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Schuyler, Pieter (1657-1724) to Henry Sloughter

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03107.00162 Author/Creator: Schuyler, Pieter (1657-1724) Place Written: Albany, New York Type: Letter signed Date: 20 January 1690 Pagination: 4 p. : docket ; 31.7 x 20.2 cm

Summary of Content: Written to the newly selected Governor of New York, Henry Sloughter, who is still in transit from England. Schuyler has written this letter in an effort to make himself, his associates, and their allegiances known to the new governor, describes the situation in the colony under the "boundlesse [inserted: Pretended authority]" of Jabob Leisler. The actions of the "Indians of ye 5 Nations," the Iroquois, and the "french Tamporings" are discussed as well. Letter mentions the creation of "5 Commissions for 5 Justices of the Peace at a village called Schenectady" and fears of a French and Indian "attaque upon this Place." Docketed on verso.

Background Information: This letter was written during Jacob Leisler's Rebellion, an uprising in late seventeenth century colonial New York, in which militia Captain Leisler seized control of lower New York from 1689 to 1691. ...The uprising, which occurred in the midst of Britain's Glorious Revolution reflected colonial resentment against the policies of King James II. Royal authority was restored in 1691 by British troops sent by James' successor, William III. Peter Schuyler (1657-1724) was the mayor of Albany, New York and the head of the Albany Commissioners for Indian Affairs. He also served as acting Governor of New York in 1709 and from 1719-1720. Henry Sloughter (d. 1691) was briefly colonial governor of New York in 1691.See More

