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CH. Xiv. decent houses, according to their ability, “ to adorn the
town of New Amsterdam.” To prevent further damage, 1648.
no hogs nor goats were thereafter to be pastured between
Fort Amsterdam and the “ Fresh Water," except within 29 April. proper inclosures. With the approbation of Domine Back
the council also ordained that “from this time forth, in the afternoon as well as in the forenoon, there shall be preaching from God's word, and the usual exercises of
Christian prayer and thanksgiving," which all persons Indians at were required to " frequent and attend." Notwithstand
ing every precaution, the savages were daily seen "running about drunk through the Manhattans.” The placard against selling them strong drink was thereforere published; and in addition to former penalties, offenders were now “to be arbitrarily punished without any dissimulation." Many of the inhabitants had been in the habit of employing the Indians as servants, or work-people, and had allowed their wages to become in arrear. The Indians had threatened to right themselves in their own fashion ; and all persons were therefore warned to pay their debts
to the savages promptly, under penalty of a fine. A new 6 October. proclamation forbade the townspeople from harboring run
away servants, whether of the company, "or of any other
persons living here or elsewhere.” The community was to be im- also warned, " for the last time,” to improve their vacant
lots in the town of New Amsterdam. In default, such lots would be assigned to persons inclined to improve them, and a reasonable compensation would be awarded to the original owner. *
The 6 Nine Men," as we have seen, had commenced the initia- their public service by passing upon the propositions of the
director. An occasion soon arose for them to take the initiative. The commonalty, anxious for the prosperity of the province, desired to encourage the immigration of persons who intended to make New Netherland their permanent home. Whoever came with such an intention was welcome. Many strangers had already settled themselves
15 Dec. Vacant lots proved.
* New Amst. Rec., 1., 8-11, 15-19, 22-24; Appendix, Note Q.
at Manhattan and on Long Island without awakening and Ch. XIV. jealousy. But there were many besides who had come
1648. with other designs; and the Nine Men wished to check what seemed a growing evil. A remonstrance was, there- 18 Feb. fore, addressed to Stuyvesant and his council, proposing various measures for remedying the injuries caused by persons who contributed nothing toward the advancement of the province, but who merely carried on a temporary trade in furs, which they procured from the Indians by improper traffic, and then smuggled out of the country at night.
The remonstrance of the Nine Men prompted new proclamations, which only produced embarrassment. No per- 10 March. son was thereafter to be allowed to carry on business in New Netherland except permanent residents who had taken the oath of allegiance, were rated at from two to three thousand guilders at least, and who intended to Residence " keep fire and light” in the province. “Old residents," however, though not possessing the full property qualification, were allowed trading privileges, provided they remained in the province, and used only the weights and measures of “Old Amsterdam, to which we owe our name. To carry out this policy, it was soon afterward ordained 18 Sept. that " all Scotch merchants and small dealers, who come merchants over from their own country with the intention of trading here,” should s not be permitted to carry on any trade in the land” until they had resided three years in the province; and they were further required to build a decent habitable tenement” within one year after their arrival. Strangers, however, might sell goods from their vessels, if they were properly entered, and the duty paid on all sales. Every Monday was to be a market day," as well for strangers as residents.” In imitation of one of the customs of the Fatherland, an annual "Kermis," or fair for ten days, Kermis or commencing on the Monday after Saint Bartholomew's day, was established, at which all persons were privileged to sell goods from their tents. The trade on the North and South Rivers was reserved to citizens of the requisite qualifications, who had obtained a pass from the director. The
Hand or guideboards.
CH. XIV. East River, however, was declared to be “free and open
to every one, no matter to what nation he may belong." ” 1648.
All vessels under fifty tons were to anchor between the Capsey Hoeck," which divided the East from the North River, and the “hand," or guide-board opposite the “Stadtherberg," which Kieft had built in 1642. Larger vessels might anchor as far eastward as the "second guide-board, opposite the “Smit's Vleye." No freight, however, was to be landed, nor were any boats to leave the vessels between sunset and sunrise. *
All these regulations were strictly enforced. The contraband trade in fire-arms, of which the New England commissioners had complained, was as severely condemned by the commonalty; and the new regulations for its suppression met their warm approbation. All they desired was that they “ should be executed without partiality.” Cases, however, occurred in which the director's action exposed him to severe criticism. Govert Barent, the armorer of Fort Amsterdam, Joost Teunissen de Backer, Jacob Reintsen, Jacob Schermerhorn, and his brother, were
arrested, and Reintsen and the two Schermerhorns were band trade convicted and sentenced to death for violating the proc
lamation against illicit trade in fire-arms. The sentence, however, was commuted, “ by the intervention of many good men,” to the confiscation of the goods of the convicts. Teunissen was released on bail; and failing to receive a passport to return to Holland, he left New Netherland secretly the next year, and brought his case before the States General. Stuyvesant was blamed for undue severity in these instances, as well as for the seizure of a cargo of goods in a ship consigned to Govert Loockermans, one of the Nine Men.† But his conduct seems to have been dictated by an earnest desire to repress the mischievous traffic which had been carried on so long with the savages.
