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

English Claims

It was a long story concerning England, and the rights she claimed in the New World, which he told, the repeating of which would not be of interest to you who know all he could have said, and, most likely, much more.

What I had not known was that the English believed they owned all the land that had been settled by the West India Company, because, so they said, of John Cabot's having been the first white man to set foot on it; but the Dutch claimed that Henry Hudson first found the river which was sometimes called the North, therefore the country between it and the South river belonged to them.

Because of no one's knowing at that time how large a country had been found in this New World, and because of the English kings' having given away lands to this person or that company, everything was in a snarl; but I said to myself that if the Swedes could be driven out of their settlements by Master Stuyvesant, it would be no more than turn about for him to get the same treatment from the English.

And, even though I had been working for the Dutch during so many years that I had grown from boy to man, there was a great hope in my heart that Master Kip had made no mistake when he believed we were like to have a change of rulers before many years went by.

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