History From America's Most Famous Valleysh
From Holland to American in the Seventeenth Century
by David P. De Vries, published in Holland in 1655 originally
A.D. 1632 to 1644.
Translated From The Dutch
For The New York Historical Society with Introduction and Notes,
By Henry C. Murphy.
VOYAGE TO NEW NETHERLAND, Continued
The 8th of December, we sailed into the river before our destroyed fort; well on our guard. The Indians came to the edge of the shore, near the yacht, but dared not come in. At length, one ventured to come aboard. the yacht, whom we presented with a cloth dress, and told him we desired to make peace. Then immediately more came running aboard, expecting to obtain a dress also, whom we presented with some toys, and told the one to whom we had given the cloth garment, that we had given it to him because he had most confidence in us-that he was the first one who came in the yacht, and should they come the next day with their chief called Sakimas, we would then make a firm peace, which they call rancontyn mareuit. An Indian remained on board of the yacht at night, whom we asked why they had slain our people, and how it happened. He then showed us the place where our people had set up a column, to which was fastened a piece of tin, whereon the arms of Holland were painted. One of their chiefs took this off for the purpose of making tobacco-pipes, not knowing that he was doing amiss. Those in command at the house made such an ado about it, that the Indians, not knowing how it was, went away and slew the chief who had done it, and brought a token of the dead to the house to those in command, who
told them that they wished they had not done it, that they should have brought him to them, as they wished to have forbidden him not to do the like again. They then went away, and the friends of the murdered chief incited their friends-as they are a people like the Italians, who are very revengeful-to set about the work of vengeance. Observing our people out of the house, each one at his work, that there was not more than one inside, who was lying sick, and a large mastiff, who was chained-had he been loose they would not have dared to approach the house-and the man who had command, standing near the house, three of the stoutest Indians, who were to do the deed, bringing a lot of beaver-skins with them to exchange, sought to enter the house. The man in charge went in with them to make the barter; which being done, he went to the loft where the stores lay, and in descending the stairs, one or the Indians seized an axe, and cleft his head so that he fell down dead. They also relieved the sick man of life; and shot into the dog, who was chained fast, and whom they most feared, twenty-five arrows before they could despatch him. They then proceeded towards the rest of the men, who were at their work, and going among them with pretensions of friendship, struck them down. Thus was our young colony destroyed, causing us serious loss.
The 9th, the Indians came to us with their chiefs, and sitting in a ring, made peace. Gave them some presents of duffels, bullets, hatchets, and various Nuremberg trinkets. They promised to make a present to us, as they had been out a-hunting. They then departed again with great joy of us, that we had not remembered what they had done to us, which we suffered to pass, because we saw no chance of revenging it, as they dwelt in no fixed place. We began to make preparations to send our sloop to sea, and to set up a kettle for whale-oil, and to erect a lodging-hut of boards.
Anno 1633. The 1st of January, I went in the morning, with the yacht, the Squirrel, about eight hours' sail up the South river, to see whether I could obtain any beans from the Indians, as our stock-fish was consumed, and the porridge, now doubled, began to grow short. Towards evening we were stopped, as it was calm, and the ice, which the tide brought down, opposed us, and we cast anchor in eight fathoms. Saw a whale at the mouth of the South river.
The 2d, in the morning, fine and pleasant, saw two large whales near the yacht. Wished much that we could have had the sloop, with the harpooners, which was lying at Swanendael. We weighed anchor with the tide, and by evening came a good mile before Reed Island, where we cast anchor, and saw fires on the land. . Supposed that they were made by Indians out a-hunting; but an hour afterwards a canoe came alongside. They said that they were a-hunting, but would not come aboard, from which we drew unfavourable conclusions; but they answered they would come aboard early in the morning.
The 4th, after we had chopped some wood, as it began to freeze, weighed anchor with the tide, made sail, and came within cannon-shot of Red Hook, where we anchored before a kill, because it began to freeze; so that in case the ice should stop us, we could haul in there to secure the yacht.
The 5th, we weighed anchor in the morning, and sailed before the little fort named Fort Nassau, where formerly some families of the West India Company had dwelt. Some Indians had assembled there to barter furs, but I desired to trade for their Turkish beans, because we had no goods to exchange for peltries, and our stores had been given away at Swanendael for the purpose of making the peace, so that there were not more than two pieces of cloth left of our goods, and two kettles, for which we wanted corn. We observed that the Indians were very scrupulous* after that. They told us that we ought to haul into the Timmer-kill. There was an Indian of the Sankitans, who cautioned us not to go entirely into the kill, as she knew that they intended to make an attack upon us. When we told her that if she would relate to us everything in regard to the attack, we would give her a cloth garment, as we did. She confessed to us that they had killed some Englishmen, who had gone into Count Ernest's river in a sloop.
The 6th, we weighed anchor, and came to again before the Timmer-kill, in order to see fully what the Indians would do. While lying there, a crowd of Indians came to trade, bringing beaver-skins with them, and being forty-two or forty-three strong. A portion of them began to play tunes with reeds, in order that they might not cause in us any suspicion, but we kept ourselves strictly upon our guard, as there were only seven of us in the yacht, and there were
forty-two or forty-three of the Indians. When we found the traffic at its height, we ordered them to go ashore immediately, or we would shoot them all. Their Sachem took an armful of beaver-skins which he wanted to present to us in order to tempt us, but we desired them not, and gave him for answer that they must make their way to the shore, as we knew that they had evil designs in their heads, that Manetoe (that is, the Devil, whom they call Manetoe) had told us so. They went ashore again, and their villainy was frustrated, God be praised and thanked! When a few are on their guard against this people, there is, with God's help, no difficulty with the Indians. Moreover, I may observe, that those in the Company's sloops, who give the Indians too much liberty, get into trouble thereby, which they might otherwise prevent with friendship. These Indians were from Red Hook, otherwise called Mantes, and had a parcel of English jackets on, which gave me more cause of suspicion, as those were not clothing for them, or trading goods. Whilst they were on the land, there came three or four others, who desired that we would trade for their goods; but we answered them that we did not want any beaverskins, but wished corn for food.
