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

Other Persecutions

Instead of seeking to soothe the people, our Director became more harsh and severe in such matters, and followed the arrest by sending back to Holland a preacher who had come at the request of the Lutherans of our city. Fathers and mothers to the number of six were put in jail because of refusing to have their children baptized in the Dutch church, desiring it should be done according to the Lutheran faith.

That he fined the Baptist preacher one thousand pounds and banished him from the West India Company's lands, was no secret, since it was all done in open court with our Director acting both as judge and jury, and this despite the charter sent from Holland.

I might go on until you were wearied, telling of the religious persecutions in New Amsterdam while Master Stuyvesant was Director; but there is no good reason why one should repeat each case of suffering.

It is enough that it was done, and verily did it seem to me in later days, that in the doing of it Master Stuyvesant was digging a pit for his own downfall.

To you who hear these things after they have passed, and concerning people whom you know not, then seem of but little importance; but to one like myself, who had been told on the other side of the ocean that this new land of America would be a refuge for all who were oppressed because of their faith, it is a sore that will take long in the healing.

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