrates (including the governor, the deputy governor and three assistants) for serious matters and the General Court (formed with judges and two deputies representing each of the four cities) which drafts the laws and elects the magistrates for one year. The trials by jury are deleted as this institution is not found in the Mosaic Law.

November, 1643: co-founder of Greenwich Captain Daniel Patrick is killed by a pistol shot at Stamford by the Dutch soldier Hans Frederick on whom he spat for refusing to obey.

Patrick wanted him to take the command of the militia to go attack the Indians but the latter refused claiming that it was at the approach of the winter, accusing the captain of “treachery”. Patrick then had him spit in his face. The young soldier responded by killing him with a pistol shot in the back.

1643 - Virginia, William Berkeley Governor.
Charles River's county is called from now County of York after James, the second son of King Charles 1 who has just been made duke of York. The County of Accomack takes on its side the name of Northampton.

A group of settlers including Abraham Wood, Walter Chiles, Walter Austin, Rice Hoe and Joseph Johnson have been licensed by the House of Burgesses to undertake the exploration of the great river and unknown land south of the Appomatox coupled with a fourteen-year monopoly on profits.
This region being subject of encouraging reports about the fertility of its soils could not fail to revive among Jamestown settlers the taste of emigration, as far as many began to complain about bad effects of an intolerant legislation especially including a measure which forbade any priest to preach or teach, in public or in private, any doctrine that was not strictly complying with the requirements of the Church of England.

It makes sense to assume that individuals and families with wanderlust who resented religious persecutions were interested to go down to shores further south until they find a suitable place for their facility.

By encouraging the Burgesses to get organized to form a full house, William Berkeley introduced the parliamentary two-chamber system, what is an important contribution to the emergence of an American political culture.

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