Dutch colonial council minutes, 19-26 August 1638

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Adam Roelantsen from Dockum, plaintiff, vs. Jan ] from Bremen, Tomas Walraven, Jan Jansen, gunner, defendants, for slander. Case put over to the next court day and parties ordered to bring proper proof.


Ordinance for the inspection of tobacco and drawing up legal Instruments[1]

Whereas it is deemed necessary by the director and council of New Netherland to frame an order respecting the planting of tobacco, since many tobacco planters seek only to raise a large crop of tobacco without caring whether it be good, well cured or properly made, whereby our tobacco entirely loses the good reputation which it enjoys in other countries; Therefore, in order to prevent this, all persons are hereby notified, warned and commanded to make well conditioned tobacco, to properly remove all superfluous leaves, see that the tobacco is well cured and to use as little water as possible even for that which is spun. Furthermore, all tobacco which is to be shipped or sent out of New Netherland must first be brought to the appointed warehouse, there to be inspected, marked and weighed and payment to be made there also of the Company's duties on all exported goods, to wit, five of every 100 pounds, according to the tenor of the Freedoms granted by the Company; for which purpose we have appointed two sworn inspectors, who shall make the inspection and receive the duties thereon; and whoever shall act contrary hereto shall forfeit all his tobacco and furthermore be arbitrarily punished.

Likewise, henceforward, no instruments, whether contracts, obligations, leases, or bills of sale, or other writings of whatever nature they may be, and concerning which any dispute may arise, shall be held valid by the director and council unless they shall be written by the secretary of this place. Let every one take warning and guard himself against loss.

Thus done and published in Fort Amsterdam, this 19th of August 1638.

On the 26th August, being Thursday

Claes Cornelissen Swits, plaintiff, vs. Cornelis Lambertsen Cool, defendant. Plaintiff demands delivery of the horses which he bought of the defendant. The plaintiff is ordered to bring sufficient proof that the purchase took place in proper form.

Jan Kant, plaintiff, against Adam Roelantsen from Dockum, defendant for slander. Plaintiff demands proof of the slander which the defendant uttered against him, or, in case he has no proof, to restore his honor. The defendant declares in the presence of the court that he had nothing to say against the plaintiff and that he acknowledged and considered him to be an honorable man.

Jan Jansen, gunner, plaintiff, vs. Adam Roelants from Dockum, defendant, for slander. Plaintiff demands vindication of his honor. Parties are condemned to pay each 25 st. to the poor.

Jan from Bremen, defendant, vs. Adam Roelants, plaintiff, for slander. Jan from Bremen is condemned to pay 25 st. to the poor.

Tomas Bescher, plaintiff, vs. Maryn Adriaensen, defendant, for slander. Parties are ordered to bring proper proof on the next court day.

Master Gerlyn, plaintiff, vs. Nicolaes, Corlae ]r's servant, defendant, for slander. Defendant declares that he has nothing to say against the plaintiff.

Master Philip Teyler, plaintiff, vs. Nicolaes Martens, for slander. Defendant declares he has nothing to say against the plaintiff.


Revised from Laws and Ordinances of New Netherland. pp. 16-17.


Translation: Scott, K., & Stryker-Rodda, K. (Ed.). New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch, Vol. 4, Council Minutes, 1638-1649 (A. Van Laer, Trans.). Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc.: 1974.A complete copy of this publication is available on the New Netherland Institute website.