When baffled Peter Stuyvesant with an aching heart turned over to Colonel Richard Nicolls the fair province of New Netherland, and the old local names — not yet old in years but destined to be forever venerable in memory — gave place to the name and titles of the new master; when the little town on the tip end of Manhattan Island became New York, and Fort Amsterdam, its quaint citadel, became Fort James, and far up in the northern wilderness Dutch Orange received Scotch baptism as Albany;a the revolution was more quiet and peaceable than almost any other that is recorded in history. Few political changes have been greater in their consequences. But transferring from Dutch into English hands the strategic centre of antagonism to New France, it brought about an approach toward unity of political development in the English colonies and made it possible for them at length to come together in a great Federal Union. Such remote results were not within the ken of James, Duke of York. Thoughts of commerce rather than of empire filled his mind, and none could deny that the trade in peltries and the possession of a superb seaport were fit objects of princely care. A bigot and despot by natural temper, he had nothing to gain and everything to lose by exhibiting such qualities as Lord Proprietor of this Dutch domain. But for tact and moderation p2this bloodless conquest could hardly have been made; without continued moderation and tact it might prove hard to keep. Conciliation was the watchword, no better person could have been found to carry out such a policy than Richard Nicolls, one of the most genial and attractive figures in early American history. He was honest and sensible, frank but courteous in speech, open-hearted and liberal-minded, a man of refined tastes and an excellent scholar withal, fond of his Greek and Latin books, and speaking Dutch and French like a native. Wherever he went he won all hearts, and so it was in New Amsterdam. The citizens were undisturbed in person or property, and it was soon felt that their rights were better protected than ever before. The old Dutch local government of burgomasters, schepens, and schout was retained for a year, and then those officers were replaced by mayor, aldermen, and sheriff. A code of laws was promulgated, known as "The Duke's Laws," and none could complain of it as wanting in liberality. The patroons were confirmed in their estates, henceforth called manors, jury trial was introduced and the criminal code amended, and it was provided that no Christian p3should be in any wise molested for his religious opinions. The arrival of Englishmen upon the scene brought the Church of England and its services; but everything was amicably arranged, and for a time the Dutch Reformed service was held in the morning and the English in the afternoon at one and the same meeting-house.
While in these respects the duke's laws were so liberal, they provided nothing like constitutional government for the people of New York. There was no legal check upon Nicolls's arbitrary will; and if the four years of his government were long remembered as a kind of golden age in the history of the colony, it was purely because of his admirable character. As Samuel Maverick wrote to Lord Arlington, it was wonderful how this man could harmonize things in a world so full of strife; even the Indians felt the effects, and were "brought into such peaceful posture" as never before.
One of the most important series of transactions under the first English governor of New York was that which determined the boundaries of the province. Cartwright was sent up the North River, and met with no opposition at p4Rensselaerwyck, Fort Orange, and Esopus. The submission was as peaceful as it had been at Manhattan. On the South River it was otherwise. Sir Robert Carr was sent with two of the frigates to demand the surrender of the Dutch fort at New Amstel. The garrison were ready to submit to the inevitable, but the commandant, Alexander Hinnoyossa, was determined to resist. A couple of broadsides from the frigates and a rush of English soldiers soon settled the business; the fort was carried by storm, and of its defenders there were three killed and ten wounded. Carr now showed that he was made of very different stuff from Nicolls. He confiscated property for his private use and that of his son and friends; he shipped the Dutch soldiers to Virginia, to be sold into servitude; and he rifled people's houses, carrying away everything of value, even to the wearing apparel. It became necessary for Nicolls to follow him to the Delaware River and make him disgorge some of his plunder. The name New Amstel was changed to Newcastle, and Captain John Carr, son of Sir Robert, was put in command of the distinct. According to the charter which Lord Baltimore had obtained from Charles I, this whole western shore of Delaware Bay was part of Maryland;1 but the Duke of York showed small respect for his father's grants. He insisted upon keeping his own officers there, and thus Delaware remained an appendage to New York until 1682, when it was given to William Penn.
The eastern boundary was the next matter that required attention. It will be remembered that the charter obtained by Winthrop in 1662 made Connecticut extend to the Pacific Ocean, but the charter granted to the Duke of York in 1664 made the province of New York begin at the Connecticut River. If this latter provision had been sustained, it would have spoiled Connecticut, crippled Massachusetts, and prevented the existence of Vermont. The question had many complications. Both Connecticut and New Haven had exercised p6jurisdiction over portions of Long Island. The charter of 1662 extinguished the New Haven colony by annexing it to Connecticut, but the New Haven people had resisted this provision. Stamford posed for the moment as an independent republic, but Connecticut claimed jurisdiction over Stamford and over Westchester County as well. The action of New Haven tended to simplify matters. By the duke's charter New York would have swallowed that colony. So between two unpalatable cups New Haven chose the less bitter. The "Christless rule" of democratic Connecticut was not so bad as the equally Christless rule of despotically governed New York. Everything now depended upon the justice and wisdom of Nicolls; his representations would have great weight with the Duke of York and the king. Had he insisted upon the Connecticut River boundary he would probably have got it. But such a disregard for the Winthrop charter seemed to him both dishonourable and contrary to public policy, and he soon accepted a boundary line which seemed fair to all parties. Connecticut was to have Stamford, but Westchester County was to belong to New York. The dividing line was to start at Mamaroneck Creek and run north-northwest until it should intersect the southern boundary of Massachusetts, keeping always as much as •twenty miles distant from the Hudson River. This sounded reasonable enough, but people's knowledge of American geography was still very slender. New York historians have accused the Connecticut commissioners of playing a trick upon Governor Nicolls.2 Such charges are easy to make, but difficult to prove. It does not seem likely that the Connecticut men, had they correctly conceived the geography of the case, would have proposed a line so ridiculous as to invite speedy exposure. A line starting at Mamaroneck Creek and running north-northwest would have crossed the Hudson River at Peekskill p7and would have intersected the prolonged boundary of Massachusetts near the northwestern corner of Ulster County, five-and‑thirty miles west of the river! The error was soon discovered, and was rectified in 1683, when the boundary was placed very nearly in its present position, though it was long before all questions connected with it were settled. This decision furnished a basis for determining afterwards the western boundary of Massachusetts and still later that of Vermont.
On the other hand, the whole of Long Island, having been expressly mentioned and given a central place in the grant to the Duke of York, was declared to be his. Nicolls named it Yorkshire and divided it into three ridings. Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard were likewise annexed to New York, and so remained until 1692, when they were handed over to Massachusetts. The name of Dukes County still commemorates the brief season when Martha's Vineyard was the property of James Stuart, Duke of York. The island of Pemaquid also, with a district of mainland between the Kennebec and St. Croix rivers, called the County of Cornwall, was included in James Stuart's proprietary domain; but this, with all the rest of Maine, was added to Massachusetts after the accession of William and Mary.
While Nicolls was busy settling boundaries and making the change from Dutch to English rule as pleasant as possible for all parties concerned, his colleagues Cartwright and Maverick were wasting breath and losing their tempers in the effort to outwit or browbeat the magistrates and parsons at Boston, — such men as Bellingham and Norton, Leverett and Simon Willard. In the summer of 1665 Cartwright sailed for England, carrying with him papers tending to convict the Massachusetts people of disloyalty. With this evidence he hoped to persuade the king to rescind their charter; but in mid-ocean he was captured by a Dutch cruiser, who seized all his papers and set him ashore in Spain, jocosely remarking that the climate p8would cure the gout under which he was groaning. By the time Cartwright arrived in London the king was too busy with the Dutch war to molest Massachusetts. Thus the English capture of New Amsterdam, with the resulting complications, would seem to have given a fresh lease of life for twenty years to the charter of the stiff-necked Puritan republic.
After Cartwright's departure, Maverick stayed some time in Boston, ready to welcome the news of a quo warranto; but none such came. In January, 1667, Sir Robert Carr came to Boston from Delaware, intending to embark for England. One cold Saturday evening Carr and Maverick, with half-a‑dozen companions, had grown somewhat noisy over a steaming bowl of grog at the Ship Tavern, when a constable broke in and told them to break up and go home. They were desecrating the Sabbath, which it was then the fashion to regard as beginning at sundown of Saturday. But the company defied the constable and drove him away with blows. On the next Saturday evening the party again assembled at the tavern, but prudently adjourned across the street to the house of a merchant named Kellond, where another constable, Arthur Mason, found them in a hilarious mood. He told them it was well for them that they were in a private house, for had he found them across the way he would have haled them off to prison. Angry words ensued, in the course of which Carr said that it was he who beat the constable, and he would do it again. Mason retorted that it was lucky for the party that he was not the constable who found them at the tavern. "Sir Robert asked if he dare meddle with the king's commissioners. 'Yes,' says Mason, 'and if the king himself had been there I would have carried him away'; upon which Maverick cried out, 'Treason! Mason, thou shalt be hanged within a twelvemonth.' Sir Robert Carr spake to Sir Thomas Temple and some others of the company, to take notice of what had passed, and the next day Maverick sent a note to Mr. p11Bellingham the governor, charging Mason with high treason for the words spoken."3 The governor behaved with tact and bound Mason over with sureties to answer at the next court. Presently Maverick, whose warmth had had time to cool, asked permission to withdraw his charge, inasmuch as he felt that Mason's words, though "rash and inconsiderate," were not malicious and indicated no "premeditated design" against his Majesty's government. Bellingham astutely replied that "the affair was of too high a nature for him to interpose in." The sagacious jury found simply "that the words charged were spoken," and the verdict of the court was that Mason should be "admonished in solemn manner" by the governor. Thus were the skirts of Massachusetts cleared of any insinuations of complicity with treason in which gossip-mongers might indulge. Hutchinson is right in saying that though the anecdote may seem trivial, it is full of instruct. As for the pot-valiant Sir Robert Carr, he sailed for England and died suddenly the day after landing. Maverick found the social atmosphere of Boston too austere, and was glad to remove to New York and accept from the duke the present of a house on Broadway, where he seems to have spent the remainder of his days.
