Willem Kieft (September 1597,
Amsterdam – September 27, 1647) was a
Dutch merchant and the
Director of New Netherland (of which New
Amsterdam was the capital) from 1638 to 1647.
1 Life and career
2 See also
3 Further reading
Life and career
The handwritten Journal of
New Netherland 1647 by an unknown Dutch
colonist, from the manuscript collections of the National Library of
the Netherlands, is an important source for the study of Kieft’s
governorship, the war, and
New Netherland in the 1640s.
Willem Kieft was appointed to the rank of director by the Dutch West
India Company in 1638. He formed the council of twelve men, the
first representative body in New Netherland, but ignored its
He tried to tax, and then, drive out, local Native Americans. He
ordered attacks on Pavonia and Corlears Hook on February 25, 1643 in a
massacre (129 Dutch soldiers killed 120 Indians, including women and
children), followed by retaliations resulting in what would become
Kieft's War (1643–1645). The war took a huge toll on both
Dutch West India Company
Dutch West India Company Board of Directors fired him in
1647. He was replaced with Peter Stuyvesant.
He died on September 27, 1647 in the Princess Amelia shipwreck near
Swansea, Wales, en route to
Amsterdam to defend himself, along with
many of his opponents, including the Rev. Everardus Bogardus. His
archive was also lost, so his exact role cannot be established apart
from what his opponents wrote of him. He is depicted in the Gods of
Manhattan series by Scott Mebus.
Dutch colonization of the Americas
List of colonial governors of New Jersey
List of colonial governors of New York
William Elliot Griffis
William Elliot Griffis The Story of New Netherland. The Dutch In
America. (Chapter IX. Cambridge: The Riverside Press. 1909)
Allen Johnson, Ed. Dutch and English on the Hudson (Chapter IV. New
Haven: Yale University Press. 1919)
Jaap Jacobs (2005), New Netherland: A Dutch Colony in
Seventeenth-Century America. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers,
New Netherland 1647. Written in the Years 1641, 1642, 1643,
1644, 1645, and 1646. 1641-1647.
^ a b c "Journal of
New Netherland 1647. Written in the Years 1641,
1642, 1643, 1644, 1645, and 1646". World Digital Library. 1641–1647.
^ "Willem Kieft". www.newnetherlandinstitute.org.
^ Russell Shorto, The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic
Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony that Shaped America.
First Edition. New York City:
Vintage Books (a Division of Random
House, 2004. ISBN 1-4000-7867-9
^ History of the State of New York, Volumes 1–2 By New York State
Historical Association, Alexander Clarence Flick
^ Giersbach., Walter (26 August 2006). Governor Kieft's Personal War.
^ "NNP, The Casino News Network". www.nnp.org.
Wouter van Twiller
Director of New Netherland