AMERICAN-DUTCH HISTORY (17th and 18th century)

Adriaen van der Donck, A Description of New Netherland, (University of Nebraska Press; Reprint edition January 1, 2010).

This edition of A Description of New Netherland provides the first complete and accurate English-language translation of an essential first-hand account of the lives and world of Dutch colonists and northeastern Native communities in the seventeenth century. Adriaen van der Donck, a graduate of Leiden University in the 1640s, became the law enforcement officer for the Dutch patroonship of Rensselaerswijck, located along the upper Hudson River. His position enabled him to interact extensively with Dutch colonists and the local Algonquians and Iroquoians. An astute observer, detailed recorder, and accessible writer, Van der Donck was ideally situated to write about his experiences and the natural and cultural worlds around him. Van der Donck’s Beschryvinge van Nieuw-Nederlant was first published in 1655 and then expanded in 1656. An inaccurate and abbreviated English translation appeared in 1841 and was reprinted in 1968. This new volume features an accurate, polished translation by Diederik Willem Goedhuys and includes all the material from the original 1655 and 1656 editions. The result is an indispensable first-hand account with enduring value to historians, ethnohistorians, and anthropologists.

Jan Willem Schulte Nordholt, The Dutch Republic and American Independence, (University of North Carolina Press Enduring Editions, April 13, 2009).

Douglas Hunter, Half Moon: Henry Hudson and the Voyage that Redrew the Map of the New World, (Bloomsbury Press, 2009; 1 edition).

The year 2009 marks the four-hundredth anniversary of Henry Hudson’s discovery of the majestic river that bears his name. Just in time for this milestone, Douglas Hunter, sailor, scholar, and storyteller, has written the first book-length history of the 1609 adventure that put New York on the map. Hudson was commissioned by the mighty Dutch East India Company to find a northeastern passage over Russia to the lucrative ports of China. But the inscrutable Hudson, defying his orders, turned his ship around and instead headed west—far west—to the largely unexplored coastline between Spanish Florida and the Grand Banks. Once there, Hudson began a seemingly aimless cruise—perhaps to conduct an espionage mission for his native England—but eventually dropped anchor off Coney Island. Hudson and his crew were the first Europeans to visit New York in more than eighty years, and soon went off the map into unexplored waters. Hudson’s discoveries reshaped the history of the new world, and laid the foundation for New York to become a global capital. Hunter has shed new light on this rogue voyage with unprecedented research. Painstakingly reconstructing the course of the Half Moon from logbooks and diaries, Hunter offers an entirely new timeline of Hudson’s passage based on innovative forensic navigation, as well as original insights into his motivations. Half Moon offers a rich narrative of adventure and exploration, filled with international intrigue, backstage business drama, and Hudson’s own unstoppable urge to discover. This brisk tale re-creates the espionage, economics, and politics that drove men to the edge of the known world and beyond.

Van Cleaf Backman, Peltries or Plantations: The Economic Policies of the Dutch West India Company in New Netherland, 1623-1630, (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1970).

Mariana Griswold van Rensselaer, History of the City of New York in the Seventeenth Century, Volume 1, (New Amsterdam, 2013).

In this ambitious first volume of her exhaustive 1909 account of New York City’s early history, Van Rensselaer begins with the earliest Dutch settlements and the founding of New Amsterdam. Using many primary sources to examine how trade, geography, and politics shaped the island’s growth and fortunes, she takes us through the long governorship of Peter Stuyvesant and his eventual surrender of New Amsterdam to the English in 1664, which resulted in the city’s new name. This is a fascinating and detailed account, perfect for students, historians, and anyone interested in pre-Revolutionary New York. Devoted to the study of art and architecture, American author MARIANA GRISWOLD VAN RENSSELAER (1851-1934) was born in New York City and was an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects. In a rare accomplishment for a woman at the time, she received a doctorate of literature from Columbia University in 1910. Her other books include English Cathedrals, Art Out of Doors, and One Man Who Was Content.

Russell Shorto, The Island at the Center of the World—The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan & The Forgotten Colony that Shaped America, (Doubleday, 2004).

