THE LATTER YEARS OF NEW NETHERLAND And again we asked, What right had the kings of Spain, France, or England more than the Hollanders or Dutch to the New World America ? Augustine Herrman: Journal of the Embassy from New Netherland to Maryland. 1659.
In Europe several publications relating to New Netherland quickly followed Van der Donck's Remonstrance, printed in 1650. A tract on the Mohawk Indians written by Domino Megapolensis was published at Amsterdam in 1651; and in the same year Joost Hartgers of Amsterdam issued a book that was compiled from this tract, the Remonstrance, and De Laet's history and called a Description of Virginia, New Netherland, New England, Bermuda, and the West India Islands. This is the book already mentioned as containing the first print from the earliest known picture of New Am sterdam, undoubtedly drawn before the church in the fort was built in 1642.
A map called the Danckers Map, published at some date after 1650, was apparently the basis of the more important Visscher Map of Novi Belgii, Novceque Anglice nee non partis Virginice. This was issued at Amsterdam in Visscher's Atlas Minor in 1655 and was adorned with the second view of New Amsterdam that is known to us, drawn by Augustine Herrman. A copy is still attached to the West India Com pany's report upon Stuyvesant's South River expedition, pre served in the archives at the Hague. At this period the Blaeus of Amsterdam and other cartographers also issued atlases containing maps of New Netherland. One which was published by the French house of Sanson in 1656 shows the 'Nouveau Pays Bas' extending below New England and including Cape Cod.
The picturesque and valuable journal of Captain De Vries was printed at Alckmaer in 1655 under his own supervision. The title-page describes him as 'Ordnance-Master of the Most Noble Lords the Committed Council of the States of West Friesland and the North Quarter.' The frontispiece is a half-length portrait, inscribed as taken in 1653 when he was sixty years of age and showing a strong aquiline face, the brow encircled by a wreath of laurel. The dedication to the noble lords aforesaid gives an idea of the scope of the book, from which of course only such passages have here been quoted as bear directly on the history of New Amster dam. It was written, says its author, from his personal experience in America . . . in order to make known to trading and seafaring persons what trade and profits (accidents excepted) are to be had there, and to point out to them the good havens and roadsteads for securing their ships and goods, and to warn seamen of the rocks, shoals, and dangerous bars, in order that they may avoid them; showing them also what course they must take at sea, and how they must govern themselves by the wind, sun, moon, and stars.
In 1655 was also published a Description (Beschrijvinghe) of New Netherland written, evidently to promote emigration, by Adriaen Van der Donck during his enforced detention in Holland but not issued until after his return to America. A small quarto, the title-page adorned with a curious version of the arms of New Amsterdam, a much excited beaver serv ing as the crest, it is probably now the rarest and the most costly of the early books relating to the Dutch province. It is chiefly although not wholly a compilation from Van der Donek's own Remonstrance and the second edition of De Laet. The first issue contained a reproduction of the earli est picture of New Amsterdam ; a second, which followed in 1656, showed a reduction of the Visscher Map including the second picture, Augustine Herrman's. This reduction has been more often reprinted than any other map of the province; and the picture it bears, showing the fort, the church, a wind mill, the tall flagstaff used in signalling the arrival of vessels, and a gallows near the water's edge, remains the standard picture of New Amsterdam, for no artist, it seems, or at least no engraver, again depicted the city until the year 1673, nine years after it had become New York. It is true that an old water-color picture of New Amsterdam, now owned by the New York Historical Society, is inscribed to the effect that it was drawn in 1650 on the ship Lydia. But no ship of this name is on record as having entered the port, and the draw ing appears to be a copy of a later print.
These various publications, aided for a time by Van der Donck's personal efforts, encouraged emigrants of a good class to embark for New Netherland although the war between England and Holland, making the seas unsafe, interfered somewhat with their transportation. A number of Finns and Swedes from the South River likewise sought the shores of the North River, and, as Domine Megapolensis wrote, `the scum of all New England' was ' drifting' into the province.
The Company had again instructed Governor Stuyvesant that whether boundary lines were fixed or not, `contract or no contract,' he must not permit the English to encroach any farther on his territories. The only way to keep them out was to set Dutch villages along their borders, and this method Stuyvesant's people were too weak in numbers to employ. In 1654 a large party from Fairfield in the New Haven jurisdiction, led by Thomas Pell who had been a gentleman of the bedchamber to Charles I, had appropriated a wide tract in the present county of Westchester, buying it from the Indians who had already sold it to the Dutch, and declaring themselves under the protection of the Common wealth of England. It was customary for an Indian brave to assume the name of any conspicuous person he had killed; and one of the sachems who signed the deed to Pell thus confessed himself the murderer of Anne Hutchinson, giving his name as 'Ann Hoock.' These new settlers, planting themselves far within the in disputable limits of New Netherland as fixed by the Hart ford Treaty, received criminal fugitives from Manhattan and, the Dutch believed, held correspondence with the savages who in 1655 were raiding Staten Island and Pavonia. In the spring of 1656 Stuyvesant put some of them briefly under arrest, forced them to acknowledge his jurisdiction, and, granting them a government of the Dutch pattern, organized the first town north of the Harlem River. The Englishmen called it Westchester; the Dutchmen, looking at it from the opposite point of view, called it Oost Dorp, East Village. At the beginning of the year 1657 Stuyvesant induced its settlers to take an oath that they would `own the governor of the Manatas as our governor and obey all his magistrates and laws' so long as they remained within his government.
Early in 1655, before the Indian outbreak and while the governor was absent in Barbadoes, the irrepressible George Baxter with James Hubbard as his chief supporter tried to raise a revolt at Gravesend, running up the English flag and claiming for his associates the rights of English subjects. The council arrested both Baxter and Hubbard and imprisoned them in the fort. A twelvemonth later their fellow-towns man Sir Henry Moody petitioned for their release. Hubbard was set free on his promise of good behavior and Baxter, after pledging his property as security that he would not try to escape, was transferred from his `cold prison' to the debtors' detention room in the Stadt Huis. Escaping never theless, he fled to Long Island and then to New England. His property, including a farm on which Bellevue Hospital now stands, was confiscated to pay his debts. From his long years of employment under the Dutch he retained noth ing but the name of a traitor to those whom he had sworn to serve and protect, and the power to do them further injury in future years.
