September is an important month for me. September 3rd is the anniversary of my father's arrival in America from Flanders. It is also the anniversary of Henry Hudson's first foray up the mighty river that now bears his name. Bracketing that, September 8th is the anniversary of the capitulation of Pieter Stuyvesant to the Duke of York, and the lowering of the flag of the West India Company (which is almost identical to that of the United Provinces of the Netherlands) 346 years ago.
Wednesday evening, September 8, 2010, I gave an hour long talk to a gathering at Flanders House in New York, under their kind auspices. The discussion topic is "The Flemish Contribution to the Discovery & Settlement of America". Many of you of course will not be able to attend. So although the powerpoint is too large to post here, I thought I would at least share a rough chronology. Needless to say, if anyone wishes to know more details, please feel free to contact me.
Chronology of Flemish Contributions to the Discovery & Settlement of America 864-1664
• 800s – Charlemagne dies (814); grandsons squabble; Vikings invade Flanders (870s-880s) stay at St. Baaf's; intermarry with Flemish; First Flemish Count (Baldwin) appointed (864) collaborates with Vikings; Flemish priests (Ansgar, Rembert) from Tourhout proselytize into Scandinavia (800s- 1000s).
• 900s – Discovery and settlement of Iceland, Greenland; conversion of Norwegians to Christianity (990s); Flemish Archbishop Dankbrand; Lief Eriksson's "foster father" Thyrkir/Dirk possible Fleming; rise of Flanders as trade and textile center
• 1000s – Discovery of Vinland (named by Thyrkir/Dirk); Flemish largest % of William the Conqueror’s army (1066) thanks to wife, Matilda of Brugge; Flemings in Greenland, England, Scotland.
• 1100s – Construction of St. Baafs & of Newport Tower? Flemish colony in England by William of Ypres; Flemish colony in Ireland (Forth & Bargy).
• 1200s – Recorded Brugge trade with Greenland; Bruges Itinerarium; Flemish priests in Asia; Ruusbroeck meets with Great Khan (1250s); Tartar Relations written describing Asia
• 1300s – Flanders and Norway sign a trade agreement governing Greenland exports (1308); Flemish merchant from Brugge purchases 2,000 lbs of walrus ivory for 28 lbs of silver (1327); Jan de Langhe author of Mandeville (1330s?); Flemish papal legate collects tithes from Greenland (1360s); "Fifth generation Bruxelensis" priest from Greenland visits Norway and shares information with Jacob Cnoyen who writes down in the "Belgic" language in 1364 (copy to Mercator); Flemish innovations in fishing; Inventio Fortunata map of polar regions (1360s); Flemish fishermen off the Newfoundland coast; Flemish mijts left at Concepcion Bay, Newfoundland (late 14th/early 15th century); Philip of Burgundy ransoms his son back from the Muslims for 12 Greenland gyrfalcons (1396).
• 1400s – Last known sojourner between Greenland and Flanders (1408); Vinland Map (1430s/1440s); Discovery (1427) and settlement (1450s-1490s) of the Azores by Flemings; Danish-Portuguese expedition to Greenland (1476-1477); Bristol expeditions w/Fernandez the Labrador from the Azores(1480s-1490s); Van Olmen’s expedition (1484) from the Azores; Corte Real expeditions (1490s-1502) Azores to Newfoundland; Martin Behaim’s Nuremberg globe (1492); Columbus’ expeditions (1492-1506); Flemish Franciscans officially the first priests to the New World (1493).
