Stokes, I. N. Phelps The iconography of Manhattan Island 1498-1909 (v. 4)

(New York :  Robert H. Dodd,  1915-1928.)



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1655   Amersfoort [Flatlands), Midwout [Flalbush), Breukden and the
Sept,    English vUlages,   There is a great deal of lamenting here, which

17    we give your Honor to consider,"—A'', Y. Col. Docs., XII:   99,
where the date is given erroneously as the "i2lh,"

20         The public works constructed along the present line of Wall

Street in 1653, and repahed in 1654, arc again in need ot restora¬
tion and reinforcement. On the night of the 15th of this month,
an assault was made by some Indians, who "fell upon" the people
of Manhattan "with murder, robbery and fire." Two members ot
the provincial councU now meet with the Iioard of burgomasters
and schepens to consider "the present dangerous condition of the
times." With unanimity, the conference adjudges it "necessary
that the works of this City be again repaired," and resolves "that
the aforesaid erected works" shall "be repahed with plank 5 @ 6
teet high, nailed lo the sides ot the Palisades," and the fence
viewers of the city are commissioned "to contract for the said
works at the smaUest expense and quickest despatch, in the
presence" of the two burgomasters.—flee. N. Am., 1: 363, 365.
This work was completed by Sept. 28, when the burgomasters
reminded the council in writing that, with the councU's knowledge
"and at the request of the commonalty for the greater safety and
security" ot the city, "the outer works" were "furnished with a
curtain of planks against an assault of the barbarous Indians."
As the labour and materials were yet to be paid for, burgomasters
Anthony and Van Cordandt met at ihe house of the latter, and
issued an appeal to the councU for authority to raise, by a contri¬
bution among the commonalty, funds to pay for constmcted
pubhc works and other work "slil! lo be performed," which was
estimated then to amount to "about Four thousand guUders."—
Ibid., 1: 365, Two days later (30th), the councU gave its assent,
but advised that, before a final decision was reached, the schepens
should be consulted and their signature obtained to the proposal,
atter which "further consideration" would be given to it by the
coundl on the return ot Stuyvesant from the Ddaware, whence
he was "daily expected,"—Ibid., 1:  365.

On Oct. II, Stuyvesant and the council voted authority to the
dty to coUect money and, it necessary, to make an assessment;
also, at the proper lime, to impose a tax on lots, houses, and real
estate, for securing revenues for the repair of the dty's works, the
city hall, and other charges.—Cal. Hisl. MSS., Dutch, 152; flee.
N.Ani.,1: 366-67; Laws & Ord.N.Nelh:, vjir-^q. From Oct, 11
to 15, the "trading skippers, merchants, factors, passengers and
. , . Common Burghery" of New Amsterdam were obligated
for 6,305 florins as voluntary or assessed taxes to the city's treasury.
—Rec. N. Am., I: 365-75. On the 16th, the coundl empowered
the burgomasters to coUect the subscriptions and, in cases of non¬
payment, to levy by execution.—Ca/. Hisl. MSS., Dutch, 153.
All of the assessments were not readily coUected, so the burgo¬
masters, as treasurers of the dty, on Feb. 1, 1656, appealed anew
to the council for power to collect them; whereupon the council
rderred them lo the resolutions in council of Oct, 11 of the previ¬
ous year, as a sufficient warrant of authority,—Ibid., 159. Debts
incurred for the planks were bdng liquidated by the city in the
autumn ot 1656 (RecN. Am., H: 165, 168, 171, 182); but, as
late as Nov. 7 ot that year, the dty authorities said, when writing
to the directors at Amsteiilam, that "not one thhd part" ot the
assessment had been paid, "through inabiUty ot the Commonalty"
(ibid., II:  218).

25         The directors at Amsterdam again try to regulate the collection

and transmission ot the mails,—See summary under Aug, 6, 1652,
Oct.         Orders are issued for the guard duties of the garrison,—See

7   Sept. 20, 1656.

9         The director-general and coundl daily hear great complaints

that "posts, rails, clapboards and other parts ot the fences, put
up around sown fields and gardens" are being stolen day and
night. They now order that anyone who wholly or partly strips
any planted land ot any ot these protections shall be "whipped and
branded for the first offence," and (for a further offence?) "pun¬
ished with the rope until death," Anyone reporting the offence
shaU be rewarded and his name concealed,—Rec.N. Am., 1: 42-43.
•          For earUer provisions, see Dec. 31,  1654.   This ordinance was

renewed Dec 30, 1658, and Jan. 7, 1659.

11          A general assessment is levied to pay the city's debts.—Rec.N.
Am.,TT: 366-75. For subsequent developments, seeMarch 8,1657.

