Copies of letters from director Stuyvesant to the commissary at the Delaware river

Scanned Document:

...bearer of this[1]. We hope that the business shall [      ] partly for reasons cited in your letter and partly because the Swedish governor is receiving no aid; and I also have a reliable report that he has no prospect of any in the near future.[2]

I confronted Govert Loockermans concerning the displeasure and discontent of the Minquas over the killing of the chief. ] He maintains that he did not kill him but only threatened him because the sachem had wounded the skipper, Andries,[3] in the ] face with a pistol and that the commissary Huygen,[4] was ] present when the incident occurred. You will please inquire diligently into the circumstances and truth of the matter, and should you find ] Govert Loockermans to be at fault, conceal it so that on our part the Indians are given no occasion for new discontent.

I thank you very much for the eel which you sent to me and I shall reciprocate in due time.

In accordance with your request the carpenter, Pieter Cornelisz, is accompanying the bearer of this letter. We hope and trust that the utmost speed and diligence shall be applied to the [      ] of the house.[5] Meanwhile, I recommend to you that it [      ] better [      ]. I also hope that upon our arrival all the ] out [      ] is in proper [      ]. The last 16 lines of this page are destroyed. ] [6]

...with the yacht St. [      ] ship Swol being [      ] New Haven consequently consider themselves to be gravely injured as the bearer of this can inform you in more detail. -

Mr. Vasterick[7] arrived here from the fatherland four or five weeks ago. Affairs go well there, may God be praised; it continues to look like peace; a cessation of arms at sea has been announced on the Spanish side, but it has not yet been ratified on our side. Their High Mightinesses are sending twenty warships and 6000 soldiers on an offensive to Brazil for the service and assistance of the West India Company. The Portugese are still masters of the Company's land ] there. Meanwhile, Colonel Sigismonde van Schoppen[8] has taken the island of Taparico[9] in the bay of Todos los Santos for the Company. He is fortifying himself there and on the mainland with 1600 to 2000 men; he keeps the bay blockaded with 20 to 25 ships but nevertheless they have made several sorties and attacks against him, keeping him thus sufficiently on the defensive. The relief supplies, which are expected from Portugal to equip and prepare them for combat, I hope fall into the hands of the Company for its own benefit.

I visited the Co[      ] and Fort Orange [      ] the autumn and found [      ] sufficiently bad and [      ] an unnatural act of the commissary[10] [      ] is a fugitive, having committed sodomy. His [      ] within the month of his departure and [      ] of the commandment of matrimony which [      ] sent as commissary [      ] judgment well done. The sodomite [      ] with the clothes on his back [      ] and is living as an Indian. two lines destroyed  ] [      ] written by Thienhoven [      ] [      ] last October [      ] for answer of this [      ]

Fall of 1647 ] [11]

You may allow ] Han Jacobsz to continue there in the service of the Company as circumstances may require, and [      ] there in the spring, I would hope then to find the fort [      ] and other matters in suitable shape. Concerning the Minquas' chief who was supposed to have been beaten to death ], we can be of no help here except that you are ] hereby ordered to prevent all mischief and troubles with the Minquas ] and the other Indians; and if possible to come to an agreement concerning the death of the chief by presenting the Indians with gifts, according to their custom ], before it is thoroughly examined and the truth is discovered, which Govert Loockermans shall have to deny ]. Meanwhile, you must take care not to fall into discord and quarrels with the Indians and pay attention[      ].

I received the salted eel for which I thank you very much ].

Upon your request I am sending the carpenter, Pieter Cornelisz, with this letter, whom you can employ this winter in repairing the Company's property, especially ] the house, so that when I come there in the spring ], God willing, I may find everything in good [      ].

I have [      ] the aforementioned carpenter some [      ] to trade for beavers which [      ], if it pleases, not to hinder ] him...

final line destroyed  ]

10 March 1648 ]

first 9 lines destroyed  ] take an inventory in the presence of the owner and to send it to us here. We desire that you be diligent in this matter and doing so shall please us.

In addition, if any traders should come without license outside our Fort Nassouw, whether going to the Swedes's place or elsewhere within our boundaries, as mentioned before, they shall, if possible, be seized, or if not, you should protest against them in forma and send a copy of the protest at the first opportunity.

