Thursday, December 31, 2015

1656 - Quakers not welcome in New England

Quaker sentenced whipping

January 24, 1656 – Dr Jacob Lumbrozo arrives in Maryland. He is the first Jewish physician to immigrate into America.

Jacob Lumbrozo (Lisbon - May 24, 1666) a native of Portugal, he had transited through Netherlands before choosing to settle down in the province of Maryland. His arrival was more or less directly a real event in the colony where he could apparently practice his profession without constraint. He was going to acquire over the years certain rights such as owning and trading with the Indians, what enabled him to hoard a large fortune.

George Fox (1624-1691)
Founder of the Society of Friends
February, 1656 - members of the Religious Society of Friends, more known under the name of Quakers arrive in the Plymouth colony.

February 22, 1656 - the City Council of New Amsterdam authorizes the Jews to have their own cemetery but denies them a few weeks later the right to build a synagogue.

February 22, 1656 – the Treaty of The Hague recognizes the government of Hartford right to occupy all the part of Long Island located east of Oyster Bay and fixes the boundary between the New Netherlands and Connecticut following a line close to the current limit of this colony.

March, 1656 - William Coddington agrees finally to recognize the charter granted to Roger Williams for the four cities forming the Plantations of Providence, later Rhode Island (Newport, Portsmouth, Providence and Warwick).

March, 1656 - Battle of Bloody Run - In virginia, a hundred Pamunkey and Chickahominy warriors are engaged alongside the colonists to repel 600 to 700 Manahoac Indians (tribe akin to Nahysans) come from the western mountains with the aim of settling around the James River, having certainly been chased away from their lands by the Massawomecks, an Iroquois nation for its part moved south by the Senecas. The Virginian militia consisted of about fifty men placed under colonel Edward Hill’s command is distinguished by its ferocity, causing bloody fights during which die Totopotomoy, chief of the Pamunkeys and many warriors among the allied Indian tribes.

The Manahoac migration was only the last episode of the Beaver War that pitted conflict for almost 20 years Indian tribes forced to expand ceaselessly their hunting territory to continue to meet the Europeans’ demand for pelts drawing out for themselves substantial benefits, especially in weapons. It had been already two years since Manahoacs occupied the James Rivers Falls' area and the Assembly of Virginia had appointed Colonel Hill to negotiate peacefully the Indian removal, considering war only as a last resort. Supported by his colonial Rangers and Pamunkeys, he organized a real ambush, making kill 10 Manahoac leaders he had called to parley. The confrontation that ensued was a real bloodbath and Edward Hill forced to retreat. Made responsible for the massacre, he was first removed before being called to arrange peace with the Manahoacs.
Having become in 1649 Weroance of the Pamunkeys, Totopotomoy had married his cousin Cockacoeske, daughter of Opechancanough. The kingdom he had inherited situated in New Kent County was steadily eroding before the constant pressure of the English settlers, forcing him to maintain in becoming one of their allies during the conflicts opposing them in particular to Iroquois, traditional foe of his people.
He took part in the campaign intended to chase away the Manahoacs from the James River Falls which ended with the deadly battle of Bloody Run (east of present-day Richmond) during which he was killed, just like many warriors of his tribe. His widow Cockacoeske then became head of the Pamunkey tribe.

March 10, 1656 - the voting right in Virginia is extended to all the free men regardless of their religion.

March 1656 - The Virginia law makes a clear distinction between the native people and those of African origin. The new provisions stipulate that if Indians entrust their children to settlers, these can never be used as slaves. The Indian parents will have moreover the right to choose the people to whom they hand over their children and who will accordingly be obliged " to do their best to raise them in the Christian religion and teach them a skill. "

Host families would receive in return a financial compensation, an idea originally developed by the officials of the Virginia Company whose purpose was to encourage settlers to convert the young Indians to Christianity.

April 13, 1656 - John Webster is chosen as governor of Connecticut.

John Webster (Cossington, Leicesters. August 9, 1590 - April 5, 1661) was established in the early 1630s in Cambridge, Massachusetts, before leaving in 1636 for Hartford in Connecticut alongside Minister Thomas Hooker. He was a magistrate there during 16 years, until 1655, when he was chosen as deputy governor of the colony. He distinguished himself by a rigid Puritanism which earned him in particular to oppose Minister Samuel Stone, anxious to bend some rules like access to baptism. A controversy ensued which finally found in favour of Samuel Stone. Inflexible, Webster and his partisans were invited to leave Connecticut and to move to the new Hadley community in Massachusetts.

Samuel Stone

Samuel Stone (Hertford (Hertfords.) July 30, 1602 - Hartford (CT) July 20, 1663), this son of a non conformist minister who had studied at Emmanuel College, Cambridge chose to leave England for the New World to escape the religious persecutions. He traveled together with Reverends John Cotton and Thomas Hooker and arrived with them at Boston on September 3, 1633. He taught briefly in the church of Cambridge, Massachusetts, before leaving to found Hartford (a city named so in memory of his home town) in the new Connecticut colony. A man of conviction, he engaged in controversy and took part in all the theological disputes that divided Thomas Hooker's congregation with which he had close ties.

