Sunday, January 12, 2020

The Female Witch Myth - Hanging those "Evil Women" in Britain's Colonies

 In 1692, a group of young girls, not yet full-grown women, in Salem Village, Massachusetts were accused of witchcraft, & 20 were eventually executed as witches; however, none of the condemned was burned at the stake. In accordance with English law, 19 of the victims of the Salem Witch Trials were instead taken to the infamous Gallows Hill to die by hanging.

An earlier woodcut of the hanging of female witches from Richard Gardiner, England's Grievance Discovered. 1655

The Female Witch Myth was strengthened by English Jurist Matthew Hale (1609-1676), whose writings & court rulings on women were/are far-reaching & long-lasting. In 1662, he was involved in one of the most notorious of the 17C English witchcraft trials, where he sentenced 2 women to death for being witches. The judgment of Hale in this case was extremely influential in future cases in England & in the British American colonies, & was used in the 1692 Salem witch trials to justify the forfeiture of the accused's lands. As late as 1664, Hale used the argument that the existence of laws against witches is proof that witches exist.

Perhaps English Jurist Matthew Hale (1609-1676) read Malleus Maleficarum 1486 (translated by Montague Summers 1928 - see Google Books) Written in Latin & first submitted to the University of Cologne on May 9th, 1487, the title is translated as "The Hammer of Witches." Written in 1486 by Austrian priest Heinrich Kramer (also Kraemer) & German priest Jakob (also James) Sprenger, at the request of Pope Innocent VIII. As the main justification for persecution of witches, the authors relied on a brief passage in the Bible (the book of Exodus, chapter 22, verse 18), which states: "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." The Malleus remained in use for 300 years. It had tremendous influence in the witch trials in England & her North American colonies, & on the European continent. 

The Malleus was used as a judicial case-book for the detection & persecution of witches, specifying rules of evidence & the canonical procedures by which suspected witches were tortured & put to death. Thousands of people (primarily women) were judicially murdered as a result of the procedures described in the book because of having a strange birthmark, living alone, mental illness, cultivating medicinal herbs, or simply because they were falsely accused (often for financial gain by the accuser). The Malleus serves as a chilling warning of what happens when intolerance takes over a society.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Pilgrim Mary Brewster (c1569-1627) arrived arrived on The Mayflower

Mary Brewster (c 1569-1627) was a Pilgrim & one of the women on the Mayflower.  She was the wife of Elder William Brewster.

Mary Brewster & her husband William married in 1592 & had their first son Jonathan in Scrooby a year later. She next had a daughter Patience, born about 1600 or somewhat earlier.

About 1606, the church congregation began more formally meeting at the Scrooby manor, where she & husband William resided. About this time, pressure from the English authorities was mounting, & the meetings became more & more secretive. She gave birth to another daughter at this time, which they named Fear.

The couple fled just over a year later for Holland with the other members of the congregation, & in Leiden they buried an unnamed child: presumably one that had died in infancy. In 1611, she gave birth to a son they named Love, & two or three years later gave birth to their last son, whom they named Wrestling.

William became the senior elder of the American colony. He was an advisor to Governor William Bradford.  She was one of only five adult women from the Mayflower to survive the first winter in the New World, & one of only four such to survive to the "first Thanksgiving" in 1621, which she helped cook.

As such, she is included in Plimoth Plantation's re-enactment of that Thanksgiving. She is thought to have had six children with William - Jonathan, Patience, Fear, Love, an unnamed child who died young, & Wrestling. The two youngest journeyed with their parents on Mayflower, while the three elder children joined their family on later ships. Her son, Jonathan Brewster (1593-1659) & his wife Lucretia Oldham, had nine children. One of those children was also named Mary Brewster. Her life in England is fairly untraceable in the British records, as is her maiden name.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Colonial Charter - King's Grant of New Jersey to Sir George Carteret, 1674

Europeans trading with the original inhabitants of New Jersey. No women mentioned in the 1674 Charter, but a couple of them cower behind the doorway here.

His Royal Highness's Grant of New Jersey to the Lords Proprietors, Sir George Carteret, 29th July, 1674

This Indenture made the ninth and twentieth day of JULY, in the twenty and sixth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord, Charles the Second, by the grace of God of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. Anno Domini, one thousand six hundred seventy-four. Albany, Earl of Ulster, Lord High Admiral of Scotland and Ireland, of the one part, and Sir George Carteret of Saltrum in the County of Devon, Knight, Vice Chamberlain of his Majesty's household of the other part. WHEREAS his Majesty King Charles the Second, by his Letters Patent, under the Great Seal of: England, bearing date the twenty-ninth day of June, in the twenty-sixth year of his said Majesty's reign, did for the consideration therein mentioned, give and grant unto his said Royal Highness James Duke of York, his heirs and assigns, all that part of the main land of New England, beginning at a certain place called or known by the name of St. Croix next adjoining to New Scotland, in America; and from thence extending along the sea coast unto a certain place called Pemaquine or Pemaquid, and so up the river thereof to the furthest head of the same as it tendeth northward; and extending from thence to the river Kenebeque, and so upwards by the shortest course to the same commonly called by the several name or names of Mattowacks or Long Island, situate and being towards the west of Cape Codd and the Narrow Higansetts, abutting upon the main land between the two rivers there, called or known by the several names of Connecticutt, and Hudson's river; together also with the said river called Hudson's river, and all the lands from the west side of Connecticutt river to the east side of Delaware bay: And also several other islands and lands, in the said Letters Patent mentioned, together with the rivers, harbors, mines, minerals, quarries, woods, marshes, waters, fishing, hawking, hunting, and fowling, and all other royalties, proffits, commodities and hereditaments to the said several islands, lands and premises belonging or appertaining, to have and to hold the said lands, islands, hereditaments and premises, with their and every of their appurtenances, unto his said Royal Highness James Duke of York, his heirs and assigns for ever; to be holden of his said Majesty, his heirs and successors as of the manner of East Greenwich in the County of Kent, in free and common soccage, yielding and paying to his said Majesty his heirs and successors of and for the same, yearly and every year, forty beaver skins, when they shall be demanded, or within ninety days after; with divers other grants, clauses, provisoes, and agreements in the said recited Letters Patents contain'd, as by the said Letters Patents, relation being "hereunto had, it doth and may more plainly appear. Now this indenture witnesseth, that his said Royal Highness James Duke of York, for and in consideration of a competent sum of good and lawful money of England to his Royal Highness in hand paid by the said Sir George Carteret, before the ensealing and delivery of these presents, the receipt whereof his said Royal Highness James Duke of York, doth hereby acknowledge, and thereof doth acquit and discharge the said Sir George Carteret, his heirs and assigns for ever by these presents, hath granted, bargained, sold, released and confirmed, and by these presents doth grant, bargain, sell, release and confirm unto the said Sir George Carteret, his heirs and assigns for ever, all that tract of land adjacent to New England, and lying and being to the westward of Long Island and Manhitas Island, and bounded on the east part by the main sea, and part by Hudson's river, and extends southward as far as a certain creek called Barnegatt, being about the middle, between Sandy Point and Cape May, and bounded on the west in a strait line from the said creek called Barnegat, to a certain Creek in Delaware river, next adjoining to and below a certain creek in Delaware river called Renkokus Kill, and from thence up the said Delaware river to the northermost branch thereof, which is forty-one degrees and forty minutes of latitude; and on the north, crosseth over thence in a strait line to Hudson's river, in forty-one degrees of latitude; which said tract of land is hereafter to be called by the name or names of New Caeserea or New Jersey: And also all rivers, mines, minerals, woods, fishings, hawking, hunting, and fowIing, and all royalties, profits, commodities, and hereditaments whatsoever, to the said lands, and premises belonging or appertaining; with their and every of their appurtenances, in as full and ample manner as the same is granted unto the said James Duke of York, by the before recited Letters Patents; and all the estate, right, title, interest benefit, advantage, claim and demand of the said James Duke of York of in and to the said lands and premises, or any part or parcel thereof, and the reversion and reversions, remainder and remainders thereof: All which said tract of land and premises were by indenture, bearing date the day before the date hereof, bargain'd and sold by the said James Duke of York, unto Sir George Carteret, for the term of one whole year to commence from the eighth and twentieth day of July next before the date hereof, under the rent of one peper corn, payable as therein is mentioned as by the said deed more plainly may appear: By force and virtue of which said indenture of bargain and sale, and of the statute made for transferring of usses into possession, the said Sir George Carteret, is in actual possession of the said tract of land and premises, and enabled to take a grant and release thereof, the said lease being made to that end and purpose, to have and to hold all and singular the said-tract of land and premises; with their, and every of their appurtenances, and every part and parcel thereof, unto the said Sir George Carteret, his heirs and assigns to the only behoof of the said Sir George Carteret his heirs and assigns for ever; yielding and paying therefore unto the said James Duke of York, his heirs and assigns, for the tract of land and premises, yearly the sum of twenty nobles of lawful money of England, if the same shall be lawfully demanded at or in the Inner Temple Hall, I,ondon, at the feast of St. Michael the Arch Angel yearly. And the said Sir George Carteret for himself, his heirs, and assigns, doth covenant and grant to and with the said James Duke of York, his heirs and assigns by these presents, that he the said Sir George Carteret, his heirs and assigns, shall and will well and truly pay or cause to be paid unto his said BoyalHiness James Duke of York, his heirs and assigns, the said yearly rent of twenty nobles at such time and place, and in such manner and formulas before in these presents is express'd and declared. Provided always and upon this condition, that the said Sir George Carteret do cause a copy of this Grant and demise to be entered with the auditor of his said Royal Highness, within one month next after the execution of this present grant and demise. IN WITNESS WHEREOF the parties to these presents have interchangeably set their hands and seals, the day and year first above written.   Sign'd.  JAMES.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Colonial Charter - Fundamental Laws, of West New Jersey, Agreed Upon - 1676

