| 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 |
THE GATHERING OF THE SAVAGES
IT seemed, as I afterward learned, that Master
Minuit had given orders for me to follow him on
shore, while the other two were to remain aboard the
ship, and this it was, most like, which displeased Hans.
However that may be, it has nothing to do with my
tale, and perhaps I am giving overly many words to
it; yet would I have you know how I, the youngest body
servant of Master Minuit, Director of the West India
Company's lands in America, came to see so much of
that which was, in fact, important business, such as a
lad would not be
likely to have any
We were yet on
board the Sea Mew,
when I, who was
standing by the rail
on the quarter-deck,
where I could hear
sum-  mons from my master, saw the brown men gathering on
shore and verily it was a sight to cause wonder.
These brown men, with their hair standing upright
on the middle of their heads, and naked to the waist, but
wearing leggings fringed with strips of hide, and queer,
soft shoes ornamented with colored quills of the
porcupine, which I afterwards learned were called
moccasins, seated themselves on the sand of the shore, gazing
out toward the Sea Mew.
Below, in the great cabin, I could see that my master
and his companions were arraying themselves as if about
to set out for an audience with the king,
and why this should be I failed to
understand, save that they counted to surprise
the savages by their bravery of attire.
Master Minuit wore a long coat of
blue cloth, which was fastened around
his waist with a silken sash, and black
velvet breeches, gathered in at the knee
with a knot of blue ribbon, while his
low shoes, ornamented with huge silver
buckles, set off, as it seemed to me, the
shiny blackness of his silken hose.
He had on a broad-brimmed hat of
felt, in which was a plume of blue, and over his shoulder
was a blue sash, which, coming to a point under the
left arm, gave a hanging for his sword.
 The gentlemen with him were decked out in no
less brave apparel, and I said to myself that if the
savages of Manhattan Island gave heed to gay adorning
then they were like to be pleased on this day.
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