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THE LIBRARY

OF

THE UNIVERSITY
OF CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES



A MAID
OF OLD NEW YORK

A Romance of Peter Stuyvesant's Time



Br

AMELIA E. BARR

AUTHOR OF "A Bow OF ORANGE RIBBON,'*
"A MAID OF MAIDEN LANE," ETC.





COPYRIGHT, 1911, BY
DODD, MEAD & COMPANY



p-s



I Dedicate this book to
GENERAL PETER STUYVESANT,

Governor of New Netherland,
A. D. 16471664.

Confidant, that wherever he now dwells, and by

whatever name known, he is fulfilling God's

will and work with triumph and acclaim.



CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I. THE BIRTHDAY OF THE CITY OF NEW

YORK 1

II. THE BALL IN THE FORT .... 29

III. AGRATHA'S LITTLE TRIUMPH . . 61

IV. THE VISIT TO LADY MOODY . . . 83

V. THUS RAN THEIR WORLD AWAY . . 115

VI. THE BONDMAN > 149

VII. THE SOWING OF SORROW .... 176

VIII. LORD MclvAR's OFFER . . . . 207

IX. THE BEGINNING OF A NEW LIFE . . 234

X. CAPTIVES AT SEA . . . . . . 262

XL AT CASTLE IVAE .... . > 293

XII. GAEL'S TRIAL 319

XIII. THE FALL OF NEW AMSTERDAM . 345

XIV. STUYVESANT AND ANOTHER . . . 373



CHAPTER ONE

THE BIRTHDAY OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK

IT was the feast of Candlemas, the second of
February A. D. 1653, and the Birthday of the
City of New York;* a fine winter day, cold and
clear with a glorious sunshine over land and sea.
The frosted trees sparkled and shone above the
white streets, noisy with a happy crowd of men,
women and children. The men had an air of
triumphant gravity, the women, dressed in their
best garments, were visiting from house to house,
and the youths and maidens were going with
laughter and chattering to skate on the Collect
Pond or the East River.

For this was a day of rejoicing, and there was
a release from work of every kind. It was the
birthday of a new city in the world; and its citi
zens may have felt though they could not see
the glory of its future. They had spent seven
teen years in remonstrances against the autocratic
rule of Governors who followed their own wills and
whims ; but now the Great Company whose subjects
they were had granted them a civic government,
after the free and noble pattern of their Father-
* New York was then called New Amsterdam
1



2 A MAID OF OLD NEW YORK

land. They had won a great victory; its result
was music in their ears, and they eagerly followed
the official with the Proclamation in his hand as
he read to a fanfare of trumpets and the rolling
of drums the welcome words. They could not
hear them too often. From the Fort to the State
House and the various hotels, they escorted him
with exultant cheers, and were much displeased
because the cannon on the ramparts had shouted
no welcome to the new born city.

Its present Governor, the austere and despotic
Peter Stuyvesant would have spiked every one of
them rather than have set them booming over such
an event.

" There is nothing to rej oice over, Anna," he
said angrily when his sister entered his presence
with this request; "nothing to rejoice over."

" The people are calling for the cannon, Peter,"
she answered, " and they have a right "

" They have no right not a rag of a right !
The cannon belong to the Company. Dost thou
think I will use the Company's powder to help the
bawling of rebels against its lawful, supreme au
thority? Thundering, blundering idiots, all of
them, but the devil will send the consequences fast
upon their heels that is to be hoped and looked
for yes, indeed ! "

Anna Stuyvesant Bayard was a tall, fair
woman, with clear, blue eyes, placid countenance,
and a resolute mouth and chin. She drew a



THE BIRTHDAY OF NEW YORK 3

chair opposite her brother, and sat down; and
the angry man was instantly disconcerted.

" Give them the cannon, Peter. They are re
joicing over their right. If, instead of being:
Governor of New Amsterdam thou wert one of its
citizens, no one would make more noise than Peter
Stuyvesant."

" Anna, the citizens of New Amsterdam are a
mob of all races and conditions, with enough of
English among them to breed treason naturally.
It is a mob, Anna, a mob. Is a mob fit to be
trusted with self-government? As for the Eng
lish "

" They are rich and respectable."

" They are malignant fellows, disturbers of the
peace, never satisfied. Somebody is always injur
ing them. They are born rebels, born usurpers of
other men's rights. They are also godless men
who never attend divine service, or take the Com
munion. I know them, Anna! Yes, I know
them!"

" The English are not in the question."

