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Full text of "The first minister of the Dutch reformed church in the United States"

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i»^i) :nA>IIATTAN in 1628, as described 
in the recently discovered Autograph 
Letter of Jonas Michaeliiis, written from 
the Settlement on the 8th of August ot 
that year and now first published, with 
a review of the letter find a Historical 
Sketch of New Netherland to 1628, by 
Cingmrn Versteeg. 17 page and fold- 
ing fac-similes and i)ortraits. 4to. grey 
boards, cloth back, finely printed at the 
Marion Press on Holland paper. 216 pp. 
Edition limited to 175 copies, numbered 
and signed. N. Y. (Dodd, Mead), 1904. 
($16'i)0 net.) $7.50 

990 The Same. Printed on Japanese 
vellum. Limited to 50 copies, numbered 
and signed. ($;',0.00 net.) $15.00 

One of the earliest known contempo- 
rary accoiuits of the present City of New 
I York. A valuable addition to the litera- 
! tUic of the subject. Should be in every 
' Public Library in the State. 



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AUG 28 1979 



^OLOGlCAl SEV\\^ 



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THE FIRST MINISTER 



DUTCH REFORMED CHURCH IN THE UNITED STATES. 



THE HAGUE, PRINTED BY THE BROTHERS OltlNTA D ALBANI 



For private distribution. 



ri.fel 



There has just appeared in the Kerk-historisch 
Archief, a work published periodically at Amster- 
dam , one of those interesting fragments , which the 
researches of the cmious into the history of the 
settlement of the United States are constantly 
bringing, for the first time, to light. It is a letter 
of Jonas Michaelius , who may now be called the 
first minister of the Dutch Reformed Church in the 
United States , written at Manhatas in New Nether- 
land on the IP'' of August 1G.28, and communi- 
cated to the work above mentioned , with sucli no- 
tices of the life of the writer, as existing materials 
permit, by Mr. J. J. Bodel Nijenhuis; who de- 
serves well of Americans, and especially of New- 
Yorkers , for the zeal which prompted him to rescue 
this waif from oblivion , and for the industry which 
he has exhibited in collecting as far as possible the 
events in the life of the missionary. We are now 
carried back five years earlier in the history of the 



regular ministration of the Gospel in New-York, 
and are enabled to add one more to the list of 
clergymen of the Dutch Reformed Church in Amer- 
ica, one who, by his attainments and his holy 
zeal, as well as the high respect with which he 
was regarded by his learned brethern in Holland, 
is not unworthy to take his place at the head of 
the roll of that learned and pious body. 

This letter is addressed to Dom. Adrianus Smout- 
ius, minister of the Dutch Reformed Church at 
Amsterdam. It was found among the papers of 
the late Jacobus Korning, clerk of the fourth ju- 
dicial district of Amsterdam. Further than this its 
history is unknown ; but as Mr. Nijenhuis justly 
observes , it is undoubtedly to the importance of 
its contents that we are indebted for its preserva- 
tion. Of the author, however, some few incidents 
interesting both as connected with his life and con- 
firmatory of the claim now established in his behalf, 
have been discovered. They serve to excite our 
wonder that no intimation of his ministry and resi- 
dence at New-Amsterdam has ever before been given. 
From the researches of Mr. Nijenhuis we learn that 
Jonas Michaelius was born in the year 1577 in 
North-Holland and was educated contemporaneously 
with Jacob Cats and Ger. Joh. Vossius at the cel- 
ebrated university of Leyden, in which as appears 
by its records, he was entered as student of Divi- 
nity ou the 9"' of September 1600. He was settled 
as minister at Nieuwbokswoude in North-Holland in 
1G12 and two years later at Hem in the same 
neighborhood. In 1624 he was, on the conquest 



