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Letter of Transmittal 7 

Preface 9 

Chapter I. — General Introduction 11 

The West India Company, 11; the patroona, 12; slow growth of New Neth- 
erland, 13; the government of New Netherland and of New Amsterdam, 
13; the Reformed Dutch Church, 15; currency of New Netherland, 16; 
the first English occupation, 16; the duke's laws, 17; the second English 
occupation, 17; attitude of the English authorities toward schools, 18. 
Chapter II. — The Schools of the Netherlands in the Seventeenth 

Century 19 

Interest of the church synods in schools, 19; secular interest in education, 
20; the relation of church and state in the control of schools, 21; the 
parochial school of the Netherlands, the teacher, his certification, 25; 
Motisterkaarts, 26; appointment of teachers, 26; remuneration, 26; 
auxiliary occupations of teachers, 27; subordinate teachers, 28; the 
school calendar, 28; schoolhousea and furniture, 29; schooling of girls, 
30; school hours, 31; school prayers, 31; rules of conduct, 31; the cur- 
riculum and textbooks, 32; religious instruction, 34; Latin schools, 35; 
number of schools, 37; public character of schools, 38. 

Chapter III. — The Date of the First School in New Netherland 39 

The year 1633 heretofore accepted, 39; new data, 39; certification of Adam 
Roelantsen in 1637, 40; Dunshee's assertions, 40; deposition of "Adam 
Roelantsen, schoolmaster" in 1638, 41; probable indebtedness of Dunshee 
to O'Callaghan and Brodhead, 42; the probable date of Roelantsen 's 
first school, 44; did the Kranken-besoeckers, Krol and Huygen, teach 
an earlier school? 44; did Roelantsen teach prior to 1638? 48; must a 
school prior to 1638 be admitted? 49; conclusion as to date of first 
school, 49. 
Chapter IV. — The Masters of the Official Elementary School at New 

Amsterdam 51 

Private life of Adam Roelantsen, 51; close of Adam Roelantsen 's teaching 
career not 1639 but 1642, 53; Roelantsen 's subsequent career, 55; Jan 
Stevensen the second schoolmaster, 57; his remuneration, 57; Stuy- 
vesant's remark about "no school," 59; the period from 1648 to 1650, 
60; Willem Vestensz, of Haarlem, 1650-1655, 62; four-year terms, 63; 
Harmanus van Hobocken, 1655-1661, 64; Evert Pietersen from 1661 
to the close of the period, 66; Pietersen 's instructions, 67; two masters 
possible, 69; summarj-, 70. 
Chapter V. — TiiE Support and Control of the Official Elementary 

School of New Amsterdam j 71 

Control by the church officials. 71; regulations made by the classis of Am- 
sterdam for schools of the East and West Indies, 72; ultimate control of 
New Netherland church affairs, 73; cooperation of ci^■il and ecclesiastical 
bodies in seciu-ing Willem Vestensz as teacher, 73; local control by church 
master:.;, 76; interest of consistory and of ministers, 77; control by secular 
authorities. 78; little done by States-General, 79; actual support and con- 
trol mainly by lords directors, 81; their instructions executed by direc- 




tor general and council, 83; the nine men, 85; the burgomasters and 
schepens, 86; dispute between Stuyvesant and the city over salary pay- 
ments, 86; control of the burgomasters, 91; schoolhouses, 92; tuition 
charges, 93; relation of the church and state in the control of the 
school, 93. 

Chapter VI. — The Latin School at New Amsterdam . 

No "academy" contemplated in 1650, 95; the trivial school of 1652, 95; 
meaning of "trivial" established, 96; school not taught in a taphouse, 
99; petition for a Latin school in 1658, 99; election of D? Curtius, 100; 
his salary, 100; the herbarium from the Leyden garden, 101; the hog suit 
against D? Curtius, 101; complaints against excessive tuition charges, 
102; probable number of pupils, 103; bad conduct of the boys, 104; dis- 
missal of Cmtius, 104; support and control of the Latin school, 104; 
Aegidius Luyck chosen as master, 105; difficulty about salary, 105; 
Luyck's career, 107; textbooks used in the school, 108. 

Chapter VII. — The Private Schoolmasters op New Netherland 

Aegidius Luyck and Jacque Cortelyou as private tutors, 110; no dame 
schools found in New Netherland, 110; Adriaen Jansen van Ilpendam, 
111; David Provoost, 111; Joost Carelsen not a teacher, 112; Hans Steyn, 
112; petition of Andries Hudde for license referred to minister and con- 
sistory, 113; Frans Claessen's boys in the neighbor's corn, 113; Jacob 
Corlaer and the necessity of procuring a license, 114; Jan Lubberts, 116; 
varied career of Jan Juriaens Becker, 116; Johannes van Gelder, 117; 
conclusion, 117. 

Chapter VIII. — The Schools op the Dutch Villages of New Nether- 

Rensselaerswyck and its schoolmasters, 119; public support of voorlezer, 
122; Brooklyn, Carel de Beauvois, his duties, help from Stuyvesant, 123; 
Midwoud (Elatbush), school lands, first school in 1659, succeeding mas- 
ters, 124; the schoolhouse, leasing of school lands, 127; this village typi- 
cal, 128; no school found at Flatlands, 129; New Amstel had schoolmaster 
from the first, 129; Dutch system of names, 130 (note); New Hacrlcm, 
its settlement and village court, help from company on schoolmaster's 
salary, 131; Wiltwyck (Kingston), its settlement, schoolmasters, 133; 
village charter contains school reference, 134; Stuyvesant's Bouwery, 
Harmanus van Hoboken, 135; Bergen, dispute over a tax on school- 
master, 137; Boswyck, Boudewin Manout and assistance from Stuy- 
vesant, 138; no school found at New Utrecht, 139; summary of schools 
in Dutch villages, 139. 

Chapter IX.— The New York City School, 1664-1674 

Dutch public school continued, 142; Evert Pietersen's prolonged efforts to 
get a salary, 142; rent of house hired for city school demanded, 143; sup- 
port of school by a rate, 146; continuity of the school, 146. 

Chapter X. — The School op the Reformed Dutch Church op New York 

City, 1674-1776 

Abraham de Lanoy succeeds Pietersen, his term of service, 147 ; catechetical 
instruction in 1698, 499; Gov. Cornbury declines to license a master for 
the school, 149; contract of Barend de Forest, his imprisonment for debt, 
150; Gerrit van Wagenen, and his son Huybert, 151; a second Dutch 
school under Abraham de Lanoy, 152; William van Dalsem, close of the 
second school, 153; Daniel Bratt, 158; controversy within the Dutch 
churches over adaptation to American conditions, decline of Dutch lan- 
guage, 153; Johan Nicolas Welp brought from Holland, his large salary, 








154; decline of Dutch school, 156; suit of the reactionaries, 156; both 
languages under Master Peter van Steenbergh, 157; continuity of the 
school, 159. 

Chapter XI. — The School at New Haerlem after 1664 160 

Small population, same building for chiu-ch and school, 160; Hendrick 
Vander Vin succeeds Montagne, 160; abortive effort at a tax for school 
support, IGO; 16 householders in 1674, 161; Vander Vin uses the church 
as a dwelling, 161; compulsory "free -will contributions," 162; the new 
schoolhouse, 163; Jan Tibout succeeds Vander Vin, 164; passive resist- 
ance, 164; resume, 165. 

Chapter XII. — The Schools op Flatbush after 1664 166 

Arent Evers Molenaer succeeds Clocq, 166; Jan Tibout 's contract of 1666, 
167; Jacob Joosten's detailed contract of 1670, 167; the new schoolhouse, 
168; Jan Gerritsz van Mar ken, his quarrel with D? van Zuuren and dis- 
missal, 170; relation of court and consistory in the control of the school, 
171; election of Jan Tibout (1681), his downfall and dismissal, 172; 
Johannes van Ekelen sides with Leisler and is dismissed, 174; the con- 
test over the schoolhouse, 176; strengthening of the popular party, 177; 
Johannes Schenck and Van Ekelen in turn succeed each other, 177; 
factional strife over ministeres, two voorlezers, separation of school ser- 
vice from church service, 179; Jan Gancel (1714-1718), 181; Adriaen 
Hegeman's long term (1718-1742), change to English money, 181; Jores 
Remsen, 182; English introduced in 1758, 183; Petrus van Steenbergh, 
183; tuition of poor paid by the deacons, 183; growth of popular govern- 
ment, 184; election of Antony Welp, his contract, 185; the school at 
Oostwoud (New Letts), its masters, 186; the only Dutch school dame 
found in the records, 189; evening schools, 190; the schoolhouse as a 
dwelling, 191; school furniture, 192; administration of public affairs in 
Flatbush, 192; the village court, the town meeting, 193; school commit- 
tees, 194; church masters, 194; the consistory, 195; an unexplained 
instance of school super-vdsion, 196; illiteracy of Flatbush men, 196; of 
Flatbush women, 198; introduction of English language, 198; summary, 

Chapter XIII. — The Schools of Other Dutch Villages after 1664 201 

Albany, its masters, its large school in 1744, 201; illiteracy at Albany, 204; 
Bergen, Van Giesen's long service (1664-1707), 205; dispute over school 
tax, 205; little known of the Flatlands school, or of Brooklyn, 207; Kind- 
erhook and Poughkeepsie, 209; New Utrecht, De Baeni's trouble with 
the Leisterians, 210; Schenectady, its masters, use of expression "trivial 
school," 211; Kingstoii, its masters, evening school, probable tax for 
school support, 212; Gov. Cornbury's interference, 213; conclusion, 214. 

Chapter XIV. — The Elementary School from within 216 

School hours and calendar, 227; schoolhouses, 227; school attendance of 
girls amply shown by records, 217; education of the schoolmasters, 219; 
the curriculum, 220; religious instruction, 222; church attendance of the 
pupils, 222; school books, .223; resume, 226. 

Chapter XV. — Conclusion 228 

Review, 228; illiteracy of American Dutch as compared with Virginia, 
the German, 228; immigrants, and Massachusetts, 230; American Dutch 
schools properly called public, 230; influence of the Dutch on American 
education, 230. 

Bibliography - - 231 

Index 235 


Department of the Interior, 

Bureau or Education, 
Washington, D. C, March 28, 1912. 

Ser: No comprehensive historj' of education in America has yet 
been written. Until quite recently there has been little general 
interest in tiie growth and development of educational institutions, 
systems, and practices in this country'. We have been busy building 
new institutions, making and remaking systems, and trvnng to adapt 
our |)iiictires to the needs of our rapidly-growing political and indus- 
trial democracy. Our interests have been in the present and the 
future. There has been little time for gathering, organizing, and 
interpreting the materials of historj'. There must soon come, 
however, an insistent demand for such work. No people can afford 
to renuiin ignorant of its jiast life and the means by which its institu- 
tions have grown. Everywhere history, truthfully recorded and 
rightly interpreted, becomes the best guide to progress. This is 
true in education no less than in government and economics. 

Befoi-e any comprehensive history can be written, the materials 
nuist he ((tliected and verified. Little of this preliminary work has 
yvt been (lone. It must be accomj)lished by many industrious 
students working patiently at the task in different sections of the 
country. It should be done for every section of the countrv' while 
the material is available and before it is permanently lost. 

Several yeai-s ago some valuable studies of this kind were made 
under the direction of the Bureau of Education, and the results were 
pul)lish(»d in separate bulletins or in the Annual Reports of the Com- 
missioner, but for want of funds to do the work thoroughly and 
because of more important duties, they were discontinued. Recently 
Dr. William Heard Kilpatrick, Assistant Professor of the History of 
Education, Teachei-s College, Columbia University, has made a very 
thorough and accurate study of some of the Dutch schools of Xew 
Netherland and colonial Xew York. Much of the material used in 
this has since been destroyed by the fij-e in the capitol at Albany. 
Dr. Kilpatrick has kindly offered his manuscript, which has much 
present and permanent value, to the Bureau of Education, and I 
recommend that it be published as a bulletin of this bureau. 

Very respectfully, 

P. P. Claxton, 

The Secretary of the Interior. 



The scope of this work is probably indicated with sufficient clear- 
ness by the title. There were in New Netherland both Dutch and 
English settlements; the schools of the former only are included in the 
study. For a long time after the English took over the colony, the 
Dutch clung to their language and customs. The effort herein made 
is to trace the history of these Dutch schools, beginning with their 
first transplanting from the United Netherlands and continuing down 
to the American Revolution, by which time the Dutch population 
was in laige measure merged in the common ^Vmerican stock. 

The investigation has been made with varying degrees of exhaus- 
tiveness. So far as concerns the New Amsterdam schools and the 
part played by the central colonial authorities in educational affairs, 
it is believed that feW important references have been overlooked — 
that is, in so far as the material exists at present in America or has 
been made available in Europe. Likewise, the New Amsterdam 
school, as continued in the school of the New York (City) Reformed 
Dutch Church, is probably presented with approximate fullness. 
The Dutch villages, however, have not been treated with the same 
thoroughness. Their records, even where they survive, are on the 
whole relatively inaccessible. Flatbush only has been presented with 
even tolerable adequacy. Much remains to be done in the way ot 
bringing together the materials for a history of these village schools. 
If this bulletin will in any degree lead to so desirable a result, one 
main puipose of publication will be attained. 

Of those who have rendered assistance a few only can be named. 
The authorities of the Flatbush Reformed Dutch Church kindly 
granted me access to their manuscript records. Dr. F. L. van Cleef, 
of the Kings County Hall of Records, has helped me ^\'ith these 
church records as well as with the public records in his care. To Mr. 
A. J. F. van Laer, the arcliivist of the State of New York, I am 
indebted for invaluable assistance along manj' lines. In addition to 
help with the colonial records under his care, he has read my entu'e 
manuscript and has made many suggestions which I have been glad 
to accept. To Prof. Paul Monroe I am indebted for the standards of 
scholarship which I have sought to embody in this work. To the 
encouragement and untiring cooperation of my wife I am due a debt 
beyond the knowledge of those who have not received similar help. 

W. H. K. 



The West India Company, which founded the colony of New Nether- 
land and controlled it throughout the whole of the Dutch period, was 
chartered in 1621 by the States-General of the United Netherlands.^ 
The powers granted were ample ; among them a monopoh^ of the Dutch 
trade within certain wide areas, including "the countries of America, 
or the West Indies;" and authority "in our name" to "promote the 
settlement of fertile and uninhabited districts," to appoint governors 
and officers of justice, and "to do all that the service of this land 
and the profit and increase of trade shall require." The government 
of the company was "vested in five chambers of directors," of which 
that at Amsterdam was the most important. The "general assembly 
of the aforesaid chambers" was to "be by nineteen persons," divided 
among the several chambers, except "that the nineteenth person, or 
so many more as we shall at any time think fit, shall be deputed by 
us for the purpose of helping to direct the affairs of the company in 
the aforesaid assembly." This assembly of the XIX assigned the 
direct supervision of New Netherland to the Lords Directors of the 
Amsterdam chamber. 

The States-General retained an interest in such work of colonization 
as might be carried on by the company. In addition to the stipu- 
lated right of appointing one or more deputies to the XIX, they 
reserved also the right of approving the selection of the director 
general (the governor of the Province), and of reviewing his instruc- 
tions. Besides these, as events show, the}' retained a general over- 
sight of the company's control of New Netherland, in accordance with 
which they interfered at times to reform abuses. 

The West India Company, after two 3'ears of preliminary prepara- 
tion, began the colonization of New Netherland as its first work. 
Some 30 families were sent over in 1623 and scattered among the 

1 The chief authority in the discussion of the chapter is Brodhead's History of New York. Osgood's 
American Colonies of the Seventeenth Century, vol. 2, covers much of the same ground. To neither of 
these will footnote references be given in this chapter. 

* For the charter, both in Dutch and in English, see the Van Rensselaer-Bowier Manuscripts, pp. 86-125. 



various regions which the company intended to hold, the South 
(Delaware) River, the Fresh (Connecticut) River, Waalbogt (Walla- 
bout), Manhattan, and Fort Orange (Albany). Of these first set- 
tlers. Fort Orange took the largest share. The next year mOre fami- 
lies came from Holland. In 1626 Peter Minuit, the director general, 
purchased for the company the island of Manhattan, on the southern- 
most point of which he built Fort Amsterdam. The families wliich 
had settled at Fort Orange and the South River were then brought to 
Fort Amsterdam, which thenceforth became the most important set- 
tlement of the Province. 

In 1629 the company, having found colonization very expensive,; 
was thus finally persuaded to allow to its stockholders the privilege 
of establishing the quasi feudal ^'patroonships." To this end it 
adopted and promulgated (June 7) a charter of ''Freedoms and 
exemptions for the patroons, masters, or private persons who shall 
plant any colony in, and send cattle to. New Netherland." ^ A patroon 
must "plant there a colony of fifty souls upwards of fifteen years old 
within four years." Within restrictions as to extent, the patroons 
might choose unoccupied land anywhere in New Netherland, except 
that '' the company reserved to itself the island of Manhattan." The 
land so chosen they were "forever to own and possess and hold from 
the company as a perpetual fief of inheritance." They could " dispose 
of the aforesaid fiefs by will." The patroons were authorized to 
furnish their colonists Avith proper instructions for government. " In 
case anyone should in time prosper so much as to found one or more 
cities, he shall have authority to appoint officers and magistrates 
there." Private persons might, "with the approbation of the direc- 
tor and council there, choose and take possession of as much land 
as they can properly cultivate and hold the same in full ownership." 

Clause XXVII of this charter of freedoms and exemptions, which 
has frequently been used by writers on the educational history of New 
Netherland, reads as foUows: 

The patroons and colonists shall in particular endeavor as quickly as possible to 
find some means whereby they may support a minister and a schoolmaster, that thus 
the service of God and zeal for religion may not grow cool and be neglected among 
them, and they shall for the first procure a comforter of the sick there. ^ 

It is to be noted that the proposed scheme of patroonships contem- 
plated a system of private colonies independent of each other save 
in their subordination to the general power of the company. Be- 
sides these subordinate colonies, New Netherland was to include the 
company's own settlement on Manhattan, and perhaps other settle- 
ments which the Lords Directors should later make. By the twenty- 

• The original Dutch of this document and the English translation made by Mr. Van Laer are found 
side by side in the Van Rensselaer-Bowier MSS., pp. 136-153. 
S Van Rensselaer-Bowier MSS., p. 151. 


eighth article of the Freedoms, each such subordinate colon}' was to 
appoint an agent who should report at least once a 3'ear to the 
director and council. We may anticipate by saying that only two 
such subordinate colonies, other than those settled by the company, 
progressed sufficiently far to have an educational history, that of 
Kiliaen van Rensselaer just above Fort Orange (Albany), begun in 
1630, and that founded in 1656-57 by the city of Amsterdam on the 
South River (New Castle, Del.). 

New Netherland grew slowly. The company was more concerned 
to secure immediate returns through the fur trade than it was to 
further the progress of colonization. Wouter van Twdller (1633- 
1638), the third director general, and Willem Kieft (1638-1647), his 
successor, were both incompetent. Peter Stuyvesant (1647-1664), 
the last of the Dutch governors, was far from being incompetent; but 
it is open to question as to how much the growth of the , colony was 
hindered by his unwise and autocratic management. 

Satisfactory estimates of the population are difficult to make. 
Manhattan (New Amsterdam) had in 1628 some 270 inhabitants all 
told; in 1643 some 400; in 1652 about 700; in 1656, by actual count, 
120 houses and 1,000 souls; in 1664 about 1,500 inhabitants. New 
Netherland is estimated to have had 500 inliabitants in 1630, while 
Massachusetts had 1,300 and Virginia 3,000. The corresponding fig- 
ures for the next three decades are, in round numbers: 1640, New 
Netherland 1,000, Massachusetts 14,000, Virginia 8,000; 1650, New 
Netherland 3,000, Massachusetts 18,000, Virginia 17,000; .1660, New 
Netherland 6,000, Massachusetts 25,000, Virginia 33,000.^ 

The Dutch villages chartered before the EngHsh occupation were 
Breuckelen (Brooklyn) in 1646; Beverwyck (Albany) in 1652; New 
Amsterdam in 1653; Midwoud (Flatbush) and Amersfoort (Flat- 
lands) in 1654; New Amstel (New Castle, Del.) in 1657; New Haer- 
lem (Harlem) in 1660; and Bergen (now within Newark, N. J.), 
Boswyck (Bush wick), New Utrecht, and Wiltwyck (Kingston), each 
in 1661.2 

As stated above, the government of New Netherland was in the 
hands of the Lords Directors, who placed the local management of 
the Province, and to a considerable degree that of New Amsterdam 
in the hands of a director general and council. The powers granted 
by the Lords Directors to these, their representatives, were not form- 
ally defined, but were determined in good part through corres'pond- 

1 See discussion of colonial population in A Century of Population Growth in the United States, 1790-1900, 
pp. 3-15. 

' There were on Long Island several English towns chartered by the Dutch, Hempstead (1644), Flushing 
(1645), Gravesend (1645), Newtown (1652), and Jamaica (1656). As these were English-speaking towns 
the consideration of their schools does not fall within the scope of this work. The occupation by the Eng- 
lish here referred to is that of 1664. In 1673 other charters were issued to all these villages by the Dutch 
governor, Colve. 


ence, as occasion arose. On the whole, the situation was quite analo- 
gous to that existing to-day between any commercial company and 
its distant agents. The director general was expected to see to the 
interests of the company and to report frequently and fully in order 
that he might be properly instructed. Naturally, considerable dis- 
cretion was lodged in him, which — to use no harsher term — he exer- 
cised freely. In matters of civil law and procedure the Holland laws 
and customs were supposed to hold, unless there were specific con- 
trary enactments. So autocratic was the government of the several 
directors general that repeated complaints were made both to the 
company and to the States-General. 

The Great Remonstrance of 1649 ^ made such a stir in Holland 
that the company was forced to grant to New Amsterdam a city 
charter. The promised city government was to be "as much as 
possible" like that of old Amsterdam; but when the charter went 
into effect in 1653 it was "hampered," says Brodhead, "by the most 
illiberal interpretations" which Stuyvesant could devise. The 
powers granted were few, and the two burgomasters and five schepens 
were all appointed directly by Stuyvesant himself. Only after 
repeated petitions were the outgoing burgomasters and schepens 
allowed to nominate a double number of each, from whom Stuyvesant 
chose the proper number to form the incoming magistrates. The 
burgomasters and schepens met conjointly to form at once a town 
council for petty municipal legislation and a court of justice to try 
ofi^enders against the city laws. The burgomasters met, besides, as 
a separate body from the schepens (at least from the beginning of 
1657), to attend to the more purely administrative features of the 
city government. Each of these bodies left fairly satisfactory 
minutes of its proceedings, and from them we derive much of our 
information regarding the schools. 

Municipal government in the outlying villages was quite similar to 
that of New Amsterdam. Each had an inferior court of justice con- 
sisting usually of a schout and several schepens, the latter selected 
by the director general and council from a double set nominated by 
those just retiring. At no place in the whole scheme of government 
had the people a right to express their wishes. The company, save 
for a certain supervision by the States-General, was supreme. The 
Lords Directors appointed the director general and his council. The 
director general appointed the magistrates of New Amsterdam and 
of the outlying villages, either out a,id out, or by selection from 
nominees made by the succession which thus owed its origin and 
continued direction to him. While in spite of Stuyvesant's hatred 
of representative government the municipal governments probablj^ 
did, in fact, with approximate faithfulness, represent the wishes of 

1 N. Y. Col. Doc., i, 271-318. 


the commonalty, still New Netherland could in no proper sense be 
called a democracy. 

The officially recognized reUgion of the Netherlands and their 
dependencies was that of the Reformed Dutch Church. The pecuhar 
doctrines of this church do not concern us. As to church govern- 
ment, the local congregation seems to have had about the same 
amount of ecclesiastical independence that we see at the present 
among the Presbyterian Churches of America. Its executive com- 
mittee — to use a secular term — was the consistory, composed (in 
America) of ministers, elders, and deacons, who varied in number 
according to local need. The consistory was, in its discretion, either 
directly or indirectly self-perpetuating, that is, its members might 
either select outright their successors (elders and deacons), "or they 
may propose a double number, the half to be chosen by the congre- 
gation." The choice in either case was subject to approval by the 
church; but any disapproval, it appears, was expressed not so much 
by a vote of the church membership as by complaint to the con- 
sistory.* In a somewhat similar manner and with like restriction 
the consistories selected the minister ^ and any other officials, includ- 
ing (sometimes) the schoolmasters.^ 

A number of neighboring local churches (in Holland) formed a 
classis, which had the exclusive right of examining and licensing 
ministers.^ The Classis of Amsterdam particularly concerns us 
because to it was given the charge of the New Netherland churches 
(see page 7 Iff), and this charge carried with it a certain oversight 
over the schools of New Amsterdam. The actual work of the classis 
was mostly carried on by a standing committee, the deputati ad Indicas 
res, or briefly, the deputies. A number of classes constitute a par- 
ticular sj-nod, e. g., the particular S3'nod of North Holland. On 
unusual demand there might be called a general or national synod of 
the whole church, as, for example, the Synod of Dort (Dordrecht), 
which, in 1618-19, committed the Reformed Dutch Church definitely 
to Calvinism. The relations of these several ecclesiastical bodies to 
the New Netherland schools wiU be discussed in a subsequent chapter. 

The ministers of the Reformed Dutch Church were properly 
university graduates or of equivalent training. Apparently this 
standard was pretty weU maintained. The customar}^ title of 
respect given to the minister was "domine," the vocative case of 
the Latin dominus. In writing, this was often abbreviated to Dom? 
or D? In addition to the ministry there were other subordinate 
officers in the local church, frequently combined in one individual: 
The "siecken-trooster" or comforter of the sick, sometimes called 

1 For further discussion of this point see Ecclesiastical Records, pp. 1150, 3900-1, 400.5-6^ 40o7-S, 4073, 
4074, 4082, 4104-5. 4212, 4220, 4338. 
» Eccl. Rec, pp. 4218-19. s Ibid., pp. 1152-3. * Ibid., p. 4219. 


the " krank-besoeker " or visitor of the sick; the "voorlezcr" or 
reader; and "voorsanger" or precentor. The siecken-trooster was 
charged "to instruct, admonish, and comfort the sick and ill out of 
God's Holy Word, every one according to his necessity, and as occa- 
sion permits." ^ He thus was an assistant to the minister. Where 
it was not feasible to have a regular minister, a siecken-trooster 
might in a measure serve instead, by leading in the service and 
reading a sermon. But he must ''never arrogate to himself * * * 
under any pretext whatever anything which properly belongs to the 
ministerial office." ^ The voorlezer's duty was ''before the sermon 
to read a chapter out of the Bible and the Ten Commandments" and 
besides, as clerk, to keep the church records. The voorsanger "set 
the psalms." The voorlezer and voorsanger were almost always 
one; and these offices, especially in the small places, were usually 
ffiled by the schoolmaster. 

Since the schoolmaster's pay is frequently given in terms that are 
not self-explanatory, a few words about the currenc}^ of New Nether- 
land may not be out of place. To speak generally, this was of three 
kinds, the coin of Holland, beaver skins, and wampum. The first- 
named was, as money goes, fixed in value throughout the period of 
our discussion. To distinguish it from the fluctuating wampum, 
such terms as Holland money, Hollands, coin, or heavy money, 
were used. The unit was the florin or guilder, consisting of 20 
stivers, and worth about 40 cents of our money. The beaver re- 
mained fairly constantly fixed at 8 guilders, and in the absence of 
coin was counted "the surest pay in this country." The wampum, 
or seawant, was made from a shell found principafly on Long Island. 
The black wampum was twice as valuable as the white, while whole 
and well-strung wampum was worth more than the broken or loose. 
For a time the rate was fixed at 3 black or 6 white wampums to 
the stiver. This rate was, toward the end of the Dutch period, many 
times changed, in order to keep this currency on a par with coin. 
But the effort was in vain; the seawant constantly deteriorated. 
In 1660, for example, 2 guilders of seawant were worth only 1 of 
coin; ^ while by 1677 the rate had faUen to 5 of wampums for 1 of 
coin.'' Contracts, especiafly in the rural districts, were frequently 
expressed in terms of commodities, principally in wheat. The unit 
of this measurement was the schepel, about three-fourths of a bushel. 
When school contracts are given in wampum or wheat, the current 
equivalent wiU usually be given in coin. 

The Dutch continued in power until 1664, when the Province was 
occupied by the English in the name of the Duke of York. The 
first English occupation (1664-1673) reserved to the Dutch a large 

1 Eccl. Rec.,p. 9G. 2/6«d.,p. 97. s /Wd., p. 495. ' /6i<i., p. 701-2. 


share of influence. The city school of New Amsterdam, for instance, 
was continued as the city school of New York, the same city school- 
master was retained and, accordingly, the use of the Dutch language 
was continued. The Reformed Dutch Church was continued as the 
established religion of the city. The city government was, for about 
a year, continued identically; after that, it was preserved wdth 
some changes, the principal one being that the colonial governor 
appointed the body of officials. 

For a portion of the Province, including Long Island, there were 
promulgated the so-called Duke's Laws, which were an adaptation 
of the New England township system. The villages of Flatbush 
and New Haerlem will show the working of this system in essentially 
Dutch communities. In these the town court reappeared with 
English constable and overseers in place of the Dutch sellout and 
schepens. Instead of the old Dutch double nomination system, 
the new plan provided that the local court officials should be chosen 
"by the major part of the householders of the said parish."^ The 
special duties of this local court were "the making and proportion- 
ing the levies and assessments for building and repairing the churches, 
provision for the poor, maintenance of the minister; as well as for 
the more orderly managing of all parochial affairs." ^ The Duke's 
laws further provided that "every inliabitant shall contribute to all 
charges both in church and state — according to the equal proportion 
of his estate."" The New England town meeting was recognized 
and given power to arrange "the private affairs" of the several 
towns. The vote in such was to be "given and determined by the 
inhabitants, freeholders, and householders without restriction."^ 
In particular the minister should be "duly elected by the major 
part of the inhabitants householders."* The church arrangements 
here contemplated merely recognized the de facto estabhshments of 
religion already existing in the several towns, whether Reformed 
Dutch, Congregational, or Presbyterian. The general effect of the 
new laws was to grant a larger share in direct control of affairs to 
the people than had obtained among the Dutch. 

The short return to power of the Dutch in 1673-74 has Httle of 
interest for our study. Aside from one interesting case brought 
before the provincial governor from Bergen (see p. 206), and a 
school provision in the village charters promulgated by Gov. Colve, 
the writer has found no school matters which were in any way con- 
cerned with this Dutch Government. 

The attitude of the English upon their second return to power 
( 1674) was quite different from what it had previously been, especially 
in New York City. The Reformed Dutch Church in that town was 

»Col. Lawsof N. Y.,i, 24. ^ Ibid., p. 26. " Ibid., p. 64, * Ibid., -p. 25. 

28311°— 12 2 


no longer the established church, though, in accordance with article 8 
in the capitulation of 1664, it retained in certain respects a standing 
in the colony almost coequal with that of the Church of England „ 
The Dutch school in New York was henceforth only the private affair 
of the local Reformed Dutch Church. But these changed conditions 
did not obtain in the Dutch villages. In these, the Reformed Dutch 
Church and the Dutch school, at least in some instances, continued 
until the Revolution to be the official church and school, supported 
and controlled in one form or another by the local secular authorities. 

A new requirement introduced by the English was that all school- 
masters be licensed. This was in imitation of a long-established 
law in England, designed to guard against dissent. Before 1686 
the Governor alone granted the licenses. After that date by 
special instructions from the Crown, the Archbishop of Canterbury 
(later the Bishop of London) must license schoolmasters coming 
from England. The last noted royal instruction on the licensing 
of teachers was in 1721.' The requirement was not rigidly enforced, 
the Dutch especially being exempt. The year 1712 apparently 
marks the end of the enforcement. 

The colonial authorities of New York did little for education. 
Besides the establishment of two Latin grammar schools at different 
periods in New York City, and the legislation connected with the 
founding of King's College (Columbia University), absolutely nothing 
was done by the general assembly with intent to influence the schools 
of the Province. The laissez-faire policy, so far as elementary edu- 
cation was concerned, reigned supreme. 

1 See N. Y. Col. Doc, iii, 372, 688, 821; iv, 288; v, 135-136; Dix, Trinity Church, i, 138; N. Y. Co!. 



Of all colonies, those founded from commercial considerations show 
most nearly the identical transfer of the institutional life of the parent 
country. In no instance, probably, has this been truer than in the 
case of New Netherland. No ahenating persecution had brought the 
Dutch to the American shores. There was no cause for its settlers 
to criticize even a single custom of the loved "fatherland." On the 
contrary, conscious pride in the deserved glor}^ of the United Nether- 
lands — then at the zenith of their prosperity — determined them to 
transplant the old life as little changed as possible. 

Among the institutions carried thus to the New World, few, if any, 
had deeper roots in the life of the Dutch than church and school. 
Devotion to the principles of the reformed religion had been, in great 
degree, the secret of the long and stubborn opposition to Spanish 
oppression. That same devotion had been the greatest single force 
in creating the new commonwealth. As a most important means of 
fixing and preserving the reformed faith, the parochial school had 
become an indispensable part of the organization of the new church. 
Interwoven thus with the very life of the church was a school system 
in wliich the schoolmaster was an officer in the church, and the cur- 
riculum of the school included conscious preparation for participation 
in the service of the public worship. 

How the school came to occupy this unique relationship to the 
church can here be told only in barest outline, since the account of it 
would be the story of the growth of the church itself. Even before 
the reformers could assemble openly in the Netherlands, the first 
national synod of the Dutch Church, held "in exile" at Wezel in 1568, 
had seen the strategic value of the parocliial school. Music, it de- 
clared, must be introduced into the church schools, of which some 
were already in existence,^ Schoolmasters as weU as parents must 
train the children in the catechism. ^ Deacons were specifically 
charged with "the care and founding of schools;"^ and schoolmas- 
ters were reckoned along with the ministers, elders, and deacons as 
"public persons" of the church/ The second national SATiod at 

1 Rutgers, F. L. Acta van de Ned. Syn. der 17de Eeuw, p. 20. » Ibid., p. 26. 

s Ibid., p. 21. ■" Ibid., p. 27. 



Emden in 1571, likewise "in exile," to the same end, required all 
classes ^ in their regular meetings, to ask of each church " whether the 
care of the poor and of schools is maintained."^ The provincial 
Synod of Dort (1574), the first on Netherland soil, treated schools in 
yet greater detail, emphasizing, among other things, the careful 
selection by the church of proper places for schools, adequate salaries 
for schoolmasters to be furnished by the secular authorities, and sub- 
scription to the creed by all schoolmasters. Limitations of space 
forbid the presentation of aU the acts relating to schools of the suc- 
cessive national synods. The Synods of Dort (1578),^ Middleburg 
(1581),* and The Hague (1586),* all treated of schools and of the duty 
of the church to support them. The great Synod of Dort (1618-10) ," 
as the last of the national synods, gave final form to the creed and 
practice of the Dutch Reformed Church. In the matter of schools, 
it substantially summed up the preceding synodal enactments. 
Schools must be instituted in country places, towns, and cities. 
Religious instruction must be given. The Christian magistracy 
should see to it that well-qualified persons taught with suitable com- 
pensation. The children of the poor should be instructed free. In 
aU schools only orthodox Christians might teach. To secure these 
ends suitable means of church inspection of schools were devised. 
By the time of this synod the church had not only thoroughly or- 
ganized its system of parochial schools, but through tho requirement 
of creed subscription had reached out its hand to aU educational 
institutions of whatever grade. 

But it must not be supposed that the church alone was interested 
in education. From an early date the Dutch had taken an increasing 
interest in the public control and support of education. In Haarlem 
the '^city school" existed certainly as early as 1461.'' In the same 
city, in 1522, we find the burgomasters guaranteeing a salary of 200 
carolus guilders to the rector of the school.* The Hague in 1536 
had a ''great school" with a rector and three masters, supported in 
part by a per capita levy of 2 carolus guilders upon all the pupils in 
the private schools of the city. To this income the city added for 
the rector " a yearl}' pension of four or five great pounds." ^ Utrecht, 
both city and Province, may be taken as typical of public secular 

1 A classis was an ecclesiastical body composed of a considerable number of neighboring churches. 

2 Rutgers, op. cit., p. 106. This requirement was repeated by the first national SjTiod of Dort in 1578 
{ibid., -p. 243), by the national synod at Middleburg in 1581 {ibid., p. 386), and by the national synod of 
The Hague in 1586 {ibid., p. 496). 

» Rutgers, F, L., op. cit., pp. 243, 246-247. 
* Ibid., pp. 380-1, 386, 408, 425, 442, 443, etc. 
^lUd., pp. 492, 496, 539-557, Oil. 

6 Brandt, History of the Reformation, iii, 33-4, 319-320, 321-2, 326; Dunshee, op. cit., pp. 3-5. 
' Enschede, A. J., Inventaris van het archief der Stad Haarlem, i, 155. 
8 Ibid., i, 166. 

