Category Dutch History
I recently published an article comparing the populist and liberal conceptions of history for a Dutch magazine/ journal called Liberale Reflecties. Naturally, I’m critical of the populist conception of history, which I see as an emotional (i.e. non-rational) desire to believe in inevitable cycles of history, in which the good, pure people must fight to […]
New York, 1761. Jacob Ten Broek writes a letter to his brother in New Jersey to inform him that their mother has died. It is the hand of a farmer, no punctuation, some awkward spelling, sometimes indicating how Dutch was pronounced in 18th century New York. 1761, April 8 Waerde broeder dese tot bekent makinge […]
An article in the The Economist titled “Why are Dutch-Americans so different from the Dutch?” lumps together all Dutch Americans, by which it means a few Michigan politicians and the residents of the city of Holland, Michigan, to explain why they are such backward conservatives. The article’s subtitle betrays the game the author wants […]
I generally try to avoid using the title “Dr.” instead of “Mr.” because I don’t want to be called upon in an emergency to have to save someone’s life. I can imagine it now: the captain’s voice comes over the speaker system: “Is there a doctor on the plane?” When no one comes forward, the […]
On Friday, I was interviewed for 50 minutes for the Research on Religion podcast, run by Tony Gill, a professor of Political Science at the University of Washington. The topic of our discussion was the history of the Dutch immigrant leader Albertus Van Raalte and his church history manuscript that I re-discovered in the archives […]
I wrote a review of Jeroen DeWulf’s, The Pinkster King and the King of Congo: The Forgotten History of America’s Dutch-Owned Slaves (Jackson, Miss.: University of Mississippi Press, 2017) for BMGN, the top history journal in the Netherlands. BMGN is short for Bijdragen en Mededelingen betreffende de Geschiedenis der Nederlands. Of course. I […]
For whatever reason or reasons, I never had a history teacher who mentioned numismatics, the study of old coins, as a legitimate historical pursuit. Coin collecting falls into the category of antiquarianism, that pedantic collecting and assembling of old things. For the different between history and antiquarianism, I can recommend the works of Arnaldo Momigliano. […]
“Speaks Good Dutch” was a common descriptor for runaway slave advertisements in New York state in the 18th century.
The New Netherland Institute has posted the audio from lectures at our recent conference in Albany, NY. I spoke about Dutch Americans and slavery, through the story of Charles Liernur, a Dutch-born Confederate engineer. The audio of my lecture can be found here.