Ordinance against furnishing strong drink to Indians and for the proper preservation of fences

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Whereas much strong drink is sold daily to the Indians whereby previously serious difficulties have arisen in this country, and it is necessary to anticipate it in time; therefore, we, the director general and council of New Netherland forbid and prohibit all tapsters and other inhabitants henceforth to sell, give or trade in any manner or under any pretext whatever any wine, beer or strong drink to the Indians; also, not to let it be conveyed by the pail and thus give it to the Indians by the third or fourth hand, directly or indirectly, under the penalty of five hundred Carolus guilders and, in addition, to be responsible for the calamaties that might arise therefrom.

Also, everyone is warned against and forbidden from damaging farmlands, whether fences or crops, and whosoever shall be found to have damaged the fences or crops of any farmlands, gardens or orchards, shall forfeit one hundred guilders and, in addition, receive ] arbitrary punishment.

Also, all inhabitants of New Netherland are charged and ordered to fence and enclose their farmlands properly so that livestock can do no damage therein; which livestock, whether horses, cows and especially goats and hogs, must be watched or kept some place else, where they can cause no damage, for which purpose the fiscal , Van Dijck,[1] shall construct a pound in which he may hold the livestock until such time as the damage has been made good and the fine paid. Let everyone be warned and protect himself against loss.

Done at Fort Amsterdam in New Netherland, the first of July 1647.[2]


Hendrick van Dijck was schout-fiscal of New Netherland from May 22, 1647 until March of 1652.
Also in LO, 64-65. Selling alcohol to the Indians had been prohibited by ordinance as early as 1643 and again in 1645. It would be renewed in 1656 within another ordinance. See LO, 34, 52, and 259. Further provisions regarding fences were given in 1654. See LO, 185-86.


Translation: Gehring, C., trans./ed., New Netherland Documents Series: Vol. 16, part 1, Laws and Writs of Appeal, 1647-1663 (Syracuse: 1991).A complete copy of this publication is available on the New Netherland Institute website.