Letter from gov. Colve to the gov. and council of Massachusetts

Scanned Document:

The following is the answer:

Your letter of the 25th November last was handed to us yesterday evening by the bearer hereof, wherein you demand restitution of four New England ketches brought in here. You cannot be ignorant that first the government of Connecticut, your allies, with your approbation as they give out, hath usurped some towns situate on the east end of Long Island, belonging, according to their own submission, to this government; and that the subjects of your own government hath taken near Nantucket and carried into New England a certain craft called the Expectatie, then belonging to our State, which act of hostility was committed by you before and previous to anything on our side having been undertaken lo your prejudice. However, such having been undoubtedly done by lawful commission, we cannot make the slightest complaint, which to our surpise we perceive you have, in the case of the four ketches, whose crews have not been detained prisoners here as you write, but are sent to you free of expense, and they will undoubtedly before the receipt of this have reported to your Honor how they have been treated here. We had in our previous letter to you requested the same civility in the case of our prisoners, and even expected it.

Gentlemen. We have thought it necessary to inform you that all the messengers who may be sent by you hither, shall be received also with civility, but we request you in future to be pleased to employ honorable people in that capacity and no spies, which we are informed for certain this Mr Davenport was, the last time, who although coming here without a pass being, however excused and civilly treated, after his departure hence made use of such language as cannot be considered to come from any one but a spy, considering, however, the character in which he is at present employed by you, I have for that reason overlooked it. Having nothing more to add I break off and subscribe myself.

Gentlemen, your servant. 
By order of the Governor-General and Council 
of New Netherland. 
Done Fort Willem Hendrick,  ( Signed ),  N. Bayard, Secretary 
this 13th December, 1673. 

(The superscription was:)
These for the Honorable the Governor and
Council of Massachusets Colony in
New England, residing at Boston.


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.