Tag Archives: New Netherland Institue

New Netherland Event:From Vrienden to Wilden (Friends to Savages)

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When the Dutch settlers came to New Netherland in the 1600s, the Native Americans they met were their “vrienden.” After a while, the Indians were called “wilden.” How did the friends turn from friends to savages?

Stephen T. Staggs, a doctoral candidate in history at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Mich., has been studying just that question. He will talk about “From Vrienden to Wilden (Friends to Savages)” at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the New Netherland Institute (NNI) Saturday, May 15, at 12 noon at the University Club, 141 Washington Ave., Albany.

Registration for the meeting is open to the public. The cost of the lunch is $22, payable by mail or at the NNI website at nnp.org. Details of the meeting are available at http://www.nnp.org or by calling the NNI office in the Cultural Education Center, .

Staggs has studied the effect of the Dutch Calvinist concepts on relations between the Dutch settlers and the Indians, analyzing the terminology the provincial secretaries and directors of the colony chose to describe their Indian neighbors.

His studies at the New York State Archives were supported by the Doris Quinn-Archives Research Grant, awarded by the NNI and the archives to facilitate research on New Netherland and the Dutch Colonial Atlantic World. He was recently awarded the New York 400 Fulbright Grant for the 2010-2011 academic year to complete the research phase of his project.

Membership in the NNI does not require Dutch ancestry. It is open to anyone with an interest in the history of New Netherland, a 17th-century territory bordered on the north by Fort Orange, now Albany. Included within its boundaries was much of the present states of Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and western Connecticut.

The NNI was formed as the support organization of the New Netherland Project (NNP), located at the New York State Library in Albany. The mission of the NNP is to transcribe, translate and publish some 12,000 pages of correspondence, court cases, legal contracts and reports from the period 1636 to 1674.

Now the NNP is to be the heart of the New Netherland Research Center (NNRC), a part of the New York State Library. The center has been initiated with a grant of €200,000 brought to Albany by Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima in September. The NNI has the responsibility of administering the grant and raising matching funds.

At the meeting, Charles T. Gehring, director of the new research center and the translation project, will give a report describing his vision for the NNRC as well as the progress of work on the Dutch colonial documents.

James Sefcik, associate for Development and Special Projects, will give an update on the progress of the NNRC, now in its formative stages.

Throughout the year, the NNI carries on a program of activities to enhance awareness of the Dutch history of colonial America. In addition to the annual meeting, the institute sponsors an annual New Netherland Seminar, formerly called the Rensselaerswijck Seminar. This year’s seminar will be Saturday, Sept. 25.

The NNI administers a number of awards.

• The Doris Quinn-Archives Research Residency Program, of which Stephen Staggs is the 2009 recipient, grants $2,500. An equal amount is given for the Quinn-Library Research Residency.

• The Hendricks Manuscript Award of $5,000, endowed by Dr. Andrew A. Hendricks, is given for a book-length manuscript relating to the Dutch colonial experience in North America.

• The Alice P. Kenney Memorial Award is for an individual or group that has made a significant contribution to colonial Dutch studies and understanding of the Dutch colonial experience in North America.

• The Howard G. Hageman Citation honors Dr. Howard G. Hageman, a founder of the Friends of the New Netherland Project, now the New Netherland Institute, and its first president from 1986 until his death in 1992.

Details about the institute and the awards are also available at the NNI website, nnp.org.

New Netherland: Hendricks Award Seeks Submissions

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The annual Hendricks Manuscript Award application is due March 15. This award is given to the best published or unpublished book-length manuscript relating to any aspect of the Dutch colonial experience in North America. This Award, endowed by Dr. Andrew A. Hendricks, carries a prize of $5,000 and a framed Len Tantillo print with a brass name plate.

Entries must be based on research completed or published within two years prior to first submission. Manuscripts may deal with any aspect of New Netherland history. Biographies of individuals whose careers illuminate aspects of the history of New Netherland are eligible, as are manuscripts dealing with such cultural matters as literature and the arts, provided that in such cases the methodology is historical.

Edited collections of articles that meet the above criteria are eligible; however, works of fiction and works of article length are not eligible. The successful entry should be well written, adequately researched and documented, demonstrate thorough knowledge of primary sources, follow accepted scholarly standards, and contribute to the scholarship in the field.

Three clear, readable photocopies of the manuscript must be submitted on or before March 15 , with a letter of intent to enter the contest. The prize-winner, chosen by a five-member panel of scholars, is selected in May or June. The prize is given at an awards ceremony in conjunction with the annual Rensselaerswijck Seminar, held in September. Reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed.

