INTERNAL AFFAIRS Hampered, distressed, and threatened though it was, New Netherland thrived during the latter part of Stuy vesant's administration. Between 1647 and 1652, while the people were struggling for a measure of self-government, no new bouwerie, it was said, was planted on Manhattan; but energy revived with the grant of municipal privileges, the relaxation of monopolies, and the impulse to emigration given in Holland by the efforts of Van der Donek and the activity of the printing press.
The city began modestly to deserve its name. In 1656, when the first survey and 'plot map' of it were made by Captain De Coninck, a ship-master in the employ of the West India Company, it contained one hundred and twenty houses. In 1660 another survey, made by order of the city magistrates by Jacques Cortelyou who had been a tutor in Van Werck hoven's family and was now the surveyor for the government, showed three hundred and forty-two houses with fifteen hun dred persons living below the transinsular wall. In the New York Public Library there is a manuscript list of these houses in the handwriting of Nicasius De Sille, and with it a list of the various `places' in the province fortresses, towns, and separate `colonies,' twenty-one in all. Stuyvesant sent Cortelyou's map to the Company, writing : . . . in case you should be inclined to have it engraved and pub lished we thought it advisable to send you also a small sketch of the city, drawn in perspective by Sieur Augustine Heerman three or four years ago ; or perhaps you will hang it up in some place or other there.
Neither of these early maps, it seems, was published. But Herrman's drawing was probably the original sketch for that view of New Amsterdam, known as the second, which was first printed as an adjunct to the Visscher and Van der Donek maps.
At this time the province was thought to contain ten thousand inhabitants, six or seven thousand of them Dutch. The number was not large compared with the seventy-five or eighty thousand considered a low estimate for the English colonies in 1660, yet it shows that by continued immigration and the prolific increase of the early settlers the population had quintupled since the departure of Governor Kieft thirteen years before. In Canada less than six thousand people were counted in 1662.
In 1661 Director Stuyvesant had bought from the West India Company for 6400 guilders one of its bouweries and there built for himself a large country house. As extended by his immediate descendants the property stretched, to use modern terms, from Fifth to Seventeenth Streets and from the East River westward to an irregular line running near Fourth Avenue. After the Indian raid of 1655, when the governor seriously addressed himself to the work of con centrating the scattered settlers, he gathered a number who lived north of the Kalck Hoek Pond into a hamlet on the borders of his farm. It was called simply the Bouwerij. The street now called the Bowery was part of the Bowery Road which led from New Amsterdam to the village, much of the way through a dense forest. At his own expense Stuyvesant built a chapel for the villagers on the site where St.-Mark's-in-the-Bowery now stands, near the Cooper In stitute.
In 1658, for the 'promotion of agriculture' and the 'further relief and expansion' of the City of New Amsterdam, the government founded a 'new village or settlement at the end of the island,' on the fertile flatlands where Kuyter and the De Forests had laid out the farms that were afterwards ruined by the Indian raiders, calling it Nieu Haerlem and two years later giving it a town charter which established an 'inferior court of justice.' In 1661 Nieu Haerlem, the Harlem of later days, contained thirty-two male inhabitants, one-half of them Frenchmen or Walloons, and had a clergyman of its own. Among the names of its early settlers are some that are still prominent on Manhattan La Montagne, Tourneur, Le Roy, Brevoort, Bogert, Waldron, Demarest, and Kortright. It was laid out to the east and southeast of the present Mt. Morris Park, the village green lying along the water-front at the foot of the Pleasant Avenue and 124th Street of to-day, and two parallel streets running diagonally westward almost to Third Avenue. Besides a lot in the stockaded village each settler received a farming tract and a stretch of salt meadow, the Dutchmen like the early New Englanders con sidering salt hay indispensable for their cattle as a preventive of ills produced by the New World climate. A map of the year 1807 shows that the Dutch spelling of the name of the village had not then been abandoned.
In 1656 a party of Englishmen received a charter of the Dutch pattern for the place called Rustdorp (Village of Rest) which was also known as Jamaica, a name derived in this instance from the Indian name, meaning beaver, of a neigh boring pond. 'The beaver-pond commonly called Jemaco,' says an entry in the local records. In 1660 Stuyvesant superintended in person the laying out of a town called Boswyck (Bushwick) for a newly arrived party of Frenchmen some of whom soon removed to Flushing where they started the horticultural industries for which the place is still noted. Van Werckhoven had abandoned his colonies at Navesink and Tappaen to establish another on Long Island but came into conflict there with a party of settlers who seem to have been established by Van der Capellen, Cornelis Melyn's associate in his Staten Island patroonship, and returned to Holland leaving his lands in charge of Jacques Cortelyou who founded a village which he called Nieu Utrecht in honor of his patron's birthplace. Both these new towns received charters, and thereafter Breuckelen, New Utrecht, Amers foort (Flatlands), Midwout (Flatbush), and Boswyck were called the Five Dutch Towns to distinguish them from their English neighbors Newtown (Middelburg), Hempstead, Flush ing, Gravesend, and Jamaica. It was not only to secure by concentration the safety of the farmers, it was also to offset the influence of the insubordinate English settlements, that Stuyvesant established the Dutch towns in this Long Island region. Each of them had its own board of schepens to man age its own special affairs but all were under a single schout who presided over their district court. In all the towns the tax of tenths of the produce of the land appears to have been paid not by individuals but by the town as such. Flush ing, for example, paid in 1655 fifty schepels of peas and twenty five of wheat. It is shown by Stuyvesant's reply to some inquiring New Englanders that any one, meaning apparently any one from outside the province, wishing to settle in a town had to secure the approval of the governor in council and to take the oath of fidelity.
The first Dutch church on Long Island was organized at Midwout in 1654 with Domine Polhemus, who had been a missionary in Brazil, as its pastor. In 1660 Domine Henricus Selyns was installed as the pastor of Breuckelen which then contained one hundred and thirty-four people thirty-one families. Half his salary was guaranteed in Holland. Stuy vesant soon contributed 250 guilders a year on condition that he would come over to preach at the Bowery village on Sun day afternoons. The church in which he ministered at Breuckelen was placed, as often in Dutch towns, in the middle of the village street, now Fulton Street, and stood for a hun dred years.
In 1660 Jacques Cortelyou laid out a stockaded village named Bergen on the bluff 'on the west side of the North River in Pavonia' where the Indians had wrought ruin five years before. In 1661 it received a town charter establish ing a local court, and set up a public school. A licensed ferry ran from Communipau, a little south of the town, to Manhattan. In 1662 a church was built. Thus the first town within the present borders of New Jersey was organized. Upon its lands Bayonne, Jersey City, Hoboken, and Wee hawken eventually grew up. It was incorporated as a city in 1868; and, although it was absorbed in 1872 by its younger but larger neighbor Jersey City, its original plan has never been obliterated. The stockade formed a square, now de fined by portions of Tuers and Idaho Avenues, Newkirk and Vroom Streets, each side of which measured eight hundred feet. In the centre of each side was a gate, and the cross streets, now called Bergen Avenue and Academy Street, which ran between the gates broadened at their intersection into a small central place, now Bergen Square. The settlers lived within the walls and there collected their cattle at night, while their farms, called 'outside gardens,' extended from it in four directions. These arrangements show how thoroughly the New Netherlanders had now learned the need to provide by concentration for their own defence. The Dutch towns on Long Island were similarly planned. In some cases a blockhouse for refuge in case of Indian attacks stood in the central square.
