Commissioners for Indian Affairs

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The Commissioners for Indian Affairs were a group of officials of colonial Albany, New York charged with regulating the fur trade and dealing with the Iroquois.[1]

History[edit]

Originally the local magistrates, functioning informally, performed these tasks as part of their official duties.[2] In 1685, Governor Andros organized a board of commissioners, the same officials who had previously performed those duties.[3]

This system was affirmed by charter granted to the City of Albany by Governor Thomas Dongan in 1686. In 1696, Governor Benjamin Fletcher appointed an independent board of four members to take over from the magistrates: Pieter Schuyler, Dirck Wesselse Ten Broeck, Domine Godfrey Dellius, and Evert Bancker. In 1698, Governor Bellomont dissolved the independent group and restored the functions to the city government. After this, however, the commissioners received a special commission from the governor. During King George's War (1744–1748), Governor Clinton preempted the authority of the Commissioners and appointed Sir William Johnson to deal with the Iroquois.[2]

The Commissioners were headed by the Secretary for Indian Affairs. Until 1686, the office of Secretary was filled the Secretary of the Manor of Rensselaerswyck. Robert Livingston was appointed to this post in 1675. Robert Livingston the Younger took over from his uncle in 1710, followed by Philip Livingston from 1725 to 1749. Peter Wraxall was secretary from 1750 to 1759. Witham Marshe was secretary from 1759.

During the American Revolution the British Government took over management of Indian affairs from the colonists, and the commissioners ceased to function.

List of Commissioners[edit]

No. Named individual Birth year Death year Total service
(years)
Dates of commissions[1]
1 Evert Bancker 1665 1734 20 1696, 1706, 1710, 1720, 1724, 1726, 1728, 1729, 1732
2 John Beeckman 3 1752, 1754
3 Hendrick Bleecker 2 1752
4 Johannes Bleecker, Jr. 1668 1738 4 1720
5 Nicholas Bleecker 14 1728, 1729, 1732, 1734, 1742, 1745
6 Rutger Bleecker 1675 1756 17 1728, 1729, 1732, 1734, 1739, 1742, 1745
7 Arent Bradt 3 1739
8 Edward Clarke 1 1738
9 Edward Collins 1704 1753 11 1734, 1739, 1742, 1745
10 John Collins 1670 1728 8 1720, 1724, 1726
11 Capt. Cornwell 2 1726
12 Abraham Cuyler 1663 1747 14 1728, 1729, 1732, 1734, 1742, 1745
13 Cornelis Cuyler 1697 1765 14 1734, 1739, 1742, 1745, 1752, 1754
14 Johannes Cuyler 1661 1740 22 1706, 1710, 1715, 1720, 1724, 1726, 1728, 1732
15 Johannes De Peyster III 11 1734, 1739, 1742, 1742, 1745
16 William Dick 4 1734
17 Ryer Gerritse 1675 1752 10 1728, 1729, 1732, 1742, 1745
18 Jacob Glen 7 1734, 1739
19 Peter Groenendyck 2 1752
20 Stephanus Groesbeck 1662 1744 17 1728, 1729, 1732, 1734, 1739, 1742, 1745
21 Hendrick Hansen 1665 1724 14 1710, 1712, 1715, 1720
22 Johannes Hansen 1695 1756 2 1754
23 Edward Holland 1702 1756 6 1734, 1738, 1739
24 Henry Holland 1661 1736 16 1706, 1720, 1724, 1728, 1729, 1732
25 Johannes Lansing 4 1728, 1729
26 John Lansing, Jr. 1687 1742 14 1734, 1739, 1742, 1745, 1752
27 John Lindsey 1751 1 1738
28 Philip Livingston 23 1720, 1724, 1726, 1728, 1729, 1732, 1734, 1738, 1742, 1745
29 Capt. Norris 2 1726
30 John Rennselaer 2 1754
31 Johannes Roseboom 1661 1745 8 1710. 1728, 1729, 1732
32 John Rutherford 4 1742, 1745
33 Barent Sanders 1678 1757 6 1728, 1729, 1732
34 Robert Sanders 1705 1765 2 1752
35 Johannes Schuyler 1668 1747 16 1715, 1729, 1734, 1739
36 Johannes Schuyler Jr. 1697 1746 8 1734, 1739
37 Myndert Schuyler 1672 1755 35 1706, 1710, 1712, 1715, 1728, 1729, 1732, 1734, 1739, 1742, 1745, 1752, 1754
38 Peter Schuyler 1657 1724 20 1691, 1696, 1706, 1715, 1720
39 Philip Schuyler 1695 1745 10 1728, 1729, 1732, 1734
40 Dirck Ten Broeck 1686 1751 16 1729, 1732, 1734, 1738, 1739, 1742, 1745
41 Hendrick Ten Eyck 7 1739, 1742, 1745
42 Jacob Coenraedt Ten Eyck 1705 1793 3 1752, 1754
43 Pieter Van Brugh 1666 1740 28 1706, 1710, 1712, 1715, 1720, 1724, 1726, 1728, 1729, 1732
44 David Van Duyck 2 1724
45 Hendrick van Rensselaer 1667 1740 17 1706, 1724, 1726, 1729, 1732, 1734
46 Jeremiah Van Rensselaer 13 1728, 1729, 1732, 1734, 1734
47 Stephen Van Rensselaer II 2 1745
48 Sybrant G. Van Schaick 1708 1774 3 1752, 1754
49 Evert Wendell 8 1724, 1728, 1728, 1732
50 Hermanus Wendell 6 1728, 1729, 1732
51 Johannes Wendell 6 1720, 1724
52 Pieter Winne 1690 1759 4 1739, 1754
53 Albany Commandant 6 1738, 1739, 1752
54 Assembly member for Albany 3 1738, 1752
55 Assembly member for Livingston Manor 2 1752
56 Assembly member for Rensselaerswyck 3 1738, 1752
57 Assembly member for Schenectady 3 1738, 1752
58 New York councillors 5 1739, 1752

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Rhoden, Nancy L. (2014). English Atlantics Revisited: Essays Honouring Ian K. Steele. McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP. pp. 240–243. ISBN 9780773560406. Retrieved 7 September 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Sturtevant, William C. (1988). Handbook of North American Indians: History of Indian-white relations. United States Government Printing Office. 
  3. ^ Trelease, Allen W. (1997). Indian Affairs in Colonial New York: The Seventeenth Century. University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 080329431X. 

External links[edit]