List of colonial governors of New York

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A drawing by Johannes Vingboons of the city of New Amsterdam in 1664—the year the Dutch authorities surrendered the New Netherland colony to the English under Richard Nicholls

The territory which would later become the state of New York was settled by European colonists as part of the New Netherland colony (parts of present-day New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware) under the command of the Dutch West India Company in the Seventeenth Century. These colonists were largely of Dutch, Flemish, Walloon, and German stock, but the colony soon became a "melting pot." In 1664, at the onset of the Second Anglo-Dutch War, English forces under Richard Nicolls ousted the Dutch from control of New Netherland, and the territory became part of several different English colonies. Despite one brief year when the Dutch retook the colony (1673–1674), New York would remain an English and later British possession until the American colonies declared independence in 1776.

With the unification of the two proprietary colonies of East Jersey and West Jersey in 1702, the provinces of New York and the neighboring colony New Jersey shared a royal governor. This arrangement began with the appointment of Queen Anne's cousin, Edward Hyde, Lord Cornbury as Royal Governor of New York and New Jersey in 1702, and ended when New Jersey was granted its own royal governor in 1738.

Dutch Era of New Netherland (1624–1664; 1673–1674)[edit]

A hand-drawn parchment map with territories colored red, green, and yellow, and captions written in Latin.
A 1685 reprint of the 1650 map Novi Belgii Novæque Angliæ showing Virginia, New Netherland, and New England.

New Netherland (Dutch: Nieuw-Nederland) was the 17th-century colonial province of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands and the Dutch West India Company. It claimed territories along the eastern coast of North America from the Delmarva Peninsula to southwestern Cape Cod. Settled areas of New Netherland are now constitute the states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Connecticut, and parts of Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.[1][2] The provincial capital New Amsterdam was located at the southern tip of the island of Manhattan at Upper New York Bay.[3]

New Netherland was conceived as a private business venture to exploit the North American fur trade.[4] By the 1650s, the colony experienced dramatic growth and became a major port for trade in the North Atlantic. The leader of the Dutch colony was known by the title Director or Director-General. On August 27, 1664, four English frigates commanded by Richard Nicolls sailed into New Amsterdam's harbor and demanded the surrender of New Netherland.[5][6] This event sparked the Second Anglo-Dutch War, which led to the transfer of the territory to England per the Treaty of Breda.[7][8]

# Portrait Director (or
Took office Left office Notes
1 Cornelius Jacobsen May
(fl. 1600s)
1624 1625
2 Willem Verhulst
(or van der Hulst)
(fl. 1600s)
1625 1626
3 Portrait of Peter Minuit Peter Minuit
1626 1631
  • Purchased the island of Manhattan from Native Americans on May 24, 1626 for 60 Dutch guilders worth of goods.[9]
4 Sebastiaen Jansen Krol
1632 1633
5 portrait of Wouter van Twiller by Washington Allston Wouter van Twiller
1633 1638
  • Previously a Dutch West India Company warehouse clerk, used family connections to the Rensselaer family to gain appointment
  • Purchased Nut Island (Noten Eylant), later called Governor's Island from Canarsee tribe for two axeheads, a string of beads and iron nails
  • Lost the colony's claim of the Connecticut River valley to New England settlers
  • Pushed back encroaching Virginia settlers who tried to settle Delaware River valley
6 Willem Kieft
1638 1647
7 Portrait of Peter Stuyvesant Peter Stuyvesant
(c. 1612–1672) (Director General)
1647 1664

Restoration of the colony, 1673–1674[edit]

In 1673, during the Third Anglo-Dutch War, the Dutch were able to recapture New Amsterdam (renamed "New York" by the British) under Admiral Cornelis Evertsen the Youngest and Captain Anthony Colve.[14] Evertsen renamed the city "New Orange."[15] Evertsen returned to the Netherlands in July 1674, and was accused of disobeying his orders. Evertsen had been instructed not to retake New Amsterdam but instead to conquer the British colonies of Saint Helena and Cayenne (now French Guiana).[16] In 1674, the Dutch were compelled to relinquish New Amsterdam to the British under the terms of the Second Treaty of Westminster.[17][18]

Portrait Governor Took office Left office Notes
Anthony Colve
(fl. 1600s)
1673 1674
  • Colve's authority was brief, starting with the taking of New York, but ended on February 9, 1674 with the signing of the Treaty of Westminster, which restored the colony to the English. News did not reach the New World of the treaty's terms until late in the year.

Under British control (1664–1673; 1674–1783)[edit]

Apart from a short period between May 1688 and April 1689, during which New York was part of the Dominion of New England, the territory was known in this period as the Province of New York.

