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India Coma pany.
Meanwhile, the disastrous affairs of their suffering prov. Chap. XI. ince had attracted the grave attention of the Dutch gov
1644. ernment. The letter which the Eight Men had sent over in the autumn of 1643, was no sooner received by the New Netia States General than it was referred to the College of the sidered by XIX., with directions to adopt prompt measures for the relief of New Netherland. But the West India Company
5 April was now almost bankrupt; and the directors, totally unable to defend their American colonies, were chiefly anxious to save themselves from utter ruin by forming a union with the flourishing and powerful East India Company. In reply to the mandate of the States General, they avoW - 23 April. ed their sympathy with the “ desolate and miserable” col. onists of New Netherland; but “the long-looked-for profits thence” had not come, and they had no means at hand of sending relief “ to the poor inhabitants who have left their Fatherland." And the bankrupt company urged the States General for a subsidy of a million of guilders, to place it “in good, prosperous, and profitable order.99*
The States General directed copies of the company's 27 Apr:1. application to be communicated to the several States of the provinces. Before any thing was done, however, Melyn's urgent letter coming to hand, was immediately re-20 October ferred to the delegates to the approaching meeting of the College of the XIX. The delegates were also instructed 22 October. to inform themselves fully about the condition of the prov- General reince, and especially to examine into the propriety of re- report on stricting the internal trade of New Netherland to the resi. the prov. dents, as well as into the policy of opening a free trade between Manhattan and Brazil. A full report upon the whole subject was required to be made to the States General.
At the meeting of the College of the XIX., the affairs of New Netherland were fully discussed. The second 28 October bold appeal, which the Eight Men addressed to the company in the autumn, reached the meeting at an opportune moment. It was now felt that the commonalty were in
quire a fel!
the state or
* Hol. Doc., ii., 329, 330, 332; ante, p. 372.
† Ibid., ii., 337, 346, 348.
10 Dec. Kieft's re
Kieft. 10 Dec.
CHAP. XI. earnest. Either a new director must be speedily sent
" with a beloved peace" to New Netherland, or the colo1644.
nists there must"return with their wives and children to
their dear Fatherland."* Kieft's recall was, therefore, decall decided termined upon. But the appointment of a proper success
or was a difficult question. Lubbertus van Dincklagen, who had been dismissed from office by Van Twiller in 1636, had for eight years unsuccessfully urged his claims for arrears of salary. He was, however, “well liked by
the Indians," and his former experience in New NetherVan Dinck-land recommended him for promotion. Van Dincklagen visionally was, therefore, provisionally appointed to succeed Kieft as to succeed director. The XIX. also resolved to refer all the papers
relating to New Netherland to the company's recently-organized “Rekenkamer," or Bureau of Accounts, with instructions to prepare a full report upon the condition of the province, and recommend measures for its profit and advancement.
In a few days the Rekenkamer presented a detailed report, which was communicated to the States General. This
document is one of the most important State Papers relatthe compa- ing to New Netherland. Beginning with a sketch of its reau of Ac- history, from its discovery by the Dutch, through the im
portant epochs of the organization of the company, the settlement of the first colonists under May, the establishment of patroonships, the opening of the fur trade, the abuses which followed, the breaking out of the Indian war, and of the deplorable ruin which succeeded, the various remedial measures suggested by Kieft and by the commonalty were concisely stated. The director counseled the extermination of the Indians, whom he estimated to be only three hundred strong, and asked for a hundred and fifty armed soldiers and munitions of war. The commonalty, on the other hand, supposing the savage forces to amount to several thousands, advised a peace. But "of this they have but little hope, as long as the present administration remains there."
* Hol. Doc., ii., 221 ; ante, p 398.
+ Ibid., ii., 362, 364.
State of the
From all these statements, the Rekenkamer inferred Chap. XI. that their American province had fallen into ruin and
1644. confusion by Kieft's unnecessary war,
66 without the knowledge, and much less the order of the XIX., and province. against the will of the commonalty there.” According to the books of the Amsterdam Chamber, New Netherland, in place of being a source of profit, had cost the company, from 1626 to 1644, inclusive, “over five hundred and fifty thousand guilders, deducting the returns received from there:” But as the charter of “Freedoms and Exemptions" had promised to protect and defend the colonists, and as improvements in the management of the province were not beyond hope, “the company can not decently or consistently abandon it."
