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On Wednesday, the Twelfth of October, 1864. 





At a Meeting of the Ne-w York Historical Society, held at the Hall of the 
Union, Cooper Institute, on Wednesday Evenintr, October 12th, 1864, to com- 
memorate the Two Hundredth Anniversary of the Conquest of New Nether- 

" GULiAN C. Vekplanck, LL.D., submitted the following Resolution, which 
was seconded by George Bancroft, LL.D., and adopted unanimously: 

" Resolved, That the thanks of this Society are eminently'- due and are hereby 
tendered to John Romeyn Brodiiead, LL.D., for his eloquent Oration, delivered 
tliis evening, in commemoration of the Conquest of New Netherland, and that a 
copy be requested for tlie Archives of the Society, and for publication." 

Extract from the Minutes : 


Recording Secketara*. 

Entered according to Act of Congress, in tlie year 1S64, by 

John Romeyn Brodiiead, 

In the Clerk's Oflice of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District 

of New York. 


Brothees of the New York Historical Society: 

Two hundred years ago, an English squadron, filled 
with anned men, came up our Bay, and ancliored near 
what is now our Battery. Its presence foreboded and 
produced results of momentous interest to our city, our 
State, and our nation. You have directed that the anni- 
versary of this event should be fitly observed ; and, in 
obedience to your call, I venture to review the circum- 
stances and consider the consequences of the transaction 
which we are this day assembled to commemorate. 

In the summer of the year sixteen hundred and sixty- 
four, the eastern coast of North America Avas occupied by 
various separate Colonies, which had been founded by 
several European nations. For nearly half a century, 
England, France, and the United Netherlands had each 
been endeavoring to appropriate territory there, and rear 
dependent Plantations. France, the pioneer in successful 
colonization, had first pushed her adventurous way 
through the valley of the Saint Lawrence, and set ujd the 
cross of her faith with the lilies of her king, among the 
savages who dwelt on its borders. Thus began her do- 
minion over New France, or Canada and Acadia. Farther 
south, England had kept closer to the sea-coast, the clear 
Avaters of which abounded with fish, and where safe har- 

8 Commemorative Oration. 

bors invited the emigrant to linger near those crystal 
waves which could roll unbroken to Land's End, Yet 
England had not occupied the whole of that more southern 
coast. Midway between Virginia and New England, colo- 
nists from Holland, following their countrymen who had 
explored the unknown wild, planted themselves quietly 
among the natives from whom they bought the soil, and 
sought to add a New Netheeland to the Batavian 

All these various colonies were settled under the author- 
ity of the respective countries in Europe whence they 
came. In the earlier period of adventure, those countries 
had adopted the principle that the savage territories which 
each might discover should become the absolute property 
of the explorer. As Columbus had discovered the New 
World — which ought to have borne his illustrious name 
— in the service of Spain, Pope Alexander the Sixth 
decreed that the Spanish sovereign should hold forever 
nearlj' the whole of that vast region which the Atlan- 
tic washed on the west.f A few years afterwards, the 
Cabots, under commissions from Henry the Seventh of 
England, discovered Newfoundland, and sailed, at a 
distance along the coast, as far south as Albemarle Sound. 
By virtue of these discoveries, the successors of Henry 
claimed sovereignty over all that part of the North Ameri- 
can continent along the shores of which the Cabots had 
sailed.:}: But, as the previous sweeping title of Spain 

* Tacitus describes the Batavians, who dwelt at tlic mouths of the Rhine, as 
"the bravest" of all the Germauic tribes — '■'■ virtute pnecipui Batavi;'''' De Mor. Ger., 
fJ9. These Batavians were the forefathers of the founders of that Republic, the 
early history of which Mr. Motley has so worthily written. I use the word "Bata- 
vian" as synonymous with "Dutch." In its proper English sense the term 
" Dutch" is exclusively applied to the people of Holland, or the Netherlands, or 
Low Lands. It is a common blunder to call the people of Germany " Dutchmen," 
instead of " Germans," which is their correct national name in English. 

t Chalmers's Political Annals, 6, 10; Hazard's Collections, I. S-G ; Irving's Colum- 
b\is, I. 185-200; Holmes's Annals, I. 7, 55'J; Brodhead's History of New York, I. 2. 

X Clialmers, 4, 8,9; Bancroft, I. 10-14; Brodhead, I. 3; Palfrey's New Eng- 
land, 1. 62, m. 

■ Commemorative Oration. 9 

cut oft* any English claim, Queen Elizabeth declared that 
'-'"prescrixMon wltliout iDossession is of no avail;'''' or, 
in other words, that actual occupation must follow dis- 
covery, in order to confer a valid right to savage terri- 
tory. ■^- This principle, which echoed the old Roman 
law, was first asserted by the Queen of England in 1580, 
because it was convenient for her to assert it against 
Spain ; and it was deliberately confirmed by Parliament 
in 1621. t It established a most important rule in regard 
to European colonization in America. 

Accordingly, France, with the quiet assent of Spain 
and England, explored the Saint LaAvrence and occupied 
Canada and Acadia. A Florentine mariner in her service 
had, as early as 1524, discovered the Bay of New York, 
and praised its lake-like beauty. But as the voyage of 
Yerazzano did not lead to colonization, France claimed no 
title to these regions which he had visited. Neither did 
the explorations of Gomez, in the following year, induce 
the Spaniards to occupy our coast.:}: 

* The doctrine maintained l)y Queen Elizabeth was, " PrfPso'ipito sine /josscs-stwie 
hand valeat ;''"' Camden, Annales Eliz., 1580 (Ed. Hearne), 360; Brodhead I. 4, note. 
The translation of Camden in Kennett's England, II. 481 (Lond., 1700), renders 
the passage as follo\Vs : " Moreover, she understood not why her or any other Prince's 
subjects should be debarred from the Indies, which she could not persuade herself 
the Spaniard had any just title to by the Bishop of Home's Donation (in whom she 
acknowledged no Prerogative, much less authority, in such cases, so as to lay any 
tie upon Princes which owed him no obedience or observance, or, as it were, to 
infeoffe the Spaniard in that New World, and invest him with the possession thereof), 
nor yet by any other claim than as they had touched here and there upon the 
coasts, built cottages, and given names to a River or a Cape ; which things cannot 
entitle them to a Propriety. So that this donation of that which is another man's, 
which is of no validity in law, and this imaginary propriety, cannot hinder other 
princes from trading into those countries, and, without breach of the Law of Na- 
tions, from transporting colonies into those parts thereof where the Spaniards in- 
habit not, forasmuch as Prescription without Possession is little worth." This 
very sound doctrine annihilates the English claim by " Prescription," derived from 
the voyages of the Cabots, who, unlike the Spaniards, do not appear to have 
"touched here and there upon the coasts, built cottages, and given names to a 
River or a Cape; which things cannot entitle them to a Propriety." 

t Commons' Debates, I. 250, ;«5l; Clialniers, 6 ; Grotius, II. 3; Brodhead, I. 143; 
New York Colonial Documents, IX. 205, 378, 913. 

X Holmes, I. 54, 56; Bancroft, I. 17, 38; Brodhead, I. 2, 3; Palfrey, I. 04, 05; New 
York Historical Society's Collections, (II.) I. 37-07. 

10 Commemorative Oration. 

In the reign of Elizabeth, the first English colonists 
were sent to Virginia. But the adventure failed ; and the 
name which Raleigh gave to the savage lands he had 
attempted to occupy alone survived. A few years after- 
wards, the enterprising English mariners, Gosnold, Pring, 
and Weymouth, visited the rivers of Maine, and explored 
the coast as far south as Buzzard' s Bay. No European emi- 
grants, however, came to take possession of one acre of the 
wild territory between Acadia and Virginia. To promote 
such occupation, by which alone, according to the English 
rule, a valid title could be secured. King James the First, 
in April, 1606, granted to two different companies the 
privilege of planting and governing two distinct and sepa- 
rate colonies in that part of North America lying between 
the thirty-fourth and the forty- fifth degrees of latitude, 
or between Cape Fear and Acadia, not "actually pos- 
sessed by any Christian prince or people." Two English 
settlements were accordingly begun in the following year. 
The first of these, witliin the Chesapeake Bay, became the 
prosperous colony of Virginia. The second, at the mouth 
of the Sagadahoc, or Kennebec, was abandoned in 1608. 
But no attempt was made to occupy any part of the inter- 
mediate region, nor had any English mariner yet searched 
the shore between Buzzard's Bay and the Chesapeake.* 

In this situation of affairs, another Englishman, Henry 
Hudson, t sailing from Amsterdam in the service of the 
Dutch East India Company, explored, in the autumn of 
1609, "The Great Eiver of the Mountains," the 

* Hazard, I. 50-58; Smith's Virginia; Pinkcrton, XHI. 211; Brodhead, I. 5-15. 

t It is a vulgar error to substitute "Heudriek" Hudson for "Henry" Hudson. 
De Laet probably originated it, by writing, in Dutch, Hendrick for Henry, in his 
" New World," cap. VII. p. 83, Ed. 1625. Van der Douck does the same, although 
he speaks of Hudson as an Englishman. Lambrechtsen names him correctly. 
Purchas of course calls him "Henry;" see N. Y. Historical Society's Collections, I. 
61, 81, 102, 146, 17o. Mr. H. C. Murphy, in his recent interesting monograph on 
Hudson, p. 36, gives a copy of the contract of the 8th of January, 160'J, to which 
the name signed is "Henky Hudson." 

Commemorative Oration. 11 

mouth of ATliich Yerazzano had discovered and Gomez had 
revisited nearly a century before. This memorable event 
was duly commemorated by our predecessors and asso- 
ciates tifty-iive years ago, when the Reverend Doctor 
Miller delivered the first anniversary discourse before the 
N^ew York Historical Society.* The track of the yacht 
Half-Moon was soon followed by emigrants from Hol- 
land ; and, in 1613, Dutch trading establishments were 
formed at Manhattan, and at the present city of Albany. 
The islands, coasts, and rivers between Sandy Hook and 
Buzzard's Bay were now for the first time explored by 
Adriaen Block, who sailed in the "Restless," or "Un- 
rest," through Hell-Gate ; and other Holland mariners 
pushed their examinations eastward, as far as Acadia, 
In October, 1614, the General Government of the Dutch 
Republic granted a Charter to the owners of the vessels 
which had thus been employed in American adventure, 
authorizing them exclusively for three years from Januarj^, 
1615, to visit the "newly discovered lands" they had 
explored between New France and Yirginia, extend- 
ing from the fortieth to the forty-fifth degree of latitude, 
which region was now formally named "New Netuee- 


The title which Holland thus acquii-ed to New Nether- 
land — as far east, at any rate, as Buzzard's Bay — was as 
just and valid as any of which the history of the world 
contains a record. According to the English rule, it un- 
doubtedly belonged to the Dutch, Unquestionable dis- 
covery had been followed by the actual occupation of 

* See New York Historical Societj''6 Collections, I. 17-60. 

t See Appendix, Note A; N. T. Colonial Documents, I. 10, 11; Brodhead, I. 
25-65. Another vulgar error which must be noticed, is the absurd use of the term 
" the Neil' NetJierJands,'''' instead of " New Netherland." In this respect, the transla- 
tions of Lambrechtsen,Van der Donck, De Vries, and De Laet, in N. Y. Hist. Soc. 
Coll. (II.) I. 79, 129, 250, 201, are iz:ratuitously faulty. The original Dutch in every 
case is "Nieuw Nederlandt," and not "(te Nieuw Nedcrlanden.'''' Even Smith, in 
his History of New York, I, 5, gives tlie name correctlj, as " Nova Belgia, or New 

12 Commemorative Oration. 

savage teri-itoiy by a Cliristian people. * Still further to 
maintain their rights, the Dutch Government, in June, 
1621, after the expiration of the original New Netherland 
Charter, incorporated a West India Company, with power 
to colonize and govern the "fruitful and unsettled" re- 
gions in Africa and America which it might occupy, f 

Under this charter New Netherland grew into a Prov- 
ince, invested by the States-General with the arms of a 
Count, and deriving its laws, its habits, and its religion 
from its Batavian Fatherland. Manhattan Island was 
honestly purchased from the aborigines, and made the 
emporium of the fur-trade, which produced the chief pro- 
vincial revenue. Fort Amsterdam was built on its south- 
ern point, as a refuge in case of an attack by the savages. 
Posts were also established at Fort Orange, now Albany, 
on the North River ; at Fort Nassau, near Philadelphia, 
on the South, or Delaware ; and at Good Hope, now Hart- 
ford, on the Fresh, or Connecticut. Agricultural colonies, 
subordinate to the general Provincial Government, were 
likewise settled, under Patroons, at several points on the 
North and South Rivers.:}: 

Six years after the Dutch Federal Government had fixed 
the name of New Netherland on the map of the world, 
King James the First, adopting the term originally pro- 
posed by John Smith, sealed a patent in November, 1620, 
for the colonization of "New England in America." In 
this he included all the territory between the fortieth and 
the forty-eighth degrees of latitude, and from the Atlantic 
to the Pacific. But the patent candidly provided that no 
territory Avas intended to be granted which was "actually 
possessed or inhabited by any other Cliristian prince or 

* See Note B, in the Appendix. 

t Hazard, I. 130-131 ; Brodhead, I. 134-137. 

X N. Y. Col. Doc., I. 37, 139, 181, 263, 283-290 ; Brodhead, I. 148, 151, 153, 104, 
300-203, 235. An engraving of the Provincial Seal of New Netherland embellishes 
the title-page of this publication. 

Commemorative Oration. 13 

estate." This proviso clearly excepted New France and 
New Netlierland.* 

The same year, a second and more successful experi- 
ment AYas made in colonizing a part of titular New Eng- 
land. This adventure was undertaken, however, before 
the patent of King James was sealed. The emigrants were 
English Puritans, most of whom had enjoyed an asylum 
for several years in Holland, and were so well satisfied 
with its liberal government, that they desired to settle 
themselves in America under its fiag. Their minister at 
Leyden, John Robinson, who was versed in the Dutch 
language, accordingly offered to accompany four hundred 
families from Holland and England to New Netherland, and 
plant there a new commonwealth, under the jurisdiction of 
the Prince of Orange and the States-General. But the au- 
thorities of the Republic, preferring that their American 
Province should be first colonized by their own citizens, 
and unwilling to excite the jealousy of the King of England, 
by transplanting and protecting there his refractory sub- 
jects, who wished to emigrate, declined to encourage 
Robinson's proposition. f The Puritan refugees, having 
obtained a large patent from the English Virginia Com- 
pany, which authorized them to settle themselves south 
of the fortieth degree of latitude— in what now forms 
part of New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland — therefore 
set sail in the Mayflower, intending to make tlitiir first 
land at Sandy Hook, which was the best known point.! 

* Hazard, I. 103-118; Trumbuirs Connecticut, I. 546-567; Smith's Virginia; 
Pinlierton, XIII. 208; Clialmers, 81, 83; Brodhead, I. 90-96, 252. It is to be re- 
marked that while the first Patent of April, 1606, only reached to the forty-fifth 
degree {ante, p. 10), this second Patent, of November, 1620, grasped three degrees 
farther north. At the time of its grant, the French occupation of Canada was 
notorious, and the Dutch possession of New Netherland must have been known to 
the English authorities; Brodhead, I. 95, 96, 144; Note B, Appendix. 

+ N. Y. Col. Doc, I. 22-24; Brodhead, I. 115-128; Bradford's Plymouth, 42, 43. 

X The northern boundary of Virginia, according to its second Charter of 1009, 
was two hundred miles north of Point Comfort, or about the fortieth parallel of 
latitude, which intersects the neighborhood of Barnegat and Philadelphia; 

14 Commemorative Oration. 

But, after a boisterous voyage, they were driven north- 
ward to Cape Cod ; and, having vainly attempted to sail 
around the shoals of Cape Malebarre, they at length, in 
December, 1620, accidentally landed on the sandy beach 
of New Plymouth.* 

This first Puritan colony in New England was followed, 
after a few years, by a larger emigration to Massaclrusetts 
Bay. Before long, other English settlements were begun 
on the Fresh or Connecticut River, and at New Haven, 
which regions Adriaen Block had discovered, and from 
which it was thought profitable to "crowd the Dutch 
out."t Rhode Island was also founded, in a spirit of 
catholic magnanimity, by fugitives from the sectarian des- 
potism of Massachusetts. The eastern end of Long Island 
(around the whole of which Block had been the first to 
sail, and which was first laid down on a Dutch map):{: was 
soon afterwards adversely occupied by emigrants from 
Massachusetts and Connecticut. All these settlements, 
except the first one at New Plymouth, were made under 
the general authority of the New England Patent ; and, 
in the case of Long Island, under special grants from the 
Earl of Stirling, to whom it had been conveyed by the 
Patentees of James the First. § 

Chalmers, 25 ; Hazard, I. 58-73 ; Holmes, I. 133 ; Brodhead, I. 15, 133, 139, 252. It 
has been stated {ante, p. 13 ), that the New England Patent of November, 1630, 
extended from the fortieth degree (or the northern boundary of Virginia), north to 
the fortj'-eighth. The Mayflower "Pilgrims," therefore, intended to settle them- 
selves south of t/ie fortieth degree of latitude, where only their Patent from the Vir- 
ginia Company could advantage them. Mr. J. S. Barry, however, in his recent His- 
tory of Massachusetts, I. 70, conjectiires that if that Patent should ever be discov- 
ered, it would " be found to cover territory now included in New York.'''' 

* Bradford's Plymouth, 44-88 ; Brodhead, I. 138-133. 

+ J. H. Trumbull's Colonial Records of Connecticut, I. 565. 

X See the " Figurative Map," in N. Y. Col. Doc, I. 13, referred to in Note A, in 
Appendix. I do not find suflicient evidence that Gomez sailed through Long Island 
Sound, or that it is represented in Ribero's Planisphere of 1539; see Palfrey, I. 65, 
66; Asher's Introduction to " Henry Hudson, the Navigator," lxxxviii.,xci. — xciii., 
cli. The curious copper globe which Mr. Buckingham Smith recently deposited 
with the New York Historical Society does not exhibit Long Island. 

§ Brodhead, I. 189, 308, 334, 340, 341, 359,'360, 393-300, 334, 331, 333. 

Commemorative Oration. 15 

While these colonies were thus growing on the north 
and east of New Netherland, another English settlement 
was established on her southern frontier. Lord Baltimore, 
a Roman Catholic peer of Ireland, obtained from Charles 
the First, in 1632, a patent for that part of the territory 
of Virginia lying between the north bank of the Poto- 
mac and the fortieth degree of latitude, Avliich, in honor 
of the Queen, was named Maryland. Emigrants, chiefly 
of the Roman faith, soon came over to occupy the Prov- 
ince, which was founded on more liberal jirinciples than 
any that British subjects had yet planted in America.* 

In the mean time, New Netherland flourished apace. 
Churches were built ; Dutch clergjauen, educated and 
ordained in Holland, were established ; schoolmasters 
were employed, and schools opened ; and laws, based on 
the jurisprudence of the Batavian Republic, were enacted. 
Names familiar in the Fatherland replaced, with more 
affection than good taste, the sonorous and descriptive 
nomenclature of the aborigines. The young metropolis 
on Manhattan became New Amsterdam, and hope whis- 
pered that the glory of the latter city might, in time, 
eclipse the greatness of the old.f 

The Provincial government of New Netherland was 
vested in a Director and Council, and a Fiscal or Attorney- 
General, appointed by the West India Company. The 
supreme laws of the Province were the ordinances of the 
Director and Council, the instructions of the Company, 
and the statutes and customs of the Fatherland. To 
administer this government and execute these laws, the 
Company appointed Cornells Jacobsen May to be the 
first Director of New Netherland, in 1624. May was suc- 

^- Bancroft, I. 241-248; Brodhead, I. 251-253. 

