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for these and other persons. It bore the seal of the States General, and the title of New Netherland; and so, consistency compelled the government to make an indefinite postponement of Hendrickson's application.
While rulers and rich merchants were busy at the Hague, forming schemes for establishing a State in the New World by prior and permanent occupation, before King James should be able to defend his claims to the region "between New France and Virginia" by the same potent argument, the active trappers and traders on the Mauritius and adjacent territory were laying its foundations broad and strong, not upon parchment, but on the imperishable hills and in the fertile valleys. They had enlarged the tradinghouse on Manhattan, and amplified the hamlet of huts to a sociable village. They had built fortifications on the River of the Mountains, more than fifty leagues from the Narrows. From that point they had crossed the pine barrens to the beautiful valley of the Mohawk, and formed a trading station at Skanectada. And, better than all, they had met the chiefs of the great Iroquois Confederacy—the "Romans of the Western world"—under 4 spreading beach at the mouth of the Tawasentha, where Albany now stands. There was made the first treaty of friendship between that savage republic and Hollanders, four years b fore the armorial distinction of a Count was gi anted to New Netherland, and the political h.story of the State of New York began. It was a wise caution that dictated this treaty (which was never violated), for that powerful confederacy always stood as an impregnable barrier against the incursions of the French from the St. Lawrence, and the fierce tribes of Canada and the shores of the Western lakes. Their influence was felt from Ontario to the Gulf of Mexico.
"The ferce Adirondac had fled from their wrath,
"The Lenape, lords once of valley and bill.
"On the hills of New England the Pequod turned pale
Street's m Fnmienae."
One fine morning in June, sixteen hundred and nineteen, an English vessel, for the first time, came floating upon the waters of Long Island Sound, with all the dignity of a supposed first discoverer. It lost its anchor while passing the "most dangerous cataract among small rocky islands" of Hell Gate, and was carried by the swift current of the East River far into the bay of Manhattan. Her commander did not then stop to talk with the Dutch traffickers, who saluted him as he passed; but on his return from Virginia, he felt it to be his loyal duty to go in and wam the Hollanders to leave his English Majesty's domain as quickly as possible. "We found no Englishmen here, and hope we have not offended," replied the
good-natured Dutchmen, and went on smoking their pipes, planting their gardens, and catching beavers and otters, as if they had never heard of Captain Dermer, a "loving subject" of King James. The States General manifested equal indifference to the sounds of royal bluster which occasionally came from England, when the importunities of the Plymouth Company for a more liberal charter awakened the sluggard king to the importance of promoting settlements in America. A Dutch West India Company was formed. It was a grand commercial monopoly, and received a charter which gave it almost regal powers to colonize, govern, and defend New Netherland. That charter contained all the guaranties of freedom in social, political, and religious life, neces sary to the foundation of a free State. It recognized Republicanism as the true theory of government, and Home, in its broadest and purest sense, as the prime element of political strength. No stranger was ever to be questioned concerning his birth-place or religious creed, as matters which concerned the State; and his best title to equal fellowship and citizenship was a desire to build a house, plant, and thus, by possessing a fee ownership in his home, becoino identified with the interests and prosperity of the colony.
And who were the people of which this budding colony on Manhattan was the outgrowth? They were inhabitants of a European republie, composed of seven free, sovereign States—made so by a struggle with despotism for forty years, and occupying a territory which their ancestors had reclaimed from the ocean and morass by indomitable labor. It was a republic where freedom of conscience, speech, and the press were complete and universal. The effect of this freedom had been the internal development of social beauty and strength, and vast increment of substantial wealth and power by immigration. Wars and despotisms in other parts of Europe sent thousands of intelligent exiles thither, and those free provinces were crowded with ingenious mechanics, and artists, and teamed men, because conscience was there undisturbed, and the hand and brain were free to win and use the rewards of their industry anJ skill. Beautiful cities, towns, and villages were strewn over the whole country, and nowhere in Europe did society present an aspect half as pleasing as that of Holland. Every religious sect there found an asylum from persecution, and encouragement to manly effort, by the kind respect of all. And at the very time when the charter of the West India Company was under consideration, that band of English Puritans who afterward set up the ensign of free institutions on the shores of Massachusetts Bay, were being nurtured in the bosom of that republic, and instructed in those principles of civil liberty that became a salutary leaven in the bigotry which they brought with them.
