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Dutch Colonial Forts In New Netherland

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Chapter Summary

The Dutch built many fortifications in eastern North America. This chapter discusses the following fortifications in detail: Fort Nassau on the Hudson; Fort Orange; Fort Wilhelmus; Fort Amsterdam; Fort Nassau on the Delaware; and Fort Casimir. In addition to those described above, there were other blockhouses, redoubts, and walls surrounding settlements. Most of the Dutch forts were at the center of conflict and sometimes violent confrontations over local land use and ownership. The forts were constantly in need of repair and had small garrisons. The presently available records unfortunately lack detailed descriptions or references to the methods used in construction of the forts, and there are few maps or plans. Only at Fort Orange has it been possible to correlate documentary and archaeological findings. One hopes that the sites of other Dutch forts can be successfully located, protected, and wisely managed as resources for additional research.

Keywords: Dutch forts; Fort Amsterdam; Fort Casimir; Fort Nassau; Fort Orange; Fort Wilhelmus



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