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from the first settling of these parts, When Dongan reached New York, more prejudicial to his Royal HighPenn and his two agents, William ness's interest and the inhabitants of Haige and James Graham were al
this government, than this business ready in Albany, negotiating with
of the Susquehanna River. The the natives The Governor on Sep- French, it is true, have endeavored tember 6th proceeded to Albany and to take away our trade by piece ordered an examination into the mat.
meals, but this will cut it off at once.” He received a report stating In the mean time Penn accepted an that a settlement on the Susquehanna invitation to visit Dongan in New would be much nearer to the Indians York, and
York, and was elaborately enter
tained for several days, but left owing to a dispute with Lord Baltimore concerning the southern boundary of Pennsylvania, which compelled his presence in Philadelphia. Later, when Penn's agents endeavored to secure the purchase of these lands, the Indians refused, saying that the land “cannot be sold without Corlaer's order, for we transferred it to this government four years ago." Subsequently (October 3rd), the Mohawks visited Fort James and agreed to give the Susque
hanna River to New York. DONGAN'S NEW YORK HOUSE.
In announcing this to Penn, than Albany, and hence any such Dongan wrote, "about which you purchase by Penn would be "preju- and I shall not fall out; I desire dicial to his Royal Highness's Gov- we may joine heartily together to ernment.” Dongan promptly or- advance the interest of my master dered a stop put to all “proceedings and your good friend." in Mr. Penn's affairs with the Indians A year later, Penn requested Donuntil his bounds and limits be ad- gan's intervention towards the settlejusted." The Albany magistrates ment of the Maryland boundary diswrote on September 24th, as their pute, and the favor was promptly opinion, that “there hath not any- accorded; but when his agents asked thing ever been moved or agitated, to be allowed to treat with the In
dians for the Susquehanna lands, ceed eighteen members, was to meet
In notified on September 13, 1683, to
but from other sources it appears to king against him.
have remained in session during three Among Dongan's instructions was weeks. an order calling for the election of a The most important of the new "General Assembly of all the Free- laws was “The Charter of Liberties holders by the persons whom they and Privileges, granted by his Royal shall choose to represent them,” in Highnesse to the Inhabitants of New order to consult with the Governor Yorke and its dependencies.” It deand Council “what laws are fit and clared that the charter was “For the necessary to be made and established better establishing of the government for the good weal and government of of this Province of New York, and the said Colony and its dependencies that Justice and Right may be equaland all the inhabitants thereof." ly done to all persons within the This Assembly, which was not to ex- same, by the Governour, Councell,
and Representatives, now in General Honor the Governor, the Council, Assembly met." Also " That the Su- and Representatives, and Deputy preme Legislative authority under Mayor, and Aldermen of this City." his Majesty and Royal Highness Thus the principle of taxation only James, Duke of York, Albany, etc., by consent was initiated as a law of Lord Proprietor of the said Province, the land. Brodhead says in this conshall forever be and reside in a Governour, Councell, and the people, mett in a General Assembly." It then ordered "that according to the usage, custome and practice of the Realm of England a session of a Generall Assembly be held in this Province, once
in three years at least." It further declared that "every freeholder within this province, and freeman in any corporation, shall have his free choice and vote in the electing of the Representatives without any manner of constraint or imposition, and that in all elections the majority of voices shall
According to other sections representatives were appointed among the several counties; the usual privileges of Parliament were conferred on the members of the Assembly; and the most liberal provisions of English law were declared to extend to the inhabitants of New York. Entire freedom of conscience and religion was guaranteed to all peaceable persons " which profess faith in God by Jesus Christ."