Shorto’s best-selling book unearths the reasons why modern-day New York, like 17th century Amsterdam, is generally seen as a successful “melting pot,” known for its religious tolerance and commerce. Highlights the role of Adriaen van der Donck, the Leiden-trained lawyer who negotiated many of the province’s freedoms. Also explains why the Articles of Capitulation (through which the British took control of New Amsterdam) can be seen as the forerunner of the Bill of Rights. Much of Shorto’s story is based on the ongoing research in the archives of the West India Company and New Netherland, conducted at the New Netherland Project in Albany, NY.

Robert Juet, Juet’s Journal of Hudson’s 1609 Voyage, transcribed by Brea Barthel for the New Netherland Museum (2006).

The New Netherland Museum owns and operates a replica of the Half Moon, the ship with which Henry Hudson sailed into what became New York Harbor in September 1609. At the website indicated above, Robert Juet’s journal describes the Half Moon’s encounter of the coast of Maine (June 25, 1609) and the first encounter with the Indians (Sept 2, 1609). Juet sailed with Hudson on at least three voyages in 1608, 1609 and 1610-1611.

Roger Panetta (editor), Dutch New York–The Roots of Hudson Valley Culture (Hudson River Museum & Fordham University Press, 2009)

A wonderful book, published to coincide with the widely praised Dutch New York-exhibit at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers in 2009. Dutch heritage along the Hudson river lives on, not only in historic estates and Dutch-named places like the Bronx and Yonkers but also in commerce, law, politics, religion, art and culture. With contributions by fourteen scholars, the essays cover Dutch Commerce in the Lower Hudson Valley, Slavery and the Philipse Family 1680-1751, American Indian Villages and Dutch farms, Dutch American architecture, the Reformed Dutch Church, Colonial American-Dutch material Culture, Washington Irving’s “A History of New York”, Imagining Dutch New York: John Quidor and the Romantic Tradition, the Holland Society visits “The Fatherland”, the Hudson-Fulton Celebration of 1909, Franklin Roosevelt’s “Dutchness”, the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum and the Dutch Legacy in America. The book is very well illustrated, the essays are accompanied by extensive references to published research, but also contain plenty of new insights based on the authors’ original research. The book is edited by Roger Panetta (curator of the Hudson River Museum and visiting professor at Fordham University) and is arguably one of the best reads for those interested in the Hudson Valley’s Dutch roots.

Allen W. Trelease, Indian Affairs in Colonial New York—The Seventeenth Century, (Univ. of Nebraska Press, 1997).

Trelease’s book, first published in 1960, was the first authoritative study on relations between the Algonquian Indians and the Dutch settlers who arrived after Henry Hudson’s 1609 exploratory voyage.

Janny Venema, Kiliaen van Rensselaer, Designing a New World, (1586-1643).

Affiliated with the New Netherland Project (Albany, NY), is one of most prominent scholars on New Netherland and her newest book is a biography of Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, a jeweler and merchant in Amsterdam who became one of the founders of the Dutch West India Company. His patroonship Rensselaerswyck became an economic force in the new colony and developed what later became New York’s capital district. Even though Kiliaen never set foot in New Netherland, he was the first “patroon”. Venema describes the rough and tumble of Amsterdam in the early 1600s and how entrepreneurs and investors like Van Rensselaer cobbled together their wealth and funded a colonial presence well beyond the Dutch Republic. First-rate original history! 2011, State University of New York Press.

Janny Venema, Beverwijck (A Dutch Village on the American Frontier 1652-1664), (SUNY Press, 2003).

From the book’s cover: “When the English conquered New Netherland in 1664, they found a well-established society that was firmly held together by a Dutch-modeled government and church, and which maintained continuous communication with its fatherland, the Dutch Republic……beavers and shell beads that served as money, daily visits by Indians, and the presence of African slaves…”.

Willem Frijhoff, Fulfilling God’s Mission: The Two Worlds of Dominie Everardus Bogardus (1607-1647), (Brill Publishers, 2007).

