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Next: French Colonies

Dutch Colonies


In 1609, English explorer Henry Hudson, searching for a passage to the Indies on behalf of the Dutch East India Company, sailed up the river later named for him — the Hudson. He claimed the land on either side of the river for the Dutch, who began colonizing the territory they named New Netherland. In 1624, the Dutch established their first permanent settlement, Fort Orange, on the site of present-day Albany, New York.

The Dutch founded New Amsterdam at the mouth of the Hudson River, on the southern end of Manhattan island (present-day New York City), and in 1626, "bought" the entire island from the local Indians. Other Dutch settlements in New Netherland included forts in New Jersey and at the present site of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In 1664, New Amsterdam's governor, Peter Stuyvesant, surrendered the colony to the English colonel Richard Nicolls, who renamed it New York for his patron, the Duke of York.

Map of the Dutch Colonies

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