THE CITY AND ITS PEOPLE The said city New Ansterodam is very delightsome and convenient for situation especially for trade, having two main streams or rivers running by with an excellent harbor; the end of the said rivers or streams is the ordinary passage from and to New England and Vir ginia; . . . it may evidently appear that the Dutch have intruded into his Majesty's rights in the very best part of all that large northern empire. . . . Concerning New Netherland or Manhattan. About 1663.
Governor Stuyvesant's New Amsterdam is seldom pic tured, like Governor Van Twiller's, as a setting for opera bouffe performances. It is often painted, with no greater degree of truth, as the counterpart of some insignificant seaport in the peaceful, prosperous, unexcitable Holland of to-day. It is described as a sleepy, 'slothful village of apa thetic boors and burghers stupefied by beer and tobacco and living in a stagnant isolation from which they were fortunately aroused by the advent of the English as their rulers.
A seaport planted anywhere in the world by Dutchmen of the seventeenth century could not be a drowsy place, and the one that they planted on Manhattan was not an isolated place. It lived by traffic with the ever-dangerous people of the forest, with Englishmen up and down the coast, and with men of many nations eastward and southward across the sea; and it was a thoroughfare in a sense that was true of no other place on the American mainland, for those who voyaged between New England and Virginia preferred to pass through the safe waters of Long Island Sound, ships from England bound for New England often tarried in the harbor, and so at times did Dutch, French, and English privateers. Life was more varied and more agitated within the 'walls and gates' that enclosed New Amsterdam's heterogeneous popula tion, excited by many controversies and threatened by many perils, than it was in any English-American community. Rarely indeed except in the depths of winter can New Amster dam have known a quiet day, never a dull, monotonous season. Liveliness was one of the few things it never lacked, torpidity one of the moods of mind it could not encourage, peaceful sloth one of the careers for which it offered no chance.
Its people were not conscious, like the New Englanders, of a high responsibility as the tenders of precarious beacon fires, religious and political, in a land of promise. Yet they knew that they were living in such a land and they had, therefore, a sense of corporate pride not to be measured by counting their numbers; for a little colony that is opening up the resources of a rich new continent may well feel itself superior in importance to a city of many thousands upon older soil. The men of New Amsterdam understood as clearly as covetous Englishmen that they had possessed themselves of the very best part of that 'large northern empire' claimed by the kings of England and France; and this fact would by itself have sufficed to differentiate them widely from the inhabitants of any town of fifteen hundred souls in the Holland of their time or of ours.
Although their city was still a frontier post in a truer sense than Boston, for Boston contained many more people and was much more solidly flanked and protected by lesser settle ments, it probably presented the more civilized appearance. Some observers praised Boston highly but Colonel Cart wright, one of the royal commissioners sent from England in 1664, wrote in the following year that its houses were 'gener ally wooden' and its streets 'crooked and unpaved with little decency and no uniformity.' In New Amsterdam also, Stuyvesant wrote when he arrived in 1647, the houses were chiefly of wood. By 1664 they were mostly of brick with tiled roofs while those on the outlying farmsteads were often of stone. The annual rent of an ordinary house in the city seems to have been about fifteen beaver skins, or from 120 to 180 guilders.
Near the fort the houses were compactly placed. Else where within the wall there was room for great trees and shady groves of aboriginal growth, and for open spaces brightened by the rich native flora, by crops of rye, barley, and tobacco, and by the fruit trees and garden flowers that the Hollander always carried with him from his fatherland. Indeed, there was an `excess of large gardens,' said the West India Com pany when it got Cortelyou's map; if more closely built upon, the place might be more easily defended.
As standards of cleanliness and comfort were much higher among the Dutch than among the English at this period, New Amsterdam would undoubtedly have given less pain than Boston to the senses of a modern sanitarian. For a long period after it became New York all strangers noticed how spotless its Dutch traditions kept it within doors ; and the outward dishevelment of its early years was greatly bettered after the city magistrates took it in charge. Then, with the aid of the provincial government, they gradually improved the streets, appointing official `fence viewers,' refusing to let poor structures occupy good sites, ordering away pig sties, hen-houses, and other nuisances, and, to lessen the risk of fire, prohibiting hay stacks and wooden chimneys. Hogs had been at first the only scavengers, entering the yards from the streets. They were never entirely banished and, although their owners were ordered to supply them with nose rings so that they could not root up the footways, in 1653 one of the many pompous, long-winded, but usually sensible communications that Stuyvesant addressed to the city magistrates said that he saw `with great grief' the damage done to the earthen walls of the fort by hogs ' especially now again in the spring when the grass comes out.' He begged that the magistrates would fence in the fort to `prevent the pigs ' ; and the people were duly ordered to keep the animals in their sties until a fence could be built.
Soon after Brower Straet was paved 'with cobble stones' in 1658 and given the name that it still retains as Stone Street other streets were improved in the same way. Along each side of the Heere Gracht or Great Canal ran a street, and along the East River shore, from the mouth of the Heere Gracht to the Water Poort at the end of the city wall, a fine walk protected by the schoeynge or sea-wall of planks and therefore called De TVaal or Lang de Waal. The path at a little distance from the inner side of the city wall, which afterwards developed into Wall Street, was called the Cingel (the Circuit).
Near the wharf at the mouth of the Heere Gracht a small market house was built in 1656, and on the Plain in front of the fort, now the Bowling Green, a meat market in 1659 a substantial structure with a tiled roof. There were no market places in all New England towns as there were in all Dutch towns, and not until 1740 was a public market house built in Boston. An annual cattle fair held at New Amsterdam for six weeks in the autumn was called a 'free market,' which meant that strangers as well as burghers then had liberty to trade at retail and were exempt from arrest. Proclamations put into English brought farmers with their herds and flocks from points as distant as Stamford in New Haven Colony and the eastern parts of Long Island ; and for thirty years or more this Dutch institution survived in New York.
The earliest garden of a scientific sort in any of the colonies was undoubtedly the 'herb garden,' probably a part of the West India Company's large garden near the fort, which Van der Donck described as already falling into decay before he left New Amsterdam to carry the people's Remonstrance to Holland in 1649. Stuyvesant either revived it or laid out another, for at his request the Company sent him seeds and medicinal plants from the botanic garden at Leyden. The present City Hall Park is a fragment of the common land, called De Vlackte (the Flat) and afterwards the Commons, where, well outside the city wall, the citizens had free pasturage for their cattle.
In 1658, dissatisfied with the governor's house in the fort, Stuyvesant got the city magistrates to confirm his title to what they called the 'abandoned lots' which had belonged to the 'bankrupt fugitive,' piratical Thomas Baxter. This site, near the southeastern corner of the fort, the governor had already 'ornamented' with an 'expensive and handsome residence' fronting on the public wharf where his official barge could lie at his doorstep. After the English came in they called it Whitehall, a name still borne by the narrow street which led to it from the Plain and was called by the Dutch Marcktveld (Marketfield).