The feeling of Nicolls toward Boston may be inferred from his remark, "Our time is lost upon men who are puffed up with the spirit of independency." He seems to have had no more sympathy than Stuyvesant with popular government; and like his predecessor he found more or less trouble with the towns upon Long Island, which preferred the methods in vogue upon the Connecticut River to those of Manhattan. But his unfailing tact and good sense overcame all obstacles and made him a pattern for beneficent despots.
His attention was soon called in an unexpected way to the mainland west of the North River's mouth. Except for the settlements at Hoboken and Pavonia, and more recently at Bergen, in what is now Jersey City, little had been done in p12that direction. The Passaic and Raritan rivers flowed through a wilderness as yet untrodden by white men. Nicolls named this fair country Albania and felt a lively interest in its development. In 1664 he granted the region west of the Achter Koll, or Back Bay — which we now call Newark Bay — to several families from Jamaica on Long Island. From this place an Indian trail furnished easy overland access to the hamlets on the Delaware. The patentees — John Ogden, Luke Watson, and their associates — numbered in all some eighty persons. They had scarcely begun to take possession when Nicolls learned that the Duke of York had already given away the whole territory between the North and South rivers. It was so easy for a prince to show gratitude for favours received by making wholesale gifts of unknown land in America! The grantees were Sir George Carteret and Lord Berkeley of Stratton. The latter was the brother of Sir William Berkeley, the famous governor of Virginia, and figures occasionally in the history of that commonwealth and of Carolina. Carteret belonged to a family which had for several generations been prominent in the island of Jersey. He defended his island stoutly against Roundhead soldiers, and he was the last commander on British soil to lower the king's flag. Both Carteret and Berkeley seemed worthy of a reward for their conspicuous and devoted loyalty, and one can easily fancy James's comfortable sense of generosity tempered with thrift as he looked over the map of New Netherland and marked off this spacious unknown wilderness to bestow upon his friends. But when the affair came to Nicolls's ears, he made such representations to the duke as to weaken his belief in the thriftiness of the transaction and cause him to repent of his haste. He persuaded Berkeley and Carteret to give back the land between the North and South rivers, in exchange for an extensive tract to the west of the latter. But this was encroaching upon Maryland, and gave rise to an altercation between the Duke of York and Lord Baltimore. p13The net result was that nothing further was done, and accordingly Carteret and Berkeley took possession of their proprietary domain.4
In August, 1665, Philip Carteret, a cousin of Sir George, arrived with several families and established himself just behind the Achter Koll, in the very region which Nicolls had granted to Ogden and his associates. The settlement was called Elizabethtown, after Elizabeth, wife of Sir George Carteret, a lady of somewhat Puritan proclivities, concerning whom Pepys testifies that "she cries out against the vices of the court, and how they are going to set up plays already. She do much cry out upon these things, and that which she believes will undo the whole nation."5 Philip Carteret undertook to satisfy Nicoll's patentees by making compensation for the lands to which they laid claim, but Berkeley and Sir George refused to sanction this, on the ground that the Duke of York no longer owned the territory when his agent Nicolls made a grant of it; so that the grant was simply void. Out of these circumstances grew various legal disputes which were not all disposed of until more than a century had elapsed.
The province thus carved out of New Netherland was named Nova Caesarea, after the Latin name of the island of Jersey, the home of the Carterets. People, however, preferred the vernacular form of the name, and called it New Jersey. The form of government established by the proprietors, in their instrument known as the "Concessions," was a striking contrast to Nicolls's amiable p14despotism in New York. The sway of the governor, Philip Carteret, was limited not only by a council but also by an assembly elected by the people. Most liberal terms for purchasing lands were offered to settlers, and entire religious liberty was promised. The result of this was an immediate influx of settlers from New England. A party from the Piscataqua country founded Piscataway by the river Raritan; others from Haverhill and Newbury made the beginnings of Woodbridge; but the most important accession, in some respects, came from the lately extinguished republic of New Haven. There were many persons in that colony who could not endure the thought of annexation to Connecticut. The two communities stood for widely different ideas. Among all the New England colonies the Puritan theocracy was most dominant in New Haven, whereas in Connecticut it was weaker than anywhere else except Rhode Island. In New Haven none but church members qualified for communion could vote or hold office; in Connecticut there was no such restriction. The tendencies of Connecticut, under the impress of the genius of Thomas Hooker, were democratic; those p17of New Haven, under the guidance of John Davenport, were toward an aristocracy of "the saints." The civil magistrates there were "pillars of the church." Annexation to Connecticut meant giving votes and offices to men of unregenerate hearts; it meant administering justice by codes of secular law instead of the inspired law of Moses; it meant letting in a flood of democracy and ending forever the rule of the saints. Accordingly, when Davenport heard of the decision of the royal commissioners, he sadly exclaimed, "The cause of Christ in New Haven is miserably lost!"
At this crisis the offer of complete civil and religious liberty in New Jersey produced a notable effect upon the New Haven towns. Those persons who were willing to be citizens of Connecticut (and these were a majority of the population, including probably most of the unenfranchised) might stay at home and be contented. The minority who could not abide the change might go to New Jersey and there live according to their theocratic notions. The removal of these irreconcilables tended to make the change easier for Connecticut. In 1665‑67 several parties from Guilford, Branford, and Milford settled on the Passaic River and made the beginnings of a flourishing town there, which was at first called Milford, from the home of one of its founders, Robert Treat.b But the name was soon changed to Newark, after the English home of its pastor, the venerable Abraham Pierson, a true spiritual brother of Davenport. As for Robert Treat, he returned in 1672 to Milford, played a distinguished part in King Philip's War, and afterward became governor of Connecticut. It is Pierson who must be regarded as the continuator of the New Haven colony's existence in that of its daughter, Newark. The larger part of his Branford congregation followed him thither, and their town constitution provided that none but communing church members should vote or be eligible to office. Sixty-four men signed this constitution, of whom twenty-three were from Branford, and forty-one from New Haven, Milford, and Guilford. Six out p18of this number made their marks, — a small proportion of illiteracy for the seventeenth century. It has been well said that, "after 1666 the New Haven of Davenport and Eaton must be looked for upon the banks, not of the Quinnipiac, but of the Passaic. The men, the methods, the laws, the officers, that made New Haven town what it was in 1640, disappeared from the Connecticut colony, but came to full life again immediately in New Jersey."6 As for the aged Davenport, he moved to Boston and became pastor of the First Church there.
The government of New Jersey was similar in form to the earlier governments founded in Virginia, Maryland, and the New England colonies; all alike were developments from the ancient English county court. The New Jersey legislature consisted of governor, council, and representative assembly, and it was as well understood as in New England or Virginia that there could be no taxation save through the assembly. But important constitutional questions came up at once for discussion as in the first years of Massachusetts. The representatives of the people were annoyed at the veto power exercised over them by the governor and council, and accordingly they insisted upon meeting in joint session where their own numbers were sure to prevail. This attempt was successfully resisted by the proprietors, but the immediate result was that Governor Carteret's first assembly, which met in 1668, broke up in some disorder, and it was seven years before there was another legal assembly. There was also the quarrel over quit-rents, which broke out in New Jersey as in so many other colonies. Quit-rents were also extremely unpopular. Carteret's colonists refused to pay them, and their opposition, organized as it was in town meetings, was too strong to be overcome. In 1671 the towns chose an illegal assembly, with James Carteret, a weak and debauched creature, a younger son of the lord-proprietor, for its president. For the moment constitutional p19government, according to the "Concessions," seemed overthrown, and Philip Carteret returned to England. The persistent energy of Sir George Carteret, backed by the Duke of York, presently restored order, but meanwhile Lord Berkeley lost his faith in the success of the enterprise and sold out for £1000 all his interest to a Quaker, John Fenwick, in trust for another Quaker, Edward Byllinge. This panic sale from Lord Berkeley to Quakers was one of the pivotal events in American history, for it soon resulted in bringing William Penn to the New World. But before we can enter upon this eventful story we must return for a while to the island of Manhattan and see what was going on there.
The peace of Breda, signed on St. Bartholomew's day, 1667, formally ceded New Netherland to the English, in exchange for Surinam in South America and the island of Poleron, one of the Banda group near the Moluccas. On New Year's, 1668, the peace was proclaimed in New York, and Governor Nicolls was able to add the welcome announcement that, for the next seven years at least, that province was to enjoy free trade with the Netherlands. Private affairs demanded Nicolls's presence in England, and the duke accepted his resignation. In New York there was universal sorrow at his departure; seldom has a public man been so beloved. At the house of the Dutch mayor, Cornelius Steenwyck, near the Whitehall, there was a farewell banquet. The menu has not come down to us, but an inventory of the things in the house has been preserved; and one feels that in those tapestried rooms, with their carved French cabinets, their velvet and Russia leather chairs, the muslin and "flowered tabby" curtains, the tall clock in the corner, and the paintings by Antwerp masters, there were the elements of refined comfort. The Netherlanders at that time lived more luxuriously in their houses than any other people, and their habits had been carried with them to the New World. From p20these last pleasant scenes the upright governor made his way back to England. He was soon to die a soldier's death. In the third naval war between English and Dutch he served on the fleet and was killed at the battle of Solebay, May 28, 1672, at the early age of forty-seven.
