Dr. Joel W. Grossman, the archaeologist who directed the excavation of the early-17th century shoreline block of the Dutch West India Company at Pearl Street in Lower Manhattan, will discuss “Dutch Ethnobotany and Medicinal Plants in 17th Century New Amsterdam” on Saturday, June 6, 2009 at 12:00 noon in the Arthur and
Janet Ross Lecture Hall, New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.
The dig exposed the deeply-buried remains of the colony’s first warehouse, the artifact-filled cisterns of its earliest inhabitants, and a well-preserved record of changing colonial plants. Grossman’s lavishly illustrated talk will explore the intriguing transatlantic links between the Leiden Hortus, or botanical garden, of the University of Leiden, East and West India Company doctors, institutionalized plant collecting and Native American informants in 17th Century New Amsterdam.
Grossman’s talk is presented as part of the New York Botanical Garden’s Quadricentennial Celebration: The Glory of Dutch Bulbs: A Legacy of 400 Years: May 1-June 7, 2009. Discover indoor and outdoor displays that feature large swaths of bright flowering bulbs and companion plants inspired by the great tulip and lily gardens of Holland. See Nybg.org/dutch_bulbs for other offerings on June 6th, and all the events being offered as part of the Glory of Dutch Bulbs program. For directions please call: (718) 817-8779; for general info: (718) 817-8770.
Acclaimed writer Russell Shorto will present “The Accidental Legacy of Henry Hudson” at the Museum of the City of New York (1220 Fifth Avenue at 104th Street, NYC) this Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 6:30 PM. According to the program announcement: “Henry Hudson’s name is everywhere in New York-attached to a river, a street, a park, a bridge, and more-yet little is known about the man himself. Bestselling author and New York Times Magazine contributing writer Russell Shorto, author of the award-winning The Island at the Center of the World (Doubleday, 2004) and Descartes’ Bones (Doubleday, 2008), recently named a New York Times Notable Book for 2008, will consider the story of Henry Hudson.”
Shorto most recently published a feature in The New York Times (Sunday, May 3, 2009) entitled “Going Dutch: How I Learned to Love the Welfare State.”
The program is presented in conjunction with the exhibit Amsterdam / New Amsterdam: The Worlds of Henry Hudson. Reservations are required. The cost will be $12 for non-members, $8 for seniors and students, and $6 for museum members. A $2 surcharge applies for unreserved, walk-in tickets. Tickets may be ordered online at www.mcny.org or by calling 212.534.1672, ext. 3395.
The organizers invite submissions of papers for an international conference, “Cities in Revolt: The Dutch-American Atlantic, ca. 1650-1830″ to be held November 13-14, 2009, at Columbia University. Ranging from the conquest of New Amsterdam to the presidency of Martin van Buren, the conference aims to document the continuous and fruitful political exchanges that took place in the long eighteenth century between the Dutch Republic and empire on the one hand and British North America and the United States on the other.
Among the key conference aims are to examine the political consequences of trans-Atlantic commercial linkages and the impact of the American Revolution on Dutch patriots. The keynote address will be given by Professor Jonathan Israel of the Institute for Advanced Study.
Papers proposed should be approximately 20 minutes in length. Submissions on any topic relevant to the conference topic and aims will be gladly accepted, however the organizers would particularly welcome submissions relating to:
Dutch Patriots in the United States in the 1790s
The American Revolution in the Dutch Atlantic world
New York and Amsterdam financiers in eighteenth-century politics
Dutch New Yorkers and politics in the early nineteenth century
To propose a paper, please submit a 250-word abstract and a short CV via email to both firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com by MONDAY, JUNE 1, 2009. Conference committee: Simon Schama (Columbia); Karen Kupperman (NYU); Evan Haefeli (Columbia); Nathan Perl-Rosenthal (Columbia); Wijnie de Groot (Columbia).
Charles Gehring, Ph.D., Director of the New Netherland Project in Albany, has spent 30 years translating 17th-century documents to uncover the Dutch origins of New York will join Jaap Jacobs, Ph.D., co-curator of Amsterdam / New Amsterdam: The Worlds of Henry Hudson, and one of the scholars who has built on Gehring’s work to rewrite the history of New Netherland will hold a conversation “about myths, memories, and discoveries of New York’s origins, what made New Netherland unique, and why knowledge of these
origins is important for New York and New Yorkers today.”
The event will be held April 11th, at 2 pm at the Museum of The City of New York, 1220 5th Ave,. Reservations are required. For further information about this event contact Paula Zadigian at (212) 534-1672.
A new exhibit “Amsterdam/New Amsterdam: The Worlds of Henry Hudson” opened Saturday at the Museum of the City of New York and will run through September 27, 2009. Presented in collaboration with the New Netherland Institute, Albany, and the National Maritime Museum Amsterdam / Nederlands Scheepvaartmuseum Amsterdam, the exhibit will employ rare 16th- and 17th-century objects, images, and documents from major American and Dutch collections to bring the transatlantic world to life and reveal how Henry Hudson’s epic third voyage of exploration planted the seeds of a modern society that took root and flourished in the New World. Focusing on the economic, cultural, and ideological connections that ultimately linked two global cities, Amsterdam and New York, “Amsterdam / New Amsterdam” will illuminate not only the global significance of Hudson’s voyage, but also the creative context out of which the exploration and settlement of New York itself arose, highlighting the Dutch role in creating the very character of New York as a place of opportunity, tolerance, and perpetual transformation.
Here a note I received from the New York State Museum’s Marilyn Douglas, who is coordinator of the New Netherland Institute:
Bill Greer’s novel, set in 17th-century New Amsterdam, is now available from the New Netherland Institute online shop @ $10.95 plus $5.00 for S&H. (The S&H will be added at check-out.) You can access this new addition in the shop (scroll down on home page to broad horizontal band and click on online shop) at “latest products” or click on the books tab. Click “more” to read a description.
While you’re there, browse a bit! The shop, with its number and variety of products, is becoming an important aspect of the website and a good place to search for special gifts. While a work of fiction, The Mevrouw Who Saved Manhattan paints a real portrait of life in New Amsterdam. It presents a window into Dutch culture during the Golden Age of the Netherlands and how that culture transplanted to the wilderness of the Hudson Valley. The thread of Jackie’s life reflects the central theme of the Dutch period, the rebellion of the common people against their rulers, the Dutch West India Company and its Directors, a conflict that historians argue laid the foundation for the pluralistic, freedom-loving society that America became.
Bill Greer is Treasurer and Trustee of the New Netherland Institute.