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Colen Donck

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Title: Colen Donck  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: New Netherland, New Netherland settlements, Adriaen van der Donck, Fort Amsterdam, Fort Nassau (South River)
Collection: History of New York City, New Netherland
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Colen Donck

Colendonck was the title of a large Dutch-American owned estate of 24,000 acres (97 km²) (a patroonship) originally owned by Adriaen van der Donck in New Netherland, along what was then known as the North River (Hudson River).

According to Russell Shorto, "Van der Donck's grant began on the mainland directly to the north of the island (Manhattan), continued along the river for twelve miles, and carried eastward as far as the Bronx River ... he became lord of much of what is today the Bronx and southern Westchester County".

Willem Kieft the Director of New Netherland granted Van der Donck the property in 1646. Adriaen van der Donck named his estate Colendonck and built several mills along what is now called the Saw Mill River. The estate was so large that locals referred to him as the Jonkheer ("young gentleman" or "squire"), a word from which the name "Yonkers" is derived.

Records show Van der Donck to have been alive in August 1655 and dead by the following January and indicate that there was some sort of inquiry into the sacking of his home in the raids known as the Peach Tree War.


  • Shorto, Russell. (2004). The Island at the Center of the World, The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony that Shaped America. New York: Doubleday.  

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