Dutch colonial council minutes, 19 December 1644

Scanned Document:

December 19, l644

Jan Appelmint of Suffolk, about 58 years of age, declares at the request of Symon Jansen of Durickerdam, skipper of the ship St. Piter, that Gysbert de Wit had in his bunk a spoon not belonging to him and that said de Wit wanted to take away cheeses belonging to the skipper, but did not succeed in doing so; furthermore, that before Durickerdam he saw a sloop alongside the ship St. Piter from which some small kegs were brought on board, but does not know what was in them.

Symon Jansen being asked in court if he has anything more to say or to bring forward in vindication of himself, replies that he has nothing to add to what is stated in his written answer.

Cornelis vander ] Hoykens, fiscal, plaintiff, vs. Symon Jansen of Durickerdam, defendant. In a case of violation of contract.

The honorable director general and council of New Netherland, having seen the complaint of the fiscal against Symon Jansen of Durickerdam, skipper and merchant on the ship St. Piter, for violation of the charter-party signed by him, whereby the defendant was bound to sail direct from Amsterdam to New Netherland, on pain of forfeiture of ship and cargo if he did otherwise; defendant's rejoinder to the plaintiff's reply, the testimony of reliable witnesses and other evidence in the case, from which it appears that at Durickerdam the defendant received on board six kegs of powder without the knowledge and against the orders of the directors; that he sailed from the Texel without letters, invoices or papers from the directors and without having sent the supercargo ashore to get any; that contrary to the orders of the directors he touched at the Bermudas, there broke bulk and sold the greater part of his cargo for 500 hides and a large number of pieces of eight; also, that In his ship here articles of contraband were found which were shipped ] without the knowledge and consent of the directors, such as guns to be sold to the Indians, and herring and brick which were ] not entered; that defendant has refused to produced the invoice of his own employers and also refused to confirm on oath his defense against the testimony of ] the witnesses, as a part of his crew have likewise refused to do; all of which tends to the great prejudice of the honorable directors and the complete ruination of this country, which can not be tolerated or suffered in a country where it is customary to maintain justice; therefore, having duly considered the case, first called upon God and taken notice of the fiscal's complaint, we find that according to law the ship and cargo are subject to confiscation. Pronouncing judgment in the matter, we therefore confiscate, as we do hereby, the ship and goods belonging thereto for the benefit of the honorable directors and those whom it may concern, except the property belonging to the sailors on which they paid duty at Amsterdam. We order that the arrears of wages due to the sailors shall be paid out of the confiscated cargo and, inasmuch as they can get at present no passage to Holland, they are allowed to stay here in the service of the Company until they can leave conveniently, each one keeping his wages and usual allowance for board, on condition that they shall tell where the six kegs of powder are or have been discharged; we also order the fiscal to inquire where the powder is or who stored it. Thus done in Fort Amsterdam, this 19th of December 1644.


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.