[ End of article ]
|Chapter I.||The Finnish emigration to Sweden, from where their path led to the American shores.|
|Chapter II.||Motives and inducements that led Sweden to establish a colony on the Delaware River.|
|Chapter III.||A colony established on the Delaware River.|
|Chapter IV.||The second expedition. The Dutch withdraw from the company. Dutch colonists coming to the Delaware.|
|Chapter V.||The third expedition. Finnish colonists brought to the Delaware River.|
|Chapter VI.||The fourth and the fifth expeditions. More Finnish colonists brought to America.|
|Chapter VII.||The sixth, seventh and eighth expeditions. The Finns beseeching the queen to be permitted to go to America.|
|Chapter VIII.||The ninth and tenth expeditions. The Finns flocking to get passage for America.|
|Chapter IX.||The Delaware settlements under the Swedish administration.|
|Chapter X.||The Delaware colony conquered by the Dutch.|
|Chapter XI.||New expeditions of Finns arriving at the Delaware River.|
|Chapter XII.||The first period of the Finnish settlements under the Dutch rule.|
|Chapter XIII.||England replacing Holland as the ruler of the South River.|
|Chapter XIV.||The first period of the Finnish settlement under the English rule.|
|Chapter XV.||The second period of the Finnish settlements under the Dutch rule.|
|Chapter XVI.||The second period of the Finnish settlements under the English rule.|
|Chapter XVII.||The third period of the Finnish settlements under the English rule.|
|Chapter XVIII.||The last stages of the Finnish settlements on the Delaware.|
Chapter XII. The First Period of the Finnish Settlements Under the Dutch Rule.
After the conquest of the Delaware, Governor Stuyvesant arranged a government in the South River colony. The country was now divided into two administrative and court districts, the Fort Casimir and the Finnish Colony. Captain Dirck Smidt was appointed as the Dutch commander, while the Finns were called to form an autonomous government under the Dutch rule. They elected as their magistrates Peter Cock, Peter Rambo, Olof Stille and Matts Hansson and for their commissary or sheriff Gregory van Dyck who was of Dutch origin and familiar with the Dutch language. The Finnish colony had also its own militia and their own military commander and officers. Sven Schute was elected as captain or commander of the Finnish militia, by the Finns.
Governor Stuyvesant was not however satisfied with the deportment of Dirck Smidt and as there was then in the Manhattan a man, Jean Paul Jacquet, who had been in the service of the Dutch West India Company in Brazil, Smidt was recalled and Jacquet appointed as vice-director on the South River. Instructions about his duties were given to Jacquet on November 29, 1655, in which he was especially warned to look after the Swedes who still were at the South River, that they be not allowed in the fort, and if any of them might be found who are not well affected towards the Dutch West India Company and Holland, he shall with all possible politeness make them leave, and if possible to send them to Manhattan. On December 20, 1655, Sven Schute was questioned in court at New Amstel for alleged unloyal utterances, and on March 29, 1656, Governor Stuyvesant and his council passed an order directing Schute and Jacob Svensk arrested and deported. However the order did not become executed on account of the difficulties that arose at the arrival of Mercurius with the new Finnish colonists.
A daughter of Governor Printz, Madame Papegoja, who remained in the colony to sell her father's estate, the Tinicum Island, had hard time because nobody would work for her, as she had been accustomed during the time Printz was the governor at the South River, to see the work done on her father's plantations by the colonists without wages. She preferred to be called Miss Printz since her husband Johan Papegoja, who returned from Sweden with Mercurius, immediately went back to Sweden, leaving his wife and children here for unexplained reasons. One of her father's estates was Printz Torp, which originally had been confiscated by Governor Printz from a freeman, called Lasse the Finn. Governor Jacquet refused to recognize Printz Torp as the property of Governor Printz, because the estate had been acquired in 1654 by Governor Rising to New Sweden Company and therefore became now the property of the Dutch West India Company. Therefore Miss Printz writes to Gorvernor-General Stuyvesant the following petition:
"Tinicum, August 3, 1656.
"Noble, honorable Director-General of New Netherland.
"It is doubtless well known to the Honorable General that our late Governor, my highly respected Lord and Father, had conveyed to him a piece of land for a bouwery, partly made by freemen, who have returned to Sweden, partly cleared of the brush by his own orders and that, after he had cultivated the same for several years, it was granted to him by the King and also confirmed by Her present Royal Majesty. It has however, not been cultivated for nearly three years and is overrun with young underwood, while the house standing on it has been still more ruined by the Indians; therefore I have been induced, to have the same repaired and the land cultivated by three Finns. Now whereas against my expectation I have been forbidden by the Honorable Commandant to continue in it, therefore I am compelled, to inform hereof the Honorable General with the humble prayer, that he will please in his gracious and good will, as well as for the great friendship, which he had for my Lord and Father, to let me enjoy the same, upon which I firmly trust. Thus I pray once more, that my people at Printz Torp may remain unmolested and continue cultivating the soil and for greater security I may be granted by the Honorable General letters-patent for this place as well as for Tinicum. I hope, that this will be acknowledged by my Lord and Father as an act of great friendship and be gratefully requited as far as possible, wherewith I commend the Honorable General to the protection and grace of the Almighty.
The petitioner was permitted by Stuyvesant to take in possession the Printz Torp plantation, but she had made many statements in her petition that were not true at all. As the freeman Lasse the Finn from whom the farm, which afterwards was called the Printz Torp, was robbed, never went back to Sweden but still lived in the country. The land never was granted to Governor Printz by any king, there was not even any king in Sweden, while Printz was at the Delaware nor during more than ten years before. At present there was no queen in Sweden but a king, as Queen Christina abdicated in the spring of 1654, which was known at the Delaware on the arrival of the ship Orn on May 22 of the same year. On the contrary the land had been donated by the queen to a Finnish captain in the Swedish navy, the document, in which Finland where the Printz Torp was situated is referred to as Marcus Hook, reads as follows:
"We, Christina, by the Grace of God, Queen of the Sveans, Goths and Vandals, Grandduchess of Finland, Dutchess of Esthonia, Karelia, etc. hereby make known that we, out of our grace and favor, as for the zealous and faithful service which our faithful servant and captain Hans Asmundson Besk, has honorably and manfully shown and performed for us and our Crown, and which hereafter, so long as he lives and is able, he binds himself to show and perform for our sake, have given and granted, as we herewith and in these our Letters Patent do confirm, grant, and give to him, his wife, and heirs forever, a piece of land situated in New Sweden called Marcus Hook, which extends into Upland Kill, that, together with all things pertaining and belonging to it on land and water, by whatever name they may be called, without any exception of those now therewith connected and formerly so connected which rightly belong thereto, or may hereafter fall to or be gained by legal decision to enjoy, use and retain as an indisputable property forever. All herewith concerned shall conduct themselves in a manner thereto concordant; not doing to the said Besk, his wife, or heirs, any hindrance hereto, nor any manner of wrong or injury, either now or in time to come. For further confirmation, etc.
Stockholm, August 20, 1653,
Captain Besk to whom the land had thus been donated in disregard of those who had established their homesteads on it, died on his way to the colony and Governor Rising in his report to Sweden in 1654 says that he intends to buy these farms, including Printz Torp, to the company, "the improvements only being compensated for," he says. The heirs of Captain Besk, although they permanently remained in the colony, never profited by the donation.