After delaying five years Stuyvesant had sent the West India Company a copy of the Hartford Treaty. In the autumn of 1656 he learned that in February the States General had ratified it and had authorized the Company to try to induce Cromwell to do the same. Cromwell did noth ing naturally, for the United Colonies had never asked him to move in the matter; but hoping for his support Stuyvesant again proposed to the New Englanders a defen sive league against the Indians. They answered that they wished for no closer union with his people and reproached him for intruding upon their territories at Oyster Bay where, as he affirmed, the English themselves had crossed the line laid down by the Hartford Treaty, and for not formally surrendering Greenwich as the treaty had prescribed. About the intrusion of Thomas Pell and his friends and about Con necticut's sequestration of Fort Good Hope they said no word.
Before George Baxter left Long Island for New England he had persuaded some of his friends to appeal directly to Cromwell, and in 1657 Cromwell's secretary of state, John Thurloe, addressed in his name to the 'English well-affected inhabitants' of the island a letter which its bearer intended publicly to read to them. Stuyvesant arrested the man and sent the missive unopened to Holland. Its tenor may be divined from a paper called A Brief Narration of the English Rights to the Northern Parts of America which was prepared by Thurloe or for his use in 1656. It says that the English had the best right to these regions because of the discoveries of Cabot, and the best evidence of right because of `their great improvements thereof almost to the world's wonder.' The Dutch had no rights `either in the general or the particu lar' but had ' intruded upon and anticipated' the 'first dis coverers,' who were of the English nation, ' and that at first by a violent usurpation and force upon the native Indians.' This, however, as the writer conceived ignoring Cromwell's recent recognition of the right of the Republic to its Ameri can province had been done by particular persons rather than with the approbation of the Dutch government. For these and other reasons he warned all Englishmen, and es pecially those meaning to settle in the western parts of Long Island, to be ' very cautious' not to make themselves guilty of either ignorantly or wilfully betraying the right of their nation by `subjecting themselves and lands to a foreign power.' Singular enough are the evidences of the English right cited in this document. King James, it says, had once granted Staten Island to the Dutch as a `watering place' for their West India fleets ; the Dutch had long called their province Virginia ' as a place dependent upon or relative to the Old Virginia' ; and only in ' very late years' had they given it new Dutch name' and ' new Dutchified ' the other ' old Eng lish names in those parts in America.' The one foundation for these fictions was the fact that the Dutch, like the Eng lish themselves, still sometimes used ' Virginia' as a general term for the coasts between Florida and New England or even Acadia. Heylin's Cosmography, as republished at this time, tells equally curious stories, saying that Hudson was sent on his famous voyage by King James and that the Dutch had agreed to surrender all their claims to the Earl of Plowden for £2000 but when the civil war broke out in England refused to do so and armed the Indians to help them against the English.
Stuyvesant's success in reducing the Swedes on the South River had been dearly bought. To meet the cost of it the West India Company had to borrow 24,000 guilders of the city of Amsterdam; and to discharge this debt in 1656 it transferred part of its lands on the river to the city, which hoped to people them with Protestant Waldenses recently driven into Holland by the persecutions in Piedmont. Most of the first band of settlers sent out by the city, a hundred and fifty in number, were wrecked near Fire Island on the Long Island shore. Stuyvesant himself went to their aid, brought them to Manhattan, and sent them on to their destination. For a time the new settlement, which was called New Amstel, gave good promise; then, through mismanage ment on both sides of the ocean, its inhabitants melted away and it fell into such distress that before the end of the year 1659 its director wrote to Stuyvesant: 'Our bread magazine, our pantry room, our only refuge is Man hattan.' Meanwhile Governor Fendall of Maryland had claimed the whole Delaware country as covered by Lord Baltimore's patent; and in 1659 he sent a member of his council who, with threats of force, summoned the `pretended' vice-director of the Dutch to abandon his fort and his colony within three weeks. Despatching by overland paths sixty soldiers under Martin Cregier, then the captain of the burgher guard of New Amsterdam, Stuyvesant also sent Augustine Herrman and Resolveert (or Resolved) Waldron, a Dutchman of Eng lish parentage, to try what documentary persuasion might effect, intrusting to them a long Declaration and Manifest of the TVest India Company's Right. This began by explaining that the king of Spain had been the overlord of the Dutch when he obtained the sovereignty of all the western world, and that his successor, when making a final peace with the Republic, had renounced to it all his right and title to the countries and domains it had acquired in Europe, America, and elsewhere. In our own day the spokesmen of Venezuela thought this assertion worth citing when they were discussing with the English boundary questions which involved a con sideration of the old rights of the Dutch in their quarter. But no Englishman of Stuyvesant's day can have felt that he need give it a thought. It was, in truth, a mere bit of special pleading which the witness of history does not clearly sup port; and in the very paper that set it forth Stuyvesant himself explained that `such claim and forced argument' was unnecessary as the case of New Netherland rested on un questionable facts of various dates from Hudson's discoveries to Cromwell's recognition of the Dutch title. In spite of these facts, says Augustine Herrman's journal of the embassy, Philip Calvert Baltimore's brother and the secretary of the vol. i.-2c province insisted that the borders of Maryland stretched northward to New England, . . . whereupon we enquired, If they wish to touch New England where in that case would New Netherland be ? He answered, He knew not.
The patent given by Charles I in 1632 had defined the territories of Maryland as lying below the fortieth degree of north latitude; yet, assuming that the fortieth degree was `where New England is terminated,' it had ignored the existence of New Netherland and had supplied grounds for controversy not only with the Dutch province but also with the later-born province of Pennsylvania. The body of the document did not include the usual provision regarding lands already occupied by other Christians, but the preamble stated that it was Lord Baltimore's intention to take no such lands. And when Stuyvesant's envoys were permitted to examine the patent they averred that by virtue of this clause it was invalid, adding that the New Netherlanders . . . were not subjects of England but a free people belonging to the Dutch nation who . . . had as much right to take possession of lands in America as any other nation.
