Narrative of New Netherland
Author: Various
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There are others also who know this, and every one believes it to be so; and indeed it has plausability. Fiscal van der Hoytgens was not trusted on account of his drinking, wherein all his science consists. He had also no experience here, and in the beginning frequently denounced the war as being against his will. So that the blame rests, and must rest only upon the Director and Secretary Tienhoven. The Director was entrusted with the highest authority, and if any body advised him to the land's ruin, he was not bound to follow the advice and afterwards endeavor to shift the burden from his own neck upon the people, who however excuse themselves although in our judgment they are not all entirely innocent. The cause of this war we conceive to have been the exacting of the contribution, (for which the Director said he had the order of the Managers,)(5) and his own ungovernable passions, which showed themselves principally in private. But there are friends whom this business intimately concerns, and as they have already undertaken it, we will leave the matter with them and proceed to cite one or two instances disclosing the aspiration after sovereignty. Passing by many cases for the sake of brevity, we have that of one Francis Doughty, an English minister, and of Arnoldus van Herdenberch, a free merchant. But as both these cases appear likely to come before Their High Mightinesses at full length, we will merely give a summary of them. This minister, Francis Doughty, during the first troubles in England, in order to escape them, came to New England.(6) But he found that he might, in conformity with the Dutch reformation, have freedom of conscience, which, contrary to his expectation, he missed in New England, he betook himself to the protection of the Dutch. An absolute ground-brief(7) with the privileges allowed to a colony was granted to him by the Director. He had strengthened his settlement in the course of one year by the addition of several families, but the war coming on, they were driven from their lands with the loss of some men and many cattle, besides almost all their houses and what other property they had. They afterwards returned and remained a while, but consuming more than they were able to raise, they came to the Manathans where all the fugitives sojourned at that time, and there Master Doughty officiated as a minister. After the flame of war was out and the peace was concluded—but in such a manner that no one much relied upon it—some of the people again returned to their lands. The Director would have been glad, in order that all things should be completely restored, if it had pleased this man likewise to go back upon his land; but inasmuch as the peace was doubtful, and he had not wherewith to begin, Master Doughty was in no haste. He went however, some time afterwards, and dwelt there half a year, but again left it. As peace was made, and in hope that some others would make a village there, a suit was brought against the minister, and carried on so far that his land was confiscated. Master Doughty, feeling himself aggrieved, appealed from the sentence. The Director answered, his sentence could not be appealed from, but must prevail absolutely; and caused the minister for that remark to be imprisoned twenty-four hours and then to pay 25 guilders. We have always considered this an act of tyranny and regarded It as a token of sovereignty. The matter of Arnoldus van Herdenberch was very like it in its termination. After Zeger Theunisz was murdered by the Indians in the Beregat,(8) and the yacht had returned to the Manathans, Arnoldus van Hardenbergh was with two others appointed by the Director and Council curators over the estate, and the yacht was searched. Some goods were found in it which were not entered, whereupon the fiscaal went to law with the curators, and claimed that the goods were confiscable to the Company. The curators resisted and gave Herdenberch charge of the matter. After some proceedings the goods were condemned. As he found himself now aggrieved in behalf of the common owners, he appealed to such judges as they should choose for the purpose. The same game was then played over again. It was a high crime. The fiscaal made great pretensions and a sentence was passed, whereof the contents read thus: "Having seen the written complaint of the Fiscaal vander Hoytgens against Arnoldus van Hardenberch in relation to appealing from our sentence dated the 28th April last past, as appears by the signature of the before-named Sr. A. van Hardenberch, from which sentence no appeal can be had, as is proven to him by the States General and His Highness of Orange: Therefore the Director General and Council of New Netherland, regarding the dangerous consequences tending to injure the supreme authority of this land's magistracy, condemn the before-named Arnold van Herdenberch to pay forthwith a fine of 25 guilders, or to be imprisoned until the penalty be paid; as an example to others." Now, if one know the lion from his paw, he can see that these people do not spare the name of Their High Mightinesses, His Highness of Orange, the honor of the magistrates, nor the words, "dangerous consequences," "an example to others," and other such words, to play their own parts therewith. We have therefore placed this act by the side of that which was committed against the minister Doughty. Many more similar cases would be found in the record, if other things were always rightly inserted in it, which is very doubtful, the contrary sometimes being observed. It appears then sufficiently that everything has gone on rather strangely. And with this we will leave the subject and pass on to the government of Director Stuyvesant, with a single word, however, touching the sinister proviso incorporated in the ground-briefs, as the consequences may thence be very well understood. Absolute grants were made to the people by the ground-briefs, and when they thought that everything was right, and that they were masters of their own possessions, the ground-briefs were demanded from them again upon pretence that there was something forgotten in them; but that was not it. They thought they had incommoded themselves in giving them, and therefore a proviso was added at the end of the ground-brief, and it was signed anew; which proviso directly conflicts with the ground-brief, so that in one and the same ground-brief is a contradiction without chance of agreement, for it reads thus in the old briefs: "and take in possession the land and the valleys appertaining of old thereto," and the proviso says, "no valley to be used before the Company," all which could well enough be used, and the Company have a competency. In the ground-briefs is contained also another provision, which is usually inserted and sticks in the bosom of every one: to wit, that they must submit themselves to all taxes which the council has made or shall make.(9) These impositions can be continued in infinitum, and have already been enforced against several inhabitants. Others also are discouraged from undertaking anything on such terms.

(1) Cornelis van der Huygens was schout-fiscaal (sheriff and public prosecutor) of New Netherland from 1639 to 1645. He was drowned in the wreck of the Princess in 1647, along with Kieft.

(2) Cornelis van Tienhoven was a figure of much importance in New Netherland history. An Utrecht man, he came out as book-Keeper in 1633, and served in that capacity under Van Twiller. In 1638, at the beginning of Kieft's administration, he was made provincial secretary, and continued in that office under Stuyvesant, supporting with much shrewdness and industry the measures of the administration. His endeavors to counteract this Representation of the commonalty of New Netherland are described in the introduction, and are exhibited in the piece which follows.

(3) The Twelve Men were representatives chosen at the request of Kieft, to advise respecting war against the Weckquasgeeks, by an assembly of heads of families convened in August, 1641. They counselled delay, but finally, in January, 1642, consented to war. When they proceeded to demand reforms, especially popular representation in the Council, Kieft dissolved them. After the Indian outbreak of August, 1643, the Eight Men were elected, also at the instance of Kieft, and did their part in the management of the ensuing warfare; but they also, in the autumns of 1643 and 1644, protested to the West India Company and the States General against Kieft's misgovernment, and demanded his recall.

(4) This is intended to connect Kieft's massacre of the refugee Tappaans at Pavonia, February 25-26, 1643, with a previous reconnaissance of their position by Van Tienhoven.

(5) Demand of tribute which Kieft made of the river Indians in 1639 and 1640.

(6) Reverend Francis Doughty, Adriaen van der Donck's father-in-law, came to Massachusetts in 1637, but was forced to depart on account of heresies respecting baptism. He is reputed one of the first, if not the first, Presbyterian ministers in America. Further details regarding him, from an unfriendly pen, may be seen in Van Tienhoven's reply, post. The conditions on which he and his associates settled at Mespath (Newtown) may be seen in N.Y. Col. Doc., XIII. 8; the Patent, in O'Callaghan's History of New Netherland, I. 425.

(7) Conveyance.

(8) Shrewsbury Inlet.

(9) Mr. Murphy cites the clause, from a ground-brief or patent issued in 1639. After describing the land conveyed, it is declared to be "upon the express condition and stipulation that the said A.B. and his assigns shall acknowledge the Nobel Lords Managers aforesaid as their masters and patroons under the sovereignty of the High and Mighty Lord States General, and shall be obedient to the Director and Council here, as all good citizens are bound to be, submitting themselves to all such taxes and imposts as have been or may be, hereafter, imposed by the Noble Lords."

