majority was suflicient. The legislative power was vested in the
governor and council. The code of laws which the didvc made
for the province, may be seen in the first volume of the ^'ew-York
Upon the conclusion of the war in 1674, the duke, to remove
all controversy respecting his property in the provinces, obtained a
new patent from the king, on the 29th of June, for the same lands
which had been granted to him in the year 1 664. Two days after,
he commissioned Major Edmond Andross, to be governor of his
territories in America.
The Dutch governor, Mr. Cohe, on the 31st of October follow-
ing, resigned to him the provinces.
Hisv administration is marked by a clerical controversy, which
occurred between two ministers at Albany, and by his imprisoning
Philip Carteret, governor of East Jersey.
In the former, he entered with considerable zeal, and imprisoned
several persons ; but the incidents seem too inconsiderable to
trouble the reader with them. The main course of his public pro-
ceedings, during his continuance in, the province, was spent in the
oidinary acts of government, which then principally consisted io -
passing grants to the subjects, and presiding m the courts of assize.
The public exigencies were now in part supplied by a kind of vol-
The Indians on Long Island, were desirous of assisting their
brethren on the continent, in the war of king Philip ; but governor
Andross prevented it, by seizing all their canoes east of Hell-
VOL. II. . -ly
378 HisToay of the
The seizure was on the 13th of December, 1675. He ordered
that all canoes found after that day in the Sound, should be destroy-
ed. This measure deprived them of the means of crossing the
Sound, and effectually prevented them from lending any assistance
to the hostile Indians.
Since that period, no danger seems to have been apprehended
from the Indians on Long Island. See Wood's Sketch.
The duke of York appointed Colonel Thomas Dongan to the
goverment of the province of Nevv-Vork, on the 30th day of Sep-
tember, 16S2; but he did not arrive before the 27th of August,
He was a man of integrity and moderation, and strove to pro-
mole the interest and hiippiness of the colony. The people first
participated in the legislative power, under his mild administration.
This constitutes an important era in the annals of the state. Col-
lonel Dongan, shortly af'.er his arrival, issued orders to the sheriffs
to summon the freeholders to choose representatives to meet him in
assembly, on the 17th of October, 1683.
This was the first legislative meeting ever had in the state, and
was held at the city of New-York. From that time to the pre-
sent, the people, with some particular exce})iioiis, have partaken
largely in the government ; and it is owing in a great measure to
this circumstance, that the state has risen to that height which it
The Agoneasenh, about this time committed hostilities on the
frontier settlers of oMaryland, and Virginia.
This occasioned a grand convention at Albany,'in the year 1684.
Lord Howard, the governor of Virginia, was present at this con-
vention, and made a covenant with the Agoneasean chiefs for the
preventing fiu-tber depredations. In the accomplishment of this,
Colonr-l Dongan was very instrumental. To such as desire to see
this convenant, we refer them to Dr. Colden's History of the
Agoneaseah : (a very scarce work.) The chiefs of the Mohawks,
Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugns, and Senecas, were present. These
tribes at that liine constituted the nation,
De la I3arrc, the governor of Canada^ about the same time,
crossed lake Ontario from fort Frontenac (now Kingston) in Upper
STATE OF NEW-TORK S79
Canada, with an army, and landed at a place called by the French,
La Famine,* some where at, or nearlihe mouth of Great Salmon
river, and conckided a treaty with the Oneidas, Onondagas, and
Cayugas. The Mohawk? and Senecas refused to treat.
In 1G86, Colonel Dongan sent a protest to jM. de Nonville, the
successor of De la Barre. In this, he signified to him that he
should consider the invasion of the country of the Agoneaseah by
the French, as tantamount to a declaration of war, and forbid him
to erect a fort at Niagara, as being within the province. De
Nonville, in answer, disclaimed the invasion, and stated, that he
had no intention of erecting a fort at Niagara.
