Front Matter Where I Was Born Alone in Holland An Important Introduction I Go My Way The Bargain Sailing for the New World A View of New Netherland The "Brown Men" or Savages Summoned to the Cabin Toys for the Savages Claim of the India Company Making Ready for Trade Braun and Gildersleeve Gathering the Savages Going Ashore Buying Manhattan Boats Used by the Savages Wandering over the Island The Homes of the Savages Master Minuit's Home Beginning the Work A Strange Kind of Craft Building a Fort In Charge of the Goods The Value of Wampum Buildings of Stone The Government A Prosperous Town Quarrelsome Slaves A Brutal Murder A Village Called Plymouth I Go on a Voyage A Lukewarm Welcome Two Days in Plymouth Forging Ahead The Big Ship Minuit's Successor Trouble with the English Van Twiller Discharged Director Kieft Unjust Commands Minuit's Return Revenge of the Savages Kieft's War Director Petrus Stuyvesant Time for Sight-Seeing How the Fort was Armed Village Laws Other Things about Town A Visit of Ceremony New Amsterdam, a City Stuyvesant Makes Enemies Orders from Holland Making Ready for War An Unexpected Question With the Fleet Driving out the Swedes Uprising of the Indians An Attack by the Indians Back to New Amsterdam Coaxing the Savages Religious Freedom Punishing the Quaker Other Persecutions Dull Trade Charge Made by Hans Braun Dismissed by Stuyvesant English Claims Idle Days On Broad Way Looking after the Ferry Coming of the English A Weak Defense Stuyvesant Absent Disobeying Commands Surrender Demanded A Three Days' Truce English Visitors Stuyvesant's Rage The End of Dutch Rule The City of New York

Peter of New Amsterdam - James Otis

The Big Ship

Therefore it is, that instead of pleasing myself by telling of all my master did, I will come directly to that time when he left us. According to my belief, the West India Company could not have found in all the world any other man who would have served so faithfully, both the people and the Company, as did Master Minuit.

The last thing of moment which Director Minuit did, was to have built, so that the merchants of Holland might see what we of New Netherland could do, one of the finest ships, so I have heard it said, that was ever put together. She was called the New Netherland. She measured eight hundred tons, and carried thirty guns.

At the time she was launched, I said to myself that never in this world would be found men who could build a larger or more beautiful ship than this, and yet I made a mistake in saying so, as I have made many others during my life.

[Illustration] from Peter of New Amsterdam by James Otis

I would I might tell you of the merrymaking and the feasting when the New Netherland  was sent from the land into the water. I wish it might be possible to describe the astonishment of the savages as they saw this huge vessel being built up timber by timber, until she was fit to encounter the tempests, and the waves, and the manifold dangers of the sea.

But I have said that in order to tell of what other things were done in New Amsterdam I must make of what should be a long story, a short one.

Now, whether it was the building of this wonderful ship that displeased the directors of the West India Company, or other matters of Master Minuit's government that offended them, I cannot say. And indeed it is not to be expected that he who plays the part of clerk in a storehouse should know much concerning affairs of state.