Laws and ordinances of New Netherland, 1638-1674/1647

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Of the Director and Council of New Netherland against selling
Liquor during Divine Service on the Sabbath, and after nine o'clock
at night; and against Fighting with Knives. Passed 31 May, 1647.

[N. Y. Colonial MSS. IV. 289; XVI. 5.]

Petrus Stuyvesant, Director General of New Netherland, Curacao and the Islands thereof; Commander in chief of the Company's ships and Yachts cruising in the West Indies,

To all those who shall see these presents or hear them read, Greeting.

Whereas, we see and observe by experience the great disorders in which some of our Inhabitants indulge, in drinking to excess, quarreling, fighting and smiting even on the Lord's day of rest, whereof, God help us! we have seen and heard sorrowful instances on last Sunday in vilipending of the Court of Justice, to the reproach and censure of Ourselves and Our office, to the scandal of our Neighbors and finally to the disparagement, yea contempt of God's Holy laws and Ordinances which command us to sanctify this His Rest and Sabbath day to His honor, forbidding all wounding, slaying and the means and occasions whereby the same might arise.

Therefore We, with the advice of the late Hon. Director General and Our appointed Council, in order as much as it is practicable and possible for us to provide herein, and to prevent the Curse, instead of the Blessing of God falling upon Us and on good Inhabitants, do hereby Order and Command that none of the Brewers, Tapsters and Tavern Keepers shall, on the Rest day of the Lord, by us called Sunday, before two of the clock, when there is no sermon, or otherwise, before four of the clock in the afternoon, set before, tap or give any people, any Wine, Beer or Strong liquors of what sort soever, and under any pretext, be it what it may, Travelers and daily Boarders alone excepted, who may be provided therewith for their necessity in their lodgings, on pain of forfeiting their license, and in addition six Carolus guilders for every person who is found in their houses at that time partaking of any Wine or Beer; And in like manner, we forbid all Tavern-keepers, Retailers, and Tapsters, on that day and all other days in the week, in the evening after the ringing of the Bell, which will be about Nine of the Clock, to have any more common Tippling or to tap or furnish any Wine, Beer or Strong liquors except to their own Families, Travelers and Boarders, on the same penalty.

And in order to prevent the too rash drawing of Knives, fighting, wounding and consequent accidents, We, therefore, pursuant to the laudable Statute of the most wise and Worshipful Council of the City of Amsterdam[1], do hereby enact and Ordain, that who soever shall, in passion or in anger, draw, or cause to be drawn a knife or dagger against another, shall forthwith incur a fine of One hundred Carolus guilders, or in case he fail to pay the money, he shall as a punishment be set for half a year to hard labor on bread and water; and if he wound any one therewith, Three hundred like guilders or to spend a year and a half at the aforesaid labor. And We charge and command our Fiscal, Lieutenant, Sergeants, Corporals, as well of Burghers, Inhabitants as of Soldiers, to use all opportunities, visits and due diligence, without any simulation, in attacking and apprehending the contraveners hereof, in order that they may be prosecuted according to law.

Thus done in Fort Amsterdam in New Netherland, the 31 May, 1647.


Of the Director and Council of New Netherland against trading in
the Minquas country. Passed 18 June,

[N. Y. Colonial MSS. IV. 296.]

Whereas the Honble Director General and Council have received certain information that divers Private traders sailing to the South, and belonging to this government, go into the interior towards the Minquas country with cargoes of Cloth, Wampum and other articles, whereby not only Trade is destroyed, but the traders, who remain with their Sloops at the usual Trading posts, sustain great loss and damage, and the Indians thereby might be tempted to murder and slay such persons, in order to obtain their goods, and this Country fall again into disorder and war. Wherefore, We, for the advantage and interest of the West India Company and this Conutry, forbid and interdict, as we do hereby from this time henceforward, all and everyone of our Inhabitants from daring to go into the interior with Cargoes or any other commodities but to wait at the usual trading posts for trade.

Thus done in Fort Amsterdam in New Netherland 18 June A° 1647


Of the Director and Council of New Netherland, against selling
Liquor to Indians; against Trespasses; and for the erection of
Fences and a Public Pound. Passed 1 July, 1647.