Nicolls's successor, Francis Lovelace, a man of far less distinction for character and ability, was nevertheless a worthy person, and New York was prosperous under his rule. The year of his arrival is memorable for the abolition of the two classes of "great burghers" and "small burghers," introduced by Stuyvesant in 1657. The distinction was imitated from the custom in Amsterdam and other Dutch cities. Members of the council, burgomasters and schepens, officers of the militia, and ministers of the gospel, with their descendants in the male line, were enrolled as great burghers; and of persons could be admitted to that class on payment of 50 guilders into the city treasury. These great burghers were eligible to public offices, and in case of conviction for a capital offence were exempt from confiscation or attainder. The class of small burghers comprised all other persons born in the city, or who had dwelt there for a year and six weeks; all men who were married to the daughters of burghers; all salaried servants of the West India Company; and all persons who kept a shop or permanently transacted business in the city. Strangers temporarily in the city could be enrolled in this class by paying a fee of 25 guilders. The privileges pertaining to it scarcely extended beyond sundry facilities for trading.7 This division into classes proved very unpopular, and it was abolished in 1668 with general satisfaction.
Several families from Boston now bought estates in New York and came there to live, willing perhaps, like Maverick, to escape from the saintly rule of the "lords brethren." The most important and memorable act of Lovelace's administration was the establishment of a regular monthly p21mail service through southern New England between New York and Boston. This event may best be described by quoting the letter which Lovelace sent to Winthrop, at Hartford, in December, 1672: "I here present you with two rarities, a pacquett of the latest intelligence I could meet withal, and a Post. By the first, you will see what has been acted on the stage of Europe; by the latter you will meet with a monthly fresh supply; so that if it receive but the same ardent inclinations from you as at first it hath from myself, by our monthly advisoes all publique occurrences may be transmitted between us, together with severall other great conveniencys of publique importance, consonant to the commands laid upon us by His sacred majestie, who strictly injoins all his American subjects to enter into a close correspondency with each other. This I look upon as the most compendious means to beget a mutual understanding; and that it may receive all the countenance from you for its future duration, I shall acquaint you with the model I have proposed; and if you please but to make an addition to it, or substraction, or any other alteration, I shall be ready to comply with you. This person that has undertaken the imployment I conceaved most proper, being both active, stout, and indefatigable. He is sworne as to his fidelity. I have affixt an annuall salary on him, which, together with the advantage of his letters and other small portable packes, p22may afford him a handsome livelyhood. Hartford is the first stage I have designed to change his horse, where constantly I expect he should have a fresh one lye. All the letters outward shall be delivered gratis, with a signification of Post Payd on the superscription; and reciprocally, we expect all to us free. Each first Monday of the month he sets out from New York, and is to return within the month from Boston to us againe. The maile has divers baggs, according to the townes the letters are designed to, which are all sealed up till their arrivement, with the seale of the Secretarie's Office, whose care it is on Saturday night to seale them up. Only by-letters are in an open bag, to dispense by the wayes. Thus you see the scheme I have drawne to promote a happy correspondence. I shall only beg of you your furtherance to so universall a good work; that is to afford him directions where and to whom to make his application to upon his arrival at Boston; as likewise to afford him what letters you can to establish him in that imployment there. It would be much advantagious likewise to our designe, if in the intervall you discoursed with some of the most able woodmen, to make out the best and most facile way for a Post, which in processe of tyme would be the King's best highway; as likewise passages and accommodation at Rivers, fords, or other necessary places."8
The first mail on the American continent started from New York for Boston on New Year's day, 1673. The postman followed the Bowery Lane till it merged into the wagon-road just finished to the new village of Harlem, where even then the beer gave a foretaste of the preëminence in brewing to which Manhattan has since attained. After a cooling draught he was ready to go on his way past "Annie's Hook," or Pelham Manor, to Greenwich and Stamford, and so on to New Haven, Hartford, and Springfield, crossing all rivers and arms of the sea in boats, as was necessary until the last years of the eighteenth p25century. Now it was a stretch of newly built English wagon-road that our postman followed, but oftener a mere bridle-path, or an ancient Indian trail, and sometimes the way must needs be indicated by marking trees in the virgin forest. From Springfield eastward his path must have followed the same winding watercourses of which the Boston and Albany railroad now takes advantage, climbing near Quabaug (Brookfield) to •a thousand feet above sea-level, then gently descending into the pleasant valley of the Charles. While our indefatigable carrier was thus earning his "handsome livelyhood," a locked box stood in the secretary's office in New York awaiting his return, and in it from day to day the little heap of eastward bound letters grew. When the postman returned with his prepaid mail he emptied his New York bag on a broad table in the coffee-house where citizens most did congregate. That locked box and that coffee-house table had in them the prophecy of the great post-office that now stands in the City Hall Park, and indirectly of all the post-offices, urban and rural, in English-speaking America. There was admirable foresight in Governor Lovelace's scheme. That indefatigable horseman of p26his was an indispensable instrument in "begetting a mutual understanding;" he was one of the pioneers of our Federal Union.
Another prophetic incident of Lovelace's administration was the establishment of the first Merchants' Exchange, — a weekly meeting, on Friday mornings, at about the site where Change Place now crosses Broad Street. Some of the first American ships, moreover, were built at New York under this governor, and they were staunch craft.
Lovelace's rule, like that of Nicolls, was autocratic but in no wise oppressive. The change from Dutch to English rule had not yet bestowed English self-government upon the province of New York. The despotism of Kieft and Stuyvesant was continued, only now, instead of the iron clutch, it was a stroke of velvet. This was simply due to the different personal qualities of the rulers. The most restive part of the population, under this prolonged autocracy, was to be found in the English towns on Long Island. Their people persistently grumbled at this sort of government to which no Englishmen had from time immemorial been subjected. They wanted representative assembly. In 1670 there was an approach toward an explosion. A tax was levied upon these Long Island towns to pay for repairs upon Fort James in New York. The case was quite similar to that of the tax levied by the governor and council of Massachusetts in 1631 upon the men of Watertown, to pay for a palisadoed wall in Cambridge. The men of Watertown refused to pay the tax, on the ground that they had no share in electing the authorities who levied it; and this protest led at once to the introduction of representative government into the new-born commonwealth of Massachusetts. The first John Winthrop did not represent a would‑be despotic authority in England, but Governor Lovelace did. Hence the protest of Long Island in 1670 was not so successful as that of Watertown in 1631. The towns drew up a remonstrance in which they declared that they would not yield to a demand for money to p27repair the fort; they might next be called upon to support the garrison, and there was no telling to what lengths the affair might go. They stoutly maintained that the principle of "no taxation without representation" — which England had asserted in 1265 and the Netherlands in 1477 — was their inalienable birthright. This remonstrance was pronounced seditious, and Lovelace ordered it to be publicly burned in the street before the City Hall. It is needless to add that Long Island remained disaffected and more or less turbulent.
Events in Europe were fast bringing about a fresh surprise for Manhattan. After the peace of Breda, Charles II had entered into the famous Triple Alliance with Sweden and Holland, for the purpose of curbing the aggressive power of Louis XIV. As Bishop Burnet said, this was the best thing Charles II ever did, and had he only adhered to this sound and manly policy it would have covered him with glory. But Louis well knew his cousin Charles's weaknesses. The blandishments of a new French mistress, and the promise of money enough to dispense with parliaments, were quite too much for the degenerate grandson of Henry of Navarre. He broke away from the Triple Alliance, scarcely two years old, and joined hands with Louis XIV for the destruction of Holland. There followed, in rapid sequence, the fall and shameful murder of De Witt, the stride of the third William of Orange into the historic foreground, and one more wicked and terrible war between Englishmen and their Dutch cousins.
And thus it happened that in the Christmas season of 1672, while the worthy Lovelace was setting afoot his postal scheme, a powerful Dutch fleet of fifteen ships, commanded by Cornelius Evertsen, was cruising in the West Indies to harass the English. By reinforcements this fleet was increased to three-and‑twenty warships, carrying, besides their crews, 1600 troops. After finishing their business in the West Indies, these Dutchmen, p28in July, 1673, visited Chesapeake Bay, destroying merchant vessels; and thence they kept on for New York, which had from the outset been their ultimate destination. Its recapture had been planned in Holland. On the morning of August 7 the ships dropped anchor off Staten Island; the next day they came up through the Narrows; the next they were ready to proceed to extremities.
