Sunday, September 25, 2016

1677 - Rising Tensions in Albemarle


January, 1677 - Captain James Crews is arrested and executed in Green Spring upon order of governor William Berkeley. He is accused of having supported Nathaniel Bacon and taken with his men reprisals against Indians without prior order of the governor.

The government of Virginia had moved to Green Spring, a few kilometers away from Jamestown, while waiting for the rebuilding of the city.

January 14, 1677 - William Drummond, one of the main followers of Nathaniel Bacon is arrested, judged for high treason and hanged immediately.

William Drummond (c. 1620-1677) - this Scottish presbyterian reputed as a gentleman nevertheless arrived in Virginia in 1637 as indentured servant. He was, however, not long to rebel against ill-treatment imposed by the planters on cheap workforce. Sentenced after trying to run away, he had been publicly whipped. After completing his service, he had successfully started up in business and land speculation but it is especially trough the marriage of his daughter Sarah with Samuel Swann, the son of an important member of the Council of State that he had begun to accede to executive positions in the colony. Appointed first governor of Albemarle County, North Carolina from 1664 to 1667 thanks to the support of William Berkeley, he had made the mistake to criticize the policies of the letter towards the settlers, what had eventually cost him his post. Back in Virginia, he had therefore been constantly opposing to Berkeley’s methods, what had naturally led him to side with Nathaniel Bacon.

January 21, 1677 - John Foster publishes in Boston a book on smallpox which is the first medical treatise printed in New England.

January 29, 1677 - the 10-vessel fleet that left London on December 3rd arrives in Virginia. It carries 1000 soldiers placed under the command of colonel Herbert Jeffreys, admiral Sir John Berry and colonel Francis Moryson, come to give support against Nathaniel Bacon's rebellion.

William Berkeley had, meanwhile, managed to defeat the uprising but his victory was not enough to hide the extent of damage, including the destruction of Jamestown,. Jeffreys certainly arrived a little late but he had also been mandated to inform Berkeley that the latter was called back to London and that he should replace him the time required.
When he saw landing this army, Berkeley bred all the more bitterness that he didn’t ask for any help but needed now to find what to supply to a thousand additional men in a devastated colony. The soldiers settled their camp around Jamestown where they stayed until late spring whereas colonel Jeffreys chose to take up residence at Middle Plantation.

Sir John Berry (1636-1690)
Royal commissioner and Admiral of the fleet
February 1st, 1677 - Governor William Berkeley is invited to get aboard the Bristol commanded by Sir John Berry to be aware of the actions taken by the king about Virginia. He gives for his part a long letter entitled " History of our miseries " intended for Secretary of State Henry Coventry in which he draws up a report of his governorship.

February 17, 1677 - The troops sent to Maine by the Boston Council land at Maquoit Bay, near Black Point.

These consisted of a 200-men company including sixty Natick warriors, commanded by Major Richard Waldron and his assistant captain Frost. Waldron was ordered to recover the captives but having learned that a plot was hatched against him, he decided to fight a battle and hunted the Pemaquid Indians, making several victims whose local sachem Mattahando. He then returned to Arroswick where he left a small garrison before returning to Boston where he arrived on March 11.

February 17, 1677 - Captain Thomas Walker, the sheriff of Somerset County, Maryland relates that Indians were guilty of a " barbaric crime " by murdering at their home all the members of David William’s family.

February, 1677 - Iroquois, Susquehannocks and Lenape conclude an agreement in the village of Shackamaxon (present-day Philadelphia). It was agreed that the Susquehannocks living in the Delaware valley will find refuge, if they wish, within the Iroquois confederation.

English magistrates from Upland (now Chester, PA) attended the meeting but it didn’t result in any written document. Many calculations were afterward engaged about the nature of the agreement between the Indian nations the effects of which were all the better suitable to governor Andros since they angered Lord Baltimore and the authorities of nearby Maryland.

March 15, 1677 – A party of Mohawk warriors is spotted on Pennacooks land by the son of sachem Wanalancet. They prefer to turn back after a short firefight.

April 6, 1677 - Despite the recent arrival of a garrison from Massachusetts under the command of Lt Benjamin Swett, Indians attack the city of Wells, Maine, causing three casualties among the inhabitants.

Sir Edmund Andros (1637-1714)
Governor of New York
April, 1677 - The United Colonies authorities send Major Pynchon from Springfield and James Richard from Hartford to deal with Mohawks in the hope of securing their help in the campaign that they plan against the hostile tribes of Maine.

