Friday, January 8, 2016

1658 - Rampage against Quakers

Governor John Endicott at a Quaker trial

January 7, 1658 - Theophilus Eaton dies in New Haven at age 68. Having founded this colony with John Davenport, he had been continuously re-elected governor since 1639.

He had been a member of the so-called "seven pillars of the church ", the council that ruled this colony originally resolutely devoted to trade. But facing Boston and New Amsterdam rivalry, this one had renounced its shipping claims for farming. A friendly and courteous man, Eaton remained on the other hand always relentless regarding religion. His governorship was moreover constantly engaged with the Dutch authorities and more especially after Stamford (CT) and Southold (Long Island) moved under New Haven jurisdiction but his caution and diplomacy avoided opening hostilities. He was finally falsely credited with the writing of the Blue Laws of Connecticut, a series of harsh Puritan statutes that later appeared to be a hoax aiming at bringing disrepute to religious strictness in New England.

The writer and missionary Abraham Pierson praised his friend in a poem entitled Lines one the Death of Theophilus Eaton

Abraham Pierson (Branford, Yorks c. 1609 - Newark (NJ) August 9, 1678) - Born in Yorkshire, he was a graduate from Trinity College, Cambridge, before being appointed deacon of Southwell parish, Nottinghamshire. A staunch Puritan, he had emigrated to the New England and become member of the church of Boston on September 5, 1640. He had then served at Lynn as a minister but had quickly left this town for Southampton on Long Island. Very objected to the coming of this new settlement under the jurisdiction of Connecticut, he moved to the New Haven colony where he taught as pastor for nearly 20 years. Mastering the Indian language, he wrote a catechism under the title Some Helps for the Indians.

January 20, 1658 - Reverend Richard Blinman of New London sends to the people of Stonington (Pequot Indian Plantation) a letter informing them that he renounces his duties.

He thus put an end to a controversy that opposed him for years to the residents about the founding of their own church. Bored with this discussion, he moved in the following days to the ultra conservative New Haven colony which, according to him, suited better to his views.
After failing wherever he had been because of his overbearing character, Blinman did not like more New Haven and returned one year later to England.

Winter, 1658 - after the promising stay of Elizabeth Harris in Maryland, Quaker preachers Josiah Cole and Thomas Thurston arrive in Virginia but they are immediately arrested.

They were thrown into a Jamestown jail and deprived of any way to communicate with the outside. The captain of the ship who had brought them was condemned to a heavy fine and ordered to get them back to England.

February 29, 1658 - Appointed two years earlier by Lord Baltimore, Governor of Maryland Josias Fendall is back in the province after several months spent in England.

Before leaving, he had entrusted Luke Barber with acting governorship. He brought back with him the charter confirming that Caecilius Calvert, 2nd Lord Baltimore was permanently recognized as Lord Proprietor of Maryland. Fendall had, however, his authority decreased by the creation of a new committee with the appointment as counsellor of Philip Calvert, the younger brother of Caecilius. 

March 13, 1658 - Colonel Samuel Matthews, Jr. becomes Governor of Virginia. He succeeds Edward Digges who held this position since 1655.

Samuel Matthews, Jr. (Virginia 1629 - Virginia 1659) - He was the son of Samuel Matthews, an English settler arrived at Jamestown in 1618 and become over the years one of the influential men of Virginia. He had in particular been a part of Governor John Harvey’s removal in 1636 and had served in 1652 as agent with the English authorities to defend the Jamestown land claim to the province of Maryland

March, 1658 – Further to complaints about the wrongs done to the Natives, the Virginia Assembly decrees that they are entitled to keep their current lands.

It was not about challenging purchases of the settlers but arrangements made to slow down the frequent unfair territorial expansion of the Europeans.

March 22, 1658 – Arrested last February on his arrival at Southold (Long Island), Quaker missionary Humphrey Norton is convicted to banishment by the court of justice of New Haven after whipping and having the letter "H" (heretic) branded on the right hand. 
He had arrived in Rhode Island from London in August, 1657 and had chosen to go without delay to Plymouth but quickly arrested, he had been brought before Governor Thomas Prence and his assistants. Being unable to blame him for committing a breach to the laws of the colony, the latter had eventually banished him and taken back where he came from. He had left in the early year to Long Island but had been soon arrested and driven to the prison of New Haven where he had spent several weeks in irons. During his trial, Rev. John Davenport had begun to demonstrate that he was a heretic and obtained his conviction.

