THE COMING OF THE DUTCH. - We have now seen how English colonies were planted in the lands about Chesapeake Bay, and in New England. Into the country lying between, there came in 1609 an intruder in the form of a little Dutch ship called the Half-Moon. The Dutch East India Company had fitted her out and sent Captain Henry Hudson in her to seek a northeasterly passage to China. Driven back by ice in his attempt to sail north of Europe, Hudson turned westward, and came at last to Delaware Bay. Up this the Half-Moon went a little way, but, grounding on the shoals, Hudson turned about, followed the coast northward, and sailed up the river now called by his name. He went as far as the site of Albany; then, finding that the Hudson was not a passage through the continent, he returned to Europe. [1]

DISCOVERIES OF BLOCK AND MAY. - The discovery of the Hudson gave Holland or the Netherlands a claim to the country it drained, and year after year Dutch explorers visited the region. One of them, Adrien Block, (in 1614) went through Long Island Sound, ascended the Connecticut River as far as the site of Hartford, and sailed along the coast to a point beyond Cape Cod; Block Island now bears his name. Another, May, went southward, passed between two capes, [2] and explored Delaware Bay. The Dutch then claimed the country from the Delaware to Cape Cod; that is, as far as May and Block had explored.

THE FUR TRADE. - Important as these discoveries were, they interested the Dutch far less than the prospect of a rich fur trade with the Indians, and in a few years Dutch traders had four little houses on Manhattan Island, and a little fort not far from the site of Albany. From it buyers went out among the Mohawk Indians and returned laden with the skins of beavers and other valuable furs; and to the fort by and by the Indians came to trade. So valuable was this traffic that those engaged in it formed a company, obtained from the Dutch government a charter, and for three years (1615- 18) enjoyed a monopoly of the fur trade from the Delaware to the Hudson.

THE DUTCH WEST INDIA COMPANY. - When the three years expired the charter was not renewed; but a new association called the Dutch West India Company was chartered (1621) and given great political and commercial power over New Netherland, as the Dutch possessions in North America were now called. More settlers were sent out (in 1623), some to Fort Orange on the site of Albany, some to Fort Nassau on the South or Delaware River, some to the Fresh or Connecticut River, some to Long Island, and some to Manhattan Island, where they founded the town of New Amsterdam.

THE PATROONS. - All the little Dutch settlements were forts or strong buildings surrounded by palisades, and were centers of the fur trade. Very little farming was done. In order to encourage farming, the West India Company (in 1629) offered an immense tract of land to any member of the company who should take out a colony of fifty families. The estate of a Patroon, as such a man was called, was to extend sixteen miles along one bank or eight miles along both banks of a river, and back almost any distance into the country. [3] A number of these patroonships were established on the Hudson.

THE DUTCH ON THE CONNECTICUT. - The first attempt (in 1623) of the Dutch to build a fort on the Connecticut failed; for the company could not spare enough men to hold the valley. But later the Dutch returned, nailed the arms of Holland to a tree at the mouth of the river in token of ownership, and (1633) built Fort Good Hope where Hartford now stands. When the Indians informed the English of this, the governor of Massachusetts bade the Dutch begone; and when they would not go, built a fort higher up the river at Windsor (1633), and another (1635) at Saybrook at the river's mouth, so as to cut them off from New Amsterdam. The English colony of Connecticut was now established in the valley; but twenty years passed before Fort Good Hope was taken from the Dutch.

DUTCH AND SWEDES ON THE DELAWARE. - The Dutch settlers on the Delaware were driven off by Indians, but a garrison was sent back to hold Fort Nassau. Meantime the Swedes appeared on the Delaware. After the organization of the Dutch West India Company (1623), William Usselinex of Amsterdam went to Sweden and urged the king to charter a similar company of Swedish merchants. A company to trade with Asia, Africa, and America was accordingly formed. Some years later Queen Christina chartered the South Company, and in 1638 a colony was sent out by this company, the west bank of the Delaware from its mouth to the Schuylkill (skool'kill) was bought from the Indians, and a fort (Christina) was built on the site of Wilmington. The Dutch governor at New Amsterdam protested, but for a dozen years the Swedes remained unmolested, and scattered their settlements along the shores of Delaware River and Bay, and called their country New Sweden. Alarmed at this, Governor Peter Stuyvesant (sti've-sant) of New Netherland built a fort to cut off the Swedes from the sea. But a Swedish war vessel captured the Dutch fort; whereupon Stuyvesant sailed up the Delaware with a fleet and army, quietly took possession of New Sweden, and made it once more Dutch territory (1655).

