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

Unjust Commands

It would be useless for me to try to tell you all with which our people charged Master Kieft before he had been in New Amsterdam a year. It is better I should spend any time relating what he did which cost the lives of so many white men, for to his door may be laid much of the suffering which we knew while he ruled over us, although we were in the meanwhile called upon to answer for the crime of the negroes who had killed the Indian, as I have told you.

First let me say, that on a certain morning, very shortly after Master Kieft came among us, we found posted on the trunks of trees, on rocks, and on the corners of the houses, written notices, signed by the new Director, stating that whosoever traded with the Indians, save while doing so at the command of the West India Company, should suffer death; and that the Company's servants must begin work at a certain hour very shortly after daybreak, and not cease labor until sunset.

[Illustration] from Peter of New Amsterdam by James Otis

Also, among many other things, it was declared that the Indians themselves should pay a certain amount of wheat, wampum, or furs toward the support of the soldiers employed by the Company in different parts of the country.

There were many matters in these written notices that it is not necessary for me to speak about. The last was that which caused us the most trouble, for the Indians openly refused to obey any such command, and Master Kieft went so far as to hang four whom he accused of trying to persuade others of their tribe not to do as he had ordered.

Now you can well fancy that such cruel acts served to make enemies of those Indians who had been our friends.