The case was virtually a repetition of that of 1664. Governor Lovelace was absent on business, over on Long Island, but had he been on the spot it would have made no difference. The garrison of Fort James numbered scarcely eighty men. There was a brief exchange of volleys between the feeble fort and the majestic fleet, and a few lives were sacrificed, but resistance was hopeless. Before sunset of August 9 the ensign of the Dutch Republic floated over the fort, and the city on Manhattan passed once more under the sway of its founders. Once more there was a general change of nomenclature. The province resumed its old name of New Netherland, its eastern limit was pronounced to be that of the Hartford treaty of 1650,9 and the whole of Long Island was declared to belong to it, but no claims were made upon Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, or Pemaquid. Westward the claim took in whatever had been ruled by Stuyvesant, including New Sweden. Fort James was rechristened Fort Willem Hendrick, after the new stadholder, and the city was called New Orange. Esopus, which had exchanged its Indian name for Kingston, was now called Swanenburg.c Albany received the name of Willemstadt, and its blockhouse that of Fort Nassau. As for Carteret's domain of New Jersey, it was baptized Achter Koll, or "Back Bay," from the broad sheet of water across which Elizabethtown was approached. A council of war was held by the officers of the fleet, and they appointed Anthony Colve, a captain of infantry, to be governor of New Netherland. All the places mentioned as within his jurisdiction submitted p29gracefully, and some of them very cheerfully, except on Long Island. There the Dutch towns, such as Brooklyn and Flatbush, rejoiced in the change of rulers; even some of those towns where the English were a majority, such as Flushing and Jamaica, made no resistance. But the purely English towns in the East Riding — Southampton, Easthampton, Brookhaven, Southold, and Huntington — were extremely unwilling to yield; and although they succumbed for a moment to the inexorable situation,10 yet Southampton p30published a protest and sent it all over New England, "in order to take off any aspersion cast upon us, as though we should freely submit to this foreign government." It became necessary for Governor Colve to "admonish" these froward eastern towns, but they did not cease to be thorns in the flesh. The appeal of Southampton was heard by sympathetic ears. Connecticut joined in the protest, angry letters passed between Colve and Winthrop, and presently Connecticut troops crossed the Sound. Scrimmages and reprisals on the high seas went on until Massachusetts also was aroused. Having seen some of her own ships captured and confiscated, Massachusetts decided that "God doth call them to do something in a hostile way for their own defence." Plymouth acquiesced in this policy, declaring that "just ground of a war" existed. Rhode Island, which was not a member of the Confederacy, took measures to defend her harbours against Dutch attacks; while the three confederated colonies were planning an expedition which might have threatened not only Long Island, but Manhattan itself, for Evertsen's great fleet had sailed for Europe, leaving one frigate and one sloop-of‑war to sustain Colve's government.
It was indeed a precarious situation which depended upon the continued presence of a Dutch fleet in the midst of a European war that was straining Holland's resources. Fort Willem Hendrick, if good for anything, ought to be able to make it dangerous for hostile ships to enter either the East River or the North; but as an instrument of war that fortress was now but little better than on the day when Dominie Megapolensis warned Stuyvesant of the folly of using it. p31Houses had been built and gardens planted so close to it as to interfere with firing. Colve felt bound to make an effective weapon of it, and he decided that the offending houses must either be moved away or pulled down. It was done as considerately as possible; and here perhaps a few extracts from the contemporary records will help to bring the situation vividly before us.
It was announced that all persons injured in their property by the proposed work should be indemnified, either in money or by a gift of real estate in some other locality. At a meeting held in the City Hall of New Orange, October 10, 1673, at which were present Governor Anthony Colve, Councillor Cornelius Steenwyck, and three burgomasters, Johannes van Brugh, Johannes de Peyster, and Aegidius Luyck, a number of petitions were heard of which the following are samples: —
"Peter de Riemer is willing to remove his house, but requests Muyen's lot or one at the Water side instead.
"Lodewyck Pos requests the house next the City Hall; otherwise 't will be impossible for him to move.
"Jacobus van de Water request'sº Pattison's house in Pearl Street, or a lot as near his former residence as possible, with satisfaction.
"George Cobbett says he is unable to move unless assisted.
"Jan Dircksen Meyer says he knows not whither to turn, but finally requests a lot behind The Five Houses, in Bridge Street.
"Andrew Meyer in like manner requests a lot there.
"Gerritt Hendricks, butcher, says he has been ruined by the English and is unable to move; requests help and assistance.
"Simon Blanck requests accommodation for the winter, as his house cannot be moved; asks a lot behind the Five Houses.
"Peter Stoutenburgh, absent.
"Martin Jansen Meyer says he is not able to move; is offered a lot next to Kip in the valley, or recommended to look up another.
"Lysbeth Tyssen is told that her small houses will be examined, to see whether they cannot be spared.
"Peter Harmensen's little house is in like manner to be examined.
"Peter Jansen Mesier requests a place on the Water side; otherwise cannot remove.
"Ephraim Herman requests satisfaction with others.
"Dr. Taylor's wife says that her husband is willing to risk his house, and to abide the result."
Steenwyck and the three burgomasters were then authorized to make an appraisal of the houses and lots which were to be destroyed or surrendered, and likewise of the houses and lots which they should think proper to bestow as indemnity. By permission, two carpenters were added to this committee of appraisal. After their work had been done a proclamation was issued, October 16:—
"Whereas Fort Willem Hendrick and the city of New Orange situate on Manhatans Island is seriously encumbered and weakened by the houses, gardens, and orchards which lie so close under its walls and bulwarks that it is impossible to defend it properly when occasion requires against its enemies, unless at least some of those houses, lots, and orchards be demolished and removed. It is therefore considered necessary by the Governor-General, by and with the previous advice of his Council, to demolish, pull down, and remove the undernamed houses, gardens, and orchards, and the owners thereof are hereby most strictly ordered and commanded instantly to commence demolishing p33and pulling down their houses, gardens, and orchards, and to remove them to such lots as are laid out within this city by the Governor's order to that end and shall be shown to each of them by the Burgomasters."
A list of the doomed estates follows. The penalty for non-compliance with the order was forfeiture of the indemnity. In order to meet this extraordinary public outlay, a temporary tax was imposed.
"It is resolved and ordered to collect from now henceforth until said indemnity and damage shall be prompt paid to said persons and no longer, to wit:—
"From all Beavers and peltries which will be exported from this government to Patria [the Netherlands] or elsewhere after the publication hereof, two and one half per cent.
"From Duffels and Blankets imported from Patria or elsewhere into this government, two per cent.
"And from powder, lead, muskets, wines, brandies, distilled waters, and rum, five per cent."
To this general proclamation was added the following specific notice:—
"Willem van Vredenburgh:
"You are hereby required and ordered, pursuant to the Proclamation, to demolish from garret to cellar your house and lot lying and being in Broadway, and to remove to the Company's garden, No. 1, for which removal you are allowed by arbitrators the sum of 330 florins, Wampum value, which shall be handed and paid you out of the extra duty which is ordered to be paid for that purpose."
A note in the records informs us that "a similar order is sent to the house of all the others mentioned in the Proclamation, except Dr. Taylor, Lysbet Tyssen, and Peter Harmsen, whose houses shall be still further examined, in order if possible to spare them."11
Colve was certainly a man of energy, for by the spring of 1674 his fortress was not only far advanced toward completion, but mounted 190 guns, collected from far and near, so that it might have made warm work for ships attempting p34to enter either of the rivers. To meet such expenses the treasury had recourse not only to extraordinary duties, but also to wholesale confiscations. As no articles of capitulation had been agreed upon when New York surrendered to Admiral Evertsen, and no fettering promises had been made, it was considered quite right and legitimate to confiscate all English and French property found in the city. Property belonging to persons actually living in Virginia, Maryland, or New England was exempted from this seizure. Those who suffered the most were the friends and agents of the Duke of York, among them Lovelace, the ex-governor. This gentleman was of a speculating turn of mind, and had bought sundry snug bits of real estate and parcels of chattels, but without always paying for them on delivery; so that quite naturally he became involved in a Cretan labyrinth of debt. One of his purchases has achieved fame as the initial step in one of the most pertinacious cases of litigation known to modern history. In 1671 he bought the greater part of the "Dominie's Bowery," a farm of •sixty-two acres on the North River between the present Fulton and Christopher streets, and mostly west of West Broadway. Lovelace bought it of the heirs of Anneke Jans, the widow of the stout Dominie Bogardus, who has already played his part in our narrative. The hitch in the transaction, which afterward opened the sluices of litigation, was the fact that one of the heirs did not join in the sale to Lovelace. But for that worthy himself there was a more fatal hitch, when the Dutch governor confiscated this purchase with all the rest of his property in New Netherland. No sooner had Lovelace returned from Long Island to Manhattan after its capture by the Dutch, than his creditors arrested him for debt. Concerning the great catastrophe the unfortunate man thus wrote to Governor Winthrop: "To be brief — it was digitus Dei, who exalts and depresses as he pleases, and to whom we must all submit. Would you be curious to know what my losses amount to — I can in short resolve you. It was my all which ever I had been p35collecting; too greate to misse in this wildernesse . . . I am now intending for England, with all the conveniency I may, unlesse prevented."12 He was told that he might go within six weeks if he could first pay his debts, but as this was impossible, and there seemed to be nothing to be gained by holding him in durance, he was allowed to sail in the fleet for Holland.
The burgomasters and schepens of New Orange had requested the States General to undertake the government of the province of New Netherland, so auspiciously won back. Their High Mightinesses assented to this, and appointed, for governor of the province, Joris Andringa, who had been secretary to Admiral de Ruyter. For the moment it looked as if New Netherland, set free from the narrow and selfish tyranny of the West India Company, was about to enter upon a period of enhanced prosperity under the more liberal and far-sighted policy of the States General. But it had been otherwise decreed. The prosperity was indeed to come, but under other rulers. Diplomacy quickly undid the work of Admiral Evertsen.