This biography recalls the fascinating life of the second Reformed minister of New Amsterdam, Everardus Bogardus, a poor but gifted youth who worked himself upward into the ministry. The first part of the book provides an in-depth analysis of his mystical experience as a 15-year old orphan in his hometown of Woerden (Holland) and its significance in the Dutch context. The second part explores Bogardus’s agency in the colonial context and his appropriation of his new fatherland –as a minister among the Europeans, the Native Americans and the blacks, as a spokesman of the opposition during Kieft’s war, and as a colonist married to the famous Anneke Jans. This biography is conceived as a mentality history of an early modern male individual.

Donna Merwick, The Shame and the Sorrow–Dutch Amerindian Encounters in New Netherland, (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006).

From the book’s cover: “The Dutch, through the directors of the West India Company, purchased Manhattan Island in 1625.They had come to the New World as traders, not expecting to assume responsibility as the sovereign possessor of a conquered New Netherland. They did not intend to make war on the native peoples around Manhattan Island, but they did; they did not intend to help destroy native cultures, but they did; they intended to be overseas as the tolerant, pluralistic, and antimilitaristic people they thought themselves to be—and in so many respects were—at home, but they were not”.

Nella Kennedy, Mary Risseeuw and Robert Swieringa (eds), Diverse Destinies—Dutch Kolonies in Wisconsin and the East 2012, Van Raalte Press (a division of Hope College Publishing).

Nella Kennedy, Mary Risseeuw and Robert Swieringa (eds), Diverse Destinies—Dutch Kolonies in Wisconsin and the East, 2012, Van Raalte Press (a division of Hope College Publishing). More than five million Americans claim full or partial Dutch heritage. The first influx, into the Northeast, took place in the 17th century. After coming to a virtual standstill in the 18th century, immigration resumed in the 19th , mostly into the Midwest. While much of Dutch New York has disappeared, the Dutch influence the Midwest is unmistakably still there—and thriving! Hope College and its Van Raalte Institute are a case in point. In 1851, four years after founding the town of Holland, Michigan, Dutch immigrants established the forerunner of Hope College. While historically affiliated with the Dutch Reformed Church, it is now an ecumenically-oriented and prominent Midwestern liberal arts college. In 1993, the generosity of Hope College graduate and trustee Peter H. Huizenga and his mother, enabled Hope to establish the A.C. van Raalte Institute to promote scholarship on Dutch immigration and all other aspects of Dutch-American history and culture. After America’s pre-eminent scholar on 19th-century Dutch-American studies, Professor Robert P. Swieringa, author of Dutch Chicago-A History of the Hollanders in the Windy City (2002) joined the Hope faculty, the stream of publications by Dutch and American historians on the Dutch in America began to accelerate. The Van Raalte website www. contains a complete (and truly impressive) list of the Van Raalte–sponsored publications (books and journal articles). These and other resources at the institute are a veritable –and America’s most important— treasure trove for all those interested in Dutch-American history, culture and immigration! The Van Raalte Institute, together with the Association for the Advancement of Dutch-American Studies (AADAS), sponsors biennial conferences attended by American and Dutch scholars. Diverse Destinies contains the research papers delivered at a recent AADAS conference on 19th century Dutch immigrants who settled in Wisconsin, Virginia and New Jersey. Subjects covered include different practices and customs of Roman Catholic and Protestant immigrants; persistence of the use of the Dutch language; the unique roles by priests and ministers; the relations with the “old country”; and the ups and downs of the Doornik family, Wisconsin’s first Dutch-American bookseller. Altogether, interesting stories on how the ancestors of many of today’s five million Dutch-Americans built their lives in the New World. Available through the A.C. Van Raalte Institute.

J. Franklin Jameson, Narratives of New Netherland 1609-1664, (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1909).

A compilation of 17th century writings on New Netherland, compiled by one of America’s most prominent historians at the turn of the century. The book has long been out of print, but without too much trouble one will find copies in antique-book stores or on “old book” web sites.

Jasper Danckaerts, Journal of Jasper Danckaerts 1679-1680, 1913, Charles Scribner & Sons, reissued in 2005 in Elibron Classics series.