The 7th, the chief, whom they call Schems, of the Armewaninge, came to us, who were then their neighbours. His name was Zeepemtor, and to him we interpreted our adventure. He said he had heard that they had been on board of our boat strong. He requested us to return soon to the Timmer-kill with the yacht, whereat I was suspicious. I told my interpreter to ask him why he was not willing to bring the corn here. He answered that where we were lying, it was too miry and muddy to get on board, and it was too cold to go round the mud. So we said to him that we would go to the fort again, where it was hard and dry to come aboard, with which he was well content, and was again conveyed to the shore, saying that when we arrived at the fort, he would come aboard again.
The 8th, weighed anchor early in the morning, and came to again before the fort, which we saw was full of Indians, and more and more constantly coming. This gave us no favorable impression, because of the great numbers of the Indians. When they had all assembled in the fort, a canoe, -which is a boat hollowed out of a tree-came from the fort to board us, in which were nine Sachems from nine different places about there. I saw among them those who had intended to destroy us; they had thrown off the English clothes, and put on those made of skins, which I immediately mentioned to my interpreter. The nine seated themselves in a circle and called us to them, saying they saw that we were afraid of them, but that they came to make a lasting peace with us, whereupon they made us a present of ten beaverskins, which one of them gave us; with a ceremony with each skin, saying in whose name he presented it ; that it was for a perpetual peace with us, and that we must banish all evil thoughts from us, for they had now thrown away all evil. I wanted to make presents to them through the interpreter, to each one an axe, adze, and pair of knives, but they refused them, declaring that they had not made us presents in order to receive others in return, but for the purpose of a firm peace, which we took for truth.
The 8th of January, we wished to give them something for their wives, but they said we must give it to them on shore. As it was late, they went ashore again, and said they would come the next day with corn, and send aboard that evening seven or eight youth, which showed a good peace with them.
The 9th, they came aboard again in the morning, and brought Indian corn of different colours, for which we exchanged duffels, kettles, and axes, We also obtained some beaver-skins, all in good feeling. There came this day fifty of them into the yacht, but we kept ourselves constantly on our guard.
The 10th, in the morning, traded for some beaver and corn; and at noon drifted off with the ebb tide, and by noon came to anchor on the bar at Jaques Island, where we remained one tide.
The 11th, weighed anchor in the morning, and by evening arrived about a half-a-mile above Minqua's kill, where we anchored, and saw a whale there that evening six or seven times. We were surprised to see a whale seven or eight miles up into fresh water.
The 12th, weighed anchor again, and arrived at the mouth of the river, where the thicket is.
The 13th, weighed anchor with the ebb, and at noon came to the ship at Swanendael, where our friends were rejoiced to see us. We found that they had shot two whales, but they furnished little oil.
The 18th, the goods were placed in our yacht, and we sailed again up the South river. By evening arrived between Minqua's kill and Reed Island, where we came to anchor. It began to freeze. We anchored here because the tide was running down.
The 19th, weighed anchor with the tide, and came within a mile of Jaques Island. As it began to freeze, and it was difficult to go on, it became necessary to haul into a kill which was near us. Found it a fine creek, where the water was two fathoms deep at high tide; but the current was strong, and not above thirty feet wide. The ice began to trouble us some by the rubbing of the curred. We quickly cut a parcel of trees, and fastened them in the ground, before and behind, in order to lie clear of the ice. This is a fine country, in which many vines grow wild, so that we gave it the name of Wyngaert's kill. Went out daily, while here, to shoot. Shot many wild turkeys, weighing from thirty to thirty-six pounds. Their great size and very fine flavour are surprising. We were frozen up in this kill from the 19th to the 3rd of February. During this time, perceived no Indians, though we saw here and there, at times, great fires. On the land, but we saw neither men nor canoes, because the river was closed by the ice.
The 3d of February, we hauled out of the kill, as the river was open again, and sailed to Fort Nassau, where we had left the Indians before, but found no one there now, and saw no Indians. It began to freeze again, and we hauled into a kill over against the fort, as we were apprehensive, if we should be frozen in there, we might be in danger. When we had lain in this kill, eight days before the ice broke, there came a canoe, in which sat an old Indian with a squaw, who brought with them some maize and beans, of which we bought a parcel. We could not understand from the Indian how it was that we saw no Indians. It seemed as if he were unwilling to tell us; he appeared astonished that he had escaped, ran frequently ashore, looked to and fro, so that we could perceive there must be something. We hauled the next day out of the kill, and were carried between the cakes of ice and the shore, which we could not prevent with our yacht.
The 11th, full fifty Indians came over the river from the fort upon the ice, with canoes, directly to our yacht, so that they could step in it from the shore, and spoke to us. They were Minquas, who dwell among the English of Virginia. They came on a warlike expedition, and were six hundred strong. They were friendly to us, but it would not do to trust them too far. I determined, as the flood-tide began to make, that we must haul into the mouth of the kill, so that they could not come upon us on foot and master us. Hauling out of the kill about five-and-twenty paces, we could not get any further, because there was not water enough. I told the master of the yacht, that he must direct the crew to throw some ballast overboard, but he could not induce them to do it. I then went to them, and asked them whether they would rather trust to the mercy of these barbarians, or throw away the ballast. They answered that while we were in the river, our lives were at the mercy of the ice. I replied that God, who had so long aided us, would help us. Finally, I said that I had three flasks of brandy in my locker, and would give them one of them, if they would throw the ballast overboard, and we would all help to do it. The yacht was now driven by the current and with the ice and the ebb tide, which was most spent. We were a thousand paces below the kill, between two high pieces of ice, which had fallen on the shore; this happened at night-fall. They an raised a great shout, when they saw that we were driven nearer to the river. In the morning, at day-break, they saw that we were lying between the two pieces of ice, with the bowsprit over the shore, and came running to the yacht. We stood, eight of us, on our arms.
