Tag Archives: New Netherland

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.

Meet New Netherland Center’s Resident Scholar


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Dr. Eric Ruijssenaars, the New Netherland Research Center’s first Senior Scholar in Residence and founder of Dutch Archives, a historical research firm in Leiden, will discuss his research at a luncheon on Wednesday, October 5 at the National Register-listed University Club of Albany, 141 Washington Avenue at Dove Street. The buffet lunch will begin at 12:00 noon, with the presentation commencing at 12:30 p.m., followed by a question and answer period.

Although a specialist in the history of Russia and the Netherlands, he is also a scholar of the Brontë sisters’ time in Brussels and has published two books on the subject.

He is currently researching the life of Abraham Staats. In 1642, Staats arrived in the Dutch colony of New Netherland to serve as a surgeon on patroon Kiliaen van Rensselaer’s vast estate, Rensselaerswijck, which is now part of Albany and Rensselaer counties. Over the course of his life, Staats became a magistrate of the court, a captain of the burgher guard, the owner of a sloop that made regular trips to New Amsterdam (New York City), and an Indian language translator. Something of an oddity in rough-and-tumble New Netherland, he remained a very respectable man and was, for that reason, regularly called on to mediate disputes between his less respectable and more litigious neighbors.

The New Netherland Research Center is a partnership of the New Netherland Institute and the New York State Office of Cultural Education. It continues and extends the work of the New York State Library’s New Netherland Project, which since 1974 has preserved, transcribed, translated, and published 17th century documents in order to make the history of the Dutch colonial presence in North America more broadly accessible for study.

The University Club of Albany Foundation, Inc. is presenting this event, and one need not be a member of the University Club to attend. The cost for the luncheon and lecture is $25. Reservations are required and may be made by calling the University Club at 518-463-1151.

Photo: The Abraham Staats House, one of the finest surviving buildings from the Dutch Settlement of the Raritan Valley in New Jersey.

Book: The Vandercook Family of Renssealer County


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A new book illuminates the life of Michael S. Vandercook, a prominent figure in the early history of Rensselaer County, New York. A Fine Commanding Presence: The Life and Legacy of Maj. Michael S. Vandercook (1774-1852) of Pittstown, Rensselaer County, New York by Vandercook’s great-great-great- grandson, Ronald D. Bachman features more than 400 pages, an in-depth bibliography and extensive genealogy and index.

A descendant of some of the earliest Dutch settlers in the Hudson Valley, Vandercook was born on the eve of the Revolution and lived to see the emergence of the regional divisions that led to the Civil War. He spent his entire life in Pittstown, where he was a merchant, farmer, militia officer, county sheriff, justice of the peace, and father of twelve children by three wives.


During his relatively long life, he crossed paths with such luminaries as Daniel Tompkins,
Henry Dearborn, Henry K. and Solomon Van Rensselaer, Joseph Bloomfield, Herman Knickerbocker, Eliphalet Nott. His second father-in-law was General Gilbert Eddy. On five occasions the Council of Appointment in Albany awarded Maj. Vandercook civil positions in addition to several military promotions. Governor Tompkins repeatedly picked him for special assignments in the militia, including inspector of a detached brigade deployed to the northern front immediately following the declaration of war in 1812. Later that same year, Maj. Vandercook was selected as one of New York’s 29 presidential electors.

He had a remarkable life but more than his share of tragedy. The final third of the book traces the descendancy of the twelve Vandercook children, all but one of whom left New York to seek their fortunes in the West. Many of them enjoyed success in journalism and politics.

The price, including shipping, is $22.50. To purchase the book, contact the author at ron.bachman2@verizon.net

Mohawk Valley: 2011 Western Frontier Symposium


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The 2011 Western Frontier Symposium: Frontier Style Culture at the Edge of Empire Mohawk Valley, NY: 1700-1800 will be held October 15-16, 2011 at Fulton-Montgomery Community College in Johnstown, New York.

