well-to-do merchant burghers of the town, whose ships went to Europe and Africa, carrying in their holds now furs or rum, now ivory or slaves; then came the great bulk of the population,thrifty souls of small means, who worked hard, and strove more or less successfully to live up to the law; while last of all came the shifting and intermingled strata of the evil and the weak,the men of incurably immoral propensities, and the poor whose poverty was chronic. Life in a new country is hard, and puts a heavy strain on the wicked and the incompetent; but it offers a fair chance to all comers, and in the end those who deserve success are certain to succeed.
It was under Stuyvesant, in 1653, that the town was formally incorporated as a city, with its own local schout and its schepens and burgomasters whose powers and duties answered roughly to those of both aldermen and justices. The schouts, schepens, and burgomasters together formed the legislative council of the city; and they also acted as judges, and saw to the execution of the laws. There was an advisory council as well.
The struggling days of pioneer squalor were over, and New Amsterdan had taken on the look of a quaint little Dutch seaport town, with a touch of picturesqueness from its wild surroundings. As there was ever menace of attack, not only by the savages but by the New Englanders, the city