February 13, 1656 - John Winthrop, Jr., Stephen Goodyear, both entrepreneurs in New Haven join contractors of Branford to create an industrial forges company.

The officials of New Haven were very satisfied to have John Winthrop, Jr. moving to their city, of whom they knew technical and scientists skills. 

May 14, 1656 - A group of Swedish settlers left from Gothenburg on November 25 the previous year aboard the Mercurius reaches Fort Trinity in Delaware Bay to discover that it is now held by the Dutch. The commander of the fort forbids the passengers to land and orders them to turn back. This decision is confirmed by Director Peter Stuyvesant who simply gives them the guarantee that they will not suffer any violence.

It was also decided that the Swedish colonists who had not wanted to swear allegiance to the new Dutch government would be sent back towards Europe aboard this boat. After a few weeks of arguing, rumors spread that the Delaware Indians were rising up, what required  sending soldiers. The Swedish would-be settlers took the opportunity to get on with the Indians and cast anchor. Upon the arrival of the first soldiers, the Swedes had all landed. Faced with the growing hostility of the Delawares, the Dutch sent a warship but opted finally for a peaceful solution accompanied with an exchange of presents. After this incident, the Mercurius was transferred to New Amsterdam where it was loaded with tobacco and returned to Gothenburg.

June 7, 1656 - Cornelis Van Tienhoven is ousted as mayor of New Amsterdam by Peter Stuyvesant who blames him for his mismanagement of the Peach Tree War.

Van Tienhoven was for long disliked, even hated by the people of New Amsterdam due to his bad behavior, his lack of scruples and smarmy character. Married and father of 3 children, he supported at the same time a young woman that has earned him some concerns with the Dutch Company but Peter Stuyvesant had hitherto managed to intervene in his favor.He was now accused of being responsible for the abuses committed by the Indians in Staten Island after ordering "Murder the Savages!" even as the reason for that conflict was the 
killing a young Indian caught stealing a peach in his orchard by Hendrick Van Dyck.The fact that the Indians had ransomed more than a hundred hostages was the final straw.

The execution of Ann Hibbins
June, 1656 - William Bradford keeps his position as governor of Plymouth.
William Bradford and Thomas Prence are appointed commissioners to the United Colonies.

June 19, 1656 - Accused of witchcraft, Ann Hibbins, the sister of former governor Richard Bellingham, is sentenced to death by the General Court of Massachusetts and hanged in Boston. Her husband, passed away two years before, had been an agent of the colony in England and one of the assistants in the Court during numerous years.

From a well-to-do family of Lincolnshire, Ann Hibbins, born Bellingham, had arrived to Boston in 1634 from England. The wife of William Hibbins, a wealthy merchant, she belonged to the prominent families of New England but was on the other hand quick-tempered. In conflict with the church of Boston, she had boldly maintained her positions until she was excommunicated in 1641. While her husband was pursuing a successful magistrate's career, she remained confined home, blurred with the rest of the inhabitants. Bad investments and his ensued ruin caused the death of Willam Hibbins in 1654, leaving his wife in poverty. Constantly feuding with her neighbors, she appeared in 1655 before the Court of Assistants which condemned her for witchcraft. The jury did not bring the charge and a new trial was held on May 14, 1656. She was recognized as a witch and sentenced to death. Disliked, quarrelsome and now poor, the loss of her social status made here especially the prey of those who had resentment and vindictiveness. No proof of witchcraft was ever established about her and she must be especially considered as a victim of the popular clamor. As for his brother Richard Bellingham, former governor and highly respected figure, it seems that he never wanted to pleade for her and let the judgment come true.

July 1, 1656 - Mary Fisher and Ann Austin, two Quaker women coming from Barbados arrive at Boston aboard the Swallow.

They were confined aboard the ship on Governor John Endecott’s order and their personal stuff searched. More than hundred books were seized and they were thrown in jail where they were stripped of their clothing to look for marks of witchcraft on their body. During August, the captain of the Swallow was offered 100-£ to bring them back to Barbados while another ship carrying Quakers entered the port of Boston.

July 10, 1656 - Josias Fendall is appointed governor of Maryland by Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Lord Baltimore and Lord Proprietor of the colony. This nomination proves untimely.

Lord Baltimore had been, against all odds, reinstated in his rights on the province of Maryland and had hurried to appoint a new governor. But even before taking office, Fendall was arrested on August 15 by the Puritans who accused him to be a danger to public order. He had to stay in jail until Cromwell decided on the future of the province but was released on September 24 after he vowed not to meddle in the government affairs.

