Three Rivers
History From America's Most Famous Valleys

The Orderly Book of Sir John Johnson
During the Oriskany Campaign
Annotated by Wm. L. Stone
With an Historical Introduction illustrating the Life of Johnson by J. Watts De Peyster, and Some Tracings from the Foot-Prints of the Tories, or Loyalists in America by T. R. Myers.
Joel Munsell, 1882


These institutions, involving and receiving great attention, and usually conducted with marked integrity and system, naturally include in their management, material as broad as their object. In many of them, may be prominently found the descendants of the original Dutch and English settlers, now rarely met with in the record of public trusts. Their influence and control, has mainly become gradually limited to these, and to their social and business connections, in private life. Any distinct influence, as a recognized or cohesive element, often found in communities, has been lost in the mighty wave of emigration and its increase, which where aggregated controls the selection of most of its representatives. This is more evident at points near to the place of its arrival, and it is necessarily free from the influence of such earlier tradition, and sentiment, as it may in time create in its own successors. Investigation develops such changes of authority in all history, as continuous as the rolling waves sometimes reaching the beach, at others breaking too early, from their acquired force. Under other institutions they are more frequently the result of conquest than of a friendly acceptance with unlimited legal hospitality, as an element of control. When Charles II -claiming under the exploration of the Cabots, in their second voyage in 1497, from their touching the mainland-presented a Dutch colony which he had never possessed, to his brother, the Duke of York, and it was conquered by his agent, Colonel Nicolls in August, 1664, the inhabitants were not only protected in all their rights, by that humane commander, but retained many local positions of authority, after the invasion. Its capture, caused a war between England and the Dutch Provinces, through which a William the Stadtholder of Holland, gradually developed as future King of England, and the loss of a colony by the Dutch was then compensated by the gaining of a crown by a Dutchman. That war was at its origin considered an ungrateful return for the kindness which both of those Princes had experienced when in exile, from the authorities of the Netherlands, unawed by Cromwell's displeasure. Colonel Nicolls, apparently infinitely superior to his master, was killed in a sea fight in that war in 1672 on the Duke of York's ship, while still remembered with affection here by those whom he had subdued. His munificent patron had rewarded him with a gift of £200 ! on surrendering hit difficult and well administered Governorship. Before that conquest, England's early colonies about Nieu Amsterdam -some of them under its sufferance- had been a source of apprehension toils burghers. Their original institutions seemed to have been compassed by the example of their original home, and not to have been adapted to the early extension of that toleration in their new one, to those who had fled to America to secure the liberty of conscience, the struggle for which had long desolated the Low Countries in Europe. All then visiting Nieu Amsterdam, the Dutch Records inform us, became subject to this rule "beside the Reformed Religions, no conventicles shall be holden in houses, barns, ships, woods or fields, under penalty of 50 guilders for each person, man, woman or child attending, for the first offence, double for the second, quadruple for the third, and, arbitrary correction for every other." This early exclusiveness was perhaps an omen of their own later exclusion to a great extent from the control of the public affairs of that ancient settlement once the seat of an almost universal prosperity and a type of practical "Home Rule" in the frugal and primitive administration of its public affairs. Of the six hundred grants for Manors and Estates, once held by them, a small portion remains in the possession of their descendants, if unoccupied, a heavy burthen, by the extravagant and often useless and premature assessments and onerous taxes constantly imposed upon it, in the employment of the labor of those detained by the small proportion of the outlay it receives, from an infinitely larger and more lasting reward, in the wide and bountiful field for its occupation in the less crowded Western territory.

Perhaps in time, some humane system may be discovered, to advise new comers of the inevitable law of supply and demand which controls the location of their probable success, and that it is governed by the area open for largely agricultural employment. The "Commissioners of Emigration" have reported a pleasant fact for the Western States: That two-thirds of the emigration, including the most: provident, join them directly, led by that intelligence which perhaps had caused such former success, while one third lingers on the seaboard, to compete for employment in crowded and expensive cities, causing the over competition often complained of, and in business revulsions accumulated distress.

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