Full Transcript: May it
Never could any Poor Distressed People in ye world long more for Deliverance nor ye Beseiged for Releasse than those Majts. Subjects in the Citty & County of Albany ...have Longd. for yr. Excell: arrivall, to Deliver us from those Troubles Confusions & Distractions occasiond by Capt. Jacob Leysler & his adherents, who hath indefaticably Endevord all this last Summer to bring us to his Devotion & to submitt to his arbitrary & unparraleld Governmt. & when we Considerd ye gracious Deliverance wrought by his most sacred Majts [struck: under god ye] [inserted: King William] our Benign Large Lord [inserted and struck: King William] ye Right Defender of ye True Reformed Protestant Religion, (whereof not only all his subjects but all Protestants in ye Remotest part of ye world [struck: will] Reap a Benefit by,) then ye burthen of an usurped Power [inserted: exercised] by a Private man without ye least shadow of authority seemd ye more untollerable feat To give yr Excel: a Particular acct. of all his & his adherents actions to stirr up the People here in this City & County to sedition & dissobedience would Require a whole volume; [struck: fee of] and weary yr. Excel: Patience to [illegible]; and therefore shall not Presume to Trouble yr Excel with it at Present, Being Resolvd assoon as we shall have Recd. ye good & joyfull news of yr. Excel: [struck: arrival] [inserted: Landing] to send 2 or 3 of our number doune to N. Yorke [struck: &] [inserted: to] Congratulate yr. Excell safe arrivall; who will Inform yr Excel att Large ye Condition of this Place & of ye Indians, whatever Spacious Pretence Capt Leysler may have for [strikeout] [inserted: acting at N: York] what he [struck: did] [inserted: has done], we are assured he never sought there Majts Intrest in our Parts, for if we had not [2] stiffly Resisted his & his adherents Proceedings undoubtedly this Part of ye Country would have long [illegible] now been Embroad in a Bloody warr with ye [struck: Indians] [inserted: heathen] for nothing would serve his turn butt ye Totall submission of ye government master of fort & Citty & then Excercised his boundlesse [inserted: Pretended authority] [struck: ambition]. The Trouble Cost & Care which we have been att since these Revolutions [inserted and struck: wth ye Indians] iss wel knowne to all ye governmt; & [inserted: to] our neighbours of Boston and Conetticut [struck: on To ye Lane]; It was much against our will & Inclination that we were necessitatd to take ye whole Charge of ye affares of ye. Indians upon us But necessity has no law [inserted on left margin: for Providing yt ye Indians of ye 5 nations (by ye. investigations of ye Jesuits and onnagongue Indians) were Inclined to goe to Canada and make of Covenant wth them, and were obliged to stop that [struck: as much] by all means imaginable & when] & when ye [inserted: sd] Indians [strikeout] [inserted: afterwards fort about ye midle of June] told us there Intentions [inserted: Positively] to Beginn ye warr and now wth ye French. we sent doune there Propositions and all Papers Relateing to a Bussinesse of yt Import and Diverted them to ye gent of ye Councill Mayr. Aldermen & [inserted: a] military officer of N: Yorke delyvreing there advise Since we had Recd. letters from sd gentn. A litle before Relateing [inserted: to] ye Indians westward, but Capt. Leysler [inserted: who had [strikeout] transplanted them] was Pleased to Intercept our letters & never Recd. ye least word in answer nether from him or any body Else. Whereupon [inserted on left margin: asoon as the mayor [illegible] Proclaimed & proding ourselves [illegible] of yt good correspondence of those Govt: of N;York] we [strikeout] Resolved to mannage ye [inserted: Publick] Affares of this Citty [inserted: & County] by ye Mayr. Aldermen, Commonality & military officer [struck: of this] of this Citty & ye Justices of ye Peace and Military officers of sd County which made a Convention thinking this ye safest way & most Satisfactory to Every [struck: one][inserted: body]; [inserted and stuck: imitating them of N: Yorke before the Revolution] we declare we are none of us ambitious of [3] keeping our Places, it is a Burthen & no benefite to us & an orderly Discharge would be very welcome, if we ye Civill Magistrate could [inserted: have] absolved our Selfs of our oaths & if it had Consisted with ye Peace & welfare of this his Maje, Citty & County it had not been to doe now, it was only the trust Reposed in us & our Real Desyne of ye Common good which Put us on, very well knowing that ye Rewards of Publique Service are not Soon nor Easily gotten.
