Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Puritan Poet Anne Bradstreet c.1612-1672

Anne Bradstreet was born in England, in 1612. As the daughter of Thomas Dudley, a steward of the estate of the Earl of Lincoln, & Dorothy Yorke, a well-educated woman learning history, several languages, and literature. At the age of 16 she married Simon Bradstreet,who assisted her father with the management of the Earl's estate in Sempringham.  Both Anne's father & husband would serve as governors of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Although Anne Dudley Bradstreet did not attend school, she received an excellent education from her father, who was widely read— Cotton Mather described Thomas Dudley as a "devourer of books"—and from her extensive reading in the well-stocked library of the estate of the Earl of Lincoln, where she lived while her father was steward from 1619 to 1630. There the young Anne Dudley read Vergil, Plutarch, Livy, Pliny, Suetonius, Homer, Hesiod, Ovid, Seneca, and Thucydides as well as Spenser, Sidney, Milton, Raleigh, Hobbes, Joshua Sylvester's 1605 translation of Guillaume du Bartas's Divine Weeks and Workes, and the Geneva version of the Bible. In general, she benefited from the Elizabethan tradition that valued female education.  


To My Dear and Loving Husband

If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were lov'd by wife, then thee;
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me ye women if you can.
I prize thy love more than whole Mines of gold,
Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
My love is such that Rivers cannot quench,
Nor ought but love from thee, give recompence.
Thy love is such I can no way repay,
The heavens reward thee maniford I pray.
Then while we live, in love lets so presever,
That when we live no more, we may live ever.


Anne Bradstreet's works tend to be directed to members of her family and are generally intimate.Here in Bradstreet's "To My Dear and Loving Husband", the poem's intended audience is her husband, Simon Bradstreet. The focal point of this poem is the love that she has for her husband. "I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold". To Bradstreet, her husband's love is worth more than some of the best treasures that this earth has to offer. She also makes it a point to show to her husband that nothing can fill the love that she has for her husband. The lines, "My love is such that rivers cannot quench," the rivers represent death, which she says the fire of her love is invulnerable to. "Then when we live no more, we may live ever."

Anne, her husband, and her parents immigrated to America aboard the Arbella as part of the Winthrop Fleet of Puritan emigrants in 1630. Despite poor health including tuberculosis & eventual joint paralysis, she had 8 children and achieved a comfortable social standing in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Simon Bradstreet was active in colonial politics, and was selected to serve as colonial secretary, a post he held until 1644, which required frequent traveling to the various outposts of the colony.  During these years, often alone with her eight children, Anne took consolation in her writing, and it was during this time that she wrote a collection of poems published in London in 1650, probably without her knowledge, as The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung up in America…by a Gentlewoman in these Parts. This established Anne Bradstreet as the first female poet in the New World, and the first published poet in the English colonies of North America. 

She was the first notable American poet, and the first woman to be published in colonial America. Her work was influential to Puritans in her time and is read today for its religious insights.

In 1666, fire burned down the Bradstreet home which contained 800 of Anne's books. Shortly afterward she lost a son and a daughter. But her will remained strong, and she found peace in the firm belief that her children were in heaven.

Believing that all gifts come from God, Ann wrote of the fire,
"And when I could no longer look,
I blest his grace that gave and took,
That laid my goods now in the dust.
Yea, so it was, and so 'twas just.
It was his own; it was not mine.
Far be it that I should repine."

Bradstreet was not responsible for her writing becoming public. Bradstreet's brother-in-law, John Woodbridge, sent her work off to be published. Bradstreet was a righteous woman and her poetry was not meant to bring attention to herself. Though Bradstreet's works are renowned in today's world, it still was a great risk to have had her work published during the time in which she lived.

Being a published author would have not been considered as a typical role of the Puritan woman. Because writing was not considered to be an acceptable role for women at the time, Bradstreet was met with criticism. One of the most prominent figures of her time, John Winthrop, criticized Ann Hopkins, wife of prominent Connecticut colony governor Edward Hopkins. He mentioned in his journal that Hopkins should have kept to being a housewife and left writing and reading for men, "whose minds are stronger." Despite heavy criticism of women during her time, Bradstreet continued to write which led to the belief that she was interested in rebelling against societal norms of the time. 

A prominent minister of the time, Thomas Parker, was also against the idea of women writing and sent a letter to his own sister saying that publishing a book was outside of the realm of what women were supposed to do. These negative views were likely augmented by the fact that Puritan ideologies stated that women were vastly inferior to men.

 Bradstreet was acutely aware that Puritan society trivialized the accomplishments of women. The popular belief was that women should be doing other things like sewing, rather than writing poetry. "I am obnoxious to each carping tongue Who says my hand a needle better fits, A poet's pen all scorn I should thus wrong. For such despite they cast on female wits: If what I do prove well, it won't advance, They'll say it's stol'n, or else it was by chance."

 Anne Bradstreet died on September 16, 1672, in Andover, Massachusetts, at the age of 60.

See
Cook, Faith, Anne Bradstreet Pilgrim and Poet, EP Books, Darlington 2010
Engberg, Kathrynn Seidler, The Right to Write: The Literary Politics of Anne Bradstreet and Phillis Wheatley. University Press of America, Washington D.C., 2009.
Gordon, Charlotte, Mistress Bradstreet: The Untold Life of America's First Poet, Little, Brown, New York 2005
Nichol, Heidi, Anne Bradstreet, A Guided Tour of the Life and Thought of a Puritan Poet, P&R Publishing, New Jersey 2006

1677 Medicine in Massachusetts

Printer's device of Swiss Medical printer Johann Frobenius, by Hans Holbein the Younger, c. 1523

For Ye Bloudy Flux
Stone horses Livers dried in an oven being heat for houshould bread, made into powder & given a spoonfull at a time in milk.

Zerobabel Endecott (c 1635-1684). Synopsis Medicinae. ed George Francis Dow. 1914 Reprint of 1677 Manuscript. Salem, Massachusetts.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

1680 Account of How Widow Maria Van Rennselaer (1645-1689) Saves Estate in NY

Maria van Cortlandt was born in 1645, the daughter of the merchant Oloffe Stevense van Cortlandt and Anna Loockermans of New Amsterdam. In 1662, she married Jeremias van Rensselaer. She was only 17, but wrote his mother, "You may think perhaps that she is still a little young and therefore not well able to take care of a household. She is only entering her eighteenth year, but nevertheless we get along very well in the household." After they were married, the young couple settled in Albany in the Rensselaerswyck patroon house consisting of two cellars, two rooms, and an attic.

In May 1663 Jeremias wrote to his brother in Holland: "You may perhaps be longing to hear whether we have any baby yet. My answer is no, but that my wife is pregnant and that, please God, she will be in childbirth in two or three months at the longest." Maria gave birth to Kiliaen, named for his grandfather, the following August. When Jeremias died in 1674, Maria was responsible for the care of 5 children under the age of 11; and she was pregnant with her 6th child. After giving birth, she became lame, walking with crutches for the rest of her life.

In addition to 6 young children, Maria van Rensselaer had mounting debts and needed to secure a land grant that would guarantee family possession of the almost 24 square miles of the Rensselaerswyck property. Jeremias's younger brother, Nicholas, tried to take over the estate. With the help of her father and brother, she reached a compromise whereby Nicholas was appointed director, van Rensselaer was elected treasurer, and her brother Stephanus served as bookkeeper.

When Nicholas died in 1678, his widow married Robert Livingston, a member of a prominent New York family. Livingston immediately tried to force division of Rensselaerswyck among various heirs until 1685, when he and the van Rensselaers agreed upon a settlement.

Throughout these turbulant years, van Rensselaer remained in charge of the day-to-day running of the estate. She oversaw the leasing of farms to tenants. She also bought and sold land, wheat, and cattle, and maintained houses, barns, mills, and fences. In addition, "to keep up the dignity of the colony," she entertained distinguished visitors such as the governor. Her most important responsibility, however, was ensuring a future for her children.

Since Jeremias did not provide for his family in his will, Maria sent Kiliaen to be apprenticed to (learn a trade from) a New York silversmith. Two of her other children went to New York City to live with her parents. All of the children eventually married well, and Kiliaen became the sole owner of Rensselaerswyck in 1687. Maria died in 1689, at the age of 43, with the most valuable estate in the colony.

During the turmoil to retain her estate, in 1680, Dutch travel writer Jasper Danckaerts (1639-c 1703) called on Maria van Rensselaer at her estate, Rensselaerswyck, near present-day Albany, New York. Danckaerts wrote in his journal,

We went to call upon a certain Madam Rentselaer, widow of the Heer Rentselaer, son of the Heer Rentselaer of the colony named the colony of Rentselaerswyck, comprising twelve miles square from Fort Orange, that is, twenty-four miles square in all.

