Page images
PDF
EPUB

Indies,

from Manhattan, commissioners were appointed, "under Ch. XVII. the broad seal of England," for the management of British affairs in the West Indies. These commissioners, on their 1655. arrival, laid an embargo upon all the shipping they found; and eight Dutch vessels, including the three which Stuyvesant had brought from New Netherland, were seized 17 Feb. at Barbadoes, notwithstanding "the islanders" there did in the West "much desire commerce with strangers.” Stuyvesant attempted “to plead the cause of his countrymen;" but the English, who were more in fear that he should discover 16 March. their weakness "than all the world besides," continued the embargo, and “spoiled the sport” of a “fair trade." After several months delay, finding the English inexorable, the disappointed director succeeded in leaving Barbadoes, and returned to New Amsterdam about the middle 11 July. of the summer. *

Stuyvesant lost no time in executing the orders of his superiors to reduce the Swedes. As both he and Counselor La Montagne were unwell, Vice-director De Sille and 16 August. Fiscal Van Tienhoven were appointed to superintend the tions preparations, in conjunction with “ the valiant Frederick Swedes. De Koninck," captain of the flag-ship“ The Balance." The twenty-fifth day of August was solemnly set apart as a day of fasting and prayer, " to implore the only bountiful God that it may please him to bless the projected enterprise, undertaken only for the greater security, extension, and consolidation of this province, and to render it prosperous and successful, to the glory of his name.” An invitation was given “to any individuals loving the increase, 19 August . welfare, and security of this now flourishing province of EnlistNew Netherland," to enlist in the expedition at reasonable wages, with a promise that all the wounded should receive - due compensation.” Proper pilots were engaged ; 24 August. each ship in harbor was required to furnish two men, and supplies of ammunition and provisions; and three North River yachts were chartered. A French privateer, L'Esperance, which had just arrived at New Amsterdam, was 31 August.

Prepara

against the

ments,

* Thurloe, iii., 10, 142, 251 ; iv., 634; O'Call., ii., 285.

Jews taxed.

5 Sept.

Sailing of

tion.

CH. XVII. also engaged for the expedition. The question whether

the Jewish residents should be enlisted was decided by 1655.

declaring them exempt, and by levying instead a tax of sixty-five stuyvers a month upon all between sixteen and sixty years of age.*

On the first Sunday in September, “after the sermon," the expedi- the squadron of seven vessels, with a force on board of be

tween six and seven hundred men, set sail for the South River. Stuyvesant commanded the expedition in person, and was accompanied by Vice-director De Sille and Domiine Megapolensis. The next afternoon they anchored before Fort Elsingburg, which was in ruins and deserted. Here the squadron was reviewed, and divided into five sections. Wind and tide being propitious, on Friday morning the Dutch sailed up just beyond Fort Casimir, and landed their forces. Stuyvesant instantly dispatched Ensign Smit, with a drummer, toward the fort, “ to claim the direct restitution of our own property.” Swen Schute, the Swedish commandant, though re-enforced from Fort Christina, now asked permission to communicate with Rising. This was refused; the passes between Fort Casimir and Fort Christina were occupied by fifty Dutch soldiers; and the Swedes were twice summoned to surrender. A delay till early the next morning was "humbly supplicated," and granted by the director, because his batteries were not quite ready. When morning came, Schute, seeing the folly of further resistance, went on board the Balance, and signed a capitulation with Stuyvesant. The Swedes were allowed to remove all the artillery belonging to the crown; twelve men, with their full arms and accoutrements, were to march out of the fort with the commandant, as his life-guard, and the rest with their side arms only; and the officers were to retain their personal property. About noon the Dutch troops, “ with flying colors,” marched into the fort. Some thirty of the Swedes immediately submitted themselves to the government of New Netherland, and asked to be sent to Manhattan. The

10 Sept.

11 Sept. Surrender of Fort Casimir.

* Alb. Rec., xi., 28-42; New Amst. Rec., ii., 177 ; S. Hazard, Ann. Penn., 179–182.

12 Sept.

Fort Chris

ed.

next day being Sunday, Domine Megapolensis preached a CH. XVII. sermon to the troops; and Stuyvesant dispatched an account

1655. of his success to the council at Fort Amsterdam, with directions for the appointment of a day of thanksgiving.

Finding that he was also to be attacked, Rising endeavored to strengthen his position at Fort Christina. In 15 Sept. a few days, the Dutch forces established a battery on the tina investopposite bank of the Christina Creek ; and taking possession of the “Third Hook," they invested the Swedish fort on all sides. The ships were anchored at the mouth of the Brandywine; and Stuyvesant demanded of Rising - either to evacuate the country, or to remain there under Dutch protection.” The Swedes, however, determined to hold out; and the Dutch forces pillaged the people outside of the fort. At length, the garrison beginning to show 23 Sept. signs of mutiny, a parley was held. The next day the 24 Sept. Dutch guns were brought into battery, and a drummer summoned the Swedish fort to surrender within twentyfour hours. The following morning, articles of capitula- 25 Sept. tion were signed "on the paved place," between the Swed- of Fort ish fort and the Dutch camp, by Stuyvesant and Rising ; the Swedes marched out with their arms, colors flying, matches lighted, drums beating, and fifes playing; and the Dutch took possession of the fort, hauled down the Swedish flag, and hoisted their own.”