Native of London, Humphrey Norton had been from 1655 a member of the Society of Friends and begun at that time his missionary work in Yorkshire, what earned him a prison stay at Durham. After a difficult year 1656 spent to preach in Ireland, he had then chosen to sail to New England.

March 24, 1658 - the Puritan Parliamentary Commissioners who have ruled the province of Maryland for two years agree to return their power to new governor Josias Fendall.

They had thrown him in jail when he had been appointed a governor during summer, 1656 thinking it was a power grab by Lord Baltimore but they needed this time to face the fact that they had been dropped by London. Accordingly, Captain William Fuller and the 15 commissioners (William Parker, Robert Slye, Thomas Meeres, Thomas Marsh, Sampson Waring, Michael Brooke, John Pott, Woodman Stockley, William Parrott, Philip Morgan, William Ewen, Thomas Thomas, Philip Thomas, Samuel Withers and Richard Woolman) had no other choice but to submit.

April 11, 1658 - Thomas Welles is elected governor of Connecticut. He has already assumed this position two years earlier.

Governor John Endecott
(c. 1588 - 1665)
April 15, 1658
- Both Quakers Christopher Holder and John Copeland are back to Cape Cod. They are arrested by the agents of Governor John Endecott after holding a meeting at Sandwich. Brought to Barnstable, they are whipped till they bleed in front of their friends from Sandwich, horrified by such cruelty.

April 20, 1658 – Newly arrived at Salem where they are welcomed by their friends, Quakers William Brend and William Leddra hold their first meeting in the house of Nicholas Phelps hidden away in the woods, a few miles off the town.

They stayed there for a moment before being arrested and brought before the Court of Salem. Their replies to the questions of their judges proved so convincing as these had to recognize that they were dealing with people who were neither dangerous nor heretics. They were however sentenced under the Cart and Whip Act and taken to prison in Boston with six other "friends" present at the meeting at Nicholas Phelps. They suffered the worst abuse by their jailer, particularly Willam Brend, an already old man who was tortured to death before the public opinion is moved.
William Leddra was a tailor, certainly from Cornwall. As most of his Quaker friends, he stayed at first in Barbados before choosing New England as a land of mission.

May, 1658 - Thomas Chambers, a Wiltwyck settler, sends a letter to Peter Stuyvesant to complain about the damages caused by alcohol among the Indians. 

The relations between the Esopus and the colonists had not stopped deteriorating because of increased sales of spirits too often used as currency in transactions conducted at Fort Orange. These were found mostly drunk and came there to commit crimes inducing exasperation. So, one night, they killed in particular Hamren Jacobsen on his boat and set fire to the house of Jacob Adrijansen. Some thought therefore to flee, fearing for their own lives.

May 13, 1658 - In response to the Flushing Remonstrance presented to him on preceding December 27, Director of the New Netherlands Peter Stuyvesant orders this day to be devoted to prayer so that the people can repent of religious tolerance sin. 

He said that the unrest in the community had raised the wrath of God to those who tolerated the Quakers, threatening them of a severe punishment if they did not change their behavior.

Peter Stuyvesant's Town House
(19th C. imagainary view)
May 15, 1658 - During a New Amsterdam Council meeting, Director Peter Stuyvesant expresses his concerns about the former New Sweden colony held by the New Netherlands since September, 1655. He describes the difficulties of the people living in New Amstel (present-day New Castle NJ), the town lately founded by the Dutch on the left shore of the Delaware.

He reported that things were not going as they should because of smuggling and pilfering to which were subjected supplies from Holland which, for many, were not even stamped by the Dutch West India Company. He also reported that the Finns had asked after allegiance to remain neutral if conflicts would arise between Sweden and Netherlands, what was granted.
At the time of the Swedish colonization, Peter Stuyvesant had learnt that there were differences between the Swedish settlers and the so-called Finns who came from Finland. That’s why he had been liberal in granting them the right to form their own government. They elected, however, as captain of their militia Lieutenant Schute, even though he was in exile, a choice that fueled the mistrust of the Dutch. For their part, the officials of the Company did not see difference between the Finns and the Swedes, both there enemies on the European battlefields and did not understand why Stuyvesant had allowed them to have their own government.

May 19, 1658 - The General Court of Massachusetts orders any Quaker being a member of a meeting aiming at spreading his doctrine to be fined 10 shillings and the one who would talk to him to pay 5 pounds.

