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Johannes Dyckman and the Dutch West India Company

Updated: Feb 4, 2019

The Dutch West India Company was formed in Amsterdam, Netherlands, by a group of both Dutch and foreign investors in the early 1600s. Their purpose was to explore and trade, as well as to colonize new regions. The charter they were granted in 1621 granted them the ability to trade in America and West Africa. (You can read the terms of the charter on Wikipedia, here).

The storehouse shown in this drawing was built in 1642. It became the company's headquarters in 1647. Johannes Dykeman was "first clerk to the chamber at Amsterdam".

By April of 1651, he was stationed at Fort Orange (modern-day Albany, New York), working as Commies (Commissary) - the clerk and chief officer of Fort Orange. Records he kept from August of 1654 to July of 1655 are published in Early records of the city and county of Albany, and colony of Rensselaerswyck., beginning on page 188.

[Edited Image: The West India House in Amsterdam. 1655. Engraving. Amsterdam, Stadsarchief Amsterdam (010097011457). The original work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 70 years or less.]


  • Early records of the city and county of Albany, and colony of Rensselaerswyck, by J. Pearson, 1869.

  • Wikipedia article "Dutch West India Company"


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