|Thomas Willett biographical notes (10)|
Thomas Willet’s [sic] grief must have been short. His special talents and advice were needed in Boston. On July 8, 1664, Thomas sent word to Governor Stuyvesant of the impending attack. The English had been ever encroaching on the land claimed by the Dutch. Finally, drastic action was to be taken.
“In the summer of 1664, the Dutch Governor Stuyvesant still ruled with an imperious will, un [sic] the Dutch Colony of New Amsterdam, and the Burgomasters Paulus, Leedensten, Van der Drist, and Cornelius Steenwyck, with sundry subordinate officials, whose names and the names of their offices have an equally unfamilar [sic] sound to English ears, were the local magistrates of the Dutch City of New Amsterdam.
Governor Stuyvesant, and the Burgomasters and the Dutch people had known that an English invasion was threatened. Whether with, or without just reason, the English had always claimed that the Dutch settlement as an invasion on English territory. It may be remembered that Sir Walter Raleigh’s expedition of 1583 had landed on New Foundland [sic] and had taken possession of that territory, in the name of Queen Elizabeth, although a score of French and English vessels were then fishing on the coast, and that the expedition the following year, 1584, had landed on a more southern territory, which he claimed for England, and to which Queen Elizabeth gave the name of Virginia; and Virginia, as they understood it, extended from the latitude 34 degrees, to 45 north; that is from North Carolina to Maine as we now name the territory. The English made permenant [sic] settlement in Virginia in 1607. The Puritans (sic., should read Pilgrims), who founded Plymouth in 1620, in the compact made in the Mayflower, proposed to settle in the Northern part of Virginia. If Plymouth was the northern part of Virginia, it could be claimed that New Amsterdam and the New Netherlands were invasions on Virginia, and hence arose frequent dissensions between the Dutch and English colonists. At lenght [sic], early in 1664, king Charles II determined to settle these controversies on the
good old planThe King made a royal grant of the whole Dutch Colony to his brother, the Duke of York. The Duke immediately borrowed of the king four frigates, carrying 94 guns, and 450 men, and sent Col. Richard Nichols to take possession of the new territory” (Cornell, pages 236-237).
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Updated Mar 2014
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