The Administration of Director Stuyvesant in Particular

We wish much we were already through with this administration, for it has grieved us, and we know ourselves powerless; nevertheless we will begin, and as we have already spoken of the public property, ecclesiastical and civil, we will consider how it is in regard to the administration of justice, and giving decisions between man and man. And first, to point as with a finger at the manners of the Director and Council. As regards the Director, from his first arrival to this time, his manner in court has been to treat with violence, dispute with or harass one of the two parties, not as becomes a judge, but as a zealous advocate, which has given great discontent to every one, and with some it has gone so far and has effected so much, that many of them dare bring no matter before the court, if they do not stand well or tolerably so with the Director. For whoever has him opposed, has as much as the sun and moon against him. Though he has himself appointed many of the councillors, and placed hem under obligation to him, and some pretend that he can overpower the rest by plurality of votes, he frequently puts his opinion in writing, and that so fully that it covers several pages, and then he adds verbally, "Monsieur, this is my advice, if any one has aught to say against it, let him speak." If then any one rises to make objection, which is not easily done, though it be well grounded, His Honor bursts out immediately in fury and makes such gestures, that it is frightful; yea, he rails out frequently at the Councillors for this thing and the other, with ugly words which would better suit the fish-market than the council chamber; and if this be all endured, His Honor will not rest yet unless he has his will. To demonstrate this by examples and proof, though easily done, would nevertheless detain us too long; but we all say and affirm that this has been his common practice from the first and still daily continues. And this is the condition and nature of things in the council on the part of the Director, who is its head and president. Let us now briefly speak of the councillors individually. The Vice Director, Lubbert van Dincklagen,(1) has for a long time on various occasions shown great dissatisfaction about many different matters, and has protested against the Director and his appointed councillors, but only lately, and after some others made resistance. He was, before this, so influenced by fear, that he durst venture to take no chances against the Director, but had to let many things pass by and to submit to them. He declared afterwards that he had great objections to them, because they were not just, but he saw no other way to have peace, as the Director said even in the council, that he would treat him worse than Wouter van Twiller had ever done, if he were not willing to conform to his wishes. This man then is overruled. Let us proceed farther. Monsieur la Montagne had been in the council in Kieft's time, and was then very much suspected by many. He had no commission from the Fatherland, was driven by the war from his farm, is also very much indebted to the Company, and therefore is compelled to dissemble. But it is sufficiently known from himself that he is not pleased, and is opposed to the administration. Brian Newton,(2) lieutenant of the soldiers, is the next. This man is afraid of the Director, and regards him as his benefactor. Besides being very simple and inexperienced in law, he does not understand our Dutch language, so that he is scarcely capable of refuting the long written opinions, but must and will say yes. Sometimes the commissary, Adrian Keyser, is admitted into the council, who came here as secretary. This man has not forgotten much law, but says that he lets God's water run over God's field. He cannot and dares not say anything, for so much can be said against him that it is best that he should be silent. The captains of the ships, when they are ashore, have a vote in the Council; as Ielmer Thomassen, and Paulus Lenaertson,(3) who was made equipment-master upon his first arrival, and who has always had a seat in the council, but is still a free man. What knowledge these people, who all their lives sail on the sea, and are brought up to ship-work, have of law matters and of farmers' disputes any intelligent man can imagine. Besides, the Director himself considers them so guilty that they dare not accuse others, as will appear from this passage at Curacao, before the Director ever saw New Netherland. As they were discoursing about the price of carracks, the Director said to the minister and others, "Domine Johannes,(4) I thought that I had brought honest ship-masters with me, but I find that I have brought a set of thieves"; and this was repeated to these councillors, especially to the equipment-master, for Captain Ielmer was most of the time at sea. They have let it pass unnoticed—a proof that they were guilty. But they have not fared badly; for though Paulus Lenaertssen has small wages, he has built a better dwelling-house here than anybody else. How this has happened is mysterious to us; for though the Director has knowledge of these matters, he nevertheless keeps quiet when Paulus Lenaertssen begins to make objections, which he does not easily do for any one else, which causes suspicion in the minds of many. There remains to complete this court-bench, the secretary and the fiscaal, Hendrick van Dyck,(5) who had previously been an ensign-bearer. Director Stuyvesant has kept him twenty-nine months out of the meetings of the council, for the reason among others which His Honor assigned, that he cannot keep secret but will make public, what is there resolved. He also frequently declared that he was a villain, a scoundrel, a thief and the like. All this is well known to the fiscaal, who dares not against him take the right course, and in our judgment it is not advisable for him to do so; for the Director is utterly insufferable in word and deed. What shall we say of a man whose head is troubled, and has a screw loose, especially when, as often happens, he has been drinking. To conclude, there is the secretary, Cornelius van Tienhoven. Of this man very much could be said, and more than we are able, but we shall select here and there a little for the sake of brevity. He is cautious, subtle, intelligent and sharp-witted—good gifts when they are well used. He is one of those who have been longest in the country, and every circumstance is well known to him, in regard both to the Christians and the Indians. With the Indians, moreover, he has run about the same as an Indian, with a little covering and a small patch in front, from lust after the prostitutes to whom he has always been mightily inclined, and with whom he has had so much to do that no punishment or threats of the Director can drive him from them. He is extremely expert in dissimulation. He pretends himself that he bites when asleep, and that he shows externally the most friendship towards those whom he most hates. He gives every one who has any business with him—which scarcely any one can avoid—good answers and promises of assistance, yet rarely helps anybody but his friends; but twists continually and shuffles from one side to the other. In his words and conduct he is shrewd, false, deceitful and given to lying, promising every one, and when it comes to perform, at home to no one. The origin of the war was ascribed principally to him, together with some of his friends. In consequence of his false reports and lies the Director was led into it, as is believed and declared both by the honest Indians and Christians. Now, if the voice of the people, according to the maxim, be the voice of God, one can with truth say scarcely anything good of this man or omit anything bad. The whole country, save the Director and his party, cries out against him bitterly, as a villain, murderer and traitor, and that he must leave the country or there will be no peace with the Indians. Director Stuyvesant was, at first and afterwards, well admonished of this; but he has nevertheless kept him in office, and allowed him to do so much, that all things go according to his wishes, more than if he were President. Yea, he also says that he is well contented to have him in his service, but that stone does not yet rest. We firmly believe that he misleads him in many things, so that he does many bad things which he otherwise would not do; in a word, that he is an indirect cause of his ruin and dislike in the country. But it seems that the Director can or will not see it; for when it was represented to him by some persons he gave it no consideration. It has been contrived to disguise and manage matters so, that in the Fatherland, where the truth can be freely spoken, nobody would be able to molest him in order to discover the truth. We do not attempt it. Having established the powers of the Council, it is easy to understand that the right people clung by each other, in order to maintain the imaginary sovereignty and to give a gloss to the whole business. Nine men were chosen to represent the whole commonalty, and commissions and instructions were given that whatever these men should do, should be the act of the whole commonalty.(6) And so in fact it was, as long as it corresponded with the wishes and views of the Director. In such cases they represented the whole commonalty; but when it did not so correspond, they were then clowns, usurers, rebels and the like. But to understand this properly it will be best briefly to state all things chronologically, as they have happened during his administration, and in what manner those who have sought the good of the country have been treated with injustice.

(1) Lubbertus van Dincklagen, doctor of laws, was sent out as schout-fiscaal of New Netherland in 1634, quarrelled with Van Twiller, and was sent back by him in 1636. In 1644 he was Provisionally appointed as Kieft's successor, but Stuyvesant was finally made Director, and Van Dincklagen went out with him as vice-director and second member of the Council. He opposed some of Stuyvesant's arbitrary acts, supplied the three bearers of this Representation with letters of credence to the States General, was expelled from the Council by Stuyvesant in 1651, and died in 1657 or 1658.

(2) An Englishman who had served under the company several years at Curacao.

(3) Ielmer (said to =Ethelmar) Tomassen was skipper of the Great Gerrit in 1647, when Stuyvesant made him company's storekeeper and second in military command; in 1649 and 1650, of the Falcon. Paulus Leendertsen van der Grift was captain in the West India Company's service from at least 1644. In 1647 Stuyvesant made him superintendent of naval equipment. In the first municipal government of New Amsterdam, 1653, he was made a schepen (magistrate and councillor), later a burgomaster.

(4) Reverend Johannes Backerus, minister for the Company at Curacao from 1642 to 1647, was transferred to Amsterdam when Stuyvesant came out, in order to fill the vacancy left by Reverend Everardus Bogardus, minister at Manhattan from 1633 to 1647, who, after long quarrelling with Kieft, had gone home in the same ship with him, the ill-fated Princess.

(5) Ensign Hendrick van Dyck came out in 1640 as commander of the militia; again with Stuyvesant in 1647 as schout- fiscaal. In 1652 Stuyvesant removed him from that office. His defence of his official career, a valuable document, may be seen in N.Y. Col. Doc., I. 491-513.

(6) See the introduction.

