Ordinance regulating the business of the windmill

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ORDINANCE for the REGULATION of the MILL. Whereas for a long time now we have received many complaints concerning the inconvenience to which the inhabitants are subjected because they cannot get their grain ground or if ground, then improperly done; and for which reason the inhabitants are subjected to using curses and threats; and in order to prevent subsequent disorders, and to provide as much as possible for the better accommodation of our good inhabitants, a suitable person will be appointed at a yearly salary to oversee the Company's windmill upon the following conditions and regulations to be observed by everyone: 1.

The miller shall be bound to be of service, as far as the mill is concerned, to all inhabitants without distinction of person; and wind and weather permitting, either by himself or by another qualified person, to serve them as much as he is able, both by night and day, as the opportunity may present itself, according to the proverb; "First come, first served." No one shall be given preference, except for the Company when it has 70 or 80 persons to provide with bread.


None of the inhabitants, be they servants or freemen, shall be allowed to bring any grain to the mill, or shall the miller be allowed to accept the grain in the mill without first having obtained a permit from the store's office, upon which the quantity and quality of the grain appears.


In order to make the clerk more willing to accommodate the public, he shall be paid one stiver for a permit of three skipples and above, and one half stiver for under three skipples. For each skipple, a grinding fee of three stivers shall be paid in silver money, well-strung sewant, or goods agreeable to the miller.


The miller shall register the permits received in order to render an account of the grinding fee, whenever required by the director and council, which will then be compared with the clerk's register or account book; and he shall not give credit for grinding, except at his own risk. ]

5. Whereas the income from the grinding fee, in addition to the miller's yearly salary, ought to defray the expenses for maintaining and improving the mill, for which good pay is required, no one shall bother or annoy the miller by words, much less deeds, in case he should refuse poor or unsorted sewant but let the proverb apply: "Many can carry more than can one."


In order to prevent frauds, suspicions and especially backbiting, weights and scales shall be placed in the mill at the proper time so that those so inclined may deliver their grain in at the scales and have it returned according to the regulation formerly enacted or hereafter to be enacted according to circumstances.


For the convenience of raising and lifting, no one shall be allowed to bring more than three skipples in one sack to the mill, and no grinding fee may be charged for one skipple.


Finally, in order to prevent any disputes, the miller, upon his word and promise, is entrusted with the grinding of everything at the stated rates, with which everyone is to be satisfied however, if on a special occasion someone requests that the grain be ground very fine and ground twice, and if it can be done without great inconvenience to others, he may be accommodated at the discretion of the miller, with one or two runs upon payment of three pennies per skipple. Thus done and enacted the blank ] February 1652 at the meeting of the director-general and council of New Netherland.

P. Stuyvesant
La Montagne
Brian Newton


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 the New Netherland Institute website.