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NEW AMSTERDAM had now enjoyed for a year its limited
municipal government. But its burghers pined for the 1.654.
larger franchises of the cities of their Fatherland; and the
burgomasters and schepens, whose term of service was 27 January, about to expire, petitioned Stuyvesant for liberty to presterdam af- sent a double set of names, from among which the magis
trates for the next year should be chosen. They also asked that the magistracy should receive salaries. The direct
or, however," for pregnant reasons," declined a compliance 28 January. “ respecting the nomination," but, "for the sake of peace
and harmony," continued the old magistrates in office, and appointed Jochem Pietersen Kuyter and Oloff Stevensen van Cortlandt to fill two vacancies in the board of Sche
pens. The application for salaries was, however, granted. Salaries al- Each burgomaster was allowed three hundred and fifty
guilders a year, and each schepen two hundred and fifty, as they were, “ for the most part, such persons as must maintain their houses and families by trade, farming, or mechanical labor."*
The situation of the province at the beginning of this the prov- year was extremely critical. Taking advantage of the
continued hostilities between Holland and England, pirates and robbers infested the shores of the East River, and committed unrepressed excesses on Long Island and around New Amsterdam. The English residents began to mutter threats of mutiny, and many of them were suspected of communicating with the freebooters, who were
* New Amst. Rec., i., 359, 373–375; Alb. Rec., vii., 279, 288; ix., 40, 41. On the 12th of January, the burgomasters and schepens allowed their secretary, Jacob Kip, a salary of two hundred guilders, as receiver of the city revenue.
Critical situation of
Militia force ap
chiefly their own countrymen. Gravesend was notorious- Ch. XVIL ly disaffected. Sir Henry Moody himself did not scruple
1654. to join in a certificate declaring that Captain John Manning, who had been playing the spy while he was carry-Gravesend. ing on an unlawful trade between New Haven and Manhattan, “had tendered himself and vessel to serve the commonwealth of England."*
But New Amsterdam nobly maintained her loyalty. The city government recommended that a vessel be sta- 10 Feb. tioned at “Minnewit's Island," and likewise proposed to Stuyvesant to raise a militia force of some forty men among the several villages and settlements, according to a ratable portioned. proportion.t John Scott, of Long Island, and others, were arrested and examined as suspected persons, at the instance 16 March. of the fiscal. Breuckelen, Amersfoort, and Midwout were specially invited by the metropolis “to lend their aid at 23 March. this critical conjuncture, to further whatever may advance the public defense.” The Dutch villages heartily agreed 5 to assist with all their might.” Every third man was detailed to act as a minute-man, whenever required; and 28 March. their whole population was pledged to be ready to defend 7 April. their firesides in case of invasion.
The provincial government immediately commissioned 8 April. several yachts to act against the pirates. A proclamation against piwas issued prohibiting all persons, under the penalty of banishment and the confiscation of goods, from harboring the outlaws, for each of whom a reward of one hundred thalers was offered ; and all strangers without passports were directed to be detained until they gave satisfactory accounts of themselves. To prevent any misunderstand - 14 April. ing with the neighboring governments, Burgomaster Kregier and Fiscal Van Tienhoven were sent to New Haven, to explain that the only object of the Dutch proceedings
* New Haven Rec., 46-49; O'Call., ii., 264; Trumbull, i., 213. Manning was arrested and tried at New Haven in April, 1654, and his vessel condemned and sold, "by inch of candle," as a lawful prize. See also post, p. 743.
† This proportion was, Manhattan, eight ; Heemstede, four ; Vlissengen, three; Graves- . end, three ; Middelburgh and Mespath Kill, three ; Breuckelen, the Ferry, and the Wal. loon quarter, four ; Midwout, two; Amersfoort, two ; Staten Island, two; Paulus' Hook, one; Beverwyck, four'; colonie of Rensselaerswyck, four.-New Amst. Rec., 1., 378.
Midwout obtain mu
Cx. XVII. was the protection of their commerce and the punishment
of robbery. * 1654.
The prompt loyalty of Breuckelen, Amersfoort, and Midwout now received its reward ; and Stuyvesant executed the purpose he had announced the autumn before, of giving them such municipal privileges as would counterbalance the political influence of the English villages. Breuck
elen had already two schepens; two more were now added, len, Amers-and David Provoost, the former commissary of Fort Hope, foort, and
was made her first separate schout. Midwout was granted nicipal gov- the right to nominate three schepens. Amersfoort obtain
ed two. The powers of these local magistrates were somewhat similar to those of the municipality of New Amsterdam. A superior " district court" was also organized, composed of delegates from each town court, together with the schout. This district court had general authority to regulate roads, build churches, establish schools, and make local laws for the government of the district, subject to the approval of the provincial government. This arrangement continued until 1661.