of St. Salvador from the Portuguese to the Dutch 
arms by Peter Heyii in that year, established as 
a minister tliere; but on the recovery of that place 
by the Portuguese in the following year, he left 
for Guinea and became the minister at the fort 
there, then recently taken from the Portuguese. He 
returned to Holland in 1627 and in January follow- 
ing, as his letter states, embarked with his wife 
and three children for New Netherland. He was 
then over fifty years of age. How long after writing 
his letter he remained in New Netherland is not 
known. He appears however in 1637 and 1638 
to have been again in Amsterdam, when he was 
requested by the Classis of Amsterdam to return 
as minister to New Netherland. This be consented 
to do and the Classis directed an application to be 
made to the West India Company to send him out. 
This was refused after some months delay for rea- 
sons which do not appear. Whether his advanced 
age, or the additional expense which the company 
would incur, or what other reason caused the re- 
jection of the application , is not known ; the confi- 
dence Avhich he had of the Classis of Amsterdam 
shows it must have been some special reason not 
affecting his standing as a minister. There is what 
appears to as an important fact in the register of 
these proceedings of the Classis of Amsterdam. Mi- 
chaelius is there styled //late minister in Virginia, /a 
(gewezen predikant in Virginia) , a circumstance not 
important, as Mr. Nijenhuis intimates, because it 
may thence be inferred that he emigrated from 
New Netherland to Virginia , for there is no possi- 



6 

ble reason why he should go there as a // minister n 
where neither the Dutch nor the French language 
was spoken; but as confirming the authenticity of 
the letter itself, which otherwise stands wholly urn- 
supported by other testimony. It shows that Mi- 
chaelius had been in North-America as a minister, 
and the fact that he is mentioned as of Virginia, 
proves nothing more , taken in connection with the 
letter , than that the Registrar who penned the mi- 
nute, had in his mind the idea, which prevailed 
at that time throughout Europe , and which assigned 
the general name of Virginia to all that portion of 
North-America lying between Florida on the South 
and New France on the North, and embracing the 
colonies of New-England , New-Netherland and Ma- 
ryland , as well as the particular colony of Virginia. 

There is, however, in the letter itself abundant 
intrinsic evidence of its authenticity. The national- 
ity of the first adventurers, Walloons as well as 
Dutch ; the place of the former residence in Europe 
of the Governor, Minuit; the war between the 
Mohawks and the Mohicans, are all stated inciden- 
tally in such a manner, that, being at the same 
time consistent with the facts known from other 
sources , they leave no reasonable ground for doubt , 
even without the recognition of the ministry of 
Mr. Michaelius in New-Netherland by the note of 
registrar in the Acta Classicalia , of its truth. 

This letter, of which a faithful translation into 
l^^nglish is now offered , possesses a peculiar interest 
independently of its importance in connection with 
the history of the Church. It is the only letter 



extant, within our knowledge, written during the 
first years of the settlement of New -York by any 
of the adventurers. Wliile New- England is rich in 
this kind of material for its history, New- York is 
with the exception of that now presented to us, 
entirely barren. We read with interest the picture 
which the writer draws of the privations of the 
first settlers of New- Amsterdam , of their first cul- 
tivation of the land, of the productions of the 
country, and of the manners and language of the 
Indians, from all which the reader will derive the 
means of no unprofitable reflection. 



Hen. C. Murphy 



The Hague , 

April 1. 1858. 



DE VREDE CHRISTI. 



Honorable Sir , Well-heloved Brother in 
Christ , Kind Friend ! 

The favorable opportunity, which now presents 
itself of writing to your Right Reverend Sir, I can 
not let pass, without embracing it, according to 
my promise. And I first unburden myself in this 
communication of a sorrowful circumstance. It has 
pleased the Lord seven weeks after we arrived in 
this country to take from me my good partner, 
who has been to me for more than sixteen years , 
a virtuous , faithful and in every respect amiable yoke- 
fellow, and I find myself with three children very 
much discommoded, without her society and assis- 
tance. But what have I to say ? The Lord him- 
self has done this , in which no one can oppose 
Him. Wherefore I should also be willing, knowing 
that all things must work together for good to those 
who love God. I hope therefore to bear my cross 
patiently, and by the grace and help of the Lord, 
not to let the courage fail me which I stand in 
need of in my particular duties. 



