LETTER from Matthias Beck, vice-director in Curaçao to the councillors of New Netherland

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Noble, Honorable, Valiant, Prudent and very Discreet Lords.

My Lords.[1] Although I wrote your honors on the 15th of November[2] by way of the Company’s ship De Musch, in response to your honors’ welcomed letter dated 21 July,[3] the ship ] returned damaged to this harbor on the 6th of January without accomplishing anything, having [      ] decided to go to the fatherland towards the first of May around behind Old ] England. Since my most recent letter of 15 November I duly received on 6 December your honors’ letter dated 11/21 October, with the accompanying items and the recruits, of whom a certain Abraham Huybertsen ] van der Goes died on route. The rest have been recorded in the Company’s books here according to the lists received and accordingly credited what is owed them. The changing and no less troublesome situation caused by the English at your honors’ place, has deeply saddened us here; however, I hope that the Lord God, the Supreme Giver of all good, shall restore everything through His bountiful mercy and blessing. If their High Mightinesses, the Lords States-General also are pleased to interest themselves in favor of the Company with respect to the events in N. Neederlandt as they already have done on the coast of Guinea, then a desired outcome may well be expected soon.[4] May God grant that everything occurs in His [      ] name for the best of His people.

In October Simon Gilde arrived safely in the fatherland from there, as one of my correspondents at St. Christ off el has informed me. If I had known of the sudden change there, I would have been able to sell, for the Company’s satisfaction, the slaves which the aforesaid Simon Gilde brought over there from here, to the factors of the Genoese who eagerly wanted them. Therefore they left here with more than eighty thousand pieces of eight because there were not enough slaves here for which they could employ the same; in any case it is now too late to do anything about it. Whether this trade can now be stabilized again, only time and opportunity will tell, because of these troubles and the changing situation; and because it has also been so long since any ships have arrived here from the fatherland, I have hardly any means to keep it going. For brevity’s sake I shall refer to the letter accompanying this which I am writing to the honorable lord General Stuyvesant.[5]


Noble, Honorable, Valiant, wise, Prudent and very Discreet Lords, we commend your honors and all whom your honors’ hold dear, after our highest respects, to the merciful and blessed protection of the Almighty, and remain,

Curaçao in Fort Amsterdam,
the 16th of April 1664.

My Lords, your honors devoted friend and servant, M. Beck.


Addressed to the directors in Amsterdam.
See 17:94 for this letter.
This letter does not survive.
This is a reference to Admiral de Ruyter’s recovery of Dutch possessions in Africa; plans to recover New Netherland were, however, never carried out. See: 17:96, endnote no. 6.
See 17:104 for this letter.


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.