Affidavit of Michael Bergier concerning Cornelis Melyn

Scanned Document:

[1] Today, the 8th of February in the year sixteen hundred and fifty-two, before me Henrick Schaeff, Notary Public admitted by the ] Court of Holland and residing at [Amsterdam, and before the subscribed witnesses appeared Michiel ] Bergier of Angoulesme, about 22 years old, a servant of Yonker Johan van Waveren, ] late Schepen of this City, who in true words, instead of an oath, at the request of the Lords Directors of the West India Company here testifies, ] declares and deposes: Itis true, that in the summer of the year 1650, he, the witness, was engaged by Cornelis Melyn, a freeman of New Netherland, as his servant; that in the month of August of the same year he sailed with him in the ship Nieunederlantse Fortuyn, skipper Daniel Michielsen; that after remaining a long time in England they arrived in the aforesaid year at the Red Island[2] under the jurisdiction of New England, where the said Melyn purchased some provisions of little importance selling a part of the freight, as brandy, duffels and other goods to the English; that from there they sailed in the same ship to Staten Island, where he landed, secretly at night and the tide not serving, a number of kegs with powder and blocks of lead, weighing one hundred fifty pounds the block, also a chest with muskets, which he, the affiant, had himself cleaned and put in order. That the Director of New Netherland, Peter Stuyvesant, having been informed thereof, some time later ordered the said ship to be attached and brought up to Manhattans Island, where proceedings towards its confiscation were instituted; he, the affiant, has understood that in the end it was confiscated. He further declares, that the said Cornelis Melyn was several times legally summoned to appear, but he refused and did not obey the summons and that fearing he might be arrested for his refractoriness and for his aforesaid misdemeanors, he provided and strengthened himself upon Staten Island, where he resides with 117 to 118 Raritan and Southern Indians each armed with a musket, to defend him against the Director. He deposes further from his own knowledge, that by order and direction of the said Cornelis Melyn he, the affiant, with the said Indians remained in the woods for several days and offers, after the foregoing deposition had been read to him to confirm it under oath in the presence of Yonker Nicolas van Waveren and Jan van Wyck, both residing in this City, who had been requested to act as witnesses and who with deponent and me, the Notary, have signed the record hereof: quod attestor. (Signed) H. Schaeff, not. publ.

Follows the Instrument of Verification

We the Burgomasters and Administrators of the City of Amsterdam certify to all whom it concerns, that Michael Bergier of Angoulisme about 22 years old has appeared before us upon a summons to testify to the truth at the request of the Directors of the West India Company and that being duly sworn he declared, deposed and said, that the foregoing affidavit, read to him by the Secretary, was true and he persisted in this declaration, so help him God Almighty! ]

In witness whereof ] the seal of this city hasbeen hereto affixed the 13th day of February ] 1652 and below [      ] at the side is a seal covered in white paper.

Agrees with the register of declarations and verifications, acknowledged by me the undersigned public notary in Amsterdam 28 March 1652
H. Schaef


Missing material is supplied from ibid., 159-60.
Rhode Island.


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