Dutch colonial council minutes, 12 June 1646

Scanned Document:

June 12, 1646

Whereas it is daily learned that, contrary to the good faith and the orders of the honorable States General and our ordinance published in the year 16[      ],[1] grave mistakes occur in the writing and drawing up of evidence of the truth by private individuals who are neither bound thereto by oath, nor called thereto by authority, whereby often many things are written to the advantage of those who have the affidavits drawn up, interspersed with sinister, obscure and dubious words, oftentimes contrary to the meaning of the affiants, to the great prejudice and damage of the parties; Therefore, in order to prevent this result, dangerous in a republic, and to promote the knowledge of the truth necessary in all courts, we annul and declare invalid, as we do hereby annul and declare invalid, all affidavits, interrogatories and other instruments serving as evidence which are written by private individuals and not confirmed by oath before the court here or other magistrates, as we also from henceforth annul all affidavits which hereafter are not written by the secretary or other duly authorized person, likewise all contracts, wills, agreements and other important documents, unless, through necessity, it should be impossible to call on such person. This day, the 12th of June 1646.


Date left blank. See Ordinances of Aug. 19, 1638, and Aug. 9, 1640.


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.