The particulars of the English conquest in 1664, and the transactions

afterwards respecting the inhabitants on Delaware; The arrival of Franois

Lovelace, as governor, part of his administration, and description of the



King Charles the second, considering of what ill consequence a Dutch colony

must be in the heart of his dominions, and determining to dispossess them,

gave a patent to his brother the duke of York, for a great part of North-

America, in which were included the provinces New-York, New-Jersey, and

all other lands thereunto appertaining, with powers of government: And

though his reign was not enterprizing, the Duke's concern in this

property, and the aversion of both to the Dutch 1 made the reduction of

this country the first military stroke. Before there was any formal

declaration of war with Holland, Sir Robert Carre, was sent to America,

with a small fleet and some land forces, to put the Duke in possession

of the country; this appears by the date of the commission given on this

occasion, which was the 26th of April 1664, and the war with Holland was

not declared 'till some months after.


Thus the Dutch here, being unprovided for defence against a royal squadron

and land forces, rendered the expedition safe and easy, Carre had joined

with him in commission, Col. Richard Nicolls, George Cartwright, and

Samuel Meverike. They arrived at Hudson's River the latter end of 1664, at

which time the Dutch could have but very little notice 2 of the designed

rupture: The land forces consisting of three hundred men, were under the

command of Col. Nicolls. The Dutch governor, an approved soldier, who had

lost a leg in the service of the states, being unprepared for this attack,

and knowing perhaps the defects of the Dutch title, at least their present

incapacity of defence, was after some time prevailed on to surrender

quietly. The papers and messages that passed between him and the English

on this occasion, will give the reader a full insight into the manner and

terms of this surrender.


When the English arrived at New-Amsterdam, a proclamation was made and

spread through the country of the design of their coming, conceived in the

terms following:


"By his Majesty's command.


"Forasmuch as his majesty hath sent us by commission, under his great seal

of England, amongst other things, to expel or to reduce to his majesty's

obedience, all such foreigners as have without his majesty's leave and

consent, seated themselves amongst any of his dominions in America, to the

prejudice of his majesty's subjects and the diminution of his royal

dignity: We his majesty's commissioners do declare and promise, that

whosoever of what nation soever, will upon knowledge of this proclamation,

acknowledge and testify themselves to submit to his majesty's government,

as his good subjects ought to do, shall be protected by his majesty's laws

and justice, and peaceably enjoy whatsoever God's blessing and their own

honest industry have furnished them with; and all other privileges with

his majesty's English subjects: We have caused this to be published, that

we might prevent all inconveniencies to others if it were possible,

however, to clear ourselves from the charge of all those miseries that

anyway may befall such as live here, and will not acknowledge his majesty

for their sovereign: Whom God preserve."


The Dutch governor Stuyvesant, upon notice of the arrival of the English in

the Bay, dispatched the following letter,


"Right honourable Sirs,


"Whereas we have received intelligence, that about three days since, there

arrived an English man of war, or frigate in the Bay of the North River,

belonging to the New Netherlands, and since that three more are arrived,

by what order or pretence is yet unknown to us; and having received

various reports concerning their arrival upon this coast, and not being

apt to entertain any prejudice intended against us, have by order of the

commander in chief of the New Netherlands, thought it convenient and

requisite, to send the worshipful the bearer hereof, that is to say, the

worshipful John Declyer, one of the chief council, the reverend John

Megapolensis, minister, Paul Leendelvandergrift, mayor of this town, and

have joined with them Mr. Samuel Megapolensis, doctor in physick, whom by

these presents I have appointed and ordered, that with the utmost respect

and civility, they do desire and entreat of the commander in chief of the

aforesaid men of war or frigates, the intent and meaning of their

approach, and continuing in the harbour of Naijacly, without giving any

notice to us, or first acquainting us with their design, which action hath

caused much admiration in us, having not received timely knowledge of the

same, which in respect to the government of the place, they ought, and

were obliged to have done; wherefore upon the considerations aforesaid, it

is desired and entreated from the general of the aforesaid men of war or

frigates, as also from our before deputed agents, whom we desire your

honours civily to treat, and to give and render unto them, the occasion of

your arrival here upon this coast, and you will give an opportunity (that

after our hearty salutes and wellwishes of your health,) to pray, that you

may be blessed in eternity, and always remain, right honourable sirs, your

honours affectionate friend and servant,




"By order and appointment of the governor and commander in chief of the

council of New Netherlands, the 19-29 of August, 1664.




To this letter Col. Nicolls sent the answer following.


