Articles and ordinances by the burgomasters of Amsterdam

Scanned Document:

Articles and ordinances revised and enacted by the honorable lords-mayors of the City of Amsterdam, according to which all those who hereafter enter the service of the lords-mayors of the City of Amsterdam shall swear an oath, for the purpose of going with their own or chartered ships to New Netherland within the limits of the charter of the West India Company, pursuant to the agreement entered into with it, and approved of by the High and Mighty Lords, the States-General of the United Netherlands, together with those who shall transport themselves there as colonists and other free persons; all which the aforesaid States-General and the lords-mayors of the aforesaid City order and command that they be obeyed, maintained and respected during the aforesaid journey by water as well as by land, by each and everyone of the crew of the ships which are fitted out and sent to New Netherland, and generally by all those who go to the aforesaid territory as servants of the City, as colonists, or as other free persons.

First Title

Of the magistrates, their authority, and what obedience everyone owes.

All ships' officers and seamen shall be bound to be faithful to, and in all things to obey the orders of, their skippers; the soldiers of their captains or other officers placed over them, either on water or on land, without in any manner being rebellious.

The skippers shall have command over the crew of the ship and the operation thereof, and authority to carry, shorten, or increase sail, and moreover to confer with their helmsmen, regarding the nearest and fittest course by which to arrive the most speedily at the destined port.

And that all disorders may be prevented and sound justice administered, a council of six persons shall be appointed on board of each ship as judges, with full power to administer justice and law in all civil and minor offenses, to wit: the skipper, supercargo, the highest ranking officer over the soldiers, in case there be any, the helmsmen, the chief boatswain and the gunner. But whenever the highest ranking military officer is a captain, he shall have a seat next to the skipper, and if the director or chief commissary is on board the ship, he shall have precedence over everyone.

In case any conspiracies or other notorious capital crimes occur in the ship on its outward or homeward voyage, the ship's council shall carefully preserve all written information taken according to procedure and deliver it either here or in New Netherlands so that punishment can be administered as is fitting.

The skipper and commissary as well as the captain and commander of the soldiers (if there are any in the respective ships) shall be required to go the rounds three or four times every night in the ships, in all quarters above and below, either by themselves or by such as they shall commission to do so by turns, in order to prevent all disturbance, disorder, and particularly any riotous activity and conspiracy among the crew.

Whoever discovers and reports any conspiracy or intended mutiny, if he be a party thereto, shall be exempt from punishment, and in addition receive twenty pieces of eight. And in case he be innocent of said conspiracy, he shall be awarded fifty pieces of eight, and moreover be advanced and promoted to the first vacant position for which he is qualified. In like manner shall such reward and advancement be conferred on whomsoever shall discover and make known any intended treason or conspiracy in any place in New Netherland.

Second Title

Of religion, clergymen and counselors of the sick.

No person shall take the name of the Lord in vain, whether by cursing, arguing, or jesting or otherwise, upon penalty of ten stivers and arbitrary punishment according to the degree of profanity and blasphemy uttered and expressed.

Also no man shall presume to rebuke, contemptuously treat, disturb, or in any way obstruct the minister or exhorter of God's Holy Word, in the performance of his office or calling, upon penalty of arbitrary punishment.

Further, whenever, early in the morning or after supper in the evening, prayers shall be said, or God's word read, by anyone thereunto commissioned, every person, of what quality soever he may be, shall repair to hear it with solemn reverence.

No one shall raise or bring forward any question or argument on the subject of religion, on pain of being placed on bread and water for three days in the ship's galley. And if any difficulties should arise out of the said disputes, the author thereof shall be arbitrarily punished.

Third Title

Orders to be observed in diverse matters on board the ships; also, of the monthly wages and such like subjects:

Skippers, captains, commissaries and other officers shall not be at liberty to receive any private persons, such as colonists and other free people, in their ship or ships, to convey them over to New Netherland, except only those who exhibit our passports, furnished to them for that purpose by the commissaries or directors, on pain of forfeiting fifty florins for every person whom they may convey over without such consent.