In 1657 Cornelis Melyn, who had found his colony on Staten Island ruined for the second time when he escaped from his Indian captors after the raid of 1655, moved to New Haven where he and his son Jacob took the oath of allegiance. In 1659, being then in Holland, he made a bargain about his patroonship with the West India Company, and soon after wards the Company bought out the interest of his partner, Van der Capellen, who had recently died. A copy of the agreement between Melyn and the Amsterdam Chamber, dated June 13, 1659, and now owned by the New York Historical Society, shows that Melyn made over to the Cham ber the rights in government, privileges, prerogatives, ex emptions, and so forth which 'in quality of patroon' he had held since he received his patent from Governor Kieft, and that the Chamber promised to pay him 1500 guilders and to restore the moneys received for certain houses in New Am sterdam which Stuyvesant had sold to satisfy a judgment against him. For the future he was to live in New Nether land as a `free colonist.' And the Company ordered that Director Stuyvesant should show and maintain toward him full 'amnesty of all strifes, hatreds, and differences' which had existed between them in public or private affairs, and that 'for the future they be good friends.' From other papers in the same collection and from Stuy vesant's correspondence with the West India Company it appears that Melyn understood the agreement to mean that he surrendered only his rights and privileges as patroon, not his lands on Staten Island, while the Company understood that he surrendered everything. As he had already' removed to New Haven he made no attempt to utilize the lands again. From time to time the provincial government granted por tions of them to other persons, notably to Huguenots recently come from Rochelle, and in 1664 it set up for the island an inferior court. Often in after years, however, Cornelis Melyn's heirs tried to regain possession of his property.
By 1658 there were so many Frenchmen, Walloons, and Waldenses in the province that official edicts were put forth in French as well as in Dutch and English. But, willing as the New Netherlanders were to welcome an immigrant of any kin or kind who came to throw in his lot with their own, their hatred for the roving trader steadily deepened their jealousy of the so-called 'Scotch factors and merchants' who came to 'skim the fat' of the fur trade and then to sail away again. Finally they dealt with the trouble according to the precedents of the fatherland: the city magistrates petitioned for the establishment of the borger-recht (burgher-right) which was considered `one of the most important privileges of a well-governed city,' and the governor and council au thorized its establishment by virtue of the `advice and in structions' received three years before from the West India Company, when it reproved Stuyvesant for restricting trade to residents of three years' standing but advised him to restrict it to such persons as would keep an 'open store' in the city.
In the cities of Holland the institution of borger-recht, also called poorter-recht from poort, a gate, had existed for genera tions upon a democratic basis. But at Amsterdam it had been modified in 1652 by a separation into a groote (great) and a kleijne (small) borger-recht; and in this new-fangled form the magistrates of New Amsterdam established it in April, 1657, by order of the governor in council. They them selves, it may be gathered from the words of the ordinance, had asked for the privilege in no such two-fold shape.
The ordinance, issued in February, said that the provin cial government did 'invest, qualify, and favor' with the Great Burgher-Right all its own members, all 'former and actual' magistrates of the city, all its clergymen and militia officers, and the male descendants of all such persons, and with the Small Burgher-Right all persons born in the city, all who had lived there for at least a year and six weeks before the date of the ordinance, and all who had married the native born daughters of burghers. Other persons, if the magistrates approved of them, could buy the greater right for fifty guild ers, the smaller for twenty. Both titles conferred the same commercial privileges : no burgher could have his goods attached for debt, and only burghers could engage in trade or exercise a handicraft or profession within the city limits, the sole exceptions being employees of the West India Com pany and persons briefly tarrying in the city on their way to settle elsewhere in the province. Great Burghers were further more exempt from arrest upon the order of an inferior court, and to them alone was reserved the right to hold important offices. The money paid by those who bought the rights and the small fees paid for registration by those who did not need to buy them were to pass into the city treasury, to be spent 'principally in the strengthening and circumvallation' of the city. Every burgher had to take a special oath of fidelity to the States General, the West India Company, and the 'burgomasters and rulers' of the city. A burgher for feited all his rights if he failed to 'keep fire and light' that is, a residence inside the city's 'gates and walls.' The ordinance which permitted the establishment of burgher right in New Amsterdam is not usually numbered among the charters of the city. But the convention elected in 1829 to revise the then-existing municipal charter called Stuy vesant's ordinance the `original charter of this city' ; and Chancellor Kent also considered it 'a charter' although 'a very limited and imperfect grant.' When it was published by proclamation only twenty per sons claimed or bought the Great Burgher-Right. They included, with a few whose names are less well remembered, General Stuyvesant, Domine Megapolensis and his son, three members of the Kip family, three of the Van Brugh family, two Van Couwenhovens, Hendrick Van Dyck, Martin Cregier, Jan Vinje, and one woman Ragel (Rachel) Van Tienhoven, the widow or deserted wife of Cornelis Van Tien hoven and the sister of Vinje. This list received few addi tions. But at once about two hundred persons, including two or three women and three or four Englishmen, enrolled themselves as Small Burghers, and their number continued to increase.
In 1658, yielding at last to the reiterated demands of the city magistrates, Stuyvesant allowed them to nominate their own successors. Two years later the offices of city and provincial schout were separated and Peter Tonneman, a member of the governor's council, became the first city sheriff properly so called. He was appointed by the West India Company, not by the magistrates as should have been their right. Nevertheless the people of New Amsterdam now had a burgher government which really resembled the 'laudable governments' of its fatherland.
These, wrested in early times from the feudal aristocracy, established in democratic shapes, and then modified in the direction of oligarchy by the influence of a later-born burgher aristocracy and of powerful guilds, differed greatly among themselves. Broadly speaking, however, they were all close corporations. The voice of the people as such was not officially recognized in Holland only the voice of numerous self-perpetuating local magistracies. Yet as the members of these corporations were drawn from the body of the people, were subject like every one else to taxation, assumed no pomp or state, and formed no distinct caste or class, the people regarded them as truly their representatives, their fathers, protectors, and spokesmen. Moreover, they were always, as has been said, under the control of a public opinion free to speak and to print what it chose. John Underhill explained, when the magistrates of Massachusetts were trying to sup press liberty of speech, that while he was in the Low Countries he had always spoken his mind freely, even to 'Count Nassau ' ; and Sir William Temple, who served Charles II as ambassa dor at the Hague, found that the people exercised a 'strange freedom' in speaking 'openly whatever they thought upon all public affairs' in all kinds of places. Nor did they speak in vain. Public opinion, which has been defined as indirect government by numbers, was very powerful in the Dutch Republic although democratic government, which is direct government by numbers, did not exist there. And such was the case in the Dutch city on Manhattan.
In selecting the new members of the city corporation each existing member put a double number of names in nomina tion ; and according to the pluralities thus determined the double list was drawn up which was submitted to the governor in council for a final choice. At once the corporation incurred Stuyvesant's displeasure by saying that no employee of the Company should be eligible; and at once he had to increase by fiat the scanty list of Great Burghers so that all the magis trates might belong to that class. In spite of his efforts, however, and in spite of the low price at which the Great Burgher-Right could be bought, the distinction between the two classes soon lapsed out of mind. Even in the elder Amsterdam it was abolished after existing for about twelve years.
