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Title: Peter of New Amsterdam - A Story of Old New York
Author: Otis, James, 1848-1912
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Peter of New Amsterdam - A Story of Old New York" ***

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PETER OF NEW AMSTERDAM

A STORY OF OLD NEW YORK

BY

JAMES OTIS

[Illustration]

  NEW YORK -:- CINCINNATI -:- CHICAGO
  AMERICAN BOOK COMPANY



  COPYRIGHT, 1910, BY
  JAMES OTIS KALER
  ENTERED AT STATIONERS' HALL, LONDON
  W. P. 4



FOREWORD


The purpose of this series of stories is to show the children, and even
those who have already taken up the study of history, the _home life_ of
the colonists with whom they meet in their books. To this end every
effort has been made to avoid anything savoring of romance, and to deal
only with facts, so far as that is possible, while describing the daily
life of those people who conquered the wilderness whether for conscience
sake or for gain.

That the stories may appeal more directly to the children, they are told
from the viewpoint of a child, and purport to have been related by a
child. Should any criticism be made regarding the seeming neglect to
mention important historical facts, the answer would be that these books
are not sent out as histories,--although it is believed that they will
awaken a desire to learn more of the building of the nation,--and only
such incidents as would be particularly noted by a child are used.

Surely it is entertaining as well as instructive for young people to
read of the toil and privations in the homes of those who came into a
new world to build up a country for themselves, and such homely facts
are not to be found in the real histories of our land.

JAMES OTIS.



CONTENTS


 CHAPTER                                            PAGE

 WHERE I WAS BORN                                      9

 ALONE IN HOLLAND                                     11

 AN IMPORTANT INTRODUCTION                            13

 I GO MY WAY                                          15

 THE BARGAIN                                          16

 SAILING FOR THE NEW WORLD                            18

 A VIEW OF NEW NETHERLAND                             20

 THE "BROWN MEN" OR SAVAGES                           22

 SUMMONED TO THE CABIN                                24

 TOYS FOR THE SAVAGES                                 27

 CLAIM OF THE WEST INDIA COMPANY                      29

 MAKING READY FOR TRADE                               30

 HANS BRAUN AND KRYN GILDERSLEEVE                     32

 THE GATHERING OF THE SAVAGES                         34

 GOING ASHORE                                         36

 BUYING THE ISLAND OF MANHATTAN                       38

 BOATS USED BY THE SAVAGES                            41

 WANDERING OVER THE ISLAND                            42

 THE HOMES OF THE SAVAGES                             44

 MASTER MINUIT'S HOME                                 46

 BEGINNING THE WORK                                   48

 A STRANGE KIND OF CRAFT                              49

 BUILDING A FORT                                      52

 IN CHARGE OF THE GOODS                               53

 THE VALUE OF WAMPUM                                  56

 BUILDINGS OF STONE                                   59

 THE GOVERNMENT                                       60

 A PROSPEROUS TOWN                                    61

 QUARRELSOME SLAVES                                   64

 A BRUTAL MURDER                                      67

 THE VILLAGE CALLED PLYMOUTH                          68

 I GO ON A VOYAGE                                     70

 A LUKEWARM WELCOME                                   72

 TWO DAYS IN PLYMOUTH                                 74

 FORGING AHEAD                                        76

 THE BIG SHIP                                         78

 MASTER MINUIT'S SUCCESSOR                            80

 TROUBLE WITH THE ENGLISH                             82

 MASTER VAN TWILLER DISCHARGED                        84

 DIRECTOR KIEFT                                       86

 UNJUST COMMANDS                                      88

 MASTER MINUIT'S RETURN                               90

 THE REVENGE OF THE SAVAGES                           91

 MASTER KIEFT'S WAR                                   93

 DIRECTOR PETRUS STUYVESANT                           95

 TIME FOR SIGHT-SEEING                                97

 HOW THE FORT WAS ARMED                               99

 VILLAGE LAWS                                        101

 OTHER THINGS ABOUT TOWN                             102

 A VISIT OF CEREMONY                                 104

 NEW AMSTERDAM BECOMES A CITY                        106

 MASTER STUYVESANT MAKES ENEMIES                     107

 ORDERS FROM HOLLAND                                 109

 MAKING READY FOR WAR                                110

 AN UNEXPECTED QUESTION                              112

 WITH THE FLEET                                      114

 DRIVING OUT THE SWEDES                              116

 THE UPRISING OF THE INDIANS                         118

 AN ATTACK BY THE INDIANS                            120

 HASTENING BACK TO NEW AMSTERDAM                     122

 COAXING THE SAVAGES                                 124

 INTERFERENCE WITH RELIGIOUS FREEDOM                 126

 PUNISHING THE QUAKER                                128

 OTHER PERSECUTIONS                                  130

 DULL TRADE                                          132

 THE CHARGE MADE BY HANS BRAUN                       133

 DISMISSED BY MASTER STUYVESANT                      134

 ENGLISH CLAIMS                                      137

 IDLE DAYS                                           138

 ON BROAD WAY                                        139

 LOOKING AFTER THE FERRY                             142

 THE COMING OF THE ENGLISH                           143

 A WEAK DEFENSE                                      145

 MASTER STUYVESANT ABSENT                            146

 DISOBEYING COMMANDS                                 148

 SURRENDER OF THE CITY DEMANDED                      149

 A THREE DAYS' TRUCE                                 150

 VISITORS FROM THE ENGLISH                           152

 MASTER STUYVESANT'S RAGE                            153

 THE END OF DUTCH RULE                               155

 THE CITY OF NEW YORK                                157



PETER OF NEW AMSTERDAM



WHERE I WAS BORN


If I ever attempted to set down a story in words, it would be concerning
the time when I was much the same as a slave among the Dutch of New
Amsterdam, meaning a certain part of the world in that America where so
many of my father's countrymen came after they left England, because of
the King's not allowing them to worship God in the way they believed to
be right.

It sounds odd to say that an English boy was ever held as slave by the
Dutch, and perhaps I have no right to make such statement, because it is
not strictly true, although there were many years in my life when I did
the same work, and received the same fare, as did the negroes in the
early days of New Amsterdam.

Before I was born, my father was clerk to the post-master of Scrooby,
one William Brewster, and perhaps thus it was that when, because of
troubles concerning religion, Master Brewster journeyed to Leyden with a
company of people who were called Separatists, my parents went with
him.

[Illustration]

And so it was that I was born in Leyden, in the year of our Lord, 1612,
but I never knew what it was to have a mother, for mine died while I was
yet in the cradle. Thanks to the care of a loving, God-fearing father,
however, I could do very much toward looking out for myself by the time
I had come to the age of eight, when I was left entirely alone in the
world. I love now to think that during the years of my life while the
good man remained on this earth, I did not cause him any great anxiety,
and required little care.

Within two months after my father died, which was in the year 1620, many
of the congregation in Leyden set off with Master Brewster for the New
World, there to build up a city where men might worship God in
whatsoever fashion they pleased.

Those of the Separatists who were left behind, cared for me as best they
might until a year had passed; but none of them were overly burdened
with this world's goods, and, young though I was, I realized, in some
slight degree, what a tax the care of a lad nine years old was upon
them.



ALONE IN HOLLAND


[Illustration]

Later, those who had in charity taken charge of me also set off to join
Master Brewster's company in America, and I, an English boy, was left
much the same as alone in Holland. I could speak the Dutch language,
however, and was willing to work at whatever came to hand, so that I
earned enough with which to provide me with food; as for clothing, I
wore the cast-off garments of the Dutch boys, whose mothers, taking
pity upon an orphan, freely gave them to me.

Among the few English then left in Leyden was Master Jan Marais, a
professor in the University, whom my father had known; and he, so far as
lay in his power, kept a watchful eye over me; but this was only to the
extent of inquiring for my welfare when we met by chance, or in
recalling my name to those among his Dutch friends who were in need of
such services as so young a lad could render.

Now it seems, although I knew nothing concerning it at the time, that
there had been formed in Holland, among the merchants, what was known as
the West India Company, whose purpose was to make a settlement in that
part of the New World which they had named New Netherland, claiming to
own it, and there trade with the savages, or engage in whatsoever of
business would bring in money.

Master Peter Minuit--whom I should call Heer Minuit, because such is the
Dutch term for master, but the odd-sounding title never did ring true in
my ear--had been appointed by this company, which had already sent out
some people to the world of America, Director of the settlement that was
to be made. He came on a visit of leave-taking to Master Jan Marais, and
it so chanced, whether for good or for evil, that while the two were
walking in the streets of Leyden, they came upon me, standing idly in
front of a cook-shop, and saying to myself that if the choice were given
to me I would take this or that dainty to eat.

[Illustration]



AN IMPORTANT INTRODUCTION


It may have been in a spirit of fun, or that perhaps Master Marais had
in mind to do me a good turn, but however it came about, he said as
gravely as if I were the burgomaster's son:

"Heer Peter Minuit, allow me to present to you Master Peter Hulbert, who
has had the misfortune to lose both his father and his mother by death."

Master Minuit was not unlike many others whom I had met, save that there
was in his face a certain look which bespoke a kindly heart, or so it
seemed, while he gazed at me much as he would at a young calf that he
had in mind to purchase.

I never did lay claim to being comely, either as boy or man; but yet it
must have been that this sturdy visitor saw something about me which
attracted either his closest attention or his charity, for he said with
a kindly smile, as he patted me on the head:

[Illustration]

"Well, namesake Peter, since nearly all your English friends have gone
to America, what say you to voyaging in the same direction?"

I failed to understand the meaning of the question, and probably stood
staring at him like a simple; yet at the same time I noted a quick
glance from Master Marais, as if the Director had said something which
caught his attention. An instant later, he said with more of seriousness
in his voice than seemed to me the matter warranted:

"It may not be well, Heer Minuit, to put into the lad's head a desire
that cannot be gratified."

"And why may it not be?" Master Minuit asked, wheeling sharply about.
"If namesake Peter has no friends in Holland who can take charge of him,
why may he not go to that land on the other side of the world with me? A
youngster of ten years might find many a meaner post than that of body
servant to the Director of the new town in America."



I GO MY WAY


Whatever speech these two may have had together afterward, I know not;
but certain it is that Master Marais, speaking to me hastily, as if it
were not well I should hear what passed between him and his friend,
directed that I go my way until nightfall, when I was to come into the
University grounds with the intent of seeing him.

[Illustration]

It was all very well to tell me to go my way; but I had none. One
section of Leyden was the same as another to me, who was penniless and
hungry, casting about in the hope of earning as much, by whatsoever
employment came my way, as would buy what might serve for supper.

However, I was not so dull as to fail in understanding that Master
Marais would have me out of his path for a time, and I went off
rapidly, as though business in Leyden would come to a standstill if I
did not make haste.

Then, once out of sight of these two, I looked about, keeping my eyes
wide open in the hope of seeing one who required my services, but
failing utterly, so that when night came, hunger had such a hold upon my
stomach that I was like to have begged from whosoever passed me on the
street.

Had I done so, it would have been the first time in my life, and since
that afternoon I have had no reason to ask in charity aught of any one,
for surely have I earned double that which I have ever received.



THE BARGAIN


Now lest you think I am given to using too many words, it is enough if I
say that at the appointed time I met Master Marais at the University,
and there learned from him that Master Peter Minuit had offered to take
me as servant to that place in America which was called New Netherland,
pledging himself, in due time, to set me on a path which would lead to
honest manhood. He agreed to provide me with such an outfit as would be
needed, and to bear the charge of my living while we remained in
Holland.

Master Marais, after first stating that it was for me to decide, since
my future, perhaps, depended upon the answer to be given Master Minuit,
advised that I accept gratefully the Director's offer.

And so I did. What other could a lad, who had neither father nor mother,
say, when he was given a chance to earn honestly that which he needed
for the care of his body?

[Illustration]

To me, boy as I was, the long voyage overseas had no terrors; but was
rather an inducement, for I would see strange sights before coming to
the New World, and then who should say that I might not, one day, rise
to be as great a man as was Master Minuit?

Master Marais told me I had decided well, when I said that I believed
myself fortunate in having such an opportunity, and straightway took
charge of my affairs, having been so instructed by my new master. I was
given of clothing more than ever I had before, and fed until I was no
longer hungry, during such time as I remained in Leyden.

Then came the day when Master Marais sent me to Amsterdam with a letter
to Master Minuit's agent, and from that hour I was no more than any
parcel of goods, which the West India Company counted to send into the
New World.

It troubled me little, however, that I was considered of no importance,
for in exactly that light did I look upon myself; yet I could not but
wonder, if so be I was servant to the Director of the new country in
America, that no one told me to do this or do that, but left me to my
own will, save that I was ordered to keep strictly the rules laid down
by the mistress of the house in which I lodged, until such time as the
_Sea Mew_ was ready to set sail.

Then it was that one of the sailors came to my lodgings to summon me,
and I know not how it was he chanced to learn of my whereabouts, for I
had had speech concerning my affairs with no person in Amsterdam,
although it may well be that Master Marais had sent information
concerning what was to be done with me.



SAILING FOR THE NEW WORLD


It was in January, in the year of our Lord 1626, when the _Sea Mew_ set
forth on her long voyage, and during a certain number of days after we
left port, it seemed as if my end was near at hand. There are those who
make light of the sickness of the sea; but I am not one, for verily my
sufferings on board the _Sea Mew_ passed man's power of description.

I saw Master Minuit when I first went on board; but it was as if a cat
had been looking at a king, for he remained in the after part of the
ship where were the people of quality, while I, only a servant, was
herded among the sailors, well up in the bow, where kicks and cuffs were
the rule, and blessings the exception.

The life of a boy at sea, whether he be a servant in the employ of some
passenger, or belonging to the ship's company, is at its best truly
pitiable. No one has a good word for him; strive as he may, he is always
in some person's road, and the end of a wet rope is ever ready to the
hand of that person who, having lost his temper, would vent his spite
upon the most helpless being near at hand, which is the boy.

[Illustration]

I had counted on seeing much of the world during this voyage in the
_Sea Mew_, believing that we should visit strange lands, where I could
roam about feasting my eyes upon all manner of odd things; but none of
this came to pass.

Twice during the voyage did the _Sea Mew_ cast anchor off some island,
where it would have given me no little pleasure to go on shore that I
might compare the land with the country I had known; but I lacked the
courage to ask permission of my master, who as yet had not spoken to me
since the ship left port, and no one, not even the friendliest among the
seamen, had enough of charity in his heart to say "Come."



A VIEW OF NEW NETHERLAND


Because of all this, the voyage, which took up nearly four months, was
one of discomfort, if not exactly of suffering, and when we came to
anchor off that place in America which had been named New Netherland, I
would have rejoiced even though it were the most desolate island,
because of my life on shipboard having, for a time at least, come to an
end.

But before I tell you what I saw when I gazed upon this part of the New
World for the first time, to the end that you may the better understand
what I am talking about, let me say that toward the close of the year of
grace, 1624, a company of forty-five persons, men, women and children,
with all their home belongings, their tools for the farms, and one
hundred and three cows and sheep, had been sent out from Amsterdam in
three large ships and a small boat, called by the Dutch a yacht,
although in England it would have been spoken of as a pinnace.

Some of these people, who agreed with the West India Company to build at
this place a trading post, had already set up such houses as would serve
to shelter them from the weather.

[Illustration]

And this is the picture which I saw on the fourth day of May, in the
year of our Lord, 1626, when I stood on the forward part of the _Sea
Mew_, gazing shoreward with hungry eyes, for the one desire I had was to
plant my feet once more upon the solid earth.

We were lying where two grand rivers came together, forming a harbor in
which all the King's ships might ride in safety. In front of me was a
range of small hills, whereon grew noble trees that had just put on
their dress of green to mark the coming of the summer, and in the
valleys, betwixt the forest and the shore, were small dwellings or huts
built of the bark of trees, much as a child might make a house of twigs.

