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The 17th Century - A Period Of Growth And Change

Examining the 17th century through the documents of the Delaware Public Archives

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1646 - Land grant from William Kieft, Director General of the West India Company

Land Grant

1646 land grant from the Director General (Willem Kieft) and the Councillors of the Dutch West India Company to Abraham Planck, Symon Root, Jan Andriesen, and Pieter Harmensen for about 300 acres (100 morgen) of land on the south side of the Delaware River (South River) opposite the Birds' Land Islet ("Vogele Lant") on which they were to establish four farms or plantations with dwellings and which they were to settle within the first year.


We Willem Keift, Director General, and Councilors, in the name of the of the High and Mighty Lords of the States General of the United Netherlands, of his Highness of Orange, and of the Honorable Lords Directors of the Privileged West India Company residing the New Netherland, Witness and declare hereby that we on the day of the date hereinafter mentioned have granted and permitted to Abraham Planck, Symon Root, Jan Andriesen and Pieter Harmenson to, settle on the South River of New Netherland, and take possession of the lands situate on the said river obliquely opposite to the Islet called 't Vogele Lant (the Birds' Land), of which lands they are authorized to appropiate to themselves One hundred Morgen, * to establish there four Farms or Plantations and begin to cultivate the same within a year from this date, or sooner if it be possible, on pain of losing this their grant.  Upon condition that the aforesaid persons, or such as might get their grant, acknowledge the Honorable Lords Directors aforesaid as their Lords and Patrons under the sovereignty of their High Mightinesses, and provided they willingly, submit themselves to all such charges and duties as by the aforesaid Lords are already or still shall be determined upon.  Constituting therefore aforesaid Abraham Planck, Symon Root, Jan Andriesen and Pieter Harmensen, to take, in our place, real and actual possession of the aforesaid One hundred Morgen land, giving them full power, authority and special command to accept, cultivate and use the aforesaid land, situate in the aforesaid South River, as they do their own patrimonial lands and effects; we the grantors, in our aforesaid capacity, not having, holding or reserving in the least any part, claim or authority of and to the aforesaid One hundred Morgen of Land, but desisting therefrom, for the use as aforesaid, from now forever.  Promising further to keep this present grant firm, staunch, inviolable and irrevocable, and to observe and execute it,-all under obligation as provided by law.

  In Witness whereof these presents are signed by us, and confirmed with our seal in red wax appendant hereto.

  Done in the Fort of New Amsterdam. (The aforesaid persons are promised, if in future they should want more land, than hereabove mentioned, it will be granted them, provided they build on the land houses for dwellings, and that, if they quit, they shall then be deprived of this grant.)  

(Signed) Willem Kieft.

Underneath stood:

  By order of the Hon. Director General and Councilors of New Netherland,

Cornelis van Tienhoven, 

  Secretary.  1646.


RG 0000.001 Duke of York Record Book, page 2.

Transcript from: Original Land Titles in Delaware Commonly Known as The Duke of York Record, (Wilmington, DE: Sunday Star Print, 1903), p. 5.