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The New York State Archives holds the surviving records of the government of the Dutch colony of New Netherland. Originally forty-six volumes of manuscripts, the records were rearranged and rebound in twenty-three volumes by E. B. O'Callaghan in the mid-nineteenth century. All but one volume survived the 1911 New York State Capitol fire which destroyed major portions of New York's British colonial and Revolutionary War records.

The New Netherland records include two of three original volumes of the register of the Provincial Secretary, in which declarations, contracts, powers of attorney, and other legally binding agreements were recorded; seven volumes of minutes of the Council, which with the director-general exercised executive, legislative, and judicial powers; five volumes of administrative correspondence compiled by or for the directors-general of the colony; one volume of ordinances, writs, and Fort Orange court records; one volume of papers documenting Dutch administration of Curaçao, an island in the Caribbean; four volumes documenting Dutch administration of the Delaware Valley region; and two volumes of land patents and deeds. Taken together, these records document the development of colonial law and the administration of justice; administration of the colony's internal affairs as well as relations and trade with neighboring colonies, Native Americans, the Caribbean, Europe, and Africa; communications from authorities in the Netherlands; and the transfer of title to real property within the colony. 

Series Number Series Title Volume Number Finding Aid Digital Collections Document Translations Published Translations (by Volume) Notes
Register of Provincial Secretary, 1638-1642 1 Image. Example of published translation of Volume 1 This volume was burned in the 1911 fire. Vol. 1 was translated before the 1911 Capitol fire; a transcription of the Dutch text is available.
A0270 New Netherland Provincial Secretary Register of the Provincial Secretary of the Colony of New York, 1642-1660 2-3 Image. Finding Aid Example Image. Example of Dutch Document. Image.  Example of translation of Dutch document Image. Example of published translation

This series contains a vast array of legal documents in the Dutch language filed with the provincial secretary of New Netherland in conjunction with civil and criminal proceedings. Among other duties, the provincial secretary was responsible for recording and authenticating official documents for potential presentation in court. Included are records relating to the administration of real property, commerce, personal and family matters, and other civil and criminal affairs.

A1809 New Netherland Council Dutch Colonial Council Minutes, 1638-1665 4-10 Image. Sample finding aid. Image. Example of Dutch Document Image. Example of Dutch Translation Image. Example of published Dutch Translations Translations for Volumes 7-10 are not yet available online.

This series consists of minutes, in Dutch, documenting civil and criminal cases, and executive and legislative matters over which the Council of the Colony of New York had jurisdiction. The minutes constitute a record of such actions as appointments, proclamations, ordinances, charters, and opinions. Included in the records is the Flushing Remonstrance, which was written in 1657 by citizens of Flushing, Queens to protest a decree prohibiting Quakers from worshiping in New Netherland.

A1810 New Netherland Council Dutch Colonial Administrative Correspondence, 1646-1664 11-15 Image.  Example of a finding aid Image. Example of digitized document Image. Example of document translation Image. Example of published translation Translations for Volumes 13-15 are not yet available online.

This series contains administrative correspondence, in Dutch, of Petrus Stuyvesant during his seventeen year term as director-general of the colony of New Netherland from 1647-1664. The bulk of the series consists of incoming letters from the directors in Amsterdam and the governors of neighboring colonies. The correspondence addresses matters relating to the defense, commercial interests, and prosperity of Dutch holdings in North America and the Caribbean.

A1875 New Netherland Council Dutch Colonial Ordinances, 1647-1658 Volume 16, pt. 1 Image.  Example of a finding aid Image. Example of digitized document Image. Example of document translation Image. Example of published translation

This series consists of ordinances, laws, and regulations enacted by the Council of the Colony of New York to govern and maintain order in the communities of New Netherland. The records, written in the Dutch language, address personal behavior; community standards in such areas as fire prevention, construction, and real estate; and commercial matters like customs, sales, licensing, fees and taxes on goods and services, tobacco, liquor, livestock, currency, ships and shipping, farming, and trapping.

