Dutch colonial council minutes, 15 - 23 March 1649

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[1]Proposition submitted in writing by the honorable director to the ordinary councilors and other officers, the 15th of March anno 1649.

The ordinary councilors and other superior and inferior officers are aware that we, by virtue of our office and commission, have quite recently caused one Adriaen van der Donck to be guarded in his usual residence or confinement,[2] on account of a slanderous writing drawn up in the form of a journal, and found at the house of Michael Jansen, wherein he has grossly slandered not only some superior and inferior officers, but also their High Mightinesses themselves, or at least many among the Lords States are suspected and accused of perjury; as appears by the original thereof.

Authentic extracts of which having been read by the Commissioners to the aforesaid Van der Donck and a categorical answer demanded, the said Van der Donck responded in contempt of the court, in a dubious, or at least in an immaterial manner, nevertheless affirming in plain and distinct words the injurious and defamatory accusation partly expressed by him in writing to me, and partly read to others out of the journal, tending to the special defamation both of our Sovereigns and the Councillors sent hither, to the maintenance of whose most illustrious renown we are pledged by our commission and the Laws of Netherland and by honor, oath and conscience.

Therefore my opinion in regard to the equivocal deposition that has been taken is, that the deponent be ordered and constrained to prove and establish or to revoke what he has injuriously written or spoken against the Honorable Lords States and officers here; and in the meanwhile, until further information, that he absent himself from our Council and the Assembly of the elected Select Men (gemeents mannen). On which points, besides this, we also request the written opinions of the other Councillors and officers, hereby excusing and holding myself guiltless of the charge which may be brought against me, either here or hereafter, that I knew of the defamation and injury of my Sovereigns, and did not punish or notice them. Done Manhatans. (Signed)


Votes on the proposition of the Honorable Director given by the Honorable Councillors, dated 15th of March Anno 1649.

Lubbert van Dincklage, the Vice Director, says he will not have anything to do with the Director’s proposition; refuses to sign.

Hendrick van Dyck, fiscal, is of opinion, that Van der Donck shall not appear at the board of the Director and Council, or at the Assembly of the Nine men until he shall have proved the writing drawn up in the form of a journal. (Signed)

H. VAN DYCK, fiscal

La Montagne is of opinion that Verdonck shall not appear in the session of the Council until the decision of the suit. (Signed) LA MONTAGNE. Brian Nuton votes like La Montagne. (Signed) BRIAN NEWTON. Adriaen Keyser, Commissary, votes as the Fiscal has done. (Signed) A. KEYSER. Paulus Leendersen, naval storekeeper, votes and in the case of Verdonck is of the same opinion as the Fiscal. (Signed) PAULUS LEENDERTSEN VAN DE GRIFT.

Director and Council have by plurality of votes decided that Adriaen van der Donck shall not attend the session of the Council or the Assembly of the Select Men when they meet, until he shall have duly verified what he has written in defamation of the Honorable States and of the officers and Councillors here. This 15th of March Anno 1649. New Amsterdam.

[3]23 March

Thus the process of the fiscal, plaintiff, and Tielman Willekens, merchant of the suspected Prince of Denmark, has been pending before us for a long time and is now fully documented. Thus Tielman Wilkens appeared personally in the assembly and was asked by the gentlemen director if he had anything more to submit in the defense of his ship and goods; Also if he had received copies of both commissions, one in Latin and the other in German, from his lawyer.

Tielman answered that he had nothing further to submit at this time and that the Commissions were handed to him by his lawyer.

The fiscal, plaintiff, vs. Tielman Willekens as merchant from the ship The Young Prince of Denmark suspected of sneaky smuggling. The plaintiff answered all questions and all pieces were seen by both parties. The plaintiff, under benefit of perfect inventory, was allowed to appoint two out of the Council, such as Mr. Dincklaghen and Commissioner Keyser, who with two whom the merchant Willekens would wish to commission thereto to take possession of the ship, and at the proper time to give a receipt of the receivership. In case Tielman Willekens refuses, the fiscal will be permitted to select two impartial citizens who will be paid out of the goods. Done 23 March in council; present were the honorable General, L. van Dincklagen, La Montangne, Paulus Leendertsz van die grift, and Briant Nuton.


Revised from Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York, 14:113-14.

Gijselinge - Debtor's Prison. This note, and the translation from here to the end of this document is by B. Fernow.
Translation by Robert Van Niel.


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.