Description of the New Netherlands

4 heard them declare, which we hold as certain proof that the Netherlanders were the first finders or discoverers and possessors of the New-Netherlands. There are Indians in the country, who remember a hundred years, and, if there had been any other people here before us, they would have known something of them, and, if they had not seen them themselves, they would have heard an account of them from others. There are persons who believe that the Spaniards have been here many years ago, when they found the climate too cold to their liking, and again left the country; and that the maize or Turkish corn and beans found among the Indians were left with them by the Spaniards. This opinion or belief is improbable, as we can discover nothing of the kind from the Indians. They say that their corn and beans were received from the southern Indians, who received their seed from a people who resided still farther south, which may well be true, as the Castilians have long since resided in Florida. The maize may have been among the Indians in the warm climate long ago. However, our Indians say that they did eat roots and the bark of trees instead of bread, before the introduction of Indian corn or maize. The Netherlanders the First Possessors of New- Netherland. Although the possession and title which the Netherlanders have to New-Netherlands are amply treated of in their length and breadth, in the Representation of the Commonalty, and little more can be said in relation to them unless access be had to the Registers of the Honorable West India Company, we will nevertheless touch upon them briefly, en passant. When this country was first discovered by the Netherlanders in the year 1609, and it was told them by the natives that they were the first Christian explorers in that region, they took possession of it in the name and on behalf of their High Mightinesses, the Lords of the States-General of the United Netherlands, first in the South Bay at Cape Hinloopen, which they so called at that time, and which still retains that name; and so all along the coast and up the rivers, giving names to the different places as far as the great North River, a great distance up which they sailed, and which some of the English will still call Hudson’s River, but which was then named Mauritius River after Prince