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ABH Travel Tip
You can visit much of the Pre-Revolution history of the United States throughout the many trails and historic sites of the nation. And don't miss out on the Native American history throughout Florida or other regions. The history of the nation and North America comes from the culture of the many tribes that made up the mosaic of human culture in each state. They were here before the majority of us, after all, and their history is an amazing collection of wonder, beauty, and dedication to the land that sits beneath us.
Picture above: Pocahontas, Source: World Noted Women, D. Appleton and Company, 1883, Wikipedia Commons. Right: Pocahontas Saving the Life of Captain John Smith, New England Chromo. Lithograph Company, 1870. Courtesy Library of Congress.
Pre-Revolution Timeline - The 1600s
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September 8, 1664 - Three hundred British troops seize New Netherlands from the Dutch in a peaceful takeover. The Duke of York, brother to Charles II, is granted the Dutch province and city of New Amsterdam, renaming them New York.
The new world colonies were changing and Dutch, English, French, and Spanish colonies were becoming battlegrounds for that change, though some did not even need a battle. It was no different in the Dutch colony of New Netherlands, which covered the territory from Cape Cod to the Delmarva peninsula with reached into the current states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Connecticut, with small pockets of Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. New Netherlands had started out from the adventures of Henry Hudson, sailing for the Dutch East India Company, and in some ways, the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. In 1609, he sailed for the Orient, but instead found himself in Newfoundland and the coast near Cape Cod. Undeterred, he continued searching for a passage to the Pacific Ocean, sailing up the Delaware Bay and the Hudson River. More expeditions under the auspices of Amsterdam continued through 1614, leading to Block's map of New Netherlands, and a subsequent exclusive trade charter by the Seven United Netherlands to the New Netherlands Company on March 17, 1614 between the 40th and 45th parallels. They would take four voyages through 1618 to chart the land and establish trade.
It would be a private venture, New Netherlands, and started out with forts near Albany, Fort Nassau, which failed by the end of the patent. A subsequent patent for fur trading in New Netherlands was gained by the Dutch East India Company. Their mission was to develop trading posts and not large colonies, engaging with the Five Nations of the Iroquois and other partners. Colonial aspirations began to change in 1624 when the Dutch Republic claimed New Netherlands as a province, agreed to lower its claims to the 42nd parallel, and in May, landed thirty families at Fort Orange and Governor's Island. When Peter Minuit became governor of New Netherlands in 1626, he decided that Manhattan should be the capital of the province, bought it from the natives, and erected Fort Amsterdam. By 1653, the city of New Amsterdam had grown around the fort and port and was granted a municipal charter.
Here Come the English
The English colonies of New England had a different mission from the start, focusing on settlement and expansion of colonists in the colonies of Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven. The New England Confederation was formed in 1643 between those colonies as a military and political alliance. They had begun to encroach on Dutch territory in 1637, continuing to push through Connecticut in the eastern part of the state, and with limited Dutch settlers in those and other areas (there were only 7-8,000 New Netherlanders by 1664), the Dutch did little to deter them. In March of 1664, King Charles II of England make a resolution, he wanted to annex New Netherlands for the English.
On August 17, 1664, four frigates with three hundred soldiers under Richard Nicolls sailed into New Amsterdam and demanded Dutch surrender. With little fortification, Director General Peter Stuyvesant negotatiated Articles of Transfer and surrendered with no shots fired. At his Bowery home, Stuyvesant signed the document granting Dutch colonists their religious freedom. They were treated fairly in the New Amsterdam and Hudson River Valley, but not to the south. Within six years, the two nations were at war again, with the Dutch sailing into New Amsterdam with twenty-one ships in August 1673. They captured the city, renamed it New Orange, but could not retain it. One year later, the Treaty of Westminster, in November 1674, gave the city back to the English.
Full Text, Articles of Transfer
Richard Nicholls, September 29, 1664.
True Copy of Articles, whereupon the Citty and Fort Amsterdam and Province of the New Netherlands were surrendered under His Most Exc. Ma. Obedience, made and concluded the 27th day of September 1664, under the underwritten Comm. of Richard Nicholls Esqr Deputy Gov. of His Royal Highness the Duke of York and Peter Stuyvesand in the name of the Estates Generalls of the United Belgick Provinces and West India Company Govern. of the sd Town and ffort and Generall of that Province and in that quality ratified, and by their subscription confirmed the 29th day of the abovesd Month and year.
We consent that the States Generall, or the West India Company shall freely enjoy all ffarms & Houses (except such as are in the fforts) and that within six months they shall have free liberty to transport, all such arms and ammunition as now do belong to them, or else they shall by payd for them.
2. All publick Houses shall continue for the uses, wch. now they are for.
3. All people shall continue free Denizons and enjoy their Lands, Houses, Goods, Ships, wherever they are within this Country, and dispose of them as they please.
4. If any inhabitant have a mind to remove himself he shall have a year and six weeks from this day to remove himself, Wife, Children, Serv. Goods and to dispose of his Land here.
