were powerful reasons urged in favor of a Jewish immi-
gration to New Netherland by these Portuguese mer-
chants. A Jewish immigration to New Netherland
would increase the number of loyal subjects in the
colony and result in an increase of its revenues. Then
there were many Jews amongst the principal share-
holders of the West India Company, who had always
worked for its best interests and had even lost immense
sums of money in its shares and obligations. The plea
was successful, although the Directors confessed to
Stuyvesant their desire to fulfill his request.^ Formal
permission was now given to the Jews to travel, reside
and traffic in New Netherland, "provided they shall
not become a charge upon the deaconry or the Com-
pany."^ The following spring began the new immi-
1 Directors to Stuyvesant, April 26, 1655. Col. Docs. N. Y.
xiv. 315; Petition of the Jewish Nation, January 1655, MS. in
the Library of the Hist. Soc. of Pa., printed by Oppenheim, Early
Hist of the Jews in New York, pp. 9-13.
2 This was done on February 22, 1655. Cf. Council minutes,
March 14,1656, vi, 321. 0'Callaghan,Cal. Hist. MSS. (Dutch), i. 162,
Directors to Stuyvesant, June 14, 1656. Col. Docs. N. Y. xiv.
1 J^C '*?t- /Â«Â«Â£â–
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258 RELIGION IN NEW NETHERLAND
in the spring of this year, were to prepare to leave at
once. When the Burgomasters and Schepens took
cognizance of this resolution, they had no objection to
urge, but decided that the resolution "should take its
course." They had just begun the trial of a Jew,
Abraham de Lucena, charged with the double offense
of keeping open his store during the sermon and selling
by retail, for which the Schout of the City demanded
the Jew to be deprived of his trade and condemned to a
fine of six hundred guilders.^ The Directors foresaw
the same difficulties from Jewish residents in New
Netherland as Stuyvesant did, and "would have liked to
effectuate and fulfill" his wishes, but they felt unable to
approve his pohcy in this respect, which they con-
sidered somewhat unreasonable and unfair, as the Jews
had suffered considerable loss from the reconquest of
Brazil by the Portuguese, and as they also still had
large sums of money invested in the shares of the West
India Company, of which it stood sorely in need in its
present bankrupt condition.^ They were, therefore,
determined to regulate their conduct towards the Jews
in New Netherland according to the concessions made
by the Company on February 22, 1655, "provided the
poor among them shall not become a burden to the
Company or the community, but be supported by their
The Jews now endeavored to obtain several conces-
sions from the provincial government . On July 2 7 , 1655,
^ Recs. of New Amsterdam, i. 290-291.
2 Directors to Stuyvesant, April 26, 1655. Col Docs. N. Y.
xiv. 315. Revised version in Oppenheim, Early Hist, of Jews
in New York, p. 8. Manasseh Ben Israel in his Humble Address
to Cromwell: "The Jews were enjoying a good part of the (Dutch)
East and West India Companies."
m Ht i% .â™¦^c ,^'k::''^-.r^.4^''^.r^^
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26o RELIGION IN NEW NETHERLAND
council of the citizens was authorized to carry into
effect this legislation and to collect the tax once every
month and, in case of refusal, to institute legal process
for its payment/ Jacob Barsimson and Asser Levy
then petitioned for leave to stand guard like other
Burghers of New Amsterdam or to be relieved from the
tax paid by the Jews, as "they must earn their living by
manual labor." "The Director General and Council
persist in the resolution passed, yet as the petitioners
are of opinion that the result of this will be injurious to
them, consent is hereby given to them to depart when-
ever and whither it pleases them."^ A little later the
Jewish merchants submitted a petition for permission
to travel and trade on the South River, at Fort Orange
and other places, situated within the jurisdiction of the
Dutch government of New Netherland, in accordance
with the concessions, that they had received from the
West India Company in Amsterdam. The council
adopted the suggestion of Cornelius van Tienhoven,
who was of the opinion, that the concession of trading
privileges on the South River and at Fort Orange to
the Jews would be very injurious to the population
residing in these districts. He, therefore, advised that
the petition be denied for the coming winter and that a
full report of the matter be submitted to the Directors
in the fatherland. Meanwhile, these Jewish merchants
were allowed to dispatch one or two persons to the
South River to dispose of the goods that they had sent
there, without thereby establishing a precedent, to
^ Council minute, August 28, 1655. Col. Docs. N. Y. xii. 96.