Europeans trading with the original peoples of New Jersey

New Jersey’s early colonial history is similar to New York’s. Like New York, the area was first colonized by Dutch settlers around 1613. The colony was called New Netherland, & included parts of modern-day New York & New Jersey. In 1660, the town of Bergen became the first established town in the New Jersey portion of New Netherland. Today, it is named Jersey City.

By 1664, the British had claimed the entire region & had driven the Dutch out. New Netherland was renamed New Jersey & New Amsterdam was renamed New York. Although King Charles originally gave the region to his brother, the Duke of York, eventually, he decided to divide the region & gave the land between the Hudson & Delaware River (New Jersey) to two of his friends, Sir George Carteret & Lord Berkeley of Stratton.

Carteret & Berkeley began attracting people to the area by offering land & guaranteeing religious freedom. In return for the land, the settlers were supposed to pay a yearly tax called a quit-rent. The quit-rents proved hard to collect, which prompted the sale of the land to the Quakers in 1673. Upon the sale, New Jersey was divided in West Jersey & East Jersey. However, by 1702, the two divisions were united as the royal colony of New Jersey.

The Charter or Fundamental Laws, of West New Jersey, Agreed Upon - 1676

That the common law or fundamental rights and priviledges of West New Jersey, are individually agreed upon by the Proprietors and freeholders thereof, to be the foundation of the government, which is not to be altered by the Legislative authority, or free Assembly hereafter mentioned and constituted, but that the said Legislative authority is constituted according to these fundamentals, to make such laws as agree with, and maintain the said fundamentals, and to make no laws that in the least contradict, differ or vary from the said fundamentals, under what presence or alligation soever.

But if it so happen that any person or persons of the said General Assembly, shall therein designedly, willfully, and maliciously, move or excite any to move, any matter or thing whatsoever, that contradicts or any ways subverts, any fundamentals of the said laws in the Constitution of the government of this Province, it being proved by seven honest and reputable persons, he or they shall be proceeded against as traitors to the said government.

That these Concessions, law or great charter of fundamentals, be recorded in a fair table. in the Assembly House, and that they be read at the beginning and dissolving of every general free Assembly: And it is further agreed and ordained, that the said Concessions, common law, or great charter of fundamentals, be writ in fair tables in every common hall of justice within this Province, and that they be read in solemn manner four times every year, in the presence of the people, by the chief magistrates of those places.

That no men, nor number of men upon earth, hath power or authority to rule over men's consciences in religious matters, therefore it is consented, agreed and ordained, that no person or persons whatsoever within the said Province, at any time or times hereafter, shall be any ways upon any presence whatsoever, called in question, or in the least punished or hurt, either in person, estate, or priviledge, for the sake of his opinion, judgment, faith or worship towards God in matters of religion. But that all and every such person, and persons may from time to time, and at all times, freely and fully have, and enjoy his and their judgments, and the exercises of their consciences in matters of religious worship throughout all the said Province.

That no Proprietor, freeholder or inhabitant of the said Province of West New Jersey, shall be deprived or condemned of life, limb, liberty, estate, property or any ways hurt in his or their privileges, freedoms or franchises, upon any account whatsoever, without a due tryal, and Judgment passed by twelve good and lawful men of his neighborhood first had: And that in all causes to be tryed, and in all tryals, the person or persons, arraigned may except against any of the said neghborhood, without any reason rendered, (not exceeding thirty five) and in case of any valid reason alleged, against every person nominated for that service.

And that no Proprietor, freeholder, freedenison, or inhabitant in the said Province, shall be attached, arrested, or imprisoned for or by reason of any debt, duty, or thing whatsoever (cases felonious criminal and treasonable Excepted) before he or she have personal summon or summons, left at his or her last dwelling place, if in the said Province, by some legal authorized officer, constituted and appointed for that purpose, to appear in some court of judicature for the said Province, with a full and plain account of the cause or thing in demand, as also the name or names of the person or persons at whose suit, and the court where he is to appear, and that he hath at least fourteen days time to appear and answer the said suit, if he or she live or inhabit within forty miles English of the said court, and if at a further distance, to have for every twenty miles, two days time more, for his and their appearance, and so proportionately for a larger distance of place.

That upon the recording of the summons, and non-appearance of such person and persons, a writ or attachment shall or may be issued out to arrest, or attach the person or persons of such defaulters, to cause his or their appearance in such court, returnable at a day certain to answer the penalty or penalties, in such suit or suits; and if he or they shall be condemned by legal tryal and judgment, the penalty or penalties shall be paid and satisfied out of his or their real or personal estate so condemned, or cause the person or persons so condemned, to lie in execution till satisfaction of the debt and damages be made. Provided always, if such person or persons so condemned, shall pay and deliver such estate, goods, and chattles which he or any other person hath for his or their use, and shall solemnly declare and aver, that he or they have not any further estate, goods or chattles wheresoever to satisfy the person or persons, (at whose suit, he or they are condemned) their respective judgments, and shall also bring and produce three other persons as compurgators, who are well known and of honest reputation, and approved of by the commissioners of that division, where they dwell or inhabit, which shall in such open court, likewise solemnly declare and aver, that they believe in their consciences, such person and persons so condemned, have not werewith further to pay the said condemnation or condemnations, he or they shall be thence forthwith discharged from their said imprisonment, any law or custom to the contrary thereof, heretofore in the said Province, notwithstanding. And upon such summons and default of appearance, recorded as aforesaid, and such person and persons not appearing within forty days after, it shall and may be lawful for such court of judicature to proceed to tryal, of twelve lawful men to judgment, against such defaulters, and issue forth execution against his or their estate, real and personal, to satisfy such penalty or penalties, to such debt and damages so recorded, as far as it shall or may extend.

