A VIEW OF NEW NETHERLAND
BECAUSE of all this, the voyage, which took up nearly
four months, was one of discomfort, if not exactly of
suffering, and when we came to anchor off that place
in America which had been named New Netherland,
I would have rejoiced even though it were the most
desolate island, because of my life on shipboard having,
for a time at least, come to an end.
But before I tell you what I saw when I gazed upon
this part of the New World for the first time, to the end
that you may the better understand what I am talking
about, let me say that toward the close of the year of
grace, 1624, a company of forty-five persons, men,
women and children, with all their home belongings,
 their tools for the farms, and one hundred and three
cows and sheep, had been sent out from Amsterdam
in three large ships and a small boat, called by the
Dutch a yacht, although in England it would have
been spoken of as a pinnace.
Some of these people, who agreed with the West
India Company to build at this place a trading post,
had already set up such houses as would serve to shelter
them from the weather.
And this is the picture which I saw on the fourth day
of May, in the year of our Lord, 1626, when I stood on
the forward part of the Sea Mew, gazing shoreward
with hungry eyes, for the one desire I had was to plant
my feet once more upon the solid earth.
 We were lying where two grand rivers came together,
forming a harbor in which all the King's ships might
ride in safety. In front of me was a range of small
hills, whereon grew noble trees that had just put on
their dress of green to mark the coming of the
summer, and in the valleys, betwixt the forest and the shore,
were small dwellings or huts built of the bark of trees,
much as a child might make a house of twigs.
Beyond these huts were settlements like unto
nothing I had ever seen, made up of buildings which looked
not unlike gigantic logs that had been split in the
middle, with the cleft side lying on the ground. Some
of these half-round shelters were exceedingly long,
others short, and all had one or more doors close to
the ground, but no windows that I could see.
They were made, as I afterward learned, of the bark
of birch trees laid over a framework of saplings, and
fastened in place with the sinews of animals, or with
small wooden pegs. From more than one of them
came smoke, telling of fires and of cooking, but I saw