Wouter van Twiller

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Wouter van Twiller
Wouter van Twiller crop.jpg
A painting of Wouter van Twiller by Washington Allston (detail)
5th Director-General of New Netherland
In office
1633–1638
Preceded by Sebastiaen Jansen Krol
Succeeded by Willem Kieft
Personal details
Born May 22, 1606
Nijkerk
Died August 29, 1654
Amsterdam

Wouter van Twiller (May 22, 1606 – buried August 29, 1654) was an employee of the Dutch West India Company and the Director-General of New Netherland from 1633 until 1638. He succeeded Peter Minuit, who was recalled by the Dutch West India authorities in Amsterdam for unknown reasons.

Life and career[edit]

Van Twiller, who was born in Nijkerk, was appointed to the position because he had made two voyages to New Netherland colony before. He was a clerk in the warehouse of the Dutch West India company, and a cousin of Kiliaen van Rensselaer who was married to Wouter's father's sister. Rensselaer entrusted him with shipping cattle to Rensselaerswyck, his colonial estate on the Hudson River. Van Twiller was somewhat acquainted with the geography of New Netherlands and the condition of its affairs. Largely through Van Rensselaer's influence the Dutch West India Company chose him as the new Director-General of New Netherlands, and he set sail for New Amsterdam in the ship De Soutberg.

Amid a considerable amount of land and properties, including islands known in the present day as Roosevelt Island and Randalls and Wards Islands, van Twiller purchased 'Noten Eylant', later called Governors Island[1] from a tribe of Canarsee Indians for two axe heads, a string of beads and some iron nails. While in office, settlers from New England wrested the Connecticut Valley away from New Netherland, but he was able to defend the Dutch territory in the Delaware Valley, where his soldiers captured a shipload of intended settlers from Virginia and expelled soldiers who had taken Fort Nassau.[2]

Van Twiller was able to both increase the colony's prosperity and amass a private fortune despite conflicts with Everhardus Bogardus, Dutch Reformed dominie of the New Netherland colony; and financial controller Lubbert van Dincklagen, who didn't think much of his ability to manage the affairs of New Netherland properly. To succeed van Twiller as Director-General, the Dutch West India Company sent William Kieft in September 1637. Van Twiller subsequently returned to the Netherlands and assumed guardianship of Johannes, eldest son of Killian van Rensselaer, following the death of that patroon in 1644. He died in Amsterdam.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ Burrows, Edwin G. & Wallace, Mike (1999). Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195116348. , p.29
  2. ^ Brodhead, John Romeyn (1853). History of the State of New York: First Period 1609-1664. Harper & Brothers. pp. 254–255. 

Bibliography

  • New Amsterdam Project
  • Griffis, William Elliot The Story of New Netherland. The Dutch In America Chapter VI. The Riverside Press. Cambridge. 1909
  • Jacobs, Jaap. New Netherland: A Dutch Colony in Seventeenth-Century America. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2005. ISBN 90-04-12906-5.
  • Johnson, Allen (ed.) Dutch and English on the Hudson (Chapter IV). New Haven: Yale University Press. 1919
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainGilman, D. C.; Thurston, H. T.; Moore, F., eds. (1905). "article name needed". New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead. 
Preceded by
Peter Minuit
Director-General of New Netherland
1633–1638
Succeeded by
Willem Kieft