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THE UPRISING OF THE INDIANS
AND this is the news which the messenger brought:—It
seems that two days after our fleet had sailed
from New Amsterdam, Master Van Dyck found an
Indian woman in his orchard stealing peaches; without
parley or warning, he shot her dead, and there were
those of her tribe nearby who carried with all speed
to the Indian villages information of the murder.
The savages knew that Master Stuyvesant and
nearly all the fighting men of the city were away, and
speedily they gathered to take revenge. It was said
that no less than two thousand savages, having come
in sixty-four canoes, paddled down the Hudson River
in front of the city while we lay off Christina arguing
with the Swedish governor.
The Indians claimed that they had come only in
order to find some enemies of their tribe whom they
believed had fled there, and proceeded to break open
a dozen or more of the houses while searching for
those whom they professed to be seeking.
Now there had been left in the fort less than twenty
 soldiers, while the greater number of our cannon were
on board the fleet for the purpose of killing the Swedes,
in case they refused to give up their forts to us.
Therefore it would have been folly had our people made
any attempt at holding the savages in check.
The burgomasters and other officers of the city did
what they could to pacify the painted visitors, and so
far succeeded, by soft words, as to persuade them to
withdraw to Nutten Island.
One can well fancy in what a state of terror were
those whom Director Stuyvesant had left behind in
New Amsterdam, while so great an army of savages,
who had just cause for anger, ryas so near at hand.
The women and the children fled to the fort for
pro-  tection, where but little could have been given them had
the brown men made an attack, and during all the hours
of the day no one dared venture abroad. The shops
and the dwellings alike were left unprotected, while
those trembling, frightened ones who crouched within
the fort, believed that death was close beside them.