| 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 |
BUILDING A FORT
WITHIN an hour after the last of the traders had
set off, Master Minuit had his workmen busy on a
fort, to be built an hundred yards or more from the
place where we first landed.
Although these brown men appeared so very friendly,
it was not in his mind to give them any chance to work
mischief, and, therefore, some place where our people
could defend themselves against an enemy, was needed.
 All the Dutchmen who had been hewing timber
were called upon to take part in the work, and it went
on with amazing rapidity, for Master Minuit was not
one who gave those in his employ much chance to
suck their fingers.
The fort was made in the form of a triangle, with
bastions, or projections, at each corner, so that while
within them the defenders could have a view of each
side-wall. Around the entire building, say at a
distance of twenty feet, was a palisade, or fence, of cedar
logs planted upright in the earth, and fastened
together with heavy timbers at the top.
A more solid fortification of wood I have never yet
seen, nor have I known of a like defence to have been
made in so short a time.
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