Documents relating to New Netherland 1624-1626 - Document C Explanitory Notes
New Netherland and Beyond
New Netherland
Delaware River
Colonial New York
New York State

Historical Documents, 1624-1626

Document C
Explanatory and Biographical Notes

1The Instructions for Willem van Hulst, or, as he is generally called, Verhulst, are not dated, but were probably issued in January 1625. As far as one can make out from the Instructions, Verhulst sailed on the ship "Orangenboom" (Orange Tree), which on account of storm was forced to put in at Plymouth, England, and was there detained on January 28, 1624, 0.S., or February 7, 1625, N. S. (See note 10.) The date of arrival of this ship in New Netherland is not known. Nicolaes van Wassenaer, under date of November 1626, says: "Cornelis May of Hoorn was the first Director there, in the year 1624; Willem van Hulst was the second, in the year 1625. He returns now." It will be noticed that in the Instructions Verhulst is called merely "provisionally director of the colonists." He was, on account of his bad behavior, deposed by the Council of New Netherland and with his wife sent back to Holland on the ship "Wapen van Amsterdam" (Arms of Amsterdam), which sailed on September 23,1626, and arrived at Amsterdam on November 4, bringing the news of the purchase of Manhattan Island by his successor, Peter Minuit. (See Documents relative to Colonial History, N.Y. 1:37-38; 3:12; I. N. Phelps Stokes, The Iconography, of Manhattan Island, 4:55, 57, 63; J. F. Jameson, Narratives of New Netherland, p. 84; and letter of Isaack de Rasiere, of September 23, 1626, in this volume. See, also, Stokes, Iconography, 2:106, where it is said that "although these instructions are not dated, it seems altogether likely that they refer to the 'Nieu Verdriet' expedition." This statement is based on an error in the auction catalogue of the Van Rappard manuscripts, in which the name "Nieu Nederlt,"which appeared on the first document, was misread "Nieu Verdriet," thus implying that there was an otherwise unknown ship, "Nieu Verdriet" [New Sorrow], which sailed from Holland shortly after March 30, 16 24, immediately after the ship "New Netherland," which brought over Cornelis Jacobsen May. See note 1 to Document A.)
The term Commis, used in the Instructions, applies to a supercargo of a vessel as well as to a factor of a trading-post. In the heading the translation "supercargo" seems the most appropriate; in other places the term "commissary" has been preferred.

2Sebastiaen Jansen Crol, or, as he signed himself, Bastiaen Jansz Krol, was born at Harlingen, in Friesland, in 1595. His mother's name was Annetjen Egberts. He was a cafawerker, or plush or velours worker, by trade, and married in 1615, at Amsterdam, Annetjen Stoffel's daughter, from Eesens, aged 21. On October 12, 1623, he answered a call of the Consistory of the Dutch Reformed Church at Amsterdam to go as comforter of the sick to the West Indies. He was not engaged at that time, but on December 7, 1623, received his instructions, and after a brief illness sailed on January 25, 1624, for the West Indies and New Netherland. He was back at Amsterdam in November of the same year, but, as shown by the present instructions, returned to New Netherland with Verhulst on the ship "Orangenboom" in January 1625. August 1, 1626, he was appointed commissary at Fort Orange, to take the place of Daniel van Krieckenbeeck, who had been killed by the Indians. According to de Rasiere he was appointed to this post because he was "well acquainted with the language." Apparently, therefore, he had as comforter of the sick been stationed at Fort Orange. He returned to Holland in 1629, but shortly after January 12, 1630, sailed for the third time to New Netherland, where he again held the post of commissary or commander of Fort Orange until the end of February or the beginning of March 1632, when he was temporarily appointed Director General of New Netherland, to succeed Peter Minuit, who had been recalled. He held this office until Wouter van Twiller's arrival in April 1633; then, at the latter's request, returned for a few weeks to Fort Orange to prevent Eelkens from trading there, and finally sailed for Holland in July 1633. He was again commissary of Fort Orange in 1638, but in September 1645 was back in Holland. The date of his death is not known.
Krol's original instructions from the Consistory provided that he was to read prayers, to visit and comfort the sick, and on suitable occasions to read a chapter from the Bible or the Reformed Commentaries. He was expressly forbidden, however, to do aught "appertaining to the ministerial office," by which was meant particularly the administration of the sacraments. When Krol, on November 14, 1624, appeared before the Consistory, he reported that there were children in New Netherland who needed to be baptized and asked permission to baptize them. This was granted him on November 21, 1624. The fact, therefore, that the "ministration Of holy baptism" is mentioned in the present instructions to Verhulst shows that they were issued after November 21, 1624 (See A. Eekhof, Bastiaen Jansz. Krol, Krankenbezoeker, Kommies en Kommandeur van Nieuw-Nederland (1595-1645), 's-Gravenhage, 1910, and sketch of Krol by the same writer in Nieuw Nederlandsch Biografisch Woordenboek, vol. 1, cols. 1252-54.)

