Letter from Alexander Boyer to director Stuyvesant

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Copy. To the Honorable, Wise, and Prudent Noble Lord, Lord Petrus Stuyvesant, Director-General.

My Lord. Since the commissary, Andries Hudden, departed from here for Manhattan on 3 September, I, your humble servant, could not neglect keeping you advised, according to my humble duty, in the absence of the commissary.

My lord the Swedish governor, Jan Prints, has, by his order on the 19 September had a house erected in the Schuylkil directly in front of our Fort Beversreede. Since it is 30 to 35 feet in length and about 20 feet wide, it deprives us of the freedom of the stream, so that when our vessels come to anchor there under the protection of the fort, our fort can scarcely be seen. My lord, I firmly believe that he has had it built there more to mock our lords than to expect that it could realize any profit for him, since there is room enough beside our fort to build twenty such houses - the rear gable of their house comes to within twelve feet of the fort's gate - and since the house stands, as stated, between shore and our fort.

On the 21st instant the war-chief from the Minquas' country came here with four of his people and 30 to 40 beavers to find out whether any vessel had arrived from Manhattan with goods. Since they presently have an abundance of skins in their country it makes them all the more anxious to trade. They are also very unhappy that this river is not continually stocked with our goods. The Swede presently has little merchandise left; consequently, if we had any here, there would be without a doubt a favorable trade with the Minquas. In addition, two of the Swede's men who had gone among the Indians with six or seven guns, some powder and lead, intending to trade the same with them, were murdered by the Indians. The commissary Andries Hudden is expected here any day, as well as your assistance against the cold winter; everything is needed here. I presently have six able-bodied men capable of bearing arms at two forts. Closing herewith we hope and pray that God Almighty may preserve you in constant health and grant you a prosperous administration. Done at Fort Nassouw 25 September 1648. Below was written: I herewith remain your most humble servant; and it was signed Alexander Boyer.


Translation: Gehring, C. trans./ed., New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch, Vols. 18-19, Delaware Papers: Dutch Period, 1648-1664 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc.: 1981).A complete copy of this publication is available on theĀ New Netherland Institute website.