DUTCH RULE. - The rulers of New Netherland were a director general, or governor, and five councilmen appointed by the West India Company. One of these governors, Peter Minuit, bought Manhattan (the island now covered by a part of New York city) from the Indians (1626) for 60 guilders, or about $24 of our money. [4]

DEMAND FOR POPULAR GOVERNMENT. - As population increased, the people began to demand a share in the government; they wished to elect four of the five councilmen. A long quarrel followed, but Governor Stuyvesant at last ordered the election of nine men to aid him when necessary. [5]

POPULATION AND CUSTOMS. - Though most of the New Netherlanders were Dutch, there were among them also Germans, French Huguenots, English, Scotch, Jews, Swedes, and as many religious sects as nationalities.

The Dutch of New Netherland were a jolly people, much given to bowling and holidays. They kept New Year's Day, St. Valentine's Day, Easter and Pinkster (Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday the seventh week after Easter), May Day, St. Nicholas Day (December 6), and Christmas. On Pinkster days the whole population, negro slaves included, went off to the woods on picnics. Kirmess, a sort of annual fair for each town, furnished additional holidays. The people rose at dawn, dined at noon, and supped at six. In no colony were the people better housed and fed.

THE HOUSES stood with their gable ends to the street, and often a beam projected from the gable, by means of which heavy articles might be raised to the attic. The door was divided into an upper and a lower half, and before it was a spacious stoop with seats, where the family gathered on warm evenings.

Within the house were huge fireplaces adorned with blue or pink tiles on which were Bible scenes or texts, a huge moon-faced clock, a Dutch Bible, spinning wheels, cupboards full of Delft plates and pewter dishes, rush- bottom chairs, great chests for linen and clothes, and four-posted bedsteads with curtains, feather beds, and dimity coverlets, and underneath a trundle-bed for the children. A warming pan was used to take the chill off the linen sheets on cold nights. In the houses of the humbler sort the furniture was plainer, and sand on the floors did duty for carpets.

TRADE AND COMMERCE. - The chief products of the colony were furs, lumber, wheat, and flour. The center of the fur trade was Fort Orange, from which great quantities of beaver and other skins purchased from the Indians were sent to New Amsterdam; and to this port came vessels from the West Indies, Portugal, and England, as well as from Holland. There was scarcely any manufacturing. The commercial spirit of the Dutch overshadowed everything else, and kept agriculture at a low stage.

THE ENGLISH SEIZE NEW NETHERLAND. - The English, who claimed the continent from Maine to Florida, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific, regarded the Dutch as intruders. Soon after Charles II came to the throne, he granted the country from the Delaware to the Connecticut, with Long Island and some other territory, to his brother James, the Duke of York.

In 1664, accordingly, a fleet was sent to take possession of New Amsterdam. Stuyvesant called out his troops and made ready to fight. But the people were tired of the arbitrary rule of the Dutch governors, and petitioned him to yield. At last he answered, "Well, let it be so, but I would rather be carried out dead."

NEW YORK. - The Dutch flag was then lowered, and New Netherland passed into English hands. New Amsterdam was promptly renamed New York; Fort Orange was called Albany; and the greater part of New Netherland became the province of New York. [6]

GOVERNMENT OF NEW YORK. - The governor appointed by the Duke of York drew up a code of laws known later as the Duke's Laws. No provision was made for a legislature, nor for town meetings, nor for schools. [7] Government of this sort did not please the English on Long Island and elsewhere. Demands were at once made for a share in the lawmaking. Some of the people refused to pay taxes, and some towns to elect officers, and sent strong protests against taxation without their consent. But nearly twenty years passed before New York secured a representative legislature. [8]

EDUCATION. - In the schools established by the Dutch, the master was often the preacher or the sexton of the Dutch church. Many of the Long Island towns were founded by New Englanders, who long kept up their Puritan customs and methods of education. But outside of New York city and a few other large towns, there were no good schools during the early years of the New York colony.

