Tuesday, May 3, 2016

1668 - Searle's Sack of St Augustine

New York City Hall (1668)

March, 1668 - a collection is held in the Plymouth Colony to finance the printing of  Nathaniel Morton's book "New England Memoriall".

Nathaniel Morton (1613-1686) was the nephew of the late governor William Bradford. He worked with him as secretary of the Plymouth Colony. Largely inspired by the diary written by his uncle, his book is the first published history of the Massachusetts colony.

March 7, 1668 - Governor of Massachusetts Richard Bellingham and his council engage in a debate with Thomas Goold, the Baptist representative who expressed the wish to found churches in Boston and Charlestown.

Bellingham had no interest in accommodating his request, considering Baptists as heretics. He wanted, through the planned debate, to bring Goold in the right way but for lack of reaching it, he made him condemn to banishment on May 7th, along with William Turner and John Farnum, two other members of his congregation.
Thomas Goold belonged to the Puritan church of Charlestown when he chose in 1665 to join the Baptist doctrine. He would wait for 30 months behind bars whereas many dignitaries of the colony worked for his release, saying the Baptist worship was very close to the church. They finally won their case and once out of prison, Goold was allowed to build the Baptist sanctuary he planned on Noodles Island, near Boston harbor.

March, 1668 - A meteor appears for several days in the skies over New England. This phenomenon frightens the settlers and the magistrates take the opportunity to engage in reforming their morals. The General Court of Massachusetts issues, in this sense, a circular letter to all the ministers.

March 25, 1668 - English Captain Sylvester Salisbury wins a silver cup after his horse-racing victory at Hempstead Plains. It is the first sports trophy granted in America.
The 2-miles long course has been created in Long Island since 1665 by Governor Richard Nicholls whose purpose was to encourage the bettering of the breed of horses.

April, 1668 - John Winthrop, Jr. is reelected governor of Connecticut.

April 21, 1668 - the governor and council of New York take a series of resolutions and directives for the Delaware colony.

According to them, there was an urgent need to restore civilian authority after the period of uncertainty caused by the Anglo-Dutch war. The new measures were intended, in particular, to prevent abuses and challenges against the magistrates. Captain Robert Carr who commanded the garrison had at his disposal a council made up of Hans Block, Israel Helme, Peter Rambo, Peter Cock and Peter Alrich whose mission was to collect the various complaints and determine by majority voting what seemed just and fair. He also had to intervene in quarrels with the Indians and ensure the protection of plantations and settlers who engaged, in exchange, to meet his summonses and obey his recommendations. The newly appointed councilors swore allegiance to the Duke of York but it was agreed to return final authority to Captain Carr in case of a tie vote.
It was also stated that all the laws from the duke would regularly be communicated to the councilors so that they can make their judgments in any legitimacy.
Three of the new councilors, Helme, Rambo and Cock belonged to the Finnish community, whose population formed a large majority along the Delaware.

Peter Rambo (Finland, 1612 - Wicaco (PA), 1698) - He was 27 years old when he left to New Sweden aboard the Kalmar Nyckel. He first worked as a servant but quickly acquired the status of free man and married in 1647 Brita Matsdotter, a native, like him, of Finland. Settled at Passyunk, north of Schuylkill, he became a prosperous farmer and created even his own apple variety, the " Rambo " from seeds imported by Swedes.
He became a member of Governor Johan Rising’s Council in 1654 and continued to hold office under the English rule.

Francis Lovelave
April 21, 1668 - The Court od Assizes is convened in New York by the governor for the trial of Nangenutch (a.k.a. Will) a Montauk Indian accused of raping Mary Miller, a 17-year-old resident of East Hampton, Long Island.
Among its members are Colonial Secretary Mathias Nicolls, Mayor of New York Thomas Willett, Cornelisz Van Ruyven, a Dutch merchant and tax collector, Francis Lovelace, the newly appointed governor, Captain Thomas Delavall, the former mayor. According to the Duke’s Laws, Nangenutch must be judged in the same way as an English settler.

The facts occurred a month earlier. Mary, the wife of John Miller accused Nangenutch for grabbing and raping her on her way home. Testimonies collected were explicit enough to conclude that she was raped despite the denials of Nangenutch, pleading drunkenness and arguing he stopped abusing her when she started screaming. The Court then had to go into intimate details to understand if there was really rape or simply assault.
Facing the confused testimony of young Mary Miller, certainly deeply ashamed to justify before an audience composed exclusively of men, doubts were finally issued as to whether there could be or not consent from her. After it was admitted that there had been no ejaculation, the judges pronounced for a rape attempt and Nangenutch was condemned to be publicly whipped and to be brought to the West Indies to be sold as a slave. This judgment aroused such a protest movement among the Montauk that the colonial government gave way letting Nangenutch escape.