2 Council minute, Novemlaer 5, 1655, O'Callaghan, Cal.
Hist. MSS. N. Y. (Dutch) i. 155. N. Y. Col. MSS. vi. 147. in
Oppenheim, Early Hist, of Jews in New York.
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262 RELIGION IN NEW NETHERLAND
A few months previous to this, Abraham de Lucena,
Jacob Cohen Henricus, Salvador D'Andrada, Joseph
D'Acosta and David Frera had requested the same
rights in matters of trade and in the acquisition of real
estate as the other citizens of the province on the plea
that these privileges were included in the grant received
from the Company and that they and their co-religion-
ists were assessed the same as other citizens/ One of
these Jews, Salvador D'Andrada, had purchased a house
in New Amsterdam at a public auction, but the sale
was cancelled on the contention that the Jews were
not allowed to hold real estate.^ The authorities of
New Netherland refused to grant the requested right
of property to the Jews and awaited further instruc-
tions from Holland.^ Although the Directors did
order Stuyvesant to give the Jews the rights of trade
and property, they did not give them full civil liberty,
inasmuch as the Jews were not allowed to exercise
any handicraft which they were prohibited to do in
Amsterdam, and were not allowed to have open retail
shops. Meanwhile, the religious privileges granted the
Jews were not greater nor less than those granted to
other forms of dissent in the Colony. They were
allowed to exercise in all tranquillity their religion in
their houses, which were, therefore, to be built ''close
1 Council minute, March 14, 1656. O'Callaghan, Cal. Hist. MSS.
(Dutch) i. 162.
2 Council minutes, December 17, 1655; December 23, 1655;
January 15, 1656; March 14, 1656, O'Callaghan, Ibid. pp. 156,
3 "Ambachten op te stellen" wrongly translated by Berthold
Fernow as shall not "be employed in any public service."
O'Callaghan, Laws and Ordinances of New Netherland, N. Y.
p. 194, rightly translates "to exercise any handicraft, " and
also Oppenheim, Early Hist, of Jews in New York, p. 35, "to estab-
ish themselves as mechanics."
1 M f^ -^'^-/^^;^r^fi-^%â‚¬^'^
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264 RELIGION IN NEW NETHERLAND
permission "to bake and sell bread within the city as
other bakers, but with closed door," he was informed
that the request was directly contrary to the privileges
of the Burghery of this City and to the orders of the
Directors of the Company/ The Jews now realized
the necessity of obtaining the Burgher right to enable
them to continue in business, Asser Levy appeared
before the Court of the Burgomasters and Schepens and
requested to be admitted a Burgher. The request was
refused and the petitioner referred to the Director
General and Council,^ to whom the Jews Salvador
D'Andrada, Jacob Cohen Henricus, Abraham de Lucena
and Joseph D'Acosta now appealed. They established
their right to be admitted to citizenship on the grounds,
that this privilege had been guaranteed them in the
concessions of the Company, that the Jews possessed
the right of citizenship in the City of Amsterdam, where
certificates of citizenship were issued to them, and
finally that the Jews, from the beginning of their resi-
dence in the Province of New Netherland, had borne
their share with others in every burden of the citizens
and continued to do so even then.^ The appeal was
successful. The Burgomasters of the city were author-
ized and commanded to admit the remonstrants with
their Nation among the citizens of New Netherland.
Stuyvesant evidently no longer dared to antagonize the
Directors of the Amsterdam Chamber who were favor-
able to the Jews. Although he still called the Jews
* Court minute, April 11, 1657. Recs. of New Amsterdam,
^ Council minute, April 20, 1657. Van der Kemp, Translations
of Dutch MSS. viii. 531. Revised Translation, in Oppenheim,
Early Hist, of Jews, p. 36.
â€¢ J.TvT.}- II .rsÂ£ <-^l
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^â‚¬- i^:: Siâ‚¬ !'
Indian Missions in New Netherland
I. â€” MISSIONARY LABORS OF THE DUTCH
The conversion of the American Indian usually
received at least some mention in the colonial projects
formed by Europeans in the seventeenth century.
Usselinx, in his plan for the organization of the West
India Company, used the missionary opportunities
offered in America as an argument to further the project.