This Charter of Liberties and Privileges was signed by the Governor nection, "Thus the representatives and solemnly proclaimed on October of New York asserted the great prin31, 1683, at the City Hall before the ciple of Taxation by Consent,' which assembled multitude, to the sound of Holland had maintained since 1477, trumpets, “in the presence of his and appropriated the liberties al
lowed by English law to subjects mittee, at which James presided and, within the realm of England. True finding the charter too liberal, conideas of popular government were
cluded that he did “not think fit to more distinctly announced in confirm " it. Meanwhile, however, the ancient Dutch province by its the law had gone into force, and con
freely chosen assembly-of tinued so, until after the adjournwhich a majority were of the Dutch ment of the Assembly that met under nation '— than in any Northern col- its provisions in September, 1685. ony of British America. In none of In 1664 the authorities of Connectithe charter governments of New cut and New York met and agreed England were the people' recog- that the boundary-line of Connectinized as having legislative authority. cut should not come within twenty The first law made by the representa- miles of the Hudson River, but the tives of Dutch-English New York or
Duke of York had failed to ratify dained that “The People met in a this arrangement, and especially inGeneral Assembly' were to share in structed Dongan, as soon as he could, its colonial legislation. These mem
to settle the boundaries of the "terriorable words, “The People,' were so tories toward Connecticut." The democratic that the English king at Governor was not delayed in this Whitehall soon afterwards objected matter, for almost immediately after to them, as being ‘not used in any the passage of the Charter of Liberother constitution in America.'” ties, Connecticut set up a claim that
The charter was promptly signed the towns of Rye, Greenwich, and by Dongan, and on December 4th Stamford "indubitably " belonged to Mark Talbot was sent to England her, to which Dongan replied: “The with it and the other laws passed by Kings' Commissioners, being stranthe Assembly for the Duke's appro- gers, and relying upon your people, val and signature. Some time seems were assured by them that the river to have elapsed before James was
Mamaroneck was twenty miles, everyable to give it his full attention. where from Hudson's River, as we Finally, on October 4, 1684, the duke have very creditable witnesses can signed and sealed the “Charter of testify, and that it was Colonel Nicolls Franchises and Priviledges to New his intentions. Notwithstanding all Yorke in America.” The instrument that, you pretend to within sixteen or was ordered to be registered and seventeen miles of this town, and, for taken to New York, but this was ought we know, to Esopus and, not done. Subsequently, in March, Albany also; which is argument suffi1685, when the Duke was King of cient it was done of Colonel Nicolls England, the charter was discussed his intention. If you do not submit at a meeting of the Plantation Com- to let us have all the land within
twenty miles of Hudson's River, I These having been approved by the must claim as far as the Duke's Patent Council of New York, Dongan met goes, which is to the River Connecti- Governor Treat on February 23, 1685, cut ... Since you are pleased to do in Milford, and together they signed me the honor to see me, pray come a ratification which was ordered to be with full power to treat with me; and recorded in both colonies, and which I do assure you, whatsoever is con- was confirmed in England fifteen cluded betwixt us shall be confirmed
years later. This boundary-line still by the King and his Royal Highness, remains in force. which the other agreements I hear In the meanwhile, however, the are not. If you like not of it,
commissioners from Connecticut intake it not ill that I proceed in a way formed the magistrates of Rye that that will bring all your patent in they could not help giving up that question."
town, but that “ Dongan was a noble The emphatic declarations of Don- gentleman and would do for others' gan proved effective, and Connecticut welfare whatever they should desire much preferred to arbitrate the ques- in regular manner.” Dongan's tion rather than to submit her patent opinion was perhaps a trifle less fav. to the Duke of York. A conference orable, for he wrote to the Duke of was held in New York during the lat- York that “Connecticut was always ter part of November, to which Con- grasping, tenacious, and prosperous necticuț sent as her representatives at her neighbors' expense, of evil inRobert Treat, Nathan Gold, John fluence over the New York towns of Allyn, and William Pitkin, while Long Island, whose refractory people New York was represented by the would carry their oil to Boston and Governor, Anthony Brockholls, Fred- their whalebone to Perth, rather than erick Philipse, Stephanus Van Cort- to their own capital.” landt, and John Younge. It was then Numerous ordinances for the better agreed that the boundary line be- government of the city were adopted. tween the two provinces should be Those concerning the religious obremoved several miles east of Mama- servance of the Sabbath are interestroneck to Byram River, between Rye ing.
ing. “No youthes, maydes, or other and Greenwich, and that this new persons may meete together on the line should be properly surveyed the Lord's Day for sporte or play, under next October. Accordingly, in Octo- a fine of one shilling.” No publicber, 1684, joint commissioners from houses were permitted to keep open the two colonies met in Stamford and doors or give entertainment on Sunproceeded to the Byram River. There day, except to strangers, under a fine they surveyed the proper courses, of of ten shillings. Children were not which they made a map and a report, allowed to play in the streets on the