Tag Archives: New Amsterdam

375th Anniversary of The Bronx Celebration Planned


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Jonas Bronck CenterOver the years much has been written about Pieter and Jonas Bronck.  Pieter is responsible for the erection of the Bronck House in Coxsackie, Greene County, NY, 351 years ago.  Jonas is considered the founder of  the Bronx.

Over the years there has been much confusion about the relationship of these two individuals – father and son, brothers or cousins.  Both were Swedish and there is strong evidence that they were related.  I prefer to accept research done by Shelby Mattice, Curator of the Bronck Museum.  Ms. Mattice has concluded that the two men were first cousins and shared the same grandfather.  Today I would like to focus a bit on Jonas Bronck because this year the Bronx is commemorating the 375th anniversary of the year Jonas first settled there. Continue reading

No Country for Peter Stuyvesant: Loss Across Time


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15114The nation or country, what entity is of more importance to modern society? What about capitalistic economy, secularization, democracy, and progress as normative American values. All hold sway, for better or worse, on our perceptions of the world and our place within it. And it is from this vantage point in modernity that we look towards the actions of those who lived before us, reaching back through time to filter the past through the eyes of the present. This is history, and this is why the practice of history is an art and not a science. It is imperfect, an extension of the historian and the times in which they live.

But how then, asks Donna Merwick in Stuyvesant Bound: An Essay on Loss Across Time (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013), can we better understand Peter Stuyvesant from our vantage point in the modern world, back to one that was premodern and existed between the post-Reformation and pre-Enlightenment periods. A world in which the United States of America cannot be predicted or imagined, though the history written about Colonial America often chooses a narrative that fits into a story of nationalistic genesis. Continue reading

Happy Birthday Washington Irving!


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Erastus Dow Palmer, Washington Irving (1783-1859), 1865. Gift of Mrs. Anna T. E. Kirtland, as a memorial to Mr. Jared T. Kirtland, 1865.4On April 3, 1783 Writer and satirist Washington Irving was born in New York City. He best known for his short stories “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle,” but I will always love him best for coining the name of New York’s basketball team!

In 1809, Irving published his first major book, A History of New-York from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty, by Diedrich Knickerbocker. Through the Knickerbocker pseudonym, Irving poked fun at the city’s self-important Dutch elite, in which Knickerbocker was a fairly common last name. He also pulled an elaborate prank in anticipation of the book’s release, posting “missing person” adverts in city newspapers, claiming Knickerbocker, a Dutch historian, had gone missing from his hotel room. Continue reading

What Was New York City Like in 1670?


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Daniel Denton, A Brief Description of NEW-YORK: Formerly Called New-Netherlands, 1670. Book. New-York Historical Society Library, LIB.Y.1670.DenIn 1670, New York had been New York for just six years—the name changed to honor the Duke of York when English forces seized control of the Dutch colony.  But the city was open for business, and many back in Europe were curious about this center of trade across the Atlantic, open in the midst of the Age of Exploration.

Daniel Denton was a town clerk in Jamaica, Long Island, and from 1665-1666 served as justice of the peace for New York. He returned to England briefly in 1670, where he composed this pamphlet, “A Brief Description of New-York,” aimed at encouraging English settlers to come to the New World. Continue reading

New Guide: Exploring Historic Dutch New York


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Exploring Historic Dutch New York has been co-published by the Museum of the City of New York and Dover Publications (2012). The easy-to-read guide is filled with hundreds of historic facts and anecdotes about the greater New York area. Exploring Historic Dutch New York is the only travel guide and reference book currently in print that encompasses the historic Dutch elements of the former New Netherland colony in present-day New York, New Jersey and Delaware.

Edited by Gajus Scheltema and Heleen Westerhuijs with an introduction by Russell Shorto, this guide tours important sites and also serves as a cultural and historical reference. Seventeen international scholars explore topics such as Dutch art and architecture, Dutch cooking, immigration during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, furniture and antiques, and more. Color photographs and maps are included throughout the guide. Continue reading

1st Jewish Congregation Torah Scroll Exhibition


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Rare and centuries-old liturgical objects, manuscripts, maps and other historic artifacts—including a Torah scroll rescued from the hands of British troops during the American Revolution — will be on loan to the New-York Historical Society beginning November 11, 2011, for the installations The Resilient City and Treasures of Shearith Israel.