" Confound them ! They are the whole ques
tion. They joy themselves in exciting the peo
ple against the servants of the Company, and their
sovereign rulers. This trouble is of their brew-
ing."

" Before there were any English here the Dutch
were imploring the Company for a civic govern
ment."



4 A MAID OF OLD NEW YORK

" Civic government, indeed ! Mob government,
rather ! A fine mess they will get the colony into.
God ordered Kings, and Rulers; Principalities
and Powers. He said nothing about the mob
governing themselves."

" God gave way to the mob, and let them have
their desire."

" He did not."

" Peter, thou hast forgotten. Before the Jews
chose Saul, God had been their King. But when
they objected to God, and wished to govern them
selves, the universal public demand was one which
even God recognised, and submitted to."

" Anna Bayard, we are Christians not
Jews."

"I think the Massachusetts Colony "

" I won't have that Colony named ! It is made
up of low-minded, greedy creatures; niggardly,
money-loving men, full of valor on a foraging
expedition I have tried to do right by every man;
but the dishonest abuse me, and the stupid mis
understand me. I wish that God, ordinarily or
extraordinarily, would show me what to do among
such a low, unreasonable crowd."

" Well, Peter

" I tell you, Anna, eighteen languages may be
heard on our streets. For such a rabble of a city,
there is only one good government, and that is the
will of a strong, wise, honourable man."

"Like thyself?"



THE BIRTHDAY OF NEW YORK 5

"Yes, twenty times yes! I have been a good
governor, yet they complain and complain of me,
end without end. It is treason to complain of
magistrates. Yes, it is high treason."

" If they should deserve it, Peter? "

" It is treason, whether they deserve it or not.
Men who do so, should be thrown into a dungeon
they should live on bread and water they;
should be hung hanging is too good for them.
I W ould "

His temper had risen with every declaration,
until it dominated, not only his words, but his ac
tions. He struck the table violently, and his
voice rose and rose, until it reached the scream
ing alto of an uncontrolled passion.

Then the door of the room was gently opened,
and a very pretty woman entered. She was small
but well-formed, with large, soft hazel eyes, and a
complexion rosy and brown as an apricot. Her
hair was fashionably dressed, her clothing of rich
material and glowing colours, and its make after
the last French mode. On the floor her high heels
made a tap-tapping, and the Governor turned
slightly and looked at her. She answered the look
with a smile, and the next moment laid her small
hand on his shoulder.

" My dear Peter ! " she exclaimed, " I am afraid
Anna is troubling thee "

* I was only trying to make Peter do what he
ought to do, Judith."



6 A MAID OF OLD NEW YORK

" But always Peter does what he ought to do !
Is not that the truth, dear? "

" There are some people who think I never do
what I ought to do, Judith."

" No, no, Peter. Always thou art wise and
prudent, but the people whom thou hast to govern
are the most ungovernable creatures in the whole
world. I do think that."

" They are idiots and fools, Judith. And this
hullabaloo and uproar is because they have at last
worried a city government out of the Company.
There is nothing wrong with my government."

" It is perfect. It is much too good for such
ungrateful men and women. But if thou wilt re
member, Peter, twelve of these idiots are coming
at two o'clock to dine with thee, and no doubt
they will begin coming at one. And thou art not
dressed as Director General Peter Stuyvesant
ought to be. Look at me ! " She spread out her
skirts, and beamed upon the angry man, and his
temper waned and wasted, so that in a few mo
ments, Anna rose and left the room. But she did
not forget the last word so dear to women; for
as she held the door open for her exit, she said :

" Peter, set the cannon booming for the people.
It is their right."

" I'll be shot if I do ! " was the Governor's an
swer; but it was lost in the somewhat emphatic
closing of the door.

" Peter, thou must make some haste. Allard



THE BIRTHDAY OF NEW YORK 7

Anthony will be here before anyone, and he will
be dressed like Solomon in all his glory. Put on
thy velvet suit with the slashed sleeves, and thy
Flemish laces."

" Nay, I like the plain linen collar best,
Judith."

" Please thyself, but wear the Company's scarf,
and the ring they gave thee. On the table in thy
room is thy new black skull cap, and I have em
broidered it round with a little wreath of gold
laurel leaves. It will be like a diadem round thy
head, and when thou art dressed, like a king thou
will look, every inch of thee."

Peter laughed. " I will tell thee something,
Judith," he said, " Van Duncklagen called me to
Van der Donck, ' Our Great Muscovy Duke.' He
said further : " I was like the wolf ; the longer I
lived, the worse I bit."