This war, in which France and England were united against Holland, very closely concerned the interests of the House of Hapsburg, in Spain and Austria. The purpose of Louis XIV was to conquer and annex to France as much as possible of the ancient Middle Kingdom, or Lotharingia, and more especially the Franche Comté and the Spanish Netherlands. It therefore became Spain's interest to defend her old adversary, the Dutch Netherlands; and the interest of the Empire was similar, since if France should succeed in swallowing Franche Comté she would next attempt to swallow Alsace. As for the Dutch, they were hard pressed by the united strength of France and England, and willing to pay something for relief. Under these circumstances Spanish diplomacy prevailed upon the States General to make peace with England upon the basis of a mutual restoration of conquests and the payment of p36a liberal war indemnity from the Dutch into the English treasury. Upon such terms Charles II was willing to make peace, the more so since the recent events had brought about the rise of his nephew, the Prince of Orange, to the head of affairs and the downfall of De Witt. Moreover, since Spain and the Empire were coming into the lists against France, it became possible for Charles to gain his personal ends without the trouble of fighting. His abiding need was of money, to preserve as far as possible his independence of Parliament, and to support his innumerable mistresses. "There are two paymasters to whom we may apply. The one is Parliament, the other is Louis XIV. In these years he sets himself up to auction. As the feeling against France is constantly growing in Parliament, it becomes a principle with Charles that by opposing Louis he can obtain money from Parliament, and on the other hand that on condition of restraining, thwarting, or proroguing Parliament, he can obtain money from Louis. During this period Louis is contending against a great coalition. It lies with Charles to decide the issue of the European war, which is particularly dependent on him. He has ceased to aid France; what if he should strike in on the other side? If Louis does not wish to see this happen, Louis must pay!"13
In accordance with this Machiavellian policy, Charles prorogued his Parliament in 1675, and got £100,000 from his French cousin; in 1677 he made his demand greater and got £600,000 for a similar service; in 1678 he wanted £600,000 for turning Parliament out of doors, and upon Louis's refusal our merry monarch turned around and got £600,000 from Parliament, in the expectation that it would be used in a war against Louis!
Such was the course upon which Charles was feeling inclined to enter at the beginning of the year 1674, and accordingly it became easy to detach him from the alliance with France. At the eleventh hour Louis came forward p37with a handsome offer of money, but it was too late. A treaty was signed at Westminster, February 19, between the British king and their High Mightinesses at the Hague, and among its provisions was one which finally shaped the destiny of New Netherland, and made it an English province. On the 11th of July following, the treaty was proclaimed at the City Hall of New Orange. It marked the beginnings of greater changes than anybody could foresee. The end of the unnatural estrangement between English and Dutch was approaching; children born that year in London and Amsterdam were still in the schoolroom when the Prince of Orange was hailed as King of England.
The treaty of Westminster did not put New Netherland back into the hands of the Duke of York. The crown lawyers decided that his title was extinguished by the Dutch conquest, and that the treaty handed it over from the States General to Charles II. Accordingly that monarch granted it afresh to his brother. The new grant was not a confirmation of the old grant of 1664; it made no allusion to it and took no heed of several important things that had been done under it. It gave to the Duke of York the whole territory between the Connecticut and Delaware rivers, in utter disregard alike of Nicolls's arrangements with Winthrop and of the claims of Berkeley and Carteret. Thus were the seeds of further vexation and bickering plentifully sown. As for the sturdy Carteret, he entered his protest immediately and with so much vigour that he quite won over Charles, and then James thought it best to yield. But like a true Stuart he could not do anything without creating fresh entanglements. He had once granted New Jersey to Berkeley and Carteret jointly; he now made a fresh grant of the eastern part to Carteret in severalty, while he took no notice of the western part, which Berkeley had sold to a couple of Quakers, and for which he had pocketed the purchase-money, £1000. Lord Berkeley had gone as ambassador to France; and as for such little p38folk as Friends Byllinge and Fenwick, the duke has apparently forgotten their existence. The boundary between East Jersey and West Jersey was declared in Carteret's patent to be a straight line running from Barnegat Creek on the seacoast to a small tributary of the Delaware River next below the mouth of Rankokus Kill. The patent conveyed the territory of East Jersey to Carteret, but without any powers of sovereignty. As for Staten Island, concerning which some question had arisen, it was "adjudged to belong to New York."
The next thing to be done was to send a governor to take possession of New York. Poor Lovelace had fallen from favour. The Dutch had once confiscated his property; the Duke of York now confiscated it again, to satisfy debts due to himself, amounting — as he said — to £7000. The unfortunate ex-governor died before his accounts were settled. For his successor the duke's choice fell upon an energetic young man whose name has left behind it in America some harsh and jarring memories, — Edmund Andros, major in Prince Rupert's regiment of dragoons.
Massachusetts writers have been apt to deal too severely with Andros, for it was in Boston that his hand was felt most heavily. To class him with vulgar tyrants would be grossly unjust. As to his personal integrity and his general rectitude of purpose there can be no doubt. His administrative ability also was unquestionable; but while broad-minded in some ways, there were streaks of narrowness in his mind and he was deficient in tact and sympathy. He was not the sort of man who would find it easy to wield arbitrary power according to James Stuart's notions without making it oppressive. But he was immeasurably better in all ways than the princes whom he served; and if his career in the New World had ended with his governorship of New York, p39his name would have escaped the odium which has been visited upon it.
Andros belonged to a family eminent in the history of the little island of Guernsey, where his father was lord of the manor of Sausmarez and bailiff of the island. The father was also an officer of the royal household. Edmund was born in London in 1637, was brought up at court with the children of Charles I, and shared their exile. At that time he served for a while in the Dutch army, and became familiar with the Dutch language, while he could also speak French fluently. These were useful accomplishments in a governor of New York. Of the dozen or more languages in vogue there, next after Dutch and English came French, because of the large numbers of Huguenots and Walloons who had found homes in Manhattan.
We shall have occasion hereafter to comment upon the peculiar comradeship between Quakers and Roman Catholics which signalized the courts of the last two Stuart kings. We may see an illustration of it in some of James's appointments for New York. Governor Andros was a member of the Church of England. With him was joined, as lieutenant-governor, Anthony Brockholls, who was a Roman Catholic, disqualified from holding office in England; while the collector of the port was William Dyer, formerly secretary of Rhode Island, whose Quaker wife had been cruelly hanged on Boston Common in 1660.
On an October day of 1674 the English frigates Diamond and Castle sailed into the bay of New York, bringing Major Andros and his companions, among whom was Philip Carteret returning to the governorship of New Jersey. The p40surrender of the city by Colve was an affair of bows and smiles and pretty speeches. Andros regaled the city officials in his cabin with "ye beste of vitayles and drink," and Colve, not to be outdone in hospitality, presented to his successor his own handsome carriage with three finely caparisoned horses. The liberal terms formerly granted by Colonel Nicolls were renewed; the "Duke's Laws" were proclaimed once more in force; city officers were appointed, of whom some were English, some Dutch, and some French; and the Andros government seemed to be going into peaceful operation. At Albany and Kingston there was no opposition, but on the eastern end of Long Island there was grumbling. On November 14 Andros issued a proclamation reinstating the magistrates of the several towns who had been in office under Lovelace at the moment of the Dutch conquest. When this document was received on Long Island the towns of Southold, Easthampton, and Southampton held town meetings and instructed their magistrates to inform the governor that they were not under his jurisdiction, but under that of Governor Winthrop of Connecticut. With the help of that colony they had cast off the rule of the Dutch, and they did not feel authorized to separate themselves from her without her express consent. Andros replied that if the three towns did not at once comply with his proclamation they would be dealt with as if in rebellion; at the same time he thanked Connecticut for her services to restoring these towns to the Duke of York's allegiance; and thus Winthrop and the three towns, on the whole, deemed acquiescence the best policy.
More serious trouble broke out at Manhattan in the following March, when Andros issued a proclamation requiring of citizens of the province of New York to take the same oath of allegiance which Nicolls had exacted in 1664. The articles of capitulation between Nicolls and Stuyvesant had contained provisions that the Dutch might "enjoy the liberty of their consciences in divine worship and church p41discipline," that they might retain "their own customs concerning their inheritances," that all public records should be respected, and various other safeguards against oppression. When Nicolls demanded the oath of allegiance, Cornelius Steenwyck and several other burghers were unwilling to take it unless Nicolls should expressly declare that the articles of capitulation were "not in the least broken or intended to be broken by any words or expressions in the said oath;" and to this Nicolls readily assented. Now the same objection was urged before Andros by eight leading burghers. Four of these — Cornelius Steenwyck, Johannes van Brugh, Johannes de Peyster, and Jacob Kip — had urged it before Nicolls; the others were Nicholas Bayard, William Beekman, Aegidius Luyck, and Anthony de Milt. It was evident that the action of these gentlemen would determine that of many other citizens, and Andros saw fit to charge them with a wish to stir up rebellion. He insisted that they should take the oath without any qualification or proviso. Then the eight recusant burghers replied that if they could not be allowed to take the oath now as they had taken it for Nicolls, they hoped they might be permitted to sell their estates and move away from New York. The governor answered by sending them to jail, from which they were released only on giving bonds to appear before the next court of assizes, to be tried for mutinous and inflammatory behaviour. The case came up in the following October, when the accusation was adroitly modified, and the defendants were charged with having violated an act of Parliament by engaging in trade without having taken the oath of allegiance. On this charge conviction was inevitable, and the penalty was forfeiture of goods. Thus driven to the wall, the recusant burghers were fain to secure a remission of the penalty by taking the oath unconditionally; and such other citizens as had been waiting to follow their example presently came forward and took the oath likewise.14
p42 The affair thus ended in a complete victory for Andros, but it was not to his credit for wisdom and tact that there should have been any such affair at all. His refusal to grant the very reasonable request of the burghers was indeed not a heinous act of tyranny; his inability to see anything but sedition in it was a kind of weakness not uncommon with arbitrary rulers; and his willingness to remit all penalties on carrying his point was surely not the mark of a truculent temper. The incident shows Andros in no worse light than that in which Stuyvesant often appeared, but at the same time it plainly shows his inferiority to Nicolls. His want of tact was the more blameworthy in that Nicolls had once granted the same request that was now made, and no harm whatever had come of it. Andros showed himself in this instance incapable of profiting by his predecessor's experience.
