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

The Government

While the people were working on the mill, the fort, and the storehouse, or at the quarry, Master Minuit, busy man though he was, found time to set up a regular government in this town of huts which he called New Amsterdam, himself being at the head of it with no one to say him nay, and a Council of five chosen by the West India Company from among the white people.

There was also a secretary for this Council, and a Dutch official, which in Holland is called schout-fiscal, which means about all of the offices that could be held in an ordinary village, for he was sheriff, constable, collector of customs, tithing-man, and almost anything else you chose to call him.

The secretary and the schout-fiscal were also appointed by the Company in Amsterdam, and every act of the Council, as well as the rules and regulations laid down by Master Minuit, were all to be approved by the gentlemen in Holland before our people would be bound by them. Thus it can be seen that while one might suppose the citizens of New Amsterdam made their own laws, it was in fact the West India Company which had full direction of affairs.

After a time, when I had been so far entrusted with the business of the settlement as to understand how it was conducted, I came to realize that all which was done by us of New Amsterdam was for the profit of the Company, rather than for the benefit of the people, and this finally came to be one of the causes which worked for the downfall of Dutch power in the New World.