"Who told thee that?"

" One who saw the letter in which it was writ."

" Then that one told what was secretly given to
him. Such a man I would not trust further than
I could see him. He is a little villain, and is only,
waiting for the opportunity to be a big villain.
Have a care of him, Peter."

" I fear him not. If I could fear any man,
Judith, it would be Paul Van Ruyven. He says
few words, but he hates me, that is as plain as
the lion on his guilders. And he takes every oc
casion to thank God he has his own business, and



8 A MAID OF OLD NEW YORK

is none of the West India Company's ser
vants."

" Thou should have asked him why the West
India Company was not good enough to be his
master? "

" I did that."

"Well, then?"

" He answered ! ' Because I am a man of honour
and honesty, and it is well known the Company's
servants both bite hard, and carry away.' And
that is true enough, Judith; but he need not to
have added : * Moreover, I like not to have men of
small behaviour set over me ! ' With that I took
fire and gave him some words which he has set
down in his memory against me."

" He can bring nothing evil against thee to
pass. Dress, as I have told thee. Go down and
look thy bravest, and tell these contradictious
men all thy mind, and there will not be one of
them able to say ' no ' to thy ' yes.' "

And as it often happens, while Peter Stuyves-
ant and his wife were talking of Van Ruyven,
Ragel Van Ruyven was talking to her husband
about the Governor.

" Make thyself of some importance, Paul," she
said. " This is the day thou hast waited and
wished for. Be glad in it. Ever thou art too
quiet."

" Listen then to the noise on the street. I am
tired of it. When the town was quieter, men had
more business, and more contentment."



THE BIRTHDAY OF NEW YORK 9

" Tell me then, how any town could be quiet,
or even peaceful, with Peter Stuyvesant at the
head of it. If he but come into a room and there
is only one man in that room, the quarrel will be
gin. Since ever he landed in New Amsterdam
there have been quarrels going on. If you only
look at the man, you feel as if you had got a
challenge to fight him. That is so, Paul."

" I know; I have felt just that way."

" I thought this day thou wouldst be happy.
For now we shall govern ourselves by the law
and the people's votes, as in the Fatherland,
and the great Director must abase himself a lit
tle."

"Not he!"

" But he must give us what has been granted.
Thou, and others will see to that."

" He will strip and pare down, and interfere,
until little will be left; and there will be more
quarrelling than ever. That is what I fear."

" Hoping is as cheap as fearing, Paul. Wait
and see."

" To speak it plain, Ragel, the Company gave
Stuyvesant absolute power, and never has he
been backward in using it. Will he give any of it
away to a City Council? He will not."

" But the Company "

" The Company do not want us to have a civic
government far from it. Their own will and
way, through a Director sworn to their interest,
is what they wish. The States General forced the



10 A MAID OF OLD NEW YORK

Company to let us have the rights of our Father
land, but Stuyvesant will have private instruc
tions, and these he will follow."

" And then? "

" Will come quarrelling, and fines, and im
prisonment and in some way or other, Stuyves
ant will make void everything granted us."

" I will hope that all the good men in New
Amsterdam will be too many, and too much for
that one man. Keep thy eyes and ears open,
Paul, I shall want to see and hear through them,
and Agratha also will be curious."

" Where is Agratha? She should not be from
her home in the mornings. She ought to be help
ing thee, and learning about house cleaning and
liouse keeping."

" Thou knowest she is lifted above that care.
Why should she learn how to clean a house ? "

"Where is she?"

" At the Anthonys'. She is learning to speak
high English from them. It is good for her."

" 'Twould be better, she was learning how to
cook a good dinner at thy side. The Anthonys
are not much liked."

" That is because they dress so showily, and
as for the fashion, not even the lady Judith
Stuyvesant can match them. There is no harm
in that."

" They are English to the top-notch, and live
in the English quarter. Allard Anthony calls it



THE BIRTHDAY OF NEW YORK 11

the ' Court End ' of the town city I mean. I
want not Agratha to get English customs and
ways nor yet their high English speech."

" 'Tis the Court way."

" The Grammar way is good enough. What
do the Anthonys know of the Court? I think not
much."

"Well, well. We will talk about Agratha's
English to-morrow. Go now to thy Dutch Gover
nor. Perhaps he may please thee better to-day."

She watched her husband out of sight, and then
had the fire built up and the hearth swept, and sat
down to her wheel. Its humming was conducive
to thought, and her daughter Agratha always
furnished her with plenty of material. For
Agratha was a fairy child, who had had both her
hands filled with gold before she was five years
old. At that age her uncle Christopher Barent
died, and left to his niece Agratha Van Ruyven
verything he possessed.

