In 1609, Englishman Henry Hudson sailed for the third time to the Western Hemisphere looking for a shortcut to Asia under the employ of the Dutch East India Company. He sailed into what is now New York Harbor, on his famous boat, de Halve Maen. In search of profitable ventures in the New World, and to restrain the influences of rival nations, associations of Dutch merchants and traders followed Hudson to America. The formal colonization began about 1623. The area was called New Netherland and remained under Dutch rule for forty years. Even though the Dutch relinquished their rule to the English in 1664 and again in 1675, a half century of their heritage lived on among its settlers. Their customs and traditions contributed to the new American culture and continues to be observed today.
The objective of the Society is:
“First. To collect and preserve information respecting the early history and settlement of New Netherland by the Dutch, and to discover, collect and preserve all still existing documents, etc., relating to their genealogy and history.
Second. To perpetuate the memory and foster and promote the principles and virtues of the Dutch ancestors of its members.
Third. To gather by degrees a library for the use of the Society, composed of all obtainable books, monographs, pamphlets, manuscripts, etc. relating to the Dutch in America.
Fourth. To cause to be prepared and read before the Society papers, essays, etc. on questions in the history or genealogy of the Dutch in America.
Fifth. To cause to be prepared and published when the requisite materials have been discovered and procured, collections for a memorial history of the Dutch in America, wherein shall be particularly set forth the past belonging to that element in the growth and development of American character, institutions and progress.
Sixth. To contribute to the support of religious, literary, educational, moral, philanthropic and artistic endeavors consistent with the objects of the Society.”
Article II, The Holland Society of New York Constitution, adopted April 10, 1885, as amended April 6, 2016