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Monday, April 29, 2013

Dutch Women in Seventeenth-Century New Netherland

by Maria Vann 
Copyright © 2013. All rights reserved by the author.

On 6 March 1663, Altjen Sybrants appeared before the Honorable Council of War and the Honorable Court at Wildwyck, New Netherland in search of vindication from accusations of slander. Schout Swarthout, a member of the council, lodged the complaint after a previous visitation to Sybrants’ home to notify her about a new order from the Council of War. Upon hearing the order prohibiting strong drink to be sold to militia or Indians, a frustrated Sybrants suggested the Schout “might cleanse his anus!”[1] Such slanderous words from anyone- no less a woman in New Netherland was a serious matter for the courts and Schout wanted restitution for his honor. Denying the accusation, Sybrants challenged male authority by arguing that, “he [the Schout] must prove this.”[2] The case continued on subsequent days as witnesses were brought to testify in support of the defendant’s guilt. Throughout the process, Sybrants never confirmed she had said such slanderous words; instead she declared that Schout treated her “in a manner out of spite,” for what is not clear.[3] Eventually, after several testimonies against her, the defendant was sentenced and condemned as a public example for her “vile and foul language.”[4] Altejen Sybrants was ordered to pay a fine of one hundred Caroulus guilders of which two-thirds was to be paid to the prosecutor Schout and one-third to the Church at Wildwyck.[5] Though Sybrandts lost her defense, much can be gleaned from her testimony, or lack thereof. She demonstrated a bold and unwavering will, capable of confronting the male establishment, signifying she knew full well her rights as a citizen with a voice in the Dutch Empire.

Such cases offer a glimpse into the lives of colonial Dutch women in New Netherland, which ran counter to the lives of other American colonial women. Dutch women were more active and engaged participants in society unlike their more submissive and hindered English counterparts. During the period beginning in 1624 to just prior to English takeover in 1664, New Netherlander women were involved in all aspects of society whether philanthropic, legal, business or religious endeavors.[6] They had a keen understanding of personal rights under Roman-Dutch law and they functioned within a landscape of some legal equity. A leveling affect from life on the borderland thus reinforced their pseudo-independent status in the colony.[7]

As a commercial society far from the crown, court records indicate New Netherland’s people (only 50% of Dutch origin) held significant autonomy.[8] Dutch control may have disappeared after 1664, but the influence of the culture remained for many years as citizens struggled to resist assimilation of English ways. Additionally, as a trade-centered colony, New Netherland demographics, which included a large proportion of non-Dutch peoples, allowed for a more diverse and open society. Due to this diversity, women’s roles within society highlighted existing social freedoms. Though women did hold lesser legal status than men did, many took advantage of one of the less restrictive societies in the seventeenth-century Atlantic world. The women of New Netherland were unique in their time and space because their social status enabled them semi-equitable civic, legal, and social involvement.

Consolidated through the Union of Utrecht in 1579, making the Netherlands one of the earliest republics in Europe, Dutch society afforded individual rights to all citizens, including women. The traditions of freedoms of conscience, speech and, in practice, the press were foundational ideals of Dutch society. These concepts were manifested in a variety of ways in the broader Dutch empire. The Union of Utrecht, Netherlands constitutive charter obliged the signing provinces to maintain the privilege and liberties of all the signators.[9] Individual freedoms were safeguarded to a greater degree than in other European nations because of an exceedingly decentralized political system. Local jurisdictions often protected rights of individuals against the central institutions of the Dutch Republic.[10]

Although certain rights were foundational, laws could vary from area to area in the Republic making for differences in how courts dealt with defendants. In 1659, the Dutch West India Company sent a booklet to New Netherland entitled Ordinances and Code of Procedure Before the Courts of the City of Amsterdam for additional guidance, and if questions arose local courts were to refer to the law of their homeland. New Netherland was governed by social norms in the Dutch republic but because of distance, variations existed.[11]

Prior to the emergence of women’s studies, historians placed New Netherlander women in a similar position to that of other well studied colonial societies, such as New England, despite variations between them.[12] Early Dutch scholarship also faced obstacles that English scholars did not including a lack of translated documents and few oral histories. Historians of New Netherland mainly relied upon Anglo-focused narratives as opposed to accurate translations of Dutch documentation. Furthermore, the concentration of Dutch culture focused primarily on role of males in society, dealing little if at all with women. In his 1912 essay, “Wiltwyck Under the Dutch,” historian Augustus H. Van Buren rendered only a partial portrait of colonial Dutch women when he stated, “she was what God Almighty designed a woman to be-the noblest, the holiest thing on earth-the helpmate of her husband and the mother of mankind.”[13] Such writings placed women in a subservient, domestic and secondary role to men. Recently translated records challenge these assumptions revealing the actions of women who stood firm under masculine authority.

Additionally, limited accurate Dutch translations hindered early historical analysis of documents containing women’s social activities and rights. Historical perspectives about New Netherland shifted, as bilingual scholars like Charles T. Gehring, of the New Netherland Institute and others translated nearly 65% of Dutch colonial documents.[14] Gehring’s and native speaking scholars’ translations enable more precise understanding of Dutch colonization. Utilizing research that embraces social history with these newly translated documents, Joyce D. Goodfriend analyzed and uncovered inadequate assumptions about women and their inactive roles in public society.[15] These analyses offer a greater understanding of the nature of women’s roles in business and beyond the domestic sphere. Goodfriend suggests that with the emergence of the new social history, historians grasp a greater and more comprehensive understanding of colonial Dutch society as never before.[16] Goodfriend contends that new studies considered the whole of Dutch society as opposed to past methodologies that took a top-down approach, focusing more on history of the elite.[17] These new studies emerged in the 1970s following the Women’s Liberation Movement, and gave great insight into the uniqueness of Dutch society through increased awareness of women’s roles as an important aspect of history.[18]

Additionally, native Dutch historians are producing significant research. Native speaking historians offer new depths to Dutch study because of their ability to understand the culture and subtle qualities of which others may not recognize. This new trend is taking colonial Dutch studies in a fresh direction as “a means to uncover gender roles in the Atlantic world.”[19] Applied to these studies are concepts of gender, which analyze how cultural and historical processes shape social differences between the sexes.[20] When viewed through this new lens, New Netherland’s borderland provides a leveling effect allowing women a vital role as citizens in the Dutch colony.

New Netherland Settlement

Henry Hudson, an Englishman in service of the Dutch East India Company, discovered the region, which became known as New Netherland, in search of a trade route to the Indies in 1609.[21] Hudson’s discovery of the area known, now as New York, thus began Dutch colonization by Amsterdam merchants in 1614.[22] Initially, the founding members colonized for the purpose of trade and private production.[23]

As early as 1659, New Netherland propaganda presented the colony as a haven for poor families, farmers, and craftsmen.[24] Additionally, the Dutch encouraged the formation of overseas households in order to establish solid familial ties for stability and enhanced productivity. To promote colonization of New Netherlands, the Dutch West India Company issued a Charter of Freedoms and Exemptions in 1629.[25] The charter required patroons, large land grant owners such as Kilian VanRensselaer, “within the space of four years” to “undertake to plant a colony there of fifty souls, upwards of fifteen years old,” who “would be free from customs, taxes, excise, imposts and any other contributions for the space of ten years.”[26] Based on this charter, many people traveled to the colony, most of whom planned to make a fortune and return to their homeland. Many of these initial immigrants remained. Approximately 9,000 were in the colony at English conquest, most of who resided in New Amsterdam, now Manhattan.[27]

Settlers came as early as 1623 to the area later known as Beverwijck (modern day Albany) and 1658 to settle Wiltwyck (later called Esopus), now Kingston, New York.[28] In 1658, the population of Esopus, a settlement along the Hudson River was “now about seventy, men, women and children, with thirty of the former sex.”[29] Likewise, Petrus Stuyvesant, Director General of New Netherland for the Dutch West India Company, surveyed the village of Beverwijck on April 10, 1652 by dividing land patents to settlers.[30] By the end of Dutch rule in 1664, New Netherland’s population of about 9,000 contrasted the more populated New England colony that had 33,200 by 1660.[31]

For women, colonizing in an area with so few people was a courageous endeavor. In addition to a low number of inhabitants, disease decreased the population from time to time. For instance, in 1662, 19 adults and 17 children were killed by a chicken pox epidemic in Fort Orange.[32] Though disease was a continual threat to all societies, the effects appeared greater in a small colonial settlement because the depletion of citizens had a negative effect on population function and social morale. For colonists, especially women, life was difficult and required courage to endure all that accompanied settlement in New Netherland. Being away from the Netherlands, threats by Native Americans, adapting to a new geography, and making the Trans-Atlantic crossing required fortitude. Without question, the adventurous attitude needed for life on a borderland contributed to emboldening women in New Netherland.

One important contributing factor to the overall social framework of New Netherland was its existence as a borderland. Borderlands, or “a place that transcends national boundaries and the meeting place and fusing place of two streams of European civilizations,” describe New Netherland and its structure.[33] Foundational characteristics, such as wilderness living and neighboring cultures, contributed to New Netherland’s borderland environment and offered greater mobility for women in colonial settlements. Some historians define New Netherland as a frontier, yet the colony only shares frontier attributes.[34] As Elizabeth Shaw suggests, “New Netherland existed in a transatlantic, transfrontier and multicultural context.”[35] This description more accurately reflects New Netherland as a borderland settlement. New Netherland as a borderland held many dangers, challenges to settlers, and some isolation from urban areas, while remaining well connected to the Atlantic World. A far cry from urban Amsterdam or even Amersfoort, the small settlements of New Amsterdam and Beverwijck were fine examples of colonial borderlands because of tension with neighboring Native Americans, a diverse population that included African slaves and Europeans, and a population intimately connected to the Atlantic World through trade and merchant activities. The investigation of Dutch borderland communities cannot be alienated from the study of the larger Atlantic World systems.[36]

As a region with racial, ethnic and religious diversity, New Netherland provided opportunity for conflict.[37] Women were often the recipients of both opportunity and conflict. Diversity and conflict manifested itself not only in the immigrant populations in the colony but also in the Native Americans whom settlers came in contact. New Netherlanders interacted with neighboring Algonquin and Iroquoian bands. These encounters sparked clashes, as well as resulted in the formation of important trade relations based on sewant and beaver pelts.[38] As in other colonial societies, neighboring Native Americans posed a great challenge for inhabitants of New Netherland.

