1680 petition of the inhabitants of St. Jones (estimated to be 100 tithables) to Sir Edmund Andros asking for a court in St. Jones because of the dangerous land and water travel to the court in Whorekill and stating that such a court would help attract new settlers from Maryland to the region.
To the right honorable Sir Edmund Andros Knight Seigneur of Sausmarez Lt. And Governor Generall under his Royall Highnes Duke of Yorke and Albany etc. of all his Territories in America
Wee whose names are hereunto subscribed liveinge and ambitious to abide under the Sunshine of your Honorable Government Inhabiteinge in the upward part of the Whorekill County
In all humble manner shew unto your honor the great greiveances Hazards and perills both by land and water that wee undergoe to the Whorekill Court nott onely the distance beinge to some of us 50 some 60 miles want of Comodacions of man or beast there butt the unpassable dangerous waies by reason of perillous Creekes which many tymes cannott be past over by man or beast the hazardous large marshes and myreous and difficult branches which are past through to the said Court which doth nott onely putt us to greate straits and jeopardy of our Lives butt hath and doth great disincouragment to others intendinge to seate in these upward parts from Maryland that some have desisted in theire designes rather then in hazard of theire lives to goe downe to the said Whorekill Court and forasmuch as the greivances aforesaid are Insupportable to us and these parts dayly encreaseinge with diverse considerable families with considerable Estates and more intendinge to remove from Maryland that wee are these altogether yf not more populated then the other part of the County And nott onely the Inconveniences aforesaid yf nott by honor remedied butt alsoe the Towne of Delaware beinge in like manner Inconvenient to these upward parts That should the Inhabitants hereof appeare att either Court ytt would nott onely cause the present seaters to withdraw back hence and disincouragement of others designed to seate here
The Premisses considered with all humble reverence wee leave the discuss of the whole matter to your Honors grave and wise consideracion And hope your Honor for the Encouragement of us the present Inhabitants and others that are comeinge to seate in these parts Out of your wonted Clemency Tender Care and willingnes att all tymes for encouragement of seaters and preserveing us under the sunshine of your happy Government from all dangers and removeinge Inconveniencies and perills that might ensue and for the Ease and prosperous setlement of these parts will be graciously pleased to order authorize constitute and appoint a Court to be held in some Convenient place in St. Jones Creeke att such tymes and upon such daies as your Honor in your wisedome shall thinke fitt and that all persons Inhabiteinge from the Northside of Cedar Creeke to Southside of Blackbird Creeke be ordered and required to appeare doe suite and service obey proces in Law and bee deemed and taken to be within the Jurisdicion of the said Court and yeild obeideyance to the authority thereof Nott doubtinge butt your Honor may make and finde persons capable in the precincts thereof for administracion of Justice and others as ministeriall officers to attend the same Court and execute all proces and orders and Keepeinge and makeinge Recrods of proceedings and acts done by Authority thereof
And wee as in duty bound shall ever
Pray for your Honors health and
Happines That Age [may Cr]owne your
Snowy Haires with Cesars Honors and
With Nestors yeares.
[John Baswell his marke]
John Richardson Junr.
Rich. Griffin [ his marke]
Henery H. Stevenson
Jafeth Gresen [ his marke ]
John R. Richeson
Robrt Parnatry [ mark ]
Artre Allston [ mark ]
William Berry Junr.
John Barratt [ his marke ]
The shipe goeing away wee had
nott time to gitt the rest of
there names but wee thinke there
may bee above 100 tithables.
RG 0000.003 Proprietary Papers, 1680. Photocopy of original in New York State Archives.
Transcript from: Charles T. Gehring, ed., New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch, Volumes XX-XXI, Delaware Papers, (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1977), pp. 356-357.