Myndert Schuyler, Peter Van Brugh; HI.'), Johannis Cuyler, Hendrick Hansen,
Karel Han.sen; 1716-36, John Cuyler, Hendrick Hansen, Karel Hansen, Myndert
Schuyler; 1726-27, Myndert Schuyler, Ryer Garretsen ; 1727 (September to Novem-
ber), Johannis Cuyler, Peter Van Brugh ; 1728-37, Philip Schuyler, Myndert Schuy-
ler, Dirck Ten Broeck; 1737-38, Philip Schuyler, Peter Wiune; 1739^3, Philip
Schuyler, Peter Winne; 1743-45, Philip Schuyler, Peter Winne; 1745-47, the same;
1747-50, CoenradtTen Eyck, Peter Douw; 17.50-51, Philip Schuyler, Hans Hansen;
17.52-58, Peter Winne, Petrus Douw; 17.59-61, Peter Winne, Jacob H. Ten Kyck,
Volkert P. Douw; 1761-68, Jacob H. Ten Eyck, Volkert P. Douw; 1768-09, Jacoli
H. Ten Eyck. Philip Schuyler; 1769-75, Jacob H. Ten Eyck, Philip Schuyler.
The last session of the General Assembly was held April :?, 1TT.5.
Ijttring tliis Colonial period of nearly ninety years Rensselaerwyek
Manor was represented in the Assembly as follows:
1691-1702, Kilian Van Rensselaer; 1702, Kilian Van Rensselaer and Andries
Coejemans (Coeymans); 1702-1714, Hendrick (or Henry) Van Rensselaer; 171.5-26,
Andries Coejemans; 1726-43, Jeremiah Van Rensselaer; 1743-68, John Baptiste Van
Rensselaer; 1768 to the close, Abraham Ten Broeck.
Members of the State Assembly have been as follows;
1777-78, Jacob Cuyler, John Cuyler, jr., James Gordon, Walter Livingston,
Stephen J. Schuyler, John Tayler, Kilian Van Rensselaer, Robert Van Rensselaer,
Peter Vrooman, William B. Whiting.
1778-79. Leonard Gansevoort, James Gordon, Walter Livingston, Stephen J.
Schuyler, John Tayler. Jacobus Teller, Kilian Van Rensselaer, Robert Van Rensse-
laer, Peter Vrooman, William B. Whiting.
1779-80. Flores Bancker. John Bay, James Gordon, Cornelius Humphrey, Hugh
Mitchell, Henry Oothoudt, Henry Ouackenbos, Isaac ^'rooman, William B. Whiting,
1780-81, Matthew Adgate, John Ja. Beekman, James Gordon, John Lansing, jr.,
Peter R. Livingston, Dirck Swart, John Tayler, John \'an Rensselaer, jr., Robert
Van Rensselaer, Isaac Vrooman.
1781-82, Mathew Adgate, Jacob Ford, Philip Frisbie. John Lansing, jr., George
Palmer, Dirck Swart. Samuel Ten Broeck, Israel Thompson, Isaac Vrooman. Ed-
1782-83, Matthew Adgate, John H. Beekman, John Ja. Beekman, Jacob Ford,
John Lansing, jr., Dirck Swart. Jamuel Ten Broeck, Peter \'an Ness. Christopher
Yates, John Younglove.
1784, Matthew Adgate, Abraham Becker, Abraham Cuyler. Jacob Ford. James
Gordon, John Lansing, jr., Peter Schuyler, Dirck Swart, Peter Van Ness, Christo-
1784-85, Matthew Adgate, Abraham Becker, Jacob Ford, Walter Livingston, Dirck
Swart, Israel Thompson, Matthew Visscher, Christopher Yates, Peter W. Yates,
1786, Leonard Bronck, Henry Glen, James Gordon, Lawrence Hogebouni. John
Lansing, jr., John Livingston, Jacobus Van Schoonhoven, John Tayler, Abraliam J.
Van Alstyne, Peter Vrooman.