+ Brodlicad, I. 183, 196, 223, 313, 337, 343, 374, Wl. The population of Amster- 
dam, in 1857, was 259,873 ; tliat of New York, in 1860, was 813,GG'.l. 

16 Commemorative Oration. 

ceeded, the next year, by William Verliulst. In 1626, 
Peter Minuit, a man of sagacity, was made Director ; and 
in 1633 lie was rej^laced by the more stolid Wouter van 
Twiller. From 1638 until 1647, William Kieft, a person 
of more activity but less prudence than any of his prede- 
cessors, struggled through a turbulent administration. In 
the summer of 1647, Peter Stuyvesant began a service as 
Director- General, which lasted for seventeen years, and 
ended only with the downfall of the Dutch dominion.* 

Stuyvesant was one of those remarkable men who 
stamp their names worthily on history. The son of a 
Dutch clergyman in Friesland, he was educated at the 
famous High School at Franeker, where he acquired that 
familiarity with the Latin tongue, which he was always 
rather fond of displajdng. Having entered the military 
service of tlie West India Company, he was sent to Cura- 
coa as their Director. While in that office he lost a leg in 
a venturesome attack on Saint Martin, and was obliged to 
return to Holland. Before long he was promoted to the 
Directorship of New Netherland, whither he sailed, after 
having taken his oath in the presence of the States-Gen- 
eral, f With many of the nobler characteristics, Stuyve- 
sant oftentimes exhibited some of the weaker and more 
frivolous qualities of mankind. He delighted in pom}), 
and the ostentation of despotic command. Imperious and 
iras(dble, he was honest and faithful. Obeying the orders 
of his superiors with scrupulous zeal, he insisted on the 
implicit obedience of his subordinates. If he was arbi- 
trary, he was generally just. He loved his Fatherland, 
her laws, and her religion, with hearty devotion ; and 
if, at times, his earnestness carried him beyond the bounds 
of discretion, none can impeach the sincerity of his pur- 

* Brodhead, I. 154, 159, 102-164, 322, 223, 275, 413, 414, 465. 

t N. Y. H. S. Coll. (II.) III. 263, 264; Col. Doc, I. 164, 173, 175-178; Brodhead, 
I. 413, 414, 432, 433. A translation of Stuyvetfant's Commission is in the Appen- 
dix, Note C. 


poses, or fail to admire the energetic firmness with which 
he enforced his own convictions. 

Under such administration, in spite of much selfish mis- 
management on the part of the West India Company, 
New Netherland increased abundantly. Emigrants con- 
stantly came over from Holland, while French and English 
subjects flocked in from the neighboring colonies. From 
Massachusetts, especially, several persecuted Protestants 
were attracted by the freedom of conscience which was 
the well-known characteristic of the Dutch Province. 
Others came from afar, to share the substantial prosperity 
which its comprehensive system, no less than its physical 
advantages, insured. ' ' Promote commerce, ' ' wrote the 
West India Company to Stuyvesant, in the winter of 1652, 
"whereby Manhattan must prosper, her population in- 
crease, her trade and navigation flourish. For when these 
once become permanently established — when the ships of 
New Netherland ride on every part of the ocean — then 
numbers, now looking to that coast with eager eyes, wUl 
be allured to embark for your island.""^ The prophecy 
was splendidly fulfllled. New Amsterdam rapidly grew 
in importance, and was allowed a municipal magistracy 
of her OAvn, consisting of Sellout, Burgomasters, and Sclie- 
pens, in imitation of her imperial namesake on the Zuyder 
Zee. Her foreign commerce soon began to rival her do- 
mestic trade. The first vessel ever built \>j Europeans in 
North America — after the ' ' Virginia of Sagadahoc, ' ' in 
1607' — Avas Block's significantly named "Restless of Man- 
hattan," in 1614. One of the largest merchantmen in 
Christendom was launched by her shipwrights in 1631. 
Strangers eagerly sought burghership in the rising me- 
tropolis, and the tongues of many nations resounded 
through her ancient winding streets, f Like her pro- 

* Albany Records, IV. 91 ; Brodhead, I. 547; Bancroft, II. 394. 

+ Col. Doc, I. 296, III. 17; Brodhead, I. 14, 55, 213, 215, 219, 374,548; ante, p. 11. 

18 Commemorative rati ok 

totype, New Amsterdam was always a city of tlie 

The Province of New Netlieiiand was, indeed, the 
most advantageously situated region in North America. 
Its original limits included all the Atlantic coast between 
Cape Henlopen and Montauk Point, and even farther east 
and north, and all the inland territory bounded by the 
Connecticut Valley on the east, the Saint Lawrence and 
Lake Ontario on the north, and the affluents of the Ohio, 
the Susquehanna, and the Delaware, on the west and 
south. Within those bounds is the only spot on the con- 
tinent whence issue, divergent streams which find their 
outlets in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, the Atlantic Ocean, 
and the Gulf of Mexico.* Across the surface of the 
Province runs a chain of the AUeghanies, through which, 
in two remarkable chasms, the waters of the Delaware, 
and the Hudson flow southward to the sea. At the head 
of its tides, the Hudson, Avhich its explorers appropriately 
called "the Great River of the Mountains," receives the 
current of the Mohawk, rushing in from the west. 
Through the valleys of these rivers, and across the neigh- 
boring lakes, the savage natives of the country trac.-ked 
those pathways of travel and commerce which civilized 
science only adopted and improved. f Along their banks 
soon grew up flourishing villages, contributing to the 
prosperity of the chief town, which, with unerring judg- 
ment, had been planted on the ocean-washed island of 
Manhattan. In addition to these superb geographical 
peculiarities, every variety of soil ; abundant mineral 
wealth ; nature, grand, beautiful, and picturesque, and 
teeming with vegetable and animal life ; and a climate as 
healthful as it is delicious, made New Netherland the most 

* The water-slicd of Ceutral New York was the seat of the Iroquois Confedera- 
tion, long before European diseovery. 

+ The Erie Canal and the Delaware and Hudson Canal follow the old Indian trails. 

Commemorative Oratiok 19 

attractive of all the European colonies in America. From 
the first it was always the chosen seat of empire. 

It was the wise decree of Providence that this magniti- 
cent region shouhl first be occupied by the Batavian race. 
There was expanded the germ of a mighty cosmopolitan 
State, destined to exert a moral influence as happy as the 
physical peculiarities of its temperate territory were 
alluring. Yet the growth and 2:)rosperity of the Dutch 
Province were fatal to its political life. The envy of its 
neighbors was aroused. Covetousness produced an irre- 
pressible desire of possession, which could be appeased 
only by its violent seizure by unscrupulous foes. 

If at this time Englishmen had any one national charac- 
teristic more strongly developed than another, it was 
jealousy of the Dutch. Strangely, too, this sentiment 
seemed to have grown with the growth of Puritanism. It 
was enough for the British islander that the continental 
Hollander spoke a language different from his own. It 
mattered not that Coster, of Haerlem, invented the art of 
arts ; or that Grotius, Erasmus, Hooft, and Vondel, among 
scholars, and Boerhaave and Huygens, among philoso- 
phers, and' Rembrandt, and Cuyp, and Wouverman, 
among painters, were illustrious sons of the liberal Eepub- 
lic. Even William the Silent and Barneveldt were of little 
account among insular Britons — " divided from all the rest 
of the world." "^ Coarse wit and flippant ridicule were 
continually employed in educating the Englishman to un- 
dervalue and dislike the Hollander. On the other hand, 
Holland, at the zenith of her power, was not jealous of 
England. The Dutch maxim was "Z/«e and let live.'''' 
Both nations were fairly matched in military and naval 

*" Toto divisos orbe Britannos,'''' Virg. Ec, I. 67. Drj'den, in his translation of 
Virgil, describes his early countrymen as— 

"A race of men from all the world disjoined.' 

20 Commemorative Oration. 

strength. During the period of the English Common- 
wealth, the only opportunity had occurred of testing 
against each other the skill of their admirals and the valor 
of their seamen. If Blake and Ayscue maintained the 
honor of their flag, De Ruy ter won equal glory, and Tromp 
placed a broom at his mast-head, in token that he had 
ewept the channel clear of English ships. Both nations 
were Protestant, and each had learned to respect the pro- 
verbial courage of the other. But the commerce of the 
Dutch Republic was now the vastest in the world. 

" The Sun but seemed the labourer of the year : 
Each waxhig Moon supplied her watery store, 

To swell those tides which from the line did bear 
Their brim -full vessels to the Belgian shore."* 

Such splendid prosperity of a rival, the selfishness of 
England could not brook ; and Dry den took care to stimu- 
late the envy of his countrymen when he wrote of the 
Hollanders : 

" As Cato fruits of Afric did display, 
Let us before our eyes their Indies lay : 
All loyal English wiU like him conclude — 
Let Cnesar live, and Carthage be subdued." t 

This sentiment of jealousy accompanied the English 
colonists to America, and even burned more fiercely in 
some parts of the wilderness. The motives to their emi- 
gration were various. The communities which they 
founded were dissimilar. Virginia was occupied by 
Royalists, who admired the hierarchy ; New England by 
Puritans, who abhorred prelacy ; Maryland by larger- 
minded Roman Catholics. But all these were Britons — 
naturally selfish, exclusive, and overbearing — who, with 
marked differences in creeds and fashions, were still the 
subjects of a common sovereignty, and, as such, felt a 

* Dryden's Annus Mirabilis, 1666. 
+ Satire on the Dutch, 1663. 

Commemorative Oration. 21 

common enmity against the colonists of that nation which 
was the snccessfnl rival of their own. 

This antipathy, however, was not equally strong in all 
the English colonies. It was slight in Virginia ; it waxed 
hotter in Maryland ; while it blazed into malignant envy 
in New England. Between Virginia and New Netherland, 
the relations had almost always been friendly, because 
neither had injured, while each had benefited the other. 
With Maryland, embarrassing questions had arisen re- 
spectiiig the occupation of the Delaware by the Dutch and 
the Swedes. But from the time of the first intercourse 
between Manhattan and New Plymouth, the Puritan 
emigrants pertinaciously insisted that the Dutch colonists 
of New Netherland were "intruders" into New England. 
With inconsistent reasoning, but characteristic assurance, 
they maintained their own title under the patent of 1620, 
while they denied that of the Hollanders, which was re- 
cognized in its proviso.* Gracjually they crowded on 
westward of the Connecticut River, nntil, in 1650, it was 
agreed between Stuyvesant and the New England authori- 
ties that the eastern boundary of New Netherland should 
be Oyster Bay on Long Island, and a line running northerly 
from Greenwich on the continent. Mainly through their 
representations, Cromwell directed an expedition to wrest 
from the Dutch Republic its American Territory. But, by 
the treaty of 1654, the Protector virtually conceded New 
Netherland to Holland. The States-General, in 1656, 
ratified the colonial boundary agreement of 1650 ; but the 
British Government avoided any action on the subject, 
and the Dutch Province continued, for a while longer, to 
be what New England writers have pertly called ' ' a thorn 
in the side."t 

*See ante, p. 13; Appendix, Note B. 

tN. Y. Col. Doc, I. 283-293, ;j(;4, 451, 458, 460, 464, 471, 475, 486, 487, 541, 548, 
556-575, 610-612 ; Brodbead, I. 510, 520, 544, 545, 586, 601, 602 ; Palfrey, II. 372. 

22 Commemorative rati ox. 

In the history of States, might generally overbears right. 
Of this fate New Netherland was a conspicnous example. 
While Maryland threatened on the South, Connecticut, 
which had constantly encroached westward along the 
Sound, procured, in 1662, from the heedless King of 
England, a patent which covered a large part of the Dutch 
Province, the inhabitants of which she did not scruple to 
describe as her ' ' noxious neighbours. ' ' Under this patent, 
Connecticut extended her jurisdiction as far as West-' 
Chester on the mainland, and over nearly the whole of 
Long Island. Attempts were even made, under the lead 
of Captain John Scott, to reduce the suburban Dutch vil- 
lages of Brooklyn, Midwout or Flatbush, Amersfoort, 
New Utrecht, and Bushwick. To these bold encroach- 
ments Stuyvesant could offer only a feeble resistance. 
Justice and weight of argument were on his side, but his 
adversaries had the decisive advantage of superior num- 
bers. The most that could be done was to put the Dutch 
capital in a condition of defence against any attack of a 
colonial enemy. The danger which menaced the Province 
induced the Director to resort to the people, as he and his 
predecessor had been obliged to call on them before. A 
Laintdtdag, or Assembly of deputies from the several towns, 
was accordingly convened at New Amsterdam, in the 
spring of 1664. It was there determined that, without aid 
from the home government, it would be impossible to 
regain the towns on Long Island which the English, who 
were six to one, had usurped from the Dutch. Kepeated 
appeals had been sent to the West India Company for 
re-enforcements, by which alone could the rest of New 
Netherland be preserved to Holland. Its population was 
now full ten thousand, and that of New Amsterdam about 
fifteen hundred. In spite of the clouds which lowered 
around the narrowing horizon of the Province, Stuyvesant 
hopefully looked forward to its becoming still more profi- 

Commemorative rati ok. 23 

table to tlie Fatlieiiand, and urged upon the company 
that its Tvaste lands, which could feed a hundred thousand 
inliabitants, should be peopled at once by the oppressed 
Protestants of France, Savoy, and Germany,* 

Yet the perilous condition of New Netherland was not 
rightly appreciated in Holland. It had been unwisely" 
intrusted to the government of a great commercial mo- 
nopoly, which thought more of its failing corporate in- 
terests than of those of the nation, or of its colonists in 
America, When, at length, the danger which threatened 
the Province could not be disregarded, the States- General 
took insufficient measures to confirm their power there. 
In January, 1664, they desked the British Government to 
order the restitution of all places which the King's sub- 
jects had usurped from the Hollanders in 'N.ew Netherland, 
and the cessation of further aggressions, f But Sir George 
Downing, the English ambassador at the Hague, who 
was one of the earliest, ablest, and most disreputable 
graduates from Harvard College in Massachusetts, could 
not forget the prejudices he had imbibed, and startled the 
Grand Pensionary De Witt by claiming that the inhabit- 
ants of the Dutch Province were " the incroachers " upon 
New England.:}: 

Downing' s words were full of ominous import. The 
Restoration of King Charles the Second was the prognostic 
of the fate of New Netherland. One of the first acts- of 
his reign was to appoint a Council for Foreign Planta- 
tions, with orders to render "those dominions useful to 
England, and England helpful to them." This was the 
ke}^ to the British colonial policy. A new Navigation 
Law was passed, more eflfectually to cripple Dutch com- 

*N. Y. Col. Doc, II. 234, 248, 368, 374, 389-409, 512; Valentine's Manual, 18C0, 
592; TrumbalFs Connecticut, I. iM9, 252, 265, 518; Brodhead, I. 317, 325, 474, 475, 
559, 695, 702, 703, 719, 722, 723, 726, 728, 729, 733, 734; Appendix, note G. 

+ Col. Doc, II. 227; Brodhead, I. 730. 

X Lister's Clarendon, III. 276; Col. Doc, II. 416-418, note. ' 

24 Commemorative Oration. 

merce by excluding all foreign vessels from trading witli 
any of tlie English colonies in Asia, Africa, or America. 
Soon afterwards, Lord Stirling complained that the Dutch 
had intruded into Long Island, which had been conveyed 
to his grandftither, and prayed that they might be subdued 
or expelled. While this subject was under the considera- 
tion of the Plantation Council, it was found that the Navi- 
gation Act was disregarded or evaded in the English- 
American colonies. The trade carried on between New 
Netherland and Virginia, Maryland, and New England, 
was reported to be a loss to the King of many thousand 
pounds a year. A more stringent Navigation Law was 
therefore enacted. Still the forbidden intercolonial traffic 
was continued. The statute could not be enforced as long 
as New Netherland remained a Dutch Province. It was 
necessary to the success of that most intensely selfish law 
that New Netherland should be under the government of 
England, and it was determined that it should be reduced 
to subjection. "^ 

The easiest way to sustain this characteristic logic was 
to insist that the Dutch Province was the true inheritance 
of the English King. Under this pretence, the means to 
obtain its possession could be mildly called a Resumj^tion 
rather than a Usurpation. The Dutch title to their Prov- 
ince, although, in the judgment of Louis the Fourteenth 
himself, it was "the best founded, "f was as little regarded 
by Charles the Second as the injunctions of the Decalogue. 
Notwithstanding the rule asserted by Queen Elizabeth, 
• and confirmed by Parliament ; the proviso in the Patent 
of James the First, and the continuous occupation of New 
Netherland by Hollanders, Lord Chancellor Clarendon, 
under the instigation of Downing, was not ashamed to 
pronounce that they had "no colour of right" to its pos- 

* Col. Doc, IIL 35, 40-50; Brodhead, I. 68^, 702, 725, 735. 
t D'Estrados's Lett'crs, Ac, III. 340. 

S \ 

Commemorative Oration. 25 

session.* Clcarendoii tlien purchased for liis son-in-law, 
James, Duke of York and Albany, Lord Stirling's claim 
to Pemaquid and Long Island, and advised the King to 
grant a new Patent to the Duke, including those regions, 
together with all the Dutch territory on the mainland, f 

Accordingly, on the Twelfth of March, 1664, Charles 
granted, under the Great Seal, to his brother James, a 
part of Maine, the whole of Long Island, Martha' s Vine- 
yard and Nantucket, and the Hudson River, with all the 
mainland from the west side of the Connecticut to the east 
side of Delaware Bay. The Grant included all those por- 
tions of the present States of Connecticut and Massachu- 
setts lying west of the Connecticut River, as well as the 
whole of Vermont and New Jersey. His Patent invested 
the Duke with "full and absolute power" to govern all 
English subjects, inhabiting this territory, according to 
English law, and authorized him or his agents to expel by 
force all persons who miglit dwell there without his special 
license. It was the most impudent, as it was the most 
despotic instrument ever recorded in the Colonial Arcliives 
of Great Britain.:}: 

This action of Charles the Second was not, however. 

* Lister's Clarendon, III. 347. 

t Col. Doc., III. 225, 606, 607, V. 330, VII. 431; Duer's Life of Stirling, 37,38. 

X See Patent at length in the State Library at Albany ; in Book of Patents in Secre- 
tary's Office, I. 109-115; in Learning and Spicer's Grants and Concessions, 3-8; and 
in N. Y. Colonial Documents, II. 295-298. See also Col. Doc, VII. 597, and VIII. 
107, 436, for description of the territory granted. If this Patent was good as far as 
it related to the territory in Maine, Long Island, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket, 
which the English already possessed, it was certainly invalid in regard to the Dutch 
Province, of which the grantor never had possession. Even Chalmers, in his Politi- 
cal Annals, p. 579, says, that "As the validity of the grant to the Duke of York, 
while the Dutch were in quiet possession of the country, had been very justly ques- 
tioned, he thought it prudent to obtain a new one, in June, 1674." See also Col- 
Doc., V. 596, VII. 596, 597. It is worthy of remark that by his first Patent, of 12 
March, 1664, the Duke was authorized to govern only English subjects inhabiting his 
territory; and that in his second Patent, of 29 June, 1674, the words, "oc any other 
2)erson or jxrsons,'''' were added ; see Col. Doc, II. 296, and Learning and Spiccr, 
5 and 42. After obtaining possession of New Nethcrland, therefore, the Duke 
could not govern its Dutch inhabitants unless as British subjects; but he could 
cxperthem if they remained there without his permission. 

