BETTER PROSPECTS Now the main cause of all these differences is the trade in furs or peltries found in that country and the question by whom it shall be conducted. Kiliaen Van Rensselaer to the Assembly of the XIX. 1633.
In the spring of 1633, just after the affair of the ship William, Captain De Vries prepared to take his own ship home and to send his yacht `toward the north by way of Hell Gate.' Van Twiller delayed him, beginning `again to juggle as if he were drunk,' insisting upon searching the yacht, and when De Vries objected ordering `the guns at the angles of the fort' to fire upon it. Whereupon, the captain continues, I ran to where he stood at the angle with the secretary and one or two of his council and told him the land was full of fools; if they wished to shoot anything they should have shot at the Englishman who was violating their river in spite of them.
Then Van Twiller wished to search the ship, for contraband furs of course. When it had got as far as Sandy Hook, Notel man and Van Remund, coming with despatches from Van Twiller for the Company in Holland and seeing a few skins, threatened to send the Soutberg in pursuit. And then, says De Vries, I said to the secretary that we were surprised that the West India Company should send such fools into this country who knew nothing except to drink; that they could not come to be assistants in the East Indies; and the Company by such management must come to naught. In the East Indies no one was appointed governor unless he had first had long service and was found to be fit for it . . . but the West India Company sent in the first instance as superior officers persons who never had command in their lives, for which reason it must come to naught.
When De Vries reached Amsterdam toward the end of July he soon found that his partners were disputing with the other directors about a few pelts that he had brought back: On this account our business of making colonies must be suspended in places still uninhabited. . . . As we could not agree with the Company, and my partners at Amsterdam were all directors and were continually at variance with their associates on account of trifles, I separated from them. The rest I will leave unwritten.
Part of `the rest' was told from another point of view by one of the partners, Van Rensselaer, in a very long letter to his nephew Van Twiller. Writing in April, 1634, he said that ' David Pietersen,' meaning De Vries, was turning out worse more slim is the Dutch expression than Van Twiller had predicted and was railing `stoutly' against him. So many other people were also railing against the governor that had it not been for his uncle's influence he would already have been summoned home `with an affront.' Such a 'shameful pot' had been brewed for him that one could hardly believe men could be found base enough to invent it; and so many knew about it that the selection of another director-general was publicly discussed while the opposite party in the Com pany was secretly trying to put Isaac De Rasieres in the place. Van Remund was working against Van Twiller as he had worked against Minuit, hoping to put on his head the same `crown of thorns.' He was inciting against him all the directors opposed to colonization, prompting Domine Bogar dus to complain of him as he had prompted Domine Michaelius to complain of Minuit, and sending home slanderous stories to his wife who spread them abroad. Crol was likewise bringing charges, saying that Van Twiller would not let him have his books. In fact, there were so many charges that Van Rensselaer summed them up as a warning to the gov ernor. Those coming `from the outside' said that he was `proud and puffed up,' that he was ' inimical to the minister and no defender of religion,' and that he was ' always drunk as long as there is any wine,' a failing which once at least had delayed the despatch of a ship to Holland. The 'inside' charges were that he wrote too seldom to the Company, did not keep his books properly, and lacked prudence and judg ment for the discharge of his duties. Therefore his uncle advised him to report more frequently and to forget and for give past injuries. Furthermore he drew up for him a table of eight duly numbered precepts counselling him to be dili gent, faithful, cautious, sober, religious, patient when in jured, and trustful in God when chastised. All of which should he do and be, `a curse will change to blessing and slanders bloom to honor' ; and, could he once clear himself of the charges against him, such ' venom' would be impotent to affect him again.
De Vries and Van Rensselaer both earnestly favored coloni zation although they fell out with each other and although to De Vries the free colonist, to Van Rensselaer the patroon, seemed the best hope of the province. And both found fault with the Company on the same grounds : it wanted premature profits and it thought the only way to get them was to permit no individual to profit by trafficking in furs. After it came into possession of the enormous booty captured by Pieter Heyn from the Spaniards, wrote De Vries at a later day, it bestowed no thought upon its ' best trading post at Fort Orange' but allowed a few persons (meaning the owners of Rensselaerswyck) to take it from the 'greater number' who should have shared with them. On the other hand many persons who would have taken up patroonships were prevented by the quarrelling among the directors ; and the directors would do nothing for the settlers already in the province because they coveted `the profits of all the trade before they are grown.' They . . . would rather see booty arrive than to speak of their colonies; but had the land been peopled the fruit thereof would have been long continued while their booty has vanished like smoke.
It appears, moreover, that the Company hampered the patroons in all possible ways. Especially it objected to transporting the goods that they needed for barter with the Indians and tried to prevent its colonists from exchanging such goods for the products of Van Rensselaer's farms not only fearing to lose the fur trade but hoping, probably, to force the patroons to buy from its own warehouses on Man hattan all that their people required. It was also evident, said Van Rensselaer, that many persons wished patroons to found colonies only in order that the Company might send a commissary who ' under the sheltering wings of the patroon's protection' might secure furs and thus deprive him of his just gains.
In spite of these hampering disputes the agents of Michiel PAauw had begun to develop Pavonia and Van Rensselaer had clone his utmost to strengthen Rensselaerswyck. By circumstance as well as by exceptional energy Van Rensselaer was better fitted than the other patroons for his difficult task. He had had experience in reclaiming waste lands near his estate in Guelderland, he could draw colonists from this un fruitful neighborhood, and in New Netherland he had the help of his nephews, Van Twiller and Notelman. In his case the Company's charge that the patroons intended nothing but to trade in furs was certainly unfounded. He had as good a right as others to the trade, he explained, but wished to avoid disputes with the Company; and his correspondence shows in every line his determination to develop an agri cultural colony. It also shows that there was no limit to the meticulous cart he bestowed upon the estate or to his knowl edge of its minutest affairs the site and condition of every farm and house, the character and conduct of every settler, the worth of every individual horse and cow, the disposition that was made of every bushel of grain.
appointing officers called a schout and schepens who were to administer the law according to the customs of the Republic and especially of the province of Holland. The schepens formed the court. The chief duty of the schout or sheriff was to see that the patroon's orders were obeyed. It is probable that these first officials never qualified, that the court was not actually set up until 1634. Even so it was the first local court established in the province.