Behind Jacobus Van Couwenhoven's house stood his 'great stone brewery.' Oloff Stevensen Van Cortlandt's house had a similar companion. Just outside the city wall, almost all across the island, stretched the great Damen Bouwerie, granted by Governor Kieft to his friend of the `bloody hands' Here, on the Maagde Paetje or Alaiden Lane, so called be cause of a brook frequented by washerwomen, stood Damen's brewery which his stepson Jan Vinje managed until he became a farmer, brewer, and miller on his own account. On the East River shore outside the wall were Isaac Allerton's ware houses, Govert Lockerman's estate surrounded by a palisade, and Thomas Hall's with `house, brewery, horse-mill, and other buildings.' Many of the burghers who lived in the city had farms and country houses elsewhere on Manhattan.
In 1858 there was found in the British Museum a large manu script map brightly colored in red, blue, green, and yellow, which is labelled The Duke's Plan referring of course to the Duke of York for whom the province was seized in 1664 but also A Description of the Towne of Mannados or New Amster dam as it was in September, 1661. It shows the lower end of the island, in a sadly contracted harbor, with the Waal, the Heere Gracht, and the city wall well indicated, five bastions mounted with cannon protecting the wall, a battery on the East River shore in front of the Stadt Huis, and a large windmill on the North River shore close to the northwestern angle of the fort. No localities bear names except the governor's city house, his garden far away on the west side of the Heere Weg just south of the spot which is now Trinity Churchyard, and Isaac Allerton's group of buildings. The 'street lines are fairly accurate if tested by those that still exist, but the many large formal gardens which fill the interiors of the blocks must be credited to the draughtsman's desire to make his map as pretty as possible.
Many of the houses in the city had crow-stepped gables turned toward the street and roofs of vari-colored tiles. Some had projecting beams in the gable for the hoisting of goods into the store-rooms beneath the roof, and the characteristic Dutch porch or 'stoop' raised several feet above the ground. Inside, there were no stoves but enormous stone fireplaces bordered with blue and white tiles; there were great bed steads built into the walls, solid pieces of furniture, stores of household linen and handsome clothes, and treasures of pewter and silver; also, though rarely, large looking-glasses, marble tables, clocks, 'alabaster images,' great china pots,' and, in Stuyvesant's house at least, cabinets of ebony which were probably receptacles for porcelain treasures. These were more likely of Japanese than of Chinese origin, for after 1641 Nagasaki was an important trading post for the Dutch. The burghers of New Amsterdam had a great deal more silverware than the New Englanders who in other ways were much richer, but they did not regard it as an extravagance. It played the part now played by the savings-bank. 'Money and plate' is a frequent conjunction of terms in inventories and wills.
From the same lists it appears that chairs, always straight backed, were sometimes covered with Russia leather or with velvet and silver lace. The 'carpets' often mentioned were small rugs or, more commonly, table-covers; sand was the universal floor covering. The wonderful blooming of art in the Netherlands had so developed the popular love for pic tures and the belief in them as good investments that they abounded everywhere, even in the cottages of peasants. In New Amsterdam also they were numerous, relatively much more numerous than books.
Modest in size and put to modest uses were these comfort able Dutch-American houses, trade and family life going on together beneath the same roof as was the contemporary custom in European towns. The kitchen was the family sitting-room. Like the smaller chambers the room for formal uses, which we should call the parlor, held a bedstead ; and here stood the Dutchwoman's most indispensable article of furniture, her big kas or clothes-chest. The plentiful wadded petticoats and suits of clothing that filled the kas were of sorts that many years' wear could not damage. Much house hold linen was needed where, according to the general Euro pean practice, it was allowed to accumulate for the great bleacheries that were undertaken only twice or four times in a year. Mighty smokers though they were, Dutchmen, say their own historians, rarely smoked indoors. But the ex treme care that they bestowed upon the cleanliness of the house and its furnishings, say the same authorities, did not extend to their persons or to their clothing when in use. If Sir William Temple made no such remarks when he spoke with wonder of the niceties of Dutch housekeeping it was because, low as was then the standard of personal cleanliness in Holland, it was still lower elsewhere.
All the shops in New Amsterdam were general stores on a larger or smaller scale. The best one was kept by Cornelis Steenwyck who was one of the few Great Burghers and in later years was thought the richest man in the province. Taverns were of much more importance in the life of the com munity than they are to-day the citizens' only substitutes for the modern hotel, restaurant, dance-house, club-house, exchange, and newspaper. Some of them were kept by promi nent men like Martin Cregier and Salamon La Chair, a notary public who left his wine business in his wife's charge when, on his little yacht, he was making professional tours of the province. A record book in La Chair's handwriting, pre served in the office of the city clerk of New York, shows that he had a collection of law-books for reference and also that he may well have needed to supplement in some way the profits of his profession. It says, for instance, that his fee for estab lishing the right of the people of Gravesend to Coney Island was twenty-four guilders' worth of 'grey peas' on which he had to pay the freight, and for some aid given to Sir Henry Moody 'an English book of no use.' The fruits and vegetables of Holland flourished in the garden-plots and truck-farms of Manhattan. Rye and barley grew in the unexhausted soil higher than the head of a man. Breweries being many, so of course were hop gardens while, as Father Jogues had noted, both wheat and oats were used in the making of beer. Other edibles besides the invaluable maize had been acquired from the red men; and the riches, incredible to a newly arrived European, of virgin woods and waters were now turned to good account by the skilful hands of the Dutch housewife. There were many kinds of fish and of shell-fish, including lobsters sometimes five or six feet long although those thought best for the table were from a foot to a foot and a half in length. Venison was so cheaply pro cured from Indian hunters that the mutton for which the first settlers had pined was now little esteemed. Wild turkeys abounded, as many as 'five hundred in a flock.' Pigeons and partridges darkened the sky in their flight. Manifold kinds of geese and ducks lay in clouds on river and bay, while thousands of swans sometimes made their shores appear as though bordered by 'white napery.' Wild strawberries reddened the fields; and, wherever one turned, wild vines clothed 'the largest and loftiest trees' with garlands of grapes `large and sweet as in Holland.' If the accounts of these things written by Van der Donck, Domine Megapolensis, and the poet Steendam could have come to the ears of the peas ants of Europe as readily as such information would reach the lowliest and most remote to-day, surely New Netherland would not have had to beg for settlers.
Entertainments under the domestic roof were limited to family festivals but these were many and jovial; even funer als were almost festivities, so plentiful was the proffered sup ply of food, drink, and tobacco. The men constantly met at their 'clubs' in the taverns; and here, indoors or on the gar den turf, the young people danced. Public occasions in country places near by, like the founding of a new town or the dedication of a new church, were marked by ceremonies that included a banquet given by the people of the locality to the governor or his representatives.
