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Kieft pro

commission. This the Swedish officer refused to show, Chap. IX. avowing that it was their intention to establish a fort on

1638. the river, and that “his Queen was as justifiable in building a fort there as was the company."

As soon as Kieft received intelligence of this new en- Kieft's first croachment, he ordered Commissary Jansen to go to the to Holland. Minquas' Kill, and in case he saw Minuit acting to the injury of the Dutch, "immediately to protest against it in proper form." The director's first dispatches home con-28 April. veyed an account of the affair to the Amsterdam Chamber.*

Notwithstanding the warning from Fort Amsterdam, & May. Minuit persisted; and the New Netherland government, tests therefore, sent him a formal protest, in which the title of Minuit. the Dutch to the whole of the Delaware was distinctly asserted. “I make known," wrote Kieft, “to you, Peter Minuit, who call yourself commander in the service of Her Royal Majesty of Sweden, that the whole South River in New Netherland has been many years in our possession, and has been secured by us with forts above and below, and sealed with our blood,+ which also happened during your own direction in New Netherland, and is, therefore, well known to you. But as you do now make a beginning of a settlement between our forts, and are building a fort there to our prejudice and disadvantage, which we shall never endure or tolerate, and as we also are persuaded that it has never been commanded by Her Swedish Majesty to build fortresses on our rivers and coasts, or to settle people on the adjoining lands, or to trade in peltries, or to undertake any other thing to our prejudice; now, therefore, we protest against all the evil consequences of such encroachments, and declare that, while we will not be answerable for any mishap, bloodshed, trouble, and disaster which you may hereafter suffer, we are resolved to defend our rights in all such ways as we shall deem proper."

Minuit, however, was not deterred by proclamations,

* Hol. Doc., viii., 50, 70 ; Hazard, Ann. Penn., 44, 47 ; Vertoogh van N. N., ut sup.,

282, + By this expression, Kieft meant the massacre of the Dutch at Swaanendael, during Minuit's time.

# Alb. Rec., ii., 7; Acrelius, 409; O'Call., i., 191 ; Hazard's Ann. Penn., 44. .

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Minuit per


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quas' Kill.


Chap. IX. which he did not feel inclined to answer."

A trading house and fort were soon erected on the north bank of the 1638.

Minquas' Kill, about two miles from its confluence with sists in his the South River, near the spot where Wilmington now

stands; the name of the kill was changed to that of “ Christina Creek ;” and the establishment was called

“Fort Christina," in honor of the young queen. To de build " Fort fine its boundaries, posts were erected, on which were on the Min-carved the royal initials, surmounted by the crown of Swe

den. Perfectly acquainted with the Indian trade, Minuit soon drew "all the skins toward him, by his liberal gifts." Twenty-four men were placed in garrison at Fort Christina, which was well supplied with merchandise and provisions; and the vessels returned to Sweden, about midsummer, with the first cargoes from the new colony. * Thus the Swedes under Minuit, more fortunate than the earlier Dutch colonists under the patroons of Swaanendael, became the first permanent European occupants of the State of Delaware.

The new director's first dispatches scarcely reached Amship seized sterdam, before a heavily-laden Swedish vessel arriving at

Medemblick, on her return voyage from the West InCompany. dies," was seized by the Chamber at Enckhuysen, for

having illegally traded within the company's American territory. The Swedish minister at the Hague, learning the circumstances, immediately demanded her release from the States General. It was not the policy of Hol

land to offend a power whose victorious generals were Released humbling Denmark and Austria. The flag of Sweden States Gen-protected the Swedish ship in the ports of the Fatherland,

as it had already commanded respect in New Netherland;


in Holland
by the
West India


* Hol. Doc., viii., 50, 51 ; Hazard, Ann. Penn., 45, 47 ; Holm, 85; Acrelius, 17, 307 ; Hudde's Report, 428; F'erris, 42, 45. Kieft, in writing to the Amsterdam Chamber, on the 31st of July, 1638 (Hol. Doc., viii., 50), says that Minuit, after building the fort on the South River, &c., “is van daer vertrocken, met zyn twee byhebbende scheepen," &c. The Dutch word “vertrocken” literally means “departed ;" and the phrase seems to inply that Minuit went back to Sweden with his two ships. But Kieft, who wrote his dispatch on hearsay, and not from personal observation, perhaps expressed himself inaccurately; for Acrelius, who drew his narrative from reliable sources, distinctly states that Minuit, " during three years," protected Fort Christina, where he died (in 1641?]; and that “his successor was Peter Hollændare, a native Swede."--ji., N. Y. H. S. Coll., 1., 410 ť Hol. Doc., il., 186-195; O'Call., 8., 176.

