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with him, palisaded it, and defied the Belgic heroes. The Dutch and English quarreled concerning the ownership of the Connecticut valley, tor almost twenty years, and then the former withdrew, and accepted the present line between New York and Connecticut, as the Eastern boundary of New Netherland.
The State yet lacked a prime element of perpetuity. There were no independent farmers in New Netherland, cultivating their own lands, for the soil belonged to the Company, except that of the Patroon estates. Those wealthy monopolists carried on all agricultural operations ofl' the public domain. The tiller might own his house, but he held no fee-title to the soil. Commercial advantages alone occupied the earnest attention of the Company, and thousands of fertile acres in New Netherland offered their unaccepted treasures to the cultivator. This feudal system, coupled with the influences of internal discords and external dangers, began to repress the energies of the common people, narrowed the sphere of their opportunities for action, and many sighed for Fatherland. The Company and the grasping Patroons bickered continually, because each coveted the monopoly of the fur-trade; and the machinery *of the local government moved sluggishly, and sometimes wickedly. The Governor lost all influence, and became a target for coarse jests. His conduct, at length, so exasperated the energetic Dominie Borgardus, that he called the Director a "child of the devil," and, in the presence of Gerritsen and Pianck, Jansen, Dam, and Van Curler, he told the chief magistrate that if he did not behave himself, he would give him " such a shake from the pulpit" the next Sabbath, as would make him tremble like a bowl of jelly And Van Dincklagen, the Governor's Sellout-fiscal, openly reproached his contemptible Excellency, for which offense the subaltern was sent home to Holland in disgrace, without being paid the amount of three years' salary, then due. It was a sad hour for Van Twiller when Van Dincklagen departed. The Schout-fiscal was a man of pluck and ready pen, and he sent such memorials to the States General as effected the dismissal of the Governor, at the moment when he had purchased Nutten and other islands around Manhattan, in expectation of vegetating and dying in official dignity in New Netherland. We have no memorial of Van Twiller left, in name of State, or village, bank, water craft, or domain, except the Isle of Nuts, which lies in the bay within ear-shot of the place of his departure for the Zuyder Zee. It is called the Governor's Island to this day.
William Kieft, whose portrait had been hanged on a gallows in the city of Rochelle, and whom De Vries has recorded on the list of great rogues, was the successor of Van Twiller, as' Directorgeneral of New Netherland. He was energetie, spiteful, and rapacious; fond of quarrels, and was never happy except when in trouble. His first council was composed of men of similar humor, and they acquired so much dignity, that it became a "high crime to appeal from the judg. meats" of the Governor, his Koopman, Sellout,
and other cabinet officials. Yet Kieft was a better man for the Company and the people than the swinish Van Twiller. He was as busy as a brooding hen, and attempted reforms in government, society, and religion, on a scale altogether beyond the capacities of himself and his "subjects." He had an exalted opinion of Minuit as a governor, and he resolved to emulate his example; but that same Minuit became the bane of his peace almost from the beginning.
Ussellinex, the original projector of the West India Company, left Amsterdam in a passion, and laid before the enlightened Gustavus Adolphus, of Sweden, a well-arranged plan for establishing a Scandinavian colony on the South River. The moment was opportune, for the benevolent heart of the king had already suggested the establishment of an asylum for all Protestants, in free America. The plan of Ussellinex delighted him. But while the scheme was rapidly ripening, the monarch was called to marshal his troops in defense of Protestantism against the cohorts of the Pope on the fields of Germany. Yet he did not forget his benevolent scheme, even amidst the din of camps; and only a few days before he fell in battle at Lutzen, he recommended it as the "jewel of his kingdom." The Count of Oxenstierna, who ruled Sweden in behalf of the infant Christina, the "sweet little jasmine bud of the royal conservatory," had been the earliest and most ardent supporter of the enterprise, and four years before the wasp of Rochelle made his advent at Manhattan, he gave a charter to a Swedish West India Company; and Peter Minuit, toward the close of sixteen hundred and thirty-seven, sailed from Stockholm, in the Key of Calmir, with the first company of emigrants bound for the South River.
