Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Dale J. Schmitt

Committee Members

Melvin E. Page, William Douglas Burgess Jr.


On December 27, 1657, the men of Flushing, Long Island, signed a letter of protest addressed to the Governor-Director of New Netherlands. Though the law of the colony demanded otherwise, the men of Vlissengen pledged to accept all persons into their township, regardless of their religious persuasion. Their letter, called the Flushing Remonstrance, not only defied the laws of one of the most powerful, religious governors of the colonial age, it articulated a concept of religious freedom that extended beyond the principles of any other contemporary document.

Given its unique place in early American colonial history, why have historians not devoted more research to the Flushing Remonstrance? The answer to that question had roots in suppositions widely accepted in the academic community. This thesis addresses and refutes these assumptions in full historical context.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.