As thus reduced almost immediately to a democratic basis and modified, of course, at various later times, the burgher right granted to the citizens of New Amsterdam in 1657 survived in New York until the year 1815. Narrowly monop olistic though the arrangement may now appear, its establish ment was always looked back upon as the foundation` for the prosperity of Manhattan and, indeed, of the province at large. Inspiring and enriching the traders of the capital it directly encouraged the shipping industries from which every one else drew benefit; indirectly it stimulated agriculture; and it made the capital more and more the recognized central mart for the products of all parts of the province as well as for imported commodities. It did not lead to the organiza tion of trade and artisan guilds like those of Europe.
The two burgomasters of New Amsterdam transacted all the executive and financial business of the city corporation. Each was on duty at the Stadt Huis every other day, and four times a year each made a report to his associate and their predecessors the `old burgomasters' who, with the `old schepens' seem to have formed a little vroedschap or municipal council after a pattern set, of course, in the father land. One burgomaster retired from office each year, then becoming the city treasurer. Oloff Stevensen Van Cortlandt was the first who held this post, taking office in 1657. Certain fees reverted to the senior burgomaster, and he was called the president of the corporation; but the schout presided over its sessions, moved all questions, and co9ected the votes. The specified duties of the five schepens were simply judicial as they were in Holland.
Although the magistrates of the immature little city on Manhattan never acquired powers that corresponded with those of their prototypes in the commercial metropolis of Europe, from year to year their responsibilities and their influence increased. They held in trust all the property the city acquired, beginning with its Stadt Huis ; they kept its seal, farmed out the excise, imposed special taxes, and as sisted in the enactment of laws and the control of the militia. It has already been shown that they sometimes summoned popular meetings. The governor consulted them about provincial as well as municipal affairs, seating them, for in stance, with his own official coadjutors and the chief militia officers in the councils of war he called whenever danger threatened, and toward the end of his administration taking no important step without their concurrence.
No code of laws was ever drawn up for New Netherland. The governor's court administered the Roman-Dutch law of Holland, directly if it fitted the needs of the moment or through special ordinances which the West India Company afterwards confirmed or vetoed; and in 1659 the Company sent out for the guidance of the city court twelve copies of a little book called Ordinances and Code of Procedure before the Courts of the City of Amsterdam.
To the city court the governor's court gradually transferred a great part of its business, civil and criminal. The labors of the lower tribunal were largely those of arbitration yet it elaborated a regular system of pleading by declaration, plea, and rejoinder, and a well-organized method of examining witnesses present and absent. If its members felt competent they acted as arbitrators as when, say their minutes, they crossed the street to test Jacobus Van Couwenhoven's beer and the complaints that had been lodged against it. If the case was more complicated they selected reputable citizens to pass upon it, and once in a while these were 'good women.' An appeal from the decisions of the city court was rarely taken although permitted in cases involving more than fifty guilders. Admiralty jurisdiction was also exercised by this court.
One of the first acts of the magistrates had been to name four persons from whom the governor, they asked, should appoint two to serve as orphan-masters. Stuyvesant said that such officials were not needed in so small a city; the deacons of the church, who had hitherto served under the supervision of the director and council, could still `keep their eyes open and look as orphan-masters after widows and children.' But when the magistrates twice renewed their request, after the Indian raid of 1655 had greatly increased the number of unprotected children, a special orphans' court was created much like the surrogate's court of to-day. Ac cording to Roman-Dutch law no one who could benefit by the death of a child, not even a parent, was ever intrusted with the control of its property.
Wills were made orally or in writing before two members of any local court or before a notary and two witnesses, the notary's notes being sworn to and signed by the testator. Proof was not necessary for probate. Marriages were strictly regulated. They could not be performed until the bans had been three times published, and in 1654 it was ordered that this must be done in the place where the contracting parties actually lived. An ordinance of 1658 says that the director general and council not only were informed but had them selves `seen and remarked' that some persons after the third publication of the bans did not `proceed further with the solemnization of their marriage' but postponed it for weeks or even months, and that, as 'mischiefs and irregularities' surely flowed from such transgressions of the customs of the fatherland, all marriages must be solemnized within one month of the last proclamation of the bans under penalty of ten guilders for the first week of delay and twenty guilders for each succeeding week unless good reason were shown. Nor, under much heavier penalties, should any man and woman `keep house as married persons' until they were lawfully married.
According to Dutch custom all court officials took as much care for the interests of defendants as of plaintiffs. No lawyers practised in any court, but evidently the notaries of New Amsterdam were active, for more than one of them was punished for drawing up papers carelessly or for abusing the magistrates to their faces. The fees of the high constable, whose chief duty was `to execute judgments in civil cases,' were carefully fixed when the first incumbent was appointed in 1655, and those of all minor officials, like secretaries and notaries, were settled in 1658 with the provision that the wealthy should pay them but that the poor should be served `gratis for God's sake.' Court fines were distributed one third to the officer, one-third to the city, and one-third between the church and the poor.
The business of the West India Company and of the province at large was carried on, under the governor, council, and schout-fiscal, by a receiver-general and collector of customs (who after 1658 formed with the governor and two councillors a board of audit), and by a little regiment of commissaries, bookkeepers, clerks, inspectors, surveyors, and Indian inter preters. From time to time the provincial or the city govern ment appointed other petty officials for temporary service. Plural office-holding was lawful. One or two instances of malversation in office are recorded.
In New Amsterdam there were overseers of the negroes, the coopers, the carpenters, the masons, and the smiths in the Company's employ. There were inspectors of tobacco, of bread, and of weights and measures; sworn butchers, twelve of them in 1660, to whom all persons whose cattle they slaughtered paid fees; a jailer, a court messenger, and a town crier; fire wardens, a ferry-master, a vendue-master or auctioneer, roy-masters ' who laid out the streets, and tally masters for the bricks imported from Holland or sent down from Fort Orange; measurers for the apples and onions brought into market, and for grain, lime, and 'whatever is measured by schepels or barrels' ; branders of beer-barrels, and licensed `beer carriers' and porters.
An instance of the way in which public opinion controlled local affairs occurred in 1654. Wishing to establish a 'rattle watch' the magistrates summoned all citizens so disposed to attend at the Stadt Huis to pass judgment on their scheme. No citizen appeared, so the matter was dropped until 1658 when eight watchmen were appointed, four to make the rounds each night crying out the hours. The fire wardens were then ordered to deposit at various points in the city a hundred and fifty leathern fire-buckets. Citizens were fined who failed to respond when a fire was discovered and the cry Val! Val! (Accident !) rang out. No police force existed. The schout and his deputy and the two court messengers, armed with swords, sufficed to protect the peaceful and to deal with the vicious.
In 1660 a post-office service was established for transatlantic letters only, the West India Company then ordering, with more definiteness than before, that all letters should be de posited in a box in the secretary's office and transmitted in a sealed bag. A fee of three stivers in wampum was charged if the sender wished for registration and a receipt.
