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the superior convenience of the sea-coast, bays, and large Char. XI. rivers, besides the great fertility of this soil-yea, this

1643. alone could, yearly, provision and supply with all necessaries twenty, twenty-five, or thirty ships from Brazil or the West Indies."*

The same vessel that bore these dispatches convey. ed a distinguished passenger. Van Curler's benevolent visit to the Mohawk castles in the previous autumn, though it failed to procure the release of the French captives, at least prolonged the life of Father Jogues. Through the dreary winter, the solitary Jesuit endured Father hunger and cold, and the bitter contempt of the savages, among ene who reviled his holy zeal. Gradually they began to listen to his words, and receive instruction and baptism. His liberty was enlarged; and twice he was taken, with the trading parties of the Iroquois, to the neighboring settlements of the Dutch, who welcomed him kindly, and “left no stone unturned” to effect his deliverance. While at Fort Orange on one occasion, news came that the French had repulsed the Mohawks at Fort Richelieu ; and the 31 July. Dutch coinmander, fearing that the Jesuit Father would be burned in revenge, counseled him to escape. Jogues at length consented; and, evading the vigilance of the savages, remained in close concealment for six weeks, Escapes at during which Domine Megapolensis, who had become his attached friend, showed him constant kindness. The wrath of the Mohawks at the escape of their prisoner was at length appeased by presents, to the value of three hundred livres, made up by the colonial authorities; and 15 Sept. Jogues was sent down the river to Manhattan, where he hattan. was hospitably received by the director.

Here he remained for a month, observing the capital of Octobor. the Dutch province, now desolated by war. Fort Amsterdam was without ditches, and its 'ramparts of earth had condition crumbled away; but they “were beginning to face the Dutch cap gates and bastions with stone.” On the island of Manhattan, and in its environs, were some four or five hund

Fort Ora ange.

Visits ManLanguages and Relig. jons.


* Hol. Doc., il., 323-328; O'Call., i., 289-294.

Jogues sails for Europe.

5 Nov.

CHAP. XI. red men of different sects and nations," speaking "eight

een different languages." The mechanics who plied their 1643.

trades were ranged under the walls of the fort; all others were exposed to the incursions of the savages. No religion, except the Calvinistic, was publicly exercised, and the orders were to admit none but Calvinists; “but this is not 'observed ; for there are in the colony, besides the Calvinists, Catholics, English Puritans, Lutherans, Anabaptists, here called Mennonists,” &c. The heart of the missionary was grieved at the sufferings of the Dutch, whose losses by the Indians were already estimated at two hundred thousand livres. At length the bark, in which Kieft gave him a free passage to Europe, was ready to sail; and the Jesuit Father, supplied with black clothes, and all things necessary,” gratefully took leave of the Hollanders, who had shown him so much kindness.

At this time, the West India Company's reserved Fort Orange was "a wretched little fort, built of logs, with four or five pieces of cannon of Breteuil, and as many swivels." Around it was the hamlet of Beverswyck, "composed of about one hundred persons, who resided in some twenty-five or thirty houses built along the river, as each one found it most convenient." These houses were built of boards, and thatched; there was no mason-work, except in the chimneys. In the principal house lived the patroon's chief officer ; “ the minister had his apart, in which service was performed.” A church, however, was now commenced, under the supervision of Domine Megapolensis, in " the pine grove," a little to the west of the patroon's trading house, and within range of the guns of Fort Orange. A burial-ground was also laid out in the rear, on what is now known as 6 Church Street." This first church in Albany—the humble dimensions of which were only thirty-four feet long and nineteen feet widewas thought sufficient to accommodate the people for seyeral years; it could afterward “serve for the residence of Char. XI. the sexton, or for a school.” A canopied pulpit, pews for

Fort Or-


First church at Boverswyck.

* Relation, 1640-1, 50, 211; 1642-3, 284 ; 1647, 56, 111-117; Jogues's letters of the 5th and 30th of August, 1643, 6th of January, 1644, 3d of August 1646 ; Tanner, 510-531 ; ii., N. Y. H. S. Coll., iii. ; Doc. Hist. N. Y., iv., 21-24; Charlevoix, i., 250 ; ante, p. 346.

1643. the magistracy and the deacons, and nine benches for the people, after the fashion of the Fatherland, were soon afterward furnished, at an expense of eighty guilders.*

The pious services of Domine Megapolensis were not, Missionary however, confined to his own countrymen. Like his gapolensis . friend, Father Jogues, he applied himself to the difficult task of learning the “heavy language" of the Mohawks, "so as to speak and preach to them fluently." The Dutch traders did not themselves understand the idiom of the savages; and even the commissary of the company, who had been connected with them these twenty years, could afford Megapolensis no assistance in becoming “an Indian grammarian.” The red men about Fort Orange were soon attracted to hear the preaching of the Gospel. And it should be remembered that these earnest and voluntary labors of the first Dutch clergyman on the northern frontier of New Netherland, preceded, by several years, the earliest attempt of John Eliot, the “ morning star of missionary enterprise” in New England, to preach to the savages in the neighborhood of Boston. 66 When we have a sermon," wrote Megapolensis, "sometimes ten or twelve of them, more or less, will attend, each having in his mouth a long tobacco-pipe made by himself, and will stand awhile and look, and afterward ask me what I was doing, and what I wanted, that I stood there alone, and made so many words, and none of the rest might speak ? I tell them that I admonished the Christians that they must not steal, nor drink, nor commit lewdness and murder; and that they too ought not to do these things; and that I intend after awhile to come and preach to them, in their country and castles, when I am acquainted with their language. They say, I do well in teaching the Christians; but immediate

