Town House


This book should perhaps have been “intituled” Colonial Days in New Netherland, for much of the life described herein was in the days of Dutch rule. But it was New Netherland for scarce half a century, and the name is half-forgotten, though it remained, both in outer life and in heart, a Dutch colonie, even when the province was New York and an English governor had control. In New Netherland, as in every place where the Dutch plant a colony, as in South Africa to-day, Dutch ways, Dutch notions, the Dutch tongue lingered long. To this day, Dutch influence and Dutch traits, as well as Dutch names, are ever present and are a force in New York life.

Fair and beautiful lay the broad harbor Centuries ago before the eyes of Hendrick Hudson and his sea-weary men; a “pleasant place” was Manhattan; “‘t lange eylandt was the pearel of New Nederland;” the noble river, the fertile shores, all seemed to the discoverers and to the early colonists to smile a welcome and a promise of happy homes. Still to-day the bay, the islands, the river, the shores welcome with the same promise. In grateful thanks for that welcome and for the fulfilment of that promise of old, — for more years of life in New York than were spent in my birthplace in New England, — and in warm affection for my many friends of Dutch descent, have I — to use the words of Rabelais — “adjoined these words and testimony for the honour I bear to antiquity.”


Brooklyn Heights,
September, 1896.


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