A Tour of New Netherland

Long Island

Boswijck (Bushwick)

In 1660, a group of French immigrants applied to Petrus Stuyvesant, director-general of New Netherland, for a patent to start a community. Stuyvesant granted them land between the villages of Breuckelen and Middleburgh. Unlike the first few villages in western Long Island, which grew very slowly, the new community of Boswijck, or Bushwick, quickly filled with residents. By 1663 the population had doubled, and records show that at that date the town counted forty men capable of bearing arms.

Those men needed to be ready to fight, for in that year events were moving to a climax on Long Island. The New Netherland colony was fighting a war with the Indians, and the English colonies to the north were moving close to an all-out takeover of the island. In a last-ditch effort, the residents of Boswijck met with delegates from the other Dutch towns of the area in the city hall in New Amsterdam, and drafted an appeal to the West India Company directors in the Netherlands to have the Dutch government settle, once and for all, permanent boundaries between the Dutch colony and its English neighbors. The appeal failed. A year later, with the English takeover of Long Island, Boswijck began life under its new name of Bushwick.

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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