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The agents

offer of the

ing to the custom of our laws of New Netherland," be Ch. XVI. “ touched and heard,” in the presence of the New England

1653. agents, before the director and council at New Amsterdam and the representatives of the particular colonies and courts of the province. And all inferior magistrates and officers should be commanded to bring before the joint commission "all such as they shall require, whether they be Dutch or English."*

These liberal conditions did not suit the Puritan agents. With lawyer-like precision they "excepted” to the num- 24 May. ber and the character of the signers, the mode in which reject the they stated the question, and the examination of witnesses Dutch. according to the laws of New Netherland; and, in the name of the United Colonies, demanded 6 due and full satisfaction” for all the particulars in their letter. They seemed to have visited the Dutch province as inquisitors, to collect evidence criminating the Dutch, and to collect no other evidence; and, with peculiar assurance, they saw no impropriety in requiring the authorities of New Netherland, in their own capital, to suspend their established rules of law in favor of those of New England.

The director's temperate reply, rebuking their pertinac- 24 May. ity, submitted a series of general propositions. I. Neigh-sani's reborly friendship, without regard to the hostilities in Europe ; II. Continuance of trade and commerce, as before; III. Mutual justice against fraudulent debtors; IV. A defensive and offensive alliance against the enemies of both the Dutch and English provinces; and, V. In case the agents had not full powers to negotiate on these points, that the Dutch government would be pleased to send plenipotentiaries to the commissioners of the United Colonies.

But the New England agents repelled Stuyvesant's 25 May. friendly overtures; and “concluded their negotiation” by tiation end. declaring, in the name of the commissioners, that " if so be you shall offer any injury to any of the English in these parts, whether by yourselves or by the Indians, either upon


* Hazard, ii., 234, 235. Besides Stuyvesant himself, this letter was signed by Werckhoven, Newton, Kregier, J. B. van Rensselaer, Van der Grist, Van Carloe, Willem Beeck


man, Pieter Wolfertsen, Allard Anthony, and Rutger Jacobsen.

26 May. Stuyve

tion" of the commissioners.

CH. XVI. the national quarrel, or by reason of any differences de

pending between the United English Colonies and your1653.

selves of the province of New Netherland, that, as the commissioners of the United Colonies will do no wrong, so they may not suffer their countrymen to be oppressed upon any such account.” This paper was delivered to Stuyvesant about six o'clock on Sunday afternoon. About nine o'clock the same evening, the New England agents, without waiting for Stuyvesant's reply, took their leave, and “cloaking their sudden departure under pretence of the day of election, to be held this week at Boston,” they declined a friendly invitation to remain, and abruptly left New Amsterdam.

The next day Stuyvesant dispatched Augustine Heersant's an man to Boston with a full reply to the letter of the commis* declara sioners, and an abstract of “passages” between New Neth

erland and New England. Touching the reiterated charge of conspiracy with the natives, there would never any appearance of truth be found in it.” If the New England messengers had made inquiry, "according to due course and manner of law,” the case would have been truly discovered and found out." Ninigret had come to New Amsterdam in the month of January, with a pass from the younger Winthrop, " to be cured and healed.” What he had done on Long Island "remains to us unknown; only this we know," added Stuyvesant, “that what your worships lay unto our charge are false reports and feigned informations. Your honored messengers might, if they had pleased, have informed themselves of the truth of this at Nayack and Gravesande, and might also have obtained more friendly satisfaction and security concerning our real intentions, if they had been pleased to have staid a day or two or three with us, to have heard and considered further of these articles."

On their way homeward, the New England agents stopped at Flushing, Stamford, and New Haven, and, " without any help or concurrence from the Manhatoes,' took all the testimony they could procure to sustain their

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26 May

obtained on


charges against the New Netherland authorities. The Ch. XVI. hearsay stories of several Indians were eagerly recorded.

1653. A conversation at Underhill's house, in Flushing, with the wife of Van der Donck, who said that "the Maquaas are ready to assist the Dutch if the English fall upon them,” and with Doughty, her father, who “said that he knew more than he durst speak,” was carefully noted. Several depositions of disaffected Englishmen at Heem- Testimony stede and Middelburgh were secured. The only point real- Long Islly ascertained upon which to found the charge of a plot was that Stuyvesant had told Robert Coe, one of the Middelburgh magistrates, that "if the English came against him, he had spoken to Indians to help him against the English.” William Alford also swore that Stuyvesant had told him "he had no hand in any such plot; but confessed that in case any English should come against him, then he would strengthen himself with the Indians as much as he could." This was all that the agents succeeded in proving. These declarations were made by Stuyvesant without any mystery or purpose of concealment. They were merely the announcement of his intention to obey the instructions of the Amsterdam directors, who had, as we have seen, written to him the previous August, that, in case the New Englanders inclined "to take a part in these broils, and injure, our good inhabitants, then we should advise your honor to engage the Indians in your cause." The Puritan colonists had themselves set the example of employing Indian allies in the Pequod war; and the policy which New England originated continued, until the end of the American Revolution, a repulsive feature in the British colonial administration.*

