| 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 |
BEGINNING THE WORK
THERE was little chance for me to gratify my curiosity
in these first days after we were come to America, for
Master Minuit counted on having much work done
during the summer, in order that we might be
prepared for the frosts of winter, and I had no idle time for
making acquaintance with this New World.
My master put the interests of the West India
Company even before the well-being of the people who
were to make a new town, and his first act, after buying
the island of Manhattan for much the same as no price
at all, was to begin the gathering of furs.
The people who had come ahead of us were cutting
timber in the forest, and dragging, or rafting, it down
to the point where it would be in good position to be
 taken on board the first ship that was to be loaded,
and with such tasks Master Minuit did not interfere.
The gentlemen who had come with him were to go,
each in a different direction, up the rivers in search of
savages who would exchange valuable furs for trumpery
toys, and it was my duty to assort these goods, under
the direction of my master, as a matter of course, into
various lots to the end that each of the traders would
have some portion of every kind.
When this had been done, and I was kept at the
task during the greater part of two days, each
assortment was packed into a chest like unto the one we had
taken ashore when the island was purchased of the
To Hans and Kryn was given the duty of putting
these goods into the boats; packing up food for the
many crews, and doing the heavy work generally,
which was not to the liking of the sour-faced servant,
who would have been better pleased could he have
remained snug in the great cabin, as did I.
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