Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Additional Authorities Supporting Assertions that Thomas Pell Conducted Trade by Ship Along the East Coast

Recently I wrote about evidence that Thomas Pell, so-called "First Lord of the Manor of Pelham", traded tobacco along the east coast of North America by Barque. See Friday, August 25, 2006: Thomas Pell, First Lord of the Manor of Pelham, Traded Tobacco Along the East Coast by Barque. I have located additional references that support the assertion that Pell traded by ship along the east coast of North America.

The first evidence is from the so-called "Clarendon Papers" published by The New-York Historical Society in 1870. The material was copied from original 17th century manuscripts in the collections of the Bodleian Library at Oxford, England. Among these significant papers is the following reference:

"The same yeare [1647] Mr Thomas Pell of Newhauen afforesd, furnisht & rigd oute a Vessell to trade with the Swedes and Natiues in Deleware riuer, and the vessell only retourning by the Manahatans the Comon & vsuall passage, the afforesd Dutch Gouernr [Stuyvesant] Compeld them to pay (as they call it) recognition what he pleased to demand, for whatsoever they had traded for in the riuer, although the Dutch had not then any Considerable interest in the sd riuer, not by the hundred pte att least to what the English had bought and paid for to the Indians the right owners, haueing likewise a better right to it then any other nation in Europe, neuertheless hee would not pmit any English vessell to passe by the said Isl: of Manahatans vnlesse they would first put him in securitie for the payment of the said recognition, & acknowledge him as proprietour of the sd riuer by accepting Comissions from him, which all refusing they lost the opportunitie of their intended voyages to theire very great damage

The Comissioners for the vnited Collonies of New Engld taking into theire considerations these and many [Page 5 / Page 6] other wrongs done to the English by their letters of seuerall dates directed to the sd Dutch Gouernr Styvesant protested against his sd violences & required satisfaction, to the which he would neuer answere in the generall, but by seuerall letters to the Massachusets & Plimouth Collonies in pticular, hopeing in regarde of some interest hee had in certaine merchants of either place that traded to the Manahatans hee might by their meanes gaine a ptie amongs themselues there to ballance (if not ouer) whatsoeuer Complaint the wronged Collonies should bring in against him, so that very confidentlie"

Source: Moore, George H., ed., The Clarendon Papers in Collections of the New-York Historical Society for the Year 1869, pp. 1, 5-6 (NY, NY: New-York Historical Society 1870).

Famed historian Edmund B. O'Callaghan provided an unsupported reference indicating that Thomas Pell "traded to the Delaware and Viriginia in 1647" in volume II of his History of New Netherland published in 1848. O'Callaghan wrote, in pertinent part, as follows:

"Thomas Pell, of Norfolk [sic], Gentleman of the Bedchamber to Charles I., emigrated to New England about 1642 [sic], in which year he appears by the Records to have been a resident of New Haven. He traded to the Delaware and Viriginia in 1647. . . . "

Source: O'Callaghan, E. B., History of New Netherland; Or, New York Under the Dutch, Vol. II, p. 283 n.1 (NY, NY: D. Appleton and Company, 1848).

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