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Historical Documents, 1624-1626


Document F
Explanatory and Biographical Notes

1The letter of Issack de Rasiere is apparently addressed to the Directors of the Amsterdam Chamber of the West India Company. It was sent by the ship "Het Wapen van Amsterdam" (The Arms of Amsterdam), which left Fort Amsterdam on September 23, 1626, the date of the letter, and arrived at Amsterdam on November 4, bringing the news of the purchase of Manhattan Island. According to his letter to Samuel Blommaert, of later date, de Rasiere came over on the same ship, which must have left Holland shortly before May 15, 1626, the date of its arrival at Plymouth, and reached Fort Amsterdam on July 28, less than three months after the arrival of Director Peter Minuit. The ship afterwards made another voyage to New Netherland, for, according to Nicolaes van Wassenaer, it arrived from there at Amsterdam in October 1628, together with the ship "Drie Koningen" (Three Kings), which had left Manhattan about August 19 of the same year. (See Doc. Relative to Colonial History N.Y., I:37-38; J. F. Jameson, Narratives of New Netherland, pp. 83, 87-88.)

2Isaack de Rasiere, in his letter to Samuel Blommaert (Narratives of New Netherland, p. 102), says: "On the 27th of July, Anno 1626, by the help of God, I arrived with the ship The Arms of Amsterdam, before the bay of the great Mauritse River, sailing into it about a musket shot from Godyn's Point [Sandy Hook], into Coenraet's Bay [Sandy Hook Bay]."

3It would seem from this that the skipper and mate with whom de Rasiere sailed to New Netherland in the Arms of Amsterdam were the same as those who returned with the ship. Yet, Wassenaer, under date of November 1626, speaking of Pieter Barentsz, says: "And he brought back this year a valuable cargo in the ship the Arms of Amsterdam, whereof Adriaen Joris is skipper, who went out there on the 19th of December of the year 1625, with the ship the Sea-mew and conveyed Pieter Minuit aforesaid, who now sends for his wife thither. The Sea-mew arrived there 4th May, 1626." (Narratives of New Netherland, p. 87.)

4Daniel van Crieckenbeeck, commissary of Fort Orange. (See note to Document C.)

5Meaning Francois Fezard, the millwright, referred to by Wassenaer as "Francois Molemaecker." (See Document C.)

6Wassenaer, under date of October 1628, 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, and took up his residence in the midst of a nation called Manates, building a fort there, to be called Amsterdam." This passage, taken in connection with the preceding statement that Adriaen Joris "went out there on the 19th of December of the year 1625 with the ship the Sea-mew and conveyed Pieter Minuit aforesaid," has heretofore been interpreted to mean that Minuit was sent out as Director General in 1626 in the ship Sea-mew, which left Amsterdam on December 19, 1625, and sailed from the island of Texel on January 9, 1626. It now appears from de Rasiere's letter that Minuit came out-in a minor capacity, possibly as supercargo, and that on his arrival in New Netherland he was appointed Director General by the Council. This circumstance explains the statement added by Wassenaer that Minuit "now sends for his wife thither." He apparently had not expected to stay in New Netherland, but when he was made Director sent for his wife. The instructions to Verhulst seem to indicate that Minuit was in New Netherland in 1625. Not unlikely, he was employed as factor at that time, having come out perhaps with Verhulst, or even as early as 1624 on the ship New Netherland, which brought over a number of Walloons. (Cf. E. B. O'Callaghan, History of New Netherland, 1:100, where, without citation of any authority for the statement, it is said under the date 1624: "Peter Minuit, or Minnewit, of Wesel, in the kingdom of Westphalia, having been appointed director of New Netherland, arrived in that country in the course of this year.")

