Jamestown Colony, 1607 - 1700 - Bedinger Family …
7 July 1674.
Wheras there is an Indian, called Hoken, that hath bin a notoriuse theife, and besides former theifts, of late hath broken vp the house of James Bursell, for which hee was committed to prison; and hee made an escape by breaking of prison, and since stole a horse, being insolent in his carryage and an incorrigable theife, that will not be recalimed, but lyeth sherking and lurking about, wherby many persons are greatly in feare and danger of him, wherfore the Court doe order Mr Hinckley and Lieftenant Freeman, or any other majestrate that can light off the said Hoken, that they cause him to be apprehended and sold or sent to Barbadoes, for to satisfy his debts and to free the collonie from soe ill a member.
We will begin discussion of the Jamestown Colony with ..
Information in this chapter regarding the circumstances of the Peach murder was taken extensively from: LaFantasie, Glenn W. "Murder of an Indian, 1638." 38(3): 67-77 (1979). His appears to be the only available comprehensive treatment of the circumstances surrounding the murder. For further information on the attack and trial, refer to this article. Other sources, including William Bradford's , generally corroborate information given by LaFantasie, with the exception that Bradford notes that Penowanyanquis had been trading in Massachussetts Bay, not Plymouth. The truth remains unclear, although Bradford would probably have heard if the murder victim had been in his Colony the day before the crime. And yet, the fact that Penowanyanquis was heading in the direction from whence the four Plymouth fugitives came is good evidence that he was, indeed, traveling to Plymouth.
The provisions of the 1620 treaty made the sachem personally responsible for turning in any of his followers who had wronged colonists. The first three provisions of the treaty, which apply to the judicial relationship of the two groups, were recorded by Bradford:
That neither he (Massasoit) or any of his should injure or do hurt to any of their (the Colony's) people.
That if any of his did hurt any of theirs, he should send the offender, that they might punish him.
That if anything were taken away from any of theirs, he should cause it to be restored; and they should do the like to his.
indians, pocahontas, jamestown colony]:: 5 …
The Court eventually found a way to extract both restitution and retribution from Native American criminals, namely in the practice of indenturing and enslaving them. In 1664, five Indians who abused colonist Robert Shelley were told to pay Shelley five shillings "in work or otherwise." In this case, clearly the natives had the option of paying their fine in currency, but if they could not (as was often the case), they would have to work it off. Thomas Mathewes, a colonist who in 1670 beat an Indian named Ned, did not receive the same option to work off his debt. Perhaps because the Court valued their time more highly than the time of Indians; colonists, unlike natives, always paid their fines in money or goods.
Jamestown: What Caused the Failure of the Jamestown Colony in 1610
By the mid-1670s, just before the dawn of King Philip's War, the Plymouth General Court no longer gave the worst Native American criminals the option to pay their fines in currency. The case of Hoken illustrates this point to the extreme, and highlights the Plymouth's government's intention to gain ultimate control over Native Americans in their midst. A "notoriouse theife," this Indian had broken into a house, been incarcerated, escaped imprisonment, stolen a horse, and had as a result infuriated and frightened the colony. The Court, in a decision that would forever alter the treatment of Native Americans by Plymouth's judicial system, sold Hoken to Barbados "for to satisfy his debts and to free the collonie from soe ill a member." As the decade of the 1670s progressed, and King Philip's War came and went, and selling Indians into slavery became common practice for the General Court of Plymouth Colony.
The site of the Jamestown colony has become arguably ..
The extremely numerous cases that occurred during the fifteen year period preceding the breakout of King Philip's War (see also Appendix A), show that the Court began to substitute whipping for fines in many Indian cases. Tetannett, a Nantucket Indian, received a severe public whipping for stealing items from John Mayo's house in Eastham. In addition, the Court also threatened this Plymouth outsider with another whipping if he was ever seen hanging about Plymouth again. Unlike cases of theft by Indians from earlier decades, Tetannett paid no fine to the Court or to Mayo. Corporal punishment took the place of a fine in the Court's eyes. This is significant because in the English system of justice, the penalty for a crime should in some way make restitution to the victim. In the case of the colonies, stealing or damaging someone's physical property usually meant paying money to replace or repair that property. By the beginning of the 1660s, however, the Court seems to have taken a new point of view towards Native American criminals. By replacing fines with corporal punishment, Plymouth began to seek not restitution, but retribution.