PRIMARY DOCUMENT

“Messrs. Heermans and Waldron to Director Stuyvesant” (October 21/11, 1659)

CONTEXT

In this letter, dated October 21/11, 1659, Augustine Herrman is trying to convince New Netherland leader Peter Stuyvesant to commission Herrman to make a map to solidify Dutch sovereignty over the Delaware River. He proposed a map of the South River, now known as the Delaware River, south into Virginia. Stuyvesant decided not to commission it. Herrman realized that the boundary-making powers of mapping would be appealing to divergent colonial leaders. In 1660, he made the same proposal to Cecil Calvert, second Baron Baltimore, who oversaw the Province of Maryland. Calvert accepted his proposal.  Herrman’s Virginia and Maryland As it is Planted and Inhabited this present Year 1670 was published in 1673.

 

FULL TEXT

Right Honorable, Wise, Prudent the Honorable Petrus Stuyvesant, Director-General, and the Supreme Council of New Netherland.

Messieurs,

We repaired, in obedience to our commission, from the South river to Virginia, with as much dispatch as possible, but we could not accomplish the business nor get it disposed of sooner.

Your Honors will learn from the annexed journal the transactions from day to day, and from the duplicate of the adjoined Manifest and Declaration, what we set forth, notified and protested, on your part, to the Governor and Council assembled in Council, as well as the opinion we submitted and communicated to them. Hereupon they, however, have not been willing to do anything final, as your Honors can see from their answer inclosed herein, the substance whereof cannot be considered anything else than simply the justification of what Colonel Nathaniel Utie did in New Amstel; that it was done by their authority, and that they still adhere thereto, so far as being commanded thereunto by their Lord Baltamoor, independent of whom they cannot do anything, much less act in the matter of his patent and boundary, and therefore the business is to be left standing. The Declaration and Manifest which we drew up and presented, shows on what basis we placed our case. We doubt not but it will meet with your approbation, and that you will seasonably prepare whatever is to serve thereunto hereafter, for if we will retain what we have, all the allegations we submitted to them must be punctually proved, whereof I shall give your Honors a fuller account when I return home. Meanwhile, I find the public service and your Honors’ reputation require that I proceed hence to Virginia to the Governor there, to communicate the state of affairs in your Honors’ name, and to inform and prevail so far on him, in opposition to the action of Maryland, if he will not take our part, that he will not oppose us, but if it cannot be otherwise, that he at least will remain neutral and our confederated friend. And, at the same time, to inquire into the state and circumstances of Lord Baltimore in England, and how the boundary can best be effected. My opinion is that, possibly, it would not be unwise for the Directors, who have cause enough to do so, to depute one of their Board to Lord Baltimore to see whether an agreement could not be made quietly with him. But, first of all, the South river and the Virginias, with the lands and kills between both, ought to be laid down on an exact scale as to longitude and latitude, in a perfect map, that the extent of country on both sides may be correctly seen, and the work afterwards proceeded with, for some maps which the English have here are utterly imperfect and prejudicial to us. The sooner this is done, the better, before Baltamoor whispers in the ears of the States of England, and thus make the matter much more difficult. Meanwhile, the places and forts in the South river ought not to remain without considerable force, through fear of a sudden invasion, for which I observe, as yet, no preparation or disposition; but a sleeping enemy is not to be trusted.

– page 100 –

Thus far have I found myself obliged to notify your Honors, provisionally. I shall further use my utmost diligence to examine and understand, as well as possible, whatever will in any wise relate to your Honors’ reputation, and the greatest profit and advantage of the Honble the West India Company, and commending your Honors to God’s Holy care and protection.

(Signed), A. Hermans.

R. Waldron.

Dated 21/11 October, 1659,

At St. Mary’s, in Maryland.

Agrees with the copy.

(Signed), Cornelis van Gesel, Secry.

CITE THIS ENTRY
APA Citation:
Herrman, Augustine & Waldron, Resolved. “Messrs. Heermans and Waldron to Director Stuyvesant” (October 21/11, 1659). (2022, March 10). In Encyclopedia Virginia. https://encyclopediavirginia.org/entries/messrs-heermans-and-waldron-to-director-stuyvesant-october-21-11-1659.
MLA Citation:
Herrman, Augustine, and Resolved Waldron. "“Messrs. Heermans and Waldron to Director Stuyvesant” (October 21/11, 1659)" Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, (10 Mar. 2022). Web. 30 Nov. 2022
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