That there shall be in every court, three justices or commissioners, who shall sit with the twelve men of the neighborhood, with them to hear all causes, and to assist the said twelve men of the neighborhood in case of law; and that they the said justices shall pronounce such judgment as they shall receive from, and be directed by the said twelve men in whom only the judgment resides, and not otherwise.

And in case of their neglect and refusal, that then one of the twelve, by consent of the rest, pronounce their own judgment as the justices should have done.

And if any judgment shall be past, in any case civil or criminal, by any other person or persons, or ally other way, then according to this agreement and appointment, it shall be held null and void, and such person or persons so presuming to give judgment, shall be severely fin'd, and upon complaint made to the General Assembly, by them be declared incapable of any office or trust within this Province.

That in all matters and causes, civil and criminal, proof is to be made by the solemn and plain averment, of at least two honest and reputable persons; arid in case that any person or persons shall bear false witness, and bring in his or their evidence, contrary to the truth of the matter as shall be made plainly to appear, that then every such person or persons, shall in civil causes, suffer the penalty which would be due to the person or persons he or they bear witness against. And in case any witness or witnesses, on the behalf of any person or persons, indicted in a criminal cause, shall be found to have borne false witness for fear, gain, malice or favour, and thereby hinder the due execution of the law, and deprive the suffering person or persons of their due satisfaction, that then and in all other cases of false evidence, such person or persons, shall be first severely fined, and next that he or they shall forever be disabled from being admitted in evidence, or into any public office, employment, or service within this Province.

That all and every person and persons whatsoever, who shall prosecute or prefer any indictment or information against others for any personal injuries, or matter criminal, or shall prosecute for any other criminal cause, (treason, murther, and felony, only excepted) shall and may be master of his own process, and 1lave full power to forgive and remit the person or persons offending against him or herself only, as well before as after judgment, and condemnation, and pardon and remit the sentence, fine and punishment of the person or persons offending, be it personal or other whatsoever.

That the tryals of all causes, civil and criminal, shall be heard and decided by the virdict or judgment of twelve honest men of the neighborhood, only to be summoned and presented by the sheriff of that division, or propriety where the fact or trespass is committed; and that no person or persons shall he compelled to fee any attorney or councillor to plead his cause, but that all persons have free liberty to plead his own cause, if he please: And that no person nor persons imprisoned upon any account whatsoever within this Province, shall be obliged to pay any fees to the officer or officers of the said prison, either when committed or discharged.

That in all publick courts of justice for tryals of causes, civil or criminal, any person or persons, inhabitants of the said Province may freely come into, and attend the said courts, and hear and be present, at all or any such tryals as shall be there had or passed, that justice may not be done in a corner nor in any covert manner, being intended and resolved, by the help of the Lord, and by these our Concessions and Fundamentals, that all and every person and persons inhabiting the said Province, shall, as far as in us lies, be free from oppression and slavery.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Francis Daniel Pastorius, founder of German Town, Pennsylvania, to his father in Germany, 1698

Letter of Francis Daniel Pastorius, founder of German Town, Pennsylvania, to his father in Germany, 1698 (excerpts)

Francis Daniel Pastorius, founder of the first German settlement in Pennsylvania (1683), wrote several accounts of the colony to persuade his countrymen to emigrate. "It is truly a matter for amazement," he exclaims, "how quickly, by the blessing of God, it advances, and from day to day grows perceptibly." In this letter, he answers five questions about German Town and Pennsylvania
submitted to him by his father.

 I received in proper condition, on April 25, 1698, my honored father’s latest, of August 15, and I
was greatly rejoiced by the sight of his dear handwriting. But to answer his questions submitted, I would wish that my pen could reach down to the uttermost depth of my soul, for so should I do the same with more satisfaction than is the case now. Nevertheless I do not doubt that my honored father will supply by his keen apprehension that which is not perfectly expressed on this paper:

1. Now as to the first question, concerning the ordering of the civil government.
 . . . In my German city, Germanton, there is an entirely different condition of things [i.e., different
government than that in Philadelphia]. For, by virtue of the franchise obtained from William Penn, this town has its own court, its own burgomaster and council, together with the necessary officials, and wellregulated town laws, council regulations, and a town seal. The inhabitants of this city are for the most part tradespeople, such as cloth, fustian, and linen weavers, tailors, shoemakers, locksmiths, carpenters, who however at the same time are also occupied with the cultivation of the soil and the raising of cattle.  This region would be sufficient to maintain twice as many inhabitants as are now actually there.  This town lies two hours’ distance from Philadelphia, and includes not only six thousand acres (morgen) by the survey, but twelve thousand morgen of land have also been assigned to us by William Penn for the establishing of some villages. As to the taxation and tribute of the subjects, in this country, it is treated as it is with the English nation, where neither the king himself nor his envoys, bailiffs, nor governors may lay any kind of burden or tax upon the subjects, unless those subjects themselves have first voluntarily resolved and consented to give a specified amount, and, according to their fundamental laws, no tax may remain in force for longer than a single year.

2. To come to my honored father’s second question. What form of government have the
 so-called savages and half-naked people? Whether they become citizens and intermarry
 with the Christians? Again, whether their children also associate with the Christian
 children and they play with one another, etc.?
 It may be stated in reply, that, so far as I have yet gone about among them, I have found them
reasonable people and capable of understanding good teaching and manners, who give evidence of an inward devotion to God, and in fact show themselves much more desirous of a knowledge of God than are many with you who teach Christianity by words from the pulpit, but belie the same through their ungodly lives, and therefore, in yonder great Day of Judgment, will be put to shame by these heathen.  We Christians in Germanton and Philadelphia have no longer the opportunity to associate with them, in view of the fact that their savage kings have accepted a sum of money from William Penn, and, together with their people, have withdrawn very far away from us, into the wild forest, where, after their hereditary custom, they support themselves by the chase, shooting birds and game, and also by catching fish, and dwell only in huts made of bushes and trees drawn together. They carry on no cattle-breeding whatever, and cultivate no field or garden; accordingly they bring very little else to the Christians to market than the pelts, the skins of animals, and the birds which they have shot, and fishes, nor do they associate much with the Christians; and certainly no mutual marriage-contract between us and them has yet taken place. They exchange their elk and deer-skins, beaver, marten, and turkeys, ordinarily, for powder, lead, blankets, and brandy, together with other sweet drinks.  In the business of our German Company, however, we now use in trade Spanish and English coins, as also the Dutch thalers; with this difference only, that that which is worth four shillings on the other side of the sea, passes for five here.

3. Concerning the third question: How our divine worship is regulated and constituted in this place?
 The answer is that, as experience testifies that by the coercion of conscience nothing else than
hypocrites and word Christians are made, of whom almost the entire world is now full, we have therefore found it desirable to grant freedom of conscience, so that each serves God according to his best understanding, and may believe whatever he is able to believe. “we have therefore found it desirable to grant freedom of conscience, so that each serves God to his best understanding”  It is certain, once for all, that there is only one single undoubted Truth. Sects however are very numerous, and each sectarian presumes to know the nearest and most direct way to Heaven, and to be able to point it out to others, though nevertheless there is surely no more than a single One Who on the basis of truth has said: I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. . . .

4. Concerning the fourth question: How our German Company and Brotherhood is at present constituted? 
It should be stated that this same company was started by some pious and God-fearing persons, not so much for the sake of worldly gain, but rather to have a Pella or place of refuge for themselves and other upright people of their country, when the just God should pour out His cup of wrath over sinful Europe  With this intention they arranged to purchase from the proprietor, through me, about thirty thousand acres of land in this country, of which the third part is now cultivated, but two-thirds still lie waste.  The principal members are, by name : Doctor Jacob Schiitz, Jacobus von de Walle, Doctor Weilich, Daniel Behagel, Johann Lebrunn, Doctor Gerhard von Maastrich, the Syndic of Bremen, Doctor Johann Willhelm Peters of near Magdeburg, Balthasar Jabert of Lubeck, and Joannes  kembler, a preacher at the same place. Of these partners some were to have come over here to me and helped to bring the undertaking to the desired result, but up to this time that has not happened, because they fear the solitude and tediousness, to all of which I, thank God! am now well accustomed, and shall so remain accustomed until my happy end.

