Laws and ordinances of New Netherland, 1638-1674/1645

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Of the Director and Council of New Netherland further prohibiting
Passed 23 February, 1645.

[N. Y. Colonial MSS. IV. 216.]

Whereas the Director General and Council of New Netherland have long ere this noticed the dangerous practise of selling Guns, Powder and Lead to the Indians, and moreover published at the time an Ordinance prohibiting the same on pain of Death, notwithstanding which some persons have yet undertaken to barter all sorts of ammunition among the Heathen, purchasing the same secretly here and then transporting it up the River and elsewhere, to the serious injury of this Country, the strengthening of the Indians and the destruction of the Christians, as We are now, also, informed with certainty, that our enemies are better provided with Powder than we, which they contrive to obtain through other Barbarians, our friends. Likewise, his Majesty of France hath, through his Ambassador, seriously complained to the Lords States General of the selling of arms to the Indians, whereby His subjects suffer grave injury, in consequence of which the Lords States General have recommended Messrs the Directors to prevent and to forbid the same, and to have the guilty parties punished with rigor, which, then, their Honors have earnestly commanded us to do.

Therefore, we most expressly forbid, as we hereby do, all persons, from this time forth, from daring to trade any munitions of War with the Indians, or under any pretence whatsoever, to transport them from here, without express permission, on pain of being punished by Death, and having the vessel confiscated in which the same shall be found laden or to have been put on board. Let every one be warned hereby and save himself from difficulty.


Granted by the Director and Council of New Netherland to the Town
of Flushing. Passed 10 October, 1645.

[N. Y. Deed Book, II. 178.]

Know all men, whom these prsents may any wayes concerne, That wee William Kieft, Esqr Governor Genll of the Province called the New Netherlands, wth ye Councill of State there Established, by Vertue of a Commission under the hand and Seale of the High and Mighty Lords, the Estates Genll of ye United Belgick Provinces, His Highnesse, Frederick Hendrick, Prince of Orange, and the Right Honoble Lords, the Lords Bewint Hebbers, of the West India Company, Have given and graunted, And by virtue of these p’nts, do give, graunt and confirm unto Thomas ffarrington, John Townesend, Thomas Stiles, Thomas Saull, John Marston, Robert ffleld, Thomas Applegate, Thomas Beddard, Laurence Dutch, John Laurence, William Laurence, William Thorne, Henry Sautell, William Pigeon, .Michaell Milleard, Robert ffirman, John Hicks, Edward Hart, their heires, Excors Admtrs Assignes, Successors or Associates, or any they shall joyne in Associacōn with them, a certaine quantity or parcell of Land, with all the Havens, Harbors Rivers, Creekes, Woodland, Marshes, there unto belonging, and being upon the Northside of Long Island, to begin at ye westward part thereof, at the Month of a Creeke upon the East River, now comonly called and knowne by the name of fflushing Creeke, and so to runne Eastward, as farr as Matthew Garretsons Bay; Together wth a Neck of Land commonly called Tues Neck, being bounded on the Westward part thereof, with the Land graunted to Mr Francis Doughty and Associates, and on the Eastward part thereof, with the Land graunted to ye Plantacōn and Towne of Hempsteed, and so to rune in two direct Lines, unto the South side of ye said Island, that there may be the same Latitude in breadth, on the South side, as on the Northside, for them the said Patentees, Actually, really, and perpetually to enjoy, and Possesse, as their owne free Land of Inheritance, for them the said Patentees, their Associates, heires, Successors and Assignes to Improve and Manure at theire owne best advantage according to their discretions. Aiwayes Provided ye said Patentees or Associates, shall settle such a competent Number of ffamilyes, wthin the space of two yeare, after the date hereof, as the Governor Genall of this Province, for the time being, or any hee shall appoint, shall thinke convenient, may bee accommodated, within the said Limitts;

