Swap New York for an island

Well, why not; it was how you got it in the first place.

 With ominous signs to some, joyfully welcomed by others of the emergence of Dutch politician Geert Wilders to prominence in his home country I was astonished to observe the utter lack of knowledge amongst the English, themselves once the largest Colonial Power on earth, about the Dutch in America.

 These fellows once owned what is today known as New York; they had first named it New Amsterdam because they owned the darn place.  The Catskill Mountains history is rich in Dutch stories including such famous names as Tijl Uylen Spiegel and Rip van Winkel.  If you are that inclined, Google and you will come upon a treasure of old documents [from original handwritten ones in many instances] detailing the glory of memorable days long ago.

 During those times the Colonial Masters were fighting each other like hell in the Spice Islands [pirates and cut-throats often joining in the fun] and the jewel was one tiny little island, the only place in the World then and now, where nutmeg flourished the way nature had intended.

 Eventually, after tiring of war, and having lost more men and ships than they could all afford, Dutch and Americans got together and worked out a deal: The Dutch would get the nutmeg island and America would get New York, with the latter  promising assistance to the Dutch in keeping it because nutmeg was a sought after commodity.

 Many New Amsterdam Dutch dispersed into the area which is Michigan today.  In fact, a bunch of them established a thriving community on the southern shores of Lake Michigan and promptly named it Holland, where they still make klompe and grow daffodils.  Dutch names abound on storefronts and street names, with a gentle genial Dutch feeling in the air that you breathe.  Geert Wilders will like it very much when he makes his first visit as Dutch Prime Minister.

 Don’t laugh.  Where do you think the ancestors of President FDR, his brother Theodore and President van Buren before them hailed from?”

PS Insert.  This Blog would not be complete without the link to where it all started with my friend and fellow Blogger, Lady BD in:


 I dedicate this revision to this fine person whom I am proud to call my Friend.  Your visit to my Post will not be complete without a visit to her Post as mentioned.  It is a true gem, and she is one too.


18 Responses to “Swap New York for an island”

  1. bydesign001 Says:

    Good one Ike, I like it. Speaking of which, here in NYC I live directly across the street from an old Dutch Reformed Church with its cemetery still in tact, a little tathered, but in tact nevertheless. Then there is another one or two about a mile down from me.

    • Ike Jakson Says:

      Thank you Lady BD

      If you get a chance take a picture of that church and I will find some from here. I would like to compare the architecture.

      When you get time just Google ‘nutmeg’ for current news on the spice, but then Google ‘Nataniel’s Nutmeg’ [add New York if you have to] for the jewel and buy the book. It seems they have a few copies from as little as one penny.

      It is somewhat heavy reading and you may have to try two or three times to get going but you won’t put it down once you are into it. But the glimpse into the glorious and the inglorious of the Old Fathers is worth the patience.

      BTW. President van Buren was the only President who was a Dutch Reformed Church member, and you know when that was.

      • bydesign001 Says:

        I have not had the opportunity to go through my photos because I have been pulling such late hours but in between I went on line and accumulated a bevy of photos that I thought would interest you on the Dutch Church now named the Flatlands Dutch Reformed Church.

        I am emailing you that information and photos. Enjoy.

      • Ike Jakson Says:

        Lady BD

        There is no rush with the photos. In fact I am having a tough time keeping up with all of you and won’t have the time to do what I want to do with it namely to compare the architecture with local Dutch. Whenever you are ready will do just fine.

      • bydesign001 Says:

        Thanks for your patience Ike. You know it’s the end of the week and everything they have not thought to do at work Monday through Wednesday is now coming to mind and considered urgent for completion before Friday at 5:30 p.m.

        I will get to it over the weekend. You are sure to enjoy them. Thank you again for your patience.

      • Ike Jakson Says:

        Lady BD

        There is no rush with the pictures. Take your time; the weekend will be better anyway. Thanks for your concern.

      • bydesign001 Says:

        Sounds like a plan my friend.

      • Ike Jakson Says:

        Thanks Lady BD

        Let’s keep at it; just a little at a time to do it well. I am quite excited about it.

  2. bydesign001 Says:

    As a matter of fact, before the last decade of rezoning and political posturing, the community I love in was called Amersfort.

