1st European families to settle in New York


The Walloons were natives of the County of Hainaut in Belgium who had fled to nearby Holland to escape religious persecution. Made to feel unwelcome in Holland, the Walloons, led by Jesse de Forest, first appealed to the British in 1621 for permission to settle in the British-controlled Virginia colony. When their request to the British was denied, they petitioned the Dutch West India Company to allow them to settle in the Dutch-controlled colony of New Amsterdam. Their application was granted and a group of 32 Belgian Huguenot families sailed on the ship Nieu Nederland (“New Netherland”) left Holland in March 1624, landing in New York on May 20, 1624.

Arrived, May 20, 1624

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