8 Buddingh, D. Geschiedenis van opvoeding en onderwljs in de Nederlanden, tweede stuk, tweede 
gedeelte, pp. 197 fl. 


interest in schools. As early as 1522 is found a pajTiient by the munic- 
icipal authorities to the "rector scolarium" on account of a chorus.^ 
In 1567 the city paid an item of 4 pounds for "the benches for the 
school children in Jesus School." ^ Some years later a similar appro- 
priation was made for the free instruction of poor young cliildren.^ 
In 1576 it was resolved by the city thenceforth to maintain the St. 
Jerome School "with adequate salaries."* Numerous records of 
instructions issued in the seventeenth century to rectors and masters 
of this school give a very good account of the inner working of the 
Latin school among the Dutch of that period.* A church order for 
the whole Province of Utrecht was issued in 1590 and another in 1612. 
In the latter were included directions for schools, schoolmasters, and 
sextons. Schools of four kinds were recognized, public or trivial,^ 
parochial, private, and schools for the country districts. The selec- 
tion of instructors, the fixing of curricula, and the general supervision 
were given to municipal authorities, with varymg degrees of partici- 
pation in control granted to the church.^ In 1644 the cit}^ of Utrecht 
adopted a detailed plan for the free instruction of the poor by appor- 
tioning them among its four parochial schools.^ The country schools 
of the Provmce were regulated separately in an order of 18 sections 
issued in 1654, one of the best available accounts of Dutch school 
management of the seventeenth century.® In matters of education, 
there is no reason to suppose that Utrecht w^as in advance of other 
Provinces of the United Netherlands. Before the Reformation pub- 
lic schools vv'ere found in individual cities. Beginning about 1580 
the Provinces took up the work, making general regulations for the 
control of schools everywhere. By the middle of the seventeenth 
century the whole country — rural districts as well as citie's and 
towns— appears to have been well provided with schools of various 
grades, controlled and often also supported by the pubhc secular 

The relation of church and state in the control of these schools was 
a matter of considerable concern to the interests involved. On the 
one hand was a vigorous minority of Calvinists who wished to use 
the governmental machinery to enforce their ideas of church doctrine 
and policy. On the other was a larger body of people, Roman Cath- 
olics, Arminians, Mennonists, and men of relatively independent 

1 Van Flensburg, Arcliief voor kerkelijke en wereldsche geschiedenis * * * van Utrecht, lii, 183. 
The school (St. Jerome) had at the date named apparently been long established. 

2 Op. cit., p. 240. 
3/6j(i.,p. 246. 

« Ibid., vli, 392. 
6 Ibid., pp. 366 ff. 

« A trivial school was originally a Latin school teaching the trl\ium. See p. 96 S. 
' Buddingh, op. cit., pp. 36 fl. 

»Ibid., pp. 91-3. The ordinance was promulgated by the city authorities without (specific) reference 
to ecclesiastical sanction. 
»/6J(i., pp. 69-76. 


religious ideas, who agreed among themselves only in resisting the 
encroachments of the Calvinists.^ So aggressive, however, was the 
strict Calvinistic party that it dominated the church almost com- 
pletely, and, through that, exerted an influence on legislation out of 
proportion to the relative number of its adherents. In this contest, 
the school was one of the strategic points. The party which could 
fix the curriculum, select the textbooks, and certificate the teachers, 
all to suit its ideas, would eventually carry the day; for practically 
every child in the provinces went to school. The Calvinistic party 
saw this point with clearness, and moved toward it with a precision 
admirable in its effectiveness. At this time it was a part of the com- 
mon law of the Netherlands — if we may use an English term and 
theory — that, with regard to schools of whatever grade, the local 
magistracy should appoint the masters and give instructions as to 
books and curriculum. The strict church party accordingly sought 
through church orders, promulgated by cities and Provinces, to have 
by statute law the power granted to church officials of certificating 
teachers and advising with the magistracy in the control of schools. 
The fact that Roman Catholics were suspected of favoring Spain 
aided the Calvinists in securing such legislation. Thus in the Prov- 
ince of Zeeland, where the Calvinists were early in power, there was 
issued by 1583 a kerkenordnung which gave larger power over the 
schools into the hands of the church. "No one henceforth in the 
lands of Zeeland, " so reads this ordinance, "in the towns, as well 
as in the country districts, shall be accepted for the school service, 
nor shall any already in service be allowed to continue, except those 
who shall have been judged thereto fit and capable by the classis of 
each island of Zeeland, respectively, where the same resides or will 
reside, having been beforehand examined in life and doctrine. * * * 
These and no others may be accepted or retained by the magistrates. ' ' ^ 
And it was further enacted that "the aforesaid schoolmasters shall 
not be allowed to teach other books than those judged to be fit and 
suitable for the youth by the classis, as well in the little children's 
schools as in the Latin schools for the advanced pupils."^ To the 
same effect, the Earl of Leicester, representing Queen Elizabeth in 
the control of Dutch aft'airs, issued in 1586 an order intended to be 
binding throughout the LTnited Netherlands, in which the consistory 
or classis was to certificate all schoolmasters, after an examination 
"fu"st as to purity of walk and then in knowledge and godliness of 
life. ' ' All schoolmasters must first "subscribe to the confession of the 
Netherlandish church." For the management of Latin ("particu- 

1 It is not generally known that as late as 1584 a majority of the people, except in Zeeland, were Roman 
Catholics. (Blok, History of the People of the Netherlands, iii, 190.); while even in 1640 nearly one-third 
of the total population were still adherents of this faith. {Ibid., iv, 124.) 

" Buddingh. op. cit., p. 8. 

3 lUd., p. 10. 


lar") schools, there should be chosen each year "certain curators 
from the magistracy and the consistory" "so that the success of these 
(schools) may be assured."^ It was to secure the enforcement of 
such regulations that the Great Synod of Dort (1618-19), the climax 
of Calvinistic power, made it "the duty of the ministers, with an 
elder, and if necessary, with a magistrate to visit all the schools, 
private as well as public"; and to the same end, placed a somewhat 
similar obligation upon the classis to inspect the churches and schools 
within its territory.^ 

The party in opposition to the Calvinists was able to thwart in some 
considerable measure these efforts of the strict church people. In 
the first place, the edicts of church synods by no means controlled 
the action of the civil authority. On the contrary, approval by the 
government of a Province was necessary to give to the synodic acts 
the force of law in that Province. We accordingly find the States 
General of Holland giving only a "provisional and limited approval" 
to the kerkenordnung of the synod of The Hague (1586),^ especially 
as pertained to the choosing and installing of ministers and school- 
masters. The same Province later took similar action with regard 
to edicts of the Great Synod of Dort (1618-19), and not only specifi- 
cally declared that "no acts, or decrees, of a synod should be of force 
to bind any person, without a previous approbation by states;" but 
even adopted amendments to the twenty-first and forty-fourth arti- 
cles of church order whereby the right of appomting schoolmasters 
was specifically reserved to the civil authorities.* Actual school orders 
of the period show the same disposition to keep control in secular 
hands. The school order of the Province of Utrecht in 1590 provided 
that "so far as concerns the schools, they shall stand at the disposal 
and order of the magistracy in each city." Elsewhere in the docu- 
ment the reformed religion was distinctly recognized, but nowhere 
in it were the church officials given any power whatsoever in the 
management of schools.^ In another school order of the same Prov- 
ince, that of 1612, it was arranged that rectors of the city trivial 
schools should be appointed and installed by the magistrates, who 
were also to give instructions, "with the advice of the deputies of the 
synod. " There seemed, however, no legal way of enforcing the "ad- 
vice." Similarly, " the parochial schoolmasters in the city and tovvTis, 
together with the vooriezers and sextons,' ' were to be appomted "by 
the respective magistrates with the advice of the consistory." 
"Books and authors" were to be prescribed by the respective magis- 
trates, but must be such as would not "turn the youth away from 
the Christian reformed religion.*' Still further, even when the laws 

1 Rutgers, op. cit., p. 638 fl. < Brandt, op. cit., iv, 163, 165. 

2 Dunshee, op. cit., p. 4; Eccl. Rec, p. 4222. '- Buddingh. op. cit., p. 35. 
» Rutgers, op. cit., p. 625. « Ibid., p. 36 ff. 


allowed the church a cettain control, the local civil authorities exer- 
cised a broad discretion in their enforcement of such laws. Thus the 
particular Synod of South Holland was informed in 1624 that the 
rector of a Latin school at Gouda had published a school program in 
which optional catechism was advertised, and the substitution of a 
lesson in Cato's Distichs was allowed in place of attendance upon the 
regular Sunday church service.^ The synod strongly disapproved 
of this advertisement and tried for six years to have the laws forbid- 
ding such executed; but in vain. The magistrates agreed in theory 
with the synod, but would not reduce the rector to obedience; and 
in this status the affair finally rested.^ In 1628 Lutheran and Catho- 
lic masters in the same school declined to subscribe to the creed, 
but after being dismissed according to law, they were brought back 
by the magistrates.^ In like manner. Catholic schools at Noordwyk 
and Culemberg troubled the synod for many years. Although the 
law required the creed subscription of all, nothing could be done to 
close these schools; the civil authorities would not act."* In such 
ways did political expediency thwart religious zeal. The schools 
remained the joint concern of both church and state, with the state 
the dominant party. 

This joint control, while differing in different times and places, seems 
on the whole to have been settled in such a way that in religious 
affairs the church had a determining voice, while in all other matters 
the secular authorities controlled. The division of influence would 
thus differ according to the kind of school. In the Latin schools of 
the city the church saw to it that the masters signed the creed, that 
the catechism was taught, that no bad books were used, and that the 
pupils attended the regular Sunday church service. But even here 
the minister and consistory could only use moral suasion; the enforce- 
ment of the laws lay finally with the secular body. As regards the 
parochial school, whose master was usually also voorlezer and voor- 
sanger, the church had a larger share of influence. The master was 
seldom, if ever, chosen without at least the advice of the consistory. 

In the control, however, of even the parocliial schools the secular 
authorities might act without specific reference to the consistory. 
Thus the Utrecht act of 1644, adopted by the common council for the 
free instruction of the poor, prescribed how many such free pupils 
each parocliial school should teach without even a suggestion that the 
churches had any voice in the decision.^ In conclusion, then, as to 
the relation of church and state in school affairs, the principal power 
of the church lay in the generally acknowledged right to examine as 

' Acta der Particuliere Synoden van Zuid-Holland (Knuttel), i, 114. 

2 Ibid., pp. 141, 167, 205, 249, 292-3, 329. 

3 Ibid., p. 281. 

1 Ibid., ii, 369, 418; iii, 15-7, 51-2, 97, 114^5, 157, 219, 271, 280, 317, 336, 429, 534, 536. 
6 Buddingh, op. cit., p. 91 ff. 


to creed subscription/ to enforce which there had been devised the 
regular visitations of church and consistory for local super\asion, and 
that of the deputies of the classes for a more general oversight. On 
the other hand, the strength of the secular side lay in the facts, first, 
that, most strictly speaking, the Reformed Church had never been 
officially established as the exclusive State church of the Netherlands/ 
and, second, that not only did financial support come from the civic 
authorities, but legal ownership and control was vested in the Gov- 
ernment. So that even parochial schools — nay, the churches them- 
selves — were pubHc institutions under the ultimate control of the 
secular Government. 

Because of our primary interest in the schools of New Netherland, 
it is the parochial school of the Netherlands that interests us most. 
In the early seventeenth century one "Dirck Adriaensz Valckoogh, 
schoolmaster at Barsingerhorn," published "a fit and profitable little 
book called the Rule of the Dutch Schoolmasters." ^ The book gives 
Valckoogh's own practice, and as such forms our best source for the 
period. "The ideal teacher," so says Mr. Valckoogh, "is a man who 
is gentle, true, of good family and of good reputation. He is a man 
who knows how to write a good hand and who is good at reading; 
who knows sol-fa-^ng and who can sing the psalms from notes; who 
neither lisps nor speaks too low; w\\o can write letters and requests; 
who understands the Scriptures so that he can educate the people; 
and who knows how to set a clock, how to manage, oil, and clean it." * 

No master could teach even in a private school before he had been 
granted a license.^ For this an examination was usually prerequisite, 
at least so far as to ascertain the religious and moral fitness of the 
candidate. Apparently none but elementary schoolmasters were 
examined as to scholarship. Letters of credential as to life and 
doctrine were of course passed upon by the appropriate appointmg 
bodies. Subscription to the creed, made formally in a book kept 
publicly for that purpose, was common.'^ Actual examination as to 
scholarship was frequently conducted by the local ministry, by the 
consistory, or by the classis.'' The license to teach was variously 

1 This power the church authorities sought to render more secure by insisting that no one be allowed to 
to teach who was not at the same time a member of the church. Sometimes even the whole family must 
be members of the orthodox church. Ecclesiastical jurisdiction over church membership would thus 
readily give increased leverage in school control. Brandt, op. cit., iv, 138; Nederl. Archief v. Kerkel. 
Gesch. (Ivisten Royaards), iv, 30; Buddingh, op. cit., p. 70. 

2 Blok, op. cit., iv, 276. 

SAlckmacr, 1607 (reprinted 1875). For selections, see Buddingh, op. cit., p. 104 fl. and Schotel Het 
Oud-Hollandsch Huisgezin der 17de Eeuw, p. 78 f . 

* This is an adaptation from Valckoogh given by Douma, Gesehledenis van het lager onderwijs in 
Nederland, p. OS. 

5 Buddingh, op. cit., p. 12 (Holland and W. Friesland, 1581); ibid., p. 7 (ditto, 1591); ibid., p. 34 (Utrecht, 
1586), etc. 

6 For example, the city of Haarlem has in its archives a register of such creed subscriptions covering the 
years 1C28-1795.— Enschede, op. cit., ii, 90. 

7 Acta van part. Syn. van Zuid-Holland, iii, 479; Buddingh, op. cit., pp. 41, 77; Rutgers, op. cit., p. 640 
(Leicester's school order, 1586). 


granted; usually by the civil authorities/ at other times by the 
classis or the consistory/ occasionally in the country districts by the 
pastor alone/ and finally at times by the joint action of church and 
state.* The license carried with it permission to hang out a card 
before the door of the schoolroom, naming the subjects in which the 
master was proficient and for which he had been licensed. In some 
places, in order to prevent fraud, it was legally required that such 
cards be hung out, written by the master's own hand.'^ Such % 
placard was sometimes called a sample card (monster kaart), and 
frequently contained specimens of handwriting odd to us of these 
days. Thus, on a schoolmaster's card at Rotterdam was a picture 
of the whale with Jonah but recently cast forth, and underneath 
the words: 

"As soon as Jonah was cast forth by the whale, he went to Nineveh 
to preach and to teach. 

"Here we teach children the prayers, the questions by heart, and 
we go out catechizing." ^ 

The election and appointment of teachers varied greatly. The 
more important Latin schools were under the immediate control of 
the city burgomasters,' and appointment seems to have been made 
directly by them without reference to the church, except that gen- 
erally the requirement of creed subscription was enforced.^ The 
elementary schools might be so managed, but on the whole the church 
authorities had more voice in appointments to lower schools. The 
synods sought indeed to secure to the consistories the legal right of 
joint action with the magistracy on all appointments,^ but in this 
they were never entirely successful. 

The remuneration of the teachers was partly by stipulated salary, 
partly by approved school fees, and oftentimes by sundry extras, as 
entrance (matriculation) fees, stipulated presents, and free lodging. 
A Nijkerk contract of 1619 illustrates all of these. There were two 
masters, one Dutch and one Latin. Each should receive "a yearly 

1 HoUand and W. Friesland, 1581 (Buddingh, op. cit., 12), 1591 (ibid., p. 7), Utrecht, 1586 (ibid., p. 34), 
1613 (ibid., p. 40), etc. 

2 Zealand, 1583 (Buddingh, op. cit., p. 8). 

s Acta van part. Syn. van Zuld-Hoiland, iii, 479. 
* Leicester's school order, 1586 (Rutgers, op. cit., p. 640). 

6 Buddingh, op. cit., p. 85 (Utrecht city, 1631); ibid., p. 75 (Utrecht country schools, 1654); Schotel, 
op. cit., p. 76. 
6 Schotel, op. cit., p. 76. 

' Van Flensburg, op. cit., vli, 366 fl; Ensched6, op. cit., i, 166. 
8 Brandt, op. cit., iii, 321-2; iv, 98, 138, 158. 

3 Thus in the particular Synod of North Holland in 1604, the question was asked "whether or not it be 
not desirable, even necessary, that the schoolmasters, as well in the cities as in the villages, should hence- 
forth be named with the consent of the churches." To which the synod made reply: "Yes, by all means, 
and it were to bo desired that this might be consummated . The churches, however, shall in particular 
use all diligence to secure this consent as far as possible." (Rietsma, and Van Veen, Acta der provinciale 
synode gehouden__in de Noordelijke Nederlanden, i, 353.) The Synod of South Holland in 1622 similarly 
answered: "It is the opinion of the synod that the appointment and dismissal of teachers cannot take 
place without the advice of the consistory." (Acta, etc., i, 57.) 


salary of two hundred gulden to begin with, as well as free lodgings 
and as much peat as their predecessors had." Besides, were the 
regular tuition fees: Three stivers a quarter for Dutch reading; five 
stivers for reading and A\Titing ; Latin pupils, six stivers. In addition 
was a matriculation fee of ''two blanken." And m. addition to all 
the foregoing, "as a special encouragement, both schoolmasters shall 
receive at Christmas two stivers from each child and two stivers on 
St. John's day in the summer, and nothing more." ^ The salaries 
of masters came sometimes from the town treasury, and sometimes 
from church funds which had (apparently) been sequestered from 
the church orders at the Reformation.^ It was common for the 
school ordinances to regulate the tuition fees. Thus the schoolmaster 
in the Utrecht country schools (1654) should ''receive monthly or 
weekly from each child a certain sum as much as had been fixed by 
the scholarchs with the approval of the magistrates or of a court of 
justice." The master could enforce his claim by proper appeal. 
"Poor children who asked for free tuition shall all be taught for 
nothing." If there were too many the scholarchs or consistory 
should arrange a "compensation payable out of the deacons' fund."^ 
At that period — as well as since— the question as to the sufficiency 
of' the schoolmaster's remuneration was an insistent one. The most 
common expedient then to bring the teaching income up to a living 
wage was for the master to engage in various side occupations. 
Valckoogh mentions a long list of possible occupations, ludicrously 
compounded of all sorts of odds and ends. "The schoolmaster was 
allowed to be a notary, a tax collector, a secretary ; he might compute 
the taxes, cut hair, cure wounds, act as glazier (glazemaken), make 
balls (to play with) and coffins, cut stone, stain and varnish chairs, 
mend shoes, make wooden shoes, prepare all mourning articles, hoe 
gardens, bind books, knit nets, keep a few cows, fatten oxen, earn 
a stiver by sewing, carve wood, WTite books, compose love letters — 
but — before school time." * We probably can gather from this a 
fairly accurate idea of the various occupations that were followed in 
connection with schoolkeeping. Certain activities, however, were 
specifically forbidden. The Classis of Nijmegen forbade its school- 
masters to keep inns or tap houses, either to farm or collect the 
excise, and even to write legal papers in public tap houses. If the 
schoolmaster lived in the church steeple, he might not keep a retail 
store.'^ In Holland there was found a combination of offices after- 

i Beemink, Het onderwijs te Nijkerk (Bijdragen en Mededeelingen der Vereeniging "Gelre," deel X, 

113 fl.). 

2 Enschede, op. cit., i, 166; Beemink, op. cit., p. 116; Acta der part. Syn. van Zuid-Hoiland, i, 310; ibid., 

iii, 417. 

3 Buddingh, op. cit., p. 74. The scholarchs hero mentioned were practically a school board composed, 
jointly of members of the magistracy and of the consistory. Ibid., p. 75. 

* Douma, op. cit., p. 75. 

s Kist and Royaard, op. cit., iv, 31. 


wards usual in America, those of voorlezer, voorsanger, and sexton.^ 
These were commonly combined to make up the office of parish 
schoolmaster. Valckoogh's list is rather of the side occupations of 
private masters. 

The masters needed supervising in various ways. Some sought to 
turn over a part of their work to incompetent assistants. Accord- 
ingly the Zeeland regulations of 1583 specify that the masters "shall 
be required themselves to hear and examine and correct all the lessons 
and the compositions of the children; and not by an assistant master, 
nor one child by another; unless the assistant masters have been 
found capable bv the aforesaid classis; or the pupils by way of prej)- 
aration recite their lessons to each other in order to learn, or that 
having recited them to the master they repeat them to the assistant 
master or to the other children in order to retain them the better." ^ 
In this connection, Valckoogh speaks as if the younger pupils regu- 
larly recited to the older ones.^ There is some indication of a system 
of quasi apprenticeship in connection with assistant teachers.^ In 
the larger Latin schools there are of course a number of subordinate 
teachers. The duties of the subordinate teachers (lectores) in the St. 
Jerome school at Utrecht were set out in most precise schedules.^ 

The records abound in references to school mistresses. These 
had to be licensed in the same manner as the men.^ They had like- 
wise to sign the confession of faith.' Schotel in discussing these 
schooldames says that they taught in great numbers in the slums, 
and that frequently they were unable to write, having to sign the 
confession with the cross mark.^ No evidence has been found that 
the schooldames kept other than private schools. 

The school calendar is not easily settled. Speaking generally, 
the schools were supposed to continue the year round. No one of 
the general school regulations studied even refers to a vacation. 
The University of West Friesland in 1601 had six vacations, aggre- 
gating nearly three months,^ but there is no good reason to conclude 
from this as to the practice of the lower schools. The weeldy holi- 
days varied. Valckoogh considered a half hohday on Thursday as 
sufficient.^" In 1640 St. Jerome, at Utrecht, changed from three 
half holidays to two, Monday after 2 o'clock and Thursday after- 

1 Douma, op. ciL, pp. 91-92. 

2 Buddingh, op. cit., p. 10. A similar regulation was found at Leiden in 1658. Ibid., p. 145. 

3 Douma, op. cit., p. 69. 
*Ibid.,\->p. 85-6. 

6 Van riensburg, op cit., vii 372-376 (1640), 382-385 (1643-1666). 

•5 Leicester's School order 1586 (Rutgers, op. cit., p. 640); Utrecht, 1613 (Buddingh, op. cit., p. 40). 

^ Brandt, op. cit., iv., 158. 

8 Op. cit., p. 86. 

9 Eight days in the beginning of May, four weeks "kers vacantie, " two weeks at Easter, two weeks at 
Pinkster (Whilsmitide), six weeks in summer, and eight days at "kermes vacantie" in October. W. B. 
S. Boclcs, Frieslands Hoogeschool, etc., i, 351. 

■" Douma, op. cit., p. 71. 


noon.^ The Utrecht country school regulations (1654) say two 
weekly half holidays on such days as the scholarchs may determine 
and no attention to be paid to Shrove Tuesday or kermises.^ The 
usual custom, however, seems to have been haJf holidays on Wednes- 
days and Saturdays.^ The church holidays, which may be supposed 
to have been also school holidays, were Christmas, Easter, and Pink- 
ster, "with the day following each," and sometimes ''the day of the 
circumcision (New Year's da}^) and of the Christ's ascension."* 
To these may be added, as school hohdays, St. Nicholas day (Dec. 
6) and generally the kermis. 

The school buildings of the period seem on the whole not to have 
received much attention. In the cities, as Avith us, special buildings 
were set aside for the public schools; elsewhere the schools were gen- 
erally held in the dwellings of the masters, which were near the 
parish church. Nor was the interior of the schoolroom any more 
considered. Light and ventilation were all too frequently ignored. 
In summer the rooms were too often intolerably hot. In winter, 
peat and candles furnished a scant supply of heat and Ught." The 
room itself (apart from the contents of the master's desk) would 
seem to us quite bare, accustomed as we are to modern schoolrooms. 
The furniture consisted of nothing more than a chair and desk for 
the master, and for the pupils bare benches, sometimes %\'ith backs, 
but quite often without. In the Latin schools might be found also 
a blackboard and shelves for books. The parish schoolmaster of 
the villages, who might be notary besides, w^ould need a varied stock 
of supplies, according to Douma (follo^\dng Valckoogh) : ''A good 
handtplacke (paddle for striking the open hand of the naughty 
pupil), and a strong nx' (fabricated whip) made of willow branches, a 
sharp penknife, a sandbox (for blotting), a \vriting desk which could 
be locked, containing pens, a seal, green wax, an ink pot, a bundle 
of goose quills, a glass fuU of black ink, a blue tile on which to mix 
ink, small and large bowls for inks of various colors, parchments, 
three or four books of white paper, an ink horn to hang by his side 
when he went out, a brass candlestick \vith two lights, notes from 
which to teach letter wiiting, an arithmetic board on which to lay 
the counters, a rule, a roll book for the names of the pupils, three or 
four little books, a Bible, a prayer book, a psalm book, a Testament, 
a reading desk for the Bible, and an oil can or lantern for the clock 
work, " ^ There is no reason to doubt that much of this description 
would apply as well to the schoolmaster's outfit in New Netherland. 

1 Van Flensburg, op. cit., vii, 372, 382. 

2 Buddingh, op. cit., p. 72. 

3 Douma, op. cit., p. 8C; Beemink, op. cit., 114. 

* Eccl. Rec, 4224 (Article 67 of Synod of Dort church order). 
5 Douma, op. cit.. p. 40. 

« Ibid., p. 69. The roe was more frequently called roede. The handtplacke likewise often appears as 
placke, plake, or plak. 


Of special interest for our subsequent discussion is the question 
of tlae education of girls. Of the general opportunity of the girls 
to attend the elementary schools there would seem to be no doubt. 
The Zeeland regulations of 1583 say that: "Furthermore, separate 
schools shall be kept for boys and girls, when this is feasible. AVhere 
this is not feasible, the said boys and daughters shall be separated 
as much as possible from each other, not only on benches, but also 
in all places in the schools and out. " ^ Douma, foUomng Valckoogh, 
says of the latter part of the sixteenth century: "The pupils, girls 
and boys separated from one another, sit on low benches without 
backs. The girls sit in a corner all by themselves. " ^ Douma fur- 
ther reproduces (p. 70) a picture ascribed by him to the beginning of 
the seventeenth century, in which the girls are evident by their dis- 
tinctive dress, sitting furthest from the master. One of the best 
pictures we have of the interior of a Dutch school is that depicted on 
the gable stone of the orphan house at Enkhuisen, done in 1616, an 
excellent reproduction of which is found in Prof. P. L. Muller's Onze 
Goude Eeuw (vol. 2, p. 368). In this the dress of the little girls is 
as distinctive as any photograph of present-day conditions could 
show. In the school regulations of Nijkerk in 1627 there were three 
masters — one Dutch, one Latin, and one for the girls. Each master, 
it appears, taught separately from the others.^ In the Utrecht rural 
school regulations (1654), already several times referred to, the 
eleventh item states that "the boys over ten years of age shall sit 
separately from the girls, and the oldest shall sit next to the school- 
master.* Douma quotes (verbatim) a school regulation of the seven- 
teenth century that "Schoolmasters instructing both girls and boys 
in the same school must have sufficient space so that they may be 
separated from one another and that they may be taught sepa- 
rately."^ Gilderland (1681) has a similar regulation to which it adds: 
"If boys are taken to board, no girls shall be received with them in 
the house above nine or ten years of age; and likewise, if girls are 
taken to board, no boys shall be received with them above twelve 
or thirteen years old, on pain of six guldens to be paid by the school- 
master for each child. " ^ While HoUand, in common with the rest 
of the seventeenth century world, excluded girls from aU public 
higher learning, the references given show amply that girls were ad- 

» Buddingh, op. cit., p. 9. 

* Op. cil., p. 69. In Schotel, op. cit., p. 8C, we find Mr. Valckoogh's verses: 
" De meyskens sullen sitten op een hoek alleen 

En de knechtkens sullen ook sitten by een. ", 

The girls shall sit in a corner alone 

The boys shall also keep together. 
» Beemink, op. cit., p. 116. 
« Buddingh, op. cit., p. 71. 
6 Douma, op. cit., p. 87. 
6 Buddingh, op. cit., p. 81. 


mitted to the elementary schools along with the boys; in separate 
rooms, if the numbers permitted; if not, in the same room with the 
boys, though in different parts of the room and in different classes. 
In respect to the education of girls, Holland conditions were much 
in advance of those that prevailed even at a much later date in some 
of the English colonies of America. 

In general the regulations for the Dutch schools of that time show 
at once likenesses and diveisities in school management as compared 
with the present. Both the similarity and the diversity are illus- 
trated in the school hours. These varied from place to place, and 
were different in winter and summer. Summer hours in some places 
were 6 to 8 a. m., 9 to 11 a. m., 12 to 2 p. m., 3 to 5 p. m. (Gronengen 
and Ommelanden) .* Nijkerk in 1619 had the same fourfold division, 
only dismissing at 10 and 4.^ Utrecht, however, had the hours 
which were afterwards common in Dutch America, 8 to 11 a. m., 1 to 
4 p. m.^ Winter hours varied '^according to the circumstances of the 
time and place," being usually shorter than those for summer. Then, 
as now, tardiness and absences demanded attention. ''On the 
appointed hour for the assembling of the children," say the Zeeland 
(1583) regulations, ''the aforesaid schoolmaster shall look over the 
roll to see whether all are present and shall punish suitably those who 
come too late, and shall ascertain from the parents * * * the 
cause of the absence of those who are not found present in school."* 
Manners were not forgotten; as soon as the children, especially the 
boys, entered the school, they must bow to the master. The boys, 
however, kept on their hats, except when reciting.'^ Religious nurture 
was ever in the foreground. "The schoolmaster shall make his 
pupils say by turn the moi ning prayer when they enter the school in 
the morning; when leaving towards noon, the prayer before dmner; 
when returning in the afternoon, the prayer after dinner; and again 
on leaving the evenmg prayer."" This must have been well-nigh 
universal. The same thing occurs in nearly every set of regulations 
found either in Holland or in America. 

It was a general requuement that the master hang up in the school- 
room the rules governmg his school. Valckoogh has left in rhyme a 
long list of such rules, the rhyme and meter of which are unfortu- 
nately destroyed by translation: 

Those who do not take off their caps before a man of honor, 
, Who run and scream and swear, 
Who race wildly or improperly through the streets, 
WTio play for money or books, or who tell lies, 
WTio chase or throw at people's ducks or animals. 

1 Douma, op. d<., p. 86. * Ibid., p. 10. 

2 Beemink, op. cit., p. 114. * Douma, op. cit., p. 70. 

' Buddingh, op. cit., p. 72. ' Utrecht (16S4) regulations Buddingh, op. cit., p. 70. 


WTio play with knives or run their hands through their hair, 

Who run into the fields, or jump into the hay with sticks. 

Who stay at home without the teacher's or parent's leave, 

WTio make noise in church or who buy candy. 

Who do not say prayer at table, before lessons, 

In the morning or in the evening. 

Who tear their books, or spoil their paper. 

And who call one another names here, 

Wlio throw their bread to dogs or cats, 

Wlio wish to keep what they find in school, 

Who spit in the drink of another, or step on his dinner, 

Who run away from school and do not tell it, 


Who do not go nicely to church and home again, 
And who read these rules and do not mind them, 
Shall receive two paddlings (placken) or be whipped.' 

An interesting school rule full of "local color" was a requirement 
that the masters forbid swimming in dangerous places; ''and to this 
end they shall appoint notators who will look after their fellow 
pupils, take note of them, and report such to the schoolmasters." ^ 

The instruments of punishment were mentioned above, the jylalc 
and the rocde. The former was a stout wooden paddle with which 
the teacher struck the pupil's outstretched palm. The latter was a 
bundle of switches, the use of which belongs to the common educa- 
tional history of mankind. Even in that day regulation of punish- 
ment was necessary. Douma quotes an order of the time: ''Dis- 
cipline or punishment must be neither too easy nor too harsh, but 
should be moderated according to the character, health, and disposi- 
tion of the pupil, and after the customary school discipline, only with 
plak and roede." * That contrary emotions were aroused m parents, 
then as now, is evident from a picture on the title page of a contempo- 
rary arithmetic by Jan Belot Dieppois. The scene is a schoolroom. A 
devU peers from the wall behind the master's desk, a father enters 
with his little son and says: "Beat him freely and spare neither plak 
nor the roe, before I do something else to him." A mother at the 
sanie tmie comes in with her son and says: "I am nearly crazy, I can- 
not stand it that you should thus beat my good child." Then the 
teacher groans: " 'Unhappy is the man,' says Aristotle, 'who is in 
charge of the children of several mothers.' " * 

The curriculum of the elementary school was very simple. The 
A B C's, spelling, reading, writing, the barest acquaintance with 
figures, and, later on, a history of Dutch wars— these with the reli- 
gious instruction made up the whole. The Utrecht instructions for 
the country schools (1654) seem to give a fair idea of what was taught 

1 Quoted in Schotel, op. cit., p. 78. 

2 Utrecht (1654) regulations, Buddingh, op. cit., p. 72. 

3 Op. cit., p. 90. 

* The picture is reproduced in Douma, op. cit., p. 97. 


as well as some insight into the methods of teaching: "In teaching, 
the schoolmaster shall pay special attention that the fundamentals 
of spelling shall be well laid before the children come to the reading, 
that they may accustom themselves to read distinctly and learn to 
distinguish well the syllables and the words, and they shall not make 
the children proceed too cjuickly from one book to another; and they 
shall also teach the youth to understand the numbers of the chapters 
of the Holy Scriptures and the Psalms." ''On a certain day the 
pupils shall challenge one another to spell the most difficult words." 
"And that the pupils may be the better stimulated to do their duty, 
they shall write every week a prize which shall be hung in the school 
and those who have the most prizes shall sit the whole week at the 
front." "The school shall be divided into classes, each class shall 
learn from one kind of book; those who will learn from the same book 
together shall also be called at the same time and shall recite the same 
lesson, the others standing near by and following in their book. All 
those who have been heard, they shall return together quietly to 
their seats, and another class shall be called."^ The master "shall 
hear each pupil (recite) twice and shall show (i. e., instruct) him once 
before noon, and the same after noon." 

The amomit of arithmetic included in tliis curriculum for the 
country schools of the Province of Utrecht (1654), simply the "num- 
bers of the chapters of the Holy Scriptures and the Psalms," is less 
than that prescribed in 1612 for the schools of the city and towns of 
Utrecht. In the latter the schoolmaster was required to teach the 
pupils "with all diligence in addition to reading, writing and arith- 
metic (reekenen) etc., the Our Father, The Creed, and the Ten Com- 
mandments."^ Evidently the commercial demands of the cities 
and towns gave arithmetic a greater importance than it had in the 
country. That students not destined for the commercial life need 
not know arithmetic is shown by the fact that in England at tliis 
same time boys about ready to leave the Latin grammar school for 
the university were often barely able to read the numbers of the 
books they studied.^ The Nijkerk (1619) regulations show also that 
arithmetic was looked upon as a special subject: "Neither of the 
two masters [Latin or Dutchl shall teach anything during school 
time but Latin and Dutch. . Ai'ithmetic and other subjects must be 
studied in private lessons.""* On the whole, then, arithmetic seems 
to have occupied about the same place among the Dutch of that day 
that commercial bookkeeping now has Avith us. In this connection, 
it is interesting to note that the course prescribed for the school- 

1 This is one of the earliest known references to class recitation. 

2 Buddingh, op. cit., p. 38. 

3 Brinsley, Ludus Literarius, p. 25 f. (London, 1612). 
* Beernink, op. cit., p. 115. 

28311°— 12 3 


masters sent out by the West India Company to New Netherlaiid 
included ''reading, writing, ciphering, and arithmetic."^ 

The textbooks used in the better elementary schools are probably 
pretty well represented by the list officially promulgated at Utrecht 
in 1650: 2 

Het groot en kleyn A. B. C. boeck; 

De Heydelberchse Catechismiis; 

De Evangelieu eiide Epistelen; 

De Trap der Jeugt; 

De Ilistorien van David; 

Proverbia Salomonis; 

De Spiegel der Jengt van de Nederlandse oorlogen; 

De sendbrieven van de nieuwe editie met eenige stichtelyke dichten daar achter. 

The first three of these are sufficiently indicated by their translated 
titles: The Great and Small ABC Book, The Heidelberg Catechism, 
and The Gospels and Epistles. The alphabet books were generally 
called "cock books," from the picture of a crowing cock found 
thereon. On the title page of one of these appeared: 

We must know the alphabet very well 
Before we can readily read any book. 

In addition to the alphabet, these books contained the Lord's 
Prayer, the commandments, and the prayers.^ The Heidelberg 
Catechism was the authoritative catechism of the Reformed Dutch 
Church. The Gospels and the Epistles served as a reading book. 
"De Trap der Jeugt" means literally "The Stairway of Youth," but 
the writer has not been able to find any indication of its contents. 
The Proverbs of Solomon is again a reading book. "De Spiegel der 
Jeugt," literally "The Mirror of Youth," treated of the wars of the 
Dutch people.* ''De Sendbrieven," etc., are the epistles of the New 

As has been many times said, the teaching of religion was a main 
function, perhaps the main function of the school. Attention has 
been called to the use of prayers at the opening and close of the fore- 
noon and afternoon session. We have seen also that the ordinary 
school studies were taught with religious content and material. 
Besides all of this, specifically religious exercises are stated with 
precision in most of the contracts. The Utrecht (1654) regulations 
require the master to teach ' ' the prayer of our Lord Jesus Christ, also 
the twelve articles of the Clu'istian faith, the Ten Commandments, and 
afterwards the confession of sin, being the prayer before the sermon ; 
also the questions and answers of the Christian catecliism." ^ In 
Zeeland (1583) the masters must exercise their pupils "on certain 
hours daily or weekly, in the singing of the Psalms, to the end that 

" 'Eccl. llec, p. 98. 3 Douma, op. cit., p. 46. ^ Ibid., p. 70. 

» Buddingh, op. cit., p. 89. * Buddingh, op. cit., p. 97. 


they may help to sing them well in the meeting."^ "On Sundays 
the cliildren shall again come to school at 7 o'clock in the morning, 
go to chiu'ch with the schoolmaster at 9 o'clock and listen quietly to 
the sermon. After dinner at 1 o'clock they shall again go to school 
in order to learn their lessons; and at 2 o'clock they shall sit in the 
church under the pulpit and recite their catechism. And the school- 
masters shall be at pains to see that all this takes place orderly and 

Wliile tlie extracts here presented are from tliree distinct sets of 
regulations, there is no reason to beUeve that the combined result is 
not typical. Almost tlie same procedure was expUcitly or implicitly 
required in the New Netherland contracts. Wliile there are minor 
variations at different times and places, we may feel sure that in 
four essentials there was well-nigh universal agreement; first, the 
religious subject matter to be memorized, never less than what is 
indicated above; second, the learning of the Psalms for the Sunday 
church service (it is to be noted that tlie parish schoolmaster is gen- 
erally also the leader of the congregational singing) ; third, the 
attendance of the school children upon church service in a body 
under the direction of the master; and fourth, the pubhc catechizing 
of the school children. This last in New Netherland was often, if 
not generally, on one of the week days. 