Danckaert’s journal is a virtually unknown classic! Jasper Danckaerts, born in Vlissingen (Flushing, the Netherlands) came to America with Peter Sluyter to find land for their religious order of Labadists (adherents to Jean de Labadie, a rebellious Huguenot) and traveled extensively along the East coast. Danckaerts’ diary provides a detailed account of the social, political and economic conditions in the late 17th century, especially life of the American Indians. The manuscript was discovered by Henry Cruse Murphy in Amsterdam when Murphy served as minister to the Netherlands. Murphy translated the diary and arranged for the Brooklyn Historical Society to publish it in 1867. In 1913, Bartlett Burleigh James (Maryland Historical Society) and J. Franklin Jameson (a prominent US historian around the turn of the century and editor of the Original Narratives of Early American History) published the current version. Along with Van der Donck’s Description and Bradford’s Plymouth, Danckaerts’ diary provides a unique window on life in 17th century America.

Washington Irving, A Knickerbocker’s History of New York, (1809, Firebird Press reprint, 2001).

The two-volume satire is considered the first important contribution to American comic literature. Irving wrote it prior to The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip van Winkle.

Elizabeth Bradley, Knickerbocker-The Myth behind New York, (2009, Rivergate Books, an imprint of Rutgers University Press from Publishers Weekly).

Diedrich Knickerbocker, a fictional man of stature, gets a history worthy of New York’s swagger in this exploration by Bradley (a contributor to The Encyclopedia of New York City) of how Knickerbocker shaped the city’s identity. The narrator of Washington Irving’s A History of New York, Knickerbocker has charmed readers since 1809 with his half-fantastical urban history, one that inspired local pride at a time when, according to Bradley, the city faced an identity crisis. Peppered with anecdotes, such as Knickerbocker’s claiming of the doughnut for his city, Bradley’s account maintains that the proud Dutchman inspired New Yorkers to assert their own ideosyncratic relationship to the city and to its history. Knickerbocker was appropriated: for political gain during FDR’s presidency, commercial reward for countless business and sports promotion for teams like the New York Knicks. While Bradley’s flat prose fails to match the Knickerbocker’s largesse, literary historians and proud New Yorkers alike will delight in the character who brought pomp and legend to the city first nicknamed Gotham by Washington Irving 200 years ago.

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

Rink’s book was arguably the first major 20th century comprehensive and academic study on New Netherland.

Barbara W. Tuchman, The First Salute—A View of the American Revolution, (Knopf, 1988).

Tuchman’s last book, and her personal interpretation of the American Revolution. She draws a parallel between the Dutch struggle for independence and the American-British conflict that led to the American Revolution. On November 16, 1776, the governor of the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Eustatius ordered a gun salute when a ship, carrying the flag of the Continental Congress, entered the island’s harbor. It was the first occasion on which American sovereignty was recognized — the first salute.

Henry and Barbara van der Zee, A Sweet and Alien Land—The Story of Dutch New York, (Viking Press, 1978).

A well-written, popular history of New Amsterdam.

Michael G. Kammen, Colonial New York-A History, (1975; reissued as Oxford Univ. Press paperback in 1996).

Kammen’s book remains one of the best comprehensive reviews of New York’s colonial history, from the Dutch period to the British period through statehood in 1777 (and the defeat of the British in Saratoga the same year).

Tom Lewis, The Hudson- A History, (Yale Univ Press, 2005).

Every country has its river—Germany the Rhine, England the Thames, Brazil the Amazon— and the U.S. has the Hudson. It has been intertwined with America’s history for some 400 years. Lewis “traces the course of the river through four centuries of explorers and traders, artists and writers, entrepreneurs and industrialists, ecologists and preservationists….Among those who have figured in the history of the Hudson are Benedict Arnold, Alexander Hamilton, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, the Astors and the Vanderbilts, and Thomas Cole of the Hudson River school”.

Peter Stuyvesant (author) and Charles Gehring (editor), Correspondence 1647-1653, Syracuse Univ Press, 1999, and Correspondence 1654-1658, 2003, Syracuse University Press.