Such were the people who laid the foundations of the commonwealth of New York. They were men of expanded views, liberal feelings, and never dreamed of questioning any man's inalienable right to " life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" among them, whether he first inspired the common air in Holland, England, Abyssinia, or Kamtschatka. And as the population increased and became heterogeneous, that very toleration became a reproach; and their Puritan neighbors on the East, and Churchmen and Romanists on the South, called New Amsterdam (as the Manhattan settlement was named) " a cage of unclean birds," and obnoxious to the charge made by quaint Andrew Marvell against its protonymic:
"Hence Amsterdam, Turk, Christian, Pagan, Jew,
The West India Company was not fully preprepared for action until the winter of sixteen hundred and twenty-three, when it put forth vigorous efforts toward colonization, unmindful of the protest of James's minister at the Hague against further "settlements and occupations" by the Dutch on Hudson's River, as the English now called the Mauritius. Hitherto traffic had been the sole employment of the Dutch in New Netherland, and few thought of being buried there. They must be weaned from the fatherland before they could become founders of a permanent State. Agriculture and the family tie alone could accomplish this desirable result; and to this end, thirty families of Walloons, who had taken refuge in Amsterdam, were sent over in the spring of sixteen hundred and twenty-three to found a colony. These were Protestants from the frontier between France and Flanders, and no better material for a healthful colony could have been found than the one hundred and ten men, women, and chil
dren, who landed on Manhattan early in May. Some of them went up the river and seated themselves in the present Ulster County; four couples who had been married on the voyage went to the recently discovered Delaware, or South River; two families and six men sailed up the Connecticut to the site of Hartford, to settle, build a fort, and assert Dutch jurisdiction over that region, by virtue of Block's discoveries; and the larger portion sat down upon lands now covered by the cities of Brooklyn and Williamsburg, on Long Island. There Sarah Rapelje inhaled her first breath, and her memory has been perpetuated as the first white child bom in the province of New Netherland.
May and his successor, Verhulst, ruled alone, but in the year sixteen hundred and twenty-six, Peter Minuit arrived as governor, with a council of five grave men; a Koopman, or general commissary (who was also secretary of the province), and a Sckout or sheriff to assist him. His political chart was the will of his employers, expressed in instructions and ordinances, and he at once commenced the work of founding a state, on the basis of law and order, with great vigor. His first care was to strengthen the title of the Dutch to Manhattan. He procured a council of the Indian chiefs, and purchased from them the entire island, of twenty-two thousand acres of land, for hatchets and other things valued at sixty guilders, or about twenty-four American dollars. This just and expedient measure forms a pleasing parallel to Penn's transaction under the Shackamaxon elm, more than half a century later, and contrasts favorably with the injustice which made the New England Indians, the Susquehannocks and Powhatans, and the tribes of the Neuse region of the Carolinas, lift the hatchet against the English. To defend this property, Minuit caused the skillful Krijn Frederick to build a quadrangular fort of earth and stone, near the Bowling Green of later times, and named the structure Fort Amsterdam. Already Fort Nassau had been built on the South River, a little below the site of Philadelphia, and Fort Orange, on the soil of the State capitol of New York, was well-garrisoned under Commissary Krieckebeeck.
The future of the settlers on Manhattan glowed with bright promises; and when other families came, and society spread its tent of beauty in their midst, every thing appeared roseate and peaceful. They traded, built houses, planted fields, married, had holidays and sports; and at the time when Virginia became a royal province, and the Plymouth settlers were struggling to free themselves from the shackles of their moneyed partners in London, the Dutch on Manhattan were as free as air, and happy as indulged children.
But a brilliant dawn is not always the harbinger of a pleasant day. Early in the morning of New Netherland history small but portentous clouds appeared. They contained the latent elements of a future tempest, which burst from a quarter where the sky appeared most serene. The crime of an individual jeoparded the existence of the State. There was peace with all the Indian tribes. The Manhattans, the Pachamies, the Weckquacsgeeks and Tankiteks of West Chester, the Hackingsacks and Raritans of New Jersey, and the Canarsces, the Rockaways, the Mcrrikokes, Mattinecocks, Corchaugs, Shinecocks, Secataugs, Marsapeagues, and Nissaquages of Long Island, came freely to the settlement with their skins and oysters to traffic and smoke. One morning a Weckquacsgeck chief, with his little nephew and a warrior, came sauntering, with bundles of beaver skins, along the shores of the tiny lake whose waters once sparkled in the hollow where the Halls of Justice now stand. Three of Minuit's farm-servants robbed them, and then murdered the chief. The boy fled to the thick woods near the East River, and escaped; but left behind a curse upon the white man, while he uttered avow of vengeance when manhood should give him strength. We shall presently observe how it was fulfilled.
Beyond the mountains a cloud also gathered. Commissary Krieckebeeck foolishly and wickedly joined the Mohegans in a foray upon some Mohawks, and was killed. Distrust ensued. The families abandoned Fort Orange and took up their abode on Manhattan, and only a small garrison of men was left to defend the post. Alarmed by unfriendly indications among the Raritans, the Walloons on South River also fled to Manhattan at about the same time, and a link of the chain of friendship which bound the Hollanders and Indians together was broken forever.