"In the course of time the saving faith and gospel of
Jesus Christ might be planted there, whereby the
heathen would be rescued from the darkness of idola-
try."^ The plans of William Usselinx were rejected
and the charter finally drawn up for the West India
Company made no mention of any design to convert
the Indians. However, the first Minister of the Pro-
vince of New Netherland, Jonas Michaelius, on his
arrival in 1628, gave some thought to this matter, but
the difficulties of the task so impressed him, that no
results were attained during his ministry. He
found the natives "entirely savage and wild, proficient
in all wickedness and godlesness, thievish, treacherous*
^ O'Callaghan, Hist, of New Netherland. i. 31 ; Brodhead. Hist,
of State of New York. i. 23.
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268 RELIGION IN NEW NETHERLAND
the Company did not direct its efforts to the coloniza-
tion of the province. On the estabHshment of the
patroonships, the Company was even accused of trying
to paralyse the efforts of the patroons to populate their
colonies by its attempts to minimize the Freedoms and
Exemptions granted in the charter of 1629. Kiliaen
van Rensselaer in 1633 submitted a protest to the
Assembly of the XIX and petitioned the deputies of
the States General on this board for an extension of
privileges, by which would be promoted "above all
things the diffusion of the Christian Reformed Religion
in those regions."^ He felt that this ought to bring
God's blessing on his undertaking.^ In 1640, he in-
structed Arent van Curler to seize the opportunity,
offered by the presentation of some gifts to several
Indian chiefs from the patroon, to acquaint them with
God, "who each day lets his bountiful gifts come to man
through the fruitfulness, which he gives to the products
of the earth and to man's sinful body."^ Two years
later, at the instance of the patroon, John Megapolensis
was called by the Classis of Amsterdam to "perform
the duty of the Gospel to the advancement of God's
Holy Name and the conversion of many poor blind
men" in the colony.^ For the patroon did not merely
look "to the profits of his investment, but had in
especial view, by means of the settling of the country
and the practice of godliness, to have the Christian
^Memorial. November 25, 1633. Van Rensselaer Bowier
MSS. p. 249.
2 Letter of Kiliaen Van Rensselaer to Planck, April 24, 1635.
Ibid. p. 314.
8 Letter. July 2, 1641. Ibid. 508-9.
* Commission of Megapolensis from Classis, March 22, 1642.
Eccl. Recs. N. Y. i. 149.
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270 RELIGION IN NEW NETHERLAND
New Netherland had come to these EngHsh from the
Indians, and the Dutch, who "Hved so barbarously in
these respects and without punishment," were severely
and angrily censured by their Puritan neighbors.^ This
evil had also become so bad in Rensselaerswyck
that the patroon found it necessary to promulgate a
placard against the sinful intercourse between the
Dutch and the heathen women and girls. The first
offense was punished by a fine of twenty-five guilders,
which was increased to fifty guilders, if the woman
became pregnant, and to one hundred guilders, if the
woman gave birth to a child. ^ Habitual illicit inter-
course entailed a yearly fine of fifty guilders and, "accord-
ing to the circumstances," banishment from the colony.
One third of the fines was to go to the officer, one-
third to the commander at Rensselaers-Steyn, and the
remainder to the patroon himself for the building of
the church.^ The execution of this placard must have
been somewhat neglected, as the new minister, some-
time after his arrival in the colony, stated that the
"Dutchmen run . . . very much" after the Indian
1 Letter of De Rasieres, 1627. N. Y. Hist. Soc. Coll. 2nd Ser.
ii. (1849) p. 352. Narratives of New Netherlands, ed. Jameson,
2 It is hard to see how the increase of the fine in these last two
instances would not have led to race-suicide, if the ordinance could
have been enforced. Mrs. Schuyler van Rensselaer intimates that
this was the case. "The Dutch Records assert that, especially in
the early days of traffic and incipient colonization, many traders
lived with Indian women, yet they mention few half-breeds, and
no visible tinge of dark blood survived in the veins of the New
Netherlanders." Hist, of the City of New York. i. 56.
^ Redress of the abuses and faults in the colony of Rensselaers-
wyck. September 5, 1643. Van Rensselaer Bowier MSS. p. 694.
Cf . Letters of Kiliaen van Rensselaer to Johannes Megapolensis.
