Dutch colonial council minutes, 18 July 1647

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It is further charged against them:

1. That the aforesaid letter was indeed written in the name of the Eight Men, but that not all that is written in it was read to the Eight Men.

2. That the Eight Men were never assembled as a board, either before the letter was written to prepare the draft thereof, or during the drafting of the letter, or after the letter had been written, or even at the signing of the letter, but that the same was signed precario.

3. That they sought and endeavored in the name of the lord of Nederhorst and the commonalty to make Director Kieft responsible for the cause and beginning of the war, without however having or being able to produce any authority or power of attorney from the honorable lord of Nederhorst and the commonalty here.

4. That in their second petition to us and the honorable council, requesting Litis decisio, they appear to suspect the council of passion and partiality, requesting that for the time being they might be pleased to set aside all distinction in rank between persons and persons, according to their own petition.

Finally, refusing us and the council sufficient documents and proofs, giving for answer that they had indeed more proofs in regard to the petition of the three men, but that they would exhibit them in the fatherland before the honorable States, thus repudiating the new council.

With reference to these accusations, the fiscal, in his first conclusion, presented on the 4th of July, demands that they both, without distinction, be punished by being put to death; and in his second conclusion, presented on the 11th of July, that they be both banished from the country and each fined one thousand guilders, according to the original.

The honorable councilors, having now this day heard the defendants' replication and answer and seen the counter evidence, are pleased to promise ] to have ready at the next session their judgment and opinion regarding the punishment demanded and the faults committed. We shall add ours thereto in writing. This day, the 18th of July 1647.

Opinion of Mr. Dincklagen

Having seen the letter sent to the fatherland by Cornelis Kelyn and Jochom Pietersz Kuyter, without their signatures or those of their associates, touching public affairs and the government, it being no duty and business of theirs to attend to the general affairs of the country, much less to write about them, but said letter being a way and means of exciting the commonalty against Mr. Kieft, their director and commander; also, having seen the depositions in this case made against them by some persons, setting forth various calumnious statements and crimes, I am of the opinion, according to written law and customs, that Cornelis Melyn is liable to perpetual banishment beyond the jurisdiction of New Netherland and Jochom Pietersz to banishment for a certain length of time. This day, the 18th of July 1647, in New Netherland


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.