While the Dutch had been busy in forming their settlements a little band of one hundred men, women, and children, of those English Puritans who had been long sheltered in Holland from the
storms of persecution, had floated across the Atlantic in the Mayflovcer, and built cabins on the rim of Plymouth Bay. They had been there seven years belore intercourse between them and the Dutch on Manhattan was opened. Then Minuit sent a friendly letter to Governor Bradford, proposed interchanges of good-will and good offices, and, with an eye wide open to commercial advantages, offered to accommodate the Puritans with any kind of merchandise which they might stand in need of. The keen Bradford courteously accepted the proffer of friendship; promised to trade with the Dutch at some future time, if it could be done profitably; begged the Hollanders not to come quite so far east as Narragar.sett Bay to catch beavers and trade with the Indians, and loyally hinted that they had no right to plant or traffic in America above the fortieth parallel. Minuit took fire, and in his reply to Bradford plainly told him that the Dutch knew their rights, and would maintain them. For some time a friendly correspondence was kept up, however, and a deputation went from Manhattan to confer with the English at Plymouth. But as Bradford always insisted upon the superiority of the parchment titles of the English to New Netherland, there was continually a small apple of discord between the Puritans and the Hollanders, while a profitable trade kept them on kissing terms with each other.
The West India Company, in the mean while, had gained vast accessions of wealth and power by the success of its battle-ships against the merchantmen of Spain, with whom Holland was then at war. The fleets of the India Companies composed the right arm of Dutch power, and these commercial monopolies indirectly governed the State. In September, sixteen hundred and twenty-seven, the low-bom Peter Heyn purchased an admiral's title by his achievements on the coast of Cuba. He met the Spanish "silver fleet," on its way from Yucatan with the spoils of plundered princes of Mexico and Peru, captured the whole flotilla, and put almost five millions of dollars into the coffers of his employers. Brazil, with all its wealth of soil and mines, was soon afterward added to their possessions, and other brilliant victories on the ocean established, beyond question, the maritime superiority of Holland. Heyn perished in the arms of victory on the sea, and wes buried in regal pomp by the side of Prince William of Orange, in the old church at Delft, wherein the " Pilgrim Fathers" last worshiped on the shores of Holland. His grateful government erected a superb marble monument in an aisle of that old fane. His peasant mother, when the States General sent her a letter of condolence, declared—" Ay, I thought that would be the end of him. He was always a vagabond; but I did my best to correct him. He has got no more than he deserved."
Wealth and power made the West India Company more proud and grasping. The small profits derived from New Netherland now appeared insignificant, and they devised new schemes for increasing their gains. The fertile soil of their domain needed tillers; and a manorial system, similar to that already in use in Holland, was proposed. Wealthy members of the Company were offered special privileges and large domains, on condition that they should take thither at least fifty adults as actual settlers, and establish little colonies in various parts of New Netherland, except on Manhattan, which was to contain the capital of the new empire. These emigrants were to be tenants of the patroons (as the lords of the manors were called) for a certain number of years, to be "entirely free from customs, taxes, excise, imposts, or any other contribution." This feudal scheme was approved by the States General in sixteen hundred and thirty, when a charter of " Privileges and Exemptions" was granted by that body, and several patroon estates were founded. That of Van Rensselacr, near Albany, remains the only relic of a ruder age when capital purchased special political privileges, and special privileges raised a few above the common humanities of the many in the social scale. Those of Godyn and Blommacrt on the Delaware, and of Pauw in New Jersey and on Staten Island, opposite New York, have long since been buried with other unsightly fragments of European feudalism, which found their way thither.
Minuit's administration ended in sixteen hundred and thirty-two. It had been successful, and he left the province in the enjoyment of great prosperity. Year after year the fur-trade had increased; and during the last twelve months of his rule, the value of that commodity exported from Manhattan to Amsterdam was more than sixty thousand dollars. Comfortable homes and commodious warehouses had clustered around Fort Amsterdam, and the hand of culture was beautifying the hills, even beyond Smit's Vleye (Smith's Valley), through which Maiden Lane now passes.
