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Fort Oro

Quarrels at


reproach to this country, and the main scourge of both Ch. XVI. Christians and heathens, with whose sensualities the di

1652. rector himself hath always been acquainted."*

In the mean time, the question of jurisdiction at Fort Affairs at Orange remained unsettled. If Van Slechtenhorst was ange. earnest in maintaining the rights of the patroon, Dyckman was no less so in support of the director; and personal difficulties now vexed the quiet hamlet of Beverwyck. Some 1 January, of the soldiers of Fort Orange, out on a New Year's night Beverfrolic, fired their matchlocks at the patroon's house; and but for the exertions of its tenants, the thatched building would have been destroyed. Young Van Slechtenhorst 2 January was assaulted in the street by some of the garrison the next day; and Philip Pietersen Schuyler, who came to the rescue of his brother-in-law, was threatened by Dyckman with a drawn sword. The friends of Van Slechtenhorst vowed revenge; and the commissary prudently ordered the guns of Fort Orange to be loaded with grape.

Not long afterward, Dyckman, with a small retinue, went to the court-room where the magistrates of the colo- 8 February nie were sitting, to publish some placards which Stuyvesant had sent up, relative to the jurisdiction of Fort Or- Van Slect ange. Van Slechtenhorst, viewing the commissary's pro-opposes ceedings as insulting, ordered him to retire. Dyckman 24 Feb. again demanded that the obnoxious proclamations should be published with sound of bell; but the colonial court refused, until they had received orders from the States General and their own immediate superiors. The bell of Fort Orange was now rung three times; and Dyckman, returning to the patroon's court-house, ascended the “stoep" + with his attendants, and ordered his deputy to read the proclamations. Van Slechtenhorst, however, snatching the instruments out of the deputy's hands, again protested against the attempted infringement of the rights of his chief.

The director promptly sent up another placard, declar- 5 March.

Dyckman. Proclama

* Hol. Doc., vi., 193–276 ; Alb. Rec., iii., 264–268 ; iv., 74 ; O'Call., ii., 181, 182; ii., N. Y. H. S. Coll., ii., 306.

+ Anglicé, “the steps at the entrance of a house." The word " stoop” is still in familiar use among the descendants of our old Dutch families.

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19 March

CH. XVI. ing that the jurisdiction of Fort Orange extended a dis

tance of six hundred paces from its walls, and ordered 1652.

Dyckman to affix copies of it to posts, “ marked with the the jarigente company's mark,” to be erected on this new line, - north, diction of south, and west of the fortress.” No house was thereafter

to be built within these limits, except by the permission of the director and council at Fort Amsterdam, or their

agents at Fort Orange. But Van Slechtenhorst was not 13 March. disposed to submit. He had just purchased for his pa

troon two large additional tracts on the east side of the river; one called "Paanpaack," including the site of the present city of Troy, and another further north, called "Panhoosic;" and he now ordered the constable of Bever

wyck to remove the posts which Dyckman had set up. A Protest of new protest declared that the colonists of Rensselaerswyck tənhorst. had never sworn allegiance either to the West India Com

pany or to Stuyvesant, and that they recognized no mas

ters but the States General and their own feudal superiors. 21 March. Fresh troubles soon arose. Dyckman, attempting to ap

prehend a negress belonging to Alexander Glen, one of the colonists, was opposed by her master, who was arrested the next day at Fort Orange. It was now rumored that the director himself was about to revisit Beverwyck, and that "a new gallows” was being prepared for the rebellious Van Slechtenhorst and his son, and Van Rensselaer.

Stuyvesant, who had been detained at Manhattan by the proceedings against the fiscal, Van Dyck, soon afterward arrived at Fort Orange. The colonial officers were required to furnish a statement of the bounds of Rensselaerswyck; and were told that as the "Exemptions" allowed a colonie to extend sixteen miles on one side of a river, or eight miles, if both banks were occupied, the director would recognize the patroon's jurisdiction only to that extent. As the authorities of the colonie were without instructions on this point, the question was postponed until they could communicate with their superiors in Holland. But Stuyvesant was not to be diverted from his purpose with regard to Beverwyck. Sergeant Litschoe, with a

Stuyvesant again at Fort Orange.



annexed to


Van Slecht

party of soldiers, was sent to the patroon's house, and Van CH. XVI. Slechtenhorst was ordered to strike the colonial flag. Upon

1652. his refusal, “ fourteen soldiers, armed with loaded muskets, The paentered the inclosure, and, after firing a volley, hauled down troons col the lord's colors.” A few days afterward, a proclamation was issued declaring Beverwyck to be independent of the 10 April. patroon's colonie, and establishing a Court of Justice in declared Fort Orange for the government of the hamlet. By this Fort Oract Stuyvesant completed his long-cherished design; and the germ of the present city of Albany was released from feudal jurisdiction.

Still, Van Slechtenhorst's loyalty to his immediate superiors could not be shaken. The director's placard was 15 April. . torn down, and a counter-proclamation, indicating the claims of the patroon, was posted in its stead. This bold proceeding filled the measure of Van Slechtenhorsts of- 18 April. fenses. He was arrested and imprisoned in Fort, Orange, tenhorst and afterward conveyed under guard to New Amsterdam, to New where he remained until he was released for the purpose dam. of installing his successor in office.

