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Vol Ii B

of the extracts from autobiographical notes written by James which Macpherson prefixed to his collection of documents called Original Papers speaks, under the date 1664, of Holmes's expedition and then says that the king gave the duke . . . a patent for Long Island, in the West Indies, and a tract of land between New England and Maryland, which always belonged to the crown of England since first discovered, and upon which the Dutch had encroached during the rebellion, and built a town and some forts to secure the beaver trade to themselves. The Duke of York, borrowing of the king two ships of war, sent Sir Richard Nicho las, groom of the bed-chamber and an old officer, with three hundred men to take possession of the country; which the Dutch gave up on composition, without being blockaded. . . . Colonel Nicholas re mained there in peaceable possession of the country; and then called it New York and the Fort of River Albany. All this happened before the breaking out of the first Dutch war.

This passage, with the exception of the last sentence, may also be found in Clarke's life of James II for which he used the same material that Macpherson drew upon. The Eng lish, it may be explained, long called their second naval war with the Dutch their first, ignoring the one of which Crom well and his captains had worn the glory. 'Nicholas' in stead of Nicolls' is merely one among constantly recurring proofs of the fact that proper names long remained fluid in form.

When the exploits of Robert Holmes were known in Hol land, a fleet then in the Mediterranean under command of Admiral De Ruyter was secretly ordered to retake the Guinea posts. When this move was suspected George Downing de clared it an ' absolute breach' of the treaty of 1662 which bound each government not to avenge without negotiation wrongs committed by the subjects of the other.

Early in October the Dutch ambassador wrote from Eng land that an English skipper who had recently touched at `the Manhattes' on his way from Virginia reported that the English had taken Long Island ' by one Captain Schot ' acting under orders from the Duke of York and were pre paring to subjugate the rest of the province, but that Gov ernor Stuyvesant was making ' good preparation' and had enrolled as many as two thousand fighting men. The next news, told in London on October 14, was that a Dutch ship had recently arrived at Mount's Bay — the most westerly of English havens, just inside of Land's End — carrying three hundred soldiers ' beaten by the English out of Am sterdam in New Netherland.' Evidently this was the slave ship Gideon upon which most of Stuyvesant's troops had been sent home. It had made a quick voyage, and from Mount's Bay it must have gone on at once to Holland; for on the same day that the news was told in London, which was October 24 by the Dutch calendar, the West India Company informed the States General that a fleet sent from England by the Duke of York and aided by the forces of New England had captured the city of New Amsterdam with 'the whole of New Netherland province' and subjected it to England, changing its name at once to New York. In those days of slow travelling it might well, of course, take as long for the news of a ship's arrival at Land's End to reach London as for the ship itself to reach Holland.

Soon the Dutch ambassador in England wrote again, say ing that the ship Valmuyden had brought the same story with the additional information that the inhabitants of Long Island had been conveyed away. The truth was quickly spread about by what the West India Company called the `licentious prating' of the soldiers from the Gideon and by broadsides bearing a translation of the Articles of Surrender. It would not respect these Articles, said the Company; and in November it despatched a ship to bring General Stuyvesant home, hoping to get 'more comfort' from his words than it had from his letters.

Before the 'end of October the States General issued two remonstrances about the capture of the province, announc ing that it was about to communicate to foreign ambassadors the violence committed by the English in North America — a measure of which Downing spoke very sharply. The me morials that he had drawn up about the wrong-doings of the Dutch trading companies were still under consideration ; but, the States General informed Charles II, peaceful nego tiations could not proceed until England should restore the places it had taken in divers parts of the world ' by no other right than vi et armata mane.' From this position they would not recede. To their ambassador Charles first denied and then acknowledged his cognizance of Holmes's expedi tion. The direct responsibility for the seizure of New Netherland he at once accepted. This province, he said, was a 'dependency' subject to his own crown and long pos sessed by the English who had simply permitted the Dutch nation to settle there without conferring any authority on the West India Company or any one else. Even if these things had been true, the ambassador answered, the king's seizure of the province would still have been just such a breach of the treaty of 1662 as Downing had declared De Ruyter's expedition to be. Although Clarendon was averse to war he resented the Dutch demand more strongly than the king, writing to Downing that both New Netherland and Cabo Corso on the Guinea coast were taken with full right and that the States General had no reason at all to expect their restoration. De Witt, Downing replied, was 'hot' for this very thing, but his Majesty was no more bound to give an account of what he had done than to ask the consent of the Dutch government in case he should see fit to proceed against the Dutchmen who had settled in the fen-lands of England itself.

