Jaap Jacobs, a senior fellow at Penn's McNeil Center for Early American Studies, detailed his findings in a paper, "Truffle Hunting with an Iron Hog: The First Dutch Voyage up the Delaware River," presented to the McNeil Center Seminar Series on April 20.
Scholarly discoveries tend to be the outcome of a deliberate process, but serendipity played an important role in Jacobs' discovery of the significance of a centuries-old deposition pinpointing the year of the first Dutch voyage up the Delaware.
Sometime between 1993 and 1994 while doing research for his dissertation, Jacobs copied a summary of a document he found at the Gemeentearchief Amsterdam, the Amsterdam notarial archives. He said that the summary didn't indicate that the document was important, so he didn't look at the original until July 2000. At that point it became clear to him that the document referred to the Delaware River rather than the Hudson River, as he had originally thought. Years later, in 2007, while preparing his paper on early Dutch exploration of the Delaware and Hudson rivers, he revisited the historiography and realized that the document pertained to the first voyage up the Delaware by Europeans.
The document he had found was a deposition of the sworn testimony of sailor Jan Jacobsz Bens. At the request of an Amsterdam merchant, Bens had testified about a trip he took on one of the earliest recorded ships built in North America, the Iron Hog. He stated that the trip occurred in 1616.
Historians acknowledge that while earlier European explorers may have sighted the mouth of the Delaware Bay, Henry Hudson became the first European to actually enter it in August 1609. European exploration of the Delaware River had long been presumed to have occurred sometime during 1614-1616. The document Jacobs found now pinpoints the year as 1616.
"The document I found provides the missing link in the early cartography of the Delaware River," Jacobs said. "This document is evidence that the Dutch voyaged to America in 1616 and explored a large section of the coastline, claiming it for the Dutch Republic in the process."
The first trades between the Dutch and the Susquehannock Indians took place during the time when the Iron Hog sailed across the Atlantic to Europe and the northeastern coast of America.
"Jaap Jacobs's discovery of a document that has rested in Dutch archives for nearly three centuries casts our understanding of the Philadelphia region's early colonial history in a new light," said Daniel K. Richter, director of Penn's McNeil Center and a professor of history at Penn. "Perhaps no other scholar has the depth of knowledge, the insight and the detective skills not only to uncover but to understand the significance of this remarkable discovery."
Jacquie Posey | EurekAlert!
The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses