Theodore Roosevelt > New York > Page 29
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Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  New York.  1906.

Page 29
 
protection against the whites, who, on the other hand, were much inferior to the red men in battle in the open forest. At first the Indians did not understand this; and in their ignorance they persisted in fighting their new foes in the very way that gave the latter most advantage. It was in consequence of this that the seventeenth-century Algonquins suffered not a few slaughtering defeats at the hands of the New Englanders and New Netherlanders.
  Finally, crippled and exhausted, both sides were glad to make peace; and the whites again spread out to their ruined farms. In his dire need Kieft had summoned a popular meeting and chosen from among the heads of families a council of twelve men to advise him in the war. This popular meeting was the first of its kind ever held on Manhattan, and may be considered as the first foreshadowing of our whole present system of popular government. The Council of Twelve at once proceeded to protest against the director's arbitrary powers, and to demand increased rights for the people, and a larger measure of self-government. Instantly Kieft dissolved them; but later on, when the settlement seemed at the last gasp, a council of eight was chosen, this time by popular vote, and took advantage of the dread of the public enemy to demand the needed internal reforms. They protested in every way against

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