When Minuit returned to Holland he sold to Van Rensselaer cattle on his farm on Manhattan ; so did one of the council lors recalled at the same time ; and Van Twiller took over the two farms. One of Van Rensselaer's own colonists, by his direction and with his money, leased another of the Com pany's bouweries and paid in full for the live stock; and a free colonist engaged to live part of the year at New Amster dam, part at Rensselaerswyck, and to buy all the cattle offered for sale on Alanhattan. Thus the patroon managed to stock his farms, not dishonestly yet in ways that cannot have com mended him to any one interested in the progress of the Company's colony on Manhattan. He and his partners, wrote De Vries a little later, had ' helped themselves by the cunning tricks of merchants.' They had put their patroon ship in good condition `at the Company's cost,' for the Com pany had sent out cattle at great expense and now it had nothing up the river except an empty fort while the patroons had the farms and the trade round about it. By this time Godyn was dead and Van Rensselaer, buying out his heirs, had a controlling three-fifths interest in the patroonship. Blommaert retained his share, and Burgh's soon passed into the hands of three persons one of whom was the historian De Laet.
In 1633, intent upon making New Amsterdam the emporium of trade for the province, the Company formally granted it `staple-right,' a privilege, enjoyed in Europe by a number of river cities, which meant that all vessels passing the place must discharge their cargoes and pay duties or else pay cer tain stipulated `recognitions.' It was proposed at this time in the Amsterdam Chamber to repeal those articles of the Charter of Freedoms and Exemp tions which granted the fur trade, under restrictions, to the patroons and promised them the Company's protection. It was to protest against such changes that Van Rensselaer prepared his Memorial to the Assembly of the XIX recounting the efforts of the patroons and the damages they and the Company had suffered from the Company's slackness. The Freedoms, he said, must be not only maintained but `enlarged and improved ' ; otherwise New Netherland would be wholly lost, for it was already coveted by other nations who had settled near it `on the east, south, and north.' For its own sake the Company, instead of proceeding ' blindly as hereto fore,' must establish the fundamental government' which it had promised to set up and be more particular to appoint no `passionate persons' to office but `only reasonable men who are in sympathy with the work and understand their busi ness.' The result of its management thus far was that, in stead of the sheep being sheared when they had wool, . . . they were skinned at birth when they had no wool, and all under pretext that the patroons had no other design than to deprive the Company of the fur trade and charge the expenses to it. . . .
The `contrary minded,' said Van Rensselaer, thought that the Company should exclude from the trade all patroons, colonists, and others, while the patroons maintained that the trade could be carried on with less expense and more profit to the Company by their servants than by its own. If colo nists multiplied, the Company would not have to supply them with food, nor would they be in danger of starving should a supply-ship perish on the way. The fur trade was not con centrated on one river as in Canada but was spread along many rivers and coasts far distant from each other, and the best time to prosecute it was in winter; therefore the Company would need many small vessels if it were to conduct the traffic itself. Colonists with families were more bent upon keeping the peace with the Indians than mere traders. If there were many settlers they might persuade or compel the Mohawks to do what now they would not do permit the Canada Indians to pass through their country; and from these Indians more furs could be got than in all New Nether land. But only by supporting its patroons could the Com pany hope for strong settlements. Poor people by themselves could accomplish nothing in the province and the rich and well-to-do would not go there; but . . . just as the blind can carry the crippled and the crippled can point the way to the blind, so the rich could stay at home and send their money while the poor could go and perform their work on the money of the rich.
Sound for the most part, this argument of Van Rensselaer's had two weak points : in a virgin country where land was plentiful 'poor people by themselves' could accomplish much, and in such a country they were not content to work for the rich in Europe.
The Assembly of the XIX sustained the validity of the Charter of Freedoms but could not come to terms with the patroons who thought that they were not bound to obey any of the Company's regulations. They had a right, they said, to the internal as well as the coastwise fur trade wherever the Company had had no commissary at the time the Charter was granted; therefore no commissary should be sent into a patroonship to collect the stipulated duty on skins; and, moreover, the Company should make good the losses they had suffered by its failure to afford them protection. At last it was decided to submit the questions at issue to the States General. After considering the arguments of both parties the States General postponed a decision. The war ring factions patched up the dispute themselves and, as the advocates of colonization now got the upper hand in the Am sterdam Chamber, for a time no more obstacles were thrown in the path of the patroons.
Van Twiller kept his place but a doctor of laws, Lubbertus Van Dincklagen, was sent out to take Notelman's place as sehout-fiscal. By the ship Eendraght on which he sailed in April, 1634, Van Rensselaer sent his long monitory letter to Van Twiller. Van Twiller, he thought, could trust Van Dincklagen who, as he had 'studied,' ought to prove a good adviser, ' for such people can see deeper into a matter than those who have not studied.' By the Eendraght Van Rens selaer also sent a stock of merchandise, farm implements, and weapons, and some colonists for whose placing at Rens selaerswyck Van Twiller was to care. The great ship New Netherland, he wrote, had been taken by the Dunkirkers,' Dunkirk being then a notorious nest of pirates. It was un fortunate, he added, that the English were beginning to get a foothold on the Fresh River. Its advantages were under stood at Amsterdam but every one was afraid to venture there.
Meanwhile Van Twiller had been improving the outward aspect of his little town. Fort Amsterdam, which had not yet been finished, he repaired or rebuilt with earthen walls and at least one stone bastion. Inside its walls stood his own house and a guard-house and a barrack for the troops he had brought, and close by two or three windmills Not far away, probably on the Strand (Pearl Street) between the Broad and Whitehall streets of to-clay, the governor built a little wooden church for the congregation which had hitherto worshipped in the loft over the horse-mill, and a house and stable for Domine Bogardus. He also built a new bakery, a house for `the cooper, the smith, and the corporal,' and another for the midwife all servants of the Company and a stable for the goats that the governor of Virginia had sent him. A bridge which has left its name to Bridge Street was thrown across the creek that formed the com mercial centre of the town.
Fort Amsterdam, the Company declared in 1634, had cost it 4172 guilders and the province as a whole 412,800, while the patroons declared that they had spent 'not far from one ton of gold cash down' in trying to people and to improve their estates. In 1633 the Company received from its prov ince products to the value of 91,375 guilders, in 1635 to the value of 134,925, then getting 14,891 beaver skins and 1413 pelts of other sorts. In 1634 it shipped for sale to the settlers goods to the value of 29,560 guilders, and in 1635 to the value of 28,875.
In 1635 the borders of New Netherland were first threat ened at the south. Then the Virginians who, beginning to explore the bay and river they called Delaware, had found the Dutch trading post, Fort Nassau, deserted and empty, sent a certain George Holmes with fourteen or fifteen men to occupy it. Informed of this by one of the party, a runaway bond-servant named Thomas Hall, Van Twiller decided that the intruders must be turned out and the fort reoccupied. A ship which he at once despatched brought the Englishmen to Manhattan. Here Captain De Vries was tarrying again after an unsuccessful attempt to plant a colony on the coast of Guiana; as he was about to sail for Virginia, on his ship Van Twiller sent the captives home; and De Vries landed them just in time to prevent the sending of a second party to the Delaware. Thomas Hall, however, remained with the Dutch, the first Englishman who is known to have settled among them. Finding work at first as a farm-hand he soon became and long remained a prosperous, respected, and loyal New Netherlander.
When Van Rensselaer wrote by the Eendraght in 1634 he acknowledged the receipt of several letters showing that ships had sailed from Manhattan in March, May, and July of the previous year while later despatches had been sent by way of New England. Communication was not always so frequent. Writing again to his nephew in May, 1635, the patroon said that he had not yet heard of the arrival of the Eendraght although a full year had elapsed, and was greatly worried lest it had been wrecked on the outward voyage when it carried his colonists and goods, or on the homeward voyage when 'many returning people' must have gone down with it. The directors were also much alarmed. They did not know what might be the state of affairs in the province for the governor had not even written by way of Virginia or New England. All work in Holland was `entirely unsettled' and rumors of misconduct in New Netherland multiplied. The Company had by this time bought out the owners of Swan endael and Pavonia, paying for Pavonia 26,000 guilders; but Van Rensselaer held on to his patroonship and, he wrote, was determined to carry on the work more courageously than ever if, indeed, the colony still lived. The directors were still trying to prevent all private trading in furs, and in gen eral they were taking such a 'strange course' regarding the province that they would soon be forced to resign it to those who might regulate it better, or see everything run to ruin. A year later he wrote: If they wish to keep it to themselves with few people, which is most profitable to them, they cannot defend the country, and with many people they suffer loss; and others will not care to populate the country unless they have the free trade.
The Company was complaining much because Van Twiller wrote so seldom, not even mentioning Captain De Vries who had recently sailed from Manhattan.
In 1634 the patroon had sent out one Jacob Planck as com missary for Rensselaerswyck charged with the varied duties of schout, steward (rentmeester), precentor or reader for the local congregation, and brandy distiller. It was he, most probably, who actually established the local court. Writing to him in 1635 the patroon advised him to get on Manhattan animals and people for Rensselaerswyck as the leases of the Company's farms were expiring and the soil of the island was `for the most part exhausted' while that of his own colony was 'still fresh.' He and his partners were equipping a ship, called the Rensselaerswyck;, largely for the service of the patroonship, but as the expense proved great he had admitted Gerrit De Forest to a half share in it 'aside from the goods and people of the colony.' This Gerrit (Gerard) was the brother of Jesse De Forest.
Planck's instructions bade him consult Van Twiller about the affairs of the patroonship ; and at a score of points Van Rensselaer's letters show that the governor was supervising the farms on Manhattan of which the patroon now had pos session and in other ways was protecting his interests. Van Rensselaer charged him not to neglect his duty to the Com pany; on one occasion Van Twiller interfered, as Crol had done, with the shipment of cattle from Manhattan while sev eral times his subordinates at Fort Orange confiscated for the Company's benefit grain grown on the farms of the patroon ; yet naturally it was said, whether justly or not, that the governor favored his uncle too much. It was also said that he did not keep order in New Amsterdam and on certain con vivial occasions, which Captain De Vries describes, was present himself at disorderly scenes. While he fraternized with Eng lish skippers who now and then visited the bay he did not report about them to the Company. He left the harbor un watched at night so that any one could sail up to the fort who chose, as De Vries discovered when he returned from Virginia early in 1636. He did not properly care for the buildings he had put up in his little capital. At Pavonia, at Fort Orange, and on the South River he ordered the erection of others unduly expensive. Although he had a good brick house in the fort he built another for his own use on the Company's Bouwerie No. 1. This farm he cultivated for his own benefit. On the Bossen Bouwerie he started a private tobacco planta tion which the Company's negroes tilled. And without the Company's sanction he bestowed upon himself and others lands in various quarters.
The first settlements known to have been made on Long Island date from this time. On June 16, 1636, Van Twiller issued the first recorded patent for land on the island to Jacobus Van Curler, or Van Corlaer, for the middlemost of three `flats' lying `between the bay of the North River and the East River,' a spot afterwards called New Amersfoort and also Flatlands. For the westernmost of the three flats he soon gave a patent to Andries Hudde who was a member of his council and Wolfert Gerritsen, also called Van Couwen hoven, who had acted as Van Rensselaer's agent on Man hattan; for the most easterly he issued a patent to himself; and in 1637 he took for himself two of the islands in the East River and Nooten (Governor's) Island in the harbor. This last was more valuable for his purposes than may be thought, for Buttermilk Channel, navigable now by large vessels, was then a shallow strait across which cattle could be driven from Long Island.
For the West India Company the governor bought from the Indians certain islands to be used as trading posts near the mouth of the Thames River and in Narragansett Bay. One of those in the bay is still called Dutch Island. To another, Prudence Island, New York did not renounce its claim as the heir of New Netherland until the year 1673. Fisher's Island close to the Connecticut shore it still pos sesses.
The history of a notable piece of land on Manhattan now begins. In 1636 Van Twiller granted thirty-one morgens (about sixty acres), between the Company's Bouwerie No. 1 and the swampy ground farther north where Canal Street was eventually laid out, to Roelof Janssen whom Van Rensselaer had sent with his wife and children to Rensselaerswyck in 1630. The family may have been Swedes, for it is recorded that they came from Masterland' and there was a small island called Maesterland off the southwestern coast of Swe den while no place of similar name has been identified in the Low Countries. At Rensselaerswyck Janssen was put in charge of a farm. His name is still borne by a brook that falls into the Hudson from the east. The reason why he moved to Manhattan is not clear. He died soon afterwards; his wife became the second wife of Domine Bogardus; and the farm she inherited was then called the Domine's Bouw erie. United in early English days to the Company's Bouwerie it formed part of the famous tract which, bestowed in the time of Queen Anne upon Trinity Church, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was the subject of repeated and hotly contested actions at law in which Annetje's name conspicuously figured. Therefore she is still well remembered, not as Jufvrouw Bogardus but as Annetje or Anneke Jans. A daughter of the midwife for whom Van Twiller built a house, she was an illiterate person who used a mark or rudely printed letters in signing her name.
Besides his farm on Long Island Jacobus Van Corlaer ob tained one on the eastern shoulder of Manhattan where the name Corlaer's Hook survives, and another on the fertile flats, then called Muscoota and afterwards the Harlem Flats, which formed the northeastern corner of the island. This appears to have been the first plantation where the town of Harlem was founded in later, years. Close by settled two sons of Jesse De Forest, Henry and Isaac, who made the voyage in the year 1637 on the ship Rensselaerswyck, Henry serving as supercargo and mate. In the spring they were joined by their sister and her husband, Jean La Montagne, or De la Montagne, a French physician who in 1621 had set his name to the round-robin presented by Jesse De Forest to the Eng lish ambassador at the Hague. The lands of this family in cluded part of the present Mt. Morris Park. Henry De For est's house is described as 42 feet long, 18 feet broad, and surrounded by a strong palisade, of course for protection against the Indians. He died before the end of the year. From Isaac who soon moved into New Amsterdam, had four teen children, and lived until 1674 all the American De Forests are descended.
