Anthony Jansen Janszoon van Salee

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Anthony Jansen Janszoon van Salee

Also Known As: "The Turk", "The Terrible Turk", "van Fez", "Teunis", "Anthony"
Birthplace: Sale, Rabat-Sale-Zemmour-Zaer, Morocco
Death: Died in Gravesend, New Amsterdam, New York
Place of Burial: Hempstead, New York, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Jan Janszoon van Haarlem, aka Murat Reis; Moroccan Concubine, of Fez and N.N. N.N.
Husband of Grietje Jensen Van Salee; Grietje Reyniers and Metje Andries van Salee
Father of Annica Southard; Annica Antonis Southard; Eva Antonis van Sicklen; Jan van Salee; Engeltje Anthony van Salee and 2 others
Brother of Phillip Jansz van Salee; Abraham Jansen van Salee and Cornelis Janszoon van Salee
Half brother of Anne Jan Jans and Lysbeth Jansz

Occupation: pirate/privateer, Farmer
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Anthony Jansen Janszoon van Salee

Anthony "The Turk" Jansen van Salee was born in 1607 to Jan Janszoon van Haarlem and Margarita. He married a prostitute by the name of Grietje Reyniers around 1630. They had four children, all girls:

  • Annica Antonise Jansen b. about 1632 in New Amsterdam. m. Thomas Southard
  • Cornelia Jansen b. before 1638. m. William Jansen Van Borkelo
  • Sara Jansen
  • Eva Jansen b. before 1640. m. Ferdinandus Van Sickelen in 1660.

Anthony also married a woman of the immigrant family Grevenraet that had been in New Amsterdam for a few years > Metje Andries Grevenraet sometime after 1669. They had no children.

Anthony died March of 1676 in New Amsterdam (New York).

"Anthony Jansen van Salee is a Turk, a rascal and a horned beast." -- Hendrick Jansen voicing the common view of his neighbor's character in 1638.

New Amsterdam was a litigious place, and Anthony was involved in more than his share of lawsuits. Within five years, Anthony was hauled into court for stealing wood, paying wages he owed with a dead goat, allowing his dog to kill a neighbor's hog, pointing a loaded pistol at the overseer of the West India Company's slaves, threatening a debt collector with bloodshed if he insisted on the money owed and slandering any number of people.

Following numerous legal disputes, including with the church, Anthony was ordered to leave New Netherland, but on appeal to the Dutch West India Company, was allowed to settle on 200 acres (0.81 km2) in what would become New Utrecht and Gravesend, Brooklyn. This made him now one of the largest and most prominent landholders on Long Island. He was the neighbor of Lady Deborah Moody, of whom he was on good terms with, although he had disputes with her husband Sir Henry who filed speech charges against him.

-Anthony "The Turk" Jansen van Salee (as recorded by Diane Foust Hubbard)-

Most famous were the notorious Abraham Jansz and Anthony Jansen van Salee, a mulatto giant of prodigious strength later nicknamed "the Terrible Turk."

Both followed their father’s double life as a pirate and adventurer, and both later chose to join the early settlers of New Amsterdam (later the city of New York) in the New World.

According to a "historian of the African diaspora" named Mario de Valdes y Cocom, Anthony Jansen van Salee's rumored famous descendants include Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jackie Kennedy (whose swarthy father was known as "Black Jack Bouvier"), and Humphrey Bogart.

For anyone interested in the location of Anthony Jansen's Brugh Straet house - the "footprint" of the original lot still exists, though the lot is a small parking lot now. It is on Bridge Street, just west of Broadway if memory serves me, adjacent to the White Horse Tavern (which incidentally was open in the mid-1600s though at a different location). (as recorded by Brian Smith)


  • "Muslims in Early America" (see sources tab)
  • "Sex and the City: The Early Years" (see sources tab)
  • PBS "Frontline: Van Salees" (see sources tab)
  • Anthony and Grietje are mentioned several times in this book:
  • New York Genealogical & Biographical Record, vol. 103, p. 16
  • The Washington-McClain Ancestry, by Charles A. Hoppin, vol. 3
  • Teunis G. Bergen, "Register, in Alphabetical Order, of the Early Settlers of Kings County, Long Island, NY, from its First Settlement by Europeans to 1700" (Polyanthos, Cottonport, 1973). (see documents under media tab)
  • Corwin J. Emmons, "An Emmons Genealogy" p. xviii (printed by Heuer Bookbinding Service of Chesire, Connecticut, published 1983 by Wilbur D. Emmons) Note: excellent photocopy of original in possession of Michael S. Caldwell. Text: "he died in March, 1676 without a will" Note: Dave Savage owns copy #40. It is through Anthony and Gretje's daughter, Sara, that he descends from the Emmons family.
  • There is a map here that shows New Amsterdam in 1660. The map depicts homes and farms and it has an accompanying table identifying the owners of the homes/farms. Anthony had two houses (E21 and E22).
  • Benjamin F. Thompson, "History of Long Island, 3rd Edition" New York, 1918. Vol IIII page 109

Unverified sources:

worth reading

Leo Hershkowitz, "The Troublesome Turk: An Illustration of Judicial Process in New Amsterdam," New York History, 46, no. 4 (1965): 299‑310;
Hazel Van Dyke Roberts, "Anthony Jansen Van Salee 1607‑1676," NYGBR 103 (1972): 16‑28
view all 15

Anthony Jansen Janszoon van Salee's Timeline

Sale, Rabat-Sale-Zemmour-Zaer, Morocco
December 15, 1629
Age 22
New Amsterdam
Age 25
- 1633
Age 26
New Amsterdam, USA
Age 28
Age 28
Age 31
Nieuw-Amsterdam, Nieuw-Nederland
Age 32
Age 34
Gravesend, Long Island, Nieuw-Nederland
- 1662
Age 55