His first arrival—for what passed on the voyage is not for us to speak of—was like a peacock, with great state and pomp. The declaration of His Honor, that he wished to stay here only three years, with other haughty expressions, caused some to think that he would not be a father. The appellation of Lord General,(1) and similar titles, were never before known here. Almost every day he caused proclamations of various import to be published, which were for the most part never observed, and have long since been a dead letter, except the wine excise, as that yielded a profit. The proceedings of the Eight Men, especially against Jochem Pietersz Cuyffer and Cornelis Molyn, happened in the beginning of his administration. The Director showed himself so one-sided in them, that he gave reason to many to judge of his character, yet little to his advantage. Every one clearly saw that Director Kieft had more favor, aid and counsel in his suit than his adversary, and that the one Director was the advocate of the other as the language of Director Stuyvesant imported and signified when he said, "These churls may hereafter endeavor to knock me down also, but I will manage it so now, that they will have their bellies full for the future." How it was managed, the result of the lawsuit can bear witness. They were compelled to pay fines, and were cruelly banished. In order that nothing should be wanting, Cornelis Molyn, when he asked for mercy, till it should be seen how his matters would turn out in the Fatherland, was threatened in language like this, as Molyn, who is still living, himself declares, "If I knew, Molyn, that you would divulge our sentence, or bring it before Their High Mightinesses, I would cause you to be hung immediately on the highest tree in New-Netherland." Now this took place in private, and may be denied—and ought not to be true, but what does it matter, it is so confirmed by similar cases that it cannot be doubted. For, some time after their departure, in the house of the minister, where the consistory(2) had been sitting and had risen, it happened that one Arnoldus van Herdenbergh related the proceedings relative to the estate of Zeger Teunisz, and how he himself as curator had appealed from the sentence; whereupon the Director, who had been sitting there with them as an elder, interrupted him and replied, "It may during my administration be contemplated to appeal, but if any one should do it, I will make him a foot shorter, and send the pieces to Holland, and let him appeal in that way." Oh cruel words! what more could even a sovereign do? And yet this is all firmly established; for after Jochem Pieterz Cuyffer and Cornelis Molyn went to the Fatherland to prosecute their appeal, and letters came back here from them, and the report was that their appeal was granted, or would be granted, the Director declared openly at various times and on many occasions, as well before inhabitants as strangers, when speaking of Jochem Pietersz Cuyter and Cornelis Molyn, "Even if they should come back cleared and bring an order of the States, no matter what its contents, unless their High Mightinesses summon me, I should immediately send them back." His Honor has also always denied that any appeal was or could be taken in this country, and declared that he was able to show this conclusively. And as some were not willing to believe it, especially in matters against the Company or their chief officers, a great deal which had been sought out in every direction was cited, and really not much to the purpose. At the first, while Director Kieft was still here, the English minister,(3) as he had long continued to service without proper support and as land was now confiscated, prayed that he might be permitted to proceed to the Islands,(4) or to the Netherlands; but an unfavorable answer was always given him, and he was threatened with this and that; finally it resulted in permission to leave, provided he gave a promise under his hand, that he would not in any place in which he should come, speak or complain of what had befallen him here in New Netherland under Director Kieft or Stuyvesant. This the man himself declares. Mr. Dincklagen and Captain Loper,(5) who then had seats in the council, also say that this is true. One wonders, if the Directors act rightly according to their own consciences, what they wished to do with such certificates, and others like them, which were secretly obtained. The Honorable Director began also at the first to argue very stoutly against the contraband trade, as was indeed very laudable, provided the object was to regulate the matter and to keep the law enforced; yet this trade, forbidden to others, he himself wished to carry on; but to this the people were not willing to consent. His Honor said, and openly asserted, that he was allowed, on behalf of the Company, to sell powder, lead and guns to the Indians, but no one else could do so, and that he wished to carry their resolution into execution. What the resolution of the Company amounts to, is unknown to us,(6) but what relates to the act is notorious to every inhabitant; as the Director has by his servants openly carried on the trade with the Indians, and has taken guns from free men who had brought with them one or two for their own use and amusement, paying for them according to his own pleasure, and selling them to the Indians. But this way of proceeding could amount to nothing, and made little progress. Another plan was necessary, and therefore a merchant, Gerrit Vastrick, received orders to bring with him one case of guns which is known of, for the purpose, as it was said, of supplying the Indians sparingly. They set about with this case of guns so openly, that there was not a man on the Manathans but knew it; and it was work enough to quiet the people. Everybody made his own comment; and, as it was observed that the ship was not inspected as others had been before, it was presumed that there were many more guns, besides powder and lead, in it for the Governor; but as the first did not succeed, silence was therefore observed in regard to the rest; and it might have passed unnoticed, had not every one perceived what a great door for abuse and opportunity the Director so opened to all others, and to the captain and merchant, who were celebrated for this of old, and who were now said to have brought with them a great number of guns, which was the more believed, because they went to the right place, and on their return were dumb as to what they did. This begat so much discontent among the common people, and even among other officers, that it is not to be expressed; and had the people not been persuaded and held back, something extraordinary would have happened. It was further declared that the Director is everything, and does the business of the whole country, having several shops himself; that he is a brewer and has breweries, is a part owner of ships, a merchant and a trader, as well in lawful as contraband articles. But he does not mind; he exhibits the orders of the Managers that he might do so, and says moreover that he should receive a supply of powder and lead by the Falconer for the purpose. In a word, the same person who interdicts the trade to others upon pain of death, carries it on both secretly and openly, and desires, contrary to good rules, that his example be not followed, and if others do follow it—which indeed too often happens secretly—that they be taken to the gallows. This we have seen in the case of Jacob Reyntgen and Jacob van Schermerhoren, against whom the penalty of death was asked, which the Director was with great difficulty persuaded to withdraw, and who were then banished as felons and their goods confiscated.(7) The banishment was, by the intervention of many good men, afterwards revoked, but their goods, which amounted to much (as they were Scotch merchants(8)), remained confiscated. We cannot pass by relating here what happened to one Joost Theunisz Backer, as he has complained to us of being greatly maltreated, as he in fact was. For the man being a reputable burgher, of good life and moderate means, was put in prison upon the declaration of an officer of the Company, who, according to the General and Council, had himself thrice well deserved the gallows, and for whom a new one even had been made, from which, out of mercy, he escaped. Charges were sought out on every side, and finally, when nothing could be established against him having the semblance of crime, he was released again, after thirteen days confinement, upon satisfactory bail for his appearance in case the fiscaal should find anything against him. Nothing has as yet been done about it. After the year and a day had passed by, we have, as representatives of the commonalty, and upon his request, legally solicited, as his sureties were troubling him, that the suit should be tried, so that he might be punished according to his deserts if he were guilty, and if not, that he might be discharged. But there was nothing gained by our interposition, as we were answered with reproachful language, and the fiscaal was permitted to rattle out anything that came in his mouth, and the man was rendered odious beyond all precedent, and abused before all as a foul monster. Asked he anything, even if it were all right, he received angry and abusive language, his request was not complied with, and justice was denied him. These things produce great dissatisfaction, and lead some to meditate leaving the country. It happened better with one Pieter vander Linden, as he was not imprisoned. There are many others, for the most of them are disturbed and would speak if they durst. Now the Company itself carries on the forbidden trade, the people think that they too can do so without guilt, if they can do so without damage; and this causes smuggling and frauds to an incredible extent, though not so great this year as heretofore. The publishing of a placard that those who were guilty, whether civilly or criminally, in New England, might have passport and protection here, has very much embittered the minds of the English, and has been considered by every one fraught with bad consequences. Great distrust has also been created among the inhabitants on account of Heer Stuyvesant being so ready to confiscate. There scarcely comes a ship in or near here, which, if it do not belong to friends, is not regarded as a prize by him. Though little comes of it, great claims are made to come from these matters, about which we will not dispute; but confiscating has come to such repute in New Netherland, that nobody anywise conspicuous considers his property to be really safe. It were well if the report of this thing were confined to this country; but it has spread among the neighboring English—north and south—and in the West Indies and Caribbee Islands. Everywhere there, the report is so bad, that not a ship dare come hither from those places; and good credible people who come from thence, by the way of Boston, and others here trading at Boston, assure us that more than twenty-five ships would come here from those islands every year if the owners were not fearful of confiscation. It is true of these places only and the report of it flies everywhere, and produces like fear, so that this vulture is destroying the prosperity of New Netherland, diverting its trade, and making the people discouraged, for other places not so well situated as this, have more shipping. All the permanent inhabitants, the merchant, the burgher and peasant, the planter, the laboring man, and also the man in service, suffer great injury in consequence; for if the shipping were abundant, everything would be sold cheaper, and necessaries be more easily obtained than they are now, whether they be such as the people themselves, by God's blessing, get out of the earth, or those they otherwise procure, and be sold better and with more profit; and people and freedom would bring trade. New England is a clear example that this policy succeeds well, and so especially is Virginia. All the debts and claims which were left uncollected by Director Kieft—due for the most part from poor and indigent people who had nothing, and whose property was destroyed by the war, by which they were compelled to abandon their houses, lands, cattle and other means—were now demanded; and when the people declared that they were not able to pay—that they had lost their property by the war, and asked My Lord to please have patience, they were repulsed. A resolution was adopted and actually put into execution, requiring those who did not satisfy the Company's debts, to pay interest; but the debts in question were made in and by the war, and the people are not able to pay either principal or interest. Again, the just debts which Director Kieft left behind, due from the Company, whether they consisted of monthly wages, or were for grain delivered, or were otherwise lawfully contracted, these the Director will not pay. If we oppose this as an unusual course, we are rebuked and it has to be so. We have by petition and proper remonstrance effected, however, so much, that the collection of the debts is put off for a time.

