Sunday, May 8, 2016

1669 - The Long Finn Rebellion

French explorer René Cavelier De La Salle visits Niagara Falls, August 1669
February 16, 1669 - Foundation of Dorchester County in the province of Maryland on the eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay.

It was so named in honor of Charles Sackville, 6th Earl of Dorset, whose family maintained friendship with Lord Baltimore.

March 1st, 1669 - John Locke drafts the Constitution of Carolina (Fundamental Constitutions of the Carolinas) consisted of 120 articles.

The project was commissioned by Lord Ashley, later Earl of Shaftesbury, one of the Lords Proprietors of Carolina. This document, also called the "Great Model", provided a feudal organization of the province with the introduction of noble titles and serfdom. The text did not really correspond to Locke’s insights but was however largely inspired by the model of society defended by his protector. The constitution was actually never implemented.

John Locke
John Locke (August 29, 1632 - October 28, 1704) - This philosopher is considered the first English empiricist and proponent of the Social Contract. His ideas had a huge influence on the development of political philosophy and he is regarded as one of the most influential representatives of the Enlightment. His writings inspired both Voltaire and Rousseau, but also the American revolutionaries.

The admirers of Locke always defended his liberalism, his notion of fundamental human rights and his fight for the separattion of powers but his detractors have never failed to remember that he was also haevily involved in trafficking slaves through the Royal African Company. It is also felt that his considerations on unenclosed properties had justified the displacement of local Indian populations. His conception of freedom seen as the natural human condition does not lack hypocrisy when it justifies, furthermore, aristocraty and slavery. The article 110 of the Constitution does not specify that "every free man of Carolina has absolute power over his black slaves whatever his opinions and religion".

Governor of  Virginia William Berkeley
March 9, 1669 - John Lederer leaves Chickahominy for his first exploring expedition of Virginia inland. He is sent by Governor William Berkeley who, like most, keeps thinking since Sir Francis Drake that California (New Albion) is just beyond the mountains of Virginia.

Accompanied with three Indian guides, he reached the first Pamunkey River falls on March 14th and climbed on March 18th the foothills of the Appalachians.
Lederer did not get on his return the expected enthusiasm. It’s just if Governor William Berkeley, who had yet appointed him for this exploration, did not admonish him, jealous that it was not an English who had been brave enough to face the unknown. On the other hand, coastal owners feared that the new territories discoveries would attract other settlers likely to increase tobacco production and cause strong competition.

John Lederer (Hamburg 1644 -?) He had to complete his medical studies in Germany when he chose to leave for Virginia. Governor William Berkeley charged him with several exploration missions before he moved to Maryland from 1671.

April, 1669 - John Winthrop, Jr. is reelected governor of Connecticut.

May, 1669 – While he must travel to England, Governor of Maryland Charles Calvert appoints his uncle Philip Calvert, Jerome White and Baker Brooke to replace him during his absence.

May, 1669 - Richard Bellingham is reelected governor of Massachusetts Bay

May 19, 1669 - Located in Western Massachusetts on a site called Waranoake by Pocumtucks, Westfield acquires the city status.

The first colonists had settled there near 10 years earlier. Situated 6 miles west  of Springfield, Westfield was at that time the westernmost settlement of Massachusetts.

June 3, 1669 - Thomas Prence is reelected governor of Plymouth. Josiah Winslow and Thomas Southworth are again chosen as commissioners to the United Colonies.

It is during this term that the Court of Plymouth granted the city status to Namasakett who later changes its name to Middleborough.

Dr John Clarke 
May, 1669 - Benedict Arnold is elected for the second time governor of the
royal colony of Rhode Island and doctor John Clarke appointed lieutenant governor of the colony.

Benedict Arnold had already held this position between 1663 and 1166. Meanwhile, John Clarke, had been granted, in 1663, by King Charles II a royal charter for his province after waiting 11 years in England. Back in America, he had re-entered Newport parish where he was minister and also indulged in medicine to improve his livelihoods. He had, since 1664, been regularly reelected as deputy governor.

May 21, 1669 - The new governor and council of Rhode Island appoint "conservatives of the peace " who will be in charge to instruct local matters the damage of which does not exceed 40 schillings.