Seldom in any dispute about New World lands was the bottom truth so frankly laid bare as it was in this case by Herrman the truth that no Old World nation had any right at all to such lands except the ability to seize and to hold them.
Stuyvesant had asked that a joint commission be appointed by the two colonies to settle their limits or that these be otherwise referred to arbitration. Nothing of the sort was effected, but his manifesto and Herrman's arguments put a stop to the aggressive designs of Maryland.
Thus far Massachusetts had been a fairly good friend to New Netherland. By 1659, however, its people began to realize that if, taking advantage of the terms of the charter which extended their territories to the western sea, they should push into the Hudson River region they might inter cept at its source and turn toward Boston the fur trade that the Dutch were enjoying. Therefore the general court, decid ing to claim ' our just rights upon Hudson's River near the Fort of Aurania,' reserved the traffic along the river for twelve years to a company which had already sent agents to select a good site for a settlement on the eastern bank. In November, 1659, with the approval of the federal commis sioners the court sent two envoys to demand of Stuyvesant free access to the river. One of them was a Major Hawthorne who had been among the commissioners that voted in 1653 to make war upon New Netherland. Davenport of New Haven, writing in February, 1660, to John Winthrop, said that Hawthorne and his companion had just passed through that town on their way back to Boston: The Dutch governor complimented them with liberal entertainment; but for the principal business about which they came, he denied to give them liberty of passing up the river, alleging that it would cost him his head if he should permit that; and some of the Dutch traders threatened that themselves would cut off his head if he should grant that unto the English ; yet he offered them to refer the whole matter to England and Holland with acquiescence in their determina tion; which our friends refused, urging their line ; against which the Dutch governor demanded, why they had not claimed it all this while ? They answered that they find more need of it now than formerly. He pleaded long possession. They replied that the English had right to Hudson's River before them, and proved it more largely than I can now declare. The issue is they parted placidly, and our friends are to make their report to the court at Boston. In conclusion they told them that they should return again towards the end of summer. I perceive if the business proceeds as 14Iaj or Hawthorne thinks it will, all the Colonies are likely to be engaged in a war with the Dutch.
In April Stuyvesant wrote to Massachusetts setting forth in detail the history of his province to show why the New Englanders rather than his own people ought to be called `intruders.' The general court, he said, had mentioned the Rhine and the Elbe as examples of what River Mauritius ought to become to the traders of all nations, but it might better have cited the Thames as River Mauritius belonged in its whole length to one government, his own. Those, he said, who lived under the patent of Massachusetts, which was granted long after Hudson made his discoveries and which forbade its holders to take lands previously occupied, would undoubtedly approve of the general rule accepted by all Christian nations: 'qui prior in possessione, prior est in jure.' In Stuyvesant's opinion, however, it was needless thus to argue: the Hartford Treaty had settled the question subject only to review by the authorities in Europe, and it said that the New Englanders were not to approach River Mauritius. The federal commissioners now declared that this treaty, drawing an actual boundary for only twenty miles north ward from the Sound, did not `prejudice the right of the Massachusetts in the upland country' or give `any right to the Dutch there' as it related only to the differences of New Netherland with New Haven and Connecticut `on the sea coast' and neither New Haven nor Connecticut pretended to any right `to the lands up the country.' Governor Stuyvesant, they believed, would be 'very slow . . . to interrupt the neighborly correspondency' between the Dutch and English colonies by an 'unreasonable denial' of the request of Mas sachusetts. It was a most unreasonable request, said Gov ernor Stuyvesant : Bradstreet of Massachusetts and Prince of Plymouth had signed the treaty as ' delegates of the Com missioners of the English United Colonies,' not of Connecti cut or of New Haven, and the treaty itself, he explained, . . . is explicit and speaks for itself ; but even as the commissioners from Massachusetts then pretended to have no interest in the boun daries between us and the colonies of Connecticut and New Haven . . . so they also pretended then to have no interest in, title or right to, the lands, kills, and streams in the North River territory beyond the twenty miles. If they had done it, this and other questionable claims would then have been decided or at least discussed.
In June the governor wrote to the West India Company that, in view of the `ample and repeated reports' he had sent it, it should have given him 'broader advice' on so 'pregnant an occasion' and material assistance as well. He asked for Dutch settlers to occupy the spot on River Mauritius that the Massachusetts men had selected and for a frigate to pro tect the mouth of the river, the slaver St. John which had been ordered there having perished at sea. The New Eng landers, he explained, were careless of the support of their mother-country, being convinced that they were ten times stronger than their Dutch neighbors, and their 'demands, encroachments, and usurpations' were giving New Nether land 'great concern.' Much concerned on his own account was John Underhill at this time. Writing to Winthrop toward the end of the year that his part of Long Island had sent envoys to ask admittance as a member of Connecticut Colony, he explained that Stuyvesant had disposed of his lands, worth about £100, and was punishing him in other ways for the enmity he had shown New Netherland : He owes me moneys and deals as it pleaseth him; he is without control. . . . I have suffered a great deal of misery unjustly, although too quick in arming against the Dutch.
The accession of Charles II saved New Netherland from serious trouble at the moment. Oliver Cromwell died in the autumn of 1658; Charles was restored to his father's throne in the spring of 1660; and not knowing what the change might portend for themselves the New Englanders moved circumspectly for a while. But only for a little while. Mas sachusetts, as Stuyvesant wrote before the end of the year 1660, still claimed to be a free state dependent upon God alone but the people of its sister colonies were now as good royalists as they had been parliamentarians. None of them, it may be explained, had ever formally acknowledged the authority of the Protector. Now they had favors to ask of the new king. Some of them soon got what they wanted. And New Netherland soon realized its danger from a darkly threatening cloud composed of three elements the ambition of Connecticut, the disaffection of the Long Island English, and the international policy of the government of Charles II, a policy infused with antagonism to the Dutch.
