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Letter Jan Baptist Van Rensselaer to Jeremias Van Rensselaer, Sept 1657
[ ] van Baerle in the Meulen [ ] casks of tobacco to mother [ ].
I asked you to let me know whether cousin Hans paid theorder to Steenwyck or not and to advise me at the same time how much the tobacco weighed, of which you make no mention. Do not forget to have the tobacco weighed, as I wrote you before.
As to the voyage which you intend to make in going with the General to the South River, I wish you good luck and commend you to God. It was not convenient for me at this time to come down, otherwise I would have done so and brought with me what you ordered and what I am now sending down in Sander's yacht, to wit, boots and spurs, saddle and bridle, innocent and leather doublet, Jan Saterdagh and baldric, which you can demand from the skipper, paying him for the freight.
Your horse is still sleek and fat. The tobacco begins to ripen. Claes de Wael has weeded it. I bought a Negro of Madam, the widow of Roodenburgh, deceased. Be pleased to inquire about it and to select one of the best. Look for one who is quick in his movements and sound of limb. Then describe him and the Madam will send him up the river with others.
Ending herewith, I commend you, after greetings to SrOloffStevense and his wife, to the protection of the Lord and remain,
Your affectionate brother
J. B. VAN RENSSELAER
prmo September 1657
MonsrJeremias van Rensselaer
in New Amsterdam
- What crop does the author talk about in the letter?
- Why might the patroon have people growing tobacco in his colony? What might he do with it?
- The author gives some suggestions about selecting “one of the best” “Negroes”. What is he referring to?