A Dutch City in America

By | Feb 2, 2010

During the early part of the 17th Century the English had a colonies in New England (the Plymouth Colony and ones along the Chesapeake Bay (Virginia and Maryland. Between these two areas the Dutch established the colony of New Amsterdam.

New Amsterdam was founded in 1625 outside of Fort Amsterdam located on an island on the Hudson River. The settlement had been moved from Governors Island.

Fort Amsterdam was created to defend the entrance of the Hudson River. The mouth of the river was a perfect place for the settlement . It had easy access to the ocean and was a great place to trade with traders and tarppers farther north.

On February 2, 1653 New Amsterdam received municipal rights becoming a city.

Many may not know the name New Amsterdam, but they sure know the name that the Dutch city on Manhattan Island was changed to a few years later when the English gained control of the city. After the Ditch ceded the city to England it was renamed after the Duke of York.

New Amsterdam is one of those unique 17th century cities in that being a Dutch settlement it’s history can be told through maps. The Dutch was the era’s pre-eminent cartographers.


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