Front Matter Where I Was Born Alone in Holland An Important Introduction I Go My Way The Bargain Sailing for the New World A View of New Netherland The "Brown Men" or Savages Summoned to the Cabin Toys for the Savages Claim of the India Company Making Ready for Trade Braun and Gildersleeve Gathering the Savages Going Ashore Buying Manhattan Boats Used by the Savages Wandering over the Island The Homes of the Savages Master Minuit's Home Beginning the Work A Strange Kind of Craft Building a Fort In Charge of the Goods The Value of Wampum Buildings of Stone The Government A Prosperous Town Quarrelsome Slaves A Brutal Murder A Village Called Plymouth I Go on a Voyage A Lukewarm Welcome Two Days in Plymouth Forging Ahead The Big Ship Minuit's Successor Trouble with the English Van Twiller Discharged Director Kieft Unjust Commands Minuit's Return Revenge of the Savages Kieft's War Director Petrus Stuyvesant Time for Sight-Seeing How the Fort was Armed Village Laws Other Things about Town A Visit of Ceremony New Amsterdam, a City Stuyvesant Makes Enemies Orders from Holland Making Ready for War An Unexpected Question With the Fleet Driving out the Swedes Uprising of the Indians An Attack by the Indians Back to New Amsterdam Coaxing the Savages Religious Freedom Punishing the Quaker Other Persecutions Dull Trade Charge Made by Hans Braun Dismissed by Stuyvesant English Claims Idle Days On Broad Way Looking after the Ferry Coming of the English A Weak Defense Stuyvesant Absent Disobeying Commands Surrender Demanded A Three Days' Truce English Visitors Stuyvesant's Rage The End of Dutch Rule The City of New York

Peter of New Amsterdam - James Otis

Going Ashore

I was the one sent ashore in charge of the chest of trinkets, and that I was thus given a position of trust did not serve to sweeten the sour look on Hans' face, for he acted much as if believing he was the only one of Master Minuit's following who could be depended upon for any service of note.

It is impossible for me to say in such words as would be understood, how delighted I was to be on dry land once more. The scent of the flowers, the odors that came from the forest, and the songs of the birds, so filled me with delight that it was indeed a difficult matter to act as if I still held possession of my wits. Perhaps, if the savages had not been seated nearby, noting every movement made by those concerned in the care of the chest, I should not have succeeded so well.

Before these half-dressed, brown men, who watched intently, with never the ghost of a smile or show of interest on their faces, one could not but act in a dignified manner, and I held myself as if I, not Peter Minuit, were the Director of New Netherland come to take possession of my office.

Save for long reeds, at one end of which was a small stone vessel, which I afterward learned was a contrivance used for burning that Indian weed, tobacco, the savages had nothing in their hands. It seemed to me that it would have been only natural had they brought with them some of their weapons, and I was disappointed because of their not having done so, for my curiosity was great regarding what sort of blood-letting instruments were in use among them.

During a full hour I sat on the chest, while two of the seamen loitered near at hand to make certain the brown men did not attempt to find out what we had brought ashore, and then came my master, followed by all the gentlemen of the Sea Mew.

[Illustration] from Peter of New Amsterdam by James Otis

Every one was dressed in his bravest garments, and on stepping out of the small boat on the sand, all gave particular respect to my master, as if to show the savages that he was the man who had been sent to rule over this country of New Netherland.

[Illustration] from Peter of New Amsterdam by James Otis

This company of gentlemen walked gravely in procession to where the chest was standing, giving no heed to the savages until they were gathered around the useless trinkets, and then they bowed as if each brown man before them were a king.