Letter from the commander to the people at the east end of Long Island

Scanned Document:

At a Meeting of the Commanders and Honorable Council of War, holden on the 7th September, 1673.

Present—  Commander Cornelis Evertse, Junior, 
Commander Jacob Benkes, 
Captain Anthony Colve. 

To the written petition of the inhabitants of the foregoing towns, that some change may be made in the oath, the following answer was returned.

Fort Willem Hendrik 8 September 1673.

Loving ffrinds

Wee have received by ye hands of your messengers, the severall nominations of your Townes and have further proceeded to the election of ye magestrates, with wee have sent to each towne in particuler, but we cannot but wonder verrij much that some of you do offer to make scrupple of ye word (freelij:) inserted in the prologue of our answer to your deputies petition, as alsoe about ye last clause of ye oath of ffidelitij; Neverthelesse finding neither of it to be material, wee have uppon the earnest request of some of ijou, ordered that the said word (frelij: ) uppon ye records should be left out and ye oath of fidellitij by all ijour inhabitants shall be done in the same forme as here under is exprest, which will be admiaistred unto them by our Commissioners: which to that purpose shall be appointed from
your ffriends

To  M. Isacq Aernold Schout 
of Southhold, Seatalkot, 
Southampton, Easthamton & 
Huntington to be communicated 
to ye Magestrates of the said Townes 

Oath of fidellitij.

Wee do sware in the presents of the Almigtij God, that wee shall be true & faithfull to ye high & mighty Lords ye States Gennerall of ye united Belgick Provinces & his Serene hignesse the Prince of Orange, & to their Governors here for the time being, and to ye utmost of our power to prevent all what shall be attempted against the same, but uppon all occasions to behave ourselves as true & faitfull subiects in conscience are bound to do, provided that wee shal not be forced in armes against our owne Nation if theij are sent bij a Lawfull commission from his Majesty of England. Soo help us God.


Translation: O'Callaghan, E.B., trans./ed., Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New-York, vol. 2 (Albany: Weed, Parsons: 1858), pp. 569-730 (vol. 23, pp. 1-270 only).A complete copy of this publication is available on the New Netherland Institute website.