and withal of inconsiderable talents. In the autumn after his arri-
val he repaired to Albany, where he had an interview with the Ago-
neasean chiefs, and confirmed the old league.
While at Albany he became acquainted with Major Schuyler, a
man of talents, enterprise and courage. No person, then in the
province, understood the state of our affairs with the Agoneaseah
better than him. He had so great an influence over them that what-
ever he recommended or disapproved had the force of a law. This
influence over them was supported, as it had been obtained, by re-
peated offices of kindness, and his singular bravery and activity in
400 HISTOUY or THE
the defence of lils country. These qualifications, so rarely to be
found in a single individual, rendered him singularly necessary, both
to the province and the governor. Fletcher, who possessed some
sagacity, perceived that such a man would be highly useful, not
only for himself, as an adviser, but for the country, took him into
confidence, and made him one of the council. Under the tutelage
of Major Schuyler, the governor became daily more and more con-
versant witli the Agoneasean concerns : his constant application to
which procured and preserved him a reputation and influence in the
During this year small parties of the Agoneaseah endeavoured to
obstruct the passage of the French through lake Ontario and the
river St. Lawrence, which issues out of it, in order to cut off their
communication with the western Indians. A chief, called Black
Kettle, commanded in some of the incursions with singular address
and success. Tjie French, however, still kept the communication
The indefatigable and gallant count Frontenac, finding that all
Ills measures for accomplishing a peace with the Agoneaseah had
proved abortive, was now meditating a blow upon the Mohawks.
He accordingly collected six or seven hundred French, Adiron-
dacks, and Caughnavvagas, and supplied them with every thing ne-
cesary for a winter's campaign. They set out from Montreal, on
the 15th day of .January, 1G93, and proceeded by the way of lake
Champlain ; and after a march attended with incredible hardships,
they passed by Schenectady on the Gtl) of February, and that night
took five men, and some women and children, at the first castle of
the Mohawks. They met with the same success at the second cas-
tle, the Mohawks being in perfect security, and many of them at
Schenectady. At the third tiiey found about forty men engaged in
a war dance, preparatory to going out on some enterprise the next
Upon their entering the castle a conflict ensued in which the
French lost some men. Three hundred of the Mohawks were
made captives in this exj)edition.
The Mohawks were greatly enraged at the people of Schen-
ectady, because, they had not given them notice of the enemy's
5TATF. OF NEW-YOKK. 401
approach, nor any assistance. But this was atoned for by the suc-
cors from Albany. Colonel Schuyler upon hearing of their mis-
misfortunes, (of the Mohawks.) iminecliately put himself at the
head of two hundred volunteers, and went out against the enemy.
On the fifteenth of February, he was joined by three hundred Mo-
hawks badly armed. With these forces, he went in pursuit of the
enemy, with whom he fell in with, on the seventeenth, when some
skirmishes ensued. The French being apprehensive that colonel
Schuyler would receive a re-enforcement from Albany, continued
their retreat on tlie eighteenth. Indeed this apprehension was well
founded ; for captain Syms arrived the next day with eighty men.
Colonel Scliiiyler then resumed the pursuit ; but did not think it
advisable to provoke an attack. Wljen the French had reached
the north branch of Hudson's river; it is said, that a cake of ice
served them to cross over, being open on both sides, and also above
The frost was now extremely severe, and the Mohawks being
fearful of an engaement, dissuaded Colonel Schuyler from pursuing
ihem, and he returned.
On the tenth of April, 1693, six thousand pounds were voted
for the payment of three hundred men, to be employed in rein-
forcing the frontier posts, in the then county of Albany.
On the twenty-second of the same month, the assembly enacted
a law, establishing a ministry of the church of England in the city,
and county of New-York ; and in the counties of Queens, Rich-
mond, and Westchester, and for paying the same. This was the
first law establishing a hierarchy in the province, at the expense of
the people, without consultiug their sentiments ; but it never had
many admirers, owing to the hberal and good sense of the public.
The act provided, that the citizens of New-York should pay the
ministers of the hierarchy in money, and those in the country in
produce, adapting the law to times and circumstances. Those in
the city, handled more money than those in the country, and were
therefore better able to disburse in this medium. Law givers very
often study the purses and abilities of their constitutents.