The 12th, we kept them off, as they sought to come into the yacht by the bowsprit, while we were lying, bow on land, between the two pieces of ice. At length the water rose, so that the yacht and the ice floated, and we were to be driven at God's mercy with the ice, which was our great enemy, while the land was our enemy on account of the Indians. We were finally driven up the river, where there was a dry sand-bar running most to the middle of the river. We were afraid we would be driven upon it by the ice, when God provided two canoes to float by us, which we immediately held before the bow, one on each side, and broke the ice with them. Then setting the foresail, as there was a good wind, in order to sail up the river with the tide, we passed, by the aid of God, the Vogelsant, which was our great peril at this place, and arrived at the beautiful island when the tide began to run, and we managed to get to the shore, with the side to the shore lengthwise with the bow. At last, the water began to fall rapidly, and we found that the bank was bold. We immediately set about making the mast fast to a good stout tree on land, by means of a rope, and to intrench ourselves behind stakes. The next day, the 13th, three Indians of the Armewamen came, who were at the yacht before. They told us that they were fugitives-that the Minquas had killed some of their people, and they had escaped. They had been plundered of all their corn, their houses had been burnt, and they had escaped in great want, compelled to be content with what they could find in the woods, and came to spy out in what way the Minquas had gone away-the main body of their people lying about five or six hours' journey distant, with their wives and children. They told us also, that the Minquas had killed ninety men of the Sankiekens; that they would come to us the next day, when the sun was in the south-east, as they were suffering great hunger, and that the Minquas had all left and gone from us, back to their country.
The 14th, at night, it began to rain hard, and the wind was from the south-west, which made it warm. In the morning we had high-water, which caused the yacht to float finely. We loosened the rope from the tree, to which it had been made fast, in order to get from the yacht, because the shore was so bold there, and let her drift into the river. As the ice was already very soft, like snow, we resolved not to wait for the Indians, as they had been driven away, and could not assist us in those things for which we had come, so that it was a hopeless voyage for us. Going down the river, we arrived below the Minqua's kill, where we took in some stone for ballast, which we could not obtain elsewhere in the morning. This is a very fine river, and the land all beautifully level, full of groves of oak, hickory, ash, and chestnut trees, and also vines which grow upon the trees. The river has a great plenty of fish, the same as those in our fatherland, perch, roach, pike, sturgeon, and similar fish. Along the sea-coast are codfish, the different kinds of fish which are in our fatherland, and others. After we had taken in some ballast, we went further down the river, and came to its mouth. We fished once with our seines, and caught in one draught as many as thirty men could eat of perch, roach, and pike.
The 20th, we weighed our anchor, and with a north-west wind sailed out of the bay, which is ten miles long, and so wide, that in the middle of it you can hardly see from one shore to the other. It is full of shoals on both sides, being from six to seven fathoms deep, but is deepest on the west side. In order to run up by soundings, as you come from sea to Cape Hinloopen, which lies in thirty-eight degrees and twenty minutes, the shoal of the bank, which stretches from Cape Hinloopen over the bay, reaches Cape May, and when you have passed this a mile and a half, and come into the river, so that Cape Hinloopen is south of you, run in then north-west along the west shore, and you will be out of danger of the banks, and keep the west side, where you should keep sounding. If it be less than two fathoms, and if the ship be a large one, you must go direct to the South river. When you come to the mouth of the river, where it is full two miles wide, there is a shoal before it, on which, at low tide, there is not more than six or seven feet of water. You must then put the helm a-starboard, and you will see a rough point ahead on the west side,along which you must hold your course; and there it is deep enough, the water being three and a half fathoms at low tide, but inside, in the river, it is six or seven fathoms. The tide rises and falls here from five to six feet. By evening, we arrived again at the ship, in which there was great rejoicing to see us, as we had been gone over a month. They did not imagine that we had been frozen up in the river, as no pilot or astrologer could conceive, that. in the latitude from the thirty-eighth and a half to the thirty-ninth, such rapid running rivers could freeze. Some maintain that it is because it lies so far west; others adduce other reasons; but I will tell how it can be, from experience and what I have seen, and that is thus: inland, stretching towards the north, there are high mountains, covered with snow, and the north and north-west winds blow over the land from these cold mountains, with a pure, clear air, which causes extreme cold and frost, such as is felt in Provence and Italy, which I have often experienced when I was at Geneva, when the wind blew over the land from the high mountains, making it as cold as it was in Holland. I have found, by experience, in all countries, during winter, that when the wind blows from the land, the hardest frost makes. It is so in New Netherland also, for as soon as the wind is south-west, it is so warm that they may go almost naked in the woods, with only a shirt on them.
The 5th of March, determined to make a voyage to the English in Virginia, as we had failed to obtain corn in the South river, in consequence of the war among the Indians, as before related, by which we were placed in such danger, and the grain of the Indians was destroyed; and as we thought that we would not be able to find a sufficient store of it at Fort Amsterdam, on the East river, to serve us on our return voyage to Holland, we therefore deemed it advisable to sail to the English in Virginia. Although there had never been anyone there from this quarter, I said, as I had escaped the danger in the South river, I would be the first one of our nation to venture to the English in Virginia, from these parts, as the distance is not more than thirty miles from the South river or Cape Hinloopen.
The 6th, we weighed anchor, and laid our course along the shore, south-southwest. In the evening it became calm, and we anchored in six fathoms, sandy bottom, the wind north-west off the shore.
