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Grand Jury of Albany Presentation of inconveniences to Thomas Dongan

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03107.01957 Author/Creator: Grand Jury of Albany Place Written: Albany, New York Type: Manuscript document Date: 1686 Pagination: 1p. : docket ; 32.3 x 21.1 cm

Summary of Content: The people of Albany condemn the practice of conducting trade with Indians outside of the town, as it has led to a decline in the trade and wealth of Albany, and will eventuallly bring the town to ruin. They also note that great debauchery has resulted when the youth of Albany enter Indians' houses to conduct trade, and complain of the practice of giving gifts to Indians, which allows them to set the higher value on commodities. They also comment on the poor state of highways in an around Albany.

Background Information: Thomas Dongan (1634-1715), 2nd Earl of Limerick was a member of Irish Parliament, Royalist military officer during the English Civil War, and governor of the Province of New York (1684-1688). ...He is noted for having called the first representative legislature in New York and granting the province's Charter of Liberties.See More

Full Transcript: Wee the Grand Jurors for the [inserted: Towne &] County of Albany
doe humbly represent to the Consideration of this honble
these following inconveniensyes in order to their being
redress in ...such enamer as to yor hon.st shall seeme
equall concenient.
1. Wee doe finde that the greate liberty now taken on credence of hunteing [illegible] & the like to trade with the Indians [inserted: without ye town] is [illegible] of the greate decay of trade here & will if continued tend to the utter ruin of this class.
2. Wee doe finde that altho' there are many acts Cordts. against such tradeing without the Towne yett in regard of the difficulty of proveing it by Christian Evidence these acts come farr short of a sufficient remedy - Therefor wee would humbly recomend it to yor honrs. case as a thing very convenient that some provision may bee made that for the future yt upon the testimony of an Indian in the afirmative the early accused so to have transgressed may bee obliged to pursue himselfe by an oath otherwise the acusation taken & confesse.
3. Wee doe finde that great Debauchery happens amongst the youth by goeing to trade with the Indians in their houses.
4. Wee doe finde that greate inconveniencyes not only to our selves but strangers by the generall neglect there is of high wayes in some places quite slopt up in other & changed much to the disadvantage and allmost all wanteing repayre by clearing or the like.
5. Wee doe likewise finde that the giving of gifts to the Indians [struck: here] by particular persons thereby to oblige them to traffique with them is a greate wrong not only to the neighbour but to the publique also by occasioneing the Indians to sett the greater vallue upon their Comodityes doing such contention who shall have them -
Corn[elius] van dÿck [illegible]
The Coll Recomends the above Agrievances
to his honor the Governo.rs Consideration
P Cur: John Tudor [illegible]

Grand Juryes presentmt
Of Severall things
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People: Dongan, Thomas, 1634-1715

Historical Era: Colonization and Settlement, 1585-1763

Subjects: American Indian HistoryGovernment and CivicsLawMerchants and TradeCommerceEconomicsFinanceCorruption and ScandalGiftInfrastructureRoad Construction

Sub Era: Early Settlements

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