Letter from the directors in Amsterdam to Petrus Stuyvesant

Scanned Document:

[1]Our last letters were dated the 21st, 22d, and 26th of March of last year, in which we wrote as much as was then necessary; in the meantime we have duly received your letters of the 26th/27th of November 1650 by way of English Virginia and of the 21st, 29th, and 30th of September of last year by the ships de Geldersche Blom, de Bonte Koe, het Hoff van Cleeff, Keyser Carel and St. Michiel; in addition we received several documents and papers, which we shall answer as briefly and as substantively as possible. The satisfaction given to the people of our own as well as of the English nation by our writings made us resolve to continue this once again; besides preparing the copies of the aforesaid letters, which would be unnecessary, if some disruptive souls were not trying to convince the community that these letters were not conceived by the entire board, but only by some individual directors. Therefore, the same duplicates are signed by all the directors now in office so that the community and good inhabitants can clearly see and note what these false and seditious persons are up to. We do not doubt that we shall have enough means to suppress their malicious intentions. The same community shall be even more assured of our good intentions when they learn of our favorable resolutions herein on their various requests.

They complain bitterly over the improper trade in gunpowder, lead, and guns carried on there by private parties living there. In order to prevent this as much as possible, we herewith send a printed placard, with the execution of which the fiscal is strictly charged ].

From our secret resolution, which we entrust herewith to the honorable general ], regarding the vexations by the Indians, of which the inhabitants complain and to which they are exposed through the instigations of evil-minded persons, who make the Indians believe, that we are not allowed to punish them for their ill doings, your honor will perceive, that if necessary, in an emergency a league may be made with our English neighbors, that thereby the insolence and wantonness of the barbarians can be held in check; we cannot however consent to give them a preeminence in the council, for we consider that dangerous.

We consent to their request to abolish the duty of 8 percent upon tobacco raised there; we are besides petitioning the government that when the duties are again farmed,out, the duty upon New Netherland tobacco may be exempt. That should be a great benefit to the planters there, and in order to favor such plantations still more, we consent therewith upon the request of the inhabitants there that they may, in their own ships, fetch from the coast of Africa as many Negroes as they shall require for agriculture under the enclosed conditions and regulations. There remains now only to grant their request concerning the freighting of one or two ships for their own account, regard being had to their obligations to and engagements with our colleagues Edward Man and Isaac van Beeck; they have of course in view the ] profits to accrue by such freighting from the return cargoes and the ] transport of many people, which for some years past private ] traders have been enjoying. Our answer must be that at present many difficulties present themselves to this plan; notwithstanding we had already undertaken to freight a ship of 200 lasts, armed with 20 guns, for which we had offered 8000 guilders and would even have given a little higher price, when the following happened.