Samuel Wilson and Jirah Bull were responsible for Pettaquamscutt, Richard Smith and Samuel Dyre for Aquidnesuc, John Crandal and Tobias Saunders for Misquamicut. They had besides the power to appoint their assessors and constitute juries for trials.

Summer, 1669 - The Indian tribes of New England raise an army of 600 to 700 men placed under the command of Chief Wompatuck, intending to attack Mohawk. It is for them to avenge the death of several members of their tribes, killed by  Mohegan leader Uncas.

They besieged unsuccessfully the town of Caughnawaga and began their retreat when they were ambushed by Mohawk. There followed a bloody battle during which were killed all the Indian chiefs of New England, about fifty. The losses were however significant on both sides and they would need some time to recover.
They were at that time only Mahicans to continue to resist Iroquois. Yet, these had taken refuge in the Housatonic valley in Western Massachusetts and despite the incorporation of groups of Wappinger and Mattabesec, they had been so decimated by diseases that their total population did not exceed a thousand.

Wompatuck (1627-1669) - This Massachusett Indian chief, dubbed Josiah Sagamore by the English was the son of Sachem Chickataubut, one the first Indian leaders allies of the European settlers whom he sold a land on which was built the city of Boston. He had succeeded his uncle as sagamore in 1660.

Ninigret (c. 1610-1677)
Sachem of the Niantics
July 12, 1669 - Sachem Ninigret comes to complain to the Rhode Island council that Indians of his tribe are held on Block Island where they serve as domestics for Thomas Morrey. The governor promises to ask the latter by letter for explanations.

Summer, 1669 - a strange traveler come from Sweden appears under the name of Konigsmark in the Delaware colony.

He was actually sent by the Swedish government that worried about the fate of the "left to fend for themselves" Finns. From his real name, Marcus Jacobson, he was quickly accused of coming and going along the river and making speeches to incite rebellion against the English authorities. He partnered with Henry Coleman, a farmer soon blamed for having given up his livestock and crops to follow him. An arrest warrant was pronounced against them but informed, Coleman found refuge amongthe Indians. Governor Francis Lovelace then gave him order to surrender within fifteen days otherwise all his goods would be confiscated and become property of the king.

July 20, 1669 - the governor and council of Rhode Island order the arrest of Ninigret, suspected by them to organize a plot with Metacom (Philip), some of his men having been spotted several days with him without good reason.

Ninigret appeared three days later and explained that the Indians had actually held a big dance to invoke good harvests and that the rumors of conspiracy came from an Indian of Long Island who had abducted, in the past, a chief’s daughter against ransom and that it had taken time to be paid to him.

August 2nd, 1669 - a violent hurricane pounds the Albemarle colony, Carolina in full tobacco-harvesting season. The production is almost destroyed.

Cavelier De La Salle at the Seneca
August 10, 1669 - René Cavelier de la Salle lands in Irondequoit Bay near current Rochester on the shores of Lake Ontario, trying to reach the Ohio tribes.

René Robert Cavelier de La Salle (Rouen, November 22, 1643 – Louisiana, March 19, 1687) - A French traveler and explorer, he was the first European to visit territories between Quebec and the Mississippi Delta. he had, in his youth, attended the Jesuits and even belonged to their Congregation to fulfill the wishes of his father before being relieved of his vows for " moral infirmities ". He then proceeded to go to America and arrived in New France in 1667 where he met his brother Jean who was a priest in Montreal. He equipped in 1669 a small expedition consisting of about fifteen men with the aim of exploring Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. He reached upper Ohio River down to Louisville falls but abandoned by his companions, he had to turn back alone to Montreal.

August 13, 1669 - Cavelier de La Salle with Jesuit fathers Dollier de Casson and Bréhan de Galinée reach Totiakton on Honeoye Creek. They offer to the Seneca Indians a double-barrel pistol to be used against their enemies Andostoue and Mohegan. Other presents are kettles, hatchets, knives and glass jewelry.

