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25. Nov.,

rendered to the city

Disaffection of the


CH. XVI. The director, however, replied that he could neither ac

cept their resignations, nor give up the whole of the excise. 1653.

The demand was renewed ; and Stuyvesant at last agreed Excise sur to surrender to the city the excises upon liquors consumed

within New Amsterdam, upon condition that the burgomasters and schepens should furnish subsidies for the maintenance of the city works, and for the support of civil and ecclesiastical officers, and that the excise should be publicly farmed out to the highest bidder, "after the manner of Fatherland."*

A spirit of disaffection had, meanwhile, been spreading English on among the English on Long Island. Notwithstanding its Long 181

sycophantio letter to the Amsterdam Chamber in 1651, Gravesend, under the influence of Ensign George Baxter and Sergeant James Hubbard, was now foremost in opposing the provincial government. Contrary to its charter, that town, instead of openly nominating for magistrates three of its ablest "approved honest men," had determined to choose one leading man," who should select a second, and they two a third, and so on until six were chosen. Three of these were to be magistrates, and the other three assistants. The object of this change was to exclude, if possible, the Dutch from any influence in the town magistracy. Baxter had at first opposed the innovation, and had called on Stuyvesant not to approve the nominations. And the director did not, in fact, approve them until the nominees had sworn allegiance to the States General, the

West India Company, and the provincial government of Gravesend. New Netherland. This oath, however, sat very lightly on

the consciences of the Gravesend magistrates when news of the war in Europe reached America. Nevertheless, the feeling of disaffection was chiefly against Stuyvesant himself and his council. During the summer of 1653, the numerous losses which the Long Island colonists had suffered from the savages and from pirates induced them to take some measures for their security. Deputations from Gravesend, Middelburgh, and Heemstede accordingly as

# New Amsterdam Rec., i., 300-310; O'Call., ii., 255.

26 Nov,

delegates Amster

sembled at Flushing, and opened a communication with Ch. XVI. the municipal government of New Amsterdam.*

1653 This led to a meeting of delegates at the City Hall, to consider what could be best done “ for the welfare of the Meeting of country and its inhabitants, and to determine on some at New wise and salutary measures to arrest these robberies.' dam. La Montagne and Werckhoven attended on the part of the provincial council ; Kregier and Van der Grist represented New Amsterdam ; Baxter and Hubbard came from Gravesend ; Hicks and Feake from Flushing; and Coe and Hazard from Middelburgh or Newtown. An order from Stuyvesant was read, directing the delegates severally to communicate, in writing, their opinions respecting the best means of protecting the country from robbers. But the English delegates, headed by Baxter, first required to know by what right Werckhoven, whose purchase at New Utrecht encroached upon Gravesend, sat in the convention. They would not recognize him as a delegate from the council, and refused to allow any representative of the provincial government to preside in their meeting. At the same time, they desired to continue in allegiance to the States General and the company, and to enter into a firm union with the burgomasters and schepens." The New Amsterdam delegates, however, would not consent to such 27 Nov. an alliance until they had consulted with the provincial government and the several villages. “If the burgomasters and schepens will not unite with us," replied the English delegates, “we shall enter into a firm union among ourselves on Long Island, for the director general affords us no protection." Stuyvesant did not object to the New Amsterdam delegates co-operating with those from the English villages; but as the Dutch would be outvoted now, Proposed he announced his intention to incorporate Amersfoort, tion of the Breuckelen, and Midwout, " so as to possess with Fort Or- lages. ange, on all future occasions, an equal number of votes."

The New Amsterdam delegates at length recommended 29 Nov. a reinonstrance to the West India Company; and with a

Dutch vil


* Alb. Rec., viii., 53 ; Gravesend Rec., 9th Jan., 1651 ; 19th March, 1652; ante, p. 412.


tion demanded.

CH. XVI. view of learning the opinions of the colonists on Long Isl

and and Staten Island, proposed an adjournment. It was, 1653.

therefore, agreed to meet again on the tenth of December. A parting collation was given, to which Stuyvesant was invited, and he was informed in blunt terms that they should meet again on the tenth of the next month; he

might then do as he pleased, and prevent it if he could." A conven- The city government also formally notified the director of

the intention of the delegates to address the West India Company, and asked that he would summon the villages to send representatives to the proposed convention, to assist in the preparation of a remonstrance.