At New Amsterdam the celebration of Christmas and other old church festivals was not thought, as in 1659 the general court of Massachusetts pronounced it, a 'great dishonor' to God. Most characteristically Dutch were the St. Nicholas Day and New Year's Day observances, but Christmas, Easter, and Whitsuntide were also celebrated by the Dutch Calvinist as heartily as by any Catholic. Nor was New Amsterdam's Sunday by any means the Sabbath of New England. All avoidable kinds of labor, all amusements, and all sales of drinks were strictly forbidden 'before, during, and between' the hours of service; but when Stuyvesant tried to extend such prohibitions to cover the whole twenty-four hours the city magistrates refused to publish his ordinance, saying that it was too severe and 'contrary to the freedoms' of the father land. The many days of prayer and humiliation and the rarer thanksgiving days appointed by the governor were ob served in the same manner as the Sabbath. In 1655 when a merchant applied to the council for permission 'to make a lottery of a certain quantity of Bibles, Testaments, and other books,' asking also that persons be appointed to value the stock and 'to select something for the poor,' the matter was referred to the city court which resolved 'that the same being advantageous shall be proceeded with.' Stuyvesant's Sunday ordinances show what sports his people enjoyed on week-days and on the Sabbath after their devotions had been performed: 'going on pleasure parties in boat, car, or wagon,"fishing, fowling, and roving in search of nuts and strawberries,' playing at dice, cards, bowls, shovel-board, and tennis, and at troth, a game with balls and hoops often played on the grass. Golf was also a Dutch game, described as played with a small ball, a crooked club, and a series of small holes in the turf. Turkey shooting was a common pastime in New Netherland. With small success, apparently, the governor in council issued ordinances against firing guns, beating drums, and selling liquor on New Year's Day and May Day, against the erection of May-poles as like wise conducive to disorderly conduct, and against the rough sport called pulling or riding the goose. This, says a solemn communication addressed by the governor and council to the city magistrates, was enjoyed by certain farmers' servants `on the feast of Bacchus at Shrove-tide' but was a 'pagan and popish' sport and, moreover, 'altogether unprofitable, unnecessary, and censurable' despite the fact that, as the burgomasters and schepens had pointed out, it was 'tolerated and looked at through the fingers in some places in Father land.' Certain servants who had engaged in it after being warned against it had thereupon been arrested and brought before the council. Then 'threatening, cursing, deriding, and laughing at the chief magistracy,' they had been committed to prison. And by this fact the burgomasters and schepens had felt as deeply aggrieved, said their official superiors, . . . as if we can issue no order or forbid no rabble to celebrate the feast of Bacchus without the advice, knowledge, and consent of the Burgomasters and Schepens, much less have power to correct such persons as transgress the Christian and Holy Commandment without the cognizance and consent of an inferior court of justice.
The director and council, their irFAc, lei,uei furthermore S,:syS, understood their own authority better than did others and therefore notified the city magistrates that these should con fine themselves to their proper duties as set forth in the in structions given them, should no longer trouble and torment the director-general in regard to his ordinances, and should understand . . . that the establishing of an inferior court of justice . . does in no wise infringe on or diminish the power and authority of the Director General and Council to enact any ordinances or issue particular inter dicts, especially those which tend to the glory of God, the best interests of the inhabitants, or will prevent more sins, scandals, debaucheries, and crimes and properly correct, fine, and punish obstinate transgressors.
In the following year when the farmers again made ready to pull the goose and the city court was formally asked by the council whether it intended to permit such transgression of the ordinances of a higher power, it decided that the schout should ex officio inform the farmers that their intention was illegal. It is plain that the conduct of public affairs must have been difficult in a place where the respective functions of two sets of officials were so vaguely defined ; and also that stagnation was not the atmosphere of a place where so small a matter could raise such a squall.
In New Amsterdam there were no vehicles built for pur poses of pleasure or mere comfort only utilitarian carts. And there were no side-saddles ; the women rode on pillions behind the men. In winter, however, Holland itself hardly offered better chances for the true Dutch joys of skating and sleigh ing than the frozen rivers and ponds, marshes and meadows of Manhattan. English visitors delighted to watch men and women flying over the ice with great market-baskets on their heads. But they were slow to adopt useful inventions novel to their eyes, for two or three generations seem to have passed before the slee of New Netherland made its way into New England. When iron lacked, its runners were shod with split saplings.
In summer a spot called the Locust Trees, on the bluff overlooking the NintI back of Governor Stuyvesant's garden, was a favorite trysting and loitering place. More than one primeval tree appears to have been preserved within the city limits to shelter the pipe-smoking burgher who might not smoke in his own home. Nutten (Governor's) Island was some sort of a pleasure ground; and the Bowery village, said Domine Selyns writing to the classis of Amsterdam, was 'a place of relaxation and pleasure whither people go from the Manhattans for the evening service.' In the year 1649 there were 15,000 whites and 300 negro slaves in Virginia; by 1671 there were 40,000 whites and 2000 blacks. There were never many blacks in Stuyvesant's province. The first that came directly from Africa arrived in 1655. Scarcely any others followed along this route. In 1660 Cornelis Steenwyck and some other merchants asked for permission to bring slaves, as the West India Company allowed, from the coast of Africa; but, so far as the records tell, neither these nor any other New Netherlanders ever actually engaged in the traffic. Some negroes were sent up from Brazil, more from Curacoa which was the Dutch as Bar badoes was the English emporium for the slave trade; and some, captured on Spanish or Portuguese ships, were brought in by Dutch privateers. One or two were occasionally im ported from Curacoa by individual colonists. As a rule they were sent by the Company to be sold for its benefit or by mer chants in Holland under special licenses from the Company. In 1660 forty were auctioned off on the Company's account and paid for 'in produce.' The burgomasters then asked for four able-bodied men for the use of the city and got three. There was some trading in slaves at this time between New Amsterdam and New England; and so many newly arrived blacks were sent down to Virginia that in 1655 the director in council laid a duty of ten per cent of the selling price upon all that should be sent out of the province. In 1664 when the Company sent in three hundred of them on the ship Gideon the largest consignment ever received in New Netherland it ordered that they should be employed in agriculture and not exported, and that at least one-third of their selling price should be sent to the Company itself 'in beavers' ; otherwise it would 'lose all desire,' it said, 'to continue supplying slaves.' It very soon lost all chance. What else there is to tell about the Gideon and its human cargo forms part of the story of the surrender of Manhattan to the English.
Almost all the negroes in the province, barring those that the West India Company retained, were employed as house hold servants; and sometimes they were disposed of by will in ways that showed a genuine concern for their welfare. None could be chastised without the permission of the magis trates. Some the governor manumitted freely or on very easy terms three women, for instance, upon condition that, taking turns each week, one of them should come to do his housework. Others, called `half slaves,' worked week and-week or month-and-month about for the Company and for themselves. As in the time of Governor Kieft free ne groes could own real estate. Forty of them helped to com pose the congregation at Stuyvesant's Bowery chapel and, it is recorded, grew deeply attached to Domine Selyns. They lived together, he wrote home, in a 'negro quarter.' It lay between the Kalck Hoek Pond and the Bowery.
Indentured servants of mature age, bound at first for seven, eight, or ten years, after 1660 for four years, swarmed in Vir ginia. At the time when there were only two thousand negroes in the colony Governor Berkeley estimated that fifteen hundred bondsmen arrived each year. In Massachusetts there were not nearly as many, yet there were a considerable number including hundreds of Scotchmen taken by Cromwell's troops in battle and sent to Boston to be sold for terms of seven or eight years. Even in its latter days New Netherland had few such persons although master-mechanics sometimes brought over workmen who had agreed to serve them for a certain time. The only records of shipments made by the home authorities relate to some companies of young people, chiefly girls, who were sent from the almshouse at Amster dam to the orphan-house at New Amsterdam to be bound out to respectable families. As most of them married young, indoor servants were even harder to find and to keep than farm laborers.
enough to give, in conjunction with the governor's correspond ence and ordinances, a fair idea of the moral condition of his city. Plainly, it was much higher than that of Kieft's scat tered community had been. It could well stand comparison with the condition of the English colonies, and it might shame many of the settlements which in modern days have been planted far from the mother-country of their founders. To the sins of the flesh, indeed, New Amsterdam was prone; but the devil as the father of violence found few recruits among its people and the world in the sense of material gain did not appeal to them more strongly than to their neighbors.
