Adriaen van der Donck

A Dutch Rebel in Seventeenth-Century America

J. van den Hout
eISBN-13: 9781438469225

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This book tells the compelling story of the young legal activist Adriaen van der Donck (1618–1655), whose fight to secure the struggling Dutch colony of New Netherland made him a controversial but pivotal figure in early America. At best, he has been labeled a hero, a visionary, and a spokesman of the people. At worst, he has been branded arrogant and selfish, thinking only of his own ambitions. The wide range of opinions about him testifies to the fact that, more than three centuries after his death, Van der Donck remains an intriguing character.

J. van den Hout follows Van der Donck from his war-torn seventeenth-century childhood and privileged university education to the New World, as he attempted to make his mark on the fledgling fur trading settlement. When he became embroiled in the politics of Manhattan, he took the colonists' complaints against their Dutch West India Company administrators to the highest level of government in the Dutch Republic, in what became a fight for his adopted homeland and a bicontinental showdown. Denounced and detained, but not deterred, Van der Donck wrote a landmark book that stands as a testament to his vision for the country, as the changes he set in motion continued long after his early death and his influence became firmly embedded in the American landscape. Van der Donck's determination to stand by his convictions offers a revealing look into the human spirit and the strong will that drives it against adversity and in search of justice.

ISBNs 9781438469201, 1438469225, 9781438469225
Language English
Number of Pages 220