All these settlers on Manhattan held their lands for a time simply by permission of the director-general. No land patents were needed as the whole island had been bought from the Indians for the Company, and no ground briefs were as yet bestowed.
In spite of these signs of activity New Amsterdam was retrograding rather than improving. Trade being closely fettered and agriculture not properly encouraged, the settler's best resource was illicit traffic with the Indians. Food grew very scarce, partly because there was dearth in Virginia and among the English newcomers in the Connecticut Valley. In 1637, when the crops and the supplies from Holland seem alike to have fallen short, many persons might have per ished in New Amsterdam but for the food that the Indians brought in.
Meanwhile the Company was drawing no profits from the province; the furs it received did not cover its outlays. Its employees, it had reason to believe, were cutting down its receipts by smuggling, and certainly they were injuring its prospects by the disputes which year by year grew hotter. Domine Bogardus reproached the governor, even from the pulpit, for his loose ways of life and called him a `child of the devil, a consummate villain.' Van Dincklagen, the new and learned schout-fiscal, far from proving a help to Van Twiller, brought such accusations against him that the governor re torted with counter charges and sent him back to Holland. And the quarrel was triangular, for when Van Dincklagen reached Holland he complained to the church authorities that he had been excommunicated by the ' machinations ' of Bogardus and to escape them had had to flee to the wilderness where, lacking all other food, he had subsisted for days together on `the grass of the field.' Naturally, the directors at Amsterdam were bewildered by the conflicting complaints. But they were clear in their minds about a grievance of their own : in spite of his uncle's sage counsels Van Twiller did not properly report upon the affairs of his province. It seems to have been chiefly for this reason that he was superseded. In Septem ber, 1637, his successor, William Kieft, set sail with two ships for Manhattan.
Writing at this time to his nephew, Van Rensselaer said that he had not heard from him since the departure of the ship of which he was now daily expecting the return, evidently the Rensselaerswyck which had brought out the De Forests.
He was looking for Van Twiller's return by the first convey ance so that he might clear himself of the ' unbearable sland ers' with which Van Dincklagen and his wife were besmirching and defaming him `through the whole land before persons great and small, clerical and lay,' so deceiving many that they believed Van Twiller would not dare to come back. Nor was he the only one accused. Van Dincklagen's wife was doing her best to involve the minister, so it was important that he also should return to justify himself. In fact : No one is overlooked, great or small, especially those who have been of the council or held any office, so it seems that in that country they are altogether rascals and godless people. . . .
The directors, said Van Rensselaer, were now intending diligently to take in hand the affairs of the province, for by an increase of their capital they had got money which they `really lacked before.' They were planning 'some freedoms' but delaying until they should get from the new director general accounts of the condition and opportunities of the country. Van Rensselaer had had several talks with him and had recommended his own colony to his care; and Kieft had accepted the charge 'so far as his oath and commission can allow,' a reservation of which the patroon approved. `Very discreet commissioners for the affairs of New Nether land' had now taken office and, although they transacted their business secretly, Van Rensselaer hoped that matters would greatly improve.
In 1636 the West India Company had put its South Ameri can and West Indian possessions in charge of the ablest and most exalted person it could find, Count John Maurice of Nassau, grandnephew of William the Silent. In 1637 it administered the oath as director-general of New Netherland to a commercial adventurer of bad repute. William Kieft, it was said, had failed as a merchant in France; and when sent to Turkey to redeem Christian captives he had kept some of the ransom money and let the Turks keep some of the Christians. No estimate of his character or commentary upon his acts as governor has come down to us except from the hand of his enemies, but one reason for this seems to be that he had, and deserved to have, few friends. The course of events shows that he was obstinate, domineering, and cruel; in the end by treating the Indians badly he proved himself the `executioner' against whom the historian Wassenaer had lodged a prophecy. Not until this time was Wouter Van Twiller's greatest merit as governor appreciated: he always treated the savage's well and faithfully kept the compacts he made with them. A plaintive cry sounded on Manhattan when Kieft had been for a few years in office, a cry for help in the desolation he had wrought a cry from Indian lips for Wouter Wouter Sailing in September, Kieft's vessels wintered at Bermuda and reached New Amsterdam late in March, 1638. To be secretary of the province the Company had promoted its bookkeeper, Cornelis Van Tienhoven. A year later it sent out Cornelis Van der Huyghens as schout-fiscal. Ulrich Lupold, who had served in this office since Van Dincklagen's departure, Kieft then made commissary of stores. Coun cillors the new governor was permitted to choose for himself. He chose only one, the newly arrived Huguenot physician Dr. La Montagne. To him, it was said, Kieft gave one vote, to himself he granted two; and he rarely asked any one else to aid in the deliberations of this peculiar council but gov erned by edicts which his people thought too severe as well as too autocratic. On the other hand, he did not drink, he was not weak or idle, and although he sometimes lied he spoke the truth when he wrote home just after his arrival that he had entered upon a very arduous task. Van Twiller's new buildings were falling into decay; only one windmill was working; almost all the Company's vessels were worthless; its salaried servants were smuggling; its neglected farms had gone back to the condition of common lands, and their cattle had 'passed into other hands.' Van Twiller, his uncle soon wrote to Kieft, was 'so taken' with New Netherland that it would be hard to keep him at home when he returned to clear himself of the charges against him Perhaps for this reason, perhaps because he was afraid to return, he did not go at once despite another summons from Van Rensselaer. He leased from Kieft the Company's Bouwerie No. 1 and got a grant of a hundred morgens near the Bossen Bouwerie; from Jacobus Van Corlaer he leased or bought his ' flat' on Long Island; and through the summer, as the records show, he was diligently trading in cattle and tobacco. Letters of Van Rensselaer's say, however, that by the spring of 1639 he had returned and, showing all his ' books and papers' to the directors, had wholly satisfied them re garding every point upon which they had accused him, while Van Dincklagen and his wife, who had slandered him so shamefully, had received 'such a reply' that in future they would hardly molest the Company or its officials. From various resolutions passed by the States General it appears that Van Dincklagen repeatedly complained to this body about the wrongs the Company had done him, especially by permitting Van Twiller to remove him illegally from office and by refusing to pay him the salary due for three years of service as fiscal in New Netherland. Finding his complaints just, several times the States General ordered the Company to satisfy him so that they might be relieved from his 'trouble some but well-founded solicitations.' As late as the year 1642 his demands had not been satisfied, but eventually the Company again promoted him to office in New Netherland. As for Domine Bogardus, when he asked permission of the church authorities 'to depart for Fatherland to defend him self against Lubbert Van Dincklage ' they decided that he must remain at his post `so that the Church of God may in crease more and more every day.' Although Van Twiller did not return to New Netherland he long held his property there, Governor Kieft acting for a time as his agent. After the death of Kiliaen Van Rensselaer
he was actively engaged in the management of the patroon ship. Nothing is known of the fate of the ' books and papers' he took to Holland, evidently the official records of his ad ministration. The affidavit, already cited, in which Cornelis Melyn told about the purchase of Staten Island by Governor Minuit, says that he got the information in writing from Van Twiller at Amsterdam in 1640, and that Van Twiller copied it for him from the `purchase deed or bill of sale' ; and to the affidavit is attached a copy of an official memorandum of the sale bearing the same date and the same signatures as the patent, still preserved in this country, which Minuit issued to Michiel Paauw. All this makes it seem at least possible that Van Twiller carried away not only his own official papers but also those covering the administrations of his predecessors, Minuit and Crol, which have likewise disappeared.