Meanwhile, Underhill had been agitating a revolt on Underhill's Long Island. His unstable nature longed for change; and ness. the moment seemed propitious to betray the friends who had sheltered and honored him when humiliated by the ecclesiastical discipline of Massachusetts. At the instigation of Eaton and the agents of New England, he had


Hazard, ii., 203-267 ; Alh. Rec., iv., 83 ; North Am. Rev., viii., 96-105; ante, p. 547.


20 May. Seditious proceedings at

and Flushing

CH Xvi. busied himself in collecting the testimony which he had

promised the commissioners, and had openly charged the 1653.

fiscal, Van Tienhoven, with plotting against the English. Underhill He was, therefore, arrested at Flushing, and conveyed to

New Amsterdam under guard. After a short detention, he was dismissed without trial. Returning to Long Island, he committed open treason against his adopted country by hoisting "the Parliaments' colors” at Heemstede and Flushing, and crowned his treachery by issuing a se

ditious address to the commonalty of New Arnsterdam, setlieemstede ting forth the reasons which had impelled the insurgents

"to abjure the iniquitous government of Peter Stuyvesant
over the inhabitants living and residing on Long Island,
in America.” After enumerating the spucific wrongs,
which he declared were " too grievous for any brave En-
glishman and good Christian to tolerate any longer,” he
exhorted “all honest hearts, that seek the glory of God and
their own peace and prosperity, to throw off this tyran-
nical yoke." “ Accept and submit ye then to the Parlia.
ment of England,” concluded this bold address, and be-
ware ye of becoming traitors to one another, for the sake
of your own quiet and welfare.99*
But Underhill's mutinous appeal fell upon unwilling

. The loyalty of the Dutch to their Fatherland was proof against all treasonable placards; and though they had themselves felt the pressure of Stuyvesant's arbitrary rule, they could not think of abjuring their allegiance to

the States General, to become subjects of the Parliament Underhill of England. Upon the departure of the New England

agents, Underhill was ordered to quit the province. Fly. ing to Rhode Island, he addressed a letter to the commissioners at Boston, offering his services and loyalty, as he was, like Jephthah, "forced to lay his life in his hands," to save English blood from destruction. To this end he had requested our neighbors of Rhode Island to afford some small assistance." This “ assistance” was granted


banished. 27 May.

2 June.

* Alb. Rec., iv., 121 ; Hol. Doc., ix., 227 ; Hazard, ii., 223 ; Hartford Rec. Towns and Lands, i., 81 ; Col. Rec. Conn., 275; O'Call., il., 225-227; Trumbull, i., 205.

3 June. Commissioned by


the next day, in the form of a commission “under the seal CH. XVI. of the colony of Providence Plantations,” giving “full pow

1653. er and authority to Mr. William Dyer and Captain John Underhill to take all Dutch ships and vessels as shall come into their power, and to defend themselves from the Dutch Rhode Isiland all enemies of the commonwealth of England.

The New England agents, on reaching Boston, reported 31 May. their proceedings in New Netherland, with the testimony missioners they had collected; and also submitted to the commis- chusetts at sioners some propositions for protection and assistance which had been presented to them on behalf of the disaf. fected English at Heemstede and Middelburgh. Upon a statement of the case, the General Court of Massachusetts 3 june. desired a consultation with the commissioners, and appointed a committee to prepare a joint report of the facts respecting the difference with the Dutch. The joint committee, however, could not agree; and two separate state- 4 June. ments were drawn up, one on the part of the commissioners, by Governor Eaton, and another on the part of Massachusetts, by Major General Denison. A conference was then held before the General Court of Massachusetts and divers neighboring elders,” to whom the testimony was submitted for their opinion “what the Lord calleth to do." The elders found enough to “induce them to believe” in 7 June. the reality of “ that late execrable plot, tending to the destruction of so many dear saints of God, which is imputed to the Dutch governor and fiscal.” Yet, upon serious examination, they could not find the proofs “so fully conclusive as to clear up present proceedings to war." The next day, the General Court of Massachusetts voted that 8 June. they were not “called to make a present war with the Dutch." This, however, was not the general sentiment out of Boston. The 6 teacher of the church at Salem" wrote to the commissioners, urging immediate hostilities, 13 May. the postponement of which had already “caused many a pensive heart.” Six out of the eight commissioners were


Hazard, ii., 249; Hartford Rec. Towns and Lands, i., 76; O'Call., il., 232, 233 ; Trumbull, i., 205.

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