[N. Y. Colonial MSS. IV. 297; XVI. 6.]

Whereas large quantities of strong Liquors are daily sold to the Indians whereby heretofore serious difficulties have been occasioned in this Country and, therefore it becomes necessary to provide seasonably therein, so is it that We, the Director General and Council of New Netherland, forbid and interdict all Tapsters and other Inhabitants from now henceforth any Wine, Beer or strong drink to sell, give or trade in any manner or under any pretext whatsoever to the Indians, or to let it be conveyed by the pot, and thus be handed to the Indians by the third or fourth hand directly or indirectly, under the penalty of Five hundred Carolus guilders, and in addition to be responsible for the damage which may accrue therefrom.

Also, every one is warned and forbidden against doing any damage to Farms, Orchards and Gardens either to the Fences or Fruits, and whosoever shall be fonud to have committed any damage to the Fences or Fruits of any Farm, Garden or Orchard shall be filled One Hundred Guilders besides an arbitrary correction.

Likewise, all Inhabitants of New Netherland are charged and commanded their Farms properly to fence and set off so that the Cattle do not commit any damage therein, which cattle, whether Horses, Cows, and especially Goats and Hogs, must be herded or otherwise placed where they can do no harm, to which end Fiscal Van Dyck shall erect a Pound in which he may detain the Cattle until the damage be made good and the fine paid. Let every one be warned and on his guard against Loss.

Done in Fort Amsterdam in New Netherland the 1st July, 1647.


Of the Director and Council of New Netherland against Smuggling,
and to oblige Merchants to exhibit their Books and Accounts when
called on. Passed 4 July, 1647.

[N. Y. Colonial MSS. IV. 298.]

Petrus Stuyvesant, Director General of New Netherland, Curacao and the Islands thereof, and the Honble Council,

To all those who shall see these Presents or hear them read, Greeting.

Whereas we by daily experience find, see and remark the Frauds, Abuses and Smuggling which clearly Our and other people commit in the Exportation of Beavers, Otters, Bearskins, Elkhides and other Peltries, which are sent away or exported without being entered, and consequently without paying any impost or duty, beyond this our jurisdiction and government to New England, Virginia and other parts, whereby the granted and accorded revenues of our Lords Majors are seriously diminished, also, by the Importation of some English Wares and Merchandizes in return, which being oftentimes entered at half the value, We and, in us, the Lords Majors are defrauded both in the Import duties on the English Wares and Merchandizes and the Export duties on the Beavers and Peltries sent away in exchange for them; Moreover, the Wares and Merchandizes of our good and dear Inhabitants, Merchants, Factors and Traders, who pay or have paid fair and just duties thereupon in Fatherland, or here at our Counting house, are hereby grossly injured, trade and commerce corrupted, and We defrauded and wronged in our Revenues and Incomes, wherein being desirous to provide as far as it is possible for us and in our power,

We, the abovementioned Director General and Council do, therefore, most emphatically Ordain, order and command both our own Subjects and Strangers and persons coming here from without, that no one of them shall presume to sell, barter, trade, remove, ship or export, directly or indirectly, any Wares or Merchandizes what nature or quality soever they may be, within our Government as well here in New Netherland as at the Islands of Curacao and elsewhere, without first due entry be made of such Merchandizes, their quantity, quality and value and the same presented to us or our agents; which being done, it shall be lawful for all and every, both Strangers and Inhabitants, to dispose of, sell and part with their Wares and Merchandizes in the usual course of trade to anyone, according as it shall be expedient or profitable to the Owners or Sellers; provided that the seller remain bound, whenever it pleases us, to shew his book or account, to whom they have been sold or what goods have been bartered for them, so that after delivery and returns in lieu of payment, the proper Duties and Imposts may be faithfully paid and received before leaving the country, under the penalty of the confiscation and forfeiture of all the concealed Goods and returns which may be found in the first instance or afterwards, and in addition, a fine of Five hundred Carolus guilders.