"To the honourable the governor and chief council at the Manhatans,3


"Right worthy Sirs,


"I received a letter by some worthy persons entrusted by you, bearing date

the 19-29th of August, desiring to know the intent of the approach of the

English frigates, in return of which I think fit to let you know, that his

majesty of Great-Britain, whose right and title to these parts of America

is unquestionable, well knowing how much it derogates from his crown and

dignity, to suffer any foreigners how near soever they be allied, to usurp

a dominion, and without his majesty's royal consent, to inhabit in these

or any other his majesty's territories; hath commanded me in his name, to

require a surrender of all such forts, towns or places of strength, which

are now possessed by the Dutch under your commands; and in his majesty's

name I do demand the town situate upon the island commonly known by the

name of Manhatoes, with all the forts thereunto belonging, to be rendered

unto his majestys obedience and protection unto my hands: I am further

commanded to assure you, and every respective inhabitant of the Dutch

nation, that his majesty being tender of the effusion of christian blood,

doth by these presents, confirm and secure to every man, his estate, life

and liberty, who shall readily submit to his government; and all those who

shall oppose his majesty's gracious intentions, must expect all the

miseries of a war which they bring upon themselves. I shall expect your

answer by those gentlemen, Colonel George Cartwright, one of his majesty's

commissioners in America, Captain Robert Needham, Capt. Edward Groves, and

Mr. Thomas Delavall, whom you will entertain and treat with such civility

as is due to them and yourselves, and you shall receive the same from,

worthy sirs, your very humble servant,




"Dated on board his majesty's ship the Guinea, riding before Naijack, the

20-30 of August 1664."


Stuyvesant now fully informed of the English general's business from

himself, returned in answer:


"That they were so confident of the discretion and equity of his majesty

of Great-Britain, that were his majesty truly informed of their right, he

would not have given such an order: That the Dutch came not into these

provinces by any violence, but by virtue of a commission from the states

general in 1614, when they settled the North River, near fort Orange, and

to avoid the invasions and massacres commonly committed by the savages;

they built a little fort there: That afterwards in the year 1662, and at

the present time, by virtue of a commission and grant to the governor of

the West-India company, and another in the year 1656 of the South River,

to the burgomasters of Amsterdam, they had peaceably governed and enjoyed

these provinces: That they were the first discoverers, had purchased the

land of the natives, princes of the country; and had continued in the

uninterrupted possession thereof: That they made no doubt that if his

majesty of Great-Britain, were truly informed of these passages, he was

too judicious to give any order that the places and fortresses in their

hands should be given up, especially at a time when so strict a friendship

subsisted between his majesty and the states general: That the offering

any act of hostility and violence against them, would be an infraction of

the treaty, which subsisted between his majesty of Great-Britain and the

states general: That as to the threats in the conclusion of general

Nicoll's letter, he had nothing to answer, only that they feared nothing

but what God should lay upon them."


Col. Nicolls, receiving this answer, found nothing was to be done by delay;

and being resolved to assert his master's right in the best manner he

could, directed an order to Capt. Hide to this effect:


"Whereas the governor and council of the Dutch plantation upon the

Manhatoes, in Hudson's River, have in answer to a summons returned their

resolutions to maintain the right and title of the states general and West-

India company of Holland, to their forts, towns and plantations in these

parts of America: I do therefore in prosecution of his majesty's service,

recommend to Captain Hugh Hide, commander in chief of the squadron, to

prosecute with the advice of the captains under his command, his majesty's

claim and interest, by all ways and means as they shall think most

expedient, for the speedy reducing the Dutch under his majesty's

obedience, and for so doing this shall be their warrant. Given under my

hand the 24th of August 1664, on board his majesty's

ship the Guinea."




It appearing by this order, and preparations in consequence of it, that the

English were not come for amusement only; Stuyvesant thought it best before

matters were carried too far, to propose one expedient more; this he did

by letter to Col. Nicolls, the 4th September.


"My Lord,


"Upon our letter the day before yesterday, and upon the communication by

word of mouth, of our deputies, touching the just right and possession;

without dispute of my lords, the states general of the united provinces,

as also of our discovery of the news from Holland; which makes us not to

doubt but that the king of Great-Britain, and my lords the said states,

are at this hour agreed upon their limits: this had given us hope my lord

to avoid all dispute; that you would have desisted from your design, or at

least have given time that we might have heard from our masters; from

which expectation we have been frustrated by the report of our said

deputies, who have assured us by word of mouth, that you persist on your

summons and letter, of 20-30 August, upon which we have no other thing to

answer, but that following the order of my lords the states general, we

are obliged to defend our place; however that in regard that we make no

doubt, that upon your assault and our defence, there will be a great deal

of blood spilt; and besides it is to be feared greater difficulty may

arise hereafter; we have thought fit to send unto you, Mr. John de Decker,

counsellor of state; Cornelius Van Riven, secretary and receiver;

