IV. New Amsterdam becomes New YorkThe Beginning of English Rule. 1664-1674.
THE expedition against New Amsterdam had been organized with the Duke of York, afterward King James II., as its special patron, and the city was rechristened in his honor. To this day its name perpetuates the memory of the dull, cruel bigot with whose short reign came to a close the ignoble line of the Stuart kings.
With Manhattan Island all the province of the New Netherlands passed under the English rule; and the arrogant red flag fluttered without a rival along the whole seaboard from Acadia to Florida. Yet the settlements were still merely little dots in the vast wooded wilderness which covered all the known portions of the continent. They were strung at wide intervals along the seacoast, or the courses of the mighty rivers, separated one from another by the endless stretches of gloomy, Indian-haunted woodland. Every step in the forest was fraught with danger. The farms still lay close to the scattered hamlets, and the latter in turn clung to the edges of the navigable waters, where travel was so much easier and safer than on