Writing in 1664 Thomas Mun declared that the Dutch had `well-near left' the 'swinish vice' of drunkenness while the English, who were said to have learned it of them, had fallen into a 'general leprosie of . . . piping, potting, feasting, fashions, and mis-spending of our time in idleness and pleas ure.' In New Amsterdam drunkenness was still common but was no longer a cause for complaint against high-placed personages. The records of New Haven say that a Dutch man, bearing witness for a comrade who had been arrested there, explained that . . . at the Mannadoes they were not punished for drunkenness but used after they had been drunk to say, God forgive us, or be mer ciful to us, and that was enough.
On the other hand, drink was declared by the court to be a `frivolous excuse' for the transgressions to which it led; and the authorities did all they could to limit the sale of intoxicants to white men and to prevent it altogether in the case of red men.
Abusive and slanderous language and insignificant acts of offence, like cutting trees on leased land allowing pigs to damage fences, and attacking a neighbor with a slipper or a 'peach-tree twig,' were still the most common charges upon wnic men and women were brought into court, a fact that bears witness not to an especially quarrelsome but to a very simple-minded community in which the custom of settling small private quarrels by official arbitration always prevailed.
?Once when Jan Vinje was sued for assault the court decided that the plaintiff had 'well deserved the beating he got.' ?While quarrels like this one and broils in the public streets were not ingrequent, burglaries were almost unknown and the many thefts referred to in the court records were pickings rather than stealings and, according to modern ideas, were very severely punished. Other recorded crimes include forgery very rarely, smuggling very often, and false entries at the custom house; fraud in regard to the size of beer barrels, the purity of flour, and the weight of bread; the 'deceitful' packing of tobacco, the selling of 'measled hogs,' the robbery of Indians, and the shooting of pigeons on Sunday. With few exceptions these were small transgressions. In their larger dealings with one another the men of New Amsterdam seem to have been honest; and if they defrauded the West India whenever they could there were nowhere many persons in that age who con sidered smuggling a crime. So frequent was the 'corruption' of the officials who tried to collect the hated customs dues on Manhattan that at last the governor set 'faithful soldiers' to watch the discharge of freight, changed them daily, and promised a third share of the fine to any one who would report an attempt at smuggling. In 1661 he put a vessel in com mission as a revenue cutter. Bakers were licensed quarterly; as their bread was exported their honesty was a commercial asset.
As in Kieft's time, sins of sensuality in varying degrees of shamefulness were frequent but even some that the courts do not recognize to-day were regarded as offences against public decency and were severely punished. Domine wrote to the classis of Amsterdam, however, that one such case had been hushed up. This was undoubtedly be cause the woman was an unmarried daughter of Domine Schaats of Albany. Her fellow-sinner was Arendt Van Corlaer who was a married man. Stuyvesant wrote bitterly about the matter, saying that the child that had been christened Benoni, Son of Grief, ought to have been called Barrabas. In early English days his own half-sister, Margriet Stuyvesant, then the widow of Jacobus Backer, had a child by a wealthy bachelor to whom she was betrothed but whose sudden death prevented their marriage. This seems to have involved her in no disgrace for she soon married another man.
Village life in the neighborhood of Manhattan was not much troubled by malefactors. Of New Utrecht it is written that nearly a year after its incorporation Nicasius De Sille, learning as schout-fiseal of the province that some one had `done amiss in the village,' sent it 'half-a-dozen shackles with an iron rod and a good lock' in order 'to punish evil doers, frighten the vicious, and produce tranquillity for the good.' In 1648 a tavern in New Amsterdam was closed because a man had been murdered there. In 1650 Hendrick Van Dyck, who had been schout-fiscal for five years, assorted that only two cases had occurred in his time deserving 'corporal punishment,' which must have meant capital punishment as physi cal chastisement was inflicted for many minor transgressions. But, if we may believe the Breeden Raedt, Van Dyck was not a conscientious officer, more than once failing to arrest deep dyed criminals and once drinking with an imprisoned mur derer until he got so drunk that the man escaped up the chimney. All in all, however, criminal cases were few, death sentences were very seldom pronounced, and were still more seldom carried out. Once the sentence of a soldier condemned to death for robbery was commuted to perpetual banishment in answer to the 'urgent solicitations' of the people at the place of execution. At another time a negress who had set fire to her owner's house was condemned to be bound to a stake and strangled and her body burned; then, after all the grisly preparations were made, at the last moment she was pardoned and returned to her master. Persons accused of grave crimes were occasionally threatened with the rack to extort confessions, and once or twice appear to have been subjected to it. The last recorded case of the use of torture in England occurred in 1640, but it was used in Virginia and, in the case of Indians, in New England. It is perhaps not fanciful to divine a greater cheerfulness in the tone of life in New Netherland as contrasted with New England from the fact that the first recorded suicide in the Dutch province ap pears in the records of the year 1663, three years after the general court of Massachusetts thought it needful to pass a law saying that the bodies of all self-murderers should be buried in the common highway.
There was no regular prison in New Amsterdam - only a jail in the fort and detention rooms for temporary use in the Stadt Huis. The stocks, the pillory, and the wooden horse, working 'at the wheelbarrow' with the Company's slaves, whipping, branding, and the piercing of tongue or ears with hot irons (cruel punishments common in other colonies also), fines and temporary or permanent banishment - these served instead of our modern terms of imprisonment. A negro filled the office of executioner and whipper. Arrested debtors were permitted to live at a tavern if they would pay the bill; otherwise they languished in the Stadt Huis.
When a litigant ordered by the city court to pay a sum of money did not do so his goods were levied upon and, if not redeemed within a week, were sold in a curious way. The court officer lighted a candle, bidding proceeded as long as it held out to burn, and as its light expired the highest bidder secured the goods.
The minutes of the city court dealing with minor offences show, like the scanty remaining evidence in regard to the crimes judged by the higher tribunal, that mercy very often tempered justice after justice had pronounced its fiat. A case typical of many in the manner of its conclusion, re corded in the minutes of the year 1653, was that of a tapster named Jan Peck, or Peeck, the same person who chanced to bequeath his name to Peeck's Kill, a creek flowing into the North River from the east, and thus to the village of Peekskill. The first entry reads : Cornelis Van Tienhoven as Sheriff of this city, represents to the Court that he has found drinking clubs on divers nights at the house of Jan Peck, with dancing and jumping and entertainment of disor derly people ; also tapping during Preaching, and that there was a great noise made by drunkards, especially yesterday, Sunday, in this house, so that he was obliged to remove one to jail in a cart which was a most scandalous affair. He demands, therefore, that Jan Peck's license be annulled and that he pay a fine according to the ordinance and placards of the Rt. Hon'ble Director General and Council. The Worshipful Court having seen the remonstrance of the Sheriff against Jan Peck, who being legally summoned did not appear, decided, on account of his disorderly housekeeping and evil life, tippling, dancing, gaming, and other irregularities, together with tapping at night and on Sunday during Preaching, to annul his license and that he shall not tap any more until he shall have vindicated himself.
