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The Dutch and Quaker Colonies in America
John Fiske

For Marco and Marlous, embarking for their new world together on
September 12, 2008;
and traveling, like some of their ancestors, from Holland to New York.

This two-volume work was first published in 1899, and can be characterized as popular history. Accordingly, the more punctilious scholars found varying degrees of fault with it, and I'll eventually be adding their contemporary reviews of the book. I'm a bit more lenient, though: some of what they complained about I feel is actually a virtue: for example, how the author puts his history in its broad context; at any rate, Fiske writes simply and well, is very clear and holds our interest: what more does a reasonable reader want? (For shorter samples of his work, eliciting the same appreciation by a friend of mine, see his lectures on Columbus, Crispus Attucks, and the discovery of the Columbia River at Elfinspell.)

For technical details on how this site is laid out, see below, after the author's preface and my table of contents.

 p. ix  Preface

In the general sequence of my volumes on American history, the present work comes next after "The Beginnings of New England," which in turn comes next after "Old Virginia and Her Neighbours." It was be observed that these books leave the history of New England at the overthrow of James II, while they carry that of the southern and middle colonies, with some diminution of details, into the reigns of the first two Georges. It is my purpose, in my next book, to deal with the rise and fall of New France, and the development of the English colonies as influenced by the prolonged struggle with that troublesome and dangerous neighbour. With this end in view, the history of New England must be taken up where the earlier book dropped it, and the history of New York resumed at about the same time, while by degrees we shall find the histories of Pennsylvania and the colonies to the south of it swept into the main stream of Continental history. That book will come down to the year 1765, which witnessed the ringing out of the old and the ringing in of the new, — the one with Pontiac's War, the other with the Stamp Act. I hope to have it ready in about two years from now.

In connection with the present work I have to express my thanks especially to my friend, Colonel William Leete Stone, for several excellent suggestions, and for procuring for me a  p. x beautiful set of the "Records of New Amsterdam," edited by Mr. Berthold Fernow; and likewise to Mr. James Roberts, the State Comptroller, for a similar set of the "Colonial Laws of New York."

Cambridge, May-day, 1899.

The Mediaeval Netherlands


Dutch Influence upon England


Verrazano and Hudson


The West India Company


"Privileges and Exemptions"


King Log and King Stork


A Soldier's Paternal Rule


Some Affairs of New Amsterdam


Dutch and English


The English Autocrats


New York in the Year 1680


Penn's Holy Experiment


Downfall of the Stuarts


The Citadel of America


Knickerbocker Society


The Quaker Commonwealth


The Migrations of Sects

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Technical Details

Edition Used

The edition transcribed here is the 1903 illustrated edition. The original book was copyright 1899, and the text is thus in the public domain (details here on the copyright law involved).


As almost always, I retyped the text by hand rather than scanning it — not only to minimize errors prior to proofreading, but as an opportunity for me to become intimately familiar with the work, an exercise which I heartily recommend: Qui scribit, bis legit. (Well-meaning attempts to get me to scan text, if success­ful, would merely turn me into some kind of machine: gambit declined.)

This transcription has been minutely proofread. In the table of contents above, the sections are shown on blue backgrounds, indicating that I believe the text of them to be completely errorfree. As elsewhere onsite, the header bar at the top of each chapter's webpage will remind you with the same color scheme.

The edition I followed was very well proofread, with very few typographical errors. I marked the few corrections, when important (or unavoidable because inside a link), with a bullet like this;º and when trivial, with a dotted underscore like this: as elsewhere on my site, glide your cursor over the bullet or the underscored words to read the variant. Similarly, bullets before measurements provide conversions to metric, e.g., 10 miles.

A small number of odd spellings, curious turns of phrase, etc. have been marked <!‑‑ sic  in the sourcecode, just to confirm that they were checked.

The name of John Brodhead, author of History of the State of New York, is occasionally spelled Broadhead by Fiske or his typesetter: I've tacit­ly corrected it.

Any mistakes not marked, please drop me a line, of course: especially if you have a copy of the printed book in front of you.

Pagination and Local Links

For citation and indexing purposes, the pagination is shown in the right margin of the text at the page turns (as in the author's Preface above); these are also local anchors. Sticklers for total accuracy will of course find the anchor at its exact place in the sourcecode.

In addition, I've inserted a number of other local anchors: whatever links might be required to accommodate the author's own cross-references, as well as a few others for my own purposes. If in turn you have a website and would like to target a link to some specific passage of the text, please let me know: I'll be glad to insert a local anchor there as well.


The book is profusely illustrated, and the illustrations are very well chosen, germane, interesting, and of good quality for the period; and the publishers were rightly proud of them:

Publishers' Note

In preparing this edition of The Dutch and Quaker Colonies in America, the publishers have been able to secure for illustration original manuscripts and other material never before reproduced. They have also followed the plan adopted by Mr. Fiske in previous cases, and have used only illustrations that possess distinct historical interest.

Credit is given in the list of illustrations for many courtesies, but special thanks are due to Wilberforce Eames of the New York Public Library, Gen. James Grant Wilson of New York, R. V. R. Stuyvesant, Esq., of New York, A. J. Van Laer of the State Library, Albany, N. Y., Samuel A. Green of the Massachusetts Historical Society, T. J. Kiernan of the Harvard University Library, William Nelson of the New Jersey Historical Society, and Albert C. Bates of the Connecticut Historical Society.

Boston, October, 1903.

That said, scanning and churning out HTML is not as fast as one would like; for the time being you'll find almost none of the illustrations onsite. I'll be putting them up, but there's no point in holding back a good text in the meantime.

[image ALT: An engraving of a port scene, with two wooden sailing ships at dock, and in the background, two blocks or so of urban landscape, four-story gabled houses and a taller and larger building in the center, surmounted by a cross-topped lantern. The image is captioned on the text of this webpage, and serves as the icon on my site for Fiske's book, 'The Dutch and Quaker Colonies in America'.]

The icon I use to indicate this subsite is my colorization of an engraving (on Vol. I, p197) of the Stadt Huys of New Amsterdam — the City Hall of New York. The colors are those of the flag of the Prince of Orange: the Dutch national colors when the book opens.

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Site updated: 2 May 22