Dutch colonial council minutes, 11-15 November 1647

Scanned Document:

Proposition submitted to the Council by the Honorable Petrus Stuyvesant, Director General

1. In a case where a soldier commits a crime of a purely military nature, should not the ensign and sergeant be adjoined to the court ], agreeably to the instructions of the honorable directors?  Resolved in council, whereas the case is military, the ensign and sergeant should be adjoined according to the order, and [the council should; then cause the crime to be punished. 
2. What order is to be made on the petition of those of Flushing; also, in regard to what we have been told, that those of Flushing have never taken the oath of allegiance to the High and Mighty Lords, the States General, or to his Highness, or to the Company, or to the governor, as the sheriff and one Thomas Newton himself have reported to me.  Resolved that the honorable general go thither with one or two of the council to put everything in proper order, as according to circumstances shall be best and most advantageous for the security of this province. 
3. What answer shall be returned to the letter from New Haven, and who shall be sent after the runaways and prisoners?  Resolved that the prisoners shall be demanded in a friendly manner, as of neighbors and friends, leaving the question of territory to our superiors. 
4. What provision is to be made to prevent fire, as the place consists for the greater part of wooden houses, thatched with reed, and we therefore consider it too dangerous in case a fire should occur, as recently happened?  Resolved, as this point mostly concerns the community, that it be referred to the nine selectmen, in order that provision may be made herein in the most suitable manner to the least cost to the inhabitants. 
5. As school has not been held for three months for lack of a proper place, whereby the youth grows up wild, where is school to be held so as to keep the youth off the street, and bring them under discipline?  Resolved, as above set forth in the 4th article. 
6. Who shall be sent to New Haven to collect our debts and to fetch the prisoners from there? Was signed: P. Stuyvesant.  Resolved that Adriaen d'Keyser shall be sent thither. 

Thus done in council, the 11th of November anno 1647, in New Amsterdam.

Written proposition submitted by the Honorable General to the Honorable Council

Honorable Officers and Councilors:

A painful accident prevents me from assisting this time at your honors' deliberations. Meanwhile, I would earnestly recommend to your honors to expedite the criminal proceedings against the present prisoner, as your honors shall find consistent with the merits of the case.

Secondly, in regard to the seized brandy, consisting of 17 ankers, which came from the north, not knowing from whom or for whose account, it is my opinion, if they are duly entered, that they may pass on payment of the proper duty, as is usual in the fatherland, without our having any further claim thereto, and this in conformity with the license granted them by us with your honors' advice in regard to merchandise which they voluntarily bring hither. Meanwhile, the fiscal's complaint and demand may be heard, whereupon your honors can render judgment.

Thirdly, I submit to your honors' consideration the accompanying letter from Antony de Hooges regarding the Negro sent here yesterday from Fort Orange and recommend that he may be promptly and rigorously examined.

Fourthly, if the Nine Men be convened this afternoon according to the last issued order, I recommend that some one of the council be ordered to attend their deliberations and proceedings. This 14th of November anno 1647, in New Amsterdam in New Netherland. Was signed: P. Stuyvesandt.

To the Selectmen representing the Commonalty of the Manhatans, Breuckelen, Amersfoort and Pavonia Kind Friends:

A sudden and unfortunate accident and the consequent pain prevent my presence and the verbal presentation of what I have thought necessary to communicate to you in order that you may enact what is best for the public good and of the least burden to our dear subjects and the worthy commonalty.

The first thing that concerns us is our design, if God spare our life and health, to build up and repair in the spring our fortress of New Amsterdam, in order to have a sure and safe retreat for our dear subjects ' persons and goods in case of need of defense against foreign enemies, whereto some preparation ought to be made in time. And being ordered and commanded by instructions from the honorable States General and the Company to request the commonalty to lend a helping hand in accomplishing such a worthy and highly necessary undertaking, as appears by the accompanying extract, I have thought it necessary to communicate with you as interlocutors and spokesmen for the commonalty and to ask your advice as to the means by which this may be effected at the least expense and with the least trouble to the community.

Secondly, regarding the completion and the maintenance of the church, toward which I have already advanced something and for which still more is required, how is this to be collected from the community? The best plan, in the opinion of the churchwardens, would be for one of the churchwardens, accompanied by one of the Nine Men, to go around and make a monthly collection from door to door.

Thirdly, no less needed than the preceding is the erection of a new school house and schoolmaster's dwelling for the convenience of the community and the proper education of the children. We are willing, individually and for the Company, to contribute reasonably thereto and to continue to lend a helping hand to this laudable work. In the meanwhile, we shall take steps to provide a proper place during the coming winter, either in the kitchen of the fiscal, which seems most suitable to me, or some other locality inspected by the churchwarden.

Finally, to enact a good ordinance against fires, which may occur here as in other places, and such at the least expense and loss to our good citizens. On these points you will, as representatives and spokesmen of the commonalty, be pleased to communicate your opinion and best advice to us and the council. This 14th of November anno 1647.

Below was written:

Yours and the commonalty's well-disposed and most willing servant,

Was signed: P. Stuyvesant

Below was written: Agrees with the original. Cor: van Tienhoven.

Whereas Jones Jonassen from Utrecht, a soldier, has lately dared, in company of one Gerrit Segersen, also a soldier, at present a fugitive, to steal fowls by night from the hennery of Cornelis Volckersz, bringing them by night into his quarters in the fort, where they were found the next day behind a chest; also stuck with his cutlass, as he acknowledges, flinging it at a hog on the premises of Cornelis Volckersz aforesaid, so that it died of the wound, which a soldier, who has taken the oath to their High Mightinesses, the Lords States General, his Highness of Orange, and the honorable directors of the Chartered West India Company, has no right to do, being on the contrary in duty bound to prevent all mischief and disturbances of the public peace by reason of his being in the public service; and in order that such crimes be not committed again by him, the delinquent, and others, and that the people may possess their property in peace, therefore, we, wishing, on the requisition of the fiscal, to administer justice, as we do hereby in the name of their High Mightinesses, the Lords States General of the United Netherlands, his Highness of Orange, and the honorable directors of the Chartered West India Company, have condemned the said Jonas Jonasz to ride a wooden horse for three consecutive days from two o'clock in the afternoon until the close of the parade, with a fifteen pound weight attached to each foot. Thus done in New Amsterdam, the 15th of November anno 1647. Was signed: L. van Dincklaghe, La Montangne, Brian Newton, Poulus L: van die Grift and A: Keyser.

In the margin was written: Present, the honorable Mr. Dincklagen, President, Mr. La Montangne, Brian Newton, Lieutenant Paulus Leendersz. In my presence, C: v: Tienhoven, Secretary.


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.