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and to make them also lower their colors to the merchant patroon's authority. This annoyance soon manifested itself, for while the Good Hope, a little yacht, Captain Lookermans, was passing down from Fort Orange to Manhattan, without ball” was fired from the new fort, and Koorn cried out, “Strike thy colors !" " For whom ?" demanded the captain of the vessel. “For the staple right of Rensselaer !" was the reply. "I strike for nobody but the Prince of Orange, or those by whom I am employed !" retorted the testy Dutchman, as he slowly steered on. Several shots followed. “The first,” according to the old account, "went through the sail, and broke the ropes and the ladder; a second shot passed over us; and the third, fired by a savage, perforated our princely colors, about a foot above the head of Loockermans, who kept the colors. constantly in his hand.”
For this daring act, Koorn was forthwith called to answer before the Council at Fort Amsterdam, when he pleaded his patroon's authority. Van der Kuygens, the Schout-Fiscal (Sheriff), also protested against “ the lawless transactions” of the patroon's watch-meester. Still the patroon's agent tried to justify his course, “inasmuch as this step had been taken to keep the canker of free-traders off his colonies. Nevertheless, he was fined, and forbidden to repeat his offence.
At length the pitiable condition of the New Netherland colony attracted the attention of the Dutch Government. Its originators, as before mentioned, had become nearly, if not entirely, bankrupt.
To use their own official words, " the long-looked-for profits thence" had never arrived, and they themselves had no means to relieve “the poor inhabitants who have left their Fatherland ;” accordingly, the bankrupt Company urged the “States-General " for a subsidy of 1,000,000 of guilders to place the Dutch province in good, prosperous, and profitable order.
This body directed observations to be made into the affairs of New Netherland, and also into the propriety of restricting its internal trade to residents, with the policy of opening a free one between Brazil and Manhattan. Upon making this investigation, it was found that New Netherland, instead of becoming a source of commercial profit to the Company, had absolutely cost that body, from the year 1626 to 1644,“ over 550,000 guilders, deducting returns received from there." Still, " the Company cannot decently or consistently abandon it.” The Director's salary, the report continues, should be 3,000 guilders, and the whole civil and military establishment of New Netherland 20,000 guilders. As many African negroes, it thought, should be brought from Brazil as the patroons, farmers, and settlers “would be willing to pay for at a fair price.” It would thus appear that our Dutch forefathers had something to do with the slave trade, as well as the Southern colonies. Free grants of land should be offered to all emigrants on Manhattan Island; a trade allowed to Brazil and the fisheries; the manufacture and exportation of salt should be encouraged, and the duties of the revenue officers " be sharply attended to.” Such was the business condition of New Netherland in the
1645. The five previous years of Indian wars had hardly known five months of peace
and prosperity. Kieft, perceiving his former errors, now concluded a treaty of amity with the Indians, August 30, 1645. In two years, not less than 1,600 savages had been killed at Manhattan and its neighborhood, and scarcely one hundred could be found besides traders.
