Peter Stuyvesant

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Charter of Freedoms and Exemptions

Cornelius Jacobsen May (1620-25)
Willem Verhulst (1625-26)
Peter Minuit (1626-32)
Sebastiaen Jansen Krol(1632-33)
Wouter van Twiller (1633-38)
Willem Kieft (1638-47)
Peter Stuyvesant (1647-64)

New Netherlander
Twelve Men
Eight Men

Peter Stuyvesant (c. 1612 – August 1672), served as the last Dutch Director-General of the colony of New Netherland from 1647 until it was ceded provisionally to the English in 1664, after which it was renamed New York. He was a major figure in the early history of New York City.

Stuyvesant's accomplishments as director-general included a great expansion for the settlement of New Amsterdam beyond the southern tip of Manhattan. Among the projects built by Stuyvesant's administration were the protective wall on Wall Street, the canal that became Broad Street, and Broadway.

Although conventionally referred to in English today as "Peter Stuyvesant", Stuyvesant's given name was actually "Pieter" or "Petrus"; "Peter" is not found in historical records.


Life and career

Stuyvesant was probably born in Peperga, Friesland in the Netherlands, to Balthazar Johannes Stuyvesant, a minister, and Margaretha Hardenstein in 1612. He grew up in Scherpenzeel. He studied in Franeker, and joined the West India Company about 1635, and was director of the Dutch West India Company's colony of Curaçao from 1642 to 1644.

In April 1644, he attacked the Spanish-held island of Saint Martin and lost the lower part of his right leg to a cannon ball. He returned to the Netherlands, where his right leg was amputated and replaced with a wooden peg. Supposedly, Stuyvesant was given the nickname "Old Silver Leg" because he used a stick of wood driven full of silver bands as a prosthetic limb.[1]

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