Dutch colonial council minutes, 29 September 1648

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[1]For the best interest and service of the honorable Company and for the better prevention of smuggling it is unanimously considered in council to be advisable and profitable to mark the beavers, bearskins, otters and elkhides with the Company's mark as soon as they are brought here from other places, provided that whoever shall have the beavers stamped shall be responsible for the duty.

Likewise, all merchants and traders shall remain bound to enter all peltries, bartered, exchanged or purchased either from the heathen or Christians, with the commissaries of the Company at or about Fort Orange, Fort Nassau, or the House the Hope, and to bring with them a certificate thereof signed by the commissary. Furthermore, all other peltries which may be traded or bought on the way hither, between Fort Orange or the South River and the Manhatans ], or elsewhere where there are no commissaries of the Company, must be entered by the owner immediately on arriving in the roadstead here before the fort; and if any one shall be found to have acted contrary hereto, the peltries which may then be discovered shall be held and declared subject to confiscation. The traders shall enter with the receiver the peltries which are procured on the island of Manhatans or elsewhere in this vicinity from the natives or others within three days after he has traded or bartered them, on pain of confiscation.

There must be paid from this day forward and until further order or circumstances, at the Company's counting house, as duty on every whole beaver, 15 stivers; on one otter, 15 stivers; on one bearskin, 15 stivers; on one elkhlde, 15 stivers; on each deerskin, 5 stivers; on a coat of raccoon, wild cat, or fisher's skins, 15 stivers; on ten separate skins counted as one coat, also 15 stivers; and all this on the peltries which are entered for exportation. Thus done and enacted, the 29th of January anno 1648, in New Amsterdam.

Resolved unanimously in council that Roulof Jansz Haes, receiver of the Company's revenues in New Netherland, shall be paid a salary of 480 guilders a year, and shall be at his own expense as to board and lodging, provided that he be obliged to do all that he is ordered to do as receiver of the Company. Said receiver shall also be bound to assist in the marking of beavers and other peltries, for which he shall be allowed an assistant. For marking said peltries he shall receive for each whole skin, eight pence, and for the others in proportion, to be divided between him and his mate, provided that they shall diligently assist in inspecting and see to it that no fraud be committed. Thus done, the 29th of January anno 1648, in New Amsterdam.


Other translation in Laws and Ordinances of New Netherland, pp. 83-84.


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.