We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The New York that welcomed Alexander Hamilton had its own distinctive culture, too, whose uniqueness went far deeper than John Adams’s description of a town where “they talk very fast, very loud, and all together.” Its Dutch past, from Peter Minuit’s 1626 purchase of Manhattan to Peter Stuyvesant’s handover of the flourishing New Netherland colony to the British in 1664, left an indelible legacy. After decades of brutish religious war, the Dutch Republic had embraced tolerance with fervor and transplanted to its trading post on the Hudson its constitutional promise that “each person shall remain free, especially in his religion, and no one shall be persecuted or investigated because of his religion.” So, for example, when Governor General Stuyvesant wanted to limit the rights of 23 Jews who sought asylum in New Amsterdam in 1654, they petitioned the Dutch authorities, who commanded Stuyvesant to treat them with Dutch tolerance, reminding him also that Jews were big investors in the West India Company. And then—as if Jews weren’t bad enough—Quakers appeared in the Long Island village of Vlissingen. When Stuyvesant forbade the villagers, mostly English, from taking them in, they disobeyed, citing in their 1657 “Flushing Remonstrance,” one of the foundation documents of American religious liberty, the Dutch principle that “love peace and libertie” must extend even to “Jewes Turkes and Egiptians” and reminding him of their charter, which granted the right “to have and Enjoy the Liberty of Conscience, according to the Custome and manner of Holland.”
And so New Amsterdam became a melting pot like no other place in North America, with settlers arriving from all over the globe and not only living side by side but also marrying each other.