7Willem Verhulst, the second director of New Netherland, who sailed early in 1625. (See note to Document C.) The bad conduct of Verhulst is alluded to by the Rev. Jonas Michaelius in his letter of August 8,1628, in which he says: "Everything begins to succeed now better than before, for much labor and expense have been in vain. The Masters have been misled in many respects through false reports and advice. Some Directors and Heads, by bad management, have rather kept back than helped the people and the country, and many among the common people would have liked to make a living, and even to get rich, in idleness rather than by hard work, saying they had not come to work; that as far as working is concerned they might as well have staid at home, and that it was all one whether they did much or little, if only in the service of the Company." (See Manhattan in 1628, by Dingman Versteeg, pp. 70-71.)

8Bastiaen Jansen Krol, who visited New Netherland as comforter of the sick in 1624, and made his second voyage with Verhulst on the "Orangenboom" in January 1625. The fact that he was appointed commissary at Fort Orange because he was well acquainted with the language, seems to show that in 1624 and 1625 he was stationed at Fort Orange, rather than at Manhattan.

9Gerrit Fongersz came out as assistant-commissary on the ship "Macreel," in April 1625. (See Document D.)

10De Rasiere probably has reference to the persons who were killed in the ill-advised expedition of Daniel van Crieckenbeeck against the Maquaes, or Mohawk Indians. (See note about van Crieckenbeeck to Document C.)

11Jacob Lourissz Bool, smith, may be the same person as Jacob Lourensz, one of the five head-farmers mentioned in Document D. More likely, however, he was another man.

12The name of this sailor does not appear in any other New Netherland documents of the period.

13The Rev. Jonas Michaelius refers to this fire in his letter of August 11, 1628, in which he says: "At the first administration of the Lord's Supper which was observed, not without great joy and comfort to many, we had fully fifty communicants -- Walloons and Dutch; of whom, a portion made their first confession of faith before us, and others exhibited their church certificates. Others had forgotten to bring their certificates, with them not thinking that a church would be formed and established here; and some who brought them, had lost them unfortunately in a general conflagration." (Ecclesiastical Records [of the] State of New York, I:53, and Narratives of New Netherland, pp. 124-25.)

14Probably Jacob Hamel, who in 1631 certified to the correctness of a number of extracts from the register of resolutions of the Amsterdam Chamber of the West India Company. (See Van Rensselaer Bowier Mss., pp. 184, 18 5, 190.)

15Duffel-cloth was a heavy-weight kersey, or woolen fabric resembling blanketing, much used in the Indian trade.

16The name of this chief-boatswain is not given. He was apparently not the same person as Pieter Barentsz, the chiefboatswain of skipper Jan Jansen Brouwer, who is mentioned further on in the letter and who returned with the ship the "Arms of Amsterdam." (Narratives of New Netherland, p. 87.)

