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CHAPTER XV.

1649-1651.

CHAP. XV.

The year 1649 was one of the most memorable in his

tory. A contest between the people and their sovereign 1649.

had been carried on in England, as it had long before been carried on in the Netherlands. Opposition had been succeeded by revolt and civil war. The King of Great Britain, more unfortunate than the King of Spain, became a prisoner in the hands of his subjects. A revolutionary tri

bunal pronounced him a tyrant and a traitor. In the end 30 January. of January, 1649, Charles I. was beheaded in front of his Charles I. own banqueting-hall, and England was declared to be a

republic.

Yet the English monarchical principle survived. The army and its great leader were supreme. A military despotism governed the land; and Cromwell at length became dictator. The people of England had exercised their right to revolt; but they did not gain, by a change of masters, those political advantages which the people of the Netherlands had gained by the deposition of their sovereign and the declaration of their national independence.

The terrible tragedy at Whitehall excited the detestation of all classes throughout the United Provinces. The Dutch government was seriously embarrassed. The Prince of Wales and the Duke of York, escaping from England, had found an asylum at the Hague, with their brother-inlaw William, prince of Orange, the stadtholder; and their united influence had prevailed on the States General to refuse an audience to Strickland, the parliamentary agent, while Boswell was still recognized as the resident minister of Great Britain. This naturally provoked antipathy

Feelings of the Dutch.

gland and

lands,

America.

and suspicion in London. A new cause of bitterness Chap. XV arose, when Dorislaus, who had been sent by the Parlia

1649. ment to propose an alliance with the United Provinces, was murdered by some Scotchmen who had taken refuge 12 May. at the Hague. Soon afterward, Strickland quitted Hol- Threatened land, without having obtained an audience of the States tween En General ; and Joachimi, the Dutch ambassador, was or- the Netherdered to leave London. A rupture between the United Provinces and England appeared imminent.

The shock which troubled Europe was felt in America. Effect of The new order of government established in England was death in viewed with more favor in the Puritan colonies than in Virginia. From Cromwell's jealousy of the Dutch much was hoped; and the dim prospect of a war between the Batavian Republic and the English Commonwealth could not but have an important influence upon the intercourse between their colonial governments across the Atlantic.

At this crisis, the negotiations between New Netherland Negotiaand New England were renewed. In view of public af- the United fairs, the West India Company had instructed their direct- 27 January or to live with his neighbors on the best terms possible."* Eaton, in the name of the commissioners, now proposed to 21 April. Stuyvesant a meeting at Boston, in June or July, as Bradford and Dudley were both too far advanced in life to make a long journey. He also insisted that the customs duties exacted at Manhattan should be speedily abolished. Meanwhile, Winthrop, the venerable father of Massachusetts, Death of had died, at the age of sixty-one years; and his death was 26 March regretted by the Dutch director as “the sad loss of one 4 May. whose wisdom and integrity might have done much in composing matters" between New Netherland and New England. In regard to the proposed interview, Stuyve- Conference sant considered Connecticut a more convenient place for by Stuyveboth parties than Boston ; and he offered to visit the En- 10 May. glish governor at New Haven to have a friendly conference.

tions with

Eaton, however, did not think that a private interview Eaton decould be satisfactory, as he would be obliged to press the * Alb. Rec., iv., 15; Basnage, i., 141-147; Davies, ii., 673-676 ; Bancroft, ii., 14–17.

Winthrop.

clines.

26 May.

2 July.

Ciap. XV. complaints of his own people very urgently. At the same

time, he requested specific information respecting the ru1649.

mored changes in the Dutch customs' regulations. The director acquainted him that the ten per cent. formerly levied on goods imported from New England had been suspended; and that the hand-board which marked the anchorage-ground off the shore of New Amsterdam had been

blown down, and would not be re-erected. Eaton now 17 June. demanded that English vessels passing to and from Vir

ginia and Delaware Bay, and trading at Manhattan, should be entirely free from all charges, " by what name soever called," both on goods imported and exported. Stuyvesant, however, replied, that he had yielded already as much as he dared, without further orders from his superiors. To them alone was he responsible; by no other power would he allow his public conduct to be regulated.*

The commissioners of the United Colonies soon after2 August. ward held an extraordinary meeting at Boston, at which

Eaton urged that measures should be taken to support the New Haven people in their proposed settlements on Delaware Bay. But Stuyvesant had already warned Endicott and Bradford that he would vigorously maintain the right of the Dutch to the South River. The commissioners, therefore, prudently determined not to encourage, by any

public act, the settlement of English colonists in that reto August. gion. They insisted, however, upon the English right to

New Haven, and thence eastward to Point Judith and to Stuyves Cape Cod. The director's reply to their letter of the pre

vious September was unsatisfactory and defective. He was silent with respect to the trade in guns and ammunition carried on at Fort Orange ; he had not informed them about the revenue regulations at Manhattan; he had made no reparation for the seizure of Westerhouse's ship at New Haven, but had referred him “ to the justice of Holland.” They therefore notified him that all trade with any of the Indians within the limits of any of the United Colonies was forbidden, under penalty of confiscation, " to all per

Letter of the com

saiit.

