Russell Shorto

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Russell Shorto in 2010. Russell Shorto.jpg
Russell Shorto in 2010.

Russell Shorto (born February 8, 1959) is an American author, historian and journalist, best known for his book on the Dutch origins of New York City, The Island at the Center of the World . [1] Shorto's research for this book relied greatly on the work of the New Netherland Project (now known as the New Netherland Research Center) [2] and the New Netherland Institute. [3] Shorto is the New Netherland Research Center's 2013 Senior Scholar.

New Amsterdam historical Dutch colonial settlement that became New York City

New Amsterdam was a 17th-century Dutch settlement established at the southern tip of Manhattan Island that served as the seat of the colonial government in New Netherland. The factorij became a settlement outside Fort Amsterdam. The fort was situated on the strategic southern tip of the island of Manhattan and was meant to defend the fur trade operations of the Dutch West India Company in the North River. In 1624, it became a provincial extension of the Dutch Republic and was designated as the capital of the province in 1625.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

<i>The Island at the Center of the World</i> book by Russell Shorto

The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony That Shaped America is a 2005 non-fiction book by American author Russell Shorto. The book covers the period of Manhattan history under Dutch colonial rule, when the territory was called New Netherland. The book also discusses the conflict between Adriaen van der Donck and Peter Stuyvesant.


His most recent work, published in November 2017, is Revolution Song: A Story of American Freedom, which tells the story of the American Revolution through the eyes of six Americans from vastly different walks of life.

Personal life

Born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, on February 8, 1959, Shorto is a 1981 graduate of George Washington University. He is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and was (from 2008–13) director of the John Adams Institute  [ nl ] in Amsterdam, where he lived for 6 years, from 2007-13.As of 2014, Shorto resides in Cumberland, Maryland, where he is working on his next book, a narrative history of the American Revolution. [4]

Johnstown, Pennsylvania Place in Pennsylvania, United States

Johnstown is a city in Cambria County, Pennsylvania, United States, 43 miles (69 km) west-southwest of Altoona and 67 miles (108 km) east of Pittsburgh. The population was 20,978 at the 2010 census and estimated to be 20,402 in 2013. It is the principal city of the Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Cambria County.

George Washington University university in Washington, D.C.

The George Washington University is a private research university in Washington, D.C. It was chartered in 1821 by an act of the United States Congress.

<i>The New York Times Magazine</i>

The New York Times Magazine is a Sunday magazine supplement included with the Sunday edition of The New York Times. It is host to feature articles longer than those typically in the newspaper and has attracted many notable contributors. The magazine is also noted for its photography, especially relating to fashion and style.

On September 8, 2009, Shorto received a Dutch knighthood in the Order of Orange-Nassau for strengthening the relationship between the Netherlands and the United States through his publications and as Director of the John Adams Institute.

Order of Orange-Nassau order

The Order of Orange-Nassau is a civil and military Dutch order of chivalry founded on 4 April 1892 by the Queen regent Emma, acting on behalf of her under-age daughter Queen Wilhelmina.

Netherlands–United States relations Diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the United States of America

Netherlands–United States relations are bilateral relations between the Netherlands and the United States. They are described as "excellent" by the United States Department of State and "close" by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. Official relations were established in 1782 and, as the two were never at war or in serious conflict, were referred to by U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1982 as "the longest unbroken, peaceful relationship that we have had with any other nation." The two countries have cooperated much in recent decades in anti-terrorism, anti-piracy and peacekeeping missions in the European, Middle Eastern and Central American regions. They are also the third largest and largest direct foreign investors in each other's economies.



International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

Related Research Articles

Peter Minuit third director-general of New Netherland, founder of the Swedish colony of New Sweden in 1638

Peter Minuit, Pieter Minuit, Pierre Minuit, or Peter Minnewit was a Walloon from Tournai, in present-day located in Belgium. His surname means "midnight" in French. He was the 3rd Director of the Dutch North American colony of New Netherland from 1626 until 1631, and 3rd Governor of New Netherland. He founded the Swedish colony of New Sweden on the Delaware Peninsula in 1638.

Raritan people

The Raritan were bands of the Lenape people living around the Raritan River and its bay, in what is now northeastern New Jersey and Staten Island, New York.

Willem Verhulst or Willem van Hulst was an employee of the Dutch West India Company and the second (provisional) director of the New Netherland colony in 1625–26. Nothing is known about his life before and after this period.

