Treaty of Hartford
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The term Treaty of Hartford applies to three historic agreements negotiated at Hartford, Connecticut. The 1638 treaty divided the spoils of the Pequot War. The 1650 treaty defined a border between the Dutch Nieuw Amsterdam and English settlers in Connecticut. In the 1786 treaty New York and Massachusetts reached an agreement on their claims of the western land.
The Pequot War of 1636 and 1637 saw the virtual elimination of the Pequot Indians. The victors met to decide on the division of the fruits of victory. While the treaty settled the Pequot War, the Pequots were not a party to it. The Massachusetts Bay Colony, the Connecticut River Colony, the Mohegan and Narragansett tribes were. Surviving prisoners were divided between the tribes; 40 percent each and the remaining 20 percent awarded to tribes on Long Island who had supported the Narragansett. The Pequot lands went to the Connecticut River towns. The other major feature of this treaty was to outlaw the Pequot language and name. Any survivors would be referred to in the future as Mohegans or Narragansett. No Pequot town or settlement would be allowed. This treaty was signed on September 21, 1638.
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|Charter of Freedoms and Exemptions|
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|People of New Netherland|
In 1650, Peter Stuyvesant came to Hartford to negotiate a border with Edward Hopkins. The Dutch colony of New Netherland was feeling increased pressure from the rising number of English colonists. Stuyvesant traded Connecticut land claims (the New Netherland claim encompassed the full length of the Connecticut River and as far east as Narragansett Bay) in order to get a clear boundary on Long Island. They agreed on a line 50 Dutch miles west of the mouth of the Connecticut River. On Long Island, a line would be drawn south from the westernmost point of Oyster Bay, through modern Nassau County. In practice, the treaty simply reflected changed facts on the ground. Settlement of the Dutch colony had clustered around the Hudson River with only isolated trading posts on the Connecticut (including Fort Hoop which would become Hartford, Connecticut) asserting their claims further east. The exploding population of New England, and the splintering impulses of its religious-based colonies, had led to significant English settlement in the Connecticut River Valley, along the coast of Long Island Sound and on Eastern Long Island. Back in Europe, the Dutch West India Company refused to approve the treaty, nor would the English crown, which rejected all Dutch claims in North America as illegitimate. In America, however, the agreement held straight through the English conquest of New Netherland in 1664. Indeed, the border today between Connecticut and New York, and between Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island, are, with some minor adjustments, those negotiated in 1650.
The colonial charters for New York and Massachusetts both described their boundaries as extending westward to the Pacific Ocean, but used distances from coastal rivers as their baselines, and thus both could claim the same land. The area in dispute included all of western New York State west of, approximately, Seneca Lake, extending all the way to the Niagara River and Lake Erie, and from the shore of Lake Ontario to the Pennsylvania border. New York and Massachusetts agreed to divide the rights in question. The states agreed that all of the land in question, about 6 million acres (24,000 km²), would be recognized as part of New York State. Massachusetts, in return, obtained the right of preemption, that is, the title to all of the land (except for a narrow strip along the Niagara River, the title to which was recognized to belong to New York), giving it the exclusive right to extinguish by purchase the possessory rights of the Indian tribes. The compact also provided that Massachusetts could sell or assign its preemptive rights, and in 1788 it sold its rights to the entire six million acres (24,000 km²) to Oliver Phelps and Nathaniel Gorham for $1,000,000, payable in specie or in certain Massachusetts securities then trading at about 20 cents on the dollar, the money used to repay some of the state's debt from the Revolutionary War. See also: Phelps and Gorham Purchase, Holland Land Company, The Holland Purchase, The Morris Reserve and The Pulteney Association. Similar western boundary issues involving these and other states were resolved by the Northwest Ordinance passed by the Congress of the Confederation in July 1787.
- Alden Vaughan'; New England Frontier: Puritans and Indians 1620-1675; 1980, W.W. Norton & Company, ISBN 0-393-00950-5. (1995 Reprint, University of Oklahoma Press, ISBN 0-8061-2718-X) contains a copy of the 1638 Treaty.