The popular discontent, which in the city and throughout the province had so readily acquiesced in the first change from Dutch to English rule, was still far from abated. Many of the best citizens had hoped that the change would result in self-government with a regular legislative assembly. The question had been more or less talked about under Nicolls and Lovelace; now it was brought up afresh, and the demand for an assembly was so emphatic that Andros felt it necessary to consult his master about it. At first Andros was opposed to the demand, as we learn from the following letter written to him by the Duke of York, in April, 1675:—
Touching Generall Assemblyes wch ye people there seem desirous of in imitacõn of their neighbour Colonies, I thinke you have done well to discourage any mocõn of yt kind, both as being not at all comprehended in yor Instructions nor indeed consistent wth ye forme of governmt already established, nor necessary for ye ease or redresse of any grievance yt may happen, since yt may be as easily obtained by any peticõn or other addresse to you at their Generall Assizes (wch is once a yeare) where the same persons p43(as Justices) are usually present, who in all probability would be their Representatives if another constitucõn were allowed."15
But apparently in the course of that year the views of Governor Andros underwent some change, for in January, 1676, the duke thus advises him:—
"I have formerly writt to you touching Assemblyes in those countreys and have since observed what severall of your lattest letters hint about that matter. But unless you had offered what qualificacõns are usuall and proper to such Assemblyes, I cannot but suspect they would be of dangerous consequence, nothing being more knowne then [i.e. than] the aptnesse of such bodyes to assume to themselves many priviledges wch prove destructive to, or very oft disturbe, the peace of ye government wherein they are allowed. Neither doe I see any use of them wch is not as well provided for, whilest you and your Councell governe according to ye laws established (thereby preserving every man's property inviolate) and whilest all things that need redresse may be sure of finding it, either at ye Quarter Sessions or by other legall and ordinary wayes, or lastly by appeal to myselfe. But howsoever if you continue of ye same opinion, I shall be ready to consider of any proposals you shall send to yt purpose."16
The last sentence, which I have italicized, indicates that the governor had suggested the feasibleness and prudence of yielding to the popular demand for a legislature. It seems, moreover, to show the duke in one of his gracious moods. Nothing, however, came of the discussion, and the Andros continued without constitutional check. There can be no question as to his faithfulness to his master, or as to his unflagging zeal for the interests of the city and province which had been committed to his care. In municipal reforms he was most energetic, and he found an able ally in the wealthy and accomplished Stephanus van Cortlandt,17 the p44first mayor of New York who was born in the city. Van Cortlandt's beautiful wife, Gertrude Schuyler, was an especial favourite with Mrs. Andros, and there was warm friendship between the husbands, so that mayor supported governor with more than ordinary alacrity. Van Cortlandt laid out and graded Broadway for some distance beyond the city wall; and seven wells were sunk, which proved useful in cases of fire, though the water was too brackish for drinking. Andros was a stickler for cleanliness and obliged every household on certain stated days to set out by the wayside his litter and garbage in barrels or tubs, for the city's carts to take away. Andros also built a market-house on Broad Street, and a wharf on the East River, he had decrepit houses thoroughly repaired, or if not worth repairing and liable to become dangerous, he had them pulled down. Tidy housekeeping was a hobby to which he was always ready to give personal supervision. When building was going on he would stand by and give orders to the workmen, or would even in his zeal pick up a foot-rule and measure a board to see if it would fit. It goes without saying that trade and currency would engage the attention of such a man. He fostered trades and tradesmen with rules and regulations until it was a wonder that New York had any trade left. Even the quantity of brine in which the farmer might immerse his blocks of fat pork was minutely prescribed. As for prices, they were of course fixed by ordinance. The currency of the province was in that unfathomable chaos which has always had so many admirers in the New World, — specie, beaver skins, white and black wampum, with relative values perpetually shifting, — and in the attempt to introduce something like order and stability Andros struggled manfully but in vain. Another crying evil was intemperance. It was said, perhaps with some exaggeration, that one quarter of all the houses in the city were places for retailing beer and spirits, and it could not be denied that the streets were too noisy with tipplers. The vehement mood in which Andros approached p45such matters is shown by his ordinance that if any man were to be seen drunk on the street, and the magistrates should be unable to discover where he had got his liquor, they were empowered forthwith to clap a fine upon every house in that street! How far this superlative edict was enforced we do not know.
In spite of his zeal and diligence the prosperity of New York did not come up to its governor's wishes and expectations, and although inducements were held out to immigrants, yet the population did not increase so rapidly as was desired. It seemed to Andros necessary for the general welfare that the thriving towns and teeming fields of Connecticut should be added to his province; or, as he himself would have honestly said, to assert the duke's rightful authority over this eastern portion of his province. At the same time both Andros and the duke knew that some discretion was needful in proceeding against a colony chartered by the king, to say nothing of the facts that Connecticut single-handed was stronger than New York, and that she was loosely confederated with Massachusetts and Plymouth, upon whose aid in certain emergencies she could count.
In the spring of 1675 Andros sent a message to Hartford, requesting the General Court to make arrangements for turning over the town and all the country west of the Connecticut River to the Duke of York. The court replied by alleging the award of the royal commissioners of 1664, which gave to Connecticut a boundary •twenty miles east of the Hudson River. Andros rejoined that the alleged award had never been confirmed by the king, and was now quite superseded by the new royal grant to the duke. The men of Connecticut refused to admit this claim, and their contumacy was declared by Andros and his council to be tantamount to rebellion. In June "he sent home Captn Salisbury for England to let his Royal Highness know how impossible it was for this Government to subsist without the addition of Connecticut."18
p46 In the answer to Salisbury's message, which did not come for nearly a year, the duke's secretary wrote to Andros: "Upon the whole you will see that His Royll Hss is willing things should rest as they are at present, but he is not sorry you have revived this clayme because possibly some good use may be made of it."19
But the ship that carried Captain Salisbury had scarcely sailed (July 2, 1675) when a courier from Hartford came spurring down the Bowery Lane (July 4) with the shocking news of the Indian massacre at Swanzey. The long-drawn chapter of horrors known as King Philip's War had begun. Andros at once wrote to Winthrop: "I am very much troubled at the Christians' misfortunes and hard disasters in those parts, being so overpowered by such heathen. Hereupon I have hastened my coming to your parts, and added a force to be ready to take such resolutions as may be fit for me upon this extraordinary occasion, with which I intend, God willing, to set out this evening, and to make the best of my way to Connecticut River, His Royal Highness' bounds there."20
If the good people of Hartford had been at all slow to dread the coming of Andros with his Danaan gift of reinforcements this last ominous allusion would have quickened them. They promptly recalled the force which they had despatched in aid of Plymouth, and they sent Captain Thomas Bull, with 100 men, to hold the fort at Saybrook. The General Court was at once assembled, and unanimously adopted a protest against "Major Andros and all his aiders and abettors, as disturbers of the public peace of his Majesty's good subjects." It was resolved that they should "use their utmost power and endeavour (expecting p47therein the assistance of Almighty God) to defend the good people of the Colony from the said Major Andros's attempts."
On the 8th of July Andros arrived at Saybrook with three sloops-of‑war, and found the fort already occupied by Captain Bull, and the royal standard floating over it, upon which it was neither prudent nor proper to fire. Andros sent a message up to Hartford, renewing his demand for territory, and asking for a "direct and effectual answer," for which he said he should wait. As for his aid against Indians, he hinted that the Connecticut people did not seem over eager for it. Captain Bull told him that if he wished to be helpful against Philip's Indians he had better lose no time in sailing to Mount Hope Bay. After two days Andros came ashore and had an interview on the river's bank with Bull and his officers. Andros insisted upon having the duke's patent read aloud, but Bull's party refused to listen and walked away, saying it was no business of theirs. When the reading was finished, Andros said he should now depart unless they wished him to stay. The officers replied that they were not instructed to ask him to stay, but they had something to read aloud for his benefit, and they went on to read the protest of the General Court in which Andros was set down as a disturber of the public peace. He exclaimed that this was a poor requital for his kindness in offering aid against the savages; and so the colloquy ended. As his vessels got under weigh he was courteously saluted by the guns of the fort, and the salute was returned. Then with swelling canvas the governor's ships sailed out of the beautiful river and sped away over the majestic waters of the Sound with prows turned southward for Long Island. When the affair was reported to the Hartford magistrates, they commended Bull and his officers for what they had done, but wished that it might have been done less mildly. It would have been well, they said, if the reading of the patent had been drowned in a boom and clatter of drums.21 Eighteen years later, as we shall see, a very p48doubtful tradition credits Captain Wadsworth with remembering this hint and acting upon it.22
From Southold, where Andros landed, he sent a few soldiers to protect his master's islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. He returned through Long Island to Manhattan, and exacted fresh assurances of good behaviour from all the Algonquin sachems in the neighbourhood. After a few weeks the rumour of Jesuit intrigues in the Mohawk valley led him to visit the Long House in person, to counteract this dangerous influence.