(1) Myn Heer Generael is hardly what would be meant in English by "Lord General"; it is most like Fr. Monsieur le General.

(2) The church session, in the Reformed Church, consisting of minister, elders and deacons.

(3) Francis Doughty.

(4) The West Indies.

(5) Jacob Loper, a Swedish naval captain in the Dutch service, who had married the eldest daughter of Cornelis Molyn.

(6) Mr. Murphy quotes an apposite passage from a letter which the company had written to Stuyvesant on April 7, 1648: "As they [the Indians] urge it with such earnestness, that they would rather renew the war with us than be without these articles, and as a war with them, in our present situation, would be very unwelcome, we think the best policy is to furnish them with powder and ball but with a sparing hand."

(7) These sentences were imposed in July, 1648.

(8) Peddlers.

Besides this, the country of the Company is so taxed, and is burdened and kept down in such a manner, that the inhabitants are not able to appear beside their neighbors of Virginia or New England, or to undertake any enterprise. It seems—and so far as is known by us all the inhabitants of New Netherland declare—that the Managers have scarce any care or regard for New Netherland, except when there is something to receive, for which reason, however, they receive less. The great extremity of war in which we have been, clearly demonstrates that the Managers have not cared whether New Netherland sank or swam; for when in that emergency aid and assistance were sought from them—which they indeed were bound by honor and by promises to grant, unsolicited, pursuant to the Exemptions—they have never established any good order or regulation concerning it, although (after all) such a thing had been decreed and commanded by Their High Mightinesses. Neither have they ever allowed the true causes and reasons of the war to be investigated, nor have they attempted to punish those who had rashly begun it. Hence no little suspicion that it was undertaken by their orders; at least it is certain that their officers were chosen more from favor and friendship than merit, which did not make their matters go on better. But this is the loss and damage for the most part of the stockholders. Many of the others doubtless knew well their objects. In a word, they come far short in affording that protection which they owe the country, for there is nothing of the kind. They understand how to impose taxes, for while they promised in the Exemptions not to go above five per cent., they now take sixteen. It is a common saying that a half difference is a great difference, but that is nothing in comparison with this. The evasions and objections which are used by them, as regards merchants' goods, smuggling and many other things, and which the times have taught them, in order to give color to their acts, are of no force or consideration. They however are not now to be refuted, as it would take too long; though we stand ready to do so if there be any necessity for it. These and innumerable other difficulties, which we have not time to express, exist, tending to the damage, injury and ruin of the country. If the inhabitants or we ourselves go to the Director or other officers of the Company, and speak of the flourishing condition of our neighbors, and complain of our own desolate and ruinous state, we get no other answer from them than that they see and observe it, but cannot remedy it, as they follow the Company's orders, which they are compelled to do, and that if we have any thing to say, we must petition their masters, the Managers, or Their High Mightinesses, which in truth we have judged to be necessary. It is now more than a year since the commons-men deemed it expedient, and proposed, to send a deputation to Their High Mightinesses. The Director commended the project and not only assented to it but urged it strongly. It was put well in the mill, so that we had already spoken of a person to go, but it fell through for these reasons: When it was proposed, the Director desired that we should consult and act according to his wishes; which some who perceived the object would not consent to, and the matter therefore fell asleep. Besides, the English, who had been depended upon and who were associated in the affair, withdrew till the necessity of action became greater, and the Nine Men were changed the next year,(1) when Herr Stuyvesant again urged the matter strongly, and declared that he had already written to the Company that such persons would come. After the election of the Nine Men, and before the new incumbents were sworn in, it was determined and resolved verbally, that they would proceed with the deputation, whatever should be the consequences; but it remained some time before the oath was renewed, on account of some amplification of the commission being necessary, which was finally given and recorded and signed; but we have never been able to obtain an authentic copy of it, although the Director has frequently promised and we have frequently applied for it.

(1) December, 1648.

As the Company had now been waited upon a long while in vain, promising amendment from time to time but going on worse, a determined resolution was taken by the commons-men to send some person. They made their intention known to the Director, and requested that they might confer with the commonalty; but their proposition was not well received, and they obtained in reply to their written petition a very long apostil, to the effect, that consultation must be had with the Director, and his instructions followed, with many other things which did not agree with out object, and were impracticable, as we think. For various reasons which we set down in writing, we thought it was not advisable to consult with him, but we represented to his Honor that he should proceed; we would not send anything to the Fatherland without his having a copy of it. If he could then justify himself, we should be glad he should; but to be expected to follow his directions in this matter was not, we thought, founded in reason, but directly antagonistic to the welfare of the country. We had also never promised or agreed to do so; and were bound by an oath to seek the prosperity of the country, as, according to our best knowledge, we are always inclined to do.

In the above mentioned apostil it says, if we read rightly, that we should inquire what approbation the commonalty were willing to give to this business, and how the expense should be defrayed; but the Director explained it differently from what we understood it. Now as his Honor was not willing to convene the people however urgent our request, or that we should do it, we went round from house to house and spoke to the commonalty. The General has, from that time, burned with rage, and, if we can judge, has never been effectually appeased since, although we did not know but that we had followed his order herein. Nevertheless it was perceived that the Nine Men would not communicate with him or follow his directions in anything pertaining to the matter. This excited in him a bitter and unconquerable hatred against them all, but principally against those whom he supposed to be the chief authors of it; and although these persons had been good and dear friends with him always, and he, shortly before, had regarded them as the most honorable, able, intelligent and pious men of the country, yet as soon as they did not follow the General's wishes they were this and that, some of them rascals, liars, rebels, usurers and spendthrifts, in a word, hanging was almost too good for them. It had been previously strongly urged that the deputation should be expedited, but then [he said] there was still six months time, and that all that was proper and necessary could be put upon a sheet of paper. Many reports also were spread among the people, and it was sought principally by means of the English to prevent the college of the Nine Men from doing anything; but as these intrigues were discovered, and it was therefore manifest that this could not be effected, so in order to make a diversion, many suits were brought against those who were considered the ringleaders. They were accused and then prosecuted by the fiscaal and other suborned officers, who made them out to be the greatest villains in the country, where shortly before they had been known as the best people and dearest children. At this time an opportunity presented itself, which the Director was as glad to have, at least as he himself said, as his own life. At the beginning of the year 1649, clearly perceiving that we would not only have much to do about the deputation but would hardly be able to accomplish it, we deemed it necessary to make regular memoranda for the purpose of furnishing a journal from them at the proper time. This duty was committed to one Adriaen vander Donck, who by a resolution adopted at the same time was lodged in a chamber at the house of one Michael Jansz. The General on a certain occasion when Vander Donck was out of the chamber, seized this rough draft with his own hands, put Vander Donck the day after in jail, called together the great Council, accused him of having committed crimen laesae majestatis, and took up the matter so warmly, that there was no help for it but either the remonstrance must be drawn up in concert with him (and it was yet to be written,) or else the journal—as Mine Heer styled the rough draft from which the journal was to be prepared—was of itself sufficient excuse for action; for Mine Heer said there were great calumnies in it against Their High Mightinesses, and when we wished to explain it and asked for it, to correct the errors, (as the writer did not wish to insist upon it and said he knew well that there were mistakes in it, arising from haste and other similar causes, in consequence of his having had much to do and not having read over again the most of it,) our request was called a libel which was worthy of no answer, and the writer of which it was intended to punish as an example to others. In fine we could not make it right in any way. He forbade Vander Donck the council and also our meetings, and gave us formal notice to that effect, and yet would not release him from his oath. Then to avoid the proper mode of proof, he issued a proclamation declaring that no testimony or other act should be valid unless it were written by the secretary, who is of service to nobody, but on the contrary causes every one to complain that nothing can be done. Director Kieft had done the same thing when he was apprehensive that an attestation would be executed against him. And so it is their practice generally to do everything they can think of in order to uphold their conduct. Those whose offices required them to concern themselves with the affairs of the country, and did so, did well, if they went according to the General's will and pleasure; if they did not, they were prosecuted and thrown into prison, guarded by soldiers so that they could not speak with any body, angrily abused as vile monsters, threatened to be taught this and that, and everything done against them that he could contrive or invent. We cannot enter into details, but refer to the record kept of these things, and the documents which the Director himself is to furnish. From the foregoing relation Their High Mightinesses, and others interested who may see it, can well imagine what labor and burdens we have had upon our shoulders from which we would very willingly have escaped, but for love of the country and of truth, which, as far as we know, has long lain buried. The trouble and difficulty which do or will affect us, although wanting no addition, do not grieve us so much as the sorrowful condition of New Netherland, now lying at its last gasp; but we hope and trust that our afflictions and the sufferings of the inhabitants and people of the country will awaken in Their High Mightinesses a compassion which will be a cause of rejoicing to New Netherland.

In what Manner New Netherland should be Redressed.

