Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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MANNING, John, soldier, born in England; died probably in New York, after 1686. He is thought by some to be the same Captain John Manning who was in Boston about 1650, and to have been of the family of William Manning, merchant, of Cambridge and Boston. His employment in New York came through the recommendation of Samuel Maverick, who, in a letter of 16 September, 1663, to the Earl of Clarendon, lord high chancellor of England, commended Manning as one "who hath many years been a commander under Major-General Morgan, who hath given him a large and ample certificate, which he will shew you He is well known and beloved in New England, and will be fit for any employment in the militia." He came to New York in 1664, and in the same year accompanied the expedition for the reduction of Fort Orange, where he attended and was a witness to the first treaty that the English concluded with the Five Nations, and after the surrender of the place was left in charge of the fort. He was high sheriff of the city of New York from 1667 till 1672, in 1669 was a member of the commission that was sent to Esopus to regulate the affairs of that district, was judge of the court for the West Riding of Yorkshire, and acted as high sheriff of Yorkshire from 1671 to 1673. He enjoyed the confidence of Governor Lovelace, served as a member of his council, and when the governor was called to any distance from the city, Fort James and public affairs were placed in Manning's charge. While he was thus in command, in 16'73, the Dutch fleet arrived and demanded the surrender of the fort, which, after some resistance, was given up. He sailed for England, waited on the king and Duke of York, and explained to them the particulars of the surrender, on hearing which the king turned to the duke and said:" Brother, the ground could not be maintained with so few men." He returned to New York with Governor Andros, and was soon afterward tried by court-martial on charges of treachery and cowardice. He was acquitted of the former but found guilty of cowardice, and on 5 February, 1675, sentenced to have his sword broken over his head and rendered incapable of again holding office under his majesty, which sentence would scarcely seem justified from the facts of the surrender. He retired to the island that had been granted to him in 1688, then called " Manning's island," but since well known as Blackwell's island, where he was accustomed to entertain his friends.
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