In the beginning of August, 1687, Colonel Dongan met the
Agoneasean chiefs at Albany, and made a speech to them. He
advised them not to treat with the French, without consulting him ;
not to kill their prisoners : but to exchange them for their own peo-
ple ; to dispatch messengars to the Indians, wi[h whom they were
then at war, and propose peace, and bury the tomahawk ; telling
them at the same time, that whatever things they wanted hereafter,
the English would let them have, upon cheaper terms than the
A little before the above meeting, De Nonville invaded the coun-
try of the Senecas, with two thousand French and six iiundred In-
dians, and destroyed several of their towns and villages. About
five hundred Senecas engaged the advanced guard, about twenty
miles up Genesee river, but were defeated with the loss of one hun-
dred and five killed, wounded, and prisoners. The action was
fought at or near Kanawageres, one of the chief villages of the Sen-
ecas. It is on the west side of Genesee river, twelve or fourteen
miles southerly of Rochester.
In this expedition the French built a small fort at Niagara, in
which they left one hundred men under de la Tioye.
Col. Dongan, in his interview wifh the Aganuschicnian chiefs at
Albany, seems to have acted with an overheated zeal in rousing the
passions of this ferocious people against the French. Probably not
being much acquainted with the savage character, he did not fore-
see the consequences. The innocent inhabitants of Canada and
New-York soon became the sufferers. Not long after a party of
* Tho French called Great Salmon river, La Famine.
380 HISTORY OK THE
Mohawks, with somo j\lohickanclers, their dependents, entered Ca-
jiada, beset Ghnmbly, burnt several houses, niin-dered some of the
inhabitants, and led others into eapli\il\ .
In 1G3S, Col. Dongan endeavoured to dissuade die Ac^anuschi-
oni, from making peace with the French. A kind oi"" peace, how-
ever, was made, but it was of short continuance. The Dinondadies,
an appendage of the Kurons, had inclined to the English trade at
IMichilimackinack, and their alliance was therefore become sus-
pected by the French. Adario, called by the Fi'ench Le Rat,
was their chief. With a policy similar to that of civilized nations,
he wished to derive advantages to his own tribe by a prevention of
jieace between the French and Agoneaseah.
To effect this purpose, he put himself at the head of one hun-
dred warriors and march.ed to intercept the Agoneasean ambassa-
dors, w!io were repairing to Montreal to perfect the peace lately
began with the French. At one of the falls of the St. Law-
rence river he fell in with them, killed some, and took others pris-
oners, and informed them that it was the French governor that had
given him intelligence that fifty of their warriors were coming that
As the Dinondadies and the Agoneaseah were llien at war, the
ambassadors were astonished at the perfidy of the French gover-
nor, and could not help communicating the design of their journey.
Adario counterfeited the utmost distress, anger and shame, at being
made the ignominious instrument of the French, governor's treach-
ery : and then addressing himself to Dekanesora the principal of
the emhassy, he said, " Go, my brethren, I untie your bonus and
send }oii home again, though our nation be at war. The French
governor has induced me to commit so black an action, that I can
never be easy till the Agoneaseah shall have taken full revenge."
This outrage and indignity upon the rights of ambassadors, the
truth of which they did not in thy least doubt, animated the Agone-
aseah to the keenest thirst after revenge. Accordingly, twelve
hundred of their warriors assembled, and agreed upon making an
irruption into Canada. On the 2Gth of June, lG88,tliey landed on
the island of IMontreal, while the French were in perfect security,
burnt dii'ir houses, sas-Ivcd their plantations, and put to death nearly
STATE OF NEW-YORK. 381
all the men, women and children, whom they came across. The
number amounted to one thousand, if the historian Smith is to be
believed ; and lljree hundred, if Charlevoix gives a correct ac-
count. That the former has exaggerated the French loss, we are
disposed to believe, because in almost every thing relating to that
people he seems to have laboured under the strongest prejudices.
The loss, however, was severe, and the attack unexpected.
In the month of October, they made another descent on the same
island, and took some prisoners.
Numerous marauding parties of the Agoneaseah continually, for
some time after, infested their borders, and prevented them from
the cultivation of their lar.ds. This occasioned a famine, and well
nigh proved fatal to the colony. Nothing but the ignorance of the
assailants, in attacking fortified places, saved Canada from ruin.
