Dutch colonial council minutes, 6 - 17 July 1649

Scanned Document:

Johannes Backerius, minister in this city of New Amsterdam, appeared before the council and requested his discharge, in order that he may return to the fatherland. Therefore, the honorable director general and council having considered the urgent request, cannot refuse said Backerius his dismissal. The said director general and council have accordingly granted him leave to depart for the fatherland. This 6th of July 1649. Whereas Willem Albertsen Blauvelt, captain of the frigate La Garce. sailed from New Netherland under commission of the honorable director, the said Blaeuvelt in the year 1648, before the 20th of December, captured a bark coming from Porto Bello, laden with some piece-goods, as appears from the invoice of the supercargo, and whereas the said goods or a part thereof have been sent up by Blaeuvelt, this is publicly read to everyone, in order that if anyone had any reason why the goods are not a good prize, he may make the same known. In default of appearance before the conclusion of the third publication the same shall be declared a good prize at the requisition of the fiscal. Published this 6th day of July.[1]

Whereas Willem Blauvelt, deputy commissary of the late honorable Director Willem Kieft, captain of the frigate La Garce.for private owners has sent up a small prize named De Hoop van een Beter, laden with 28 oases of indigo and a quantity of linen and hides, specified in detail in the invoice, which goods were captured in the Bay of Campeachy, according to the letter of the said captain and his supercargo, on the 30th of January 1648, about ten months before the commencement of the peace in the West Indies, we can therefore, at the request of the common owners and the complaint of the fiscal, not Judge and conclude otherwise than that the same and the goods laden therein ought to be declared a good prize, as we hereby do declare the same to be a good prize, provided no contrary proof be produced by the defendant within the term of the last proclamation, which is extended for good reasons, exempting provisionally the few hides which were captured after or about the commencement of the peace in the West Indies and which until further proof will be stored in the Company's warehouse. As to the remaining goods, which are mostly wet and subject to decay and of which some, such as indigo and linen, have already been spoiled, the interested parties are under proper benefit of inventory allowed to accept the merchandise and, the Company's duties being deducted, to receive the same pro rata, provided that each person give a proper bond and security for the restitution of the merchandise received or the true value thereof, in case this decision may either here or elsewhere be changed afterwards. Thus done in Fort Amsterdam in New Netherland, in full council, the 7th of July 1649.

Whereas yesterday, being the 6th of July of this current year, there arrived here before New Amsterdam a Spanish bark from the West Indies, sent up as a prize for the Joint owners by Captain Willem Blauvelt and whereas it appears from his letters as well as the letters from the supercargo, Daniel Boggen, that the aforesaid bark with its lading was captured in the river of Tobasco in Campeachy Bay on the 22d of April 1649, being about five months after the peace ought to have commenced in the West Indies and consequently was taken in violation of the said articles of peace and the placards to various effects of their High Mightinesses our sovereigns, published, as we are informed everywhere in the United Netherlands, providing that any damage which by way of hostility should be done by either side within the limits of the Chartered West India Company after the 19th of November 1649,[2] would be repaired without delay, and whereas it is our bounden duty to obey the said articles of peace and the ordinances issued by their aforesaid High Mightinesses, our sovereign lords, we cannot declare the aforesaid bark and lading prizes since according to the articles of peace they must be restored to the rightful owners. And whereas the owners are unknown to us, we cannot restore the same to them and as the bark is very leaky and unfit, so that it is to be feared that many goods must be damaged, or may still be damaged or depreciated, the director and council, in the best interest of the rightful owners, have thought fit to have the same stored in the warehouse and properly inventoried under the supervision of two members of the council and two of the pretended owners, until further opportunity and better knowledge of the circumstances. Thus done, the 7th of July 1649, at New Amsterdam.

The 17th of July 1649

It is resolved in council to appraise the goods of the prize De Hoop belonging to the Company for so far as its share and right is concerned according to the price at which the owners have sold their goods, and after the goods have been appraised to deliver them to the servants (of the Company) upon credit. Date as above.


Revised from Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York, 14:115.
Apparently a mistake for November 19, 1648.


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.