Josias Fendall (c. 1628 - 1687) was first lnown in 1655 as one of the officers of Governor William Stone during the Battle of the Severn (March 25, 1655). He was taken prisoner and sentenced to death but narrowly escaped the execution after the War Council has buckled under the pressure of the people of Providence. To thank him for his services, Lord Baltimore granted him a 2000-acre land and entrusted him with the organization of his government.

July 27, 1656 – the Speedwell, a ship transporting a group of eight Quakers from England arrives in the port of Boston.
Informed about Quakers' presence, the authorities of the port, inspect the ship before his passengers can land.

August 16, 1656 - the States General of Holland ratify the purchase of a land situated on the south shore of the Delaware, near Fort Casimir where they found a colony named New Amstel (Nieuer Amstel) there. The government is entrusted to a board of 40 commissioners living in Amsterdam.

Jacob Aldrich became the governor and  Peter Stuyvesant, the director of the New Netherlands,  was in charge of its protection. Three small ships placed under the command of captain Martin Krygier and Lieutenant Alexander Hinojosa were responsible for moving a company of 40 soldiers and 150 Dutch emigrants to the new colony.
The creation of New Amstel offered to the city of Amsterdam the opportunity to promote generally very expensive or even impossible productions in Holland such as corn, tobacco and forestry. Unlike the concerns of the Dutch West India Company, farming had to hold a key role and directors of New Amstel aimed to develop cereal crops so as to supply the people of Amsterdam at competitive prices. This ambitious project would soon suffer labor shortages and difficulties to attract new candidates for emigration.

September 8, 1656 - Governor John Endecott orders that eight Quakers arrived at Boston aboard the Speedwell a few days after Mary Fisher and Mary Austin are brought before the Court of Assistants. Accused of heresy, they are condemned to deportation and returned to their ship. 

The group included Christopher Holder and John Copeland who showed before their judges their knowledge of the Bible and the law. They were nevertheless put in jail, beaten and whipped while waiting for their re-embarkation towards England.

September 17, 1656 - commissioners of the United Colonies of New England decide to support the Puritans actions against the Quakers.

September 22, 1656 - At St Mary City, Maryland, is held the trial of Judith Catchpole, accused of killing her newborn child. The jury is composed by 11 women.

This trial was especially that of witchcraft and evidence collected referred to facts which fell under  pure fantasy and imagination. The jurors showed that the charges were unfounded and that the defendant had even never been pregnant. She was accordingly found innocent and acquitted.

October 2, 1656 - Connecticut enacts a series of laws intended to punish and ban the Quakers.

Myles Standish
(an imaginary portrait)
October 3, 1656
- Myles Standish dies at Duxbury, aged 72.

This feisty former English officer, nicknamed Captain Shrimp because of his small size, had been recruited by the Mayflower Pilgrims as military advisor to the colony that they were to base in America. He had, from the founding of Plymouth in 1621, been appointed commander with first responsibility to organize the defence. Although he subsequently held various important positions such as Treasurer and deputy, he never wished, however, to become a member of the religious community. His first wife having died the year following their arrival, he remarried in 1623 with Barbara whom he had seven children. He appeared as one of the seven settlers who like Willam Bradford and Willam Brewster, managed to survive disease outbreaks which struck repeatedly the Plymouth colony.
As a military commander, he had more or less successful relationships with Indian tribes including neighboring Pentagouet and Wampanoag under Sachem Massassoit.

Quaker sentenced in Massachusetts for heresy

October 14, 1656 - Massachusetts enacts in its turn a law against " the sect of heretics that has just been created in the world and is commonly called Quakers … " It is specified that any sea captain bringing a Quaker into the colony will have to pay a 100-£ fine, that any settler having a Quaker book will be punishable with a 5-£ fine and that every Quaker entering the jurisdiction of the colony will be arrested, whipped and expelled.

Some Quakers succeeded however to get in good with Massachusetts settlers including Robert Fowler who made build for them a small boat called the Woodhouse. These had landed in Rhode Island and come to Massachusetts in order to spread their religious views. Among them, Mary Clark went to Boston to challenge the new laws what earned her to be sentenced to 20 lashes and 12 weeks in prison. Despite these bullying, Quakers were always more to reach New England.

November 8, 1656 - William Hallett, the sheriff of Flushing near New Amsterdam is condemned to a 50-£ fine for allowing a Baptist congregation in his house. He must remain in prison until payment of the full sum.

November 18, 1656 - the cane and hat of Cornelis Van Tienhoven, former mayor of New Amsterdam dismissed in June by Director Peter Stuyvesant, are fished out the Hudson River.

It was never confirmed if he drowned by himself or was killed by one of his many foes. Not having found his body, he was officially simply regarded as missing. He was 55 when he died while his wife was pregnant with their fourth child.

Van Thienoven was not a man to commit suicide but he had so many enemies that an accident was always possible. It is sure, however, that his body was never found and that the recovery of personal things could be clues without being probative of his death. According to a tradition, it would be possible that he decided to be forgotten in Barbados where his young brother left settling shortly after his disappearing.

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