| 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 |
LOOKING AFTER THE FERRY
 DURING a portion of my idle time, I worked at fair
wages for Nicholas Steinburg, who ran the ferry from
near the water-gate to the Long Island shore, and of a
verity I earned all he paid me.
The boat on which wagons were taken across, was
the most clumsy scow it was ever my ill fortune to
handle, and his slaves the most stupid to be found in
all New Amsterdam. One was forced to send the
unwieldy craft along by heavy sweeps, which were
fashioned so rudely that I dare venture to say there was
twice as much of timber in them as was
necessary, and that foolish negro who failed to lift one of
 them at the proper time, found that the current swung
it around with a force that sent him sprawling in the
bottom of the boat.
More than once have I picked one of the thick-
headed black men up from beneath the feet of the
horses, and spent no little time trying to recover the
However, there was not much passing to and fro, for
there were but few farms on the big island, and a goodly
portion of the time I spent in the thatched shed which
was put up for the pleasure of those who were forced
to await Nicholas Steinburg's slow motions.
It is wearying work, looking after a ferry, even
though one gets as wage one-half the money paid over to
him, and I would not thus have spent my time, had I not
been taught by Master Minuit that he who squanders
his days in idleness is the same as reproaching God for
permitting him to live.
Then came the day when I rejoiced secretly, and
many another man with me, because of what Director
Stuyvesant had done to wrong us.
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