The Fort Casimir became the center of the Dutch administration on the Delaware. In a letter of March 13, 1656, Stuyvesant is instructed by the directors of the Dutch West India Company to keep the above mentioned fort in good state of defence but not to mind of Fort Christina, only to keep three or four men there. Governor Jacquet was ordered in his instructions to lay out streets and lots at Fort Casimir, and he endeavored to make the outlying people to built their homes in the town.
The government of the Finnish colony had petitioned from Governor-general Stuyvesant some rules and instructions about the limits of their administrative power, and on August 14, 1656, their commissaries or magistrates and the sheriff appeared upon summons in Fort Casimir where Governor Jacquet delivered them their commissions and instructions. At the same time an ordinance in regard to the sale of strong drinks was read and then handed over to the sheriff to be published in.the Finnish colony. There was also a murder case in discussion. The Indians had killed at Fort Casimir a daughter of Captain Besk. The matter was left to the hands of the sheriff of the Finnish colony, although he was to report it at the court of Fort Casimir, as the crime had been committed within the jurisdiction of the said court.
Since the close of the Swedish rule, when trade became free for every inhabitant, there had been rivalry in obtaining the skins from the Indians. Dirck Smidt, whom Stuyvesant left in command of the river after its conquest from the Swedes, was strongly reprimanded for having paid too much wampum for the furs. The price of a beaverskin had become established to two fathoms of wampum, and each fathom was to be three ells long. An ell was measured from the corner of the mouth to the thumb of the opposite arm extended. But the Indians sent their longest armed men to dispose the skins, causing shortage in the treasury of the company. This was now to be remedied and on January 10, 1657 the traders of the whole river assembled and fixed prices were decided on all skins and fines for paying over the figures of the price list.
The conquest of the Delaware had cost very heavily to the Dutch West India Company, on account of the warship Waag that the City of Amsterdam had loaned for this purpose and for its 200 soldiers and supplies. For these the company had fallen to heavy debts to the city. There were therefore negotiations going on between the company and the city as early as in June 1656 about the surrender of a part of the South River territory to the city of Amsterdam. In a letter of December 19 of the same year the directors of the company notified Governor Stuyvesant of the surrender of Fort Casimir and the land about it to the City of Amsterdam. The fort was to be called New Amstel and Jacob Alrich was coming over to be the Director and Commissary-General of the new colony. Governor Stuyvesant was ordered to deliver and convey to Jacob Alrich the fort and the land on the westside of Minquas or Christina Kill, to the mouth of the bay or river at Bombay Hook, and so far to landward as the boundaries of the Minquas country. Director Alrich arrived to Delaware in April 1657 with 117 colonists and 50 soldiers.
The affairs of the Dutch West India Company on the Delaware and the moving of the company's property to Fort Christina, now called Fort Altena, were left to three representatives as director Jacquet was removed from his office by the letter of Stuyvesant on April 20, 1657, for misrule and was ordered before the council at Manhattan where he was arrested. Altena became now the centre of administration of the company's colony and the fort was garrisoned with 16 soldiers.
The inhabitants of the Finnish colony, being mostly engaged in farming, had not built yet any town of their own but were scattered in a wide area, mostly from Fort Altena to the Schuylkill River. However in the spring of 1657 they had decided to built a town and on the 20th of May they commissioned their sheriff to appear before the council at Manhattan with a request for permission to establish a town. This was what had been the wish of the directors of the Dutch West India Company, as they considered that it would weaken their position of resistance in case of arising difficulties, and the permission was not only granted but it was also judged necessary that the same should be done. The sheriff and the commissaries of the Finnish colony were therefore authorized and qualified, but also ordered and directed to concentrate the people in a town either at Upland, Passayunk, Finland, Kingsessing, on the Trinity Hook, or at any such place as by them may be considered suitable, under condition that previous notice be given to the Director-General and Council at Manhattan, in case they should choose some other place, than those specified above.
The sheriff also requested in behalf of the Finns for their court a man who should attend to the duties of court-messenger and provost, for which the sheriff proposed Jurgen the Finn, who lived on the Crooked Kill. To this the Director-General and Council agreed and consented that the above named person may beg employed for it, provided that he, opportunity offering, come to, Manhattan to present himself to the Director-General and Council, when a salary shall be allowed to him.
In the summer of 1657, there had been carried on some smuggling in the ships of the City of Amsterdam plying between the Delaware River and Europe. The directors of the Dutch West India Company therefore urged Stuyvesant to appoint a commissary to the South River, who would have to reside on behalf of the company at Fort Amstel to be on hand and present on the arrival of ships. Governor Stuyvesant decited therefore to visit the South River to investigate the charges. But it was only on April 20, 1658, that it was finally determined at the council meeting in Manhattan that the governor go to the South River accompanied by a gentleman of the council, Pieter Tonneman, to adjudge the following matters: Frauds in customs, several inhabitants of the Colony of New Amstel have requested to be allowed to move into the Finnish colony and to establish plantations near Fort Altena, some necessary arrangements had to be made among and in regard the Finns.
The Director-General immediately arrived to the South River and the magistrates of the Finnish colony prepared at Tinicum the following petition to be presented to Stuyvesant.
"The Sheriff and the members of the Council humbly request the Noble, Honorable General, now here present, a favorable decision on the subjoined petition:
"1. That we may be provided with proper instructions to perform equitably the duties entrusted to us.
"2. That for their execution we may have a Court-messenger.
"3. When it is necessary, that we may have free access to the Commander at Fort Altena, to get assistance from the soldiers in cases of emergency.
"4. That an order be made that nobody shall leave these boundaries without knowledge of the magistrate, much less, that the servant-man or woman of one, when they leave to run away without their master's or mistress' permission, shall not be concealed by the other.
"Tinicum, May 8, 1658. -
"The Honorable General's humble subjects,
|Gregorius van Dyck,|
The foregoing. written petition having been taken up, it was found to be a just demand; therefore the petitioners were promised and assured that upon the first opportunity a proper instruction shall be sent to them, to make use of in the course of their administration of justice and for the better execution of their duties, as far as possible.
On the second point it was deemed necessary, that for making, summons, arrests and the carrying out of sentences, the Sheriff and Commissaries be supported and served by a provost, who as Courtmessenger shall at the same time serve summons pursuant to the instruction, to be sent by the first opportunity offering.
Upon the third it was decided and at the same time orders given to the provisional Commissary at Fort Altena, that if the Commissaries of the Finnish colony should consider it necessary and the Sheriff ask it, he shall assist him in the execution of his duties and support and aid him with the Honorable Company's military.
In regard to the fourth and last point, an order was before this issued by a placat of the Director-General and Council, of which a copy shall be sent to the petitioners by the first opportunity; in the meantime it is decided and ordered that nobody shall be allowed to leave without previous knowledge of the Commissaries and further that thereto, as it is proper, the consent of the Director-General and Council shall first be asked and obtained, signed by their secretary, as it is customary in the province of New Netherland and if some one of the Swedish nation (as Stuyvesant and the Dutch usually call the Finns), should wish to leave or already have left the district, the Sheriff was ordered and directed to serve the same with an order to return and in case of refusal to proceed against him either by arrest or by detention, as it may be required and to give a written report of the proceedings to the Director-General and Council in due time.