So much attention given to such perfunctory religious exercises 
would not at the present period receive general approval. But 
there is one aspect of the question which turned this religious func- 
tion of the schools to an unexpectedly valuable account. It seems 
fairly clear that by the reUgious character of the curriculmn the 
Dutch colonists were led through their zeal for religion to provide 
schools in connection with their churches ; because, without parochial 
schools, the people did not see how their children could receive what 
seemed to them to be the absolute essentials of rehgious teachings. 
This fact will account for the presence of schools in struggling frontier 
villages of Holland America, where, without this religious zeal, interest 
in education alone would not have sufficed to maintain adequate 

So far but httle has been said about the Latin schools. Quite 
probably the teaching of Latin was at that time much the same 
throughout the Protestant world. There were Latin schools in every 
important town. Many long antedated the Reformation.^ The 
Synod of Dort (1618-19) petitioned the States-General to "reform" 
the higher and lower Latin schools. The clause relating to the latter 
we quote as bearing on our subsequent study. "But as for the trivial 
or inferior schools the synod likewise most humbly prays your High 

1 Buddingh, op. cit., p. 9. 

« School Contract at Rynsberg, 1601. Douma, op. cit., pp. 92-3. 

3 That at Amsterdam seems to date certainly as far back as 1342. Buddingh, op. cit., p. 56. 


Mightinesses that you would be pleased to order that some general 
rules for the government of such schools be drawn up and prepared, 
by and with the advice of such learned men who understand best what 
relates to the instruction of youth whereby those defects which are- 
so frequently observed in schools may be mended, and as far as pos- 
sible a uniform method of teaching be established, especially in the 
principles of grammar, logic, and rhetoric." ^ The particular synods 
concerned themselves with the Latin schools mostly, it is true, about 
subscription to the creed on the part of the masters, but also about 
matters more interesting to us now. In 1627 the question was raised 
in the synod of South Holland as to whether the fundamentals of 
Hebrew should not be taught in the trivial schools (in scholis triviali- 
hus fundamenta Hxhraicse linguae) . The answer was that, while this 
was desirable, it had better be left to the discretion of those concerned 
with the schools.^ In 1634 "a rector of a trivial school, who is a 
member of the church and in a certain sense also a servant of the 
church, asks whether children under pretext of good exercises should 
be allowed to learn to present a comedy." It was answered that such 
was opposed to God's word and could not be granted.^ The inquiry- 
referred, of course, to the common Renaissance practice of presenting 
classical plays as school exercises, to which, however, strong opposi- 
tion had now arisen from moral and other Puritanic considerations. 
The strong hold which the Latin school had then is partly explained 
by the fact that Latin was necessary to advancement along any pro- 
fessional or ofllcial line. Schotel quotes some verses: 

Those who want to become men of importance, 
Will be prepared in school. 

Notaries, clerks, treasurers, or those who want an oflSce 
Must go to school and learn Latin well. ^ 

Following Douma (p. 94), we may say that the trivial or Latin 
schools were found in nearly all cities. These schools were not always 
higher than ordinary elementary schools, but stood on the same level 
as the latter. The pupils were often admitted in their eighth year. 
The school laws of Leeuwarden (1638, renewed 1701) show a school 
conducted by a rector and four subordinate teachers, all owing 
43bedience "to the honorable magistrates," No pupils were admitted 
who did not know how to read. Declensions and conjugations were 
at first the chief subjects. Then came explanations from Latin and 
Greek authors. The Heidelberg Catechism was of course not for- 
gotten. The Vestihulum of Comenius or the Distichs of Cato were 
used. The New Testament was translated from the Greek, and 
Greek composition taught. 

1 177th session. Brandt, op. cit., iii, 326. s Ibid., ii, 32. 

2 Acta, i, 220. * Op. cit., p. 101. 


That education was, on the whole, widespread throughout the 
Netherlands is abundantly evident, although definite statements are 
difficult to make. Woltjer quotes a traveler of the latter part of the 
sixteenth century, one Guiciardini, who says of Holland: "The com- 
mon people generally know the fundamentals of grammar, and all 
the people, even the peasants and the country folk, know at least 
how to read and write. Besides, they know the art and science of 
the ordinary languages so generally and so well that one is really sur- 
prised. Many people who never left the country speak several foreign 
languages, especially French, which is spoken by almost everybody. 
Many speak German, English, Itahan, and other foreign tongues." ^ 
The same author quotes the Enghshman, Josiah Childe, as saying in 
1665: "The Dutchmen always take good care of the education and 
instruction of their cliildren, daughters as well as sons * * * ^ 
Dutchman, however inferior in class or station or ability he may be, 
always takes care that his children learn how to WTite a good hand and 
the art of counting; he even wants them to become competent in the 
arithmetic of commerce."* 

Wliile these statements are too sweeping to be accepted literally, 
evidently both wTitera considered that the educational situation 
among the Dutch was much in advance of what they know more 
intimately elsewhere; an opinion in which it is easy to concur. 

That public schools abounded throughout the Netherlands is equally 
evident. Every study of the archives of town or province discloses 
their presence. The minutes of every religious body bear overwhelm- 
ing testimony not only to the existence of schools but also a zealous 
interest in their maintenance. It is proper to note that while the 
sixteenth centur}' church enactments call for the establishment of 
schools, almost none among the multitudinous school references of the 
seventeenth century are concerned with this problem. The com- 
plaint of the seventeenth century synods is not the lack of schools, 
but the poor pay of teachers and the consequent inferior service; not 
the need of Protestant schools, but the presence of Roman CathoUc 
and other heterodox masters; not the estabhshment of schools, but 
the proper regulations of schools already in existence.^ 

1 Woltjer, Christelijk Nationaal Schoolonderwijs, p. 75. 

2 Two specific references may properly be mentioned in this connection. In ItSOS at a regular session of 
the Classis of Drenthe the Roede church reported that it had no school. However, not only was a reason- 
able excuse offered for such a delinquency, but the report further stated that a private school had been 
maintained (Reitsma, op. cit., viii, 91-2). This is a clear instance of the exception that proves the rule. 
The second reference has been widely used as implying lack of schools in the Netherlands. In fact, it is 
perhaps the most widely known of all sources bearing on early Dutch schools, being an act of the Synod of 
Dort (1618-9), seventeenth session: "Schools * * * shall be established not only in cities but also 
in towns and countrj- places, where heretofore none have existed." (Translation from Dunshee, op. cit., 
p. 4.) A frequent interpretation of this has been that heretofore no schools have existed in towns and 
country places; and the words as given appear to authorize, though not to demand, this interpretation. 
The Latin original, however, decides otherwise: " Scholee * * * in singulis pagis instituantur, sicubi 
hactenusnulloeinstitutsefuerunt" (Acta Synodi * * * Dordrechti, p. 01). So that a truer rendering 


The word "public" used just above in connection with these 
schools was chosen advisedly. Although tuition was regularly 
charged — contrary to the present American conception — never- 
theless the public authorities, partly civil and partly ecclesiastical, 
provided the school, examined, and licensed the teacher, paid him a 
salary, and by law regulated what he should teach, what books he 
should use, and the conditions under which he should in general 
conduct his school. In many places school supervisors (scholarchen, 
opsienders), corresponding in part to our school board and in part 
to school inspectors, were provided b}^ civil enactment to exercise 
general supervision of school affairs.^ In at least one instance 
(Leiden, 1652) an officer, much like a modern expert supervisor, 
was provided at public expense to see, among other things, that the 
masters and dames "treated the children well." - In these many 
respects did seventeenth century Holland approximate the public 
school system of to-day. 

The elementary school of the Netherlands was thus a public paro- 
chial school, admitting girls and boys alike, teaching them two of 
the three R's, less often the third, but never omitting the catechism. 
The master, while serving the school, generally served also the 
church by taking a stated part in its regular Sunday service. The 
control of the school devolved upon both ecclesiastical and secular 
authorities. It was this school which was reproduced almost iden- 
tically in the Dutch villages of Holland America. 

of the doubtful clause would be, "if anywhere heretofore none have been established." The contempo- 
raneous Dutch rendering of the original Latin is to the same effect: " Soo erghens voor desen geene en zihn 
opgerecht gheweest" (Acta ofte Handeltnghen * * * Synodi * * * tot Dordrecht, p. 55). Mr. 
Van Laer translates this, "if (in case) in any of these places (literally 'anywhere') heretofore none have 
been established." (Letter to the writer, March C, 1911). The proper interpretation, then, of the act of 
the synod puts the presumption on the other side. Schools were so general that even the exceptional 
lack had to be expressed contingently. 

1 Buddingh, op. cit., p. 75; Rutgers, op. cit., p. 041; Van Flensburg, op. cit., vii, 382, etc. 

2 Buddingh, op. cit., pp. 143-4. 


"In the year 1633 the first school was established by the Dutch at 
New Amsterdam,^ " Statements to this effect have found their way 
into print many times in the past 60 years ; and the fact thus asserted 
has been accepted as a fact established by practically all waiters on 
the history of education. But some information recently made 
accessible seems to point to a later date as being the more probable. 

The Ecclesiastical Records of the State of New York ^ give, for the 
first time in accessible English form, certain records of the Reformed 
Dutch Church in Holland that throw considerable light on the 
educational history of the Dutch in New Netherland and colonial 
New York. 

In a way, which will be more exactly shown in Chapter V, the 
conduct of the public schools in New Netherland was partially under 
the control of the Classis of Amsterdam, which was that division of 
the Reformed Dutch Church of the Netherlands exercising ecclesiasti- 
cal control over New Netherland throughout most of the Dutch 
period (and over the Reformed Dutch churches in New York till 
1772). In the records of this classis we find the following among 
the "Regulations relating to the East India and West India affairs, 
etc., devised b}^ the deputies of the classis appointed therefor April 

VI. Of the Schoolmasters: 

In case any schoolmasters shall be sent to any of these foreign fields, the same 
course shall be pursued with them * * * as with the siecken- 
troosters * * *5 
II. Of the siecken-troosters (comforters of the sick): 

1. The siecken-troosters must present themselves, as far as practicable, before 

the classis. The classis must endeavor to have a good supply of these on 
hand, and shall decide which out of all of them shall first be recommended 
by the deputies to the companies. 

2. The examination of the siecken-troosters shall be conducted by the brethren 

deputies, who shall bring in a report thereof at the next classis.^ 

From the "Instructions and letter of credentials for schoolmasters 
going to the East or West Indies or elsewhere," adopted June 7, 1636, 

> A portion of this chapter has previously appeared in the Educational Redew, and is here reproduced by 

2 Dexter, History of education in the United States (1904), p. 12. 

3 6v, Albany, 1901 -C. 

< Ecel. Rec., p. 89. * Ibid., p. 91. • Ibid., p. 89. 



the following extract is quoted to show more fully the method of 
examination and appointment : 

Inasmuch as has offered his services, in this capacity, to the committee on 

ecclesiastical affairs of the said company, and which committee is especially charged 
therewith by the Classis of Amsterdam: and the said classis having previously inquired 
as to this individual, and by examination have ascertained his fitness and experience 
for such a position; that on the report rendered l)y the said classis, and with the appro- 
bation and consent of the said honorable directors, he has been appointed schoolmaster 
and sent in such capacity to N N with these specific instructions. ' 

In accordance with the foregoing regulations, we find the following: 

Acts of the deputies, 
Adam Rolands 

1639, July 18. 
Adam Rolands, having requested to go to New Netherland as schoolmaster, reader 
(voorlezer), and precentor (voorsanger), was accepted, as recommended, upon his good 
testimonials and the trial of his gifts, on August 4, 1637; and was sent thither. ^ 

The date 1639 need not concern us here, but the other date, August 
4, 1637, is crucial to our discussion. The Adam Rolands thus 
examined and licensed on August 4, 1637, bears the same name^ 
as the "first schoolmaster" whose teaching career in New Amsterdam 
is generally supposed to have begun in 1633. But in the document 
just quoted, he is licensed for that position in 1637. If this certificate 
were the only evidence bearing upon the date of his entrance into the 
position in question, no one would hesitate to say that a date earlier 
than August 4, 1637, should not be assigned. But inasmuch as 
educational historians, such as Mr. Dexter, say^ that it is "certain 
that in 1633" Roelantsen was sent from Holland to be master of the 
school, we must therefore examme closely before we accept the date 
indicated by this newly found reference. 

So far as appears, it was Mr. Dunshee^ who first gave explicit 
statement to the since current opinion, and in these words : 

1633 — In the spring of 1633, Wouter Van Twiller arrived at Manhattan as the second 
director general of the New Netherlands. In the enumeration of the company's 
officials of the same year, Everardus Bogardus is mentioned as officiating as minister 
at Fort Amsterdam, and ADAM ROELANTSEN as the first schoolmaster. « (This has 
"as substantiating footnote, Albany records,' i, 52). 

In an extended list of the officers and servants of the Dutch West India Company, 
in 1638, Rev. Everardus Bogardus is again mentioned as minister at Fort Amsterdam 
where Adam Roelantsen was still the schoolmaster.* (This has as substantiating foot- 
note Albany records, ii, 13-15). 

I Eccl. Rec, p. 98. 

- Ibid., p. 122, where one finds August 4, 1673. Mr. Van Dyke of the Sage Library writes me, however, 
that "The originai transcript says 1637." 

3 The name appears variously as Roelants, Roelantsen, Rolands, Roelandson; he liimself used the first 
two of these forms. 

* Op. at., p. 15. 

5 History of the school of the Reformed Dutch Church in the City of New York (1853). 

6 Ibid., p. 2S-9. 

' Van der Kemp's MSS. translation of New York Col. MSB. (Dutch) in the State Library. 

6 Dunshee, pp. 29-30. The edition of 1883 gives the same words for these two quotations except that in 
the first one m place of " In the spring of 1633," we have " In April (prior to the 12th), 1633;" and a referemce 
footnote for "12th" is given to O'Callaghan's History of >Jew Netherland, i, 141-3. 


We would naturally understand these quotations to mean (1 ) that 
in some original document, presumably Albany Records, i, 52, is to 
be found an enumeration, perhaps formally drawn, of the company's 
officials for the year 1633, with "Adam Roelantsen, schoolmaster," 
thereon; (2) a similar list for 1638 in Albany Records, ii, 13-15, 
likewise containing "Adam Roelantsen, schoolmaster." 

Now, the fact is that in no extant document is there to be found any 
such list, or anything like it, either for 1633 or for 1638. Such lists 
have been compiled — the first ones by O'Callaghan^ from widely 
separate sources. As an illustration of one such source, and also 
that the reader may see for himself the contents of Albany Records, 
i, 52, that reference is here given in its entirety, excepting only the 
epithets applied to Grietje and her unprintable response thereto: 

This day, date underwritten, before me, Cornells van Tienhoven, Secretary of New 
Netherland, appeared Adam Roelantsen, schoolmaster, aged about 32 years, at the 
request of Domine Bogarde, and hath by true Christian words, in place and with prom- 
ise of a solemn oath if needs be, declared, testified and attested it to be true and truthful 
that in the year 1633, Grietje Reyniers, being with the deponent at the Strand, near 
the late warehouse for cargoes, he heard the sailors of the ship The Soutberg, then lying 
in the roadstead, cry out to Grietje aforesaid, ! ! whereupon she , say- 
ing All which deponent declares to be true, and that this is done by him with- 
out simulation and without any regard of persons. 

Done on the Island of Manhate this 13th 8ber 1638. 

Adam Roelants.^ 

It is clear from this paper that "Adam Roelants" was "schoolmas- 
ter" on the "Island of Manhate," October 13, 1638, and also that he 
was on Manliattan in 1 633.^ The further bearing of this declaration we 
postpone for the moment, while we consider more fully the lists to 
which Mr. Dunshee refers. It wtU be observed that the Albany 
Records, i, 52, which Mr. Dunshee gives as his reference to substan- 
tiate his 1633 statement, bear no resemblance to a list of officials. 
The other references, Albany Records, ii, 13-15, are equally far from 
resembling a list and go no further toward establishing Adam Roe- 
lantsen's connection with the school than to show by the records of a 
certain case in court that he was in Fort Amsterdam, June 10, 1638. 

Before we ask how Mr. Dunshee came to make such statements, it 
may be well to say a word about Mr. O'Callaghan and ^Mr. Brodhead. 
These men were incomparably the best students in Mr. Dunshee's day 
of the period in question. Shortly before Mr. Dunshee wrote, each 
published a history covering this period ; * each issued a second edition 
shortly after Mr. Dunshee wrote; while both are quoted in Mr. Dun- 
shee's work. Neither of these historians in either edition refers to 
such an original list as one would infer from Mr. Dunshee to be stUl 
extant. On the contrary, Mr. O'Callaghan took the pains to compile 

> O'Callaghan's History of New Netherland, vol. 1, pp. 142, lSO-1. 

2 The translation here given is O'Callaghan's (i, 55), which is better than Van der Kemp's. 

3 The "Strand " is here in Manhattan, and not in Holland. 

* O'Callaghan, op. cit., 1st edition lS4o, 2d edition, 1855; Brodhead, History of the State of New York, 
1st edition (v. i) 1853, 2d edition (do.) 1859. 



such lists. The one for Kieft's administration (1638-1647) includes 
28 names with 21 distinct references in substantiation.^ It may 
further be said that the only references that these historians give 
as to Adam Roelantsen at the time in question are to the declaration 
regarding Grietje Reyniers and to the case in court above referred to. 

Considering that Mr. Dunshee was not primarily an historian, what 
is more natural than that he should avail himself of these two excel- 
lent works which had but recently been issued when he wrote ? 
This, we find, is just what he did. In a footnote Mr. Dunshee says ^ 
that the contents of his first chapter were "culled from * * * 
Brodhead's New York, and here as elsewhere throughout the work 
his language has at times been appropriated;" while in Chapter II (in 
which our question is discussed) occur 19 footnote references to 

In order to exhibit the probable indebtedness of Mr. Dunshee to 
these two historians in the construction of his paragraphs quoted 
above, and thus to show that O'CaUaghan is Mr. Dunshee's actual 
authority for his assertion about the lists of company's officials, we 
show herewith, in one column, Mr. Dunshee's statement's, and in a 
parallel column what seems their probable source in Brodhead and 

[Brodhead and O'Callaghan.] 
'1633 * * * Director general 


New Netherland was Wouter van T wilier 

* * * van Twiller arrived at Manhat- 
tan early in the spring." ^ 

[In O'Callaghan we find for 1633 a com- 
piled list of sixteen] "officers in the ser- 
vice of the company" [concluding with] 
"at Fort Amsterdam, at which place the 
Rev. Evaradus Bogardus officiated as a 
minister of the gospel," * * ** 

"Adam Roelandsen, 'schoolmaster,' ar- 
rived * * * about the same time," ^ 

* * * "first schoolmaster in New Am- 
sterdam * * *." 6 

"Among the other officers and servants 
of the company [in 1638], we find mention 
made of * * * [here follow twenty- 
six names, after which this sentence:] 
The Rev. Evarardus Bogardus continued 
to officiate as clergyman at Fort Amster- 
dam where Adam Roelantsen was school- 

1 Op.cit.,i, 181. 

2 Op.cit.,p.\7. 

3 Brodhead, op. cit., 1,222-3. 
* O'Callaghan, op. cit., i, 142. 
» Ibid., p. 143. 


1633.— In the spring of 1633, Wouter 
van Twiller arrived at Manhattan, as the 
second director general of New Nether- 
lands. In the enumeration of the com- 
]3any'8 officials of the same year, Everar- 
dus Bogardus is mentioned as officiating 
at Fort Amsterdam, and Adam Roelandsen 
as the first schoolmaster.* 

In an extended list of officers and ser- 
vants of the Dutch West India Company, 
in 1638, Rev. Everardus Bogardus is again 
mentioned as minister at Fort Amsterdam, 
where Adam Roelantsen was still the 

Ibid., p. 141 (chapter heading). 
T Ibid., p. 181. 

e Dunshee, op. cit. (1st ed.), p. 28-9. 
Ibid., p. 29-30. Italics not in original. 


The reader will note how helpful for Mr. Dunshee's purpose are 
the words "still the," introduced by him into the last sentence taken 
from O'CaUaghan. 

Each one will judge for himself how successful has been this 
tracing of the genesis of Mr. Dunshee's words. But whatever may 
be the verdict on that point, the fact remains that there are no such 
original official lists known, and that every particle of known 
evidence, connecting or tending to connect Adam Roelantsen with 
the school on Manhattan (except certain documents that establish the 
fact of his presence on Manliattan from June, 1638), is included in 
the declaration quoted and in the record of his certification at Amster- 
dam given above.* 

Before the certification record was known, it was an easy, if not 
very compelling inference, that Roelantsen, who was schoolmaster in 
1638, had held that position from the time of his coming, which was 
generally agreed to have been in 1633. Valentine,^ who wrote much 
on Dutch affairs, frankly restricts our knowledge of the beginning of 
Roelantsen's career to what can be gained, directly and by inference, 
from the declaration above quoted. And Pratt, ^ in the Annals of 
Public Education in New York, can give no further evidence. But 
the writers on educational history have preferred to follow Dunshee, 
possibly feeling that there was no escape from such explicit references 
to original official lists. 

With this preliminary discussion over, let us now take up our evi- 
dence, the certificate record of August 4, 1637, and the declaration of 
October 13, 1638, and see what is contained explicitly or implicitly 
in them: 

1. Adam Roelantsen had come to Manliattan as early as 1633: for 
what purpose and with what business we do not know. 

2. At some time after the 1633 episode and before August 4, 1637, 
he returned to HoUand.* 

3. On August 4, 1637, "Rolands" was examined by the committee 
of the classis and duly authorized to teach for the West India Com- 
pany in New Netherland. 

4. At some time after August 4, 1637, and before June 10, 1638 
(using the law court records above referred to), he left HoUand, 
arrived in Manliattan, and began his teaching career. 

Postponing the consideration of some other points frequently 
mentioned in this connection, let us now endeavor to fix more exactly 
the date of Roelantsen's arrival at Fort Amsterdam. 

» Mr. A. J. F. van Laer, the present archi\ist of the New York State Library, agrees with the writer 
that ' ' There are no original Usts of officers and servants of the West India Co. for 1633 and 1638 in existence," 
and expressly justifies him in using the sentence above to which this footnote is given. 

2 Corporation manual, 1863, p. 559 

3 Loc. cit., p. 4. 

4 Trips to Holland were common enough; Roelantsen seems to have taken two such trips in after years 
(1646 and 1650). 


Besides the court record of June 10, 1638, and the declaration of 
October 13, 1638, we have another record giving an agreement to 
which Adam Roelantsen was a party and bearing the date of Janu- 
ary 27, 1638. The year 1638 of this date must be rejected in favor 
of 1639 for the following reasons. The record of this agreement is 
in an original and bound volume containing the register of the pro- 
vincial secretary from the beginning of Kief t's administration (March, 
1638), where it appears between instruments of December, 1638, and 
February, 1639. Moreover, the nature of the subject matter of this 
agreement under discussion is such as must follow the lawsuit of 
June 10, 1638; which date is in its turn similarly determined by con- 
ditions like those urged above. With this instrument put into 
its proper place of January 27, 1639, we are ready to consider a 
certain probable line of evidence as to the more exact date of Roe- 
lantsen's second appearance in New Netherland, 

When we recall that the number of vessels sailing between Holland 
and Fort Amsterdam during these years was small, and that the 
records, beginning with Kieft's administration, are fairly continuous, 
we are authorized to ask when Roelantsen could probably have 
reached Fort Amsterdam after his certification on August 4, 1637. 
Mr. van Laer, in the letter already referred to, says that Roelantsen 
"sailed probably either in den Harink (Herring) with Kieft, or else 
in den Dolphijn (Dolpliin) ; both these vessels sailed from the Texel 
in September, 1637, and arrived at New Amsterdam in the spring of 
1638." Mr. van Laer elsewhere^ gives the date on which the Harink 
arrived as March 28, 1638," and in the letter quoted says " presumably 
the vessels kept together all the way over." We thus seem authorized 
to fix the most probable date when Adam Roelantsen opened his 
school in New Amsterdam at a time slightly after March 28, 1638. 

Certain other interesting suggestions have been advanced by vari- 
ous writers as to the beginning of schools on Manhattan. Some have 
thought it probable that either Bastiaen Jansz. Krol or Jan Huygen, 
comforters of the sick in 1626, taught a parish school prior to Roelant- 
sen's coming; others that the 1637 certification of Roelantsen was 
merely the conforming, on his part, to some newly made ecclesiastical 
machinery, and that therefore we are free to suppose that he had 
then been teaching on Manhattan since 1633; and still others, not 
able to give name and date, nevertheless say that an elementary 
school in New Netherland prior to 1638 is so inherently probable that 
we must believe that such a school was established, even though we 
can not point to the specific documentary proof therefor. 

Did Bastiaen Jansz. Krol teach school in connection with his duties 
as kranken-besoecker ? Of course, properly speaking, it is obligatory 

I Van Rensselaer-Bowier MSS., p. 816. " See also O'Callaghan, op. cit., i, ISO. 


on those who suggest Krol's name in connection with the schoolroom 
to adduce some evidence in support of such a suggestion. So far no 
specific evidence has been brought forward; but there has been a 
frequent tendency to fall back upon some supposed custom and ask 
whether the comforters of the sick did not customarily teach school, 
and whether the mere presence on Manhattan of a kranken- 
besoecker — no other schoolmaster being at hand— does not warrant 
the presumption that the kranken-besoecker did conduct a parish 
school. It has, indeed, sometimes been stated that the instructions 
of kranken-besoecker actually included the duty of holding school. 
On the last point, however, the evidence is directly contradictory. 
In the Ecclesiastical Records (pp. 96-97) is found a " letter of instruc- 
tions for siecken-troosters (another name for kranken-besoecker) going 
to the East or West Indies, etc.," drawn up in 1636 by the Classis of 
Amsterdam, which gives in accessible form the duties of the kranken- 
besoecker. Even a casual reading of this will show that no school- 
keeping was contemplated in these instructions. But more impor- 
tant to our point is the fact that the identical instructions given to 
Bastiaen Jansz. Krol himself by the consistory of Amsterdam, 
December 7, 1623, are now available. Before we present them to the 
reader, however, it may be proper to say a word about such instruc- 
tions, and the connection of the Amsterdam consistory with them. 
Dr. A. Eekhof has published (1910) a sketch of the life and work of 
Bastiaen Jansz. Krol in which he gives such source selections from 
the minutes of the consistory of Amsterdam as show the work of the 
consistory in sending out ministers, kranken-besoeckers, and school- 
masters. The selections show in detail what we have already known 
in general, that in the first part of the seventeenth century it 
was the consistory of Amsterdam that exercised immediate ecclesias- 
tical control over the East and West India church affairs. Later the 
Classis of Amsterdam assumed and directed this work. Among the 
data presented in Dr. Eekliof's book is an abstract of the 'Topie- 
Boek" of the consistory from 1589 to 1635, in which is included, 
among other things, a list of the instructions given to the several 
men sent out under the auspices of the consistory. To give the 
reader some idea of the acts of the consistory, we here present in 
shortened form a portion of one page (viii) of the abstract: 

23 Dec. ICIO. D. Casparus Conradi Wiltons was sent with instructions as minister 
to the East Indies. 

23 Dec. IGIO. Willem Van Langenhaven was sent with instructions as school- 
master to the East Indies. 

31 March, 1611. GilUe Hendriexsz was sent as schoolmaster to the East Indies. 

[Undated.] A letter about certain disputed questions. 

8 Dec. IGll. Copy of instructions for Josia Bacx as zieckentrooster to the East 
Indies. The same for Abraham Van Loo (with power to baptize). 


8 Dec. 1611. Copy of instructions for Lubbert Claissz as schoolmaster to the East 

3 July, 1612. Copy of instructions for Meynart Assueri as kranken-besoecker to 
Guinea with authority to baptize. 

It is evident from this abstract that the instructions not only 
differentiated the general activities of minister, kranken-besoecker, 
and schoolmaster from each other, but even went into closer details, 
such as to say, for instance, whether the kranken-besoecker was also 
authorized to baptize. Under these circumstances we feel warranted 
in concluding that the presumption is against Krol's keeping school, 
unless he were specifically authorized so to do. That the reader 
may judge for himself whether KroFs instructions included school- 
keeping, we present herewith a translation of them as they appear in 
Dr. Eekhof's book: 

7 Dec. 1623. Copy of instructions for Pieter Bonnissen, who Avill journey to the 
East Indies as a kranken-besoecker. An instruction of the same content has been 
handed to Bastiaen Jansz. Krol. It reads, word for word, as follows: 

As it has been found needful and edifjing that on board the ships sailing 
to the West Indies there be appointed persons who may read from God's holy 
word and from books of the reformed ministry something good for the edifica- 
tioia [of the people], who may privately exhort the people to salvation, may 
instruct in their illness those who fall sick on shipboard, and may comfort 
them. So by the consistory of this city, who are charged thereto by the 
classis, with the consent and approbation of the noble lords, directors of the 
West India Company, is the bearer of these presents, named Pieter Bonnissen, 
appointed as kranken-besoecker to the end aforesaid. And that the same 
therefore may be recognized by everyone, and that he may know how he shall 
haA'e to behave himself in this service, these credentials are given him in the 
letter of instruction. The points according to which he shall have to regulate 
himself in this service are the follo^ving: 

First, he shall every morning and evening, also before and after dinner, 
make the customary prayers. 

Second, he shall, when needed and required, zealously instruct and comfort 
all sick. 

Third, he shall privately admonish with God's word all who desire such 
admonition or who may need it. 

«Fourth, he shall at the appointed times read from God's word or from the 
books of the reformed ministry some chapters or a sermon. 

All of which things the aforesaid Pieter Bonnisz. shall fulfil diligently and 
in the most edifying manner, and he shall discharge these duties in a Christian 
and God-fearing manner, so that he may edify the people both by word and 
manner without assuming to himself anything else that belongs to the preach- 
ing office under any pretext whatsoever. Thus done in the meeting of the 
consistory at Amsterdam; in witness thereof the seal is affixed and this sub- 
scribed by us the 7th December, 1623, in the name and by the authority 
of all: 

Rudolphus Petri, Praeses. 
Jacobus Triglandius, Scriba. 
D. van den Emden, Elder.' 

1 Eekhof, op. cit., pp. x, xi. 


And with the same instructions was Bastiaen Jansz. sent to the West Indies, 7 Decem- 
ber, 1623. As Bastiaen Jansen has fallen sick, so is Gerryt Pieterz sent in his place. 
With these same instructions did Bastiaen Jansz., after recovered health, journey to 
the West Indies, the 25th of January, 1624.' 

It is evident that school-keeping was not included in Krol's instruc- 
tions; and from what we have already seen, it is a fair conclusion 
that if he had been expected to keep school he would have been so 
instructed. To complete the discussion we may include two or three 
other references. In 1634 Krol was examined before a notary at 
Amsterdam. The first question and answer in this examination are 
pertinent here. 

In what capacity and for how long was he in the service of the West India Company 
in New Netherland? 

He states that he set out as comforter of the sick and made a voyage and stay of 
72 months in that country. He went out for the second time in the same capacity, 
and after he had been away about 15 months, he was appointed to the directorship at 
Fort Orange [Albany] on the North River, and held the same for three years. The 
third time he went out again to the best of his recollection, served again for about 
two years. After which he was elected director general of New Netherland at Fort 
Amsterdam on the Island of Manhates * * * and served in this office 13 months.^ 

Clearly then there could be no school-keeping by Krol on Manhattan 
unless during the "stay of 7h months" in 1624,'' and the 15 months in 
1625-6.* But we can hardly suppose that there was much need of a 
school on Manhattan at either time. The first serious attempt at 
colonization in New Netherland (1623) had brought about 30 families 
from Holland and scattered them over a wide area; 18 families were 
sent to Fort Orange (Albany), some settled Wallabout, others were 
stationed at the South River, "two families and six men" went to the 
Connecticut River, and eight men were left at Manhattan.^ Evi- 
dently there was no school during the "stay of 7 J months" (1624). 
In 1625 "six entire families" and other settlers were sent, but it was 
not until after Krol had been sent to Fort Orange that Fort Amster- 
dam was built and the 18 families were brought down from Fort 
Orange to Manhattan. So that it seems impossible that Krol could 
have done any teaching during his second stay on Manhattan. 
Taking into joint consideration the presumption that Krol would not 
teach since he was not so authorized, and the fact that there could 
not have been any demand for teaching on Manhattan during his 
service as kranken-besoecker, we seem authorized to dismiss as too 
baseless for serious consideration any thought of Krol's serving as 

1 Eeldiof, op. cit., p. xii. 

2 Van Rensselaef-Bowier MSS., p. 302; cf. Eekhof, op.cit., p. xxvi. 

3 Eekhof, op. cit., p. xxiii. 
* Ibid.,p.3oe. 

6 Brodhead, op. cit., i, 150 fE, 


As for Jan Huygen, we read as follows in the same consistory 
minutes : 

2 April, 1626. Jan Huygen having been an elder in Cleve, and by the same [certain 
before-mentioned men] examined and judged capable, shall also be recommended 
and proposed to sail to the West Indies as a siecken-trooster.' 

No detailed instructions are given, but we are authorized to suppose 
that the customary instructions held in this case, and these, as we have 
seen, contained no reference to school-keeping. Beyond this, little is 
known of Huygen. He and Krol are mentioned together in 1626 as 
"comforters of the sick, who, whilst waiting a clergyman, read to the 
commonalty there on Sundays from texts of the Scripture, with 
notes and comment." - 

D? Michaelius, in his well-known letter (11 Aug., 1628), refers to 
"the storekeeper of the company, Jan Huygen," in such connection 
as to make it practically certain that the kranken-besoecker had by 
that time become "the storekeeper of the company." It would seem 
improbable, therefore, both from the contrary presumption, as with 
Krol, and from this direct evidence of another occupation, that 
Huygen taught school during his service as siecken-trooster on 

But may it not be that Adam Roelantsen really began to teach on 
Manhattan in 1633 and only went for certification to Holland in 1637, 
because of the new regulations promulgated the preceding year? 
To this plausible-sounding question a sufficient answer would seem 
to be that, presumptively, no man teaches first and is certificated 
afterwards, and that accordingly those who wish to claim that 
Roelantsen taught before he was certificated should present some 
positive evidence to that effect. Moreover, the mere presence in 
New Netherland of Roelantsen in 1633 is far from being a positive 
indication that he had charge of the school. A more convincing 
answer, however, to the question is found in the records of the con- 
sistory of Amsterdam. We have seen enough from the ' ' Copie-Boek ' ' 
of this consistory to show that there existed in Amsterdam prior to 
1636 a competently authorized body to examine and send forth minis- 
ters, kranken-besoeckers, and schoolmasters. We have seen further 
that this body did send to New Netherland two kranken-besoeckers 
and one minister,^ and, still further, that it kept a list of the men 
authorized by it to fill these various positions. If, then, Roelantsen 
or any one else taught school in New Netherland in an official capacity 
during the period under consideration, we ought to find a record of it 
either in the minutes of the consistory or in those of the classis. In 
the case of the consistory. Dr. Eekhof 's book furnishes us a list cover- 

1 Eekhof, op. cit., p. xxiii. 

2 Jameson, Narratives of New Netherland, p. S3. Cf. Eekhof, p. 34. 
» D; Michaelius; see Eccl. Rec, pp. 54, 66; Eekhof, op. cit., p. xxiv. 


ing the period from 1589 to 1635, while the Ecclesiastical Records 
give the American data of the classis from 1632. But no reference is 
made in either to any schoohnaster for New Netherland prior to the 
certification of Roelantsen in 1637. We seem thus authorized to say 
with some considerable degree of certainty that there was no official 
schoolmaster in New Netherland prior to the date already assigned in 
the fii-st part of this chapter for the beginning of Adam Roelantsen's 
term of service. 

But, after all, is not the existence of a school in New Netherland 
prior to 1638 so inherently probable as to force us to believe that 
existence, even though no specific data can be adduced to show its 
actual presence? Wliile this question is in a way more vague than 
either of the preceding two, there is much to commend it. In favor 
of the suggestion can be urged the general interest of the Dutch in 
education, shown, for example, by the schoolmasters we saw above 
sent to the East Indies in 1611. Moreover, the clause in the charter 
of freedoms and exemptions of 1629, while having no legal force on 
Manhattan, still seems to indicate that the West India Company was 
interested in schools ; and it would seem a peculiar inconsistency for 
the company to demand of subordinate colony makei-s more than it 
was v/illing to do itself. Furthermore, there were quite possibly at 
least 50 children about Fort Amsterdam for some years prior to 1638. 
Finally, a certain contemporaneous document seems to demand the 
actual presence of a school. A marriage contract drawn up "in New 
Netherland on the Island of JSIanliates [sic] and at Fort Amsterdam, 
the last of April amio 1632," referring to "resel [Rachel] Vienje and 
Jan Yienje, both minor children" of the bride by a former marriage, 
states that the contracting parties agree "to clothe and rear the 
above-named children as children ought to be, to keep them at school, 
to teach them a trade as good parents ought to do."^ Now, would 
these people promise to keep their children at school if there were no 
schools available ? On the other hand, we have to face an absolute 
absence of evidence as to any particular school or schoolmaster, and 
further, as we have seen, there are good grounds for concluding that 
no ofiicial schoolmaster was licensed prior to 1637. We might sur- 
mise that there was a private school, but this would be mere surmise; 
there is no evidence for it. 

In view of all the facts now known concerning the question of the 
date of the first school in Netherland we seem forced to make the 
following conclusions: 

1 . The earliest known schoolmaster in New Netherland was Adam 

1 N. Y. Col. MSS., i, 6. The provisions of this marriage contract may, however, have been set down 
rather as a matter of form, in imitation of the Holland custom. 

28311°— 12 1 


2. He was licensed to teach August 4, 1637, and began his school 
in Manhattan probably not earlier than April 1, 1638. 

3. It is improbable that there was any official schoolmaster licensed 
for New Netherland prior to August 4, 1637, and it is accordingly 
improbable that there was any official school prior to the one opened 
in 1638. 