In like manner skippers, captains, commissaries and other officers shall not be at liberty to bring here anyone bound to service, or free colonists and other persons, from New Netherland, except with special consent of the director there, on pain of forfeiting six hundred florins for each person.

All skippers, commissaries and helmsmen shall be bound to keep a journal and daily register of all occurrences on the outward and homeward voyages, and to deliver the same over to the mayors or their commissaries appointed over the colony in New Netherland, on pain of three months' wages to be forfeited by those who refuse or fail to comply herewith.

All naval and military officers, soldiers and sailors shall be bound, and do hereby promise, to repair, at beat of drum, at such time and hour as may be appointed, on board the ships or lighters, on pain of forfeiting one month's wages, without any exceptions.

They shall not run their ships, on the return voyage, into France, England, or any other foreign places, except by the most urgent necessity, whereof the ship's Council shall be bound to decide and justify under bond of their persons and monthly wages.

All persons going to New Netherland in the service of the aforesaid City shall be bound to remain there and to serve on water and on land for the term of four years, exclusive of the time spent in going and returning, or as much longer or shorter as the City shall have need of them and said voyage may require.

But the City shall not be obliged to allow those who have bound themselves for a certain number of years to remain their obligated time in New Netherland, and to continue in their service; but just as the director and council shall have power to send them home, so may the lords-mayors or their commissioners, at all times at their pleasure, recall them home without being bound to give any reasons for so doing to any person.

And all those who conceal themselves in the homeward-bound ships and come over without the consent of the authorities at the place where they are lying at anchor, and desert the places, ships and garrisons entrusted to them, whether their obligated time has expired or not, shall forfeit, for the behoof of the City, all their earned monthly pay and booty.

Whosoever runs off to the French, English or any other Christian or Indian neighbors by whatsoever name they may be called, shall, in addition to the forfeiture of all his monthly pay to the City, be banished forever from New Netherland as a perjured scoundrel, and, if he afterward should fall into the hands of the City, he shall, without any consideration, be punished by death or otherwise according to the exigency of the case.

Anyone who received two months' wages or any bounty money, and runs away with it shall be corporally or arbitrarily punished and obliged to refund double the amount.

Also, if anyone during his term of service shall so behave that his pay is confiscated in whole or in part, the same shall remain by "right of retention" with the City, to be forfeited entirely as if it had not been earned, since he has not faithfully served out to the end his obligated time, unless otherwise provided by our special order.

Fourth Article

Of the time the monthly wages commence and fall due, and of pledging security.

The monthly pay agreed upon shall commence and be entered when the last buoy for expediting the voyage has been sailed past, and shall terminate when the engaged persons shall be discharged by the commissioners or directors, or those authorized thereto by them, without any person being able, before the date of the discharge, to leave the service, to abandon the ship, or commit any insolence, force or violence, by word or deed, either at the Texel, or during the homeward voyage, on the penalty of two months' wages.

And in order that those who charter any of the City's ships may take better care, offensively and defensively, to assist in preserving them from all dangers of the sea, fire, and other casualties, so shall ever one, for guarantee of his monthly wages, have as security: the ship, the ready money and loaded cargo on board, and nothing else, so that every one shall run the risk of his monthly wages on said ship, yacht and cargo therein; and consequently, if the said ship and all its cargo on board happen to be lost, then he shall lose all the monthly wages earned on board said ship, provided the same do not exceed in amount twelve months, so that the time which he has been in the service of the City beyond the twelve months shall be paid in all cases without deduction of security; and further for the rest, he shall have no right or action, except on the proceeds of the wrecked ship and cargo, which have come into the hands of the commissioners or directors, over and above the salvage and other necessary expenses, without having any claim on the goods or money discharged before the date of the wreck.

