Document: Dutch colonial council minutes, 1 February - 3 March 1644

Holding Institution
Document ID

Court proceedings. Fiscal vs. John Haes, theft; prisoner acknowledges having shot a hog, and stolen a gun from David Pietersen (de Vries), also, that he pulled off Lawrence the Norman's shoes, when he was wounded by the Indians, and sold them for three guilders; prisoner is pardoned in consideration of his having served as a soldier in the present campaign, on condition that he give security for the damage he committed, and for his future good behavior; should he be again guilty of similar crimes, he shall then be hanged without mercy. [1644];Court proceedings. Jochem Kierstede vs. Sybolt Claesen, action for payment of a share in a bark; judgment for plaintiff. [1644] (page 183);Manumission of Manuel de Gerrit, the giant, and ten other negroes, with their wives, from slavery, on condition that each of the men pay the government yearly, during their lives, 30 skepels (22 ½ bu.) maize, wheat, peas or beans, and one fat hog valued at 20 guilders, and that their children, already in existence or hereafter born, shall be slaves. [1644] (page 183-184);Court proceedings. Maritje Livens vs. Jan Snediger, slander; case continued. [1644] (page 184)

Document Date
1644-02-01 to 1644-03-03
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The 28th of January

Cornelis Volckertsen, plaintiff, vs. Barent Dircksen, baker, defendant, for fl. 3:3, for which the defendant has become surety. Defendant acknowledges the debt and is condemned to pay.

Luyck Cock, plaintiff, vs. Tymon Jansen, defendant. Defendant appears and plaintiff is in default.

The 1st of February

The fiscal, plaintiff, vs. Jan Haes, defendant, for theft. Jan Haes admits in court that he shot a hog and stole a gun from Davit Pietersen; also, that after Laurens the Noorman had been wounded by the Indians he took off his shoes and sold them for 3 guilders.

Jan is pardoned in consideration of the fact that he served the country as a soldier on that occasion, on condition that he give security for the damage done by him and that which he might do in the future and that if he commits similar crimes again he shall be hanged without mercy.

The 4th of February

Jochim Kersteede, plaintiff, vs. Sybolt Clasen, defendant. Plaintiff demands payment for his share in the bark sold to the defendant in company with Lambert Huybersz and Dirck Dircksz for fl. 75. Defendant is ordered to pay fl. 75 and to seek his remedy against the farmers' baker (boere backer).

Piere Pia, plaintiff, vs. Jan Percel, defendant. Plaintiff again requests proof of the accusations made by the defendant. Case is adjourned until the arrival of the secretary to examine the documents in the matter.

The 25th of February

[1] We, Willem Kieft, director general, and the council of New Netherland, having considered the petition of the Negroes named Paulo Angolo, Big Manuel, Little Manuel, Manuel de Gerrit de Reus, Simon Congo, Antony Portuguese, Gracia, Piter Santomee, Jan Francisco, Little Antony and Jan Fort Orange, who have served the Company for 18 or 19 years, that they may be released from their servitude and be made free, especially as they have been many years in the service of the honorable Company here and long since have been promised their freedom; also, that they are burdened with many children, so that it will be impossible for them to support their wives and children as they have been accustomed to in the past if they must continue in the honorable Dompany's service; Therefore, we, the director and council, do release the aforesaid Negroes and their wives from their bondage for the term of their natural lives, hereby setting them free and at liberty on the same footing as other free people here in New Netherland, where they shall be permitted to earn their livelihood by agriculture on the land shown and granted to them, on condition that they, the above mentioned Negroes, in return for their granted freedom, shall, each man for himself, be bound to pay annually, as long as he lives, to the West India Company or their agent here, 30 schepels of maize, or wheat, pease, or beans, and one fat hog valued at 20 guilders, which 30 schepels and hog they, the Negroes, each for himself, promise to pay annually, beginning from the date hereof, on pain, if any one shall fail to pay the annual recognition, of forfeiting his freedom and again going back into the servitude of the said Company. With the express condition that their children, at present born or yet to be born, shall remain bound and obligated to serve the honorable West India Company as slaves. Likewise, that the above mentioned men shall be bound to serve the honorable West India Company here on land or water, wherever their services are required, on condition of receiving fair wages from the Company. Thus done, the 25th of February 1644, in Fort Amsterdam in New Netherland.

On the 3d of March 1644

Marritjen Livens, plaintiff, vs. Jan Snediger, defendant, for slander. Case put over to the next court day, the parties on both sides meanwhile to bring in their evidence.

Cornelis Volckersen, plaintiff, vs. Tonis Cray, defendant, for payment of fl. 10:15 st. Whereas the defendant admits that he owes something and says that he has paid something, he is ordered to pay the balance which he owes and to produce proof of the payment already made by him.

Translation Superscripts
[1]: Revised from Laws and Ordinances of New Netherland, pp. 36-37.

From the collections of the New York State Archives, Albany, New York.  

Translation link see:

Published bound volume is also available: Translation: Scott, K., & Stryker-Rodda, K. (Ed.). New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch, Vol. 4, Council Minutes, 1638-1649 (A. Van Laer, Trans.). Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc.: 1974.

Copyright to the published bound volume is held by the Holland Society of New York.
A complete copy of this publication is available on the
New Netherland Institute website.

To Party 1
To Party 2
Related Ancestors (Unlinked)
Cornelis Volckertsen
Luyck Cock
Jan Haes
Davit Pietersen
Laurens the Noorman
Dirck Dircksz
Jan Percel
Piter Santomee
A1809 Additional Party
Document Location