Ordinance imposing a new duty on wines and strong liquors

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The director-general and council having considered the low state of the treasury arising from the great expenses and changes which the honorable Company has to defray here, exclusive of the monthly pay and board of its servants, ] for the civil, ecclesiastical and military administrations which have daily increased because of the growth of the population, the director-general and council having, after previous remonstrance and communication made long before this to the commonalty of this city, deliberated on what supplementary means may be considered the least burdensome and injurious to the inhabitants, have found no better, fitter nor easier expedient than the imposition of some tax on the wine, brandy and spirits which can best be spared yet are consumed in this country, at a great advance ] both by buyers and sellers by the large and small measure; therefore, the director-general and council have deemed it proper and necessary to tax wine, brandy and spirits as follows, namely: all wines, brandies and spirits which from this day forward are laid in and retailed by the tavernkeeper, and laid in, consumed or exported from this place elsewhere by any other person, whether officer, inhabitant, or stranger, shall pay, in addition to the ordinary excise paid thereon heretofore: 8 guilders on a hogshead of French wine; 4 guilders on an anker of Spanish wine, brandy and distilled spirits - larger and smaller casks and measures calculated in proposition.[1] In order to prevent all frauds, connivance and smuggling, the merchants and factors shall be notified and told by the fiscal to regulate themselves according to the tenor hereof and to furnish no wine, brandy or spirits to any person before and until the same be duly entered and the aforesaid import paid thereon, or in default thereof the aforesaid impost shall be levied on them. Done at New Amsterdam in New Netherland, 26 March 1653.

P. Stuyvesant
La Montagnie
Brian Newton


At this point the following line was added to a copy of this ordinance in 16:36, namely: "Which duty shall be promptly paid at the Receiver's Office, one half by the seller and one half by the buyer."


Translation: Gehring, C., trans./ed., New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch, Vol. 5, Council Minutes, 1652-1654 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc.: 1983).A complete copy of this publication is available on the New Netherland Institute website.