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Stuyvesant and Van der Doncke

Written By: Alex Koeppel  |  Posted: Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

            The greatest stories in history are the forgotten stories, and the greatest men in history are the unsung heroes. While the name of Peter Stuyvesant is still vaguely remembered, the name of Adraien van der Doncke has all but vanished completely. Nevertheless, the epic struggle between these two men dramatically shaped the newborn culture which became America. The great leaders of the past are still celebrated today, but it is the obscure champions of liberty like Van der Doncke who are ultimately responsible for our independence.

            Their story begins in 1646 in the Dutch colonial town of New Amsterdam (now New York City). New Amsterdam, located in New Netherland, was a reckless, unruly settlement under Governor Willem Kieft, who was more interested in fighting with Indians than in addressing problems in the town. Consequently, the people decided to send a letter to the West India Company, which owned the colony, requesting his recall. The company granted their request, and replaced Kieft with one of the most remarkable characters of American history-Peter Stuyvesant.

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