The plague, still sorely dreaded even in the western parts of Europe, never visited the American colonies. Malaria seems to have prevailed on and near Manhattan; but in spite of this and of epidemics, sometimes very severe, of dysentery, influenza, and smallpox, Van der Donck's Description de clares that `Galens had meagre soup' in the fine climate of New Netherland. In 1652 the Galens of the city asked for and obtained the sole right to shave their fellow-citizens 'for gain.' Temple wrote of the 'admirable provision' made in Holland for all classes of people who needed public aid or attention ; and the famous economist Sir Josiah Child ranked it among the causes of the economic and commercial preeminence of the Dutch. In fact, Holland led the modern world in its en deavors to care for the afflicted and to utilize the indigent; and its American colonials, despite their constant cry that the West India Company did not keep its pledge to set up charitable institutions, took laudable steps in this direction.
Up to the year 1658 soldiers who fell ill were billeted on private families. Then, on petition of Dr. Jacob Varrevanger, or Varvanger, a little hospital was opened in a house with `clean rooms and fires of wood' for the benefit of sick soldiers and employees of the Company, and was placed in charge of a matron. Hospitals had by this time been established in Canada but none, apparently, in the English colonies. The first recorded coroner's inquest in New Amsterdam was con ducted in 1658 by Kierstede, Varrevanger, and another phy sician. The poor of Manhattan were supported by a special tax of the twentieth penny on houses, the tenth on cultivated lands. A 'deacon's house' with 'nurses' served as an alms house and appears to have been in use some years before 1660 when the first public almshouse in Boston was opened, for in 1655 the government granted land .on Long Island for a `poor farm' where food for its wards could be grown. A midwife, paid from the public purse, worked among the poor in their homes. The first general poor law, enacted in 1661, prescribed how each town and village in the province should raise and administer a poor fund, and said that no relief would be given at New Amsterdam to strangers unprovided with certificates from the deacons. or overseers of the places whence they came.
As regarded internal affairs New Netherland's days of storm and stress were over. External dangers had drawn the governor and his burghers together. He had learned that they could not be governed like a garrison of soldiers, and they had been pacified if not satisfied by their victory in the matter of municipal government. Nevertheless, all was not peace between them. Although the West India Company said in 1660 that its province, which thus far had cost it one million guilders, was now in a position to support itself, Stuyvesant constantly complained of the emptiness of his official chest, and his people of the methods that he employed to fill it. For example, when the Company changed the ex port charge upon furs from a specific duty to an:ad valorem duty of eight per cent he added a charge of four stivers upon each skin; and in 1654 he changed the one, per cent staple right charge upon all imports, which, he said, had proved im possible to collect, to a much higher specific duty upon liquors, salt, and all articles imported for the Indian trade.
The provincial and the city governments were reciprocally jealous of their illy defined spheres of authority. As in the beginning so in later years questions of taxation were hotly debated between them. The governor exasperated the city fathers by his domineering words and ways, and they some times threw him into a violent passion by failing to keep the promises they had made him once, by offering to do without their salaries, which were fixed in 1654 at 350 guilders a year for the burgomasters and 250 for the schepens, and then very soon asking from what source they could obtain them so that they might 'be prompted' to acquit themselves of their duties with 'alacrity and vigor.' On the other hand, in 1657 the city court discussed how Burgomasters Allard Anthony and Oloff Stevensen might be recouped for their disburse ment for the public service of 'considerable of their private funds.' Among some manuscript extracts from the accounts of New Netherland, dated between the years 1654 and 1660 and preserved in the Moore collection in the New York Public Library, is a tabulated list of the salaries paid to the higher officials. Governor Stuyvesant received 250 guilders a month and an annual allowance of 900 guilders for expensesin all, 3900 guilders a year. His subordinates were paid in the same manner, the two chief councillors each receiving a total of 1800 guilders a year, the schout-fiscal 920 guilders, the sec retary 632, the `commissary and bookkeeper' 800, three preachers 1400 each, and a precentor 620. With one or two minor salaries and two paid at Fort Orange the general total as given is 13,058 guilders a year, but the list does not men tion the many lesser civil employees or the officers and men of the garrison.
In 1661 the provincial revenue amounted to 40,000 guilders ; in 1662 when the expenses of the government exceeded 55,000, to no more than 33,600. Although the city government often declared itself penniless it must at the last have gathered an annual revenue of some 25,000 guilders. For a while nothing fell into its coffers regularly except the proceeds of the small or burghers' excise. As Holland taught England the utility of stamp taxes so, in 1654, the magistrates of New Amster dam suggested the first of which America heard the name, asking from the Company permission to levy a new impost `such as on stamped paper etc.' They did not get this per mission; but when many of the people driven into the city by the Indian raid of 1655 desired to settle there, Stuyvesant granted the corporation certain lots on the west side of the Heere Weg (Broadway) which it sold to individuals. It was for this purpose that De Coninck's survey and map were made. In 1658 the city obtained the other `unconceded' lots within its limits; apparently they were not many. In the same year the magistrates earnestly petitioned the West India Company for relief from its heavy customs dues. They then asked also for the rent of the Long Island ferry and for the fees collected at the Company's weigh-scales over which all merchandise brought into or carried out of the city had to pass. Stuyvesant reminded them that, besides the burghers' excise which had been farmed in 1657 for 4200 guilders and more recently for 3700, and besides the 6000 guilders just collected from the people for strengthening the fortifications, the city had received during the current year 1457 guilders from the tax on slaughtered cattle, four pounds Flemish for each tapster's license, all the fees for stamping weights and measures, all those paid by the citizens for the burgher-right, and a loan of 1000 guilders from the Company's purse toward the cost of some recently accomplished work on the canal. Furthermore, the city had the right to collect fines from owners of land who had not improved their holdings, and to levy for the fire department one assessment of one beaver skin on each house and an annual tax of one guilder on each chim ney. None the less, said the governor, to free the magistrates from debt he would give them one-fourth of the weigh-scale fees. If they wanted anything more, he added, they must get it from the commonalty; yet two years later, when they com plained that the first debt contracted, in 1653, for the fortifi cations had not been discharged, he and the council agreed to assume certain claims amounting to almost 4000 guilders, and the Company paid sundry other obligations which it had expected the city to meet.
The work on the canal to which the governor referred and certain other public improvements were paid for by special assessments, a method of taxation familiar enough to-day but known at that period in none of the English colonies. Either the residents immediately concerned did the work under orders from the burgomasters, as was the case when in 1658 a schoeynge (a curtain of planks backed by a filling of earth) was built to protect Perel Straet on the East River shore; or, as was done in 1657 when the residents of Brower Straet near the fort asked that it might be paved, the burgo masters appointed commissioners to superintend the task and assessed the cost upon the abutting properties.
In 1658 the city paid for a wharf and dock at the entrance of the canal and in 1662 for a small breakwater to protect ves sels against floating ice and for the extension toward the north of the canal itself. This was then flanked by a schoeynge; and thus transformed into a canal of the approved Dutch pattern the old ditch was called the Heere Gracht or Heere Graft (Grand Canal) in memory of the chief water highway of Amsterdam. But when the magistrates assessed the cost of its schoeynge, about 3000 guilders, upon the owners of the abutting property, twenty-one in number, they raised a great outcry, saying they had neither asked for the improve vol.. - 2 F ment nor been warned that they would have to pay for it. Some of them refused to pay, one or two were imprisoned for their contumacy, and, as Stuyvesant set forth, the magis trates had to get aid from his official purse.
