m. est 1640
Facts and Events
Fled England to Holland with brothers John and Jasper. Parentage unknown, said that took assumed name Stillwell based on mother’s name Still. Nicholas was a tobacco planter in Virginia by 1639, one of the first English steelers. Spends time defending the colonies in VA in the early 1640s. Elected magistrate in Gravesend (Gravenzande) January 1649. Continuously active in colonial affairs and government over the next 15 years. Part of Dutch resistance to English takeover, moves to Staten Island, where he dies. (Ben Stillwell)
From the Stillwell Society Newsletter May/June 1987: ""Nicholas Stillwell II had come from Surrey to be one of the earliest tobacco planters at Yorktown in Virginia; and in 1639, when in order to curb the excessive cultivation of the [tobacco] plant it was decreed that crops should be 'viewed', and one half of each crop burned, Nicholas was chosen as a viewer,' being'of experience and dignity.' He was also a famous Indian fighter, and earned for himself the name of Valiant Stillwell. In 1645, however, havingfallen into a dispute with the authorities of Maryland orver a trading post in the Chesapeake, he fled to Manhattan, and became a magistrate in StatenIsland, where he died."
Lady Moody directed the original settlement of Gravesend. Nicholas was involved in that founding and the early settlement of Manhattan. From an account of Lady Moody’s life: In late 1642 or 1643, Lady Moody and her followers were warmly received by the authorities at New Amsterdam. Although it was a Dutch settlement, she met several Englishmen at the fort, including Nicholas Stillwell. In the late 1630s, Stillwell had erected a stone house which became the genesis of a small community on Manhattan, called the English Settlement at Hopton. Director-General Kieft’s policies toward the Indians caused them to attach this village, prompting the settlers to flee to Fort Amsterdam. In 1639, Stillwell had to abandon his northern Manhattan tobacco plantation after experiencing hostility from the natives. It was at New Amsterdam where Moody, Stillwell, and other English refugees came together and discussed their options. The group was then invited by Director-General Kieft to select a location for a new settlement from the unappropriated lands of the Dutch West India Company. Kieft also granted the small group of pioneers freedom of worship "without magisterial or ministerial interference."
See also: Settlement of Gravesend, Long Island
Nicholas's will was dated December 22, 1671. Since his widow remarried 29 Dec 1672 and it was custom of the time to wait a year and a day for a widow to remarry, it seems likely Nicholas died on or about 28 Dec 1671.
An abstract from his will from the New York Historical Society Collections: NICHOLAS STILLWELL, Staten Island, "Husbandman," "being weak and sicke," leaves to youngest son Jeremiah an iron gray mare. Leaves to "well beloved and affectionate wife Anne" all lands, houses, andestate, and makes her executor. Dated December 22, 1671. Letters of Administration granted to wife Anne, June 17, 1672.