Dutch colonial council minutes, 26 June - 11 July 1642

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On the 26th of June

Andries Hudden is engaged by the council as surveyor, for which the Company shall pay him fl. 200 a year, and he has taken the oath before the honorable director and council that in all things he will act honestly, without fear or favor.

Laurens Andriesz is ordered to serve the Company for one month in mowing grain and if he conducts himself well he shall be paid for said service.

On the 11th of July[1]

Whereas we hear dally, God help us, of many accidents caused for the most part by reckless quarreling, drawing of knives and fighting, and the multitude of taverns and low groggeries that are badly conducted, together with the favorable opportunities which all turbulent persons, murderers and other lawless people have for running away and consequently of excaping from condign punishment, against which we should like to provide so as to prevent as much as possible all harm;

Therefore, we hereby ordain, decree and enact, agreeably to the ordinance made last year in Holland by the High and Mighty Lords the States General, that no one shall presume to draw a knife, much less to wound any person, under penalty of fl. 50, to be paid immediately, or, in default thereof, of working for three months with the Negroes in a chain gang; said penalty to be inflicted ] without respect of persons. Let everyone guard himself against damage and take heed. Thus done in council and published on the day above written.

The fiscal, plaintiff, vs. Gerrit Schuyt, defendant.

On this day the 10th of July anno 1642 appeared before us, the director and council of New Netherland, Mr. Weytengh and Mr. Heel, delegated by the governor and council of Hartford, situated on the Fresh river of New Netherland, bearing letters credential who, being properly received, declare that they have been sent to treat with us in regard to the differences which have arisen between us and them concerning the possession of a certain piece of lend situated on the Fresh river which they maintain to be theirs and which they desire to possess in peace and quietude.

Whereupon we have answered that the said land was bought by us in the year 1633 from the lawful owners and paid for, as appears by contract of sale thereof; also, that in the same year possession thereof was taken and a fortification built on the same, provided with a garrison and munitions of war, before any Christians had been on the aforesaid river, as we proved by several authentic documents, desiring of the aforesaid delegates that we might possess and retain our purchased and paid for land in peace and quietude, or else, that they should acknowledge the High and Mighty Lords the States General and his Highness of Orange as their sovereign lords and pay the fee for the possession of the said land; which the said delegates have provisionally accepted, requesting time to submit the matter to their governor and council of Hartford aforesaid, which was granted by us according to the conditions given them. Thus done in council the day and year aforesaid.


Revised from Laws and Ordinances of New Netherland, p. 33.


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.