Native Americans were often at war with the Dutch in response to the imposing Europeans, failed trade relations and hostility toward native tribes. Known as the Dutch Indian wars, or the Esopus Wars, the two groups battled on an off from 1641-1664.[39] Unlike New Amsterdam and Fort Orange, the village of Esopus was unique in that it was established as a farming community due to its land and distance from trading routes.[40] The stress over settlement of farmland that infringed upon Native Americans’ land eventually caused tension.

By 1626, the Dutch built flourishing trade relations with Mahicans and Raritans and expanded trade with the Mohawks, a warring rival of the Mahicans.[41] Relations between the Dutch and Esopus Indians deteriorated due to Dutch aggression and trading with clan enemies.[42] The acquisition of firearms by Native Americans additionally contributed to vicious war with the Dutch.[43] Under the leadership of Director General William Kieft, relations were further damaged as he offered a bounty on Raritan Indian scalps, plunging the Dutch into years of attacks.[44] After continually playing tribe against tribe and then turning on supposed allies, the Dutch found themselves in all out war. This directly affected the citizens of New Netherland. On 7 June 1663, the local Esopus Indians raided the New Village of Esopus. Women and children were taken into captivity and rescued months later.[45] Slaughter ensued on both sides as farms were burnt and women and children were murdered. When Petrus Stuyvesant assumed leadership as Director-General in New Netherland, the murders of Indians continued until the conclusion of the Esopus Wars finally came in 1664; the same year the English took over the colony. The conflicts with native peoples were one ingredient of colonial life and women responded with tenacity, economic know how and courage. Disdain for native peoples was evident as women engaged in trade relations with them.

The accusation against a woman of selling brandy to Indians in Fort Orange demonstrates the sensitivity of Dutch-Indian relations. On 3 November 1654, Maria Jans was brought to court by Jacob van Loosdrecht who testified as having witnessed an alcohol sale taken place.[46] The decision was postponed until June 8, 1655 when Jans, was “ordered to pay a fine of 300 guilders and prohibited from coming into this place for a year and six weeks, and by way of pardon and intercession in her behalf on part of the magistrates.”[47] This hefty punishment demonstrated the severity in which sale of alcohol to Natives Americans was viewed, most likely due to trading restrictions or concern over possible aggressions caused by over consumption by Indians.[48] Dealing with Indians was not the only challenge in the Dutch colonies as citizens were also in constant contact with African slaves.

In New Netherland, as in other North American colonies, slavery was a reality of life and a factor that contributed to the Dutch colony’s social character. The Dutch introduced African slaves in order to fulfill labor needs; however, slavery in New Netherland existed differently than in other European colonies.[49] In New Netherland as elsewhere, economic profit facilitated by persistent labor shortages justified the use of slavery, but other colonial societies instituted slavery also because of a sense of superiority.[50] This distinction is a direct result of New Netherland as a society with slaves as opposed to a slave society.[51] Though the Dutch enslaved African people, there existed practices and legal representation that implied a greater sense of slaves’ humanity that seemed void in other European empires. As historian Joyce Goodfriend asserts, “African slaves’ lives were defined by an impermeable color line that sharply limited their chances for individual autonomy and communal action” even though they were not “totally lacking in resources to define their identity and improve their daily existence.”[52]

There is no doubt that the Dutch view associated black with that of slave but because of varied social structures, some slaves had prospects much different than that of others in European colonies.[53] The status held by slaves was a mixed lot, in that a minority within the Company opposed human ownership and they failed to define chattel bondage.[54] This lack of unity in the social stature of black slavery was due to insufficiently defined statutory basis causing slavery to vary throughout the Dutch colonies.[55] Dutch slavery was of a corporate nature and the West India Company rather than private owners owned most slaves. Although slaves were sometimes personally owned, the West India Company existed as the largest slave-owning corporation in the colony.[56]

As early as one year after Dutch settlement in North America came the arrival of the first group of Africans. During their Golden Age, the Dutch were responsible for the great expansion of black labor, though some historians feel perhaps the numbers were greatly exaggerated.[57] Captured from the Spanish ships, it is estimated that some twenty-three hundred slaves were seized between 1623 and 1626.[58] The Dutch viewed attaining slave in this manner as financially sound because they would lose less money by avoiding the voyage to Africa.

In addition to financially based decisions, the Dutch often preferred to hold slaves who had already had experience in European societies.[59] In fact, the first New Netherland slaves were a combination of both men and women who remained in service to the company as more of an employee. The company extended them certain basic rights, benefits, and privileges that were not granted to slaves owned by private colonists.[60] The nature of slaves’ rights illustrates the overall function of New Netherland as a business venture as well as understanding how the Dutch dealt with the weakest members of society, including slaves and women.

Admittance to the Dutch Reformed Church (with all its benefits) emerged as a distinctive Dutch practice. Being a member of the church afforded slaves some rights in New Netherland including the ability to take part in legal transactions, earn personal wealth, and gain freedom.[61] One such benefit was the validation of slaves’ marriages, similar to the treatment found in Brazilian slave society.[62] Interestingly, between 1640-1664, the New Amsterdam marriage book recorded twenty-six marriages in which one or both of the people were black.[63] Racial intermarriage points to the legal and social freedoms that both slaves and women held. These freedoms imply a society with varied opportunities despite constraints and prejudices.

Instances of interracial sexual activity also points to Dutch women’s uncommon autonomy in the Atlantic world. On 6 October 6 1638, a midwife, Lysbet Dircks, testified to the paternity of a newborn.[64] Court records state that Dircks was asked, “Greitje Reyniers asked the midwife whom did the child resemble, was it like Andries Hudde, or her husband, Anthony Jansen?”; she replied, “If you do not know who the father is, how should I know? However, the child is somewhat brown.”[65] Various individuals viewed interracial sexual activity as negative and as positive.

Eventually, there was a decline in African marriages likely attributed to the death of minister Reverend Everardus Bogardus in a shipwreck off the coast of England in 1647.[66] Bogardus, who replaced Domine Michaelius in 1636, was sympathetic to blacks not only concerning marriage, but he was responsible for supporting the presence of a schoolmaster to educate both Dutch and blacks.[67] His experiences in outposts on West Africa before coming to New Netherland, as well as rumors of possible personal involvement with an African woman may have contributed to his acceptance of interracial unions.[68] Interracial marriage considered socially unacceptable by some was mirrored in a poem by Jacob Steendam, written for a racially mixed boy suspected to be his son.[69] He wrote, “Since two bloods course within your veins, Both Ham and Japhet’s intermingling; One race forever doomed to serve, the other bearing freedom’s likeness, I wish you (in this human form) Japhet’s freedom long foretold.”[70] The fair treatment of slaves by people such as Domine Bogardus was not the norm within society as many rejected blacks. Klooster asserts that, “tolerance was never a matter of policy either at home or in America,” and it can be argued that discussions between political and religious entities enabled greater flexibility in treatment toward people, including black and women, in varied locals.[71] The policies of tolerance were often cultural rather than legal. In the era of the Atlantic slave trade and based on tolerant cultural attitudes, slaves were awarded some rights in Dutch society so it is reasonable that white women were afforded greater mobility.
SOURCESlavery in New York, edited by Ira Berlin and Leslie M. Harris (New York: The New Press, 2005), 43.

*This is an excerpt of a statistical table.  The total number of black landowners listed was 28, owning 170 acres, 4 black women listed.

Lastly, black landowners existed in New Netherland as in other colonies. In response to the repeated attacks by native Indians, blacks served as soldiers and in return, the Council of New Amsterdam awarded these slaves freedom and given land in the buffer zone area north. Several freed black landowners, between 1643-1664, owned over 130 acres or what is now 100 square city blocks of property.[72] Though these landowners were placed as a buffer in harm’s way from hostile Native Americans, these actions demonstrate their opportunities in Dutch New Netherland.

Who is the Boss?

Familial ties in the borderland environment appeared to be of great importance to the Dutch. The “household” or family ties were foundational to continued success and the arena in which women were irreplaceable. The importance of women’s role in the borderland household was another means in which mobility was possible. The household became a metaphor for family relationships, those who necessitated women’s activity in spheres commonly known to men.[73] In short, women of the borderland were counted on to negotiate the economic, legal and sometimes political realms of which their husbands took part within the broader Atlantic World.[74] Women in a Dutch home were jointly responsible with their husbands for debt, proper handling of not only household accounts, but also of their husband’s businesses.[75] In addition to legal privilege warranted to women, the household served as a conduit through which movement and status were achieved.[76] The brazen reputation attributed to Dutch women was a characteristic that supported women’s extended activities.

To outsiders, Dutch women were often said to be bossy and uncouth, ignoring common social conventions throughout other European cultures. Girls in the Netherlands were reported to give orders to their older brothers, treating them as oafs and further acting “unnaturally domineering over their husbands.”[77] As portrayed in the English play, The Tragedy of Sir John van Olden Barnevelt, Dutch women stated, “We ourselves, our own diposers, masters, And those that you call husbands, are our servants,” thus demonstrating their independent nature.[78] It was also common for women in the Netherlands to work outside of the home and travel while men stayed home.[79] English travelers to the Netherlands commonly described the reverse gender roles of the Dutch by stating, “Nor would I be a Dutchman/To have my wife, my sovereign, to command me.”[80] Although women demonstrated verbal confidence and strong attitudes in Dutch society, it must not be misconstrued that women were in charge, as the Netherlands remained patriarchal.

