Scope and Content Note

Council minutes document civil and criminal cases, as well as executive and legislative matters over which the Council of the Colony of New York had jurisdiction. The minutes constitute a record of ordinances, orders, judgments, writs of appeal, writs of inhibition, appointments, proclamations, instructions, oaths of office, orders on petitions, protests, powers of attorney, proceedings in appeal, summonses, indictments, interrogations, recommendations, sentences, opinions, notices, resolutions, and charters. The minutes also include executive decisions relating to the defense and prosperity of New Netherland, as well as to private cases brought before the director-general and council on appeal from the court decisions of New Amsterdam.

The council minutes originally constituted volumes 4-10 of the New York Historical Manuscripts in the New York State Library. A highlight of the minutes is the Flushing Remonstrance, which was written in 1657 by citizens of Flushing, Queens to protest a decree prohibiting Quakers from worshiping in New Netherland. The original records are in the Dutch language.