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Declaration of Cornelis Cornelissen and Others Regarding the Destruction of a House by the Indians, 1644
Pietersen Kuyter’s house by the Indians
This day, the 9th of March anno 1644, before me, Cornelis van Tienhoven, secretary of
New Netherland, appeared the hereinafter mentioned persons who (each for himself) at the
request of Mr. Jochim Pitersz Kuyter, attest, testify and declare, in place and with promise of a solemn oath if need be and required, that their declaration is true.
Cornelis Cornelisz of Utrecht, aged 22 years, says that he stood sentry on the night of the 5th of March in front of the house of the said Jochim Pitersz, it being about two hours
before daybreak, near the corn rick, about 50 paces from the barn, when he, the deponent, saw a burning arrow, the flame whereof was as blue as that of sulphur, coming from [a spot] about 20 paces from the house and passing between the dunghill and the cherry tree, which arrow fell on the thatched roof of the house, and owing to the strong wind the house soon got on fire and burned to the ground. Immediately after he heard the report of a gun from the same direction that the arrow came from.
Also, that the English soldiers during the fire would not come out of the cellar, where
they had been sleeping, and remained therein till the house was destroyed, so that they received no assistance whatever from the English.
Jan Hageman, aged 22 years, declares that during the fire the English soldiers did not come out of the cellar, to render any assistance, before and until Mr. Jochim Pietersz’s house was burned down to the ground. Piter Jansen, aged 24 years, declares that during the time Jochim Pitersz’s house was burning, the English soldiers did not come out of the cellar where they slept, until the house was entirely burned to the ground.
Jacob Lambertsz of Hilversom, aged 20 years, declares at the request as above that on the 5th of March last, about two hours before daybreak, while going the ro
unds about Mr. Jochim Pietersz’s house, he saw, on turning around, a burning arrow, the flame whereof was as blue as the flame of sulfur, pass between the dunghill and the cherry tree, which burning arrow fell on the ridge of Mr. Jochim Pitersz’s house, which, in consequence of the violent wind and the huge flame, burned to the ground. While the house was on fire he, the deponent, heard the report of a gun, which they suspected was fired by the Indians, whom in the morning they still heard shouting and shooting. During the aforesaid fire the English soldiers remained in the cellar, without offering any assistance.
Dirck Gerritsen, aged 20 years, declares that the English soldiers did not come out of the cellar as long as the above mentioned house was on fire and that, owing to the huge blaze, he, the deponent, narrowly escaped with his life.
All of which they, the deponents, each in particular for himself, offer to confirm on oath,
declaring that they do this to bear witness to the truth, without favor or prejudice to any one.
Done the day and year above written, in Fort Amsterdam in New Netherland.