Ordinance against firing guns, planting May poles, beating drums,or selling liquors on New Year's day or May day

Scanned Document:

The director general and council of New Netherland, to all those who hear or see this read, greetings.

Whereas experience has demonstrated and instructed that on New Year and May days with the shooting, May pole planting and excessive drinking, besides unnecessarily wasting powder, much drunkenness and other insolences are committed, in addition to other sad accidents leading many times to injuries. Therefore, in order to prevent such in the future the director general and council expressly forbid henceforth shooting and planting of May poles on New Year and May days within this province of New Netherland; also, any noise making with drums or dispensing of any wine, brandy or beer upon those occasions, and this only to prevent further accidents and trouble, for a fine of 12 guilders for the first time, doubled for the second time and arbitrary punishment for the third time; one third for the officer and one third for the poor and one third for the accuser; furthermore, they order all inferior courts in this province to publish and post this in the usual places and to execute the same promptly.

Thus done at the session of the director general and council at Fort Amsterdam in New Netherland. Dated the end of December 1655, and renewed the 30th of December 1658.[1]


Also in LO, 205-6.


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 theĀ New Netherland Institute website.