Willem Kieft was a Dutch merchant and the Director of New Netherland from 1638 to 1647.

Peach Tree War conflict

The Peach Tree War, also known as the Peach War, was a large-scale attack on September 15, 1655 by the Susquehannock Nation and allied Native Americans on several New Netherland settlements along the Hudson River – called the North River by the Dutch – centered on New Amsterdam and Pavonia.

Adriaen van der Donck lawyer and landowner in New Netherland

Adriaen Cornelissen van der Donck was a lawyer and landowner in New Netherland after whose honorific Jonkheer the city of Yonkers, New York is named. In addition to being the first lawyer in the Dutch colony, he was a leader in the political life of New Amsterdam, and an activist for Dutch-style republican government in the Dutch West India Company-run trading post.

The New Netherland Institute is a non-profit organization created to support the translation and publication of 17th-century Dutch documents from the period of the Dutch colonization of New Netherland.

Colen donck was a 24,000 acre (97 km²) patroonship in New Netherland along the southern Hudson River in today's Bronx and Yonkers established by Dutch-American lawyer and land developer Adriaen van der Donck.

House of Hope, also known as Fort Good Hope, was a redoubt and factory in the seventeenth-century Dutch colony of New Netherland. The trading post was located at modern-day Hartford, Connecticut.

Sarah Rapelje American colonist

Sarah Rapelje was the first European Christian female born in New Netherland.

Vriessendael, New Netherland human settlement in New Jersey, United States of America

Vriessendael was a patroonship on the west bank of the Hudson River in New Netherland, the seventeenth century North American colonial province of the Dutch Empire. The homestead or plantation was located on a tract of about 500 acres (2.0 km2) about an hour's walk north of Communipaw at today's Edgewater. It has also been known as Tappan, which referred to the wider region of the New Jersey Palisades, rising above the river on both sides of the New York/New Jersey state line, and to the indigenous people who lived there and were part of wider group known as Lenape. It was established in 1640 by David Pietersen de Vries, a Dutch sea captain, explorer, and trader who had also established settlements at the Zwaanendael Colony and on Staten Island. The name can roughly be translated as De Vries' Valley. De Vries also owned flatlands along the Hackensack River, in the area named by the Dutch settlers Achter Col. Parts of Vriessendael were destroyed in 1643 in reprisal for the slaughter of Tappan and Wecquaesgeek Native Americans who had taken refuge at Pavonia and Corlears Hook. The patroon's relatively good relations with the Lenape prevented the murder of the plantation's residents, who were able to seek sanctuary in the main house, and later flee to New Amsterdam. The incident was one of the first of many to take place during Kieft's War, a series of often bloody conflicts with bands of Lenape, who had united in face of attacks ordered by the Director of New Netherland.

Cornelis Melyn was an early Dutch settler in New Netherland and Patroon of Staten Island. He was the chairman of the council of eight men, which was a part of early steps toward representative democracy in the Dutch colony.

New Netherlanders were residents of New Netherland, the seventeenth-century colonial province of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands on the northeastern coast of North America, centered on the Hudson River and New York Bay, and in the Delaware Valley.

Jan Everts Bout American settler

Jan Evertsz Bout, was an early and prominent Dutch settler in the 17th century colonial province of New Netherland.

Joris Jansen Rapelje was a member of the Council of Twelve Men in the Dutch West India Company colony of New Netherland. He and his wife Catalina (Catalyntje) Trico (1605–1689) were among the earliest settlers in New Netherland.

The Princess Amelia was a Dutch merchant ship of 600 tons (bm) built 1634, of 38 guns in the service of the Dutch West India Company.

Jochem Pietersen Kuyter Colonist of New Netherland

Jochem Pietersen Kuyter was an early colonist to New Netherland, and one of the first settlers of what would become Harlem on the island of Manhattan. He became an influential member of the community and served on the citizen boards known as the Twelve Men, the Eight Men and the Nine Men.


  1. Russell Shorto, The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony that Shaped America. First Edition. New York City: Vintage Books (a Division of Random House, 2004; ISBN   1-4000-7867-9
  2. "New Netherland Research Center". Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  3. "Home". New Netherland Institute. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  4. "Contributors: Russell Shorto", National Geographic Traveler , Vol. 31 No. 5, August/September 2014, at page 6.