However, that the merciful God has so graciously preserved my honored father together with his
dear ones in this recent devastation of the French war, gives me occasion to extol His everlasting
goodness and fervently to beseech Him to protect you still further, with gentle fatherly care, from all chances of misfortune, but especially that He will bring us ever more and more into His holy fear and obedience, so that we may feel abhorrence to offend Him, and, on the contrary, may strive to fulfill His holy will with happy hearts. . . .

5. Concerning the fifth question: Whether William Penn, the proprietor of this country, is easy of access, and if one might address some lines of compliment to him.  It may be stated, that this worthy man is a good Christian, and consequently entirely averse to the idle compliments of the world. But he who wishes to exchange sensible and truthful words with him, either by mouth or by letter, will find him not only easy of access, but also prompt in reply, since he is, from his heart, sweet-natured, humble, and eager to serve all men. . . .

 . . . All must have an end, and therefore this letter also, in closing which I greet my honored father a thousand times, and kiss him (through the air) with the heart of a child, perhaps for the last time, and most trustingly commend you with us, and us with you, to the beneficent protecting and guiding hand of God; and I remain  My honored father’s  Truly dutiful son,
Philadelphia F[rancis]. D[aniel]. P[astorius]. 30 May 1698. 

Francis Daniel Pastorius, Circumstantial Geographical Description of the Lately Discovered Province of Pennsylvania, Situated in the Farthest Limits of America, in the Western World, 1700; in Narratives of Early Pennsylvania, West New Jersey, and Delaware, 1630-1707, ed. Albert Cook Myers (New York, Scribner’s, 1912), pp. 360-448; in series Original Narratives of Early American History, gen. ed. J. Franklin Jameson.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

The Rev. Mr. John Cotton on Anne Hutchinson & Local Economics. 1639.

(The Rev. Cotton, born, Derby, England, 1585. BA, Trinity College, Cambridge, 1602. Masters, Emmanuel College, 1606, BD, 1613. Fellow, Head Lecturer, Dean & Catechist, Emmanuel College. First Wife, Elizabeth Horrocks. Vicar, St. Botolph's Parish Church, Boston, Lincolnshire. Arrived New England, 1633. Second Wife, Sarah (Hawkredd-Story) Children: Seaborn, John (Jr), Elizabeth, Maria. FCB, 1633-52. Died in Boston, 1652, age 67.)

The Rev. John Cotton (1584-1652) of Boston was the leading Puritan minister in the early decades of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He is known for his initial defense of Anne Hutchinson.  During his 1st 10 years in the colonies, he actually had a prominent part in the 2 controversies which rocked New England to its core, the exile of Roger Williams and the heresies of Anne Hutchinson. 

First, he was at the center of the antinomian controversy that swirled around Anne Hutchinson. Hutchinson, who had followed Cotton to the New World and to Boston, claimed to adhere to Cotton’s emphasis on the primary of grace and divine sovereignty in conversion, and accused all the other New England ministers (except her newly arrived brother-­in-­law, John Wheelwright) of preaching a covenant of works rather than the covenant of grace. Enthusiastically embracing the doctrine of immediate revelation, she asserted that assurance of faith is experienced by inner feelings of the immediate testimony of the Holy Spirit rather than the evidence of good works. She downplayed the need for sanctification and for the law as a rule of life. 

The gifted woman attracted many believers into her fellowship and managed to cause friction between Cotton and other ministers, even to the point that some of the ministers began to question Cotton’s orthodoxy. Cotton initially seemed to support Hutchinson and a few of her ideas, particularly a clerical overemphasis on sanctification as evidence of election. Cotton embraced both of these doctrines, but he felt uncomfortable with the amount of emphasis they were receiving among the New England clergy.  

Hutchinson’s views were gradually brought out into the open, however, and when she openly lapsed into mysticism, Cotton sided with the other ministers against her.  Cotton’s fellow clergymen presented him with a list of questions to clarify his views in relation to Hutchinson, after which the synod detailed a list of Hutchinson errors. The controversy ended dramatically with Hutchinson’s trial and conviction both by the colony’s general court and by the Boston church, which led to her banishment from the colony. 

The Williams controversy dealt with the relation between church and state. Magistrates are God's deputies and their power goes as far as life and death, said Cotton. Roger Williams declared that a man's religious loyalties are untouchable by civil power. 

In the document below, Gov. John Winthrop recorded in his Journal what Cotton's conclusions were in a sermon about fair local economic behavior. 

Mo. 9 [Sept. 1639]
At a general court holden at Boston, great complaint was made of the oppression used in the country in sale of foreign commodities; and Mr. Robert Keaine, who kept a shop in Boston, was notoriously above others observed and complained of, and, being convented, he was charged with many particulars; in some, for taking above six-pence in the shilling profit; in some above eight-pence; and, in some small things, above two for one; and being hereof convict, (as appears by the records,) he was fined £200, which came thus to pass: The deputies considered, apart, of his fine, and set it at £200; the magistrates agreed but to £100. So, the court being divided, at length it was agreed, that his fine should be £200, but he should pay but £100, and the other should be respited to the further consideration of the next general court. By this means the magistrates and deputies were, brought to an accord, which otherwise had not been likely, and so much trouble might have grown, and the offender escaped censure. For the cry of the country was so great against oppression, and some of the elders and magistrates had declared such detestation of the corrupt practice of this man (which was the more observable, because he was wealthy and sold dearer than most other tradesmen, and for that he was of ill report for the like covetous practice in England, that incensed the deputies very much against him). And sure the course was very evil, especial circumstances considered: 1. He being an ancient professor of the gospel: 2. A man of eminent parts: 3. Wealthy, and having but one child: 4. Having come over for conscience' sake, and for the advancement of the gospel here: 5. Having been formerly dealt with and admonished, both by private friends and also by some of the magistrates and elders, and having promised reformation; being a member of a church and commonwealth now in their infancy, and under the curious observation of all churches and civil states in the world. These added much aggravation to his sin in the judgment of all men of understanding. Yet most of the magistrates (though they discerned of the offence clothed with all these circumstances) would have been more moderate in their censure: 1. Because there was no law in force to limit or direct men in point of profit in their trade. 2. Because it is the common practice, in all countries, for men to make use of advantages for raising the prices of their commodities. 3. Because (though he were chiefly aimed at, yet) he was not alone in this fault. 4. Because all men through the country, in sale of cattle, corn, labor, etc., were guilty of the like excess in prices. 5. Because a certain rule could not be found out for an equal rate between buyer and seller, though much labor had been bestowed in it, and divers laws had been made, which, upon experience, were repealed, as being neither safe nor equal. Lastly, and especially, because the law of God appoints no other punishment but double restitution; and, in some cases, as where the offender freely confesseth, and brings his offering, onlv half added to the principal. After the court had censured him, the church of Boston called him also in question, where (as before he had done in the court) he did, with tears, acknowledge and bewail his covetous and corrupt heart, yet making some excuse for many of the particulars, which were charged upon him, as partly by pretence of ignorance of the true price of some wares, and chiefly by being misled by some false principles, as 1. That, if a man lost in one commodity, he might help himself in the price of another. 2. That if, through want of skill or other occasion, his commodity cost him more than the price of the market in England, he might then sell it for more than the price of the market in New England, etc. These things gave occasion to Mr. Cotton, in his public exercise the next lecture day, to lay open the error of such false principles, and to give some rules of direction in the case."