1787, Leonard Bronck, Henry Glen, James Gordon, John Lansing, jr., John Liv-
ingston, William Powers, Thomas Sickles, John Tayler, Matthew Visscher, Peter
1788, Leonard Ganesvoort, James Gordon, Thomas Sickles, J. De Peyster Ten
Eyck, Dirck Van lugen, Hezekiah Van Orden, John Younglove.
1788-89, John Duncan, John Lansing, jr., John Thompson, Cornelius Van Dyck,
Henry K. Van Rensselaer, Jeremiah Van Rensselaer, John Younglove.
1789-90, Leonard Bronck, James Gordon, Richard Sill, Henry K. Van Rensselaer,
Stephen Van Rensselaer, Cornelius Van Van Veghten, John Younglove.
1791, Sidney Berry, Leonard Bronck, Jonathan Brown, John W. Schermerhorn,
Richard Sill, Jacobus Van Schoonhoven, Cornelius A. Van Slyck.
1792, Jellis A. Fonda, Stephen Lush, David McCarty, Francis Nicoll, William
North, John Ten Broeck, Henry Ten Eyck.
1792-93. Leonard Bronck, Johannis Deitz, Jellis A. Fonda, Stephen Lush, Francis
Nicoll, John Ten Broeck, Cornelius A. Van Slyck.
1794, Johannis Deitz, Jellis A. Fonda, Theodorus V. W. Graham, Jacob Hoch-
stra.sser, Thomas Hun, William North, Stephen Piatt.
17J5, Johannis Deitz, Leonard Ganesvoort, jr., Jacob Hochstrasser, Thomas Hun,
William North, Stephen Piatt, Andries Van Patten.
1796, Gerrit Abeel, Leonard Bronck, Johannis Deitz, Jacob Hochstrasser, Francis
Nicoll, William North, Dirck Ten Broeck.
1796-97, James Bill, Philip Conine, jr., James C. Duane, Jacob Hochstrasser,
James Holcomb, Nathaniel Ogden, John Prince, Philip P. Schuyler. Dirck Ten
Broeck, John H. Wendell,
1798, Thomas E. Barker, Johan Jost Deitz, Andrew N. Heermance, Nathaniel
Ogden, John Prince, Philip P. Schuyler, Dirck Ten Broeck, Joel Thompson, John H.
Wendell. Peter West.
1798-99, Thomas E. Barker, James Bill, Johan Jost Deitz, Prince Doty, Andrew
N. Heermance, Jeremiah Lansingh, Philip P. Schuyler, Joseph Shurtleff, Dirck Ten
^1800, James Bill, Philip Conine, jr., Johan Jost Deitz, Prince Doty, John V. Henry,
Francis Nicoll, Joseph Shurtleff, Dirck Ten Broeck, Jacob Winne.
1800-01, John Jost Deitz, Prince Doty, John V. Henry, Joseph Shurtleff, Dirck
'I'en Broeck, Jacob Ten Eyck, Peter West, Jacob Winne.
18(12, Johan Jost Deitz, Prince Doty, John V. Henry, Peter S. Schuyler, Joseph
Shurleff, Dirck Ten Broeck, Jacob Ten Eyck, Peter West.
1803, Johan Jost Deitz, John Frisby, Stephen Lush, Maus Schermerhorn, Peter S.
Schuyler, Jacob Ten Eyck.
1804, John Beekman, jr., Johan Jost Deitz. James Emott, Maus Schermerhorn,
Peter S. Schuyler, Moses Smith.
[^1805-06, David Burhans, Adam Deitz, jr., Stephen Lush, Nicholas V. Mynderse,
Joseph Shurtleff, Moses Smith.
1806, David Burhans, Asa Colvard, Adam Deitz, jr., Stephen Lush, Joseph Shurt-
leff, Abraham Van Vechten.
1807, David Bogardus, Asa Colvard, Johan Jost Deitz, Daniel Hale, Joseph
Shurtleff, Jacob Veeder.
