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

A Weak Defense

I knew, in addition to all this, because of having lived so many years in the fort, that we were not in a condition to hold our own against even one of these English ships, because of many of our soldiers' being in the same frame of mind as was I, concerning the Director, and even though each and every one had been heart and hand with Master Stuyvesant, there was not in all the city enough of ammunition to serve the guns during a battle.

It stood on the accounts that we had thirteen hundred pounds of powder in the magazine; but I knew, as did many another, that of the whole amount a full seven hundred pounds would not burn even though it was thrown into a blazing fire.

We had one hundred and fifty soldiers under arms, and Martin Kip had the names of ninety-six of these who had declared that if English, French, or Swedes came against us while Petrus Stuyvesant was Director, they would not raise a hand in defense of the city.

There were also near to two hundred and fifty citizens who had been armed and commanded to be ready for service in time of danger; but I knew beyond a question that more than half the number would stand with hands in their coat pockets, rather than raise them in obedience to an order from Director Stuyvesant.

Thus it can be seen that the English had chosen a most favorable time for coming against us, and, as if to make their chances even better, Master Stuvvesant, suspecting no evil, had gone on a tour of inspection far up the North river.