Schout-Fiscael of New Netherland, 1645-1651
Hendrick Thomasse Van Dijck was born in Holland in 1610, and came to New Netherland in 1640 as ensign commandant of the Dutch West India Company troops. In 1644, during Willem Kieft’s Indian War, Captain John Underhill and Ensign Van Dijck commanded a force of one hundred and thirty men who savagely attacked an Indian settlement. Shortly after this, Van Dijck returned to Holland, but on June 28, 1645, he was appointed Schout-fiscael of New Netherland, replacing Schout Cornelis van der Hoykens.
Van Dijck sailed to New Netherland on the same ship as Director-General Pieter Stuyvesant and during the voyage, Stuyvesant showed great animosity toward the Schout. Although Van Dijck’s official position entitled him to a seat with the Council, Stuyvesant excluded him by force for twenty-nine months, saying the Schout could not keep a secret and charging him with rascality and drunkenness. In 1651, Van Dijck joined Vice-Director Lubbertus Van Dincklage to formally protest Director-General Stuyvesant’s administration of New Netherland. Although Stuyvesant did not have the power to do so, he dismissed Van Dijck from office and appointed Secretary Cornelis Van Tienhoven as Schout of New Netherland.
On September 18, 1652, Van Dijck petitioned the Dutch parliament concerning his ouster, and his eloquent defense showed a keen mind and broad education. Van Tienhoven was dismissed from the office of Schout and Hendrick Van Dijck, although not restored to office, lived quietly and honorably in the colony for the next thirty years, a “thrifty man, dealing in real estate, and loaning money.”
Hendrick Thomasse Van Dijck died in New York in 1688.
The Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York (1916), Volume 2