Skip to Main Content
New York State Library Logo

Van Rensselaer Manor Papers

Memorandum from Kiliaen van Rensselaer

Adriaen van der Donck, whose life story is recounted in Russell Shorto's The Island at the Center of the World, began his career in New Netherland working as schout (chief law enforcement officer) for the Colony of Rensselaerswyck. This memorandum ordered Van der Donck to bring suit against farmers and other colonists who employed their friends instead of carpenters and other laborers under contract of the patroon. Also, the schout was further directed to enquire as to the reason Gerrit de Reux had an excessive amount of grain not given to the agents of the patroon.

Closeup of burned page of memorandum with information about grain production

Memorandum for Adriaen van der Donck from Kiliaen van Rensselaer concerning the hiring of laborers and grain left on farms,
18 July 1641