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Narrative of New Netherland by J. F. Jameson, Editor

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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

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

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

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

<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 despire
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

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

<1> 1621.
<2> Heeren Majores, the managers or directors of the Company.
<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

<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 wrong."
<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,

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.

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

<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.

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

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

<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

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

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

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

<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 recall.
<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

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