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Guide to the Teunis G. Bergen History of New Utrecht manuscript 1974.057

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Biographical note

Teunis G. Bergen (1806-1881) was a Brooklyn surveyor and historian who served as New Utrecht town supervisor from 1836 to 1859 and as a Democratic congressman from the Second District.

Sources:

  1. Benardo, Leonard and Jennifer Weiss. Brooklyn by Name: How the Neighborhoods, Streets, Parks, Bridges, and More Got Their Names. New York: New York University Press, 2006.

Historical note

New Utrecht was one of the original six towns of what today is the present-day borough of Brooklyn. Located in southwestern Brooklyn, the land that comprised New Utrecht was inhabited for centuries by the Nyacks before the arrival of the first Dutch settlers in the 1650s. In 1652, Cornelius Van Werckhoven, a shareholder in the Dutch West India Company from the city of Utrecht in the Netherlands, was granted permission to establish the Town of New Utrecht by New Netherland Director-General Peter Stuyvesant. Following the premature death of Werckhoven, Jacques Cortelyou, who came to New Utrecht to serve as tutor to Werckhoven's children, took over the duties of organizing the new Dutch settlement. In 1664, New Utrecht, as with all of New Amsterdam (now New York City), was taken over by the British. For a brief time in 1673 the Dutch reclaimed New Amsterdam until the British permanently regained control in 1674.

From 1674 on, the Town of New Utrecht would continue in its ways--the primarily Dutch-speaking farming community would remain relatively untouched by British influence until the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War in 1776. After the war, New Utrecht would remain a farming community until its suburbanization began in the 1870s, helped by the construction of railroad lines into New Utrecht. In 1894, the Town of New Utrecht was annexed by the City of Brooklyn and shortly thereafter, in 1898, the City of Brooklyn was consolidated into New York City. Today, the area that comprised New Utrecht consists of several Brooklyn neighborhoods including Bayridge, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Dyker Heights, Borough Park, and Fort Hamilton.

Sources:

  1. Reiss, Marcia. Bay Ridge and Fort Hamilton Neighborhood History Guide. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Brooklyn Historical Society, 2003.
  2. Weinstein, Stephen. "New Utrecht." In The Encyclopedia of New York City, edited by Kenneth T. Jackson, 821-822. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press; New York: New-York Historical Society, 1995.