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Title: Narratives of New Netherland, 1609-1664

Editor: J. Franklin Jameson

Release date: April 1, 2002 [eBook #3161]
Most recently updated: March 18, 2013

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Tony Adam Anthony, and David Widger



By Various

J.F. Jameson, Editor








Of The Fresh River.

Of the Right of the Netherlanders to the Fresh River.

Of the South River and the Boundaries there.

Of the South Bay and South River.

Of the Situation and Goodness of the Waters.

Of the Reasons and Causes why and how New Netherland is so Decayed.

The Administration of Director Kieft in Particular.

The Administration of Director Stuyvesant in Particular

In what Manner New Netherland should be Redressed.





     Reference material and source.

     Michaelius, Reverend Jonas.  "Letter of Reverend Jonas
     Michaelius, 1628."  In J. Franklin Jameson, ed., Narratives
     of New Netherland, 1609-1664 (Original Narratives of Early
     American History).  NY: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1909.


THE established church in the United Netherlands was the Reformed Church. Its polity was that of Geneva or of Presbyterianism. The minister and ruling or lay elders of the local church formed its consistory, corresponding to the Scottish or American kirk session. The next higher power, administrative or judicial, resided in the classis, consisting of all the ministers in a given district and one elder from each parish therein, and corresponding to the presbytery. It had power to license and ordain, install and remove ministers. Above this body stood the provincial synod, and above that the (occasional) national synods. In 1624 the synod of North Holland decreed that supervision over the churches in the East Indies should belong to the churches and classes within whose bounds were located the various "chambers" of the East India Company. The same rule was applied in the case of the West India Company's settlements. Under this rule the first minister sent out to New Netherland was placed under the jurisdiction of the Classis of Amsterdam, since the colony was under the charge of the Amsterdam Chamber. Many extracts from the minutes of that classis, and what remains of its correspondence with the ministers in New Netherland, are printed in the volumes published by the State of New York under the title Ecclesiastical Records, State of New York (six volumes, Albany, 1901-1905). From 1639, if not earlier, a committee of the classis, called "Deputati ad Res Exteras," was given charge of most of the details of correspondence with the Dutch Reformed churches in America, Africa, the East and foreign European countries.

As mentioned by Wassenaer, "comforters of the sick," who were Ecclesiastical officers but not ministers, were first sent Out to New Netherland. The first minister was Reverence Jonas Jansen Michielse, or, to employ the Latinized form of his name which he, according to clerical habit, was accustomed to use, Jonas Johannis Michaelius. Michaelius was born in North Holland in 1577, entered the University of Leyden as a student of divinity in 1600, became minister at Nieuwbokswoude in 1612 and at Hem, near Enkhuizen, in 1614. At some time between April, 1624, and August, 1625, he went out to San Salvador (Bahia, Brazil), recently conquered by the West India Company's fleet, and after brief service there to one Of their posts on the West African coast. Returning thence, He was, early in 1628, sent out to Manhattan, where he arrived April 7. It is not known just when he returned to Holland, but he appears to have been under engagement for three years. In 1637-1638 we find the classis vainly endeavoring to send him again to New Netherland, but prevented by the Company, which had a veto upon all such appointments in its dominions.

About half a century ago the following precious letter of Michaelius, describing New Netherland as it appeared in its earliest days to the eyes of an educated clergyman of the Dutch Church, was discovered in Amsterdam, and printed by Mr. J.J.Bodel Nijenhuis in the Kerk-historisch Archief, part I. An English translation of it, with an introduction, was then privately printed in a pamphlet by Mr. Henry C. Murphy, an excellent scholar in New Netherland history, who was at that time minister of the United States to the Netherlands. This pamphlet, entitled The First Minister of the Dutch Reformed Church in the United States (The Hague, 1858), was reprinted in 1858 in Documents relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York, II. 757-770, in 1881 in the Collections of the New York Historical Society, XIII, and in 1883, at Amsterdam, by Frederik Muller and Co., who added a photographic fac-simile of full size and a transcript of the Dutch text. In 1896 a reduced fac-simile of the original letter, with an amended translation by Reverence John G. Fagg, appeared in the Year Book of the (Collegiate) Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of New York City, and also separately for private circulation, and in 1901 the Dutch text with Reverend Mr. Fagg's translation was printed in Ecclesiastical Records, I. 49-68, which also contains a photographic fac-simile of the concluding portion of the manuscript. Another is in Memorial History, I. 166. The original is in the New York Public Library (Lenox Building). Reverend Adrianus Smoutius, to whom the letter was addressed, was an ultra-Calvinist clergyman, who led a stormy life, but from 1620 to 1630 was a minister of the collegiate churches of Amsterdam, and as such a member of the classis under whose charge Michaelius served.

For many years this letter of August 11, 1628, was supposed to be the earliest extant letter or paper written at Manhattan. But a letter of three days earlier was recently discovered, which Michaelius wrote on August 8 to Jan Foreest, a magistrate of Hoorn and secretary to the Executive Council (Gecommitteerde Raden) of the States of the Province of Holland. This letter mentions epistles also sent to two clergymen in Holland and to the writer's brother. It was printed by Mr. Dingman Versteeg in Manhattan in 1628 (New York, 1904). All these letters were presumably prepared to be sent home on the same ship. The two which are extant parallel each other to a large extent. That which follows, though second in order of time, is intrinsically a little more interesting than the other. Mr. Fagg's translation has in the main been followed.


The Reverend, Learned and Pious Mr. Adrianus Smoutius, Faithful Minister of the Holy Gospel of Christ in his Church, dwelling upon the Heerengracht, not far from the West India House at Amsterdam. By a friend, whom God Preserve.

The Peace of Christ to You.

Reverend Sir, Well Beloved Brother in Christ, Kind Friend!

THE favorable opportunity which now presents itself of writing to your Reverence I cannot let pass, without embracing it, according to my promise. And, first to unburden myself in this communication of a sorrowful circumstance, it pleased the Lord, seven weeks after we arrived in this country, to take from me my good partner, who had been to me, for more than sixteen years, a virtuous, faithful, and altogether amiable yoke-fellow; and I now find myself alone with three children,(1) very much discommoded, without her society and assistance. But what have I to say? The Lord himself has done this, against whom no one can oppose himself. And why should I even wish to, knowing that all things must work together for good to them that love God? I hope therefore to bear my cross patiently, and by the grace and help of the Lord, not to let the courage fail me which in my duties here I so especially need.

     (1) Two daughters and a son, Jan, whom he had placed in the
     house and custody of skipper Jan Jansen Brouwer.

The voyage was long, namely, from the 24th of January till the 7th of April, when we first set foot upon land here. Of storm and tempest which fell hard upon the good wife and children, though they bore it better as regards sea-sickness and fear than I had expected, we had no lack, particularly in the vicinity of the Bermudas and the rough coasts of this country. Our fare in the ship was very poor and scanty, so that my blessed wife and children, not eating with us in the cabin, on account of the little room in it, had a worse lot than the sailors themselves; and that by reason of a wicked cook who annoyed them in every way; but especially by reason of the captain himself,(1) who, although I frequently complained of it in the most courteous manner, did not concern himself in the least about correcting the rascal; nor did he, even when they were all sick, given them anything which could do them any good, although there was enough in the ship: as he himself knew very well where to find it in order, out of meal times, to fill his own stomach. All the relief which he gave us, consisted merely in liberal promises, with a drunken head; upon which nothing followed when he was sober but a sour face; and he raged at the officers and kept himself constantly to the wine, both at sea and especially here while lying in the river; so that he daily walked the deck drunk and with an empty head, seldom coming ashore to the Council and never to Divine service. We bore all with silence on board the ship; but it grieves me, when I think of it, on account of my wife; the more, because she was so situated as she was—believing that she was with child—and the time so short which she had yet to live. On my first voyage I roamed about with him a great deal, even lodged in the same hut, but never knew that he was such a brute and drunkard. But he was then under the direction of Mr. Lam,(2) and now he had the chief command himself. I have also written to Mr. Godyn(3) about it, considering it necessary that it should be known.

     (1) "Evert Croeger, with whom, prior to this, I had made
     long voyages, but never before did I know him well."—Letter
     of August 8 to Jan Foreest.

     (2) Admiral Jan Dirckszoon Lam, who in 1625 and 1626 was in
     command of a Dutch squadron on the west coast of Africa.

     (3) Probably Samuel Godyn, a prominent director of the

Our coming here was agreeable to all, and I hope, by the grace of the Lord, that my service will not be unfruitful. The people, for the most part, are rather rough and unrestrained, but I find in almost all of them both love and respect towards me; two things with which hitherto the Lord has everywhere graciously blessed my labors, and which in our calling, as your Reverence well knows and finds, are especially desirable, in order to make our ministry fruitful.

From the beginning we established the form of a church; and as Brother Bastiaen Crol(1) very seldom comes down from Fort Orange, because the directorship of that fort and the trade there is committed to him, it has been thought best to choose two elders for my assistance and for the proper consideration of all such ecclesiastical matters as might occur, intending the coming year, if the Lord permit, to let one of them retire, and to choose another in his place from a double number first lawfully proposed to the congregation. One of those whom we have now chosen is the Honorable Director(2) himself, and the other is the storekeeper of the Company, Jan Huygen,(3) his brother-in-law, persons of very good character, as far as I have been able to learn, having both been formerly in office in the Church, the one as deacon, and the other as elder in the Dutch and French churches, respectively, at Wesel.(4)

     (1) Sebastian Janszoon Krol came out to New Netherland in
     1626 as a "comforter of the sick" at Manhattan, but before
     long went up to Fort Orange, where he was chief agent for
     the company most of the time to March, 1632.  Then, on
     Minuit's recall, he was director-general till Wouter van
     Twiller's arrival in April, 1633.

     (2) Peter Minuit, born of Huguenot parentage in 1550 in
     Wesel, west Germany, was made director general of New
     Netherland in December, 1625, arrived in May, 1626, bought
     Manhattan Island of the Indians that summer, and remained in
     office till recalled early in 1632.  In 1636-1637 he made
     arrangements with Blommaert and the Swedish government, in
     consequence of which he conducted the first Swedish colony
     to Delaware Bay, landing there in the spring of 1638, and
     establishing New Sweden on territory claimed by the Dutch.
     During the ensuing summer he perished in a hurricane at St.
     Christopher, in the West Indies.

     (3) Probably the ame as Jan Huych, comforter of the sick.

     (4) Jan Huyghens was deacon of the Dutch Reformed church at
     Wesel in 1612; and probably Minuit was elder in the French
     church there.

At the first administration of the Lord's Supper which was observed, not without great joy and comfort to many, we had fully fifty communicants—Walloons and Dutch; of whom, a portion made their first confession of faith before us, and others exhibited their church certificates. Others had forgotten to bring their certificates with them, not thinking that a church would be formed and established here; and some who brought them, had lost them unfortunately in a general conflagration, but they were admitted upon the satisfactory testimony of others to whom they were known, and also upon their daily good deportment, since one cannot observe strictly all the usual formalities in making a beginning under such circumstance.

We administer the Holy Supper of the Lord once in four months, provisionally, until a larger number of people shall otherwise require. The Walloons and French have no service on Sundays, otherwise than in the Dutch language, for those who understand no Dutch are very few. A portion of the Walloons are going back to the Fatherland, either because their years here are expired, or else because some are not very serviceable to the Company. Some of them live far away and could not well come in time of heavy rain and storm, so that they themselves cannot think it advisable to appoint any special service in French for so small a number, and that upon an uncertainty. Nevertheless, the Lord's Supper is administered to them in the French language, and according to the French mode, with a sermon preceding, which I have before me in writing, so long as I can not trust myself extemporaneously.(1) If in this and in other matters your Reverence and the Reverend Brethren of the Consistory, who have special superintendence over us here, deem it necessary to administer to us any correction, instruction or good advice, it will be agreeable to us and we shall thank your Reverence therefor; since we must all have no other object than the glory of God in the building up of his kingdom and the salvation of many souls. I keep myself as far as practicable within the pale of my calling, wherein I find myself sufficiently occupied. And although our small consistory embraces at the most—when Brother Crol is down here—not more than four persons, all of whom, myself alone excepted, have also public business to attend to, I still hope to separate carefully the ecclesiastical from the civil matters which occur, so that each one will be occupied with his own subject.

     (1) That is, to preach extempore in French.

And though many things are mixti generis, and political and ecclesiastical persons can greatly assist each other, nevertheless the matters and officers proceeding together must not be mixed but kept separate, in order to prevent all confusion and disorder. As the Council of this place consists of good people, who are, however, for the most part simple and have little experience in public affairs, I should have little objection to serve them in any difficult or dubious affair with good advice, provided I considered myself capable and my advice should be asked; in which case I suppose that I should not do amiss nor be suspected by any one of being a polupragmov or allotrioepiskopos.(1)

     (1) I Peter iv. 15; a meddler or "busy-body in other men's

In my opinion it would be well that the Honorable Directors should furnish this place with plainer and more precise instructions to the rulers, that they may distinctly know how to conduct themselves in all possible public difficulties and events; and also that I should some time have here all such Acta Synolalia, as have been adopted in the synods of Holland; both the special ones of our quarter,(1) and those which are provincial and national, in relation to ecclesiastical difficulties; or at least such of them as in the judgment of the Honorable Brethren at Amsterdam would be most likely to be of service to us here. In the meantime, I hope matters will go well here, if only on our part we do our best in all sincerity and honest zeal; whereunto I have from the first entirely devoted myself, and wherein I have also hitherto, by the grace of God, had no just cause to complain of any one. And if any dubious matters of importance come before me, and especially if they will admit of any delay, I shall refer myself to the good and prudent advice of the Honorable Brethren, to whom I have already wholly commended myself.

     (1) I.e., acts of the synod of North Holland.  North Holland
     was not at this time a province, but merely a part of the
     province of Holland, the chief of the seven United
     Provinces. The national Acta would probably be those of
     the six fundamental synodical conventions of 1568-1586 and
     the Synod of Dort.

As to the natives of this country, I find them entirely savage and wild, strangers to all decency, yea, uncivil and stupid as garden poles, proficient in all wickedness and godlessness; devilish men, who serve nobody but the Devil, that is, the spirit which in their language they call Menetto; under which title they comprehend everything that is subtle and crafty and beyond human skill and power. They have so much witchcraft, divination, sorcery and wicked arts, that they can hardly be held in by any bands or locks. They are as thievish and treacherous as they are tall; and in cruelty they are altogether inhuman, more than barbarous, far exceeding the Africans.(1)

     (1) He had served on the west coast of Africa; see the

I have written concerning this matter to several persons elsewhere, not doubting that Brother Crol will have written sufficient to your Reverence, or to the Honorable Directors; as also of the base treachery and the murders which the Mohicans, at the upper part of this river, had planned against Fort Orange, but which failed through the gracious interposition of our Lord, for our good—who, when it pleases Him, knows how to pour, unexpectedly, natural impulses into these unnatural men, in order to prevent them. How these people can best be led to the true knowledge of God and of the Mediator Christ, is hard to say. I cannot myself wonder enough who it is that has imposed so much upon your Reverence and many others in the Fatherland, concerning the docility of these people and their good nature, the proper principia religionis and vestigia legis naturae which are said to be among them; in whom I have as yet been able to discover hardly a single good point, except that they do not speak so jeeringly and so scoffingly of the godlike and glorious majesty of their Creator as the Africans dare to do. But it may be because they have no certain knowledge of Him, or scarcely any. If we speak to them of God, it appears to them like a dream; and we are compelled to speak of him, not under the name of Menetto, whom they know and serve—for that would be blasphemy—but of one great, yea, most high, Sackiema, by which name they—living without a king—call him who has the command over several hundred among them, and who by our people are called Sackemakers; and as the people listen, some will begin to mutter and shake their heads as if it were a silly fable; and others, in order to express regard and friendship for such a proposition, will say Orith (That is good). Now, by what means are we to lead this people to salvation, or to make a salutary breach among them? I take the liberty on this point of enlarging somewhat to your Reverence.

Their language, which is the first thing to be employed with them, methinks is entirely peculiar. Many of our common people call it an easy language, which is soon learned, but I am of a contrary opinion. For those who can understand their words to some extent and repeat them, fail greatly in the pronunciation, and speak a broken language, like the language of Ashdod.(1) For these people have difficult aspirates and many guttural letters, which are formed more in the throat than by the mouth, teeth and lips, to which our people not being accustomed, make a bold stroke at the thing and imagine that they have accomplished something wonderful. It is true one can easily learn as much as is sufficient for the purposes of trading, but this is done almost as much by signs with the thumb and fingers as by speaking; and this cannot be done in religious matters. It also seems to us that they rather design to conceal their language from us than to properly communicate it, except in things which happen in daily trade; saying that it is sufficient for us to understand them in that; and then they speak only half sentences, shortened words, and frequently call out a dozen things and even more; and all things which have only a rude resemblance to each other, they frequently call by the same name. In truth it is a made-up, childish language; so that even those who can best of all speak with the savages, and get along well in trade, are nevertheless wholly in the dark and bewildered when they hear the savages talking among themselves.

     (1) An allusion to Nehemiah xiii. 24.

It would be well then to leave the parents as they are, and begin with the children who are still young. So be it. But they ought in youth to be separated from their parents; yea, from their whole nation. For, without this, they would forthwith be as much accustomed as their parents to the heathenish tricks and deviltries, which are kneaded naturally in their hearts by themselves through a just judgment of God; so that having once, by habit, obtained deep root, they would with great difficulty be emancipated therefrom. But this separation is hard to effect. For the parents have a strong affection for their children, and are very loth to part with them; and when they are separated from them, as we have already had proof, the parents are never contented, but take them away stealthily, or induce them to run away. Nevertheless, although it would be attended with some expense, we ought, by means of presents and promises, to obtain the children, with the gratitude and consent of the parents, in order to place them under the instruction of some experienced and godly schoolmaster, where they may be instructed not only to speak, read, and write in our language, but also especially in the fundamentals of our Christian religion; and where, besides, they will see nothing but good examples of virtuous living; but they must sometimes speak their native tongue among themselves in order not to forget it, as being evidently a principal means of spreading the knowledge of religion through the whole nation. In the meantime we should not forget to beseech the Lord, with ardent and continual prayers, for His blessing; who can make things which are unseen suddenly and opportunely to appear; who gives life to the dead; calls that which is not as though it were; and being rich in mercy has pity on whom He will; as He has compassionated us to be His people; and has washed us clean, sanctified us and justified us, when we were covered with all manner of corruption, calling us to the blessed knowledge of His Son, and out of the power of darkness to His marvellous light. And this I regard so much the more necessary, as the wrath and curse of God, resting upon this miserable people, is found to be the heavier. Perchance God may at last have mercy upon them, that the fulness of the heathen may be gradually brought in and the salvation of our God may be here also seen among these wild savage men. I hope to keep a watchful eye over these people, and to learn as much as possible of their language, and to seek better opportunities for their instruction than hitherto it has been possible to find.

As to what concerns myself and my household affairs: I find myself by the loss of my good and helpful partner very much hindered and distressed—for my two little daughters are yet small; maid servants are not here to be had, at least none whom they can advise me to take; and the Angola slave women(1) are thievish, lazy, and useless trash. The young man whom I took with me, I discharged after Whitsuntide, for the reason that I could not employ him out-of-doors at any working of the land, and in-doors he was a burden to me instead of an assistance. He is now elsewhere at service among the farmers.

     (1) Slavery was introduced into New Netherland two or three
     years before this, a number of negroes, some of them from
     Angola, having been imported in 1625 or 1626.

The promise which the Honorable Directors of the Company had made me of some morgens or acres of land for me to sustain myself, instead of a free table which otherwise belonged to me, is void and useless. For their Honors well knew that there are no horses, cows, or laborers to be obtained here for money. Every one is short in these particulars and wants more. I should not mind the expense if the opportunity only offered, for the sake of our own comfort, although there were no profit in it (the Honorable Directors nevertheless remaining indebted to me for as much as the value of a free table), for refreshment of butter, milk, etc., cannot be here obtained; though some is indeed sold at a very high price, for those who bring it in or bespeak it are jealous of each other. So I shall be compelled to pass through the winter without butter and other necessities, which the ships do not bring with them to be sold here. The rations, which are given out here, and charged for high enough, are all hard stale food, such as men are used to on board ship, and frequently not very good, and even so one cannot obtain as much as he desires. I began to get considerable strength, by the grace of the Lord, but in consequence of this hard fare of beans and gray peas, which are hard enough, barley, stockfish, etc., without much change, I cannot fully recuperate as I otherwise would. The summer yields something, but what is that for any one who does not feel well? The savages also bring some things, but one who has no wares, such as knives, beads, and the like, or seewan, cannot come to any terms with them. Though the people trade such things for proper wares, I know not whether it is permitted by the laws of the Company. I have now ordered from Holland almost all necessaries; and I hope to pass through the winter, with hard and scanty food.

The country yields many good things for the support of life, but they are all too unfit and wild to be gathered. Better regulations should be established, and people brought here who have the knowledge and implements for seeking out all kinds of things in their season and for securing and gathering them. No doubt this will gradually be done. In the meanwhile, I wish the Honorable Directors to be courteously enquired of, how I can best have the opportunity to possess a portion of land, and (even at my own expense) to support myself upon it. For as long as there is no more accommodation to be obtained here from the country people, and I shall be compelled to order everything from the Fatherland at great expense and with much risk and trouble, or else live here upon these poor and hard rations alone, it will badly suit me and my children. We want ten or twelve more farmers with horses, cows and laborers in proportion, to furnish us with bread, milk products, and suitable fruits. For there are convenient places which can be easily protected and are very suitable, which can be bought from the savages for trifling toys, or could be occupied without risk, because we have more than enough shares which have never been abandoned but have been always reserved for that purpose.

The business of furs is dull on account of the new war of the Maechibaeys(1) against the Mohicans at the upper end of this river. There have occurred cruel murders on both sides. The Mohicans have fled and their lands are unoccupied and are very fertile and pleasant. It grieves us that there are no people, and that there is no order from the Honorable Directors to occupy the same. Much timber is cut here to carry to the Fatherland, but the vessels are too few to take much of it. They are making a windmill to saw lumber and we also have a gristmill. They bake brick here, but it is very poor. There is good material for burning lime, namely, oyster shells, in large quantities. The burning of potash has not succeeded; the master and his laborers are all greatly disappointed.

     (1) Mohawks.

We are busy now in building a fort of good quarry stone, which is to be found not far from here in abundance. May the Lord only build and watch over our walls. There is good opportunity for making salt, for there are convenient places, the water is salt enough, and there is no want of heat in summer. Besides, what the waters yield, both of the sea and rivers, in all kinds of fish; and what the land possesses in all kinds of birds, game, and woods, with vegetables, fruits, roots, herbs and plants, both for eating and medicinal purposes, and with which wonderful cures can be effected, it would take too long to tell, nor could I yet tell accurately. Your Reverence has already obtained some knowledge thereof and will be able to obtain from others further information. The country is good and pleasant, the climate is healthy, notwithstanding the sudden changes of cold and heat. The sun is very warm, the winter is fierce and severe and continues fully as long as in our country. The best remedy is not to spare the wood, of which there is enough, and to cover one's self with rough skins, which can also easily be obtained.

The harvest, God be praised, is in the barns, and is larger than ever before. There ha been more work put on it than before. The ground is fertile enough to reward labor, but they must clear it well, and till it, just as our lands require. Until now there has been distress because many people were not very industrious, and also did not obtain proper sustenance for want of bread and other necessaries. But affairs are beginning to go better and to put on a different appearance, if only the Directors will send out good laborers and exercise all care that they be maintained as well as possible with what this country produces.

I had intended and promised [to write] to the Honorable Brethren, Rudolphus Petri, Joannes Sylvius and Domine Cloppenburg, who, with your Reverence, were charged with the superintendence of these regions;(1) but as this would take long and the time is short, and my occupations at the present time many, your Reverence will please to give my friendly and kind regards to their Reverences, and to excuse me, on condition that I remain their debtor to fulfill my promise—God willing—the next time. Be pleased also to give my sincere respects to the Reverend Domine Triglandius, and to all the Brethren of the Consistory(2) besides, to all of whom I have not thought it necessary to write particularly at this time, as they are made by me participants in these tidings, and are content to be fed from the hand of your Reverence. If it shall be convenient for your Reverence or any of the Reverence Brethren to write to me a letter concerning matters which might be important in any degree to me, it would be very interesting to me, living here in a wild country without any society of our order, and would be a spur to write more assiduously to the Reverend Brethren concerning what may happen here. And especially do not forget my hearty salutations to the beloved wife and brother-in-law of your Reverence, who have shown me nothing but friendship and kindness above my deserts. If there were anything in which I could in return serve or gratify your Reverence, I should be glad to do so, and should not be delinquent in anything.

     (1) This duty had been committed to them by the synod of
     North Holland.  The preachers named in the text were all at
     this time active in Amsterdam; Sylvius and Triglandius since
     1610, and Johannes Cloppenburg since 1621.

     (2) Of Amsterdam.

Concluding then herewith, and commending myself to your Reverence's favor and to your holy prayers to the Lord,

Reverence and Learned Sir, Beloved Brother in Christ, and Kind Friend:

Heartily commending your Reverence and all of you to Almighty God, to continued health and prosperity, and to eternal Salvation, by His Grace.

From the island of Manhatas in New Netherland, this 11th of August, Anno 1628, by me, your Reverence's very obedient servant in Christ,



     Reference material and source.

     Jogues, Father Isaac.  "Novum Belgium, 1646." In J. Franklin
     Jameson, ed., Narratives of New Netherland, 1609-1664
     (Original Narratives of Early American History).  NY:
     Charles Scribner's Sons, 1909.


At some time before his death in 1800, Father Jean Joseph Casot, the last of the old race of Jesuits in Canada, seeing his order about to expire under the restrictions then imposed by the British government, and determined that all the materials for its history should not perish by reason of his death, made a selection from among its papers, and placed the portion thus preserved in the custody of the Augustinian nuns of the Hotel Dieu of Quebec. There they remained safe till in 1843 they were restored to the Society, then revived and under the charge of Father Martin, as superior of the Jesuits in Canada. Among these papers was the following, in which Father Jogues, at the time of his last sojourn in New France, described New Netherland as he had seen it three years before.

Father Martin presented a transcript of the document, accompanied with an English translation, to the regents of the University of the State of New York. The translation was then published, in 1851, in volume IV. of O'Callaghan's Documentary History of the State of New York (pp. 21-24 of the octavo edition, pp. 15-17 of the edition in quarto). The French original was printed for the first time in 1852 in an appendix to Father Martin's translation of Bressani's Breve Relatione. In 1857, Dr. John Gilmary Shea printed in the Collections of the New York Historical Society, second series, III. 215-219, a translation which, after revision by the present editor, is printed in the following pages. Dr. Shea made separate publication of the French text in his Cramoisy series in 1862, and in the same year published another edition of original and translation. Both likewise appear in Thwaites's Jesuit Relations, XXVIII. 105-115. Dr. Thwaites also gives a facsimile of the first page of the original manuscript which Father Jogues wrote at Three Rivers, with hands crippled by the cruel usage of the Mohawks.


NEW HOLLAND, which the Dutch call in Latin Novum Belgium,—in their own language, Nieuw Nederland, that is to say, New Low Countries—is situated between Virginia and New England. The mouth of the river, which some people call Nassau, or the Great North River, to distinguish it from another which they call the South River, and which I think is called Maurice River on some maps that I have recently seen, is at 40 deg. 30 min. The channel is deep, fit for the largest ships, which ascend to Manhattes Island, which is seven leagues in circuit, and on which there is a fort to serve as the commencement of a town to be built here, and to be called New Amsterdam.

This fort, which is at the point of the island, about five or six leagues from the [river's] mouth, is called Fort Amsterdam; it has four regular bastions, mounted with several pieces or artillery. All these bastions and the curtains were, in 1643, but mounds, most of which had crumbled away, so that one entered the fort on all sides. There were no ditches. For the garrison of the said fort, and another which they had built still further up against the incursions of the savages, their enemies, there were sixty soldiers. They were beginning to face the gates and bastions with stone. Within the fort there was a pretty large stone church,(1) the house of the Governor, whom they called Director General, quite neatly built of brick, the storehouses and barracks.

     (1) See De Vries, p. 212, supra, and the Representation of
     New Netherland.

On the island of Manhate, and in its environs, there may well be four or five hundred men of different sects and nations: the Director General told me that there were men of eighteen different languages; they are scattered here and there on the river, above and below, as the beauty and convenience of the spot invited each to settle: some mechanics however, who ply their trade, are ranged under the fort; all the others were exposed to the incursions of the natives, who in the year 1643, while I was there, actually killed some two score Hollanders, and burnt many houses and barns full of wheat.

The river, which is very straight, and runs due north and south, is at least a league broad before the fort. Ships lie at anchor in a bay which forms the other side of the island, and can be defended by the fort.

Shortly before I arrived there, three large ships of 300 tons each had come to load wheat; two found cargoes, the third could not be loaded, because the savages had burnt a part of the grain. These ships had come from the West Indies, where the West India Company usually keeps up seventeen ships of war.

No religion is publicly exercised but the Calvinist, and orders are to admit none but Calvinists, but this is not observed; for besides the Calvinists there are in the colony Catholics, English Puritans, Lutherans, Anabaptists, here called Mnistes,(1) etc.

     (1) Mennonistes, Mennonites.

When any one comes to settle in the country, they lend him horses, cows, etc.; they give him provisions, all which he returns as soon as he is at ease; and as to the land, after ten years he pays in to the West India Company the tenth of the produce which he reaps.

This country is bounded on the New England side by a river they call the Fresche River,(1) which serves as a boundary between them and the English. The English, however, come very near to them, choosing to hold lands under the Hollanders, who ask nothing, rather than depend on the English Milords, who exact rents, and would fain be absolute. On the other side, southward, towards Virginia, its limits are the river which they call the South River, on which there is also a Dutch settlement,(2) but the Swedes have one at its mouth extremely well supplied with cannons and men.(3) It is believed that these Swedes are maintained by some Amsterdam merchants, who are not satisfied that the West India Company should alone enjoy all the commerce of these parts.(4) It is near this river that a gold mine is reported to have been found.

     (1) Connecticut.

     (2) Fort Nassau, at the mouth of Timber Creek.

     (3) He probably means Fort Nya Elfsborg, on the Jersey side
     of Delaware Bay, below Salem.

     (4) The reference is to aid rendered by Samuel Blommaert, an
     Amsterdam merchant, formerly a director of the Dutch West
     India Company, in fitting out the first Swedish expedition
     in 1637, and in engaging Peter Minuit to command it.
     Blommaert's letters to the Swedish chancellor, Count Axel
     Oxenstjerna, thirty-eight in number, 1635-1641, letters of
     great importance to the history of New Sweden, have just
     been published in the Bijdragen en Mededeelingen of the
     Utrecht Historical Society, vol. XXIX.

See in the work of the Sieur de Laet of Antwerp, the table and chapter on New Belgium, as he sometimes calls it, or the map "Nova Anglia, Novu Belgium et Virginia."(1)

     (1) De Laet, Histoire du Nouveau Monde, table of contents,
     bk. III. ch. XII., and map.

It is about fifty years since the Hollanders came to these parts.(1) The fort was begun in the year 1615; they began to settle about twenty years ago, and there is already some little commerce with Virginia and New England.

     (1) An exaggeration.  There is no evidence of Dutch visits
     before Hudson's.

The first comers found lands fit for use, deserted by the savages, who formerly had fields here. Those who came later have cleared the woods, which are mostly oak. The soil is good. Deer hunting is abundant in the fall. There are some houses built of stone; lime they make of oyster shells, great heaps of which are found here, made formerly by the savages, who subsist in part by that fishery.

The climate is very mild. Lying at 40 2/3 degrees there are many European fruits, as apples, pears, cherries. I reached there in October, and found even then a considerable quantity of peaches.

Ascending the river to the 43d degree, you meet the second [Dutch] settlement, which the tide reaches but does not pass. Ships of a hundred and a hundred and twenty tons can come up to it.

There are two things in this settlement (which is called Renselaerswick, as if to say, settlement of Renselaers, who is a rich Amsterdam merchant)—first, a miserable little fort called Fort Orenge, built of logs, with four or five pieces of Breteuil cannon, and as many pedereros. This has been reserved and is maintained by the West India Company. This fort was formerly on an island in the river; it is now on the mainland, towards the Hiroquois, a little above the said island.

Secondly, a colony sent here by this Renselaers, who is the patron. This colony is composed of about a hundred persons, who reside in some twenty-five or thirty houses built along the river, as each found most convenient. In the principal house resides the patron's agent; the minister has his apart, in which service is performed. There is also a kind of bailiff here, whom they call the seneschal,(1) who administers justice. All their houses are merely of boards and thatched, with no mason work except the chimneys. The forest furnishing many large pines, they make boards by means of their mills, which they have here for the purpose.

     (1) The schout.

They found some pieces of ground all ready, which the savages had formerly cleared, and in which they sow wheat and oats for beer, and for their horses, of which they have great numbers. There is little land fit for tillage, being hemmed in by hills, which are poor soil. This obliges them to separate, and they already occupy two or three leagues of country.

Trade is free to all; this gives the Indians all things cheap, each of the Hollanders outbidding his neighbor, and being satisfied provided he can gain some little profit.

This settlement is not more than twenty leagues from the Agniehronons,(1) who can be reached by land or water, as the river on which the Iroquois lie,(2) falls into that which passes by the Dutch; but there are many low rapids, and a fall of a short half league, where the canoe must be carried.

     (1) The Mohawks.

     (2) Mohawk River.

There are many nations between the two Dutch settlements, which are about thirty German leagues apart, that is, about fifty or sixty French leagues.(1) The Wolves, whom the Iroquois call Agotsaganens,(2) are the nearest to the settlement of Renselaerswick and to Fort Orange. War breaking out some years ago between the Iroquois and the Wolves, the Dutch joined the latter against the former; but four men having been taken and burnt, they made peace. Since then some nations near the sea having killed some Hollanders of the most distant settlement, the Hollanders killed one hundred and fifty Indians, men, women and children, they having, at divers times, killed forty Hollanders, burnt many houses, and committed ravages, estimated at the time that I was there at 200,000 l. (two hundred thousand livres).(3) Troops were raised in New England. Accordingly, in the beginning of winter, the grass being trampled down and some snow on the ground, they gave them chase with six hundred men, keeping two hundred always on the move and constantly relieving one another; so that the Indians, shut up in a large island, and unable to flee easily, on account of their women and children, were cut to pieces to the number of sixteen hundred, including women and children. This obliged the rest of the Indians to make peace, which still continues. This occurred in 1643 and 1644.(4)

     (1) One hundred and fifty English miles.

