| 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 |
HASTENING BACK TO NEW AMSTERDAM
IT can well be supposed that every man of us, from
the Director down to the youngest soldier, was eager
to get back to New Amsterdam, for I question whether,
with the single exception of myself, there was a member
of the company who had not left behind him loved
ones; and how could our people find any satisfaction
 in continuing the conquest of the Swedes, when there
was every possibility that the savages were murdering
and torturing white men, women, and children?
Within an hour after the messenger had arrived, two
hundred of the soldiers were sent across the land to
New Amsterdam, under orders to march at their
swiftest possible pace until they were come to the city.
As soon after these men had set off as could be arranged
for, the fleet was in motion.
Because of my having received no orders whatsoever, I
remained on board the De Waag, and my heart was so
sore that I could not talk with those around me
concerning what we had heard, or what we had done.
To me both were equally horrible. It was villainous
work for us to drive the poor Swedes away, and it
seemed almost like a judgment of God, that the
Indians should have descended upon our city at a time when
we were showing ourselves to be no better than savages.
Fortunately, or so it seemed, we had a favoring wind,
and within four and twenty hours from the time of
making sail, were come to anchor off the fort. That
those who had been sent across by land had arrived, we
knew because of the numbers to be seen on duty in the
bastions, and that the Indians had not made further
attack upon New Amsterdam, we also understood
because of the people who were gathered to give us welcome.
I went directly from the ship to the storehouse, where
 I found Kryn Gildersleeve and his fellow clerks working
valiantly to pack our goods into cases, which had been
brought from Holland, with the hope
that these might be
saved, even though
the savages gained
possession of the
Although I held
my peace, the
thought was in my
heart that he who
could give his time
to the saving of such useless trinkets as ours, when
mayhap before morning not a single white man would be alive,
was much the same as trifling with the Angel of Death.
However, I was soon engaged in the same task, and
while thus busy, forgot everything save the fact that I
was the clerk in charge of the storehouse, whose duty it
was to look after whatsoever we had for barter, whether
to my mind it was of value or not.
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