Knickerbocker's History of New York, Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 422 pages of information about Knickerbocker's History of New York, Complete.

These gigantic savages and smokers caused no little disquiet in the mind of Mynheer Beekman, threatening to cause a famine of tobacco in the land; but his most formidable enemy was the roaring, roistering English colony of Maryland, or, as it was anciently written, Merryland; so called because the inhabitants, not having the fear of the Lord before their eyes, were prone to make merry and get fuddled with mint-julep and apple-toddy.  They were, moreover, great horse-racers and cock-fighters, mighty wrestlers and jumpers, and enormous consumers of hoe-cake and bacon.  They lay claim to be the first inventors of those recondite beverages, cock-tail, stone-fence, and sherry-cobbler, and to have discovered the gastronomical merits of terrapins, soft crabs, and canvas-back ducks.

This rantipole colony, founded by Lord Baltimore, a British nobleman, was managed by his agent, a swaggering Englishman, commonly called Fendall, that is to say, “offend all,” a name given him for his bullying propensities.  These were seen in a message to Mynheer Beekman, threatening him, unless he immediately swore allegiance to Lord Baltimore as the rightful lord of the soil, to come at the head of the roaring boys of Merryland and the giants of the Susquehanna, and sweep him and his Nederlanders out of the country.

The trusty sword of Peter Stuyvesant almost leaped from its scabbard, when he received missives from Mynheer Beekman, informing him of the swaggering menaces of the bully Fendall; and as to the giantly warriors of the Susquehanna, nothing would have more delighted him than a bout, hand to hand, with half a score of them, having never encountered a giant in the whole course of his campaigns, unless we may consider the stout Risingh as such, and he was but a little one.

Nothing prevented his marching instantly to the South River, and enacting scenes still more glorious than those of Fort Christina, but the necessity of first putting a stop to the increasing aggressions and inroads of the Yankees, so as not to leave an enemy in his rear; but he wrote to Mynheer Beekman to keep up a bold front and a stout heart, promising, as soon as he had settled affairs in the east, that he would hasten to the south with his burly warriors of the Hudson, to lower the crests of the giants, and mar the merriment of the Merrylanders.


   [57] Hariot’s Journal, Purch.  Pilgrims.


To explain the apparently sudden movement of Peter Stuyvesant against the crafty men of the East Country, I would observe that, during his campaigns on the South River, and in the enchanted regions of the Catskill Mountains, the twelve tribes of the East had been more than usually active in prosecuting their subtle scheme for the subjugation of the Nieuw Nederlands.

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Knickerbocker's History of New York, Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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