Alwayes Provided the first Settlers, to bee sufficiently accommodated, excepting for and to the use of the above said Right Honoble the Lords Bewint Hebbers, a certain Parcell of Land, within the Towne of fflushing, for theire own use;

ffurther giving and graunting, And by vertue of these prsents, We do give and Graunt, unto the said Patentees, their Associates, Heires, Executors Admtors Successors and Assignes, upon the said Land to build a Towne, or Townes, wth such necessary ffortifications, as to them shall seeme Expedient and to have and Enjoy the Liberty of Conscience, according of Religion; to the Custome and manner of Holland, without molestacōn or disturbance, from any Magistrate or Magistrates, or any other Ecclesiasticall Minister, that may extend Jurisdiccōn over them, with Power likewise, for them the said Patentees, their Associates and Successors to Nominate, Elect and Choose, a certain Officer over them, who may beare the name or Title of Scout, or Constable of ffiushing, to wth said Officer, of Scout or Constable, Wee do hereby give graunt and Confirme, as large and ample Power and Authority, as, is usually given to the Scout of any Village in Holland, or Constable in England, for the apprehencōn of any Malefactor, or any that shall go about to disturbe the Publique Peace and tranquillity of the said Towne of fflushing, And him or them to bring before the Governor Genall of this Province, for the time being, and there to make Proces agst such delinquents;

ffurther giving and graunting, And by vertue of these Prnts, we do give and graunt unto the said Patentees, their Associates, Heires, Successors &c. to have and enjoy the free Liberty of Hawking, Hunting, ffishing, ffowling within their abovesd Limitts, And to use and Exercise all manner of Trade and Commerce, according as ye Inhabitts of this Province may or can by vertue of any Priviledge or Graunt made unto them, indueing all and singular the said Patentees, their Associates, Heires, Successors &c. wth all and singular the imunityes of this Province, as if they were Natives of the United Belgick Provinces;

Alwayes Provided, the said Patentees, their Associates, Heires and Successors shall reverendly respect the abovenamed High and Mighty Lords, &c. for their Superior Lords and Patrons, so long’ as they shall continue within the Jurisdiction of this Province, and at ye expiracōn of ten yeares to begin from the day of the date hereof, to pay or cause to bee paid to an Officer, thereunto deputed by the Governor Genall of this Province, for the time being, the tenth part of the Revenue, that shall arise by the Ground manured, by the Plough or Howe, in case it bee demanded, to be paid to ye sd Officer, in the ffield, before it bee Housed, Gardens, or Orchards, not exceeding one Holland Acre, being excepted; And in case any of ye sd Patentees, their Associates, Heires, Successors or Assignes, shall onely improve their Stocks, in Grasing or Breeding of Cattle, Then the Party so doing, shall at the expiracōn of the ten yeares aforsaid, Pay or cause to be paid to an Officer, deputed as abovesaid, such reasonable Satisfaction in Butter or Cheese, as other Townes shall do in like Cases;

Likewise enjoyning the said Patentees and Associates, their Heires, Successors and so forth, in the dating of all Publick Instrumts to use the New Stile, together with the Weights and Measures of this place.

In Wittnesse whereof, wee have here unto sett our hand and Seale of this Province, dated this tenth day of October, 1645, stilo novo, in the ffort Amsterdam.

Memorandum, before the Ensealing hereof, It was Agreed, and Ordered by the Governor, the Land should rune North and South, but as farr as the Hills.

Ter Ordinnantie, &c.


Of the Director and Council of New Netherland further prohihiting
the sale of Intoxicating Liquors to Indians. Passed 21 November,

[N. Y. Colonial MSS. IV. 239.]

Whereas large quantities of Strong liquors are daily sold to the Indians whence serious troubles have heretofore arisen in this country, and it is to be apprehended, if no provision be made therein, greater calamities will occur, and in order to prevent the same, We, the Director General and Council of New Netherland, do forbid all Tapsters and Inhabitants from this day forward, any Wine, Beer or other Strong liquors to sell, give or trade in any way whatsoever to the Indians; to bring it, or cause it to be brought, by the third or fourth hand, directly or indirectly into any Houses, Taverns or elsewhere. If any one (be he who he may) be found to have transgressed herein, he shall forfeit for the first offence Five hundred guilders; for the second offence, double; an arbitrary correction, and to be banished out of the country, and in addition, to be responsible for all the damage which may accrue from the selling or giving any drink to the Indians.

