Proclamation ordering the demolition of houses adjoining fort Willem Hendrick

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Whereas Fort Willem Hendrick and the city of New Orange situate on Manhatans Island is seriously encumbered and weakened by the houses, gardens and orchards which lie so close under its walls and bulwarks that it is impossible to defend it properly when occasion requires against its enemies, unless at least some of those houses, lots and orchards be demolished and removed. It is therefore considered necessary by the Governor-General, by and with the previous advice of his Council, to demolish, pull down and remove the undernamed houses.gardens and orchards, and the owners thereof are hereby most strictly ordered and commanded instantly to commence demolishing and pulling down their houses, gardens and orchards, and to remove them to such lots as are laid out within this city by the Governor's order to that end and shall be shown to each of them by the Burgomasters; on pain of depriving those who shall be found contumacious or negligent, of the indemnity which according to the terms of this Proclamation are granted and allowed to the following persons or those among them who shall come to remove their undernamed houses, gardens and orchards and, over and above, on the first arrival of any ships, of having their houses demolished or burned, to wit:

The houses, gardens and orchards of  Peter de Riemer,   Situate under the walls and bulwarks of Fort Willem Hendrick 
Lodewyck Post,  
George Cobbet,  
Jan Dircksen Meyer, 
Jacobus van de Water, 
Symon Blanck, 
Andries Meyer, 
Gerrit Hendricx, 
Peter Jansen Slott, 
The houses, gardens and orchards of  Gerrit Jansen Roos,  Situate under the fortification and bulwarks of the city of New Orange. 
Peter Stoutenburgh, 
Henry Taylor, 
The Lutheran Congregation, 
Willem van Vredenburgh, 
Peter Jansen Mesier, 
Martin Meyer Smith, 
Augustine Hermans, 
Lysbet Tyssen, 
Peter Harmsen, 
The gardens and orchards of  Johannis van Brugh,   Situate under the fortification and bulwarks of the city of New Orange. 
Sara van Borsim. 

But whereas said houses cannot be removed except at great and heavy expense to the proprietors, to whom, in return, indemnification and satisfaction ought, in equity, be allowed because said removal is done for the public benefit and better defence; it is therefore resolved that the grounds and lots belonging to said persons, with the necessary expense which they shall happen to incur in the removal of their houses, shall be valued by impartial persons, and to the proprietors instead of these lots shall be shown and conveyed, subject to like valuation, any other lots within this city to which they will be at liberty to remove, and whatever their cancelled lots and expenses of removing their houses will be found to exceed in value what shall be shown them instead, shall be promptly made good, fulfilled and paid to them from the extra duty which, for that purpose, it is resolved and ordered to collect from now henceforth until said indemnity and damage shall be prompt paid to said persons, and no longer, to wit:
From all Beavers and peltries which will be exported from this government to Patria or elsewhere after the publication hereof, two and one-half per cent.
From Duffels and Blankets, imported from Patria or elsewhere into this government, two per cent.
And from powder, lead, muskets, wines, brandies, distilled waters and rum, five per cent.
Hereby ordering and commanding all and every the subjects and inhabitants of this government and all others whom it in any wise concerns, that they shall have to give notice to the collector of the importation or exportation of the above specified goods, and shall pay therefor the said extraordinary duty in manner as aforesaid on pain of the forfeiture and confiscation of the imported or shipped-off goods; to be applied agreeably to the orders and placards enacted against smuggling.
Dated Fort Willem Hendrick, this 16th of October, 1673, in New Netherland.

(Signed),  A. Colve,  
Cornelis Steenwyck, 
Johannis Van Brugh, 
Johannis De Peyster, 
Egidius Luyck. 

Willem van Vredenburgh:
You are hereby required and ordered, pursuant to the Proclamation, to demolish from cellar to garret your house and lot lying and being in Broadway, and to remove to the Company's garden. No. 1, for which removal you are allowed by arbitrators the sum of fl. 330, Wampum value, which shall be handed and paid you out of the extra duty which is ordered to be paid for that purpose. Dated Fort Willem Hendrick, 16th of October, 1673.

A similar order is sent to the house of all the others mentioned in the Proclamation, except Doctor Taylor, Lysbet Tyssen, and Peter Harmsen, whose houses shall be still further examined, in order if possible to spare them.


Translation: O'Callaghan, E.B., trans./ed., Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New-York, vol. 2 (Albany: Weed, Parsons: 1858), pp. 569-730 (vol. 23, pp. 1-270 only).A complete copy of this publication is available on the New Netherland Institute website.