Interrogatories on which Harmen Smeeman is examined on a charge of plucking the goose

Scanned Document:
25 February 1654  Interrogation of Harmen Smeeman, inhabitant of the island of Manhattan, before the director-general and council at the request of the fiscal, Cornelis van Thienhoven 

How old is he and where was he born?
Answer: About 30 years old; from Iserloo.
Whether on Sunday morning, being the 8th of February, he was not forbidden by order of the director-general and council, through the court-messenger, to pull the goose?[1]
Answer: Yes.
Whether, contrary to [      ] , he did not pull the goose?
Answer: Yes.
Whether he was not summoned because of this by the court-messenger to appear before the director-general and council, and whether he did not reply to the court-messenger that if the fiscal has anything to say he can summon me and the others before the mayors and schepens?
Answer: Yes.


Pulling the goose, which was a custom practiced at Shrovetide, consisted of greasing the neck of a goose which was suspended by a rope between two poles. Horsemen then attempted to seize the goose while riding past at full gallop. The rider who succeeded in carrying off the goose was declared king of the festival. See Laws and Ordinances of New Netherland, 1638-1674, compiled and translated by E. B. O’Callaghan, Albany, 1868, 333 for a note on festivals.


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.