10.  Defying the New York Authorities

 

Several proclamations under the signature of Governor Tryon of New York were issued for the apprehension of those inhabitants of the New Hampshire Grants whom he was pleased to accuse of being rioters, licentious, disorderly, etc., and large rewards were offered for that purpose.

But the governor and whole catalogue of New York patentees had the mortification to be baffled in their attempts to take rioters (as they phrased it) during the course of three years. The Green Mountain Boys prevailed against them, seized their magistrates and emissaries; and in the end, all those their abettors who dared to venture upon the contested lands, and chastised them with the whips of the wilderness, the growth of the land which they coveted.

The result of the trials at Albany in June 1770 gave additional confidence to the New York claimants.  In the hope that no further resistance would be made to their titles, the proprietors of the Walloomscoik patent made a new attempt to survey and decide that part of it which they claimed extended into Bennington, but the attempt, as in previous instances, proved unsuccessful.

The surveyors from New York had not proceeded far into Bennington when they were met by some twenty or thirty of the settlers who warned them to desist in so decided a tone that they were content to abandon their undertaking.  This happened in September 1770.

Abraham Ten Brook, one of the proprietors of the patent, in behalf of himself and the other proprietors, petitioned the Governor and Council of New York on the subject, stating "that the proclamation which the governor had issued on the 11th of December, 1769, for apprehending rioters had been attended with no effect — that actions of ejectment had been tried at the last summer assizes at Albany against the settlers, and three different verdicts obtained against them, and that another defendant had made default — that these judgments had induced the petitioners to believe the commissioners might proceed unmolested, but that they had been again opposed by a riotous and tumultuous body who armed themselves with clubs and warned them to desist from their business, threatening them with violence etc."      

The petition also stated that the commissioners did not think it safe to proceed further, and asked the Governor and Council for aid and relief in the premises.  The petition was taken into consideration and on October 31, 1770, the council advised the governor "to issue a proclamation for apprehending Simeon Hathaway, Moses Scott, Jonathan Fisk, and Silas Robinson, principal authors and actors in the said riot, and to insert in the proclamation the declaration that the governor had orders from the King to protect the New York claimants with his whole power and authority."

At this period, and for sometime afterwards, one of the most active and efficient advocates and supporters of the New York government was John Munro, proprietor of a patent under that province, lying upon White Creek and extending into what is now called Shaftsbury Hollow.  He held the office of justice of peace of Albany County, and resided on his patent near the west line of Shaftsbury.  He had several tenants and dependents about him, and by his boldness and energy of character was very troublesome to the New Hampshire grantees.

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