REGISTER OF THE PROVINCIAL SECRETARY, 1642–1647
Director Willem Kieft
Willem Kieft was Director of New Netherland during the years covered by the Register of the Provincial Secretary, 1642–1647.
The Secretary of New Netherland was an employee of the Dutch West India Company. He was responsible for recording and authenticating official documents for potential presentation in court. Along with the director general and other councilors, he was also a member of the Provincial Council, the colony's main governing body.
The Register contains a vast array of legal documents that were filed with the secretary in conjunction with civil and criminal proceedings. Records relating to the administration of real property include deeds, leases, mortgages, indentures, patents, and surveys. Commercial records include contracts, inventories, agreements, accounts, bonds, returns, receipts, bills of sale, certificates, invoices, and charters. Records relating to personal and family matters include powers of attorney, wills, estate inventories, marriage contracts, adoptions, complaints, protests, and counter protests. Documentation of other civil and criminal matters appears in declarations, affidavits, reports, discharges, stipulations, appointments, assignments of claims, notices of appeal, minutes of interviews, mandamuses, manumissions, like bonds, and bequests.
This is the second volume of the Dutch Colonial Manuscripts at the New York State Archives and the second of three volumes in the series Register of the Provincial Secretary. In the 19th century, E. B. O'Callaghan reorganized the original 49 record books of New Netherland into this series based on document type and time period. These documents were translated by A.J.F. van Laer in the early 20th-century and eventually published in 1974 as Volume II in the New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch series.
For more on the arrangement and publication of the Dutch Colonial Manuscripts, see the compilation of the introductions to the New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch / New Netherland Documents Series.