In rapid-fire memorials, replies, and rejoinders, some of which when put at once into print quickly ran through several editions, Downing and the States General continued the argument. Especially did the States emphasize the fact that the king of England had forcibly taken New Netherland without presenting to them any claim for it. However, they added, any 'imaginary' claim that he might have presented, being older than 1654, would have been extinguished by the treaty then made with Cromwell. This treaty, said Down ing, had had no such effect, but, even if it had, New England owned the territories in dispute as lying within its patent; the Dutch had resided there only precariously with the con nivance of the English, getting permission to remain from year to year upon certain conditions; and they had now drawn down their fate upon themselves by continuing their aggressions upon their English neighbors even after the con clusion of the treaty which, in 1662, bound England and Holland to friendship. Reiterating the true story of the province and saying that all Downing's statements had often been refuted, the States General declared that if the king believed he had any claims he should have said so when the treaty of 1662 was framed. The English, they added, had only the same right to New England that Holland had to New Netherland — 'to wit, the right of occupation.' As strongly as in Cromwell's time the Dutch government felt that there was far more to lose than to gain by a war with England. Moreover, the plague had raged terribly during the summer, costing the city of Amsterdam twenty thousand lives; the admiralty was impoverished by the consequent falling off in customs receipts; and the naval force of the nation was in large part unavailable, the ships being laid up for the winter. But the blows struck by Eng land in Africa and America united and inflamed the nation instead of cowing it as Downing had expected. Prepara tions for war were put in hand although negotiations still went on. De Witt even proposed that peace be preserved in Europe while elsewhere the two nations be free to carry on hostilities as they might see fit — a suggestion which, in days when individual adventurers and incorporated com panies were constantly fighting in far parts of the world with small thought of what was happening in Europe, did not sound as strange as it would to-day. When it was known that without much trouble De Ruyter had retaken the Guinea posts, an embargo was laid on all ships in English ports to provide seamen for the English navy. The kink said that this was a measure of reprisal and that the State: General, sending out De Ruyter and preparing many ship for sea, was responsible for everything; and Downing addec to his demands compensation for the outlays which, he said had been forced upon the English government. In Decem ber the States General received from their ambassador th( first copy they had seen of the king's grant of New Nether land to the Duke of York.

De Ruyter was now ordered to come home, attacking th( English by the way in Barbadoes, New Netherland, New foundland, or any other places, islands, or vessels outsid( of Europe where it might seem possible. The English set nc such limitation. As the new year was opening, by the advic( of Downing who still hoped to frighten the States General the Dutch 'Smyrna fleet,' thirty merchantmen coming hom€ under convoy of three men-of-war, was attacked by ar English squadron in the Straits of Gibraltar but escapec with little damage into the harbor of Cadiz. Thus, said th( States General, although the traders of both nations hac used force in various quarters of the globe, England hac first attacked `in front of the Bay of Cadiz' national ships of Holland with its own men-of-war; but of course the Englist . . . consider themselves at liberty to do what they please ; they are not bound by any treaty ; whatever they do is all right which if done by this side would be proclaimed a violation of all law.

Dutch ships in English harbors were seized and their cargoes confiscated, letters-of-reprisal were issued to English ships, and letters-of-marque, so the king directed through the Duke of York, should be given to privateers by all the governors of his foreign plantations. The Hollanders on their side were striving to put a great fleet to sea and were now instructing the East and West India Companies to do the English all possible damage in and out of Europe. War was imminent, and if England had not yet declared war it was because, in Dryden's phrase, the young king of France, Louis XIV, held 'idle thunders in his lifted hand.' Louis was bound by a treaty of defence to aid the United Netherlands should they be attacked in Europe. But he knew that his fleet was not in a condition to do him credit; he was afraid that if he stood with the Republic England would ally itself with Spain; he could not induce the Dutch to recognize his claim to the Spanish Netherlands and feared, therefore, that if they triumphed in the war they would block his design to possess himself of the coveted provinces when the expected death of the king of Spain should give him opportunity. On the other hand, he knew that if a war were declared and he did not abide by his pledge to the Dutch his honor would be smirched; he thought that if England were permitted to conquer Holland the Orangist party, less favorable to France than the party of De Witt, would come into power; and above all he feared that a triumphant England would be a more dangerous rival, politically and commercially, than Holland had ever been. The only way out of all these dangers was to stave off a war. So Louis hesitated and delayed, openly offering to mediate, privately assuring both Charles and De Witt of his friendship, while De Witt did his best to make him declare in favor of the Republic, and Charles did his best to bind him to neutrality.

