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

New Amsterdam Becomes a City

It was in the year 1652 that the town we had built was made a city, with a charter straight from Holland, and our people rejoiced because of its being possible at last, after so much of misrule, for them to have some voice in affairs.

According to this charter, the freemen of our new city were to select a schout, four burgomasters, nine schepens, which last were what in England would be called magistrates—and a council of thirty-six men whose duty it would be to advise with the Director on all affairs concerning the public welfare.

There was great rejoicing in New Amsterdam when Stoffel Mighielsen, the town crier, made this announcement, and I dare venture to say that on the night the news was made public, but little attention was paid to the farmer's bell by those who lived outside the palisade.

[Illustration] from Peter of New Amsterdam by James Otis

On every hand you could hear men giving joy to each other because of the time's having come when the Director would no longer have absolute power over all in the town, but must be guided by those who were to be elected by the ballots of the people, and following such rejoicings was ever the question as to when the election would be held.

There was much talk as to who should be chosen to fill the offices, and all with whom I spoke declared that they were not to be influenced by anything Master Stuyvesant might say; but would pick out such men as could stand up honestly for the rights of all, instead of bending like slaves to the whims of the Director.