A Description of New Netherland

By Adriaen Van der Donck; Charles T. Gehring et al. | Go to book overview

A CONVERSATION BETWEEN A 90
DUTCH PATRIOT AND A NEW
NETHERLANDER CONCERNING THE
CONDITION OF NEW NETHERLAND

PATRIOT: Sir and friend, I have before now duly read and been told of the natural features of New Netherland, the appearance and ways of its aborigines, and related matters, by which I am satisfied that, then as now, a citizen, farmer, or other private person of whatever condition can do well for himself there. Yet some queries have occurred to me, to which I have long wished to hear your response. Allow me, therefore, to state my concerns by way of questions, the easier to achieve my objective.

The first is whether it would be advantageous to this nation that the said country should prosper, and what would be the benefit that this nation could gain by it.

Second, even if the country’s population and wealth were to increase, is its situation such that it can be defended, or, could be made so, against attack by enemies and pirates?

And third, whether it offers good opportunities for business, in which places, and in what goods one could with advantage trade from there. My further queries, to be brief, can be inferred from the above or are implied by them. On 91 all this I am keen to be enlightened by you, if you will.

NEW NETHERLANDER: Though I, dear sir, am not as well qualified as I could wish to answer those farseeing questions, I shall, since you wish it, attempt to satisfy you.

-127-

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