Today in NYC History: A 1643 Massacre of the Lenape Almost Dooms New Amsterdam

By the early 1640s, New Amsterdam had found its identity as a cosmopolitan trade capital, but it was almost wiped out after launching a foolhardy war against neighboring Algonquin tribes. On February 25, 1643, Governor-Director Willem Kieft led a raiding party against helpless Lenape Algonquins seeking refuge from rival Iroquois invaders. The mass killing was called the “Pavonia massacre,” and…