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Book traces Schenectady history to 17th century Dutch colonists

Donations sought for publication

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

SCHENECTADY, New York - A local group is trying to raise funds for the publication of the first volume of Schenectady's colonial history. The city's roots were traced by historian Dr. Susan J. Staffa who was awarded the 1995 Kenney Award for her ground-breaking work. The Hudson Valley city of Schenectady was founded by Dutch colonists as a small frontier community around 1660. The first volume of the book covers both the Dutch and the English colonial periods.

The Colonial Schenectady Project which hopes to raise $15,000 for the 350- page book, is a non-profit group. Donors in the U.S.A. will receive tax-deductible receipts.

The Dutch colonial period long was inaccessible to historians who do not master the Dutch language. In recent decades many Dutch colonial archival collections in New York have been released in English through the translation efforts of the New Netherland Project (NPP). The NPP work is prompting a reevaluation of the effects of Dutch colonial rule on American society as well as acknowledging the importance of the Dutch period on the communities in the New Netherland region.

Alice P. Kenney after whom the award is named, in her books and articles on colonial history drew attention to this Dutch period in American history. Staffa continues in this line by focusing on a particular community, and included both the Dutch and English periods. The second volume, to be published at a later date, covers the turbulent 25-year period between 1775 and 1800.

Donation can be send to The Colonial Schenectady Project, Ltd., c/o Mrs. Anneke Bull, treasurer, 1127 Avon Road, Schenectady, NY, 12308.