You are here

Bill of Lading, Pieter Amilius and the Otter to Jeremias Van Rensselaer, June 14, 1656

Bill of Lading from van Rensselaer Letters and Invoices

Bill of Lading from van Rensselaer Letters and Invoices

New York State Library, NYSL_sc7079-b31-f01-02a
 
Document Description
Bill of lading from Pieter Amilius for goods being shipped to Jeremias Van Rensselaer on the Otter, June 14, 1656.
 
Translation
BILL OF LADING
I, Pieter JanszAEmilius, of ...., skipper under God of my ship called den Otter, now lying ready before Amsterdam to sail with the first favorable wind which God shall grant to New Netherland, where my true place of unloading is to be, certify and acknowledge that I have received under the deck of my aforesaid ship from you MrJeremiasVan Renselaer, to wit: one case with duffels and blankets, No.3; one case with rope, pewter and wax tapers, No.4; four aams of distilled liquors; a small case with candles, No.5; one case with glasses, No.6; all dry and well conditioned and marked as in the margin. All of which I promise to deliver (if God grant me a safe voyage) with my aforesaid ship in New Netherland aforesaid to the worthy MrJeremias Van Renselaer aforesaid, or to his factor or agents, provided they pay for the freight of the aforesaid goods one hundred and seventy-eight guilders and average at 3 st. per guilder.
For the performance of what is hereinbefore written, I bind myself and all my property, and my aforesaid ship with all its appurtenances. In witness of the truth, I have signed my name to three bills of lading hereof, all of the same tenor, one being fulfilled, the others to be of no effect. Written at Amsterdam, the 14th day of June Anno 1656.
PIETER AMILIUS

INVOICE
[List] of the goods loaded in the ship den Otter, Pieter JanseAemilius, master, which are entrusted to cousin [Jeremiasva]nRenselaer to be sold by him to our best advantage:
329 gill goblets @ fl. 7 per 100.......................................fl. 23:--
100 quarter-pint goblets @ fl. 10 per 100........................      10:--
62 half-pint goblets @ 3 st. apiece................................. 9:6
25 pint goblets @ 4 st. apiece ........................................ 5:--
25 half-gill vials .............................................................        --:15
25 fine beer glasses @ 3 st............................................. 3:15
125 half-gill goblets @ fl. 4.50 per 100..........................5:12:8
24 pint measuring glasses @ 1½ st. apiece..................... 1:16
24 ditto half-pint glasses.................................................. 1:--
For the case.................................................................   3:15___
739 pieces........................................................................... fl. 63:19:8
[ ] lbs of all kinds of silk, amounting to.............      27:--
For duty, convoy and supervision.......................................       3:--
For insurance, valuation fl. 100.......................................... 6:--:8__
fl. 100:-
Your willing servants
GERRET LAMBERTSZ COCK
AND JAN VAN WELY
 
 
Questions
What is the purpose of this document?
Sort the items into categories.
What does the phrase “to our best advantage” at the beginning of the invoice mean?
Based on the evidence in the document, predict what will happen to the items listed in the invoice.
 

Historical Context
The West India Company brought the first settlers to New Netherland to gather beaver pelts to sell back in the Netherlands but they had a hard time finding enough people to settle the colony. In an effort to attract more people, the company decided to give private entrepreneurs pieces of land in New Netherland if the entrepreneurs (patroons) promised to ship fifty colonists to it within four years. So, in 1631, a Dutch diamond merchant named Killiaen van Rensselaer bought a large tract of land around Fort Orange from the Mahicans who had long lived there. He established a "patroonship," or private farming community, which he named Rensselaerswijck. Many patroons bought land, but Kiliaen Van Rensselaer was the only one who was able to build a successful colony. His patroonship, Rensselaerswyck, lasted into the nineteenth century, passing down through generations of the Van Rensselaer family.
 
Kiliaen Van Rensselaer never visited America, but he worked hard to make his patroonship a success. Rensselaerswyck grew quickly, with a steady stream of farmers and tradesmen coming from Europe. Farming was the main activity in the patroonship. The products of farming were used to support the growing patroonship, but also the settlers in colonies nearby. Van Rensselaer had thought that the nearby West India Company settlement of Fort Orange, in the area of present day Albany, and his own colony of Rensselaerswyck would be mutually supporting: the fort would provide protection, and the patroonship would supply the fort with goods. Van Rensselaer hoped to make a profit by selling goods to the settlers in the fort. But the two settlements were so close to each other that they competed for profits, leading to a tense relationship between the patroon and the West India Company that controlled the fort.
 
 
Essential Question
How did the residents of Rensselaerswyck attempt to satisfy their basic economic needs?
 
 
Check for Understanding
Explain why these items would be needed in the colony.