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Full text of "Why Schenectady was destroyed in 1690. A paper read before the Fortnightly club of Schenectady, May 3, 1897;"

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Copy 2 



Why 

Schenectady 

Was Destroyed 
In 1690. 



A PAPER. 



Read Before the Fortnightly Club of Schenectady 

MAY 3. 1897, BY 

JUDSON S. LANDON. 



COPYRIGHT 1887, BY J. S. LANDON. 



1 COPV DEL. '^^ «*: I^'V. 



IJUN 25 1904 






Why Schenectady was Destroyed in 1690. 



READ BEFORE THE FORTNIGHTLY CLUB OF SCHENECTADY 

MAY 3rd, 1897, 
By JUDSON S. LANDON. 



On the night of the 8th of February, 1600, one hundred 
and fourteen Frenchmen and ninety-six Indians, after a 
twenty-two days' march from Montreal through the snow 
and the wilderness, stole in upon the sleeping village of 
Schenectady, then containing about sixty houses and three 
hundred inhabitants, massacred sixty of the inhabitants, 
l^lundered and burned all of the houses, except six, and on 
the following day set forth on their return to Montreal, 
carrying away thirty captives and a great deal of plunder, 
and leaving in destitution and helplessness such survivors as 
were too feeble to endure captivity or make their escape. 
The story has been often told. It is not the purpose of this 
paper to repeat it, but to attempt to group together the 
causes which, operating upon two continents, had as their 
incident or their result the destruction of Schenectady. 

First, war existed between England and France. James 
IT had been driven from the throne of England and had 
taken refuge with his Catholic protector, Louis XIV of 



France. The great Dutchman, William, Prince of Orange, 
and his wife, Mary, daughter of the banished King James, 
became King and Queen of England. In French and 
Catholic eyes they were usurpers. Louis refused to recog- 
nize William as King of England. War was declared 
between England and France in 1089. There were other 
reasons for it than William's alleged usurpation. As 
Elector of the States General of Holland, he had, two years 
before, become the leading spirit of what was called the 
Augsburg League. This league was made between the 
States General of Holland, the Protestant princes of the 
Rhine, and tlie Catholic King of Spain, to resist the pre- 
tensions of Louis XIV to dictate to them, and possibly to 
crush them, one after another. A schism had arisen in the 
Catholic church between the Jansenists and the Jesuits. 
The Jansenists charged the Jesuits with debasing the 
standard of evangelical morality for the jjurpose of increas- 
ing their own influence, and the charge was reinforced by 
the fervor and genius of Blaise Pascal in his Provincial 
Letters — letters which are still famous, because they added 
a new glory to the French language, and new strength to 
the doctrine that true faith does not justify evil works ; 
and the Pope, Innocent XI although he suspected the 
Jansenists of heresy, was jealous of the immense power of 
the Jesuit order. Louis took part with the Jesuits ; and 
the Pope, in retaliation, gave his support to the Augsburg 
League. The Protestants joined the league, partly because 
Louis, in 1685, had revoked the Edict of Nantes, an edict 
under which such of the Protestants of France as survived 
the massacre of St. Bartholomew, in 1572, had had partial 
toleration for eighty-seven years. War had broken out 
between Austria and Turkey, and the Augsburg League 
became the allies of Austria, and France the ally of Turkey, 
William, by becoming King of England, was able to add 
England to the enemies of France. Thus it was that the 
armies of the Pope and of the Protestants of Europe, under 
the lead of the English-Dutch King William, warred against 



the armies of the Crescent and the Jesuit faction of the 
cross under the lead of the great French monarch — a war 
that was waged from the Danube and the Ehine to the banks 
of the Boyne in Ireland. 

Of course, among the objects of the Avar between England 
and France was the dominion of the North American con- 
tinent, or at least that part of it which lies along the 
Atlantic coast north of the Gulf of Mexico and east of the 
St. Lawrence and the Mississippi rivers. The French had 
taken possession of the St. Lawrence and the Mississippi 
rivers and the great lakes of the St. Lawrence basin, and 
claimed title to all the land within the watershed of these 
rivers and lakes. 

