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Begun in the Name of the Lord and for his Glory, the 8th of June, 1679, and undertaken in the small Flute-ship, the Charles of New York, of which Thomas Singelton was Master; but the superior Authority over both Ship and Cargo was in Margriete Flips1, who was the Owner of both, and with whom we agreed for our Passage from Amsterdam to New York, in New Netherland, at seventy-five Guilders for each Person, payable in Holland. We had ourselves registered, to wit : I, J. Schilders, and my good friend, P. Vorstman.

On the eighth of June, 1679, we left home2 at four o'clock in the morning, taking leave of those with whom God had joined us fast in spirit, they committing us, and we them, with tenderness of heart, unto the gracious protection of the Highest. Although for a time separated in body, we remained most closely united in soul, which is, always and everywhere, but one and the same. We went on foot to Oost[erend], expecting there to take the canal boat, which we did, at six or half past six o'clock, after waiting an hour. We took leave finally of those of our beloved and very worthy friends who had accompanied us, and thus far made it a pleasant journey for us. Our hearts had been strengthened in discoursing, on the road, of God and his will concerning us, and of the disposition and readiness of our hearts, as we then felt, to bear it whatever it might be, although we foresaw that it would be mortifying enough for us. We arrived at B[olsward] about eight o'clock, where we discovered the reason why there were so few people in the boat and tavern, for by the ringing of the bells we understood that it was a holiday, namely, Ascension Day,3 which suited us very well, as we thus had an opportunity of being alone in the tavern, and eating out of our knapsack a little breakfast, while waiting for the canal boat to leave. We were greatly pleased, while we were in the tavern, to see several persons there, representatives of the schout4, who were going the rounds in all the taverns of the city, to see whether there were any drunkards or whether any other disorderly conduct subject to the penalty of any fine was being practised. When the time arrived, we stepped on board the canal boat, where we found few people: but these passed the whole way in tattling, principally about a certain miser who had died and cheated his friends, leaving them more than they themselves had hoped to find. As our own thoughts were otherwise employed, this talk was very annoying to us. We reached W[orkum]5 before the hour fixed for departure from there, so we went to the Amsterdam packet, on board of which there were different kinds of people, but all wicked. Among them was a family consisting of father, mother and children, who even after the manner of the world were not spoken of much better. They had two daughters of a very easy disposition. We had the good fortune to have the cabin to ourselves, where we could be perfectly accommodated. We left Workum at twelve o'clock with a strong head wind, but it soon became calm, so that it was six o'clock before we passed Enckhuysen.6 We came to anchor before Amsterdam about eleven o'clock at night.

9th, Friday. We stepped ashore early and went first to look after our ship, the Charles, which we found lying in the stream. When we went aboard, we found some passengers already on the ship. We inquired when they intended to sail. The mate, who like the captain was a Quaker, answered, ''tomorrow"' that is, Saturday. We went immediately to the house to which our chest had been directed, taking another with us. We lodged there as long as we were at Amsterdam. The proprietor made no objection to deliver us the chest which had arrived before us, upon our receipts which we had brought. This done, we went to Margaret's,7 to whom we spoke of ourselves, voyage, and purpose, and who showed us some attention. All this was accomplished before noon-time, when we went to our lodgings to brace ourselves up. The house being full of people the whole time, it was very difficult for us, though we obtained a room, to be tolerably alone during the day; but as the people who carry on this business desire to have much money spent, and as it was not for us to do so, we went out a great deal into different parts of the city, and returned there in the evening, where we slept together.

10th, Saturday. We performed some errands, and also spoke again to Margaret, inquiring of her when the ship would leave. She answered she had given orders to have everything in readiness to sail to-day, but she herself was of opinion it would not be before Monday. We offered her the money to pay for our passage, but she refused to receive it at that time, saying she was tired and could not be troubled with it that day, about which we passed a little joke with her, and she asked us if we were not of such and such people, who lived at such a place, to which we most of the time answered, yes.8

In the afternoon we took on board our chest and what we deemed necessary for the voyage, by means of an ordinary row-boat. We reached the boom without the least questioning, as the officers of the customs were employed with a lighter inspecting some wine of which they needs must taste. Coming on board, we selected our berth, put our bed-clothes in it, and requested the mate to keep the berth for us, which was next to the large hatchway, according to Margaret's orders. We then returned to our lodgings.

11th, Sunday. Not being able to do anything in the city, we determined to cross over the Y9 to Buiksloot, where we went to hear the preaching, which was wretched. It was by an old minister and according to the doctrines of Voetius. His text was of the seed sown among thorns. We had hitherto eaten out of our provision basket without refreshment, and we therefore took the opportunity now to refresh ourselves a little. We went at noon to Niewendam and heard a sermon by a person who had recently come there. He gave a short exposition of his opinions, from which we clearly saw that he was a Cocceian;10 and he seemed zealous, but not serious or earnest enough. We recrossed the river in the evening and went to our lodgings.

12th, Monday. This whole day we were in expectation of the ship's leaving, and therefore went out continually to see about it; but it was to no purpose. I went again to inquire at the house of Margaret, but could obtain no assurance. Our lodging house was the while constantly full of drunkards,and we did all that we could to avoid them.