First, we were summoned by the burgomasters, who offered us 150 boys and girls from the asylums, who were willing to be brought to this place for passage money amounting to 30 per head or to pay the board at 8 stivers per day; the aforesaid lords had already made a provisional order that all private freighters should transport all needy persons at this rate, which is a reason so many people are coming over in these ships. We had made provisional arrangements with some skippers for the passage of the aforesaid youngsters; also at the same time worked out with the burgomasters under what conditions these children were to be placed with good masters. Namely, they were to be obligated for a period of 4 years, and would receive, besides the proper subsistence of food and drink, 50 to 60 annually for clothing or as much more as your honor would be able to arrange, of which those girls who were to marry, with your honor's consent, within the aforesaid term would be relieved, and when the obligated term, as prescribed, would be expired, they may accept further service with their masters, on such conditions to which they might agree with one another; and to those who would remain free, 25 morgens of land each were to be allotted, or as much as they were willing to cultivate. These conditions were approved by the burgomasters and pleased many of the young people and we believed that the community there would have gained their point by these means, but when we thought we were quite sure of it, it happened that the ships of the English parliament, commissioned with letters of reprisal against the inhabitants of this country, captured about 60 of our merchant ships, among others, also the small ship named Keyser Carel, coming from your place, then subsequently plundered to an extent and released. This matter has been considered very strange by the gentlemen of our government, and for this reason three ambassadors were sent to England, with the intention to effect through them a cessation of such larcenies; however, contrary to this, it so happened that during the time of these negotiations the English parliament's ships have taken 25 to 26 ships near the Caribbean islands and Barbados, being mostly ships of this country, which was received here in such a way that preparations are being made to equip 150 ships, which shall be put to sea in a short time, in order to recover by these means the damages suffered. You can easily guess what the consequences might be. We wanted to relate this in some detail, on the one hand, to warn your honor to be on guard; and on the other, that your honor can guess why the aforesaid shipments cannot be carried out, for it does not seem as if many goods will be sent to your place this year, because partly last year many goods have remained unsold, and partly for reasons and fears already stated. From all of which nothing else is to be expected than that the income from our duties shall be very small, and yet we see the necessities, which you request, grow more and more expensive; and in order to demonstrate how much we are interested in that country, your honor shall see by the arrival of these ships that almost all the requests in your honor's list have been satisfied, even including the requested sailors and soldiers. Among whom your honor shall find a few noted on the roll to be obligated as a soldier for one year from their arrival there, at which time they will engage in agriculture, which has been their customary trade. We have made no objections to this because we can send others in their place next year. Your honor can now sufficiently see how we are trying, indeed, beyond our capacity, to make this country flourish, so that we might finally enjoy the fruits thereof after such heavy expenses. We had expected for a long time some return in beaverskins and dyewood, for which your honor had given us hope for some time, as your honor had informed us that you were busy gathering a cargo of beavers, but until now have heard nothing more of it. Yet such returns shall have to come or we shall be compelled and necessitated to refuse sending you such liberal shipments.

It is true that we had ordered Vice Director Roodenburgh not to allow any dyewood to be shipped from the island[2] because we had decided to freight a ship immediately in order to fetch a cargo from there, not doubting that he would have taken proper care to have a full load ready upon the arrival of the bearer of this, Adriaen Bloemart, whose ship, het Hoff van Kleef, we have chartered by the month according to the enclosed charterparty. The said director must also be warned that some of our officials, among others Jan Janssen van Hussen, have been so bold as to give and to sell quantities of dyewood to some skippers putting in at Bonaire, as the enclosed bills of lading will show. We have also been informed by good authority that the aforesaid director is carrying on an extensive trade in horses to the Caribbean islands, which can only lead to the islands of Curaçao and Aruba being destitute of horses ] in a few years, to the great disservice and detriment of the Company. We are also greatly displeased because we have as yet received neither from those places nor from your honor's any accounting of the prizes captured there or of ships sold and the income of the goods sent there, although we have asked repeatedly for them. This was partly the reason why we sent a bookkeeper there, so that there may be no more excuses of having no help, or not being able to have the books ready, as has happened again with the commissary Carel van Bruggen. However, we do not doubt that by the next ships coming over we shall see the pertinent balance sheets, according to his promises, so that we can record everything properly. For this purpose we have established here a separate bureau for New Netherland affairs. Therefore, it is necessary that we receive by the first opportunity the pertinent registers of all lands, plantations, and houses, which were let out on lease on behalf of the Company, and at what prices and conditions the same were rented out. And as the exemptions show that the island Manhatans is always to be reserved for the Company, yet we have reason to believe that some plantations and lots have already been given out to private parties without our knowledge. We require detailed information concerning it, for it has the appearance that with God's help we shall have a large population there in a few years. We must therefore keep good order so that everyone may find a suitable place and so that the land may be parceled out with greater equity than has hitherto been the case, when everyone seems to have done what he wanted, without the knowledge of the Company ] directors or their officials, as can now be shown in the case of Wouter van Twijler, Olfert Gerritsen, Lubbert van Dincklaecken, Jacob Wolfertsz and others who have seized much land, buying it from the Indians without our consent or knowledge. We consider this to be intolerable and therefore deem it necessary that your honor warn everyone by public notice that no one shall undertake to purchase or take possession of any land without the knowledge and approval of the Company and their officials; also, to dissolve all such purchases made hitherto, under the condition, nevertheless, that they shall be reimbursed for whatever they have laid out heretofore, so that the Company shall vest itself therein by confiscation; yet with the aim that we are and remain inclined to grant everyone as much land as they will undertake to cultivate and populate, provided that fealty be shown the Company. However, our intention is not to parcel out land with indefinite boundaries, as has previously occurred, namely entire islands, as happened with Cornelis Melijn who has never settled more than 5 or 6 living souls on 8 miles of land. Consequently, his title has lapsed some time ago; and it would have been proper that it should have been taken from him some time ago and parceled out to people who would have better fulfilled ] their conditions. Now it seems that the lords Hendrick and Alexander van der Capelle have negotiated with this fellow and bought from him one half of the island without previously informing us; in addition to this the lord Hendrick vande Capelle declares that he has had purchased for his account the land of the Nevesincx and Raritans behind Staten Island, which land, without knowing such, we have granted to the lord Cornelis van Werckhoven who is coming over with a good number of people to take possession of it, as your honor shall be able to see from the commission granted to him. If this lord is well disposed toward the affairs of New Netherland and especially those of the Company, as we do hope, then he may become an instrument by which many people could be attracted there, although we wish that we could have refused the grant of such a colony. Inasmuch as we agree with your honor's feelings that this is a total disservice to the Company, we were not able to put this man off, ashe is a member of the government, and so that we should not appear to want to obstruct the growth of population. Now we find ourselves already touched by inconvenience with this grant. The lord Van de Capelle claims to have been in possession of the aforesaid land for a year or year and a half, against which we must say that we have had no knowledge of it, and that they shall have to come to an agreement with one another. These are the fruits of wanting to establish a government within a government.

