Patrick Mc Gregory

and the Macgregorie Expedition!

Stefan Bielinski

During the 1680s, New York sought to push English claims westward and northward into lands also claimed by France. One manifestation of this initiative can be seen in Governor Thomas Dongan's issuing of trading licenses to private (but officially sanctioned) trading groups. One of these groups was led by Patrick Mc Gregory.

Patrick Mc Gregory/Magregorie was a Scottish opportunist who landed a group of people in Maryland in 1684. Traditional sources report a military background possibly explaining why he was called "Major" and "Colonel." Moving north through New Jersey, he sought land on Staten Island but instead settled on the Hudson Highlands where he attempted to patent an estate.

He appears to have been connected to Governor Thomas Dongan and his enterprises. In 1686, Dongan appointed "Major Magregorie" mustermaster general of the New York militia.

Learning native languages, he entered the Indian trade. With Dongan's permission, in 1687 he led a party to trade with the Ottawas at Michilimakinac. In his group were a number of ambitious/daring young men from Albany including Johannes Bleecker, Jr., Nanning Harmanse, and Arnout C. Viele. Another group was led by Johannes Roseboom. That spring, the adventurers were captured by the French and Indians and Mc Gregory was sent as a prisoner to Montreal. Freed by the French governor as a goodwill gesture, a year later he served Governor Edmund Andros in command of a company of soldiers against the Indians in Maine.

He returned to New York City where he was caught up in the turmoil surrounding the insurgency of Jacob Leisler. He was killed in March 1691 while trying to take the fort from Leisler's forces.

At the time of his death, he was in the process of securing title to land in present-day Orange County.

Colonel Mc Gregory left several sons and daughters who became residents of New York. Young Patrick Mc Gregory came with his father from Scotland and married the widow Zeytie Hooghteeling Marselis in 1697. By 1704, four of their children had been baptized in the Albany Dutch church. He was a soldier in one of the garrison companies stationed at Albany and later was named the city carman or porter and also was a "freeman" of Albany.



the people of colonial Albany This sketch on Patrick Mc Gregory and his son and namesake is derived chiefly from external sources and on community-based resources. The principal source for the elder Patrick is a memoir printed in the NYCD, 3:395 and 436-38. See also, Trelease, Indian Affairs, pp. 270-71.

The so-called Dongan's Charter of July 1686 gave Albany the exclusive right to negotiate with the Indians "north and west of Albany." Thus, all other New York contact with the Native Peoples would be illegal!

At this point, we cannot determine Zytie's origins or family story.

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first posted: 3/11/02