3Meaning the Consistory of the Dutch Reformed Church of the city of Amsterdam. A committee of this body, known, as the Deputati ad res Indicas, had charge of the selection of ministers and comforters of the sick for the colonies until January 1636, when the Classis of Amsterdam took charge of such matters. (For the instructions given to Krol by the Consistory on December 7, 1623, see A. Eekhof, Bastiaen Jansz Krol, Bijlagen, pp.x-xii.)

4Articulbrieff. Apparently a set of articles similar in tenor to the "Provisional regulations" sworn to on March 30, 1624, by the colonists who sailed on the ship "New Netherland," which are printed in this volume as Document A.

5Southern colony; meaning the colony on the South (or Delaware) River.

6This map has not been preserved. It maybe the "Plat" referred to in the letter of the Privy Council, mentioned in note 10.

7Nicolaes van Wassenaer, under date of November 1626, says that Adriaen Joris went to New Netherland "on the 19th of December of the year 1625 with the ship Sea-mew and conveyed Pieter Minuit aforesaid, who now sends for his wife thither. The Sea-mew arrived there 4th May 1626." In another passage, under date of October 1628, Wassenaer says: "The government over the people of New Netherland continued on the 19th of August of this year in the aforesaid. Minuict successor to Verhulst. He went thither from Holland on January 9, Anno 1626." (J. F. Jameson, Narratives of New Netherland, pp. 87, 88.) It has heretofore been held that May 4, 1626, represented the date of Minuit's first arrival in New Netherland, the apparent contradiction in the date of sailing being accounted for by assuming that the ship left Amsterdam on December 19, 1625, but did not sail from the Texel until January 9, 1626. The reference to Minuit in the Instructions seems to indicate, however, that Minuit was in New Netherland in 1625. He may have sailed with Verhulst on the "Orangenboom," in January 1625, in which case the "assistant supercargo," referred to by Wassenaer as having been sick (see note 10), is likely to apply to Minuit.
As shown by de Rasiere's letter of September 23, 1626, printed in this volume, Minuit was not sent out in 1626 as Director General, as heretofore supposed, but was appointed to that post by the Council of New Netherland, on account of the bad behavior of Willem Verhulst, who was deposed and sent back to Holland. Minuit was recalled in 1631, and sailed for Holland on the ship "Eendracht" (Unity), early in 1632. The ship was detained in England and apparently did not reach Amsterdam until July 1632 (Documents Relative to Colonial History of New York, 1:50-52.) Minuit afterwards entered the service of the Crown of Sweden and established a colony on the Delaware River. He left New Sweden on board the "Kalmar Nickel" (Key of Kalmar) some time in June 1638 and perished near the island of St. Christopher, while visiting a Dutch ship from Rotterdam, called "'Het Vliegende Hert)" which by a sudden storm was driven out to sea and lost. (See Amandus Johnson, The Swedish Settlements on the Delaware, 1:93-117 and 2:684-85. See, also, letter from Samuel Blommaert to Axel Oxenstierna, dated November 13, 1638, reporting Minuit's death, in Historisch Genootschap te Utrecht, Bijdragen en Mededeelingen, 1908, 29:161.)

