image from www.OnlyinHolland.com
The Netherlands America Foundation (NAF) and the Henry Hudson 400 Foundation are preparing for a year of celebrations of Dutch American heritage, specifically surrounding the founding of Nieuw Amsterdam (AKA New York – Manhattan) by Henry Hudson for the West Indische Compagnie (WIC) from Amsterdam. As already mentioned by John Nickles (HANFRA President), the purchase of Manhattan by Peter Stuyvesant is truly one of these deals any Realtor ™ would have wanted to be a part of!
In September a visit by the the Prince of Orange, HRH Prince Willem Alexander of the Netherlands and his beautiful Argentine wife, Princess Maxima, and a flottilla with a copy of the Halve Maen, the ship commandeered by Henry Hudson in 1609, will be the crowning event for these celebrations, not to be missed.
The Dutch origins of New York, as sometimes master paintings are also painted over other original works, still clearly show their contours in current day New York, no matter how much history has been re-writen by the English Puritans of New England.
New York still stands for business, free trade, diversity, tolerance, and freedom. Just as did the original Netherlanders who founded Nieuw Amsterdam, after years of religious freedom wars against the Spanish Inquisition. A great book about the early days of Manhattan and the still strongly felt Dutch influence on today’s Manhattan Island was written by Russell Shorto & my friend Charles Gehring “Manhattan, island at the center of the World” a must read for any New Yorker!