Dutch and English on the Hudson; A Chronicle of Colonial New York

9781231254226: Dutch and English on the Hudson; A Chronicle of Colonial New York
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Excerpt: ... 129 as a passenger David de Vries. The skipper asked his advice about lowering his colors. "If it were my ship," De Vries asserts that he answered, "I would not lower to these intruders." But peace at any price prevailed, the skipper lowered his colors, and the ship passed on to New Gottenburg, the capital of the colony. Here De Vries was welcomed by Governor Printz, whom the traveler describes as "a brave man of brave size." The evening was spent in talk over a jug of Rhenish wine. Such friendly intercourse and the aggressions of the English against both Dutch and Swedes led to the temporary alliance of these latter in 1651. Indians called in council confirmed the Dutch title to all lands except the site of the Swedish fort planted by Minuit, and a peace which lasted for three years was declared between the Dutch and the Swedes. In endeavoring to understand the relations between the settlements of the different nations in America in the seventeenth century we must realize that the colonies were only pawns in the great game being played in Europe between Spain and the Papacy on the one hand and the Protestant countries, England, Sweden, and the United Netherlands on the other. Once apprehending 130 this, we can easily understand why the governor of each colony, though instructed to seize and hold every foot of land which could be occupied, was advised not to antagonize the other friendly nations and thus weaken the alliance against the common enemy. As the power of Spain declined, however, and the estimate of the value of the American colonies increased, the friction in the New World became more acute and the instructions from the home governments grew imperative. Affairs then came to an open rupture between New Netherland and New Sweden. In 1651 Governor Stuyvesant inaugurated a more aggressive policy against the Swedes by building Fort Casimir near what is now New Castle, Delaware, not far from the Swedish fort. Three years later Fort Casimir...

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