Address entries to Hendricks Manuscript Award Committee

New Netherland Institute
P.O. Box 2536, ESP Station
Albany, NY 12220-0536

Previous Hendricks Award Winners:

1987 Oliver A. Rink, Holland on the Hudson: An Economic and Social History of Dutch New York (Cornell University Press, 1986).

1988 Thomas E. Burke, Jr., “The Extremest Part of All: The Dutch Community of Schenectady, New York, 1661-1710 (Ph.D. dissertation State University of New York at Albany, 1984). Published as Mohawk Frontier: The Dutch Community of Schenectady, New York, 1661-1720 (Cornell University Press, 1992).

1989 Firth H. Fabend, A Dutch Family in the Middle Colonies, 1660-1800 (Rutgers University Press, 1991).

1990 David William Voorhees, “‘In Behalf of the true Protestants religion': The Glorious Revolution in New York” (Ph.D. dissertation, New York University, 1988).

1991 Joyce Goodfriend, Before the Melting Pot: Society and Culture in Colonial New York City, 1664-1730 (Princeton University Press, 1992).

1992 David E. Narrett, Inheritance and Family Life in Colonial New York City(Cornell University Press, 1992).

1993 David S. Cohen, The Dutch-American Farm (New York University Press, 1992).

1994 Martha Dickinson Shattuck, “A Civil Society: Court and Community in Beverwijck, New Netherland, 1652-1664″ (Ph. D. dissertation, Boston University, 1993).

1995 Willem F. Eric Nooter, “Between Heaven and Earth: Church and Society in Pre-Revolutionary Flatbush, Long Island” (Ph.D. dissertation, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1995).

1996 Dennis J. Maika, “Commerce and Community: Manhattan Merchants in the Seventeenth Century” (Ph.D. dissertation, New York University, 1995).

1997 Dennis C. Sullivan, “The Punishment of Crime in Colonial New York: The Dutch Experience in Albany during the Seventeenth Century” (Ph.D. dissertation, State University of New York at Albany, 1995).

1998 Paul A. Otto, “New Netherland Frontier: Europeans and Native Americans along the Lower Hudson River, 1524-1664″ (Ph.D. dissertation, Indiana University, 1994).

1999 J. A. Jacobs, “Nieuw-Nederland: het tere begin van een pas ontluikend land” (Ph.D. dissertation, Leiden University, 1999).

2000 Cynthia Van Zandt, “Negotiating Settlement: Colonialism, Cultural Exchange and Conflict in Early Colonial Atlantic North America, 1580-1660″ (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Connecticut, 2000).

2001 Adriana Van Zwieten, “A Little Land to Sow Some Seeds” (Ph. D. dissertation, Temple University, Philadelphia, 2001).

2002 No recipient

2003 Benjamin Schmidt, Innocence Abroad: the Dutch Imagination and the New World, 1570- 1670, Cambridge University Press, 2001

2004 Simon Middleton, Privilege and Profits: Tradesmen in Colonial New York, 1624-1750, University of Pennsylvania Press (Expected date of publication: 2006)

2005 Mark Meuwese, “For the Peace and Well-Being of the Country: Intercultural Mediators and Indian-Dutch Relations in New Netherland and Dutch Brazil (1600-1664),” (Ph.D. dissertation. University of Notre Dame, 2005).

2006 No recipient

2007 1) Jeroen van den Hurk, “Imagining New Netherland: Origins and Survival of Netherlandic Architecture in Old New York, 1614-1776″ (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Delaware, 2006).

2007 2) Kees Jan Waterman”‘To Do Justice to Him and Myself': Evert Wendel’s Account Book of the Fur Trade with Indians in Albany, New York, 1695-1726,” (ms. to be published by the American Philosophical Society.)

2008 W. Th. M. Frijhoff, Fulfilling God’s Mission: The Two Worlds of Dominie Everardus Bogardus, 1607-1647, Myra Heerspink Scholz, trans. (Leiden: Brill, 2007).

2009 James Bradley, Before Albany: An Archeology of Native-Dutch Relations in the Capital Region, 1600-1664 (Albany: New York State Museum Bulletin 509, 2007).

Dutch Legend: St. Nicholas and American Santa Claus

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Elisabeth Paling Funk will give a free lecture, entitled “From the Old World to the New: St. Nicholas in Dutch Legend and Celebration and the Birth of the American Santa Claus,” at the Historic Elmendorph Inn, North Broadway in Red Hook on Wednesday, December 16, at 7:30 pm; refreshments will be served after the lecture. The event is sponsored by the Egbert Benson Historical Society of Red Hook.