And payment of the monthly wages shall be made in this country to every one, either on his return, or after the expiration of the first term for which he was engaged, on his order, to his wife, children or friends, on their exhibiting sufficient authority or procuration; also, of the wages which anyone has earned in the outward voyage, on the return of the ship wherein he went out, provided that the written authority, petition or power of attorney, or an account or other proper and sufficient voucher, is transmitted, showing, by balance, what monthly pay is due to him from the time he was first engaged or on his outward voyage; but no person shall be at liberty to demand any account during the time he is engaged, neither shall he be paid, except here or in that country.

And in case anyone dies before the expiration of his time of service, his monthly wages shall be paid to his widow, children, or heirs, as soon as the accounts and other satisfactory vouchers are received under good and sufficient bond against all further claims.

All persons shall be satisfied with the payment of the wages which the lords-mayors or their commissioners or directors have made in good faith, upon the declaration of at least two witnesses that those who come to claim the wages are the next heirs of the deceased, and on their pledge to return the money at any time when demanded.

And whenever in time of alarm, the trumpet is sounded or the drum beaten, every one shall, on pain of corporal punishment, immediately appear with all diligence forthwith to take his position for defense, and thus inflict in due order all damage and offer every resistance to the enemy.

Under express promise that the wounded shall be properly taken care of in a good manner by the surgeons; and if any persons in the employment of the City, and in the execution of their command, office, or service, happen to be maimed, lamed, or otherwise deprived of their health, they shall be compensated as follows, to wit:

For loss of the right arm........................ f333

For loss of the left arm......................... 266

For loss of one leg......................... 240

For loss of both legs............................ 533

For loss of one eye.............................. 240

For both eyes.................................... 1066

For the left hand................................ 240

For the right hand............................... 266

For both hands................................... 933

For the loss of all other members and lameness, whereof any person being fully cured and healed, yet may not be restored to his former health, or may be maimed or thereby disabled from the use which he previously had of his limbs, he shall therefore be proportionally indemnified at the discretion of the commissioners or directors, according to previous inspection of the doctors, surgeons, or other competent judges; provided always that he always show and produce a certificate from his superior officer, who, at the time of his being wounded and maimed had the command, and of the entire ship's council, that he had received the wound in the execution of his office and employment in the service of the City.

Officers, sailors, and soldiers shall keep their monthly pay in case they lose their ship or it be sunk or burned in offensive or defensive actions with the enemy; but, if the enemy overpower the ship or ships, they shall lose their monthly wages, as in Article 4.

And, so that the military persons and other City's servants may be able to use their earned monthly wages, on becoming free over there, or having served out their time in New Netherland, the bookkeeper here shall send over to the persons their accounts, with the charges against them here, in order that payment may be made in New Netherland, into the hands of the owners after the expiration of their time or on obtaining their discharge from the service of the City.

Fifth Title

Of the allowance to those who are placed in higher offices.

Whosoever is placed in a higher office or position anywhere on land or on board any ships inland in New Netherland, shall receive, as an allowance, the half of his own and of such person's wages to whose office and place he succeeds, until such person's first obligated time shall have expired; notwithstanding that he previously might have filled a higher position, and thus by dividing into halves, the first wages are diminished; after that, he shall receive the full wages of his immediate predecessor, provided that this shall not apply to military officers and soldiers succeeding to higher offices, who shall receive the wages of those to whose places they succeed; with the understanding nevertheless, that neither they nor any person aboard ship filling two offices shall receive the full wages of both offices.

No one of the City's servants, from the highest to the lowest, shall during his engagement, be at liberty to demand, promise or to be promised, either directly or indirectly, except from the lords-mayors or their commissioners or directors assembled as a board, any other wages, services or allowances than he is engaged at, on pain of nullity. And, in case any of those servants, directly or indirectly, happen on the outward or homeward voyage to earn, demand and claim any other wages or allowance than what was promised and allowed him on his engagement here by the lords- mayors or their commissioners or directors, and the allowance herein before set forth, he shall not have or pretend any right or action therein against the City, although the person may make such claims for extraordinary services done for the City.

Sixth Title

Of the private trade of those who sail in the service.