NEW JERSEY. - Before the Duke of York had possession of his province, he cut off the piece between the Delaware River and the lower Hudson and gave it to Sir George Carteret and Lord Berkeley (1664). They named this land New Jersey, and divided it by the line shown on the map into East and West Jersey. Lord Berkeley sold his part - West Jersey - to some Quakers, and a Quaker colony was planted at Burlington. Carteret's portion - East Jersey - was sold after his death to William Penn [9] and other Quakers, who had acquired West Jersey also. In 1702, however, the proprietors gave up their right to govern, and the two colonies were united into the one royal province of New Jersey.

PENNSYLVANIA. - Penn had joined the Friends, or Quakers, when a very young man. The part he took in the settlement of New Jersey led him to think of founding a colony where not only the Quakers, but any others who were persecuted, might find a refuge, and where he might try a "holy experiment" in government after his own ideas. The king was therefore petitioned "for a tract of land in America lying north of Maryland," and in 1681 Penn received a large block of land, which was named Pennsylvania, or Penn's Woodland. [10]

PHILADELPHIA FOUNDED. - Having received his charter, Penn wrote an account of his province and circulated it in England, Ireland, Wales, Holland, and Germany. In the autumn of 1681 three shiploads of colonists were sent over. Penn himself came the next spring, and made his way to the spot chosen for the site of Philadelphia. The land belonged to three Swedish brothers; so Penn bought it, and began the work of marking out the streets and building houses. Before a year went by, Philadelphia was a town of eighty houses.

PENN AND THE INDIANS. - In dealing with the Indians the aim of Penn was to make them friends. Before coming over he sent letters to be read to them.. After his arrival he walked with them, sat with them to watch their young men dance, joined in their feasts, and, it is said, planned a sort of court or jury of six whites and six Indians to settle disputes with the natives. In June, 1683, Penn met the Indians and made a treaty which, unlike most other treaties, was kept by both parties.

THE GOVERNMENT OF PENNSYLVANIA. - As proprietor of Pennsylvania it became the duty of Penn to provide a government for the settlers, which he did in the Frame of Government. This provided for a governor appointed by the proprietor, a legislature of two houses elected by the people, judges partly elected by the people, and a vote by ballot. [11] In 1701 Penn granted a new constitution which kept less power for his governor, and gave more power and rights to the legislature and the people. This was called the Charter of Privileges, and it remained in force as long as Pennsylvania was a colony.

THE "TERRITORIES," OR DELAWARE. - Pennsylvania had no frontage on the sea, and its boundaries were disputed by the neighboring colonies. [12] To secure an outlet to the sea, Penn applied to the Duke of York for a grant of the territory on the west bank of the Delaware River to its mouth, and was granted what is now Delaware. This region was also included in Lord Baltimore's grant of Maryland, and the dispute over it between the two proprietors was not settled till 1732, when the present boundary was agreed upon. Penn intended to add Delaware to Pennsylvania, but the people of these "territories," or "three lower counties," objected, and in 1703 secured a legislature of their own, though they remained under the governor of Pennsylvania.

THE PEOPLING OF PENNSYLVANIA. - The toleration and liberality of Penn proved so attractive to the people of the Old World that emigrants came over in large numbers. They came not only from England and Wales, but also from other parts of Europe. In later times thousands of Germans settled in the middle part of the colony, and many Scotch-Irish (people of Scottish descent from northern Ireland) on the western frontier and along the Maryland border.

As a consequence of this great migration Pennsylvania became one of the most populous of the colonies. It had many flourishing towns, of which Philadelphia was the largest. This was a fine specimen of a genuine English town, and was one of the chief cities in English America.

Between the towns lay some of the richest farming regions in America. The Germans especially were fine farmers, raised great crops, bred fine horses, and owned farms whose size was the wonder of all travelers. The laborers were generally indentured servants or redemptioners.

CAROLINA. - When Charles II became king in 1660, there were only two southern colonies, Virginia and Maryland. Between the English settlements in Virginia and the Spanish settlements in Florida was a wide stretch of unoccupied land, which in 1663 he granted for a new colony called Carolina in his honor. [13]

Two groups of settlements were planted. One in the north, called the Albemarle Colony, was of people from Virginia; the other, in the south, the Carteret Colony, was of people from England, who founded Charleston (1670). John Locke, a famous English philosopher, at the request of the proprietors drew up a form of government, [14] but it was opposed by the colonists and never went into effect. Each colony, however, had its own governor, who was sent out by the proprietors till 1729, when the proprietors surrendered their rights to the king. The province of Carolina was then formally divided into two colonies known as North and South Carolina.

LIFE IN NORTH CAROLINA. - The people of North Carolina lived on small farms and owned few slaves. In the towns were a few mechanics and storekeepers, in whose hands was all the commerce of the colony. They bought and sold everything, and supplied the farms and small plantations. In the northern part of the colony tobacco was grown, in the southern part rice and indigo; and in all parts lumber, tar, pitch, and turpentine were produced. Herds of cattle and hogs ran wild in the woods, bearing their owner's brands, to alter which was a crime.

There were no manufactures; all supplies were imported from England or the other colonies. There were few roads. There were no towns, but little villages such as Wilmington, Newbern, and Edenton, the largest of which did not have a population of five hundred souls. As in Virginia, the courthouses were the centers of social life, and court days the occasion of social amusements. Education was scanty and poor, and there was no printing press in the colony for a hundred years after its first settlement.

Much of the early population of North Carolina consisted of indented servants, who, having served out their term in Virginia, emigrated to Carolina, where land was easier to get. Later came Germans from the Rhine country, Scotch-Irish from the north of Ireland, and (after 1745) Scotchmen from the Highlands. [15]

SOUTH CAROLINA. - In South Carolina, also, the only important occupation was planting or farming. Rice, introduced about 1694, was the chief product, and next in importance was indigo. The plantations, as in Virginia, were large and lay along the coast and the banks of the rivers, from which the crops were floated to Charleston, where the planters generally lived. At Charleston the crops were bought by merchants who shipped them to the West Indies and to England, whence was brought almost every manufactured article the people used. Slaves were almost the only laborers, and formed about half the population. Bond servants were nearly unknown. Charleston, the one city, was well laid out and adorned with handsome churches, public buildings, and fine residences of rich merchants and planters.

THE PIRATES. - During the early years of the two Carolinas the coast was infested with pirates, or, as they called themselves, "Brethren of the Coast." These buccaneers had formerly made their home in the West Indies, whence they sallied forth to prey on the commerce of the Spanish colonies. About the time Charleston was founded, Spain and England wished to put them down. But when the pirates were driven from their old haunts, they found new ones in the sounds and harbors of Carolina, and preyed on the commerce of Charleston till the planters turned against them and drove them off. [16]

GEORGIA CHARTERED. - The thirteenth and last of the English colonies in North America was chartered in 1732. At that time and long afterward, it was the custom in England and the colonies to imprison people for debt, and keep them in jail for life or until the debt was paid. The sufferings of these people greatly interested James Oglethorpe, a gallant English soldier, and led him to attempt something for their relief. His plan was to have them released, provided they would emigrate to America. Others aided him, and in 1732 a company was incorporated and given the land between the Savannah and Altamaha rivers from their mouths to their sources, and thence across the continent to the Pacific. The new colony was called Georgia, in honor of King George II.

The site of the new colony was chosen in order that Georgia might occupy and hold some disputed territory, [17] and serve as a "buffer colony" to protect Charleston from attacks by the Spaniards and the Indians.

THE SETTLEMENT OF GEORGIA. - In 1732 Oglethorpe with one hundred and thirty colonists sailed for Charleston, and after a short stay started south and founded Savannah (1733). The colony was not settled entirely by released English debtors. To it in time came people from New England and the distressed of many lands, including Italians, Germans, and Scottish Highlanders. Oglethorpe's company controlled Georgia twenty years; but the colonists chafed under its rule, so that the company finally disbanded and gave the province back to the king (1752).