In this act, there was no provision made for the ministers, with-
A02 HISTORY CF THE
out ilie pale of ilic liieiarchy. Tiiis church, the government
viewed as the only one which was orthodox.
Government wished, and did prescribe religion, as tailors do fa-
shions : — None but the orthodox participated in the administration
The support of a kw idle clergymen, was severely felt by the
people, who had enough to do to support their own pastors, men of
their own choise and persuasion. We beg the indulgence of the
reader, for troubling him longer with this subject ; but the preamble
to the act is so extraordinary, that we cannot refrain from giving it.
It is thus : — " whereas profaneness and licentiousness hath of late
spread over this province, for the want of a settled ministry
throughout the same ; to ihc end the same may be removed, and
the ordinances of God duly administered, be it enacted &;c.
Then follows the act of which we have drawn the outlines. See
The news of the arrival of the recruits and warlike stores in
Canada, and the great losses of the Mohawks, who had always
been at the head of tiie Agoneasean confederacy, induced the
Oneidas, in the early part of the summer of this year, to supplicate
a peace with the French, through the agency of Milet a Jesuit,
then resident among them. The Onondagas, Cayugas, and Sene-
cas, soon followed their example.
Fletcher's extraordinary dispatch up to Albany, upon the first
news of the French irruption into the Mohawk's country, gained
him the esteem of the public, and of the Agoneaseah.
The express reached New-York on the twelfth day of February,
and in less than two days, the governor. embarked with three hun-
dred men. The river was open, which had hitherto been very un-
common. On the seventocnili, he arrived at Schenectady. The
Agoneaseah, in commendation of iiis activity on this occasion, gave
him the name of Cayenguirago. or the great swift arrow.
In March, the assembly voted six thousand pounds, in order to
raise three hundred volunteers to defened the province for one
To prevent the Agoneaseah from concluding a peace with the
French, colonel Fletcher met them in July, 1693, at Albany, and
STATE OF NEW-YORK. 403
made them a considerable present in knives, hatchets, guns, ammu-
nition, and clothing, which the crown had sent over for that purpose.
They consented to a renewal of the league, and expressed much
gratitude. They said to his excellency, " brother Cayenguirago,
we roll and wallow in joy, by reason of the great favour, the great
king and queen have done us, in sending us arms and ammunition,
at a time when we were in the greatest need of them, and, because
there is such unity among the brethren."
Fletcher meanly pressed them to deliver up M. Milet, the Jesuit
already named j but they declined.
He had great influence among them, and prevailed on all but
the Mohawks, to come to a conference. No peace, however, was
made on the ground that the French insisted upon rebuilding fort
Frontenac at the issue of lake Ontario, and upon including their
allies in the peace. The war which had been suspended, broke
Count Frontenac, directed his principal force against the Mo-
hawks. He sent three hundred men to Niagara, to clear the woods,
and take such of the Agoneaseah, as might be found in a hostile
attitude. Several were killed, while others were captured, and
sent to Montreal.
While the French endeavoured to make peace with the Ago-
neaseah^, the frontiers of the province of New-York enjoyed an un-
On the 26th of March, 1694, a law passed for raising and pay-
ing one hundred and seventy men, who were to be employed in the
defence of the frontiers of the county of Albany.
In October the same year, provision was made to levy one
hundred men, to strengthen the posts in the same county. The
reader will keep in mind, that Albany then included all the country
north of Dutchess and Ulster, and westwardly of New England.
The few settlements were on the Hudson and Mohawk rivers, and
these did not extend much beyond the hmits of Albany and Schen-
Colonel Fletcher, and the assembly at this session, came to an
open rupture. The seeds of the dispute had been sown some
time before. His excellency was rash, passionate, and avaricious,
404 HISTORY OF THE
and continually importuning the house for money, which it had not,
and which it inclined not to raise. In the midst of his passions, he
dissolved the honse, and called another in June,
The count Frontenad was then repairing the old fort at Cadara-
qui. His excellencey laid this matter before the house, and the
^ king's assignment of the quotas of the several colonies. The list
of the quotas stood thus : —
Massachuscts - - - - £350
Rhode Island, and Providence Plantation - - 48 *
Connecticut - - - - 120
Pennsylvania - - - - 80
Maryland - - l68
Virginia - 240
As a number of forces were now arrived, the assembly were in
hopes the province would be relieved from raising any more men
for the defence of the frontiers ; and to obtain this favour from the
governor ordered one thousand pouniis to be levied, one-half to be
presented to him, and the other, to be distributed among the Eng-
lish officers and soldieis; but the governor disproved this gratuity,
and so the law did not p-'ss.
