Letter from the directors at Amsterdam to Petrus Stuyvesant

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[1][1650, 22d September

Faithful, Honorable, Valorous, Pious, Dear.

Our last letters to you were dated 24th of July by the Jaager and 6th of August by the] Nieu Nederlant [ Fortuyn; [2] in the former we communicated to you what had been done] in the case of Adrian van der Donck and Cornelis Melijn and that these two would like to avoid paying all duties to the Company. In the second we said, we should advise you of what might further be done in this matter. It stands now thus: nothing has occurred until today, but we learn unexpectedly of other intrigues, namely that many goods, destined for New Netherland, are daily shipped in vessels sailing to Virginia with passes granted by the General W. I. Company, as the single invoice here enclosed, of the ship Grouwe Buys, Jan Jansen Bestevaer skipper, will show you. The ship sails under charter from this Chamber to Virginia, but we have no doubt that all or at least the greater part of her cargo will be sold in New Netherland and in this manner the Company will be cheated out of their dues on the New Netherland goods; by a close inspection of all barks, sloops and small craft coming from Virginia to New Netherland you should be able to prevent such practices and we therefore earnestly charge you to make all possible efforts, also to urge the fiscal and the ship's inspector that they must rigidly examine all vessels coming there from Virginia or other places and proceed rigorously against all smugglers or other people who defraud the Company of their dues. We believe this to be·an effectual way to stop their practices and shall send you the invoices of all the ships going to Virginia, to enable you to act thereon.

Cornelis Melijn returned to New Netherland in the ship Fortuyn, protected by the safe conduct, which their high mightinesses gave him that he may live there unmolested during the time that his law suit here remains undecided. You must not interfere with him as long as he comports himself quietly, but leave him in the peaceful possession of his land. Should the fellow however again make trouble, then you may proceed against him according to law; take care to procure in all lawsuits or cases of confiscation sufficient documentary evidence to sustain you here. Relying thereupon we commend you to God's protection etc. etc.

Amsterdam, September 22d, 1650.

P. Schulenborch
Isaac van Beeck


Missing material supplied from NYCD, 14:127-28.
See 11:22 the letter dated 24 July on page 91; the letter dated 6 August is missing.


A complete copy of this publication is available on the New Netherland Institute website.