Dirck Straatmaker , my 9th Great-grandfather
Early in 1638 William Kieft became Director General of New Netherland, and on the first day of May following granted to Abraham Isaacsen Planck (Verplanck) a patent for Paulus Hook (now lower Jersey City).
There were now two “plantations” at Bergen, those of Planck and Van Vorst. Parts of these, however, had been leased to, and were then occupied by, Claes Jansen Van Purmerend, Dirck Straatmaker (my 9th great-gradfather through my paternal grandmother – the family surname evolved to Straut). Barent Jansen, Jan Cornelissen Buys, Jan Evertsen Carsbon, Michael Jansen, Jacob Stoffelsen, Aert Teunisen Van Putten, Egbert Woutersen, Garret Dirckse Blauw, and Cornelius Ariessen. Van Putten had also leased and located on a farm at Hoboken. All these, with their families and servants, constituted a thriving settlement. The existence of the settlement of Bergen was now imperiled by the acts of Governor Kieft, whose idea of government was based mainly upon the principle that the governor should get all he could out of the governed. His treatment of the Indians soon incited their distrust and hatred of the whites. The savages, for the first time, began to show symptoms of open hostility. Captain Jan Petersen de Vries, a distinguished navigator, who was then engaged in the difficult task of trying to found a colony at Tappan, sought every means in his power to conciliate the Indians, and to persuade Kieft that his treatment of them would result in bloodshed.
The crafty and selfish governor turned a deaf ear to all warnings and advice and continued to goad the Indians by cruel treatment and harsh methods of taxation. In 1643 an Indian – no doubt under stress of great provocation – shot and killed a member of the Van Vorst family. This first act of murder furnished a pretext for the whites and precipitated what is called “The Massacre of Pavonia,” on the night of February 25, 1643, when Kieft, with a sergeant and eighty soldiers, armed and equipped for slaughter, crossed the Hudson, landed at Communipaw, attacked the Indians while they were asleep in their camp, and, without regard to age or sex, deliberately, and in the most horrible manner, butchered nearly a hundred of them. Stung by this outrage upon their neighbors and kinsmen, the northern tribes at once took the war path, attacked the settlement, burned the buildings, murdered the settlers, wiped the villages out of existence, and laid waste the country round about. Those of the settlers who were not killed outright fled across the river to New Amsterdam. Nor was peace restored between the savages and the whites until August, 1645, when the remaining owners and tenants of farms returned to the site of the old village, rebuilt their homes, and started anew.
Kieft having been driven from office, Petrus Stuyvesant was made Director General, July 28, 1646. Under his administration the settlement at Bergen was revived, grew rapidly, and prospered.
Source: Early settlers of Hudson County and The Massacre of Pavonia
Genealogical History Of Hudson And Bergen Counties New Jersey,
EARLY SETTLERS OF HUDSON COUNTY – Part A
Originally published in 1900
Cornelius Burnham Harvey, Editor
Year 1643: “We do not know when Dirck Stratenmaker and his wife came to this country, but we do know that they had land at Communipaw and lived there. The morning after the “Communipaw Massacre” of Feb. 25, 1643, Dirck and his wife went to the scene to plunder. She was carrying her son Jan, less than a year old, and the fact that there is no record of his baptism at New Amsterdam suggests that they might have been recent arrivals. They were accompanied by some Englishman and soldiers. The soldiers had to leave, and warned Dirck of the Indians, but he replied: “There is no danger. If there were a hundred savages, none would hurt us. Shortly after, the soldiers heard a shriek, and returning found Dirk mortally wounded, and his wife dead. Dirck said: “I might have well escaped by running, but I did not wish to leave my poor wife.” “The child was saved, and was raised in New Amsterdam by Classie Teunis.”
And this commentary about the massacre from
Description (1643) of Nieuw Netherlands (New York and Albany) from a narrative of Father Isaac Jogues. “From Trois Rivières in Nouvelle France, 3 August 1646″:
“On the island of Manhattes, and its environs, there may well be four or five hundred men of different sects and nations: the Director General told me that there were men of eighteen different languages; they are scattered here and there on the river, above and below, as the beauty and convenience of the spot has invited each to settle: some mechanics however, who ply their trade, are ranged under the fort; all the others are exposed to the incursions of the natives, who in the year 1643, while I was there, actually killed some two score Hollanders, and burnt many houses and barns full of wheat.”
And from the same narrative:
“They found some pieces of ground all ready, which the savages had formerly cleared, and in which they sow wheat and oats for beer, and for their horses, of which they have great numbers. There is little land fit for tillage, being hemmed in by hills, which are poor soil. This obliges them to separate, and they already occupy two or three leagues of country.”
Source: The New Jersey Archives, Vol. 21: “March 26, 1667 — Confirmatory Patent — to Lawrence Andriessen for land in the tract called Minkacque, under the jurisdiction of Bergen, N.E. of Lubert Gilbertsen, S. W. of Dirck Straetmaker, along the Hudson River –” Page 2.