Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

pened that the Company's corporal, Govert Barent, having in charge such of the arms of the Company as required to be repaired or cleaned, sold to the before named Jacob Reinijes, guns, locks, gun barrels, &c., as by Jacob Reintjes' own acknowledged letters, written to his pariner long before this came to light, and by the information of corporal, can be proven. The corporal, seduced by the solicitation of Jacob Reintjes, sold him the arms as often as desired, though the latter knew that the guns and gun barrels belonged to the Company, and not to the corporal. Therefore a parcel of peltries, (as may be seen in the accounts,) bought, as appeared from the letters, with contraband goods, was confiscated. As the said Jacob Reintjes has been in this country since the confiscation, he would have made complaint if he had not been guilty, especially as he was sufficiently urged to do so by the enemies of the Company and of tie Director, but his own letters were witnesses against him.

“ Joost de Backer being accused by the above named corporal of having bought gun locks and gun barrels from him, and the first information having proved correct, he was therefore taken into custody, and his house searched according to law, in which was found a gun of the Company; wherefore he gave security (to answer,) for the claim of the Fiscal.

“ As the English of New England protected among them all fugitives who came to them from the Manhatans without the passport required by the usage of the country, whether persons in the service of the Company or freemen, and took them into their service, it was therefore sought by commissioners to induce the English to restore the fugitives according to an agreement previously made with Governors Eaton and Hopkins, but as Governor Eaton persisted in refusing 10 send back the runaways, although earnestly solicited to do so, the Director and Council, according to a previous resolution, issued a proclamation that all persons who should come from the province of New Haven (all the others excepted) to New Netherland should be protected; which was a retaliatory measure. As the Governor permitted some of the fugitives to come back to us, the Director and Council annulled the order, and since then matters have gone on peaceably, the same as before the dispute about the boundaries.

“Nobody's goods are confiscated in New Netherland without great reason; and if any one feels aggrieved about it, the Director will be prepared to furnish

That ships or shipmasters are afraid of confiscation and therefore do not come to New Netherland is probable, for nobody can come to New Netherland without a license or permit. Whoever has this, and does not violate his agreement, and has properly entered his goods, need not be afraid of confisca. tion ; but all smugglers and persons who sail with two commissions may well be.

“ All those who were indebted to the Company were warned by the Director and Council to pay the debts left uncollected by the late William Kieft, and as some could, and others couid not well pay, no one was compelled to pay ; but these debts, amounting to 30,000 guilders, made many who did not wish to pay, angry and insolent, (especially as the Company now had nothing in that country to sell them on credit,) and it seemed that some sought to pay after the Brazil fashion.

“ The memorialists have requested that the people should not be oppressed, which, however, has never been the case, but they would be right glad to see that the Company dunned nobody, nor demanded their own, yet paid their creditors. It will appear by the account books of the Company that the debts were not contracted during the war, but before it. The Company has assisted the inhabitants, who were poor and burdened with wives and children, with clothing, houses, cattle, land, &c., and from time to time charged them in account, in hopes of their being able at some time to pay for them.

“ If the taxes of New England, before spoken of, be compared with those of New Netherland, it will be found that those of New England are a greater buro den upon that country than the taxes of New Netherland are upon our people.

an answer.

* This is an allusion to the recent lost by the Company of Brazil, which had been taken from them by the Portuguese, whereby their debtors ihere got rid of their debts.

“ The wine excise of one stiver per can, was first laid in the year 1647.

The beer excise of three guilders per tun, was imposed by Keift in 1644, and is paid by the tapster, and not by the burgber.

“ The recognition of eight in a hundred upon imported beaver skins, does not come out of the inhabitants, but out of the trader, who is bound to pay it according to contract.

“ The Director has always shown that he was desirous and pleased to see a deputation from the commonally, who should seek, in the Fatherland, from the Company as patrons, and the Lords States as sovereigns, the following: population, settlement of boundaries, reduction of charges upon New Netherland tobacco and other productions, means of transporting people, permanent and solid privileges, &c.

“ For which purpose he has always lent a helping hand; but the remonstrants have secretly gone round exciting some of the commonalty, and by that means obtained a clandestine and secret subscription, as is to be seen by their remonstrance, designed for no other object than to render the Company—their patrons—and the officers in New Netherland odious before Their High Mightinesses, so that the Company might be deprived of the jus patronatus and be still further injured.