Although we are well assured and know, in regard to the mode of redress of the country, we are only children, and Their High Mightinesses are entirely competent, we nevertheless pray that they overlook our presumption and pardon us if we make some suggestions according to our slight understanding thereof, in addition to what we have considered necessary in our petition to Their High Mightinesses.

In our opinion this country will never flourish under the government of the Honorable Company, but will pass away and come to an end of itself without benefiting thereby the Honorable Company, so that it would be better and more profitable for them, and better for the country, that they should divest themselves of it and transfer their interests.

To speak specifically. Provision ought to be made for public buildings, as well ecclesiastical as civil, which, in beginnings, can be ill dispensed with. It is doubtful whether divine worship will not have to cease altogether in consequence of the departure of the minister, and the inability of the Company. There should be a public school, provided with at least two good masters, so that first of all in so wild a country, where there are many loose people, the youth be well taught and brought up, not only in reading and writing, but also in the knowledge and fear of the Lord. As it is now, the school is kept very irregularly, one and another keeping it according to his pleasure and as long as he thinks proper. There ought also to be an almshouse and an orphan asylum, and other similar institutions. The minister who now goes home,(1) should be able to give a much fuller explanation thereof. The country must also be provided with godly, honorable and intelligent rulers who are not too indigent, or indeed are not too covetous. A covetous chief makes poor subjects. The manner the country is now governed falls severely upon it, and is intolerable, for nobody is unmolested or secure in his property longer than the Director pleases, who is generally strongly inclined to confiscating; and although one does well, and gives the Heer what is due to him, one must still study always to please him if he would have quiet. A large population would be the consequence of a good government, as we have shown according to our knowledge in our petition; and although to give free passage and equip ships, if it be necessary, would be expensive at first, yet if the result be considered, it would be an exceedingly wise measure, if by that means farmers and laborers together with other needy people were brought into the country, with the little property which they have; as also the Fatherland has enough of such people to spare. We hope it would then prosper, especially as good privileges and exemptions, which we regard as the mother of population, would encourage the inhabitants to carry on commerce and lawful trade. Every one would be allured hither by the pleasantness, situation, salubrity and fruitfulness of the country, if protection were secured within the already established boundaries. It would all, with God's assistance, then, according to human judgment, go well, and New Netherland would in a few years be a worthy place and be able to do service to the Netherland nation, to repay richly the cost, and to thank its benefactors.

(1) Reverend Johannes Backerus.

High Mighty Lords! We have had the boldness to write this remonstrance, and to represent matters as we have done from love of the truth, and because we felt ourselves obliged to do so by our oath and conscience. It is true that we have not all of us at one time or together seen, heard and met with every detail of its entire contents. Nevertheless there is nothing in it but what is well known by some of us to be true and certain;—the most is known by all of us to be true. We hope Their High Mightinesses will pardon our presumption and be charitable with our plainness of style, composition and method. In conclusion we commit Their High Mightinesses, their persons, deliberations and measures and their people, at home and abroad, together with all the friends of New Netherland, to the merciful guidance and protection of the Most High, whom we supplicate for Their High Mightinesses' present and eternal welfare. Amen.

Done this 28th of July in New Netherland, subscribed, "ADRIAEN VANDER DONCK, AUGUSTIJN HERMANSZ, ARNOLDUS VAN HARDENBERGH, JACOB VAN COUWENHOVEN, OLOFF STEVENSZ" (by whose name was written "Under protest—obliged to sign about the government of the Heer Kieft"), "MICHIEL JANSZ, THOMAS HAL, ELBERT ELBERTSZ, GOVERT LOKERMANS, HENDRICK HENDRICKSZ KIP and JAN EVERTSBOUT." Below was written, "After collation with the original remonstrance, dated and subscribed as above, with which these are found to correspond, at the Hague, the 13th October, 1649, by me;" and was subscribed,

"D. v. SCHELLUYNEN, Notary Public."


Reference material and sources.

Cornelius Van Tienhoven, Answer to The Representation of New Netherland, 1650. In J. Franklin Jameson, ed., Narratives of New Netherland, 1609-1664 (Original Narratives of Early American History). NY: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1909.


The origin and value of the following document have been sufficiently described in the introduction to that which precedes. Cornelis van Tienhoven, secretary of the province under Kieft and Stuyvesant, had been sent by the latter to Holland to counteract the efforts of the three emissaries whom the commonalty had sent thither to denounce the existing system of government. Working in close co-operation with the Amsterdam Chamber of the West India Company, he played a skilful game, and succeeded in delaying and in part averting hostile action on the part of the States General. The piece which follows is his chief defensive recital of the acts of the administration, and as such has much value.

Van Tienhoven had the reputation of a libertine, and conducted himself as such while in Holland, finally escaping to New Netherland in 1651 with a girl whom he had deceived, though he had a wife in the province. Yet Stuyvesant retained him in his favor, promoted him in 1652 to be schout-fiscaal of New Netherland, and used him as his chief assistant. After a disastrous outbreak, however, understood to have been caused by his advice, the Company ordered Stuyvesant to exclude him from office; and presently Van Tienhoven and his brother, a fraudulent receiver-general, absconded from the province.

The manuscript of Van Tienhoven's Answer was found by Brodhead in the archives of the Netherlands, and is still there. Two translations of it, differing but slightly, have been printed, the first in 1849 by Henry C. Murphy, in the Collections of the New York Historical Society, second series, II. 329-338, the other in the Documents relating to the Colonial History of New York, I. 422-432. The former, revised by comparison with the original manuscript at the Hague by Professor William I. Hull, of Swarthmore College, appears in the following pages.


A Brief Statement or Answer to some Points embraced in the Written Deduction of Adrian van der Donk and his Associates, presented to the High and Mighty Lords States General. Prepared by Cornelis van Tienhoven, Secretary of the Director and Council of New Netherland.

IN order to present the aforesaid answer succinctly, he, Van Tienhoven, will allege not only that it ill becomes the aforesaid Van her Donk and other private persons to assail and abuse the administration of the Managers in this country, and that of their Governors there,(1) in such harsh and general terms, but that they would much better discharge their duty if they were first to bring to the notice of their lords and patrons what they had to complain of. But passing by this point, and leaving the consideration thereof to the discretion of your High Mightinesses, he observes preliminary and generally, that it could as easily and with more truth be denied, than by them it is odiously affirmed.

(1) In New Netherland. Van Tienhoven prepared this answer in Holland.

Coming then to the matter, I will only touch upon those points as to which either the Managers or the Directors are arraigned. In regard to point No. 1, I deny, and it never will appear, that the Company have refused to permit our people to make settlements in the country, and allow foreigners to take up the land.

The policy of the Company to act on the defensive, since they had not the power to resist their pretended friends, and could only protect their rights by protest, was better and more prudent than to come to hostilities.

Trade has long been free to every one, and as profitable as ever. Nobody's goods were confiscated, except those who had violated their contract, or the order by which they were bound; and if anybody thinks that injustice has been done him by confiscation, he can speak for himself. At all events it does not concern these people.

As for their complaining that the Christians are treated like the Indians in the sale of goods, this is admitted; but this was not done by the Company, nor by the Directors, because (God help them) they have not had anything there to sell for many years. Most of the remonstrants, being merchants or factors, are themselves the cause of this, since they are the persons who, for those articles which cost here one hundred guilders, charge there, over and above the first cost, including insurance, duties, laborer's wages, freight, etc., one and two hundred per cent. or more profit. Here can be seen at once how these people lay to the charge of the Managers and their officers the very fault which they themselves commit. They can never show, even at the time the Company had their shop and magazines there well supplied, that the goods were sold at more than fifty per cent. profit, in conformity with the Exemptions. The forestalling of the goods by one and another, and their trying to get this profit, cannot be prevented by the Director, the more so as the trade was thrown open to both those of small and those of large means.

It is a pure calumny, that the Company had ordered half a fault to be reckoned for a whole one.

And, as it does not concern the inhabitants what instructions or orders the patroon gives to his chief agent, the charge is made for the purpose of making trouble. For these people would like to live without being subject to any one's censure or discipline, which, however, they stand doubly in need of.

Again it is said in general terms, but wherein, should be specified and proven, that the Director exercises and has usurped sovereign power.

That the inhabitants have had need of the Directors appears by the books of accounts, in which it can be seen that the Company has assisted all the freemen (some few excepted) with clothing, provisions and other things, and in the erection of houses, and this at the rate of fifty per cent. advance above the actual cost in the Fatherland, which is not yet paid. And they would gladly, by means of complaints, drive the Company from the land, and pay nothing.

It is ridiculous to suppose Director Kieft should have said that he was sovereign, like the Prince in the Fatherland; but as relates to the denial of appeal to the Fatherland, it arose from this, that, in the Exemptions, the Island of the Manhatans was reserved as the capital of New Netherland, and all the adjacent colonies were to have their appeal to it as the Supreme Court of that region.(1)

(1) Art. XX.