* Stuyvesant's Letters, Alb., i. ; O'Call., ii., 104-106 ; Hazard's Ann. Penn., 118.

Dutch for

England

New Neth

to Holland

posed.

sons but such as are inhabitants within the said English Char. XV. jurisdictions, and subject to their laws and government."*

1649. With this bold step, the correspondence between the commissioners and Stuyvesant ended for the present. Ex-bidden to cluding the Dutch from the valuable Indian trade which the New they had so long enjoyed, and to which they felt they had Indians. a right, it only added to the causes of dissatisfaction al- Effect in ready rankling in the minds of the people of New Nether-erland. land.

At the last election, the Nine Men had been strengthened by the choice of the energetic Adriaen van der Donck to a seat at their board. It was now determined that the Delegation project of sending a delegation to Holland, which had fall- again proen through the previous year, should be executed. The company had been waited upon a long while in vain. Reforms had been promised from time to time, but there was no amendment. The Nine Men therefore applied to Stuyvesant for leave to confer with the commonalty. In reply, the popular tribunes received “a very long letter,” to Stuyvethe effect that " communication must be made through mands. the director, and his instructions be followed."

To this the Nine Men could not assent. They informed views of Stuyvesant that they would not send any thing to the Fa-Men. therland without his having a copy, so that he could answer for himself; but that his last demand was unreasonable, and “antagonistic to the welfare of the country." The director's letter, however, as the Nine Mén read it, suggested that they should inquire “ what approbation the coinmonalty would give to this business, and how the expense should be defrayed." As the director would not allow the people to be convened, the popular representatives 66 wont round from house to house,” and spoke to their The comconstituents. This excited Stuyvesant's displeasure, and consulted. means were used to prevent the Nine Men from doing any thing. Injurious reports were spread among the common- Intrigues alty; and the English settlers, who were chiefly in the in-sant. terest of the director and council, were employed in coun

sant's de

the Nine

of Stuyve

* Hazard, ii., 127–134; N. Y. H. S. Coll., i., 208-210; S. Hazard's Ann. Penn., 119.

A great council

21 Feb.

a.

Van der Donck's journal seized.

Chap. XV. teracting the efforts of the popular tribunes. These in

trigues were discovered and exposed; so, "in order to make 1649.

a diversion, many suits were brought against those who were considered the ringleaders.” To neutralize the proposed movement of the Nine Men, the director and council

also summoned a meeting of delegates from the militia and summoned. the burghers, to consider the question of sending agents

to the Fatherland on some important points."

The Nine Men, feeling their responsibility, considered it necessary that regular memoranda should be kept, from which "a journal” might be drawn up at the proper time. This duty was intrusted to Van der Donck, who, "by a resolution adopted at the same time," was lodged in the house of Jansen, one of the board. The director, informed of this by Hall and Jansen, went to Van der Donck's chamber during his absence, and seized the “rough draft,". and other papers of the Nine Men. The next day, Van der Donck himself was arrested and imprisoned.

A short time afterward, the delegates from the militia the Great and the burghers met in "great council" at Fort Amster

dam. Van Dincklagen, the vice-director, protested against Stuyvesant's arbitrary proceedings, and demanded that Van der Donck should be admitted to bail. This, however, was refused. Van der Donck now asked for his papers, to correct some errors which had crept into them But this request was also denied; and, on his examination, he could not make it right in any way." Another meet

ing of the council was summoned, at which Stuyvesant de15 March. livered his written opinion. Van der Donck had been ar

rested for calumniating the officers of the government; he had explained his libels equivocally ; his conduct tending to bring the sovereign authority into contempt, he should be compelled to prove or to retract his allegations; and, in default, should be excluded from the council and from the board of Nine Men. Van Dincklagen alone opposed the opinion of the director. The rest of the members sided with Stuyvesant; and Van der Donck was unseated. *

4 March.

Council.

5 March. Proceedings against Van der Donck.

* ii., N. Y. H. S. Coll., ii., 315-317, 336; O’Call., ii., 89–92 ; Breeden Raedt, 39 ; ante, p. 495.

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