The English had their fringe of settlements along the 
Atlantic coast from the mouth of the Kennebeck as far 
south as Charleston, S. C. The Dutch had settled New 
York, and had pushed their settlements up the Hudson 
and Mohawk to Schenectady, with a few plantations five 
or six miles beyond. The Dutch had surrendered to the 
English in 1664, and the province of NeAv York was now 
governed by the English. The province, however, was 
essentially Dutch, and Schenectady almost exclusively so. 
Apart from the war between the Dutch-English and French 
governments, the French and the Dutch and English colonies 
in America had their own cause of war, and that was their 
rivalship for the control of the fur trade with the Indians. 
The Dutch colony of New York was founded for the pur- 
poses of trade. Its primary object was to enrich the Dutcli 
West India Company. There was no religious or political 
sentiment about it, as in the case of the early New England 
settlements. That the Dutch finally became more of an 
agricultural community, composed of people who wished 
to make homes for themselves in the New Netherlands, 
was a natural evolution, resulting from the fact that the 
monopolistic West India company was rapacious and tyran- 
nical, and that it was soon found out that the farmer was 
surer of a comfortable living than was the hunter or trader. 



— 4 — 

Besides, tlie colonist could have all the land he could work. 
The Dutch were Protestants, and their notions of liherty 
were to be let alone. Father Jogues, writing of New 
Netherland, in 1040, says : "When any one comes to settle 
in the country, they lend him horses, cows, &c. ; they give 
him provisions, all of which he returns as soon as he is at 
ease ; as to the land, after ten years he pays to the West 
India Company the tenth of the produce which he reaps, 
* * * The English, however, come very near to them, 
choosing to hold lands under the Hollanders, who ask noth- 
ing, rather than depend on English lords, who exact rents, 
and would fain be absolute." But afterward the Dutch 
company became more exacting and the New England 
colony more liberal, so that when the Dutch colony surren- 
dered to the English, in 1664, the intelligent Dutch farmer 
welcomed the change. He expected the government to be 
framed upon the New England models, and that he would 
keep what he had and get rid of the restraints upon his 
trade. The result was the Dutchman prospered and his 
tribe increased. 

The French colonization of Canada had three objects — 
trade, dominion and the conversion of the Indian. That 
is to say, the French King wanted the dominion, the favor- 
ites of the King wanted the profits of the trade, and the Jesuit 
priests Avanted the privilege and the service of converting 
the Indians ; and these three purposes were skilfully com- 
bined and made co-operative. 

There was not much royal control in the English coloni- 
zation of that century. No matter what the language of 
the charter or commission to the royal governors, the col- 
onists themselves either seized the helm of government, as 
in New England, or controlled, either by persuasion or 
turbulence, its movements, as in New York. The people 
took care of themselves, sought to make their own fortunes, 
and practically reduced the government to non-interference 
with their liberties. 

French colonization, on the other hand, was minutely 



— 5 — 

regulated and restricted by the home government. The 
rate of increase was very unequal. In 1G90 the province 
of New York had about 18,000. The New England col- 
onies together about 150,000, while the entire French 
population of Canada did not exceed 12,000. Thus the 
aggregate of the English and Dutch people in New England 
and New York exceeded the French in Canada fourteen 
times. But the Frencli province was under one govern- 
ment, while the English colonies were under several. The 
New England colonies formed a confederation for mutual 
defense, but New York stood alone until after the destruc- 
tion of Schenectady, when, in May, 1690, the New England 
and New York colonies met by their delegates in Albany, 
and concerted measures for the common attack upon the 
French and defense against them. This was the first 
American Congress. 