May 1st, 1668 - The Great Deed of Grant afforded to the people of Albemarle by the Lords Propietors of Carolina provides them the same land rights as the Virginia settlers.

These basically confirmed the terms of the patent they had received when the region was placed under William Berkeley's authority, the governor of Virginia. 

May, 1668 - Richard Bellingham is re-elected governor of Massachusetts.

Sir Philip Carteret
May 26, 1668 - Sir Philip Carteret, the governor of New Jersey, convenes the first provincial assembly. He announces his new Puritan-oriented measures aimed, in particular, to sentence to a fine or corporal punishment anyone who would resist the official authority in word or behavior. Any adult man will also be equipped with a gun.

This meeting lasted four days during which immediately appeared dissension between the governor, anxious to impose his own people to better establish his powers and the representatives of the settlers, jealous defenders of their freedom. The cities of Shrewsbury and Middletown had besides refused to send delegates for fear of having their rights threatened. It was planned that a new meeting would be held in November but it never took place because of the contentious issue of land tax (quitrent).

Pirates launching attack in Florida
May 23, 1668 - Informed that a large quantity of silver ingots are kept in royal coffers, privateer Robert Searle (a.k.a. John Davis) and his crewmen ransack the Spanish city of St Augustine on the Florida coast, killing 60 people.
Using the night and weak defenses of the city, only protected by a wooden palisade, Searle has an element of surprise by launching his attack while the residents are still sleeping. Despite the loss of 11 of his men, he plunders public buildings, churches, monastery and houses leaving with an impressive booty and 70 people in hostage whom he will mostly exchange for provisions.

Searle had specialized in this kind of punitive action, targeting the Dutch and Spanish settlements of the West Indies, what had never been to Thomas Willoughby’s taste, the governor of the Barbados as well as for his counterpart of Jamaica Thomas Modyford. Although he sometimes provided support to the English navy, Searle was especially a greedy adventurist and his ability to overcome the rules of diplomacy had gained him a very controversial reputation.
He was threatened with arrest when he pretexted a Spanish aggression in the Bahamas to attack St Augustine, 
so repeating Sir Francis Drake’s raid in 1586 and helped for the occasion by the French surgeon Pierre Piques, eager to take revenge for the ill-treatment he had suffered from the Spanish governor.
This daring raid allowed Henry Woodward, an early settler of Carolina, to escape while he was held for a year in the governor’s prison. Robert Searle and his men controlled the city during 24 hours before they were disloged  by Governor Francisco de la Guerra de la Vega. The pirates brought, however, with them 70 hostages including children they exchanged afterwards for provisions.
St Augustine had been founded in 1565 by Pedro Menendez to counter the French Huguenots’ attempt to colonize Fort Caroline (Jacksonville) and protect the Bahamas Channel. At the time, he went commit a true massacre for summarily executing about 150 French settlers on behalf of the defense of Catholicism against the heretic Protestants. For a long time inhabited by ex-convict, fugitives or pirates, St Agustine had approximately 700 people in the 1660s among whom 70 friars and nearly 300 garrison men. Robert Searle's sack constituted for the Spaniards a reel trauma and it was decided to build a new stone fort.

Based in Jamaica, Robert Searle was still totally unknown until 1662 and the storming of Santiago de Cuba. More a pirate than a privateer, he drew in 1664 the wrath of King Charles II, getting fed up with English piracy constantly assaulting Spanish ships, at a time when England was for once allied with Spain. He demanded that the goods stolen to the Spaniards be returned to them. Searle used, however, the Anglo-Dutch war to offer to help and woo the colonial government of the West Indies. But the sack of St Augustine knew such an impact that Searle went to lie low until 1670 in the Caribbean.

The departure of Governor Richard Nicholls
May 23rd, 1668 - Colonel Francis Lovelace takes up his duties as governor of New York, replacing Richard Nicholls, called back to England by the Duke of York. These should become effective from August.

The prominent citizens of New York wished to thank Richard Nicholls for the way he had accomplished his task during the last four years by offering him a luxurious good-bye meal the day before his departure for England. He was then escorted up to his boat by two new companies of the local militia.

June 3rd, 1668 - Thomas Prence is reelected governor of Plymouth. He held this position since 1657. Josiah Winslow and Thomas Southwork are chosen as commissioners to the United Colonies.

New York and neighboring townships (1668)
June 5, 1668 - Governor of New York Richard Nicholls sends a letter to captain Robert Carr asking him to take the necessary measures to limit the supply of liquors to Indians.

Peter Rambo, one of the new councilors of Delaware had personally traveled to New York to discuss the serious problems on selling alcohol to the Natives. It had become common in Delaware causing fights and abuses. Seven settlers had just been killed in plantations by Mantas Indians from the Delaware Nation due to drunkenness. Their leaders had appealed to the Finns to establish an absolute prohibition in order to protect their own people. In his letter, Governor Nicholls relied on the new council to implement the guidelines and take appropriate action to curb the scourge.

