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in the usual branches of education; and the consistories of CH. XIII. the churches took zealous care to have their youth thor
1648. oughly taught the Catechism and the Articles of Religion.*
The purity of morals and decorum of manners, for which the Dutch have always been conspicuous, may, perhaps, be most justly ascribed to the happy influence of their women. The empire which the sex obtained Influence of was no greater than that which their beauty, good sense, wornen. virtue, and devotion well entitled them to hold.t They mingled in all the active affairs of life, and were always consulted with deferential respect. Their habits of business enabled them to manage, with skill and advantage, the interests which their husbands confidently intrusted to their care. They loved their homes and their firesides, but they loved their country more. Through all their toils and struggles, the calm fortitude of the men of Holland was nobly encouraged and sustained by the earnest and undaunted spirit of their mothers and wives.I
Of all the moral qualities which distinguished the Dutch, Honesty of and to which their prosperity as a nation is to be attributed, perhaps the most remarkable was their honesty. In their darkest hour of trial, none doubted their national credit. The interest on their loans was punctually paid. Their word was always faithfully kept, and the spirit of commerce, "honoring the people of whom it had honor," won for them the confidence of the world. The very year the truce with Spain was signed, the Bank of Amsterdam was established on the basis of so high a credit as, by degrees, to attract to its coffers a large portion of the wealth of Europe. The Dutch soon became the cashiers of the Old World ; and the nation, which had been trained to labor and to liberty in the same school of experience, gathered the substantial rewards of integrity. Their highminded and punctilious honesty, which “shamed out of countenance the poor prejudices of their age," became a proverb abroad, as their commerce expanded over every
* Davies, ii., 202 ; Decrees of Synod of 1586, art. 17–19. The states of Friesland established the College of Franeker, in 1585, upon the free principle.
Beaumarchais, Let. sur Hol., 25. I Davies, i., 487 ; iii., 381.
CH. XIII. sea, and wealth flowed back upon them in a ceaseless
tide. At home, their counsels, guided by good faith and 1648.
mutual confidence, bound all ranks together by the strongest ties, and secured their well-deserved prosperity.
With integrity, the Dutch possessed the no less striking characteristic of firmness. Nature early taught them that the very existence of their country depended on their sleepless vigilance and ceaseless toil; and from sire to son the hereditary lesson was constantly repeated. The dikes which kept the ocean off their swampy soil were not more firm than the will of the men who built them, and of the posterity which kept them in repair. They calmly measured their strength against their task, and what they calmly undertook they as resolutely accomplished. And they were as modest as they were undaunted. In prosperity and in adversity, in sunshine and in storm, they pursued their purposes with steadfast constancy; and animated by a determination which no obstacles could discourage and no dangers dismay, “ they acquired power in the struggle
for existence, and wealth under the weight of taxation."* Incorrupti
Honest and firm, the Dutch were universally patriotic and incorruptible. Their country was identified with themselves; her glory, her honor, her greatness was their
An ardent love of that country was one of their most distinctive traits. 6 The Fatherland" -- that delightful word -- always awakened the most dear and cherished associations, the most tender and sacred feelings. And thus the Dutch, loving their own land above all other lands, were universally incorruptible. During all the long war with Spain, not a solitary traitor was found to barter his country for gold ; and the most successful among the admirals of Holland added enormous wealth to her treasury without soliciting the smallest portion for his own reward.
Such was the Batavian Republic, and such were the people who made their Fatherland prosperous, great, and respected. The descendants of such an ancestry laid the foundations of New York.
* Gouverneur Morris.
+ Davies, ii., 657; ante, p. 184.
WELL might Peter Stuyvesant describe New Nether. CH. XIV. land as in a " low condition” on his arrival. Excepting
1647. the Long Island settlements, scarcely fifty bouweries could com be counted; and the whole province could not furnish, at of Stuyvethe utmost, more than three hundred men capable of bearing arms. The savages were still brooding over the loss of sixteen hundred of their people. Disorder and discontent prevailed among the commonalty ; the public revenue was in arrear, and smuggling had almost ruined legitimate trade; conflicting claims of jurisdiction were to be settled with the colonial patroons; and jealous neighbors all around threatened the actual dismemberment of the province. Protests had been of no avail; and the decimated population, which had hardly been able to protect itself against the irritated savages, could offer but a feeble resistance to the progress of European encroachment.* Under such embarrassing circumstances, the last director general of New. Netherland began his eventful government. 27 May.
The arrival of Kieft's successor was joyfully hailed by the people as their deliverance from a terrible evil.