Under the proprietors the people were required to manufacture silk, plant vineyards, and produce oil. But the prosperity of Georgia began under the royal government, when the colony settled down to the production of rice, lumber, and indigo. Importation of slaves was forbidden by the proprietors, but under the royal government it was allowed. The towns were small, for almost everybody lived on a small farm or plantation.


1. While the English were planting the Jamestown colony, the Dutch under Hudson explored the Hudson River (1609), and a few years later the Dutchmen May and Block explored also Delaware Bay and the Connecticut River.

2. The Dutch fur trade was profitable, and in 1621 the Dutch West India Company was placed in control of New Netherland.

3. Settlements were soon attempted and patroonships created; but the chief industry of New Netherland was the fur trade.

4. In 1638 a Swedish colony, called New Sweden, was planted on the Delaware; but it was seized by the Dutch (1655).

5. The English by this time had begun to settle in New England. This led to disputes, and in 1664 New Netherland was seized by the English, arid became a possession of the Duke of York, brother of King Charles II.

6. Most of the province was called New York; but part of it was cut off and given to two noblemen, and became the province of New Jersey.

7. In 1663 and 1665 Charles II made some of his friends proprietors of Carolina, a province later divided into North and South Carolina.

8. In 1681 Pennsylvania was granted to William Penn as a proprietary colony.

9. In order to obtain the right of access to the sea, Penn secured from the Duke of York what is now Delaware.

10. The last of the colonies was Georgia, chartered in 1732.

11. Education scanty and poor. No printing presses for one hundred years after first settlement.


[1] Henry Hudson was an English seaman who twice before had made voyages to the north and northeastward for an English trading company. Stopping in England on his return from America, Hudson sent a report of his discovery to the Dutch company and offered to go on another voyage to search for the northwest passage. He was ordered to come to Amsterdam, but the English authorities would not let him go. In 1610 he sailed again for the English and entered Hudson Bay, where during some months his ship was locked in the ice. The crew mutinied and put Hudson, his son, and seven sick men adrift in an open boat, and then sailed for England. There the crew were imprisoned. An expedition was sent in search of Hudson, but no trace of him was found.

[2] One of these, Cape May, now bears his name; the other, Cape Henlopen, is called after a town in Holland.

[3] The first patroonship was Swandale, in what is now the state of Delaware; but the Indians were troublesome, and the estate was abandoned. The second, granted to Michael Pauw, included Staten Island and much of what is now Jersey City; it was sold back to the company after a few years. The most successful patroonship was the Van Rensselaer (ren'se-ler) estate on the Hudson near Albany. It extended twenty-four miles along both banks of the river and ran back into the country twenty-four miles from each bank. The family still occupies a small part of the estate.

[4] New Amsterdam was then a cluster of some thirty one-story log houses with bark roofs, and two hundred population engaged in the fur trade. The town at first grew slowly. There were no such persecution and distress in Holland as in England, and therefore little inducement for men to migrate. Minuit was succeeded as governor by Van Twiller (1633), and he by Kieft (1638), during whose term all monopolies of trade were abandoned. The fur trade, heretofore limited to agents of the company, was opened to the world, and new inducements were offered to immigrants. Any farmer who would go to New Netherland was carried free with his family, and was given a farm, with a house, barn, horses, cows, sheep, swine, and tools, for a small annual rent.

[5] From these nine men in time came an appeal to the Dutch government to turn out the company and give the people a government of their own. The first demand was refused, but the second was partly granted; for in 1653 New Amsterdam was incorporated as a city with a popular government.

[6] Read Fiske's Dutch and Quaker Colonies, Vol. I, pp. 286-291. In 1673, England and Holland being at war, a Dutch fleet recaptured New York and named it New Orange, and held it for a few months. When peace was made (1674) the city was restored to the English, and Dutch rule in North America was over forever.

[7] Each town was to elect a constable and eight overseers, with limited powers. Several towns were grouped into a "riding," over which presided a sheriff appointed by the governor. In 1683 the ridings became counties, and in 1703 it was ordered that the people of each town should elect members of a board of supervisors.