She is still in possession of the place, and still administers it as patroonesse (female proprietor), until one Richard van Rentselaer, residing at Amsterdam, shall arrive in the country, whom she expected in the summer, when he would assume the management of it himself.

This lady was polite, quite well informed, and of good life and disposition. She had experienced several proofs of the Lord. The breaking up of the ice had once carried away her entire mansion, and every thing connected with it, of which place she had made too much account. Also, in some visitations of her husband, death, and others before. In her last child-bed, she became lame or weak in both of her sides, so that she had to walk with two canes or crutches. In all these trials, she had borne herself well, and God left not Himself without witness in her.

She treated us kindly, and we ate here exceedingly good pike, perch, and other fish, which now began to come and be caught in great numbers. We had several conversations with her about the truth, and practical religion, mutually satisfactory.

We went to look at several of her mills at work, which she had there on an ever-running stream, grist-mills, sawmills, and others. One of the grist-mills can grind 120 schepels (90 bushels) of meal in twenty-four hours, that is, five an hour. Returning to the house, we politely took our leave. Her residence is about a quarter of an hour from Albany up the river...

Friday, June 1, 2018

1676 Ann Cotton's Account of Bacon's Rebellion in Virginia

In 1676, about 1,000 Virginians broke out of control led by a 29-year-old planter, Nathaniel Bacon. They fiercely resented Virginia's Governor William Berkeley for his friendly policies towards the Indians. When Berkeley refused to retaliate for a series of savage Indian attacks on frontier settlements (due to his monopolization of the fur trading with them), the crowd took matters into their own hands. The crowd murderously attacked Indians and chased Berkeley from Jamestown, Virginia. They torched the capitol.

As the civil war in Virginia continued, Bacon suddenly died from disease. Berkeley took advantage of this and crushed the uprising, hanging more than 20 rebels. Charles II complained of the penalties dealt by Berkeley.

Due to the rebellions and tensions started by Bacon, lordly planters looked for other, less troublesome laborers to work their tobacco plantations. They soon looked to Africa for their cheap labor.
Not a contemporary depiction.

Although the following letters & proclamations are not easy to read, they reflect life in 17th century Virginia in rather amazing detail. A woman named Ann Cotton wrote her eyewitness account of Bacon's Rebellion in Virginia in 1676. The letter is at once an intricate puzzle & a revealing look at the society & events of the era. At the time, the letter sent to England was a journalistic effort of some note. Today the letter is a primary-source history of continuing consequence & intrigue. Exactly who was Ann Cotton, & who are all of the folks she refers to in her account with often veiled or obscure references?

It is difficult to determine exactly who Ann Cotton was, but the evidence indicates that a woman named Ann appeared early in the colony with her future husband, John Cotton. Ann Cotton may have been Ann Dunbar whose name appeared on several headright lists next to John Cotton. The names John Cotton & Ann Dunbar first appear together in Drummond's 1661 headright application. Then in Nov. 1666, John Paine applied for a headright for 18 people and listed John Cotton & Ann Dunbar side by side. Some suggest that John Cotton may have married a 2nd Ann, Hannah Anne Graves.

John & Ann Cotton bought the Wheeler plantation Hampton Parish. The records show that a deed dated Feb 18, 1658/59, by which Francis Wheeler sold all his land between King's and Queen's Creeks to Thomas Beale, who sold it to John Cotton, December 31, 1666, who later conveyed it to Col. Nathaniel Bacon. John Cotton in a deed in 1666, named a wife Ann. (William and Mary College Quarterly 5 (1) 123-4). In 1676, a John & Ann Cotton were living at Queen's Creek.


An Account of Our Late Troubles in Virginia. Written by An. Cotton, of Q. Creeke

To Mr. C. H. at Yardley in Northamptonshire. Sir. I haveing seene yours directed to (text missing) and considering that you cannot have your desires satisfied that way, for the forementioned reasons, I have by his permition, adventured to send you this briefe acount, of those affaires, so far as I have bin informed. The Susquehanians and Marylanders of friendes being ingaged enimyes (as hath by former letter bin hinted to you) and that the Indians being ressalutely bent not to forsake there forte; it came to this pointe, yt the Marylanders were obliged (findeing themselves too weake to do the worke themselves) to suplycate (too some granted) aide of the Verginians, put under the conduct of one Collonel Washington (him whom you have sometimes seene at your howse) who being joyned with the Marylanders, invests the Indians in there forte, with a neglegent siege; upon which the enimye made severall salleys, with as many losses to the beseegers; and at last gave them the opertunity to disart the Fort, after that the English had (contrary to ye law of arms) beate out the Braines of 6 grate men sent out to treate a peace: an action of ill consequence, as it proved after. For the Indians having in the darke, slipt through the Legure, and in there passage knock’d 10 of the beseigers on the head, which they found fast a-sleep, leaving the rest to prosecute the Seige, (as Scoging’s Wife brooding the Eggs which the Fox had suck’d) they resolved to imploy there liberty in avenging there Commissionres blood, which they speedily effected in the death of sixty inosscent soules, and then send in there Remonstrance to the Governour, in justification of the fact, with this expostulation annext: Demanding what it was moved him to take up arms against them, his professed friends, in the behalfe of the Marylanders, there avowed enimyes.

Declaring there sorow to see the Verginians, of friends to becom such violent enimies as to persue the Chase into anothers dominions; complains that their messengers, sent out for peace, were not only knocked on the head, but the fact countenanced by the governor, for which finding no other way to be satisfied, they had revenged themselves by killing ten for one of the English, such being the disproportion between their men murdered and those by them slain, theirs being persons of quality, the other of inferior rank professing that they may not have a valuable satifaction for the damage they had sustained by the English, and the Virginians would withdraw from their aid from the Marylanders' quarrel; that then they would renew the league with Sir W. B., otherwise they would prosecute the war to the last man, and the hardest send of.

This was fair play for fowl gamesters. But the proposals not to be allowed of as being contrary to the honor of the English, the Indians procede, and, having drawn the neighboring Indians into their aid in a short time, they commited abundance of unguarded and unrevenged murders, by which means a great man of the outward plantations were deserted, the doing whereof did not only terrify the whole colony, but supplanted what esteem the people formerly had for Sir W. B., whom they judged too remiss in applying means to stop the fury of the heathen, and to settle their affections and expectations upon one Esquire Bacon, newly come to the country, one of the council, and nearly related to your late wife's father in law, whom they desired might be commissioned general for the Indian war, which Sir William, for some reasons best known to himself, denying, the gentleman, without any scruple, accepted of a commission from the people's affections, signed by the emergencies of affairs and the country's danger, and forthwith advanced with a small party, composed of such that own his authority, against the Indians, on whom, it is said, he did signal execution.

In his absence, he and those with him, were declared rebels to the state, May 29, and forces raised to reduce him to his obedience, at the head of which the governor advanced some 30 or 40 miles to find Bacon out, but not knowing which way he was gon, he dismisseth his army, retireing himself and councell, to James Towne, there to be redy for the assembly, which was now upon the point of meeting: Whither Bacon some few days after his return hom from his Indian march, repared to render an account of his servis; for which himself and most of those with him in the expedition, were imprissoned; from whence they were freed by judgment in court upon Bacon’s tryall, himself readmitted into the councell and promised a commission the Monday following (this was on the Saturday) against the Indians; with which deluded, he smothers his resentments, and beggs leave to visit his Lady (now sick, as he pretended) which granted, he returnes to Towne at the head of 4 or 5 hundred men, well Arm’d: reassumes his demands for a commission. Which, after som howers strugling with the Governour, being obtained, according to his desire, hee takes order for the countreyes security, against the attemps of sculking Indians; fills up his numbers and provissiones, according to the gage of his commission; and so once more advanceth against the Indians, who heareing of his approaches, calls in their Runers and scouts, be taking themselves to there subterfuges and lurking holes.

The General (for so he was now denominated) had not reach’d the head of York River, but that a Post overtakes him, and informes, that Sr. W. B. was a raiseing the Traine-bands in Glocester, with an intent, eather to fall into his reare, or otherways to cutt him off when he should return wery and spent from his Indians servis. This strange newes put him, and those with him, shrodly to there Trumps, beleiveing that a few such Deales or shufles (call them which you will) might quickly ring both cards and game out of his hands.

He saw that there was an abselute necessety of destroying the Indians, and that there was som care to be taken for his owne and Armys safety, other-ways the worke might happen to be rechedly don, where the laberours were made criples, and be compeld (insteade of a sword) to make use of a cruch. It vext him to the heart (as he said) to thinke, that while he was a hunting Wolves, tigers and bears, which daly destroyed our harmless and innosscent Lambs, that hee, and those with him, should be persewed in the reare with a full cry, as more savage beasts.