A1876 Fort Orange Settlement Administrative Records, 1656-1660 Volume 16, pt. 2 and pt. 3 Image.  Example of a finding aid Image. Example of digitized document Image. Example of document translation Image. Example of published translation

This series contains legal and administrative records that document the Dutch settlement of Fort Orange, which eventually became Albany, New York. The records, in Dutch, include real estate transactions, such as conveyances of property from one individual to another, conditions of sale, conditions of auction, and surrenders of claims; acknowledgments of debt; inventories of estates; warrants; powers of attorney; and pledges of security.

A1877 New Netherland Council Writs of Appeal, 1658-1663 Volume 16, pt. 4 Image.  Example of a finding aid Image. Example of digitized document Image. Example of document translation Image. Example of published translation

This series consists of writs of appeal, in Dutch, from judgments made by the courts of New Amsterdam, Oostdurp (Westchester), Heemsteede, New Amstel, Wiltwyck (in the Esopus), Flushing (on Long Island), and Fort Orange. Writs of appeal were granted by the Council of the Colony of New York in response to petitions, usually submitted by one party in a civil action. The records in this series also include summonses and writs of mandamus.

A1883 New Netherland Council Curacao Records, 1640-1665 Volume 17 Image.  Example of a finding aid Image. Example of digitized document Image. Example of document translation Image. Example of published translation

The Curaçao records, in Dutch, document the West India Company's activities in the Caribbean during the seventeenth century; supply information about the administration of affairs on Curaçao; and depict the commercial relationship between the islands and New Netherland. The series includes administrative records and correspondence, and business records relating to trade and shipping. The records were maintained by Petrus Stuyvesant, who served as director of Curaçao and dependencies during the years 1642-1644, 1646-1664.

A1878 New Netherland Council Dutch Delaware River Settlement Administrative Records, 1646-1664 Volumes 18 and 19 Image.  Example of a finding aid Image. Example of digitized document Image. Example of document translation Image. Example of published translation

This series contains letters, minutes, and other administrative documents, in Dutch, created by the West India Company during its struggle to dominate trade and establish trading posts on the South (Delaware) River. The records, generated in the Delaware region and sent to New Amsterdam, largely relate to Swedish activities in the region; the takeover of New Sweden in 1655 by the Dutch; and agreements and terms met during the struggle with Sweden for control over the region.

A1879 New York Colony Council British Delaware River Settlement Administrative Records, 1664-1682 Volumes 20 and 21 Image.  Example of a finding aid Image. Example of digitized document Image. Example of document translation Image. Example of published translation The individual transcripts for documents written in English are not yet available online.

This series contains legal and administrative records, in English and Dutch, documenting the period of English control over the Delaware region by colonial governors Richard Nicholls, Francis Lovelace, and Edmund Andros. The records include correspondence, reports, petitions, accounts, survey-returns, copies of local court proceedings sent to Fort James, letters, orders, warrants, instructions, and patents.

A1880 New Netherland Council Dutch Colonial Patents and Deeds, 1630-1664 Volumes GG and HH, pt. 2 Image.  Example of a finding aid Image. Example of digitized document Image. Example of document translation Image. Example of published translation

This series consists predominantly of land patents, in Dutch, through which the director-general and council of New Netherland allowed private individuals to take possession of land in freehold, as opposed to the previous policy of only granting permission to hold land for cultivation. Also included are some deeds that record the purchase of land from natives for the West India Company and several patroons.

A1882 New Netherland Council Dutch Colonial Land Deeds, 1652-1653 Volume HH, pt 1 Image.  Example of a finding aid Image. Example of digitized document Image. Example of document translation Image. Example of published translation

This series contains deeds, in Dutch, recorded by the provincial secretary from September 5, 1652 until October 15, 1653. The provincial secretary was responsible for recording all land transactions in New Netherland. Most of the deeds document the conveyance of real property between private individuals on the island of Manhattan.

A1881 Dutch colonial administrative records, 1673-1674 Volume 23 Image.  Example of a finding aid Image. Example of digitized document Image. Example of document translation Image. Example of published translation

This series contains patents issued under the administration of Dutch Governor Anthony Colve, and a few private deeds from the same period. In one notable document, Governor Colve granted the Lutheran congregation in Albany free exercise of their religion (September 26, 1673).