A little-known but bloody episode on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River enraged and united the rival Native American tribes throughout New Netherland against the Dutch colonists and their corporate governorship. This war nearly ended the Dutch East India Company’s colonial experiment in North America.
The name Pavonia appears throughout eastern Jersey City. Pavonia Avenue runs through the downtown and past the Journal Square section. There is a Pavonia branch of the Jersey City Free Public Library. Most residents associate the name with a robotic voice announcing the Pavonia-Newport stop on the PATH ride from Manhattan into Jersey City. The Pavonia-Newport station was rechristened the Newport station only several years ago. What was Pavonia? A person? A place? Or a thing? Is there still a Pavonia in Jersey City?
The next few several posts (final and exact number to be determined) initiate the first historical project here at Another Town on the Hudson. Over the next several weeks, Another Town on the Hudson will explore a fascinating but largely forgotten chapter of early American history: New Netherland. Specifically, the forthcoming writings will linger on the short-lived Dutch settlements in Jersey City in the seventeenth century.