# Portrait Governor Took office Left office Notes
1 Richard Nicolls
1664 1668 as military governor
2 Francis Lovelace
1668 1673
3 Anthony Colve (Dutch Governor) 1673 1674 Dutch former naval captain who became Governor under a restored Dutch rule
4 Edmund Andros
1674 1683
5 Anthony Brockholls
(c. 1656)
1681 1683 Commander-in-Chief of British Forces and acting governor
6 Thomas Dongan, 2nd Earl of Limerick
1683 1688
7 Francis Nicholson
1688 1691 as lieutenant governor of the Dominion of New England serving under Edmund Andros; de facto rule only until June 1689
8 Jacob Leisler
(c. 1640–1691)
1688 1691 Militia officer in rebellion
9 Henry Sloughter
(d. 1691)
1691 1691
10 Richard Ingoldesby
(d. 1719)
1691 1692 Military officer as acting governor
11 Benjamin Fletcher
1692 1697
12 Richard Coote, 1st Earl of Bellomont
(c. 1636–1700/1)
1698 1700/1
13 John Nanfan
1701 1702 as acting governor
14 Edward Hyde, 3rd Earl of Clarendon
1702 1708
15 John Lovelace, 4th Baron Lovelace
1708 1709
16 Pieter Schuyler
1709 1709 as acting governor
17 Richard Ingoldesby
(d. 1719)
1709 1710 as acting governor
18 Gerardus Beekman
1710 1710 as acting governor
19 Robert Hunter
1710 1719
20 Pieter Schuyler
1719 1720 as acting governor
21 William Burnet
1720 1728
22 John Montgomerie
(d. 1731)
1728 1731
23 Rip Van Dam
(c. 1660–1749)
1731 1732 as acting governor
24 William Cosby
1732 1736
25 George Clarke
1736 1743 as acting governor
26 George Clinton
(c. 1686–1761)
1743 1753
27 Sir Danvers Osborn, 3rd Baronet
1753 1753
28 James De Lancey
1753 1755 as acting governor
29 Charles Hardy
(c. 1714–1780)
1755 1758
30 James De Lancey
1758 1760 as acting governor
31 Cadwallader Colden
1760 1762 as acting governor
32 Robert Monckton
1762 1763
33 Cadwallader Colden
1763 1765 as acting governor
34 Sir Henry Moore, 1st Baronet
1765 1769
35 Cadwallader Colden
1769 1770 as acting governor
36 John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore
1770 1771
37 William Tryon
1771 1774
38 Cadwallader Colden
1774 1775 as acting governor
39 William Tryon
1775 1780
40 James Robertson
1780 1783 as military governor
41 Andrew Elliot
1783 1783 as military governor

See also[edit]


  • Paterson, David "Black, Blind, & In Charge: A Story of Visionary Leadership and Overcoming Adversity."Skyhorse Publishing. New York, New York, 2020


  1. ^ "Grant of Exclusive Trade to New Netherland by the States-General of the United Netherlands; October 11, 1614" from Documentary History of the State of Maine (Portland: Maine Historical Society / Bailey and Noyes, 1869–1916). Published online at the Avalon Project: Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy, Yale Law School, Lillian Goldman Law Library. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  2. ^ Jacobs, Jaap. New Netherland: A Dutch Colony In Seventeenth-Century America. (Leiden: Brill, 2005), 35.
  3. ^ van der Sijs, Nicoline. Cookies, Coleslaw and Stoops: The Influence of Dutch on the North American Languages. (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2009), 21.
  4. ^ Dolin, Eric Jay. Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America. (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2011) passim.
  5. ^ World Digital Library. Articles about the Transfer of New Netherland on the 27th of August, Old Style, Anno 1664. Retrieved 21 March 2013
  6. ^ Versteer, Dingman (editor). "New Amsterdam Becomes New York" in The New Netherland Register. Volume 1 No. 4 and 5 (April/May 1911): 49–64.
  7. ^ Farnham, Mary Frances (compiler). "Farnham Papers (1603–1688)" in Volumes 7 and 8 of Documentary History of the State of Maine. (Portland, Maine: Collections of the Maine Historical Society, 2nd Series. 1901–1902), 7:311–314.
  8. ^ Parry, Clive (editor). Consolidated Treaty Series 231 Volumes. (Dobbs Ferry, New York: Oceana Publications, 1969–1981), 10:231.
  9. ^ Burrows, Edwin G., and Wallace, Mike. Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), xivff.
  10. ^ Merwick, Donna. The Shame and the Sorrow: Dutch-Amerindian Encounters in New Netherland Early American Series. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006).
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^ a b Shorto, Russell. The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony that Shaped America. (New York City: Vintage Books, 2004).
  13. ^ Otto, Paul. The Dutch-Munsee Encounter in America: The Struggle for Sovereignty in the Hudson Valley. (Oxford/New York: Berghahn Books, 2006), 152; and Kraft, Herbert C. The Lenape: Archaeology, History, and Ethnography. (Newark, New Jersey: New Jersey Historical Society, 1986), 241.
  14. ^ Roosevelt, Theodore. "IV. New Amsterdam becomes New York The Beginning of English Rule. 1664–1674," in New York: A Sketch of the City’s Social, Political, and Commercial Progress from the First Dutch Settlement to Recent Times. (New York: Charles Scribner & Sons, 1906).
  15. ^ Barrevald, Dirk J. From New Amsterdam to New York: The Founding of New York by the Dutch in July 1625. (Lincoln, Nebraska: Writers Club Press, 2001), 248.
  16. ^ Shomette, Donald G. and Haslach, Robert D. Raid on America: The Dutch Naval Campaign of 1672–1674. (Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press, 1988), 73, 139–151; De Waard, Cornelis. De Zeeuwsche expeditie naar de West onder Cornelis Evertsen den Jonge, 1672–1674. (The Hague: Nijhoff, 1928). (in Dutch)
  17. ^ Westdorp, Martina. "Behouden of opgeven? Het lot van de nederlandse kolonie Nieuw-Nederland na de herovering op de Engelsen in 1673" Archived 2008-06-30 at the Wayback Machine in De wereld van Peter Stuyvesant (in Dutch). Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  18. ^ Prak, Maarten. The Dutch Republic in the Seventeenth Century: The Golden Age. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 116.

External links[edit]