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of the fur
agricultural colonization on the North and South Rivers, Chap. VII. they determined, under a liberal construction of the char
1631. ter of Freedoms and Exemptions, to participate in the re- The pa served traffic with the Indians. Pleading that the Amster-troan ere dam Chamber had no factories" at certain points, the parade troons assumed that they had the right to engage in the peltry trade, which the company had certainly intended to retain in its own hands. But the directors, already jealous The direciof their colleagues, who had secured such ample estates, ance with could not quietly permit their darling monopoly to be thus troons invaded. Articles were soon prepared, limiting and restraining the privileges of the patroons, in respect of the fur trade, to an extent which excited their bitter complaints; the charter of Freedoms and Exemptions itself was attacked, and drawn into dispute ;" and feeling ran so strongly against all who were supposed to favor the pretensions of the new colonial proprietaries, that Minuit, with whose knowledge and approbation these large appropriations of territory had been secured, was recalled from Minuit rehis directorship. But no successor was immediately appointed, and the post of director remained vacant for more than a year. Lampo, the schout at Manhattan, was, however, superseded at once by the appointment of Conrad Notelman, who sailed for New Netherland late in the summer, in the ship Eendragt, bearing with him Minuit's August letters of recall. *
Upon the arrival of Notelman, Director Minuit resigned his government into the hands of the council, at the head of which was Van Remund, who had acted as secretary of the province since the departure of De Rasieres. Embarking on board the Eendragt, with several families of Minuit recolonists who were anxious to return to Holland, the re- Holland. called director and superseded schout set sail from New 1632. Netherland early in the spring of 1632.
The Eendragt reached the channel in safety, but stress His ship arof weather drove her into Plymouth. Her arrival there Plymouth. was no sooner known, than the watchful jealousy of Cap
*. Hol. Doc., i., 185; ii., 102, 103 ; Renss MSS.; O'Call., i., 130, 431.
of the Dutch am
Chap. VII. tain Mason caused her to be attached, at the suit of the
council of New England, on a charge of illegally trading 1632.
within the king's dominions. Minuit instantly communicated the circumstances of the ship's arrest to the West India Company, and to Joachimi and Brasser, the Dutch ambassadors at London. The court was, at that moment,
at Newmarket. Hastening thither, the ambassadors obComplaint
tained an immediate audience, and presented to the king bassadors. an earnest remonstrance against the proceedings of the
Plymouth authorities. The ship, they said, had come from New Netherland, where the Dutch had peaceably traded for many years, and had established a colony on an island purchased from the savages, in the River Manhattans, “now called the Mauritius." There the colonists lived
surrounded on all sides by the native inhabitants of the land." Hitherto, their ships had been used to enter and depart from the English ports without hinderance; but now, a vessel coming from those parts had been seized for an alleged trespass within his majesty's jurisdiction. Under these circumstances, they hoped the king would order the Eendragt's immediate discharge.*
The king replied, that the Governor of Plymouth had already informed him of the arrest; and that, some years ago, upon the complaint of his father, James I., the States General " had interdicted their subjects from trading in those regions." He could not, at the moment, say what was the exact situation of the affair, but would inform himself more particularly. The ambassadors persisted in urging a provisional release of the ship. The king, however, declined complying with their request, " as long as he was not quite sure what his rights were."
Returning to London, the ambassadors detailed their gotiations, proceedings to the States General, and asked to be fur
nished with documentary evidence in support of the right of the Dutch to New Netherland, which they thought would "undoubtedly be most sharply disputed by the English."4 Several interviews were also held with the lead
10 April. Further ne
* Hol. Doc., i., 187, 248.
+ Ibid., 196.
letter to Sir
ing members of the privy council. But Mason took care Chap. VII. to write a strong letter to Sir John Coke, the Secretary of
1632. State, complaining of the Hollanders, who, he affirmed,
April . as interlopers,” had fallen “into the middle,” between Virginia and New England. Notwithstanding the alleged disclaimer by Caron, in 1622, the Dutch had fortified Mason's themselves, in two several places, on the “River of Mana- John Coke. hata," and had built ships there, “whereof one was sent into Holland of six hundred tunnes, or thereabouts.” And though warned by the English at New Plymouth “ to forbear trade,” and to make no settlements within the territories of the King of England, the Dutch had persisted, and had made "sundry good returns" into Holland, which, during the last year, had amounted to "fifteen thousand beaver skins, besides other commodities."* Mason's unscrupulous letter effected its purpose. English jealousy was thoroughly aroused, and the Privy Council were deaf to the representations of the Dutch ambassadors.
