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ONE:  VAN METRES / VAN METERS
 

Internet sources are indicated by tildes (e.g. ~internet).  A complete list can be found on the Sources page.
 

            V-5    From the Waal to Wall Street


    ● The Voyage

So to pick up where we left off in Chapter V-1: sometime in the year 1662, Jan Joosten (van Meteren) and his wife Maycken Hendricks (van den Oever) with their children Lysbet Willems Krom, Gysbert Willems Krom, Geertje Willems Krom, and Joost Jansen van Meteren—plus the Other Child—left the Tielerwaard in Gelderland, traveled to Amsterdam, boarded d'Vos (the Fox), and sailed for the New World.

For an idea of what their voyage was like, we can turn to Alan Taylor's excellent American Colonies: The Settling of North America.  While the following excerpt concerns Puritans heading for New England in the 1630s, conditions for the Dutch a generation later were much the same:

Emigration across the Atlantic in a small and crowded wooden ship was also a daunting prospect.  Battling the prevailing Atlantic winds and currents, the slow-moving vessels usually took eight to twelve weeks to cross.  Few of the Puritans, who were mostly artisans and farmers, or their wives and children had traveled by ship.  On board the standard vessel, about one hundred passengers shared the cold, damp, and cramped hold with their property, including some noisy and rank livestock.  The emigrants consumed barreled water, salt meat, and hard bread, a fare that worsened as the voyage proceeded: the food spoiled, worms proliferated, and the water turned foul.  Only in relatively calm weather, and only for a few hours a day, could the passengers partake of the fresh air and distant views from the deck.  Most of the time they huddled below as the pitching vessel churned through the cold and stormy waters.  The darkness, uncertainty, and violent motion played havoc with unprepared stomachs and jangled nerves. *

A century later, circumstances had scarcely improved:

The voyage was no picnic.  The stormy North Atlantic terrified people who had never before been to sea; the vessels were crowded, dirty, and infested with lice, and the cheap food was often spoiled and repellent ... In 1750, eyewitness Gottlieb Mittelberger described a voyage at its worst:

During the journey the ship is full of pitiful signs of distress—smells, fumes, horrors, vomiting, various kinds of sea sickness, fever, dysentery, headaches, heat, constipation, boils, scurvy, cancer, mouth-rot, and similar afflictions, all of them caused by the age and the highly-salted state of the food, especially the meat, as well as by the very bad and filthy water, which brings about the miserable destruction and death of many. **

Daunting as America might be, and difficult as their first year there would be, Jan Joosten & Family had a definite incentive to stay put and not sail back to Europe.
 

    Fellow Passengers

According to ~nycoloni/fox, the Captain of the Fox was Jacob Jansz Huys.  By compiling translations of the ship's manifest from ~englishamerica, ~ministrytoday, and ~olive/fox, with variations from ~istg and ~nycoloni/fox (which both include children's ages), we can list the 56 known passengers:


    ● The
Arrival

On what day in 1662 did the Fox embark from Amsterdam, and what was the date of its arrival in New Amsterdam?  There is the usual lack of consensus among webgens.  As ~prouty points out:

Most of the historians give the date of April 12, 1662 for the arrival ... however, the "New Netherland Register" gives it as August 31, 1662.  Then again, Jan Joosten and Maycken's names are contained in the list of passengers arriving in the "Ves" (Fox) [sic] at New Amsterdam 12th September, 1662...  At least there seems to be agreement on the year, 1662.

The table below gives a selection of opinions, not all of which are clear-cut:

Departure Arrival Webgens
April 12, 1662   ~meanbunny/117 [may mean arrival], ~rclarke/joost ["April" only; may mean arrival]
  April 12, 1662 ~athens/oracle, ~barbpretz/rogers [1st alternative], ~bodine/n3880, , ~richardson, ~vm/pioneers, ~vnla
  August 31, 1662 ~barbpretz/enjart, ~barbpretz/zimm, ~luke, ~olive/17th_6, ~spectrumdata, ~vm/landgrant ["August" only], ~vm/sketch ["August" only]
"last part of May" August 31, 1662 ~englishamerica
  September 12, 1662 ~barbpretz/rogers [2nd alternative], ~bobbistockton, ~fishers, ~meanbunny/134~vm/profiles, ~vm/smyth (pp. 9-10)
August 31, 1662   ~walkersj [may mean arrival]
August 31, 1662 November 14, 1662 ~nycoloni/fox ["November" for arrival] ~olive/fox [departed "after" August 31]
September 12, 1662   ~okrick [may mean arrival]

A voyage beginning at the end of August and concluding in mid-November would fit neatly in the "eight to twelve weeks" span mentioned by Alan Taylor's American Colonies; while ~englishamerica's end-of-May-to-end-of-August would take only slightly longer—about thirteen weeks.  And ~englishamerica, citing the 1902 Holland Society Year Book, adds that the Fox first reached Sandy Hook on August 31, after which "passengers landed from the East River at the foot of Wall Street."  They found New Amsterdam "looking very much like a town in the Netherlands," with busy docks, gabled rooftops, and an enormous towering windmill.

