Posted in arts, time travel, writing

Town Hall for the people of New Amsterdam

On Friday, February 12th, 1663, the characters created by our class attended a meeting at the Stadhuis (Town Hall) of New Amsterdam. The subject of the meeting was none other than Petrus Stuyvesant himself, and the meeting was led by two representatives of the Dutch West India Company. Before being placed into our time machine, everyone had a chance to prepare notes with their thoughts about Stuyvesant’s leadership and changes that should still be made to New Amsterdam.

Here are the children of New Amsterdam, scribbling treatises for and against their Director-General. The Quakers were so passionate they wrote speeches during lunchtime!


Here are some images of the Town Hall as it unfolded…

James Angola lobs some harsh words at the Director-General
Margrit, a Quaker girl, came with plenty to say about the unjust treatment of her religion and gender.

“Stuyvesant shall be removed though he has cleaned the town he has done terrible things. I was put in stocks for lifting my skirts over a muddy street. Stocks, I say, for preventing discomfort. And I am not even aloud to practice my religion, and no, I am not going to the Dutch Reformed Church. I am my own priest and no one can stop me cause I’ll find God in the stocks. I’ll find god in prison. I’ll find god wherever you put me, wherever I go.” –Margrit, created by Burk

David Israel, who is Jewish, railed against Stuyvesant’s unjust laws
Every child in attendance wanted a chance to speak!
This Walloon child simply cannot contain himself

We were even presented a joint resolution written by Quaker and Walloon girls (Grace and Elisabeth, created by Clementine and Xeta, respectively!

Dear Dutch etc.

  1. Girls should not be fined for lifting their dresses because they’ll ruin their dress and waste lots of wampum.
  2. If your house was on fire you should not have to pay, because you’ll lose a bunch of your stuff including your house.
  3. People are getting fined for passing speed limits, when there is a rush.
  4. Using stocks, it’s a bad idea, because it’s hurting your own people, or village.
Grace and Elisabeth present a list of grievances to Stuyvesant, who is unmoved
Yet another Quaker has come prepared with a speech in his hands and the fire of righteousness in his heart

And, video of some heated moments (you must visit TroutTime site to watch the video).

Here is Askook, a Lenape boy, sharing his opinion of the Director-General

The passionate spirit of Amber, a Dutch child,  cannot be constrained!

Here are some more of the arguments the children’s characters made in their notes (written on special time-travel resistant paper)

From a Lenape perspective:

  • “Peter Stuyvesant left us alone when he came to New Amsterdam after Willem Kieft attacked the Lenape.” But on the other hand, “We are only allowed to trade with the Dutch in Market Day which is the only time we are allowed in New Amsterdam.” –Mukki, created by Camilo

From a Dutch perspective:

  • Peter Stuyvesant made a speed limit so you cannot get run over. He made people get fines for getting too drunk and fighting. “All of these rules made people safe!” One suggestion would be “for him to care about other people than the Dutch.” –Pheabea, created by Tati
  • New Amsterdam “is more civilized with more rules, but some rules are unreasonable.” –Sara, created by Remy

From an African perspective:

  • “He has anger issues. And we need freedom. Off with his head!” –Flip, created by Soren