The 7th, in the morning, at daylight, we weighed anchor, and sailed along the weather-shore. Found that the coast ran from Cape Hinloopen, about eight miles south-southwest, and north-northeast, then changed again two points southwest and north-east. We coasted along in six fathoms, till we found it began to be shoally, and I saw that the water began to change. I told the captain of the yacht he should throw the lead once, in order to see how deep it was. He said that he had just sounded in six fathoms. I replied that I could not believe it was so deep, for the water changed too much, when he, with a frown, threw out the lead, and there was a fathom and a half of water. I was startled, though we had gone with the yacht where it was only six feet deep. We were now about a mile and a half from the shore, and immediately turned to it, as I saw that it changed less there than towards the sea. Immediately found again two, three, and four fathoms of water; ran then from the bank to the sea, and obtained seven and eight fathoms, and saw a high point before us, which I guessed to be about seven or eight miles from Smith's Island or Cape Charles, but from this point across the sea, almost to Cape Charles, it is full of shoals, so that it will not do for a large ship to come nearer than nine fathoms, on account of the bank, which lies three or four miles in the sea, and runs along the whole coast to the North river, and on which sometimes there will not be more than five fathoms, or four fathoms and a half of water. Inside of this again, towards the land, you will get ten, eleven, and nine fathoms, for this is a flat coast, and the land is seen first in thirteen or fourteen fathoms. As it was dark at evening, we came to anchor in nine-fathom water, in order that we might not pass by the Bay of Virginia in the night. After we had been lying there about an hour, a storm began to blow from the south-east straight on shore-a leeshore for us. We put the stout boat's nose to the wind, and took down the topmast at the same time, and she lay there and rode as if she had been a fish.
The 8th, when we looked out in the morning, we found that it had been snowing all night, for the snow was more than a couple of feet thick. The captain came and inquired whether we should weigh anchor. I answered he must use seamanship; as he saw that it still blew hard, with a heavy sea, and no sight of land, it was best to remain, as we were well secured, and wait for good, clear weather. At noon, it began to clear, the wind coming from the south-west with L clear, pure air; and we saw that we were lying right before the bay, Smith's Island north of us. Sailed over to Cape Henry in order to run in by it. Found that from this Cape the land trended north and south. Ran into the north of it with a light breeze. Found at Cape Henry, a fine wide and broad bay. We ran in until we had three fathoms water. Ran out again, and laid our course to the north, and at evening came to a bank, where, in consequence of the darkness, we anchored in fifteen-feet water. This shoal reaches to Elizabeth river.
The 9th, sounded the depth, and found only nine feet water, so that it had fallen six where we were lying. the wind blew from the east, so that we were on a lee-shore, and were ignorant, as none of us had ever been here. We weighed anchor and sailed from the shore. The hank stretches from the west side more than two parts over to the east shore. It is deep along the east shore. There was a fort newly-made at that time. The land is called by the English, Point Comfort. We ran in here-it being ten, eight, and seven fathoms deep-and saw before us a point stretching out about three miles, which the English call Newport News. As you come to the east side from the sea, you must see that you bring this point of Newport News within the point where the fort is situated, otherwise you will be in danger of being shipwrecked, but keep the before named hook, which you can see afar off, a good piece out side. As you pass by the fort to Newport News, you will see on the side of the fort a large bay. Let your anchor fall, so that you may not be driven within six fathoms. This bay is the Bay of Kicketan, and has a river running into it, which you may enter with a ship of fifty lasts. On the west side, opposite, is Elizabeth's river, into which you can sail five or six miles with a large ship. After we had lain a day in this Bay of Kicketan, a pilot was sent on board to pilot us to Jamestown, where the governor holds his court on behalf of the King of England, and where we took an English merchant with us.
The 10th we sailed up the river. When we came to the before-mentioned point of Newport News, we landed and took in water. A fine spring lies inside the shore of the river, convenient for taking water from. All the ships come here to take in water on their way home. After we had procured some water, we sailed on, and came at evening to a kill, in which a large ship might lay, called Blank Point. We went ashore there, where one of the most distinguished citizens lived, named Captain Matthews. We were compelled to stay all night, and were well treated.
The 11th, took our leave of this Captain, and went aboard of the yacht again, and proceeded on. Here, the river is full three miles wide, but shoally, so that it is only by sounding the passage that you can get along. It is only a pilot's channel. At noon, we came to Littleton, where we landed, and where there resided a great merchant, named Mr. Menifit, who kept us to dinner, and treated us very well. The river is half as wide as before. Here was a garden of one morgen, full of Provence roses, apple, pear, and cherry trees, the various fruits of Holland, with different kinds of sweet-smelling herbs, such as rosemary, sage, marjoram, and. thyme. Around the house were plenty of peach-trees, which were hardly in blossom. I was astonished to see this kind of tree, which I had never seen before on this coast. An express order came to us here, from the governor, who desired to see us, when we took our leave of the merchant, went aboard, and having weighed anchor, in two hours came, to anchor before Jamestown, where the governor holds his court.
* Two acres
The 11th, went ashore, where the governor stood upon the beach, with some halberdeers and musketeers, to welcome us. On my setting foot upon the land, he came up to me, and bid me heartily welcome. He inquired of me where I came from. I answered him, from the South Bay of New Netherland. He asked how far it was from their bay. I said thirty miles. He then proceeded with me to his house, where he bid me welcome with a Venice glass of sack, and then brought out his chart, and showed me that the South Bay was called by them My Lord Delaware's Bay, who had encountered foul weather there some years ago, and, finding the place full of shoals, thought it was not navigable. They had, therefore, never looked after it since, but it was their King's land, and not New Netherland. I answered him that there was a fine river there, that for ten years no Englishman had been there, and that we for many years had had a fort there, called Fort Nassau. It was strange to him, that he should have such neighbours, and have never heard of them. He had, indeed, heard that we had a fort in the fortieth degree of latitude, at Hudson's river as they called it, and that a sloop was sent there last September, with seven or eight men, to see whether there was a river there, who had not returned, and whether they had perished at sea or not, he did not know. I told him that we had seen Indians in the South river, who had English jackets on, and had also understood from an Indian, who gave us warning, that the. Indians had run down an English sloop there, in which were seven or eight Englishmen. He then remarked they must have been his people; otherwise, they who had been sent to discover the South river, would have returned home long ago. Finally, he said there was land enough,-we should be good neighbours with each other, and that we were in no danger from them, if the people of New England did not come too near us, and dwelt at a distance from us. I remained to sup with the governor, and he insisted on my staying the night at his house.
