Journal of New Netherland 1647. Written in the Years 1641, 1642, 1643, 1644, 1645, and 1646


Willem Kieft (1597–1647) was a Dutch merchant who was appointed by the West India Company as director-general of New Netherland in 1638. Kieft instituted a harsh policy toward the Indians of the colony, whom he attempted to tax and drive from their land. In 1643, a contingent of soldiers under Kieft attacked a Raritan village on Staten Island in a dispute over pigs allegedly stolen from a Dutch farm. This led to the bloody, two-year conflict known as Kieft’s war, which raged in parts of what is now the New York metropolitan area (Jersey City, New Jersey, and Lower Manhattan) from 1643 to 1645, pitting the Dutch against a confederation of Algonquin tribes. The West India Company removed Kieft from his post in 1647 and replaced him with Peter Stuyvesant, the last director-general of New Netherland before the colony was taken over by the English in 1664. This handwritten journal by an unknown Dutch colonist, from the manuscript collections of the National Library of the Netherlands, is an important source for the study of Kieft’s governorship, the war, and New Netherland in the 1640s.

Last updated: September 25, 2015