We trust that you shall have demonstrated, with the help of the servants still there, your diligence and industriousness in the repair of the fortress and buildings with which we charge you most urgently; and we desire the return of Pieter Cornelisz as soon as he has finished the most necessary work there, because we need him here to complete the newly begun warehouse.[12]

Along with this my wife sends you 4 or 5 animals. Having nothing else for now, I shall urgently charge you to continue to do your duty. Before ] this I informed you about the matter concerning the bearer of this.[13] I recommend [      ] that matter [      ] arranged to promote trading and to prevent trouble with the Indians. Vale.

Spring 1648 ] [14]

[      ] Symon Root [      ] me last Sunday [      ] I looked into the current [      ] between us and the Swedes [      ] defense of our [      ] there further and further [      ] I grant land and [      ] shall serve [      ].

If governor Johan Prints further attempts to anticipate any places, you shall have to bear with it very cautiously and discreetly, and at all times be careful not to give any occasion for complaints. But, if he again intends to fortify and build at some places, then you shall immediately, in the name of the honorable Company, build a house or cabin there, according to your strength, in order, to give notice thereby that such a place or places have belonged to us for years.

The requested goods shall be sent to you with Govert Loockermans and planks with Gerrit Vasterick; upon the receipt of which you can manage the same and make them go as far as possible.

Concerning the petition of Jan't Eyrsz[15] and his partner you may release and discharge them, in our name, from the service of the Company, provided that they go to live at left blank ] and settle down there at their own expense; gain their livelihood by agriculture or the best way possible; and pledge themselves to acknowledge the honorable directors as their lords and patrons under the sovereignty ] of their High Mightinesses. But with regard to this as well as to other ] matters, you shall consider whether it is presently ] advisable that the two private persons should settle down elsewhere. If you consider it inadvisable now, you could bestow ] upon the aforesaid persons a place for a small house near the fort, until ], with God's help, I come there, which I hope ] shall be before long. But you shall keep my intention to come a secret, and reveal it to no one in the ] world for important reasons. [      ] acting as if you had no word whatsoever of my coming, much less knowledge of it. You shall do well to do this.

Please turn a profit on the goods sent to you for my personal gain as soon as possible.

We know nothing about the case concerning the arrest of Hans Jacobsz since the necessary documents stating his offenses are lacking. I shall expect these papers by one or another vessel, or if there is an opportunity and the road, which Claes Ruyter and another are now traveling, is good, then Hans Jacobsz himself can be the bearer thereof, coming here with an Indian from Sanghikans. You shall henceforth not allow, without important reasons, any Christian to come overland from there to here, for reasons known to us.

Jan't Eyrsz, Tomes Broen and some others-shall shortly have their freedom. In the meantime they can begin to make preparations for their building ] for themselves as well as for Symon Root, their partner, for which I give them herewith liberty and permission, nor prevent them ].

April ] 17 1648 ]

Your letter has been handed ] to me by one of Loockerman's boys sent overland, to which these few lines shall serve as a reply. We have been pleased to hear ] that you have applied assiduity and diligence to the repair of the fort and hope to find it in a reasonable state of defense.

Concerning the Swede, as well as the visits to the Minquas' country: they must continue so ] for the present. I am of the mind to travel overland to visit you after departure of the yacht Swol[16], for which purpose I would probably need one River Indian from the south and one or two Minquas to serve as guides. It is therefore my wish that you send here immediately, upon receipt of this, one of the most trusted South River Indians together with the Minquas, but do not tell them for what purpose. Moreover, this can remain secret to the rest of your people. The necessities for me as well as for the officials accompanying me, I shall send at once by Vasterick's ] ship which is departing for your waters. You could tell the Indians that possibly one or two Dutchmen would like to come there and that they should show them the best and shortest route to Sanghikans, for which they shall be compensated.

In the future, in order not to put the Company to any unnecessary expense, you shall not, without great reason, send any more letters overland which could just as well come by ship. You shall advise and command the basket maker to cut as many reeds as possible for making baskets as I am in great need of them.

17 April 1648

These few [      ] serve to report that if it pleases God to continue our present health and well-being of this place, then our departure from here for the South River, overland with about 30 persons, most likely more than less, shall fall on about the 10th or 11th of May; unless you should foresee danger, of which you should give us timely notice with the reasons for it. Two Minquas and two River Indians are to be sent here together with two or three of the most able Dutchmen at your place in order to inform us of the route and passage. If they have not been sent by the writing of this, then they should be sent off quickly without delay. Send with them your advise and a list of the materials necessary to construct quickly a proper and strong house on the other side as a token of our ownership. This is for you alone, without communicating it to anyone. The sixth of the coming month, being the first Wednesday ], has been ordered by our government as a general day of prayer and fasting. After this we shall, with God's help, begin our journey on the first favorable day. May it please God to give his blessing on it. We ask that the aforesaid day of prayer and fasting shall also be observed at your place by the means of divine service customary there, and that some vessel shall be ready at the arranged place upon our arrival.