Cornelius Steenwick, mayor; and James Coussea, sheriff; to the end of

finding some means to hinder and prevent the spilling of innocent blood,

which we esteem my lord not to be your intention; praying that you will

please to appoint a place and hour, and send or cause your deputies to

meet there, with full commission to treat and seek out the means of a good

accommodation; and in the mean time to cause all hostility to cease: Upon

which, after recommending you to the protection of God, we remain, my

lord, your thrice affectionate friend and servant,




To this Col. Nicoll's replyed, in a letter directed to the honourable the

governor of the Manhatoes, as follows:


"Right worthy sir,


"In answer to yours of the 4th of September, new stile, by the hands of

John de Decker, counsellor of state, Cornelius Van Riven, secretary and

receiver, Cornelius Steenwick, burgo master, and James Causseau, sheriff,

I do think it once more agreeable to the kings intentions, and my duty to

his strict commands, to propose and receive all ways and means of avoiding

the effusion of christian blood; of which sincere intention, I suppose you

are already fully satisfied, and shall have no cause to doubt it for the

future; as also that I do insist upon my first summons and message to you,

for a speedy surrender of the towns and forts now under your command, into

his majesty's obedience and protection. You may easily believe that in

respect of greater difficulties which are ready to attend you, I should

willingly comply with your proposition to appoint deputies, place and time

to treat of a good accommodation; but unless you had also given me to

know, that by such a meeting you do intend to treat upon articles of

surrender, I do not see just cause to defer the pursuance of his majesty's

commands, my first demand and my last answer, of reducing your towns and

forts to his majesty's obedience; which, why you call acts of hostility, I

see no reason: However, since you have given yourself and messengers this

new trouble. I shall also take this fresh occasion, to assure you that I

heartily with health, peace and prosperity, to every inhabitant of your

plantations, and particularly to yourself, as being your affectionate

humble servant,




"Gravesend, 25th August 1664."


The Dutch governor finding Nicolls grew more resolute in his enterprize,

and the country in general for him, after having tried, in vain, what

other pacifick expedients he could, at last agreed to a surrender of the

fort and province under his government, and commisaioners were authorized

to treat upon the articles; those on the part of the English were, Sir

Robert Carre, knt., Colonel George Cartwright, John Winthrop, Esq.,

governor of Connecticut, and Samuel Willis, one of his 2 council, Capt.

Thomas Clarke, and Capt. John Punctwon, commissioners from the general

court of the Massachusetts, the persons named by governor Stuyvesant were,

John de Decker, Nicholas Varlett, commissary, concerning matters of

traffick, Samuel Megapolensis, Cornelius Steenwick, Stephen Courtland, and

James Coussea.


The articles of this treaty as they are signed and confirmed by Col.

Nicolls and governor Stuyvesant, and subscribed by the commissioners, bear

date the 27th of August 1664 old stile, and are as follows:


"1. We consent that the states general, or the West India company, shall

freely enjoy all farms and houses, except such as are in the forts, and

that within six months they shall have free liberty to transport all such

arms and ammunition, as now do belong to them, or else they shall be paid

for them.


"2. All publick houses shall continue for the uses which now they are for.


"3. All people shall still continue free dennizens, and enjoy their lands,

houses, goods, ships wheresoever they are within the country, and dispose

of them as they please.


"4. If any inhabitant have a mind to remove himself, he shall have a year

and six weeks from this day to remove himself, wife, children, servants,

goods, and to dispose of his lands here.


"5. If any officer of state or publick minister of state have a mind to

go for England, they shall be transported freight free in his majesty's

frigates, when those frigates return thither.


"6. It is consented to that any people may freely come from the

Netherlands, and plant in this country, and that Dutch vessels may freely

come hither, and any of the Dutch may freely return home, or send any

sort of merchandize home in vessels of their own country.


"7. All ships from the Netherlands, or any other place and goods therein

shall be received here and sent hence after the manner which they formerly

were, before our coming hither for six months next ensuing.


"8. The Dutch shall enjoy the liberty of their consciences, in divine

worship and Dutch discipline.


"9. No Dutchman here, or Dutch ship here, shall upon any occasion be

pressed to serve in war against any Nation whatsoever.


"10. That the townsmen of the Manhatoes shall not have any soldiers

quartered upon them, without being satisfied and paid for them by the

officers, and that at this present, if the fort be not capable of lodging

all the soldiers, then the burgomaster by his officers, shall appoint some

houses capable to receive them.