We likewise Ordain, interdict and forbid all persons, of what Nation or quality soever they may be, any Elkhides, Bearskins, Otters, Beavers or other Peltries to remove, exchange, export, tranship or to transfer from one Vessel into another or to land, either directly or indirectly, under any pretext whatsoever, unless first of all such Elkhides, Bearskins, Otters, Beavers and other Peltries are entered with us, or our deputy, without fraud and delay, as to their quantity, either here at the Manhattans, or at the place where they have been bartered, negotiated and traded, or at least on the first opportunity where We have stationed our Commissary, or Resident and Deputy, on pain of the confiscation and forfeiture of all the Peltries, with the Goods and Merchandizes therewith which afterwards shall be found smuggled or concealed.

And in order that all Frauds and Smuggling may be at once prevented and stopped, It is further by Us, the Director General and Council, hereby Ordained, enacted and decreed, that from now henceforth, or at least after the sending away of the Peltries which are to go in the Ship Princess, all Elkhides, Bearskins, Otters, Beavers, and all other furs shall be marked and stamped with a certain mark thereto ordered or yet to be established, by some person here in New Amsterdam, to be sworn for that purpose on the behalf of the Lords Majors, in order at the proper time that the regular duty may be received, or caused to be received, on such Bearskins, Elkhides, Deerskins, Otters, Beavers and other Peltries, so that they may be carried and exported hence elsewhere beyond or within our Government, to New England or towards the Swedes at the South, to Virginia or to Fatherland; under penalty of confiscation of all Beavers, Otters. Bearskins, Elkhides, Deer and Fox skins, which shall be found here or hereafter in Fatherland unmarked and unstamped.

Moreover, for the further prevention of all sorts of Smuggling, inasmuch as the duty is not and cannot be actually paid in Beavers, all Merchants, Factors, Peddlers, Traders or other commercial persons, whether Inhabitants or Foreigners, are charged and commanded by Us, to show pertinently or whenever it shall be our pleasure, by their accounts and books to whom they have trucked and traded such marked and stamped Beavers, Otters, Bearskins, Deerskins and other Peltries, under the penalty that the last receiver and purchaser thereof remaining here in default or neglect, shall pay a double duty on the Furs which are missed or not entered on his books; and within three days after the departure of the Ship Princess all Merchants, Traders and Inhabitants at the Manhattans, shall duly enter their remaining Beavers, Otters and other Peltries, and have them marked, on pain of incurring the Confiscation and Fine aforesaid.

Thus done and enacted in Council at Fort Amsterdam in New Netherland the 4th July, A° 1647, New style. Present: The Hon. Director General, the Hon. Dincklage, the Hon. Ex-Director, Mr. La Montagne, Capt. lieut. Nuton, Commander Looper, Jan Claesn Bol, captain of the Princess, and Naval Officer, Mr. Paulus Leendersen[2].


Of the Director and Council of New Netherland, imposing an Excise
and to oblige Merchants to exhibit their Books and Accounts when
on Wines and Spirituous Liquors. Passed 4 July, 1647.

[N. Y. Colonial MSS. IV. 303.]

Petrus Stuyvesant, Director General of New Netherland, Curacao and the Islands thereof, and the Honble Council,

To all those who shall see these Presents or hear them read, Greeting.

Whereas the fortress New Amsterdam is now for some time past, during the War, greatly decayed, and the walls daily leaped over and more and more trodden under foot by Men and Cattle, which tends not only to the disrepute of our Sovereign and High authority, the contempt, yea disgrace of this State by others our Neighbors, whether English, French, Swedes, yea even by the Indians find Heathens, but also to the reproach of Us and our good Inhabitants, and is most perilous and dangerous in time of attack, or of defence against all foreign enemies; Therefore, We, the Director General and Council intending, pursuant to the Order of the Honble Lords Majors, to put the Fort into proper repair; to complete the Church, at which we are already engaged; to erect a Pier for the convenience of the Merchants and Citizens; to construct a Sheet-piling to prevent the abrasion by the river in front of this city of Amsterdam, all which being useful and highly necessary, public and general works, requiring a considerable sum of money, both to procure the materials, and to pay the workmen, therefore for facilitating and rendering more easy the same, We have resolved to ordain and establish a reasonable Excise and impost on the Wine, Brandy and Liquors which are imported from abroad.

And we do hereby Ordain and enact that all Tavern keepers and Retailers of Spanish Wine, Brandy and Liquors shall pay an Excise of two stivers per pot; of French Wine, one stiver; that is on each anker of Spanish Wine, Brandy and Liquor, three guilders, four stivers; of French Wine, one guilder, twelve stivers, the large vessels in proportion; In like manner also, all Skippers, Factors and Scots who will transport or sell such Wine, Brandy, or Liquors elsewhere within our government, shall pay the same Excise; with this understanding, nevertheless, that the Merchant, Burgher, Farmer, and other our good Inhabitants (the Tapster and retailer by the large and small measure alone excepted) shall be at liberty to lay in their houses, dwellings, and places of abode, by the large and small cask, for their private consumption, on the same terms as those who purchased of the Merchant; Factor, or Trader, in order to sell again; provided only that the Burgher and other good Inhabitants remain bound to obtain a Permit from our appointed Officer, Receiver or Collector, before he lay in or store the Wine in the cellar, and to pay therefor six stivers per anker of French Wine and 12 stivers per anker of Brandy or Spanish Wine; larger measures in proportion.

In order to prevent fraud and Smuggling the seller shall remain bound to enter with the Receiver General or Collector the quantity and quality of the sold Wines and Liquors before delivery. In like manner the purchaser is ordered and commanded not to receive, ship, export nor store any Wines without having first obtained a proper permit from Receiver or Collector, and exhibited it to the Officer, on pain of forfeiting such Wines and Five Hundred guilders additional, to be applied one third for the Company, one third for the Church, one third for the Fiscal or the Complainant and Informer.

Thus done and enacted in Council in Fort Amsterdam. Present, the Honble General Pr Stuyvesant, the late Director W. Kieft, Mr. Dincklage, Mr. La Montagne, Captain Lieutenant Neuwton, Commander Jacob Loper, Paulus Leendersen, Naval Officer, and Jan Claesz Bol, the 4 July, A° 1647.


Of the Director and Council of New Netherland respecting Large and
Small ships and Smuggling. Passed 4 July, 1647.

[N. Y. Colonial MSS. IV. 304; XVI. 7.]

The Honble Director General and Council of New Netherland, Curacao, and the Islands thereof, residing in New Netherland, on the behalf of their High Mightinesses the Lords States General of the United Netherlands, his Highness of Orange and the Honble Directors of the Incorporated West India Company, do hereby Ordain and enact:

1. That all private Yachts, Barks, Ketches, Sloops and Boats under Fifty lasts, whether Dutch, English, French, Swedish or other, desiring to anchor under the Manhattans, shall not seek for, nor have any other roadstead than in front of the City New Amsterdam, between Capske Point and the Guide-board near the City Tavern, under a fine of Fifty Carolus guilders for the first time after they have been notified, and the large Ships may anchor between the said Point and the Second Guide Board, which stands on the way down towards the Smith's valley.

2. No Skippers, Merchants, Traders, nor ships on their first arrived, will be allowed to land, remove, transport or tranship any Merchandizes or Wares on shore until the arrived vessels are visited and the goods entered with the Honble General, or his deputy.

3. After Sunset and before Sunrise, no Ships can discharge or load, or send off or receive, any boats with Goods or Merchandize, except to convey one of the Officers on board or ashore, which must be done in the evening before the ringing of the Farmers' bell and in the morning after Reveille, and from no other place than in front of, and about the office (logie), on pain of forfeiting all wares and merchandizes then found in the boat, and One pound Flemish additional.

4. No Ships great or small, shall be allowed to depart without being first visited, and twelve hours' previous notice having been given to, and proper clearance received from the Honble General or his deputy, under a penalty of One hundred guilders.

5. No Skippers, Traders, nor anyone on board the ship, shall be permitted to conceal, carry away or transport out of the district of Our government any of the Company's servants, free traders or inhabitants of New Netherland, of what nation or quality soever they may be, without a proper Pass and handwriting signed by the Director, or his deputy, under a fine of Six hundred guilders.