Some false principles were these: 
1. That a man might sell as dear as he can, and buv as cheap as he can.

2. If a man lose by casualty of sea, etc., in some of his commodities, he may raise the price of the rest.

3. That he may sell as he bought, though he paid too dear, etc., and though the commodity be fallen, etc.

4. That, as a man may take the advantage of his own skill or ability, so he may of another's ignorance or necessity.

5. Where one gives time for payment, he is to take like recompense of one as of another.

The rules for trading-, were these:
1. A man may not sell above the current price, i.e., such a price as is usual in the time and place, and as another (who knows the worth of the commodity) would give for it, if he had occasion to use it: as that is called current money, which every man will take, etc.

2. When a man loseth in his commodity for want of skill, etc., he must look at it as his own fault or cross, and therefore must not lay it upon another.

3. Where a man loseth by casualty of sea, or, etc., it is a loss cast upon himself by providence, and he may not ease himself of it by casting it upon another; for so a man should seem to provide against all providences, etc., that he should never lose; but where there is a scarcity of the commodity, there men may raise their price; for now it is a hand of God upon the commodity, and not the person.

4. A man may not ask any more for his commodity than his selling price, as Ephron to Abraham, the land is worth thus much. 

Keayne was censured by his church in Boston (in addition to the fine imposed by the General Court). Fourteen years later (1653), Keayne wrote a 158-page justification for his actions as his last will and testament.

Source: John Winthrop, The History of New England from 1630 to 1649

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Portrait of an 17C Boston British-American Girl

The Freake Limner (American Colonial Era Painter, active 1670-c 1680) Margaret Gibbs of Boston c 1670 Age 7.

Not long after Boston was settled, a wealthy merchant named Robert Gibbs commissioned three paintings of his young children. They are among the finest of the few extant portraits made in New England in the seventeenth century. The artist who painted Margaret Gibbs, the eldest at seven, and her brothers—Robert, aged four and a half, and Henry, aged one and a half (Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences, Charleston, West Virginia)—is unknown. 

However, it is thought that the same artist created likenesses of John and Elizabeth Freake and their baby Mary (in two portraits now at the Worcester Art Museum, Massachusetts) in 1674. The artist is thus known as the Freake-Gibbs painter and is considered one of the most skilled portraitists of the seventeenth-century colonies, possessing an exceptional sense of design and an admirable feel for color. Probably trained in provincial England, the Freake-Gibbs painter worked in a typically English flat style derived from Elizabethan art, which emphasized color and pattern. As was customary for portraits at the time, the children, such as Margaret, appear like adults in pose and manner.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

17C & 18C Male & Female Slaves & Rice Cultivation in South Carolina

Salves and Rice Cultivation in Georgetown County, South Carolina

The intricate steps involved in planting, cultivating, harvesting, and preparing rice required an immense labor force. Planters stated that African slaves were particularly suited to provide that labor force for two reasons: 1) rice was grown in some areas of Africa and there was evidence that some slaves were familiar with the methods of cultivation practiced there, and 2) it was thought that the slaves, by virtue of their racial characteristics, were better able than white laborers to withstand the extreme heat and humidity of the tidal swamps and therefore would be more productive workers. Rice cultivation resulted in a dramatic increase in the numbers of slaves owned by South Carolinians before the American Revolution.
In 1680, four-fifths of South Carolina's population was white. However, black slaves outnumbered white residents two to one in 1720, and by 1740, slaves constituted nearly 90% of the population. Much of the growing slave population came from the West Coast of Africa, a region that had gained notoriety by exporting its large rice surpluses.

While there is no consensus on how rice first reached the American coast, there is much debate over the contribution of African-born slaves to its successful cultivation. New research demonstrates that the European planters lacked prior knowledge of rice farming, while uncovering the long history of skilled rice cultivation in West Africa. Furthermore, Islamic, Portuguese, and Dutch traders all encountered and documented extensive rice cultivation in Africa before South Carolina was even settled.
At first rice was treated like other crops, it was planted in fields and watered by rains. By the mid-18th century, planters used inland swamps to grow rice by accumulating water in a reservoir, then releasing the stored water as needed during the growing season for weeding and watering. Similarly, prior records detail Africans controlling springs and run off with earthen embankments for the same purposes of weeding and watering.

Soon after this method emerged, a second evolution occurred, this time to tidewater production, a technique that had already been perfected by West African farmers. Instead of depending upon a reservoir of water, this technique required skilled manipulation of tidal flows and saline-freshwater interactions to attain high levels of productivity in the floodplains of rivers and streams. Changing from inland swamp cultivation to tidal production created higher expectations from plantation owners. Slaves became responsible for five acres of rice, three more than had been possible previously. Because of this new evidence coming to light, some historians contend that African-born slaves provided critical expertise in the cultivation of rice in South Carolina. The detailed and extensive rice cultivating systems increased demand for slave imports in South Carolina, doubling the slave population between 1750 and 1770. These slaves faced long days of backbreaking work and difficult tasks.
A slave's daily work on an antebellum rice plantation was divided into tasks. Each field hand was given a task--usually nine or ten hours' hard work--or a fraction of a task to complete each day according to his or her ability. The tasks were assigned by the driver, a slave appointed to supervise the daily work of the field hands. The driver held the most important position in the slave hierarchy on the rice plantation. His job was second only to the overseer in terms of responsibility.
The driver's job was particularly important because each step of the planting, growing, and harvesting process was crucial to the success or failure of the year's crop. In the spring, the land was harrowed and plowed in preparation for planting. Around the first of April rice seed was sown by hand using a small hoe. The first flooding of the field, the sprout flow, barely covered the seed and lasted only until the grain sprouted. The water was then drained to keep the delicate sprout from floating away, and the rice was allowed to grow for approximately three weeks. Around the first of May any grass growing among the sprouts was weeded by hoe and the field was flooded by the point flow to cover just the tops of the plants. After a few days the water was gradually drained until it half covered the plants. It remained at this level--the long flow--until the rice was strong enough to stand. More weeding followed and then the water was slowly drained completely off the field. The ground around the plants was hoed to encourage the growth and extension of the roots. After about three weeks, the field was hoed and weeded again, at which time--around mid-June or the first of July--the lay-by flow was added and gradually increased until the plants were completely submerged. This flow was kept on the field for about two months with fresh water periodically introduced and stagnant water run off by the tidal flow through small floodgates called trunks.
Rice planted in the first week of April was usually ready for harvesting by the first week of September. After the lay-by flow was withdrawn, just before the grain was fully ripe, the rice was cut with large sickles known as rice hooks and laid on the ground on the stubble. After it had dried overnight, the cut rice was tied into sheaves and taken by flatboat to the threshing yard. In the colonial period, threshing was most often done by beating the stalks with flails. This process was simple but time consuming. If the rice was to be sold rough, it was then shipped to the agent; otherwise, it was husked and cleaned--again, usually by hand. By the mid-19th century most of the larger plantations operated pounding and/or threshing mills which were driven by steam engines. After the rice had been prepared, it was packed in barrels, or tierces, and shipped to the market at Georgetown or Charleston. In 1850 a rice plantation in the Georgetown County area produced an average yield of 300,000 pounds of rice. The yield had increased to 500,000 pounds by 1860.

See National Park Service

Saturday, October 5, 2019

17C New England - Ships, Rum, & Slaves

The northeastern New England colonies had generally thin, stony soil, relatively little level land, and long winters, making it difficult to make a living from farming. Turning to other pursuits, the New Englanders harnessed water power and established grain mills and sawmills. Good stands of timber encouraged shipbuilding. Excellent harbors promoted trade, and the sea became a source of great wealth. In Massachusetts, the cod industry alone quickly furnished a basis for prosperity.

