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Women's Rights in Early New York

Document 2

Petition by the Heirs of Samuel Palmer of Westchester that his widow be granted a letter of administration

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Petition by the Heirs of Samuel Palmer of Westchester that his widow be granted a letter of administration


[ ] The [ ] Governour of [ ] highnes [ ] of York his Terri[ ) in Amerrica, Greeting

The humbel petishon of your honnors humbel petishonnours Request is: that whearas it hath pleased the Lord to take awaye our Father lately out of this life and that with a sudden Blowe of death withoute sicknes that wee Could anye wayes Conseve Only a distemper he hath had one him manye years which we Could not Conseve mortall. and dyeing suddenly left noe will onlye verbally which was exprest to none but wee his Chilldren that weare by long before his Death and heard him saye hee having but Littel Esteate in this Life his Whole desire was haveing but a small matter of esteat in this life: and not knoing how it might Please the Lord in his goodnes and mercye to deale with him: Sayd that what he left behind him should Fully and Freely be left to his wives will and disposeing For her mayntaynance in Respect shee was striken in years and Far unfit for labore your honners humbel Petishonors desire is that your honner will be Pleased to grant such favor for Us that our Mother the Widdo being soe left may finde soe much favor from your honner to have a letter of Administration granted her without anye further Charge [in] Respect the esteate is but smalle and shee unkeapeable of paying Charge that maye Arise: and your honners Petishonors [will] ever praye

Westchester Aprill the 26th: 1670
Joseph Pallmer
beniamen Pallmar
Samuell pallmar
Obadiah Pallmar
[T)homas Squyer
his mar[ ]

[Endorsed:] [ ] Palmer of Westche[
deceased. for letters of Administracion.
Apr. 26 1670. Administracon granted and issued
as according to Request.

Short Answer Questions

  1. When was this petition made?
    Was this during the time of Dutch colonization or English colonization?

  2. Was Samuel Palmer’s death expected?

  3. Samuel Palmer’s children tell the court about how Samuel Palmer wanted his estate to be distributed after his death. To whom do they say Samuel Palmer wanted the estate to go?

  4. Why do you think Samuel Palmer’s heirs needed to petition the court on their mother’s behalf? Why couldn’t she petition the court herself?

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