land. New Amsterdam, when its existence as such ceased, held some fifteen hundred souls (many of them negro slaves); yet the sloops that plied from thence to Fort Orange,now Albany,or to any other of the small river towns, were obliged to go well armed, and to keep a keen watch night and day for the war-canoes of hostile Indians.
The conquered province had been patented to the Duke of York, and Nicolls acted as his agent. The latter was a brave, politic man of generous nature and good character, and he executed well the difficult task allotted him, doing his best to conciliate the colonists by the justice and consideration with which he acted, and at the same time showing that timidity had no share in influencing his course. By the terms of the surrender the Dutch settlers were guaranteed their full civil and religious rights, and as a matter of fact they were gainers rather than losers by the change. Their interests were as carefully guarded as were those of the English settlers, their prejudices were not shocked, and if anything they were allowed greater, rather than less privileges in the way of self-government. Moreover, it must be remembered that the change was not so violent as if a city peopled exclusively by one race had been suddenly conquered by the members of another. Under Dutch rule all foreigners had been freely naturalized, and had been allowed to do their share of