He perceved like the corne, he was light between those stones which might grinde him to pouder; if he did not looke the better about him. For the preventing of which, after a short consult with his officers, he countermarcheth his Army (about 500 in all) downe to the midle Plantation: of which the Governour being informed, ships himself and adhearers, for Accomack (for the Gloster men refused to owne his quarill against the Generall) after he had caused Bacon, in these parts to be proclaimed a Rebell once more, July 29.

Bacon being sate down with his Army at the midle Plantation, sends out an invitation unto all the prime Gent: men in these parts, to give him a meeting in his quarters, there to consult how the Indians were to be proceeded against, and himself and Army protected against the desines of Sr. W. B. against whose Papers, of the 29 of May, and his Proclameation since, he puts forth his Replication and those papers upon these Dellama’s.

First, whether persons wholy devoted to the King and countrey, haters of sinester and by-respects, adventering there lives and fortunes, to kill and destroy all in Arms, against King and countrey; that never ploted, contrived, or indevioured the destruction, detryement or wrong of any of his Majesties subjects, there lives, fortunes, or estates can desurve the names of Rebells and Traters: secondly he cites his owne and soulders peaceable behaviour, calling the wholl countrey to witness against him if they can; hee upbrades som in authorety with the meaneness of there parts, others now rich with the meaneness of there estates, when they came into the countrey, and questions by what just ways they have obtained there welth; whether they have not bin the spunges that hath suck’d up the public tresury: Questions what arts, sciences, schools of Learning, or manufactorys, have bin promoted in authorety: Justefyes his adverssion, in generall against the Indians; upbrades the Governour for manetaneing there quarill, though never so unjust, against the Christians rights; his refuseing to admit an English mans oath against an Indian, when that Indians bare word should be accepted of against an Englishman: sath sumthing against ye Governour concerning the Beaver trade, as not in his power to dispose of to his owne profit, it being a Monopeley of the crowne; Questions whether the Traders at the heads of the Rivers being his Facters, do not buy and sell the blood of there breatheren and country men, by furnishing the Indians with Pouder, shott and Fire Arms, contrary to the Laws of the Collony: He araignes one colonel Cowells asscertion, for saying that the English are bound to protect the Indians, to the hassard of there blood. And so concludes with an Appeale to the King and Parliament, where he doubts not but that his and the Peoples cause will be impartially heard.

Bacon's Castle in Virginia

To comply with the Generalls Invetation, hinted in my former letter, there was a grate convention of the people met him in his quarters; the result of whose meeting was an Ingagement, for the people (of what qullety soever, excepting servants) to subscribe to consisting of 3 heads. First to be aideing, with there lives and estates, the Generall, in the Indian war; secondly, to opose Sr. Williams designes, if hee had any, to hinder the same; and lastly, to protect the Generall, Army and all that should subscribe this Ingagement, against any power that should be sent out of England, till it should be granted that the countreys complaint might be heard, against Sr. William before the King and Parliament. These 3 heads being methodized, and put in to form, by the Clarke of ye Assembly, who happened to be at this meeting, and redd unto the people, held a despute, from allmost noone, till midnight, pro and con, whether the same might, in the last Article especially, be with out danger taken. The Generall, and som others of the cheife men was Resalute in the affirmative, inserting its innosscency, and protesting, without it, he would surrender up his commission to the Assembly, and lett them finde other servants, to do the countreys worke: this, and the newse, that the Indians were fallen downe in to Gloster county, and had kill’d som people, a bout Carters Creeke; made the people willing to take the Ingagement. The chiefe men that subscribed it at this meeting, were coll. Swan, coll. Beale, coll. Ballard, Esq. Bray, (all foure of the councell) coll. Jordan, coll. Smith, of Purton, coll. Scarsbrook, coll. Miller, coll. Lawrance, and Mr. Drommond, late Governour of Carolina; all persons, with whom you have bin formerly acquainted.

This worke being over, and orders taken for an Assemblye to sitt downe the 4 of September (the writs being issued out in his majestyes name, and signed by 4 of the Councell, before named) the Generall once more sitts out to finde the Indians: of which Sr. William have gained intelligence, to prevent Bacons designes by the Assembley, returns from Accomack, with a bout 1000 soulders, and others, in 5 shipps and 10 sloops to James towne; in which was som 900 Baconians (for soe now they began to be called, for a marke of destinction) under the command of coll. Hansford, who was commissionated by Bacon, to raise Forces (if need were) in his absence, for the safety of the countrey. Unto these Sr. William sends in a summons for a Rendition of ye place, with a pardon to all that would decline Bacons and entertaine his cause. What was returned to his sommons I know not; but in the night the Baconians forsake the Towne, by the advice of Drummond and Lawrence (who were both excepted, in the Governours sommons, out of mercy) every one returning to their owne aboades, excepting Drommond, Hansford, Lawrence, and some few others, who goes to finde out the Generall, now returned to the head of York River, haveing spent his provisions in following the Indians on whom he did sum execution, and sent them packing a grate way from the Borders.

Before that Drommond and those with him had reached the Generall, he had dismist his Army, to there respective habitations, to gather strength against the next intended expedition; eccepting som frew resarved for his Gard, and persons liveing in these parts; unto whom, those that came with Hansford being joyned, made about 150 in all: With these Bacon, by a swift march, before any newes was heard of his return from the Indians, in these parts, came to Towne, to ye consternation of all in it, and there blocks the Governour up; which he easily effected by this unheard of project. He was no sooner arrived at Towne, but by several small parties of Horse (2 or 3 in a party, for more he could not spare) he fetcheth into his little Leagure, all the prime mens wives, whose Husbands were with the Governour, (as coll. Bacons Lady, Madm. Bray, Madm. Page, Madm. Ballard, and others) which the next morning he presents to the view of there husbands and friends in towne, upon the top of the smalle worke hee had cast up in the night; where he caused them to tarey till hee had finished his defence against his enemies shott, it being the onely place (as you do know well enough) for those in towne to make a salley at. Which when completed, and the Governour understanding that the Gentle women were withdrawne in to a place of safety, he sends out some 6 or 700 hundred of his soulders, to beate Bacon out of his Trench: But it seems that those works, which were protected by such charms (when a raiseing) that plug’d up the enimys shot in there gains, could not now be storm’d by a vertue less powerfull (when finished) then the sight of a few white Aprons; otherways the servis had bin more honourable and the damage less, several of those who made the salley being slaine and wounded, without one drop of Blood drawne from the enemy. With in too or three days after this disaster, the Governour reships himself, soulders, and all the inhabitants of the towne, and there goods: and so to Accomack a gane; leaving Bacon to enter the place at his pleasure, which he did the next morning before day, and the night following burns it downe to the ground to prevent a futer seege, as hee saide. Which Flagrant, and Flagitious Act performed, he draws his men out of town and marcheth them over York River, at Tindells point, to fine out collnell Brent, who was advancing fast upon him, from Potomack, at the head of 1200 men, (as he was informed) with a designe to raise Bacons seige, from before the towne, or other ways to fight him, as he saw cause. But, Brents soulders no sooner heard that Bacon was got to the north-side Yorke River, with an intent to fight them, and that he had beate the Governour out of the towne, and fearing, if he met with them; that he might beate them out of there lives they basely forsake there colours, the greater part adheareing to Bacons cause; resolveing with the Perssians to go and worship the rising sun, now approaching nere there Horisson: of which Bacon being informed, he stops his proceedings that way, and begins to provide for a nother expedition a gainst the Indian, of whom he had heard no news since his last March, a gainst them: which while he was a contrieving, Death summons him to more urgent affairs in to whose hands (after a short seige) he surrenders his life, leaving his commition in the custody of his Leif’t Generall, one Ingram, newly comin to the countrey.

Sr. William no sooner had news that Bacon was Dead but he sends over a party, in a sloop to Yorke who snap’d collonell Hansford, and others with him, that kep a negilegent Gard at coll. Reades howse under his command: When Hansford came to Acomack, he had the honour to be the first Verginian born that ever was hang’d; the soulders (about 20 in all) that were taken with him, were commited to Prisson. Capt. Carver, Capt. Wilford, Capt. Farloe, with 5 or 6 others of less note, taken at other places, ending there days as Hansford did; Major Chessman bein appointed (but is seems not destinated to the like end,) which he prevented by dying in prison through ill usage, as it is said.