4. It is improbable that citlier Basteaen Jansz. Krol or Jan Huygen 
ever taught in Manhattan. 

5. It is impossible either to affirm or den}' tliat there was a private 
school on Manhattan prior to 1638. 

6. The year 1633 has no known or even probable significance in 
the school historv of New Netherland. 



Ill spite of the excellent study made by Mr. Dunshee of the public 
elementary school of New Amsterdam, many points in the history 
of the school yet remam unsettled. The terms of service of the 
successive masters, for example, are almost as difficult to fix as was 
the date of the first school. In fact, when we consider on the one 
hand the material that has come to hght since Mr. Dunshee wrote, 
and on the other the recklessness of statement found in some of his 
successors, it is not too much to say that most of the conclusions 
hitherto reached regarding the history of this school during the Dutch 
period demand close scrutiny. In particular the reputation of all 
the schoolmasters of New Amsterdam has suffered through an 
unwarranted emphasis upon the shortcomings of one. The recent 
publication of the new material in the Ecclesiastical Records gives 
opportunity for a reconsideration of the whole subject. 

Of Adam Roelantsen's ser\dce in the schoolroom next to nothing 
is known. What salaiy he received, and from what source it came, 
can only be surmised from facts to be brought out in connection with 
his successors. In fact, practically nothing can be said directly of his 
school keeping. As to his private life more is known. He was 
married at least t^^'ice. His first wife was, at the time of her marriage 
with Roelantsen, a Avidow vnth a daughter. The first reference to 
Roelantsen recorded in this country (June 10, 1638) is of a suit 
brought b}^ his stepdaughter's husband, Cors Pietersen, for the 
balance of her patrimony. The court "decided that fl. 12. 10 stivers 
are still due to Cors Pietereen and no more."^ This lawsuit is the 
first of many in which Adam figured, not usually to his credit. The 
following August (19th and 26th) he was engaged in one of the most 
tangled slander suits that could be imagined. He had, it seemed, 
stated in some quarrel that "he did not care about the country and 
the council." This being publicly reported, he brought suit for 
slander against the reporter, but unsuccessfully. Then he brought 
suit against tliree others, apparently for testifying against him. Two 

' For convenience sake we shall call the company's settlement on Manhattan by its final name of New 
Amsterdam, although not until 1652 was it oflBcially so denoted. 
■ 2N. Y. Col. MSS., Iv., 11. 



of the defendants in turn brought suit against him. In one of the 
latter suits he admitted "in the presence of the court that he hath 
nothing to say against the pltff . and knows and esteems him to be an 
honest man." In another, the parties were ''condemned each to 
pay 25 stivers to the poor." One of the men slandering him was 
similarly fined. ^ In another slander suit a little later a certain 
woman, named in the records "fair Aleeta," and Adam were "ordered 
to cease slandering one another on pain of being fined." ^ In a worse 
case, "after defendant had acknowledged that he knew nothing 
against the plaintifl^'s wife, and nevertheless had slandered her, he was 
condemned to pay fl. 2. 10 to the poor." ^ 

Of all Roelantsen's suits probably that for washing has excited 
most comment: 

On Thursday being the 20th of September (1640), Adam Roelantsen, plaintiff against 
Gilles de Voocht, defendant, for a V)ill for washing. Plaintiff demands payment for 
washing defendant's linen. Defendant says the only objection he offers to the pay- 
ment for washing is that the year is not yet expired. 

Ordered plaintiff to fulfill the contract, and at the expiration of the time to demand 

So far as at present appears, the record here given tells all that is 
known of this matter. There is no evidence in this that the school- 
master had given up the public school to run a public laundry. 

In 1642 Roelantsen engaged — 

Ian Teunissen to Iniild a house thirty feet long, eighteen feet wide, with an eight- 
foot stoiy under the beams, the end cross beams resting on corbels, all hewn scjuare, 
the house enclosed all around with claplioards, and covered with a good reed roof 
such as shall bo proper, a tight ceiling of clapboards, three square windows, two 
outer doors, one portal, one pantry, one bedstead, a winding staircase to ascend to the 
garret; the part of the chimney that projects above (the house) to be of wood and the 
chimney to l>e provided with a mantel piece; a passage way three feet wide, with a 
partition . 

Which house aforesaid he, Ian Teunissen, promises to deliver built and properly 
covered in the aforesaid form on the first of August for the sum of three hundred and 
fifty carolus guilders, Hollands, payable by Adam Roelantsen one-half when the 
lumber belonging to the above-mentioned house shall be brought on the ground 
where the house is to stand; the other half when the house shall be properly com- 

Apparently the house was delivered on time, for we find Roelantsen 
selling on August 8 what may well have been his old house. This 
house, "only the building and not the grounds," together with " half 
the vegetables which are growing at present" in the garden brought 
him 90 guilders." A year later (on August 7, 1643), in accordance 
with the newly adopted rule of the company, he patented what was 
probably the lot that he had hitherto occupied. The description of 

1 N. Y. Col. MSS., iv, 17-18. 3 Ibid.,-^. 74. ^ /ft,,;.^ ii_ 7. 

2 Ibid., p. 30. ■» Ibid., p. 77. « jud., ii, 26. 


this lot as given in the patent* and in a deed of sale^ (December 2, 
1646) is such as to allow the fixing of the probable site of Roelantsen's 
home.^ Since the Dutch schoolmaster of those times usually taught 
in his dwelling, as we shall later discuss, this has been taken to be 
the site of the earliest known school in Manliattan; and a tablet to 
mark the site has been placed (1910) on the Produce Exchange on 
Stone Street by the Schoolmasters' Club of New York. 

How long Roelantsen taught in the New Amsterdam school is a 
question the difficulty of which far exceeds its importance. But as 
his leaving has been pubhcly fixed at 1639 * upon what seems to be 
insufficient data, an examination of the evidence becomes necessary. 
So far as appears, the only basis for the fixing of this 1639 date is a 
statement in O'Callaghan's History of New Netherland,^ that "Adam 
Roelantsen van Hamelwaerd, previously schoolmaster at New 
Amsterdam," settled at Rensselaerswyck (Albany) in 1639. The 
statement is made without substantiating footnotes other than a 
general prefatory remark that the list was "compiled from the books 
of monthly wages and other manuscripts." It contains a direct con- 
tradiction of the abundantly established fact that Adam Roelantsen 
was not van (from) Hamelwaerd, but from (van) Dockum.^ In no 
known instance is Roelantsen assigned to any other place than 
Dockum, which is widely separated from Hamelwaerd. It may be 
added that the known dates of the presence of Roelantsen in New 
Amsterdam made anj^ settling in Rensselaerswyck improbable, and 
render liis extended stay there impossible.'' The examination of the 
records to which O'Callaghan had access is of course the final means 
of deciding the accuracy of the statement in question. Fortunately 
this examination has been made, and by the mast^rl}" hand of Mr. 
van Laer, who prepared a list of settlers, similar to O'Callaghan's, for 
the Van Rensselaer-Bowier Manuscripts. In a letter^ to the writer 
he says: "I examined page by page all the account books, court 
records, and other papers for that period that have been preserv^ed 
among the Rensselaerswyck Manuscripts, but found no Adam 
Roelantsen van Hamelwaerd mentioned * * * j ^j-^ confident 
that he (O'Callaghan) made a mistake." 

Thus setting aside the 1639 date as unfounded, we ask for a more 
probable date of the termination of Roelantsen's teaching career. 

> N. Y. Col. MSS., G G, p. 86. 

2 Ibid., ii, 153. 

3 See Innes, J. H., New Amsterdam and Its People, p. 63. 

< This date appears on a bronze tablet erected In 18S3 in the school of the Reformed Dutch Church. See 
Dunshee, op. cit., p. 279. 

^Loc. cit.,i, 438. 

« For instances see N. Y. Col. MSS., i, 30. 254; ii, 7, 93; iii, 72; iv, 17. 

' The knowTi dates covering this period are Oct. 13, 1638 (N. Y. Col. MSS., i, 50); Jan. 13, 1639 (ibid., iv, 30); 
Aug. 9, 1640 (ioJd..iv, 74); Sept. 20, 1G40 (ibid., iv, 77). 

BOfdateMar. 3, 1909. 


The apparent successor to Roelantsen was Jan Stevensen. In a 
letter of September 2, 1648, D? Backeriis wrote to the chissis: "Mas- 
ter Jan Stevensen, who has served the company here as a faithful 
schoolmaster and reader for six or seven consecutive years * * * 
is now leaving for home."^ Accepting tliis at its face value, for 
Stevensen's career is abundantly substantiated, we fix by simple 
subtraction the beginning of Stevensen's connection with the New 
Amsterdam school at 1641 or 1642. The spring of 1642 would give 
six and a half years for Stevensen's term, which fits sufficiently well 
with the Domine's " six or seven" years. Shall we take it for granted 
that Roelantsen served until his successor took up his work? Our 
knowledge of the period is so slight that any conclusion at all seems 
hazardous, though certain considerations help us. The four years' 
term of service that the spring of 1642 would give to Roelantsen car- 
ries with it some independent probability derived from similar service 
elsewhere. Annual appointments, on account of the long time of the 
passage to and from New Netherland, were naturally not satisfac- 
tory. The Van Rensselaers generally contracted for three years, 
sometimes four, and sometimes for six years." The South River 
term was fixed for four years,^ and what little we know about the 
customs of the West India Company in this regard points also to four- 
year contracts. Thus a schoolmaster in 1646 was appointed by the 
company to Curasao for four years;** schoolmaster Vestensz at New 
Amsterdam was probably appointed for the same term ; ^ D? Backerus, 
appointed in 1642, and D? Selyns, in 1660, each had a contract term 
of four years." We may add that no contradiction to the four-year 
term is seen in Stevensen's "six or seven consecutive years," since 
the formal request that D? Backerus and others made for dismission 
after the contract time had been fulfilled shows that ser\nce was not 
to stop, ipso facto, at the expiration of the term agreed upon.'' 

Accepting then, tentatively, four years as the probable term of 
service in the company's contracts, we get, by counting forward the 
full term from the beginning of Roelantsen's work as previously deter- 
mined, the spring of 1642 as the close of his teaching career. Counting 
backward six and a half years ("six or seven") from the close of 
Stevensen's service (September, 1648), we get as the beginning of his 
career the spring of 1642. That these two dates, fixed by independent 
lines of reasoning, should coincide, carries with it some force of prob- 

i Eccl. Rec, p. 237. 

8 Van Rensselacr-Bowler MSS., pp. 17C, 179, 1S6, 195, 250, 256, 258, 675, 677, 678, 679; Eccl. Rec, p. 309. 

' O'Callaghan, Laws of New Netherland, p. 272. 

* John Walraven; he was also and primarily siecken-trooster, voorlezer and voorsanger. See Eccl. 
Rec, pp. 202, 212, 281. 

6 Eccl. Rec, pp. 271, 325, 331, 333; N. Y. Col. Doc, xiv, 122-123. 

• Eccl. Rec, pp. 235, 540. 

' Ibid., pp. 223, 226, 235, 239, 333, 335, 336, 337, 540. 


ability. It may be added that nothing in the record prevents the 
acceptance of this date. Roelantsen was apparently in the Province 
until some years afterwards.^ 

Furthermore, the records are sufficiently full to give some weight 
to an argumentum e silentio that the school once begun was not 
allowed to lapse. Tliis consideration is strengthened by recorded 
solicitude on account of the absence of schools in the West India 
Company's colony of Brazil, both before and after the period in 
question, but with no such solicitude for New Netherland.^ 

Having now before us, first, the unsatisf actoriness of O'Callaghan's 
1639 date as the close of Roelantsen's connection with the New 
Amsterdam school; second, the proof that Stevensen began his career 
about the spring of 1642; tliird, the presumption that the school was 
kept up continuously; fourth, the apparently continuous presence of 
Roelantsen in New Amsterdam; and fifth, a reasonable probabihty 
that the West India Company's contract term was four years, we 
conclude after this somewhat lengthy discussion that the probabiUties 
point, perhaps not strongly but still unmistakably, to the spring of 
1642 as the close of Roelantsen's service and the beginning of Ste- 
vensen' s. 

As Adam Roelantsen is the first and best known of these school- 
masters, it may be interesting to trace liis career after he gave up 
the school. O'Callaghan states in the Register of New Netherland 
(p. 31) that Roelantsen was weighmaster in New Amsterdam in 1643. 
But Mr. Van Laer thinks there is no e\adence to support the state- 
ment.^ In 1646, while Roelantsen was away in Holland, his wife 
died, leaving several children. The director and council accordingly 
appointed "the four nearest neighbors" (among them "Jan Steven- 
sen, schoolmaster") ' 'curators over the children and property" ' 'until 
the arrival of the father or some news of liim." * When Roelantsen 
came, he was straightway arrested on charges of violating the cus- 
toms law and for his old failing of slander,^ this time uttered in 
Amsterdam. From both charges he seems to have been cleared, 
only, however, to be sued immediately for the passage over for 
himself and his son. But in tliis the plaintiff was at fault, for the 
evidence showed "that Skipper Haye had agreed at Amsterdam with 
Adam Roelantsen that he should be allowed his board and the 
freight of liis chest on condition that he would perform a seaman's 
work on shipboard." \Miile the chief boatswain himself declared 
" that the skipper said on board the ship that he did not require any 

> Dates additional to those already given are June 20, 1041 (N. Y. Col. MSS.,iv, 97); July 31, 1641 (i&id.^, 
254); Aug. 8, 1641 (ifeid., iv, 9S); Feb. 7, 1642 (J6id., ii, 7); Aug. 8, 1642 (i6jd.,ii, 26), etc. 
2 1638, N. Y. Col. Doc, i, 106; 1643, Eecl. Rec, p. 170-1; 1646, ibid., p. 195 
s Private letter to the author, Mar. 3, 1909. 
* N. Y. Col. MSS., 11, 248. 
5/6id.,iv, 264. 


board money from Adam's son, because he said the prayers." * The 
pronoun is a bit puzzhng, but probably it was the son who "said the 

In December, 1646, Roehmtsen was arrested for an attempt 
' 'forcibly to violate Ilarck Sybaltsen's wife in her own house." After 
hearing the evidence the court decided that such conduct could not 
"be tolerated or suffered in a country where justice is wont to be 
maintained," and condemned "the above-named Adam Roelantsen 
to be taken to the place where justice is usually executed and there 
to be scourged with rods and then to be banished from the country 
as an example to others." However, "in consideration that the 
culprit is burdened with four motherless children and the cold winter 
is at hand, the honorable director and council have post])oned the 
execution to a more convenient occasion, when the criminal must 
depart." ^ 

For some reason the sentence was never executed. Perhaj^s the 
confusion at the end of Kieft's administration, the quarrel of Kieft 
with D^ Bogardus, and the change in the administration to Stuyve- 
sant (May 11, 1647) so occupied public attention that Iloelantsen 
was forgotten. Or possibly — to use a new name for an old thing — 
Roelantsen had a "pull" of some sort with the new director general, 
for within a very few weeks after Stuyvesant's arrival we find the 
director and council (June 14) solemnly appomting tliis justly con- 
demned malefactor to assist as provost in the administration of 

Two months later the new provost's superior officer stationed him 
at the door of the tavern to keep watch. But the crowd inside ])rov- 
ing too inviting, Roelantsen joined them. His superior called out: 
" 'What are you doing here? Wliy do you not watch at the door?' 
Tlu'reupon Adam answered, there was nothing to watch. Upon 
wliich his superior said, 'You are my servant, you must wait at the 
door;' and at the same time struck said Roelantsen twice with the 
back of his hand, and cried, 'Throw the blackguard out of doors.' 
Thereupon the above-named Adam Roelantsen was thrown out of 

It is 1653 before anything else exciting is told of Roelantsen. In 
that year it was charged that Stoffel Elsers ' 'had called Adam Roe- 
lantsen, the woodcutter^ from his work in the church, outside of the 
fort and then attacked and beaten him on the public street." ° 
Apparently, however, the court took the view that the report had 
been exaggerated and released Elsers on his own recognizance. A 
month later Roelantsen was sued on a bill for some pork. "Defend- 

'N. Y.Col. MSS., iv, 275. 3 Ibid., p. 295. 6 Rgc. of N. A., i, 54. 

2 Ibid., i V, 277. * Ibid., ii, 164. 


ant admits having received the bacon and says he has sold it to 
Luycas Eldersen, who refuses to pay for it, as bad." ^ The court 
decided against Roelantsen; thereupon he in turn sued Eldersen and 
recovered damages. 

Thus, as woodcutter and dealer in old meat, ends the career of the 
first schoolmaster in New Netherland, the worst and, shall we say, 
therefore the most discussed of all the Dutch masters; the one who 
has most unjustly been taken as typical of all. It is, moreover, but 
fair to the Dutch schoolmasters to recall that only the shortcoming 
of slander is to be charged against Roelantsen during his service as 
schoolmaster. He had been four years out of the schoolroom when 
his worst crime was committed. 

The beginning of Jan Stevensen's connection with the New Amster- 
dam school we have already fixed with some probability as in the 
sprmg of 1G42. A few scattered references to his life in New Nether- 
land are found m the records. On July 2, 1643, "Jan Stevensen, 
schoolmaster," patented a lot of land "north of Fort Amsterdam." ^ 
Later m the same year "Mr. Jan Stevensen" had liLs son Jan bap- 
tized.^ One rather interesting reference shows the source of Steven- 
sen's salary. In 1647 "Jan Stevensen, from Haerlem, schoolmaster 
here," gave power of attorney to Luycas Smith to collect for him 
"from the Honorable Directors of the Incorporated West Indian 
Company m Amsterdam the sum of seven hundred and fortj^-seven 
guilders, two stivers, twelve pennies due him Jan Stevensen, by 
balance and settlement of his account accordmg to the Book of 
Montlily Wages No. F. folio 34, earned from their honors in New 
Netherland." * A more definite statement that Stevensen received a 
salary from the company is contamed in a letter from D? Backerus to 
the classis (Sept. 2, 1648): "Master Jan Stevensen now leavmg for 
home has been mformed by the Directors and Council that he must 
pay his own fare. If this is so understood m Holland, then the poor 
man. wiU retain but little of his salary; for the fare for his passage 
would swallow up most of it. Considering this fact, will not your 
Reverences please to assist him with the Directors that he may be 
exempted from this hardship." ^ Wliile the foregomg tells us only 
of the fact of a salary from the company, we have other information 
bearmg on the amount probably received. On December 15, 1644, 
there was presented by a commission of the XIX a "Report and 
Advice on the Condition of New Netherland — how the decay there 
can be prevented, etc." This included among much else an "estimate 
of the expense which the company would have to bear m New Nether- 
land for the following persons to be rationed at their own expense." 

1 Rec. of N. A., i, G2. ' N. Y. Gen. and Bio. Soc. Coll., ii, 16. ^ EccI. Rec., p. 237. 

2 N. Y. Col. MSS., G G, 70. * N. Y. Col. MSS., ii, 159. 


This list comprises 69 persons at a total expense of 20,040 florins. 
Among other officers are : 

1 Director, at fl. 250 per month fl. 3,000 

1 Clergyman, at fl. 120 per month 1, 440 

1 Schoolmaster, precentor, and sexton, at fl. 30 360 

40 soldiers, at fl. 13 each 6, 240 

' ' These [69] officers and servants would be sufficient for the busi- 
ness; and carpenters, masons, smiths, and such like ought all to be 
discharged." ^ Arranging these salaries in order of size, the school- 
master, with his 360 florins, stands ninth from the greatest; while the 
thirty-fifth man (the median) was to get 156 florms. The average of 
the whole was 290 florins. This showing for the schoolmaster, even 
ignoring tuition fees, is probably as good as one could reasonably 

Apparently this "estimate of expenses" was prepared with the 
intent of saving as much as possible to the company. We do not 
know that the estimate was accepted. Quite possibly it was not. In 
that case Stevensen's salary would be possibly greater than 360 
florms; and some other considerations support this suggestion. In 
1646, when the classis was arranging for the company to support a 
schoolmaster at Curapao, the directors replied relative to Walraven, 
the candidate proposed, that "if he wished to journey thither as 
siecken-trooster and voorlezer and voorsanger in the church, that 
they would accept him as such. They would then consent also to 
mamtain a school, and would give for this 36 florms per month." ^ 
Of the four offices here named Stevensen filled three and probably 
all four, besides acting as sexton. Apparently then his salary would 
be equally great. A later New Amsterdam schoolmaster, Harmanus 
van Hobocken, was in 1655 given 35 guilders per month and 100 
guilders per year board money, or 520 florins aU told.^ We thus 
feel safe in supposing that Stevensen's salary was somewhere be- 
tween these extremes — that is, more than fl. 360 and less than fl. 520 
a year; and rather probably was the same as Walraven's, i. e., fl. 432 a 

In addition to the salary aUowed by the company, tuition money 
was almost certainly paid by the pupils. This we infer from the 
Holland custom, and from the existence of a scale of tuition charges 
in the case of one of Stevensen's successors. Evert Pietersen ; * while, 
in addition, a reference in the case of Schoolmaster Hobocken can 
hardly be otherwise interpreted.^ Further indication is seen in the 

1 N. Y. Col Doc, i, 149-156. 

2 Eccl. Rec, p. 201-2. 

3 Ibid., p. 336-7. See also Vestensz's salary, p. 64, and note 4. 
■• Minutes of the Orphan Masters, ii, 115. 

6 Records of N. A., ii, 39. 


fact that the above-named siecken-trooster at Cura(;ao, beuio; pre- 
vented from keeping school, regretted the loss of his school fees, 
although, as we saw, his salary was definite.* With tuition fees and a 
definite salary, Stevensen's income would be better both absolutely 
and relatively than was stated in the comparison given above. 

The close of Stevensen' connection with the school is fixed rather 
definitely. On August 31, 1648, power of attorney was given to 
"Jan Stevensen, schoolmaster."^ Three days later D? Backerus 
wrote a letter (already several times quoted) to the classis in which 
he refers to "the bearer hereof Master Jan Stevensen." Elsewhere 
in the letter he says Stevensen is ' 'now leaving for home " and " it wiJl 
be necessary * * * to send over * * * ^^ good school- 
master." ^ These statements, taken in connection with the assertion 
of his "six or seven years" continuous service and corroborated by 
the known references to "Jan Stevensen, schoolmaster," make it 
certain that Stevensen began to teach about 1642 and taught con- 
tinuously until about September 2, 1648. 

A remark made in 1647 by Stuyvesant about the school has so 
often been forced to convey an erroneous impression that it seems 
proper to give not only the remark but also the situation in which it 
was uttered. Just five months after wStuyvesant arrived/ he pre- 
sented, in an effort to reform various abuses, certain "propositions 
to the members in council assembled," among which was the remark 
in point: 

Fifthly. WTiereas, for want of a proper place, no school has been kept for 
three months, by which the youth here run wild, it is asked where school 
can be kept, in order that the youth may be kept from the street and be accus- 
tomed to discipline.* 

This has been interpreted by one to mean that "public education 
was entirely suspended;" and by another that schools were not 
"ver}^ much in evidence." Although the school in New Amsterdam 
did ordinarily run 12 months in the year, a cessation of 3 months 
hardly warrants the judgments passed above. But so prone are 
some writers of history to exaggeration by spectacular emphasis 
that we may expect again and again to see Stuyvesant's solicitude for 
proper schools taken as proof of Dutch indifference to education. 

The question of the schoolhouse here introduced may properly be 
considered a little further. In answer to Stuyvesant it was ' ' decreed 
by the council, as the point particularly interests commonalty, to 
propose it to the nine Tribunes, so that the best means may be 
employed at the smallest expense to the inhabitants." Accordingly, 
Stuyvesant a few days later addressed a communication "to the 

I Eccl. Rec., p. 202, 280. 8 Eccl. Rec, p. 236. s N. Y. Col. MSS., iv, 349. 

» N. Y. Col. USS., iii, 7. * Brodhead, op. cit., 1, 433. 


nine elected Tribunes," suggesting that they take steps regarding 
the fort, the church, and — 

Third, not less important than the preceding matter is the erection of a new school 
and a schoolmaster's dwelling, for the convenience of the community and the proper 
education of children. We are willing to contribute privately and for the company 
a reasonable sum thereto and to help support this laudable work constantly; mean- 
while, we shall in the near future give orders to provide a suitable place during the 
winter, either in the kitchen (combuys) of the Fiscale (prosecuting officer), which 
seems the most suitable place to me, or else some other place inspected by the church 

Wliether the church wardens arranged a better place than the 
Fiscale's kitchen, we do not know; but since the nine men did 
nothing, we may easily suppose that Stevensen did use a kitchen 
as his schooh'oom for a short period toward the close of his career. 

We note here a reference to the apparently universal Dutch custom 
of having one house for a school and the schoolmaster's dwelling. If 
we had no other knowledge than this document, we might not cer- 
tainly conclude from the words here given that one house was 
intended; but other evidence on the point is ample. The word 
"new" used here in connection with this school might naturally be 
interpreted to imply that there had previously existed a building 
owned and set apart by the company as a school building. Wliile 
the point is not vv^ithout its difficulty, such an interpretation would 
probably not be justified. 

Between the leaving of Stevensen, September 2, 164S, and the 
arrival of Willem Vestensz in the spring of 1650^ there intervened a 
period of a year and a half which has been a good deal discussed in 
connection with the Dutch schools. The Great Remonstrance, 
signed July 28, 1G49, treating of how New Netherland should be 
"relieved," said, among other things: 

There should be a public school, provided with at least two good masters, so that 
first of all in so wild a country, where there are so many loose people, the youth may be 
well taught and brought up, not only in reading and writing, but also in the knowledge 
and fear of the Lord . As it is now, the school is kept very irregularly, one and another 
keeping it according to his pleasure and as long as he thinks proper. ■'' 

This remonstrance was especially directed against Stuyvesant's 
administration, and in it was brought forward everything derogatory 
of Stuyvesant and indicative of decay in New Netherland that the 
wit of the remonstrants could devise. We, therefore, scrutinize 
most closely its accusations, but we accept as understatements any 
admissions favorable to Stuyvesant that may be found therein. 
When, keeping this in mind, we consider that the complete sus- 
pension of the public school for any appreciable length of time 

' N. Y. Col. MSS., iv, 351 (Mr. Van Lear's translation). 3 Narratives of New Netherland, p. 353. 

2N. Y. Col. Doc.,xiv, 123. 


would have been a stronger indictment than the mere assertion of 
frequent change of teachers, we feel authorized to conclude that the 
school was not allowed to go long without some sort of teacher. 
That, however, the arrangement was not satisfactory to Stuyvesant 
any more than to the remonstrants is evident from his writing to 
the classis in August of 1649 that "we need a pious and diligent 
schoolmaster and precentor. A year has now passed since we were 
deprived of such help." ^ 

If this statement of Stuyvesant's had come from the remonstrants, 
and the words quoted above from the remonstrants had come from 
Stuyvesant, satisfactoiy harmonizing might have been impossible. 
But as the two statements stand, with the known motives of the 
writers, we must conclude that Stuyvesant did not mean to deny 
what the remonstrants clearly admit, namely, that some sort of 
school had been kept up practically the whole time, though with 
frequent change from one unsatisfactory teacher to another. The 
words "such help" give the key to Stuyvesant's meaning. There 
had been teachers, but they had not been "pious and diligent." 

As said above, the Remonstrance was directed against Stuyvesant. 
Accordingly, in anticipation of its promulgation. Secretary Van 
Tienhoven was sent to Holland to defend the administration. In 
an extended reply occur these words, following a reference to the 
schoolhouse not as yet built: 

Meanwhile, there is the place designated for a school, where school is kept by Jan 
Cornelissen . The other schoolmasters keep school in hired houses ; so that the youth, 
considering the circumstances of the country, are not in want of schools.^ 

That C^ornelissen, here referred to, was simply another of the tem- 
porary teachers we may accept without question. This reference to 
him is absolutely all that is known about him. There were then 
several Jan Cornelissens, just as there are now many John Smiiiis; 
but identification, in the one case as in the other, is difficult. One 
Jan Cornelissen was a bad man, and some have said that this was 
the schoolmaster. But, so far as appears, such imputations are 
purely gratuitous. Of other temporary teachers, we know nothing, 
unless Pieter van der Linde was one. As to this possibility, two 
pieces of evidence may be brought forward. In the Acts of the 
Deputies of about 1639, we learn that Pieter van der Linde asked to 
go as siecken-trooster to the West Indies. Having been heard, he 
was advised to exercise liimself still further in reading and singing.^ 
Apparently he was discouraged by this answer and came to New 
Netherland in a different capacity. That he was well esteemed is 

1 Eccl. Rec.,p. 203. 

' Narrative of New Netherland, 302. The translation here given is Mr. Van Laer's amending of Prof- 
'Eccl. Rec.p. 122. 


evident from the second reference, a council minute, which explains 

1648, October 2G. At the meeting it was considered very necessary that another 
suitable person should be appointed [precentor] in place of Jan Stevensen. It was 
learned that, for the present, no more suitable person could be found on the Island of 
Manhattan to perform the duties of Reader, etc., than Pieter van der Linde. They 
have, therefore, appointed the said Pieter van der Linde at an annual salary of one 
hundred and fifty guildere, until another qualified person should be sent out from 
Holland. 1 

The question whether the voorlezer and voorsanger was always also 
tlie schoolmaster must be answered in the negative.^ But so usually 
were the}^ all one and the same person that on this point alone we 
might bo led to put Van der Linde the list of schoolmasters. 
The dilTercnce, however, between the pay offered him and the usual 
schoolmaster's salary is so great as to leave the matter in grave doubt. 

The schoolhouse of this period has been much discussed on account 
of a passage in the Remonstrance and Tienh oven's reply thereto. 

Says the Great Remonstrance : 

The bowl has been going aroiuid a long time for the purpose of erecting a common 
school and it has been built with words, but as yet the first stone is not laid. Some 
materials only are pro\aded. The money, nevertheless, given for the purpose has 
already found its way out and is mostly spent, or may even fall short, and for this 
purpose also no fund invested in real estate has ever been built up.^ 

To this Tienhoven replies : 

Although the new school towards which the commonalty had contributed something, 
is not yet built, the Director has no management of the money, but the Church War- 
dens have, and the Director is busy in providing material.* 

It appears from this that building the schoolhouse was not the com- 
pan3'^'s function, but the commonalty's. This agrees with the action 
of the council already seen, in referring the building of the school to 
the tribunes of the peo])le. Also, as there, we see that it is the church 
wardens who must look after such matters. They had charge of the 
temporahties of the church, including the schoolhouse (see pp. 76,194). 

In conclusion of this 1648-1650 period, it can only be said that 
there were several who served temporarily as schoolmaster, and 
among them was a Jan Cornelissen. Pieter \ an der Linde was possi- 
bly another. There was as yet no schoolhouse built. It seems, 
however, quite probable that the school was kept going continuously. 

Willem Vestensz, of Haerlem, was secured after prolonged effort^ 
to take charge of the New Amsterdam School. He left Holland about 
April 20, 1650,^ so that he may be supposed to have begun teaching 
in the early summer of that year. He was reported as being "an 

1 Eccl. Rec, p. 242. ■• Ibid., p. 362. 

» For discussion of the point, see p. 120. ^ For the details of the search see p. 73 fl. 

« Narratives of N. Netherland, p. 327. 6 n. Y. Col. Doc., xiv, 122-3. 


excellent God-fearing man;"^ while the Lords Directors expressed 
the hope ''that he may confirm the good character which he has borne 
here, and continue for along time in the edification of the youths."* 
He was comforter of the sick, voorsanger, and sexton, as well as school- 
master.^ That he was voorlezer also may be taken as certain, 
although this office happens not to be mentioned specifically. 

On the question of his salary as sexton there was some misunder- 
standing. Apparently Stuyvesant understood that a single salary- 
was given for all of his various offices put together. Vestensz evi- 
dently felt otherwise, for he petitioned both in New Amsterdam and 
in Holland, both during and after his time of service, both in person 
and through the classis and the minister that he might receive ''com- 
pensation for his office as sexton." * We have no evidence, however, 
that he gained his point. He also complained of slow payments,^ 
and besides asked for "an increase of salary on account of his burden- 
some family." ^ The classis feeling pity for him wrote the minister 
at New Amsterdam to intercede. The reply of D? Megapolensis 
(1655, ^March 18) indicates that Vestensz had not met the early expec- 
tations : 

As to William Vestiens, who has been schoolmaster and sexton here, I could neither 
do much nor say much in his favor to the Council, because for some years past they 
were not satisfied or pleased with services. Thereupon when he asked for an increase 
of salary last year he received the answer that if the service did not suit him he might 
ask for his discharge. Only lately I have been before the Council on his account, and 
spoken about it, in consequence of your letter, but they told me that he had fulfilled 
his duties only so-so (taliter-qualiter) and that he did little enough for his salary.^ 

In discussing Roelantsen's term of service, the opinion was ex- 
pressed that probably Vestensz had had a four-3^ear contract and that 
explicit permission was necessary to give up an office even after the 
contract had expired. We have direct evidence on both points. 
That permission to resign was necessary is clear, since on January 26, 
1655, Vestensz asked of the council that "he might be favored ^\ith 
his dismission, as he had completed Ids ser\dce." ^ His request, how- 
ever, was not granted till March 23, when we find it stated he had 
"earnestly and repeatedly sought permission to return to the Father- 
land. " ^ As to the four-year's term of service, the evidence unfortu- 
nately is neither abundant nor specific. That there was some specifi- 
cally stipulated term of service is evident from the statement that "he 
had completed his service." Every such specific term of service any- 
where in New Netherland, so far as noted, was for an integral and not 
for a fractional, number of years. Was, then, Vestensz's term for 

1 Eccl. Rec, p. 265. « Ibid., p. 334. 

« N. Y. Col. Doc., xiv, 123. ' Ibid., p. 335. 

3 Eccl. Rec, pp. 265, 306, 333. « Council Minutes. See Dunshee, op. cU., p. 22. 

1 Ibid., pp. 306, 325, 331, 335, 338. 9 Ibid. , p. 23. 

6 Ibid., p. 325. 


three, for four, or for five years ? It could not have been for as many 
as five years, since his service which began after April, 1650, hvA been 
completed by January of 1655.^ As between three and four years, 
we can only say that there is not the slightest hint that points to 
three years, while several references fit well witji four years. At the 
end of four-years' service Vestensz wrote to the classis asking to be 
transferred,^ and requested of the director general and council an 
increase of salary,^ and wrote also to the classis for its helj) with 
regard to this request. Tlius with a definitely specified term of 
service, of almost certainly an integral number of years, with jjroof 
that this could not be as much as five years in length, with no liint in 
rather full records that it ended at three years, we feel warranted in 
accepting the pointings of the references quoted, and in fixing accord- 
ingly the contract term of Vestensz as probably one of four years. 

The salary received by Vestensz was 35 guilders per month for 12 
months, together with 100 guilders per year board money.'' It was 
during his term of service that New Amsterdam became^ a city and 
promised, when the excise was turned over to it, that it would sup- 
port "one of the ministers, one precentor, being at the same time a 
schoolmaster, one dogwliipper. " The burgomasters and schepens 
did not keep the promise so made, and there resulted a prolonged 
quarrel with Stuyvesant.'' During the controversy the classis received 
a letter from Vestensz "in which he complained of slow payment." ^ 

It only remains to conclude that while Vestensz was probably a 
"God-fearing man, " he was not very capable as a schoolmaster. We 
saw above that he "fulfilled his duties only so-so (taliter-qualiter) 
and that he did little enough for his salary. " That Vestensz in asking 
for his discharge did not wish to change his work, but his location, 
appears from the record that " Wilham Vestensz returning home from 
New Netherland * * * g^gj^j^ ^1^.^^ \^q may be sent in the same 
capacity to the East Indies."^ Six months later he obtained his 

The date of the severance of Vestensz' s connection with the New 
Amsterdam school and the entrance of his successor is shown in the 
following council minute: 

1655, March 23. Wliereas, William Vestiens, Chorister and Schoolmaster of thia 
city, has earnestly and repeatedly sought permission to return to the Fatherland, his 

1 No service that the writer has examined commenced before the voyage out had begun; most began after 
the arrival in New Netherland. See Eccl. Rec., pp. 144, 309; Van Rensselaer-Bowier MSS., pp. 176, 186, 
195, 250, 256, 258, 675, 678; O'Callaghan, Laws of New Netherland, p. 272. 

2 Eccl. Rec, pp. 325, 331. 

3 Ibid., pp. 334, 3.35. 

* These figures are obtained from certain loose sheets of Dutch MSS. found in the New York Public Library 
(Moore-Sales collection, no. 1791, item 1223, p. 206). The history of these sheets is not known. They appear 
to have been torn from a MS. book, and have every appearance of being genuine productions of the period 
under consideration. Mr. Van Laer thinks they possibly belonged to Director Bontemantel. 

5 For details of the conlruversy, see pp. 86 tl. 

6 Eccl. Rec, p. 32 J. 

7 Ibid., pp. 338, 351. 


request is hereV)y granted. Therefore the Honorable gentlemen of the High Council, 
with the consent of the Rev. Consistory of this city, have appointed Harmanus Van 
Ho';ocken as Chorister and Schoolmaster of this city at thirty-five guilders per month, 
anrl r)ne hundred guilders extra per year for expenses. He promises to conduct him- 
self diligently and faithfully according to the instructions given, or which may be 
given him hereafter. 

Xicasius De Sille. 
Done in Amsterdam, in New Netherland, March 23, 1655.' 