Thus done in Council in Fort Amsterdam. Present: the Honble General Petrus Stuyvesant, the late Director William Kieft, Mr. Dincklage, Mr. La Montange, Captain lieutenant Nuton, Jacob Loper, Naval officer Paulus Leendersen, and Jan Claesz Bol, captain of the Princess, the 4 July, A° 1647, in New Netherland.


Of the Director and Council of New Netherland, imposing an Export
Duty on Furs. Passed 23 July, 1647.

[N. Y. Colonial MSS. IV. 320.]

Whereas for some years past all Free traders here in New Netherland have paid a duty on all Peltries purchased and bartered by them here and exported, as ships offered, to Fatherland, the Council have, therefore, considered it highly necessary to establish a fixed Duty, so that each may know what impost he has to pay; Wherefore it is Resolved that the Duty shall be computed: On every exported Beaverskin shall be paid, Fifteen stivers; two halves for one whole, and three Drielings[3] for two whole Beavers; each Otter and Beaverskin, Fifteen stivers; each Elkhide, Fifteen stivers, and the other furs of less value, in proportion.

Thus done in Council, Present: the Honble Dr General Petrus Stuyvesandt, the the Honble William Kieft, late Director, Mr. La Montange, Lieutenant Nuton, Naval officer Paulus Leendersen, and Jan Claesen Bol. The 23 July, A° 1647.


Of the Director and Council of New Netherland regulating Buildings
in the city of New Amsterdam. Passed 25 July, 1647.

[N. Y. Colonial MSS. IV. 324; XYI. 9.]

Whereas we see and remark by experience the irregularity heretofore and still daily observed in building and erecting of Houses; in extending of Lots far beyond the survey line; in setting up Hog pens and Privies on the highways and streets; in neglecting and omitting duly to build on granted and conceded lots; the Honble Director General Petrus Stuyvesandt and the Honble Council, in order to prevent the same in future, have Resolved to appoint three Street surveyors (Roymeesters) to wit, the Honble Lubbert van Dincklage, the Naval Officer Paulus Leendersen, and the Secretary Cornelis van Tienhoven, whom we hereby authorize and empower to condemn and in future to stop all unsightly and irregular Buildings, Fences, Palisades, Posts, Rails, etc. Therefore, we Order and warn all and every of our Subjects, who from now henceforth are inclined to build on, or inclose any Gardens or Lots within or near the city New Amsterdam, not to proceed in the erection or construction thereof without the previous knowledge of; speaking to and survey by the aforesaid appointed Street Surveyors, under a fine of 25 Carolus guilders and the abatement of what they have built or set up. In like manner, we will have all and every who have heretofore received any lots, warned and notified to build within Nine months from this date, regular, good and decent houses on their lots, according to law, or in default thereof; such unimproved Lots shall be forfeit to the Patroon or Lord proprietor, or shall be conveyed to whomsoever he pleases.

Thus done in Council in Fort Amsterdam, Present the Honble Director Kieft (sic) Mr Dincklage, Mr. La Montange, Lieutenant Nuton, Paulus Leendersen Naval Officer, and Jan Claesz. Boll. 25 July A° 1647.


Of the Director and Council of New Netherland establishing a Board
of Nine Men. Passed 25 September, 1647.

[N. Y. Colonial MSS. IV. 334.]

Petrus Stuyvesant, on behalf of the High and Mighty Lords States General, his Serene Highness the Prince of Orange and the Honble Directors of the General Incorporated West India Company of the United Netherlands, Director general of New Netherland and the Curacao islands, Captain and Commander in Chief of the said Company's Ships and Yachts in this Northern part of America; together with the Honble Council.

