Friday, November 16, 2012

Dutch-American Heritage Day

New Amsterdam, Manhattan ca. 1658. By Len Tantillo (born 1947), an artist in the tradition of the Dutch masters of the 17th century who reinvents places in the common history of New York.

Today is Dutch-American Heritage Day to commemorate the ‘First Salut’ of November 16, 1776, when Commander Johannes de Graaff of St. Eustatius decided to return the salute fire of the visiting American brig Andrew Doria by firing the cannons of Fort Oranje, the first international acknowledgment of the independence of the United States.

The island of St. Eustatius sold arms and ammunition to anyone willing to pay, it was one of the few places from which the rebellious British Thirteen Colonies of North America could obtain weaponry.

The British took this seriously; in 1778 The Viscount Stormont claimed in British Parliament that "if St. Eustatius had sunk into the sea three years before, the United Kingdom would already have dealt with George Washington".

next episode: Gene's birthday


  1. I've never thought whether there were once windmills in Manhattan. I would not have suspected that the painting was a modern work, but I am certainly no art expert. :)

  2. "And as the moon rose higher the inessential houses began to melt away until gradually I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors’ eyes — a fresh, green breast of the new world." F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

  3. A nice little trip down history's horizons there, and what a stunning painting! Actually.......I've a love of Dutch-American. He's called Rutger Hauer.......!*ahem*

  4. What a beautiful photo. Thanks for sharing our shared history!


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