Despite women’s purported bossiness, there were other less positive aspects of New Netherland that Dutch women endured. As in most societies, there was abuse. Occupying a subservient role to men, women were often the victims of verbal and physical abuse. Few court cases of women’s attempts to seek help were recorded, but there were likely many abuse cases never recorded. In one case, Elsje Gerrits pleaded before the court to have her incarcerated husband released in order to work for her, despite his having beaten both herself and her child.[81] Illuminating the hardships this woman had faced, in an act of desperation she appealed for her husband’s freedom despite his abusive past. A violent occurrence was recalled as plaintiff Geertruyd de Witt accused another woman, Anneke Kocks of verbally abusing against both her and her husband in addition to kicking her while she was pregnant and biting her ear.[82] The case concluded eight months later on 3 October 1662, when the defendant, Kocks was “condemned to pay the Deaconry of this City as a fine, the sum of two hundred guilders for the injurious assault perpetrated on her (de Witt) by beating, kicking, and trampling her, and dragging the hair from her head.”[83]

Fines for assaults toward others outside one’s family unit were taken more seriously than internal matters. Though a few cases were recorded of women beating women, most cases of abuse involved men beating their wives suggesting women’s submissive position. Some cases involved severe beatings and the courts handed out lesser punishments within marital cases as opposed to those of unrelated people. This suggests that within marriage or family units the idea that a man “owning” his wife or daughter existed. To reinforce this point, a woman, Judith Verleth, was attacked by Wolfert Webber, who “berated her for a whore and a strumpet, threatened to strike her with a whip, as he daily does his wife; that he assaulted her, bruising and dragging her arm, and kicked her sister so that her hip was blue.”[84] The case was settled with monetary punishment for the defendant even though the man was known to beat his own wife daily. No court actions were recorded against him for any household occurrences.

Women in the Legal Domain

Women were active as plaintiffs and defendants in court records attaining similar legal outcomes as men of that era. Between 1648- 1700 in Albany, women were involved in three hundred and two cases as either plaintiff or defendant.[85] Women were in court for varied reasons such as slander, business transactions, paternity issues, and settlement of debts. Though women constituted 16.5% of all civil cases in the New Amsterdam records from 1653-1674, very few were involved in any criminal activity.[86] In violent cases where women were convicted, they were punished with leniency- usually fined.[87] Exceptions were women who beat men. They were told to beg for forgiveness of the court and warned of banishment if the crime were to occur again.[88] The testimony and rights of women were safeguarded and satisfied at a surprising rate, which underscored their status in society. One case illustrating women’s position as acceptable court witnesses took place between 17 October 1662 through 29 January 1663. Grietjen Hendricks Westercamp brought Pieter Jacobsen to court claiming that he was her baby’s father.[89] Jacobsen denied being the father and rejected the idea of marrying her without proof of paternity.[90] A deposition was taken by seven women who were present at the birth thus certifying that Westercamp swore three times that Jacobsen was the father.[91] During this period, it was the custom to question the pregnant woman while in the throes of childbirth as to the identity of the father.[92] At the point of birth, they reasoned a woman was in such a state that she was unable to lie. These women were accepted as authentic witnesses in court reflecting the level of female rights within society and the important role of women as midwives.[93] Women’s regard as compelling witnesses coupled with their ability to support other women and the court’s desire for the child’s financial support by naming a father demonstrates women social relevance. The case was eventually settled in favor of Jacobsen, who was allowed to marry as he wished but was ordered to pay a fine for having lain with Westercamp.[94] Though Westercamp failed to win the case, she utilized the courts to seek civic restitution.
SourceWomen and Property in Colonial New York: The Transition from Dutch to English Law, 1643-1727 by Linda Briggs Biemer (Ann Arbor: UMI Press, 1983), 8.

Women’s testimonies also included cases regarding financial issues. On 1 December 1654, Maria Jans of Fort Orange (now Albany) stood before the court as plaintiff against Abraham Crabaet, and she was awarded victory in a debt case against the defendant who was to pay, “in pain of imprisonment for debt.”[95] Favorable settlements for women were common as was their self-representation in court appearances. Another case in Wiltwyck (Esopus, now Kingston) on 28 September 1661, involved a woman named Gritedgen Hillebrants who demanded that her master provide a reason for her dismissal and payment of her full wages.[96] The case was delayed as the defendant Juriaen Westgaer, denied all charges and ordered her to produce a witness.[97] Court appearances spanned over a forty-nine day period and concluded with the woman’s victory as two witnesses attested and Westgaer agreed to their statements. The court ordered him to pay Hillibrants a quarter year’s wages.

Such occurrences were not isolated to any specific area of New Netherland. In Beverwijck, after acknowledging his debt of thirteen beavers, Teunis Slingerlant had to give as security, the mortgage on his house to Johanna de Hulter.[98] An award of thirteen beavers was significant as each beaver held a worth of eight guilders. This debt illustrated the handling of goods by women in New Netherland.[99] Women commonly collected debts in a variety of forms. One New Amsterdam woman, Maria Verlett, widow of Paulus Schrick, appeared before the court on 22 January 1664, to find satisfaction when Metje Wessels paid three beavers to resolve an outstanding debt.[100] Likewise, Mary Peeck brought Marten Clazen to court testifying that she had paid him money to build her a house, of which he had not.[101] She demanded compensation and the carpenter was ordered to build the house and deposit the money with this city.[102] Numerous cases including women are scattered throughout the extant records.[103]

In court, women used strong language and appeared fearless, both pertaining to monetary issues and in confronting religious authorities. Trepidation about repercussions from the town Domine appeared legitimate and thus standing up to church authorities might have seemed futile in most colonial societies.[104] New Netherlander did not appear to fear religious figures or personal harm if confronted. In addition to some political rights, women were well aware of the freedom of religion which governed the Dutch Republic, “without hindrance on part of whosoever, in order that each individual shall remain free in his religion and that no one shall suffer any tribulation on account of his religion,” in accordance with the Pacification of Ghent.”[105] The seventeenth century Dutch were unlike other European powers regarding religion and the Netherlands had become a haven for varied faiths such as Portuguese Jews, English sectarians and French Huguenots.[106] In 1657, Fort Orange’s minister, Gideon Schaets wrote, “some six hundred people attended church services (in Fort Orange); he added, “not including seventy to eighty Lutheran families.”[107] This serves as a fine example of the mixing of diverse religious backgrounds.

Since some religious tolerance was present in Dutch society, it is not surprising to find examples of a woman standing up boldly to the authorities regarding religious choice. One case involved a Fort Orange woman named Marretie, wife of Cornelis Teunissen. Teunissen was taken to court for charges of slander as it was asserted that she had “seen the minister drink at times.”[108] An accusation such as this toward a man of the cloth was slanderous and the defendant did not deny having said, things such as, “Those who are willing to revel and feast with the Domine are his friends and because I do not want to do it, I am a child of the devil.”[109] She continued by stating that is if she could she would not sit in church as the hypocritical others do with their Bibles and pretend to be righteous. Teunissen continued, saying that because she refused to be a hypocrite she is seen as, “a child of the devil.” To this accusation she defiantly exclaimed,-“But let me be a child of the devil.”[110] Not to be construed as a woman acting up, Teunissen’s actions were an example of a woman taking a stand. Her audacity was reinforced by the fact that she was not regularly in court as other inflammatory women who repeatedly made appearances.

Powerful words from a woman about a religious figure and the congregation that followed him, demonstrated the freedom of religion, rights and fearlessness that females held. New Netherland’s public liberties were thus a direct result of Dutch philosophy and served to level their culture. Nevertheless, degrading stereotypes toward women were also evident in court records. Grietje Reyniers, who had given birth in the aforementioned suit, was called a “whore” by the defendant.[111] Reyniers and her husband appeared as plaintiffs in March 1639 and listened as the defendant testified when “her mistress went away and saw through a hole in the door that Grietje above named had her petticoat upon her knees…she is a nasty whore.”[112] Several other paternity cases corroborate such slanderous and degrading terms toward women; thus reinforcing a double standard. When the paternity of Grietjen Westercamp’s child came into question, the defendant Pieter Jacobsen responded by saying the plaintiff, “did not behave as a decent girl should…she lay under one blanket with Jan van Breeman, with his daughter between them…he admits having lain with the plaintiff, gave her no money for it.”[113] These types of accusations infer the double standard that existed between men and women about sexual practices.

Women in Business

The considerable presence of women in business in New Netherland and their roles as deputy husbands was not unlike those of neighboring Englishwomen.[114] Women not only took part in businesses operations, but also represented their business interests before the courts. An intriguing case found in Esopus, on 3 April 1663, suggests that a woman had trained a man in a trade. Johanna Ebbingh sued Pieter van Booheemen for, “four beavers, two and one-half of which had been loaned and one and one-half of which were for goods furnished.” While the defendant admitted to having received the goods said, “he [did] not owe the plaintiff anything, as the latter did not keep her promise to let him learn a trade.”[115] The court entered a ruling in favor of the plaintiff, Johanna Ebbingh. This case suggests that a woman was indeed teaching a trade to a man and demonstrated how some women attained positions typically held by men. The implication that to teach a man was to hold a position of power reversed typical patriarchal gender roles.

