Lease of a farm by Oloff Stevensen van Cortlandt, agent of Wouter van Twiller, to Geurt Coerten and Wouter Aertsen

Scanned Document:

This day, date underwritten, before me, Cornelis van Tienhoven, secretary of New Netherland, appeared Mr. Oloff Stevensen, agent of Mr. Wouter van Twiller, who in the capacity aforesaid leases the farm belonging to the aforesaid Mr. Twiller, situated on the island of Manhatans, near the land of Cosyn and Volckert Evertsen, to Geurt Coerten and Wouter Aertsen, who in the presence of Jan Damen and Cosyn Gerritsen, witnesses hereto invited, also acknowledge that they have hired the said farm for the term of six consecutive years, commencing the first of September anno 1646 and ending the first of September anno 1652. For which land belonging to said farm the lessees promise to pay as rent annually the sum of two hundred and fifteen guilders. The lessor promises to have the new plantation, or the land on which the Negroes dwell, cleared at his expense and made fit for the plow, which land the lessees may take possession of in the year 1647, when the maize is ripe. The lessor remains bound also to have a well dug near the house at his expense and furthermore to do everything appertaining thereto, on condition that the lessees shall haul the timber for the well to the spot. The lessor delivers to the lessees two mares nine years old, one mare two years old, three milch cows and one heifer in its second year, which animals are delivered sound and in good condition to the lessees, on condition that from this date, at the expiration of every three years, the number of the above mentioned cattle being first withdrawn by Oloff Stevensz or Wolter van Twiller’s agent, the increase which through God’s blessing shall be bred from said animals shall be equally divided; and it is understood that the risk of death among the old animals shall be borne in common, and the number delivered is to be first completed from the increase and the remainder then divided. The lessees promise to pay annually as rent of each milch cow twenty pounds of butter and when the heifer shall have calved as much butter rent annually as for a cow, to wit, twenty pounds of butter. The lease of the cattle is for six years, commencing the 1st of May 1647 and ending the 1st of May 1653. The lessees shall be bound to accept the dwelling house as it shall be delivered by the lessor, entirely completed and tight, and promise to keep the roof of the house tight and to fence the land at their expense, which fence, in as good or bad condition as it shall be found at the expiration of the six years, shall belong to Mr. Wouter van Twiller. The lessor remains bound, the last year before they leave the farm, to sow twenty-four schepels of winter grain in the ground, which shall belong to Mr. Wouter van Twiller. In token of the truth this is signed by the parties in the presence of the above mentioned witnesses, the 17th of December anno 1646, in Fort Amsterdam.

O. Stevensz
Geurt Coerten
Wolter Aertsen
Jan Jansz Damen
Cosyn Gerritsz
C. v. Tienh.


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.