Dutch colonial council minutes, 11-13 May 1648

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On the 11th of May 1648

Whereas Adriaen de Keyser, commissary, has hitherto neglected to bring in the account which he ought to have had ready last New Year, he is ordered and commanded in council to make up and deliver his account as speedily as possible to the honorable director.

Ordinance further prohibiting the sale of intoxicating liquors to the Indians ] [1]

Whereas, notwithstanding it has been repeatedly forbidden by previous edicts to tap, give, barter or sell by the third or fourth hand, directly or indirectly, any strong drink to the Indians or natives of these parts, it is seen and observed by dally experience that Indians are running drunk along the streets of the ] Manhatans and that the people who reside at a distance suffer serious annoyance from drunken Indians, whence new troubles and wars, as heretofore, are to be apprehended; therefore, the honorable director general and council have thought it necessary to renew once more the previous ordinance and hereby most strictly to forbid, as we hereby do, the giving, bartering or selling of any strong liquors, by what name soever they may be called; and in case anyone after the date hereof be found so offending ], were it even that the information be received from the Indians (to whom for weighty reasons credit shall be given in such case) he shall, in addition to the fine prescribed in the previous ordinance, receive without any dissimulation an arbitrary corporal punishment; for it is better that such evil disposed persons be punished than that a whole country and people should suffer in consequence of their acts.

Thus done the 13th May anno 1648, in council, in Fort Amsterdam in New Netherland.


Revised from Laws and Ordinances of New Netherland, p. 100.


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.