Of Van Hobocken thus elected as master, we know little prior to 
the date named. That he had been in New Netherland for at least a 
short period previously is evident from the record February 12 (1655) 
of the baptism of his child Emmetje in New Amsterdam Reformed 
Dutch Church.2 

It is to be noted that the director and council, on the civil side, and 
the consistory, on the ecclesiastical, are suflicicnt to place liim in his 
position without apparent reference to Amsterdam, and that both 
Hobocken and his predecessor are officially styled "voorsanger 
(chorister) and schoolmaster of this city." As we saw above, New 
Amsterdam had already been granted municipal powers. The 
school accordingly became officially the city school, and as such, 
should have been, according to Holland custom, under the control of 
the burgomasters and schepens, subject to certain advice from the 
consistory. But Stu^'vesant was loath to yield liis former preroga- 
tives to the city and accordingly his council and not the city officials 
effected the change of masters. The salary stated here so definitely 
was not paid at the first with regularity. On August 11 following, 
Hobocken sets forth that "he is burdened \sdth a wife and four small 
children, without possessing any means for their sustenance," and so 
asks " that his salary may be paid to him monthly, or at least quar- 
terly. He is told that "he may depend on the punctual payment of 
his salary. " The next February he made request for further financial 
assistance, but with what success we do not know. In November, 
1656, he asked the burgomasters and schepens for the "hall and the 
side room" of the Stad Hua's "for the use of the school and as a 
dwelling, inasmuch as he, the petitioner, does not know how to man- 
age for the proper accomodation of the children during ^\^Ilter, for 
they much require a place adapted for fire and to be warmed, for 
which their present tenement is wholly unfit." In reply he is told 
that "the hall and little room whereof the petitioner now requests 
for a school and a dwelling are not at present in repair, and are more- 
over needed for other purposes," but he is allowed to rent a certain 
house "for which one hundred guilders be paid him 3'early on a/c of 
the city. "3 

This is the first unassailable testimony in our records to the union 
of schoolhouse and dwelling. In connection we have the third dis- 

i Dunshee, op. cit., p. 23. » Records of N. A., ii, 219-220, 

» N. Y. Gen. and Bio. Soc. Coll., ii, 38. 


tiiict reference to the obligation of the people, and not the com])any, 
to furnish the schoolhouse. In this case the church masters are not 
mentioned. We are dealing now with a city school, to which burgo- 
masters and schepens must attend. 

Three years later Hobocken requests "an allowance from the city 
as he is behindhand with the buildmg of the school, and for divers 
other reasons set forth in the petition." Evidently by this time 
there has arisen dissatisfaction, for the reply was "Petitioner is 
allowed to receive his current year's salary * * * j^j^j \^[^ allow- 
ance is henceforth abolished."^ The dissatisfaction expressed 
against Hobocken did not take final effect until more than a year 
hence, but the men of the opposition were evidently determined. On 
looking about, they found one, Evert Pietersen, an efficient school- 
master at the South Kiver (New Castle, Del.), whose time was soon 
to expire and whose salary was likely to be reduced.^ Whether in 
fact they sought Pietersen or he them, we can hardly say, but both 
sides evidently agreed on the proposition to have Pietersen succeed 
Hobocken. Before Hobocken's year was out, we fmd Pietersen, 
apparently through Stuyvesant, petitioning the Lords Directors for 
the place;'' while the burgomasters requested that he be appointed* 
and Stuyvesant recommended it.^ On December 14, 1660, the Lords 
Directors wrote Stuyvesant: "We will consider the petition of Mr. 
Evert Pietersen * * * ^nd inquire here about liis character, 
conduct, and abihties. " On May 2, 1661, they sent Pietersen's com- 
mission commanding "all persons \nthout distinction to acknowledge 
the aforesaid Evert Pietersen siecken-trooster, voorlezer, voorsanger, 
and schoolmaster in New Amsterdam in New Netherland, and not to 
molest or disturb or ridicule him in any of these offices." ^ 

^'\^iatever dissatisfaction may have been felt with Hobocken's 
teaching, there was none as to his moral character, for we are spe- 
cifically told that he was "a person of irreproachable life and con- 
duct." ^ That he continued in the New Amsterdam school until 
Pietersen actually assumed the work need not be doubted. In fact 
we are told explicitly (October 27, 1661) that "Harmanus Hobocken, 
before schoolmaster and chorister, was removed because another was 
sent to replace him." ^ And just when this transfer took place we 
can fix with some exactness. On October 27, 1661, Hobocken, who 
"was removed because another was sent to replace him," was "em- 
ployed on the bouwery of the director general as schoolmaster." 
This would lead us to accept some date slightly before October 27 as 
the time of formal transfer of the school from Hobocken to Pietersen. 

1 Eecords of N. A., vii, 244. » Ibid.; Pratt, op cit., pp. 18, 19. 

» See p. 129; N. Y. Col. Doc, ii, 169. « Council Minutes, Pratt, op. cit., p. 17. 

8 Pratt, op cit., p. IS. Ubid., p. 17. 

* Minutes of the Orphan Masters, ii, 97. 


The matter seems settled by the sixth item of Pietersen's instructions, 
drafted November 4: 

He shall be allowed to demand and receive from everybody who makes arrange- 
ment to come to hia school and comes before the first half of the quarter preceding the 
first of December next the school dues for the quarter, but nothing from those who 
come after the first half of the quarter.' 

From this regulation it appears that December 1 was the middle 
of the current quarter. Counting backward we arrive at a date 
about the middle of October as the bcguming of Pietersen's service. 

The salaiy granted by the Lords Directors to Evert Pietersen was 
"g. 36 per month and g. 125 annually for his board." ^ The city 
evidently was bound to furnish him a house, as we see from the min- 
utes of the burgomasters, August 1, 1661: 

Master Evert Pietersen la sent here as schoolmaster, precentor, and comforter of 
the sick by the directors of the company, and he absolutely requires a proper dwelling 
and schoolhouse, which the director general requests the burgomasters to consider, 
giving an answer to-day.^ 

The (juestion of return j)assago to Holland, which troubled Ste- 
vensen, was settled favoraldy for Pietersen, as we see from his state- 
ment (Oct. 11, 1664) after the English occupation, and his salary 
had been "thirty-six florins per month, one hunch'ed and twenty-five 
florms for board, Ilolhind currency, free house for school and resi- 
dence, and free passage to pa^na." ' "Wc note here incidentally again 
tliat school and residence were one house, ami that his salary remained 
unchanged throughout his term of service under Dutch control.^ 

For Evert Pietersen alone, of New Amsterdam masters, have we a 
copy of the instructions wliicli were given by the authorities, prob- 
ably in all cases. As these have not heretofore been published in 
«ny educational discussion, we present them here entire: 

Instructions and Rules for Schoolmaster Evert Pietersen, drawn up by the Burgo- 
masters of this city with advice of the Director General and Council. ; 

1. He shall take good care, that the children, coming to his school, do so at the usual 
. hour, namely at eight in the morning and one in the afternoon. 

2. He must keep good discipline among his pupils. 

> See p. 68. 

» Letter of Lords Directors, May 9, Ititil (Pratt, op. cit., p. 10). 

3 Minutes of the Orphan Masters, ii, 97. We may add that the burgomasters resolved to "ask for the 
lot behind the house of the fiscal to build a schoolhouse" {ibid., pp. 97, 103), but apparently nothing came 
of the request. 

* Records of X. A., v, 137. 

= This statement needs perhaps some modification. The two quotations given here in connection show 
Pietersen's salary at the beginning and end of his service imder the company. Since the two sums are 
identical, it seems an easy inference that the salary remained unchanged throughout the period, but the 
Dutch manuscripts in the New York Public Library (Moore-Sales collection, No. 1791, item 1221, p. 516) 
give for apparently this same period a salary to the voorlezer at New Amsterdam of 35 guilders a month 
with 200 guilders board money, or 620 guilders a year (cf. Van Rensselaer's History of the City of New York, 
i, 431-2). If these figures be accepted as representing Pietersen's salary, we must conclude that it was at 
one time advanced and subsequently reduced to the original figure. 


3. He shall teach the children and pupils the Christian Prayers, commandments, 
baptism, Lord's supper, and the questions with answers of the catechism, which are 
taught here every Sunday afternoon in the church. 

4. Before school closes he shall let the pupils sing some verses and a psalm. 

5. Besides his yearly salary he shall be allowed to demand and receive from every 
pupil quarterly as follows: For each child, whom he teaches the a b c, spelling and 
reading, 30 st.; for teaching to read and write, 50 st.; for teaching to read, write and 
cipher, 60 st. ; from those who come in the evening and between times pro rata a fair 
sum. The poor and needy, who ask to be taught for God's sake he shall teach for 

6. He shall be allowed to demand and receive from everybody, who makes arrange- 
ments to come to his school and comes before the first half of the quarter preceding the 
first of December next, the school dues for the quarter, but nothing from those, who 
come after the first half of the quarter. 

7. He shall not take from anybody, more than is herein stated. Thus done and 
decided by the Burgomasters of the City of Amsterdam in N. N., November 1, 1(5(51.' 

The tuition charge.s, it is to be noted, arc cxpocled of all except 
''the poor and needy," whom upon proper rec^uest he should "teach 
for nothing." How much income this tuition brought to the master can 
not be estimated very satisfactorily, smcc we have no specific knowl- 
edge of the attendance, and we do not know whether the tuitioji was 
in coin or in wampum, which latter had declmetl at this time to a])()ut 
one-half the value of the com. If we estimate 40 pupils paying the 
three rates of tuition m numbers of, say, 20, 14, and 6 pupils, respec- 
tively, we should have a sum of 352 guilders. If this be in coin, the 
addition to the salary is quite considerable; if m wampum, it is still 
not mconsiderable. 

With regard to the schoolhouse, we can be ]:)ractically certain that 
no house was built by the city for the schoolmaster, although this 
had been contemplated as we saw, when Pietersen entered upon his 
work. The succeeding February the burgomasters in a petition to 
Stuyvesant state that it is their intention to "erect and to have built 
a suitable school [house]" "for the convenience of the inhabitants of 
this city." They therefore asked to be given a lot, this time on 
Brouwer [now Stone] Street," in width 30 feet along the street and in 
length one-half of the depth." The director general and council, 
however, "for various reasons" considered it "more convenient that 
the school [house] be erected on a part of the present graveyard." ^ 
We hear nothing further of the schoolhouse until after the English 
occupation, when (May 8, 1666) we read that "Casper Steynmets 
entering demands payment of a year's rent of his house, hired to the 
city as a city school." ^ We shall later see (Chap. IX) that the first 
English occupation (1664-1673) effected little change in the school. 
We thus seem authorized, in the absence of other testimony, to sup- 
pose that the "free house for the school and residence," to which 

1 Minutes of the Orphan Masters, ii, 115-{i. 

2 Council Minutes, Fob. 2, 1662 (N. Y. Col. MSS., Vol. X, pt. 1, pp. 39-40). 
» Rec. of N. A., vij 4. 


Pietersen referred in 1C64 as a part of his salars', was hired by the 
city for liim, in accordance with the custom begun for Hobocken in 
1656 and continued (apparently) until after 1669. 

Of Pietersen's cliaracter during the period under consideration we 
have little direct evidence. In our first acquiantance -with him (1657) 
he is said by the chassis to be ''a worthy man." ^ We saw above that 
the Lords Directors promised Stuyvesant to inquire about Pietersen's 
"character, conduct, and abilities." In the commission they speak 
of "the good report wliich we have received about the person of 
Evert Pietersen," and refer to his "abilities and experiences in the 
aforesaid services," as well as to his "pious character and \drtues." 
Other than this we liave no testimony, explicit in words, as to his 
good character. But his long service through a stormy period 
extending to about 1686, and the evident tender regard felt for him 
in his old age by the church,^ testily more abundantly to liis cliaracter 
than could mere words. 

TJiat Evert Pietersen served in the city school continuously from 
his election to the end of the Dutch period (and for years afterwards) 
we need not doubt, although we have few records of him during tliat 
period. On October 11, 1664, a month after the English occupation, 
"Mr. Evert Pietersen, Schoolmaster of this city, represents, as his 
allowance from tlie Company is struck off, that Burgomasters and 
Schepens shall be pleased to continue him at the same allowance."^ 
Since the city records for the period under consideration are con- 
tinuous, we may accept these references to the beginning and enchng 
of his career as satisfactory proof of continuous service from about 
October 17, 1661, to September 9, 1664, when the English entered 
the city, and New Amsterdam became New York. 

We have so far treated the school as if it necessarily had only one 
teacher. The Holland custom allowed second masters, and one 
would think that the size of New Amsterdam would have necessitated 
either several schools or several masters. There were, to be sure, 
private schools. But were there not assistant masters in the official 
school ? Two references seem to suggest that there were. Wlien, in 
1653, Stuyvesant agreed to turn over the excise to the city, it was on 
condition that the city ' 'support the two preachers, the schoolmasters, 
and secretary."^ The plural ' 'schoolmasters " must be taken to mean 
something; but what could it mean better than that there were at 
least two masters in the othcial school? Again, in 1664, Stuj^vesant 
passed a law requiring the public catecliizing of the cMldren on 
Wednesdays, in which these words occur: [We have deemed it nec- 
essary] "to recommend the present schoolmasters, and to command 
them, so as it is done by this, that they on Wednesday, before the 
beginning of the sermon, with tlie children entrusted to their care, 

I Eccl. Rec.p. 37S. 2 See p. 147. 3 Rec. of N. A., v, 137. * Ibid., i. 12S. 


shall appear in the church, to examine, after the close of the sermon, 
each of them, his own scholars." ^ Wliile this may contemplate all 
the schoolmasters in the city, both public and private, still the 
phraseology, taken in connection with the foregoing reference, may 
very well refer to several masters in the public school. Possibly, 
then, there were two or more masters in the New Amsterdam school 
from 1653 to the coming of the English. ^ 

We have now traced the history of the elementary school in New 
Amsterdam from about Aj^ril, 1638, to the English occupation (1664). 
No reason has appeared to assert a break in its continuous activity 
longer than the three months, in 1647. It may be well to tabulate 
the successive schoolmasters with the probable term of ser^dce of 
each. The dates that we have fixed upon are some of them definite 
and certain, while others are only probable, one or two indeed are 
hardly more than conjectures. 


Adam Roelantsen from about April 1, 1638, to about April, 1G42. 

Jan Stevensen from about April, 1642, to September, 1648. 

Several temporary teachers, including Jan Cornelissen, and possibly Petee 
VAN DER Linde, from about September, 1648, to about June, 1650. 

WiLLEM Vestensz from about June, 1650, to March 23, 1655. 

Harmanus van Hobocken from March 23, 1655, to about October 17, 1661. 

Evert Pietersen from about October 17, 1661, to September 9, 1664 (and after- 

Of these, Adam Roelantsen is of known immoral character. The 
others, with the sole exception of Cornelissen (of whom we know 
nothing), seem to have met all the moral and religious requirements 
of a position almost as ecclesiastical as it was academic. These 
schoolmasters taught in their dwellings. Their pay varied, appar- 
ently increasing during the period to a maximum with Evert 

1 Dunshee, op. cit., p. 30. The translation has been amended. The demand in the Great Remon- 
strance (1649) for two masters (see p. GO) at a time when New Amsterdam was small would accord very 
well with two or more masters at a later date, when the town was larger. 

2 The first reference might conceivaljly refer to Jau de la Montagne, whom we shall discuss in Chapter 
VI. The second has laeen interpreted to refer to Pietersen and Hobocken. But to expect Ilobocken's 
pupils to come in a body from the Bouwery two miles and a half distant, is too much. The Latin master, 
Luyck,isout of tlie question, since the opening words of the act refer to the elementary curriculum. There 
Is some reason for surmising that Jan Tibout, subsequently master at Flatbush (see p. 167), was Pietersen's 
assistant. See N. Y. Gen. and Bio. Soc. Coll., ii, 70. 



It is already sufficiently evident that the ci^4c and ecclesiastical 
authorities had common interests in the Dutch schools. We have 
seen in a general way the working of both sets of authorities. The 
purpose of the present chapter is to trace in detail the respective share 
of each in the support and control of the official elementary school at 
New Amsterdam. 

The authorities of the Reformed Dutch Church, fTom national 
synod down to local consistor}", deemed the management of schools 
a proper question for their consideration. We have seen in Chapter 
II something of the action of the s}Tiods, as well as of secular authori- 
ties, wliich bear on the question at Jhand. The enactments there 
quoted agree in giving to classis or consistory the Ucensing of teachers, 
at least so far as to ascertain whether they possessed the necessary 
religious ciualifications. These pronouncements likewise agree in 
placing upon the civil authorities the actual ffiiancial support of the 
schools. In the main, we may suppose that the ecclesiastical author- 
ity was greater in the parochial schools, though the acceptance of 
the proper confession of faith was, as we saw, expressly required of 
the Latin masters as well. 

It is principally the Holland parochial system which we ffiid in Xew 
Netherland, with both church and state appearing in a modified 
form. Especially does this hold m the case of the company's school 
on Manliattan (later the city school of New Amsterdam). Civic 
authority lay in the trachng company, whose headquarters were in 
Amsterdam. The church, in New Amsterdam, the second factor 
in school control, was what we should now call a mission field; and 
this too looked to Amsterdam for its control. 

In the early part of the seventeenth century, as we saw in Chapter 
III, the consistory of Amsterdam exercised ecclesiastical supervision 
over the rehgious servants of the East and West India Companies. 
This took place b}^ the express approval of the Classis of Amsterdam. 
But by 1629 the classis had assumed more direct charge of these 
matters, and in that year was perfected a more definite understanding 
between the classis and the trading companies. The classis that year 



reported the "Church Regulations, etc.," to the Synod of North Hol- 
land, stathig ''that the directors of both the East and West India Com- 
panies gave perfect satisfaction to the members in this particular." ^ 
In 1636 the classis appointed, apparently for the first time, its 
standing committee, ''the Deputies," or Deputati ad Res Indicati^ 
In accordance wdth their specific instructions, this committee re- 
ported (May 5, 1636) "regulations relating to East India and West 
India aiTairs, etc.," of which the second and sixth items, already 
given in Chapter III, refer to the examination of siecken-troosters and 
schoolmasters. Letters of instruction were likewise adopted by the 
classis for "candidates (ministers), comforters of the sick, and school- 
masters going to the Indies"; the letter for the last named we give 
in full, as follows: 

June 7, 1636. 
Instructions and Letter of Credential/or Schoolmasters going to the East Indies or else- 

Whereas it is well understood by the Honorable Directors of the N. N. Company, 
that nothing is more inii)ortant for the well-being of men, of whatever station, than that 
they should be taken care of from the very beginning, by keeping them under the eye 
and supervision of the sch(X)lniaster, and in the exercises of the school, that they 
derive from such instruction the means necessary for their support, in all the stations 
and callings of life: and 

Inasmuch as, also, upon these exercises, both the glory of God and the salvation 
of men are not a little dependent; and such exercises are deemed expedient both for 
the welfare of their company, as well as for the individuals employed therein; and also 
that their ships, besides the other officers, may also be provided with schoolmasters; 

Inasmuch as the * * * by these, by the name of N. N. * * * has offered 
his services, in this capacity, to the committee on ecclesiastical affairs of the said 
company, and which committee is especially charged therewith by the Classis of 
Amsterdam; and the said classis having previously inquired as to this individual, 
and by examination have ascertained his fitness and experience for such a position; 
that on the report rendered by the said classis, and with the approbation and consent 
of the said Honorable Directors, he has been appointed schoolmaster, and sent in such 
capacity to N N — ■ with these specific instructions, to wit: 

He is to instruct the youth, both on shipboard and on land, in reading, writing, 
ciphering, and arithmetic, with all zeal and diligence; he is also to implant the funda- 
mental i^rinciples of the true Christian Religion and salvation, by means of catechizing; 
he is to teach them the customary forms of prayers, and also to accustom them to pray; 
he is to give heed to their manners, and bring these as far as possible to modesty and 
propriety; and to this end, he is to maintain good discipline and order, and further 
to do all that is required of a good, diligent, and faithful schoolmaster. 

And inasmuch as N N is directed to conduct himself in this office accord- 
ing to these instructions, and he, on his part, has promised so to do, as well as to set 
a good example before youth and others: Therefore, these open letters, both creden- 
tials and instructions, are given him upon his sailing, to serve him as may be found 

Thus done in our classical assembly held in Amsterdam, on * * * - 

» Eccl. Rec, p. 76. (Minutes of the Synod of N. Holland, 1629.) 2 Ibid., pp. 97-8. 


While, in practice, only the Classis of Amsterdam was, after about 
1629, concerned with the church affairs in New Netherland, in theory 
the classis had no unique place as we see in the following extract 
from the minutes of the Synod of North Holland of 1640. 

The care of the churches in the East and West Indies does not belong to one par- 
ticular church, or classis, or even to one synod; but it properly belongs to all the 
synods of the United Provinces, or to all the churches in general, of the Netherlands.' 

The hrst schoolmaster to be examined by the classis, under the 
regulations given above, was our old friend Adam Roelantsen, the 
minute of which was given on page 40. For the next 10 3'ears the 
records of the classis, so far as yet published in America, contain no 
references to the schools of New Netherland. Complaints of lack of 
suital)le schools at Brazil or Curasao in 1638 and 1646 ^ afford negative 
evidence that there was no lack in New Netherland, thus corroborating 
our previous discussions. 

We have seen that Jan Stevensen left New Netherland in 1648. 
It may be interesting to exhibit in chronological order the joint 
working of the civic and ecclesiastical machinery in the effort to 
secure his successor. 

(1) September 2, 164S. D? Backerus writes from New Amster- 
dam to the Classis of Amsterdam: 

It will also be very necessary for the reverend brethren to send over with such a 
preacher a good schoolmaster. He should not only know how to read, write and cipher, 
but should also be a man of pious life, and decent habits. He should have a good 
knowledge of the principal points of our faith, and set a holy example to the children.^ 

(2) September 11, 1648. Stuyvesant and the New Amsterdam 
consistory write to the classis asking for an experienced schoolmaster. 
(For the date, see Eccl. Rec, p. 261; for an abstract of the letter, see 
the 8th item below.) 

(3) September 22, 1648. D? Backerus writes again to the classis, 
urging his former request. (See the 8th item below.) 

(4) (Date not known.) Stuyvesant writes to the Lords Directors 
requesting that they look out for a schoolmaster, and proposing a 
man living in Haarlem.^ 

(5) October 26, 1648. A temporary successor to vStevensen is 
chosen (as voorlezer and voorsanger) by the director and council. 
(Quoted on p. 62.) 

(6) October 26, 1648. The deputies, in formal meeting assembled, 
hear the first letter of Backerus: 

A letter was also read from Rev. John Backerus. Since it was also in the highest 
degree necessary that a visitor of the sick and a schoolmaster be sent to that place, 
the meeting resolved to communicate this writing to the classis.* 

1 Eecl. Rec, p. 131. * N. Y. Col. Doc, xiv, 107. 

2 Eecl. Rec, pp. 114, 171, 173, 195, 19C, 207. ^Eccl. Rec, pp. 243-4. 
» Ibid., p. 236. 


(7) December 7, 1648. The Classis of Amsterdam also hear, in 
formal meeting assembled, the first letter of Backerus: 

There was also read a letter from Rev. John Backerus. He also requests that the 
Reverend Assembly would be pleased, at the earliest opportunity, to see that another 
pastor be sent thither, and also a good experienced schoolmaster, whose services are 
very much needed at that place.' 

(8) December 28, 1648. The deputies hear the second letter of 
Backerus and the letter of the New Amsterdam Consistory: 

A letter from Rev. John Backerus, pastor at Manhattans in New Netherland, dated 
Sept. 22d, 1648, was opened. In this he lu'god his former request. A letter was 
also read, accompanying the above, from the elders and deacons of the same church 
* * *. They also declare that they stand in great need of an experienced s<'hool- 
master, since there was an increasing number of young persons, in order that they 
might be reared under better discipline. To this end they make mention of Samuel 
Bayart, bookkeeper and teacher of French and German at Bergen-op-Zoom, and of 
Daniel Samuels, also teacher of French and German at Haarlem; with the under- 
standing that should either of these, or some one else of equal qualification, be induced 
to go thither, efforts would be made to provide a proper support for the same?, in addi- 
tion to the company's salary. Resolved, that we communicate the above correspond- 
ence to the next meeting of the classis.- 

(9) Jaiuuuy 27, 1649. The Lords Directors answer Stuyvesant's 
letter of the fourth item above: 

We shall also look out now for a good school teacher and gather information concern- 
ing the man living in Haarlem, whom you propose.^ 

(10) (Date uncertain.) The Lords Directors apply to the classis 
for a schoolmaster, suggesting three names.* 

(11) April 13, 1649, by the deputies, in formal meeting assembled, 
*'it was resolved to answer at the earliest opportunity " the letters to 
New Netherland, one from the pastor, one from the consistory.^ 

(12) April 26, 1649. The deputies write to D? Backerus: 

We shall take into serious consideration what has been so earnestly commended to 
us. both in your communication, and in that of the Rev. Consistory, viz, to search 
out an exj^erienced schoolmaster as pastor. The prosperity of the church is in the 
highest degree dependent on the 2:)roper training of the tender youth. ° 

(13) July 28, 1649. The Great Remonstrance complains of the 
lack of a schoolhouse and of suitable masters.^ 

(14) August 9, 1649. The Synod of North Holland in session at 
Edam is officially informed of the vacancy: 

" Besides, a capable schoolmaster is in the highest degree necessary there." ^ 

1 Eccl. Rec., p. 245. ^ Ibid., 11.250. 

2 Ibid., p. 247. ' See above, pp. CO, G2. 

3 N. Y. Col. Doc, xiv, 107. » Eccl. Rec, p. 260. The Synod of Soutii Holland 
* Eccl. Rec, p. 205. the next j'ear received the same report. Acta, etc., 
6 Ibid., p. 249. iii, 215. 


(15) August, 1649. Stuyvesant again writes to the Classis of 

He.sides the foregoing, we must again trouble your reverence with a second request, 
which wo have heret<jfore presented to you . We need a pious and diligent schoolmaater 
and precentor. A year has now passed since we were deprived of such help. By this 
our young people have gone backward, even to grow wild, quae nihil agendo male 
agere discil. It view of the fact that a good schoolmaster is not less needed here, than 
a good preacher, as we have above explained in detail to your Reverences and to the 
Hon. Directors, we rely upon j'our usual excellent facilities and pious zeal for securing 
the one, and a favorable decision in the other. We hope, that in a short time we shall 
have occasion to thank you for lioth.' 

(IG) (Date not known.) William Yestensz appears before the 
deputies, and is accepted for recommendation to the Lords Directors.^ 

(17) (Date not known.) Vestensz is recommended to the Lords 
Directors and by them accepted.^ 

(18) January 10, 1650. The deputies write D? Megapolensis in 

New Netherland : 

The bearer of this, William Vestensz, of Haarlem, goes as comforter of the sick; and 
schoolmaster, at the request of the Hon. Director Stuv^-esant, and the church of Man- 
hattan, and with the approval of the Honorable Directors of the West India Company. 
The said Honorable Directors also mentioned two others, so as to secure one of them, 
but tliey have not ap[)eared, and we do not know their residence, else we might have 
corresponded v/ith them. William Vestensz is an excellent God-fearing man. We 
trust that he may be acceptable, and do good service.* 

(19) January 31, 1650. The deputies in formal meeting hear the 
report on Vestensz: 

The Rev. President Swalmius, and the clerk, reported in reference to their com- 
mission that they recommend to the ^lessrs. Directors of the West India Company, 
William Vestensz of Ilaarlena, for schoolmaster and visitor of the sick in New Nether- 
land, and that he has been accepted by the above-named gentlemen, and will be 
sent at the earliest opportunity.^ 

(20) February 16, 1650. The Lords Directors write Stuyvesant 
regarding Vestensz : 

At your request we have engaged a schoolmaster, who is to serve also as comforter 
of the sick. He is considered as an honest and pious man and will come over by the 
first chance.^ 

(21) (Date not given.) A committee of the States-General, moved 
by the Great Remonstranco, announce a "provisional order" for New 
Netherland, in which i)rovision is made for "good schoolmasters."^ 

(22) March 7, 1650. "The Rev. Deputies reported to the Classis 
of AmstercUxm that William Vestensz, a schoolmaster from Haarlem, 
has been sent thither." '^ 

1 Epcl. Rec, p. 263. < Ibid., p. 2 5. ^ Ibid., i, 3S0. 

2 Ibid., pp. 2C5, 2U8. ' N. Y. Col. Doc, xiv, 119. ' Eccl. Rec., p 271. 

3 Ibid., p. 2C8. 


(23) April 20, 1650. The Lords Directors again write to Stuy- 
vesant : 

The schoolmaster, for whom you asked, ^oes out with the ship: God grant, that he 
may confirm the good cliaracter, which lie has borue here, and continue for a long 
time hi the edification of the youths.' 

(24) August 6, 1650. Synod of North Holland in session at 
Alckmaer hears officially : 

Sent to New Netherland — William Vestertsee of Haarlem, for siecken-trooster and 
schoolmaster. 2 

This list of 24 items is ample to show how the various officials co- 
operated to secure a schoolmaster at New Amsterdam. It is but 
just, however, to say that, so far as we know, no other schoolmaster 
called forth so much activity on the part of the officials. On the 
contrary, Hobocken and Pietersen, the two successors to Vestensz in 
the school at New Amsterdam, were securetl apparently without the 
intervention of the classis, and in the case of Hobocken, even with- 
out its knowledge.^ 

The classis maintained an interest in the general welfare of its 
schoolmasters, not excluding concern for their temporal welfare. We 
have already seen (p. 57) how D? Backerus asked the classis to inter- 
cede for Stevensen for his passage money. We have also seen how 
Vestensz wrote to them, when his compensation for work of sexton 
was, as he considered, wrongfully withheld, when ordinary salary 
payments were slow, and when he wished an increase of salary; and 
we note that his call was not unheeded.^ 

The part that the local church, through its consistory and church 
masters Qcerke meesters), had in the control of the school under con- 
sideration seems to have been slight. As to the New Amsterdam 
church masters, exactly two references have been noted which con- 
nect them with the school. Both refer to the schoolhouse ; ''' so that 
we may conclude here that it was the duty of the church masters to 
see to the physical care of the church property, including tlie school- 
house, if such there were belonging to the church." As no school- 
house was ever owned by the New Amsterdam church (i. e., during 
the Dutch days), and as after 165-3 the schoolhouse was provided 
exclusively by the municipality, the connection of the church wardens 
with the school, which was apparently never very active, ceased 

» N. Y. Col. Doc, xiv, 123. 

2 Eccl. Rec, p. 278. The Synod of South Holland receives the same report a year later. Acta, etc., iii, 

8 In the case of Pietersen, we have two references to the Consistory of Amsterdam, where the context 
would naturally call for classis. Wliether this is a mere slip of tlie pen, or whether it has more meaning, 
the writer can not say. The instances are found in Pietersen's commission (Pratt, op. cit., p. IS) and in the 
appointment of Iloboclcen to Stuyvesant's Bouwery (Dunshee, op. cil., p. 29). 

* Eccl. Kec, pp. 306, 325, 331, 338. 

6 They have already heen brought to the reader's attention on pp. 60,62. 

? See p. 194 for a more evident instance at Flatbush. 


entirely, so far as ai)pears, some 10 years before the English occupa- 
tion. It may be remarked that this connection of the church with 
the school through the church masters, was at all times more nominal 
than real, since the church masters were not chosen by the church, 
but by the civic authorities. No records appear prior to 1656, but 
after that time the burgomasters nominated a double number of 
church masters from whom the director general made a selection of 
the proper number satisfactory to himself.^ There need be no doubt 
that some such plan obtained throughout the Dutch period. Even 
during the first English period (1664-1673) the town council elected 
the churcli masters, as did the to^^^l meeting at Flatbush.^ 

The consistory, possibly, was more closely associated with the school 
than were the church masters, but here again the actual connection 
appears not to have equalled what was anticipated by the builders 
of church polity. There is some divergency in practice; but the 
tendency in New Netherland, as in Holland, seems to have been for 
the civic authorities to take increasing control. This appeared even 
more distinctly at Flatbush. (See p. 195.) In New Amsterdam the 
overt control by the consistory at all times seems slight, disappear- 
ing entirely from the records some nine years before the English 
came. Before that time tlu"ee records occur, as follows: When 
Stevensen was leaving in 1648, Stuyvesant, who was an elder in the 
local church, wrote to the classis "at the request of the joint con- 
sistory^ "^ for ''a pious and diligent schoolmaster and precentor." 
When \ estensz offered his resignation to the council, January 26, 
1655, the answer was that his petition would be ''communicated to 
the consistory and ministers."'* Some two months later (Mar. 3) 
''the Noble Lords of the Supreme Council (i. e., Stuyvesant and his 
council), with the consent of the respected consistoiy of this city, 
appointed Harmanus van Hobocken as chorister and schoolmaster 
of this city." * With this reference, the recorded connection of the 
consistory with the cit}^ school of New Amsterdam ends. When 
Hobocken left and Evert Pietersen was elected, although every other 
body that could possibly be mentioned (except the schepens) was 
explicitly connected in some way mth Pietersen's coming, the con- 
sistory appear to have had no part in it. Here, as elsewhere, with 
the coming of a stronger local secular authority, the power and in- 
fluence of the consistor}^ waned. 

Notliing has been said as to the part taken by the ministers in the 
control of the school. The Synod of Dort specificaUy placed upon 
them the visiting of "all schools, private as well as public." How 

» Rec. of N. A., ii, 50-1; vii, 12G, 132, 142, 174-5, 237. The first instance, however, has no reference to 

2 Ibid., vi, 18, 103, 145, 215. 

3 Eccl. Rec, p. 261. 

* Pratt, op. cit., p. 12. 


mucli was actually done we can not say. Probably the ministers 
were more active and influential than would be inferred from our 
records, which come mainly from the civic side. Certainly they 
were, on the whole, the best educated men of the colony; and their 
interest in the public catechizing of the school cliildren, which took 
place weekly in the church, would of itself be sufhcicnt to keep them 
in close touch with the school, even if there were no visiting. There 
are several references which show that the ministers took a general 
interest in educational affairs, but few that point to any actual con- 
nection with the school.^ The onl}^ reference that seems to imply 
certain participation in school control is that given just above, where 
Vestensz's resignation was by the director general and council 
''communicated to the consistory and ministers." 

The discussion, as so far given, of local ecclesiastical control has 
taken no cognizance of the fact that the official schoolmaster was also 
voorlezer and voorsanger in the official church.^ No pertinent fact, 
however, has been omitted, oxce])t the doubtful case of the selection 
of Pieter van der Linde to succeed Jan Stevenson as voorsanger and 
voorlezer, and tliis we have already discussed in the preceding chap- 
ter (p. 62). But as Van der Linde was elected by the director gen- 
eral and council without recorded reference to the consistory, we 
have either one additional instance of a schoolmaster selected with 
the (apparent) ignoring of the consistory; or the selection by the 
civic authorities of the exclusively church oflicial of voorlezer and 
voorsanger. Wliile the silence of the records is not proof that the 
consistory and minister did not in this instance express some wish 
or approval, we certainly seem authorized to conclude from the 
general discussion that only a slight share in the actual control of 
the school is to be accorded to the local church of New Amsterdam. 

But if small actual control be allowed to the local church, there is 
no reason to doubt that the minister and consistoiy were interested 
especially in the religious teaching of the school ; and that they stood 
ready to interfere by appropriate appeal if for any cause the proper 
rehgious instruction were not maintained. The nature of this inter- 
est and the general prominence within the community of the minister 
and church officials would give to them an influence probably quite 
commensurate with technical power of control in determining the 
actual conduct of school affairs. 

The various secular or civic powers which had part in the control 
of the New Amsterdam school were the States-General of the United 

> See Eccl. Rec, pp. 236-7, 250, 205, 331, 335. Pratt, op. cit., pp. 19, 21, 34, 36. In connection, we may 
refer to the formal opinion of the Classis of Drente (1613) that "the minister should visit the schools every 
14 days and examine pupils." Reitsma and Van Veen, op. cit., viii, 172. 

2 See Chapter XIV, where this relationship is dicussed in connection with the general religious character 
of the New Netherland schools. 


Netherlands, the Lords Directors of the West India Company, the 
director general and council in New Netherland, the nine men, the 
burgomasters and schepens of New Amsterdam, and the burgomas- 
ters of New Amsterdam. The functions of these several bodies have 
already been given in general terms. We shall now proceed to 
examine in turn their particular dealings with the school in question. 

The charter of the West India Company made that corporation 
almost all powerful in the affairs of New Netherland; but the States- 
General, as we saw in the first chapter, not only retained a general 
oversight over the company's activity, but also had specific voice 
in the Assembly of the XIX. Two suggested and two actual interfer- 
ences in New Netherland school affairs by the States-General demand 
our attention: First, at some time apparently between 1630 and 1635 
there was proposed, no one knows by whom, a "charter of freedoms 
and exemptions" quite similar to that promulgated by the company 
June 7, 1629, but with the important exception that tliis was to be 
"granted by the High and Mighty Lords States-General, ex flenitv^ 
dine potestatis.^' The twenty-eighth pro\asion of this charter was 
almost identical with the twenty-seventh of the 1629 exemptions 
quoted in the first chapter. This has been quoted by writers on 
the subject as bearing on the schools of New Netherland, and par- 
ticularly on the school at New Amsterdam. With regard to tliis 
it should be said that not the slightest proof is available that the 
States-General ever adopted these "freedoms and exemptions," and 
the presumption is that they did not adopt them. Moreover, while 
there are subsequently specific references to the "freedoms" of 1629, 
these references are of such nature as to make it improbable that the 
1630-1635 "freedoms " were ever given binding force. ^ Furthermore, 
as for any bearing of this item on the school at New Amsterdam, it is 
sufficient to note that by number five of these proposed articles the 
"Island of Manhattes" is expressly exempt from the provisions of 
the document. 

Second, the States-General, in 1638, reviewing the state of affairs 
in New Netherland and in Brazil, took note of the fact that in the 
latter place no order had been "taken for the establishment of 
schools for the education of the rising youth," and instructed "their 
deputies to the Assembly of the XIX" to assist in arranging for 
them. The concern for New Netherland, as expressed in the same 
paper, is " that the population, wliich had been commenced, is decreas- 
ing and appears to be neglected by the West India Company." 
Tliis action of the States-General shows positively a disposition on 
the part of that body to insist upon proper schools within the com- 
pany's territory, and, negatively, that the educational interests of 
New Netherland were at that time not neglected by the company. 

