Potter Family History  

Petrus Stuyvesant built this house at 21 Stuyvesant Street in 1803. It was a wedding gift to his daughter Elizabeth, who married Nicholas Fish, a close friend and political ally of Alexander Hamilton. Son Hamilton Fish became New York State governor, senator, and secretary of state. It is now known as the Stuyvesant-Fish House. 

In 1664, Charles II of England ceded to his brother, James II of England, a large tract of land that included New Netherland. Four English ships bearing 450 men, commanded by Richard Nicolls, seized the Dutch colony. On 30 August 1664, George Cartwright sent the governor a letter demanding surrender. He promised "life, estate, and liberty to all who would submit to the king's authority." Stuyvesant signed a treaty at his Bouwerie house on 9 September 1664. Nicolls was declared governor, and the city was renamed New York City.

Petrus Stuyvesant - (Peter Stuyvesant) the last Dutch colonial administrator of New Netherland; in 1664 he was forced to surrender the colony to England (1592-1672).

He was born in Scherpenzeel, Peperga, in southern Friesland in the Netherlands, to Balthazar Johannes Stuyvesant, a minister, and Margaretha Hardenstein. The year of Pieter's birth is not known and is given as 1592. , 1602, and 1612.   He was the son of a minister, and he studied in Franeker, and entered military service in the West Indies about 1625, and was director of the Dutch West India Company's colony of Curaçao from 1634 to 1644.

In April 1644, he attacked the Portuguese island of Saint Martin and was wounded.  He returned to the Netherlands, where his right leg was amputated and replaced with a wooden peg.  In May of 1645 he was selected by the Dutch West India Company to replace Willem Kieft as Director-General of New Netherland. He arrived in New Amsterdam on May 11, 1647.  In September 1647, he appointed a council of representatives.

He married Judith Bayard (c. 1610-1687) in 1645.  She was born in Holland, the sister of Samuel Bayard of Amsterdam, who was married to Anna Stuyvesant.  Pieter and Judith had a two sons, Balthazar Lazarus Stuyvesant (1647-1675), who married Raapzaat and Nicholas William Stuyvesant (1648-1698), who married Maria Beckman, the daughter of William Beckman.

In 1665, Stuyvesant went to Holland to report on his term as governor. On his return, he spent the remainder of his life on his farm of sixty-two acres outside the city, called the Great Bouwerie, beyond which stretched the woods and swamps of the village of Haarlem. A pear-tree that he brought from Holland in 1647 remained at the corner of Thirteenth Street and Third Avenue until 1867, bearing fruit almost to the last. The house was destroyed by fire in 1777. He also built an executive mansion of stone called Whitehall. He died in August of 1672 and he was interred at St Mark's Church in-the-Bowery in Manhattan.

Petrus Stuyvesant died in 1672 at his bowery and was interred in the crypt at St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery, under the chapel.

Stuyvesant became involved in a dispute with Theophilus Eaton, the Governor of Connecticut, over the border of the two colonies.  In 1648, a conflict started between him and Brant Arent Van Slechtenhorst, the commissary of the fort of Rensselaerwyck. Stuyvesant claimed he had power over Rensselaerwyck despite special privileges granted to Van Slechtenhorst in the charter of 1629.

In 1649, Stuyvesant marched to Fort Orange with a military escort and ordered houses to be razed to permit a better defense of the fort in case of an attack of the Native Americans.  When Van Slechtenhorst refused, Pieter sent a group of soldiers to enforce his orders. The controversy that followed resulted in the commissary's maintaining his rights and the director's losing popularity.  Because of the controversy with Van Slechtenhorst, the States-General of the Netherlands commanded Stuyvesant to return to Holland; but Stuyvesant refused to obey, saying, "I shall do as I please."

In September 1650, a meeting of the commissioners on boundaries took place in Hartford, Connecticut.  The border was arranged to the dissatisfaction of the council, who declared that "the governor had ceded away enough territory to found fifty colonies each fifty miles square."  Stuyvesant then threatened to dissolve the council.  A new plan of municipal government was arranged in Holland, and the name "New Amsterdam" was officially declared on 2 February 1653. Stuyvesant made a speech for the occasion, saying that his authority would remain undiminished.

Pieter was now ordered to Holland a second time, but the order was soon revoked on the declaration of war with England. Stuyvesant prepared against an attack by ordering the citizens to dig a ditch from the North River to the East River and to erect a fortification.

In 1665, he sailed into the Delaware River with a fleet of seven vessels and about 700 men and took possession of the colony of New Sweden, which he renamed "New Amstel".  In his absence, New Amsterdam was attacked by Native Americans.

In 1653, a convention of two deputies from each village in New Netherland demanded reforms, and Stuyvesant commanded this assembly to disperse, saying: "We derive our authority from God and the company, not from a few ignorant subjects."

Governor Stuyvesant Destroying the Summons to Surrender NY

Picture provided from album belonging to Warwick Potter

Petrus Stuyvesant

( 1592 - 1672 )

Stuyvesant-Fish House​