Court Minutes
May 26, 1684*

Extraordinary session held in Albany, May 26, 1684


M. Gerritse
C. Van Dyk
J. Provoost
J. Bleker
P. Winne
H. van Ness

The court have thought fit to divide the town of Albany and the colony of Renselerswyk and other outlying places into six wards, to wit, four wards within the town and two without, and that from each ward a person shall be chosen by the inhabitants residing with the said ward, who are to represent the commonalty and to act for and on behalf of the commonalty.

1. The first ward: From the gate near the court house eastward along the town fence to Sybrant van Schayk’s house, and then westward up the Jonker street, on both sides, to the houses of Juffrouw Margriet Schuylers and Teunis vander Poel.

2. Again from Juff. Margriet Schuylers and Teunis vander Poel, up the hill, past the houses of Hendrik Cuyler and Joh. D’Wandelaer; thence along the hill, and down Rom street, on both sides, ending with [the house of] Lukas, the baker, and Robert Story.

3. From the Parrell Poort (Pearl gate), on both sides of the street, to Teunis van der Poel and Robert Livingston; thence down the street of Hend. Bries and Jacob Lokermans and ending with Capt. Hans and Joh. Mingael.

4. Again from the Koe Poort (Cow gate), near David Schuyler’s along both sides of the street, southward, to the corner of Carsten Frederiksen’s and the house of Reynier Shaets.

5. The outlying districts are divided into two wards, to wit, all that lies south of the town of Albany to form one ward and all that lies north of it to form the second ward.

It is further resolved that the commonalty are to meet on Tuesday, the 3d of June, in the court house, to choose a man from each of the six wards, to represent the commonalty on all occasions and for the best interest of the community. Whereas the honorable court have thought fit to divide the town of Albany, the colony of Renselaerswyk [548] and the places adjacent thereto into six wards, in order that a man may be chosen from each ward, so that those persons, thus chosen by plurality of votes may represent the commonalty on all occasion and act to the best interest of the community; therefore, the inhabitants of Albany are hereby notified that they are to meet in the curt house of Albany, on Tuesday, the 3d of June 1684, at 2o’clock in the afternoon, to cast their vote for the election of the said persons, who are to represent the commonalty.

Actum in Albany, the 26th of May 1684, and was thus published.


Printed in Court Minutes of Albany, volume 3, pp. 450-51. The reference to a "city government" predated the granting of Albany's municipal charter by more than two years. It also is an early and comprehensive exposition regarding the city's wards. However, the subsequent charter divided the city of Albany into three - not four wards!

Transformed by JP

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first posted: 6/30/03