Dutch colonial council minutes, 17-27 May 1638

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On Monday, being the 17th of May

Whereas the Honorable Director Willem Kieft and the council of New Netherland have observed that much evil and mischief is daily occasioned by Immoderate drinking; Therefore, the said honorable director and council, wishing to provide against the same, have prohibited and forbidden, as they do hereby prohibit and forbid, all persons from selling henceforth any wines, on pain of forfeiting twenty-five guilders and the wines which shall be found in their houses; excepting only the store, where wine can be procured at a fair price and where it will be issued in moderate quantities.

Also, no person shall be allowed to lodge at night or after sundown any of the Company’s servants who are detailed on the ships and sloops, unless with the consent of the honorable director, upon forfeiture of a like sum of 25 gl. Furthermore, all seafaring persons are commanded to repair before sunset to the ship or sloop to which they are assigned and no one may remain on shore without permission. And whosoever shall act contrary hereto shall the first time forfeit two months' wages and for the second offense forfeit all his wages and be dismissed from the Company’s service. Thus done in Fort Amsterdam and published the day and year above written.

On the 27th of Kay Anno 1638

Symen Pos, plaintiff, vs. Barent Dircksen, baker, defendant, about a certain agreement concerning fishery. Parties ordered to appear on the next court day and to bring proper proof.

Jan Damen, plaintiff, vs, Lenaert Arentsen, defendant, about the hire of his son Aelbert Lenarts. The defendant's son ordered to fulfil his contract of ] service and the plaintiff ordered to treat the boy as his own son; and if the boy should again run home the defendant shall be bound to return the boy each time on pain of making good the loss and damage which Jan Damen shall suffer thereby.


Translation: Scott, K., & Stryker-Rodda, K. (Ed.). New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch, Vol. 4, Council Minutes, 1638-1649 (A. Van Laer, Trans.). Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc.: 1974.A complete copy of this publication is available on the New Netherland Institute website.