Finally and lastly, whereas for the maintenance of the above mentioned arrangements, that is for the salaries of the Sheriff, Commissaries, Provost and other officers of higher and lower grade, as well as for other public concerns, by and by some subsidies shall be needed, it is recommended to the Sheriff and Commissaries to think and examine, where the same can be found and raised to the least burden of the "Swedish" nation, our good and faithful subjects, to whom we hereby assure and promise our favour and all possible assistance, as if they were our own nation, pursuant to the oath, made before or still to be taken by those, who may not have taken it.
The following oath was taken by the Finns on the South River.
"We promise and swear in the presence of Almighty God, that we will be and remain loyal and faithful tb their Noble High Mightinesses, the Lords States General of the United Netherlands, the Noble Lords-Directors of the General Privileged West India Company, also to their Honorable Director-General, already appointed or in future to be appointed; that we will obey and respect and honor them, as it becomes honest and good subjects, as long as we continue in this province of New Netherland.
"So truly help us God Almighty."
On May 15, 1658, Stuyvesant reported on the affairs of the Delaware in the meeting of the Council at Manhattan, having arrived from the South River on the same day. He reported that he had found many things at the South River not in such a condition as they ought to be, especially regarding the smuggling and frauds in the company's customs, duties on goods, sent there from Holland, as there were many goods, not stamped with the Honorable Company's mark. He also reported that the Finns had asked after taking the oath of allegiance that they might be allowed and granted them, not to be obliged to take sides, if any troubles should arise between Sweden and Holland, which was granted to by Governor Stuyvesant.
On July 30, 1658, William Beekman, son-in-law of Governor Stuyvesant was appointed as commissary of the West India Company on the Delaware. In his instruction, besides seeing that duties will be paid on all goods, he was to have at the South River the highest authority over the company's officers and freemen and to maintain law and justice, as well in civil as in the military cases, pursuant to the instructions formerly given either to the former commissary or to the Finnish colony. His instructions were to be amplified until which time he was to employ for the administration of justice, the sheriff and commissaries of the Finnish colony. Beekman however did not arrive to the South River before in May 1659.
During the time of the Swedish rule on the Delaware, Governor Stuyvesant had learned that there were some differences between the Swedes and Finns, that they were a different nationality. This is why he was so liberal of allowing the Finns their self government, so much more to win them out of the Swedish influence. The Finns had however elected the Swedish Lieutenant Schute, who remained in exile in the colony, as the Captain of their militia, and there were some distrust against him from the side of the Dutch officials. On the other hand the directors of the West India Company did not see any difference at all between the Finns and Swedes, they were fighting together in all the battle fields of Europe. The directors did not know the statutes of these Delaware Finns, they always referred to them as Swedes, and were greatly surprised that Stuyvesant had ventured to allow them a self government. After they bad received Governor Stuyvesant's report about the visit on the South River, they commented upon it in a letter of February 13, 1659, to Stuyvesant, objecting to the self-government of the "Swedes." They say: "We have no objections to the arrangements by his Honor (Stuyvesant) on the South River, except the appointment of Swedish officers for that nation, upon which no reliance whatever can be placed: this is inferable not only from their previous actions but also now from their request to the same Director, asking that upon arrival of any Swedish succor they might remain neutral, indeed an unheard of and bold proposition by subjects bound to this State and the Company by their oaths, who thereby clearly show the sentiments nursed in their hearts. We have therefore been so much more astonished, as it would have been much better to disarm the whole nation there, than to provide them in such manner with officers and hand them the weapons, which they will know well how to use against us, not only upon the arrival of the slightest Swedish succor, but also on other occasions: it is therefore necessary that, to prevent it, this mistake must be redressed and principally not only the aforesaid Swedish officers discharged and replaced by others of our nation, but also the time and opportunity taken advantage of, to disarm them altogether upon the least mark of presumption; further, their Sheriff and Commissaries, who are also of their own nation, must serve out their term and then, or in case of previous death their places must be filled again by men of our nationality, that they may be deprived so much more effectively of the means of conspiration and confederation and so much sooner be found out. It would therefore be useful for this purpose, to separate them from each other and prevent their concentrated settlements, or rather to put them scattered among our people, where they will be less to fear. Your Honors can hereby understand, how very important we consider this matter and you are consequently most earnestly recommended and ordered, to carry out and execute our above opinions and intentions with all carefulness as in our judgment the Company and this State are highly concerned."
To the above letter Governor Stuyvesant replied on July 23, 1659, as follows: "We have good reason to believe with our Noble Worships, that neither the Swedes nor the English, who live under our jurisdiction or outside of it, have a great affection for this state and the same might likewise be supposed and sustained from us, in case we should be conquered, from which the good God may save us, but how to prevent and improve it, Right Worshipful Gentlemen, hoc opus hoc labor est. We have thought the most suitable would be a lenient method of governing them and proceeding with them to win their hearts and divert their thoughts from a hard and tyrannical form of government and considering this we granted to the Swedish nation, (as Stuyvesant often calls the Finnish colony), at their request, some officers, that in time of necessity, against the savages and other enemies, in case of defense they might keep order, but we gave them no written document or commission, much less were any arms distributed among them. If your Honorable Worships should not consider this advisable, we shall according to your Hon. Worships' orders correct and abolish as far as possible agreeable to circumstances and occasions."
The affairs of the City of Amsterdam Colony of New Amstel had not run very smoothly since we left them on their arrival to the Delaware River in the spring of 1657. The first spring and summer they used in building a town, and when winter came they realised that they had nothing to eat. New expeditions of people arrived from Amsterdam without provisions and with little merchandise to obtain provisions with. The city had started the colony like everybody else, figuring on exploitation, but soon found out that the colony could not even live upon it, less to bring large profits to the masters. The Indians had converted much of their trade to the English colonies, since the prices for skins were reduced by mutual agreement among the South River people in 1657. The Indian trade on the South River was carried on at this period in the Finnish colony. The New Amstel colonists were tradesmen of Amsterdam, as weavers, tailors, shoemakers, etc., but there was no employment for them, as the Finns were men of all trades who could satisfy the needs of their families themselves from tanning a hide to the making of shoes, from cultivating flax and raising sheep to spinning, weaving and making their clothes and garments of the products. To illustrate best the conditions in the New Amstel colony we quote Alrich, the governor of the colony, from his letter to Stuyvesant on May 14, 1669. "The time in the first year was consumed with the erection of houses, …. the summer passed without bringing much seed into the ground. Besides that the general sickness which has now (prevailed) during two consecutive years and unstable weather caused much delay in everything. (When the privilege), to draw victuals and other necessaries (on products to be shipped to Amsterdam) from the City's storehouse came to cease, a great (anxiety) ... came over the people and they were very embarrassed and (in want) … One hundred souls came over with ship "Meulen," (in autumn 1658), besides those in the spring of last year, being according to the list sent about five hundred souls ... the little grain belonging to the Swedes, (the Finns), which was not drowned by the heavy rains and had not sprouted again through the great moisture, has also been so dear, that we had to buy it at high prices, equal to pork from a bird's nest, when they needed it themselves. We had also arranged with the Honorable Governor of the Virginias, that we should get some provisions from there, whereupon followed. that his Noble Honor freighted his yacht with provisions of bacon, meat, Indian corn, etc., and sent it hither, but to our misfortune the skipper of her acted faithlessly and stole away with the yacht, being so victualled, to go a privateering ... it has happened to us as is commonly said, a misfortune comes seldom alone."