To all those who shall read, or hear these Presents read, Greeting:

Whereas We, pursuant to Our Commission and general Instruction, desire, wish or require nothing else but that this government of New Netherland entrusted to Us, and especially this Our Capital and residence, New Amsterdam, may grow and advance in good order, justice, police, population, prosperity and mutual peace and improvement; be provided and furnished with a proper and strong Fort, a Church, School, Sheet-piling, Pier and similar highly necessary public and common works and buildings, whereunto We, in pursuance of our concurrent Instruction, are commanded to solicit the coöperation of the Commonalty, as such concerns their own welfare and defence, and is customary in all well ordered Governments, Colonies and Places; Yet, however, being disinclined to burthen and oppress, by virtue of our granted Commission and Instruction, the good and peaceable Commonalty, our dear Vassals and Subjects, by exactions, impositions and intolerable taxes, but rather to induce and solicit them, by a more reasonable manner of consent, to lend a helping hand in such honorable and most necessary works; And whereas it is difficult to bring so many heads under one capoch, or so many votes into one voice, We have, by the advice of our Council, heretofore proposed and submitted to the Commonalty that they, without passion or hatred or envy, select twice the number of Nine persons from the most notable, most reasonable, most honorable and most respectable of our Subjects, in order that a single number of Nine persons may be chosen and appointed from them to confer, as Selectmen, with us and our Council, on the subject of such approval and coöperative means, and to assist, to the best of their knowledge and information, in promoting and forwarding the welfare both of the Commonalty and of the Commonwealth; whereunto, then, on the day aforesaid, a double number being selected by our dear subjects, the good Commonalty, are by Us and our Council therefrom chosen, to wit:

From the Merchants — Augustyn Heerman, Arnoldus van Hardenberch, and Govert Loockermans;

From the Burghers — Jan Jansen Damen, Jacob Wolphertsen and Hendrick Kip;

From the Farmers — Machiel Jansen, Jan Evertsen Bout and Thomas Hall, as Spokesmen for the Commonalty, who having taken the oath of fidelity to Us and the Honble Council to regulate and govern themselves in conformity to reason and the Orders and Instructions yet to be given, are hereby confirmed in their abovementioned quality, nuder the following Rules:

First. That they as good Spokesmen and Agents of the Commonalty will aim at, and as far as lies their power, help to promote the honor of God and welfare of our dear Fatherland, the greatest advantage of the Company and the prosperity of the worthy Commonalty here, and the advancement of the pure Reformed Religion as taught at this day in the Church here and in Netherland.

Second. That they shall not set up and form any private Conventicles and Meetings, much less consultations and resolutions, without the knowledge and advice of the Director General and his Council, or without his special and particular Order, except only, when legally convened and having heard the proposals of the Honble Director General and Council, they can adjourn and take a recess in order to confer with each other upon, and to consider such proposals and thereafter to give advice: Provided, nevertheless, that the Director General retains the power to commission himself or some one of the Council to act as President at such our consultations and deliberations, to collect the votes and to make a report to the Council.

Third. Whereas in consequence of the increase of the Inhabitants, Lawsuits and disputes which parties bring against each other, are multiplied, and also divers questions and quarrels of trifling moment, which can be determined and disposed of by Arbitrators, but, in consequence of matters of greater importance, frequently remain over and undecided, to the prejudice and injury of this place and the good people thereof, and also to the great expence, loss of time and vexation of the contending parties, three out of those chosen shall have access once a week, on Thursday, the usual Burgher Court day, to our general Council as long as civil cases are before the Court in order to obtain a knowledge of the cases and parties who might be referred to them as Arbitrators and Good Men; to wit, one from the Merchants; one from the Burghers; one from the Farmers, which shall regularly rotate every month. And if one of them be indisposed or absent, he may subordinate another of the elected in his place; And parties referred by the Council to them as Arbitrators and Good Men and being judged shall remain bound to submit without opposition to the pronounced decision, or in default thereof be fined One pound Flemish for the first time, to be paid before the aggrieved party can appeal, or obtain a hearing before our Council from the decision of the Good Men.

Fourth. The number of the Nine elected Select Men shall continue until further Order and circumstances, saving that Six shall retire annually, and 12 picked out from the most qualified Inhabitants, which names shall be returned to us by the Nine Men assembled collegialiter without its being necessary to convene the entire Commonalty hereafter, which Meeting shall take place on the last of December following the next New Year's day and so every year afterwards.