With the bulk of the early settlers living in villages and towns around the harbors, many New Englanders carried on some kind of trade or business. Common pastureland and woodlots served the needs of townspeople, both men & women, who worked small farms nearby. Compactness made possible the village school, the village church and the village or town hall, where citizens met to discuss matters of common interest.

The Massachusetts Bay Colony continued to expand its commerce. From the middle of the 17th century onward it grew prosperous, and Boston became one of America's greatest ports.

Oak timber for ships' hulls, tall pines for spars and masts, and pitch for the seams of ships came from the Northeastern forests. Building their own vessels and sailing them to ports all over the world, the shipmasters of Massachusetts Bay laid the foundation for a trade that was to grow steadily in importance. By the end of the colonial period, one-third of all vessels under the British flag were built in New England. Fish, ship's stores and wooden ware swelled the exports.

New England shippers soon discovered, too, that rum and male & female slaves were profitable commodities. One of the most enterprising -- if unsavory -- trading practices of the time was the so-called "triangular trade." Merchants and shippers would purchase slaves off the coast of Africa for New England rum, then sell the slaves in the West Indies where they would buy molasses to bring home for sale to the local rum producers.

For more, see Outline of U.S. History, a publication of the U.S. Department of State from the website of the United States Information Agency, where it was published in November 2005.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

The Unhealthy 17C Chesapeake - Desperate for Women

Life in the American wilderness was nasty, brutish, and short for the earliest Chesapeake settlers; malaria, dysentery, and typhoid took a cruel toll, cutting ten years off the life expectancy of newcomers (half of people born in early Virginia/Maryland did not survive to twenty).

The disease-ravaged settlements of the Chesapeake grew only slowly in the seventeenth century, mostly through fresh immigration from England; the majority of immigrants were single men in their late teens and early twenties, and most perished soon after arrival. And most had left their women behind, when they set sail for the new world.
Surviving males competed for the affections of the extremely scarce women, whom they outnumbered nearly six to one in 1650. Although they were still outnumbered by three to two at the end of the century, eligible women did not remain single for long. Families were both few and fragile in this ferocious environment; most men could not find mates and most marriages were destroyed by the death of a partner within seven years. Weak family ties showed in many pregnancies among unmarried young girls (in one area, a third of those married were pregnant).
Yet despite these hardships, the Chesapeake colonies struggled on; the native-born inhabitants eventually acquired immunity to the killer diseases that had ravaged the original immigrants. The presence of more women allowed more families to form and by the end of the seventeenth century, the white population of the Chesapeake was growing on the basis of its own birthrate.  At the beginning of the eighteenth century, Virginia, with some 59,000 people was the most populous colony and Maryland, with about 30,000 people was the third largest colony (after the Massachusetts colony).

Sunday, September 29, 2019

1698 Pregnant Women & Destructive Lawyers & Physicians - New Jersey, & Pennsylvania

Gabriel Thomas, An Account of 1698 Jersey & Pennsylvania

Gabriel Thomas was a colonist in West Jersey in the late 17th century. The following is his description of the colonies of West Jersey and Pennsylvania. Of particular interest is his description of women in Pennsylania, and running a close 2nd is his opinion of lawyers and doctors.

West Jersey:

West Jersey lies between the Latitude of Forty, and Forty two Degrees; having the Main Sea on the South, East Jersey on the North, Hudson's Bay on the East, and Pensilvania on the West.

The first Inhabitants of this Countrey were the Indians, being supposed to be part of the Ten dispersed Tribes of Israel; for indeed they are very like the Jews in their Persons, and something in their Practices and Worship...

The Dutch and Sweeds inform us that they are greatly decreased in number to what they were when they came first into this Country: And the Indians themselves say, that two of them die to every one Christian that comes in here...

The next who came there were the Dutch - which was between Forty and Fifty Years ago, though they made but very little Improvement, only built Two or Three Houses, upon an Island (called since by the English) Stacies-Island; and it remained so, till about the Year 1675. in which King Charles the Second (or the Duke of York, his Brother) gave the Countrey to Edward Billing, in whose time, one Major Fenwick went thither, with some others, and built a pretty Town, and call'd it Salam ; and in a few Years after a Ship from London, and another from Hull, sail'd thither with more People, who went higher up into the Countrey, and built there a Town, and called it Burlington, which is now the chiefest Town in that Countrey, though Salam is the ancientest; and a fine Market-Town it is, having several Fairs kept yearly in it; likewise well furnished with good store of most Necessaries for humane Support, as Bread, Beer, Beef, and Pork; as also Butter and Cheese, of which they freight several Vessels, and send them to Barbadoes, and other Islands.

There are very many fine stately Brick-Houses built, and a commodious Dock for Vessels to come in...

A Ship of Four Hundred Tuns may Sail up to this Town in the River Delaware ; for I my self have been on Board a Ship of that Burthen there : And several fine Ships and Vessels (besides Governour Cox's own great Ship) have been built there.

There are also two handsom Bridges to come in and out of the Town, called London and York-Bridges. The Town stands in an Island, the Tide flowing quite round about it. There are Water-Men who constantly Ply their Wherry [Ferry] Boats from that Town to the City of Philadelphia in Pensilvania, and to other places. . . .

There are several Meetings of Worship in this Country, viz. the Presbyterians, Quakers, and Anabaplists: Their Privilege as to Matter of Law, is the same both for Plaintiff and Defendant, as in England.

The Air is very Clear, Sweet and Wholesome; in the depth of Winter it is something colder, but as much hotter in the heighth of Summer than in England...

The Countrey inhabited by the Christians is divided into four Parts or Counties, tho' the Tenth part of it is not yet peopled; 'Tis far cheaper living there for Eatables than here in England; and either Men or Women that have a Trade, or are Labourers, can, if industrious, get near three times the Wages they commonly earn in EngIand.


... I must needs say, even the present Encouragements are very great and inviting, for Poor People (both Men and Women) of all kinds, can here get three times the Wages for their Labour they can in England or Wales.

I shall instance a few, which may serve... The first was a Black-Smith (my next Neighbour), who himself and one Negro Man he had, got Fifty Shillings in one Day, by working up a Hundred Pound Weight of Iron, which at Six Pence per Pound (and that is the common Price in that Countrey) amounts to that Summ.

And for Carpenters, both House and Ship, Brick-layers, Masons, either of these Trades-Men, will get between Five and Six Shillings every Day constantly.

As to Journey-Men Shoe-Makers, they have Two Shillings per Pair both for Men and Womens Shoes: And Journey-Men Taylors have Twelve Shillings per Week and their Diet. . .

The Rule for the Coopers I have almost forgot; but this I can affirm of some who went from Bristol (as their Neighbours report), that could hardly get their Livelihoods there, are now reckon'd in Pensilvania by a modest Comptation to be worth some Hundreds (if not thousands) of Pounds...

Of Lawyers and Physicians I shall say nothing, because this Countrey is very Peaceable and Healthy; long may it so continue and never have occasion for the Tongue of the one, nor the Pen of the other, both equally destructive to Mens Estates and Lives; besides forsooth, they, Hang-Man like, have a License to Murder and make Mischief.

Labouring-Men have commonly here, between 14 and 15 Pounds a Year, and their Meat, Drink, Washing and Lodging; and by the Day their Wages is generally between Eighteen Pence and a Half a Crown, and Diet also; But in Harvest they have usually between Three and Four Shillings each Day, and Diet.

The Maid Servants Wages is commonly betwixt Six and Ten Pounds per Annum, with very good Accommodation. And for the Women who get their Livelihood by their own Industry, their Labour is very dear...

Corn and Flesh, and what else serves Man for Drink, Food and Rayment, is much cheaper here than in England, or elsewhere; but the chief reason why Wages of Servants of all sorts is much higher here than there, arises from the great Fertility and Produce of the Place; besides, if these large Stipends were refused them, they would quickly set up for themselves, for they can have Provision very cheap, and Land for a very small matter, or next to nothing in comparison of the Purchase of Lands in England; and the Farmers there, can better afford to give that great Wages than the Farmers in England can, for several Reasons very obvious.