24 May 1648 ]

We have been at sea in the ] yacht Pr. Willem in the company of Coornelis Jansen the colonist ], sailing for the South River, and have ] run in for the second time because of calms and contrary winds. Therefore, this serves to inform you that the aforesaid yacht will go to sea again ] with the first favorable wind; by which I send two of the officers next to me in command ], namely the vice-director, van Dincklagen, and Mr. De la Montangie, with orders to restore affairs there to the benefit and advantage of the honorable Company. Since they both are unacquainted with your affairs, you are to instruct them in everything; meanwhile, continue with the work already begun. As soon as you are aware that the aforesaid envoys have arrived there in the bay or river, you shall request the yachts at your place to receive the aforesaid gentlemen of the council in proper fashion and sail down to meet them; giving them as much respect as if I were present and it were to be offered to me, whereby it shall be considered a special service to the honorable Company and us. I would have come myself, but on account of some inconveniences, which for certain reasons remain secret, I have decided to stay here and hope to visit you, if time permits, within the year.

28 May 1648

We imagine that you, not without cause, are either surprised or anxious about the delay and long postponement of our arrival. The commissioned members of the council, bearers of this, shall be able to inform you amply of the reasons and causes. However, it is necessary that they remain secret between you and them, and be interpreted there otherwise, namely, that some [      ] matters have come up ] in the course of time, and especially that we await, among other reasons the ] ships which we expect ] from the fatherland in a short time ] to [      ] your neighbor. The journey overland [      ] the officers and subordinates too difficult and [      ]. We thank God that it was not undertaken. I attempted it twice by sea ] but had to seek haven repeatedly because of contrary winds; the last time I had to run in behind Staten Island for firewood and water. I learned there that the Northern Indians were gathering against us and our nation, for which reason, upon our return here, I was asked by the settlers and good subjects to forego this journey at the time, at least until ] it could be ascertained how this affair and its consequences might turn out. After our council deliberated upon this very important matter, we decided that the affairs of the Company and the commonality there could be redressed and advanced by you at the South River. We have, therefore, commissioned our dear and trusted chief-officers and councilors, messers. L. van Dincklagen and la Montangie, whom you are to receive and honor as our own persons on behalf of the directors; also, to assist by council and deed everything that might benefit the commonality and Company according to the tenor of the instructions given them, to which we refer without elaborating here; and they shall examine and take stock of everything as if it were being done to us or for us.

Govert Loockermans is highly suspected here by many people for contraband trade of guns, powder and lead to the Indians. The Swedish governor, Prints, has previously protested and complained vociferously about it. I know nothing of it. If you could learn about some evidence there, it would be a service that such be gathered confidentially whether from the Swedish governor or others. If there be any evidence thereof, I would deem it necessary that it be sent to me at the first opportunity, and that Govert Loockermans together with his yacht and goods be held in custody at your place until further advice and written instructions from us. However, you must proceed with ] secrecy and care as it is a matter ] of consequence which is of great importance to this city and the Company.

I am anxious to hear about the merchandise sent with Pieter Cornelisz and what was receive in trade - if no beavers have been acquired, remain very persistent; and also about the suspicion of promises made by me. I ask you to do your best and refer the matters to Pieter Cornelisz, for which we shall show our gratitude.

In case you and the commissioned officers deem it advisable to give the sachems some small gifts, we have here presently no goods; we may import a few, but we have given our commissioners authority to discuss it with the traders, whether Govert Loockermans or Cornelis Coenraetsz. We shall take care of payment, with the provision that everything be obtained as cheaply and inexpensively as reason and reputation can bear.

15 June 1648

I hope that you received my last letters preceding this one which were sent overland and with the commissioners, and that you have carried out the orders contained in them to the extent that it is unnecessary to repeat them in this letter, much less to remind you; so that this letter serves only to report the favorable state of affairs here which we also hope is the case in your territory.