Beyond these huts were settlements like unto nothing I had ever seen,
made up of buildings which looked not unlike gigantic logs that had been
split in the middle, with the cleft side lying on the ground. Some of
these half-round shelters were exceedingly long, others short, and all
had one or more doors close to the ground, but no windows that I could
see.

They were made, as I afterward learned, of the bark of birch trees laid
over a framework of saplings, and fastened in place with the sinews of
animals, or with small wooden pegs. From more than one of them came
smoke, telling of fires and of cooking, but I saw no chimneys.



THE "BROWN MEN" OR SAVAGES


Here and there, either in this odd village, or near the bark huts of the
Dutch people, wandered colored men, not black like those negro slaves we
had on board the _Sea Mew_, but rather the color of a copper kettle
that has been somewhat used over a fire. For clothing, they wore nothing
more than a piece of skin tied around the waist, or leggings of hide.

Their heads were bare, with the hair shaven from off a goodly portion,
leaving a long tuft directly on the top, which by means, as I afterward
learned, of animal fat, was made to stand upright like a horn.

These were the savages, and I looked no longer at the dwellings built in
the shape of a half-moon, or at the loosely stacked strips of bark which
marked the home of some Dutchman who had come here at the bidding of the
West India Company, for all my thoughts were centered upon these brown
men, of whom I had heard as one hears a fairy tale, not believing in its
truth.

Now although the land was goodly and fair to look upon, a veritable
garden of pleasure, to those who had come from a long voyage on the
angry waters, as had we of the _Sea Mew_, yet there came into my mind
the fear that these brown men who wandered here and there, giving little
heed to us who were so lately arrived, and who were the owners of this
New World, might come at some future time to say to themselves that it
were better the Dutch had never landed in their midst. If that day ever
did arrive, woe unto us whose skins were white!

Little did I believe, even as I dreamed, that such would come to be the
truth; that the day was not far distant when these savages who made even
of their hair a seeming weapon, would come to thirst for the blood of us
who hoped to find fame or fortune, or both, in this New World of
America.

At a mile or more from the point where we had anchored, we were told
there was a strip of marshy ground, stretching across from river to
river, and lying so low that when the tide was at its height, the
streams were united, making of this settlement an island, which the
Indians called Manhattan.

There were trees in the forest before me enough to make all the masts
that could be used by the people of the world, and in such a wilderness
how abundant must be the game! In these huge rivers how great in number
the fish!

I panted to leave the narrow space of ship; to go on shore where I could
wander among the trees and amid the flowers; where I could see these
strange, brown people, whose huts were to me much like hills thrown up
by ants; to come in contact with all these things which God had made,
and in so doing rejoice that I lived.



SUMMONED TO THE CABIN


Now it was as if Master Minuit, who had given no heed during all the
voyage as to whether I might be alive or dead, suddenly remembered that
somewhere on board the _Sea Mew_ he had a servant by the name of Peter
Hulbert, and straightway sent one of the serving men from the great
cabin to hunt me out.

[Illustration]

From the time of leaving Amsterdam until this moment, no one had shown
any desire to have speech with me, while all had acted as if believing I
was of no more use in this world than to cumber their path; thus it came
near to startling me when my name was called, so that I hung back,
hardly knowing if I was expected to go forward or aft, until one of the
seamen, hearing the serving man vainly shouting, asked me if that was
not my name which was being spoken so loudly.

Whereupon I awoke to my senses, and went toward the stern to meet this
fellow, who was bawling at the full strength of his lungs, as if he
would make his tongue do the work of a trumpet, and by him was led into
the great cabin where stood my master, as if he had been awaiting my
coming.

[Illustration]

From that moment until this I have never sought for employment; there
has ever been something which I should do for others, or was in duty
bound to do for myself, until I am come to think that he who goes into a
new world to help in building there a city, much the same as fastens
himself into a treadmill in such a fashion that he may not contrive his
own escape.

Now did I learn what it meant to act the part of body servant to such as
Master Minuit, and was not a little surprised at finding that he had
two others, one a man grown, and a second who was three or four years my
elder, both of whom took advantage of every opportunity to lord it over
me when the master was not within hearing.



TOYS FOR THE SAVAGES


During the long voyage I had tried time and again to picture to myself
what would be expected of me when I began to serve Master Minuit, and
fancied the duties would be to look after his belongings, perhaps his
weapons, or his clothing, or to serve him while he sat at meals.

[Illustration]

Therefore it was that my surprise was exceeding great when the first
task which he set me, was that of taking from certain huge boxes, which
had been brought into the great cabin, what appeared like toys for
children, rather than things such as grown men would set a value upon.

A stout chest, fitted with handles, so that it might the more readily be
carried, had been placed nearby these big boxes, and, under Master
Minuit's direction, I took out these fanciful things, laying some upon
the floor, and stowing others in the chest.

There were strings of beads such as young Dutch girls wear around their
necks; short lengths of bright red, or blue, or yellow cloth of wool;
ornaments for the ears, made of Dutch brass, and fashioned so rudely
that none save the poorest in the land would covet them; belts of
gaudily colored leather, and small axes and knives formed of iron so
badly worked that but little rough usage would serve to turn the edges.

I cannot well name all the useless trinkets which I handled that day,
working as deftly as I might, to the end that my new master should lay
no blame upon me for clumsiness; but all the goods were of so little
value that, poor though I was, there came into my heart no desire to
possess them.

[Illustration]

As I worked, and while the other two servants were busily engaged making
into packages the belongings of my master, that they might the more
readily be carried on shore, I could not fail of hearing, even though
making no effort to play the part of eavesdropper, the conversation
which was going on between Master Minuit and those Dutch gentlemen who
had come out with him to build up this new land.



CLAIM OF THE WEST INDIA COMPANY


And what I thus heard, without being minded to play the listener, was
that among the orders given by the West India Company, was one to the
effect that before Master Minuit should do anything toward taking upon
himself the governing of the country, the land of Manhattan Island was
to be bought of the brown men, and these useless trinkets were to serve
in the stead of purchase money.

To the better understanding of this order, let me go back in the tale to
where I have said that the West India Company claimed to own the land
which was called New Netherland. Their reasons for making such claim
were that the Dutch government had, many years before, sent out the ship
_Half Moon_, commanded by an Englishman named Henry Hudson, who believed
himself to be the first white man that ever saw these rivers; and
afterward that famous Dutch seaman, Adrian Block, had followed Master
Hudson, stopping at this same island of Manhattan. Therefore it was,
because of their vessels being supposed to have come to this place
first, that the people of Holland claimed the land as their own.

As I came to know later, however, a certain sailor from Florence had
been sent to America by the French king, near ninety years before Master
Hudson's coming, and, on landing nearabout where we then were, claimed
all the country in the name of France.

Perhaps the West India Company knew somewhat of this, and, fearing the
French king might set up ownership to the island of Manhattan, had
decided to buy it of theirs, first because of having been discovered by
them, and again because of being bought in fair trade.

All this which I have just told you came to me afterward, when I knew
more of the great world and of the manner in which the nations of the
earth struggled one against another to increase their possessions.



MAKING READY FOR TRADE


At the time, however, there was no thought in my mind save that if
Master Minuit should buy this island of Manhattan with all the trumpery
goods he had in the great cabin, then would he be paying a price far too
small for even the least portion of it.

You can well fancy that I did not neglect my work while thus looking
with contempt upon the goods before me. My duty was to make quick
despatch of the task set me, and at the same time take good heed that it
was done in such a manner as to win the approval, if not the praise, of
Master Minuit.

Many a long hour did I spend putting the childish things into the chest,
and in taking them out and exchanging for others, when those in company
with my master believed we were gathering too much of value, if indeed
there could be value to such goods. When it was done, I had the idea
that Master Minuit was pleased with me, for he said that from then on I
was to hold myself close to his person, going where he went, and
stopping where he stopped.

[Illustration]

I make but a poor attempt at telling the tale, otherwise I would have
said that when we were first come to anchor, some of those people who
had been sent over by the West India Company in advance of our ship,
came on board the _Sea Mew_ to speak with my master; and, as each in
turn was done with his business, or with his pleasure, as the case might
be, orders were given him that the savages be told they were to meet
Master Minuit on the shore nearby where we were then lying at anchor, to
the end that he might have speech with them.

It puzzled me not a little to understand how he could have speech with
the brown men, when they did not speak in the same tongue as did he; but
I had enough of wit to understand that it did not concern me. Master
Minuit most like had considered well the matter.



HANS BRAUN AND KRYN GILDERSLEEVE


[Illustration]

When I was done with my task, instead of going into the forward part of
the ship where I had lived from the time we left Amsterdam, my master
gave orders that I should remain nearby where were his own quarters, and
sent me with his other servants, of whom I have already told you
somewhat.

The elder, who might have been thirty years of age, was named Hans
Braun. He was as sour-visaged, square-jawed, thick-headed a Dutchman as
ever stepped foot in Holland; one who knew not the meaning of the word
friendship, and cared for his own comfort and his own pleasure more than
he did for the master he served, or for anything whatsoever.

When I came to have a good look at him, as he beckoned me to follow to
that portion of the ship where he and his mate found lodgings, I said to
myself that there at least was one in this New World who would never
lend a helping hand, and would not hesitate to do a wrong if thereby he
could compass his own ends.

The other servant was Kryn Gildersleeve, who, mayhap, was three or four
years my elder; a dull, heavy lad, who did not give promise of being a
cheerful comrade, and yet I would have put faith in him under the same
conditions that I would have suspected Hans of working me harm.

If I have been overly careful in speaking of these two fellow servants,
it is because of our being at a later day so placed that they could do
me much of evil, or of good.

I had rather an hundred times over have gone into my meaner lodgings in
the forward part of the ship, than spend the night in what were most
comfortable quarters, with such as Hans, and yet it was not for me to
say whether I would come here or go there, after the command had been
given. Before another day was very old, however, I understood that,
without having spoken a wrong word or done anything against him
whatsoever, Hans Braun would never be my friend.



THE GATHERING OF THE SAVAGES


It seemed, as I afterward learned, that Master Minuit had given orders
for me to follow him on shore, while the other two were to remain aboard
the ship, and this it was, most like, which displeased Hans.

However that may be, it has nothing to do with my tale, and perhaps I am
giving overly many words to it; yet would I have you know how I, the
youngest body servant of Master Minuit, Director of the West India
Company's lands in America, came to see so much of that which was, in
fact, important business, such as a lad would not be likely to have any
part in.

[Illustration]

We were yet on board the _Sea Mew_, when I, who was standing by the rail
on the quarter-deck, where I could hear the slightest summons from my
master, saw the brown men gathering on shore and verily it was a sight
to cause wonder.

These brown men, with their hair standing upright on the middle of their
heads, and naked to the waist, but wearing leggings fringed with strips
of hide, and queer, soft shoes ornamented with colored quills of the
porcupine, which I afterwards learned were called moccasins, seated
themselves on the sand of the shore, gazing out toward the _Sea Mew_.

Below, in the great cabin, I could see that my master and his companions
were arraying themselves as if about to set out for an audience with the
king, and why this should be I failed to understand, save that they
counted to surprise the savages by their bravery of attire.

Master Minuit wore a long coat of blue cloth, which was fastened around
his waist with a silken sash, and black velvet breeches, gathered in at
the knee with a knot of blue ribbon, while his low shoes, ornamented
with huge silver buckles, set off, as it seemed to me, the shiny
blackness of his silken hose.

[Illustration]

He had on a broad-brimmed hat of felt, in which was a plume of blue, and
over his shoulder was a blue sash, which, coming to a point under the
left arm, gave a hanging for his sword.

The gentlemen with him were decked out in no less brave apparel, and I
said to myself that if the savages of Manhattan Island gave heed to gay
adorning then they were like to be pleased on this day.



GOING ASHORE


I was the one sent ashore in charge of the chest of trinkets, and that I
was thus given a position of trust did not serve to sweeten the sour
look on Hans' face, for he acted much as if believing he was the only
one of Master Minuit's following who could be depended upon for any
service of note.

It is impossible for me to say in such words as would be understood, how
delighted I was to be on dry land once more. The scent of the flowers,
the odors that came from the forest, and the songs of the birds, so
filled me with delight that it was indeed a difficult matter to act as
if I still held possession of my wits. Perhaps, if the savages had not
been seated nearby, noting every movement made by those concerned in the
care of the chest, I should not have succeeded so well.

Before these half-dressed, brown men, who watched intently, with never
the ghost of a smile or show of interest on their faces, one could not
but act in a dignified manner, and I held myself as if I, not Peter
Minuit, were the Director of New Netherland come to take possession of
my office.

Save for long reeds, at one end of which was a small stone vessel, which
I afterward learned was a contrivance used for burning that Indian weed,
tobacco, the savages had nothing in their hands. It seemed to me that it
would have been only natural had they brought with them some of their
weapons, and I was disappointed because of their not having done so, for
my curiosity was great regarding what sort of bloodletting instruments
were in use among them.

[Illustration]

During a full hour I sat on the chest, while two of the seamen loitered
near at hand to make certain the brown men did not attempt to find out
what we had brought ashore, and then came my master, followed by all the
gentlemen of the _Sea Mew_.

Every one was dressed in his bravest garments, and on stepping out of
the small boat on the sand, all gave particular respect to my master, as
if to show the savages that he was the man who had been sent to rule
over this country of New Netherland.

[Illustration]

This company of gentlemen walked gravely in procession to where the
chest was standing, giving no heed to the savages until they were
gathered around the useless trinkets, and then they bowed as if each
brown man before them were a king.



BUYING THE ISLAND OF MANHATTAN


I had again been puzzling my brain to figure out how any trading of land
could be carried on, since it was not reasonable to suppose the savages
had knowledge of the Dutch tongue, or that Master Minuit understood such
words as the brown men spoke.

It was all made plain, however, when one of the white men who had come
from Amsterdam the year before, stepped forward, bending low before my
master as he began making odd sounds to the Indians, which must have
been words of some kind, since they answered him in the same manner,
after which the whole crowd of top-knotted, half-naked savages rose to
their feet.

Then our Dutchman would repeat the Indian words in English to Master
Minuit, though no one could say whether he repeated exactly that which
the savages had told him, and thus a full hour was spent in telling of
the greatness of Holland, the good intent of the West India Company
toward the brown people, and the advantage it would be to have white men
in the land.

Master Minuit was not the only one who could deal out soft words, for
the chief savage of the company was quite his match in such business,
and made it appear as if this island of Manhattan were the one place in
all the great world, while at the same time he claimed that the
Manhattan Indians were the only real men ever born.

Finally Master Minuit got at the kernel of the nut by telling the
savages that he was ready to buy, and to pay a good price for their
island, at the same time letting it be understood that they need not
move away so long as it was their desire to be neighbors and friends
with the white men, who would pay all kinds of prices for furs, or
whatsoever they had to sell.

This was the time when the chest was opened, and I looked to see the
brown men walk away angrily, believing Master Minuit was making fools of
them when he offered such trumpery stuff for good, solid land; but much
to my surprise the savages hung over the beads and cloth as if they were
worth their weight in gold.

[Illustration]

Had I owned the island, and Master Minuit was trying to buy it from me
for what he had in the chest, I would not have given him as much of the
soil as he stood on, for a shipload of the stuff; but these savages
seemed to think they were getting great wealth in exchange for the land,
and he who was acting as mouthpiece had need to keep his tongue wagging
lively in order to repeat all that was said.

By noon the bargain had been made; the savages kept a tight grip on all
they had received, even when they were invited on board the _Sea Mew_,
where writings of the trade were to be made, and I had hard work not to
laugh outright when I saw how gingerly they stepped into our staunch
longboat, as if fearing it would overset.



