Theodore Roosevelt > New York > Page 34
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Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  New York.  1906.

Page 34
 
and it was only in his time that the Dutch life took on fixed and definite shape. The first comers were generally poor adventurers; but when it was plainly seen that the colony was to be permanent, many well-to-do people of good family came over,—burghers who were proud of their coats-of-arms, and traced their lineage to the great worthies of the ancient Netherlands. The Dutch formed the ruling and the most numerous class of inhabitants; but then, as now, the population of the city was very mixed. A great many English, both from old and New England, had come in; while the French Huguenots were still more plentiful,—and, it may be mentioned parenthetically, formed, as everywhere else in America, without exception the most valuable of all the immigrants. There were numbers of Walloons, not a few Germans, and representatives of so many other nations that no less than eighteen different languages and dialects were spoken in the streets. An ominous feature was the abundance of negro slaves,—uncouth and brutal-looking black savages, brought by slave-traders and pirates from the gold coast of Africa.
  The population was diverse in more ways than those of speech and race. The Europeans who came to this city during its first forty years of life represented almost every grade of old-world society. Many of these pioneers were men of as

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