10 

The voyage continued long, namely, from the 
r24"' of January till the 7''' of April when we first 
set our foot apon this land. Of storm and tempest 
we have had no lack, particularly about the Ber- 
mudas and the rough coasts of this country , the 
which fell hard upon the good wife and children, 
but they bore it better as regards sea-sickness and 
fear , than I had expected. Our fare in the ship 
was very poor and scanty , so that my blessed wife 
and children , not eating with us in the cabin , on 
account of the Kttle room in it , had a worse lot 
than the sailors themselves; and that by reason of 
a wicked cook who annoyed them in every way; 
but especially by reason of the captain himself who , 
although I frequently complained of it in the most 
courteous manner , did not concern himself in the 
least , about correcting the rascal : nor did he , even 
when they were all sick, give them any thing 
which could do them any good , although there 
was enough in the ship; though he himself knew 
very well where to find it in order, out of meal- 
times, to fill his own belly. All the relief which 
be gave us , consisted merely in liberal promises , 
with a drunken head, which promises nothing fol- 
lewcd when he was sober, but a sour'face, and 
thus has he played the brute against the officers 
and kept himself constantly to the wine, both at 
sea and especially here in the (North) river; so 
that he has navigated the ship daily with a wet 
sail and an empty head , coming ashore seldom to 
the Council and never to the public Divine Service. 
We bore all with silence on board the ship; but 



it grieves iiic, whuii 1 think of it, on account ot" 
my wife; the more, because she was placed as she 
was , - not knowing wlietlier she was pregnant , 
and because the time was so short which she had 
yet to live. In my first voyage {*) I travelled much 
Avitli him , yea , lodged in the same hut , but never 
knew that he was such a brute and drunkard. 
But he was then under the direction of Mr. Lam, 
and now he had the principal direction himself. I 
have also written to Mr. Godyn about it, conside- 
ring it necessary that it should be known. 

Our coming here was agreable to all , and I hope , 
by the grace of the Lord, that my services will 
not he unfruitful. The people , for the most part , 
are all free , somewhat rough , and loose , but I find 
in most all of them both love and respect towards 
me; two things with which hitherto the Lord has 
every where graciously blessed my labors , and which 
will produce us fruit in our special calling, as 
Your Right Reverend yourself well knows and finds. 

We have first established the form of a church 
(gemeente) ; and, as Brother Bastiaen Crol very 
seldom comes down from Fort Orange, because the 
directorship of that fort and the trade there is 
committed to him, it has been thought best to 
choose two Elders for my assistance and for the 
proper consideration of all such ecclesiastical matters 
as might occur, intending the coming year, if the 
Lord permit , to let one of them retire , and to 
choose another in his place from a double number 

(*) To Brazil. 



12 

first lawfully presented by the congregation. One 
of those whom we have now chosen is the Honora- 
ble Director himself, and the other is the store- 
keeper of the Company , Jan Huyghen , his brother- 
in-law, persons of very good character, as far as 
I have been able to learn ; having both been for- 
merly in office in the church , the one as Deacon 
and the other as Elder in the Dutch and French 
churches, respectively, at Wesel. 

We have had at the first administration of the 
Lords Supper full fifty communicants — not without 
great joy and comfort for so many — Walloons and 
JDutch; of whom, a portion made their first con- 
fession of the faith before us , and others exhibited 
their church certificates. Others had forgotten to 
bring their certificates with them , not thinking 
that a church would be formed and established 
here; and some, who brought them, had lost them 
unfortunately in a general conflagration, but they 
were admitted upon the satisfactory testimony of 
others to whom they were known and also upon 
their daily good deportment , since we cannot ob- 
serve strictly all the usual formalities in making a 
beginning under such circumstances. 

We administer the Holy Sacrament of the Lord 
once in four mouths, provisionally until a larger 
number of people shall otherwise require. The 
Walloons and French have no service on Sundays, 
otherwise than in the Dutch language, of which 
they understand very little. A portion of the Wal- 
loons are going back to the fatherland, either be- 
cause their years here are expired or also because 