The French sought to compensate for their great dispar- 
ity in numbers by making allies of the Indian tribes. This 
had been the French policy from the beginning, in 1601. 
It was the French policy to attract the Indians by trade, 
and to hold them by conversion to Christianity. The 
Jesuit priests were the missionaries, who zealously under- 
took the labor of converting the Indians. If successful, 
France would enjoy the profits of the Indian trade in times 
of peace, and have the support of the Christian, or ' ' pray- 
ing Indians," as they were called, in times of war. It must 
be said, to the lasting honor of the Jesuit missionary, that 
he was actuated by as consecrated and unselfish devotion 
to his sense of duty as the annals of lofty self-sacrifice 
record. 

A chain of Jesuit missions was established from the Gulf 
of St. Lawrence as far west as the Lake of the Woods, 
and in these, far away from civilization and the faces of 
white men, the Jesuit priests, amid the squalor, dirt, inde- 
cency and misery of the savage tribes, devoted their sym- 
pathy, their labor and their lives to the salvation of the 
souls of these unregenerate children of nature. To aid in 



~0 — 

snatching a dying soul from Hell's burning pit was with 
these earnest devotees the highest service in which life 
could be spent or sacrificed. With a self-denial that chal- 
lenges the admiration of mankind, these men welcomed 
witli delight the order of their superior, which bade them 
carry the emblem of the cross to the heathen. 

Several of the priests kept a record of their labors and 
experience. These "Relations" remain to us. They are 
not only the amazing chronicles of the capacity of the 
human mind, when inspired and sustained by religious zeal, 
to rise above and remain superior to the most wretched and 
depressing surroundings, but they are also among the most 
complete and instructive descriptions of Indian life and 
character now extant. 

The native tribes that inhabited the valleys of the St. 
Lawrence and Ottawa rivers and the northerly shores of 
the great lakes, were easily and strongly impressed by the 
picturesque symbols and the simple and zealous expositions 
of the Christian faith presented by the Jesuit fathers. 
Great numbers professed conversion. 

The English and Dutch took little account of the Indians, 
except to protect themselves against them and profit by 
their trade. It is true that the English charters usually 
recited that one object of tlie colony was to carry the bless- 
ings of the Christian religion to the benighted savages, and 
it is true that a few devoted men, of whom Eliot was the 
most remarkable for successful results, and Brainard for 
self-denial, devoted their lives to the conversion of the In- 
dians to the Protestant religion. With few exceptions the 
efforts made by the Protestants to convert the Indians were 
feeble and spasmodic, deriving their vigor from individual 
piety and zeal instead of from the government. The Indian 
mind and language readily lend themselves to symbolic and 
picturesque methods of thought and expression, but strug- 
gle vaguely with abstract conceptions when not thus illus- 
trated. Thus the Catholic French succeeded far better 



— 7 — 

than the Protestant English and Dutch in their missionary 
labors. Wherever the Jesuit priest maintained his mis- 
sion, there the fur trade with the Indians was secured to 
the French ; there French policy prevailed, and the "pray- 
ing Indians" became the friends and, to some extent, the 
allies of the French. Could this policy of conversion, 
friendship and trade be continued and extended, it was not 
difficult to foresee that the North American continent, from 
the mouth of the St. Lawrence to the mouth of the Mis- 
sissippi, would be possessed by French and Indians, and 
governed by the French. 

Opposed to the success of such a scheme of colonization 
were the English colonies on the seaboard and the Dutch- 
English colony of New York. But the most annoying, 
and at that time perhaps the greatest obstacle to the suc- 
cess of the French scheme was the Iroquois confederacy of 
Indians, the Five Nations of New York. 

