Letter from gov. Colve to gov. Winthrop

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The following is the answer:
I yesterday received your letter of the 31st October, old style, wherein seeing that the aforesaid of the 21st of said month handed by John Bankes was from you, I answer: I am very well aware how the subjects of their High Mightinesses and the inhabitants of open hamlets and villages ought to be treated, but I also well know that I am not obliged to account to you in the premises. It is sufficiently notorious and can also appear by their written requests that the inhabitants of the East end of Long Island have submitted and declared themselves subjects of their High Mightinesses, delivering up their colors, constables' staves, making nominations for Schout Magistrates and Secretaries, whereupon their election also duly followed; furthermore we have been requested by their deputies to excuse the elected magistrates from coming hither to take the oath, but as it was necessary to send Commissioners thither in order to bring the people under oath, that they too may be qualified to administer the same to the magistrates in like manner, which we were pleased to grant them and which would undoubtedly have been complied with by them had not some evil disposed persons gone from you and dissuaded them. I am here to maintain the right of their High Mightinesses and his Serene Highness the Prince of Orange, my Lords and Masters; therefore give little heed to your strange and threatening words, knowing to put with God's blessing and the force entrusted to me, such means into operation as will reduce rebels to due obedience, and to make those who uphold them in their unrighteous proceedings to alter their evil designs. Regarding what you write, that I am led, by barbarous motives, to molest the Dutch open villages, but that the English scorn such unchristian designs; 'tis known throughout the entire world in what a humane manner we treat our conquered enemies whereunto your nation is no stranger both in the last and in the present war, our fleets having had plenty of opportunities to cause great damage, yea ruin to whole countries, but have exhibited no inclination thereto, which was not the case with your nation, on the island of Ter Schellingh[1] towards poor fishermen and farmers. I deem it unnecessary to answer any other points of your letter. Therefore break off and subscribe

By order of the Honorable Governor-General 
of N. Netherland. 
Fort Willem Hendrick this 18th November, 1673.   (Signed), 

The superscription was:
To Mr John Winthrop, commanding at Hartford,
and the Court of the
English inhabitants of Connecticot.


In 1666, the English landed at West Ter Schellingh and burnt that village. —Ed.


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.