Commission of secretary Tienhoven and burgomaster Cregier as ambassadors to the governor of New Haven

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1654 New Amsterdam, 8 April.

Petrus Stuyvesant, on behalf of the honorable High Mightinesses, the lords States-General of the United Netherlands and the honorable lords-directors of the General Chartered West India Company, and the aforesaid director-general of New Netherland, Curacao, Bonayra, Aruba and their dependencies, together with the lords councilors, to all who shall read this or hear it read, greetings:

Let it be known that pursuant to the instructions of our superiors we have done nothing more than strive and aim, as we still do, for a continuation of our previous communication, commerce and peace with our Christian neighbors and co-religionists without regard to any unhoped for differences and deplorable animosity between our respective superiors in Europe. As a result, some time ago, we sent several amicable letters to the neighboring governors. In the meantime, some pirates and bandits have appeared - we do not know under what authority or whose commission - who during last summer uttered threats and committed several hostile acts, invasions and attacks on the good inhabitants in the countryside -Dutch as well as English - on land and sea, robbing and plundering the persons of Willem Harck and Jochim Pietersz Kuyter, stealthily sailing away a bark belonging to Jan Tobyn, stealing and taking away 9 or 10 horses from the village of Amesfoorde on Long Island and 3 or 4 Negroes sent out to bring back some runaway Negroes. Because of these and other hostile actions committed ] by the aforesaid pirates and bandits not only last year but also a short time ago commit­ ted on ] the person of Willem Harck, accompanied by threats of fire and massacre to be inflicted on the good inhabitants of this province, we, the director-general and council, believe ourselves compelled by our office and duty, upon the repeated complaints of our good subjects, to prevent them by all honest and admissible means as much as possible, and to protect our good subjects against all such pirates, bandits and thieves. Therefore, the director-general and council have resolved to have them pursued, attacked and captured either on land or on water, as well as by the power and means entrusted to us by God and our sovereigns, and by the weapons and self-defense of our good subjects, without, however, being inclined or intending to give thereby any cause for offense, much less any appearance of hostility. In order to inform and reassure hereof the neighboring governors, vice-governors and magistrates, we have deemed it necessary and advisable to appoint and send to our nearest neighbor, the honorable Theophilis Eton, governor of New Haven, Mr. Cornelis van Thienhoven, councilor and fiscal of New Netherland, Mr. Marten Crigier, mayor and captain of the guard companies of this city of New Amsterdam, who are to inform and advise the aforesaid honorable governor and his council, as well as all whom it may concern, of our sincere and genuine intentions in equipping and preparing some yachts only for the protection of the trade, and the rivers and streams between us and our neighbors, as well as in issuing orders to our good subjects, both Dutch and of the English nation, to keep good order and watch and be ready for all emergencies. All of which is only intended for and aimed at the protection of the good settlers in the countryside without any thought of doing injury or damage to or molesting any neighbors, much less committing any acts of hostility against them. If, in the meantime, it should happen that in pursuit of these pirates and bandits some of our remote subjects or our neighbors might suffer losses with regard to their livestock, houses or vessels, for which we do not hope and against which we have issued strict orders, then we have bound ourselves to offer prompt and equitable compensation. Furthermore, concerning the reports we have received in regard to the apprehension and detention of a certain Thomas Bacxter, former leader and captain of the aforesaid pirates and bandits, in whose name and pretended commission the aforesaid robberies and thefts were committed, whether by himself or by his accomplices, our aforesaid deputies are especially authorized and directed to inform the aforesaid honorable Governor Eton of it and to request his wise counsel and assistance in recovering the stolen property; also, to speak with him concerning the abduction of Captain Crigier's Negroes who were protected by a safe-conduct from the aforesaid honorable governor and kidnapped within his own jurisdiction. They are further to consult with his honor concerning the flight and recapture of a certain Jan de Jongh; and, finally, to propose and request a continuation of the former correspondence, commerce and neighborly friendship, we, the director-general and council promising herewith to approve, confirm and ratify all that in these matters shall have been negotiated and concluded by our deputies the honorable Messrs. Cornelis van Thienhoven and Marten Crigier. Done at our session held in New Amsterdam, 8 April 1654; and was signed: P. Stuyvesant, N. de Sille, La Montangne, Cor. van Werckhoven.


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.