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Feelings of



to Manhat tan.


ages wondered why the “ Wooden Leg»* wished to de- CH. XIV. stroy the houses " which were to shelter them in storms

1648. and winter.” They could not understand the motives for the director's military restrictions. " Come to us in the the Mo Maquaas country,” said they, “and we will give you plenty of land."

Van Brugge, unwilling to proceed to extremities, forbore to demolish the houses or arrest the patroon's officer; but he executed the rest of his duty; and Van Slechtenhorst refusing to produce his commission, was summoned Van Slechto appear and answer at Fort Amsterdam. The soldiers summoned were now directed to return to Manhattan. The patroon's representative again exhibited his loyalty in a protest 20 October. against Stuyvesant's infringement of the privileges of his feudal chief. Van Brugge's mode of serving the summons had not technically conformed to the practice at home, and was not legal. The patroon was master on his own land, and his officers could arrest all trespassers, and prevent the cutting of timber. It was a mere subterfuge that his buildings interfered with the safety of Fort Orange, which one could now “enter or quit at pleasure, by night or by day.”

The provincial government promptly maintained that 23 Nov. their authority “extended to the colonie of Rensselaers- ders from wyck, as well as to the other colonies, such as Heemstede, sant. Vlissingen, and Gravensande.” The company's chief officers, Van Brugge and Labbatie, were directed to proceed with the repairs of Fort Orange, and authorized to take timber and quarry-stones for that purpose from any place within the territory of New Netherland. All buildings within gun-shot of the fort were to be destroyed, and the jurisdiction of the company over its precinct, and their " ancient and uninterrupted use" of the land in its neighborhood, were to be firmly maintained. A fresh citation

Fresh or


* The savages constantly gave descriptive or characteristic names as well to the Europeans as to themselves. They called Stuyvesant the “Wooden Leg.” Josselyn, in 1674, spoke of him as the Dutch governor " with a silver leg ;” and Ebeling and Acrelius follow Josselyn. The Mohawks and Josselyn were probably both right; Stuyvesant seems to have used a wooden leg strapped with silver bands.


30 Nov,

sis and

Cu. XIV. from the schout-fiscal accompanied these orders. Van

Slechtenhorst's insubordination, it averred, had become notorious, and the summons which had been served upon him, in a courteous and sufficiently formal manner, had been disobeyed, though “ the river remained open, the winter pleasant, and several vessels sailed up and down during the whole month of November.” To cure all doubts, Van Slechtenhorst was now peremptorily commanded to appear, the next April, at Fort Amsterdam, where he would be informed of the complaint against him." Thus ended the question for the present. In Stuyvesant's military judgment, the colonists at Beverwyck clustered near Fort Orange "through pride." Perhaps a still stronger motive was their natural anxiety to be as near as possible to the only frontier citadel which could protect them, in

time of need, from the wild men of the forests. * Megapolen- Megapolensis, who had been the clergyman of the colBackerus. onie since 1642, having requested permission to return to

the Fatherland, at the earnest solicitation of the Classis 15 August. of Amsterdam, agreed to remain until the next year.

Domine Backerus, not satisfied with the condition of things at Manhattan, also asked his dismission. This request was seconded by Stuyvesant and the other elders and deacons, who desired that "an old, experienced, and godly minister might be sent to them, to the end that their very bewildered people might not, by the departure of their present clergymen, be left in destitution.” The Classis endeavored to procure other .clergymen for New Netherland, and consultations were held with the directors of the company and the heirs of Van Rensselaer; but while every effort was made, it was difficult to find any experienced ministers in Holland willing to undertake "so far distant a voyage.”+

The popular discontent at New Amsterdam had now grown to a very significant degree. The debts due to the

2 Sept.

11 Sept.

7 Dec.

* Alb. Rec., iv., 16, 44 ; v., 72-90; vii., 192-219; Stuyvesant's Letters ; Renss. MSS.; O'Call., ii., 69-79; ante, 304, 374, 420.

+ Cor. Classis Amst.; Letters of Megapolensis of the 15th of August, and of Backerus of the 2d of September, 1648.

18 October

company, which Kieft had left uncollected to the amount Ch. XIV. of thirty thousand guilders, were called in; while the


1648. ple complained that their own claims for wages and grain Growth of remained unpaid. The Nine Men were obliged to inter- Popular disfere; and the proceedings which the fiscal had been di- Manhattan rected to take were “put off for a time.” The high customs duties which were exacted from the colonists, amounting to nearly thirty per centum,“besides waste," and the avidity which the director exhibited to confiscate, was a “vulture, destroying the prosperity of New Netherland, diverting its trade, and making the people discontented.” The "bad report” spread itself every where; among the neighboring English ; north and south; and even in the West Indies and Carribee Islands. Not a ship dared come from those places; while credible Boston traders assured the Nine Men that more than twenty-five vessels would annually visit Manhattan from those islands, "if the owners were not fearful of confiscation."