13 

sonic arc not very serviceable to the Company. 
Some of them live far away and could not come 
on account of the heavy rains and storms , so that 
it was neither advisable nor was it possible to ap- 
point any special service for so small a number 
with so much uncertainty. Nevertheless the Lord's 
Supper was administered to them in the French 
language and according to the French mode, with 
a preceding discourse, which I had before me in 
writing , as 1 could not trust myself extemporane- 
ously. If in this and in other matters Your Right 
Reverend and the Reverend Brothers of the Con- 
sistories, who have special superintendence over us 
here (*) , deem it necessary to bestow upon us any 
correction , instruction or good advice , it will be 
agreeable to us and we will thank Your Right 
Reverend therefor ; since we must have no other 
object than the glory of God in the building up 
of his kingdom and the salvation of many souls. 
I keep myself as far as practicable within the pale 
of my calling, wherein I find myself sufficiently 
occupied. And although our small consistory, em- 
braces at the most — when Brother Crol is down 
here , — not more than four persons , all of whom , 
myself alone excepted , have also public business to 
attend to, I still hope to separate carefully the 
ecclesiastical from the civil matters , which occur , 
so that each one will he occupied with his own 
subject. And though many things are mixti generis , 
and political and ecclesiastical persons can greatly 

(*) Named at the end of the letter. 



14 

assist each other , nevertheless the matters and of- 
fices tending together must not be mixed but kept 
separate , in order to prevent all confusion and 
disorder. As the council of this place consists of 
good people , who are , however , for the most part 
simple and have little experience in public affairs, 
I would have little objection to serve them in any 
serious or dubious affair with good advice , provided 
I considered myself capable and my advice should 
be asked; in which case I suppose that I would 
not do amiss , or be suspected by any one of being 

a TtolvTiQayfiorp OV dlloT^iOsniaxonog. 

In my opinion it is very expedient that the Lords 
Managers of this place should furnish plain and 
precise instructions to their Governors that they may 
distinctly know how to regulate themselves in all 
difficult occurrences and events in public matters ; 
and at the same time that I hould have all such Acta 
Synodalia , as are adopted in the Synods of Holland , 
both the special ones relating to this region and 
those which are provincial and national, in relation 
to ecclesiastical points of difficulty, or at least such 
of them as in the judgment of the Reverend Broth- 
ers at Amsterdam would be most likely to present 
themselves to us here. In the mean time I hope 
matters will go well here, if only on both sides 
we do the best in all sincerity and honest zeal ; 
whereto I have from the first entirely devoted my- 
self, and wherein I have also hitherto, by the grace 
of God, had no just cause to complain of any one. 
And if any dubious matters of importance happen 
to me , and especially if they will admit of any 



15 

delay, I will apply to the Reverend Brothers for 
good and prudent advice, to which I have already 
wholly commended myself. 

As to the natives of this country I find them 
entirely savage and wild, strangers to all decency, 
yea, uncivil and stupid as posts, proficient in all 
wickedness and godlessness , devilish men , who 
serve nobody but the Devil , that is the spirit , 
which , in their language , they call ^nanetto .• under 
which title they comprehend every thing that is 
subtle and crafty and beyond human skill and pow- 
er. They have so much witchcraft , divination , 
sorcery and wicked tricks that they cannot be held 
in by any bands or locks. They are as thievish 
and treacherous as they are tall; and in cruelty 
they are more inhuman than the people of Bar- 
bary and far exceed the Africans. T have written 
concerning there things to several persons else- 
where , not doubting that Brother Crol will have 
written sufficient to Your Right Reverend or to the 
Lords Managers thereof; as also of the base treache- 
ry and the murders which the Mohicans at the 
upper part of this River, against fort Orange, had 
committed; but their misfortune is by the gra- 
cious interposition of the Lord , for our good ; who 
when it pleases Him knows how^ to pour unexpec- 
tedly natural impulses into these unnatural men in 
order to hinder their designs. How these people 
can best he led to the true knowledge of God 
and of the Mediator Christ is hard to say. 1 can- 
not myself wonder enough who it is who has im- 
posed so nuich upon Your Right lleverend and 