BOATS USED BY THE SAVAGES


This fear of so seaworthy a craft as ours, was all the more comical
after I had seen such boats as the savages themselves used, and you may
believe that I am stretching the truth to the point of breaking it, when
I say that they put off in toy vessels that were little better than
eggshells.

What is more, they showed no fear in so doing even when the waves ran
high, and it seemed as if no human power could prevent the frail craft
from being swamped.

These canoes, as the savages called them, were given shape by thin
splints of wood, bent something after the fashion of a bow, with the
forward and after ends, although one looked the same shape as the other,
rising high above the midship portion. They were covered with bark from
the birch tree, sewn together with sinews of deer, or of such like
animals, and smeared plentifully with balsam from the pine trees. Where
in another craft would have been the rail, were strips of wood not
thicker than my smallest finger, but of such toughness as to give shape
to the boat.

I could easily, and have done so many times since, toss the largest of
these canoes on my shoulder and carry it without feeling that I was
burdened. Yet four or five of the brown men would get inside one of
these drowning machines, as Kryn called them, kneeling in the bottom,
since there was no chance to sit squarely down, and dart over the waves
with greater speed than our crew could row the longboat.

[Illustration]



WANDERING OVER THE ISLAND


When Master Minuit was about to go on board the _Sea Mew_ with the
savages whose land he had just bought, he graciously gave me permit to
wander at will over the island, with the understanding, however, that I
was to be on the shore, ready to come aboard ship, before nightfall.

It can well be understood that I took advantage of the permission
without delay, and before I had finished with my roaming, I came to
believe that my master had not driven as hard a bargain as at first
sight appeared.

In England, or in Holland, the land would not have been looked upon as
of much value to a farmer. There were some spots where a kind of wheat
was growing, but these were few and far between. A goodly portion of the
upper part was swampy, and beyond that were ledges, covered with
creeping vines, over which one could not make his way even if he felt so
disposed.

One of the Dutchmen who had come over before we did, told me that he did
not dare let his cows or sheep wander beyond the marshes, because of the
forest's being filled with bears, wolves, and other ravening creatures
which would make speedy end of them.

[Illustration]

When I asked as to the outlook for a farmer, he turned up his thick
nose, saying that save for the fact of the land being rich, never
having been planted, he could not raise enough to keep his family and
his cattle from starving.

Then it was he told me that the West India Company did not give great
heed to what might be grown in the earth, but counted on building here a
town in order that they might make much money by buying furs of the
savages.

It seemed that there were animals in the forest nearabout, the skins of
which were valuable in many of the other countries of the world, and it
was Master Minuit's business, if he would please those who had made him
Director of New Netherland, to exchange toys and beads for furs.

Those white men who had been induced to come over from Holland by
promises of being well paid for their labor, were to turn all their
attention to getting lumber out of the forests, doing no more in the way
of farming than would provide them, as nearly as might be, with food.



THE HOMES OF THE SAVAGES


This same Dutchman, seeing that the Indian houses excited my curiosity,
offered to go with me inside one, and, on my agreeing eagerly, he led
the way into the first building on our path, with no thought of asking
permission, much as if entering his own dwelling.

It surprised me to see what flimsy affairs they were, and yet it was
said that the savages lived in them during the winter when there is much
snow on the ground. I have already told you that instead of having a
roof laid on upright sides, the top was rounded like a huge log cleft in
halves, and once inside I understood why they were built in such
fashion.

[Illustration]

The timbers were nothing more than small, young trees, the thicker ends
of which were thrust into the ground, and the tops bent over until the
whole formed an arch. On the outside of this was bark taken from the
birch tree, sewed or pegged in place, and in the center of the floor,
which was simply the bare earth beaten down hard, a fire could be built,
the smoke finding its way out through a hole in the roof.

Why such frail buildings did not take fire from sparks, I could not
understand, for it would have needed but a tiny bit of live coal to set
the whole thing in a blaze.

There were no people in this house which we entered, and therefore it
was that I could look about me more closely than would otherwise have
been the case. I saw pots and kettles fashioned of what looked to be
gourds, or baked clay; sharpened stones lashed to wooden handles, to be
used, most like, as axes, and shells with an edge so sharp that one
might have whittled a heavy stick into shavings, which shells, so the
Dutchman told me, served the savages as knives.

[Illustration]

There were many wooden bowls, which must have been formed by these same
knives of shell, and one of them, half filled with a greasy looking
mixture, was yet standing upon the embers, as if its contents had been
heated in that vessel of wood over the fire.

The beds were not uninviting, save that they were far from being
cleanly, and gave forth a disagreeable odor, for they were made of furs
piled high upon a coarse kind of straw.



MASTER MINUIT'S HOME


Then it was that this very friendly Dutchman showed me the house in
which Master Minuit was to live, until such time as a building, made
after the manner of those in Holland, could be set up.

It was no more than a log hut, large, to be sure, but yet formed of the
trunks of trees laid one on top of the other, with the ends notched so
that they would lock together, as it were, and the floor was the same as
I had seen in the house of the savage, simply earth beaten hard until it
was nearly smooth.

[Illustration]

The idea of bringing his fine garments into such a place, or even of
wearing them where were none save the Indians to see his bravery of
apparel, caused me to smile; but I soon came to know that my master had
no intention of spending very many days within this rough dwelling of
logs.

The _Sea Mew_ was moored stem and stern, as if for a long stay, and
Master Minuit and the other gentlemen appeared to have no idea of going
on shore to live as did the savages.

It is not needed for me to say that I also remained aboard the ship,
although it would have pleased me far better to have taken my chances
with the people in the huts, for these Dutchmen who had come in advance
of us were really pleasant fellows, who did not think it beneath their
dignity to answer such questions as a lad like me, who saw so much that
was curious everywhere around, was aching to ask.



BEGINNING THE WORK


There was little chance for me to gratify my curiosity in these first
days after we were come to America, for Master Minuit counted on having
much work done during the summer, in order that we might be prepared for
the frosts of winter, and I had no idle time for making acquaintance
with this New World.

My master put the interests of the West India Company even before the
well-being of the people who were to make a new town, and his first act,
after buying the island of Manhattan for much the same as no price at
all, was to begin the gathering of furs.

The people who had come ahead of us were cutting timber in the forest,
and dragging, or rafting, it down to the point where it would be in good
position to be taken on board the first ship that was to be loaded, and
with such tasks Master Minuit did not interfere.

The gentlemen who had come with him were to go, each in a different
direction, up the rivers in search of savages who would exchange
valuable furs for trumpery toys, and it was my duty to assort these
goods, under the direction of my master, as a matter of course, into
various lots to the end that each of the traders would have some portion
of every kind.

When this had been done, and I was kept at the task during the greater
part of two days, each assortment was packed into a chest like unto the
one we had taken ashore when the island was purchased of the savages.

To Hans and Kryn was given the duty of putting these goods into the
boats; packing up food for the many crews, and doing the heavy work
generally, which was not to the liking of the sour-faced servant, who
would have been better pleased could he have remained snug in the great
cabin, as did I.



A STRANGE KIND OF CRAFT


Five traders at length set out, each in a boat with four Dutch sailors,
and one of the brown men to show him the way, and before the last had
departed I saw a craft, made by the savages, which was by no means as
light and fanciful as were the canoes of the birch-tree bark.

The boat had been fashioned out of a huge log, and although there seemed
to be great danger she would overset if the cargo were suddenly shifted
to one side, she was of sufficient size to carry a dozen men with twice
as much of goods as we put on board of her.

I was puzzled to know how these brown men, who had not tools of iron,
could build such a vessel, which would have cost the labor of two
Dutchmen, with every convenience for working, during at least ten days.
Later, however, when I had more time for roaming around on the shore, I
learned in what manner the task had been performed, and then was I
filled with wonder because of the patience and skill of these savages
who were so childish as to be pleased with toys.

When a wooden boat, or "dugout," such as I have just spoken of was to be
built, the brown men spent much time searching for a tree of the proper
kind and size, and, having found it, set about cutting with both fire
and sharpened shells.

A fire was built entirely around the tree, but the flames were prevented
from rising very high by being deadened with wet moss or leaves, thus
causing them to eat directly into the trunk. When the surface of the
wood had been charred to a certain extent, the Indians scraped it away
with their knives of shell, and this they continued to do, burning and
scraping until finally the huge tree would fall to the ground.

[Illustration]

Then was measured off the length of the boat they wanted to make, and
the same kind of work was done until they had cut the trunk again,
leaving a log fifteen, twenty, or even twenty-five feet long, as the
builders desired. Next this log was hollowed out by fire and scraping,
until only the shell of the tree was left, so you can have some idea of
the amount of work that was done by such rude methods.

The ends were fashioned much after the shape of the canoes, save that
neither the stern nor the bow rose above the midship portion; thwarts,
or seats, were fitted in as neatly as one of our workmen could do it
with the proper tools, and when finished, the craft would carry quite as
large a cargo as one of our longboats.

Our Dutch seamen looked upon these boats with wonder, questioning if
they would not be swamped in a heavy sea; but those of our people who
had lived here nearly a year, declared that these dug-outs would swim
where many a better built craft would go to the bottom.



BUILDING A FORT


Within an hour after the last of the traders had set off, Master Minuit
had his workmen busy on a fort, to be built an hundred yards or more
from the place where we first landed.

Although these brown men appeared so very friendly, it was not in his
mind to give them any chance to work mischief, and, therefore, some
place where our people could defend themselves against an enemy, was
needed.

All the Dutchmen who had been hewing timber were called upon to take
part in the work, and it went on with amazing rapidity, for Master
Minuit was not one who gave those in his employ much chance to suck
their fingers.

The fort was made in the form of a triangle, with bastions, or
projections, at each corner, so that while within them the defenders
could have a view of each side-wall. Around the entire building, say at
a distance of twenty feet, was a palisade, or fence, of cedar logs
planted upright in the earth, and fastened together with heavy timbers
at the top.

A more solid fortification of wood I have never yet seen, nor have I
known of a like defence to have been made in so short a time.



IN CHARGE OF THE GOODS


Before the fort was finished, two of the gentlemen traders came back,
their chests emptied of beads, cloth, and trinkets, but the boats piled
high with furs of all kinds, and I heard Master Minuit say that one such
cargo was worth more than all the grain that could be raised in two
years, by all the white men on the island.

The log house was taken for a storeroom, and Hans set at work making a
list of the furs, which was anything rather than a pleasant task, for
these skins were none of the sweetest or most cleanly, and the Dutchman
both looked and smelled very disagreeably.

[Illustration]

While Hans was sweating over the furs in the log house, I stayed in the
great cabin of the _Sea Mew_, refilling the chests with goods, and
before the task was finished, Master Minuit told me that I was to have
charge of all the things brought for trade with the savages.

In other words, I was no longer to be body servant, but a real
storekeeper, which was more of a jump in the world than I had even hoped
to make for many a long year to come.

The palisade of the fort was not yet wholly done, when a dozen or more
of the men were set about building inside the fortification a log
house, where the goods were to be kept and where I was to find lodgings.

Kryn Gildersleeve, like the honest lad he was, gave me joy because of my
thus having become, as it were, a real member of the Company; but Hans
was angry, believing if any of the servants were to be promoted, it
should have been himself, and I am told that he declared I would not
long be allowed to enjoy my high station.

By the time the palisade had been built my house was finished, and all
the goods brought from the _Sea Mew_, which gave me much of work to do,
because my orders were to unpack and store the different articles where
I could bring them out at a moment's notice.

You must not understand that Master Minuit had entrusted to me the
trading. That portion of the work was for himself and the gentlemen who
had come with him; but I was in charge of the goods, as Hans was keeper
of the furs, while Kryn alone waited upon the master as body servant.

When any of the savages came in from the village close by, or from far
away, to bargain for our toys, one of the gentlemen looked after him,
and I brought this thing or carried that according to orders, for the
Indians were not allowed to come inside the log house lest they might
make mischief. After the trading was at an end, Hans would be summoned
to carry away the furs.

[Illustration]

If none of the other gentlemen were near at hand, it was my duty to
summon Master Minuit, when any of the brown men came to the fort with
such a burden that I could understand he was eager to buy of our goods.



THE VALUE OF WAMPUM


Because of thus being employed, I very soon saw that which served the
savages as money, and queer stuff it was, being neither more nor less
than bits of shell.

The brown men called the stuff wampum, and because of having such poor
tools it must be an enormous amount of work to make it. As nearly as I
could learn, there were certain big shells which washed up on the shores
here after a storm, and only some part of the inside of these, and a
portion of the mussel shells, were used.

From the big shells they made a smooth white bead, grinding the shell
down against a rock until it was perfectly smooth, and then boring a
hole through it. The beads of wampum made from the mussel shells were in
shape much like a straw, and less than half an inch in length.

These beads the Indians strung on the dried sinews of wild animals, from
a half a yard to four feet in length, when, as I have already told you,
they were used as money.

But wampum is even more than that among the savages. When these strings
are fastened to the width of five or six inches into a belt, they are
given to messengers to take to another tribe, much as kings of old used
to give their seal rings as a sort of letter of recommendation.

[Illustration: The great Wampum Belt of the Onondagas.]

The wampum belts were sent in token of peace after a war, or as a
present from one ruler to another, and, as can be seen, this wampum was
even of more value to the savages than gold is to white men.

One would think that when they got our beads in exchange for their furs,
they would have strung them with those which had been cut from shells,
and yet they did nothing of the kind, for in their eyes one of those
tiny, white balls, which had a hole through the middle, was of more
value than a cupful of Master Minuit's best.

I do not know how it was figured out; but you must know that in Holland
they have a coin called a stuyver, which is worth in English money near
to two pennies. Our people here allowed, in trading with the Indians,
that four beads of wampum were equal to one stuyver, or two pennies, and
a single strand six feet long, was equal to four guilders, or, roughly
speaking, about eight shillings.

There is no need for me to say that our people did not buy wampum of the
Indians; but in the course of the bargaining it passed back and forth,
because of being the only coins the brown men had, and therefore I
suppose it was, that Master Minuit believed it necessary to put some
fixed price upon it.



BUILDINGS OF STONE


After the fort and the storehouse had been finished, the Dutch laborers
were set about cutting out stone from the ledges of which I have spoken,
to be used in the place of bricks. From this rock Master Minuit decided
that a more secure warehouse for the company's goods should be made,
and, also, a dozen or more of the men were set about building a mill to
be worked by horse-power, so that it might be possible to grind the
grain.

[Illustration]

This horse-mill also was to be built of stone, with a large loft that
would be used as a church.

There had been no ministers brought over when we came in the _Sea Mew_;
but in place of them were two zeikentroosters, which is a Dutch word for
"Consolers of the Sick;" but what they might be called in plain English
I know not. It appeared to me that the zeikentroosters in Holland were
much the same as deacons in England, though as to this I may be wrong.

At all events, there were two of them came in our ship, and, until the
first minister arrived, they held regular meetings out of doors while
the mill was being built, and afterward in the loft.



THE GOVERNMENT


While the people were working on the mill, the fort, and the storehouse,
or at the quarry, Master Minuit, busy man though he was, found time to
set up a regular government in this town of huts which he called New
Amsterdam, himself being at the head of it with no one to say him nay,
and a Council of five chosen by the West India Company from among the
white people.

There was also a secretary for this Council, and a Dutch official, which
in Holland is called schout-fiscal, which means about all of the offices
that could be held in an ordinary village, for he was sheriff,
constable, collector of customs, tithing-man, and almost anything else
you chose to call him.

The secretary and the schout-fiscal were also appointed by the Company
in Amsterdam, and every act of the Council, as well as the rules and
regulations laid down by Master Minuit, were all to be approved by the
gentlemen in Holland before our people would be bound by them. Thus it
can be seen that while one might suppose the citizens of New Amsterdam
made their own laws, it was in fact the West India Company which had
full direction of affairs.