1808, John Brown, Johan Jost Deitz, Jonathan Jenkins, Stephen Van Rensselaer,
Abraham Van Vechten, Jacob Veeder.
1808-9, John Brown. John H. Burhans, Jonathan Jost Deitz, Jonathan Jenkins,
Stephen Van Rensselaer, Abraham Van Vechten.
1810, John Colvin, Abel French, Stephen Van Rensselaer, Abraham Van Vechten.
1811, Asa Colvard, David Delong, Jonathan Jost Deitz, Abraham Van Vechten.
1812, Asa Colvard, Jesse Tayler, Abraham Van Vechten, John G. Van Zandt.
1812-13, David Bogardus, John Gibbons, Elishama Janes, Abraham Van Vechten.
1814, Harmaniis Bleecker, Johan Jost Deitz, Moses Smith, John L. AVinne.
1814-15, Harraanus Bleecker, Sylvester Ford, Jesse Tyler, John D. Winne.
1816, Michael Freligh, John 1. Ostrander, John Schoolcraft, Jesse Smith.
1816-17, John H. Burhans, John I. Ostrander, Gideon Tabor, Rufus Watson.
1818, William A. Duer, James Sackett, Gideon Tabor, Stephen Van Rensselaer.
1819, William A. Duer, William H. Houghtaling, Cornelius H. Waldron, John
Van Ness Yates.
1820, Asa Colvard, James McKown, Peter S. Schuyler, Stephen Willes.
1820-31, Gerrit Hogan, James McKown, Moses Smith. Stephen Willes.
1822, James McKown, William McKown, Volkert D. Oothoudt, John P. Shear.
. 1823, Abraham Brooks. Jesse Buel, Abraham Rosecrantz.
1824, Archibald Stephens, John Stillwell, Jesse Wood.
1825, George Batterman, Samuel S. Lush, Stephen Willes.
1826, Samuel S. Lush, Andrew Ten Eyck, Malachi Whipple.
1827, Isaac Hamilton, John Haswell, Henry Stone.
1828, Benjamin F. Butler, William N. Sill, David I. D. Verplank.
1829, James D. Gardner, Moses Stanton. Chandler Starr.
1830, Peter Gansevoort, Samuel S. Lush, Erastus Williams.
1831, Peter Gansevoort, Wheeler Watson, Peter W. Winne.
1832, Abijah C. Disbrow, Philip Lennebacker, William Seymour.
1833, Edward Livingston, Jacob Settle, Israel Shear.
1834, Aaron Livingston, Barent P. Staats, Prentice Williams, jr.
1835, Edward Livingston, Henry G. Wheaton, David G. Seger, Tobias T. E.
183(5, Daniel Dorman, John C. Schuyler. William Seymour.
1837, Richard Kimmey, Edward Livingston, Abraham Verplanck.
1838, Daniel D. Barnard. Edmund Raynsford, Paul Settle.
1839, John Davis, James S. Lowe, Rufus Watson.
1840, Frederick Bassler, jr., Peter Flagler, Henry G. Wheaton.
1841, Aaron Hotaling, Francis Lansing. Henry G. Wheaton.
1842, John A. Dix, Cornelius G. Palmer. Jonas Shear.
1843, Willis Hall, Aaron Van Schaack, John I. Slingerland.
1844, Levi Shaw Samuel Stevens, Simon Veeder.
1845, Clarkson F. Crosby, Ira Harris, Leonard Litchfield.
1846, Ira Harris, Thomas L. Shafer, Robert D. Watson.
1847, John Fuller, John I. Gallup, Valentine Tredwell, Robert D. Watson.
184S, Edward S. Willett, Frederick Mathias, Robert H. Pruyn, Henry A. Brigham.
1849, Hiram Barber, David Van Auken, Robert H. Pruyn, Joel A. Wing.
1850, Cornelius Vanderzee, Joel B. Nott, Robert H. Pruyn, William S. Shepard.
