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of merchants fitted out five ships for exploration and traffic. The chief command of this little fleet was intrusted to Hendrik Christiaanse, who sailed with three of the vessels on an exploring expedition to the north of Cape Cod, while the remaining two, under Captains Blok and May, steered for the harbour of New York. Shortly after his arrival, the ship commanded by Blok, being accidentally destroyed by fire, he built on the coast a yacht of sixteen tons burden, and passing through the East River, to which he gave the name of Helle-Gadt, coasted Long Island, and determined its insular situation. Meeting with one of the ships belonging to the squadron of Christiaanse, he embarked on board of it, leaving his yacht to be used by a fishing party. Having discovered the Housatonic, and explored the Connecticut, which he called Fresh River, he next examined Narraganset Bay, and finally returned with Christiaanse to the harbour of New York. Here, on the southern point of Manhattan Island, a small fort was erected during the autumn of this year, and in the course of the year following, a similar redoubt, surrounded by a ditch, and mounted by thirteen small pieces of artillery, was erected upon a small island a little below the
present city of Albany.
While Christiaanse and Blok were exploring to the north and east, May steered south and examining the Delaware Bay, gave to the north
1617.] TREATY WITH THE FIVE NATIONS.
ern cape his own name. His exploration was continued soon after in the new yacht built by Blok, by Hendricksen, who ascended the river as far as the mouth of the Schuylkill.
The chief command of these fortified trading posts thus established was given to Christiaanse, Jacob Elkins, formerly a merchant's clerk in Amsterdam, receiving the appointment of lieutenant, or commissary.
The redoubt at the island near Albany, being found subject to overflow during high floods, it was abandoned in 1617, and another fortification constructed soon after on the mainland four miles south. At this place a treaty was concluded between the Dutch and Iroquois, to which the Delawares and Mohicans were also parties. This important alliance with the Five Nations was productive of the most beneficial results, both to the Dutch themselves and to the English, who succeeded them. It was maintained in good faith for many years; and by opposing a barrier of friendly Indians to the encroachments of the French, effectually precluded them from inflicting more than a temporary injury upon the frontier settlements, while it secured a prompt and sanguinary retaliation.
The English Puritans in Holland—First project of a settlement
-Agents sent to England to treat with the Virginia Company-Embarkation
Delfthaven-The Mayflower-Acci. dents to the Speedwell-Arrival off Cape Cod-Plymouth settled-Dutch West India Company incorporated—Forts built on the Hudson and the Delaware-Arrival of Governor Minuits—The first colonists of New Netherland-Increase of the fur trade-Commercial relations with New PlymouthEmbassy of De Razier-Dutch scheme of colonization-Provision concerning Patroons—Swanandael purchased-Pavonia—Renselaerwyk-Colony of De Vries near HenlopenIts massacre by the savages-Return of De Vries—The colony re-established—Removal of Minuits-Administration of Wouter Van Twiller-Trading-post established on the Connecticut-Emigration to New England—Settlements on the Connecticut—Difficulties with the Patroons—The manors of Pavonia and Swanandael revert to the company--Removal of Van Twiller-William Keift appointed governor.
WHILE the Dutch were thus busily engaged in profiting by the explorations of Hudson and subsequent navigators, a number of English Puritans, who had taken refuge in Amsterdam and Leyden from religious persecution at home, unable to accommodate the rigid austerity of their own religious tenets to the looser though more liberal opinions of the Hollanders, determined at length to emigrate to some new country, where they could maintain in its integrity the form of worship to which they were attached, and preserve, at the same time, the morals of their children from cor1620.)
ruption. At first they thought of settling in Guiana, but preferring a country where their own language was spoken, they sent Robert Cushman and John Carver to England to treat with the Virginia Company for a place of settlement. Failing to obtain from the king a' guarantee of protection in their religious principles, the negotiation languished. It was, however, subsequently renewed, and in 1619 a patent was obtained in the name of John Wincob for the northern parts of Virginia; but owing to the detention of the latter in England, this patent was never used.
The establishment of a colony in America having been decided upon, a part of the Leyden congregation, under the guidance of Elder Brewster, left Delfthaven, in a small vessel called the Speedwell, toward the close of June, 1620, and crossing over to Southampton, were there joined by the Mayflower, an English ship freighted with their provisions and outfit. When the passengers had been distributed between the two ships, they set sail on the 5th of August, but had not proceeded far on their voyage before the Speedwell was found to leak so badly that they were obliged to return to port and refit.
On the 21st of August, the anchors were again weighed; but the Speedwell proving leaky a second time, they put back into Plymouth, and abandoned the vessel as unseaworthy. The remaining vessel not being sufficiently large to accommodate the whole of the company, a portion of them were now left behind The others embarked on board the Mayflower, and on the 6th of September the voyage was resumed.
After a rough and tedious passage, which lasted nine weeks, the Mayflower entered, on the 9th of November, the harbour of Cape Cod. Finding they had arrived at a part of the continent which was not embraced within the limits of their patent, they concluded before landing to form themselves into a government distinct from that of Virginia. When they had drawn up and signed a written contract, by which they mutually agreed to yield obedience to all just laws and ordinances as should be thought most proper and convenient for the general good of the colony, they chose John Carver for their first governor, and immediately afterward sent out exploring parties to examine the face of the country, and to select a fit place to establish a settlement.
After coasting about for nearly five weeks, they at length fell in with the harbour of Plymouth; and on the 11th of December, 1621, Governor Carver went ashore, attended by several of the principal immigrants. Finding the situation better suited to their purposes than any they had yet seen, the whole of the company, one hundred and one in number, were disembarked, and commenced erecting soon after, of timbers hewn from the