Letter from the Directors at Amsterdam to the Director General and Council

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Honorable, Prudent, most Discreet.

We have informed your honors by our last letter of the 7th of April,[1] sent by the ships the Vogelsang and the Goude Meulen, that we would have the confiscated Swedish ship the Haeytie inspected and if found serviceable and seaworthy, send it back to your honors well repaired and fitted out, to be used as a passage boat[2] between Curacao and New Netherland; this has been carried out and the said ship is so far caulked and repaired, that it will sail from here to Curacao in about 3 or 4 weeks, in order to sail from there to New Netherland with salt and horses, upon which your honors will be able to depend.

While examining the documents and papers relating to the confiscation of the aforesaid vessel, we found that it has been appraised there, but cannot discover any specification or statement of the quantity of goods or merchandises, which already may have been on board, much less what they were sold for and to whom the proceeds of the sales were entrusted. We were surprised, the more so, because in sending the ship this could hardly have been overlooked. If any reclamation had been made here, we would have been thoroughly embarrassed and as we are not yet quite relieved of this matter, we must ask that you send over these papers by the first opportunity, also a statement of the losses and damages, inflicted upon the Company and the inhabitants by the surprise and capture of Fort Casimir, so that when called upon we may make use of them.

It is possible that the money received from the sale of the cargo of this Swedish ship was placed in the hands of Cornelis van Tienhoven, who was then fiscal, but we can hardly believe that you should have left it there. If it was done, you must try to get possession of it, as even in case his estate should be insolvent, which we do not believe, the Company should have the preference; report, how it is.

We have engaged here as councilor for your aid and assistance Johan de Decker, late commissary at Fort Orange; and as we have observed from time to time, how badly the finances of the Company are managed there, we have specially committed their administration to said Decker, for which he is to receive as salary ƒ25 monthly besides the f50 as councillor's pay and ƒ200 yearly for rations. We trust that the Company and you will derive great benefits from his performance of these various duties and if his private affairs had not detained him here he would have sailed in the ship the Waegh, which delayed its departure as long as possible.

The enclosed copy of instructions will inform you, how the Company's finances are to be administered.[3] We have had them especially compiled for this purpose, so that for once we may see well and correctly kept books. These instructions provide also that as soon as the said Decker has arrived, your honors are to commission him on behalf of the council with the supervision of finances, upon which he is to report to you from time to time.

We have committed the funds and the books of the treasury to the care of the secretary Van Reuven, who has, as we understand, good qualifications for this office. You will let him open new books and conform to the instructions without waiting for the arrival of said Decker, without whom the work can at least be prepared.

Although we recommended and directed most earnestly in our last letters that your honors should make all possible endeavors that the ship the Waegh might come back from there with a cargo of tobacco, we have still not been able to pass it over, without repeating it here again, as by such means and reliefs the highly honorable burgomasters of this city are to be encouraged, to advance the progress of their colony, in which we are much interested, as it cannot but tend to the advantage of the Company and consequently to the growth of the whole territory of New Netherland. Your honors must therefore use all possible diligence that it may be enabled to arrive here with a cargo of tobacco as soon as possible and before winter.

Since the departure and dispatch of our aforesaid last letter, the ship the Bontekoe has arrived here on this date, praise God, from Curacao with a cargo of around 200,000 lbs. of dyewood, with the probability of receiving a like amount with the next ship, which we intend to send at the first opportunity. How matters are proceeding on the aforesaid island, your honors shall be able to learn from the arrival of the Haeytie, by which your honors will also be advised of our further orders.

Before closing, we want to recommend hereby that your honors send off as soon as possible to the aforesaid island one or two hundred plants sets ] or sprouts of mulberry trees without fail, as we are counting on it for reasons stated in our most recent communication.

Meanwhile, relying thereon, we, honorable, prudent, very discreet, commend your honors to the protection of God and remain,

Eduard Man
Isaack van Beeck

Amsterdam the 26th of May 1657.

We send herewith the invoices for the merchandises,[4] shipped in the ship the Waegh and belonging to the City and partly to free private parties, who go over. Your honors will give instructions to the Company's commissary residing at the South River to receive from the aforesaid private parties the 4 per cent for duties.

Ab. de Decker de Jonge

Received by the Waagh from Amsterdam.


See 12:56 for this letter.
The vessel is designated a veerman.
See 12:59 for these instructions.
Invoices do not survive.


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