New York Again a Dutch Colony

(previous...New York Under the Duke of York)

English Defences Down

The Dutch Republic was now at war with England. Holland had already by treaty given up her claims to New York in return for Dutch Guiana and other territory much more profitable in those days than New Netherland had been. A large Dutch fleet coasting off Chesapeake Bay in the summer of 1673 captured a vessel carrying some passengers from New York to Virginia. From these the Dutch learned of the dilapidated condition of Fort James, that the fort had but about thirty cannon and a garrison of seventy five men and that Governor Lovelace was visiting his neighbors at New Haven.

The fleet of twenty three ships with sixteen hundred men aboard anchored off Sandy Hook and was joyfully visited by some of the Dutch citizens of New York. In a few days the ships passed through the Narrows and approached the city. Captain Manning, who had been, under Nichols, the first English commander at Albany, was now in the absence of Governor Lovelace in charge of New York city. He called upon the citizens for help; but many of them were now so anxious to go back to Dutch authority as they had been to leave it nine years before. They spiked all the cannon within their reach and gathered militia to help the invaders.

Manning demanded of Cornelis Evertsen, the admiral in command of the fleet, " Why do you disturb his majesty's subjects in this place?" and received in reply," The place is our own and our own we will have." Manning asked for a day to think about it; he was given half an hour. When the sands of Evertsen's hour glass showed the half-hour, the Dutch gave the fort a broadside, killed some of the garrison and in return received some damage from the guns of the fort. Meanwhile some of the ships moving above the city landed six hundred men at the foot of the modern Wall Street. This number was swelled to a thousand eager citizens and with Anthony Colve at their head they began their march down Broadway. The gutters of the street would soon have run with blood of citizens capturing their own city had not Captain Colve met a messenger from Manning with an offer of surrender. After nine years of English rule, New York, taken fairly in time of war, as again in Dutch possession.

The Last of The Dutch Rule

The other settlements surrendered at once and New Jersey readily came back under the sway of the troops at new York city, or rather at New Orange, as the place was renamed. The victorious admiral put the province under military rule and appointed rough and pompous Captain Colve as governor. He was planning a government for the colony when he received important orders from Holland. that nation had, six months after the capture of New York, made treaty of peace with England. In this treaty each country agreed to deliver to the other all territory captured during war. So when Colve had cared for the colony for fifteen months, he quietly gave it up on the arrival of the English officers sent to receive it.

The Reason

The reason for the Dutch surrendering a colony unfairly taken away and honestly regained , does not plainly appear; either they had so promised before aware of the complete conquest of Admiral Evertsen, or they feared that they could not hold the territory against the encroachments of the neighboring English, or, as is most probable, they did not know the full value of a colony which had already cost them more than it had returned. At least, true it is that England thus secured and uninterrupted coast line from Maine to Georgia and made a United States possible. "Our country obtained geographical unity."

(continues ...New York the English Province)