In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World, Nicole Maskiell, an associate professor of History at the University of South Carolina and the author of Bound By Bondage: Slavery and the Creation of the Northern Gentry (Cornell Univ. Press, 2022) joins Liz Covart to investigate the practice of slavery in Dutch New Netherland and how the colony’s elite families built their wealth and power on the labor, skills, and bodies of enslaved Africans and African Americans. [Read more…] about Wealth and Slavery in New Netherland
What does it mean to be of Dutch extraction in the United States? Pella, situated on the Iowa plains, was the destination of choice for hundreds of Dutch families, led by Hendrick Pieter Scholte, after the Afscheiding (Secession) of 1834 split the Dutch Reformed Church. What is still Dutch and what has changed over time? Valerie Van Kooten, Executive Director of the Pella Historical Society and Museums, tells us about her childhood. [Read more…] about Dutch-American Stories: Growing Up Dutch
The work that historians do influences their lives, especially if they spend a considerable time in a foreign land that they write about. Slowly, their topic of choice becomes an essential part of their identity. Russell Shorto, a renowned writer of narrative history, writes about his own evolution at the intersection of Dutch-American history.
This essay concerns itself with the intersection of Dutch and American history. Previous posts have explored slavery in New Amsterdam, the naming – and renaming – of that city, and John Adams’ role as unofficial ambassador to the Netherlands during the American war of independence. As I pondered the task of contributing to that lineup, and scrolled through a mental list of possible topics, it occurred to me that, as I have lived at the intersection of Dutch and American history for more than twenty years, my own identity, and its evolution over that time, might be a relevant topic. [Read more…] about Russell Shorto: The Dutch-American Perspective
Undoubtedly, you have heard or read Clement Moore’s famous poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (1822), but have you ever wondered where the traditions of stockings, presents, and cookies come from? And what about jolly old Saint Nick? Who was he and why do we call him Santa Claus?
In this episode of the “Ben Franklin’s World” podcast, Peter G. Rose, culinary historian of Dutch foodways in North America and author of Delicious December: How the Dutch Brought Us Santa, Presents, and Treats (SUNY Press, 2014), joins me to discuss the origins of Santa Claus, cookies, and more in the United States. [Read more…] about Dutch History of Christmas Treats With Peter Rose
In the latest episode of The History Twins, Carla Lynne Hall and Jim Keyes discuss Christmas traditions in Colonial New York.The ingredients of modern Christmas are believed to have started in New Netherland, the Dutch colony founded in 1625, which later became New York. [Read more…] about Christmas Traditions in Colonial New York
On the December 2022 Crossroads of Rockland History, Jennifer Brooks, Public Education and Outreach Coordinator at the Historical Society of Rockland County, joined host Clare Sheridan to discuss Dutch Holiday Traditions.
They traced the line between the traditions of early Dutch settlers in Rockland County and surrounding areas to the growth of our modern American Christmas and explored the history behind our holiday traditions. Where did they come from? Who is Saint Nicholas, and how did he become Santa Claus? Why is the December season known for gift-giving and charity? What’s with the tree and the chimney? And what does any of this have to do with religion? [Read more…] about A Dutch Holiday Traditions Podcast
In 1658, 17-year-old Jan Janse Bleecker set sail from Mappel, Overyssel in the Netherlands for Nieuw Amsterdam (now New York City) in the Dutch colony of New Netherland. He knew that Dutch traders had established a trading post there about 45 years earlier.
In 1629, Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, a partner in the Dutch West India Company, had obtained rights to establish a settlement and control the fur trade at Fort Orange located about 150 miles north of New Amsterdam. [Read more…] about Albany’s Harmanus Bleecker, 19th Century Ambassador to The Netherlands
For the first decade of its existence, New Amsterdam was a rough place. Located on the tip of Manhattan Island, it was a haven for pirates and smugglers. Many of the earliest rules and regulations were an attempt to control the unruly citizens of a backwater outpost, but officials proved unable to lay down the law. Intemperate drinking was one of the problems.
In 1640 permission was granted by Willem Kieft, Director of the New Netherland Colony, for liquor to be distilled on Staten Island – in contemporary Dutch: Staaten Eylandt – where what is believed to have been the first commercial distillery in North America was built (today Staten Island is home to the Booze History Museum). [Read more…] about Early Distilling History: Puritan Bibles, Gin & Schnapps
The earliest Swiss immigrants to North America were religious refugees. This group consisted predominantly of German speaking Anabaptists who began settling in eastern Pennsylvania from the mid-seventeenth century onward following a schism among the Brethren in 1693 which led to a division between Mennonites (named after Menno Simons of Friesland) and Amish (named after their leader Jakob Ammann who was born in the canton of Bern). [Read more…] about Swiss Americans, Neuchâtel and the Slave Trade
Over the centuries, numerous American visitors to the Netherlands produced travel accounts, filled with their fresh insights and observations as they viewed the familiar from a foreigner’s perspective. John Romeyn Brodhead is no exception, but he was not a regular tourist. He was, or rather became, a man with a mission, hunting for American history in Dutch archives. [Read more…] about The 19th Century Hunt for New York’s Dutch History