At any rate we know the Fox definitely arrived in America before December 16, 1662, on which date Jan Joosten and Maycken were received as members of Dominie Blom's Reformed Dutch Church in Wiltwyck.
 

    New Netherland

In 1609, Henry Hudson—employee of the Dutch East India Company and friend of Consul Emanuel van Meteren—sailed the Half Moon 150 miles up the North River (later renamed after him).  Although he was unable to find a shortcut passage across the continent, Hudson did initiate trade with the Mohawk Indians, exchanging metal goods for fur pelts.  The United New Netherland Company was created in 1614, and Hendrick Christiaensen established Fort Nassau (later called Fort Orange) as a permanent trading post on Castle Island, south of present-day Albany.  In 1621 the Dutch West India Company was chartered with a monopoly on Atlantic trade to North America and Africa—this despite formal protests by the British.  To guard the mouth of the Hudson River, settlers were encouraged to emigrate there; the first arrived in 1623.  Three years later Peter Minuit arrived as Director-General, bought Manhattan and Staten Islands from the natives, and gathered the Dutch colonists together at the fortified town of New Amsterdam.  In 1629 the patroon system was initiated, granting a landholder manorial rights if he brought fifty new settlers to the colony.  The foremost patroon was Amsterdam pearl merchant Kiliaen (Killian) van Rensselaer, whom we encountered in Chapter 3 as employer of Van Buren patriarch Cornelis Maessen.  "Rensselaerwyck" was founded in 1630 on the upper Hudson River; and just like a jonkheer back in the Old Country, "the residents were required to use his mills, buy hunting and fishing licenses from him and sell their goods to him."  Even so,

As the years passed on there came from the cities and provinces of Holland an ever-increasing stream of immigrants made up, for the greater part, by farmers, traders, burghers and mariners; men of respectability, thrift and enterprise.  They found among the waterways in and about New Amsterdam snug harbors and havens so like those beyond the sea, but more promising in freedom and prosperity than those they had ever before known ... They spread over the southern end of Long Island, and here were founded the Dutch towns of New Utrecht, Flatbush, Gowanus, Gravesend, Breucklyn, until the multiplying communities interlaced with each other ... The prosperous burghers of the busy marts of Manhattan came to abide among them and lived in the tidy boweries that stretched along the Sound shores, or up the "lordly Hudson" or down to Staten and Coney's Islands. ***

Unlike French, Spanish, and English colonizers, the commercial-minded Dutch were uninterested in evangelizing Indians or barring people of different faith from settlement:

Officially, only the Dutch Reformed Church could hold public services, but the authorities usually looked the other way at some considerable "private" meetings for worship by many religious dissenters in the colonies: a mix of Puritans, Quakers, Lutherans, and Jews ... The Dutch West India Company consistently defended tolerance as best for business ... Thanks primarily to this religious tolerance, New Netherland became the most religiously and ethnically mixed colony in North America.  Indeed, the Dutch were a minority in their own colony.  In 1643 a French priest visiting New Amsterdam heard eighteen different languages—some European, some Indian, and some African...

As in New England, the emigrants were primarily family groups of modest means and farmer or artisan status ... The Dutch legal code (derived from Roman law) did not deprive married women of their legal identity and their rights to own property ... In New Netherland, the married couple formed an economic partnership that shared in the profits and losses.  In the English colonies, men made almost all the wills and land deeds; in New Netherland, the husband and wife jointly crafted these legal documents. ****

Sometime in the year 1662—whether it was April, August, September, or November—after a long slow trip from the Tielerwaard on the Waal, the partnership of Jan Joosten and Maycken Hendricks (plus five dependents) jointly "landed at the foot of Wall Street": there to share in all the profits and losses of life in the New World.
 

                   

            Notes

* Taylor, Alan.  American Colonies: The Settling of North America (Penguin Books, 2002), p. 168.
** Ibid., p. 320.
*** ~vm/smyth (pp. 3-4)
**** Taylor, Ibid., p. 255-56.


                  

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