Elisabeth Paling Funk PhD attended the University of Amsterdam, received her BA in English, cum laude, from Manhattanville College and an MA and PhD from Fordham University. She is an independent scholar, editor, and translator.Her articles on Dutch-American and early American Literature have been published in the U.S. and the Netherlands. She is preparing her dissertation, “Washington Irving and His Dutch-American Heritage . . . ” for publication as a book. Dr. Funk is a former trustee of the New Netherland Institute.

Photo: Sinterklaas in the Netherlands in 2007.

Sex and the City: The Early Years

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On Wednesday, November 18th, Bill Greer, the author of The Mevrouw Who Saved Manhattan, is giving a talk at the Brooklyn Public Library, Central Branch, at 7 p.m. The lecture, entitled “Sex and the City: The Early Years,” looks at the bawdy world of Dutch New York from 1624 to 1664. Through anecdotes of real people and events, the talk examines the libertine culture Europeans brought to the Hudson Valley and how this culture engendered an independent streak that fueled a rebellion of the common people against their rulers. This conflict, many historians argue, laid the foundation for the pluralistic, freedom-loving society that America became.

Greer is also a Trustee and Treasurer of the New Netherland Institute based in Albany.

Date: November 18, 2009
Time: 7 p.m.
Place: Brooklyn Public Library, Central Branch, Grand Army Plaza, in the Brooklyn Collection Reserve Room

The Real Peter Stuyvesant? New Netherlands Fiction

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Bill Greer (a trustee of the New Netherland Institute) will talk about painting a portrait of New Netherland in a work of fiction, using his novel The Mevrouw Who Saved Manhattan: A Novel of New Amsterdam and the life of Peter Stuyvesant, Director general of the New Netherland colony. The event will take place on November 19th at the Hagaman Historical Society, Pawling Hall, 86 Pawling Street, in Hagaman (Montgomery County), NY at 7 pm.

Rensselaerswijck Seminar Scheduled For Oct 1-3

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The Rensselaerswijck Seminar, this year themed “Kiliaen van Rensselaer’s Colonie: The Beginning of European Settlement of the Upper Hudson,” will be held in the New York State Museum’s Carole Huxley Theatre October 2nd and 3rd. Scholars and historians from this country and the Netherlands will present seminar topics over the two days, giving current information about the origins and history of Rensselaerwijck, a million acres that encompassed what is now Albany, Rensselaer and Columbia counties. Admission to the seminar is $75 for both days, $50 for one day, and $25 for students.

Noted author Russell Shorto will speak on “Oh, Henry: What Has the Hudson Year Wrought?” at the opening reception of the 32nd Annual Rensselaerswijck Seminar, Thursday, Oct. 1, at 5:30 p.m. at the NYS Museum, Albany. Admission to Shorto’s talk is free.

The New Netherland Institute’s conference theme is a return to its roots as a platform for local historians to present their latest research on the only successful patroonship in New Netherland.

The members of the New Netherland Project staff will all take part. Charles T. Gehring, Ph.D., director of the project, Janny Venema, Ph.D., assistant director, and Martha D. Shattuck, Ph.D., editor, will present new information from their research specialty areas.

Shorto will also take part on a panel of authors Friday at 10:30 a.m., with other contributors to the institute’s recent publication, “Explorers, Fortunes & Love Letters: A Window on New Netherland.” Martha D. Shattuck, Ph.D., editor, will be moderator.

More detailed information and registration forms are available at the New Netherland Institute website at www.nnp.org.

Research Grants Available at the NYS Archives

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The Larry J. Hackman Research Residency Program supports applicants from a variety of backgrounds with awards for advanced research in New York State history, government, or public policy. Previous residents have included academic and public historians, graduate students, independent researchers and writers, and primary and secondary school teachers. The project must draw on the holdings of the New York State Archives. Projects may involve alternative uses of the Archives, such as research for multimedia projects, exhibits, documentary films, and historical novels.

The Quinn-Archives Research Residency provides financial support for an individual to spend up to a year in Albany, New York, working in the rich collections of the New Netherland Institute and the New York State Archives. The program is offered because of the generous support of the Doris Quinn Foundation, the New Netherland Institute at the New York State Library and the New York State Archives.

Endowment earnings and private contributions to the Archives Partnership Trust provide the financial basis for the Hackman Research Program. Contributors have included The Susan and Elihu Rose Foundation, Inc., Henry Luce Foundation, Inc., The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation and The Lucius N. Littaur Foundation. Contributions and endowment earnings enable the Trust to maintain prior years’ award levels, as well as to continue with invitational fellowships to complete priority projects.

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.