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Pynchon, John (1626-1703) to Robert Livingston

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03107.00161 Author/Creator: Pynchon, John (1626-1703) Place Written: Springfield, Massachusetts Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 16 January 1689 Pagination: 2 p. : docket : address ; 28.6 x 18.1 cm

Summary of Content: Pynchon sends news of New England Governor [Edmund Andros's ] excursion to find Indians in Maine, Governor's non-return, leading to fears of his demise. Rumors are passed along about an invasionary fleet sailing from Holland to England carrying the Prince of O[range]. Pynchon hopes that the news of the Dutch invasion of England is untrue, as otherwise Europe would be covered by "yt Efusion of Ch[ris]tian Blood," as all parties would gain more if they were "uniting together agt ye the French who are not ye best Neighbors." He also sends news of a battle between the forces of Prince Louis XIV and the Turks, which forced the Turkish forces to leave Hungaria.

Background Information: John Pynchon (1626-1703) was the dominant merchant and trader in the Connecticut River Valley and controlled the economy of western Massachusetts for almost the entire second half of the 17th ...century. He lived in Springfield, a town founded by his father, and oversaw the establishment of the towns of Northampton, Hadley, Hatfield, Sunderland, and Deerfield. Robert Livingston the Elder (1654-1728) was a New York colonial official and first lord of Livingston Manor. He was born in Scotland and moved to Holland after a religious dispute. In 1673, he moved to Albany where he became wealthy in the fur trade and then, obtained a patent to 160,000 acres that would become Livingston Manor in Columbia and Dutchess County. With his brother-in-law Peter Schuyler, he led the opposition in Albany to Leisler's Rebellion. He served as Secretary for Indian Affairs from 1695 until his death. He served as a representative to the New York provincial assembly in 1709-1711, 1716-1725, and was elected speaker in 1718.See More

Full Transcript: Springfield Jan. 16.th 1688
Honored Sr 89
Yors of .7th. Instant of yor Indian, I Recd last Night, wth the letters for Boston, & accounting it of greate Import to speed ym away, ...Especially, that to his Excellency: assoone as ever I read yors & understood ye Content, I Imediatly tooke care for the Dispatch of my & Last Night guided a man to whom [inserted: after I had wrot[e] to ye Govr] I dlvd al ye Letters (made up in one Packet) before I went to bed & ye Messenger went on in his Journy towards Boston this Morning Early: I hope ye Govr may by this time be arrived at Boston but we have had noe certaine accot of his being returned, ye Last News I had was about yt Middle of Dec when I Recd a Letter fro his Excel who was then at Rinnebach &. 40. miles up yt River, & not finding the Indians Intended to Build a Fort thereabouts to secure their Winter quarters & then to March wth. 200 or .300 soldiers to find out ye Indians whom by ye best Intelligence were but about .80. Fighting men, but not certaine: They had taken one notorious villaine who when they were bringing him before ye Govr to be Examined (Resolving not to discover any thing) Cut him owne Throate & twere well If al of ym would doe so, or Else yt some Else might doe it for them It is sd yt his Excel Intended to be at Boston in a litle time & I have a few days since sent a man to Boston [inserted: (If yor letters had come a little sooner he might have carryed them)] whom I Expect to return wthin these .2. days or very spedyly after, & by him I hope to heare a further accot wch I shal readily [illegible] to you, & possibly also Major MaGregory may then be returning If he come this way one thing I think I intimated to you wch was reported here, as If ye Govr Kingman had bene slayne by ye Indians, But I hope it was noe such thing bec I have had noe accot of it by any letter, & herd not of it since so yt I doe Joyfully recal yt againe as assuming & concluding it may not so. Indeed News is so uncertaine Except what by letters fro good hands yt I know not what to say to reports We are now Filled wth News of grt Preparations in Holland agt Engld , & more then so, viz That ye Prince of O wth. 500 saile of ships was put out to sea, & had aboard 40000 Dutchmen as also forty thousand Englishmen & as many Frenchmen &c I wil spare to speake wt I heare: Only this I may say That I have seene A Proclamation put forth by or King: wherein his Matie says he hath undoubted Intelligence of a grt & sudden Invasion trd their Neighbour Country carryed on with al Imaginable Secrecy Intending to deceive us But yt he was in so good a Posture as he hoped by ye Blessing of God he should be able to make ym repent their unjust & Rash attempt: Stirring up his subjects to unite telling ym that nothing but being devided could hurt ym I have it not By me at prsent, & ye Indian hastens back (as I am willing he should take this good season) Intending to be returning this very day, Else I would have sent yo the proclamation, But suppose yo have al from Yorke & ye News of the Imperiallists prevailing upon ye Turk who [2] goe downe ye Wind apace. The Imperialists having taken Belgerun & other places so yt ye Turks are almost outted of Hungaria. A notable exploit of Prince Louis who wth 3000 Horss attacqued ye Turks that Proved to be (though to his surprize not understanding ym to be so many) 15000, but having advanced so far yt it was to late to retreate In couragd his soldiers who declared tmselves willing also to Fight for their lives, wch al did wth such resolution & grt That they slew 7000 Turks Tooke many Prisoners made such a conquest that ye Turks are like to loose yt whole Province. But whether wander I suppose yo have what ever is come fro Engld & it may be more & more pticular accot of ye Dutch their Invading Engld & upon yt occaision: I Pray God put a good Issue to yt affair, I hope some Composure & Complyance on each side may prvent yt Efusion of Chtian Blood wch else wil happen: I should better like to heare of al uniting together agt ye French who are not ye best Neighbors beyond sea, as I am afraid yo & we shal find also here. Doubtless they wil give [illegible] disturbance they can to ye Sincques who must be upon their guard & timely prvent their fortifing neare them. I thank yo for yor Intelligence hope yo wil as further happens hand it to me as I shall any hence to yo.
Anything of yors that comes to my hand I shal carefully secure & convey.
Give my service to Major Baxter [inserted: & ye rest of yor Gentlemen] the Indian would goe to Westfeild to Night & so hastens yt I cannot write to him anything of News yo wil Impart: Please to dlv him ye Inclosed Letter wch hath by me some time at my house for want of opportunity to send it til now.
I hope yo wil excuse my scrawls being desirous to serve so good a freind wth any thing I have, & being glad to heare fro yo & for wch yor Loving lines & Intelligence I give you many thanks & wth al due respects to yor selfe & Lady
I commend you to God & am
Yr assuredly Loving Freind & humble Servt
John Pynchon:

Alb: 27 Jan 1689
Col Pynchones Letter
from Springfeild p ye Ind.
[address leaf]
For his Honored Freind Mr Robt Living
ston at his house
Albany :
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People: Pynchon, John, 1626-1703
Andros, Edmund, 1637-1714
Livingston, Robert, 1654-1728

Historical Era: Colonization and Settlement, 1585-1763

Subjects: American Indian HistoryGovernment and CivicsMilitary HistoryGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyNavyFranceChristianityReligionBattleMiddle East

Sub Era: Early Settlements

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