crossroads of an empire
Our home has gone by many names over the years, New Netherland, New Amsterdam, and much more recently New York. New Amsterdam was established by The Dutch West India Company shortly after they obtained a monopoly of trade here in America. Manhattan Island was actually purchased from local Indians for roughly sixty florins’ worth of goods. We arrived in 1624 to serve the fur trade, we traded with the local Iroquois and the Delaware. Most of the profits went to the company, while we settlers received little profit. We had very few colonists for quite some time, as the terms of self-government and land owning were strictly controlled by the company. With that said we did enjoy much freedom, and our community was a blend of many diverse cultures and ethnic groups. Everyone seemed to enjoy alcohol back then, by 1645 we already had 35 taverns. In fact it was so widely enjoyed that Stuyvesant attempted to impose strict taxes on our alcohol and bread! However he was quickly shut down by the company as they feared it would thwart further immigration into the colony.