The presentations of Treasures of Shearith Israel and The Resilient City at the renovated and transformed New-York Historical highlight the history of religious freedom in New York City and honor the first Jewish congregation to have been established in North America—a congregation that remains vibrant and active today, and is a neighbor of New-York Historical.

Congregation Shearith Israel, the Spanish-Portuguese Synagogue, was founded in 1654 by the first Jews to settle in North America: a group of 23 immigrants who came to New Amsterdam from their previous place of residence in Recife, Brazil. From 1654 through 1825, Shearith Israel was the only Jewish congregation in New York City. The congregation met in rented quarters until 1730, when it constructed its first building, which was located in downtown Manhattan on Mill Street (now known as South William Street). Many of the furnishings from the 1730 building are now installed in an intimate chapel, called the Little Synagogue, in Shearith Israel’s current home, consecrated in 1897, on the Upper West Side.

The Torah Scroll will be on display in the Judith and Howard Berkowitz Sculpture Court in the Rotunda of the New-York Historical Society, where it will be surrounded by four late-20th-century views of the New York cityscape by artist Richard Haas. This installation will establish a dialogue between the city’s past and present and help reinforce the underlying themes of diversity, tolerance and resilience that are also addressed in inaugural installations presented in New-York Historical’s new Robert H. and Clarice Smith New York Gallery of American History, where visitors may explore the history of the United States as seen through the lens of New York. The many other significant objects on loan to New-York Historical from Shearith Israel will be displayed in the Henry Luce III Center for the Study of American Culture.

These loans have been facilitated Norman S. Benzaquen.

Photo: Congregation Shearith Israel, (founded 1655) New York, 1897 building. Courtesy Wikipedia.

Manhattan Grid System Focus of Exhibit


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The first comprehensive exhibition to trace one of the most defining achievements in New York City’s history—the vision, planning, and implementation of Manhattan’s iconic grid system—will be on view at the Museum of the City of New York from December 5, 2011, through April 15, 2012.

The Greatest Grid: The Master Plan for Manhattan, 1811—2011 will document the development of the “Commissioners’ Plan,” which in 1811 specified numbered streets and avenues outlining equal rectangular blocks ranging from (today’s) Houston Street to 155th Street and from First Avenue to Twelfth Avenue.

The exhibition, which is organized on the occasion of the bicentennial of the plan, will elucidate, through maps, photographs, and other historic documents, this monumental infrastructure project—the city’s first such civic endeavor—which transformed New York throughout the 19th century and laid the foundation for its distinctive character.

Some 225 artifacts will be on view in the exhibition, which is organized chronologically and geographically, leading visitors from 17th-century, pre-grid New York through the planning process and the explicit 1811 Commissioners’ Plan, and from the massive and elaborate implementation of the plan to contemporary reflections on New York and visions for its future.

“The 1811 grid was a bold expression of optimism and ambition,” Susan Henshaw Jones, the Ronay Menschel Director of the Museum said. “City commissioners anticipated New York’s propulsive growth and projected that the city—still relatively small at the time and concentrated in what is now Lower Manhattan and Greenwich Village—would extend to the heights of Harlem. The 1811 plan has demonstrated remarkable longevity as well as the flexibility to adapt to two centuries of unforeseeable change, including modifications such as Broadway and Central Park. The real miracle of the plan was that it was enforced.”

The exhibition will showcase the illustrious—most notably, John Randel, Jr., who measured the grid with obsessive care. Randel was an apprentice to Simeon DeWitt, the surveyor general of New York State from 1784 to 1834. Between 1808 and 1810 Randel measured the lines of streets and avenues at right angles to each other, and recorded distances and details about the island, its features, and its inhabitants. This resulted in a manuscript map of the grid plan, which he completed by March 1811. Randel continued surveying the island from 1811 to 1817, setting marble monuments (one of which will be on view in the exhibition; there were to have been 1,800) to mark the intersections of the coming grid. Between 1818 and 1820 Randel drafted a series of 91 large-scale maps of the island, now known as the Randel Farm Maps (ten of which will be on view). An article written in the 1850s cited Randel as “one of our most accurate engineers,” further stating that his survey of New York City was done “with such a mathematical exactness as to defy an error of half an inch in ten miles.”