The 12th, arrived here Captain Stone, whom I had left at St. Martin, in the West Indies. He told me that he had waited fourteen days for his boat, which suffered such distress, as I have mentioned before, that they had cast lots whom they should kill for food. He also said that the Portuguese prisoners, whom I had brought from Nevis, and had delivered to him at St. Christopher's, as before related, he had brought to Porto Rico, and that he was very well treated by the Spanish governor. He had hastened his voyage here to Virginia, and was very glad to meet me. He was very well received by the governor. He was from London, from the Great House. I remained at dinner with the governor, and as we sat at the meal, Captain Stone asked why the governor had an interpreter for me, as I could speak English; at least, I had spoken English to them in the West Indies. The governor said he did not know that, and inquired whether I could also speak French. I said "Yes." Whether I understood Italian. I answered in the affirmative. Whether I had been in Italy, and in Africa, and in the East Indies. I said I had. He was astonished that I had begun so early to command. Finally, there sat at the table an Englishman, who had been in the East Indies at the same time that I was there, and who asked me who commanded the English in the East Indies when I was there. I gave him the name; and when I could see him, I looked at him well, and he at me. Then this commander said that mountains could not, but men who go and see the world can, meet each other. Besides, the commander had assisted me with provisions while I was there. This commander was named Sir John Harvey.
The 18th, took leave of the governor, who sent half-a-dozen goats on beard, to take with ns, which he made a present to our governor, with a ram. He had understood that t.here were no goats at Fort Amsterdam, in New Netherland. We set sail at once, and arrived at evening at Blank Point, at the Councillor's, to whose place we had before sailed in ascending the river. Here we bought some swine, which we killed and salted.
The 20th, we took our leave of this Councilor, whose name was Captain Matthews, and proceeded to Kicketan, and anchored at evening before the point of Newport News, where we took in water. Here lived a gentleman of the name of Goegen. I was astonished to observe of the English people, that they lose their servants in gambling with each other. I told them that I had never seen such work in Turk or Barbarian, and that it was not becoming Christians.
The 21st, we arrived again before Kicketan. There, also, we bought some provisions, while we were waiting for a good wind. These English Virginias are a fine country ; altogether a beautiful flat land, full of all kinds of fine large trees-oak, hickory, chestnut, ash, cypress, and cedar, and other kinds. There come here yearly, between thirty and forty ships of various sizes, from two hundred lasts and upwards, mounting twenty-eight, twenty-four, and nineteen guns, which come here to load tobacco, and carry it to England. The entrance of this bay is five miles wide, from Cape Henry to Cape Charles. Many fine rivers run out, like those on the east side. It turns to the north, and a large ship can sail up it full eighty miles. Thirty miles up the river lies a large island, two miles long, which the English call the Isle of Kent, upon which many of them reside, under one Captain Klaver's* government, who carries on there a great trade in peltries. Here is another river. The first after the East river, running to the west, is called York river, which is navigable with a large ship full twenty miles. Then comes the Pette-womeque (Potomac) river, navigable thirty miles with a large ship. The river where Jamestown-in Dutch, called Jacob Stadt-is situated, runs mostly west, and is navigable about forty miles, with a large ship, to an island called Henrico. This island is inhabited on every side by the English, and there run into it all around, small kills, from five miles long and less, into which a good-sized ship may enter. There are great numbers of fish of all kinds, the same as in the rivers of Holland; also, birds of various kinds; swans, geese, ducks, wild geese, partridges, and wild turkeys, the same as in New Netherland. There is an objection which the English make. They say that during the months of June, July, and August, it is very unhealthy; that their people, who have then lately arrived from England, die during these months, like cats and dogs, whence they call it the (sickly) season. When they have this sickness, they want to sleep all the time, but they must be prevented from sleeping by force, as they die if they get asleep. This sickness, they think, arises from the extreme heat that exists there. Then, again, when it has been a half-an-hour very hot, if the wind shifts and blow from the northwest, it immediately becomes so cold, that an overcoat may be worn. Thus, this country appears to lie in the dividing line between the heat and the cold, while New Netherland is beautifully tempered.
The 28th, weighed anchor, and set sail with a good south-west wind, along the coast north-easterly.
* Clayborne.The 29th, we arrived again in the South Ray at Swanendael, at our ship, where we were very welcome. Found that our people had caught seven whales, but there were only thirty-two cartels of oil obtained, so that the whale fishery is very expensive, when such meagre fish are caught. We could have done more if we had had good harpooners, for they had struck seventeen fish, and only secured seven, which was astonishing. They had always struck the whales in the tail. I afterwards understood from some Basques, who were old whale-fishers, that they always struck the harpoon in the fore-part of the back. This voyage was an expensive one to us, but not so much, since I had laden a good cargo of salt in the West Indies, which brought a good price. Having put our oil in the ship, taken down our kettle, and hauled in wood and water, we got ready to sail. This bay is, generally, fine flat land, full of the various kinds of pine trees, which I have described. In winter time, from Virginia to Swanendael, there are hundreds of thousands of geese, both gray and white. The country is also full of wild turkeys, and has a great many deer.
The 14th of April, as we were now entirely c1ear of everything, so as to set sail, we weighed anchor both with the ship and yacht. Whilst we were lying here, there came in during this month of April, hundreds of thousands of wild pigeons, flying from the land over the bay. Indeed, the light could hardly be discerned where they were. Sometimes they flew upon the ship, pressed down by numbers as they came over the bay. Having got under sail, I went again on board the yacht, and the pilots took command of the large ship, for I wished to explore the coast distinctly. Sailed over to Cape May, where the coast began to trend east-northeast and west-southwest. Came, at evening, to the mouth of Egg harbour. Found between Cape May and Egg harbour, a slight sand-beach, full of small, low sandhills. Egg harbour is a little river or kill, and inside the land is broken, and within the bay are several small islands. Somewhat further up in the same direction, on a slight headland, is a beautiful high wood. In the evening it became very still.