"11. The Dutch here shall enjoy their own customs concerning their



"12. All publick writings and records, which concern the inheritances of

any people, or the reglement of the church or poor or orphans, shall be

carefully kept by those in whose hands now they are, and such writings as

particularly concern the states general, may at any time be sent to them.


"13. No judgment that hath passed any judicature here, shall be called in

question, but if any conceive he hath not had justice done him, if he

apply himself to the States General, the other party shall be obliged to

answer for the supposed injury.


"14. If any Dutch living here, shall at any time desire to travel or

traffick into England, or any place or plantation in obedience to his

majesty of England, or with the Indians, he shall have upon his request to

the governor, a certificate that he is a free Denizen of this place, and

liberty it to do.


"15. If it do appear that there is a publick engagement of debt, by the

town of Manhatoes, and a way agreed on for the satisfying of that

engagement, it is agreed that the same way proposed shall go on; and

that the engagements shall be satisfied.


"16. All inferior civil officers and magistrates, shall continue as they

now are, if they please, 'till the customary time of new election, and

then new ones to be chosen by themselves; provided that such new chosen

magistrates, shall take the oath of allegiance to his majesty of England,

before they enter upon their offices.


"17. All differences of contracts and bargains made before this day, by

any in this country, shall be determined according to the manner of the



"18. If it does appear that the West-India company, of Amsterdam, do

really owe any sums of money to any persons here; it is agreed that

recognition and other duties payable by ships going for the Netherlands

be continued for six months longer.


"19. The officers military and soldiers, shall march out with their arms,

drums beating, and colours flying, lighted matches; and, if any of them

will plant they shall have fifty acres of land set out to them; if any of

them will serve any as servants, they shall continue with all safety and

become free Denizens afterwards.


"20. If at any time hereafter the king of Great-Britain and the States of

the Netherland, do agree that this place and country be redelivered into

the hands of the said states, whensoever his majesty will send his

commands to redeliver it, it shall immediately be done.


"21. That the town of Manhatans shall choose deputies, and those deputies

shall have free voices in all publick affairs.


"22. That those who have any property in any houses in the fort of urania,

shall if they please, slight the fortifications there, and then enjoy all

their houses as all people do where there is no fort.


"23. If there be any soldiers that will go into Holland, and if the

company of West India in Amsterdam, or any private persons here, will

transport them into Holland, then they shall have a safe passport from

Col. Richard Nicolls, deputy governor under his royal highness, and the

other commissioners, to defend the ships that shall transport such

soldiers and all the goods in them from any surprizal or act of hostility

to be done by any of his majesty's ships or subjects.


"24. That the copies of the king's grant to his royal highness, and the

copy of his royal highness's commission to Col. Richard Nicolls, testified

by two commissioners more and Mr. Winthrop, to be true copies, shall be

delivered to the honourable Mr. Stuyvesant, the present governor, on

Monday next by eight of the clock in the morning, at the old Milne, and

these articles consented to and signed by Col. Richard Nicolls, deputy

governor to his royal highness, and that within two hours after the fort

and town called New Amsterdam, upon the island of Manhatoes, shall be

delivered into the hands of the said Col. Richard Nicolls, by the service

of such as shall be by him thereunto deputed by his hand and seal."


The articles agreed on, the fort and city of New-Amsterdam, were

surrendered. Some of the houses were then built of brick and stone, and in

part covered with red and black tile, and the land being high, it made an

agreeable prospect to those that visited it from the sea; Most of the

Dutch inhabitants remained, and took the oaths to the English government;

and they and their posterity have been loyal subjects ever since.4


Thirteen days after the surrender of New Amsterdam, Col. Nicolls, marched

up the country to Orange fort, and having taken it without much

resistance, he gave it the name of Albany, the duke of York's Scotch

title: But previous to the taking of this fort, the colonel and other

commissioners sent Sir Robert Carre with the ships under his command, on

an expedition into Delaware bay and river, to reduce the inhabitants

there. To this end they granted him their commission:


"Whereas we are informed that the Dutch have seated themselves at Delaware

Bay, on his majesty of Great-Britain's territories, without his knowledge

and consent, and that they have fortified themselves there, and drawn a

great trade thither, and being assured that if they be permitted to go on,

the gaining of this place will be of small advantage to his majesty: We

his majesty's commissioners, by virtue of his majesty's commission and

instructions to us given, have advised and determined to endeavour to

bring that place and all strangers there, in obedience to his majesty, and

by these do order and appoint that his majesty's frigates, the Guinea, and

the William and Nicholas, and all the soldiery which are not in the fort,

shall with what speed they conveniently can go thither, under the command

of Sir Robert Carre, to reduce the same, willing and commanding all

officers at sea and land and all soldiers to obey the said Sir Robert

Carre during this expedition. Given under our hands and seals, at the fort

in New-York, upon the isle of Manhatoes, the third day of September, 1664.