Dongan has been very highly complimented by his countrymen,
for his interference vvith the affairs of the Agoneaseah, and for his
endeavouring to prevent them from treating with the French, vvith
whom they were at war. But these compliments might as well
have been dispensed with. Humanity required a different
course : the French cultivators of Canada desired peace: their go-
vernors laboured for a long time, before they obtained it. The
English governors and traders were opposed: they averred that it
would be ruinous to the colony — subsequent events, however, have
After the French had subdued the Agoneaseah, and compelled
them to treat, there was an uninterrupted tranquility for nenrly sixty
yeafs ; during which time they did not excite them to commit dep-
redations on our exposed frontiers. '
The peace was equally advantageous to the inhabitants of both
colonies. It was during this peace that settlements were extended
on the Hudson northwardly to Saratoga ; and on the Mohawk west-
wardly to the mouth of Fulmer creek. Schoharie was colonized
in the same period.
The Agoneaseah observed a strict neutrality. When the English
attempted to stimulate them to war they declined. " We," say
they, " want peace. It is not our interest to engage in the con-
tests between England and France. We desire commerce with
382 HISTORY OF THE
both nations, but we will have nothing to do with their disputes
Thev must settle these between themselves. The French and
English aie both our friends : wliy should we wish to injure either?
Why should we break with the one because the other desires it?
Could we be benefitted by quarrelling with our friends and shed-
ding their blood ? Englishmen and Frenclimen are dear to us : —
they bring us guns, ammunition, and hatchets, to hunt with ; these
we stand in need of. They do well — vve pay them. We wish the
trade of both natious — it is to our advantage. We can buy cheaper
and sell dearer, because these natioiTs compete with each other.
English traders, and French traders, care nothing about us beyond
tlieir interests ; and if we can have them arrayed one against the
other, with their strong national prejudices, we sliall be able to pur-
chase from them on better terms ; since the traders of both nations
are guided entirely by interest."
Such were the reasonings of the unlettered'Agoneaseah. The
merchants of these nations occasioned ujost of the differences.
While these scenes were going on in Canada, disaffection to the
government was growing up in the province of New-York. Some
papists had settled in the colony, under the auspices of Col. Don-
gan. A latin school had been opened in Nev>^-York, and the teach-
er was strongly suspected, by the bigots of the times, of being at-
tached to the doctrines of Rome- The people of Long Island,
who had more fanaticism than religion, had become the personal
enemies of the governor. The whole -body trembled for the prot-
estant cause, as though there could not be dupes here as well as
The intelligence from England, of the designs there in favour of
the prince of Orange, fanned the coals of discontent here, and ele-
vated the lio|ies of the demagogues of faction.
Among the discontented, Jacob Leisler, a merchant, was the
most active. He was a man in considerable esteem anions: the
people, but illy qualified to head a faction. IMillborne his son-in-
law, an Englishman, controided all his coimcils.
Bent upon mischief, the first thing they contrived, was to sieze
the garrison in New-York. Colonel Dongan, who was about to
leave the province, then lay embarked in the bay, having a little
STATE OF NEW-YORK. 383
before resigned the government to Francis Nicholson me lieuten-
ant-governor. It may not be out of place to mention here, that it
was customary to guard the infant ciiy of New-York, every night
with militia, in order to prevent attacks, and surprisals, from the
IMohiccons and VVabingas, who s'iil viewed this place with envy,
and as the centre of the power of the strangers.
The council, civil officers, and magistrates of the city, who seem
to have had more discretion than Leisler and his deluded followers,
were opposed to him. Leisler, however, having got possession of
the fortress, issued a declaration in favor of ihe prince of Orange ;
but the people were still not determined how to act. On the one
hand, they were importuned by Leisler, and on the other, menaced
by the constituted authorities. While laboring under importunities
and menaces, Leisler caused a report to be circulated, that three
ships were coming up with orders from the prince of Orange.
This report although false, subserved his purpose : for on thai day,
it being the third of June, 1(389, he was joined by six companies
of New- York militia, amounting to four hundred men, and a com-
pany of geventv^men from East Chester. Nicholson and the ma-
gistrates being unabln to resist, had to abscond.
Leisler now in ])osses?ion of the fort, the city and government
sent home an address to king William, and queen IVl^.ry as soon
as he had received the news of their accession to the throne.
This addres«; was soon followed by a private letter to king William,
which informed him of the state of the garrison, and the temper of
the people, and concluded with strong professions of loyalty. Jost
StoU an ensign, delivered this letter to the king ; but Nicliolson, the
lieutenant-governor, and one Ennis a clergyman, had arrived be-
fore him in England, and made an untrue misrepresentaiion of the
late proceedings in New-Yoi k, so that Leisler and his party missed
the rewards which their over-strained zeal had promised them.
