The Best Way to Stop Smuggling
Everyone knows that not all of the silver destined for Spain from the New World actually makes it to Spain. In 1602 the King of Spain was given an estimate of how much silver was loaded onto ships. Since the King knew how much arrived in Spain he could do the math... only one-eighth of the silver was making it to Spain. Very few people know exactly how much is being diverted now, but an Admiral once remarked that "The king of China could build a palace with the silver". The San Francisco Javier is one of these semi-legitimate smuggling ships. This year the ship will sink near Manila Bay. It's manifest is a matter of record. It says that the ship was carrying 418,323 pesos. When the ship is finally found centuries later, the divers will pull up 1,180,865 pesos. Apparently someone lied on the manifest... a whole lot.    
The First Jews Arrive in New Amsterdam
The Jews have fared better in the Netherlands than anywhere else in Europe, but "better" does not necessary translate as "good". Several hundred Jews immigrated to Dutch Brazil, but when the Dutch lose their colonies there, the colonists scatter to other Dutch holdings including New Amsterdam (which will someday be called New York). By the time they arrive, they are destitute, being reduced to asking for the charity of New Amsterdam. Unfortunately a government welfare program is non-existent and the Governor wants to expel these vagabonds. He checks with his bosses in the Dutch West India Company. Apparently, the Company can't stand the Jews either, but the Company is financed in part by Jewish money so the message is... Don't mess with the Jews, please. It's going to goof up our financing around here. 
A Forest in Flames and That's a Good Thing *
Edward Johnson (who I assume is the same fellow who founded Woburn, Massachusetts) remarks that the reason that the plains beyond the Mississippi are so well kept is because the Indians set fire to the forests on a regular basis. Indeed, the Indians do set fires regularly to clear out the dead brush and undergrowth that makes travel through a forest area so time consuming and difficult. The colonists see these forest fires as a virtue. One wonders how Edward Johnson knew what was happening beyond the Mississippi, but he did write the first history of New England which is published this year.  
This Year on Wikipedia
Year 1654, Wikipedia.
- * The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
- 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created (BOOK), Knopf. ISBN 9780307265722. “In 1654 the San Francisco Javier sank near Manila Bay. Its official manifest claimed that it carried 418,323 pesos. Centuries later, divers found 1,180,865 aboard. Even if one assumes, absurdly, that the divers found every last coin, the cargo was almost two-thirds contraband.”
- Directory of Manila Galleon Voyages, 1565 through 1815. home.windstream.net (August 2006). Retrieved on 27 September 2015. “San Francisco Javier, shipwrecked in Samar, 19 October 1655”
- Samar - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 27 September 2015. “Samar was the first island of the Philippines sighted by the Spanish expedition of Ferdinand Magellan on 16 March 1521 after having left the Mariana Islands.”
- Misión San Francisco Javier de Viggé-Biaundó - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 27 September 2015. “The Spanish mission of San Francisco Javier was initially founded by the Jesuit missionary Francisco María Piccolo in 1699 at a spring called Biaundó by the native Cochimí, about 8 kilometers north of the mission's subsequent location.”
- Bernard Bailyn. The Barbarous Years: The Peopling of British North America: The Conflict of Civilizations, 1600–1675. Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 9780307960825. “Stuyvesant's request was rejected, and he was ordered not only to receive the Jews on the tolerant terms they enjoyed in Holland but to encourage them and their co-religionists to settle permanently in the colony.”
- Alex Shrugged notes: For examples of Jewish ghettos see the movie Yentl (1983). Instead of looking at Barbara Streisand, look at what is going on around her. Those gates closing at sunset, are an example of the ghetto system.
- Yentl (1983). IMDb (1983). Retrieved on 27 September 2015. “A Jewish girl disguises herself as a boy to enter religious training.”
- Blau, Joseph Leon. Modern Varieties of Judaism: Lectures on the History of Religions. New York: Columbia University Press, 2-3. ISBN 0231028679. “The Jews provided, for much of Europe, an urban middle class of traders, bankers, and moneylenders. They eked out their own subsistence in the interstices of the economic life of Europe, resented, as the middle class always is, by the peasant lower class, and subject to the constant threat of extortion and expropriation by the upper class.”
- Edward Johnson (founder of Woburn, MA) - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 27 September 2015. “Johnson is regarded as the author of the first printed history of New England, The Wonderworking Providence of Sion's Savior in New England, which was published in England in 1654.”
- 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created (BOOK), Knopf. ISBN 9780307265722. “American forests, too, were shaped by flame. Indians' 'frequent fiering of the woods,' remarked English colonist Edward Johnson in 1654, made the forests east of the Mississippi so open and 'thin of Timber' that they were 'like our Parkes in England.'”