At the next session of the court Jan Peck 'by petition' re quested leave to tap as the court officer had executed judg ment. Decision was then postponed, but later it was written : On the instant request both oral and written, of Jan Peeck to be allowed to pursue his business as before inasmuch as he is burthened with a houseful of children and more besides, the Court having con sidered his complaint and that he is an old Burgher, have granted his prayer on condition that he comport himself properly and without blame, and not violate either one or the other of the placards, on pain of having his business stopped without favor and himself punished as he deserve, should he be found again in fault.
At a later time, after Peeck's death, his wife was banished for repeating the old offences. Typical records of civil suits, all brought during the year 1653, read as follows : Roelof Jansen, pltf., v/s Philip Gereardy, deft., complains that defts. dog has bitten him in the daytime, as may be seen by the wound, and he claims for loss of time and surgeon's fees 12 fl. [florins or guilders]. Deft. says pltf. may kill said dog and that pltf. has not lost any time or work on that account ; he, deft., has already sent pltf. by his wife 4 lbs. of butter and is still willing to give him as a charity 4 fl. more. The demand of pltf. is therefore denied.
Auken Jansen, pltf., v/s Augustyn Heermans, deft., demands pay ment of a balance of one hundred guilders in beavers according to contract for building deft's house. Deft. says that pltf. has not ful filled his contract ; secondly, that he has spoiled his timber and the work; thirdly, that now, in short, to prevent all disputes, it was agreed at pltf's request that he should give pltf. one beaver more, and if pltf. will not accept this, then he claims damages sustained by him. Pltf. denies such agreement ; says he will not be satisfied with one beaver. The Court do hereby appoint Pieter Wolfersen and Frans Jansen, both house-carpenters, to inspect work and if possible to effect a settlement, or otherwise to report their opinion in writing to the Board.
Thomas Schondtwart, pltf., v/s Antony Jansen, deft., says that deft. whose daughter he has married refuses to give him what he had promised and is therefore, according to the written demand, due him. Burgomasters and Schepens having heard the demand and answer concerning the father's promise, refer the same to David Provoost and Hendrick Kip to examine into the dispute, its origin and progress, and the same by all practicable means to settle and finally decide, and the said arbitrators are empowered, if necessary, to associate a third person with them to whose award parties shall be obliged to submit without power to institute any further suit.
Elsie Hendrickx, pltf., v/s Jacob Backer, deft. Deft. in default. Pltf. demands, as deft. fails to prove according to order of 8th Decem ber last that the 2 beavers which he received for the soap were returned, that the rendered judgment may be put in execution. The Court having heard the pltf's request, which consists with law and equity, do order and authorize the Officer to levy execution either on soap or anything else to the satisfaction of the pltf. with costs of suit.
The desire to gain or to retain a less than honest penny was a much more prolific source of small transgressions in New Amsterdam than idleness or sloth. All the people of the province, as the West India Company once remarked, under stood that they must be 'inclined to work' if they expected to become 'great lords' or even to put bread in their mouths. According to their own witness the earlier immigrants had come 'naked and poor' from Holland, and this was well, for the best pioneers were 'farmers and laborers, foreigners and exiles, men inured to toil and poverty.' Prosperous though many grew before the Dutch days of the province came to an end, their wills and inventories indicate no large fortunes. Probably not one New Netherlander had reached a point where, had he so desired, he could have supported his house hold on the garnered fruits of antecedent industry. The burgomasters and schepens whose prayer for salaries the governor granted in 1654 were, he said in justification of the act, 'for the most part persons who must maintain their houses and families by trade or farming or mechanical labor.' Indeed, in the city as in the villages and on the farms every body labored, man and woman, gentle and simple, the richest and the poorest; and no kind of toil was thought derogatory. A soap boiler, as the records show, could obtain the Great Burgher-Right if he had fifty guilders to pay for it.
After the Indian raid of 1655, when Stuyvesant lost his temper trying to get enough money to redeem the unfortu nate captives, he averred that taxes might easily be increased, . . . as the sumptuous dress, the profuse consumption of strong drink, with the consequent laziness rendering it difficult to procure laborers for reasonable wages, do not suppose inability to contribute to the public burdens ; rather, a malevolent unwillingness arising from an imaginary liberty in a new and, as some pretend, a free country.
In such a country there are always those who declare that others will not work for 'reasonable' pay. It is well to set against Stuyvesant's charges the plea put forth by the citi zens when, after the first Esopus war, they asked for an enlargement of their burgher-right. They had suffered much, they said, through their 'voluntary services against enemies at divers times for the public service,' a task from which 'all surrounding places' had been exempt. But the main cause why they were not more prosperous was the aid they had to give to the many people who, losing their prop erty and fearing to lose their lives, had fled penniless to New Amsterdam. In this work of mercy they had contracted debts larger than they could discharge. The whole burden now came upon those who had still 'any means,' and it was heavy for, they said, . . . we are bound in conscience not to see any one of our Nether land nation perish through poverty but constantly to sustain and aid him, whether by disbursement of money, provisions, or by new ad vances of goods, which they so doing cannot pay now nor never.
Stuyvesant's description of his people was evidently the out burst of a would-be autocratic governor whose power they had effectually curtailed; yet the fact that even he could speak such words shows the extent of the difference in well being between his little city and the rough village that Van Twiller and Kieft had ruled.
During the latter years of New Netherland a number of burgher families arrived from Holland bringing property with them. Like the humblest agricultural laborers they repre sented the industrial classes of Europe. New Netherland's tinge of aristocratic blood has often been exaggerated. Only three or four scions of the old Netherland aristocracy ever saw its shores. Its proportion of those who would have been called gentlefolk by Englishmen was not larger than that of Connecticut where the distinctive 'Mr.' was prefixed to only eight on a list of two hundred and thirty-one names of those who between 1650 and 1660 took the freeman's oath. It is the eye of fancy not of history which, looking back to Stuy vesant's province, sees a little forest of family trees trans planted from the choicest corners of the social soil of Holland and France. The plebeian shoots that were brought instead were better fitted for New World planting. At once they developed into wide-branched family stocks many of which still bear good fruit.
Of aristocratic feeling there was still no deeper tinge than of aristocratic blood. In official circles, of course, ranks and degrees were respected, and outside of them personal force, shown in the accumulation of wealth or otherwise, won per sonal distinction. But the social soil was still unstratified, and the failure of the attempt to establish the Great Burgher Right proves that the people were content to have it so. Even Stuyvesant did not think of framing sumptuary regula tions while in Massachusetts they grew stricter as the years went on; in 1651, for example, the general court expressed its 'utter detestation and dislike' of the 'intolerable' fact that people of 'mean condition, educations, and callings' took upon themselves 'the garb of gentlemen,' and under penalty of presentation by the grand jury forbade all persons, except those who belonged to magistrates' families or whose `visible estates' amounted to £200, to wear certain articles of dress and adornment which the statute carefully listed.
