Orders agreed upon by the inhabitants of Gravesend

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[1] Severall orders agreed uppon by and with consent and approbation of the inhabitants of Gravesend att several} tymes. ]

The first inhabitants agree togeather att Amesfort that they would fence in a certaine quantitee of Land to Conteine eight and twentie shares, the said land to be fenced with post and raile in one Common fence and to have it compleated by a certaine daye by them agreed uppon, uppon the penaltie of forfeiting as much to the rest as the said fence might come unto; otherwise if they had not bynne bownd in such a penaltie the halfe of them might have left off and then the burthen had bynne to heavy for the rest and they would have lost theyre yeares labour, the fences not being compleated, all sortes of Cattle would have distroyed what they sowed or planted. ]

The said eight and twentie shares were divided by Iott: and every one injoyned to build and inhabit in the towne by a daye agreed uppon for the mutual strengthning of one another, for the peace with the Indians being new and rawe there was still feares of theyre uprising to warre. ]

It was likewise ordered that noe man should sell awaye his Iott, until such tyme as hee had built a habitable house uppon it, otherwise men might have taken upp grownd only to sell to advantage and the towne never the more populated. ]

It was likewise agreed and ordered, that none of the inhabitants should sell theyre lotts to any whatsoever, but first to propound it to the towne in general!and in case the towne would not buye then hee to have libertie to sell to any, unlesse hee were notoriouslie detected for an infamous person or a disturber of the commmon peace. ]

It was likewise agreed and ordered, that none of the inhabitants should purchase or ingrosse two lotts to himselfe for his owne proper use, but that each Iott to bee distinct and apart. ]

It was likewise agreed and ordered, that the Fences should be made sufficient to keepe out any tame Cattle of what nature or qualitie soever, that might tresspasse. ]

It was likewise ordered that for any trees that any of the inhabitants should fall neare unto any fence, whereby any cattle should Come over the said Fence to the trespassing of any man the said tree should be immediatelie removed or the ownere to paye the dammage and likewise for any trees the wind should Downe by any mans fence, the owner of the fence immediately to remove them uppon the penaltie of payeing 3 gilders it being a maine thing for the preservation of the fruits of the field and love amongst neighbours. ]

It was therefore ordered that the men should at severall tymes as they thought fitting view all the fences and when they found defects to give warning to the neighbours to make upp theyre fences according to order; the which if not immediatelie done, then the parties defailing to paye five gilders the first tyme they were Complained of, six gilders the second and soe increasing a gilder untill such tyme as theyre fences were Compleated and the said thre men to be paid for theyre paynes. ]

It was likewise ordered, that whosoever should improve soe much of his said Iott in plant[ing it as that any tree or trees of his neigh ]bour or neighbours next adjacing and who hath not soe fullie ] improved theyre grounde, whereby prejudice may redound ] by the shade of the tree, the partie prejudic ed should give ] information thereof to his neighbours requesting them to fall ] downe theyre trees, the which if he refused the partie ] prejudiced might fall them himselfe, and to be paid two s ]tivers a foote by the owner of the said grownd for all the ] trees hee should fall thereon, when the owner of the ] said grownd should make use of it.

It was likewise ordered that whosoever should kill foxes ] or wolfes within the Jurisdiction of the towne should ] have for every fox two gilders and for every wolfe thre ] gilders to be paid them by the rest of the inhabitants by rate. ] howses being like to be fired in the winter tyme, by means ] of the greate fires then kept, whereby the whole towne might ] be undone

It was therefore ordered and agreed that each man should make a ladder of twentie foote long by a tyme prefixed, and in case he did not then to paye two guilders ten ] stivers per weeke for all the tyme he is without one.

It was likewise ordered that whosoever did fall any timber trees, he was to take them awaye in two moneths tyme, unlesse hee had either squared or boulted them oute otherwise it might be lawful! and free for any man to take them, the reason being that some men falled a greate many timber trees to make use of in saweing them, and selling them to other places, when the inhabitants might want necessary timber for building.

It was likewise ordered that each man should uppon his owne charge provide Compleate armes, and to have 1lb. powder 2 lbs. lead or bulletts allwayes by them uppon the penaltie of payeing what the officers of the towne thought fitting.


To the [Worshipfull and the much Honnored friend Peter Stuyevesant Generallof the dutch in America these present at Manhatten


  • Partly recovered from NYCD, 14:128-30.


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