Category Archives: 1670’S

Item of the Day: Laws for Pequot Indians (1675) [i.e. 1676]

Laws for Pequot Indians.

Found In: Letters from the English Kings and Queens Charles II, James II, William and Mary, Anne, George II, &c. To the governors of the Colony of Connecticut, together with the Answers  thereto, from 1635 to 1749; and Other Original, Ancient, Literary and Curious Documents, Compiled from Files and Records in the Office of the Secretary of the State of Connecticut. By R. R. Hinman, A. M. Secretary of the State of Connecticut. Hartford: John D. Eldredge, Printer, 1836. [pp. 93-96]


[The following has been transcribed as it appears in the above text. No changes or corrections have been made to the spelling of the words in the document.] 


Laws of the said Indians to observe.

  1. That whosoever shall oppose or speake against the onely liveing and true God, the creator and ruler of all things, shall be brought to some English Court to be punished as the nature of the offence may require.
  2. That whosoever shall powaw or use witch-craft or any worship to the Devill, or any falls God, shall be so convicted and punished.
  3. That whosoever shall profane the holy Sabbath day by servill work or play, such as chopping or fetching home of wood, fishing, fowling, hunting, &c, shall pay as a fine tenn shillings, halfe to the cheife officers, and the other halfe to the constable and informer, or be sharply whipt for ever such offence.
  4. Whosoever shall committ murder or manslaughter, shall be brought to Hartford goale, and be tryed by the Government according to the English Law, which punisheth by death.
  5. Whosoever shall committ adultery by lying with another mans wife, or to have or keep her from her husband, shall be imprisoned and tryed and punished with a fyne of fortyy shillings for every offence, and so in the case of the adultresse; the sayd fine to be distributed as before.
  6. Whoseover shall steale, shall restore double to his neighbours for what he hath taken, when convict before their officer and councill, and pay the constable two shillins sixpence for his paynes about executing the law.
  7. Whosoever shall appeare, and prove to be drunk amongst them, shall pay tenn shillings or be whipt as the officers shall see meete, and the fine divided as before in the law about Sabbath breaking; in like manner shall it be done to such Indians as doe bring the liquors or strong drinke amongst them.
  8. It is ordered that a ready and comely attendance be given to heare the word of God preached by Mr. Fitch, or any other minister sent amongst them. The cheife officers and constables are to gather the people as they may, and if they be refractory and refuse, or doe misbehave themselves undecently, such shall be punished with a fine of five shillings, or be corporally punished as the officers shall see most meet.
  9. If the officers shall neglect in any of the premises to doe their duty, they shall receive double punishment, when convict thereof in any of our English Courts.
  10. But whosoever shall either affront the principall officer, or refue to assist the constable in the due execution of his office, shall pay for each affront so given, ten shillings, and for such refusall to assist the constable, five shillings.

Mr. Thomas Stanton Sen’r, and Lieutenant James Avery, were appoynted and desired to give them advice and help in all cases of difficulty, for the well management of their trust and affayres, to whome they are in all such cases to repayre.

WM. LEET, Dept Governor,





Dated in Hartford, May 31, 1675.

To Hermon Garrata to cause to be published to the people of his plantation, and the rest under his Government.

The tenn articles were faythfully published to Robin Harmaysun, Monohor, the Naragansett Sunk Squaw and her councill being present, at a great concourse amongst the Pequitts, the forepart which respects Robins own interest was served and desired Robin not to be published as yet.


Capt. Avery, and Lieutenant Minor being present as witnesseth their hands.



The 24th January, 1675. [i.e. 1676]



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Filed under 1670'S, American Indians, Colonial America, Connecticut, Crime and punishment, Legal, New England, Posted by Caroline Fuchs, Religion

Item of the Day: A Letter from King Charles II regarding Nathaniel Bacon (1676)

Full Title: A Letter from his Majesty Charles 2d, for the apprehension of Nathaniel Bacon, the instigator and head of a Rebellion in Virginia

Found In: Letters from the English Kings and Queens Charles II, James II, William and Mary, Anne, George II, &c. To the governors of the Colony of Connecticut, together with the Answers  thereto, from 1635 to 1749; and Other Original, Ancient, Literary and Curious Documents, Compiled from Files and Records in the Office of the Secretary of the State of Connecticut. By R. R. Hinman, A. M. Secretary of the State of Connecticut. Hartford: John D. Eldredge, Printer, 1836. [pp. 99-100]

[The following letter has been transcribed as it appears in the above text. No changes or corrections have been made to the spelling of the words in the document.] 


Trusty and well beloved, wee greet you well, wee doubt not but you have heard of the disorders in our Colony of Virginia, raised and continued by Nathaniell Bacon the younger, who hath made himself the head and leader of a rebellion there, to the great detriment of that Colony, and the danger of others, near adjoyning  thereunto, having confidence therefore in your loyalty, and that you abhor such desperate and treasonable actions, and to prevent the contagion of so bad an example in other Colonies upon that tract belonging to our Crowne; wee have thought fitt to signifie our pleasure unto you, and hereby to require that if the said Nathaniel Bacon, or any of his accomplices in that rebellion, shall for their safety or otherwise, retreat, or resort into that Province of our Colony of New England, under your jurisdiction, or any part thereof, you cause him, them, and every of them, to be forthwith seized and secured, and then give immediate notice thereof, to the Governour or Commander in chief in Virginia, to the end such further course may be taken with them as shall be agreeable to law. And wee doe further require you to issue forth proclamation streightly, forbidding all and every the planters or inhabitants of your said Province to joyne with the said rebells, or to afford them any arms, ammunition, provisions, or assistance of any kind whatsoever, but contrarily enjoyning those under your jurisdiction to oppose the said rebells in all things as there shall be occasion–and so wee bid farewell. Given at our Court in White Hall, the 3d day of November, 1675, in the eight and twentieth year of our Reigne.