17Cornelis van Voorst, or, as he is more often but apparently incorrectly called, van Vorst, afterwards well known as the director of the colony of Pavonia, in which capacity he was sent out by Michiel Pauw in 1630. That prior to this date he had been in New Netherland was heretofore known only from certain entries in a memorandum-book of Arent van Buchel (Arnoldus Buchelius), a learned antiquary of the city of Utrecht, who from 1621 to 1630 was a shareholder of the West India Company and who, apparently through his wife, Klaasje van Voorst, a daughter of Cornelis Joostensz van Voorst, was related to Cornelis van Voorst. On folio 104vo of this book, which is preserved among the "Koloniale Aanwinsten," in the Rijksarchief at The Hague, Buchelius writes, under date of "fine Feb. 1625": "It is said that some farmers are to be sent to Virginia to cultivate the land in some region discovered by our people." Then, on folio 110ro without giving any date, Buchelius states: "Cornelis van Voorst was at this time still detained by his masters at Amsterdam, while his wife and children are believed to be already in the Virginys. He was to follow with two ships." On folio 140, under date of 1630, appears this entry, partly in Latin and partly in. Dutch, the Dutch parts being here translated into English: "Cornelius Voerstius cum familia circa hoc tempus ex colonia Batavica que est in Virginia a nostris hominibus condita redijt Amsterodamum, et circa Martium, having been engaged to dwell in another place (tanq novus colonus), again sailed thither with his wife and children, the directorship expiring next Victoris, post triennium." On folio 111ro under date of 1631 (the entries in the book do not follow in chronological order), Buchelius writes: "Cornelis van Voorst is in his colony across the river, outside the jurisdiction of the governor, with whom he cannot get along very well. This colony, the lord of Tienhoven, Pauw, of Amsterdam, furnished with all necessaries and is eius Loci quodammodo dominus. Johan van Voorst, a clever boy of 14, sailed this summer, 1631, to visit his father. It is a pity he is not employed better, et ad civiliorem vitam institui cum in iis locis nihilpter meram videas Barbariem. Johan, coming hither from New Netherland, was, on arriving in England, detained there for more than four months and arrived in principio July, new style [1632] at Amsterdam. With the same ship came over also all the authorities, the governordirector secretary, and minister, not being able to get along together, and other arrangements will be made. Neefken (little cousin) brought a letter from his father for cousin van Wyckersloot, in which he sent his greetings to us and other friends and wrote that his son Henrick had sailed as assistant [supercargo] to the North [New England], and that he was no longer with him in [the patroon's] service, but must do some visiting (moste wat besuecken) and that he was reasonably proficient in the language [of the Indians]."
It would seem from the foregoing entries that Cornelis van Voorst came to New Netherland with the Hulft expedition of April 1625, and that his wife and children had preceded him on the ship "Orangenboom," which brought over Director Willem Verhulst, although, in the absence of any definite date, it is also possible that van Voorst came over with de Rasiere in 1626, and that his wife and children sailed with Minuit. At all events, he must have returned to Holland before 1630, when he was engaged by Michiel Pauw, lord of Achtienhoven, in the province of Utrecht, as agent of the colony of Pavonia. It is probable that he owed this appointment to the influence of his cousin Buchelius, or else to the latter's cousin Cornelis van Wyckersloot, who in 1630 was chosen by the common council of the city of Utrecht as a member of the board of Directors of the West India Company. (See introduction to the "Diarium van Arend van Buchell," published by Dr. G. Brom and Dr. L. A. van Langeraad, as volume 21 of the third series of the Werken of the Historisch Genootschap te Utrecht; also "Eenige mededeelingen van Arent van Buchel betreffende zijn bewinthebberschap in de Amsterdamsche Kamer der Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, 1619-1621," by Dr. L. A. van Langeraad, in De Navorscher, 1897, 47:609-50.)
Michiel Pauw disposed of his colony of Pavonia in the summer of 1634, and Cornelis van Voorst thereupon became a tenant of the West India Company. In April 1634, while he was still in Pauw's service, van Voorst visited Fort Orange, and in the course of an argument with Hans Jorissen Hunthum, the Commander of the fort, stabbed the latter to death. According to the usual method of the time a settlement was probably effected with the relatives of Hunthum. At least, van Voorst does not seem to have been molested, for in June 1636 David Pietersen de Vries paid him a friendly visit in Pavonia, in company with Director Wouter van Twiller. Van Voorst died before March 31, 1639, when Director Kieft leased to his widow, Vrouwtje Ides, the Company's bouwery at Ahasimus for the term of 20 years. (See Dingman Versteeg, "The Founding of Jersey City," in Year Book of the Holland Society of New York, 1914, 27:1-52; New York State Historical Association, Quarterly Journal, 1922, 3:229-33; I. N. Phelps Stokes, The Iconography of Manhattan Island, 2:198; 4:944-45; J. F. Jameson, Narratives of New Netherland, pp. vi, 197-98, 234; and Van Rensselaer Bowier Mss., pp. 62, 255, 268, 282, 283, 314.)

