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He studied languages and philosophy in Franeker and joined the West India Company about 1635 and was director of the Dutch West India Company's colony of Curaçao from 1642 to 1644. The Dutch settlers mainly belonged to the Dutch Reformed church a strict Calvinist denomination. As he wrote to the Amsterdam Chamber of the Dutch West India Company in 1654 he hoped that "the deceitful race – such hateful enemies and blasphemers of the name of Christ – be not allowed to further infect and trouble this new colony.
1612 – August 1672) served as the last Dutch Director-General of the colony of New Netherland from 1647 until it was ceded provisionally to the English in 1664 after which it was renamed New York. Although conventionally referred to in English today as "Peter Stuyvesant" Stuyvesant's given name was actually "Pieter" or "Petrus"; "Peter" is not found in historical records. Stuyvesant's accomplishments as director-general included a great expansion for the settlement of New Amsterdam beyond the southern tip of Manhattan.