     (2) The Mohicans.

     (3) Livres tournois or francs, worth two or three times as
     much as francs at the time.

     (4) See The Journal of New Netherland.

     From Three Rivers in New France, August 3, 1646.


     Reference material and source.

     "Journal of New Netherland, 1647." In J. Franklin Jameson,
     ed., Narratives of New Netherland, 1609-1664 (Original
     Narratives of Early American History).  NY: Charles
     Scribner's Sons, 1909.


AN account of the great Indian war which so desolated the province of New Netherland, and of some other actions of Kieft's administration, written from his point of view or that of his supporters, must be regarded as an important piece of evidence. It is the more to be welcomed because on the whole our evidences for New Netherland history come mainly from opponents of the provincial administration and of the West India Company. The archives of the company disappeared almost completely many years ago, the bulk of them having apparently been sold as waste paper not many years before Brodhead went to Holland upon his memorable search. Of Kieft's papers, we may suppose that the greater part were lost when the Princess was shipwrecked on the Welsh coast in September, 1647, and the deposed director and all his possessions were lost.

The document which follows was found by Broadhead in the Royal Library of the Hague. It is still there and is designated No. 78 H 32. I has an outside cover forming a title-page, with ornamental lettering, but it is not the "book ornamented with water-color drawings" which Kieft is known to have sent home. A photograph of the first page, which the editor has procured, does nothing to show the authorship, for it is written in the hand of a professional scrivener. Mr. Van Laer, archivist of the State of New York, assures the editor that it is not the hand of Keift or that of Cornelis van Tienhoven, the provincial secretary.(1) But that it was either inspired by Kieft, or emanated from one of his supporters, is plain not only from its general tone but from its citations of documents. Of the documents to which its marginal notes refer, some of those that we can still trace are noted in the archives of the Netherlands as "from a copy-book of Director Kieft's." The rest, or the original copy-book, may have perished with him.

     (1) Mr. J.H. Innes tells me that it resembles that of
     Augustin Herrman.

The piece was first printed in 1851, in the Documentary History of the State of New York, IV. 1-17. It was printed for the second time in 1856, in Documents relating to the Colonial History of New York, I. 179-188. For the present issue this early and imperfect translation has been revised with great care by Dr. Johannes de Hullu of the National Archives of the Netherlands, who has used for this purpose the original manuscript in the Royal Library.


     Journal of New Netherland, 1647, described in the Years
     1641, 1642, 1643, 1644, 1645 and 1646.

     Brief Description of New Netherland.

NEW NETHERLAND (so called because it was first frequented and peopled by the free Netherlanders) is a province in the most northern part of America lying between New England (which bounds it on the northeast side) and Virginia lying to the southwest of it. The ocean washes its whole length along a clean sandy coast, very similar to that of Flanders or Holland, having except the rivers few bays or harbors for ships; the air is very temperate, inclining to dryness, healthy, little subject to sickness. The four seasons of the year are about as in France, or the Netherlands. The difference is, the spring is shorter because it begins later, the summer is warmer because it comes on more suddenly, the autumn is long and very pleasant, the winter cold and liable to much snow. Two winds ordinarily prevail: the N.W. in winter and the S.W. in summer; the other winds are not common; the N.W. corresponds with our N.E. because it blows across the country from the cold point as our N.E. does. The S.W. is dry and hot like our S.E. because it comes from the warm countries; the N.E. is cold and wet like our S.W. for similar reasons. The character of the country is very like that of France; the land is fairly high and level, especially broken along the coast by small rocky hills unfit for agriculture; farther in the interior are pretty high mountains (generally exhibiting great appearance of minerals) between which flow a great number of small rivers. In some places there are even some lofty ones of extraordinary height, but not many. Its fertility falls behind no province in Europe in excellence of fruits and seeds. There are three principal rivers, to wit: the Fresh, the Mauritius and the South River,(1) all three reasonably wide and deep, adapted for the navigation of large ships twenty-five leagues up and of common barks even to the falls. From the River Mauritius off to beyond the Fresh River stretches a channel that forms an island, forty leagues long, called Long Island, which is the ordinary passage from New England to Virginia, having on both sides many harbors to anchor in, so that people make no difficulty about navigating it in winter. The country is generally covered with trees, except a few valleys and some large flats of seven or eight leagues and less; the trees are as in Europe, viz. Oak, hickory, chestnut, vines. The animals are also of the same species as ours, except lions and some other strange beasts, many bears, abundance of wolves which harm nobody but the small cattle, elks and deer in abundance, foxes, beavers, otters, minks and such like. The birds which are natural to the country are turkeys like ours, swans, geese of three sorts, ducks, teals, cranes, herons, bitterns, two sorts of partridges, four sorts of heath fowls, grouse or pheasants. The river fish is like that of Europe, viz., carp, sturgeon, salmon, pike, perch, roach, eel, etc. In the salt waters are found codfish, haddock, herring and so forth, also abundance of oysters and clams.

     (1) Connecticut, Hudson and Delaware.

The Indians are of ordinary stature, strong and broad shouldered; olive color, light and nimble of foot, subtle of mind, of few words which they previously well consider, hypocritical, treacherous, vindictive; brave and obstinate in self-defence, in time of need right resolute to die. They seem to despise all the torments that can be inflicted on them without once uttering a sigh—go almost naked except a lap which hangs before their private parts, and on the shoulders a deer skin or a mantle, a fathom square, of woven Turkey feathers or peltries sewed together. They now make great use of duffel cloths, blue or red, in consequence of the frequent visits of the Christians. In winter they make shoes of deer skins, manufactured after their fashion. Except their chiefs, they have generally but one wife whom they frequently change according to caprice; she must do all the work, as well corn-planting as wood-cutting and whatever else is to be done. They are divided into various nations. They differ even in language, which would be altogether too long to be narrated in this short space. They dwell together in tribes, mostly of one consanguinity, over which commands a chief who is general and is generally called Sackema, possessing not much authority and little advantage, unless in their dances and other ceremonies. They have no knowledge at all of God, no divine worship, no law, no justice; the strongest does what he pleases and the youths are master. Their weapons are the bow and arrow, in the use of which they are wonderful adepts. They live by hunting and fishing in addition to maize which the women plant.


The subjects of the Lords States General had for a considerable time frequented this country solely for the purpose of the fur trade. Then, in the year 1623, the Chartered West India Company caused four forts to be erected in that country—two on the River Mauritius and one on each of the other [rivers]; the biggest stands on the point where the Mauritius River begins, and the other one,(1) mentioned heretofore, which their Honors named New Amsterdam; and six and thirty leagues upwards another called Orange. That on the South River is called Nassauw and that on Fresh River, the Good Hope. The Company has since continually maintained garrisons there. In the beginning their Honors had sent a certain number of settlers thither, and at great expense had three sawmills erected, which never realised any profit of consequence, on account of their great heaviness, and a great deal of money was expended for the advancement of the country, but it never began to be settled until every one had liberty to trade with the Indians, inasmuch as up to this time no one calculated to remain there longer than the expiration of his bounden time, and therefore they did not apply themselves to agriculture. Yea, even the colony of Renselaerwyck was of little consequence; but as soon as it was permitted, many servants, who had some money coming to them from the Company, applied for their discharge, built houses and formed plantations, spread themselves far and wide, each seeking the best land, and to be nearest the Indians in order thus to trade with them easily, others bought barks with which to trade goods at the North and at the South, and as the Lords Directors gave free passage from Holland thither, that also caused some to come. On the other hand, the English came also from both Virginia and New England. Firstly, many servants, whose time with their masters had expired, on account of the good opportunity to plant tobacco here, afterwards families and finally entire colonies, forced to quit that place both to enjoy freedom of conscience and to escape from the insupportable government of New England and because many more commodities were easier to be obtained here than there, so that in place of seven farms and two or three plantations which were here, one saw thirty farms, as well cultivated and stocked with cattle as in Europe, and a hundred plantations which in two or three [years] would have become well arranged farms. For after the tobacco was out of the ground, corn was thrown in there without ploughing. In winter men were busy preparing new lands. Five English colonies which by contract had [settled] under us on equal terms as the others. Each of these was in appearance not less than a hundred families strong, exclusive of the colony of Rensselaers Wyck which is prospering, with that of Myndert Meyndertsz(2) and Cornelis Melyn,(3) who began first, also the village New Amsterdam around the fort, a hundred families, so that there was appearance of producing supplies in a year for fourteen thousand souls, without straining the country, and had there been no want of laborers or farm servants twice as much could have been raised, considering that fifty lasts of rye and fifty lasts of peas still remained over around the fort after a large quantity had been burnt and destroyed by the Indians, who in a short time nearly brought this country to nought and had well nigh destroyed this good hope, in manner following—

     (1) East River, apparently.

     (2) The colony of Hackensack, belonging to Meyndert
     Meyndertsen van Keren and others.

     (3) Cornelis Melyn's colony embraced all Staten Island
     except De Vries's plantation.


We have already stated that the cause of the population of New Netherland was the liberty to trade with the Indians. We shall now prove that it also is the cause of its ruin, producing two contrary effects, and that not without reason as shall appear from the following.

This liberty then which in every respect should have been most gratefully received, of which use should have been made as of a precious gift, was very soon perverted to a great abuse. For every one thought that now the time had come to make his fortune, withdrew himself from his comrade, as if holding him suspect and the enemy of his gains, and sought communication with the Indians from whom it appeared his profit was to be derived. That created first a division of power of dangerous consequence, in opposition to Their High Mightinesses' motto(1)—produced altogether too much familiarity with the Indians which in a short time brought forth contempt, usually the father of hate—not being satisfied with merely taking them into their houses in the customary manner, but attracting them by extraordinary attention, such as admitting them to the table, laying napkins before them, presenting wine to them and more of that kind of thing, which they did not receive like Esop's man, but as their due and desert, insomuch that they were not content but began to hate when such civilities were not shewn them. To this familiarity and freedom succeeded another evil. As the cattle usually roamed through the woods without a herdsman, they frequently came into the corn of the Indians which was unfenced on all sides, committing great damage there; this led to frequent complaints on their part and finally to revenge on the cattle without sparing even the horses, which were valuable in this country. Moreover many of ours took the Indians into service, making use of them in their houses and thus, whilst they were being employed, laying open before those Indians our entire circumstances; and sometimes becoming weary of their work, they took leg-bail and stole much more than the amount of their wages. This freedom caused still great mischief, for the inhabitants of Renselaerswyck who were as many traders as persons, perceiving that the Mohawks were craving for guns, which some of them had already received from the English, paying for each as many as twenty beavers and for a pound of powder as much as ten to twelve guilders, they came down in greater numbers than was their wont where people were well supplied with guns, purchasing these at a fair price, thus realizing great profit; afterwards they obtained some from their Heer Patroon for their self-defence in time of need, as we suppose. This extraordinary gain was not kept long a secret, the traders coming from Holland soon got scent of it, and from time to time brought over great quantities, so that the Mohawks in a short time were seen with firelocks, powder and lead in proportion. Four hundred armed men knew how to use their advantage, especially against their enemies dwelling along the river of Canada,(2) against whom they have now achieved many profitable forays where before they derived little advantage; this causes them also to be respected by the surrounding Indians even as far as the sea coast, who must generally pay them tribute, whereas, on the contrary, they were formerly obliged to contribute to these. On this account the Indians endeavored no less to procure guns, and through the familiarity which existed between them and our people, they began to solicit them for guns and powder, but as such was forbidden on pain of death and it could not remain secret in consequence of the general conversation, they could not obtain them. This added to the previous contempt greatly augmented the hatred which stimulated them to conspire against us, beginning first by insults which they everywhere indiscreetly uttered railing at us as Materiotty (that is to say) the cowards—that we might indeed be something on water, but of no account on land, and that we had neither a great sachem nor chiefs.

     (1) Eendracht maakt macht, union makes strength.

     (2) Father Jogues speaks more than once of the ill effects
     of the Dutch practice of selling fire-arms to the Indians.

     [Here two pages are wanting.]

...he of Witqueschreek living northeast of the island Manhatans, perpetrated another murderous deed in the house of an old man,(1) a wheelwright, with whom he was acquainted (having been in his son's service) being well received and supplied with food, pretending a desire to buy something and whilst the old man was taking from the chest the cloth the Indian wanted the latter took up an ax and cut his head off, further plundering the house, and ran away. This outrage obliged the Director to demand satisfaction from the sachem, who refused it, saying that he was sorry that twenty Christians had not been murdered(2) and that this Indians had only avenged the death of his uncle who, it was alleged, had been slain by the Dutch twenty-one years before. Whereupon all the commonalty were called together by the Director to consider this affair, who all appeared and presently twelve men delegated from among them(3) answered the propositions, and resolved at once on war should the murderer be refused; that the attack should be made on [the Indians] in the autumn when they were hunting; meanwhile an effort should be again made by kindness to obtain justice, which was accordingly several times sought for but in vain.

     (1) Claes Smits Rademaker.

     (2) "Note A [in the original].  Capt. Patricx letter 21
     August 1641."  I do not find this letter in print.  Captain
     Patrick, formerly a soldier under the Prince of Orange, was
     one of the early members of the colony of Massachusetts Bay,
     but had left that colony in 1639 and settled with his Dutch
     wife at Greenwich.  Concerning his death, at the hands of a
     Dutch Trooper, see Winthrop, II. 153-154, in this series.

     (3) "Note B.  Their answer and resolution dated the 29th
     August, 1641."  This document, "from Director Kieft's copy-
     book," is in N.Y. Col. Doc., I. 415.

The time being come many difficulties were alleged and operations were postponed until the year 1642, when it was resolved to avenge the perpetrated outrage. Thereupon spies looked up the Indians who lay in their dwelling-place suspecting nothing, and eighty men were detailed under the command of Ensign Hendrick van Dyck and sent thither. The guide being come with the troops in the neighborhood of the Indian wigwams lost his way in consequence of the darkness of the night. The ensign became impatient, and turned back without having accomplished anything. The journey, however, was not without effect, for the Indians who remarked by the trail made by our people in marching that they had narrowly escaped discovery, sought for peace which was granted them on condition that they should either deliver up the murderer or inflict justice themselves; this they promised, but without any result.

Some weeks after this Miantonimo, principal sachem of Sloops Bay,(1) came here with one hundred men, passing through all the Indian villages(2) soliciting them to a general war against both the English and the Dutch,(3) whereupon some of the neighboring Indians attempted to set our powder on fire and to poison the Director or to inchant him by their devilry, as their ill will was afterwards made manifest as well in fact as by report. Those of Hackingsack, otherwise called Achter Col, had with their neighbors killed an Englishman, a servant of one David Pietersen, and a few days after shot dead in an equally treacherous manner a Dutchman, who sat roofing a house in the colony of Meyndert Meyndertz,(4) which was established there against he advice of the Director and will of the Indians, and which by the continual damage which their cattle committed caused no little dissatisfaction to the Indians, and contributed greatly to the war. The commonalty began then to be alarmed, and not without reason, having the Indians daily in their houses. The murderers were frequently demanded, either living or dead, even with a promise of reward; they always returned a scoffing answer laughing at us. Finally, the commonalty, very much displeased with the Director, upbraided him for conniving with the Indians, and [declared] that an attempt was making to sell Christian blood;(5) yea, that the will of the entire commonalty was surrendered to him, and in case he would not avenge blood they should do it themselves, be the consequences what they might. The Director advised Pacham the sachem,(6) who interested himself in this matter, warning him that we should wait no longer inasmuch as no satisfaction had been given.

     (1) I.e., of the Narragansetts.

     (2) "Note C.  The English Manifest, Page 2."  This means
     that now rare pamphlet, A Declaration of Former Passages
     and Proceedings betwixt the English and the Narrowgansets
     (Cambridge, 1645), published by order of the Commissioners
     of the United Colonies.  See its text, and the particular
     passage here referred To, in Records of Plymouth Colony,
     IX. 50.

     (3) "Note D.  Capt. Patricx letter dated 2 Jan'y, 1642."  I
     have nowhere seen this letter.

     (4) "Note E.  The order in the Director's letter and in the
     deposition thereupon."  See De Vries, p. 215, supra.

     (5) "Note F.  Resolve of the 12 delegates dated 21 Jan'y,
     1642." See N.Y. Col. Doc., I. 414-415.

     (6) Of the Haverstraw Indians.

Meanwhile God wreaked vengeance on those of Witquescheck without our knowledge through the Mahicanders dwelling below Fort Orange, who slew seventeen of them, and made prisoners of many women and children. The remainder fled through a deep snow to the Christians' houses on and around the island Manhatens. They were most humanely received being half dead of cold and hunger; they supported them for fourteen days, even corn was sent to them by the Director. A short time after, another panic seized the Indians which caused them to fly to divers places in the vicinity of the Dutch. This opportunity to avenge the innocent blood induced some of the Twelve Men to represent to the Director that it was now time, whereupon they received for answer that they should put their request in writing which was done by three in the name of them all,(1) by a petition to be allowed to attack those of Hackingsack in two divisions—on the Manhatens and on Pavonia. This was granted after a protracted discussion too long to be reported here, so that the design was executed that same night; the burghers slew those who lay a small league from the fort, and the soldiers those at Pavonia, at which two places about eighty Indians were killed and thirty taken prisoners. Next morning before the return of the troops a man and a woman were shot at Pavonia who had come through curiosity either to look at or plunder the dead; the soldiers had rescued a young child which the woman had in her arms.

     (1) "Note G.  Their Petition dated 24th Feb. 1643."  N.Y.
     Col. Doc., I. 193.  Its true date was February 22.

The Christians residing on Long Island also requested by petition(1) to be allowed to attack and slay the Indians thereabout; which was refused, as these especially had done us no harm, and shewed us every friendship—(yea, had even voluntarily killed some of the Raritans, our enemies, hereinbefore mentioned). Yet notwithstanding(2) some Christians attempted secretly with two waggons to steal maize from these Indians, out of their cabins, which they perceiving endeavored to prevent, thereupon three Indians were shot dead, two houses standing opposite the fort were in return forthwith set on fire. The Director knowing nought of this sent at once some persons to enquire the reason of it. The Indians showing themselves afar off, called out—"Be ye our friends? ye are mere corn stealers"—forth with behaving as enemies. This induced one of the proprietors of the burnt houses to upbraid therewith one Maryn Adriaenzen, who at his request had led the freemen in the attack on the Indians, and who being reinforced by an English troop had afterwards undertaken two bootless expeditions in the open field. Imagining that the Director had accused him, he being one of the signers of the petition he determined to revenge himself.(3) With this resolution he proceeded to the Director's house armed with a pistol, loaded and cocked, and a hanger by his side; coming unawares into the Director's room, he presents his pistol at him, saying, "What devilish lies art thou reporting of me?" but by the promptness of one of the bystanders, the shot was prevented, and he himself immediately confined. A short time after, Marine's man and another entered the fort, each carrying a loaded gun and pistol. The first fired at the Director who having had notice withdrew towards his house, the balls passing into the wall alongside the door behind him; the sentinel firing immediately on him who had discharged his gun, brought him down. Shortly afterwards some of the commonalty collected before the Director, riotously demanding the prisoner; they were answered that their request should be presented in order and in writing, which about 25 men did; they therein asked the Director to pardon the criminal. The matters were referred to them to decide conscientiously thereupon, in such wise that they immediately went forth, without hearing parties or seeing any complaints or documents. They condemn him in a fine of five hundred guilders, and to remain three months away from the Manhatens, but on account of the importance of the affair and some considerations, it was resolved to send the criminal with his trial to Holland, which...(4)

     (1) "Note H.  Their petition and the answer thereto, dated
     27 Feb. 1643."  Printed in N.Y. Col. Doc., I. 416-417.

     (2) "Note I.  Contains the information thereupon."

     (3) "Note K.  His trial therefor."

     (4) Gap in manuscript.

In this confusion mingled with great terror passed the winter away; the season came for driving out the cattle; this obliged many to desire peace. On the other hand the Indians, seeing also that it was time to plant maize, were not less solicitous for peace, so that after some negotiation, peace was concluded in May Ao. 1643 [more] in consequence of the importunity of some than because it was generally expected that it would be durable.

The Indians kept still after this peace, associating daily with our people; yea, even the greatest chiefs came to visit the Director. Meanwhile Pachem, a crafty man, ran through all the villages urging the Indians to a general massacre. To this was added moreoever that certain Indians called Wappingers, dwelling sixteen leagues up the river, with whom we never had any the least trouble, seized on a boat coming from Fort Orange wherein were only two men, and full four hundred beavers. This great booty stimulated(1) others to join them, so that they seized two boats more, intending to overhaul the fourth also, from which they were driven off with the loss of six Indians. Nine Christians including two women were murdered in these captured barks, one woman and two children remaining prisoners. The other Indians, so soon as their maize was ripe, were likewise roused, and through semblance of selling beavers killed an old man and an old woman, leaving another man with five wounds, who however fled to the fort in a boat with a little child on his arm, who in the first outbreak had lost father and mother, and now grandfather and grandmother, being thus twice through God's merciful blessing rescued from the hands of the Indians, before it was two years old. Nothing was now heard but murders, most of which were committed under pretence of coming to put the Christians on their guard.

     (1) "Note M.  Their acknowledgement made before the English
     16 January, 1643, English style."

Finally they took the field and attacked the farms at Pavonia. There were here at the time two ships of war and a privateer who saved considerable cattle and grain. Nevertheless it was not possible to prevent the destruction of four farms on Pavonia, which were burnt, not by open force, but by stealthily creeping through the brush with fire in hand, thus igniting the roofs which are all either of reed or straw; one covered with plan was saved at that time.

The commonalty were called together; they were sore distressed. They chose eight, in the stead of the previous twelve(1), persons to aid in consulting for the best; but the occupation every one had to take care of his own, prevented anything beneficial being adopted at that time—nevertheless it was resolved that as many Englishmen as were to be got in the country should be enlisted, who were indeed now proposing to depart; the third part of these were to be paid by the commonalty; this promise was made by the commonalty but was not followed by the pay.

     (1) "Note N.  Resolve of 13 Sept'r 1643."  N.Y. Col. Doc.,
     I. 194.

Terror increasing all over the land the Eight Men assembled, drew(1) up a proposal in writing wherein they asked that delegates should be sent to the north, to our English neighbors, to request an auxiliary force of one hundred and fifty men, for whose pay a bill of exchange should be given for twenty-five thousand guilders, and that New Netherland should be so long mortgaged to the English as security for the payment thereof. One of the most influential among the Eight Men had by letter(2) enforced by precedents previously endeavored to persuade the Director to this course, as they had also a few days before Resolved(3) that the provisions destined for Curacao should be unloaded from the vessels and the major portion of the men belonging to them detained, and to send the ships away thus empty. This was not yet agreed to nor considered expedient by the Director.

     [Here four pages are wanting.]

An expedition was despatched consisting of —— regular soldiers] under the command of the sergeant,(4) forty burghers under their Captain Jochem Pietersen,(5) thirty-five Englishmen under Lieutenant Baxter,(6) but to prevent all confusion, Councillor La Montagne(7) was appointed general. Coming to Staten Island, they marched the whole night, finding the houses empty and abandoned by the Indian; they got five or six hundred skepels of corn, burning the remainder without accomplishing anything else.

     (1) "Note O.  Dated 6th Octob. 1643."

     (2) "Note P.  Dated 9th March, 1643."

     (3) "Note Q.  In their resolution 30th September, 1643."

     (4) Pieter Cock.

     (5) Jochem Pietersen Kuyter, one of the Twelve Men and of
     the Eight Men.

     (6) George Baxter, an exile from New England, now English
     secretary under Kieft.  The number of English colonists in
     New Netherland, especially on Long Island, was rapidly

     (7) Dr. Johannes la Montagne, a Hugeunot physician, who with
     Kieft constituted the council of the province.

Mayane, a sachem, residing eight leagues northeast of us, between Greenwich (that lies within our jurisdiction) and Stantfort,(1) which is English,—a bold Indian who alone dared to attack with bow and arrows three Christians armed with guns, one of whom he shot dead—whilst engaged with the other, was killed by the third Christian and his head brought hither. It was then known and understood for the first time, that he and his Indians had done as much injury, though we never had any difference with him. Understanding further that they lay in their houses very quiet and without suspicion on account of the neighborhood of the English, it was determined to hunt them up and attack them, and one hundred and twenty men were went thither under the preceding command. The people landed at Greenwich in the evening from three yachts, marched the entire night but could not find the Indians, either because the guide brought this about on purpose, as was believed, or because he had himself gone astray. Retreat was made to the yachts in order to depart as secretly as possible. Passing through Stantfort some Englishmen were encountered who offered to lead ours to the place where some Indians were. Thereupon four scouts were sent in divers directions to discover them, who at their return reported that the Indians had some notice of our people by the salute which the Englishmen gave us, but without any certainty, whereupon five and twenty of the bravest men were at once commanded to proceed thither to the nearest village. With great diligence they made the journey, killing eighteen or twenty Indians, capturing an old man, two women and some children, to exchange for ours. The other troops found the huts empty, and further came hither with the yachts.

     (1) Stamford.

The old Indian captured above having promised to lead us to Wetquescheck, which consisted of three castles, sixty-five men were despatched under Baxter and Pieter Cock, who found them empty, though thirty Indians could have stood against two hundred soldiers since the castles were constructed of plank five inches thick, nine feet high, and braced around with thick balk full of port-holes. Our people burnt two, reserving the third for a retreat. Marching eight or nine leagues further, they discovered nothing but some huts, which they could not surprize as they were discovered. They came back having killed only one or two Indians, taken some women and children prisoners and burnt much corn. Meanwhile we were advised that Pennewitz,(1) one of the oldest and most experienced Indians in the country, and who in the first conspiracy had given the most dangerous advice—to wit, that they should wait and not attack the Dutch until all suspicion had been lulled, and then divide themselves equally through the houses of the Christians and slaughter all these in one night—was secretly waging war against us with his tribe, who killed some of our people and set fire to the houses. It was therefore resolved to send thither a troop of one hundred and twenty men. The burghers under their company, the English under the Sergeant Major Van der Hyl(2) (who within a few days had offered his services and was accepted), the veteran soldiers under Pieter Cock, all under the command of Mr. La Montagne, proceed hence in three yachts, land in Scouts Bay on Long Island,(3) and march towards Heemstede(4) (where there is an English colony dependent on us.) Some sent forward in advance dexterously killed an Indian who was out as a spy. Our force was divided into two divisions—Van der Hil with fourteen English towards the smallest, and eighty men towards the largest village named Matsepe,(5) both which were very successful, killing about one hundred and twenty men; of ours one man remained on the field and three were wounded.

     (1) Chief of the Canarsee tribe, in western Long Island.

     (2) John Underhill, whose unctuous piety and profligate life
     have an important place in Winthrop and other New England
     historians.  With Captain John Mason he had the leading part
     in the crushing of the Pequots in 1637.  Banished from
     Massachusetts and restored, this amusing reprobate had gone
     to the Dutch, "having good offers made him by the Dutch
     governor (he speaking the Dutch tongue and his wife a Dutch
     woman)," but had now settled at Stamford.  Later he lived at
     Flushing and at Oyster Bay, where he died in 1672.

     (3) Now called Manhasset Bay.

     (4) Now Hempstead, Long Island, where early in 1644 Robert
     Fordham and other English from Stamford had formed a colony
     under New Netherland jurisdiction.

     (5) Mespath, now Newtown, Long Island.

     (6) Stamford.

Our forces being returned from this expedition, Capt. Van der Hil was despatched to Stantfort,(1) to get some information there of the Indians. He reported that the guide who had formerly served us, and was supposed to have gone astray in the night, had now been in great danger of his life among the Indians, of whom there were about five hundred together. He offered to lead us there, to shew that the former mischance was not his fault. One hundred and thirty men were accordingly despatched under the aforesaid Genl Van der Hil and Hendrick van Dyck, ensign. They embarked in three yachts, and landed at Greenwich, where they were obliged to pass the night by reason of the great snow and storm. In the morning they marched northwest up over stony hills over which some must creep. In the evening about eight o'clock they came within a league of the Indians, and inasmuch as they should have arrived too early and had to cross two rivers, one of two hundred feet wide and three deep, and that the men could not afterwards there rest in consequence of the cold, it was determined to remain there until about ten o'clock. The order was given as to the mode to be observed in attacking the Indians—they marched forward towards the houses, the latter being set up in three rows, street fashion, each row eighty paces long, in a low recess protected by the hills, affording much shelter from the northwest wind. The moon was then at the full, and threw a strong light against the hills so that many winter days were not brighter than it then was. On arriving there the Indians were wide awake, and on their guard, so that ours determined to charge and surround the houses, sword in hand. They demeaned themselves as soldiers and deployed in small bands, so that we got in a short time one dead and twelve wounded. They were also so hard pressed that it was impossible for one to escape. In a brief space of time there were counted one hundred and eighty dead outside the houses. Presently none durst come forth, keeping within the houses, discharging arrows through the holes. The general perceived that nothing else was to be done, and resolved with Sergeant Major Van der Hil, to set the huts on fire, whereupon the Indians tried every means of escape, not succeeding in which they returned back to the flames preferring to perish by the fire than to die by our hands. What was most wonderful is, that among this vast collection of men, women and children not one was heard to cry or to scream. According to the report of the Indians themselves the number then destroyed exceeded five hundred. Some say, full seven hundred, among whom were also twenty-five Wappingers, our God having collected together there the greater number of our enemies, to celebrate one of their festivals in their manner, from which escaped no more than eight men in all, and three of them were severely wounded.

The fight ended, several fires were built in consequence of the great cold. The wounded, fifteen in number, among whom was the general, were dressed, and the sentinels being posted the troops bivouacked there for the remainder of the night. On the next day, the party set out very early in good order, so as to arrive at Stantfort in the evening. They marched with great courage over that wearisome range of hills, God affording extraordinary strength to the wounded, some of whom were badly hurt; and came in the afternoon to Stantfort after a march of two days and one night and little rest. The English received our people in a very friendly manner, affording them every comfort. In two days they reached here. A thanksgiving was proclaimed on their arrival.

[The remainder is wanting.]

     (1) Stamford.


     Reference material and sources.

     Adriaen van der Donck, The Representation of New Netherland,
     1650.  In J. Franklin Jameson, ed., Narratives of New
     Netherland, 1609-1664 (Original Narratives of Early American
     History).  NY: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1909.


The fussy incompetence of Kieft and the disastrous results of the Indian war he had aroused led at last to his removal, and in May, 1647, a new director-general arrived, Petrus Stuyvesant, who had made a good record as governor of Curacao in the West Indies. Stuyvesant, the last of the Dutch governors, was a man of character, brave, honest, capable and energetic; but he was proud, headstrong and tyrannical, and had such high notions of a governor's prerogative that from the first he conceived a prejudice against the opponents of Kieft, and presently Kuyter and Melyn were condemned to severe punishment for attempting to bring the latter to justice.

The new director-general was bent on pursuing a vigorous policy toward encroaching English and Swedish neighbors, on repressing the high claims of the patroon's officers at Rensselaerswyck, on putting the province in good condition for defence, on suppressing illegal trading, especially the supplying of fire-arms to the Indians, and on regulating with a strong hand all the doings of his small body of subjects. But such a policy costs money, and to obtain it by taxation he found himself compelled in August, 1647, like many another arbitrary ruler, to summon reluctantly the representatives of the people. Carefully as the functions of the Nine Men were limited, they constituted a permanent element in the governmental system, as the Twelve Men and Eight Men had not. It was inevitable that sooner or later they should become the mouthpiece of popular discontent, which was rapidly increasing under the unprosperous condition of the province and the burdensome taxes, customs and other restrictions imposed upon its economic life.

In December, 1648, the board was partly renewed. One of the new members, Adriaen van der Donck, a lawyer from Breda, who from 1641 to 1646 had been schout for the patroon at Renssellaerwyck, soon became the leading spirit of the new board. Their sense of popular grievances increasing, they planned to send a deputation to the mother country to remonstrate. Stuyvesant opposed, arrested Van der Donck, seized some of his papers, and expelled him from the board. Nevertheless, a bold memorial to the States General was prepared, and was signed on July 26, 1649, "in the name and on the behalf of the commonalty of New Netherland," by Van der Donck and ten others, present or former members of the board of Nine Men. In this memorial, which is printed in Documents relating to the Colonial History of New York, I. 259-261, the representatives request the Dutch government to enact measures for the encouragement of emigration to the province, to grant "suitable municipal [or civil] government, ...somewhat resembling the laudable government of the Fatherland," to accord greater economic freedom, and to settle with foreign governments those disputes respecting colonial boundaries and jurisdiction the constant agitation of which so unsettled the province and impeded its growth.

The following document accompanied the memorial, bearing date two days later, July 28, 1649, and was signed by the same eleven men. It is considered probable that Adriaen van der Donck was its main author. Its first part, descriptive of the province, reads like a preliminary sketch for his Beschryvinge van Nieuw-Nederlant ("Description of New Netherland"), a very interesting work published at Amsterdam six years later (1665, second edition 1656), and of which a translation appears in the Collections of the New York Historical Society, second series, I. 125-242.

With respect to the remaining, or political portion of its contents, it is only fair for the reader to remember that it is a body of ex parte statements, and should be compared with those made on behalf of the administration by Secretary van Tienhoven in his Answer, the document immediately following this. Stuyvesant, whatever his faults of temper—love of autocratic power, lack of sympathy with the life of a community already far from austere, vindictiveness even—conceived of his province as a political community, not solely as a commercial possession, and honestly tried to govern it with an eye to its own best interest. The directors, moreover, could truthfully say that many of their narrowest actions were prescribed by their instructions from the West India Company. While the States General were often capable of taking a statesmanlike view of New Netherland, and as it lost control of the former found itself involved in greater and greater financial embarrassments, which made it increasingly difficult to do justice to the latter. We may also set down on the credit side of the account that though the administration was slow to concede representative institutions to the province, it did not a little to organize local self-government, Kieft granting village rights, with magistrates and local courts of justice, to Hampstead in 1644, to Flushing in 1645, to Brooklyn in 1646, while Stuyvesant bestowed such rights on a dozen towns during his seventeen years' rule and gave New Amsterdam a somewhat restricted municipal government in 1653.

