LIEUTENANT ALEXANDER d' HINOYOSSA
ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL MEN OF COLONIAL DELAWARE
d' Hinoyossa was perhaps the most influential man in colonial Delaware history, most known for surrendering the Dutch colony along Delaware River to the Crown of Britain many years ago.
Tradition suggest he traveled with Jacob Alrichs from Brazil to Holland to work in Ansterdam,
thence, to Niever Amstel, (New Castle, Delaware) , when Alrichs was governor of New Amstel. At that time it was difficult for the colony as hunger was widespread and an invasion from Maryland seemed inevitable.
When Alrichs died in 1659, d'Hinoyossa became the colony's leader . He was 'dubbed' the
“Little Prince” by his subordinates because of his arrogant manners. Accounts were known where d'Hinoyossa abused his subjects, sold company supply's for his personal gain and traded company guns to the local Indians. One account has him using parts of the wooden fence at Fort Casimir to fire his beer brewing kettle. Apparently, profit was more important to him than defense.
However, these abuses did not overshadow his accomplishments. Through diplomacy
d' Hinoyossa set up trade relations with the Lord Calvert administration of Maryland . With
Delawares Augustine Heermann, he started “Smugglers Path” from Chesapeake Bays New Bohemia
(now Bohemia Manor, Maryland) to Appoquinimink (now Odessa, Delaware) . In order to avoid
tax and ensure safe transport, Marylander's passed tobacco to the Dutch in return for slaves and strong beer. D' Hinoyossa envisioned Odessa would become a trade center for the colony’s and patented land at the confluence of the Appoquinimink and Drawyers creeks, which were diked and drained by his servants for use as agricultural lands.
After the English captured New Amsterdam in 1664, Sir Robert Carr and a force of 130 English soldiers with two ships were dispatched to capture the Dutch possessions on the Delaware River which most of the colony settlements gave up immediately, the garrison at Fort Casimir delayed in an attempt to negotiate more favorable terms. Although d' Hinoyossa served a small feast to the
British officers, his negotiating ploy failed. The ships opened fire, damaging structures in the fort, the British troops stormed the rear walls, taking the stronghold quickly. The English left the townspeople alone, granting them rights as British subjects.
After this surrender, d' Hinoyossa left New Amstel and settled with his wife and seven children
in Talbot county, Maryland. Later, he returned to the Netherlands Dutch Republic, was commissioned in the army. When the Sun King and his French Army invaded the Netherlands in 1672, d' Hinoyossa was charged with the defense of the city of Wesel, which he quickly surrendered . He was subsequently tried for treason, mutiny and cowardice and beheaded.
Abstact of blog of Craig Lukezic, Delaware Historical Cultural Affairs.