5. If any officer of State of publick Minister of State have a mind to go for England they shall be transported fraught free in his Ma. ffriggatts, when those ffriggats shall returne thither.
6. It is consented to, that any people may freely come from the Netherlands and plant in this Country; and that Dutch Vessells may freely come hither, and any of the Dutch may freely return home, or send any sort of Netherlandizes home in Vessells of their own Country.
7. All ships from the Netherlands or any other places, and goods therin, shall be received here & sent hence, after the manner, wch. Formerly they were before our coming hither for six months next ensuing.
8. The Dutch here shall enjoy their Liberty of their Consciences in Divine Worship and Church Dissipline.
9. No Dutchman here or Dutch ships here shall upon any occasion be prest to serve in Warr against any Nation whatsoever.
10. That the Townesman of the Manhattoo shall not have any Soldiers quartered upon them wth. out being satisfied and payd for them, by their officers, and that at this present, if the ffort be not capable of lodging all the Soldiers, then the Burge Master by His officers shall appoint some House capable to [reward] them.
11. The Dutch here shall enjoy their own Customs concerning their Inheritances.
12. All publick writing and Records wch. Concerns the Inheritances of any people, or the Regulment of the Church or Poor or Orphans shall bee carefully kept by them in whose hands now they are, and such writings as particularly concern the states generall all may att any time be sent to them.
13. No Judgement that hath passed any Judicature here shall be called in question, but if any conceive that he hath not had Justice done him, if hee apply himself to the states Generall, the other party shall bee bound to answer for the supposed Injury.
14. If any Dutch living here shall att any time desire to travell or traffique into England or any place or Plantation in obedience to his Ma. of England, or with the Indians he shall have (upon his Request to the Gov.) a Certificate that he is a free Denizon of this Place, and Liberty to do so.
15. If itt do appear that there is a publick ingagement of Debt by the Town of Manhatons, and a way agreed on for the satisfying of a g'engagement. It is agreed that the same proposed shall goon and that the engagement shall bee satisfied.
16. All inferior Civill officers and Magistrated shall contrive as now they are (if they please) till the customary time of new Elections; and then new ones to be chosen by themselves Provided that such new ones Magistrates shall take the Oath of Allegiance to his Ma. of England before they enter upon their Office.
17. All Differences of Contracts and Bargains made before this day by any in this Country shall bee determined according to the manner of the Dutch.
18. If it do appear that the west India Company of Amsterdam do really ow any Summs of mony to any persons here, itt is agreed that Recognition and other Duties payable by Ships going for the Motherlands, bee continued for six months longer.
19. The officers Military & Soldiers shall march out with their Armes, Drums Bating and Colours flying, and lighted matches; and if any of them will plant they shall have fifty acres of land sett out for them; if any of them will serve any as Servants they shall continue with all safety and become free Denizons afterwards.
20. If at any time hereafter the King of Great Britaine and the States of the Motherlands do agree that this place and Country be redelivered into the hands of the said States whensoever his Ma. will send his Commands to redeliver itt, itt shall immediately be done.
21. That the Town of Manhatons shall choose Deputies and those Deputies shall have free vogues in all publick affairs as much as any other Deputies.
22. Those who have any propriety in any Houses in the ffort of [aurania] shall (if they please) slight the ffortifications there, and they enjoy all these houses as all people do where there is no ffort.
23. If there be any Soldiers that will go into Holland and if the Company of West India in Amsterdam, or any private persons here will transport them into Holland, then they shall have a sage Passport from Coll Richard Nicholls Deputy Govern. under His Royall Highness, and the other Comm. to defend the ship that shall transport such Soldiers, and all the goods in them from any suprizall or Acts of Hostility to be done by any of his Ma. Ships or Subjects.
That the Copy of the Kings grant to His Royall Highness, and the Coppy of His Royall Highness Commission to Coll Nicholls testified by two Comm. now and M. Winthrop to be true Coppies shall be delivered to the Hon. M. Stuyvesant the present Govern. of Munday next by sight of the Clock in the morning at the old Milne and these Articles consented to, and signed by Coll Rich. Nicholls Dep Govern. to His Royal Highness, and that within two hours after the ffort and Town called New Amsterdam upon the Isle of Manhatons, shall be delivered into the hands of the sd Coll Richard Nicholls by the Service of such as shall be by him thereunto deputed by his hand and seal.
I give my consent to those articles.
Johan d dechere
Oloft Stopons Van Cortland
Source: Image above: Drawing of New Amsterdam, 1664, Johannes Vingboons. Courtesy Wikipedia Commons. Image below: Map of New England and New Netherlands, 1684, Nicolaas Visscher II. Courtesy Wikipedia Commons. Info source: Wikipedia; Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Gilderlehrman.org; World Digital Library.
History Photo Bomb
America's Best History where we take a look at the timeline of American History and the historic sites and national parks that hold that history within their lands.
Photos courtesy of the Library of Congress, National Archives, National Park Service, americasbesthistory.com & its licensors.