No person, of whatever rank he may be, shall be at liberty to carry with him any munitions of war, such as powder, guns and other arms, to sell or barter them in New Netherland to the natives or Indians, on pain of forfeiting all the wages he has earned or shall earn, and, in addition, quadruple the value of what he may have bartered, and, therefore, everyone shall have to submit to due examination and inspection of his chest and goods before he goes ashore.

Commissaries, supercargoes and all others shall not be at liberty to take any goods, merchandise, etc., on their account, out of the store, or to take any with them for the purpose of selling them at a higher price to the people, or otherwise trading them for their private profit; on pain of forfeiting all their monthly wages and being arbitrarily punished.

In like manner, the commissaries and storekeepers shall not disburse to any person more goods or necessaries, either stockings, shoes, shirts, clothes and other supplies than each one shall be found to have need for himself and family, to which end they shall have first to inform themselves thereof, on pain, if acting to the contrary, of having such administrator's account charged double the excess disbursed, and, in addition, himself fined six months wages.

Seventh Title

Of the stewards, quartermasters and of the rations.

And, whereas it is necessary on a long voyage to maintain regularity in eating and drinking, for the preservation of health, so shall every one be content with such ration as shall be allowed him by the skipper, commissaries and ship's council, who, so far as necessity and circumstances can allow, shall adhere to the schedule of the rations, on pain, if anyone put himself in opposition to the fixed ration or not be content with it, of being confined fourteen days in the ship's galley on bread and water.

Everyone shall be bound to drink every day his ration of wine without being permitted to save it or sell it to anyone else, and the ration of those who do not desire to drink shall remain in the barrel and they shall not be at liberty to demand said portion afterwards.

No one shall be permitted to pilfer or secretly carry off any wine or victuals, on pain of being placed in the ship's galley fourteen days on bread and water; but the wine and victuals shall be tapped and removed only by those who shall be detailed thereto by the skipper and commissary.

No one shall be allowed to throw overboard any food, whether meat, cheese, bread or other article, on the pretext that it is not good, except by consent of the skipper or commissary who shall decide whether the food is good and wholesome or not, on pain of being placed each time in the ship's galley for eight days on bread and water.

Eighth Title

Of the arms and ship's implements.

All officers, soldiers and sailors shall be bound to take care that the arms furnished to them, be kept clean and ready; in like manner, all implements, so that everything may be ready in time of need; whereunto the skipper, captain, commissaries or superior military officers, shall be bound to make every man show his arms every fourteen days, under a fine of one month's wages, to be forfeited for each offense; whereof the commissaries and supercargoes shall take notice, or, in default thereof, themselves forfeit one month's wages.

The skippers and commissaries shall take care and oblige the gunners, every fourteen days, to set the undermost powder on the top and turn it over and in fair weather, after the fire has been effectually put out, it shall be brought up and dried, which they are especially not to neglect, and whenever circumstances permit, it is to be done on shore for greater safety, but taking good care that nothing shall be exposed to peril or danger.

Ninth Title

Of the sick, the surgeons and what pertains to them.

The surgeons, whether on board a ship or ships or on land, shall be bound to offer their services willingly, and to use all diligence to restore the patients to health, without receiving therefore any compensation except their monthly pay; and, in case any of them receive any money or promise of payment, they shall be obliged to restore what they received, and the promise shall be null and void.

Tenth Title

Of wills and property of deceased persons.

All skippers, commissaries, supercargoes, assistants, secretaries, notaries, auditors and others who, as public persons, write wills, shall particularly take care that they are acquainted with the testators, and be careful that they duly comprehend the testator's intention, and that, on and in their respective ships and places of residence, all the people's wills be correctly recorded and registered in a book, and signed by the testator and two credible witnesses (besides the skipper).

And in case a soldier marching to face the enemy or dying should constitute anyone in whole or in part as his heir, the witnesses of such testament or last will shall be bound to so declare on oath, before the authorities of the garrison or garrisons where they first arrive, and have the said declaration recorded as a will, by those who register the people's wills there.

In like manner, all clothes, jewels, money, obligations and other property, shall be properly inventories and recorded in the same book, and the books annually sent over.