During the first half of the seventeenth century the United Netherlands had achieved a place among the nations of Europe out of proportion to their size and the number of their inhabitants. At the zenith of their power in 1650, they had been shamed and weakened by the war with the Commonwealth of England but by 1660 had revived their navy and regained their influence and, in Temple's words, were `the envy of some, the fear of others, and the wonder of all their neighbors.' Their strength lay in that geo graphical position relative to France, Germany, and the Neth erlands of Spain which had made their friendship essential to the acquisition by either power of a predominance on the conti nent while it gave full scope to their own commercial energy and ambition; and it also lay, says Temple, in, the form of their government and their religion that is, in their sub ordination of class to national interests and in the tolerant temper which kept their own people contented and enabled them to turn to good account the intelligence and the re sources of a multitude of refugees from foreign lands. On the other hand they had not the staying power that a wide territory and a large population confer. After their inde pendence was secure they enfeebled themselves by fierce internal dissensions. The success of the anti-centralization party was due to a growing preponderance of the mercantile classes, averse to war and to costly preparations for probable days of danger. And so depleted was now the strength of the Spaniard that neither France nor England needed as greatly as in earlier years to protect itself against him by supporting or favoring the Republic. Of course Spain was still to be reckoned with even after its power was sorely shaken by the depredations of the West India Company and by Admiral Blake's great exploit, the destruction of the Spanish fleet at Cadiz in 1657. But France and Holland were now directer rivals in that commercial world which was practically identical with the political world, while Eng land immensely helped by its safe isolation during the Thirty Years' War as well as by the great influx of artisans it had received from the continent and by its growth in na val power under the leadership of Oliver's captains' now realized the importance of its position as holding the balance of power and understood more clearly than ever the need that it should dominate on the sea. It was actively struggling with the United Netherlands along many a commercial path, endangering them chiefly on the sea while France, wanting above all to acquire the Spanish Netherlands, threatened them chiefly on the land. Sweden, then a strong, aggressive, ambitious country, was trying to wrest from them the Baltic carrying trade. Every other power, Protestant or Catholic, had its own reasons for wanting to use or to injure the Re public, and every sovereign disliked and distrusted it be cause it was a republic. Thus the loosely united provinces which had made themselves the foremost sea power and the foremost money power of the world formed the corner-stone of the great international edifice that was always in unstable equilibrium, and for a time seemed as potent in politics as in trade. Yet they were in danger of losing their primacy in trade and even their national independence.
Harassed, bullied, humbled, and temporarily weakened by the Commonwealth of England the Hollanders hoped that friendlier relations would follow the restoration of Charles, and lavishly entertained and heartily speeded him when he set sail from their shores to claim his crown. In November of the same year the West India Company besought the States General to instruct the ambassadors extraordinary whom it was about to send to England that they should urge the new king to restrain the encroachments of his colonials upon the borders of New Netherland, to restore to it its rav ished territories on Long Island and at the north, to consent to the drawing of boundary lines in this region, and to direct Lord Baltimore to desist from his ' unfounded pretensions' at the south. It supported these requests by an elaborate paper called a Deduction Concerning the Boundaries of New Nether land which embodied many corroborative letters and other documents covering the years from the beginning of the controversy. And it also asked that Charles II should be induced to consent, as by the Treaty of Southampton Charles I had consented in 1623, that the ships of the Company should freely enjoy the hospitality of English ports.
The Dutch historian Japikse, of all writers the one who has most carefully studied the relations of Holland and Eng land during the critical years that followed the Restoration, says in speaking of this year 1660: Never, perhaps, has a colony been treated by the motherland in a more stepmotherly fashion than was the little maritime settlement which had established itself in 1626 on the spot where New York was to develop. The fear felt by the West India Company of self-govern ment in its province and the consequent systematic hindrance of the growth of the province proved here, as had been proved in Brazil, how badly the Company served the Republic. But . . . it should not be overlooked that a great deal of blame was to be imputed to the States General themselves who, here as elsewhere, had almost alto gether neglected the affairs of the Company. Above all they should have taken hold more energetically in New Netherland where strife about boundaries with the neighboring English colonies gave continual cause for anxiety.
Especially was this true, Japikse continues, of the moment when the West India Company urged that the newly restored king be approached in the matter. But although the States General, to quote their own words, then instructed their ambassadors `to terminate and determine according to equity with the said Most Illustrious King' the differences that had arisen regarding the boundaries of New Netherland they gave no more definite directions, the ambassadors took no steps in the matter, and the States General neglected to renew their order.
It is doubtful, however, what the result would have been even had the States General insisted upon a consideration of the Company's demand. It was not the father of Charles II, it was Oliver Cromwell, who had marked out the path in which England was to tread as regarded those international commercial relations of which colonial affairs formed an integral part. Cancelling almost all the other laws passed under the Commonwealth, in the autumn of the year 1660 the new government of England strengthened, extended, and declared irrevocable the closely protectionist Navigation Act of 1651.
In doing this it fell in with the traditional policy of the realm. Cromwell's commercial rules, divergent though they were from certain other recent enactments, had not been innovations. They were merely the first effectual utterance of a desire to protect England against all foreign competition in commerce which had been expressed in legislation during the latter part of the fourteenth century and, although often lapsing out of mind, had as often revived, notably during the reigns of the Tudor sovereigns. The earlier enactments were efforts to protect and to build up the shipping of the kingdom and, in Elizabeth's time, to foster the fisheries and the coasting trade. Under Elizabeth England cast off the fear of Spain, profited by the decline of the Hanse towns of Germany, and, stimulated by the immigration of Flemish artisans, began to develop its manufacturing industries. Under James I and Charles I this growth continued. Then the Commonwealth swept away the remnants of the old monopolies of the nobles and in great part of the artisan guilds, and shattered many of the later-born monopolistic trading companies which were largely composed of court favorites and their friends. Before Charles II came to the throne the mercantile and manufacturing classes were strong enough to demand monopolies in their turn and, with this end in view, to influence the foreign as well as the domestic policies of the realm. Their desire for protection reenforced the broad national desire to weaken the Dutch and to profit by imitating their methods in traffic, industry, and finance.
Plainly, the Navigation Act of 1651 although not well en forced had injured the carrying trade of Holland; and so the Acts of Charles's reign gave definite shape to the policy it had sketched to that national policy, remembered as the `mercantile system,' which was still in full force at the time of the American Revolution.
This system regulated both branches of maritime enter prise commerce, the exchange of wares for other wares or for money, and navigation, their carriage upon the seas. And it was planned to benefit the nation as such as well as the individual Englishman in the kingdom proper. Its basal ideas were commercial protection of the sort indicated by the 'sole market' theory, and the development of shipping.
Upon these foundation-stones was to be, erected the broad structure of political power; for this power was thought to depend on the one hand upon the ability to secure a large reserve of gold and silver for use in foreign wars, and on the other hand upon the increase of shipping as a naval reserve and the training of a great body of seamen fit for militant as well as for commercial service.
The desire to amass a national reserve of specie was, of course, only one manifestation of the general belief that money and wealth were synonymous. This `popular notion,' Adam Smith explained at a later day, was born of the fact that the double function of money as `an instrument of commerce' and as the accepted 'measure of value' disguises the truth that it is `the price of all other commodities' merely in the same sense that these are the price of money the truth that gold and silver are simply the most serviceable commodities for effecting exchanges in the complicated meth ods of bartering called trade and commerce.
For a time after America was discovered this ' notion' showed itself in the eager desire to bring gold and silver from Occidental mines and to keep them at home. But the experience of the great bullion gatherer, non-industrial Spain, showed the futility of attempts at a direct massing of treasure. It proved that even what Smith calls 'sanguinary laws' could not keep the precious metals in a country where there was small demand for them in internal trade and where scarcely anything was grown or manufactured that could be given in return for necessary foreign wares. Therefore other nations, profiting by Spain's example and understand ing that money distributed throughout the country in the channels of trade could be secured in days of need for the use of the state, turned their minds to the fostering of manu factures and the development of a commerce which, export ing much and importing little except raw materials for use in the home industries which increased their value, should secure that favorable ' balance of trade' which meant the bringing in of more specie than was paid out of the country. Or, to quote the words of an official paper of 1660, the aim was that . . . the trade of the Kingdom to foreign parts may be so managed and proportioned that we may in every part be more sellers than buyers, that thereby the coin and present stock of money may be preserved and increased.
Mercantilism and state-building were thus identified. In the seventeenth century began for Europe that great centralizing, consolidating movement of which the end has not yet been seen. Every vital nation was developing a hitherto unknown sense of unity, trying to weld its com ponent parts into a genuine whole, and, as one of the engines to accomplish this work, was building up a protective com mercial system of national scope in the stead of the mutually antagonistic local systems that had previously prevailed. The upgrowth of monopolistic trading companies on the ruins of the old personal and local monopolies had been a step in this unifying movement. By the middle of the century the kingdom as such was striving, through protectionist laws that would benefit one class and another, to become itself the great monopolist; and the political strength thus evinced and thus augmented began to be turned to account in fierce international struggles for the support of national trading interests. Every European conflict between the Thirty Years' War and the French Revolution was a trade war in which the great powers competed for a 'sole market'; and the Revolutionary wars became trade wars under Napo leon's management. Dynastic, territorial, and religious questions were conspicuous on the surface and the `balance of power' was always the shibboleth; but what these matters really meant can be fully explained only in the language of the counting-house. For example, the desire of France to possess the Spanish Netherlands, which persisted from the outbreak of the Dutch revolt against Spain down to Napo leon's time, was supported by many political arguments but from first to last was inspired by the knowledge that in energetic hands these provinces might again outrival com mercially, as they had before the Dutch revolt, those that formed the Dutch Republic.
In the work of national consolidation that was carried on in this manner England succeeded better than its rivals. The United Netherlands, partly because of exhausting wars, partly because of internal dissensions, paused when it was half accomplished; France had not quite finished it when the cyclone of 1789 broke forth; nor did Italy and Germany complete it until very recent years.
No government in the seventeenth century planned for what would now be called a system of imperial unification. Colonies were sometimes incidentally treated as parts of the parental state but theoretically were not considered such. Nor were they viewed as offshoots with natural, inalienable rights of their own. The official English name for them was `his Majesty's foreign plantations.' Being thus, as it were, in and yet out of the realm they offered an excellent field for the compulsion of trade in ways that would be advan tageous to the kingdom proper; and when Charles II came to the throne they were already greatly valued as employers of English shipping and sailors and as ' vents' for the de veloping manufactures of the mother-country.
One of the early measures of the new reign was the ap pointment of eleven members of the privy council as a Committee for Trade and Plantations. Similar to a com mittee that had existed under the Protectorate, it continued for many years to supervise and control colonial affairs although before the end of the year 1660 commissions were issued for two large special councils, a Council of Trade and a Council for Foreign Plantations. The head of both these councils was Charles's great chancellor, Edward Hyde, Lord Clarendon; and as long as he held office he was the guiding spirit of the commercial and therefore of the colonial policy of England.
The first of the important commercial laws of the time, passed as has been said in the autumn of 1660 and per petuating the regulations of 1651, was called An Act for the Encouraging and Increasing of Shipping and Navigation. This law, designed to build up England's shipping, was followed in 1663 by An Act for the Encouragement of Trade intended to benefit the manufacturer and merchant, thereby to make England `the staple,' the mart of exchange, the receiving and distributing centre for imports and exports, and thus to insure a favorable ' balance of trade.' These Acts prescribed that no vessels should enter for traffic a home or a colonial port except those built and owned in England or its plantations whereof the master and at least three fourths of the crew were English subjects. And in regard to the colonies they said that even in their own or in English ships they should receive European goods, with a few exceptions, only from English ports where the king's customs had been paid, and only to English ports should send some of their most important products which the English manufacturer or mer chant especially wanted and which, as they were listed in the Act, were called `enumerated commodities.' Together these Acts were known as the Acts of Trade and Navigation; more commonly to-day they are called the Navigation Acts. ' England' and 'English,' it may be added, meant simply the kingdom proper, Wales, and Berwick-on Tweed. Except at the very first Ireland was excluded from the favoring provisions of the Acts. Scotland, although under the same king, was a foreign country until its legis lative union with England in 1707, and in 1661 it passed protective commercial laws of its own.