The fourth biennial Western Frontier Symposium continues to explore the history of the Mohawk Valley in the century when the region was the western edge of colonial New York and a crossroads of French, Dutch, British and Native American empires.

Far from European centers of fashion, Mohawk Valley residents expressed their sense of style with strategic design choices from multiple cultures. Distinct regional variations in their clothing, architecture and interior designs reveal their values and their aspirations. Participating experts in 18th century design and regional cultures include Phillip Otterness, David Preston, Timothy Shannon, George Hamell, Mark Hutter, Robert Trent, Mary Elise Antoine and others.

There will be a companion exhibit, “Frontier Style: The Height of Fashion at the Edge of Empire Mohawk Valley NY 1700-1800” at Fulton-Montgomery Community College’s Perella Gallery from October 14 through December 9, 2011. The exhibit will be an exhibition of 18th century Mohawk Valley fashion and home decor, featuring clothing reproduced for New York State Historic Sites collections.

This event is sponsored by Mohawk Valley Historic Sites, Fulton-Montgomery Community College, NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, Costume Society of America.

More information about the symposium can be found online.

New Environmental History: The Nature of New York


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David Stradling, Professor and Graduate Studies Director at the University of Cincinnati, is author of The Nature of New York: An Environmental History of the Empire State. This recent (Fall 2010) survey of over four hundred years of New York’s environmental history has received praise from historians and environmental policy experts.

From the arrival of Henry Hudson’s Half Moon in the estuarial waters of what would come to be called New York Harbor to the 2006 agreement that laid out plans for General Electric to clean up the PCBs it pumped into the river named after Hudson, this work offers a sweeping environmental history of New York State. David Stradling shows how New York’s varied landscape and abundant natural resources have played a fundamental role in shaping the state’s culture and economy. Simultaneously, he underscores the extent to which New Yorkers have, through such projects as the excavation of the Erie Canal and the construction of highways and reservoir systems, changed the landscape of their state.

Surveying all of New York State since first contact between Europeans and the region’s indigenous inhabitants, Stradling finds within its borders an amazing array of environmental features, such as Niagara Falls; human intervention through agriculture, urbanization, and industrialization; and symbols, such as Storm King Mountain, that effectively define the New York identity.

Stradling demonstrates that the history of the state can be charted by means of epochs that represent stages in the development and redefinition of our relationship to our natural surroundings and the built environment; New York State has gone through cycles of deforestation and reforestation, habitat destruction and restoration that track shifts in population distribution, public policy, and the economy. Understanding these patterns, their history, and their future prospects is essential to comprehending the Empire State in all its complexity.

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

Albany County Hall of Records Open House


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In honor of the Albany County Hall of Records (ACHOR) 10th Anniversary at 95 Tivoli Street, Albany County Clerk Thomas G. Clingan has announced that there will be an open house at the Hall of Records on April 27, 2011 from 2-4 PM. This current location is the third home of the Hall of Records; the first was the Albany High School Annex at 27 Western Avenue from 1982 -1986, followed by 250 South Pearl Street from 1986-2001.

Exhibits and tours of the Hall of Records will be available, including areas normally off-limits to visitors. ACHOR presently holds 12,890 cubic feet of archival records and 75,025 cubic feet of inactive records, all stored in a secure warehouse setting that is significantly more cost-effective for records storage than regular office space. A 992 square-foot concrete vault located within the building stores the most rare and valuable records, including the original 1686 Dongan Charter of the City of Albany.

ACHOR is a joint program of the County and City of Albany, making records available to the public in a state-of-the-art facility. Among the items on special display on April 27 will be: Albany County Sheriff’s Department Bertillon Mug Shots, 1896; Civil War Allotments and Bounty Records, 1862-1864; Register of Manumitted Slaves, 1800-1828 and the Court of Fort Orange and Beverwijck Minutes, 1652-1656.

Further information about the Albany County Hall of Records and directions to the facility can be found online.