Had your honor sent Dincklagen here, maybe this incident would have been prevented.[3] Itcertainly can be done in a fundamental way, considering he resigned his office without a proper accounting. Therefore, it can not be understood how he is due any salary, and we rather think that he was resolved to leave the Company's service under some disingenuous pretext ] already in the year 1650, when he was pressuring your honor in such an exorbitant manner to have his salary paid in full, which was not enough for him, but also had to stir up the common soldiers over it. We have winked at many impertinent acts of some restless spirits as much as possible, hoping that they might be shamed by our benevolence and discretion; however, seeing that every courtesy has been of no help, we shall have to avail ourselves of God, the law, and nature, with which we hereby charge and command your honor that, if you should discover any separate gatherings, conventicles or machinations against the government of our state or country, you are to proceed against such malcontents according to their crimes, considering however that we do not desire that anyone be given cause or reason to complain that he is being dealt with because of private passions. Whereby we notice in many reports, albeit from malcontents, that some take shelter in this pretext. Although we have to believe and view favorably those· who do not deserve it. Nevertheless, in order to silence everyone, we have resolved hereby to approve your honor's proposal that your honor establish there a bench of justice formed as much as possible after the laws of this city. For this purpose we are sending printed copies relating to all benches of justice and the entire government. For the present, we believe that it will be sufficient to elect one schout,[4] two burgomasters, and five schepens; further; that all judgments shall be appealable to the High Council in order to obtain there a definitive judgment. Care should be taken in the selection of the aforesaid persons who should be honest and ] respectable and whom we hope can be found among the burghers there. We desire ] as much as possible that preference be given to persons of our nationality ], which we think will be most satisfactory to the burghers and inhabitants. ] We also agree with your honor's proposal to establish there a common school,[5] and it is thought that such could be started with an associate teacher,[6] who could be employed for f 200 to .f250 annually, for which we recommend to your honor the person of Jan de la Montangnie, whom we are also provisionally favoring therewith, and your honor can use the house of the City Tavern, if it is suitable thereto.

We cannot see by what means we can prevent the distribution of inferior sewant, as long as the fiscal will not properly execute his office, and we fear that your honor has not come up with the proper means by increasing the value of money 25 percent in order thereby to bring small specie into the country, of which we believe a quantity shall go over with this ship, whereby your honor shall be able to perceive the fruits of this resolution. However, general experience teaches that the increase of the value of money has usually been the ruin of countries and peoples. Therefore, we judge this matter to be very dangerous, and deem it most unadvisable to have come to such a resolution without our prior knowledge.

