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

Master Minuit's Successor

I am certain, however, that in six years after we arrived in the Sea Mew, when New Amsterdam was a town of which to be proud, Master Minuit set out for Holland, taking with him in the same ship no less than five thousand beaver skins.

When Master Minuit left us, it was our belief that he would soon come back; but there must have been in his mind some doubt regarding it, for he gave me much farewell advice on the night before the ship sailed, declaring, that so far as anything he might do, I should be advanced in the West India Company's employ as rapidly as was best.

It must be that my master seriously offended the Council of the Company, for I went in their employ no further on the road to fortune, or to fame, than where he left me.

During the year the affairs of New Amsterdam were looked after by the Council of the town, and then came a new Director by the name of Wouter Van Twiller. Of him I can tell you very little, for, unlike Master Minuit, he showed no interest in the welfare of those who were serving him.

A short, fat man, who was overly fond of good dinners, and if I, who am nothing but a clerk in the employ of the Company, may say it, with not of brains enough to look after the concerns of such a town as New Amsterdam was becoming, yet withal he accomplished somewhat toward making this place beautiful.

[Illustration] from Peter of New Amsterdam by James Otis

As I have said before, my duties kept me in the storehouse, and so rapidly had the trade with the Indians increased, that instead of having only Kryn Gildersleeve to help me, there were now five men under my charge, while I myself was doing much of the bargaining with the Indians. Therefore it is that I know but little concerning what this new Director did or did not do.

It was told in New Amsterdam that he had been no more than a clerk in the employ of the West India Company in Holland; but he knew somewhat regarding trading, for we set up posts here and there in such number that all the gentlemen traders who had come over with Master Minuit were needed to look after them, which accounts for my being allowed to conduct the business affairs in the fort.