18Apparently referring to the erection of a fort on Verhulsten Island, near the present site of Trenton, N. J., which was recommended to Verhulst in 1625. (See Document C.) Another fort, called Fort Nassau, was erected near Gloucester, N. J., as early as 1624. Wassenaer, under date of April 1624, says: "They also placed a fort which they named "Wilhelmus" on Prince's Island, heretofore called Murderer's Island; it is open in front, and has a curtain in the rear and is garrisoned by sixteen men for the defence of the river below." The location of this fort has not been definitely ascertained. Brodhead suggests that it may have been on Pollepel's Island, just above the Highlands, in the Hudson River, but more likely it was on the South or Delaware River, which on the Buchelius chart is called the "Wilhelmus river." (See J. F. Jameson, Narratives of New Netherland, frontispiece, and pp. 76, 84, 271, and J. R. Brodhead, History of the State of New York, 1:758.)

19Pieter Barentsz seems to have had charge of the trading-post at Fort Orange between the death of Daniel van Crieckenbeeck and the appointment of his successor, Bastiaen Jansen Krol. (See J. F. Jameson, Narratives of New Netherland, pp. 85, 86, 87.)

20Wolfert Gerritsen is mentioned in Document D as one of the head-farmers who came over with the Hulft expedition in 1625. (See note to that document.)

21Skipper Jan Jansen Brouwer. (See note to Document C.)

22Pieter Boudaen Courten, one of the Directors of the Zeeland Chamber of the West India Company, who as a private trader had sent a ship to New Netherland in 1622 or 1623, under the command of Adriaen Jorissen Thienpont. (See note to Document C.)

23Catelyn (or Catelina) Trico stated on October 17, 1688, that she came "into this Country with a Ship called ye Unity whereof was Commander Arien Jorise belonging to ye West India Company being ye first Ship yt came here for ye sd Company," that "there were about 18 families aboard who settled themselves att Albany and made a small fort," and that "there sd Commanr Arien Jorise staid with them all winter and sent his sonne home with ye ship." (Doc. History of N. Y., 3:50-51.)

24This name has not been identified.

25Adrien Jorissen was the skipper of the "Wapen van Amsterdam" (Arms of Amsterdam), which left New Netherland on September 23, 1626, and arrived at Amsterdam on November 4, 1626. (See Doc. Relative to Colonial History N. Y., 1: 37-3 8, and J. F. Jameson, Narratives of New Netherland, p. 87.)

26The Pilgrims at Plymouth. De Rasiere visited them in October 1627, just before his return to Holland. (See his letter to Samuel Blommaert, in J. F. Jameson, Narratives of New Netherland, pp. 110-113. See, also, the original text of this letter with introdudion by Dr. A. Eekhof, in Nederlandsch Archief voor Kerkgeschiedenis, 1919, new series, vol. 15, pp. 245-80.)

27Bastiaen Jansen Krol, the newly appointed commissary at Fort Orange. (See about him in note to Document C.)

28Staelgraeuw, which may be translated as "steel gray," but probably refers to "standard gray," meaning gray cloth that had been compared and stamped by the stael-meesters, or wardens of the cloth hall, as corresponding in color and quality with the official stael, or sample. (See entries under "Staal," "Staalblauwverwers," "Staalmeesters," etc., in N. W. Posthumus, Bronnen tot de Geschiedenis van de Leidsche Textielnijverheid, vol. 4, 1611-1650 [Rijks Geschiedkundige Publicatien, vol. 22].)

29Amsterdammer kerckmisse, the Groote Jaarmarkt, or annual fair, of Amsterdam, which commenced in September on Sunday after the feast of St. Lambert and lasted two weeks for people outside of the city and three weeks for the citizens. In 1655 its date of commencement was changed to the first Sunday in August, but in 1660 it was changed back to September. (See Jan Wagenaar, Amsterdam in zyne Opkomst, Aanwas, Geschiedenissen, 2:415.) According to New York Colonial Mss., 1:268, Amsterdam fair, in 1641, came on September 22.

