Order to all sheriffs, burgomasters, schepens, magistrates, etc., to engage laborers for the public works

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The director-general and high council have taken into consideration the daily rumors and threats, by which this province and especially this our capital city and place of residence, the city of New Amsterdam and its fort, has been at least warned, if not actually menaced; therefore, they regard it their duty to consider all possible measures and to execute them promptly, by which this city and fort might be defended and protected against any enemy attack and violence for the preservation of the entire country, and for the honor of our nation and sovereigns. Consequently, the aforesaid director-general and high council have found it absolutely necessary not only to repair the works constructed last year, but also, after repairing and strengthening the fort, to build some new inner lines of fortifications, so that one can be protected by the other and, if necessary, we can retreat from one to the other. It is necessary to do this as soon as possible, for which we require diggers and laborers. Therefore, we hereby call upon and direct all schouts, mayors, schepens, commissaries and magistrates of the inferior courts of this province, upon sight and publication hereof, to employ all possible diligence in hiring, or ordering out of each village, colony or settlement, some capable diggers and excavators to come promptly on next Tuesday to this city of New Amsterdam; each provided with a spade and ox, where they are to help make and repair such works as the director-general and council or their representatives shall indicate, under the condition that the laborers shall earn two guilders a day in grain, beavers or sewant, to be paid promptly every week; anyone here who has been called upon or directed by his respective magistrates and does not report promptly or is recalcitrant shall be fined for each day of his absence (sickness and incapacity excepted) one pound Flemish. Thus done and enacted at the session of the honorable director-general and high council held at our place of residence in New Amsterdam, 14 June 1654; and was signed: P. Stuyvesant, Nicasius de Sille, C. van Werckhoven, La Montagne, Cor. van Thienhoven.


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.