Gerrit Dirckson (Blauw)


Little is known of the life of Gerrit Dircksen. He arrived in New Netherland from the Drenthe Province of Holland and in 1638 was a tenant on Abraham Isaacse Ver Planck’s estate at Paulus Hoeck. Gerrit Dircksen’s lease contained an “express condition that Gerrit Dircksen shall not keep for himself more than six goats and hogs for slaughter, and one sow big with young.”

Gerrit Dircksen was one of the members of the Twelve Men who counseled peace and patience in the colony’s relations with the Native American tribes. Following the Indian Massacre at Pavonia, the Native Americans launched retaliatory attacks on the settlers, and during one of these, Dircksen’s stepson was killed and his house was destroyed. On March 28, 1643, Dircksen testified before Cornelis van Tienhoven, Secretary of New Netherland, that he had met Director Willem Kieft at the Fort on the day after the Indians’ reprisals and had accused Kieft of being responsible for the Indian attacks. He shouted to Kieft: “You have now done fine work, in causing the murder of Christian blood” (alluding to the death of his stepson), and that the Director answered “You must put the blame on the freemen, of whom your neighbor Abraham ver Planck is one.”


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