Search billions of records on


Know all men whom these persents in any wise concern, that I, William Kieft, Esq., Governor of the province called New Netherland,s with the council of state there established, by virtue, of a commission under the hand and seal of the high and might lords, the States-General of the United Belgick Provinces, and from his Highness, Frederick Hendrick, Prince of Ornage, and the right honorable the Lords Bewint Hibbers of the Est India Company, have given and granted, and by virtue of these we do give and grant, unto Robert Fordham, John Sticklan, John Ogden, John Karman, John Lawrence and Jonas Wood, with their heirs, executors, administrators, successors or associates, or any they shall join in association with them, a certain quantity of land, with all the havens, harbors, rivers, creeks, woodland, marshes, and all other appurtenacnes thereunto belonging, lying and being upon and about a certain place called the Great Plains, on Long Island, from the East River to the South Sea, and from a certain harbor now commonly called and known by the name of Hempstead Bay, and westward as far as Matthew Garritson's Bay to begin in direct lines that they may be the same lattitude in breadth on the south side as on the north, for them the said patentees, actually, really, and perpetually to enjoy in as large and ample manner as their onw free land of inheritance, and as far eastward, in case the said patentees and their associates shall procure one hundred families to settle down within the said limit of five years after the date hereof; givining and granting, and by virtue of these presents we do give and grant unto the said patentees and their associates, with their heirs and successors, full power and authority upon the said land, to build a town or towns, with such fortifications as to them shall seem expedient, with a temple or temples to use and exercise the reformed religtion, which they rpofess, with the ecclesiastical discipline thereunto belonging; likewise giving and granting, and by virtue of these presents we do give and grant to the patentees, their associates, heirs and successors, full power and authority to erect a body politic or civil combination among themselves, and to nominate certain magistrates, one or more under the number of eight, of the ablest, discreetest, approved honest men, and him or them annually to present to the Governor of this Province, for the time being, for the said Governor-general for the time being, to elect and establish them for the execution or government among them, as well civil as judicial; with full power to said magistrates to call a court or courts as often as they shall see expedient, and to hold pleas in all cases civil and criminal, make an officer to deep their records of their proceedings, with power for said magistrates and the free inhabitants to make civil ordinaces among themselves; also to make an officer to execute warrants, process of injunction, and likewise to take testimony of matters pending before them, and give the first sentence for the deprivation of life, limb, stigmatizing, or burn-marking any malefactor, if they their consience shall judge them worthy; and to cause the execution of said sentence, if the party so condemned maketh not their appeal to the chiefe court, holden weekly in the fort Amsterdam, in which case he shall be conveyed thiher by order of the magistrates fo the town of Hempstead, who shall have power to sit in our said Court, and vote in such causes. And if the said patentees cannot with five years, procure 100 families to settle on said lands, that they shall enjoy "ratum pro rata", land according to the number they shall procure; reserving from the expiration of ten years-to begin from the day the first general peace with the Indians shall be concluded-the tenth part of all the revenue that shall arise from the gound manured with the plow and hoe, in case it be demanded before it be housed (gardens and orchards, not exceeding one Holland acre, excepted). Given under my hand and seal of this province, this 16th day of Nov. 1644, stilo novo. WILLIAM KIEFT