This execution being over (which the Baconians termed crewilty in the abstract) Sr. William ships himself and soulder for York River, casting Anchor at Tindells point; from whence he sends up a hundred and 20 men to surprise a Gard, of about, 80 men and boys, kept at coll. Bacons howse, under the command of Major Whaly; who being fore-warn’d by Hansford fate, prevented the designed conflict with the death of the commander in cheife, and the taking som prisoners: Major Lawrence Smith, with 600 men, meeting with the like fate at coll. Pates Howse, in Gloster, a gainst Ingram, (the Baconian Generall) onely Smith saved himself, by leaving his men in the lurtch, being all made prisoners; whom Ingram dismist to their own homes; Ingram himself, and all under his command, with in a few days after, being reduced to his duty, by the well contrivance of Capt. Grantham, who was now lately arrived in York River: which put a period to the war, and brought the Governour a shoare at coll. Bacons, where he was presented with Mr. Drumond; taken the day before in Cheekanonimy swomp, half famished, as him self related to my Husband. From coll. Bacons, the next day, he was convayed, in Irons to Mr. Brays (whither the Governour was removed) to his Tryall, where he was condemn’d with in halfe an hower after his coming to Esqr. Brays, to be handed at the midle Plantation, within 4 howers after condemnation; where he was accordingly, executed, with a pittiful French man. Which don, the Governour removes to his owne howse, to settle his and the countryes repose, after his many troubles; which he effected by the advice of his councel and an Assembly convein’d at the Greene Spring; where severall were condemned to be executed, prime actors in ye Rebellion; as Esqr. Bland, coll. Cruse, and som other hanged at Bacons Trench; Capt. Yong, of Cheekahominy, Mr. Hall, clarke of New-Kent court, James Wilson (once your servant) and one Leift. Collonell Page, (one that my Husband bought of Mr. Lee, when he kep store at your howse) all four executed at coll. Reads, over against Tindells point; and ANTHONY ARNELL (the same that did live at your howse) hanged in chanes at West point, beside severall others executed on the other side James River: enough (they say in all) to out number those slane in the wholl war; on both sides: it being observable that the sword was more favourable than the Halter, as there was a grater liberty taken to run from the sharpness of the one, then would be alowed to shun the dull imbraces of the other: the Hangman being more dredfull to the Baconians, then there Generall was to the Indians; as it is counted more honourable, and less terable, to dye like a soulder, then to be hang’d like a dogg.

Thus Sr. have I rendered you an account of our late troubles in Verginia, which I have performed too wordishly; but I did not know how to help it; Ignorance in som cases is a prevalent ovatour in pleading for pardon, I hope mine may have the fortune to prove soe in the behalfe of Sr. Yor. ffriend and servant, An. Cotton. From Q. Creeke.

Bacon Demanding His Commission of Governor Berkeley - not a contemporary depiction.

Bacon's Declaration in the Name of the People

The Declaracon of the People.

For haveing upon specious pretences of publiqe works raised greate unjust taxes upon the Comonality for the advancement of private favorites and other sinister ends, but noe visible effects in any measure adequate, For not haveing dureing this long time of his Gouvernement in any measure advanced this hopefull Colony either by fortificacons Townes or Trade.

For haveing abused and rendred contemptable the Magistrates of Justice, by advanceing to places of Judicature, scandalous and Ignorant favorites.

For haveing wronged his Majesties prerogative and interest, by assumeing Monopoly of the Beaver trade, and for haveing in that unjust gaine betrayed and sold his Majesties Country and the lives of his loyall subjects, to the barbarous heathen.

For haveing, protected, favoured, and Imboldned the Indians against his Majesties loyall subjects, never contriveing, requireing, or appointing any due or proper meanes of sattisfaction for theire many Invasions, robbories, and murthers comitted upon us.

For haveing when the Army of English, was just upon the track of those Indians, who now in all places burne, spoyle, murther and when we might with ease have distroyed them: who then were in open hostillity, for then haveing expressly countermanded, and sent back our Army, by passing his word for the peaceable demeanour of the said Indians, who imediately prosecuted theire evill intentions, comitting horred murthers and robberies in all places, being protected by the said ingagement and word past of him the said Sir William Berkeley, haveing ruined and laid desolate a greate part of his Majesties Country, and have now drawne themselves into such obscure and remote places, and are by theire success soe imboldned and confirmed, by theire confederacy soe strengthned that the cryes of blood are in all places, and the terror, and constimation of the peOple soe greate, are now become, not onely a difficult, but a very formidable enimy, who might att first with ease have beene distroyed.

And lately when upon the loud outcryes of blood the Assembly had with all care raised and framed an Army for the preventing of further mischeife and safeguard of this his Majesties Colony.

For haveing with onely the privacy of some few favorites, without acquainting the people, onely by the alteracon of a figure, forged a Comission, by we know not what hand, not onely without, but even against the consent of the people, for the raiseing and effecting civill warr and distruction, which being happily and without blood shed prevented, for haveing the second time attempted the same, thereby calling downe our forces from the defence of the fronteeres and most weekely expoased places.

For the prevencon of civill mischeife and ruin amongst ourselves, whilst the barbarous enimy in all places did invade, murther and spoyle us, his majesties most faithfull subjects.

Of this and the aforesaid Articles we accuse Sir William Berkeley as guilty of each and every one of the same, and as one who hath traiterously attempted, violated and Injured his Majesties interest here, by a loss of a greate part of this his Colony and many of his faithfull loyall subjects, by him betrayed and in a barbarous and shamefull manner expoased to the Incursions and murther of the heathen, And we doe further declare these the ensueing persons in this list, to have beene his wicked and pernicious councellours Confederates, aiders, and assisters against the Comonality in these our Civill comotions.

And we doe further demand that the said Sir William Berkeley with all the persons in this list be forthwith delivered up or surrender themselves within fower days after the notice hereof, Or otherwise we declare as followeth.

That in whatsoever place, howse, or ship, any of the said persons shall reside, be hidd, or protected, we declaire the owners, Masters or Inhabitants of the said places, to be confederates and trayters to the people and the estates of them is alsoe of all the aforesaid persons to be confiscated, and this we the Comons of Virginia doe declare, desiering a firme union amongst our selves that we may joyntly and with one accord defend our selves against the common Enimy, and lett not the faults of the guilty be the reproach of the inocent, or the faults or crimes of the oppressours devide and separate us who have suffered by theire oppressions.

These are therefore in his majesties name to command you forthwith to seize the persons above mentioned as Trayters to the King and Country and them to bring to Midle plantacon, and there to secure them untill further order, and in case of opposition, if you want any further assistance you are forthwith to demand itt in the name of the people in all the Counties of Virginia.


Nathaniel Bacon Generall by Consent of the people.

Virginia Governor William Berkeley

The following declaration by Virginia Governor William Berkeley, written on May 19, 1676 about Bacon's Rebellion helps identify some of the players & issues in Ann Cotton's account.


The declaration and Remonstrance of Sir William Berkeley his most sacred Majesties Governor and Captain Generall of Virginia
Sheweth That about the yeare 1660 CoIl. Mathews the then Governor dyed and then in consideration of the service I had don the Country, in defending them from, and destroying great numbers of the Indians, without the loss of three men, in all the time that warr lasted, and in contemplation of the equall and uncorrupt Justice I had distributed to all men, Not onely the Assembly but the unanimous votes of all the Country, concurred to make me Governor in a time, when if the Rebells in England had prevailed, I had certainely dyed for accepting itt, `twas Gentlemen an unfortunate Love, shewed to me, for to shew myselfe gratefull for this, I was willing to accept of this Governement againe, when by my gracious Kings favour I might have had other places much more proffitable, and lesse toylesome then this hath beene. Since that time that I returned into the Country, I call the great God Judge of all things in heaven and earth to wittness, that I doe not know of any thing relateive to this Country wherein I have acted unjustly, corruptly, or negligently in distributeing equall Justice to all men, and takeing all possible care to preserve their proprietys, and defend the from their barbarous enimies.

But for all this, perhapps I have erred in things I know not of, if I have I am soe conscious of humane frailty, and my owne defects, that I will not onely acknowledge them, but repent of, and amend them, and not like the Rebell Bacon persist in an error, onely because I have comitted itt, and tells me in diverse of his Letters that itt is not for his honnor to confess a fault, but I am of opinion that itt is onely for divells to be incorrigable, and men of principles like the worst of divells, and these he hath, if truth be reported to me, of diverse of his ex pressions of Atheisme, tending to take away all Religion and Laws.

And now I will state the Question betwixt me as a Governor and Mr. Bacon, and say that if any enimies should invade England, any Councellor Justice of peace or other inferiour officer, might raise what forces they could to protect his Majesties subjects, But I say againe, if after the Kings knowledge of this invasion, any the greatest peere of England, should raise forces against the kings prohibition this would be now, and ever was in all ages and Nations accompted treason. Nay I will goe further, that though this peere was truly zealous for the preservation of his King, and subjects, and had better and greater abillitys then all the rest of his fellow subjects, doe his King and Country service, yett if the King (though by false information) should suspect the contrary, itt were treason in this Noble peere to proceed after the King's prohibition, and for the truth of this I appeale to all the laws of England, and the Laws and constitutions of all other Nations in the world, And yett further itt is declaired by this Parliament that the takeing up Armes for the King and Parliament is treason, for the event shewed that what ever the pretence was to seduce ignorant and well affected people, yett the end was ruinous both to King and people, as this will be if not prevented, I doe therefore againe declair that Bacon proceedeing against all Laws of all Nations modern and ancient, is Rebell to his sacred Majesty and this Country, nor will I insist upon the sweareing of men to live and dye togeather, which is treason by the very words of the Law.