26 Commemorative Oration. 

influenced by any sjnnpathy with the likes or the dislikes 
of his New England subjects. They had received the 
tidings of his Restoration with distrust, and had pro- 
claimed him King with peevish austerity. If he had 
been induced to grant a part of New Netherland to Con- 
necticut, he took pains to avoid his careless bounty by a 
more unscrupulous appropriation to his own brother. 
The age of Chartered Oligarchies had passed away. 
Royal or Proprietary Governments were thenceforth to 
enforce the British Colonial policy. New England was 
now in disfavor at Whitehall ; and the Duke of York 
was desired by the Privy Council to name Commissioners, 
whom the King determined to send thither, to see how 
the several Colonies observed their Charters, and to settle 
their differences about boundaries. James accordingly 
selected four persons, whom history has honored with an 
unequal notoriety. The flrst was Colonel Richard NicoUs ; 
a university scholar, a brave soldier, and a prudent officer, 
who had been the Duke's companion in exile, and was 
one of the Grooms of his bedchamber. The other three 
were Sir Robert Carr and Colonel George Cartwright, of 
the Royal Army, and Samuel Maverick, a former resident 
in Massachusetts. These Commissioners were furnished 
with full instructions to guide their conduct in America. 
One of these instructions was, to obtain the active assist- 
ance of the New England Colonies in reducing the Dutch 
in New Netherland to subjection.* 

The Duke of York also commissioned NicoUs, on the 
second of April, to be his Deputy-Governor in the terri- 
tory which the King had given him, and execute all the 
powers which his Patent authorized, f To gain posses- 
sion, by force if necessary, was the next step. As Lord 

* Col. Doc, III. 51-65; Mass. H. S. Coll., XXXII. 284; Notes and Queries (II.), 
III. 214-216. 

+ A copy of the Duke of York's commission to Nicolls is in the Appendix, 
Note D. 

Commemorative Oration: 27 

High Admiral of England, James assigned for tlie reduc- 
tion of jN"ew Netlierland tlie frigate Guinea, of tliirty-six 
guns. Captain Hugh Hyde ;• the . Elias, of thirt}^, Captain 
William Hill ; the Martin, of sixteen, Captain Edward 
Grove ; and a chartered transj)ort, the William and Nicho- 
las, of ten. Captain Thomas Morley. Early in May the 
Royal Commissioners embarked in these vessels, with 
about four hundred and fifty veteran soldiers, forming 
three full companies, commanded by Colonels Mcolls, 
Carr, and Cartwright, under whom were several other 
commissioned officers in the British Army. Among these 
were Captains Mathias NicoUs, Robert Needham, Harry 
Norwood, and Daniel Brodhead, some of whom, intending 
to settle themselves permanently in New Netherland, after 
its acquisition, were accompanied by their families. The 
expedition, which was well provided with all necessaries 
for war, set sail from Portsmouth in the middle of May, 
with orders to make its first anchorage in Gardiner' s Bay 
at the eastern end of Long Island. * 

These portentous movements did not escape the atten- 
tion of the Dutch Government at the Hague. As early as 
February, 1664, Stuyvesant had distinctly warned the 
West India Company of the King' s intended grant to the 
Duke of York, and that not only Long Island, but the 
whole Province, would be lost to Holland unless speedy 
re-enforcements should be sent. The Company, liowever, 
now on the verge of bankruptcy, replied with marvellous 
infatuation, in the following April, that the Royal Com- 
missioners were only going to install Bishops in New 
England, the inhabitants of which, who had gone there to 
escape Prelacy, would rather live under Dutch authority, 
with freedom of conscience, than risk that in order to fall 

* Patents, III. 43; Col. Doc, II. 243, 445, 501, III. 70, 104, 117, 149; Smitli's 
New York, I. 16; Clarke's James the Second, I. 400; Hazard's Annals of Penn., IV. 
31; Coll. Ulster Hist. Soc., I. 51; Brodhead, I. 736, 737. 

28 Commemorative Oration. 

under a goyernment from wliich. tliey had formerly fled. 
This absurd letter had scarcely been dispatched before the 
real object of ISTicolls's expedition was better understood. 
Downing bluntly told De Witt that New Netherland 
existed " only in the maps.'"'^ Prompt orders to De Ruy- 
ter, who was then on his way to the Mediterranean, might 
have hurried his fleet to Manhattan in time to aid Stuyve- 
sant in repulsing the treacherous force of England. But a 
purblind confidence in the honor of Charles the Second, 
and an unjust estimate of the importance to the Fatherland 
of its American Province, clouded' the Grand Pensionary's 
judgment. The necessary orders were not sent to De 
Ruyter, and New Netherland was abandoned to her fate. 

A tedious voyage of ten weeks brought the squadron of 
NicoUs to Boston. The Royal Commissioners immedi- 
ately demanded the assistance of the New England colo- 
nies ; which Massachusetts promised, with frugal reluc- 
tance, while Connecticut showed more selfish zeal, be- 
cause she hoped to secure Long Island to herself. Piloted 
by Boston mariners, the English ships then sailed for the 
mouth of the Hudson ; and, on the sixteenth of August 
(Old Style), the leading frigate Guinea, with Nicolls and his 
colleagues on board, anchored just inside of Coney Island, 
at Nyack, or New Utrecht Bay, where she was joined, 
two days afterwards, by the other vessels. Here the 
King' s Commissioners were met by John Winthrop, Sam- 
uel Willys, and other Connecticut magistrates. Thomas 
Willett, also, appeared on the part of New Plymouth. 
John Scott was likewise at hand, with a force ' ' pressed' ' at 
New Haven. The train-bands of Southold, and the other 
Englisli towns at the eastern end of Long Island, under 
John Younge, soon increased the threatening array. 
Northern Indians and French rovers were held as re- 

* Col. Doc, II. ;334, 235, 23G, 307, 408, 493; Lister's Clarcudoii, III. 307, 320. 

Commemorative Oration. 29 

serves. Tliomas Clarke and John Pj-nclion liastened from 
Massachusetts to the Royal Commissioners ; but as there 
was . already gathered an overpowering strength, the ser- 
vices of the auxiliaries promised by that Colony were not 

The harbor of New Amsterdam was at once blockaded, 
and the Long Island farmers were forbidden to furnish 
supplies to the City. A Proclamation was issued by the 
Royal Commissioners, on the twentieth of August, pro- 
mising that all persons, of any nation, who would submit 
to the King's Government, should peaceably enjoy their 
estates, "and all other privileges, with His Majesty's 
English subjects." The inhabitants of Long Island were 
specially summoned to meet the Commissioners at Gi'aves- 
end, a few days afterwards. Large numbers accordingly 
attended, when Nicolls published the Duke of York's 
Patent and his own Commission, and demanded their sub- 
mission to his authority. Winthrop, as Governor of Con- 
necticut, declared that, as the King's pleasure was now 
made known, the claim of that Colony to the Island ceased. 
McoUs, on his part, promised to confirm all the then offi- 
cers in their places, and call an Assembly, where laws 
should be enacted. This assurance quelled opposition. 
Long Island, inhabited chiefly by English subjects, sub- 
mitted at once to the Government of the Duke of York ; 
and the militia from its eastern towns, under Younge, 
joining with the New England auxiliaries, marched from 
Amersfoort and Flatbush towards Brooklyn, to assist the 
Royal expedition in reducing New Amsterdam. f 

Lulled into a false security by the unhappy letter of the 

*Mass. Kec, IV. (II.) 117-138, 141, 149, 157^168; N. T. General Entries, I. 2-7, 
29; Col. Doc, II. 372, 410, 414, 433, 501, III. 05, 66, 84; New Haven Rec., II. 550; 
Thompson's Long Island, I. 127; Trumbull's Conn., I. 267; Morton's Memorial, 
311, note ; Appendix, Note II. 

+ Col. Doc., II. 410, 414, 434, 438, 443, 501; Oyster Bay Kec., A. 19; N. Y. Gen. 
Ent., I. 7, 8; Thompson, I. 124, II. 323, 328. 

30 Commemorative Oration. 

West India Company and certain contradictory statements 
of Willett, Stuyvesant had meamvliile suspended the 
measures which he had begun to take for the defence of 
the CajDital, and had gone up to Fort Orange, to repress 
some liostilities that had broken out among the savages in 
its neighborhood. On learning the approach of the Eng- 
lish forces, the Director hurried back to New Amsterdam, 
which he reached on the fifteenth of August — or the 
twenty-fifth, according to the New Style — only one day be- 
fore the Guinea Frigate anchored at Nyack, in the lower 
Bay. In concert with the Municipal authorities, every 
possible measure was taken for the defence of the Metro- 
polis. All the inhabitants, without exception, were or- 
dered to labor in strengthening the "old and rotten pali- 
sades," which could liardly be called fortifications; a 
constant guard was established ; the brewers were forbid- 
den to malt any grain ; and heavy guns, furnished by the 
Director, were mounted on the indefensible works. But 
the condition of the City was hopeless. The Harbor was 
soon effectually blockaded by the British squadron. No 
aid could be obtained from Long Island. The regular 
garrison in Fort Amsterdam did not exceed one hundred 
and fifty men, and its supply of powder was very short. 
Its low earthen walls, originally built to resist an attack 
of the savages, might have been sufficient against any 
Colonial force, but could not be held against the ships and 
the veterans of Nicolls. The Director had, long before, 
expressed his military opinion, that ' ' whoever by water is 
master of the river, will be, in a short time, master by 
land of the feeble fortress." The anticipated contin- 
gency had now actually hai:)pened, and hostile English 
ships were in full command of the port. The burghers, 
of whom only two hundred and fifty were able to bear 
arms, thought more of protecting their own property, and 
of obtaining favorable terms of capitulation, than of de- 

Commemorative Oratiok 31 

fending tlieir open town against tlie overwlielming supe- 
riority of the invaders. The whole City force, placed 
man by man, fonr rods apart, coiild not guard its hastily- 
built "little breastwork."* 

Nevertheless, Stuj^vesant determined to hold out to the 
last. To the peremptory summons of Nicolls, he opposed 
as able a vindication of the Dutch title to ]S"ew Netherland 
as the most experienced publicist could have drawn. 
This was conveyed to Gravesend on Tuesday, the twenty- 
third of August — or the second of September, according 
to the New Style — by four of the most trusted advisers of 
the Provincial and the City Governments, who were in- 
structed to "argue the matter" with the English Com- 
mander. But reasoning was useless in the absence of 
De Ruyter. Avoiding discussion, Nicolls answered that 
the question of right did not concern him, but must be 
decided by the King of England and the States-General, 
He was determined to take the place ; and if the reason- 
able terms he had offered were not accepted, he would 
attack the City, for which purpose, at the end of forty- 
eight hours, he would bring his forces up nearer. ' ' On 
Thursday, the fourth," he added, " I will speak with you 
at the Manhattans." The Dutch deputies replied: 
"Friends will be welcome if they come in a friendly 
manner." "I shall come with my ships and soldiers," 
said Nicolls, ' ' and he wiU be a bold messenger, indeed, 
who shall then dare to come on board and solicit terms." 
To the demand of Stuy vesant' s delegates : ' ' What then is 
to be done ?" he answered, "Hoist the white Hag of peace 
at the Fort, and then I may take something into consider- 
ation !"t 

*Col. Doc, II. 348, 373, 410, 433, 434, 438, 439, 440, 441, 443, 446, 475, 494, 505; 
Val. Man., 1860, .592, 1861, 603-605; New Amsterdam Records, V. .552-5.54, 507-570; 
Albany Kecords, XVIII. 319; Letter of Domine Samuel Drisius, of 15 Sei^tember, 
1664 ; Appendix, Notes G. and H. 

tCol. Doe., II. 411-414; Smith, I. L'v-2G; Hazard's Reg. Pemi., IV. 31, 41, 43; 

32 Commemorative Or at i ok 

NicoUs, indeed, had no wish to proceed to extremities. 
His summons was imperious, but his policy was to obtain 
a bloodless possession of the Dutch Province. He there- 
fore authorized Winthrop to assure Stuy vesant that, if it 
should be surrendered to the King, there should be free 
intercourse with Holland in Dutch vessels, or a virtual 
suspension of the English navigation laws. This was 
communicated to Stuy vesant at JN'ew Amsterdam, on the 
same day that his messengers saw Mcolls at Gravesend. 
But all the persuasions of the Connecticut Governor could 
not move the patriotic Director. In vain did he tear in 
pieces Winthrop' s friendly letter. The people, who soon 
learned the liberal offers of the English, became mutinous ; 
work on the fortifications ceased ; complaints against the 
West India Company were freely uttered ; and it was 
pronounced impossible to defend the City, "seeing that 
to resist so many was nothing else than to gape before an 

Perceiving that Stuyvesant was disposed to hold out, 
NicoUs ordered the squadron to move up from their an- 
chorage near Gravesend, and reduce the Dutch "under 
His Majesty's obedience." Again messengers came down 
from IN'ew Amsterdam, proposing a cessation of hostilities, 
and the appointment of Commissioners to treat about "a 
good accommodation." The English commander replied 
that he would willingly appoint Commissioners "to treat 
upon Articles of Surrender." At the solicitation of the 
Dutch delegates, orders were given that the ships should 
not precipitately fire on the city. But NicoUs declined 

Val. Man., 1860, 592; Albany Records, XVIII. 319, 320, XXII. 317; Appendix, 
Note G. 

*Gen. Eut., I. 12; Mass. H. S. Coll., XXXVI. 527-529; Col. Doc, II. 444, 44.5, 
476. The original draft of Winthrop' s letter to Stuyvesant, of 22 August (1 Sep- 
tember), 1664, with the autograph approval of the Royal Commissioners, NicoUs, 
Carr, and Cartwright, is in the possession of Mr. Benjamin Robert Winthrop, one 
of the Vice-Presidents of the New Yorli Historical Society, who is a lineal descend- 
ant of both the Dutch and Connecticut Governors. 

Commemorative Oration. 33 

their request that the troops' should not be brought up 
nearer. ''To-day I shall arrive at the Feriy," he added. 
— "to-morrow we can agree with one another,"* 

On Thursday, the twenty-fifth of August (or the fourth 
of September), the British infantry, consisting of three 
companies of regular soldiers, eager for loot, were ac- 
cordingly landed at Gravesend, whence Nicolls marched 
at their head to "the Ferry," at Brooklyn, where the 
New England and Long Island militia were already 
posted. Two of the frigates then sailed up the Ba}^, and 
anchored near "Nutten," or Governor's Island. The 
other two — coming on with full sail, and all their guns, of 
one battery, ready to pour their broadsides on the ' ' open 
place," if any hostilities should be begun against them — 
passed in front of Fort Amsterdam, and anchored above 
the Cit3^ Watching their approach from a parapet of 
the Fort, Stuyvesant was about to order his gunner to 
fire on the enemy, when the two Domines Megapolensis, 
leading him away between them, persuaded him not to 
begin hostilities. Leaving fifty men in the Fortress, under 
the command of the Fiscal De Sille, the Director, at the 
head of one hundred of the garrison, marched out into 
the City, in order to prevent the English from attempting 
to land "here and there. "f 

By this time the Dutch garrison in Fort Amsterdam had 
become "demoralized." They openly talked of "where 
l)Ooty is to be got, and where the young women live who 
wear chains of gold." Reports also came from Long 
Island, that the New England levies declared that ' ' their 
business was not only with New Netherland, but with the 
booty and plunder." Their threats caused the burghers 

*Gen. Ent., I. 13, 14, 15, 21, 22, 27, 28; Alb. Rec, XVIII. 321; Col. Doc, II. 
414; Hazard's Reg. Penn., IV. 31, 42, 43; Smith, I. 27; S. Smith's New Jersey, 40, 
41,42; Brodhead, I. 740. 

+ Col. Doc., II. 414, 422,444, 445, 501, 502, 503, 508, 509; Val. Man., 1860, 592; 
Letter of Drisius; Appendix, Notes G, and H. 


34 . Commemorative Oration. 

of l^Tew Amsterdam to look upon them as " deadly ene- 
mies, who expected nothing else than pillage, plunder, 
and bloodshed." Moreover, it was understood that six 
hundred Northern Indians, and one hundred and fifty 
French privateersmen, with English commissions, had 
ottered their services against the Dutch. Seeing that it 
was impossible to defend the place, the whole population 
of which was only fifteen hundred, against a powerful 
squadron and more than a thousand well-armed foes, 
the municipal authorities, the clergy, the ofiicers of the 
burgher-guard, and most of the leading citizens, joined in 
•A Remonstrance, drafted by the elder Domine Megapo- 
lensis, urging the Director and Council to accept the terms 
offered by the English commander. His threats, it stated, 
" would not have been at all regarded, could your Honors, 
or we your Petitioners, expect the smallest aid or succour. 
But, God help us ! whether we turn for assistance to the 
north or to the south, to the east or to the west, it is all vain ! 
On all sides we are encompassed and hemmed in by our 
enemies." Women and children came in tears, beseech- 
ing Stuyvesant to parley. To all their supplications he 
replied : "I had much rather be carried out dead !"* 

At length, almost solitary in his heroism, the Dutch 
Director was obliged to yield. Further opi)Ositlon on 
his part would have been unavailing, and might have 
deprived the people of the advantages to be gained by a 
capitulation. It was some solace* that the English Com- 
mander, now encamped at the Brooklyn Ferry, ''before 
the Manhatans," voluntarily oftered to restore the Fort and 
ttie City, in case the diff'erences about boundaries in Amer- 
ica should be arranged between the King and the States- 
General. Moreover, Stuyvesant' s religion consoled him 
witli the text in Saint Luke, that with ten thousand men 

* Alb. Rec, XVIII. 3130, 331 ; Col. Doc, II. 248, 249, SO'J, 433, 476. 503, 508; V;il. 
Mau., 1860, 592} Letter of Drisius; Appendix, notes G. and H. 


he could not meet him tluit came against him with twenty 
thousand.* And if, in that bitter hour, the bi'ave old 
chief could call to mind the classical learning wliich he 
had acquired in his Fatherland, he might well have ap- 
plied to himself the sad words whigh the shade of Hector 
addressed to J3neas : 

" Could any mortal hand preyent our fate, 
This hand, and this alone, had saved the State. "f 

Six Commissioners were accordingly appointed on each 
side, on Friday, the twenty-sixth of August, or fifth of 
September, to settle the terms of surrender. Those on the 
part of the Dutch were John de Decker, Nicholas Varlett, 
and Samuel Megapolensis, representing the Director and 
(council, and Cornells Steenwyck, Oloft' Stevensen van 
(yortlandt, and Jacques Cousseau, representing the City 
authorities. Besides his two colleagues. Sir Robert Carr 
and Colonel George Cartwright, NicoUs chose John Win- 
throp and Samuel Willys, of Connecticut, and Thomas 
Clarke and John Pynchon, of Massachusetts, in order to 
engage those two colonies more firmly with the Royal 
expedition, ' ' if the Dutch had been over-confident of tlieij- 
strength." The commissioners on both sides met at Stuy- 
vesant's "Bouwery," or farm, on Saturday, the twenty- 
seventh of August, or sixth of September, and arranged 
the Articles of Capitulation. All the inhabitants of New 
Netherland w^ere to continue free denizens, and were 
guaranteed their property ; while the Dutch were to 
enjoy ''their own customs concerning their inheritances," 
and "the liberty of their consciences in divine worship 
and church discipline." Free trade with Holland was 
stipulated. The existing magistrates were to remain in 
office until their terais expired. The Articles of Capitula- 

* Gen. Ent., I. 30, 31; Col. Doc, II. 440; Saint Luke's Gospel, xiv. 31; Appen- 
dix, note E. 
+ Pitt's translation of Virgil, iEncid, II. 

