"They report that our people are in good spirit and live in peace. The women also have borne some children there." 

- Peter Schagen, representative of the States General in the Assembly of the Nineteen of the West India Company, 1626

Peter Schagen Letter

View letter as a zoomable PDF. (Right-click and Save As to download.)



Peter Schaghen, the author of this document, was the representative of the States General in the Assembly of the Nineteen of the West India Company. In the late summer of 1626, he reported the arrival of the ship Wapen van Amsterdam from New Netherland. In his report to the directors of the WIC he announced the purchase of Manhattan Island for the value of 60 guilders. The Schaghen letter is the earliest reference to the purchase of the island that would become the center of New Netherland. The original is held by the Rijksarchief in The Hague.


[ ] 5
Rcvd. 7 November 1626

High and Mighty Lords,
Yesterday the ship the Arms of Amsterdam arrived here. It sailed from New Netherland out of the River Mauritius on the 23d of September. They report that our people are in good spirit and live in peace. The women also have borne some children there. They have purchased the Island Manhattes from the Indians for the value of 60 guilders. It is 11,000 morgens in size [about 22,000 acres]. They had all their grain sowed by the middle of May, and reaped by the middle of August They sent samples of these summer grains: wheat, rye, barley, oats, buckwheat, canary seed, beans and flax. The cargo of the aforesaid ship is:

7246 Beaver skins
178½ Otter skins
675 Otter skins
48 Mink skins
36 Lynx skins
33 Minks
34 Muskrat skins

Many oak timbers and nut wood. Herewith, High and Mighty Lords, be commended to the mercy of the Almighty,
In Amsterdam, the 5th of November anno 1626.

Your High and Mightinesses' obedient, P.Schaghen


[ ] 5
Recep. 7 November 1626
Hooghe Moghende Heeren

Hier is ghister t'schip t'wapen van Amsterdam aengekomen ende is den 23en septem: uyt Nieu Nederlant gezeylt uyt de Rivier Mauritius. rapporteren dat ons volck daer kloec is en: vreedigh leven hare vrouwen hebben ooc kinderen aldaer gebaert hebben t'eylant Manhattes van de wilde gekocht, voor de waerde van 60 guld: is groot 11000 morgen. hebbende alle koren half mey gezeyt, ende half augusto gemayd. daer van zeyndende munsterkens van zomerkoren, als taruw, Rogge, garst, haver boucweyt, knarizaet, boontjes en: vlas.
Het Cargasoen van tvsz: schip is
7246 bevers vellen
1781/2 otters vellen
675 otters vellen
48 Mincke vellen
36 Catloes-vellen
33 Mincken
34 Ratte vellekens.
Veel eycken balcken. En: Noten-hout.

Hier mede Hooghe Moghende Heeren. zyt den Almogende
en genaden bevolen.
In Amsterdam den 5en Novem: Ao 1626
Uwe Hoo: Moo: Dienstwillighe
P. Schaghen

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