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

Building a Fort

Within an hour after the last of the traders had set off, Master Minuit had his workmen busy on a fort, to be built an hundred yards or more from the place where we first landed.

Although these brown men appeared so very friendly, it was not in his mind to give them any chance to work mischief, and, therefore, some place where our people could defend themselves against an enemy, was needed.

All the Dutchmen who had been hewing timber were called upon to take part in the work, and it went on with amazing rapidity, for Master Minuit was not one who gave those in his employ much chance to suck their fingers.

The fort was made in the form of a triangle, with bastions, or projections, at each corner, so that while within them the defenders could have a view of each side-wall. Around the entire building, say at a distance of twenty feet, was a palisade, or fence, of cedar logs planted upright in the earth, and fastened together with heavy timbers at the top.

A more solid fortification of wood I have never yet seen, nor have I known of a like defence to have been made in so short a time.

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