Of those whose signatures follow Van der Donck's at the end of the Representation, Augustin Herrman was a Bohemian of Prague, who had served in Wallenstein's army, had come out to New Netherland in 1633 as agent of a mercantile house of Amsterdam, and had become an influential merchant. A man of various accomplishments, he probably made the drawing of New Amsterdam which is reproduced at the foot of Van der Donck's map in this volume. Later he made for Lord Baltimore a fine map of Maryland, and received as his reward the princely estate of Bohemia Manor. Arnoldus van Hardenberg, another merchant, had been a victim of judicial oppression by both Kieft and Stuyvesant. Jacob van Couwenhoven had come out in 1633 and resided at first at Rensselaerswyck; he was afterward of note as speculator and brewer in New Amsterdam. Oloff Stevensz van Cortlant had been store-keeper for the Company and deacon of the church; later he was burgomaster of New Amsterdam. Michiel Jansz and Thomas Hall were farmers, the latter, the first English settler in New York State, having come to Manhattan as a deserter from George Holmes's abortive expedition of 1635 against Fort Nassau on South River. Elbert Elertsz was a weaver, Hendrick Kip a tailor. Govert Loockermans, on the other hand, brother-in-law to both Couwenhoven and Cortlandt, was the chief merchant and Indian trader of the province, often in partnership with Isaac Allerton the former Pilgrim of Plymouth. Lastly, Jan Everts Bout, a farmer, had formerly been superintendent for Pauw at Pavonia. Characterizations of these men, by an unfriendly hand, may be seen at the end of Van Tienhoven's Answer to this Representation.

Three of the signers, Van der Donck, Couwenhoven and Bout, were deputed to go to the Netherlands and present the Representation to the States General, while Stuyvesant sent Secretary van Tienhoven to counteracat their efforts. The Voluminous papers which both parties presented to their High Mightinesses were referred to a committee, which in April, 1650, submitted a draft of a reformed and more liberal government for the province. The delegates caused their Representation to be printed, in a pamphlet of forty-nine pages, now very rare, under the title, Vertoogh van Nieu-Neder-Land, Weghens de Ghelegentheydt, Vruchtbaerheydt, en Soberen Staet desselfs (Hague, 1650), i.e., "Representation of New Netherland, concerning its Location, Productiveness and Poor Condition." Much discussion was aroused. "The name of New Netherland," wrote the Amsterdam chamber of the Company to Stuyvesant, "was scarcely ever mentioned before, and now it would seem as if heaven and earth were interested in it." So effective an exposition of the colony's value and of its misgovernment could not fail to awaken consideration and sympathy. Nevertheless, the company, aided by the Answer which Van Tienhoven submitted in November, 1650, were able to ride out the storm, and to temporize until the outbreak of the war of 1652-1654 with England put a new face on colonial affairs. A few concessions were made—the export duty on tobacco was taken off, and a municipal government allowed to New Amsterdam, now a town of 700 or 800 inhabitants (1653). But no serious alteration in the provincial government resulted. "Our Grand Duke of Muscovy," wrote one of Stuyvesant's subordinates to Van der Donck, "keeps on as of old." Disaffection among the Dutch settlers never ceased till the English conquest, though on the other hand the English settlers on Long Island were much better disposed toward Stuyvesant's government, and were treated by him with more favor.

Van der Donck's two companions returned to New Netherland before long. He, however, remained in the old country until the summer of 1653, occupied with the business of his mission, with legal studies, taking the degree of doctor of laws at he University of Leyden, and with the preparation of his Beschryvinge van Nieus-Nederlant. The States General gave him a copyright for it in May, 1653, but the first edition was not published till 1655. In that year the author died, leaving to his widow his estate, or "colonie," which he called Colendonck. The name of Yonkers, where it was situated, perpetuates his title of gentility (Jonkheer van der Donck).

The original manuscript of the Representation is still preserved in the archives of the Netherlands, and a translation of it was printed in 1856 in Documents relating to the Colonial History of New York, I. 271-318, and reprinted in Pennsylvania Archives, second series, V. 124-170. A translation of the printed tract, the text of which differs but very slightly from that of the manuscript, was made by Hon. Henry C. Murphy and printed in 1849 in the Collections of the New York Historical Society, second series, II. 251-329. It exists also in a separate form as a pamphlet, and, combined with the Breeden Raedt, in a volume privately printed in an edition of 125 copies by Mr. James Lenox. It is this translation which, revised by Professor A. Clinton Crowell, is printed in the following pages.


The Representation of New Netherland concerning its Location, Productiveness, and Poor Condition.

AMONG all the people in the world, industrious in seeking out foreign lands, navigable waters and trade, those who bear the name of Netherlanderse, will very easily hold their place with the first, as is sufficiently known to all those who have in any wise saluted the threshold of history, and as will also be confirmed by the following relation. The country of which we propose to speak, was first discovered in the year of our Lord 1609, by the ship Half Moon, of which Hendrik Hutson was master and supercargo—at the expense of the chartered East India Company, though in search of a different object. It was subsequently called New Netherland by our people, and very justly, as it was first discovered and possessed by Netherlanders, and at their cost; so that even at the present day, those natives of the country who are so old as to recollect when the Dutch ships first came here, declare that when they saw them, they did not know what to make of them, and could not comprehend whether they came down from Heaven, or were of the Devil. Some among them, when the first one arrived, even imagined it to be a fish, or some monster of the sea, and accordingly a strange report of it spread over the whole land. We have also heard the savages frequently say, that they knew nothing of any other part of the world, or any other people than their own, before the arrival of the Netherlanders. For these reasons, therefore, and on account of the similarity of climate, situation and fertility, this place is rightly called New Netherland. It is situated on the northerly coast of America, in the latitude of 38, 39, 40, 41 and 42 degrees, or thereabouts, coast-wise. It is bounded on the northeast by New England, and on the southwest by Virginia. The coast runs nearly southwest and northeast, and is washed by the ocean. On the north is the river of Canada, a large river running far into the interior. The northwest side is still partially unknown.

The land is naturally fruitful, and capable of supporting a large population, if it were judiciously allotted according to location. The air is pleasant here, and more temperate than in the Netherlands. The winds are changeable, and blow from all points, but generally from the southwest and northwest; the former prevailing in summer, and the latter in winter, at times very sharply, but constituting, nevertheless, the greatest blessing to the country as regards the health of the people, for being very strong and pure, it drives far inland or consumes all damps and superfluous moisture. The coast is generally clean and sandy, the beach detached and broken into islands. Eastward from the North River lies Long Island, about forty leagues in length, forming a fine wide river, which falls at either end into the ocean, and affording a very convenient passage between the shores which is protected from the dangers of the sea by a great number of good bays and other places of anchorage, so that vessels even in winter can readily pass east and west. Towards the south approaching the South River, there are several inlets, but they are muddy and sandy, though after proper experiments they could be used. Inside these again there are large streams and meadows, but the waters are for the most part shallow. Along the seacoast the land is generally sandy or gravelly, not very high, but tolerably fertile, so that for the most part it is covered over with beautiful trees. The country is rolling in many places, with some high mountains, and very fine flats and maize lands, together with large meadows, salt and fresh, all making very fine hay land. It is overgrown with all kinds of trees, standing without order, as in other wildernesses, except that the maize lands, plains and meadows have few or no trees, and these with little pains might be made into good arable land.

The seasons are the same as in the Netherlands, but the summer is warmer and begins more suddenly. The winter is cold, and further inland, or towards the most northerly part, colder than in the Netherlands. It is also subject to much snow, which remains long on the ground, and in the interior, three, four and five months; but near the seacoast it is quickly dissolved by the southerly winds. Thunder, lightning, rain, showers, hail, snow, frost, dew and the like, are the same as in the Netherlands, except that in the summer sudden gusts of wind are somewhat more frequent.

The land is adapted to the production of all kinds of winter and summer fruits, and with less trouble and tilling than in the Netherlands. It produces different kinds of woods, suitable for building houses and ships, whether large or small, consisting of oaks of various kinds, as post-oak, white smooth bark, white rough bark, gray bark, black bark, and still another kind which they call, from its softness, butter oak, the poorest of all, and not very valuable; the others, if cultivated as in the Netherlands, would be equal to any Flemish or Brabant oaks. It also yields several species of nut wood, in great abundance, such as oil-nuts, large and small; walnut of different sizes, in great abundance, and good for fuel, for which it is much used, and chestnut, the same as in the Netherlands, growing in the woods without order. There are three varieties of beech—water beech, common Beech, and hedge beech—also axe-handle wood, two species of canoe wood, ash, birch, pine, fir, juniper or wild cedar, linden, alder, willow, thorn, elder, and many other kinds useful for many purposes, but unknown to us by name, and which we will be glad to submit to the carpenters for further examination.

The indigenous fruits consist principally of acorns, some of which are very sweet; nuts of different kinds, chestnuts, beechnuts, but not many mulberries, plums, medlars, wild cherries, black currants, gooseberries, hazel nuts in great quantities, small apples, abundant strawberries throughout the country, with many other fruits and roots which the savages use. There is also plenty of bilberries or blueberries, together with ground-nuts and artichokes, which grow under ground. Almost the whole land is full of vines, in the wild woods as well as on the maize lands and flats; but they grow principally near to and upon the banks of the brooks, streams and rivers, which are numerous, and run conveniently and pleasantly everywhere, as if they were planted there. The grapes comprise many varieties, some white, some very fleshy, and only fit to make raisins of, others on the contrary juicy; some are very large and others small. The juice is pleasant, and some of it as white as French or Rhenish wine; some is a very deep red, like Tent,(1) and some is paler. The vines run much on the trees, and are shaded by their leaves, so that the grapes ripen late and are a little sour; but with the intelligent assistance of man, as fine wines would undoubtedly be made here as in any other country. In regard to other fruits, all those which grow in the Netherlands also grow very well in New Netherland, without requiring as much care to be bestowed upon them as is necessary there. Garden fruits succeed very well, yet are drier, sweeter, and more agreeable than in the Netherlands; for proof of which we may easily instance musk-melons, citrons or watermelons,(2) which in New Netherland grow right in the open fields, if the briars and weeds are kept from them, while in the Netherlands they require the close care of amateurs, or those who cultivate them for profit in gardens, and then they are neither so perfect by far, nor so palatable, as they are in New Netherland. In general all kinds of pumpkins and the like are also much drier, sweeter and more delicious, which is caused by the temperateness and amenity of the climate.

The tame cattle are in size and other respects about the same as in the Netherlands, but the English cattle and swine thrive and grow best, appearing to be better suited to the country than those from Holland. They require, too, less trouble, expense and attention; for it is not necessary in winter to look after such as are dry, or the swine, except that in the time of a deep snow they should have some attention. Milch cows also are much less trouble than they are in Holland, as most of the time, if any care be requisite, it is only for the purpose of giving them occasionally a little hay.

The wild animals are principally lines,(3) but they are few; bears, of which there are many, elks and deer in great numbers, some of which are entirely white, and others wholly black. The savages say that the white deer are of very great consequence in the estimation of the other deer, and are exceedingly beloved, regarded and honored by the others, but that the reverse is true of the black deer. There are various other large animals in the interior, but they are unknown to the Christians. There are also wolves, dangerous only to small cattle, beavers, otters, weasels, wild cats, foxes, raccoons, minks, hares, musk-rats, about as large as cats, pole-cats and squirrels, some of which can fly. There are also ground-hogs and other small animals, but they are for the most part, as we have said, not known to the Christians.

     (1) A deep-red Spanish wine.

     (2) The original has water-limoenen, water-citrons, for the
     watermelon, little known in Dutch gardens at this time, was
     regarded rather as a citron than as a melon.

     (3) Panthers.

Of birds this country is by no means without its share. There are great numbers of birds of prey, as eagles of two kinds—the bald-headed, which has the head, tail and principal wing-feathers white, and the common kind; hawks, buzzards, sparrow-hawks, crows, chicken-hawks, and many others, yet all are birds of prey and capable of being trained and used for hunting, though they differ somewhat in shape from those in the Netherlands. There is also a bird which has its head like a cat, and its body like a large owl, colored white.(1) We know no name for it in the Netherlands, but in France it is called grand duc, and is esteemed very highly.

     (1) The cat-owl or great barred own, bubo Virginianus.  It
     is not white, but neither is the grand duc, the European
     bubo. Van der Donck, in his Beschryvinge, says, "of a
     light ash color."

The other birds found in this country are turkies, the same as in the Netherlands, but they are wild, and are plentiest and best in winter; several kinds of partridges, some smaller than in the Netherlands, others larger, curlews, wood and water snipes, pheasants, heath-hens, cranes, herons, bitterns, multitudes of pigeons resembling ringdoves, but a little smaller; quails, merlins, thrushes, shore-runners, but in some respects different from those of the Netherlands. There are other small birds, some of which sing, but the names of most of them are unknown to us, and would take too long to enumerate. Water fowl are found here of different kinds, but all very good and fit to eat; such as the swans, similar to those in Netherlands and full as large; three kinds of geese, gray geese, which are the largest and best, bernicles and white-headed geese, ducks of different kinds, widgeons, divers, coots, cormorants and several others, but not so abundant as the foregoing.

The river fish are almost the same as in the Netherlands, comprising salmon, sturgeon, twelves, thirteens,(1) shad, carp, perch, pike, trout, roach, thickhead, suckers, sunfish, eel, nine-eyes or lampreys, both much more abundant and larger than in the Netherlands, besides many other valuable fish which we are unable to name.

     (1) Striped bass and drum-fish.

In the salt water are caught codfish, haddock, weakfish, herring, mackerel, thornbacks, flounders, plaice, sheepshead, blackfish, sea-dogs, panyns and many others; also lobsters, crabs, great cockles, from which the Indians make the white and black zeewant, oysters and muscles in great quantities with many other kinds of shell-fish very similar to each other, for which we know no names, besides sea and land tortoises.

The venomous animals consist, for the most part, of adders and lizards, though they are harmless or nearly so. There are snakes of different kinds, which are not dangerous and flee before men if they possibly can, else they are usually beaten to death. The rattlesnakes, however, which have a rattle on the tail, with which they rattle very loudly when they are angry or intend to sting, and which grows every year a joint larger, are very malignant and do not readily retreat before a man or any other creature. Whoever is bitten by them runs great danger of his life, unless great care be taken; but fortunately they are not numerous, and there grown spontaneously in the country the true snakeroot, which is very highly esteemed by the Indians as an unfailing cure.

The medicinal plants found in New Netherland up to the present time, by little search, as far as they have come to our knowledge, consist principally of Venus' hair, hart's tongue, lingwort, polypody, white mullein, priest's shoe, garden and sea-beach orach, water germander, tower-mustard, sweet flag, sassafras, crowfoot, platain, shepherd's purse, mallows, wild marjoram, crane's bill, marsh-mallows, false eglantine, laurel, violet, blue flag, wild indigo, solomon's seal, dragon's blood, comfrey, milfoil, many sorts of fern, wild lilies of different kinds, agrimony, wild leek, blessed thistle, snakeroot, Spanish figs which grow out of the leaves,(2) tarragon and numerous other plants and flowers; but as we are not skilled in those things, we cannot say much of them; yet it is not to be doubted that experts would be able to find many simples of great and different virtues, in which we have confidence, principally because the Indians know how to cure very dangerous and perilous wounds and sores by roots, leaves and other little things.

     (2) Probably the prickly pear.

It is certain that the Indigo silvestris grows here spontaneously without human aid. It could be easily cultivated if there were people who would undertake it; at least, the other species would grow very well and yield a good profit. We have seen proof of this in the colony of Renselaerswyck, though it was all sown too late and upon a barren rock where there was little earth. It came up very well, but in consequence of the drought turned very yellow and withered, and was neglected; nevertheless it was evident that if it were well covered it would succeed. Madder plants also would undoubtedly grow well both in field and gardens, and better than in Zeeland.

There may be discovered casually or by little search, different minerals, upon some of which tests have been made according to our limited means, and which are found good. We have attempted several times to send specimens of them to the Netherlands, once with Arent van Corenben by way of New Haven and of England, but the ship was wrecked and no tidings of it have ever been received.(1) After that Director William Kieft also had many different specimens with him in the ship the Princess, but they were lost in her with him.(2) The mountains and mines nevertheless remain, and are easily to be found again whenever it may be thought proper to go to the labor and expense. In New England they have already progressed so far as to make castings of iron pots, tankards, balls and the like out of their minerals, and we firmly believe all that is wanting here is to have a beginning made; for there are in New Netherland two kinds of marcasite, and mines of white and yellow quicksilver, of gold, silver, copper, iron, black lead and hard coal. It is supposed that tin and lead will also be found; but who will seek after them or who will make use of them as long as there are not more people?

     (1) Arent Corssen.  Van der Donck says that he and Kieft saw
     an Indian painting his face with a shining mineral. They had
     it assayed, and it proved to contain gold.  Arent Corssen,
     sent to Holland with a bag of it, embarked early in 1646 in
     the "great ship" of New Haven, Captain George Lamberton, for
     whose return into the harbor as a phantom ship, months
     afterward, see Cotton Mather's Magnalia, I. 84 (ed. of
     1853), and Longfellow's poem, "The Phantom Ship."

     (2) In August, 1647, some months after Stuyvesant's arrival,
     Kieft sailed for Holland.  With him sailed his enemy Domine
     Bogardus, and the chief victims of his and Stuyvesant's
     persecution, Kuyter and Melyn.  The ship was wrecked on the
     Welsh coast.  Kieft was drowned; his opponents escaped.

Fuller's earth is found in abundance, and [Armenian] bole; also white, red, yellow, blue and black clay very solid and greasy, and should be suitable for many purposes; earth for bricks and for tiles, mountain-chrystal, glass like that of Muscovy,(1) green serpentine stone in great abundance, blue limestone, slate, red grindstone, flint, paving stone, large quantities of all varieties of quarry stone suitable for hewing mill-stones and for building all kinds of walls, asbestos and very many other kinds applicable to the use of man. There are different paints, but the Christians are not skilled in them. They are seen daily on the Indians, who understand their nature and use them to paint themselves in different colors. If it were not that explorers are wanting, our people would be able to find them and provide themselves with them.

     (1) Mica.

Of the Americans or Natives, their Appearance, Occupations, and Means of Support.

The natives are generally well set in their limbs, slender round the waist, broad across the shoulders, and have black hair and dark eyes. They are very nimble and fleet, well adapted to travel on foot and to carry heavy burdens. They are foul and slovenly in their actions, and make little of all kinds of hardship; to which indeed they are by nature and from their youth accustomed. They are like the Brazilians in color, or as yellow as the people who sometimes pass through the Netherlands and are called Gypsies. The men generally have no beard, or very little, which some even pull out. They use very few words, which they consider well. Naturally they are very modest, simple and inexperienced; though in their actions high-minded enough, vigorous and quick to comprehend or learn, be it right or wrong, whenever they are so inclined. They are not straightforward as soldiers but perfidious, accomplishing all their enterprises by treachery, using many strategems to deceive their enemies, and usually ordering all their plans, involving any danger, by night. The desire of revenge appears to be born in them. They are very obstinate in defending themselves when they cannot run, which however they do when they can; and they make little of death when it is inevitable, and despise all tortures which can be inflicted upon them while dying, manifesting no sorrow, but usually singing until they are dead. They understand how to cure wounds and hurts, or inveterate sores and injuries, by means of herbs and roots, which grow in the country, and which are known to them. Their clothing, both for men and women, is a piece of duffels or leather in front, with a deer skin or elk's hide over the body. Some have bears' hides of which they make doublets; others have coats made of the skins of raccoons, wild-cats, wolves, dogs, otters, squirrels, beavers and the like, and also of turkey's feathers. At present they use for the most part duffels cloth, which they obtain in barter from the Christians. They make their stockings and shoes of deer skins or elk's hide, and some have shoes made of corn-husks, of which they also make sacks. Their money consists of white and black zeewant, which they themselves make. Their measure and valuation is by the hand or by the fathom; but their corn is measured by deontas, which are bags they make themselves. Ornamenting themselves consists in cutting their bodies, or painting them with various colors, sometimes even all black, if they are in mourning, yet generally in the face. They hang zeewant, both white and black, about their heads, which they otherwise are not want to cover, but on which they are now beginning to wear hats and caps bought of the Christians. They also put it in their ears, and around their necks and bodies, wherewith after their manner they appear very fine. They have long deer's hair which is dyed red, and of which they make rings for the head, and other fine hair of the same color, to hang from the neck like tresses, of which they are very proud. They frequently smear their skin and hair with difference kinds of grease. They can almost all swim. They themselves make the boats they use, which are of two kinds, some of entire trees, which they hollow out with fire, hatchets and adzes, and which the Christians call canoes; others are made of bark, which they manage very skilfully, and which are also called canoes.

Traces of the institution of marriage can just be perceived among them, and nothing more. A man and woman join themselves together without any particular ceremony other than that the man by previous agreement with the woman gives her some zeewant or cloth, which on their separation, if it happens soon, he often takes again. Both men and women are utterly unchaste and shamelessly promiscuous in their intercourse, which is the cause of the men so often changing their wives and the women their husbands. Ordinarily they have but one wife, sometimes two or three, but this is generally among the chiefs. They have also among them different conditions of persons, such as noble and ignoble. The men are generally lazy, and do nothing until they become old and unesteemed, when they make spoons, wooden bowls, bags, nets and other similar articles; beyond this the men do nothing except fish, hunt and go to war. The women are compelled to do the rest of the work, such as planting corn, cutting and drawing fire-wood, cooking, taking care of the children and whatever else there is to be done. Their dwellings consist of hickory saplings, placed upright in the ground and bent arch-wise; the tops are covered with barks of trees, which they cut for this purpose in great quantities. Some even have within them rough carvings of faces and images, but these are generally in the houses of the chiefs. In the fishing and hunting seasons, they lie under the open sky or little better. They do not live long in one place, but move about several times in a year, at such times and to such places as it appears best and easiest for them to obtain subsistence.

They are divided into different tribes and languages, each tribe living generally by itself and having one of its number as a chief, though he has not much power or distinction except in their dances or in time of war. Among some there is not the least knowledge of God, and among others very little, though they relate many strange fables concerning Him.

They are in general much afraid of the Devil, who torments them greatly; and some give themselves up to him, and hold the strangest notions about him. But their devils, they say, will have nothing to do with the Dutch. No haunting of spirits and the like are heard of among them. They make offerings to the Devil sometimes, but with few solemnities. They believe in the immortality of the soul. They have some knowledge of the sun, moon and stars, of which they are able to name many, and they judge tolerably well about the weather. There is hardly any law or justice among them, except sometimes in war matters, and then very little. The nearest of blood is the avenger. The youngest are the most courageous, and do for the most part what they please. Their weapons formerly were the bow and arrow, which they employ with wonderful skill, and the cudgel, but they now, that is, those who lives near the Christians or have many dealings with them, generally use firelocks and hatchets, which they obtain in trade. They are exceedingly fond of guns, sparing no expense for them; and are so skilful in the use of them that they surpass many Christians. Their food is coarse and simple, drinking water as their only beverage, and eating the flesh of all kinds of animals which the country affords, cooked without being cleansed or dressed. They eat even badgers, dogs, eagles and such like trash, upon which Christians place no value. They use all kinds of fish, which they commonly cook without removing the entrails, and snakes, frogs and the like. They know how to preserve fish and meat until winter, and to cook them with corn-meal. They make their bread of maize, but it is very plain, and cook it either whole or broken in a pestle block. The women do this and make of it a pap or porridge, which some of them call Sapsis,(1) others Enimdare, and which is their daily food. They mix this also sometimes with small beans of different colors, which they plant themselves, but this is held by them as a dainty dish more than as daily food.

     (1) Probably a misprint for sapaan.  For the next word, the
     manuscript has Duundare.

By whom New Netherland was first Possessed and what its Boundaries are.

That New Netherland was first found, claimed and possessed by Netherlanders, has already been stated; but inasmuch as a dispute has arisen, not only with the Swedes (which is of little moment) but especially with the English, who have already entered upon and seized a great part thereof, it is necessary to speak of each claim in particular and somewhat at large. But because this matter has been treated upon by various ingenious minds in its length and breadth, and as those claims are so absurd as to require only a few reasons in answer to them, we will be as brief as in any wise practicable.

After Their High Mightinesses, the Lords States General, were pleased, in the year of our Lord 1622,(1) to include this province in their grant to the Honorable West India Company, their Honors deemed it necessary to take into possession so naturally beautiful and noble a province, which was immediately done, as opportunity offered, the same as in all similar beginnings. Since the year of our Lord 1623, four forts have been built there by order of the Lords Directors,(2) one on the south point of the Manhatans Island, where the East and North Rivers unite, called New Amsterdam, where the staple-right(3) of New Netherland was designed to be; another upon the same River, six-and-thirty Dutch miles [leagues] higher up, and three leagues below the great Kochoos(4) fall of the Mohawk River, on the west side of the river, in the colony of Renselaerswyck, and is called Orange; but about this river there a been as yet no dispute with any foreigners. Upon the South River lies Fort Nassau and upon the Fresh River, the Good Hope. In these four forts there have been always from the beginning to the present time some garrisons, although they are all now in a very bad condition, not only in themselves but also as regards garrisons.

     (1) 1621.

     (2) Heeren Majores, the managers or directors of the

     (3) Staple-right is a privilege granted to the inhabitants
     of a place, whereby the masters of vessels or merchants
     trading along their coasts are compelled to discharge their
     cargoes there for sale, or else pay duties.

     (4) Cohoes.

These forts, both to the south and north, are so situated as not only to close and control the said rivers, but also to command the plantations between them, as well as those round about them, and on the other side of the river as far as the ownership by occupation extends. These the Honorable Company declared they owned and would maintain against all foreign or domestic powers who should attempt to seize them against their consent. Yet, especially on the northeast side of New Netherland this has been not at all regarded or observed by the English living to the eastward; for notwithstanding possession was already fully taken by the building and occupation of Fort Good Hope, and there was no neglect from time to time in warning them, in making known our rights, and in protesting against their usurpation and violence, they have disregarded all these things and have seized and possessed, and still hold, the largest and best part of New Netherland, that is, on the east side of the North River, from Cape Cod, (by our people in 1609 called New Holland, and taken possession of [if we are correctly informed] by the setting up of the arms of their High Mightinesses,)(1) to within six leagues of the North River, where the English have now a village called Stamford, from whence one could travel now in a summer's day to the North River and back again, if one knows the Indian path. The English of New Haven also have a trading house which lies east or southeast of Magdalen Island, and not more than six leagues from the North River, in which this island lies, on the east bank twenty-three and a half leagues above Fort Amsterdam.(1) This trading post was established for no other purpose than to divert the trade of the North River or to destroy it entirely, for the river is now quite free. They have also endeavored several times, during eight or nine years past, to buy of the Indians a large quantity of land, (which would have served more than any other thing to draw off the trade), as we have understood from the Indians; for the post is situated not more than three or four leagues from the eastern bounds of the colony of Renselaerswyck.

     (1) See De Laet, p. 37, supra.  The words in square brackets
     appear in the manuscript, but not in the printed pamphlet.

     (2) Magdalen Island is in the Hudson near Annandale.  It
     appears that the nearest post to the lower Hudson possessed
     hitherto by the New Englanders was that which the New Haven
     people established in 1646 on the Housatonic near the
     present Derby, Connecticut; and that their nearest post to
     the upper Hudson was that which Governor Hopkins, of
     Connecticut, set up in 1641 at Woronoco, now Westfield,

This and similar difficulties these people now wish to lay to our charge, all under the pretence of a very clear conscience, notwithstanding King James, of most glorious memory, chartered the Virginia Companies upon condition that they should remain an hundred miles from each other, according to our reckoning.(1) They are willing to avail themselves of this grant, but by no means to comply with the terms stipulated in it.

     (1) The hundred miles of the Virginia patent of 1606 were
     English miles.

All the islands, bays, havens, rivers, kills and places, even to a great distance on the other side of New Holland or Cape Cod, have Dutch names, which our Dutch ship-masters and traders gave to them.(1) These were the first to discover and to trade to them, even before they had names, as the English themselves well know; but as long as they can manage it and matters go as they please, they are willing not to know it. And those of them who are at the Fresh River have desired to enter into an agreement and to make a yearly acknowledgement or an absolute purchase, which indeed is proof positive that our right was well known to them, and that they themselves had nothing against it in conscience, although they now, from time to time, have invented and pretended many things in order to screen themselves, or thereby to cause at least delay.

     (1) An exaggeration, yet the number of such names is
     considerable, as may be seen by consulting the appendix to
     Asher's Bibliography of New Netherland.

Moreover the people of Rhode Island, when they were at variance with those of the Bay,(1) sought refuge among the Dutch, and sojourn among them. For all these things, and What we shall relate in the following pages, there are Proofs and documents enough, either with the secretary of the Company or with the directors.

     (1) Massachusetts Bay.  The most conspicuous instance is
     Mrs. Anne Hutchinson.

In short, is it just this with the English, they are willing to know the Netherlanders, and to use them as a protection in time of need, but when that is past, they no longer regard them, but play the fool with them. This happens so only because we have neglected to populate the land; or, to speak more plainly and truly, because we have, our of regard for our own profit, wished to scrape all the fat into one or more pots, and thus secure the trade and neglect population.

Long Island, which, on account of its convenient bays and havens, and its good well situated lands, is a crown of the province, they have also seized at once, except on the west and two Dutch villages—Breuckelen and Amersvoort,(1) not of much importance—and some English villages, as Gravesande, Greenwich and Mespat, (from which(2) the people were driven off during the war, and which was afterwards confiscated by Director Kieft; but as the owners appealed therefrom, it remains undecided.) There are now a very few people in the place. Also, Vlissengen, which is a pretty village and tolerably rich in cattle. The fourth and last village is Heemstede, which is superior to the rest, for it is very rich in cattle.

     (1) Brooklyn and Flatlands.

     (2) I.e., from Mespath or Newtown.  Gravesend had been
     settled by Lady Deborah Moody, Greenwich in 1639 by Captain
     Daniel Patrick and Robert Feake, Mespath by Francis Doughty
     in 1642, Flushing and Hempstead by other English in 1645 and

As we are now on the subject of Long Island, we will, because the English claim it, speak of it somewhat particularly. The ocean on the south, and the East River on the north side of it, shape this island; and as we have said, it is, on account of its good situation, of its land, and of its convenient harbors, and anchoring places, a crown of New Netherland. The East River separates it from Manathans Island as far as the Hellegat. It is tolerably wide and convenient; and has been inhabited by our freemen from the first, according as opportunities offered. In the year 1640 a Scotchman, with an English commission, came to Director William Kieft. He laid claim to the island, but his pretension was not much regarded; for which reason he departed without accomplishing anything, having influenced only a few simple people. Director Kieft also afterwards sent and broke up the English who wished to begin a settlement at Oyster Bay, and thus it remained for a long time.(1)

     (1) James Farrett, as agent for Lord Stirling, made grants
     at Oyster Bay to a company of men from Lynn, who began a
     settlement there.  Stirling had received a grant of Long
     Island from the Council of New England in April, 1635.

In the year 1647, a Scotchman came here, who called himself Captain Forester,(1) and claimed this island for the Dowager of Sterling, whose governor he gave himself out to be. He had a commission dated in the eighteenth year of King James's reign, but it was not signed by His Majesty or any body else. Appended to it was an old seal which we could not decipher. His commission embraced the whole of Long Island, together with five leagues round about it, the main land as well as the islands. He had also full authority from Mary, dowager of Sterling, but this was all. Nevertheless the man was very consequential, and said on his first arrival that he came here to see Governor Stuyvesant's commission, and if that was better than his, he was willing to give way; if not, Governor Stuyvesant must yield to him. To make the matter short, the Director took copies of the papers and sent the man across(2) in the Falconer; but as this vessel put into England, the man did not reach Holland, having escaped there, and never troubling the captain afterwards. The English have since boasted of this very loudly, and have also given out that he had again arrived at Bastock,(3) but we have not heard of him. It is to be apprehended that if he came now, some new act would be committed, for which reason it would be well to hasten the redress of New Netherland.

    (1) Andrew Forester, of Dundee.

    (2) Across the ocean.

    (3) Boston.

Of The Fresh River.

After Fort Good Hope, begun in the year 1623,(1) on the Fresh River, was finished, some time had elapsed when an English bark arrived there. Jacob van Curler, factor of the Company, by order of Director Wouter van Twiller, protested against it, but notwithstanding his protest they did, a year or two afterwards, come there with some families. A protest was also made against them; but it was very manifest that these people had little respect for it, for notwithstanding frequent protests, they have finally seized and possessed the whole of the Fresh River, and have proceeded so far in their shameless course as, in the year 1640, to seize the Company's farms at the fort, paying no regard to the protests which we made. They have gone even still further, and have belabored the Company's people with sticks and heavy clubs; and have forcibly thrown into the river their ploughs and other instruments, while they were on the land for the purpose of working, and have put their horses to the pound. The same things happened very frequently afterwards. They also took hogs and cows belonging to the fort, and several times sold some of them for the purpose, as they said, of repairing the damage. Against all these acts, and each one in particular, protests were repeatedly made, but they were met with ridicule. Several sharp letters about this were written in Latin to their governors; of which letters and protests, minutes or copies remain with the Company's officers, from which a much fuller account of these transactions could be made. But all opposition was in vain, for having had a smack of the goodness and convenience of this river, and discovered the difference between the land there and that more easterly, they would not go back; nor will they put themselves under the protection of Their High Mightinesses, unless they be sharply summoned thereto, as it is desirable they should be at the first opportunity.

     (1) A misprint for 1633.  The narrative below relates to the
     English settlers at Hartford, founded in 1635.  See De
     Vries, pp. 203, 204, supra.

Of the Right of the Netherlanders to the Fresh River.