Both volumes published under the New Netherland Documents Series. Dr. Charles Gehring, director of the New Netherland Project in Albany, New York, edited the correspondence of Director General Stuyvesant and his West India Company directors in Amsterdam and governors of neighboring colonies during Stuyvesant’s the first 11 years of Stuyvesant’s 17-year tenure. Indispensable for professional historians, but no less fascinating for the casual history reader. For more than 30 years, Dr Gehring has edited, translated or otherwise supervised the translation and publication many important documents pertaining to New Netherland. For more details

Nicolaas Cornelis Lambrechtsen, Short Description of the Discovery and Subsequent History of the New Netherlands, originally published by S. van Benthem, Middelburg, reissued by Cornell University Library Digital Collections.

Lambrechtsen (1752-1823) was a prominent civic leader in the province of Zeeland. While serving as Chairman of the Zeeland Society of Sciences, he wrote his Short Description (Korte Beschryving) after having obtained information on the former Dutch colony from members of the New-York Historical Society (NYHS). In 1819 Francis Adrian van der Kemp, an NYSH member, translated the text into English. Lambrechtsen’s 122-page book is believed to be the first historical overview on the colony of New Netherland written in the Netherlands, largely based on writings by Van der Donck and others as well Lambrechtsen’s own research in Dutch archives.

William Dunlap, History of the New Netherlands, Province of New York and the State of New York, Volume 1, and Volume 2,  originally published in 1839, re-issued by Cosimo Books.

In this two-volume set, first published in 1839, William Dunlap sketches an extensive history of New Netherland, an area from the St. Lawrence river to the Delaware Bay, stretching from the coast westward through what is now upstate New York. The Dutch landed at Noten Eylant, now Governor’s island, and quickly spread their settlers over the territory they wished to claim. They further acquired Manhattan Island, founded New Amsterdam, and took up trading in earnest. Dunlap chronicles the many treaties signed with the local Indian tribes and details for readers how the various areas of the Northeast came to bear their current names. In the first volume, he also discusses the intrusion of the English into New Netherlands, Holland’s battle to retake its colony, and the eventual ceding of the colony to England for good. Volume I ends with the beginning of the American Revolutionary War, while Volume 2 ends with the signing of the Constitution.

Edward B. O’Callaghan, History of New Netherland or New York under the Dutch, Volume 1 and 2, 2005, republished in Elibron Classics series by Adamant Media Corporation.

O’Callaghan’s work was published in 1845 and was the first American version of the history of New Netherland.

Henry C. Murphy, Henry Hudson in Holland: An Inquiry into the Origin and Objects of the Voyage which led to the discovery of the Hudson River, originally published in 1859, reissued by Cosimo Books in 2010.

A significant early treatise on Hudson’s voyages, it collects all the original documents known to exist about Hudson’s third voyage—the one in which he sailed up what is now called the Hudson River-and explores the “motives, purposes, and character” of the Dutch East India Company and “the designs of the navigator himself at the time he sailed upon that expedition,” as the author says in his preface. American politician and historian Henry Cruse Murphy (1810–1882) was an American politician and historian who served as United States Minister to The Hague when, in 1859, he privately published this monograph.

Jaap Jacobs, The Colony of New Netherland-A Dutch Settlement in Seventeenth Century America, (Cornell University Press, 2009).

Originally published in Dutch, in 2002, by Prometheus/Bert Bakker, under the title Een Zegenrijk Gewest – Nieuw Nederland in de Zeventiende Eeuw. This volume covers the history of the Dutch colony New Netherland on the North American continent. Based on extensive research of archival material on both sides of the Atlantic ocean, much of which has not been previously used, this work provides the most complete overview yet of a colony that has been generally neglected by historians. The chapters deal with themes such as patterns of immigration, government and justice, economy, religion, social structure, material culture, and the mentality of the colonists. This book will be very useful not just for students of Dutch colonial history, but also for scholars of early American history. In reviewing the book (in New York History, Fall 2008), historian Joyce Goodfriend described the book as “unquestionably a milestone on the road to integrating the Dutch colony into the history of New York and America”.

Joyce Goodfriend (ed), Revisiting New Netherland: Perspectives on Early Dutch America, (Brill, 2005).

From the Publisher:“ This book offers a rich sampling of current scholarship on New Netherland….why the Dutch moment in American history has been overlooked or trivialized and calls attention to signs of the emergence of a new narrative of American beginnings that gives due weight to the imprint of Dutch settlement in America”. Twelve essays by American and Dutch scholars on a variety of topics, including Walloon and Huguenots in New Netherlands, New Netherland in the West India Company’s grand scheme, “burgher rights” in New Amsterdam, Petrus Stuyvesant, and a survey of documents pertaining to the history of New Netherland.

