Author Archives: michaeljdouma

Tracking the 66 Fulbrighters who Studied History in the Netherlands

The Fulbright program preserves a list of all previous recipients of its grant, and this data is searchable on its website here. So, I selected for all Americans who received Fulbright grants to study history in the Netherlands during their doctoral program of study. I did not include persons whose grants were awarded specifically for […]

No, there is no “s” at the end of “New Netherland”

by Michael J. Douma Like many nineteenth-century New Yorkers of Dutch-descent, the historical scholar John Romeyn Brodhead was bothered by the poor treatment the Dutch had received in the written histories of colonial America. In these histories, there was one “vulgar error” in particular that drew his ire. This was, he said, the “absurd use […]

“Where did all the Slaves go?”

A Presentation for the Schenectady Historical Society, March 23, 2023.

Review Article on Slavery in Dutch New York

Attendance Humor

Sietze Buning’s “War and Peace”

Coming to the house for breakfast after milking, I asked, “What star is that in the southwest, Dad, still so bright with the sun coming up?” That’s no star, Sietze. It’s moving and it’s coming this way.” In minutes, a floating contraption hovered above our farm. A machine growled and ground out a leaflet which […]

Venture Capitalists and Venture Academics

Some academics spend their whole lives focused on just one topic, but others branch out in many directions. Here is my attempt to coin the term “venture academics” to explain the growing phenomenon of academics who invest in many, and varied higher-risk, higher-reward research topics.

My new contribution to the Journal of Slavery and Data Preservation

How old? Claims for Superannutated, Centenarian, and Super-Centenarian Ex-Slaves

If you search for articles on “ex-slave centenarians” you will discover many claims of formerly enslaved people who  lived not only to 100, but much longer.  In 1981,  William Pinckey of Prince George’s County, Maryland, claimed to be 118, and had been born a slave.   Not to be outdone, Philadelphia’s Mary McDonla claimed to be 135 […]

Book review – Peter de Haan and Kerst Huisman, eds. Famous Frisians in America

We Frisians feel left out. As a group, our numbers in America are so small that we flat-out never get mentioned in history texts. That a book attempting to remedy this appeared at all in time for the 400-year Dutch American anniversary celebrations must be a sign of Frisian stubbornness and resolve. I don’t know […]