Laws and ordinances of New Netherland, 1638-1674/1641

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Of the Director and Council of New Netherland, against tapping Beer,
&c. during Divine service, or after Ten o'clock at night; against
using any but the Amsterdam measure, and for fixing the price
of Beer. Passed 11 April, 1641.

[N. Y. Colonial MSS. IV. 90.]

Whereas complaints have been made to us that some of the Inhabitants here are in the habit of Tapping Beer during Divine Service, and of making use of small foreign Measures, which tends to the dishonor of Religion and the ruin of this State, We being desirous to make provision herein, do, therefore, Ordain that no person shall attempt to tap Beer or any other Strong drink during Divine service, or to use any other Measure than that which is in common use at Amsterdam in Holland, or to tap for any person after Ten o'clock at night; neither sell the Vaen, or four pints, at a higher price than Eight Stivers; all on pain of forfeiture of the Beer and Five and Twenty guilders for the benefit of the Fiscal, with three months' exclusion from the privilege of Tapping.


Of the Director and Council of New Netherland, regulating the Cur-
rency of Wampum. Passed 18 April, 1641.

[N. Y. Colonial MSS. IV. 90.]

Whereas very bad Wampum is at present circulating here, and payment is made in nothing but rough, unpolished stuff which is brought hither from other places, where it is 50 per cent cheaper than it is paid out here, and the good, polished Wampum, commonly called Manhattan Wampum is wholly put out of sight or exported, which tends to the express ruin and destruction of this Country; In order to provide in time therefor, We do, therefore, for the public good, interdict and forbid, all persons of what state, quality or condition soever they may be, to receive in payment, or to pay out, any unpolished Wampum during the next month of May except at Five for one stiver and that strung, and then after that Six beads for one stiver. Whosoever shall be found to have acted contrary hereunto, shall provisionally forfeit the Wampum which is paid out and 10 guilders for the Poor, and both payer and payee are alike liable. The well polished Wampum shall remain at its price as before, to wit, Four for one stiver, provided it be strung.


Granted by the Director and Council of New Netherland to English
Settlers. 6 June, 1641.

[N. Y. Colonial MSS. IV. 93.]

Whereas a considerable number of respectable Englishmen with their Clergyman, have applied to us for permission to settle here and to reside under us, and requested that some Articles might be offered to them, We have therefore Resolved to communicate the following Articles to them.

I. They shall be bound to take the Oath of Allegiance to the Noble Lords States General and the West India Company under whose protection they will reside.

II. They shall enjoy free exercise of Religion.

III. With regard to Political Government; if they desire a Magistracy, they shall have the privilege of nominating three or more persons from the fittest among them, from which nomination the Governor of New Netherland shall make the election. Which Magistrate shall be empowered in all Civil Actions to adjudge definitively as high as Forty Guilders; beyond that an appeal may be made to the Governor and Council of New Netherland; and in Criminal cases, to Corporal punishment (tot bloetlaten toe).

IV. They shall not be at liberty to erect any Forts, without permission.

V. The land shall be shown to them free of expense, and they shall cultivate it ten years in full propriety without paying any rent, and at the expiration of the said Ten years they shall pay the Tenths.

VI. They shall enjoy free hunting and fishing and freedom of Trade, according to the privilege of New Netherland.

VII. They shall be bound to make use of the Weights and Measures of the Country.


Of the Director and Council of New Netherland, offering a reward for
the Heads of Raritan Indians. Passed 4 July, 1641.

[N. Y. Colonial MSS. IV. 97.]

Whereas the Indians of the Raritan are daily exhibiting more and more hostility, notwithstanding they have, by a messenger, solicited peace of Us which we consented to, and permitted him to depart unmolested, on the promise to notify unto Us, within twelve days, the resolution of his Chief, which has not been done; the same Indians, who had experienced every friendship at our hands, having in the meantime, on the plantation of Messrs De Vries and David Pietersen, partners, situate on Staten Island, murdered four Tobacco planters, and set fire to the dwelling and tobacco house, whereby the Planters, Farmers and other outlying remote settlers stand in great danger of life and property, which We, under existing circumstances, in consequence of the density of the forest and small number of men, cannot prevent; We have, therefore, esteemed as the best means and considered it expedient to encourage the Indians, our allies hereabout, to take up arms, in order thus to cut off any stray parties who must pass through their territory so that they cannot accomplish any thing against our Bouweries and plantations without danger, or at least without being discovered ; And in order to incite them the more, we have promised them, Ten fathoms of Wampum for each head of the above mentioned Raritans, and 20 fathoms of Wampum for every head of the Indians who have most barbarously murdered our people on Staten Island.


Of the Director and Council of New Netherland, establishing an
annual Fair at New Amsterdam. Passed 30 September, 1641.

[N. Y. Colonial MSS. IV. 101.]

Be it known hereby to all persons, that the Director and Council of New Netherland have ordained that henceforth there shall be held annually at Fort Amsterdam a Cattle Fair on the 15th of October, and a fair for Hogs on the 1st of November. Whosoever hath any thing to sell or to buy can regulate himself accordingly.

Done 30th September and affixed at said Fort.