Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Establishment of Nieuw Nederland

This post will be a brief one. Last night I gave a presentation at De Orde van den Prince in New York City called "Vlamingen in Nieuw Nederland". It is a superb group that deserves sponsorship.

My presentation is in powerpoint and for those of you interested in it, please contact me and I will send it to you.

That said, I am posting today because it is the anniversary of the granting of the right to trade in North America to group of Northern and Southern Netherlanders (i.e., Flemings) based in Amsterdam. These adventurers, who even before Emanuel Van Meteren's publication of Hudson's voyage in 1611, swarmed the Hudson River estuary trading and fighting for animal (especially beaver) pelts, were the creators of the name "Nieuw Nederland" (New Netherlands). Below I post the English translation of the document by E.B. O'Callaghan. The names in bold are Zuidnederlanders (Flemings).

"On October 11, 1614 ”The united company by whom they had been employed, lost no time in taking the steps necessary to secure to themselves the exclusive trade of the countries thus explored, which was guarantied to them by the ordnance of the 27th of March [1614]. They sent deputies immediately to the Hague, who laid before the States General a report of their discoveries, as required by law, with a figurative map of the newly explored countries, which now, for the first time, obtained the name of ‘New Netherland.’ A special grant in favor of the interested parties was forthwith accorded by their High Mightinesses, in the following terms:

'The States General of the United Netherlands to all to whom these presents shall come, greeting. Whereas Gerrit Jacob Witsen, former burgomaster of the city of Amsterdam, Jonas Witsen and Simon Morissen, owners of the ship called the Little Fox (het vosje), Captain Jan de Witt, master; Hans Hongers, Paul Pelgrom, and Lambrecht van Tweenhuysen, owners of the two ships called the Tiger and the Fortune, Captains Adriaen Block and Hendrick Christiaensen, masters; Arnoudt van Lybergen, Wessel Schenk, Hans Claessen, and Barent Sweetsen, owners of the ship Nightengale, (Nochtegael), Capt. Thuys Volckertsen, merchant in the city of Amsterdam, master; and Pieter Clementsen Brouwer, Jan Clementsen Kies, and Cornelis Volckertsen, merchants in the city of Hoorn, owners of the ship the Fortune, Capt. Cornelis Jacobsen Mey, master, have united into one company, and have shown to Us, by their petition, that after great expenses and damages, by loss of ships and other perils, during the present year, they, with the abovenamed five ships, have discovered certain new lands, situated in America, between New France and Virginia, being the seacoasts between 40 and 45 degrees of latitude, and now called New Netherland:'

'And whereas, they further represent that We did, in the month of March, publish, for the promotion and augmentation of commerce, a certain consent and grant, setting forth that whosoever should discover new havens, lands, places, or passages, should be permitted exclusively to visit and navigate the same for four voyages, without permitting any other persons out of the United Netherlands to visit or frequent such newly discovered places, until the said discoverers shall have performed four voyages, within the space of time prescribed to them for that purpose, under the penalties therein expressed, &c., and request that We should be pleased to accord to them due testimony of the aforesaid grant in the usually prescribed form: '

'Wherefore, the premises having been considered, and We, in our Assembly, having communication of the pertinent report of the petitioners relative to the discoveries and finding of the said new countries between the abovenamed limits and degrees, and also of their adventures, have consented and granted, and by these presents do consent and grant, to the said petitioners, now united into one company, that they shall be permitted exclusively to visit and navigate the above described lands, situate[d] in America, between New France and Virginia, the seacoasts of which lie between the 40th and 45th degrees of latitude, and which are now named New Netherland, as is to be seen on the figurative maps by them prepared; and to navigate, or caise to be navigated, the same four voyages, within the period of three years, to commence from the first day of January, 1615, or sooner, without it being permitted, directly or indirectly, to any one else to sail, to frequent, or to navigate, out of the United Netherlands, those newly discovered lands, havens, or places, within the space of three years, as above, on penalty of the confiscation of the vessel and cargo, besides a fine of fifty thousand Netherlands ducats, for the benefit of said discoverers.

'Provided, however, that by these presents We do not intend to prejudice or diminish any of our former grants and concession; and it is also our intentionthat if any disputes or differences should arise from these concessions, that they shall be decided by ourselves. '

'We, therefore, expressly command all governors, justices, officers, magistrates, and inhabitants, of the aforesaid United Netherlands, that they allow said company peacefully and quietly to enjoy the whole benefit of this our grant, and to interpose no difficulties or obstacles to the welfare of the same. Given at the Hague, under our seal, paraph, and the signature of our Secretary, on the 11th day of October, 1614.'”

- E.B. O’Callaghan, History of New Netherland, pp.74-76

Copyright 2011 by David Baeckelandt. All rights reserved. No reproduction without my explicit, written consent.

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