Early 17th Century Manhattan Historical Saga
Historical Novel Tells of Manhattan’s First Settlers
AVERILL PARK, N.Y. – In 1653, lower Manhattan was made up of primarily 120 houses of immigrants making their way in the New World. Resolved Waldron was one of the men who brought his family to this new land, and Gloria Waldron Hukle, a distant relative, tells their story in her well-researched novel, Manhattan: Seeds of the Big Apple.
Hukle’s novel offers a rare glimpse inside the area that now is one of the most influential in the world. A fort and a primitive log wall protected the families from Indian attacks, and the line of that barrier is now Wall Street.
At the corner of Broadway and Wall Street in modern-day New York, the Waldron family lived on what was then designated as Block B. From their home they could see scores of African American slaves working the gardens of the Dutch West India’s company farm, now the location of Trinity Church. Dutch immigrant Resolved Waldron served as the assistant sheriff for Peter Stuyvesant, the Director General of the New Netherland Colony. The story follows Waldron, his wife, children and neighbors as they learn about the perils of surviving in a wild New World far different than their comfortable home in Holland. Joseph, Resolved’s younger brother has also made his way across the ocean. A dreamer and intellectual, he falls in love with a Negro slave, Sarah, and will love no other, a commitment that will set brother against brother.
With immigrants from dozens of homelands, the Waldrons face cultural diversity 300 years before it becomes the topic of scholarly study. One of Resolved's official duties is to arrest the Englishman John Bowne, a Calvinist, whose Quaker wife, Hannah Feke, is preaching. Fed up, Stuyvesant orders her arrest. The subsequent trial and judgment by magistrates in Holland is widely believed to be the first determination of religious freedom in North America.
A fascinating historical novel, Manhattan: Seeds of the Big Apple weaves the history of settlers and the future metropolis of New York with creative storytelling. “Manhattan Seeds of the Big Apple” is followed by “Threads An American Tapestry” and “The Diary of a Northern Moon. Most recently, “Souls of the Soil” brought the series full circle.
Hukle, a native of New York State, is an 11th-generation American in the line of the Dutch Waldron family. A student of history, Hukle strives to bring awareness to a long-forgotten segment in time and to spotlight scores of brave immigrants who contributed to laying the true foundation of America long before the Revolutionary War