Yesterday our secretary returned from the north and informed us that ] the young Bruston[17] has been at the South River in New Netherland; also, that you have entered a protest against him ], we trust by virtue of our ] order, since the Swedish governor has granted him, as to one of his own settlers a deed and commission ] to trade with Christians and Indians ] [      ] to extend ] his boundaries, which we consider to be a matter ] of evil consequence and [      ] prejudice ] for our trade. Yet it is not to be remedied unless boundary lines are established so that [      ] what to do or not to do in the matter; for if this continues, the trade which is already ruined on the South River shall be further ruined. Therefore, I shall deem it a service that you with the commissioners, if they ] are still there, or if otherwise, you alone should meet ] with governor ] Prints in a civil left blank ] and inquire [      ] the matter was so, and if you find that he had granted [      ]and inquire [      ] and commission to trade with the natives, and whether he himself does not consider the matter to be injurious to both him and left blank ] since it tends to ruin the trade further. And communicate to us his response - limiting him to a yes or no answer - whether we should not profit here from the granting of like documents and commissions to all Englishmen by which, without a doubt, the entire trade would be ruined. I do not want to go into it any further here before your report or that of the commissioners.

I have given permission to the bearer of this to be allowed to go before our fortress in order to fetch his master, Allerton.[18]

The matter concerning Govert Loockermans is urgently referred to you, but keep it secret if the honorable councilors have departed. Some accusations have been made against him here which we consider true under the circumstances of the case. You are therefore asked to advise us what peltries are to be obtained from his illicit trade. Previously I informed you of our resolution concerning trading, merchandise and peltries, namely, that everything without a declaration of place of origin is to be confiscated.[19] You have to take notice of this and inform us of the quantity of beavers which traders ] declare for themselves ] or for others.

[      ] July 1648

This serves [      ] that two ships have arrived here from the fatherland: one for Mr. Hardenbargh ] [20] account, named den Pynappel; and the other for Govert Loockermans.[21] The news is quite sparse and in my opinion of little benefit to our country. Peace has been concluded between Spain and us; the articles of it together with some newspapers shall be sent to you with the next communications. I have had little time myself to read through them. I am anxious to hear how matters turned out with our deputies; we expect them daily. We were informed of their arrival on the South River by a Dr. Lardt, and also that they were well received. I hope for a good outcome.

Concerning the matter of Govert Loockermans of which I previously advised you: I hope that you have kept it confidential and have also informed yourself as to how the matter stands against him there. We had previously advised that if there was anything concerning contraband trade against him that he should remain under arrest at your place together with his goods and merchandise; if not, you may let him proceed. Advise us, however, of everything at the first opportunity - what quantity of beavers he has with him - so that we may act accordingly.

In case you [      ] without impediment of [      ] and left blank ] service, I would deem it a disservice if you should pay us a visit [      ] a week or 14 days. [      ] we leave to your own good judgment and [      ] necessary business.

26 August 1648

I have received since [      ] various letters [      ] because of lack of time [      ] consequence of my absence [      ] with necessary [      ] patria...

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...concerning the actions of the Swedish governor in the continuation of the trade in powder and lead as well as in the obstructions, as you inform us, so that our nation is not allowed to build or plant on the west side of the South River, either in the Schuylkil or anywhere else on lands bought and paid for by the Company, we desire and expect from you a clear report and sufficient proof. In several letters to me he excuses himself, complaining about you in several respects: among other things, about your arrogant and unneighborly conduct; and that you had ordered some beavers from the Indians with the intention of trading them for some contraband merchandise. When it did not succeed you were supposed to have said, "the devil take those who side with the Swede," and so forth. Since it was written by a prejudiced party, it was considered with discretion. Nevertheless, we thought it advisable to have you furnish us, if possible, with some contrary evidence.

We have to ] communicate to you, with regret and contrary [      ] that many complain to us about you concerning bad [      ] payment and deceitful delay, which makes [      ] council discontented and fearful to send there [      ] Company, which we had bought for [      ] here and another [      ] is not excused The lower quarter of this page is destroyed. ] [22]

...even by those who should assist us; however, this shall not cause us to act other than to serve as obligated by our oath and honor. A certificate of consent and security shall be issued to the freemen who have bought the land from the Indians or who might buy it afterwards; provided that they submit, as other subjects, to the oath and allegiance or our sovereigns and patrons.

Likewise, we can only consider as good and expedient your last proposal to purchase the land from Narratinconse Kill to the bay while the Indians are offering it for sale, in order thereby to exclude others. But you will please take care that the proper procedures be observed in the transfer; and that the same be done, drawn up and signed by as many sachems and witnesses as you are able to secure, and by Christians who are not in the service of the Company.