To speak from the beginning, our people had carefully explored and discovered the most northerly parts of New Netherland and some distance on the other side of Cape Cod, as we find it described, before the English were known here, and had set up our arms upon Cape Cod as an act of possession. In the year 1614 our traders(1) had not only traded at the Fresh River, but had also ascended it before any English had ever dreamed of going there, which they did first in the year 1636, after our fort, the Good Hope, had been a long time in esse and almost all the lands on both sides the river had been purchased by our people from the Indians, which purchase took place principally in the year 1632. Kievets-hoeck(2) was also purchased at the same time by one Hans den Sluys,(3) an officer of the company. On this cape the States' arms had been affixed to a tree in token of possession; but the English who now possess the Fresh River have torn them down and carved a ridiculous face in their place. Whether this was done by authority or not, cannot be positively asserted; it is however supposed that it was. It has been so charged upon them in several letters, and no denial has been made. Besides they have, contra jus gentium, per fas et nefas,(4) invaded the whole river, for the reason, as they say, that the land was lying idle and waste, which was no business of theirs and not true; for there was already built upon the river a fort which continued to be possessed by a garrison. There was also a large farm(5) near the fort, belonging to the Dutch or the Company. Most of the land was bought and appropriated and the arms of their High Mightinesses were set up at Kievets Hoeck, which is situated at the mouth of the river, so that everything was done that could be done except that the country was not all actually occupied. This the English demanded in addition, just as if it were their right, since they were in greater numbers, to establish laws for our nation in its own purchased lands and limits, and direct how and in what manner it should introduce people into the country, and if it did not turn our exactly according to their desire and pleasure, that they have the right to invade and appropriate these waters, lands and jurisdiction to themselves.

     (1) Adriaen Block.

     (2) Saybrook Point.  Kievit, or kiewit, is the bird pewit.

     (3) Hans Eencluys in the manuscript, according to N.Y. Col.
     Doc., I. 287.

     (4) "Contrary to the law of nations, regardless of right or

     (5) Brouwerye, brewery, in the printed pamphlet, but bouwery
     in the manuscript.

Of the Roden-Berch,(1) by the English called New Haven, and other Places of less Importance.

The number of villages established by the English, from New Holland or Cape Cod to Stamford, within the limits of the Netherlanders, is about thirty, and they may contain five thousand men capable of bearing arms. Their cattle, cows and horses are estimated at thirty thousand; their goats and hogs cannot be stated; neither of them can be fully known because there are several places which cannot well pass for villages, but which nevertheless are beginnings of villages. Among all these, Roden-Berch, or New Haven, is the first. It has a governor, contains about three hundred and forty families, and is counted as a province or one of the members of New England, of which there are four in all.(2)

     (1) Red Hill.

     (2) I.e., of the United Colonies of New England, the
     confederation formed in 1643.

This place was begun eleven years ago, in the year 1638, and since then the people have broken off and formed Milford, Stratford, Stamford and the trading house before spoken of, etc.

Director Kieft has caused several protests to be drawn up, in Latin and in other languages, commanding them by virtue of his commissions from the Lords States General, His Highness the Prince of Orange and the Most Noble Directors of the Chartered West India Company, to desist from their proceedings and usurpations, and warning them, in case they did not, that we would, as soon as a fit opportunity should present, exact of them satisfaction therefor. But it was knocking at a deaf man's door, as they did not regard these protests or even take any notice of them; on the contrary they have sought many subterfuges, circumstances, false pretences and sophistical arguments to give color to their doings, to throw a cloud upon our lawful title and valid rights, and to cheat us out of them. General Stuyvesant also has had many questions with them, growing out of this matter, but it remains as it was. The utmost that they have ever been willing to come to, is to declare that the dispute could not be settled in this country, and that they desired and were satisfied that Their High Mightinesses should arrange it with their sovereign. It is highly necessary that this should be done, inasmuch as the English have already seized, and are in possession of, almost half of New Netherland, a matter which may have weighty consequences in the future. It is therefore heartily to be desired that Their High Mightinesses will be pleased to take this subject into serious consideration before it shall go further, and the breach become irreparable.

We must now pass to the South River, called by the English Delaware Bay, first speaking of the boundaries; but in passing we cannot omit to say that there has been here, both in the time of Director Kieft and in that of General Stuyvesant, a certain Englishman, who called himself Sir Edward Ploeyden, with the title of Earl Palatine of New Albion, who claimed that the land on the west side of the North River to Virginia was his, by gift of King James of England,(1) but he said he did not wish to have any strife with the Dutch, though he was very much piqued at the Swedish governor, John Prins, at the South River, on account of some affront given him, too long to relate. He said also that when an opportunity should offer he would go there and take possession of the river. In short, according to the claims of the English, it belongs to them, and there is nothing left for the subjects of Their High Mightinesses—one must have this far, and another that far, but they all agree never to fall short.

     (1) Plowden claimed under a patent from the viceroy of
     Ireland under Charles I., June, 1634.  The history of his
     shadowy principality of New Albion is best accounted by
     Professor Gregory B. Keen in Winsor's Narrative and
     Critical History of America, III. 457-468.  The best
     account of the Swedish colony in the South River is by the
     same writer, ibid., IV. 443-500.

Of the South River and the Boundaries there.

As we have now come to speak of the South River and the most southerly portion of New Netherland, we will, although this is well performed by others, relate everything from the beginning, and yet as briefly as is practicable. The boundaries, as we find them, extend as far as Cape Henlopen, many miles south of Cape Cornelius, to the latitude of thirty-eight degrees. The coast stretches, one course with another, west-southwest and west, and although this Cape Henlopen is not much esteemed, it is nevertheless proper that it should be brought to our attention, as very important, not only in regard to the position of the country, but also as relates to the trade with the Indians at the South River, which the English and Swedes are striving after very hard, as we will show. If the boundaries of this country were settled, these people would conveniently and without further question be ousted, and both the enjoyment of the productions of the land and the trade be retained for the subjects of Their High Mightinesses.

Of the South Bay and South River.

The South Bay and South River, by many called the second great river of New Netherland, is situated at the latitude of 38 degrees 53 minutes. It has two headlands or capes—the more northerly bearing the name of Cape May, the more southerly that of Cape Cornelius. The bay was called New Port-May, but at the present time is known as Godyn's Bay. These names were given to the places about the time of their first discovery, before any others were given them. The discovery, moreover, took place at the same time with that of the North River, and by the same ship and persons, who entered the South Bay before they came to the North Bay, as all can read at length in the Nieuwe Werelt of Johannes de Laet.

At the same time that the forts were laid out on the North and Fresh rivers, since the year 1623, Fort Nassau was erected upon this river, which, in common parlance, is called the South River. It was the first of the four, and was built with the same object and design as all the others, as hereinbefore related. It lies on the east bank,(1) but it would have done as well on the west bank, fifteen leagues up the river. The bay runs for the most part north and south; is called New Port-May or Godyn's Bay; and is nine leagues long before you come to the river, and six leagues wide, so that from one shore you cannot see the other. On account of certain bars it is somewhat dangerous for inexperienced navigators, but not so for those who are acquainted with the channels. This bay and river are compared by its admirers with the river Amazon, that is, by such of them as have seen both; it is by everyone considered one of the most beautiful, and the best and pleasantest rivers in the world of itself and as regards its surroundings. Fourteen streams empty into this river, the least of them navigable for two or three leagues; and on both sides there are tolerably level lands of great extent. Two leagues from Cape Cornelius, where you enter on the west side, lies a certain creek, which might be taken for an ordinary river or stream, being navigable far up, and affording a beautiful roadstead for ships of all burdens. There is no other like it in the whole bay for safety and convenience. The main channel for navigation runs close by it; this place we call the Hoere-kil. From whence this name is derived we do not know;(2) it is certain that this place was taken and colonized by Netherlanders, years before any English or Swedes came there. The States' arms were also set up at this place in copper, but as they were thrown down by some mischievous savages, the commissary there very firmly insisted upon, and demanded, the head of the offender. The Indians not knowing otherwise brought a head, saying it was his; and the affair was supposed to be all settled, but some time afterwards, when our people were working unsuspectingly in their fields, the Indians came in the guise of friendship, and distributing themselves among the Dutch in proportionate numbers, surprised and murdered them. By this means the colony was again reduced to nothing; but it was nevertheless sealed with blood and dearly enough bought.

     (1) Fort Nassau stood at the mouth of Timber Creek, opposite
     the present site of Philadelphia.

     (2) Harlot's creek, from the behavior of the Indian women.
     The story below is that of the short-lived colony of
     Swanendael, 1631-1632.

There is another kill on the east side called the Varckens Kil,(1) three leagues up from the mouth of the river. Here some English had settled, but Director Kieft protested against their proceedings, and drove them away, assisted somewhat by the Swedes, who agreed with him to keep out the English. The Swedish governor, considering an opportunity then offered to him, caused a fort to be built at this place, called Elsenborch,(2) and manifests there great boldness towards every one, even as respects the Company's boats or all which go up the South River. They must strike the flag before this fort, none excepted; and two men are sent on board to ascertain from whence the yachts or ships come. It is not much better than exercising the right of search. It will, to all appearance, come to this in the end. What authority these people can have to do this, we know not; nor can we comprehend how officers of other potentates, (at least as they say they are, yet what commission they have we do not yet know,) can make themselves master of, and assume authority over, lands and goods belonging to and possessed by other people, and sealed with their blood, even without considering the Charter. The Minquas-kil(3) is the first upon the river, and there the Swedes have built Fort Christina. This place is well situated, as large ships can lie close against the shore to load and unload. There is, among others, a place on the river, (called Schuylkil, a convenient and navigable stream,) heretofore possessed by the Netherlanders, but how is it now? The Swedes have it almost entirely under their dominion. Then there are in the river several beautiful large islands, and other places which were formerly possessed by the Netherlanders, and which still bear the names given by them. Various other facts also constitute sufficient and abundant proof that the river belongs to the Netherlanders, and not to the Swedes. Their very beginnings are convincing, for eleven years ago, in the year 1638, one Minne-wits,(4) who before that time had had the direction at the Manathans, on behalf of the West India Company, arrived in the river with the ship Kalmer-Sleutel [Key of Calmar], and the yacht Vogel-Gryp [Griffin], giving out to the Netherlanders who lived up the river, under the Company and Heer vander Nederhorst, that he was on a voyage to the West Indies, and that passing by there, he wished to arrange some matters and to furnish the ship with water and wood, and would then leave. Some time afterwards, some of our people going again, found the Swedes still there but then they had already made a small garden for raising salads, pot-herbs and the like. They wondered at this, and inquired of the Swedes what is meant, and whether they intended to stay there. They excused themselves by various reasons and subterfuges, but some notwithstanding supposed that such was their design. The third time it became apparent, from their building a fort, what their intentions were. Director Kieft, when he obtained information of the matter, protested against it, but in vain. It was plainly and clearly to be seen, in the progress of the affair, that they did not intend to leave. It is matter of evidence that above Maghchachansie,(5) near the Sankikans, the arms of Their High Mightinesses were erected by order of Director Kieft, as a symbol that the river, with all the country and the lands around there, were held and owned under Their High Mightinesses. But what fruits has it produced as yet, other than continued derision and derogation of dignity? For the Swedes, with intolerable insolence, have thrown down the arms, and since they are suffered to remain so, this is looked upon by them, and particularly by their governor, as a Roman achievement. True, we have made several protests, as well against this as other transactions, but they have had as much effect as the flying of a crow overhead; and it is believed that if this governor had a supply of men, there would be more madness in him than there has been in the English, or any of their governors. This much only in regard to the Swedes, since the Company's officers will be able to make a more pertinent explanation, as all the documents and papers remain with them; to which, and to their journals we ourselves refer.

     (1) Hog Creek, now called Salem Creek, where New Haven men
     settled in 1641 at or near the present site of Salem, New

     (2) Fort Nya Elfsborg, 1643-1654, a little further down the
     Delaware River.

     (3) Christina Creek; the fort was in what is now Wilmington,

     (4) Peter Minuit.

     (5) Apparently within the present bounds of Philadelphia,
     where Andries Hudde, acting under orders from Kieft,
     purchased land and set up the arms of the States General in
     September, 1646.  The Sankikans occupied northern New
     Jersey, with an important village at or near Trenton.

The English have sought at different times and places to incorporate this river which they say is annexed to their territory, but this has as yet been prevented by different protests. We have also expelled them by force, well knowing that if they once settled there, we should lose the river or hold it with much difficulty, as they would swarm there in great numbers. There are rumors daily, and it is reported to us that the English will soon repair there with many families. It is certain that if they do come and nestle down there, they will soon possess it so completely, that neither Hollanders nor Swedes, in a short time, will have much to say; at least, we run a chance of losing the whole, or the greatest part of the river, if very shortly remarkable precaution be not used. And this would be the result of populating the country; but the Directors of the Company to this day have had no regard to this worth the while, though the subject has been sufficiently brought before them in several documents. They have rather opposed and hindered this; for it has been with this matter as with the rest, that avarice has blinded wisdom. The report now is that the English intend to build a village and trading house there; and indeed if they begin, there is nobody in this country who, on the Company's behalf, can or apparently will, make much effort to prevent them. Not longer ago than last year, several free persons,(1) some of whom were of our own number and who had or could have good masters in Fatherland, wished to establish a trading house and some farms and plantations, upon condition that certain privileges and exemptions should be extended to them; but this was refused by the General, saying, that he could not do it, not having any order or authority from the noble Lords Directors; but if they were willing to begin there without privileges, it could in some way be done. And when we represented to His Honor that such were offered by our neighbors all around us, if we would only declare ourselves willing to be called members of their government, and that this place ran a thousand dangers from the Swedes and English, His Honor answered that it was well known to be as we said, (as he himself did, in fact, well know,) and that reason was also in our favor, but that the orders which he had from the Directors were such that he could not answer for it to them. Now we are ignorant in these matters, but one thing or the other must be true, either it is the fault of the Director or of the Managers,(2) or of both of them. However it may be, one shifts the blame upon the other, and between them both every thing goes to ruin. Foreigners enjoy the country and fare very well; they laugh at us too if we say anything; they enjoy privileges and exemptions, which, if our Netherlanders had enjoyed as they do, would without doubt, next to the help of God, without which we are powerless, have enabled our people to flourish as well or better than they do; ergo, the Company or their officers have hitherto been and are still the cause of its not faring better with the country. On account of their cupidity and bad management there is not hope, so long as the land is under their government, that it will go on any better; but it will grow worse. However, the right time to treat this subject has not yet come.

     (1) Persons who came to New Netherland, not as colonists
     under the patroons, or as employees of the West India
     Company, but on their own account.

     (2) I.e., of the governor (director-general) of New
     Netherland or of the directors of the company.

Of the Situation and Goodness of the Waters.

Having given an account of the situation of the country and its boundaries, and having consequently spoken of the location of the rivers, it will not be foreign to our purpose to add a word as to the goodness and convenience of the waters; which are salt, brackish, or fresh, according to their locality. There are in New Netherland four principal rivers; the most southerly is usually called the South River, and the bay at its entrance, Godyn's Bay. It is so called not because it runs to the south, but because it is the most southerly river in New Netherland. Another which this lies south of or nearest to, and which is the most noted and the best, as regards trade and population, is called Rio Montanjes, from certain mountains, and Mauritius River, but generally, the North River, because it reaches farthest north. The third is the East River, so called because it runs east from the Manathans. This is regarded by many not as a river but as a Bay, because it is extremely wide in some places and connects at both ends with the sea. We however consider it a river and such it is commonly reckoned. The fourth is called the Fresh River, because the water is for the most part fresh, more so than the others. Besides these rivers, there are many bays, havens and inlets, very convenient and useful, some of which might well be classed among rivers. There are numerous bodies of water inland, some large, others small, besides navigable kills like rivers, and many creeks very advantageous for the purpose of navigating through the country, as the map of New Netherland will prove. There are also various waterfalls and rapid streams, fit to erect mills of all kinds upon for the use of man, and innumerable small rivulets over the whole country, like veins in the body; but they are all fresh water, except some on the sea shore, (which are salt and fresh or brackish), very good both for wild and domestic animals to drink. The surplus waters are lost in the rivers or in the sea. Besides all these there are fountains without number, and springs all through the country, even at places where water would not be expected; as on cliffs and rocks whence they issue like spring veins. Some of them are worthy of being well guarded, not only Because they are all (except in the thickets) very clear and pure, but because many have these properties, that in the winter they smoke from heat, and in summer are so cool that the hands can hardly be endured in them on account of the cold, not even in the hottest of the summer; which circumstance makes them pleasant for the use of man and beast, who can partake of them without danger; for if any one drink thereof, it does him no harm although it be very warm weather. Thus much of the proprietorship, location, goodness and fruitfulness of these provinces, in which particulars, as far as our little experience extends, it need yield to no province in Europe. As to what concerns trade, in which Europe and especially Netherland is pre-eminent, it not only lies very convenient and proper for it, but if there were inhabitants, it would be found to have more commodities of and in itself to export to other countries than it would have to import from them. These things considered, it will be little labor for intelligent men to estimate and compute exactly of what importance this naturally noble province is to the Netherland nation, what service it could render it in future, and what a retreat it would be for all the needy in the Netherlands, as well of high and middle, as of low degree; for it is much easier for all men of enterprise to obtain a livelihood here than in the Netherlands.

We cannot sufficiently thank the Fountain of all Goodness for His having led us into such a fruitful and healthful land, which we, with our numerous sins, still heaped up here daily, beyond measure, have not deserved. We are also in the highest degree beholden to the Indians, who not only have given up to us this good and fruitful country, and for a trifle yielded us the ownership, but also enrich us with their good and reciprocal trade, so that there is no one in New Netherland or who trades to New Netherland without obligation to them. Great is our disgrace now, and happy should we have been, had we acknowledged these benefits as we ought, and had we striven to impart the Eternal Good to the Indians, as much as was in our power, in return for what they divided with us. It is to be feared that at the Last Day they will stand up against us for this injury. Lord of Hosts! Forgive us for not having conducted therein more according to our reason; give us also the means and so direct our hearts that we in future may acquit ourselves a we ought for the salvation of our own souls and of theirs, and for the magnifying of thy Holy Name, for the sake of Christ. Amen.

To speak with deference, it is proper to look beyond the trouble which will be incurred in adjusting the boundaries and the first cost of increasing the population of this country, and to consider that beginnings are difficult and that sowing would be irksome if the sower were not cheered with the hope of reaping. We trust and so assure ourselves that the very great experience of Their High Mightinesses will dictate better remedies than we are able to suggest. But it may be that Their High Mightinesses and some other friends, before whom this may come, may think strange that we speak as highly of this place as we do, and as we know to be true, and yet complain of want and poverty, seek relief, assistance, redress, lessening of charges, population and the like, and show that the country is in a poor and ruinous condition; yea, so much so, as that without special aid and assistance it will utterly fall off and pass under foreign rule. It will therefore be necessary to point out the true reasons and causes why New Netherland is in so bad a state, which we will do as simply and truly as possible, according to the facts, as we have seen, experienced, and heard them; and as this statement will encounter much opposition and reproach from many persons who may take offence at it, we humbly pray Their High Mightinesses and all well wishers, who may chance to read this, that they do not let the truth yield to any falsehoods, invented and embellished for the purpose, and that they receive no other testimony against this relation than that of such impartial persons as have not had, either directly or indirectly, any hand therein, profited by the loss of New Netherland, or otherwise incurred any obligation to it. With this remark we proceed to the reasons and sole cause of the evil which we indeed have but too briefly and indistinctly stated in the beginning of our petition to Their High Mightinesses.

Of the Reasons and Causes why and how New Netherland is so Decayed.

As we shall speak of the reasons and causes which have brought New Netherland into the ruinous condition in which it is now found to be, we deem it necessary to state first the difficulties. We represent it as we see and find it, in our daily experience. To describe it in one word, (and none better presents itself,) it is bad government, with its attendants and consequences, that is, to the best of our knowledge, the true and only foundation stone of the decay and ruin of New Netherland. This government from which so much abuse proceeds, is twofold, that is; in the Fatherland by the Managers, and in this country. We shall first briefly point out some orders and mistakes issuing from the Fatherland, and afterwards proceed to show how abuses have grown up and obtained strength here.

The Managers of the Company adopted a wrong course at first, and as we think had more regard for their own interest than for the welfare of the country, trusting rather to flattering than true counsels. This is proven by the unnecessary expenses incurred from time to time, the heavy accounts of New Netherland,(1) the registering of colonies—in which business most of the Managers themselves engaged, and in reference to which they have regulated the trade—and finally the not peopling the country. It seems as if from the first, the Company have sought to stock this land with their own employees, which was a great mistake, for when their time was out they returned home, taking nothing with them, except a little in their purses and a bad name for the country, in regard to its lack of sustenance and in other respects. In the meantime there was no profit, but on the contrary heavy monthly salaries, as the accounts of New Netherland will show.

     (1) In 1644 the Bureau of Accounts of the West India Company
     reported that since 1626 the company had expended for New
     Netherland 515,000 guilders, say $250,000.  At the time of
     the report the company was practically bankrupt.

Had the Honorable West India Company, in the beginning, sought population instead of running to great expense for unnecessary things, which under more favorable circumstances might have been suitable and very proper, the account of New Netherland would not have been so large as it now is, caused by building the ship New Netherland at an excessive outlay,(1) by erecting three expensive mills, by brick-making, by tar-burning, by ash-burning, by salt-making and the like operations, which through bad management and calculation have all gone to nought, or come to little; but which nevertheless have cost much. Had the same money been used in bringing people and importing cattle, the country would now have been of great value.

     (1) A ship of eight hundred tons, built in the province in

The land itself is much better and it is more conveniently situated than that which the English possess, and if there were not constant seeking of individual gain and private trade, there would be no danger that misfortunes would press us as far as they do.

Had the first Exemptions been truly observed, according to their intention, and had they not been carried out with particular views, certainly more friends of New Netherland would have exerted themselves to take people there and make settlements. The other conditions which were introduced have always discouraged individuals and kept them down, so that those who were acquainted with the business, being informed, dared not attempt it. It is very true that the Company have brought over some persons, but they have not continued to do so, and it therefore has done little good. It was not begun properly; for it was done as if it was not intended.

It is impossible for us to rehearse and to state in detail wherein and how often the Company have acted injuriously to this country. They have not approved of our own country-men settling the land, as is shown in the case of Jacob Walingen and his people at the Fresh River, and quite Recently in the cases at the South River; while foreigners Were permitted to take land there without other opposition than orders and protests. It could hardly be otherwise, for the garrisons are not kept complete conformably to the Exemptions, and thus the cause of New Netherland's bad condition lurks as well in the Netherlands as here. Yea, the seeds of war, according to the declaration of Director Kieft, were first sown by the Fatherland; for he said he had Express orders to exact the contribution from the Indians; Which would have been very well if the land had been peopled, But as it was, it was premature.

Trade, without which, when it is legitimate, no country is prosperous, is by their acts so decayed, that it amounts to nothing. It is more suited for slaves than freemen, in consequence of the restrictions upon it and the annoyances which accompany the exercise of the right of inspection. We approve of inspection, however, so far as relates to contraband.

This contraband trade has ruined the country, and contraband goods are now sent to every part of it by orders given by the Managers to their officers. These orders should be executed without partiality, which is not always the case. The Recognition(1) runs high, and of inspection and confiscation there is no lack; hence legitimate trade is entirely diverted, except a little, which exists pro forma, as a cloak for carrying on illicit trading. In the mean time the Christians are treated almost like Indians, in the purchase of the necessaries with which they cannot dispense. This causes great complaint, distress and poverty: as, for example, the merchants sell those goods which are liable to little depreciation at a hundred per cent. and more profit, when there is particular demand or scarcity of them. And the traders who come with small cargoes, and others engaged in the business, buy them up from the merchants and sell them again to the common man, who cannot do without them, oftentimes at a hundred per cent. advance, or higher and lower according to the demand. Upon liquors, which are liable to much leakage, they take more, and those who buy from them retail them in the same manner, as we have described in regard to dry wares, and generally even more cunningly, so that the goods are sold through first, second and sometimes third hands, at one and two hundred per cent. advance. We are not able to think of all the practices which are contrived for advancing individual and private gain. Little attention is given to populating the land. The people, moreover, have been driven away by harsh and unreasonable proceedings, for which their Honors gave the orders; for the Managers wrote to Director Kieft to prosecute when there was no offence, and to consider a partial offence an entire one, and so forth. It has also been seen how the letters of the Eight Men were treated, and what followed thereupon;(2) besides there were many ruinous orders and instructions which are not known to us. But leaving this at present, with now and then a word, at a convenient point, let us proceed to examine how their officers and Directors have conducted themselves from time to time, having played with the managers as well as with the people, as a cat does with a mouse. It would be possible to relate their management from the beginning, but as most of us were not here then and therefore not eye-witnesses, and as a long time has passed whereby it has partly escaped recollection, and as in our view it was not so bad then as afterwards when the land was made free and freemen began to increase, we will pass by the beginning and let Mr. Lubbert van Dincklaghen, Vice Director of New Netherland, describe the government of Director Wouter van Twiller of which he is known to have information, and will only speak of the last two sad and dire confusions (we would say governments if we could) under Director Kieft, who is now no more, but the evil of it lives after him; and of that under Director Stuyvesant which still stands, if indeed that may be called standing which lies completely under foot.

     (1) Export duty.

     (2) Nevertheless, the remonstrance of the Eight Men, October
     28, 1644, N.Y. Coll. Doc., I. 209, did cause the reform of
     the system of provincial government and the recall of Kieft.

The Directors here, though far from their masters, were close by their profit. They have always known how to manage their own matters very properly and with little loss, yet under pretext of the public business. They have also conducted themselves just as if they were the sovereigns of the country. As they desired to have it, so it always had to be; and as they willed so was it done. "The Managers," they say, "are masters in Fatherland, but we are masters in this land." As they understand it it will go, there is no appeal. And it has not been difficult for them hitherto to maintain this doctrine in practice; for the people were few and for the most part very simple and uninformed, and besides, they needed the Directors every day. And if perchance there were some intelligent men among them, who could go upon their own feet, them it was sought to oblige. They could not understand at first the arts of the Directors which were always subtle and dark, so that these were frequently successful and occasionally remained effective for a long time. Director Kieft said himself, and let it be said also by others, that he was sovereign in this country, or the same as the Prince in the Netherlands. This was repeated to him several times here and he never made any particular objection to it. The refusing to allow appeals, and other similar acts, prove clearly that in our opinion no other proof is needed. The present Director does the same, and in the denial of appeal, he is also at home. He likes to assert the maxim "the Prince is above the law," and applies it so boldly to his own person that it confutes itself. These directors, having then the power in their hands, could do and have done what they chose according to their good will and pleasure; and whatever was, was right, because it was agreeable to them. It is well known that those who assume power, and use it to command what they will, frequently command and will more than they ought, and, whether it appear right or not, there are always some persons who applaud such conduct, some out of a desire to help on and to see mischief, others from fear; and so men still complain with Jan Vergas de clementia ducis, of the clemency of the duke.(1) But in order that we give nobody cause to suspect that we blow somewhat too hard, it will be profitable to illustrate by examples the government of Mr. Director Kieft at its close, and the administration of Mr. Director Stuyvesant just prior to the time of our departure. We frankly admit, however, that we shall not be able to speak fully of all the tricks, because they were conducted so secretly and with such duplicity and craft. We will nevertheless expose some of their proceedings according to our ability, and thus let the lion be judged of from his paw.

     (1) Juan de Vargas, the chief member of the Duke of Alva's
     "Council of Blood," who complained that the duke's methods
     were too lenient.

Casting our eyes upon the government of Director Kieft, the church first meets us, and we will therefore speak of the public property ecclesiastical and civil. But as this man is now dead, and some of his management and doings are freely represented by one Jochem Pietersz Cuyter and Cornelis Melyn,(1) we will dispose of this point as briefly as we possibly can.

     (1) Stuyvesant, soon after his arrival, at the instance of
     Kieft, condemned Kieft's chief opponents, Kuyter and Melyn,
     for lese-majesty, and banished them, forbidding them to
     appeal. On reaching Holland, however, after their dramatic
     escape from the shipwreck of the Princess, they appealed,
     and secured a reversal of their condemnation.

Before the time that Director Kieft brought the unnecessary war upon the country, his principal aim and endeavors were to provide well for himself and to leave a great name after him, but without any expense to himself or the Company, for this never did anything remarkable for the country by which it was improved. Thus he considered the erection of a church a very necessary public work, the more so as it was in contemplation to build one at that time at Renselaers-Wyck. With this view he communicated with the churchwardens—of which body he himself was one—and they willingly agreed to and seconded the project. The place where it should stand was then debated. The Director contended that it should be placed in the fort, and there it was erected in spite of the others, and, indeed, as suitably as a fifth wheel of a wagon; for besides that the fort is small and lies upon a point of land which must be very valuable in case of an increase of population, the church ought to be owned by the congregation at whose cost it was built. It also intercepts and turns off the southeast wind from the grist-mill which stands close by, for which reason there is frequently in summer a want of bread from its inability to grind, though not from this cause alone. The mill is neglected and, in consequence of having had a leaky roof most of the time, has become considerably rotten, so that it cannot now go with more than two arms, and it has been so for nearly five years. But to return to the church—from which the grist-mill has somewhat diverted us—the Director then resolved to build a church, and at the place where it suited him; but he was in want of money and was at a loss how to obtain it. It happened about this time that the minister, Everardus Bogardus, gave his step-daughter in marriage; and the occasion of the wedding the Director considered a good opportunity for his purpose. So after the fourth or fifth round of drinking, he set about the business, and he himself showing a liberal example let the wedding-guests subscribe what they were willing to give towards the church. All then with light heads subscribed largely, competing with one another; and although some well repented it when they recovered their senses, they were nevertheless compelled to pay—nothing could avail to prevent it. The church was then, contrary to every one's wish, placed in the fort. The honor and ownership of that work must be judged of from the inscription, which is in our opinion ambiguous, thus reading: "1642. Willem Kieft, Director General, has caused the congregation to build this church."(1) But whatever be intended by the inscription, the people nevertheless paid for the church.

     (1) The inscription was in existence till 1835.  This third
     church stood near what is now called the Bowling Green. The
     inscription, though susceptible of misconstruction, is not
     really ambiguous.  Its proper interpretation is:  "1642,
     Willem Kieft being Director General, the congregation caused
     this church to be built."

We must now speak of the property belonging to the church, and, to do the truth no violence, we do not know that there has ever been any, or that the church has any income except what is given to it. There has never been any exertion made either by the Company or by the Director to obtain or establish any.

The bowl has been going round a long time for the purpose of erecting a common school and it has been built with words, but as yet the first stone is not laid. Some materials only are provided. The money nevertheless, given for the purpose, has already found its way out and is mostly spent; or may even fall short, and for this purpose also no fund invested in real estate has ever been built up.

The poor fund, though the largest, contains nothing except the alms collected among the people, and some fines and donations of the inhabitants. A considerable portion of this money is in the possession of the Company, who have borrowed it from time to time, and kept it. They have promised, for years, to pay interest. But in spite of all endeavor neither principal nor interest can be obtained from them.

Flying reports about asylums for orphans, for the sick and aged,(1) and the like have occasionally been heard, but as yet we can not see that any attempt, order or direction has been made in relation to them. From all these facts, then, it sufficiently appears that scarcely any proper care or diligence has been used by the Company or its officers for any ecclesiastical property whatever—at least, nothing as far as is known—from the beginning to this time; but on the contrary great industry and exertion have been used to bind closely to them their minions, or to gain new ones as we shall hereafter at the proper time relate. And now let us proceed to the consideration of what public measures of a civil character had been adopted up to the time of our departure, in order to make manifest the diligence and care of the Directors in this particular.

     (1) Seventeenth-century Dutch towns abounded in institutions
     of this sort.

There was not at first, under the government of Director Kieft, so much opportunity as there has since been, because the recognition of the peltries was then paid in the Fatherland, and the freemen gave nothing for excise; but after that public calamity, the rash war, was brought upon us, the recognition of the peltries began to be collected in this country, and a beer-excise was sought to be established, about which a conference was had with the Eight Men, who were then chosen from the people. They did not approve of it as such, but desired to know under what regulations and upon what footing it would take place, and how long it would continue. Director Kieft promised that it should not continue longer than until a ship of the Company should arrive with a new Director, or until the war should be at an end. Although it was very much distrusted by all, and therefore was not consented to, yet he introduced it by force. The brewers who would not agree to it had their beer given over to the soldiers. So it was enforced, but it caused great strife and discontent.

From this time forward the Director began to divide the people and to create factions. Those who were on his side could do nothing amiss, however bad it might be; those who were opposed to him were always wrong even if they did perfectly right, and the order to reckon half an offence a whole one was then strictly enforced. The jealousy of the Director was so great that he could no bear without suspicion that impartial persons should visit his partisans.

After the war was, as the Director himself said, finished—though in our opinion it will never be finished until the country is populated—every one hoped that this impost would be removed, but Director Kieft put off the removal until the arrival of a new Director, which was longed for very much. When finally he did appear,(1) it was like the crowning of Rehoboam, for, instead of abolishing the beer-excise, his first business was to impose a wine-excise and other intolerable burdens, so that some of the commonalty, as they had no spokesman, were themselves constrained to remonstrate against it. Instead however of obtaining the relief which they expected, they received abuse from the Director. Subsequently a written answer was given them, which the Director had, as usual, drawn up at such length and with such fulness that plain and simple people, such as are here, must be confused, and unable to make anything out of it. Further attempts have accordingly been made from time to time to introduce new taxes and burdens. In fine it was so managed in Director Kieft's time, that a large yearly sum was received from the recognition and other sources, calculated to amount annually to 16,000 guilders,(2) besides the recognition which was paid in the Fatherland and which had to be contributed by the poor commonalty; for the goods were sold accordingly, and the prices are now unbearably high. In Director Stuyvesant's administration the revenue has reached a much higher sum, and it is estimated that about 30,000 guilders(3) are now derived yearly from the people by recognitions, confiscations, excise and other taxes, and yet it is not enough; the more one has the more one wants. It would be tolerable to give as much as possible, if it was used for the public weal. And whereas in all the proclamations it is promised and declared that the money shall be employed for laudable and necessary public works, let us now look for a moment and see what laudable public works there are in this country, and what fruits all the donations and contributions have hitherto borne. But not to confuse matters, one must understand us not to refer to goods and effects that belong to the Honorable Company as its own, for what belongs to it particularly was never public. The Company's effects in this country may, perhaps, with forts, cannon, ammunition, warehouses, dwelling-houses, workshops, horses, cattle, boats, and whatever else there may be, safely be said to amount to from 60,000 to 70,000 guilders,(4) and it is very probable that the debts against it are considerably more. But passing these by, let us turn our attention to the public property, and see where the money from time to time has been used. According to the proclamations during the administration of Director Kieft, if we rightly consider, estimate and examine them all, we cannot learn or discover that anything—we say anything large or small—worth relating, was done, built or made, which concerned or belonged to the commonalty, the church excepted, whereof we have heretofore spoken. Yea, he went on so badly and negligently that nothing has ever been designed, understood or done that gave appearance of design to content the people, even externally, but on the contrary what came from the commonalty has even been mixed up with the effects of the Company, and even the Company's property and means have been everywhere neglected, in order to make friends, to secure witnesses and to avoid accusers about the management of the war. The negroes, also, who came from Tamandare(5) were sold for pork and peas, from the proceeds of which something wonderful was to be performed, but they just dripped through the fingers. There are also various other negroes in this country, some of whom have been made free for their long service, but their children have remained slaves, though it is contrary to the laws of every people that any one born of a free Christian mother should be a slave and be compelled to remain in servitude. It is impossible to relate everything that has happened. Whoever did not give his assent and approval was watched and, when occasion served, was punished for it. We submit to all intelligent persons to consider what fruit this has borne, and what a way this was to obtain good testimony. Men are by nature covetous, especially those who are needy, and of this we will hereafter adduce some few proofs, when we come to speak of Director Kieft's government particularly. But we shall now proceed to the administration of Director Stuyvesant, and to see how affairs have been conducted up to the time of our departure.