Published and posted at the usual places on the 21 November, 1645.


Granted by the Director and Council of New Netherland to the town
of Gravesend, L. I. Passed 19 December, 1645.

[From the Original in the Office of the Clerk of the Town.]

Whereas it hath pleased the High and Mighty Lords the Estates Generall of the united Belgick Provinces his Highness ffredericke Hendricke by the grace of God Prince of Orange, etc.: & the Right Honourable the lords Bewint-hebbers of the West India Company by theyre severall Comissions under theyre hands and seales to giue and graunt unto me William Kieft sufficient power and authoritie for the generall rule and gonerument of this Prouince Called the New Netherlands & likewise for the setling of townes, Collonies, plantations and disposing of the land within this Prouince, as by the said Commissions more att large doth and may appeare;

Now Know yee whomsoeuer these presents may any ways Concerne that I Will: Kieft Gouernr Generl1 of this Pronince by vertue of the authoritie abouesd & with the aduice & consent of the Councill of State here established haue giuen and granted and by vertue of these presents doe giue, graunt & confirme vnto the Honoured Lady Deborah Moody: Sir Henry Moody Barronett, Ensigne George Baxter: & serieant James Hubbard, theyre associates, heyres, executours, administratours, successours, assignes, or any they shall ioyne in association with them, a Certaine quantitie or parcell of land, together with all the hauens, harbours, riuers, Creekes, woodland, marshes, and all other appurtenances thereunto belonging, lying and being vppon & aboute the westernmost part of Long Island, and beginning att the mouth of a Creeke adiacent to Conyne Island & being bounded on the westward part thereof with the land appertaming to Anthony Johnson & Robert Pennoyre, and soe to runne as farre as the westermost part of a Certaine pond in an ould Indian field on the north side of the plantation of the sd Ro: Pennoyre, & from thence to runne direct East as farre as a valley beginning att the head of a fflye or marsh somtimes belonging to the land of Hugh Garretson, & being bounded on the south side with the Maine Ocean, for them the said pattentees theyre associates, hrs, executrs administrs succesrs & assigns, actuallie, reallie & perpetuallie to inioy and posesse as theyre owne ffree land of inheritance and it to improue & manure according to theire owne discretions, with libertie likewise for them the said pattes theyre assocts hrs & succesrs & assignes to put what cattle they shall thinke fitting to feed or grase vppon the afforesd Conyne Island.

ffarther giueing & graunting, & by vertue of these presents wee doe giue & graunt unto the sd pattentes theyre assocts hrs, & successrs full power and authoritie vppon the said land to build a towne, or townes with such necessarie fortifications as to them shall seem expedient, & to haue & enioy the ffree libertie of Conscience according to the Custom and manner of Holland, without molestation or disturbance from any magistrate, or magistrates, or any other ecclesiasticall minister that may pretend iurisdictie ouer them, with libertie likewise for them the sd pattentees, theyre assoces hrs, &c: to erect a boddy politique & Civill Combination amongst themselues as ffreemen of this prouince & of the towne of Gravesend & to make such Civill ordinances as the maior part of the inhabitts ffree of the sd towne shall thinke fitting for theyre quiet & peaceable subsisting & to nominate elect & choose three of the ablest, approued, honest men, & them to present annually to the Gouernr gener: of this prouence for the time being for him the sd Gouernr to establish & Confirme;