Now my friends I have lived 34 yeares amongst you, as uncorrupt and dilligent as ever Governor was, Bacon is a man of two yeares amongst you, his person and qualities unknowne to most of you, and to all men else, by any vertuous action that ever I heard of, And that very action which he boasts of, was sickly and fooleishly, and as I am informed treacherously carried to the dishonnor of the English Nation, yett in itt, he lost more men then I did in three yeares Warr, and by the grace of God will putt myselfe to the same daingers and troubles againe when I have brought Bacon to acknowledge the Laws are above him, and I doubt not but by God's assistance to have better success then Bacon hath had, the reason of my hopes are, that I will take Councell of wiser men then my selfe, but Mr. Bacon hath none about him, but the lowest of the people.

Yett I must further enlarge, that I cannot without your helpe, doe any thinge in this but dye in defence of my King, his laws, and subjects, which I will cheerefully doe, though alone I doe itt, and considering my poore fortunes, I can not leave my poore Wife and friends a better legacy then by dyeing for my King and you: for his sacred Majesty will easeily distinguish betweene Mr. Bacons actions and myne, and Kinges have long Armes, either to reward or punish.

Now after all this, if Mr. Bacon can shew one precedens or example where such actings in any Nation what ever, was approved of, I will mediate with the King and you for a pardon, and excuce for him, but I can shew him an hundred examples where brave and great men have beene putt to death for gaineing Victorys against the Comand of their Superiors.

Lastly my most assured friends I would have preserved those Indians that I knew were howerly att our mercy, to have beene our spyes and intelligence, to finde out our bloody enimies, but as soone as I had the least intelligence that they alsoe were trecherous enimies, I gave out Commissions to distrOy them all as the Commissions themselves will speake itt.

To conclude, I have don what was possible both to friend and enimy, have granted Mr. BacOn three pardons, which he hath scornefully rejected, suppoaseing himselfe stronger to subvert then I and you to maineteyne the Laws, by which onely and Gods assisting grace and mercy, all men mwt hope for peace and safety. I will add noe more though much more is still remaineing to Justifie me and condemne Mr. Bacon, but to desier that this declaration may be read in every County Court in the Country, and that a Court be presently called to doe itt, before the Assembly meet, That your approbation or dissattisfaction of this declaration may be knowne to all the Country, and the Kings Councell to whose most revered Judgments itt is submitted, Given the xxixth day of May, a happy day in the xxv"ith yeare of his most sacred Majesties Reigne, Charles the second, who God grant long and prosperously to Reigne, and lett all his good subjects say Amen.


See" Force, Peter, comp. Tracts and Other Papers Relating Principally to the Origin, Settlement, and Progress of the Colonies in North America, from the Discovery of the Country to the Year 1776. 1836-1846. Washington: Printed by P. Force, from the original manuscript in the “Richmond, Virginia, Enquirer” 12 Sept. 1804.

Read more about Nathaniel Bacon at the Encyclopedia Virginia.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Independent New York Businesswoman Margarieta Hardenbrook De Vries Philipse 1631-c1689

Unknown Dutch Lady by Pieter Soutman (c 1590s-1657) was a Dutch Golden Age painter

Margarieta Hardenbrook De Vries Philipse (1631-1686-90), was not a typical Atlantic colonial women. While she does not appear to be the warm, friendly type of person one might grow close to or admire, she was financially independent & very successful as a merchant & shipowner. She sailed back & forth across the often harsh Atlantic to manage her financial affairs. There was nothing soft about Margarieta.

Much of her independence stemmed from the fact that she was part of the Dutch society that settled early New York. It was a culture which did not fear giving some independence to women & did not completely strip them of their capital & resources, when they married.

She was born in Elberfeld in the Rhine Valley of Westphalia in Germany, the daughter of Adolph Hardenbroook (Hardenbroeck) & his 2nd wife Maria Katernberg. She was living in the Dutch colony of New Netherland by 1659, when her brother Abel Hardenbrook signed an indenture to serve the Ten Eyck family in New Amsterdam.

Her parents & the remainder of her family followed, immigrating in 1660 on the ship De Trouw. Records of the German Reformed Church in Elberfeld show that by 1641, Margarieta’s mother had lost 4 children in infancy, but 3 of Margarieta’s brothers survived to reach New Amsterdam.

When Margarieta was 28, on Oct. 10, 1659, marriage banns were posted at the Reformed Dutch Church in New Amsterdam between Margarieta & Pieter Rudolphus De Vries (1603-1661), a wealthy, widowed merchant-trader. De Vries was 28 years older than his new bride & had actually married his 1st wife the year Margarieta was born. Within the year, the newlyweds had a daughter, Maria, who was baptized Oct. 3, 1660. During the same year, Pieter De Vries also died, leaving a considerable estate.

But even before De Vries died, as of 1660, Margarieta was already carrying on mercantile activities using her maiden name; as she did throughout her career. She apparently was a business agent for Wouter Valck, Daniel des Messieres, & other Dutch merchants trading with New Netherland.

When her husband died in May or June of 1661, she immediately took over his businees as a shipper, merchant, & trader. She shipped furs to Holland in exchange for ready-made Dutch merchandise, which she sold to settlers in New Amsterdam.

Over the next 2 years, Margarieta became embroiled in many legal actions arising from her late husband’s business & his estate. While her deceased husband was an astute businessman, he apparently did not enjoy record-keeping.

Not one to let any grass grown under her feet, she also found time to court & accept a proposal of marriage from Frederick Philipse, a rising power in the economic, social, & political life of New Amsterdam. And Frederick Philipse was only 5 years older than Margarieta.

On October 28, 1662, new banns of marriage were posted at the Reform Dutch Church just as the Court of Orphan Masters requested her to present an inventory of her child’s paternal inheritance. The wedding could not take place until she gave the Orphan Masters, who protected the inheritance rights of children who had lost a parent, a complete & accurate accounting of the financial affairs of her late husband Pieter Rudolphus de Vries. Records report that his interests were far flung & in "considerable disarray;" and Margarieta could not produce acceptable accounting.

The legal process dragged on. Margarieta was pregnant, & children born out of wedlock in the Dutch Reform church were baptised with a note in the church register announcing the indiscretion in a very blunt manner. Frederick Philipse, desperate to get the marriage performed, eventually signed a pre-nuptual legal document on December 18th, saying that he would make the child Maria De Vries an heir equal with any children he would have by Margaret Hardenbroek. They were finally allowed to marry, & their 1st child Phillip was baptised three months later, on March 18th.

In her 2006 book The Women of the House, Jean Zimmerman reports that Margaret chose to establish the partnership with her 2nd husband according to usus, crafting the age-old prenuptial contract that explicitly denied a husband unlimited power over his wife. As a she-merchant, who already ran an independent trading concern, Margaret needed the control of her finances. Entering into her marriage under usus ensured that the property she brought to the marriage, the house lots in Manhattan and Bergen; ships that now included the "New Netherland Indian", "Beaver", "Pearl" and "Morning Star"; and her furniture, plate and linens - would remain hers. She would continue as a 'free merchant of New Amsterdam', as court transcripts described her.

By his marriage Frederick Philipse became entitled to a community of property with his wife; but she did not relinquish the sole management of her estate, for which she seemed well-fitted by nature. On the contrary she personally supervised the business of her late husband, frequently sailing to Holland in her own ships acting as her own supercargo. As the owner of both the ship & its cargo, she exercised the superior authority over vessel, passengers, crew, & cargo. It was a power she clearly relished.

Using his wife’s inheritance from her late husband, Frederick Philipse was able to expand his mercantile endeavors, until he soon was one of the wealthiest men in New Amsterdam. Philipse had arrived in New Amsterdam in the early 1650s, as carpenter for Governor Peter Stuyvesant. Through trade, land acquisition, & his strategic marriage, Philipse amassed a fortune. In 1672, Philipse purchased the Yonkers' Nepperhan mill site. This was the beginning of what would become a 52,500-acre estate established by a royal patent in 1693, as the "Lordship or Mannour of Philipsborough."

Throughout her lifetime Margarieta independently continued her own extensive overseas trading activities, frequently traveling across the Atlantic to oversee the business on both ends. A Dutch deposition of 1660, described a financial contract between merchant Wouter Valeck & Margarieta Hardenbroeck, “living in the Manhattans in New Netherland who is at present married to Pieter Adolphus (Rudolphus De Vries), merchant there.”

Other records place her back in Amsterdam in January of 1664 & in the winter of 1668/69, when she was petitioning the King of England to permit the more frequent sailing of the ship King Charles between Amsterdam and the now English colony of New York.

