Dutch colonial council minutes, 4 August 1644

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On August 4[1]

Whereas by this war which we have been obliged to wage and still carry on against the Indians we find ourselves wholly without goods and effects and do not know wherewith to feed or to

maintain the soldiers, and whereas a goodly number of soldiers have been sent to our assistance from Curaçao, we should indeed have excused ourselves from accepting them, were it not that the necessity of the country demanded their retention and the commonalty insisted upon it. Therefore, it is deemed advisable to retain a large number of them here and as it is impossible for the director to provide them with clothing, the store being entirely empty and the winter at hand, and as nothing can be effected with naked men, who on the contrary are a heavy burden on us, no other means are found available than to impose some excise on commodities wherein those deal who only do business here, while others must suffer serious loss.

Wherefore it is provisionally ordained (until help is obtained from Holland) that each merchantable beaver being here at the fort or brought to it shall pay fifteen stivers once for all. And in order to prevent all frauds, all the beavers on which the duty is paid shall be marked with the Company's mark by the officer appointed thereto, and such beavers as three days after the publication hereof shall be found to be unmarked shall be confiscated. On leaving the country, the merchants ] will be given a certificate that the duty has been paid to the Company.

Furthermore, henceforth there shall be paid on each barrel of beer three guilders, payable by the brewer, on condition that he shall be allowed to sell his beer to the tavern keepers at fl. 22, and the tavern keepers shall be allowed to sell the same ] again at nine stivers the half-gallon; and all the brewers shall be bound to notify the receiver how many barrels they have brewed each time, before it is removed from the premises. Thus done by the honorable director, Johannes la Montagne, the honorable fiscal, Captain Willem Cornelisz, Bastiaen Crol and Captain Jan de Fries, and published the day and year above written.

The director and council have appointed Willem de Key receiver of the duties on beavers and beer and allowed him as compensation therefor five percent of his receipts ] over and above his regular salary, on condition that he render a proper and true account of everything, as he is bound to do according to his oath of fidelity to the Company.


Revised from Laws and Ordinances of New Netherland, pp. 40-41.


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.