Leisler's sudden investiture with supreme power over the pro-
vince, excited the envy and jealousy of the late magistrates. Co-
lonel Bayard, and Courilandt, the nia} or of the ciiy were at the head
of his opponents; but finding it impossible to raise a party against
him in the city, they retired to Albany, and there fomented the op-
position against him.
384 HISTOUY OF TUE
Leisler on the other hand, fearful of their influence, and to ex-
tinguish the jealousy of the people, thought it expedient to admit
several trnsiy persons to a participation of that power which the
militia had committed to him.
In conjunction with these, he exercised the government, assum-
ing to himself only the honour of president. This model continued
till the month of Decemher, when a letter from the English govern-
ment was brought in a packet, directed to Nicholson, or to such as
for the time being had the charge of the province.
Nicholson being absconded when the letter came, Lsisler con-
sidered it as directed to himself, and from this time issued all kinds
of commissions in his own name ; assuming the title and authority
of lieutenant-governor. On the 11th of December, he summoned
the committee of safety, and swore the following persons for his
council : — Peter Delanoy, Samuel Staats, Hendrick Jansen, and
Johannes Vermllie, for New-York ; Gerardus Beekman, for Kings
county ; Samuel Edsel, for Queens ; Thomas Williams, for West-
chester ; and William Lawrence, for Orange.
Except the eastern inhabitants of Long Island, all thb southern
part of the colony submitted to Leisler. The latter in the end also
submitted. The people of Albany, in the meantime were deter-
mined to hold the city for king Williarn, and o'l the 26th of Octo-
ber, which was before the packet arrived, formed themselves into'a
convention for that purpose. A resolution was passed to keep and
preserve the city of Albany for their majesties. A protest was also
entered against Leisler and his adherents.
Nothing could have been more foolish than the conduct of both
parties. Each was in favour of the revolution. Both professed
loyally to their majesties — and yet they were violently opposed
to each other. Prudence ought to have dictated to the Albanians
submission till the pleasure of their majesties was known. The
peace of the province ought to have prevented Leisler from coer-
cion. , Bayard, Schuyler, Courilandt, and others, were headstrong,
passionate, and vindictive ; they would not submit to a man whom
they supposed inferior to themselves. Leisler could not brook
op|)osiiion. Animated by these j)rinciples so dangerous to tlie
peace, welfare, and hap[)in(^ss of society, both parlies prepared, the
STATE OF NEW-YORK. 385
one to retain the city and garrison, ^and the others to reduce them.
Jacob Milborne was commissioned for the reduction of Albany.
Upon his arrival there some of the inhabitants armed themselves,
and repaired to the fort then commanded by ]Mr. Schuyler, while
others followed the other members of the convention to a confer-
ence with him at the city hall. JMifborne, to proselyte the people,
declaimed much against king James popery and arbitrary power :
but his oratory was lost upon the hearers, who still adhered to the
convention. Milborne then advanced with a few men to the fort
and entered it. Schuyler soon after departed from Albany.
In the following spring IMilborne made a second expedition against
Albany : the/garrison surrendered, and the membersof the conven-
tion fled. He arbitrarily seized and confiscated ihcir eiTects, which
highly exasperated the sufferers.
In the midst of these intestine commotions, the people of New
England were engaged in a war with the Owenaguiigas, Ourages.
and Penecooks. Between these and the Schakooks* (probably
Schauwunks on Hocsack river) there was a friendly communica-
tion ; and the same was suspected of the Mohawks, among whom
some of the Owenagungas had taken sanctuary.
This gave rise to a conference betvyeen several commissioners
from Boston. Plymouth, and Connecticut, and the Aganuschioni, at
Albany, in September, 1689. The former endeavoured to en-
gage the latter against those Indians who were then at war with
New England. Tahajadoris, a INlohawk Sachem answered the
Englislr message. The conference did not meet the expectation of
the commissioners : the Aganuschioni declined to join in hostilities
against their eastern brethren. They however assured them that
they were ready and disposed to distress the French.
