Letter from the magistrates to gov. Colve

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To the honored Gouvernor now in ffort Willem Hendrick

Whereas it hath pleased the almightie god by his providence to make a Chang and alteration Soe as to take the power of government from the English and to give it to the honored States of hollon, and wee the Inhabitants of huntington haveing from you Received Summons to your obedience & wee accordingly by our deputies haveing had debate & tearmes of Complyance proponded granted & Excepted & wee being Conientious to what wee have done tending thereto because wee feare god who will at last be Judge of all, therefore it is our desire not to flij from what wee have done onely this wee desire that wee may bee Excused from takeing the oath for the Present, the reasons thereof are, first because wee of the East Riding which hitherto was Never related to this Nation but was as wee Conceive, falsely on the one part taken off from Conniticut and out of feare lett goe the other part yet notwithstanding had never an oath imposed uppon us by any of ye Duke of Yorkes agents neither yet but few that ever gave oath to the King of England soe ye an oath is a startling amazeing thing to most people here and the people are not willing to doe any thing whereby there affections should bee weakned towards there gouvernor as the strainious Exacting this oath will endanger to doe, Secondly as wee are Ready faithfully to promise what good Requires of us in order to our faithfulnes to ye present government soe wee Conceive that he or they that will not make Conscience of his promise will not make Concience of his oath nextly wee Conceive at present there are but two known Enimies to your Nation but English & Frensch & against ye Frensch wee are Resolved with the help of god to spend & bee spent our lives & Estates to defend our Selves against there tirrany & for our owne Nation if any attempt should be made by them your present grant (which is but according to law of nature doth Excuse us from takeing up armes against them, yett wee doe promise in case the English doe com wee will sett as natures till forced to doe other waijes and alsoo to be guided by your Lawes and to owne no other power soe long as unreduced by any other power, therefore wee humbly desire that your honnor would prove our faithfulness to our promise one yeare and if uppon Tryall you see Cause and Cleer fault in oure promise wee shall submitt to your pleasure in takeing the oath & shall set downe now and alwaijs we hope quiet & peaceable Neighbours in all Common Commerce nextly wee humbly desire that in case our Eastern Neighbours see Cause to stand at a distance from this present power yet notwithstanding that wee of this Towne may Stand of our Selves, and in noe sort be Joyned or related to ye western Townes in any Execution of Justice between man & man but desire rather to have one or two men more added to ye two first as Magistrates to end and determine matters that maij arise in the Towne & grater matters to your Honnor & Counsel the reasons of this last Request is first because most of the Townes westward was formerly under oaths to the dutch Nation as sume of them as wee have bine Informed were the first to tender there service to reduce the dutch to the obedience of the English the which makes us unwilling to be Joyned with them Secondly they are Various in there oppinions in point of Religion the which makes us to fear differance in Civill administration & soe discord may arise other reasons wee have but are loath to Expresse lest wee should give ofi'ence to our Neighbours In behalfe of the Rest wee doe Subscrib our hands

Huntington the 6th October 1673: Styl nova   Isaacq Platt, 
John Koncklyne, 
Richard Williams, 
Joseph Whiteman, 
Epenetas Platt. 


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.