Monday, July 12, 2021

Review of "The Beginnings of New York: Kingston, the First State Capital," by Mary Isabella Forsyth

 Review of

The Beginnings of New York: Kingston, the First State Capital, by Mary Isabella Forsyth

Five out of five stars

The Dutch origin of what became the state of New York

 Often lost in history is the fact that the state of New York began as the Dutch colony of New Netherland. What was to become New York city was originally called New Amsterdam. Since the Dutch state was at the time a republic that tolerated religious differences, many people went to the Dutch colony in order to be free to practice their brand of religion. Largely unmentioned in the history books is that the destination of the famous pilgrims of the Mayflower was the Dutch colony. They landed at Cape Cod and decided to stay there rather than travel to new Netherland.

 The Dutch settlers also developed very peaceful relations with the Native Americans. They engaged in a mutually beneficial trade, with one of the main commodities being furs. It was a Dutchman that bought Manhattan from the Native Americans.

 Kingston is a city some distance up the Hudson River that was also originally settled by the Dutch. Being more centrally located along trade  routes, it was the first capital of the state of New York and was a hotbed of anti-British sentiment in the American War of independence. As a consequence, the British burned the city during the war.

 While it is short, this pamphlet contains a lot of history that is not commonly reported. From it, the reader learns some details about the development of New York and why there is still a residue of the initial Dutch presence.

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