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Hostile temper of the River Indians.
failed to give their aid were to be excluded from the priv- Chap. XI. ileges of the inclosed meadow.*
1611 The precaution was necessary. If Kieft had earned the detestation of the Dutch colonists, he was even more hated by the savages, who remembered Van Twiller's pacific rule, and called for the removal of his violent suc
“ Their daily cry every where was Wouter, Wouter-meaning Wouter van Twiller.”+ Throughout the whole summer, the settlements at Manhattan and its neighborhood were constantly in danger of utter destruction. The savages were unopposed ; and, as soon as they had “stowed their maize into holes,” they began again to murder the Dutch. The ruined commonalty was unable to meet the expenses of the soldiery; and the West India Company, made bankrupt by its military operations in The West Brazil, could furnish no assistance to its desolated prov- pany bankince. The bill of exchange, which Kieft had drawn upon the Amsterdam Chamber the previous autumn, came back protested. Soon afterward, the privateer La Garce, with which the director had commissioned Captain Blauvelt to cruise in the West Indies, returned to Manhattan with two 29 May. valuable Spanish prizes. But ready money was wanted at once; and pressing necessity could not brook the slow proceedings of the Admiralty Court.I Kieft was, therefore, obliged to convene the Eight Men 18 June
He laid before them a statement of the des- Men again titution of the provincial treasury; and to raise a revenue for the payment of the English soldiers, he proposed to levy an excise on wine, beer, brandy, and beaver. The Eight Men, however, opposed the proposition, on the oppose an double grounds that an excise, in the ruined condition of liquors. the people, would be oppressive, and that the right of taxation was an attribute of sovereignty which the West India Company might indeed exercise, but which their subordinate officer in New Netherland had no authority to assume.s
The Eight CHAP. XI.
* Alb. Rec., ii., 246 ; Hildreth, i., 425.
+ Hol. Doc., il., 378. $ Alb. Rec., ii., 250, 251, 257 ; iii., 212 ; Hol. Doc., iii., 210 ; O'Call., i., 296, 306. 0 Hol. Doc., iii., 215, 216.
21 June. Kieft arbi
The director was a very much offended” at the honest
opinion of the Eight Men; and, “ in an altered mood," 1644. Kiedys su sharply reprimanded the representatives of the people. “I percilious have more power here than the company itself,” said Kieft
to the contumacious burghers, in the presence of La Montagne and the fiscal Van der Huygens; "therefore I may do and suffer in this country what I please; I am my own master, for I have my commission, not from the
company, but from the States General.” The Eight Men still endeavored to avert the obnoxious excise from pressing on the commonalty at large; and proposed, instead, that the private traders, who were amassing fortunes while the colonists were ruined, should be taxed. But Kieft was immovable. *
Three days afterward, he issued a proclamation, "withtrarily im- out the knowledge of the Eight Men,” reciting that all excise on other means having failed to provide for the expenses of
the war, it had," by the advice of the Eight Men chosen by the commonalty,” been determined “to impose some duties on those wares from which the good inhabitants will suffer the least inconvenience, as the scarcity of money is very general.” It was therefore ordained, “provisionally, , until the good God shall grant us peace, or we shall be sufficiently aided from Holland,” that on each barrel of beer tapped an excise duty of two guilders should be paid, one half by the brewer, and one half by the publican-burghers not retailing it, however, to pay only one half as much ; on every quart of brandy and wine, four stivers, and on every beaver skin one guilder.f
The commonalty openly expressed their discontent. monalty. Kieft, attributing much of the ill feeling to the popular
representatives, who had opposed the tax, sent for Kuyter, Melyn, and Hall, to confer with them respecting the obnoxious exactions. But the Eight Men found that they were in "little repute” with the director, who left the three representatives of the people to sit in his hall, from
Discontent of the com
* Hol. Doc., iii., 217.
+ Hol. Doc., iii., 130-132, 217, 218. The original of this order was in Kieft's handwriting.
eight o'clock until past noon, without a word being said Chap. XI. to them, and, finally, to return in disappointment “as wise
1644. as they came.