Up to this time, the Dutch on Long Island had been without a church or a minister ; and to attend public worship they had been obliged to cross the East River to New Amsterdam. The metropolitan clergymen occasionally preached at private houses in the Dutch villages; but the want of a settled minister at length became so serious an
embarrassment, that Domine Megapolensis and a commitMidwout or tee of the provincial council were sent over to Midwout
to assist the people in organizing a church. On their part, the West India Company did what they could to remedy the evil. Six hundred guilders were appropriated for a salary; and the Classis of Amsterdam was requested to select a qualified preacher “to watch over the public re
9 Feb. Church at
* New Amst. Rec., i., 376–127; Alb. Rec., vii., 264-266; ix., 80, 81, 107-120 ; O'Call., ii., 258 ; Thompson's L. I., 1., 113.
† Alb. Rec., ix., 16, 35, 47, 118, 226 ; X., 16, 36, 47,79, 115, 240, 302, 345; xi., 187; xix., 91, 444 ; O'Call., il., 271, 272, 429; Doc. Hist. N. Y., 1., 633-655 ; Flatbush Rec.; ante, p. 422, 569. New Utrecht and Boswyck, or Bushwick, were joined to Breuckelen, Amersfoort, and Midwout in 1661, when the district was called the “Five Dutch Towns." Provoost remained schout of Breuckelen until 1656, when he was succeeded by Peter Tonneman, who held the office until 1660. Adriaen Hegeman was then appointed.
ligion there." But before a proper clergyman was found CH. XVII. willing to emigrate from Holland, Domine Johannes The
1654. odorus Polhemus, who had been for some time stationed at Itamarca, in Brazil, arrived in New Netherland, and ac-Palleen cepted the call of the people of Midwout. The magistrates of Midwout and Amersfoort petitioned the council for assistance in their enterprise; and permission was accord- 13 October. ingly given them to employ Domine Polhemus, “ until an answer be received from Holland,” and to raise funds for his support by a general collection. A small wooden church in the form of a cross, about sixty feet long and twenty-eight wide, was ordered to be constructed at Mid- 17 Dec. wout; and Megapolensis, with two of the magistrates of Flatbusa. the village, were appointed “ to promote the work to the best advantage of the public." Upward of three thousand guilders were contributed by the Dutch inhabitants of New Amsterdam, Fort Orange, and Long Island; and Stuyvesant added four hundred more out of the provincial treasury. The West India directors approved of the arrangement; but intimated that the people of Midwout must pay the salary of their clergyman without recourse to the company. In this first Reformed Dutch church on Long Island, Domine Polhemus preached every Sunday morning, and in the afternoon at Breuckelen and Amersfoort alternately. Thus affairs remained until 1660, when Domine Henry Selyns arrived from Holland, and became the pastor of the people at Breuckelen.*
The Lutherans had now become so numerous at New Lutherang Amsterdam, that they proposed to call a clergyman of Amstertheir own denomination. To this end they asked formal permission of Stuyvesant to worship publicly in a church by themselves. The director, however, who was a zealous Calvinist, declined, for the reason that he was bound by his oath to tolerate openly no other religion than the Reformed. The Lutherans then addressed themselves directly to the West India Company and to the states of
+ Cor. Classis Amst. ; Letters of 26th February, and 11th November, 1654 ; Megapolensis to Classis, 18th March, 1655; New Amst. Rec.; Alb. Rec., iv., 179; ix., 102, 238, 302; X., 332 ; xiv., 80, 81 ; O'Call., ii., 272; Thompson's L. I., ii., 202–204.
CH. XVII. Holland. But the Dutch clergymen at Manhattan, and
the Classis of Amsterdam represented that such a compli1654.
ance would produce bad consequences; for the Anabaptrument tists and English Independents, of whom there were many
in the province, would then demand the same liberty The directors, therefore, resolved that they would encour
age no other doctrine in New Netherland than 5 the true 12 March. Reformed ;” and Stuyvesant was instructed to use - all
moderate exertions” to allure the Lutherans to the Dutch churches, “and to matriculate them in the public Reformed religion.” In communicating this resolution to Megapolensis and Drisius, the Classis expressed their hope that the Reformed religion would now " be preserved and maintained, without hindrance from the Lutheran and other errors." This departure from the policy of the Batavian Republic was a triumph of bigotry over statesmanship, and one of the crowning glories of the Fatherland
was, for a season, denied to New Netherland.* 1653. The representations which Connecticut and New Haven
had addressed to Cromwell strongly influenced the ambiProtector. tious soldier, who had just assumed the office of Protector.
Though negotiations for peace were in progress, England was still at open war with the United Provinces; and a favorable opportunity of engaging the support of the
friends of New England, by seizing New Netherland, was 1654. now offered to Oliver. He, therefore, advised the governFebruary
ors of the New England colonies that the number and strength of the ships destined for those parts had been increased, and called upon them to give their "utmost assistance for gaining the Manhattoes, or other places under the power of the Dutch.”
of the Dutch." At the same time, Major RobExpedition
ert Sedgwick and Captain John Leverett were instructed to proceed, with four ships of war, to some good port in New England, and ascertain whether the colonial governments would join in “vindicating the English right and extirpating the Dutch.”
“ Being come to the Manhat
against New Netherland.
* Cor. Cl. Amsterdam; Letter of Megapolensis and Drisius, 6th October, 1653 ; Letter of Classis, 26th February, 1654 ; Alb. Rec., iv., 130; ante, p. 312, 432.