A decade later Labadist missionary, Jaspar Danckaerts & a fellow missionary traveled across the Atlantic on one of Margarieta’s ships, the King Charles. On this voyage, Margarieta was actually serving as supercargo on board her own vessel.

Danckaerts took the measure of the formidible woman. In a rather unforgiving tone for a Christian missionary, he declared that Margarieta was full of “unblushing avarice” & “excessive covetousness.” He told of her ordering her beleagured crew & the passengers to search the rolling seas for a lost mop, which had accidentally slipped overboard. “We, with all the rest, must work fruitlessly for an hour or an hour & a half, & all that merely to satisfy & please the miserable covetousness of Margarieta.”

Accompanying Margarieta on this less-than-restful voyage was her daughter Annatje (Anna), who eventually married English merchant Philip French. Margarieta & Frederick Philipse also had 4 other children: Philip, Eva (who may or may not have been Maria De Vries), Adolphus, & Rombout, who died in infancy. Adolphus, who never married, followed in his father’s business assuming control of his overseas trading operations.

Their son Philip was also involved in cross-Atlantic shipping & trading. Philip was sent to Babadoes in the West Indies by his father, because of his "delicate constitution." In Barbadoes, Philip married the daughter of the governor of the island. His wife died shortly after the birth of their only child, a son. Frail Philip died the following year. Their young son Frederick was sent back to New York, to be raised by his relatives; where he would eventually receive the Philipse estate, when his batchelor uncle Adolphus died in 1719. Eva married Jacobus Van Cortlandt.

Perhaps exhausted by her voyage in the company of the gossipy Danckaerts & his cleric companion, Margarieta Hardenbrook De Vries Philipse seems to have retired from business after her memorable & controversial crossing on the King Charles. Margarieta was dead by 1690.

See Notable American Women edited by Edward T James, Janet Wilson James, Paul S Boyer, The Belknap Press of Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 1971.
See
Waldrup, Carole Chandler (1999). Colonial Women: 23 Europeans Who Helped Build a Nation. McFarland. pp. 89–94.
The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography: Being the History of the United States as Illustrated in the Lives of the Founders, Builders, and Defenders of the Republic, and of the Men and Women who are Doing the Work and Moulding the Thought of the Present Time. J. T. White Company. 1910.
"Philipse, Margaret Hardenbrook (d. 1690) - Dictionary definition of Philipse, Margaret Hardenbrook (d. 1690)". www.encyclopedia.com.
Mays, Dorothy A. (2004). Women in Early America: Struggle, Survival, and Freedom in a New World. ABC-CLIO.
Catterall, Douglas (2012). Women in Port: Gendering Communities, Economies, and Social Networks in Atlantic Port Cities, 1500-1800. 
"Margaret Hardenbroek De Vries Philipse" The National Society of Colonial Dames in The State of New York.

Monday, May 28, 2018

New York Mohawk Catherine Tekakwitha 1656-1680 Converts to Catholicism


Catherine Tekakwitha (1656-1680), Mohawk convert to Catholicism, sometimes know as “The Lily of the Mohawks,” was born either at the Mohawk “castle” (village) of the Turtle clan, Ossernenon, on the south side of the Mohawk River near present-day Auriesville, N.Y., or at neighboring castle of Kaghnuwage (Gandaouaga). Her name is also found as Tegakwita, Tegah-Kouita, or Tegakouita.

Her mother, a Christian Algonquin who had been taken captive at Three Rivers, Canada, by a raiding band of Mohawks, escaped slavery or death through marriage to a native warrior. Two children were born of this union, Tekakwitha and a brother. A smallpox epidemic of about 1660 carried away both parents and the boy. The orphaned Tekakwitha recovered, but her eyesight was badly impaired and her face remained pockmarked. Adopted by her paternal uncle, she learned the usages and practices of the Mohawks.

Repeated forays for the Mohawk warriors against the French and their Indian allies culminated the French counterinvasion in 1666, which devastated the Mohawk country, forcing the inhabitants of Kaghnuwage to build a new village, Caughnawaga (Gandaougue), a half-mile to the west of present Fonda, N.Y.

The Mohawks sued for peace, which the French granted on condition that the Mohawks permit Jesuit missionaries to preach the Gospel in their villages. Three missionaries arrived in 1667. They were accommodated for three days at Caughnawaga in the longhouse of Tekakwitha’s uncle, the “foremost captain” in the village, before setting out to visit the other Mokawk villages.

In 1669 preparations were made for the construction of a chapel, dedicated to St. Peter, in Caughnawaga. Despite the opposition of her uncle, Tekakwitha, during 1675, requested to be instructed in the Christian faith, and on Easter Sunday, Apr. 18, 1676, she received baptism in St. Peter’s chapel and was given the name Catherine (rendered in the Mohawk tongue as Kateri)
One of the oldest portraits of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha by father Claude Chauchetière around 1696

Many Mohawks, however, opposed the missionary effort, and Tekakwitha was subjected to threats and maltreatment because of her new faith. She was stoned for refusing to work in the corn fields on the Sabbath. She therefore determined to join a group of Christian Mohawks who had migrated to the mission of St. Francis Xavier at Sault St. Louis (Lachine Rapids) in Canada, on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River.

In 1677, three Christian natives from that mission visited relatives at Caughnawaga, one of them a relative of Tekakwitha. Taking advantage of the temporary absence of her uncle, she left the Mohawk village and returned with the visitors to Sault St. Louis.

It was at Sault St. Louis that the religious and public life of Tekakwitha developed to such a degree that she was revered by all as a saintly woman. Contemporary biographies attest that this Indian maiden exercised every virtue in an extraordinary degree. Her love of God was manifested in frequent prayer and by daily visits to the mission chapel. By exterior conduct she revealed that he mind and heart centered upon God, seeing to do always what would be more pleasing to Him.

To the astonishment of the missionaries, Tekakwitha determined not to marry and confirmed that resolve by a vow of virginity will full knowledge that she would become dependent upon others for her support. She practiced charity toward all without exception, prudence in recognizing that prayer and labor each had its appropriate time, voluntary fastings and penances.

She died at Sault St. Louis at the age of twenty-four and was buried east of where the Portage River empties into the St. Lawrence. Spontaneous reverence caused Christian Indians and neighboring French inhabitants of Montreal to visit the grave of Tekakwitha, where they sought her intercession with God for themselves. This reverence, continued through generations, induced the Catholic Church to authorize in 1932, an investigation of the “Cause of Catherine Tekakwitha” for possible beautification and canonization.

See: Notable American Women edited by Edward T James, Janet Wilson James, Paul S Boyer, The Belknap Press of Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 1971.
Beauchamp, W.M. “Mohawk Notes,” Journal of American Folk-Lore, vol. 8, Boston, 1895
Béchard, Henri, S.J. The Original Caughnawaga Indians. Montreal: International Publishers, 1976.
Béchard, Henri, S.J. "Tekakwitha". Dictionary of Canadian Biography (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1966)
Cholonec, Rev. Pierre. "Kateri Tekakwitha: The Iroquois Saint". (Merchantville, NJ: Evolution Publishing, 2012)
Fenton, William, and Elisabeth Tooker. “Mohawk,” in Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 15: Northeast, edited by Bruce G. Trigger. Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1978.
Greer, Allan. Mohawk Saint: Catherine Tekakwitha and the Jesuits. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005
Hewitt, J.N.B. “The Iroquoian Concept of the Soul,” Journal of American Folk-Lore, vol. 8, Boston, 1895
Lecompte, Edward, S.J. Glory of the Mohawks: The Life of the Venerable Catherine Tekakwitha, translated by Florence Ralston Werum, FRSA. Milwaukee: Bruce Publishing Co., 1944.
Litkowski, Mary Pelagia, O.P. Kateri Tekakwitha: Joyful Lover. Battle Creek, Michigan: Growth Unlimited Inc., 1989.
O Connell, Victor. Eaglechild Kanata Publications, Hamilton, Ontario 2016
Sargent, Daniel. Catherine Tekakwitha. New York and Toronto: Longmans, Green and Co., 1936.
Shoemaker, Nancy. "Kateri Tekakwitha's Tortuous Path to Sainthood," in Nancy Shoemaker, ed. Negotiators of Change: Historical Perspectives on Native American Women (New York: Routledge, 1995), p. 49–71.
Steckley, John. Beyond their Years: Five Native Women's Stories, Canadian Scholars Press 1999
Weiser, Francis X., S.J. Kateri Tekakwitha. Caughnawaga, Canada: Kateri Center, 1972.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

17C American Women & Children

c. 1671 Unidentified Artist, Freake Gibbes? Elizabeth Clarke Freake (Mrs. John Freake) and Baby Mary

