Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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VAN DYKE, Hendrick, pioneer, born in Holland about 1599; died in New York in 1688. He came to this country in 1636 or in 1640, in the service of the West India company, as ensign commander of their troops. He, was sent by Governor William Kieft on several expeditions against the Indians, and in 1643, under his orders, destroyed a large Indian village on Long Island sound, killing about 500 persons. He returned to Holland on 25 June, 1645, was appointed fiscal or attorney-general of the New Netherlands, and in 1646 sailed for New Amsterdam with Peter Stuyvesant, the new governor of the province. During the voyage he offended Stuyvesant, and when they reached New Amsterdam the governor excluded him from the council for twenty-nine months, and succeeded in depriving him of all his influence and dignities. In 1650 he made an earnest protest to the home government "against the excesses of Director Stuyvesant," but the latter influenced his dismissal in March, 1652. In 1655, at a time when the citizens were entirely unprepared for an attack, the Indian tribes that surrounded New Amsterdam landed within the city limits with 500 warriors, broke into houses, abused the people, and among others wounded Van Dyke, who was seated peacefully in his garden. The citizens rushed to the fort, a struggle ensued, and three Indians were killed. The say-ages took to their boats, but in revenge laid waste the farms on the New Jersey coast, killed 50 of the inhabitants of Staten island, and took 100 prisoners. This uprising is almost universally explained by historians on the theory that Van Dyke had killed an Indian woman who was stealing fruit from his garden" but the statement is not substantiated by the earliest and most reliable authorities. His closing years were passed in retirement. He is described as a "thrifty man, dealing in real estate, and loaning money." In 1675 he married the widow of Jacob Van Couwenhoven. See "Colonial New York," by George W. Schuyler (2 vols., New York, 1885).--His descendant in the fourth generation, Henry Herbert, financier, born in Kinderhook, New York, in 1809; died in New York city, 22 January, 1888, was apprenticed to a printer early in life, and at twenty-one years of age became editor of the Goshen "Independent Republican." He was subsequently connected with the Albany "Argus," and was active in state politics as a Free-soil Democrat, following the lead of Martin Van Buren in the revolt against the "Hunker" Democrats that resulted in the election of Zachary Taylor to the presidency as a Whig. He subsequently joined the Republican party, and was a presidential elector on the Fremont ticket in 1856. He became superintendent of public instruction for the state of New York in 1857, and in 1861 superintendent of the state banking department, holding office till 1865, when he was chosen by President Johnson assistant United States treasurer. The failure of his health compelled his resignation of that post in 1869. He was president of the American safe deposit company in 1883-'8, and, among other business offices, held the presidency of the Erie transportation company.--Henry's brother, Cornelius Van Allen, clergyman, born in Kinderhook, New York, 13 August, 1818, studied at Kinderhook academy, was graduated at Jefferson medical college in 1837, and the same year became a missionary to Syria, under the care of the American board. Having become proficient in Arabic. he was appointed principal of a seminary at Abeih, on Mount Tabor, Palestine, and at the same time engaged in the preparation of mathematical and scientific books in the Arabic. He was ordained to the ministry of the Congregational church in 1846, and after the death of Dr. Eli Smith was called by the American board to Beyrout to complete the latter's work on the Arabic version of the Scriptures. As there were certain principles in Dr. Smith's version that Dr. Van Dyke found it necessary to change, he rewrote the whole, with the exception of the Pentateuch, in the style of the Koran. He was invited by the American Bible society to come to New York in 1864, and to superintend its publication. After two years he completed an edition of the whole Bible, and one of the New Testament alone, with vowel points (New York, 1867). He was manager of the mission press in Beyrout in 1857-'80, subsequently physician to St. John's hospital and professor of pathology in the Syrian Protestant college, and since 1882 has been physician to St. George's hospital. Rutgers gave him the degree of D. D. in 1865. He has published tracts, is the author in Arabic of a series of mathematical, chemical, astronomical, and hygienic works, and has translated into that tongue the "Shorter Catechism" (Beyrout, 1843) and "The Schonberg-Cotta Family" (1865).
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