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Ioland Indians de sire a peace.
5 March. De Vries
Meanwhile, the Long Island Indians had begun to re
lent. Spring was at hand, and they desired to plant their 1643.
corn. Three delegates from the wigwams of Penhawitz, The Long their great chief," approached Fort Amsterdam, bearing
a white flag 66 Who will go to meet them ?" demanded Kieft. None were willing but De Vries and Jacob Olfert
"Our chief has sent us," said the savages, "to know why you have killed his people, who have never laid a straw in your way, nor done you aught but good ?” " Come and speak to our chief on the sea-coast." Setting out with the Indian messengers, De Vries and Olfertsen, in the evening, came to “Rechqua-akie," or Rockaway, where they found nearly three hundred savages, and about thirty wigwams. The chief, “ who had but one eye,” invited them to pass the night in his cabin, and regaled them with oysters and fish.
At break of day, the envoys from Manhattan were conand Olfert- ducted into the woods about four hundred yards off, where Rockaway. they found sixteen chiefs of Long Island waiting for their
coming. Placing the two Europeans in the centre, the
you sometimes had no food; we gave you our beans and corn, and relieved you with our oysters and fish; and now, for recompense, you murder our people;" and he laid down a little stick. “In the beginning of your voyages, you left your people here with their goods ; we traded with them while your ships were away, and cherished them as the apple of our eye; we gave them our daughters for companions, who have borne children, and many Indians have sprung from the Swannekens; and now you villainously massacre your own blood.' The chief laid down another stick; many more remained in his hand; but De Vries, cutting short the reproachful catalogue, invited the chiefs to accompany him to Fort Amsterdam, where the director “would give them presents to make a peace.”
The chiefs, assenting, ended their oration; and, pre- Chap. X. senting De Vries and his colleague each with ten fathoms
1643. of wampum, the party set out for their canoes, to shorten the return of the Dutch envoys. While waiting for the thema misit tide to rise, an armed Indian, who had been dispatched by sterdam. a sachem twenty miles off, came running to warn the chiefs against going to Manhattan. "Are you all crazy, to go to the fort," said he, where that scoundrel lives, who has so often murdered your friends ?" But De Vries assured them that "they would find it otherwise, and come home again with large presents.” One of the chiefs replied at once, “Upon your words we will go ; for the Indians have never heard lies from you, as they have from other Swannekens."
Embarking in a large canoe, the Dutch envoys, accompanied by eighteen Indian delegates, set out from Rockaway, and reached Fort Amsterdam about three o'clock in the afternoon. A treaty was presently made with the 25 March. Long Island savages; and Kieft, giving them some pres- peace conents, asked them to bring to the fort the chiefs of the Riv. er tribes, “ who had lost so many Indians," that he might make peace with them also. *
Some of the Long Island sachems accordingly went to Hackinsack and Tappan. But it was several weeks before the enraged savages would listen to the counsels of the mediators, or put any faith in the director. At last, Oritany, the sachem of the Hackinsacks, invested with a Peace cova plenipotentiary commission from the neighboring tribes, with the appeared at Fort Amsterdam. Kieft“ endowed him with dians. presents ;” and peace was covenanted between the River Indians and the Dutch. Mutual injuries were to be "forgiven and forgotten forever;" future provocations were re
* De Vries, 182; Alb. Rec., ii., 214, 215; Doc. Hist. N. Y., iv., 12 ; O'Call., i., 276. Winthrop, ii., 97, says that the Indians, "by the mediation of Mr. Williams, who was then there to go in a Dutch ship for England, were pacified, and peace re-established between the Dutch and them.” But Winthrop errs in this statement. Williams, in his letter of the 5th of October, 1654, to the General Court of Massachusetts, in which he speaks of the war: (R. I. H. S. Coll., iii., 155), says nothing whatever in respect to his own agency with the Indians in bringing about the peace. Indeed, he seems to have sailed for Europe while the war was yet raging. On the other hand, De Vries's own minute and faithful journal seems to be conclusive.
The Indians still
Chap. X. ciprocally to be avoided; hostile movements of other tribes,
not included in the treaty, were to be prevented within 1643.
the territories of the Hackinsacks, Tappans, and West Chester Indians; while timely warning was to be given to the Christians” of any brewing mischief.