Martha Shattuck, Explorers, Fortunes and Love Letters: A Window on New Netherland, (editor), (New Netherland Institute & Mount Ida Press, 2009).

Twelve essays that further explore the history of America’s earliest colony, based on original research by authors affiliated with the New Netherland Project ( including Russell Shorto, William Starna, Jaap Jacobs, Janny Venema, David Voorhees, Joyce Goodfriend, William Reynolds, Noah Gelfand, Peter Christoph, Adriana van Zwieten, Peter G. Rose, and Elizabeth Paling Funk. Edited and introduced by Martha Shattuck, member of the New Netherland Project staff, this volume is testimony of the fact that research on New Netherland is as active as ever.

Joyce Goodfriend, Benjamin Schmidt and Annette Stott, Going Dutch: The Dutch Presence in America 1609-2009, (Brill, 2008).

A broad survey spanning 400 years, with twelve essays by American and Dutch scholars. Topics include Dutch Art and Hudson Valley Patroon Painters, Hudson Valley Dutch architecture, John L. Motley and the lessons of Dutch history in 19th century Boston, Windmills on the Plains (Two Dutch communities in Iowa), Old Masters in the New World (the Hudson-Fulton Exhibition in 1909), From Bauhaus to Our House to Koolhaas, and Dutchness in Fact and Fiction.

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

From the flap: “ Fabend has studied a large colonial American family over five generations….The Haring family settled in the Hackensack valley where they lived, prospered, and remained throughout the 18th century… they coped with immigration, established themselves in a community, acquired land and capital, and took part in the social, political economic, and religious changes of the 17th and 18th centuries….The Harings of colonial America were ideal yeoman farmers, a class that stood well in the social hierarchy of the day. They were industrious, they prospered and they participated in the civic life of colonial America. But once the new republic formed, they were not visible…they maintained their Dutch ways more consciously than ever after the Revolution which hindered their full participation in public affairs. In some ways, the fifth and sixth generations were more Dutch than the early generations”.

Firth Haring Fabend, Zion on the Hudson- Dutch New York and New Jersey in the age of revivals, (Rutgers Univ. Press, 2000).

From the flap: “Zion on the Hudson presents both a broad and an intimate look at the way one mainstream Protestant denomination dealt with the transformative events of the evangelical era. As Fabend describes the efforts of the descendants of the Dutch settlers to preserve the European standards and traditions of their church while developing a taste for a new kind of theology and preference for an American identity, she documents how Dutchness finally became a historical memory”.

Firth Haring Fabend, New Netherland in A Nutshell, (New Netherland Institute, 2012). 

In this book, Dr Fabend provides a concise summary of several decades of research by numerous academic historians affiliated with the New Netherland Research Center (NNRC) in Albany. In the words of Dr Charles Gehring, NNRC’s Director: “One of the most challenging tasks to ask of a historian is that she expound on a subject dear to her heart with brevity. Few succeed. New Netherland in a Nutshell is an exception…..This unique episode in our history will no longer be “one of our best kept secrets” but finally be available and accessible to a wide audience”. Order via

J.M Postma, The Dutch in the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1600-1815, (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1990).

Postma’s book is the authoritative study on the Dutch role in the slave trade. Overall, the Dutch had a minor role in overall Atlantic slave trade, but for brief periods in the 17th century the Dutch did dominate, primarily through the Zeeland chamber of the West India Company and the Middelburgsche Commerce Company.

P.C. Emmer, The Dutch in the Atlantic Economy 1580-1880: Trade, Slavery and Emancipation, (Ashgate Publishing, 1998).

From the flap: “This volume presents a survey of the Dutch involvement in the Atlantic trade and slave system, It covers the period from the origins of the trade and the Dutch conquest of Brazil in the early 17th century, to the abolition of slavery in the West Indies in the later 19th century. Individual chapters focus on the “investment bubble” in the Dutch plantation colonies, Dutch participation in the illegal slave trade, and the effects of the ameliorization policies and then emancipation of the slaves of Suriname. Professor Emmer also highlights the particular characteristics of the Dutch West India Company – markedly different from the better known East India Company– and the low-key nature of the debate on slave emancipation in the Netherlands”.