Though married women were restricted in some legal matters, single women held the ability of full control over their own legal interests. For married women, their husbands acted as guardians and gained full control over their property, including businesses and land.[116] Under the law, when a women married she could do so in two ways. One option was according to usus, namely an ante-nuptial agreement took place in which she rejected the marital power, thus renouncing community property.[117] The second option was according to manus, in which she was subject to her husband.[118] Manus became the law in the Netherlands as well as New Netherland. However, it was still common for women to enter into business transactions and legal proceedings without the consent of their husbands. Similar to those in the Dutch Republic, women existed under a husband’s guardianship but she was, “a partner rather than a servant within marriage.”[119] Often with a properly notarized prenuptial agreement a women who was a trader merchant acted independently of their husbands.[120] This was not a departure from the cultural norm of the Netherlands.[121]

One Margaret Hardenbroeck, an Atlantic trader, was recorded to be periodically working independently as well as in partnership with her husbands.[122] First Hardenbroeck had married Pieter Rudolphus DeVries, a fellow merchant, and when he died she inherited his property and business.[123] In fact, Hardenbroeck not only owned ships but also land in New York, New Jersey, the Netherlands and Barbados.[124] Her second marriage to Frederick Philipsen was entered by the terms of usus, and she was able to keep her own business and property.[125] Hardenbroeck was the epitome of a business-woman in colonial America, who managed all aspects of trade and the Dutch legal system as it existed, did not require a choice between marriage and the marketplace; but enabled her to find success in both.”[126]

Margaret was not alone in her business activity. Several other women under the pseudo-equitable Dutch legal system held positions as traders and proprietors. After English Rule, the numbers decreased and eventually disappeared. This may be a direct result of varied social attitudes about women and their usefulness in all areas of society, including business, as well as very distinct gender roles. Female Traders numbered 46 and Female Proprietors numbered 13 whereas by 1695-1700 the number is recorded as 0 Female Traders and only 3 Female Proprietors.[127]


Statistical data suggests that under Dutch authority, females attained positions outside the domestic sphere more so than under later English rule.[128] Numbers of female traders and proprietors dropped off significantly, though the decline was more rapid in New Amsterdam as opposed to the outlying settlement of Albany.[129] These trends suggest the leveling effect of borderland living represented in the slower change in more rural areas.

Women in New Netherland had privileges such as the ability to own land and the right to inheritance. As in Hardenbroeck’s case, as well as others, women demanded restitution in court with payment of land. On 1 April 1664, Johanna de Laet, wife of Jeronimus Ebbingh, stood as plaintiff in Esopus to collect payment from Cornelis Barentsen Slecht. De Laet requested that, “the estate and possessions of defendant be inventoried and that she may be paid in full, “ adding, “she requests that the purchase made yesterday by Frederick Philipsen, of a lot in Wildwyck, be annulled,” because he purchased it from the defendant.[130] The courts decided that her payment would come from Slecht’s goods but suggested that she bring suit against Philipsen for the purchase money.[131] Johanna de Laet is the aforementioned Johanna Ebbingh was identified as wife of Jeronimus Ebbingh in that document. This distinction is because the plaintiff most likely was standing in on behalf of her husband’s interests.[132]

In New Netherland, women were awarded equal property rights because of the traditional Roman-Dutch law of their homeland. In marriage, women were considered equal and afforded the opportunity of community property.[133] This Dutch practice dated back to the early middle ages and remained part of New Netherland law until English rule. The will of Matthew Blanchan and Magdalen Goore dated 30 July 1688 illustrates one instance.[134] “If Matthew Blanchan happens to dye first,” the document decreed,” his wife shall continue in possession of all the property so long as she lives.”[135] Jan Jacobsen’s and Marritje Pieters’ marriage contract stated that, “First, in regard to the property which he, the bridegroom, shall leave behind in case of his death, whether movable or immovable, or such as may rightfully belong to him, it shall belong in free ownership to Marritje Pieters aforesaid, without any of Jan Jacobsen’s blood relations having claim thereto. “[136] In contrast, generally under English law women were unable to own land. In the English Colonies, land ownership was the prerequisite for the right to vote and this right was never achieved for women in the American colonies.
SOURCE: Taken from A Dutch Family in the Middle Colonies, 1660-1800, by Firth Haring Fabend (New Brunswick: 1991), table 6.2, 118.

Unlike the English who practiced the concept of primogeniture, in which the oldest male in a family was the recipient of a father’s property, the Dutch system allowed women the right of inheritance and joints wills (See Table 1.5).[137] At least half of the wills drawn up and filed before 1700 were joint.[138] One such example was that of Jan Tysen and his wife, Madelena Blansjan who filed jointly in Ulster County, New York dated 25 September 1676.[139] Another example was filed naming Tryntie Barentse, wife of Cornelius Barentsen as “co-testastor” with her husband who both desired the whole estate to “be inherited by the survivor,” and divided equally among their children in case of both their deaths.[140] The practice demonstrated the equity under the law of men and women in inheritance issues.

Women’s legal status extended their ability to attain power of attorney for husbands, sons, and others. Maritien Jans, mother of Dirck Dircksz, was awarded power of attorney by her son “with full power in the principal’s name and on his behalf to demand and receive from their honors at the Chamber in Amsterdam, all such money,” which was due to his father for service rendered.[141] Jans, an inhabitant of Fort Orange was not an isolated example as less than a month later on August 1, 1658; Johanna de Hulter received power of attorney from Poulus Martensen.[142] Often women represented men in court by holding power of attorney.

Philanthropic Needs as Sign of Societal Care

Dutch benevolence was replicated in New Netherland and offers insight into the philanthropic attitudes and care that their society expounded. Munificent practices were a combination of religious observance as well as economic necessity. In a society where philanthropic activity exists, so too are women as administrators and recipients of such aid and opportunity.

One such example, where women were incorporated in a necessary role, was that of care for the poor and sick in Fort Orange. Unique civic duty to aid the needy rather than imposed compulsory taxes was the manner in which the poor were helped in New Netherland. Preventative poor relief was realized through voluntary donations, poor boxes, and church services, both by deacons and local women.[143] For instance, a Rensselaerswijck poorhouse building was completed in 1655 followed by a poor farm in 1657 in order to meet the needs of the society.[144] In the second half of the seventeenth century, a total of 193 people depended on charity for varied amounts of time and was based on unknown standards by deacons.[145] It appears that many who lived on the edge of poverty in Beverwijck were not recorded as receiving aid.

In 1657, Susanna Jansen never received aid and was illegally selling brandy to Indians because “poverty pushed her to it.”[146] Her level of poverty coupled with personal actions considered improper, possibly laziness or drunkenness, may have constituted rejection of the deacon’s aid. Assistance was not distributed to just anyone who requested it. In New Netherland, deacons were guided by the rendementsprincipe, or efficiency principle, which was that the smallest amounts of funds were used to ensure the highest possible level of poor relief.[147] Deacons were required to safeguard those who they determined were most deserving of aid. Aid was given based upon need, but citizens were required to live up to a standard in order to continue to receive. One recorded case of Poulijin Jansen’s family in Fort Orange states that the deacon requested Jansen’s children to be boarded with another family due to improper care, and when the family refused; his aid was cut off after twelve years of collections.[148]

Assistance was also awarded in the form of care for the sick of which women were the primary caregivers. The area of knowledge has limited information and its affect on women’s lives is a point of speculation. Women who nursed the sick were given payments of meat or other necessities. The church provided awards to such women who ensured that the ill were properly taken care of. Church was another outlet for females to work beyond their domestic sphere and their presence to ensure the health of society was irreplaceable.

Another mandated institution that served the social needs of New Netherland was the existence of orphan masters. According to the law, “every person under twenty-five years of age as well as persons above that age, who on account of mental or other disability were deemed incompetent to manage their own affairs, had to be provided with a guardian.”[149] Women often administered the colony’s incompetent and disabled citizens. The benevolent practices brought over to the colony were replicated in these small communities and women held a key role in aiding those in need.

Sex in the Colony

In New Netherland instances of the sexual activity or, lack of punishment for pre-marital acts was commonplace, and varied from that of their Puritan neighbors. Surprisingly, sexual activity among colonial women on the Hudson was discussed in court without modesty. Blatant sexual activity was recorded in court cases that contained humiliating terms regarding women and instances of extramarital and/or premarital pregnancy existed. From 1670 to 1685, the Albany courts handled eight cases regarding children born out of wedlock of which three revealed the mother had slept with more than one man around the time of conception.[150]

The rate of premarital sex is documented in a variety of ways in New Netherland. The Old Dutch Church of Kingston recorded its first marriage of Jan Jansen, carpenter from Amersfoort to Catharyn Matthysen on 3 October 1660.[151] Three months later, on 19 December 1660, the records named these two as parents at the baptism of a daughter named Styntje.[152] Apparently, the bride was well into pregnancy on her wedding day because it does not appear to be a premature birth.

During the colonial period, embarrassment about premarital pregnancy was not as shameful as a man unwilling to marry the woman he impregnated. In a case at City Hall on 31 August 1654, plaintiff Grietie Warnaers appeared to prove that William Harck should be condemned to marry her because he had made promises to do so and that she had slept with him, thus requiring him to wed her.[153] Claiming to be pregnant by yet another man, Daniel de Sille, the same woman appeared in court just prior to the admittance of letters proving the first man’s intention to marry her.[154] Defendant de Sille acknowledged he had slept with her but did not know if he was the father because he had no knowledge of her other than that, “she ran along the road with a can of wine one evening.”[155] The case was taken to the Director General and Clergy for consideration.

Likewise, extramarital affairs occurred repeatedly. In July of 1664, a midwife’s testimony was noted regarding the paternity of the child of Hillegont Joris of New Amsterdam.[156] Tryntje Jonas, the midwife claimed that the mother said, “Jan, the pilot, is father of the child,” and then later stated, “Laurens Cornelisz is the father of the child.”[157] This varied testimony reinforces the multiple sexual activities of the plaintiff or her attempt to establish paternity on any one of her sexual partners. Activity like this was not uncommon. In a hearing 4 November 1659, Adriaan Vincent was accused by Marcus de Sousoy of having another wife with four children.[158] De Sousoy’s motivation was for accusing the man is unknown. However, he appeared keenly focused upon revealing the bigamist as such, that he was a plaintiff again that day against Tousein Bryel, who was forced to answer that Vincent did indeed have a wife and children in Amsterdam.[159] De Sousoy tells the court that if the witness was not acceptable, he will send his wife to Holland to collect evidence.[160] The court proceeded to draw up declarations before a notary and witnesses and thus deSousay’s wife was given agency to find evidence regarding this case.[161]

Although many men and women were religiously loyal and chaste, when examples of extracurricular sexual activity occurred, Dutch colonial society showed no record of punishment by death as prescribed by law. It was not the case in neighboring Puritan societies. In 1641, a law stated that women found guilty of adultery were punished by death; men received a whipping for the same crime.[162] In New Netherland, judgments were unbalanced between genders as men who fathered illegitimate children were punished for a lack of fiscal responsibility, whereas women were viewed to bring greater harm upon society for birthing an illegitimate child because the action was viewed as a moral offense.[163] Although women’s punishment was not fair, the penalty was not death.

