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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Postcard Thursday: The Fall of New Netherland

A postcard reproduction of The Fall of New Amsterdam, from the series "The Pageant of a Nation" by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (ca. 1932)

On September 24, 1664, the colony of New Netherland surrendered to the English, officially becoming New York.

As we write in Inside the Apple:
[Following] the restoration of Charles II to the throne in 1660...the king’s ministers—notably his brother, James, Duke of York—had great territorial plans for the New World, which included complete English control of the area from Boston to the Carolinas.... Despite having been sheltered in the Netherlands during Cromwell’s interregnum (or, perhaps, because of it), the Duke had a very low opinion of the Dutch. In March 1664, his brother the king granted him a remarkable charter for most of New England, including Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and—most particularly—New Netherland. The Duke not only wanted to annoy the Dutch, he wanted to disrupt Dutch shipping, specifically between New Netherland, the Caribbean, and the African (or “Guinea”) Coast.... 
To conquer New Amsterdam, the Duke dispatched Richard Nicolls, who had fought in the Civil War and had, for his service, been elevated to the role of Groom of the Bedchamber (the knight in charge of dressing the Duke). Nicolls was given four ships, approximately six hundred soldiers, and instructions to keep New Amsterdam as intact as possible.... 
In twenty-three Articles of Capitulation, he extracted concessions from the English, including forbidding them from quartering soldiers in civilian homes, and making them promise to quit the island if word arrived from Europe that the Dutch had won it back. 
On September 8, 1664, with great pomp, Peter Stuyvesant and the Dutch garrison marched out of Fort Amsterdam and the flag of the Dutch West India Company was lowered for the last time. By nightfall, the cross of St. George was in its place and the town had a new name: New York, in honor of the Duke, its new patron.
On September 24, the second-most important town, Fort Orange—today the capital, Albany—surrendered to the English, making the takeover of the colony complete.

* * * *
On Sunday, October 11, at 3PM
join us for a walking tour of Little Italy

Go to
for details about the tour and information on how to sign up.

* * * *

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