BEYOND TOLERANCE-RELIGIOUS FREEDOM or Religious Rumble
Fascinating Early American Families- Bowne, Bradt and Waldrons
GLORIA WALDRON HUKLE
In 1632 historical records indicate the Norwegian, Albert Andriessen Bradt was living on Romboutsteegh, a street in Amsterdam, Holland, and his occupation is listed as sailor.
Albert, also later known in the New Netherland Colony as “Albert the Noorman” arrived in America on the ship Rensselaerswyck, April 7, 1637 along with his wife, Annatie, two small children and an infant boy who was born on rough seas during the voyage. The baby was called “Storm”. Albert’s brother, Arent, also arrived with them.
Albert and his young family lived a short distance south of present-day Albany, New York. He managed a tobacco plantation and was involved with the saw-mill, but eventually gave up on the tobacco plantation. Farming and the saw-mill became his primary occupations. A dozen years later, the Bradts would be a well-established family in the New World.
In the early 1650s Resolved Waldron and his family emigrated from Holland to New Amsterdam (later New York City). Waldron, who along with his brother, Joseph, had been a printer in Holland, soon became the trusted right-arm sheriff for the Director General of the New Netherlands, Peter Stuyvesant. In 1662 Resolved Waldron was sent on a mission to arrest John Bowne, an Englishman and respected colonial merchant living at Flushing, Queens, whose wife Hannah, a Quaker, had been preaching her faith. Back then practicing one’s religion privately was fine, but holding public religious meetings along with others at home or anywhere outside the approved Dutch Reform church was forbidden. Bowne’s ordeal is accurately recorded within his journal. The first sentence of Bowne’s personal account reads “Resolved Waldron, the scout came to my house at Vlishing (Flushing) with a company of men with swords and guns…..” Outlined is the arrest, his refusal to pay what Mr. Bowne considered an unjust fine, his deportation to Holland, the Dutch trial and his ultimate triumphant return to the New Netherlands after his year long struggle.
The Bowne House, site of this famous arrest, which led to what is considered the first case of religious freedom in America, still stands today.
John Bowne’s courage is undeniable, but there were others who also fought to open the doors of freedom on the religious front. One such person was Albert Bradt mentioned above. Like Bowne, he also openly questioned the authority’s idea of religious tolerance when he organized a group of Lutherans in the Beverwyck (Albany, N.Y.) area to hold a service in a home directly across the street from the Dutch Reform church! In 1656 Albert was convicted of organizing religious services. A steep fine was set. He claimed in court that the court of Beaverwyck had no jurisdiction over him because he was a tenant of the patroon. The court found against him, but adjusted his fine somewhat. Ultimately, he admitted to his part in the organization and paid the fine imposed but not without rumblings on all sides.
I suspect that the lawman, Resolved Waldron, and rebellious Albert Bradt did meet. Until the English took over in 1664, the Waldrons lived on the corner of Broadway and present-day Wall Street. Albert, although he resided in the present-day Albany area, owned a warehouse on the tip of Manhattan Island which also doubled as his office.
In l804 William G. Waldron, born Schaghticoke, N.Y., a direct descendent of Resolved Waldron married Judike Bradt, a descendant of the Quackenbush and Knickerbocker, and a great great grandchild of Albert. Will Waldron and his bride soon relocated to North Creek, Town of Johnsburg (Warren Co), New York, and ultimately produced fourteen children, this union giving thousands of Americans a legacy not to be taken lightly. I am one of those thousands. How about you?
William G. Waldron and his wife Judah Bradt Waldron are featured in Hukle's newest book, Beneath the Elms published August 2020.
More Author Information: www.authorgloriawaldronhukle.com American Waldron Series Novels
Gloria Waldron Hukle is the author of 5 Historical Novels (available Amazon.com and several fine booksellers