As First, their Land costs them (as I said but just now) little or nothing in comparison, of which the Farmers commonly will get twice the encrease of Corn for every Bushel they sow, that the Farmers in England can from the richest Land they have.

In the Second place, they have constantly good price for their Corn, by reason of the great and quick vent [trade] into Barbadoes and other Islands; through which means Silver is become more plentiful than here in England, considering the Number of People, and that causes a quick Trade for both Corn and Cattle; and that is the reason that Corn differs now from the Price formerly, else it would be at half the Price it was at then; for a Brother of mine (to my own particular knowledge) sold within the compass of one Week, about One Hundred and Twenty fat Beasts, most of them good handsom large Oxen.

Thirdly, They pay no Tithes, and their Taxes are inconsiderable; the Place is free for all Persuasions, in a Sober and Civil way; for the Church of England and the Quakers bear equal Share in the Government. They live Friendly and Well together; there is no Persecution for Religion, nor ever like to be; 'tis this that knocks all Commerce on the Head, together with high Imposts, strict Laws, and cramping Orders. Before I end this Paragraph, I shall add another Reason why Womens Wages are so exorbitant; they are not yet very numerous, which makes them stand upon high Terms for their several Services...

Reader, what I have here written, is not a Fiction, Flam, Whim, or any sinister Design, either to impose upon the Ignorant, or Credulous, or to curry Favour with the Rich and Mighty, but in meer Pity and pure Compassion to the Numbers of Poor Labouring Men, Women, and Children in England, half starv'd, visible in their meagre looks, that are continually wandering up and down looking for Employment without finding any, who here need not lie idle a moment, nor want due Encouragement or Reward for their Work, much less Vagabond or Drone it about.

Here are no Beggars to be seen (it is a Shame and Disgrace to the State that there are so many in England) nor indeed have any here the least Occasion or Temptation to take up that Scandalous Lazy Life.

Jealousie among Men is here very rare, and Barrenness among Women hardly to be heard of, nor are old Maids to be met with; for all commonly Marry before they are Twenty Years of Age, and seldom any young Married Women but hath a Child in her Belly, or one upon her Lap.

See: Gabriel Thomas, An Historical Description of the Province and Country of West-New-Jersey in America. London, 1698

Saturday, September 28, 2019

1698 Puritan leader Cotton Mather (1663-1728) on Native Americans in The Story of Squanto

Cotton Mather 1663-1728

"The Story of Squanto" from 1698 Magnalia Christi Americana by Cotton Mather

A most wicked shipmaster being on this coast a few years before, had wickedly spirited away more than twenty Indians; whom having enticed them aboard, he presently stowed them under hatches, and carried them away to the Streights, where he sold as many of them as he could for Slaves. This avaritious and pernicious felony laid the foundation for grievous annoyances to all the English endeavors of settlements, especially in the Northern parts of the land for several years ensuing. The Indians would never forget or forgive this injury. . .
But our good God so ordered it, that one of the stolen Indians, called Squanto, had escaped out of Spain into England; where he lived with one Mr. Slany, from whom he had found a way to return unto his own country, being brought back by one Mr. Dermer, about half a year before our honest Plymotheans were cast upon this continent. This Indian having received much kindness from the English, who generally condemned the man that first betrayed him, now made unto the English a return of that kindness: and being by his acquaintance with the English language, fitted with a conversation with them, he very kindly informed them what was the present condition of the Indians; instructed them in the way of ordering their Corn; and acquainted them with many other things, which it was necessary for them to understand.

But Squanto did for them a yet greater benefit than all this: for he brought Massasoit, the chief Sachim or Prince of the Indians within many miles, with some scores of his attenders, to make our people a kind visit; the issue of which visit was, that Massasoit not only entred  into a firm agreement of peace with the English, but also they declared and submitted themselves to be subjects of the King of England; into which peace and subjection many other Sachims quickly after came, in the most voluntary manner that could be expressed. It seems that this unlucky Squanto having told his countrymen how easie it was for so great a monarch as K. James to destroy them all, if they should hurt any of his people, he went on to terrifie them with a ridiculous rhodomantado, which they believed, that this people kept the plague in a cellar (where they kept their gunpowder), and could at their pleasure let it loose to make such havock among them, as the distemper had already made among them a few years before. . .

Moreover, our English guns, especially the great ones, made a formidable report among these ignorant Indians; and their hopes of enjoying some defence by the English, against the potent nation nation of Narraganset Indians, now at war with them, made them yet more to court our friendship. This very strange disposition of things, was extreamly advantageous to our distressed planters: and who sees not herein the special providence of the God who disposeth all?

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

1697 William Penn’s Plan of Union "for the good and benefitt of the whole"

In 1697, William Penn 1644-1718, founder of Pennsylvania, wrote one of the earliest plans for union of the colonies in North America.
William Penn 1644-1718

Plan of Union - A briefe and plaine scheam

How the English Colonies in the North parts of America Viz: Boston, Connecticut, Road Island, New York, New Jerseys, Pensilvania, Maryland, Virginia and Carolina may be made more usefull to the Crowne, and one anothers peace and safty with an universall concurrence. That the severall Collonies before mentioned, do meet once a year, and oftener if need be, dureing the Warr, and at least once in two yeares in times of Peace, by their Stated and Appointed Deputies, to Debate and Resolve if such Measures, as are most adviseable for their better understanding, and their Public Tranquility and Safety.

2.dly That in Order to [effect] it two persons, well Qualified, for Sence Sobriety and Substance, be appointed by each Province, as their Representatives or Deputies; which in the whole make the Congresse to Consist of Twenty persons.

3.dly That the Kings Commander, for that purpose specially appointed, shall have the Chaire, and Preside in the said Congresse.

4.thly That they shall meet as neer as Conveniently may be, to the most Centrall Colony for ease of the Deputies.

5.thly Since that may, in all Probability, be New Yorke, both because it is neer the Center of the Collonys, and for that it is a Fronteir, and in the Kings Nomination, the Governour of that Colony may therefore also be the Kings high Commander during the Session, after the manner of Scotland.

6.thly That their businesse shall be [to] hear and Adjust all matters of Complaint or difference Between Province and Province; as 1st where Persons quit their own province and go to another, that they may avoid their Just debts. Tho' able to Pay them. 2dly where Offenders fly Justice, or Justice cannot well be had upon such offenders in the Provinces that entertaine them. 3dly to prevent or cure Injuries in point of Commerce. 4thly To consider of wayes and meanes to support the Union and safety of these Provinces against the Publick Enemies; In which Congress the Quota's of Men and Charges will be much easier, and more equally sett, then it is Possible for any Establishment made here to do: for the Provinces knowing their own Condition and one anothers, can debate that matter with more freedome and satisfaction, and better adjust and ballance their affaires in all respects for their Common safety.

7.thly That in times of War the Kings high Commander shall be Genll or Cheife Commander of the severall Quota's upon service against the Common Enemy, as he shall be advised, for the good and benefitt of the whole.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

A 17C Mother's Possessions - Margrieta van Varick of New York (1695)

Reading a type of Mother's Day Card From 300 Years Ago
Text by Louise Mirrer from the Huffington Post May 6, 2011

From the British Museum Attributed to Jacob Hoefnagel from 1598

Mother's Day is a time when many of us bring out our keepsakes -- cherished family photos, carefully preserved letters, perhaps a ring or a necklace that's been handed down over the years. These are the tokens we use to construct our personal histories.

But Mother's Day is also a good time to look at other sorts of items -- the kind that allow us to construct the history of a whole society. We can piece together the lives led by many thousands of people, who were much like us and yet very different. And so I've been looking over a keepsake left behind by a Dutch wife and mother in 17th-century New York.

