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The 39th Annual Conference of the New Netherland Institute at the New Brunswick Theological Seminary

For the first time, the Annual Conference of the New Netherland Institute will take place in the state of New Jersey. The conference and its companion events will take place from September 22 until September 24 at the New Brunswick Theological Seminary.

Thu, Sep 22 - Sat, Sep 24  2016

Did you know the colony of New Netherland extended into today’s New Jersey? For the first time, the Annual Conference of the New Netherland Institute will take place in the state of New Jersey. The conference and its companion events will take place from September 22 until September 24 at the New Brunswick Theological Seminary.

Located between the Hudson and Delaware Rivers, New Jersey has often been neglected in favor of more dramatic developments to the east and west. However, as the site of Pavonia, an early patroonship with major agricultural potential, and as the geographic connection between New Amsterdam and the Delaware River settlements, the Garden State’s seventeenth-century origins well deserve our attention. 

The conference and its companion events will take place over three days, beginning on Thursday the 22nd of September and concluding on Saturday the 24th. Friday morning’s session will explore the trials and tribulations of the early years of Dutch colonization in the region, with the afternoon session exploring the survival of Dutch heritage in New Jersey following the final transfer to the English. The program will be enriched with two additional sessions on Saturday morning, beginning with a panel discussion with NNI’s Emerging Scholars on their decision to study New Netherland. The morning will conclude with an edifying session on Dutch fortifications in New Netherland.


Thursday, September 22

Friday, September 23

  • 8:30 AM: Registration at the Brunswick Theological Seminary
  • 9:00 AM: Welcome and introductions
  • 9:30 AM: SESSION 1 – “Pavonia”
  • 12:30 PM: Box lunch provided
  • 2:00 PM: SESSION 2 – “Heritage”
  • 6:00 PM: Cocktail hour at the Rutgers University Inn and Conference Center
  • 7:00 PM: Banquet & awards at the Rutgers University Inn and Conference Center.

The banquet will feature a talk by Elizabeth Bradley, the author of Knickerbocker: The Myth Behind New York, a cultural history of New York’s first mascot.

Saturday, September 24

  • 8:30 PM: Registration at the Brunswick Theological Seminary
  • 9:00 PM: SESSION 3 – “Emerging Scholars”
  • 11:00 PM: SESSION 4 – “Dutch Defensive Works in New Netherland”
  • 1:00 PM: Box lunch provided

Sessions and Speakers


Willem Klooster, Clark University
“New Netherland and the Dutch Moment in Atlantic History”

Evan Haefeli, Texas A&M University
“New Jersey in 1658: A Quaker Witness to a Littleknown Corner of New Netherland”

Andrea Mosterman, University of New Orleans
“The Geography of Slave Life in New Netherland”

Daniel K. Richter, University of Pennsylvania
“‘Who Needs a House Out in Hackensack?’ Native People and Dutch People West of the Hudson”


Dirk Mouw, Reformed Church Center
“Persistence of Dutch Identity and the Reformed Church”

Jeroen Dewulf, University of California, Berkeley
“From ‘Baas’ to ‘Boss’: America’s Dutch-Speaking Black Community from Seventeenth-Century New Netherland to Nineteenth-Century New York and New Jersey”

Kate Lynch, Indepedent Scholar
“There will be a College called Queens in our Province of New Jersey


In this session, Elizabeth Covart, independent scholar and host of the popular podcast “Ben Franklin’s World,” will moderate a panel with three of NNI’s Emerging Scholars in which they will discuss why they chose New Netherland as their field of study.

Deborah Hamer, Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture

Artyom Anikin, University of Amsterdam

Joris van den Tol, Leiden University


Oscar Hefting, Dutch Fortress Museum
“Simon Stevin in the New World: Archaeological Research into 17th-century Dutch Defensive Works in the Americas”

Jaap Jacobs, University of St Andrews
“‘An Upright Stockade and a Small Breastwork’: Fortifications in New Netherland”

Craig Lukazic, Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs
“Archaeological Investigations of Fort Casimir”

Diana diZerega Wall, City College of New York, and Anne-Marie Cantwell, Rutgers University
“Building Forts and Alliances: Archaeology at Freeman and Massapeag, Two Native American Sites.”

About the New Netherland Institute

Due to the focus on English colonization, the Dutch impact on American history was long overlooked. This changed in 1974 when the New Netherland Project was founded. For a quarter of a century this project, with its accompanying New Netherland Institute (NNI), has helped cast light on America’s long-neglected Dutch roots. The NNI has supported the transcription, translation, and publication of the 17th-century Dutch colonial records held by the New York State Library and State Archives. These records constitute the world’s largest collection of original documentation of the Dutch West India Company and its New World Colonies. They represent an irreplaceable resource for researchers exploring this important chapter in American history, its legacy of cultural traditions, and its qualities of tolerance, diversity and entrepreneurship. In 2010, the New Netherland Research Center opened to the public with support from the Dutch Consulate of the Netherlands in New York. The center provides a place where all can study the fascinating story of the Dutch global reach in the 17th century and its lasting impact on today’s world.

DutchCulture USA