Elsewhere in the Dutch province conditions were the same as in its little capital or even simpler. It is a curiously false tradition that still leads many writers to reiterate such statements as we find, to take only two among many recent examples, in James K. Hosmer's History of Anglo-Saxon Freedom and Goldwin Smith's United States. Hosmer says, with astonishing inaccuracy, that the Dutch were long enough in possession in New York 'to stamp upon the settlement an impress not at all democratic,' and that 'along the Hudson the patroons . . . had set up a feudalism as marked as that of the seigneuries which the French at the same time estab lished on the St. Lawrence.' And Goldwin Smith declares that New Netherland was 'dominated by the patroons, mag nates invested with vast grants of land, who exercised seign iorial sway and lived in seigniorial state.' Vast grants of land in New Netherland had meant merely vast grants of the wilderness where, by the year 1664, only a few hundreds of acres had been reclaimed. Only some nine patroonships had been established; only one, Rensselaerswyck, had suc ceeded; and all the others had ceased to exist before the English came in except Van der Donck's which was moribund and possibly the one west of the Hudson between Achter Kol and Tappaen of which very little was ever said. Moreover, the patroons of Rensselaerswyck had remained in Holland. The relatives who managed their American property gathered but a small revenue and did not live in a way that even remotely resembled seigniorial state. If they exercised seign iorial sway over a shifting, troublesome body of tenants it was in a very modest and democratic New World fashion and, in Stuyvesant's later years, under his supervision. And, apart from the influence which by mere personal force of character some of the authorities at Rensselaerswyck ex ercised over the Indians, neither they nor any patroon, not even Captain De Vries, helped to dominate the province. It was not until English days that great landed estates, barring Rensselaerswyck only, began to assume any importance in the Dutch province, not until the eighteenth century that they played any conspicuous part in its history.
When, however, it is said that gentlefolk were few in New Netherland and New England it must be remembered that the defining line was then drawn in Europe according to mere facts of birth, not of education or refinement; and also that everywhere in America the proportion of educated, well bred people was larger, the general average of intelligence much higher, than in European lands. If social pinnacles were lacking, so was that great solid, stolid, sodden sub stratum of hopeless, helpless ignorance and indigence upon which in the Old World the successive strata of class and caste reposed. The constant lament of all the colonies that white servants and laborers could not be obtained proves, not merely the breadth of New World opportunities for the poor, but also a much larger proportion of intellectual capacity than any European land could show.
Again, though Holland did not send to New Netherland what England sent to New England thousands of its best in a truer than the old feudal sense neither did it send thousands of its worst as England did to its more southerly colonies. Mixed though the population of New Netherland was in respect to nationalities, it was not nearly as mixed in other ways as that of Virginia. In Virginia, as the writings of the time declare, during the first half of the seventeenth century sons of great families, hot-brained adventurers seek ing for gold, and 'unruly gallants packed thither by their friends to escape ill destinies' mingled with many reprieved prisoners, young women pressed' and transported willy nilly, and bands of boys and girls shipped from London be cause they `lay starving in the streets.' In 1670 the assembly protested against the 'great numbers of felons and other desperate villains' then being sent over, said that the horror ' still remained of the 'barbarous designs' with which 'those villains' had attempted in 1663 to subvert the government, and prohibited for the future the landing of any `jail-birds.' People of these sorts were never shipped from Holland to its province.
For all its democratic temper and its simple ways of life New Amsterdam, as its English invaders found it, was not an illiterate or unmannerly place. This might be premised from a knowledge of its fatherland. In Holland university education was not only better but much more general than in other countries, birth into the middle classes was much more certain to insure a liberal upbringing, and larger numbers of the poor received elementary instruction. Moreover, com mercial life, which involves not merely varied interests and intercourse with other lands but also a concentration of the people in cities, is more humanizing, liberalizing, civilizing than agricultural, pastoral, or military life. In mediaval times the lamps of learning, art, and manners were kept alight in the great commercial cities of Germany, not in its princes' courts and camps. In the Netherlands during the same period the burgher was the chief figure as the landowner was in England, the feudal baron in France; and many of the members of the feudal aristocracy also lived in the cities, which meant both that they too grew civilized and that class lines were less strictly drawn than in other lands. Then as time went on and commercial Holland, shaking off the fetters of Spain, grew free, tolerant, and hospitable, its sons became wider in sympathy and more receptive in mind than others, better acquainted with foreign places, men, and ideas, more accustomed to the unhampered discussion of all kinds of sub jects, more advanced in their habits of life, more skilled in the amenities of living. So unrivalled, in fact, was the progress made by these people whose wit, as Temple explains, been 'sharpened by commerce' and the `conversation of cities,' that Holland not only stood far in advance of the rest of the world in the higher branches of intellectual en deavor and in the degree of material comfort its people en joyed but was also several generations ahead as regarded the average of intelligence and mental cultivation.
With a large contingent from the well educated burgher classes of Holland New Netherland received many Huguenots of a similar kind. A number of its inhabitants are known to have been university graduates, more may be thought such upon the witness of their accomplishments, and many others had had, like Governor Stuyvesant, that Latin school train ing which in Holland meant a real knowledge of mathematics and the classics. Some of the New Netherlanders wrote Latin as readily as the most cultivated New Englanders; it was the language employed in drawing up some of Governor Kieft's land patents as well as letters; and the domines of Manhattan spoke it with a fluency that amazed their Eng lish associates in the early days of New York.
Among the settlers of humble origin the farmers were often illiterate, the townsfolk less often. To judge of this matter by the relative number of names and marks attached to public papers may not be to apply an absolutely accurate test; for it has been said that on early New England docu ments signed by a number of persons marks sometimes rep resent the names of men who are known to have been able to write marks affixed perhaps by others in their absence. Yet it is as good a test as can be devised; it is certainly to be trusted as proving who could if not always who could not write; and it is probably altogether accurate where the total of the names affixed to a paper is not large. As low a level of illiteracy as, in this manner, the surviving documents of New Netherland reveal is shown by a paper signed by Nether landers and Frenchmen at Boswyck in 1662 with five written names and thirteen marks, and by another signed at the Wallabout in 1663 with six names and nine marks. In 1643 those who spoke for the commonalty of New Amsterdam regarding the election of the Eight Men signed with twenty four names and nineteen marks. At Breuckelen in 1663 nineteen names and nine marks were signed together. But the last formal petition of the people of New Amsterdam, drawn up, as will be told, in 1664 when the English were at their gates, shows sixty-nine signatures and only nine marks. No paper as important as this would have been signed in con temporary Boston by so democratic a company of men of all ranks and callings ; but if such a thing had chanced, the proportion of marks to names would certainly have been as large. Forty-eight 'free burghers' of New Haven signed an agreement in 1639 with thirty-five names and thirteen marks; and at Andover in 1664 five out of eleven members of a coroner's jury could not write their names. As for the English in New Netherland, they set seven names and seven marks to the oath of allegiance taken by Thomas Pell's com panions at Westchester in 1656, twenty-three names and eighteen marks to a paper drawn up at Hempstead in the same year, and eleven names and nine marks to another signed at Jamaica in 1661. In 1660 the sheriff of the town of Gravesend could not write his name which was Charles Morgan.
