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

The City of New York

That same day Colonel Nicolls was chosen governor by the Dutch themselves, and his first order was that the city be called New York in honor of the Duke of York, who had really had charge of the matter.

Next day came a message from the new governor, in which it was promised that people from all lands might come into the City of New York, with the same rights as any other; that there would be no change in the affairs until an election by the people could be held, and that each man might worship God in whatsoever way seemed to him best.

We who had lived so long in the New World had seen the last of New Amsterdam with its Dutch rulers, who knew no law but their own whims, and now were we like men who have finally thrown off a heavy burden, able to breathe freely once more.

I would that I had enough of knowledge to set down in words all that I have just told you; but I am ignorant of nearly everything, save furs and bargaining with the Indians, therefore it is, that unless you shall repeat what I have said, the people of this country may never hear the story of Peter of New Amsterdam.

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