May 22, 1658 - Benedict Arnold and John Greene, of Rhode Island, buy to Narragansett sachem Cachanaquant Goat, Coaster Harbor and Dyer Islands right near Newport.

May 26, 1658 - The people of Pawtuxet cancel their allegiance to Massachusetts, signed in 1642, in favor of Rhode Island.

May 26, 1658 - Francis Newman is elected governor of the New Haven colony. He so succeeds Theophilus Eaton who died in early January.

Francis Newman (c. 1605 - 1660) - Born in England, he had first settled in New Hampshire where he  had arrived in 1634 before moving to New Haven and to become the Secretary to the governor Theophilus Eaton. He was in 1653 among the envoys from Connecticut who went to meet Director Peter Stuyvesant to claim compensation for the damages suffered by English settlers in Dutch hands. In July 1654 he was appointed commissioner of New Haven to the United Colonies of New England.

May 29, 1658 – Fearing increased tensions with the Esopus Indians, Director of the New Netherlands Peter Stuyvesant goes personally to Wiltwyck with a company of sixty soldiers.
Following the murder of Hamren Jacobsen, the Natives had promised to give up the culprits but they shew actually no cooperative spirit. Their chiefs were in the meantime unable to enforce.

Given the strategic interest of a fort located halfway between New Amsterdam and Fort Orange, Peter Stuyvesant had sent the year before a group of soldiers to chase the Esopus away and develop instead a village called Wiltwyck including about forty houses for welcoming new settlers. These had not delayed to arrive but neglecting the dwellings built for them, they had rather to live in remote farms in the surrounding countryside.
The people of Rensselaerswyck knew for a long time that they lived along a border. Had the village of Beverwyck (present-day Albany), built next to Fort Orange, not been founded as a bridgehead intended to make fur trade easier with the Indians? Actually, they were not more than one thousand settlers to live between New Amsterdam and Fort Orange but the choice to occupy such a place was not a result of chance. The Hudson River level rose up a foot on high tide, facilitating upstream navigation to heavy ships carrying goods; on the other hand, the Mohawk River that flows into the Hudson near Fort Orange allowed the western Indians to transport safely their furs. In this way, the traders did not have to move into the Indian nations because all the transactions took place at Beverwyck. The trip to New Amsterdam lasted, on the other hand, several days and crossed territories exclusively occupied by the Indians. The colonists inhabited only few houses scattered along the Hudson.

May 31, 1658 - Supported by local Governor Jacob Jansen Stohl and Thomas Chambers, Peter Stuyesant addresses the settlers of the Esopus area. He suggests to welcome them, where necessary, in New Amsterdam and urges those who want to stay to group together within a village protected by a stockade.

For the colonists, leaving Wiltwyck as crops approached seemed foolish and they agreed the proposal to gather in a protected village.
Peter Stuyvesant had also invited the Indians but these came few. Only two chiefs had moved explaining that they were impressed by the number of soldiers and kept the memory of the mass murder in the time of former governor Willem Kieft. They explained that liquor sold to them was responsible for most disorders. Stuyvesant eased people’s minds and promised that there would be, from his part, no violent action. The construction of the stockade began a few days later. Fifty soldiers were assigned to protect the colony.

Josiah Winslow
June 3, 1658 - Thomas Prence is confirmed for another year as governor of the Plymouth colony.
He is also appointed with Josiah Winslow as commissioner to the United Colonies of New England.

Josiah Winslow (1628 - December 18, 1680)  - Born in Plymouth, he was the son of Edward Winslow and Susanna White. He accompanied his father in 1649 during a mission in England and married there two years later Penelope Pelham, the daughter of Herbert Pelham, first treasurer of Harvard College. Josiah returned to Plymouth together with his wife in 1655, the year when his father dies when traveling in the Caribbean. He settled therefore in the Careswell family estate at Marshfield, near Duxbury.

June 1st, 1658 – Coming to protest against ill-treatment imposed on the Quakers, Humphrey Norton and John Rous are arrested at Plymouth and thrown into prison.

Unable to judge them as heretics, the magistrates asked them to take the oath of fidelity to the Plymouth government, what they refused. Both Quakers were thus condemned to whipping before being expelled. Then, they took the road to Boston.

June 3, 1658 – Back in Boston, both Quakers Christopher Holder and John Copeland are arrested again.

They had previously halted in Rhode Island where they had vainly tried to rally Roger Williams. They had however met Mary Dyer who, with other Quakers, got ready for new actions against anti-Quaker laws. She went soon after to New Haven but hardly had she started preaching that she was arrested and expelled from the colony.

