Letter from the directors to Petrus Stuyvesant

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1651 26th April

Valiant, Honorable, Pious, Dear, Faithful.

Our last letters to you were to be sent by the Bontekoe and Hoff van Cleef on the 21st and 22d oflast month, but as the former sailed rather suddenly with a full cargo before the appointed time and before the supercargo with the Company's letters had come on board, we send them now with the ship Gelderse Bloom, hoping that either she or the Hoff van Cleef may arrive there before the Bontekoe which has no lists of invoices. You will do well to follow the directions given in the aforesaid letters and in our private letters to you and your deputy Dincklage, for we strive to insure harmony, prosperity and an increase of the population of New Netherland. Every day the prospects improve. The bearer hereof Cornelis van Tienhoven, who returns in his former quality of Secretary will inform you of what has further been done here in the negotiations or rather arrival of the envoys from England, in regard to the boundary question with the Parliamentary Committee and also about the complaints; so we need not go into detail.

The said Cornelis van Tienhoven has requested from us permission to purchase a bouwery in New Netherland belonging to the Company and containing about 14 to 16 morgens, together with meadowland, a farmhouse 50 feet long and 22 feet wide, a hay barrack, two mares, a stallion and a negro, now used by Thomas Hal, whose lease is said to expire the coming summer. We were ignorant not only of the value of the place, but also of all its circumstances, whether such a sale would be to the prejudice or advantage of the Company; therefore we thought it more advisable to communicate with you, that you may send us a full report at the next opportunity and we may thereupon consent to the Secretary's request. You will do well therefore not to enter into a new contract with Thomas Hal, but to await our answer to your letter and act accordingly. We have engaged here as bookkeeper in New Netherland Johannes Dijckman, our former first clerk, at a salary of f 30 per month exclusive of subsistence money, whom we recommend to you most earnestly, that if there is at present any vacancy or at some future time you may remember to advance him to such a position as you may believe him fit for considering his past services, behavior and knowledge.[1]

In order to increase the population of New Netherland and to promote the trade to it we have resolved that henceforth you shall demand upon all goods which are properly merchandise, coming to New Netherland from English Virginia or New England, a duty of 16 per cent and that all goods sent there from New Netherland shall pass free duty, so that the practice of some people, who ship their goods to New England and then enter them in New Netherland under the lower tariff, may be stopped and no prejudice be done to the merchants who ship their goods directly from here to New Netherland.

The proposition made by you in your beforementioned letter, to increase the duties on goods sent to Virginia to equal those of New Netherland and thus divert the trade from the former, has been found impracticable, for all chambers of the Company being empowered to issue commissions to sail to English Virginia, it would be to their prejudice and to the advantage of the Chamber of Amsterdam and they would not consent to it. You have therefore to act according to the above order, directing 16 per cent to be demanded on goods coming from English Virginia, and you will further please inform us by the next opportunity of your opinion and the result or success of it.

Teunis Andriessen of Amsterdam, who sailed from here as first gunner in the ship Swol on the 9th of September 1643, closed his accounts in the books of Curacao March 30th 1647. He then went to New Netherland, where he is said to have died as mate of the yacht Liefde. For three years his mother has petitioned and solicited us for the balance of her son's wages, which we could not give her, not having the books here. You will therefore keep in mind to send us at an early opportunity copies of this and all other ships accounts, that we may be in condition to comply with the reasonable requests of these people and obtain information concerning two items in the account of David Provoost, one of f 329 , the other of f 59, which we have mentioned to Secretary Thienhoven. Herewith etc.

Amsterdam, the 26th of April 1651

Johan le Thor
Isaac van Beeck


Dijckman was appointed commissary and vice director at Fort.Orange in 1652.


A complete copy of this publication is available on theĀ New Netherland Institute website.