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

Dismissed By Master Stuyvesant

Had I been a Lutheran preacher, or a Quaker, I could not have been treated more shamefully. Instead of questioning as to why our trade was growing small, in which case I should have told him that in my belief it was owing to the English colony in the country of Connecticut, he cried out upon me in a most violent rage, declaring that I had been spending my time breeding discontent among the people, instead of having a watchful eye over the interests of the Company.

And this when I had never been outside the fort, save while Master Tienhoven was in the storehouse giving the advice that I take my ease!

Nor was this the end of the matter; it seemed as if, being in a bad humor, he was bent on venting his spleen upon me, and without giving any reasons, other than as I have told you, the Director declared that I was no longer in the employ of the Company.

When I spoke to him of the rule that a store-keeper may not be deprived of his office save by the Council of the Company in Holland, he called me a mutinous hound, and threatened that if I showed myself inside the fort after the sun had set, I would be thrown into prison.

[Illustration] from Peter of New Amsterdam by James Otis

I knew full well that I would be powerless if he did such a wicked thing, for of course the word of the Director would be heeded by the Company when set against one of the lower officers like myself, therefore did I hold my temper in check, striving to look the submission which I did not feel.

It is no more than just that I should give Kryn Gildersleeve credit for grieving over the injustice that had been done me; but he could not mend matters, even if I would have had him, and two hours before sunset I had made a bargain for lodgings on the plantation belonging to Martin Kip, who was glad to have in his family one who knew the Indians so well that he might be expected to get some hint if the savages were bent on more mischief.

[Illustration] from Peter of New Amsterdam by James Otis

I had known Martin for many a year, he having come over in the Sea Mew when I did, and trusted him for a true friend, if so be he was not called upon for an outlay of money.

To him I told my plans for joining one of the English colonies, and much to my surprise he gave me his reasons for believing that I would soon be in an English colony, if I remained in New Amsterdam taking good care not to show myself in such a manner as would arouse Director Stuyvesant's ire.