36 Commemorative Oration. 

tion were to be ratified on both sides, and exchanged on 
the next Monday morning, at the "Old Mill,"* on the 
East River, near what is now the foot of Roosevelt street, 
when the City and the Fort were to be surrendered, and 
the Dutch garrison were to march out, with arms shoul- 
dered, drums beating, colors flying, and matches lighted, f 
These conciliatory and very advantageous terms were 
explained to the citizens at the Town Hall, on the follow- 
ing Sunday, at the close of the second service in the 
afternoon — the last which was expected to be celebrated 
under the Dutch flag — in Kieft's old church in Fort Am- 
sterdam. It was also quietl}^ agreed between Stuyvesant 
and Nicolls that the New England and Long Island auxil- 
iaries should be kept at the Ferry, on the Brooklyn 
side of the East River; because the burghers "were 
more apprehensive of being plundered by them than by 
the others.":}: 

On Monday morning, the twenty-ninth of August, or 
eighth of September, Stuyvesant, having ratifled the 
Capitulation, placed himself at the head of his garrison, 
and marched out of Fort Amsterdam with all the honors 
of war. The Dutch soldiers, who saw no enemy, moved 
sullenly down Beaver street to the water-side, whence 
they were quickly embarked on the ship Gideon for Hol- 
land. Colonel Cartwright, with his company, now occu- 
pied the City gates and the Town Hall. Accompanied by 
the Burgomasters, who "gave him a welcome reception," 
Nicolls, at the head of his own and Sir Robert Carr's cora- 

* This " old mill" is distinctly marked on the map which forms one of the illuB- 
trations to Valentine's Manual for 1863. It was on the shore of the East Eiver, at 
the mouth of a brook running out of the " Kolek," or what is now vulgarly called 
"the Collect," and it was the nearest point to "the Ferry," at Brooklyn. See 
Valentine's Manuals, 18.59, 551, and 1863, 621; Brodhead, I. 167, note. 

+ Alb. Ree., XVIII. 325; Gen. Ent., I. 2»-20, 30-33; Col. Doc, II. 250-253, 414, 
III. 103; Brodhead, I. 742, 762, 763; Hazard's Reg. Pcun., IV. 43, 44; Appendix," 
note E. 

; Alb. Kec., XVIII. 323, 324: Col. Doc, II. 44.% 446. 

Commemorative Oration. 37 

paiiies, marched into the Fort. The English flag was run 
up ; the name of the Fort was changed from Amsterdam 
to "James," and the City was ordered to be called "New 
York." A few weeks afterwards Fort Orange was sur- 
rendered, and became "Albany," in commemoration of 
the Scotch title of the Proprietor. The conquered Prov- 
ince was named "New York." On Sunday, the second 
or twelfth of October, sixteen hundred and sixty-four, the 
Dutch Fort at Newcastle on the Delaware was taken by 
the English, and the entire reduction of New Netherland 
was accomplished.* 

Brothers of the New York Historical Society : 
Thus ended, two hundred years ago, the dominion of 
Holland over the fairest portion of our continent. Nine 
years afterwards, that dominion was triumphantly recon- 
quered by the Dutch. But they held it only for a short 
period ; and its temporary repossession by them had no 
important influence on Colonial affairs. The three-colored 
ensign, t which for half a century had rightfully waved 
over New Netherland, was replaced by the "meteor 
flag;" and, from Virginia to New France, all European 
colonists were obliged to acknowledge Charles the Second 
as their King. His usurjoation of New York decided the 
fortunes of North America. It prepared the way for our 
national independence, and our federal Union. TJie liis- 
tor}^ of our own State centres upon it, as the most im- 
portant epoch in her colonial existence. Let us now 

* Alb. Rec, XVIII. 326; Col. Doc, II. 272, 415, 445, 502, 509, III. G7-73, 346; 
Thompson, II. 105; Brodhead, I. 742-745; Val. Man., 1860, 593; Appendix, Notes 
P. and G. 

t The Dutch national ensign was adopted about the year 1582, just after their 
Declaration of Independence, at the suggestion of William the Silent, Prince of 
Orange. It was composed of the Prince's colors — orange, white, and blue- 
arranged in three equal horizontal stripes. After the death of William the Second 
of Orange, in 1650, the predominating influence of the Louvestein, or De Witt party 
caused a red stripe to be substituted for the ancient orange; and the Dutch flag at 
this day remains as it was thus modified two centuries ago: Brodhead, I. 19, 7iote. 

38 Commemorative Oration. 

contemplate some of the peculiar features and direct 
consequences of this momentous event. 

The conquest of New Netherland by the British sover- 
eign was an act of almost unparalleled national baseness. 
It was planned in secret, and was carried out in deliberate 
treachery towards a friendly government. Because Eng- 
land coveted New Netherland, and not because she had 
any just claim, she seized it as a prize. It was essential 
to the success of her colonial policy to secure that prize. 
The whole transaction was eminently characteristic of a 
selfish, insolent, and overbearing nation. On no other 
principle than that which frequently afterwards stimu- 
lated the predatory aggressions of Great Britain in India 
and elsewhere, can her conquest of the Dutch- American 
Province be defended. In the utterance of this judgment, 
I trust that a descendant of one of the English conquerors 
of New York has not been moved by any uncandid senti- 
ments towards the birth-land of his ancestor. 

Yet, outrageous as was the deed, the temptation to com- 
mit it was irresistible. Its actual execution was only a 
question of time. Unjustifiable as it was, the usurpation 
of the English could not have been prevented, unless the 
Dutch Government were prepared to reverse their pre- 
vious policy, and hold New Netherland at every hazard, 
against the might of all enemies. The Province of Hol- 
land and the West India Company, alone, could not 
successfully oppose England. The General Government 
of the United Netherlands would not take the indispen- 
sable action, because they never rightly estimated the 
importance of their American colony, and felt no sufficient 
interest in its preservation. It was hot until the last 
years of their rule, that they gave serious attention to the 
necessity of measures for its security. Even then, they 
procrastinated when they should have acted. This ap- 
parent indifference encouraged the monopolizing purposes 

Commemorative Oration. 39 

of British colonial statesmanship ; and the Dutch trans- 
atlantic Province became an easy prey to undeclared foes, 
who skulked, like pirates in time of peace, into her chief 
harbor. War followed between the Netherlands and 
England ; but the captured prize was never restored. 
And so. New York replaced New Netherland on the 
map of the world. 

But, even if its importance had been adequately esti- 
mated in Holland, our State could not have remained 
much longer a Dutch Province. Its existence as such 
would soon have proved inconvenient to all parties. It 
was not insular, nor easy of defence. Its territory adjoined 
the colonial possessions of France, as well as of England ; 
and its inland frontier was not defined by natural bounda- 
ries. Sufficient measures for its protection against either 
of these powers would have required larger expenditures, 
on the part of the West India Company, than commercial 
thrift might have considered expedient. The States- 
General were less interested in its preservation than was 
the impoverished Corporation, which thought more of 
revenue than of patriotism. Moreover, the Federal Gov- 
ernment would soon have found that another European 
sovereign, besides Charles the Second, viewed with 
jealousy the existence of a Dutch Province in North 
America. If England had not seized New Netherland 
when she did, France would almost certainly have taken 
and held it, not long afterwards, in the Second Dutch war 
of 1672 ; and would thus have accomplished her long- 
cherished design of extending Canada, from Lake Cham- 
plain southward, through the Valley of the Hudson, to 
the ocean at Manhattan. And had Louis the Fourteenth 
succeeded in obtaining its possession, the subserviency of 
Charles and of James would doubtless have so confirmed 
the French power on this continent, that neither the con- 
quest of Canada by Great Britain, nor the American 

40 Commemorative Oration. 

Revolution, could have happened. Both these events 
depended on the fate of New Netherland. Even if the 
Province, after its reconquest in 1673, instead of being 
finally ceded to England by the Treaty of Westminster, in 
1674, had remained subject to Holland for fifteen years 
longer, until Englishmen called the Dutch Stadtholder to 
their throne, the crisis would then have come ; and our 
forefathers, following the fortunes of their chief, would 
have spontaneously proclaimed William the Third as their 
King, with acclamations as triumphant as when they first 
welcomed his short-lived colonial authority with shouts 
of " Oranje Boven !"* 

The terms of capitulation which Nicolls ofi'ered, and 
Stuyvesant accepted, were, perhaps, the most favorable 
ever granted by a conqueror. In theory, the King ' ' re- 
sumed his own." In fact, he gained a foreign Province 
by a conquest, the effect of which was limited only by the 
Articles of Surrender. The clear policy of the Duke of 
York, as Proprietor, was to obtain peaceful possession of 
New Netherland, and, at the same time, induce its Dutch 
inhabitants to remain and become loyal British subjects. 
His defective Patent, indeed, authorized him to govern 
such subjects only. The Articles of Capitulation accord- 
ingly provided that the peoj)le of the Dutch Province 
were to continue free denizens of England. The most 

* The popular cry, " Oranje Boven,^'' appears to have originated at Dordrecht, in 
HoUand, in 1672. The partisans of the Prince, and soon chosen Stadtliolder, 
William the Third, who were the opponents of the Brotliers De Witt, hoisted on 
the tower of that city an orange flag above a white flag. On the orange flag was 
the inscription, in Dutch, 

" Or«?y'e boveii, de Witten onder ; 
Die V anders meend, die slaat den Donder.'' 
Or, in English : 

"Orange above, the Whites under; 

Who thinks not so, be struck by thunder.'" 

The Dutch word wit means " white ;" hence de Witten, or "the De Witts," signittea 
^ "the Whites." Basnage, Ann. Prov. Un., II. 284; Wagenaar, Vad. Hist, XIV. 
165; Davj<-«'s Holland, III. 108. 

S ^ 

Commemorative Oration. 41 

liberal offers, to conciliate them, were made with ostenta- 
tions benevolence. It is not snrprising that the Dutch 
colonists, chagrined at the seeming indifference of the 
authorities of their Fatherland, and having many causes 
of complaint against their own Provincial Government, 
should have generally accepted this change of their rulers 
at least calmly and hopefully, if not with positive satis- 

There was, at all events, one point on which there was 
almost universal acquiescence. As a choice of evils, the 
Dutch inhabitants of New Netherland were far more con- 
tent with becoming subject directly to the King of Eng- 
land and the Duke of York, than they would have been 
with the mastery of those Eastern neighbors, who had 
so long, but so vainly, coveted the possession of their 
Province. This feeling we have observed strongly ex- 
hibited in the very agony of the surrender. It was a 
natural feeling. The early colonists of our State had but 
little lildng for most of the emigrants to New England, or 
their characteristics. If they sympathized with any of 
them, it was chiefly with the people of tolerant Rhode 
Island. The genial English cavalier was much nearer the 
Hollander's heart than was the ascetic English Puritan, 
who would not be comforted in his exile by the calm 
pleasures of a Leyden Sunday. Across the Atlantic, local 
circumstances produced deeper repugnance. New York 
and Massachusetts — rivals and antagonists nearly from the 
start — were colonizcxl by men not only of different races, 

•■•• In October, 10(54, a few weeks after the surrender. Governor Nicolls required all 
the Dutch inhabitants to take an oath of allegiance to the Kina;, and of oViedience 
to the Duke of York and his officers, as long as they should live in any of his 
Majesty's territories. Tlie leading burghers of New York, however — fearing that 
the proposed oath might "nullify or render void" the Articles of Capitulation — 
declined to swear it, until tlie Governor formally declared " that the x\rtiele8 of Sur- 
render are not in the least broken, or intended to be broken, by any words or ex- 
pressions in the said oath." This removed every doubt, and allegiance was cordially 
sworn.— Gen. Ent., I. 49, 50; New Amst. Rec., V.014-i;iS; Val. Man. 18«l,00r,-G0T ; 
Gol. Doc., III. 74-77. 

42 Commemorative Oration. 

but of essentially opposite ideas. The cardinal principle 
of the one was comprehensive liberality ; the systematic 
policy of the other was Procrustean rigor. There never 
was a greater contrast in the civilized peoples of the earth. 
Thus it happened that there was almost constant enmit}^ 
between the Dutch Province and her Puritan neighbors. 
This early antipathy was, doubtless, largely increased by 
those territorial encroachments which were so offensively 
pushed on from the East. Yet the contrariety survived 
long after the question of boundaries was' settled. It 
continued to manifest itself most conspicuously, in what 
frequently appeared to be a meddlesome and callous 
obtrusiveness on the one side, which was met, on tlie 
other, by the decorous reserve which the rules of good 
society promoted In the end, it was well that such char- 
acteristic differences existed. * With more intimate associa- 
tion, each rival race learned to respect and to value the 
excellencies which distinguished the other. JSTarrow pro- 
vincialism grew more magnanimous with larger observa- 
tion ; and while but few were found willing to abandon 
the valleys of the Hudson and the Mohawk, crowds 
pressed from N^ew England, in later years, to irresistibly 
attractive homes in New York — none the less gladly be- 
cause of the unjealous greeting which welcomed their 
approach. The acute ingenuity, anxious energy, and 
austere virtues, which were thus contributed by its immi- 
grants from the East, blended admirably with the steady 
industry, quiet conservatism, and grand comprehensive- 
ness, which always marked the pioneers of our own 
State ; and the combination has yielded results of magnifi. 
cent prosperity, which God grant may be perpetual ! 

It was for the true interest of America that New York 
was founded by the Batavian race. That founding pro- 
duced our own magnanimous and cosmopolitan State, the 
influence of which on our nation has always been so happy 

Commemorative Oration. 43 

and so healthful. Providence never meant our variegated 
country to be the antitype of a single European sover- 
eignty. There probably never was a population more 
homogeneous than that of New England in its early days. 
Of the twenty thousand persons who, at the end of twenty 
years after the first settlement at New Plymouth, formed 
its several colonies, nearly all were English emigrants, 
and most of them were Puritans. For more than a 
century their descendants lived and multiplied, a distinct 
people, secluded from other communities in a very re- 
markable degree. This seclusion generated or stimulated 
vehemently dogmatic individualism. It helped, very 
powerfully, to produce what is sometimes called the "in- 
tense subjectivity" of the New England mind. There- 
suit was legitimate. The British Puritan loved true liberty 
less than he loved dominion. He wished alwa5^s to do 
what pleased himself ; but he longed, still more, to com- 
pel all others to do as he pleased.. He was uneasy unless 
he could domineer. Tliis tyrannical and unscrupulous, 
but thoroughly English spirit was not softened by its 
transplantation in America. . It seems, on the contrary, to 
have grown more rank, and to have developed peculiar 
social characteristics, in the secluded New England colo- 
nies. Of these characteristics, none was more remarkable 
than the system of "mutual insiDection," which, pushed 
to its extreme limits, would subject all to a discipline as 
galling as it is unwholesome and dwarfing. " The Inqui- 
sition," writes one of Massachusetts' most honored sons, 
" existed in substance, with a full share of its terrors and 
its violence. " * It is obvious that liberality, magnanimity, 
and comprehensiveness, could not flourish among a people 
so isolated, and so incessantly occupied in brooding over, 
and working out within itself, its own problems. Yet, I 
would be the last to withhold an expression of sincere 

* story's Mifcccllauies, G6 ; Coit's Puritanism, 218; Brodhcad, I, 208,331. 

44 Commemorative Oration. 

respect, justly due to the many sterling qualities which 
illustrate that renowned stock, the descendants of which 
have exerted so wide and so marked an influence through- 
out our whole country. 

When he emigrated, however, the New Englander did 
not readily lay aside his native iDeculiarities. He yearned 
to propagate unmodified his ingrained provincialism. But 
this he could not do in the cosmopolitan atmosphere of 
New York. That he could not, was happy for our 
country. It was not her cramped destiny to perpetuate 
or reproduce the ideas or the policy of only one of the 
nationalities of the Old World, or of but one of its planta- 
tions in the New. The arrogant claim — so flattering to 
British pride, so sycophantic in Americans who would 
flatter England — that the United States of America are of 
wholl}^ Anglo-Saxon origin, is as fallacious as it is vulgar. 
' ' Time' s noblest oft'spring ' ' was not the child of England 
alone. There was a Fatherland, as fruitful as the Mother- 
land. There were many parents of our multigenerous 
jjeople. The great modern Republic sprang from a union 
of races as various and contrasted as the climates from 
which, and to which, they emigrated. Sweden, Holland, 
Germany, Savoy, Spain, France, Scotland, and Ireland, 
all co-operated, no less mightily than England, in peopling 
our territor}^, moulding our institutions, and creating our 
vast and diversified country, " one and indivisible." To 
its heterogeneousness, and not to its supposed homogene;. 
ousness — to its collisions and its comminglings of races — 
to its compromises and its concessions — does that country 
owe its grandest moral, social, and political character- 

Among these various races, the Batavian found(M'S of 
New York marked their impress deep upon their State 
and upon tlie confederated nation. Tlie motives to their 
emigration were different from tliose which led to the 

Commemorative Oratwi^. 45 

colonization of otlier American territories. They had 
suffered no persecution in their tolerant Fatherland. They 
left its shores not as refugees, but as volunteers— not to 
seek "Freedom to worship God" for themselves, and 
deny it to others — not to establish inquisitorial dogmatism, 
but to livf>, and let others live, in comfort. "Not as 
the conqueror comes," came the unaggressive forefathers 
of our State. The plain-spoken and earnest, yet unpre- 
sumptuous men who first explored and reclaimed New 
Netherland, and bore the flag of Holland to the cabins of 
the Iroquois, crossed the ocean to better their condition, 
and add another far-off Province to the Dutch Republic. 
They remembered, with deep affection, the great history 
of the little country they had left ; and with their house- 
hold gods, they carried 

" The wrGaths and relics of the immortal fire."* 

They hoped, perhaps, that in time the}' might rear, among 
the rocks, and the maples, and the pine-trees on the banks 
of the River of the Mountains, "the Exchange of a 
wealthier Amsterdam, and the schools of a more learned 
Leyden."t They gave to their new abodes among the 
red men of the forest, the names which they had loved in 
their distant Belgian homes. Born in that ' ' hollow land," 
rescued from the sea, where the first lessons of childhood 
taught them self-reliance and industry, they brought over 
into the wilderness those thrifty national habits Avhich 
soon made it to bloom and blossom as the rose; Longer 
lines of barges than ever crowded the Batavian canals, 
are now drawn through those magnificent channels from 
the lakes to the ocean, which the experience of Holland 
suggested, and the enterprise of her sons helped to con- 
struct. Distinguished by that modesty Avhich generally 
accompanies merit, the Dutcli pioneers of New York 

* Dryden'is .Eneid, II. t Macauhiy, I. 21'.). 

