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CHAP. XI. several of them to visit Long Island; and arrangements
were made, in the autumn of 1643, to secure from the 1644.
Dutch provincial government a grant of lands at Heemstede. This portion of Long Island had been so named by the Dutch after the “neatest and most important village” on the island of Schouwen, in Zealand. Early in 1644, Robert Fordham and several others came over with their families from Stamford, and established themselves at Heemstede, which soon became known as “Mr. Fordham's plains.” The next autumn, Kieft granted to Fordham, Ogden, Lawrence, and their associates, a liberal patent for “the great plains on Long Island, from the East River to the South Sea, and from a certain harbor, now commonly called and known by the name of Heemstede Bay, and westward as far as Martin Gerritsen's Bay." The patentees were authorized « to use and exercise the Reformed religion which they profess," to nominate their own magistrates for the approval of the director of New Netherland, and generally to manage their own civil affairs. A quit-rent of a tithe of the produce, to begin ten years " from the day the first general peace with the Indians shall be concluded," was reserved to the West India Company.
Scarcely had the Stamford emigrants settled themselves at Heemstede, before Penhawitz, the great sachem of the Canarsees in that neighborhood, who had hitherto been esteemed friendly to the Dutch, was suspected of treachery; and several of his tribe were charged with secret hostilities against “ the Christians.” Seven savages were arrested by Fordham, on a charge of killing two or three pigs, “though it was afterward discovered that his own Englishmen had done it themselves.” Fordham, however, informed Kieft that he had arrested the savages, and confined them in a cellar; but that he “dared not treat them inhumanly, as he could not answer for the consequences
Hostility of the Indians.
* Thompson's Long Island, ii., 4, 5; Denton's N. Y., p. 6, and Furman's notes ; O'Call., i., 317 ; Martinet's Beschryvinge, iii., 318. John Ogden, one of the Heemstede patentees, was a contractor for building the church in Fort Amsterdam, in 1642; ante, p, 336.
to his own people.” La Montagne was therefore sent Chap. XI. against the Canarsees, with a force of one hundred and
1644. twenty men; Dutch burghers under Kuyter, English Expedition auxiliaries under Underhill, and regular soldiers under sent to Cock and Van Dyck. The expedition sailed in three yachts to Schout’s or Cow Bay, where the forces were landed without molestation. Marching at once to Heemstede, Underhill killed three of the seven savages whom Fordham had confined in the cellar, and took the other four prisoners. The forces were then divided into two parties. With some fourteen Englishmen, Underhill attacked the smaller Indian village; while La Montagne, with the main body of eighty men, advanced against the larger settlement at Mespath. Both parties were entirely successful. The villages were surprised ; one hundred and twenty savages were killed; while the assailants lost only one man, and had three wounded. On the return of the expedition, two of the savages whom Underhill had taken at Heemstede, were conveyed to Fort Amsterdam, where the triumph of the victors was disgraced by atrocious cruelties. One of the prisoners, frightfully wounded Atrocities by the “long knives” with which the director had armed tan on the the soldiers in place of swords, at last dropped down dead the forces. as he was dancing the “Kinte-Kaeye," or death-dance of
The other, after undergoing even more shocking mutilation, was taken out of the fort by Kieft's orders, and mercifully beheaded on a mill-stone in the Beavers' Path," now Beaver Lane, near the Battery. These barbarities are said to have been witnessed by the director, and Counselor La Montagne. Some of the female savages who had been taken prisoners in West Chester, standing at the northwest angle of the fort, saw the bloody spectacle, and, throwing up their arms, and striking their mouths, called out, in their own language, “Shame! shame! What disgraceful and unspeakable cruelty is this ! Such things were never yet seen or heard of among us."*
The Dutch forces were now in great distress for want
* Hol. Doc., iii., 121, 122 ; Doc. Hist. N. Y., iv., 15, 16; Breeden Raedt, 19, 20. This
Chap. XI. of clothing. At this conjuncture, a ship, which the pa
troon of Rensselaerswyck had dispatched from Holland 1644. The Dutch the previous autumn, with a cargo of goods for his colony, soldiers in arrived at Manhattan. Necessity pressed ; and Kieft irnclothing. mediately called upon Peter Wynkoop, the supercargo, to
furnish fifty pairs of shoes for the soldiers, offering full payment “in silver, beavers, or wampum." But the supercargo, with more regard for his patroon's mercantile in
terests than for the necessities of a suffering soldiery, reSupply ob- fused to comply with the director's requisition. Kieft a private promptly ordered a forced levy; and enough shoes were Manhattan. taken from the patroon's ship to supply as many soldiers
as afterward “killed five hundred of the enemy.” The provoked director then commanded the ship to be thoroughly searched, and a large supply of ammunition and guns, not included in the manifest, being found on board, they were declared contraband, and the ship and cargo were confiscated.*
Underhill had, meanwhile, been sent to Stamford to reconnoitre the position of the savages. On his return to
Manhattan, he was dispatched, with Ensign Van Dyck expedition and one hundred and fifty men, in three yachts, on a new
expedition against the Connecticut Indians. Landing at Greenwich, the forces marched all the next day through the snow, crossing, on their way, steep rocky hills, over which the men crawled with difficulty. About midnight, the expedition approached the Indian village. The night was clear, and the full moon threw a strong light against the mountain, “ so that many winters' days were not
latter authority, however, states the date of these transactions as April, 1644. In the interrogatories proposed to Van Tienhoven, on the 21st of July, 1650, by the committee of the States General, the atrocities perpetrated upon the two Heemstede prisoners, and the presence and conduct of Kieft and La Montagne on the occasion, were specially inquired into.-Hol. Doc., V., 312, 320, 321 ; O'Call., i., 300. Winthrop, ii., 157, speaks of the news of Underhill's Long Island expedition reaching Boston in March, 1644.