In September, colonel Fletcher went up to Albany with very
considerable presents to the Agoneaseah, whom he censured for
suffering the French to rebuild the fort at Cadaraqui, or Fron-
While these works were carrying on, the Dinondadies made over-
tures of peace to the Agoneaseah, which were readily acceded to,
because, so long as they were at war with them, they never dared
to march all their forces against Canada. The Dinondadies hved on
the shores, or in the vicinity of lake Michigan.
In July, 1G95, the legislatuie voted one thousand pounds, for the
purpose of employing an agent at the court of Great Britain.
Hitherto no person of this description had been employed.
This colony, as well as the other colonies, were obliged to main-
tain agents near the court of St. James, in order to guard, and see
lo their several rights, and counteract the false representations,
which were frequently made by the governors, and their minions.
^TATE or NEW-YORK. 405
In after times, several colonies joined and appointed one agent,
who attended to their separate concerns. Dr. Franklin resided
man} years in London in this capacity, and acquitted himself with
distinguished honour. Fifteen hundred pounds were voted for the
payment of a company of fuzileers, and to keep the troops in the
The French never had a governor in. Canada, so vigilant and
active as the count de Frontenac. He had no sooner repaired the
old fort called by his name, than he formed the design of invading
the country of the Agoneaseah. For this purpose, in 1606, he
convened at Montreal, all the regulars and militia under his com-
mand ; the Ovvenagungas, Quatoghies, Adirondacks, Sokakies,
Nipiciriniens, Caughnawagas, and some Utawawas. The forces
were embarked on board of light barks, which were portable when-
ever the rapidity of the stream, and the crossing of an isthmus
rendered it necessary. •
The count left La Chine at the south end of the island of Mon-
treal, on the seventh of July. Two battahons of regulars, under
Le Chevalier de Calliers, headed by a number of the auxiliaries,
led the van, with two small field pieces, the mortars &.c. After
them, followed the provisions; then the main body, and a consider-
able number of volunteers : and four battalions of the militia, com-
manded by M. de Ramezai. Two battalions of regulars, and a
few of the auxiliaries under the chevalier de Vaudruel, brought up
the rear. Before the army went a parcel of scouts to descry the
tracks, and ambuscades of the enemy. After twelve days march,
they arrived at Cadaraqui, or Frontenac, about one hundred and
eighty miles above Montreal. They then crossed lake Ontario to
Oswego. From thence they proceeded up the river, fifty men
marching on each side of the stream, to Three river point, where
they took the Seneca branch, and followed it up to the mouth of
Onondaga outlet, which they ascended and entered that lake.
After they had entered it, the army divided into two parts, the one
coasting along the east, and the other along the west side, till they
had reached its head, near where the village of Salina now stands.
Here they landed, and erected a small fort. The Onondagas had
sent away their wives and children, and were determined to defend
406 HISTORY OF THE
their castle, which was distant about nine miles, till they were in-
formed by a deserter of the superior strength of the French, and
the nature of the bombs which were intended to be used against
them ; but they then altered their minds, and set fire to their own
villages, and fled to the woods. The French, without delay,
marched to the castle ; but found it deserted. They then destroy-
ed the corn, and every thing which the Onondagas had left behind.
M. de Vaudrueil went with a detachment to Oneida, where betook
thirty-five prisoners. The French were considerably annoyed in
their retreat, by the Onondagas, who cut off some of their boats.
The continual incursions of the Agoneaseah on the country near
Montreal, again spread famine through Canada. The count Fron-
tenac kept up his spirits to the last ; and sent out small parties,
some of whom infested Albany, as those of the Agoneaseah did
Montreal, till the peace between England and France, in 1697.