This mission had received the approval of the governor of New York, Sir Edmund Andros and Mohawks saw no reason why they would not support the New England forces but preferred to give up, considering the distance which would separate them from their lands.
The rumor of their involvement was, however, enough to sow terror within the eastern tribes.

April, 1677 - William Leete is reelected governor of Connecticut.

Col. Herbert Jeffreys (? - 1678)
Lieutenant-Governor of Virginia
April 27, 1677 - Colonel Herbert Jeffreys officially takes office as Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. He replaces William Berkeley, recalled to England by order of king Charles II.
Jeffreys must be assisted in his new task by Sir John Berry and colonel Francis Moryson.

Herbert Jeffreys (? - 1678) – A career army officer probably a descendant of a Norman family come with William the Conqueror and further settled in Wales, he had fought since 1642 alongside king Charles 1 during the Civil war. Exiled to France with the Stuart family, he had served under James, Duke of York, then Lieutenant General in the royal forces during the Fronde rebellion. Back in England for the Restoration of Charles II, he had been in charge of repressing the enemies of the Crown in Portsmouth, York and London before being promoted colonel of the Royal Regiment sent to Virginia. This appointment was no coincidence as far as his own brother John Alderman Jeffreys ( 1614-1699 ) was for long the main court-connected tobacco merchant of London and a landowner in Virginia.

May 10, 1677 - Penobscot Chief Mogg assisted by Symon (nicknamed the "Yankee Killer"), one of the Indians involved in the murder of the Kimball family, appear with their warriors before the fort of Blackpoint held by the garrison commanded Lieutenant Bartholomew Tippen.

The Indians included Penobscot, Kennebec and Ammoscoggin tribesmen, well trained and certainly equipped by the French.

May 5, 1677 - After four months of intensive discussions, Governor of Virginia William Berkeley agrees finally to give up his post and to go back on the first boat to London.

He left behind a colony that, despite the destructions caused by Bacon’s rebellion could, through its agricultural production, display a real prosperity while on the contrary, a large part of the population lived in poverty and despair. The " Navigation Act", that he had vainly fought for years allowed the British Treasury to levy substantial taxes on colonial exports at a time when tobacco sale prices were lowest, leading many planters to ruin.

May 6, 1677 - Edward Randolph sends a damning report to the London Committee of Foreign Affairs under the heading "Representation of ye Affairs of New England".

The paper listed eight charges against the authorities of Massachusetts Bay:
- They were usurpers not benefiting from any royal charter.
- They had taken no oath of allegiance to the king.
- They had protected the regicide generals Goffe and Whalley.
- They minted their own money.
- They had executed Quakers because of their religious beliefs.
- They opposed the representatives of the king by occupying illegally New Hampshire and Maine.
- They had imposed their own oath of loyalty to all the inhabitants of Massachusetts.
- They had violated the laws on navigation and trade.

Edward Randolph led his mission with obvious bias, to satisfy the royal claims. In his report, everything had been exaggerated, the population figures, the estimates of  wealth as well as abuses of the colonial government. Feeling flouted, the authorities of Massachusetts were quick to rebel against Randolph's assertions. John Leverett, the first one, was anxious to remind that his colony had grown without any input from the Crown and that, contrary to what some were leading everyone to believe, its people were "poor".

May 13, 1677 - After a 3-day siege, Penobscot Chief Mogg is killed by Lieutenant Bartholomew Tippen, commanding the garrison of Blackpoint. His death causes turmoil in the Indian ranks who, already lamenting the loss of  ten of their men, hastily organize their withdrawing.

May, 1677 - Benedict Arnold is elected a president of the royal colony of Rhode Island. He revokes the law exempting the Quakers from military service.

May 19, 1677 - the New York City council decides to tax the construction of port warehouses and bridges. It also prohibits attorneys from pleading in the courts.

May 23, 1677 - John Leverett is reelected at the of 61 governor of Massachusetts for a further year.

May 28, 1677 - Merchant Wentworth Greenhalgh leaves Albany for an observation mission on Iroquois land. He travels on horseback to meet tribes that do not yet know this animal.

May 29, 1677 - A treaty signed in Middle Plantation (Virginia) with the Indians who had been victims of attacks last year foresees that they will have to give up their lands in exchange for which they can live at their expenses in small reserves.
They recognize themselves on the other hand as subjects of the king of England who agrees to grant them his protection.

