Sunday, October 9, 2016

1678 - The Treaty of Casco

Charles Calvert, 3rd Baron Baltimore (1637-1715)
Lord Proprietor of Maryland
January, 1678 - Lord Proprietor Charles Calvert is back in his province of Maryland. He authorizes however governor Thomas Notley to remain in office.

January, 1678 - Governor of Albemarle Thomas Eastchurch dies in Jamestown, Virginia.

Arrived last december in Virginia, sailing from the island of Nevis where he had married a rich widow, he had been prevented to reach Albemarle on the grounds that the settlers had rebelled further to abuses committed by the acting governor Thomas Miller. He had then required from the rebels to lay down their arms and release Miller before starting negotiations, even threatening to raise an army if he was not heard. But the anti-proprietors had formally opposed any discussion, considering that Thomas Miller should first be tried for his crimes. The authorities of Virginia had anyway opposed his request for help before his death occurs.

March 25, 1678 - Robert Mason informs members of the Committee of the Lords of Trade and Plantations that both Massachusetts envoys William Stoughton and Peter Bulkley have just got on with the heirs of Sir Ferdinando Gorges for purchasing the province of Maine and made them similar proposals for New Hampshire.

March 28, 1678 - Attending a meeting of the Committee of the Lords of Trade and Plantations, William Stoughton and Peter Bulkley announce to have obtained a copy of Edward Randolph's report the contents of which are only an indictment against Massachusetts they hope to publicly denounce with the aim of obtaining a new investigation.

Randolph defended his report castigating the dubious methods used by Stoughton and Bulkley and insisted that he had attended a session of the General Court of Massachusetts in which it was demanded an oath of allegiance.

April, 1678 - Willam Leete keeps his position as governor of Connecticut.

April 12, 1678 - the Treaty of Casco signed at Fort Loyal between the representatives of Massachusetts and the Penobscot chiefs (sagamores) ends nearly two years of conflict in the province of Maine. The Native Americans recognize the English sovereignty and the settlers are allowed to re-occupy their lands for a fee.

Nicholas Shapleigh, Captain Champermoon and Captain Fryer of Portsmouth had been appointed by the government of Massachusetts to negotiate a peace agreement with Squando and all the sagamores of the tribes on the Androscoggin and Kennebec rivers.

This treaty aimed at restoring the friendly relations that prevailed in the region between Indians and English before the outbreak of King Philip’s War. It was accordingly concluded that all the prisoners would be released without ransom and that the Indian families would each receive a peck of corn per year, in exchange for the transfer of their lands to the settlers. Only Major Philips from Saco, as he was considered a major landowner, saw his yearly contribution amount to a bushel.

Avril 1678 – Timothy Biggs, a council man of Albermarle arrives in London to report the Lords Proprietors of Carolina about Culpeper’s Rebellion.

Timothy Biggsmerchant living in Boston in 1665, he had moved to Charles Town, North Carolina where he had become member of Parliament in 1672. A quaker, owner of Perminquans Precinct since his marriage with the widow of George Catchmaid, he had helped George Durant to make recognize his planter's rights before joining the party of Thomas Eastchurch and Thomas Miller thanks to whom he had become deputy of the Earl of Craven. Appointed deputy collector of customs by Miller in summer 1677 after the latter was back from London, he had been imprisoned a few months later, accused of murder. He had however succeeded in escaping, making his way to Virginia from where he had been able to take ship to England.

April 27, 1678 - After more than a year of contradictory discussions about the future status of Massachusetts, King Charles II sends a letter to the government of Boston requiring all the settlers to take an oath of allegiance to him.

This first decision marked Edward Randolph's victory against all the efforts of both Boston agents, Peter Bulkley and William Stoughton. These had, for a time, thought to win the game but by imposing their own oath of allegiance and minting their own currency, regarded as two essentially royal prerogatives, the authorities of Massachusetts would soon lose the arm-wrestling engaged for thirteen years against Charles II.

