Lady Deborah Moody

John Winthrop figured prominentlyin driving another woman out of Massachusetts and into New Amsterdam.  Her name was Lady Deborah Moody.  John Winthrop called her a dangerous women.

Deborah was born in London and when she married Henry Moody, a knight, she acquired the title of Lady.  She was an Anabaptist which taught that adults not children be baptized as children were not yet able to think for themselves.  Anabaptists were oppressed in England so Deborah left and headed to the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
When she got there, Deborah found the Puritans just as intolerent of Anabaptism.  She was tried and excommunicated.  It was during this trial that John Winthrop stated that she was a dangerous woman.
She and many of her followers came to New Amsterdam.  The Director General of New Amsterdam gave Deborah unoccupied land in Southern Brooklyn named Gravesend.

The town was well designed. Two main streets intersected each other from north to south and east to west.  Alongside the roads were four squares that were made up of four acres each. Inside each of the four sections were ten houses with a one-acre commons for the people. On the outside of the town there were triangle pieces that made up hundred acre farms. These farms were known as boweries that poked out from the center of town, making it look like the spokes from a wheel. Gravesend would become the only colony in the new world founded by a woman!

Women in the 17th century were basically believed to be incapable of thinking for themselves.  But here were two examples of strong women, who contributed mightily to New Amsterdam.  Women in New Amsterdam were considered equal to men, educated and allowed to own businesses.



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Van Cortlandt House Museum

The Van Cortlandt House Museum, is the oldest building in The Bronx, New York City.
Van Cortland House


We offer an authentic experience based on colonial daily life in New Amsterdam through our interactive field trip program which ties in with the New York City Department of Education Social Studies standards.

virtutes majorum filiae conservant

(women are the keepers of the past)