If you are interested in attending the open house or a tour of the Hall of Records, please contact Deputy Director Craig Carlson at 436-3663 ext. 204 or ccarlson@albanycounty.com

Met Curator to Speak at Historic Huguenot Street


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On Saturday, March 12th and Sunday, March 13th, the focus at Historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz will be decorative arts. Peter M. Kenny, Curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, will present “Rensselaerwyck Revisitus,” an insider’s glimpse of the acquisition and installation of a quintessential New York Dutch room in the context of the most comprehensive collection of American historic interiors in any art museum in the country.

The Met’s New York Dutch Room comes from an 18th century house built by Daniel Peter Winne (1720–1800) on the famed Van Rensselaer Manor outside of present-day Albany. The architecture of furnishing of this room shares much with the museum houses at Historic Huguenot Street. Kenny, who is currently working on a book about Duncan Phyfe, is the Ruth Bigelow Wriston Curator and Administrator for American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Kenny’s talk, which is part of the Second Saturdays series, will be offered on Saturday, March 12th at 7pm. There is an $15 charge ($12 for Friends of Huguenot Street).

On Sunday, March 13th, from 1 to 3pm, Sanford Levy, owner of Jenkinstown Antiques in New Paltz, will be joining Leslie LeFevre-Stratton, Curator of Collections at Historic Huguenot Street, for a special “Coverlets Roadshow” Evaluation. Do you have a coverlet tucked away in your home? Perhaps a family heirloom or a treasured antique store find? Ever wonder how old it is, how or where it was made and even what it is worth? Levy and LeFevre-Stratton are the folks to ask. Together, they will examine coverlets brought in by the public and share their expertise. All are invited. There is a $10 suggested donation. This event is offered in conjunction with Binary Visions: 19th-Century Woven Coverlets from the Collection of Historic Huguenot Street, which is on exhibit at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz through March 18th.

Both events will be held in the LeFevre House at 54 Huguenot Street in New Paltz. For more information about these events or about Historic Huguenot Street, visit www.huguenotstreet.org or call (845) 255-1660.

Two Artists in Dialog: Tantillo-Whitbeck


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The Opalka Gallery at The Sage Colleges (140 New Scotland Ave., Albany) will play host to “Two Artists in Dialog: Tantillo-Whitbeck: A Discussion of Contrasting Styles from a Common Source” on Sunday, March 13, 2011 at 2pm.

Themes from the 17th Century Dutch animate the work of both Len Tantillo and James Whitbeck. Yet, the two manifest their work in contrasting styles. These two unique artists will describe the motivation that inspires their work, and the process they follow to a final outcome.

Len Tantillo is well established with his work depicting historical moments of the Hudson Valley in a panoramic landscape style. James Whitbeck, a native of the Berkshires, is establishing himself with work evocative of the 17th century Dutch masters in still life.

Online registration is available here, or you can call (518) 443-1609.

Illustration: Bay of Manhattan by Len Tantillo & Pomegranates and Fruit on Silver with Baluch Rug by James Whitbeck.

More New Netherland Documents Now Online


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Out of print for many years and inaccessible to researchers, the first volume of the Register of the Provincial Secretary of New Netherland is now available on the web courtesy of the New Netherland Research Center. This archive, originally comprising 49 books, contained copies of correspondence, land conveyances, court proceedings, resolutions of council,regulations, contracts, leases,and more. The Provincial Secretary was responsible for recording the proceedings of the High Council and maintaining these archives for future reference.

In the 19th century, E. B. O’Callaghan decided that the Dutch records could be organized more logically. His “improvement” was to tear the books apart and rearrange the documents according to genre. The original 49 books became 23 volumes, each containing a specific type of document.

The first volume in his scheme,Register of the Provincial Secretary 1638-41, consists of wills, inventories of estates, depositions, and other documents. O’Callaghan produced translations of the three volumes of “Registers” and the first volume of “Council Minutes.”

