Letter from Jacob Alrichs to the director and council

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S.[1] Honorable, Esteemed, Wise and most Prudent Lords:

My Lords, whereas the honorable directors of the ] Chartered West India Company did grant and agree that the honorable and most esteemed mayors of the City ] of Amsterdam would be permitted to establish a colony on the South ] River in New Netherland, whereupon the aforesaid mayors did draw up and present certain conditions to all ] those who desire to go ] there as colonists, as may be seen ] from the copy sent herewith,[2] according to which conditions various persons requested permission to go there who accordingly were embarked at the expense of the aforesaid City in several ships, to wit: in the ship Prins Maurits, about 112 persons besides 16 crew members, both officers and sailors; another 33 persons in the ship de Bever; 11 in de Beer; and 11 in de Gelderse Blom. There are altogether 167 persons who would settle on the aforesaid South River; and that I, the underwritten, who shall have the direction over the ] colony on behalf of the aforesaid City, was to proceed with the aforesaid ship, Prins ] Maurits, to the island of Manhattan with ] letters, instructions,

and directions for your honors ],,,

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...whereupon I embarked together with 128 people on the ship, P Prins Maurits, and had hoped and desired to be able to reach Manhattan; however, we ran aground at a certain place opposite Long Island near a river which is called by the Indians or the bearer of this, Sickawach.[3] The people have been saved and we hope to get most of the goods ashore, if it pleases our Lord God, for which everything is being done daily to prevent further damage despite the great difficulities, hardships and labor in severe cold and frost. In the meantime, I am greatly apprehensive together with the aforesaid persons, among whom there are also about 80 soldiers under Captain Marten Kryger and Lieutenant D'Hinosa and the other free people here. I wish from the bottom of my heart to be able to receive the means or actual help and assistance in order to carry out the plan and undertaking of the honorable directors and as well as the most esteemed mayors; but since the ship. Prins Maurits, is stranded and appears as if it is in its graveyard, I am, therefore, obliged to request your honor's good advice and help ] in this matter...

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...unless you were acquainted ] with this ] situation and could inform ] me what in your judgment is best and most advisable to do in this matter. Since time is running short to to into further details, I am obliged to close with the request that the people who have arrived or are arriving there with the Bever, Beer and Gelderse Blom, please be accomodated for the time being in the most suitable way possible at the expense of the City of Amsterdam, and be provided for as best as possible. In the meantime, I await an answer and a small vessel with a pilot and three or four seamen who are acquainted with this place or well- experienced here in order to see what still can be saved and salvaged. In closing I pray, after hearty greetings and dutiful respects, that God may keep you in continuous health and prosperity. I remain

J. Alrichs

Addressed: ]

Honorable, Esteemed, Wise and most Prudent Lords, the Lord Director-General and Council in New Netherland at Manhattan

By two Indians.


Before O'Callaghan's rearrangement of the "Colonial Manuscripts," this group of Dutch records was identified as "S" which contained letters from Jacob Alrichs from 1657-1659.

See 18:24 for a copy of these regulations.

"Sicktawach," which could be either the Carmans River or the Connetguot River in Suffolk County, Long Island, which would place the shipwreck on Fire Island across the Great South Bay.


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.