| 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 |
MASTER MINUIT'S SUCCESSOR
I am certain, however, that in six years after we
arrived in the Sea Mew, when New Amsterdam was
a town of which to be proud, Master Minuit set out
for Holland, taking with him in the same ship no less
than five thousand beaver skins.
When Master Minuit left us, it was our belief that
he would soon come back; but there must have been in
his mind some doubt regarding it, for he gave me much
farewell advice on the night before the ship sailed,
declaring, that so far as anything he might do, I should
be advanced in the West India Company's employ as
rapidly as was best.
It must be that my master seriously offended the
Council of the Company, for I went in their employ
 no further on the road to fortune, or to fame, than
where he left me.
During the year the affairs of New Amsterdam
were looked after by the Council of the town, and then
came a new Director by the name of Wouter Van
Twiller. Of him I can tell you very little, for, unlike
Master Minuit, he showed no interest in the welfare
of those who were serving him.
A short, fat man, who was overly fond of good
dinners, and if I, who am nothing but a clerk in the employ of the Company,
may say it, with not
of brains enough to
look after the concerns
of such a town as New
Amsterdam was becoming, yet withal he
accomplished somewhat toward making
this place beautiful.
As I have said before, my duties kept me
in the storehouse, and
so rapidly had the trade
with the Indians increased, that instead of having only
Kryn Gildersleeve to help me, there were now five men
under my charge, while I myself was doing much of the
 bargaining with the Indians. Therefore it is that I
know but little concerning what this new Director did or
did not do.
It was told in New Amsterdam that he had been no
more than a clerk in the employ of the West India
Company in Holland; but he knew somewhat
regarding trading, for we set up posts here and there in such
number that all the gentlemen traders who had come
over with Master Minuit were needed to look after
them, which accounts for my being allowed to
conduct the business affairs in the fort.
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