Description of the New Netherlands

9 are in the main land and in the island opposite to the same many safe bays, harbours, and creeks, which are but little known to us, and which the English, by their devices, have appropriated. Although this subject is spoken of in the remonstrances of the New-Netherlands, we will pass over it without waking the sleepers, and attend briefly to the most important rivers, waters, and creeks. Of the North Hirer. We have before noticed the name of this river, with the population and advantages of the country; and, inasmuch as a particular and ample account of the same is preparing for publication, we will at once say that this river is the most famous, and the country the most populous of any in the New-Netherlands. There are also several colonies settled, besides the city of New-Amsterdam, on the island of Manhattan, where the most of the trade of this river centres. The river carries flood tides forty miles up the same.* Several fine creeks empty into this river, such as the Great and Small Esopus kills, Kats kill, Sleepy Haven kill, Colondonck’s kill or Saw kill, Wap- pincke’s kill, &c. We can also pass from the North river behind Manhattan island by the East river, without approaching New-Amsterdam. This river still remains altogether in the possession and jurisdiction of the Netherlanders, without being invaded; but, if the population did not increase and advance, there would be great danger of its long continuation. This river is rich in fishes: sturgeon, dunns, bass, sheep-heads, &c. I cannot refrain, although somewhat out of place, to relate a very singular occurrence, which happened in the month of March, 1647, at the time of a great freshet caused by the fresh water flowing down from above, by which the water of the river became nearly fresh to the bay, when at ordinary seasons the salt water flows up from twenty to twenty-four miles from the sea. At this season, two whales, of common size, swam up the river forty miles, from which place one of them returned and stranded about twelve miles from the sea, near which place four others also stranded the same year. The other run farther up the river, and grounded near the great Chahoos falls, about forty-three miles from the sea. This fish was tolerably fat, for although the citizens of Rensselaerwyck broiled out a •A Dutch mile is about three English miles.