     (1) Stuyvesant arrived from Holland by way of the West
     Indies in May, 1647.

     (2) Equivalent to $6,400.

     (3) $12,000. (4) From $24,000 to $28,000.

     (5) A bay on the coast of Brazil, where the Dutch admiral
     Lichthart defeated the Portugese in a naval engagement, in
     September, 1645.

Mr. Stuyvesant has almost all the time from his first arrival up to our leaving been busy building, laying masonry, making, breaking, repairing and the like, but generally in matters of the Company and with little profit to it; for upon some things more was spent than they were worth; and though at the first he put in order the church which came into his hands very much out of repair, and shortly afterwards made a wooden wharf, both acts very serviceable and opportune, yet after this time we do not know that anything has been done or made that is entitled to the name of a public work, though there has been income enough, as is to be seen in the statement of the yearly revenue. They have all the time been trying for more, like dropsical people. Thus in a short time very great discontent has sprung up on all sides, not only among the burghers, who had little to say, but also among the Company's officers themselves, so that various protests were made by them on account of the expense and waste consequent upon unnecessary councillors, officers, servants and the like who are not known by the Managers, and also on account of the monies and means which were given in common, being privately appropriated and used. But it was all in vain, there was very little or no amendment; and the greater the endeavors to help, restore and raise up everything, the worse has it been; for pride has ruled when justice dictated otherwise, just as if it were disgraceful to follow advice, and as if everything should come from one head. The fruits of this conduct can speak and bear testimony of themselves. It has been so now so long, that every day serves the more to condemn it. Previously to the 23rd of July 1649, nothing had been done concerning weights and measures or the like; but at that time they notified the people that in August then next ensuing the matter would be regulated. The fiscaal would then attend to it, which was as much as to say, would give the pigeons to drink. There is frequently much discontent and discord among the people on account of weights and measures, and as they are never inspected, they cannot be right. It is also believed that some of easy consciences have two sets of them, but we cannot affirm the fact. As to the corn measure, the Company itself has always been suspected, but who dare lisp it? The payment in zeewant, which is the currency here, has never been placed upon a good footing, although the commonalty requested it, and showed how it should be regulated, assigning numerous reasons therefor. But there is always misunderstanding and discontent, and if anything is said before the Director of these matters more than pleases him, very wicked and spiteful words are returned. Those moreover whose office requires them to speak to him of such things are, if he is in no good fit, very freely berated as clowns, bear-skinners, and the like.

The fort under which we are to shelter ourselves, and from which as it seems all authority proceeds, lies like a molehill or a tottering wall, on which there is not one gun-carriage or one piece of cannon in a suitable frame or on a good platform. From the first it has been declared that it should be repaired, laid in five angles, and put in royal condition. The commonalty's men have been addressed for money for the purpose, but they excused themselves on the ground that the people were poor. Every one, too, was discontented and feared that if the Director once had his fort to rely upon, he would be more cruel and severe. Between the two, nothing is done. He will doubtless know how to lay the blame with much circumstance upon the commonalty who are innocent, although the Director wished to have the money from them, and for that purpose pretended to have an order from Their High Mightinesses. Had the Director laid out for that purpose the fourth part of the money which was collected from the commonalty during his time, it certainly would not have fallen short, as the wine-excise was expressly laid for that object. But it was sought in a thousand ways to shear the sheep though the wool was not yet grown. In regard, then, to public works, there is little difference between Director Kieft and Director Stuyvesant, for after the church was built the former was negligent, and took personal action against those who looked him in the eye. The latter has had much more opportunity to keep public works in repair than his predecessor had, for he has had no war on his hands. He has also been far more diligent and bitter in looking up causes of prosecution against his innocent opponents than his predecessor ever was.

The Administration of Director Kieft in Particular.

Sufficient has been said of what Director Kieft did in regard to the church and its affairs, and in regard to the state, such as buildings and taxes or revenue. It remains for us to proceed to the council-house and produce thence some examples, as we promised. We will, in doing so, endeavor to be brief.

The Council then consisted of Director Kieft and Monsieur la Montagne. The Director had two votes, and Monsieur la Montagne one; and it was a high crime to appeal from their judgments. Cornelis vander Hoykens sat with them as fiscaal,(1) and Cornelis van Tienhoven as secretary,(2) and whenever any thing extraordinary occurred, the Director allowed some, whom it pleased him—officers of the company for the most part—to be summoned in addition, but that seldom happened. Nevertheless it gave discontent. The Twelve Men, and afterwards the Eight,(3) had in court matters neither vote nor advice; but were chosen in view of the war and some other occurrences, to serve as cloaks and cats-paws. Otherwise they received no consideration and were little respected if they opposed at all the views of the Director, who himself imagined, or certainly wished to make others believe, that he was sovereign, and that it was absolutely in his power to do or refuse to do anything. He little regarded the safety of the people as the supreme law, as clearly appeared in the war, although when the spit was turned in the ashes, it was sought by cunning and numerous certificates and petitions to shift the blame upon others. But that happened so because the war was carried too far, and because every one laid the damage and the blood which was shed to his account. La Montagne said that he had protested against it, but that it was begun against his will and to his great regret, and that afterwards, when it was entered upon, he had helped to excuse it to the best of his ability. The secretary, Cornelius van Tienhoven, also said that he had no hand in the matter, and nothing had been done by him in regard to it except by the express orders of the Director. But this was not believed, for there are those who have heard La Montagne say that if the secretary had not brought false reports the affair would never have happened.(4) There are others also who know this, and every one believes it to be so; and indeed it has plausability. Fiscal van der Hoytgens was not trusted on account of his drinking, wherein all his science consists. He had also no experience here, and in the beginning frequently denounced the war as being against his will. So that the blame rests, and must rest only upon the Director and Secretary Tienhoven. The Director was entrusted with the highest authority, and if any body advised him to the land's ruin, he was not bound to follow the advice and afterwards endeavor to shift the burden from his own neck upon the people, who however excuse themselves although in our judgment they are not all entirely innocent. The cause of this war we conceive to have been the exacting of the contribution, (for which the Director said he had the order of the Managers,)(5) and his own ungovernable passions, which showed themselves principally in private. But there are friends whom this business intimately concerns, and as they have already undertaken it, we will leave the matter with them and proceed to cite one or two instances disclosing the aspiration after sovereignty. Passing by many cases for the sake of brevity, we have that of one Francis Doughty, an English minister, and of Arnoldus van Herdenberch, a free merchant. But as both these cases appear likely to come before Their High Mightinesses at full length, we will merely give a summary of them. This minister, Francis Doughty, during the first troubles in England, in order to escape them, came to New England.(6) But he found that he might, in conformity with the Dutch reformation, have freedom of conscience, which, contrary to his expectation, he missed in New England, he betook himself to the protection of the Dutch. An absolute ground-brief(7) with the privileges allowed to a colony was granted to him by the Director. He had strengthened his settlement in the course of one year by the addition of several families, but the war coming on, they were driven from their lands with the loss of some men and many cattle, besides almost all their houses and what other property they had. They afterwards returned and remained a while, but consuming more than they were able to raise, they came to the Manathans where all the fugitives sojourned at that time, and there Master Doughty officiated as a minister. After the flame of war was out and the peace was concluded—but in such a manner that no one much relied upon it—some of the people again returned to their lands. The Director would have been glad, in order that all things should be completely restored, if it had pleased this man likewise to go back upon his land; but inasmuch as the peace was doubtful, and he had not wherewith to begin, Master Doughty was in no haste. He went however, some time afterwards, and dwelt there half a year, but again left it. As peace was made, and in hope that some others would make a village there, a suit was brought against the minister, and carried on so far that his land was confiscated. Master Doughty, feeling himself aggrieved, appealed from the sentence. The Director answered, his sentence could not be appealed from, but must prevail absolutely; and caused the minister for that remark to be imprisoned twenty-four hours and then to pay 25 guilders. We have always considered this an act of tyranny and regarded It as a token of sovereignty. The matter of Arnoldus van Herdenberch was very like it in its termination. After Zeger Theunisz was murdered by the Indians in the Beregat,(8) and the yacht had returned to the Manathans, Arnoldus van Hardenbergh was with two others appointed by the Director and Council curators over the estate, and the yacht was searched. Some goods were found in it which were not entered, whereupon the fiscaal went to law with the curators, and claimed that the goods were confiscable to the Company. The curators resisted and gave Herdenberch charge of the matter. After some proceedings the goods were condemned. As he found himself now aggrieved in behalf of the common owners, he appealed to such judges as they should choose for the purpose. The same game was then played over again. It was a high crime. The fiscaal made great pretensions and a sentence was passed, whereof the contents read thus: "Having seen the written complaint of the Fiscaal vander Hoytgens against Arnoldus van Hardenberch in relation to appealing from our sentence dated the 28th April last past, as appears by the signature of the before-named Sr. A. van Hardenberch, from which sentence no appeal can be had, as is proven to him by the States General and His Highness of Orange: Therefore the Director General and Council of New Netherland, regarding the dangerous consequences tending to injure the supreme authority of this land's magistracy, condemn the before-named Arnold van Herdenberch to pay forthwith a fine of 25 guilders, or to be imprisoned until the penalty be paid; as an example to others." Now, if one know the lion from his paw, he can see that these people do not spare the name of Their High Mightinesses, His Highness of Orange, the honor of the magistrates, nor the words, "dangerous consequences," "an example to others," and other such words, to play their own parts therewith. We have therefore placed this act by the side of that which was committed against the minister Doughty. Many more similar cases would be found in the record, if other things were always rightly inserted in it, which is very doubtful, the contrary sometimes being observed. It appears then sufficiently that everything has gone on rather strangely. And with this we will leave the subject and pass on to the government of Director Stuyvesant, with a single word, however, touching the sinister proviso incorporated in the ground-briefs, as the consequences may thence be very well understood. Absolute grants were made to the people by the ground-briefs, and when they thought that everything was right, and that they were masters of their own possessions, the ground-briefs were demanded from them again upon pretence that there was something forgotten in them; but that was not it. They thought they had incommoded themselves in giving them, and therefore a proviso was added at the end of the ground-brief, and it was signed anew; which proviso directly conflicts with the ground-brief, so that in one and the same ground-brief is a contradiction without chance of agreement, for it reads thus in the old briefs: "and take in possession the land and the valleys appertaining of old thereto," and the proviso says, "no valley to be used before the Company," all which could well enough be used, and the Company have a competency. In the ground-briefs is contained also another provision, which is usually inserted and sticks in the bosom of every one: to wit, that they must submit themselves to all taxes which the council has made or shall make.(9) These impositions can be continued in infinitum, and have already been enforced against several inhabitants. Others also are discouraged from undertaking anything on such terms.

     (1) Cornelis van der Huygens was schout-fiscaal (sheriff and
     public prosecutor) of New Netherland from 1639 to 1645.  He
     was drowned in the wreck of the Princess in 1647, along with

     (2) Cornelis van Tienhoven was a figure of much importance
     in New Netherland history.  An Utrecht man, he came out as
     book-Keeper in 1633, and served in that capacity under Van
     Twiller. In 1638, at the beginning of Kieft's
     administration, he was made provincial secretary, and
     continued in that office under Stuyvesant, supporting with
     much shrewdness and industry the measures of the
     administration.  His endeavors to counteract this
     Representation of the commonalty of New Netherland are
     described in the introduction, and are exhibited in the
     piece which follows.

     (3) The Twelve Men were representatives chosen at the
     request of Kieft, to advise respecting war against the
     Weckquasgeeks, by an assembly of heads of families convened
     in August, 1641. They counselled delay, but finally, in
     January, 1642, consented to war.  When they proceeded to
     demand reforms, especially popular representation in the
     Council, Kieft dissolved them. After the Indian outbreak of
     August, 1643, the Eight Men were elected, also at the
     instance of Kieft, and did their part in the management of
     the ensuing warfare; but they also, in the autumns of 1643
     and 1644, protested to the West India Company and the States
     General against Kieft's misgovernment, and demanded his

     (4) This is intended to connect Kieft's massacre of the
     refugee Tappaans at Pavonia, February 25-26, 1643, with a
     previous reconnaissance of their position by Van Tienhoven.

     (5) Demand of tribute which Kieft made of the river Indians
     in 1639 and 1640.

     (6) Reverend Francis Doughty, Adriaen van der Donck's
     father-in-law, came to Massachusetts in 1637, but was forced
     to depart on account of heresies respecting baptism. He is
     reputed one of the first, if not the first, Presbyterian
     ministers in America.  Further details regarding him, from
     an unfriendly pen, may be seen in Van Tienhoven's reply,
     post. The conditions on which he and his associates settled
     at Mespath (Newtown) may be seen in N.Y. Col. Doc., XIII.
     8; the Patent, in O'Callaghan's History of New Netherland,
     I. 425.

     (7) Conveyance.

     (8) Shrewsbury Inlet.

     (9) Mr. Murphy cites the clause, from a ground-brief or
     patent issued in 1639.  After describing the land conveyed,
     it is declared to be "upon the express condition and
     stipulation that the said A.B. and his assigns shall
     acknowledge the Nobel Lords Managers aforesaid as their
     masters and patroons under the sovereignty of the High and
     Mighty Lord States General, and shall be obedient to the
     Director and Council here, as all good citizens are bound to
     be, submitting themselves to all such taxes and imposts as
     have been or may be, hereafter, imposed by the Noble Lords."

The Administration of Director Stuyvesant in Particular

We wish much we were already through with this administration, for it has grieved us, and we know ourselves powerless; nevertheless we will begin, and as we have already spoken of the public property, ecclesiastical and civil, we will consider how it is in regard to the administration of justice, and giving decisions between man and man. And first, to point as with a finger at the manners of the Director and Council. As regards the Director, from his first arrival to this time, his manner in court has been to treat with violence, dispute with or harass one of the two parties, not as becomes a judge, but as a zealous advocate, which has given great discontent to every one, and with some it has gone so far and has effected so much, that many of them dare bring no matter before the court, if they do not stand well or tolerably so with the Director. For whoever has him opposed, has as much as the sun and moon against him. Though he has himself appointed many of the councillors, and placed hem under obligation to him, and some pretend that he can overpower the rest by plurality of votes, he frequently puts his opinion in writing, and that so fully that it covers several pages, and then he adds verbally, "Monsieur, this is my advice, if any one has aught to say against it, let him speak." If then any one rises to make objection, which is not easily done, though it be well grounded, His Honor bursts out immediately in fury and makes such gestures, that it is frightful; yea, he rails out frequently at the Councillors for this thing and the other, with ugly words which would better suit the fish-market than the council chamber; and if this be all endured, His Honor will not rest yet unless he has his will. To demonstrate this by examples and proof, though easily done, would nevertheless detain us too long; but we all say and affirm that this has been his common practice from the first and still daily continues. And this is the condition and nature of things in the council on the part of the Director, who is its head and president. Let us now briefly speak of the councillors individually. The Vice Director, Lubbert van Dincklagen,(1) has for a long time on various occasions shown great dissatisfaction about many different matters, and has protested against the Director and his appointed councillors, but only lately, and after some others made resistance. He was, before this, so influenced by fear, that he durst venture to take no chances against the Director, but had to let many things pass by and to submit to them. He declared afterwards that he had great objections to them, because they were not just, but he saw no other way to have peace, as the Director said even in the council, that he would treat him worse than Wouter van Twiller had ever done, if he were not willing to conform to his wishes. This man then is overruled. Let us proceed farther. Monsieur la Montagne had been in the council in Kieft's time, and was then very much suspected by many. He had no commission from the Fatherland, was driven by the war from his farm, is also very much indebted to the Company, and therefore is compelled to dissemble. But it is sufficiently known from himself that he is not pleased, and is opposed to the administration. Brian Newton,(2) lieutenant of the soldiers, is the next. This man is afraid of the Director, and regards him as his benefactor. Besides being very simple and inexperienced in law, he does not understand our Dutch language, so that he is scarcely capable of refuting the long written opinions, but must and will say yes. Sometimes the commissary, Adrian Keyser, is admitted into the council, who came here as secretary. This man has not forgotten much law, but says that he lets God's water run over God's field. He cannot and dares not say anything, for so much can be said against him that it is best that he should be silent. The captains of the ships, when they are ashore, have a vote in the Council; as Ielmer Thomassen, and Paulus Lenaertson,(3) who was made equipment-master upon his first arrival, and who has always had a seat in the council, but is still a free man. What knowledge these people, who all their lives sail on the sea, and are brought up to ship-work, have of law matters and of farmers' disputes any intelligent man can imagine. Besides, the Director himself considers them so guilty that they dare not accuse others, as will appear from this passage at Curacao, before the Director ever saw New Netherland. As they were discoursing about the price of carracks, the Director said to the minister and others, "Domine Johannes,(4) I thought that I had brought honest ship-masters with me, but I find that I have brought a set of thieves"; and this was repeated to these councillors, especially to the equipment-master, for Captain Ielmer was most of the time at sea. They have let it pass unnoticed—a proof that they were guilty. But they have not fared badly; for though Paulus Lenaertssen has small wages, he has built a better dwelling-house here than anybody else. How this has happened is mysterious to us; for though the Director has knowledge of these matters, he nevertheless keeps quiet when Paulus Lenaertssen begins to make objections, which he does not easily do for any one else, which causes suspicion in the minds of many. There remains to complete this court-bench, the secretary and the fiscaal, Hendrick van Dyck,(5) who had previously been an ensign-bearer. Director Stuyvesant has kept him twenty-nine months out of the meetings of the council, for the reason among others which His Honor assigned, that he cannot keep secret but will make public, what is there resolved. He also frequently declared that he was a villain, a scoundrel, a thief and the like. All this is well known to the fiscaal, who dares not against him take the right course, and in our judgment it is not advisable for him to do so; for the Director is utterly insufferable in word and deed. What shall we say of a man whose head is troubled, and has a screw loose, especially when, as often happens, he has been drinking. To conclude, there is the secretary, Cornelius van Tienhoven. Of this man very much could be said, and more than we are able, but we shall select here and there a little for the sake of brevity. He is cautious, subtle, intelligent and sharp-witted—good gifts when they are well used. He is one of those who have been longest in the country, and every circumstance is well known to him, in regard both to the Christians and the Indians. With the Indians, moreover, he has run about the same as an Indian, with a little covering and a small patch in front, from lust after the prostitutes to whom he has always been mightily inclined, and with whom he has had so much to do that no punishment or threats of the Director can drive him from them. He is extremely expert in dissimulation. He pretends himself that he bites when asleep, and that he shows externally the most friendship towards those whom he most hates. He gives every one who has any business with him—which scarcely any one can avoid—good answers and promises of assistance, yet rarely helps anybody but his friends; but twists continually and shuffles from one side to the other. In his words and conduct he is shrewd, false, deceitful and given to lying, promising every one, and when it comes to perform, at home to no one. The origin of the war was ascribed principally to him, together with some of his friends. In consequence of his false reports and lies the Director was led into it, as is believed and declared both by the honest Indians and Christians. Now, if the voice of the people, according to the maxim, be the voice of God, one can with truth say scarcely anything good of this man or omit anything bad. The whole country, save the Director and his party, cries out against him bitterly, as a villain, murderer and traitor, and that he must leave the country or there will be no peace with the Indians. Director Stuyvesant was, at first and afterwards, well admonished of this; but he has nevertheless kept him in office, and allowed him to do so much, that all things go according to his wishes, more than if he were President. Yea, he also says that he is well contented to have him in his service, but that stone does not yet rest. We firmly believe that he misleads him in many things, so that he does many bad things which he otherwise would not do; in a word, that he is an indirect cause of his ruin and dislike in the country. But it seems that the Director can or will not see it; for when it was represented to him by some persons he gave it no consideration. It has been contrived to disguise and manage matters so, that in the Fatherland, where the truth can be freely spoken, nobody would be able to molest him in order to discover the truth. We do not attempt it. Having established the powers of the Council, it is easy to understand that the right people clung by each other, in order to maintain the imaginary sovereignty and to give a gloss to the whole business. Nine men were chosen to represent the whole commonalty, and commissions and instructions were given that whatever these men should do, should be the act of the whole commonalty.(6) And so in fact it was, as long as it corresponded with the wishes and views of the Director. In such cases they represented the whole commonalty; but when it did not so correspond, they were then clowns, usurers, rebels and the like. But to understand this properly it will be best briefly to state all things chronologically, as they have happened during his administration, and in what manner those who have sought the good of the country have been treated with injustice.

     (1) Lubbertus van Dincklagen, doctor of laws, was sent out
     as schout-fiscaal of New Netherland in 1634, quarrelled with
     Van Twiller, and was sent back by him in 1636.  In 1644 he
     was Provisionally appointed as Kieft's successor, but
     Stuyvesant was finally made Director, and Van Dincklagen
     went out with him as vice-director and second member of the
     Council.  He opposed some of Stuyvesant's arbitrary acts,
     supplied the three bearers of this Representation with
     letters of credence to the States General, was expelled from
     the Council by Stuyvesant in 1651, and died in 1657 or 1658.

     (2) An Englishman who had served under the company several
     years at Curacao.

     (3) Ielmer (said to =Ethelmar) Tomassen was skipper of the
     Great Gerrit in 1647, when Stuyvesant made him company's
     storekeeper and second in military command; in 1649 and
     1650, of the Falcon.  Paulus Leendertsen van der Grift was
     captain in the West India Company's service from at least
     1644.  In 1647 Stuyvesant made him superintendent of naval
     equipment.  In the first municipal government of New
     Amsterdam, 1653, he was made a schepen (magistrate and
     councillor), later a burgomaster.

     (4) Reverend Johannes Backerus, minister for the Company at
     Curacao from 1642 to 1647, was transferred to Amsterdam when
     Stuyvesant came out, in order to fill the vacancy left by
     Reverend Everardus Bogardus, minister at Manhattan from 1633
     to 1647, who, after long quarrelling with Kieft, had gone
     home in the same ship with him, the ill-fated Princess.

     (5) Ensign Hendrick van Dyck came out in 1640 as commander
     of the militia; again with Stuyvesant in 1647 as schout-
     fiscaal. In 1652 Stuyvesant removed him from that office.
     His defence of his official career, a valuable document, may
     be seen in N.Y. Col. Doc., I. 491-513.

     (6) See the introduction.

His first arrival—for what passed on the voyage is not for us to speak of—was like a peacock, with great state and pomp. The declaration of His Honor, that he wished to stay here only three years, with other haughty expressions, caused some to think that he would not be a father. The appellation of Lord General,(1) and similar titles, were never before known here. Almost every day he caused proclamations of various import to be published, which were for the most part never observed, and have long since been a dead letter, except the wine excise, as that yielded a profit. The proceedings of the Eight Men, especially against Jochem Pietersz Cuyffer and Cornelis Molyn, happened in the beginning of his administration. The Director showed himself so one-sided in them, that he gave reason to many to judge of his character, yet little to his advantage. Every one clearly saw that Director Kieft had more favor, aid and counsel in his suit than his adversary, and that the one Director was the advocate of the other as the language of Director Stuyvesant imported and signified when he said, "These churls may hereafter endeavor to knock me down also, but I will manage it so now, that they will have their bellies full for the future." How it was managed, the result of the lawsuit can bear witness. They were compelled to pay fines, and were cruelly banished. In order that nothing should be wanting, Cornelis Molyn, when he asked for mercy, till it should be seen how his matters would turn out in the Fatherland, was threatened in language like this, as Molyn, who is still living, himself declares, "If I knew, Molyn, that you would divulge our sentence, or bring it before Their High Mightinesses, I would cause you to be hung immediately on the highest tree in New-Netherland." Now this took place in private, and may be denied—and ought not to be true, but what does it matter, it is so confirmed by similar cases that it cannot be doubted. For, some time after their departure, in the house of the minister, where the consistory(2) had been sitting and had risen, it happened that one Arnoldus van Herdenbergh related the proceedings relative to the estate of Zeger Teunisz, and how he himself as curator had appealed from the sentence; whereupon the Director, who had been sitting there with them as an elder, interrupted him and replied, "It may during my administration be contemplated to appeal, but if any one should do it, I will make him a foot shorter, and send the pieces to Holland, and let him appeal in that way." Oh cruel words! what more could even a sovereign do? And yet this is all firmly established; for after Jochem Pieterz Cuyffer and Cornelis Molyn went to the Fatherland to prosecute their appeal, and letters came back here from them, and the report was that their appeal was granted, or would be granted, the Director declared openly at various times and on many occasions, as well before inhabitants as strangers, when speaking of Jochem Pietersz Cuyter and Cornelis Molyn, "Even if they should come back cleared and bring an order of the States, no matter what its contents, unless their High Mightinesses summon me, I should immediately send them back." His Honor has also always denied that any appeal was or could be taken in this country, and declared that he was able to show this conclusively. And as some were not willing to believe it, especially in matters against the Company or their chief officers, a great deal which had been sought out in every direction was cited, and really not much to the purpose. At the first, while Director Kieft was still here, the English minister,(3) as he had long continued to service without proper support and as land was now confiscated, prayed that he might be permitted to proceed to the Islands,(4) or to the Netherlands; but an unfavorable answer was always given him, and he was threatened with this and that; finally it resulted in permission to leave, provided he gave a promise under his hand, that he would not in any place in which he should come, speak or complain of what had befallen him here in New Netherland under Director Kieft or Stuyvesant. This the man himself declares. Mr. Dincklagen and Captain Loper,(5) who then had seats in the council, also say that this is true. One wonders, if the Directors act rightly according to their own consciences, what they wished to do with such certificates, and others like them, which were secretly obtained. The Honorable Director began also at the first to argue very stoutly against the contraband trade, as was indeed very laudable, provided the object was to regulate the matter and to keep the law enforced; yet this trade, forbidden to others, he himself wished to carry on; but to this the people were not willing to consent. His Honor said, and openly asserted, that he was allowed, on behalf of the Company, to sell powder, lead and guns to the Indians, but no one else could do so, and that he wished to carry their resolution into execution. What the resolution of the Company amounts to, is unknown to us,(6) but what relates to the act is notorious to every inhabitant; as the Director has by his servants openly carried on the trade with the Indians, and has taken guns from free men who had brought with them one or two for their own use and amusement, paying for them according to his own pleasure, and selling them to the Indians. But this way of proceeding could amount to nothing, and made little progress. Another plan was necessary, and therefore a merchant, Gerrit Vastrick, received orders to bring with him one case of guns which is known of, for the purpose, as it was said, of supplying the Indians sparingly. They set about with this case of guns so openly, that there was not a man on the Manathans but knew it; and it was work enough to quiet the people. Everybody made his own comment; and, as it was observed that the ship was not inspected as others had been before, it was presumed that there were many more guns, besides powder and lead, in it for the Governor; but as the first did not succeed, silence was therefore observed in regard to the rest; and it might have passed unnoticed, had not every one perceived what a great door for abuse and opportunity the Director so opened to all others, and to the captain and merchant, who were celebrated for this of old, and who were now said to have brought with them a great number of guns, which was the more believed, because they went to the right place, and on their return were dumb as to what they did. This begat so much discontent among the common people, and even among other officers, that it is not to be expressed; and had the people not been persuaded and held back, something extraordinary would have happened. It was further declared that the Director is everything, and does the business of the whole country, having several shops himself; that he is a brewer and has breweries, is a part owner of ships, a merchant and a trader, as well in lawful as contraband articles. But he does not mind; he exhibits the orders of the Managers that he might do so, and says moreover that he should receive a supply of powder and lead by the Falconer for the purpose. In a word, the same person who interdicts the trade to others upon pain of death, carries it on both secretly and openly, and desires, contrary to good rules, that his example be not followed, and if others do follow it—which indeed too often happens secretly—that they be taken to the gallows. This we have seen in the case of Jacob Reyntgen and Jacob van Schermerhoren, against whom the penalty of death was asked, which the Director was with great difficulty persuaded to withdraw, and who were then banished as felons and their goods confiscated.(7) The banishment was, by the intervention of many good men, afterwards revoked, but their goods, which amounted to much (as they were Scotch merchants(8)), remained confiscated. We cannot pass by relating here what happened to one Joost Theunisz Backer, as he has complained to us of being greatly maltreated, as he in fact was. For the man being a reputable burgher, of good life and moderate means, was put in prison upon the declaration of an officer of the Company, who, according to the General and Council, had himself thrice well deserved the gallows, and for whom a new one even had been made, from which, out of mercy, he escaped. Charges were sought out on every side, and finally, when nothing could be established against him having the semblance of crime, he was released again, after thirteen days confinement, upon satisfactory bail for his appearance in case the fiscaal should find anything against him. Nothing has as yet been done about it. After the year and a day had passed by, we have, as representatives of the commonalty, and upon his request, legally solicited, as his sureties were troubling him, that the suit should be tried, so that he might be punished according to his deserts if he were guilty, and if not, that he might be discharged. But there was nothing gained by our interposition, as we were answered with reproachful language, and the fiscaal was permitted to rattle out anything that came in his mouth, and the man was rendered odious beyond all precedent, and abused before all as a foul monster. Asked he anything, even if it were all right, he received angry and abusive language, his request was not complied with, and justice was denied him. These things produce great dissatisfaction, and lead some to meditate leaving the country. It happened better with one Pieter vander Linden, as he was not imprisoned. There are many others, for the most of them are disturbed and would speak if they durst. Now the Company itself carries on the forbidden trade, the people think that they too can do so without guilt, if they can do so without damage; and this causes smuggling and frauds to an incredible extent, though not so great this year as heretofore. The publishing of a placard that those who were guilty, whether civilly or criminally, in New England, might have passport and protection here, has very much embittered the minds of the English, and has been considered by every one fraught with bad consequences. Great distrust has also been created among the inhabitants on account of Heer Stuyvesant being so ready to confiscate. There scarcely comes a ship in or near here, which, if it do not belong to friends, is not regarded as a prize by him. Though little comes of it, great claims are made to come from these matters, about which we will not dispute; but confiscating has come to such repute in New Netherland, that nobody anywise conspicuous considers his property to be really safe. It were well if the report of this thing were confined to this country; but it has spread among the neighboring English—north and south—and in the West Indies and Caribbee Islands. Everywhere there, the report is so bad, that not a ship dare come hither from those places; and good credible people who come from thence, by the way of Boston, and others here trading at Boston, assure us that more than twenty-five ships would come here from those islands every year if the owners were not fearful of confiscation. It is true of these places only and the report of it flies everywhere, and produces like fear, so that this vulture is destroying the prosperity of New Netherland, diverting its trade, and making the people discouraged, for other places not so well situated as this, have more shipping. All the permanent inhabitants, the merchant, the burgher and peasant, the planter, the laboring man, and also the man in service, suffer great injury in consequence; for if the shipping were abundant, everything would be sold cheaper, and necessaries be more easily obtained than they are now, whether they be such as the people themselves, by God's blessing, get out of the earth, or those they otherwise procure, and be sold better and with more profit; and people and freedom would bring trade. New England is a clear example that this policy succeeds well, and so especially is Virginia. All the debts and claims which were left uncollected by Director Kieft—due for the most part from poor and indigent people who had nothing, and whose property was destroyed by the war, by which they were compelled to abandon their houses, lands, cattle and other means—were now demanded; and when the people declared that they were not able to pay—that they had lost their property by the war, and asked My Lord to please have patience, they were repulsed. A resolution was adopted and actually put into execution, requiring those who did not satisfy the Company's debts, to pay interest; but the debts in question were made in and by the war, and the people are not able to pay either principal or interest. Again, the just debts which Director Kieft left behind, due from the Company, whether they consisted of monthly wages, or were for grain delivered, or were otherwise lawfully contracted, these the Director will not pay. If we oppose this as an unusual course, we are rebuked and it has to be so. We have by petition and proper remonstrance effected, however, so much, that the collection of the debts is put off for a time.

     (1) Myn Heer Generael is hardly what would be meant in
     English by "Lord General"; it is most like Fr. Monsieur le

     (2) The church session, in the Reformed Church, consisting
     of minister, elders and deacons.

     (3) Francis Doughty.

     (4) The West Indies.

     (5) Jacob Loper, a Swedish naval captain in the Dutch
     service, who had married the eldest daughter of Cornelis

     (6) Mr. Murphy quotes an apposite passage from a letter
     which the company had written to Stuyvesant on April 7,
     1648: "As they [the Indians] urge it with such earnestness,
     that they would rather renew the war with us than be without
     these articles, and as a war with them, in our present
     situation, would be very unwelcome, we think the best policy
     is to furnish them with powder and ball but with a sparing

     (7) These sentences were imposed in July, 1648.

     (8) Peddlers.

