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

Forging Ahead

Now, as the clays went on, our town of New Amsterdam grew amazingly fast. It was soon learned that there was good farming land along the eastern side above the swamps, and within two years no less than six farms, boweries,—the Dutchmen call them,— were laid out with good promise of bountiful crops.

The fort had been rebuilt of good stone, in the same shape as when first made, and the storehouse for the trading goods had been finished as Master Minuit promised. In addition to what we bartered with the Indians, stores of all kinds that could be brought from Holland were put on sale for the benefit of the laborers, and, because of my not being able to do all the work, Kryn Gildersleeve was sent to me as an apprentice.

[Illustration] from Peter of New Amsterdam by James Otis

If that was not a rise in the world, then I do not know what it may be called, and for it all I have to thank Master Minuit, who ever dealt by the orphan lad as if he had been the son of a director in the West India Company.

It was no longer necessary for us to heap up stones to serve as chimneys, for the laborers were making good bricks. To get lime we burned the shells of ousters, of which there are in this land so many that all the world may feed upon them till the youngest man has grown gray-headed, without lessening the supply.

Ships were coming to us from Holland nearly every month to take away the furs that had been bought, and the timber cut from the forests. Of building stone we had all that could be used, no matter how many other people might make their homes in New Amsterdam.

Truly it was wonderful how soon we made of that wilderness a country that kings might covet, which indeed they did, as I came to know before I was at an end of my service with the West India Company.

If I give so much time to telling you of what we did in New Amsterdam when Master Minuit was at the head of the government, you will not be inclined to listen when I speak of what the other governors, sent by the West India Company, accomplished for the good or ill of the country.