Administrative History

The provincial secretary of New Netherland was an employee of the Dutch West India Company. He was responsible for recording and authenticating official documents for potential presentation in court. Along with the director-general and other councilors, he was also a member of the Provincial Council, the colony's main governing body. The Provincial Council and director-general created and carried out laws relating to the operation of the colony. The council also served as a judicial panel, hearing all cases in which capital punishment could be invoked and reviewing decisions of lower courts on appeal, as well as serving as the local court for the New Amsterdam area.