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

Looking After The Ferry

During a portion of my idle time, I worked at fair wages for Nicholas Steinburg, who ran the ferry from near the water-gate to the Long Island shore, and of a verity I earned all he paid me.

The boat on which wagons were taken across, was the most clumsy scow it was ever my ill fortune to handle, and his slaves the most stupid to be found in all New Amsterdam. One was forced to send the unwieldy craft along by heavy sweeps, which were fashioned so rudely that I dare venture to say there was twice as much of timber in them as was necessary, and that foolish negro who failed to lift one of them at the proper time, found that the current swung it around with a force that sent him sprawling in the bottom of the boat.

[Illustration] from Peter of New Amsterdam by James Otis

More than once have I picked one of the thick- headed black men up from beneath the feet of the horses, and spent no little time trying to recover the oar.

However, there was not much passing to and fro, for there were but few farms on the big island, and a goodly portion of the time I spent in the thatched shed which was put up for the pleasure of those who were forced to await Nicholas Steinburg's slow motions.

It is wearying work, looking after a ferry, even though one gets as wage one-half the money paid over to him, and I would not thus have spent my time, had I not been taught by Master Minuit that he who squanders his days in idleness is the same as reproaching God for permitting him to live.

Then came the day when I rejoiced secretly, and many another man with me, because of what Director Stuyvesant had done to wrong us.