Except for the few land patents of earlier days the existing records of New Netherland as we have them now, broken by numerous gaps, begin with Governor Kieft's administration in April, 1638. Council minutes, ordinances, and the register of the secretary of the province, which includes records of court proceedings, are preserved in the archives of the State and calendared in published volumes called Calendar of His torical Manuscripts. The existing official correspondence of the administrators of the province does not begin until the year 1646.
The earliest extant ordinances consist of rules for improv ing the morals of the community which Kieft at once caused to be copied out in plain script and affixed to the trees and posts of New Amsterdam. The very first forbade all free persons to trade in furs except as the Charter of Freedoms prescribed, and all employees of the Company from the highest to the lowest to do so in any manner. Some of the others were rules for the conduct of the court, which was to sit every Thursday; curfew regulations for sailors and for the Com pany's servants; rules against leaving Manhattan without a permit, against selling arms to the savages, against idleness and slackness in working hours, 'rebellion, theft, false swear ing, and calumny,' and `carnal intercourse with heathens, blacks, or other persons,' and rules for limiting that great promoter of evil, the traffic in strong drink.
According to customs of state supervision which had given Dutch goods a high repute in all quarters of the world the new governor soon issued an ordinance prescribing how to bacco, now a staple product of the province, should be cured, and directing that all intended for export should be brought to the Company's warehouse to be 'examined, marked, and weighed' as well as assessed for the export duty. Such was the beginning in 1638 of a system or, more accurately, a succession of local inspection laws which continued until the constitution of 1846 was adopted for the State of New York.
It was impossible now for the government of England to ignore the fact that a Dutch colony was firmly seated between its own northern and southern plantations. In the spring of 1635, when it was trying to wipe out the charter of Massa chusetts, it was informed that a Dutch ship bound for New Netherland was lying at Cowes in the hope that by the liberal offers of the West India Company English emigrants might be attracted. Neither in this nor in any other Dutch vessel, the privy council ordered, should British subjects be per mitted to go to 'the Hollanders' plantation in Hudson's River'; and in 1637 the king strictly forbade the governor and council of Virginia to trade with their Dutch neighbors. It need not be believed, however, that this prohibition inter fered at all with the traffic which De Vries had opened at the time of his first visit to Virginia and Governor Harvey had continued to encourage, or with that which had since sprung up with Lord Baltimore's colony of Maryland.
It was not by the Virginians that, as Kieft reported in the first despatches he sent home, the South River was again in vaded. It was by a party of traders and colonists sent from Sweden by a Swedish-Dutch association in which the leading spirits were two persons long connected with the Dutch West India Company Samuel Blommaert who from the first had been one of its most influential members, and Peter Minuit whom it had recently dismissed from its service. The declared purpose of this association was to plant colonies on such parts of the North American coast as the English, French, and Dutch had not yet occupied, but the first objec tive point was the South River where Swanendael, in which Blommaert was interested, had so quickly perished and where the West India Company's Fort Nassau was now garrisoned by not more than twenty men.
This fact was not made known in Holland. Van Rens selaer's Letter-Book shows that in December, 1637, Minuit's ship had been forced to take shelter from storms in the Texel and that the patroon sent on board of it six colonists and some goods for Rensselaerswyck, consigned to Van Twiller. Assuming that Minuit was bound first for Manhattan he wrote to Van Twiller that presumably he would 'show a commission there' but that he himself had no share in the enterprise. Later he wrote to Kieft that Minuit's destination was un known to him; all he could make out was that he was in tending for Virginia whence he was to send on to Manhattan the passengers and goods that Van Rensselaer had confided to him.
Of course Minuit did not touch at Manhattan and show his commission there. Sailing late in the year 1637 he entered the South River in March, 1638, at about the time when Governor Kieft arrived at New Amsterdam, and bought of the Indians lands on the western shore some fifteen miles below Fort Nassau. Questioned by the Dutch commander he said at first that he was on his way to the West Indies and had merely stopped for wood and water. But, undeterred by a formal protest from Governor Kieft warning him not to encroach on the rights of the West India Company, he soon began to build, near the present site of Wilmington, a trading house and a fort called Christina in honor of the young queen of Sweden. Here the little band of colonists planted the first successful settlement in what has become the State of Dela ware. During the summer the ships went home with cargoes of furs. The West India Company protested against the in trusion, but the Swedish government stood back of the new company and the States General were no more willing to embroil themselves with Sweden than with England.
One of the colonists whom Van Rensselaer sent out with Minuit was Arendt Van Curler, or Van Corlaer, a youth of eighteen who was to serve as assistant to the schout of the patroonship. He was a cousin or nephew of Van Rensselaer, whether or no a relative of the Jacob Van Corlaer of New Amsterdam does not appear. In after years he won for him self a peculiarly honorable name as a white man whom the Iroquois fully trusted and deeply respected, and who had more influence over them than any one else acquired except, a full century later, Sir William Johnson. To Van Corlaer's hand has been attributed a journal covering parts of the years 1634 and 1635 which gives the earliest known account of the Five Nations, describing the `castles' and the customs of the Mohawks and including a vocabulary of their language; but the Van Rensselaer papers prove that Van Corlaer saw New Netherland for the first time in 1638.
By this time it had grown evident in Holland that something must be clone to improve the condition of New Netherland. The English, it was feared, might seize its northern, the Swedes its southern, parts. The West India Company, still in trouble about its subsidies, was sending out no settlers ; `free colonists' were no longer offering themselves, for owing to the ravages of the plague in Holland every active hand could find employment there; and for the same reason the patroons could not hope for tenants.
