The Shame And the Sorrow

The Dutch Vrouws,
page 2 of 9

We are introduced to this colonial woman of affairs in the sub-title of the journal, which states that the journey to New Netherland was made “in a small Flute-ship called the Charles, of which Thomas Singleton was Master; but the superior Authority over both Ship and Cargo was in Margaret Filipse, 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.”

This “Margaret Filipse” was the daughter of Adolph Hardenbrook who settled in Bergen, opposite New Amsterdam. She was the widow of the merchant trader Peter Rudolphus De Vries when she married Frederick Philipse. Her second husband was a carpenter by trade, who worked for Governor Stuyvesant; but on his marriage with the wealthy Widow De Vries, he became her capable business partner, and finally was counted the richest man in the colony. She owned ships running to many ports, and went repeatedly to Holland in her own ships as supercargo. She was visited by Dankers in Amsterdam in June, 1679. According to the custom of his religious sect, he always called her by her Christian name, and wrote of her as Margaret. He says:—

“We spoke 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.”

They waited patiently on shipboard for several days for Madam Philipse to embark, and at last he writes:—

“We were all very anxious for Margaret to arrive, so that we might not miss a good wind. Jan and some of the other passengers were much dissatisfied. Jan declared, If this wind blows over I will write her a letter that will make her ears tingle.’”

Landing at an English port, the travellers bought wine and vinegar, “for we began to see it would go slim with us on the voyage,” and Margaret bought a ship which was made ready to go to the Isle of May and then to the Barbadoes.


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