8Noten Island, or Nut Island, now Governor's Island. Wassenaer, under date of November 1626, states that the cattle sent over in 1625 "were, on their arrival, first landed on Nut Island, three miles up the river, where they remained a day or two. There being no means of pasturing them there, they were shipped in sloops and boats to the Manhates, right opposite the said island." (J. F. Jameson, Narratives of New Netherland, p. 83.) The existence of a fort, however small, at that date, on Noten Island seems to indicate that this island, rather than Manhattan Island, was the place at the entrance of the North River where the first settlement was established. The lack of pasturage, mentioned by Wassenaer, made the island unsuitable for a dwelling-place of a considerable number of colonists, so that no permanent fortification was erected.

9High Island, otherwise known as Verhulsten Island, near the bend of the Delaware River, at Trenton, N. J. In a deposition made on March 24, 1684/85, before Governor Thomas Dongan, Peter Lawrensen testified that "he came into this Province a servant to the West India Company in the yeare 1628 and in the yeare 1630 by order of the West India Company hee with seven more were sent in a sloope with hoy sayle to dellaware where the Company had a trading house with ten or twelve servants belonging to it" and that "upon an Island neare the falls of that River and neare the west side thereof the said Company some three or fouer yeares afore had a trading house where there were three or foure familyes of Walloons the place of there settlemt he saw and that they had been seated there he was Informed by some of the said Walloons themselves When they were returned from thence." The trading-house' on Verhulsten Island was soon abandoned, for under date of October 1628 Wassenaer states: "Those of the West India Company have also removed all those who were at the South River. They retain only one vessel trading there." (See Documentary History of N. Y., 3:50; J. F. Jameson, Narratives of New Netherland, p. 88; and Van der Donck's map of New Netherland.)

10 "Den Orangenboom." This is apparently the ship on which Willem Verhulst came over. The date when it left Holland is not known, but must probably be placed in January 1625. January 28, 1624 (1624/5), the Privy Council directed the following letter to Sir John Elyot, vice-admiral, the mayor of Plymouth, and Sir Ferdinando Gorges: "Whereas wee have received information that there is now a Dutch shipp ryding in the haven at Plymouth called the Orange Tree of Amsterdam, being of the burthen of one hundred and fifty tunes, or thereabouts, and bound to a place in America which is comprehended in a grant made by his Majesty upon just consideration to divers of his subjects, Wee do therefore hereby will and require you to take order that the Captaine or maister of the said shipp be presently sent up hither with his commission and the plat which he hath, that upon his appearance and hearing, and examining the cause wee may determine what wee shall further thinke fitt to bee done. And wee doe likewise will and require you to make stay of the shipp until you shall receive other directions." (Documents relating to Colonial History of N.Y., 3: 12.) Wassenaer, under date of January 1625, apparently refers to the same ship as follows: "The ship with the families lay at Plymouth. Getting a favorable wind, it also wished to go to sea, but was visited by the plague in such a way that already eleven persons had died and twenty more were still sick belonging to the families of the Walloons who were to be transported thither to the colony. The assistant supercargo had also been sick, but was getting better." (Wassenaer, Historisch Verhael, part VIII, fol. 123. See, also, I. N. Phelps Stokes, The Iconography of Manhattan Island, 4:55, 61.)
On January 21, 1625, Nicolaes van Reigersberch wrote to his brother-in-law Hugo Grotius: "This winter we have had extraordinarily many and severe storms, with almost continual west and south-west winds, to the great damage of both the East and the West India Companies. Those of the East India Company lost three weeks ago in the Texel a fine ship of between 1000 and 1200 tons burden, which intended to sail for Batavia; the people and money were saved. The ships of the Admiral and Vice-Admiral of the West India fleet both arrived badly damaged here before Rammekens, where they are detained by contrary wind. The rest of the fleet has been obliged to seek shelter here and there in the harbors and roadsteads of England, so that it is much scattered." (Brieven van Nicolaes van Reigersberch aan Hugo de Groot, edited by Dr. H. C. Rogge, in Historisch Genootschap te Utrecht, Werken, third series, No. 15, p. 12.) The "Orangenboom" was doubtless one of the ships referred to by van Reigersberch that were forced to seek shelter in English harbors. How long the ship was delayed at Plymouth does not appear. Van Reigersberch, in a letter of March 3, 1625, refers to 18 ships lying at Plymouth, which had orders not to wait for the rest of the fleet and which were believed to have sailed. (Ibid., p. 21.)