1851, Robert Babcock, Adam I. Shultes, Hamilton Harris, Eh Perry.
1852, Hugh Swift, George M. Sayles, Teunis Van Vechten, jr., Robert Harper. .
1853, William P. Malburn, John Reid, William W. Forsyth, Thomas Kearney.
1854, S. M. Hollenbeck, I. W. Chesebro, Robert H. Pruyn, Archibald A. Dunlop.
1.S55, Pryse Campbell, Martin J. Blessing, Alexander Davidson, J. B. Van Etten.
1S,")0, Isaac Whitbeck, Jackson King, Henry Jenkins, James Brady.
1857, Richard Kimmey, Adam Van Allen, John Evers, Franklin Townsend.
1858, Dwight Batcheller, George Wolford, C. W. Armstrong, Charles H. Adams.
1859, Henry Creble, Morgan L. Filkins, William A. Young, Lorenzo D. Collins.
1860, John I. Slmgerland, Stephen Merselis, jr., Samuel W. Gibbs, Lorenzo D.
1801, lay Gibbons, Lewis Benedict, jr., Henry Lansing, William J. Wheeler.
1802, John Vanderzee, Willet Searles, Almerin J. Cornell, A. Bleecker Banks,
1863, William J. Snyder, John Cutler, Henry L. Wait, William L. Oswald.
1864, Harris Parr, Morgan L. Filkins, Thomas McCarty, William L. Oswald.
1865, Harmon H. Vanderzee, Oliver M. Hungerford, Ale.xander Robertson, Mi-
chael A. Nolan.
1866, William Aley, Lyman Tremain, Clark B. Cochrane, James F. Crawford.
1867, Hugh Conger, Henry Smith, Alexander Robertson, Oscar F. Potter.
1868, John C. Chism, Francis H. Woods, Jackson A, Sumner, Theodore Van Valk-
1869, Hugh Conger, Adam W. Smith, John M. Kimball, John Tighe.
1870, William D. Murphy, Thomas J. Lanahan, Edward D. Ronan, John Tighe.
1871, William D. Murphy, Robert C. Blackall, Edward Coyle, William D. Sun-
1872, Stephen Springstead, Henry Smith, Daniel L. Babcock, George B. Mosher.
1873, Peter Schoonmaker, Henry R. Pierson, John W. Van Valkenburgh, George
1874, Fred Schififerdecker, Leopold C. G. Kshinka, Terence J. Ouinn, Waters W,
1875, Peter Slingerland, Leopold C. G, Kshinka, Francis W. Vosburgh, Waters W.
1876, Peter Slingerland, Thomas D. Coleman, William J. Maher, Alfred Le Roy.
1877, John Sager, Jonathan R. Herrick, William J, Maher, Edward Curran.
1878, Hiram Griggs, John N. Foster, James T. Story, Edward Curran.
1879, Hiram Griggs, Charles R. Knowles, Thomas H. Greer, W. W. Braman.
1880, William H. Slingerland, Hiram Griggs, Ignatius Wiley, Joseph Hynes,
1881, Miner Gallup, Andrew S. Draper, Aaron B. Pratt, George Campbell.
1882, Michael J. Gorman, Aaron Fuller, Amasa J. Parker, jr., John McDonough.
1883, Daniel P. Winne, Warren S. Kelley, Edward A. Maher, Joseph Delahanty.
1884, John Zimmerman, Hiram Becker, Edward A. Maher, James Forsyth, jr.
1885, Stephen H. Niles, Lansing Hotaling, Patrick Murray, Terence I. Hardin.
1886, John Bowe, Smith O'Brien, Norton Chase, Terence I. Hardin.
1887, Horace T. Devereux, Vreeland H. Youngman, William J. Hill, John T.
1888, Frederick W. Conger, Vreeland H. Youngman, William J. Hill, John T.
1889, Jervis L. Miller, Vreeland H. Youngman, Galen R. Hitt, William Burton
1890, Galen R. Hitt, William B. Le Roy, Michael J. Ni.lan. William B. Page.
