Protest of the fiscal of New Netherland against the erection of a fort on Beeren Island and counter protest of Nicolaes Coorn

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I, Cornelio van der ] Hoykens, fiscal of New Nether-land, to you, Nicolaes Coorn, quartermaster on the part of Mr. van Renselaer in his colony:

Whereas I am certainly informed that you intend and have received orders from your honorable patroon to establish yourself with your men on Beeren Island, three Dutch ] miles below Fort Orange, and to erect a fort there, for which you have brought with you the cannon that is to be planted thereon; and whereas this expressly conflicts with the Freedoms granted to the patroons, inasmuch as a colony may not extend more than four miles along one bank, or two miles on both sides of a river, as appears by Article 5,[1] and Beeren Island lies ] fully two miles and more outside the limits of the colony, and you ] even intend ] to erect there a fortress which can command the river and shut off Fort Orange, all of which tends to the ruin of the Company and the diminution of their honors’ rights;

Therefore, I request to know what power and order to do this you have from the honorable directors and, in default thereof, I most expressly forbid you to erect or construct any fortification outside the limits of the colony of Renselaerswyck and if, notwithstanding, you proceed, I protest against all damage, injury and loss which may result therefrom, the same to be recovered from you or whom it may concern.

I, Nicolaes Coorn, quartermaster of Renselaerssteyn for the Hon. Kiliaen van Renselr., hereditary commander of the colony on this North River of New Netherland, under the supreme jurisdiction of the High and Mighty Lords the States General of the United Netherlands and the Chartered West India Company, and as his vice-commander in his place, notify you, Corn. van der ] Hoykens, fiscal of New Netherland, that you shall not undertake to hinder me, to frustrate the projected design on Beyren Island, or to commit any molestation (the High and Mighty Lords the States General and the Chartered West India Company having granted him, the patroon, the perpetual and hereditary right transmittable ] by will to enlarge, fortify and strengthen his said colony, as appears),[2] and that for any offense which may occur in consequence you, Corn. van der ] Hoykens, fiscal, will be held responsible and in case of damage I, Nicolaes Coorn aforesaid, protest that the proceedings against me must be argued and settled by the honorable Company and the patroon, inasmuch as the undertaking is intended to prevent the canker of free traders from entering his colony.

The fiscal, Cornelio van der ] Hoykens, persists in his interdict and protests as before. Done, Manhatans, the 18th of March 1644, in New Netherland.

Cornelio van der Hoykens
Nicolaes Koren
David Provoost
Oloff Stevensz
Cornelis van Tienhoven
See Van Rensselaer Bowier MSS., pp. 139 and 167, note.
See Van Rensselaer Bowier MSS., pp. 139-41, 337-39.


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.