July 14, 1658 - the government of Massachusetts grants the city status to the coastal town of ScarboroughMaine.

Its territory had been in 1631 subject to a license granted to Captain Thomas Cammock (nephew of the Earl of Warwick) by the Council of Plymouth for New England. Cammock had settled on this 1500-acre land in 1635 but he had stayed there only little time, preferring to move towards the West Indies. Settlers came later to base on this land at Black Point, Blue Point, Dunstan and Stratton Island.

July, 1658 - Maine is definitively annexed by Massachusetts.
The province is divided into two jurisdictions on both sides of the small Kennebunk River: the East Division corresponding with the province of Lygonia with Falmouth for capital and George Cleaves as commissioner, and the western Division with York for chief-city. 

Settled in the area since 1630, George Cleaves was from this date a key figure. Forced to give up his first settlement to the Plymouth colony after it had been granted the Lygonia charter, he had received in 1637 from Sir Ferdinando Gorges the lands between Cape Elizabeth and Sagadahock. Appointed deputy president of Lygonia under Alexander Rigby's governorship, he still held this position at the time of its annexation by Massachusetts.

July 30, 1658 - Peter Stuyvesant’s son-in-law William Beekman is appointed commissioner of the Dutch West India Company for Delaware.

His mission was to ensure that taxes were properly paid but he had mostly to restore the authority of the Company with officers and settlers, enforce the law and justice in civil and military affairs and set up the instructions given to the former commissioner. It took him, however, almost a year to take office out there.

August 12, 1658 - The first enforcement body is created in New Amsterdam.

August, 1658Boston’s new Town House is completed. 

This ambitious single-storey wooden frame building was designed by the architect Thomas Joy. It will not, however, withstand the 1711 fire.

September 3, 1658 - Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell dies in Whitehall, London, at age 59, likely from septicaemia following a sudden uruinary infection.
He is succeeded by his son Richard.

September 16, 1658 - In Boston, Christopher Holder, John Copeland and a third Quaker named John Rous are condemned to have their right ear cut-off on order of Governor John Endecott. They are then taken back to prison where they must be regularly subjected to whipping.

The governor’s doggedness caused a wave of anger throughout the colony. Anne Hutchinson’s sister Marbury Katherine Scott, who was present, rebelled against such hatefulness and was accordingly thrown into prison and sentenced to be publicly whipped.

September 23, 1658 – The commissioners to the United Colonies of New England urge their courts to enact a law under which all the Quakers who would set foot in their jurisdiction after being banished would be liable to death penalty and executed.

September, 1658 - The commissioners to the United Colonies of New England give their consent to the proposal almost a year later by the people of Stonington aiming at their annexation to Massachusetts.

They decided that all the "Southertown" renamed area lying from Mystic River to Pawcatuck River would be under Massachusetts jurisdiction. Connecticut immediately appealed of this decision, forwarding a new territorial dispute that was to last until 1665.

October 19, 1658 - During a stormy session, the Massachusetts authorities manage in making pass by 12 votes against 11, a law condemning the Quakers who would already have been banished from the colony and deported to the death penalty if they return again.

October 19, 1658 - Block Island is let to governor John Endecott for "services rendered".

Named so in memory of Dutch captain Adriaen Block, this island off Rhode Island was to there exclusively lived by Narragansett Indians. John Oldham's murder therein occurred on July 20, 1636 had served as a trigger for the war against the Pequots and John Endecott was not an unknown there because he captained the Massachusetts militia that had shortly after retaliated, burning crops and villages while killing 14 people among the Natives.

October 22, 1658 - Massachusetts waives its jurisdiction over Pawtuxet and Shawomet.

The territory of Pawtuxet had been granted in 1638 to Roger Williams by Narragansett Sachem Canonicus and had somehow formed the founding core of the Providence plantation. The first settlers, known as the Pawtuxet Purchasers were none other than William Arnold, Zachariah Rhodes and William Harris but violent disputes between them and Roger Williams regarding the management of this territory had led them to pass under the Massachusetts Bay colony jurisdiction. This decision which for twenty years had raised fears about Boston’s grip on Rhode Island was finally concluded.

October, 1658 – the Plymouth region is struck for the second time by an earthquake.

1658 - The Lower House of Maryland votes that each county has four representatives elected by the Freemen. Charles County is created from that of Potomac

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