* Alb. Rec., ii., 244, 277; Renss. MSS.; O'Call., i., 342. Winthrop, ii., 157, says that this ship was sent "to the free boors at Fort Orange," and had on board “four thousand weight of powder, and seven hundred pieces to trade with the natives, which the Dutch governor having notice of, did seize and confiscate to the use of the company.” Savage, in his note, seems to have misapprehended the character of the ship. The vessel was actually “not sent by the company, but by some private men,” as Winthrop had originally written it in his journal.
brighter.” The village contained three rows, or streets Chap. XI of wigwams, and was sheltered, in a nook of the mount
1644. ain, from the northwest winds. The Dutch troops, finding the Indians on their guard, charged, sword in hand, tion of the upon the fortress. But the savages, emboldened by their lage. superior numbers--for the village was crowded with Indians, who had assembled " to celebrate one of their festivals"-made a desperate resistance. “Some said that there were full seven hundred, among whom were twenty-five Wappingers.” Several bold sallies were attempted, but every effort to break the Dutch line failed. Not a savage could show himself outside the palisades without being shot down. In an hour, one hundred and eighty Indians lay dead on the snow. The arrows of the besieged now beginning to annoy the Dutch, Underhill, remembering Mason's experiment at the Mistic, resolved to set the village on fire. The horrors of the Pequod massacre were renewed. As the wretched victims endeavored to escape, they were shot down or driven back into their burning huts. The carnage was almost complete. Upward of five hundred Indians perished by sword or by flame: of all who had crowded that devoted village at nightfall, but eight escaped. Fifteen of the Dutch soldiers were wounded. The victors kindled large fires, and bivouacked on the crimsoned snow. In the morning, the expedition set out on its return, marching "over that wearisome mountain, God affording extraordinary strength to the wounded,” and the next afternoon it reached Stamford, where the soldiers were hospitably entertained by the English. Two days afterward, the triumphant forces reached Fort Amsterdam ; and Kieft proclaimed a public Thanksgivthanksgiving for the brilliant victory which his troops had Maimed at achieved. *
* Hol. Doc., iii., 121-126 ; Doc. Hist. N. Y., iv., 16, 17; O'Call., i., 302 ; ii., 571; Bancroft, ii., 293.
“The traditionary account of the battle on Strickland's Plain, preserved by Trumbull, i., 161, and repeated, but not confirmed, by Wood, can not be quite accurate; at least, as to time." The battle happened in 1644, not in 1646, as Trumbull erroneously supposes. Winthrop (ii., 157) alleges, that the employment of Underhill by Kieft was a plot of the Dutch governor to engage the English in that quarrel with the Indians, which we had wholly declined, as doubting the justice of the cause."
the West Chester
tribes. 6 April
Spring had now begun; and some of the hostile tribes
which had felt the power of the Dutch, wishing peace, ap1644. Peace with plied to Underhill to interfere in their behalf. In a few
days, Mamaranack, the chief of the Croton Indians, and andr.cong other chiefs from the Weckquaesgeeks, and from the tribes
north of Greenwich and Stamford, came to Fort Amsterdam, and concluded a peace with the Dutch. They pledged themselves not to do any further damage to the colonists of New Netherland or their property ; to visit Manhattan only in canoes as long as the savages on the island should continue hostile; and to deliver up Pacham, the faithless chief of the Tankitekes. On the other hand, Kieft prom
ised them his friendship; and, in token of his sincerity, 15 April. released several of the captured prisoners. The next week,
Gonwarrowe, the sachem of the Mattinnecocks of Flushing, Cow Bay, and the neighborhood, warned by the lesson which the Long Island Indians had received at Heemstede and Mespath, came to Manhattan and solicited a peace.
The sachem assented to the conditions which Kieft imposed; and upon his promise that none of the neighboring tribes should do any harm to the Dutch, or assist their enemies, he was dismissed with some presents, and enjoined to communicate the provisions of the treaty to the sachem on “Mr. Fordham's plains."*
Though the Dutch arnis had now humbled a distant enemy, and the semblance of a peace had been arranged with the West Chester and Long Island savages, the principal enemies of the Dutch, nearer to Manhattan Island, remained hostile. The scouting parties of the red men
prowled unopposed about the very precincts of Fort AmFence or- sterdam. For the protection of the few cattle which re
mained to the decimated population, “a good solid fence” 31 March. was ordered to be erected, “from the great bouwery across
to the plantation of Emanuel," nearly on the site of the present Wall Street. All persons who wished their cattle to be pastured in security, were warned to appear with proper tools and assist in erecting the fence; those who
* Alb. Rec., ii., 247, 248; O'Call., i., 303.
dered to be built at Manhattan.