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List of colonial governors of New York facts for kids

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A painting by Johannes Vingboons of the city of New Amsterdam in 1664—the year the Dutch authorities surrendered the New Netherland colony to the English under Richard Nicholls and renamed New York

The territory which would later become the state of New York was settled by European colonists as part of the New Netherland colony (parts of present-day New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware) under the command of the Dutch West India Company in the Seventeenth Century. These colonists were largely of Dutch, Flemish, Walloon, and German stock, but the colony soon became a "melting pot." In 1664, at the onset of the Second Anglo-Dutch War, English forces under Richard Nicolls ousted the Dutch from control of New Netherland, and the territory became part of several different English colonies. Despite one brief year when the Dutch retook the colony (1673–1674), New York would remain an English possession until the American colonies declared independence in 1776.

With the unification of the two proprietary colonies of East Jersey and West Jersey in 1702, the provinces of New York and the neighboring colony New Jersey shared a royal governor. This arrangement began with the appointment of Queen Anne's cousin, Edward Hyde, Lord Cornbury as Royal Governor of New York and New Jersey in 1702, and ended when New Jersey was granted its own royal governor in 1738.

Directors (or governors) of New Netherland (1624–1664)

Map-Novi Belgii Novæque Angliæ (Amsterdam, 1685)
A 1685 reprint of the 1650 map Novi Belgii Novæque Angliæ showing Virginia, New Netherland, and New England.
See also: New Netherland and Director of New Netherland

New Netherland (Dutch: Nieuw-Nederland) was the 17th-century colonial province of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands and the Dutch West India Company. It claimed territories along the eastern coast of North America from the Delmarva Peninsula to southwestern Cape Cod. Settled areas of New Netherland are now constitute the states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Connecticut, and parts of Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. The provincial capital New Amsterdam was located at the southern tip of the island of Manhattan at Upper New York Bay.

New Netherland was conceived as a private business venture to exploit the North American fur trade. By the 1650s, the colony experienced dramatic growth and became a major port for trade in the North Atlantic. The leader of the Dutch colony was known by the title Director or Director-General. On August 27, 1664, four English frigates commanded by Richard Nicolls sailed into New Amsterdam's harbor and demanded the surrender of New Netherland. This event sparked the Second Anglo-Dutch War, which led to the transfer of the territory to England per the Treaty of Breda.

Portrait Director or
Took office Left office Notes
Cornelius Jacobsen May
(fl. 1600s)
1624 1625
Willem Verhulst
(or van der Hulst)
(fl. 1600s)
1625 1626
Portrait of Peter Minuit Peter Minuit
1626 1631
  • Purchased the island of Manhattan from Native Americans on May 24, 1626 for 60 Dutch guilders worth of goods.
Sebastiaen Jansen Krol
1632 1633 Commander at Fort Orange (New Netherland) before and after his term as Director General
portrait of Wouter van Twiller by Washington Allston Wouter van Twiller
1633 1638
  • Previously a Dutch West India Company warehouse clerk, used family connections to the Rensselaer family to gain appointment
  • purchased Nut Island (Noten Eylant), later called Governor's Island from Canarsee tribe for two axeheads, a string of beads and iron nails
  • Lost the colony's claim of the Connecticut River valley to New England settlers
  • Pushed back encroaching Virginia settlers who tried to settle Delaware River valley
Willem Kieft
1638 1647
  • Attempted to drive out Lenape tribe.
  • Attacks on Pavonia and Corlears Hook, led to Kieft's War.
  • Fired by the Dutch West India Company in 1647.
  • Died at sea near Swansea, Wales on September 27, 1647 while returning to Amsterdam aboard the Princess Amelia.
Portrait of Peter Stuyvesant Peter Stuyvesant
1647 1664
  • Authorized charter for Communipaw and Bergen (now Jersey City) in 1660.
  • New Amsterdam, Pavonia, and other settlements attacked by the Susquehannocks during the brief Peach Tree War (1655)
  • obtained victory the Esopus Wars against the Lenape and Esopus tribes
  • Surrendered New Netherland to the British.
  • Also the Director of Curaçao (1642–1664)

Under English control (1664–1783)

Apart from a short period between May 1688 and April 1689, during which New York was part of the Dominion of New England, the territory was known in this period as the Province of New York.

# Portrait Governor Took office Left office Notes
1 Richard Nicolls
1664 1668 as military governor
2 FrancisLovelace.jpg Francis Lovelace
1668 1673
3 Anthony Colve 1673 1674 Dutch naval captain under restored Netherlands rule
4 Sir Edmund Andros.jpg Edmund Andros
1674 1683
5 Anthony Brockholls
(c. 1656)
1681 1683 Commander-in-Chief of British Forces and acting governor
6 Thomas Dongan, 2nd Earl of Limerick.jpg Thomas Dongan, 2nd Earl of Limerick
1683 1688
7 Francis nicholson Dahl.jpg Francis Nicholson
1688 1691 military governor and de facto only until June 1689
8 01 Jacob Leisler.JPG Jacob Leisler
(c. 1640–1691)
1688 1691 Militia officer in rebellion
9 Henry Sloughter
(d. 1691)
1691 1691
10 Richard Ingoldesby
(d. 1719)
1691 1692 military officer as acting governor
11 Benjamin Fletcher
1692 1697
12 RichardCoote FirstEarlBellomont.jpg Richard Coote, 1st Earl of Bellomont
(c. 1636–1700/1)
1698 1700/1
13 John Nanfan
1701 1702 as acting governor
14 Edward Hyde, 3rd Earl of Clarendon
1702 1708
15 John Lovelace, 4th Baron Lovelace
1708 1709
16 Pieter Schuyler.jpg Pieter Schuyler
1709 1709 as acting governor
17 Richard Ingoldesby
(d. 1719)
1709 1709 as acting governor
18 Gerardus Beekman
1709 1710 as acting governor
19 Robert Hunter (governor).jpg Robert Hunter (governor)
1710 1719
20 Pieter Schuyler.jpg Pieter Schuyler
1719 1720 as acting governor
21 WilliamBurnetByJohnWatson.jpg William Burnet
1720 1728
22 John Montgomerie
(d. 1731)
1728 1731
23 RipVanDam.jpg Rip Van Dam
1731 1732 as acting governor
24 Wimbit-viceroyCosby.jpg William Cosby
1732 1736
25 George Clarke
1736 1743 as acting governor
26 George Clinton
1743 1753
27 Danvers Osborn (1715-1753), by Christian Friedrich Zincke.jpg Sir Danvers Osborn, 3rd Baronet
1753 1753
28 James De Lancey
1753 1755 as acting governor
29 Admiral Sir Charles Hardy, 1780.jpg Charles Hardy
(c. 1714–1780)
1755 1758
30 James De Lancey
1758 1760 as acting governor
31 Cadwallader Colden.png Cadwallader Colden
1760 1762 as acting governor
32 RobertMonckton.png Robert Monckton
1762 1763
33 Cadwallader Colden.png Cadwallader Colden
1763 1765 as acting governor
34 Sir Henry Moore, 1st Baronet
1765 1769
35 Cadwallader Colden.png Cadwallader Colden
1769 1770 as acting governor
36 Sir Joshua Reynolds - John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore - Google Art Project.jpg John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore
1770 1771
37 Tryon1767.jpg William Tryon
1771 1774
38 Cadwallader Colden.png Cadwallader Colden
1774 1775 as acting governor
39 Tryon1767.jpg William Tryon
1775 1780
40 James Robertson
1780 1783 as military governor
41 Andrew Elliot
1783 1783 as military governor
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