Dutch colonial council minutes, 11-16 July 1647

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Whereas the sailors of the ship De Vackenier show before the council that they jointly took on board the said ship as boatswain's perquisites 20 ankers of brandy and liquors without having entered the same and humbly request that they may keep said brandy and liquors and dispose thereof to their benefit, it is the opinion of the council that such a small matter ought not to be refused to an entire ship's crew. Therefore, their request is granted, on condition that they pay the duty on the return goods. Done in the presence of the honorable General P. Stuyvesant, the late director, Mr. Kieft, Mr. Dincklagen, Mr. La Montange, Lieutenant Neuton, Jacob Loper, Paulus Leendersz and Jan Claesz Bol, the 11th of July anno 1647.

On the 16th of July 1647 Cornelis Melyn appeared before the council and on the requisition of the honorable Fiscal van Dyck declared and acknowledged as follows:

1. That when the honorable Fiscal vander ] Hoykens came with the secretary and the deputy sheriff to levy on his property on account of the debt arising from the purchase of confiscated hides, he asked him if he had any warrant to execute him. Whereupon Fiscal vander ] Hoykens answered that he had been ordered to do so. To which Melyn says he replied: "Let him who gave you orders see to it that he does not come to the gallows or the wheel."

2. He denies that he said that he was not subject to the jurisdiction of the honorable director, which is proved by three witnesses.

3. Melyn confesses that two of his servants asked him for permission to get maize belonging to the Indians on Long Island and states that they went without his permission and stole the maize from the pits of the Indians, who fell upon them and shot one Englishman dead. Also, that he did not inform the late director, Mr. Kieft, of the circumstances.

4. Answers that he never took or extorted any venison from the Indians.

Cornelis Melyn requests a copy of the charges against him.

Fiscal van Dyck, on the other side, demands that the aforesaid Melyn be first committed to prison before a copy be furnished him.

The above written declaration and confession of Cornelis Melyn was made in the presence of the honorable General Petrus Stuyvesant, Mr. Dincklagen, Captain Lieutenant Nuton, Paulus Leendersz, commissary of naval stores, and Jan Claesz Boll.


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.