This trade centered chiefly at Rensselaerswyck, where
9 July Contra
* Alb. Rec., vii., 160-189.; New Amst. Rec., i., 20, 21; O'Call., ii., 59-62 ; C. F. Hoffman's Address, 1847, p. 27.
+ Alb. Rec., vii., 240; viii., 60; Hol. Doc., iv., 238, 243; O'Call., ii., 62-64 ; ii., N. Y. H. S. Coll., ii., 290, 311, 312, 334, 335.
commissary at Rensselaerswyck.
Van Brugge, cominissa
Brandt van Slechtenhorst, the recently-appointed commis- Ch. XIV. sary of the infant patroon, had now arrived. The new co
1648. lonial officer, who was esteemed "a person of stubborn and headstrong temper,” took an early opportunity to exhibit Jan Slechhis devotion to his feudal chief, and his insubordination to the provincial government. A proclamation for the observance of a general fast-day throughout New Netherland having been sent to Beverswyck or Beverwyck, for publication, Van Slechtenhorst protested against it as an 26 April. invasion of the right and authority of the Lord Patroon.” ordination Stuyvesant, whose attention had already been called to the illicit trade carried on within the colonie, therefore determined to hasten his proposed visit there. Embarking July. with a small escort of soldiers, he soon afterward reached Fort Orange, where Carl van Brugge was now the com- ry at Fort pany's commissary, in place of Bogaerdt.
The arrival of the commander-in-chief was greeted by Stuyvesant salutes from the artillery of Fort Orange, and the patroon’s Orange. "three pieces of cannon." Van Slechtenhorst, summoned to answer for his contempt of the company's authority, retorted by complaining of Stuyvesant's infringement of the privileges of the patroon. The director general was in no 23 July, mood to trifle, and a protest, conveying the orders of the Van Slechprovincial government, was handed to the contumacious colonial officer. He was directed to refrain from putting up any buildings within range of the guns of Fort Orange, as they rendered the post insecure. No new ordinances affecting trade or commerce within the colony were to be made, unless with the assent of the provincial authorities. The pledge which the patroon and his officers exacted from the colonists, not to appeal from their judgments to the Supreme Court of New Netherland, was held to be a crime;" and the annual return of all the affairs of the colony to the director and council at Manhattan, provided for in the charter of privileges, was peremptorily required. In reply, Van 28 July. Slechtenhorst complained that the director had acted “ if he were the lord of the patroon's colonie.” The prohibition from building near Fort Orange was unjustifiable;
Van Slech as tenhorst's
ange to be
Ch. XIV. for “a few years ago” the patroon's trading-house had
stood on the very border of the moat, and, moreover, the 1648.
land all around was his. After directing that the pali
sades of the fort should be replaced by a solid stone wall, repaired. and after endeavoring to induce the Mohawks and other
neighboring savages to preserve peace among themselves, with the Dutch, and with their “ brethren, the English and French," the provincial commander-in-chief returned to New Amsterdam, saluted on his departure, as he had been on his arrival, by all the artillery at Beverwyck.
Notwithstanding Stuyvesant's orders, Van Slechtenhorst 23 August. persevered ; and a new protest from Manhattan warned
him to refrain from encroachments on the precinct of Fort Orange. The colonial officer replied by excepting to the technical formality of the director's legal proceedings, and by contrasting the practice at New Amsterdam, where streets full of houses clustered around the fort, with the more severe restrictions at Beverwyck, where no buildings were thenceforth to be erected within the range of a musket ball from Fort Orange. Van Slechtenhorst followed up his letter by forbidding the company's commissary to quarry stone, or cut timber within the colonie. At the same time, he persisted in erecting houses for the patroon “even within pistol-shot of Fort Orange.”
Stuyvesant promptly dispatched a corporal's guard to Fort Orange, and ordered Commissary Van Brugge to demolish the prohibited buildings, arrest Van Slechtenhorst, and keep him in custody until he produced his commissions and instructions. The patroon's officer was also summoned to appear and answer at Fort Amsterdam; and the importation of fire-arms into the colonie, without the permission of the “Lords Majors" at Amsterdam, was formally prohibited.
The unusual presence of a military force created some excitement in the quiet hamlet. The bearing of the sol
diers was insolent; Van Slechtenhorst himself, while walk21 Sept. ing in the street with his deputy, was rather rudely sa
luted; the colonists were offended; and the Mohawk sav.
Soldiers sent to Fort Orange.