| 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 |
MAKING READY FOR TRADE
AT the time, however, there was no thought in my
mind save that if Master Minuit should buy this island
of Manhattan with all the trumpery goods he had in the
great cabin, then would he be paying a price far too
small for even the least portion of it.
 You can well fancy that I did not neglect any work
while thus looking with contempt upon the goods
before me. My duty was to make quick despatch
of the task set me, and at the same time take good
heed that it was done in such a manner as to win the
approval, if not the praise, of Master Minuit.
Many a long hour did I spend putting the childish
things into the chest, and in taking them out and
exchanging for others, when those in company with my
master believed we were gathering too much of value, if
indeed there could be value to such goods. When it
was done, I had the idea that Master Minuit was
pleased with me, for he said that from then on I was
to hold myself close to his person, going where he went,
and stopping where he stopped.
I make but a poor attempt at telling the tale,
otherwise I would have said that when we were first come to
anchor, some of those people who had been sent over
by the West India Company in advance of our ship,
came on board the
Sea Mew to speak
with my master; and,
as each in turn was
done with his business, or with his
pleasure, as the case
might be, orders
 were given him that the savages be told they were to
meet Master Minuit on the shore nearby where we were
then lying at anchor, to the end that he might have
speech with them.
It puzzled me not a little to understand how he could
have speech with the brown men, when they did not
speak in the same tongue as did he; but I had enough
of wit to understand that it did not concern me.
Master Minuit most like had considered well the matter.
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