The Iroquois league was now at the height of its power. These barbarians had never forgotten Champlain's attack upon them at Ticonderoga,23 and seldom let slip any opportunity for harassing the French. They became so vexatious that early in 1666 Courcelle, the governor of Canada, set out with a party on snow-shoes to invade Mohawk country. Courcelle with much difficulty reached Schenectady, where he first learned of the capture of the province by Colonel Nicolls. He was obliged to retrace his steps without chastising the barbarians, for, hard as the advance had been through a frozen wilderness, he feared that sudden thaws and vernal mud might make retreat impossible. In the autumn of the same year Courcelle returned with the Marquis de Tracy, lieutenant-general of New France, and a powerful force of 1300 men, and they succeeded in burning five of the Mohawk "castles," or palisaded villages, and destroying an immense p49quantity of food that had been stored for the winter. The French beheld with astonishment how much these keen-witted barbarians had learned from the Dutch.24 Not only had they grown expert in the use of firearms and many carpenters' tools, but their forts were stout quadrangles •twenty feet high, with formidable bastions at the corners. The destruction of these elaborate strongholds made a deep impression upon the dusky brethren of the Long House, for its showed them that their eastern door, at least, might be beaten in by Onontio25 and his pale-faced children.
Governor Nicolls held that this French invasion of the Mohawk territory was a trespass on the territory of New York, since he recognized a kind of Dutch overlordship over the Long House, and held that their rights of suzerainty had now passed over to the English. For a moment Nicolls dreamed of a general attack upon Canada, in which the New England colonies should take part, but such a scheme found little favour. A war against New France meant a war against Algonquins and in aid of Iroquois, and was likely to infuriate the Algonquins of New England, whose love for their brethren of Canada may not have been strong, but whose hate for the Iroquois surpassed the hatreds of hell. Nicolls encouraged the Mohawks to resist the French, but neither under his administration nor that of Lovelace were adequate measures taken for securing a permanent Anglo-Iroquois alliance.
Meanwhile the sagacious and indefatigable rulers of New France were as ready to try persuasion as violence, and they found consummate instruments in the Jesuits. These devoted p50missionaries addressed themselves to the task of converting the Iroquois to Christianity and turning their hearts to an alliance with Onontio. With the Mohawks, who had suffered the chief damage from the French, the case was hopeless; but the other tribes — Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas — were more ready to listen. Some headway was made, and a few tawny warriors were baptized, while Courcelle began building a fortress at Cataraqui, where the river St. Lawrence flows out of Lake Ontario. This stronghold, which was finished in 1673 by Frontenac, and bore his name for more than eighty years, stood on the site of the present city of Kingston. Its immediate purpose was to serve as a base for expeditions across Lake Ontario against the central and western tribes of the Long House, and to cut off the lucrative fur trade in which these barbarians were the purveyors for the Dutch and English in New York.
The moment when Andros was governor of New York was therefore a critical moment. If the Jesuit missionaries had won over the Long House, it is not improbable that New York would have become, and might perhaps have remained, a French province. Possibly the formation of the American Union might have been prevented. Certainly the history of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries would have been modified in many important particulars.
There was imminent danger that the short-sighted policy of the Duke of York would play directly into the hands of the French. For a while James did what he could to favour the Jesuit missionaries, wishing to see the heathen of the New World brought into the fold of Rome, and failing to realize that every point gained by those good Jesuits was a nail in the coffin of his own American interests. At times, however, he seemed to wake up to the gravity of the situation, which Andros, being on the spot, understood much better than he. In the terrible summer of 1675, when the Wampanoags were working such p51havoc in the Plymouth colony and the Nipmucks in the central highlands of Massachusetts, while on the other hand the frontier settlements in Virginia and Maryland were being goaded into a war set afoot by wandering Susquehannocks,26 it was clearly a time for preserving friendly relations with the formidable Long House. Scarcely had Andros returned from his Connecticut expedition when he made up his mind to go in person to the Mohawks and secure their favour and that of their confederates.
His journey took him far into the Indian country. It was a pleasant voyage, of course, to Albany, making a brief stop at Esopus. After landing at Albany his party struck into the great Indian trail, the course of which has been closely followed in later days by the Erie Canal and the New York Central Railroad. After a march of •about sixteen miles they came upon the Mohawk River, at a fording-place, where there was a tiny Dutch hamlet founded fourteen years before by Arendt van Corlear, a man of noble and generous nature. As a commissioner of Rensselaerwyck he had long been well known to the Indians, in whose minds his name stood as a synonym for truth and integrity. In 1667 this good Corlear came to a melancholy end. As he was sailing on Lake Champlain he passed a rock whereon the waves were wont to dash and fly up wildly, and Indian folklore told of an ancestral Indian who haunted the spot and controlled the weather, so that passing canoes always threw a pipe or other small gift to this genius of the lake and prayed for a favourable wind. But Corlear not only neglected this wise precaution, but in his contempt for such heathen fancies made an unseemly gesture as he passed the rock; whereat the offended spirit blew a sudden gust which capsized his boat and drowned him.27
The Indian name of the village founded by Corlear was Onoaligone, but the village itself was known to Indians p52and French simply as "Corlear's." The Dutch inhabitants, however, transferred to it the Iroquois name Schenectady, which was originally applied to the country about the site of Albany.28 At this Dutch village of Schenectady, the remotest western outpost of civilization, the governor and his retinue made a brief halt. At that fording-place the trail divided, one branch crossing the river, the other following its windings closely upon the southern bank. This southern trail would bring Andros through the three principal Mohawk castles; the first one being on the shore of Schoharie Creek at its junction with the river, the second at Canajoharie, and the third on the site of the present town absurdly named "Danube," in Herkimer County. Soon after leaving this stronghold the trail passed from the territory of the Mohawks into that of the Oneidas, and there was no other stopping-place until the party arrived at a hill around the base of which the trail made a very noticeable curve. Here at the Oneida stronghold known as Nundadasis, or "around the hill," hard by the site of the city of Utica, this inland journey came to an end.
To this rendezvous in the depths of the primeval forest came chiefs from all the Five Nations, even from the furthest Seneca villages on the southern shore of Lake Erie. There was a grand powwow which lasted for several days. It was the season for green succotash and for mallards and teal, with the red man's inevitable p53gala dish of boiled dog. Solemn speeches were made, wampum belts were exchanged, and many a ring of blue smoke curled from the pipe of peace, as it was clear to all that the wicked Onontio sought to bring ruin up the Long House, while the English were its steadfast friends, even as the Dutch had been before them. The Indians' vivid sense of the continuity between these two was shown when they bestowed upon Andros the name of their old friend Corlear. As in their minds the Dutch power whose friendship they valued was personified in Corlear, the particular Dutchman with whom they chiefly had dealings on matters of public interest, so now the English power was personified in Andros. Since he stood for exactly the same things as their former ally, he too was Corlear, and by that name the governors of New York were henceforth known in the Long House for more than a hundred years.
An immediate result of this auspicious conference with the Five Nations was the organization of a Board of Commissioners of Indian Affairs, with its headquarters at Albany. From that time forth the proximity of Albany to the Long House made it one of the most important towns in English America, as was shown in 1754, when it was selected as the place of meeting for the famous Congress at which Benjamin Franklin's plan for a Federal Union was propounded. For secretary of his Board of Commissioners Andros appointed a young Scotchman, the scion of a family long famous in Scotland and destined to further fame in America. Robert Livingston was the son of an eminent Presbyterian minister of Roxburghshire, who migrated to Rotterdam soon after Charles II came to the throne. At about the age of twenty-eight Robert came to America and settled in Albany, where he was almost immediately made town clerk. His appointment within another year to such a responsible post on the Indian Commission was an early testimony to the ability and force of character that were afterward shown in many ways. In 1679 he married Alida, sister of Peter p54Schuyler and widow of Dominie Nicholas van Rensselaer, — an alliance of three names potent in the history of the New World. Peter Schuyler, who was afterward mayor of Albany, exerted greater influence over the Iroquois than any other man before the arrival of William Johnson in the next century. On the whole, the founding of the Indian Commission was probably the most important act of Andros's administration, and the value of the work accomplished by a little group of able men at Albany is not likely to be overrated.