An inexperienced, narrow-minded clerk in the Company's warehouse at Amsterdam, who had married a niece of Killian Van Rensselacr, the Albany patroon, was appointed governor of New Netherland in sixteen hundred and thirty-three. The sainted Knickerbocker has left us a portraiture of this "model of majesty and lordly grandeur," as he affectionately calls him. "He was exactly five feet six inches in height, and six feet five inches in circumference. His head was a perfect sphere, and of such stupendous dimensions, that dame Nature, with all her sex's ingenuity, would have been puzzled to construct a neck capable of supporting it: wherefore she wisely declined the attempt, and settled it firmly on the top of his back bone, just between the shoulders. His body was oblong, and particularly capacious at bottom; which was wisely ordered by Providence, seeing that he was a man of sedentary habits, and very averse to the idle labor of walking. His legs were very short, but sturdy in proportion to the weight they had to sustain; so that, when erect, he had not a little the appearance of a beer barrel on skids. His face, that infallible index of the mind, presented
a vast expanse, unfurrowed by any of those lines and angles which disfigure the human countenance with what is termed expression. Two small gray eyes twinkled feebly in the midst, like two stars of lesser magnitude in a hazy firmament; and his full-fed cheeks, which seemed to have taken toll of every thing that went into his mouth, were curiously mottled and streaked with dusky red, like a Spitzenberg apple. His habits were as regular as his person. He daily took his four stated meals, appropriating exactly an hour to each; he smoked and doubted eight hours, and he slept the remaining twelve of the four-andtwenty." The name of this governor was Wouter (Walter) Van Twiller.
Van Twiller's administration lasted seven years, during which time the province flourished in spite of him. Dominie Bogardus came to cultivate the hearts of the people; and schoolmaster Roelandsen accompanied him with the light of letters for the murky brains of the children, who were now becoming numerous. Hitherto there had been little use for dominie or schoolmaster, for men's souls were too intent on beaver-catching to listen to topics above the flagstaff of the fort, and children with blue eyes were unknown on Manhattan until the fruitful Walloons came, seven years before. Although it was a long time before church or school-house was erected, it was a clear gain to the colony, in its progress toward the dignity of a State, to have these elements of good society in readiness when needed. This first minister and schoolmaster ought to be canonized, and St. Borgardus and St. Roelandsen should stand high upon the calendar of Manhattan with the tutelar St. Nicholas.
Before the advent of these teachers, active, energetic Democracy had appeared in the person of De Vries, a bold and talented East India captain, who had come to New Netherland to plant a colony on the South River, and catch whales in the bays, on the condition of being made a patroon. His planting and fishing schemes failed, and he went up the James River and shook hands with the loyal Sir John Harvey, the courtly knight who ruled Virginia. Bearing a friendly salutation from Sir John to the Dutch Director, De Vries returned to Manhattan, and took up his - tode there, just as the stupid Van Twiller arrived. It was well for the Hollanders that a man of steel like De Vries had come among them at this time, for a former Director, who had commanded at Fort Orange, knowing the itnpotency of Van Twiller, and being in the service of the English, boldly sailed up the Mauritius to Renssclacrwyek, to traffic with the Indians, in defiance of the Governor's frowtis and the ominous fluttering of the Orange flag over the walls of Fort Amsterdam. The " William" was the first English vessel that sailed up the Hudson River, and the Dutch regarded her as an impudent intruder.
The insult really aroused the ire of Van Twiller, and he drank full bumpers from a wine-cask at the gate of the Fort, swore terribly in Low Dutch, and called upon the people, who stood laughing in his face, to wipe out this stain upon Holland's honor. De Vries was intelligently vexed, and called the Governor a fool. The official did not venture a denial, but obsequious." bending to the will of the sturdy Captain, he ordered an expedition to hasten afler the " William," and bring her back to Manhattan. The brave deed was accomplished in the course of a month, and the English intruder was driven out of the Narrows, and solemnly enjoined never again to attempt interference with the Dutch fur-trade on the North River, as the Mauritius was now called. This was the beginning of trouble with the English.
A little cloud now appeared in the east. The Puritans had refused the invitation of Minuit to leave the barren soil of Massachusetts Bay, and settle upon the meadows and slopes along the Fresh Water River, as Block called the Connecticut. But when the beauty and fertility of that region became certified, the Plymouth Company,
unmindful of the claims of the Dutch.'granted a charter to certain parties to settle in that lovely valley , and, during the bland Indian summer in the autumn of sixteen hundred and thirty-three, a small company of Puritans, under Captain Holmes, sailed up the Connecticut, in a sloop, to plant a settlement near the Falls. The Dutch had been warned of these movements by the Indians of whom they had purchased the lands, and Van Twiller had sent Commissary Van Curler to raise the arms of Holland upon a tree at the mouth of the Connecticut, and to complete Fort Good Hope, near the present city of Hartford. Van Curler had two cannons planted on his fort when Holmes appeared, and he threatened him with instant destruction if he should attempt to pass. The Yankee filibuster was as careless as a Turk of the shotted cannon, sailed quietly by, while the Dutch "let their shooting stand," and, on the hank where Windsor now flourishes, erected the house which he had brought