6. A Colonist Was Killed at Split Rock in Pelham Bay Park
1911 Photo from NYC Parks
Up until 1639, the Siwanoy Native Americans were indigenous to the current Pelham Bay Park area, as they had been since 1000 AD. According to the NYC Parks Department, the area provided the Siwanoy with plentiful amounts of deer, turtle and sturgeon. In 1639, the Dutch West India Company purchased the land and disrupted the Siwanoy’s otherwise peaceful existence. Groups of people attempted to settle the land, but the Siwanoy retained control despite the attempts. Anne Hutchinson, a Puritan woman from Massachusetts tried to start a colony in the area after she was banned for her involvement in the Antinomian Controversy, causing a religious schism in her community.
In 1642, Hutchinson moved to Split Rock with members of her family and some servants, unaware of the active Native American presence in the area. The Hutchinson family were caught in the crossfire of unrest in the New Netherlands community, with the Siwanoy and Dutch settlers feeling a mutual disdain for each other. This culminated in Kieft’s War, named for the treacherous Dutch governor. In 1643, Hutchinson was killed by the Native Americans at Split Rock, which is reportedly where she and her daughter were found hiding.