This man, though the financially great man of
his day, has been forgotten, for he did nothing to
give humanity cause to remember him. Many
great works and charities appealed to him for
help, and he had had moments in which their
claims might have been listened to; but one day,
as he was carrying his little niece about the gar
den, she nestled her pretty face close against his,
and said in her baby patois : " Ratha loves
Uncle Chris, she loves him in her heart." This



12 A MAID OF OLD NEW YORK

was a love he could not doubt. He blessed the
child unawares, and told her to say the words
again and again, and a great love sprang up with
in him for the beautiful child who " loved him in
her heart."

From this cup of love he drank for nearly three
years, and then dying left all his great wealth in
return for it farms and warehouses in Holland
and his splendid residence at the Hague; all his
large holdings in the ships and shares of the rich
East India Company and rolling money in the
bank of Amsterdam; large interests in England,
mostly in real estate and in New Netherland
one vast track of land, lying between the Hudson
and Passaic, and smaller ones in the best settled
portion of Long Island.

But though now nearly sixteen years of age
Agratha had been told nothing of her inheritance.
It had been her uncle's special instruction that
she should not anticipate her fortune. " She
shall have my gift," he said, " with the joy of sur
prise on it. A full joy she shall have, not one
that has been dribbling away in years of weary
waiting."

But although the secret had been carefully kept
from the world, it was difficult for the mother to
be silent. Agratha was such a vivid element in
her future that it seemed as if the girl herself had
a certain prefiguration of her destiny; as if the
Inner Woman, consciously or unconsciously, was



THE BIRTHDAY OF NEW YORK 13

forming a personality proper for the mistress of
a great fortune. The love of splendor was inborn
and native to her, and extravagance of all kinds
the natural way in which to spend money. No
clothing was too rich, no equipage too ornate,
no house too large. Nothing she saw in New
Amsterdam satisfied her ideas of a possible and
sufficient magnificence.

For she read much history, and she was con
stantly in the company of the best English
families, who carry their traditions and their
family romances all over the world with them.
To their tales of the grandeur of old palaces and
manor houses, and the stately pomp and luxury
of Court festivals, she listened greedily. These
stories, doubtless exaggerated by time and dis
tance, fed her imagination ; she dwelt in old roman
tic castles, rode and danced with nobles, and
feasted at the King's table. In those days there
were no novels, but she told herself a thousand
stories, and Agratha Van Ruyven was always
iheir heroine. It is a dull soul that has no pre
monitions. Agratha's soul was eager and lav
ish, it promised her all things desirable, even
though their possession seemed then an impossibil-
ity.

Often while she sat sewing by her mother's side,
she talked to her of what Lady Moody, or the
Allertons, or Stillwells had said, and afterward
when she freely expressed her own desires and in-



14 A MAID OF OLD NEW YORK

tentions, Madame Van Ruyven did not discourage
them. On the contrary, her usual answer was :

" What may happen when thou art a woman,
no one can tell, Ratha."

" Agratha, moeder. It is much finer to say
Agratha. Madame De Montaine is always called
Agratha, and Lady Moody told me one day
that Agratha was the name of a duchess."

" Well then, thou may be a duchess some day.
It may so be. Stranger things have happened."

" Then I should be spoken of as, Her Grace the
Duchess Agratha. And his High Mightiness
Peter Stuyvesant would have to bow to me, and
be polite. Now, he is often rude and disagree
able, moeder, and I wish I did not have to go to
the Fort for my lessons. Why do I go to the
Fort, moeder? I would like to go with the other
girls to the City Hall, and "

" It is a great favour, and a great honour that
the Governor gives thee. For his own help and
convenience he brought here to be his Secretary,
the famous Domine Luyck, from Leyden from,
the great University of Leyden Remember that !
And because thy uncle was, in youth, his com
rade and friend, he looks a little after thy educa
tion. Very proud and thankful thou ought to
feel."

"My uncle's friend, he may have been; I do
not think he is my father's friend."

"What can thou know about men and their



THE BIRTHDAY OF NEW YORK 15

friends? They are not like women, always say
ing sweet words to one another. Men often say
hard words to each other and yet remain good
friends."

" They say bad words, dreadful words. The
Governor says them very often, if Lady Judith
is not present."

" And if she is present, then he does not say
them. Is that so, eh?"

