Manhattan Seeds of the Big Apple

TITLE: Manhattan Seeds of the Big Apple


AUTHOR: Gloria Waldron Hukle

EDITOR: Originally Producer/Director, Richard (Dick) Ross and later Andrew T. Perreault

PUBLISHER: Author House

SUMMARY: Manhattan Seeds of the Big Apple is the poignant story of a widower who immigrates to America mid-17th Century with his pregnant second wife, three previous young children from his first marriage, and his brother. Based firmly upon historical data, the story opens in Holland and follows the Waldron family who settled first at the tip of Manhattan near present day Wall Street and Broadway in a home purchased for 650 Dutch Guilders ($300.00 today). They mingle with Europeans and various Natives and African slaves and listen to sixteen languages on the streets of New Amsterdam. Nearly ten years of life pass before the English takeover of New Amsterdam (when they rename it New York) after which the Waldron family will relocate to their farm at Harlem.

Although Waldron is an English name, the main character, Resolved Waldron, was born in Holland, twice married to Dutch women. He feels thoroughly Dutch and quickly finds work as an assistant sheriff to the colony director, Peter Stuyvesant. Committed to Stuyvesant and Stuyvesant’s laws, Resolved will be hated and called hard-hearted after he arrests John Bowne, a Flushing English merchant defending his Quaker wife’s rights to preach Quakerism. The arrest and subsequent trial will later be considered the first case of religious freedom in America.

BACK STORY: My interest in 17th century Manhattan (New Amsterdam) and the people of that time began in the 1980s, oddly enough, with my earnest desire to know more about my deceased father who had died when I was a young child. A trip to North Creek, New York, a small town in the Adirondack Mountains, yielded an amazing discovery. When traversing an old cemetery with an elderly cousin, I was introduced to the graves of six generations of my father’s Waldron family. That day I was also gifted a handwritten genealogy linking them back to Resolved Waldron and his young family who had immigrated from Holland to the then Dutch colony (ultimately New York) in America in the mid-1600s.

This discovery of people and dates kicked off years of museum and library research, including trips to lower Manhattan where Resolved Waldron’s boss, Peter Stuyvesant, is buried catacomb style beneath St. Mark’s Church. I visited the site of a tavern in Maryland where, as a surveyor, Waldron met Phillip Calvert, Lord Baltimore’s trusted provincial governor to discuss the border dispute between New Netherland and Maryland. But, the body of this research involved the people and the times of old Manhattan. It was a fascinating journey.

In-between working as a sales accountant in industrial sales and later in newspaper, for years I journalized my findings and ultimately was encouraged to write my story which wasn’t published until 2006. It took about twenty years for Manhattan Seeds of the Big Apple to become a reality and another fourteen years for the other four books that comprise the American Waldron Series Novels.

WHY THIS TITLE: New York has long been referenced as ‘The Big Apple’ and the settlers who came are the seeds.

WHY WOULD SOMEON WANT TO READ IT? I think we all are more interested today than ever before about our roots, and a good family saga set against relatively unknown American history takes us away to another place and perhaps new perspectives. So, history buffs would enjoy this book as would anyone who connects to early America. New York is chuck full of fascinating places and people. I hope all my books will provide a look back that help us to forge forward. confident that if one digs deep, they will find the courage to do so. Our ancestors did just that.

REVIEWS: Many can be found at Amazon, but this from Ragged Blade is one of my favorites because the reviewer seemingly looked inside my head and touched my heart:

“I remember in school the fact that New York was originally the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam was glossed over in about 15 seconds. Just a small slice of history, that even with my interest in days of long ago, I’ve never seen discussed anywhere.

“Which gives Manhattan – Seeds of the Big Apple a special place for lovers of obscure times in history. Author Gloria Waldron Hukle, a descendant of the early Dutch immigrants to America, uses her family history as a starting point to tell the story of these early pioneers. Her point of view, which can hardly be argued with, is that these early days of New Yorker, Amsterdam – are largely forgotten and it’s time to change that.