William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation, (Modern Library, 1981).

Bradford (1590-1657), the long-time governor of the Plymouth Colony, wrote one of the most readable 17th century books. It covers 1620-1657, after the Pilgrims arrived in Plymouth from the Netherlands, but also includes some chapters on the Pilgrims’ stay in Leiden. Fleeing religious persecution in England, the Calvinist Pilgrims had broken away from the Church of England and found refuge in Leiden in 1609 before embarking for the New World in 1620. In Leiden, the pilgrims were led by the Rev. John Robinson who was affiliated with Leiden University and participated in the religious discussions of the day. Most of Leiden’s citizens were foreign-born, including Huguenots from many parts of Europe. Several of them joined the Pilgrims to New England, others would become early settlers of New York. Ancestors of presidents Grant, Roosevelt and Bush were amongst the Dutch who followed the Pilgrims to the New World. Of Plymouth Plantation describes the first Thanksgiving celebration (in November 1621), after the Pilgrims had regained their health and overcome starvation after striking up a friendship with the Wampanoag Indians.

Jeremy Dupertuis Bangs, Strangers and Pilgrims, Travelers and Sojourners-Leiden and the Foundations of Plymouth Plantation, (2009, General Society of Mayflower Descendants, Plymouth, MA).

The Mayflower Society Jeremy Bangs is the director of the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum and the foremost authority on the years the Pilgrims spent in The Netherlands before setting sail on the Mayflower in 1620 and ultimately landing in Plymouth, MA. Strangers and Pilgrims is based on no less than 40 years of archival research in Dutch, British and American archives. From the flap, “Leiden is where the character of the Pilgrim Church and its subsequent colony took form. Controversies in politics and religion, customs of family life and society, obligations of labor and chances to play, questions of free will, democracy, the separation of church and state, religious toleration, treatment of Indians—these form the matter of this book”. A treasure trove of insights for Mayflower descendants and scholars of English, Dutch and American history.

Nathaniel Philbrick, Mayflower-A Story of Courage, Community and War, (Viking, 2006).

Things were tough not only in New Netherland. Philbrick retells the story of the Pilgrims, their first Thanksgiving and how the Pilgrims ultimately fought one of the deadliest wars ever fought on American soil.

Nick Bunker, Making Haste from Babylon-The Mayflower Pilgrims and their World, a New History, (Alfred A. Knopf, 2010)

Eduard van de Bilt, Becoming John Adams-The Making of a Great American in Leiden 1780-1782, published by Leiden Pieterskerk Foundation.

Hans Krabbendam and George Harinck (eds.), Amsterdam-New York: Transatlantic Relations and Urban Identities since 1653, (European Contributions to American Studies 59, VU University Press, 2005).

This collection of essays deals with the political, commercial, religious, and intellectual relationship of the two leading cities on Manhattan Island during the early part of American history—Nieuw Amsterdam and New York City. It explores the interaction of merchants and ministers, books and bankers, consults and canticles, through the high and low tides of this durable urban exchange. In particular, this history shows how regional dominance shifted from Nieuw Amsterdam in the early 18th century—when it overshadowed New York City in size, prestige, wealth, and power—to New York City in the 19th century as immigration boosted New York’s population growth while Nieuw Amsterdam’s stalled

Eric Nooter and Patricia U. Bonomi (eds.), Colonial Dutch Studies, (NYU Press, 1988).

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

From its earliest days under English rule, New York City had an unusually diverse ethnic makeup, with substantial numbers of Dutch, English, Scottish, Irish, French, German, and Jewish immigrants, as well as a large African-American population. Joyce Goodfriend paints a vivid portrait of this society, exploring the meaning of ethnicity in early America and showing how colonial settlers of varying backgrounds worked out a basis for coexistence. She argues that, contrary to the prevalent notion of rapid Anglicization, ethnicity proved an enduring force in this small urban society well into the eighteenth century.

