|6th Director of New Netherland|
|Preceded by||Wouter van Twiller|
|Succeeded by||Peter Stuyvesant|
|New Netherland series|
|The Patroon System|
|People of New Netherland|
Willem Kieft was appointed to the rank of director by the Dutch West India Company in 1638. He formed the council of twelve men, the first representative body in New Netherland, but ignored its advice.
He tried to tax, and then, drive out, local Native Americans. He ordered attacks on Pavonia and Corlears Hook on February 25, 1643 in a massacre (129 Dutch soldiers killed 120 Indians, including women and children), followed by retaliations resulting in what would become known as Kieft's War (1643–1645). The war took a huge toll on both sides, and Dutch West India Company Board of Directors fired him in 1647. He was replaced with Peter Stuyvesant.
He died on September 27, 1647 in the Princess Amelia shipwreck near Swansea, Wales, en route to Amsterdam to defend himself, along with many of his opponents, including the Rev. Everardus Bogardus. His archive was also lost, so his exact role cannot be established apart from what his opponents wrote of him. He is depicted in the Gods of Manhattan series by Scott Mebus.
Wouter van Twiller
| Director of New Netherland