Dutch colonial council minutes, 5 December 1647

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The director general and council of New Netherland, to all those who shall see these or hear them read, greeting!

Be it known that we by friendly letters and earnest protests have requisitioned and requested from the governor and magistrates of New Haven, situated within the limits of the province of New Netherland, the surrender of ] three runaways, to wit: Jan Claesz from Bellekum, ship carpenter, Bastiaen Symonsz Root, sail maker, and Meyndert Gerritsz, house carpenter, all three bound by oath to the service of the General Chartered West Indies Company, from which they ran away secretly and fled to New Haven aforesaid, where they were for a time kept in detention by Governor Eton and the Magistrates and afterwards discharged, and since that time, contrary to all neighborly duty and intercourse, have been and still are employed in their own service and work, without sending back to us the said fugitives (who fled now ten or twelve weeks ago), notwithstanding we have several times, in all friendship, requested and written for this to be done, yes, have twice sent a yacht for that purpose with an offer of like friendship, neighborly duty and payment of all expenses incurred. Besides the aforesaid three, also two others, to wit: Willem Westerhuysen and Samuel van Goedenhuysen, both bound by oath, allegiance and burgheright to the world renowned commercial city of Amsterdam and consequently subjects and vassals of our free Netherlandisch state, and therefore accountable to the free, sovereign government thereof, or their representatives here; which persons, Westerhuysen and Goedenhuysen, who sailed as contrabandists, smugglers and defrauders of the obligatory customs and regular duty, without a proper commission or license, were not only admitted by the aforesaid governor and magistrates to New Haven against our friendly request and earnest protest, but also maintained there, whereby we were prevented from proceedings against our own nation and countrymen without prejudice according to law and in such manner as we as competent judges are bound to answer for before our and their sovereigns, the High and Mighty

Lords the States General, by which act of refusal the aforesaid governor and magistrates have violated and broken the previously observed neighborly correspondence and maintenance of justice. Wherefore we, the director general and council, contrary to nature, expectation and intention, are obliged lege tallonis, to have recourse to the same weight and measure and hereby do give notloe that all persons, whether noble or ignoble, free or bound to service, debtor or creditor, servant or master, down to the least prisoner, of what nation, age or quality they may be, coming henceforth from the colony of New Haven to us or any place within our government, shall be at liberty and free to come and go, remain, move about and depart without being by any one molested on account of their flight, much less sent back, and shall absolutely enjoy the same liberty and freedom that is granted and given to our own nation here, on condition only of taking the proper oath of allegiance and thenceforth comporting themselves as honest servants and vassals. In order that no man may plead ignorance or extend these beyond our intent or meaning, we most expressly give notice that we remain inclined and obliged faithfully to observe our ancient and unbroken neighborly correspondence with all other English colonies, governors and magistrates, both in and beyond our limits, those of New Haven only excepted, in apprehending and sending back all persons, fugitives and runaways. Therefore, we command all of our officers, magistrates and constables to publish, post and obey these in all the places of our government exclusively toward those who come over to them from the New Haven colony, on pain of our displeasure and arbitrary correction. Thus done and resolved in our council on the 4th and published on the 5th of December anno 1647, In New Amsterdam in New Netherland.


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.