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.

The vice-director was punished for his protest, by expulsion from the council and by imprisonment in the guard-room for four days.  Upon his liberation he took refuge with the Patroon on Staten Island.  The notary, who had authenticated the protest, was dismissed from office and forbidden any farther to practice his profession.  In every possible way, Stuyvesant manifested his displeasure against his own countrymen of the popular party, while the English were treated with the utmost consideration.

In the treaty of Hartford no reference was made to the interests of the Dutch on the south, or Delaware river.  The New Haven people equipped a vessel and dispatched fifty emigrants to establish a colony upon some lands there, which they claimed to have purchased of the Indians.  The governor regarded this as a breach of the treaty, for the English territory terminated and the Dutch began at the bay of Greenwich.  The expedition put in at Manhattan.  The energetic governor instantly arrested the leaders and held them in close confinement till they signed a promise not to proceed to the Delaware.  The emigrants, thus discomfited, returned to New Haven.

At the same time Governor Stuyvesant sent a very emphatic letter to Governor Eaton of New Haven, in which he wrote:  “I shall employ force of arms and martial opposition, even to bloodshed, against all English intruders within southern New Netherland.”

In this movement of the English to get a foothold upon the Delaware river, Stuyvesant thought he saw a covert purpose on their part, to dispossess the Dutch of all their possessions in America.  Thinking it not improbable that it might be necessary to appeal to arms, he demanded of the authorities of Rensselaerswyck a subsidy.  The patroons, who had been at great expense in colonizing the territory, deemed the demand unjust, and sent a commissioner to remonstrate against it.  Stuyvesant arrested the commissioner and held him in close confinement for four months.

The Swedes were also making vigorous efforts to get possession of the beautiful lands on the Delaware.  Stuyvesant, with a large suite of officers, visited that region.  In very decided terns he communicated to Printz the Swedish governor there, that the Dutch claimed the territory upon the three-fold title of discovery, settlement and purchase from the natives.  He then summoned all the Indian chiefs on the banks of the river, in a grand council at fort Nassau.  After a “solemn conference” these chiefs ceded to the West India Company all the lands on both sides of the river to a point called by them Neuwsings, near the mouth of the bay.

The Swedes were left in possession only of a small territory surrounding their fort, called Christina.  As Stuyvesant thought fort Nassau too far up the river and inconvenient of access, he demolished it.  In its seclusion in the wilderness it had stood for twenty-eight years.  A new fort called Casimir was erected, on the west side of the river near the present site of New Castle, four miles below the Swedish fort Christina.  Having thus triumphantly accomplished his object, Stuyvesant returned to Manhattan.

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Peter Stuyvesant, the Last Dutch Governor of New Amsterdam from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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