In February, 1665, parliament by a great majority granted King Charles for purposes of war £2,500,000, the largest grant yet bestowed upon an English sovereign; the city of London lent him great additional sums; and at last, on March 4, he declared war. Neither the lord chancellor nor the treasurer of the realm concurred in so doing, but it was one of the very few things ever done by Charles II in which the voice of his people sustained him. Indeed, as he himself declared, he had merely followed where others led. One of the extracts from the autobiography of his brother James that Macpherson gives, says with little exaggeration that 'the bent of the whole nation' was for war and that the king was 'forced' into it by the House of Commons; but it does not confess how potent in the same direction had been the efforts of the duke himself.

The king's proclamation declared that, as the States General had refused to make good the damages inflicted upon Englishmen by the East and West India ,Companies and other Netherlanders, and had aggravated these injuries by sending De Ruyter to the coast of Guinea, he was compelled to pro ceed against and to treat as enemies those who had been wholly the aggressors. To show that England had coun tenanced no aggressions Robert Holmes, accused of exceed ing his instructions, was sent to the Tower; or, as Samuel Pepys explains, he was sent to the Tower so that if the Dutch should triumph he might be made `a sacrifice as Sir Walter Raleigh was.' Even the English historians who, unlike the majority, know that Richard Nicolls, not Robert Holmes, seized the Dutch-American province, seldom get the story straight. In a very recent account of the war that began in 1665 it may be read that `the Dutch settlements on the Hudson, known as New Amsterdam,' had been `captured in the previous autumn by an expedition under command of Governor Nicholls of Massachusetts' ; and others declare that it was Nicolls, not Holmes, who was sent to the Tower. In fact, Nicolls was just then reconstructing the government of his province along English lines; and, laboring more conscien tiously, more intelligently, and with more patience, cheerful ness, tact, and good-will than could have been expected of a soldier charged with a civilian's tasks, an Englishman set to govern Dutchmen, a courtier not yet forty years of age exiled from Whitehall to the edge of the world, he had almost finished the work before he heard that war had been declared in Europe.

When Europe first laid hands upon America there were no laws, no precedents, no theories to determine how colonies should be administered. Simply through force of circum stances the American settlements became not mere trading factories like the distant posts of the Phoenicians nor inde pendent cities like the colonies of Greece but, more like those of Rome, properties to be managed for the benefit of the parent state. They were not, however, as it has been ex plained, national properties but properties of the crown. It was for this reason that royal patents were bestowed upon intending discoverers and colonizers, and for this reason that Charles II could act without consulting parliament when he gave his brother American territories actually held by another state. In the time of James I when the first colonies were

planted, in the time of Charles I and the Commonwealth when home affairs absorbed all men's minds, there was no serious effort to deal with the foreign plantations according to any general plan. Especially in regard to their commerce the home authorities pursued uncertain courses which from the colonial point of view were sometimes restrictive but often indulgent and encouraging. With the framing of the Acts of Trade and Navigation these vacillations came to an end, and so too did the passivity of parliament in regard to the colonial possessions of the crown.

Entirely passive in this respect parliament had never been. For example, it concerned itself much with colonial matters under James I. But it then passed no act directly bearing upon the colonies; and when the House of Commons was about to investigate the affairs of the Virginia Company in 1624 it yielded to the command of the king forbidding it to interfere in a matter with which only his council was con cerned. After the fall of Charles I, parliament held for a time the rights and prerogatives of the crown in respect to its foreign plantations; but they soon reverted to the Lord Protector and a committee of his privy council — the committee which set the pattern for those established by Charles II. Not until after the Restoration had parliament any recog nized authority as sharing with the crown in the regulation of colonial affairs. Then, in the words of Thomas Pownall who a hundred years later was governor of Massachusetts, the king in some degree `participated his sovereignty' over the colonies `with the Lords and Commons,' and thus his colonial estates were `annexed to the realm.' But they were not united with the realm. When the colonies were estab lished only such preexistent laws had been transplanted as were thought to fit colonial conditions; and all through the colonial period no new parliamentary enactment was held to bind the colonies unless it explicitly named them as therein concerned. Moreover, as in the colonies the title to land was vested in the crown, from first to last they had direct dealings only with the crown and its advisers. Parliament, first establishing its authority by the enactment of the trad ing laws, continued to confine its activity to those matters of commerce, finance, and defence in which the interests of the realm at large were involved. The only one of the Thirteen Colonies, it may be added, which received initial aid from parliament was Georgia which was not established until 1733.