By his Majesties command.


To our trusty and well beloved, the governour and Councill of the Colony of Connecticut, in New England.

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Filed under 1670'S, Charles II, Colonial America, Connecticut, Government, Great Britain, History, New England, Posted by Caroline Fuchs

Item of the Day: Observations upon the United Provinces of the Netherlands (1673)

Full Title: Observations upon the United Provinces of the Netherlands. By Sir William Temple . . . Second Edition Corrected and Augmented. London: Printed by A. Maxwell for sa. Gellibrand at the Golden Ball in St. Paul’s Church-yard, 1673.



Having lately seen the state of the United Provinces, after a prodigious growth in Riches, Beauty, extent of Commerce, and number of Inhabitants, arrived at length to such a heigth [sic] by the strength of their Navies, their fortified Towns and Standing-Forces, with a constant Revenue proportion’d to the support of all this Greatness), as made them the Envy of some, the Fear of others, and the Wonder of all their Neighbors.

We have this summer past, beheld the same state, in the midst of great appearing Safety, Order, Strength, and Vigor, Almost ruin’d and broken to pieces in some few days and by very few blows; And reduced in a manner to its first Principles of Weakness and Distress; Exposed, opprest [sic] , and very near at mercy. Their Inland-Provinces swallowed up by in Invasion, almost as sudden and unresisted, as the Inundations to which the others are subject. And the remainders of their State rather kept alive by neglect or disconcert of its Enemies, than by any Strength of Naturee, or endeavours at its own recovery.

Now because such a Greatness, and such a Fall of this State, seem Revolutions unparallel’d in any story, and hardly conceived even by those who have lately seen them; I thought it might be worth an idle man’s time, to give some account of the Rise and Progress of this Commonwealth, The Causes of their Greatness, And the Steps towards their Fall: Which were all made by motions perhaps little taken notice of by common eyes, and almost undiscernable to any man that was not placed to the best advantage, and Something concerned, as well as enclin’d to observe them.

The usual Duty of Employments abroad, imposed not only by Custom, but by Orders of State, made it fit for me to prepare some formal Account of this Countrey [sic] and Government, after Two years Ambassy [sic], in the midst of grest Conjunctures and Negotiations among them. And such a Revolution as has since hppen’d there, though it may have made these Discourses little important to His Majesty, or His Council; Yet it will not  have render’d them less agreeable to common eyes, who, like men that live near the Sea, will run out upon the Cliffs to gaze at it in a Storm, though they would not look out of their Windows to see it in a Calm.

Besides, at a time when the Actions of this Scene take up so generally the eyes and discourses of their Neighbours; And the Maps of their Countrey [sic] grow so much in request: I thought a Map of their State and Goverment would not be unwelcome to the World, since it is full as necessary as the others, To understand the late Revolutions and Changes among them. And as no man’s Story can be well written till he is dead; so the account of this State could not be well given till its fall, which may justly be dated from the Events of last Summer (whatever fortunes may further attend them), Since therein we have seen the sudden and violent dissolution of that more Popular Government, which had continued and made so much noise for above Twenty years in the World, without the exeercise or influence of the Authority of the Princes of Orange, A part so essential in the first Constitutions of their State. Nor can I wholly lose my pains in this Adventure, when I shall gain the ease of answering this way at once; those many Questions I have lately been used to upon this occasion: Which made me first observe and wonder, how ignorant we were generaly in the Affairs and Constitutions of a Countrey so much in our eye, the common road of our travels, as well as subject of our talk; and which we have been of late not only curious, but concerned to know.

I am sensible how ill a Trade it is to write, where much is ventur’d, and little can be gain’d; since whoever does it ill, is sure of contempt, and the justliest that can be, when no man provokes him to discover his own follies, or to trouble the world. If he writes well, he raises the envy of those Wits that are possest [sic] of the Vogue, and are jealous of their Preferment there, as if it were in Love, or in State; And have found, that the nearest way to their own Reputation, lyes [sic] right, or wrong, by the derision of other men. But however, I am not in pain: for ’tis the affectation of Praise, that makes the fear of Reproach; And I write without other design than of entertaining very idle men, and among them my self. For I must confess, that being wholly useless to the Publique, And unaquainted with the cares of encreasing Riches (whichbusie [sic]the World): Being grown cold to the pleasures of younger or livelier men; And having ended the Entertainments of Building and Planting (which use to succeed them); Finding little taste in common Conversation; And trouble in much Reading, from the care of my eyes (since an illness contracted by many unnecessary filigences in my Employment abroad): There can hardly be found an idler man than I; Nor consequently one more excusable for giving way to such amusements as this: Having nothing to do, but to enjoy the ease of a private Life and Fortune; which as I know no man envies, so (I thank God) no man can reproach.

I am not ignorant, that the vein of Reading never run lower than in this Age; and seldom goes further than the design of raising a Stock to furnish some Calling or Conversation. The desire of Knowledge being either laught out of doors by the Wit that pleases the Age; or beaten out by Interest, that so much possesses it: And the amusement of Books giving way to the liberties of refinements of Pleasure, that were formerly less known, or less avowed than now. Yet some there will always be found in the world, who ask no more at their idle hours, than to forget themselves. And whether that be brought about by Drink or Play, by Love or Business, or by some diversions as idle as this, ‘Tis all a case. . . .


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Filed under 1670'S, Europe, History, Netherlands, Posted by Caroline Fuchs, Travel