Today, the Huguenot-Walloon Commemorative Silver Half Dollar Coin remembers when the Dutch lost New York to the English and regained it again on August 9, 1673 — but only for a short time.
From The Book of History: The United States. Canada. Newfoundland. The West Indies by James Bryce Bryce (viscount), Holland Thompson and Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie, published in 1915:
Meanwhile the English were encroaching still further upon the mainland along Long Island Sound and upon Long Island itself.
Stuyvesant, driven by the necessity of the case, made a treaty with the Connecticut men practically giving up the Dutch claim to New England and to most of Long Island as well, but the very existence of New Netherland was injurious to the English trade.
Though the Navigation Act forbade a Dutch ship to carry goods to an English colony, such ships carried goods to New Amsterdam, where they were easily exchanged for the products of the English colonies.
Cromwell planned to take the Dutch colony, but peace was made with the Netherlands (1654), just as the force of volunteers from New England was about to strike.
The end of Dutch dominion was approaching, however.
When Charles II granted the charter to Connecticut in 1662, the Pacific was made the western boundary, and the Dutch claim was entirely ignored.
Two years later, all the land from the Connecticut River to the Delaware, including also Long Island, was granted to the king’s brother, the Duke of York, later James II.
To be sure a part of this territory had already been granted to Connecticut, but the Stuart kings were not restrained by such considerations, as the many duplicate grants issued by them will show.
Since the grant had been made, the next thing was to take possession.
So a fleet of four ships with 500 soldiers was sent out under Sir Richard Nicolls, who had a commission to govern the territory to be seized.
The fleet sailed first for Boston, and remained there a month, discussing one of the objects of the expedition, vis., bringing the New England colonies into closer relations to the Crown.
Massachusetts refused to furnish volunteers for the capture of New Amsterdam, but Connecticut was more obliging, and in August the ships, with perhaps a thousand men, appeared before New Amsterdam.
Stuyvesant had heard rumors of the proposed attack, but had been reassured by the delay in Boston, and had allowed some Dutch war ships in the harbor to depart.
Resistance would have been useless if the population had been of one mind.
It was, however, divided.
The people of the town were disgusted with the selfish policy of the Company, and also were tired of the arbitrary rule of Stuyvesant, whom they charged with using his official position for personal gain.
No resistance was made, and the Dutch flag came down Sept. 8, 1664.
New Amsterdam became New York, and Fort Orange became Fort Albany.
Nicolls was a wise and just man, with attractive manners, and the change of government was accomplished with little friction.
Some degree of self-government was granted in local matters, but otherwise the government was a benevolent despotism.
During the four years of Nicolls’ government, there was little trouble, however, and under his successor, Francis Lovelace, everything went smoothly for a time.
The cry of ” no taxation without representation ” was heard now and then, particularly on Long Island, where many New Englanders were settled, but there was no active opposition to English rule.
Lovelace deserves to be remembered for the establishment of the first mail route in America, over which a monthly round trip between New York and Boston was made.
The first postman left New York on New Year’s Day, 1673.
Meanwhile, Charles II had joined with Louis XIV of France to attack the Netherlands.
As a result, a Dutch fleet dropped anchor in New York Bay, and August 9, 1673, the Dutch flag was again hoisted over the fort.
Dutch claims were again asserted to the coast from the Connecticut to the Delaware and to Long Island also.
The period of Dutch occupation was short, however, for early in 1674 peace was made between England and the Netherlands, and all conquests were restored.
So New York came back to the English.
The Huguenot-Walloon Commemorative Silver Half Dollar Coin shows with an artist’s portrayal of New York’s Canal Street during the Dutch rule.