August 14, 1669 - The Indians inform Cavelier de La Salle that they await the return of a group of young warriors bringing with them prisoners from the Dutch colonies and offer him a wampum belt. He has to attend in the meanwhile the torture and dismemberment of a captive.

September 14, 1669 – a council meets in New York to discuss the letters sent by captain Carr raising the possibility of an uprising in Delaware.

It was decided to send a letter to the officers to encourage them to the utmost vigilance. The council ordered that the "Long Finn", as was called Marcus Jacobson, who was meanwhile clapped in irons, stays in jail until the governor or his representative examine the charges alleged against him, namely "heinous and high nature". All other people who had a connection with the plot were kept under arrest and an inventory of their properties had to be made.
It was for one year, in Delaware, a justice court before which these people were going to be questioned. But the population was divided on their subject, just like the court itself, consisted in part of Finnish councillors. The Dutch also were concerned about this matter, like Robert Alrich, a board member.

September 17, 1669 - the village of Nieuw Dorp, by the Hudson River, is officially named Hurley.

September 25, 1669 - the Esopus village founded in 1658 by Thomas Chambers under the name of Wiltwyck is officially renamed Kingston.

October, 1669 - The Virginia Assembly enacts a law stipulating that when a slave resists his master, this one cannot be accused of murder if the death results from the punishment.

« Whereas the only law in force for the punishment of refractory servants resisting their master, mistress, or overseer cannot be inflicted upon Negroes, nor the obstinacy of many of them be suppressed by other than violent means, be it enacted and declared by this Grand Assembly if any slave resists his master (or other by his master's order correcting him) and by the extremity of the correction should chance to die, that his death shall not be accounted a felony, but the master (or that other person appointed by the master to punish him) be acquitted from molestation, since it cannot be presumed that premeditated malice (which alone makes murder a felony) should induce any man to destroy his own estate. »

October, 1669 - Lord Prorietor of New Jersey George Carteret who is also treasurer of the Navy is dismissed from the House of Commons to have granted funds without prior authorization.

Governor Francis Lovelace
November 22, 1669 - Secretary of New York Matthias Nicholls (c. 1630 - 1687) is appointed to go to Delaware and preside over the High Court which has to judge the " Long Finn " and his partners, accused of inciting a rebellion.

Governor Francis Lovelace had thoroughly prepared the trial and made sure that all the protocol particuliar to the English courts would be applied to supervise the parties. According to the bill of indictment, the "Long Finn" had to respond because « Not fearing God but being inspired by the devil, 28th day of August of the 21st year of the reign of our Sovereign Charles the second, by the grace of God of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, King and Defender of the Faith, Annoque Domini 1669, at Christina and several other times and places, before thou didst most wickedly traitorously, feloniously, and maliciously conspire and attempt to invade by force of arms this government settled under the allegiance and protection of His Majesty and also didst most traitorously solicit and entice divers and threaten others of His Majesty’s good subjects to betray their allegiance to His Majesty, the king of England, persuading them to revolt and adhere to a foreign prince, that is to say, to the king of Sweden in prosecution whereoff thou didst appoint and caused to be held routous and unlawful assemblies, breaking the peace of our Sovereign Lord the King and the laws of this government in such cases provided….. »

December 6, 1669 – The Long Finn Rebellion trial takes place in New Castle, Delaware before commissioners appointed by Governor Francis Lovelace.

The judgment had been prepared in advance by governor Lovelace and the New York Council. Marcus Jacobson a.k.a. the " Long Finn" was convicted of treason but avoided the death penalty. He was condemned to be flogged in public and have the face branded by the letter "R", meaning rebellion. It was planned to hang around his neck a sign that contained the charge against him and he would eventually be sent to the Barbados where he would be sold as a slave. Eighty people including Henry Coleman suspected of collusion and attempted rebellion were also fined.

1669 - In Virginia, they are 725 Indian warriors to pay tribute. The number of Natives still living in the colony is about 2900 while they were 30 000 sixty earlier, a declined caused by disease, famine, wars and fled to other regions. The European settlers are, on their side, about 30 000.

The servants who try to run away have their servitude period extended to offset the costs incurred by the government to pursue them or for other crimes, such as giving birth to a child or killing a pig.

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