The Foundations of American Nationality

By Evarts Boutell Greene | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VIII
ENGLISH COLONIZATION OF THE HUDSON AND DELAWARE VALLEYS, 1664 TO 1688

. THE conquest of New Netherland and the outlying posts on the Delaware was comparatively easy, but the new problem of governing the country and developing its resources was far more difficult. The territory which the Duke of York secured by the royal patent was not only extensive but awkwardly distributed. Its central division was the long, narrow strip lying between the Connecticut and Delaware rivers, extending northward to the French colonies in the St. Lawrence valley. A second division included certain islands along the coast of southern New England -- Long Island, Nantucket, Marthas Vineyard, and a few others. A third entirely detached section included the northeastern part of Maine, between the St. Croix and Kennebec rivers. Besides all this territory definitely granted by the patent, the Duke also claimed the Dutch and Swedish settlements on the western side of the Delaware on the ground that they were dependencies of New Netherland.

New York in 1664

Almost every part of this area bristled with controversial questions, some of which were debated for more than a century, with the result that the territory of New York at the close of the colonial era was quite different from that described in the charter. So far as Maine, Nantucket, and Marthas Vineyard were concerned, the Duke's paper claim was soon disposed of and they became a part of Massachusetts. Before long, by the action of the Duke himself and that of the King, the southern territory on both sides of the Delaware was taken to form the new provinces of New Jersey

Territorial problems.

-155-

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