Besides, it is to be remarked, that the patroon of the colony of Renselaerswyck notified all the inhabitants not to appeal to the Manhatans, which was contrary to the Exemptions, by which the colonies are bound to make a yearly report of the state of the colony, and of the administration of justice, to the Director and Council on the Manhatans.(1)

(1) Art. XXVIII.

The Directors have never had any management of, or meddled with, church property. And it is not known, nor can it be proven, that any one of the inhabitants of New Netherland has contributed or given, either voluntarily or upon solicitation, anything for the erection of an orphan asylum or an almshouse. It is true that the church standing in the fort was built in the time of William Kieft, and 1,800 guilders were subscribed for the purpose, for which most of the subscribers have been charged in their accounts, which have not yet been paid. The Company in the meantime has disbursed the money, so that the Commonalty (with a few exceptions) has not, but the Company Has, paid the workmen. If the commonalty desire such works As the aforesaid, they must contribute towards them as is Done in this country, and, if there were an orphan asylum and Almshouse, there should be rents not only to keep up the house, But also to maintain the orphans and old people.

If any one could show that by will, or by donation of a living person, any money, or moveable or immoveable property, has been bestowed for such or any other public work, the remonstrants would have done it; but there is in New Netherland no instance of the kind, and the charge is spoken or written in anger. When the church which is in the fort was to be built, the Churchwardens were content it should be put there. These persons complain because they considered the Company's fort not worthy of a church. Before the church was built, the grist-mill could not grind with a southeast wind, because the wind was shut off by the walls of the fort.

Although the new school, towards which the commonalty has contributed something, is not yet built, the Director has no management of the money, but the churchwardens have, and the Director is busy in providing materials. In the mean time a place has been selected for a school, where the school is kept by Jan Cornelissen. The other schoolmasters keep school in hired houses, so that the youth, considering the circumstances of the country, are not in want of schools. It is true there is no Latin school or academy, but if the commonalty desire it, they can furnish the means and attempt it.

As to what concerns the deacons' or poor fund, the deacons are accountable, and are the persons to be inquired of, as to where the money is invested, which they have from time to time put out at interest; and as the Director has never had the management of it, (as against common usage), the deacons are responsible for it, and not the director. It is true Director Kieft being distressed for money, had a box hung in his house, of which the deacons had one key, and in which all the small fines and penalties which were incurred on court day were dropped. With the consent of the deacons he opened it, and took on interest the money, which amounted to a pretty sum.

It is admitted, that the beer excise was imposed by William Kieft, and the wine excise by Peter Stuyvesant, and that they continued to be collected up to the time of my leaving there; but it is to be observed here, that the memorialists have no reason to complain about it, for the merchant, burgher, farmer and all others (tapsters only excepted), can lay in as much beer and wine as they please without paying any excise, being only bound to give an account of it in order that the quantity may be ascertained. The tapsters pay three guilders for each tun of beer and one stiver for each can of wine,(1) which they get back again from their daily visitors and the travellers from New England, Virginia and elsewhere.

(1) The stiver was the twentieth part of a gulden or guilder, and equivalent to two cents, the guilder being equivalent to forty cents.

The commonalty up to that time were burdened with no other local taxes than the before mentioned excise, unless the voluntary gift which was employed two years since for the continuation of the building of the church, be considered a tax, of which Jacob Couwenhoven,(1) who is one of the churchwardens, will be able to give an account.

(1) Couwenhoven, it will be remembered, was one of the delegates from the commonalty then in Holland.

In New England there are no taxes or duties imposed upon goods exported or imported; but every person's wealth is there appraised by the government, and he must pay for the following, according to his wealth and the assessment by the magistrates: for the building and repairing of churches, and the support of the ministers; for the building of schoolhouses, and the support of schoolmasters; for all city and village improvements, and the making and keeping in repair all public roads and paths, which are there made many miles into the country, so that they can be used by horses and carriages, and journeys made from one place to another; for constructing and keeping up all bridges over the rivers at the crossings; for the building of inns for travellers, and for the maintenance of governors, magistrates, marshals and officers of justice, and of majors, captains and other officers of the militia.

In every province of New England there is quarterly a general assembly of all the magistrates of such province;(1) and there is yearly a general convention of all the provinces, each of which sends one deputy with his suite, which convention lasts a long time. All their travelling expenses, board and compensation are there raised from the people. The poor-rates are an additional charge.

(1) A loose statement, only so far correct, that each New England colony had several sessions of its magistrates each year, sometimes monthly sessions, while their legislative assemblies ("general courts") were commonly held more than once a year. Van Tienhoven's general contention is correct, that government in New England was far more elaborate and expensive than in New Netherland; but New England had in 1650 a population of about 30,000, New Netherland hardly more than 3,000. The annual meeting mentioned in the next sentence is that of the Commissioners of the United Colonies, in which, however, each colony was represented by two deputies, not one.

The accounts will show what was the amount of recognitions collected annually in Kieft's time; but it will not appear that it was as large by far as they say the people were compelled to pay. This is not the Company's fault, nor the Directors', but of those who charge one, two and three hundred per cent. profit, which the people are compelled to pay because there are few tradesmen.

It will not appear, either now or in the future, that 30,000 guilders were collected from the commonalty in Stuyvesant's time; for nothing is received besides the beer and wine excise, which amounts to about 4,000 guilders a year on the Manhatans. From the other villages situated around it there is little or nothing collected, because there are no tapsters, except one at the Ferry,(1) and one at Flushing.

(1) The hamlet on the East River opposite Manhattan; the village of Bruekelen stood a mile east of the river.

If anything has been confiscated, it did not belong to the commonalty, but was contraband goods imported from abroad; and nobody's goods are confiscated without good cause.

The question is whether the Honorable Company or the Directors are bound to construct any works for the commonalty out of the recognition which the trader pays in New Netherland for goods exported, especially as those duties were allowed to the Company by Their High Mightinesses for the establishment of garrisons, and the expenses which they must thereby incur, and not for the construction of poor-houses, orphan asylums, or even churches and school-houses, for the commonalty.

The charge that the property of the Company is neglected in order to procure assistance from friends, cannot be sustained by proof.

The provisions obtained for the negroes from Tamandare were sent to Curacao, except a portion consumed on the Manhatans, as the accounts will show; but all these are mattes which do not concern these persons, especially as they are not accountable for them.

As to the freemen's contracts which the Director graciously granted the negroes who were the Company's slaves, in consequence of their long service: freedom was given to them on condition that their children should remain slaves, who are not treated otherwise than as Christians. At present there are only three of these children who do any service. One of them is at the House of Hope,(1) one at the Company's Bouwery, and one with Martin Crigier, who has brought the girl up well, as everybody knows.

(1) Near Hartford, Connecticut. The company's bouwery, or farm, next mentioned, was the tract extending between the lines of Fulton and Chambers Streets, Broadway and the North River. Martin Cregier was captain of the militia company.

That the Heer Stuyvesant should build up, alter and repair the Company's property was his duty. For the consequent loss or profit he will answer to the Company.

The burghers upon the island of Manhatans and thereabouts must know that nobody comes or is admitted to New Netherland (being a conquest) except upon this condition, that he shall have nothing to say, and shall acknowledge himself under the sovereignty of Their High Mightinesses the States General and the Lords Managers, as his lords and patrons, and shall be obedient to the Director and Council for the time being, as good subjects are bound to be.

Who are they who have complained about the haughtiness of Stuyvesant? I think they are such as seek to live without law or rule.

Their complaint that no regulation was made in relation to sewan is untrue. During the time of Director Kieft good sewan passed at four for a stiver, and the loose bits were fixed at six pieces for a stiver.(1) The reason why the loose sewan was not prohibited, was because there is no coin in circulation, and the laborers, farmers, and other common people having no other money, would be great losers; and had it been done, the remonstrants would, without doubt, have included it among their grievances.

(1) Kieft's regulation was adopted April 16, 1641. In Connecticut and Massachusetts, in 1640 ad 1641, the legal valuations varied from four beads to the penny (or stiver) to six beads.

Nobody can prove that Director Stuyvesant has used foul language to, or railed at as clowns, any persons or respectability who have treated him decently. It may be that some profligate has given the Director, if he used any bad words to him, cause to do so.

That the fort is not properly repaired does not concern the inhabitants. It is not their domain, but the Company's. They are willing to be protected by good forts and garrisons belonging to the Company without furnishing any aid or assistance by labor or money for the purpose; but it appears they are not willing to see a fort well fortified and properly garrisoned, from the apprehension that malevolent and seditious persons will be better punished, which they call cruelty.

Had the Director not been compelled to provide the garrisons of New Netherland and Curacao with provisions, clothing and pay, the fort would, doubtless, have been completed already.

Against whom has Director Stuyvesant personally made a question without reason or cause?

A present of maize or Indian corn they call a contribution, because a present is never received from the Indians without its being doubly paid for, as these people, being very covetous, throw out a herring for a codfish, as everybody who knows the Indians can bear witness.

Francis Doughty, father-in-law of Adrian van der Donk, and an English minister, was allowed a colony at Mestpacht, not for himself alone as patroon, but for him and his associates, dwelling in Rhode Island, at Cohanock and other places, from whom he had a power of attorney, and of whom a Mr. Smith(1) was one of the principal; for the said minister had scarcely any means of himself to build even a hovel, let alone to people a colony at his own expense; but was to be employed as minister by his associates, who were to establish him on a farm in the said colony, for which he would discharge ministerial duties among them, and live upon the profits of the farm.

(1) Richard Smith, a Gloucestshire man, settled early in Plymouth Colony (Taunton). Removing thence on account of religious differences, he settled in what is now Rhode Island, where he became a close friend of Roger Williams. Between 1640 and 1643 he made the first permanent settlement in the Narragansett country, at Cawcamsqussick (Wickford), where he had for many years his chief residence and where his house still stands. His extensive trading interests brought him to Manhattan, where for some years he had a house.

Coming to the Manhatans to live during the war, he was permitted to act as minister for the English dwelling about there; and they were bound to maintain him without either the Director or the Company being liable to any charge therefor. The English not giving him wherewith to live on, two collections were made among the Dutch and English by means of which he lived at the Manhatans.

The said colony of Mespacht was never confiscated, as is shown by the owners, still living there, who were interested in the colony with Doughty; but as Doughty wished to hinder population, and to permit no one to build in the colony unless he were willing to pay him a certain amount of money down for every morgen of land, and a certain yearly sum in addition in the nature of ground-rent, and in this way sought to establish a domain therein, the others interested in the colony (Mr. Smith especially) having complained, the Director and Council finally determined that the associates might enter upon their property—the farm and lands which Doughty possessed being reserved to him; so that he has suffered no loss or damage thereby. This I could prove also, were it not that the documents are in New Netherland and not here.

There are no clauses inserted in the ground-briefs, contrary to the Exemptions, but the words nog te beramen (hereafter to be imposed) can be left out of the ground-briefs, if they be deemed offensive.

Stuyvesant has never contested anything in court, but as president has put proper interrogatories to the parties and with the court's advice has rendered decisions about which the malevolent complain; but it must be proven that anyone has been wronged by Stuyvesant in court.

As to what relates to the second [Vice Director] Dinclagen, let him settle his own matters.

It can be shown that Brian Newton not only understands the Dutch tongue, but also speaks it, so that their charge, that Newton does not understand the Dutch language, is untrue. All the other slanders and calumnies uttered against the remaining officers should be required to be proven.

It is true that in New Netherland it was commonly stated in conversation that there was no appeal from a judgment in New Netherland pronounced on the island of Manhatans, founded on the Exemptions by which on the island of Manhatans was established the supreme court for all the surrounding colonies, and also that there had never been a case in which an appeal from New Netherland had been entertained by Their High Mightinesses, although it had been petitioned for when Hendrick Jansen Snyder, Laurens Cornelissen and others, many years ago, were banished from New Netherland.(1) It would be a very strange thing indeed if the officers of the Company could banish nobody from the country, while the officers of the colony of Renselaerswyck, who are merely subordinates of the Company, can banish absolutely from the colony whomever they may deem advisable for the good of the colony, and permit no one to dwell there unless with their approbation and upon certain conditions, some of which are as follows: in the first place, no one down to the present time can possess a foot of land of his own in the colony, but is obliged to take upon rent all the land which he cultivates. When a house is erected an annual ground-rent in beavers must be paid; and all the farmers must do the same, which they call obtaining the right to trade. Where is there an inhabitant under the jurisdiction of the Company of whom anything was asked or exacted for trade or land? All the farms are conveyed in fee, subject to the clause beraemt ofte nog te beramen, (taxes imposed or to be imposed.)

(1) Hendrick Jansen the tailor was throughout Kieft's administration one of his bitterest and most abusive opponents, and was several times prosecuted for slander. In 1647 he sailed on the Princess with Kieft and was lost. Lourens Cornelissen van der Wel was a sea-captain, and also prosecuted by Kieft.

The English minister Francis Doughty has never been in the service of the company, wherefore it was not indebted to him; but his English congregation are bound to pay him, as may be proven in New Netherland.

The Company has advanced the said minister, from time to time, goods and necessaries of life amounting to about 1100 guilders, as the Colony-Book can show, which he has not yet paid, and he is making complaints now, so that he may avoid paying it. Whether or not the Director has desired a compromise with Doughty, I do not know.

Director Stuyvesant, when he came to New Netherland, endeavored according to his orders to stop in a proper manner the contraband trade in guns, powder and lead. The people of the colony of Renselaerwyck understanding this, sent a letter and petition to the Director, requesting moderation, especially as they said if that trade were entirely abolished all the Christians in the colony would run great danger of being murdered, as may more at large be seen by the contents of their petition.

The Director and Council taking the request into consideration, and looking further into the consequences, resolved that guns and powder, to a limited extent, be sparingly furnished by the factor at Fort Orange, on account of the Company, taking good care that no supply should be carried by the boats navigating the river, until in pursuance of a further order. It is here to be observed that the Director, fearing one of two [evils] and in order to keep the colony out of danger, has permitted some arms to be furnished at the fort. Nobody can prove that the Director has sold or permitted to be sold anything contraband, for his own private benefit. That the Director has permitted some guns to be seized has happened because they brought with them no license pursuant to the order of the Company, and they would under such pretences be able to bring many guns. The Director has paid for every one that was seized, sixteen guilders, although they do not cost in this country more than eight or nine guilders.

It is true that a case of guns was brought over by Vastrick, by order of Director Stuyvesant, in which there were thirty guns, which the Director, with the knowledge of the Vice Director and fiscaal, permitted to be landed in the full light of day, which guns were delivered to Commissary Keyser with orders to sell them to the Netherlanders who had no arms, in order that in time they might defend themselves, which Keyser has done; and it will appear by his accounts where these guns are. If there were any more guns in the ship it was unknown to the Director. The fiscaal, whose business it was, should have seen to it and inspected the ship; and these accusers should have shown that the fiscaal had neglected to make the search as it ought to have been done.

Jacob Reinsen and Jacob Schermerhorn are Scotch merchants (pedlers) born in Waterland, one of whom, Jacob Schermerhorn, was at Fort Orange, the other, Jacob Reintjes, was at Fort Amsterdam, who there bought powder, lead and guns, and sent them up to Schermerhorn, who traded them to the Indians. It so happened that the Company's corporal, Gerit Barent, having in charge such of the arms of the Company as required to be repaired or cleaned, sold to the before named Jacob Reintjes, guns, locks, gun-barrels, etc., as can be proven by Jacob Reintjes' own confession, by letters written to his partner long before this came to light, and by the accusations of the corporal. The corporal, seduced by the solicitation of Jacob Reintjes, sold him the arms as often as desired, though the Latter knew that the guns and gun-barrels belonged to the Company, and not to the corporal. There was confiscated also a parcel of peltries (as may be seen in the accounts) coming chiefly from the contraband goods (as appears from the letters). And as the said Jacob Reintjes has been in this country since the confiscation, he would have made complaint if he had not been guilty, especially as he was sufficiently urged to do so by the enemies of the Company and of the Director, but his own letters were witnesses against him.

Joost de Backer being accused also by the above named corporal of having bought gun-locks and gun-barrels from him, and the first information having proved correct, his house was searched according to law, in which was found a gun of the Company which he had procured from the corporal; he was therefore taken into custody until he gave security [to answer] for the claim of the fiscaal.

As the English of New England protected among them all fugitives who came to them from the Manhatans without the passport required by the usage of the country, whether persons in the service of the Company or freemen, and took them into their service, it was therefore sought by commissioners to induce the English to restore the fugitives according to an agreement previously made with Governors Eaton and Hopkins, but as Governor Eaton failed to send back the runaways, although earnestly solicited to do so, the Director and Council, according to a previous resolution, issued a proclamation that all persons who should come from the province of New Haven (all the others excepted) to New Netherland should be protected; which was a retaliatory measure. As the Governor permitted some of the fugitives to come back to us, the Director and Council annulled the order, and since then matters have gone on peaceably, the dispute about the boundaries remaining the same as before.(1)

(1) Theophilus Eaton, governor of New Haven 1639-1658, and Edward Hopkins, governor of Connecticut seven times in the period 1640-1654. The recriminations and retaliations alluded to took place in the winter of 1647-1648. Two months before the date of this Answer, Stuyvesant had arranged with the Commissioners of the United Colonies at Hartford a provisional Agreement as to boundaries between English and Dutch on Long Island and on the mainland; but the treaty was not ratified by the English and Dutch governments.