After a time, when I had been so far entrusted with the business of the
settlement as to understand how it was conducted, I came to realize that
all which was done by us of New Amsterdam was for the profit of the
Company, rather than for the benefit of the people, and this finally
came to be one of the causes which worked for the downfall of Dutch
power in the New World.



A PROSPEROUS TOWN


Before I had been many days in charge of the Company's goods we began to
drive a flourishing trade, for all those gentlemen who had set off with
trinkets to buy furs, urged the brown men to go down to New Amsterdam
and see what the white people were doing on the island they had bought
at so generous a price.

And you can well fancy that these Indians were not slow in accepting the
invitation. It must have been to them much like visiting a museum, or a
menagerie, to come into our town and see another race of people working
in a manner entirely different from their methods, and using tools
which afforded a great saving of labor, the like of which they had never
heard about.

[Illustration]

Before two weeks were passed, there was never a day that from three to
twenty canoes were not hauled up on the shore of the point, and these
brown people were gathered around the fort, many naked, excepting for
queer breeches and belt; others wearing a kind of cloak made of furs,
and now and then one who had a mantle of some sort of feather work, but
all burdened with bales of furs, deer meat, wild turkeys, ducks or
anything which it seemed to them likely would be bought by these Dutch
traders, who had of toys such a store.

I was kept busy from morning until night, trotting in and out of the
house with this article or that, as whosoever was conducting the
business commanded, and I dare venture to say that Hans was having a
sorry time indeed, for the weather had grown warm, and his quarters in
the log hut, with those ill-smelling pelts, must have been anything
rather than pleasant.

The first event of great importance to us of New Amsterdam, was the
loading of a ship to be sent home, and I am minded to tell you exactly
how the cargo was made up, so that you may see whether the West India
Company's servants had idled away any of their time.

There were 7,246 beaver skins, 1,781-1/2 otter skins, 675 poorer otter
skins, 48 mink skins, 33 poorer mink skins, 36 wild cat skins, and 34
rat skins. The rest of the lading was made up of oak and hickory timber,
while the whole of it was valued by Master Minuit at 45,000 guilders,
and it is for you to find out how much that would be in the money of
your own country.

[Illustration]

Before this ship sailed we had gathered our first harvest, which was
made up of wheat, rye, barley, oats, buckwheat, beans and flax, and in
such quantity that, unless there should be large additions to our
numbers, we had need to feel no anxiety regarding the winter's store of
food.

I am telling you this that you may understand how industrious our
Dutchmen were, to raise so much on land that at first sight one would
have said was in no way suited for planting.

Now it was that our people began to use stone in the building of houses,
and the first looked so comfortable that others were eager to have
dwellings like it. The consequence was, that during this first fall
after our arrival, there were no less than twelve stone dwellings in
progress, while Master Minuit already had such a home as was a credit to
any town which had been no longer begun than New Amsterdam.



QUARRELSOME SLAVES


It was during this year of our Lord, 1626, when the venture of making a
village in the New World was well-nigh shown to be a success, that the
first serious crime was committed, and one which cost, before many years
had passed, much of white blood.

Among the laborers who had been brought over in the _Sea Mew_, were nine
negro slaves, the West India Company having sent them in the belief that
because of their skins' being black they might do much toward gaining
favor with the brown men.

In Holland these fellows had shown themselves to be fairly good
servants, although not greatly given to industry; but no sooner were
they landed in the New World than they became indolent and ill-tempered,
seeming to believe that because of this country's being inhabited by
people whose skins were dark, they were entitled to a full share of
everything, with no longer the need to look upon any man as master.

[Illustration]

The result of it all was that the negroes became troublesome, ready to
quarrel with any man who crossed their path, and unwilling to do so much
of labor as would have provided them with food to eat.

They swaggered here and there around the village, taking good care,
however, not to cross Master Minuit's path, else would he have pulled
them up with a round turn. At night, when the head men of the village
were in their dwellings, these black fellows did not hesitate to quarrel
with, or even illtreat, the hard working Dutchmen who had never a harsh
word for any one.

Now I have heard it said later that Master Minuit was at fault because
of his not giving to those negroes, when they first showed signs of
being unruly, such a punishment as would never have been forgotten; but
it must be borne in mind that my master was an exceeding busy man,
having the care of everything whatsoever on his shoulders, from the
cutting of stone to the dealings with the West India Company.

Then again, there is a question in my mind as to whether he knew how
overbearing they were growing, for our people, realizing that his cares
were many, suffered much in the way of small injuries rather than
complain to him.

However this may be, I shall always hold that the behavior of these
negroes was no affair of Master Minuit. Until some of the people had
called his attention to it, matters went on as they began, with the
black men growing more and more unruly.



A BRUTAL MURDER


Finally, a certain Indian, having with him a small boy, came down to
trade twenty-two beaver skins for red cloth. Because of none of the
gentlemen traders being near at hand when he arrived, I was forced to
ask him to wait until nearly nightfall, and by the time he had finished
his bargaining, darkness was come.

Now it was usual for these brown men, who lived at a distance, to
shelter themselves for the night nearabout New Amsterdam in the
dwellings of the Manhattan Indians; therefore no one gave heed to the
fact that these two visitors went out from the fort at quite a late hour
in the evening.

Exactly what happened, no one, excepting those concerned directly in it,
could say; but certain it is that between the fort and the settlement of
the Manhattan Indians, within an hour from the time I saw them last,
this Indian and the boy were set upon by four negroes, who beat the man
so brutally while robbing him of the goods he had just purchased, that
he died before mid-night.

The boy escaped, as we learned later, so terrified that he dared not
even trust himself among the Manhattan Indians, but hid in a swamp
during a certain time, after which he rejoined his people.

The negroes were brought before the council; but only one was proven
guilty, owing to lack of evidence, and this fellow was hanged off-hand,
while the others, although declared innocent of the murder, were soundly
flogged as a warning to others of their kind.

Not until several years had passed, did the Dutchmen hear further
concerning this most brutal murder, and then it was that the boy, whose
father, or uncle, had been killed, aroused the people of his tribe to
wreak vengeance upon the white men, thus aiding and bringing about a
most terrible Indian war, although we of New Amsterdam did not suffer
through it as did others who, coming to this New World years afterward,
were wholly innocent of doing any wrong to the brown men.

However, save that the trouble which resulted in much bloodshed, began
there, the war has but little to do with New Amsterdam, and I shall say
no more regarding it at present.



THE VILLAGE CALLED PLYMOUTH


I had thought that, having been given the office of storekeeper, I was
like to remain all my days in the town, without having the privilege of
going even on a trading ship, and yet matters so came about that I
became a great traveler, so far as seeing the New World was concerned.

Shortly after we were come to New Netherland, Master Minuit heard from
the savages that at a place called Plymouth, many miles from us, a
company of Englishmen had made for themselves a village which was fair
to look upon, and growing exceeding fast.

Now you may suppose that I had not been dumb during this time, when I
was showing goods to the savages while our gentlemen made the bargains,
but so I must have been had I not learned a word now and then of their
speech, until, by using many signs in addition, I could carry on quite a
conversation with such of the brown men as would stoop to make talk to a
boy.

[Illustration]

Therefore it was I understood Indian words far better than I could speak
them, and when these stories were told concerning a company of English
people at this new village of Plymouth, my heart went out to them, for
was I not an English boy, and these my countrymen?

I had known, of course, that those of my race who once lived in Leyden,
came to this New World; but that we might be anywhere near them never
entered my head, until the savages told us of Plymouth, and then I said
to myself that there could be no greater pleasure than to see these
people who had been friendly with my father and mother.



I GO ON A VOYAGE


I also knew, because of hearing him speak of it to some of the gentlemen
traders in my presence, that Master Minuit had sent a letter to the
governor of Plymouth by one of the Indians, and a reply had come back;
but more than that I heard nothing until the Secretary told me, one
certain morning, that I was to make a sea voyage with him.

It was a direct command from Master Minuit, and I made ready without
asking to what land we should go, because it was for me to obey, not to
question; but I had a great hope that Hans Braun might not be put into
the storehouse in my place, fearing lest he would not willingly give up
the position, after learning how much more pleasing it was to handle the
toys than the ill-smelling furs.

"We are to journey as far as Plymouth, where is a village in which
English people live," the Secretary, whose name was that of a Frenchman
and bothered my tongue, said to me when I went on board the pinnace
Nassau, which had been made ready for the voyage.

One might have knocked me down with a breath, so astounded and overjoyed
was I at the possibility of seeing my father's friends, and it was a
full five minutes before I could set down an account of the goods that
were being brought on board, for Master Minuit counted on sending a
present to the governor of Plymouth, of no less value than a chest of
sugar, near to an hundred strings of wampum, and three rolls of best
cloth, each of a different color.

[Illustration]

If it had been in my power to provide the wind for the voyage, it could
not have been more favorable, and the _Nassau_ sent up a jet of spray
from her bow, as we sailed down the river on the eastern side of New
Amsterdam till we were come to what is called Long Island Sound, which
is a vast inland sea.

Then we crossed the bay which is called Narragansett, because of the
Indians of that tribe living along the shores, and afterward were come
to a trading post belonging to the people of Plymouth.



A LUKEWARM WELCOME


It was as if my heart came into my mouth when I saw these English
people, and I made no doubt they would welcome me warmly on knowing that
my father was of the same religious faith; but they gave little heed to
my words, and because of being received so coldly, I felt shame that I
had rejoiced when the Secretary told me where our voyage was to come to
an end.

However, we were not then at Plymouth, but nearly twenty miles away.
That the Englishmen might have warning of our coming, word was sent
ahead by one of the savages who had journeyed with us, that a messenger
from the West India Company wished to visit Plymouth, and would do so if
the governor of the town would send a boat to a point four or five miles
from where we then were.

All this was done as the Secretary wished, and we walked across a neck
of land, some of the people from the trading post carrying the chests of
gifts, until coming to where a boat was in waiting.

Before another night had come we were in Plymouth; but it was to me as
if I had met entire strangers, for none gave me the hearty welcome I
had been hungering for, although my story was not doubted. I suppose
there were too many like me in this wide world, and those who were
battling against the wilderness and the savages, as were these people,
could give but little heed to a lad who had no standing among men.

[Illustration]

I was lodged in the fort, where were women who did by me as best they
might; but my heart was sore because of disappointment.



TWO DAYS IN PLYMOUTH


The Secretary was received into the house of the governor, Master
Bradford, and I neither saw nor heard from him, save when he sent me
word next morning, which was the Sabbath, that he expected I would show
myself at the meeting-house.

[Illustration]

All this would I have done even though he had not been so thoughtful,
for I was burning to hear the preachers my father had known: but the
sermon was overly long; I was tired from the journey of the day before,
and, without meaning so much disrespect to the minister, I fell asleep,
nor did I awaken until one of the tithing-men struck me a sharp blow on
the head with a long pole, at the end of which was affixed a wolf's
tail.

It can well be supposed that from then on I sat bolt upright, my face
crimsoned with shame, and after such moment I had no desire to make
myself known to any who had met my father and mother, lest they reproach
me for the crime I had committed.

We stayed in Plymouth the first two days of the week, and I had good
opportunity to see the town; but did not fall in love with it. Although
the people had been living there more than seven years, save for the
manner in which the houses were built, they were not so comfortably
settled as we of New Amsterdam, who had been in America no more than
fourteen months.

I had a good look at that valiant soldier, Miles Standish, who had
fought in the Dutch army, as I well knew, and was much pleased with his
appearance, though I made no effort to have speech with him because of
what I had done in the church.

It was Wednesday morning when we set out on our return, and I must
confess that I was happy, rather than sad, at turning my back upon the
English to meet the Dutch, for while we have less of preaching in New
Amsterdam, there is more of friendliness shown to strangers, or, so it
seemed to me whose heart was sore.

Neither Hans nor Kryn had been called upon to take my place in the
storehouse, and within ten minutes after the _Nassau_ had come to
anchor off the fort, I was at work showing goods to the savages, as if I
had seen no more of this New World than those who labored with me.

By this time our church was set in order, being, as I have said, in the
loft of the horse-mill, and you may be certain I did not allow my eyes
to close in slumber when I went to hear the zeikentroosters explain the
holy words next Sabbath day. We had no such pulpit as they at Plymouth,
but our benches were fairly comfortable to sit on, and Master Minuit's
chair had in it a red cushion that made a braver show than anything I
saw among the English.



FORGING AHEAD


Now, as the days went on, our town of New Amsterdam grew amazingly fast.
It was soon learned that there was good farming land along the eastern
side above the swamps, and within two years no less than six farms,
boweries,--the Dutchmen call them,--were laid out with good promise of
bountiful crops.

The fort had been rebuilt of good stone, in the same shape as when first
made, and the storehouse for the trading goods had been finished as
Master Minuit promised. In addition to what we bartered with the
Indians, stores of all kinds that could be brought from Holland were put
on sale for the benefit of the laborers, and, because of my not being
able to do all the work, Kryn Gildersleeve was sent to me as an
apprentice.

[Illustration]

If that was not a rise in the world, then I do not know what it may be
called, and for it all I have to thank Master Minuit, who ever dealt by
the orphan lad as if he had been the son of a director in the West India
Company.

It was no longer necessary for us to heap up stones to serve as
chimneys, for the laborers were making good bricks. To get lime we
burned the shells of oysters, of which there are in this land so many
that all the world may feed upon them till the youngest man has grown
gray-headed, without lessening the supply.

Ships were coming to us from Holland nearly every month to take away the
furs that had been bought, and the timber cut from the forests. Of
building stone we had all that could be used, no matter how many other
people might make their homes in New Amsterdam.

Truly it was wonderful how soon we made of that wilderness a country
that kings might covet, which indeed they did, as I came to know before
I was at an end of my service with the West India Company.

If I give so much time to telling you of what we did in New Amsterdam
when Master Minuit was at the head of the government, you will not be
inclined to listen when I speak of what the other governors, sent by the
West India Company, accomplished for the good or ill of the country.



THE BIG SHIP


Therefore it is, that instead of pleasing myself by telling of all my
master did, I will come directly to that time when he left us. According
to my belief, the West India Company could not have found in all the
world any other man who would have served so faithfully, both the people
and the Company, as did Master Minuit.

The last thing of moment which Director Minuit did, was to have built,
so that the merchants of Holland might see what we of New Netherland
could do, one of the finest ships, so I have heard it said, that was
ever put together. She was called the _New Netherland_. She measured
eight hundred tons, and carried thirty guns.

At the time she was launched, I said to myself that never in this world
would be found men who could build a larger or more beautiful ship than
this, and yet I made a mistake in saying so, as I have made many others
during my life.

[Illustration]

I would I might tell you of the merrymaking and the feasting when the
_New Netherland_ was sent from the land into the water. I wish it might
be possible to describe the astonishment of the savages as they saw this
huge vessel being built up timber by timber, until she was fit to
encounter the tempests, and the waves, and the manifold dangers of the
sea.

But I have said that in order to tell of what other things were done in
New Amsterdam I must make of what should be a long story, a short one.

Now, whether it was the building of this wonderful ship that displeased
the directors of the West India Company, or other matters of Master
Minuit's government that offended them, I cannot say. And indeed it is
not to be expected that he who plays the part of clerk in a storehouse
should know much concerning affairs of state.



MASTER MINUIT'S SUCCESSOR


I am certain, however, that in six years after we arrived in the _Sea
Mew_, when New Amsterdam was a town of which to be proud, Master Minuit
set out for Holland, taking with him in the same ship no less than five
thousand beaver skins.

When Master Minuit left us, it was our belief that he would soon come
back; but there must have been in his mind some doubt regarding it, for
he gave me much farewell advice on the night before the ship sailed,
declaring, that so far as anything he might do, I should be advanced in
the West India Company's employ as rapidly as was best.

It must be that my master seriously offended the Council of the Company,
for I went in their employ no further on the road to fortune, or to
fame, than where he left me.