26 May 1649

Your letter of 19 April left blank ] of the [      ] I have answered before this letter, and let us [      ] who [      ] from us as well as from the freemen there [      ] since I have secured the right [      ] your last [      ] Symen Roodt and Davit Davitsz and [      ] understand the state of the [      ]your hopes for the trade of the [      ]

the lower quarter of this page is destroyed  ] [23] were asked about it by the bearer of this letter. Sander Leendertsz shall deliver 30 to 36 schepels of wheat to you. If a larger quantity of either is needed, please see that we are informed of it; and whatever else is needed, we shall, according to our capability, accommodate you and the servants.

You ask to be allowed to come here. If nothing urgent interferes, you shall be granted permission when the trading is finished and the vessels return. By that time we also expect the vice-director, Roodenburgh,[24] from the West Indies with more supplies of salt and wood.

From your previous letter we conclude that Claes de Ruyter has been running off at the mouth with the Swedish governor, slandering us as well as the Dutch nation. If you can learn the truth whether directly or through someone else, it would be a favor to me.

28 June 16 ]49

This letter serves no other purpose [      ] since Tomes Do[      ]is, master of the bark, De Barbary, has petitioned us for a commission to be allowed to trade at the South River of New Netherland and deal ] with Christians and Indians, which we have ] granted him ]; you shall let ] him trade freely and unmolested...

the lower quarter of this page is destroyed  ]

...comes over ]land. The ship belonging to Govert Loockermans and Ariaen Bloemert is expected at any time. Likewise, we expect the yacht, Swol, from Curacao with some people from there. I hope then to find people for their relief which you will please secure for them. In a previous letter I advised you extensively concerning the purchase of land. We are as before quite pleased with it as a necessary and useful matter for the Company and the maintenance of possession. Concerning the land below the fort of which you write: "I have previously given my consent to purchase it for the Company." If you consider this to be as urgent as you report it to be, then I shall write to Thienhooven and to Vasterick's skipper to assist you secretly with goods through us for this purpose. We have been informed by several people coming from the north, English as well as our own nationals, that the English are preparing five or six ketches or vessels to seize control of the South River under English commission or on their own authority. We presently have little means and power to prevent ] this, unless the yacht, Swol, should return from the West Indies, which is expected. When it arrives I would perhaps ] resolve to send it to you in order to prevent the occupation of the river ]; concerning this I await your advice.

We are of the opinion that if the people of this nation were to go settle ] there, they would not only steal this river from us and the Swedes but would also attempt to occupy, from behind, this North ] River between the Colony and this place, and thus divert the entire trade and separate the Colony of Rensselaers- wyck from this place. You are therefore ordered to attend to all measures of prevention and to advise us in good time of your thoughts. If you find it expedient to confer from afar about this with governor Prints, whether in person or by letter, take care not to reveal too much concerning the right of first and old possession besides [      ] whatever you may find expedient to prevent [      ] to purchase land above along the river, please inform us quickly about it; also, who the rightful owners may be and what price they ask for it.

If the opportunity presents itself we shall attempt to satisfy Mr. Augustyn[25] for your account.

You shall please promote our old right and possession of the Schuylkil by all possible means with the natives, so that it may not be alienated by them or transferred to others; but on the contrary induce them to hold to the agreement made with the commissioners.

I repeat my request that you please obtain information either personally or through others, about De Ruyter's abusive language. I believe that the bearer of this, Marten Cruger, would be a proper person for it. I have had a word or two with him about it.

With regard to your request that the grain be henceforth ground here, we shall accommodate as much of it as our business can bear; but I would recommend that you write to the commissary concerning this and other requirements and urge him that he remind us of such matters.

Stockings, shoes, shirts, and linen are presently not available here since Basterick brought with him little else than merchandise for the trade. For this reason we shall have to wait for the expected ships.

24 August 1649

These few lines serve as a safe conduct for Mr. Allerton [      ] with our knowledge [      ] no time to prolong this, because of ] some [      ] necessary business which occurred ] at the time of Mr. Allerton's ] departure, about which he shall be able to report to you. Moreover, it is my friendly request that you shall please [      ] so that we may have good and sufficient ] proof of the [      ] words which De Ruyter uttered behind our backs before the Swedish governor, together with the circumstances thereof.

