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Two Extremely Early New York City Documents, Signed In 1640 At Fort Amsterdam At The Tip Of Manhattan Island. Both Concern The West India Company, The Corporation That Founded What Became New York City
NEW AMSTERDAM. New Amsterdam, the forerunner of New York City, was founded in 1624 largely by the Dutch, though it was ethnically diverse (Peter Minuit was German). In May 1624, the ship Nieu Nederlandt, chartered by the West India Company, arrived near Manhattan Island. The vessel had thirty families. A few families were left near New Haven, other people settled near the mouth of the Delaware River, some were left on Governor's Island, and the remaining families sailed up the Hudson River to form Fort Orange (now Albany). Later in 1624 and 1625, six additional ships left Holland with colonists, livestock and supplies. FORT AMSTERDAM. The fort was a stockade built by the Dutch on the southern tip of Manhattan around 1625. It was likely built by slaves and it was to protect the Hudson River from British and French infiltrations. It was torn down in 1790 after the American Revolution. THE WEST INDIA COMPANY (WIC). In 1621, the West India Company was granted a charter for a trade monopoly in the Caribbean, and it operated between West Africa (where it engaged in the slave trade) and the Americas. The company became very important in the Dutch settlement of the Americas. The company established many trade posts and colonies in the 1620s and 1630s. In 1629, the company began selling patroonships in New Netherlands. CORNELIUS VAN TIENHOVEN (1601-1656). Van Tienhoven was the secretary of New Netherlands from 1638 until shortly before his death, and was a very influential man. He served under both Kielt and Peter Stuyvesant. When he caused trouble in New Netherlands, the Dutch West Indies Company ordered him back to Holland. His hat and cane were found in the Hudson River, but no body was recovered; it is unknown if he was murdered or committed suicide. HARMEN MEYNDERTSZ VAN DEN BOGAERT (1612-1647). Bogaert arrived in Manhattan in 1630, and was a respected surgeon, the commissary of stores for Fort Orange, and an explorer of the Iroquois hinterlands. He kept a valuable journal describing his travels through upstate New York. In 1634, Bogaert was named the ambassador to the Mohawks, and he attempted to restore the fur trade. In 1647, he, while in Albany, was caught with a young male slave, which was a capital offense. He fled to the Mohawks, and was cornered by the Dutch. He set fire to the Mohawk's longhouse full of supplies and was caught. He escaped jail, but fell through an icy river and drowned. WIJBRANT PIETERSZ / WYBRANDT PIETERSEN (1600-1655). In 1638, Pietersz was appointed to supervise the quality of tobacco being harvested in New Amsterdam. CAREL LOOTEN. Looten was an Amsterdam financier. GOVERNOR DR. WILLEM KIEFT (1597-1647). Willem Kieft was the fifth director of New Netherland. He took up the position in 1638 and held it until 1647. DS. 2pg. 9 ¾" x 8 ½". March 22, 1640. Fort Amsterdam. Two extremely early New York documents autographed by four of the first Dutch settlers of New Netherlands. The documents, which are back to back on the same sheet of paper, are signed by "Hamanus A. Booghardii", "Wybrant Pietersen", "Ulrich Lupoltt" (two times) and "Cornelis van Tienhoven" (two times). The first document is a Power of Attorney, issued in the court of Cornelius van Tienhoven. It acknowledges that Harman Mijndertsz van Bogaert (aka Herman van Bogart) appointed Carel Looten to travel to Amsterdam to collect money owed to Bogaert from the West India Company. Looten could withhold his expenses. The document is written in Dutch, and translates as: "Before me, Cornelis van Tienhoven, secretary of New Netherland, in the presence of the undersigned witnesses, appeared Harman Myndertsen van de Bogaert, surgeon, who appoints and empowers, as he does hereby, Mr. Carel Looten, 337 merchant residing in the city of Amsterdam, to collect in his, the principal's, name from the honorable directors of the West India Company, chamber of Amsterdam, all such wages and board money as the principal has earned from the 21st of March 1630, when he sailed from the Texel on the ship De Eendracht, Jan Brouwer, skipper, arriving on the 24th of May following here in New Netherland, to the first of February Ao . 1633, as appears by the Book of Monthly Wages, which was sent over and which shows a debit account only, without any credit for wages or board money; the principal holding valid whatever shall be transacted herein by the above named Carel Looten, who is empowered to give receipt and to act further as necessity may require. Done this 22nd of March 1640, in Fort Amsterdam in New Netherland. Hamanus A. Booghardii Wybrant Pietersen Ulrich Lupoltt Acknowledged before me, Cornelis van Tienhoven, secretary". The other side is a certification of correctness and authority granted on behalf of Governor Dr. Willem Kieft, and is signed by Lupoltt and Tienhoven. It reads "I, the undersigned, Ulrich Lupoldt, commissary of merchandise for the West India Company in New Netherland, hereby acknowledge that for the account of the aforesaid Company I have received to my full satisfaction from Wybrant Pietersen, late commissary, the sum of twelve thousand, nine hundred and forty-five guilders, three stivers, six farthings, being the [value of the] balance of merchandise delivered to me by said Wybrandt Pietersen, of which I promise to render a full and true account to the Hon. Director Willem Kieft, or the Company's agent, except that the Company's account is to be reduced by so much as the weights and measures may be found to be less than the entries call for. Done this 27th of March Ao . 1640, in Fort Amsterdam in New Netherland. Ulrich Lupoltt Acknowledged before me, Cornelis van Tienhoven, secretary". Pre-1670 American letters are exceptionally rare. Signed documents, from the future American colonies (such as New Netherlands and New Sweden), of such an early date are virtually unknown. The American Book Prices Current shows one entry for "Fort Amsterdam", and it was sold at Sotheby's in 1977. Likewise, ABPC shows a few entries for "New Amsterdam", and the earliest of those documents was 1654. These documents were signed just fifteen years after New Amsterdam was established. The ink is dark, and there are a few folds and some light staining. A true American rarity.
      [Bookseller: Stuart Lutz Historic Documents, Inc.]
Last Found On: 2018-02-10           Check availability:      Biblio    

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