As to the sickness that Director Alrich mentions, about one hundred people out of the six hundred sent from Amsterdam had died in course of the two years for fever and for actual hunger, as Stuyvesant says. Among the dead were the director's wife, the surgeon, minister and the commissar. The people were accusing Director Alrich for their misfortune and were deserting in great numbers as can be seen from Governor Stuyvesant's letter to his superiors on September 17, 1659. The letter says: "We mentioned in our last letter the deplorable and bad state of affairs in the City's Colony, on the South River, caused by the desertion and removal of the colonists to Maryland, Virginia and other places, which increase daily in such a manner, that hardly 30 families remain; besides this the City's soldiers sent out with the colony, who numbered at first 50 men, have melted down to one half."
Besides the incompetency, sickness and hunger in the New Amstel colony, there was a hysterical fear during the summer of 1659 that the English would come and capture the river. On May 23, Alrich writes to Stuyvesant that he had heard rumors that the English were coming from Maryland to demand the South River for Lord Baltimore. He says there are some unsatisfied people in his colony who boast that they have seen or read letters, written from Virginia to the Finns, that they should remain here as a free colony under the English, which is openly spoken on the river. At this time there was a naval alliance between Sweden and England and hostilities on the seas between Holland and Sweden were going on, that made the directors of the Dutch West India Company in Holland nervous, they were expressing their fear in every letter to Stuyvesant at this period. On September 4, 1659, Governor Stuyvesant writes to the directors that "We are not quite without fear and suspicion, that if the alliance between Sweden and England and the difficulties with our state should continue long, something may not be done, against our state, which the good God may prevent, as under such circumstances we would be too tweak to assist our people and keep this place properly garrisoned."
The English authorities in Maryland, having heard from the fugitives of the miserable condition in the New Amstel colony, thought that they could get the South River from the Dutch by asking. With this belief Colonel Utie with half a dozen men arrived to the river on September 6, 1659, from Maryland and informed that the country settled by the Dutch at the river was under Lord Baltimore's jurisdiction and therefore he ordered them to remove immediately or to declare themselves subjects of Lord Baltimore. To this the directors Alrich and Beekman and the Council of New Amstel protested and were allowed three weeks to consult Director-General Stuyvesant about it. The Dutch were scared to death by Colonel Utie's threats that the English would come with a force and both Beekman and Alrich begged Stuyvesant to come to the South River. On September 20, Beekman writes to Stuyvesant that he had asked urgently by letter the sheriff of the Finnish Colony that eight or ten men of their nation might be sent to him for the security of Fort Altena, until he had received relief from Manhattan, but had received no answer at all. On the following day Beekman again writes to Stuyvesant referring to the same matter, and expressing the belief that not much assistance could be expected from that direction.
By this time the directors of the Dutch West India Company and the burgomasters of Amsterdam had been released of their fear of immediate enemy expedition to their colonies in America, as the Dutch had defeated the Swedish navy in 1658, and in the summer of 1659 England was in turmoil by internal difficulties. It soon had its reflection also in Manhattan, as Governor Stuyvesant in his letter of September 23; 1659, to Alrich, condemns the conduct of the Dutch officers at the Delaware and boldly asserts that they should have arrested Colonel Utie and his party and sent them to Manhattan to answer before him for espionage. The directors in Manhattan felt now safe to send a military force to the South River, and on September 23, sixty men left Manhattan on board three ships, under the command of Captain Crieger, arriving to Delaware three days later. Beekman in his letter of September 30, makes excuses to Stuyvesant for not arresting Colonel Utie and makes it the fault of the other parties. He also states that "I received only yesterday morning answer from Sheriff van Dyck and the Commissary (of the Finnish Colony), upon my request made on the 16th instant to send eight or ten men for better security of our Fort; they excuse themselves from it and say, that your Honor had told them through Hendrick Huygen, that they should not stir in case of war, but only assist us against the savages."
Two commissaries were sent from Manhattan also to the Governor and Council of Maryland, in relation to the claim put forth by Colonel Nathaniel Utie to the South River. The head of this embassy, Augustine Heermans writes in his journal about their adventures during the journey to Maryland that they left New Amstel on, September 30, 1659, with few soldiers and some Indian guides. On the second day of their journey they came to a stream which the Indians said emptied into the Bay of Virginia (Chesapeake), and called it Curriamus. Here the Indian guides knew of finding a boat, drawn on land, which they took into possession of, and dismissing the guides, they proceeded by water to Elk River and with the evening tide travelled on down the river. Having rowed nearly all night on Elk River, they arrived in the morning of October 2 near Sassafras River, where they found a Finnish settlement of people who had left the Delaware during the time of the Swedish governor Printz. There they met a Finnish soldier Abraham, who had run away from the Dutch service at Fort Altena. Likewise they found a Dutch servant girl. To both parties they guaranteed a pardon if they would return to New Amstel. The maiden accepted the offer but the soldier was not inclined to return. Abraham however accommodated the party by making a pair of oars, as they had only paddles in their boat. Here they tried to obtain information about the current thoughts in the English Colony, but the inhabitants had been little concerned what was going on among the English. After some rest they continued on, but had scarcely left the shore when Abraham and another Finn, Marcus (Siffersson) approached them in a canoe, having found that it was their boat that the party had taken from the Curriamus Creek. The party promised to return the boat on their home journey, but it did not satisfy the Finns. Marcus drew a pistol and threatened to fire if the party would not stop. Finally they let the party to proceed.
Meanwhile Captain Crieger and.Secretary van Ruyven of Manhattan had investigated the affairs in the South River and had found much complaints in the City's Colony against Director Alrich. In his letter to Alrich he is accused of not allowing the people to move to Manhattan, wherefore they had to escape to Maryland and Virginia, which was the cause of the English aggression. To this Director Alrich and his council answered on October 16, 1659, and in part said: "And suppose, that all complaints were true and it were not the fault of the common people, then the difficulty must still lie somewhere else, than with the City or her officers, according to all appearances with the country itself, for the people have, one more, the other less, drawn from the warehouse for each family 3, 4, 5, 6 and 700 to 800 guilders in so short time, if they could not get along with that and get so far, that they now could help themselves, then the City of Amsterdam can complain, that she has been misled in such a manner, to spend so much money on a country and that she does not see any other benefit from it." They further accuse the people to be lazy and complain the winds to have been excessive, the rains super abundant and the fear of the English invasion having stopped all activities in the City's Colony.
The real reason of the failure of the Dutch colony on the Delaware was that the City of Amsterdam had sent here people who were not at all fit for pioneering and there was nothing here that they could do. They were undoubtedly good working people while they were at their trades in Holland. If the fathers of the City of Amsterdam had been thoughtful enough to send here mostly veteran farmers and only few artisans, things had run differently. But they had figured upon exploitation and quick returns, which did not materialize.
Messages of the English aggression in the South River had again made the Directors of the Dutch West India Company to worry and in their letter to Governor Stuyvesant on October 14, 1659, they say: "We cannot refute the suspicions and doubts arisen in regard to the Swedish nation (the Finns), settled on the South River, and that the English may very likely intend to undertake something against us there under the Swedish flag and name, the less so, because your Honors have (although with no bad intentions) apparently given them the weapons into their hands, not only by forming them into a militia company, but also by placing them under their own officers, whereas they rather ought to have been separated and scattered among our people, as we have explained at length to your Honors by our letter of the 13th of February of this year. We still persist in our opinion and therefore recommend to your Honors to carry it into effect without delay before they can get any advantage over us with the assistance of our neighbors."