But no widows or heirs shall be permitted to demand payment of any money proceeding from the sale of the deceased's property, until the books and accounts or other sufficient vouchers shall come over, from which can be determined what monies have been realized and received from the sale of the property, and it appears that the debtors of the deceased have still so much due them from the City as it might amount to.

To which end all the City's commissaries and bookkeepers are ordered not to allow anyone to purchase effects at public sale, who does not have at least an equal amount due him by the City, and they are to enter the same immediately on the purchaser's account, and most distinctly and correctly enter separately in a book each item and the names and surnames of each purchaser; and, in default thereof, any accruing loss shall be deducted and subtracted from such commissary's and bookkeeper's monthly wages.

Without, however, the City, on that account, making good or paying the promised purchase-money farther than the purchasers have to their credit on the account; for which the heirs of the deceased or other interested parties shall themselves run the risk.

But the monies which one shall by will bequeath to another, or the legacies left to the poor or others, shall be placed both to the debit of the deceased and the credit of the legatee, only as a memorandum without carrying out any amount.

Eleventh Title

Order relative to divers offenses and disorders occurring on the voyage.

And whereas many misfortunes occur through throwing dice and gambling, no person shall bring or play on board any dice, cards, or any other implements of gaming, on pain of being placed eight days in irons on bread and water, or even use them on pain of forfeiting twenty stivers for the first offense; and, in addition, to have the gaming implements thrown overboard, unless the skippers or ship's council should permit something of the sort for amusement.

And whatever one should happen thus to win from another in the forbidden game, or by betting, during the voyage, the loser shall not be obliged to pay, and, having paid it, the winner restore it or let it be deducted from his monthly wages, and both the winner and the loser shall pay a fine at the discretion of the ship's council, or otherwise be arbitrarily punished, as herein before stated.

If anyone gets drunk on board the ship or on shore he shall for each offense be placed fourteen days in the ship's galley on bread and water, and in addition be punished according to the circumstances of the case; and those of the cabin found drunk shall suffer double punishment each time, or commute the same with three month's pay.

If anyone quarrels or strikes with the fist he shall be placed three days in irons on bread and water, and whoever draws a knife in anger or wounds or does any person bodily injury, shall be nailed to the mast with a knife through his hand and there remain until he draws it through; and if he wounds anyone he shall be keelhauled, forfeiting nevertheless six months pay.

If any person kill another, he shall while living be thrown overboard with the corpse, and forfeit all his monthly wages and booty.

No one shall be at liberty to go with fire or light into the hold, the ship's pantry or the powder magazine, or use any fire or candles except by permission of the skipper and commissary, on pain of being whipped on his quarters; and, moreover, arbitrarily punished according to the circumstances of the case.

And in order to prevent the danger of fire, and the squandering which occurs with smoking, drinking and bartering, no person soever shall sell or barter tobacco, or make use of the same except during the day, with the consent and permission of the skipper and commissary, and then only on the forward deck or topside before the mainmast, on pain of being placed in the ship' galley four days on bread and water.

Further, everyone without any exception is forbidden to make use of, or carry with him any burning matches, candles, or other fire however named, unless in his official duty and ship's service, and then with the knowledge of the officers, on pain of being confined eight days in irons, and in addition forfeiting one month's pay.

And the sentries shall not allow any person to come on board, either by night or by day, unless by consent of the skipper or commissary, on pain of corporal punishment.

Twelfth Title

On the maintenance of these articles and the execution of all sentences; also of the provosts.

Skippers, commissaries, also all those who administer justice shall be bound to take care that all articles and ordinances contained in these instructions, be well and fully obeyed in these instructions, be well and fully obeyed, maintained and the violation thereof effectually punished as they deserve.

They shall not allow any civil cases to remain open and undecided, whether these concern the City, justice or any other party in particular, but shall be bound to dispose thereof by judgment or settlement, the monetary fine inclusive, on pain of forfeiting two months' wages for every action which each person might, or, by virtue of his office, ought to have attended to.

