The Colonial Story
By the early 1600’s the Dutch were entrenched as a world maritime empire. Other countries began to vie for control of the seas, and eventually Amsterdam became engaged in a war with Spain for control of this empire. The main focus of their campaign was to maintain their supply of Baltic Trade goods and tropical products, so in 1609 when Henry Hudson discovered the Hudson River, colonization was not a high priority, even though the Dutch claimed rights to all land between the Delaware and Connecticut Rivers.
The English were having troubles of their own. The religious unrest that started when Henry VIII established the Church of England, continued to give birth to new groups of religious dissidents. Separatists believed that the Church did not go far enough when it removed much of the Catholic hierarchy and ceremony from its religion. The monarchy reacted by persecuting any dissident. Separatists eventually sought refuge in the Netherlands, long know for it's religious tolerance. But after several years of residing in Amsterdam, where their children began to acquire passive Dutch ways, the Pilgrims returned to England, still searching for a place to practice their religion unchallenged.
American exploration continued. One of the first Dutch settlements in America was a trading post named Fort Nassau, which was constructed on the upper Hudson at Castle Island, but in the spring of 1617 flood destroyed the post, and it had to be rebuilt. This time the site was moved to the west bank of the Hudson River, and was named Fort Orange. This became the nucleus for the present day city of Albany.
In 1620 the Pilgrims finally received permission to emmigrate to America, and Plymouth is settled. In this era, there was little distinction between religious and civil law. The Pilgrims maintained a closed settlement. You had to apply for persission to settle, and only if the Church approved of you and your views, could you do so. The religioius freedom that they strived for in England, they did not grant to others in America. If the Pilgrims felt that you were not adhering to their teachings, or were a threat to their church, you were tried in court, fined and punished. Sometimes families were banished from the colony.
In 1621 the West India Co. was given monopoly of Dutch trade over the world. It took them 8 more years to build enough capital to begin colonization, not just in North America, but in Africa, Ceylon, East Indies, Formosa and Brazil.
In the spring of 1624 Nieu Nederlandt was formed, with 30 families arriving in the new world. Most were from the Netherlands, but some were Huguenots from France and Walloons from Spanish Netherlands. (Again, religious dissidents looking for a place to practice their beliefs without government interference) Most of these families located at (1.) Fort Orange (Albany), but some went to (2.) Governors’s Island (at the tip of Manhattan Island) and a few settled on the southern end of the Delaware River. They built a new (3.) Fort Nassau on the Delaware River near the present site of Gloucester, N.J.
In 1625 the ship "Orangeboom" arrived, bringing Governor William Verhulst, and he choose to settle with the few settlers already located on the Delaware River. When the Mackreel brought 42 additional families, it included a surveyor/engineer Cryn Fredericksz, who had orders to establish a fort at the mouth of one of the two rivers. He choose Manhattan Island for the construction of "Fort Amsterdam" and the settlement that grew around this fort was named New Amsterdam. When the fort was completed, the governor moved the Delaware colonists to Manhattan Island. He also had the colonists at Fort Orange relocated to New Amsterdam, leaving only 16 men behind to maintain the Fort.
In 1626 Peter Minuit was appointed governor to succeed Verhulst, and the first thing he did was to purchase Manhattan Island from the Indians, to legalize their settlement.
1629-1630 Massachusetts Bay Colony founded
In 1629 steps were taken to increase
emigration to New Netherland, with emphasis on ag, not furs. A patroon
system was implemented. Each patroon was given a tract of land with 16
miles of waterway, and extending as far into country as situation and occupiers
would permit. The patroon had to be a major stockholder in West India
Co when it was founded, and had to settle his property within 4 years with
50 colonists over age 15, Colonists would pay rent and receive a share
of profits. The Patroon had rights over settlers regarding fishing, hunting,
milling and justice.
In 1636 several colonists, including
then Gov. Von Twiller, purchase land in the SW corner of Long Island, and
their settlement became the nucleus for New Amersfoort, which was renamed
the Flatlands when English rule took over the Dutch Settlements in 1664.
1637 - New Sweden Company formed, to establish settlements in the new world. Half of the capital of this company was Dutch, with many Hollanders involved in the formation of this company. They selected the Delaware Valley as the site for a colony, even though that was territory claimed by the Dutch. More Dutch than Swedes initially came to settle New Sweden in March of 1638. One of the settlers was Pieter Minuit, former governor of New Netherlands. They located on the right bank of the Delaware River (present site of Wilmington, Delaware) and founded (7) Fort Christina.
1638 - William Thorne made a freeman of Lynn, Mass on 2 May. Had 40 acres there.
In 1639 50 Dutch colonists from Utrecht
settle under Swedish auspices a few miles from Fort Christina.
1639 - Hannah Rice born at Concord, CT
1640 - Samuel Wilcoxson born (at Concord?)
1640 - Thomas Gunn is listed as a resident of Windsor, CT
1641 - June 29 William Thorne served on a Salem, MA jury. Shortly thereafter he was convicted of giving assistance to escaped prisoners and was fined f 6 2/3 for "concealing, hiding & supplying."
1641-42 Dutch members of New
Sweden were bought out, in a reorganization to gain greater control of
the New Sweden by the Swedish Crown.
1642/3 William Thorne removed to Long Island; he left Lynn, MA, along with Lady Deborah Moody and many others, for they were charged with heresy in denying the right of the church to baptise infants; in the records of Court Essex county, Mass he and others as declared in 1642/3 undoubtedly to escape persecution for their alleged offense, to have "gone to Long Island".
1643 - Pilgrims petition for settlement
in Dutch areas, granted. Hempstead founded. Attempted settlement
at Gravesend thwarted by intense Indian conflicts and repeated raids, causing
the settlers to flee to the Flatlands.
1645 - William and Susannah Thorne are residing in Flushing. William was on of the 18 patentees who applied for the founding of Flushing, and was granted land by Governor Kieft on 19 Oct.
William Thorne was granted a plantation in Gravesend.
1648 - the bungling William Kieft
was replaced as governor of New Netherlands, by Peter Stuyvesant.
He immediately ordered the construction of Fort Beversreede (now Philadelphia).
1653 - Swedes, spurred by Dutch
measures, send reinforcements to Delaware
1655 - Theophilus Elsworth, boat builder, was listed as a freeholder in NY
1656 - Middleburg (Newton) founded
1657 - William Thorne signed a remonstrance at Flushing in favor of Friends (this was an open defiance of a law just passed by Peter Stuyvesant, that prohibited the colonists from receiving or entertaining anyone of the heretical and abominable sect called Quakers. The result was that the sheriff and others of Flushing, who signed the Remonstrance, were immediately arrested by Stuyvesant.
1657 - William Thorne was one of the proprietors of Jamaica
1658 - New Haarlem founded; self-governing.
New Netherland promised a garrison of 12-15 soldiers when needed, and ½
cost of maintaining a minister when 20 families were settled there, as
well as a good road and ferry service.
1659 - Deborah Gunn married Timothy Thrall, Windsor, CT
1662 - William Thorne Jr. marries Winifred Linington of Hempstead, LI
1662 - ‘In De Puremrlander Kerch’ ship docks with Jan Boeckhout, wife and 5 children; they settled in Haarlem
1664 - New Netherland fell to English
1665 - Adam Mott was commissioned Lieut. Of the town militia by Gov. Richard Nicholls on April 22
John Concklin settled in Rye from Flushing, Long Island