Abraham Isaacse Ver Planck

c. 1606-c. 1691

Abraham Isaacse Ver Planck was born in the Netherlands around 1606. Although the date of his arrival in the New Netherland colony is uncertain, an original deed on file in the Department of State in Albany indicates that he was granted a patent to an estate along the Hudson River at Paulus Hoeck on May 1, 1638. There he set up a tobacco plantation, a farm and a dairy, and the land remained in the Ver Planck family until 1699.

In 1641, Abraham Ver Planck was selected as a member of the Twelve Men, the first representative assembly in New Netherland. Shortly after Director Willem Kieft issued the ordinance of January 1642 dissolving the Twelve Men, Abraham Ver Planck was arrested “for slandering the authorities and maliciously tearing down an ordinance posted on the gate of the fort” and was fined three hundred guilders.

In February 1642, Ver Planck was one of the instigators of a nighttime attack on the Native American population in the vicinity of his estate in Pavonia that resulted in the slaughter of eighty Indian men, women and children, and sparked open warfare between the Native American people and the colonists. The Dutch government issued a summons ordering Ver Planck to return to the Hague to answer charges of “inaugurating warfare to the detriment of the inhabitants of New Amsterdam” but Ver Planck did not attend the hearing in person. He submitted documents in his defense during 1650, and the inquiry does not appear to have proceeded further.

In 1664, Abraham Ver Planck was a signatory to the remonstrance urging Director-General Pieter Stuyvesant to capitulate to the English. The document advised Stuyvesant not “to call down the vengeance of Heaven for all the innocent blood which may be shed by reason of your honor’s obstinacy.” Following the surrender of New Amsterdam, Ver Planck was one of the 272 men who swore allegiance to the English authorities. Abraham Ver Planck died in Albany around 1691.

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