11 "The following ship." This is probably a mistake and intended for "the following ships," meaning the ships "Paert," "Koe," and "Schaep," and the yacht "Makreel," which were sent out in April 1625. (Seethe "Further Instructionsz" to Verhulst, printed in this volume as Document D.)

12Joost van den Boogaert probably returned to Holland on the ship "Orangenboom," which was to leave New Netherland at the end of August 1625. His name does not appear after that date in connection with New Netherland history. On April 19, 1637, he was a witness to the baptism of Ysaac, son of Ysaac de Rasiere and Eva Bartels, at Recife, Brazil (Algemeen Nederlandsch Familieblad, 1888, 5:142). In 1640 he entered the service of the Crown of Sweden and came to New Sweden as agent in charge of a colony of emigrants from the province of Utrecht, who settled in the- vicinity of Fort Christina. In Beauchamp Plantagenet's Description of the Province of New Albion, printed in 1648, he is referred to as "one Bagot under the Swedes name and Commission, there traded to crosse the Dutch of Manhattas, and to undersell them, and left and seated there eighteen Swedes, who proclaiming a gold mine drew more to them, and have gotten a great trade." (See Amandus Johnson, The Swedish Settlements on the Delaware, I:137, 141-44, 200, 203; and "Zweedsche Archivalia," edited by G. W. Kernkamp, in Historisch Genootschap, Bijdragen en Mededeelingen, 1908, 29:56, 191.)

13 Jansen Brouwer was a skipper who made a number of voyages to New Netherland. In his letter of August 8, 1628, to Joannes Foreest, the Rev. Jonas Michaelius speaks of him as follows: "Further, should your Honor wish to learn any more concerning myself or regarding this, country, the bearer of this letter, Jan Janssen Brouwer, will be able and very much pleased to satisfy you, because he has long ranged these coasts as skipper and trader. True, he is a simple man, and not much learned in writing, figuring, and bookkeeping; but he enjoys the general reputation of being an honest, well behaved man of more than ordinary trustworthiness, which has been manifested in the great services rendered by him to this place and to the general trade of the Company." In the same letter, Michaelius says that his son Joannes lives at Brouwer's house. (Dingman Versteeg, Manhattan in 1628, pp. 72, 74.) In 1630 he was master of the ship "Eendracht" (Unity). As ship's captain he was a member of the Council, and in that capacity signed the certificate of purchase of land in the vicinity of Fort Orange, dated August 13, 1630. (See Documentary History of N.Y., 3:49; Van Rensselaer Bowier Mss., pp. 168,170, 272.)

14Cornelis Jacobsen Mey, or May, of Hoorn, was the skipper of the "New Netherland," a vessel of 260 tons, which, according to Wassenaer, sailed from Holland with a company of 30 families, mostly Walloons, in the beginning of March 1624, and, directing their course by the Canary Islands and thence to the coast of Guiana, arrived in the North River in the beginning of May. May was the first director of New Netherland. He had in the interest of some merchants of the city of Hoorn been exploring the coast since 1613 and among other points discovered Cape May, which was named for him. His name is mentioned in the charter of the New Netherland Company of October 11, 1614, as that of one of three captains on the result of whose explorations the charter was granted, the other two captains being Adriaen Block and Hendrick Christiaensen. When May arrived in 1624, he was apparently accompanied by Adriaen Jorissen Thienpont, who either came over with him on the same ship or else, perhaps, was in command of a second vessel, named the "Eendracht" (Unity), which brought over Catelina Trico and other colonists. As far as one can judge from the meagre information that is available, May seems to have established no settlement on Manhattan Island, but, leaving Adriaen Jorissen in command of the post on the North River named Fort Orange, to have founded a colony on the South (or Delaware) River. The date when May returned to Holland is not known. He probably returned on the ship "New Netherland," which arrived at Amsterdam in October 1624. (Wassenaer, part VIII, fol. 105.) Cornelis Jacobsen May was a cousin or nephew of Jan Cornelisz May, whose voyage to the Polar Sea and the coast of America in 1611-12 was published in 1909 by S. Muller Fz. as volume 1 of the Werken of the Linschoten-Vereeniging.