The 15th, in the morning, it was so foggy that we could not see the large ship. We heard the ground swell and surf; threw the lead, and found it eight fathoms deep. Let the anchor fall. It was shelly ground. Fished with a drop line, and caught in a couple of hours, eighty-four codfish, which are a very good-flavoured sweet fish, better than those in Newfoundland. It began to blow from the south-west, and to be bright and clear again. So we weighed anchor and made sail. Found ourselves before Barende-gat (Barnegat), where the coast began to stretch to the north-east by north, and south-west by south. At evening we saw the high mountains, which make a high point running along the sea, for the most part east-southeast, and west-southwest. This was the first mountainous land which I met since I came from the south. We sailed that evening to the Sandy Hook, which forms a large bay close by the point, and is also called Godyn's Point, where we anchored that evening in seven fathom water.
The 16th, weighed anchor, and ran over to Staten Island, all along the shore of which runs a great sand-bank, entirely flat. It is necessary to sound the southeast side, and it will not do to come nearer than from three to four and a half fathoms with. a large ship. Arrived at noon before Fort Amsterdam, and, found a Company's ship there, called the Soutbergh, with a prize taken on the way, laden with sugar. She had brought a new governor, Wouter Van Twiller of Newkirk He had been a clerk in the West India Department at Amsterdam. They had left Holland after us. I went ashore to the fort, out of which he came to welcome me, and inquired of me also, how the whale fishery succeeded. I answered him that I had a sample; but that they were foolish who undertook the whale-fishery here at such great expense, when they could have readily ascertained with one, two, or three sloops in New Netherland, whether it was good fishing or not. Godyn had been a manager of the Company as long as the Company had been in existence, and also of the Greenland Company at Amsterdam, and ought to have known how it at first might have been undertaken with little expense. While we stood thus discoursing, our sloop came from the large ship to the shore, from which we learned that they had come to anchor at Sandy Hook, and would remain there until I gave other orders. In the mean time, I intended to despatch my yacht to New England and New France, to explore the bay.
The 18th, arrived here an Englishman, who came from New England to trade in the river, where there was a merchant named Jacob Elks, who had, during the time of the private association,* navigated and commanded on the river, but whom the Company would not employ, seeking out an unfit person like this governor, whom they had transferred from a clerkship to a governorship, to perform a comedy. This Englishman invited the governor to come and see him. I went with him, in company with a number of the officers, who became intoxicated, and got into such high words, that the Englishman could not understand how it was that there should be such unruliness among the officers of the Company, and that a governor should have no more control over them; he was not accustomed to it among his countrymen. The Englishman remained six or seven days lying before the fort, and then said he wished to go up the river, and that the land was theirs. This we denied, declaring that they had never made any settlement there. He said that David Hudson first discovered this river, and he was an Englishman. We answered that he discovered the river in the year Nine, but he was fitted out at the expense of the East India Company at Amsterdam; and that the river was now called Mauritius river, after our Prince. of Orange.
The 24th, the Englishman weighed anchor and sailed up the river to Fort Orange, where this Jacob Eelkes had formerly resided as commander for the private Company; when governor Wouter Van Twiller assembled all his forces before his door, had a cask of wine brought out, filled a bumper, and cried out for those who loved the Prince of Orange and him, to do the same as he did, and protect him from the outrage of the Englishman, who was already out of sight sailing up the river. The people all began to laugh at him; for they understood well how to drink dry the cask of wine, as it was just the thing they wanted, even if there had been six casks, and did not wish to trouble the Englishman, saying they were friendly. As I sat at the table with him at noon, I told him that he had committed great folly, as the Englishman had no commission to navigate there, but a paper of the custom-house that he had paid so much duty, and might sail with so many passengers to New England, and not to New Netherland. I said, if it were my matter, I would have helped him away from the fort with beans from the eight-pounders, and not permitted him to sail up the river,
* This refers to the company authorized by the octroy of the States General of 11th October, 1614.
would rather have held him back by the tail, as he said he was a man from England. I told him as the English committed some excesses against us in the East Indies, we should take hold of them; that I had no good opinion of that nation, for they were so proud a nature, that they thought everything belonged to them; were it an affair of mine, I would send the ship Soutberg after him, and make him haul down the river, and drive him from it until he brought another commission than a custom-house license; that he was only making sport of him.
The 20th May, I wished to send my yacht to the north by the way of Hell-gate. I also began to make preparations to return with the large ship to Holland, when this governor commenced his pranks of the head, and began again to juggle as if he were drunk. He did not want the yacht to go to the north, and sent alongside of it a schapan,-a flat lighterboat, in which the whole yacht could easily have been contained, and wanted to take out five or six lasts of store-ballast, when I protested to him, explaining the privileges granted by the College of Nineteen, find approved by the States General, and that I did not wish him to unload the yacht. He then desired to search the yacht, the same as was customary by all princes and potentates, in order that he might Flee whether there was anything in it that concerned the Company. He then ordered the guns at the angles of the fort to shoot at the yacht, when I ran to where he stood at the angle with the Secretary and one or two of his Council, and told them the land was full of fools; if they wished to shoot anything, they should have shot fit the Englishman, who was violating their river in spite of them. Upon this expostulation they desisted from shooting, and set about preparing. a yacht to sail along with our yacht. So they both sailed to the north after I had despatched my yacht.
