Asser Levy

First Permanent Jewish Resident of Manhattan Learning of new opportunities in New Amsterdam, Asser Levy left Amsterdam and arrived in Manhattan on 22 August 1654, one of the very first Jews to do so. New Amsterdam was not a wholly welcoming place to Jews, and Levy would lead the struggle …

Manuel de Gerrit de Reus

From Slavery To Freedom On a cold day in January of 1641, Manuel de Gerrit de Reus climbed a ladder to be executed for murder. Although one of nine slaves who confessed to the murder, Manuel was chosen by the drawing of lots to pay the ultimate penalty for the …

Govert Loockermans

From Ship Boy to Founding Father Govert Loockermans didn’t stay in the small Spanish Netherlands town where he was born in 1612. Instead, as one of the first of the millions who dreamt of new opportunities in a new land, he set out and became a founding father of New …

Introduction to New Amsterdam

Origins of a Global City From its earliest beginnings as a ragged outpost of the Dutch commercial empire, New York was a city driven by global commerce. Trading voyages began immediately after Henry Hudson’s voyage of discovery in 1609, initially backed by Dutch private investors and later controlled by the …