Dutch colonial council minutes, 15 March - 19 April 1640

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On the 15th of March

[1]Whereas many complaints are daily made to us of loss and destruction done to the corn fields by the goats and hogs against which fences and rails are of no avail, which tends to injure the cultivation of the corn and the Company's interests: and whereas throughout the world it is customary for those who own cattle to have the same herded or taken care of; Therefore, In case any goats or hogs are found in the corn fields, there shall be paid for the first time for each goat or hog 10 stivers, for the second time one guilder and for the third time 40 stivers. In addition the farmer's damage shall be made good before the goats are released. Thus done in our council and published in Port Amsterdam in New Netherland, this 15th of March anno 1640.

On Thursday, being the 12th of April

Cornelis vander Hoykens, fiscal, plaintiff, vs. Adriaen Pietersz from Alckmaer, defendant, for slander and assault in the house of Pieter vander ] Linde. Case put over until the next court day.

On the 19th of April, being Thursday

It is resolved and decided in council to maintain in these regions of New Netherland the charter granted by their High Mightinesses to the honorable West India Company and to that end ] to dispatch Cornelis van Tienhoven, secretary, to the archipelago to purchase there the surrounding land, to set up the arms of the Lords States General, to take the savages under our protection and to prevent any other nation from usurping any authority within our limits and making further use of our territory.

Willem Bredenbent, plaintiff, vs. Piere Pia and Philip Gerardy, defendants, regarding the fencing in of their hogs. Parties are ordered to govern themselves according to the published ordinance.

Abraham Byken, plaintiff, vs. Gysbert Byken, defendant, for payment of fl. 147. As the defendant admits the debt he is condemned to pay.


Revised from Laws and Ordinances of New Netherland, p. 21.


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.