Laws and ordinances of New Netherland, 1638-1674/1650


ORDINANCE


Of the Director and Council of New Netherland to prevent Frauds in
the conveyance of Real Estate. Passed 7 February, 1650.

[New Amsterdam Records.]

Whereas the Director and Council of New Netherland have been informed that divers clandestine abuses and Frauds have been practiced in the selling of Real Estate, such as Houses, Gardens, House lots and other lands, to the serious injury of Creditors.

Therefore, the Director and Council do by these presents, charge their Secretary, and in his absence the Chief Clerk, not to pass nor sign any Deed of Real Estate until it shall have been examined and approved by the Director and Council at the stated Court day, hereby declaring all Contracts and Conveyances null and void which shall have been passed without their approbation, ratification and signature.

Thus done and approved in our sessions at Fort Amsterdam this 7th day of February, Anno 1650.

(Signed,) P. Stuyvesant, L. Van Dincklagen, H. Van Dyke, fiscal, La Montague.


ORDINANCE

Of the Director and Council of New Netherland amending the Ordinance
of the 8 November, 1649, regulating the Baking and Sale
of bread. Passed 14 April, 1650.

[New Amsterdam Records.]

The Director General and Council have granted the request of the Bakers, and they are at liberty to bake, for the accommodation of the Commonalty, White bread, but no Cakes nor Cracknels; provided they bake the White loaf so as to conform in weight with the law of Fatherland.

Furthermore, the Bakers are ordered to bake the common loaf and forbidden to make it of any thing else but pure Wheat and Rye flour, as it comes from the Mill, so that the Commonalty may be protected against complaints concerning the poorness and small size of the common loaf.

Done this 14 April, A° 1650, in the Council at Fort Amsterdam.


ORDINANCE

Of the Director and Council of New Netherland against encumbering
or obstructing Highways. Passed 23 May, 1650.

Note.—This Law is mentioned in N. Y. Col. Mss. XVI. 3, where the substance of it is given, forbidding the obstruction of Highways by felling Trees or placing Stones in them, and requiring that they be kept passable. But the Ordinance is not in the State Records. See Ordinance - Renewing sundry Ordinances therein mentioned, April 9, 1658


ORDINANCE

Of the Director and Council of New Netherland for the better regulation
of the Currency. Passed 30 May, 1650.

[N. Y. Col. MSS. XVI. 21.]

The Director General and Council of New Netherland,

To all those who see these Presents or hear them read, Greeting.

Whereas we have by experience and for a long time seen the decline and daily depreciation of the loose Wampum, among which are circulating many without holes and half finished; also some of Stone, Bone, Glass, Muscle-shells, Horn, yea even of Wood and Broken beads, together with the manifold complaints of the Inhabitants that they cannot go to market with such Wampum, nor obtain any commodities, not even a small loaf of white Bread or pot of Beer from the Traders, Bakers or Tapsters for loose Wampum, wherein wishing to provide according to our best knowledge for this time, we have for the promotion of Trade and the general good of the People, resolved and concluded that from henceforward no more loose Wampum shall be current, or good pay unless it be strung on a cord, as has been the common custom heretofore; in order hereby to prevent the further importation of all lump and unperforated Wampum and to establish some difference between the commercial Wampum and strung Wampum, so as in future to obviate all misunderstanding, the Honble Director and Council aforesaid do Ordain that the commercial shall pass and be good pay as heretofore, to wit Six White or Three Black for one Stiver; on the contrary, poor strung Wampum shall pass eight White and four Black for one Stiver. We Order and command every one hereby to regulate himself according to the tenor hereof, and in case of a refusal to be deprived of their trade and business, and the Fiscal is hereby ordered after publication to cause this to be affixed and made known everywhere that it concerns, also to use every effort that the same be executed and obeyed here.

Thus done, resumed and enacted in Our Council in Fort Amsterdam, this 30th May, A° 1650 in New Netherland.


ORDINANCE

Of the Director and Council of New Netherland further prohibiting
the running at large of Goats, Hogs and other Animals in New
Amsterdam. Passed 27 June, 1650.

[New Amsterdam Records.]

The Director General and Council of New Netherland,

To all those who see these presents, or hear them read. Greeting.

Whereas, experience hath shown that this Fortress, formerly in tolerable condition, has been in a great degree trodden down by Hogs, Goats and Sheep; and Whereas in conformity with the Order of the Honble the Directors our Lords Majors and Patroons, men are now employed in repairing and restoring the same, and it is to be feared that it may as before again become damaged and trodden down by Goats, Sheep, Hogs and other animals.

Therefore, the Director General and Council do, by these presents, warn all and every of the Inhabitants of this place that, in accordance with our former Edict, they shall not suffer to run at large without a Herdsman or driver, except within their own inclosures, any Hogs, Sheep, Goats, Horses or Cows between the Honble Company's Farm at the end of their Pasture, at present occupied by Thomas Hall, nor between the house of Mr. Isaac Allerton, and this place, under the penalty of six guilders for the first offense for every Horse, Cow, Hog or Sheep that may be found within the limits aforesaid; for the second time, a double fine; and for the third time the whole to be confiscated and to be appropriated at pleasure.

Thus done, approved and published at New Amsterdam in New Netherland, this 27th day of June, A° 1650.


ORDINANCE

Of the Director and Council of New Netherland further regulating the
Currency. Passed 14 September, 1650.

[N. Y. Col. MSS. XVI. 22.]

The Director General and Council of New Netherland,

To all those who see these presents, or hear them read. Greeting.

Whereas on the daily complaints of the Inhabitants we experience that our previous Ordinance and Edict relative to the poor strung Wampum, published under date 30 May, A° 1650, for the accommodation and protection of the people, is not observed and obeyed according to our good intention and meaning, but that, on the contrary, such pay even for small items is rejected and refused by Shopkeepers. Brewers, Bakers, Tapsters, Tradespeople and Laboring men, to the great confusion and inconvenience of the Inhabitants in general, there being, at present, no other currency whereby the Inhabitants can procure from each other small articles of daily trade, for which wishing to provide as much as possible, for the relief and protection of the inhabitants, the Director and Council do hereby Ordain and command that, in conformity to our previous Ordinance, the poor strung Wampum shall be current and accepted by every one, without distinction and exception, for small and daily necessary commodities required for housekeeping, as currency to the amount of Twelve guilders and under only, in poor strung wampum; of twelve to twenty four guilders half and half, that is to say, half poor strung and half good strung wampum; of twenty guilders to fifty guilders, one-third poor strung and two-thirds good strung wampum, and in larger sums according to the conditions agreed upon between Buyer and Seller, under a penalty of six guilders for the first time to be forfeited on refusal by the contraveners hereof; for the second time nine guilders, and for the third time two pounds Flemish and stoppage of his trade and business, pursuant to our previous Edicts.

Thus done and enacted in Council by the Director and Council, this 14 September, 1650, in New Amsterdam.