Proceedings against John Smith for the recovery of a ship

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[      ] January a sloop came here into the Kill with [ ] John Smit with a crew of six men and [      ] made some caulking and tarring repairs on their sloop [      ] they made it ready to sail [      ] with two runaways from Maryland. They set sail the first of March. After they were gone we discovered [      ] the mill stones were missing. The skipper proceeding by canoe with 2 [      ] the marsh, went to the house of Daniel Bruy [      ].[1] Ottho Wolgast seeing the canoe there [      ] here to this place. After which the skipper John [      ] and was at his wit's end over the seizure of the canoe. [      ] interrogation he admitted having the millstones on board [      ] was held in arrest. [      ] the schout with the Commissary's permission [      ] Herman Cornelissen's boat in order to go on board [      ] Smit and recover the millstones. Whereupon the men on board readied their weapons threatening to shoot and would not let [      ] come aboard. They, therefore, had to return and could not enter [      ] but had to [      ] to the Groote Kill and leave their boat there. [      ] the crew of the sloop came back to [      ] Kill and by order to John Smit [      ] brought the millstones ashore.

[      ] the schout with the approval of the Commissary sent [      ] to the boat, which began to roll and pitch in sand [      ] to push off and bring it back here. When the men had gone there, the crew came in the canoe to the [      ] of the schout armed with muskets and pistols and took the schout by force out of his house. They brought him along in their canoe to Sander Moelsteen's house where John Smit was being confined. They demanded the release of their captain or they would not [      ] the schout. Whereupon the two guards set John Smit free. [      ] released the schout and they went then [      ]. When the boat came out of Groote Kil [      ] the crew with sharp shooters said they have [      ]. The men in the boat [      ] back again to the Groote Kil [      ] beached the boat there and brought the oars to the crew of the sloop. John Smit then said, "If [      ] Cornelis brings us nothing to drink, we will [ ] his boat." Herman Cornelis and Jan Michiels went to [      ] and found the boat lying on one side, the rudder [      ] and fetched [      ].

On the 11th of March Herman Cornelis went aboard [      ] demanding payment for the liquor which John Smit had consumed. Whereupon the same John Smit detained the same Herman [      ] of which none of us knew, but [      ] here. The schout then [      ] a man there who asked John Smit why he [      ] held. He replied that they [      ] here so long and that they needed provisions in order to go to sea. [      ] not let Herman go if they need provisions [      ].

On the 12th of March the schout sent officers to the [      ] the warrant reading as follows:

This [      ] in the Name of [      ] Duke of Yorcke To Comma[      ] ye man that you [      ] yr sloope by neame Herman [      ] in so set give under [      ] 1672 [      ]

When this warrant was read [      ] threw [      ] board and these men came back again [      ] shooting after them. [      ] which they did. They sent an order [      ] signed by Herman Cornelis to [      ] 2 pigs and 6 lb gunpowder aboard the sloop. On the 13th of March we went to the sloop [      ] 2 pigs with 6 lb gun powser which the crew [      ] took aboard. They then released Herman Cornelis after [      ] he had been prisoner [      ] and 2 nights. On the 14th of March John Smit sailed his sloop out of this Kill and anchored near the Groote Kill. [      ] the night of the 16th a strong N West wind [      ]. [      ] morning seen no more.[2]

Endorsed: ] John Smit, Privateer
His depredations


Probably Daniel Bruyn.
Translated from the Dutch with the exception of the text of the warrant which is in English. The Groote Kill was called Great Creek and Broad Creek by English. It is now known as Broadkill Creek. This creek should not be confused with the Groote Kill which was also the Dutch name for a creek about three miles south of New Castle.


Translation: Gehring, C. trans./ed., New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch, Vols. 20-21, Delaware Papers: English Period, 1664-1682 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc.: 1981).A complete copy of this publication is available on the New Netherland Institute website.