Letter from the burgomasters and schepens to director and council

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To the honorable, highly esteemed Gentlemen, the Director-General and High Council of New Netherland. 

Esteemed Gentlemen.
The distressing rumors and threats directed at this province and especially this capital city of New Amsterdam have troubled us now for some time, and after your honors had demonstrated to us verbally and in writing their good and earnest intentions of making all possible resistance and defense at your honors' meeting on the 13th of this month,[1] at which the mayors and schepens of this city were present, we have examined the matter to the best of our ability and assure your honors now (recalling the good example given us by our forefathers in what they did in time of need for the defense and protection of their fatherland and themselves) that we are quite willing to do the same, pledging our property and lives.

Whereas we have learned in your honors' aforesaid written resolutions that the director-general and high council find themselves compelled to keep here and collect the tenth on all goods and merchandise to be sent to the fatherland this year, or the just value thereof, for the better defense of these places.

1. Therefore, having considered everything and realizing that there is extreme periculem in more,[2] we agree, as far as we are concerned, without your honors' aforesaid resolution, however, with the restriction and reservation that the revenues and goods, which we have advanced for the repair of the fortifications, as well as the aforesaid tenths on goods and merchandise to be shipped this year, shall be repaid and restored promptly within one year, according to your honors' aforesaid resolution.

2. Furthermore, we are quite satisfied with your honors' promise to pay or make restitution either by a balancing against the recognition duties or otherwise; we do not fear that your honors will disappoint us after seeing our willingness in the matter.
3. We are grateful to your honors for offering security by reimbursement through the recognition duties which must be paid in Holland; however, we expect in place of this, from your honors and the aforesaid mayors and schepens, a special bond and mortgage on the revenues and income of this city, as already enacted or yet to be enacted.
4. And, so that the monies obtained by the aforesaid measures may be properly administered, we humbly request (for the sake of preventing any reproaches) that the aforesaid honorable mayors and schepens be allowed to nominate six capable persons out of the citizens of the city.-from which your honors are to choose three, who shall administer the aforesaid monies and distribute the same, according to the orders of your honors and the aforesaid mayors and schepens.

And, if it should happen that peace has been concluded between Holland and England, which with God's help we hope to learn by the next ships, we request that we may be exempt from the aforesaid tenth. In the margin was written; New Amsterdam, New Netherland, 15 June 1654; below was written; Your honors' faithful subjects; and was signed; Oloff Stevensz, Govert Loockermans, Hendr. J. vander Vin, Reynier Rycken, Jan Witthart, Johannes van Brugh, Johannis de Peyster, Anthony van Hardenberch, Johannes van Beecq, and Cornelis van Steenwyck and Pieter Cornelissen vander Veen.


See Volume 5: 270, for the minutes of this meeting.
i.e., "danger in delay."


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.