Ordinance establishing a weekly market at New Amsterdam

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The director general and council of New Netherland, to all those who shall see or hear this read, greetings.

Whereas diverse goods such as beef, pork, butter, cheese, turnips, carrots, cabbage, and other country produce in quantity, are brought to this city now and then by the country people in order to sell the same here at the waterside, with which they often have to stay for a long time after having arrived here to their great loss, because the commonalty, or a least a majority thereof, who live at a distance from the waterside, are not aware that such items are being brought in for sale, which not only tends to the inconvenience of the burgher but also to the serious damage of the industrious country man who often loses more than he gains in profit from his goods. Wishing to remedy this, the aforesaid director general and council hereby order that henceforth a market shall be held here in this city on every Saturday at the waterside by the house of Mr. Hans Kiersteede,[1] according to which everyone, who has anything to buy or sell, shall have to regulate himself.

Thus done at the session of the honorable lord director general and council, held at Fort Amsterdam in New Netherland, the 13th of September 1656.[2]


Kiersteede was a medical doctor, whose house stood on the comer of what are now Whitehall and Pearl Streets in New York City. Pearl Street, originally called Op't Water, at the waterside, ran along the southern edge of the island.
Also in LO, 251.


Translation: Gehring, C., trans./ed., New Netherland Documents Series: Vol. 16, part 1, Laws and Writs of Appeal, 1647-1663 (Syracuse: 1991).A complete copy of this publication is available on theĀ New Netherland Institute website.