Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Dellius, Godfreidus

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DELLIUS, Godfreidus, clergyman, b. in Holland; d. in Antwerp about 1705. In 1683 he came to this country, and was settled at Albany as assistant to Gideon Schaats, pastor of the Reformed church there, and preached also at Schenectady. He continued in this service about sixteen years. In common with all the reform clergy, he refused to recognize Leisler's usurpation in 1689, and the latter, among other accusations, charged Dellius with being a principal actor in the French and English difficulties, and an enemy to the Prince of Orange, who had succeeded King James. After the execution of Leisler, in May, 1691, Gov. Sloughter recalled Dellius, who was on the point of embarking for Europe, and he soon returned to Albany. On the conclusion of peace between England and France, Dellius and Peter Schuyler were sent as agents, in April, 1698, to Count de Frontenac, in Canada, to announce the peace, and bring to an end the provincial hostilities. Acting under the authority of Bellomont, they took with them nineteen French prisoners, and obtained the delivery of British colonists held as prisoners by the French. Soon after his return from this mission, two Christian Indians declared on oath that Dellius, Peter Schuyler, Evert Banker, and Dirck Wessels had, in 1696, fraudulently obtained a deed for a large tract of land from the Indians. This land, the deed of which was confirmed by Gov. Fletcher, was on the eastern side of the Hudson, above Albany, and was seventy miles in length and twelve in breadth. Dellius also obtained a tract of land in the valley of the Mohawk, fifty miles by four. The Indians, at an appointed interview, told Bellomont all the circumstances of the conveyance of the deed, and the latter, in the spring of 1699, secured a bill to vacate the lands, and also a vote to suspend Dellius from ministerial duty in Albany county. The classis of Amsterdam complained to the bishop of London of Bellomont's conduct, and Albany and New York contributed £700 to enable Dellius to go to England and oppose the vacating bill before it received the king's signature. The Indians who had sworn against him afterward took counter-oaths, and, just before his departure, asked Dellius to forgive them. But, as they were his converts, and he was known to have great power over them, this circumstance loses its apparent force. Some accounts say that he returned to this country and was a missionary among the Indians from the Episcopal church in 1705-'10.