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

A Visit of Ceremony

Before Master Stuyvesant had ruled over us many months, he went in great state to meet the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony at some place in the Connecticut Colony, and if all that was said regarding the matter be true, he did what he might to persuade the Englishmen that he was of vast importance in this New World.

He journeyed on the ship Black Eagle, taking with him no less than eight servants, four trumpeters, and twelve soldiers, and I wonder much whether those people who had built here in America such towns as Salem, Plymouth, and Boston, were greatly impressed because the chief magistrate of New Amsterdam, where were living no more than fifteen hundred persons, could not go abroad without a following of twenty-four men, to say nothing of the secretaries, the clerks, cooks, and jacks-of-all-trades whom I saw flocking on board the ship.


I was told that Director Stuyvesant went to meet the chief men of the eastern colonies to talk with them about the threatenings of the Indians, and as to what should be done in regard to sending to their owners runaway slaves, and concerning other such like matters; but how the different affairs were settled, I never heard.

At all events, Master Stuyvesant came back in the same high and mighty state as when he left us, after having been absent near to two weeks, and in the meantime had made many enemies in New Amsterdam, for there were not lacking those who claimed he was trying to make friends with the English for some purpose of his own, when all his time should have been spent in behalf of the West India Company.

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