This remarkable confederacy, consisting of the Mohawks 
on the east, the Senecas on the west, with the Oneidas, 
Onondagas and Cayugas between, occupied what is now 
central New York, from the Hudson to beyond the Gene- 
see. This confederacy of nations was the friend of the 
Dutch colony of New York and the enemy of the northern 
and northwestern races, who opened their villages to the 
Jesuits and gave their fur trade to the French. In 1643 
the New York colony, Kieft being governor, very treach- 
erously made war upon some Algonquin tribes who inhab- 
ited near Manhattan Island. The Mohawks claimed that 
these southern tribes were under their protection, and 
they avenged Kieft's treachery and waged a desultory war 
against the Dutch for five years and nearly exterminated 
them. In the end the Dutch made a treaty with the 
Iroquois, humiliating in its terms, but which really proved 
to be of the utmost service to them. The Dutch observed 
its provisions so faithfully and thereafter dealt with the 
Iroquois so fairly and kindly as to inspire them with respect 



and affection. The English, succeeding in IGCA to the 
government of the colony, were wise enough to cherish 
this friendly alliance. 

Tlie Iroquois were a hrave and warlike people. In sys- 
tematic government and native intelligence they were far 
in advance of most of the northern trihes. They were 
kind and faithful to their friends, but practiced every sav- 
age cruelty upon their enemies. Their skulls were larger 
than those of any other tribe of aborigines in North or 
South America. Besides their resources of fish, game and 
furs, they permitted their women to cultivate plantations 
of Indian corn, beans and pumpkins. Manual labor, except 
in pursuit of game or the enemy, was unworthy an Indian 
man. Their power and prowess were respected and feared 
by the other tribes north of the Gulf of Mexico and east of 
the Mississippi. 

From the first the Iroquois become the enemies of the 
French. In 1G09, before Hudson ascended the river 
which bears his name, the Frenchman, Samuel Champlain, 
with two French followers and a war party of Hurons 
and Algonquins, marched southw^ard from Montreal 
and came to the lake, which in like manner perpetu- 
ates the name of Champlain, and ascended it in canoes as 
far as Ticonderoga. There they met a party of the Iroquois 
and engaged them in battle. Champlain and his two 
French companions fired their guns upon the Iroquois, and 
thus brought upon them consternation and defeat. These 
were the first white men they ever saw and the first guns 
they ever heard. In 1610, and again in 1610, Champlain, 
as the ally of the Hurons and Algonquins, defeated the 
Iroquois by the use of firearms. It was plain to the Iro- 
quois that unless they also could obtain firearms their long- 
established supremacy over all the other Indian nations 
was at an end. When, therefore, the Dutch came up the 
Hudson, the Mohawks received them kindly, partly because 
they were afraid of the guns of white men, and partly also 
because, when they discovered they were not Frenchmen, 



they hoped to obtain from them the same kind of firearms 
which the Hurons and Algonquins had received from the 
French. Thus the Mohawks early found that the Dutch 
were as useful to them as the French were to the Hurons 
and Algonquins. The Dutch furnished them with guns 
and ammunition, and they soon regained their lost 
ascendency. The Mohawks and the Dutch north of the 
Catskills early made a treaty of peace at the Norman's Kill 
near Albany, and this treaty was observed, renewed and 
continued, with, it is true, occasional waverings and inter- 
ruptions, until the breaking out of the war of the Revolu- 
tion in 1775. The white man then abandoned his fealty 
to the King of Great Britain, but the Iroquois remained 
faithful to his long pledged alliance, and because of his 
fidelity to it his people were wasted, his hunting grounds 
were taken from him, and the remnant of his tribes became 
vagabonds in the land over which their fathers had been 
rulers. 

As the French claimed all the watershed of the St, Law- 
rence valley, their claim embraced a portion of the Iroquois 
territory in northern and western New York. In support 
of this claim the French and Indian allies had made 
frequent incursions into this territory, but without any 
permanent success. 

