Administrative History

The Dutch West India Company established the jurisdiction of Fort Orange and the village of Beverwijck on April 10, 1652. A local governing body, the inferior bench of justice, was established with executive, legislative, and judicial responsibilities within the jurisdiction. The court kept minutes of its proceedings along with records of various transactions and interactions of members of the community. The transactions were written in the form of contracts requiring signatures of the parties involved and the attestation of the local secretary. The community that evolved in and around Fort Orange eventually became Albany, New York.