What was it like to be a child in New Amsterdam in 1621? Let's explore!

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Self-Portrait with Wife and Daughter Elizabeth, by Jacob Jordaens. 1621

Glimpses of Childhood in the Colony of New Netherland by Adriana E. van Zwieten (click link)


Fun Reads about Life in New Amsterdam - Historical Fiction


"Teunis in the Dutch Republic" by Janny Venema

Teunis is a 14-year-old Dutch boy who is learning to become a blacksmith but longs to go to sea. Although it is a work of fiction, this story by Janny Venema is based on historical facts.

About the Author: Janny Venema, a Dutch native, is the Associate Director of the New Netherland Research Center. In addition to translating and transcribing thousands of pages of Dutch-language documents, she has published books on Albany during the Dutch Period and on Kiliaen van Rensselaer.



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"Blacksmith at His Forge" by Le Nain Brothers

Chapter 1: The Blacksmith's Apprentice


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"The Y at Amsterdam", seen from the Mosselsteiger (mussel pier) by Ludolf Bakhuizen


Chapter 2: The Dockworker


Map of Rensselaerswyck by Gillis van Scheyndel, 1631–1632
Map of Rensselaerswyck by Gillis van Scheyndel, 1631–1632


Chapter 3: The Patroon