Also, try, if possible, to obtain an extract of the letter which Melyn wrote to the governor by Jan Lichtvoet concerning the detaining ] of this galliot. Skipper Isack Abrahamsz' galliot has arrived here. It was brought up by the fiscal during which the aforesaid skipper died. Meanwhile, it has been learned that the galliot, either in fact or per forma, has been sold and transferred to English merchants in Boston; so that there is little claim on it unless our eyes are opened by the Swedish governor. Also, a letter is supposed to have been written by Melyn in which, among others, this sentiment or words occur, namely, that Melyn wrote "punish the person not my ship and goods." If we had here a certified copy or impartial deposition of it, it would provide us with some insight. You shall please attend to it if possible.

4 April 1650

Your letter of 22 March brought by an Indian has been received. These few lines serve as a reply. To begin with, you shall please inquire about the ransomed English, if they are still at the river: when it was that they departed from the Barbados and whether they know of Adrian Bloemert's galliot which left here in October for the Barbados, or of our fly boat, De Prins[26] which sailed from there about the middle of September. Concerning the state of the [      ] no [      ] of the building by private [      ] progress it takes, of which we are very [      ] [      ] recent news that their High ] Mightinesses ] [      ] N. Netherland [      ] had accepted. It is...

[ the last 10 lines are too defective to translate carry out everything to the greatest service and [      ] of the Chartered West India Company while preserving the respect of their High Mightinesses as our gracious sovereigns I have sent the commissary, Keyser, to the north for grain. As soon as he returns or as soon as some vessels come down from Fort Orange I shall satisfy your request and supply you abundantly. If God would only grant some population to the river!

27 May 1650

The bearer of this was under sail before I was informed of his unexpected departure; nevertheless, this is in haste and thus all the shorter left blank ] in order to serve as your written instructions.

The fly boat, Prins Willem, with the honorable Lord Roodenburgh has arrived here safely, thanks be to God. No passengers came over in it. There were some to be had in the islands if the same fly boat had wanted to wait two or three months, which the honorable Lord Roodenburgh did not think advisable, and I concur. Nevertheless, we are given hope from the fatherland, by the honorable lords and masters, to populate New Netherland and especially the South River which has been taken into great ] consideration by their honorable [      ] upon your remonstrance made to us.

I communicate this to you as a faithful ] servant of the Company to serve for your ] information in order to [      ] and usurpation of the Dutch...

the last 11 lines are too defective to translate  ]

...of which there are good indications. No right-minded judge would pretend ] that there is anything for the benefit and advantage of the good inhabitants in the propositions of the ambassadors, of which I have received copies from the fatherland;[27] but on the contrary, they are nothing else ] then false libels, calumnies and slanders against the honorable directors and their officials. Govert Loockermans and his friends have acted as hypocrites and deceivers towards me and the Company, may God forgive them. More about this in the next letter or when we meet.

I have ordered the commissary to provide you with hardbread, oil and vinegar; also, some fruit in case it is needed there, and some peas. Grain is difficult to obtain here; we hope, with God's blessing, for a better production. We shall provide you by the next ship with some supplies for the people. Please inform us at the first opportunity whether the Swede has brought the salt - for what price and the quantity.

21 June 1650

Your letter of 20 May has been duly received for which these few lines shall serve as a reply since I am in a hurry.

I can little comprehend what you report concerning the discontent of the English; for ] I am unaware that there is any discontent between [      ] and the English or between the English and the [      ] nor where it occurred whether on the South River ] or in Maryland. I examined the bearer ] of your letter about this very carefully, he, however, ] could give me no information so that [      ] for more extensive information.

Concerning the matter of J[      ] and Evert M[      ]: I would hope that you could report somewhat more explicitly. It would have been good if you could have caught these smugglers, whereby the arrival of the vessels of the private traders ] certainly would have been of assistance, considering that they have been greatly interested in this smuggling. They have been around Conynen Island with their vessels and went from there to Boston. Meanwhile, Jan Heyn has been arrested here; however, he was released on bail. I would hope that you could secretly obtain information concerning the quantity of goods that they have brought up the river and traded to the Swedes;, likewise, what quantity of beavers and other peltries that they have taken from there. But you would do well to proceed carefully and secretly through second and third party sources, otherwise the Swedes will not talk freely about it.

