Letter from directors at Amsterdam to Petrus Stuyvesant and the councilors of New Netherland

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[1]The favorable testimony and reports which have been given to us concerning the life, fitness and diligence of the person of Cornelis van Reuven, also going over with this ship, induced us to resolve to employ him in our service as secretary of your honors' board there at a monthly salary of ƒ 36 and an annual subsistence of ƒ 200. We are certain that your honors shall receive appropriate benefits from Van Reuven's service. And with regard to the person of Carel van Brugge, used by your honors provisionally in this position, your honors can let him attend to his former duties as commissary, or assign him to such duties where he may be best suited.

We have hereby resolved to order and command your honors that should it be possible to find a cargo of tobacco there after our ship the Coninck Salomon is unloaded there, the same be place on board and the ship sent back here with all possible speed; if not, which we hope will not be, you must quickly send the said ship to Curaçao ] to take on there a cargo of wood and salt and then let it come directly ] to this country behind England, if the season ] of the year permits, with special orders to hug the northern coast as much as possible in order to be subjected to the least danger thereby, which orders your honors also are to give to all ships departing from there, as long as this war continues between us and the English nation.

Whereas Meester Adriaen van der Donck has addressed the two following points to our session here: first, that he be allowed to practice as advocate in New Netherland (having been conferred as such by Leyden and appointed thereto by the court of Holland); and second, examination of the documents and papers kept by the secretary there in order to be able to complete his already begun Description of New Netherland. On the first we have resolved to allow and consent that he may pursue his profession as advocate, according to the usages of these lands, to offer his advice etc. to everyone who so desires it, and with regard to pleading in court, we are unable to see, according to our judgment, that for now such would be of service there; moreover, we also do not know whether there is anyone there of sufficient ability and the necessary qualifications, (who before being admitted to practice there, must report to you or as the case may be to us) to ] act and plead against the said Van der Donck. ] Your honors will do in this matter what is considered best for the country ] and its inhabitants.

Concerning the second point: We have also deemed it advisable hereby to refer the aforesaid Van der Danek to your honors for the purpose of your honors allowing him such papers and documents as may be thought of service to him for the completion of his history. However, as this matter is not without difficulty and requires consideration, we also want to recommend that your honors take care herein that the Company's own weapons are not turned upon itself, and that it is not drawn into new troubles and difficulties in the process.

We have deemed it advisable for greater security and for your honors' information that your honors hereby be informed again that the salaries of the soldiers, who are now coming over on this ship as well as those sent over in our service last year, shall commence no sooner then they have arrived there in the country. Therefore, the account must not begin before that day and the first entries to the debit must be, besides the two months' salary ] received here in cash, for the weapon issued to them, amounting to ƒ 13:18; also, for their bolsters and half chests together ƒ 2:15. The account of the men, who take or have taken with them their wives and children, must likewise be charged for the board and fare of the latter, which the Company pays for these women and children sailing in private vessels or else they ] must provide for it in some other way.

Above all, one must also be careful that the debts incurred by soldiers and others before their departure from here be properly entered in the books of monthly wages (as the accompanying list shows in detail), because every year we have been paying two months wages to their creditors as a settlement; likewise, we have also been paying every year to the wives left behind here in this country by persons entering into service. Therefore, your honors shall credit and keep, upon discharge, settlement and payment of the same, at least as many of the two months' salaries (above the two months' advance, weapons and bolsters etc.) as they have spent years in the service of the Company. Also, do not neglect to send over every year a definitive list of those whom your honors have discharged there from time to time, as we have previously said, so that the Company does not come to suffer loss hereby.

At this opportunity we must also say that the books of monthly wages coming from there cause us here much trouble and searching around because in various accounts there are several entries canceled and credited which refer to the journals. While we have received neither these nor the ledgers, we are unable to see clearly and distinctly whether these credited items have their proper counter entry, unless the ] books of wages are examined from beginning to end, item for item, to discover ] whether the charge has been made. Your honors are therefore to take care and pay particular attention that the books, accounts, and receipts henceforth be sent over in timely fashion so that the Company is protected against loss and the people concerned also are not held up.

From the complaints received by us, we have learned ] that of the goods taken over by a certain Cornelis Pijl recently in the ship 'tHoff van Cleef, five pieces of kersey were confiscated by the fiscal there because it did not appear on our bill oflading; however, as this was the result of a clerk's error here, as your honors shall be able to see much clearer from the documents entrusted to our skipper Cornelis Coenraetsz, who has been authorized for this purpose. Therefore, we have deemed it necessary to inform your honors of the same so that the aforesaid five pieces of kersey may be restored to the skipper or his attorney in order to avoid and prevent further complaint.

We have previously stated that the aforesaid ship 't Hoff van Kleeff had arrived safely at Rochel from Curaçao. Now we have learned to our sorrow that on its way here and near its destination it was taken by the English so that we are deprived and robbed of the profits, which we might have made on its return cargo; it would have been of considerable assistance, as its cargo of salt would have sold well, ] for the price of salt is very high now and would have been coming into a good market.

The accompanying letter addressed to Lucas Rodenburch, vice-director on the island of Curaçao, is to be dispatched there at the first opportunity. And whereas some of the Jewish nation [      ] of Juan Dillian, colonizer on the aforesaid island of Curaçao, have requested permission to buy and transport to the aforesaid island some Negroes, who were to come to New Netherland, for the advancement (so they claim) of agriculture there; therefore, your honors should know that we have refused the aforesaid request here out of consideration that the Company would much rather see the population promoted first in New Netherland. For which reason all servants are to be kept there as much as possible, and must not be sent out of the country (if it is otherwise is to flourish). We have deemed it advisable to communicate this to your honors in order to be able to regulate yourself hereafter.

Amsterdam this 24 July 1653

Esteemed, honorable, pious, beloved, trusted,
we commend your honors to God's divine
and remain,

Isaack van Beeck
J. Rijckaerts

ADDRESSED: ] To the Esteemed, Honorable, Pious,
Beloved, Trusted,
The Director Petrus
Stuyvesant and Councilors
in New Netherland


Missing material supplied from NYCD, 14:211-13. The first part of this letter is a duplicate of portions of 11:83 dated June 6, 1653.


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