15die van Pr. Courten overghekomen syn; perhaps intended for die van Pr. Courten overghenomen syn, which were taken over from Pieter Courten.
Pieter Boudaen Courten, of Middelburg, was a director of the Zeeland Chamber of the West India Company who before the final organization of the Company, as a private trader, had sent a vessel to New Netherland under the command of Adriaen Jorissen Thienpont. On November 3, 1623, shortly after the completion of the organization of the Company, whereby private traders were excluded from the territory of the province, Thienpont appeared before the Assembly of the XIX and declared that they still had some goods, two sloops, and some men in the Rio de Montagne. He therefore requested permission to make ready a yacht to trade their merchandise and bring back their men. This was granted on condition that the ship should be equipped by the Chamber of Amsterdam. Permission was given to take along five or six families to make a beginning of settlement. (Stokes, Iconography of Manhattan Island, 4:53.)
According to the Rev. George Edmundson ("The Dutch in Western Guiana," in The English Historical Review, 1901, 16:658-59), the Courten family "occupied a remarkable position in the commercial world of the early seventeenth century. By descent they were Flemings. The founder of their prosperity fled from Menin to London to avoid Alva's persecution, and there succeeded in establishing lucrative trade connections with the Netherlands, and became a great merchant. His two sons., William and Peter, followed in his steps. William in his youth acted as his father's agent, first at Courtray, then at Haarlem, where he married an heiress of the name of Crommelin. Peter, who never married, was agent at Middelburg. Their sister Margaret became the wife first of Matthias Boudaan, of Rotterdam, then of John Money, a London merchant. In 1606, on the death of the elder Courten, the brothers entered into partnership with John Money, and formed a firm known as Courten and Company. William settled in London and became a naturalised Englishman, but Peter continued to live in Zeeland. The company was thus Anglo-Dutch; but the Dutch element was predominant, for the books were not kept at London, but at Middelburg, where Peter Boudaan (known later as Pieter Boudaan Courten) acted as his uncle's bookkeeper and manager, and looked after the interests of a quite cosmopolitan business.

16At Fort Nassau, upon the point of land at the junction of the Big and Little Timber creeks, in Gloucester County, New Jersey. This fort was built by Cornelis Jacobsen May in 1624, but soon abandoned. (See J. R. Brodhead, History of the State of New York, I:758; Van der Donck's map of New Netherland; and J. F. Jameson, Narratives of New Netherland, pp. 84, 313 .)

17Adriaen Jorissen Thienpont is best known through two depositions of Catelina Trico, one made on February 14, 1684/5, before Governor Thomas Dongan, and the other on October 17, 1688, before William Morris, justice of the peace, both of which depositions are printed in the Documentary History of the State of New York, 3:49, 50-51. In the first of these depositions Catelina Trico states that to the best of her remembrance she came to New Netherland in 1623 or 1624, in a ship in which "the Governor Arian Jorisen Came also over." In the second deposition she states that "in the year 1623 she came into this Country wth a Ship called ye Unity whereof was Commander Arien Jorise belonging to ye West India Company being ye first Ship ye came here for ye sd Company." She further stated that "there were about 18 families aboard who settled themselves att Albany and made a small fort," and that "sd Commanr Arien Jorise staid with them all winter." As shown in the preceding note, Adriaen Jorissen Thienpont had been trading in the North River for Pieter Boudaen Courten, and appeared on November 3, 1623, before the Assembly of the XIX to request permission to return to New Netherland. He probably sailed for New Netherland in the spring of 1624, either on the ship "New Netherland," or, possibly, as Catelina Trico states, on another ship, called the "Eendracht," or Unity. In 1626 he was skipper of the "Meeuwken" (Little Sea-mew), which brought over Peter Minuit. He returned to Holland on the "Wapen van Amsterdam" (Arms of Amsterdam), which had brought over de Rasiere (J. F. Jameson, Narratives of New Netherland, p. 87.)