All the English colonies originated in grants from the crown except Connecticut and Rhode Island which, after the Restoration, regulated their status by getting royal patents. Yet by 1664 there were three distinct types of colonial gov ernments existing between Florida and Acadia, without including Plymouth which had got its patent indirectly, from the Council for New England, and was not to be long lived. Virginia was a crown or royal government where the king retained his immediate title to the soil, ruled through a governor who directly represented him, and gave the people such rights and privileges as he saw fit. Maryland and Carolina were proprietary governments where the crown had transferred all its rights to one or more proprietors. This, with a certain difference, was also the status of New York. Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut are usually called charter governments because, although all their fellows had charters, their own were much more liberal, authorizing them to govern themselves and to dispose of their own soil. Such charter governments, politically speak ing, were colonies; royal and proprietary governments were provinces. Both in the colonies and in the provinces the government and the people as individuals owed faith and allegiance to the crown although this fact was not yet acknowl edged everywhere in New England. Nowhere was the com mon law of England formally introduced, but everywhere legislation was expected to conform as nearly as possible to English example. New England, again, thought little of this obligation; and neither king nor proprietor was debarred by it from doing certain things which had grown to be illegal in England. Having personal rights in government they could create legislatures, and being immediate owners of the soil they could erect manors with manorial courts.

The character of the proprietary governments was sug gested by those old 'counties palatine' in England where for purposes of border defence the king's rights and powers had been deputed to earls palatine. As by the time of Charles I Durham was the only survivor of these palatinates it was mentioned in some of the American patents as the type in mind. In the view of Pownall colonial governments of all kinds were similarly based 'in the true spirit, intent, and meaning of the thing,' for even in a royal province the king's power was largely deputed, resting in the hands of the governor whom he sent out. Also, analogies could be traced with the duchy of Normandy where appeals lay not to the courts of England nor to the House of Lords but to the king in council, and with the island of Jersey which enjoyed a legislature of its own.

As a grant of land, however, American soil, except in Mary land, was bestowed upon a proprietor or a corporation to be held not according to the old feudal tenures which had grown obsolete in England and were formally abolished in 1660 but in free and common socage `as of our Manor of East Greenwich in the County of Kent.' For some fifty years before the first colonial charter was given, this royal manor had been cited as a prototype in grants of crown lands within the kingdom, evidently because it was for a time the usual royal residence. Thus a custom was established; and the fact that this custom was respected in drafting all colonial charters except the charter of Maryland and the charter of Pennsylvania in which Windsor was substituted, is one of the many proofs that territories beyond the seas were con sidered the property of the crown, not of the nation. The only obligations this form of tenure imposed were fealty and a nominal rent — usually in America one-fifth of all the gold and silver ore that might be discovered, in the case of New York forty beaver skins a year to be paid when de manded. Lands sold or granted to individuals by king, proprietor, or corporation were also granted in free and common socage, fealty being always due to the king, quit rents to him in the one case, to the proprietors in the other; and their holders could not be deprived of them if they ful filled the obligations named in their grants.

Allegiance to the crown was thus the only political tie that held together its 'foreign' plantations — a term, it should perhaps be explained, which was then used to mean ' distant' rather than `alien.' Otherwise the colonies were entities wholly distinct from each other. The question whether they owed allegiance to the realm of England as well as to its king was often debated but, it need hardly be said, had not been settled in 1776; nor had the question of possible representation in parliament, which was broached as early as the time of the Commonwealth.

As a proprietary province New York stood on a somewhat different footing from Maryland and Carolina where the proprietors were authorized to consult the freemen of the province in legislation and taxation but the people were granted no right of appeal to the crown. The patent of the Duke of York did not recognize the right of his subjects to a share in government, neither restricting nor defining his legislative powers, but it did secure to them the right of appeal; and in his province courts were erected and justice was administered in the name not of the proprietor but of the king. In fact New York, nominally a proprietary province, really stood midway between this and a royal province. All the profits that might accrue from it, and all the honor, expense, and trouble of governing it, the proprietor was to have; but the crown reserved rights of supervision which at any moment it might choose to exercise.

