New Netherland, territory included in a commercial grant by the government of Holland to the Dutch West India Company in 1621. Colonists were settled along the Hudson River region; in 1624 the first permanent settlement was established at Fort Orange (now Albany, N.Y.). The principal settlement in the tract after 1625 was New Amsterdam (later New York City) at the southern end of Manhattan island, which was purchased from Native Americans in 1626. Colonization proceeded slowly, hampered by trouble with the native people, poor administration, and rivalry with New England settlers. After 1655 the former territory of New Sweden, along the lower Delaware River, was also part of the colony. In 1664 the colony was taken by the English, who divided most of it into the two colonies of New York and New Jersey.
See R. Shorto, The Island at the Center of the World (2004); J. Jacobs, The Colony of New Netherland (2009).