The Bureau of Accounts, therefore, recommended a se- Recom ries of propositions to the company. The boundary should of the be at once established between the Dutch and English, of Accounts as, in consequence of their population, they “usurp daily lief of New more of our territory.” Kieft's advice to exterminate the land. Indians should "by no means be adopted;" but the opinion of the commonalty should be followed, and the savages appeased. It would also be proper " to order hith- Kieft to be er the director and council, who are responsible for that bloody exploit of the twenty-eighth of February, 1643, to justify and vindicate their administration before the noble Assembly of the XIX.” The colonists should be settled Hamlets to in towns, villages, and hamlets, “ as the English are in ized. the habit of doing.” Fort Amsterdam, to save expense, Fort Anshould be repaired “ with good clay and firm sods,” and be repaired. a garrison of fifty-three soldiers be constantly maintained. The annual salary of the director should be three thousand guilders, and the expense of the whole civil and military establishment of New Netherland twenty thousand guild
A council of three persons should be established, Council to composed of the director as president, and the second and breede fiscal as counselors adjunct. By this council all cases of police, justice, dignity, and the rights of the company should be decided. In criminal cases, the military com
be reorgan. * Hol. Doc., ii., 368–395 ; O'Call., 1., 349-354, 418-424.
Char. XI. mandant should take the place of the fiscal, and “two
capable persons from the commonalty" should be added. 1644.
As, by the twenty-eighth article of the “Freedoms," each colonie was allowed to depute one or two persons every year to represent it at Manhattan, it was now recommended, "that the said delegates should, moreover, assemble every six months, at the summons of the director and council, for mutual good understanding, and the common advancement of the welfare of the inhabitants." Amsterdam weights and measures should be used throughout New Netherland. The population of the country should
be strengthened, and the island of Manhattan first of all Lands to be be occupied, by offering free grants of land to emigrants.
As many negroes should be introduced from Brazil as the patroons, colonists, and farmers 6 would be willing to pay for at a fair price." The Indian trade should be reserved exclusively to the patroons, colonists, and free farmers ;
but no fire-arms should be sold to the savages. Each colsold to tie onist should be obliged to supply himself with a musket Colonists to and side-arms; and the director should cause an inspecTrade with tion to be made every six months. A trade should be al
lowed with Brazil ; fisheries, and the manufacture and exportation of salt, should be encouraged; for while the colonists thus gained advantage, the company would be relieved from large expenses. In order to defray the additional cost of the proposed establishment for New Netherland, it was estimated that an increasing population
and a growing trade would readily yield a handsome revRecogni- enue from the recognitions and tolls upon exports and imenforced. ports; but to collect these, vigilance should be enjoined,
and the duties of the revenue officers “ should be sharply attended to."*
No firearms to be
Brazil to be encouraged.
End of the
THE Indian war, which Kieft's recklessness had pro- Chap. XII voked, was now about to end. During five years, New
1645. Netherland had known hardly five months of peace. Manhattan was nearly depopulated; while the Indian nations Indian war. around were still thousands strong, and New England already contained more than fifty thousand souls. Too late Kieft perceived his error; for a stern voice of warning had come from the Amsterdam Chamber, and the conscience of the director smote him, as he foresaw the end of his rule over the noble province whose interests he had sacrificed.
With the opening of the spring, the Indians, who were anxious to plant their corn, desired a peace. Delegates from several of the neighboring tribes came to Fort Amsterdam; and Kieft eagerly concluded a truce with the 22 April. warriors. The people rejoiced at the prospect of the end with some of dangers of which they were weary, and "a grand sa- tribes. lute of three guns" was fired from the fort. of the savage nations were still hostile. Kieft therefore, by the advice of his council, determined to engage some of the friendly Indians in the interests of the Dutch, and Whiteneywen, the sachem of the Mockgonecocks on Long Island, was dispatched, with several of his warriors, "to 24 May. beat and destroy the hostile tribes." The sachem's diplomacy, however, was better than violence. In a few days, he returned to Fort Amsterdam, bearing friendly messages from the chiefs of the tribes along the Sound and near Rockaway, and a pledge that they would no longer "in