The representatives of the commonalty complained to The Nine Stuyvesant, and contrasted their own “desolate and ruin- plain to ous" state with the "flourishing condition" of their neigh-sant. bors. This the director admitted that he observed, but could not remedy; he only followed the company's orders. The commonalty now thought it expedient and necessary Delegation so to send a deputation to their High Mightinesses.” Stuy- proposed. vesant commended the project, and “urged it strongly.” A person was already spoken of to go as delegate, when the director required that the communication with the government of the Fatherland should be “according to his wishes.” Perceiving the object of this demand, the Nine Men would not consent, "and the matter therefore fell asleep.” The English emigrants, “ who had been depended upon, Defection and who were associated in the affair," from time to time glish from withdrew from the Dutch, who were eager for reforms. side This made the necessity of action greater; and at the next December. election the Nine Men were changed.*

* Hol. Doc., iv., 40; ii., N. Y. H. S. Coll., il., 312-315, 335, 336. The new board of Nine Men for 1649 consisted of seven of the old members, with Adriaen van der Donck and

Men com


of the En

the popular

Oloff Stevensen van Cortlandt,


The New England colonies

the Dutch


Correspondence with the New En

thorities. April to August.

The onerous customs' regulations of New Netherland

were not only a sore annoyance to the New England co1648.

lonial governments, but they produced their natural conse

quence. Retaliation was threatened. The sale of guns complain of and powder to the Indians was another grievance. By Irlading reg- this practice the greater part of the beaver trade had been

drawn to the French and Dutch; and the means of the New England colonies to make returns for English commodities 56

were grown very short."* Early in the year, Eaton had written to Massachusetts, proposing “a prohibition of all trade with the Dutch until satisfaction were given," and accusing the director of having endeavored to "animate the natives to war upon the English." . A long correspondence ensued, in which Stuy

vesant vindicated his conduct, pressed for a meeting with gland au- the commissioners, and reiterated his peaceful professions;

and the New England authorities, on their side, proposed to fix June of the next year as the time for a conference. In this correspondence, Stuyvesant, betraying too much anxiety, displayed a want of diplomatic tact. The English regarded his conduct as an evidence of the weakness both of the West India Company and of the Dutch colonial government, and thought that their embarrassed adversary, whose spirit was “ beginning to fall,” could very well abide their convenience.

The following September the commissioners met at Plymouth, and, " by way of preparation to a meeting with

the Dutch governor, or provision for their own safety and 16 Sept. convenience," thought fit to write to Stuyvesant. The

Mohawks near Fort Orange, whom Pynchon, at Springfield, had described as the “ terror of all Indians,” were growing bold and daring with the possession of arms furnished to them by the Dutch. The customs' regulations at Manhattan had not yet been modified; the seizure of Westerhouse's ship at New Haven, and the claim of territorial jurisdiction, were unexplained. They therefore notified

* Winthrop, ii., 312. + Winthrop. ii , 315, 316, 324–330; Hubbard, 438; Stuyvesant's Letters, Alb., i.

missioners adopt measures of retaliation.

the director that Dutch traders in New England must ex- Ch. XIV. pect a requital of the inconvenient impositions" laid


1648. all persons within the Dutch Plantation;" that guns and the com ammunition would be seized, and retaliatory restraints upon

the Indian trade would be enforced ; and that future seizures of ships within English jurisdiction would be met by “all suitable and just” reprisals.

Stuyvesant replied that he had done all in his power to Stuyverepress the illicit traffic with the savages ; that English planations. traders had been treated with all possible lenity, and, in some respects, were even more favored than the Dutch ; and that he had urged the West India Company to mod. ify their injurious regulations. As to territorial claims, what the English called Cape Cod the Dutch called Cape Malebarre; what he himself had meant by Cape Cod, was Point Judith. His own commission was as ample as could be desired. New Netherland was not a “plantation,” as the commissioners had erroneously called it. The States General had invested it with the privileges of a “province," and in all their commissions had recognized it as such.

The director also wrote to the West India Company, in 23 Dec. pressing terms, urging that the differences between the colonial governments of New Netherland and New England ought to be promptly settled in Europe.* But the distracted condition of England prevented any immediate hope of an arrangement.

* Winthrop, ii., 386 ; Hazard, ii., 102-105; N. Y.H. S. Coll., i., 202; Stuyvesant's Letters; O'Call., ii., 98-104; Alb. Rec., iv., 15.


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