46 Commemorative Oration. 

made no loud- sounding pretensions to grandeur in pur- 
pose, superiority in character, or eminence in lioliness. 
Tliey were the very opposites of the Pharisees of ancient 
or of modern times. They were more ready to do than 
to boast ; and their descendants have never been am- 
bitious to arrogate and appropriate excessive praise for 
what their forefathers did in extending the limits of 
('hristendom, and in stamping on North America its re- 
splendent features of freedom of religion and liberality in 
political faith. With the magnanimous ideas, and honest 
maxims, and homely virtues of their Fatherland, they 
transplanted her national Cliurch and her public Schools, 
her accomplished " Domines" and her well-educated 
Schoolmasters. The huge clasped Bibles, issued from her 
proverbially elegant press, were preserved as venerable 
heir-looms in their families. The system of free public 
or common Schools — in Avhich New England takes no less 
pride than New York — was borrowed, or imitated, from 
the Dutch Ilej)ublic, where the exiled Puritans saw it for 
the first time in successful operation, through the iniluence 
of her Calvinistic national Church.* The holidays of the 
Netherlands, observed by us here to this day, renew the 
genial and hallowed anniversaries of "Paas" and " Saint 
Nicholas ;" while, year by year, the people of New York 
are invited to render thanks to God, as their forefathers 
were invited to keep ' ' Thanksgiviilg Day' ' in Holland, 
long before Manhattan was known, and while New 
England Avas yet "a rocky desart."t Those forefathers 
fearlessly deposed the King of Spain, while they humbly 
worshipped the King of kings. The children of such 
ancestors added no weak ingredient to the blended masses 
of our Union ! 

Yet while Hollanders formed the chief element in her 

* Davics's Holland, II. 202, 203; Bor., XX. 672; Brodhead, I. 462, 463. 

t Smith's New England; Pinkerton, XIII. 206; Brodhead, I. 41, 64, 443, 747. 

Commemorative Oration. 47 

population, New ISTetlierland enjoyed the advantage of a 
liappy intermixture of other European races. Her first 
settlers, imbued with the liberal sentiments of their ances- 
tral land, viewed free navigation and free trade as the sol- 
vent of national antipathies. Accordingly, without re- 
garding diversities in doctrine or lineage, they made the 
hearth-stone the test of citizenship, and residence and 
loyalty the only obligations of the multifarious nationali- 
ties which soon came to nestle among them. Walloons 
from Flanders, Huguenots and Waldenses from France 
and Savoy, Swedes, German Lutherans, wandering Israel- 
ites. Roman Catliolics, Anabaptists, and English Quakers, 
all planted themselves, more or less quietly, beside the 
natives of Calvinistic Holland. Marvell's Lines on Old 
Amsterdam might almost describe her trans- Atlantic child, 
which with 

"Christian, Pagan, Jew, 
Staple of sects and mint of schism grew ; 
That bank of conscience, where not one so strange 
Opinion, but finds credit and exchange. 
In vain for Catholics ourselves we bear. 
The universal church is only there." 

As early as 1643, the Jesuit Father Jogues — that illus- 
trious apostle who consecrated with his life the ' ' Mission 
of the Martyrs'.' among the Mohawks at Caghnawaga* — 
found that eighteen different languages were spoken in 
New Amsterdam. There was always popular freedom 
and public spirit enough in the Dutch Province to attract 
voluntary emigrants from the neighboring British Colo- 
nies. If the Fatherland gave asylum to self-exiled Eng- 
lish Puritans, New Netherland as liberally sheltered refu- 
gees from the intolerant governments on her eastern 

* The Indian word "Caghnawaga" means " the Rapids," or "a carrying-place;" 
Col. Doc, III. 250, Mo/c; General Index, 283; Shea's Catholic Missions, L;04; N. Y. 
H. S. Coll., III. (II.) 171; Brodhead, I. 423, 659. I cannot refrain from protesting 
against the hideous want of taste whicli has belittled this sonorous, sigiiilicaut, and 
historical name into " Fonda!" 

48 Commemorative Oration. 

frontier. Her magnificent destiny, foretold in Holland,* 
began to be accomplished, when numbers, looking to her 
with eager eyes, were allured to embark for her shore. 
Far across the sea came crowded ships from Scotland, and 
France, and Ireland ; while from the upper waters of the 
Rhine flocked multitudes of. a kindred race to those at its 
mouth, who first chose Manhattan as their home. Here, 
on our own rocky island— the Tyre of the New World — 
where Dutch sagacity, integrit.y, liberality, and industry 
laid the foundations— Saxon and Celt, Frenchman and 
German, Jew and Gentile, Northerner and Southerner — 
men of all races, and tongues, and climes, and creeds, 
have worked together to build up the golden throne of 
Commerce. New Amsterdam was but the miniature of 
New Netherland, and the prototype of cosmopolitan New 
York. And so, with large and comprehensive spirit, our 
Dutcli forefathers established the grandeur of that imperial 
State whose 

"Far-off coming Bbone."t 

But if it was for the true interest of America that New 
York should be founded by Holland, it was equally for 
the greatest good of the greatest number that she should 
be acquired by England. She could not long have re- 
mained an isolated dependency of the Dutch Republic. 
The time was not yet at hand for her own State Indepen- 
dence. Nor was it the purpose of Providence that New 
Netherland should ever become a separate American Sov- 
ereignty. Her central and commanding position, her pic- 
turesqueness, variety, and universality, all foreshadowed 
her grand destiny-^forever to bind together the North and 
the South, and to unite with tlie Ocean the Lakes and the 
Prairies of a future vast and undivided country. To 

* Ante, page 17. 

t Tlie Arms of the State of New York, adopted in 1778, represent the Sun rising 
over distant mountain-tops, and her significant motto is " ExtELSioii," 

Commemorative Oration. 49 

that wise end, her colonial allegiance was deter- 
mined. If, instead of becoming the connecting link 
between the British American Plantations, our State 
had been annexed to Canada by Louis the Fourteenth, 
the Iroquois would have been rapidly extermina- 
ted ; the dominion of France on this continent would have 
grown impregnable; no Wolfe would have scaled the 
heights of Abraham ; and no such Revolution could have 
happened as that which produced our nation. New 
France, including the Valleys of the Ohio and the Mis- 
sissippi, might yet have possessed her "broad-armed 
ports/' at Quebec, Manhattan, and New Orleans ; and a 
Bourbon might still have dated the instructions of his 
Vice- Roy at Versailles. Instead of Canada and Nova 
Scotia, New England and Virginia, deprived of the syipi- 
pathy of New York, might perhaps, at this moment, have 
been receiving orders from Whitehall. But the con- 
firmation of British supremacy in New Netherland was 
the augury of our national independence. The Father- 
land had done all that the wisdom of the Almighty had 
given her to do in the work of American colonization. 
Thenceforward, her trans- Atlantic offspring was to become 
the ward of a severer guardian, whose fate it was — like 
that of Spain — to educate a new Republic of United 
States. This glorious consummation could not have be- 
gun, nor have been so wisely accomplished, if New York 
had not suffered in common with other colonies under the 
oppression which produced unanimous revolt ; and if she 
had not taught her Confederates some of those exalting 
principles of political and religious liberality, which, pre- 
serving her through long generations untainted by fanati- 
cism, have made her the majestic monument of her 
Batavian founders. 

With the supremacy of England came a necessary 

change in the language, the laws, and the institutions of 

50 Commemorative Oration. 

New York. This change, however, was very gradual. 
The Articles of Capitulation happily restrained what other- 
wise might have been an insufferable exercise of the con- 
queror' s power. Guaranteed their own religious worship 
and church discipline, the Dutch, in due time, cordially 
welcomed the Service of the Church of England.* Free- 
dom of conscience was forever secured by the influence of 
the ancient Reformed Dutch Church, which effectually 
prevented the establishment of any one denomination as 
''The Church" of the Province. The Episcopal commu- 
nion, although fostered by the servants of the Crown, 
never became her predominating sect.f This was owing, 
in a great degree, to the high personal and scholarly 
standing of the Dutch clergymen, of whom a regular suc- 
cession, educated and ordained in Holland, continued to 
be sent over until 1772, when the ecclesiastical authority 
of the Classis of Amsterdam ceased. :{: The cosmopolitan 
character of New York was but made more permanent by 
the bloodless revolution, which, preserving the old, in- 
fused fresh elements among the original staples of her 
greatness. Relieved from the anxiety that for some time 
had been oppressing them, her people, as they grew in 

* The Charter of Trinity Church could hardly have passed Fletcher's Council on 
the tith of May, 1697, without the friendship of its Dutch uieiubers, Phillipse, Van 
Gortlandt, and Bayard; Council Minutes, VII. 236; Doc. Hist. N. Y., III. 349. 

t The Colonial act of 22 September, 1693, was passed by an Assembly in which 
there was only one Episcopalian, and which never thought of establishing that 
denomination as the Provincial Church. In point of fact the Episcopal Church 
never was established, except in some of the Southern counties of the Province. 
See Col. Doc, V. 321, 322; Doc. Hist., III. 1.50, 151; Smith's New York, I. 131, 
134, 187, 337, 339, II. 234; Sedgwick's Life of Livingston, 78, 88; Force's Tracts, 
IV. (IV.) 3, 3.5, 40, 52. 

X See Verplanck, in N. Y. H. S. Collections, III. 89; Gunn's Memoirs of the 
Reverend John H. Livingston, D. D., 141, 142 (Ed. 1856.) Demarest, in his " History 
and Characteristics of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church," p. 96, remarks that 
"She, of all Clmrches in the land, was least able to succeed without an educated 
ministry, for she had been always taught to consider this as essential. It was 
required by the Articles of Union, that provision should be made for it. Moreover, 
the Churcli in Holland would not consent to- the independence of the American 
(JImrches until this had been guarauteed." 

Commemorative Oration. 51 

prosperity, remembered with fading regret the event, 
wliich, although it severed tlieni politically from Holland, 
eonld never take from them tlie heritage of her vii'tues, 
her teachings, and her historical renown. 

By becoming British subjects, the inhabitants of New 
ISTetherland did not, however, gain civil freedom. New 
names, they found, did not secure new liberties. "Am- 
sterdam" was changed to York, and "Orange" to Al- 
bany. But these changes only commemorated the titles 
of a conqueror. Stuyvesant, and the West India Com- 
pany, and a republican sovereignty, were exchanged for 
Nicolls, and a Royal Proprietor, and an hereditary King. 
The Province was not repi'esented in Parliament ; nor 
could her voice reach the chapel of Saint Stephen at West- 
minster, as readily as it had penetrated the chambers of 
tlie Binnenhof at the Hague. It was nearly twenty years 
before her Ducal Proprietor allowed, for a short time, to 
tlie people of New York even that faint degree of repre- 
sentative government which they had enjoyed when the 
three-colored ensign of Holland was hauled down from the 
tlag-staff of Fort Amsterdam. Not until the authority of 
the British Crown was shaken, did New York become 
again as really free as New Netherland had been. 

There was one remarkable feature in which our State 
differed from every other British- American dependency. 
A conquest from Holland, she became for twenty-one 
years a Proprietary Dukedom, and then, for nearly a cen- 
tury, she remained a Royal Province. Without a char- 
ter, like those of Maryland or Pennsylvania, New York 
resembled none of the New England colonies, except, per- 
iiaps. New Hampshire. It was not until after the acces- 
sion of the Dutch Stadtholder to tlie English throne, that 
she permanently obtained the privilege of an Assembly 
elected by her freeholders. Even then, her Governor and 
lier Counsellors were appointed directly by the King. 

52 Commemorative Oration. 

This circumstance, in connection with others peculiar to 
her original colonization, fastened upon New York a dis- 
tinctive quality of social aristocracy, which survived the 
period of her Independence. It was perhaps owing to 
these causes, that so few comparatively of her Puritan 
neighbors came to add to her colonial population. New 
England and the north of Ireland contributed, at one 
time, considerable numbers. But her largest accessions of 
emigrants, during the reigns of William, Anne, and the 
Georges, besides Englishmen and Hollanders, were French 
Huguenots and German Calvinists and Lutherans. Most 
of the latter were refugees from the Palatinate, who set- 
tled themselves on the Hudson and the Mohawk Rivers. 
West of Herkimer, the country was possessed by the Iro- 
quois ; and it was not until long after our State Constitu- 
tion was formed at Kingston, in 1777, that emigrants from 
New England ventured to push beyond the German Flats, 
and occupy the rich pastures of Onondaga and the Gen- 
esee. North of the north line of Massachusetts, New 
York remained for many years the true owner of the 
region west of the Connecticut, and she thus became the 
mother of the present State of Vermont. Her original 
territory, as defined by the Dutch Government in 1614, 
was so partitioned, in the progress of events, as to form the 
several States of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, 
Hhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New York, New 
Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. Little did the 
quiet men who, in the Binnenhof at the Hague, first placed 
the name of New Netherland on the map of the world, 
anticij)ate that it would become the parent of such a noble 
progeny of sovereignties ! 

To all the changes wliicli followed its conquest, the 
Dutch colonists of our State submitted with characteristic 
good faitli. A few, who could not bear the separation, 
returned to end their days in tlieir Fatherland. But 

Commemorative Oration. 53 

Stuyvesant, with the Dutch clergy and most of the colo- 
nial officers, honestly swore allegiance to the King and 
to the Duke, and remained faithful as long as English 
supremacy lasted."^ No more loyal subjects than they 
were ever brought under the British crown. Yet it was 
no pleasant thing for them to watch the Red Cross of Eng- 
land waving where the emblems of the Netherlands had 
floated for fifty years. To Holland they felt a deep, unal- 
terable, hereditary attachment. Nor has the whirligig of 
time extinguished this sentiment in their descendants. 
Two centuries have scarcely weakened the veneration 
which citizens of New York of Dutch lineage proudly 
cherish towards the birth-land of their ancestors. Year 
by year, the glorious and the genial memories of Holland 
are renewed by those whom long generations divide from 
the country of their forefathers. But it is generally true, 
that Colonists retain more affection towards their Father- 
land than those who remain at home ever feel toward the 
emigrants who leave its shores. As years roll on, the 
contrast becomes more marked. Two centuries have 
almost wiped out of the recollection of Holland the once 
familiar name of New Netherland. A few of the more 
curious of her scholars and her statesmen may now and 
then, by careful search, discover the meagre paragraphs 
in which her ponderous histories dismiss the story of her 
ancient trans-Atlantic Province. The most complete 
separate sketch of it in the Dutch language is the work of 
a Zealander,t which, . though written not many years 
ago, is already a literary rarity. But the people of the 
Low Countries scarcely know that New York was once 
their own New Netherland, or that they have any right 
to the glory of having laid the foundations of the might- 
iest State in the American Union, and the metropolis of the 
Western world ! 

* See ante, p. 41, note. + N. C. Lambrcclitscii, of Middi'lburg. 

54 Commemorative Oration. 

While it is thus to be regretted that the history of New 
Netherland should be so little known in Holland, it is still 
more discreditable that, until recently, it continued to be 
as little understood, and perhaps even less appreciated, in 
America. There is no State in our Union which has better 
reason to be proud of its annals than New York. Yet of 
no State were the beginnings left for generations in greater 
obscurity. Official records and original accounts by con- 
temporary writers have never, indeed, been wanting. But 
these were generally like sealed books, written in the ver- 
nacular — almost unknown to Englishmen — of William the 
Silent, and Grotius, and Barneveldt. The only colonial 
historian of New York, after its conquest, was a Royalist 
of English descent.* His meagre outline of its first half- 
century seems to have encouraged a former Chancellor of 
our own State incautiously to tell us, thirty-six years ago, 
that the annals of its Dutch period "are of a tame and 
pacific character, and generally dry and uninteresting, "f 
The remark might have been somewhat just, if it had been 
applied — not to their quality, but — to the disgracefully 
neglected condition in which our earliest archives were 
formerly suffered to remain,:}: If the sources of history 
were thus sealed, it is not surprising that History herself 
should have been silent. Like the many brave men who 
died before Agamemnon, the modest founders of New 
York for a long time slept, 

" Unwept, unknown : 
No bard had they to make all time their owu."§ 

This is doubtless owing, in some degree, to ignorance 

* William Smith, who died in 1793, Chief-Justice of Canada. 

+ Chancellor Kent, in N. T. H. S. Coll., (II.) I. 13. 

X I avail myself of this opportunity to express gratification that Dr. E. B. 
O'Callaghan lias been, of late years, in charge of the Historical Records of our 
State at Albany. He is one of the very few who are fitted for the peculiar oflice 
of Archivist; and it would be a calamity if the public should be deprived of 
the advantage of his services. 

§ Francis's Translation of Horace's Odes, IV. 1). 

Commemorative Oration. 55 

of the Dutch language, which few English or American 
authors have ever attempted to master. But it is still more 
owing to an inherited or imitative spirit of supercilious 
depreciation of every thing Dutch, which, with some bril- 
liant exceptions, seems to have infected so many writers 
in our own country, especially those of New England. * It 
Is the good fortune of that section of our land to possess 
abundant easily read records of the deeds and virtues of 
her founders ; and it is greatly to her comfort that so many 
of her children have done their best to extol her glory and 
spread abroad her fame. Yet, while a monotonous repe- 
tition of indiscriminating panegyric may gratify its sub- 
jects, it does not always enlarge human knoAvledge. It 

may well be questioned whether zeal has not run into 
injustice, and whether, while incessantly magnifying the 
praise of one portion of our Union, a candid acknowledg- 
ment of the merits of others has not been systematically 
shunned. The Tacitus of our country, in the grandeur of 
his comprehensive genius, has not failed to do eloquent 
justice to the honest memories of New York, his chosen 
home. But too many of our approved authorities and 
school-books, professing to teach American history, seem 
as if they were carefully calculated for a provincial meri- 
dian, and cunningly manufactured to inculcate only ac- 
counts of New England. The beginnings of the Empire 
State are passed ignorantly by ; or, if they are alluded to, 
it is too often in niggard or reluctant words, unworthy of 
an}^ scholar who ventures to relate our country' s story. 
The patriotic calendar of America has pertinaciously can- 
onized the little company which landed on Plymouth 
beach ; while it has jealously suppressed a just reference to 

* Everett and Bancroft are national jewels. Motley bas done immortal honor 
to New En!i;land and to himself bj' his admirable Dutch histories. Not less 
worthily has Tuekerman, in his "Optimist," and his "Biographical Essays," 
shown that just appreciation of New York and her characteristics which a scholar 
of his tine taste and cultivation could not help cxhihiling. 

f)6 Commemorative Oration. 

the progeny of those who, long before they sheltered that 
Pilgrim band at Leyden, had showed the world how to 
depose a King and declare a People free and independent. 

The retirement of Holland from an unequal strife, left 
France and Spain to contend with England for colonial 
supremacy in North America. Mistress of all the Atlantic 
coast between Nova Scotia and Florida, the power which 
had conquered New York soon aspired to uncontrolled 
dominion from sea to sea. The acquisition of New Nether- 
land, which had formerly kept Virginia apart from New 
England, gave to the British Crown the mastery of the 
most advantageous position on our Continent, whence it 
could at pleasure direct movements against any Colony 
that might attempt a premature independence. With 
short-sighted triumph, England rejoiced that her authority 
was dotted on a new spot in the map of the world. But 
her pride went before her destruction, and her haughty 
spirit prepared the way for her terrible humiliation. The 
American Republic was fashioned in the first Congress of 
1765, which met at New York. It was a most significant, 
but only a just decree of Providence, that the retribution 
of England should begin with the very Province which 
she had so iniquitously ravished from Holland, to set, as 
her most splendid jewel, in the diadem of her colonial 
sovereignty ! 