Kieft had eaten but few dinners at New Amsterdam, when he was informed of the impertinence of the Swedes in buying enough land between two trees to build a house upon, and then claiming the whole territory west of the South River, from Cape Henlopen to the Falls of Trenton, and inland as far as they pleased. He was was at first astonished, then affronted, and at last he rubbed his hands in delight, for he saw a clear opportunity for a quarrel and diplomatic display. The whole breadth of New Jersey was between himself and the intruders, and that was a comfort; so he fearlessly issued a proclamation, with an imperial flourish, protesting against the intrusion, and declaring that he would not "be answerable for any mishap, bloodshed, trouble, or disaster" which they might suffer from his ire and valor. Minuit laughed at Kieft, and went on to build a fort on the site of Wilmington, and to push a profitable trade with the Lenni-Lenapes. The fiery Director hurled protest after protest against the Swedes; but they were as little heeded as were the paper bulls sent by Clement to bellow excommunication through the realms of the Eighth Harry of England. Swedish vessels, filled with men, women, and children, intent on empire and happiness in the New World, came thicker than Belgic proclamations; and, in spite architects hung the Spanish bells captured at Porto Rico in the little tower, and the Director gave a supper to the builders and city magnates at his harberg for strangers at Coenties Slip. And it was a proud day lor Domine Bogardus, when he ascended the new pulpit and preached from the words (St. John xv. 1), Ich bien reenter Wtenstock, und man Paler an Wiengartner, in the presence of Baxter and other Englishmen from the Puritan East and Cavalier Virginia, who, with French Huguenots and a dozen Danes, had settled in New Netherland, where strangers were weleomed as citizens, when they had taken the oath of allegiance and fidelity to the States General. Know-nothings were unknown and useless in New Amsterdam, and so were Do-nothings; for thrift and industry were seen on every side. When, after a long absence, De Vries returned to Manhattan, he saw much to praise in the management of the new Director-general.
The English on the East became as troublesome as the Swedes on the South. Like busy ants they were spreading over the fertile lands westward of the Housatonic and the plains of Long Island. They disregarded Dutch proclamations and Indian title deeds; and filibusters from Massachusetts cast down the arms of Holland at" Cow Bay, and mocked the officials at New Amsterdam. Kieft soon put an end to these encroachments, and peace might have long reigned in New Netherland had not Acquisitiveness arisen
of Kiett s majesty, they laid the foundation or the capital of New Sweden on Tinicum Island, near Philadelphia. And more than forty years before William Penn,
"the Quaker, came,
To leave his hat, his drab, and his name,
they spread the tents of empire on the soil where now flourish, in regal pride, the commonwealths of Delaware and Pennsylvania.
Kieft was not indifferent to the interests of his growing capital, while shaking his official fist at the Scandinavians on the Delaware. He caused Fort Amsterdam to be repaired, and new warehouses to be erected. By example and command, he made fruit trees to bud and blossom in gardens where brambles had flourished hitherto. Police ordinances were framed and thoroughly enforced, and Morality made Vice blush with shame. Religion became a cherished "institution" among the people; and Krol and Huyek, the krank-besocckcrs, who had long ago given place to the ordained minister, became shining lights of piety and pastoral aid. The little barnlike church in Broad Street was made a barrack for soldiers; and, under the direction of Kuyter and Dam, a spacious stone one was built within the Fort, just where "it kept the south wind from the wings of the grist-mill It was a galaday in New Amsterdam when the Connecticut
in active rebellion against Justice, and awakened a terrible storm of vengeance in the forest.
The manifest partiality of the Dutch toward the Mohawks, made the River Indians jealous, and their friendship was greatly weakened by the dishonesty of traders, who stupefied them with rum, and then cheated them in traffie. Kieft not only winked at these things, but, under the false plea of " express orders" from his principals, he demanded tribute of furs, corn, and wampum from the tribes around Manhattan. They sullenly complied; but when they came and cast the costly tribute at the feet of the Hollanders, they turned away with a curse, bitter and uncompromising. When Kieft saw the cloud of vengeance on their brows, his fears and his cruelty were awakened; and, with the usual instinct of a bad nature, he sought an opportunity to injure those he had deeply wronged. The opportunity was not long delayed. Some swine were stolen from De Vries's plantation on Staten Island. Kieft charged the crime upon the innocent Karitans. He sent armed men to chastise them, and several Indians were killed. This outrage aroused all the tribes. The River Indians grasped the hatchet, and refused to pay tribute any longer. The Raritans killed Hollanders whenever they could meet them in the forests of New Jersey, and war, stimulated by the deepest hatred, was kindled.