The French were also sedulous in their efforts to convert 
the Iroquois tribe to Christianity, as well as the Hurons 
and Algonquins. In these efforts many of the Jesuit priests 
laid down their lives — martyrs to their faith and sense of 
duty. The chief obstacle to their success with the Iroquois 
was that the religion they taught was so readily accepted 
by their enemies, the Hurons and Algonquins. In their 
wars against them the Iroquois spared neither priest nor 
convert. History preserves in reverent honor the names of 
Fathers Daniel, Lalemant, Brebeuf and others, mission- 
aries to the Hurons, who perished by the bloody hands of 
the Iroquois. Among the martyrs was the saintly Father 
Jogues, whose monument in the form of a shrine to the 



— 10 — 

Virgin, " Our Lady of Martyrs," stands upon the southern 
bank of the Mohawk, at Auriesville, a few miles west of 
us, within sight of the windows of the passing cars of the 
New York Central Railroad. Father Jogues himself, in a 
letter still preserved, recounts in a strain of touching sim- 
plicity the tortures he and his companion, Rene Coupil, 
suffered while captives upon a previous occasion in the 
hands of the Mohawks, the death of his companion, and 
his own ultimate escape. But he afterward returned to 
the Mohawk country, hoping to convert the very savages 
who had tortured and maimed him. But the Mohawks, 
after wavering between accepting him as a teacher and 
priest, or condemning him as an enchanter, who had de- 
stroyed their harvests, finally adopted the latter alterna- 
tive ; they cut off his head, placed it on a pole with the 
face toward Canada, as a warning of the fate his imitators 
might expect, and threw his body into the river. This was 
in 104G, near the place where the shrine now stands. 

But the zeal of the Jesuits was superior to their fear of 
savage cruelty. At last, in 1658, the Onondagas admitted 
the priests into their villages, and soon after the Oneidas, 
Senecas and Cayugas did the same. The Mohawks were 
less indulgent. They understood that to favor the Jesuits 
was to displease their Dutch friends at Schenectady and 
Albany. But the Jesuits finally won their way into the 
Caughnawaga (Fonda) family or castle, and succeeded in 
making many converts. In 1671 they induced most of 
the converted Mohawks to migrate to Canada, where in a 
new Caughnawaga, near Montreal, their descendants still 
remain. These converted emigrants were the "praying 
Indians," who, with the French, destroyed Schenectady 
in 1690. 

The French, however, never succeeded in establishing a 
permanent foothold or influence among the great body of 
the Iro(iuois. The priests could not change their savage 
natures. The convert would revert. The French still 
continued their alliance and friendship with their Indian 



— 11 — 

allies, the ancient enemies of the Iroquois. Naturally 
strifes arose, and war followed in which the French were 
greatly reduced. In 1665 France was constrained to send 
a fresh regiment of troops to Canada to restore her fallen 
fortunes. They built a fort near where Lake Ontario dis- 
charges into the St. Lawrence, afterward called Fort 
Frontenac. This served to hold the Iroquois in check and 
as a base for the fur trade of the lakes. 

In 1672 Frontenac became Governor General of Canada. 
He was a man of great vigor and skill. He speedily divined 
the Indian character, and conducted his affairs with the 
Indians with masterly address. Adroit in conciliation, 
where conciliation failed, he carried fire and sword. The 
Iroquois were astonished and alarmed at Frontenac's vigor 
and boldness, and it needed all the skill and address of the 
English to dissuade them from making alliances with him. 
Frontenac carried war into the Iroquois villages, with such 
success that he finally succeeded in extorting a treaty from 
them, which for a time at least secured a nominal peace. 
After ten years of his vigorous rule, Frontenac was recalled 
by his King in 1682, and remained away until 1689, when, 
war having been declared by England and France, the King 
sent Frontenac again to Canada, in order that he might 
have the benefit of his great abilities in wresting from the 
English their American colonies. Meantime the French 
government of Canada had perpetrated a great outrage 
upon the Iroquois. In 1687, the French, having invited 
fifty chiefs of their tribes to a conference at the French 
camp at Onondaga, the French seized them upon their 
arrival, and sent them as captives to France, where they 
were consigned to service in the galleys at Marseilles. 

Those of you who have read Chateaubriand's Atala will 
recall how this outrage is made to furnish an interesting 
actor in that delightful story. 

