A Prelude to Peace

Life in Wiltwyck and Kingston Before October 7, 1665

In 2015, the County Clerk's Office commemorated the 350th anniversary of the signing of the "Peace Treaty between Richard Nicolls and the People called the Sopes Indyans made 7th October 1665." This exhibit focuses on the years starting with the founding of Wiltwyck in 1652 up to October 1665 on the eve of the signing of the treaty. Within just a short amount of time, many events would happen to these settlers. They experienced two wars, a takeover by another nation, and yet they continued to shape a culture that is alive and vibrant to this day.

In this exhibit, you will find documents from the Dutch Court Records and Secretary’s Papers. These records are of national and international significance. These records document what was occurring in the courts, as well as matters of land and property transfer. As you read through the documents, you will find yourself transported back in time to the world of the Dutch settlers.

The symbol above is the acronym for the Dutch West India Company that oversaw New Netherlands (the initials GWC stand for “Geoctroyeerde Westindische Compagnie” in Dutch).

Companion resources for this exhibit include:

  • When Cultures Collide: The Story of the Esopus Natives and their Encounter with European Colonialism
  • Wiltwyck: A Look at Life in a Dutch 17th Century Ulster County Town
  • Nicolls/Esopus Peace Treaty of 1665