Mohawk warrior

June, 25, 1668 - Governor Richard Bellingham sends a letter to John Winthrop, Jr. to tell him of his fears about the Mohawks. He urges the governor of Connecticut to ensure the neutrality of Mohegan leader Uncas, being afraid that he has struck a secret deal with them.

Bellingham blamed the Mohawks for maintaining a warlike attitude towards the Massachusetts Indians, in particular those of Natick, known to have been converted to Christianity. They had killed some of theirs and looted villages and he had been informed that Uncas had received various gifts from the Mohawks implying that he could side with them. For Bellingham, it made no doubt that the Mohawks were the more threatening they had made peace with the French and welcomed Jesuits among them.

Mohegan Chief Uncas
(c. 1588- c. 1683)
Late August, 1668 - the rains that hit the Albemarle colony in Carolina from the beginning of July stop finally.
Barely recovered from the last year’s hurricane and after experiencing in the spring an unprecedented drought, the region was once again victim of the vagaries of weather.

September 2, 1668 -  Francis Lovelace, the new governor of New York, orders regular meetings to his council the proceedings of which will be recorded in the Council's Minutes.

Among the first measures taken by new Governor Francis Lovelace, were:
- The abolition of the particularly unpopular class distinction introduced by the Dutch between the wealthy "upper middle-class families" to whom were awarded many privileges and those considered as " lower middle-class people ".
- The removal of the controversial Esopus garrison.
- The 30 % decrease on import duties intended to boost trade.
- The granting to the New York merchants of a monopoly on goods traffic passing through the Hudson River.

Lovelace asked all the farmers to bring their crops surplus to Manhattan, including those who were used to go through New England. He set the price of grain and demanded that all the pigs be now slaughtered in New York, what was a boon for butchers and local coopers.
Passionate about sport, he would also encourage horse breeding by organizing regularly races at Hempstead, Long Island.
Finally, he planned to set up a regular mail system between New York and Boston.

Cornelisz Van Steenwyck
Mayor of New York
Cornelisz Van Steenwyck, (died in New York,1688) a rich Dutch merchant, becomes the mayor of New York replacing Thomas Willett.

September 22nd, 1668 - Governor of New Jersey Philip Carteret grants a charter to the city of Bergen.

November, 1668 - Jesuit Father Jacques Frémin (1628-1691) opens the first missionary chapel at Gandougarae ( Kanagaro), among the Seneca. This one is dedicated to St Michael.

The Senecas living in the central and eastern parts of the state of New York, were the most important of the five nations making up the Iroquois confederacy, their population being by itself equal to that of the other four. This preponderance came mostly from the assimilation of prisoners of wars. They called themselves " People of the Great Mountain " (Djionoñdowaneñronoñ). Their capital Tsonontouan was near modern Naples,Ontario County; The name of Seneca,given to them by the English was actually the corruption of an Oneida word meaning " People of the standing rock ". Further to the absorption of the Neutrals in 1651 and the Erie in 1656, they had become masters of a vast territory west of Niagara Falls.
The Senecas came under the influence of Catholic priests after the other Iroquois. The first conversions dated 1654 under the leadership of father Chaumonot. In 1663, a Seneca chief was baptized in Montreal and shortly after, the tribe which was for years at war with the French asked to make peace and agreed missionary-sending.

The Neutrals were an Iroquois-speaking nation living in the Niagara area. They had been given this name in early 1600s by Samuel Champlain because they had refused to get involved in the war between the Hurons and the Five Iroquois Nations. Neutrals who were considered as good farmers were approximately 40 000 at the beginning of the century before being decimated by diseases. Their neutrality was one reasons for their fall against the Iroquois expansionism and the tribe was completely absorbed in 1651.
 The Erie (Nation of the Cat) were an Iroquois-speaking farmers' nation whose lands stretched between Ohio and Lake Erie. They had few direct contacts with the Europeans but were, however, sufficiently involved in fur trade to be confronted with the need to extend their hunting area to the detriment of neighboring peoples. 
Already simmering tensions with the Iroquois Confederacy increased as they chose to host Huron refugees. Although experts in the use of poisoned arrows, they did not get enough guns to win against Iroquois. Defeated in 1656, they were scattered or mostly absorbed by other tribes. According to sources, some found refuge in Canda and Virginia.

1668 - The governor, Council and Burgesses of Virginia send to the king 300 pounds of silk to show him that this new industry is promising.

The Virginia Assembly had two years earlier hoped that every county of the colony created its own garment factories so that this industry is not subjected to the levy.
Despite the efforts of Edward Digges to develop the cultivation of silkworm, it will ultimately prove financially too costly.

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