Order allowing Elizabethtown, Newark, Woodbridge and Piscattaway, New Jersey to send delegates to surrender to the Dutch

Scanned Document:

At a Meeting of the Commanders and Honorable Council of War, holden in Fort Willem Hendrick, 24th August, Anno 1673.

Mr. James Richards and Mr. William Rosewell having delivered yesterday the aforesaid letters from Connecticut Colony to Messrs the Commanders, request to-day another audience of the Council, which being granted them they appear and after divers discourses declared to have verbal orders from the Governor and Council of Connecticott Colony, to notify the Commanders that, as they had remained at peace in the time of the previous Dutch government, even in a season of war, they, on their side were equally disposed thus to continue without molesting this Province, or making use of any act of hostility against it. On condition that nothing be undertaken to the prejudice of their Colony from this side, it certainly will not first attempt anything hostile; in case such should be committed against them by this Province, they then protested themselves guiltless of the blood that may be shed in consequence, &c.
Whereupon the Commanders and Council of War answered, requesting them to be pleased to put in writing whatever they might have to say on this or any other point, when they should be answered in like manner. This Messrs Richard and Roseweil declined to do, since they had no order to that effect from their principals, and that such written negotiations might be turned to the worst use by any disaffected person of their Colony. To which the Commanders and Council of War replied, that they could not readily understand the English language and therefore could not well enter into any verbal negotiation with them, but if the gentlemen would please put their proposals in writing, then they would be answered in like manner, and to the end that no evil interpretation should be given to it by others, the Commanders offered, after reading their proposals to restore the same to them, on condition that the answers should in like manner be given back. Which Messrs Richard and Roseweil having again declined for the foregoing reasons, the following Letter is transmitted by the aforesaid Messrs Richards and Roseweil in answer to the Governor and Council of Hertforts Colony.

In Fort Williem Hendricke, this 24th August Anno 1673.


For answer to your letter of the 7th August, which was delivered vnto us, we say, that we are sent forth by the high and mighty lords, the States General of the Vnited Netherlands, and his serene highness the lord Prince of Orange, to doe all manner of dammage vnto the enemyes of the said high and mighty lords, both by water and by land; from which cause we being come heere into Hudson's River, have brought the land and forts within the same vnder our obedience; and in regard the villages lying to the eastward of Oyster Bay did belong to this Government, soe it is that to prevent all inconveniencyes we haue cited the same to giue the oath of fidelity; in which if they remaine defectiue, we are resolued to force them with the armes likewise; allsoe we shall not be afraid to goe against those that shall seeke to maintaine the said villages in their injustis. Conserning the vessell that is taken by vs close to your havens, their is noe other consideration but that it was taken from our enemyes, wherefore it appeares very strange before vs that we should bee objected against concerning it. Wee doe well beleive that those that are set for Keepers of his Majesty of England's subjects will quitt themselves as they ought to doe, for ye preservation of the colonyes in New England; however, we shall not for that depart from our firme resolutions. We conceive we have heerwith answered your letter. Thus done, in the place as above

By order of the Comanders & Counsell of Warr,

N. Bayard, Secretary.


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 theĀ New Netherland Institute website.