The National Archives in The Hague present an online blog series “400 years of Dutch-American Stories”.
This blog is the first of a monthly series with stories from the rich history shared by the American and the Dutch people. Authors from both countries will present various stories of their own choosing, from a wide variety of perspectives, in order to provide the full of triumphs and heartbreaks, delights and disappointments that draw from hundreds of years of shared history. Not all stories will be ‘feel-good history’. While the relations between the Dutch and the Americans have for the most part been stable and peaceful, the shared history contains darker moments as well. Acknowledging the contested past does not take away from the friendship but, rather, deepens it.
Part 1: Dutch-American Stories: The “Patron Saint of New York” written by Jaap Jacobs
The bonds that connect the American and Dutch peoples have been commemorated in various ways and at various levels. Dutch-American Friendship Day is a well-established annual event at the governmental level. In New York City, the historical memory of Petrus Stuyvesant has recently become controversial, but in the twentieth century his image was iconic.
Part 1: Dutch-American Stories: Mayken’s World by Nicole Maskiell
On December 28, 1662, a woman named Mayken van Angola pursued freedom in New Amsterdam. She did not stand alone. Two other women—Susanna and Lucretia—stood with her and together, they petitioned the colonial government for their freedom. It was granted with the caveat that they must clean the Director-General Petrus Stuyvesant’s house once a week as a condition of that freedom.