Biographical Sketches of All The Magistrates of New Amsterdam 1653-1678 Part IV

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Cornelis Van Tienhoven,

Schout (Sheriff) in 1653, 1654, 1655.

This citizen was a native of Utrecht, in Holland, and came to this country at a very early period. We find him a book-keeper in the service of the West India Company, in this city, as early as the year 1633, about ten years after the establishment of the Company's colony on this island. Van Tienhoven married here Rachel, daughter of Guleyn Vigne and his wife Ariantje Cuvilje. In the year 1638, he was promoted to the office of Colonial Secretary, with a salary of about two hundred and fifty dollars, besides fees.

Van Tienhoven was a man of violent passions, and entertained the strongest hatred of the Indian inhabitants of this country. He is believed to have been one of the principal causes of a sanguinary warfare between the Christian settlers and their native neighbors which occurred in 1640, and several succeeding years. The Dutch Governor, Kieft, was a passive and timid man, totally out of place in this wild country. He seldom left his house in the fort, and used no means in maintaining personal relations and understanding with the savages; listening, however, to the advice of men whose experience of the native character was relied upon by him as his guiding rule of conduct, but whose judgments were, in fact, tinctured by private dislike, he applied force where conciliation should have been used.

Upon a slight misunderstanding with some Indians residing on the Raritan, growing out of the stealing of some hogs on Staten Island, Kieft, in 1640, dispatched Van Tienhoven, with a force of Seventy men, against that people. The planted crops of the Indians were destroyed, and several Indians, including the brother of the chief, were killed. This affair was the precursor of a war which lasted for several years.

On the arrival of Governor Stuyvesant in 1647, Van Tienhoven became a personal friend and champion of that functionary. Stuyvesant soon made enemies, so that charges were preferred against him in Holland. Van Tienhoven was sent over to defend the governor. There he made many ill friends himself, but he was successful in silencing the traducers of Stuyvesant. He was about to return to this country, when he was detained on pretence of being examined relative to the cause of the Indian war. Being thus kept too late for the vessel sailing in the fall, he remained in Holland through the winter. He there engaged the affections of a young girl, said to be respectable, and under promise of marriage. induced her to reside with him. In the spring, arranging for his departure, his enemies procured the issuing of a warrant against him for his offence against public morals. He, however, succeeded in evading the service of the paper, and embarked for this country, accompanied by the girl he had betrayed. Upon arriving home, his victim discovered that he had a wife living, and commenced an action against him, but Van Tienhoven succeeded in convincing the Court of his innocence.

Politics in those times ran high. Mynheer Van Dyck, the Attorney General, sided with the popular party against Stuyvesant, who thereupon set about depositing him. The Attorney General, as he himself says, was "charged to look after the pigs, and keep them out of the fort." Van Dyck objecting to this, the Governor got angry as though he would swallow him up, and finally put the Attorney in confinement, and bastinadoed him with his cane. Van Dyck retired from office, and Van Tienhoven succeeded to his place of Attorney General in 1652.

In the following year, 1653, Van Tienhoven was sent to Virginia to negotiate a treaty with the English respecting the boundaries between the Dutch and English territories. IN 1654, he went as public agent to New England in the time of the troubles with the people of that section.

In 1655, Van Tienhoven's enemies in Holland, succeeded in effecting his downfall from public station; and orders were sent out by the West India Company to employ him no longer. A considerable excitement ensued in this city consequent upon the disgrace of this active and prominent man. The triumph of his enemies could not be endured by his spirited nature, and he left the scene suddenly. His hat and cane were found floating in the river, as was generally supposed, to induce the belief of his suicide, while, in fact, he had decamped and gone to some more congenial sphere. His wife administered upon his estate as if he were dead.

The residence of Van Tienhoven was near the present Hanover square, where he owned several acres, partly purchased, partly inherited from his mother-in-law. His farm, of about two hundred acres on the East river, on this island, was called the "Otterspoor," or Otter Track. Rachel, his wife, died in this city in February, 1663. Van Tienhoven left three children, Lucas, a surgeon of this city, Joannes, and Jannekin.

Hendrick Kip

Schepen in 1656

This individual, the ancestor of the family of Kips in this State, was one of the early inhabitants of this city. When he came hither from Holland, the town probably contained about 300 inhabitants. He was a tailor, and carried on that business in this city until his death.

In 1643, Kipp purchased a lot "east of the fort," afterward known as Bridge street, then however, upon no particular line of buildings. He built his dwelling-house and shop there.

Hendrick Kipp was a politician and leading man in his day. He was one of the popular party, which in those times opposed the sanguinary Kieft, Director General. Kieft was a good liver, and seldom moved out of doors. He provoked the Indians, who had lived very peaceably with the Dutch, into a war, which made the whole community dread the approach of night from fear of massacre by their savage neighbors. It is said that Kieft, during the six or seven years he was at the head of the government, "had never been farther from his kitchen and bed-room than the middle of this island." He dictated the battles which others fought. Hendrick Kip hated him with a thorough hatred. When Kieft was deposed, and about to depart from the city to fatherland, the towns people generally tendered him a respectful farewell, all except "Hendrick Kip the Tailor," who would have nothing to do with him.

Kip lived to see the city pass into the hands of the English, when he died, leaving several sons and daughters residing in this city.

Adrian Blommaert

Schepen in 1657

This individual was captain of the merchant ship New Amsterdam, sailing between this port and Holland. He subsequently settled in this place with his family, and engaged in trade. He died about the year 1663. His family soon after removed to Holland.

Jacob Kip

Schepen in 1659, 1662, 1663, 1665, 1674

Jacob Kip was son of Hendrick Kip, a sketch of whom appears in another place. He was born in Amsterdam in 1631, and accompanied his father to this city, while still a child. At the age of twenty-two (1653) he was appointed Clerk of the Court of Burgomasters and Schepens, and was the first who held the office of Clerk of the Municipal authorities of this city. He married in 1654, Maria, daughter of Johannes La Montague, senior, then a girl, in her seventeenth year. In the following year he built a house upon a farm in the neighborhood of Kip's Bay. He was engaged in his office and in writing as notary, and similar duties until 1658, when he engaged in trade as a merchant and became a prosperous citizen.

His house in the city was built in 1657, on a lot purchased by him or 100 guilders (about $35.) It was situated in what was called the "Prince graaft," now known as Exchange street.


Website: The History
Article Name: Biographical Sketches of All The Magistrates of New Amsterdam 1653-1678 Part IV
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


BIBLIOGRAPHY: My collection of Books: Manual of the Common Council of New York 1852 by D.T. Valentine
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