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Peter of Amsterdam by  James Otis

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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
150 pages $9.95   




IT must be remembered, that when the West India Company asked people to go out and live in the New World, every one was promised that he should worship God as seemed to him best.

This was a portion of the bargain made when the people left Holland, and yet before another spring had come, Master Stuyvesant declared, by written notices [127] and by the mouth of Stoffel Mighielsen, that no person would be allowed to praise God save he did it according to the belief and the rules of the Dutch Reformed Church.

It was on a certain Easter Monday, when all over the city the young men and maidens were playing at egg cracking, that Master Stuyvesant's plan for punishing those who did not choose to go to the same church as did he, was begun.


The Dutch had brought with them from Holland all the old games such as are played to-day; but the favorite among them was the cracking of eggs on [128] Easter Monday, and I dare venture to say every young person in this land of America knows the game well by this time.

The shops were gay with boiled eggs of various colors, hung in the windows by many-colored ribbons, and it is not much straining at the truth to say that every person in New Amsterdam, save those who, like the soldiers, could not leave their posts of duty, was in the street, walking to and fro watching the young people as they strove to see how many eggs they could capture by cracking them, when a Quaker, and an Englishman at that, was taken into custody for preaching nearby New Amsterdam without permission of Master Stuyvesant.

Although this was directly opposite to what the West India Company had said might be done in such portion of the new land as they claimed, it would have passed almost unheeded had the arrest been made quietly; but, so I have heard it said, and so I believe, Master Stuyvesant himself gave positive commands as to how the prisoner should be treated, and what should be done with him before he was lodged in jail.

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