1 Sec N. Y. Col. Doc., i, 83-88, 150, 154.. 251. 


The most widely quoted connection of the States-General with the 
New Netherland schools concerns the question of a public-sciiool tax. 
In 1638, Johan de Laet, one of the directors of the company, drew 
up certain "Articles and conditions" for the better colonization of 
New Netherland and on August 30 submitted them in behalf of the 
company to the vStates-General for their approbation. The eighth 
of these, mdely quoted as "the first record of a public tax for school 
purposes," reads as follows: 

Each householder and inhabitant shall bear such tax and public charge as shall 
hereafter be considered proper for the maintenance of clergymen, comforters of the 
sick, schoolmasters, and suchlike necessary officers; and the director and coimcil 
there shall be written to touching the form hereof in order, on receiving further infor- 
mation hereupon, it be rendered the least onerous and vexatious.' 

But the fact is that the "Articles and conditions" were rejected 
by the States-General. The record is clear. They were "exhibited 
30th of August, 1638" and were immediately referred to a certain- 
named committee "to view and examine them and report."^ On 
September 2 this committee reported, "wliich being taken into 
deliberation, their High Alightinesses have resolved and concluded 
to hereby declare that the aforesaid articles, drawn up by the Am- 
sterdam Chamber, are, in their present form, not adapted to the 
service and promotion of the colonies of New Netherland."^ There- 
upon the "Articles and conditions" were "again returned to Sieur 
Johan de Laet;" which ended them "in their present form." We 
may anticipate by saying that at no time in the history of New 
Amsterdam was any such tax levied. 

The last known reference of the States-General to the schools of 
New Netherland was after the "Great Remonstrance" in 1649. 
The remonstrants had complained of the need of a schoolhouse, of 
the lack of a settled master, and of an inadequate teaching staff,* 
After extended consideration by the States-General, a committee 
brought in a "provisional order respecting the government, preser- 
vation, and peopling of New Netherland." The sixth article of this 
specified that "the commonalty shall be also obliged to have the 
youth instructed by good schoolmasters."^ This "provisional 
order" was referred to the Amsterdam Chamber, which on April 11 
returned it with various remarks, ignoring, however, the reference 
to schools; and tliis ended the matter. We may conclude, then, by 
sa^nng that wliile the States-General were interested in New Nether- 
land, and even in its school aifairs, they did nothing which directly 
and in itself influenced any of the New Netherland schools. 

1 N. Y. Col. Doo., i, n2. * See above, pp. 60,62. 

2 Ibid., p. Ill 6 N. Y. Col. Doc, i, 389. The date seems uncertain, probably about the 
» Ibid., p. 115. 1st of April, 1G50. 


If the States-General did little for the sehools of Dutch America, 
it was quite other^vise with the next highest ci\dl authority, the 
Lords Directors of the company. Wliile these worked largely 
through their local representatives, the director general and council, 
it is none the less true that New Netherland affairs wei-e directed, 
often in minutest detail, by the Lords Directors of the Amsterdam 
Chamber. The school affairs of New Amsterdam came particularly 
before tliem for consideration. 

First, they })aid the salaries of the New Amsterdam schoolmasters 
out of the company's general funds. We have already seen this 
in tlie estimate of colonial expenses of December 15, 1644, in wliich 
was tlie item ''1 schoolmaster, precentor and sexton at fl. 30, 360."^ 
We saw the custom further in the power of attorney given by 
Jan Stevensen to collect for him from the company some seven 
luin(h-e(l and odd guilders "by balance and settlement of his 
account according to tlie book of monthly wages No. F folio 34 
earned from their honors in Netherland."- Later when Stevensen 
was leaving and Stuyvesant had charged his account with the 
passage home, D^ Backerus asked the classis ''please to assit liim 
with the directors, that he may be exempted from this hardship."^ 
When Pietersen was selected by the Lords Directors in 1661 they 
named his ''salary of g. 36 ])er month, and g. 125 annually for liis 
board." "♦ On October 1 1 , 1664, a month after the English occupation — 
porha])s an empty ])ay day had rolled around — ''Mr. Evert Pietersen, 
schoolmaster of this city" ajjpearing before the city court, "repre- 
sents as his allowance from the compam'' is struck off, that burgo- 
masters and schepens shall be pleased to keep it at the same 

From some data j'ct to be discussed (see p. 86 ff) it appears pos- 
sible that during 1654 the municipality paid part of the school- 
master's salary. It is c{uite true that the city regularly furnished the 
master with a "free house for school and residence." With this modi- 
fication and this possible temporary exception, it seems safe to 
assert that the company paid the salaries of the official elementary 
school at New Amsterdam.'' 

The "free house for school and residence" we have already dis- 
cussed in connection with the several schoolmasters. There was 
found no evidence that the comj^any ever supplied the schoolhouse. 
On the contrary, we noted uniformly the opinion that the people 
must furnish that. The only exception was the offer of StuyA^esant 

1 N. Y. Col. Doc, i, 155. * Dunshee, op. cit, p. 28. 

2 N. Y. Col. :MSS. ii, 159. & Ree. of N. A., v, 137. 

' Eccl. Rec, p. 237. 6 a further apparent exception is discussed on p. 91. 

28311°— 12 6 


in 1647 "to bear personally and in behalf of the company a reasonable 
proportion." As the schoolhouse was never built, this exception was 
more apparent than real. In connection with the support of the 
New Amsterdam school by the company it is proper to consider the 
so-called charter of freedoms and exemptions of 1640. One item of 
tliis provided that for the purpose of maintaining the Keformed 
religion "as it is at present preached and practiced by public author- 
ity in the United Netherlands," "the company shall provide and 
maintain good and suitable preachers, schoolmasters, and comforters 
of the sick.^ This provision has been used from time to time in dis- 
cussions relating to the New Netherland schools, particularly in 
relation to the New Amsterdam school. The company appears to 
bind itself to support ministers, schoolmasters, and comforters of the 
sick in the colonics. However, the document was drawn up for the 
purpose of ])romoting colonization by the founding of new colonies or 
settlements, and as again the company especially reserved the "Island 
Manhattes to itself" it seems unwarranted to apply these provisions 
to New Amsterdam. While we are not here concerned with its 
application to schools elsewhere, we msiy say, first, that there appears 
no certainty that the document was ever adopted ;^ second, that there 
is no instance where the company did help with a school off Manhat- 
tan untU. after a new "charter of freedoms and exemptions" was 
issued in 1650, in which the 1640 school provision had been dropped 
and the pro^dsion of 1629 (almost identical) put in instead.^ We 
may accordingly dismiss from any serious consideration tliis "charter " 
of 1640. 

The control of the school by the Lords Directors was at times 
exercised directly and at times left to the director general and council. 
In general, however, the Lords Directors kept in close touch with 
everything. We saw above that the salary schedule of 1644 was 
drawn up in Holland. We noted also how Stevensen's passage 
money was charged in New Netherland to be finally settled in Hol- 
and. We saw how the Lords Directors were informed by Stuyv6- 
sant of the need of a schoolmaster in 1648, how names were suggested 
by him to them and by them referred to the classis, how upon the 
recommendation of the classis, Vestensz was engaged by the Lords 
Directors and sent to New Amsterdam. Vestensz, it is true, was 
given up and Hobocken was elected by the director and council. 
But in the case of Pietersen, the Lords Directors specify exact details: 
"We have engaged," they said, "on your honor's recommendation 

» N. Y. Col. Doc, i, 123. 

»0'Callaghan (History of New Netherland, 1,218) and Brodhead (op. cit.. i, 311), however, accept It. But 
see the apparent postponement of Its adoption in N. Y.Col. Doc.,i, 118, and subsequent references appar- 
ently ignoring its binding effect, ibid., pp. 150, 154, 251, 363. 

»N.Y. Col. Doc, 1,401 fl. 


and that of the magistrates of the city of New Amsterdam, Air. Evert 
Pietersen as schoolmaster and clerk upon a salary of g. 36 per month 
and g. 125 annually for his board.* It is typical of their general 
management that when Curtius, the Latin master, ^^'ished board 
money in addition to liis salary, Stuyvesant refers the request to the 
Lords Directors with the words: "Your repeated instructions do not 
allow us to raise anybody's salary Avithout your knowledge." ^ 

That the Lords Directors should concern themselves \vith so small 
a matter as the school books indicates their attention even to the 
minutest affairs of the colony. They sent the books over to the 
director general to be sold to the pupils. On one such occasion he 
was told: "After the school books and stationery to be used for the 
education of the youths, stated in the inclosed invoice, you will please 
to look yourself."' When Pietersen was sent over the Lords Direc- 
tors gave these explicit directions to Stuyvesant: 

And whereas he solicited to be supplied with some books and stationery, which 
would be of service to him in that station, so did we resolve to send you a sufficient 
quantity of these articles, as your honor may see from the invoice. Your honor 
ought not to place all these at his disposal at once, but from time to time, when he may 
be in want of these, when his account ought directly to be charged with its amount; 
so, too, he must be charged with all such books of which he may be in want as a con- 
soler of the sick, which he might have obtained from your honor, which afterwards, 
might be reimbursed to him, whenever he, ceasing to serve in that capacity, might 
return these; all this must be valued at the invoice price.* 

We conclude from the foregoing that the Lords Directors paid the 
master's salary from the company's treasury;^ that, in the main, 
they controlled the school either directly by their own action or 
mediately through tlie director general and council ; and that even 
the small details passed before their eyes for approval. 

In discussing the part played by the director general and council 
in the support and control of the New Amsterdam school, we are 
distinguishing this body on the one hand from their superiors, the 
Lords Directors; and on the other, from their inferiors, the bodies 
of lesser local control, the nine men, the biu'gomasters, and the New 
Amsterdam city court ("burgomasters and schepens"). The only 
director general of whose school relationship we have record is the 
autocratic Peter Stuyvesant, "our Grand Duke of Muscovy," as one 
of the remonstrating nine men called him. His own opinion of his 
relation to the council may be inferred from certain of his words, 

' Dunshee, op.cit., p. 28. For (lie part played by the director general and council in this, see next 

2 N. Y. Col. Doc, xiv, 445. See also Chapter VI l)elo\v for the management of the Latin school. 

3 N. Y. Col. Doc., xiv, 429. 
* Dunshee, op. cit., p. 28. 

5 The sources of income to the company were various. It was a trading company, and accordingly 
made gain in that manner. It levied duties on exports and imports, collected excise on liquors; in fact, 
it did almost everything but levy a direct property or poll tax. 


apropos of an adverse vote: "I condescend to acquiesce in the ma- 
jority of votes.* " Generally, therefore, when we say "director gen- 
eral and council," we really mean Stuyvesant, whose will practically 
was law. 

The discussion already given has made it clear that with respect 
to the Lords Directors, the director general and council served 
merely as their agents, acting always for them, and only with so 
much power as prudence prompted the Lords Directors to confer in 
order to secure efficient management in so remote a situation. When 
the Lords Directors did not directly choose a teacher, the director 
general and council exercised the right. This they did in two or 
three instances, which we have already discussed, Hobocken, Cor- 
nelissen, and (if he were schoolmaster) Van der Linde. Of these 
Hobocken is the only certain case. 

An interesting inquiry, however, arises in connection with Evert 
Pietersen's election. The commission of Pietersen^ as sent by 
the Lords Directors to Stuyresant, when read in its entirety, fairly 
rings with the final and supreme authority of the Lords Directors. 
Yet, for all that, the burgomasters evidently considered that the 
director general and council must in some way approve before the 
appointment could become final or at least effective, as we see from 
the following resolution of the burgomasters apropos of Stuyvesant's 
demand for a schoolhouse and dwelling for Pietersen: 

As soon as Master Evert Pietersen has been appointed schoolmaster, etc. , by the direc- 
tor general and council and the burgomasters have been notified of it, they will dispose 
of the matter.^ 

It does not seem necessary, however, to find in this anything 
difficult of adjustment with what has been said above. Quite possi- 
bly the burgomasters were not fully informed of the situation, or 
they may have expected Hobocken to fill out the quarter. Doubt- 
less, too, Stuyvesant, as a true autocrat, had long since accustomed 
the city officials to consider his approval as necessary to give validity 
and effectiveness to any public measure. 

Instances where the salary question came before the director 
general and council have been seen in the question of Stevensen's 
passage money, in the case of Vcstensz's request for increased salary 
as told us by D? Megapolensis and in the fixing of Hobocken's salary 
when he was elected to succeed Vestensz. 

Small matters of only local concern, the director general and council 
managed wholly or shared with bodies of local control. They evi- 
dently fixed for Hobocken the rates of tuition as well as liis salary: 
"Said schoolmaster shall communicate to burgomasters and schepens, 

» Pratt, op. cit., p. 33. ^ ibid., p. IS. '■> Miuules of the Orphan Masters, ii, 97. 


what he is allowed for each child per quarter, pursuant to instruc- 
tions from the director general and council."^ The ''instructions" 
here referred to are almost certainly similar to those which we saw 
issued to Evert Pietersen.^ 

The Dutch seem to have been partial to such detailed tables of 
instructions. Several in Holland ^ at the same period are available. 
At least eight are found in the Flatbush records;* another relates to a 
Brooklyn master; and a number have come down to us from the 
school of the Reformed Dutch Church of New York City.^ 

The "instructions and rules for Schoolmaster Evert Pietersen " were 
"drawn up by the burgomasters of tliis city with the advice of the 
director general and council." This "advice" of the director general 
and council eight years after the municipal powers had been granted 
to the city shows how loath Stuyvesant was to give up his immediate 
control. But the city increased its share in the management of its 
affairs. In the case of Ilobocken, Stuyvesant appears to have issued 
the instructions without even communicating with the city author- 
ities. With Pietersen we may suppose that Stuyvesant told the 
burgomasters only in general w^iat was to be done, although he 
probably passed finally upon their draft. 

During the last year of the Dutch regime the director general and 
council passed (]\Iarch 17, 1604) a civil ordinance regulating the 
public catechizing of the school children.® Just why this act on 
the part of the civil authorities w^as considered necessary is not clear. 
But we see in such an act on the part of the director general and 
council not only their direct participation in local school affairs, but 
also a very interesting instance of the close connection that existed 
between church and state. 

In everything the director general and council appear as the faith- 
ful agents of the Lords Directors. They struggled to keep aU control 
in the com.pany's hand and to keep down all expenses. Stuyvesant, 
however — it is but just to say — deserves special mention for his 
individual interest in education. No appeal for better educational 
facilities ever met refusal from liim.^ 

Of the nine men, or tribunes, we know so little that it hardly seems 
necessarj^ to mention them in this connection, especially as every 
reference to them save one has already been utilized in other con- 
nections. In 1647 the council referred to the tribunes the building 
of a school. Stu3rvesant wrote them about it, but so far as is known 

' Rec. of X. A., ii,39. 

2 See p. 07. 

5 Beemink, op. cil., p. 113 fif.; Douma, op. cit., p. 92-3. 

* Of dates 1660, 1063, 1060, 1670, 1680, 1081, 1082, 1773. See Chapters VHI and Xll. 

s Ecel. Rec, pp. 2337 ff., 2340 ff., 2374 ff., 2619 ff., 2620-7, 2628 f., 4200 ff. 

« O'Callaghan, Laws of New Netherland, p. 401. 

» See Pratt, op. cit., pp. 8, 33-4; N. Y. Col. Doc, xiv, 107, 123, 169, 232-1; Ecel. Rec, pp. 247, 263. 


nothing was done. The "Great Remonstrance" of 1G49 was the 
work of the nine men. They complained of the misappropriation 
of the funds collected by public subscription for a schoolhouse and 
of the irregular manner in which the school was kept, and expressed 
opinion that two masters should be employed. We are not able to 
say that anytliing was effected for the school by their complaints. 
In 1654 Stuyvesant told the burgomasters and schepens that he had 
"repeatedly reminded the former nine men * * * of the abso- 
lute necessity to devise, as customary in other countries and espe- 
cially in the Fatherland, some means to provide revenue"^ for the 
general expenses, including the school; but we have no evidence that 
the nine men ever did anything with regard to Stuyvesant's remind- 
ers, or that they ever really accomplished anything for the school. 

Quito otherwise, however, was it with the burgomasters. For about 
four years after the granting of municipal powers to New Amsterdam 
in 1653, these appear to have met, as a rule, conjointly with the 
schepens. For tliis period the city support and control is in the 
hands of this joint body. After March, 1657, so far as appears, the 
burgomasters alone are concerned with the elementary school. As 
between the two bodies, then, it is not a question of contemporaneous 
conflicting or contrasted powers of support and control, but a ques- 
tion of the separation about 1657 of the more purely administrative 
from the other functions of tlie city court. In other words, the city 
control of the elementary school is but one continuous story, the 
first chapters of wliich are found in the minutes of the joint body, 
while the last chapters are found in the administrative miuutes of 
the burgomasters alone. 

Beginning in November, 1653, and lasting for a full year, the city 
court was in continual dispute with the director general and council 
on the question of the source and proper expenditure of the city's 
finances. As the salary of "one precentor being at the same time 
schoolmaster" is one of the elements in the dispute, it becomes neces- 
sary for us to enter somewhat into the details of the discussion in 
order to decide whether during this period the city of New Amsterdam 
or the West India Company supported the schoolmaster. Especially 
must we make this examination since the question of local support 
of the New Amsterdam school has been much beclouded by reckless 

The New Amsterdam city government was organized February 2, 
1653. The powers granted, however, were small. Later in the year 
the burgomasters and schepens "asked the community to provide 
means for paying the public expenses and keeping in repair the 
works; and were answered, "if the honorable director general will 
allow the excise to be paid to the treasury of the city and for the 

1 N. Y. Col. Doc, xiv, 282. 


city's benefit, they would willingly contribute.^ Accordingly, on 
November 11, "some of the most influential burghers and inhabi- 
tants of this city having been lawfully summoned," "the burgo- 
masters and schepens declare that they have obtained the consent 
of the honorable director general to have henceforth the excise on 
wine and beer paid into the office of the burgomasters and schepens, 
for the benefit of the city," and "the magistrates ask the community 
whether they wall submit to such ordinances and taxes as the magis- 
trates may consider proper and necessary for the government of this 
city." Thereupon the burghers and inhabitants "all answered 'yes' 
and promised to obey the honorable magistrates in everj^thing, as 
good inhabitants are in duty bound to do, confirming it T\4th their 
signatures." * 

A little later the burgomasters and schepens applied formally to 
Stuyvesant for the excise. He replied, agam orally, granting their 
petition for ''the excise of the beer and wines consumed here (except 
what is exported)" "provided that their worships of the court will 
support the two preachers, the schoolmasters, and secretary." 
These salaries amounted to 3,200 g. annually, which was more than 
the usual income from the excise. The burgomasters and schepens 
seeing this, "unanunously resolved to go in a body to the director 
general and demand in conformity \\ath his promise the grant of the 
entire excise as received at the company's counting house." This 
efi^ort to get the entire excise failed. Stuyvesant had meant aU the 
time only the tavern-keepers' excise, but not the citizens' excise as well. 
The follomng week the burgomasters and schepens presented a 
petition to Stuyvesant, asking for a formal transfer of the excise. 
Stuyvesant's reply was substantial!}' the restatement of the condi- 
tions above given. On the one hand, "the common (i. e., the tavern 
keepers') excise on wine and beer consumed within this city;" on the 
other, "the maintenance of the public works m the city and the sub- 
sistence of the ecclesiastical officers." ^ Upon receipt of this the city 
advertised the excise. But a month later we find them \^Titing to the 
Lords Directors in ^Vinsterdam, askhig for powers "not so extremely 
limited;" saying besides that "the revenue from said excise" 
amounted "to no more than one-third" of the annual pay roll, 
whereas "the maintenance of the city works and other wants of the 
city" of themselves would require all the revenue; and asking in 
view thereof that the excise might be granted "without any limita- 
tion" and that they might furthermore be "authorized to levy some 
new imposts and other small fees," and besides might have "the 
farming of the ferry from this place to Breuckelen."^ 

Before hearmg from the Lords Directors on this request the burgo- 
masters and schepens petitioned the director general and council for 

' N. Y. Col. Doc, xiv, p. 220. ^Ihid., p. 221. » Rec. of N. A., i, 144. 


petition to "impose provisionally for the benefit of this city"* 
certain duties on imports and exi)orts and a certain schedule of excise 
duties additional to those already granted. In reply (February 23, 
1654) the director general and council consented to the "proposed 
citizens' excise" on the same terms as "the tavern keepers' excise" 
previously allowed, but declined to allow the duties on imports and 
exports, because they concerned "the country at large and not any 
particular city or place." ^ 

During this time the ministers and the schoolmasters were depend- 
ent on tlie city government for their pay. The chassis received a letter 
(May 11, 1G54) from Vestensz complaining of "slow payments."^ 
On June 1 the ministers petitioned for their "half year's allowance;" 
and the director general and council ordered the burgomasters and 
schepens " to furnish the accrued half year's salary out of the recei])ts 
according to promise."* In the meanwhile the Lords Directors 
wrote (May IS, 1654), declining to excuse the city government from 
the salaries, but allowing them to "lay any new small excise or impost 
with the consent of the commonalty" unless the director general and 
council should "have any reasons to the contrary."^ 

Apparently vStuyvesant's order of Juno 1, that the salaries be paid, 
was not obeyed, for it was repeated on June 8, and again more 
emphatically on August 3.^ In answer to the last demand, the bur- 
gomasters and schepens rephed that of the 16,000 guilders expended 
in military defense, which was a part of Stuyvesant's demand, the 
share of New Amsterdam was 3,000 guilders; and to meet this they 
requested permission "to lay a tax on real estate." Accompanying 
this petition was an account of the expenditure of the excise. This 
showing was not "acceptable" to Stuyvesant, since it included, 
"for instance, a certain amount of money paid" to Francis le Blue. 
(Tliis Blue was sent to Holland as the city's agent to plead with the 
Lords Du-ectors for more power.) While "for decency's sake" the 
director general and council passed these "over in silence," still 
"induced by those and other reasons" they resolved (August 13) to 
take back, after the current year, the excise into their own 

This communication the burgomasters and schepens resolved to 
ignore, rel3ang upon the previous order of the Lords Directors (May 
18); and they accordingly wrote Stuyvesant, August 24, on behalf of 
this city of New Amsterdam, offering to pay "for the ecclesiastical 
establishment, the salaries of one of the preachers, one precentor who 
is to be schoolmaster at the same time, one beadle."^ But Stuy- 
vesant was determined. "The accounts submitted [show] that the 

1 N. Y. Col. Doe., xiv, 247. * Ree. of N. A., i, 20G. » Ibid., p. 284. 

2 Ibid., p. 248. * Ibid., p. 219. 8 JUd., p. 289. 

3 Ecel. Rec, p. 325. 6 N. V. Col. Doo., xiv, 271, 282-3. 


revenue from the excise was not emjiloycd * * * 'm pa^^ing the 
minister's salary * * *. As burgomasters and schepens do not 
fulfill tlieir promise * * * h^q director general and council are 
compelled to let the said excise to the highest bidder * * * and to 
employ the proceeds in promptly providing for the support of the 
clergy. By these plans the burgomasters and schepens will be excused 
and delivered from carrying out their offer, to support at their 
expense, one clergyman, one schoolmaster, and one beadle."* 

With this action of September 16 the matter rested until November 
23, when there appeared the handbills of the director general and 
council announcing the public auction of the excise. Then the burgo- 
masters and schepens again protested, cpioting the order of the Lords 
Directors; but Stuyvesant considering that this had been already 
"sufficiently answered" made no reply .^ Six months later CMay 26, 
1655) the Lords Directors wrote to the city court accepting Stu^^ve- 
sant's view of the situation, saying that they had "resolved to have 
the collection of this (excise) money made again by the financial 
officer of the company there." ^ 

With this the quarrel ended. It seems fairly certain that up to 
September 16 not all of tlie salaries due the clergymen had been paid, 
and quite possibly no part of the city's revenue had gone in that 
direction. As the schoolmaster was part of the "ecclesiastical estab- 
lishment," it seems reasonably certain that he likewise had been 
partly or wholly deprived of his salary. Wliat had taken place up 
to September 16 remains thus partly in doubt. \Vliat took place 
during the rest of the year is wholly unknown. With the year 1655 
it seems clear that the company itself reassumed the duty of provid- 
ing the salaries. Wliether the past-due salaries — if such there were — 
were then paid, can not now be said. 

Wliat revenues the city had after this controversy and what 
expenditures it was responsible for, may be gathered from the reply 
made by the burgomasters and schepens to the last-quoted letter of 
the Lords Directors. 

We have, moreover, already burdened the commonalty with one stiver in the 
guilder [5 per cent] on the cattle slaughtered in this city besides the burgher excise 
on wine and beer [Stuyvesant had taken back the lavern-keepers' excise], the income 
from which by no means covers the repair and establishments of the city, much less 
what is most urgent, the repairs and erection of the city walls * * *; the repair of 
the city hali, watch houses, the building of schools, the construction of the canal, 
and other similar matters.^ 

That the city government accepted the responsibility of j^roviding 
a schoolhouse appears in the letter above given, where "the building 
of schools" is apparently included among the things "most urgent." 

1 N. Y. Col. Doc. xiv, 293. 2 J6?d., p. 305-6. 3 /birf., p. 325. « Rec. of N. A., ii, 217. 


That, however, nothing was done before November 4, 1656, seems 
evident from the following court minute: 

1656, November 7. 

To the Hoiiora1)le Lords Burgomasters and Schepens of the City of New Amsterdam: 
Harmen van Hobocken, schoolmaster of this city, respectfully requests that your 
honors would be pleased to grant him the hall and the side room for the use of the 
school and as a dwelling, inasmuch as he, the petitioner, does not know how to manage 
for the proper accommodation of the children during winter, for they much require a 
place adapted for fire and to be warmed, for which their present tenement is wholly 
unfit. He, the petitioner, burthened with a wife and children, is greatly in need of a 
dwelling for them, and his wife is expected from hour to hour to be confined, so that he 
anticipates great inconvenience, not knowing how to manage for the accommodation 
of the school children; and if your honors can not find any, he, the petitioner, requests 
your honors to be pleased to allow him the rent of the back room which Geurt Coerten 
at present occupies, which he, the petitioner, would freely accept for the present, as 
he is unable to pay so heavy a rent as a whole house amounts to. He therefore applies 
to your honors, expecting hereupon your honors' favorable endorsement. 

Was subscribed, 

Your honors' servant, 

Harm, van Hobocken. 

Dated 4 Nov., 1656. 

Whereas the city hall of this city, the hall and the little room whereof the petitioner 
now requests for a school and dwelling, are not at present in repair, and are, moreover, 
required for other purposes the same can not be allowed him; but in order that the 
youth, who are here cjuite numerous, may have the means of instruction as far as pos- 
sible and as the circumstances of the city permit, the petitioner, for want of other lodg- 
ings, is allowed to rent the said house for a school, for which one hundred guilders 
shall be paid him yearly on account of the city for the present and until further order. 
Done in court this 4th of November, 1656. At Amsterdam in New Netherland.' 

We can well sympathize with Master Hobocken. In the winters 
of New Amsterdam the school children would indeed "much require 
a place adapted for fire and to be warmed." To see winter approach- 
ing in a "tenement wholly unfit" for so necessary a purpose was of 
itself enough to make the poor man seek "proper accommodation." 
It pleases us to see that the worthy burgomasters and schepens did 
not turn an entirely deaf ear, and that the circumstances of the city 
did permit its schoolmaster to have a "whole house." Apparently, 
the "back room" occupied by Guert Coerten contained the only and 
much-desired "place adapted for fire." With that room, in addition 
to what he already had, every need could be met, and the church 
records duly report the baptism of a son to Master Hobocken on 
November 12, 1656. 

This appropriation by the local authorities for the rent of a school 
is quite in line with the uniform division of school support. It was the 
duty of the people to furnish school quarters and of the company to 
provide the master's salary. With this act appropriating rent for the 

iRec.ofN. A., 11, 219-220. 


schoolhouse, the burgomasters and schepens as a joint body disappear 
from the elementary school records. In a few months the burgomas- 
ters began to meet separately, and to their records we now go as the 
direct continuation of the present account. 

The first reference found in the burgomasters' minutes is difhcult 
of interpretation, because on the face it appears to contradict flatly 
the conclusion tentatively reached above that the schoolmaster's 
salary came only from the company. An administrative minute of 
January 16, 1660, reads as follows: 

Mr. Hermen van Hoobocke requests by petition, that he may receive an alloicance 
from the city, as he is behind hand with the building of the school, and for divers other 
reasons set forth in the petition; on which petition is apostilled: Petitioner is allowed 
to receive his current year's salary, which shall be paid to him at a more convenient 
season on an order of the burgomasters on the treasurer, and his allowance henceforth 
is abolished.^ 

It must be admitted that if it agreed with other references, both 
preceding and succeeding, to understand that the ''allowance" herein 
"abolished" was Hobocken's ordinary salar}' paid by the burgo- 
masters from their treasury, the minute quoted would apparently 
afford substantiating evidence of such a customary procedure. But 
our tentative conclusion as to the source of the salar}^ is directly 
opposed to this. What then shall we say as to this minute? Must 
we modify our previous opinion ? Might it not be that, although all 
the preceding evidence has pointed in the one direction, neverthe- 
less the city had, in the three or four years between the preceding 
references and this, again undertaken to pay the salaries which 
Stuyvesant resumed in September, 1654. The objection to this inter- 
pretation is that there is no reference other than the one under con- 
sideration which even looks in that direction, while others contradict 
it. We have already seen some of the evidence. Wlien Evert Pieter- 
sen was elected, the Lords Directors specifically fixed Pietersen's 
salary. This would hardly have been done if the salary was to come 
from another treasury than their o^^^l. Of the free schoolhouse to 
be furnished by the city the Lords Directors properly said nothing. 
Agam, after the English had come, Pietersen told the burgomasters 
and schepens that liis "allowance from the company" was "struck 
off." If he had been receiving his salary from the men he was then 
addressing, he would hardly have chosen these exact words. And in 
a subsequent petition (September 19, 1665) to the reorganized city 
court he said "he was heretofore paid his wages by the honorable 

In the face of such direct statements, fitting, as they do, with so 
much of indirect evidence, we seem compelled to reexamine the 
minute under consideration and ask whether it can not receive an 

• Rec. of N. A.., vii, 244. _ '^Ibid., v, 294. 


interpretation which shall agree with other pertinent evidence and 
at the same time do no violence to its own words. And may we not 
find the key to the solution in the annual appropriation of 100 guilders 
for a schoolhouse, first made in November of 1656? While this was 
not a salary in the strict sense, it was an aUoivance "paid him yearly 
on account of the city." The payment of this allowance may have 
been slow (the "convenient season" suggests as much), so that 
Hobocken may have asked for what was already promised with pos- 
sibly an increase. The answer of the burgomasters, as it seems to 
the writer, can easily mean that they were willing to contmue the 
100 guilders rent allowance for the year 1660, but for no longer. 
This suggested interpretation of the minute wliile possibly not the 
one that would ordinarily present itself upon a first reading, never- 
theless seems the only one that fits the other known facts. So far, 
then, it still seems probable that the schoolmaster's salary in the 
proper sense came from the company. 

In the administrative minutes, quoted on pages 67 and 84, we saw 
it clearly understood between the director general and council, on the 
one hand, and the burgomasters on the other, that the latter should 
provide "a proper dwelling and schoolhouse." The only question in 
mind then was when such a house would be needed. It appeared 
from a minute a few days later* that the burgomasters decided to 
proceed immediately with the erection. But evidently something 
stopped them, for some months later (February 2, 1662) we find them 
addressing a petition to the director general and council stating that 
they wished to erect "a suitable school (house), for which is required 
a suitable and well-situated lot," Then follow the request for a lot 
on Brouwer Street 30 by 15 feet and the declination of Stuyvesant 
on the ground that it was "more convenient that the school (house) 
be erected on a part of the present gravej^ard." ^ As to the merits 
of the several possible locations for a good schoolhouse we can of 
course say nothing. The lot on Brouwer Street may have been "well 
situated;" but that a "suitable school (house)," even for those early 
times, could be built on a lot only 30 by 15 feet seems inexplicable. 
If Stuyvesant had objected to the proposed lot on account of its size, 
we could better approve his action. Whether his refusal to grant 
the petition of the burgomasters stopped their plans for building can 
not be said; but, as previously pointed out, the evidence is to the 
efi^ect that the house was never built. 

That the burgomasters controlled the internal aft'airs of the school 
(subject to the "advice" of the director general and council) has been 
sufficiently shown in connection with the "instructions and rules 
for schoolmaster Evert Pietersen."^ There is nothing to be added 

' Minutes of the Orphan Masters, etc., ii, 103. 3 gee pp. 67. 85. 

2 N. Y. Col. MSS., vol. 10, part 1, pp. 39-40. 


to the discussion there given. It thus appears, in concUision of this 
and the preceding item, that the school in New Amsterdam was 
looked upon as the city school; its master was "the schoolmaster of 
this city," and sjiould therefore properly receive his maintenance 
from the city, and that this was "customary in other countries and 
especially in the Fatherland;"^ that, however, for lack of sufficient 
revenue the city could not provide the necessary salary, so that the 
company had to resume the support of the master. The city did, 
nevertheless, furnish a schoolhouse and dwelling for the master and 
made the regulations under which he taught. 

The question of support would not be complete without reference 
to the cjuestion as to whether tuition was charged or whether the 
salary of the master was his sole remuneration. 

In the case of Pietersen, we saw from his instructions (p. 68) 
that "besides his yearly salary," he was "allowed to demand and 
receive from every pupil quarterly" tuition graduated according to 
the studies taken; but "the poor and needy, who asked to be taught 
for God's sake, he shall teach for notlung." Such an explicit state- 
ment is lacking in the case of the other masters, but there is no 
evidence which could deny the prevalence of the custom. The refer- 
ence already given in the case of Hobocken, as to "what he is allowed 
for each child per quarter pursuant to instructions from the general 
and council" can only refer, it appears, to tuition charges similar to 
Pictersen's. This is corroborated by the universal custom in Hol- 
land and by the unvarying practice in the outlying Dutch villages, 
as Avill later appear. With this corroboration, with the specific 
instances quoted, with the absolute lack of any contradictory evi- 
dence, it seems perfectly safe to conclude that the regulations in the 
case of Pietersen were customary at New Amsterdam. Each cliild 
paid cpiarterly 30, 50, or 60 stivers tuition, according to the studies 
taken, only the "poor and need}'" were exempt, and this as a charity. 

A brief summary may help to bind together the disconnected dis- 
cussions of this extended chapter. The elementary school of New 
Amsterdam was the joint concern of church and state. The church 
entered as a copartner in the school in the fact that, among the 
Dutch, it was the universally accepted duty of the schoolmaster to 
teach religion through the catechism and other church formularies. 
As theological divergence was the worst of all errors, and as the influ- 
ence of the school was now recognized as transcendently great, it 
had become the peculiar duty of the church to safeguard the chair of 
instruction. Accordingly, the Classis of Amsterdam — in special 
cases, the local minister and consistory — examined the prospective 
New Amsterdam masters as to their fitness, especially for their reli- 

i N. Y. Col. Doc, xiv, 282. 


gioiis duties. A like supervision, the church exercised — in theory at 
least — over the actual teaching of the school. 

The civil authorities conceived tlieir interests and resjjonsibinties 
in a manner strikingly similar to what is common in America to-day. 
They chose the master's — frequently upon ecclesiastical recommenda- 
tion — paid their salaries, furnished the schoolhouse, and gave the 
directions under wliich the masters taught. In the division of civic 
function, the States-General exercised only a broad oversight, serv- 
ing more as a court of final appeal than as an executive or legislative 
agency. The Lords Directors from the general treasury of the com- 
pany furnished the money for the salaries, directed the general affairs 
of the school, and besides held themselves free to control even its 
minutiae. The director general and council acted only as the agents 
of the company, but exercised much power in the service of their lords. 
The city authorities, but for decaying finances and an autocratic 
director, would have furnished a sufhcient support and the sole con- 
trol of the city school. As it was, their financial support extended 
(apparently) only to furnishing the schoolhouse, while the control was 
always subject to Stuyvesant's "advice." In spite, however, of any 
thwarting of purpose, enougli was done by the secular authorities to 
present a remarkable anticipation of the American public school. 


In seeldng the earliest suggestioii for a Latin school at New Amster- 
dam some have followed Brodhead, who says that "an academy was 
contemplated" in 1650.^ This idea seems to have arisen from a 
misconception of Van Tienhoven's reply to the "Great Remon- 
strance." As ordinarily translated this part of the reply reads, 
"It is true there is no Latin school or academy, but if the commonalty 
desire it, they can furnish the means and attempt it."" The word 
"academic" of the original, however, should be translated "univer- 
sity." Evidently from tliis reply and so far as appears from the 
Remonstrance,^ no one can conclude that either a Latin school or a 
university in New Amsterdam was contemplated at that time. 

The first certain reference to a Latin school appears to be in a hith- 
erto unsuspected place. A mistranslation had concealed the mean- 
ing. The passage which we give below, correctly translated, is 
from a letter of the Lords Directors to Stuyvesant, of date April 4, 

We also agree with your proposition to establish there a trivial (triviale) school and 
believe a beginning might be made with one usher {hypodidasculum) who could be 
engaged at a j'early salary of 200 to 250 guilders. V\'e recommend for this position 
Jan de la Montague, whom we have provisionally appointed to it; and you may use 
the building of the city tavern if you find it suitable.'' 

Since we have practically no other knowledge of this school, the 
question as to what kind of school it was turns upon the meaning of 
the word "trivial." The student of the liistory of education will, 
of course, immediately connect the word "trivial," as here used, 

» Op. cU.,i, 516. 