Thus done and enacted in Council, 25 September A° 1647. (Signed) P. Stuyvesant, L. Van Dincklage, La Montagne, Brian Newton, Paulus Leendersen van die Grift and A. Keyser.


Of the Director and Council of New Netherland providing for the
Completion of Fort New Amsterdam. Passed 22 November, 1647.

[N. Y. Colonial MSS. IV. 352.]

Whereas Fort New Amsterdam is entirely out of repair, and it is highly necessary that it be placed at the earliest and most convenient opportunity in a thorough and complete state of defense, in order, therefore, to the speedy and diligent consummation of that noble work, which not only tends to the reputation of this Province but also affords a safe asylum to the Inhabitants of this place in time of danger (which God avert), We, the Director General and Council of New Netherland, have deemed it proper and highly necessary, in pursuance, also, of an order of the Honble Directors thereunto, to request the Commonalty to lend a helping hand to this laudable work, prized by all Nations, and in order that the Commonalty may not be aggrieved by heavy and intolerable burthens, We have judged it to be the best means of all, that every Male person from 16 to 60 years, shall each for himself work twelve days in the year at the said Fort, or whoever finds it inconvenient to perform such labor, shall be exempt therefrom on payment of two Guilders for each day.


Of the Director and Council of New Netherland respecting loose
Wampum. Passed 30 November, 1647.

[N. Y. Colonial MSS. IV. 352.]

Resolved and concluded in Council at Fort Amsterdam, that, until further Order, the loose Wampum shall continue current and in circulation; only that in the meanwhile, all imperfect, broken and unpierced beads can be picked out, which are declared Bullion, and shall, meantime, be received at the Company's counting house as heretofore. Provided that the Company, or anyone on its part, shall, in return, be at liberty to trade therewith among the Merchants or other Inhabitants, or in larger parcels as may be agreed upon and stipulated by any individual, or on behalf of the Company.


  1. The following are the provisions of the Statute of Amsterdam, referred to in this Ordinance, entitled: "Of drawing Weapons, Fighting and Wounding."
    2. And if anyone draw a Knife or other weapon, without, however inflicting a wound, he shall be committed to close imprisonment, on beer and bread at his own cost, for the term of six weeks, or must pay the Court in lieu thereof the sum of Twelve Carolus guilders,in ready money.
    3. Item. If anyone wound or strike another with a knife or other weapon, even with sticks, canes, pitchers and such like, he is to be imprisoned in the public jail on beer and bread, at his own cost, for the term of three months, or pay instead, the sum of Four and twenty guilders in ready money. Recueil van Verseheyde Keuren en Costumen van de Stadt Amsterdam, door Gerard Rooseboom. Cap. XI. Tr.
  2. The preceding Law was disapproved in Holland, as appears by the following observations of the Directors of the Company at Amsterdam to Director Stuyvesant:
    27 January, 1649. "We observe that your Honor has undertaken to visit the stores of some Merchants with a view to discover smuggling; likewise to examine their Books. All these things are, in our opinion, of grave consequence and directly contrary to the course of Free Trade, which provisionally is granted by this Chamber to all Traders, for the reason that this Chamber is as yet unable to retain the trade to itself, but must content itself with the Duty, for the present, until more favorable circumstances." N. Y. Col. MSS., XI. 14.
    16 February, 1650. "What we shall remark respecting Edicts and Resolutions which are sometimes difficult of execution, refers solely to what we have once before observed to you in regard to examining the Books of some Merchants. Hardenbergh hath already complained of it, and this argument was greatly strengthened by the information of the Delegates who have set forth in plain terms in their Remonstrance, that Edicts have been posted up, whereby your Honor maintains that all Merchants' Books must at all times be open to you and your Council. This, we must acknowledge, was never customary in Christendom, nor ought it to be the custom. But as no copy thereof has yet reached us, we shall not at present admit it further than your own confession in regard to Arnoldus van Hardenberch, and the good intention respecting the frauds committed in the measurement of Duffels sold to divers parties." N. Y. Col. MSS. IX. 15. Tr.
  3. Drieling — somewhat less than a half. Vanderkemp.