The time had now arrived when the vow of the savage boy whose uncle was murdered by Minuit's men fifteen years before, must be revenged. He had grown to lusty manhood, and the blood of his kinsman cried to him for vengeance. He came to Manhattan, and at Turtle Bay, where the Beeckinans afterward had their pleasant country-seats, he murdered Claas Smits, a harmless Dutch wheel-wright, and plundered his solitary dwelling. Kieft demanded the murderer; but the chief of the Weckquacsgeecks refused to give him up. Here was a casus belli over which Kieft chuckled with delight, and he prepared to treat the Westchester tribes as he did the poor Raritans. But his imprudence was overruled, and his cruel scheme was foiled for the present. The people of New Amsterdam were alarmed by the signs of hostility all around them, and they refused to shoulder the musket at the Governor's bidding. Kcift stormed; and his anger was not abated when the people charged him with seeking war in order to " make a wrong reckoning with the Company." The bullying Autocrat was suddenly changed into an obsequious Republican, when he perceived that his own shoulders must bear the whole responsibility of war, if kindled. So he called together all the " masters and heads of families" in New Amsterdam, to consult upon public measures. It was the first popular assembly, for political purposes, ever convened in New Netherland. They chose twelve discreet men to act for them; and now, in the year one thousand six hundred and forty-one, the representative system of modern democracies was implanted in the soil where, four generations afterward, the great Republic of the West was inaugurated. It is an event to be remembered with pride; and the names
of Jaques Bentyn, Maryn Adriansen, Jan Jansen Dam, Hendrick Jansen, David Pietersen De Yries, Jacob Stoffelsen, Abram Molenaar, Frederik Lubbertsen, Joaichim Pietersen Kuyter, Gerrit Dircksen, George Rapelje, and Abram Planck—those twelve popular Senators—should never be forgotten. They were all emigrants from Fatherland, and had enjoyed popular liberty in that garden of Western Europe.
The Twelve chose the energetic DeVries to be their president. Although he had been deeply injured by the Indians on South River, and had lost much property on Staten Island, both humanity and expediency made him counsel peace. His colleagues agreed with him, and the sanguinary Director was puzzled. Hostilities were deferred; and, in the mean while, the Twelve had been maturing a plan for establishing the popular form of government in Holland, in the thriving province of New Netherland. Kieft was alarmed; for he was no friend to reform that should abridge the absolute power with which he was clothed. He suggested a compromise, and the confiding Senators relied upon his promises. He offered concessions of popular freedom, on the condition of being allowed to chastise the Indians for the murder of Smits. A reluctant consent was finally given, and when the wily Director had procured this boon, he dissolved the Committee of Twelve, telling them that the business for which they were appointed was completed; and then forbade any popular assemblages thereafter. Thus ended the first attempt to establish popular sovereignty in New Netherland.
Kieft sent armed men to Westchester; but his thirst for savage blood was disappointed by concessions and treaties. It was soon satisfied, however. The River Indians were tributary to the Mohawks; and in mid-winter, in sixteen hundred and forty-three, a large war-party came down from Fort Orange to collect tribute. Full five hundred of the River tribes fled before them, took refuge with the Hackingsacks, at Hoboken, and craved the protection of the Dutch. The Weckquacsgeecks fled across the Harlem River, and sought safety under the wing of the Hollanders at Corlacr's Hocck, at the foot of Grand Street, on the East River. The humane De Vrics proposed to make this event an opportunity for securing the lasting friendship of the neighboring tribes; bnt his wisdom and mercy were overruled by the folly and ferocity of the Director and some of the ex-Senators, and it was made an opportunity to spill innocent blood.
At the middle of a cold February night, Sergeant Rodolph was sent, with eighty men, to attack the sleeping fugitives at Hoboken; and, at the same hour, Sergeant Adriacnsen was dispatched with a smaller number to massacre the slumbering Weckquacsgeecks at Corner's Hoeck. For the life of Claas Smits, Adriacnsen took forty innocent ones; while Rodolph was making the deep snows at Hoboken red with the blood of unoffending heathens—sparing neither age nor sex in the execution of his cowardly master's will. "Warrior and squaw, sachem and child, mother and babe," says Brodhead, "were alike massacred. Daybreak scarcely ended the furious slaughter. Mangled victims, seeking safety in the thickets, were driven into the river; and parents, rushing to save their children, whom the soldiery had thrown into the stream, were driven back into the waters, and drowned before the eyes of their unrelenting murderers." Almost a hundred savages perished there. The humane De Vries had witnessed the dreadful scene from the ramparts of Fort Amsterdam, by the light of the burning wigwams, and he told ths blood-thirsty Kieft, who was careful to remain in safety within the Fort, that he had now commenced the ruin of the colony. Kieft derided the clemency of De Vries; and when his soldiery returned to the Fort the next morning, with thirty prisoners and the heads of several Indians, he shook their bloody hands with delight, and gave them presents.
