Tuesday, August 18, 2009

August 18, 1664: British takeover of New Amsterdam

King Charles II issued to his brother, James (the Duke of York), a grant of American land that encompassed the colony of New Netherland. Soon after, the plan for the English invasion was prepared. The plan called for three ships and several hundred soldiers from England to be joined by volunteers from New England.
The fleet under the command of Colonel Richard Nicolls anchored off the coast of Coney Island on August 18, 1664, taking the Dutch by surprise. From there, Nicolls told New Amsterdam's citizens that they would be given all the rights of English colonists and would be allowed to continue limited relations with the Dutch if they did not resist the British takeover. Stuyvesant made an unsuccessful attempt at diplomacy, but knew he had to surrender. The Dutch army only consisted of 150 soldiers, which was not enough to defend the colony. Stuyvesant surrendered New Netherland to the English peacefully and returned to Amsterdam, ashamed.

New Amsterdam
in 1660


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