"Adriaen van der Donck has been described as one of the first true Americans: a man with more loyalty for his new country than his old. After obtaining a law degree, he left for the New Netherlands in 1641 to help establish law and order in the colony. At this time, the colony was under the leadership of the Dutch West Indies Company who appointed a governor to enforce their will."
Adriaen van der Donck, born during the 1618-1620 period, is one of several interesting and important figures in the development of New Netherland. He put his stamp first on the Rensselaerswyck colony, but later also on New Amsterdam during the periods of the governor generals Kieft and Stuyvesant. In addition he was the first, and for a long time probably the only, immigrant who had a university education and an education in the law. To be sure, Dutch Reformed Church ministers also received advanced educations, but they were largely focused on theology.