What do we know about Margrieta van Varick? That she kept a textile shop in Flatbush (now Brooklyn); that she died a widow in 1695, before reaching the age of 50; and that she left behind two daughters and two sons. They were Johanna (13), Marinus (9), Rudolphus (5) and Cornelia (3). She must have cared about them deeply, because we also know exactly what she bequeathed to them.

In addition to setting aside gifts for her children, which she wrapped in a napkin, Margrieta left behind 31 items of clothing or bedding suitable for babies or children, along with clothing and household linens meant for her daughters when they grew older. She directed that her holdings of unusual silk and cotton goods and exceptional silver and porcelain be passed on as heirlooms for future generations. And she ordered that half of her remaining goods be sold to provide funds for her orphaned children. We even know about the toys she carefully distributed among Johanna, Marinus, Rudolphus and Cornelia -- silver toys, which she had guarded for years.

How can we reconstruct so much of the texture of the life of a woman who died more than 300 years ago? How can we understand so precisely what motherhood meant to her? We can do it because the Library of the New-York Historical Society contains a remarkable inventory of her worldly possessions -- more than 2,000 items in all -- drawn up in 1696 so that her will could be fulfilled.

Before she settled in Flatbush with her husband, a Dutch Reformed minister, Margrieta had traveled the world, going as far as Malacca (now Malaysia). The global breadth of the possessions listed in her inventory is amazing. She had a China basin, an East India silver wrought box, Japanese lacquer boxes, thirteen ebony chairs, Indian textiles, cloth made in Holland. The world revealed to us by Margrieta's inventory has already been the subject of a doctoral dissertation by Marybeth De Filippis and an exhibition co-organized by the New-York Historical Society and the Bard Graduate Center.

And now, keeping with the Mother's Day theme, the Historical Society is preparing to use the Inventory to bring history to life for children, by re-creating the world of her youngest child, Cornelia.

In November 2011, the Historical Society will open its new DiMenna Children's History Museum, where young people will see the past through the eyes of seven historical figures -- including little Cornelia van Varick. A chest displayed in Cornelia's section of the main exhibition will show that the homes of New Yorkers in that era often did not have closets, so goods were stored in trunks. The Islamic markings on the chest will suggest that this item may have come from Southeast Asia, where Cornelia's parents had lived. A silver beaker on view will evoke the ministry of Cornelia's father in Brooklyn's Dutch Reformed Church. There will also be games to play in the exhibition. One such activity will involve needlework, to show that if you needed clothes, sheets or napkins in colonial times, you stitched them yourself, by hand. Another activity will be a game that reveals the presence in little Cornelia's life of global trade, in the form of the Spanish pesos, Arabian sultani, Dutch ducats, Massachusetts shillings and even Indian wampum that the child would have seen being used as money in her mother's shop.

As we celebrate Mother's Day, let's be grateful for the mementos we have from our own mothers, and for the love they keep alive. But let's be grateful as well that the life of a 17th-century mother can open up before our imaginations. We can read the inventory of Margrieta van Varick as a matter-of-fact list of old possessions -- or as a kind of Mother's Day card from three hundred years ago.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

First Licensed Female Colonial Printer - Dinah Nuthead of 1695 Maryland

In 1695, Dinah Nuthead inherited her husband's printing press in St. Mary's City, Maryland. St. Mary's was the capital of the state at that time, & her husband William acted as the government's printer. Less than a year later, Dinah moved the printing press to Annapolis; when the government relocated there, & she continued to run the printing business. She would become the first licensed female printer in the colonies.

Colonial governments showed little enthusiasm for printing presses & their owners in the 17th century. Printing in England was strictly controlled from the late 16th century; until the Licensing Act lapsed in 1695. The number of printers & the size of their shops was regulated. Authorities feared that printing might incite the populace.

Sir William Berkeley, royal governor of Virginia in 1671, wrote, 'I thank God there are no free schools nor printing and I hope we shall not have these hundred years; for learning has brought disobedience, and heresy and sects into the world, and printing has divulged them...God keep us from both.'

The instructions of King James II to Governor Edmund Andros of New England, gave him sweeping powers: "And forasmuch as great inconvenience may arise by the liberty of printing within our said territory under your government you are to provide by all necessary orders that no person keep any printing-press for printing, nor that any book, pamphlet or other matters whatsoever be printed without your especial leave and license first obtained."

John Buckner was the first man to use a printing press in Virginia. He employed William Nuthead to print the laws of the General Assembly under Governor Berkeley, beginning in June 8, 1680. On February 21, 1682-3, he was called before Berkeley's successor Lord Culpepper and the Council for not getting His Excellency's license. Thereupon he and his printer were ordered to give bond in £100 not to print anything thereafter until His Majesty's pleasure should be known. 
William Nuthead (1654-1695) moved to nearby Maryland & had a printing press up & running in St. Mary's City by 1686, when immigration records show him entering the province. After Massachusetts, Maryland was the 2nd colony to establish & sustain a printing press. Archaeologists have found pieces of the Nuthead's printing type on several sites in St. Mary's City. Nuthead's main business was in printing forms for the government.
After the Protestants gained power in Maryland in 1689, they hired Nuthead to print a political tract petitioning the English monarchs for legitimacy. A surviving copy in London, titled “The Declaration of the Reasons and Motives,” notes that it was “printed by William Nuthead at the City of St. Maries.”
At his death in 1695, his wife Dinah Nuthead continued operating the press; and when the capital moved to Annapolis later that same year, she moved with the government.

On May 5, 1696, more than a year after her husband's death, "Dinah Nuthead's Petition for License to Print was read & referred to the House that if they have nothing to Object her Paper might be Granted provided she give Security for the same."

Eight days later her petition was read to the delegates, & the House expressed its willingness that she should have leave to print if his Excellency pleased. Evidently the Governor offered no objection, for the next day 3 persons described as "Dinah Nuthead of Ann Arundell County Widow, Robert Carvile, and William Taylard of St. Maries County Gentn" gave bond to the Governor to the amount of 100 pounds for the good behavior of Dinah Nuthead in the operation of her press.

"Now the Condition of this Obligation is such that if the said Dinah Nuthead shall exercise and Imploy her printing press and letters to noe other use than for the printing of blank bills bonds writts warrants of Attorney Letters of Admrcon and other like blanks as above - sd nor Suffer any other person to make use thereof any otherwise than aforesd Unless by a particular Lycense from his Exncy the Governor first had and obtained And further shall save harmless and indempnifye his sd Exncy the Governor from any Damage that may hereafter Ensue by the said Dinah Nuthead misapplying or Suffering to be misapplyed the aforesd Printing press or letters otherwise than to the true intent & meaning before expressed, Then this Obligation to be Voyd or else to Remain in full force and Virtue."

This agreement for the protection of the Province against the evils of indiscriminate printing was signed by witnesses, by the 2 bondsmen, & by the Dinah Nuthead, who made her mark instead of signing her name to the document.

She had agreed "to print blanks, bills, bonds, writs, warrants of attorney, letters of administration and other necessary blanks useful for the public offices of this Province." And she had agreed to forfeit her license & her bond & go out of business; if she should print anything other than what the government specified. Since Dinah could not write, she probably would not act as compositor & set type with her own hands. She would supply the money & business acumen, leaving the mechanical aspects of operating a printing press to literate employes.

Sometime before December of 1700, Dinah Nuthead remarried widower Manus Deveron (1655-1700) of Anne Arundel County, who dying in that month left his estate to his own daughter Catherine, & to his children-in-law, that is his step-children, William & Susan Nuthead. His wife & executrix submitted her account to the county under the name of Dinah Devoran. In later years, Dinah married again to "Sebastian Oley of Annarund'l County a German born," as he was described in his act of naturalization of 1702.