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Peter Stuyvesant
Date: ca. 1612 - 1672
Remarks: The son of the Rev. Balthazar Johannes Stuyvesant, he was active briefly in the military service, but by 1635 he was employed by the Dutch West India Company and sent to Brazil. In 1643 he was made governor of Curacao and other Dutch islands of the West Indies; during an expedition against the Portuguese on St. Martin in 1644 his right leg was wounded, requiring amputation and medical treatment in Holland. In 1646 he was appointed director general of New Netherland and arrived in New Amsterdam the following spring to assume the office he held until the colony came under British rule in 1664. In 1665 Stuyvesant returned to the Netherlands to defend himself over the loss of the colony, but soon afterward returned to New York, as it was renamed, to live out his life on his farm in the Bouwerie. In 1645 he had married Judith Bayard, and his two sons Balthazar Lazarus (b. 1647) and Nicholas William (q.v.), were born in New Amsterdam.