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

Boats Used by the Savages

This fear of so seaworthy a craft as ours, was all the more comical after I had seen such boats as the savages themselves used, and you may believe that I am stretching the truth to the point of breaking it, when I say that they put off in toy vessels that were little better than eggshells.

What is more, they showed no fear in so doing even when the waves ran high, and it seemed as if no human power could prevent the frail craft from being swamped.

These canoes, as the savages called them, were given shape by thin splints of wood, bent something after the fashion of a bow, with the forward and after ends, although one looked the same shape as the other, rising high above the midship portion. They were covered with bark from the birch tree, sewn together with sinews of deer, or of such like animals, and smeared plentifully with balsam from the pine trees. Where in another craft would have been the rail, were strips of wood not thicker then my smallest finger, but of such toughness as to give shape to the boat.

I could easily, and have done so many times since, toss the largest of these canoes on my shoulder and carry it without feeling that I was burdened. Yet four or five of the brown men would get inside one

[Illustration] from Peter of New Amsterdam by James Otis

of these drowning machines, as Kryn called them, kneeling in the bottom, since there was no chance to sit squarely down, and dart over the waves with greater speed than our crew could row the longboat.