As new governor, Colonel Herbert Jeffreys represented the king of England while the Pamunkey queen represented the Indians.
Nathaniel Bacon's rebellion had failed and most of his lieutenants had been hanged but the main victims of the conflict were undoubtedly the Indians. By hoarding their last territories, the rich planters hence became those in power.

June 12, 1677 - Stephanus Van Cortlandt is elected mayor of New York for one year.
It is under his term that were introduced the first taxes on warehouses and bridges building designed to meet the debts of the city, and that was created a first insane asylum.

Stephanus Van Cortland
(1643-1700)
Stephanus Van Cortlandt (1643-1700) - From a family of Dutch" patroons ", he was the first mayor of New York born in the city. His father, Oloff, had arrived in the colony in 1638 as an employee of the Dutch West India Company. He later set up his own business, what had allowed to make his fortune in trading and to purchase a large estate by the Hudson River. Oloff had married in 1642, Annette Lookermans, the daughter of a famous merchant. His elder son Stephanus had to continue developing the family estate, particularly through the construction of remarkable Van Cortlandt Manor.

June 17, 1677 - Senecas living in current Lima (NY) area bring back nearly fifty Indian prisoners from an expedition to the South.

June 19, 1677 - The Committee of the Lords of Trade and Plantations met since June 12 summons William Randolph and both Massachusetts agents William Stoughton and Peter Bulkley for an adversarial hearing. The latter strongly dispute the rights claimed on New Hampshire by Robert Mason and on Maine by the heirs of the late Sir Ferdinando Gorges.

The Five Iroquois Nations
June 18, 1677 - After visiting the new Seneca site of Totiakton, Wentworth Greenhalgh and his companions reach Gannagaro (now Broughton Hill, NY), an important village built on a hilltop.

This had been built from 1672 with the help of French Jesuits, very active within the tribe. It had about 150 houses. Greenhalgh found the Indian prisoners brought there a month earlier, among whom nine were executed during his stay.
Senecas not being sedentary people, their villages were actually occupied for only a few years.
Gleenhalgh collected during his journey, valuable information on the Five Iroquois Nations .

An Iroquois village
Mohawks had 5 villages, 96 longhouses and 300 warriors; Oneidas 1 village, 100 longhouses, 200 warriors; Onondagas 2 villages, 164 longhouses, 350 warriors; Cayugas 3 villages, 100 longhouses, 300 warriors; Senecas 4 villages, 324 longhouses, 100 warriors. Altogether, they were 2150 warriors for an estimated population of about 10750.

June 22nd, 1677 – Maine, the governor and council of Massachusetts instructs Lt. Benjamin Swett to head military reinforcements that must protect the Winter Harbor, York Harbor and Wells areas.

Swett was, in circumstance, promoted to captain and found himself commanding a 300-men army.
The end of King Philip's War had moved the area of hostilities towards Maine, where the Indians of the region who had maintained for decades peaceful relations with the English settlers, suddenly seemed to no longer accept their neighborhood. Like what had happened two years before in Massachusetts, highly mobile groups of Indians had come bursting here and there into villages or remoted farms threatening the settlers among whom some were taken captive, and plundering houses before setting them on fire.

Benjamin Swett (Wymondham Parish (Norfolk) on 1624 - Morre Brook, 1677) – A native of Norfolk, his family settled in Massachusetts when he was still a child. He turned young to a military career before, however, leaving Newbury where he lived with his wife and his children, for Hampton, New Hampshire. He acquired notable's status and held various public responsibilities before the events will lead him to join the colonial army. He served during King Philip’s War in Captain Gardiner’s regiment and took part in particular in the operations against Narragansetts, December, 1675.

June 28, 1677 - Captain Swett casts anchor at Black Point, near Scarborough, after being informed that a party of Indian warriors was spotted around. He decides to go after them and forms a 90-men company, with Lieutenant James Richardson based in Chelmsford and Lieutenant Bartholomew Tippen who commands Black Point.

Swett had been placed in command of a 3-warship small fleet. He landed in a seemingly peaceful area but the desolation of the fields and charred ruins of houses were the evidence of recent violence. He ignored however who were the Indians who were hiding in the region and how many they could be. And if he(it) knew the valor of his troops and their discipline, it was on the other hand difficult to him to assess their ability to fight such an enemy.

Lt. James Richardson (Charlestown (MA), 1641 - Moore's Brooke, 1677) - His parents were among the first settlers of Massachusetts. He chose like his brother James, a military career and left to settle in Chelmsford where he was given the responsibility to oversee the Christian Indians of the region. It is from there that he could train a company of about forty scouts to serve alongside colonial troops. Richardson stood out during King Philip’s War by the relevance of his choices and his bravery earned him at the time the admiration and devotion of the Indians working under his orders.

