RESOLUTION concerning naval operations, establishing a day of prayer, retaining a flyboat in service, Spanish prisoners, employment of a pilot

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Resolution drawn up this 18th of December 1643 at Fort Amsterdam on Curaçao.

Whereas there is an opportunity of time to undertake a profitable cruise to the most advantageous places, such as near Cartagenua and Havana, before the fleets arrive, we find it most beneficial to the Company and advisable, upon the urging of the honorable lords-directors, to launch one or another sortie, without stating specifically to what places, because we have too little intelligence at this time to determine such with the utmost security and benefit, which, if it offers itself to us, we shall find the time and occasion to deliberate better thereon; also, because the honorable director has decided to go along.

Second, in order to bring the foregoing to a successful conclusion, it is befitting to seek by the proper means the blessing of God over the same, who is to be worshipped in spirit and truth accordingly; therefore, we deem it necessary to declare a day of prayer and fasting to be held on the 30th of December, by which time we hope to be fully prepared.

Concerning the means: we find it advisable to employ the most force which we can bring to bear, and to levy from the island about 80 men, mostly soldiers, horsemen and sailors. In order not to expose the fortress and island to great danger through the stripping of the garrison, if in the meantime the enemy might attempt some assault, for which we do not hope, we find it necessary for the security of the same to run the squadron windward of this place and there, whether at Commena, before Caracos or Puerto Cabello, to find out through intelligence there or thereabouts what designs might be carried out ] against this place and after receiving intelligence to find out further what shall be of service to the Company.

Third, concerning the freighting of the fluyt, Den St. Jacob, we find it not inadvisable to keep it in the service 5 to 6 months, in order to prevent thereby the promised discharge of the soldiers whose time has expired; if the aforesaid freighting can be made with the aforesaid skipper under favorable conditions, in which it is previously understood that the cargo, whether it be salt or anything else taken on board here, shall be for the Company. Second, that he allow his ship and crew, during the aforesaid time, to be used on all occasions of service whether trading or cruising, defensively or offensively, wherever the director and council pleases.

Fourth, concerning the 10 captured Spaniards, we find it advisable to distribute them among the ships and yachts and hold them there until the planned expedition has been completed or when the opportunity presents itself to put them ashore here or there without disservice to the Company.

Finally, after receiving ] reliable reports on the capability and good behavior of Jan Louwysen, we have engaged him as pilot aboard the yacht De Paroquiet with an increase of eight guilders per month. Thus done and concluded at the place, year and day as given above. In witness whereof we have signed this with our own hands.

P. Stuyvesant
Willem Cornelisen Oudemarckt
Jacob Loper
Brian Newton
L. Rodenborch
Jan Klaessen Smal
Marten Doene

Anno 1644


Translation: Gehring, C., trans./ed., Curaçao Papers, 1640-1665 (New Netherland Research Center and the New Netherland Institute: 2011).A complete copy of this publication is available on the New Netherland Institute website.