If the records of the West India Company had been pre served some comprehensive account of the commercial life of New Amsterdam might be written. As it is, only isolated items can be gathered. For example, a paper in the Moore collection says that the West India Company received in 1654 32,603 guilders in 'recognitions' and convoy charges on goods sent to the province by individual exporters on six ships, duly specified, and in 1655, six ships again being named, 22,973 guilders. From the Van Rensselaer papers it appears that the merchants had a mutual system of insuring ships and cargoes against loss and damage, using the printed forms employed for the same purpose in Holland. The local records
tell that some thirty 'trading barks' plied on River Mauritius but do not say how many sea-going vessels were owned or partly owned at Manhattan. It is evident that the merchants quickly grasped new chances to extend their ocean and their coastwise trade. In 1658 the governor of Canada permitted them to traffic with the white men on the St. Lawrence although not with the Indians, and in 1659 the West India Company allowed them, on petition, to try 'the experiment' of direct trading upon their own account with the Caribbees, France, Spain, Italy, and other foreign places exclusive of the African and Oriental regions reserved to the ships of the East India Company. Peltry, it was decreed, must still be sent to Amsterdam only, and all return cargoes must be discharged either there or on Manhattan; yet the concession opened wide markets for New Netherland's inexhaustible stores of timber and its growing wealth in food-stuffs. A cargo of 'boards and other lumber' was at once despatched to France and ex changed for wines and other goods which were carried to Amsterdam; and the foundations were soon laid for a traffic in flour and bread with the West Indies which as time went on became the main source of the prosperity of New York.
The Dutchmen's position at the great gateway to the West had begun to tell in their favor. The New Englanders no longer competed with them in the fur trade; the Canadians were their only rivals. Peltry was still their chief article of export. In 1656 Fort Orange and its vicinity sent down about thirty-five thousand beaver skins to Manhattan, and in Octo ber, 1660, Stuyvesant wrote that since the beginning of the year twenty-five or thirty thousand had been handled at Manhattan, yielding some 16,000 guilders in export duties. Tobacco stood next to furs as an article of export. Most of it came, in spite of the English Navigation Acts, from Mary land and Virginia; yet so much was grown in the province that in 1653, when food was scarce, the government ordered every farmer to plant as many hills of corn as of tobacco. Ten years later the food supplies raised in New Netherland more than sufficed for its own needs. Pork, beef, and peas were carried from Manhattan by the Company's ships to its people in Curacoa more cheaply than they could be sent from Holland. Not only flour and hard bread or biscuit but also lumber, salted meat and fish, and pickled oysters were sent to other West Indian ports. To encourage this trade the im port duty on sugar brought from the islands had been removed in 1658.
European goods were costly in New Netherland but profits can hardly have been greater than in New England, for heavy customs dues were added to the cost of transportation, and transportation averaged high in times when it took as long for cargoes to cross the Atlantic as it does now to reach the Philippines and when maritime disasters, including pira cies, were much more frequent than they are to-day.
In Holland as in England many family names, such as King, Prince, and Bishop, Tower and Castle, and the names of saints and heroes, were derived in old days from the carved figures and pictorial signs used to distinguish houses and shops before systems of street numbering were invented. As a much closer connection then existed between retail trading and commercial enterprise than now prevails, to the same source may plausibly be traced the curious names of many of the Dutch ships that voyaged between the fatherland and Manhattan, names like Arms of Amsterdam, Gilded Beaver, Gilded Star, Spotted Cow, Crossed Heart, Pear Tree, Spheramundi, and Fire of Troy.
In fishing industries as in ship building New Netherland was far behind Massachusetts. So prolific were its bays and its Great River that its people, sons of the Low Countries though they were, did no deep-sea fishing. Of course they built their own boats and their sloops for river navigation.
Iron they did not mine although they knew that it" existed in their territories. To some small extent they worked the copper veins in the region that is now New Jersey. Twice both times in ships that foundered on the way they sent home samples of minerals which they thought contained quicksilver, gold, and other metals. Horses they imported from Curacoa and, oddly enough, once at least 'walnut timber' from Holland. Grist-mills and sawmills were active on Manhattan and near Fort Orange. Tanning, stone quarry ing, lime burning, soap boiling, and the making of potash and tar were locally pursued to meet local needs. Brewers were many, and vintagers brought over from Heidelberg made acceptable wine. Delft ware said to be as good as that of the titular town was manufactured on Long Island. Bricks made at Fort Orange were carried down the river to Man hattan; kilns erected on the island itself did not succeed. In 1662 the Englishmen of Gravesend destroyed the plant of a Dutchman who was trying to make salt on Coney Island, claiming the island for themselves. Another Dutchman, Evert Duyckinck, made glass at New Amsterdam, apparently on a considerable scale as he received apprentices ; yet his product must have been chiefly window glass, for the Dutch never bottled their liquors, keeping them in casks and little kegs. On the window of the magistrates' room in the Stadt Huis Duyckinck emblazoned the arms of the city, and he also painted them on its fire-buckets. Domestic industries one might assume, were largely pursued, yet the wills and inventories of the period mention few looms or spinning wheels although they carefully include the commonest and cheapest household belongings.
In 1657 Stuyvesant resigned on behalf of the Company the milling-rights which from the first it had monopolized ; he opposed successfully the wish of the Company to monopolize the importation of salt from Curacoa, saying that misfor tune might result if private traders could not also bring in so indispensable a commodity; and in 1661 he tried to prevent the monopolizing by local traders of the food supplies of the city. On the other hand the Company rebuked him for grant ing to certain persons the sole right to make potash, salt, and bricks and tiles, telling him not to favor individuals 'at the expense of the general welfare.' All that is known of those regulations in regard to trade which, as has been told, the first little legislative assembly that met in New Netherland framed in 1657, appears in a reproving letter written by the Company. It implies that the rules were designed to prohibit the sale of goods, except to Indians, at more than double their prime cost in Holland, and to lower the prices of bread, beer, and wine and the wages of artisans. Such rules, said the Company, would decrease its own revenues and injure its colonists.
Yet it thought that Stuyvesant ought to be able to regulate the value of the local currency. This was the chief of the commercial problems of New Netherland as the heavy cus toms dues were the chief of its commercial troubles. Such silver as came into the province quickly flowed out again, even the light-weight coin that was sent over when Stuyvesant decreed that pieces-of-eight should pass at a higher valuation in New Netherland than in Holland. The Company scolded its executive for making this experiment, and also for trying to get consignments of coin from private sources when it would send him none; and it would not sanction a provincial mint although the city magistrates as well as the governor asked for one.
In the dearth of coin, produce of many kinds passed current as was the case in the English colonies. For example, at Newtown on Long Island in 1661 a man bought a house and lot for six hundredweight of tobacco, half a vat of strong beer, and a thousand clapboards, a term then used for stave-stock. But the trader's main reliance was upon beavers and wam pum. Beavers, the local standard of value, were as good as gold for remittance to Europe. Wampum, useless for this purpose, was, as Stuyvesant observed, the only available ' legal tender between individuals,' and was indispensable as the `source and mother of the beaver trade' because for goods only without wampum in addition the savages still refused to sell their furs. Debts of thousands of guilders were often dis charged with this Indian money; laborers and farmers got nothing else ; and at last the Company ordered the governor to pay its employees and soldiers in wampum if the beavers in hand did not suffice but not to receive it for duties or taxes.
