Letter from the Directors in Amsterdam to Petrus Stuyvesant

Scanned Document:

Since our last letter of the 20th of last month,[1] sent by the ship de Moesman, of which we enclose a copy, the honorable commissioners for the management of the City's colony in New Netherland have informed us that their right honorable lords burgomasters were desirous of acquiring the lands, located on the bay of the South River on its western side (where for the safety of incoming ships some buoys ought to be placed as danger signals) and called the Hoerekil. They request of us therefore that the aforesaid tract of land from Cape Henlopen to the Boomtiens Hoeck Bombay Hook ] should be purchased by our orders and then be conveyed to their director there, as they intend to place there a suitable fortification for the protection of those places. As we have thought that this will be of advantage to the Company and their possessions there, we have resolved to order and direct your honors hereby, to acquire the aforesaid country immediately and without delay and to purchase it from the rightful owners, if it should not have been done before, under properly executed deeds and then to convey it again there to the director of the said colony. No time is to be lost herein, but speed is necessary in order to anticipate thereby other nations, especially our English neighbors, whom we suspect of having cast their eyes upon these places, for we have heard that lately two boats with English people from Virginia have been at Cape Henlopen; they stranded there, however, and were taken prisoners by the Indians but were ransomed again by the said Director Alrichs, as they pretended to be fugitives, perhaps to free their governor from the suspicion that he had any knowledge of it. And as we understand also that the said Director Alrichs has consented to the coming over from there of some English families and as we cannot expect anything good from this nation, considering their insufferable proceedings in the past (not only their invasion of our indisputable territories and possessions at the North, but also the arrogant audacity and faithlessness of even those, who are under our jurisdiction and allegiance), we cannot omit to recommend hereby to your honors most earnestly, not only to inform yourselves thoroughly of the number of the English families arrived there, but also to communicate in a friendly way to the said Director Alrichs the dangerous consequences of this affair, agreeably to the enclosed extract of our resolutions and then to report to us in regard to the one and the other, so that we may know, what occurs in this direction from time to time and may do, what we deem necessary.

The harmful words which we understand were uttered by Hendrick de Raet, skipper on the ship the Waeg,and some others there, against the Company and its ministers, do not please us; therefore, we have decided that in order to maintain respect for their high mightinesses and the Company there, henceforth to proceed against such according to demand and discretion, as your honors can see by the enclosed resolution.

We had hoped to send your honors by these ships the placard drafted here by their high mightinesses against the sending of goods as contraband to that region, as mentioned in our most recent and more detailed letter; however, as the time was too short because of certain events, we have had to delay the same until the next opportunity. In the meanwhile we hereby furnish your honors with some printed examples of placards, which we have previously drafted thereon [      ] the same there [      ] districts, as also in the City's colony on the South River [      ] may be affixed there, and the violators thereof to be punished as is appropriate without resorting to any connivance or collusion, so that it may come to serve as a deterrence to others here.

From the enclosed lists[2] your honors shall be able to see not only the number of soldiers coming over with the Bruynvisch but also what they were earning in salary when they left here and what they are owed, so that your honors can regulate yourselves in their payment there; your honors are also not to neglect to administer the oath upon their arrival there, as we were unable to do the same here because of the haste of their departure.

What necessities of clothing and materials we have sent with these ships the Gulde Meulen and the Bruynvisch can be seen in the manifests and bills of lading with each one; also can be seen what private goods and merchandise has been loaded in the same. We seriously recommend that your honors pay close attention to the unloading of the same. Upon which we rely, Honorable, Prudent, Pious, Beloved, Faithful , and commending your honors to the protection of the Almighty, and remain,

H. Bontemantel

Amsterdam, the 7th of June 1658.

We expressed in our enclosed letter our opinions and intentions concerning the Lutherans, to attract them by moderate measures to the Reformed Church, and since closing this letter we have come to the conclusion to direct that hereby not only to use the old formula of baptism there in the churches but also the phrase "of here in church" be entirely omitted, because we believe that thereby these and other dissenters will be satisfied and kept in the Reformed Church. Dated as above.

H. Bontemantel
David van Baerle


Received by the Bruynvisch.


See 12:80 for this letter.
There is no surviving list of the soldiers; however, there is a list of the passengers on the Bruynvisch. See DHNY 3:5-6 and the Yearbook of the HSNY, 1909, pp. 7-8.


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