A Tour of New Netherland

Albany Region

A view of North Pearl Street near State Street as it appeared around the turn of the 19th century

Albany Region Overview


The capital city of New York has an unusually patchwork history. Needless to say, the area was under Dutch control before it fell into English hands, but even in the Dutch period there were three distinct entities that vied with one another over territory and rights.

It all started, of course, with beavers. “The people of the Countrie came flocking aboard…and many brought us Bevers skinnes, and Otters skinnes,” wrote Robert Juet, an officer aboard Henry Hudson’s Half Moon, as he gave his account of the first Dutch-financed exploration up the river that now bears Hudson’s name. The ship was then at a spot on the western shore of the river near where another, east-west system, the Mohawk River Valley, joined it. Thus began the Dutch awareness that this confluence marked a vital spot for what would be the primary activity of New Netherland: trading with the Indians for furs. Beginning in a remarkably short time following Hudson’s voyage, Dutch traders were on the scene. The town that sprang up—Beverwijck, later Albany—grew to become the second city in New Netherland, after New Amsterdam, and eventually the capital of New York State. 


About the New Netherland Institute

For a quarter century 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. Directed by Dr. Charles Gehring. More

 

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