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Finding his English neighbours obstinately bent on appropriating to themselves the rich meadows of the Connecticut, Van Twiller busied himself in strengthening and improving New Amsterdam. During the year 1634, he rebuilt the fort, erected barracks for the accommodation of the garrison, constructed a church and parsonage-house, together with various windmills and dwellings for the use of the colonists, and opened several farms, or boweries, in the interior of the island. But this sudden display of energy soon subsided, and, while seeking to aggrandize himself, he gradually suffered the affairs of the company to fall into neglect.
In the mean time, a quarrel had been progressing between the Dutch West India Company and the patroons, or large proprietaries; the former contending for a monopoly of the fur trade, while the latter claimed the exclusive right of traffic within the limits of their own territories. The company finally put an end to the dispute by repurchasing the Swanandael lands belonging to De Vries and others, and by resuming their authority over Hoboken and Staten Island. The manors of Pavonia and Swanandael being thus abolished, that of Renselaerwyk alone remained.
But while the Dutch were thus busily employed with their commercial adventures, large numbers of immigrants were flocking into the New England colonies, and encroaching upon the territory
of New Netherland. The trading-post established by Van Twiller on the Connecticut still remained in the charge of his officers; but the country around it was fast settling by the English. In 1634, the latter built a fort at the mouth of the river; and the following year the congregation of Mr. Hooper, one hundred in number, settled upon its western bank, and in the vicinity of Van Twiller's house of Good Hope, founded the town of Hartford.
The administration of Van Twiller not proving satisfactory to the company, he was superseded in 1638 by William Keift, who immediately went to work with great energy to remedy the disorder into which the affairs of the province had fallen. 1638.]
Difficulties of Governor Kieft-Delaware settled by the Swedes
-Arrival of Minuits-Fort built on Christiana Creek-Ace tion of Dutch West India Company-Occupation of Long Island by the Puritans-Fort Nassau reoccupied--Indian disturbances—A 'retaliatory murder-Kieft demands the fugitivè— Preparations for war--Failure of the first expedition against the Raritans-Trouble with the Hackensacks Two Hollanders murdered-Indemnity offered and refused-Massacre of the Raritans and Hackensacks-Confederation of the river tribes—Indian war-Deplorable condition of the Dutch -Long Island and Manhattan devastated—Unpopularity of Kieft-Attempt upon his life-Negotiations for peaceSpeech of an Indian chief-Renewal of the war-Expeditions of Underhill-Destruction of Indians at Tappan and on Long Island—Interposition of the Mohawks— Treaty of peace.
KIEFT had scarcely assumed the government of New Netherland before he found himself involved in a perfect network of difficulties. While the encroachments of the English at the north were rapidly contracting the limits of the Dutch claims in that direction, the Swedes had made their appearance on the Delaware, and were exercising an independent authority over that region.
This new colony owed its existence to Minuits. Indignant at having been superseded by Van Twiller, Minuits sailed to Sweden, and proposed to Oxensteirn, the celebrated minister of Queen Christina, the settlement of a colony on the shores of the Delaware. His services were promptly accepted. Two vessels, the Key of Calmar and the Griffin, were placed under his orders. Leaving Sweden toward the close of the year 1637, he touched at Virginia for wood and water, and then proceeding to the Delaware, sailed up the river, purchased from the Indians the lands on the western shore of the bay, from the southern cape to the falls near Trenton, and, building a fort near the mouth of Christiana Creek, there planted his little colony early in the spring of 1638. Keift immediately issued a series of sharp protests against the occupation of the territory by the Swedes; but as Minuits paid no heed to his remonstrances, he hesitated to resort to forcible measures, until he had first advised with his employers.
But the Dutch West India Company had the sagacity to foresee that a state of hostilities with the English and the Swedes was by no means calculated to benefit their American trade, and that the only way whereby they could hope to compete with their new rivals was to encourage the growth of New Netherland by offering additional advantages to actual settlers. This was done; and under the more liberal provisions of the new charter of privileges, a large number of immigrants arrived at New Amsterdam. The 1642.]
colony was further increased by persons from Virginia and New England.
In the mean time, the English had settled New Haven, and farms were springing up all about the Dutch trading-post on the Connecticut, until the lands around it were restricted to thirty acres. Long Island was also occupied under a grant from Lord Stirling; the arms of the Dutch torn down from the tree to which they had been affixed, and, in bravado, a roughly-carved fool's-head was set up in their place.
But this insult was too flagrant to be suffered to pass without punishment. The intruders were taken prisoners by a party of Dutch troops, and were not released until they had humbly apologized for their offence, and promised to quit the territory. They did not, however, leave the island, but, retiring to its eastern end, founded the town of Southampton. Another company of Puritans landed on the island in 1611, and settled the village of Southold. Against these encroachments, Kieft, a passionate, headstrong man, complained bitterly, but failed of obtaining any redress. In despite of all his protests, settlers from Connecticut spread themselves more and more over the territory of New Netherland during the year 1642; while, at the same time, numerous families of Swedes and Fins established themselves along the shores of the Delaware. But though the Dutch asserted their right to the country by re