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LECTURE—Dr. Eric Ruijssenaars, “The Lives of Abraham Staats: A Dutch Founding Father of Albany"

Dr. Eric Ruijssenaars, a Senior Scholar in Residence at the New Netherland Institute, will be presenting the story of Abraham Staats. In 1642, Staats and his wife Trijntje Jochems emigrated from Amsterdam to Kiliaen van Rensselaer’s vast estate, Rensselaerswijck (now part of Albany and Rensselaer counties). Staats’s job as a surgeon was not simply to treat ailing residents but also to advise the Patroon. He served as a magistrate of the court; and outside the court, he was often called on to resolve disputes between his neighbors. Well respected within Rensselaerswijck, Staats was also something of a diplomat. Entitled to trade in beavers, he learned the Algonquin Indian language and was therefore able to act as an intermediary between colonists and Native Americans. The sloop Staats purchased to further his commercial interests placed him in contact with leaders in New Amsterdam and allowed him to develop a personal relationship with Peter Stuyvesant. Dr. Ruijssenaars also has his own Bureau of Historical Researched, named Dutch Archives (www.dutcharchives.com). This event is FREE and open to the public.

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