New Amsterdam, Guyana

New Amsterdam, Guyana

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New Amsterdam, Guyana

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New Amsterdam (Dutch: Nieuw Amsterdam), located in the East Berbice-Corentyne Region, 62 miles from the capital, Georgetown, is one of the largest towns in Guyana. It is located four miles upriver from the Atlantic Ocean mouth of the Berbice River, on its eastern bank, immediately south of the Canje River (). New Amsterdam's population is approximately 33,000.


New Amsterdam has its origins in a village which grew up alongside Fort Nassau in the 1730s and 1740s. The first Nieuw Amsterdam, as it was called then, was situated about 56 miles up the Berbice River on the right bank. Before the 1763 uprising it comprised a Court of Policy building, a warehouse, an inn, two smithies, a bakery, a Lutheran church and a number of houses, among other buildings. Built in 1740 by the Dutch New Amsterdam was first named Fort Sint Andries. It was made seat of the Dutch colonial government in 1790. In 1803 it was taken over by the British.

The little township was a pioneer in several by-laws; it boasted the first sanitation regulations on record (no privies near the public path, drains to be dug and places kept weeded) and the first price controls in the only hostelry in town. The serious imbibers in this society would be happy to learn that many of these applied to alcoholic beverages, including madeira, genever (Dutch gin), kilthum (the forerunner of rum) and even a drink made by the Amerindians. Of course, alcohol was not considered an indulgence in those days, but rather a...
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