The remonstrants say that we had relied upon the English, and by means of them sought to divert the college, (as they call it,) which is untrue, as appears by the propositions made to them. But it is here to be observed that the English, living under the protection of the Netherlanders, having taken the oath of allegiance and being domiciliated and selled in New Netherland, are to be considered citizens of the country. These persons have always been opposed to them, since the English as well as they had a right to say something in relation to the deputation, and would not consent to all their calumnies and slanders, but looked to the good of the commonalıy and of the inhabitants.

“It was never written in a letter upon their solicitation that they might secretly go and speak to the commonalıy. The intention of the Director was to cause them to be called together at his own time, as opportunity should offer, at which time they might speak to the commonalıy publicly about the deputation. The Director was not obliged, as they say, to call the commonalty immediately together. It was to be considered by him at what time each one could conveniently come from home without loss, especially as some lived at a distance in the country, &c.

That they have not been willing to communicate, was because all whom they had slandered would have been able to have provided themselves with the means of defence, and made the contrary appear, and in that case could have produced something from some of them. And since the Director and those connected with the administration in New Netherland are very much wronged and defamed, I desire time in order to wait for opposing documents from New Netherland, if it be necessary

“ Vander Donk and his associates say that the Director instituted suits against some persons. The Director going to ihe house of Michael Jansen, (one of the signers of the remonstrance,) was warned by the said Michael and Thomas Hall, saying, there was within it a scandalous journal of Adrian van der Donck; which journal the Director took with him, and on account of the slanders which were contained in it against Their High Mightinesses and private individuals, Van der Donck was arrested at his lodgings and proof of what he had writien demanded, but it was dispensed with on the application and solicitation of others.

" During the adıninistration both of Kiefe and of Stuyvesant, it was by a placard published and posted, that no attestation or other public writing should be valid before a court in Netherland, unless it were written by the secretary. This was not done in order that there should be no testimony, (against the Director,) but upon this consideration, that most of the people living in Netherland are country or seafaring men, and summon each other frequenıly for small matters before the court, while many of them can neither read nor write, and neither testify intelLigibly nor produce written evidence, and if some do produce it, sometimes it is

[ocr errors]

written by a sailor or a boor, and is often wholly indistinct and repugnant to the meaning of those who had it written or who made the statement; consequently the Director and Council could not know the truth of matters as was proper and as justice demanded, &c. No body has been arrested except Van der Donk for writing the journal, and Augustus Heermans, the agent of Gabri, because he refused 10 exhibit the writings drawn up by the Nine Men, which were reported to the Director, who had been for them many times like a boy.

Upon the first point of redress, as they call it, the remonstrants advise, that the Company should abandon the country. What frivolous advice this is ! The Company have at their own expense conveyed cattle and many persons thither, built forts, protected many people who were poor and needy emigrating from Holland, and provided them with provisions and clothing; and now when some of them have a litile more than they can eat up in a day, they wish to be released from the authority of their benefactors, and without paying if they could ; a signe of gross ingratitude.

“ Hitherto the country has been nothing but expense to the Company, and now when it can provide for itself and yield for the future some profit to the Company, these people are not willing to pay the tenth which they are bound honestly to pay when called upon after the expiration of the ten years, pursuant to the exemptions.

“ Upon the second point they say that provision should be made for ecclesiastical and municipal property, church services, an orphan asylum and an almshouse. If they are such philanthropists as they appear, let them lead the way in generos contributions for such laudable objects, and not complain when the Directors have endeavored to make collections for the church and school. What complaints would have been made if the Director had undertaken to make collections for an almshouse and an orpnan asylum. I he service of the church will not be suspended, although Dominie Johannes Backerus has returned, who has been there more than twenty-seven months. His place is supplied by a learned and godly minister who has no interpreter when he defends the Reformed Religion against any minister of our neighbors, the English Brownists.*

“ The foregoing are the points which require any answer. We will only add some description of the persons who have signed the remonstrance and who are the following ;

Adrian van der Donk has been about eight years in New Netherland. He went there in the service of the proprietors of the colony of Renselaerswyck as an officer, but did not long continue such, though he lived in that colony till 1646.

Arnoldus Van Hardenburgh accompanied Hay Jansen to New Netherland, in the year 1644, with a cargo for his brother. He has never to our knowledge suffered any loss or damage in New Netherland, but has known how to charge the commonalty well for his goods.

