|Ships:||Sailing ( 1)|
|Complete:||Samuel de Champlain|
Margaret Hardenbroeck (1637 – 1691) was a prominent and wealthy merchant in the colonial Province of New York. She inherited great wealth from her first husband after his early death, and later married another merchant and landowner, Frederick Philipse, who became 1st Lord of Philipse Manor. (Source: Wikipedia)
To read more about Margaret Hardenbroeck's journey in Seaport, check her storylines.
|1||Good day to you|
My name is Margaret Hardenbroeck. I am a merchant from New Amsterdam and I could use your help. Please, finish whatever business you have and then we can talk.
Maybe you expected to talk with a man, that I am only an assistant. But no. I am the owner of the Hardenbroeck trading business. I hope you have no problem with that and that we can start our business.
Good, I am glad that you are ready to work with me. I am running trading voyages back to Holland with my small fleet. However, the ships can't take all the cargo I buy anymore.
I will also need to hire your sailors to sail the ships. I hope that won't be a problem. I can pay for the ships and the men both. And you can accompany me on my voyages if you wish to.
I believe that a beneficial cooperation requires mutual trust. So let us get to know each other a bit. How about a dinner? Would you prefer your place or mine?
It's nice to see you still have time for home-cooking. I am too busy taking care of the business to cook. These fish are truly tasty. A pity you don't have a matching wine to go with it.
|7||Country of equality|
In this age, it's hard for women to be independent. But not so in Holland. I can own a business myself. It's only trouble when I have to deal with the Englishmen. Last time we argued about a shipment of iron.
I have a husband and five kids. Sometimes it's hard to make time for them but I am doing my best. Actually, we are going to the fair tomorrow. You can join us if you would like.
|9||Now to business|
Let's talk business. Before we go on our first trading voyage we must build a new warehouse. We need a safe and dry place to store the goods. Our old warehouse has a bad roof and it is too small anyway.
Now let's go have a look at my fleet. I want you to tell me what you think. I am a merchant, not a captain or a shipwright. So be honest, are my ships any good?
|11||Meet my crew|
We will make the adjustments as you suggested. After a little rebuilding, we can expand the cargo hold on each ship. Now let's talk to my crew. They are good men, even if some of them are missing experience.
|12||Keep the tradition|
Before a voyage, I always invite my crew for a meal at the tavern in the port. Helps build the good relations among us. How about we continue this tradition with you and your men?
|13||Time to trade|
Now let's get ready for the voyage. I like to go and sell the goods in Holland myself. I know the business best. We will take some pelts and cloth, and sell it in Europe. Then buy some local products.
The cargo is loaded. I will send for my luggage and we can sail out. If there is something you wish to trade in Europe too now is to time to load it up.
|15||The Old World|
Ah, I just love the Netherlands. I really like it in America but I miss my home sometimes. I am going to negotiate the trade and you just make the crates with goods ready for unloading.
I found the perfect olive oil from Spain for a good price. There is a high demand for it in New Amsterdam. But I did not manage to sell all our goods yet. I would be grateful if you could lend me a small sum.
|17||Fix that warehouse|
I did not manage to sell all our goods. We will have to store them in our family warehouse in the city. It is a bit run down, so we might have to fix it up a bit before we use it.
|18||Their favorite place|
Our ships are filled with oils, pins, and pans. We are ready to head back. I hope your sailors are waiting for us at the docks. My men sometimes forget themselves at the portside tavern.
Before I forget, I must get something for my kids. I always bring them the chocolates from Belgium. They can make the best chocolate there. Usually, I take some for myself too.
|20||Something's not right|
Do you see those ships in the New Amsterdam harbor? That fleet is flying the British flag. Send one of your ships ahead and find out what is going on. Pretend you are a fisherman, just to be on the safe side.
|21||Change in government|
So the British have taken over New Amsterdam. I wonder what this will mean for me and my family. You have to claim to be the owner of these goods, captain. They won't accept a female merchant.
|22||What matters most|
Let's hurry to the city. I must go to my family and make sure they are safe. Please take care of the ships and cargo. Just take it all to the warehouses. I will return as fast as I can.
|23||Everyone is safe|
I will have to make some changes. I can't own or buy any property from now on, not even my own business. We will have to go to the notary and change the owner to my husband.
|24||New life in New York|
They even changed the name of the city. I would return to Holland but everything I have is here now. So we will have to adjust. First, let's build a wall around my house. It will make me feel safer.
|25||Never give up|
I decided to buy a new ship. Of course, in my husband's name but I will do the choosing and I will sail with her too. Let's go to the port and call your sailors too to help us with the selection.
|26||This is the one|
King Charles is a fine name for my new ship. Let's show the Englishmen that a woman can trade on an English ship too. I also want to buy some seafood since we are already at the pier.
The ship is pretty expensive. Do we still have some of that French wine we bought in Europe? We might get a better price if we give the seller a little gift.
|28||A bigger fleet|
That worked out well. Now let's go inspect my new ship. I think the anchor looked a bit rusty but otherwise, she should be in a good shape.
|29||Business as usual|
Good, everything is ready for the next voyage. I have already enough pelts in my warehouses to fill all the ships. We just need some containers to keep them dry and clean.
|30||Back in Amsterdam|
At least here I am still a rightful merchant of my own, not just a secretary to my husband. I don't need you to go negotiate with me. Do your own business in the city, I know you have some things to sell.
This time, we managed to sell all the pelts we brought. Now it's time to fill our ships with a new cargo. Let's go to the market and choose some fine products.
I don't feel so good, captain. Maybe I caught a cold on the ship. Please make sure all the cargo gets loaded on ships. I must lay down for a while.
|33||Home sweet home|
I see you managed to load up everything. Now we are only missing some food for the way back. And then we can head home, I can't wait to be back in my warm bed with my kids around me.
I have purchased some fine silk cloth at the market. But the seller did not have all of it in the stall. Could you go to his shop and get it? I will wait for you on the ship.
This sickness made me realize that I need to start thinking about my successors. I also saw these wonderful pans on the market. I think I would like to spend more time at home cooking.
|36||Back in New York|
One of my older ships is starting to fall apart. You are good with ships, captain, have a look at her. Maybe she can be fixed. If not, I will have to sell her for scrap.
|37||Leaving the nest|
My daughters are slowly coming to the age to be wed. They grow up so fast. It is time to start saving up for their dowry. I will help them find husbands worthy of them.
|38||Taking care of family|
I was lucky to have had the chance to be an independent merchant. My daughters will have it much more difficult. But I will help them as much as I can. I will build a house for each one.
I think about my sons too. They will inherit my business from me. They already know the basics but now is the time they had a taste of the sailor's life too. Our crew could give them a few lessons.
|40||It was a pleasure|
It's not easy for a woman to take care of family and business both. But we are strong, captain, so never underestimate us. Let's hope there will come a time when everyone understands it.