Peter Stuyvesant

Peter Stuyvesant

Peperga, Weststellingwerf Municipality, Friesland, Netherlands
Death Feb 1672 (aged 79–80)
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Memorial ID 999 · View Source
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Dutch Colonial Governor. His given name was actually "Pieter" or "Petrus." He was the 7th and last Director-General of the Dutch colony of New Netherland (now part of present-day New York City). He was born in Peperga, Friesland in the Netherlands and grew up in Scherpenzeel. After studying languages and philosophy at the University of Franeker, he joined the West India Company around 1635. He served as the director of the Dutch West India's Company's colony of Curacao in the southern Caribbean Sea from 1642 to 1644. In 1644, he attacked the Spanish-held island of Saint Martin in the northeast Caribbean Sea and lost the lower part of his right leg to a cannon ball. He returned to the Netherlands shortly thereafter where his leg was amputated and replaced with a wooden peg. In May 1645 he was selected to become the new Director-General of the New Netherland Dutch colony in North America, and arrived in New Amsterdam on May 11, 1647. He was an intimidating figure with his silver-tipped peg leg, a large sword, and dark mustache, and ruled the colony with an iron fist through the establishment of new strict laws, including the abolishment of taverns and brothels, and requiring all citizens to attend church. He was intolerant of other religions, especially with Quakers and Jews. However, he did attempt to mend relations with the Native Americans by requiring they be paid properly for their services. He also quarreled with neighboring Dutch colonies over boundaries to the point of using force to do his will. In 1655, he led an expedition into the Delaware River against the colony of New Sweden and took possession of it, naming it "New Amstel." In 1664, King Charles II of England ceded to his brother, James II of England, a large tract of land in the American colonies that included the Dutch colony of New Netherland. The English sent four ships with 450 men commanded by Richard Nicolls to seize the Dutch colony and on August 30, 1664, the English sent a letter to Stuyvesant demanding his surrender, to which he reluctantly agreed. On September 9, 1664 he signed a treaty at his residence, obtaining civil rights and freedom of religion for the Dutch settlers in the treaty's Article of Capitulation. New Amsterdam was renamed New York City and Richard Nicolls was declared the new English governor. After a trip to the Netherlands in 1665 to report on his term as governor, he returned to New York City and lived out his life on his farm, named the Great Bouwerie, outside of the city.

Bio by: William Bjornstad

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 999
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Peter Stuyvesant (1592–Feb 1672), Find a Grave Memorial no. 999, citing Saint Marks Church-In-The-Bowery Churchyard, Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .