Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Some history notes on the expulsion of the Dutch from Long Island and NY

The English and Dutch signed a treaty in 1650 (in Hartford), dividing Long Island along what is now the Suffolk border. The treaty was not ratified in London. King Charles II came back to the English throne in 1660 and decided to take New Netherland and give it to his Brother, James the Duke of York. In 1664 the British sent 500 troops and 4 ships, commanded by Colonel Richard Nicholls, to demand surrender. Peter Stuyvesant, the Dutch governor, handed the territories over after receiving no assistance from his own government.

New Amsterdam was renamed for the Duke of York. Nicholl's enacted strict laws known as the Duke's Laws. These laws reached into the personal lives of Long Islanders, and they resented it. Some Long Island representatives refused to ratify the laws. In 1673, the Dutch returned with a large fleet (some 23 ships, the largest fleet seen to that date in the area). The colonists did not support their totalitarian British rulers, and they had to surrender to the Dutch. New York became New Orange. But the Dutch were weakened by wider conflict with the British, and later traded New Orange back to them in exchange for Surinam.

Source: Bookbinder, Bernie. Long Island: People and Places, Past and Present. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1983

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