Some years later another translator, A. J. F. van Laer, judged O’Callaghan’s work to be unreliable and undertook a new translation. By 1911 he had completed a translation of the first volume; this and the original records were lying on his desk when a disastrous fire broke out in the State Library. Van Laer’s work was destroyed, together with the Dutch originals.

Although all the Dutch records suffered varying degrees of damage, only this volume, volume one of the colonial Dutch records, was completely destroyed. All that remains of its Dutch original is a transcription of documents 95-143, which Van Laer happened to have at his house.

To continue his projected new translation, Van Laer had to use the surviving O’Callaghan translation. However, as the Dutch originals were still fresh in his mind, he was able to correct O’Callaghan’s translation in extensive footnotes. Van Laer eventually also translated the next three volumes (“Registers” for 1642-47 and 1648-57,and “Council Minutes” for 1638-49) as arranged by O’Callaghan.

These were not published until 1973, several years after his death in 1955. Minor changes only have been made to the text and to Van Laer’s notes, and corrections are incorporated according to Van Laer’s notations.

Offensive language or situations have been put back in the text, as have several pages that had inadvertently been left out. Future volumes in this series will consist of a scan of the original document, a transcription of the Dutch, and a translation with annotations. To browse or download volume one of the register, go to:
http://www.nnp.org/nnrc/Documents/vanLaer/index.html.

Schenectady/Nijkerk Council’s Colonial Festival Dinner


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The Schenectady/Nijkerk Council Invites you to this year’s Colonial Festival Dinner Tuesday, February 8, 2011 with Historical and Marine Artist Len F. Tantillo
Bob Cudmore, Master of Ceremonies at the Glen Sanders Mansion, One Glen Avenue – Scotia, New York

The Schenectady/Nijkerk Council has roots to about 1630, when Arendt Van Curler from Nijkerk established the trading outpost that would become the City of Schenectady. In 1909 the Dutch churches in Nijkerk and Schenectady exchanged tablets memorializing this connection. City-to-City exchanges between inhabitants of the City of Schenectady and the City of Nijkerk have been in existence since 1984.

3:30 p.m. – Throughout Evening, Exhibit
Tantillo’s Works with Maps of Early Schenectady & Latest Findings from Archaeological Excavations in the Stockade Historic District Select works by Len Tantillo available for purchase.

4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Heritage Seminar – Conversation with Len Tantillo
Bill Buell, Facilitator, Developing Schenectady’s Historical Legacy

6:00 p.m. Cocktail Hour, Hors D’oeuveres, Cash Bar

7:00 p.m. Dinner
Len Tantillo, Illustrator of life and places in early New York Historical Painting: Schenectady Works

Individual Seminar/Dinner combination ticket $60
Seminar only ticket $20
Dinner only ticket $50

Become a Sponsor of the Colonial Festival Dinner with Seminar/Dinner combination tickets & recognition in the program

A Patroon’s Table: $1000 for 10 tickets and the host receives an unframed Tantillo print

An Old Dorp Table: $750 for 10 tickets and a 10% discount on up to two Tantillo prints

Stockade Settlers: $150 for 2 tickets and reserved seating (Yes a single person may be a Settler at $75)

For more information call Laura Lee Linder at 518-882-6866

New Netherland Research Residencies


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The Quinn Library Research Residency consists of specialized research in Dutch-related documents and printed materials at the New York State Library. Researchers interested in the history of New Netherland and the Dutch Colonial Atlantic World are also encouraged to apply for the special Cunningham Grant of $2,500.

The Quinn Archives Research Residency consists of up to one year in Albany, working in the rich collections of the New Netherland Institute and the New York State Archives.

Researchers interested in the history of New Netherland and the Dutch Colonial Atlantic World are also encouraged to apply for the research residency, which carries a stipend of $2,500.

The Quinn Library Research Residency Award application must be postmarked by January 28,2011 and is due January 29,2011. The Archives Research Residency Award application is due January 15,2011. Each award is for $2,500 and the successful candidate has a year from the time the awards are announced to complete his/her research.

