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The Anneke Jans Story

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Chapter Summary

Most women of the past owe their historical image to the identity of their husbands. Evert Willemsz's wife Anneke Jans is one of the few exceptions. In the nineteenth century Anneke acquired a historical identity of her own, an image that was not totally derived from that of her preacher husband. Besides the stories about Anneke's legacy on Manhattan, a genuine myth was also woven around her person. Thomas Wikoff's version begins very romantically: "Anneke, so tradition, was born in the King's mansion, surrounded by Royalty, and she grew and was educated amid such surroundings, but being a lover of nature, and all out of doors, she became enamored of an agriculturalist named Jan Roeloff Roeloffson and in due time they were married". For persons acquainted with the early history of Jans's second husband, Evert Willemsz Bogardus, the image of Anneke as a prophetess comes as a complete surprise.

Keywords: Anneke Jans; Evert Willemsz; historical identity; Jan Roeloff Roeloffson; Manhattan



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