“Must have been a lot different view of Manhattan, with nary a skyscraper, a small city protected by forts, even grassy hills and trees (in Manhattan!). And as the Waldron family steps off the boat to America, they’re greeted by something our country is famous for – cultural diversity.

“One of the most intriguing aspects of the book is how this family, coming from a very heterogeneous Planet Holland, navigates its way through a society and a land of Indians, Negro slaves, Jews, Catholics, Quakers, and (gasp!) English! Much of the conflict in the family, in fact, revolves around treatment of, and love or compassion for, ‘outsiders.’

“The more you get to know people outside your bubble, the less your prejudices stand up, yet the more your society tries to box you back into it’s narrow world view. In the 1650s there was a lot more to lose by going against the norm.

“Hukle does a nice job of writing the pace of life from 350 years ago. The book starts slowly as the family spends a long time crossing over on the boat. The reader sees and feels discoveries through the eyes of Tennake Waldron and her husband Resolved, rarely will Hukle say “This is how it was,” but more like “Tennake noticed, this that, and the other.”

“The action picks up in this supposedly peaceful colony with a seemingly unprovoked Indian attack, disagreement over treatment of the “savages,” and the impending specter of a British takeover. Meanwhile, Resolved’s brother Joseph finds Sarah, the “family Negro” much more to his liking than he’s afraid to admit.

“The book is also a good reminder how communication differed back then– we’re told that Tennake, once making the journey over the Atlantic, never ventures more than 12 miles away from her home (at the corner of present-day Wall Street and Broadway).

“Guests with stories of the outside world were very welcome; news from the homeland would take weeks to arrive to the colony, people who lived in “suburbs” or outlying villages were isolated from cities even a few miles away, often significantly more at risk of attack.

“The writing reflects a more formal style of speech, even between husband and wife, and Hukle wisely incorporates this into her narrative. It’s a style the speaks to an intelligent reader and reports on the prejudices and thoughts of these people without judging. Anyway, by the time I was done, I was sorry it was over.” – Ragged Blade Review by Jerry Rabushka

And from two other reviewers:

“Historical fiction has always been my favorite genre and I am thrilled to discover the work of this amazing author. Her meticulous recreation of the life and times in my part of the world almost four centuries ago is relayed with such passion and detail that I truly feel as if I were living in those times. I am grateful to the author for the gift of allowing me to understand the spirit of those who came before us. I am a fan and will certainly devour all of her future works.” – Bob Mc Grath

“I bought this book as my mom was born a Waldron and a descendent of Resolved Waldron as well so I bought it purposely to read about the history from a different perspective. What I didn’t realize, however, was that I would be captivated and enthralled at every word and turn as Ms. Huckle draws you into the storyline and you can’t let go! This was such a great read especially if you want to get ‘lost’ in another time and place. It is a ‘5 star’ for sure!!!” – Reesie W

AUTHOR PROFILE: Gloria Waldron Hukle is a historical novelist, author of five novels based upon the people and history of New York State. Gloria is a board member of Friends of Ft. Crailo Historic Site in Rensselaer, New York. She also writes articles for the Dutch Settlers Society of Albany Yearbook and Bradt Family Society Newsletter. Gloria is a member of various historical societies across the USA, including the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). She and her husband, Andrew, are proud grandparents to seven. They live in Averill Park, New York.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: I believe in historical preservation and hope to bring American history to life through story because it just may be that the truth really does set us all free.

LOCAL OUTLETS: Some of my books are available via the Warren County Historical Society Book Store Queensbury, New York ( 518 743-0734).

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon, Barnes and Noble. Retail outlets or bulk purchase for family reunions can be purchased through Authorhouse. Contact the Author: Hukle’s website: Email Gloria Waldron Hukle at She can also be found on Face Book at “Friends of Author Gloria Waldron Hukle”

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: Hukle’s website: Email Gloria Waldron Hukle at She can also be found on Face Book at “Friends of Author Gloria Waldron Hukle”

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Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

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