Of the many cases involving sex in the courts of New Netherland, surely one of the most disturbing cases was against Nicolaes Hillibrandt, a soldier, accused of attempting to commit sodomy on August 20, 1658.[164] The seven-year-old child victim was recorded as declaring, “he was behind the gardens and said that he saw him pull his mannelyckheyt uyt syn broeck.[165] The boy also declared that the man was assisted by his own mother Elsjen, Hendrick Jochimsen’s wife.”[166] Though known sodomy cases were few, Roman-Dutch law was clear as to the punishment for such an offense: those found guilty were burned alive to ashes.[167] In this case, there was discussion as to how the child be dealt with because religious beliefs viewed the sodomy victim as having the ability to bring evil upon the community if left to live. The court appeared sympathetic to the boy and rendered the decision. The court’s utilization of reason to deal rather than solely religious law, illustrated a society on the path toward a practical humanism.[168]


Another way in which colonial Dutch women were distinct from their colonial peers in North America was in the area of joint child rearing. The shared parenting roles between Dutch men and women demonstrate women’s higher social standing. Combined cultural characteristics and borderland life, afforded women the ability to share jointly in child rearing, a practice common to the Netherlands. Though men ultimately held legal control over their children, those tight bonds contributed to assistance for the female in raising a family.

The Dutch were known to be devoted parents focused toward their children to an extent unlike other European cultures of this age. As seen in art of this period, there was a distinction between the portrayal of children in Dutch and English cultures. The representations of families in Dutch pieces suggest affectionate mannerisms similar to a modern historical current. Art reinforces the Dutch view of children and suggests parenting styles. Dutch mothers were depicted as loving and involved in their children’s lives. Many examples exist of casual and intimate family affection: One painting by Rembrandt Van Rijn entitled, A Woman Comforting a Child Frightened by a Dog, depicts a mother’s concern as she calms her child, while another piece by Adrien van de Velde entitled, A Family in a Landscape, 1660, portrays a loving family enjoying a relaxed day in the country.[169] The Dutch rendered not only doting parents but also children in children’s clothing, doing childlike things, and with youthful expressions. Such characteristics imply a Dutch cultural view of family with lessened expectation of maturity in youth.

Conversely, seventeenth century Puritan art portrayals of mothers and children were quite different from Dutch interpretations. The English illustrated children as little adults with adult-like clothing and stoic facial demeanors such as seen in The Freake-Gibbs Painters’ The Mason Children: David, Johanna and Gabriel, 1670.[170] Reinforcing this point was the rendering of the boy David. David was actually 8 years old though his portrait seems older; and these depictions suggest English parental attitude as that of detachment as seen in Clarke Freake and Baby Mary, 1671.[171] The mother and child were shown as very stiff and lacking in familial relation.

Reinforcing familial warmth, the Dutch practiced apprenticeships like other cultures, but they did not send their children away from home, as did the English.[172] It was their wish to keep children close to their family unit and most apprenticeship records reinforce this point. Tight family bonds contributed to a more positive attitude about women by allowing mothers to have an active role throughout a child’s life.

With children at the center of family life, a mother’s role was indeed of great importance. Women were expected to be wives and mothers who kept extremely clean homes of the highest standard and artistic representations of pride in such work is evident.[173] Dutch women served as great examples to their children on many levels whether in the ethical, spiritual, or practical. In a common Dutch practice, mothers breastfeed their children often in the view of others.[174] Many women appeared void of modesty and acceptance of breastfeeding likely contributed to that mental disposition. English society often shunned such public displays whereas the Dutch seemed to embrace bonding experiences between mother and child.[175] The perspective regarding breastfeeding is insightful as it presented the action as natural rather than something to be hidden or tied to sexuality. Breastfeeding in public reinforced a women’s ability to express her physical womanhood without sexual undertones. What appeared to be minor practices, contributed to the overall openness of society.

Additionally, Dutch mothers were an integral part in the moral development of their children. This development was a direct result of a mother’s ability to educate her children, for she herself was educated. Education is often a mechanism for mobility and its strong influence contributed to Dutch women’s identity. Dutch females were not exempt from the opportunity to gain an education. Though girls in New Netherland received less education than boys, all children were expected to read and write. Women in this region had literacy levels equal to that of New Englanders and much higher than those in the Chesapeake area.[176] Females gained education from their local church and were taught reading, writing, mathematics and the catechism of the Dutch Reformed Church.[177] The school day started at 8 in the morning, ended at 4 in the afternoon, with a break at midday. Though girls were not given a secondary education, as were boys, they were afforded a significant education. Though Dutch New Netherlander women were literate, they were neither pen women nor talkers.[178] They did not chat or write letters, as was the custom of many English women.[179] With less time spent for talk, they were much more active in establishing themselves as productive citizens. Though English women toiled very hard, the Dutch cultural dispositions for less chatter allowed them to be involved in more facets of life, except of course in religious avenues.

Though the portrait of New Netherland’s women was that of mobility, it cannot be ignored that women were not afforded full rights, as were men in most areas of society. That was clearly demonstrated by women’s place in religious life. Records and beliefs illustrate that Dutch females did not find full religious freedom or status within the Dutch Reformed Church. Unlike the Quakers who allowed women to take an active role, the Dutch Reformed Church retained the Biblical principle that males were supreme and assumed all leadership roles.[180] Women were not permitted to enter any ministry of the church because of their strict Calvinistic background that stated, “‘You shall not exercise any dominion over your husband, but be silent’.[181] The church in New Netherland remained a place of oppression for those women who followed its doctrines and a cultural cornerstone of Dutch society well after English takeover.

Although silent in church, women were the moral force of the household as the domestic sphere remained their charge; in the seventeenth century, too, woman’s place was in the home. Despite the fact that Dutch women had a reputation for being more independent than their European peers and many lower-class women were forced to work outside the home out of financial necessity, the household remained the woman’s domain, as illustrated in the chore of “washing up.”[182] In actuality, this circumstance falls contrary to the counter-poetry of the bossy Dutchwoman. From two cues found in poetry and artwork, woman can be viewed as both authoritarian and under the thumb of patriarchy. Such a combination made women a foundation to successful social function.

It has been stated that woman as keepers of the private duties were the center of the “fixed circle” of human history, and thus the lines of men extend from and toward her stationary point.[183] A 1650s saying that states, “Womans the centre and lines are men,” suggests that women’s power cannot be underestimated and her role stands as the wellspring of family life.[184] Time and again, examples of women appear as foundations of social fluidity; whether in building the household morality, representing her husband’s interests or in assistance to the poor.


Women in New Netherland experienced a varied and complicated life that involved in all parts of society. Not solely wedded to the domestic sphere and included in one of the most liberal empires, women were able to undertake many roles typically reserved for men. From traders to businesswomen, from mothers to landowners, New Netherlander women were active participants in society. The combined challenges of borderland life, cultural diversity, business as well as a pliable legal system afforded the weakest in a patriarchal society various rights that contributed to the unique position of women in this Dutch colony. Though subject to their husbands and clearly a part of a male-dominated society, Dutch women exhibited a bold and even officious spirit. Describing the tenacious manner in which Dutch women were viewed, Golden Age Dutch poet Jacob Cats penned,

If a glass or porcelain breaks, 
The house is soon too small, 
So violently does the wife rage, 
It seems a he wants to give her maid a thrashing, 
Kitchen, parlour, hall and floor, 
Everything is in an uproar, 
It seems she will go into battle, 
With a boy, with a servant, 
With her daughter, or her child, 
With whomever she finds first, 
And, in between the man 
Will certainly get his share.[185]

With their mottled gender roles, driving essence and every so often a fight or two, it was precisely those New Netherland women that were the man’s “share.” The study of New Netherland and its affect upon American colonization remains important because of its charter group status.[186] As scholarship continues, a fuller picture is coming into focus about the fascinating lives that New Netherlander women lived and their vital place in Seventeenth-Century Dutch imperial growth.

Maria Vann, Education Programs Manager at the New York State Historical Association has a BS in history and a MA in History Museum Studies. Her credits include educational materials for the NYS Museum and the D&H Linear Park, international presentations, Native American Interpretation, professional development for teachers, and school programs.


