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on June 17, 2010
Since the 400th anniversary of the first arrival at New York, I have been looking for a suitable history of the Dutch period. This is the one. Well-researched, well-written (excepting a few odd locutions), and just the right depth for an amateur. I was reading it as context for my genealogical research, and it opened my eyes on many puzzles. Also, much to my surprise, I found a few of my ancestors.
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on November 27, 2012
I have a great interest in this colony since my great grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins were founders. This book provided much more information than I have found in other books, although it was more of a textbook, than a non-fiction novel. In some cases, it appears that the writer is not english speaker first; or, they copied information from a document that was written by a Dutchman. Regardless, it is full of facts and scenarios and brings the colony alive, and includes several references to my distant relations. So I found it quite interesting. And anyone that has not gone to downtown New York, should do so to see how narrow the streets are and where this all began.
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on February 20, 2015
A well documented, detailed and scholarly approach to historical events. Not the easiest book to read, it has the approach of a verbal lecture, with some recurring redundancies ( as if to note this maybe a question on the exam) and a " sort of" summary at the end of various segments. That said it is an interesting and pleasurable book to read due to the detail and extensive research that went into this manuscript. It completes many of the answers that I had reading Island in the Center of the World ( A fictional novel based on historical facts). This and other recent books have opened up the history of early settlements between the Connecticut and Delaware Rivers. Bowery is the anglification of an old Dutch word meaning , literally, "to build" as in raising crops, something left unsaid when describing Commanders Bowery. Piet Hein
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on December 1, 2013
I purchased this book while researching material in writing my family history. My ancestors were among the original Dutch colonists. It covered the political, economic and social history exceptionally well.
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on July 6, 2015
Of course, being Dutch by birth I am very proud of such excellent history book about the Colony of New Netherlands! It is long overdue that people should start reading about this very valuable influence that the Dutch had on the USA.
Highly recommend this excellent book!
Mariette's Back to Basics
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on November 24, 2013
Great summary of the Dutch in early America. The biography is outstanding and reflects the effort done to write the book.
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on March 21, 2015
This is informative but a tedious read. It's more of a scholarly work than a novel. One problem I had was the author used Dutch words for the various administrators of different ranks but didn't really define the limits of their duties. Some were easy to distinguish but others were vague or non-existent. I actually bought and read this book and several others just to find one name, Tunis Pietersz Surdam who is the 4th or 5th great grandfather of my wife. He was in Beverwyck around 1650 and had a couple kids baptized in the Dutch Reformed Church there. Then he vanished and his wife, daughter and a couple of sons moved to Salisbury CN. Then some of them moved back to Hoosick and added a Van in front of the Surdam or the Dutch census taker added it for them. Some continued with the Van some didn't but it's the same family.
I haven't finished reading the book yet but not much is left.
Would I recommend it? Not unless you are on a genealogy hunt with an obsessive/compulsive disorder.
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on July 13, 2015
The book gives mme some insight aas to why my ancestors came to New Netherlands and why they moved south. Not a novel for easy reading
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on January 18, 2013
My first direct relative came over from the Neatherlands in 1651 and setttled in New Amsterdam. Many of the family homes are in this book. This is a great reference book.
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on September 10, 2012
I have not bought this book, but a search across its contents turned up no mention of Cornelius Melyn in the body of the text. He is only referenced in the bibliography.
Melyn was the chairman of Kieft's eight man governing body and he was probably the second most influential man in the Dutch colony at that time. He was, more than anyone, responsible for Kieft's departure, which opened the door for Stuyvesant's appointment.
How can a book of 300+ pages not mention the second (and perhaps foremost) most powerful man in the early days of the colony?
Very strange. Perhaps the Look Inside search tool is not so good?
I will probably buy the book anyway.
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