Ordinance imposing duties on duffels and other Indian goods, wine, brandy, beer and salt, in lieu of one percent on all imports in general

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The director-general and council of New Netherland, to all those who see this or hear this read, greetings. Let it be known to everyone that according to the general contracts made by the skippers and merchants with the honorable Company that everyone is bound to deliver to the Company's warehouse their goods for export and those imported, and to pay here to the director-general and council one percent and as much more thereĀ­ on as may be imposed by the director-general and council before the arrival of the ships. Until now the director-general and council have not collected this one percent as it was not possible because of the variety of goods. In addition, it might cause some difficulties and an increased scarcity, even with the necessary goods such as stockings, shoes, linen, shirts, clothing, soap and other articles. Because the director-general and council is experiencing a deficiency in the treasury and a need to find some means by which the civil, ecclesiastical and military personnel may be supported and maintained, they have concluded that, in place of the one percent which all merchants owe in general from all their goods and merchandise, to impose something reasonable and tolerable only on the Indian goods and less necessary merchandise such as wines, brandies, spirits, imported beers and salt, which articles, although least necessary, produce the most gain and profit and are usually paid for in cash. Therefore, the merchants and traders shall be obliged henceforth, in place of the one percent on their general goods, to pay only on the Indian goods and less necessary goods in the manner as follows:

For one ell of duffels, 2 stivers.
For one ell of woolen cloth[1] or carpet from which Indian coats are generally made, 2 stivers.
For an Indian coat made of duffels, woolen cloth or carpet, 8 stivers.
For one hundred pounds of kettles, 3 guilders.
For one dozen blankets, 4 guilders.
For one anker of brandy, Spanish wine or distilled spirits, 3 guilders.
For one hogshead of French wine, 6 guilders; smaller and larger casks in proportion.
For one barrel or one half pipe of imported beer, 3 guilders.
For one skipple of salt, 20 stivers.

Which duty shall henceforth be paid, as the staple right, promptly at the treasury, or at least proper security for the payment shall be given to the satisfaction of the treasurer before the aforesaid and other merchandise shall be removed from the honorable Company's store.

Concerning the remaining goods which are numerous and varied: they are hereby free and exempt from the indebted one percent, until further orders or regulations, in order to be sold and disposed of to the satisfaction of the trader, as with other merchandise imported into this province; however, the appropriate duty or impost shall promptly be paid on merchandise which is exported or sent out of this province or the government thereof.

Thus done at the meeting of the honorable director-general and high council held in New Amsterdam, dated 28 January, 1654, in New Netherland. Reconsidered and published 2 July; and was signed: P. Stuyvesant, N. de Sille, C. van Werckhoven, La Montangne, Corn, van Thienhoven.


Translated from Dutch dosynties, a type of rough woolen cloth.


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 theĀ New Netherland Institute website.