Dutch colonial council minutes, 16 January 1647

Scanned Document:

16th of January 1647

Symon Dircksen Pos, plaintiff, vs. Augustyn Heerman, defendant, for compensation for loss suffered by him on some beavers sent to him from Fort Orange by Harmanus Bogardus in the yacht Renselaerswvck.

The documents produced by the parties having been examined and the parties respectively having been heard, it appears that the defendant at the request of the plaintiff paid and delivered to Cornelis Maessen, in Holland money and cloth, the sum of fifty-eight guilders and three stivers, on condition that the plaintiff should deliver therefor to him at Fort Orange good merchantable beavers, such as he, the plaintiff, according to his own confession, received from said Maessen. The plaintiff failing to make such delivery to the defendant, the latter wished to place him under civil ] arrest, and to prevent this Harmanus Bogardus became surety for the plaintiff, who promised to pay at the first opportunity. This not taking place, the defendant approached the plaintiff here in New Amsterdam for payment, and after much argument was offered by him half-beavers and drielingen,[1] which the defendant refused, on account of the loss he would suffer thereby. He threatened him that he was going to Fort Orange for the last time and that he would there have one of the plaintiff's cases opened to get his pay out of it. Arriving there, he went, accompanied by two councilors of the colony of Renselaerswyck, to the house of the surety,

Harmanus Bogardus, demanding his pay or that he should open one of the plaintiff's cases and pay from it what was due him. Said Bogardus refused to do this, but upon the advice of the above mentioned councilors it was resolved to send a case of beavers hither to the plaintiff, who could himself pay out of it. This was done, after the defendant had left, in the yacht Renselaerswyck, on board of which, during the voyage, some beavers in the case were damaged, which damage is estimated at two hundred guilders.

Having duly considered everything, we declare, as we do declare hereby, the defendant not liable for the damage to the beavers that has been sustained, seeing that he did not request the case to be sent down, but only that it be opened in order that he might obtain his pay, and this by order and with the knowledge of the court. The plaintiff is to recover his loss from Harmanus Bogardus or in whichever way he shall see fit.

Thus done in Fort Amsterdam in New Nether land, the 16th of January 1647.


One drieling = 2/3 beaver. See Doc. Hist. N. Y., 1:64.


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.