Here to return to
THE student who has the courage to delve in the Documents relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York, the Documentary History of the State of New York, the ecclesiastical, records, the pioneer journals, and the minutes of early city councils, will not only reach the fundamental authorities on the history of the settlers on the Hudson, but will find many interesting incidents of which the dull titles give no promise.
If the reader prefer to follow a blazed trail, he will find a path marked out for him in reliable works such as The History of New Netherland by E. B. O’Callaghan, 2 vols. (1855), The History of the State of New York by J. R. Brodhead, 2 vols. (1871), The Narratives of New Netherland, admirably edited by J. F. Jameson (1909), New York, a condensed history by E. H. Roberts (1904), John Fiske’s Dutch and Quaker Colonies in America, 2 vols. (1899), and William Smith’s History of the Late Province of New York (first published in 1757 and still valuable).
Many histories of New York City have been written to satisfy the general reader. Among the larger works are Mrs. M. J. Lamb’s History of the City of New York, 2 vols. (1877; revised edition, 1915, in 3 vols.), Mrs. Schuyler Van Rensselaer’s History of the City of New York in the Seventeenth Century, 2 vols. (1909), James G. Wilson’s Memorial History of the City of New York, 4 vols. (1892), and Historic New York, 2 vols. (edited by M. W. Goodwin, A. C. Royce, and. Ruth Putnam, 1912). Theodore Roosevelt has written a single volume on New York for the Historic Towns series (1910). In his New Amsterdam and its People (1902), J. H. Innes has brought together valuable studies of the social and topographical features of the town under Dutch and early English rule. I. N. P. Stoke’s Iconography of Manhattan Island (1915) is calculated to delight the soul of the antiquarian.
One who wishes to turn to the lighter side of provincial life will find it set forth in attractive volumes such as Colonial Days in Old New York by A. M. Earle (1915), The Story of New Netherland by W. E. Griffis (1909), In Old New York by T. A. Janvier (1894), and the Goede Vrouw of Mana-ha-ta by M. K. Van Rensselaer (1898).
Most rewarding perhaps of all sources are those dealing with the biographies of the prominent figures in the history of the State, since in them we find the life of the times illustrated and personalized. E. M. Bacon in his Henry Hudson (1907) gives us a picture of the great mariner and the difficulties against which he strove. The Van Rensselaer-Bowier Manuscripts, edited by A. J. F. Van Laer (1908) show us through his personal letters the Patroon of the upper Hudson and make us familiar with life on his estates. J. K. Paulding in Affairs and Men of New Amsterdam in the. Time of Governor Peter Stuyvesant (1843) makes the town-dwellers equally real to us, while W. L. Stone’s Life and Times of Sir William Johnson, 2 vols. (1865), shows us the pioneer struggles in the Mohawk Valley. In the English State Trials compiled by T. B. Howells, 34 vols. (1828), we read the story of the famous pirate Captain Kidd, and find it more interesting than many a work of fiction.
Among the autobiographical accounts of colonial life the most entertaining are The Memoirs of an American Lady by A. M. Grant (1809), A Two Years’ Journal in New York, etc. by Charles Wolley (1902), and The Private Journal of Sarah Kemble Knight, the record of a journey from Boston to New York in 1704 (1901).
Further bibliographical references will be found appended to the articles on Hudson River, New York, and New York (City), in The Encyclopœdia Britannica, 11th edition.