May 6, 1678 - Traveling to London, Boston merchant John Usher takes over, with the support of  Massachusetts, rights on Maine held by the heirs of Sir Ferdinando Gorges and John Mason in the amount of £ 1250.

He had been actually appointed by the Massachusetts government which hoped, by this, to silence the accusations of usurpation of which it was accused for many years. Eager to respect the terms of the Charter originally granted to Sir Ferdinando Gorges, The General Court of Boston set out a provincial administration with a president and two legislative councils (a permanent 8-member council and an assembly of elected representatives).
Deputy governor of Massachusetts Thomas Danforth was appointed president of Maine and went to settle with a guard of 40 soldiers at Fort Loyal, south of the Casco Bay.

Thomas Danforth (Framlingham, Sufflok, 1622 - Cambridge (MA) 1699) - Arrived in New England in 1634 with his father Nicholas and his younger brother Samuel, he quickly acquired a big influence in public affairs and served from 1659 as assistant to the governor of Massachusetts Bay.
His brother Samuel Danforth (Framlingham, Sufflok, 1626 - Roxbury (MA), 1674) was ordained minister of the church of Roxbury in 1650. He was especially interested in astronomy and published " An Astronomical Description of the Comet of 1664 " in which he endeavored to show that the appearance of a comet was linked to the divine laws and announced future misfortunes. 

May, 1678 - John Leverett is reelected governor of Massachusetts for the seventh consecutive year.

May, 1678 - Thomas Delavall is elected mayor of New York for the second time (He had previously held this post in 1671/72)

The city of New York then had 384 houses. It is under this term that wheat flour began to be sieved.

Josiah Winslow  (1628-1680)
Governor of Plymouth
May 16, 1678 - A declaration of the Ministry of Justice read before the Committee of the Lords of Trade and Plantations states that the charges against the colony of Massachusetts are enough to invalidate its charter.

The Committee decided that very day, with the approval of the king, to appoint Edward Randolph Customs Collector of New England.
This decision raised strong but fruitless protests from William Stoughton and  Peter Bulkley.

June 3rd, 1678 - Josiah Winslow is reelected governor of Plymouth.

June 19, 1678 - Benedict Arnold, the governor of Rhode Island dies in office in Newport at the age of 62. He is succeeded by William Coddington.

Arrived at Providence at Roger Williams's request, he had quickly come into conflict with Samuel Gorton, his quick-tempered neighbor settled like him along the Pawtuxet River. Having learned the native language, he served then repeatedly as interpreter during land transactions with Narragansett. Based with his family in Newport from 1651, he subsequently held official positions until becoming president of the colony of Rhode Island from 1657 to 1660 and then in 1662. Appointed first governor in 1663 after the Royal Charter granted by King Charles II, he managed simultaneously his own business in a sometimes debated way. Besides his interests in the West Indies and after building a territorial fortune in Rhode Island, he was in particular accused of selling ammunitions and liquors to the Indians despite the ban.

Summer, 1678 – A smallpox epidemic strikes Boston causing 800 deaths (a quarter of the population).

It spread in the manner of a medieval disease. No family was spared.

August 7, 1678 - French traveler René Robert Cavelier de La Salle leaves Fort Conti near Niagara Falls aboard the Griffon, a 45-ton ship he has just built with his fellow Henri de Tonti to explore the Great Lakes and sail down the Mississippi River. He is accompanied with thirty men including Jesuit Fathers Louis Hennepin, Zenobé Membré and Gabriel de la Ribourde.

Henri de Tonti (1649-1704)
Henri de Tonti (Gaete (Italy), 1649 - 1704) - he was the son of a renowned Italian financier (inventor of the first life insurance: the tontine) forced to seek asylum in France after taking part in a revolt against the king of Naples. The young Henri decided in 1669 to serve in the army, then in the French Navy. He lost a hand after an explosion during a campaign in the Mediterranean Sea and wore from then a hook protected by a glove earning him to be nicknamed "Iron Hand". He arrived in New France in July 1678 with the intention to partner with his friend Cavelier De La Salle who has just been granted the fur trade monopoly on all the regions to be discovered.

