Stuyvesant, Peter

Stuyvesant, Peter

(stī`vəsənt), c.1610–1672, Dutch director-general of New Netherland. He served as governor of Curaçao and lost a leg in an expedition against St. Martin before succeeding Willem KieftKieft, Willem
, 1597–1647, Dutch director-general of New Netherland. Arriving in New Amsterdam in 1638 to succeed Wouter Van Twiller, Kieft immediately assumed absolute control.
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 in New Netherland. On his arrival (1647) in New Amsterdam (later New York City), he immediately informed the colonists of his autocratic intentions. He set up a board of nine men to advise him but dissolved it (1651) when they asked for redress of their grievances in a remonstrance to the Dutch government. As a result of this petition, however, Holland granted (1653) municipal government to New Amsterdam. Nevertheless, Stuyvesant continued his harsh rule and was intolerant of religious dissenters, especially Quakers. While he lost territory to Connecticut (1650), he expanded the colony by conquering New SwedenNew Sweden,
Swedish colony (1638–55), on the Delaware River; included parts of what are now Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. With the support of Swedish statesman Axel Oxenstierna, Admiral Klas Fleming (a Finn), and Peter Minuit (a Dutchman), the New Sweden Company
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 (1655). Overwhelmed by a surprise English attack, Stuyvesant surrendered New Netherland to England in 1664. He spent the rest of his life on his Manhattan farm and was buried there under his chapel, now the site of a church, St. Mark's-in-the-Bouwerie.

Bibliography

See E. L. Raesly, Portrait of New Netherland (1945, repr. 1965); H. H. Kessler and E. Rachlis, Peter Stuyvesant and His New York (1959).

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