The insufficient condition of the fort as a place of defense became the subject of serious consideration after this war, and the authorities in Holland, listening to the importunities of the colonists, gave directions for its improvement, requiring, however, that the people should contribute, to some extent, towards the labor and expense involved. In 1647, the subject was discussed in the Council of the Director-General, and a resolution was passed that the fort should be repaired with stone laid in mortar,
by which means alone,” it was stated, a lasting work could be made," inasmuch as the earth to be procured in the neighborhood was entirely unfit to make it stable with sods, unless it were annually renewed, nearly at the same expense; and as this project required a considerable disbursement for labor in carrying the stone, etc., it was found expedient to consult the inhabitants, to learn the extent to which assistance would be afforded by them. In communicating their resolve to the people, the authorities referred to “this glorious work, which must increase the respect for the Government, as well as afford a safe retreat to the inhabitants in case of danger.” The suggestion was,
male inhabitant, between the ages of sixteen and sixty years, should devote, annually, twelve days' labor, or, in lieu thereof, contribute for each day two guilders (eighty cents). But the project was found too expensive for the means at hand, and the completion of the work with stone was abandoned for the time, the work being repaired with earth, as before. Nor does it appear that it was, as yet, protected by an inclosure from the inroads of the vagrant cattle, as the Director is found, from time to time, expostulating with the city authorities against permitting swine, goats, and other animals, to run at large in the town, from which great destruction to the works of the fortress ensued.*
Soon after the peace, in 1647, Kieft, having been recalled, embarked for Holland, carrying with him specimens of New Netherland minerals (gathered by the Raritan Indians in the Neversink Hills), and a fortune, which his enemies estimated at 400,000 guilders. Dominie Bogardus and Van der Kuygens, late Fiscal, were fellow-passengers in the richlyladen vessel. By mistake, the ship was navigated into the English Channel; was wrecked upon the rugged coast of Wales, and went to pieces. Kieft, with eighty other persons, including Bogardus and the Fiscal, were lost; only twenty were saved. Melyn, the patroon of Staten Island, floating on his back, landed on a sand-bank, and thence reached the main-land in safety. On the 11th of May, 1647, Governor Stuyvesant, as
* This matter came to be considered of so great importance, that, in 1656, Governor Stuyvesant again communicated with the Holland authorities respecting the improvement of the fort, and received from them a favorable response, stating that they had no objection to have the fort surrounded with a stone-wall, and were willing, in the ensuing spring, to send “a few good masons and carpenters to assist in the work,” enjoining the Governor, in the meanwhile, to have the necessary materials prepared and in readiness when the mechanics should arrive.- Valentine's Manual.
"redressergeneral” of all the colonial abuses, arrived at Manhattan, to enter upon an administration which was to last until the end of the Dutch power over New Netherland. Well might the new Governor write home that he “ found the colony in a low condition.” Disorder and discontent were everywhere apparent; the public revenue was in arrears, and smuggling had nearly ruined legitimate trade. Such were the auspices-sufficiently gloomy—under which the last of the Dutch Governors entered upon his administration. Far from despairing, however, the sturdy Dutchman put his shoulder at once to the wheel. Publicans were restrained from selling liquor before two o'clock on Sundays, “when there is no preaching," and after nine in the evening; to the savages, none was to be sold.* The revenue, greatly defrauded by smuggling furs into New England and Virginia, for shipment to England, was now to be guarded by stringent laws. The introduction of foreign merchandise by vessels running past Fort Amsterdam during the night, was also to be stopped; all vessels were obliged to anchor under the guns of the fort, near the present Battery. For the purpose of replenishing the treasury, an excise duty was now, for the first time, levied on wines and liquors; the export duties on peltry also increased; and the unpaid tenths from the impoverished farmers were called in, although a year's grace was allowed for payment, in consequence of the losses by the Indian wars; and, in addition to all this, two of the Company's yachts, still further to increase the revenue, were sent on a cruise to the West Indies, to capture, if possible, some of the richly-laden Spanish vessels returning to Spain.
Stuyvesant also, seems to have been the first Governor who took pride in improving the town itself. He found the infant city very unattractive—fences straggling, cattle running around loose, the public ways crooked-many of them encroaching on the lines of the street, and half the houses in a tumble-down" condition. All these evils he at once set about to remedy; and one of his earliest acts was to appoint the first
Surveyors of Buildings,” whose duties were to regulate the erection of new houses in New Amsterdam.
* It thus appears that the Dutch themselves first introduced the excise law; they should not, therefore, complain so bitterly of the one now (1868) in operation !
