Aug. 28, 1655

Ordinance, issued by the Director and Council of New Netherland for the City of Amsterdam [Present-day New York City, NY, USA]: “The Captains and Officers of the Burghers of this City inquiring of the Director General and Council whether the Jewish Nation resident in this City, should be enrolled and march under their Burgher colors, which being duly weighed and thereupon considered, First, the disgust and dislike of the mass of Citizens to be Fellow soldiers of the aforesaid Nation, and to watch in the same guardhouse, and on the other hand, that the aforesaid Nation is not admitted or included in the famous emporium of Amsterdam, or, to our knowledge in any city of [New] Netherland, among the citizens in the Trainbands or general Burgher guard, but that the aforesaid nation contributes a reasonable sum for their freedom in that regard; It is resolved by the Director General and Council, in order to prevent further mischief, that agreeably to the custom of the laudable government of the renowned commercial city of Amsterdam, the aforesaid nation shall be exempt from general expeditions and watches, on condition that each male person between the ages of 16 and 60 years shall for the aforesaid exemption, contribute to the support of the general Burgher charges, sixty-five stivers every month, and the Burgher court-martial is hereby authorized and commanded the same to obey until our further order, and, pursuant to the tenor hereof, the aforesaid contribution to collect once a month, and, if refused, to levy execution. Thus done in Council in Fort Amsterdam, 28 August, 1655.” [Researcher’s note: The Council of Nine Men was a citizens’ board and a form of representational democracy in New Netherland; it removed the colony from the control of the Dutch West India Company, and it became the basis for the municipal government when the city of New Amsterdam (now Lower Manhattan) received its charter in 1653.]
O’Callaghan, E.B. Laws and Ordinances of New Netherland, 1638-1674. Weed, Parsons & Co.: Albany, 1868. Page 191. Researched by Dominik Jacobs 4/15/2020