August 3rd, 1678 - A party of Indians attacks Daniel Cunningham’s farm at Trent Hall, near Mechanicsville, Maryland. He and his brother are killed while his wife is struck by a tomahawk.

She was found alive four days later despite how serious was her injury. She had time to report she had been assaulted by four Piscataway Indians among whom Wassettas, before dying on August 9.

August 19, 1678Piscataway Indians represented by their chief Nicotaghsen, the interpreter Ouquintimo, Chotike and several other leaders meet Thomas Notley, the governor of Maryland and members of the provincial council about the murder of the Cunningham family.

It was recalled to the Indians that the treaty signed twelve years earlier stated their commitment to deliver the murderers of settlers to the English authorities. These defended on the grounds that they had no idea of those responsible for the crime. They held to highlight the importance they attached to their friendship with the English and announced that they would do their own investigation among young warriors.

Piscataway - this Indian nation settled for a long time in the lower Potomac valley (their first signs of dwellings dating back almost 10 000 years) was among the first to intensively develop corn and beans growing in addition to hunting and traditional food picking.

Around 1400, the population of the region grew considerably because of the inflow of Algonquians and Iroquois, pushed southward by small ice age. This caused a series of destructive wars contributing to the enhancement of the Piscataway social order based on a strongly hierarchical organization.
When the first European settlers arrived in Virginia, the Piscataways (called Moyaons by John Smith, referring to the village where lived their leader, the Tayac), estimated at about 2500, were closely related to Nacotchank and Doeg nations. Their regional dominance then convinced the rival tribes to ally with the newcomers to balance powers. This strategy worked for a time with the Virginia Company but the Piscataways took advantage of the creation of Maryland to ally with this new colony. Tayac Chitimachen converted to Christianity in 1634 and one of his daughters became Giles Brent’s wife.
This alliance did not however prove beneficial to Piscataways who, after transmitting to the settlers their methods to improve corn and tobacco growing, were to face the damage caused their livestock and their appetite for farmland. It was even compromised when the authorities of Maryland authorized the Susquehannocks, hated by the Piscataways, to come and settle in the province after their defeat against the Five Nations. This situation was actually only passing and Susquehannocks, involved in a series of bloody raids along the Potomac, were hounded out of the colony in 1676. Piscataways found there an opportunity to settle their accounts with this traditional foe.

August 27, 1677 - The Piscataway representatives have another meeting with governor Thomas Notley to inform him that they could not identify the murderers of Cunningham. This answer, together with the fact that other crimes involving Indians have just been committed in the region, is the start of a crisis foreshadowing a potential armed conflict.

Troops were raised in Calvert, Cecil, Kent, Baltimore and Dorchester Counties and the residents were instructed to fire three shots at the onset of the enemy.

Jesuit Father Louis Hennepin
October 9, 1678 – Having left Chateau Frontenac, Quebec on September 18, Jesuit father Louis Hennepin who takes part in La Salle expedition, is the first one to reach Niagara Falls.

Louis Hennepin (Ath (Belgium) 1626 - 1705) - Become French in 1659 following  the takeover of Spanish-occupied Bethune by the troops of Louis XIV, he was appointed chaplain of the French armies and involved in the siege of Maastricht then in the bloody battle of Seneffe where he met Daniel Duluth. He was sent o New France in 1675 by the king with three other Recollets missionaries to accompany Cavelier de La Salle. He spent the next two years to travel around the neighboring areas and to get familiar with the Indian nations and their languages.
Louis Hennepin was not the first to discover Niagara Falls. Paul Ragueneau, another French missionary who had taken the risk to go to the Onondaga, one of the five Iroquois nations engaged in a ruthless war against Hurons, had been the first to describe their places in 1643.

