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I came across Christopher Moore this week during research of New Amsterdam. The authors work relates to the role of African slaves into the New Amsterdam colony and subsequently assimilation with the Lenape and more specifically the Ramapough.
http://www.learner.org/channel/workshop … hors2.html Biography Christopher Moore
Article by Christopher Moore
Coming to The New World: My ancestors include Native American peoples, Africans, and Europeans. One African I can identify by name was Manuel D'Angola. It's not known how Manuel came to New Amsterdam–probably some time in the late 1620s or 1630s. He may have come here as part of a work crew or he may have come in chains, but he lived a good portion of his life a free man. I believe I can also identify my first European ancestor, a military captain named Jan deVries. He came here in 1644 aboard the Dutch ship, de Blaeu Haen (Blue Cock) to fight the Indians. Ironically, he befriended the natives and was reprimanded and relieved of his command for doing so.
Captain deVries and a woman, known in church baptismal records as Swartine, produced a son, Jan deVries II. The name Swartine was kind of a generic term used to describe lovely, dark women. In most cases Swartines in New Amsterdam were not enslaved, but were referred to as the free “Brazilian women.“ Captain deVries died in 1647 in a shipwreck while returning to Holland, just a few weeks after Jan 11's baptism. Swartine's fate is not completely known; there are some indications that she, too, may have died around the time of Jan's birth or baptism.
New York/New Home: So much of our attitude toward New York City and American history has been with a European perspective rather than an African or Native American view, but one of the great lessons about the development of the Americas and Manhattan is that everyone contributed. When the wilderness needed to be cleared, that was the job of enslaved and indentured workers. They built roads and cleared the land, paving the way for farms, villages, and cities.
Searching for Roots: I was raised outside of Manhattan and as a young boy, my mother, who identified most with her Native American ancestry, would tell me stories about her people in the Ramapos. When I came to New York City, I began to realize that while many of my ancestors were indigenous to the Ramapos for several hundred years, some had roots in Manhattan. The African Burial Ground [excavated by archaeologists in 1991 in lower Manhattan] was my point of initiation. When it was unearthed, my mother asked me if any of our ancestors were buried there. I can't prove it, but I have reason to believe that some of them probably are.
Their City/My City: The church I belong to in Manhattan, the Collegiate Church of New York, is descended from the first church in New Amsterdam. Jan DeVries 11 was baptized there in 1647; so was Manuel's son, Claes Manuel, in 1649. Now I'm an elder in the church and enjoy researching its early history, so it's gone full circle for me personally and continues on through my son.
Last edited by oldsalty (Jan-21-2007 06:08:am)