Owners of ships leaving England for the colonies and of colonial ships carrying enumerated commodities were re quired to give bond and security that they would observe the new laws. In 1661 an official, resident in England, was appointed to farm the revenues of the foreign plantations, but not until about ten years later were any special customs officers appointed for the colonies. All colonial governors were sworn to execute the laws and encouraged to do so by the promise of a third share of all confiscated goods, but there was no other machinery for the administration of the new Acts.
Disappointed and alarmed by the Navigation Act of 1660 the Dutch Republic under the guidance of De Witt, now its recognized leader in home and foreign affairs, strove hard for a favoring treaty with England, consenting as one measure of conciliation to abrogate the enactment that excluded the young nephew of Charles, Prince William, from the possibility of succeeding to the hereditary honors of the house of Orange. Charles had other grievances than this against the Republic which, although it had sheltered him during his early years of exile, had afterwards turned him out to placate Oliver Cromwell. Yet it was not, as has often been charged against him, personal animosity on his part that long delayed the conclusion of any pact with Holland. It was the strength of popular sentiment in his kingdom. Not until 1662 when it was feared that Holland would ally itself with France was a treaty concluded, and then it was one that worked with ever increasing friction. It gave the Hollanders no trading rights in England; it left past dis putes for future settlement by arbitration; and a clause to which the English seizure of New Netherland soon gave prominence it provided that aggressions should not in future be met with force but should be reported to the govern ment responsible for the aggressors, which would then inflict punishment and make reparation.
Meanwhile the Act of 1660 scarcely affected the commerce of the Dutch province. Maryland, for example, can hardly have thought of putting its precepts into practice when in 1661 it signed with New Netherland a treaty for their common protection against the Indians. This was the end for the moment of the controversy about the borders of Baltimore's province. Twenty-one years after the English had secured the whole seaboard, in 1685 when Maryland claimed the Delaware region that had once been part of New Netherland, the advisers of James II, basing their conclusions almost altogether upon written and oral evidence regarding the controversy of Stuyvesant's time, decided that this region was not a part of Maryland. And so it is chiefly to the stand taken by Stuyvesant in 1659 and the arguments of Augustine Herrman that the State of Delaware owes its independent existence.
Virginia, where no boundary questions could arise, was the one place that was peopled by Englishmen who had always been friendly to the New Netherlanders. Loyal to Charles I, antagonistic to the Commonwealth, they did not permit the Navigation Act of 1651 to interfere with the practice of shipping tobacco to Europe in Dutch vessels, which had always prevailed although as early as the year 1621 James I had forestalled the provisions of Cromwell's Act, forbidding the commodities of Virginia to be sent to foreign parts until after they had been landed in England and there paid the king's customs. In 1653, after the duty on tobacco had been lifted at New Amsterdam, Stuyvesant sent Domine Drisius to negotiate for the better encourage ment and regulation of intercolonial traffic. And in 1660, employing now as his envoys his brother-in-law Nicholas Varleth, who had married his widowed sister Madame Bayard, and Captain Bryan Newton, he secured such a treaty as might have been negotiated by two independent powers. Estab lishing free trade between the two colonies, promising the subjects of each prompt and equal justice in the courts of the other, and prescribing the surrender of fugitive servants and a satisfactory course with regard to absconding debtors, it was concluded by Governor Berkeley and promptly ratified by the assembly of Virginia. Then Berkeley sent it for ratification at New Amsterdam by the hands of Sir Henry Moody who, as the ' ambassador ' of the government of Virginia, was received with the honors customarily accorded to diplomatic agents. All this happened before the accession of Charles was known in America; but when the West India Company answered Stuyvesant's report it said that, while it approved of the Virginia treaty, it feared that it would accomplish nothing because new and more stringent trade laws had just been enacted in England. In fact, when Berkeley went to England in 1661 to secure from the new king his confirmation as governor and to beg on behalf of his province for freedom in trade he was ordered strictly to enforce the hated rules. Nevertheless, they seem not to have been enforced any better than the rules of Cromwell's day.
In the spring of 1661, when Connecticut but not yet Massa chusetts or New Haven had formally proclaimed the accession of Charles, Governor Endicott of Massachusetts communicated to the governor of New Netherland as well as to his English colleagues a letter which he had received from the king desiring that the ' regicides ' Whalley and Goffe, who were known to have taken refuge in America, might be appre hended and returned to:England. The 'Governor of Manadas,' Endicott's messengers reported, promised to surrender the refugees if found within his jurisdiction and to search all outgoing vessels for them. Although it was thought by some in New England that Whalley and Goffe were exciting the Dutch to strengthen their province against the English nation, there is no evidence that they ever set foot in New Netherland.
It was this year that saw the conclusion of the war between Holland and Portugal which, long imminent, had begun in 1657. The treaty of peace wiped out the hope of the West India Company that it might regain the Brazilian colonies it had surrendered in 1654. Freedom of trade in Brazil and in Africa was secured to it, and an indemnity of 8,000,000 guilders was promised by Portugal. But this could not save the Company, already on the point of bank ruptcy, for it had no resources to depend upon for the future except the slave trade and the possession of New Nether land, its posts in Guiana, and a few of the smaller Antilles. Moreover, owing to bad management, such profits as it made were now largely engrossed by individuals. It had done its feeble best in recent years to get boundaries settled for New Netherland; it had sent out some munitions of war and, in successive small detachments, about two hundred and fifty soldiers; and in 1661 with the backing of the government it made an effort to populate the districts between the North and South rivers, the States General widely publishing an invitation to 'all Christian people of tender conscience in England or elsewhere oppressed' and the Company promis ing on easy terms large holdings of land and large powers of local self-government. Such emigrants as took advantage of these offers, however, settled north of the Raritan River. In 1663 the discouraged Company resigned the whole of the South River region to the city of Amsterdam which had already secured a part of it, and thereafter Governor Stuy vesant had little concern with it.
