Rule of the Dutch 1609-1664

Period I Summary

Henry Hudson and the First Settlements: The English explorer Henry Hudson sets out in 1609 to find a north-east passage to India but instead finds himself in Hudson Bay where he and his little son are set adrift by a rebellious crew. The Dutch claim the vast wilderness whilst the French traders camp near Nova Scotia and Montreal. The Dutch fur traders built huts on Manhattan Island and settled in New York in 1613. From the discoveries of Hudson, Block and others the Dutch laid claim to the land and gave it a name. Eventually thirty families of persecuted French protestants were sent out by a society of Dutch merchants called the Dutch West India Company and they made the land of New York their home. Click here for detailed information about the First Settlements of New York.

The Patroons, the Government and the Indians :Besides the Dutch West India company sending families, the company also encouraged settlements by the patroon system. Large land owners who established a colony of 50 people or more became known as patroons. The first governor, or rather director-general, was Peter Minuet, who was sent by the Dutch West India company and who began his rule in 1626. The Dutch made it a rule to buy the land which they occupied from the Indian owners. One of the first acts of Director Minuet was to purchase Manhattan Island for 24 dollars, at the rate of one cent for ten acres, paid in gay clothing, beads and brass ornaments. Click here for more detailed information about the Patroons, the Government and the Indians.

Growth of the Dutch Colony:The settlements had increased, not rapidly but sturdily. When Minuet came to be governor , New Netherlands had a population of two hundred people. governor Kieft was recalled and replaced by Peter Stuyvesant. Four dangerous elements surrounded the new ruler, the Swedes of the Delaware , the English on Long Island and on the Connecticut River, the Indians and the rapidly growing party in New Amsterdam who wanted a voice in making the laws and the rulers. In 1663 troubles were coming fast: Esopus was burned by the Indians; Long Island towns were revolting; at Gravesend, almost within sight of New Amsterdam, the Dutch flag was torn down and the English colors shown: the Connecticut Yankees had bought of the Indians land up to the Hudson; rumors of the coming of an English fleet were in the air. Click here for more detailed information about the growth of the Dutch colony and its eventual fall.

People of New Netherland :The Dutch lost New York because as traders and soldiers they could not hold the land against the English farmer. During the fifty years of Dutch control the simple affairs of the small band of colonists called forth few men worthy to be remembered. people of note included Peter Stuyvesant, David Pietersen de Vries, Dominie John Megapolensis and Arendt Van Curler. Click here for more detailed information about the people of New Netherland.

Architecture of New Amsterdam :The Dutch house, still to be seen in old towns about the Hudson, stood gable end to the street. The front wall was generally of brick or stone, while the rest of the house was wooden.

Life in New Amsterdam : Including general daily activities, religion, dress and Dutch customs. Click here for more detailed information about Life in New Amsterdam.

New York Timeline 1497-1664 : Timeline of events happening in New York between 1497 - 1664.