When we had made everything ready, and were about to take our leave of the governor, he then came to annoy me anew, He did not want me to go with my boat to embark until his boat had first boarded our ship, in order to search her. I opposed it, and told him that she was not to be searched. I was bound home, and if he wished to write any letters, he could do so, and send them after I had gone to my boat. He immediately sent twelve musketeers after me, in order that we should not depart. My boat's crew asked whether they should row away in the boat. I said I would let them do so, and had they my courage they would. They immediately did so, ana. the musketeers were ridiculed with shouts and jeers by all the bystanders, who cried out that they should have stopped the Englishman with shot and muskets, from sailing past the fort, and not our own patrons of the country, who sought to promote its interests. In a. little while I reached Long Island, where, behind Nut Island,* I had commanded my boat to row. Before I crossed over, I went once more to the fort, to take my leave of the governor. I told him I wished that he had omitted the folly of attempting to prevent my departure by his soldiers, as he had only made himself a subject of sport among his people ;-if he desired to write any letters to his masters, the managers, he might send them after me in the bay. I went out and crossed over the bay to my boat at Long Island. Night coming on, and the flood-tide making, I thought it most prudent to let my people row over to Pavonia, and there wait the ebb. Reaching Pavonia, we were well entertained by Michael Poulusz; the officer in charge, who prepared letters to send to his master, whilst we waited for the tide. Our people overslept a little their time, as I had ordered them to be on hand as soon as the ebb began to run. We passed the fort early in the morning by break of day, before the reveille was beaten in the fort.
We arrived at noon again at our ship at Sandy Hook. Saw our ship's boat lying on the point, where our people were catching fish with a seine, and went there to tell them to come aboard as soon as they had made a haul or two. The sail-boat from the fort was also alongside, having sailed before us in order to bring their letters to us. They tacked away, and were crossing to see what we were doing on the point with our boat. I went towards them immediately, and, coming by them, they inquired of me what I did with my boat when I passed by the ship. I answered that it did not concern them, so they returned again alongside. In this boat were the Schout, Notelman, and the Secretary, Remunt. Coming aboard, I bid them welcome to the ship; and I had my goods taken from my boat into the ship, among which were a dozen beaver-skins. These, the Secretary said, were confiscated, because they had not been entered at the fort. I told him to take them then; but the Schaut said I might
* Now Governor's Island.
let them lie, we were not now at the fort, and let him try our wine, as he was a good bibber, as all of them were. I answered that water was good enough for them, for they might otherwise fall overboard. A t length, the Schout asked why we were quarrelling here; he was very thirsty, and would go to the cabin; if there was anything wrong, the Patroon might answer for it in Holland. Because the Schout spoke so well, I told him he might enter the cabin, and I would let him fill a glass from the best cask; if the other one wished to play the fool, he might leave; I was now in my own ship, not under their jurisdiction. The Secretary then said they could send the ship Soutberg after us to board us. I told him they might do so, for the Soutberg had sugar in her, and our crew would be right glad to eat sugar in their groats, as we would have a chance to do. I said to the Secretary, that we were surprised that the West India Company would send such fools into this country, who knew nothing, except to drink; that they could not come to be assistants in the East Indies; and that the Company, by such management, must come to naught. In the East Indies, no one was appointed governor, unless he had first had long service, and was found to be fit for it; first, by serving as an assistant, under-koopman, and afterwards as chief-koopman, and promoted further, according to their merits; but the West India Company sent, in the first instance, as superior officers, persons who never had command in their lives, for which reason it must come to naught. Upon this, they again returned, with their boat, to the fort, which is five miles from Sandy Hook. The bay inside of Sandy Hook is it large one, where fifty to sixty ships can lie, well protected from the winds of the sea. Sandy Hook stretches a full half-mile from the hills, forming a flat sandy beach, about eight or nine paces wide, and is covered with small blue-plum trees, which there grow wild.
The 15th June, we weighed anchor, and made sail for patria. While we were getting under sail, an Englishman came sailing towards us, who would have run straight upon the bar, and lost his ship. . When I perceived him, I fired a shot to warn him, and sent my boat to him, and he immediately sailed towards me, and perceived that he was not in the right channel. Coming by us, he proved to be an acquaintance,-Captain Stone, of whom I have before spoken, -whose boat had suffered such distress in the West Indies, and whom I had also met in English Virginia. His ship was laden with corn and young cattle, bound to New England. As he was in want of water, he wished to put in here to take in some. He sought of me, for the sake of our acquaintance, whether I would furnish him a man to pilot him in. I asked our crew whether. there was anyone of them who wished to make a longer voyage, and who would be transferred to this Englishman; when one offered to make a long voyage, whom I gave over to him, and I laid my course southeasterly to sea, as Long Island lies east and west. The coast here falls off seventeen degrees, or more than a point and a half.
The 17th, changed our course to east by south, at the fortieth degree of latitude, and then ran east, so as to pass in sight of Cowes.
The 29th at break of day, we saw a strange sail, which came upon us before the wind, and hailed him to keep behind. He caned to me to send off my boat. I replied I would not. He then put off his boat, and came on board, and I bid him welcome. He was a privateer from Flushing, Captain Frankfort. He asked me how far we were from land. I told him I had yesterday evening examined the reckoning with my pilots, but we disagreed a great deal, as I supposed that 'we were not fifty miles from Cowes, and they both thought we were over a hundred and twenty miles from land; that he could not understand my reckoning; and that I had seen small sea-mews which do not go further than thirty or forty miles from land. He said my reckoning was right, and we would by evening see Cowes.
The 29th, * the captain requested that I would let my pilots come into the cabin, which I did. . He inquired of them, when there, how far they reckoned themselves to be from Cowes and Flores. They answered an hundred miles. He said they had made a bad guess, they would soon see the land at Cowes; that he had been cruising six weeks about here, where he was yesterday evening. After a long discourse, he took his leave of us ; he wished us a safe voyage, and we him much booty; gave each other a parting shot, and thus separated.
