the omphalos
July 24, 2017 9:58 PM   Subscribe

New Amsterdam and Elvis
posted by msalt at 10:01 PM on July 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

Meh. Those New Dutch dicks destroyed New Sweden, so they can eff right off back to Australia!

See, the Swedes colonised the Delaware Valley first, then the Dutch took it, then the English, and then the Americans took it and put their capital there, sort of, and then something about a bell with a crack in it and some guy in sweats running up some stairs. Disco was invented there. But who was far and away the biggest-selling disco act of all time? ABBA. Think about it.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:02 PM on July 24, 2017 [9 favorites]

(P.S. To point out how the recent Clare Balding edition of Who Do You Think You Are? is related to the subject of this post would be spoiling it, but it's worth seeing!) (UK viewers, use your legit iPlayer. Illicit youtube link provided for non-Britons only.)
posted by Sys Rq at 11:15 PM on July 24, 2017 [5 favorites]

Just this weekend, while trying to get out of NYC, I tweeted "I think I'm now racist against Dutch people because of the Holland Tunnel."
posted by Etrigan at 3:49 AM on July 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

Picking up my grandmother's genealogy research into her Dutch roots, I was able to tentatively confirm the family folklore that her/our ancestors had at one time owned a big chunk of Manhattan before effectively donating their land holdings to the early cause of building up the Union after the Revolutionary War, but the family later split its allegiances during the Civil War, and her immediate family's connection to the larger family had been unacknowledged for many years due to having descended from offspring on the Southern side born out of wedlock. There's a lot of fascinating history there, including stories of raucous parties attended by both revolutionary soldiers and European elites, suspected disloyalty, family legal fights over lost wealth and slave ownership. It's a complicated, sometimes ugly, and messy history.
posted by saulgoodman at 5:17 AM on July 25, 2017 [3 favorites]

My mom's family settled in the New York area as far back as 1610 but as far as I can tell, they were all English. Maybe that's why they were all in New Jersey, Connecticut , and West Chester and not actually in the city?
posted by octothorpe at 5:59 AM on July 25, 2017

My wife's ancestry goes back to a guy who sold the pickets/palisades used in the Wall St. wall.
posted by MtDewd at 6:52 AM on July 25, 2017

Love this post. Thank you!

I read The Island at the Center of the World (Manhattan) and The Barbarous Years. The latter book especially gives you a really great picture of what was going on between Albany and Manhattan in the 1600s, what the people were doing there, and what they had to deal with. They give lots of detail on Adriaan van der Donck and who he was. Great stuff!!
posted by Melismata at 8:03 AM on July 25, 2017

Yay. There goes my plans for today.

posted by humboldt32 at 9:47 AM on July 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

Godverdome, Ik had deze video's al kijken.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:49 AM on July 25, 2017

Ah, the hell with ancient New Amsterdam. Grand Rapids, Michigan - now that's where it's at!
posted by Guy Smiley at 9:59 AM on July 25, 2017

My English ancestors were on Long Island by the early 1600's, but we haven't been able to trace the Dutch branch further back than the Hudson Valley in the early 1800's.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:42 PM on July 25, 2017

Like so many others, I'm a transplant to New York state. I was captivated by Shorto's book on the Dutch history of the state. Then, when it became clear things would work out to accompany my spouse on a work trip to Brussels, we scheduled the travel through Amsterdam with some time on the way in and out.

To enliven the anticipation, I read Shorto's AMSTERDAM A History of the World's Most Liberal City and began working on my Dutch, mostly with Duolingo, but also some language recordings and so on from the library.

Trying to wrap my head around Dutch history using the currently-common nation-state framing can be pretty frustrating. Take this history of New Amsterdam cum New York as it's often presented: It's told as if the United Provinces and (what had yet to become) the United Kingdom were two completely different countries that had nothing to do with each other.

One of the books I'm now picking through, the late Lisa Jardine's GOING DUTCH: How England Plundered Holland’s Glory draws out just how closely related those two countries were then, politically, religiously, economically, and otherwise culturally.
posted by one weird trick at 2:13 PM on July 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

Kingston (Wiltwyck) NY represent!
posted by BS Artisan at 4:24 PM on July 25, 2017

pegleg pete

I didn't know any of that!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:40 AM on July 28, 2017

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