| Peter of New Amsterdam|
|by James Otis|
|The story of the Dutch colony at New Amsterdam, through the eyes of the young lad Peter. Relates its settlement by the West India Company under the leadership of Peter Minuit, their transactions with the Indians including the purchase of the island of Manhattan, their overthrow of the Swedish forts to the south, and their surrender to English forces in 1664. The portrait of the contrasting figures of Peter Minuit and Peter Stuyvesant enlivens the narrative. Numerous black and white illustrations complement the text. Ages 8-10 |
A BRUTAL MURDER
 FINALLY, a certain Indian, having with him a small
boy, came down to trade twenty-two beaver skins for
red cloth. Because of none of the gentlemen traders
being near at hand when he arrived, I was forced to ask
him to wait until nearly nightfall, and by the time he
had finished his bargaining, darkness was come.
Now it was usual for these brown men, who
lived at a distance, to shelter themselves for the night
nearabout New Amsterdam in the dwellings of the
Manhattan Indians; therefore no one gave heed to
the fact that these two visitors went out from the fort
at quite a late hour in the evening.
Exactly what happened, no one, excepting those
concerned directly in it, could say; but certain it is that
between the fort and the settlement of the Manhattan
Indians, within an hour from the time I saw them last,
this Indian and the boy were set upon by four negroes,
who beat the man so brutally while robbing him of the
goods he had just purchased, that he died before midnight.
The boy escaped, as we learned later, so terrified that
he dared not even trust himself among the Manhattan
Indians, but hid in a swamp during a certain time,
after which he rejoined his people.
 The negroes were brought before the council; but
only one was proven guilty, owing to lack of evidence,
and this fellow was hanged off-hand, while the others,
although declared innocent of the murder, were
soundly flogged as a warning to others of their kind.
Not until several years had passed, did the
Dutchmen hear further concerning this most brutal murder,
and then it was that the boy, whose father, or uncle, had
been killed, aroused the people of his tribe to wreak
vengeance upon the white men, thus aiding and
bringing about a most terrible Indian war, although we of
New Amsterdam did not suffer through it as did others
who, coming to this New World years afterward, were
wholly innocent of doing any wrong to the brown men.
However, save that the trouble which resulted in
much bloodshed, began there, the war has but little to
do with New Amsterdam, and I shall say no more
regarding it at present.
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