When pressed to engage in war against the Eastern Indians, the
* The Mohcakanneews originally possessed the counties of Columbia and
Rensselaer, and the southerly part of Washington. Thej inhabited the eastern
margin of Hudson's rivei-, tlje banks of Hosack river, and those of Kinderhook
and Claverack creeks. The Schakooks,it is presumable, lived at Schaticoke,
on Hosack river, and the adjoining parts. The principal seat of the tribe cal-
led Mohcakanneews was on, the Housatonuck, at Stockbridge, in the state of
Massachusetts. — Siie my Tabular Views of the Moheakanneew and Huron na-
VOL. u. 50
386 HISTORY OF THE
Agoneaseah replied that it was not their custom to go to war with
any people from whom they had received no injury : that they
were then et)gaged in a war with the French, the common enemy :
and that they believed it would be the best policy for the English
colonies first to assist them in subduing that enemy. This not a lit-
tle surprised the commissioners. From it they learned that the
Agoneaseah understood their own interest and affuirs, and that they
were disposed to pursue a policy not unlike the English,
De Callieres, who went to France in 1688, projected a scheme
for the reduction of the province of New-York, but the plan mis-
Tile force demanded for this enterprise was one thousand three
hundred regulars, and three hundred Canadians. Albany vvassaid
to contain only dtrcc hundred inhabitants, and to be fortified by an
inclosurc of stockades, and a little fort with four bastions, and that
it contained but one hundred and fifty soldiers. New-York was
represented to contain about fom* ihousand persons.
In 1G89, the count de Frontenac the governor of Canada, pro-
posed peace to the Aganuschioni who called a grand council at On-
ondaga. The chisfs, from the several tribes, convened to the num-
ber of eighty, about the 22nd of January, 1690. The people of
Albany were notified but did not attend. Sadekanaghtie an Onon-
daga chief, opened the conference. According to the French ac-
counts, the whole was managed with great art, and formality, and
concluded in showing a disposition to make peace with them with-
out perfecting it.
Among other measures to detach the Agoneaseah from the Brit-
ish interest, and to raise the depressed spirit of the Canadians, count
de Frontenac thought proper to send out several parties against the
English colonies. *I). Aillebout, de Mantel and Lo Moyne, com-
manded one against Schenectady, consisting of about two hundred
French, and fifty Mohawks belonging to the Caughnawaga clan.
The people of Schenectady, though they had been informed of
the designs of the enemy, were in the greatest security; imagining
it impossible for any men to march sevor;i! hundred miles in the
midst of winter, through the snow, bearing tlieir provisions ,ori their
STATE OF NEW-YORK. 387
After a march of twenty-two days, the enemy reached the vicin-
ity of Schenectady, on the 8th of February, 1G90, and were redu-
ced to such straits that they thought of sui rendering themselves pri-
soners of war. But their scouts, who were a day or two in the vil-
lage, returned with sech favourable accounts of the absolute security
of the people, that they determined on the attack. They entered
on Saturday night, about eleven o'clock, at the gates, which were
found unshut ; and that every liouse might be invested at the same
time, divided themselves into small parlies of six or seven men'.
The inhabitants were in a profound sleep, and unalarmed till their
doors were broke open. Before they were risen from their beds
the enemy entered and began the work of death. The whole vil-
lage was instantly in a blaze. Sixty persons were killed, and twenty-
seven carried into captivity. The rest fled, naked, towards Albany,
through a deep snow, which fell that night in a terrible storm ; and
twenty-five of thesi^ fugitives lost their limbs in the flight through the
severity of the cold.
Te news of this dreadful tragedy reached Albany about break of
day. An universal dread seized the inhabitants. A party of horse
was immediately dispatched to Schenectady. The enemy, in the
mean time, pillaged the, town till noon the next day ; and then went
off with their plunder, and about forty of the best horses. The
rest, with all the cattle they could find, lay slaughtered in the streets.
Several women and children were released, at the instance of capt.
Glen, on the score of his wife's civilities to certain French captives,
in the time of Col. Dongan.
A party of Albanians and Mohawks pursued the enemy in his re-
treat and either killed or captivated five and twenty.
The taking and burning of Schenectady had such an effect upon
the people of Albany, that they were almost on the point of aban-
In this slate, bordering upon despair, several of the Mohawk
chiefs arrived, and urged them to stay. They addressed them af-
fectionately, recommended a union of the colonies, and a persever-
ance in the war. In their native simplicity they say, " the French
' have broken open our house at both ends ; formerly in the Seneca