Description of the New Netherlands

12 strance of the New-Netherlanders, where we leave the matter and pass to the East river. Of the East River. This river is thus named because it extends eastward from the city of New-Amsterdam. By some this river is held to be an arm of the sea, or a bay, because it is very wide in some places, and because both ends of the same are connected with and empty into the ocean. This subtility notwithstanding, we adopt the common opinion, and hold it to be a river. Be it then a river or a bay, as men may please to name it, still it is one of the best, most fit, and most convenient places and most advantageous accommodations which a country can possess or desire, for the following reasons: Long Island, which is about forty miles in length, makes this river. The river, and most of the creeks, bays, and inlets joining the same, are navigable in winter and in summer without much danger. This river also affords a safe and convenient passage at all seasons to those who desire to sail east or west; and the same is most used, because the outside passage is more dangerous. Most of the English (of New-England) who wish to go south to Virginia, to South river, or to other southern places, pass through this river, which brings no small traffic and advantage to the city of New-Amsterdam. This also causes the English to frequent our harbours, to which they are invited for safety. Lastly, this river is famous on account of its convenient bays, inlets, havens, rivers, and creeks, on both sides, to wit, on the side of Long Island and on the side of the fast or main land. In the Netherlands, no such place is known. Of this and the other rivers of New-Netherlands, enough has been said, in our opinion, for this time and for our purpose. Of the Formation, Soil, and Appearance of the Land. We will now treat of the land, with its natural, superficial appearance, beginning with the formations of the earth. Near and along the sea-shores, the soil is light and sandy, with a mixture of clay, which enriches the land. The productions are different kinds of wood, various fruits and vegetables. Barrens and sterile heath land are not here. The whole country has a waving surface, and in some places high hills and