The Adriaen Block and Hendrick Christianson’s Historische Workgroup (ABHC-HW) was initiated in 1994 by Hubert de Leeuw. In the ensuing years, much has happened. It began in 1992. While traveling for business in Seattle, Hubert made a side trip to Vancouver, British Columbia where he made a surprising discovery: New Netherland. He was intrigued, to say the least. As an entrepreneur and explorer by nature, he followed the path that had opened in front of him and found his way to Albany, New York and the Hudson River Valley. He has continued to explore and study the area and its history, making it an integral part of his life and a focus for his energy.
Hubert was intrigued by the period of history between 1609-1624, which he calls “New Netherland Beginnings”, and the activities of a handful of private entrepreneurs and explorers who discovered the area in more detail, charting the waterways and establishing trading relationships with the Native American Communities living across the region. These were men that he understood, kindred spirits in a different time who acted as he might have acted in their place. Their efforts included the establishment of the trading post at Fort Nassau and, evenutally the colony of New Netherland, which developed into the cities of Albany and New York City and provided the foundation for the unique relationship between the United States and The Netherlands.