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[1] Thesis title on cover page is taken from, The Tragedy of Sir John van Olden Barnevelt by W.P. Frijlinck as reprinted in A.TH.Van Deursen, Plain Lives in a Golden Age(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978), 83.  In Dutch-speaking areas, a schout was a local official appointed to carry out administration, law enforcement and prosecutorial tasks.  The office was abolished with the introduction of administrative reforms during the Napoleonic period. The Dutch Records of Kingston, Ulster County, NY (Esopus, Wildwyck, Swanenburgh, Kingston) 1658-1681 with some later dates Part I: May 31, 1658-November 18, 1664 Esopus-Wildwyck, ed. Samuel Oppenheim(New York: New York Historical Association, 1912), 83. 
[2] The Dutch Records of Kingston, Ulster County, 83.
[3] Ibid, 83.
[4] Ibid, 85.
[5] A caroulus guilder was a Dutch coin of the period equaling one and one-half a guilder.
[6] The English takeover of New Netherland occurred in 1664 when Peter Stuyvesant officially surrendered the city of New Amsterdam on September 8, followed by an oath of allegiance to the English authority by the Dutch officials and residents on October 20.  Another attempt by the Dutch to regain New Amsterdam was made in 1673 but failed as the colony was given back to England on 10 November, 1674 and further remaining under full sovereignty of England. 
[7] These laws were well known to citizens and though regional control allowed for variation, Dutch-Roman law was at the foundation of legalities. See Fernow, “Court Minutes of December 14, 1654,” Records of New Amsterdam, when the burgomasters and schepens, who were not certain about how to dispose of a certain case, said they would have to refer to the “Custom and written law of the fatherland.” The Records of New Amsterdam from 1653-1674 Anno Domini. Minutes of the Court of Burgomasters and Schepens ed. Vol.I, 1653-1655, Inclusive, ed. Berthold Fernow, (Baltimore, MD: Geneological Publishing Co., Inc., 1976), 273.
[8] “A Brief Outline of the History of New Netherland”,, Department of Special Collections: University of Notre Dame, (accessed 12/4/08). 
[9] Historian Wim Klooster suggests, “Since the republic’s government continued to be based on provincial assemblies and town councils, power and authority were heavily decentralized.  Negotiated Empires: Centers and Peripheries in the Americas, 1500-1820.Edited by Christine Daniels and Michael V. Kennedy (New York: Routledge, 2002), 172.
[10] J.L Price, Culture and Society in the Dutch Republic During the Seventeenth Century (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1974, 170.
[11]Linda Biemer, “Criminal Law and Women in New Amsterdam and Early New York”, A Beautiful and Fruitful Place, Selected Rensselaerswijck Seminar Papers, Ed. Nancy Anne McClure Zeller(New York: New Netherland Publishing, 1991),73. ; And Children in Colonial America, Edited by James Marten, New York: New York University Press, 2007, 92.
[12] The extent of women’s freedom was not considered important to many scholars, as illustrated the early twentieth century, historians such as John Fiske or Maud Wilder Goodwin wrote with a patriarchal perspective placing women on the margins of society.  Both Fiske and Goodwin wrote during the Progressive Era, which was reflected in their grand narratives of “the American story.”  At a period in which groups were trying to establish the definition of the American character, historians stressed the triumphs of great men of American history.  That approach left little room for the study of women, no less giving them significant role in societal establishment beyond supporting males.  Goodwin, a female historian, reinforced that methodology by only hinting about gender, society, class and race.  Works by historians of the early 20th century include: Goodwin, Maud W. The Dutch and English on the Hudson: A Chronicle of Colonial New York. New York, NY: Cosimo, Inc., 2005; Fiske, John. The Dutch and Quaker Colonies in America in Two Volumes. Vol. Volume I, Cambridge, UK: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1902.
[13] Augustus H. Van Buren, Wiltwyck Under the Dutch, Proceedings of the New York State Historical Association, The 13th Annual Meeting, with Constitution, By-Laws and List of Members, Vol. XI (New York: New York Historical Association, 1912), 135.
[14]Many organizations such as the New Netherland Project, established in 1974 at the New York State Archives in Albany, have worked tirelessly to accurately translate early documents.  The New Netherland Project, (accessed on 12/4/08).
[15] Joyce D. Goodfriend has written extensively about New Netherland’s history including
womens’ role in that colonial society.  See Joyce D. Goodfriend: Before the Melting Pot: Society and
Culture in Colonial New York City, 1664-1730.( Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press), 1992;
Chapter II Colonial Dutch Studies: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Edited by Eric Nooter and Patricia
U. Bonomi (New York: New York University Press, 1980;  Lives of American Women: A History with
Documents(Boston: Little, Brown, 1981);  Revisiting New Netherland: Perspectives in Early Dutch
America (Boston: Brill, 2005); Going Dutch: The Dutch Presence in America, 1609-2009(Boston: Brill,
[16] Goodfriend argues that, “Because Dutch culture has traditionally been evaluated by the
standards of the Puritans, emphasis has too often fallen on its deficiencies-its failure to produce a
literature of note, the crass materialism of its people, and the shallowness of their spiritual
concerns,” and we can overcome this by “examining Dutch colonial culture on its own terms.”
Colonial Dutch Studies: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Edited by Eric Nooter and Patricia U. Bonomi
(New York: New York University Press, 1980), 19-20.
[17] Ibid, 6.
[18] Since the 1990s, several young scholars continued historical research focused on 17th century women, revealing the rural aspect of Dutch women’s lives and its leveling affect on New Netherland society.  Such historians as Martha Dickinson Shattuck, Michael E. Gherke, and Susan Elizabeth Shaw are in the process of revealing a more complete portrait of women and gender roles through their scholarship.  Martha Dickinson Shattuck is a scholar with the New Netherland Institute. For additional reading: Shattuck, Martha Dickinson. “A Civil Society: Court and Community in Beverwijck, New Netherland, 1652-1664”,PhD Dissertation, Boston University, 1993. Michael E. Gherke is a professor at the University of West Virginia.  For additional reading: Gherke, Michael E. “Dutch Women in New Netherland and New York in the Seventeenth-Century”, PhD Dissertation, College of Arts and Sciences West Virginia University 2001; Shaw, Susan Elizabeth. “Building New Netherland: Gender and Family Ties in a Frontier Society”, PhD Dissertation, Cornell University, 2000. 
[19] Goodfriend, Revisiting New Netherland, 267.
[20]Ibid, 267.
[21]Maarten Prak, The Dutch Republic in the Seventeenth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 113.
[22]Prak, The Dutch Republic in the Seventeenth Century, 114.
[23]Ibid, 115: The Dutch first settled in present day Albany in 1624, and in 1626 they acquired the island of Manhatta. Eric Homberger, The Historical Atlas of New York City: A Visual Celebration of 400 Years of New York City’s History (New York: Henry Holt & Company, LLC, 1994), 17.
[24]Shaw, “Building New Netherland”, 243.
[25] Charter of Freedoms and Exemptions, 1629, as reprinted in New York: A Chronological & Documentary History, 1524-1970, ed. Howard B. Furer (Dobbs Ferry, NY: Oceana Publications, Inc., 1974) 58.
[26] Charter of Freedoms and Exemptions, 1629, 58.  Kilian Van Rensselaer was the patroon of Rensselaerswijck which comprised almost a million acres of land, approximately the present day counties of Albany and Rensselaer in New York State. See Venema, Janny, Beverwijck: A Dutch Village on the American Frontier, 1652-1664(Hilversem, The Netherlands: Verloren, 2003), 14.
[27], (accessed on 10/2/08).
[28]Beverwijck literally means ‘beaver district’.
[29]Nathaniel Bartlett Sylvester, History of Ulster County New York (Interlaken, NY: Heart of Lakes Publishing, 1994), 34. Esopus is an Algonquin Indian name meaning ‘river’.
[30] By 1664, Beverwijck had some 82 families in residence, further demonstrating low populations
significantly different than their homeland. Janny Venema, “Poverty and Charity in Seventeenth-Century
Beverwijck/Albany, 1652-1700.”
(Cooperstown, NY: NYS Historical Association) New York History, Oct. 1999, 369-390,372. The population of Albany County in 1689 was 2016. The reference to Albany County is reflective of the English Authority during the time mentioned; the area’s name had been Anglicized, changed to honor the Duke of Albany in England. on 10/2/08).
[31]For a statistical population comparison, McCusker and Menard list New England’s population as: 13,700 in 1640, 22,900 in 1650, 33,200 in 1660, and 51,900 in 1670.  Interestingly, the population estimates did not change from earlier statistical data.  John J. McCusker and Russell R. Menard, The Economy of British America, 1607-1789(Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991), 103.
[32]Venema, “Poverty and Charity in Seventeenth-Century Beverwijck/Albany”, 374.
[33]Mixing Race, Mixing Culture: Inter-American Literary Dialogues, ed. Monika Kaup and Debra J. Rosenthal (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2002), 143.
[34]New Netherland existed as a borderland because it was an area as defined by the meeting place of Europeans (English to the east, French to the north), in addition to the fusing of such cultures.  Native American and African cultures as indicated by nearly half the inhabitants of New Netherland not being Dutch.  Though New Netherland assumed aspects of frontier life such as wilderness and relations with Native Americans, it was not a society forging forward for dramatic expansion as often the case in a Frontier society.  Additionally, New Netherland could not be defined as a backcountry because although adventurous, its citizens were not searching to escape civilization; rather they continued to set up mini-societies reflecting their homeland, aka Beverwijck. The vague or uncertain conditions that existed in New Netherland reflect what Daniel H. Usner, Jr. describes as, the different circumstances which existed in the borderlands, where colonial politics on the ground were different from what colonial rulers intended.  See Chapter 17 of A Companion to Colonial America, Edited by Daniel Vickers (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2003).
[35]Shaw, 169.
[36] Ibid, 169.
