New Netherland and Beyond
Voyage of the Rensselaerwyck
To: Gerard de Foreest, at Leyden
From: Kiliaen Van Rensselaer
In Amsterdam, this 5th of December, 1636
I have just received yours of the 4th instant and am surprised that the wife of Hendrick de Foreest has not communicated to you the letters which she received from her husband, as she left
here Tuesday before the day of prayer. I have received but one letter, signed by all three of them (Dirck Corssen Stam, supercargo; Jan Tiepkesz Schellinger, skipper; and Hendrick de Forest, mate,
of the Rensselaerswyck), which contains less information than her letters will probably have. It is all right that one should write in the name of all three, but in addition each should write
separately a short letter to me and also to you, which they have not done, and as I have not time to copy the letter, I send you the original enclosed; please read it, communicate it to Mr. de
Loat and others, copy it and then send it back to me at once.
It is a great favor of the Lord our God that he has preserved our people, our ship and goods so graciously in such perils and such long continued storm, for which He must be lauded and praised
forever. They complain about the food, but have not much cause for it as the passengers were victualled for three months and eight of my men were left on land so that the provisions could last that
much longer. The 12 men of the crew are victualled for 12 months, which is equal to 48 men for three months, so that one with the other they have provisions for six months on board, as in New
Netherlands they can supply what is wanting for the crew. They write also for money to buy food, which I would send if it would not take too long before they get it; moreover I have no correspondent
in England. I hope that with this wind they will again continue their voyage in God's name and that the Lord may give a good result, that they do a good business.
The insurance money must not be delayed or the underwriters will make trouble in case of loss. The other money must not be delayed any longer either; I do not know how I shall draw on Jean de
Foreest for the f800. I shall inquire what I can do, but the rest must follow. Today I paid out so much that I have not ten guilders in the house, for I have no excuse whatever for putting the
people off any longer. I see that nearly all the trouble comes down upon me, which does not distress me as much as that, in addition to the large portion which I risk myself, I must also take care of
(the payments of) others or be dunned for them, which I am not used to. Please to arrange for the liquidation (of the account) and in addition I ought to have some cash on hand to spend in
emergencies like the present one. Vale.
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To: Kiliaen van Rensselaer
From: Dirck Corssen Stam, Jan Tiepkesz Schellinger
and Hendrick de Forest
At Ilfracombe, the 8th of January 1637
Honorable, wise, prudent, very discreet sir, Mr. giel Jan van renselaer
Sir: We hereby let you know that we have written to your honor and that we have received no reply. We sail at this ebb of the tide; there is a N.E. wind with a foresail breeze. May the good Lord
grant us luck and a safe voyage.
Cornelis Thomasz the smith has been stabbed to death here by his comrade Hans van Seuehuijsen and Hans van Seuehuijsen has been taken inland, to with, to exsetter, where he must await
his verdict. The matter has given us a great deal of trouble, but thank God we are all of us still hale and hearty and agree well with one another.
We know not much to write as we have given an account of all that has happened in our previous letters, so that we can not write your honor more at present, for there is no news here except that a
large number of vessels are arriving on account of the heavy storm, which rages all the time.
Wishing your honor and your honor's family a happy New Year, we commend your honor to the protection of the Lord. Amen. In great haste, your honor's servants
H De forest
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To: Trijn Janse Bruigh
From: Jan Tiepkesz Schellinger
Praise God above all.
From Ilfracombe, the channel of Bristol, 1637, the 9th of January
Worthy, well and dearly beloved wife Trin ijans:
I let you know that all of us and all my people are still hale and hearty, for which the Almighty God be praised and thanked; I hope that it may be the same with you, my dear and much beloved wife,
and also with our children and all our good friends; were it otherwise, it would grieve my heart to hear it.
I let you know further that we intend to put to sea tomorrow, the 10th, if it pleases Almighty God, for we have only now, that is today, obtained an east wind and have therefore been obliged to
remain here long and at great expense for the ship and the people, for which we are sorry. We have lain here over seven weeks, but God Almighty grant us a safe voyage; I hope that we shall make good
My dear wife, you must know that this is the third letter which I have written and I have longed much for your reply to my first letter, which I have not received for unknown reasons. I beg you
further, my dearest, that you will take good care of my dear children and keep and direct them in all good ways and so that they may obey you in every respect; and if you write, have my son gerrit
yansen write to me too that I may see his writing; tell him that I wish it. God grant that they may grow up in His favor and obtain the salvation of their souls and do you, my dear wife, submit
yourself to God and serve Him in his Church and instruct your children therein, if you please, upon which I set my heart; and beware of and avoid what may harm your soul and keep yourself from evil
if it is possible as I trust in you, my dear, and that you will be an example to your children for good. No more of this for the present however; may the Almighty God graciously keep you and all of
us and grant us a safe voyage. Greet all my good friends and especially my dear children with a friendly kiss. Amen, Amen.
Jan Tiepkesz, dat ick vermach (that I may be able)
to the worthy and virtuous
vrouwee trin ijans bruigh
outside the riggeliers pooert
at the ossemaerckt in the niewetuin
at Amsterdam 1637.
Praise the boat.
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Van Renssleaer Bowier Mss, Translated by A. J. Van Laer, (c)1908, pg 343-6.