During the year the affairs of New Amsterdam were looked after by the
Council of the town, and then came a new Director by the name of Wouter
Van Twiller. Of him I can tell you very little, for, unlike Master
Minuit, he showed no interest in the welfare of those who were serving
him.

A short, fat man, who was overly fond of good dinners, and if I, who am
nothing but a clerk in the employ of the Company, may say it, with not
of brains enough to look after the concerns of such a town as New
Amsterdam was becoming, yet withal he accomplished somewhat toward
making this place beautiful.

[Illustration]

As I have said before, my duties kept me in the storehouse, and so
rapidly had the trade with the Indians increased, that instead of having
only Kryn Gildersleeve to help me, there were now five men under my
charge, while I myself was doing much of the bargaining with the
Indians. Therefore it is that I know but little concerning what this new
Director did or did not do.

It was told in New Amsterdam that he had been no more than a clerk in
the employ of the West India Company in Holland; but he knew somewhat
regarding trading, for we set up posts here and there in such number
that all the gentlemen traders who had come over with Master Minuit were
needed to look after them, which accounts for my being allowed to
conduct the business affairs in the fort.



TROUBLE WITH THE ENGLISH


I do know this, however, that an English vessel came to anchor one
certain day off the town, and her captain said it was his purpose to go
up the river to one of our posts called Port Orange, there to trade with
the Indians on his own account.

Master Van Twiller forbade his doing so; but after remaining five days,
the English captain sailed up the river, and then it was that our new
Director, calling together all the men in the town, armed three vessels
and drove the English out of the river.

I also know that he brought trouble to himself and to the West India
Company, by doing that which the English people in Plymouth claimed he
had no right to do, and it was much like this:

[Illustration]

Our Dutchman, Adrian Block, had sailed up a river to the east of us,
which he called the Fresh River, and Master Minuit had traded there with
the savages to the extent of near ten thousand beaver skins, besides
other furs, each year.

Now it seems the English of Plymouth claimed that this land had been
given them by King James, and so notified Master Van Twiller; but he
sent his secretary with a lot of toys, and bought from the savages that
piece of land called Connittecock, building thereon a trading post, in
which we mounted two cannon, and called it the House of Good Hope.

Because of this the English of Boston, together with those in Plymouth,
set about driving the Dutch away from Fresh River by building another
post a short distance above them, and there, so I learned from the
traders who came to New Amsterdam, we were having considerable trouble.

Master Van Twiller contrived also to get himself into trouble with the
English at Jamestown, and did have a pitched battle with them at our
forts at Nassau, on the Delaware River, gaining a victory, but giving
the Dutch a bad name with their neighbors.



MASTER VAN TWILLER DISCHARGED


This much I know, Master Van Twiller did much that was unwise; but out
of the harm he accomplished considerable of good, so far as concerned
New Amsterdam.

He strengthened and beautified the fort, building within its limits a
goodly house of brick where he himself might live. He also laid out a
farm on the East River equal to any in Holland. On this he put up a
barn, a brewery, a boathouse, and a good stable, together with two
mills, and dwellings for a blacksmith, a cooper, and such soldiers as
might be lodged there to protect the place.

Master Van Twiller also built us a wharf on the easterly side of the
point; a church which would have been an ornament to any town, as well
as a house for the minister, for by this time we had a licensed
clergyman.

But with it all, so it was charged against him, he was making himself
rich at the expense of the Company, for he bought of the Indians, to be
held as his own property, three of the large islands nearby, as well as
a farm of sixty-two acres, which lay between the fort and the swamp.

[Illustration]

In some way the Council of the Company in Holland heard that Master Van
Twiller was working more to his own advantage than theirs, and before he
had been in New Amsterdam five years, a ship called the _Blessing_ came
into the harbor, having on board Master Wilhelm Kieft, who had with him
papers to show that he had been appointed Director of New Netherland.
Master Van Twiller was ordered to return at once to Holland, and there
give an account of his proceedings.

And now, because of this same Master Kieft's having worked much harm to
us in New Amsterdam, causing the Indians to rise against us, I am minded
to tell you more concerning him than I have thought well to say
regarding Master Van Twiller.



DIRECTOR KIEFT


First, the seamen of the _Blessing_ whispered here and there stories
concerning him which were not to his credit; that he had failed in
business in Holland, and as a punishment his portrait had been nailed to
the gallows; again, that when he was sent by the king to Turkey, having
been given charge of money to be paid for the release of some Dutch
people who were held in slavery there, he put it in his own pocket,
allowing the poor men to wear out their lives as slaves to the Turks.

He was a small man, with a sharp nose, sharp chin, and a face generally
that gave one the idea of a weasel, or of a person who is ever ready to
shed blood even though he does not benefit thereby.

Perhaps I am overly severe in describing this new Director of ours,
because of the trouble which we in the storehouse had with him.

Under Master Van Twiller we had conducted the business as we thought
best; but all that was changed before Director Kieft had been with us
eight and forty hours, for he soon gave the people in the employ of the
West India Company to understand that matters in New Amsterdam would,
from then out, go according to his liking, and with no reference
whatsoever to the Council, or to any other officers in the town.

[Illustration]

And all this he did with a high air, which chafed us the more because of
Master Van Twiller and Master Minuit having ruled us with kindly hands.

He set himself up almost as a king, by discharging the members of the
town Council, and by appointing all the public officers, even so
important an one as the schout-fiscal.

He decided, without heed to judge or jury, all cases which were brought
up in court, and, in fact, took upon himself the entire government,
regardless alike of Council or of the West India Company.

But, in justice to Master Kieft, I must say that he took heed to that
which was wrong among us, for straightway he caused all our vessels to
be repaired, and indeed they were in sore need of attention.

He enlarged and beautified the storehouse, of which I was in charge,
and, what was more to my liking, put an end to the trading with the
Indians by the people of the town, which had become, as I believed, a
serious evil, for almost every man in New Amsterdam was buying furs of
the savages on his own account, which was much to the loss of the West
India Company, and served greatly to cheapen our goods.



UNJUST COMMANDS


It would be useless for me to try to tell you all with which our people
charged Master Kieft before he had been in New Amsterdam a year. It is
better I should spend my time relating what he did which cost the lives
of so many white men, for to his door may be laid much of the suffering
which we knew while he ruled over us, although we were in the meanwhile
called upon to answer for the crime of the negroes who had killed the
Indian, as I have told you.

First let me say, that on a certain morning, very shortly after Master
Kieft came among us, we found posted on the trunks of trees, on rocks,
and on the corners of the houses, written notices, signed by the new
Director, stating that whosoever traded with the Indians, save while
doing so at the command of the West India Company, should suffer death;
and that the Company's servants must begin work at a certain hour very
shortly after daybreak, and not cease labor until sunset.

[Illustration]

Also, among many other things, it was declared that the Indians
themselves should pay a certain amount of wheat, wampum, or furs toward
the support of the soldiers employed by the Company in different parts
of the country.

There were many matters in these written notices that it is not
necessary for me to speak about. The last was that which caused us the
most trouble, for the Indians openly refused to obey any such command,
and Master Kieft went so far as to hang four whom he accused of trying
to persuade others of their tribe not to do as he had ordered.

Now you can well fancy that such cruel acts served to make enemies of
those Indians who had been our friends.



MASTER MINUIT'S RETURN


It was while we were all in a turmoil with this new order of things,
that we had startling proof that my old master, Peter Minuit, was again
in the New World.

It appears, although I cannot explain exactly why, that the West India
Company had turned him out of their employ, and Queen Christina of
Sweden had offered him a high office if he would build in America a town
for the Swedish people, such as he had built for the Dutch.

This Master Minuit agreed upon, and at the time when, as I have said, we
were in the greatest turmoil because of the savages, he came over from
Sweden to the South River, not more than an hundred and thirty miles
from our town of New Amsterdam, and began building a fort.

This news plunged me into a state of most painful excitement, for I
burned to see the good man once more, and to beg that he take me into
his service; but Master Kieft had given orders that no person be allowed
to leave New Amsterdam, save with his permission. Therefore how could I,
in charge of the Company's storehouse, expect to be allowed to go among
those who were considered enemies to the Dutch, for speedily had our
Director declared war against these Swedish people led by Master Minuit?

Perhaps it is enough if I say that Master Kieft did not drive Master
Minuit away, and that the latter continued to build up a trading post
for the Swedish people until it became a stronghold in this New World.



THE REVENGE OF THE SAVAGES


While he was striving against the Swedes, word was brought Master Kieft
that some hogs, which had been turned out in the forest on Staten
Island, were no longer to be found there, and our sharp-nosed Director
immediately made up his mind, without any proof whatsoever, that the
savages who called themselves Raritans, had stolen them.

Making no inquiry into the matter, he sent out a company of soldiers who
surrounded the unfortunate Indians in their village, and slaughtered
them as if they had been wild beasts, killing men, women, and children,
after which everything in the way of property was either destroyed or
carried away.

The embers of the Raritan village had hardly more than grown cold, when
it was discovered that some of our own people had taken the hogs from
Staten Island, thus showing that the terrible murders had been committed
without any cause whatsoever, save Master Kieft's own suspicious, evil
imaginings.

[Illustration]

Then it was that instead of the people of New Amsterdam going out
peacefully, earning money for the West India Company, as they were in
duty bound to do, all were the same as shut up on Manhattan Island with
enemies on every hand; for, as may be supposed, such of the Raritan
Indians as remained alive sought every opportunity to gain revenge,
beginning by killing four planters on a farm at Staten Island, and
burning the buildings.

This caused Master Kieft to shut his eyes to his own crime, and at once
every man was called upon to aid in killing the Raritans. Trade was
neglected, and our Director went so far as to offer such of the Indians
as remained friendly, ten long strings of wampum for the head of every
Raritan Indian which should be brought to him, and twenty strings for
each head of those who had been concerned in the murders on Staten
Island.

As if blood did not flow in sufficient quantity, the people of the boy
who had escaped when the negro slaves murdered his father, or, as some
say, his uncle, declared war against us by killing poor old Claus
Schmidt, the wheelwright, who lived nearest the swamp; and we of New
Amsterdam had good reason to fear that all the savages roundabout might
take part, either with the Raritans, or with these new enemies, and we
should be murdered at the very time when our town was becoming of
importance.



MASTER KIEFT'S WAR


Master Kieft, taking no council save with his own evil thoughts,
announced that he would declare war against every brown man in the
country, and there is no question in my mind but that such might have
been the case to our utter destruction, had not the chief men of New
Amsterdam, and among them those who had been in the Council during
Master Van Twiller's reign, risen up against the Director, so far as
could be done without laying themselves open to a charge of mutiny.

Our sensible men claimed, and with good reason, that war ought not to be
declared because of the crops being still unharvested, and because of
our having to gather in the cattle, swine, and sheep still roaming the
woods. They declared also, that the farmers who had settled some
distance away, had a right to be given warning in time for them to save
a portion of their property.

To this Master Kieft agreed; but only for a certain time. He took it
upon himself to make preparations for war, and when winter was fully
come did actually begin it, setting himself, with no more than two
hundred and fifty Dutchmen, against two thousand savages who, because of
our greed for furs, as shown both by the people in their private
trading, and by the West India Company, were armed with the same kind of
guns we were using, as well as supplied with an ample store of powder
and ball.

[Illustration]

I would not, if I could, tell you all that followed. It is too cruel a
story; it has more to do with murder and death by torture, and with
keenest suffering, than would be well for you to hear while we have
gathered to listen to my poor tale of how the town of New Amsterdam was
built, and how it grew.

It was a time when the bravest man's cheeks might well grow pale; when
women and children shrieked with fear, or trembled in silent terror at
the slightest unusual sound; when it was as if all the country
roundabout had been stained the color of blood; when we could no longer
lie down at night, or rise up in the morning, without fear; when we
ceased to live the lives of peaceful, honest traders, but were become
the same as hunted beasts,--and all through the evil of one man.

Master Kieft was sent for by the West India Company none too soon, and
the pity of it is that he ever came to New Amsterdam, with his
hatchet-shaped face, to plunge us into a war with the savages, who had
all the right on their side.

Hans Braun claimed because of Kieft's having built the great stone
tavern, which was the largest and most beautiful in all America, that he
had left behind him a monument which would ever keep his memory green.
But I question if any one, after Director Stuyvesant turned the building
into a town hall, ever cared to remember that it had been built by
Wilhelm Kieft.



DIRECTOR PETRUS STUYVESANT


On the eleventh day of May, in the year of our Lord, 1647, a fleet of
four large vessels sailed into the harbor of New Amsterdam, bringing the
new Director, Petrus Stuyvesant, his family, servants, soldiers, and
many laborers.

A one-legged man was Master Stuyvesant, who had been a brave soldier,
and, later, a governor of the island of Curaçoa, wherever it may be.
That he believed he was of considerable importance in the world, could
be told by his manner of moving about and of holding speech with any who
was lower in station than himself.

[Illustration]

It was as if he were too high and mighty to concern himself with what
might or might not be done in the storehouse, even though through that
building came the greater portion of all the money the West India
Company received from the New World.

Do not understand me as saying that he gave no heed to such portion of
the Company's business as was under my charge. He took note of it, but
not as Master Minuit would have done, by coming daily in person to see
for himself that I, and all under me, were doing full duty.

Director Stuyvesant sent the secretary, Master Van Tienhoven, to learn
what was being done, and that gentleman, as if believing I was not
making the best bargains for the Company, spent a goodly portion of his
time in the office of the storehouse, under the pretext of allowing me
to go here or there as I pleased.

While Master Kieft was in office, I had so much of labor to perform that
two or three weeks, even a month on a certain time, would pass without
my having been outside the building.



TIME FOR SIGHT-SEEING


When the Secretary proposed that I take some time for pleasure, claiming
to do so only for my good,--although, as a matter of fact, I believe it
was but his purpose to learn whether or no I had been doing my full duty
by the Company,--I took advantage of the offer.

If any could do better for New Amsterdam than I, then it was time a
change was made in the office of storekeeper and trader, this being my
title at the time, as can be shown by the records in Holland. I had
nothing to conceal, having ever done my work to the best of my ability,
and Master Van Tienhoven had free permission, so far as I was concerned,
to search for flaws.

I may as well say at once, that he never found anything in my conduct
deserving of blame, although I did not hold my office quite so long as
the West India Company did business in America.

However, Master Tienhoven was so far my friend that he gave me many an
opportunity of wandering about the town, which was almost strange to me,
after having been kept at work in the storehouse so long.

The Indian village was no longer to be seen. When Master Kieft stirred
up so much trouble with the savages, the last one of the Manhattans fled
to the forest, there, most like, to join with our enemies against us,
nor did we see any of them save when they came in with furs or wild fowl
for barter.

Where the village of the Manhattans had stood were gardens and houses,
many built of stone in the Dutch style, and in front of the fort, from
the lower bastion to the water's edge, was the green, or the common,
where the soldiers paraded on feast days that people might admire them.

Inside the fort, and not far from my storehouse, was the church of stone
built by Master Kieft, the jail, the dwelling of the Director,
concerning which I have already told you, and low stone barracks, or
quarters for the soldiers, while on the northernmost bastion was a
wind-mill, made after the fashion of those in Holland.

[Illustration]



HOW THE FORT WAS ARMED


It may interest you to know that our fort was well armed, having mounted
and ready for service, eight bombards, by which I mean heavy cannon with
wide, flaring mouths; six culverins, or exceedingly long, slim guns with
handles on either side for carrying; and seven serpentines, these last
being thin, long guns with grooves on the inside to throw the shot in a
whirling manner. As missiles for the serpentines, two balls were
chained together, being sent among the enemy in such way that they swung
round and round, oftentimes inflicting much damage.

The palisade, which had been built straight across the island while the
savages were thirsting for our blood, was to me a wonder in those days
when Master Tienhoven gave me an opportunity for strolling about the
town.