Concerning the trade at Boston and Virginia, we have already given your honor our order thereon. We still cannot figure otherwise than that we would be prejudiced by these means through inequities, and we deem it necessary that all merchandise coming that way ] into our territories pay the same duties as those coming directly from this country.We firmly believe that the Verbruggens[7] and others are employing various means to carry on smuggling. We here are in no position to prevent it, but closer attention should be paid there by unloading, which is the duty of the fiscal. He has to take care of matters, or we shall have to employ other means. On the other hand, these same Verbruggens and many others· complain that your honor has raised the duty on merchantable beavers to 15 stivers a piece, as we have also found in the bills of lading. They claim therefore that what your honor has received in excess duties there be refunded. We also cannot refuse them that, because it has been our intention and express order that your honor shall demand only 8 percent from each merchantable beaver, and the same being calculated at 8 a piece. It is also our express order once again, so that we do not continue to have new difficulties with the merchants.

We cannot imagine the great dangers, which your honor ascribes to the commission granted the ship den Waterhont, which is different from all other commissions granted to other ships, being chartered for outbound and return voyages. This was not the case with regard to den Waterhont, which was only chartered for the voyage to your place; and having arrived there he was to try his luck at finding an advantageous return cargo. Now het Hoff van Cleejf is to do the same, unless it be chartered by us for Curaçao and the neighboring islands, as previously stated. Therefore, we have been unable to see any dangers in the aforesaid commission, but do so in his neglect to obtain letters of reprisal, as all other skippers have done; especially, as he had the luck to encounter a sugar bark, which he also captured, and your honor and councilors confiscated by formal judgment, and a reparation was made there concerning the same prize with every appearance as if the aforesaid skipper had had a commission in debit form. As a result, we have to say that this prize was taken for the benefit of the Company, but not for the skipper and his owners. Therefore, all this sugar ought to have been confiscated and to have come to us in order to be proceeded thereon here for the rights and claims of the Company against the Portuguese accordingly. Consequently, we now also suffer many calumnies and have to respond to various proceedings, among others the owners, and also the underwriters thereof, have put an attachment on this sugar, claiming, because the skipper did not have a proper commission of reprisal, that he ought to be punished as a pirate, and more of the same, so that we already are having much difficulty with it and do not know how this matter shall tum out, for we are aware that such people still have some spokesmen here, moreso because the insurance loss is a burden on the burghers and inhabitants here. We are also aware of this with regard to Johannes Dijckman and other passengers who attract little interest by complaining to have received too small a share of the reparation; for which they could not make claims until the matter had been definitively settled here. In any case we have learned that they have received more than they could have possibly expected. In addition to this, we are aware that this matter has been sadly handled; that much merchandise has been stolen from the cargo, in particular, all the loaf sugar, a quantity of tobacco, silverwork, and some gold specie. Also, eight chests were kept back for expences, which is a great deal, and a large quantity for gifts and the such, which causes many complaints here. The same has happened with the ship named de Nieu Nederlantsche Fortuyn, with Daniel Machielsen as skipper. If as now appears from every piece of evidence that the aforesaid ship and cargo seems to have been confiscated with good legal instruments and for good reason, then we shall still have much trouble with it, because some people who have had shares in it, cannot understand that the ship, although a dead instrument, can sin. However, we believe that such people shall have to inform themselves better. Yet that is not the matter about which we are concerned, but rather we notice that the fiscal neglected to discover the goods of contraband, from which the greatest right of confiscation can be claimed, and even if we had been more diligent here about obtaining more certain evidence about what munitions of war was in it, as your honor will be able to note from the accompanying certificates, then there would have still been quibbling about the documents concerning this, which were sent to us from there, because we deem some of the declarations of the pilot and crew to be contradictory, and we are very much surprized that we were not informed more clearly about these proceedings and this confiscation. We consider the sentence very intricate, as it declares ship and ] cargo liable to confiscation excepting the property of the crew and passengers and what has been duly cleared and that this may be proved by the manifests. Now we learn that a various goods have been sold there by public auction, amounting, according to list sent us, to f 7352.2, and we are told that it was genuine merchandise, and not subject to confiscation, without any mention of what is to be done with this money; namely, whether it is kept in trust for the benefit of those who have a right to it, or whatever is the case. Although no manifests have appeared thereof, your honors can certainly see from the bills of lading and lists sent to you that the same merchandise has been properly recorded here and the recognition fees thereof satisfied. Therefore, even if the manifests were completely lacking, these goods could still not be confiscated, because as it often happens here large quantities of goods shipped from these lands are sent overseas accompanied by nothing but simple bills of lading. In any case there is no need for a dispute here because the manifests thereof were properly produced for us, of which we are sending you herewith authentic copies. That these manifests have not been produced there, is because of the timidity of Allert Antony to whom these goods were consigned and consequently ought to have been claimed by him; however, malicious people have frightened him by saying that his own goods, which he received duty free, would be challenged ]. Now the owners ] have requested of us the restitution of the aforesaid money and we see no reason that they can be denied, and we can only hope that it has been kept there in trust and under good care, and consequently must be restored to the owners. As we have already had good reason to say that this matter has not been clearly enough revealed to us, so we have still more to say concerning the proceedings involving the ship because not a word has been said about it, whether it is to used by the Company, or just where it may be. However, we understand from strangers that it is supposed to have been sold for the sum of f 3200, and that it is supposed to have been sent to Curaçao or the Caribbean islands with foodstuffs. Such proceedings make us suspicious. Now the aforesaid ship is being claimed by the lord Hendrick vande Capelle and his partners, alleging that this ship cannot be confiscated because of the misconduct of Cornelis Melijn. We say that said Melijn has been condemned as surety on behalf of the skipper, and that before the judgment was pronounced ] sufficient bond was posted, and ] that also his real estate was attached beforehand, and that they can petition and claim the income with full justification. Now we are lacking once again the proof of what it came from; also, what has become of the money. If the skipper received it, then he is responsible for it to the owners. From this your honor can well perceive that we need much clearer proofs not only concerning this but also concerning some preceding cases of ] confiscation, which caused ] us nothing but great trouble, from which we ought to be spared.

