On this Date – February 26, 1676 – NY Council asks Westchester Lenape to Return

Home Forums The Colonial Era On this Date – February 26, 1676 – NY Council asks Westchester Lenape to Return

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    • #1884

      I found this in the NY Council Minutes for 1676 and found it quite interesting.  At a time when the New England Colonies were embroiled in war with the area’s Native Americans, New York’s colonial government was eager to keep the Lenape living around Manhattan out of the conflict.  To that end they sent an invitation to the “Wickerscreek Indyans” (or Lenape of Westchester) to live on Northern Manhattan.  As long as they remained on the “North point” of Manhattan “neare Spiting Devill” they would be “assured of Protection” by the royal governor.

      This makes me think about all of the Lenape artifacts that were found in and around Inwood by Reginald Pelham Bolton and his associates.  I am including the relevant council minutes below.  The relevant section is in the last paragraph.

      Two other interesting connections to our neighborhood here.  The council minutes show that “Mr. Fred Philips” was present at this meeting.  That is the same Frederick Philipse who would eventually own half of Riverdale in addition to the King’s Bridge to Manhattan.  You will notice that “The Secretary” was also present at this meeting.  I believe this was Samuel Edsall, the first of the Edsall’s in America and distant ancestor of Thomas Henry Edsall, the local historian for whom Edsall Avenue is named.

    • #1885

      Interesting find! Had the Council expelled them as part of the earlier “purchase?” Perhaps they thought the Lenape would be a good buffer against more hostile groups?

    • #1890

      Fascinating! Thanks, Nick!

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