1679 Attributed to Thomas Smith fl c 1650-1691 Patteshall Mrs. Richard (Martha Woody) and Child.  Because there were many Thomas Smiths in Boston at this time, it Has Been difficult to identify this painter, who left at the end of self-portrait. Recently Data-Portrait of Thomas Smith Has Been discovered by Harvard PhD candidate Jason LaFountain. The Following quote is from the diary of Thomas Smith's great-grandson, Samuel Dexter, Whose mother, Catherina Mears Dexter, was known to have owned the painting. "My mother has the arms of an ancestor of hers, of the name of Smith. She Has His portrait too, daubed by himself, with some lines in verse at the bottom, of His own composing, in the style of the day. He was an officer in Cromwell's army, and had anche the command of a fort, or garrison . From her family arms the field of mine was taken. The crest and the motto were pleased as Mr. Artist, and the vellum was, in other respects, and bedecked bedizened according to Functional His fancy. " from Samuel Dexter, "Dexter Samuel Commonplace -book, "1763-1809, Massachusetts Historical Society, Ms. SBd-219 / P-201 Microfilm, 276-277.
Attributed to Thomas Smith. A Portrait of the Artist's Darughter, Mary Catherine Smith, about 1690-93

Attributed to Gerrit Duyckinck fl c1660-1710 Unknown Woman New York. Gerardus Duyckinck is the best known of several limners & amp; stained-glass glaziers in this New York City family, Which included His grandfather Evert (1621-c 1703), His father, Gerrit (1660-c 1710), His cousin Evert III (1677-c 1725), and his son Gerardus Jr . (1723-1797). Garrit was probably trained by His Father Evert, and his son Gerardus was probably trained by His Father Garrit & amp; His older cousin Evert III.

1690-1700 Unknown Artist Rebecca Bonum Eskridge of Virginia.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

1651 Winter Scarves run afoul of the Fashion Police in Massachusettes

Colonial Laws of Massachusetts, 1651
Sumptuary Laws - Regarding What a Colonist May or May Not Wear
The Freake Limner (American Colonial Era Painter, active 1670-c 1680) Mrs Elizabeth Freake and Baby Mary 1674

ALTHOUGH SEVERAL DECLARATIONs and orders have been made by this Court against excess in apparell, both of men and women, which have not taken that effect as were to be desired, but on the contrary, we cannot but to our grief take notice that intolerable excess and bravery have crept in upon us, and especially among people of mean condition, to the dishonor of God, the scandal of our profession, the consumption of estates, and altogether unsuitable to our poverty.
1670 New England Portrait of Alice Mason, by an unknown artist

And, although we acknowledge it to be a matter of much difficulty, in regard of the blindness of men's minds and the stubbornness of their wills, to set down exact rules to confine all sorts of persons, yet we cannot but account it our duty to commend unto all sorts of persons the sober and moderate use of those blessings which, beyond expectation, the Lord has been pleased to afford unto us in this wilderness.

And also to declare our utter detestation and dislike that men and women of mean condition should take upon them the garb gentlemen by wearing gold or silver lace, or buttons, or points at their knees, or to walk in great boots; or women of the same ran to wear silk or tiffany hoods, or scarves which, though allowable to persons of greater estates or more liberal education, we cannot but judge it intolerable. . . .


It is therefore ordered by this Court, and authority thereof, that no person within the jurisdiction, nor any of their relations depending upon them, whose visible estates, real and personal, shall not exceed the true and indifferent value of £200, shall wear any gold or silver lace, or gold and silver buttons, or any bone lace above 2s. per yard, or silk hoods, or scarvesupon the penalty of 10s. for every such offense and every such delinquent to be presented to the grand jury.


And forasmuch as distinct and particular rules in this case suitable to the estate or quality of each perrson cannot easily be given: It is further ordered by the authority aforesaid, that the selectmen of every town, or the major part of them, are hereby enabled and required, from time to time to have regard and take notice of the apparel of the inhabitants of their several towns respectively; and whosoever they shall judge to exceed their ranks and abilities in the costliness or fashion of their apparel in any respect, especially in the wearing of ribbons or great boots (leather being so scarce a commodity in this country) lace, points, etc., silk hoods, or scarvesthe select men aforesaid shall have power to assess such persons, so offending in any of the particulars above mentioned, in the country rates, at £200 estates, according to that proportion that such men use to pay to whom such apparel is suitable and allowed; provided this law shall not extend to the restraint of any magistrate or public officer of this jurisdiction, their wives and children, who are left to their discretion in wearing of apparel, or any settled militia officer or soldier in the time of military service, or any other whose education and employment have been above the ordinary degree, or whose estate have been considerable, though now decayed.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

17C Colonial American Children portrayed on Checkered Board Tile Floors

 1670 American Artist Portrait of Alice Mason, by an unknown artist, C. 1670.The round collar of the pinafore identifies her as female.

These are early portraits of children in Boston.  These paintings are remarkable; simply because they were was painted in 1670, just 50 years after the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock on the coast of Massachusetts.  Here the artist has chosen to depict these children from Boston in a safe interior space defined simply by a black-and-white or monochromatic checkerboard floor sometimes with just a hint of decorative drapery in one of the upper corners.
 1670 The Freake Limner (American Colonial Era Painter, active 1670-c 1680) Henry Gibbs of Boston holding a bird.

Checkered floors were popular in colonial America, but these were probably not the traditional European tiled floors  The checkerboad pattern might have been painted directly on the wooden floorboards or on a canvas floor cloth.  Such attention to floor patterns would have appreared primarily in the homes of the affluent.  As late as 1800, Lyman Beecher noted that his wife introduced the 1st painted floor cloth (which she made herself) to East Hampton, Long Island, where all the other houses "had sanded floors, some of them worn through."  Beecher was referring to the practice of spreading sand on floorboards which could be sweep & refreshed as needed.
 1670 The Freake Limner (American Colonial Era Painter, active 1670-c 1680) Margaret Gibbs of Boston holding a fan.

Like the paintings of children in 17C Europe, the artist depicts these children looking far older than their years, but their exact ages are inscribed next to their heads. Here the children are little adults, unusually proportioned with stiff, erect postures.  Worried that children might become wild or immoral if not disciplined by strict religious & cultural rules, the Puritans of early New England assigned as many household & garden duties as possible to children & filled the children's remaining time with religious & educational activities.
 1670 The Freake Limner (American Colonial Era Painter, active 1670-c 1680) Robert Gibbs here holding the manly symbol of gloves.

The clothing in these American portraits is simple. Early Massachusetts law stated that only the very wealthy could display extravagant clothing, which could only be worn by members of households whose income exceeded 200 pounds per year.  Yet even the well-to-do, influenced by New England's predominantly Puritan & Quaker ethics of the time, often frowned upon overly fancy clothes as vain & impious. It was common for wealthy people to wear simple clothes made of expensive fabric.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

1648 Margaret Brent - Maryland Attorney Who Owns Land Is Denied Right to Vote

Margaret Brent was an unusual woman for her time. In 17C America, she was unmarried, a business-person, a Catholic, & a prominent figure in the Maryland settlement, which she emigrated to from England with two brothers & a sister in 1638. She owned land, grew tobacco and made loans to other settlers in Maryland.
Margaret Brent speaking to the Maryland Assembly in colonial St. Mary's City. By Edwin Tunis (c. 1934)

Brent appeared in the Maryland court to argue for herself & her brothers in business matters & to settle debts. In 1647, she was appointed the executor of the late Gov. Leonard Calvert’s estate & given power of attorney for his older brother, Cecil Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore. (The first Lord Baltimore was their father, George.)
Leonard Calvert’s death came at a turbulent time for the Maryland settlement, & Brent’s careful management of his estate helped secure the settlement’s survival. By selling some of Cecil Calvert’s cattle without his knowledge or consent to pay off debts, she achieved peace for the colony—but earned his lifelong enmity. 
In 1648, the first woman appointed attorney-in-fact in the colonies, Margaret Brent (1601-1671) of Maryland, seeks & is denied the right to vote in the assembly. The unmarried Brent, owning about 70 acres in Maryland, asks the Maryland Assembly for two votes, one for herself & another as her distant cousin Leonard Calvert's administrator & Lord Baltimore's attorney. Her request was denied.

Jan. 21, 1647[/8]. "Came Mrs Margaret Brent and requested to have vote in the howse for herselfe and voyce allso for that att the last Court 3d Jan: it was ordered that the said Mrs Brent was to be lookd uppon and received as his Lps Attorney. The Govr denyed that the sd Mrs Brent should have any vote in the howse And the sd Mrs Brent protested agst all proceedings in this pnt Assembly unlesse shee may have vote as aforesd."

Later Margaret Brent acts as attorny at law. Nov. 6, 1648. Margaret Brent as His Lordshhip's attorney complains and proves that Edward Commins has defied an order of the Governor and said that there was no law in the province. The court fined him 2,500 pounds of tobacco for contempt.

