Silas Charles DS Copy to Cadwallader Colden, Undated; Province of New York

Copy of a petition, signed by Silas Charles with his mark, representing the Montuak tribe. Background and interactions between the British and the Montuaks--remnants of a once numerous tribe formerly on Nassau Island, now the British East Hamptons. Charles states that the Montuak tribe are "becoming not only civilized but christianized" and have pledged themeleves to King George. Complaints about difficult relations between the Indians and English neighbors. Request for assistance to prevent encroachment and to clarify what property still belongs to them. IEGOR Lot 742.

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To the Honourable Cadwallader Colden Esqr: his Majestys Lieutenant Governor and Commander in Chief of the Province of New York and the Territories there on depending in America {?symbol} {?symbol} {?symbol} In Council {?symbol}

The Petition of Silas Charles an Indian in Behalf of himself and other Indians.

Most humbly Sheweth.

That your Petitioner & those Indians con:cerned with him constitute a Tribe commonally distinguished by the Name of the Montawk Indians, and are the Remains of a Numerous Tribe formerly inhabiting the East End of Nassau Island and con - stitute at present about thirty Families.

That upon the coming of the English into this Country the Ancestors of the Present Montawk Indians granted divers Parcels of their Land to the People Who formed a Township now called East Hampton.

That this Tribe continued to reside in the Neighbourhood living principally by Planting Fishing and Fowling gradually wasting away and those Who remain now occupy a Tract upon Montawk Point

That of late Years these Indians have discontinued their Ancient Barbarian Way of Living and are become not only civilized but christianized and are peaceable and Orderly and willing to behave as good Subjects [?to] his Majesty King George the Third & his Heirs and

Last edit about 1 year ago by Dennis K
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Successors, to do the Duty bear the Burthens and be entitled to the Priviledges and Rights of faithful Subjects.

That such a Change of Manners as it [?] exposes them to a Life of Labour, must introduce an Attachment to Property without Which they cannot subsist perform the Duties nor enjoy the Rights of Subjects.

That they are exposed to and suffer great Inconveniencies from the Contempt Shewn to the Indian Tribes by their English Neighbors at East Hampton Who deny them necessary fuels & continually incroach upon their Occupations by fencing in more & more of the Indian Lands under Pretence of Sales made by their Ancestors.

That your Petitioner and his Associates are in Danger of being crowded out of all their Ancient Inheritance and of being rendered Vagabonds upon the Face of the Earth, and are therefore oblideged to resort to his Majestys Justice and Goodness for an Effectual Protection and being advised that they have good Title to the Lands as yet unsold by the Law of Nature and Nations that the Crown has in all Times treated the Indian Rights as deserving some Respect, and [?presuming] that his Majesty will be graciously pleased to incourage their Design of becoming his civilized Subjects and their forsaking also the Idolatry of their Fathers they intend to apply for the Royal grant & Confirmation to them and their Heirs that they may also have such a Title as may be maintained in the Kings Courts of Law & afford them a competent

Last edit about 1 year ago by Dennis K
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Protection against all Trespassers.

But in as much as the Barbarous and unlettered State of the American Indians red - :dered it impossible for them to keep Records, and your Petitioners cannot ascertain What Lands have been or remain still unsold.

Your Petitioner now in Behalf of himself and the rest of the Montawk Tribe of Indians most humbly prays your Honour to give Directions for prosecuti :ons of Intrusion against all Such as Occupy any Lands between Montawk Point and Sagg Har - :bour, to Discover what Lands remain unsold unless the Inhabitants of East Hampton do by a Day to be fixed shew before your Honour how far their Indian Purchases bona fide on a [?me] do or ought to extend and that your Honour would be pleased to grant and confirm to the said {?symbol} {?symbol} Indians (Who will a [?sterwards] give in their Names) All the Land on Montawk Point that may appear to be still unsold by their Ancestors And your Petitioner will ever Pray [?Voc.] - -

Silas X his mark Charles on Behalf of himself & the Montawk Tribe of Indians

Last edit about 1 year ago by Dennis K
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A copy of Petition preferred by Silas Charles in Behalf of himself and the Tribe of the Montawk Indians to the Honorable Cadwallader Colden Esq: {?symbol} [?signagure of some sort]

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