Besides this, the country of the Company is so taxed, and is burdened and kept down in such a manner, that the inhabitants are not able to appear beside their neighbors of Virginia or New England, or to undertake any enterprise. It seems—and so far as is known by us all the inhabitants of New Netherland declare—that the Managers have scarce any care or regard for New Netherland, except when there is something to receive, for which reason, however, they receive less. The great extremity of war in which we have been, clearly demonstrates that the Managers have not cared whether New Netherland sank or swam; for when in that emergency aid and assistance were sought from them—which they indeed were bound by honor and by promises to grant, unsolicited, pursuant to the Exemptions—they have never established any good order or regulation concerning it, although (after all) such a thing had been decreed and commanded by Their High Mightinesses. Neither have they ever allowed the true causes and reasons of the war to be investigated, nor have they attempted to punish those who had rashly begun it. Hence no little suspicion that it was undertaken by their orders; at least it is certain that their officers were chosen more from favor and friendship than merit, which did not make their matters go on better. But this is the loss and damage for the most part of the stockholders. Many of the others doubtless knew well their objects. In a word, they come far short in affording that protection which they owe the country, for there is nothing of the kind. They understand how to impose taxes, for while they promised in the Exemptions not to go above five per cent., they now take sixteen. It is a common saying that a half difference is a great difference, but that is nothing in comparison with this. The evasions and objections which are used by them, as regards merchants' goods, smuggling and many other things, and which the times have taught them, in order to give color to their acts, are of no force or consideration. They however are not now to be refuted, as it would take too long; though we stand ready to do so if there be any necessity for it. These and innumerable other difficulties, which we have not time to express, exist, tending to the damage, injury and ruin of the country. If the inhabitants or we ourselves go to the Director or other officers of the Company, and speak of the flourishing condition of our neighbors, and complain of our own desolate and ruinous state, we get no other answer from them than that they see and observe it, but cannot remedy it, as they follow the Company's orders, which they are compelled to do, and that if we have any thing to say, we must petition their masters, the Managers, or Their High Mightinesses, which in truth we have judged to be necessary. It is now more than a year since the commons-men deemed it expedient, and proposed, to send a deputation to Their High Mightinesses. The Director commended the project and not only assented to it but urged it strongly. It was put well in the mill, so that we had already spoken of a person to go, but it fell through for these reasons: When it was proposed, the Director desired that we should consult and act according to his wishes; which some who perceived the object would not consent to, and the matter therefore fell asleep. Besides, the English, who had been depended upon and who were associated in the affair, withdrew till the necessity of action became greater, and the Nine Men were changed the next year,(1) when Herr Stuyvesant again urged the matter strongly, and declared that he had already written to the Company that such persons would come. After the election of the Nine Men, and before the new incumbents were sworn in, it was determined and resolved verbally, that they would proceed with the deputation, whatever should be the consequences; but it remained some time before the oath was renewed, on account of some amplification of the commission being necessary, which was finally given and recorded and signed; but we have never been able to obtain an authentic copy of it, although the Director has frequently promised and we have frequently applied for it.

     (1) December, 1648.

As the Company had now been waited upon a long while in vain, promising amendment from time to time but going on worse, a determined resolution was taken by the commons-men to send some person. They made their intention known to the Director, and requested that they might confer with the commonalty; but their proposition was not well received, and they obtained in reply to their written petition a very long apostil, to the effect, that consultation must be had with the Director, and his instructions followed, with many other things which did not agree with out object, and were impracticable, as we think. For various reasons which we set down in writing, we thought it was not advisable to consult with him, but we represented to his Honor that he should proceed; we would not send anything to the Fatherland without his having a copy of it. If he could then justify himself, we should be glad he should; but to be expected to follow his directions in this matter was not, we thought, founded in reason, but directly antagonistic to the welfare of the country. We had also never promised or agreed to do so; and were bound by an oath to seek the prosperity of the country, as, according to our best knowledge, we are always inclined to do.

In the above mentioned apostil it says, if we read rightly, that we should inquire what approbation the commonalty were willing to give to this business, and how the expense should be defrayed; but the Director explained it differently from what we understood it. Now as his Honor was not willing to convene the people however urgent our request, or that we should do it, we went round from house to house and spoke to the commonalty. The General has, from that time, burned with rage, and, if we can judge, has never been effectually appeased since, although we did not know but that we had followed his order herein. Nevertheless it was perceived that the Nine Men would not communicate with him or follow his directions in anything pertaining to the matter. This excited in him a bitter and unconquerable hatred against them all, but principally against those whom he supposed to be the chief authors of it; and although these persons had been good and dear friends with him always, and he, shortly before, had regarded them as the most honorable, able, intelligent and pious men of the country, yet as soon as they did not follow the General's wishes they were this and that, some of them rascals, liars, rebels, usurers and spendthrifts, in a word, hanging was almost too good for them. It had been previously strongly urged that the deputation should be expedited, but then [he said] there was still six months time, and that all that was proper and necessary could be put upon a sheet of paper. Many reports also were spread among the people, and it was sought principally by means of the English to prevent the college of the Nine Men from doing anything; but as these intrigues were discovered, and it was therefore manifest that this could not be effected, so in order to make a diversion, many suits were brought against those who were considered the ringleaders. They were accused and then prosecuted by the fiscaal and other suborned officers, who made them out to be the greatest villains in the country, where shortly before they had been known as the best people and dearest children. At this time an opportunity presented itself, which the Director was as glad to have, at least as he himself said, as his own life. At the beginning of the year 1649, clearly perceiving that we would not only have much to do about the deputation but would hardly be able to accomplish it, we deemed it necessary to make regular memoranda for the purpose of furnishing a journal from them at the proper time. This duty was committed to one Adriaen vander Donck, who by a resolution adopted at the same time was lodged in a chamber at the house of one Michael Jansz. The General on a certain occasion when Vander Donck was out of the chamber, seized this rough draft with his own hands, put Vander Donck the day after in jail, called together the great Council, accused him of having committed crimen laesae majestatis, and took up the matter so warmly, that there was no help for it but either the remonstrance must be drawn up in concert with him (and it was yet to be written,) or else the journal—as Mine Heer styled the rough draft from which the journal was to be prepared—was of itself sufficient excuse for action; for Mine Heer said there were great calumnies in it against Their High Mightinesses, and when we wished to explain it and asked for it, to correct the errors, (as the writer did not wish to insist upon it and said he knew well that there were mistakes in it, arising from haste and other similar causes, in consequence of his having had much to do and not having read over again the most of it,) our request was called a libel which was worthy of no answer, and the writer of which it was intended to punish as an example to others. In fine we could not make it right in any way. He forbade Vander Donck the council and also our meetings, and gave us formal notice to that effect, and yet would not release him from his oath. Then to avoid the proper mode of proof, he issued a proclamation declaring that no testimony or other act should be valid unless it were written by the secretary, who is of service to nobody, but on the contrary causes every one to complain that nothing can be done. Director Kieft had done the same thing when he was apprehensive that an attestation would be executed against him. And so it is their practice generally to do everything they can think of in order to uphold their conduct. Those whose offices required them to concern themselves with the affairs of the country, and did so, did well, if they went according to the General's will and pleasure; if they did not, they were prosecuted and thrown into prison, guarded by soldiers so that they could not speak with any body, angrily abused as vile monsters, threatened to be taught this and that, and everything done against them that he could contrive or invent. We cannot enter into details, but refer to the record kept of these things, and the documents which the Director himself is to furnish. From the foregoing relation Their High Mightinesses, and others interested who may see it, can well imagine what labor and burdens we have had upon our shoulders from which we would very willingly have escaped, but for love of the country and of truth, which, as far as we know, has long lain buried. The trouble and difficulty which do or will affect us, although wanting no addition, do not grieve us so much as the sorrowful condition of New Netherland, now lying at its last gasp; but we hope and trust that our afflictions and the sufferings of the inhabitants and people of the country will awaken in Their High Mightinesses a compassion which will be a cause of rejoicing to New Netherland.

In what Manner New Netherland should be Redressed.

Although we are well assured and know, in regard to the mode of redress of the country, we are only children, and Their High Mightinesses are entirely competent, we nevertheless pray that they overlook our presumption and pardon us if we make some suggestions according to our slight understanding thereof, in addition to what we have considered necessary in our petition to Their High Mightinesses.

In our opinion this country will never flourish under the government of the Honorable Company, but will pass away and come to an end of itself without benefiting thereby the Honorable Company, so that it would be better and more profitable for them, and better for the country, that they should divest themselves of it and transfer their interests.

To speak specifically. Provision ought to be made for public buildings, as well ecclesiastical as civil, which, in beginnings, can be ill dispensed with. It is doubtful whether divine worship will not have to cease altogether in consequence of the departure of the minister, and the inability of the Company. There should be a public school, provided with at least two good masters, so that first of all in so wild a country, where there are many loose people, the youth be well taught and brought up, not only in reading and writing, but also in the knowledge and fear of the Lord. As it is now, the school is kept very irregularly, one and another keeping it according to his pleasure and as long as he thinks proper. There ought also to be an almshouse and an orphan asylum, and other similar institutions. The minister who now goes home,(1) should be able to give a much fuller explanation thereof. The country must also be provided with godly, honorable and intelligent rulers who are not too indigent, or indeed are not too covetous. A covetous chief makes poor subjects. The manner the country is now governed falls severely upon it, and is intolerable, for nobody is unmolested or secure in his property longer than the Director pleases, who is generally strongly inclined to confiscating; and although one does well, and gives the Heer what is due to him, one must still study always to please him if he would have quiet. A large population would be the consequence of a good government, as we have shown according to our knowledge in our petition; and although to give free passage and equip ships, if it be necessary, would be expensive at first, yet if the result be considered, it would be an exceedingly wise measure, if by that means farmers and laborers together with other needy people were brought into the country, with the little property which they have; as also the Fatherland has enough of such people to spare. We hope it would then prosper, especially as good privileges and exemptions, which we regard as the mother of population, would encourage the inhabitants to carry on commerce and lawful trade. Every one would be allured hither by the pleasantness, situation, salubrity and fruitfulness of the country, if protection were secured within the already established boundaries. It would all, with God's assistance, then, according to human judgment, go well, and New Netherland would in a few years be a worthy place and be able to do service to the Netherland nation, to repay richly the cost, and to thank its benefactors.

     (1) Reverend Johannes Backerus.

High Mighty Lords! We have had the boldness to write this remonstrance, and to represent matters as we have done from love of the truth, and because we felt ourselves obliged to do so by our oath and conscience. It is true that we have not all of us at one time or together seen, heard and met with every detail of its entire contents. Nevertheless there is nothing in it but what is well known by some of us to be true and certain;—the most is known by all of us to be true. We hope Their High Mightinesses will pardon our presumption and be charitable with our plainness of style, composition and method. In conclusion we commit Their High Mightinesses, their persons, deliberations and measures and their people, at home and abroad, together with all the friends of New Netherland, to the merciful guidance and protection of the Most High, whom we supplicate for Their High Mightinesses' present and eternal welfare. Amen.

Done this 28th of July in New Netherland, subscribed, "ADRIAEN VANDER DONCK, AUGUSTIJN HERMANSZ, ARNOLDUS VAN HARDENBERGH, JACOB VAN COUWENHOVEN, OLOFF STEVENSZ" (by whose name was written "Under protest—obliged to sign about the government of the Heer Kieft"), "MICHIEL JANSZ, THOMAS HAL, ELBERT ELBERTSZ, GOVERT LOKERMANS, HENDRICK HENDRICKSZ KIP and JAN EVERTSBOUT." Below was written, "After collation with the original remonstrance, dated and subscribed as above, with which these are found to correspond, at the Hague, the 13th October, 1649, by me;" and was subscribed,

"D. v. SCHELLUYNEN, Notary Public."


     Reference material and sources.

     Cornelius Van Tienhoven, Answer to The Representation of New
     Netherland, 1650.  In J. Franklin Jameson, ed., Narratives
     of New Netherland, 1609-1664 (Original Narratives of Early
     American History).  NY: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1909.


The origin and value of the following document have been sufficiently described in the introduction to that which precedes. Cornelis van Tienhoven, secretary of the province under Kieft and Stuyvesant, had been sent by the latter to Holland to counteract the efforts of the three emissaries whom the commonalty had sent thither to denounce the existing system of government. Working in close co-operation with the Amsterdam Chamber of the West India Company, he played a skilful game, and succeeded in delaying and in part averting hostile action on the part of the States General. The piece which follows is his chief defensive recital of the acts of the administration, and as such has much value.

Van Tienhoven had the reputation of a libertine, and conducted himself as such while in Holland, finally escaping to New Netherland in 1651 with a girl whom he had deceived, though he had a wife in the province. Yet Stuyvesant retained him in his favor, promoted him in 1652 to be schout-fiscaal of New Netherland, and used him as his chief assistant. After a disastrous outbreak, however, understood to have been caused by his advice, the Company ordered Stuyvesant to exclude him from office; and presently Van Tienhoven and his brother, a fraudulent receiver-general, absconded from the province.

The manuscript of Van Tienhoven's Answer was found by Brodhead in the archives of the Netherlands, and is still there. Two translations of it, differing but slightly, have been printed, the first in 1849 by Henry C. Murphy, in the Collections of the New York Historical Society, second series, II. 329-338, the other in the Documents relating to the Colonial History of New York, I. 422-432. The former, revised by comparison with the original manuscript at the Hague by Professor William I. Hull, of Swarthmore College, appears in the following pages.


A Brief Statement or Answer to some Points embraced in the Written Deduction of Adrian van der Donk and his Associates, presented to the High and Mighty Lords States General. Prepared by Cornelis van Tienhoven, Secretary of the Director and Council of New Netherland.

IN order to present the aforesaid answer succinctly, he, Van Tienhoven, will allege not only that it ill becomes the aforesaid Van her Donk and other private persons to assail and abuse the administration of the Managers in this country, and that of their Governors there,(1) in such harsh and general terms, but that they would much better discharge their duty if they were first to bring to the notice of their lords and patrons what they had to complain of. But passing by this point, and leaving the consideration thereof to the discretion of your High Mightinesses, he observes preliminary and generally, that it could as easily and with more truth be denied, than by them it is odiously affirmed.

     (1) In New Netherland.  Van Tienhoven prepared this answer
     in Holland.

Coming then to the matter, I will only touch upon those points as to which either the Managers or the Directors are arraigned. In regard to point No. 1, I deny, and it never will appear, that the Company have refused to permit our people to make settlements in the country, and allow foreigners to take up the land.

The policy of the Company to act on the defensive, since they had not the power to resist their pretended friends, and could only protect their rights by protest, was better and more prudent than to come to hostilities.

Trade has long been free to every one, and as profitable as ever. Nobody's goods were confiscated, except those who had violated their contract, or the order by which they were bound; and if anybody thinks that injustice has been done him by confiscation, he can speak for himself. At all events it does not concern these people.

As for their complaining that the Christians are treated like the Indians in the sale of goods, this is admitted; but this was not done by the Company, nor by the Directors, because (God help them) they have not had anything there to sell for many years. Most of the remonstrants, being merchants or factors, are themselves the cause of this, since they are the persons who, for those articles which cost here one hundred guilders, charge there, over and above the first cost, including insurance, duties, laborer's wages, freight, etc., one and two hundred per cent. or more profit. Here can be seen at once how these people lay to the charge of the Managers and their officers the very fault which they themselves commit. They can never show, even at the time the Company had their shop and magazines there well supplied, that the goods were sold at more than fifty per cent. profit, in conformity with the Exemptions. The forestalling of the goods by one and another, and their trying to get this profit, cannot be prevented by the Director, the more so as the trade was thrown open to both those of small and those of large means.

It is a pure calumny, that the Company had ordered half a fault to be reckoned for a whole one.

And, as it does not concern the inhabitants what instructions or orders the patroon gives to his chief agent, the charge is made for the purpose of making trouble. For these people would like to live without being subject to any one's censure or discipline, which, however, they stand doubly in need of.

Again it is said in general terms, but wherein, should be specified and proven, that the Director exercises and has usurped sovereign power.

That the inhabitants have had need of the Directors appears by the books of accounts, in which it can be seen that the Company has assisted all the freemen (some few excepted) with clothing, provisions and other things, and in the erection of houses, and this at the rate of fifty per cent. advance above the actual cost in the Fatherland, which is not yet paid. And they would gladly, by means of complaints, drive the Company from the land, and pay nothing.

It is ridiculous to suppose Director Kieft should have said that he was sovereign, like the Prince in the Fatherland; but as relates to the denial of appeal to the Fatherland, it arose from this, that, in the Exemptions, the Island of the Manhatans was reserved as the capital of New Netherland, and all the adjacent colonies were to have their appeal to it as the Supreme Court of that region.(1)

     (1) Art. XX.

Besides, it is to be remarked, that the patroon of the colony of Renselaerswyck notified all the inhabitants not to appeal to the Manhatans, which was contrary to the Exemptions, by which the colonies are bound to make a yearly report of the state of the colony, and of the administration of justice, to the Director and Council on the Manhatans.(1)

     (1) Art. XXVIII.

The Directors have never had any management of, or meddled with, church property. And it is not known, nor can it be proven, that any one of the inhabitants of New Netherland has contributed or given, either voluntarily or upon solicitation, anything for the erection of an orphan asylum or an almshouse. It is true that the church standing in the fort was built in the time of William Kieft, and 1,800 guilders were subscribed for the purpose, for which most of the subscribers have been charged in their accounts, which have not yet been paid. The Company in the meantime has disbursed the money, so that the Commonalty (with a few exceptions) has not, but the Company Has, paid the workmen. If the commonalty desire such works As the aforesaid, they must contribute towards them as is Done in this country, and, if there were an orphan asylum and Almshouse, there should be rents not only to keep up the house, But also to maintain the orphans and old people.

If any one could show that by will, or by donation of a living person, any money, or moveable or immoveable property, has been bestowed for such or any other public work, the remonstrants would have done it; but there is in New Netherland no instance of the kind, and the charge is spoken or written in anger. When the church which is in the fort was to be built, the Churchwardens were content it should be put there. These persons complain because they considered the Company's fort not worthy of a church. Before the church was built, the grist-mill could not grind with a southeast wind, because the wind was shut off by the walls of the fort.

Although the new school, towards which the commonalty has contributed something, is not yet built, the Director has no management of the money, but the churchwardens have, and the Director is busy in providing materials. In the mean time a place has been selected for a school, where the school is kept by Jan Cornelissen. The other schoolmasters keep school in hired houses, so that the youth, considering the circumstances of the country, are not in want of schools. It is true there is no Latin school or academy, but if the commonalty desire it, they can furnish the means and attempt it.

As to what concerns the deacons' or poor fund, the deacons are accountable, and are the persons to be inquired of, as to where the money is invested, which they have from time to time put out at interest; and as the Director has never had the management of it, (as against common usage), the deacons are responsible for it, and not the director. It is true Director Kieft being distressed for money, had a box hung in his house, of which the deacons had one key, and in which all the small fines and penalties which were incurred on court day were dropped. With the consent of the deacons he opened it, and took on interest the money, which amounted to a pretty sum.

It is admitted, that the beer excise was imposed by William Kieft, and the wine excise by Peter Stuyvesant, and that they continued to be collected up to the time of my leaving there; but it is to be observed here, that the memorialists have no reason to complain about it, for the merchant, burgher, farmer and all others (tapsters only excepted), can lay in as much beer and wine as they please without paying any excise, being only bound to give an account of it in order that the quantity may be ascertained. The tapsters pay three guilders for each tun of beer and one stiver for each can of wine,(1) which they get back again from their daily visitors and the travellers from New England, Virginia and elsewhere.

     (1) The stiver was the twentieth part of a gulden or
     guilder, and equivalent to two cents, the guilder being
     equivalent to forty cents.

The commonalty up to that time were burdened with no other local taxes than the before mentioned excise, unless the voluntary gift which was employed two years since for the continuation of the building of the church, be considered a tax, of which Jacob Couwenhoven,(1) who is one of the churchwardens, will be able to give an account.

     (1) Couwenhoven, it will be remembered, was one of the
     delegates from the commonalty then in Holland.

In New England there are no taxes or duties imposed upon goods exported or imported; but every person's wealth is there appraised by the government, and he must pay for the following, according to his wealth and the assessment by the magistrates: for the building and repairing of churches, and the support of the ministers; for the building of schoolhouses, and the support of schoolmasters; for all city and village improvements, and the making and keeping in repair all public roads and paths, which are there made many miles into the country, so that they can be used by horses and carriages, and journeys made from one place to another; for constructing and keeping up all bridges over the rivers at the crossings; for the building of inns for travellers, and for the maintenance of governors, magistrates, marshals and officers of justice, and of majors, captains and other officers of the militia.

In every province of New England there is quarterly a general assembly of all the magistrates of such province;(1) and there is yearly a general convention of all the provinces, each of which sends one deputy with his suite, which convention lasts a long time. All their travelling expenses, board and compensation are there raised from the people. The poor-rates are an additional charge.

     (1) A loose statement, only so far correct, that each New
     England colony had several sessions of its magistrates each
     year, sometimes monthly sessions, while their legislative
     assemblies ("general courts") were commonly held more than
     once a year.  Van Tienhoven's general contention is correct,
     that government in New England was far more elaborate and
     expensive than in New Netherland; but New England had in
     1650 a population of about 30,000, New Netherland hardly
     more than 3,000.  The annual meeting mentioned in the next
     sentence is that of the Commissioners of the United
     Colonies, in which, however, each colony was represented by
     two deputies, not one.

The accounts will show what was the amount of recognitions collected annually in Kieft's time; but it will not appear that it was as large by far as they say the people were compelled to pay. This is not the Company's fault, nor the Directors', but of those who charge one, two and three hundred per cent. profit, which the people are compelled to pay because there are few tradesmen.

It will not appear, either now or in the future, that 30,000 guilders were collected from the commonalty in Stuyvesant's time; for nothing is received besides the beer and wine excise, which amounts to about 4,000 guilders a year on the Manhatans. From the other villages situated around it there is little or nothing collected, because there are no tapsters, except one at the Ferry,(1) and one at Flushing.

     (1) The hamlet on the East River opposite Manhattan; the
     village of Bruekelen stood a mile east of the river.

If anything has been confiscated, it did not belong to the commonalty, but was contraband goods imported from abroad; and nobody's goods are confiscated without good cause.

The question is whether the Honorable Company or the Directors are bound to construct any works for the commonalty out of the recognition which the trader pays in New Netherland for goods exported, especially as those duties were allowed to the Company by Their High Mightinesses for the establishment of garrisons, and the expenses which they must thereby incur, and not for the construction of poor-houses, orphan asylums, or even churches and school-houses, for the commonalty.

The charge that the property of the Company is neglected in order to procure assistance from friends, cannot be sustained by proof.

The provisions obtained for the negroes from Tamandare were sent to Curacao, except a portion consumed on the Manhatans, as the accounts will show; but all these are mattes which do not concern these persons, especially as they are not accountable for them.

As to the freemen's contracts which the Director graciously granted the negroes who were the Company's slaves, in consequence of their long service: freedom was given to them on condition that their children should remain slaves, who are not treated otherwise than as Christians. At present there are only three of these children who do any service. One of them is at the House of Hope,(1) one at the Company's Bouwery, and one with Martin Crigier, who has brought the girl up well, as everybody knows.

     (1) Near Hartford, Connecticut.  The company's bouwery, or
     farm, next mentioned, was the tract extending between the
     lines of Fulton and Chambers Streets, Broadway and the North
     River.  Martin Cregier was captain of the militia company.

That the Heer Stuyvesant should build up, alter and repair the Company's property was his duty. For the consequent loss or profit he will answer to the Company.

The burghers upon the island of Manhatans and thereabouts must know that nobody comes or is admitted to New Netherland (being a conquest) except upon this condition, that he shall have nothing to say, and shall acknowledge himself under the sovereignty of Their High Mightinesses the States General and the Lords Managers, as his lords and patrons, and shall be obedient to the Director and Council for the time being, as good subjects are bound to be.

Who are they who have complained about the haughtiness of Stuyvesant? I think they are such as seek to live without law or rule.

Their complaint that no regulation was made in relation to sewan is untrue. During the time of Director Kieft good sewan passed at four for a stiver, and the loose bits were fixed at six pieces for a stiver.(1) The reason why the loose sewan was not prohibited, was because there is no coin in circulation, and the laborers, farmers, and other common people having no other money, would be great losers; and had it been done, the remonstrants would, without doubt, have included it among their grievances.

     (1) Kieft's regulation was adopted April 16, 1641.  In
     Connecticut and Massachusetts, in 1640 ad 1641, the legal
     valuations varied from four beads to the penny (or stiver)
     to six beads.

Nobody can prove that Director Stuyvesant has used foul language to, or railed at as clowns, any persons or respectability who have treated him decently. It may be that some profligate has given the Director, if he used any bad words to him, cause to do so.

That the fort is not properly repaired does not concern the inhabitants. It is not their domain, but the Company's. They are willing to be protected by good forts and garrisons belonging to the Company without furnishing any aid or assistance by labor or money for the purpose; but it appears they are not willing to see a fort well fortified and properly garrisoned, from the apprehension that malevolent and seditious persons will be better punished, which they call cruelty.

Had the Director not been compelled to provide the garrisons of New Netherland and Curacao with provisions, clothing and pay, the fort would, doubtless, have been completed already.

Against whom has Director Stuyvesant personally made a question without reason or cause?

A present of maize or Indian corn they call a contribution, because a present is never received from the Indians without its being doubly paid for, as these people, being very covetous, throw out a herring for a codfish, as everybody who knows the Indians can bear witness.

Francis Doughty, father-in-law of Adrian van der Donk, and an English minister, was allowed a colony at Mestpacht, not for himself alone as patroon, but for him and his associates, dwelling in Rhode Island, at Cohanock and other places, from whom he had a power of attorney, and of whom a Mr. Smith(1) was one of the principal; for the said minister had scarcely any means of himself to build even a hovel, let alone to people a colony at his own expense; but was to be employed as minister by his associates, who were to establish him on a farm in the said colony, for which he would discharge ministerial duties among them, and live upon the profits of the farm.

     (1) Richard Smith, a Gloucestshire man, settled early in
     Plymouth Colony (Taunton).  Removing thence on account of
     religious differences, he settled in what is now Rhode
     Island, where he became a close friend of Roger Williams.
     Between 1640 and 1643 he made the first permanent settlement
     in the Narragansett country, at Cawcamsqussick (Wickford),
     where he had for many years his chief residence and where
     his house still stands.  His extensive trading interests
     brought him to Manhattan, where for some years he had a

Coming to the Manhatans to live during the war, he was permitted to act as minister for the English dwelling about there; and they were bound to maintain him without either the Director or the Company being liable to any charge therefor. The English not giving him wherewith to live on, two collections were made among the Dutch and English by means of which he lived at the Manhatans.

The said colony of Mespacht was never confiscated, as is shown by the owners, still living there, who were interested in the colony with Doughty; but as Doughty wished to hinder population, and to permit no one to build in the colony unless he were willing to pay him a certain amount of money down for every morgen of land, and a certain yearly sum in addition in the nature of ground-rent, and in this way sought to establish a domain therein, the others interested in the colony (Mr. Smith especially) having complained, the Director and Council finally determined that the associates might enter upon their property—the farm and lands which Doughty possessed being reserved to him; so that he has suffered no loss or damage thereby. This I could prove also, were it not that the documents are in New Netherland and not here.

There are no clauses inserted in the ground-briefs, contrary to the Exemptions, but the words nog te beramen (hereafter to be imposed) can be left out of the ground-briefs, if they be deemed offensive.

Stuyvesant has never contested anything in court, but as president has put proper interrogatories to the parties and with the court's advice has rendered decisions about which the malevolent complain; but it must be proven that anyone has been wronged by Stuyvesant in court.

As to what relates to the second [Vice Director] Dinclagen, let him settle his own matters.

It can be shown that Brian Newton not only understands the Dutch tongue, but also speaks it, so that their charge, that Newton does not understand the Dutch language, is untrue. All the other slanders and calumnies uttered against the remaining officers should be required to be proven.

It is true that in New Netherland it was commonly stated in conversation that there was no appeal from a judgment in New Netherland pronounced on the island of Manhatans, founded on the Exemptions by which on the island of Manhatans was established the supreme court for all the surrounding colonies, and also that there had never been a case in which an appeal from New Netherland had been entertained by Their High Mightinesses, although it had been petitioned for when Hendrick Jansen Snyder, Laurens Cornelissen and others, many years ago, were banished from New Netherland.(1) It would be a very strange thing indeed if the officers of the Company could banish nobody from the country, while the officers of the colony of Renselaerswyck, who are merely subordinates of the Company, can banish absolutely from the colony whomever they may deem advisable for the good of the colony, and permit no one to dwell there unless with their approbation and upon certain conditions, some of which are as follows: in the first place, no one down to the present time can possess a foot of land of his own in the colony, but is obliged to take upon rent all the land which he cultivates. When a house is erected an annual ground-rent in beavers must be paid; and all the farmers must do the same, which they call obtaining the right to trade. Where is there an inhabitant under the jurisdiction of the Company of whom anything was asked or exacted for trade or land? All the farms are conveyed in fee, subject to the clause beraemt ofte nog te beramen, (taxes imposed or to be imposed.)

     (1) Hendrick Jansen the tailor was throughout Kieft's
     administration one of his bitterest and most abusive
     opponents, and was several times prosecuted for slander.  In
     1647 he sailed on the Princess with Kieft and was lost.
     Lourens Cornelissen van der Wel was a sea-captain, and also
     prosecuted by Kieft.

The English minister Francis Doughty has never been in the service of the company, wherefore it was not indebted to him; but his English congregation are bound to pay him, as may be proven in New Netherland.

The Company has advanced the said minister, from time to time, goods and necessaries of life amounting to about 1100 guilders, as the Colony-Book can show, which he has not yet paid, and he is making complaints now, so that he may avoid paying it. Whether or not the Director has desired a compromise with Doughty, I do not know.

Director Stuyvesant, when he came to New Netherland, endeavored according to his orders to stop in a proper manner the contraband trade in guns, powder and lead. The people of the colony of Renselaerwyck understanding this, sent a letter and petition to the Director, requesting moderation, especially as they said if that trade were entirely abolished all the Christians in the colony would run great danger of being murdered, as may more at large be seen by the contents of their petition.

The Director and Council taking the request into consideration, and looking further into the consequences, resolved that guns and powder, to a limited extent, be sparingly furnished by the factor at Fort Orange, on account of the Company, taking good care that no supply should be carried by the boats navigating the river, until in pursuance of a further order. It is here to be observed that the Director, fearing one of two [evils] and in order to keep the colony out of danger, has permitted some arms to be furnished at the fort. Nobody can prove that the Director has sold or permitted to be sold anything contraband, for his own private benefit. That the Director has permitted some guns to be seized has happened because they brought with them no license pursuant to the order of the Company, and they would under such pretences be able to bring many guns. The Director has paid for every one that was seized, sixteen guilders, although they do not cost in this country more than eight or nine guilders.

It is true that a case of guns was brought over by Vastrick, by order of Director Stuyvesant, in which there were thirty guns, which the Director, with the knowledge of the Vice Director and fiscaal, permitted to be landed in the full light of day, which guns were delivered to Commissary Keyser with orders to sell them to the Netherlanders who had no arms, in order that in time they might defend themselves, which Keyser has done; and it will appear by his accounts where these guns are. If there were any more guns in the ship it was unknown to the Director. The fiscaal, whose business it was, should have seen to it and inspected the ship; and these accusers should have shown that the fiscaal had neglected to make the search as it ought to have been done.

Jacob Reinsen and Jacob Schermerhorn are Scotch merchants (pedlers) born in Waterland, one of whom, Jacob Schermerhorn, was at Fort Orange, the other, Jacob Reintjes, was at Fort Amsterdam, who there bought powder, lead and guns, and sent them up to Schermerhorn, who traded them to the Indians. It so happened that the Company's corporal, Gerit Barent, having in charge such of the arms of the Company as required to be repaired or cleaned, sold to the before named Jacob Reintjes, guns, locks, gun-barrels, etc., as can be proven by Jacob Reintjes' own confession, by letters written to his partner long before this came to light, and by the accusations of the corporal. The corporal, seduced by the solicitation of Jacob Reintjes, sold him the arms as often as desired, though the Latter knew that the guns and gun-barrels belonged to the Company, and not to the corporal. There was confiscated also a parcel of peltries (as may be seen in the accounts) coming chiefly from the contraband goods (as appears from the letters). And as the said Jacob Reintjes has been in this country since the confiscation, he would have made complaint if he had not been guilty, especially as he was sufficiently urged to do so by the enemies of the Company and of the Director, but his own letters were witnesses against him.

Joost de Backer being accused also by the above named corporal of having bought gun-locks and gun-barrels from him, and the first information having proved correct, his house was searched according to law, in which was found a gun of the Company which he had procured from the corporal; he was therefore taken into custody until he gave security [to answer] for the claim of the fiscaal.

As the English of New England protected among them all fugitives who came to them from the Manhatans without the passport required by the usage of the country, whether persons in the service of the Company or freemen, and took them into their service, it was therefore sought by commissioners to induce the English to restore the fugitives according to an agreement previously made with Governors Eaton and Hopkins, but as Governor Eaton failed to send back the runaways, although earnestly solicited to do so, the Director and Council, according to a previous resolution, issued a proclamation that all persons who should come from the province of New Haven (all the others excepted) to New Netherland should be protected; which was a retaliatory measure. As the Governor permitted some of the fugitives to come back to us, the Director and Council annulled the order, and since then matters have gone on peaceably, the dispute about the boundaries remaining the same as before.(1)

     (1) Theophilus Eaton, governor of New Haven 1639-1658, and
     Edward Hopkins, governor of Connecticut seven times in the
     period 1640-1654.  The recriminations and retaliations
     alluded to took place in the winter of 1647-1648.  Two
     months before the date of this Answer, Stuyvesant had
     arranged with the Commissioners of the United Colonies at
     Hartford a provisional Agreement as to boundaries between
     English and Dutch on Long Island and on the mainland; but
     the treaty was not ratified by the English and Dutch

Nobody's goods have been confiscated in New Netherland without great reason; and if any one feels aggrieved about it, the Director will be prepared to furnish an answer. That ships or shipmasters are afraid of confiscation and therefore do not come to New Netherland is probable, for nobody can come to New Netherland without a license. Whoever has this, and does not violate his agreement, and has properly entered his goods, need not be afraid of confiscation; but all smugglers and persons who sail with two commissions may well be.

All those who were indebted to the Company were warned by the Director and Council to pay the debts left uncollected by the late William Kieft, and as some could, and others could not well pay, no one was compelled to pay; but these debts, amounting to 30,000 guilders, make many who do not wish to pay, angry and insolent, (especially as the Company now has nothing in that country to sell them on credit,) and it seems that some seek to pay after the Brazil fashion.(1)

     (1) The recent conquest of the company's province of Brazil
     by the Portuguese had enabled many debtors there to avoid
     paying their debts.