1891, John T. Gorman, Galen R. Hitt, Michael J. Nolan. Walter E. Ward.
1893, John T. Gorman, Galen R. Hitt, Artcher La Grange, Walter E. Ward.
1893, Howard P. Foster, James Hilton, Myer Nussbaura, George S. Rivenburgh.
1894, James Brennan, Curtis N. Douglas, William Lasch, William A. Carroll.
1895, Amos J. Ablett, James Keenholts, Frank Blooraingdale, Jacob L. Ten Eyck.
1896, Amos J. Ablett, James Keenholts, George T. Kelly, Robert G. Sherer.
County Treasurers. вАФ Previous to the adoption of the constitution of
1846, treasurers were appointed by the various Boards of Supervisors,
and the board is still authorized to fill vacancies in that office. Since and
including the year 1848, treasurers have been elected. In Albany
county they have been as follows: 1848, James Kidd; 1851, Cornelius
Ten Broeck; 1854, Richard J. Grant; 1857, Adam Van Allen ; 18G0,
Thomas Kearney; 1866, Steven V. Frederick; 1869, Alexander Ken-
edy; 1872, Nathan D. Wendell; 1878, Henry Kelly; 1881, Albert Gal-
lup; 1884, John Battersby, re-elected in 1887; 1890-07, John Bowe;
1807-1900, Edward Barkley.^
JUDICIARY AND BAR OF ALBANY COUNTY.
In the earliest years of the Dutch and English settlements in Amer-
ica, the constituted authorities were invested with broad powers; but
these could be exercised only within the restrictions of the laws of tlic
mother country. By the terms of its charter 'the West India Company
wa.s supreme, and all power was vested in the Director-General and
Council, who were to be governed by the Dutch (Roman) law, the iin-
perial statutes of Charles V and the edicts, resolutions and customs of
' For all Court officers see next chapter.
the United Netherlands, in all cases not otherwise provided for. The
Dutch at home were governed by a league of commercial guilds, rep-
resented in the States-General, that the organized interests of each
chiss of people might be protected. The principle of conserving the
ancient and vested rights of all the people as against any portion
thereof, even a majority, and as against a government itself, was the
foundation principle of the Dutch provincial authority on this side of
the water, as well as in the mother country, and distinguished it from
any of the English colonies.
It was not until 1624, a year before the accession of Charles I and
the beginning of the second period of the Thirty Years War, that gov-
ernment was actually established in New Netherland. In 1629 the
manorial system was introduced, as we have fully described it. While
the Patroons were invested with the powers and privileges of feudal
barons, no political or judicial change could be introduced without con-
sent of the home government. In Massachusetts the Puritans were
then just beginning to organize a government having in view as a
principal object "the propagation of the gospel." That was the
parent colony of New England. The colonists on the Connecticut
River were first governed by commissioners appointed by the General
Court of Massachusetts. In 1637 delegates from the three towns of
Hartford, Windsor, and Wethersfield were associated with the commis-
sioners and in 1639 a written constitution was adopted under which all
freemen of the three towns were made equal before the law. In June,
1639, the government of the colony of New Haven was organized, the
Bible was declared to be the constitution and none but church mem-
bers were admitted to citizenship, the government being vested in
seven men called Pillars.
In 1638 and 1640 the privileges of the Patroons were considerably
abridged, while those of free settlers were correspondingly extended.
Wherever the people settled in sufficient numbers the West India Com-
pany was bound to give them a local government, the officers to be
appointed by the Director-General and Council, as in the Netherlands.
Upon the breaking out of the Indian war in 1641, Director Kieft was
seriously alarmed and invited all masters and heads of families resid-
ing in New Amsterdam and its vicinity to assemble in the fort on
August 38. That was the first official recognition of the existence of
"the people" in New Netherland. The freemen assembled and ob-
tained something of the rights enjoyed by other colonists around them.
