Peter Douglas's Totidem Verbis

Readers of the Marcurius newsletter have long enjoyed Peter Douglas's Totidem Verbis, a column about people, places and other miscellany related to the Dutch and their ventures around the world. Marcurius editor and NNRC Director Charly Gehring gave it the Latin name, displaying his inner linguist. It translates as "In So Many Words."

Many of Peter's pieces are now presented online, both prior ones from Marcurius and some not seen before.

OlivervanNoort133.jpgOlivier van Noort: The First Dutch Circumnavigator

Van Noort set sail from Rotterdam in 1598 aboard the Mauritius.




Riebeeck140.jpgAnother First for the Dutch: Cape Town

Jan van Riebeeck established the first European settlement in South Africa.




VanLaerNews.jpgA Tribute to A.J.F. van Laer

Van Laer's translations and transcriptions of Dutch colonial documents formed the foundation upon which the current New Netherland Project stands.




Wisselbank.jpgThe Amsterdamsche Wisselbank (Exchange Bank of Amsterdam)

In safeguarding a working credit system, the Wisselbank became a critical component of Dutch power throughout its "Golden Age" and served as a model for similar institutions that followed.




First_Shot.jpgThe First Shot Heard Around the World

William of Orange has the dubious honor of being the first head of state killed at close range with a handgun.




Evertsen.jpgThe Man Who Took Back New Netherland

A member of a distinguished dynasty of naval heroes, Cornelis Evertsen the Youngest impetuously took back New Netherland from the English in 1673.




Ruyter.jpgMichiel de Ruyter, Held van Nederland

Perhaps the most renowned admiral in Dutch history, much of De Ruyter's fame derives from his battles with the English in the Anglo-Dutch Wars.




VanLaerNews.jpgOut of the Ashes: A.J.F. van Laer and the 1911 Fire

The 1911 fire was a personal catastrophe to Van Laer, both in his official position and in his capacity as translator of Dutch colonial manuscripts.




Minuit.jpgThe Native Place of Manhattan: Where Did the Manhattan "Purchase" Take Place?

Numerous myths and misapprehensions have developed around the so-called Dutch "purchase" of Manhattan.




Hartog.jpgThe Dutch Discovery of Western Australia

In 1616, Dirk Hartog became the second European to make landfall in Australia and the first to sight Western Australia.




WillemJansz.gifAustralia's Dutch Columbus: Nieuw Holland, Not New Netherland

Under the command of Willem Janszoon , the Duyfken (Little Dove) became the first European vessel to make a recorded landfall on the Australian coast, 164 years before James Cook sailed the eastern coast.




Dutch_Ships.jpgThe Voyage of Pieter de Lint, 1598 - 1603

Separated from the rest of Oliver van Noort's fleet, De Lint sailed north along the Pacific coast of South America then struck out across the ocean to arrive in the Spice Islands. De Lint's voyage and the major role he played in ensuring the financial success of the mission have, until recently, never been properly documented.




Anthony van Diemen, The Man and his IslandVan_Diemen.jpg

Van Diemen's most historically significant act was his 1642 dispatch of Abel Tasman on a voyage that would eventually yield the discovery of the island of Tasmania, which Tasman named "Anthoonij van Diemenslandt" in honor of the Governor-General.




Cape_Horn.jpgCape Horn: How a Trading Monopoly, a Disenchanted Wealthy Merchant, and Two Dutch Explorers Put it on the Map

Cape Horn, the southernmost headland of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago named for the city of Hoorn in the distant Netherlands, became notorious as a sailors graveyard because of its strong currents, gales, and frequent storms.




1911_Capitol_Fire_Albany_NY.jpgThe Lessons of the Catastophe: A.J.F. van Laer's Report on the 1911 Capitol Fire

When a fire gutted much of the New York State Capitol and State Library in the early hours of March 29, 1911, few people, if any, could have been more devastated than State Archivist Arnold J.F. van Laer.




New_Amsterdam.pngNew Amsterdam is Old Hat

Although the name has not been in official use since the English took over the Dutch city more than three centuries ago, the name seems to have created a strong emotional response: there are quite a lot of New Amsterdams in various guises all over the world.




Thunderclap.pngThe Delft Thunderclap of 1654

In the late morning of October 12, 1654, the city of Delft was rocked by an explosion in the northeast section of the city. The magazine, used for storing ammunition for the defense of the city, had blown up.




Jacob_Roggeveen.jpgThe South Sea Voyage of Jacob Roggeveen, 1721-1723

Roggeveen was the first European to set foot on an island that would become one of the most mysterious and culturally significant archaeological sites in the world.




Oorlogsbuit.pngOorlogsbuit: Dutch War Booty Back in England

In March 2012, after 345 years, a magnificent relic of the Anglo-Dutch wars returned to England, at least temporarily.




Frederik_Ruysch_by_Jurriaen_Pool.jpgFrederik Ruysch and his Repository of Curiosities

Frederik Ruysch (1638-1731) was a Dutch anatomist and a pioneer in the techniques of preserving organs and tissue.




Abel_Tasman.pngTrade and Territory: Abel Tasman and the Discovery of New Zealand

In 1642, a Dutch seafarer and explorer named Abel Janszoon Tasman (1603-59) became the first European to set eyes on Tasmania and, less than three weeks later, New Zealand.

About the New Netherland Institute

For over three decades, NNI has helped cast light on America's Dutch roots. In 2010, it partnered with the New York State Office of Cultural Education to establish the New Netherland Research Center, with matching funds from the State of the Netherlands. NNI is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. More

The New Netherland Research Center

Housed in the New York State Library, the NNRC offers students, educators, scholars and researchers a vast collection of early documents and reference works on America's Dutch era. More


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