March 13, 1643 and to Arent van Curler. May 13, 1639. Ibid. 442;
â– â– M '4 # '^
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272 RELIGION IN NEW NETHERLAND
"to receive a water of great importance which effaces
all stains and impurities from our soul." The Iroquois
immediately exclaimed, "Ah! the Dutch have often
given me of that water of importance ; I drank so much
of it as to be so drunk, that they had to bind my feet
and hands, lest I should do harm to some one."^ The
outbreak of hostilities on the part of the Indians was
precisely often the baneful result of the sale of liquor
to the savages by the Dutch, who, through this and
through the trade in firearms, often sought to acquire
wealth without labor.
On the organization of the church after the arrival
of the new minister in Rensselaerswyck, divine service
awakened some curiosity among the Indians, and ten
or twelve of their number attended it with long tobacco
pipes in their mouths. They could not understand
why the minister talked so much, while no one else
in the congregation had a word to say. When they
were informed later by the minister, that he told the
Christians not to steal, or drink or commit adultery, or
murder, and that they also ought not to be guilty of
these crimes, the Indians only replied: "Why do so
many Christians do these things?"^ Although Megapo-
lensis, on this occasion, promised the Indians to come
to their country to teach them, when he understood
their language better, the Dutch Reformed Church of
New Netherland could only produce one Indian con-
vert, who was "firm in his religious profession."^ Indian
^Jesuit Rel. xxix. 152.
2 Megapolensis. Tract on the Mohawks. Narratives of New
Netherland, p. 178.
^ Van der Donck. A Description of New Netherland. N. Y.
Hist. Soc. Coll. 2nd Ser. vol. i. 214.
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274 RELIGION IN NEW NETHERLAND
they are subdued by the numbers and power of our
people, and reduced to some sort of civilization, and
also unless our people set them a better example than
they have done heretofore."^ Van der Donck, the
only lawyer in the province of New Netherland, also
saw no hope of the conversion of the savages under the
conditions obtaining in the country. He 'advocated
the establishment of good schools in convenient places
for the instruction of the children, as the Indians
themselves declared that they were "very desirous to
have their children instructed in our language and
religion."^ However, this could not be done without
some trouble and expense to the government. In
fact, the commonalty of New Netherland in the remon-
strance, which it addressed to the States General on
July 28, 1649, ^^^ urged the conversion of the heathen,
and the remonstrance received this favorable comment
in that assembly: "The English and French have,
each in their way, already done their duty in this regard.
Nevertheless, we are older than they in that country,
and, therefore, ought also begin. Praestat sero quam
nunquam."^ The patroon of Rensselaerswyck bound
his new minister the Reverend Gideon Schaets "to use
all Christian zeal there to bring up both the heathen and
their children in the Christian religion" and promised
to indemnify him "in case his Reverence should take
any of the heathen children there to board and edu-
* Megapolensis and Drisius to Classis of Amsterdam . August 5 ,
1657. Eccl. Recs. N. Y. i. 398-99.
^ Van der Donck. o. c. N.Y. Hist. Soc. Coll. 2d Ser.i.pp. 214-215.
^ Additional Observations on the Petition of the Commonalty of
New Netherland to the States General, preceding the Remon-
strance of July 28, 1649. Col. Docs. N. Y. i. 270.
IM- imi WÂ§i Vi;
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276 RELIGION IN NEW NETHERLAND
II. THE DUTCH AND THE JESUIT MISSIONS AMONG
While the Dutch failed to take an active interest in
the conversion of the savages within the province, they
used their influence with their Indian allies to obtain
the liberation of the Jesuit missionaries, who fell into
the hands of these inveterate enemies of the French.
In 1642, the Mohawks during a raid into French ter-
ritory intercepted an expedition of Hurons, mostly
Christians, accompanied by Father Jogues and two lay
assistants Rene Goupil and William Couture, with sup-
plies for the distant mission of Ste. Marie. During the
long journey to the Mohawk country, the Christian
prisoners suffered the painful tortures and mutilations
which savage cruelty suggested. On their arrival,
Father Jogues sent word of their capture to the Dutch.*
Soon after this, Crol, the commandant of Fort Orange,
received an order from the Director General of the
province, William Kieft, to effect the ransom of these
prisoners,^ but the Indians were not willing to accept
any ransom. On the eighth of September, Arent van
Curler, the commissary of Rensselaerswyck, who had
gone into the Mohawk country with Labbadie and
Jacob Jansen, assembled all the chiefs of the three
castles and proposed the release of the Frenchmen.