The Directors in Holland did not have apprehension of the makeup of the so-called "Swedish nation" at the South River. They did not know that these people were Finns, many of whom had been with their families forcefully driven away from Sweden, or had chosen to come to America to escape persecutions in Sweden. The Finns at the South River acted independently, being well conscious of human rights and about the statute of the country, but they undoubtedly did not have much desire for the return of Swedish rule to the colony, as they had had it and which could not be but fresh and bitter in their memory.
The Finnish Colony on the South River had now incurred expenses and direct taxation was needed to meet the same. Therefore it was proposed at the meeting of the Finnish magistrates on November 26, 1659, that each family should be taxed five or six guilders. The tax levy required Governor Stuyvesant's approval and it took a long time before anything was done with it, which indicates that Stuyvesant was drawing back from the self government of the Finns, according to the orders from his superiors.
Amidst all the troubles in the New Amstel colony, Director Alrich died on December 30, 1659, after having appointed Alexander d'Hinoyossa his successor as director. Not only were the people dying in the City's Colony, but also the animals. Two of the horses left by the Swedish company at the capitulation of the river, died during the year of 1659. Some of the horses the Dutch had shot during the conquest of the South River. The rest of them were taken care of and worked by the Finnish farmers. As the horses had not increased in number on account of the killing and dying, although the number had not diminished, Beekman in his letter of March 15, 1660, accuses the "Swedes" (the Finns) of it and proposes that the horses be allowed to run wild or sold. The horses, seven in number were delivered to Beekman. Besides two of them had been running wild in the woods for two years. In the approach of the winter the horses were sold to the Finns in exchange of beef, pork and grain.
In the spring of 1660 there was a panic of the people at New Amstel. Three dead savages had been found by the Indians in the underbrushes near the town. They had been killed by two servants, belonging to Director Alrich's farm. A dead Indian was similarly found in the forest near Fort Altena, this had died of drunkenness, the liquor having been bought of the Dutch preacher Jan Juriansen Becker. Besides two drunken Dutch soldiers had burned a little Indian canoe, whereupon the savages threatened to burn a house, and they hung the body of the man who died for drinking, on a scaffold before the house of the Bible reader who sold the liquor, suspecting poisoning. The Indians were very agitated, and there was a great fear among the Dutch at New Amstel.
Governor Stuyvesant in his letter to the directors in Holland says that one of the Alrich's servants probably was a Swede or Finn, but he surely was mistaken as can be seen of Vice-Director Beekman's letter of February 3, 1660, to Stuyvesant: In the letter he says: "I received just now a letter from the Sheriff (of the Finnish Colony) whom I had requested to come to New Amstel with the Commissary, as the Savages are gathered there to talk over the murder, for they are better acquainted with the temper and manner of the Savages, than we newcomers. They excuse themselves, because they are not especially asked by the Director and Council of New Amstel, the Savages also (so they write) have told them, that they should not trouble themselves with this matter, whereas they of the Sandhook or New Amstel were not of their people. The answer was sent to them that if possible they should come here to-morrow, to consult together and that it would be unjustifiable if they could refuse assistance to prevent bloodshed when necessity required it and they were asked."
If among the Indian killers had been any Finn, the Dutch undoubtedly had referred the Indians to them.
On February 8, the Sheriff and Commissary of the Finnish Colony, at the request of Director d'Hinoyossa went in company of Director Beekman to New Amstel, where the accused murderers were held in prison. A trial of the murders were kept in presence of the Indians and , after two days of conference, where little offences were reminded on both sides, the Indians agreed to forgive and forget the past instances and were allowed some gifts, upon which a written agreement was signed.
They did not seem to have knowledge of this settlement in Manhattan before after several weeks however and Governor Stuyvesant and the Council were worried, especially as they were in war with the Indians at Esopus. On the first of March, therefore, the Council at Manhattan appointed Fiscal Nicazius de Sille and three other officials to proceed to the South River, with orders to hang the murderers in presence of the Indians, as a good example. Sergeant Andries Lourensen followed the commission to engage some soldiers among the Finns, to fight the Indians at Esopus, or to persuade them to come and settle in Manhattan as freemen, "for reasons more plainly expressed in the resolution." He was to ask with all imaginable and kindly persuasive reason the Finnish Commissaries' help and intercession, "as the service of the country and the company demands this peremptorily." The soldiers were to be offered 8, 10 or 12 guilders "heavy money" per month, and "if some persons, either married or unmarried, should be inclined to move here (Manhattan) and earn their living as freemen, to such he shall be empowered to promise in our name and for each family or else for every two working persons a pair of good oxen and that they will be accommodated and assisted here as much as possible as well with suitable fertile lands as otherwise."
Governor Stuyvesant's offers looked good enough, but there was the hook inside of them to scatter the Finns according to the orders from the directors in Holland. They were also desired as buffer against the constant attacks of the Indians upon the Dutch settlements at the North River, as the Indians would not harm. the Finns. But the Finns at the South River had by this time mostly all become independent farmers, they had built more comfortable homes, put considerable areas under cultivation and had raised a good number of cattle. In a state of prosperity, Governor Stuyvesant's offer of a pair of oxen did not interest them. On the 6th of April (1660) Beekman writes to Stuyvesant that the sergeant was in the Finnish Colony, and "tries to persuade some to enlist or remove to Esopus, but they show no inclination whatever; it seems, they are admonished and exhorted by the principal men of their nation, not to scatter themselves but to keep about here as the Sheriff and Commissaries have stopped those who desired to go and reside in the Colony of New Amstel."
The Finnish farmers had not yet found it convenient to gather and build a town, although they were pressed hard by Stuyvesant and his vice-director Beekman to do so. The Dutch of the New Amstel Colony had shown them a discouraging example, by coming to a new country and building first of all a town, and then dying for hunger and maladies that were the result of the lack of proper nourishment. The Finnish farmers had thought it inconvenient to live in a town and cultivate their farms and take care of their domestic animals. Some of the Finns had been in the colony already more than twenty years and were undoubtedly for their age inclined for peace rather than to start practically a new life again. Director Beekman in his letter to Stuyvesant on April 6, 1660, says that "those living near Kinssessing wish to remove to Arvenemeck, where there are now two or three families, while on the other side, those of Kinssessing are opposed to it, desiring that they shall come to them; the Sheriff and the Commissaries say that there is no defense or retreat whatever at Kinssessing, as they have to pass through much underwood and narrow creeks; while they have a great stream at Arvenemeck, where they can retreat or get assistance. At Arvenemeck they would have their fields on the other side of the stream toward Passayongh, where there is plenty of good land and they have sown a great deal last fall. Some of the Commissaries, who live upon good islands, maintain also, that they ought to be favored, by letting the scattered farmers move up to them."
As director Beekman saw that the Finns were not seriously inclined to gather together in a town, he assumed a commanding attitude. In the above quoted letter he says "I have ordered to write down in a list within eight or ten days, where it suited every one best to move to and if it could be undertaken safely pursuant to the order of your Honorable Worship's edict, that it should be granted or else that I would be compelled, to command them where to move to, whereupon they immediately requested, because they had not received notice in time as those at the Manhattan, that they might wait a little time longer, whereas it would tend to their great loss and to the ruin of their plantings of this spring, if they had to break up strictly according to the edict; therefore I have granted them, under your Honor's approbation, the time of five or six weeks longer." In the same letter Beekman says that the Finnish commissary had come to him at Altena, while he was closing his letter and "requested in the name of all outlying farmers, praying your Honor most humbly, to give them permission to remain in possession, until they have harvested their grain. I understand that then they will make a village at Passayongh and satisfy the savages for the land, whereto I was opposed and said that they could not buy any land from the savages except with the consent of your Noble Worship. They replied that they could get it from the Savages for a little and I answered again, that they had to await the orders from the Honorable General, I shall therefore expect by bearer your Noble Worship's orders."
