Commission of assessors to make a return of all estates in New Orange over 1,000 guilders

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Whereas the Burgomasters and Schepens of the city of New Orange have made known to me by petition that, in consequence of the excessive expenses incurred by them in the fortification of this city, they owe a considerable sum of money, and that they are daily troubled and applied to by their creditors for payment; requesting that some expedient be found and invented for the payment and discharge of those expenses already incurred, and yet to be incurred for completing said fortifications, which request of theirs being found consistent with equity, and taking its necessity into serious consideration, I find that for the present no means can be enacted or discovered more reasonable, fitter or more equitable than to raise the moneys by form of a tax on the wealthiest and most affluent inhabitants, as is practiced in Fatherland, in such and similar circumstances. Therefore have I deemed it necessary to ordain that an assessed tax be levied on the estate and means, without any exception, of all the inhabitants of this city of New Orange, those alone being exempted whose capital shall be estimated not to exceed the sum of one thousand guilders Wampum value, and in order that said assessment may be effected in the tenderest and fairest manner, I have resolved, that it be made by six indifferent persons, and to that end have commissioned and appointed, do hereby commission and appoint, for the supreme government Mr. Cornelis Steenwyck and Secretary Nicolas Bayard, and for the commonalty, Mr. Cornelis van Ruyven, and Mr. Olof Stevensen van Cortlant, who with the two Deputies to be commissioned by the Magistrates from their body are authorized to effect said valuation in manner as aforesaid, and render me a written report thereof. Done Fort Willem Hendrick, this first February, 1674.

A like commission is also given to Messrs Johannis van Brugh, Egidius Luyck, Burgomasters; Jacob Kip, Schepen, Captain Martin Kregier, Messrs Jacob Leiseler and Francis Rombouts, merchants of this city.


Translation: O'Callaghan, E.B., trans./ed., Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New-York, vol. 2 (Albany: Weed, Parsons: 1858), pp. 569-730 (vol. 23, pp. 1-270 only).A complete copy of this publication is available on theĀ New Netherland Institute website.