Produced in variable quantities as well as qualities, wam pum fluctuated in value and in the long run depreciated. Often the Company advised Stuyvesant to fix its value afresh, and the people and their magistrates spoke the same desire. He never wished to interfere in any way with the currency a merit which the Remonstrance of 1649 counted to him as a fault. But at last, in 1659, he consented to order that eight instead of six white beads should be rated as a stiver. Soon he reported to the Company that such 'orders, rules, and re ductions' were of no avail; to lower the value of wampum meant simply that the trader had to give a larger amount for a beaver skin eight beads were worth no more than six had been. In modern parlance he had merely changed the ratio of the established double standard.' Formerly a beaver skin had stood to a wampum bead in the ratio of 1 to 960; now it stood as 1 to 1280, for a silver guilder contained twenty stivers and the price of a beaver had been fixed at eight guilders.
To follow the Company's advice, Stuyvesant also explained, and to declare wampum . . . absolutely bullion and not receivable at so much a guilder would endanger the beaver trade and lead it into other channels; nor can it be done as long as we have no other currency here for the retail trade. On the other hand, we are taught by experience that if we let it go as at present wampum will depreciate more and more every year, the inhabitants grow poorer and poorer and houses and lands go to ruin. . . . It would be desirable therefore, as we have repeatedly stated to you, that wampum and beavers as well as tobacco should be declared an absolute commodity or merchandise. . . .
This, the governor thought, might be accomplished if a supply of small coin were sent out and nothing else allowed to pass as legal tender, and if beavers, tobacco, and other things were kept by fiat in New Netherland under their market price in Holland. The Company did not sanction this experiment ; and the governor merely increased confusion when he tried to sustain the currency by indirect methods, fixing the price of wheat bread, rye bread, and liquors in silver, beaver, and wampum.
It should be understood, however, that attempts to fix by law the value of coins and of commodities had often been made in Europe and were often made in the English colonies. In deed, they could hardly be avoided when the circulation of coin was international and when various commodities were used not only in direct barter but also in the payment of taxes and, at times, in the fulfilment of bargains which had been concluded in terms of minted money or of staples like tobacco and beaver skins.
The merchants of New Amsterdam often complained Gat, as the ports of New England were free, Dutch cargoes were landed there to be introduced into New Netherland from `under our neighbors' wings.' Thomas Willett, Stuyvesant reported, was one of the 'most influential' of the New Eng landers engaged in this smuggler's traffic. To suppress it the Company ordered that a sixteen per cent import duty should be exacted at New Amsterdam upon all goods brought in from the English colonies and that no export duties need be paid on those sent thither; but the chief result, as shown by the Company's own letters, was that the Englishmen changed their methods of absorbing profits, secretly carrying peltry and the `best goods' from Holland over the East River in small boats by night and then across Long Island to New England, and giving in exchange nothing but wampum, so that the merchants of Amsterdam had to wait long for profitable returns while their factors at New Amsterdam were sitting on `boxes full of wampum' which they could not remit to Holland but could use only `among the savages' as oppor tunity occurred.
Naught availing to stop the downward course of this cur rency, by 1662 a beaver skin could not be bought for less than twenty-five guilders in wampum beads although the value of the beads then stood legally at twelve to a stiver and the price in silver of a beaver skin had been reduced to six guilders. Nevertheless New Netherland did not suffer as much from its dependence upon this medium of exchange as did Virginia from the tobacco currency which had a real value but was perishable and unmanageable. Although wampum beads, unlike tobacco, had as little intrinsic worth in the eyes of a white man as African shell money or a hopelessly irredeem able paper currency has to-day, they did have a value to the red man and so were partially sustained by the necessities of the fur trade; and they were not perishable and cumbersome like tobacco although they were very tedious to count. Offi cial `wampum stringers,' who sometimes at least were women, are mentioned in the records.
- As the cireuiAtion of gold and silver was international and as the coins of all naw^ns were frequently clipped it was often needful to weigh them to ascertain worth. Scales made for this purpose appear in many old likenesses, painted or engraved, of the merchants of Holland and Germany, as in Holbein's beautiful portrait of George Gisze in the Berlin collection. In New Netherland also they were used. A little carved wooden box, marked as made at Amsterdam in 1658 and preserved intact for generations at Albany, contains such a pair of scales and two trays filled with weights. These, about forty in number, are small rectangles of gilded lead, stamped in imitation of various coins and duly labelled as ducats, angels, pistoles, rose nobles, lion dollars, and so forth. They are all of the same diameter but differ in thickness to secure the proper weight.
More than once the Company censured Stuyvesant for laying extra duties on beaver to the profit of his own ex chequer but the detriment of the merchant in Holland. His excuse was that in one way or another he had to raise a rev enue ; and gradually he came to see what his people had understood from the first that the great obstacle in the path of their progress was the burdensome duties exacted by the Company itself. How, he asked, could New Netherland traffic largely with Curacoa as the Company desired? Its inhabitants had to pay from twelve to sixteen per cent in duties and those at Curacoa only two per cent ; all goods arriving at New Amsterdam had first to be exchanged for wampum and then for beavers or tobacco; and the Company monopolized the trade in logwood, Curacoa's chief article of export. For the 'salvation of New Netherland' the governor begged that it might be taxed 'like but not more than others.' The Company replied that it would raise the duties at Curacoa to equal those at New Amsterdam; then 'trade would de velop.' 4a.
More and more from year to year New Netherland showed a desire to educate its children and a willingness to do so at its own expense despite the pledges given by the Company. `Nothing is of greater importance than the early instruction of youth,' said Governor Stuyvesant; a lack of schoolmasters, said Domine Megapolensis, would mean a ruined youth and a bewilderment of men's minds' ; and repeatedly the people said the same. In reply to the complaints upon this subject that they embodied in the Remonstrance of 1649 Cornelis Van Tienhoven declared that the free school was always main tained and that various teachers 'kept school in hired houses' so that the young were provided with 'the means of instruc tion.' Certainly this was true in somewhat later days, for the richer families employed private tutors while twenty-eight mas ters of schools public and private had been licensed by the year 1664, not including those who served in the South River country. Among them were persons of prominence like Jaco bus Van Corlaer, David Provoost, Andries Hudde, and Jan La Montagne the son of the physician and councillor. As some if not all of these were schoolmasters first, traders and officeholders in after years, it seems that, then as now, school teaching was often regarded as a mere useful makeshift until other careers should open. In the smaller towns and prob ably in New Amsterdam the schoolmaster filled minor church offices, acting as voorleser (clerk), bell ringer, and keeper of the records. Carel De Beauvois, appointed schoolmaster at Breuckelen in 1661, was furthermore chorister, grave digger, and court messenger. No one could teach without a govern ment license. Stuyvesant even warned Jacobus Van Corlaer, as unlicensed, to shut his school although the city magistrates had authorized him to open it. Both before and after the City Tavern became the Stadt Huis one of its rooms was given at times for the use of the public school. The burgomasters se cured a site for a schoolhouse in 1662 but had not built upon it when the English captured the province.