" That is so. She looks at him and he is quiet.
But his wood leg is not quiet ; he knocks the floor
with it very hard. It says the bad words for
him."

"And then?"

" Madame smiles, and smiles, and very soon the
Governor goes away, and Madame has the best of
it. Oh, I listen and look, and I put this and that
together, moeder; and when I am a Lord's wife,
or a duke's wife, I shall behave as Madame Stuy-
yesant does."

Between mother and daughter such conversa
tions as this were frequent, and they supplied
Ragel Van Ruyven with plenty of romantic
thoughts, as she sat at her wheel that memorable
second day of February. Indeed the afternoon
went so pleasantly and swiftly, that she was sud
denly astonished to see the grey night looking in
through the window. Then she rose, set by her
wheel, and called a man to throw some light wood
upon the red bed logs, and just as they filled the



i

16 A MAID OF OLD NEW YORK

big living room with their dancing lights, the door
was pushed swiftly open, and Agratha entered.
She ran straight to her mother, crying in the
sweet treble voice of early girlhood:

" Moeder, moeder ! Look at me ; I am wearing
snowflakes." She was a slight little figure,
dressed in a dark cloth pelisse, trimmed with rac
coon, a crimson satin hood and overboots of rac
coon closed with small silver latchets. She made
a charming picture for a moment, as she stood in
the red light of the blazing wood. Joyously she
laughed and chattered as her mother helped her
to take off her outer garments, and when the
crimson hood was removed, the charm of the girl
was more perfectly revealed. It was the magic
of a face full of the faculty for enjoyment; the
features finely modelled, the eyes dark blue, laugh
ing with boundless good humour and sweetness, and
a complexion like the freshest of wild roses. Her
golden brown hair was pushed behind her pretty
ears, and then left to wave and curl in picturesque
freedom, and her clear, sweet voice had in it tones
that only the spring birds know.

The grace of a girl allowed to grow up in per
fect liberty was in all her movements that phy
sical grace which comes not by the dancing mas
ter, but by light, freedom, exercise and plenty of
fresh air. She carried herself proudly, and any
one whe wished her friendship or company, had to
court her, she would never court them. This



THE BIRTHDAY OF NEW YORK 17

latter quality had been quickly noticed by Lady
Moody, who declared it to be the natural democ
racy of a fine natured child ; for she added " the
noblest children, whether they be male or female,
are born democrats." And as Lady Moody was
herself an uncompromising democrat, and had
suffered many things for her opinions, we may
in this matter accept her dictum.

In less time than it has taken to make these ob
servations on the girl, her snow sprinkled gar
ments had been removed. Mother and daughter
were talking merrily, as the latter unclasped her
fur boots, and stepped lightly out of them. Then
she shook herself gently, went to the hearth and
stood before the fire. Her bright hair, dark
green dress and scarlet shoes, tied with a bow of
ribbon, made her a delightful picture in the glim
mering lights and shadows of the blazing wood.

" And who brought thee home, dear one ? Was
it the Governor's man, William ? "

" With my fader I came home."

" Where then is thy fader? "

" At the garden gate, finishing his quarrel with
Mr. Van Derlyn. Soon it will be over, for I
heard fader say : * That is all about it, Sir, all
about it.' "

"About what?"

" The Governor, I suppose. When men quar
rel, it is about the Governor, or the English one
or the other."



18 A MAID OF OLD NEW YORK

" That is the truth, but how dost thou know-
it? "

" Moeder, when a girl is more than fifteen years
old, she feels things; she does not need to know
them."

There was the sound of heavy footsteps, as Paul
Van Ruyven opened, and shut and locked the front
door. " It snows, it blows, it is zero cold," he
muttered crossly, " and no one is going out again
this night."

" No one is wanting to go out, Paul. What is
the matter with thee? Art thou cross? "

There was no answer to this question, for while
Madame was speaking a young man had entered
the room, and was assisting Van Ruyven to re
move his wet cloak and boots. No one noticed
him, and his presence was evidently a common and
expected event. Yet in that youth's person was
embodied such ruin and wrath, such loss and sor
row, as will never again occur in this world un
less the world runs backward to conditions, now
almost forgotten.

He was not handsome, yet no one passed him
without a second look, for his stature was great,
and he was extraordinarily graceful and supple
in his movements. No Indian could outrun him,
and his agility was a constant source of wonder
to the slow and heavy Dutchman. Only that morn
ing Van Ruyven had seen him place his hand on
the top of Timothy Hall's five-barred gate, and



THE BIRTHDAY OF NEW YORK 19


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