(The FRENCH, DUTCH and ENGLISH to AMERICA – continued)
In 1613 the Dutch tried to establish a colony on the northern coast of South America. Dutch merchants sent 50 families there, at Guiana, to try tobacco farming, but in 1614 the Spanish annihilated them. In 1624, the Dutch launched an attempt to take Brazil from the Portuguese – who were then ruled by a Spanish king. And to the Hudson River area in North America the Dutch sent thirty colonists, mostly French speaking Protestant refugees – Walloons.
In 1626, the Dutch bought Manhattan Island from Indians for 60 guilders (about $1,000 in 2008 dollars), and they renamed the island New Amsterdam. The Indians assumed that they would still be able to use the land, but they soon found the Europeans taking land for their exclusive use. Conflicts arose as the dogs of Indians attacked the cattle of the settlers and the cattle of the settlers trampled Indian farmland. Eventually war broke out, the governor of the colony having retaliated against the offense of one Indian by massacring a group of unoffending Indians. And, during the war, crops were destroyed, buildings burned and families slain.
The total number of settlers in Dutch settlements in North America remained at less than 1,000. In South America the battle for Brazil continued, and the Dutch were driven from the coast of Brazil at Salvador (Bahia), then in 1627 they captured it again. In 1630, the Dutch captured Olinda (Pernambuco) to the north of Salvador. The struggle to take all of colonized Brazil lasted to 1640, with the Dutch West India Company holding control of Brazil's sugar industry – the world's leading sugar exporter.
Copyright © 2001-2015 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.