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List of Animals in the Colony of Rensselaerswyck, July 20, 1632

List of Animals in the Colony of Rennselaerswyck

List of Animals in the Colony of Rennselaerswyck

Other, SVM_hs-2179_fol26
 
Document Description
List of Animals in the Colony of Rensselaerswyck, July 20, 1632.
 
Translation
List of animals in the colony of Rensselaerswyck
July 20, 1632
Classification of the animals belonging to the colony of Rensselaerswyck with specification of the persons from whom I have obtained them, this 20th of July 1632
Mares     3 from the farm of Evert focken — there remains still 1 belonging to the Company.
1 bought of the stave splitters has died in the possession of Rutger
4 bought of the Company, 1630, which are now all fully 3 1/3  years old
4 from the farm of Gerrit de Reux which bore colts
2 from the farm of Bylevelt which bear colts
Total      13
 
Stallions 2 foaled in 1630, bought of Pr minuijt
1 foaled in 1630, from the farm of Bylevelt
2 old ones bought of the Company, on the farm of Roelof jansen
1 thrown in 1629, bought of the Company, coming from minuijt
1 thrown in 1630 bought of minuijt. N. B. This shall be yours provided you give me some colts thrown May 1632 in return
1 thrown in 1630 or 163 1, bought of Gerrit de Reus
1 colt, thrown in 1631, on the farm of Rutger; do not know whether it is a stallion or a mare
Total      22 horses with the increase which they have had [till] May 1632. Among these are probably 20 fit for work, even if you took the stallions from them, so that at least five farms could be stocked therewith.
 
Milch cows 2 from the farm of Evert focken
O i ditto died on the farm aforesaid
2 bought of Minuyt
5 delivered by Gerrit de Reux to nootelman; should have been only 4, received therewith only 1 yearling and I have paid for the increase in value to Reux, to wit,
5bought from the farm of Bylevelt
1bought of the surplus of Bylevelt
Total  15 cows
 
Heifers 1 then a yearling, with the 5 cows of Reux. There are 4 cows and 2 yearlings instead of 5 cows and 1 yearling. Extra payment as above f5o
2 born 1630, bought of Reux
4 born 1630, bought of minuyt
1 born 1630, bought of bylevelt
1 born 1630, bought of the farm of bylevelt
Total      24 animals, most of which will have calved in May 1632 and with which at least 5 farms can be stocked and Laurens Laurensen noorman be given 2 or 3 besides.
4 heifer calves born 1631, of the 8 sent over with nootelman
1 ditto born 163 1, raised by Rutger hendrixsen
1 ditto born 163 1, from the farm of Bylevelt
                ____________
30 heifers and calves
also        10 yearling bulls and oxen, to wit, 1 yearling ox bought of Reux, 4 which Rutger hendrixsen has had, 2 bought of minuijt and 3 of Bylevelt
also        6 heifer calves which will now go across with Reux by this ship; cost f8i 113
 
The purchased hogs with the increase of young pigs, you will please also distribute over the five farms and, as I have now a fair quantity of animals, the farmers can give the hogs the surplus buttermilk to drink and have those that can not be sold in the country killed toward winter when they are fat, and salted and cured, and if due attention is given thereto I imagine that it can be made a source of great profit, as they can get most of their food from the woods.
 
 
Questions
  • What kinds of animals are in the colony?
  • What might they be used for?
 

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 Kiliaen 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
What role did farming play in the life of the colony at Rensselaerswyck?
 
 
Check for Understanding
Imagine you are a farmer in Rensselaerswyck in the early years of settlement. Write a letter to your family back in the Netherlands describing your daily life and work.