Letter from Director General Stuyvesant to Deputy Governor Goodyear

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[This vnderwritten was in answere of Mr. Eatons, being directed to the Deputy Gouernor Mr.
Goodyeare, the E. H. thinking it inconuinient to answer Mr. Eaton inrespect of his vniust charges.]

[Worthy Sir,

[By our Commissaries Keisar I received one letter from your selfe, and another from your Gouemor, & latelie one from both by Mr. Allerton;[1] you complaine of our commissarie' s breach of promise concerning some salte, his pretences are, the wind proueing faire hee would not loose the opportunitie, that he was longer deteined there, for the receiuing of what was paid him, then.hee expected; soe small a quantitie will not be worth the sending a vessell purposelie theather, therefore for the future I shall accept the payment of what is due from Mr. Allerton: In myne to your Governor I had thought I had given him sufficient satisfactio: and expected the like from him, but contrarie to my expectatio: and opinnio: of his wisdom, his letter was full of complaints and pretended injuries.

[And whereas he writes my letter was at best darke, and neede explanation thus farre I will expound myselfe: that claimes to pretended rights are noe injuries and gives me noe lawfull proprietie to what I claime, unlesse lawfullie adjudged, (in which neither hee nor I can be competent judges) and I suppose yow and he well knowes, that many protests and passages in this nature are only pro forma, and therefore for whatsoeuer I have done in that kinde, I haue not as I conceiue, wronged him, or the right of his countriemen there, vnlesse I had sought to make good my claime by force of armes, the which Ihaue not as yett soe much as thought of: although he semes to adjudge the cause on his owne side, by vertue of the graunte of his Majestie of England his pattent to his subjects of England, likewise blaming my predecessor for some passages att Deleware who I hope is nowe in his native countrie, and if he, or any one else, have any thing to laye to his charge, they may there question him, and I doubt hee will answere what soever they can object against him.

[For myne owne parte I canne noe ways interpret his, but as an aggrauating of former passages, the worse sense, laying many things to my charge, ripping vp (as he conceiues) all my faultes, as if I were a schole boy, & not as one of like degree with himselfe, and they are soe vaine, and by me soe sufficientlie answered that I shall be silent, and only instance in 2 or 3 of the cheifest of them.

First concerning my receiving recognition hee ]re, that it is soe excessive high, etc: I only answere, Every State hath power to make what lawes, and impose what customs in theyre owne precincts they shall thinke Conuenient, without being regulated or prescribed by others, yet not withstanding wee have bynne soe fauourable to your Countriemen trading heere, that they pay 8st per cent. lesse then our owne, and I am Confident all things considered not 4 per cent.

Hee likewise objects against me (his heare say) of my threatning to burne or beate downe your trading howse, and of report from severall places and persons, Concerning my selfe, and secretarie's indeavouring to raise the Indians against the English, threatning a retaliation and turning the edge and point of those weapons uppon us heere, I had thought he had had more ] noble worth being a Governor, or Charitie as he was a Christian, (hearing such reports of one of liky qualitie as himselfe) not to have given Credit to them, but rather imprisoned the reporters unlesse they could have sufficientlie proved it; and I take it to be as grate an injurie to me, (to have such reportes raised and beleved) as possible may bee. ]

Concerning my sending Capt: Forester for Holland, and that the English Collonies may have occasion to write after the same Coppie (I understand him very well) and I doubt not but theyre wisdoms will doe that which they may well answere to theyre principalls, as I to myne, and therefore neede not give him, or any one else heere, an accompt, Yett for your satisfaction he claimed the government of all Long Isl: Dutch and English, and produced a commission wheather Counterfeit or noe, I know not, for it was sealed but not signed.

His Conclusion is indifferent faire, but I shall not begg it from him, if I meete in the spring with the governors ] of Boston and Plimmouth I hope we shall doe our best for the reconciling of all differences; to put any thing ] to them as arbitratours I am not yett resolved, but shall willinglie Complie with them in what they shall thinke ] Convenient, and whereas he is soe full of his retaliation, according to his owne words and practise, hee must ] give us leave to giue libertie to any that shall flye from your Juristiction, to remaine vnder our protection ] untill our fugitiues are deliuered, which assone as done I shall indeauour to send theyres backe, soe Sir ] with my loveing respects I take leaue and rest

Your assured lo: friend,

P. Styvesant

Fort New Amsterdam in New Netherlands
December the 16th, 1647. st. no.


Isaac Allerton, an Englishman, who lived with the separatist commnity in Leiden, came to Plymouth with the Pilgrims where he served as assistant to Governor Bradford. Allerton, whose extensive trading networks included New Netherland, was equally accepted by the Dutch. He maintained a home in New Amsterdam and was appointed to Director General Kieft's council of eight men in 1643.


A complete copy of this publication is available on the New Netherland Institute website.