Exasperated by this treachery, the Iroquois the next year 
marched upon Montreal, held it from August until Octo- 



— 12 — 

ber, then destroyed it, laid waste the settlements in the 
vicinity, and returned home laden with booty. 

The English Kings, Charles II and James II, were not 
ashamed to sue for and accept the bounty of the French 
King, Louis XIV. The natural outcome of this depend- 
ancy was that the English governors of New York were 
advised by their Kings not to be too zealous in resisting 
the French pretensions to the Iroquois territory and the 
French aggressions upon their tribes. But the English 
soon found out that the friendship of the Iroquois was their 
chief bulwark against French invasion. 

Thomas Dongan was governor of the province of New 
York from 1683 to 1088, and he obtained the reluctant con- 
sent of James II to take the Iroquois under his protection 
as English subjects, whence it followed that he must pro- 
tect them against French assault. Governor Dongan was 
a Catholic, but not a Jesuit. He was making preparations 
for an assault upon Fort Frontenac and the French military 
post at Niagara, when he was superseded, in 1(!88, by Ed- 
mond Andros, to whom James confided the government, 
not only of New York, but of New Jersey and all of the 
New England colonies. Governor Andros ruled the 
province through his lieutenant-governor, Nicholson. Gov- 
ernor Nicholson, following the New York policy, forbade 
the French to attack the Iroquois, and demanded that Fort 
Frontenac, at the eastern end of Lake Ontario, should be 
destroyed and the French post at Niagara abandoned. The 
French abandoned both post and fort. This testified to the 
Indians that the English were the superior power. It 
diverted the trade of the Jiorthwest from the French to the 
English. 

It was when the French were thus humiliated by the 
English, and Montreal laid waste by the Iroquois, that 
Frontenac returned. He had not expected the situation 
that confronted him. He had arranged with the French 
monarch a plan for the capture of New York. Troops were 
to march from Montreal by way of LakeChamplain, capture 



— 13 — 

Albany on the way, and then assail New York by land, 
while the men-of-war despatched from France were to 
cannonade the city from the harbor. The two men-of-war 
sailed with Frontenac, and awaited on the eastern shore of 
Nova Scotia the journey of Frontenac to Quebec and Mon- 
treal, the collection of his troops, and the news of their de- 
parture upon their march toward New York. But when 
Frontenac learned of the invasion of his province by the 
Iroquois and the Jiavoc they had wrought, he was forced to 
abandon the expedition against Albany and New York. 
With such forces as he could command he proceeded to the 
reUef of Montreal. He again sought to terrify the Iro- 
quois by threats of his vengeance, holding out at the same 
time offers of conciliation. The Indians affected to despise 
his weakness and to magnify the superior strength of the 
English. He could not pursue them to their homes in the 
wilderness, but he could ravage the frontier settlements of 
the English, and thus not only destroy them, but at the 
same time convince the Iroquois that he retained his ancient 
strength. He knew their respect and admiration for bold- 
ness and success, and he resolved to win it at the least cost 
and hazard to himself. He could still summon to his aid 
the "praying Indians." He directed a descent upon sev- 
eral English towns in New England and upon Albany in 
New York. In the incursion upon Albany the ' ' praying 
Indians," who had been converted by the Jesuits at Caugh- 
nawaga (Fonda) on the Mohawk and were now living in the 
new Cauglmawaga on the St. Lawrence, were found ready 
to take part. They knew the country ; some of their own 
people had fallen in the Iroquois raid of the previous year, 
and they were willing to serve the French and eager to 
avenge their fallen brothers. The expedition was formed 
and started upon its journey. The toilsome march through 
the wilderness and the deep snow depressed the spirit of 
the Indians, and when they reached a point on the Hudson 
where the paths to Albany and Schenectady separated, 
they took the path toward Schenectad}' . 



— 14 — 

The recent political troubles in the Province of New 
York had contributed to render Schenectady singularly ex- 
posed to ouch an assault. 