In 1658 the burgomasters joined to their petition to the Company for reduced customs T2 ,e.5 a of the people's request that a master for a Latin school might be sent out, saying that many young persons already able to read and write desired further instruction but could not obtain it as the nearest grammar school was at Boston. If New Amster dam could now secure one, they explained, it might 'finally attain to an academy' and thus become a 'place of great splendor.' Accordingly, the Company sent out a master to whom the city gave a salary of 500 guilders with permission to exact six guilders from each pupil. Proving unsatisfactory he was sent back to Holland. YEgidius Luyck, a young man who had been tutor in Stuyvesant's family, was put in his place, the provincial and the city government each paying him 500 guilders a year. Under his management the 'Greek and Latin school' of New Amsterdam attracted pupils from all parts of the province and even from far-away Virginia.
While during the latter years of New Netherland almost every town and village had its schoolmaster, on Manhattan after the year 1661 there were, in addition to the grammar school, two free elementary schools the original school in the city and another in the Bowery village. In Boston, which by 1664 had about three times as many inhabitants as New Amsterdam, the only school supported from the public funds was still the Latin school ; and the school law enacted for Massachusetts in 1647 needed reenactment in 1665. At New Haven a `colony grammar school' was opened in 1660 because all efforts to maintain town grammar schools had failed; in 1662 it was suspended for lack of patronage but was soon reopened with the help of a private benefaction. The laws of this colony said that children should be taught to read and write but not that elementary schools should be maintained. In 1660 the general court of Connecticut also complained of 'small progress' in the founding of town grammar schools two-thirds of the cost of which was borne by their pupils, offered a bonus of £100 and an annual subsidy of £40 to the town that set up a colony school, and laid penalties on parents whoseAws could not read and write.
The attempts of the Dutch authorities to induce the Indians to send some of their children to be taught at New Amsterdam proved futile, and so did the efforts of their clergymen to Christianize adult savages. Domine Megapolensis was the first Protestant missionary who went among the wild tribes, learning for this purpose, while he was at Fort Orange and some years before John Eliot produced his Indian Bible, what he called the ' heavy Mohawk tongue.' But in 1654 he and Domine Drisius wrote to the classis of New Amsterdam that they were deeply discouraged. Even their most promis ing pupil, a sachem who had come to Manhattan and learned to read and write English, had, they said with refreshing candor, `only the bare knowledge of the truth without the practice of godliness,' was greatly given to drink, and 'no better than other Indians.' Three years later they wrote that he had steadily gone down hill, pawning his Bible and be coming a 'regular brute.' Two things, they explained, were necessary if the savages were to be Christianized: they must be really subdued and the whites must set them a better example.
Never, it seems, did the New Netherlanders ask for a print ing press. In their day Holland was the great publishing house of Europe, printing more than all other countries com bined and as eager in political pamphleteering as in the eighteenth century England came to be. It has been com puted that some ten thousand Dutch pamphlets of various kinds still survive from the seventeenth century; and those other precursors of the modern newspaper, broadsides or handbills, were as plentifully produced to be stuck about in public places. As the press was absolutely free, whatever the people of New Amsterdam or their friends in the father land wished to print could there be published. Nor, indeed, were conditions very different in Massachusetts, for the press established at Cambridge in 1638 was under the control of the presidents of Harvard College and published nothing beyond public documents, almai nr ", and the theses of Har vard students. All else, controversial pamphlets, was sent for publication to England. A private press was not set up in Massachusetts until 1665 and then was under strict censorship.
Hostile Indians and Englishmen, wars and the prospect of wars, commercial disputes and financial perplexities did not glut Peter Stuyvesant's appetite for work. Of his own motion he attempted religious persecution.
Nothing of the kind had been thought of in New Netherland until 1652 when Domine Megapolensis petitioned that an Anabaptist woman be brought before the governor, the Nine Men, and the consistory of the church for using 'calum nious expressions against God's work and his servants.' In 1654 the Lutherans, who included some of the Dutchmen and all of the Scandinavians on Manhattan, asked leave to call a clergyman of their own and transmitted the prayer to the West India Company when Stuyvesant told them that he was bound by his oath of office to sanction only the established church of Holland. In 1656 Megapolensis and Drisius com plained about the `sectaries' of many sorts who were openly holding services on Long Island, and the government forbade under heavy penalties all`conventicler and meetings whether public or private' different from those of the Reformed church and all preaching by 'unqualified' persons, explaining, however, that it did not thereby . . . intend any constraint of conscience in violation of previously granted patents, nor to prohibit the reading of God's Holy Word, family prayers and worship, each in his household.
This ordinance, unwise and unnecessary but legal accord ing to the orders of the West India Company as embodied in the Charter of Freedoms and Exemptions of 1640, the sectaries generally disobeyed ; and the Lutherans, whom the Company now instructed Stuyvesant to treat mildly but with out favor, continued to demand the wider liberties they had enjoyed in Holland. Fines and imprisonments followed, one or two banishments, and renewed appeals to the Company.
In June, 1657, a year after the Quakers first entered Massa chusetts and Connecticut, five of them were brought by an English ship to Manhattan. Visiting the governor they found him, as they afterwards reported, moderate `both in words and actions.' But two of them, women, were arrested and briefly imprisoned for preaching turbulently in the streets. The others, going to Long Island, were also arrested and soon sent on to Rhode Island which Domine Megapolensis described as a place of errorists and enthusiasts.' Then, it was said, Thomas Willett urged Stuyvesant to greater severity. By order of the governor in council a Quaker named Hodgson who made himself conspicuous on Long Island was arrested, imprisoned, and condemned to pay a heavy fine or to work for two years chained to the Company's negroes. Refusing to pay or to work he was severely and repeatedly flogged, and when Stuyvesant's sister interfered to save his life was turned out of the province. Stern en actments issued against the harboring of Quakers had little effect except to make converts to their faith. Some of the English Long Islanders approved of the governor's course ; more of them disapproved; and twenty-eight freeholders of Flushing with two of Jamaica joined in a remonstrance, a noble document nobly phrased which was written for them by the town clerk of Flushing, Edward Heart, and carried to Governor Stuyvesant by the sheriff, Tobias Feake. The `law of love, peace, and liberty,' said the remonstrants, which in Holland was extended even to 'Jews, Turks, and Egyptians,' was the 'glory' of the Republic. They themselves could not condemn the people called Quakers . . . neither stretch out our hands against them to punish, banish, or persecute them. . . . That which is of God will stand, and that which is of man will come to nothing. . . . Therefore if any of these said persons come in love unto us we cannot in conscience lay violent hands upon them but give them free egress and regress into our towns and houses. . . . This is according to the patent and charter of our town . . . which we are not willing to infringe or violate.
As a reply Governor Stuyvesant arrested Heart, Feake, and two others, deprived Flushing of the right to hold town meetings, and altered its government. Heart, asking for mercy, was released upon payment of costs ; Feake was de posed from his office and sentenced to pay a fine or to go into banishment ; and the governor proclaimed a general fast-day so that his people might lament the introduction of the 'new, unheard-of, and abominable heresy.' It was just at this time that the States General were offer ing hospitality in New Netherland to persons 'of tender conscience in England or elsewhere oppressed.' With no good grace could the Company deal harshly with the schis matics already in its province. It did not wish to do so, yet it hesitated and temporized under pressure from the orthodox church in Holland which, supporting the complaints of the ministers in New Netherland, used every effort to secure for the province a rigorous enforcement of laws that were virtually a dead letter in the fatherland.