[37] Negotiated Empires, 173.  New Netherland was comparable to the Dutch republic in its diverse population.  During correlating times in the 17thcentury, Amsterdam’s population was 53.9% Dutchmen; similarly New Netherland’s Dutch population was about 51%.   For more reading about Atlantic history: The British Atlantic World, 1500-1800, ed. David Armitage and Michael J. Braddick (Palgrave MacMilian, 2002): The Creation of the British Atlantic World, ed. Elizabeth Mancke and Carole Shammas (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005).   
[38]Sewant is another name for what was called wampum in the English colonies; strung pieces of shell which varied in worth based on coloration.  Six white shells would have equaled one purple shell.
Venema, Beverwijck: A Dutch Village on the American Frontier, 15.
[39]Jerry Keenan, Encyclopedia of American Indians, 1492-1890(New York: W.W. Norton, 1997), s.v. “Dutch-Indian Wars, 1641-1664”.
[40]Shaw, 251.
[41]Keenan, Encyclopedia of American Indians, 1492-1890, s.v.“Dutch-Indian Wars, 1641-1664”.
[42]Ibid, 70.
[43]Ibid, 70.
[44]Ibid, 70.
[45]Ruth P. Heidgard. Matthew Blanchan in Europe and America (New Paltz, NY: Dubois Family Association Huguenot Historical Society, 1979), 4: Sylvester, History of Ulster County New York, 50.
[46] Maria Jans is also referred to as Maria Goosen Jans, wife of Steven Jansz in the records.  Spelling variations exist.
[47] Fort Orange Court Minutes 1652-1660.New Netherland Documents Series. Edited by Charles T.
Gehring (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1990), 194.
[48]In 1658, Peter Stuyvesant and his council renewed two ordinances prohibiting the sale of alcohol to Indians; the penalties for violations were 500 guilders, corporal punishment, and banishment.  Another ordinance was enacted in 1654 allowing Indians to testify and their statements would be admissible.  Dennis Sullivan, The Punishment of Crime in Colonial New York: The Dutch Experience in Albany During the Seventeenth Century (New York: Peter Lang, 1997), 176, 189.
[49]By 1650, the Netherlands was the pre-eminent slave trading empire in the Atlantic.  During the Dutch Golden Age, Holland’s trade spread across the globe, first with the Dutch East India Company and then the Dutch West India Company.  Dutch presence existed in Africa, the Spice Islands, the Caribbean, South America, North America and the Indian Ocean.  
[50]When in history economic necessity warranted this  attitude of superiority over blacks, societies began to “demonize” blacks as inferior.  Ira Berlin demonstrates that slaveholders, “discovered much of value in supremacist ideology,” by elaborating on notions of slaves as savages and imbeciles.  Ira Berlin, Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America (Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1998), 363.  
[51]Berlin, Many Thousands Gone, 8.
[52]Goodfriend, Before the Melting Pot, 111. 
[53] Slavery in New York, ed. Ira Berlin and Leslie M. Harris (New York: The New Press, 2005), 40.
[54] Slavery in New York, ed. Berlin and Harris, 38.
[55]Ibid, 38.
[56]Ibid, 37.  The Dutch West India Company owned about half of the colony’s slaves.
[57]This number may be exaggerated because Dutch shipmaster’s  were highly engaged with Virginia prior to the first Anglo-Dutch War in 1652, and it is suggested that English slave traders were indifferent to the Virginian market during that period.  Wesley Frank Craven, White, Red, and Black: The Seventeenth-Century Virginian (Charlottesville, VA: The University Press of Virginia, 1971), 89.
[58] Morton Wagman, “Corporate Slavery in New Netherland”, The Journal of Negro History, 65, no.1, (1980):  34.
[59]Historian Ira Berlin refers to these people as Creoles. For more about Creolization, See Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery. See footnote 52.
[60] Wagman, “Corporate Slavery in New Netherland”, 37.
[61]The Dutch Reformed Church included people from all ethnicities.  For example, in 1664 New Amsterdam, of the 222 men, 168 (76 percent) were Dutch, 24 (11 percent) were German, 15 (7 percent) were French, and 10 (4.5 percent) were English.  The remaining 5 men included three Scandinavians (a Swede, a Norwegian, and a Finn), a Jew, and an Irishman.  Goodfriend, Before the Melting Pot, 16.
[62] Herbert Klein, “African Slavery in Brazil and Comparative Perspectives”, 6 March 2008, State University College at Oneonta.
[63]Bogardus’ real name was Evert Willemszoon. Shaw, 21.
[64] New York Manuscripts Dutch, Vol. 1 Register of the Provincial Secretary, 1638-1642, ed. Kenneth Scott and Kenn Stryker-Rodda (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc., 1974), 67.
[65] It must be noted that the description of the child as brown could possibly be the result of Indian/Dutch relations, as found in other colonial societies.  New York Manuscripts Dutch, Vol. 1, Scott and Rodda, 67.
[66]Prak, 121.
[67] Slavery in New York, 39.
[68]Shaw, 212.
[69]Steendam was a soldier, slave trader and merchant who eventually went to New Amsterdam.
Slavery in New York, 50.
[70]Ibid, 50.  Jacob Steendam’s poem as reprinted in text.
[71]Although certain “policies” were present in the Dutch Empire, such as religious tolerance, the codification of specific practices was not present.  This allowed for the variation in the colony, as local courts made determinations about situations that arose.  Variations of local groups throughout the Dutch empire and their varied treatment of individual groups can be seen with regards to the treatment of Jews.  For example, in New Netherland, Jews were greeted with an unfriendly welcome but were living under favorable conditions in New Holland.  Negotiated Empires, 184.
[72] Slavery in New York, 44.
[73]Shaw, 4.
[74]Ibid, 4.
[75]Shattuck, “A Civil Society”, 155.
[76]The relationship between 17th century Dutch women and the Atlantic World is far from explored and necessitates continued scholarship.
[77]A.TH.Van Deursen, Plain Lives in a Golden Age: Popular Culture and Society in Seventeenth-century Holland (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978, 82-83.
[78] The Tragedy of Sir John van Olden Barnevelt by W.P. Frijlinck as reprinted in A.TH.Van Deursen, Plain Lives in a Golden Age, 83.
[79]Ibid, 83.
[80] Taken from The Little French Lawyer, a Jacobean era stage play, written by John Fletcher and Philip Massinger was initially published in the first Beaumont and Fletcher folio of 1647. Ibid, 83.
[81]The case was heard in New Amsterdam on February 18, 1662.  The Records of New Amsterdam from 1653-1674 Anno Domini. Minutes of the Court of Burgomasters and Schepens ed. Vol. IV, Minutes of the Court of Burgomasters and Schepens Jan. 3, 1662 to Dec. 18, 1663, Inclusive, ed. Berthold Fernow (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1976), 34.
[82]Ibid, 130.
[83]Ibid, 140.
[84] This number does not include cases from 1660-1668 which records were destroyed by fire in 1911.
The Records of New Amsterdam from 1653-1674 Anno Domini. Minutes of the Court of Burgomasters and Schepens ed. Vol. I, ed. Berthold Fernow (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1976), 317.
[85] Linda Briggs Biemer. Women and Property in Colonial New York: The Transition from Dutch to English Law, 1643-1727, Studies in American History and Culture Volume 38(Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Research Press, 1983), 8.
[86] New Amsterdam records from 1653-1674 show that women were only in 28 criminal cases, historians suggest this is due to the fact that Dutch law allowed women to take advantage of opportunities and their was little need for criminal activity.  Further, very few women were involved in prostitution which may be explained by the social opportunities coupled with the possible punishment of banishment.  Other criminal offences like illegal tapping, operating taverns on Sunday after 9 p.m. or assaulting other people were common.  Linda Biemer, “Criminal Law and Women in New Amsterdam and Early New York”, 73.
[87]Biemer, “Criminal Law and Women in New Amsterdam and Early New York”, 79.
[88] Ibid, 73.
[89] The Dutch Records of Kingston, Ulster County, NY (Esopus, Wildwyck, Swanenburgh, Kingston)
1658-1681 with some later dates Part I: May 31, 1658-November 18, 1664 Esopus-Wildwyck, Ed.
Samuel Oppenheim. 36.
[90] Dutch Records of Kingston, Ulster County, NY (Esopus, Wildwyck, Swanenburgh, Kingston)
1658-1681 with some later dates,37.
[91]Ibid, 40.
[92]Sullivan, The Punishment of Crime in Colonial New York, 136.
[93] For midwifery practices and more information about the function of the midwife in colonial society. See Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, A Midwife’s Tale, New York: Vintage Books, 1991.
[94] Dutch Records of Kingston, Ulster County, NY (Esopus, Wildwyck, Swanenburgh, Kingston)
1658-1681 with some later dates,40.
[95] Fort Orange Court Minutes 1652-1660.New Netherland Documents Series, 165.
[96] New York Historical Manuscripts, Dutch: The Kingston Papers.  Kingston Court Records,Volume 1,
1661-1667. Edited by Peter R. Christoph, Kenneth Scott and Kenn Stryker-Rodda.(Baltimore, MD:
Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1976), 4, 9.  The name Wildwyck eventually fell into disuse
following under the authority of the Duke of York and was generally referred to as the Town of
Esopus.  Kingston Paper, xi-xii., Today Esopus is called Kingston.
[97] Ibid, 9.  November 8, 1661
[98] Early Records of the City and County of Albany and Colony of Rensselaerswyck, Notarial Papers I
and II, 1660-1696. Vol. 3. Edited by A.J.F. Van Laer (Albany, NY: The University of the State of
New York, 1918), 49.
[99]Venema, Beverwijck: A Dutch Village on the American Frontier, 373.
[100]The Records of New Amsterdam from 1653-1674 Anno Domini. Minutes of the Court of Burgomasters and Schepens ed. Vol. V, Minutes of the Court of Burgomasters and Schepens Jan. 8, 1664 to May. 1, 1666, Inclusive. Ed. Berthold Fernow (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1976), 10.
[101]The Records of New Amsterdam from 1653-1674 Anno Domini. Minutes of the Court of Burgomasters and Schepens ed. Vol. IV, 95.
[103]In her essay entitled, “Criminal Law and Women in New Amsterdam and Early New York,” historian Biemer suggests that it is impossible to fully know whether women appeared in court more often under Dutch rule than following English takeover despite fewer appearances of women in the records.  She states, “Although women appeared in court fewer times after English takeover (1664) than before, there was an overall decline in the number of court appearances of both men and women after 1664.  The Fernow records, unfortunately, stop in 1674, too soon to prove that the decline in female court appearances continues to be significant.”  A Beautiful and Fruitful Place, Selected Rensselaerswijck Seminar Papers(Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1991) 74.
