Answer to proposals of the Senecas

Scanned Document:

Answer to the Propositions Made by the Chiefs of the Sinnekus, Dated July 26, 1660

First, it is true that our brothers two or three years ago were at the Manhattans and made a treaty of friendship with us, which we shall always maintain, as we have done so far and always will, and as the tobacco was forgotten at that time, we give them now a roll of tobacco, so that when they return to their country they may remember their friendship and keep it as firmly as if it were bound with a chain.

Brothers, we have made peace with the Esopus Indians at the request of the Maquas, the Mahikanders, and others of our friends so that they may use the roads and rivers. We now give you the axes, which we now discard, and you are charged not to kill any horses or cattle when you go away from here.

Our brothers, the Sinnekus, have thanked us because we have made peace with the Esopus Indians. We now, in turn, request them to make and keep peace with the Maquas, so that we may also use the road freely and safely there as the brothers do here among us.

As our brothers complain that they cannot get much powder, we give them now a keg full of powder, but they must not use it against our brothers, the Maquaes, but against their enemies, who dwell far away, where they must fetch their beavers.

The brothers complain that their beavers are locked up when they come into our houses. We prohibited our people to do so three days ago, so that the brothers may go with their beavers where they please.

Brothers, if any Dutchman beats you, come to the sachems and make a complaint thereof, or if any of the Dutch keep your beavers or lock them up, we shall see that you get them back.

Brothers, it is well that everybody goes with his beavers where he likes and no brokers shall hereafter be sent and everybody may go with his beavers where he likes and you are directed not to listen to any broker, but strike them on the head, so that one cannot see where their eyes are.

The request of the brothers to give so much cloth or sewant for one beaver, the Dutch cannot do, as it has to come far across the water.

Extraordinary Session Held in Fort Orange
July 28, 1660


La Montagne
Sander Leendersen
Jan Ver Beeck
Frans Baerentsen Pastoren
Evert Jansen Wendel

Jan Jacobsen, plaintiff, against Arent Isacksen, defendant.
The plaintiff demands of the defendant 12 whole beavers for goods received, with interest of 8 beavers for 11 months, together with the costs of the suit.
The defendant admits the debt, but says that he owes no interest, nor is he liable for the costs of the suit, as it was brought against his will.
The honorable court, having heard the parties, condemn the defendant to pay the plaintiff the 12 beavers demanded, four of them in cash according to his promise and the remaining eight in the space of three weeks, on pain of attachment and of being then, in case of failure to pay, liable for the costs of the suit.

Whereas the magistrates of Fort Orange and the village of Beverwijck have again and again pointed out to us the great expenses paid and incurred by them with our previous knowledge in setting off this place with a plank fence against any sudden attack by barbarians and other expenses incurred in repairing the bridges and otherwise, whereby the treasury is considerably depleted and many persons are still unpaid for their materials, it is decided to replenish the same by levying a tax of three guilders on every chimney. Having asked our approval and ratification thereof, we hereby order and charge all inhabitants within the limits of the settlement[1] to pay the chimney tax on pain of attachment.

Actum in Fort Orange, July 25,1660.

P. Stuyvesant


binnen de bij een wooninge, note that Bijeenwoonhingh was the early name for the settlement established north of Fort Orange by the directors of Rensselaerswijck.


Translation: Gehring, C., trans./ed., New Netherland Documents Series: Vol. 16, part 2, Fort Orange Court Minutes, 1652-1660 (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press: 1990).A complete copy of this publication is available on theĀ New Netherland Institute website.