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.

Friday, April 20, 2007

1675 Order by Governor's Council Directing John Pell to Take Daily Account of Indians on His Land

In 1675, the Province of New York was in the midst of "King Philip's War". This was one of the bloodiest conflicts among Native Americans of southern New England and English colonists and their allies.

Settlers looked suspiciously upon Native Americans throughout the area during this period, including those who lived on lands belonging to John Pell who owned the Manor of Pelham. On July 24, 1675, the Governor's Council resolved that John Pell take a daily account of the "Indyans" on his land or, preferably, that he require local Native Americans to send "Hostages" to Manhattan to be held as insurance against their participation in any hostilities toward the English. The entry from the Council Minutes is transcribed below, followed by a citation to the source:

"Council Minutes.
[Council Minutes, iii, Part 2, 44.]

At a Councell, July 24, 1675.

Present, The Governour. The Secretary, Capt. Brockholes, Mr. Jas. Lawrence, Capt. Dyre.

The Governor relates ye severall Passages of his Voyage. 1 [FN 1: "Referring to the Voyage to Saybrook. See p. 49."]

Resolved, That an Order be sent to ye severall Tounes upon Long Island to continue a good Constable's Watch until further Order, and to take Care that ye Indyans now disarmed bee not any Wife injured, but assisted upon any Occasion requireing it.

That Mr. Pell 2 [See Below for Text of FN] be written to to [sic] take a daily Accot of his Indyans, unlesse they send Hostages to this Place, which would be best. . . .

2 JOHN PELL, a Justice of the Peace, had several Indians living on his Land at Anne Hookes Neck, in Pelham, on the East River, near the Line of Connecticut. He was the first Lord of the Manor of Pelham; born Feb. 3, 1643; died about 1700. Bolton's Westchester. - ED."

Source: Hough, Franklin B., ed., A Narrative of the Causes Which Led to Phlip's Indian War, 0f 1675 and 1676, By John Easton, of Rhode Island. With Other Documents Concerning This Even in the Office of the Secretary of State of New York. Prepared from the Originals, with an Introduction and Notes, p. 64 (Albany, NY: J. Munsell 1858).

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