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Van Rensselaer Manor Papers

Baker's Account

The records show that certain Dutch customs were kept long after the English had taken over New Netherland; a 1675 baker's account mentions that Maria van Rensselaer bought Sinterklaas [Santa Claus] goods, illustrating that the feast of Saint Nicolas was celebrated in Albany at that time. This item could possibly be the earliest reference to the celebration of Sinterklaas (Saint Nicolas) in New Netherland.  This custom was outlawed by the Dutch Reformed Church at the time, which may explain why there is almost no written documentation of celebrating Saint Nicholas.

This item mentions that Maria van Rensselaer bought rusks, koeken (cookies), whitebread, etc. as well as spending ƒ2:10 on Sinterklaas goodies: … aen suntterclaesgoet ƒ2:10. 

Handwritten list of ingredient, items, and costs

Baker's account from Wouter de backer (Wouter Albertsz), March 1675