16 

many others in the Fatherland concerning the do- 
cility of these people and their good nature, the 
proper princijna religionis and vestigia legis naturce 
which should be among them ; in whom I have as 
yet been able to discover hardly a single good point , 
except that they do not speak so jeeringly and 
so scoffingly of the godlike and glorious majesty of 
their Creator, as the Africans dare to do. But it 
is because they have no certain knowledge of Him , 
or scarcely any. If we speak to them of God, it 
appears to them like a dream : and we are com- 
pelled to speak of Him not under the name of 
Menotto, w^hom they know and serve, - for that 
would be blasphemy , — but under that of some 
great persons , yea , of the Chiefs Sackiema , - by 
which name they, - living without a king, - call 
those who have the command over any hundreds 
among them and who by our people are called 
Sackemakers, the which their people hearing, some 
will begin to mutter and shake their heads as of a 
silly fable, and others in order to express regard 
and friendship to such a proposition , will say Orith , 
that is, good. Now, by what means are we to 
make an inroad or practicable breach for the sal- 
vation of this people ? I take the liberty on this 
point of enlarging somewhat to Your Right Reve- 
rend. 

Their language which is first thing to be em- 
ployed with them , methinks is entirely pecidiar. 
Many of our common people call it an easy lan- 
guage, which is soon learned, but I am of a 
contrary opinion. For those who can understand 



17 

their words to some extent and repeat them , fail 
greatly in the pronunciation and speak a broken lan- 
guage, like the language of Ashdod. For these 
people have difficult aspirates and many guttural 
letters which are formed more in the throat than 
by the mouth, teeth and lips, which our people 
not being accustomed to, guess at by means of 
their signs , and then imagine that they have ac- 
complished something wonderful. It is true one 
can learn as much as is sufficient for the purposes 
of trading, but this occurs almost as much by 
signs with the thumb and fingers as by speaking; 
which could not be done in religious matters. It 
also seems to us that they rather design to con- 
ceal their language from us than to properly com- 
municate it, except in things which happen in daily 
trade; saving that it is sufficient for us to under- 
stand them in those: and then they speak only half 
their reasons , with shortened words ; and frequently 
call a dozen things and even more by one name; 
and all things which have only a rude resemblance 
to each other they frequently call by the same name. 
In truth it is a made up childish language : so that 
even those who can best of all speak with the 
Indians and get along well in trade, are never- 
theless wholly in the dark and bewildered when 
they hear the Indians speaking with each other by 
themselves. 

Let us then leave the parents in their condition 
and begin with the children who are still young. 
So it should be. But they must be separated in 
youth from their parents, yea, from their whole 



18 

nation. For, without this, they would be as much 
given as their parents to heathenish tricks and de- 
viltries , which are kneaded naturally in their hearts 
by themselves through a just judgment of God; so 
that having once obtained deep root, by habit, they 
can with difficulty be wholly eradicated therefrom. 
But this separation is hard to effect ; for the pa- 
rents have a strong affection for their children and 
are very loth to part with them: and, when they 
are separated from them , — as we have already 
had proof, - the parents are never contented, 
but take them away stealthily or induce them to 
run away themselves. Nevertheless we must, - 
although it would be attended with some expense , - 
obtain the children through a sense of gratitude on 
the part of their parents and with their consent, 
by means of presents and promises; in order to 
place them under the instruction of some expe- 
rienced and godly schoolmaster , where they may be 
instructed not only to speak read and write in our 
language, but also especially in the fundamentals 
of our Cliristian religion, and where besides they 
will see nothing but good examples and virtuous 
lives; but they must speak their native tongue 
sometimes among themselves in order not to forget 
it, as being evidently a principal means of spread- 
ing the knowledge of religion through the whole 
nation. In the meantime it must not be forgotten 
to pray to the Lord, with ardent and continual 
prayers, for his blessing, Who can make things 
which are unseen to be quickly and conveniently 
seen. Who gives life to the dead, calls as nothing 



11) 

that which is, and being rich in mercy has pity 
on whom he will: as He has compassionated our 
people to be his people, when we before were not 
pitied and were not his people, and has washed 
us clean , sanctified us and justified us , when 
we were covered all over with all manner of cor- 
ruption , calling us to the blessed knowledge of his 
Son and from the power of darkness to his mar- 
vellous light. And this I regard so much the more 
necessary as the wrath and malediction of God, 
which have been found to rest upon this miserable 
people hitherto , are the more severe. May God have 
mercy upon them finally, that the fulness of the 
heathen may be gradually accomplished and the 
salvation of our God may be here also seen among 
these wild and savage men. I hope to keep a 
watchful eye over these people and to learn as 
much of their language as will be practicable, and 
to seek better opportunities for their instruction 
than hitherto it has been possible to find. 