Another letter of Director Beekman to Stuyvesant, on May, 12, 1660, indicates that he had received some orders from the latter in regard to the Finnish Colony. He says: "I represented to the Sheriff and Commissaries at Tinicum last week your Noble Worship's dissatisfaction in regard to their discouraging and preventing some, who were willing to go to the Esopus and thus disappointing the sergeant in this matter, whereupon they made many excuses. I have ordered them to inquire and report to me in a list what number of families might be willing to settle at Passayonk, to consider (before any troubles or expenses for the purchase of the land were incurred), whether they could establish a proper village, the more as the people are very changeable in their minds and also as it is reported that they would rather go to Maryland than to remove to another place here and sponge upon the others. Therefore I have not yet informed them of the prolongation until towards winter or after the harvest, as granted by your Honor; I have only recommended to them to be on their guards and make preparations for living together."
On May 25, 1660, Beekman again writes to Governor Stuyvesant, saying that:-"On the 19th inst. I received a note from the Sheriff van Dyck in answer (to the orders left with him and referred to in my last to your Honor) ; he says, that the community had chosen deputies, to send to me with the request, that I should petition your Honor in their behalf, that they may not remove and each one remain on his own place. This request was made by Pietar Kock (Peter Cock) Pietar Andreasson and Hans Mansson. I informed the said deputies once more of your Honor's orders; they said not land enough to pasture their cattle could be got at Passayunk, therefore they could not break up, saying further, if we must break up, then we shall go away or move to where we may remain living in peace and requested besides urgently to write to your Honor of their propositions, for which they would pay me. Sir! they desire only delay and intend altogether not to obey any order, indeed to the great disrespect of your Honor, as I have written to Gregorius van Dyck on the 21st inst., whereupon I received an answer on the next day, in which he requested, that I might defer a little writing about this matter to your Honor, as he first would speak with the most influential men and then communicate to me their opinions, but these are only pretences."
The Finnish farmers had common sense more then their Dutch harriers, to understand that towns are not for the cultivation of soil. In the circumstances they could not use the town even where to spend their nights, as domestic animals cannot be left alone, they need the presence of people in order to thrive. Besides, although the Delaware Indians were very friendly to the Finns, they could not be depended too much. By this time many of the Finns seem to have got tired of the constant bothering, and such uncertainty undoubtedly must have been very depressive to a man who had spent his best years to built a farm and had hoped to have a home for his family. There were many empty houses in New Amstel, built by the Dutch, who had since died for hunger or had escaped to the English colonies. Director d'Hinoyossa had induced the Finns to buy these properties and in the spring of 1660, some twenty Finnish families contemplated to move there, but were discouraged in this by the Finnish Commissaries. Others moved to the Finnish colony at the junction of the Elk River and the Sassafras River in Maryland, but the English were all the time in hostilities with the Indians and the Sinnecus Indian revengers kept the small isolated colony in constant anxiety, so that many Finns returned to the South River.
Among the social events that happened in the Finnish Colony at this period, was a divorce granted to a farmer in Upland, or rather to his wife. This being the first divorce recorded at the Delaware River.
One of the Finnish Commissaries, Peter Rambo, resigned from his office. In his petition he makes the excuse that he has to take care of a very large family and therefore could not well, unless to his great disadvantage, spare the time to attend to the aforesaid office.
Beaver skins and wampum were the currency at this time on the Delaware River as well as in New Amsterdam as can be seen of a letter of July 27, 1660 from William Beekman to his father-in-law Governor Stuyvesant. Director Beekman writes: "As my wife goes to the Manhattans for some needed provisions and other necessaries for the family, therefore I respectfully request, that your Honor will please to accommodate her with 150 guilders in beavers and 200 guilders in wampum." Madame Beekman was alright, she had 350 guilders to spend, but if the ladies today along the Fifth Avenue would carry a bunch of skins under their arm, to pay their shoppings, it would look rather out of date, and the ladies undoubtedly would feel even embarrassed.
There was a young loving couple in the Finnish Colony on the Delaware, who wanted to get married but were frustrated of it by their parents. The elders of the ecclesiastical affairs of the colony however authorized the Rev. Lokenius to marry the cupid stricken youngsters. This did not please Director Beekman, or rather it gave him opportunity to act according to his oath of office on the 28th of October 1658, in which he promised that "I will maintain and as much as is in my power promote the Reformed religion." Consequently he fined the minister 50 guilders.
Director Beekman had now established his court in Fort Altena and summonses were given to the Finns in law suits to appear in court there. This did not seem to satisfy the Finns and they denied the authority of the Altena court. When a court was held on August 19, 1659, there were 12 or 15 defaults in appearance. The Rev. Lokenius also refused when he was summoned to appear on the 26th of November of the same year, on the ground that he had nothing to do with the Altena court. The case was that a turbulent member of the colony had assaulted the minister, but the case had been settled. This did not however satisfy Beekman, he wanted to have a say in the matter and the assaulter Peter. Mayer and the minister were summoned to appear in the court again on May 7, 1660. This time Peter Mayer did not appear and they were summoned a third time in the autumn, then the Finnish Magistrates refused to act in the case.
By this time a considerable trade was carried on in the Finnish Colony. Trade agreements had been made with the Indians and the skins were coming to the South River once more from the Minquas country. Ships arrived to the colony to buy the stocks of the traders and to trade with the inhabitants. On June 26, 1660, Beekman writes to Stuyvesant that two ships were then doing business in the Finnish Colony.
The policy of ridding the Finns out of their own officers, as was the order of the directors in Holland, took a large step when their Sheriff Gregorius van Dyck was discharged on March 21, 1661, by Stuyvesant on pretenses that he had very little to do in his office, and that his duties can be discharged by the commissary Beekman.
In the latter part of September, 1661, the South River was in turmoil and gossip by a scandal. The wife of the Finnish minister the Rev. Laurent Lokenius had eloped with a trader Jacob Jong. As the trader left debts to Director Beekman and to the West India Company, the Director immediately wrote to the Governor of Maryland and to the Magistrates at the Finnish Colony on the Elk River, requesting the arrest of the elopers. Director Beekman in one of his letters to Governor Stuyvesant says: "On the 24th of September I was at Upland to inquire after the effects of Jacob Jong; I have found some of our commodities in his trunk. I received also from his landlord a certain open letter, wherein this Jong writes me and specifies, what goods and grain he had left for us in his trunk and chamber. But according to this statements we found only about one-fourth of the value, he gave also an order for four hogs, of which only two were acknowledged, the others being reported dead. I suppose, we shall be able to find a guaranty in his landlord, who on the morning, after the said Jong had decamped during the night, had the audacity (without our knowledge and in absence of any Commissary though some of them live at Upland) to open the room of Jacob Jong with an axe and finding the key inside, to examine the chest and everything; he has apparently purloined a part of the commodities. It is said, that Jacob Jong went to New England, for he has not been heard of in Maryland, as I learn from the letter received as answer from Governor Philip Calvert."
