Led by Dutch commercial interests,
European coloni zation of the Hudson River Valley began in earnest in 1624 with the settlement of Fort Orange (Albany).
Within several years, communities and trading posts were also established at New Amsterdam (New York),
Esopus (Kingston) and several other strategic locations along the 150-mile nav igable ri ver.
Communication and trade within the maritime colony of New Netherl and among its trading partners in Europe and the West Indies were carried on
by traditional Dutch sailing craft of the period,
Historical Background particularly the sloop.
The Dutch sloops appear to have varied considerably in length and depth but generally included bluff bows, single masts,
gaff mainsails, one or more headsails, and leeboards in the earliest years.
The larger examples of the type with deep drafts were capable of ocean passages.
A 1682 contract between builders Hendri ck Abelsen and Jurian Calier and owners Cornelis Cornelissen van der
Historical Background Hoeven and Andries Hansen Scherp describes the specifications for a typical ri ver sloop of the period,
built in Albany as “a boat which is to have a thirty-six-foot keel, with a peak [a small storage compartment] aft,
also a cabin and a caboose [a galley on deck or a moveable stove],
a mast, a rudder, a jib, a roasting spit, a crane beam, bilge strakes, gunwale, festoon work [decorative carvings] and fo ur bunks, to wit, two fore and two aft.”
The 1753- 1760 accounts of Tobias Conradt Ten Eyck’s sloop Chriestiena appear to
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