2 Narratives of New Netherland, p. 362. 

3 See extracts, pp. 60. 62. 

< N. Y. Col. Doc, xiv, 169. The translation here given is O'Callaghan's except that we have put "triv- 
ial (triviale) " in the place of "public, " and "usher" in place of "schoolmaster. " The word hypodidasculus 
was a common term to denote a subordinate master in a Latin school. Thus in 1541 at the refounding of 
the Canterbury Grammar School there were provided a head master (Archididascolus) and a " Hipodidas- 
coins sive secundarius Informator." The latter must be " Laline doctus" and must, " sub Archididascolo," 
teach the boys the elements of the Latin grammar (see page 458 of Leach, Educational Charters, Cambridge, 
1911). Similarly of the Sherborne (Latin) Grammar School in 1550, we read "de una Magutro seu Pcdagogo 
el una subpedagogo sive hipodidascalo" (i6., p. 480). Other similar instances are found in the same work, 
pages 502 (Westminster, 1560), 506, 508, 512. The latest instance noted is in the published "Charter and 
Statutes of the College of William and Mary in Virginia. In Latin and English" (Williamsburg, 1736), 
where (pages 87, 91) the assistant in the (Latin) Grammar School is called an usher in English and hypo- 
didasculus in Latin. The word hypodidasculus is variously spelled, as appears above. 

The Lords Directors in the letter quoted above seem to think that an usher would suffice as a " beginning. " 
Later, if the school grew, a rector might be sent. 



with the "trivium," which together with the " qiiadrivium " mado 
up the seven liberal arts of the Middle Ages. The trivium consisted 
of grammar, rhetoric, and logic. Grammar at this time, when all 
learning was in Latin, included those elementary studies of the school 
which were designed to give a mastery of that language for the sake 
of subsequent study. Schools in which such language study was 
given were called sometimes grammar schools, sometimes trivial 

In England during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and in 
the early English colonies of America, the "grammar school" was con- 
ducted in the Latin tongue (at least in theory), and was designed to 
give a practical mastery of the Latin language with some knowledge 
of the Greek. At the present time in America the expression "gram- 
mar school" usually means a school above the primary school and 
below the high school, in which no language other than English is 
found, and the grammar of that, even, need not be stressed. As the 
term grammar school has thus, in America, so widely departed from 
its original meaning; so in certain parts of Europe, in Austria for 
example, has the expression "trivial school" come to mean not a 
Latin grammar school, but the ordinaiy elementary vernacular school. 

If, then, the "trivial school" has anywhere gone the way of the 
"grammar school" in America,^ the interpretation of the passage at 
hand becomes a matter of nicer study. Before we can say what Stuy- 
vesant and the Lords Directors intentled, we must ascertain the cur- 
rent meaning of the expression "trivial school" in Holland at that 
time. An exhaustive study of original sources alone could answer 
our question definitely and finally. 

We shall present a number of independent references in the en- 
deavor to fix the meaning of the word, (a) In a dictionary of middle 
age Latin 2 under the word trivium we read, Triviales dicuntur qui 
docent, vel qui student in Trivio, sicut Quadriviales , qui in Quadrivio. 
(They are called "triviales" who either teach or study the trivium, 
and similarly with "quadriviales" and the quadrivium.) This refer- 
ence does nothing more than tend to corroborate what is undis- 
puted, that the name of the trivial school is derived from the trivium. 
(6) Foster AVatson quotes the title of a book by one John Stock- 
wood, which indicates something of the curriculum of the trivial 
school of England in the early seventeenth century: Disputatiuncu- 
larum Gramrnaticaliuin libellus ad 'pucrorum in scholis trivialibus 
exacuenda ingenia primum excogitatus, 1607.^ The Latin title and the 
use of the disputation show that "trivial school" was still for Stock- 

' Seep. 211 below for a similar change in meaning of "trivial school" in America. 

2 Glossarium ad scriptores mediae et infimae Latinitatis. Editio nova. Basiliae, MDCCLXII. 

* The English Grammar Schools to 1G60, p. 96. Watson elsewhere (p. xxii of Beginnings of Modern School 
Subjects, London, 1909) quotes a 1663 writer who calls Eton, Winchester, and Westminster "trivial 


wood fairly close to its original meaning, (t) Bishop Hall (1574- 
1656) thus uses the word in English: 

Whose deep seen skill 
Hath three times construed either Flaccus o'er, 
And thrice rehearsed them in his trivial floor.' 

The reference to construing Horace shows unmistakably that the 
bishop's idea of a trivial school included Latin, (d) The Synod of 
Dort (1619) presented to the States General a ])etition that "some 
general rules for the government" of the "trivial or inferior schools" 
might be drawn up in order that a "uniform method of teacliing be 
established, especially in the principles of grammar, logic, and 
rhetoric."^ Here we have the three studies of the old trivium still 
holding sway, (e) The particular S3mod of South Holland meeting 
in Dort, 1627, discussed whether it was advisable that the elements 
of Hebrew be taught in the trivial schools (:ln scholis trimalibus 
fundamenta Hebraicae linguae).^ Evidently no one would think of 
putting Hebrew mto anything less than a Latm grammar school. 
(/) In 1634 the same synod discussed the inquiry of a rector scholsd 
trivialis as to whether the pupils should, as a school exercise, present 
comedies.'' Here two things indicate a Latin school, the use of the 
word rector and the reference to the presentation of the classic 
comedies, as of Terence, for example, (g) In the minutes of the 
same synod from 1634 to 1637 are three other references to rector 
scliolx trivialis, and one to rectoren in triviale schoolen.^ (h) At 
Utrecht from a very early date was a city school called the St. 
Jerome School. During the seventeenth century it was of the gym- 
nasium type, being sometimes called the "Jerome Gymnasium." It 
had eight classes, and, as was common with the schools of the kind, 
forbade the pupils to "speak Dutch."" In the instructions issued 
by the common council this school is in 1634 referred to as "the 
aforesaid trivial school called the Jerome (Hieronimi) School," and 
again in 1640 as "the trivial or Jerome (Hieronimi) School."' Two 
clear cases in wliich " trivial school" was equivalent to "gymnasium." 
(i) Douma, writing of Holland in the seventeenth century, speaks of 
"the triviale or Latin schools (de triviale or Latijnsche scliolen) , which 
were found in nearly all of the cities" of Holland, saying: "These 
schools were not always higher (hoven) than the ordinary elementary 
school, but for the most part stood on the same level as (naast) the 

> Satires IV, i, 173. (Quoted in Century Dictionary under Trivial.) 

2 Brandt, History of the Reformation, iii, 320. The Dutch origLual says "de triviale schoolen: "' quoted 
from Wilten's Kcrkelijk Plakact boek (i, 144) by Woltjer, op. cit., p. 76. 
8 Acta, etc., i, 220. 
* Ada, etc., ii, 32. 
6 Iljid., pp. 30, ai, 07, 132. 
6 Van Flensburg, op. cit., vii, 370, 381, 383. 
' Ibid., pp. 368, 376. 

28311°— 12 7 


latter * * *. The pupils were often admitted in their eighth 
year." He refers to Leges Scholx Leovardiensis (1638, reprinted 1701) 
as typical. In these we have: "On the whole no pupils were admit- 
ted who did not know how to read; declining and conjugating are 
the chief subjects, and then come explanations of passages from 
Latin and Greek authors."* So far everything seems to point to the 
use of the word trivial to indicate a Latin school." 

That in Holland no change had come in the signification of the 
word even as late as the midtlle of tlie eighteenth century seems to be 
indicated in the following extract from a letter read in the Classis 
of Amsterdam in 1751. It tells of the education of an applicant for 
ordination to the ministry. 

"He in order to have him study Latin and Greek, had placed him in the trivial 
school at Utrecht, with the co-rector there, until the time that he should publicly 
graduate. Subsequently he was placed at the house of Rev. Peter Wynstok at Har- 
derwyk, in September, 1736." ^ 

These references seem to show clearly that the seventeenth century 
school was a Latin school, probably attended not only by boys in 
their teens, as in our present American Latin schools, but quite as 
likely by boys from 8 years of age and upward. This, then, is what 
we should naturally and normally understand to be the school con- 
templated by Stuyvesant and the Lords Directors in 1652. 

Let us now examine the general situation for confirmation or contra- 
diction. Even a casual readmg of the letter of the directors, as given 
above, makes it clear that some new kind of school had been recom- 
mended by Stuyvesant and accepted by the Lords Directors. It was 
yet to be " estabUshed, " and "a beginning might be made with one 
schoolmaster. " Clearly the elementary school of which Vestensz had 
charge was not a triviale school, else some such word as "other" or 
"second" would have been used in connection mth the proposed 

Thus since the original trivial school of the Mddle Ages was 
undoubtedly conducted in Latin exclusively for instruction in gram- 
mar, etc., since all the accessible contemporary records mdicate sub- 
stantially a continuance of the same instruction, since the eighteenth 
century reference explicitly asserts that Latin was then taught in the 
Utrecht trivial school, and since the only pertinent document is other- 
wise unintelligible, wc seem not only authorized, but compelled, with 
the present lights before us, to conclude that this 1652 school in New 
Amsterdam was an elementary Latin school designed probably to 

1 Op. cit., pp. 94, 95. 

2 Other references poinlins in the same direction are found in Buddinsh, op. cil., pp. 27, 37, 38, 93; Monu- 
menta Germanix redagotjicx, vol. 2, pp. 116, 374, 377, 381, 388, (321; ibid., vol. 38, pp. 68, 241; ibid., vol. 41, 
pp. 34-5. Rcitsma and Van Veen, op. cit., vii, 237-238. 

' Eccl. Rec, p. 31S2. This is almost certainly the Jerome School above referred to 


teach the rudiments of that lan^iage to the boys of the more aristo- 
cratically conditioned of the New Amsterdam settlers. 

Of the subsequent history of the school thus provided we know 
next to nothing. That it was actually established, we presume from 
the following council minute of date December 9, 1652: 

On the petition of Jan Monjoer de la Montagne, director general and council order 
the receiver general, Cornells van Tienhoven, to pay the petitioner three or four 
months wages.' 

Should any object that "three or four months" is not enough to 
bridge over the gap between April 4th (the date of the letter author- 
izing the school) and December 9th (the date of the minute), the 
answer appears easy. The letter might take a month or two, or even 
more to arrive. Another month might be required to put the school 
into operation. The indefiniteness of "three or four months wages" 
sounds as if the authorities did not care to keep exactly abreast of 
their accounts. In short, in view of what has gone before, and in 
the absence of any other known reason why the younger Montagne 
should receive wages, the coincidences are so great as practically to 
compel behef that the school was begun and that it did continue for 
at least "three or four months." How much longer the school con- 
tinued can not be stated. As Montagne left for Holland in the summer 
of 1054, we have no difliculty in concluding that the school did not 
last longer than two years, at the most.^ 

That the "city tavern" housed tliis school may well be tiTje, 
though there is no evidencis other than the letter quoted. Later, this 
buihUng became the stadhuys or city hall. There is good reason to 
suppose that m 1652-53, it was not used as a tavern, but had become a 
public storehouse for old hnnber and a lodguig house for chance unfor- 
tunates.^ Certainly the evidence does not warrant the slur sometimes 
cast that New Amsterdam schools were kept in taphouses. 

The establishment of the next Latin school was due to the persist- 
ence of one of the ministers, Domine Drisius, who — as the Lords 
Directors wrote to Stuyvesant (1658) — "has repeatedly expressed to 
us his opinion that he thought it advisable to estabHsh there a Latin 
school."^ The Lords Directors further said they had "no objection 
to this project * * * but you must not fail to mform us how 
such an institution can be managed to the best advantage of the 
community and kept up with the least expense to the compan}^. " 
(The Lords Directors always expected Stuyvesant to report on details 
and keep down expenses.) 

Domine Drisius, as we may well beheve, also stirred up the city 
fathers. At any rate, on September 19 of the same year, the burgo- 

1 N. Y. Col. MSS., V, 95. ^ See Rec. of N. A., i, 146, 219, 291-2, 308. 

2 Riker's History of Harlem, p. 786. * N. Y. Col. Doc., xiv, 419. 



masters and schepens petitioned the Lords Directors in behali of the 
proposed school: "The burghers and inhabitants are inclmed to have 
their children instructed m the useful languages, the chief of which is 
the Latin tongue." The nearest such school is "at Boston, in New 
England, a great distance from here." The petitioners fui'ther state 
their belief that if a suitable master be sent, "many of the neighbormg 
places would send their children hither to be instructed." They 
hoped that the school thus established "increasing from year to year" 
might "Imally attain to an academy [university], whereby this place 
arriving at great splendor, your honors shall have the reward and 
praise next to God the Lord." They close by saying, "on your 
honors sending us a schoolmaster we shall endeavor to have con- 
structed a suitable place or school. ' ' ^ Tliis last clause fits well with the 
practice before seen of the city's furnishing the school building. The 
Lords Directors wrote, February 15, 1G59, that "the arguments 
brought forward * * * have mduced us to decide" that "a lit and 
honest man" shall be sent "to instruct the cliildren in the elements 
and foundations of the [Latin] language," care being taken that he 
writes a good hand, to teach the cliildren calhgraphy. " ^ 

The followhig extract from the mimites of the Amsterdam C'hamber 
shows in detail the selection of the rector for the school, his salary, the 
custom of furnishmg the books, the "gratuity" and how it was profit- 
ably invested, and permission to give private instructions. The 
reference to the garden or orchard is probably in view of the fact that 
D? Curtius was a physician, and needed a herbarium. 

Thursday, the 10th of April, 1659. 

Before the board appeared Alexander Carolus Curtius, late professor iu Lithuania, 
mentioned in former mmutes, who offered his services. After a vote had been taken 
he was engaged as Latin schoolmaster in New Netherland at a yearly salary of 500 fl., of 
which one-quarter shall be paid to him in advance, that he may procure what books 
he recjuires. The board further grants him a gratuity of 100 fl., which the company 
will lay out in available merchandise to be used by him upon his arrival in New 
Netherland, where a piece of land convenient for a garden or orchard shall be allotted 
to him by the director general. He shall also be allowed to give private instructions, 
as far as this can be done without prejudice to duties for which he is engaged.^ 

The new master sailed in the Bever on April 25, but "the books 
required by tlie schoolmaster now coming over for the instruction of 
the young people in Latin could not be procured in the short time 
before the sailing of these ships. They will be sent by the next 

Curtius arrived, opened his school, and afterwards appeared before 
the burgomasters on July 4. He was "informed tliat 200 fl. are 
allowed him as a yearly present from tlie city; an order on the treas- 
urer is also handed him for fl. 50, over and above." From this dis- 
tance the court seems generous; but Curtius was not easily pleased. 

I Rec. of N. A., iii, 15-0. ?- N, Y. Col. Doc, xiv, 430. i Ibid., p. 437. 


''He thankfully accepts, but requests as he has but few scholars as yet 
that Ills salary may be somewhat increased, as the beginnmg entails 
great expense, saying whenever he gets 25 to 30 children to the school 
he shall serve for less salary."^ 

Wo note then that the city authorities gave a part of the salary, 
not quite half as much as the company. C'urtius was evidently 
interested in the financial aspect of his position. Just six weeks 
later Stuyvesant writes to Holland that "Curtius complains of his 
salary." He asks "whether a reasonable sum may not be granted 
to him for board money." Stuyvesant bears cordial testimony to 
C'urtius's success; "as to his services and diligence we must truly 
testify that his industry is astonishing and the progress of the young 
people remarkable." Stuyvesant further asks "whether it is not 
possible to receive by somebody's recommendation and intervention 
from the Botanical Garden at Leyden some medicinal seeds and 
plants." 2 

The Lords Directors promised to send "the medicinal seeds," and 
the following April (1660) the}^ were sent. Their purposes are suffi- 
ciently explained in the following extract: 

As we are told that Rector Curtius practices medicine there, and therefore asked 
to have a herbarium sent to him, we have been willing to pro\dde him with one here- 
with. You will hand it to him with the understanding that it shall not cease to be 
property of the company.^ 

From January to September we find the Domine Rector Alexander 
Carolus Curtiiis engaged in a suit at law about the purchase price of a 
hog. Neither party to the suit had been present at the sale, each 
acting through an agent. On January 13 the case was called: 
"Defendant Alexander in default. Plaintift' demands benefit of the 
default." The court overruled. "Daniel Tourneur appearing, 
declares to have sold a hog for Capt. Jacob to Alexander Carolus 
Curtius for five beavers — two beavers down and the remaining three 
at the end of the month." ■* At the next session, January 20 : "Defend- 
ant offers an exception as not being amenable before this court, but 
before the director general and council." The court overruled. 
The domine's agent, Jan Schryver, then testifies that the hog was 
purchased for "two beavers and two blankets." The court orders 
"both sides to summon their witnesses against the next court to 
confront them with each other."'' 

It is three weeks before the next entry. Curtius appears with his 
witnesses. Schryver repeats his testimony, "offering to confirm 
the same on oath." "Capt. Jacob is ordered to summon Daniel 
Tourneau at the next court day."® A week later both sides are 
present. "Daniel Tourneau declares that after many words of 

> Rec. of N. A., vii, 223-4. a Ibid., p. 462. s Ibid., p. 103. 

* N. Y. Col. Doc., xiv., 445. * Rec. of N. A., iii, 08-9. 6 ibid., p. 128. 


praising and bidding the hog was sold to Dom? Rector for five beavers, 
saying that C'apt. Jacob would not sell that hog for less than five 
beavers, which was told to the rector; to which the rector answered — 
saying, in God's name he had but two beavers and he must wait for 
the other three, to which Capt. Jacob would hardly agree; finally, 
through the mediation of Joannes van der Meulen, he let himself be 
persuaded, offering to confirm the same on oath. Jan Schyver 
declares that Dom? Rector bought the hog for two blankets and two 
beavers; offering also to confirm the same on oath. The court gave 
parties eight days respite to recollect themselves, and if they have 
any proof to bring it also in." ^ After this Curtius seems to havtf 
avoided the issue, and apparently the case was allowed to "rock 
along." On June 1, and again on August 24, the defendant was "in 
default." But on the latter date both witnesses were present and 
both offered to "confirm their declaration by oath." For some 
reason not made clear the court tendered the oath to Daniel Tourneur, 
who having taken the same, "the defendant was condemned to pay 
the plaintiff the five beavers, which he promised for the hog in ques- 
tion." Apparently we have in this legal proceeding some trace of the 
old compurgation. One wonders why that other witness was not 
ahowed to swear. Possibly he "backed down" at the last moment. 
On the 7tli of September appears the closing entry. Curtius acknowl- 
edged the judgment, "saying for this time he submits to the same."^ 

That Curtius was "out for the almighty dollar," even at that early 
day, has already been made evident. We noted that when an out 
and out present of 250 guilders was given him, he asked that it be 
made larger. We saw six weeks later his request to Stuyvesant and 
the directors for an increased salary from the company. Not only 
did he ask for more salary from his school, but he practiced medicine 
on the side; and besides, in the judgment of the court, tried to cheat 
at a hog trade. And even more, he objected to paying the excise, 
claiming that "whereas professors, preachers, and rectors are exempt 
from excise in Holland," he should be exempt here. lie further 
claimed that "the director general has granted him free excise." 
But in this matter again he lost; " the court decided that the D? Rector 
shall pay the excise." ^ 

Nor was tliis all. During the continuance of the suit about the 
hog, it came to the ears of the burgomasters "that the rector of his 
own pleasure takes one beaver [eight guilders] per quarter from 
each boy, wluch is contrary to the order" "that he should take six 
guilders per quarter school money for each boj^." The burgomasters 
thereupon gave him "warning and notice not to take any more than 
what is fixed upon by the honorable director general and burgomas- 

1 Rec. of N. A., iii, 133. 2 Ibid., p. 201. »Ibid, p. 253. 


ters, or through neglect thereof burgomasters will retain his yearly 
stipend which the rector receives from tliis city."^ But this threat 
did not stop the practice. Some six months later he was brought 
before the burgomasters again on the same charge. This time he 
defended liimself, saying that ''at the beginning of school the parents 
of his pupils came to him urging liim to teach the children well, 
which he promised, to do and has done more than usual, but he must 
also have more than was allowed, for wliich they have promised him 
one beaver."^ Wliat the court this time decided, we do not know, 
but he was soon after compelled to give up his place. 

In tliis connection the question of the rector's income from the 
school naturally arises. The first year, exclusive of tuition, he 
received 850 guilders from the company and the city together. Of 
this, however, only 700 guilders continued to succeeding years. 
His tuition can hardly be estimated directly with any certainty ; but 
a court record of July 12, 1661, affords an indirect basis of approxi- 
mation. On the day named he asked the burgomasters and schepens 
whether the city would "contribute to him 600 guilders a year m 
beavers on condition of [his] receivmg no contribution from the 
youth." ^ He had already been receiving 200 guilders from the 
city, so that he could hardly have been getting more than 400 guilders 
in tuition fees, else he would not offer for 600 guilders. If we add 
400 guilders tuition money to the salary as given above, we have 
some 1,250 guilders as the maximum income from the school.* That 
tliis is considerably more than the elementary master received need 
not surprise us. The rector of a Latin school was on a distinctly 
higher plane, much more nearly equal to the position of the clergyman. 

Tliis tuition income enables us to approximate the number of 
pupils in average attendance. The school, we may beheve, was in 
session four quarters. This would mean an average income from 
tuition fees of 100 guilders per quarter, wliich at the legal rate of 
tuition fees would have meant a paying average of some 17 pupils. 
Evidently his expressed hope of 25 or 30 pupils was never realized. 
Aegidius Luyck, who succeeded Curtius, had at one time an enroll- 
ment of 20, with 10 or 12 more expected. We may conclude that 
20 or 25 is probably as high a figure as Curtius's enrollment ever 

Concerning the success wliich attended the efforts of D? Curtius, 
we are compelled to chronicle an apparent decline during his term 
of service. At first all went well. Shortly after the school was 

»Rec. of N. A., vii, 257. 

2 Minutes of the Orphan Masters, etc., ii, "(i. 

3 Ree. of N. A., iii,344. 

* In this discussion nothing has been said of tlie vexed question of two kinds of currency, pro\'incial and 


begim, Stuyvesant wrote: "As to his services and diligence, we must 
truly testify that his mdustry is astonishmg and the progress of the 
young people remarkable." Curtius himself told the burgomastere 
that he had "done more than usual." His fame seems to have 
spread to the South River (Delaware), for the \dce-director there 
wrote (Mar. 15, IGGO) to Stuyvesant: "I kindly request that your 
honor will permit me, when an opportunity is offered, to visit the 
Manhattans in May or June. I intend to bring my two oldest boys 
to school."^ But this early success was not maintained. The 
burgomasters were informed that D? Curtius "does not keep strict 
discipline over the boys m his school, who fight among themselves 
and tear the clothes from each other's bodies, which ho sliould prevent 
or punish." His reply, it must be confessed, belongs to the universal 
brotherhood of teachers: "Concerning the discipline he says his 
hands are bound, as some people do not wish to have their children 
punished, and ho requests that the burgomasters would make a rule 
or law for the school." ^ 

The career of Curtius m New Amsterdam ended a few months 
after this appearance before the burgomasters. The Lords Direc- 
tors took tlie matter into their own hands and dismissed him, whether 
for incompetence or on account of his contumacy to the burgomasters 
does not appear. That he did not leave of his own accord seems 
evident from Stuyvesant's letter: "What Alexander Carolus Curtius, 
the rector or Latin schoolmaster, dismissed by your honors, has 
remonstrated and requested of us on his departure, your honors can 
deduce from his annexed petition."^ If only we had the records 
of the West India Company and could see this petition, our curi- 
osity as to what he remonstrated might be satisfied; but as matters 
now are this is the last known of D? Curtius. His term of service 
extended, apparently, for just two years, from July, 1G59, to July, 

We may call attention to the fact that this Latin school was con- 
trolled and supi^orted in much the same way as was the elementary 
school of New Amsterdam. The company paid the salary for the 
most part, while the burgomasters supplemented this and ftn-nished 
the schoolhouse.* Tuition was charged at rates "fixed upon by the 
honorable director general and biugomasters." In general, the 
school was looked Upon as a city school, and as such was regulated 
by the burgomasters of the city. 

• Pratt, op. cit., p. 24. Vice Director Beekman could not have wished to move his boys from Evert 
Pietcrsen's elementary school in order to place them under Hobocken. Pietersen was admittedly the 
better man. 

2 Administrate Minutes, Feb. 25, 1661. (Minutes of the Orphan Masters, ii, 76.) 

3 Pratt, op. cit., p. 27. 

« We saw that the city promised to "endeavor to have constructed a suitable place or school." That it 
did so appears from Curtiiis's statement to the burgomasters, when his discijilino was under review, that 
"it is also necessary that his school (house) should be enlarged." 


After the dismissal of Curtius the Latin school lapsed for nearly a 
year. In February of 1662, Domine Aegidiiis Liiyok, "S. S. Minis- 
terii Candidatus," aged about 21, sailed from New Amstel, "called 
for the private instruction of the director general's children."^ He 
proved very acceptable to Stuyvesant on account of his "good 
method of inculcating the first principles of the Latin and Greek 
languages, as in writing, arithmetic, catechizing, and honorum 
morum ])raxi8."'^ The success of the young ministerial student 
becoming known, plans were made to employ "him in the liectoratum 
of this city," the place previously occupied by Curtius. The director 
general and council recommended the scheme to the Lords Directors, 
and the burgomasters likewise wrote requesting that it be carried out. 
Relying on the basis of the precedent set by the Lords Directors in 
the case of Curtius, and influenced by the appeals now made, Stuy- 
vesant "deemed it proper," in D? Luyck's own words, "to employ 
me for tliis end, promising that he would ad\4se and recommend to 
the Loi-ds Directors that a salaiy might be allowed me." Accord- 
ingly in May, 1662, the provisionally appointed rector took up the 
work of the New Amsterdam Latin School laid down by Curtius 
some 10 months before. Stuyvesant said of Luyck's efforts, they 
"far excel the instructions of the late rector, Alexander Carolus 
Curtius, as will be testified by the ministers of the holy word of God 
and other competent judges." ^ 

The question of salary was to be determined when the Lords 
Directors should announce their pleasure.* "With this looking 
forward I remained satisfied," says Luyck, "returned to my school, 
and exerted every nerve so that the number of my pupils was in- 
creased to twenty, among whom were two from Virginia and two 
from Fort Orange, and ten or twelve more from the two aforesaid 
places were expected, while others were intending to board with me."* 

When the Lords Directors neglected to make known their decision, 
Luyck petitioned to the director general and council, July 30, 1663, 
for a salary. Stu}^esant favored the request, but for some reason 
the council declined to act, still referring Luyck to the Lords Directors. 
The young domine turned in distress to liis noble patron, from whom 
he received a most characteristic reply: "My advice on the request 
of the Rev. Aegidius Luyck is that I condescend to acquiesce in the 
majority of votes." He was nevertheless of opinion "that theinstruc- 
tion of the youth with well-regulated schools is not less serviceable 
or less required than even church service," and closed the letter by 
teUing Luyck that "he ought to enjoy the quality and salary which 

> N. Y. Col. Doc, il, 4fi9, xii, 361; Pratt, op. cit., p. 32. 
s Pratt, op. cit., p. 33. 
^Ihid., p. 33-4. 

< Ibid. The date of beginning is fixed by a statement of Stuyvesant'a made August 9, 1663, that tlie 
school had then been in operation "during five quarters of a year." 


the Lords Directors granted to the first Latm master, Alexander 
Carohis Curtius."^ Shortly after this Luyck received lettei^s " from 
his father and mother, showing tliat the proposal of the director 
general sliould be answered, and that the transactions of the director 
general in this case were approved." lie thereii])on renewed "his 
humble refpiest that it may please your honors to appoint and con- 
firm the supplicant, either absolutely or provisionally, in the solicited 
Rectorate, with the ordinary salary." If they were not willing to do 
this, he asked permission "to go with the vessels now lying ready 
to sail on a short trip, under God's guidance, to the Fatherland, to 
solicit there in person — the desired appointment with the salary 
annexed to it. As the common proverb says, 'No better messenger 
than the man himself.' " ^ 

A petition on the same day from the burgomasters "to the noble, 
great, and ros])ected director general and council in New Netherland" 
that the latter should grant D? Luyck "such a salary as your honors 
in their wisdom and discretion shall deem ])roper," is too opportune 
to be accidental. The two petitions accomplished the desired end. 
The action of the council and the accompanying action of the burgo- 
masters were as follows: 

The director general and council are, with the supplicants, of the opinion that the 
continuation and encouragement of the Latin school is necessary — and, as it is cus- 
tomary in our Fatherland, that such porsons by the cities which make use of them 
are engaged, so are the supplicants authorized by this, to allow such a salary to the 
aforesaid Rev. Luyck as they shall deem reasonable — of which salary director general 
and council provisionally upon the approbation of the noble directors shall pay the 
half. 16th August, 1663. 

NoTA. — In virtue of this authorization the burgomasters agreed with the Rev. 
Aegidius Luyck that he shall receive annually in seewant (wampum) at 8f. for a st., a 
thousand gl., of which the company shall pay the half.^ 

The salary here voted to Luyck is not quite what Curtius had 
received. Seewant money or wampum at this time had only half 
the value of coin, so the "thousand gl." thus voted was only 500 
guilders, Hollands. Curtius, we saw, received 500 guilders, HoUands, 
from the company and 200 guilders from the city. It seems probable 
that this latter was reckoned in wampum. If so, Luyck's 500 
guilders, Hollands, is to be compared with Curtius' 600 guilders of the 
same basis. It is to be noted, moreover, that this salary was 
voted provisionally upon ratification of the Lords Directors. But 
since the company's share of Luyck's salary, as promised by Stuy- 
vesant, was only 250 guilders — just half what Curtius had received 
from that source — we need not doubt that the Lords Directors 
approved; and it is quite possible that they authorized an appropria- 
tion more nearly equal to that of Curtius. That Luyck charged 

1 Pratt, op. cit., p. 33-34. = Ibid., p. 34. s ibid., p. 35. 


tuition we could have concluded from the general custom, even if 
we had no explicit statement to that effect. 

P^ew subsequent records of Luyck's work in the Latin school 
remain. Pie was married "the second day of Christmas," 1663, to 
Judith van Isendoorn. Domine Selyns, on the occasion, wrote 
two poems, the title of one of which shows Luyck's continued service 
in the Latin school. "Bridal torch for Rev. Aegidius Luyck, rector 
of the Latin school at New Amsterdam, and Judith Van Isendoorn, 
lighted shortly after the Esopus murder committed at Wiltwyck, in 
New Netherland, by the Indians, in the year 1663." ^ In February of 
the succeeding year Lu3"ck contributed 200 florins to the defense of 
the city. Pietersen contributed 100, while Stuyvesant contributed 
1 ,000. At the taking of New Amsterdam by the English in September 
of 1664 Luyck was present and apparently furnished aid in defense 
of the city.^ A month later he took the oath of allegiance to the 
English.^ In May, 1665, he left with Stuyvesant for the Fatherland.* 
On October 22, 1065, he signs a statement as "Aegidius Luyck, late 
rector of the Latin school in New Amsterdam." ^ It seems clear that 
Luyck continued at the head of the Latin school until the English 
occupation. Wliether ho continued after that, as did Pietersen 
we can not say. Since there is no petition on his part for a salary 
from the city, as there is in the case of Pietersen, the probabilities 
would seem to be agajnst it. At any rate his teaching career in 
America came to an end not later than May of 1665, for at that time 
he departed for Holland, Some, indeed, have said that he maintained 
his school continuously until the second English occupation in 1674, 
but the evidence against tliis is conclusive. After Luj'ck's return 
to Holland, he resumed his study for the ministry, and was in Septem- 
ber of 1666 "received as recommended" for ordination by the Classis 
of Amsterdam.^ About a j^ear later (August, 1667) he expressed to 
the classis his intention of returning to New York, and asked permis- 
sion to be ordained "in that land if opportunity offered."^ He did 
subsequently come to New York, but probably not until after June 
5, 1670, for at that time we find our old friend. Evert Pietersen, 
reading the sermons when D? Drisius was not well enbugh to preach.^ 
Since D? Luyck served in 1671-72 as a supply for D? Drisius, we can 
then feel sure that Pietersen would not have acted in this capacity 
had Luyck been in the city at the time. 

In March of 1671 we learn that " Domine Luyck by reason of y^ 
weakness of Domine Drisius now several tymes hath teached y® 

' For both iK)ems and English translations, see ^ Ibid., ii, 469. 

Murphy's Anthology, p. 137. s Eccl. Rec, p. 582. 

2 N. Y. Col. Doc, u, 469. ' Ibid., p. 589. 

3 /6/rf., iii, 76. ^ Ibid., p. 610. 

* Ibid., ii, 470-1. 


word of God, with good satisfaction to this Court and y® Inhahitants 
of this City;" and it was "agreed lippon that from henceforth on 
Sabbath days y® Word of God should be teached in y® forenoon by 
Domine Drisius and in y® afternoone by y^ said Domine Luyck."^ 

During this time he is referred to as ''Aegidius Luyck, Merchant," 
and he is stated to have owned ' ' one-sixteenth part of the ship Good 
Fame of New York."- After a year of service as assistant to 
D? Drisius, the court allowed him "by way of gratuity — the sum of 
400 guilders seewant."^ A reference in September, 1672, shows his 
continued stay in the city.* In 1673, when the Dutch retook New 
York, he was nondnated as schepen of the city, but was chosen by 
Governor Colve as burgomaster.^ In this capacity he served on 
several important commissions, and at the same time acted as 
captain in the militia.^ During this brief rule of the Dutch there 
was compiled "a valuation of the best and most affluent inhabitants 
of this city," 62 names in all. The average wealth of these was 
8,400 guilders, Luyck was assessed at 5,000 guilders, and Pietersen 
at 2,000. The median of list was between 4,000 and 5,000.'' Whether 
Luyck attained his position of "affluence" by inheritance, by mar- 
riage, from his Latin school, or by his merchandise, we can not say. 
We will not suggest that he used improperly his positions as "com- 
missary of provisions" and "receiver of confiscated property;" 
though at a much later date the coincidence of wealth and two such 
positions in the case of a wliilom schoolmaster, might lead to such 

Wlien the English came the second time, "Mynheer Domine, 
burgomaster and captain," got into trouble over the oath of allegiance; 
and apparently his property was m turn confiscated.^ He left New 
York in May,^ 1676, and his name no more appears in the records. 

As to the school itself thus conducted by Curtius and Luyck there 
is little to add. Internally it was most probably as exact a reproduc- 
tion of the schools in the Fatherland as conditions in New Netherland 
would allow. The textbooks used may be assumed with some 
probability from the following list sent by the East India Company 
some 10 years before (1653) to a similar school in one of their eastern 
possessions : 

iRec. ofN. A., vi, 292. 

' Second Annual Report of the State Historian of N. Y., p. 313. 
sRec. OfN. A., vi, 305. 

* Second Annual Report of State Historian of N. Y., p. 361. 
6Rec. 01 N. A., vi, 390, 39S. 

« N. Y. Col. Doc, ii, 002, 025, 031, 038, 644, 670, 085. 
•> Ibid., pp. 099-700. 

B Tliird Annual Report of the State Historian of N. Y., pp. 283, : ;5, 286, 344, 383, 385, 396-397, 401, 404, 
412, 430-431. 
s Eccl. Rec.p. 086. 


2 Calepini dictionaria octo linguarum; 12 Florilegia Langii; 12 Apophthegmata et 
Similia Lycosthenis; 12 Progymnasmata Aphthonii; 20 Prosodiae Smetii; 20 Thesauri 
poetici; 12 Psalterii Buchanaui.' 

The support and control of tliis school was much the same as of the 
New Amsterdam elementary school, the mam difference being that 
no ecclesiastical body is mentioned so much as once m connection 
with the selection or certification of either Latm master. Another 
difference was that while the city seemed not to give the elementary 
master any stipend other than house rent, in the case of both Curtius 
and Luyck, the burgomasters furnished a good portion of the salary. 

It is pleasing to see in the records references to the "renown and 
glory" which should come to the city from the possession of ''well- 
regulated" schools. Stuyvesant considered these ''not less service- 
able or less required than even church service." The authorities 
had higli hopes for their Latin school; but a hostffe nation intervened 
before the city could reach "the great sjDlendor" of seeing the Latin 
school "attain to an university." 

1 Acta der Part. Synoden van Zuid-Hollaud, iii, 374. From a footnote on the page noted we present the 

The fust book on the list had originally been pubhshed in 1502 at Reggio. The edition here used was 
probably of Paris (11109) or of Lyons (l(j34). The eight languages were Latin, Hebrew, Greek, French, 
ItaUan, Spanish, and Eughsh. The full title of the second was Joseph Langius, Anthologia seu florilegium 
locorum communium. The third on the list was Conr Lycosthenes, Aphophthegmata ex probalis Grsecx 
Latinxque Ungux scriptoribus, C'adomi, IGIO (for a description, see Foster Watson, Enghsh Granimer Schools, 
p. 425-420). The next was pubhshed in Leiden in 1028 and at Amsterdam in 1(J42. Of the fifth and sixth 
nothing can be added. The fuU title of the last was George Buchanan, Paraphrasis Psalmorum Davidis 
voeiica. First edition Antwerp, 1582. 


Reserving for the moment the discussion of the formal private 
schools, attention may be called to two known cases of private tutors. 
One of these, Aegidius Luyck, has already been discussed at length in 
the preceding chapter, where it was pointed out that he was ''called 
for the private instruction of the director general's children," and that 
he taught them ''the first principles of the Latin and Greek languages, 
writing, arithmetic, catecliizmg, and lionorum morurn praxis.^' 

The second tutor, Jacques Cortelyou, is perhaps a more important 
personage than Aegidius Luyck. lie was the first settler and early 
patron of the village of New Utrecht and the founder of the well-known 
Cortelyou family of tliis State. Cortelyou came over to America about 
1652, apparently in order to serve as "tutor to the son of the Hon. Mr. 
Werckhoven." LTnfortunately we know nothing of his teaching 
career other than the bare facts above stated; but his contemporaries 
have left numerous comments upon the man himself. Df van 
Zuuren, of Long Island, for instance, submitted a disputed salaiy case 
to Cortelyou when he was "the justice of New Utrecht," remarking 
in connection that "he, although not of our religion, is a man of good 
understanding, especially in philosophy and in the mathematics of 
Descartes."^ Bankers and Sluyter, those eccentric religious enthusi- 
asts, say of liim "he had studied philosophy in his youth, and spoke 
Latin and good French. He was a mathematician and sworn land 
surveyor. He had also formerly learned several sciences, and had 
some knowledge of medicine. The worst of it was he was a good 
Cartesian and not a good Christian, regulating liimself and aU exter- 
nals by reason and justice only." ^ Many evidently even in more 
favored times have had tutors less learned and less capable than had 
Van Werckhoven in this Jacques Cortelyou. 

