Old Bergen

Chapter XVIII.

Daniel Van Winkle

Published 1902

Web version, edited by GET NJ
Copyright 2002

ANTHONY COLVE, captain of one of the vessels composing the Dutch squadron, was invested with the chief authority, and changed the name New York to New Orange; and a demand to surrender was sent to "the Village of Bergen, and the Hamlets and Boueries thereon depending," as follows:

You are hereby ordered and instructed, to despatch delegates from your village here to us, to treat with us on next Tuesday, respecting the surrender of your town, to the obedience of their High Mi;htinesses, the Lords States General, of the United Netherlands, his Serene Highness, the Prince of Orange, or on refusal to do so, we shall be obliged to constrain you thereto by force of arms.
The inhabitants of Bergen seem to have been no whit disturbed by this summons. Whether actuated by a loyalty to the old government, or restrained by the fear of losing their possessions, they surrendered without any attempt at resistance, and sent in the names of certain citizens, from which list a choice of magistrates could be made. The following were appointed on August 18, 1673, and required to take the oath of allegiance : On the 21st of August they took the following oath:
Whereas we are chosen by the authority of the High and Mighty Lords, the States General, to be Magistrates of the Town of Bergen, we do swear in the presence of Almighty God, to be true and faithful to the said authority, and their Governors for the time being, and that we equally and impartially shall exercise justice between party and parties, without respect to persons or nations, and that we shall follow such further orders and instructions as we from time to time shall receive from the Governor and Council, etc.
They were thereupon notified that the Commander would visit their town on Sunday, after the sermon, in order to administer the oath to all their people. Pursuant to this notice the Commander and Council proceeded to Bergen, when the burghers of that town and dependencies were found to be seventy-eight in number, sixty-nine of whom appeared at drum beat, and took the oath of allegiance. The magistrates were ordered to forward the oaths of those who were absent. On the 25th of August the authorities of Bergen were notified of the necessity of fortifying New Amsterdam, and that each community should contribute thereto according to its means. They promised such aid and support, and proceeded to organize a militia company, to prepare for such defence if needed. September 4, 1673, Caspar Stynmets was elected captain, Hans Diedrick lieutenant, and Adrien Post ensign. The threatening aspect still continuing, on March 22, 1674, the authorities at New Orange ordered each of the Dutch towns within its jurisdiction to commission a militia officer and magistrate to meet at the City Hall, to confer on the state of the country; and it was then determined, in case of an enemy's approach, to send boats to Bergen to convey the people to the city.