Cornelis van Tienhoven. One of the most prominent of New Amsterdamers, he served in the administrations of three governors: Van Twiller, Kieft, and Stuyvesant. He was widely disliked, and contemporary descriptions of his character and practices are damning.
His signature in his capacity as Provincial Secretary as well as schout-fiscael appears on hundreds of documents in the public record. In these positions he was involved in all the administrative, legal, and financial doings of his time. As a favorite of Stuyvesant, he also traveled on official business from New Amsterdam to represent the government in localities other than New Netherland. He was married to Rachel Vigne and owned a number of choice properties in the little city. “Van Tienhoven’s Great House, Property of His Heirs and Creditors,” can be seen on the Castello Plan, Block F, #’s 10 and 11, choicely set on the waterfront.
In 1656, he seems to have had some sort of crisis. He disappeared, his hat and his cane upon the banks of the Hudson being all that could be found of him. If he drowned, his body was never discovered to corroborate either suicide or accidental drowning. He may have absconded to Barbados, as this was the destination in 1657 of his brother Adriaen, also of unsavory reputation, to escape legal troubles.