Yet for a long time the Plantations which had thus be- 
come geographically united were neither homogeneous nor 
sympathetic ; and they never were actually consolidated. 
While New England, Maryland, and Virginia were radi- 
cally Anglo-Saxon Colonies, the mass of the population of 
New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, 
which had formed the later territory of New Netherland, 
was, as we have seen, made up of Hollanders, Huguenots, 
Waldenses, Germans, Frenchmen, Swedes, Scotchmen, 

Commemorative Oration. 57 

and Irishmen. A similar want of homogeneousness 
characterized some of the more Southern Colonies. Among 
these manifold nationalities, ideas and motives of action 
were as various and discordant as the differing dialects 
which were uttered. In the progress of years, a common 
allegiance and common dangers produced a greater sym- 
pathy among the English Plantations in North America. 

Nevertheless, while she formed a part of the British 
Colonial Empire, New York never lost her original social 
identity nor her peculiar political influence. Her moral 
power lasted throughout the whole succession of events 
which culminated in the American Revolution. It is im- 
possible for me now to attempt a fitting historical review 
of this demonstrable truth. It is enough to say that, if 
the legitimate influence of New York has not heretofore 
been always worthily acknowledged, it has never been 
openly denied. Nor has her salutary moral power ever 
ceased. The history of her Fatherland — besides the 
idea of toleration of opinion — furnished the example of 
the Confederation of Free and Indej^endent States, and 
made familiar the most instructive lessons of Constitu- 
tional administration. While that history taught the 
sacred right of revolt against the tyranny of an hereditary 
King, it enforced the no less sacred duty of faithfulness* 
to deliberate obligations, and loyalty to the General Gov- 
ernment founded by the solemn compact of Sovereign but 
United States. The patriots who deposed Philip the 
Second were the great originals of those who in the next 
century dethroned Charles the First, and in the century 
following rejected George the Third, From Holland came 
William, "the Deliverer" of England from the tyrant 
James. The Declaration of the Independence of the 
United Provinces of the Netherlands was the glorious 
model of the English Declaration of Right, and of the 
grander Declaration of the Independence of the United 

58 Commemorative Oration. 

Colonies of ISTorth America. The Union of Utrecht was 
the noble exemplar of the Philadelphia Articles of Con- 
federation. The Dutch motto, "Eendragt maakt 
magt" — Unity makes migJit — suggested our own "E 
Pluribus Unum." 

All these teachings of Dutch history are the peculiar 
heritage of our own Empire State. It was the proud des- 
tiny of New York to temper the narrow and sometimes 
fanatical characteristics of her English sister Plantations 
with the larger and more conservative principles which 
she had herself derived from Holland. It was her lot to 
sustain more severe trials, and gain a more varied expe- 
rience, than any other American Colony. Midway be- 
tween the Saint Lawrence and the Chesapeake, she stood, 
for almost a century, guarding her long frontier against 
the enmity and might of New France. And when at 
last the Conquest of Canada tilled the measure of British 
aggression, and pampered still more the British lust of 
power, the augury of two hundred years ago was fulfilled, 
and New York — worthy to be distinguished as The 
Netherlaistd of America— became the Pivot Province, 
on which hinged the most important movements of that 
sublime revolt against the oppression of England, the 
only parallel to which was the triumphant struggle that 
the forefathers of her first settlers maintained against the 
gigantic despotism of Spain ! 



Translation of the first New Netheeland Charter, granted by the 
States General, on 11 October, 1614; — from Mr. Brodhead's 
Address before the N. Y. Historical Society, 20 November, 
1844, }). 53, and from the New York Colonial Documents, volume 
I. pages 10-12. 

Saturday, the Eleventh of October, 1614. 

Present — The President, Mr. Ghiessex. 

Messrs. Biesman, Westeeiiolt, Beienen, Olden Baenevelt, Beeokeneode, 

Driel, Teylingen, MAGinjs, Moesbergen, Atloa, Hegemans. 

THE STATES-GENERAL of the United Netheelands to all to 
whom these presents shall come, Geeeting: Whereas Gerrit Jacobz Witssen, 
ancient Burgomaster of the City of Amsterdam, Jonas Witssen and Simon 
Monissen, owners of the ship named the Little Fox, whereof Jan de With 
was schipper ; Hans Hongers, Paulus Pelgrom, and Lambreclit van Tween- 
huysen, owners of the two ships named the Tiger and the Fortune, whereof 
Adriaen Block and ITenrick Corstiaenssen were schippers; Arnolt van 
Leybergen, Wessel Schenck, Hans Claessen, and Berent Sweertsen, owners 
of the ship named the Nightingale, whereof Thys Volckertssen was schip- 
per, merchants of the aforesaid City Amsterdam ; and Pieter Clementssen 
BrouAver, Jan Clementssen Kies, and Oornelis Volckertssen, merchants of 
the City of Hoorn, owners of the ship named the Fortmjn, whereof Corne- 
lls Jacobssen May was schipper. All now associated in one Company, Have 
respectfully represented unto Us, that they the Petitioners, after heavy 
expenses and great damages to themselves by loss of ships and other 
dangers, had, during the present current year, discovered and found, with 
the above-named five ships, certiiin New Lands, lying in America, between 
New France and Virginia, the sea-coasts whereof lie between Forty and 
Forty-five degrees of latitude, and now called New Netheeland: And 
Whereas We did, in tlic inoiitli of Marcli last, for the promotion and increase 

00 Commemorative Oration. 

of Commerce, cause to be published a certain General Consent and Charter, 
setting forth that whosoever should thereafter discover new havens, lands, 
places, or passages, might frequent, or cause to be frequented, for four 
voyages, such newly-discovered and found places, passages, havens, or 
lands, to the exclusion of all others from visiting or frequenting the same 
from the United Netherlands, until the said first discoverers and finders, 
shall themselves have completed the said four voyages, or caused the same 
to be done within the time prescribed for that purpose, under the penalties 
expressed in the said Charter,* &c.. They pray that "We would accord to 
them a proper Act to be passed in form, in pursuance of the aforesaid 
Charter ; "Which being considered, and "WE having, in Our Assembly, heard 
the pertinent Report of the Petitioners relative to the discovery and finding 
of the said New Countries between the above-named limits and degrees, 
and also of their adventures, Have Consented and Granted, and by these 
presents Do consent and Grant, to the said petitioners, now united into 
One Company, that they shall be privileged exclusively to frequent or 
cause to be visited the above Newly-discovered Lands, situate in America, 
between New France and Virgini't, whereof the sea-coasts lie between the 
Fortieth and the Forty-fifth degrees of latitude, now named New Netiikr- 
LAND (as can be seen by a Figurative Map hereunto annexedt), and that 
for four voyages within the term of Three Years, commencing the First of 
January Sixteei) Hundred and Fifteen, next ensuing or sooner ; without it 
being permitted to any other person from the United Netherlands to sail 
to, navigate, or. frequent the said newly-discovered lands, havens, or places, 
either directly or indirectly, within the said three years, on pain of Confis- 
• cation of the vessel and cargo wherewith infraction hereof shall be at- 
tempted, and a fine of Fifty Thousand Netherland Ducats, for the benefit of 
the aforesaid discoverers or finders : — Provided, Nevertheless, that by these 
presents "We do not intend to prejudice or diminish any of Oar former 
Grants or Charters ; And it is also Our intention that if any disputes or 
diiferences arise from these Our Concessions, they shall be decided by Our- 
selves : — "We Therefore for this purpose expressly order and command all 
Governors, Justices, Ofiicers, Magistrates, and inhabitants of the aforesaid 
United Lands, to allow the said Company peaceably and quietly to use and 
enjoy the whole benefit of this our Grant and Consent, refraining from all 
opposition and obstacles to the contrary : Inasmuch as we consider the 
same to be for the service and advantage of the country. Given under our 
Seal, and the Paraph and signature of our Secretary, at the Hague, the 
eleventh day of October, 1614. 

* A translation of this Charter is in N. Y. Col. Doc, I. 5, 6. 

t For a fac-simile of this map, see N. Y. Col. Doc, I. 13. See also the map compiled by Mr. 
Brodhead, for his History of New York, which illustrates this publication. 

Appendix. 61 


New England writers, in their zeal to establish a paramount British title 
to the whole of North America between Virginia and Canada, appear to 
have overlooked the doctrine announced by Queen Elizabeth in 1580, and 
confirmed in the House of Commons in 1621, as stated ante^ page 9. This 
doctrine was, that "■ pre-sr)'i2jtioii without possession is of no avail;'''' the 
logical consequence of which is, that the " prescription" arising from the 
voyages of the Cabots gave England no title except to such American ter- 
ritory, discovered by her subjects, as she might actually occupy. Under 
this rule, her title to Virginia was never questicmed. But by King James's 
second Patent of May, 1009, the northern boundary of Virginia was fixed 
at about the fortieth parallel of latitude. The country between Virginia 
and Canada had been left a vacuum domiciliuvi, after the abandonment of 
Maine by the Sagadahoc colonists in 1608. The discoveries of the Dutch in 
this intermediate and unknown region were followed by their permanent 
occupation of the most of it; and the only Englishman that seems to, have 
visited Kew Ketheeland, after those in the Half Moon, was Dermer, in 
1619. The New England Patent of November, 1620, by its express Pro- 
viso that no territory was intended to be granted which was " actually 
possessed or inhabited by any other Cliristian Prince or Estate," would 
appear to have clearly excepted New France and New Netherland, the 
actual possession of which by the French and the Dutch was undeniable. 
Yet, with the coolest audacity, one of the preliminary recitals of that 
Patent declared that there were " no other the subjects o'f any Christian 
King or State, by any authority from their Sovereign Lords or Princes, 
actually in possession" of any of the territory between the fortieth and the 
forty -eighth .degrees of latitude! In the same spirit, the English Privy 
Council, in December, 1621, pretended that the King had "good and suf- 
ficient title" to the whole of that region, '•'' jure primoi occupationis.'''' If 
by this was meant the temporary and limited English " occupation" by the 
colony at Sagadahoc, it was a palpable absurdity ; because that English 
'' occupation" of a part of Maine was abandoned before the Dutch discovery 
of unknown New Netherland. To insist upon such a fallacy was simply to 
substitute " prescription" for " possession" — a doctrine which both Queen 
Elizabeth and Parliament had derided. Nevertheless, this transparent sub- 
terfuge of constructice, instead oi actual possession, was the strongest ground 
upon which the English maintained their title as against the Dutch. See 
further on this subject, Brodhead's New York, I. 4, 15, 44, 92-96, 138-144, 
189, 25'2, 033, 634; Hazard's Collections, I. 103-118; TruuibuiFs Connect!- 

(32 Commemorative Oration. 

out, L 547, 554 ; N. Y. Colonial Documents, T. 27, II. 287, 302, 325, 
832, 379-882, 389, 412, III. 6-8, VII. 596 ; Smith's N. Y., I. 297 ; Dun- 
hip's N. Y., II., Appendix, ccvi. — It could Imrdly, perhaps, have been 
expected that the Editor of the recent volume on " Henry Hudson the 
Navigator," published by the Hakluyt Society of London, in 186ti, should 
Iiave avoided the errors which deform his Introduction to that work. 


Translation of the Commission from the States-Ge:n^eral of the 
United Netherlands to Peter Stltyvesant, as Director- 
General of New Netiierland, dated 28 July, 1646 : — from the 
New York Colonial Documents, vol. I. p. 178. 

THE STATES-GENEEAL of the United Netherlands.— To all those 
to whom these Presents shall come, or who shall hear them read. Health ; Be 
IT Known: Whereas we have deemed it advisable for the advancement of 
the affairs of the General Incorporated West India Company not only to 
maintain the trade and population on the coast of Xew JSfetherland and the 
places situate thereabout, also the islands Cura^on, Buenaire, Aruba, and 
their dependencies, which have hitherto been encouraged thither from this 
(country, but also to make new treaties and alliances with foreign Princes, 
and to inflict as much injury as possible on the enemy in his forts and 
strongholds, as well by sea as by land ; For which purposes it becomes 
necessary to appoint a person Director : WE, Therefore, confiding in the 
probity and experience of Petrus Stuyvesant, formerly intrusted with 
our affairs in, and the government of, the aforesaid Island of Curacjoa and 
tlie places thereon depending, and We, being well pleased with his services 
there, Have commissioned and appointed and by these presents Do com- 
mission and appoint the said Peteus Stuyvesant Director in the aforesaid 
countries of New Netherland and the places thereunto adjoining, together 
with the aforementioned Islands of Cura<^oa^ Buenaire^ Aruba, and their 
dependencies; to administer, with the Council as well now as hereafter 
HI)pointed with him, the said office of Director, both on water and on land, 
and in said quality to attend carefully to the advancement, promotion, and 
]»i-eservation of friendship, alliances, trade, and commerce; to direct all 
matters appertaining to trathc and war, and to maintain in all things there, 
good order for the service of the United Netherlands and the General West 
India Comi)any ; to establish regularity for the safeguard of the places and 
forts therein ; to administer law and justice as well civil as criminal ; And 
moreover to perform all that concerns his office and duties in accordance 
with the Charter and tlie general and particular Instructions herewith 

Appendix. 63 

f^iven, and to be hereafter given liim, as a good and faithful Director is 
bound and obliged by his oath in Our hands to do ; Which done, WE, 
therefore, order and command all other officers, common soldiers, together 
with the inhabitants and natives residing in the aforesaid places as subjects, 
and all whom it may concern, to acknowledge, respect, and obey the said 
Peteus Sttjyvesant as our Director in the countries and places of New 
Netherland^i and in the Islands of CuraQoa^ Buenaire, Aruba, and their 
dependencies, and to aftord all help, countenance and assistance in the 
perfoi'raance of these things, as We have found the same to be for the 
advantage of the Company. Done in our Assembly at the Hague, on the 
xxviii. July, 1646. 


C'opy of the Commission from the Duke of York to Colonel 
Richard Nicolls, dated 2 April, 1664, Recorded in Book of 
Patents, vol. I. pp. 116-118, in the Office of the Secretary of 
State at Albany. 

JAMES, Duke of Yokk and Albany, Earl of Ulster, Lord High Admiral 
of England and Ireland, &c., Constable of Dover Castle, Lord Warden of 
the Cinque Ports, and Governor of Portsmouth, &c. Whereas it hath pleased 
the King's most Excellent Majesty, my Sovereign Lord and Brother, by 
His Majesty's Letters Patents, bearing date at Westminster the Twelfth day 
of March in the Sixteenth year of His Majesty's Reign, to give and grant 
unto me and to my Heirs and Assigns, All that part of the mainland of 
N"ew England, Beginning at a certain place called or known by the name 
of Saint Croix^ next adjoining to New Scotland in America, and from thence 
extending along the sea-coast, unto a certain place called Potaquine or 
Pemaquid^i and so up the River thereof to the furthest head of the same, as 
it tendeth Northwards, and extending from thence to the River of Kine- 
hequi^i and so upwards by the shortest course to the River Canada north- 
wards ; A'ld Also all that Island or Islands commonly called by the several 
name or names of Matowacks or Long Island., situate, lying, and being 
towards the west of Cape Cod and the Narrow-Higansets, abutting upon 
the mainland, between the two rivers there, called or known by the several 
names of Connecticut and Jludson^s River ; Together also with the said 
River called Hudson'' s River and all the land from the West side of Con- 
necticut River to the East side of Delaware Bay; And Also all those several 
Islands called or known by the name of Martin'' s Vineyards and Nantides 
otherwise Nantuchft ; Together with all the Lands, Islands, Soiles, River,-*, 
Harbours, Mines, Miner;^ls, Quarries, Woods, Marshes, Waters. Ltike.s, Fish- 

64 Commemorative Oration. 

ing, Hawking, Hunting, and Fowling, and all other Royalties, Profits, 
Commodities, Hereditaments, to the said several Islands, Lands, and Pre- 
mises belonging and appertaining, with their and every of their Appurte- 
nances ; To Hold the same to my own proper u<e and behoof, With Power 
to correct, punish, pardon, govern, and rule the Inhabitants thereof, by 
Myself, or such Deputies, Commissioners, or Officers as I shall th,ink fit to 
appoint; as by His Majesty's said Letters Patents may more fully appear: 
AxD Whereas I have conceived a good opinion of the Integrity, Prudence, 
Abilit^r and Fitness of RicnAED Nicolls, Esquire, to be employed as my 
Deputy there, I have therefore thought fit to constitute and appoint, And 
I do hereby constitute and appoint him the said Richard Nicolls^ Esquire, 
to be my Deputy-Governor within the Lands, Islands, and Places aforesaid. 
To perform and execute all and every the Powers which are by the said 
Letters Patents granted unto me, to be executed by my Deputy, Agent, or 
Assign. To Have and to Hold the said place of Deputy-Governor unto 
the said Richard JVicolls, Esquire, during my will and pleasure only. 
Hereby willing and requiring all and every the Inhabitants of the said 
Lands, Islands, and Places to give obedience to him the said Richard 
Nicolls in all things, according to the tenor of His Majesty's said Letters 
Patents; And the said Richard NicoUs^ Esquire, to observe, follow and 
execute such Orders and Instructions as he shall from time to time receive 
from myself. Given, under my hand and seal, at Whitehall, this Second 
day of April, in the Sixteenth Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord 
Charles the Second, by the Grace of God King of England, Scotland, 
France, and Ireland, &c., Annoque Domini, 16G4. 

JAMES. (L. S.) 
By Command of His Royal Highness, 



NEW NETHERLAND, ,^J^I^.^ 1664. 


Copy of Stuyvesanfs full ])ower to his Commissioners, dated 
5^?^uSrSk 1664;— from Albany Records, XVIII. 322, 323, and 
General Entries, I. 30, 31. 

The DiiiECTon-GENERAL and Council of New Netherland hereby 
make known ; — To prevent the eftusion of blood, plundering, murders, and 
for the good of the inhabitants. We are moved by the summons made by 
the honored Lord Richard Nicolls, General of his Majestie of England, 

Appendix. 65 

being come with his men-of-war and soldiers before the port, promising 
freely (by his own proposition made) to re-deliver tlie Fort and City of 
Amsterdam in New Netherland, in case the diiference of the limits of this 
Province be agreed upon betwixt His Majestie of England and the High 
and Miglity States-General ; likewise upon other equal and answerable 
conditions, to surrender and deliver ; We have committed and do commit 
by this, Johi>-de Decker, Counsellor of State ; Captain Nicholas Verlett, 
Commissary concerning matters of traffic ; Samuel Megapolensis, Doctor of 
Physick ; Cornells Steenwyck, Burgomaster ; Oloff Stevenson van Cort- 
landt, old Burgomaster ; and James Cousseau, old Schepen of this City, to 
agree with the aforesaid Lord General Richard Nicolls or his deputies upon 
further articles ; by these open letters promising that we will faithfully 
fulfill whatsoever shall by our fore-named Commissioners concerning these 
businesses be promised and agreed upon. In testimony of this it is con- 
firmed by our Scale, in the Fort of Amsterdam in New Netherland, the 5th 
day of September, New Style, 1664. 