It was made of cedar logs full twelve-feet high, and less than a
quarter-mile back from the fort, stretching across the island for a
distance of nearly twenty-five hundred feet. Here and there, say every
three hundred feet, was a small fort built of logs, where the soldiers
could be protected while beating back an enemy, and at the water's edge
on the river to the eastward, was what is called a half-moon battery,
set well out into the stream, where were mounted two guns.

[Illustration]

The same kind of fortification stood at the other end of the palisade,
on the shore of that river discovered by Master Henry Hudson, and near
each battery was a gate giving entrance to the town, while an arch with
heavy barriers, formed with much ornamentation of carving, stretched
across the Broad Way.

Following this palisade was a wide lane, along which were built the huts
of the slaves, servants, or people who were poor because of being lazy.



VILLAGE LAWS


It was on this palisade that I read the first of Director Stuyvesant's
messages, and during that stroll I saw so many of them that I can even
now repeat the words. They ran like this, and, to my mind, it would have
been well if Master Kieft had given his attention to the same matter:

     "Whereas, we are informed of the great ravages the wolf commits on
     the small cattle; therefore to animate and encourage the
     proprietors who will go out and shoot the same, we have resolved to
     authorize the assistant Schout and Schepens to give public notice
     that whoever shall exhibit a wolf to them which hath been shot on
     this island, on this side Haarlem, shall be promptly paid therefor
     by them, for a wolf twenty florins, and for a she-wolf thirty
     florins in wampum, or the value thereof."

When the farmer's bell tolled from the belfrey of the church within the
fort, all the gates in the palisade were closed, and no person might
enter or leave the city from that time, which was nine of the clock in
the evening, until sunrise of the next morning.

I have heard it said that there were many living beyond the palisade who
claimed that this was all too early for them to leave the houses of
their friends in the town, when there for a visit of pleasure; but I
hold to it that he who would remain out of his bed longer than that is
little better than a night-brawler, because of honest people being ready
for sleep when the day's work is at an end.



OTHER THINGS ABOUT TOWN


A thing which displeased me, though perhaps I was easily put out by
anything Director Stuyvesant did, was that he should have set up the
gallows in front of the stone tavern built by Master Kieft, after it had
been turned into the town hall.

[Illustration]

To me that instrument of justice was a blot on the fair building, even
though it be something necessary in all towns; the whipping-post and the
stocks seem to be there by right, and do not cast such a horror upon
him who passes them, but to have ever in sight that which had been built
for the taking away of men's lives is, in a way, brutal.

The hooft, or city dock, was ever a pleasant lounging place to me,
particularly when there were many ships in the roadstead. It was
pleasing to sit there idle, thinking Master Tienhoven was poring over my
accounts when the day was so fair that one enjoyed being in the
sunshine, and to watch the ships or the small boats that flitted to and
fro. It was enough to make one believe that in the days to come this New
Amsterdam of ours might grow to be even as large as Amsterdam in
Holland.

[Illustration]

Then could I, and all others who had a part in the building of the town,
look back with pride upon our life-work, save that in it should be
something of shame and crime, as in the case of Master Kieft, who, I may
say here, was drowned in a shipwreck on his way back to Holland to
answer to the Company for his misdeeds.

But there was at times one matter which gave me pain at the city dock,
and that was whenever there arrived a vessel laden with black men, who
had been stolen from Africa. With such a scene in view I had no desire
to linger.

It so chanced that I went there on a certain day when the _White Horse_,
a slave ship that came more than once to our town, was sending ashore a
throng of forlorn looking negroes to be exposed for sale, and there was
so much of suffering and heart-sickness in the scene that I went back to
the storehouse, glad to stay with Master Tienhoven rather than see the
misery which I could not cure.



A VISIT OF CEREMONY


Before Master Stuyvesant had ruled over us many months, he went in great
state to meet the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony at some place
in the Connecticut Colony, and if all that was said regarding the matter
be true, he did what he might to persuade the Englishmen that he was of
vast importance in this New World.

He journeyed on the ship _Black Eagle_, taking with him no less than
eight servants, four trumpeters, and twelve soldiers, and I wonder much
whether those people who had built here in America such towns as Salem,
Plymouth, and Boston, were greatly impressed because the chief
magistrate of New Amsterdam, where were living no more than fifteen
hundred persons, could not go abroad without a following of twenty-four
men, to say nothing of the secretaries, the clerks, cooks, and
jacks-of-all-trades whom I saw flocking on board the ship.

[Illustration]

I was told that Director Stuyvesant went to meet the chief men of the
eastern colonies to talk with them about the threatenings of the
Indians, and as to what should be done in regard to sending to their
owners runaway slaves, and concerning other such like matters; but how
the different affairs were settled, I never heard.

At all events, Master Stuyvesant came back in the same high and mighty
state as when he left us, after having been absent near to two weeks,
and in the meantime had made many enemies in New Amsterdam, for there
were not lacking those who claimed he was trying to make friends with
the English for some purpose of his own, when all his time should have
been spent in behalf of the West India Company.



NEW AMSTERDAM BECOMES A CITY


It was in the year 1652 that the town we had built was made a city, with
a charter straight from Holland, and our people rejoiced because of its
being possible at last, after so much of misrule, for them to have some
voice in affairs.

According to this charter, the freemen of our new city were to select a
schout, four burgomasters, nine schepens, which last were what in
England would be called magistrates--and a council of thirty-six men
whose duty it would be to advise with the Director on all affairs
concerning the public welfare.

There was great rejoicing in New Amsterdam when Stoffel Mighielsen, the
town crier, made this announcement, and I dare venture to say that on
the night the news was made public, but little attention was paid to the
farmer's bell by those who lived outside the palisade.

[Illustration]

On every hand you could hear men giving joy to each other because of the
time's having come when the Director would no longer have absolute power
over all in the town, but must be guided by those who were to be
elected by the ballots of the people, and following such rejoicings was
ever the question as to when the election would be held.

There was much talk as to who should be chosen to fill the offices, and
all with whom I spoke declared that they were not to be influenced by
anything Master Stuyvesant might say; but would pick out such men as
could stand up honestly for the rights of all, instead of bending like
slaves to the whims of the Director.



MASTER STUYVESANT MAKES ENEMIES


Because of our people's being so excited over this opportunity to have a
part in the affairs of the city, you can well fancy what discontent,
which swelled almost to open mutiny, was among us when Master Stuyvesant
boldly announced that there would be no election. He had decided, so he
said in that high and mighty voice of his, that he would appoint the
city officers himself, without vote of the people, and this he did,
naming those men whom he knew would sneeze when he caught cold.

Of course there were many vain threats made, and much whispering in dark
corners, the purport of which might have been construed into open
mutiny, had Director Stuyvesant or any of his following overheard the
stealthy conversation. The whipping-post, and even the gallows, stood
too conveniently at hand, while Big Pieter, the negro executioner who
had charge of the public floggings, was ever ready to adjust a noose, or
swing with vicious force the thongs of the whip.

Many a time did I hear threats which would have sent him who made them
straight to the gallows, had they been repeated in the government house;
but the people were cautious, not minded to risk their necks for the
common good, and, so far as I can tell, Director Stuyvesant never knew
how near he was to a hornet's nest, when he took it upon himself to
throw aside one of the greatest privileges of New Amsterdam's charter.

I doubt if it would have disturbed him much even had he known of the
discontent, for he ruled, as the saying is, with a rod of iron, and
seemed to think that there was never one, or an hundred, of the common
people to whose mutterings he need take heed.

But for that act of his, I question if our men of the city would have
stood so calmly by when the English fleet came to capture New Amsterdam,
turning out of office every Dutchman. Director Stuyvesant would have
found more by his side in that bitter hour, when he was the same as
driven from the land, if he had kept the promise made when he first
arrived, to govern the people of our town as a father governs his
children.

But it is not for me to speak of the English yet, for there is much to
tell concerning what was done by the Dutchmen, before Colonel Richard
Nicolls anchored off the battery with the guns of his fleet trained upon
us.



ORDERS FROM HOLLAND


We had settled down to the belief that while Director Stuyvesant ruled
us with an iron hand, neither allowing the people nor the West India
Company to interfere with his wishes, he was improving the city, when
orders came from Holland which aroused us all to the highest pitch of
excitement.

The West India Company had sent positive commands that the Swedes, whom
Master Minuit had settled on South River, were to be driven out from
their posts, and there was not a Dutchman in New Amsterdam who did not
burn with the desire to have a hand in the driving; as if this big
country of America were not large enough for all the Swedes and the
Dutchmen that might want to live in it.

Now you must know that when Master Minuit was made governor of the
Swedish people on South River, there had already been built there a fort
by the Dutch, which was called Casimer. This the Swedish people captured
and changed its name to that of Trinity. When Master Minuit came, he
built a fort on the river above Trinity, and named it Christina, in
honor of the Swedish Queen.

They were not bad neighbors, these Swedish people whom the Queen had
advised to make a home in the New World. They minded their own business
far better than did either the Dutch or the English, and were at peace
with the savages, dealing honestly by them and treating them as if they
were equals; therefore, why the West India Company should want them
driven out of the New World was more than I could then, or can yet,
explain to my own satisfaction.

However, the order had come that these people, who had been harming no
one, be deprived of the homes which they had built in the wilderness,
and there was in my mind the belief that Director Stuyvesant was only
too well pleased to receive such commands.



MAKING READY FOR WAR


Straightway there was much marching to and fro by the soldiers; and
great scurrying by the seamen, who were at once set about carrying
cannon and ammunition aboard the vessels, for Master Stuyvesant had
decided he would fit out a fleet of no less than seven ships.

The trumpeters were sent up and down the land to every Dutch farm and
settlement calling for those who were willing to aid in driving out the
Swedes, to present themselves at the fort that they might be drilled and
equipped, and many there were who obeyed the summons.

[Illustration]

Those were idle days for me. No one thought of trading, and if
peradventure a solitary Indian did venture into the city with a bundle
of furs, he saw so much in the way of war-like preparations, that he
scurried away, forgetting his desire for beads or cloth, to tell his
people that the Dutch of New Netherlands were making ready to drive
every other person off from the face of the earth.

Master Tienhoven no longer visited the storehouse, because of being busy
with taking down the names of those who would join Director Stuyvesant's
army, and I was at liberty to wander at will around the fort, if I but
kept a watchful eye over my quarters, in case any came who was brave
enough to venture in for trade where was so much of military
preparations.

More than once I said to myself that if Master Minuit could have been
spared to the Swedes, our people would not have an easy task of driving
them away; but I knew, from word brought a long time before, that he was
no longer in this world; therefore, perhaps, Director Stuyvesant would
be able to work the will of the West India Company.



AN UNEXPECTED QUESTION


That I should be counted as among those to accompany the expedition,
never once had lodgment in my mind, until Master Tienhoven came to me
the day before the fleet was to sail, asking if all my preparations for
the voyage had been made.

[Illustration]

I was in a maze of perplexity because of the question. He who has charge
of a company's goods is supposed to remain where he can keep them under
his hand, more particularly in time of war, and for me to be pinned to
Master Stuyvesant's coat sleeves not only seemed useless, but positively
foolish.

It may be that I said something of this kind to the Secretary, for he
shut me up in short order by curtly saying, as if he had his
instructions so to do, that the Director had supposed I would know my
duty sufficiently well to follow the army because of its being possible
there might be much plunder, in which case I was the one person who
should take charge of the Company's share.

I was not such a simple but that I could understand it would please
Master Tienhoven right well if I made protest against going, for there
was little love lost between us two, and, believing he would repeat to
the Director in his own fashion whatsoever might be said by me, I held
my peace, save in so far as to ask on what ship I would be expected to
sail.

He told me that Master Stuyvesant would himself embark upon one of the
vessels which had been sent out from Amsterdam, called the _De Waag_,
and that as an officer of the Company, even though an humble one, I
would be expected to journey on the same vessel.

To one who had not been given to spending his wages upon brave attire,
and who owns little more than that in which he stands, it is not a
lengthy task to make ready for a voyage, however long.

And here, by the way, let me say, lest any should think I was not
prudent, that I had carefully saved the wages paid me by the West India
Company, to the end that I might have sufficient of money to start in
some business on my own account, when the day came--as I believed it
would soon, yet without having much reason to do so--that my services
would no longer be required in New Amsterdam.



WITH THE FLEET


And now to go back to the war against the Swedes: I left the storehouse
in charge of Kryn Gildersleeve, and on Sunday morning bright and early
was in church to hear the sermon which was to be preached, as a portion
of the religious preparations for the driving out of the Swedes.

When the sermon was at an end, instead of looking around the fort to see
the soldiers paraded before being sent on board the fleet, I quietly
took boat for the ship _De Waag_, and was there an hour after noon, when
Director Stuyvesant, attended by eight trumpeters, and a bodyguard of
sixteen men, put off from the shore amid the booming of cannon, as if he
had been a veritable king.

I know not whether the Director had really given orders to his secretary
that I should be informed as to what was expected of me, but suppose
such must have been the case, although no heed was given to so small an
official as myself, from the time of setting sail until we were returned
to New Amsterdam.

[Illustration]

So far as Master Stuyvesant was concerned, I might as well not have been
there, but this overlooking me did not cause my heart to burn, for I was
well content to be forgotten entirely by the gentleman who ruled over
our city with an iron hand.

The officers of the ship, whose acquaintance I had already made, gave me
fairly comfortable quarters, apart from the Director's following, and
although such expeditions were not to my mind, I drank in all of the
enjoyment that could come to one who was embarked upon a venture which
to him seemed wrongful.

There is no need why I should tell you anything whatsoever concerning
the journey from New Amsterdam to Trinity, save to say that we arrived
off that fort at noon on the following Friday, when without delay our
trumpeters were sent on shore to demand the surrender.



DRIVING OUT THE SWEDES


In the fort were forty-six men with a captain, and, as a matter of
course, they could do no less than surrender when called upon so to do,
for our force numbered upwards of seven hundred, and we had sent from
the fort in New Amsterdam, on board the vessels, guns enough to tear the
fort into splinters within an hour.

The Swedish captain said all he could to soften the heart of Director
Stuyvesant, who would listen neither to entreaties nor arguments, save
that he permitted the garrison to march out with full honors of war, and
immediately this had been done, a number of our men, sufficient to hold
possession of the place, were sent on shore.

Then nearly all the people of the fleet assembled on board the _De Waag_
to hear our preacher give thanks to God for the bloodless victory which
had been won, and within four and twenty hours we were on our way to
Christina, where, so we learned at Trinity, there was a force of only
about thirty men.

[Illustration]

Here the trumpeters blew their shrill blasts again in front of the fort
and surrender was demanded; but the governor of the colony was not
minded to give in without at least a struggle of the tongue. From the
second until the fifteenth day of September, we lay there at anchor
while he protested against what he called high-handed proceedings,
trying vainly to prove to Director Stuyvesant that he and his following
had as much right in the wilderness of the New World, as had the Dutch.

It was all in vain, however, and, as may be expected, the result was
that we captured Christina as we had Trinity, thus putting an end to
this colony of New Sweden.

Again did we give thanks to God, although we had done a wrong, and it
was while we were thus praising the Lord, and giving much credit to
ourselves for having conquered without bloodshed seventy-seven men with
a force of seven hundred, that a messenger came in hot haste from New
Amsterdam.

In the twinkling of an eye our rejoicings were turned to something very
like fear.



THE UPRISING OF THE INDIANS


And this is the news which the messenger brought:--It seems that two
days after our fleet had sailed from New Amsterdam, Master Van Dyck
found an Indian woman in his orchard stealing peaches; without parley or
warning, he shot her dead, and there were those of her tribe nearby who
carried with all speed to the Indian villages information of the murder.

The savages knew that Master Stuyvesant and nearly all the fighting men
of the city were away, and speedily they gathered to take revenge. It
was said that no less than two thousand savages, having come in
sixty-four canoes, paddled down the Hudson River in front of the city
while we lay off Christina arguing with the Swedish governor.