With this commission, instructions were delivered [to] Carre, respecting

the manner in which he was to conduct on his arrival in the bay of



"Instructions for Sir Robert Carre, for the reducing of Delaware bay, and

settling the people there, under his majesty's obedience.


"When you are come near unto the fort, which is possessed by the Dutch,

you shall send your boat on shore, to summons the governor and inhabitants

to yield obedience to his majesty, as the rightful sovereign of that tract

of land; and let him and them know, that all the planters shall enjoy

their farms, houses, land, goods and chattels, with the same priviledges,

and upon the same terms which they do now possess them; only that they

change their masters, whether they be the West-India company, or the city

of Amsterdam. To the Swedes you shall remonstrate their happy return under

a monarchical government, and his majesty's good inclinations to that

nation, and to all men, who shall comply with his majesty's rights and

titles in Delaware, without force of arms.


"That all cannon, arms and ammunition which belongs to the government,

shall remain to his majesty.


"That the acts of parliament shall be the rule for future trading.


"That all people may enjoy liberty of conscience.


"That for six months next ensuing, the same magisstrates shall continue in

their offices, only that they and all others in authority must take the

oath of allegiance to his majesty, and all publick acts be made in his

majesty's name.


"If you find you cannot reduce the place by force, or upon these

conditions, you may add such as you find necessary on the place; but if

those, nor force, will prevail, then you are to dispatch a messenger to the

governor of Maryland, with a letter to him; and request his assistance,

and of all other English who live near the Dutch plantations.


"Your first care (after reducing the place) is to protect the inhabitants

from injuries, as well as violence of the soldiers; which will be easily

effected, if you settle a course for weekly or daily provisions by

agreement with the inhabitants; which shall be satisfied to them, either

out of the proffits, customs or rents be longing to their present master,

or in case of necessity from hence.


"The laws for the present cannot be altered, as to the administration

of Justice between the parties.


"To my lord Baltimore's son you shall declare, and to all the English

concerned in Maryland, that his majesty hath, at his great expence, sent

his ships and soldiers to reduce all foreigners in those parts to his

majesty's obedience; and to that purpose only, you are employed: But

the reduction of the place being at his majesty's expence, you have

commands to keep possession thereof for his Majesty's own behoof and

right; and that you are ready to joyn the governor of Maryland, upon his

majesty's interest on all occasions; and that if Lord Baltimore doth

pretend right thereto by his patent, (which is a doubtful case) you are to

say, that you only keep possession 'till his majesty is informed and

satisfied otherwise. In other things, I must leave you to your discretion,

and the best advice you can get upon the place."


In pursuance of this commission, Carre soon set sail, with the ships under

his command. On his arrival against New-Castle, (then called New-Amstel)

the Dutch and Swedes, following the example of their capital, New-

Amsterdam, capitulated and surrendered their fort. The articles were

signed and sealed by the English commanding officer, and six of the

principal inhabitants of the place, on behalf of themselves, and others.


"Articles of agreement between the honourable Sir Robert Carre, knight, on

the behalf of his majesty of Great-Britain, and the burgo-masters, on

behalf of themselves, and all the Dutch and Swedes, inhabiting on Delaware

bay, and Delaware river.


"1. That all the burgesses and planters will submit "themselves to his

majesty, without any resistance.


"2. That whoever, or what nation soever, doth submit to his majesty's

authority, shall be protected in their estates, real and personal

whatsoever, by his majesty's laws and justice.


"3. That the present magistrates shall be continue in their offices, and

jurisdiction to exercise their civil power as formerly.


"4. That if any Dutchman or other person shall desire to depart from this

river, it shall be lawful for him so to do with his goods, within six

mouths after the date of these articles.


"5. That the magistrates and all the inhabitants (who are included in

these articles) shall take the oaths of allegiance to his majesty.


"6. That all people shall enjoy the liberty of their consciences, in

church discipline as formerly.


"7. That whoever shall take the oaths, is from that time a free Denizen,

and shall enjoy all the priviledges of trading into any of his majesty's

dominions, as freely as any Englishman, and may require a certificate for

so doing.


"8. That the schout, the burgomaster, sherif, and other inferior

magistrates, shall use and exercise their customary power, in

administration of justice within their precincts for six months, or until

his majesty's pleasure is further known."


"Dated October 1st 1664."