Prompted by appeals from the stockholders of the Com pany, early in 1638 the States General ordered an inquiry into the state of the province which, it was plain, the directors had neglected. Asked whether they might not well resign control of it and place it 'at the disposal of the States Gen eral' they refused unless they should thereby 'derive profit,' saying that they still hoped for profit from the province itself.
Yet they could not people it, said the report upon the inquiry, because they could not agree among themselves, and so 'a plan of throwing it open must be considered.' Accordingly the Amsterdam Chamber presented a plan drawn up by De Laet. Embodying a scheme for the govern ment but none for the colonization of the province and re laxing in no degree the Company's monopolistic grasp, it was rejected by the States General. So was another plan, for the benefit of patroons, called a New Project evidently an elaborate scheme which, although it bears no date in the draft that has been preserved, is sufficiently dated by a reference to the lands recently covered by the patroonships of Pavonia and Swanendael as reserved with Manhattan for the Company's own behoof. The greedy spirit shown in this New Project explains much better than Kiliaen Van Rens selaer's letters why there was strong opposition in the councils of the Company to the system of patroonships. It says that patroons should be allowed to trade everywhere in all kinds of commodities including furs, paying duties to the Company but aided by it in many specified ways and relieved forever from the need to pay any kind of internal tax. They should be supplied by the Company with negro slaves and by the States General with bond-servants from among the paupers and vagrants of the fatherland. They should be given full power to rule their colonies without supervision by the authorities on Manhattan or in Holland and yet be entitled each to keep at Manhattan an agent who should be ex officio a member of the director-general's council. They should have even larger estates than had thus far been granted them and a longer time in which to plant intended colonies. More over, said one astonishing clause of the New Project, no `private and impecunious persons' should be permitted to secure land in New Netherland; all such should be compelled to put themselves 'under the jurisdiction of the respective Lords Patroons.' The States General now directed that a committee composed of delegates from their own body and from the Amsterdam Chamber should at once reconsider the whole question of the colonizing of the province. By this means a practicable plan was framed and adopted, undoubtedly a plan the draft of which has been preserved with the draft of De Laet's. It did not, as has sometimes been said, grant free trade with New Netherland although at about the same time the Com pany freely opened trade with its Brazilian possessions. But it gave certain trading opportunities to private persons who had had none before, put the fur trade on the same basis as traffic in other commodities, assured the private possession of land, and quashed all schemes for excluding free colonists from the province. All inhabitants of the Republic or of a friendly country, it said, who were 'disposed to take up and cultivate' lands in New Netherland might 'convey thither . . . such cattle, merchandise, and property' as they should wish and 'receive the returns' they or their agents should `obtain therefor in those parts'; but they were to do this only in the Company's ships, and in addition to freight dues were to pay in Holland ten per cent upon the value of all merchandise thence despatched and at New Amsterdam fifteen per cent upon all exported colonial products. To encourage agriculture the director-general was to bestow upon every immigrant as much land as he could properly cultivate, giving a 'proper deed' for it and after a specified time collecting ground-rents in kind for the Company. Fail ure to cultivate would mean forfeiture of the land; and `to obviate all confusion and losses' no one was to hold any lands or houses that had not 'come through the hands of the Company.' All intending settlers were to pledge themselves in writing to abide by these regulations. As seems to have been customary in times when the length of a voyage could not be even approximately foreseen, transportation was to be paid for at so much a day, the rates being fixed at one guilder 'for passage and board in the stateroom,' twelve stivers in the 'cabin,' and eight stivers 'between decks.' Van Rensselaer was not at all sure that in so far relaxing its monopolies the Company had done wisely. There would be `a great deal of fraud,' he wrote to Governor Kieft ; al though at first there would be 'something of a rush' and duties and freights might augment, this would soon cease; and the Company's agents would have such small opportunities to make profits that they would ' yearly fall behind.' Certainly the immediate result was something like a, 'rush' an infusion of life, an increase of activity, such as the prov ince had not seen before. Kieft imported from the West Indies horses, cattle, negroes, and salt. The Company be stirred itself to send out settlers. Some of its employees ob tained their discharge and began, lawfully now, to traffic as well as to plant on their own account. And at many places on and near Manhattan many acres were taken up for cul tivation.
The Company had probably instructed Kieft to give deeds for lands already held in the province, for before it framed its new regulations he issued an ordinance granting his 'free people,' in answer to their prayers, permission to take out patents for their lands upon condition that they would pay as rent 'one couple of capons for a house and lot' and, after the end of ten years from the time of acquisition, tenths of `all crops which God the Lord shall grant to the field.' The earliest of these ground briefs that has been preserved, the oldest title-deed to land on Manhattan, is dated June 20, 1638, and confirms the title of Andries Hudde to one hundred morgens 'behind Curler's land' on the Muscoota Flats, part of the De Forest farm which Hudde had obtained by mar riage with Henry De Forest's newly made widow. A little older than this title-deed is the first recorded lease for land in New Amsterdam, given for `two lots' on April 19 to Jan Jansen Dam, Jan Vinje's stepfather.
On the western shore of the North River Kieft granted for 550 guilders to Abram Planck, or Ver Planck, a son of the .chout of Rensselaerswyck, the tract called Paulus Hoek, part of the defunct patroonship of Pavonia. Here also he leased a farm to Jan Evertsen Bout for the promised rent of one fourth of the produce, and a little later another tract to a farmer named Teunissen who cleared and fenced the land, stocked it with cattle, sheep, goats, and swine, planted or chards, and built a brew-house.
Across the East River the Long Island shore was soon dotted with farms. At its southeastern corner, opposite Coney Island, a man named Anthony Jansen, who was called Van Salee or sometimes 'the Turk' and is thought to have been a semi-Dutchman from Morocco, settled at a spot which, then named 's Gravesande after a town in Holland, became Gravesend when a few years later a party of English immi grants obtained it.
In 1639 another plantation was started on the Muscoota Flats by Jochem Pictersen Kuyter, a Dane who had served as a naval commander in the East Indies. By special per mission of the West India Company he made the voyage to New Netherland in an armed ship chartered for the purpose, bringing his family, many head of cattle, and a number of herdsmen. He named his farm Zegendael, Vale of Blessing, but it was commonly called Jochem Pietersen's Flat. An Indian trail ran back of this group of farms but of course the journeyings to and from New Amsterdam were commonly by water. Nearer New Amsterdam on the East River shore, at Deutel (now Turtle) Bay, Thomas Hall, the first English New Netherlander, obtained a half share in a tobacco farm.
