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Oyster Bay.

CH, XVII. were instantly arrested, and sent to the keep at Fort Am

sterdam, where they remained imprisoned until the next 1655. Baxter and year. The time for the election of new magistrates, which Hubbarded, had been postponed the previous autumn, was near at

hand. But the “loyal inhabitants," thinking that the 23 March. public mind was too much excited, just then petitioned

that it might be further deferred "until it shall please God Almighty to bless our governor the director general with a safe return."

The English who had settled themselves at Oyster Bay, notwithstanding Stuyvesant's complaint, had continued

during the winter in possession of their purchase. To as23 March. sert the jurisdiction of the Dutch, a protest was, therefore,

served upon Leveridge and his companions, threatening them with legal proceedings if they persisted in their unlawful occupation.

In spite of the director's warning in the previous autumn, Pell's colonists at West Chester had also continued to occupy their settlement. The council, therefore, sent

their marshal, Claes Van Elsland, with a protest. The En22. Aprit. glish arms, carved on a board, were found hanging on a glish set- tree; and armed men appeared at the creek to prevent the West Ches- landing of the Dutch messenger. “I am cold, let me go

ashore,” said Van Elsland, as he sprung on the beach, followed by “ Albert the Trumpeter." The English commander came up with a pistol in his hand, and accompanied by eight or nine armed men, to whom Van Elsland read his protest. “I can not understand Dutch," replied the Englishman; "when the fiscal sends English, I will

We expect the determination on the boundaries by the next vessel. Time will tell whether we shall be under the Dutch government or the Parliament. Until then we remain here, under the state of England."*

Early this year, Commissary Dyckman, whose violent conduct at Fort Orange had already given occasion of suspicion, became insane; and the local magistrates were

19 April.



Fort Or ange

* Alb. Rec., X., 8-10, 29–32 ; Hol. Doc., ix., 165, 232, 261–267; O'Call., ii., 280-283, 342; Bolton's West Chester, ii., 157.

obliged to inform the provincial government of his condi- Ch. XVII. tion. Johannes de Decker, a young man of high charac

1655. ter, who had formerly been a public notary at Schiedam, had just arrived from Holland, with a letter from the di- April. rectors recommending him for the first vacant "honorable office.” The provincial authorities at New Amsterdam, therefore, appointed De Decker to succeed Dyckman as 21 June. vice-director, “to preside in Fort Orange and the village appointed of Beverwyck, in the Court of Justice of the commissaries ry at Fort

Orange. aforesaid, to administer all the affairs of police and justice as circumstances may require, in conformity to the instructions given by the director general and council, and to promote these for the best service of the country and the prosperity of the inhabitants."*

Gravesend had now become so tranquil, that the provincial government felt safe in directing the schout and Lady 18 June. Moody, “as the oldest and first patentee," together with Gravesend. the other inhabitants, to nominate their magistrates. The nomination was made, and sent to Fort Amsterdam for ap- 8 July. proval. But the Dutch settlers protested against a con- 9 July. firmation. They had not been duly notified of the election; traitors, and those who had fled the country “ tortured by their consciences," had voted; no hired Dutchman had been permitted to vote in the absence of his master; persons had declared that if any Dutchmen were elected they would leave the country; and obedience to magistrates who had been exiled or imprisoned for their misconduct was required, which the Dutch inhabitants would not promise to yield, unless compatible with the welfare of the state. The council, however, considering the magistrates to have been nominated by “a majority Election of the inhabitants," from motives of public policy confirmed the election. The West India Company, upon receiving intelligence of Baxter's unexpected treachery, express

Affairs at


* Alb. Rec., iv., 171, 207; X., 68; O'Call., ii., 305. De Decker revisited Holland in the winter of 1656, and in May, 1657, returned to New Netherland as receiver general and member of the council. He was one of the Dutch commissioners who signed the capitulation to the English in 1664 ; and many of his descendants are still living in New Jersey, where his name survives in that of the settlement of "Deckerville." See post, 625.

26 May. Instructions of the West India

17 Sept.

The bound


29 Sept.

CH. XVII. ed their astonishment, and ordered Stuyvesant to keep

him and his accomplices in confinement. And strict in1655.

structions were added to avoid bestowing any office of

trust upon foreigners who are not interested in the counCompany. try, and who but seldom can deserve our confidence.99*

The peace with England now induced the hope that the

open question of the boundary between New Netherland 1654, and New England might be arranged; and the College

of the XIX., being desired to send to the Hague à conary ques- densed statement of the Dutch title, immediately submit

ted to the States General a memorial, accompanied by a map of New Netherland. These documents, together with copies of the papers which the company had communicated the previous November, were transmitted to the ambassadors at London, with instructions to arrange the boundary question upon the basis which they proposed.