New-Amsterdam, Orange Fort, and the inhabitants up Delaware, being

reduced, the whole country was in a manner in possession of the English;

and things being in a quiet posture about New-York, Nicolls was

commissioned the 24th of October, 1664, by Cartwright and Mevericke, to

repair to Delaware bay, for government of the place, by deputing such

officers civil and military, and taking such other measures as he should

think proper, until the kings pleasure was further known.5 Thus things

rested 'till 1668; when Nicolls and his council at New-York, gave the

following directions for a better settlement of the government on Delaware:


"That it is necessary to hold up the name and countenance of a garrison in

Delaware, with twenty men and one commission officer. "That the commission

officers shall undertake to provide all sorts of provision for the whole

garrison, at the rate of 5d. per day, viz. wholesome bread beer, pork,

pease or beef, that no just complaint be made of either: That the

soldiers, (so far as conveniently they may,) be lodged in the fort, and

keep the Stockadoes up in defence: that the civil government in the

respective plantations be continued 'till further orders. "That to prevent

all abuses or oppositions in civil magistrates, so often as complaint is

made, the commission officer Capt. Carre, shall call the scout, with Hans

Block, Israel Holme, Peter Rambo, Peter Cock, Peter Aldrick, or any two of

them, as councellors to advise, hear, and determine by the major vote,

what is just, equitable and necessary in the case and cases in question.


"That the same persons also, or any two or more of them, be called to

advise and direct what is best to be done in all cases of difficulty,

which may arise from the Indians, and to give their councel and orders

for the arming of the several plantations and planters who must obey and

attend their summons upon such occasion.


"That two thirds at least of the soldiers remain constantly in and about

New-Castle at all hours.


"That the fines or preminures and light offences, be executed with

moderation, though it is also necessary that ill men be punished in an

exemplary manner.


"That the commission officer Capt. Carre, in the determination of the

chief civil affairs, whereunto the temporary beforementioned councellors

are ordained shall have a casting voice where votes are equal.


"That the new appointed councellors are to take the oath to his royal



"That the laws of the government, established by his royal highness, be

shewed and frequently communicated to the said councellors and all others,

to the end that being therewith acquainted, the practice of them may also

in convenient time be established; which conduceth to the publick wellfare

and common Justice.


"That no offensive war be made against any Indians, before you receive

directions from the governor for your so doing.


"That in all matters of difficulty and importance, you must have recourse

by way of appeal, to the governor and council at New-York." These

instructions bore date the 21st of April, 1668; within two months

afterwards, the government at New-York received advice, that some of the

tribe of the Mantas Indians, nigh Delaware, had murdered the servants of

one Tomm. Peter Aldricks and Peter Rambo, arriving soon after, confirm'd

that news, and further inform'd the government, that the Indians in those

parts desir'd, there should be an absolute prohibition upon the whole

river, of selling strong liquor to the Indians generally; by which it

seems the late murders had probably been the consequence of a drunken

frolick; this is the more likely, as the whole body of the Indians in the

first settled part of the lands on Delaware, afterwards through a long

course of experience, manifested an open hospitable disposition to the

English, and were in the general, far from any designs to their prejudice.

The governor and colonel Lovelace wrote to Carre, authorizing him to

convene those joined with him in commission for the management of civil

affairs, and with their advice to make all necessary rules and give orders

for the government of both christians and Indians; and because those

murders, and the restraining the Indians from strong liquors, might be

attended with difficulties, Carre was ordered, after consulting the

Indians on the best method of proceeding, to send the state of the matter

to the council at New-York.


Another disturbance that soon followed took up their attention for a while,

and seemd likely to prove an affair of some consequence against the

new-establishd government, but was prevented by the vigilance of the

persons in administration. A Swede at Delaware, who gave out that he was

the son of Coningsmarke, the Sweedish general, went up and down from one

place to another, spreading rumours to the disturbance of civil peace and

the laws, intending thereby to make a party strong enough to raise an

insurrection, and if possible, throw off the English allegiance; to him

was associated Henry Coleman, one of the Finns, and an inhabitant at

Delaware: The last left a good habitation, cattle and corn, and was well

versed in the Indian language; as they both kept very much among the

Indians their designs were the more suspected. The government however,

ordered a proclamation, that if Coleman did not surrender himself, to

answer what should be objected against him in fifteen days, his estate

should be secured to the king's use; whether he came in appears not, but

the other being a vagrant, more effectual measures were used, so that he

was soon in custody; all the rest who had a hand in the plot, were by the

government at York, bound to give security to answer for their conduct,

and an account of their estates ordered to be taken: The governor in the

mean time tells Carre in his letter upon this occasion, "That as for the

poor deluded sort, I think the advice of their own countrymen is not to be

despised, who knowing their temper well, prescribed a method for keeping

them in order, which is severity, and laying such taxes on them as may not

give them liberty to entertain any other thoughts but how to discharge

them. - I perceive the little Domine hath played the trumpter to this

disorder; I refer the quality of his punishment to your direction."