In June of the year 1661 Connecticut Colony sent its governor, John Winthrop, on a mission to King Charles. Winthrop asked Stuyvesant's leave to take ship at the Man hattans, writing: It is really no small motive that inclines my thought that way that I might thereby have the opportunity to wait upon your Honour, having hitherto been disappointed of the happiness of such a visit. . . .
Stuyvesant answered cordially, recommending a Dutch vessel the master of which spoke English and would delay his departure for a week if Stuyvesant would detain the other ships that were ready to sail, as the governor was very willing to do. When Winthrop, accompanied by his two sons, reached New Amsterdam Stuyvesant received him with all possible honor, calling out the burgher guard to serve as his escort. Toward the end of July he set sail for Hol land. Probably he had not tried to increase the happiness of his visit by speaking in detail to the Dutch governor of the instructions he carried. Given him by the general court of Connecticut they directed him to get for the colony if possible a copy of the Say and Sele patent or, if this was not possible, to try to get from the king a new patent which would be as liberal as that of Massachusetts Bay and would extend the borders of Connecticut eastward to the line of Plymouth Colony 'and westward to the Bay of Delloway if it may be' with all adjacent islands not yet granted 'to any other.' Thus Connecticut hoped to annex Rhode Island and Providence Plantations on the one hand and on the other New Haven Colony and the whole of New Netherland south of the Massachusetts line except the western bank of the Delaware. And the last clause in Winthrop's instructions read : Respecting the Dutch we desire that his Majesty may be informed of their settling upon the main, and still encroaching upon the English.
Besides these instructions for himself and a petition to the king, Winthrop also carried a letter from Connecticut to Lord Say and Sele begging for his assistance, confessing that the colony had as yet 'not so much as a copy of a patent,' and referring to the New Netherlanders as 'our noxious neighbors.' From this special source Stuyvesant undoubtedly foresaw no danger although in general he was less optimistic than the West India Company which wrote him that the many `scattered reports' about English schemes were only 'ruses to make our people uneasy.' But in April, 1662, Winthrop secured the charter for Connecticut. It did not confirm the so-called 'Old Patent' but merely said that the petitioners had acquired their lands by purchase and conquest and referred in a vague fashion to `those under whom they claim.' Yet it largely satisfied their desires, confirming their system of government and extending their boundaries from Narra gansett Bay to the western ocean and from the Massachu setts line southward to the sea 'with all the islands there adjoining' making Connecticut, therefore, practically inde pendent of the mother-country and giving it New Haven Colony, much of the mainland of New Netherland, the island of Manhattan, Staten Island, and, in spite of Lord Stirling's reiterated claims, the whole of Long Island.
This charter, so republican in form and in fact that it survived until 1818 as the constitution of the State of Con necticut, was proclaimed at Hartford in October. Loud and angry was the outcry at New Haven. And great was the concern in New Netherland, for the eastern parts of Long Island, some of which had been loosely connected with Connecticut or New Haven, now formally gave in their allegiance to Connecticut, Southold appointed Captain John Young as its representative at Hartford, and Young wrote to a friend at Flushing that the whole island belonged to Connecticut and all its people should take oath accordingly.
Stuyvesant sent a protesting letter to Hartford by the hands of his brother-in-law Nicholas Varleth. The action of Young, he said, was an 'absolute breach and nullification' of the Hartford Treaty of 1650 and therefore gave New Nether land the right to reclaim all its former possessions between Greenwich and the Fresh River. In reply the Connecticut authorities desired him not to molest any one within their borders which, they said, included Westchester, ignoring the fact that Pell's settlers had recognized Stuyvesant's authority. Moreover, they despatched three commissioners, one of whom was Young, to direct all the towns on Long Island to send delegates to the next assembly at Hartford. All the English towns in the western as well as in the eastern parts of the island thereupon appointed persons to aid these en voys in administering the oath, Gravesend selecting James Hubbard whom Stuyvesant had released from jail inon his promise of good behavior. The conduct of Connecti cut, Stuyvesant now declared, was 'unrighteous, stubborn, impudent, and pertinacious,' and the Long Island English, those who had praised him and his government so cordially a dozen years before, were 'New Netherland's most bitter enemies.' During these troubles, which to an intelligent eye must have made manifest that the days of New Netherland were numbered, Indian troubles also afflicted the province. The tribes near Manhattan were restless, now and again the Long Island savages murdered a farmer, and twice there were dangerous outbreaks in the Esopus region.
By 1658 seventy or eighty persons had returned to the farm lands of this region whence they had been swept by the uprising of the River Indians in 1655. Settling again at a distance from each other and trading their guns and liquor for furs, they were soon again in peril and calling upon the governor for aid. Twice before the end of the year he went up the river with a small force, overawed and conciliated the savages, persuaded the farmers to gather together in a pali saded village, and erected a blockhouse which he garrisoned with fifty soldiers under command of Ensign Dirck Smit. In the following summer against the orders of Smit some of the soldiers fired upon a carousing party of Indians, foolishly suspecting that they meant mischief. The tribe declared war, massacred or captured a number of the settlers, and held the others besieged for three weeks in the stockade but dispersed before Stuyvesant arrived with reenforcements. Early in the year 1660 the governor proposed to take the aggressive `to vindicate the honor of the downfallen Batavian reputation.' Cooler spirits counselled delay until an adequate force could be collected. With the Indians near Manhattan new treaties were soon concluded and in July, after some desultory fighting had discouraged the 'Esopus nation,' with this tribe also and with the Mohawks and Mohegans farther up the river.
Meanwhile Stuyvesant had withdrawn the Esopus district from the control of the court at Fort Orange and bestowed a charter on the little palisaded town called Wiltwyck which stood at the mouth of the Wallkill, a tidal branch of the Hudson the town, afterwards called Kingston, where in 1777 the first constitution of the State of New York was framed. Rondout, Kingston's twin sister, inherits its name from a Dutch rondhuis or blockhouse.
At this time a westward movement from Fort Orange began, the government permitting Arendt Van Corlaer and some of his friends to buy of the Indians the 'great flats' between that place and the Mohawk country, and in 1662 giving a patent for them. Two years later the lands were surveyed and laid out and the village called Corlaer or Sche nectady was founded about twenty miles northwest of Fort Orange.
