In 1609 the East India Company of Holland sent an Englishman. Henry Hudson, to look for a westward route to the Indies. He didn’t find what he was after but he sailed up the broad river (later named after him) that empties into the bay and discovered the beautiful, bountiful Hudson Valley. Returning to Holland with quantities of furs, fruit and tobacco. Hudson stirred up a good deal of interest. A group of merchants founded the United New Netherland Company, which was to have a trading monopoly in the area. Then, in 1621, the Dutch West India Company was granted the charter to trade, plant colonies and defend their outposts in North and South
America. The first settlers arrived under their auspices in 1624, ousting the French who were there only hours before them. The following spring, they built a small town on the southern end of Manhattan Island and called it New Amsterdam.
For 40 years the Dutch remained in possession of Manhattan, purchased from the Indians for the legendary sum of $24. Under the leadership of two governors, Peter Minuit and Peter Stuyvesant, the town took on a Dutch look, yet from the beginning it was the most cosmopolitan centre in the New World. The earliest immigrants included Walloons, Scandinavians. Germans. Englishmen, Spaniards, and Portuguese Jews, not to mention black slaves from the Caribbean. In 1643 a priest counted 18 languages spoken in this town of 1.500 inhabitants. Other settlements had developed outside of Manhattan in what is now the Bronx (founded by Jonas Bronck, a Dane), in the Flushing area of Queens and in Brooklyn.
But this I shall have occasion to speak to by and New York Map by. Although I own it to be base and unworthy to scandalize any man, yet I New York Map think it is even more villainous to scandalize a person of public character. I will go so far into Mr. Attorney’s doctrine as to agree that if the faults, mistakes, nay even the vices of such a person be private and personal, and do not affect the peace of the public, or the liberty or property of our neighbor, it is unmanly and unmannerly to expose them either by word or writing. But when a ruler of a people brings his personal failings, but much more his vices, into his administration, and the people find themselves affected by them either in their liberties or properties, that will alter the case mightily; and all the things that are said in favor of rulers and of dignitaries, and upon the side of power, will not be able to stop people’s mouths when they feel themselves oppressed. I mean, in a free government.