The average of feminine education was much higher among the Dutch than among the English. A commercial training often followed the elementary schooling that girls in general received, and a classical training was not uncommon. Tradition says that the young daughters of one De Milt, a baker, were the best Latin scholars in New Netherland, not excepting its clergymen. Sarah, the wife of Doctor Kierstede and the daughter of Annetje Jans, was appointed official interpreter because she was more skilled in the Indian tongues than any one else. It was usual for women as well as men to plead their own cases in court. They were active in commercial life not only as shopkeepers but also as mer chants in the wider sense, ship-owners, and traders with the Indians in the wilderness. It was common for a wife to hold her husband's power of attorney during his absences, to assist him in his business, and to carry it on after his death even though it were the management of a farrier's shop on the one hand, of a large farm on the other. Both the Great and the Small Burgher-Right, as has been told, were open to women.
With this freedom there went, of course, a corresponding degree of consideration at home. The wife was the head of the household, supreme in domestic affairs and her hus band's equal in the eyes of the law which recognized a com munity in goods when no ante-nuptial contract existed. Such a contract often assured that the wife and the husband should inherit absolutely from each other. Rights of pri mogeniture did not exist and daughters inherited equally with sons. English observers noted at the time that the equal way in which the laws divided property in Holland worked against the upgrowth of an aristocracy of idleness. Conversely, in the English-American colonies the difficulty of idleness worked with other inescapable New World in fluences against the perpetuation of English customs of pri mogeniture.
The ordinances of Stuyvesant's day as well as of early English days show that on Manhattan children were no more strictly disciplined than in Holland. There, as Bradford had written, the 'great licentiousness of youth' was one of the reasons that decided the Pilgrim Fathers to try their fortunes in America; and, as Blok records when writing of the middle years of the century, all foreign observers were amazed at the liberty granted to children and the free behavior of servants.
The mental caliber of the New Netherlanders may be tested by reading the bulky volumes which contain translations of their public papers popular petitions, complaints, and expositions, official journals, reports, manifestoes, and letters. Many of them besides the Remonstrance of 1649 have the high merits of logical arrangement, lucidity, and dignity. All have a simplicity in strong contrast to the turgid rhetoric in which the New Englander often delighted. Some have a flavor of scholarship, literary skill, and individuality which persists even in the alien language. If none of them has as vivid a picturesqueness as the New Englander and the Vir ginian now and again achieved, on the other hand those that deal with the features and the products of the little-known Western world are much more sane and scientific in spirit than contemporary essays in English. If none has the same sort of historical value as the chronicles of Bradford and Winthrop, some have a descriptive value unmatched in other early colonial records. Among these are the excellent paper called Information in Regard to Taking up Land in New Netherland written by Cornelis Van Tienhoven, De Vries's direc tions for mariners, and Van der Donck's Description of New Netherland. This, indeed, is an exceptionally intelligent book of its kind, discriminating wisely between established facts and mere information received from sources possibly un reliable. It contains no statements that can be bracketed, for example, with John Josselyn's where he says that por cupines in America laid eggs, that frogs sat on their haunches a full foot in height, and that barley in a poor soil degenerated into oats. If Van der Donck repeated Indian tales of the marvels of the forest he doubted their truth, questioning, for instance, whether unicorns existed in New Netherland al though all the world then believed that they existed some where. His story of whales seen far up the North River was undoubtedly true. Keen-eyed and sensible, he spoke what seems to have been the first warning against the destruction of American forests, wrote of plants and crops like a botanist and an agriculturist, and, dwelling at length upon the nature and habits of the beaver, produced a chapter which deserves to be cited among the best natural history monographs of the time. Martin Cregier's workmanlike Journal of the Esopus War, again, is not nearly as amusing to read as John Under hill's account of the Pequot War in his News from America but gives a much better account of the way in which an Indian campaign was conducted. In short, if we look not for self conscious literary essays but for papers containing informa tion about current conditions we are so well pleased with the manner of writing of the New Netherlanders that it seems doubly unfortunate that none of them compiled a chronicle of the fortunes of the province which might be matched with Bradford's and Winthrop's.
With mere literary intent they wrote, so far as we know, nothing whatever in prose. In theology, again, they left scarcely anything to be weighed against the large legacy of New England except a little Latin treatise which Megapo lensis composed to refute the arguments of his Jesuit ac quaintance Father Le Moyne. Three adventurers in verse, however, New Netherland could claim Jacob Steendam, Nicasius De Sille the schout-fiscal of the province, and Domine Selyns.
`Jacob Steendam, Noch Vaster' is the punning way in which this poet wrote his name, steendam meaning 'stone dam' and noch vaster 'still firmer.' He had served the West India Company for a number of years and had already pub lished a volume of poems before he came, about the year 1650, to New Netherland where he owned houses in the city but seems to have worked as an upholsterer and trader and as a planter on Long Island. In 1659, to excite interest in the province, he caused to be published in Holland a Complaint of New Amsterdam (Klaght van Nieuw Amsterdam) which repre sents the city, the daughter of Amsterdam and the God of War, abandoned by her parents to her indifferent sponsors the directors of the West India Company, and falling a victim to predatory swine that is, to the English. Returning to Holland Steendam issued in 1661 a longer poem called The Praise of New Netherland ('T Lof van Nuw-Nederland), dedicated to Secretary Van Ruyven, and in 1662 a set of so called Spurring Verses (Prikkel Vaersen) urging colonists toward the Delaware country. He appears to have died, probably some ten years later, at Batavia in the island of Java where he was serving as a missionary, comforter of the sick, and master of the East India Company's orphan-house. He is still remembered among the poets of Holland.
Nicasius De Sille wrote in prose a brief History of the First Beginnings of New Utrecht, where he was one of the first settlers, building himself in 1657 a stone house that stood until 1850. In the town records, which he kept until 1660, lie embalmed three short poems a pastoral, a psalm, and an epitaph on the first child born in the town, a little Cor telyou.
Much more voluminous is the legacy of Domine Selyns, a highly accomplished scholar who composed often in Latin, once in Greek about two hundred poems, chiefly epitaphs, epithalamiums, and other ' occasional ' verses. Most of them date from days when New Netherland had become New York, but in 1663 he wrote two nuptial odes for the Latin Schoolmaster, Domine Luyck, and a long poem on the Esopus wars.
None of these essays in verse is nearly as ambitious as those of the Bostonian Anne Bradstreet, published in 1650, or as Wigglesworth's Day of Doom, first printed in 1662. In their modest way, however, they make a nearer approach to literary excellence; and, envisaging the things of this world cheer fully and often gayly and the things of the next world sanely and hopefully, they convince us that their authors would have been pleasant and profitable persons to know.
