Laws & Writs of Appeals is a compilation of two parts of Volume XVI in the Dutch Colonial Documents at the New York State Archives. Part I: Ordinances, 1647–1658 consists of the ordinances, or laws and regulations written to govern and maintain order in the communities of New Netherland. The ordinances address many aspects of daily life and commerce including personal behavior, customs, marriage, sales, licensing, fees and taxes on goods and services, tobacco, liquor, military service, livestock, construction, fire prevention, currency, ships and shipping, farming, trapping, citizenship, and real estate. Part IV: Writs of Appeal, 1658–1663 consists of writs of appeal from judgments made by the courts of New Amsterdam, Oostdurp (Westchester), Heemsteede, New Amstel, Wiltwijck (in the Esopus), Flushing (on Long Island), and Fort Orange. The records also include summonses and writs of mandamus. The council’s decisions on these appeals appear in the council minutes.

It is important to remember that the ordinances and writs of appeal in this volume do not constitute the entire body of such records in the Dutch colonial manuscripts. Additional ordinances or copies of ordinances also appear at the end of some volumes and in others they are incorporated within the minutes of a council session. Until all the volumes of Dutch records have been translated or republished in the New Netherland Documents series, O’Callaghan’s Laws and Ordinances of New Netherland will have to be consulted for those ordinances appearing elsewhere.

Laws & Writs of Appeal is the first and fourth part of volume XVI of the Dutch Colonial Manuscripts at the New York State Archives. 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. The minutes in this volume were translated by Charles Gehring and published in 1991 as Volume XVI, part one in the New Netherland Documents Series.  

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.

Laws & Writs of Appeal, 1647–1663 translation (published book images)

Volume XVI, Part I: Ordinances, 1647–1658 manuscript images at the New York York State Archives 

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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