Copy of Nicolls's full power to his Commissioners, dated 
5S^^£:s 1664;-from General Entries, I. 32, 33. 

I, Colonel EicHAED Nicolls, Commander-in-Chief of all His Majesties 
forces now beleaguering the town on the Manhatans, Do accept of the 
proposal made by the Governor and his Council there residing, to treat of 
an accommodation by Articles of Surrender of the said Town and Forts 
thereunto belonging under His Majestie's obedience, to prevent the eftusion 
of blood and to improve the good of the inhabitants ; And whereas the 
Governor and Council are pleased to nominate and appoint John de Decker, 
Counsellor of State; Nicholas Vai'lett, Commissary concerning matters of 
traflBc; Samuel Megapolensis, Doctor of Physick; Cornells Steenwyck, 
Burgomaster ; Oloff Stevensen van Kortlandt, old Burgomaster ; and James 
Cousseau, old Sheriff"e of this City, to agree and conclude with me or my 
Deputies, upon further Articles, promising they will faithfully fulfill what- 
soever shall be by their fore-named Commissioners promised or agreed upon 
in the Treaty on their partes, I Do Therefore, on my part, nominate and 
appoint Sir Robert Oarr, Knight ; Colonel George Cartwright ; Mr. John 
Winthrop, Governor of His Ma,jestie's Colony of Connecticut ; Mr. Samuel 
Willys, one of the Chief Councill of the said Colony ; Captain Thomas 
Clarke, and Captain John Pincheon, Commissioners from the Court Gen- 
erall of the Colony of the Massachusetts, To be my sufficient Deputys, T.o 
treat and conclude upon the Articles of Surrender of the aforenamed place, 
Promising that I will faithfully fulfill whatsoever they shall so treat and 
conclude upon. In Testimony Whereof, I have hereunto sett my hand and 
Scale, at the Camp before the Manhatans, this 26tli day of August, Old 
Style, 1664. 

Richard Nicolls. 

QQ Commemorative Oration. 

'Tis desired and agreed upon by the Commissioners on both parts above 
mentioned, that their meeting upon the premises shall be to-morrow morn- 
ing, being the 27th of this month of August, Old Style, precisely at 8 o'clock 
in the morning, at a place called the Governor's Bowery, upon the Man- 

Copy of the Articles of Capitulation, agreed upon at the Governor's 
Bouwery, on Saturday, the -g^^^J^^^ 1664, and confirmed by 
Nicolls ;— from IST.Y. General Entries, I. 23-26, and from the 
Hollandtse Mercurius for September, 1664, 153, 154. 

'' These articles following were consented to by the persons hereunder 
subscribed, at the Governor's IJouwery, August 2'i'th, Old Style [September 
6th], 1664. 

" I. We consent that the States-General, or the West India Company, 
shall freely enjoy all farms and houses (except such as are in the forts), and 
that within six months they shall have free liberty to transport all such 
arms and ammunition as now do belong to them, or else they shall be 
paid for them. 

" II. All publique houses shall continue for the uses which they are now 

"III. All people shall still continue free denizens, and shall enjoy their 
lands, houses, goods, shipps, wheresoever they are within this country, 
and dispose of them as they please. 

" IV. If any inhabitant have a mind to remove himself, he shall have a 
year and six weeks from this day to remove himself, wife, children, ser- 
vants, goods, and to dispose of his lands here. 

" V. If any officer of state, or publique minister of state, have a mind to 
go for England, they shall be transported, freight free, in his majesty's fri- 
gates, when these frigates shall return thither. 

" VI. It is consented to, that any people may freely come from the 
Netherlands, and plant in this country, and that Dutch vessels may freely 
come hither, and any of the Dutch may freely return home, or send any 
sort of merchandise home, in vessels of their own country. 

" VII. All ships from the Netherlands, or any other place, and goods 
therein, shall be received here, and sent hence, after the manner which for- 
merly they were before our coming hither, for six months next ensuing. 

" VIII. The Dutch here shall enjoy the liberty of their consciences in 
divine worship and church discipline. 

" IX. No Dutchman here, or Dutch ship here, shall, upon any occasion, 
be pressed to serve in war, against any nation whatsoever. 

" X. That the townsmen of the Manhatoes shall not have any soldiers 
quartered upon them without being satisfied and paid for them by their 

Appendix. 67 

officers, and that, at this present, if the fort be not capable of lodging all 
the soldiers, then the Burgomasters, by their officers, shall appoint some 
houses capable to receive them. 

" XI. The Dutch here shall enjoy their own customs concerning their 

" XII. All publique writings and records, which concern the inheri- 
tances of any people, or the reglement of the church, or poor, or orphans, 
shall be carefully kept by those in whose hands now they are, and such 
writings as particularly concern the States-General may at any time be 
sent to them. 

"XIII. No judgment that has passed any judicature here shall be called 
in question ; but if any conceive that he hath not had justice done him, if 
he apply himself to the States-General, the other party shall be bound to 
answer for the supposed injuiy. 

" XIV. If any Dutch living here shall at any time desire to travaile or 
traffique into England, or any place or plantation in obedience to his 
Majesty of England, or with the Indians, he sliall have (upon his request 
to the Governor) a certificate that he is a free denizen of this place, and 
liberty to do so. 

" XV. If it do appeare that there is a publique engagement of debt by the 
own of the Manhatoes, and a way agreed on for the satisfying of that en- 
gagement, it is agreed that the same way proposed shall go on, and that 
the engagement shall be satisfied. 

"XVI. All inferior civil officers and magistrates shall continue as now 
they are (if they please) till the customary time of new election, and then 
new ones to be chosen by themselves, provided that such new chosen 
magistrates shall take the oath of allegiance to his Majesty of England, 
before they enter upon their office. 

" XVII. All differences of contracts and bargains made before this day, by 
any in this country, shall be determined according to the manner of the Dutch. 

"XVIII. If it do appeare that the West India Company of Amsterdam 
do really owe any sums of money to any persons here, it is agreed that 
recognition, and other duties payable by ships going for the Netherlands, 
be continued for six months longer. 

" XIX. The officers military, and soldiers, shall march out with their 
arms, drums beating, and coulours flying, and lighted matches ; and if any 
of them will plant, they shall have fifty acres of land set out for them ; if 
any of them will serve as servants, they shall continue with all safety, and 
become free denizens afterwards. 

" XX. If at any time hereafter the King of Great Britain and the States 
of the United Netherlands do agree that this place and country be rede- 
livered into the hands of the said States, whensoever his Majestie will send 
his commands to redeliver it, it shall immediately be done. 

" XXI. That the town of Manhatans shall choose deputyes, and those 
deputyes shall have free voyces in all publique aft'airs as much as any other 

68 Commemorative Oration. 

" XXII. Those who have any property in any houses in the fort of 
Orange shall (if they please) slight the fortifications there, and then enjoy 
all their houses as all people do where there is no fort. 

" XXIII. If there be any soldiers that will go into Holland, and if the 
Company of West India in Amsterdam, or any private persons here, will 
transport them into Holland, then they shall have a safe passport from 
Colonel Eichard NicoUs, Deputy-Governor under his Royal Highness, and 
the other Commissioners, to defend the ships that shall transport such 
soldiers, and all the goods in them, from any surprizal or acts of hostility 
to be done by any of his Majestie's ships or subjects. 

" XXIV. That the copy of the King's grant to his Royal Highness, and 
the copy of his Royal Highness's commission to Colonel Richard Nicolls 
(testified by two Commissioners more and Mr. Winthrop, to be true copies), 
shall be delivered to the Honourable Mr. Stuyvesant, the present Governor, 
on Monday next, by eiglit of the clock in the morning, at the Old Mill,* and 
also these articles consented to and signed by Colonel Richard McoUs, 
Deputy-Governor to his Royal Highness ; and that within two hours after, 
the fort and town called New Amsterdam, upon the island of Manhatoes, 
shall be delivered into the hands of the said Colonel Richard Nicolls, by 
the service of such as . shall be by him thereunto deputed by his hand and 

" John DE Decker, Robert Care, 

Nicholas Yaelett, George Cartwright, 

Samuel Megapolensis, John Winthrop, 


Jacques Cousseau, Thomas Clarke, 

Oloff S. van Cortlandt, John Pinciion. 

" I do consent to these articles, 

" Richard Nicolls." 

Copy of the Ratification of the Articles of Capitulation, by Stuyve- 
sant and his Council, on Monday, the ■ ^'t ^t'^^ ^^'— 1664 ; — from 
Albany Records, XYIII. 326, and General Entries, I. 31, 32. 

The Director-General and Council of New Netherland, to all 
who shall hear or see this. Greeting : Be it known that we hereby ratify 
and confirm the Conditions agreed on and concluded, on the Sixth of this 
month, between our Commissioners, the Honorable Jolni de Decker, mem- 
ber of our Council ; Captain Nicholas Varlett, Commissary of wares and 
merchandises ; the Reverend Samuel Megapolensis ; the Honorable Corne- 
lls Steenwyck, Burgomaster; Oloff" Stevensen van Cortlandt, old Burgo- 

* For the situation of this '"Old Mill," Bee anU, p. 86. note. 

Appendix. 69 

master; and Jacques Coiisseau, old Schepen of this city, with the Com- 
missioners of the Honorable Governor Richard ISTicolls, Commander of His 
Britannic Majesty's frigates and land forces who besieged this fortress and 
city ; namely, Sir Robert Carr, George Cartwright, John Winthrop, Samuel 
"Willys, John Pincheon, and Thomas Clarke ; And "We promise to execute 
the same. Done in Fort Amsterdam in New Netherland, on 8th Septem- 
ber, 16G-i. 

P. Stuyvesant. 

N. DE SiLLE. Jacob Backer. 

Maktin Ketgiee. Timotheus Gabry. 

Paulus Leendertsest van deb Grist. Isaac Grevenraet. 


I certifie the same. 




Translation of a letter from Cornelis van Rutven, late Secretary 
of New Netherland, to the Dutch Villages on Long Island, 
announcing the Surrender, dated, 8 September, 1664 ; — from the 
Bushwick Records, and from Thompson's Long Island, II. 165 ; 
— see also N. Y. Colonial Documents, II. 415, 445, 502, 509. 

Septemler 8, 1664, N. S. 
Beloved Feiends : 

It has happened that New Netherland is given up to the English, and 
that Peter Stuyvesant, Governor for the "West India Company, has marched 
out of the Fort with his men, by Beaver street {Bevers Paed) to the Hol- 
land shipping, which lay there at the time ; And that Governor Richard 
Nicolls, in the name of the King of England, ordered a corporal's guard 
to take possession of the Fort. Afterwards, the Governor, with two com- 
panies of men, marched into the Fort, accompanied by the Burgomasters 
of the City, who inducted the Governor, and gave him a welcome reception. 
Governor Nicolls has altered the name of the City of New Amsterdam, and 
named the same New Yoek, and named the fort, Foet James. 
From your friend, 


70 Commemorative Oratiok 


Translation of a letter from the Schout, Burgomasters, and 
ScHEPENS of the City of New Amsterdam, to the West India 
CoMPAisTT, dated, 16 September^ 1664, N, S. ; — from New Amster- 
dam Records, V. 567-570, and Valentine's Manual for 1860, 
592, 593. 

Eight Honoeable, Prudent Lords, the Lords Directors of the 
Honorable West India Company, at the Amsterdam Chamber : 

Right Honorable Lords : — 

We, your Honors' loyal, sorrowful, and desolate subjects, cannot neglect 
nor keep from relating the event, which, through God's pleasure, thus un- 
expectedly happened to us in consequence of your Honors' neglect and 
forgetfulness of your promise ; to Wit : The arrival here of late, of four 
King's frigates from England, sent hither by His Majesty and his brother 
the Duke of York, with commission to reduce not only this place, but also 
the whole of New Netherland under His Majesty's authority ; whereunto 
they brought with them a large body of soldiers, provided with consider- 
able ammunition. On board of one of the frigates were about four hun- 
dred and fifty, as well soldiers as seamen ; and tlie others in proportion. 

The frigates being come together in front of Najac in the Bay, Richard 
Nicolls the Admiral, who is ruling here at present as Governor, sent a let- 
ter to our Lord Director-General, communicating therein the cause of his 
coming, and his wish. 

On this unexpected letter, the Heer General sent for us, to determine 
what was to be done in the matter. Whereupon it was resolved and de- 
cided to send some Commissioners thither, to argue the matter with the 
General and his three Commissioners ; who were so sent for this purpose 
twice. But no answer was received, except that they were not come here 
to dispute about it, but to execute their order and commission without fail, 
either peaceably or by force ; and if they had any thing to dispute about 
it, it must be done with His Majesty of England, as we could do nothing 
here in the premises. Three days' delay was demanded for consultation. 
That was duly allowed ; — but meanwhile they were not idle. They ap- 
proached with their four frigates, two of which passed in front of the 
Fort. The other anchored about Nooten Island, and with five companies 
of soldiers encamped themselves at the Ferry opposite this place ; together 
with a newly raised company of horse and a party of new soldiers, both 
from the North and from Long Island, mostly all our deadly enemies — who 
expected nothing else than pillage, plunder, and bloodshed — as men could 
perceive by their cursing and talking when mention was made of a capitu- 

Appendix. 71 

Finally, being then encircled round about, we saw little means of deliver- 
ance. We considered what ought to be done ; and after we had well in- 
quired into our strength, and had found it to be full fifteen hundred souls 
in this place, but of them not two hundred and fifty men capable of bearing 
arms, exclusive of the soldiers, who were about one hundred and fifty 
strong ; wholly unprovided with powder, both in the city and in the Fort 
— yea, not more than six hundred pounds were found in the Fort besides 
seven hundred pounds that is unserviceable ; Also because the countrymen, 
the third man of whom was called out, refused. We, with the greater por- 
tion of the inhabitants, considered it necessary to remonstrate with our 
Lord Director-General and Council, that their Honors might consent to a 
capitulation. Whereunto we labored according to our duty, and had much 
trouble ; Laid down and considered all the difficulties which should arise 
therefrom, not being able to resist such an enemy, as they could also re- 
ceive a much greater force than they then had under command. 

The Director-General and Council at length consented thereunto. 
Whereupon Commissioners were sent to the Admiral, who notified him that 
it was resolved to come to terms, in order to save the shedding of blood, 
if a good Agreement could be concluded. 

Six persons were commissioned on each side, for the purpose of treating' 
on this matter ; which they have done and concluded in manner as appears 
by the Articles annexed. How that will result, time will tell. 

Meanwhile, since we have no longer to depend upon your Honors' prom- 
ises or protection. We, with all the poor, sorrowing, and abandoned com- 
monalty here, must fly for refuge to the Almighty God, not doubting but 
He will stand by us in this sorely afflicting conjuncture, and no more de- 
part from us. 

Aud we remain yom* 

Sorrowful and abandoned subjects, 


Paulus Leendeetsen van dee Grist, Timotheus Gabey, 

CoENELis Steenwtck, Isaao Grevexeaet, 


Done in Jorck, heretofore named Amsterdam, in New Netherland, Anno 
1664, the 16th of September. 

72 Commemorative Oration. 


Translation of a letter from the Reverend Samuel Drisius, one of 
the Collegiate Ministers of the Reformed Dutch Church at New 
Amsterdam, to the Classis of Amsterdam, dated 15 September^ 
1664, N. S. ; from the Original Manuscript in the possession of 
the General Synod of the Reformed Protestant Dutch 
Church in North America. 

To THE Reverend, Learned, and Pious Bhothers of the Venerable 
Classis of Amsterdam. 

I cannot neglect to acquaint your Reverences with our present condition, 
nam el J" that we are now brought under the government of the King of 
England. On the Twenty-sixth of August there arrived in the Bay of the 
North River, near Staten Island, four great ships-of-war or frigates, well 
equipped, manned with seamen And soldiers, having a Patent or Commis- 
sion from the King of Great Britain to demand and receive this Province 
in the name of His Majesty, and, if the same should not be accomplished 
by amicable arrangement, then to attack the place by force ; and that then 
all should be given over to the pillage, robbery, and spoil of the English 
soldiers. The people here were not a little amazfed at the arrival of these 
frigates. Our Lords, the Director and Council, together with the Regents 
of the City, took this affair very much to heart ; and with all diligence, by 
messages sent back and forth to the General Richard Nicolls, sought 
to delay these matters, and that they might be referred to his Majesty of 
England and the Lords States of Holland. But all was in vain ! They 
landed their soldiers about six miles off, at Gravesend, and marched them 
on foot upon Long Island up to the Ferry, over against this place. And on 
the Fourth of September, the frigates came with full sail, as far as here, 
having their guns all ready on one side, charged and intending (in case any 
hostilities should be used against them) to discharge their full broadsides on 
this open place, and then to conquer this town by violence, and give over every 
thing to rapine and massacre. Our Noble Lords and Regents, as well of the 
Noble [West India] Company as of the City, were well disposed to defend 
the place. But they saw that it was impossible ; because the town was 
not in a condition of defence, though it was now being fortified ; that even 
then it could not be defended, seeing that each man would have to stand 
four rods from tlie other in tlie ramparts of the City ; that there was little 

Appendix. 73 

provision of powder, as well in the fort as in the town ; and that there was 
no relief or assistance to be expected ; — but, on the other hand, that a great 
concourse of Englishmen, as well foot as horse, came hitherwards daOy out 
of New England, very ardent for the plundering of this place ; also that 
six hundred Northern Savages, and one hundred and fifty French rovers, 
with English commissions, had offered their services against us. So it was 
that our authorities, under the strong urgency of the burghers and inhab- 
itants, were compelled, in order to prevent plundering and bloodshed, to 
resolve (however unwillingly) to come to an Agreement ; the which was • 
accordingly concluded on the Sixth of September. And so the English 
marched into our City on the Eighth of September, according to the Con- 

After the surrender of this place, several Englishmen, whom we have 
long knowU; and who are well affectioned towards us, came to us, saying 
that God had particularly ordered this affair so that it was settled by a Con- 
vention ; because otherwise nothing could have come out of it but plunder- 
ing, murdering, and total ruin. The which, also, several soldiers confirmed ; 
who said that they had come here out of England in hope of booty, and 
now that it had fallen out otherwise, they wished that they might go back 
again to England. • 

And whereas it was arranged in the Articles that the Church service and 
doctrine, together with the Clergymen, should remain and continue as they 
have been until now, we could not separate ourselves from our congregation 
and hearers, but have felt ourselves obliged by our duty to abide, yet for a 
time, with the same, so that they should not, all at once, be scattered, and 
dwindle away. 

I have a moderate sum due to me from the Noble ["West India] Company, 
which I hope and wish may be paid. And so I end, commending your 
reverend persons and labors to the blessing of God, and remain. 
Your Keverences' obedient Brother, 

Samuel Deisiu8. 

Anno 1664, Sept. 15. 











First yice-President, 

Second Vice-President, 

Foreign Corresponding Secretary, 

Domestic Corresponding Secretary, 

Recording Secretary, 








October 12, 1864. 

The New York Historical Society, at its meeting on the second 
of February, 1864, taking into consideration the importance of the 
event, resolved that it would commemorate, by suitable acts and 
proceedings, the Two Hundredth Anniversary of the Conquest of 
New Netherland, in the autumn of the year 1664. 