While New Netherland was despairing of relief from Holland, unexpected aid came from the West Indies. One Arrval of hundred and thirty Dutch soldiers, who had been driven Curaço:a. by the Portuguese out of Brazil, coming to Curaçoa, where the inhabitants did not need, and could not maintain them, were promptly sent to Manhattan, in the ship Blue Cock,” by order of Peter Stuyvesant, the company's direct
Kieft immediately called a meeting of the council, at July, which were also present Oudemarkt, the captain of the Blue Cock, and Jan de Fries, the commander of the newly-arrived troops. It was determined to retain De Fries 21 July. and his command at Manhattan, and to dismiss the English auxiliaries in the most civil manner.” The soldiers were to be billeted on the commonalty, according to the circumstances of each one; and the company was to make recompense whenever it could. As there was no clothing 4 August. in the company's warehouse for these troops, the council was again convened, and it was resolved that the excise The beer duties, which had been provisionally" imposed, should forced. be continued. Besides paying an excise of three guilders on every tun of beer, the brewers were now required to make a return of the exact quantity they might brew.t
But the brewers sturdily refused to pay this unjust the brewtribute. The first excise had been imposed “provision- to pay. ally," until relief should arrive ; relief had arrived, and the excise, instead of being discontinued, was made more onerous; the company was bound to furnish clothing to its troops, as much as it was bound to furnish ammunition and guns; and, above all, the exaction was an arbitrary act of the dependents of the West India Company, and against the consent of the representatives of the commonalty, who, in the present instance, had alone the right to impose the tax. The refractory brewers were sum
* Hol. Doc., iii., 192 ; Vertoogh van N. N., ut sup., 295; O'Call., i., 307, 308.
The people side with
Chap. XI. moned before the council. “ Were we to yield, and pay
the three florins," said they, " we should offend the Eight 1644.
Men and the whole commonalty.” But judgment was 25 August. recorded against them; and their beer was given a prize
to the soldiers."*
The people had now learned another lesson in political the brew- rights--the lesson of resistance. From this time forward
party spirit divided the commonalty. The Eight Men represented the Democratic sentiment of the majority of the people; the parasites of arbitrary power took part with
the director. 6. Those who were on his side could do nothParty spirit ing amiss, however bad it might be ; those who were op
posed to him were always wrong in whatever they did well.” Kieft's jealousy even made him suspicious of his own partisans, who held communication with "impartial persons." Throughout nearly the whole summer, private quarrels and prosecutions occupied the mind of the director, to the exclusion of more important subjects; and six weeks were frittered away in trying an unfortunate smuggler of pearls, who was eventually banished.
The Eight Men counseled active measures against the savages; for they had been "greatly gladdened by the miraculous arrival of the Blue Cock," and "expected that the field would be taken with between three and four hund
red men.”I But "nothing in the least" was done. Durnactivity. ing the whole summer, “scarce a foot was moved on land,
or an oar laid in the water.” Some of the Indian prisoners, who might have done good service as guides, were sent to the Bermudas, “as a present to the English governor."
Others were given to the soldest and most experienced soldiers," who were improvidently allowed to return to Holland. In the mean time, the savages were quietly left to fish and secure their crops, and no opposi
* Alb. Rec., ii., 265-267; Vertoogh van N. N., 295; Bancroft, ii., 304 ; O'Call., i., 311. † Alb. Rec., ii., 261, 262; Hol. Doc., iii., 210; Vertoogh van N. N., 295 ; Breeden Raedt, 24.
& According to Hol. Doc., iii., 187, there was now at Manhattan an available force of four hundred and eighty men, of whom one hundred and thirty had arrived in the "Blue Cock;" forty-five were old soldiers, fifty were English auxiliaries, fifty-five were sailors, and two hundred were burghers, or freemen.
tion being offered, they soon showed themselves more Chap. XI. 66 bold and insolent” than ever before. The 6 semblance
1644. of peace,” which Underhill had “patched up” in the spring, bore but little fruit. Parties of Indians roved about, day and night, over Manhattan Island, killing the Dutch not a thousand paces from Fort Amsterdam; and no one dared - move a foot to fetch a stick of fire-wood without a strong escort."'*
Finding Kieft's censurable inactivity still continuing, Cornelis Melyn, the president of the Eight Men, address- 6 August. ed an earnest letter to the States General, urging them to interfere in behalf of the province; and, at the same time, wrote to his friend Van der Horst, to exert, in favor of the people of New Netherland, all the influence which he
possessed with the company. Two others of the Eight Men, Hall and Dircksen, in person protested strongly to Kieft against his neglect of duty. The director, at last aroused the directto action, dispatched Captain De Fries with a party of the expedition Curaçoa soldiers toward the north. Eight savages were north slain; but, said the men, “ for every new enemy we kill, , another stands next morning in his place." And the colonists, finding the summer and autumn nearly gone, now began to anticipate the severities of a winter's campaign, and being forced to wade “through rivers and creeks, in frost and snow, with their new and naked soldiers, who had resided in warm climates for so many years.”+
The condition of public affairs had now come to such pass, that the Eight Men determined boldly to demand the recall of Kieft, and to insist upon the introduction into New Netherland of the municipal system of the Fatherland. It was ascertained at the same time, that Kieft, in his letters to the College of the XIX., " was endeavoring to shift upon the commonalty the origin and cause of the war.”The eight popular representatives, therefore, ad- 28 October, dressed a second memorial to the West India Company, drawn up, in simple but expressive language, by Andries
† Ibid., ii., 346 ; iii., 212.
* Hol. Doc., iii., 206-210. # Breeden Raedt, 21.