"At a council held at New-York, October 18, 1669 (PRESENT:


The Governor, Thomas Delaval, Ralph Whitfield, Thomas Willet, secry.),

this affair being taken into consideration, it was adjudged that

Conningsmarke, commonly called the long Finne, deserv'd to die, yet in

regard that many concern'd with him in the insurrection, might also be

involv'd in the premunire, if the rigour of the law should be extended,

and amongst them diverse simple and ignorant people, it was thought fit to

order that the long Finne should be severely whipt, and stigmatized with

the letter R, with inscription in great letters on his breast, that he

received that punishment for rebellion, and after to be secured 'till sent

to Barbadoes or some other remote plantation to be sold."


It was further ordered, that the chief of his accomplices should forfeit

to the king, one half of their goods and chattels, and a smaller mulct

laid on the rest to be left at discretion of commissioners, appointed to

examine the matter. In pursuance of this sentence, the long Finne was

brought fettered from Delaware, and put prisoner in the state-house at

York, the 20th December, and there continued a year, when a warrant was

signed, and he, in pursuance of it, transported for sale to Barbadoes.


At this council also came under consideration, the case of an Indian, who

had committed a rape on a christian woman; the council ordered that he

should be put to death if he could be found, and that application be made

to the Sachems of his tribe, to deliver him up, that justice might be

executed upon him. He had been once taken and condemned to death by the

commissioners at Delaware, but broke gaol.


One Douglass at the Hoarkill, after this, gave the new settlers a

considerable disturbance by seditious practices, but he was taken, sent to

gaol, and afterwards from thence to York, where he had his trial, and was

sent to the eastward, with a caution not to return into the government any



In the month call February 1669, Francis Lovelace 6 being then governor, a

commission and letters Lovelace of instruction were sent to the Hoarkill,

authorizing Hermanus Fredericksen, to be schout, Slander Matson, Otto

Walgast, and William Cleason to be commissaries, who were to keep good

orders there, and to try all matters of difference under .10 amongst

themselves; this seems to be intended to save them the trouble of going to

New-Castle upon every trifling occasion; but for all matters above .10

they were to apply themselves to New York, and so for all criminals.


Governor Lovelace gave also an order to captain Martin Prieger, to receive

the customs for all European goods imported at the Hoarkill, and on the

furrs and peltry exported from thence, viz. .10 per cent.


"Whereas I am given to understand, that all European goods imported at the

Hoarkill in Delaware bay did heretofore pay custom at the rate of .10 per

cent. and all furrs and peltry exported from thence at the same rate,

which turned to some advantage towards the support of the government upon

mature advice and consideration had thereof, I have thought fit to renew

the former custom, and do therefore hereby order and appoint captain

Martin Preiger, who is a person well versed in the trade of those parts

and very well known thereto both the christians and the Indians to be

receiver and collector of the customs at the Hoarkill, where by himself or

his deputy he is to receive 10 per cent. of all European goods imported

there, whether coming from this place, New-Castle in Delaware, or any

other part; and ten per cent. also for all furrs or peltry exported from

thence, according to former custom and usage on that behalf; and all

persons whatsoever trading thither, or from thence to any other place, are

to take notice thereof, and to obey this my commission, under the penalty

of confiscation of their goods if they shall presume to do otherwise, the

said Capt. Prieger standing obliged, to be answerable here, for all such

customs as shall be received by himself or deputy there, of which he is to

render unto me a due and exact account." It was very early to impose such

an extraordinary clog upon trade as 10 per cent. and no doubt hard upon

the young settlers to pay it, and the reason given for doing it (namely

that it had been done before) seems not so well calculated to render the

payment easy as might have been contrived; probably the chief cause was

that hinted at in the governor's letter to Carre, to "keep them under by

taxes, that they might not have liberty to entertain any other thoughts

but how to discharge them." The daily exigencies of the government in

those precarious times afforded a better present plea, tho' of no force

for continuing it afterwards; but after all, the government then more

military than civil, probably but little thought of a necessity to bestow

colouring upon their proceedings, however extraordinary, to a people whom

they could at any time compel to their measures; hard where that is the

case of necessity, but more hard and arbitrary when continued without that

necessity. These precedents introduced a similarity of taxation, which in

time proved intolerable grievances. But be their reasons to themselves. -

As the Hoarkills to the Swedes appeared a place of rather more consequence

than it's thought since, their account may be worth observation:


"Two leagues (says the manuscript in the British museum,) from cape

Cornelius on the west side of the river near its mouth, there is a certain

creek called the Hoeren Kill, which may well pass for a middling or small

river, for it is navigable a great way upward, and its road is a fine road

for ships of all burthens, there being none like it for safety and

convenience in all the bay, the right channel for sailing up the bay

passing near it.


