Dutch colonial council minutes, 3 - 5 March 1648

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Whereas Jonas Jonassen from Utrecht has at divers times not only behaved in a very insolent manner, but also dared to go out of the fort by night after the watch had been set, to break open the hen houses and to steal fowls, as he did at Cornelis Volckertss's, and moreover killed a hog with his cutlass, for which offenses he, Jonas Jonasz, was placed on the wooden horse and mildly punished in the hope of amendment, he, the prisoner, nevertheless, persists in his evil ways, neglects his watch, absents himself from the guardhouse when his turn comes and runs around drinking, thus neglecting his duty and bounden service. Furthermore, he, Jonas Jonasz, has twice, while drunk, been pleased to chase Indians and to beat them with his naked sword and also by force to take away and steal their seawan which they were carrying in their pouches, which is a matter of very serious consequence and importance which might furnish the Indians with a pretext for avenging themselves in return on men or cattle or otherwise, and thus bring dreadful misfortune on this province and its inhabitants. The honorable director and council considering it highly necessary to provide herein and being therefore compelled to do right and justice, as they do hereby in the name of the High and Mighty lords the States General of the United Netherlands, his Highness of Orange, and the honorable directors of the Chartered West India Company, they have condemned, as they hereby do condemn, the aforesaid Jonas Jonasz to be stripped of his arms and then to be taken to the place where justice is generally executed and to be flogged with rods, which being done, he shall be chained to a wheelbarrow to work and labor with it as long as the honorable director and council shall see fit, as an example to such evil doers and highway robbers. Thus sentenced and executed the 3d of March anno 1648, in Fort Amsterdam in New Netherland.

Whereas Jems Hallet, an Englishman, at present a prisoner, has ventured not only to run away from the jurisdiction of New Netherland without a proper pass but also to carry out of her bounden service a young girl who was in the employ of Adriaen Dircksz, tavern keeper here, and moreover has stolen at Greenwich in New Netherland divers articles, though of little value; therefore, the honorable director general and council, administering justice, have condemned said Jems Hallet to be brought to the place where justice is usually executed, there to witness the punishment which shall there be inflicted, and in addition to saw during one whole year for the Company, the stolen goods to be paid for out of his earnings, and if he work diligently he shall earn fair wages at the discretion of the honorable director and council, and every evening after having finished his work he shall be placed in confinement, unless he give security that he will not run away. Thus done the 3d of March anno 1648, in New Amsterdam.

Whereas the honorable director general and council on this day have heard the excuses offered by Willem Gerritsz,[i] an Englishman, for the carnal conversation had by him with Maria Barentsz and have likewise seen the petition and promises of the said Willem Gerritsz, who offers to serve the honorable Company in all such work as he may be employed in; therefore, the said honorable director general and council, having taken into consideration the demand of the fiscal, the excuses of Willem Gerritsz and his offers and promises of good and honorable conduct, have graciously pardoned him, provided that he shall serve the honorable Company for one year in sawing all sorts of lumber, for which at the expiration of the year he shall be paid as much as according to his diligent and faithful labor he shall deserve. Thus done the 3d of March anno 1648, in New Amsterdam.

Whereas Egbert van Borsum, by petition, has requested to be discharged from the command of the sloop Prins Willem, which is granted, the director general and council have considered it necessary for the service of the honorable Chartered West India Company to provide said sloop again with a faithful and experienced person. Therefore, the said director general and council have commissioned and appointed, as they hereby do commission and appoint, Sinneken Jacobs master of the said sloop, for which service he shall receive the sum of 18 guilders a month and 100 guilders a year for board, commencing this day of March anno 1648, in New Amsterdam.


William Guilfort


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 theĀ New Netherland Institute website.