Proclamation annulling all grants of land within 600 paces of Fort Orange

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Whereas we have been informed that in spite of several warnings, summons and interdictions issued during the time of our commissary, Charles van Brugge, in the years 1649 and 1650 to Brant Arisen van Slechtenhorst and his associates in the colony of Rensselaerswyck concerning the construction of new buildings under the wall of the honorable Company's Fort Orange or nearer to it than the distance of a musket shot, unless it can be proved that they do it by order of the honorable Company or other high authority or unless they have special permission, our aforesaid warnings, protests, directions and orders have not only been disregarded but absolutely despised and disobeyed by the surveying, selling and granting of several parcels of land and the eviction by private parties of several houses on the north and west sides of the aforesaid fort, obstructing and hindering the same; and whereas we have been further informed by the present commissary, Dyckman, that they have again laid out lots still nearer and closer to the aforesaid fort, and distributed and sold them to several private parties to build on, without regard to the warning, protest and order entered and issued by our commissary under high authority, which lead to contempt for the government of this province, to the destruction of the honorable Company's charter, prerogatives and privileges, and, in particular, to the obstruction and hindrance of the aforesaid fort, which was located there and fortified before Mr. Renselaer chose that territory for his colony, and consequently before one house of the same colony stood there.[1]

THEREFORE, we, the director-general and council of New Nether land, authorized by the commission and instructions conferred by their High Mightinesses, the lords States-General, our sovereigns, and by the honorable directors of the Chartered West India Company, as lords and patroons of New Netherland, and, by virtue of the same, obligated to maintain their rights and privileges as well as good order and justice, find ourselves compelled to annul and make void, by this our resolution and proclamation, all allotments, cessions or sales of land lying within 600 paces or about 250 Rhineland rods[2] from the fort, which land we, the director-general and council, declare, until otherwise directed by the honorable Company, to be under the jurisdiction of the fort, to be used by its garrison and inhabitants, who, however, be they servants of the honorable Company or foremen, shall not be allowed to build on the land so as to weaken, obstruct or hinder the fort, but to use it only for gardens, plantations with low palisades, and for low and light summer houses which can be easily moved or torn down, provided that they have first informed us and received our consent, and that the director and council shall have the discretion to remove them when necessary. We therefore warn and direct everyone who has or who may come to possess any parcel of land within the aforesaid jurisdiction of the fort, either by purchase, lease or cession from the aforesaid Commander Slechtenhorst or any of his officials, before or after the publication of this, not to enter upon the same, much less fence it in or build upon it in any manner, under high penalty and demolition of the structure. Let everyone be warned in order to avoid loss. Thus done and resolved in council at New Amsterdam, 29 January 1652.

P. Stuyvesant
H. van Dyck
La Montagne
Brian Newton


Fort Orange was constructed about 1618, approximately 14 years before settlements were established in Rensselaerswyck.
A Rhineland rod measured 12.36 feet.


Translation: Gehring, C., trans./ed., New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch, Vol. 5, Council Minutes, 1652-1654 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc.: 1983).A complete copy of this publication is available on theĀ New Netherland Institute website.