The Dutch Company“ now resolved to open to private persons the trade which it had exclusively carried on with New Netherland, the Virginia, the Swedish, English, and French colonies, or other places thereabout;" and the new Director and Council were ordered to be vigilant in enforcing all colonial custom-house regulations. All cargoes to New Netherland were to be examined, on arrival, by the custom-house officers, and all who were homeward-bound were to give bonds for the payment of duties in Holland. Nor was it long before Stuyvesant had an opportunity of showing his zeal. The St. Benicio, an Amsterdam ship, was found trading at New Haven, without the license of the West India Company; but the owners of the cargo applied for permission to trade at Manhattan, upon the payment of the proper duties. This permit obtained, Stuyvesant learned that the ship was about to sail directly to Virginia, without
any manifest or duties paid. The case having thus assumed an open violation of the colonial revenue laws, the Governor embạrked a company of soldiers, who, sailing up the sound, captured the smuggler in New Haven harbor. This bold act naturally produced a great sensation; and Eaton, the Governor of the New Haven Colony, protested against Stuyvesant, as a disturber of the peace. In reply, Stuyvesant claimed all the region from Cape Henlopen to Cape Cod, as a part of New Netherland, with the right to levy duty upon all Dutch vessels trading at New Haven. A sharp correspondence ensued between the“ State Right” parties, which resulted in the Dutch Governor issuing a proclamation, which declared: “If any person, noble or ignoble, freeman or slave, debtor or creditor-yea, to the lowest prisoner included, run away from New Haven, or seek refuge in our limits, he shall remain free, under our protection, on taking the oath of allegiance.” The Dutch colonists, however, objected to this unwise measure, as tending to change their province into a refuge for vagabonds from the neighboring English settlements, and the obnoxious proclamation was thereupon revoked.
About this period, 1648, it became necessary to regulate the taverns, as almost one-fourth part of the town of New Amsterdam had beome houses for the sale of brandy, tobacco, or beer. No new taverns, it was ordained, should be licensed, except by unanimous consent of the Director and his Council; and those established might continue four years longer, if their owners would abstain from selling to the savages, report all brawls, and occupy decent houses—" to adorn the town of New Amsterdam." Notwithstanding, however, all these precautions, the Indians were daily seen “running about drunk through the Manhattans.” New York, now the metropolitan city, witnesses every day and night crowds of such drunken savages in her streets; and it would almost seem that our wise legislators have not wisdom or strength enough to frame laws to subdue or prevent this public evil of all evils. At last, at New Amsterdam, in addition to the former penalties, offenders against the temperance laws were now “to be arbitrarily punished, without any dissimulation."
In the year 1648, no person was allowed to carry on business, except he was a permanent resident, and had taken the oath of allegiance, was worth from two thousand to three thousand guilders, at least, and intended to “ keep fire and light in the province." This was an early expression of permanent residence in the Dutch province. Old residents, however, not possessing the full trading qualifications, were allowed the same privilege, provided they remained in the province, and used only the weights and measures of “Old Amsterdam,” and “to which we owe our name.” Scotch merchants and peddlers were not forgotten in these business arrangements, for it was also ordained that “all Scotch merchants and small dealers, who come over from their own country with the intention of trading here,” should“ not be permitted to carry on any trade in the land” until they had resided here three years. They were also required to build a decent, habitable tenement” one year after their arrival. Every Monday was to be a market-day, and, in imitation of fatherland, an annual “ keemis,” or fair, for ten days, was established, commencing on Monday after St. Bartholomew's Day, at which all persons could sell goods from their tents. The trade on the North and the South Rivers was reserved for citizens having the requisite qualifications. It was declared, however, that the East River should be “ free and
open to any one, no matter to what nation he may belong." All vessels under fifty tons were to anchor between the Capsey “Hoeck” (which divided the East and North rivers) and the “hand,' or guide-board, near the present Battery. No freight was to be landed, nor any boats to leave the vessels from sunset to sunrise. These regulations were strictly enforced, and the high customs duties exacted from the colonists amounted to almost thirty per cent., “ besides waste.” “ The avidity of the Director to confiscate," says an old account, "was a vulture, destroying the property of New Netherland, diverting its trade, and making the people discontented." This “bad report” spread among the English, north and south, and even reached the West India and Caribee Islands. Boston traders declared that more than twenty-five vessels would every year reach Manhattan from those Islands, “ if the owners were not fearful of confiscation.” Not a ship now dared come from these places. Difficulties constantly arising between the authorities of the fatherland and New Netherland, the “Presiding Chamber" now plainly perceived that they must make concessions, lose all control over their distant colony. Accordingly, the "Commonalty of Manhattan" was informed that the Amsterdam Directors had determined to abolish the export duty on tobacco, to reduce the price of tobacco, and to allow the colonists to purchase negroes from Africa-all this being designed to show their “good intentions.” They also informed Governor Stuyvesant of their assent to