Dutch colonial council minutes, undated

Scanned Document:

Ordinance establishing a court of Justice in Breuckelen[1]

We, Willem Kieft, director general, and the council residing in New Netherland on behalf of the High and Mighty Lords the States General, his Highness of Orange and the honorable directors of the General Chartered West India Company,

To all those who shall see these presents or hear them read, Greeting.

Whereas on the 21st of May last, by the proprietors of Breuckelen, situated on Long Island, Jan Eyersen Bout and Huych Aertsen were unanimously chosen as schepens to decide all questions which may arise as they shall deem proper, according to the Exemptions of New Netherland granted to particular colonies, which election is subscribed by them, with express stipulation that if any one refuses to submit in the matter aforesaid to said Jan Eversen and Huych Aertsen, he shall forfeit the right which he claims to the land in the allotment of Breuckelen; Therefore, in order that everything may be done with greater authority, we, the director and councll aforesaid have authorized and appointed, and hereby do authorize the said Jan Eversen and Huych Aertsen to be schepens of Breuckelen. And in case Jan Eversen and Huych Aertsen do hereafter find the labor too burdensome, they shall be at liberty to select from among the inhabitants of Breuckelen and to adjoin to themselves two more schepens ].

We charge and command every inhabitant of Breuckelen to acknowledge and respect the abovenamed Jan Eversen and Huych Aertsen as their schepens, and whoever shall be found to show himself refractory toward them shall forfeit his share as above stated. Thus done in council in Fort Amsterdam in New Netherland.

Ordinance providing for the proper drawing up of legal instruments[2]


Revised from Laws and Ordinances of New Netherland, pp. 58-59.
Revised from Laws and Ordinances of New Netherland, p. 59.


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.