We are pleased with what you have done in the construction of Beversreede, since we well know of the necessity and that it could not be otherwise for the present. The promised release of the people shall be considered with all due attention. The letters of the honorable directors as well as the secretary, Thienhoven, give us good hopes for the population; also, that some recruits, about 120, are coming on a ship of the Company for the release of the old servants left blank ].[28] I painfully await the results when a general release takes place. I expect more information ] on De Valckenier. Nevertheless, if it should delay any longer ] , I shall fulfill my promise, in so ..far as ] [      ] some and I will send ] you some others. [      ] well that you, if there should be some more, could persuade them ] to continue in the service of the Company ] for another winter here at the Manhattans or in the neighborhood ], if it happens that the general ] release cannot be expected ] before the winter on account of the delay of the Company's ] ship...

the last 4 lines are destroyed  ]

Concerning your further proposition to me ], [      ] as yet no reason for dissatisfaction with your service ]. If you continue as a trusted servant, I shall support you against all false calumnies to the best of my ability. We have sufficient experience ourselves with such falsehoods. Many of the so-called best ones left blank ] the Company and their most trusted servants in order, as a result, to take it over and tread it under foot, if possible. Meanwhile, a good conscience is better than a thousand witnesses and, on the other hand, there is no comfort in a good name if the conscience signifies otherwise.

Received on 16 July 1650

My last letter was sent in the hands of the supercargo of the galiot, St. Michiel, since which time I have had no opportunity to write ]. Meanwhile, the fly boat, Den Valckenier, has arrived from the fatherland and among other passengers are Jacob Wolphertsz and Jan Evertsz Bout, the complainants, and with them droves of Scots, Chinese and petty traders; and not more than three or four farmers. Only time will tell what benefit they will be to the country. left blank ] a great infringement and corruption of the trade, to the retardation of the Christians and to the advantage of the Indians. The complainants have [      ] against the Company and her most loyal servants a very passionate and baseless [      ] and therefore ], God be praised, obtained little [      ] letter of protection, so that they shall not be [      ], a sure proof [      ] bad conscience and passionate actions; [      ] see nothing else than that these good people came back from Holland as the cat from England.[29] Meanwhile, they have deceived many good people with [      ] great boastings as [      ] tell.

There are signs ] of good beginning for the people of the South River; but as yet [      ] who are willing to take plow in hand [      ] the trade must first be completely ruined and then ] they shall learn to scratch the itch. Meanwhile, I want to instruct you to have everything in readiness ] to accommodate all those, who want to settle under the patronage of the Company, as well as it is possible ] so that others might be encouraged.

I am able to understand nothing else from the Company's letter and the letter from Secretary Thienhoven than that another ship is to be expected from the fatherland, by which the Company promises to send people. Meanwhile, I fear that it might be delayed longer yet; I have, nevertheless, been willing to fulfill my promise of releasing some old servants there, who, we trust shall still continue in the service here for another year or at least until the expected people arrive from the fatherland; you will then please send us the others in their place at the first opportunity. All three have promised here by agreement that they shall obey you, for which we hope.

It has been verbally reported that some freemen, among others Symen Root, have a desire to go ] to the Minquas' country against your advice and consent. If this is so, please inform us of it. We notice from your reports how dangerous movement is in the country, and we think it therefore fit that you stop it by all possible means.

I expect your written report in regard to ] the state of the river and what hope there is to maintain the Company in her rights and ] to recover the boundaries of the Schuylkil ] from the Swedes.

the final 11 lines are too defective to translate  ]

...a present has been made of 40 ] beavers, I would wish for fewer such gifts since it is not profitable for the Company and to me [      ] disreputable. Upon your recommendation I have again made him a present of three good muskets, twelve lbs. of powder, eight left blank ] lead left blank ] so that I trust that the value of the beavers is about paid for. I know that by giving the muskets, blame will be earned by me and the Company, however, it could not be otherwise at this time. Among other things their position was that their left blank ] was divided in half in the Minquas' country; half for the Swedes, while he and the others were for our nation; the other half could have been brought by the Swedes for their satisfaction of powder, muskets and lead; and since they did not come from us, therefore, they did me the honor here so that they might also be provided for. This gave me a great inducement to satisfy them according to your request.

Received 6 August 1650

Since I have as of yet received no reply to my letter, I find little material to lengthen this one. I should only say that the long awaited Swedish ship is, as some say, stranded at Puerto Rico, others, that it ] has been seized and [      ] by the Spaniards. This last news has been brought here ] by Augustyn Harman ]...[30]

the remaining one-third of this page is destroyed  ]

...we shall have to submit to the censure of our inferiors, to our shame.

We expect with the next one also a list of the names of those who are at your place in the Company's service, and their salaries in order to enter them in the new books in an orderly fashion.

