q. v.) had resolved to chasten the Raritan Indians for a grave offence.
He called upon the people to shoulder their muskets for a fight.
They knew his avarice and greed, and withal his cowardice, and boldly charged these things upon him. It is all well for you, they said, who have not slept out of the fort a single night since you came, to endanger our lives and our homes in undefended places, and they refused to obey.
This attitude of the people transformed the governor.
He invited (Aug. 23, 1641) the heads of families of New Amsterdam to meet him in consultation on public affairs.
They assembled at the fort, and promptly chose twelve citizens to represent them.
So appeared the first popular assembly, and so was chosen the first representative congress in New Netherland.
It was a spontaneous outgrowth of the innate spirit of democracy that animated the people.
The twelve were the vigorous seeds of that representative democracy which bore fruit in all the colonies more than a
Indians near Manhattan alienated by the conduct of the Dutch......1640
Expedition against the Raritan Indians......July 16, 1640
Contributions levied on the Tappan Indians by Governor Kieft, but refused......October, 1640
Reformed Dutch Church established.
Raritan Indians destroy De Vries's colony on Staten Island......June, 1641
Kieft sets a price on their heads......July, 1641
Kieft, anticipating an Indian war, consults the heads of families in New Amsterdam......Aug. 23, 1641
These choose twelve select men to act for them; the first representative assembly in the province......Aug. 29, 1641
Ex-Governor Minuit dies at Fort Christina......1641
Select men dissenting from the governor's warlike policy, he dissolves them......February, 1642
George Baxter, an exile from New England, English secretary; salary 250 guilders ($95)......1642
Johannes Megapolensis the first clergyman in Rensselaerwyck, with a residence and 1,000 guilders ($380)......1642