Which judgment shall be executed without excuse or delay by the provost or whomsoever may be appointed thereto; and if any one rebel against it, or oppose the carrying out or execution of the judgment or sentence, he shall forfeit four months' wages and be in addition corporally punished.

And whosoever shall be confined in irons shall forfeit as many months' pay as he shall have served days therein; and that although it shall be deducted upon payment thereof, the commissaries or supercargoes shall be obliged to deduct it from their accounts, or, if they neglect it, it shall be deducted from their own pay.

If anyone furnishes the prisoner either food, drink or anything else, he shall forfeit a months' wages, and be confined eight days in irons on bread and water.

And in order that the provost, or he who may be appointed thereunto, may perform his duty with authority and power, all naval and military officers shall be bound to assist him; and no one shall presume to prevent him from apprehending, much less assist the prisoner, on pain of corporal punishment.

Thirteenth Title

What pertains to the soldiers in particular.

The skippers and commissaries shall not have the power to place the soldiers under arrest without the advice of their captain or other superior officer.

And all matters which relate to war or soldiers shall be treated and disposed of by the council of war, that is, by the skipper, captain, if there be one, and yet another superior military officer, or else the sergeant, who shall rank next to the commissary and helmsman; but when the companies are formed on board the ships, the captains, lieutenants, and ensigns shall appear in the place of the sergeants in the naval or military council.

And in case a military officer happens to die on the outward voyage, or to behave so as to be disposed from his office by the general military council, the aforesaid military council shall appoint in the place of the reduced or deceased officer, another whom they shall find most fit and who shall have behaved best and acquitted himself in the City's service. And this article shall be in force only at sea.

All military officers and soldiers, and when necessary all others in the City's employ, shall, without any exception, be bound, for their own security and defense as well as for the service of the High and Mighty Lords States-General, the said City and on the order of the director, commissary, captain and council, as well as of all others in authority and command over them, to labor at erecting and repairing of forts, batteries, trenches and other works, without receiving therefore in addition to their fixed pay, anything more than free board during the time they work, unless the aforesaid director, commissary and council of New Netherland (who shall allow it, and not any other inferior or subaltern officer) might for some valid reasons and considerations deem it proper to allow the workmen something additional as a reward, wherein they shall not exceed moderation.

Everyone shall be charged with his arms and have their cost deducted from his monthly wages received from the City, but he must change arms when so ordered by the director, commissary or even his captain or superior military officer, and his arms shall be taken back from everyone, on his returning home or happening to die, and credited on his account. Commissaries and supercargoes shall pay attention thereto, on pain of reimbursing the same from their own pockets in case of neglect.

All soldiers and military officers shall keep their arms clean and ready, and must, as before stated, exhibit them once a fortnight to their superior officer.

No military officers, soldiers, or generally any other persons of what rank or office they may hold in the service of the City, shall, except by consent and express command of those having authority over them, be permitted to do any injury, or commit violence in any manner, either to the persons or property, wives or children of the inhabitants of New Netherland, whether French, English or other Christian nation, or the natives of the country; and, furthermore, they must regulate themselves in all things as others in the service of the City, according to the 'General Articles, Instructions and Ordinances" already issued, or still to be enacted by the City, or by the director, or commissary and council, so far as the same may apply to them, on pain of being corporally or otherwise punished and fined, according to circumstances pursuant to the tenor of said articles.

Whenever the City's council shall find it expedient to place the officers, soldiers, sailors and all others in New Netherland on their own expenses, either wholly or in part, they shall be obliged to accept the same willingly, without complaint, and to obey such on those terms and conditions already or still to be drawn up.

Fourteenth Title

Of what relates to the colonists and other persons who are going over.

Colonists, tradesmen and other free merchants, shall not be at liberty to carry with them, under any pretext whatsoever, any munitions of war, such as powder, lead, guns and other arms, to sell or barter them in New Netherland to the natives or Indians there, on the fine of quadruple the value of the contraband goods which might be sold or bartered by them.

And, therefore, every one must, if needs be, submit to a proper inspection and examination of his chests, cases, casks and other packages, before he is allowed to go ashore.