For the Company Kieft bought from the Indians more lands on Long Island and the first secured on the mainland north of Manhattan in the region afterwards called West chester. Here Jonas Bronck, another Dane who came in company with Kuyter, was the pioneer settler. The wide tract that he called Emaus was also known as Bronck's Land; when this name was lost in the name Morrisania the pioneer's still clung to a little river; and it is now borne by Bronx Park and by one of the boroughs of Greater New York. A drawing indorsed 'The plot of Bronckx his land' is in the State archives, and so is a contract, dated in July, 1639, which shows how the farm was cleared. Bronck leased it to two farmers who promised to plant it with to bacco and maize, every two years breaking a certain amount of new ground and surrendering to Bronck for the planting of grain the part previously broken, paying no rent mean while but engaging to repay the money that Bronck had advanced for their passage from Europe.
Before returning to Holland in the summer of 1636 Cap tain De Vries had asked Van Twiller to 'register' Staten Island for him as he wished to return and plant a colony upon it. At the end of the year 1638 De Vries came again, in a Company's ship, with a few persons 'in his service' whom he settled on the island. But, discouraged by the fact that one of the directors of the Company who had promised to send him more settlers failed to do so, he leased this bouwcrie and bought lands of the Indians, he relates, in a beautiful region called Tappaen on the west bank of the river a few miles north of Fort Amsterdam. Naming this bouwerie Vriessendael, by the end of the year 1640 he 'began to take hold of it.' A paper called the Journal of New Netherland which was written by or for Governor Kieft says that a number of per sons whose time as bond-servants in Virginia had expired were now attracted to Manhattan by its repute as a good place to grow tobacco. Other Englishmen came from New England so many in all that in 1639 Kieft prescribed for such residents an oath of allegiance to the States General the Prince of Orange, and the West India Company which pledged them . . . to follow the Director or any of his council wherever they shall lead; faithfully to give instant warning of any treason or other detriment to this country that shall come to their knowledge; to assist to the utmost of their powers in defending with their treasure and their blood the inhabitants thereof against all enemies.
The Connecticut Valley was now hopelessly lost to the Dutch although for many years they refused to recognize the fact. By 1637 it had eight hundred English settlers including one hundred and fifty men of fighting age some estimates say two hundred and fifty. They had not, how ever, been living in comfort or in peace, for the Pequots were aroused against all Englishmen by Endicott's fierce treat ment of the natives on Block Island and along the shores of the Thames. In 1637 the Valley settlers, so harassed that they could hardly grow food enough to keep themselves from starvation, took up arms in earnest, aided by Massachusetts and Plymouth and led by Captain John Mason and Captain John Underhill. Near the Mystic River they defeated the Pequots and, following them westward, beyond the Connecti cut they crushed and dispersed the tribe. The Dutch were not involved in this Pequot War except as they figured in an act of mercy performed on behalf of their rivals. The Pequots having captured two English girls and carried them to the Thames where the Dutchmen had a trading post, says Winthrop's history, Van Twiller . . . sent a sloop . . . to redeem the two English maids by what risk soever though it were with breach of their peace with the Pequods. The sloop offered largely for their ransom but nothing would be ac cepted. So the Dutch, having many Pequods on board, stayed six of them (the rest leaped overboard) and with them redeemed the two maids. . . .
John Underhill, who wrote an account of the war, tells the story differently. He says, indeed, that Van Twiller ordered a vessel to rescue the girls even if thus the Dutch should `hazard their peace' with the Pequots, but that the deed was actually accomplished by a Dutch skipper who stipulated that as a reward he should be allowed, in spite of the war, to continue to traffic along the Thames.
The defeat of the Pequots did not mean harmony in the Valley. The towns quarrelled among themselves about boundaries and about tolls exacted at the mouth of the river. Plymouth, Governor Bradford explains, felt deeply aggrieved because the founders of Windsor had planted themselves too near its own post. The land, said the Windsor men, was 'the Lord's waste' `waste' meaning in England the portion of land where all the freemen of a community had equal rights of pasturage; nevertheless, they would pay the Plymouth men if they would give up their post. Their `unkindness,' says Bradford, was not soon forgotten; as the people of Plymouth were the first to sit down by the Connecticut they deserved to have held it 'and not by friends to have been thrust out as in a sort they were.' On the other hand, Massachusetts was much displeased because all of those who went westward from its settlements except the founders of Springfield had, in spite of their promises, left its jurisdiction and established an independent commonwealth, the people of Hartford, Wethersfield, and Windsor organizing in 1636 the court or legislature of Con necticut and in 1639 adopting the constitution known as the Fundamental Orders. So angry, in fact, were the people of the Bay Colony that in 1638 Thomas Hooker complained to their governor on behalf of his own colony, saying that any one who wished to remove to it was looked upon in Mas sachusetts 'as a Turk or as a man scarcely worthy to live.' And a letter written soon afterwards by Lord Say and Sele to Winthrop shows that the people of the Valley and the people of the Bay bitterly accused each other of using, in America and in England, disparaging words and underhand tactics to advance their own at the expense of their rivals' interests.
In 1639 when Captain De Vries visited the Connecticut he found that close to Fort Good Hope, which was held by less than two score soldiers, the English had built a little town (Hartford) with a fine church and more than a hundred houses. As instructed by Director Kieft he entered a pro test, telling the English commander that 'it was wrong to take by force the Company's land which it had bought and paid for.' Although the Dutch had been there many years, said the Englishman, they had done 'scarcely anything,' and it was a sin to let such good land lie idle.
From the banks of the Connecticut the Englishmen were casting their eyes westward toward River Mauritius itself. The land between these two rivers, wrote one Israel Stoughton to the governor of Massachusetts, was 'too good for any but friends.' In 1638 Theophilus Eaton, a wealthy merchant, and John Davenport, a non-conformist minister who had served among the English refugees at Rotterdam, came from England by way of Boston with a party composed chiefly of well-to-do Londoners and, without grant or title except from the Indians, took possession of a spot beyond the Connecticut which Adriaen Block had named Rooden berg (Red Mount) because of great basaltic rocks that rose steeply from the plain. Here they laid the foundations of New Haven and in 1639, De Vries recorded, were building fifty houses. Even nearer than this to the Dutch there were English settlements at Stratford just beyond the Housa tonic, at Norwalk, at Stamford, and at Greenwich only thirty miles from Manhattan. And all that Governor Kieft could do was to buy more lands from the red men and compel the few people at Greenwich to acknowledge his jurisdiction. Their neighbors were within the jurisdiction of New Haven which, setting up at once a government of its own, remained for a generation independent of Connecticut.