13th, Tuesday. The ship still lying in the stream: we expected she would sail; but at the appointed time, nothing coming of it, we went on board and found there more passengers than before. We inquired again of the new mate when they had determined to leave, but we could obtain no information. The mates advised us to go to the Texel11 and wait there for the ship, and this, for other reasons, we concluded to do. I saw to-day a certain cooper who had visited us several times at A[ltona]12 and who conducted himself very commonly chez la famme reforme,13 and I believe comes also to the assembly of Mr. B. He looked at me, but made no recognition, and passed along. This is the only one of my acquaintance whom I have seen at Amsterdam.

14th, Wednesday. Having resolved to go to Texel to-day, whether the ship left or not, we prepared ourselves for the journey. We took dinner with our host and paid him for our lodging there. About seven o'clock we went in the Texel barge, where we found many passengers, but it was ten o'clock at night before we got off. After leaving the piles we had a strong head wind, which gradually increased to blow so hard that we could scarcely keep before it, fearing to sail into others.

15th, Thursday. We passed Enckuisen early in the morning, and had then to proceed against the wind with hard weather. We kept tacking with great assiduity till about

midday, when the tide compelled us to stop, and we came to anchor under the Vlieter. The boat being full of drinking people, there had been no rest the whole night. My good friend14 was sea-sick, and particularly suffered from the toothache, but felt better after taking a little of his usual medicine. The wind subsiding somewhat, and the tide having fallen, some of our passengers were put on board a ship-of-war, which was riding at anchor under the Vlieter,15 and then we proceeded on our course to Texel. Tacking until in the evening, as far as the Oude Schilt16, we came near being run down, which happened in this way. There came a small English ship in from sea, when an English galiot, lying close in shore, weighed anchor and set sail in order to speak to her. Coming down close before the wind, they were just going to speak to the ship, when we lay on their bow in order to wear about. They were all taken up therewith and took no notice of us, whereupon we began to shout and scream very hard, but they did not hear us; we not being able to avoid them, redoubled our cries, every man of us, but they, coming close by, heard us and hauled off. It was a narrow escape, as they were within two inches of being right upon us; but as there was a ship-of-war's boat on our vessel, we were probably in no great danger of losing our lives, since by means of that we could have saved ourselves, or they could have caught us up. We landed at the Oude Schilt about half past nine in the evening, and took lodgings at the Court of Friesland, one of the principal inns, although we had been recommended to the Moor's Head, but that did not suit us, because it was mostly frequented by tipplers. Having taken something to eat, we retired together to rest in a quiet little chamber which they prepared for us.

16th, Friday. My companion still suffering from the toothache and also a pain in the stomach, remained in bed till noon, when he found himself better. We dined with our landlord and then wrote a letter home, which we posted. We were in momentary expectation of the arrival of our ship, for which we were constantly on the look out; but as it continued blowing hard with a contrary wind, we did not discover anything of her, and, by force, took this time to recruit ourselves a little.

17th, Saturday. Waited for our ship as before, but saw nothing of her.

18th, Sunday. Went to hear preaching this morning at Oude Schilt by a very poor man, both in body and mind, for he was all awry from top to bottom, without and within, his face as well as his feet, but displeasing as he was to look at, he endeavored to please everybody. His text was, " humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God.''17 We went in the afternoon through Burght,18 the principal village on the island, walking along the dunes and sea-shore, where we were amused by the running about of an incalculable number of rabbits. Being upon the outside of the strand, we watched for a while the breakers of the North Sea, which were being driven against the shore by a northwest wind; then we turned back to Burght and came to a brewer, the only one, not only in that place, but on the whole island. We drank of his beer, which in our opinion was better than any we had found on our journey. Being a Mennonist19 he would gladly have entertained us with pleasant conversation, but admonished of the time, we returned to our lodgings at Oude Schilt.

19th, Monday. We looked out again for our ship, going along the dyke to Oostereindt,20 a considerable village, but we saw no signs of her. We therefore left the shore and returned home inland, passing through another small village, called Seelt.

20th, Tuesday. Perceiving nothing of our ship we began to feel very anxious, for besides being at much expense for our lodgings, we were sometimes compelled to eat with very godless men. Our lodging house was the one most frequented by the superior officers of the ships-of-war, of which there were seven or eight lying there ready to convoy different fleets to various parts.

We went in the afternoon to the Hoorn, quite a large village west of the Oude Schilt. When we had passed through it, we found ourselves near the dunes, over which we crossed to the beacon, walking upon the shore to the extreme point of the island, from whence we saw the Helder before us on the other side, and between, the two mouths of Texelsdiep,21 observing how the lines agreed with the beacons. Time running on, we returned to the Hoorn, where we were compelled to

drink once. The landlord of the house was a Papist, who quickly took us to be Roman ecclesiastics, at which we laughed between us for his so deceiving himself. He began to open his heart very freely, and would have told us all his secrets if we had asked him; but we cut off the conversation, and answered his questions with civility. When we reached home in the evening, we saw some ships had arrived, and supposed certainly one of them was ours; but, as it was dark, we were compelled to wait till next morning.

Source: Overview and Edited by Bryan Wright

Comments (1) 
kreiss
02/27/11
A fascinating article--and such intriguing history. I enjoyed reading it!
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