Sherill Tippins (2015), an award-winning and accomplished author, is working on her third book, “The First Two Hundred,” which tells the story of the first generation of down-and-out Europeans who settled Manhattan Island in 1626. She is using the State Library and the New Netherland Institute in Albany as her two most important sources for primary materials.
These settlers arrived as employees of the Dutch West India Company, one of the world’s first multinational corporations, to claim new territories, set up new markets, and harass the government’s enemies by privateering – and to set up a colony on Manhattan. “The First Two Hundred” relates, through the eyes of a dozen of its individual farmers, carpenters, prostitutes, sailors, and bureaucrats, the development of the idea of a town – a place the increasingly diverse population might own. Tippins has won the LAMBDA Literary Prize for Biography and the Marfield National Award for Arts Writing.