The commissioners’ detailed notes about the grid will also be on view in the exhibition, explaining the plan and expressing their intent to “lay out streets, roads, and public squares, of such width, extent, and direction, as to them shall seem most conducive to public good…” (From “An Act relative to Improvements, touching the laying out of Streets and roads in the City of New-York, and for other purposes. Passed April 3, 1807.” )

Other colorful figures will be highlighted, including William M. “Boss” Tweed, who implemented high-quality improvements, advanced services, and pushed forward many amenities while at the same time benefitting his associates.

Other rare and exquisitely detailed maps dating from 1776 to the present will be on view, alongside stunning archival photographs portraying the island of Manhattan throughout various stages of excavation. An extraordinary street-by-street explanation of the plan in the words of the commissioners—Gouverneur Morris, Simeon De Witt, and John Rutherfurd—will be on view as will other historic documents, plans, prints, and more.

The merits of the grid will be debated. Historians have viewed it as the emblem of democracy, with blocks that are equal and no inherently privileged sites. Historians have also praised its utility, its neat subdivisions that support real estate development. The rectangular lots of Manhattan’s grid parallel Thomas Jefferson’s national survey, which organized land sales in square-mile townships. The grid manifests Cartesian ideals of order, with streets and avenues that are numbered rather than named for trees, people, or places. Frederick Law Olmsted bemoaned its dumb utility and lack of monuments and other features. Jane Jacobs credited city streets with creating New York’s public realm. And Rem Koolhaas called the grid “the most courageous act of prediction in Western civilization: the land it divides, unoccupied; the population it describes, conjectural; the buildings it locates, phantoms; the activities it frames, nonexistent.”

The Greatest Grid will reframe ideas about New York, revealing the plan to be much more than a layout of streets and avenues. The grid provided a framework that balanced public order with private initiative. It predetermined the placement of the city’s infrastructure, including transportation services, the delivery of electricity and water, and most other interactions. Manhattan’s grid has provided a remarkably flexible framework for growth and change.

Visitors will have the opportunity to consider New York’s preparation for the future and whether or not the grid will enable the city to face 21st-century challenges. New proposals for the city, the results of a competition, will be on view in a separate, related exhibition co-sponsored by the Architectural League. The Greatest Grid will also feature “12 x 155,” a conceptual art video by artist Neil Goldberg along with other artistic responses, such as original drawings from the graphic novel City of Glass (Picador, 2004) by Paul Auster, illustrated by Paul Karasik and David Mazzucchelli

The Greatest Grid is co-sponsored by the Manhattan Borough President’s Office.

The exhibition is accompanied by a companion book of the same title, co-published by the Museum of the City of New York and Columbia University Press. Dr. Hilary Ballon, University Professor of Urban Studies & Architecture at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University, conceived of the exhibition, is its curator, and is the editor of the companion book.

A related exhibition, on view concurrently at the Museum, will feature the results of a competition in which architects and planners were asked for submissions using the Manhattan street grid as a catalyst for thinking about the present and future of New York; this exhibition is co-sponsored by the Architectural League of New York.

First Manhattans: The Indians of Greater New York


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The Indian sale of Manhattan is one of the world’s most cherished legends. Few people know that the Indians who made the fabled sale were Munsees whose ancestral homeland lay between the lower Hudson and upper Delaware river valleys. The story of the Munsee people has long lain unnoticed in broader histories of the Delaware Nation.

First Manhattans, a concise distillation of the author’s more comprehensive The Munsee Indians, resurrects the lost history of this forgotten people, from their earliest contacts with Europeans to their final expulsion just before the American Revolution.

Anthropologist Robert S. Grumet rescues from obscurity Mattano, Tackapousha, Mamanuchqua, and other Munsee sachems whose influence on Dutch and British settlers helped shape the course of early American history in the mid-Atlantic heartland. He looks past the legendary sale of Manhattan to show for the first time how Munsee leaders forestalled land-hungry colonists by selling small tracts whose vaguely worded and bounded titles kept courts busy—and settlers out—for more than 150 years.

Ravaged by disease and war, the Munsees finally emigrated to reservations in Wisconsin, Oklahoma, and Ontario, where most of their descendants still live today. This book shows how Indians and settlers struggled, through land deals and other transactions, to reconcile cultural ideals with political realities. It offers a wide audience access to the most authoritative treatment of the Munsee experience—one that restores this people to their place in history.

Robert S. Grumet, anthropologist and retired National Park Service archeologist, is a Senior Research Associate with the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. His numerous publications include The Lenapes and The Munsee Indians: A History.

Note: Books noticed on this site have been provided by the publishers. Purchases made through this Amazon link help support this site.

33rd Annual New Netherland Seminar


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Many people know that Pieter Stuyvesant surrendered the Dutch colony of New Netherland to the English in 1664. Fewer know that the Dutch regained control of their former possessionalmost as easily as it had been lost nine years earlier. “The Colony Strikes Back: the 1673 Recovery of New Netherland” is the theme of the 33rd Annual New Netherland Seminar, Saturday, Sept. 25, presented by the New Netherland Institute (NNI). Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., in the Carole Huxley Theatre at the Cultural Education Center in Albany.

How could the Restoration of government by New Netherland take place against the world power of England? The seminarwill explain such themes as what was happening in the nations of Europe, the daring exploits of the Dutch fleet, the administration of Governor Anthony Colve and then the changes when New Netherland went back to being New York.

Eminent scholars will give presentations throughout the day. They are drawn from the roster of research fellows of the New Netherland Project, which continues under its expanded identity as the New Netherland Research Center to translate original 17th-century Dutch colonial documents.

Joyce Goodfriend, Ph.D., of the University of Denver, will give an overview of theconditions before and after the Restoration.

DennisMaika, Ph.D., will analyze the economic climate. His focus is on Dutch merchants in English New York City. Donald G. Shomette will describe the Dutch naval campaign of the combined fleets of the Zeeland and Amsterdamsquadrons.

David Voorhees, Ph.D., will talk about the Dutch Administration of
Governor Anthony Colve.

Daniel Richter, Ph.D., will draw connections between the Restoration
of New Netherland and the Restoration of the Stuarts in England.

Len Tantillo, history artist, will use his own paintings and drawing to illustrate images of New York 1660-1720. A framed original pencil portrait of Admiral Cornelis Evertsen of the Zeelander Squadron by Tantillo will be sold in a silent auction at the dinner Saturday evening to benefit the New Netherland Institute. In addition, a print of a painting commissioned by Dr.Andrew A. Hendricks will be raffled. The painting, which shows the land owned by Hendricks’ early Dutchancestors, is “The Mesier Mill, Manhattan, c. 1695.” The settlement clustered around a landmark windmill, is on the land now known as Ground Zero in Manhattan.

Following the box lunch, the annual Hendricks Award will be presented to Dirk Mouw for his dissertation “Moederkerk and Vaderland: Religion and Ethnic Identity in the Middle Colonies, 1690-1772.” Dr.Hendricks endows the award of $5,000 for the best book-length manuscript relating to the Dutch colonial experience in North America.

“Re-visiting Wampum, and Other 17th Century Shell Games” will be the topic ofJames Bradley, Ph.D., speaker at the dinner meeting at the University Club. Dr. Bradley is the 2009 winner of the Hendricks Manuscript Award.

The NNI is a membership organization with the responsibility of support for the New Netherland Research Center (NNRC), located in the New York State Library inAlbany. The NNI raises funds and administers grants such as the matching gift of €200,000 presented in Albany in 2009 by Crown Prince Willem Alexander and the Crown Princess Maxima of the Netherlands.

The NNRC is based on the New Netherland Project of translating 17th-century Dutchdocuments as its core, with Charles Th. Gehring, Ph.D. as its director.

Registration for the daylong seminar is $50 or $25 for students with ID. Box lunches may be ordered in advancefor $10. Tickets for the welcome reception and dinner at the University Club are $65.

As an added incentive, participants in the Sept. 25 New Netherland Seminar should know that the Replica Ship Half Moon will be docked in Albany that weekend (at the OGS pumping station at the south end of the Corning Preserve) and will be open for tours from 10 AM to 4 PM on both Saturday and Sunday.

More information is available at the website www.newnetherlandinstitute.org. Questions may be directed to nyslfnn@mail.nysed.gov.

Illustration: Mesier Mill by Len Tantillo. The mill was located at the site of today’s Ground Zero.

Lecture: Sex and the City: The Early Years


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In 1633, Griet Reyniers invented the role of the Manhattan woman on the prowl, personifying the bawdy world the Dutch created when they settled in the Hudson Valley and surrounding region. On May 14th, Bill Greer explores this world in his talk “Sex and the City: The Early Years” as part of the New York State Library’s noontime programs.

Using art, literature and folklore, Bill will discuss the Dutch culture of the era and the libertine characters like Griet who transplanted it to the Hudson Valley. The wanton ways of these early settlers helped fuel a conflict between the people and their rulers, a conflict many historians argue laid the foundation for the freedom-loving society that America became.

Bill is the author of The Mevrouw Who Saved Manhattan, a novel of New Amsterdam. De Halve Maen, Journal of the Holland Society, describes the book as a “romp through the history of New Netherland that would surely have Petrus Stuyvesant complaining about the riot transpiring between its pages.” He is a trustee and the Treasurer of the New Netherland Institute, a nonprofit organization supporting research and education in Dutch-American history. The Institute currently is working with the New York State Office of Cultural Education to establish the New Netherland Research Center in Albany.

The talk will be in the Huxley Theater on the first floor of the Cultural Education Center, home of the New York State Library, Museum and Archives, at 310 Madison Avenue, Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY. It will run from 12:15 to 1:15 on Friday, May 14th. The program is free and attendees are invited to bring lunch.

NYC’s Trinity Wall Church Offers New Blog, Online Resources


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Trinity Wall Street, the Episcopal Church in Lower Manhattan founded in 1697, has started a new blog. The Archivist’s Mailbag is an effort to publicize the archives and attract scholarly researchers interested in the church’s long and complex history. Multimedia Producer Leah Reddy says that “We like to say that the archives are ‘the history of New York that nobody knows’, as they only recently became fully accessible and they stretch back to the earliest days of New York City history.”

Trinity Wall Street’s archives go back to 1695, making them an excellent resource for students of history–as well as those who want to shape the future. Trinity’s Archive was made fully accessible for the first time in 2003. In addition to its own history and the history of the city, Trinity’s records shed light on the development of the Episcopal Church and the Dioceses of New York. As landowner since 1705, its archives detail the stories of the New York neighborhoods now known as Tribeca and the West Village. Trinity’s congregants have included Alexander Hamilton and John Jay; among its tenants were Aaron Burr and John Jacob Astor.

Information about the scope of the archives can be found online as well as a guide to the holdings.

There is also an interactive timeline and an interactive search-the-churchyard feature.

Ships, Explorers, And The World Trade Center


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In 1916 the burnt timbers of what some believe is a 17th-century ship’s keel (the remains of Adriaen Block’s Tiger, forerunner of the Onrust) were discovered at the site of the future World Trade Center. You can read about that at one of my favorite blogs, The Old Salt Blog. Later, an ancient anchor and a Dutch cannon were recovered there in 1967. These maritime relics will be exhibited together in February 2-28, 2010, along with a model of a new ship that commemorates the World Trade Center and honors America’s maritime heritage.

The exhibit will be kicked off with an Exhibition Preview, Luncheon and Fundraiser on February 3, 2010. The preview event will feature preservationists Peter Stanford and Kent Barwick, an exhibition preview, the dedication of World Trade Center Steel, cocktails and a luncheon, followed by a guided tour of the exhibition.

Highlights of the exhibition include:

* the charred remains of a ship’s bow excavated in 1916, long thought to be the ship’s keel of Dutch explorer Adrian Block’s Ship TIJGER, which burned off Manhattan in 1613, and a bronze cannon marked “VOC,” property of the Dutch East India Company (Courtesy Museum of the City of New York);

* an ancient, 11-foot iron anchor hoisted from the construction site of the World Trade Center in 1967, where it had been buried for more than 300 years (Courtesy National Maritime Historical Society);

* a model and film of the USS NEW YORK, the Navy’s newly commissioned (7 November 2009) Landing Platform, Dock Warship, made with 7.5 tons of World Trade Center Steel forged into its bow (Courtesy USS NEW YORK Commissioning Committee);

* documentary film footage from 1916 of the discovery of the Ship TIJGER Keel and a section of Manhattan Company Water Pipe (1804) found during excavation for the IRT subway tunnel at the future World Trade Center site (Courtesy Brooklyn College Archives); and

* at the entrance to The India House: a steel artifact recovered from the World Trade Center. This will be a permanent reminder of the World Trade Center, the innocent victims, and the bravery of those who responded on September 11, 2001.

The exhibit, curated by Margaret Stocker, is being hosted by India House (One Hanover Square, NYC) and is being presented by the India House Foundation.

