“over his children”
That’s how he was going to treat everybody under his command.
MAKE NO MISTAKE, by God he meant it.
“A tough, sturdy, valiant, weather-beaten, mettlesome, obstinate, leathern-sided, lion-hearted, generous-spirited old governor” was his description.
And they, “his children,” wouldn’t lift a hand in the end. No appreciation for his service — yeah, he wasn’t the nicest stern taskmaster around. He had made too many enemies. Ok, he was a downright Serious Jerk — but who doesn’t have some kind of fault.
Even though he essentially SINGLE-HANDILY had turned the colony around from a backwater, third rate fur trading post to a thriving jewel of a port, rich from the slave trade, such that the British couldn’t resist — they had to have that colony: New Amsterdam.
He had to be stern with “his children” — otherwise, the place would have “gone to hell in a hand basket.” As it had been before. Hell, it hadn’t been making money!
“It was a gay day for the little colony of New Amsterdam, that May morning in the year 1647, when a one-legged man landed at the lower part of the island, and stumped his way up the path that led to the fort. Not only everyone that lived in the town gathered there, but everyone on the island, and many from more distant parts. There were Indians, too, who walked sedately, their quiet serenity in strange contrast to the colonists, who yelled and shouted for joy, and clapped their hands at every salute from the guns. And when the fort was reached (it was only a few steps from the river-bank) the man with the wooden leg turned to those who followed him. The guns were silent, and the people stood still.”
“I shall govern you,” said he, “as a father does his children.”
Then there were more shouts, and more booming of cannon, and the name of Peter Stuyvesant was on every tongue. For the man with a wooden leg was Peter Stuyvesant, the new Governor appointed by the West India Company, and not one of those who shouted that day had an idea that he was to be the last of the Dutch governors. Stuyvesant had long been in the employ of the West India Company, and his leg had been shot off in a battle while he was in their service.
He was a stern man, with a bad temper, and seemed to have made it a point in life never to yield to anyone in anything. He ruled in the way he thought best, and he let it always be understood that he did not care much for the advice of others. He did what he could for the people to make their life as happy as possible. Of course he had orders from the West India Company that he was bound to obey, and these orders did not always please the people. But his rule was just, and he was the most satisfactory of all the Dutch governors.
Supervisors are highly social and community-minded, with many rising to positions of responsibility in their school, church, industry, or civic groups. Supervisors are generous with their time and energy, and very often belong to a variety of service clubs, lodges, and associations, supporting them through steady attendance, but also taking an outspoken leadership role. Supervisors like to take charge of groups and are comfortable issuing orders. They are cooperative with their own superiors, and they would like cooperation from the people working under them. Rank, they believe, has its obligations, but it also has its privileges. [Please Understand Me II]
Peter Stuyvesant, Supervisor Guardian, was a key and major figure in the early history of New York City, the city that is now center of the modern world. Stuyvesant’s accomplishments as director-general included a great expansion for the settlement of New Amsterdam beyond the southern tip of Manhattan. From a third rate, fur-trading post losing money for the Dutch West India Trading Company, New Amsterdam grew to a very profitable, thriving, rapidly growing slave trading Entrepôt under Peter’s leadership.
Stuyvesant’s first work was to put the city in better condition. He did this by having the vacant lots about the fort either built upon or cleared. The hog-pens which had been in front of the houses were taken away. All the fences were put in repair, and where weeds had grown rank, they were replaced by pretty gardens. These, and a great many other things he did, until the town took on quite a new air.
In the calmer days that followed, attention was given to improvements in the city. By this time there were a thousand persons on the island. Streets were nicely laid out, and the city of New Amsterdam grew, day by day. Stuyvesant was a great believer in education. In 1660 he was quoted as saying that “Nothing is of greater importance than the early instruction of youth.” In 1661, New Amsterdam had one grammar school, two free elementary schools, and had licensed 28 masters of school. Among the projects built by Stuyvesant’s administration were the protective wall on Wall Street, the canal that became Broad Street, and Broadway.
With those projects and the trade that was very rapidly increasing, they needed workers: any kind of worker. Practically anybody would do, the Dutch were tolerant of who arrived as the port grew and grew. There dozens of languages and religions housed in that hustling and bustling place. Peter complained about them, especially Quakers and Jews — now there is a story — but never mind. It became at an early point where the Dutch were in the minority. New Amsterdam grew the fastest of any port in the New World. … And making a buck was always the overarching raison d’être of the community as a whole.
Inevitably, this attracted the attention of the growing power of the British. Show me the money.
In 1664, Charles II of England ceded to his brother, James II of England, a large tract of land that included New Netherland. Four English ships bearing 450 men, commanded by Richard Nicolls, seized the Dutch colony.
Peter had wanted to fight. His “children” didn’t. Money was to be made, who cares who rules.
On 30 August 1664, George Cartwright sent the governor a letter demanding surrender. He promised “life, estate, and liberty to all who would submit to the king’s authority.” Stuyvesant signed a treaty at his Bouwerij house on 9 September 1664. Nicolls was declared governor, and the city was renamed New York City. Stuyvesant obtained civil rights and freedom of religion in the Articles of Capitulation.
New York went back to work, the day after the takeover. The rest is history —
well not that simple: Hamilton, Clinton, Vanderbilt, Tweed, Roebling, Smith, La Guardia, Moses. As one knows it takes all types: Idealists, Guardians, Artisans, Rationals — to build Hamilton’s America. And to the promised land we go!
Yes, Peter served as the Corner Stone for American Dream, from which others built upon.
The people are grown very wild and loose in their morals. — Peter Stuyvesant
I am sustained by the tranquility of an upright and loyal heart. — Peter Stuyvesant
It is my intention to proceed slowly with our trenches. — Peter Stuyvesant