We are quite concerned regarding the request of the Canadian Indians who have been involved in a war with the Maquasen[8] and are resolved to go visit them. In order to do so, passage to the North River[9] would be necessary, which passageway they requested of your honor. We deem and fear such permission very dangerous as it might lead to strife with the Indians; moreso, for reasons spoken about previously. Therefore, we consider it best to refuse them this passageway in a polite manner.

We cannot sufficiently express our amazement at the insolence and impertinence of Brant van Slichtenhorst, who has undertaken to deprive some people of their gardens, which they had laid out near Fort Orange. To this we can only say that we desire our authority near the fort to be maintained in everyway as far as a cannon can reach. If he has injured any burghers within these limits or may have damaged anything, then he must repair it and make compensation for the damage in whatever way it might be. As far as we are able to understand, the colonizers of Rensselaerswijck have come to an agreement here and shall apparently send out another director. Whether they will be able to free themselves of Slechtenhorst so easily, we doubt very much; moreso, because it is said that he is demanding 14 to 15,000 guilders from the colonizers. However, we do not know how true ] it may be.

Wouter van Twijler is again causing us much trouble about payment of his accounts stemming from foodstuffs delivered to the forts there. We have come up with no better expedient in his regard than to send him word that we are ordering your honor to settle matters with his representatives, expecting that when they render accounts of the tenths from their colony, that some money is paid to us. Your honor does well to manage the collection of the tenths as discreetly as possible; nevertheless, we have no doubts that the burghers and inhabitants shall also realize how courteously we treat 'them, and that the great efforts, which we daily exert, shall also move them to being reasonable.

Whereas we have hopes that many people shall be coming over regularly, we highly recommend that your honor take great care for cultivation of every kind of produce of the soil and foodstuffs necessary for th maintenance of the people; also, to issue strict orders concerning the disorderly and untimely slaughter of every kind of livestock, so that the people coming over may find proper necessities.

We are very surprized that so few sheep are to be found there in the country. We believe that the land is suitable for raising them. It makes us conclude that little attention is paid to their increase, or that they are prematurely destroyed. The certainty thereof is best known to your honor.

We are receiving many warnings here concerning the export of horses from Curaçao and Aruba to the Caribbean islands. Therefore, inform Roodenburgh by every opportunity to take heed thereof or we shall have to take other measures.