Exhibit Hours: Weekdays 11 – 3:30 and group tours by appointment
Suggested Donation: $10
For Group tours contact info@indiahousefoundation.org or telephone Maria Dering at 212-873-6715

Exhibition Preview, Luncheon and Fundraiser February 3, 2010
To Reserve Tickets: info@indiahousefoundation.org
Skippers: $250 Explorers: $350 Masters of the Universe: $500
or email stockermargaret@mac.com

Mapping New York’s Shoreline, 1609-2009


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A New York Public Library exhibit will look at the history of New York City’s shoreline. The exhibit, entitled Mapping New York’s Shoreline, 1609-2009, will run until June 26, 2010 at the D. Samuel and Jeane H. Gottesman Exhibition Hall (First Floor) of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, 5th Avenue and 42nd Street.

September 2009 marks 400 years since Henry Hudson sailed into New York Harbor and up the Hudson River, almost to what is now Albany, performing detailed reconnaissance of the Hudson Valley region. Other explorers passed by the outwardly hidden harbor, but did not linger long enough to fully realize the commercial, nautical, strategic, or colonial value of the region.

Once the explorers returned to Europe, their strategic information was passed on to authorities. Some data was kept secret, but much was handed over to map makers, engraved on copper, printed on handmade paper, distributed to individuals and coffee-houses (the news centers of the day), and pored over by dreamers, investors, and potential settlers in the “new land.”

Mapping New York’s Shoreline celebrates the Dutch accomplishments in the New York City region, especially along the waterways forming its urban watershed, from the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound to the North (or Hudson) River and the South (or Delaware) River. Inspired by The New York Public Library’s collection of Dutch, English, and early American mapping of the Atlantic Coastal regions, this exhibition exemplifies the best early and growing knowledge of the unknown shores along our neighboring rivers, bays, sounds, and harbors.

From the earliest mapping reflecting Verazzano’s brief visit to gloriously decorative Dutch charting of the Atlantic and New Netherland, illustrating their knowledge of the trading opportunity Hudson’s exploration revealed, the antiquarian maps tell the story from a centuries-old perspective. We are brought up to date with maps and text exploring growing environmental concern for this harbor, and the river that continuously enriches it. From paper maps to vapor maps, those created with computer technology, the story of New York Harbor in its 400th year is told.

Mapping New York’s Shoreline features maps, atlases, books, journals, broadsides, manuscripts, prints, and photographs, drawn primarily from the Library’s Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division, augmented by items from other New York Public Library collections.

Jews In New Amsterdam Lecture November 30th


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In celebration of the new exhibit on the roots of religious freedom in America, The Flushing Remonstrance: Who Shall Plead For Us?, written & curated by Susan Kathryn Hefti, the John L. Loeb, Jr. Foundation has generously sponsored a very exciting companion lecture entitled “Jews in New Amsterdam” by Dr. Gary Zola, Executive Director of the American Jewish Archives and Professor of The American Jewish Experience at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, in conjunction with the Museum of the City of New York, Monday, November 30, 2009 at 6:30pm. (1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street NYC).

Seating for the lecture is limited. So if you wish to attend Jews in New Amsterdam, please RSVP at your earliest convenience.

For a Special $6 Members Rate simply call MCNY at 917.492.3395 and mention “The Flushing Remonstrance” when making your reservation.

Photo: The Flushing Remonstrance, written in 1657, recognized as the earliest political assertion of freedom of conscience and religion in New York State.

Collegiate Church Exhibit, Lectures, in New York City


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Beginning tonight, there will be a series of events, lectures, and an exhibit realting to aspects of the Collegiate Church. The events feature an exhibit about far east trade curated by Marybeth dePhilippis of New-York Historical Society, lectures on Everardus Bogardus (1607-1647) (the second minister of the Dutch Reformed Church in New Amsterdam), the role of women in 17th Century Dutch culture, the archeology of new Amsterdam, and Leisler’s Rebellion and the Collegiate Church. The West End Church and the Marble Collegiate College were both founded in 1628 by Dutch settlers.


Events At Bard Graduate Center, 38 West 86th Street, NYC:

Exhibit: (at 18 West 18th Street) “Dutch New York Between East and West: The World of Margrieta van Varick (September 18,2009 – January 3, 2010), curated by Marybeth dePhilippis of New-York Historical Society. Catalogue available.

Lecture: (September 24 at 6 p.m.) “A Dutch Mystic in the New World: Reverend Everardus Bogardus (1607-1647) and His Callings”. The second minister of the Dutch Reformed Church in New Amsterdam, Bogardus will be reprised by Prof. Willem Frijoff, Emeritus professor of history at Free University (Amsterdam) who has written the definitive biography of Dominie Bogardus, and Dr. Firth Haring Fabend, fellow of the Holland Society and author of Zion on the Hudson (about the Reformed Church after the English occupation).

