Fur Traders - 1660
The year 1660 marked a cresting or high point for the Fur Trade in the Hudson-Mohawk region. It also marked the appearance in the historical record of competitiveness between two groups of would-be traders.
That spirit is revealed in two petitions sent to the court of Fort Orange/Beverwyck in May 1660. These documents were signed by a total of seventy-nine individuals and constitutes the earliest, base list of Beverwyck fur traders.
The first petition (dated May 25) came from a group of twenty-five traders who expressed concern that the "general decline and utter ruination" of the community would occur if "Christians" were allowed to "run into the woods" and use "surreptitious and improper ways to get the trade entirely into their hands." They asked that trading be confined to "this community and its inhabitants." This petition represented the more well-established (principal) fur traders - several of whom would serve as magistrates.
the mark of Jan van Aken
Pieter van Alen
Dirck Jansen Croon
Lourens van Alen
Two days later (May 27, 1660), another group of Beverwyck inhabitants petitioned the court that "the Dutch may be allowed to go into the woods as brokers, which, although of dangerous consequence, cannot be prevented without causing greater mischief." This larger group of eighty, less well-established would-be traders further observed that "some of the petitioners" have said that they would trade in the wooks whether it was permitted or not!
Jan Dircksen van Breemenn
Arent Jansen van Hoeck
Jacob Thijsen van der Heyden
Cornelis Theunesen Bosch
the mark of Lambert van Valkenburch
Jan Jansen van Ekelen
the mark of Meyndert Fredricksen
the mark of Jan Fransen
the mark of Sijmon Volkerts
the mark of Theunes Cornelissen
the mark of Willem Fredricksen
the mark of Jan Harmsen
the mark of Mattheus Abrahamsen
the mark of Jan Cornelissen [ perhaps Jan C. Viselaer - but see below ]
Pieter Loockermans de Jonge
the mark of Jochem Ketteleyn
Willem Jansen Schut
the mark of Reynier Albertsen
Anderies de Vosch
Jan Cornelissen Leyden [ but see ]
Jacob Van Laer
the mark of Wouter Albertsen
Willem Jansen Stol
Wijnandt Gerritsen vande Poel
Lambert van Neck
Although neither definitive nor comprehensive, these lists do provide a useful roster of those involved in the trade for furs. The trade and these traders are the subjects of an article by Thomas E. Burke, Jr. entitled "The New Netherland Fur Trade, 1657-1661: Response to Crisis," A Beautiful and Fruitful Place, pp. 283-91.
Petitions and lists of names printed in Court Minutes of Beverwyck 2:255-56.
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first posted 1/02; last updated 6/16/12