Letter from the director and council to the magistrates of Gravesend

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Worthy friends:
On the 19th of January we drafted a certain order and resolution in the form of a summons which was sent to you with a letter from the director-general, albeit by a private party; therefore, we do not know whether the order contained in our aforesaid resolution has been obeyed and carried out pursuant to the good intention and purport thereof. According to the verbal reports of people especially interested therein and judging from your last letter of 22 January, which was directed to the honorable director-general privately in answer to his letter, you seem not to have completely understood our meaning and intention, and therefore feel neither obligated nor inclined to carry it out because in your opinion it is contrary to your patent and privileges, an infraction of which we by no means intend. We have therefore decided to send you by an officer, namely our sworn court-messenger, our further resolution and summons, renewing the former and instructing you how to publish marriage bases of persons of whom one or both are residents and have lived during the last year in another place, village or jurisdiction. It is contrary to and offends all political and civil laws, not only of Netherland and other adjacent countries and provinces, but also against all customs and usages of this province and even of New England, who all unanimously agree and concur that they who desire to enter into the state of matrimony must give notice of their bans and proclaim their intended marriage, and have them published on three consecutive days of prayer or court session, not in another jurisdiction but in the jurisdiction, place or village where they both are residents and have lived the last year; and if the persons desiring the publication of their bans are residents of different villages, places or districts, such bans must be published in both places and a proof or evidence of no hindrances must be submitted to the magistrates or church officials at the place where, after the publication of the bans, they wish to be married, otherwise they cannot be confirmed in the married state without committing an unlawful act. We have considered it necessary to inform you hereof that you may not violate through ignorance the political laws, ordinances and customs of our fatherland and this country. Relying hereupon we commend you with our greetings to God's protection and remain — below was written: worthy friends, your honors' devoted friends the director-general and council of New Netherland; was signed: P. Stuyvesant, Nicasius de Sille, C. van Werckhoven, La Montagne, Cor. van Thienhoven; and was dated: 10 February 1654, Amsterdam in New Netherland.


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.