In April, 1696, the legislature voted two thousand five hundred
and ninety-three pounds, for the payment of the troops in the gar-
risons, and also for raising one hundred and twenty-five men. The
forces of the province, including the levy, comprised only four
On the 30th of October in the same year, an act was passed to
levy one hundred men, in order to increase the garrison at Albany.
Twelve hundred pounds were voted for this service.
Two thousand three hundred pounds were voted in April, 1697,
for securing the frontiers of the county of Albany, and for carrying
on the recruiting service.
The Earl of Bellamont succeeds Colonel Fletcher in 1698. — His
Lordship espouses the cause of the Leislerians, he. — His cor-
respondence with Count Frontenac, &,c. — Controversies between
the Leislerians, and Anti-Leislerians. — B ell amonV s partiality to
the Leislerians — Vacation of several extravagant grants, made
by Colonel Fletcher — A tyrannical act against Jesuits, and
Romish Priests. — Supplies voted for the defence of the Province. —
Death of the Earl of Bellamont in 1701. — Mr. JVanfan succeeds
him as Lieutenant-Governor, &.c. — Violtnt measures. — Mr.
JVanfan succeeded by Lord Cornhury. — He on his arrival
espoused the side of the Anti-Leislerians. — His meanness, ava-
rice, bigotry, tyranny, &c.
Richard, Earl of Bellamont, was appointed to succeed Colonel
Fletcher, in the year 1695; but did not receive his commission till
the 18th of June, 1697. He did not arrive here before the 2d of
During the late vvar, the seas were very much infested with
English pirates, some of whom sailed out of New-York. Captain
Kid was entrusted with the command of a frigate, with orders to
clear the American seas of pirates. He sailed from Plymouth for
New-York, in April, 1696 ; but he afterwards turned pirate himself.
The Earl of Bellamont, some time after, had him arrested at Bos-
ton ; but as many of the officers of government were secretly con-
cerned with him, it does not appear that he received that punish-
ment which his crimes meritsd.
Lord Bellamonl's commission was published in council, on the
day of his arrival.
408 HISTOKY OF THE
After the Earl had dispatched Captaui Joljn Schuyler, and Del-
lius the Dutch minister at Albany, to Canada, with the account of
the peace, and to solicit an exchange of prisoners ; he laid before
the council letters from Secretary Vernon, and the East India
Company, relating to the pirates. After considering the whole
matter, the council advised his Lordship to arrest Colonel Fletcher
and Mr. Nicolls ; but their advice was never carried into effect, pro-
bably, owing to a want of evidence. It was nevertheless certain,
that the pirates were frequently in the Sound, and supplied with
provisions by the people of Long Island, who, for many years after-
wards, were so infatuated with a notion that the pirates buried great
quantities of money along the coast, that there is scarce a point of
land, or an island, without the marks of their auri sacra fames, or
hidden treasures of gold. Some credulous people have ruined
themselves by these researches, and propagated a thousand idle
fables, which are current to this day among those fond c^ the mar-
As Fletcher, through the whole of his administration, had been
entirely influenced by the enemies of l^eisler : nothing could be
more agreeable to ihe numerous adherents of that unfortunate man,
than his Lordship's disaffection to the late governor. It was for
this reason thi^y immediately devoted themselves to his Lordship,
as the head of their party.
The majority of the council were Fletcher's friends, and there
needed nothing more to render them obnoxious to his Lordship.
Leisler's advocates, at the same time mortally hated them ; not
only because they had imbrued their hands in the blood of the
principal men of their party ; but also because they had engrossed
the sole confidence of the late governor, and brought down his re-
sentment upon them. Hence, at the commencement of the Earl's
administration, the members of the council had every thing to fgar;
while the party they had depressed, began once again to erect its
head, under the smiles of a governor who was fond of their aid, as
they were solicitous to concililate his favor.