The aforesaid colonists and tradesmen, who shall be transported at the expense of this City, shall be bound to remain in its colony for the term of four years, unless for extraordinary reasons, and unless they shall have paid and compensated the City within the aforesaid time the disbursement incurred, both in conveying over themselves, their families and household goods, and in supplying them from the store there on account of the said City with provisions and other necessaries of clothing and farming implements.

None of the colonists and other persons going over there shall be at liberty to dispose of, barter or sell the goods and necessaries, which will be issued as supplies to them on account, from the City's store in New Netherland, on pain of having quadruple the value thereof charged to their account, and no more goods issued to them.

Oath for the Officers and Sailors

To the illustrious High and Mighty States-General of the United Netherlands, our highest and sovereign authority, and to the lords-mayors of the City of Amsterdam together with the director, commander and commissary in charge or yet to be placed in charge of those cities, forts and magazines in New Netherland, and to all the other superiors and officers under whom we may be placed at the aforesaid destination, as well as to those superiors placed over us aboard ship during the voyage, or commanders, commissaries, captains and other superiors and officials placed over us in any areas thereafter, we promise and swear to be faithful and obedient in the execution of our service and the voyage for which we have been sent out and employed; also, to obey and faithfully abide by all points in the regulations which have been today placed before us and clearly read aloud, and all other orders and instructions, ration lists and other ordinances issued by the aforesaid lords-mayors and those issued during the voyage, whether at sea aboard ship or on land by our director, commanders, skippers, commissaries and other authorities in their official capacities for as much as they pertain to us; and not to return home nor leave our service nor separate ourselves from it before, with God's help, our aforesaid voyage is completed and our obligated term has expired, unless we are discharged beforehand by the lords-mayors or their commissioners, or are returned home by the director in New Netherland, which aforesaid discharge or return we promise to accept promptly without complaint or contradiction, and to acquit ourselves always in such manner as good, pious and faithful servants are obliged to do. So Truly Help Us God Almighty.

Oath for the Officers and Soldiers.

We promise and swear to serve faithfully the illustrious High and Mighty States-General of the Free and United Netherlands, our highest and sovereign authority, and the lords-mayors of the City of Amsterdam together with the director, captains and all other officers under whom we may be placed now or in the future in New Netherland or wherever else we may come to serve under the authority of the aforesaid lords-mayors; and to obey to our utmost ability the general regulations, ordinances and other orders and instructions already issued by the aforesaid lords- mayors or by their aforesaid director and other high officials, and those yet to be issued during our term of service or voyage by the aforesaid and all our other commanders and superiors; also, to obey all the orders of the aforesaid directors, captains and other officers and officials, and not to return home until our voyage, with God's help, is completed and we have served out our obligated term of four years, unless we are discharged beforehand by these lords-mayors or their commissioners, or returned home by the director and other high officials, or discharged from our oath and service, which recall and return we promise to obey promptly without complaint or contradiction; and henceforth not to avoid danger in any emergencies at sea or on land, but to behave and acquit ourselves in such a manner as good soldiers and free people are obliged to do, without fear of losing life or limb or for any other reason. So Truly Help Us God Almighty.

Oath for the Colonists and Other Free People.

We promise and swear to be faithful and obedient to the illustrious High and Mighty Lords, the States-General of the Free and United Netherlands, to the lords-mayors of the City of Amsterdam together with the director and council, and other authorities already in New Netherland or yet to be appointed, and to obey to our utmost the regulations pertaining to us, and other ordinances and orders now or still to be issued; and henceforth to acquit ourselves in New Netherland as good, faithful and obedient inhabitants are obliged to do, as long as we are there. So Truly Help Us God Almighty.

On this day, 9 December 1656, the officers, soldiers, sailors and free people about to sail on the ship. Prins Maurits, to New Netherland (after having been read aloud the foregoing regulations) have taken the proper oath at the hands of Mr. Lambert Reyns, schout, in the presence of Mr. Robert Ernst and Mr. Joachim Rendorp, schepen,

J. Corver


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.