As to what concerns myself and my household; 
I find myself by the loss of my good and helping 
partner very much hindered and distressed, - for 
my two little daughters are yet small : maidservants 
are not here to be had, at least none whom they 
advise me to take : and the Angola slaves are thiev- 
ish, lazy and useless trash. The young man whom 
I took with me , I discharged after Whitsuntide , 
for the reason that I could not employ him out of 
doors at any working of the land and in doors he 
was a burden to me instead of an assistance. He 
is now elsewhere at service with the boers. 



30 

The promises which the Lords Masters of the 
Company had made me of some acres or surveyed 
lands for me to make myself a home , instead of 
a free table which othernise belonged to me, is 
wholly of no avail. For their Honors well know 
that there are no horses, cows or laborers to be 
obtained here for money. Every one is short in 
these particulars and wants more. The expense 
would not trouble me, if an opportunity only of- 
fered; as it would he for our own accommodation, 
although there were no profit from it (save that the 
Honorable Managers owe me as much as the value 
of a free table) ; for there is here no refreshment of 
butter, milk etc. to be obtained, although a very 
high price be offered for them; for the people who 
bring them and bespeak them are suspicious of each 
other. So I will be compelled to pass through the 
winter without butter and other necessaries which 
the ships did not bring with them to be sold here. 
The rations, which are given out and charged for 
high enough, are all hard stale food, as they are 
used to on board ship, and freqently this is not 
very good , and there cannot be obtained as much 
of it as may be desired. I began to get some 
strength through the grace of the Lord, but in 
consequence of this hard fare of beans and grey 
peas , which are hard enough , barley, stockfish , etc. 
without much change, I cannot become well as I 
otherwise would. The summer yields something, 
but what of that for any one who has no strength ? 
The Indians also bring some things , but one who 
has no wares , such as knives , beads and the like 



21 

or seevvau, cannot have any good of them. Though 
the people trade such things for proper wares , I 
know not whether it is permitted by the laws of 
the Company. I have now ordered from Holland 
most all necessaries: but expect to pass through 
the winter with hard and scanty food. 

The country yields many good things for the 
support of life , but they are all to be gathered in 
an uncultivated and wild state. It is necessary that 
there should be better regulations estabhshed, and 
people who have the knowledge and the imple- 
ments for gathering things in their season , should 
collect them together, as undoubtedley will gra- 
dually be the case. In the meanwhile I wish the 
Lords Managers to he courteously inquired of, how 
I can have the opportunity to possess a portion of 
land, and at my own expense to support myself 
upon it? For as long as there is no more accom- 
modation to be obtained here from the country 
people, 1 would be compelled to order every thing 
from the Fatherland at great expense, and with 
much risk and trouble, or else live here upon 
these poor and hard rations alone , which would 
badly suit me and my children. We want ten or 
twelve farmers with horses, cows and laborers in 
proportion , to furnish us with bread and fresh but- 
ter, milk and cheese. There are convenient places 
which can he easily protected and very suitable : 
which can he bought from the Indians for trifling 
toys , or could be occupied without risk ; because 
we have more than enough shares which have 
never been cleared but have been always reserved 



22 

for that purpose. The business of furs is dull on 
account of a new war of the Maecldhaeys (Mo- 
hawks) against the Mahicans at the upper end of 
this river. There have occured cruel murders on 
both sides. The Mohicans have fled and their 
lands are unoccupied, and are very fertile and 
pleasant. It grieves us that there are no people, 
and that there is no regulation of the Lords Ma- 
nagers to occupy the same. They fell much wood 
here to carry to the Fatherland but the vessels are 
too few to take much of it. They are making a 
windmill to saw the wood: and we also have a 
gristmill. They bake brick here but it is very 
poor. There is good material for burning lime, 
namely, oystershells , in large quantities. The bur- 
ning of potash has not succeeded; the master and 
his laborers are all greatly disappointed. We are 
busy now in building a fort of good quarry stone, 
which is to be found not far from here in abun- 
dance. May the Lord only build and watch over 
our walls. There is a good means for making salt; 
for there are convenient places , the water is salt 
enough and there is no want of heat in summer. 
Besides as to the waters , both of the sea and ri- 
vers, they yield all kinds of fish; - and as to the 
land, it abounds in all kinds of game, wild and 
in the groves , with vegetables , fruits , roots , herbs , 
and plants, both for eating and medicinal purpo- 
ses , working wonderful cures , which are too long- 
to relate, and which, were it ever so pertinent, I 
could not tell. Your Right Reverend has already 
obtained some knowledge thereof in part and wull 