12          An express having been sent to the South River to call the
energetic  director  (Stuyvesant) home  to  New Amsterdam,  he

returns to revive the spirits ot the colonists, among whom consler-   Oct.
nation had spread on account ot the recent depredations of the    12
Indians (see Sept, 15),—Brodhead, op. cil., I:  608.

During "these dangerous times" ot Indian depredations, some 16
of the inhabitants have not hesitated "to go into the Country in
small parties, or when going out in stronger force, to separate from
each other." Through this exposure, some people, caught off
theh guard, have been taken captive, whilst others have been
killed by the Indians, To prevent this state ot affairs, Stuyvesant
and the council decree that nobody shall attempt "to go inland"
without a pass from them, and that, when permission has been
obtained by a party, no member shall run off or become separated
from his associates. Those who act contrary to order are. If taken
captive, to pay thdr own ransom,—iotuj fif Ord. N. Neth., 198,

The burgomasters write to Stuyvesant and the coundl that iS
they find, by daily experience and petitions presented to them,
that there are in the city widows and orphans for whom they deem
it necessary that proper provision be made, "in order that they
and theh property and effects" may "be properly employed and
administered." They request, therefore, the commissioning ot
certain persons who may attend to that duty, "as Orphan Mas¬
ters," At the same time, they submit four names to the council,
out of which two are to be designated. Stuyvesant and the coun¬
cil, accordingly, commission Pieter Wolphertsen van Couwen¬
hoven and Pieter CorneUssen vander Veen, on the 19th, "to lake
charge, in the aforesaid office of the Estate of the widows and
orphans in communication with and after instmctions from the
Burgomasters,"—flee, A^, Am., 1: 380; Cd. Hist, MSS., Dulch,
153. The appointees served as overseers ot orphans, and the two
burgomasters continued to sit as judges ot the orphans' court, until
an independent court, in the nature of a surrogates' court, was
created on Feb, 25, 1656 (q. v.).—Rec N. Am., II: 44-45, The
minutes of the court, from 1655, were translated and edited by
Berthold Fernow, in two volumes, tor which see the Bibfiography,
Vol, V. On Nov. 29, Jacob Kip was appointed vendue master or
public auctioneer to the court of orphan-masters.—Cal.Hist. MSS.,
Dutch, 155,   See Feb, 10, 1653.

Many people have been taken captive during the past month
by the Indians in their depredations. Some persons, "by going
backward and forward to the Indians," are responsible tor the
circulation of false reports, both among the whites and the Indians,
for which reason Stuyvesant and the councU now forbid any further
communication ot this kind. Whenever a boat is despatched by
the govemment "to have a taUc with the Indians about the ran¬
soming of Prisoners," on its retum, the anxious inhabitants crowd
the shore of the North River (very likely al the Beaver Path),
and by "unseemly clamor" alarm the Indians and create an
unfavourable suspicion, so that they will "not come over to speak
with the Director General and Council," A stop is put to this
curiosity by an ordinance. Those who are "found in or about the
street" whenever "the Director General's row-boat" departs or
reluras, or when any Indians come over to the dty, are to be
arrested by the military and confined, and parents are "particularly
admonished to inform theh chUdrcn hereof."—Laws & Ord. N.
Nelh., 200-1;  Cal.Hist. MSS.,Dutch, 152, 153.

Commissioners appointed by Stuyvesant, "in the name of the 23
Honble Directors of the West India Company on the one part,
and Capt. Thomas Willett, of Plymouth in New England, mer¬
chant, on the other part," cause to be recorded at the provincial
secretary's office a biU ot sale to Willett ot the ship "Abraham's
Sacrifice," for 3,350 guilders, "payable in good beef and pork, to
wit: the fresh unsalted bed and pork to be dehvered at the Man¬
hatans dean on the hook at three stivers and a half the pound, ox
beet; and the pound of good pork at tour and a halt stivers; the
salt bed in barrels, four stivers, the salt pork in bartds five stivers;
il bdng understood that the haff of the purchase money must be
paid in the abovenamed provisions, all In good condition, previous
to this winter, and the other half in the spring in the month ot
April [1656). . . . Il is also agreed that the Prince's fiag shall
be retained by the Company, on condition that so much bunting
shaU be ddivered to Mr. WiUett as is necessary to make an
EngUsh aag."—Records N. Neth. (O'CaUaghan's trans.), Ill:
138 (N. Y. StateLIbrary).

Hage Bruynsen, in an action against a skipper in the court of   25
burgomasters and schepens, charges him with taking away "certain
stones, which he drew and had before his door [Pearl St., north ot
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