The States

tion of New Netherland,

the arrest was promptly removed ; and the liberated ves- Chap. IX. sel sailed onward to the Baltic.*

1638. In the mean time, several shareholders of the West India Company had represented the unsatisfactory condition Generalinof their American province to the States General, who in the condistructed their deputies to the College of the XIX. to aid in concerting such "effective order” as should attract 26 April. thither proper emigrants from the Fatherland, “so that this state may not be robbed of the aforesaid New Netherland by the indirect intrigues of any of the inhabitants of this country, nor 'by the intrusions and invasions of the subjects of foreign princes and powers." The report of the 30 April. deputies was a gloomy picture. The limits of New Netherland, according to the special grant in 1614, and the charter of the West India Company, were claimed by the directors as extending “from Virginia upward; to wit, from Ciçapoa, along the sea-coast, to Terra Nova." Of these territories, the Dutch were in possession of the North River; the English reached to the Fresh River, and their right “is that of the strongest.” The company could retain the remaining territory, if it were populated. the North River men can go into the interior as far as they please;" but colonization was retarded "because the directors can not agree among themselves.”' 6 Would it not then be expedient," asked the deputies, “to place the district of New Netherland at the disposal of the States General ?'' “We have no such intention," replied the The corncompany, “unless we can thereby gain some advantage ; cline to surwe hope that it will prove profitable in time, now that province. some order has been taken about Brazil. The chief apprehension is about the English ; and we are considering the policy of surrendering the Indian trade, or something else." +

Thus the directors, while obliged to confess their mismanagement of the fertile province which had now been nearly fifteen years under their control, refused to surrender it to the States General. It would have been happy

66 From

pany de

* Hol. Doc., il., 228

ful man


Chap. IX. for New Netherland if, instead of remaining the depend

ency of a mercantile corporation, it could now have be1638.

come a government colony of the United Provinces. The

statesmanship of the Hague did not guide the Chamber Unsuccess. at Amsterdam. From the first the company had sought agement or to people its province with its own dependents. This was India Com- the cardinal error; for these persons, returning home, took

nothing with them, “except a little in their purses, and a bad name for the country.” The capital which would have been more wisely employed in bringing over people and importing cattle, was expended at Manhattan "in building the ship New Netherland at an excessive outlay, in erecting three expensive mills, in brick-making, tarburning, ash-burning, salt-making, and like operations." The Charter of Privileges and exemptions, which offered such large inducements to patroons, discouraged individual enterprise. Private persons who might wish to emigrate 66 dared not attempt it.” Though the company had at first sent over some emigrants, it had not persevered ; and while foreigners were quietly allowed to encroach upon the frontiers of New Netherland, the company had not encouraged the colonization of the Fresh and South Rivers by its own countrymen.

Its mercantile directors looked more to their immediate interests, than to the welfare of the province which their bad government threatened with ruin.*

The searching investigation which the government had instituted convinced the company, however, that effectual measures must now be adopted to regenerate New Neth

erland. After several months' consideration, a draft of New « Ar- new "Articles and Conditions" was accordingly presented, posed było by the historian John de Laet, for the approbation of the

States General. But it did not meet the exigency. It was prolix and theoretical, instead of precise and practical. It was a political constitution-which was not the desideratum-instead of a simple plan of emigration, which was really wanted. It promised no abrogation of the op

Result of the investigation.


company. 30 August.

* Vertoogh van N. N., in Hol. Doc.,. iv., 71 ; ii., N. Y. H. S. Coll., ii., 288, 289.


pressive trading monopoly of the company, and proposed Chap. IX. no effectual method of colonization. It was at once dis

1638. carded by the States General as “totally inadmissible.”

There was another important question to be adjusted. The difficulties between the directors and the patroons had been partially arranged by the purchase of Swaanendael and Pavonia. But the patroons now attempted to enlarge their “privileges," and boldly presented to the The paStates General a new plan,” in which they demanded mand new that they should be allowed to monopolize more territory; have longer time to settle colonists; be invested with the largest feudal powers; be made entirely independent of the control of the company with respect to the internal government of their colonies; enjoy free-trade throughout and around New Netherland; have a vote in the council of the director ; be supplied with convicts from Holland as servile laborers, and with negro slaves; and, finally, that all “private persons" and poor emigrants should be forbidden to purchase lands from the Indians, and should be required to settle themselves within the colonies, and under the jurisdiction of the great manorial lords. The Island of Manhattan, the precinct of Fort Orange, and Swaanendael and Pavonia, should alone remain under the company's exclusive authority.

The patroons? grasping demands of new “ Privileges and Exemptions” were as offensive to the States General Action of as the diffuse clauses of the company's new “ Articles and General. Conditions” were unsatisfactory. Both the proposed instruments were immediately sent back to the Amsterdam Chamber, with directions to reconsider the whole business of New Netherland;" so that such measures might be taken by their High Mightinesses, respecting its colonization, as should be found most advisable for the service of the state and for the benefit of the company."*

The authoritative injunction of the States General was promptly obeyed. The “Privileges” of the patroons were reserved for future consideration; but it was now determ

the Statos

2 Sept.


* Hol. Doc., ii., 146, 206, 224, 225; O'Call., i., 192–200.

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