Letter from Johannis Kip to Cornelius Stenwyck

Scanned Document:

Mr. Corneles Stenwyck[1]

Since my arrival at the Hoerekill on the 5th of March I find nothing special to write about other than the estate of John Shakerly, deceased. Everything is in such disarray that I don't know where to begin and how best to put things in order, for the book and bonds are but a guess. Since so many receipts and various expenses have been entered in the book incorrectly and erroneously.- some people will deny having incurred them under oath. For this reason I am afraid to bring the book into court. In order to prevent all the trouble which certain people are ready to cause, I suggest that it be placed before one or two commissioners and settled in this manner. Then if any refuse to pay debts, to summon and compel those who are able to make payment; and those who are unable to pay, to give security to pay the following year. In any case I request your advice on the same which I shall follow.

For the present I can offer no account about the situation in St. Jones; but, God willing, I intend to go there the first of next week and see what the situation is. I shall at the first opportunity write more extensively about it.

The plantation at Mispelen[2] should not be sold before the second Tuesday in April, the day the court sits, because the largest amount of people congregate then and we shall thus have the highest number of bidders at the sale.

I must close due to lack of time and paper, cordial greetings from me

your faithful servant

Johannis Kip

Addressed: ] Mr. Corneles Stenwyck
Merchant at New Yorcke

Endorsed: ] Johannis Kipps Letter to C. Steenwyck 18 March 1679/80


Since my last letter dated 20 March[4] I have been at St. Jones to put everything in order, but I am encountering considerable obstacles. Partly because the people cannot make payments, saying that I've come unexpectedly. Since their tobacco has all been sent off, I doubt that anything can be done about it this year; and partly because there are so many errors in the accounts. I have summoned them all before the court in order to settle accounts with everyone and to be on firm ground next year. John Brickx, who is the greatest debtor in Mr. Shackerly's book, acknowledges his debts for the most part, but he holds a note from Mr. Shackerly for some rum which is due him. With this he is trying to balance his account. Or he requests having the rum itself before he pays for the tobacco. The rum comes out of the sale of the yacht so that he presumes to have nothing else for his plantation than that. If possible please inform me about it as soon as possible and what I am to do in the matter so that I can act accordingly in court, which sits the second Tuesday in April; because [      ] the court I have everything settled to the best of my ability and knowledge, I plan to go to the South River to see what the situation is there.

The plantation-account cannot be settled either; so little has been done there that can impede the expenses, and I cannot write up its account because all the tobacco has not yet been stripped. I have taken an inventory of animals and servants: there are 3 male servants, 1 female servant, 41 head of cattle, large and small, and 4 horses, large and small. According to them there are 60 hogs in addition to the cows which I chose not to have shown to me. I shall receive about 4 to 5 hogsheads of tobacco on Mr. John Shackerly's account. I cannot report the [      ] quantity because it hasn't been packed yet.

No more for the present. Please excuse anything that I may have misstated. If you point out the error I shall gratefully attempt to correct it. Cordial greetings from me and I remain

Your obedient servant

Johannis Kip

In the Whorekill
Anno 1680 the 3rd of April

Endorsed: ] Johannis Kipps Letter 3 April 1680


This letter has been translated from the original Dutch.
i.e., Mispillion Creek.
This letter has been translated from the original Dutch.
See 21:101 which is undated but carries March 18 on the endorsement. This may be either an earlier letter or an error by the clerk who endorsed it.


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.