Andros continued, like his Dutch predecessors, to supply the Iroquois with muskets and ammunition, and this was probably the source of the rumour, which was believed in Boston, that Philip's Indians were supplied with powder at Albany. The governor was naturally indignant at this vile slander. He had left most stringent orders at Albany prohibiting the sale of firearms or powder to any Algonquin, under penalty of £10 fine for every quarter of a pound of powder, or in aggravated cases the offender might even be put to death. Therefore "he sent two gentlemen to Boston to complaine of such an aspersion, demanding it might bee made appeare, or falce informer punished; They by a letter cleare the Magistrates butt nott Generalty, still asperced wthout any known cause, complaint, or notice." The "Generalty" of people anywhere in the New England Confederacy were not willing to deprive themselves of any excuse for hating the representative of that "man of sin," James Stuart, and even when Andros sincerely wished to aid them his generosity must reach them through that colony of heretics with which the "lords brethren" refused to own fellowship. "Upon notice of want, though unasked, hee sent six barrels of powder and some match to Roade Island, which they thankfully accepted, and afterward lent part of it to New England fforces in want, att their fight in Narrogansett country."29 Some of the powder burnt in destroying the swamp fortress on p55that terrible December Sunday came therefore from the much hated governor of New York.
The New England historians of this war lose sight of King Philipd after the Brookfield fight in August, 1675, and he first reappears in Mrs. Rowlandson's narrative for February, 1676. The New York archives show that in November and December he was in the mountains of Berkshire accompanied by 1000 warriors, and one occasion came •within forty miles of Albany. His purpose may probably have been to bring the Mohegans of the Housatonic valley30 into the general crusade against the English, and with this large force he may have hoped to destroy Albany.31 The alarm was sent to New York, p56and the governor at once wrote to Hartford and to Boston for permission to bring a force of English and Iroquois into New England to attack their Algonquin foes. The request was refused, which indicates that it was suspected of being a ruse to cover a real design upon the west bank of the Connecticut River. Then Andros went up to Albany with six sloops and there met a large force of exulting Mohawks, loaded with the scalps of Philip's warriors whom they had defeated and chased through Berkshire.32 It was immediately after this defeat that Philip, moving eastward, attacked Lancaster with a strong party of Nipmucks.
After the summer of 1676 the war came to an end in southern New England, with the almost complete extermination of Narragansetts, Wampanoags, and Nipmucks, but it was kept up two years longer by the Tarratines on the Maine coast. Massachusetts and Connecticut wished to deal directly with the Mohawks, to obtain military aid from them, but Andros would not allow this. He was willing, however, to have envoys from Boston and Hartford meet envoys from the Long House in his presence at Albany and negotiate to their hearts' content. Sundry questions connected with the Indian troubles at the South, which had ensued after the overthrow of the Susquehannocks by the Senecas, brought envoys likewise from Virginia and Maryland to Albany. In 1677 Andros dealt a blow at the Tarratines in the interest of the Duke of York. He sent a force which took possession of Pemaquid and built a fort there: but here he contrived to irritate Massachusetts by forbidding the curing of fish except upon the islands and one small spot near the fort.
In the autumn of 1677 Andros went to England on private business, leaving Brockholls in charge of his province. He was knighted in approval of his official conduct, and returned to New York in the autumn of 1678. With him p57came Rev. Charles Wolley, a young Cambridge graduate, who, after his return to England three years later, published a book was widely read, entitled "A Two Years' Journal in New York." It was in the next year, moreover, that New York was visited and carefully described by two very keen and intelligent Dutch observers, the so‑called Labadist emissaries, Jasper Dankers and Peter Sluyter. Let us seize this occasion for taking a survey of the city as it appeared in the days of the duke of York's autocratic governors. For this purpose, we shall do best to take our start in a new chapter.
1 See my Old Virginia and Her Neighbours, Illustrated Edition, II.130.
2 See, e.g., Brodhead's History of the State of New York, II.56.
3 Hutchinson, History of Massachusetts Bay, Boston, 1764, I.254.
4 Mellick, The Story of an Old Farm, or Life in New Jersey in the Eighteenth Century, Somerville, N. J., 1889, p105; a monograph of remarkable merit.
5 Pepys' Diary, October 15, 1666.
6 Levermore, The Republic of New Haven, Baltimore, 1886, p120.
7 O'Callaghan, History of New Netherland, II.341.
8 General Entries, IV.243; Mass. Hist. Soc. Trumbull Papers, MSS., XX.110.
10 The "oath of fidelliti," which the inhabitants of these towns were required to take, is interesting as a quaint specimen of English written by a Dutch secretary: "Wee do sware in the presents of the Almightij God, that wee shall be true & faithfull to ye high & mighty Lords ye States Gennerall of ye united Belgick Provinces, & his Serene hignesse the Prince of Orange, & to their Governrs here for the time being, and to ye utmost of our power to prevent all what shall be attempted against the same, but uppon all occasions to behave ourselves as true & faitful subiects in conscience are bound to do, provided that wee shal not be forced in armes against our owne Nation if theij are sent bij a Lawful commission from his Majesty of England. Soo help us God." New York Colonial Documents, II.602.
11 New York Colonial Documents, II.630‑635.
12 Brodhead, II.215.
13 Seeley, The Growth of British Policy, II.213.
14 Minutes of Common Council, I.9‑11; Colonial Documents, III.233‑239.
15 Colonial Documents, III.230.
16 Id., III.235.
17 His name is commemorated in Cortlandt Street, leading from Broadway down to the Pennsylvania Railroad's ferry.
18 Governor Dongan's report of 1687 to the Lords of Trade, in O'Callaghan's Documentary History of New York, I.187. Dongan goes on to say, "Much less can it subsist now without it, being at more expense than in the time of Sir Edmond, having lost Delaware, etc. . . . I hope his Maty will bee graciously pleased to add that Colony to this which is the Centre of all His Dominions in America."
19 Colonial Documents, III.236.
20 Connecticut Colonial Records, II.579.
21 Connecticut Colonial Records, II.262, 334, 339‑343, 579‑584. Dr. Trumbull's account, in his History of Connecticut, I.330, perhaps needs a little pruning.
24 Parkman, Old Régime, I.257.
25 Onontio (occasionally written Yonnondio) means Big Mountain, and is the Iroquois translation of the name of Charles de Montmagny, who was governor of Canada from 1636 to 1648. All the French governors of Canada were thereafter called Onontio by the Iroquois, among whom it was customary for the hereditary chief to inherit the name as well as the office of his predecessor. In like manner all the governors of Pennsylvania were called Onas, which means Quill, and is a translation of the name Penn. See Parkman's Jesuits, II.102.
26 See Old Virginia and Her Neighbours, II. Illustrated Edition, 51‑55.
27 Colden's History of the Five Nations, London, 1755, I.32.
28 The meaning of Schenectady is variously rendered. Morgan, whose familiarity was greatest with the Seneca dialect, makes it mean "Beyond-the‑openings" (i.e. in the hills); see his League of the Iroquois, Rochester, 1851, p415. David Cusick, the Tuscarora (in his History of the Six Nations, Lockport, 1848) makes it mean "Beyond-the-pine-plains," and Beauchamp (Indian Names in New York, Fayetteville, 1893) got the same interpretation from some Onondagas.
29 New York Colonial Documents, III.254.
30 The same who had afterwards a romantic history under the name of Stockbridge Indians, and are forever associated with the names of John Sergeant, David Brainerd, and Jonathan Edwards. See Davidson, Muh-he-ka-ne-ok: a History of the Stockbridge Nation, Milwaukee, 1893.
31 Increase Mather credits him with a more Machiavellian purpose: "We hear that Philip, being this winter entertained in the Mohawk country, made it his design to breed a quarrel between the English and them; to effect which, divers of our returned captives do report that he resolved to kill some scattering Mohawks, and then to say that the English had done it. But one of those whom he thought to have killed was only wounded, and got away to his countrymen, giving them to understand that not the English, but Philip, had killed the men; so that, instead of bringing the Mohawks upon the English, he brought them upon himself. Thus the heathen are sent down into the pit that they made; in the net which they had laid is their own foot taken; the Lord is known by the judgment which he executeth; the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands." Mather's Brief History of the War with the Indians, Boston, 1676, p38. I agree with Dr. Palfrey in suspecting this to be a "wild story," and I doubt if anything could have induced the Wampanoag chief to risk his scalp in the Mohawk country; nevertheless the diplomacy ascribed to him is characteristically Indian, and the tale may be based upon facts. No such explanation, however, is needed for the Mohawk attack upon Philip, since the Mohawks were in close alliance with the English. My statement (Beginnings of New England, Illustrated Edition, p257), "What [Philip] had been doing, or where he had been, since the Brookfield fight in August, was never known," needs some modification. When I wrote it, I knew Mather's story, to which I attached no importance, but I had not seen the paper in the New York archives.
32 New York Colonial Documents, III.255.
a Fiske never gives the origin of the town's name more directly than this. Spelling things out, the place in New York was named after one of the titles of James I, who before becoming king was Duke of Albany — a courtesy title given in the Scottish royal family, and which after the union of Scottish and English crowns, would travel in tandem with that of Duke of York. The original Albany is a loosely defined swath of northern Scotland: so that in Britain, Albany is north of York, a geographical relationship reproduced in the New World.
b A brief biographical note on him is given by Morris in King Philip's War, p107. As commander of Connecticut's military forces he played an important rôle, and that page of the book marks the first of many mentions of him in Chapters 7‑12 and 14.
d Thru an oversight of the author, you may be left wondering who King Philip was, and might not unnaturally solve the puzzle by assuming him to be some European king. In fact, he was a native American, a son of Massasoit and chief of the Wampanoags: his proper name is usually rendered today as Metacomet.
Images with borders lead to more information.
on Dutch History
A page or image on this site is in the public domain ONLY
Page updated: 18 May 13