They expressed themselves on the questions submitted to them and
then appointed Twelve Men to represent them. These were as fol-
David Pietersen de Vries, president; Jacques Bentyn, Jan Jansen Dam, Hendrick
Jansen, Maryn Adriaensen, Abram Pietersen (the miller), Frederick Lubbertsen,
Jochim Pietersen Kuyter, Gerrit Dircksen, George Rapalje. Abram Planck, Jacob
Stoffelsen, Jan Evertsen Bout, Jacob Walingen.
They complained to Kieft of the arbitrary constitution of the gov-
ernment and asked that such reforms be introduced as should prevent
taxation of the country in absence of the Twelve; also, that four men
be chosen from the Twelve each year who should have access to the
Council. Thus they sought representation by the people. Kieft prom-
ised these reforms, and then reminded them that they were called to-
gether simply to consider how to escape the vengeance of the Indians.
The issue thus raised was a natural one. These men were asking-
only for the Dutch system, which had been perfectly satisfactory to
them at home. When, in 1643, the Indian troubles and complications
with the English had reached ominous proportions, Kieft again called
the freemen together and requested them " to elect five or six persons
from among themselves " to consider propositions to be made by the
Director and Council, a representative body for the enactment of laws
was instituted. The people preferred to leave the selection of the
representatives to the director, asking only the right to reject an un-
desirable nomination. The Eight Men were then elected. The cer-
tificate of the election is on record signed by twenty- eight freemen.
The Eight Men were as follows :
Cornelis Melyn, president, Jochim Pietersen Kuyter, Jan Jansen Dam, ' Barent
Dircksen, Abram Pietersen, the miller, Isaac AUerton, Thomas Hall, Gerrit Wolph-
ertsen (van Couwenhoven), Jan Evertsen Bout, - Jacob Stoffelsen, John Underhill,
Francis Douty, George Baxter, Richard Smith, Gysbert Opdyck, Jan Evertsen Bout,
Oloff Stevensen van Cortlandt.
This body of men assembled September 15 and passed upon impor-
tant questions of war and performed other legislative acts.
Complaints from the colonists continued and were finally referred to
the home Chamber of Accounts, which reported in March, IG-iS, sus-
taining the complainants, and approving the organization of villages
after the manner of the English.
The Patroon's charter of 1629, extended in HUO, authorized the
' Expelled September 1.5. = In place of Dam, e.-ipelled.
colony to appoint Duputies to inform the Director and Council of their
condition when necessary. It was now suggested that these deputies
should, at the summons of the Director-General, hold an assembly
every six months for the general welfare and to deliberate on impor-
tant affairs. Kieft was recalled in December, 1044. The Commission-
ers of the Assembly of the XIX of the General Privileged West India
Company acted on the report alluded to in their instructions to the
Director and Counsel of July 7, 1045. The Council was to consist of
"the Director as president, his vice-president and the Fiscal." In
cases in which the Advocate- fiscal appeared as Attorney-General, civil
or criminal, the military commandant was to sit in his stead. If the
charge was criminal, three persons were to be associated from the
commonalty of the district where the crime was committed. The Su-
preme Council was the sole body "by whom all occurring affairs re-
lating to police, justice, militia, the dignity and just rights of the Com-
pany " were to be decided; it was an executive, administrative, and
also a judicial body.
When Petrus vStuyvesant arrived (May 27, 1047,) he set about re-
storing the disordered government with vigor. Besides inaugurating
new and stringent regulations in many directions, he ordered an elec-
tion of eighteen men, from whom he selected Nine as " Interlocutors
and Trustees of the Commonalty," or "Tribunes" of the people. These
Nine Men were to hold Courts of Arbitration Weekly and to give ad-
vice to the Director and Council. They were appointed September 25,
1047, and were as follows:
1G4T, Augustine Heerman, Arnoldus van Hardenburgh, Govert Loockermans,
merchants; Jan Jansen Dam, Hendrick Hendricksen Kip, Jacob Wolphertsen van
Couwenhoven, burghers; Michael Jansen, Jan Evertsen Bout, Thomas Hal!, farmers.