Your honor thinks that we have done well with Jan Dillan by having negotiated over the establishment of a colony on Curaçao. Likewise we have now granted one of the same to a Portuguese named Joseph Nunes de Fonseca alias Davit Nassi, according to the order sent herewith. He is preparing to go there with a good number of people. Whether we shall fare well with this nation only time will tell. This nation is cunning and generally deceitful; therefore, one should not trust them too much.

The planned contract concerning Justus vande Venne seems very strange to us, and we are fortunate that such has fallen into your honor's hands. From this your honor canjudge how such and the like seek to deal with the Company. We must oppose such contracts by every means. Therefore, we deem it necessary to negotiate for as much land from the Indians or natives as can be acquired in order to obviate all such dangerous dealings by private parties.

Your honor's voyage to the South River and that which transpired between the Swedes and your honor, came before us quite unexpectedly, because your honor has previously never issued any warnings of his undertakings. The Lord grant that your honor's enterprise may tum out well. We will be able tojudge little about it here before we hear how the complaints of the Swedish governor are received by the queen.[10] We hope that the arguments about our previous possession will be accepted as sufficient. However, we see little probability or any encouragement with the Swedes here that we will be able to arrange any boundaries. Also, we can say little about whether the demolition of Fort Nassau was so prudently handled. Indeed, no one could make a claim on it and whether the Swedes shall understand the same regarding the newly constructed fort named Casemirus, only time will tell. For what reason this fort was so named has not been revealed to us. It must be carefully protected in order not to be surprised. We do not know whether it would be highly necessary to make some fortifications on the east bank opposite this fort, and we must trust your honor's wisdom therein; however, in connection with this matter we find it necessary to warn your honor to take good care that no strongholds be erected at any time on any islands near the Manhattans by such people who have been so bold to stir up the Indians against us. You are to investigate this thoroughly and, discovering the truth, to deal with such people as their offences merit. Nevertheless, we recommend your honor to use the utmost discretion in all his proceedings so that they can be justified to the entire world.

With regard to the provisional boundaries with the English, we would allow ourselves to be satisfied with it, and the lords ambassadors, who have departed for England, also have been issued instructions to come to an agreement with the lords of the government there; however, relations between England and this state seem quite estranged again. God grant that they do not burst out into extreme measures. Under these circumstances it is most necessary that your honors be on guard there. It is feared that the English of New England might pick a quarrel with us ]. However, we hope for the best ] and even if there might occur some misunderstanding between England and this state (may God prevent) that they not be drawn into this dispute. We would not deem it unadvisable if some provisional agreement could be established with them in the form of a league against all nations who might intend to do violence to or to cause trouble for either of us there, providing therein under one section for votes on all resolutions. In order to prevent these and other unavoidable difficulties, we have deemed it necessary to furnish your honor again this time with the accompanying soldiers and necessities according to the list. We were happy to learn that the fort in New Amsterdam is in good defensive condition. If it lacks anything, it should be taken care of without delay; also the other forts, especially Fort Orange.

Aboard the ship de Romeyn is coming a person named Frederick Alkes as supercargo, who was a schoolmaster at Hoorn. He commands a good pen but is otherwise unknown to us. However, he was recommended by an important gentleman, who also requested that if he should like the country and should desire to remain there, which permission we gave him at this session, although it is contrary to our ususal practice. But sometimes we find it difficult to refuse such cases. If his person is as good as his pen, and a schoolmaster is wanted, then you might consider him, but let him first be thoroughly tested, for ] we have noticed that the climate over there does not improve people's characters, ] especially when the heads of the government do not set a good example to the community ]. With regard to this we are hearing many complaints by people coming over from there concerning the person of the fiscal and about his drunkenness and other things. If he continues in this manner, then we shall be compelled to act as we see fit.