October 15, 1678 - In a letter to the Secretary of State Sir Joseph Williamson, Governor John Leverett informs him that he pledges allegiance to King Charles II, as well as members of the Council and the General Court of Massachusetts.

Fendall coat of arms
October 20, 1678 - Former governor Josias Fendall is elected at the Assembly of Maryland by the people of Charles County.

Convinced that this election would cause disturbance, Governor Thomas Notley informed Josias Fendall that, following the banishment to which he was sentenced eighteen years earlier, he was not authorized to sit in the Maryland General Assembly.

November 1, 1678 - Having crossed Lake Erie and Lake Huron, René Robert Cavelier de La Salle builds a fort in the mouth of St Joseph River (today Michigan River) where he expects to be joined by Tonti, left on foot from Niagara.

November 1, 1678 - 77 year-old William Coddington, the governor of Rhode Island dies after only five months in office. He is suceeded by deputy governor John Cranston.

This pioneering magistrate of the colonization of New England had arrived in America in 1630 with John Winthrop. A member of the church of Boston under Rev. John Cotton, he chose however to leave the Massachusetts Bay colony consequently to the banishment of Anne Hutchinson in 1638. One of the signatories of the Portsmouth Compact, he enjoyed the support of Roger Williams before meeting regularly in conflict with him. He was from then on widely blamed for taking advantage of his public positions to favor his personal interests. Skillful but vindictive politician, he was nevertheless able to get the government of Aquidneck Island apart from Rhode Island. He became a member of the Religious Society of Friends in 1673.

John Cranston (1625-1680) - Native of Scotland, he arrived during his childhood in New England in the care of the London merchant Jeremiah Clarke whose eldest girl Mary he would later marry. Chosen as a teenager drummer of the militia of Portsmouth, he was to be renowned as a physician and surgeon. Furthermore, he was elected to various public positions before ending up deputy governor of Rhode Island under Nicholas Easton in 1672. Appointed commander of the militia during King Philip's War, he actually had to the death a few months apart of two governors of Rhode Island to be elected to lead the colony which then had about 2000 freemen in arm-bearing age.

November 12, 1678 - Three Indians from Sandwich are convicted of stealing £ 25 in the house of Zachariah Allin. Being unable to redeem them, they are condemned to slavery for the rest of their life.

November 15, 1678 - the General Assembly of Maryland closes its session by authorizing Lord Baltimore to personally meet the Piscataway to propose them a new peace and friendship treaty.

November 20, 1678 - Henri de Tonti arrives at the mouth of the Saint Joseph River where he finds Cavelier De La Salle.

Both men and their 14 team members, among whom father Louis Hennepin, decided to go up the river towards Kankakee.

December 3, 1678 - Having sailed up the St Joseph River and Kankakee River down to the Illinois River, French explorer René Cavelier de la Salle and his men found Fort Crevecoeur (present day Peoria, Ill.).

December 13, 1678 - a peace treaty is concluded between Charles Calvert, Lord Baltimore and the Piscataway representatives
Are present the Emperor of Assateague, the Pokomoke, Yngoteague, Nuswattax, Annamesse, Acquintica, and Morumsco kings and all the tribes under their control.

It was in particular decided
- That the signatory Indians of the treaty would consider Indian enemies of the English as their own enemies
- That they would drop their weapons within 300 ft. of an English.
- That every English who would kill an Indian would be sentenced to death and conversely
- That the Indians who would kill Ababco or one of his relatives would be inflicted the same sentence as for the murder of an English.
- That the signatories would consider themselves responsible for crimes committed by Indians from out Maryland.

December 30, 1678 - Sir Henry Chicheley, the former colonel of the militia, is chosen to represent on site the new governor of Virginia, Thomas Culpeper.

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