Letter from the magistrates of Gravesande to the Amsterdam Chamber of the WIC

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[1] Honorable, right good lords and patroons ]

In addition to the general letter respecting this province or country, our duty prompts us to write this from ourselves to inform you of what has occurred here in our town, in order thereby to furnish evidence of our fidelity or loyalty to their High Mightinesses or you, under whose protection or patronage we have placed ourselves; and that without any jealousy or intention of revolting from that due obedience which we owe their High Mightinesses or your honors, although, haply, information to the contrary may have reached you.

Please then, to know, that in regard to the sad difference between both states, viz that of your honors and that of England, our native country, together with a certain report of the Indians or natives having risen up against us, we, standing in daily dread of being invaded in our properties, and in order not to be deprived of our lives, were invited by our neighbors and countrymen of Flushing to meet them as well as those of Heemstede, at Middelborch; as appears by the notice, no. 1. Whereupon we were answered: the Manhattans and Broockline are also invited. The time of meeting being come, we sent two delegates from our town with instructions, as is to be seen by duplicate no. 2, all of whom met except Manatans and Broockline, and certain propositions were submitted, but no conclusion come to. We recommend to the rest of the English places, as appears by duplicate no. 3, and such was then and is still our resolution, should occasion require. The aforesaid duly considered, as well as refusal of ammunition, as by duplicate no. 4, and some unfriendly acts done us, contrary to what, we apprehend, we have deserved; also, the refusal of the enjoyed freedoms (we mean Dutch freedoms) for which we came, which we then and now might enjoy under our own nation, as all this might have sustained the loyalty of proper men such as we; thus acting, according to the proportion of intelligence which God has been pleased to grant us, we hope and trust that your honors and all honorable people will keep us free of all aspersion that may be flung at us, of our intending to revolt from that due obedience which we owe your honors, as our patroons, from whatever quarter it may proceed. Whatever ] ill treatment we have received, we shall do no injury nor wrong, although, perhaps, they think so. Our town or place, one of the oldest planted on Long Island under your honors' patroonship, which has been loyal to you on all occasions, and as your honors know, has ever been good friends of our present governor, as he himself has frequently acknowledged, seeks to increase the confidence which your honors repose in us, for the greatest advantage of your honors' inhabitants, as the number sent to us in the beginning could then be scarcely accommodated. All in the hope and on the firm promise of our governor that we should obtain an addition of town land, which, though solemnly promised, never followed, but, to our sorrow, remained back with expensive delays.

Therefore do we now, in our particular, make our application or address to your honors, our patroons, who we not only hope but doubt not, will afford us such proper satisfaction as God shall direct you according to right equity and our due liberty etc.

Obedient and loyal, in all becoming respects, your honors' servants and farmers of Gravesend. ]

Gravesend in New Netherland
December 27, 1653.

William Willings ]
Johan Moris, Schout ]

The magistrates and schout have signed, by order of all the representatives for the town and done for me,

John Tilltoun


Missing material supplied from NYCD, 2:158-59.


A complete copy of this publication is available on the New Netherland Institute website.