The Indians claimed that they had come only in order to find some
enemies of their tribe whom they believed had fled there, and proceeded
to break open a dozen or more of the houses while searching for those
whom they professed to be seeking.

Now there had been left in the fort less than twenty soldiers, while
the greater number of our cannon were on board the fleet for the purpose
of killing the Swedes, in case they refused to give up their forts to
us. Therefore it would have been folly had our people made any attempt
at holding the savages in check.

[Illustration]

The burgomasters and other officers of the city did what they could to
pacify the painted visitors, and so far succeeded, by soft words, as to
persuade them to withdraw to Nutten Island.

One can well fancy in what a state of terror were those whom Director
Stuyvesant had left behind in New Amsterdam, while so great an army of
savages, who had just cause for anger, was so near at hand.

The women and the children fled to the fort for protection, where but
little could have been given them had the brown men made an attack, and
during all the hours of the day no one dared venture abroad. The shops
and the dwellings alike were left unprotected, while those trembling,
frightened ones who crouched within the fort, believed that death was
close beside them.

[Illustration]



AN ATTACK BY THE INDIANS


The Indians remained quietly on Nutten Island until nightfall, when they
came into New Amsterdam again, went directly to Master Van Dyck's house,
and killed him.

One of his neighbors attempted to lend him aid, and was stricken down in
short order,--not, however, before he had given an alarm. Such soldiers
as had been left in the fort, together with the men of the city,
hastened with true courage to the scene of the murder, where a small
battle took place, in which three Indians were killed outright, and many
wounded.

It was as if the savages needed only this to send them upon the war path
again; but instead of making any attack upon New Amsterdam, where were
so few to oppose them, they went to the plantations nearby, killing or
capturing men, women, and children, burning dwellings and destroying
crops.

Yet this was no more than we had threatened to do to the Swedes, and
without such cause as the savages had.

During the three days that the Indians remained near New Amsterdam, so
the messenger said, more than one hundred persons had been killed, and
nearly twice as many carried to a dreadful captivity. The buildings on
twenty-eight of the plantations were burned and the crops destroyed
utterly.

It needed not that this man who had come to us pale with terror, and
fearing lest on his return he should find those whom he loved butchered,
should tell us into what condition the city was plunged because of such
a state of affairs. We could see, in our minds, the people of New
Amsterdam as they cowered like sheep before wolves, unable to flee.

There was no place for them to go, save into the wilderness where lurked
brown men who were thirsting for revenge, and they were unable to do
more than make the merest show of defence, owing to the fact that
Director Stuyvesant had taken with him nearly all the able-bodied men,
and a goodly portion of the weapons, to the end that he might do much
the same as were the savages doing.

[Illustration]



HASTENING BACK TO NEW AMSTERDAM


It can well be supposed that every man of us, from the Director down to
the youngest soldier, was eager to get back to New Amsterdam, for I
question whether, with the single exception of myself, there was a
member of the company who had not left behind him loved ones; and how
could our people find any satisfaction in continuing the conquest of
the Swedes, when there was every possibility that the savages were
murdering and torturing white men, women, and children?

Within an hour after the messenger had arrived, two hundred of the
soldiers were sent across the land to New Amsterdam, under orders to
march at their swiftest possible pace until they were come to the city.
As soon after these men had set off as could be arranged for, the fleet
was in motion.

Because of my having received no orders whatsoever, I remained on board
the _De Waag_, and my heart was so sore that I could not talk with those
around me concerning what we had heard, or what we had done.

To me both were equally horrible. It was villainous work for us to drive
the poor Swedes away, and it seemed almost like a judgment of God, that
the Indians should have descended upon our city at a time when we were
showing ourselves to be no better than savages.

Fortunately, or so it seemed, we had a favoring wind, and within four
and twenty hours from the time of making sail, were come to anchor off
the fort. That those who had been sent across by land had arrived, we
knew because of the numbers to be seen on duty in the bastions, and that
the Indians had not made further attack upon New Amsterdam, we also
understood because of the people who were gathered to give us welcome.

I went directly from the ship to the storehouse, where I found Kryn
Gildersleeve and his fellow clerks working valiantly to pack our goods
into cases, which had been brought from Holland, with the hope that
these might be saved, even though the savages gained possession of the
town.

[Illustration]

Although I held my peace, the thought was in my heart that he who could
give his time to the saving of such useless trinkets as ours, when
mayhap before morning not a single white man would be alive, was much
the same as trifling with the Angel of Death.

However, I was soon engaged in the same task, and while thus busy,
forgot everything save the fact that I was the clerk in charge of the
storehouse, whose duty it was to look after whatsoever we had for
barter, whether to my mind it was of value or not.



COAXING THE SAVAGES


And now I have to tell you that which bears witness to Master Petrus
Stuyvesant's ability as a ruler. Although I never felt friendly
disposed towards him, because of thinking myself neglected, there is
enough of honesty in my heart to give praise where it is due.

When Master Kieft was governor of New Amsterdam, and through his folly
had caused the Indians to seek revenge, he did no more than meet them
with powder and ball, widening the breach between the brown and the
white men day by day; but our Director, stern and unyielding as he had
ever shown himself to be, had so much of wisdom that he knew when it was
useless to beat his head against a wall of stone.

[Illustration]

With so many of the savages risen against us, all the white men whom we
could muster would not have been sufficient to hold them in check; to
wage war with them would have meant the utter wiping out of the Dutch in
America.

Therefore it was that Master Stuyvesant, instead of seeking to punish
those who had attacked our people, set about coaxing them into a
friendly mood, and during the three or four weeks which followed our
return from Trinity and Christina, there was a continual coming and
going of messengers from the Director to the savage chiefs, who were to
be brought, through Master Stuyvesant's plans, to a peaceable life by
the means of gaudy toys.

And all this Master Stuyvesant succeeded in doing. Before the winter's
snows were come, the savages were seemingly friendly with us once more,
it being understood that past crimes, whether committed by white men or
brown, were to be forgotten, and, so to speak, all of us who were
dwelling in and around the land claimed by the West India Company, were
to live on terms of friendship.



INTERFERENCE WITH RELIGIOUS FREEDOM


It must be remembered, that when the West India Company asked people to
go out and live in the New World, every one was promised that he should
worship God as seemed to him best.

This was a portion of the bargain made when the people left Holland, and
yet before another spring had come, Master Stuyvesant declared, by
written notices and by the mouth of Stoffel Mighielsen, that no person
would be allowed to praise God save he did it according to the belief
and the rules of the Dutch Reformed Church.

[Illustration]

It was on a certain Easter Monday, when all over the city the young men
and maidens were playing at egg cracking, that Master Stuyvesant's plan
for punishing those who did not choose to go to the same church as did
he, was begun.

The Dutch had brought with them from Holland all the old games such as
are played to-day; but the favorite among them was the cracking of eggs
on Easter Monday, and I dare venture to say every young person in this
land of America knows the game well by this time.

The shops were gay with boiled eggs of various colors, hung in the
windows by many-colored ribbons, and it is not much straining at the
truth to say that every person in New Amsterdam, save those who, like
the soldiers, could not leave their posts of duty, was in the street,
walking to and fro watching the young people as they strove to see how
many eggs they could capture by cracking them, when a Quaker, and an
Englishman at that, was taken into custody for preaching nearby New
Amsterdam without permission of Master Stuyvesant.

Although this was directly opposite to what the West India Company had
said might be done in such portion of the new land as they claimed, it
would have passed almost unheeded had the arrest been made quietly; but,
so I have heard it said, and so I believe, Master Stuyvesant himself
gave positive commands as to how the prisoner should be treated, and
what should be done with him before he was lodged in jail.



PUNISHING THE QUAKER


A godly man was this Quaker, and yet he was tied face down to the back
end of a cart, in which were two women accused of giving him shelter,
and this sorry spectacle was paraded through the streets in the midst of
our merrymaking.

Even though the man had been accused of some crime, it would have been
more to the credit of our Director had he been lodged in jail without
first marching him up and down that all the people might look upon the
disgrace.

That he had done no more than preach the word of God in a manner such as
was not set down by the rules of the Dutch Reformed Church, caused the
arrest to seem much like wickedness, and there were many persons in New
Amsterdam who in private cried out against it, for to speak in those
days openly against whatsoever the Director commanded was cause for
imprisonment in the dungeons, as in the case of Master Keller's raising
his voice against the capture of the Swedish forts.

Nor was this punishment, severe though you will say it was, all that the
Director imposed upon the God-fearing Quaker. He ordered that unless he
could pay the sum of six hundred florins at once, he should be chained
to a wheelbarrow by the side of a negro, who had been condemned to such
labor for the good of the city because of having brutally beaten a
Dutchman, and this for the term of two years.

The Quaker refused to move when they chained him to the black man, and
it seemed to me well that he did so; but the refusal cost him dearly,
for he was hung up by the thumbs and beaten with thirty lashes each
morning for the space of four days, when a sister of Master Stuyvesant
mercifully begged for, and succeeded in obtaining, the prisoner's
release.

[Illustration]

Now you may be certain that our people of New Amsterdam, although
knowing what might be their punishment for speaking against such an act,
did not hold their tongues.

Wherever two or three of the common people were gathered on the green,
or in the streets, there could one hear harsh words spoken against the
Director, and because of such tongue-wagging there were seventeen free
men of New Amsterdam at one time imprisoned in the jail by the orders of
Master Stuyvesant.



OTHER PERSECUTIONS


Instead of seeking to soothe the people, our Director became more harsh
and severe in such matters, and followed the arrest by sending back to
Holland a preacher who had come at the request of the Lutherans of our
city. Fathers and mothers to the number of six were put in jail because
of refusing to have their children baptized in the Dutch church,
desiring it should be done according to the Lutheran faith.

That he fined the Baptist preacher one thousand pounds and banished him
from the West India Company's lands, was no secret, since it was all
done in open court with our Director acting both as judge and jury, and
this despite the charter sent from Holland.

I might go on until you were wearied, telling of the religious
persecutions in New Amsterdam while Master Stuyvesant was Director; but
there is no good reason why one should repeat each case of suffering.

It is enough that it was done, and verily did it seem to me in later
days, that in the doing of it Master Stuyvesant was digging a pit for
his own downfall.

To you who hear these things after they have passed, and concerning
people whom you know not, they seem of but little importance; but to one
like myself, who had been told on the other side of the ocean that this
new land of America would be a refuge for all who were oppressed because
of their faith, it is a sore that will take long in the healing.



DULL TRADE


It seems to me, as I look back upon it, that at about the time Master
Stuyvesant was hunting down with such a heavy hand those people who did
not come regularly to the Dutch church, preferring to hear some other
preacher, that our trade in furs fell off in a manner to cause alarm.

As a matter of course we did not reckon that time when the savages were
bent on killing us, and, therefore, remained away entirely; but as
compared with what we took in when matters with the Indians were most
friendly, we were losing ground rapidly.

With the Swedes driven out of the land, it surely seemed as if the West
India Company should have been able to get, by trading, all the pelts
taken by the Indians, and yet, from all I could hear, I knew that not
more than one half were coming our way. In addition to this, the savages
were bent on driving keener bargains, as if there were people close
around who were offering bigger prices than we of New Amsterdam.

All this caused me no little trouble of mind, for although it was not my
concern to go abroad urging the Indians to come in for trade, I knew
that more than a fair share of blame would attach to me when the profits
of the year were reckoned.



THE CHARGE MADE BY HANS BRAUN


Kryn Gildersleeve and I had many a talk regarding the matter, until on a
certain day he came with word which aroused me in no little degree, for
he claimed to know that Hans Braun had been to the Director with the
charge that I was neglecting my work, thus causing a falling off in our
take of furs.

It had for some time been in my mind that at the first good chance I
would bid good-bye to the Dutchmen of New Amsterdam, and go to the
English, my countrymen, either in Boston or Salem, for I had laid by
sufficient of money, not having squandered my wages, to set me up in
fur-buying on my own account. I had been told, by those who knew, that
in the English colonies there was no Company with the sole right to deal
in pelts.

In addition to all that, the Englishmen had begun to rule the land
themselves, save as their king might interfere, and such government
pleased me far better than to be under the iron hand of a single man
like our Director.

Therefore it was that I went straightway to Master Stuyvesant,
determined to know if he believed what Hans might have said; and, if you
please, it was three long hours that I cooled my heels at the entrance
to his chamber of business before I, the keeper of the storehouse and a
regular officer of the Company, was allowed to enter, such kingly airs
had he taken upon himself.

[Illustration]

When at last I stood before him, it was not as a beggar, though of
course my hat was in my hand, but as one who knows that he may not
lawfully be displaced save by direct orders from Holland.

Speaking to him as the head of the city should be spoken to, I repeated
what Kryn had told me, and asked if he had cause to complain of me.



DISMISSED BY MASTER STUYVESANT


Had I been a Lutheran preacher, or a Quaker, I could not have been
treated more shamefully. Instead of questioning as to why our trade was
growing small, in which case I should have told him that in my belief it
was owing to the English colony in the country of Connecticut, he cried
out upon me in a most violent rage, declaring that I had been spending
my time breeding discontent among the people, instead of having a
watchful eye over the interests of the Company.

And this when I had never been outside the fort, save while Master
Tienhoven was in the storehouse giving the advice that I take my ease!

Nor was this the end of the matter; it seemed as if, being in a bad
humor, he was bent on venting his spleen upon me, and without giving any
reasons, other than as I have told you, the Director declared that I was
no longer in the employ of the Company.

When I spoke to him of the rule that a storekeeper may not be deprived
of his office save by the Council of the Company in Holland, he called
me a mutinous hound, and threatened that if I showed myself inside the
fort after the sun had set, I would be thrown into prison.

[Illustration]

I knew full well that I would be powerless if he did such a wicked
thing, for of course the word of the Director would be heeded by the
Company when set against one of the lower officers like myself,
therefore did I hold my temper in check, striving to look the
submission which I did not feel.

[Illustration]

It is no more than just that I should give Kryn Gildersleeve credit for
grieving over the injustice that had been done me; but he could not mend
matters, even if I would have had him, and two hours before sunset I had
made a bargain for lodgings on the plantation belonging to Martin Kip,
who was glad to have in his family one who knew the Indians so well that
he might be expected to get some hint if the savages were bent on more
mischief.

I had known Martin for many a year, he having come over in the _Sea Mew_
when I did, and trusted him for a true friend, if so be he was not
called upon for an outlay of money.

To him I told my plans for joining one of the English colonies, and much
to my surprise he gave me his reasons for believing that I would soon be
in an English colony, if I remained in New Amsterdam taking good care
not to show myself in such a manner as would arouse Director
Stuyvesant's ire.



ENGLISH CLAIMS


It was a long story concerning England, and the rights she claimed in
the New World, which he told, the repeating of which would not be of
interest to you who know all he could have said, and, most likely, much
more.

What I had not known was that the English believed they owned all the
land that had been settled by the West India Company, because, so they
said, of John Cabot's having been the first white man to set foot on it;
but the Dutch claimed that Henry Hudson first found the river which was
sometimes called the North, therefore the country between it and the
South river belonged to them.

Because of no one's knowing at that time how large a country had been
found in this New World, and because of the English kings' having given
away lands to this person or that company, everything was in a snarl;
but I said to myself that if the Swedes could be driven out of their
settlements by Master Stuyvesant, it would be no more than turn about
for him to get the same treatment from the English.

And, even though I had been working for the Dutch during so many years
that I had grown from boy to man, there was a great hope in my heart
that Master Kip had made no mistake when he believed we were like to
have a change of rulers before many years went by.



IDLE DAYS


While I waited, making myself as small as possible lest the Director
should see me and remember that he had threatened to throw me into
prison, the people were growing more and more discontented because of
Master Stuyvesant's not ceasing to punish Lutherans, Baptists, or
Quakers when they refused to attend the Dutch church.