Augustyn Heermans went by the authority of Enkhuizen,t being then as he still is, the agent of Gabrie, in trading business.

Jacob van Couwenhoven went to the country with his father in boyhood, was taken by Wouter Van Twiller into the service of the Company as an assistant, and afterwards became a tobacco planter. The Company has aided him with necessaries, as it is to be seen by the books, but they have been paid for.

Olof Stevensen, brother-in-law of Govert Loockmans, went out in the year 1637 in the ship Herring as a soldier, in the service of the Company. He was promoted by Director Kieft and finally made Commissary of the shop. He has profited in the service of the Company, and has endeavored to give his benefactor the world's pay, that is, to recompense good with evil. He signed under protest, saying that he was compelled to sign, which can be understood two ways, one that he had been compelled to subscribe to the truth, the other that he had been constrained by force to do it. If he means the latter, it must be proven.

* The Rev. Johannes Megapolensis is here referred to.

1 A city in the North Quarter, which was one of the Chambers or departments of the West India Company

Michael Jansen went to New Netherland as a farmer's man in the employ of the proprietors of Renselaerswyck. He made his fortune in the colony in a few years, but not being able to agree with the officers, finally came to live upon the island Manhatans. He would have come here himself, but the accounts between him and the colony not being settled, in which the proprietors did not consider themselves indebted as he claimed, Jan Evertsen came over in his stead.

" Thomas Hall went to the South River in 1636, in the employ of Mr. Holmes, an Englishman, who intended to take Fort Nassau and rob us of the South River. This Thomas Hall ran away from his master, came to the Manhatans and hired himself as a farmer's man to Jacob Van Curlur. Being a freeman he has made a tobacco plantation upon the land of that noted individual, Wouter Van Twy. ler. Thomas Hall dwells at present upon a small bowery belonging to the Honorable Company.

Elbert Elbertsen went to the country as a farmer's boy at about ten or eleven yrars of age, in the service of Wouter Van Twyler, and has never had any land of his own. About three years ago he married the widow of Gerret Wolphertsen, (brother of the before mentioned Jacob Van Couwenhoven,) and from that time 10 this his been indebted to the Company, and would be very glad to get rid of payin

Gorert Loockmans, brother in law of Jacob Van Couwenhoven, went to New Netherland in the yacht St. Martin, in the year 1633, as a cook’s mate, and was taken by Wouter Van Twyler into the service of the Company, in which service he profited somewhat. He became a freeman, and finally took charge of the trading business for Gilles Verbruggen and his Company. This Loockmans owes gratitude to the Company, next to God, for his elevation, and ought not advise its removal from the country.

Hendrick Kip is a tailor, and has never suffered any loss in New Netherland to our knowiedge.

Jan Erertsen-bout, formerly an officer of the Company, came the lasi time in the year 1634, with the ship Eendracht, (Union,) in the service of the Honor. able Michiel Paauw, and lived in Pavonia until the year 1643, and prospered moderately. As the Honorable Company purchased the property of the Heer Paauw, the said Jan Evertsen having the property, succeeded well in the service of the Company, but as his house and barn at Pavonia were burnt down in the war, he appeared to take that as a cause for complaint. It is here to be remarked, that the Honorable Company paid 26,000 guilders for the colony of the Heer Paauw. The said Jan Evertsen built his house upon the land and had given nothing for his farm, which yielded good wheat. Long afterwards his house was burnt. The land and a poor unfinished house, with a few cattle, he has sold to Michiel Jansen for eight thousand guilders.

“ In fine, these people, io give their doings a gloss, say that they are bound by conscience and compelled by reason ; but if that were the case they would not assail their benefactors, the Company and others, and endeavor to deprive them of this noble country, by advising their removal, now that it begins to be like something, and may hereafier be of some advantage to the Company, and now that many of the inhabitants are themselves in a better condition than ever, endeavors caused apparently by the ambition of many, &c.

" At the Hague, 29th November, 1650.”

IX.

NEW NETHERLAND IN 1627.

LETTER FROM

ISAACK DE RASIERES TO SAMUEL BLOMMAERT,

FOUND IN THE ROYAL LIBRARY AT THE HAGUE,

AND

TRANSMITTED BY DR. M. F. A. G. CAMPBELL TO THE

N. Y. HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL DUTCH

BY J. ROME YN BRODHEAD.

EECORD SERIES, VOL. II.

29

« AnteriorContinuar »