However wth. ye assistance of ye almighty God we have Endevord to keep all [struck: heathen] in Peace & quietnesse & Continued in ye. administrating ye Laws as formerly, & have [strikeout] [inserted: hitherto] secured ye 5 nations of Indians westward to this his Majts Governmt. notwithstanding all ye french Tamperings to ye Contrare; we have Inclosed sent some Papers Relateing to ye Indians being ye last Transactions in yt affare, our messengers sent to Onnondage to be Present at there genl meeting we Expect home in a fortnights time when we shall if any opportunity Presents give yr Excel an acct: We shine in hopes assoon as ye River shutt up to [inserted: have] had some Peace [inserted: within] and Employed all our time to oppose & Resist the Common Enemy [inserted: without] But Mr Leysler & his adherents [struck: have] [inserted: did] fynde away to Convey new Distractions to us, Endevoureing at once Irresistably to Erect & Establish his Power here and to turn all upside doune [inserted on left margin: we cannot Imagine why Capt Leysler is so [illegible] & Eagor to overturn us here except he thinks time this his last action might be an attondment [inserted: Expiation] for all his [strikeout] [inserted: illegall Proceedings] & so fa[r]ther all his Enormities & [strikeout] [inserted: irregular actions] upon ye whole Country, he hath now Sent] Send[struck: eing] Commissions to Sundrey Persones [inserted: here] Particularly 5 Commissions for 5 Justices of ye Peace at a Small village called Shinnechtady yt [inserted: who never had but one before] some of which Persones are So Illitirate cann neither write nor Read, against which Proceedings [inserted: of his [illegible] Jochin Staes] we have been necessitate to Publish ye Inclosed Protest which hath in great measure qualifyed most of ye Inhabitants Except Such who are wholly Devoted for Leyslers Service. We doubt not but yr Excel will take Speedy care to send up orders for our better Setlement wth. Instructions how to act in these Dangerous times, We are not without our apprehensions of fear of ye french and there Indians Since it is Certain they have drawne all there force together to Mont Royall, by which we must Conclude they are either very much afraid of us or Design an attaque [4] upon this Place, & we are nott over well Provided to make a Suitable Resistance, haveing but 87 men from N: England & 50 from N: Yorke, besides ye Inhabitants who [strikeout] cannot make 450 men, and they [inserted: by reason of these distractions] (which is ye greatest guess) not So obedient to there officers as they ougt. nevertheless with ye help of god we are Resolved to maintain ye Place & to make what opposition we can, Begging yr Excel would send up speedily yr Commands which is all we can wish for or Expect at Present.
We have sent this by an Expresse on Purpose [inserted: strikeout] hopeing they may fynd yr [inserted: Excel:] safely arrived, else doubt whither they may come safe to hand, Since [strikeout] our Letter are [inserted: commonly] detaind & kept up by Capt Leysler an unheard off [struck: doing] [inserted: ation] to neighbors & frinds.
We have Indian skouts out Towards ye great lake to wat[c]h ye French Designs & are [inserted: about] sending some Christians thither also for what danger ther[e] is will be out in 3 weeks ye season of ye year Elapsing.
This goes Inclosed to Mayr. Phillips Mayr. Cortlant & Crnel. Bayard [inserted: whom we delyed to deliver it wth all speed] [struck: ye 2 latter haveing long necessitate to abscond themselfs to Escape Mr Leysler [inserted: & his adherant's] Cruelty whereby we were [text loss] of yt good advise which they were also to give in such a affares of moment; They will Render yr Excel an acct. of affairs here more Particularly then we can at present by writing; therefore shall Breake off]. We must likewise Put yr Excel in minde to send Particular order Concerning ye 50 men sent hither by N Yorke Commanded by Jochin Staes and of ye [illegible] of ye Train band Comy [illegible] who took upon him that office by an Irregular way [strikeout] [inserted on left margin: Where forced al along yt sd men were rather sent to Establish Mr Leyslers anthority [illegible] ye for our assurance being no ways] cannot say are for our assistance] Being no ways Obedient to any order of ours haveing denyed to send a smal Party of thse men to lye [struck: in garrison in outer party of this County to ye northward] [inserted: in ye. out Plantations as Scouts] after he had Engaged so to doe but he being soley devoted to Capt Leysler service could Expect no better.
We [struck: have] send ye kings arms [inserted: by the first opportunity] to be afixed at Cadarachqui [strikeout] & wish we were able to send men thither to demolish sd. fort; it having been always Prejudicial to this governmt.; We shall not Insist further at present knowing yr. Excel will have multiplicity of bussinesse [strikeout] ye first arrival [struck: &] so wishing yr. Excel all happinesse & Prosperity in yr now new government.
ald: 20 Jan 1689 We remain
To his Excel: Col: Slator Yr Excel most humble & most Obedt Servts, Capt Jose& Govr Chieft of City & County of Alb
[illegible] Majst Province of N Yorke Pr Schuyler Mayr.
or to such honble Person as his Majst Mathe Gerrise Justice [illegible]
King [illegible] be Pleased to sent to Lo Shar[k] Alderman
Govern sd Province, to be forthwith [illegible] Jho Renselaer
assoon his Excel arrives [struck: Govr [illegible]]

[written on left margin]
NB in this letter was Inclosed
ye Proceedings of ye Convention ye 11 &
13 of Jany ye Prohist &c &c
3 Papers Releasing to ye Indians
ye Papers: wth amont Jann yts
Report 5 articles!
Albany 20 January ye 1689/90
Letter of ye Convention to
Col Slater when he comes
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People: Sloughter, Henry, d. 1691
Schuyler, Pieter, 1657-1724
Leisler, Jacob, 1640-1691

Historical Era: Colonization and Settlement, 1585-1763

Subjects: American Indian HistoryGovernment and CivicsRebellionPoliticsGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyFranceMilitary History

Sub Era:

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