Peter Stuyvesant, the Last Dutch Governor of New Amsterdam eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 214 pages of information about Peter Stuyvesant, the Last Dutch Governor of New Amsterdam.

CHAPTER XVI.

THE OLDEN TIME. 346

  Wealth and Rank of the Ancient Families. 
  Their Vast Landed Estates. 
  Distinctions in Dress. 
  Veneration for the Patroon. 
  Kip’s Mansion. 
  Days of the Revolution. 
  Mr. John Adams’ Journal. 
  Negro Slavery. 
  Consequences of the System. 
  General Panic.

PETER STUYVESANT.

CHAPTER I.

DISCOVERY OF THE HUDSON RIVER.

     The Discovery of America.—­Colonies.—­The Bay of New
     York.—­Description of the Bay.—­Voyage of Sir Henry
     Hudson.—­Discovery of the Delaware.—­The Natives.—­The Boat
     Attacked.—­Ascending the Hudson.—­Escape of the
     Prisoners.—­The Chiefs Intoxicated.—­The Return.—­The
     Village at Castleton.—­The Theft and its Punishment.—­The
     Return to England.

On the 12th of October, 1492, Christopher Columbus landed upon the shores of San Salvador, one of the West India islands, and thus revealed to astonished Europe a new world.  Four years after this, in the year 1496, Sebastian Cabot discovered the continent of North America.  Thirty-three years passed away of many wild adventures of European voyagers, when, in the year 1539, Ferdinand de Soto landed at Tampa Bay, in Florida, and penetrating the interior of the vast continent, discovered the Mississippi River.  Twenty-six years more elapsed ere, in 1565, the first European colony was established at St. Augustine, in Florida.

In the year 1585, twenty years after the settlement of St. Augustine, Sir Walter Raleigh commenced his world-renowned colony upon the Roanoke.  Twenty-two years passed when, in 1607, the London Company established the Virginia Colony upon the banks of the James river.

In the year 1524, a Florentine navigator by the name of Jean de Verrazano, under commission of the French monarch, Francis I., coasting northward along the shores of the continent, entered the bay of New York.  In a letter to king Francis I., dated July 8th, 1524, he thus describes the Narrows and the Bay: 

“After proceeding one hundred leagues, we found a very pleasant situation among some steep hills, through which a very large river, deep at its mouth, forced its way to the sea.  From the sea to the estuary of the river, any ship heavily laden might pass, with the help of the tide, which rises eight feet.  But as we were riding at anchor, in a good berth, we would not venture up in our vessel without a knowledge of the mouth.  Therefore we took the boat, and entering the river, we found the country, on its banks, well peopled, the inhabitants not much differing from the others, being dressed out with the feathers of birds of various colors.
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Peter Stuyvesant, the Last Dutch Governor of New Amsterdam from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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