Colonial America The Middle Colonies


The Dutch kept trying to find a westward passage to the Indies. They sent an Englishman, Captain Henry Hudson, to find it. Hudson found a river that ran westward for a short time. He followed it and found that it turned north in what is now New York. The river was later named Hudson after him. Hudson found the American Indians living along the shores of this river were friendly. They were willing to trade furs. Hudson told the Dutch people about this. In 1623 the Dutch sent people to live in this area. They formed a new colony and began trading with the Native Americans. They called their new colony New Netherlands. The Dutch Governor Peter Minuit bought Manhattan Island from the Native Americans for $24.00 worth of beads and trinkets.


Sweden wanted a colony to trade with the other colonies in the New World. They landed in Delaware in 1638. The Swedes were led by Peter Minuit. Minuit had been fired by the Dutch in 1631. He was then hired by the Swedes in 1637. Since the Dutch were already living in this area, the Dutch governor quickly took the land from the Swedes. This was done peacefully without any fighting.


The Dutch began to have problems with the British. England said that John Cabot's exploration in 1497 gave them the rights to New Netherlands. In 1664 war broke out between the Dutch and the English. The British took a fleet of ships to New Netherlands and took the colony without firing a shot. New Netherlands became New York. It was named after the Duke of York.

The land across the Hudson River became New Jersey. It was named in honor of an island off the coast of England.



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