John Underhill seems to have played no conspicuous part in these controversies, but in 1660 he wrote to Winthrop urging that in Connecticut the Quakers might be left 'to their liberty granted by the good old Parliament of England.' In 1661, when the Quakers on Long Island grew troublesome again, Stuyvesant issued stricter ordinances than before against the public exercise of any except the established religion, and in 1663 he sent the leader of the Friends, John Bowne, for trial to Holland. There Bowne was acquitted of evil act and intent ; and at last the Company prescribed re ligious toleration for its province, writing to Stuyvesant that, although it wished Quakers and other sectarians would remain elsewhere, he must not put a stop to immigration by treating them rigorously. Following liberal courses, it said, Amster dam had prospered and doubtless New Amsterdam would be equally blessed.
This was the end of persecution in New Netherland. At their worst Stuyvesant's attempts had been mild compared with those of New England. Of course he never thought of such a law as that which made it a capital offence for Quakers to return to Massachusetts after banishment ; he never tried to oblige all persons to attend the services of the established church as was the rule in Virginia as well as in England and in Massachusetts ; and the earnest way in which the au thorities on Manhattan disclaimed any intention of 'lording it over the consciences' and the private practices of their subjects stood in strong contrast to the so-called Cambridge Platform, framed in 1658, which required the magistrates of the Bay Colony to punish infractions of ecclesiastical doctrine as well as of ecclesiastical observance.
No reference to the Arminian heresy, so conspicuously troublesome in Holland forty years before, appears in the story of the doctrinal disputes in New Netherland. Yet when this story is read in detail it reflects, weakly and in miniature of course, the character of the great struggle in the fatherland which was more political than theological. The clergymen of Manhattan, not believing like their first predecessor Michaelius that the affairs of church and state might better be kept distinct, feared that the recognition of divers sects would weaken their own influence in public affairs as they phrased it, would produce public 'disorders.' And General Stuyvesant, distrusting all Englishmen for political reasons, was much more incensed by the readiness of the Long Island schismatics to ignore or defy his authority than by their proneness to schism, much more by the noisy self-assertion of the Quakers than by their doctrines. He molested no one who did not insist upon the right to worship publicly. A Lutheran minister who thus insisted was or dered back to Europe. A famous Jesuit who did not thus insist lived at New Amsterdam during the winter of 1658 on friendly terms with Domine Megapolensis. This was Father Le Moyne, the founder of missions among the Mohawks and Onondagas and the discoverer of the valuable salt springs at the spot that is now Syracuse. It was he who persuaded the governor of Canada to let the New Netherlanders trade on the St. Lawrence.
John Bowne the Quaker returned from Holland to live peaceably at Flushing where his house, built in 1661 with a kitchen chimney twelve feet wide, is still standing. In 1663 the Lutherans of the city formed a congregation. By 1660 twelve or more churches for the orthodox had been built in various parts of the province, and by 1664 the West India Company had induced the classis of Amsterdam to send out thirteen ministers. Often the people begged for more; and with pathetic eagerness they profited as largely as they could by their meagre opportunities for public worship, those who had no pastor asking for periodical visits from the nearest one or making long Sabbath journeys to his church. Some communities complained that the church rates were too heavy, but more than one village paid them which had neither church nor minister, using the money doubtless for the relief of the poor.
Jews were never persecuted but at first were ill received in New Netherland.
Exiled Jews as well as Christians had long found in Holland their only place of refuge. Those who were living as so called New Christians under the Portuguese in Brazil welcomed the advent of the Dutch and then resumed the practice of their ancient faith; and from Brazil in 1654, when the Portuguese had driven out the Dutch, came to New Amsterdam by way of Curacoa the first band of Hebrews whom the province re ceived. They are usually said to have been the first Hebrews received on the North American mainland, and undoubtedly they were its first Jewish settlers although the records of Massachusetts for the year 1649 show two Jewish names, apparently those of mere visiting traders. They numbered twenty-seven persons, men, women, and children. The richer among them had pledged themselves for the passage money of the poorer. Before they could discharge the debt their goods were seized and sold by auction while two of them were held for a while as 'hostages.' The church spent several hundred guilders in relieving their needs ; yet Domine Me gapolensis begged that the 'godless rascals' might be sent away, and supported Stuyvesant when he asked the Company to forbid all Jews to 'infest New Netherland.' His con gregation, he explained, murmured about their coming be cause they had no other God than 'the unrighteous Mammon' and no other aim than 'to get possession of Christian property' charges often expressed at this period in almost identical words by English colonists in the West Indies.
Some of the newcomers, warned away by the provincial and the city authorities, moved on to Rhode Island and founded the Jewish colony at Newport. Meanwhile, however, the Company had written that Jews might reside in the province if they would support their own poor. A few came from Holland, bringing merchandise with them, at the time when Stuyvesant was organizing his South River expedition. As the citizens expressed a 'disgust and unwillingness' to associate with them in the burgher guard, according to the custom of the fatherland they were exempted from service on payment of a commutation tax. They were forbidden to hold real estate or to traffic to other parts of the province; but the Company reproved the governor for this, saying that, as in Holland, they should not be employed in the public service or allowed to keep 'open retail shops' but might traffic in other ways, hold real property, and 'exercise in all quietness their religion within their houses.' With this end in view, the Company added, they would probably prefer to live close to each other as they did in Amsterdam. The sug gestion passed unheeded. No Jewish quarter was ever es tablished in New Amsterdam or New York. In 1656 land for a Jewish burial ground was granted outside the city, more than a mile beyond the wall to the eastward of the Bowery Road. A portion of it remains near Chatham Square. The oldest place of the kind in the United States it is still owned by the original congregation, Shearith Israel; and this con gregation still preserves the traditions of its Portuguese origin. The oldest stone now standing in the burial ground bears the date 1683.
When burgher-right was established in 1657 several Hebrews wished to buy the Small Burgher-Right. The bur gomasters rejected them but the governor in council decided that according to fatherland precedents they must be re ceived. Few later signs of opposition to the presence of Jews on Manhattan can be traced. The dislike to them seems soon to have died away. During a long period of years Abraham D'Lucena, the leading spirit among those who had come to New Amsterdam from Brazil, was a prominent and honored merchant in New York.
In 1648 a woman was hung as a witch in Boston; in 1654, when the general court at Plymouth made laws for a settle ment on the Kennebec, one crime marked as punishable with death was 'solemn conversing or compacting with the devil' ; and for this crime there had been nine executions in Con necticut before the year 1662. The spirit thus evinced excited among the Dutch a distrust of the lawmakers of New England. As instructed by the West India Company, Stuyvesant promised in 1663 that some Puritans who wished to come from New Haven to settle on the Raritan River should have their own church services and their own laws; but he insisted that, as their laws were severer than his own, appeals to his court should be permitted in criminal cases except when conviction was obtained upon `voluntary confession' and, even when it was thus obtained, in all ' dark and dubious' cases such as witchcraft and the like.
The only New Netherlander ever charged with witchcraft was Judith Varleth, a sister of Stuyvesant's brother-in-law, and she was accused at Hartford where her father was living.