Nobody's goods have been confiscated in New Netherland without great reason; and if any one feels aggrieved about it, the Director will be prepared to furnish an answer. That ships or shipmasters are afraid of confiscation and therefore do not come to New Netherland is probable, for nobody can come to New Netherland without a license. Whoever has this, and does not violate his agreement, and has properly entered his goods, need not be afraid of confiscation; but all smugglers and persons who sail with two commissions may well be.

All those who were indebted to the Company were warned by the Director and Council to pay the debts left uncollected by the late William Kieft, and as some could, and others could not well pay, no one was compelled to pay; but these debts, amounting to 30,000 guilders, make many who do not wish to pay, angry and insolent, (especially as the Company now has nothing in that country to sell them on credit,) and it seems that some seek to pay after the Brazil fashion.(1)

(1) The recent conquest of the company's province of Brazil by the Portuguese had enabled many debtors there to avoid paying their debts.

The memorialists have requested that the people should not be harassed, which however has never been the case, but they would be right glad to see that the Company dunned nobody, not demanded their own, yet paid their creditors. It will appear by the account-books of the Company that the debts were not contracted during the war, but before it. The Company has assisted the inhabitants, who were poor and burdened with wives and children, with clothing, houses, cattle, land, etc., and from time to time charged them in account, in hopes of their being able at some time to pay for them.

If the taxes of New England, before spoken of, be compared with those of New Netherland, it will be found that those of New England are a greater burden upon that country than the taxes of New Netherland are upon our people.

The wine excise of one stiver per can, was first imposed in the year 1647.

The beer excise of three guilders per tun, was imposed by Kieft in 1644, and is paid by the tapster alone, and not the burgher.

The recognition of eight in a hundred upon exported beaver skins does not come out of the inhabitants, but out of the trader, who is bound to pay it according to contract.

The Director has always shown that he was desirous and pleased to see a deputation from the commonalty, who should seek in the Fatherland from the Company as patrons and the Lords States as sovereigns, the following: population, settlement of boundaries, reduction of charges upon New Netherland tobacco and other productions, means of transporting people, permanent and solid privileges, etc.

For which purpose he has always offered to lend a helping hand; but the remonstrants have pursued devious paths and excited some of the commonalty, and by that means obtained a clandestine and secret subscription, as is to be seen by their remonstrance, designed for no other object than to render the Company—their patrons—and the officers in New Netherland odious before Their High Mightinesses, so that the Company might be deprived of the jus patronatus and be still further injured.

The remonstrants say that we had relied upon the English, and by means of them sought to divert the college, (as they call it,) which is untrue, as appears by the propositions made to them. But it is here to be observed that the English, living under the protection of the Netherlanders, having taken the oath of allegiance and being domiciliated and settled in New Netherland, are to be considered citizens of the country. These persons have always been opposed to them, since the English, as well as they, had a right to say something in relation to the deputation, and would not consent to all their calumnies and slanders, but looked to the good of the commonalty and of the inhabitants.

It was not written on their petition, in the margin, that they might secretly go and speak to the commonalty. The intention of the Director was to cause them to be called together as opportunity should offer, at which time they might speak to the commonalty publicly about the deputation. The Director was not obliged, as they say, to call the commonalty immediately together. It was to be considered by him at what time each one could conveniently come from home without considerable loss, especially as some lived at a distance in the country, etc.

That they have not been willing to communicate, was because all whom they now paint in such black colors would have been able to provide themselves with weapons, and make the contrary appear, and in that case could have produced something [in accusation of] some of them. And since the Director and those connected with the administration in New Netherland are very much wronged and defamed, I desire time in order to wait for opposing documents from New Netherland, if it be necessary.

As to Vander Donk and his associates' report that the Director instituted suits against some persons: The Director going to the house of Michael Jansen, (one of the signers of the remonstrance,) was warned by the said Michael and Thomas Hall, saying, there was within it a scandalous journal of Adrian van der Donck; which journal the Director took with him, and on account of the slanders which were contained in it against Their High Mightinesses and private individuals, Van der Donck was arrested at his lodgings and proof of what he had written demanded, but he was released on the application and solicitation of others.

During the administration both of Kieft and of Stuyvesant, it was by a placard published and posted, that no attestations or other public writings should be valid before a court in New Netherland, unless they were written by the secretary. This was not done in order that there should be no testimony [against the Director] but upon this consideration, that most of the people living in Netherland are country and seafaring men, and summon each other frequently for small matters before the court, while many of them can neither read nor write, and neither testify intelligibly nor produce written evidence, and if some do produce it, sometimes it is written by some sailor or farmer, and often wholly indistinct and contrary to the meaning of those who had it written or who made the statement; consequently the Director and Council could not know the truth of matters as was proper and as justice demanded, etc. Nobody has been arrested except Van der Donk for writing the journal, and Augustyn Heermans, the agent of Gabri, because he refused to exhibit the writings drawn up by the Nine Men, which were promised to the Director, who had been for them many times like a boy.

Upon the first point of redress, as they call it, the remonstrants advise, that the Company should abandon and transfer the country. What frivolous talk this is! The Company have at their own expense conveyed cattle and many persons thither, built forts, protected many people who were poor and needy emigrating from Holland, and provided them with provisions and clothing; and now when some of them have a little more than they can eat up in a day, they wish to be released from the authority of their benefactors, and without paying if they could; a sign of gross ingratitude.

Hitherto the country has been nothing but expense to the Company, and now when it can provide for itself and yield for the future some profit to the Company, these people are not willing to pay the tenth which they are in duty bound to pay after the expiration of the ten years, pursuant to the Exemptions to which they are making an appeal.

Upon the second point they say that provision should be made for ecclesiastical and municipal property, church services, an orphan asylum and an almshouse. If they are such philanthropists as they appear, let them lead the way in generous contributions for such laudable objects, and not complain when the Directors have endeavored to make collections for the building of the church and school. What complaints would have been made if the Director had undertaken to make collections for an almshouse and an orphan asylum! The service of the church will not be suspended, although Domine Johannes Backerus has departed, who was there only twenty-Seven months. His place is supplied by a learned and godly Minister who has no interpreter when he defends the Reformed Religion against any minister of our neighbors, the English Brownists.(1)

(1) Referring to Reverend Johannes Megapolensis, who had been persuaded to remain in New Netherland and assume pastoral care of Manhattan.

The foregoing are the points which really require any answer. We will only add some description of the persons who have signed the remonstrance and who are the following:

Adrian van der Donk has been about eight years in New Netherland. He went there in the service of the proprietors of the colony of Renselaerswyck as an officer, but did not long continue such, though he lived in that colony till 1646.

Arnoldus van Hardenburgh accompanied Hay Jansen to New Netherland, in the year 1644, with a cargo for his brother. He has never to our knowledge suffered any loss or damage in New Netherland, but has known how to charge the commonalty well for his goods.

Augustyn Heermans came on board the Maecht van Enkhuysen,(1) being then as he still is, the agent of Gabrie(2) in trading business.

(1) "Maid of Enkhuizen."

(2) Peter Gabry and Sons, a noted firm of Amsterdam.

Jacob van Couwenhoven came to the country with his father in boyhood, was taken by Wouter van Twiller into the service of the Company as an assistant, and afterwards became a tobacco planter. The Company has aided him with necessaries as it is to be seen by the books, but they have been paid for.

Olof Stevensen, brother-in-law of Govert Loockmans, went out in the year 1637 in the ship Herring as a soldier in the service of the Company. He was promoted by Director Kieft and finally made commissary of the shop. He has profited in the service of the Company, and endeavors to give his benefactor the world's pay, that is, to recompense good with evil. He signed under protest, saying that he was obliged to sign, which can be understood two ways, one that he was obliged to subscribe to the truth, the other that he had been constrained by force to do it. If he means the latter, it must be proven.

Michael Jansen came to New Netherland as a farmer's man in the employ of the proprietors of Renselaerswyck. He made his fortune in the colony in a few years, but not being able to agree with the officers, finally came in the year 1646 to live upon the island Manhatans. He would have come here himself, but the accounts between him and the colony not being settled, in which the proprietors did not consider themselves indebted as he claimed, Jan Evertsen came over in his stead.

Thomas Hall came to the South River in 1635, in the employ of an Englishman, named Mr. Homs, being the same who intended to take Fort Nassau at that time and rob us of the South River. This Thomas Hall ran away from his master, came to the Manhatans and hired himself as a farmer's man to Jacob van Curlur. Becoming a freeman he has made a tobacco plantation upon the land of Wouter van Twyler, and he has been also a farm-superintendent; and this W. van Twyler knows the fellow. Thomas Hall dwells at present upon a small bowery belonging to the Honorable Company.

Elbert Elbertsen came to the country as a farmer's boy at about ten or eleven years of age, in the service of Wouter van Twyler, and has never had any property in the country. About three years ago he married the widow of Gerret Wolphertsen, (brother of the before mentioned Jacob van Couwenhoven,) and from that time to this has been indebted to the Company, and would be very glad to get rid of paying.

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