A panel of scholars and library staff will review proposals. The panel’s decisions will be announced by April 14, 2011.

More information and the application link can be found at http://www.nnp.org/nni/Research%20&%20Education/quinn.html

If you’d like to discuss the suitability of your research topic for one of these awards, contact cgehring@mail.nysed.gov or jvenema@mail.nysed.gov or mdshattuck@gmail.com

Schenectady Event: Mohicans Making History


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On Saturday, January 15, 2011, at 2 P. M., Shirley W. Dunn will present a lecture at the Schenectady County Historical Society at 32 Washington Avenue, Schenectady. The lecture will be based on her most recent book, “The River Indians: Mohicans Making History” (Purple Mountain Press, 2009). A major part of the talk will be about Arent Van Curler’s close connections with Mohicans living around Beverwijck, connections made through a village, his farm at the Flatts and various purchases of Mohican land. Also included will be details of Mohican sales to the Dutch along the Mohawk River which indicate that the site of Schenectady, as well as the Cohoes Falls, were in Mohican territory prior to a Mohican concession to the Mohawks in 1629. Refreshments at 1:30 pm will precede the talk.

New Netherland Research Center Opened


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A ribbon-cutting ceremony today officially opened the New Netherland Research Center (NNRC) on the 7th floor of the New York State Library in Albany. The NNRC will focus attention on New York State’s rich collection of historic Dutch Colonial documents and facilitate access to them for future scholars, teachers and students both here and abroad.

The New Netherland Research Center, which will provide access to the colonial Dutch documents held by the New York State Archives and New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections, is the first step in an international effort to launch a collaborative digitization project to share collections and archives from former Dutch colonies.

During the 2009 Quadricentennial celebration of Henry Hudson’s voyage opening up the New World to Dutch settlement, Dutch dignitaries, including the Prince of Orange and Princess Maxima of the Netherlands, visited the Cultural Education Center’s 1609 Exhibition.

At that visit the government of the Netherlands committed to a grant of €200,000 (approximately $275,000) to the New Netherland Institute to continue and expand the New Netherland Project by establishing a New Netherland Research Center. This gift, with matching support from the Institute, are expected to transform what started out as a translation project into a collaborative research initiative with international scope and context.

Modern technologies are hoped to make New York’s collections, along with those in other similar or complementary repositories, available digitally and to promote a more complete story of the Dutch global reach during the colonial period and its lasting impact on today’s world.

The NNRC is the culmination of a decades-long translation effort, the New Netherland Project, at the New York State Library. Dr. Charles Gehring is the project’s Director and principal translator. Dr. Janny Venema is Assistant Director. Both have worked to unlock the wealth of information in these collections by making them available in English. They have also written extensively and spoken widely on the scope and legacy of our early Dutch heritage.

Seventeenth century collections of government records in the New York State Archives and non-government documents in the Library’s Manuscripts and Special Collections constitute the world’s largest collection of early Dutch language documentation of the New World colonies. Encompassing what is now a large part of the northeastern United States, the early Dutch colony, its language, culture and laws, lie at the roots of much of our nation’s modern history. Scholars regularly explore the collections for insights into 17th century life in New Netherland. Russell Shorto relied heavily on Gehring and Vanema and the New York State collections in writing his book The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony that Shaped America.

The New York State Library is a program of the New York State Education Department’s Office of Cultural Education.

New York State Archives Research Grants Available


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The NYS Archives and the Archives Partnership Trust announce the availability of awards to qualified applicants, including students, teachers and public historians, to pursue research using historical records at the New York State Archives. Awards generally range from $100-$4,500 for advanced research in New York history, government, or public policy.

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 www.nnp.org 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.

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.

