Friday, December 22, 2017

Dutch New York: The Roots of Hudson Valley Culture by Roger Panetta

Dutch New York: The Roots of Hudson Valley Culture by Roger Panetta
Published by: Fordham University Press
Publication Date: June 15th, 2009
Format: Paperback, 450 Pages
To Buy

"I grew up in a New York that was very aware of its Dutch roots. There was a vogue in Lower School for birthday parties at the Museum of the City of New York in which we would sit in a replica of the old fort and be shown Peg-Legged Pete (aka Governor Stuyvesant) telling off an apple thief, and then taken to a party room where we would be dressed as little Dutch girls, allowed to climb in and out of a Dutch bed, shown how to churn butter, and, eventually, fed very modern cake. I remember being fascinated, as a small child, at being told that the land our house in Cold Spring stood on had once belonged to a vast patroon estate, a semi-feudal arrangement unique to New York that had persisted so long that a quitclaim deed was necessary to make sure we owned the land outright.

What was this Dutch influence and how did it still shape the world in which I lived? This was a theme that popped back up when I was writing The English Wife, set in 1890s New York, at a moment in which the old Dutch values were clashing with the robber baron exuberance of the rapidly growing city. Bayard Van Duyvil and his sister Janie are rooted in the Hudson Valley culture of their paternal grandparents but also estranged from it due to their urban childhoods and socially conscious mother.

This book of essays looks at that Dutch legacy, at the ways in which the Dutch influence created a unique Hudson Valley culture." - Lauren Willig

The official patter:
"The 2009 quadricentennial celebrations commemorating the discovery of the Hudson River by Henry Hudson will also spotlight one of our deepest and most enduring national legacies―the Dutch presence that has shaped not just the Hudson Valley but four centuries of American life.

This lavishly illustrated book, a companion to the exhibition opening in June 2009 at the Hudson River Museum, takes needed stock of the remarkable past created by the settlers of New Netherlands. Although the Dutch controlled the Hudson Valley only until ceding it to the British in 1664, the Dutch established the towns and cities that today define the region―from New Amsterdam upriver to Fort Orange, today’s Albany. The Dutch heritage lives on, not only in historic estates or Dutch-named places like the Bronx or Yonkers but also in commerce, law, politics, religion, art, and culture.

In thirteen original essays, this book traverses those four centuries to enrich and expand our understanding of America’s origins. The essays, written by a superb team of distinguished scholars, are grouped into five chronological frames―1609, 1709, 1809, 1909, and 2009―each marking a key point in the history of the Dutch in the valley.

The topics range widely, from patterns of settlement and the Dutch encounter with slavery and Native America to Dutch influences in everything from architecture and religion to material culture, language, and literature.

Based on fresh research, this book is at once a fascinating introduction to a remarkable past and a much-needed new look at the Dutch role in the region, in the story of America’s origins, and in creating the habits, styles, and practices identified as quintessentially New York’s."


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