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, October 25, 2007

Request by Native Americans To Be Permitted to Retrieve Corn from John Pell's Estate in the Manor of Pelham During King Philip's War in 1676

As the violence between settlers and Native Americans known as "King Philip's War" loomed, local Native Americans made a plea to English authorities to be permitted to pass in canoes to collect a portion of the corn they had grown on lands belonging to John Pell, nephew and principal legatee of Thomas Pell. Council Minutes for March 29, 1676 reflect the request and are transcribed below, followed by a citation to their source.


Present: Comand r Brockholls etc.

March 29th, 1676.

The Indyans of Wiekersereeke having been sent to the 27th inst come now this day here.

Their names are Wissakane & Amone the two Sachems Sent for to come.

The occasion of their sending for was upon a Letter from ye Go: intimating a mistrust of them by report above.

Mr. Sam. Edsall Interpret r.

The matt r being told them by the Interpret r they deny to have said or thought of joyning or treating with North Indians or others not friends to this Governm t, under whose protection they desire to live, according to their Engagement w th ye Gov.

The Sachems had each of them a Councell with them, without whom they were not willing [Page 494 / Page 495] to speake. They declare rather to Suffer either by Christian or Indyan, before they stirr then to offer any harme to any they desiring to live quietly.

They promise when they certainely know of any disturbance or like to bee, they will give notice to ye Go. & they hope to have notice from hence of any hurt intended against them, and they promise to bee true to their Engagem t to ye Go. They desire as before from Mr. Philips to have leave to come upon this Island & here about Oystering.

They are promist to have a Note to certify that they have liberty, behaving themselves as they ought.

They desire liberty to send some young men with Canoes to Mr. Pells for the Remainder of their Corne, (having had but one halfe from thence already) & to fetch about halfe a dousen old men, women & boys from Greenwich that they left behind them. They are told, wee shall speak to ye Govern r about it but referre it to ye Go., who wee dayly expect. They say the shall stay till then, when they will come againe.

Upon their friendly Comport, & foe that they came so willingly being sent for, They are presented with a Coate for ye 2 Sachems.

They pretend not to expect or desire them, their hearts being good without them, but they being desired to accept of them for that reason receive them.

They are appointed to goe to Thomas Laurens the baker on Pearle Streate to stay all night."

Source: Fernow, Berthold, Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New York, Vol. XIII, pp. 494-95 (Albany, NY: Weed, Parsons and Company 1881).

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