Minute Book 3: 1728: Laurence Claessen is Sent to Invite the Six Nations to a Conference With Governor Montgomerie

The entries for August 1728 document that the new governor of New York and New Jersey, John Montgomerie, asked the Commissioners of Indians Affairs to send Laurence Claessen to Iroquoia to invite the Six Nations to a meeting with Governor Montgomery by going “from Nation to Nation in the Manner usual.”  They gave the orders to Claessen and informed the governor that they had done so.

This is as good a place as any to insert these paintings of Claessen and his son that now hang on the walls of the Schenectady County Historical Society. They remind us that every time Claessen was sent on a mission like this, he left a family behind.  Or perhaps the boy in the picture came with him sometimes.

Laurence Claessen Van der Volgen

Laurence Claessen. Attributed to Nehemiah Partridge. Held at the Schenectady Historical Society, 32 Washington Avenue, Schenectady, NY 12305 and used with their permission. They give the date as 1725.

Version 2

The child in this painting by John Heaton, made in the early 1700s, is thought to be Laurence Claessen’s son. The painting now hangs at the Schenectady County Historical Society.











In Library and Archives Canada’s digital copy of the original minutes, the entry for May starts here on p. 259. The transcription is below.

[0522] 259

By the Com.es Appointed for

managing the Ind.n affairs at


Instructions for

Lourence Claase

Whereas we have Rec.d a lett.r from

His Ex.cy Govornour Montgomeerie dated in new

york ye 14th Aug.t 1728 desireing us therein to

Send you to the six nations of Indians to Sumon

them to meet him at Albany on the first day of

october next precisely

You are therefore hereby required & Comanded

forthwith to go from Nation to Nation in the

Manner usual and te them that his Ex.cy will

be puntually here at the time Appointed you

are not to fayle to make all possible Dispatch

& Expedition Given in Albany this [Sd.] our hands

this 20th of August in the 2d year of his Majesties

Reign Annoqe domini 1728


Henry Holland

Peter Van Brugh

Thomas Williams

Dirk Ten Broeck

Johannis Lansengh

[0523] 259a

Albany 20th Augustus 1728

Mr. Lourance Clasen

Whereas his Ex.cy Governour Monthgomerie

has been Pleased to write a leter to us the Commissioners

Directing us to Acquaint the Six nations o Ind.ns

by you to meet him the sd governour here the

first Day of October next this is therefore to order

you forthwith to sumon the said Nations of

Indians to be punitualy here on ye 1th Day of


Albany 20th August 1728

May it Please y.r Ex.cy

We Received his Excelncly Letter

of the 14th august yesterday and in obedience there

to have this day Dispatched Lourens Clason to

Sumon the Six nations of indians to be punctually

here on the 1st of 8ber [october] next according to the Exe.ly

Directed have orderd him to Come down 10th an we

10.th Respects May i please your Excellency

Your Exc.cy Most humbel



About hopefulwanderer

Writer, researcher, archivist, etc. @ahhunter
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