- For the Dutch footballer named Willem (Wim) Kieft, see Wim Kieft
|6th Director of New Netherland|
|Preceded by||Wouter van Twiller|
|Succeeded by||Peter Stuyvesant|
|New Netherland series|
|The Patroon System|
|Charter of Freedoms and Exemptions|
|Directors of New Netherland:|
|People of New Netherland|
Willem Kieft (September 1597, Amsterdam – September 27, 1647) was a Dutch merchant and director of New Netherland (of which New Amsterdam, later New York City, was the primary settlement), from 1638 until 1647.
Willem Kieft became the director-general of the West India Company in 1638. He formed the council of twelve men, the first representative body in New Netherland, but ignored its advice. He tried to tax, and then, drive out, local Native Americans. He ordered attacks on Pavonia and Corlears Hook on February 25, 1643 in a massacre (129 Dutch soldiers killed 120 Indians, including women and children), followed by retaliations resulting in what would become known as Kieft's War (1643–1645). The war took a huge toll on both sides, and Dutch West India Company Board of Directors fired him in 1647. He was replaced with Peter Stuyvesant. He died on September 27, 1647 in the Princess Amelia shipwreck near Swansea, Wales en route to Amsterdam to defend himself, along with many of his opponents as well, including the Rev. Everardus Bogardus. His archive was also lost, so his exact role cannot be established apart from what his opponents wrote of him. He is in the Gods of Manhattan series by Scott Mebus.
- Colonial America
- Dutch colonization of the Americas
- Dutch Empire
- List of colonial governors of New Jersey
- List of colonial governors of New York
- William Elliot Griffis The Story of New Netherland. The Dutch In America. (Chapter IX. Cambridge: The Riverside Press. 1909)
- Allen Johnson, Ed. Dutch and English on the Hudson (Chapter IV. New Haven: Yale University Press. 1919)
- Jaap Jacobs (2005), New Netherland: A Dutch Colony in Seventeenth-Century America. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, ISBN 90-04-12906-5.
- Journal of New Netherland 1647. Written in the Years 1641, 1642, 1643, 1644, 1645, and 1646. 1641-1647.
- "Journal of New Netherland 1647. Written in the Years 1641, 1642, 1643, 1644, 1645, and 1646". World Digital Library. 1641–1647. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
- Russell Shorto, The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony that Shaped America. First Edition. New York City: Vintage Books (a Division of Random House, 2004. ISBN 1-4000-7867-9
- History of the State of New York, Volumes 1-2 By New York State Historical Association, Alexander Clarence Flick
- Governor Kieft's Personal War (by Walter Giersbach. published online: 26 August 2006) http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/indianwars/articles/kieftswar.aspx
- New Amsterdam Project http://www.nnp.org/nni/Publications/Dutch-American/kieft.html
Wouter van Twiller
|Director-General of New Netherland