[8] In 1683 Thomas Dongan came out as governor, with authority to call an assembly to aid in making laws and levying taxes. Seventeen representatives met in New York, enacted some laws, and framed a Charter of Franchises and Privileges. The duke signed this as proprietor in 1684; but revoked it as King James II.

[9] William Penn was the son of Sir William Penn, an admiral in the navy of the Commonwealth and a friend of Charles II. At Oxford young William Penn was known as an athlete and a scholar and a linguist, a reputation he maintained in after life by learning to speak Latin, French, German, Dutch, and Italian. After becoming a Quaker, he was taken from Oxford and traveled in France, Italy, and Ireland, where he was imprisoned for attending a Quaker meeting. The father at first was bitterly opposed to the religious views of the son, but in the end became reconciled, and on the death of the admiral (in 1670), William Penn inherited a fortune. Thenceforth all his time, means, and energy were devoted to the interests of the Quakers. For a short account of Penn, read Fiske's Dutch and Quaker Colonies, Vol. II, pp. 114-118, 129-130.

[10] Penn intended to call his tract New Wales, but to please the king changed it to Sylvania, before which the king put the name Penn, in honor of Penn's father. The king owed Penn's father £16,000, and considered the debt paid by the land grant.

[11] All laws were to be proposed by the governor and the upper house; but the lower house might reject any of them. At the first meeting of the Assembly Penn offered a series of laws called The Great Law. These provided that all religions should be tolerated; that all landholders and taxpayers might vote and be eligible to membership in the Assembly; that every child of twelve should be taught some useful trade; and that the prisons should be made houses of industry and education.

[12] Pennsylvania extended five degrees of longitude west from the Delaware. The south boundary was to be "a circle drawn at twelve miles' distance from Newcastle northward and westward unto the beginning of the fortieth degree of northern latitude, and then by a straight line westward." This was an impossible line, as a circle so drawn would meet neither the thirty-ninth nor the fortieth parallel. Maryland, moreover, was to extend "unto that part of Delaware Bay on the north which lieth under the fortieth degree of north latitude."

Penn held that the words of his grant "beginning of the fortieth degree" meant the thirty-ninth parallel. The Baltimores denied this and claimed to the fortieth. The dispute was finally settled by a compromise line which was partly located (1763-67) by two surveyors, Mason and Dixon. In later days this Mason and Dixon's line became the boundary between the seaboard free and slave-holding states. The north boundary of Pennsylvania was to be "the beginning of the three and fortieth degree of northern latitude," which, according to Penn's argument in the Maryland case, meant the forty- second parallel, and on this New York insisted.

[13] The grant extended from the 31st to the 36th degree of north latitude, and from the Atlantic to the South Sea; it was given to eight noblemen, friends of the king. In 1665 strips were added on the north and on the south, and Carolina then extended from the parallel of 29 degrees to that of 36 degrees 30 minutes.

[14] This plan, the Grand Model, as it was called, was intended to introduce a queer sort of nobility or landed aristocracy into America. At the head of the state was to be a "palatine." Below him in rank were "proprietaries," "landgraves," "caciques," and the "leetmen" or plain people. Read Fiske's Old Virginia and her Neighbours, Vol. II, pp. 271-276.

[15] Read Fiske's Old Virginia and her Neighbours, Vol. II, pp. 310-319.

[16] Read Fiske's Old Virginia and her Neighbours, Vol. II, pp. 361-369.

[17] Ever since the early voyages of discovery Spain had claimed the whole of North America, and all of South America west of the Line of Demarcation. But in 1670 Spain, by treaty, acknowledged the right of England to the territory she then possessed in North America. No boundaries were mentioned, so the region between St. Augustine and the Savannah River was left to be contended for in the future. England, in the charter to the proprietors of Carolina (1665), asserted her claim to the coast as far south as 29°. But this was absurd; for the parallel of 29° was south of St. Augustine, where Spain for a hundred years had maintained a strong fort and settlement. The possessions of England really stopped at the Savannah River, and sixty-two years passed after the treaty with Spain (1670) before any colony was planted south of that river.