30The Rev. Jonas Michaelius, in his letter of August 11, 1628, says: "There is good opportunity for making salt, for there are convenient places, the water is salt enough, and there is no want of heat in summer." In the same letter he says: "There is good material for burning lime, namely oyster shells, in large quantities." In his letter of August 8, 1628, he says: "And for building purposes there is a greater lack of laborers than of materials. For besides many kinds of good timber, there is here clay for the making of bricks and tiles, though rather poor; but the quarry stones, not far away, are better for our use, and there are large quantities of oyster shells to burn for lime." (Ecclesiastical Records [of the] State of New York, 1:65, and Dingman Versteeg, Manhattan in 1628, p. 69.)

31The name of this Norwegian has not been identified.

32In a "General List of the Animals in New Netherland in May 1630," reproduced in Edward Van Winkle's Manhattan 1624-1639, Geurdt van Gelder is given as the occupant of farm No. 6 on Manhattan Island. Commenting on this farm, Mr. Van Winkle, on p. 8, says: "This is the Geurdt Van Gelder farm. The records fail to show anything about the occupant of this farm. There appear to be many records of Van Gelders subsequesnt to 1660 but it is not known whether or not Geurdt Van Gelder returned to Gelderland. It has been advanced that Gerrit de Reus was from Gelderland; therefore he might be known as Gerrit or Geurdt Van Gelder. The author has little faith, however, in this theory because there is a single record of both men occupying different bouweries at the same time." At the end of the above mentioned list (Van Winkle, p. 46), Kiliaen van Rensselaer writes to his cousin Coenraet Notelman: "Next your Honor will also take care that the farm of Geurt Van Gelder which has been allotted to you, and the cattle left to me, shall also be supplied, and to send to Fort Orange, viz. 4 horses, 4 cows) 2 young oxen, 6 sheep, 6 pigs." On July 27, 1632, Kiliaen van Rensselaer writes to Wouter van Twiller: "The animals nootelman can use on the farm of Gerrit de Reus, which he now occupies." And on April 23, 1634, van Rensselaer again writes to van Twiller: "As to the farm of Notelman, I have practically possession of that also for the following reasons; in the first place, by virtue of the right of Gerrit de Reux who rented it as the other farmers." (See Van Rensselaer Bowier Mss., pp. 213, 231, 276.) These statements seem to make it practically certain that Geurdt van Gelder and Gerrit de Reux, or de Reus, were the same person.

33Hendrick Conduit van Coninghsbergen entered into a contract with Kiliaen van Rensselaer on April 15, 1634, but failed to sail for the colony of Rensselaerswyck. (See Van Rensselaer Bowier Mss., pp. 260-63.) Coninghsbergen has been assumed to stand for Konigsberg, in East Prussia, but may refer to Konigsberg, in Sachsen-Coburg, not far from Schweinfurt, and Conduit may have been a French Huguenot or Walloon who came over in 1624 or 1625.

34Govert Pietersen Buyck. His name does not appear in the records of New Netherland. He probably left the colony at an early date.

35The name of Willem Verhulst's wife is not known. As shown by the letter, they were both sent home by the "Arms of Amsterdam" which sailed on September 23, 1626, and arrived at Amsterdam on the 4th of November.

36Aernou Renny was doubtless a Walloon. His name does not appear at a later date.

37De Rasiere's name is variously spelled: de Rasier, de Rasieres, de Ragier, de Ragiere, and even de Rogiere. He signed himself: Isaack de Rasiere, not de Rasieres, as printed in the Narratives of New Netherland, p. 115. (See A. Eekhof, "De'Memorie'van Isaack de Rasiere voor Samuel Blommaert," in Nederlandsch Archief voor Kerkgeschiedenis, 1919, new series, vol. 15, pp. 249, 279, 280.)



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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. 270-276.







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