Governors Island in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Dutch and Governors Island
The Dutch East India Company commissioned Henry Hudson to identify a northwest passage to the Indies. As a part of that effort, Hudson entered New York Bay on September 11, 1609 in his vessel The Half Moon and sailed up the river that now bears his name. Over the next 15 years, the area was surveyed by company representatives while temporary trading outposts were established.
For the Dutch to establish permanent territorial claim in the area, they needed not only to discover and chart the area, but settle it as well. In part to achieve this, a party of Dutch settlers wintered on Governors Island in 1624, which they termed Nooten Eylamdt. The area’s inhabitants at the time of the Dutch arrival were the Lenape Indians, one of the oldest of the Algonquian tribes. Nooten Eylandt is thought to be the Dutch translation of the Lenape name “Pagganack” or “Nut Island.”
After approximately one year on Governors Island, many Dutch relocated to Manhattan while others used the island as a jumping off point to settle outposts north along the Hudson River. The Dutch built a sawmill on Governors Island to mill the valuable nut trees into lumber for some of Manhattan’s first buildings. An archeological study has identified possible signs of this sawmill in the area where you stand. Unlike the well known water
In 1637, Wouter van Twiller, the governor of the New Amsterdam colony, is thought to have traded nominal trinkets with the Lenape for Governors Island. Van Twiller anticipated using the Island for his personal use. The trade was undertaken in the same manner as Peter Minuit when he traded trinkets for Manhattan Island in 1626. The concept of property sale of this sort was not known in Lenape culture and they were not likely to have considered the arrangement permanent. Upon van Twiller’s removal from the governor position, the Island reverted to the public domain. Through the Treaty of Westminster in 1674 the Dutch ceded the Island to the British.
Location. 40° 41.44′ N, 74° 0.795′ W. Marker is in Governors Island, New York, in New York County. Marker can be reached from Barry Road, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is located in the Historic District of Governors Island. Marker is in this post office area: New York NY 10004, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Governors House (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named The Governor’s House (a few steps from this marker); a different marker The Governor’s House (within shouting distance of this marker); Commanding Officer’s Quarters (within shouting distance of this marker); Omaha Dock (within shouting distance of this marker); Nolan Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Kimmel Road (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Pershing Hall (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Governors Island.
More about this marker. Two pictures appear on the right side of the marker: a portrait of Wouter van Twiller and a picture of Henry Hudson’s Half Moon, 1609.
Also see . . .
1. History of Governors Island. The Trust for Governors Island website. (Submitted on September 13, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
2. Governors Island. New York Harbor Parks website. (Submitted on September 13, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
3. Governors Island National Monument. National Park Service website. (Submitted on September 13, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. • Colonial Era • Native Americans •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 13, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 458 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 13, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.