Gateway to the Classics: Peter of Amsterdam by James Otis
Peter of Amsterdam by  James Otis

The Charge Made by Hans Braun

Kryn Gildersleeve and I had many a talk regarding the matter, until on a certain day he came with word which aroused me in no little degree, for he claimed to know that Hans Braun had been to the Director with the charge that I was neglecting my work, thus causing a falling off in our take of furs.

It had for some time been in my mind that at the first good chance I would bid good-bye to the Dutchmen of New Amsterdam, and go to Jthe English, my countrymen, either in Boston or Salem, for I had laid by sufficient of money, not having squandered my wages, to set me up in fur-buying on my own account. I had been told, by those who knew, that in the English colonies there was no Company with the sole right to deal in pelts.

In addition to all that, the Englishmen had begun to rule the land themselves, save as their king might interfere, and such government pleased me far better than to be under the iron hand of a single man like our Director.

Therefore it was that I went straiglitway to Master Stuyvesant, determined to know if he believed what Hans might have said: and, if you please, it was three long hours that I cooled my heels at the entrance to his chamber of business before I, the keeper of the storehouse and a regular officer of the Company, was allowed to enter, such kingly airs had he taken upon himself.


When at last I stood before him, it was not as a beggar, though of course my hat was in my hand, but as one who knows that he may not lawfully be displaced save by direct orders from Holland.

Speaking to him as the head of the city should be spoken to, I repeated what Kryn had told me, and asked if he had cause to complain of me.

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