Before leaving Rensselaerswyck, Stuyvesant confirmed 23 April. the authority of the West India Company by issuing patents to several of the principal.colonists for lots of land within the bounds of Beverwyck. John Baptist van Rens- 24 April. selaer took Van Slechtenhorst's place provisionally, and Rensselaer was soon afterward formally appointed director by the patroon. About the same time, Gerrit Swart was commis- 8 May. sioned as

" officer or schout," and furnished with instruc- Svart tions, which required him "above all things to take care that divine worship shall be maintained in said colonie, conformably to the Reformed religion” of Holland.*

These difficulties, and a desire to free themselves from subjection to the patroon, induced several inhabitants of


Amster2 Sept




* Alb. Rec., vi., 2; ix., 123 ; Fort Orange Rec., Mortgage Book A, Alb. Clerk's Office; Renss. MSS.; Barnard's Sketch, 128-130; O'Call., 175-184, 207, 564-566, 587. Upon the reconquest of New York by the Dutch, in 1673, the West India Company admitted that Stuyvesant's proceedings in regard to Beverwyck were in violation of the charter of 1629; and Governor Dongan, in 1686, deemed it prudent to require from the patroon of that day a formal release of his claims two days before the charter of the city of Albany was passed

First settlement of Ulster county.

1 July.

Regulations for

of land.

Ch. XVI. Rensselaerswyck to seek another abode. Between Kats

kill and Manhattan there were as yet few European inhab1652.

itants; and Thomas Chambers, who had occupied a farm near what is now the city of Troy, removing with some of his neighbors to “Atkarkarton," or Esopus, an "exceedingly beautiful land," began the actual settlement of the present county of Ulster. *

On his return to the seat of government, Stuyvesant, in order to check the growing disposition on the part of individuals to monopolize large tracts of wild land for the purposes of speculation, issued new regulations on the sub

ject. The sales by the Indians to Van Twiller and others purchases on Long Island, to Van Slechtenhorst at Katskill and Clav

erack, and to Van de Capellen about Nevesinck, were declared void. The “pretended proprietors” were ordered to return the purchase-money; if, however, they petitioned within six weeks, they might retain such tracts as the director and council might assign them. All persons were forbidden to buy any lands from the natives without the previous consent of the director and council. This order was afterward modified by the Amsterdam Chamber in favor of the purchasers of lands near Katskill, Claverack, and Rensselaerswyck, to whom grants free from any feudal“ patronage” were to be issued in the name of the company:

Several additional settlements were now commenced on Long Isi- Long Island, under patents from Stuyvesant. One of these,

immediately east of Doughty's colonie at Mespath, was

called by the Dutch "Middelburgh," but was more familiarNewtown. ly known as Newtown. Another in the - Vlacke Bosch,

or Flatbush, between Breuckelen and Amersfoort, the principal patentees of which were Jan Snedekor, Arendt van

Hattem, and Domine Megapolensis, was named by StuyMidwout or vesant “ Middelwout” or Midwout. The Indian title to

these places was not, however, extinguished for several years; and in the mean time, the settlers whose bouwer

New settlements on


Middelburgh or


* Megapolensis to Classis, 5 Aug., 1657 ; Doc. Hist. N. Y., iii., 107 ; O'Call., il., 357, 394,588; ante, p. 76, 306 In 1672, Chambers became proprietor of the manor of Foxhall. * Alh. Rec., iv., 88, 97; vii., 318-320 ; viji., 20, 55, 151, 161, 191 ; Hol. Doc., vi., 221; New Amst. Rec.;. Flatbush Rec.; Thompson's L. I., il., 137, 200; O'Call., ii., 185–187, 194; Whitehead's East Jersey, 19, 20; Doc. Hist. N. Y., i., 633; ante, p. 333, 410.


ven's pur

New Jer

ies were threatened by the savages, did not thrive. Two Ch. XVI other large tracts, the one adjoining the company's lands

1652. at Gowanus, and the other at “ Nyack," within the present town of New Utrecht, were also purchased by Cornelis New van Werckhoven, an influential member of the provincial government of Utrecht. Van Werckhoven had previously 1651. notified the Amsterdam Chamber of his intention to plant Nov. two colonies in New Netherland; and Augustine Heermans had purchased for him the lands now known as the 6 Dec. " Raritan Great Meadows,” and the territory along the WerckhoStaten Island Kills, from “Ompoge,” now Amboy, to the chases in “Pechciesse” Creek. A tract on the south side of the Rar- sey. itan, opposite Staten Island, called “Kehaokanick Wakonaback," was also bought. Van de Capellen, however, objecting to these acquisitions, the question was brought before the Amsterdam Chamber. Upon their decision, Van 1652. Werckhoven abandoned his purchases in New Jersey, and 13 Dee. began a settlement on his Long Island lands; but his death, which happened in 1655, retarded the prosperity of New Utrecht. *

After nearly two years' absence in New Netherland, EcclesiasDomine Grasmeer had meanwhile returned to Holland, 12 Feb. with warm testimonials from the people at Rensselaers- Grasmeer. wyck and Manhattan, and had besought the Classis to recommend him to the West India Company for appointment as second minister at New Amsterdam. The Classis, however, declined his request; and the directors requested the appointment of Domine Samuel Drisius, of Leyden, who, Domine having lived in England, could preach in Dutch, French, 26 Feb. and English, and who, upon his examination, gave full satisfaction. The company soon completed its arrange- 18 March. ments with Drisius to become the colleague of Megapo. lensis, at a salary of fourteen hundred and fifty guilders ; and with the spring fleet, the Domine sailed for New Am- 4 April. sterdam. At the same time, the directors agreed that the public school should be established in the city tav- Public




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