But the savages went away “grumbling at their presdiscontent- ents”—for their young men would think them only a tri
fling atonement. Nor was confidence fully restored. The trembling farmers planted their corn, in peace indeed, but in constant dread of the murmuring Indians' sudden warwhoop. The director himself distrusted the ominous re
and a new proclamation from Fort Amsterdam prohibited all tavern-keepers, and other inhabitants of New Netherland from selling any liquors to the savages.
At midsummer a neighboring chief visited Vriesendael in deep despondency. The young Indians were urging war; for some had lost fathers or mothers, and all were mourning over the memory of friends. “The presents you have given to atone for their losses are not worth the touch ;" “we can pacify our young men no longer," said the well-meaning sachem, as he warned De Vries against venturing alone into the woods, for fear that some of the Indians, who did not know him, might kill their constant
friend. At the patroon's entreaty, the chief accompanied Kieft's vain him down to Fort Amsterdam. " You are a chief-you
should cause the crazy young Indians who want war again with the Swannekens to be killed," said Kieft, as he treacherously offered the sachem a bounty of two hundred fathoms of wampum. But the indignant red man spurned the proffered bribe. - This can not be done by me," he replied ; “had you, at first, fully atoned for your murders, they would all have been forgotten; I shall always do my best to pacify our people ; but I fear I can not, for they are continually crying for vengeance."* And so the boding sachem went his way.
attempt to bribe a chief.
* Alb. Rec., ii., 220, 224 ; De Vries, 182; O'Call., i., 277; Bancroft, ii., 292.
THE "Old Colony" of Plymouth was founded by emi- Chap. XI. grants who, as we have seen, had learned valuable les
1643. sons in popular constitutional liberty, during a twelve years' sojourn in Holland. The example which the union Colonies of of the Northern Provinces of the Netherlands had given to gland. Europe in 1579, was now, after more than sixty years' experience, to be followed in America. Troubles were prevailing in England; the Puritan colonies were threatened with danger; the savages and the French were both to be feared ; and Connecticut alone could not overawe and “crowd out” her Dutch neighbors in New Netherland. New Plymouth, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Haven, therefore, determined to form a political league for offense and defense. Commissioners from these several colonies assembled at Boston in the spring of 1643 ; and, on the nineteenth day of May, agreed upon Articles 19 May. of Confederation, by which the "UNITED COLONIES OF NEW ENGLAND" became all as one."
The administration of the affairs of the confederacy was intrusted to a board, consisting of two commissioners from each colony. They were to assemble annually, or oftener, if necessary. The commissioners were always to be "in church fellowship." They were invested with extraordinary powers for making war and peace; they had the exclusive management of Indian affairs; and they were to see that the common expenses of the confederacy were justly assessed. The spoils of war," whether it be in lands, goods, or persons,” were to be proportionably di
CHAP XI. vided among the confederates. Specific provision was
made for the surrender of runaway servants, and of fugi1643.
tives from justice; who, upon proper proof, were to be sent back to their masters, or to the authorities of the colony from which they might have escaped. Neither of the colonies was to engage in a war without the consent of at least six of the commissioners. Local“ peculiar jurisdiction and government” was carefully reserved to each separate colony in the New England confederation, as it had been carefully reserved, sixty years before, to each separate province of the United Netherlands. The doctrine of “State Rights" is nearly three centuries old. The Union of Utrecht--the first Constitutional Union of Sovereign and Independent States-was essentially the model for the first Union of American colonies. *
As soon as intelligence of the New England confederation reached Manhattan, Kieft, wishing to open a communication with the commissioners, dispatched a sloop to Boston, with letters in Latin, addressed to the Governor and Senate of the United Provinces of New England." Congratulating them on their recent league, the director complained of the “insufferable wrongs" which the English had done to the Dutch on the Connecticut, and of the misrepresentations of Lord Say, Peters, and others to the States' ambassador at London; and desired “a categorical answer," whether the commissioners would aid or desert the Hartford people, that so the New Netherland government "may know their friends from their enemies."
The commissioners were not in session when the Dutch Winthrop sloop arrived at Boston. But Governor Winthrop, the pre
siding commissioner, after "advising with some of the 1. August. elders who were at hand, and some of the deputies," re
plied in his own name. Referring Kieft to their “chiefest authority,” from which he “should receive further answer in time convenient,” Winthrop expressed his grief at the differences with his brethren of Hartford, which, he suggest
* See Articles at length, in Hazard, ii., 1-6; and in Winthrop, ii., 101 ; Morton's Memorial, 229; Hutch., i., 119, 120; Bancroft, i., 420-422 ; Hildreth, i., 285, 286 ; post, p. 445.