Some months after quiet was restored at Esopus the West India Company ordered Stuyvesant to discharge most of the soldiers it had sent him, saying that New Netherland ought to be able, like Canada and New England, to provide for its own defence. The French and English colonies, Stuyvesant answered, were `their own masters in this country,' electing their leaders and 'settling their taxes,' and their people were subject to impressment as they had been in Europe. People from Holland where impressing was not allowed could not be expected to submit to it in a colony which, as they had recently declared again, the Company had pledged itself to support in return for the taxes it imposed. Also, in the French and English colonies the population was homogeneous while New Netherland was . . . only gradually and slowly peopled by the scrapings of all sorts of nationalities (few excepted) who consequently have the least interest in the welfare and maintenance of the commonwealth.
The dreadful Indian raid of 1655, the governor explained, might have been prevented if he could have left only two or three score `enlisted soldiers' in Fort Amsterdam when he went against the Swedes on the South River. To dismiss such supporters now would be to invite another `unexpected mishap,' for experience had shown that 'no or at least very few fighting men could be enlisted in an emergency.' There was some truth in this but it did not mean that the New Netherlanders were cowardly; and there seems to have been no truth in the statement that the 'scrapings' of other nationalities, Englishmen of course excepted, felt less con cern for the common welfare than the Dutch settlers. Un doubtedly, as Stuyvesant also affirmed, his burghers even when under arms sometimes fell into foolish panics, as is apt to be the way with unseasoned levies. When the danger was real they appear to have fought well, and the frontier folk valiantly defended their homes and families. Every one, however, in the little city on Manhattan as well as in the open country recognized that service at a distance meant risk to those whom he left at home. The cry for help that came down from Esopus came at the time when Maryland was threatening the South River country. All the soldiers of the garrison except six or seven invalids had been sent there with Martin Cregier, and an epidemic of fever was raging on Manhattan. When Stuyvesant called for volun teers to go up to Esopus `on monthly wages' or `for plunder,' he got only forty in New Amsterdam and twenty-five English men from Long Island, but the burgher guard of the city quietly submitted to a draft of a hundred more. Those who were drawn, the governor told them, might procure substitutes if they were `weak hearted or discouraged' and would say so at once, but 'a sense of honor and shame compelled all to be silent.' In spite of his explanatory pleadings with the West India Company Stuyvesant was forced in 1661 to discharge so many of his soldiers that only a hundred and twenty-five `military persons' remained scattered through the province, eighty or ninety of them garrisoning Fort Amsterdam but likely at any moment to be greatly needed elsewhere. Hardly any of the discharged soldiers remained in the province for they knew how to earn their bread by military service only. One, however, who did remain prospered greatly and in later years was for a time the dominant figure in New York. This was a German, Jacob Leisler, whose name stands on the list of the soldiers arriving in 1660 as 'Jacob Leysseler of Franc fort.' Unsuccessfully Stuyvesant tried to enlist Swedes and Finns on the South River and Englishmen in Virginia for service at Esopus. With horses from Curacoa he organized a little troop of cavalry which, he hoped, would keep Long Island and Manhattan `free from Indians.' The burgher guard of New Amsterdam consisted at this time of three companies each of which elected its own officers and had its own standard and drummers.
Twenty years of conflict with the other branches of the Iroquois race and of frequent forays on the French settle ments had so reduced the Five Nations that by 1660 they could count no more than 2200 braves, many of them adopted from conquered tribes; yet the spirit and the power of the confederacy were as great as ever, and, had its friendship failed, New Netherland would indeed have been in serious peril. Distressed though Stuyvesant was for fighting men he rejected the suggestion of the West India Company that he should employ the Mohawks as active allies. Such 'vainglorious, proud, and bold' warriors, he said, ought not to be permitted to believe that the Dutch needed their help; it was safer for these to stand on their own feet merely asking the Mohawks to act as arbitrators. He did his best to keep them loyal, going several times to Fort Orange and in 1660 summoning a great council at which sachems from the distant region called Niagara appeared with those of all the Five Nations. A still stronger influence was the confidence of the Mohawks in the leading men of Rensselaerswyck, chief among them Arendt Van Corlaer, Philip Pietersen Schuyler, and Jeremias Van Rensselaer who in 1658 succeeded his brother Jan Baptist as director of the patroonship. Fortunately the long quarrel between the officials of the patroon and of the Company was now at an end. Jeremias Van Rensselaer agreed to make an annual payment of 300 schepels of wheat in commutation of tithes, and thereafter all laws and regulations issued in his colony were submitted for confirmation to the governor and council on Manhattan.
Although the Dutch authorities often tried to keep the In dians of New Netherland from attacking those on the borders of New England, during the summer of 1662 the Mohawks fell upon the tribes in the far-off Penobscot region, raiding also the English settlements. Then the governor of Nova Scotia accompanied by three delegates from Boston came to Man hattan to beg for aid; and in September, just when Connecti cut had received the charter by which the king of England conferred upon it the greater part of New Netherland, Gov ernor Stuyvesant went with these Englishmen up to Fort Orange and arranged for them a partial accommodation with his savage allies.
As settlers increased in the neighborhood of Wiltwyck Stuyvesant established another village there. The mere growth in numbers of the white men irritated the Indians, but it was partly the fault of the governor himself that they rose again more murderously than before. Prudent and patient though he usually was where savages were concerned, he sent some of those whom he captured in 1660 to be worked as slaves in Curacoa. This their brethren could not forget or forgive, and in June, 1663, in an unexpected onslaught they killed or captured seventy of the Dutch. Stuyvesant now offered bounties to volunteers, exemption from taxes for six years, and large pensions in case of disablement. Thus he collected a considerable force of Dutchmen and `scrapings'; only half a-dozen Englishmen enlisted although he had appealed to them with a special offer of 'free plunder' and, in spite of the Dutch dislike to the enslavement of red men, 'all the savages whom they could capture.' A journal kept with much detail by Martin Cregier shows how he led this force through a diffi cult forest campaign and in the end almost annihilated the `Esopus nation.'