The minister, for his position and his large family of children undoubtedly took the scandal, that befell on him, very hard. It is rather an indication of unbalanced mind, that he three weeks later asked from Director Beekman permission to marry a girl under twenty years, a member of his congregation, wanting to make the first proclamation of bans on the 16th of October. The case was referred to Stuyvesant by Beekman. On December 15, Lokenius applied in the court and received the divorce from his eloped wife and on the last Sunday of the following January he married, performing the ceremony himself, as he was the only minister at the South River, and the only Lutheran Minister in America.
The self performance of his marriage by the Rev. Lokenius did not suit Director Beekman, it was his opinion that everything should have been asked from his father-in-law Stuyvesant. Mr. Beekman saw also a chance to make the minister pay him what he and the West India Company had lost on account of the trader Jong. The minister was summoned to appear in the court at Altena on April 14, 1662, where Mr. Beekman appeared in the case as plaintiff and judge. Extracts from the minutes of the court in the case read: "Plaintiff sums up, whereas it is well known and was confessed by defendant on the 23rd of November, 1661, that on the 20th of September, 1661, he, Domine Lars, has had the impudence to break into the room and open the chest of the runaway Jacob Jong, when he, Jong, had fled the preceding night, and has inventoried the goods left behind by the same, as proved by a specification from the Defendant's own hand, to which Defendant was not authorized and whereby he remains accountable and responsible to the Court, having usurped and despised its authority, to pay the debts of the fugitive Jacob Jong, to us on behalf of the Hon. Company a balance of 200 guilders' in grain and forty guilders to us on private account, besides a fine of 100 for contempt of authority.
"The Defendant replies, that at the time specified above he came to the house of Andries Andriessen, the Finn, and asked, whether his wife was with Jacob Jong in his room. The wife of Andries the Finn answered, that she did not know, that he might look, when he took up an axe, opened the chamber and inventoried the property.
"The commissaries having considered the case, direct that Dom. Lars shall pay the sum of two hundred guilders and forty guilders in beavers, as demanded, and a fine of forty guilders for his impudence.
"On the same day. The aforesaid Mr. Lars Carelsen was informed by the Hon. Vice-Director W. Beekman, that his marriage was declared illegal, because he had married himself, which is contrary to the order in matters of matrimony, that pursuant to the laws of our Fatherland he ought to have first asked and obtained a decree of divorce from the superior authority and that in case of delay he would be obliged to proceed against him.
"Agrees with the original minutes.
After this the Rev. Lokenius writes to Governor Stuyvesant, asking for remission of fines imposed upon him. He writes thus:
"Noble, Honorable General.
"My humble services and what further lies in my power are always at your disposal. It will not be unknown to your Honor, how, since the elopement of my wife, I have stumbled from one mishap into the other, because all my steps taken on that account have been given the worst explanation and I have been condemned to heavy fines, which considering my poverty I am not able to get together, for besides about 200 guilders paid already, I have now again been sentenced to a fine of 280 guilders, which has happened, because I was looking for my wife and thought she was in the room; which I opened by force. I found there nothing but some pairs of socks, which the vagabond robber of my wife had left behind him. I inventoried these and whereas it has been so interpreted as if I had abused the Court by this act of mine, therefore I have been fined 280' guilders, as it is pretended, that the runaway was so much in debt and whereas I have been condemned to this fine in my innocence, having no other intention than to look for my wife, therefore it is my humble petition, that your Honor as Chief-Magistrate may please to be favorable and merciful to me and to forgive me, what in my ignorance has happened here and to remit my punishment considering my poverty. As to having married myself, "I have proceeded lawfully therein and consent was given. I have followed the same custom, which others have followed here, who have not been called up on that account, I declare on my conscience, that it was not done with any bad intention; had I known, that this self-marriage would be thus interpreted, I Would have willingly submitted to the usage of the Reformed church, which were not known to me.
"Therefore I pray once more the Honorable General may please to assist me with favor and mercy to attend to my poor vocation and means, so that I may enjoy my bread and livelihood without being a burden to anybody. The Lord Almighty, to whose protection I faithfully commend your Honor, may move your heart and mind to such mercy.
"Upland, April 30, 1662.
"Your Honor's humble subject,
(Laurentius Carolus Lokenius)
This case again shows how dangerous may be a man who is arbitrarily imposed upon people, with powers to rule. Although Director Beekman was totally inefficient as far as doing anything constructive, he still had a gift of doing harm to others, and his whole career at the Delaware River was employed to destroy his fellow men's endeavors. This is not only true as to his connections with the Finnish colony, but when one reads his many letters to Governor Stuyvesant in which he constantly tries to undermine, hurt and destroy the good efforts of Alexander d'Hinoyossa, the Director of the New Amstel Colony, one becomes convinced that Director Beekman was the perpetual Scoundrel of the American Colonial History.
On the other hand, the life of the Rev. Laurentius Lokenius was devoted to the protection of the oppressed, as far as his feeble powers allowed. For this he had to stay in the rustic colony, instead of having a glorious career in Finland or Sweden. For forty years he was comforting his suffering fellow men, in poor circumstances and often persecuted for his religion. One may turn over and over again the countless records of American colonial history, and will fail to find another career as noble and self-sacrificing as that of the Rev. Laurentius Carolus Lokenius.
There had been rumors for some time in the South River, that the City of Amsterdam was going to abandon its colonization scheme and to return the New Amstel Colony to the Dutch West India Company. In fact there were negotiations to this direction going on in Amsterdam, making those in the colony nervous about it. Director d'Hinoyossa in his letter to the commissioners of the colony in Amsterdam, tried to persuade the city to keep the colony and to send here farmers, instead of tailors, weavers and shoemakers. On June 29, 1660, there was a community meeting held at New Amstel and they resolved to send to the Lords-Patrons a remonstration for the continuance of the colony. The colonists' fear soon however abated, when in the middle of August a letter from the Lords-Burgomasters of Amsterdam arrived assuring that they were going to furnish money to vindicate the affairs of the colony. The Sheriff Gerritt van Sweeringen with a member of the council were now commissioned to Holland to make propositions concerning the condition of the New Amstel Colony. On the 23rd of December, 1660, there was a great rejoicing in New Amstel when a letter arrived from Holland informing that the LordsMayers had resolved to continue the colony, approving d'Hinoyossa as the director. Then the silence of the December day on the South River was broken by three shots from the cannon.
Director d'Hinoyossa tried his best to vindicate the affairs of the colony and to make the colony a success, but he was much hindered in his endeavors by Director Beekman, who constantly was interfering in the affairs of the New Amstel Colony and made everything to hamper the director and officials of that colony. In every one of his letters to Governor Stuyvesant since Director Alrich's death, Beekman tries to undermine and damage the new director. This caused Governor Stuyvesant to write to the directors in Amsterdam against Director d'Hinoyossa, and much unpleasant correspondence was the result, finally culminating that Stuyvesant was in several letters strongly censored and commanded by his superiors to leave alone the City's Colony. Director Beekman however kept up his hideous work of breaking up the New Amstel Colony. Finally d'Hinoyossa decided to go to Holland in order to lay before the Lords-Principals the true situation of the colony and the necessity to acquire the whole South River for their honors.
Most of the troubles with the Indians at the South River were the result of drunkenness. Although there were regulations, prohibiting the sale of liquors and beer to the Indians upon a fine of 500 guilders, this law was little respected, as the Dutch Bible reader at Fort Altena, Jan Becker, sold liquors to the Indians in such an extent that one of them died for drunkenness. And Director Beekman in his letter of September 22, 1661, to Governor Stuyvesant asks for two ankers of brandy with which to trade maize from the Indians.
