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regulation of traffic with the Indians. D'Ailleboust reion vived this intercourse by sending Druillettes “to * treat with the Massachusetts and Plymouth Colonies about a league offensive and defensive.” The proposal, it was hoped, would find the more favor on account of the relation sustained by Plymouth, through its colony upon the Kennebec, to the Abenaquis, who, it was alleged, were in danger of an invasion from the Mohawks." The messenger was told that nothing could be done till the next annual meeting of the Federal Commissioners. He came again in the following year, accompanied by a colleague, named John Godefroy, a member of the Council of New France. To the Commissioners, convened at New Haven, they represented that the war in which they desired military aid had been provoked by the perfidy and cruelty of the Mohawks; that the Abenaquis, who were now threatened with invasion, were Christian converts; and that an interruption of the trade with them would be a prejudice alike to English and French. They urged the New-England Colonies to “join in the war.” But if that were refused, they requested “that the French might have liberty to take up volunteers in the English jurisdiction, and be furnished with victuals for that service; at least, that they might pass through the Colonies by water and land as occasion should require.” In a letter “to the Governor and Council of New France,” the Commissioners declined all these Refusal of aid proposals. They said that “the English engaged on roman not in any war before they had full and satisfy-o." ing evidence, that, in all respects and considera- †. tions, it was just, and before peace upon just terms had been offered and refused ; ” that the Mohawks had done them no harm, but, on the contrary, had “shown a real respect to them” during their quarrel with the Pequots; and that to permit the passage of a foreign force through their country would be to “expose both the Christian and other Indians, and some of the small English plantations, to danger.” In these circumstances, they said, they must await “a fitter season" for a treaty of commerce, since the envoys had no authority to make it except in connection with an alliance."
cation made by D'Ailleboust in 1650,
correct inferences from a letter of the
* Records, &c., in Hazard, II. 182– lettes, during his first visit to Boston,
185 ; Hutch. Coll., 239–242; comp. Charlevoix, II, 6–11. “It was expecting too much,” says Charlevoix, “from the English, to suppose that they would engage in a war with the Iroquois, when they were so distant from that confederacy as to be in no danger from it, and were engrossed by their agriculture and commerce.”
A copy of a journal kept by Druil
has lately been discovered at Montreal among some papers belonging to the Jesuit Mission, and has been printed through the liberality of Mr. James Lenox, of New York. In September, 1650, Druillettes came from Quebec to Norridgewock, on the Kennebec, about thirty leagues from the mouth of that river, and half that distance above the highest Plymouth factory, at what is
Meanwhile the dispute between the western Colonies and the New-Netherlanders seemed to have been brought to an amicable issue." The hope of settling it by an agreement between the mother countries had been abandoned, in consequence of their estrangement from each other after the execution of King Charles. His fugitive sons were harbored by their brother-in-law, the Prince of Orange; Dorislaus, an envoy of the Parliament, was murdered at the Hague by some royalists, who escaped punishment; the Dutch ambassador was refused audience at London; and for the present the two nations were without diplomatic communication.” In these circumstances, the West-India Company instructed their Governor of New Netherland to “live with his neighbors on as good terms as possible.” Some negotiation followed, with a view to a conference between the parties; but the preliminaries could not be adjusted. The Commissioners took no pains to promote it, and showed their confidence in themselves by forbidding, under pain of a confiscation of goods, “all per- ico. sons but such as were inhabitants within the *** English jurisdictions, and subject to their laws and government,” to trade with the Indians within those jurisdictions." At length Stuyvesant decided to waive ceremony, and make a strenuous effort to bring about a better state of things. He came to Hartford while the Federal visitor Commissioners were in session there, and after ...". two days addressed to them a letter, which, how- 1650. ever, he dated at “New Netherland.” The Com- * * missioners replied that they could not treat with him till the pretension thus implied was retracted. His next note, and others which followed, bore the date of “Connecticut; ” and in this the Commissioners acquiesced, while their own letters were dated at “Hartford.” The Dutch Governor opened his business by complaining of various injuries done to his countrymen, of which the chief was the “unjust usurpation and possessing the land lying upon the river commonly called Connecticut or the Fresh River.” Of this land he frankly “desired a full surrender.” He proposed an arrangement for the restoration of fugitives, and a repeal of the law forbidding Dutchmen to trade with Indians within the Colonies; and he extended his letter by the mention of some minor causes of offence. The reply of the Commissioners asserted the English title to the lands on the Connecticut, as derived from “patent, purchase, and possession.” It treated lightly the other matters of complaint, and expressed the opinion that, when the question of territory should be disposed of, “a due consideration might be had of fugitives, and how to settle a right understanding and neighborly correspondency.” Stuyvesant proceeded to argue his case with zeal; but he saw that he had adversaries not less pertinacious or well prepared than himself, and that a different expedient must be tried. Varying a little the terms of his former offer of an arbitration, he proposed that the Commissioners should “delegate two indifferent persons out of the Colonies of Boston and Plymouth,” who, with two referees to be in like manner named by himself, should pass a final judgment on the matters in controversy. The offer was accepted, after an explanation of some of its phraseology, which had given offence. Simon Bradstreet and Thomas Prince were appointed arbitrators on the part of the Confederacy; and Thomas Willett and George Baxter, English residents at New Amsterdam, on the part of the Dutch. And they were empowered, by formal commissions, to consider, and conclude upon terms for, – “1. A composing of differences; 2. A provisional limit of land; 3. A course concerning fugitives; 4. A neighborly union.” Their award was made on the day after the issue of their commissions. In all its particulars it disallowed sumn, the claim of the Dutch. It decreed that, as to ... fugitives, “the same way and course should be to: observed betwixt the English of the United Colonies and the Dutch within the province of New Netherland,” as was prescribed for the Colonies by the eighth article of their confederation. “The proposition of a nearer union of friendship and amity betwixt the English and Dutch nation in these parts, especially
Relations to New Netherland.
now Augusta. (Narré du Voyage faict pour la Mission des Abnaquious, &c., 1, 2.) Still travelling by land to Maremiten (Merry-Meeting Bay), he there took to the water. On the 5th of December, he was off Kepane (Cape Ann), and in three days more reached Boston. Here he was received by “MajorGeneral Gebin” (Gibbons), who carried his hospitality so far that, writes the journalist, “he gave me the key of an apartment in his house, where I might
freely pray and go through the services'
of my religion; and he besought me to
John Brentford (Governor Bradford)
, the safety of her Abenaqui protégés,
and that Massachusetts would at least permit the enlistment of volunteers, as she had done in the case of La Tour. (Ibid., 20, 22.) As to the temper of Plymouth, he was especially in error. (Plym. Rec., II. 169.)
Some of his observations on the route are interesting, though they are not to be entirely relied upon. “Four thousand men,” he says, “can be raised in the single colony of Boston. There are at least forty thousand souls in the four Colonies.” (Ibid., 27.)
* See above, p. 204.
* Basnage, Annales des Provinces Unies, I. 141, 145.