Washington Irving, Gibbet Island, and Jersey City

My post from last summer examined the connection between Washington Irving, America’s first international author and a connoisseur of Dutch culture, and the village of Communipaw—a part of contemporary Jersey City.

This post has proven to be my most read piece with visitors from around the globe, illustrating the power and the possibility of culture—whether it be art, literature, music, or cuisine–to transcend nationality, race, religion, and ethnicity. Although culture is often mocked by power and society (including President Obama, disappointingly enough), culture does not only enrich individual lives, but it intellectually and even spiritually serves as the bedrock of civilization. If a society does not value culture, what might it become? ISIS is the most horrific  contemporary example.

But I digress.

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When Jersey City was (Briefly) Dutch

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.

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