Thanks to a bold explorer, Jesse DeForest, thirty-two courageous Walloons arrived in Manhattan in June, 1624. Thirteen years later, three of his children arrived. Their descendants dispersed to Albany, Stamford, Connecticut and Hempstead. Long Island, while others remained in New Amsterdam. Three hundred years later, DeForests thrive in every state.
America’s growth is reflected by vignettes of twenty-three DeForests, plus seven from the female line, and eleven military leaders. David Curtis De Forest helped Argentina gain independence from Spain, became a wealthy privateer, and established a Yale family scholarship. DeForests (and family members with derivative names) were pioneers, farmers, clergy, explorers, industrialists, financiers, philanthropists, and missionaries who educated ex-slaves. This family’s story is a metaphor for the development of America.