[104]A Domine was a clergyman who led the Reformed Dutch Church.  The church served a great purpose to implement biblical ideals like philanthropic activities in Dutch society and was the chief cultural institution of the Seventeenth Century.
[105] Netherlands. 1579. Union of Utrecht, January 29, 1579., 610 as reprinted in Selected Documents
Illustrating Mediaeval and Modern History, Edited by Emil Reich(London: P.S. King and Son,
1905).   Although the Union of Utrecht had promised religious freedom to all faiths, in fact, the
Dutch Reformed Church was the only one which could to publically express its views.  Prak, 29.;
Although New Netherland allowed other faiths to live within its confines, these faiths were not
accepted without prejudice.  For instance, Jews were still considered of lowly status and court
records show several instances of Dutch citizens insulting each other by calling them a Jew.  One
such case in the Kingston records states defendant Aitjen Sybrandts calling Mr. Gysbert van
Imbrogh, “a Jew and a sucker. New York Historical Manuscripts, Dutch: The Kingston Papers, 62.  
[106] Price, Culture and Society in the Dutch Republic During the Seventeenth Century, 171.
[107]In Rensselaerswijck, church services were compulsory, but rather than shunning non-Calvinistic Christians, others were included in worship services.  Venema, Beverwick: A Dutch Village, 372.
[108] Fort Orange Records 1656-1678. New Netherland Document Series. Edited by Charles T.
Gehring (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2000), 285.
[109]Fort Orange Court Minutes 1652-1660.New Netherland Documents Series, 285.
[110] Ibid, 285.
[111]New York Manuscripts Dutch, Vol. 1, 105,107.
[112] Ibid, 105,107.
[113] New York Historical Manuscripts, Dutch: The Kingston Papers, 57.
[114]Ulrich’s states that should fate or circumstance prevent the husband from fulfilling his role, the wife may have appropriately stood in his place.  She adds that beyond the domestic sphere, many colonial Englishwomen would learn trades associated with their husband’s work.  She does state that many of the women with the ability to act as an assistant to her husband seemed to have lacked to security to act alone; this appears to be a slight difference in attitude among many Dutch women who through words and actions engage personal authority more confidently.  Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Good Wives: Image and Reality of Women in Northern New England 1650-1750(New York: Vintage Books, 1980), 35-36.
[115] New York Historical Manuscripts, Dutch: The Kingston Papers, 65.
[116]The age of marriage among women in New Netherland was younger than the average age in Holland of 19.8 years.  For this and more information regarding marriage ages see Shattuck, “A Civil Society”, 147-148.
[117]Biemer, “Criminal Law and Women in New Amsterdam and Early New York”,73-74.
[118] Ibid, 73-74.
[119] David E. Narrett, Inheritance and Family Life in Colonial New York City (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992), 43.
[120] The Empire State: History of New York, Ed. Milton M. Klein (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2001), 70.
[121]Shattuck, “A Civil Society”, 181.
[122] Biemer. Women and Property in Colonial New York, 5.
[123] Carol Berkin, First Generations: Women in Colonial America(New York: Hill and Wang, 1996), 80.
[124] Biemer. Women and Property in Colonial New York, 5.
[125] Berkin, First Generations: Women in Colonial America, 80.
[126] Berkin, 83.  For more on the life of Margaret Hardenbroeck, read: The Woman of the House, by Jean Zimmerman (Harcourt, 2006).
[127]Biemer. Women and Property in Colonial New York, 7.
[128]See Tables 1.3 and 1.4.
[129]See Tables 1.3 and 1.4.
[130]New York Historical Manuscripts, Dutch: The Kingston Papers, 142.
[131] Ibid.
[132]Women standing in legal situations stood as an agent for their husband in circumstances when males were not able to be present.  Biemer, Women and Property in Colonial New York, 8.
[133]Women held the right to do with their property as they saw fit in widowhood or single life. Ibid.
[134] Heidgerd, Matthew Blanchan in Europe and America, 17.
[135] Ibid, 17.
[136]  New York Manuscripts Dutch Vol. 1 Register of the Provincial Secretary, 1638-1642, 212.
[137]Records indicate a consistent decline in female inheritance following English takeover.
[138] Joan R.  Gundersen and Victor Gampel “Married Women’s Legal Status in Eighteenth-Century New York and Virginia” in The William and Mary Quarterly39:1(1982): 118.
[139] Ulster County, N.Y. Probate Records Vol. I & II, trans. Gustave Anjou (Rhinebeck, NY: Palatine Transcripts, 1980), 33.
[140]This case is dated August 17(year not mentioned), written in Dutch.  The notation is listed by others in 1676.  Ulster County, N.Y. Probate Records Vol. I & II, 32.
[141] Early Records of the City and County of Albany and Colony of Rensselaerswyck, Notarial Papers I
and II, 1660-1696. Vol. 3, 48. Dated July 17, 1658.
[142] Early Records of the City and County of Albany and Colony of Rensselaerswyck, 63.
[143]Venema, “Poverty and Charity in Seventeenth-Century Beverwijck/Albany”, 390.
[144]Ibid, 375.
[145]Ibid, 376.
[146]Ibid, 376.
[147]Ibid, 380.
[148]Ibid, 377.
[149]Ibid, 378.
[150]Sullivan, 136.
[151]Baptismal and Marriage Registers of the Old Dutch Church on Kingston, Ulster County, New York, 1660-1809(Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co.,Inc.,1997), 1.
[152] Baptismal and Marriage Registers of the Old Dutch Church on Kingston, Ulster County, New York, 1660-1809 , 499.
[153]This case occurred on September 7, 1654.The Records of New Amsterdam from 1653-1674 Anno Domini. Minutes of the Court of Burgomasters and Schepens ed. Vol. I, 238.
[155]Ibid, 239.
[156] The New York Historical Manuscripts Dutch, Vol. 2 Register of the Provincial Secretary, 1642-1647, Ed. Kenneth Scott and Kenn Stryker-Rodda (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Company Inc., 1974), 234.
[157] The New York Historical Manuscripts Dutch Vol. 2 Register of the Provincial Secretary, 1642-1647, 234.
[158] The Records of New Amsterdam from 1653-1674 Anno Domini. Minutes of the Court of
Burgomasters and Schepens ed. Vol. III, Minutes of the Court of Burgomasters and Schepens Sept. 3, 1658 to Dec. 30, 1661, Inclusive. Ed. by Berthold Fernow (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1976), 70.
[159] The Records of New Amsterdam from 1653-1674 Anno Domini. Minutes of the Court of
Burgomasters and Schepens ed. Vol. III, 70.
[160]Ibid, 70.
[161]No further references to this case have been found in records.
[162] The case described by John Winthrop was of an eighteen year old woman, Mary Latham who was put to death on March 21, 1664 after being found guilty of committing adultery.  The sentence was according to the “law formally made and published in print,” and the women was said to have died, “very penitently…gave good exhortation to all young maids to be obedient to their parents, and take heed of evil company.” John Winthrop, John Winthrop’s Journal, 1630-1649, Volume II.”History of New England” Reprinted in Original Narratives of Early American History, Edited by James Kendall Hosmer (New York: Charles Schribner’s Sons: 1908), 161-163.
[163]Both men and women were punished with whipping in accordance to the intensity of their crime.
Sullivan, 143-144.
[164] Early Records of the City and County of Albany and Colony of Rensselaerswyck, 69.
[165]This Dutch phrase has not been translated in the documents. In a personal conversation with Dr. Peter van der Riet, a native Dutch speaker, on December 11, 2008, he revealed that the translation is, “took his manhood out of his pants.” Dr. Peter Van der Riet, personal conversation with author, December 11, 2008.
[166] Early Records of the City and County of Albany and Colony of Rensselaerswyck, 70.
[167] Sullivan, 291, nn101. Some convicted were shown mercy by being hung first before being burnt
to ashes.  In anothercase involving  Jan Quisthout van der Linde, a soldier who had been
convicted of sodomy in 1660, his punishment was to be stripped of his arms, his sword broken at
his feet and then tied in a sack and cast into the river and drowned. 
[168]Humanism is a doctrine, attitude or way of life centered on human interests or values.  The Dutch culture displayed aspects of this approach utilizing reason and the personal choice of individuals to choose their own morals.  Jeremy Stangroom and James Garvey, The Great Philosophers: From Socrates to Foucault (New York: Barnes & Noble, 2005), 144.
[169]Rembrandt van Rijn, A Woman Comforting a Child Frightened by a Dog, sketch, 1636, Institute Neerlandais, Paris.  Adriaen van de Velde, A Family in a Landscape, oil on canvas, 1660, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
[170]The Freake-Gibbs Painter, The Mason Children: David, Joanna, and Abigail, oil on canvas, ca.1670, de Young Museum, San Francisco.
[171]The Freake-Gibbs Painter, Elizabeth Clarke Freake and Baby Mary, oil on canvas, ca. 1671, Worcester Museum, Massachusetts.
[172]The Empire State, 68.
[173]Gaze describes women’s pride in their domestic work as represented in pieces by artists like Geertrydt Roghman as busily tending their pursuits as opposed to being under the male gaze.  Delia Gaze, Concise Dictionary of Women Artists (London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2001), 577.
[174] The Empire State, 68.
[176]Ibid, 68.
[177]Thomas Woody, A History of Women’s Education in the United States (NY: Octagon Books, 1974), 196.
[178]Woody, A History of Women’s Education in the United States, 180.
[180]Ibid, 179.
[181]Ibid, 179-80.
[182]Prak, 144. The cleanliness of the home was a woman’s primary responsibility. Portrayals of Dutch women in the domestic sphere are found in numerous artworks of the Golden Age; including pieces by female artists such as Geertruydt Roghman.  Roghman was an engraver during the Dutch Golden Age from Amsterdam who worked in her family’s print shop and left many depictions of women at work in the domestic sphere.  Her pieces are described in contrast to other representations of the “grinning woman” with sexual undertones but rather women dedicated to their domestic work.  Gaze. Concise Dictionary of Women Artists, 576-577.   See, Westermann, Mariët, A Worldly Art: The Dutch Republic 1585-1718(New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996).
[183]Ulrich, Good Wives, 4.
[184]Ibid, 3.
[185]Jacob Cats, Werken, 31. (‘Galathea ofte hardersminneklachte’) as reprinted in Plain Lives in a Golden Age.
[186]Goodfriend stated, the Dutch institutions, laws, and customary practices, altered the landscape, set the pattern for interaction with native people and imported Africans, and selectively transplanted their culture.”  Goodfriend, Before the Melting Pot, 5.