According to the terms of the surrender, private prop. Terms of erty was to be respected, and such of the Swedes as wish-tion. ed to leave the country might do so. Those that remained were to enjoy religious freedom, and a minister to instruct them in the Augsburg doctrine, upon condition of swearing allegiance to the Dutch authorities. It was also stipulated that Rising and Elswyck should be landed either in England or France, and that three hundred pounds Flemish should be advanced to Rising, upon the security of the goods and effects at Fort Christina. In obedience to the instructions of the West India Company, Stuyve. sant, immediately after the surrender, offered to restore Fort Christina to the Swedes, “on honorable and reason

Surrender

Christina

[ocr errors]

capitula.

Establish

South Riy

[ocr errors]

Ch. xvir. ble terms." But this offer was declined by Rising, who

preferred to adhere to the capitulation. 1655.

Thus fell the Swedish power on the South River. The bloodless campaign was achieved by the largest army and the most powerful squadron that had ever gone into action in North America. Resistance would have been absurd. After a distinct existence of a little more than seventeen

years, New Sweden reverted to New Netherland. A proc25 Sept.

lamation was immediately issued, granting permission to ment of the all who were disposed to remain, upon condition of their er on the taking an oath of allegiance; and some twenty Swedes

availed themselves of the offer. Two of the Lutheran cler. gymen on the river were sent back to Sweden; but Lokenius was retained to instruct the Swedes and Finns, two hundred of whom were living a few miles up the river, above Fort Christina. One of the motives for what Megapolensis thought "too easy" terms in the capitulation was, that the Dutch had no Reformed preacher who understood the language of the Swedes to establish there. Another was the intelligence that trouble had broken out at Manhattan with the Indians, "and men required quick dispatch” to repair matters there. Leaving Ensign Dirck Smit as temporary commandant on the South River, Stuyvesant hastened back to Fort Amsterdam.*

Ten years had passed away since Kieft's treaty at Fort Amsterdam, during which interval the relations between the Dutch and the savages had generally been friendly. A new provocation now roused the red man to vengeance. Van Dyck, the superseded schout-fiscal, having killed a squaw whom he had detected in stealing some peaches from his garden, her tribe burned to avenge her death. The neighboring savages shared in the sentiment; and aware of the absence of the Dutch forces, they resolved to attack their defenseless settlements. A party of Mahicans, Pachamis, Esopus Indians, Hackinsacks, and Tap

ܐ

[ocr errors]

* Alb. Rec., X., 134; xiii., 348–361 ; Hol. Doc., viii., 49, 108–116; ii., N. Y. H. S. Coll., i., 109, 418, 443–448; Doc. Hist. N. Y., iii., 105; Acrelius ; Lambrechtsen, 69; Ferris, 87–105 ; Bancroft, ii., 297; O'Call., ii., 286-289; S. Hazard, Ann. Penn., 183–197; Lond Doc., iv., 171 ; N. Y. Col. MSS., iii., 343.

15 Sept. vasion of

pans, with some others from Stamford and Onkeway, sup- CH. XVII. posed to number nineteen hundred, of whom from five to

1655. eighteen hundred were 'armed, suddenly appeared before New Amsterdam in sixty-four canoes.

Landing before Indian inthe break of day, they scattered themselves through the ser Annstreets, while most of the inhabitants were yet asleep; and, under the pretense of searching for “Indians from the north,” broke into several houses. The council, the city magistrates, and some of the principal inhabitants, assembling in Fort Amsterdam, called the chief sachems before them, and made them promise to leave Manhattan at sunset, and pass over to Nutten Island. But when evening came the savages broke their word.

broke their word. Van Dyck was shot with an arrow in the breast, and Van der Grist was struck down with an axe. The town was instantly aroused ; and the soldiers and the burgher guard, sallying from Fort Amsterdam, attacked the Indians and drove them to their canoes. Passing over to the Jersey shore, the savages laid Hoboken, waste Hoboken and Pavonia, and killed or captured most and State. of the inhabitants. Staten Island, where ninety colonists waste. were cultivating eleven flourishing bouweries, was desolated. In three days one hundred of the Dutch inhabitants were killed, one hundred and fifty were taken prisoners, and three hundred more ruined in estate. Twentyeight bouweries, besides several plantations, were destroyed; and the colonists computed their damages at two hundred thousand guilders.

Again terror seized the land. Most of the farmers fled to Manhattan as to a city of refuge. The English villages Long Islon Long Island sent word that the savages had threatened to kill the Dutch who lived there. Lady Moody's house at Gravesend was again attacked. The few families who Esopus de had settled themselves at Esopus abandoned their farms in alarm. Even Manhattan itself was not secure. Prowl- Manhating bands of savages wandered over the island, destroying all that came in their way. 66 As the citizens were reluctant to go a great distance from the fort,” ten Frenchmen were enrolled to guard the house and family of the absent

Island laid

and.

serted.

tan.

« PreviousContinue »