Though they have been difficult to locate so far, there are records of the service of John Pell, 2d Lord of the Manor of Pelham, as a member of the House of Representatives in the Assembly of the Colony of New York in the early 1690s. The records located so far are sketchy because they are contained within a "Journal of the Legislative Council of New York". A number of those records reflect visits to the Council in his capacity as a member of the House.
Today's Historic Pelham Blog posting transcribes pertinent excerpts of the available records located so far. Each excerpt is followed by a citation to its source.
John Pell Gives Thanks to Governor for a Speech and for Suppressing Disorder at the Time of His Arrival
"At a Council held at ffort William Henry the 10th of April, 1691. . . .
Vpon the vote of the Assembly that the thanks of that house should be returned to his Excellency for the favourable speech made by him and the President by his direction and also for the effectuall and speedy care that his Excellency has taken for the suppressing the many disorders and disquiets that were in the Government on his arriveall here, the same was accordingly delivered by Will m Merritt, John Pell, Dirck Wessells, Henry Pierson, Ellis Duxbury, John Poling and Henry Beeckman . . . order of that house."
Source: Journal of the Legislative Council of the Colony of New-York Began the 9th Day of April, 1691; and Ended the 27 of September, 1743., p. 2 (Albany, NY: Weed, Parsons & Co., Printers 1861) (Published by Order of the Senate of the State of New-York).
John Pell Seeks Sergeant of Arms for the House of Representatives
"At a Council held at ffort William Henry Aprill the 15th, 1691. . . .
Mr Pell and Mr Duxberry having attended his Excell and Council and moved that a Sergeant arms may be appointed to attend service of their house,
Ordered, That Mr Benjamin Phipps Sergeant at arms doe attend that house accordingly."
Source: Id., p. 3.
John Pell Appointed to Set Fees for All Officials in the Province
"At A Council held at ffort William Henry 18th Aprilis, 1691. . . .
There was also presented unto this board an Order of the house of Representatives wherein they have appointed Johannes Kip, Dirck Wessells, Henry Beeckman, Col Pierson, Capt Stillwell, Mr Whitehead, Mr Duxbury and Mr. Pell, or any five of them, to be a Committee to Establish the ffees of all the Offices throughout this Province, and that they move the Governour and Council that a Committe of the Council be joyned with them and they call to their assistance all Persons and Papers that are needfull and to make returne thereof to this board munday morning next by Eight a Clock, which was considered &
Ordered, that Coll Nicholas Bayard, Step V. Cortlandt, Chidley Brooke, Will m Nicolls & Wil m Pinhorne Esqrs, or any three of them, be a Committe of this board to joyne with them accordingly and that they call unto to their assistance all person and persons that are needfull, and that a copy of this Ord r be Delivered to Johannes Kip by Coll Nich Bayard that they may be in readyness to make returne accordingly And that Coll Bayard doe appoint the times and places of meeting."
Source: Id., p. 4.
John Pell Complains to the Governor in Council That Bills Are Being Delayed in the House Because the Attorney General Has Not Provided Enough Assistance in Drafting Them
"At A Council held at ffort William Henry the Eighth of May, 1691. . . .
Mr Pell, Mr Wessells, Alderman Kip, Mr Howell, Mr Whitehead, Mr Poling, Cap t Demyre, Mr Ranslaer and Mr Duxbery attended His Excellency in Council and Read an address and Report of their house wherein they doe Complain that their Bills are delayed for want of the Attorney Generall to assist them in the drawing of them.
His Excellency Expressed himself Concerned that the business of that house should be retarded, told them that he had appointed the Attorney General to attend them and that he suffered him not to goe to Boston without their leave, that he believed it was the businesse of that house to Draw their own Bills but that he would advise concerning the same and notwithstanding would take care all help should be given them."
Source: Id., p. 7.
John Pell Seeks Information to Help Prepare Letters To Be Sent to Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, & Boston Asking for Funding Assistance for Reinforcements at the Fort in Albany to Defend the Frontier
"At A Council held at ffort William Henry, the 22th of Aprill, 1692. . . .
Mr Pell and Mr Van Schayck waited upon this board to signify that the house of Representatives could not proceed untill they had the list of the Fusileers employed at Albany with the Account of the Incidentall Charges that have accrued thereon; which was again immediately ordered to be dispatched.
Coll Courtland, Coll Bayard & Chid Brooke Esq r are appointed a Committe forthwith to auditt the Accounts of the 3 Comp es of fusileers late at Alb.
Adjourned till morrow morning."
Source: Id., p. 15 (for necessary background to understand the entry excerpted above, see id., p. 14).
John Pell Presents House of Representatives Bill for Raising Two Hundred Men To Reinforce Albany
"At A Council held at ffort William Henry, the 27th of Aprill, 1692. . . .
Jacobus Courtlandt, John Pell, William Demyre &c did waite on this board with a Bill from the house of Representatives intituled, A Bill for the raising of two hundred men with their proper Officers for the securing and Reinforcing of Albany in the ffrontiers of this Province, which was read the first time."