The Indians in this case were morally superior to the white men, and had voted a total prohibition among themselves. Their Sachems appeared in March, 1662, at the Finnish Colony, with a gift of 13 guilders' value of wampum, proposing and requesting that no more brandy or strong drink should be sold to their people. Their proposition and request were to be transferred in their behalf to the Dutch at Fort Altena and New Amstel with similar gifts. That the Indians appeared in the Finnish Colony with their petition, angered much Director Beekman. He writes to Governor Stuyvesant about it on March 22, 1662, and says "They of Tinicum ought to have, according to my opinion, directed the chiefs to us and not make the Savages believe, that they have any authority. The request is a proper one, as it agrees with your Honorable Worship's ordinances and placards issued for this purpose. I shall go there to-morrow and have a conference about it with the Savages."
The request of the Indians through the Finns was interpreted by Director d'Hinoyossa and the Council at New Amsterdam in different light however, and on the 30th of March, 1662, an interdict was issued in the New Amstel Colony, prohibiting the sale of liquors to the Indians and it was ordered that "those who are found out, are to pay a fine of 300 guilders, at the same time the Savages are authorized to rob those who sell them liquors."
Director d'Hinoyossa had been endeavoring to get farmers to his colony from amongst the Finns and on June 21, 1662, Beekman writes to Governor Stuyvesant about it, saying that: "Sixteen or eighteen families, mostly Finns, residing in our jurisdiction, to whom great offers have been made by Mr. d'Hinoyossa intend to move into the Colony; they are to have 18 years' freedom of all taxes with their own judges and decisions up to 100 guilders, also free exercise of their religion - these families intend nevertheless to hold on to their lands in our jurisdiction and to sow grain on them, until they have cleared land in the Colony. In my opinion we may seize the deserted land and settle Dutch farmers on it, if it were possible to get them."
In the Finnish settlement of Upland the peaceful life of the farmers had been disturbed by a turbulent member of the village, Evert Hendrickson, also called Evert the Finn. He was tried for his misbehaviors in the court at Altena on April 7, 1663, and on the 16th of the same month at Upland, where he was sentenced by Director Beekman and the Finnish magistrates to be banished from the South River to Manhattan with the documents in the case to be judged there by Director-General Stuyvesant and the Council. He came back to the river however on June 20, to sell his farm and remained in the New Amstel Colony.
On the 28th of July, 1663, the Sheriff of New Amstel returned from Holland on the ship St. Jacob, with a load of merchandise and with fifty farmers and some girls, mostly Finns from Sweden which were recruited by Israel Helme who with the Sheriff went to this mission. The ship had besides forty-one Mennonites who established a colony at the Hoornkill. With the ship came a permission from the Commissioners of the City's Colony in Amsterdam to Director d'Hinoyossa, at his former request, to go to the Fatherland with the ship. Negotiations between the West India Company and the City of Amsterdam had culminated in the ceding of the whole South River to the City, about which Director Stuyvesant was informed in a letter of September 11, 1663. Of the different letters and reports it appears that the Commissioners of the City Colony were dissatisfied on account of the endeavors by the Company's officials here to suppress the City's Colony. On the other hand the West India Company hoped to hold its colony from the aggression of the English, with the powerful aid of the City of Amsterdam.
The Commissioners in Amsterdam, appointed by the Burgomasters to direct the affairs of the City's Colony, reported on August 10, 1663, on the colony. They say that 110 good farms already had been made and erected at the South River, which were stocked with about 2,000 cows and oxen, 20 horses, 80 sheep and several thousand swine. Nearly all these belonged to the Finns, as the Dutch had not built any farms at all and no other nationalities were found at this time on the South River, except few individuals. The commissioners praise the fertility of the land, but say that only such people must be sent there who are laborious and skilled in farming. They warn of sending any more Hollanders, but the Finns were said to be particularly fitted, and of whom many families or households are from time to time expected, as they have been notified by their countrymen in the aforesaid Colony of the good opportunities there. It is opportune here to notice that one of the Finnish colonists, Israel Helme, was now in Sweden to incite the Finns there to come to the Colony. And the Commissioners say that already some families of them have come from Sweden to the number of 32 souls, who only are waiting for the departure of the ship to the colony. They were to be given some cattle in the colony, by the City on half the increase. The cattle were to be restored by them, with half their increase in about 4 or 5 years. The passage money and farming implements were to be advanced to them by the City as a loan, payable in three years from the produce of the land, especially in wheat at the price of 30 stivers the skepel.
On December 3, 1663, Director d'Hinoyossa returned to New Amstel from Amsterdam on the ship "De Purmerlander Kerck," together with Israel Helme and Peter Alrich, son of the former director, as members of the High Council, and 100 colonists, mostly Finns, besides 50 negro slaves. Mr. Israel Helme was appointed to be the Commissary of Trade in the Finnish Colony, with his headquarters at Passayunk, while Peter Alrich was to have similar office at the Hoornkill.
The letters ordering the evacuation of the South River by the West India Company's officials were brought over by d'Hinoyossa. The new director of the entire South River offered Director Beekman the privilege to continue to live in Fort Altena and to take up some valleys near there for cultivation, for which purpose he would be provided with five or six laborers. Also the house where he lived was offered for him as a present. This was however refused by Mr. Beekman, who instead begged his father-in-law Governor Stuyvesant to provide him with some new position.
On the 5th of January, 1664, all the people of the Finnish Colony were invited to Fort Altena, by Director Beekman, who then resigned from his office. Four days later they appeared again to be released of their former oath at the request of Director d'Hinoyossa. But when the Finns learned of the new conditions, that no freeman will be allowed to trade with the English or the Indians, and that the trade in tobacco and peltries is reserved for the City of Amsterdam as a monopoly, twelve months being allowed to the merchants to dispose their stock, there arose a dissatisfaction. The peltry trade of the South River at this time was carried mostly all in the Finnish Colony, besides the Finns were the only exporters of grain and provisions. When the Finnish Commissaries and many other citizens appeared in New Amstel on the 10th of January at the invitation of Director d'Hinoyossa, in order to take a new oath, there were among them utterances as "now we are sold, hand us over." They refused to take any oath before a written document was handed to them, guaranteeing them the same privileges in trading and other matters, as they had had under the government of the Dutch West India Company; without it they would be compelled to remove. Eight days were granted to them to advise with the rest of the Finns, after which they have to take the oath or remove. The farmers however had a weak case as they could not leave their farms, but after all they worried too early as can be seen of the following chapter.
New quarrels about the South River arose between Sweden and Holland for the departure of so many Finns from Sweden to the colony. Sweden demanded that the South River be returned to her and several memorials were delivered by the Swedish resident at The Hague to the States-General during June, 1664, claiming the river. The Dutch were accused of conveying inhabitants from Finland and Sweden to the Colony. One hundred and forty Finns from Sweden left Amsterdam, Holland, for the South River in the beginning of July, 1664, despite the protests of the Swedish ambassador, and arrived to the colony just before the English came and conquered it.
Publication: E. A. Louhi: The Delaware Finns or The First Permanent Settlements in Pennsylvania, Delaware, West New Jersey, and Eastern Part of Maryland. New York, The Humanity Press Publishers. 1925, 331 pages.
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