The New York Dutchmen originated as a franchise in Marshall Cooper's rival league in 1932, when Cooper left The League in protest of Judge Hugh Walker's rule changes. The Dutchmen were the only team in Cooper's league in direct competition with a team in the original League, the New York Shamrocks. Hostilities between the Dutchmen and the Shamrocks erupted one evening in 1935, in the infamous "Highland Boulevard Donnybrook," where players on the two teams traded punches and kicks with each other. Players on both teams were arrested, and Cooper and Walker decided to have the teams settle their disputes on the gridiron.

Though no longer in existence today, and not an original member of The League, the Dutchmen's role in the events to follow shaped the future of The League. On New Year's Day of 1936, the Dutchmen and the Shamrocks played, with the fate of both Leagues in their hands. The Shamrocks, playing under the organized, penalty-heavy structure of Walker's League, controlled the first half of the game, leading 18-6 at halftime. The second half, played under Cooper's violent, penalty-free rules, belonged to the Dutchmen, who came from behind to overtake the Shamrocks, 42-21. As a result, Walker sold his interest in The League to Cooper, who introduced the two-division system of play, and finalized his rules as the definitive rules of The League.

Despite their success and contributions, the Dutchmen's future was cut short in 1942 by World War II. The League needed to cut back on the number of teams. Because they hoped to maximize coverage, League officials did not need two teams in New York. As a result, the Dutchmen were presumably folded.