On the same day

The bearer of this, Jan Andriesz van Beren Bagh, known to you and now lately arrived from the fatherland aboard De Valckenier, intends to settle at the South River in New Netherland under the authority of the Company, and to earn his livelihood there as other freemen do. I am submitting our request that you, according to circumstances, will indicate to him a place for a house and garden, either near the fort or on the Schuylkil according to the state of affairs. Therefore, I hereby request and order you to accommodate the bearer there and in other areas as much as possible so that not only he but others might be encouraged further to populate and settle the river and territories of the Company.

9 July 1650 ]

Bearer hereof, Cornelis...desires to establish himself as a freemen... ]

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This collection of extracts of letters from Petrus Stuyvesant's correspondence with Andries Hudde, commissary at the South River, are very defective. It is evident that the initial and concluding pages have been lost. Through internal evidence and related documents it is possible to date the first extract in the fall of 1647, i.e., after St. Beninio - Swol incident and after Harmen Myndertsz van den Bogaert fled Fort Orange to avoid prosecution. The first two extracts were apparently made from letters sent a few days apart by different carriers but containing essentialy the same information.

Possibly a reference to the 8th Swedish expedition aboard the Swan which did not leave Sweden until 12 August 1647, see Amandus Johnson’s Swedish Settlements on the Delaware, (New York, 1911) 1:258.

Probably Andries Luycasz.

Hendrick Huygen, commissary of New Sweden.

Probably the trading house, Beversreede, located on the Schuylkil.

The ship, St. Beninio, which was confiscated by the Dutch at New Haven for having entered New Netherland waters without a proper permit. The confiscation party sailed to New Haven on the Swol which had recently been sold to the deputy governor, Stephan Goodyear.

Gerrit Vasterick, merchant.

Sigismund von Schoppe, a German mercenary employed by the West India Company in Brazil.

The island of Itaparica in the Bahia de todos os Santos in Brazil.

The commissary at Fort Orange, Harmen Myndertsz van den Bogaert, who was accused of sodomy in the fall of 1647. He fled into the Iroquois country to avoid prosecution where he was killed in a fire which broke out in an Indian storehouse while he was attempting to avoid capture.

This fragment of a letter is a repetition of the contents in the preceding letter, although not an exact copy.

The Company's packhuys, "warehouse," was located at 33 Pearl Street. Begun and probably completed in 1648, its construction was criticized in a 27 January 1649 letter from the WIC directors to Petrus Stuyvesant (see: NYCM, 11:14, translated in NYCD, 14:102).

Possibly Govert Loockermans.

This letter is lacking a date because of damage to the page; it should be dated late March or early April 1648.

John the Irishman.

This ship is the Nieu Swol, not to be confused with the Swol which was sold to New Haven in 1647. (cf. NYHM, 47379).

Probably Joseph Brewster, merchant at New Haven.

Isaac Allerton.

See LO, 83-84 for this ordinance dated 29 January 1648.

Arnoldus van Hardenberch, merchant at New Amsterdam.

This ship was den Valckenier.

At this point in the collection of extractsfrom Stuyvesant's letters, it appears that an entire page is missing. The preceding letter was either concluded in these missing lines or continued on the missing page; the following letter, which contains mostly information about the South River, survives in the form of several concluding paragraphs. Since this letter was copied later for another purpose it does survive in its entirety; see the letter copy dated 19 April 1649 on page 273.

It is possible that this letter was terminated and a new one begun in this missing portion.

Luycas Roodenburgh.

Probably Augustine Herrman.

This is the flyboat, Prins Willem.

See NYCD, 1:258ff.

The clerk coping these extracts apparently was unable to decipher certain words, thus the blanks left in this manuscript. The word left out at this point was probably a verb denoting "vilification."

Probably an allusion to the Dutch proverb; Zend een kat naar Engeland, ze zegt miauw als ze thuiskomt, i.e., Send a cat to England and it will say "meow" when it comes home. Stuyvesant is inferring, in other words, that the complainants are no wiser now than when they left.

The Swedish ship Rattan, i.e., "the Cat," carried the ninth expedition to New Sweden. On 16 August 1649 the ship ran aground near Puerto Rico where it was looted by the Spanish; the surviving passengers and crew either died or eventually found their way back to Sweden. Stuyvesant learned of the fate of "the Cat" from Augustine Hermans in July 1650. See Appendix B for a letter from Stuyvesant to the governor of New Sweden referring to the loss of this ship.


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 the New Netherland Institute website.