The memorialists have requested that the people should not be harassed, which however has never been the case, but they would be right glad to see that the Company dunned nobody, not demanded their own, yet paid their creditors. It will appear by the account-books of the Company that the debts were not contracted during the war, but before it. The Company has assisted the inhabitants, who were poor and burdened with wives and children, with clothing, houses, cattle, land, etc., and from time to time charged them in account, in hopes of their being able at some time to pay for them.

If the taxes of New England, before spoken of, be compared with those of New Netherland, it will be found that those of New England are a greater burden upon that country than the taxes of New Netherland are upon our people.

The wine excise of one stiver per can, was first imposed in the year 1647.

The beer excise of three guilders per tun, was imposed by Kieft in 1644, and is paid by the tapster alone, and not the burgher.

The recognition of eight in a hundred upon exported beaver skins does not come out of the inhabitants, but out of the trader, who is bound to pay it according to contract.

The Director has always shown that he was desirous and pleased to see a deputation from the commonalty, who should seek in the Fatherland from the Company as patrons and the Lords States as sovereigns, the following: population, settlement of boundaries, reduction of charges upon New Netherland tobacco and other productions, means of transporting people, permanent and solid privileges, etc.

For which purpose he has always offered to lend a helping hand; but the remonstrants have pursued devious paths and excited some of the commonalty, and by that means obtained a clandestine and secret subscription, as is to be seen by their remonstrance, designed for no other object than to render the Company—their patrons—and the officers in New Netherland odious before Their High Mightinesses, so that the Company might be deprived of the jus patronatus and be still further injured.

The remonstrants say that we had relied upon the English, and by means of them sought to divert the college, (as they call it,) which is untrue, as appears by the propositions made to them. But it is here to be observed that the English, living under the protection of the Netherlanders, having taken the oath of allegiance and being domiciliated and settled in New Netherland, are to be considered citizens of the country. These persons have always been opposed to them, since the English, as well as they, had a right to say something in relation to the deputation, and would not consent to all their calumnies and slanders, but looked to the good of the commonalty and of the inhabitants.

It was not written on their petition, in the margin, that they might secretly go and speak to the commonalty. The intention of the Director was to cause them to be called together as opportunity should offer, at which time they might speak to the commonalty publicly about the deputation. The Director was not obliged, as they say, to call the commonalty immediately together. It was to be considered by him at what time each one could conveniently come from home without considerable loss, especially as some lived at a distance in the country, etc.

That they have not been willing to communicate, was because all whom they now paint in such black colors would have been able to provide themselves with weapons, and make the contrary appear, and in that case could have produced something [in accusation of] some of them. And since the Director and those connected with the administration in New Netherland are very much wronged and defamed, I desire time in order to wait for opposing documents from New Netherland, if it be necessary.

As to Vander Donk and his associates' report that the Director instituted suits against some persons: The Director going to the house of Michael Jansen, (one of the signers of the remonstrance,) was warned by the said Michael and Thomas Hall, saying, there was within it a scandalous journal of Adrian van der Donck; which journal the Director took with him, and on account of the slanders which were contained in it against Their High Mightinesses and private individuals, Van der Donck was arrested at his lodgings and proof of what he had written demanded, but he was released on the application and solicitation of others.

During the administration both of Kieft and of Stuyvesant, it was by a placard published and posted, that no attestations or other public writings should be valid before a court in New Netherland, unless they were written by the secretary. This was not done in order that there should be no testimony [against the Director] but upon this consideration, that most of the people living in Netherland are country and seafaring men, and summon each other frequently for small matters before the court, while many of them can neither read nor write, and neither testify intelligibly nor produce written evidence, and if some do produce it, sometimes it is written by some sailor or farmer, and often wholly indistinct and contrary to the meaning of those who had it written or who made the statement; consequently the Director and Council could not know the truth of matters as was proper and as justice demanded, etc. Nobody has been arrested except Van der Donk for writing the journal, and Augustyn Heermans, the agent of Gabri, because he refused to exhibit the writings drawn up by the Nine Men, which were promised to the Director, who had been for them many times like a boy.

Upon the first point of redress, as they call it, the remonstrants advise, that the Company should abandon and transfer the country. What frivolous talk this is! The Company have at their own expense conveyed cattle and many persons thither, built forts, protected many people who were poor and needy emigrating from Holland, and provided them with provisions and clothing; and now when some of them have a little more than they can eat up in a day, they wish to be released from the authority of their benefactors, and without paying if they could; a sign of gross ingratitude.

Hitherto the country has been nothing but expense to the Company, and now when it can provide for itself and yield for the future some profit to the Company, these people are not willing to pay the tenth which they are in duty bound to pay after the expiration of the ten years, pursuant to the Exemptions to which they are making an appeal.

Upon the second point they say that provision should be made for ecclesiastical and municipal property, church services, an orphan asylum and an almshouse. If they are such philanthropists as they appear, let them lead the way in generous contributions for such laudable objects, and not complain when the Directors have endeavored to make collections for the building of the church and school. What complaints would have been made if the Director had undertaken to make collections for an almshouse and an orphan asylum! The service of the church will not be suspended, although Domine Johannes Backerus has departed, who was there only twenty-Seven months. His place is supplied by a learned and godly Minister who has no interpreter when he defends the Reformed Religion against any minister of our neighbors, the English Brownists.(1)

     (1) Referring to Reverend Johannes Megapolensis, who had
     been persuaded to remain in New Netherland and assume
     pastoral care of Manhattan.

The foregoing are the points which really require any answer. We will only add some description of the persons who have signed the remonstrance and who are the following:

Adrian van der Donk has been about eight years in New Netherland. He went there in the service of the proprietors of the colony of Renselaerswyck as an officer, but did not long continue such, though he lived in that colony till 1646.

Arnoldus van Hardenburgh accompanied Hay Jansen to New Netherland, in the year 1644, with a cargo for his brother. He has never to our knowledge suffered any loss or damage in New Netherland, but has known how to charge the commonalty well for his goods.

Augustyn Heermans came on board the Maecht van Enkhuysen,(1) being then as he still is, the agent of Gabrie(2) in trading business.

     (1) "Maid of Enkhuizen."

     (2) Peter Gabry and Sons, a noted firm of Amsterdam.

Jacob van Couwenhoven came to the country with his father in boyhood, was taken by Wouter van Twiller into the service of the Company as an assistant, and afterwards became a tobacco planter. The Company has aided him with necessaries as it is to be seen by the books, but they have been paid for.

Olof Stevensen, brother-in-law of Govert Loockmans, went out in the year 1637 in the ship Herring as a soldier in the service of the Company. He was promoted by Director Kieft and finally made commissary of the shop. He has profited in the service of the Company, and endeavors to give his benefactor the world's pay, that is, to recompense good with evil. He signed under protest, saying that he was obliged to sign, which can be understood two ways, one that he was obliged to subscribe to the truth, the other that he had been constrained by force to do it. If he means the latter, it must be proven.

Michael Jansen came to New Netherland as a farmer's man in the employ of the proprietors of Renselaerswyck. He made his fortune in the colony in a few years, but not being able to agree with the officers, finally came in the year 1646 to live upon the island Manhatans. He would have come here himself, but the accounts between him and the colony not being settled, in which the proprietors did not consider themselves indebted as he claimed, Jan Evertsen came over in his stead.

Thomas Hall came to the South River in 1635, in the employ of an Englishman, named Mr. Homs, being the same who intended to take Fort Nassau at that time and rob us of the South River. This Thomas Hall ran away from his master, came to the Manhatans and hired himself as a farmer's man to Jacob van Curlur. Becoming a freeman he has made a tobacco plantation upon the land of Wouter van Twyler, and he has been also a farm-superintendent; and this W. van Twyler knows the fellow. Thomas Hall dwells at present upon a small bowery belonging to the Honorable Company.

Elbert Elbertsen came to the country as a farmer's boy at about ten or eleven years of age, in the service of Wouter van Twyler, and has never had any property in the country. About three years ago he married the widow of Gerret Wolphertsen, (brother of the before mentioned Jacob van Couwenhoven,) and from that time to this has been indebted to the Company, and would be very glad to get rid of paying.

Govert Loockmans, brother in law of Jacob van Couwenhoven, came to New Netherland in the yacht St. Martin in the year 1633 as a cook's mate, and was taken by Wouter van Twyler into the service of the Company, in which service he profited somewhat. He became a freeman, and finally took charge of the trading business for Gilles Verbruggen and his company in New Netherland. This Loockmans ought to show gratitude to the Company, next to God, for his elevation, and not advise its removal from the country.

Hendrick Kip is a tailor, and has never suffered any injury in New Netherland to our knowledge.

Jan Evertsen-Bout, formerly an officer of the Company, came the last time in the year 1634, with the ship Eendracht [Union], in the service of the Honorable Michiel Paauw, and lived in Pavonia until the year 1643, and prospered tolerably. As the Honorable Company purchased the property of the Heer Paauw, the said Jan Evertsen succeeded well in the service of the Company, but as his house and barn at Pavonia were burnt down in the war, he appears to take that as a cause for complaint. It is here to be remarked, that the Honorable Company, having paid 26,000 guilders for the colony of the Heer Paauw, gave to the aforesaid Jan Evertsen, gratis, long after his house was burnt, the possession of the land upon which his house and farmstead are located, and which yielded good grain. The land and a poor unfinished house, with a few cattle, Michiel Jansen has bought for eight thousand guilders.

In brief, these people, to give their doings a gloss, say that they are bound by oath and compelled by conscience; but if that were the case they would not assail their benefactors, the Company and others, and endeavor to deprive them of this noble country, by advising their removal, now that it begins to be like something, and now that there is a prospect of the Company getting its own again. And now that many of the inhabitants are themselves in a better condition than ever, this is evidently the cause of the ambition of many, etc.

At the Hague, 29th November, 1650.


Letter of Johannes Bogaert to Hans Bontemantel, 1655. In J. Franklin Jameson, ed., Narratives of New Netherland, 1609-1664 (Original Narratives of Early American History). NY: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1909.


THE chief military exploit of Director Stuyvesant was the conquest in 1655 of the Swedish settlements on the Delaware River. New Sweden had been founded in 1638 by a party of settlers under Peter Minuit, sent out by the Swedish South Company, with private help from Dutch merchants. The history of this little colony belongs to another volume of this series, but some account of its absorption in New Netherland should find a place in this.

At first the Dutch and Swedes on the Delaware, the former with their Fort Nassau on the east side, the latter with their three forts, Nya Elfsborg on the east side, Christina and Nya Goteborg (New Gottenburg) on the west, dwelt together in amity. But competition for the Indian trade was keen, conflicting purchases of land from the Indians gave rise to disputes, and from the beginning of Stuyvesant's administration there was friction. This he greatly increased by proceeding to the South River with armed forces, in 1651, and building Fort Casimir on the west side of the river, near the present site of Newcastle, and uncomfortably near to Fort Christina. In 1654 a large reinforcement to the Swedish colony came out under Johan Rising, who seized Fort Casimir. But the serious efforts to strengthen the colony, made by Sweden in the last year of Queen Christina and the first year of King Charles X., were made too late. The Dutch West India Company ordered Director Stuyvesant not only to retake Fort Casimir but to expel the Swedish power from the whole river. He proceeded to organize in August, 1655, the largest military force which had yet been seen in the Atlantic colonies. The best Dutch account of what it achieved is presented in translation in the following pages; the Swedish side is told by Governor Rising in a report printed in the Collections of the New York Historical Society, second series, I. 443-448, and in Pennsylvania Archives, second series, V. 222-229.(1)

     (1) Rising's dates are given according to Old Style, Swedish
     fashion, Bogaert's according to New Style, as customary in
     the province of Holland.

Of Johannes Bogaert, author of the following letter, we know only that he was a "writer," or clerk. Hans Bontemantel, to whom the letter was addressed, was a director in the Amsterdam Chamber of the West India Company, and a schepen (magistrate) of Amsterdam from 1655 to 1672, in which last year he took a prominent part in bringing William III. The letter was first printed in 1858 in De Navorscher (the Dutch Notes and Queries), VIII. 185-186. A translation by Henry C. Murphy was published the same year in The Historical Magazine, II. 258-259, and this, carefully revised by the present editor, appears below. For a history of New Sweden, see Professor Gregory B. Keen's chapter in Winsor's Narrative and Critical History of America, IV. 443-488.


Noble and Mighty Sir:

Mr. Schepen Bontemantel:

THIS is to advise your Honor of what has occurred since the 5th of September, 1655, when we sailed with our seven ships,(1) composed of two yachts called the Holanse Tuijn (Dutch Frontier), the Prinses Royael (Princess Royal,) a galiot called the Hoop (Hope), mounting four guns, the flyboat Liefde (Love), mounting four guns, the yacht Dolphijn (Dolphin), vice-admiral, with four guns, the yacht Abrams Offerhande (Abraham's Offering), as rear-admiral, mounting four guns; and on the 8th arrived before the Swedish fort, named Elsener.(2) This south fort had been abandoned. Our force consisted of 317 soldiers, besides a company of sailors.(3) The general's(4) company, of which Lieutenant Nuijtingh was captain, and Jan Hagel ensign-bearer, was ninety strong. The general's second company, of which Dirck Smit was captain, and Don Pouwel ensign-bearer, was sixty strong. Nicolaes de Silla the marshal's company, of which Lieutenant Pieter Ebel was captain, and William van Reijnevelt ensign-bearer, was fifty-five strong. The major's second company, which was composed of seamen and pilots, with Dirck Jansz Verstraten of Ossanen as their captain, boatswain's-mate Dirck Claesz of Munnikendam as ensign-bearer, and the sail-maker Jan Illisz of Honsum as lieutenant, consisted of fifty men; making altogether 317 men. The 10th, after breakfast, the fleet got under way, and ran close under the guns of Fort Casemier, and anchored about a cannon-shot's distance from it. The troops were landed immediately, and General Stuijvesant dispatched Lieutenant Dirck Smit with a drummer and a white flag to the commandant, named Swen Schoeten,(5) to summon the fort. In the meantime we occupied a guard-house about half a cannon-shot distant from the fort; and at night placed a company of soldiers in it, which had been previously used as a magazine. The 11th, the commander, Swen Schoeten, sent a flag requesting to speak with the General, who consented. They came together, and after a conference the said commander surrendered Fort Casemier to the general, upon the following conditions:

     (1) Six are named below.  The seventh (or first) was the
     "admiral" or flag-ship De Waegh ("The Balance"), on which
     the writer sailed.  The Hoop was a French privateer,
     L'Esperance, which had just arrived at New Amsterdam and was
     engaged for the expedition.

     (2) Nya Elfsborg.

     (3) Rising states the total number of the force as 600 or

     (4) I.e., Stuyvesant's.  In the military organization of
     that day, one or two companies were usually given a primary
     position as the "general's own" or "colonel's own."  Of the
     persons mentioned below, Nicasius de Sille was a member of
     the Council, and De Koningh was the captain of De Waegh.

     (5) Sven Schute.

First, The commander, whenever he pleases and shall have the opportunity, by the arrival of ships belonging to the crown, or private ships, shall be permitted to remove from Fort Casemier the guns of the crown, large and small: consisting, according to the statement of the commander, of four iron guns and five case-shot guns, of which four are small and one is large. Second, Twelve men shall march out as the body-guard of the commander, fully accoutred, with the flag of the crown; the others with their side-arms only. The guns and muskets which belong to the crown shall be and remain at the disposition of the commandant, to take or cause them to be taken from the fort whenever the commander shall have an opportunity to do so. Third, The commander shall have all his private personal effects uninjured, in order to take them with him or to have them taken away whenever he pleases, and also the effects of all the officers. Fourth, The commander shall this day restore into the hands of the General Fort Casemier and all the guns, ammunition, materials, and other property belonging to the General Chartered West India Company. Done, concluded and signed by the contracting parties the 11th September, 1655, on board the ship De Waegh, lying at Fort Casemier. (Signed) Petrus Stuijvesant, Swen Schuts.(1)

     (1) This agrees with the official text in N.Y. Col. Doc.,
     XII. 102.

The 13th, was taken prisoner the lieutenant of Fort Crist[ina], with a drummer, it being supposed that he had come as a spy upon the army, in consequence of the drummer's having no drum. The 14th, the small fleet was again under sail with the army for Verdrietige Point,(1) where they were landed. The 15th, we arrived at the west of Fort Christina, where we formed ourselves into three divisions; the major's company and his company of sailors were stationed on the south side of the creek, by the yacht Eendraght (Union), where the major constructed a battery of three guns, one eight-pounder and two six-pounders; the general's company and the field marshal's were divided into two. The marshal threw up a battery of two twelve-pounders, about northwest of the fort. The general placed a battery about north of the fort, opposite the land entrance, one hundred paces, by calculation, from the fort, and mounting one eighteen-pounder, one eight-pounder, one six-pounder, and one three-pounder.(2)

     (1) On Augustin Herrman's excellent map of Maryland and
     Delaware, "Virdrietige Hoeck" (Tedious Point) appears as a
     name of a promontory about where Marcus Hook, Pa., now is.
     Rising, however, reports the Dutch as landing at Tridje
     Hoeck ("Third Point"), just north of Christina Creek.

     (2) For a plan of the siege, derived from that made by the
     Swedish engineer Linstrom, see Winsor, Narrative and
     Critical History of America, IV. 480.

The 17th, the flyboat Liefde returned to the Manhathans with the Swedish prisoners. From the 17th to the 23rd nothing particular happened. Then, when we had everything ready, the governor of the fort received a letter from our general, to which our general was to have an answer the next day. The same day an Indian, whom we had dispatched on the 13th to Menades, arrived, bringing news and letters to the effect that some Dutch people had been killed at Menades by the Indians;(1) which caused a feeling of horror through the army, so that the general sent a letter immediately to the fort, that he would give them no time the next morning. Then Then the general agreed wit the Swedish governor to come together in the morning and make an arrangement. The general had a tent erected between our quarter and their fort, and there an agreement was made, whereby the governor, Johan Risingh, surrendered the fort on the 24th of September, upon the conditions mentioned in the accompanying capitulation.(2) On the 28th of September the general left with the ships and yachts, and we were ordered to remain from eight to fourteen days, and let the men work daily at Fort Casemier, in the construction of ramparts.(3)

     (1) A hundred were killed, a hundred and fifty taken

     (2) N.Y. Col. Doc., XII. 104-106.

     (3) Fort Casimir was made the seat of Dutch administration
     on the South River.  In 1657 it was named New Amstel, and
     the colony there was taken over by the city of Amsterdam.

The 11th of October, Governor Rijsingh and Factor Elswijck, with some Swedes, came on board, whom we carried with us to Menades. We ran out to sea for the Menades on the 12th, and on the 17th happily arrived within Sandy Hook. On the 21st we sailed for the North River, from Staten Island, by the watering-place, and saw that all the houses there, and about Molyn's house,(1) were burned up by the Indians; and we learned here that Johannes van Beeck, with his wife and some other people, and the captain of a slave-trader which was lying here at anchor with a vessel, having gone on a pleasure excursion, were attacked by the Indians, who murdered Van Beeck and the captain, and took captive his wife and sister. We found Van Beeck dead in a canoe, and buried him. His wife has got back. The general is doing all that lies in his power to redeem the captives and to make peace. Commending your Honor, with hearty salutations, to the protection of the Most High, that he will bless you and keep you in continued Health, I remain your Honor's

Obedient servant,


     Laus Deo, Ship De Waegh (The Balance),
     The 31st October, 1655.
     Hon. Mr. Schepen Bontemantel,
     Director of the Chartered West India Company,
          at Amsterdam.

     (1) The house of Cornelis Melyn, on Staten Island.


     Reference material and sources.

     Johannes Megapolensis, Samuel Drisius, and Henricus Selyns,
     Letters of the Dutch Ministers to the Classis of Amsterdam,
     1655-1664.  In J. Franklin Jameson, ed., Narratives of New
     Netherland, 1609-1664 (Original Narratives of Early American
     History).  NY: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1909.


THE Dutch clergy of the Reformed Church, as has already been mentioned in a previous introduction, were men whose observations we must value because of their intelligence and their acquirements; and they also had a point of view which was to a large extent independent of the Director General and other civil officials. Hence the series of their reports to the Classis of Amsterdam is worthy of much attention. In the absence of a continuous narrative of high importance for the years from 1655 to 1664 it has been deemed best to make use for those years of certain of these clerical letters.

Of their authors, Domine Megapolensis has been already treated, in the introduction to his tract on the Mohawks. He remained at New Amsterdam through the period of the English conquest, and died there in 1669. The Reverend Samuel Drisius (Dries) was born about 1602, of Dutch parents, but was throughout his earlier life a pastor in England, until the troubles in that country caused him to return to the Netherlands. Since he was able to preach not only in Dutch but also in English and even in French, it was natural that the Classis should send him out to New Netherland in response to the urgent requests made for assistance to Megapolensis, especially in dealing with the non-Dutch population at New Amsterdam. He began his pastoral service there in 1653, and continued throughout the remainder of the period represented by this book. In 1669 he is reported as incapacitated by failing mental powers, and he died in 1673. Domine Henricus Selyns was examined as a candidate for the ministry in 1657, ordained by the Classis in 1660, called to Breukelen and inducted there in that year. He returned to Holland in 1664, before the surrender, but came back to New York in 1682 as minister of the Collegiate Church, and died there in 1701.

John Romeyn Brodhead, at the time of his remarkable mission to the Netherlands (1841), included in his endeavors a search for Dutch ecclesiastical papers bearing on New Netherland. The letters which follow were among those which he found in Amsterdam, in the archives of the Classis. In 1842 they were Lent, in 1846 given, by the Classis to the General Synod of the Reformed Dutch Church in America. To this material large Additions were made by a further search carried out in 1897-1898, by the Reverend Dr. Edward T. Corwin, acting as agent of that church, who is responsible for the translations which follow. An account of all this ecclesiastical material, under the title "The Amsterdam Correspondence," was printed by him in 1897 in the eight volume of the Papers of the American Society of Church History. He edited the material for publication in the first volume of the series called Ecclesiastical Records, State of New York, published by the state in 1901. The letters which follow are taken, with slight revision, from various pages (from page 334 to page 562) of that volume.


Rev. Johannes Megapolensis to the Classis of Amsterdam (March 18, 1655).

Reverendissimi Domini, Fratres in Christo, Synergi observandi:(1)

I FEEL it my duty, to answer the letter of your Reverences, dated the 11th of November, 1654.(2)

We have cause to be grateful to the Messrs. Directors(3) and to your Reverences for the case and trouble taken to procure for the Dutch on Long Island a good clergyman, even though it has not yet resulted in anything. Meanwhile, God has led Domine Joannes Pelhemius(4) from Brazil, by way of the Caribbean Islands, to this place. He has for the present gone to Long Island, to a village called Midwout, which is somewhat the Meditullium(5) of the other villages, to wit, Breuckelen, Amersfoort and Gravesande. There he has preached for the accommodation of the inhabitants on Sundays during the winter, and has administered the sacraments, to the satisfaction of all, as Director Stuyvesant has undoubtedly informed the Messrs. Directors.

     (1) Most Reverend Masters, Brethren in Christ, Venerable

     (2) Ecclesiastical Records, State of New York, I. 331.

     (3) Of the West India Company.

     (4) Reverend Johannes Theodorus Polhemus or Polhemius, born
     about 1598, was in early life a minister in the Palatinate.
     Driven thence by persecutions in 1635, he was sent to Brazil
     in 1636 by the Dutch West India Company, and remained there,
     minister at Itamarca, till the waning of the company's
     fortunes in that country and the loss of Pernambuco
     compelled his retirement.  In 1654 he went thence to New
     Netherland, and became provisionally minister of Midwout,
     the first Dutch church on Long Island.  From 1656 to 1660 he
     was minister of Midwout, Breukelen and Amersfoort, from 1660
     to 1664 of Midwout and Amersfoort, from 1664 of all three
     churches again.  He died in 1676.

     (5) Middle point.  Midwout is now Flatbush; Amersfoort is

As to William Vestiens, who has been schoolmaster and sexton here, I could neither do much, nor say much, in his favor, to the Council, because for some years past they were not satisfied or pleased with his services.(1) Thereupon when he asked for an increase of salary last year, he received the answer, that if the service did not suit him, he might ask for his discharge. Only lately I have been before the Council on his account, and spoken about it, in consequence of your letter, but they told me that he had fulfilled his duties only so-so(2) and that he did little enough for his salary.

     (1) Willem Vestiens or Vestens, schoolmaster, of Haarlem, "a
     good, God-fearing man," was sent out in 1650 as
     schoolmaster, sexton, and "comforter of the sick."  In 1655
     he asked to be transferred to the East Indies, and was
     replaced at New Amsterdam by Harmanus van Hoboken.

     (2) Taliter qualiter.

Some Jews came from Holland last summer, in order to trade. Later some Jews came upon the same ship as Dr. Polheymius;(1) they were healthy, but poor. It would have been proper, that they should have been supported by their own people, but they have been at our charge, so that we have had to spend several hundred guilders for their support. They came several times to my house, weeping and bemoaning their misery. When I directed them to the Jewish merchant,(2) they said, that he would not lend them a single stiver. Some more have come from Holland this spring. They report that many more of the same lot would follow, and then they would build here a synagogue. This causes among the congregation here a great deal of complaint and murmuring. These people have no other God than the Mammon of unrighteousness, and no other aim than to get possession of Christian property, and to overcome all other merchants by drawing all trade towards themselves. Therefore we request your Reverences to obtain from the Messrs. Directors, that these godless rascals, who are of no benefit to the country, but look at everything for their own profit, may be sent away from here. For as we have here Papists, Mennonites and Lutherans among the Dutch; also many Puritans or Independents, and many atheists and various other servants of Baal among the English under this Government, who conceal themselves under the name of Christians; it would create a still greater confusion, if the obstinate and immovable Jews came to settle here.

     (1) Refugees from Brazil, who retired after the capture of
     Pernambuco by the Portugese, in January, 1654.  The number
     of Jews who settled in New Amsterdam became considerable.
     The West India Company in 1655 repressed all attempts of
     Stuyvesant and his Council to expel or oppress them.

     (2) Jacob Barsimson seems to have been the one Jewish
     merchant then there.

In closing I commend your Reverences with your families to the protection of God, who will bless us and all of you in the service of the divine word.

Your obedient


Amsterdam in New Netherland the 18th of March, 1655.

Addressed to the Reverend, Pious and very Learned Deputies ad res Ecclesiasticas Indicas, in the Classis of Amsterdam.

Revs. J. Megapolensis and S. Drisius to the Classis of Amsterdam (August 5, 1657).

Reverend, Pious and Learned Gentlemen, Fathers and Brethren in Christ Jesus:

The letters of your Reverences, of the 13th of June 1656, and of the 15th of October of the same year have been received. We were rejoiced to learn of the fatherly affection and care which you show for the welfare of this growing congregation. We also learned thereby of the trouble you have taken with the Messrs. Directors, to prevent the evils threatened to our congregation by the creeping in of erroneous spirits; and of your Reverences' desire, to be informed of the condition of the churches in this country.

We answered you in the autumn of the year 1656, and explained all things in detail. To this we have as yet received no reply, and are therefore in doubt, whether our letters reached you. This present letter must therefore serve the same end.

The Lutherans here pretended, last year, that they had obtained the consent of the Messrs. Directors, to call a Lutheran pastor from Holland.(1) They therefore requested the Hon. Director and the Council, that they should have permission, meanwhile, to hold their conventicles to prepare the way for their expected and coming pastor. Although they began to urge this rather saucily, we, nevertheless, animated and encourage by your letters, hoped for the best, yet feared the worst, which has indeed come to pass. For although we could not have believed that such permission had been given by the Directors, there nevertheless arrived here, with the ship Meulen(2) in July last, a Lutheran preacher Joannes Ernestus Goetwater,(3) to the great joy of the Lutherans, but to the special displeasure and uneasiness of the congregation in this place; yea, even the whole country, including the English, were displeased.

     (1) There were Lutherans at Manhattan at the time of Father
     Jogue's visit (1643), and they are called a congregation in
     1649.  In 1653 they petitioned to have a minister of their
     own and freedom of public worship.  Stuyvesant and the
     ministers were disposed to maintain the monopoly of the
     Reformed (Calvinistic) Church.  In 1656 he forbade even
     Lutheran services in private houses; but the Company would
     not sustain this, though they upheld him in sending
     Gutwasser back to Holland in 1659.

     (2) "The Mill."

     (3) Johann Ernst Gutwasser.

We addressed ourselves, therefore, to his Honor the Director-General, the Burgomasters and Schepens of this place,(1) and presented the enclosed petition. As a result thereof, the Lutheran pastor was summoned before their Honors and asked with what intentions he had come here, and what commission and credentials he possessed. He answered that he had come to serve here as a Lutheran preacher, but that he had no other commission than a letter from the Lutheran Consistory at Amsterdam to the Lutheran congregation here. He was then informed by the Hon. authorities here, that he must abstain from all church services, and from the holding of any meetings, and not even deliver the letter which he brought from the Lutherans at Amsterdam without further orders; but that he must regulate himself by the edicts of this province against private conventicles. He promised to do this, adding however that with the next ships he expected further orders and his regular commission. In the meantime, however, we had the snake in our bosom. We should have been glad if the authorities here had opened that letter of the Lutheran Consistory, to learn therefrom the secret of his Mission, but as yet they have not been willing to do this.

     (1) New Amsterdam had received a municipal constitution, of
     about the type usual in the Netherlands, though somewhat
     less liberal, in 1653.

We then demanded that our authorities here should send back the Lutheran preacher, who had come without the consent of the Messrs. Directors, in the same ship in which he had come, in order to put a stop to this work, which they evidently intended to prosecute with a hard Lutheran head, in spite of and against the will of our magistrates; for we suspect that this one has come over to see whether he can pass, and be allowed to remain here, and thus to lay the foundation for further efforts; but we do not yet know what we can accomplish.

Domine Gideon Schaats(1) wrote to you last year about the congregation at Rensselaerswyck or Beverwyck, as he intends to do again. We know nothing otherwise than that the congregation there is in a good condition; that it is growing vigorously, so that it is almost as strong as we are here at the Manhatans. They built last year a handsome parsonage. On the South River, matters relating to religion and the church have hitherto progressed very unsatisfactorily; first because we had there only one little fort, and in it a single commissary, with ten to twenty men, all in the Company's service, merely for trading with the Indians. Secondly: In the year 1651 Fort Nassau was abandoned and razed, and another, called Fort Casemier, was erected, lower down and nearer to the seaboard. This was provided with a stronger garrison, and was reinforced by several freemen, who lived near it.

     (1) Minister at Rensselaerswyck since 1652.

But the Swedes, increasing there in numbers, troubled and annoyed our people daily. After they had taken Fort Casemier from us, they annoyed our countrymen so exceedingly, that the South River was abandoned by them. However in the year 1655 our people recovered Fort Casemier, and now it is held by a sufficiently strong garrison, including several freemen, who also have dwellings about. One was then appointed, to read to them on Sundays, from the Postilla.(1) This is continued to this day.(2) The Lutheran preacher who was sent there was returned to Sweden.

     (1) Book of Homilies.

     (2) Reverend Peter Hjort, pastor at Fort Trinity.

Two miles from Fort Casemier, up the river, is another fort, called Christina. This was also taken by our people, at the same time, and the preacher there(1) was sent away, with the Swedish garrison.

     (1) Reverend Matthias Nertunius.

But because many Swedes and Finns, at least two hundred, live above Fort Christina, two or three leagues further up the river, the Swedish governor made a condition in his capitulation, that they might retain one Lutheran preacher,(1) to teach these people in their language. This was granted then the more easily, first, because new troubles had broken out at Manhattan with the Indians, and it was desirable to shorten proceedings here and return to the Manhattans to put things in order there; secondly, because there was no Reformed preacher here, nor any who understood their language, to be located there.

     (1) Reverend Lars Lock or Lokenius, preacher at Tinicum from
     1647 to 1688.

This Lutheran preacher is a man of impious and scandalous habits, a wild, drunken, unmannerly clown, more inclined to look into the wine can than into the Bible. He would prefer drinking brandy two hours to preaching one; and when the sap is in the wood his hands itch and he wants to fight whomsoever he meets. The commandant at Fort Casimir, Jean Paulus Jacqet, brother-in-law of Domine Casparus Carpentier,(1) told us that during last spring this preacher was tippling with a smith, and while yet over their brandy they came to fisticuffs, and beat each other's heads black and blue; yea, that the smith tore all the clothing from the preacher's body, so that this godly minister escaped in primitive nakedness, and although so poorly clothed, yet sought quarrels with others. Sed hoc parergicos.

     (1) Carpentier was a Reformed minister whom the Dutch had
     established at Fort Casimir.  Jacquet was vice-director on
     the South River, 1655-1657.

     (2) But this incidentally.

On Long Island there are seven villages belonging to this province, of which three, Breuckelen, Amersfoort and Midwout,(1) are inhabited by Dutch people, who formerly used to come here(2) to communion and other services to their great inconvenience. Some had to travel for three hours to reach this place. Therefore, when Domine Polheymus arrived here from Brazil, they called him as preacher, which the Director-General and Council confirmed.

     (1) Brooklyn, Flatlands and Flatbush.

     (2) To New Amsterdam.

The four other villages on Long Island, viz., Gravensand, Middleburgh, Vlissingen, and Heemstede(1) are inhabited by Englishmen. The people of Gravensand are considered Mennonites. The majority of them reject the baptism of infants, the observance of the Sabbath, the office of preacher, and any teachers of God's word. They say that thereby all sorts of contentions have come into the world. Whenever they meet, one or the other reads something to them. At Vlissingen, they formerly had a Presbyterian minister(2) who was in agreement with our own church. But at present, many of them have become imbued with divers opinions and it is with them quot homines tot sententiae.(3) They began to absent themselves from the sermon and would not pay the preacher the salary promised to him. He was therefore obliged to leave the place and go to the English Virginias. They have now been without a preacher for several years. Last year a troublesome fellow, a cobbler from Rhode Island in New England,(4) came there saying, he had a commission from Christ. He began to preach at Vlissingen and then went with the people into the river and baptized them. When this became known here, the fiscaal went there, brought Him to this place, and he was banished from the province.