Source: Id., pp. 15-16.
John Pell, Now Appointed a Major, Serves on Committee to Prepare an Address
"At A Council held at ffort William Henry, the 7th of September, 1692. . . .
Maj r Pell, Col Pierson, Mr. Robinson, Mr. Van Schayck, Cap t Courtlandt & Cap t Demyre from the house of Representatives did notifye that they are appointed a Committe of the house of Representatives to joyne the Committe of the Councill to Concerte of an Address to their Matys."
Source: Id., p. 21.
John Pell's Bill Providing for Pilotage (Presumably Pilotage in the Lower Long Island Sound) Is Passed Unchanged by the Council and Signed by the Governor
"At A Council held at ffort William Henry, the 9th of March, 1693/4. . . .
Mr Pell from the house of Representatives brought up the Bill for pilotage being three times read & passed their house.
The Clerke of the Council did return in answer that they have sent up the Bill for pilotage by Mr Pell and have nothing further at present to offer.
Ordered, the Bill for pillotage be three times read.
The Bill for pilotage being three times read, is assented unto by the Governour & Council & his Excell did sign the same."
Source: Id., p. 51.
John Pell Presents House Bill To Raise 170 Men To Reinforce Albany
"At A Council held at ffort William Henry, the 24th of March, 1693/4. . . .
John Pell & Daniel Whitehead presented a Bill from the house of Representatives passed the house Intituled: A Bill for the raising & paying 170 men &c, & prayed the assent of the Governour & Council thereunto
Ordered, the same be read the first and second time;
Ordered, a third reading of the Bill for ye raising & paying 170 men &c.
Vpon the third reading of the sd Bill, His Excell and Council desire an amedment that in pag 8. 3d line, be inserted: -- and such other forces as shall be obteind and His Excell think fitt for the defence aforesaid; and some other small literall corrections which the Clerke will perceive.
Ordered, Chidley Brooke Esq r and William Pinhorne Esq r do deliver the Bill with amendments and desire the consent of the Representatives thereunto.
Mr Van Ekelan & Mr Blackhall, in answer to his Excell message to the house concerning his Expedition to Albany to meet the Indians with presents, Desire that the necessary Charge be taken up upon the Creditt of the revenue for that expedicon.
Ordered, Thomas Willet Esqr desire the Speaker of the Assembly will appoint a Committe of the house to conferr with four of the Council about the charge of his Excell Journey to Albany & presents to the Indians, who are to meet at 3 a clock this afternoon in their Maties Custome house at the Coll n office.
Ordered, Coll Cortlandt, Coll Bayard, Chidley Brooke Esqr and William Pinhorne Esqr be a Committe of the Council to confer with a Committe of the Assembly to be thereunto appointed, at the Coll n office in the Custome house at 3 a clock afternoone, concerning the charge of his Excell Journey & presents to the Indians."
Source: Id., pp. 55-56.
John Pell Delivers House Bill to Continue Special Tax Duty
"At A Council held at ffort William Henry, the 23rd of October, 1694.
His Excell BEN FLETCHER, &c.,
COL. STEPHEN CORTLANDT,
Maj r Pell from the Assembly delivered to his Excell in Council a Bill Intituled, a Bill for continuing the additionall duty for one year longer for the raising 600£ towards the rebuilding the Chappell and mounting of sixteen great guns &c.
Ordered, the sd Bill be read the first time.
Ordered, A second reading.
His Excell desired the opinion of the board, whether to adjourn, prorogue or dissolve the Assembly.
The Council give their opinion that the Assembly be prorogued till the first of March next, which they humbly submitt.
Ordered, the Bill for continueing the additionall duty &c be read a third time.
His Excell the Governour & Council do consent unto the sd Bill being three times read, without amendment.
His Excell ordered the Cl. of the Council to tell Mr Speaker that His Excell commanded the Speaker and the whole house forthwith to attend his Excell in Councill Chamber.
The Speaker and Assembly being present,
His Excell signed to the Bill for continuing the additionall duty for one year longer &c; Enacting it & ordered it to be enrolled under the seal of the Province Then told them that this Act being their kindness to their Maties, in obedience to the Kings Letter, he was obleiged as a faint Representative of so great a Prince, to returne thanks for it; wishing they had expressed their kindnesse earlyer, and after many arguments used to diswade the Assembly from groundlesse jealousyes & ill opinions conceived by mistakes against their Superiours, and of the misapplication of the Revenue; did perswade them to be unanimous and to have a good understanding with the members of Council who were all interested in the prosperity and welfare of the Countrey as much as any of them; and wished that as they are now to part in love & friendship, so they meet again with a joynt resolution for their Maties service & the prosperity of the Countrey. Then prorogued the Assembly to the first of March next ensueing.
the end of the 2d Sessions of ye 4th Assembly."
Source: Id., p. 66.
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