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

Hastening Back to New Amsterdam

It can well be supposed that every man of us, from the Director down to the youngest soldier, was eager to get back to New Amsterdam, for I question whether, with the single exception of myself, there was a member of the company who had not left behind him loved ones; and how could our people find any satisfaction in continuing the conquest of the Swedes, when there was every possibility that the savages were murdering and torturing white men, women, and children?

[Illustration] from Peter of New Amsterdam by James Otis

Within an hour after the messenger had arrived, two hundred of the soldiers were sent across the land to New Amsterdam, under orders to march at their swiftest possible pace until they were come to the city. As soon after these men had set off as could be arranged for, the fleet was in motion.

Because of my having received no orders whatsoever, I remained on board the De Waag, and my heart was so sore that I could not talk with those around me concerning what we had heard, or what we had done.

To me both were equally horrible. It was villainous work for us to drive the poor Swedes away, and it seemed almost like a judgment of God, that the Indians should have descended upon our city at a time when we were showing ourselves to be no better than savages.

Fortunately, or so it seemed, we had a favoring wind, and within four and twenty hours from the time of making sail, were come to anchor off the fort. That those who had been sent across by land had arrived, we knew because of the numbers to be seen on duty in the bastions, and that the Indians had not made further attack upon New Amsterdam, we also understood because of the people who were gathered to give us welcome.

I went directly from the ship to the storehouse, where I found Kryn Gildersleeve and his fellow clerks working valiantly to pack our goods into cases, which had been brought from Holland, with the hope that these might be saved, even though the savages gained possession of the town.

[Illustration] from Peter of New Amsterdam by James Otis

Although I held my peace, the thought was in my heart that he who could give his time to the saving of such useless trinkets as ours, when mayhap before morning not a single white man would be alive, was much the same as trifling with the Angel of Death.

However, I was soon engaged in the same task, and while thus busy, forgot everything save the fact that I was the clerk in charge of the storehouse, whose duty it was to look after whatsoever we had for barter, whether to my mind it was of value or not.