Lecture: (October 1 at 6 p.m.) “Women of the Dutch Golden Age”, a talk on the role of Women in 17th Century Dutch Culture by Els Kloek, Associate Professor at Utrecht University and editor-in-chief of Dictionary of Dutch Women.

Tickets for the lectures are available ($25 general, $17 students and seniors) online at programs@bgc.bard.edu of by calling (212) 501-3011. For Collegiate Church members, call Ken Chase at (212) 799-4203.

Events at Marble Collegiate Church, 3 West 29th Street:

Lecture: (November 14 at 1:30 p.m.): “Digging New Amsterdam”, a talk by Archeologists Anne-Marie Cantwell and Diana Wall, authors of “Unearthing Gotham”. Co-Sponsored by New Amsterdam History Center and the New York Society of Archeologists. Free: call Ken Chase at (212) 799-4203 or email at kchase@westendchurch.org.

Lecture: (November 21 at 1:30): “Leisler’s Rebellion and the Collegiate Church Charter”, a talk by David Voorhees, Editor of De Halve Maen, the Holland Society journal and preeminent expert on Jacob Leisler, and Francis Sypher, Jr., translator of the Collegiate Church archives. Free: call Ken Chase at (212) 799-4203 or email kchase@westendchurch.org.

Russell Shorto To Guest Host NY Harbor Walking Tour


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Island at the Center of the World author Russell Shorto will guest host a special edition of The New Amsterdam Trail walking tour of the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy, to celebrate the culmination a week-long celebration of the 400th Anniversary of Henry Hudson’s discovery of New York Harbor. Urban historian and National Park Ranger Steve Laise will lead the event which will also include an exclusive curator’s tour of New Amsterdam: The Island at the Center of the World, a new exhibit opening at the South Street Seaport. The tour takes place on September 13th at 9:30 a.m. Tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance by visiting www.nyharborparks.org.

Throughout the 90-minute tour of lower Manhattan, Laise and Shorto will share entertaining and insightful stories about the famous and infamous characters that helped make New Amsterdam a bustling seaport, an international melting pot and a center of commerce. They will also discuss how the Dutch colony still impacts our culture today. The curator’s tour at South Street Seaport follows, with an insider’s peak at rare documents, maps, plans and watercolors connected to New Amsterdam — including “the best real estate deal of all time”—the 1626 letter of purchase of Manhattan for goods worth 60 guilders. Many of these items have never been seen in the United States.

The audio and map for this tour are available for free at: www.nyharborparks.org.

Light On New Netherland Exhibit at NYC’s Federal Hall


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New Netherland – the Dutch province that stretched from today’s New York State to parts of Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut – existed for 55 years and its legacy lives on. Just two years after the founding of the first permanent English colony at Jamestown in 1607, and eleven years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, the Dutch were in New Netherland. And, although their hold on that part of North America was tenuous and brief, the influence of the Dutch was both impressive and long term.

Light on New Netherland, a traveling exhibit consisting of 26 two-dimensional panels, introduces adults and children to important, but not well-known aspects of this part of the American history and culture. The New Amsterdam History Center (NAHC) has arranged for the exhibit to appear at Manhattan’s Federal Hall National Memorial site. The exhibit will be on display on the main level of Federal Hall from Aug. 5 through Sept. 8. “Light on New Netherland” has appeared at the New York State Museum in Albany as well at several other notable institutions. The Federal Hall National Memorial Site is open Monday through Friday from 9AM to 5PM; it’s located at 26 Wall Street.

Photo: The Extent of New Netherland (from a map published in 1685).

New Widget Spreads Word of The 400th Through New Media


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A new online effort from the Royal Netherlands Embassy (part of the 400th celebration) will help promote interesting events in New York City throughout 2009. The Embassy and their partners are celebrating 400 years of shared history between the US and the Netherlands with a new widget that keeps users updated on local events and online content and helps tell the story of our shared cultures. The widget displays a game where users can match up symbols and Dutch/English words to reveal content related to that subject. For example, the History match reveals information about the New Amsterdam walking tour of Manhattan that you can download to your mobile phone for free.

