Description of the New Netherlands

3 mate is so cold and wintry that the snow commonly lies on the earth four or five months in succession and from four to five feet deep, which renders it costly to keep domestic animals there ; and, although this country lies no farther than fifty degrees north, still the air in winter is so fine, clear, and sharp there that when the snow once falls, which it commonly does about the first of December, it does not thaw away except by the power of the sun in April. If a shower of rain happens to fall in winter (which is seldom), then it forms a hard crust on the surface of the snow, that renders the travelling difficult for man and beast. The air there is clear and dry, and the snow seldom melts or thaws away suddenly. The Swedes also have a possession on the south (Delaware) river, which they name New-Sweden. The climate of this place by no means corresponds with that of Sweden, as it lies in latitude 39 degrees north. But, although they have formed a settlement there, still their title is disputed, for they can show no legal right or claim to their possessions. The country having been first found or discovered by the Netherlanders, and keeping in view the discovery of the same, it is named the New-Netherlands. That this country was first found or discovered by the Netherlanders is evident and clear from the fact that the Indians or natives of the land, many of whom are still living, and with whom I have conversed, declare freely that before the arrival of the Lowland ship, the Half- Moon, in the year 1609, they (the natives) did not know that there were any other people in the world than those who were like themselves, much less any people who differed so much in appearance from them as we did. Their men on the breasts and about the mouth were bare, and their women, like ours, hairy; going unclad and almost naked, particularly in summer, while we are always clothed and covered. When some of them first saw our ship approaching at a distance, they did not know what to think about her, but stood in deep and solemn amazement, wondering whether it were a ghost-or apparition, coming down from heaven, or from hell. Others of them supposed her to be a strange fish or sea monster. When they discovered men on board, they supposed them to be more like devils than human beings. Thus they differed about the ship and men. A strange report was also spread about the country concerning our ship and visit, which created great astonishment and surprise amongst the Indians. These things we have frequently