Listen: Charles Gehring, On America's Dutch roots

Charles Gehring



Charles Gehring who lives in New Scotland goes each day to work at the New York State Library in Albany where he travels back in time several hundred years. His life’s work has been translating the records of New Netherland, which the English claimed at the fort in New Amsterdam when they took over from the Dutch in 1664. “The embryo of certain ideals we have as Americans,” says Gehring, including not only tolerance, which comes from the “Dutch freedom of conscience,” but also the idea of social mobility, where power and importance need not come from inherited wealth or position, are from New Netherland. In this week’s podcast at, Gehring talks about his life and his work, which is unlocking the past. He is 80 now — about three-quarters of the way through the more than 12,000 pages of New Netherland records — and still pursuing his passion.

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