Dutch colonial council minutes, 2 August 1649

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Whereas Domine Johannes Backerius at his urgent request and, as he declares, with the consent of the Classis, wherein the despatches of the honorable directors concur, has received from us license and dismissal to depart with the first ships for the fatherland and whereas in the meantime this congregation would remain destitute of spiritual nourishment, namely, the preaching of the Holy Gospel and the lawful participation of the blessed sacraments; Therefore, we, the director and council, wishing to promote according to our ability the honor of God and the welfare and salvation of men, cannot consent that this congregation shall or is to-remain bereft of a pastor.

Therefore, on the instructions from the honorable directors, we have resolved, as we do hereby resolve, earnestly and urgently to solicit and entreat the Reverend Domine Johannes Megapolensis, late minister in Renselaerswyck, who, having obtained his dismission there, is now here and prepared to depart with the first ships for the fatherland, and seriously and urgently to inquire If he could not be induced and persuaded, for the glory of God, the upbuilding of His church and the salvation of men, to supply here the preaching of the Divine Word and the administration of the holy sacraments, to which, as we are already informed, his reverence offers no small reasons for refusal. Meanwhile, the extreme need of the churches Imperatively demands that at least one clergyman remain in this province among the Dutch nation, both for this capital and Renselaer's colony, were it only for administering baptism to the children who are commonly presented here every Sunday at the Manhatans alone for baptism, sometimes one, sometimes two, yes, even three or four together. Therefore, we can at this time not accept his excuses, but hereby resolve, if possible, to endeavor to retain him blanda vi et quasi nolens volens, and we shall try to justify him to the best of our ability both to the reverend Classis and the honorable patroon, from whom he has already received his dismissal and settlement of accounts. We consider this to be most necessary for the glory of God, the service of His church and the salvation of men. Thus done in our council, this 2nd day of August. Present: the Honorable Director General Petrus Stuyvesant, L. van Dincklaghe, H. van Dyck, La Montagne and Briant Nuton.

These are the resolutions which were passed during my directorate in New Netherland since the 27th of May 1647 until the 2nd of August 1649.


Signed ] P. Stuyvesant


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.