1G49, Adriaen van der Donck, president; Augustine Heerman, Arnoldus van
Hardenburgh, Govert Loockermans, Oloff Stevensen van Cortland, Hendrick Hen-
dricksen Kip, Michael Jansen, Elbert Elbertsen (Stoothof), Jacob Wolphertsen van
1050, (iloff Stevensen van Cortland, president; Augustine Heerman, Jacob van
Couwenhoven, Elbert Elbertsen, Hendrick Hendricksen Kip, Michael Jansen,
Thomas Hall, Govert Loockermans, J. Evertsen Bout.
1653, David Provost, William Beeckraan, Jacobus van Curler, AUard Anthon)-,
Isaac de Forest, Arent van Hattem, Jochim Pietersen Kuyter, Paulus Leendertsen
van der Grist, Peter Cornelissen, miller.
Three of the Nine in each year were taken from the merchants, three
from the burghers, and three from the farmers, thus continuing the
old Netherland .system.
The colony now became the scene of a prolonged contest and numer-
ous lengthy petitions went from the colonists to the States-General for
a burgher government and other changes. The burgher government
was finally granted in 1653. Burgomasters had been in power in Hol-
land since the fourteenth century, and it was contemplated by the
States-General that they should be elected by the burghers in New
Amsterdam. But the Director and Council assumed the right to ap-
point them and exercised it until 1658, when a double number were
nominated, from whom the Director and Council selected the members
for the ensuing year. These Burgomasters were ex-officio rulers of the
city and continued until 1674.
Local officers, or inferior courts, with limited jurisdiction were au-
thorized in various villages from time to time. As far as related to the
Van Rensselaer Manor, the patroon was invested with power to ad-
minister civil and criminal justice in person or by deputy; to api)oint
local officers and magistrates; to erect courts and take cognizance of all
crimes committed within his domain; to keep a gallows,' if required,
for the execution of criminals. One of the lesser degrees of punish-
ment was "banishment from the colonic;" another was corporal pun-
ishment. In civil cases of all kinds between the Patroon and his
tenants, these courts had jurisdiction, and from their judgments m
matters affecting life and limb and in suits where more than $20 was
involved, appeal could be taken to the Director-General and Council,
The government itself was vested in a General Court which exer-
cised executive, legislative, or municipal and judicial functions, and
which was composed of two Commissaries and two Councilors, who
correspond to modern justices of the peace. Adjoined to this court
were a Colonial Secretary, a Sheriff (or Schout- Fiscal) and a Court
Messenger or Constable. Each of these received a small salary. The
magistrates of the "colonic" held office one year, the court appoint-
ing their successors or continuing those already in ofifice.
The most important of these officials was the Schout-Fiscal, who was
bound by instructions received from the Patroon. No man in the
"colonic" was subject to loss of life or property unless under sen-
tence of a court composed of five persons, and all persons accused were
entitled to a speedy trial. The public prosecutor was especially warned
an execution, a new one could not be built, except tor hanicinji another criminal .
not to receive presents or bribes, nor to be interested in trade or com-
merce, directly or indirectly. He was paid a fixed salary, with a
dwelling free, and given all fines amounting to ten guilders or under,
and a third of all forfeitures over that sum.
Jacob Albertsen Planck was the first sheriff of Rensselaerwyck.
Arendt Van Curler, who came over as assistant commissary, was soon
afterward appointed commissary-general, or superintendent of the
"colonie. " Brant Peelen, Gerrit de Reus, Cornelis Teunissen van
Brceckelen, Pieter Cornelissen van Munickendam, and Dirck Jansen
were, if not the first, at least among the earliest magistrates of the
settlement at Fort Orange.
Governor Dongan's report to the Committee of Trade, dated Febru-
ary 23, 1687, has the following information that is pertinent here:
There is likewise in New York and Albany a Court of Mayor and Aldermen held