Fort Orange Records, 1656–1678

The records in this volume represent the oldest surviving archival papers of the Dutch community that eventually became Albany, the capital of the state of New York. Although the Dutch first visited this area with Hudson in 1609, records were first maintained in the area by the officials of the patroonship of Rensselaerswijck, which surrounded the West India Company post of Fort Orange. The administration of the Company's interests in the area remained in the hands of the council on Manhattan for almost thirty years. Thus records concerning the Company's administration of affairs in this area are found among the minutes of the council on Manhattan or in the registers of the provincial secretary. Local WIC records first appeared in 1652 after the Company established the jurisdiction of Fort Orange and the village of Beverwijck.

This volume is part of a larger series of deeds that extend to the present. The information contained within each volume consists of conveyances of property and goods, conditions of sale, powers of attorney, marriage contracts, surety bonds, inventories of goods and sales of excise (license fees or taxes). Each deed entry includes the name of grantor (seller) and grantee (buyer) and location and description of property.

The present volume is the first part of the surviving records kept by the Albany County Hall of Records. Unlike most other publications in the New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch / New Netherland Documents Series, these records are not listed in E.B. O'Callaghan's Calendar.

For more on the contents of this volume, see its introduction. 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.

About the New Netherland Institute

For over three decades, NNI has helped cast light on America's Dutch roots. In 2010, it partnered with the New York State Office of Cultural Education to establish the New Netherland Research Center, with matching funds from the State of the Netherlands. NNI is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. More

The New Netherland Research Center

Housed in the New York State Library, the NNRC offers students, educators, scholars and researchers a vast collection of early documents and reference works on America's Dutch era. More


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