This 10-foot-tall statue depicts an important figure in Valley history. Located in the city which became New York’s first state capital, the monument sits on the very spot where, in July 1660, its subject negotiated a peace treaty between the Esopus Indians and early settlers.
Born in the Netherlands, the Dutch dignitary was named the director-general of the colony of New Amsterdam in 1647. Many accounts described him as a despot. No fan of religious tolerance, he banned Jews, Quakers, and Lutherans from settling in New Amsterdam. But when the British crown sent troops to overtake the colony in 1644, he promptly signed the Articles of Capitulation, relinquishing the territory before a single shot could be fired.
How exactly this statue arrived in its present location remains a mystery. The bronze itself — along with likenesses of Henry Hudson, New York Governor George Clinton, and British General James Wolfe — was originally located on the façade of a Manhattan building built in 1898. Sometime between 1945 and 1950 all four sculptures were removed, and apparently sold to a Brooklyn junkyard. A Valley resident named Emily Chadbourne somehow discovered the effigies and had them repaired; in 1950, three of them (Hudson, Clinton, and our mystery man) were installed in the park where they now reside.
Can you guess this Dutchman’s name and the statue’s historic location? If so, send us your answer as a comment in the box below. The first reader with the correct response wins a prize. Good luck!