Contract of Juriaen Hendricksen to build a house for Director Kieft at the Otterspoor

Scanned Document:

This day, date underwritten, before me, [ Cornelis van Tienhoven ], secretary in New Netherland, appointed ] by the General Chartered W ]est India Company, appeared Jeuriaen Hendricksen from Osenbrugge,[1] carpenter ], to me, the secretary, well known, who in the presence of the undersigned witnesses acknowledges that he has undertaken, as he hereby does, to build[2] for the Hon. Willem Kieft, director general in New Netherland, a house at the Otterspoor, as follows. The house one hundred feet long; the barn fifty feet wide, twenty-four feet between the posts and two side aisles (uytlaten) running the entire length of the barn ], one nine and the other ten feet wide; the fore part of the house fifty feet long and twenty-four feet wide, with one partition and a double chimney,[3] all of which shall be of stone[4] and wherein he, Jeuriaen Hendricksen, shall make and lay the cellar and garret timbers with the necessary flooring; also the window and door frames and whatever else shall be necessary for the aforesaid building. Which aforesaid work being done and completed in proper fashion, he, the carpenter, shall receive from the above mentioned Mr. Willem Kieft, director aforesaid, the sum of six hundred Carolus guilders, once which aforesaid sum of six hundred guilders he hereby promises to tender and pay to Jeuriaen Hendricksen when the work shall be properly completed. All without fraud or deceit, this is signed in the record by the parties this 6th of December anno 1642, in Fort Amsterdam, New Netherland.

The carpenter is to build the aforesaid house this winter and shall be boarded as long as the work continues.

Willem Kieft
Jeuriaen Hendricksen
Dutch name of the city of Osnabruck.
At this point were to be inserted one or more words which were written in the margin and which are destroyed
Meaning a chimney on each side of the partition. The house, like practically all the Dutch farm houses of that period, consisted apparently of a combination of dwelling house and barn, all under the same roof, the front part of the building being used for dwelling purposes and the rear part as a stable for horses and cattle.
steen; which in Holland would be understood to mean baksteen, or brick, but which here probably refers to stone.


Translation: Scott, K., & Stryker-Rodda, K. (Ed.). New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch, Vol. 2, Register of the Provincial Secretary, 1642-1647 (A. Van Laer, Trans.). Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc.: 1974.A complete copy of this publication is available on the New Netherland Institute website.