Instructions to Bastiaen Jansz Krol from Kiliaen van Rensselaer (January 10, 1630)
January 12, 1630 Copy
Instructions from Kiliaen van Rensselaer for Bastiaen Iansscn Crol, commis at Fort Orange, who if he sees fit may call to his assistance Dirck Cornelisss, his onder-commis, and such other persons as he shall think best and advisable. First, Crol shall try to buy the lands hereafter named for the said Rensselaer, from the Mahijcans, Maquaas or such other nations as have any claim to them, giving them no occasion for discontent, but treating them with all courtesy and discretion.
And what he shall give to the said nations in consideration of the aforesaid purchase, he shall take (according to the order of the Company) -from its merchandise, charging the same by measure or weight to the said Rensselaer. The limits he shall extend as far as possible, as high above Fort Orange and as far inland as they will in any way cede, equally below Fort Orange, even if it were five or more leagues above and as many below the same fort, and as far inland as possible, specially in places where there is flat and good land and the least underbrush and trees. He shall also inspect the same as carefully as possible in order to write to me all the particulars thereof, to wit, how many islands from the uppermost to the lowest part there are in the said river, how long and wide they are and what kind of soil they have, to wit, each island separately, also how far the same are apart from each other and from the mainland, about how deep the water is and what further may be of interest.
Also, how much flat and arable land there is along the river, that is the width and the length of each piece, also what follows toward the inland in the way of woods and mountains, stating what kinds of wood, soil, stone, minerals and the like there are; all of which land he can measure by pacing.
In case he can not purchase the said lands from one or two nations, that he purchase the same from all who pretend any right to them. Having bought the islands, that he convene not only the respective chiefs but all the people, in order to make the payment in the presence of them all, and that he takes then the chief of each nation to the island of the Manhates to confirm the purchase before the director and council, and that he have the same recorded among the resolutions and send me a copy.
Herewith a wood-measure rule, 1 ½ feet long, the foot containing 11 inches, 13 feet making one Amsterdam rod and 600 [square] rods one morgen of land.
These instructions the said Crol shall communicate to Director Pieter Minuit, with the request to show me such favors as the service of the Company permits and no others, notifying him that I have engaged Wolffert Gerritssz, farmer, to direct provisionally all my affairs concerning the farms and purchase of cattle, [asking him also to] show [said Gerritssz] every favor as to what he may need for me for that purpose, also to cause to be made what he may want in the way of hardware or other things and to charge the same to my account, and if he needs any carpenters, for the erection of my houses, barracks, barns, sheepfold or other buildings, to accommodate him therewith if they are not more needed for the Company, otherwise, as Cornelis Lambertssz Steenbacker needs carpenters and smiths for making his tile and brickyard, the same men could at my expense work some days or weeks for me, and if I should need a sloop or boat, master Reyn Harmanssen could make the same at my expense.
The said Crol shall also take due notice of everything that is done for me near Fort Orange, taking good care that the house be built near the creek on the west side of the river, on the north side of the creek, on the bluff, so that there shall be no danger of being flooded by high water, and that at first the said house be made plain and simple, large and tight, and if tiles could be made ready, that the house be covered therewith.
That the land elose to Fort Orange as well as near the said creek be tilled first, thereafter that on the south side of the house, and that the islands be kept for hay and as pasture for the cattle, sheep, hogs, etc.
If it is a good acorn year there, that Wulffert Gerritssen or his foreman have a good quantity bought up for me to be kept for the winter as feed for the hogs.
Also to look out that my men work faithfully and diligently, and that they do not cheat me or sell any of my goods, and yearly to report to me the number of horses, cows, sheep and hogs I have, how old they are and how many have died or been born each year.
Also to credit the account of the provisions which my men may buy from the Company with the milk, butter, meat and bacon which they should deliver in return, the prices being reciprocally made as reasonable as possible.
Further, to advise me by all favorable opportunities of everything that, from lack of knowledge of circumstances, I can not provide for.
In witness that I have requested this of him with promise of proper compensation for his trouble, I have signed this with my own hand. Done as above.
- Van Laer, A. J. F. (translator) (1908). Van Rensselaer Bowier Manuscripts. Albany: University of the State of New York. pp. 158–161.