The 1st of July; in latitude thirty-three, discovered a sail running by the wind in order to come over to us, when
* Misprint for 30th.
the crew began to cry out that it was a Portuguese pirate, and wished to repel him by force. The wind was light. He ran about half a cannon-shot ahead of us, but we could discern no flag. I then asked the crew what they had a mind to do; it was a large ship, and if they had the courage to attack him, to keep away after him, and endeavour to approach him. When we began to come close to him, my crew said that he was a Turk, that the ship was Jan de Begyn's, of Rotterdam, which the Dunkirkers had taken and sold to the Portuguese, and which was afterwards captured by the Turks. I said, with a ship of eighteen guns and fifty men, I was not afraid of one Turk, for I had in my youth been engaged in a fight with two of them, the smallest of which had twenty-eight guns, and the other thirty-three, and three hundred men, while I had only one ship of fourteen guns, and thirty men, and by the help of God, came off with honour. My crew replied, that was a case where it was necessary to defend myself, but here we could get away, and there was no booty for us to take. We then pursued our course again, but when we had got to the leeward of him, he set his sprit-sail as if he were a-going to chase us, when I immediately struck my topsail, in order to wait for him. When he saw this, he tacked about again. Thus we separated from him, and pursued our course.
The 9th, sounded the channel, and found sandy ground. It was the bank which lies south of Ireland.
The 10th, in the morning, we bore away to the north of the Scilly islands; and, according to my reckoning, I sailed fifteen miles over to the land. My under pilot said it was the coast of France. We had had no latitude (observation) in four or five days. Nevertheless, he maintained firmly that it was the coast of France, and made the point of Land's End, a French Cape. According to my chart, we could not have gone so far east on our last course. I let the ship tack, and run to the north, when we immediately obtained the increasing ground of the, channel. These knowers of the land were then ashamed of themselves.
The 10th, (?) I told these wiseacres, if they wished to be good pilots, they must observe their course and altitude better another time. I depend upon mine to the last until some one comes and says he knows the land, then the course and altitude may be set aside.
The 11 th, we came near the Lizard. There came also towards us three ships, and we made everything ready, in case we were compelled to have a fight, but kept close to the shore. As they were very large ships, we would rather have run into Falmouth, if we could have reached there, for the chance was a bad one, for one ship to fight three wolves. It was our intention, nevertheless, to do the best-to show that our ancient courage was not gone-although the chances were bad for one merchantman to fight three ships of war, for it is said that many dogs are the death of the hare. At length, as they began to get near us, it became calm, and we careened close to the shore. The admiral, who carried the flag, took a boat ashore, in order to obtain some refreshments at Falmouth, and came on board of us, and told us that they came from the Vice-Admiral of Holland, Liefhebber, of Rotterdam; and that we need not now have any fear of the Dunkirkers ; it was now in the midst of summer, and our ships of war, under Admiral Dorp, were lying before Dunkirk They then went from aboard of us to get their refreshments in Falmouth, and we separated, as we supposed. Along the coast of England, it is necessary, sometimes, to sail slowly, though we had a good south-west wind.
The 15th, in the morning, saw two ships before us. One looked like a privateer with a prize. We kept close to the prize. Then he went to the leeward, as if to wait for the prize, but as we approached him he dared not wait for us, and started forward again. We thought he was afraid that we were a Dunkirker. He then sailed away with the other vessel.
The 16th, in the morning early, we were opposite Dover. The privateer was nearer the French coast, with his prize. There came bearing down towards us, from the English coast, thirteen or fourteen ships of war. They were the Lord Admiral Dorp and his squadron. They did not hail us. Near the Downs, the wind north-east, there came three large ships sailing after us, they came along, two after the privateer, and the other to hail us. They told us to send off our boat. I said that I could not, as I was fearful the ship had evil designs, inasmuch as we had, four hours before, seen our whole squadron, and thought that this must be a Dunkirker. We were all ready (to fight), and resolved not to send the boat. At length, he sent his boat off, with a lieutenant, who came on board of us, and who, when he saw what kind of a ship we had, wondered that everything was so prepared, and that we intended to oppose so large a ship as theirs was. He informed us that their captain was Captain Danckeras, and that the other two ships which had sailed after the privateer, were commanded, one by Admiral Jan Evertsz. of Flushing, and the other by Captain Block. With a head-wind, ran, with the other ships, into the harbour of Dover, where I understood that this privateer was Captain Backer, from Zealand, and the ship was called the Burning Oven, and had, as a prize, a small Holland vessel, with five hundred boxes of sugar, which came from Brazil. He told me he was afraid, when I came sailing behind him, that I would deprive him of his prize, supposing that I was a Dunkirker. We went ashore here at Dover, and learnt that they had suffered great loss last autumn from the French rovers, as well as from the Dunkirkers.
The 18th, the wind from the south-west, weighed our anchor, and took our leave of the ships of war. They followed, and conveyed the privateer to Wieling.
The 20th, saw in the morning, the towers of Egmont, and were becalmed. Saw also there, some sail before us. In the afternoon the wind began again to blow a little.
The 21st, in the morning, with the day, we saw Kyckduyn. A pilot boarded us, and in six hours we reached Lands Diep, where we run for the Helder, so as to touch the shore. Then, God aiding, we came by evening at the Merchantman's Harbour.
The 22d, in the morning I hired a boat, which took me to Medenblick, and proceeded by a wagon to Hoorn, and gave thanks to God for my safe voyage.
The 24th, I returned to Amsterdam, where I found my partners at variance with their associates, the other managers, because I had traded from two to four beaver-skins. That was not a handsome thing, and it "Was not worth mentioning; especially as the fifteenth article provides that the Patroons might trade where the Company had no clerk or commissary. On this account, our business of making colonies must be suspended in places still uninhabited; so that these managers at Amsterdam have done nothing else than to fight their own shadow, and to drink Rhenish wine in the Kloveniers-Doelen,* and the other managers to look
* A famous inn at Amsterdam, so called from the "doelen "or target, at which the" Kloveniers" or archers used to shoot.
after powder and lead in Brazil, and the managers' magazine, and the yearly meetings of the Nineteen. As we could not agree with the Company, and my partners at Amsterdam were all directors, and were continually at variance with their associates, on account of trifles, I separated from them, seeing there was nothing but roguery. The rest I will leave unwritten.
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