by Griffis, William Elliot, 1843-1928
Despite official documents, book-titles, and memorial tablets, there was never any such place or state as New Netherlands, nor any admiral named “van” Tromp, nor any Dutch clergyman with the title of “Dominie.” The word “schnapps” was not in the Dutchman’s vocabulary, nor did Hollanders ever talk Pennsylvania German — as is represented in the stage dialect of Rip van Winkle. The earliest settlers of New Netherland did not smoke tobacco. The Dutch folks of New Amsterdam did not associate Santa Claus with Christmas, but on the 6th of December they celebrated St. Nicholas’s Day, and on the 25th of the same month the birthday of the Christ. The hardy, active men who made New Netherland were not fat or old or stupid fellows. They were young men, lithe, alert, and venturesome. The first comers knew little or nothing about tobacco, though they quickly learned its use from the Indians and even smoked the homegrown article presented to them by the Pilgrims of Massachusetts. Not one of them pronounced the syllable “dam” in “Amsterdam” or “Rotterdam” as if he were swearing in English.
Read the Full Book Below