Many a one threatened, in private, to do what he might toward teaching
the Director a lesson, if a fitting chance came his way, and I have been
told that a dozen or more Dutchmen, who had friends in power in Holland,
sent to the West India Company many complaints concerning Master
Stuyvesant, praying that he might be deprived of his office.

It was during these idle days that I learned, because of asking many
questions, much concerning the village of Hartford, which had been begun
by the preacher Hooker, and all who went to his church in New Town of
the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

These people wanted a village of their own, therefore entered the forest
with but little of goods, suffering much in the battle with the
wilderness, but coming out victors owing to their industry.

While we of New Amsterdam had built a city, we could count no more than
fifteen hundred people in it, and this settlement on the Connecticut
river, which was by this time made up of three villages, boasted of more
than eight hundred persons.

It was to Hartford I would first go when a fitting opportunity came, so
I said to myself after hearing all that could be told concerning these
people, and to such an end I began to make plans.

Wherever I might go, however, I could not find so much to please the eye
as in New Amsterdam, for the English people in this New World are much
more prim and sedate, both in manner and dress, than are the Dutch.



ON BROAD WAY


It was indeed a brave sight to see the people of quality walking on
Broad Way, or strolling to and fro upon the Bowling Green, of a summer
evening, and although I so disliked the man, I must confess that
Director Stuyvesant and his family went far toward adding to the fine
array.

The ladies dressed exceeding gay in high-colored gowns of silk, satin,
or some other such stuff, open up and down in front of the skirt that
their petticoats, ornamented with fine needlework, might be seen. Their
hose were of bright colors, and the low shoes, with very high heels, had
bows of ribbon, or buckles of silver, even of gold, which added much to
the looks of the wearer. It was the silken hoods which I disliked, for
those ladies curled or frowzled their hair in a most bewitching fashion,
afterward covering it with powder, and the hood concealed far too much
of it.

[Illustration]

To see the rings set with precious stones on their fingers; the lockets,
or toys, of gold hanging over the stiff fronts of their waists, and, on
Sundays, the Bibles and psalm books richly decked with gold and hanging
by golden chains to their waists, one would hardly believe that we were
living in such a wild land, with savages on every hand, who might at any
moment be at our throats.

Our gentlemen did not allow the ladies all the bravery of attire, as you
shall hear when I tell you how Director Stuyvesant was dressed when,
standing half-hidden behind the whipping-post one evening, I saw him
parading with his wife and sister, showing by the way he stumped along
with his head high, that he believed himself the greatest man this side
Holland.

He wore a long coat of blue velvet on which were silver buttons, and the
huge flaps of the pockets were trimmed with silver lace. His waistcoat,
so long that the front came nearly to his knees, was of buff silk
embroidered with silver threads, and fastened by buttons of gold in
which were set jewels of different colors. His breeches of velvet were
of a deeper hue than the coat, while the low shoe had on it a silver
buckle so large that the wonder of it was how he could move his foot.

He wore on his head a soft black hat, whose wide brim was caught up on
one side with a gay knot of blue ribbon that fell down athwart his big,
white wig. From the knot on his hat to below the black silk hose, he
was, when viewed on one side, a very gallant gentleman; but turn him
about so that his wooden stump with its heavy bands of silver might be
seen, and one could not but remember the battle at St. Martins, where he
left his leg during a desperate fight.



LOOKING AFTER THE FERRY


During a portion of my idle time, I worked at fair wages for Nicholas
Steinburg, who ran the ferry from near the water-gate to the Long Island
shore, and of a verity I earned all he paid me.

[Illustration]

The boat on which wagons were taken across, was the most clumsy scow it
was ever my ill fortune to handle, and his slaves the most stupid to be
found in all New Amsterdam. One was forced to send the unwieldy craft
along by heavy sweeps, which were fashioned so rudely that I dare
venture to say there was twice as much of timber in them as was
necessary, and that foolish negro who failed to lift one of them at the
proper time, found that the current swung it around with a force that
sent him sprawling in the bottom of the boat.

More than once have I picked one of the thick-headed black men up from
beneath the feet of the horses, and spent no little time trying to
recover the oar.

However, there was not much passing to and fro, for there were but few
farms on the big island, and a goodly portion of the time I spent in the
thatched shed which was put up for the pleasure of those who were forced
to await Nicholas Steinburg's slow motions.

It is wearying work, looking after a ferry, even though one gets as wage
one-half the money paid over to him, and I would not thus have spent my
time, had I not been taught by Master Minuit that he who squanders his
days in idleness is the same as reproaching God for permitting him to
live.

Then came the day when I rejoiced secretly, and many another man with
me, because of what Director Stuyvesant had done to wrong us.



THE COMING OF THE ENGLISH


It was reported that the English, with four ships, had arrived at Boston
from England, and were making ready to come against New Amsterdam, to
the end that it might be taken from the Dutch, even as they had taken
Trinity and Christina from the Swedes.

We knew that there could be no doubt as to the truth of the news, for
even the names and strength of the ships were given, and there was
little question but that they had already sailed from Boston, therefore
did we have reason to believe the fleet would be in our harbor very
soon.

[Illustration]

The force which King Charles had sent on advice of his brother, the Duke
of York, was made up of the _Guinea_, carrying thirty-six guns, the
_Elias_ with thirty, the _Martin_ with sixteen, and the _William and
Nicholas_ with ten, making ninety-two guns against our twenty-two
bombards, culverins, and serpentines.

It was reported also that many of the English from Hartford, who
believed they had cause of complaint against Master Stuyvesant, had
joined themselves to the soldiers sent from England, and that no less a
person than Governor Winthrop was with them.

To show how complete was the information which came to us discontented
ones of New Amsterdam, it is only needed for me to say that we even knew
that the English commander was Colonel Richard Nicolls, who was to be
Deputy Governor of the West India Company's possessions when he had
captured them.



A WEAK DEFENSE


I knew, in addition to all this, because of having lived so many years
in the fort, that we were not in a condition to hold our own against
even one of these English ships, because of many of our soldiers' being
in the same frame of mind as was I, concerning the Director, and even
though each and every one had been heart and hand with Master
Stuyvesant, there was not in all the city enough of ammunition to serve
the guns during a battle.

It stood on the accounts that we had thirteen hundred pounds of powder
in the magazine; but I knew, as did many another, that of the whole
amount a full seven hundred pounds would not burn even though it was
thrown into a blazing fire.

We had one hundred and fifty soldiers under arms, and Martin Kip had the
names of ninety-six of these who had declared that if English, French,
or Swedes came against us while Petrus Stuyvesant was Director, they
would not raise a hand in defense of the city.

There were also near to two hundred and fifty citizens who had been
armed and commanded to be ready for service in time of danger; but I
knew beyond a question that more than half the number would stand with
hands in their coat pockets, rather than raise them in obedience to an
order from Director Stuyvesant.

Thus it can be seen that the English had chosen a most favorable time
for coming against us, and, as if to make their chances even better,
Master Stuyvesant, suspecting no evil, had gone on a tour of inspection
far up the North river.



MASTER STUYVESANT ABSENT


On the night this welcome news was brought to New Amsterdam, the farm
buildings belonging to Martin Kip were actually crowded with men, who
had come thus far out of the city that they might decide upon what
should be done when the Director gave orders for all the citizens to
stand to their weapons, and a most excited throng it was.

Some one brought word that a messenger had been sent in hot haste up the
river to summon Master Stuyvesant, and others had learned from
fishermen who had been in the lower bay, that the English fleet was even
at that moment in sight.

Although the people had been so disposed, nothing could be done in the
way of making ready to defend the city until Master Stuyvesant came
back, and from all I could hear, though as a matter of course I had no
speech with those who were friendly with the Director, no one was sorry
because of there promising soon to be an end to Dutch rule in America.

We were well content to remain idle, knowing that each hour of the
Director's absence made more certain the end we desired, and it was
rather from curiosity than anxiety, that Martin Kip and I stood half
sheltered by one of the bastions of the fort when Master Stuyvesant
arrived.

[Illustration]

During the hurried journey he must have settled in his own mind exactly
what should be done, for within ten minutes after having come, orders
were given that every third man of all the citizens should, with axe,
spade, or wheelbarrow, present himself at the fort ready to aid in
strengthening the works.



DISOBEYING COMMANDS


Not above ninety obeyed this command, and the greater number of those
who did so were, in one way or another, under Master Stuyvesant's thumb.

[Illustration]

At the same time guards were placed at the city gates to prevent any
from leaving the city over the land, and every farmer was commanded to
send in all the grain he had on hand, together with what his slaves
could thresh during the next eight and forty hours.

Martin Kip laughed at this last order, declaring that he would hold all
he had of food-stuff at the muzzle of his gun, and no man in the country
should force him to give up to the use of others, what might be needed
for his own family and for his slaves.

Nor did he stand alone in such refusal; I heard of but two who obeyed,
and one of these was the schout who had been appointed to office at the
time when Master Stuyvesant refused to give us the rights called for by
the charter which had been sent from Holland.

[Illustration]

It must be told to the credit of the Director, that he set a good
example of obedience, for all his servants and slaves were hard at work
hauling grain into the city from his farm above the swamps, or engaged
in threshing that which yet remained on the stalk.

It seemed as if Master Stuyvesant believed it would be possible for him
to hold out a long while against the English, and he was preparing for a
regular siege.



SURRENDER OF THE CITY DEMANDED


There had been no more than time to issue commands, when the fleet we
had been expecting sailed up the harbor, and anchored within full view
of the city. The ships were seemingly crowded with soldiers, and even
those who were eager to prevent the English from working their will,
must have begun to understand that there was no hope of making a
successful defense.

The streets of the city were filled with men, women, and children, who
wandered about aimlessly, too much excited to be able to remain within
doors, and as messengers came and went from the fleet, enough of what
was being done leaked out to give us a good idea of the matter in hand.

First we knew that the commander of the fleet had demanded the surrender
of the city, and this we would have understood even though no one told
us, because of the officers who came ashore under flag of truce.

Then it was whispered about that Master Stuyvesant wanted to talk over
the situation with the English commander; but was told that the fleet
had been sent to take the city, not that its officers might argue.



A THREE DAYS' TRUCE


Upon this Master Stuyvesant asked for three days in which to consult
with his advisors, forgetting, perhaps, that the Swedes had asked for
only twelve hours, and he had refused.

To this request Colonel Nicolls agreed, but at the same time made all
his preparations for opening fire upon the city, in case Master
Stuyvesant was so pig-headed as to refuse to surrender.

Two of the ships were sent up the river and anchored where they could
throw shot into the fort at short range, while the others were moored
off Nutten Island, sending five companies of soldiers ashore near the
ferry landing on Long Island, where they went into camp.

[Illustration]

Next morning a company of horsemen and a band of soldiers came down from
Hartford, and were ferried across in the boats of the fleet, thus
showing that the Massachusetts Bay Company would do what they might to
carry out the wishes of King Charles.

That night the commander of the English fleet sent ashore, secretly,
twenty or more written messages to the people, and both Martin Kip, on
whose farm the messengers landed, and I, knew beyond a peradventure that
there were found men in New Amsterdam willing to spend their time
carrying them where the most good might be done to the enemy.

In these messages Colonel Nicolls promised all who would lay down their
arms, full liberty to remain on the land, without being molested in any
way, and agreed that his king would protect them in the holding of all
their property.

Now even those who had been hesitating whether to side with the Dutch or
the English, were eager to see the surrender of the city, and when the
Director called upon citizens to work on the fort or the palisade, he
could find none save servants or slaves to answer his summons, and even
these it was necessary to drive with such of the soldiers as were yet
willing to obey orders.



VISITORS FROM THE ENGLISH


At noon of the second day of the truce, a boat put off from the fleet,
coming directly toward the city, and before she was near to the dock
some of the Englishmen among us cried out that he who stood in the bow
was Governor Winthrop, of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Then it was that Master Stuyvesant ordered a salute to be given, as if
the gentleman were coming to us as a friend, and when the latter stepped
on shore, followed by five officers from the English army, the schout
conducted them to the city hall, where it was said the Director and the
burgomasters were waiting.

It can well be fancied that every person in the city, save, perhaps,
Master Stuyvesant's family and servants, gathered around the city hall
to hear what might be going on, and there we speedily learned that the
Director had fallen into a rage, even going so far as to quarrel with
those other officials who had been his best friends.

The visitors from the fleet did not stay overly long, and when they went
away it was whispered among the excited citizens that Governor Winthrop
had left a letter, which some of the burgomasters believed should be
read to the people.



MASTER STUYVESANT'S RAGE


It seemed, as we learned very shortly, that in his rage Master
Stuyvesant had torn the letter into little pieces claiming that it did
not concern the common people, and then it was that his own friends left
him in anger.

Within half an hour the people insisted that the letter be demanded of
the Director, and five men were sent to Master Stuyvesant, claiming that
which Governor Winthrop had brought.

[Illustration]

It was Martin Kip who headed the messengers from the free men of New
Amsterdam, and he told me Master Stuyvesant was in a fine rage. He
stumped to and fro threatening, but finally showed in his hand the tiny
bits of paper, throwing them on the floor.

Then some one of the house, I do not know who, picked up the pieces,
putting them together so that the words might be read, and Martin Kip,
speaking from the steps of the city hall, told us what had been written.

I do not remember it all, but there was in the letter a promise that
the Dutch should not be driven out after the city was captured. They
would be allowed to remain, each man on his own land, free to come or go
as it pleased him best, and other Dutchmen were at liberty to live in
New Amsterdam with the same rights as belonged to any English man.

[Illustration]

It was all up with Master Stuyvesant after that. He did not cease to
storm and rage at those who refused to stand by the guns in the fort,
and threatened that he would hold the city till the last building in it
was destroyed; but what could he do alone?



THE END OF DUTCH RULE


When the three-days' truce was at an end, Colonel Nicolls landed three
more companies of the King's soldiers, and himself marched at their head
to join those who were encamped at the ferry-way. All the ships came
into position for opening fire upon the city, and it was time for Master
Stuyvesant to surrender, or have it done for him by those of us who were
not minded to make fools of ourselves.

I have heard it said that he was near to being broken-hearted because of
having come to such a plight; but it was no worse for him than it had
been for the Swedish governor whom he bullied, and, by thus making
promises to the people, the English commander was showing himself more
of a man than had Director Stuyvesant, when he drove away every last
Swede out of their homes.

[Illustration]

Whoever gave the command to hoist the white flag over the fort in token
of surrender, I know not; but it was done before the English had time to
open fire, and New Amsterdam was no longer under Dutch rule.

It was Monday, September 8th, in the year of our Lord, 1664, when Master
Stuyvesant, at the head of the hundred and fifty soldiers, marched from
the fort to take ship for Holland, and an hour later Colonel Nicolls
came in with seven companies of soldiers, who, instead of remaining to
eat us out of house and home, went at once on board the ships until they
could go into camp on the Long Island shore.



THE CITY OF NEW YORK


That same day Colonel Nicolls was chosen governor by the Dutch
themselves, and his first order was that the city be called New York in
honor of the Duke of York, who had really had charge of the matter.

Next day came a message from the new governor, in which it was promised
that people from all lands might come into the City of New York, with
the same rights as any other; that there would be no change in the
affairs until an election by the people could be held, and that each man
might worship God in whatsoever way seemed to him best.

We who had lived so long in the New World had seen the last of New
Amsterdam with its Dutch rulers, who knew no law but their own whims,
and now were we like men who have finally thrown off a heavy burden,
able to breathe freely once more.

I would that I had enough of knowledge to set down in words all that I
have just told you; but I am ignorant of nearly everything, save furs
and bargaining with the Indians, therefore it is, that unless you shall
repeat what I have said, the people of this country may never hear the
story of Peter of New Amsterdam.



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