Washington’s HQ: Dutch Ramble Weekend


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Ever wonder what it was like to be a guest at General and Mrs. Washington’s headquarters? Come to Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site on Sunday, September 12th and find out what an 18th century visitor could expect when you accompany Cornelia Tappan Clinton on tour. These special tours by reservation only are scheduled at 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM.

Mrs. Clinton, wife of New York’s first governor, George Clinton, will guide you through the Hasbrouck house rented by her dear friends, the Washingtons. In the course of this First Person Experiential Tour, Mrs. Clinton will not only touch upon her friendship with Martha Washington, but also on her own life. This was a lady who witnessed the burning of Kingston, the smallpox epidemic that followed, and the migration of survivors to safer grounds. In her Dutch-tinted accent, Mrs. Clinton will explain how her family survived. To her way of thinking, surmounting these problems was not that difficult as long as the family was able to stay together.

Coming from an old and prominent Dutch family, Cornelia Tappan married George Clinton, a lawyer from Little Britain, and the couple set about to establish themselves in Orange County, to live, work, and raise their family. In time, Mr. Clinton became an officer in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and Cornelia was called upon to keep the family together, save whatever crops from her farm she could salvage and keep her children safe. She rose to the occasion admirably.

It is as Martha’s friend that she is visiting the home the Washingtons will be renting from Mrs. Hasbrouck, in Newburgh. Join Mrs. Clinton as she walks through the rooms speculating on what use the Washingtons will make of this small house on the Hudson River.

Admission for this Special Event is $4.00 per person. Please call by September 11th for reservations. Contact 845-562-1195 6 to reserve a place on one of the tours.

Photo: The Hasbrouck House, Orange County.

De Nieu Nederlanse Marcurius Now Online


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The September issue of De Nieu Nederlanse Marcurius, the quarterly publication of the New Netherland Institute, is available on the Institute’s website. The issue can be browsed for easy on-screen viewing or downloaded as a PDF. This issue features the upcoming New Netherland Seminar ‘The Company Strikes Back: 1673 Recovery of New Netherland” on September 25, 2010 in Albany, NY, notices of new books, upcoming lecture, a short biographical sketch of Cornelis Evertsen by Peter A. Douglas, and a lot more.

The New Netherland Institute, first organized in 1986 as Friends of the New Netherland Project and subsequently as Friends of New Netherland, supports the work of the New Netherland Project and the functions and activities of the New Netherland Institute.

Faces of Schenectady Seminar Announced


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Due to the interest generated by the exhibit “Faces of Schenectady: 1715 – 1750” as well as brand-new research, support from the First Reformed Church of Schenectady, and generous grants from the New York Council for the Humanities, and Schenectady County, the Schenectady County Historical Society (SCHS) is offering a two day seminar this October.

Participants will be able to experience, first hand, new research related to eighteenth-century art, politics, and culture in Schenectady County. Along with one-of-a-kind lectures, SCHS is also offering a one-on-one gallery talk with co-curator Ona Curran and a 17th century Dutch Luncheon made possible by the Glen Sanders Mansion!

FRIDAY October 15

Exhibit Tour with Gallery Lecture Schenectady County Historical Society, 32 Washington Avenue Schenectady NY 12305

Registration 1:30

2:00 – 3:15 Ona Curran Nehemiah Partridge: His style, use of mezzotints, English influence Clara Clack van Beek – Account ledger of Annatje Beck, tavern keeper and seller of dry goods

3:30 – 4:30 Ona Curran Peter Vanderlyn and John Heaton

Schenectady Portraits – Susanna Truax and Deborah Glen Other portraits – Albany, Hudson Valley, The Van Bergen Overmantel, the Oliver portrait

5:30 – 7:30 Evening Fare and Folklore (Additional $10.00 Fee) First Reformed Church of Schenectady 8 North Church Street, Schenectady NY 12305 Buffet and Story Telling Joe Doolittle