When the news of the abdication of James II reached 
New York, it was followed by confusion and anarchy. 
The adherents of William and Mary insisted that the 
governor appointed by James had no further authority, 
and they appointed a committee of safety who chose Jacob 
Leisler captain, and clothed him with the powers of gov- 
ernor, to be exercised until the new King and Queen f^hould 
signify their pleasure. Leisler was of humble origin and 
of little education, and the aristocrats of tlie i)rovince 
would not recognize his authority. They still professed 
adherence to James, and rallied to the support of Nichol- 
son, who was lieutenant governor under Andros. Gov- 
ernor Nicholson soon became so fiightened that he sailed 
away to England, leaving his powers with his council. 
The political magnates at Albany would not recognize 
Leisler, and the people of Schenectady were divided in 
their sentiments, and though warned of their danger 
by the friendly Mohawks, still, incai:)able of union, 
they failed to obey either power and fell into anarchy 
and subsisted without any government. The result 
was that, though the village was surrounded by a 
stockade and had a garrison of eight soldiers commanded 
by a lieutenant, the gates of the stockade were upon this 
night of destruction left open and unguarded, and citizens 
and soldiers slept the sleep of the just. The destruction 
was nearly as complete as the assailants desired to make 
it. It was applauded at Versailles and Paris, as a blow 
both to England and to heresy, and it was recounted in 
the wigwams, castles and ' ' long house" of the Iroquois 
as evidence of the mighty daring and prowess of the great 
Frontenac. 

Governor Leisler's fate is of interest : It was a sad 
one. Instead of being commended for his zeal and courage 
he had the misfortune to be arrested upon the complaint of 



— 15 — 

his enemies, charging him with high treason in usurping 
the government; he was also charged with the responsi- 
bihty for the massacre at Schenectady. In vain did his 
friends plead his loyalty to William and Mary, and his de- 
votion to the welfare of the province. He was a Huguenot, 
and his enemies answered, that his real motive was hos- 
tility to the Church of England. He and his son-in-law, 
Jacob Milburne, who had vigorously aided him, his secre- 
tary, Abram Gouverneur, and five others, were convicted 
of high treason and sentenced to death. Gouverneur and 
the five others w^ere reprieved, but Leisler and Milburne 
w^ere hung. May 16, 1691, the gibbet being erected near 
where the New York Tribune building now stands. Their 
estates were also confiscated. 

The new governor, Sloughter, supposing that an applica- 
tion had been made to William and Mary for their pardon, 
was unwilling to sign the death warrant until he should 
hear the result of the application. But Governor Leis- 
ler's enemies had suppressed the application; they then 
managed to get Governor Sloughter drunk, and then to 
procure his signature to the warrant, whereupon Governor 
Leisler and Mr. Milburne were hung before Governor 
Sloughter became sober. The parliament of England af- 
terwards reversed their attainder and restored their estates 
to their heirs. Abram Gouverneur, who had been re- 
prieved, married Leisler's daughter, the widow of Milburne, 
and he, being elected to the assembly, was chosen speaker, 
and succeeded in procuring the assembly to pass an act to 
pay Leisler's heirs one thousand pounds on account of the 
money which Leisler had expended in defence of the 
province. 

My narration ends here. I am obliged to sacrifice detail 
to condensation, but I hope it is not uninteresting to you 
to recall that the destruction of this infant village was one 
of the results of the strife between the Christian and the 
Turk, the Pope and the Jesuits, England and the allied 
powers of Europe against France and Turkey, the alliance 



— IB — 

of Pope and Protestant, the alliance of Canadian French 
Avitli Hurons, Algonquins, and the Mohawk "praying 
Indians," the alliance of the Dutch and English of New- 
York with the Iroquois nation, the strife for the dominion 
of the North American continent, and last but not least, 
the political dissensions in the province of New York that 
folloAA^ed upon the abdication of James II, and the accession 
of William and Mary, King and Queen, of ever blessed 
memory. 



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