Date of this Version
The following work is essentially a line-for-line facsimile of Victor Hugo Paltsits’ edition of John Miller’s New Yorke Considered and Improved A.D. 1695. Miller’s work was written during his tenure as chaplain to the British soldiers stationed in New York from June 1692 until July 1695. His first draft was thrown overboard to avoid its falling into the hands of the French privateers who captured the ship in which he was returning to England. Miller re-wrote his work while imprisoned in France, finished it after his return to England in 1696, and presented it as a report to his superior, Henry Compton, Bishop of London. The work remained in manuscript until published by Thomas Rodd in 1843, and it was re-issued by William Gowans, in his “Gowans’ Bibliotheca Americana” series, edited and annotated by John Gilmary Shea, in 1862. Paltsits’ version, published in 1903 by Burrows Bros. Co. of Cleve-land, is an extensively annotated edition, prepared from the original manuscript held in the British Museum. Miller’s New Yorke was the most extensive account (to that date) of the geography, society, religions, customs, and fortifications of the Dutch, English, and Indian inhabitants of the province. Miller saw great potential in the colony, but also great room for improvement, and he was not backward in suggesting various plans for religious, moral, social, political, and military progress. By the close of his 100-page account, he has demonstrated the best ways to improve the morals of the city-dwellers, establish the Church of England in America, convert the heathen, and conquer and resettle Canada. The work includes excellent maps of the fortifications of New York City, Albany, Schenectady, Kingston, and the Flats.
Victor Hugo Paltsits (1867–1952) was one of the preeminent antiquarians of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His annotations to Miller’s work provide a wealth of additional information and material.