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

Surrender of the City Demanded

There had been no more than time to issue commands, when the fleet we had been expecting sailed up the harbor, and anchored within full view of the city. The ships were seemingly crowded with soldiers, and even those who were eager to prevent the English from working their will, must have begun to understand that there was no hope of making a successful defense.

The streets of the city were filled with men, women, and children, who wandered about aimlessly, too much excited to be able to remain within doors, and as messengers came and went from the fleet, enough of what was being done leaked out to give us a good idea of the matter in hand.

First we knew that the commander of the fleet had demanded the surrender of the city, and this we would have understood even though no one told us, because of the officers who came ashore under flag of truce.

Then it was whispered about that Master Stuyvesant wanted to talk over the situation with the English commander; but was told that the fleet had been sent to take the city, not that its officers might argue.

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