18Daniel van Krieckenbeeck came over as supercargo of the yacht "Macreel," or "Maeckereel," which left Holland on June 16, 1623, and arrived in New Netherland on the 12th of December. He was killed by the Indians in 1626, while in command of Fort Orange, and was succeeded in that capacity by Bastiaen Jansen Krol. The circumstances of his death, which are alluded to by Isaack de Rasiere in his letter of September 23, 1626, printed in this volume, are related by Wassenaer, as follows: "It happened this year, that the Maykans, going to war with the Maquaes, requested to be assisted by the commander of Fort Orange and six others. Commander Krieckebeeck went up with them; a league from the fort they met the Maquaes who fell so boldly upon them with a discharge of arrows, that they were forced to fly, and many were killed, among whom were the commander and three of his men. Among the latter was Tymen Bouwensz., whom they devoured, after having well roasted him. The rest they burnt. The commander was buried with the other two by his side." (See J. F. Jameson, Narratives of New Netherland, pp. 76, 84-85.)

19Francois Fezard, or Veersaert, as he is called by de Rasiere in his letter of September 23, 1626, was probably one of the Walloons who came over with Cornelis Jacobsen May in the "New Netherland" in 1624. He may, however, have come over with Verhulst, in 1625, (see note 10.) He was a millwright by trade, and was undoubtedly the same person as Francois Molemaecker, of whom Wassenaer, under date of November 1626) says that he was "busy building a horse-mill, over which shall be constructed a spacious room sufficient to accommodate a large congregation, and then a tower is to be erected where the bells brought from Porto-Rico will be hung.". This horse-mill was a gristmill. It stood near the fort on Manhattan Island, and was apparently destroyed in the fire which occurred shortly before the arrival of de Rasiere (See J. F. Jameson, Narratives of New Netherland, pp. 83-84; 1. N. Phelps Stokes, The Iconography of Manhattan Island, I:II and 4:65; J. H. Innes, New Amsterdam and its People, pp. 155-58, and the same writer's article on "The Old Bark Mill," in Federation, vol. 3, no. 5.)

20Jan Lampo was an Englishman from Canterbury, who during the administration of Peter Minuit held the office of schout, or sheriff, of New Netherland. He returned with Minuit to Holland in 1632, as shown by a letter from the directors of the West India Company to the States General, dated May 5, 1632, in which they advised their High Mightinesses that they had received a letter from the Dutch ambassador, dated London the 10th April, stil: nov:, stating that "On the third instant, Pieter Minuit of Wesel, Director on behalf of your Company in New Netherland and Jan Lampo of Cantelbergh, Sheriff on the Island, Manhattes, came to us here and informed us that, on arriving with your ship, named the Eendracht, in the port of Plymouth, were there arrested for having traded in countries under the King of Great Britain's jurisdiction." (Documents Relating to Col. History N.Y., 1:51.) His signature appears on the certificate of purchase of land on the west side of the Hudson River between Beeren Island and Smacks Island, dated May 1631 (Van Rensselaer Bowier Mss., p. 183), as "Jan Lampo, schout." Wassenaer calls him "Jan Lempou schout." (Narratives of New Netherland, p. 83. See, also, Document D, in which he is referred to as "colonist," and which provides that the fiscal "for the Present and until further order from the Company shall be chosen and appointed by the Council from among the most competent there.")

21The Dutch word dissels may be translated either as "adzes," or as "mattocks," but is here apparently intended in the sense of "mattocks." (See de Rasiere's letter of September 23, 1626, in which he asks for 3000 or 4000 dissels, as he fears that by the time the Indians will wish to plant he will be short of dissels.)

22This temporary sawmill was probably erected on Noten Island. The Rev. Jonas Michaelius, in his letter of August 11, 1628, says: "They are making a windmill to saw the wood and we also have a gristmill." The Manatus survey of 1639 shows three windmills, one on Noten Island and the other two on Manhattan Island. At that time, the mill on Noten Island seems to have been out of repair, while the two other mills, on Manhattan Island, referred to by Michaelius, were still in operation. (See Ecclesiastical Records [of the] State of New York, I:65; and I.N. Phelps Stokes, The Iconography of Manhattan Island, I:II, and 4:65.)

23Probably referring to earlier instructions sent by Cornelis Jacobsen May.

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Documents relating to New Netherland 1624-1626, In The Henry E. Huntington Library, Translated and Edited by A.J.F. van Laer, ©1924, p. 258-265.

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