Oath of allegiance and order to administer the oath to the inhabitants of Long Island

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The following is the form of the oath to be taken by the inhabitants of the English Nation:

Wee do sware in the presence of the Almighty Godt, that wee shall be true & faithfull to the. High & Mighty Lords the Staets Gennerall of the united Provinces of his Serene highnesse the Lord Prince of Orange & to their Governors here for the tijme being, and to behave or selves uppon all occasions, as true & lawfull subjects provided onlij that wee shall not be forced in armes against our owne nation if they be sent bij authoritij of his Majesty of England, except they be accompanied by â commission of force of other nations when wee do oblidge our selves to take up armes against them So help us God.

Nathaniel Silvester hath this day, pursuant to agreement concluded yesterday, executed an obligation at the office of Secretary Bayard, whereupon the following conveyance is made and confirmed to him:

The Honorable Council of War, over a squadron of ships now anchored in Hudson's river in New Netherland, on the behalf of their High Mightinesses the Lords States-General of the United Netherlands and his Serene Highness the Prince of Orange, Greeting, make known:

Whereas we, by virtue of our commission, by a preceding act of this date, for sufficient reasons us moving have, for the behoof of our Lord Masters confiscated the lands, houses, goods, negroes and effects of whatever sort they may be, belonging to the heirs of the late Constant Silvester and Colonel Thomas Middelton, situate on Shelter Island, east of Long Island, being property belonging to the subjects of England and public enemies of our State, Therefore have we thought proper and resolved to sell said houses, lands, movables, negroes and effects belonging to the enemies of our State as aforesaid, for the advantage of our Lords and Masters, and pursuant thereunto have in like manner arranged and agreed with Nathaniel Silvester, co-proprietor of Shelter Island, already mentioned, to whom we have sold the aforesaid interest and right of the abovenamed heirs of Constant Silvester and Thomas Middeltone, for the sum of Five Hundred Pounds Sterling, payable agreeably to the tenor of a certain obligation thereof being, declaring therefore, that we will cede, transport and convey, as we do hereby cede, transport and convey to the abovenamed Nathaniel Silvester, his heirs and assigns, for and in consideration of the said sum, all interest, right, title and propriety which the aforesaid heirs of Constant Silvester and Thomas Middeltone have to the aforesaid island and dependencies thereof, to be by the aforesaid Nathaniel Silvester, his heirs and assigns, entered on, used and in perpetual, real and free possession forever and hereditarily to be possessed, and further to do therewith as he should or could do with any other his patrimonial Lands and effects, with additional confirmation of all profits, rights and privileges which by previous governments have been granted and conceded unto said island, viz.: Freedom from all taxes, whether civil or military (the public customs or duties excepted), unless their High Miglitinesses the Lords Slates-General impose any new tax on the whole country. Item, he shall not be cited in law before any subaltern courts of justice except only before the Supreme Court, and furthermore, not be bound to any mustering or outfitting or maintaining of soldiers or any military necessaries of war, save only what he shall voluntarily do for the defence of said island and government in time of need against any foreign invasion or troubles with the Indians, all which aforesaid Freedoms and Rights to the aforesaid island belonging, are hereby again confirmed to the abovenamed Silvester and his assigns, with Freedom of Conscience and all other privileges and rights, the same as shall be granted and accorded to all the subjects of this government. Dated, Fort Willem Hendrik, this 29th August, 1673.


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.