Short Story about New Netherland [...] and Special Possibilities to Populate


This pamphlet, published anonymously in Amsterdam in October 1662, concerns the establishment of a settlement on the South River (as the Dutch called the Delaware River) in New Netherland by the Dutch Mennonite and social reformer Pieter Cornelis Plockhoy. The pamphlet consisted of proposals sent to the magistrates of the city of Amsterdam to gain their support for the settlement, which Plockhoy intended to be for poor and needy families and based on reformist principles. The pamphlet was partly intended to reassure investors that the settlement would also be a profitable enterprise. A number of scholars have argued that the pamphlet was written by Franciscus van den Enden (1602–74), a scholar, teacher of Latin, and dealer in art who is best known as the teacher of the philosopher Baruch Spinoza (1632–77). Born in Antwerp, van den Enden moved to Amsterdam in the 1640s, where he became acquainted with Plockhoy, with whom he shared an interest in social reform and the establishment of an ideal society.

Last updated: September 18, 2015