Elisabeth Paling Funk & Martha Dickinson Shattuck (eds), A Beautiful and Fruitful Place—Selected Rensselaerwijck Papers, Volume 2, (New Netherland Institute/State University of New York Press, 2011).

Since 1979, the annual Rensselaerswijck seminars have drawn hundreds of scholars from both sides of the Atlantic to the Albany, New York area. Organized by the New Netherland Institute (Albany, NY, www., each year new, original research on 17th century New Netherland is presented and discussed. In 1991, the first volume of A Beautiful and Fruitful Place was published, and it contained a selection of papers presented during the first ten years of the seminars. In Volume 2, editors Elizabeth Paling Funk and Martha Dickinson Shattuck compiled a selection of twenty-seven papers presented over the period 1988-1997 by more than two dozen researchers. Topics include the Leisler period; Dutch heritage in 19th-century American literature; Dutch cooking in the Hudson Valley; the Hartford Treaty; the failure by the West India Company (WIC) to stimulate farming on Manhattan; the WIC and the Reformed church; and legislation, government, jurisprudence and law in the Dutch West India colonies. A first-rate collection of original research.

William N. Goetzmann, Catherine Labio, K. Geert Rouwenhorst and Timothy G. Young (eds), The Great Mirror of Folly—Finance, Culture and the Crash of 1720, (Yale University Press, 2013).

The 1720 a global stock market bubble and crash wiped out many speculators’ fortunes in Amsterdam, London and Paris. This led to the publication of Het Groote Tafereel der Dwaasheid (Great Mirror of Folly) in 1720, a collection of satirical prints, plays, poetry and financial prospectuses. They were reproduced in this book and are companied by essays written by scholars in art & social history and economics, including Yale finance professors Goetzmann and Rouwenhorst, Catherine Labio (University of Colorado) and Timothy Young (curator of the Beinecke Rare Book collection at Yale).

Rod Gragg, The Pilgrim Chronicles—An Eyewitness History of the Pilgrims and The Founding of Plymouth Colony, (Regnery Publishing, 2014)

The pursuit of religious freedom led the Pilgrims first to the Netherlands, ten years later to Plymouth. Gragg’s book tells the story well. Contains many interesting illustrations.

Evan Haefeli, New Netherland and the Dutch Origins of American Religious Liberty, (University of Pennsylvania Press).

From the Publisher: “The book offers a new reading of the way tolerance operated in colonial America. Using sources in several languages and looking at laws and ideas as well as their enforcement and resistance, Evan Haefeli shows that, although tolerance as a general principle was respected in the colony, there was a pronounced struggle against it in practice”.

Johannes Postma & Victor Enthoven (eds), Riches from Atlantic Commerce: Dutch Transatlantic Trade and Shipping, 1585- 1817, (Brill Academic Publishers, 2003).

One reviewer wrote: “Taken as a whole, Riches for Atlantic Commerce paints a picture of the tenacity of the Dutch and their ability to squeeze profit from an empire that was crumbling and to find opportunities in a system that they were systematically being forced out of….Contemporaries of the Dutch Atlantic merchants likely underestimated their impact on the Atlantic economies, a mistake this volume seeks to prevent modern historians from repeating”.

Jaap Jacobs & L.H. Roper (eds), Worlds of Seventeenth-Century Hudson Valley, (Excelsior Editions, 2014).

From the Publisher: “This book provides an in-depth introduction to the issues involved in the expansion of European interests to the Hudson Valley…incorporates the latest historical insights…[into] the world in which American Indians and Europeans interacted”.

Susanah Shaw Romney, New Netherland Connections: Intimate Networks and Atlantic Ties in Seventeenth Century America, (University of North Carolina Press, 2014). 

From the Publisher: “…Romney locates the foundations of the early modern Dutch empire in interpersonal transactions among women and men. As West India Company ships began sailing westward in the early seventeenth century, soldiers, sailors and settlers drew on kin and social relationships to function within the Atlantic economy and the nascent colony of New Netherland in the greater Hudson Valley. Using vivid stories culled from Dutch-language archives, Romney brings to the fore the essential role of women forming and securing these relationships. This work pioneers a new understanding of the development of an early modern empire as arising out of personal ties”.

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