Bergen, fort

Especially during First and Second Esopus Wars, the colonists on the west bank of the Hudson River considered themselves to be in a dangerous location. It is therefore likely that soon after the foundation of the village of Bergen and its incorporation the decision was made to erect a palisade to defend the inhabitants against attacks by Native Americans. The new village was laid out in the customary shape of a rectangle with cross street, which encompassed the area now known as Bergen Square: Vroom Street, Van Reypen Street, Newkirk Street, and Tuers Avenue, and presumably the defence works enclosed that area. An ordinance of early 1662 refers to the completion of “a land gate and fence,” but unfortunately the original is too damaged to ascertain whether the original Dutch word being used is hek or palisaden. Two years later the villagers requested permission to build at “every gate a defensive blockhouse,” which was very likely also intended to provide a shelter for militia members charged with guard duty. Director general and council praised the zeal of the local magistrates and emphasized that absentee owners of lots were also “bound to assist in making the fortifications in question.”

Bronnen en literatuur

Jacobs, J., Dutch Colonial Fortifications in North America 1614-1676 (2015)