Petition and Remonstrance of New Netherland
PETITION AND REMONSTRANCE OF NEW NETHERLAND
PETITION AND REMONSTRANCE OF NEW NETHERLAND, documents drawn up by a group of Dutch colonists to protest the government of that colony. In 1647, in order to induce the colonists to contribute to the expenses of the government, Peter Stuyvesant had permitted the election of a board known as the Nine Men. In spite of Stuyvesant's objections, in July 1649, this board penned two documents of protest to the home government. The petition was a short, concise statement of the condition of the province, with suggested remedies. The remonstrance was a long essay that gave in more detail and in historic perspective the facts and grievances upon which the petitioners based their appeal for changes. The colonists especially resented the autocratic proceedings and personal characters of the governor and his councillors. They questioned the expenditure of public funds and severely criticized the administration of justice. They asked for more farmers as colonists and for concessions in trading rights. Although the Amsterdam Chamber of the Dutch West India Company granted a new charter with enlarged trading rights, the arbitrary powers of the governor remained untouched, and Stuyvesant continued his autocratic course until April 1652, when the Amsterdam Chamber instructed him to give New Amsterdam a "burgher government."
A. C.Flick/a. e.
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