Although she was denied any vote, the Assembly did defend her when Lord Baltimore, deceased Lord Calvert's brother, complains about her use of revenue from his estate to pay off his soldiers, who had recently put down a Protestant rebellion. The Assembly believes that her actions saved the colony from an open revolt.

They write a letter to Lord Baltimore. "As for Mistress Brent's undertaking and meddling with your Lordship's estate here...we do Verily Believe and in Conscience report that it was better for the Colony's saftety at that time she rather deserved favour and thanks from your Honour for her so much Concurring to the public safety, than to be justly liable to all those bitter invectives you have been pleased to Express against her."

Born in 1601, she was the 7th child of Sir Richard Brent (1573-1652) & Lady Elizabeth Willoughby de Broke.  When Margaret landed in 1638 at St. Mary’s City in Maryland, she was no common immigrant, as she came with 4 maidservants, 5 male servants, and 2 letters from Cecil Calvert, Lord Baltimore, granting all the lands she could manage.  By any measure, she could manage quite a bit:  administering her own & sister Mary’s affairs; as executrix for deceased governor Leonard Calvert; & representing her brother Giles’ legal interests.  She appeared before Provincial Court at least 124 times between 1642-1650.  Her own estate was “Sisters Freehold,” and she managed “Trinity,” “St. Gabriel,” and “Fort Kent.”

Probably one of the largest landowners and among the most influential person in the Maryland colony, she shocked the Maryland Council in 1648 by confronting them with legal requests and demanding the vote (actually 2 votes) on the council.  While the Assembly had refused to give Margaret Brent a vote, it defended her stewardship of Lord Baltimore's estate, writing to him on April 21, 1649, that it "was better for the Colony's safety at that time in her hands than in any man's ... for the soldiers would never have treated any others with that civility and respect ..."

However, Lord Baltimore was furious with Margaret's independence. Brent moved to Virginia to escape Calvert’s ire regarding his lost cows. She, her brother Giles, & sister Mary moved to the Northern Neck of Virginia by the spring of 1650, where she died in 1670.

Brent’s brother Giles had married Piscataway's Mary Kittamaquund & began to acquire property in Virginia. He settled a plantation on the north bank of the Aquia Creek, in present day Fauquier County. Margaret & their sister Mary joined him at the new plantation, which Giles named “Peace.”

Margaret continued to buy property, & 2 of those property purchases seem particularly shrewd. The 1st was 1,000 on the south side of the Rappahannock, a quarter mile above the falls of the river, in what is present day Fredericksburg.  The other was a 700-acre tract north of Great Hunting Creek, now the site of Alexandria.  Giles, Margaret & Mary Brent are recognized as the first English Catholic Settlers in Virginia on a large crucifix on Route 1, near Aquia Creek.  Plaques honoring Margaret Brent were also placed at Jones Point in Alexandria & at St. Mary’s City, Maryland.

Neither she nor her sister Mary ever married; they were among the very few unmarried English women of the time in the Chesapeake, when men outnumbered women there by 6:1 (but most were lower class indentured workers). Historian Lois Greene Carr believed the 2 sisters had taken vows of celibacy under Mary Ward's Catholic Institute in England. In 1658 Mary Brent died, leaving her entire estate of 1000 acres to her sister.  In 1663 Margaret Brent wrote her will.  In 1670, she assigned one half of her 2,000 acres in Maryland to her nephew, James Clifton. Most of the remainder went to her brother Giles and his children. She died at "Peace," in the newly created Stafford County, Virginia in 1670-71. Her will was admitted into probate on May 19, 1671.  She died a wealthy woman at about age 70, and she is considered the 1st female lawyer in the New World.

Friday, May 18, 2018

1675 Expectations of Gentlewomen

Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born English artist, 1607-1677) Duchess of Lennox 1645.

Hannah Woolley. The Gentlewoman's Companion: or, A Guide to the Female Sex. London, A Maxwell for Edward Thomas, Bookseller. 1675.

Instructions for Absolute Cookmaids

Your skill will chiefly consist in dressing all sorts of Meat, both Fish, flesh and Fowl, all manner of Baked-meats, all kind of Sawces, and which are most proper for every sort of Dish, and be curious in garnishing your Dishes, and making all manner of Pickles...

And as you must know how to dress Meat well, so you must know how to save what is left of that you have dressed, of which you may make both handsome and toothsome Dishes again, to the saving of your Masters purse, and the credit of his Table.

Be as saving as you can, and cleanly about every thing; see also that your Kitchen be kept clean, and all thigns scoured in due time; your Larders also and Cupboards, that there be no bits or meat or bread lye about them to spoil and stink.

That your Meat taint not for want of good Salting.

What Recreations and Pleasures are most fitting and proper for young Gentlewomen.
Recreations which are most proper and suitable to Ladies, may be rankt under four principal heads, Musick, Dancing, Limning and Reading.

Of Dancing...the mode and humour of these times look upon it not only as a generous and becoming property, but look upon Gentility ill-bred if not thorowly acquainted therewith; and to speak the truth it is the best and readiest way to put the body into a graceful posture; behaviour must of necessity halt without it; and how will you blush when you come into a mixt society, where each person strives to shew her utmost art and skill in Dancing, and you for the want thereof must stand still and appear like one whose body was well framed but wanted motion, or a soul to actuate it.

In the next place, Musick is without doubt an excellent quality; the ancient Philosophers were of the opinion, that Souls were made of Harmony's and that that Man or woman could not be virtuously inclined who loved not Musick; wherefore without it a Lady or Gentlewoman can hardly be said to be absolutely accomplished.

Limning is an excellent qualification for a Gentlewoman to exercise and please her fance therein. There are many foreign Ladies that are excellent Artists herein; neither are there wanting Examples enough in his Majesty's three Kingdoms of such Gentlewomen, whose indesatigable industry in this jaudable and ingenious Art, may run parallel with such as make it their profession.

Some may add Stage plays as a proper recreation for Gentlewomen; as to that they have the consent of Parents or Governess, I shall leave them to make use of their own liberty, as they shall think convenient.

I am not ignorant that Stage-plays have been much envy'd at, and not without just cause; yet most certain it is, that by a wise use, and a right application of many things we hear and see contain'd therein, we may meet with many excellent precepts for instruction, and sundry great Examples for caution, and such notable passages, which being well applied (as what may not be perverted) will confer no small profit to the cautious and judicious Hearers. Edward the Sixth the Reformer of the English Church, did so much approve of Plays, that he appointed a Courtier eminent for wit and fancy to be the chief Officer in supervising, ordering, and disposing what should be acted or represented before his Majesty; which Office at this time retains the name of Master of the Revels. Queen Elizabeth, that incomparable Virtuous Princess, was pleased to term Plays the harmless Spenders of time, and largely contributed to the maintenance of the Authors and Actors of them.

But if the moderate recourse of Gentlewomen to Plays may be excused, certainly the daily and constant frequenting them, is as much to be condemned. There are an hundred divertisements harmless enough, which a young Lady may find out, suitable to her, inclination; but give me leave to find out one for her which hath the attendance of profit as well as pleasure and that is Reading.

Mistake me not; I mean the reading of Books whose subjects are noble and honourable. There are some in these later days so Stoical, that they will not allow any Books to Womankind, but such as may teach them to read, and the Bible. The most severe of them do willingly permit young Gentlewomen to converse with wise and learned men; I know not then by what strange nicety they would keep them from reading their Works. There are a sort of Religious men in foreign parts, who do not debar the people from knowing there is a Bible; yet they prohibit them from looking into it.

I would sain ask these sowre Stoicks what can be desired for the ornament of the mind, which is not largely contain'd and exprest in Books? Where Virtue is to be seen in all her lovely and glorious dresses, and Truth discovered in what manner soever it is desired. We may behold it in all its force, in the Philosophers; with all its purity in faithful Historians; with all its beauty and ornaments in golden-tonu'd Orators, and ingenious Poets.

In this pleasing variety (whatsoever your humour be) you may find matter for delectation and information. Reading is of most exquisite and requisire use, it for nothing but this that these dumb Teachers instruct impartially. Beauty, as well as Royalty, is constantly attended with more flatterers than true informers. To discover and acknowledg their faults, it is necessary that they sometimes learn of the dead what the living either dare not or are loth to tell them. Books are the true discoverers of the mind's imperfections, as a glass the faults of their face, herein shall they find Judges that cannot be corrupted with love or hate. The fair and the foul are both alike treated, having to do with such who have no other eyes but to put a diffeence betwen Virtue and Vice. In perswading you to read, I do not advise you should read all Books; advise with persons of understanding in your choice of Books; and fancy not their quantity for quality but quality. For why should ye seek that in many which you may find in one? The Sun, whilst in our Hemisphere needs no other light but its own to illuminate the World. One Book may serve for a Library. The reading of few Books, is not to be less knowing, but to be the less troubled.