But the ambassadors found themselves surrounded with difficulties. The West India Company's papers were discovered to be defective; they did not even contain a copy of the provisional treaty at Hartford in 1650. In the former discussion, the English had declined to consider the boundary question; and it was now clear that nothing would be done by the government at Whitehall without the consent of New England. Under these circumstances, the ambassadors recommended a convention, referring the whole question to the arbitration of the Dutch and English colonial authorities in North America; and this suggestion was communicated to the West India Company. The directors, however, had not yet received a copy of the Hartford treaty; but they sent to the States General a compilation from various papers in their archives, showing the priority of the Dutch discovery and possession of New Netherland, explaining the “unjust and violent” usurpations of the English within their territories, and intimating that although they thought the question could be best

9 October.

27 Nov.

9 Dec.

30 Dec.

* Alb. Rec., iv., 189; X., 67–76; xi., 6-21; O'Call., ii., 281 ; Thompson's L. I., ii., 173.

+ Hol. Doc., vii., 104-107; Verbael van Beverninck, 602 ; Lambrechtsen, 106. I endeavored to procure the map sent to the ambassadors at London on this occasion, but without success.





settled in England, upon the basis of " uti possidetis ita C#. XVII. possideatis," they were willing to refer it back to the re

1655. spective colonial governments. These documents were all

2 January sent to the Dutch ambassador at London. By the next ships, the Amsterdam Chamber wrote to Stuyvesant to be 26 April. upon his guard against the English on Long Island, and tions to ordered a fort to be constructed at the east, on the most sant. eligible spot.” The director was also censured for not having sent over to Holland any of the official documents 26 May. respecting the Hartford treaty. The States General again 31 May. calling to their ambassador's attention the boundary question, Nieuport had an interview with Thurloe. But the 4 June. secretary replied, that the New England authorities "had with the sent him as yet no information at all;" and that, upon the governsole allegations of one side, the Lord Protector, having no knowledge of the affair, could not be expected to come to a positive decision.*

Upon receiving intelligence of the "infamous surrender" 1654. of their Fort Casimir, the Amsterdam directors immedi-Orders for ately ordered Stuyvesant to "exert every nerve to avenge ery of Fort that injury, not only by restoring affairs to their former situation, but by driving the Swedes from every side of the river.". Two armed ships, the King Solomon and the Great Christopher, were put into commission; the drum was “beaten daily” in the streets of Amsterdam for volunteers; and orders were given for the instant arrest of Bikker, who had “ acted in his office very unfaithfully, yea, treacherously." The next week the directors again wrote 23 Nov. that they hardly knew whether they were more astonished at the audacious enterprise of the Swedes in taking our fort on the South River, or at the cowardly surrender of it by our commander, which is nearly insufferable ;" and Stuyvesant was directed to send over authenticated copies of all documents relating to that occurrence, and to the Dutch title to the territory.

The proceedings of the municipal authorities of New

the recov


* Hol. Doc., vii., 108–174; Alb. Rec., iv., 177, 187 ; Thurloe, ii., 638; iii., 477; Beverninck, 612, 688, 693 ; S. Hazard, Ann. Penn., 172.

23 Nov.

New Amsterdam to

be en



26 May. Expedition


CH. XVII. Amsterdam respecting the excise were at the same time

severely criticised. Stuyvesant was reproved for not hav1654.

ing “made use of his authority," and was instructed to enTaxation at force the collection of taxes for the benefit of the company

even against the will of the people, " so that these men shall no longer indulge themselves in the visionary dream

that contributions can not be levied without their consent." 1655. The next spring, the directors commended Stuyvesant's 26 April

prudence” in arresting Elswyck's vessel and cargo, but expressed their “small contentment" that he had undertaken his voyage to the West Indies without their “knowledge or approbation.” A large vessel of thirty-six guns, “the Vigilance,” was also chartered from the burgomasters of Amsterdam, and added to the squadron already

sent to New Netherland. Besides dispatching this force, against the the directors renewed their instructions to the provincial

government to engage vessels at Manhattan, compelling, if necessary, the owners and schippers to submission, as no excuse nor private interests can be admitted.” At the same time, the orders of November were somewhat modified, and Stuyvesant was directed to allow the Swedes - to hold the land on which Fort Christina is built, with a garden to cultivate the tobacco, because it appears that they made this purchase with the previous consent of the company, provided said Swedes will conduct themselves as good subjects of our government."*

A special dispatch was also addressed to the burgomasthe burgo- ters and schepens of New Amsterdam, enjoining submisNew Am- sion, and announcing that as they had applied a part of

the excises which had been granted them in paying an
agent to Holland, and in other private affairs, “ to the in-
jury and discontent of the company," that revenue should
now be restored to the provincial treasury.t

purpose of Stuyvesant's voyage to the West Indies had, meanwhile, been entirely defeated through Cromwell's jealous policy. A few days before the director sailed

26 May. Letter to


* Alb. Rec., iv., 157–159, 163, 168, 180, 186, 191, 193 ; O'Call., ii., 284 ; S. Hazard, Ann. Penn., 168-170, 178, 179. + New Amst. Rec., ii., 172-174 ; Alb. Rec., viii., 125.

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