Had his Lordship countenanced the enemies as well as the friends
of Leisler, which he might have done ; his administration would
doubtless have been easier to himself, and more advantageous to
STATE OF NEW-YORK. 409
the province ; but his inflexible aversion to Colonel Fletcher, pre-
vented his acting with that moderation, which was necessary to en-
able him to govern both parties. The fire of his temper appeared
very early^ on his suspending Mr. Nicoll from the board of the
council, &,c. But his speech to the new assembly, convened on
the 18tli of May, gave the fullest evidence of his abhorence of the
Philip French was chosen speaker, and waited upon his excel-
lency with the house, when his Lordship spoke to them in the fol-
lowing manner : —
" I cannot but observe to you, what a legacy my predecessor
has left me, and what difficulties to struggle with ; a divided people,
an empty purse, a few miserable, naked, half starved soldiers : not
half the king allowed pay for; the fortifications, and even the go-
vernor's house very much out of repair — and in a word, the whole
government out of frame. It hath been represented, that this pro-
vince has been a noted receptacle of pirates, and the trade of it under
no restrictions ; but the acts of trade, violated by the neglect and
connivance of those whose duty it was to have prevented it."
After this introduction, he put them in mind that the revenue
was near expiring.
" It would be hard," says he, " If I that come among you with an
honest mind, and a resolution to be just to your interest, should
meet with greater difficulties in the discharge of my duty, than
those that have gone before me. I will take care that there shall
be no misapplication of the public money. I will pocket none of
it myself: nor shall there be any embezzlement by others ; but
exact accounts shall be given, when, and as often as you shall re-
The house, although unanimous in a hearty address of thanks to
his lordship for his speech, could scarce agree upon any thing else.
It was some time before they had finished the controversies relating
to the late turbulent elections ; and even then, six members se-
ceded, which obliged his excellency to dissolve the house, on the
14th of June, 1G9S. About the same time, his Lordship dismissed
Pinhorne, and Brook from the council.
* See Smith's Hist, of N. Y.
VOL. u. 53
410 HISTORY OF THE
In July, the disputes with the French, concerning the exchange
of prisoners, obliged the governor to go up to Albany. When the
Earl sent the account of the conclusion of the peace to the gover-
nor of Canada, all the French prisoners in the province were re-
stored, and as to those among the Agoneaseah, he promised to
order them to be safely escorted to ]\Iontreal. His Lordship then
added : " I doubt not Sir, that you, on your part, will also issue an
order to relieve the subjects of the king, captivated during the war ;
whether Christians, or the Agoneaseah.
The Count de Frontenac, fearful of being drawn into an implicit
acknowledgment that the Agoneaseah were subject to the English
crown, demanded the French prisoners among them, to be brought
to Montreal ; threatening at the same time, to continue the war against
them, if they did not comply with his request. After his Lord-
ship's interview with the chiefs of the Agoneaseah, he wrote a
second letter to the Count, informing him, that they had importu-
nately begged to continue under the protection of the English
■crown, professing an inviolable subjection, and fidelity to his
majesty ; and that the Agoneaseah were always considered as sub-
jects, which can be manifested to all the world, by authentic and
solid proof. His Lordship added, " that he would not suffer them
to be insulted, and threatened to execute the laws of England upon
the missionaries, if they continued any longer among the Agonea-
seah." " If it is necessary," says he, " J will arm every man in the
province to opposeyou, and redress the injury that you ma)' have
perpetrated against the Agoneaseah."
The Count de Frontenac, in his answer, proposed to refer the
dispute to the commissioners, to be appointed according to the
treaty ; but the Earl continued the claim, insisting that the French
prisoners should be delivered up at Albany.
Count Frontenac dying while this matter was controverted,
M. de Callicres, his successor, sent ambassadors the next year to
Onondaga, there to regulate the exchange of prisoners, which was
accomplished without the Earl's consent. Smith.
Great alterations were made in the council, on his excellency's
return from Albany. Bayard, Mienvielle, VVillet, Townley, and
Lawrence, were all suspended on [the 28th of September ; and
STATE OF NEW-YORK. 4 I 1
colonel Depeyster, Messrs. Livingston, and Staats, called to the
board ; Mr. Philipse resigned, and Mr. Walters took his place.
The new assembly, of which James Graham was chosen speaker,
met in the spring. His Lordship addressed them on the twenty-
first of March, 1699.
As the late assembly was principally composed of Anti-Leis-
lerians, so this consisted almost entirely of Leislerians, designa-'
tions corresponding with those in our times. The elections were
attended with great outrage, and tumult : and many applications
were made relating to the returns ; but as Abraham Governeur,
who had been secretary to Leisler, got returned for Orange, and
was very active in the house, all the petitions were rejected with-