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New Amsterdam

Henry Hudson´s Halve MaanNew Amsterdam 400 Years - In 1609, the Dutch East India Company ship DeHalveMaen (The Half Moon) entered the harbor of what is now called New York. The river it explored still carries the name of the ship’s commander, an Englishman named Henry Hudson.

Subsequent trading  missions led to the formation of the New Netherland Company which stretched from Delaware to Connecticut. In 1621, the States General of the  Netherlands established the Dutch West India Company. Around this time, Dutch and Walloon families formed a small community at the southern tip  of the island, though the precise date and circumstances of New Amsterdam’s creation remain the subject of debate. Also in question is the location of the almost mythical purchase by the Dutch provincial Director General of the land now known as Manhattan .


The year 2009 marked the 400th birthday of New York City, as it was four centuries ago that captain Henry Hudson made his voyage up famous river that would named for him, and claimed Manhattan for the Dutch.

Meeting the native inhabitants for the first time, Hudson’s first mate, Robert  Juet, wrote on September 2 1609, “the people of the country ‘seemed’ very glad of our coming and were very civil.” But it seems that by the  second day the welcome was already wearing out, and on the third day, he reported that five sailors on a scouting mission were “set upon” by two  dozen natives in two canoes and that an Englishman, John Coleman, was killed with an arrow to the throat. By 1624, the presence of the Dutch  became permanent with the founding of a Dutch fur trading settlement on Governors Island.

In 1625 construction was started on a citadel and a  Fort Amsterdam on Manhattan Island, later called New Amsterdam (Nieuw Amsterdam). Its 1625 establishment is recognized as the birth date of  New York City. In 1626, Manhattan was acquired from native people in exchange for trade goods worth 60 guilders (about 500 euros in today’s money) Additionally, the sale was transacted with the Canarsee tribe, who did not live on the island. The tribe that did live on the island were not  contacted or consulted about the transfer. In 1647, Peter Stuyvesant was appointed as the last Dutch Director General of the colony. New Amsterdam was formally incorporated as a city  in February 2,  1653. In 1664, the British conquered the city and renamed it "New York"

In 2009, the Dutch will for the first time exhibit evidence  of the legendary sale of Manhattan Island for $24: Peter Schaghen’s 1626 letter announcing to the “High and Mighty Lords” of the West Indian  Company that the settlers in Lower Manhattan were in good spirits; had borne some children; grew wheat, barley and other grain; and bought the roughly 22,000-acre island for 60 guilders worth of goods.


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