There are over 50 partners in this effort including New York City, New Netherland Project, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. You can check out the Royal Netherlands Embassy across social media: there is a blog with contributors ranging from Dutch artists to Muslim activist Eboo Patel (http://www.ny400.org/blog), a video gallery of performances/ interviews/events (http://www.ny400.org/video.php) and plenty of event photos (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ny400/).

The New Amsterdam Trail, Free Downloadable Audio Tour


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The Dutch and the indelible role they played in the formation of the ideas and ideals that shaped New York City and America is being celebrated by National Parks Service, the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy, and the Henry Hudson 400 Foundation with The New Amsterdam Trail. This free downloadable audio walking tour is the first of three in a series featuring the iconic National Park Service Rangers and an expert cast of historians, scientists, and other great storytellers.

Using a backdrop of period music and special sound effects, the audio with map can be downloaded from the Harbor Conservancy’s website or on the Henry Hudson 400 website. Visitors travel through the streets of downtown Manhattan to 10 historically significant locations, cueing commentary from their mobile phone, mp3 player or ipod. As they stand at the tip of the Battery, they can visualize Manhattan in the hours before Henry Hudson arrived and when he first navigated our waters and then listen to the stories of the life and times of New Amsterdam’s most famous and infamous settlers.

The New Amsterdam Trail features Steve Laise, Chief of Cultural Resources for Manhattan’s National Parks; Eric Sanderson, author of Mannahatta, Natural History of New York City; Andrew Smith, editor of The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, and Russell Shorto, author of Island at the Center of the World.

The family-friendly walking tour takes about 90-minutes– however, you can walk the trail at your own pace during lunchtime and pause the recorded commentary at any point. For more details and to download the free tour, visit www.nyharborparks.org or www.henryhudson400.com.

The Harbor Conservancy is the official partner of the National Parks of New York Harbor and together they champion the 22 National Park sites that call New York Harbor home by helping to preserve the environment, promote economic development and create the finest urban waterfront recreation and educational park system in the world.

Henry Hudson 400 New York is a foundation created to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s legendary voyage for the Dutch to the Hudson River and New York. The unique character of New York City, originally New Amsterdam, has been shaped by the legacy of the multiethnic and tolerant culture of 17th century Amsterdam. Henry Hudson 400 is producing a series of special events in 2009 to celebrate the spirit of freedom, enterprise, and diversity shared by Amsterdam and New York.

New Netherland Project Featured in New Documentary


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The New York State Library’s New Netherland Project is featured in the documentary “Uncovering America’s Forgotten Colony: The New Netherland Project.” The documentary focuses on the work of Dr. Charles Gehring and his colleagues and highlights more than 30 years of uncovering America’s forgotten Dutch colonial history through the transcription and translation of the official archives of New Netherland. The documentary “Uncovering America’s Forgotten Colony: The New Netherland Project” was produced by Mogul One Productions in partnership with the New Netherland Institute. DVDs are available for $19.95, at http://ForPeopleWhoThink.com. Fifty percent of the proceeds will go to support future work of the New Netherland Project.

One of the most unique history projects in America, the New Netherland Project provided the documentation and inspiration for Russell Shorto’s recent best seller, The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony that Shaped America.

A program of the New York State Library, the New Netherland Project has been working since 1974 to translate and publish the official 17th-century Dutch colonial documents of one of America’s earliest settled regions. Originally created under the sponsorship of the New York State Library and the Holland Society of New York, the New Netherland Project has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the New York State Office of Cultural Education. Translated documents and other work by the New Netherland Project can be accessed at www.nnp.org.

Also based on the work of the New Netherland Project, the exhibit Light on New Netherland is the first to introduce adults and children to the scope of the 17th century colony of New Netherland. Previously on view at the State Museum in Albany, the exhibit will tour the regions once encompassed by New Netherland, appearing at venues to include the GaGa Arts Center in West Haverstraw, New York; the Museum of Connecticut History at the Connecticut State Library in Hartford; the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities in Cold Spring Harbor, New York; Federal Hall in Manhattan; and the FDR Library and Museum in Hyde Park, New York.

The book Explorers, Fortunes and Love Letters (Mount Ida Press) further explores the history of America’s earliest colony with a collection of twelve essays. Designed to appeal to a general audience and scholars alike, the book features an opening chapter by Russell Shorto, author of The Island at the Center of the World: the Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan & the Forgotten Colony that Shaped America. The book was published by the New Netherland Institute and Mount Ida Press in April 2009.