In the mean time, the West India Company had trans- 5 May. mitted to the States General a formal deduction of their ti- The West tle to New Netherland. The discovery of the North River pany's deby the Dutch in 1609; the return of some of their people” title. there in 1610; the grant of the special trading charter of 1614; the maintenance of a fort and garrison there, until the charter of the West India Company in 1621, which included that country; the failure of the English to occupy the regions between Virginia and New Plymouth; and the provisions in James's patent of 1606, by which the region between the thirty-ninth and the forty-first degrees of latitude was left open to the Dutch, were the main points on which they relied. The company alleged their entire ignorance of the demand made by the British government, in 1621, and of its results. They urged that the ambassadors at London should press for the release of their vessel, on the further ground that the American Indians,
* Lond. Doc., i., 47. Mason stoutly maintains that Caron, in the name of the States, disavowed the Dutch "intrusion” into New Netherland. But nothing to this effect appears in any of Caron's letters that I saw in the State Paper office. See ante, p, 142, 143.
Chap: v11. being free, might trade with whomsoever they pleased.
The King of England might, indeed, grant exclusive priv. 1632.
ileges to his own subjects, and so might the States General to theirs. But it was unjust for any power to attempt to exclude all the rest of the world from regions which their own subjects had never occupied; and still more so, for England to claim sovereignty over territories of which the Dutch had obtained the title, by treaty and honest purchase from the native owners. The States General must maintain their own sovereignty, the freedom of the seas, and the validity of the treaties which the Hollanders had made with the unsubjugated tribes of North America.*
This able vindication of the Dutch title was immediately sent by the States General to their ambassadors at London, with fresh instructions to press for the release of the ship, and an intimation that the right of the West India Company to trade to New Netherland should be maintained.t
But English nationality was now thoroughly aroused. 22 May
In a few days, the Dutch ambassadors received the formal Answer of answer of the British ministry to their memorial. The
roaming savages of America were not" bona fide possessors" of the land, so that they could alienate it; and if they were, it could not be proved" that all the savages had contracted with the purchasers ;" these were the technical objections to the Dutch title by purchase. The title of the English was asserted to be by "first discovery, occupation, and possession,” and by charters and patents from their sovereigns. Such patents the States General had never passed to their own subjects, as was proved when Carleton, the English ambassador, made his remonstrance in 1621. If the Dutch now settled in America would submit themselves as subjects to his majesty's government,” they might remain in New Netherland; otherwise, his majesty's interests would not allow them to “ usurp and encroach upon a colony of
the British government.
* Hol. Doc., i., 209.
+ Ibid., 218.
such importance, and which he has strong motives to cher-Char. VII. ish and maintain in its integrity."*
1632. Thus the British ministry boldly denied the Dutch title to New Netherland, and claimed it as English territory. Their strenuous assertion of superior British right was probably the last important American State Paper prepared by Sir John Coke,† whom Lord Clarendon describes as "a man of a very narrow education, and a narrower nature." Unwilling, at that moment, to embarrass his foreign relations, already sufficiently complicated, Charles I. contented himself with a bold claim of sovereignty over New Netherland, and did not appear anxious to press the question of title to a settlement. In a few days, the confident note of the British ministry was followed by an act of 27 May: grace; and the Lord Treasurer, quietly yielding to the released reiterated demand of the Dutch ambassadors, released the Eendragt from arrest, "saving any prejudice to His Majesty's rights."*
Notwithstanding the abuses which had induced Minuit’s Minuit's recall, his administration of the government of New Neth-tration of erland was, upon the whole, prosperous and successful. erland. Honest purchase had secured Manhattan Island to the West India Company; industry had flourished around the walls of Fort Amsterdam ; the western shore of Long Island had become studded with the cottages of its early Walloon settlers; a pleasant intercourse had been opened with the English colonists at New Plymouth; friendly relations had been generally maintained with the Indian tribes; the colonization of Rensselaerswyck and Swaanendael had been commenced; and the trade and commerce of the province had largely increased. During the six years of Minuit's directorship, the exports from New Netherland were trebled. The value of the commodities sent
* Hol. Doc., 1., 236. The correspondence on this subject may be found at length in the Address before the N. Y. H. S., in 1844, p. 27-31, and in O'Call., i., 131-136.
† About a month after this dispatch--on the 15th of June-Mr. (afterward Sir Francis) Windebanke was appointed Secretary of State, through the interest of Bishop Laud. Sir John Coke continued to be one of the secretaries for a few years longer; but the concerns of the American colonies seem to have been managed, after this time, chiefly by Windebanke,
# Hol. Doc., i., 244.