Eye witness account of the English takeover of New Amsterdam
(recently discovered, courtesy Leiden University)

                                               Schenectady, October 5th 1664 
Furthermore I let you know that three English ships have come to Manhattan with soldiers and they claimed the land and said that it belongs to their king and Stuyvesant has has given it with consent, without even shooting. The English soldiers say that Stuyvesant and de Decker have sold the land already two years ago. On the 28th of September a hundred soldiers with their officers went into Fort Orange with approval and in the guardhouse. And the English now stand watch there. The English made a good deal, if they can keep it. But we hope that the Dutch will come again and retake the land from them. The English made a deal that no ships from Holland may come into the harbor with her business.
Heinderick Meessen Vrooman

Fifty five years before in 1609, more than 400 years ago Dutch immigrants started to create a home form home. Their war of independence against the Habsburg rule of Spain created the world trading power of that era.
They built a harbor to a new continent, as a consequence of a misunderstanding that a northern passage would be possible to the Dutch east Indies.
The beginning of a development that unleashed the economical and political powerhouse that resulted in the United States of America after a war of independence.
The Act of Independence of the Dutch stood example for the American Declaration of Independence.

The Dutch province of New Netherland lasted for half a century. The influence of the immigrants lasts much longer.
As a consequence of the conditions of the surrender one of the backbones of the Dutch culture remains in tact. The Dutch Reformed Church remains, next to the Anglican Church of which the English king was head. In 1776 a hundred years later the last "dominie" was called from the Fatherland in the town of Claverack, upstate New York. By the end of the 18th sermons in the English language are common in the former colony. The Dutch language dies out as late as the 1930's in the Mohawk Valley.

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