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

Master Minuit's Return

It was while we were all in a turmoil with this new order of things, that we had startling proof that my old master, Peter Minuit, was again in the New World.

It appears, although I cannot explain exactly why, that the West India Company had turned him out of their employ, and Queen Christina of Sweden had offered him a high office if he would build in America a town for the Swedish people, such as he had built for the Dutch.

This Master Minuit agreed upon, and at the time when, as I have said, we were in the greatest turmoil because of the savages, he came over from Sweden to the South River, not more than an hundred and thirty miles from our town of New Amsterdam, and began building a fort.

This news plunged me into a state of most painful excitement, for I burned to see the good man once more, and to beg that he take me into his service; but Master Kieft had given orders that no person be allowed to leave New Amsterdam, save with his permission. Therefore how could I, in charge of the Company's storehouse, expect to be allowed to go among those who were considered enemies to the Dutch, for speedily had our Director declared war against these Swedish people led by Master Minuit?

Perhaps it is enough if I say that Master Kieft did not drive Master Minuit away, and that the latter continued to build up a trading post for the Swedish people until it became a stronghold in this New World.

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