Director of New Netherland

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This is a list of Directors, appointed by the Dutch West India Company, of the 17th century Dutch province of New Netherland (Nieuw-Nederland in Dutch) in North America. Only the last, Peter Stuyvesant, held the title of Director General. As the colony grew, citizens advisory boards – known as the Twelve Men, Eight Men, and Nine Men – exerted more influence on the director and thus affairs of province.

There were New Netherland settlements in what later became the US states of New York, New Jersey, and Delaware, with short-lived outposts in areas of today's Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania. The capital, New Amsterdam, became the city of New York when the New Netherlanders provisionally ceded control of the colony to the English, who renamed the city and the rest of the province in June 1665.

During the restitution to Dutch rule from August 1673 to November 1674, when New Netherland was under the jurisdiction of the City of Amsterdam, the first Dutch governor, Anthony Colve, was appointed.

List of directors

From 1624–1664

Portrait Director or
Took office Left office Notes
Cornelius Jacobsen May
(fl. 1600s)
1624 1625
Willem Verhulst
(or van der Hulst)
(fl. 1600s)
1625 1626
Portrait of Peter Minuit Peter Minuit
1626 1631
  • Purchased the island of Manhattan from Native Americans on May 24, 1626 for 60 Dutch guilders worth of goods. [1]
Sebastiaen Jansen Krol
1632 1633
portrait of Wouter van Twiller by Washington Allston Wouter van Twiller
1633 1638
  • Previously a Dutch West India Company warehouse clerk, used family connections to the Rensselaer family to gain appointment
  • purchased Nut Island (Noten Eylant), later called Governor's Island from Canarsee tribe for two axeheads, a string of beads and iron nails
  • Lost the colony's claim of the Connecticut River valley to New England settlers
  • Pushed back encroaching Virginia settlers who tried to settle Delaware River valley
Willem Kieft
1638 1647
Portrait of Peter Stuyvesant Peter Stuyvesant
1647 1664

Restoration of the colony, 1673–1674

In 1673, during the Third Anglo-Dutch War, the Dutch were able to recapture New Amsterdam (renamed "New York" by the British) under Admiral Cornelis Evertsen the Youngest and Captain Anthony Colve. [6] Evertsen renamed the city " New Orange." [7] Evertsen returned to the Netherlands in July 1674, and was accused of disobeying his orders. Evertsen had been instructed not to retake New Amsterdam but instead to conquer the British colonies of Saint Helena and Cayenne (now French Guiana). [8] In 1674, the Dutch were compelled to relinquish New Amsterdam to the British under the terms of the Second Treaty of Westminster. [9] [10]

Portrait Governor Took office Left office Notes
Anthony Colve
(fl. 1600s)
1673 1674
  • Colve's authority was brief, starting with the taking of New York, but ended on February 9, 1674 with the signing of the Treaty of Westminster, which restored the colony to the English. News did not reach the New World of the treaty's terms until late in the year.

See also


  1. ^ Burrows, Edwin G., and Wallace, Mike. Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), xivff.
  2. ^ Merwick, Donna. The Shame and the Sorrow: Dutch-Amerindian Encounters in New Netherland Early American Series. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006).
  3. ^ "Journal of New Netherland 1647. Written in the Years 1641, 1642, 1643, 1644, 1645, and 1646". World Digital Library. 1641–1647. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
  4. ^ a b Shorto, Russell. The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony that Shaped America. (New York City: Vintage Books, 2004).
  5. ^ Otto, Paul. The Dutch-Munsee Encounter in America: The Struggle for Sovereignty in the Hudson Valley. (Oxford/New York: Berghahn Books, 2006), 152; and Kraft, Herbert C. The Lenape: Archaeology, History, and Ethnography. (Newark, New Jersey: New Jersey Historical Society, 1986), 241.
  6. ^ Roosevelt, Theodore. " IV. New Amsterdam becomes New York The Beginning of English Rule. 1664–1674," in New York: A Sketch of the City’s Social, Political, and Commercial Progress from the First Dutch Settlement to Recent Times. (New York: Charles Scribner & Sons, 1906).
  7. ^ Barrevald, Dirk J. From New Amsterdam to New York: The Founding of New York by the Dutch in July 1625. (Lincoln, Nebraska: Writers Club Press, 2001), 248.
  8. ^ Shomette, Donald G. and Haslach, Robert D. Raid on America: The Dutch Naval Campaign of 1672–1674. (Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press, 1988), 73, 139–151; De Waard, Cornelis. De Zeeuwsche expeditie naar de West onder Cornelis Evertsen den Jonge, 1672–1674. (The Hague: Nijhoff, 1928). (in Dutch)
  9. ^ Westdorp, Martina. "Behouden of opgeven? Het lot van de nederlandse kolonie Nieuw-Nederland na de herovering op de Engelsen in 1673" Archived 2008-06-30 at the Wayback Machine in De wereld van Peter Stuyvesant (in Dutch). Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  10. ^ Prak, Maarten. The Dutch Republic in the Seventeenth Century: The Golden Age. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 116.