Being a proprietary province New York did not come under the direct control of such committees and councils as the crown appointed to care for its more immediate posses sions. To aid in its administration the Duke of York created a board composed of a secretary, treasurer, attorney-general, and solicitor-general. The papers relating to it remained in his own custody and many of them are now lost. Therefore the series of colonial documents preserved in the Public Record Office at London tell less about the first twenty years of New York — except, indeed, with regard to the manner of its seizure — than about those of the long later period during which it was a royal province. As, however, Nicolls was commissioned to deal on the king's behalf with the affairs of New England he corresponded not only with the duke but also with Arlington the secretary of state and with Clarendon the lord chancellor who was the leading spirit among the advisers of the crown in commercial and colonial matters. A number of these letters survive, and also many that Nicolls wrote to various persons in New York and the other colonies. But even if all the papers of the period remained they would undoubtedly be much less voluminous than those, fragmentary though they also are, which tell what happened in the province while Stuyvesant governed it. The men of Manhattan no longer corresponded freely with the authorities on the other side of the sea.

Thus, by falling under English rule, the people of the Dutch province exchanged the control of a moribund trad ing company for that of a dictator of royal blood, and the overlordship of a republic to which they could always frankly speak for the sovereignty of a king to very IT u appea - • • - - • d they profit in the way of increased commercial freedom.

\ During the earliest colonial period it had been understood that colonists as individuals retained, to quote the patent given by Elizabeth to Sir Humphrey Gilbert, 'all the privi leges of free denizens and natives of England the same as if resident there.' This was the theory when Virginia was settled and for half a century thereafter. It was wiped out by the Navigation Acts. These made the American a denizen of a dependency subordinated to the parent state.

As one of the corner-stones of the Acts was the desire to build up the maritime power of England they said that all trading, transatlantic and coastwise, must be carried on in English or English colonial ships manned chiefly by English men. Another corner-stone was the wish to secure for England that favorable 'balance of trade' which, it was thought, must be secured by forbidding the export of the currency of the kingdom, by monopolizing as far as possible the trade in products in general demand, and by getting raw materials cheaply and selling out of the kingdom manufac tured articles ; and, as other nations were engaged in similar efforts, England regarded its colonies as indispensable reser voirs of raw materials which could be paid for in manu factures without draining the kingdom of its precious metals. Therefore the Navigation Acts named certain commodities which even in English ships could be carried from a colonial port only to England or to some other English colony. In 1664 these 'enumerated plantation goods' or `enumerated commodities' were sugar, tobacco, cotton, ginger, indigo, and dyewoods. Gradually, during many after years, the list was lengthened. Some of the additions were things with which England could supply itself but in insufficient quantity. Upon these the duties imposed in varying degree upon all im ported articles, enumerated or non-enumerated, were laid in a manner to protect the home producer. On the other hand, preferential duties protected enumerated commodities with which foreign ones competed in the English market; and while colonial tobacco was thus protected against Spanish, for the sake of the king's revenue Englishmen at home were forbidden to grow the plant. Furthermore, bounties were offered from time to time for certain enumerated commodi ties which the kingdom especially needed.

The list of enumerated commodities as it stood in 1664 shows why England valued its island colonies more highly than those of the main. Only tobacco was a staple product of the mainland, and none of the main and the list. All of these, — grain, fish,Loeats, skins, hides, oil, lumber, and naval stores, like all other non-enumerated could be sent in the legal kind of ship to foreign colonial ports and_to_such European south of Cape Firusterre, a limitation designed to protect England's carrying trade in the nearer NE._ Some non-enumerated co n — • • „ „ practically excluded from the ports of England. During the reign of Charlisql the first Corn Laws were passed, putting for the benefit of the land prohibitive duties on agriqultural pro trencesoever brou ht. For the of the Eng is w a er discriminating duties were laid on oil and_lalublaeroarrieWalunialEhips. Salt d e co fists absolutely forbidden to introduce. By succes sive steps, as the Navigation were enlarged and amended during the seventeenth and eighteenth centurianufac turing was more and more strictl 'forbidden to the ' e aura ensole colonies of regulations was, however, one forbidding th even in English ships, any European products or wares except by wa of En. -r ustoms dues had there b- • • ..id. This rule was mitigated by a few special privileges : all the colo nies could receive wines directly from Madeira and the Azores, India goods from beyond the Cape of Good Hope, and pro visions, horses, and bond-servants from Scotland and Ireland, while New England and Newfoundland could get from any part of Europe the salt that they needed for their fish-curing — all, of course, in ships of the legal sort. Yet the general law often made it impossible for colonial ships to get, in the foreign ports where they were free to sell some colonial com

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