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Notice from Patroon Kiliaen Van Rensselaer to Private Traders in the Colony, September 8, 1643
Broadside: Notice to serve on private traders who sail into the colony contrary to the Patroon’s orders, 8 September 1643
[From the Rensselaerswyck MSS.]
I, Nicholas Coorn, Wacht-meester over Rensselaers-Steyn, and on behalf of the noble Lord Kiliaen van Rensselaer, under the High Jurisdiction of the High and Mighty Lords States General of the United Netherlands, and the Privileged West India Company, Hereditary Commander of the Colonies on this North River of New Netherland, and as Vice Commander thereof in his place, let you know that you shall not presume to abuse this river to the injury of the acquired right of the aforesaid Lord, in his quality as Patroonof the Colonieof Rensselaerswyck, the first and oldest on this river.
Which right he hath obtained on the 19th November, 1629, pursuant to his freedoms and exemptions from the Assembly of the XIX.ofthe Privileged West India Company, by the fifth article of which it was promised that care would be taken that the first occupiers (being he the Patroon) should not be prejudiced in the right which they obtained.
Which by the High and Mighty Lords States General aforesaid was further confirmed and enlarged by their High Mightinesses' sealed letters, dated fifth Feb. 1641, which were granted to him and to his heirs for ever.
And, whereas he declares to be greatly prejudiced;
Firstly, Inasmuch as you frequent this river without his knowledge, and have come thus far against his will;
Secondly, Endeavoring afterwards to withdraw from him and allure to yourself the tribes round about, who for many years have been accustomed to trade either at Fort Orange with the Company's Commis, or with his Commis in particular; and if possible to divert them away to his injury, and to show these tribes other secret trading places, greatly to the prejudice of the West India Company and of him the Patroon;
Thirdly, That you have destroyed the trade in furs by advancing and raising the price thereof on the Company's commis at Fort Orange, as well as on his, the Patroon'scommis; that you are satisfied if you get merely some booty from it, not caring afterwards whether or not the trade be so ruined that the Patroon will thereby be unable to meet the expenses of his colonie, the same being greatly prejudicial to him, the Patroon.
Fourthly, That you sought to debauch and pervert his own inhabitants and subjects against their lord and master, furnishing them, among other things, with wine and strong drink, and selling this to them at an usurious and high price, against his will; causing yourself to be paid in peltries, which they, contrary to his orders and their own promise, trade for, or in wheat, which they purloin from their lord; whereof they have given no account; whereof the lawful tenths were not legally drawn ; whereof he, the Patroon, hath not even received his third part or half according to contract; and whereof he hath not refused the right of pre-emption, obliging the Patroon, whom his people hath assisted with little or no advances, considering his outlay, to enter these on his books, while you pass away with that, yea, with his share, whereby he is rendered unable to provide his people with all they require, because you so exhaust them and impoverish his colonie, which is highly prejudicial to him the Patroon.
All which not being bound to suffer from any private individuals, he doth warn you entirely to refrain therefrom. Protesting in the name aforesaid, should you presume, in defiance of law, to endeavor, contrary to this protest, to pass by force, that I am directed to prevent you. Nevertheless, with power under this presentment, to trade with his commis, but in no wise with the Indians or his particular subjects, as is further to be seen and read in the admonition and instruction given by him, the Patroon, to Pieter Wyncoop, as commis, and Arendt van Curler, as commissary-general, and that in conformity to the restrictions of the Reglement therein contained.
And to declare to you, should you use force, that you will be guilty of,
Firstly, Crime against the High and Mighty Lords States General.
Secondly, Crime against the West India Company, and their Governor.
Thirdly, Crime against him, the Patroon, and his command, under whose jurisdiction you at present are residing in his despite and against his will, obliging us to necessary resistance.
Wherefore, I, in the name aforesaid, shall await what you will answer, do, or permit, to regulate myself accordingly, still fully admonishing you that you can have no Acte (except from the High and Mighty Lords the States General, themselves) which can deprive him of this his right, and that in case of loss you will have to indemnify him the Patroon.
Which aforesaid Acte passed by the aforesaid Lord Patroon and Commander, he hereby approves with the signature by his own hand, and by the sealing with the seal of him the Patroon, and of the Colonieof Rensselaerswyck, this 8th of September, 1643. In Amsterdam,
Kiliaen Van Rensselaer