Petrns Stuyvesant, the last Dutch director general of New Netherland (New York), born in Holland in 1602, died in New York city in August, 1682. He served in the war in the West Indies, was director of the colony of Cu-racoa, lost a leg in battle, and returned to Holland in 1644. In 1645 the Dutch West India company appointed him director general of New Netherland. He arrived in May, 1647, conciliated the savages, who had been provoked to hostilities by his predecessor William Kieft, and restored order in every department. In 1650 he arranged at Hartford with the New England commissioners a line of partition, before undefined and disputed, between the Dutch and English territories. In 1651 the Dutch built Fort Casimir on the Delaware, which was captured by Rising, the governor of New Sweden, in 1654. Next year Stuyvesant sailed into the Delaware with seven vessels and 600 or 700 men, and took the whole settlement. For the next ten years there was nearly unbroken peace. In 1653 a convention of two deputies from each village in New Netherland demanded that "no new laws shall be enacted but with the consent of the people; that none shall be appointed to office but with the approbation of the people; that obscure and obsolete laws shall never be revived." Stuyvesant commanded the separation of this assembly on pain of punishment, telling them : "We derive our authority from God and the company, not from a few ignorant subjects." The spirit of resistance nevertheless increased.

The encroachments of the New England colonies induced Stuyvesant to remonstrate before a convention of the united colonies at Boston, but he met with little favor; and a second embassy to Hartford had no better success. In 1664 Charles II. granted to his brother, the duke of York, the territory from the Connecticut river to the shores of the Delaware, and an English fleet under Richard Nicolls appeared in the bay of New York in August and demanded the surrender of the city. Stuyvesant was unwilling to capitulate, but the municipality, seeing the futility of resistance, insisted on yielding; and at last he consented, and the city was given up on Sept. 3, 1664. Stuyvesant went in 1665 to report to his superiors in Holland, but returning, spent the remainder of his life on his farm or bouwerij (whence the name of the street called the Bowery), then outside the limits of the city. He lies buried in the vaults of St. Mark's church in 10th street.