While Young suffered through his
ordeal, William Penn encountered still more problems of contested
jurisdiction. Like all his predecessors in colonizing, Penn hoped to
gain substantial profit from the Indian trade; like all the others also,
he discovered the ruthlessness of competitors. As Baltimore had tried to
block his access to the sea, New York's new Governor Thomas Dongan tried
to block access to the furs of the interior. Dongan followed Andros'
precedent in using the Iroquois to do covertly what could not be done
openly. When Penn sent commissioners to purchase Iroquois quitclaims to
the Susquehanna valley, Dongan and the Albany magistrates persuaded the
Iroquois to refuse. It was then that the yarn about Iroquois "conquest"
of the Susquehannock's was concocted, the purpose being to prevent Penn
from purchasing directly from the Susquehannock's, either in Iroquoia or
in his own province. To guarantee perpetual control, Dongan obtained
from the Iroquois a "grant" of the entire Susquehanna valley which they
had so easily conquered. His crime did pay, and well. During his entire
term as New York's Governor, Dongan successfully kept Penn out of the
Susquehanna valley; he even was able to extract a hundred pounds
sterling from Penn later for a fraudulent "deed" to the Susquehanna.137
But the Susquehannock's long stay in limbo was drawing to an end.
Dongan's and Baltimore's misdeeds had called up hostile powers beyond
their control. As the result of Dongan's manipulation in aggressive
action against Canada, the Iroquois were mauled and decimated by the
French. Many of their own people fled, either to Canada or to
Pennsylvania, to escape the constant warfare. Some of the
Susquehannock's also became combat weary and returned to their old
homeland to build a new village where Conestoga Creek emptied into the
Susquehanna. A new situation evolved. The Glorious Revolution of 1688 in
England released another revolution in Maryland, and Baltimore lost his
government for a number of years. Among other things, the new government
made amends to Jacob Young for Baltimore's rough handling. Perhaps on
the theory that Young must be all right if Baltimore was against him, he
was reinstated as Indian interpreter.138
scholarship has been wary of the Iroquois claim to have
conquered the Susquehannock's. William Fenton adopted Hunt's
view that the Susquehannock's were first attacked by Marylanders
and Virginians, then finished off by the Iroquois while in
retreat. Trelease used a cautious passive voice to say that the
Senecas' objective of defeating the Susquehannock's "was
achieved to all intents and purposes," without specifying the
agency of achievement.
William N. Fenton, "Problems Arising from the Historic
North—Eastern Position of the Iroquois," Smithsonian
Miscellaneous Collections 100 (1940): p. 238; Hunt, p. 143;
Trelease, Indian Affairs, p. 239.
I have described the process by which Governor Dongan fabricated
the conquest story in my dissertation, "Miquon's Passing:
Indian—European Relations in Colonial Pennsylvania, 1674 to
1775" (University of Pennsylvania, 1965), pp. 69—74. My findings
were drawn from the following sources: Minutes of the Albany
Commissaries, 7 Sept., 1683, The Documentary History of the
State of New York, ed., E. B. O'Callaghan (4 v., Albany,
1849—1851) 1: pp. 393—394; various docs., ibid. 1: pp. 394—400;
Propositions, 26 Sept., 1683, Dreer Collection (boxes), fol.
Robert Livingston, HSP; Lamberville to La Barre, 10 Feb., 1684,
N. V. Col. Docs. 9: p. 227; Indian treaty, ibid. 3: pp. 417—418;
Council minutes, Oct., 1683, ibid. 14: p. 773; Dongan to Penn,
1683, Pennsylvania Archives, first series 1: pp. 76—77; Wm. Haig
to W. Penn, 29 Aug., 1683, Society Collection, HSP.
concerning Jacob Young, 28 Aug., 1689, Md. Arch. (PRO) 13: pp.
234—235; minutes, 26 May, 1692, Md. Arch. (Upper House) 13: p.