June 29, 1677 - Battle at Moores' Brooke, near Scarborough (Maine). Captain Benjamin Swett and his company are ambushed by Indians.

Swett made the fatal mistake, as before him a lot of officers of New England, to throw himself blindly on the heels of a few fugitives unaware of the ambush that awaited him. The Indians commanded by Sagamore Squando suddenly sprang in the bend of a wood spreading panic within the small company. Captain Swett tried to keep his men together but, trapped, some tried to run away whereas the others found themselves encircled under enemy fire. Lieutenant Richardson was killed early in the assault and Captain Swett eventually fell under the blows from the Indians. Forty English soldiers died during the attack as well as a dozen Indian scouts who accompanied them.

July 2nd, 1677 - The survivors of the battle at Moore's Brooke arrive at Salem where they must be treated.

Early July, 1677 - Following their first talks in May, the representatives of New York and New England meet the Iroquois chiefs in Albany with the aim of signing with them a treaty of alliance.

They commended in the preamble the peaceful relations the English maintained with the Iroquois hoping that are buried in the future quarrels with Maryland. This required adjusting the Suquehannock problem. Henry Coursey, the emissary of  Maryland, had arrived in New York in May where he could discuss the issue with the governor Andros. Arrived in Albany, Coursey was anxious to talk only with Iroquois, refusing somehow to Susquehannocks the right to be recognized among the Indian nations allied to the English, while the Lenape of Delaware, invited as observers were to be requested to sign the treaty.

July 9, 1677 – Barely back from Virginia, William Berkeley dies in his home in London at the age of 71, even before to meet the  king.

He had just arrived in England after being relieved of his duties as governor of Virginia on order of Charles II. Berkeley had bound his fate to that of the colony for more than 35 years but despite his tireless efforts to increase prosperity, he ended up losing the favors of Charles II by his opposition to the Navigation Acts. Berkeley had tried hard to defend the freedom of trade against abusive taxations, to diversify the economy of Virginia, dangerously penalized according to him by the tobacco monoculture. But more and more, planters of Virginia had come to criticize his autocratic and corrupt government, as well as his cronyism to the Indians. The erosion of power certainly justified the speed with which had extended Nathaniel Bacon's rebellion as much as it had highlighted the significance of his unpopularity.

July 13, 1677 – Indian Chief Popanooie is convicted of cruelty and outrage to the people of Dartmouth, including the murder of several of children of Thomas Pope. He is sentenced with his wife and his children to slavery for life and excluded from the colony.

It seems that he was actually the only one of the family to be expelled from the country.

July 20, 1677 - Thomas Culpeper, 2nd Baron Culpeper of Thoresway is appointed governor of Virginia but chooses to rule the colony from England where he is living.

Thomas Culpeper, 2nd Baron Culpeper
(1635-1689)
Governor of Virginia
Thomas Culpeper (1635-1689) - His father John (1600-1660) had inherited, in 1617, shares in the Virginia Company before being knighted by king James 1st. Raised to the peerage by Charles 1st in 1644, he became the owner of 1/7th of the northern neck of Virginia further to 1649 charter. John never went, however, in Virginia and preferred to take refuge in the Netherlands with his wife Judith and their seven children after the execution of the king. It is in this country that the young Thomas married in 1659 Margaret van Hesse, a wealthy Dutch heiress, shortly before returning to live in England at the time of the restoration of Charles II. He held the modest position of administrator for the Isle of Wight when in 1673, he and the Earl of Arlington were granted by the king all the lands in Virginia free of any patent. Slated two years later to succeed governor William Berkeley, he thought, after his appointment, to be able to rule the province from England but the king judged otherwise and forced him to move there in 1680.

July 21st, 1677 - The representatives of Maryland, led by colonel Henry Coursey, sign with the Iroquois Confederacy and the Susquehannocks the peace treaty prepared in spring by the governor of New York Sir Edmund Andros.