* Jogues's letter of the 3d of August, 1646 ; Doc. Hist. N. Y., iv., 23; Renss. MSS.; O'Call., i., 331, 459. This humble building in “the pine grove,” near Church Street, accommodated the congregation until the year 1656, when a new church was erected at the intersection of State and North Market Streets; post, p. 624.

+ Winthrop, ii., 297, 303-305 ; Bancroft, ii., 72, 94; Young's Ch. Mass., 258, note.

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The patroon's cantile policy.

Chap. XI. ly add, Why do so many Christians do these things?

They call us Assyreoni, that is, cloth-makers; or Charis1643.

tooni, that is, iron-workers, because our people first brought cloth and iron among them.”

The effects of the war, which was desolating the neighborhood of Fort Amsterdam, soon began to be felt at Fort Orange. The West India Company's magazine, was no longer supplied with merchandise; and the warehouse of the colonie of Rensselaerswyck was now the only resource of the fur-traders who might obtain licenses from the pa

troon. In this respect, his mercantile policy was exclu. close mer- sive, and was rigidly enforced within the colonie. Most

of the colonists, however, were in the habit of procuring the patroon's licenses; and, as early as 1640, De Vries observed that "each farmer was a trader.” Throughout the war which was desolating southern New Netherland, the colonists at Rensselaerswyck felt little trouble, and enjoy. ed peace, " because they continued to sell fire-arms and powder to the Indians." This conduct was openly rebuked by the directors of the West India Company; and it was afterward the subject of complaint on the part of the authorities of New England.i

The colonists readily obtained goods on credit from the warehouse, to which they were obliged to bring their purchases of furs. These were shipped to Holland, and sold at Amsterdam, under the patroon's supervision. His share, at first one half, was before long reduced to a sixth, together with the recognition of one guilder on each skin of the remainder. Under this system, the price of a beaver skin, which, before 1642, was six fathoms of wampum, soon rose to ten fathoms. It was now thought necessary that the colonial authorities should make some regulations

* "A Short Account of the Maquaas Indians, &c., written in the year 1644. By John Megapolensis, junior, minister there." This tract was first published in Dutch, at Amsterdam, by Joost Hartgers, in 1651 ; see ante, p. 306, note. It is said to have been a familiar letter to his friends in Holland, and which Megapolensis himself told Van der Donck was “printed without his consent." " A translation, revised from that in Hazard, i., 517-526, will be published in ii., N. Y. H. S. Coll., iii.

† De Vries, 152, 158; Hol. Doc., ii., 373 ; Report and Advice, in O'Call., 1., 420, App.; Winthrop; ii., 84, 157,; Hazard, ii., 19, 103, 217.


respecting this trade. The company's commissary at Fort Chap. XI. Orange, in conjunction with Van Curler, the commissary

1643. of the patroon, accordingly issued a joint proclamation, fixing the price of a beaver skin at nine fathoms of white wampum, and forbidding all persons, " on pain of confiscation,” to go into the bush to trade.” It was also di- Illicit trad

ing prohibrected that 66 no residents should presume to come with ited! their boats within the limits of the colonie;" and a further proclamation declared that “no inhabitants of the colonie should presume to buy any goods from the residents." Van der Donck, "the officer" of Rensselaerswyck, was at the same time required to see these regulations strictly enforced.

But the schout-fiscal, afraid of risking his popularity, would not enforce the new ordinances. A sloop arriving a few days afterward with some goods, the colonists, in spite of the proclamations, purchased what they pleased; and Commissary Van Curler and Domine Megapolensis, sending for Van der Donck, directed him to search the Van der houses of the colonists for secreted goods. But the schout faithless “ gossipped, without once making a search.” He was not disposed to “make himself suspected by the colonists, as his years as officer were few.” Van Curler soon became unpopular. Van der Donck fomented the discontent; and a protest against the obnoxious commissary was subscribed in a circle, so that it should not be known who had first signed it.” Some of the colonists were for driving him out of the colony as a rogue; others wished to take his life. *

By degrees, however, Van Curler's popularity returned; and Van der Donck, finding his residence becoming dis- Van der agreeable, determined to leave Rensselaerswyck. He solves to therefore went down the river to look at Katskill; and colonie. made arrangements to return to Holland, and seek for partners “to plant a colonie there.". But the patroon, learning Van der Donck's intention, resolved to forestall “his sworn officer," who had “ dishonestly designed” to purchase the lands“ lying under the shadow of his colo




form a new

* Renss. MSS.; Van Curler's letter, in O'Call., i., 461, 462.

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