SATURDAY October 16

Exhibit Open 9:00 – 9:30 Schenectady County Historical Society

Registration 9:00

Lectures First Reformed Church of Schenectady

9:30 – 10:15 Susan Blakney, 17th Century Double Wedding Portrait

10:15 – 11:15 Nancy Hagadorn Ph.D., Laurens Claese Van Der Volgen Cultural Broker and Interpreter

11:30 – 12:30 John Townsend The Mohawk Prayer Book

LUNCHEON 12:30 – 2:15

2:15 – 3:00 Karen Hess The Indomitable Ariantje Coeymans: Bangles and Beads – Jewelry in Portraiture

3:00 – 3:45 Rod Blackburn Scripture Paintings

3:45 – 4:30 Rod Blackburn and Ruth Piwonka The Data Base of early 18th century paintings

4:30 – 5:00 Questions and Closing Remarks

Register online here.

New Netherland: Scholar in Residence Programs


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The New Netherland Research Center (NNRC), a joint endeavor of the New Netherland Institute (NNI) and the Office of Cultural Education, New York State Education Department (NYSED/OCE), with financial support from the Government of the Netherlands, announces a Senior Scholar in Residence program and two NNRC Student Scholar Research Grants for 2011.

Student Scholar Research Grants

The grant covers a period of up to three months in residence and provides a stipend of $5,000. A time frame for fulfilling the grant requirements will be established in consultation with the Director of NNRC. No housing or travel funds are provided but
office space is included.

Scholars beyond the undergraduate level and actively working on a thesis, dissertation, or scholarly article are invited to apply. Research must be conducted at the New York State Library and Archives, Albany, NY, in the field of New Netherland history and the Dutch Atlantic World utilizing the Records of New Netherland. Candidates must indicate their research topic in their application. Genealogical research topics are excluded. Considering that much of the secondary, as well as the primary, source materials are in 17th century Dutch, it would be to the student scholar’s advantage to have a working knowledge of the language.

The $5,000 stipend is payable in equal installment upon submission and acceptance by the Director of NNRC of a monthly progress report. At the conclusion of their residency, the student scholar must submit a written report based on their work and deliver a public lecture on their research findings prior to receipt of their final installment.

Applications, consisting of a curriculum vita, two letters of recommendation, and a cover letter outlining the research topic and work plan, must be submitted to the Grants Committee, New Netherland Institute, Box 2536, Empire State Plaza Station, Albany, NY 12220-0536.

Applications must be submitted by October 1, 2010 with awards announced on December 1, 2010.

Senior Scholar in Residence Program

Pre–and post-doctoral students, including independent, non-university-affiliated persons, are invited to apply for a 12-month residency beginning not earlier than January and not later than September 2011 with the specific time frame to be established in consultation with the Director of NNRC. The proposed research will occur at the New Netherland Research Center in Albany, utilizing the resources of the New York State Library and Archives for research in the field of Dutch Colonial America and the Atlantic World. Scholars are expected to include the primary sources of the Records of New Netherland in their research, so a reading knowledge of seventeenth-century Dutch is necessary.

The recipient will be required to produce a minimum 5000 word manuscript based upon his or her research in the primary sources in the field, with NNI/ NNRC having the first option to publish it and holding the copyright. In addition, a public lecture on an aspect of the research for delivery at Siena College, Loudonville, NY, is also mandated. Both requirements must be met no later than the final month of residency and are subject to the approval of the Director of NNRC.

No housing or travel funds are provided, but office space at NYSED/OCE is included.

The stipend is $30,000, to be distributed monthly in equal installments upon submission of a written progress report acceptable to the Director of NNRC. The final payment will be contingent upon meeting the terms cited above.

The application must consist of two copies of a curriculum vitae; one copy of a thesis, dissertation, published article(s) or book; two letters of recommendation; and a cover letter outlining your research interest and work plan. It should be submitted to the Grants Committee, New Netherland Institute, P.O. Box 2536, Empire State Plaza Station,
Albany, NY 12220-0536.

Applications must be received by September 15, 2010. The grant will be awarded and announced by November 1, 2010.