Letter from Thomas Chambers to the Director General and Council

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Right Honorable General Petrus Stuyvesant and the Honorable Gentlemen of the Council of New Netherland. Greetings.

Today, the first of May 1658 great trouble has arisen here through the excessive intoxication of the cruel barbarians and I myself with one Pieter Dircksz and Hendrick Cornelisz came today to the tennis court and saw that the savages had an ancker of brandy lying under a tree and have tasted myself that it was pure brandy and according to all appearances they got madly intoxicated and about dusk they fired at and killed Harmen Jacobsz who was standing on the yacht of Willem Moer, and during the night they set fire to the house of Jacop Adryaensz, so that the people were compelled to flee; therefore, I request that we should receive assistance of troops that we may make some stronghold for our defense; as we have been driven away once before and expelled from our property and it begins anew now, therefore, as long, as we are under the jurisdiction of the honorable West India Company, it is proper that we should ask your honor for assistance, so that this fine country might be retained and we remain in our property, for this Aesopus is a place, which if well peopled could feed the whole of New Netherland and it would be, so to say, a sin, which could be avoided, if we should have to leave such a splendid country: hence we do not doubt, but your honor will assist us speedily and I have inquired among the Indians, who or which Indian had killed the aforesaid Harmen and they have promised to deliver the said Indian in bonds to myself and I shall then send him to your honor, but please to be careful and not begin the war too suddenly, so that we may first have a stronghold for our defense and as there is a good chance here to inflict great damages on the Indians, we hope your honor will quickly assist us and not desert us in our need, for we here are also Christian people and it is everybody's duty to give help in time of distress. Closing herewith, I commend your honor with many good wishes to the protection of God Almighty and am and remain,

Thomas Chambers

Great Aesopus
the 2nd of May anno 1658.


To the Honorable Petrus Stuyvesant and the honorable councilors of New Netherland at the city of New Amsterdam.


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