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Learn about New York City’s colonial Dutch heritage by taking a virtual tour of the Nieuw Amsterdam Trail though lower Manhattan. Use the “First >>” button above to see these markers in sequence.
New York (New York County), New York — Fort AmsterdamBirth of a City: Nieuw Amsterdam & Old New York
INTRODUCTION In September 1609, Henry Hudson and some 20 seamen sailed their ship, the Halve Maen (Half Moon), into what is today New York harbor. The Dutch East India Company expected Hudson to find a passage to Asia. Instead, his voyage allowed the Dutch to claim a territory they would call Nieuw Nederland – today parts of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Connecticut. In 1625-26, the new Dutch West India Company established an outpost here at Manhattan’s tip . . . — Map (db m24090) HM
New York (New York County), New York — Beaver’s PathBirth of a City: Nieuw Amsterdam & Old New York
BEAVER’S PATH Location:   Battery Place at Greenwich Street Dutch Name:   Bever Straet Here, on a sandyshore, Lenape Indians beached their canoes to trade beaver and otter pelts for Dutch cloth, kettles, and metal tools. To the Lenape, this was Manahatt, a word perhaps meaning “island of many hills.” Native peoples had lived in the region for some ten thousand years. Here they camped, hunted, fished, and farmed. Their footpaths crisscrossed the island, and some . . . — Map (db m24093) HM
New York (New York County), New York — Petrus Stuyvesant’s Great HouseBirth of a City: Nieuw Amsterdam & Old New York
PETRUS STUYVESANT'S GREAT HOUSE Location: Whitehall Street between Pearl & State Streets Dutch Name: Opt Waeter Near this site stood the “Great House” of Petrus Stuyvesant (c. 1612-1672), Nieuw Nederland’s last director. A colonial administrator who had lost his right leg to a Spanish cannonball in the Caribbean, Stuyvesant arrived on Manhattan in 1647 to impose order on the Dutch West India Company’s diverse and outspoken colonists. Stuyvesant encouraged the trade in . . . — Map (db m24081) HM
New York (New York County), New York — Stadt Huys (City Hall)Birth of a City: Nieuw Amsterdam & Old New York
STADT HUYS (CITY HALL) Location:   Broad Street & Coenties Alley Dutch Name:   Langs Straet (Along the Shore) New York’s first city government began meeting across the street in 1653, after the Dutch West India Company agreed to grant municipal rights to the townspeople. Built as a waterfront tavern in 1642, the structure served well as the city hall because it was one of the town’s largest public buildings. Appointed by Director-General Stuyvesant and his council, burgomasters and . . . — Map (db m24124) HM
New York (New York County), New York — Asser Levy’s HomeBirth of a City: Nieuw Amsterdam & Old New York
ASSER LEVY’S HOME Location:   Stone Street at Mill Lane Dutch Name:   Hoogh Straet (High Street) In a house on this site lived the Jewish trader and butcher Asser Levy. Possibly born in Lithuania, Levy probably came here from Amsterdam in 1654, the same year 23 other Jews fleeing Portuguese persecution arrived from Brazil. Director-General Stuyvesant and the town’s Dutch clergy wanted to expel them from the colony. But the Dutch West India Company insisted that Stuyvesant let the Jews . . . — Map (db m24119) HM
New York (New York County), New York — Adriaen van der Donck’s HomeBirth of a City: Nieuw Amsterdam & Old New York
ADRIAEN VAN DER DONCK’S HOME Location:   Marketfield Street at Broad Street Dutch Name:   Het Marckvelt Steegie In a house that stood a few feet from here lived lawyer Adriaen van der Donck (c. 1620 - c. 1655), author of the Remonstrance of New Netherland (1649). He wanted to persuade officials in the Dutch Republic to take over the Nieuw Nederland colony from the Dutch West India Company. Like other settlers, he also wanted Nieuw Amsterdam to have its own city government. . . . — Map (db m24116) HM
New York (New York County), New York — Lord’s CanalBirth of a City: Nieuw Amsterdam & Old New York
LORDS’ CANAL Location:   Broad Street Dutch Name:   Heere Gracht Director-General Petrus Stuyvesant had workmen create the Gracht, or Canal, here on the site of a small creek during the 1650s. The canal stretched from near today’s Exchange Place to the East River shore at Pearl Street. Townspeople built bridges crossing it at what are now Beaver Street, Stone Street, and Bridge Street. The canal provided security against fires, bringing a supply of water into the heart of the town. . . . — Map (db m24114) HM
New York (New York County), New York — Andries Rees’s TavernBirth of a City: Nieuw Amsterdam & Old New York
ANDRIES REES’S TAVERN Location:   William Street and Wall Street Dutch Name:   Smit Straet Here, in 1660, Andries Rees ran a tavern serving his fellow colonists. Taverns were lively centers of social life in the Netherlands, and Dutch settlers carried the tradition across the Atlantic. Entrepreneurs like Rees sold rum and wine imported from the Caribbean and Europe, as well as locally-brewed beer. Drunkenness and tavern violence were problems in Nieuw Amsterdam. In 1663, Rees was . . . — Map (db m24113) HM
New York (New York County), New York — The WallBirth of a City: Nieuw Amsterdam & Old New York
THE WALL Location: Wall Street Dutch Name: Langs de Wal Here, in 1653, Nieuw Amsterdam’s settlers built a wall running from the Hudson River to the East River to defend their town against attack. They feared invasion by England and her New England colonists. Later, they also worried about raids by Lenape Indians. Townsmen armed themselves and formed a militia to patrol the wall and guard their homes. The wood-planked wall stood 9 feet high, and allowed soldiers to fire at invaders . . . — Map (db m24079) HM
New York (New York County), New York — Stream for Washing LaundryBirth of a City: Nieuw Amsterdam & Old New York
STREAM FOR WASHING LAUNDRY Location:   Maiden Lane Dutch Name:   ‘t Maagde Paatje Here, in the 1600’s, a stream ran into the East River, along the course of what is now Maiden Lane. A footpath brought Dutch “maidens” to wash laundry in the stream’s fresh water. By 1658 this was known as ‘t Maagde Paatje, the maidens’ path. After the English took over in 1664, it became “Maiden Lane.” When New York City expanded northward above Wall Street and the stream was . . . — Map (db m24101) HM
New York (New York County), New York — WindmillBirth of a City: Nieuw Amsterdam & Old New York
INTRODUCTION In September 1609, Henry Hudson and some 20 seamen sailed their ship, the Halve Maen (Half Moon), into what is today New York harbor. The Dutch East India Company expected Hudson to find a passage to Asia. Instead, his voyage allowed the Dutch to claim a territory they would call Nieuw Nederland – today parts of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Connecticut. In 1625-26, the new Dutch West India Company established an outpost here at Manhattan’s tip . . . — Map (db m24046) HM
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