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Van Twiller

english, william and fort

VAN TWILLER, Wouter, or Walter, Dutch governor of New Netherland: b. Nieu kirk, about 1580; d. Amsterdam, after 1646. He was a clerk in the warehouse of the West India Company at Amsterdam when he was chosen to succeed Peter Minuit as director-gen eral of New Netherland. He arrived at the colony in April 1633, bringing with him the Spanish caravel, San Martin, captured on the voyage. Van Twiller was incompetent for his new post and in his administration there was considerable to warrant the well-known bur lesque of Irving in 'Knickerbocker.) But he devoted much attention to internal improve ments, repaired Fort Amsterdam, built new windmills and other structures, secured large grants from the Indians, extended the trade with the West Indies and New England and displayed many other excellent activities. He was also alert in defense of the fur trade, by which the colony was realizing large profits. In 1633 Eelkens, who had been commissary at Fort Orange, sailed up the Hudson to within a mile of the fort in an English vessel, the William, bent on a trading enterprise for Eng lish capitalists. Van Twiller soon convoyed

the William out to sea with the Dutch fleet and prevented the establishment of English trade upon the river. When Winthrop wrote asserting the superior title of the English to the Connecticut Valley, Van Twiller, in a "very courteous and respectful' letter, suggested that the matter should be adjusted by the English king and the States-General. However, without Winthrop's assent. New Plymouth sent to Con necticut an expedition commanded by Lieut. William Holmes which passed up the river by the Dutch Fort of Good Hope and began at Windsor the first English settlement in Con necticut. Van Twiller was removed in 1637 and succeeded by William Kieft. He held a large estate in the colony and was an opponent of Stuyvesant in 1650.