Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

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

Part 3 out of 4

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.3 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

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

<1> Myn Heer Generael is hardly what would be meant in English
by "Lord General"; it is most like Fr. Monsieur le General.
<2> The church session, in the Reformed Church, consisting of
minister, elders and deacons.
<3> Francis Doughty.
<4> The West Indies.
<5> Jacob Loper, a Swedish naval captain in the Dutch service,
who had married the eldest daughter of Cornelis Molyn.
<6> Mr. Murphy quotes an apposite passage from a letter which
the company had written to Stuyvesant on April 7, 1648: "As
they [the Indians] urge it with such earnestness, that they
would rather renew the war with us than be without these
articles, and as a war with them, in our present situation,
would be very unwelcome, we think the best policy is to
furnish them with powder and ball but with a sparing hand."
<7> These sentences were imposed in July, 1648.
<8> Peddlers.

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

<1> December, 1648.

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

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

In what Manner New Netherland should be Redressed.

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

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

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

<1> Reverend Johannes Backerus.

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

Done this 28th of July in New Netherland, subscribed, "ADRIAEN
written "Under protest--obliged to sign about the government
Below was written, "After collation with the original remonstrance,
dated and subscribed as above, with which these are found to
correspond, at the Hague, the 13th October, 1649, by me;" and was

"D. v. SCHELLUYNEN, Notary Public."



Reference material and sources.

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


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

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

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


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

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

<1> In New Netherland. Van Tienhoven prepared this answer in

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

<1> Art. XX.

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

<1> Art. XXVIII.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Augustyn Heermans came on board the Maecht van Enkhuysen,<1>
being then as he still is, the agent of Gabrie<2> in trading

<1> "Maid of Enkhuizen."
<2> Peter Gabry and Sons, a noted firm of Amsterdam.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At the Hague, 29th November, 1650.



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


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

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

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

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


Noble and Mighty Sir:

Mr. Schepen Bontemantel:

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

<1> Six are named below. The seventh (or first) was the
"admiral" or flag-ship De Waegh ("The Balance"), on which the
writer sailed. The Hoop was a French privateer, L'Esperance,
which had just arrived at New Amsterdam and was engaged for
the expedition.
<2> Nya Elfsborg.
<3> Rising states the total number of the force as 600 or 700.
<4> I.e., Stuyvesant's. In the military organization of that
day, one or two companies were usually given a primary position
as the "general's own" or "colonel's own." Of the persons
mentioned below, Nicasius de Sille was a member of the Council,
and De Koningh was the captain of De Waegh.
<5> Sven Schute.

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

<1> This agrees with the official text in _N.Y. Col. Doc._,
XII. 102.

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

<1> On Augustin Herrman's excellent map of Maryland and
Delaware, "Virdrietige Hoeck" (Tedious Point) appears as a
name of a promontory about where Marcus Hook, Pa., now is.
Rising, however, reports the Dutch as landing at Tridje Hoeck
("Third Point"), just north of Christina Creek.
<2> For a plan of the siege, derived from that made by the
Swedish engineer Linstrom, see Winsor, _Narrative and Critical
History of America_, IV. 480.

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

<1> A hundred were killed, a hundred and fifty taken prisoners.
<2> _N.Y. Col. Doc., XII. 104-106.
<3> Fort Casimir was made the seat of Dutch administration on
the South River. In 1657 it was named New Amstel, and the
colony there was taken over by the city of Amsterdam.

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

Obedient servant,


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

<1> The house of Cornelis Melyn, on Staten Island.



Reference material and sources.

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


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

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

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


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

Reverendissimi Domini, Fratres in Christo, Synergi observandi:<1>

I FEEL it my duty, to answer the letter of your Reverences,
dated the 11th of November, [1654].<2>

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

<1> Most Reverend Masters, Brethren in Christ, Venerable
<2> _Ecclesiastical Records, State of New York_, I. 331.
<3> Of the West India Company.
<4> Reverend Johannes Theodorus Polhemus or Polhemius, born
about 1598, was in early life a minister in the Palatinate.
Driven thence by persecutions in 1635, he was sent to Brazil
in 1636 by the Dutch West India Company, and remained there,
minister at Itamarca, till the waning of the company's fortunes
in that country and the loss of Pernambuco compelled his
retirement. In 1654 he went thence to New Netherland, and
became provisionally minister of Midwout, the first Dutch
church on Long Island. From 1656 to 1660 he was minister of
Midwout, Breukelen and Amersfoort, from 1660 to 1664 of Midwout
and Amersfoort, from 1664 of all three churches again. He died
in 1676.
<5> Middle point. Midwout is now Flatbush; Amersfoort is

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

<1> Willem Vestiens or Vestens, schoolmaster, of Haarlem, "a
good, God-fearing man," was sent out in 1650 as schoolmaster,
sexton, and "comforter of the sick." In 1655 he asked to be
transferred to the East Indies, and was replaced at New
Amsterdam by Harmanus van Hoboken.
<2> Taliter qualiter.

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

<1> Refugees from Brazil, who retired after the capture of
Pernambuco by the Portugese, in January, 1654. The number of
Jews who settled in New Amsterdam became considerable. The
West India Company in 1655 repressed all attempts of Stuyvesant
and his Council to expel or oppress them.
<2> Jacob Barsimson seems to have been the one Jewish merchant
then there.

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

Your obedient


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

<1> There were Lutherans at Manhattan at the time of Father
Jogue's visit (1643), and they are called a congregation in
1649. In 1653 they petitioned to have a minister of their own
and freedom of public worship. Stuyvesant and the ministers
were disposed to maintain the monopoly of the Reformed (Calvinistic)
Church. In 1656 he forbade even Lutheran services in private
houses; but the Company would not sustain this, though they
upheld him in sending Gutwasser back to Holland in 1659.
<2> "The Mill."
<3> Johann Ernst Gutwasser.

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

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

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

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

<1> Minister at Rensselaerswyck since 1652.

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

<1> Book of Homilies.
<2> Reverend Peter Hjort, pastor at Fort Trinity.

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

<1> Reverend Matthias Nertunius.

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

<1> Reverend Lars Lock or Lokenius, preacher at Tinicum from
1647 to 1688.

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

<1> Carpentier was a Reformed minister whom the Dutch had
established at Fort Casimir. Jacquet was vice-director on
the South River, 1655-1657.
<2> But this incidentally.

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

Book of the day:
Facebook Google Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Pinterest