Whereas the vice director, Lucas Rodenburgh, is complaining strongly about the loss of the steygerschuyt,[11] which they are accustomed to use for sailing to Aruba and Bonaire, and as a result they find themselves completely destitute of vessels; therefore, we attempted to have a suitable sloop with a deck built here; however, after consulting with the skipper, Adriaen Blommart, and others about it, who judged that it could be done there much easier and cheaper because it would cost so much to transport the sloop over there. For this reason we think it best that your honor have a suitable sloop made over there as before, or any other such vessel as your honor deems appropriate for this purpose, as has been done before. The necessary materials for it can be found among the present shipment.

Concerning your honor's urgent request to be supplied with another preacher, together with the recommendation that, if possible, to find someone who can also preach in English: after making every attempt to do so, finally, as if sent to us by the Lord, there has appeared the person of Domine Samuel Dries, a bachelor of about 40 years, who on account of the troubles in England, where he had been preaching and was born of Dutch parents, has retreated form there. He has the ] reputation of being a very pious man and possessed of great gifts. ] He is capable of preaching in both languages, English and ] Dutch and if necessary even in French. He is said to be ] of a very peaceful disposition and friendly demeanor, so that we are sure that the community will be pleased with him and that he will b a powerful instrument for the promotion of God's holy word and His glory: also, as a capable assistant of the old gentleman Domine Megapolensis. We intend to give him a salary of 100 per month and an annual subsustence of 250; and as he is single, we thought that it would not be improper if he bought his meals at the house of Johan de la Montangnie. However, we do not want to force this on either of them, and we propose it only out of pure affection.

As your honor can now sufficiently realize that we are exerting all our energies for the welfare of these lands, both spiritual and temporal, we want to recommend to your honor most urgently that every proper and suitable means be used for defraying in part these extraordinary expenses, and we think that the community, which we seek to accommodate in every way, ought to try to help assist their comforters of souls in their needs, because if everything were to remain our burden, it would in the end become too heavy for us.

Upon your honor's recommendation we had our eye on Domine Grasmeer but found his affairs ] with the revered ] Synod so far from being ] settled that he would not be able to depart for your place this year. It is true that his offences have been reconcilled by the classis of Alckmaer; however, it must be approved by the synod, which will not sit until August. By then the time shall have expired to go there for this year, so that this good man is very inconvenienced by it. Nevertheless, it is considered best with regard to him that he submit completely to the ecclesiastical ordinances of this country, and whereas God is the Lord of order, we have no doubt that He will take care of him and all pious people in His own time.

Accompanying this is an account of a quantity of dyewood which a certain Jan Jansen Huyssen on Bonaire has sold, and a quantity which he has presented to private skippers and others. Lucas Rodenburgh must be written to sharply about this, and the seller given notice to account for the money derived from it.

Previously there was some reference to the dispute arising between the lords Hendrick vande Capelle and Cornelis van Werckhoven concerning the lands of the Nevesincx and Raritans. This matter has already burst forth to the extent that they have submitted written protests against one another. The lord Werckhoven has addressed himself to us, requesting that he be maintained in the conditions agreed to by us, which we shall also have to see are carried out as much as possible, so that such improper purchases of land from the Indians may be prevented henceforth. The aforesaid Werckhoven has addressed himself by petition to their High Mightinesses for the above reasons. Now we hope to see soon what example shall be set in these matters. Without a doubt much trouble will arise again from this matter and the malicious will try to pile all the disorder on the shoulders of the directors; notwithstanding that we have clear proof that some of the law givers themselves are the cause of it. How this matter shall now come out, only time can tell. Herewith,

Amsterdam the
4th of April 1652

Esteemed, honorable, pious, beloved, trusted, may your honor be commended to God's protection and remain, Your honor's good friends

David van Baerle
Jacob Pergens


Missing material supplied from 11:54, a duplicate of this letter omitted here.
  • Curacao.
  • See document 44 on page 123 for comments on Dincklagen's problems.
"one schout" has been crossed out in 11:53 but retained in the duplicate 11:54.
Triviale School.
Hipodedasculum, from Latin hypodidascalus, under teacher.
The Verbrugge Company of Amsterdam traded both in New Netherland and Virginia through its agent Govert Loockermans.
Hudson River.
Queen Christina (1626-1689) reigned as Queen of Sweden from 1644 to 1654.
Literally a pier boat; configured with high decks to facilitate loading and unloading at piers. They were also used to ferry passengers in interior waterways.


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