This massacre, and other outrages that followed, aroused the fiery hatred and vengeance of all the surrounding tribes; and a fierce war was soon kindled. Villages and farms were desolated, and the white people were butchered wherever found by the incensed Indians. The Long Island tribes, hitherto friendly, joined their kindred; and the very existence of the Dutch colony was jeoparded. For two years the war continued, and the colony
was on the verge of ruin. At length a company of Englishmen, under John Underhill, who had been expelled from New England, assisted the Dutch. The Indians were subdued, and peace was partially restored.
The haughty Kieft was humbled when he saw the fierce blaze which his folly and wickedness had kindled, and he sought the sympathy of the people on whom he had brought ruin, by asking them to appoint a few men to represent the commonalty in council. Eight true citizens were chosen, two of whom had been members of the former Committee of Twelve; and another (Isaac Allerton) was one of the Pilgrims who came in the Mayflower, but was now an extensive merchant at New Amsterdam. The people hod lost all confidence in the Governor, and their hopes, in the hour of their great distress, rested upon th" Council of Eight. Yet they possessed no legLi executive power, and the stubborn Governor seldom followed their advice. The distant settlements remained deserted, for parties of Indians were yet roaming even in the forests of Manhattan, with the fire of revenge in their hearts, and the hatchet of destruction in their hands. Disorder every where prevailed. The Swedes were building up a strong empire on the southern border of New Netherland, and the Puritans were not only claiming absolute title to undoubted Dutch territory, but many were becoming citizens under the liberal charter of the Company, and were wielding considerable influence in public affairs at New Amsterdam. To arrest growing evils which threatened the ruin of the State, the Eight sent an energetic but respectful letter to the States General, asking, in the name of the people of New Netherland, the recall of Kicft. Their prayer was heeded, and Peter Stuyvesant, the Director of the Company's colony at Curracoa, was chosen to supersede him, with Van Dincklagen, Van Twiller's dismissed Schout-fiscal, as Vice-Director. The people of Manhattan were greatly delighted when they heard of the intended change, and some pugnacious burghers threatened Kieft with personal chastisement when he should "take off the coat with which he was bedecked by the lords his masters.''
Stuyvesant was a strong-headed, and sometimes wrong-headed, soldier, who had received a
good education in the high-school at Franeker, in his native Friesland. He had won military honors, and lost a leg in war against the Portuguese, while Governor of Curracoa. Vain as a peacock, fond of ostentatious display, and thoroughly aristocratic in all his notions, he was not well fitted to govern a simple people, with republican tendencies, like those of New Netherland. Yet his administration contrasted most favorably with those of all his predecessors, and he is the most renowned of the officials of the West India Company. His arrival, in the middle of May, sixteen hundred and forty-seven, was hailed with great joy by the people of New Amsterdam, and they exhausted nearly all the breath and powder in the city in shouting and firing. He marched to the Fort in great pomp, and after keeping some of the principal inhabitants who went to weleome him waiting for several hours bare-headed, while he remained covered, "as if he was the Czar of Muscovy," he told the people that he should govern them "as a father his children, for the advantage of the chartered West India Company, and these burghers, and this land." He declared that every one should have justice done him, and then the people threw up their hats and shouted, albeit they feared that his haughty carriage denoted a despot's will rather than a father's tender affection and indulgence.
Stuyvesant was too frank and bold to conceal his opinions and intentions. At the very outset he asserted the prerogatives of the Directorship, and frowned upon every expression of republican sentiment. He declared it to be "treason to petition against one's magistrates, whether there be cause or not." He defended Kieft's conduct in rejecting the interference of the Twelve, and plainly said to the people, "If any one during my administration shall appeal, I will make him a foot shorter, and send the pieces to Holland, and let him appeal in that way." With such despotic sentiments he commenced his iron rule. The morals of the people, the sale of liquors to the Indians, the regulation of trade, and the support of religion in the colony, became subjects for proclamations and ordinHis energy was