    • Ike Jakson Says:

      Oops Lady BD

      I almost missed this one because I start from my Gmail Inbox when I log in and only noticed the second one when I got to My Dashboard from where I normally reply. So now you get two for two.

      And it’s worth it. One of our historic town [way up country from me] dating back to the South African British Boer War [1899 – 1902] is named Amersfoort. There was a big battle with old cannon and cavalry. I bet if you look up the history of your Amersfort you will find a connection.

  3. Cheech Says:

    Ike, My daugher lives in Manhattan, on E. 67th st, just off of Central Park.

    Now for something you may have not known. The work “Yankee”
    It comes from the Dutch, but not like you might think.

    The English used to make fun of the old Dutch men and called them
    “John Cheese”. The Dutchmen, who, despite popular belief, did have a sense of humour, started calling the English, the same name, “John Cheese” However with their accent, it came out sounding something like Yoncheese, and eventually morfed into “Yankee”.

    So, there is a little history lesson I learned from a New Yourk Times, I think, article a while back.

    If you want to know about New York History, you need to read about Sir William Johnson and his adventures up and down the state.

    • Ike Jakson Says:


      What you have penned here is what Blogging should be. Thanks a heap.

      Well, I didn’t know about the origin of the word Yankee but I can understand it. But I have something for you and your daughter. Just start by clicking on all the Automatically Generated stuff at the bottom of my Post, and do the same in everyone that comes up.

      Here’s just one you will find:


      As you go along you will find the original Dutch names for almost everything in New York.

      Once more, bless you and your land, my friend.

  4. Cheech Says:

    Ike, we have a Dutch settled town just a few miles from here, it’s called “Pella”. The local saying is, “If you ain’t Dutch, you aint much”.

    Among other things, it was the childhood home of the famous wildwest law man, Wyatt Earp,

    It’s also a good place to go watch the American symbol in the wild, the “Bald Eagle”.

    • Ike Jakson Says:

      Thanks Cheech

      I noted down many towns during my travels for birthplaces of the famous [they are so well marked], but I did not know about Wyatt Earp and Iowa. There was once a great joke about Wyatt from one of your guys in MyT; I shall try locating it for you.

      The Dutch are not a bad bunch.

  5. bydesign001 Says:

    I hope you enjoyed the photos and the post Ike. I dedicated it to you my friend.

    • Ike Jakson Says:

      Thanks Lady BD

      I decided to return the compliment and get it all together in the same place by inserting the link to your Post in mine. You will be pleasantly surprised by the number of calls that I have had locally and I will keep you informed.

      The two of us are really building bridges that will take us somewhere.

  6. Anastasia Fitzgerald-Beaumont Says:

    Spot on, Ike!

    I wrote about Peter Stuyvesant and the Dutch in America a year or so ago. If I can find it I’ll polish it up and add it to my blog. It is an important story that deserves to be better known. Oh, there are all sorts of things I could tell you about the clash between England and the Netherlands in the seventeenth century, my period of special study. Are you familiar with the expression ‘Dutch courage’? If not it means bravery induced by liberal quantities of alcohol. It comes from the Anglo-Dutch naval wars, when the rumour was spread in England that the only way to get the Dutch into battle was to oil them with liberal quantities of gin, a gross slander, given their performance in the wars!

    • Ike Jakson Says:


      You are spot on!

      When you have done what you want pass the link on in this Post. I am getting on and if I don’t keep things together that belong together ….

      Of course I know about Dutch courage [chuckle].

      The name of the book about the “Nutmeg Wars” is in one of the comments above if you are interested. It is heavy reading with lots of dates but it’s in a way like a painting of the old ships, the canon and the sea. Actually it is beautiful; almost like the author wanted to paint a lovely picture of the old sailor and the pirate all fighting over a few nutmeg trees.

      And to give the book the name/title ‘Nathaniel’s Nutmeg’ I thought was real nice.

      If you enjoyed Lady BD’s column on the DR Churches in NY I shall pass her link on to you. She has a heart of gold.

      I should also tell you that the Dutch name for gin is ‘jenewer’ and the connotation can be a long story. You really have to sit there with one of them sipping it slowly; you will never call it gin again.

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