The Indians professed all friendship for their Dutch
allies, but refused to discuss this question on the plea
that the French burned the Mohawks, who fell into
^ Letter. January 14, 1644, of Bartholomew Vimont, with
details obtained from Father Jogues. Jes. Rel. xxv. 71.
2 Letter. September 11, 1642 of Kieft to Kiliaen van Rensse-
laer. Van Rensselaer Bowier MSS. p. 625.
"4. , ,^^~- 'V-.,,*,- '^V-^T" r'-fc?" ; j^- â– x,''^>, i^'ii f|i-J8 V'^
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278 RELIGION IN NEW NETHERLAND
and confirmed by the teaching of the Dutch, from whom
the Indians had learned that the sign of the cross was a
"veritable superstition," equally hateful to their
European neighbors.^ When the old Indian witnessed
the action of Rene Goupil, he ordered a young man of
his cabin, about to leave for the war, to kill the Chris-
tian sorcerer, as the sign of the cross would cause some
harm to the child. The execution of the command was
not long delayed. One day Rene Goupil and Father
Jogues had withdrawn outside the village to perform
their devotions with greater liberty. Their prayers
were soon interrupted by two young men, who com-
manded them to return, but, at the entrance to the
village, one of them drew a hatchet and struck down
Rene Goupil, who fell half dead, invoking the Holy
Name of Jesus. Jogues expected the same fate, but
the Indian, after making sure of the death of his victim,
told the Jesuit that his life was in the hands of another
family. Somewhat later Jogues was called to eat in
the cabin of the old Indian. When the Jesuit made the
sign of the cross before the meal, the old man said to
^ Letter of Father Bressani from Isle de RhS, Nov. 16, 1644. Jes.
Rels. xxxix. 85-87.
"Our Faith is accused of killing all who profess it . . they also
accused the Faith of the French of being responsible for all the ills
with which the whole people or individual persons seem to be
afflicted. That is what an Apostate tried to make those Barbarians
believe, naming the Dutch as his authority for what he said. He
asserted that the children of the Iroquois died two years after their
Baptism, and that the Christians either fractured their legs or
wounded their feet with thorns or became consumptive, or vomited
their souls with their blood, or were assailed by some great mis-
fortune." Preaching of the Faith to the Cayugas by Chau-
monot and Menard. Relation. 1656-57. Jes. Rels. xliii. 313-315.
"The Dutch, they (some Huron apostates) say, have preserved
the Iroquois by allowing them to live in their own fashion, just as
the black Gowns have ruined the Hurons by preaching the faith to
them." Jes. Rels. xliv. 291.
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28o RELIGION IN NEW NETHERLAND
dition against Fort Richelieu. A Huron Indian,
adopted by the Iroquois, previous to his departure, had
demanded a letter from Jogues, who hastened to take
the opportunity to inform the French governor of the
plot in spite of the risk of his life. Thus the Iroquois
were incensed against the Jesuit, upon whom they
placed all the responsibility for their misfortunes in the
expedition.^ The Captain of the Dutch settlement,
knowing the evil designs of the savages, suggested some
means of escape, especially as the French Governor M.
le Chevalier de Montmagny had prevented the savages
of New France from coming to kill some Dutch. ^ To
the astonishment of the Captain, Father Jogues deferred
his decision until the next day. The Jesuit missionary
had, in fact, resolved to spend the remainder of his days
in captivity for the salvation of the Iroquois and their
captives, of whom he had been able to baptize seventy
in the past year. Now, however, the certainty of death
if he remained and the hope of a return to the Mohawks
under more favorable circumstances led him to consent
to escape with the help of the Dutch. On the next day,
Father Jogues told the Dutch Captain his intention to
take advantage of his proffered assistance. A ship
happened to be in the river at that time and the sailors,
on the representations of the Captain, pledged their
word that, if the Jesuit could once set foot on their
vessel, they would make his place of refuge secure and
would not have him leave the ship until he reached
^ Letter of Jogues from Rensselaerswyck. August 30, 1643.
Jes. Rels. xxv. 47.
2 Ibid. 49. Charlevoix states that an order to obtain the
deliverance of Father Jogues had been sent to all the commandants
in New Belgium by the States General of Holland, from whom the
Queen Regent of France had urgently requested this.
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