Ordinance against harboring or employing other people's indented servants

Scanned Document:

Whereas the honorable lord director general and councilors daily see and observe that some of the inhabitants of New Netherland shelter in their houses and living quarters the Company’s servants and other of their servants when the same run away from their lords and masters; also, those coming in from abroad from our neighbors, whereby giving many servants, when they are dissatisfied with their service, the means and the incentive to run away, which occurs daily; and whereas the honorable lord director general and councilors want to prevent and hinder the same as much as possible.

Therefore, the honorable lord director general and councilors hereby notify and warn everyone against harboring and sheltering anyone bound to service, whether to the Company or to other private parties, living here or elsewhere, and against sheltering them no longer than 24 hours at the most; and if anyone is found to have acted contrary hereto, he shall forfeit a fine of /150 as a fine payable to whomever shall make the complaint and it is applicable.

Thus done in session the 6th of October 1648.[1]


Also in LO, 104. The listing of council members, however, does not appear in the original. Previous ordinances had been enacted in 1640 and 1642. This ordinance was renewed in 1658; see LO, 24, 32, and 344.


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.