But Stuyvethe new director's supercilious bearing soon indicated the haughticharacter of his future government. His first coming “ was like a peacock's, with great state and pomp.” Some of the principal inhabitants going to welcome him, were left to wait, " for several hours, bareheaded," while Stuyvesant himself remained covered, as if he was the Czar of Mus. covy." When he took the direction from his predecessor, the whole community was called together to witness the
* Hol. Doc., xi., 213 ; Breeden Raedt, 19; Doc. Hist. N. Y., i., 689; iv., 105.
Organization of the council.
Ch. xiv. ceremony. Kieft began by thanking the people for their
fidelity to him, " which he much exaggerated, in hopes 1647
that the commonalty would unanimously have thanked rences at him." his inaugu
him." But Kuyter and Melyn, both members of the board of “Eight Men,” and several others, spoke out boldly that “they would not thank him, as they had no reason to do
Stuyvesant“ under the blue heavens loudly declared that every one should have justice done to him.” The assurance gladdened the commonalty; nevertheless, their director's haughty carriage s caused some to think that he would not be a father."*
Whatever Stuyvesant did, he did vigorously. His first care was to organize his council, which consisted of Van Dincklagen, the vice-director, Van Dyck, the fiscal, Commissary Keyser, and Captain Bryan Newton, besides the experienced La Montagne, who was retained as a counselor, and Van Tienhoven as provincial secretary. Paulus Leendertsen van der Grist was appointed "equipage master;" and Baxter, who had served as English secretary since 1642, was continued in that post, as none of the company's officers "could tolerably read or write the English language.”
Proclamations were immediately issued with a zeal and ulations. rapidity which promised to work a “thorough reforma
tion." Sabbath-breaking, brawling, and drunkenness were forbidden. Publicans were restrained from selling liquors, except to travellers, before two o'clock on Sundays, when there is no preaching,” and after nine o'clock in the evening. To the savages no liquor was to be sold at any time. The revenue, which had been greatly defrauded by the smuggling of furs to New England and Virginia, for shipment thence to England, and by the introduction of foreign merchandise in vessels which ran past Fort Ansterdam during the night, was protected by stringent regulations, which soon excited a violent opposition. All vessels were required to anchor under the guns of the fort,
31 May. Police reg.
4 July. Revenue laws.
* Vertoogh van N. N., in ii., N. Y. H. S. Coll., ii., 308 ; Breeden Raedt, 27, 28; Doc. Hist. N. Y., iv., 108, 109; ante, p. 433.
near the “ hand-board," which was erected on the water- CH. XIV. side. Further to replenish the treasury, an excise duty
1647. was now, for the first time, levied on wines and liquors. wine exThe people, who had looked for the abolition of Kieft's obnoxious beer-excise, murmured at the new imposition. It was like the crowning of Rehoboam;" if their yoke was heavy under Kieft, it was still heavier under Stuyvesant. The 'export duties on peltries were increased and regulated. The outstanding tenths due from the impoverished 23 July. farmers were called in ; but a year's grace for the payment was allowed them, in consideration of their losses by
Still further to aid the revenue, two of the company's yachts were ordered to cruise in the West Indies, and capture, if possible, some of the rich galleons returning to Spain. The Court of Justice was also organized by Court of the appointment of Van Dincklagen as presiding judge; but the director required that his opinion should be asked in all important cases, and reserved the right to preside in person whenever he should think fit. The municipal affairs of Manhattan were also attended to. At this time its aspect was unattractive; fences were straggling; the public ways crooked, and many of the houses encroached on the lines of the streets. Proprietors of vacant lots were, 25 July. therefore, directed to improve them within nine months ; regulations and Van Dincklagen, Van der Grist, and Van Tienhoven Amsterwere appointed the first “surveyors of buildings,” to regulate the erection of new houses 66 within or around the city of New Amsterdam."*
Stuyvesant, who was a devout member of the Reformed Church of the Fatherland, and firmly attached to its doctrines and discipline, soon became a member of the Church in consistory of the church at Fort Amsterdam. The build sterdam. ing was still unfinished; and the director, as an elder and church-master, in association with Jan Jansen Dam and another colleague, undertook to complete the work in the course of the next winter. Bogardus, whose difficulties
* Alb. Rec., vii., 3-61, 290-297 ; New Amsterdam Records, i., 1-7; Vertoogh, ut sup., 295, 296, 304-308, O'Call., il., 21-24 ; Dunlap, ii., App. xxiv., xxv.; ante, p. 394; App.