A Committee of Arrangements, including some of its most 
distinguished members, was accordingly appointed, and John 
RoMEYN Beodhead was selected to deliver the Commemorative 

The Committee, in executing their duty, addressed the following 
letter of invitation to various Historical Societies and eminent 
citizens in New York and other States : — 


Library, New York City, September \oth, 1864. 

Sir: — The New York Historical Society proposes to commemorate, by suit- 
able Acts and Proceedings, the Two Himdredtli Anniversary of the Conquest of 
New Netherland, in the autumn of the year 1664. 

Next to the discovery in 1609, by the Dutch, of New Netherland — the original 
bounds of which inchided the present States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, 
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, 

80 Proceedings of the society. 

and Delaware — its conquest by the English, in 1664, is the most interesting event 
in the Colonial History of New York. The consequences of this event were of 
momentous import, not only to the City and the State of New York, but to the 
American Union. It forms one of those great epochs in National existence which 
it is the special office of Historical Societies fitly to observe. 

The time appointed for the proposed commemoration is Wednesday, the 
Twelfth of October next, being just two centuries after the last Dutch Fort on 
the Delaware was taken by the English, and the conquest of New Xetherlaud was 

An Oration will be delivered on that day, before the Society and its guests, at 
the Hall of the Union, Cooper Institute, in this City, by John Romeyn Brod- 
head, LL.D. ; and other proceedings will take place. 

In behalf of the New York Historical Society, the undersigned request the 
pleasure of your attendance on this occasion. * 

Awaiting your favorable reply, 

We have the honor to be. Sir, 

Your obedient servants, 

GuLiAN C. Verplanck, Frederic db Pbtster, 
George Bancroft, Augustus Schell, 

Hamilton Fish, George Folsom, 

James W. Beekman, Charles P. Kirkland, 

Evert A. Duyckinck, Andrew Warner, 
George H. Moore, 

Committee of Arrangements. 

In pursuance of these arrangements, a special meeting of the 
Society was held at the Hall of the Union, Cooper Institute, at a 
quarter past seven o'clock, on Wednesday evening, the twelftli of 
October, 1864, 

Notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather, the meeting 
was largely attended by a very respectable audience. Among 
those who occupied seats on the platform were many distinguished 
citizens, representing various departments in the State and munici- 
pal governments, the Army and Navy, and the learned professions. 
Delegates from several Historical Societies were also present. The 
New Hampshire Society was represented by the Rev. Dr. N. Bou- 
ton and Joseph B. Walker, l^^sq. ; Maine, by the Rev. William 
Stevens Perry ; Rhode Island, by Dr. Usher Parsons ; Connecticut, 
by J. Hammond Trumbull, Esq. ; New Jersey, by William A. 
Whitehead, Esq., and Solomon Alofsen, Esq. ; Pennsylvania, by 
Thomas H. Montgomery, Esq. ; Delaware, by Bishop Lee, Dr. 
Henry F. Askew, and William D. Dowe, Esq. ; Long Island, by 

Proceedixgs of the Society. '81 

the Rev, Dr. R. S. Storrs, Charles E. West, LL. D., Joshua M. 
Van Cott, Esq., Dr. Henry R. Stiles, and Alclen J. Spooner, Esq.; 
BuiFalo, by William Dorsheiiuer, Esq., Dr. James P. White, 
George S. Hazard, Esq. 

The meeting was called to order by Frederic De Petster, 
Esquire, the President of the Society, who addressed the audience 
as follows : — 

Members and Guests of the New York Historical Society : 

We are assembled this evening to commemorate the Two Hundredth Anniver- 
sary of the Conquest of New Netherland, in the autumn of the year 1664. The 
circumstances and the consequences of this momentous event will be appropriately 
set forth to you by the Orator selected by the Society. A century after her con- 
quest, New York was foremost among her sister colonies in taking measures which 
looked towards National Independence. Retributive justice, in 1783, followed 
slowly, but surely, the trespass of 1664. In our own day, when another century 
has passed away, our powerful and patriotic State is found putting forth gigantic 
efforts to maintain our National Union ; assaulted as it is by domestic treason, 
which is fostered by foreign machinations. The Commemorative Oration, on this 
occasion, will be delivered by our fellow-member, John RgmetiSI Brodhead, Doctor 
of Laws, and well known as the historian of our State. The proceedings of this 
evening will begin by a Prayer, to be offered by the Reverend Thomas De Witt, 
Doctor of Divinity, Senior Minister of the CoUegiate Reformed Protestant Dutch 
Church in this city, and First Vice-President of this Society. 

The Reverend Doctor De Witt then offered an appropriate 

After which, the President introduced Mr. Brodhead, who pro- 
ceeded to deliver his Oration. 

At the conclusion of Mr. Brodhead 's Oration, the Honorable 
GuLiAN Crommelin Verplanck rose to move a resolution of 

Mr. Verplanck said, that iu offering this Resolution, laboring as he was under 
a severe cold, and a hoarseness which must render his voice scarcely audible to 
most of this assembly, yet he could not refrain from expressing the high gratifica- 
tion he had felt in listening to the discourse just concluded. It contained much 
curious and instructive historical information, most of it not familiar even to the 
studious historical inquirer, and the fruit of large and accurate research. It was 
enriched throughout by a sagacious and clear-sighted historical philosophy, 
tracing out both the causes and the results of the most striking and the noblest 
peculiarities of the character and fortunes of our State and Nation. Above all, he 
coidd not but admire, as well as sympathize with, the glowing and grateful ances- 
tral spirit which animated the Orator, — a worthy descendant of the compatriots of 
William the Silent, — and which had enkindled congenial emotions among his 


83 Proceedings of the Society. 

hearers. Mr. Verplanck added, that he was not able to expatiate on this 
rich and abundant theme, but must have recourse to the better voice of the 
Secretary, to make his resohition audible to the Society. 

The Resolution offered by Mr. Veeplanck having been read, as 
follows : — 

Resolved, That the thanks of this Society are eminently due, and are hereby 
tendered, to John Rosieyn Brodhead, LL. D., for his eloquent Oration, delivered 
this evening, in Commemoration of the Conquest of New Netherland, and that a 
copy be requested for the Archives of the Society, and for publication: — 

The Honorable George Bancroft said : — 

I rise to second the vote of thanks which has been proposed for the admi- 
rable discourse to which we have just listened. It is marked by a thorough and 
comprehensive knowledge of the subject, and by a careful style ; and it has 
been delivered with an earnestness which has enchained the attention of all. 

We remind ourselves, with just pride, that Mr. Brodhead is one of the oldest 
members of our Society, and not surpassed by any in diligence and efficiency. It 
is to him that this State owes an invaluable collection of the Documents, gathered 
from many sources, to illustrate, its History. To him, also, it owes the commence- 
ment of a work on its history, which is so full, so accurate, so marked by re- 
search, and an honest love of historic truth, that we have only to bid him go on 
and finish what he has so worthily begun. 

We have all been pleased with the zeal with wliich he has, this evening, dwelt 
on the virtues of the Republic of the United Netherlands ; and there can be no 
division of opinion as to the substantial fidelity of his picture. Such was always 
the opinion of New England. The founders of the first colony in Massachusetts, 
when they fled from the persecutions of their mother country, knew that Holland 
alone was the land where they could enjoy freedom of conscience ; and in our day 
the hand that has portrayed, in the strongest and most lasting colors, the heroism 
and the sufierings of the Batavians, when, in pursuit of their liberties, they went 
unflinchingly through the baptism of fire and of blood, was that of a New 

Our orator has set before our eyes a bright vision of the glory of New Nether- 
land, when its territory, according to its claims, extended from some shadowy 
boundary in the distant north, beyond the southern Cape of the Delaware ; and 
has set before us the successive which that vast territory was dis- 
membered, and formed into separate communities and States. Yet, as I hstened 
to him, I seemed to think that the Providence which rules in human aflTairs, 
manifested in this a benevolent design. Had New Netherland remained undi- 
vided, it would have been so powerful, so opulent, and so self-relying, that it might 
have spurned at the thought of an equal union with other Colonies. It was broken 
into pieces, that New York, which by its position ought to be the eye of the country, 
might learn to feel its high vocation, to rally the many States of our Republic into 
superior union, to defend that union against all assailants, and to remain forever 
its spear and its shield ! 

Proceedings of the Society. 83 

The Resolution was unanimously adopted. 

The Benediction was then pronounced by the Reverend Doctor 
De Witt. 

Immediately afterwards, a RecejJtion w^as held at the Library of 
the Society, which was well attended. After some time spent in 
examining the Museum and Galleries, an entertainment was served 
in the Nineveh Room. At the call of the President, remarks were 
made by several of the invited guests, among whom were — 

Alden J. Spooner, Esq., of the Long Island Historical Society. 
William Dorsheimer, Esq., of the Buffalo Historical Society. 
Thomas H. Montgomery, Esq., of the Pennsylvania Historical 

Alfred B. Street, Esq., of Albany. ,, 

Attorney-General John Cochrane. 

84 Proceediitgs of the Society. 


1. From Brantz Mjiyer, dated Baltimore, September 24, 1864, accepting 
the invitation of the Committee. 

2. From John WilHam "Walhice, dated Philadelphia, September 25, 1864, 
accepting the invitation of the Committee. 

3. From Henry E. Schoolcraft, dated Washington, September 25, 1864. 
accepting the invitation of the Committee. 

4. From John M. Barbour, dated New York, September 26, 1864, accept- 
ing the invitation of the Committee. 

5. From Millard Fillmore, President of the Buffalo Historical Society, 
dated Buffalo, September 26, 1864, accepting the invitation of the Com- 

6. From Charles J. Hoadley, dated Hartford, September 26, 1864, accept- 
ing the invitation of the Committee. 

7. From William H. Bogart, dated Aurora, Cayuga Lake, September 27, 
1864, accepting the invitation of the Committee. 

8. From the Mayor of the City of N"ew York, dated New York, Septem- 
ber 27, 1864, accepting the invitation of the Committee. 

9. From James Moncrief, dated New York, 29th September, 1864, accept- 
ing the invitation of the Committee. 

10. From William H. Seward, dated Washington City, 29th September, 
1864, acknowledging the invitation of the Committee: — 

" I am profoimdiy gratified for the consideration which the New York Histor- 
ical Society have manifested, by inviting me to attend their proposed Celebration 
of the Two Hundredth Anniversary of the Conquest of New Netherland. The 
changes in the condition of the American Continent which have followed, and in 
some respects are due to, that great Revolution, contribute a theme upon which I 
should like to hear the distinguished scholar you have chosen to be the Orator of 
the occasion. But, just now, I am encumbered with the cares incident to the 
effort of our country to save all that she has hitherto gained, and to secure for 
the continent a brighter and nobler future than we have before contemplated ; 
and so, my respected and esteemed friend, I must ask you to have me excused." 

11. From N. Bouton, Corresponding Secretary of the New Hampshire 
Historical Society, dated Concord, N. H., September 29, 1864, conmiuni- 
cating the acceptance of the invitation of the Committee, and the appoint- 

Proceedings of the Society. 85 

ment of the Rev. N. Bouton, D. D., and Joseph B. Walker, Esq., as dele- 
gates from that Society. 

12. From Gideon J. Tucker, Surrogate, &c., dated Ne\y York, September 
30, 1864, accepting the invitation of the Committee. 

13. From D. T. Valentine, dated New York, October 1, 1864, accepting 
the invitation of the Committee. 

14. From Charles "W. Sandford, Major-General, &c., dated New York, 
October 1, 1864, accepting the invitation of the Committee. 

15. From Henry E. Davies, Judge of the Court of Appeals, dated Albany, 
October 1, 1864, accepting the invitation of the Committee. 

16. From Henry R. Selden, Judge of the Court of Appeals, dated Roches- 
ter, October 3, 1864, acknowledging the invitation of the Committee. 

17. From William A. Whitehead, dated Newark, N. J., October 3, 1864, 
accepting the invitation of the Committee. 

18. From William A. Whitehead, Corresponding Secretary of the New 
Jersey Historical Society, dated Newark, N. J., October 3, 1864, commu- 
nicating the acceptance of the invitation of the Committee, and the ap- 
pointment of the Hon. Richard S. Field, Solomon Alofsen, Esq., and 
William A. Whitehead, Esq., as delegates from that Society. 

19. From Edward Ballard, Secretary of the Maine Historical Society, 
dated Brunswick, Me., October 4, 1864, communicating the acceptance of 
the invitation of the Committee, and the appointment of the Hon. Edward 
E. Bourne, the Right Rev. George Burgess, D. D., the Hon. William Willis, 
the Hon. John A. Poor, and the Rev. Edward Ballard, as delegates from 
that Society. 

20. From Robert C Winthrop, President of the Massachusetts Historical 
Society, dated Boston, October 5, 1864, communicating the acceptance of 
the invitation of the Committee, and the appointment of delegates from 
that Society: — 

"Your obliging communication, inviting the Massachusetts Historical Society to 
send a delegation to your most interesting Commemoratiou on the 12th instant, 
was gratefully received. As no meeting of our Society would take place until after 
the occasion was over, our Standing Committee liave appointed several of our 
members to represent us on the occasion ; and I trust that tliey wUl be present 
with you. 

" I regret extremely that it will not be in my own power to attend this festival, 
agreeably to your kind requesD. I have not forgotten the prominent part which 
was played by CJovernor Winthrop, of Connecticut, in the events which you com- 
memorate ; and it would be particularly pleasant to nie to be permitted to repre- 
sent him on the occasion. Put if your worthy Vice-President shall have returned 
from Europe in season for the celebration, you will have a representative of Win- 
throp and Stuyvesant in the same person. My worthy cousin would also be able 
to bring with him the original draft of the letter of Winthrop to Stuyvesant, 
which was the occasion of so much violent indignation. It was my good fortune 
to obtain possession of this letter, a few years since, and, after printing it in our 
Massachusetts Historical Collections, to transfer it to the ownership of one who 
had a double claim to its possession." 

86 Proceedings of the society. 

21. From Edward Everett, dated Boston, October 5. 1864, acknowledging 
the invitation of the Committee : — 

" I have received your obliging invitation to attend the Celebration, by the New 
York Historical Society, of the Two Hundredth Anniversary of the Conquest of 
New Netherland by the EngHsh. 

•' The historical importance of that event — deciding, as it did, the nationality of 
North America — renders it a highly proper subject for commemoration ; and your 
fortunate selection of an Orator for the occasion, my friend Mr. Brodhead, than 
whom no one is better acquainted with the history of that period, gives assurance 
that the treatment of the topic wiU be worthy of its intrinsic interest. I much 
regret that I must deny myself the pleasure of being present." 

22. From Samuel Hazard, dated Germantown, October 5, 1864, acknowl- 
edging the invitation of the Committee. 

23. From John E. Bartlett, dated Providence, R. I., October 5, 1864, 
acknowledging the invitation of the Committee. 

24. From Henry 0. Murphy, dated Brooklyn, October 5, 1864, accepting 
the invitation of the Committee. 

25. From M. Eomero, Mexican Minister, dated Washington City, D. C, 
October 5, 1864, accepting the invitation of the Committee. 

26. From H. H. Van Dyck, Superintendent, &c., dated Albany, October 
5, 18G4, accepting the invitation of the Committee. 

27. From W. K. Scott, Corresponding Secretary of the Buffalo Historical 
Society, dated October 5, 1864, communicating the acceptance of the invi- 
tation of the Committee, and the appointment of Millard Fillmore, Rev. 
Walter Clarke, G. R. Babcock, O. H. Marshall, Dr. J. P. White, H. W. 
Rogers, O. G Steele, N. K. Hall, George B. Hibbard, and John Ganson, 
as delegates from that Society. 

28. From Hiland Hall, President of the Vermont Historical Society, 
dated North Bennington, Vt., October T, 1864, acknowledging the invita- 
tion of the Committee. 

29. From E. A. Dalrymple, Corresponding Secretary of the Maryland 
Historical Society, dated Baltimore, October 7, 1864, communicating the 
acceptance of the invitation of the Committee, and the appointment of the 
Hon. John P. Kennedy, Philip T. Tyson, the Rev. Dr. John G. Morris, 
John H. Alexander, and John H. B. Latrobe, as delegates from that So- 

30. From J. Wingate Thornton, dated Boston, October 8, 1864, acknowl- 
edging the invitation of the Committee. 

31. From Millard Fillmore, President of the Buffalo Historical Society, 
dated Buffalo, October 8, 1864, appointing Philip Dorsheimer a delegate 
from that Society. 

32. From H. Denio, Jndge of the Court of Appeals, dated Utica, October 
8, 1864, acknowledging the invitation of the Committee. 

38. From William Barnes, Superintendent, &c., dated Albany, October 
8, 1864, accepting the invitation of tlie Committee. 

Proceedings of the Society. 87 

34. From Horatio Gates Jones, dated Philadelphia, October 8, 18C4, 
acknowledging the invitation of the Committee. 

35. From William D. Do we, Eecording Secretary of the Historical Soci- 
ety of Delaware, dated Wilmington, Del., October 8, 1864, communicating 
the acceptance of the invitation of the Committee, and the appointment of 
Henry F. Askew, M. D., Rev. Charles Breck, and William D. Dowe, Esq., 
as delegates from that Society. 

36. From the same, dated Wilmington, October 10, 1864, announcing the 
appointment of the Rt. Rev. Alfred Lee, Bishop of Delaware, &c., in place 
of the Rev. Charles Breck, as a delegate from that Society. 

37. From Henry R. Stiles, M. D., Librarian of the Long Island Historical 
Society, dated Brooklyn, October 8, 1864, communicating the acceptance 
of the invitation of the Committee, and the appointment of the Rev. R. S. 
Storrs, Jr., D. D., the Hon. Henry C. Murphy, Charles E. West, LL. D., 
B. O. Silliman, Esq., Joshua M. Van Cott, Esq., Alden J. Spooner, Esq., 
and the President and Librarian, ex-ojfficio^ as delegates from that Society. 

38. From William W. Campbell, dated Cherry Valley, October 10, 1864, 
acknowledging the invitation of the Committee. 

39. From Andrew H. Green, Comptroller of the Central Park, dated 
New York, October 10, 1864, in behalf of the Commissioners of the Park, 
accepting the invitation of the Committee. 

40. From J. Hammond Trumbull, dated Hartford, Conn., October 10, 
1864, accepting the invitation of the Committee. 

41. From George F. Houghton, Recording Secretary of the Vermont His- 
torical Society, dated St. Albans, Vermont, October 10, 1864, communi- 
cating the acceptance of the invitation of the Committee, and the appoint- 
ment of Messrs. Henry Hall and George F. Houghton, as delegates from 
that Society. , 

42. From Albert G. Greene, President of the Rhode Island Historical 
Society, dated Providence, October 10, 1864, acknowledging the invitation 
of the Committee. t 

43. From Charles J. Hoadley, Corresponding Secretary of the Connec- 
ticut Historical Society, dated Hartford, October 11, 1864, communicating 
the acceptance of the invitation of the Committee, and the appointment of 
the Hon. Henry C. Deming, and Messrs. Samuel H. Parsons and Erastus 
Smith, as delegates fi'om that Society. 

44. From John V. L. Pruyn, Chancellor of the University of the State of 
New York, dated Albany, October, 11, 1864, acknowledging the invitation 
of the Committee. 

*** The Committee desire to acknowledge theii- obligations to Messrs. Ilarper and Brothers, 
the Publishers of Mr. Brodhcad's History of New York, for the use of the Map prelixed to that 
work, which illustrates this publication. 





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