In 1639 Lion Gardiner, the Scotchman who had built the fort at Saybrook, obtained from the Indians an island lying between the eastern points of Long Island which he called the Isle of Wright, now Gardiner's Island. From James Farrett, whom the Earl of Stirling had sent out as his agent, he secured a title that gave him manorial rights. His settlement was the first planted by a subject of the king of England within the present borders of New York; and his daughter Elizabeth, born in 1641, was the first child of British blood who is known to have been born within these limits Her mother, it may be said, was a Dutchwoman whom Gardiner had married while serving in Holland as a military engineer under the Prince of Orange. His estate passed for eight generations from father to son and is still owned by descendants of his name. In his latter years he wrote a Relation of the Pequot Wars, which had occurred while he was in command at Saybrook.
The Dutch had not specifically claimed Gardiner's Island but they considered that the whole of Long Island belonged to them. Its eastern parts they had not bought of the na tives, but all between the East River and Oyster Bay Van Twiller and Kieft had purchased. Therefore when Farrett, coming to New Amsterdam in 1640, asserted Stirling's right to the whole island, Kieft arrested him and turned him out of the province. Soon afterwards a party of emigrants from Massachusetts tried, as authorized by Farrett, to settle near Oyster Bay, the valuable spot where wampum was most largely manufactured, and as a first step threw down and insulted the Dutch sign of possession, the arms of the States General. By Kieft's command a few soldiers led by Secretary Van Tienhoven brought six of the intruders to Manhattan. After a few days' imprisonment they signed a promise to quit the jurisdiction of the Dutch. They then settled toward the eastern end of Long Island, founding Southampton; near by a party from New Haven had recently founded Southold; and with these enterprises Kieft did not try to interfere. Southold remained for a while under the control of New Haven. Southampton was independent, for Farrett made no effort to establish any kind of jurisdiction on Stir ling's behalf.
In 1641, when the fall of Stafford and Laud had encouraged the enemies of King Charles on both sides of the sea, Massa chusetts sent a little embassy to England. One of its mem bers, the Reverend Hugh Peters, afterwards Cromwell's chaplain, who had lived in Holland and spoke the Dutch tongue, carried a letter of credence to the West India Com pany with instructions to ask upon what terms it would sell its ' plantation' or would unite in `advancing the great work' in America, and to urge that it would refrain from `molesting' the English on the Connecticut who were willing to submit their title to the judgment of impartial persons, and that it would . . . consider the inhabitants of New England, who number about 40,000, a people covetous on their side of peace and of the propagation of the Gospel above all worldly things, and no ways desirous of causing the Company either trouble or loss.
Hugh Peters visited Holland but nothing came of his in structions. At the same time Lord Say and Sele addressed a memorial to the Dutch ambassadors in England complain ing about the state of things on the Connecticut where there were two thousand English and only `five or six Dutch at most,' yet where the English had used no violence and the Dutch should be told to demean themselves in a ' peaceable and neighborly manner.' The States General instructed their ambassadors to explain that New Netherland was so weak it would make no trouble, adding for their private ear that neither would England make trouble, being `rent in twain' by the rebellion against its king. Both these predic tions were verified. Without hindrance and without help the Connecticut settlers were able to follow part of the ad vice given in 1642 by Sir William Boswell the English repre sentative at the Hague. Writing home about the encroach ments of the Dutch in America Boswell said that he himself should be instructed to approach the States General in the matter while the Dutch ambassadors in England should be made sensible of the harm that would certainly befall the West India Company should quarrels arise and spread from those quarters. In the meantime the New Englanders should not forbear . . . to put forward their plantations and crowd on, crowding the Dutch out of the places where they have occupied but without hos tility or any act of violence.
By 1641 only a field of thirty acres back of the Dutchmen's Fort Good Hope was left to them of all the wide easterly region they had thought to make their own, and even this they did not possess in peace. The Hartford people tried to seize it, destroyed the crops, carried away horses and cattle, beat the Dutchmen, and blocked up their fort with palisades so that it could be entered only from the water side. Tired of protesting over and over again in words, and stung to disobedience of the Company's orders, Kieft directed Councillor La Montagne to go with fifty men to relieve the little garrison and to `curb the insolence of the English there abouts' but was forced by the outbreak of Indian troubles near Manhattan to countermand the order. In the spring of 1642 he forbade his people to buy, directly or indirectly, the produce of the stolen land where, as the ordinance recites dramatically and in detail, the Englishmen had left no sort of `cruelty, insolence, nor violence' unused while the Hol landers could only prove by their conduct that they were ' better Christians' than those who 'go about there clothed with such outward show.' Denying all charges of truculence the Hartford people said that the Dutch garrison received fugitives from their justice, helped their prisoners to break jail, bought goods that had been stolen from them, and sold guns to the Indians. Asking counsel, however, from Massachusetts, they got the advice to proceed more moderately as, for example, by letting the Dutchmen have more land than their remnant of thirty acres. Then they sent commissioners to Manhattan to buy Fort Good Hope. Kieft had no authority to sell it, and they refused his offer of a lease.
From a third source now from New England the Dutch possession of the South River was threatened in 1641. In the spring of this year a ship put in at Manhattan bear ing twenty families sent from New Haven by a 'Delaware Company' which had been formed to trade in furs and em braced, it is said, almost all the chief residents of the town. Through their leader the intending settlers gave Kieft a pledge that unless they found unappropriated lands they would establish themselves under the government of New Netherland and take the oath of allegiance. Nevertheless, when they reached the river they bought of the Indians, who, here as elsewhere, were ready enough to sell their acres more than once, a tract of land within the Dutch territory; and the general court of New Haven decided that they should remain there 'in combination with this town.' Soon after planting his Swedish colony in this same neighborhood Peter Minuit had died, probably in the West Indies on his way back to Europe, while his colonists were so discouraged that they resolved to remove to Manhattan. In 1640 and 1641, however, they were strengthened and heartened by the arrival of more settlers some of whom the Swedish Company had been permitted to embark in Holland. Now, when Kieft sent two vessels from Manhattan to compel the Englishmen `to depart directly in peace,' the Swedes gave the Dutchmen their aid. Brought first to Manhattan the intruders were sent back to New Haven. One who still persisted in trading on the river was soon afterwards arrested in New Amsterdam and compelled to pay duties on his cargo of furs. Thus New Haven reaped from its costly enterprise only outraged pride and a large money loss; and it long remembered the fact as a bitter grievance against the New Netherlanders.
In 1642 Queen Christina of Sweden sent out to govern her colony an old soldier named John Prinz a man of brave size,' wrote Captain De Vries, ' who weighed over four hun dred pounds.' He was instructed to maintain friendship with the Dutch but to 'shut up' the river so that no one could trade there for furs except as agent for the Swedish company. Thus was firmly planted the colony called New Sweden, the only one that Sweden ever established in America.