Theodore Roosevelt > New York > Page 50
Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  New York.  1906.

Page 50
mayor, and justices. Vested rights were interfered with as little as possible; the patroons were turned into manorial lords; the Dutch and Huguenots were allowed the free exercise of their religion; indeed, the feeling was so friendly that for some time the Anglican service was held in the Dutch Church in the afternoons. No attempt was made to interfere with the language or with the social and business customs and relations of the citizens. Nicolls showed himself far more liberal than Stuyvesant in questions of creed; and one of the first things he did was to allow the Lutherans to build a church and install therein a pastor of their own. He established a fairly good system of justice, including trial by jury, and practically granted the citizens a considerable measure of self-government. But the fact remained that the colony had not gained its freedom by changing its condition; it had simply exchanged the rule of a company for the rule of a duke. Nicolls himself nominated all the new officers of the city (choosing them from among both the Dutch and the English), and returning a polite but firm negative to the request of the citizens that they might themselves elect their representatives. He pursued the same course with the Puritan Long Islanders; and the latter resented his action even more bitterly than did the Dutch.



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