• 1500s – Antwerp succeeds Brugge as center of European trade; Vrelant, a Flemish cartographer/miniaturist in Lisbon, creates the Cantino Map - 1st map to show New World outside elite Iberian circles (1502); 1st Printed Map of New World by Johannes Ruysch (1507); 1st book in English about the New World printed at Antwerp (1511); 1st Printed Map of Portuguese Charles V becomes first world ruler (1517); Adolf Van Wakken awarded colony in Yucatan (1517); Luther’s 95 These (1517); Roland Van Brugge sees the Pacific 1st on Magellan’s crew (1520); Becomes 1st Fleming to circumnavigate the world (1522); Magellan’s story written by Maximillian of Brussels (1523); Flemish Franciscan (Dekker, de Muir, Van der Auwere, Van Ghent) priests sent by Charles V Flemish mercenaries at Venezuela (1520s);1st Protestant martyrs (1523); English New Testaments printed at Antwerp (1520s) and smuggled into England by Jacob Van Meteren and others (1530s-1550s); William Tyndale, et.al. at Antwerp (executed at Vilvoorde 1536); Flemish missionaries under New Spain penetrate Arizona and New Mexico (1530s-1540s); Lucas Van Huden of Ghent conquers Chile for New Spain (1530s-1550s); Repression of Flemish Protestants and Anabaptists (1520s on); Flemish flee to England and elsewhere; Van Meterens to England (1550); Flemish Church at London (1550); English Moscovy Company (1553-1555) w/John Dee and Sebastian Cabot; Mercator sends Dee cartographic info (1550s-1590s); John Rogers burned at stake (1555); English send expeditions to find northern route (Northwest or Northeast passage) to Asia; Queen Elizabeth (Flemish ancestry) Queen of England (1558); First permannet settlement in the continental U.S. by Europeans, Fort Caroline in Florida, includes Flemish Protestants (1562-1565); Flemish Jesuits land in Florida and try to establish missionary outpost among the Indians there and later in Chesepeake Bay (1566-1570); Oliver Brunell of Brussels returns from Moscow and shares knowledge that Asia can be reached thru Muscovy to Mercator and Plancius (1566); Beeldenstorm (Iconoclasm) in Netherlands starts in Steenvoorde, Flanders (August 10, 1566); Duke of Alva arrives in Netherlands and Flemish Protestants flee (1567 - ) to England, Netherlands, Germany; Flemish innovations (carriage, starch, draining swamps, cartography, etc.) transmitted to English and Dutch (1560s-1600s); Flemish cartographers, innovators and theologians (Ortellius, Hondius, Van Der Keere, Plancius, Mercator Jr., De Laet, Baudartius) all spend time in England (1550s-1620s); English seek Northwest (Davis/Frobisher) and Northeast Passages to Asia (Jenkinson/Willoughby) (1550s-1580s); Flemish Anabaptists convey thinking to English Cambridge-educated clerics who develop Separatist belief (1580s-1610s); Antwerp falls and Flemings and Brabanders flee (1585-1589); Plancius inspired voyages to seek Northeast Passage (1590s); Voorcompagnieen (1590s-1602);
• 1600s –VOC established (1602); Jamestown established (1607); Pilgrims leave England (1607-8); Pilgrims at FlemishLeiden (1608-1620); Hudson recruited by Van Meteren (1608) advised by Plancius and guided by Hondius and hired by Van Os (1609); HH sails up the Hudson (Sept 10 – Oct 2, 1609); reports back to England (1610); Marcus de Vogelaer (and other Antwerpenaars) sail to Hudson’s “discoveries (1610-1623) Van Meteren publishes (1611); Adriaen Block in Manhattan (1613-1614); Block names Nieuw Nederland (1614); Council of Dort (Dordrecht) dominated by Flemish Protestants De Laet, Gomarus, et.al. (1619); Pilgrims leave for New England (1620); West India Company (WIC) IPO (1621); Fort Orange established (1623); 30 families – 6 Flemish – sent to Nieuw Nederland (1624); De Laet’s publication of “New World” (1625); Pieter Minuit 'buys' Manhattan (1626); WIC captures the Spanish silver fleet (1628); Patroonships allowed in Nieuw Nederland (1629); Rensselaerswijck establish (1630); Other patroonships established by Antwerpenaars Blommaert, De Laet, Godijn, Melyn (1630s-1650s); “Flemish Bastard” born (1630s); 1st eyewitness painting of the New World by Mostaert (1645); Adrian Vander Donck’s publication of life in Nieuw Nederland (1650); Cornelis Melyn’s tract 'Breeden Raedt' (1650); Immigration rises (1650s-1660s); Pieter Stuyvesant capitulates and the English take over Nieuw Nederland ofte Nova Belgica September 8, 1664.
A whole slew of additional examples exist for the period 1664-the present. That chronology will have to remain for a future post.
Copyright 2010 by David Baeckelandt. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted without my express, written consent.