Stuyvesant very reluctantly sanctioned the meeting, which he could not prevent. The conduct of the English delegates "smelt of rebellion, of contempt of his high authority and commission." He had done all he could to protect them from marauders; but the colonists had, contrary to orders, scattered their dwellings, so that hundreds of soldiers could scarcely guard them from the robbers, s who often come as friends and neighbors, and are provided with lodgings by the English.” He had doubts whether the convention would be beneficial; for the administration of his predecessor, as well as his own, had already witnessed the evils of popular assemblies. Nevertheless, as he had nothing more at heart than the prosperity of New Netherland and the union of her people, “ without any distinction of origin,” he assented to the proposed meeting. It was, “under the direction of two of the coun- . cil," to agree upon an address truly representing the condition of the country to the Fatherland; but to do nothing to prejudice the action of the government in disapproving the conduct of the former delegates. Writs to this effect were soon afterward sent to the several neighboring villages, for the election of representatives to meet in a “Landtdag," or Diet, at New Amsterdam. The season was too far advanced to communicate readily with the colonists at Fort Orange and on the South River. *

3 Dec. Stuyvesant assents.

8 Dec.

Landtdag" or convention called.

* Alb. Rec., ix., 2, 5, 15-24, 35, 47; New Amst. Rec., i., 276, 315, 324, 335.

10 Dec.

the conven

The most important popular convention that had ever Ch. XVI. assembled in New Netherland accordingly met at New

1653. Amsterdam. The metropolis was represented by Van Hattem, Kregier, and Van der Grist; Breuckelen by Lubbert- Meeting or sen, Van der Beeck, and Beeckman; Flushing by Hicks tion. and Feake; Middelburgh, or Newtown, by Coe and Hazard; Heemstede by Washburn and Somers; Amersfoort, or Flatlands, by Wolfertsen, Strycker, and Swartwout; Midwout, or Flatbush, by Elbertsen and Spicer; and Gravesend by Baxter and Hubbard. Of the towns represented, four were Dutch and four English; of the dele. gates, ten were of Dutch and nine of English nativity. But as Baxter had probably most experience in preparing State Papers, the duty of drawing up the Remonstrance of the Diet was intrusted to him.

The next day, the delegates unanimously adopted and 11 Dec. signed the document in which Baxter had ably embodied strance of their views. The authority of the States General and the tion. West India Company was distinctly recognized ; and the rights of the colonists were claimed to harmonize “ in every respect with those of Netherland, being a member dependent on that state, and in no wise a people conquered or subjugated." Composed of various nations from different parts of the world, leaving at our own expense our country and countrymen, we voluntarily came under the protection of our sovereign High and Mighty Lords the States General, whom we acknowledge as our lieges; and being made members of one body, subjected ourselves, as in duty bound, to the general laws of the United Provinces, and all other new orders and ordinances, which by virtue of the aforesaid authority may be published, agreeably to the customs, freedoms, grants, and privileges of the Netherlands.” With this loyal preface, the convention proceeded to declare its view of the evils which afflicted New Netherland, and to demand redress. I. The fear of the establishment of an arbitrary government. New laws had been enacted by the director and council, without the knowledge or consent of the people. This was

of grievan


CH. XVI. “contrary to the granted privileges of the Netherland gov

ernment, and odious to every free-born man, and especially 1653.

so to those whom God has placed under a free state, in newly-settled lands, who are entitled to claim laws, not

transcending, but resembling as near as possible those of Statement the Netherlands.” It was, therefore, contrary to the priv.

ileges of the people of New Netherland to enact laws without their consent. II. As the provincial government does not protect the people against the savages, the people must look to their own defense. III. Officers and magistrates, without the consent or nomination of the people, "are appointed to many places, contrary to the laws of the Netherlands." IV. Old orders and proclamations of the director and council, made without the knowledge or consent of the people, remain obligatory, and subject them to loss and punishment, through ignorance. V. Promised patents, on the faith of which large improvements had been made at Middelburgh and Midwout, and elsewhere, had been wrongfully and suspiciously delayed. VI. Large tracts of land had been granted to favored individuals, to the great injury of the province. “As we have, for easier reference, reduced all our grievances to six heads,” concluded the delegates, “we renew our allegiance, in the hope that satisfaction will be granted to the country according to established justice, and all dissensions be settled and allayed.”

A copy of this paper was delivered to Stuyvesant, and of the Re- a "categorical answer" to each of its heads was demand

ed. Though drawn up by Baxter, it was approved and signed by every delegate; and it expressed the unanimous opinion of the convention. Its tone was as affectionately loyal to the Fatherland of the Dutch as was the memorial which Van der Donck had prepared in 1649. In the midst of the war between Holland and England ; with natural leanings toward the side of their countrymen; with hearts full of bitterness against Stuyvesant and his administration, yet with an honest admiration of the government of

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12 Dec. Character monetrance.

* Alb. Rec., ix., 28–33; Hol. Doc., xv., 168–175 ; Thompson's L. I., i., 111, 112 ; ii., 306.. 308; O’Call., ii., 238-246, 263, 264; Bancroft, ii., 306.

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