"A certain person who for several years together had been a soldier in the

fort, informed us about the month of June, 1662, being then but lately

come from thence, concerning the Hoern kill or Harlot's creek; that along

the sea shore it was not above two leagues from the cape, and that near

the fort which is at the mouth of it, it is about 200 paces broad and

navigable and very deep to about half a league upwards, the pilots say

generally about six feet of water in, going in, but the canoes can go

about two leagues higher: There are two small islands in it, the first very

small the last about half a league in circumference, both overgrown with

fine grass, especially the latter, and are at about half a league distance

asunder, and the latter about a league from the channel's mouth: The two

islands are surrounded with a muddy ground, in which there grows the best

sort of oysters, which said ground begins near the first island, for the

mouth of the channel has a sandy bottom, being also very deep, and

therefore there are no oysters there: Near the smaller island and higher

up it is as broad again as at the mouth, near the said fort the channel

for a good way runs at an equal distance from the sea, having the breadth

of about two hundred paces of high downy land lying between them, near

the fort there is a glorious spring of fresh water, a small rill rising in

the south east part of the country, and falling from a rising hill, runs

through this downy land into the mouth of the Hoern kill, or Harlot's

creek, is for its goodness and fertility famed for the very best of New-



"The name of Hoernkill or Harlot's creek, had as we are informed, its rise

from the liberality of the Indians, for lavishly prostituting, especially

at that place, their maidens and daughters to our Netherlanders: Otherwise

it is by David Pietersz de Uries, who about the year 1630 first

endeavoured to settle there, called Swanendal."


The above description however, in the general true at the time it was

wrote, leaves room for a doubt, at least as to the origin of the name.8

The probability lies that it arose from the creeks winding much in the

shape of a horn; whence the Dutch (and not the Swedes) first took occasion

to call it the Hoernkill; this is the tradition of the inhabitants there.

Soon after English possession, it got the name of Lewis-Town, by which it

is mostly called: It is situate at the mouth of Delaware bay,9 and is the

general resort for pilots, waiting to convoy vessels up the river: Where

the creek is described deep and sandy, is now a mowing marsh: The channel

also by the Hoarkill, then used for vessels to pass, is diminished to

about a hundred yards breadth at the mouth: The two islands, one very

small, and the other but half a league in circumference, are now the first

supposed to be ten, and the last thirty times as large as there described;

and this alteration in about a hundred years.


1 Vid. Life of E. of Clarendon, Oxford printed at Clarendon printing

house. Vol. ii. p. 873, &c.


2 The first notice they had was from Thomas Willet, an Englishman, about 6

weeks before their arrival.


3 The Indian name, by which New-York island was formerly ca1led.


4 In the year 1751, as some workmen were digging down the bank of the

North River, in New York, in order to build a still-house, a stone wall

was discovered between four and five feet thick, near eight feet under

ground, supposed to have been the breast work of a battery.


5 In the begining of the year 1665, there was a comet visible to the

people on this continent: It had appeared in the November before, and

continued four months: It rose constantly ahout one oclock in the morning,

in the south-east. It was seen likewise in, England and in most other

parts of the world, at the same time.


6 He succeeded Nicolls in the government of New York in May 1667, and

continued governor 'till the colony was given up to the Dutch in the

summer, 1673. Nicolls had remained governor since the Dutch surrender

'till then, about two years and a half.


7 The whole country from New-York to Pennsylvania, being so called; 'tis

observable, that this author through the whole, gives the South river

greatly the preference.


8 C. Colden in his history of the five nations p. 11, relates a custom of

the same kind among them, but there does not appear sufficient foundation

to suppose these Indians originally justly chargeable with such a

practice, at least of the tribes generally; and the relation of the Swedes

is not in every instance to be depended on; bad as the Indians now appear,

and have many of them prov'd, they were formerly better; in a case

doubtful 'tis perhaps best to err on the charitable side.


9 The Delaware probably got its name from "the lord Delaware, who sailed

in a ship of 250 ton; in April 1618, with 200 people for Virginia, but

died at sea." Prince's N.E. Chronology, p. 54.