| 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 |
WHILE I waited, making myself as small as possible
lest the Director should see me and remember that he
had threatened to throw me into prison, the people
were growing more and more discontented because
of Master Stuyvesant's not ceasing to punish Lutherans,
Baptists, or Quakers when they refused to attend the
Many a one threatened, in private, to do what he
might toward teaching the Director a lesson, if a fitting
chance came his way, and I have been told that a
dozen or more Dutchmen, who had friends in power in
Holland, sent to the West India Company many
complaints concerning Master Stuyvesant, praying that he
might be deprived of his office.
It was during these idle days that I learned, because
of asking many questions, much concerning the village
of Hartford, which had been begun by the preacher
Hooker, and all who went to his church in New Town
of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
 These people wanted a village of their own,
therefore entered the forest with but little of goods, suffering
much in the battle with the wilderness, but coming out
victors owing to their industry.
While we of New Amsterdam had built a city, we
could count no more than fifteen hundred people in it,
and this settlement on the Connecticut river, which was
by this time made up of three villages, boasted of more
than eight hundred persons.
It was to Hartford I would first go when a fitting
opportunity came, so I said to myself after hearing all
that could be told concerning these people, and to such
an end I began to make plans.
Wherever I might go, however, I could not find so
much to please the eye as in New Amsterdam, for the
English people in this New World are much more prim
and sedate, both in manner and dress, than are the
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