Commonly called "Covenant Chain", this treaty considered as an example for the coexistence between peoples of various ethnic origins, was claimed as a victory by both camps. The English saw the coming supremacy of their language, their culture and their economy while Iroquois obtained, by this way, an indisputable dominance within the Indian peoples. The French had, in turn, to recognize that this alliance seriously compromised their North American colonization plans.
Faced with the rise of of an Anglo-Iroquois alliance, Lenapes of the lower Hudson Valley could only notice the loss of their influence and their inevitable decline.
Edmund Andros had set ambition to make his province a haven for all displaced Indian populations and to better control them. He enjoyed a territory, both very large and scarcely populated which had already seen coming Susquehannocks but could also receive Indians who had to flee New England or Mahicans stripped of their lands. He had even been responsible for planting in Scaticook and Albany welcome trees  for them.

July 27, 1677 - The Lords of the Committee of Trade and Plantations summon the envoys of Massachusetts to inform them about the creation of a commission to resolve the border disputes and remind them to fully comply with the Navigation Act.

William Stoughton and Peter Bulkley were assured that the king did not want to invalidate their charter but wished on the other hand to supplement it.

September 9, 1677 - Pennacook Sachem Wonalancet and his relatives leave Namaoskeag to Wickasauke Island where they must acknowledge with disappointment that the land granted to them on October 14, 1665 by the General Court of Massachusetts is now occupied by English settlers. They prefer to permanently abandon the region and move to St-Fran├žois-du-Lac, Canada.

October 10, 1677 - The General Court of Massachusetts decides to make November 15 a Thanksgiving day.

It was on this day to thank God for having protected the population of the spreading of an epidemic and for being by its side against London’s actions.

October 31, 1677 - Foundation of East Greenwich, Rhode Island on a land taken back from the Atherton Company.

December 1st, 1677 - George Durant arrives at Albemarle after a journey to London where he defended the cause of the settlers of the area before the Lords Proprietors of Carolina. His message was not heard.

He had gone to London to explain to the Lords Proprietors disarray in which were most settlers, announcing upcoming unrest if the Plantation Duty Act which required the payment of customs duties before departure of the goods, was not abolished. Durant was not heard and had to leave quickly for Albemarle to get there before governor Thomas Eastchurch, for his part responsible to immediately apply the new customs provisions. The latter took, however, his time and made a detour via Nevis in the West Indies, to marry a rich widow.

December 3rd, 1677 – A group of about forty settlers of Albemarle led by
Acting Governor Thomas Miller arrested
John Culpeper, Valentine Bird and George Durant expel the Acting Governor Thomas Miller and seize power. Miller is thrown in prison and his documents confiscated while Culpeper and his partisans call for new elections.

It had been years that tensions were mounting between the long-time settlers, generally of little standing and the representatives of the Lords Proprietors of Carolina, beneficiaries of a charter that king Charles II had granted them in 1664. The election, two years earlier, of Thomas Eastchurch, loyal to the Lords, as governor of Albemarle had merely increased the tensions especially as he had appointed Thomas Miller who, in addition to his tax collector’s position, had found a way to grow rich by enforcing illegal seizures or imposing baseless fines. Eastchurch had, meanwhile, gone to England, March, 1676, leaving his vacancy while Miller had been arrested two months later, further to a complaint from former governor John Jenkins. He had been put on trial before a court of Virginia for blasphemy and attempted treason but charges were not held and he was finally acquitted. He then traveled to London where the Lords expected from him to report on some irregularities. These forgave him his excesses and authorized him to sail back to Albemarle where he landed on July 9 to take over the governor's position, in abeyance since the unexpected departure of Thomas Eastchurch. He surrounded himself with a crew of armed men who accompanied him everywhere he went but did not have to wait more than six months to be overthrown by the uprising that has since been called Culpeper's Rebellion.

December 10, 1677 - Samuel Gorton dies in his home in Warwick, (Rhode Island) at the age of 85.

He had retired from public life in 1670 after being repeatedly deputy governor of Rhode Island. He left behind the memory of a man fiercely hostile to slavery and committed to equal rights for individuals, Natives or women. Gorton was a stiff defender of religious freedom of, and had spent a part of his life to fight against the Puritan power, advocating the separation of church and state. He was, as a result, banished from Massachusetts and went to London where he had found his friend the Earl of Warwick by whom he was granted a Royal Charter authorizing him to return and live peacefully in New England. He had then settled down with his family in Rhode Island where he had founded his own religious movement


December 16, 1677 - The envoys from Massachusetts William Stoughton and Peter Bulkley deliver to the king a petition in which they seek to keep the administration of the cities of Exeter, Dover, Portsmouth and Hampton, falling within New-Hampshire jurisdiction.


Sir William Berkeley  (1606-1677)
Governor of Virginia (1641-1652, 1660-1667)

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