To the which sd three men soe chosen & Confirmed wee doe hereby giue & graunt full power and authoritie absolutely and definitinelie to determine (without appeale to any superiour Court) for debt or trespasse, not exceeding fifty hollands gildrs for all such actions as shall happen within the iurisdiction of the abouesd limit: with power likewise for any one of the sd thre to examine vppon oath all witnesses in Cases depending before them, and in Case any shall refuse to stand to the award of what the maior part of the sd thre shall agree vnto, in such Cases we doe hereby giue and graunt full power and authoritie to any two of the sd thre, to attach, and Ceise, uppon the land, goods, Cattles & Chattles of the parties Condemned by theyre sd sentence, and fourtene dayes after the said Czisure (if the parties soe Condemned agrees not in the interim & submits himselfe to the sentense of the said thre men) the sd two or three appointed men as afforesd to take or ioyne to themselues two more of theyre neighbours discrete honest men & with the aduise of them to apprise the lands, goods, Cattles, or Chattles, within the abouesd jurisdiction & belonging to the partie Condemned as afforesd to the full valleu; and then to sell them to any that will buye, that satisfaction & payment may be made, according to the sentence of the sd appointed men.

Likewise giueing & graunting & by vertue hereof wee doe giue & graunt unto the sd pattes theyre asocts hrs, successrs &c., full power and authoritie to elect & nominate a certaine officer amongst themselues to execute the place of a Scoute, and him likewise annuallie to present to the Gouenr gener: of this prouince to be established and confirmed, to which sd officer soe chosen and confirmed, we doe hereby giue and graunt as large and ample power as is vsuallie giuen to the scoutes of any village in Holland, for the suppression or preuention of any disorders that may there arise, or to arrest & apprehend the boddy of any Criminall, malefactour, or of any that shall by word or act disturb the publicqu tranquillitie of this pronince, or ciuill peace of the inhabitants within the abouesd iurisdiction, & him, them, or her, soe arrested or apprehended, to bring or Cause to be brought before the Gonernr gener: of this prouince, & theyre by way of processe declare against the partie soe offending;

ffarther wee doe giue & graunt unto the sd pattes theyre assocs hrs, etc: free libertie of hawking, hunting, fishing, fowling within the abouesd limits, & to use & exercise all manner of trades & comerce, according as the inhabitants of this prouince may or Can, by vertue of any priueledge, or graunt made unto them, induing all & singular the sd pattes theyre assocts hrs, etc: with all & singular the immunities and priuledges already graunted to the inhabitts of this pronince or hereafter to be graunted, as if they were natives of the united Belgick prouinces.

Allways prouided the sd pattes theyre assocts hrs, &c: shall faithfullie acknowledge & reuen rentlie respect the abouenamed High & Mighty lords, etc.: for theyre superiour lords & patrons, & in all loyaltie & fidelitie demeane themselues towards them & theyre successers according as the inhabitts of this pronince in duty are bound, soe long as they shall be within this iurisdiction, and att the expiratien of ten years, to beginne from the day of the date hereof, to pay or Cause to be paid to an officer thereunto deputed by the Gonererr Gener: of this prouince for the tyme being, the tenth part of the reuenue that shall arise by the ground manured by the plough or how, in case it be demanded to be paid to the sd officer in the fields before it be howsed, gardens or orchards not exceeding one hollands acre being excepted: and in case any of the sd pattes theyre assocts hrs, etc., shall only improue theyre stocks in grassing or breiding of Cattle, then the parties soe doeing shall att the end of the ten yeares afforesd pay or cause to be paid to an officer deputed as afforesd such reasonable satisfaction in butter and cheese, as other inhabitts of other towns shall doe in like Cases;

Likewise inioyning the said pattes theyre assocts hrs, etc: in the dating of all publique instruments to use the new style with the weights and measures of this place.

Given under my hand and seale of this prouiuce this 19th of December in the foort Amsterdam in New-Netherlands, 1645.


(Endorsed on the back) —

Ter ordonnantie van de Hr Derectr generael en
Raden Van Nieu Nederlandt.

This Patent was Recorded in the office at New Yorke the 1st day of March, 1666.