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Memorandum of Contract for the Construction of a Horse Mill, January 31, 1646

Memorandum of Contract with Pieter Cornelisz for the Construction of a Horse Mill in the Greenen Bos
New York State Library, NYSL_sc7079_dehooghes-memo-book_A18-A19
 
Document Description
Memorandum of contract with Pieter Cornelisz for the construction of a horse mill in the Greenen Bos, January 31, 1646.
 
Translation
Memorandum of Contract with Pieter Cornelisz for the Construction of a Horse Mill in the Greenenbos
Whereas, to the great detriment and [             ] to the honorable patron as well as to the inhabitants of the Colony [of Rensselaerswijck], the mill located at the Vijffde {kil} is often, indeed, usually inoperable, or [unfit] for milling, whether because of {the} dam breaking or because of winter time, or because of high water and other causes. Furthermore, [it] is out of the way, to the disadvantage of the inhabitants because [of the distance] traveling back and forth. I have, therefore, in the name of the Lord Patroon, in accordance with the previous proposals to the court, seen fit to make a contract with Pieter Cornelisz, to construct a horse mill in the GreenenBos, in order not only [to supply] the colony [of Rennselaerswijck] but also, if it were to happen that demand arise through shipping, quantities of ground grain [could be] to sent out to other regions. I have, therefore, come to an agreement with the aforementioned Pieter Cornelisz, on this, the 31st of January, 1646, on the following conditions:
Peter Conelisz will complete the ongoing work and [    ] for f300. Against that, I will contribute my [mill]stones for f200 and [we will] settle [accounts] with each other and make debits against each others’ accounts.
I will provide Pieter Cornelisz or the common [             ] with two good work horses {the expense for which} we will each bear half and [we will also jointly] assume the [risk for them], half and half.
Beyond this, that which relates to the construction, lum[ber], the wages of laborers and other expenses, we {shall} bear jointly. In sum, [we will share] all profits and bear [all] losses together.
 
 
Questions
List two problems with the mill at Vijffdekil.
 
Using evidence from the text, identify the type of mill at Vijffdekil.
What kind of mill will be built at GreenenBos?
How will the mill at GreenenBos solve the problems brought about by the mill at Vijffdekil?
 
What will the mill at GreenenBos produce for the colony?
 
Summarize the main idea of this document. Use evidence from the text to support the summary.
 
 

Historical Context
Mills provided a faster, more efficient way for early settlers to change various raw materials into usable products. The two main types of mills were saw mills and grist mills. Saw mills processed timbers into cut lumber suitable for building houses, wagons, and furniture. Grist mills ground grain products into flour for baking and cooking. Before the use of mills, people cut lumber and ground grain by hand which greatly limited the availability of finished goods.
Mills used various forms of power to increase production. The most common type of mill was a water-powered mill. Water-powered mills required a flowing water supply to move a water wheel which powered the equipment. In addition to water-powered mills, settlers also utilized animal-powered and wind-powered mills to increase their production of finished products. The Dutch colony of Rensselaersyck was not exception. Historical documents show the use of these mills and the benefits and issues related to the use of these mills.
 
 
Essential Question
How did mills contribute to the growth and success of the colony?
 
 
Check for Understanding
Explain the difference between a horse mill and a water mill.