     (1) Gravesend, Newtown, Flushing and Hempstead.

     (2) Reverend Francis Doughty.

     (3) As many opinions as men.

     (4) William Wickenden.  The schout of the village was fined
     fifty pounds for allowing him to preach in his house.

At Middleburgh, alias Newtown, they are mostly Independents and have a man called Johannes Moor,(1) of the same way of thinking, who preaches there, but does not serve the sacraments. He says he was licensed in New England to preach, but not authorized to administer the sacraments. He has thus continued for some years. Some of the inhabitants of this village are Presbyterians, but they cannot be supplied by a Presbyterian preacher. Indeed, we do not know that there are any preachers of this denomination to be found among any of the English of New England.

     (1) John Moore, formerly minister at Hempstead; died this
     year, 1637.

At Heemstede, about seven leagues from here, there live some Independents. There are also many of our own church, and some Presbyterians. They have a Presbyterian preacher, Richard Denton,(1) a pious, godly and learned man, who is in agreement with our church in everything. The Independents of the place listen attentively to his sermons; but when he began to baptize the children of parents who are no members of the church, they rushed out of the church.

     (1) Reverend Richard Denton (1586-1662), one of the pioneers
     of Presbyterianism in America, was a Cambridge man, who came
     over with Winthrop in 1630, and was settled successively at
     Watertown, Wethersfield and Stamford.  His differences with
     the Congregational clergy of New England had led to his
     withdrawal, and since 1644 he had been at Hempstead.

On the west shore of the East River, about one miles beyond Hellgate, as we call it, and opposite Flushing, is another English village, called Oostdorp, which was begun two years ago. The inhabitants of this place are also Puritans or Independents. Neither have they a preacher, but they hold meetings on Sunday, and read a sermon of some English writer, and have a prayer.(1)

     (1) Oost-dorp ("East Village") is the present Westchester.
     "After dinner [Sunday, December 31, 1656] Cornelis van
     Ruyven went to the house where they assemble on Sundays, to
     observe their mode of worship, as they have not as yet any
     clergyman. There I found a gathering of about fifteen men
     and ten or twelve women.  Mr. Baly made a prayer, which
     being concluded, one Robert Basset read a sermon from a
     printed book composed and published by an English minister
     in England.  After the reading Mr. Baly made another prayer
     and they sang a psalm and separated."  (Journal of Brian
     Newton et als., to Oostdorp, Doc. Hist. N.Y., octavo, III.

Such is the condition of the church in our province. To this we must add that, as far as we know, not one of all these places, Dutch or English, has a schoolmaster, except the Manhattans, Beverwyck, and now also Fort Casimir on the South River.(1) And although some parents try to give their children some instruction, the success if far from satisfactory, and we can expect nothing else than young men of foolish and undisciplined minds. We see at present no way of improving this state of affairs; first, because some of the villages are just starting, and have no means, the people having come half naked and poor from Holland, to pay a preacher and schoolmaster; secondly, because there are few qualified persons here who can or will teach.

     (1) Harmanus van Hoboken at New Amsterdam, Adriaen Jansz at
     Beverwyck (Albany), and since April of this year Evert
     Pietersen at Fort Casimir.  Two years later (1659) the
     company sent over Alexander Carolus Curtius, "late professor
     in Lithuania," to be master of a Latin school in New

We can say but little of the conversion of the heathens or Indians here, and see no way to accomplish it, until they are subdued by the numbers and power of our people, and reduced to some sort of civilization; and also unless our people set them a better example, than they have done theretofore.

We have had an Indian here with us for about two years. He can read and write Dutch very well. We have instructed him in the fundamental principles of our religion, and he answers publicly in church, and can repeat the Commandments. We have given him a Bible, hoping he might do some good among the Indians, but it all resulted in nothing. He took to drinking brandy, he pawned the Bible, and turned into a regular beast, doing more harm than good among the Indians.

Closing we commend your Reverences to the gracious protection of the Almighty, whom we pray to bless you in the Sacred Ministry.

Vestri et officio et effectu,(1)

     (1) Yours both officially and actually.


Amsterdam, in New Netherland, the 5th of August, 1657.

Revs. Megapolensis and Drisius to the Classis of Amsterdam (October 25, 1657).

Brethren in Christ:

Since our last letter, which we hope you are receiving about this time, we have sent in a petition in relation to the Lutheran minister, Joannes Ernestus Gutwasser. Having marked this on its margin, we have sent it to the Rev. Brethren of the Classis. We hope that the Classis will take care that, if possible, no other be sent over, as it is easier to send out an enemy than afterward to thrust him out. We have the promise that the magistrates here will compel him to leave with the ship De Wage. It is said that there has been collected for him at Fort Orange a hundred beaver skins, which are valued here at eight hundred guilders, and which is the surest pay in this country. What has been collected here, we cannot tell. Our magistrates have forbidden him to preach, as he has received no authority from the Directors at Amsterdam for that purpose. Yet we hear that the Hon. Directors at Amsterdam gave him permission to come over. We have stated in a previous letter the injurious tendency of this with reference to the prosperity of our church.

Lately we have been troubled by others. Some time since, a shoemaker,(1) leaving his wife and children, came here and preached in conventicles. He was fined, and not being able to pay, was sent away. Again a little while ago there arrived here a ship with Quakers, as they are called. They went away to New England, or more particularly, to Rhode Island, a place of errorists and enthusiasts. It is called by the English themselves the latrina(2) of New England. They left several behind them here, who labored to create excitement and tumult among the people—particularly two women, the one about twenty, and the other about twenty-eight.(3) These were quite outrageous. After being examined and placed in prison, they were sent away. Subsequently a young man at Hempstead, an English town under the government, aged about twenty-three or twenty-four years,(4) was arrested, and brought thence, seven leagues. He had pursued a similar course and brought several under his influence. The magistrate, in order to repress the evil in the beginning, after he had kept him in confinement for several days, adjudged that he should either pay one hundred guilders or work at the wheelbarrow two years with the negroes. This he obstinately refused to do, though whipped on his back. After two or three days he was whipped in private on his bare back, with threats that the whipping would be repeated again after two or three days, if he should refuse to labor. Upon this a letter was brought by an unknown messenger from a person unknown to the Director-General. The import of this, (written in English), was, Think, my Lord-Director, whether it be not best to send him to Rhode Island, as his labor is hardly worth the cost.

     (1) William Wickenden, of Rhode Island.

     (2) Sink.

     (3) Dorothy Waugh, afterward whipped at Boston, and Mary

     (4) Robert Hodgson, who had come on the same ship with the
     preceding.  A contemporary Quaker writer attributes his
     release to the intercession of Stuyvesant's sister, Mrs.
     Anna Bayard. Persecution of Quakers and other sectaries in
     New Netherland was continued by Stuyvesant, and finally
     culminated in the case of John Bowne, of Flushing, a Quaker,
     who has left us an interesting account of his suffering,
     printed in the American Historical Record I. 4-8.
     Banished from the province and transported to Holland, Bowne
     laid his case before the directors of the West India
     Company, who reproved Stuyvesant by a letter in which they
     said (April 16, 1663):  "The consciences of men ought to
     remain free and unshackled,... This maxim of moderation
     has always been the guide of the magistrates in this city;
     and the consequence has been that people have flocked from
     every land to this asylum.  Tread thus in their steps, and
     we doubt not you will be blessed."

Since the arrival of De Wage from the South River [the Director?] has again written to Joannes Ernestus Gutwasser to go away. On this he presented a petition, a copy of which herewith transmitted, as also a copy signed by several of the Lutheran denomination. We observe that it is signed by the least respectable of that body, and that the most influential among them were unwilling to trouble themselves with it. Some assert that he has brought with him authority from the West India Company to act as minister. Whether dismission and return will take place without trouble remains to be seen.

We are at this time in great want of English ministers. It is more than two years since Mr. Doughty, of Flushing which is a town here, went to Virginia, where he is now a preacher. He left because he was not well supported. On October 13, Mr. Moore, of Middelburg, which is another town here, died of a pestilential disease, which prevailed in several of our English towns and in New England. He left a widow with seven or eight children. A year before, being dissatisfied with the meagre and irregular payments from his hearers, he went to Barbadoes, to seek another place. Mr. Richard Denton, who is sound in faith, of a friendly disposition, and beloved by all, cannot be induced by us to remain, although we have earnestly tried to do this in various ways. He first went to Virginia to seek a situation, complaining of lack of salary, and that he was getting in debt, but he has returned thence. He is now fully resolved to go to old England, because his wife, who is sickly, will not go without him, and there is need of their going there, on account of a legacy of four hundred pounds sterling, lately left by a deceased friend, and which they cannot obtain except by their personal presence. At Gravesend there never has been a minister. Other settlements, yet in their infancy, as Aernem,(1) have no minister. It is therefore to be feared that errorists and fanatics may find opportunity to gain strength. We therefore request you, Rev. Brethren, to solicit the Hon. Directors of the West India Company, to send over one or two English preachers, and that directions may be given to the magistracy that the money paid by the English be paid to the magistrate, and not to the preacher, which gives rise to dissatisfaction, and that at the proper time any existing deficiency may be supplied by the Hon. Directors. Otherwise we do not see how the towns will be able to obtain ministers, or if they obtain them, how they will be able to retain them. Complaints continually reach us about the payment of ministers. Nevertheless in New England there are few places without a preacher, although there are many towns, stretching for more than one hundred leagues along the coast. Hoping that by God's blessing and your care something may be effected in this matter, we remain,

     (1) Arnhem was a village begun on Smith's Island in Newton

Your friends and fellow laborers,


Manhattans, Oct. 22, 1657.

Rev. Brethren:

Since the writing of the above letter, and before sealing it, we have learned from the Hon. Directors and the fiscaal, that Joannes Ernestus Gutwasser is not to be found, that his bedding and books were two days ago removed, and that he has left our jurisdiction. Still it is our opinion that he remains concealed here, in order to write home, and make his appearance as if out of the Fatherland; and to persevere with the Lutherans in his efforts. We therefore hope and pray that you may, if possible, take measures to prevent this.

SAMUEL DRISIUS. Oct. 25, 1657.

To the Rev. Learned, etc. the Deputies ad res Indicas of the Classis of Amsterdam.

Rev. J. Megapolensis to the Classis of Amsterdam (September 28, 1658).

Rdi. Patres et Fratres in Christo:(1)

In a preceding letter of September 24, 1658,(2) mention was made of a Jesuit who came to this place, Manhattans, overland, from Canada. I shall now explain the matter more fully, for your better understanding of it. It happened in the year 1642, when I was minister in the colony of Rensselaerswyck, that our Indians in the neighborhood, who are generally called Maquaas, but who call themselves Kajingehaga, were at war with the Canadian or French Indians, who are called by our Indians Adyranthaka. Among the prisoners whom our Indians had taken from the French, was this Jesuit,(3) whom they according to their custom had handled severely. When he was brought to us, his left thumb and several fingers on both hands had been cut off, either wholly or in part, and the nails of the remaining fingers had been chewed off. As this Jesuit had been held in captivity by them for some time, they consented that he should go among the Dutch, but only when accompanied by some of them. At last the Indians resolved to burn him. Concerning this he came to me with grievous complaint. We advised him that next time the Indians were asleep, he should run away and come to us, and we would protect and secure him, and send him by ship to France. This was done. After concealing him and entertaining him for six weeks, we sent him to the Manhattans and thence to England and France, as he was a Frenchman, born at Paris.(4)

     (1) Reverend Fathers and Brothers in Christ.

     (2) Ecclesiastical Records, State of New York, I. 432-434.

     (3) Father Jogues; see earlier entries.

     (4) Father Jogues was born in Orleans.

Afterward this same Jesuit came again from France to Canada. As our Indians had made peace with the French, he again left Canada, and took up his residence among the Mohawks. He indulged in the largest expectations of converting them to popery, but the Mohawks with their hatchets put him to a violent death. They then brought and presented to me his missal and breviary together with his underclothing, shirts and coat. When I said to them that I would not have thought that they would have killed this Frenchman, they answered, that the Jesuits did not consider the fact, that their people (the French) were always planning to kill the Dutch.

In the year 1644 our Indians again took captive a Jesuit,(1) who had been treated in the same manner as to his hands and fingers as the above mentioned. The Jesuit was brought to us naked, with his maimed and bloody fingers. We clothed him, placed him under the care of our surgeon, and he almost daily fed at my table. This Jesuit, a native of Rouen,(2) was ransomed by us from the Indians, and we sent him by ship to France. He also returned again from France to Canada. He wrote me a letter, as the previously mentioned one had done, thanking me for the benefits I had conferred on him. He stated also that he had not argued, when with me, on the subject of religion, yet he had felt deeply interested in me on account of my soul, and admonished me to come again into the Papal Church from which I had separated myself. In each case I returned such a reply that a second letter was never sent me.

     (1) Father Giuseppe Bressani (1612-1672).

     (2) Of Rome, in fact.

The French have now for some time been at peace with our Indians. In consequence thereof, it has happened that several Jesuits have again gone among our Indians, who are located about four or five days' journey from Fort Orange. But they did not permanently locate themselves there. All returned to Canada except one, named Simon Le Moyne. He has several times accompanied the Indians out of their own country, and visited Fort Orange. At length he came here to the Manhattans, doubtless at the invitation of Papists living here, especially for the sake of the French privateers, who are Papists, and have arrived here with a good prize.

He represented that he had heard the other Jesuits speak much of me, who had also highly praised me for the favors and benefits I had shown them; that he therefore could not, while present here, neglect personally to pay his respects to me, and thank me for the kindness extended to their Society. 1. He told me that during his residence among our Indians he had discovered a salt spring, situated fully one hundred leagues from the sea; and the water was so salt that he had himself boiled excellent salt from it.(1) 2. There was also another spring which furnished oil. Oleaginous matter floated on its surface, with which the Indians anointed their heads. 3. There was another spring of hot sulphurous water. If paper and dry materials were thrown into it, they became ignited. Whether all this is true, or a mere Jesuit lie, I will not decide. I mention the whole on the responsibility and authority of the Jesuit.

     (1) Father Le Moyne made this discovery while sojourning
     among the Onondagas in 1654.

He told me that he had lived about twenty years among the Indians. When he was asked what fruit had resulted from his labors, and whether he had taught the Indians anything more than to make the sign of the cross, and such like superstitions, he answered that he was not inclined to debate with me, but wanted only to chat. He spent eight days here, and examined everything in our midst. He then liberally dispensed his indulgences, for he said to the Papists (in the hearing of one of our people who understood French), that they need not go to Rome; that he had as full power from the Pope to forgive their sins, as if they were to go to Rome. He then returned and resided in the country of the Mohawks the whole winter. In the spring, however, troubles began to arise again between our Indians and the Canadians. He then packed up his baggage, and returned to Canada. On his journey, when at Fort Orange, he did not forget me, but sent me three documents: the first, on the succession of the Popes; the second, on the Councils; and the third was about heresies, all written out by himself. He sent with them also, a letter to me, in which he exhorted me to peruse carefully these documents, and meditate on them, and that Christ hanging on the Cross was still ready to receive me, if penitent. I answered him by the letter herewith forwarded, which was sent by a yacht going from here to the river St. Lawrence in New France.(1) I know not whether I shall receive an answer.

Valete, Domini Fratres, Vester ex officio,(2)


     (1) One of the fruits of Father Le Moyne's visit to New
     Netherland was that the Dutch obtained from the governor of
     Canada permission to carry on trade, except the fur trade,
     on the St. Lawrence.

     (2) Farewell, brethren; yours officially.

Rev. Henricus Selyns to the Classis of Amsterdam (October 4, 1660)

Reverend, Wise and Pious Teachers:

We cannot be so forgetful as to omit to inform you concerning our churches and services. While at sea, we did not neglect religious worship, but every morning and evening we besought God's guidance and protection, with prayer and the singing of a psalm. On Sundays and feast-days the Holy Gospel was read, when possible. The sacrament was not administered on shipboard, and we had no sick people during the voyage. God's favor brought us all here in safety and health. Arrived in New Netherland, we were first heard at the Manhattans; but the peace-negotiations at the Esopus,(1) where we also went, and the general business of the government necessarily delayed our installation until now. We have preached here at the Esopus, also at Fort Orange; during This time of waiting we were well provided with food and lodging. Esopus needs more people, but Breuckelen more money; wherefore I serve on Sundays, in the evenings only, at the General's bouwery,(2) at his expense. The installation at Brooklyn was made by the Honorable Nicasius de Sille, fiscaal,(3) and Martin Kriegers, burgomaster,(4) with an open commission from his Honor the Director-General.(5) I was cordially received by the magistrates and consistory, and greeted by Domine Polhemius. We do not preach in a church, but in a barn; next winter we shall by God's favor and the general assistance of the people erect a church.

     (1) The Indians of Esopus had broken out in hostilities in
     the autumn of 1659.  The next summer Stuyvesant went there,
     after some defeats of the tribe, and made peace formally,
     July 15, 1660.  A congregation had lately been formed there,
     which called Domine Harmanus Blom to be its pastor.

     (2) Stuyvesant's Bowery, or farm, acquired by him in 1651,
     lay in the present region of Third Avenue and Tenth Street.
     Near the present site of St. Mark's Church he built a chapel
     for his family, his negro slaves, some forty in number, and
     the other inhabitants of the neighborhood.

     (3) Of New Netherland.

     (4) Of New Amsterdam.

     (5) For this letter of induction, see Ecclesiastical
     Records, I. 480.

The audience is passably large, coming from Middelwout, New Amersfort, and often Gravesande increases it; but most come from the Manhattans. The Ferry, the Walebacht, and Guyanes,(1) all belong to Breuckelen. The Ferry is about two thousand paces across the river, or to the Manhattans, from the Breuckelen Ferry. I found at Breuckelen one elder, two deacons, twenty four members, thirty one householders, and one hundred and thirty-four people. The consistory will remain for the present as it is. In due time we will have more material and we will know the congregation better. Cathechizing will not be held here before the winter; but we will begin it at the preaching service there. It will be most suitable to administer the Lord's Supper on Christmas, Easter, Whitsuntide and in September. On the day following these festivals-days a thanksgiving sermon will be preached. I might have taken up my residence at the Manhattans, because of its convenience; but my people, all of them evincing their love and affection for me, have provided me a dwelling of which I cannot complain. I preach at Breuckelen in the morning; but at the Bouwery at the end of the catechetical sermon. The Bouwery is a place of relaxation and pleasure, whither people go from the Manhattans, for the evening service. There are there forty negroes, from the region of the Negro Coast, besides the household families. There is here as yet no consistory, but the deacons from New Amsterdam provisionally receive the alms; and at least one deacon, if not an elder, ought to be chosen there. Besides myself, there are in New Netherland the Domines Joannes Megapolensis and Samuel Drisius at New Amsterdam; Domine Gideon Schaats at Fort Orange; Domine Joannes Polhemius at Middelwout and New Amersfort; and Domine Hermanus Blom at the Esopus. I have nothing more to add, except to express my sincere gratitude and to make my respectful acknowledgements. I commend your Reverences, wise and pious teachers, to God's protection, and am,

Yours humbly,

HENRICUS SELYNS, Minister of the Holy Gospel at Breuckelen.

From Amsterdam on the Manhattans, Oct. 4, 1660.

     (1) Wallabout and Gowanus.

Rev. Henricus Selyns to the Classis of Amsterdam (June 9, 1664).

Very Reverend, Pious and Learned Brethren in Christ:

With Christian salutations of grace and peace, this is to inform you, that with proper submission, we take the liberty of reporting to the Very Rev. Classis the condition and welfare of the Church of Jesus Christ, to which your Reverences called me, as well as my request and friendly prayer for an honorable dismission.

As for me, your Rev. Assembly sent me to the congregation at Breuckelen to preach the Gospel there, and administer the sacraments. This we have done to the best of our ability; and according to the size of the place with a considerable increase of members. There were only a few members there on my arrival; but these have with God's help and grace increased fourfold.

Trusting that it would not displease your Reverences, and would also be very profitable to the Church of Christ, we found it easy to do what might seem troublesome; for we have also taken charge of the congregation at the General's Bouwery in the evening, as we have told you before. An exception to this arrangement is made in regard to the administration of the Lord's Supper. As it is not customary with your Reverences to administer it in the evening, we thought, after conference with our Reverend Brethren of the New Amsterdam congregation, and mature deliberation, that it would be more edifying to preach at the Bouwery, on such occasions, in the morning, and then have the Communion, after the Christian custom of our Fatherland.

As to baptisms, the negroes occasionally request that we should baptize their children, but we have refused to do so, partly on account of their lack of knowledge and of faith, and partly because of the worldly and perverse aims on the part of said negroes. They wanted nothing else than to deliver their children from bodily slavery, without striving for piety and Christian virtues. Nevertheless when it was seemly to do so, we have, to the best of our ability, taken much trouble in private and public catechizing. This has borne but little fruit among the elder people who have no faculty of comprehension; but there is some hope for the youth who have improved reasonably well. Not to administer baptism among them for the reasons given, is also the custom among our colleagues.(1) But the most important thing is, that the Father of Grace and God of Peace has blessed our two congregations with quietness and harmony, out of the treasury of his graciousness; so that we have had no reason to complain to the Rev. Classis, which takes such things, however, in good part; or to trouble you, as we might have anticipated.

     (1) The enslaving of Africans having at first been justified
     on the ground of their heathenism, the nation that to
     baptize them would make it unlawful to hold them in bondage
     was frequent among owners in the seventeenth century, and
     operated to deter them from permitting the Christianizing of
     their slaves.  "I may not forget a resolution which his Maty
     [James II.] made, and had a little before enter'd upon it at
     the Council Board, at Windsor or Whitehall, that the Negroes
     in the Plantations should all be baptiz'd, exceedingly
     declaiming against that impiety of their masters prohibiting
     it, out of a mistaken opinion that they would be ipso facto
     free; but his Maty persists in his resolution to have them
     chisten'd, wch piety the Bishop [Ken] blessed him for."
     Evelyn, Diary, II. 479 (1685).

Meanwhile, the stipulated number of years, pledged to the West India Company, is diminishing; although the obligation we owe to them who recommend us(1) naturally continues. Also, on account of their old age, we would love to see again our parents, and therefore we desire to return home. On revolving the matter in my mind, and not to be lacking in filial duty, I felt it to be proper to refer the subject to God and my greatly beloved parents who call for me, whether I should remain or return home at the expiration of my contract.

     (1) The classis.

As we understand, they are, next to myself, most anxious for my return, and have received my discharge from the Hon. Directors, and have notified the Deputies ad Causas Indicas thereof, which has pleased us. We trust that we shall receive also from your Reverences a favorable reply, relying upon your usual kindness. Yet it is far from us to seem to pass by your Reverences, and give the least cause for dissatisfaction. I have endeavored to deserve the favor of the Rev. Classis by the most arduous services for the welfare of Christ's church, and am always ready to serve your Reverences.

It is my purpose when I return home, when my stipulated time is fulfilled, to give a verbal account of my ministry here, and the state of the church, that you may be assured that any omissions in duty have been through ignorance.

Domine Samuel Megapolensis(1) has safely arrived, but Domine Warnerus Hadson,(2) whom you had sent as preacher to the South River, died on the passage over. It is very necessary to supply his place, partly on account of the children who have not been baptized since the death of Domine Wely,(3) and partly on account of the abominable sentiments of various persons there, who speak very disrespectfully of the Holy Scriptures.

     (1) Reverend Samuel Megapolensis, born in 1634, studied
     three years at Harvard College and three at the University
     of Utrecht. In 1662 he was called by the classis of
     Amsterdam to the ministry in New Netherland, and ordained by
     them.  In  1664, having meanwhile studied medicine at
     Leyden, he went out to New Netherland, and was minister of
     Breukelen from that time to 1669, when he returned to
     Holland.  He died in 1700 as pastor emeritus of the Scottish
     church at Dordrecht.

     (2) Elsewhere called Hassingh.

     (3) Reverend Everardus Welius, minister of New Amstel from
     1657 to 1659, died in the latter year, leaving without
     pastor a church of sixty members.

In addition there is among the Swedes a certain Lutheran preacher, who does not lead a Christian life.(1) There is also another person, who has exchanged the Lutheran pulpit for a schoolmaster's place. This undoubtedly has done great damage among the sheep, who have so long wandered about without a shepherd except the forementioned pastor, who leads such an unchristian life. God grant that no damage be done to Christ's church, and that your Reverences may provide a blessed instrument for good.

     (1) Lokenius's wife ran away from him, and he too hastily
     married another before obtaining his divorce.  The person
     next alluded to is probably Abelius Selskoorn, a student,
     who for a time had conducted divine service at Sandhook
     (Fort Casimir).

In view of the deplorable condition of New Netherland, for the savages have killed, wounded and captured some of our people, and have burnt several houses at the Esopus, and the English, with flying banners, have declared our village and the whole of Long Island to belong to the King:(1) therefore the first Wednesday of each month since last July has been observed as a day of fasting and prayer, in order to ask God for his fatherly compassion and pity. The good God, praise be to him, has brought about everything for the best, by the arrival of the last ships. The English are quiet, the savages peaceful; our lamentations have been turned into songs of praise, and the monthly day of fasting into a day of thanksgiving. Thus we spent last Wednesday, the last of the days of prayer. Blessed be God who causes wars to cease to the ends of the earth, and breaks the bow and spear asunder. Herewith, Very Reverend, Pious, and Learned Brethren in Christ, be commend to God for the perfecting of the saints and the edification of the body of Christ. Vale.

Your Reverences' humble servant in Christ Jesus,


Breuckelen, in New Netherland, June 9, 1664.

     (1) The boundaries between New England and New Netherland
     had always been in dispute.  The English population on Long
     Island grew, an encroached upon the Dutch towns at the west
     end; and the towns in that region which were partly English,
     partly Dutch in population were of doubtful allegiance.  The
     graceless Major John Scott, coming to the island with some
     royal authority, formed a combination of Hempstead,
     Gravesend, Flushing, Newtown, Jamaica and Oyster Bay, with
     himself as president, and then proceeded (January, 1664), at
     the head of 170 men, to reduce the neighboring Dutch
     villages.  Some account of the affair, in the shape in which
     it reached the Dutch public, may be seen in the extract
     printed at the end of this letter.

[The following account of the English encroachments upon Long Island has not been previously translated. It may serve as a summary of the events, or at least of the version of them which came before the Dutch public soon after. It is derived from the Hollantze Mercurius of 1664 (Haerlem, 1665), being part 15 of the Mercurius, which was an annual of the type of the modern Annual Register or of Wassenaer's Historisch Verhael, which preceded it. The passage is at page 10.

In New Netherland the English made bold to come out of New England upon various villages and places belonging under the protection of Their High Mightinesses and the Dutch West India Company even upon Long Island, setting up the banner of Britain and proclaiming that they knew of no New Netherland but that that land belonged solely to the English nation. Finally their wisest conceded, since thus many troubles had arisen about the boundary, that representatives of both nations should come together upon that subject. This was carried out in November last. The Dutch commissioners went to Boston, where they were received by four companies of citizens and a hundred cavalrymen. There they were told that the commissioners on the English side could not arrive to treat of the matter for eight days.(1) Meanwhile the English incited three or four villages to revolt against their government. But all those that were of divided population, like those of Heemstede and Gravesande, refused to accept the English king but said that they had thus far been well ruled by Their High Mightinesses and would so remain, though they were English born. Afterward Heemstede was also subdued but Vlissingen held itself faithful, and some places remained neutral, while the commissioners were detained and finally came again to Amsterdam without having accomplished anything. Meanwhile also the savages of Esopus played their part, having made bold at a place on the river to attack two Dutchmen and cut off their heads.(2)]

     (1) The journalist here confounds Stuyvesant's visit to
     Boston in September, 1663, to meet the Commissioners of the
     United Colonies of New England, with that which his envoys,
     Van Ruyven, Van Cortlandt and Lawrence, made to Hartford in
     October, to confer with the General Assembly of Connecticut.
     His date of November is wrong for both.  The attempt to
     revolutionize the English villages on Long Island had taken
     place in September; their internal revolt occurred in
     November.  Stuyvesant was obliged to acquiesce.  The
     "Combination" of the English towns under the presidency of
     Major John Scott and his attempt to win the Dutch towns from
     their allegiance, took place in January and February, 1664.
     Stuyvesant was again unable to make effectual resistance,
     but made a truce with Scott for twelve months.

     (2) After three years of peace at Esopus, the Indians again
     broke out in hostilities in June, 1663, resulting in the
     slaughter of twenty-one settlers and the captivity of forty-
     five others.  Three successive expeditions, under
     Burgomaster Martin Kregier, in July, September and October,
     destroyed the forts of the Indians, broke down their
     resistance, and released most of the captives.  Captain
     Kregier's journal of these expeditions is printed in
     O'Callaghan's Documentary History, IV. 45-98.

Rev. Samuel Drisius to the Classis of Amsterdam (August 5, 1664).

The Peace of Christ.

Reverend, Learned and Beloved Brethren in Christ Jesus:

I find a letter from the Rev. Classis, which I have not yet answered; and a good opportunity now offering itself by the departure of our colleague, Domine Henricus Selyns, I cannot omit to write a letter to your Reverences. We could have wished, that Domine Selyns had longer continued with us, both on account of his diligence and success in preaching and catechizing, and of his humble and edifying life. By this he has attracted a great many people, and even some of the negroes, so that many are sorry for his departure. But considering the fact that he owes filial obedience to his aged parents, it is God's will that he should leave us. We must be resigned, therefore, while we commit him to God and the word of His grace.

Concerning the places in which he has preached, especially the village called Breuckelen, and the Bouwerie, nothing has been decided yet; but I think that the son of Domine Megapolensis, who has recently come over, will take charge of them, as he has not been sent by the Directors to any particular place.

The French on Staten Island would also like to have a preacher, but as they number only a few families, are very poor, and cannot contribute much to a preacher's salary, and as our support here is slow and small, there is not much hope, that they will receive the light. In the meantime, that they may not be wholly destitute, Director Stuyvesant has, at their request, allowed me to go over there every two months, to preach and administer the Lord's Supper. This I have now done for about a year. In the winter this is very difficult, for it is a long stretch of water, and it is sometimes windy, with a heavy sea. We have, according to the decision of the Classis, admitted the Mennonist, who is quite unknown to us, to the communion, without rebaptism;(1) but last week he and his wife removed to Curacao in the West Indies, to live there. The preacher, sent to New Amstel on the South River, died on the way, as we are told. Ziperius left for Virginia long ago.(2) He behaved most shamefully here, drinking, cheating and forging other people's writings, so that he was forbidden not only to preach, but even to keep school. Closing herewith I commend the Rev. Brethren to God's protection and blessing in their work. This is the prayer of

Your Reverences' dutiful friend in Christ,


New Amsterdam, August 5, Anno 1664.

     (1) In a letter of October 4, 1660, Drisius had consulted
     the classis on the question whether a well-behaved young man
     residing in New Amsterdam, formerly one of the Mennonites
     and baptized by them, might be admitted to the Lord's Supper
     without rebaptism.  The classis, by letter of December 16,
     1661, ruled that according to the practice of the Dutch
     churches, his Mennonite baptism was to be regarded as

     (2) Michael Ziperius and his wife came from Curacao in 1659,
     hoping to receive a call in New Netherland.  The classis
     warned Drisius against him.

The Rev. Samuel Drisius to the Classis of Amsterdam (September 15, 1664).(1)

To the Reverend, Learned and Pious Brethren of the Rev. Classis of Amsterdam:

I cannot refrain from informing you of our present situation, namely, that we have been brought under the government of the King of England. On the 26th of August there arrived in the Bay of the North River, near Staten Island, four great men-of-war, or frigates, well manned with sailors and soldiers. They were provided with a patent or commission from the King of Great Britain to demand and take possession of this province, in the name of His Majesty. If this could not be done in an amicable way, they were to attack the place, and everything was to be thrown open for the English soldiers to plunder, rob and pillage. We were not a little troubled by the arrival of these frigates.

     (1) There is another translation of this letter in N.Y.
     Col. Doc., XIII. 393-394.

Our Director-General and Council, with the municipal authorities of the city, took the matter much to heart and zealously sought, by messages between them and General Richard Nicolls, to delay the decision. They asked that the whole business should be referred to His Majesty of England, and the Lords States General of the Netherlands; but every effort was fruitless. They landed their soldiers about two leagues from here, at Gravezandt, and marched them over Long Island to the Ferry opposite this place. The frigates came up under full sail on the 4th of September with guns trained to one side. They had orders, and intended, if any resistance was shown to them, to give a full broadside on this open place, then take it by assault, and make it a scene of pillage and bloodshed.

Our Hon. Rulers of the Company, and the municipal authorities of the city, were inclined to defend the place, but found that it was impossible, for the city was not in a defensible condition.(1) And even if fortified, it could not have been defended, because every man posted on the circuit of it would have been four rods distant from his neighbor. Besides, the store of powder in the fort, as well as in the city, was small. No relief or assistance could be expected, while daily great numbers on foot and on horseback, from New England, joined the English, hotly bent upon plundering the place. Savages and privateers also offered their services against us. Six hundred Northern Indians with one hundred and fifty French privateers, had even an English commission. Therefore upon the earnest request of our citizens and other inhabitants, our authorities found themselves compelled to come to terms, for the sake of avoiding bloodshed and pillage. The negotiations were concluded on the 6th of September.(2) The English moved in on the 8th, according to agreement.

     (1) See the remonstrance which the inhabitants addressed to
     Stuyvesant, N.Y. Col. Doc., II. 248.

     (2) Articles of capitulation, ibid., 250-253, and Brodhead,
     History of New York, I. 762-763.

After the surrender of the place several Englishmen, who had lived here a long time and were our friends, came to us, and said that God had signally overruled matters, that the affair had been arranged by negotiations; else nothing but pillage, bloodshed ad general ruin would have followed. This was confirmed by several soldiers who said that they had come here from England hoping for booty; but that now, since the matter turned out so differently, they desired to return to England.

The Articles of Surrender stipulate that our religious services and doctrines, together with the preachers, shall remain and continue unchanged. Therefore we could not separate ourselves from our congregation and hearers, but consider it our duty to remain with them for some time yet, that they may not scatter and run wild.

The Hon. Company still owes me a considerable sum, which I hope and wish they would pay. Closing herewith, I recommend your Honors' persons and work to God's blessing and remain,

Your willing colleague,


Manhattan, September 15, 1664.