23 

be able to obtain from others further inforiuation. 
The country is good and pleasant; the cUmate is 
healthy, notwithstanding the sudden changes of 
cold and heat. The sun is very warm; the winter 
strong and severe, and continues full as long as in 
our country. The best remedy is not to spare the 
wood - of which there is enough , - and to cover 
oneself well with rough skins which can also easily 
be obtained. The harvest - God be praised - is 
in the barns and is better gathered than ever be- 
fore. The ground is fertile enough to reward labor, 
but they must clean it well, and manure and cul- 
tinate it the same as our lands require. It has 
hitherto happened much worse because, many of 
the people are not very laborious or could not ob- 
tain their proper necessaries for want of bread. 
But it now begins to go on better and it would 
be entirely different now if the Masters would only 
send good laborers and make regulations of all 
matters , in order , with what the land itself pro- 
duces, to do for the best. 

I had promised (to write) to the Honorable 
Brothers , Rudolphus Petri , Joannes Sylvius , and 
IJom. Cloppenburg , who with your Honor were 
charged with the superintendence of these regions (*) ; 
but as this would take long, and the time is 
short, and my cccupations at the present time 



(*) Mr. Nijenhuis states that it was so committed to some of the 
Ministers of Amsterdam by the Synod of North-Holland; and the 
Ministers above mentioned were all at that time active Ministers at 
Amsterdam, where Sylvius and Triglandius had been since 1610, 
Petri since 1612 and Cloppenburg since 1621. 



24 

many, will Your Right Reverend be pleased to 
give my friendly and kind regards to their Reve- 
rends and to excuse me, on condition that I re- 
main their debtor to fulfil my promise, - God 
wiUing, - by the next voyage. Will you also give 
my sincere respects to the Reverend Dom. Trig- 
landius and to all the Brothers of the consistory 
besides, to all of whom I have not thought it 
necessary to write particularly at this time, as they 
are made by me participants in these tidings and 
are content to he fed from the hand of Your Right 
Reverend. If it shall be convenient for your 
Honor, or any of the Reverend Brothers to write 
hither to me a letter corcerning matters which 
might he important in any degree to me, it would 
be very interesting to me, living here in a savage 
land without any society of our order, and would 
he a spur to write more assiduously to the Reve- 
rend Brothers concerning what might happen here. 
And especially do not forget my hearty salutation 
to the beloved wife and brother in law of Your 
Right Reverend who have shown me nothing but 
friendship and kindness above my deserts. If there 
is anything in which I can in return serve or 
gratify Your Right Reverend, I will be glad to 
do so and will not be behind hand in any thing. 
Concluding then herewith and commending myself 
in Your liight Reverend's favorable and holy prayers 
to the Lord , 

Honored and Learned Sir, Beloved Brother in 
Christ and Kind Friend; 

Commending Your Right Reverend and all of you 



25 

to Almighty God , by His Grace , to continued healtli 
and prosperity and to eternal salvation of heart. 

From the Island of Manhatas in New-Netherland 
this IP" August Anno 1628, by me Your Right 
Reverend's obedient in Christ, 

Jonas Michaclius. 

(Endorsed.) The Honorable Learned and 
pious Mr. Adrian Smoutius, faithful Minister 
of the Holy Gespel of Christ in His Church, 
dweUing upon the Heerengracht not far from 
the House of the West-India Company, Am- 
sterdam. By the care of a friend whom God 
preserve. 

(Sealed with a wafered signet not discernible.) 



,A