Taken as a whole, the bulk of the written legacies of New Netherland and the number of the practised quills they reveal are rather surprising when we remember that it held only seven or eight thousand people of both sexes and all ages and that none of them was moved to write for the instruction of posterity, for the moral edification of the Old World, or even for his neighbors' spiritual improvement. This is true when only the documents that have been printed are consid ered. Many others that must be interesting are still un published, notably the correspondence of Jeremias Van Rensselaer covering the years between 1656 and 1674, and a journal called the New Netherland Mercury which he regu larly sent to the owners of the patroonship in Holland In short, it is not more justifiable to think of New Am sterdam as a slow-witted, illiterate place than as a drowsy, uneventful place. The more closely we read its chronicles in the words of its own founders and fosterers the more clearly we perceive how civilized, how modern it was in its essential habits of mind. If an American of to-day could be trans ported back two hundred and fifty years he would find him self more comfortably at home on Manhattan than anywhere else. In some of the English settlements he would have the chance to exercise more direct political power, but in none excepting Rhode Island would he find as much personal freedom, and in none at all a general mental attitude, a pre vailing temper, as similar to the temper of the America of to-day.
Some of Governor Stuyvesant's most active friends and antagonists died or left Manhattan before the English entered to possess it.
Adriaen Van der Donck died in 1655, two years after he returned from Holland. The well-known Onderdonk family of New York and New Jersey is descended from his son Andrew, and others called Vandunck or Verdunck also trace back, most probably, to the people's tribune or to his brother Daniel. His property, which included the patroonship north of the Harlem River and lands on Long Island, he bequeathed to his wife who soon remarried with a man named O'Neale and followed her father, the Reverend Mr. Doughty, to Vir ginia. She and her new husband were confirmed in the pos session of the patroonship by the first English governor. But it was soon divided and sold, portions of it form ing in after days parts of the manors of Fordham and Philips burgh. Still later, part of Philipsburgh was known as the 'lower manor' of the Van Cortlandt family by contrast with their larger estate farther north; and the Van Cortlandt house, now a museum in Van Cortlandt Park, stands near the spot where Van der Donck's is believed to have stood. The stream called the Sawkill took its name from his sawmill.
One of the names of his short-lived patroonship, de Jonk heer's Landt, survives as the name of the city of Yonkers, bestowed upon the township, which had previously been called Philipsburgh, in the year 1788. This name, his writ ings, and the map that bears his own name are Van der Donck's memorials; but only antiquaries remember what Yonkers means, and even the historians who most highly praise the Description of New Netherland usually ignore the fact that Van der Donck also wrote the people's Remonstrance and Petition of 1649.
It was because he intended to enlarge his Description by a history of the colonists in New Netherland that he deferred its publication until he returned to the province, then asking leave of the West India Company to examine the official records in Fort Amsterdam. The Company wrote Stuyvesant to be cautious in this 'difficult matter' lest its own weapons be used against it and it be thereby drawn into ' new troubles and quarrels' ; and apparently Stuyvesant refused to let Van der Donck see the records, for the Description was printed with out an historical chapter. Thus posterity was deprived of what would certainly have been a most valuable possession even though, as has been shown to be probable, the records antedating the administration of Governor Kieft had already disappeared.
David Provoost died in 1656. A versatile person who had been schoolmaster and notary public, a trader with the Indians and New Englanders, commissary in charge of Fort Good Hope, and schout of a Long Island district, he is chiefly re membered as the founder of a notable family and the ancestor of the first Episcopal bishop of New York. Brian Newton, the military officer of English birth who had come out with Stuyvesant and had sometimes served as his intermediary when dealing with his English neighbors, asked in 1661 to resign his commission and in 1662 was discharged and, appar rently, returned to Europe. Lady Deborah Moody of Graves end died in 1659, and in 1662 her son Sir Henry who shortly before had moved to Virginia and who left no children.
Wouter Van Twiller died in Holland in 1656 or 1657. Cornelis Melyn, who had removed with one of his sons to New Haven before he sold his Staten Island patroonship to the West India Company, continued to visit New Amsterdam where other members of his family remained. The last mention of his name in the records occurs in 1663. Lubber tus Van Dincklagen, having refused to serve as vice-director when Stuyvesant was ordered to reinstate him, also betook himself after a time to New Haven where he soon died, prob ably in 1658. Isaac Allerton likewise died in 1658 at New Haven where he owned one of the finest houses in the town, described as ornamented with four porches. His son, known in Virginia as Colonel Isaac Allerton, there founded a family which long ranked with the most prominent, and after serving for a time in the assembly was appointed to the governor's council in 1687.
In 1656 Dr. La Montagne was appointed vice-director at Fort Orange. Dirck Van Schelluyne also left New Amster dam, to serve as secretary of Rensselaerswyck. Domine Selyns asked leave to go back to Holland at the expiration of his four years' term of service and departed in 1664, not then intending to return as he did after a lapse of nineteen years. His place was taken by Samuel Megapolensis, a son of the elder minister, who had studied for three years at Harvard College and passed through the departments of medicine and theology at the University of Leyden, and had recently come back to Manhattan.
Augustine Herrman, after concluding his mission in Mary land in 1659, went to Virginia to clear the government of New Netherland from the charge of exciting the Indians against the English. On his way home he agreed with the governor of Maryland to make a detailed map of that colony and Vir ginia. The first of its kind, it was printed in London in 1673. A copy of it may be seen in the Grenville collection in the British Museum, adorned with Herrman's autograph and portrait. In payment for it he received a large grant of land at the head of Chesapeake Bay, now in Cecil and New Castle counties, where he established several manorial estates the chief of which he named for the land of his birth Nova Bohemia or Bohemia Manor. This name is still remembered, the brick house that Herrman built stood until 1786, and it is said that the circumference of his deer park may still be traced. He removed from Manhattan to his new manor with his family, their tutor, and their servants in 1661. Later, when Lord Baltimore had given him other grants, his prop erties amounted in all to some thirty thousand acres. In 1666 the Maryland assembly passed an act naturalizing him and his sons the first act of the sort known to have been framed in any of the colonies.
Family traditions assert that Herrman revisited Manhattan while Stuyvesant was still in power, quarrelled with him, was imprisoned in the fort, feigned insanity, asked for the com pany of his favorite horse, and on the back of this wonderful steed leaped from a window of his prison, swam the North River, and thus escaped from the governor's clutches. The records of New Amsterdam do not mention such an episode, but later writings do say that Herrman came back and quarrelled with Stuyvesant. He had himself painted with his horse, and when it died he gave it honorable burial in the family graveyard at Bohemia Manor. The portrait was burned in later years but an amusingly artless copy of it, still owned by Herr man's descendants, shows him in a beruffied red coat standing by a white horse which is bleeding profusely from its nos trils as though it had indeed just performed some difficult feat.
Herrman, wrote Van der Donck, was `an ingenious man and a lover of the country,' meaning New Netherland. His wife was Jannekin (Jenny) Varleth, probably a sister of Stuyve sant's brother-in-law Nicholas. Judith Varleth, the sister who was accused of witchcraft at Hartford, married her brother's stepson, the youngest of Stuyvesant's nephews, Nicholas Bayard. Brought to New Amsterdam as a child, he was destined to lead a long and stormy life in the city of New York. Tinder the Dutch he served as clerk in the office of the provincial secretary, as English secretary to the governor, and as commissary of customs. If tradition may be quoted again, he was a frivolous young man, too fond of horse-racing, dancing, and other amusements. History shows that he was well educated, speaking and writing fluently Dutch, French, and English, and that in his maturer years he was energetic and passionate, an ambitious politician, and sometimes an unscrupulous partisan.