Peter Stuyvesant

Peter Stuyvesant Confirms a Manhattan Land Grant Only Three Months Before Handing Over “Niew Amsterdam” to the British



Peter Stuyvesant Confirms a Manhattan Land Grant Only Three Months Before Handing Over “Niew Amsterdam” to the British

 

Stuyvesant grants land to Daniel Perneur on the “island of Manhattans about the Town of new Harlem... Lying against the Land of Jochim Pieterse... also three parcels at Van Ceulen’s Hoeck.”  In turn, Terneur agreed to pay his taxes and otherwise “obey their Patrons as good inhabitants are in duty bound to do.”

 

With an embossed beaver seal (the symbol of the New Netherland) affixed, Stuyvesant confirms the grant of a plot of land to Daniel Terneur.

 

Three months later, on September 8, 1664, the inhabitants of New Amsterdam chose British rule when they refused to defend the colony ruled by their draconian Dutch Governor Peter Stuyvesant. He was forced to surrender the city to the British forces.

 

PETER STUYVESANT. Manuscript Document Signed. Land Grant to Daniel Terneur, [New York, N.Y.], May 16, 1664. 1 p., 16½ x 13 in.  Archivally framed to  26 ¼ x 26 in. Cosigned by Cornelius Van Ruyven, Secretary of New Netherland from 1653 to 1664.
With paper seal. 

 

Excerpt

Stuyvesant confirms the grant of a plot of land to Daniel Terneur: “Petrus Stuyvesant, on behalf of their Excellencies the Lords States General of the United Netherlands and the Honorable Lords Directors of the Priv. West Indies Company...together with the Honorable Council...have given and granted to Daniel Terneur on the Island of Manhattans about the Town of new Harlem a certain parcel of land...Lying against the Land of Jochim Pieterse...also three parcels at Van Ceulen’s Hoeck.”

 

As proprietor, Terneur agrees to “acknowledge and obey their Patrons as good inhabitants are in duty bound to do,”  and to submit to “the payment of Tythes” and “other such burdens and imposts as may be required from the Settlers...”

 

Historical Background

The Dutch influence in the New World is famously associated with the Hudson Valley.  Peter Minuit’s bargaining with the Manhattoes for the purchase of the island on which they hunted large game remains shrouded in speculation but regardless of the details, Manhattan became Dutch territory with the founding of Fort Amsterdam in 1626.  Securing the mouth of the Hudson allowed for wider Dutch settlement further up the river valley, and for forty years, the Dutch maintained a powerful European interest in America.

 

The most famous Dutchman from this brief period was the colonial Governor Pieter Stuyvesant.  Stuyvesant was transferred to New Amsterdam from his post as colonial governor in the Lesser Antilles, where he had lost a leg during a naval battle with the French near the isle of St. Maarten.  His rule in New Amsterdam was draconian and he was wildly disliked by the Dutch colonists.  When the British fleet sailed into New York Harbor in 1664 with the intent to attack, the Dutch refused to defend the colony, choosing British rule over further governance by Stuyvesant.  Styuvesant was forced to surrender the Dutch city to the British, who renamed it for their king’s brother, the Earl of York.

 

Fleeing persecution (and a murder charge in Amiens, France) Daniel Tourneur was driven from his French home by Catholic persecution and invading German armies in 1648. Like so many other religious refugees, he sought refuge in Holland, at Leyden, where he met and married Jacquelin de Parisis. Two years later, in 1652, he sailed with his wife and infant son, Daniel, Jr., for New Netherlands. He was made a corporal in a military company formed to protect the colony against Indian attack on April 7, 1654. In August 1660, he was appointed Magistrate for Harlem, serving several terms. He was a delegate to the General Assembly in 1664, and was also one of the Nicolls (Harlem) Patentees.

Cornelius Van Ruyven / Ruijven (b. 1630-after 1674) was born to Dutch parents and became New Netherland Governor Peter Stuyvesant’s secretary in 1647. Van Ruyven married Hillegond Megapolensis (1632-1689), the daughter of Dutch clergyman Dominie Johannes Magapolensis, in 1654, and began a dry goods and general store business. As an employee of the Dutch West India Company, Van Ruyven served as Secretary and Receiver of New Netherland from 1653 to 1664. Governor Stuyvesant sent Van Ruyven as one of his deputies to offer the surrender of New Netherland to the British in 1664. Van Ruyven also certified Governor Stuyvesant’s consent to the Articles of Capitulation. Van Ruyven swore an oath of allegiance to the British, and in 1665, served as deputy mayor of New York City, and as an alderman in 1665, 1670, 1672, and 1673. He also apparently served as collector of customs in New York under the British from 1668. After the Dutch briefly regained control of the colony, Dutch Governor Anthony Colve sent Van Ruyven in September 1673 as his emissary to Holland for military reinforcements, but his ship lost its mast and sails in a storm and had to enter a New England harbor, where it was seized as a prize. In 1674, his tax assessment ranked him as the sixth wealthiest colonist. Some sources assert that Van Ruyven returned to Holland in 1674.

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