The fact that dame schools were common in Holland at the time of 
American colonization should lead us to expect their presence m New 
Netherland, and they may have been here, but no case has appeared 
durmg the Dutch period, and very few among the Dutch during the 
English regime.^ If Stuyvesant included dame schools under his 
regulations governing private schools, later to be discussed, we might 

« Eccl. Rec, p. ns. 2 Loug Island Hist. Soc. Pub., i, 128. 3 Sec pp. 173, 187, 180. 



say that the silence of the records indicates that no dame taught 
school in New Amsterdam. However, it seems somewhat doubtful 
that the authorities would be as strict with an old woman teaching 
in her kitchen — such was the custom with school dames — as wdth a 
more pretentious school. This consideration and the fragmentary- 
character of the council records forbid one's placing much reliance upon 
the argument from silence. A confession of discreet ignorance seems 
the wisest course. The only assertion to be made is that, if there were 
dame schools m New Netherland, no trace of them has come down 
to us. 

If we know nothing of school dames in New Netherland, it is quite 
otherwise with private schoolmasters. There is no probability that 
all who taught privately have left traces in the records; but enough 
is known of a few to add an interesting if short chapter to the history 
of Dutch education in America.^ The first certam reference is of 
date 1649, when "the worthy Adriaen Jansen van Ilpendam, at 
present schoolmaster here on the island of Manhattan," executed a 
legal paper before the official notary. ^ Since there is no e\'idence 
tending to connect tliis Van Ilpendam with the official school on Mun- 
hattan, we infer that he was a private master, and suppose that he 
was one of the schoolmasters mentioned by Tienhoven in liis rejoinder 
to the Remonstrance (about 1649-1650): "The other schoolmasters 
keep school in hired houses, so that the youth, considering the cir- 
cumstances of the country, are not in want of schools."^ Beyond 
this we have found nothing regarding Ilpendam's school keeping on 
Manhattan. In 1651 he had a school in Bever\\yck (Albany), where 
his further career will be treated.* 

Da\'id Provoost, sr., was a prominent citizen of New Amsterdam, 
where he lived from about 1641 to about 1656. He died in the last- 
named year, apparently on Long Island. Quite possibly Provoost 
taught for many years on Manhattan, and likely enough was also one 
of Tienhoven's masters who kept school in "hired houses." The 
baptism records of the New Amsterdam Church give the names of 
children of "Mr 'Duvid Provoost" baptized in 1645 and 1646.^ The 
title "Mr" under the circumstances almost certainly means that he 
was teacliing as early as 1645, Our first explicit reference to his 
school, however, is in a council minute of February 12, 1652, when the 
heretical iVnna Sniits was directed by the director general and councd 

I A good resume of the private schoolmasters of New Netherland, trustworthy on the whole, is found in 
Pratt's Annals, pp. 51-55. Valentine's discussion in the Corporation Manual of ISOG is, unfortunately, not 

2N. Y. Col. MSS., iii, GO. 

3 Narratives of New Netherland, p. 362. The translation here used is Mr. Van Laer's amending of Prof. 

* See p. 120. 

' N. Y. Geu. and Bio. Soc. CoU., ii, 19, 20. 


to "appear on the following Wednesday at the school of David 
Provoost, where the nine men usually met."^ 

Two years later Provoost brought suit against Joost Carelsen for 
school money, the record of wliich we give in full in order that the 
reader may for liimself correct an error of O'Callaghan's in including 
Carelsen among the private schoolmasters of New Amsterdam.^ 

City Hall, Monday, August 24, 1654. 

David Provoost, pltf., v/s. Joost Carelsen, deft., demands payment of fl. 8 for school 
money. Deft, confesses the debt, but says that Michael Povdisen deducted the same 
from his rent and he thought all along that it had been paid. Parties being heard, 
deft, is condemned to pay pltf.^ 

City Hall, Monday, August 31, 1654. 

Joost Carelsen, pltf., v/s. Mary d'Karman, deft., demands payment of fl. 8, which 
he is condemned to pay D. Provoost and which is deducted from his rent. Deft, 
says she paid pltf. his rent in full according to receipt, and that she paid D. Provoost 
8 gl. school money herself in the presence of pltf. The court orders that parties shall 
appear before the board on the next court day, with D. Provoost, senior, in order to 
be heard on the premises.* 

It is quite evident from this that Joost Carelsen was a patron (delin- 
quent at that), and not a schoolmaster. As no other reference 
connects Carelsen with the schoolroom, wc must conclude that O'Cal- 
laghan read carelessly the records of the case in court. 

It may be asked whether the 8 fl., for which Provoost sued, repre- 
sented a year's tuition for one child. This is not asserted in the 
records, and the probabihties are against it. Reducing this to the 
same basis as Pietersen's tiution schedule, fl. 8 a year would mean 
only 40 stivers a quarter, wliich is less than the average rate allowed 
to Pietersen, who had besides a fixed salaiy that probably furnished 
much the larger part of his remuneration. Furthermore, at Albany 
in 1660, we find Van Ilpendam charging "two beavers (i. e., 16 fl.) 
for one year's school money." We can not agree then that we have 
in the "8 fl. for school money" any information as to the rate of 
tuition charged by Provoost. We may note in concluding with 
Provoost that his general standing in the community speaks rather 
well for the position of private master. 

In the council minutes of September 2, 1652, we find: 

On the petition of Hans Steyn, soliciting permission to teach school — ^granted. ^ 

There was a Hans Steen, a corporal, condemned in 1639 for improper 
conduct "to ride three hours on the wooden horse and do duty as a 
soldier during fourteen days." Another Hans Steyn in 1638 was a 
midshipman. Probably neither of these was tlie teacher. Appar- 
ently the man to whom the Hcense was issued continued to live in 

»N. Y. Col. Doc, xiv, 150. 3 Rec. of N. A., i, 230. 6 Pratt, op. cii., p. 53. 

2 Register of New Netherland, p. 130. * Ibid., pp. 234-5. 


New Amsterdam until about 1666.^ We know notliing else of his 

Andries Hudde held many offices in New Netherland during nearly 
the whole Dutch occupation. His request for hcense is interesting 
on account of the answer returned. 

Andries Hudde appeared before the director general and council and solicited a 
license to keep school, received for answer that the council shall ask upon his pro- 
posal the opinion of the minister and the consistory. Done in New Amsterdam, 
31 December, 1654.2 

Just why the opinion of the minister and consistoiy should be 
asked is not clear. If the ministers only had been named, we could 
easily suppose that they had been appealed to as expert judges of 
educational qualifications. But the opinion of the consistory in this 
regard could add notliing. When we take into account the ecclesias- 
tical hatred of heretical teachers common in Holland, and Stuyves- 
ant's fanatical zeal against heretical sects, we are inclined to wonder 
whether suspicion may not have rested on Hudde's orthodox}'. 
Some such question as this seems the most probable consideration 
which could prompt the director general and council to ask the opin- 
ion of the minister and consistory. That Hudde should have wished 
to teach is strange considering his many business concerns. Whether 
his request was granted we can not say, as this is the only known 
tiling connecting him also with school keeping. 

The basis on wliich the name of Frans Claessen is included among 
the private masters has not liitherto been presented to the reading 
public. The record is interesting not only historically but also as 
showing that even a Dutch schoolmaster had a very human side. 

On Monday, June 26, 1656, Jan Vmje, who lived apparently next 
door to Claessen, brough suit against his neighbor for damage to his 
growing garden, saying that he ' 'found last Saturda}^, deft.'s son with 
three or four other school boys among his peas and corn," where 
''they did much damage * * * by their footprints." He further 
stated that he had spoken to Claessen about the matter; but that 
the latter proved "obstinate" and gave him "much abusive talk." 
Claessen told the court that he was "ignorant that his son and school 
mates had been m pltf. corn, or had done any damage there." He 
further stated that Vinje had "beat liis son with a stick black and 
blue." Vinje thereupon proved by two witnesses "that ho found 
deft.'s son and boys among the peas and hunted them away." After 
hearing this the court appointed two neighbors to ins})ect and assess 
the damage.^ Wlien the parties were summoned to hear the dc^cision 
of the arbitrators, Vinje added to liis former grievance the further 

» N. Y. Gen and Bio. Soc. Coll., ii, 32, 52, 55, 64, 73. ' Rec. of N. A., ii. 122. 

2 Pratt, op. cil., p. 19. 

28311°— 12 8 


complaint that Claessen's "hens and pigs still daily run among his 
corn;" and he asked authority to kill them if they were not kept out. 
We are not told what the arbitrators had to say, but Claessen was 
evidently by this time much excited. He declared that the children 
had not "taken or injured anything to the value of a pea's pod;" 
that "his son had already been beaten therefor by pltf., so that he 
came home black and blue;" "that many other children, when they 
came out of school, were in there;" and finally closed by denying 
"that his hens or pigs run in pltf.'s land or corn." Vinje then 
acknowledged " to have struck deft.'s son at the time. He could not 
catch any other but him." The court ha\dng heard both decided, 
"since pltf. acknowledges to have beaten and punished deft.'s son, 
that he has destroyed his right;" and accordingly dismissed the suit 
with an order "that deft, shall keep his hens and pigs out of the 

That Frans Claessen was the master of these "school boys" is 
evident from two distinct references to them as his boys. Vmje 
found ''deft's son and boys among corn and peas,"^ and the arbi- 
trators refer to the damage done to the corn "by Frans Jansen's 
boys."-^ Valentine says: "In 1660 Frans Claessen kept a private 
school in this city. He died in 1662."* The second date is wrong. 
So far as appears the data given above in tiie court case include 
all that is known of his school keeping. But on the 26th of Septem- 
ber, 1657, there was baptized in New Amsterdam a child of "Mr. 
Frans Claszeen" and "Immetje Dircks."^ The title "Mr." fixes the 
father as the schoolmaster under consideration. Four years later 
(Oct. 26) appears in court records a reference to "Immetje Dircks, 
widow of Frans Claessen."'" It is thus clear that the "Mr. 
Frans Claessen" who was teaching in 1656 had died before October 
26, 1660. 

In connection with the next private master. Jacobus van Corlaer, 
we have a very clet^r statement of the requirement that one must 
obtam consent from the director general and council before under- 
taking to teach school in New Amsterdam. 

Corlaer had been in the colony since 1633.'' Our first information 
connectmg him with the schoolroom is of February 19, 1658, when 
Stuyvesant's police officer "was directed to proceed to the house of 
Jacobus van Corlaer, who for some time past has undertaken to keep 
a school in this city * * * and to order the same to cease 

1 Rec. of N. A., U, p. 137. 
i Ibid., -p. 122. 

3 Ibid., p. 134. He seems to have been called indifferently Frans Claessen and Frans Janssen. See ibid., 
p. 12fi. 
* Corporation Mamial, 1863, p. 565. 
6 Coll. of N. Y. Gen. and Bio. Soc., ii, 47. 
•Rec.ofN. A., iii, 235. 
' Narratives of New Netherland, p. 203, note. 


holding school, until he has asked for and obtamed the consent in 
proper form.* When Corlaer was thus compelled to close school, 
his patrons becomuig ''greatly interested thereby" petitioned the 
burgomasters and schepens that he might be "allowed again to keep 
school; inasmuch as their children forget what the above named 
Jacob van Corlaer had to their great satisfaction previously taught 
them in readmg, ^vl•iting, and ciphering, which was much more than 
any other person, no one excepted."^ 

Probably it was bad tactics for the patrons to appeal from the 
action of the high and mighty director general and council to the 
less high or mighty burgomasters and schepens. The latter could do 
nothing but intercede with the former. They first spoke "verbally 
thereon;" but their "honors were not pleased to allow it, for reasons 
thereunto moving" them. WTiereupon the worthy burgomasters 
and schepens in a formal address "to the right honorable director 
general and councillors of New Netherland" represented "with all 
respect that some burghers and mhabitants" of the city had peti- 
tioned them in the matter, and "they therefore, in consequence of 
the humble supplication of the burghers and inhabitants aforesaid, 
again request that your honors may be pleased to permit the above- 
named Corlaer agam to keep school." ^ But Corlaer himself had not 
yet asked for consent in proper form ; clearly he was stiff-necked and 
needed further disciplinmg. Moreover, those "burghers and inhabi- 
tants" who had been so ignorant or perverse as to direct their 
petition to the wrong body needed to be instructed, while the burgo- 
masters and schepens needed to distmguish more clearly the confines 
of their prerogatives. To meet this situation a suitable reply suf- 
ficiently terse, sufficiently autocratic, was drafted in Stuyvesant's 
owiT style: 

It was decreed: To keep a school and appoint a schoolmaster depends absolutely 
from the jus patrGnatus, in \artiie whereof the director general and council have for 
good reasons forbidden it to Jacobus van Corlaer, who arrogated the same to himself 
without their order; and they persist in their resolution and interdict.^ 

This not only made clear to the burgomasters and schepens their 
impotence m the matter, but also brought Van Corlaer to a proper 
state of submission. Before the next meeting of the council he 
presented his petition; but, alas, he had already gone too far in his 
perverseness. "For weighty reasons the director general and 
council decree: Niliil."^ Whether "the weighty reasons" included 
more than that Corlaer had "presumed to take such on himself 
without their order," we can not say. The recor<l tells us nothing 
more. Apparently, Corlaer's teaching career was finally ended, 
however much he and his patrons may have objected to Stuyvesant's 

»N.Y.Col.Doc.,xiv,412, 'Rec.ofN. A.,ii,348, »N. Y.Col.Doc.,xiv,413. 


act. But we are thereby the gamers, in getting so clear and distinct 

a statement of the law governing the licensmg of private masters. 

Of Jan Lubbertsen our knowledge is sniall mdeed, being little 

more than is contahied m the council minutes of August 13, 1658. 

August 13, 1658, Tuesday. — Received the i:)etition of Jan Lubberts, requesting 
consent to open a school for instruction in reading, writing, and arithmetic. 

It was answered: 

The request is granted, provided he behave himself as such a person ought to 

Lubberts married the following June; and between December 29, 
1660, and August 25, 1683, the baptisms of eight children are recorded. 

It is worth while to note that Lubberts, as well as Corlaer, taught 
exactly the three H's. Also that the director general and council 
expected good behavior of schoolmasters. 

The career of Jan Juriaensen Becker was so checkered that we 
venture to present in formal outline those events of his life which took 
place within the year 1660, when he was licensed. 

January 14. Jan Juriaensen Becker at New Amstel reads the sermon on Sundays. 
(Cal. Dutch MSS., p. 340.) 

April 1. He is indicted for selling liquor to Indians. {Ibid., p. 209.) 

April 9. V'arioua persons testify in Becker's behalf that brandy is openly sold 
throughout the South River. (Ibid.) 

April 12. Becker makes his defense. (Ibid.) 

April 26. Jan Juriaensen Becker, for selling liquor to the Indians, is fined 500 
guilders, degraded from his office as clerk of the church, banished from the South 
River, and required lo pay costs of the case. {Ibid., p. 210.) 

May 3. Becker petitions for pardon. {Ibid.) 

May 3. His fine ia remitted. {Ibid.) 

August 19. He presents the following petition to the director general and council: 

To the Right Honorable, the Valiant Director General, and the Honoiable Council of 
New Netherland: 

Jan Juriaensen Becker, with due reverence, humbly shows, that owing to recent 
changes of fortune, he, the petitioner, not knowing what else to do, has engaged in the 
business of a tapster, in which he has invested nearly all his .real and personal 
property for himself and his family, therefore, the petitioner applies to your honors, 
humbly beseeching and praying that your honors may please to look -with compassion 
upon your petitioner (being a former employee of the company) and employ him as a 
clerk in the service of the company, either at the Esopus, here, or elsewhere, wherever 
your honors may think it advisable; or, in case your honors for the present can not 
employ him in the service, that the petitioner may then be permitted to keep school, 
to teach the youth reading, writing, etc., upon which he awaits a favorable decision. 

Your Honors' willing servant, 
(was signed) J: Becker. 

Done at Amsterdam 
in New Netherland, 
this day, 15 August, 1660. 

Voted to make this apostil: 
Fiat schoolkeeping. Done at Fort Amsterdam in New Netherland. 
Date as above. ^ 

1 N. Y. Col. Doc, xiv, p. 424. 2 N. Y. Col. MSB., vol. 9, pp. 377-8. 


August 31. Beckor is fined thirty guilders because "he entertained people [in his 
tap house] after nine o'clock, and tapped during the sermon"; also ten guilders "for 
having behaved offensively to the officer." ' 

September 7. "On the petition of Jan Juriaensen Becker endorsed: The court per- 
sist in the judgment by them pronounced." ^ 

This closed his career so far as we know it, in New Amsterdam. 
Ten years later we learn that "Jan Jeiirians Becker had a Graunt to 
keep y® Dutch school at Albany for y*' teaching of youth to read and 
to wryte y® which was allowed of and Confirmed" by Governor 
Nichols (1664-8). We may then suppose that he moved to Albany 
soon after 1660 and began to teach. That he was successful in his 
teaching we know, because Governor Lovelace "thought fit that y® 
said Jan Jurians Becker who is esteemed very capable that way shall 
be y'' allowed schoolmaster for y^ instructing of y^ youth at Albany 
and partes adjacent he followed y^ said Imployment Constantly & 
diligently and that no other be admitted to interrupt him." ^ 

In the case of Johannes van Gelder, as with Steyn and Lubberts, we 
have only his license to bear witness to his teaching: 

To the Noble, Great and Respected, the Director General and Council in New Nether- 

Shows reverently, Johannes van Gelder, a citizen and inhabitant of thais city, how 
that he, your petitioner, being tolerably well acquainted with reading and writing, it 
has happened that several of the principal inhabitants of this city have ad\Tsed and 
likewise encouraged him to open a public school, and consequently have induced the 
petitioner, who looks out for a living in an honorable way, to adopt their advice, in the 
hope that he shall execute this task to their satisfaction who shall make use of his 
ser"\ace. But as this is not allowed, except upon permission previously obtained, so 
he addresseshimself to your hon^?, requesting their permission for this work, viz., keep- 
ing a public school, which doing, etc. 

Your Honors' subject and servant, 

Johannes van Gelder. 
The apostell was. 
Fiat quod petitur 

21 September, 1662.* 

The expression ''public school," as used in this petition, can mean 
nothing more than a school open to the public. With Van Gelder 
ends our list of private masters at New Amsterdam. Whether there 
were private masters elsewhere in New Netherland we can not sa}^. 
Certainly there were few, if any. 

The principal things to be noted in this connection are, first, the 
number of private masters in addition to those of the official school. 
That there were several of these in 1649 must be inferred from Tien- 
hoven's statement about the masters teaching "in hired houses." 
We may therefore suppose that there were more in the following 
decade, when the town had doubled in size. Unfortunately we have 

1 Rpc. of N. A., lii, p. 193. 3 Munsell's Annals of Albany, iv, 15. 

2 Ibid., p. 205. * Fratt, op. cit., p. 21. 


no means of knowing how long any of these private masters taught; 
so that we can judge but little as to how many teachers were in the 
city at any one time. Of the nine names considered in this chapter, 
four certainly taught for a greater or less length of time. Of the five 
remaming names, Andreas Hudde may never have taught; smce we 
have no record of "the opinion of the minister and consistory," which 
was asked on his application. Jan Juriaensen Becker quite possibly 
never taught in Manhattan. Of Steyn, Lubbersten, and Van Gelder 
we have no reason to doubt that they taught, although we have no 
evidence of the actual fact. Probably, then, at least seven of these 
named men conducted private schools in New Amsterdam for a greater 
or less length of time; and quite probably there were also other 
private masters, whose connection with the schoolroom is now lost. 
All in all, it appears that more instruction Avas given by private 
masters than by the official school. 

Second, we note that the director general and council required that 
their permission be first obtained Ijefore anyone could teach in New 
Amsterdam. Whether this was as strictly enforced all the time as it 
was in the case of Van Corlaer, we can not say. 

It is an enlightening commentary on the inadequacy of our records 
that in no instance do the record of licensing and the known fact of 
teaching concur; that is, of those known to Jiave been licensed we do 
not know that they taught, and of those known to have taught we do 
not know that they were licensed. But this need not make us con- 
clude that the requirement in Van Corlaer's case was exceptional. 
Van Ilpendam and Provoost quite possibly began to teacli under 
Kieft's administration, when such matters were probably not con- 
sidered. In the case of Frans Claessen, we must conclude that the 
record of his licensing has been lost. It is to be remarked that while 
the city government was by Holland custom quite competent to 
grant licenses, the burgomasters and schepens of New Amsterdam 
were not allowed any participation in the matter. That belonged 
exclusively to the "right honorable director general and council."^ 

1 But note the case of Carel de Beauvois, p. 124. 



The Dutch villages chartered during the Dutch period were, as 
heretofore stated, Beverwyck (Albany), Breuckelen (Brooklyn), Mid- 
woud (Flatbush), Amersfoort (Flatlands), New Amstel (New Castle, 
Del.), New Haerlem (Harlem), Wiltwyck (Kingston), Bergen, Bos- 
wyck (Bush wick), and New Utrecht. For our present purposes we 
may add Stuyvesant's Bouwery, although this was never chartered.^ 

Beverwyck (Albany) may be said to have been founded about 1630 
by KjliaenVan Rensselaer, whose patroonship included a considerable 
body of land in the neighborhood. Rensselaerwyck, the colony, 
grew but slowly; Beverwyck, the village, which in 1643 was ''com- 
posed of about one hundred persons," in 1646 had no more than ten 
houses. 2 We have seen above that in the case of these patroonships, 
the "patroons and colonists" were to endeavor as quickl}^ as po.s.sible 
to find some means whereby they might support a minister and a 
schoolmaster, and " for the first " they should procure a comforter of the 
sick. The early records of tliis colony are fairly adequate and give 
proof that no comforter of the sick was ever sent to it. It was 1642 
before a minister was brought over, and 1648 before we hear defi- 
nitely of a schoolmaster. He, it appears, kept no more than a private 
school. Evidently this item of the "freedoms," granted in 1629, 
could be disregarded ^^'ith impunity. 

The first known reference to a school is found in a letter of the 
patroon to his agent, Arent van Curler, March 16, 1643, in which a 
temporary church is under consideration. "Tliis," Van Rensselaer 
says, "could be made ready quickly, about 26 feet wide and 60 feet 
long, but the location must remain as directed. * * * Next to 
the house of D? Megapolensis would not be unsuitable, and later it 
could be used as a school."^ To this Van Curler replied (16 June, 
1643): "As for the church * * * that which I intend to build 
this summer in the pine grove will be 34 feet long by 19 feet wide. 
It will be large enough for the first three or four years to preach in, 
and can afterwards always serve for the residence of the sexton, or 
for a school."* 

1 The facts of general history that may be needed in this chapter will, for the most part, be taken from 
Brodhead's New York, and without fm^her acknowledgment. 

2 O'Callaghan, History of New Netherland, 1, 390. 

3 Van Rensselaer-Bowier MSS.. pp. 662-3. 
* O'Callaghan, New Netherland, i, 459. 



While patroon and colonists appear to have been slow in school 
matters, tliis correspondence shows that Van Rensselaer nevertheless 
felt responsible for providing a schoolhouse along with the other 
necessary public buildings. In this connection we may point out 
two instances where the duties of voorlezer and schoolmaster were 
not always united. Wlien, in 1632, instructions were issued by 
Kiliaen Van Rensselaer for the government of his colonial court, 
Brandt Peelen was "authorized to read aloud some chapters from 
the Holy Scriptures, for which purpose a Bible is herewith sent 
* * * as well as a huys postille scJiulteti (Abraham Schultetus, 
Huys PostiUen), in which every Sunday throughout the year has its 
special lesson and exposition of God's word."* This Brandt Peelen 
was specifically engaged as a farmer for Van Rensselaer, and there 
seems not the slightest doubt that he gave to his farm his entire 
time. Certainly he did not teach school. ^ At a later date (1653) 
Antony de Hooges was for a while voorlezer during the time he was 
secretary of the colony. It seems practically certain that he was not 

The first certain reference to a schoolmaster in the colony is of 
date April 30, 1 648, when Evert Nolden was permitted by resolution 
of the court to establish himself as a schoolmaster. Some three 
years later he was prosecuted for having crushed Adriaen Dirchsz' 
nose with a pair of fire tongs. Beyond these facts we can say little 
of him. He seems to have left the colony in 1660.* The data avail- 
able indicate that Nolden was a private master. 

The first definitely-known action of the authorities looking to the 
establishment of a public school was taken September 9, 1650, when 
the inhabitants petitioned the council of the colony for a competent 
schoolmaster. In response the council appointed Arent van Curler 
and Goossen Gerritz trustees of a fund to be raised for the building 
of a school. Not long afterwards Adriaen Jansz van Ilpendam came 
up from New Amsterdam, where he had been a private master, and 
took charge of the public school. On November 23, 1651, the court, 
upon his petition, granted him 50 florins toward the payment of his 
house rent.'^ 

There is a difficulty in the records about the school in Beverwyck 
at this time. Van Ilpendam, who began in 1651, was still teaching 
in 1657^ and apparently in 1660. But in 1652, when D? Schaats 
was brought over as minister, it was stipulated that he should "pay 

1 Van Rensselaer-Bowier MSS., p. 208. 

2 fbid. See index under Peelen, Brandt. 

3 Ibid., p. 825. 

* Ibid., p. 838. Nolden was later at Kingston. See p. 213n. 

' Ibid., 843. The suggested identification in this reference of Adriaen Jansz van Ilpendam wiih Adriaen 
Jansz Croon is now believed by Mr. Van Laer to be incorrect. 


attention to the office of schoolmaster for old and young." ^ Does 
"pay attention to the office of schoolmaster" mean that the domine 
was to teach school? This seems the natural, if not the necessary, 
interpretation and all the writers have thus accepted the words. 
But certain difficulties attend this idea. No other minister in charge 
of a church in New Netherland is known to have taught the parochial 
school. The contrary rule would seem — save possibly in the case 
under discussion — to have held without exception. The Holland 
custom and even church ruling were against the minister's serving 
as schoolmaster.^ Furthermore, why should this most unusual duty 
be forced thus uniquely upon the domine when the town had a 
schoolmaster to whom the town made official contribution? And 
still further why does the contract add the words "for old and 
young?" Are we asked to suppose that the old attended the paro- 
chial school ? In view of these difficulties, it might be safer to doubt 
that D? Schaats was ever the master of the village school. Perhaps 
he was to be spiritual schoolmaster. To give the w^hole record, 
however, we must add that D? Schaats wTote in 1657: "There is no 
prelector nor precentor here, which duties I have had to fill."^ 
This seems to mean that at the Sunday church meeting the minister 
was himself to perform those parts of the service which usually fell 
to the voorlezer : and this would fit with the filling of this office by 
De Hooges in 1653, as above noted. But, on the other hand, D? 
Schaats may intend by precentor to include also schoolmaster. So 
that he may be telling us that he had to teach the parish school. 
Under the circumstances an entirely satisfactory conclusion seems 

On September 1, 1660, Van Ilpendam brought suits against two 
of his patrons for unpaid tuition, demancUng in the one case "pay- 
ment of ten and a half beaver and two shillings for school money;" 
in the other, "payment of two beavers for one year's school money." 
In each case "the defendant acknowledges the debt," and w^as con- 
demned to pay the master, "and this within six weeks."* We may 
accept the valuation of the beaver at 8 guilders Hollands, so that 
tuition in Van Ilpendam's school seems to have been 16 guilders a 
year or 4 guilders a quarter. There is, of course, no reason for saying 
that the same rates held for all grades of pupils. Since these rates 
are a good deal larger than those allowed to Pietersen at New Amster- 
dam in 1661, it is an easy inference that Van Ilpendam had to make 
up in tuition fees for a small guaranteed salary. How long after 
1 660 Van Ilpendam remained at Beverwyck, and whether he was the 
only master, we can not say. For many years he was a notary 

> O'Callaghan, History of N. N., ii, p. .567. 3 Eccl. Rec, p. 386. 

2 Acta van part. sjm. van Zuid-Holland, i, 491. * Pratt, op. cit., p. 16. 


public. It is said that he committed suicide in 1686, at about the 
age of 67.^ 

It seems possible that Jans Juriaens Becker came to Albany about 
1663 and opened a school. Wlien he began to teach is not clear, ^ 
but probably he was teaching there at the time of the English occu- 
pation. We read in his license, issued by Governor Lovelace in 1670, 
that "Jans Jeurians Becker had a Graunt to keep y® Dutch school 
at Alban}" for the teaching of youth to read & to wryte, y® which 
was allowed of and confirmed to him by my predecessor, Coll. Richard 
Nichols."-' These words would seem, not certainly, but probably, 
to imply that Nichols found Becker in possession of a "graunt to 
keep y® Dutch school at Albany," and that he "allowed and con- 
firmed" this "graunt" to Becker. As Nichols immediately followed 
the Dutch rule, this reasoning, if admitted, would fix Becker in 
charge of "y® Dutch school at Albany" at the time of the surrender. 

It is probable that the schoolmaster was on the regular pay roll 
of the town before the end of the Dutch regime. Article five of the 
terms of surrender of the town of Albany to the English (October 10, 
1664), stipulated "that the salary to the Preacher, Clarke, Secretary, 
and Boade (messenger) shall be continued and paid as formerly till 
further order."* While these are English terms, and are accordingly 
not certainly descriptive of the Dutch practice, a later document 
makes it quite possible that under the title of "clarke," reference 
is had to a voorlezer and schoolmaster. In 1671, in a report to Gov- 
ernor Lovelace, the statement was made that — 

The Charge yearely of ye Towne of Albany to the Offic'"^ is — 

To y** Minsf : 125 Beav" at f30 y« Beav' 

To y« Secreta'-y 600 guild" Seaw* 

To y" Boade 300 guild" Seaw* 

Toy" Reader 400 guild" Seawt « 

Here are named the same four officers as in the articles of sur- 
render, except that "clarke" of 1664 appears as "reader" in 1671. 
"Reader" and "clarke" were both contemporaneous renderings of 
the Dutch voorlezer. The former was rather the translation of the 
term; while the latter was the name of an analogous officer in the. 
English church. There is then no reason to doubt that the "clarke" 
in 1664 was the voorlezer in the Dutch church. The salary of 400 
guilders given to him in 1671 is identical with that paid for the 
combined services of schoolmaster and voorlezer at Bushwyck in 
1662, at New Haerlem in 1670, and at Flatbush in 1676.« The pre- 

1 Pearson's Early Records of Albany, p. 7n. 

2 But see Pratt, p. 02. 

3 Munsell's Arrnals of Albany, iv, 15. 
* N. Y. Col. Doc, xiv, 559. 

5 Executive Council Minutes, i, 82 

s See pages l.'iS, 100, 170. The salary here named is greater by 100 guilders than that paid at Flatbush 
same time (1071) for both services (see p. 168). 


sumption of like salary, like service is so strong, especially when 
taken in connection udth the almost universal custom of combining 
the two offices, that it seems hardly possible to doubt that the 
''reader" or "clarke" at Beverwyck was also the schoolmaster, who 
thus was on the payroll of that to\\Ti during the closing years of the 
Dutch regime as well as afterwards. 

Breuckelen (Brooklyn) had been settled but a very few years 
when in 1646 it w^as granted a charter. Its growth was, however, 
slow. It was 1655 before there was a church organization and regular 
preaching services. In 1660, the town consisted of 31 householders 
and 134 people. It is 1661 before we hear of a school. On July 4 of 
that year the Breuckelen Court reported to the director general and 
council that they found it necessary that a court messenger be "occa- 
sionally employed in the village of Breuckelen and all around where 
he may be needed, as well to serve summons, as also to conduct the 
service of the church, and to sing on Sundays; to take charge of the 
school, dig graves, etc., ring the bell, and perform whatever else may 
be required." They had found "a suitable person * * * one 
Carl van Beauvois, to whom they have hereby appropriated the sum 
of fl. 150, besides free dwelling;" but they were ''apprehensive that 
the said C. v. Beauvois would not and can not do the work for the 
sum aforesaid, and the petitioners are not able to promise him any 
more." They accordingly "with all humble and proper reference" 
requested of the "honorable, wise, prudent, and most discreet 
gentlemen," "the right hon'ble director general and council" "to be 
pleased to lend them a helping hand." 

In answer to such a request so politely urged, the director general 
and council agreed to "pay fifty guildei-s in wampum, annually, for 
the support for the voorsanger and schoolmaster in the village of 

According to Stiles,- two days after the answer of Stuyvesant the 
church drew up the regulations governing De Beauvois in the dis- 
charge of his duties as voorlezer, schoolmaster, and sexton. He 
was to set forth "on the psalm board" the psahns to be sung 
before the session. "After the first ringing of the bell," he should 
"place the stools and benches in the church or meeting house in 
order, and read a chapter out of the Holy Scriptures and the twelve 
articles of the Christian belief." (It was in virtue of thisreading 
before the sermon that such an officer was called the "voorlezer.") 
Immediately on the third ringing of the bell he should "begin to 
sing the designated psalm." (Because he led in the singing he was 
called the "voorsanger.") " He shall properly, diligently, and indus- 
triously attend the school, instil in the minds of the young the fear 

' Pratt, op. cit., p. 31 (a very ditTerent translation in N. Y. Col. Doc, xiv, pp. 502-3). The two hun- 
dred guilders, probably all in wampum, would be 100 guilders in coin or $40. 
» History of Brooklyn, i, 429. 


of the Lord, and set them a good example; to open the school with 
prayer and close with a psalm, also to exercise the scholars in the 
questions in the 'groat regulen' of the reverend, pious, and learned 
father D? Johannes Megapolensis, minister of the Gospel in Amster- 
dam in New Netherland."^ 

It is interesting to note that the consistory was to assist in the 
support of the schoolmaster. "The said precentor in addition to 
the salary allowed by the governor and council of New Netherland 
and the magistrates of Brooklyn, will be furnished by the consistory 
with house rent and entertainment or provisions."^ 

Of the master here employed, we read that "there appeared 
before the New Amsterdam court" some two years previously, 
"requesting his small burgher- right, (^arel Beauvois of Leiden, 
intending to keep school."^ Quite possibly he taught privately in 
New Amsterdam during the two years intervening between his 
appearance at the court and his position at Brooklyn. 

It seems probable that De Beauvois was the first schoolmaster 
in Brooldyn. Four years before there was none, for in 1057 the min- 
isters at New Amsterdam, writing to the classis about "the coiulition 
of the church in our Province," stated, "that so far as we know, not 
one of all these places, Dutch or English, has a schoolmaster, except 
the Manhattans, Beverwyck, and now also Fort Casimer on the South 
River."^ The didiculty of securing capable teachers was one reason 
for the paucity of schools. The same letter said, "There are few 
qualified persons here or can or will teach." The necessary means, 
too, were lackmg, "the peo])le having come half naked and poor from 
Holland." Wliile full data is lackmg, it seems, on the whole, proba- 
ble that this school of De Beauvois was the beginning of formal school 
keeping in Brooklyn. 

It is interesting to note how many offices this one man filled — court 
messenger, voorlezer, voorsanger, schoolmaster, and sexton. Of these, 
only tlie duties of court messenger could interfere with school keep- 
ing — unless it were digging graves. Probably the interferences of both 
kinds would be very few, for courts and burials were alike infrequent. 
It is said, though on what documentary evidence is not stated, that 
De Beauvois continued to teach at Brooldyn until 1669.^ 

Midwoud (Flatbush) was first formally settled about 1652. It 
seems to have grown more rapidly than some of the other Dutch 

1 This reference to the catechism of D? Megapolensis is tlie more interesting because five years before 
the Classis of Amsterdam had deemed it "inadvisable to permit the printing, much more the introduc- 
tion of the same for the instruction of youth;" and had gone so far in their objection as to appeal to the 
Lords Directors in the matter. The making of individual catechisms would, it was feared, introduce 
"sad disputes, schisms, and all manners of confusion." Eccl. Rec, pp. 347, 34&-350, 351-2. 

« Stiles, op. cil., i, 429. 

• Rec. of N. A., vii, 223. 
«Eccl. Rec, p. 398. 

* Stiles, op. d<.,i, US. 


villages on Long Island, being chartered just two 3^ears after settle- 
ment (1654). In 1655, when plans for laymg out the village were 
adopted, it was ''provided that 5 or 6 lots be secured for public build- 
ings, such as for the sheriff, the minister, the secretary, schoolmaster, 
village tavern, and public courthouse."^ Some three years later a 
plan was proposed by the town court and approved by the director 
general and council of setting aside 25 morgans (50 acres) of land to 
be rented out, the income to be "employed to repair the church and 
keep it in a decent order," while the rent from a like amount was to 
be used for the "maintenance of a school, church services, etc."^ 

So far as is laiown these preparations for a school brought no 
result until 1659. On January 27 of that year the deacon's book at 
Flatbush records the item: "Given to Jan Stryker for the school 3 gl. 
4 st."^ That the school was in actual operation is evident from the 
next reference on May 21 of the same year: "For a bucket for the 
school, 1 gl. 5 st."* Who the teacher was, when he began to teach, 
under what management — these are questions that oiu' present data 
do not allow us to answer. The Jan Stryker here mentioned was one 
of the church masters. .The management of the school was probably 
the same as that which appears in the first knowai contract. On 
June 9, 1660, "the schout and schepens, \nth the cooperation of 
minister and consistory" engaged the "person of Reynier Bastiaensen 
van Giesen" to act as "process server for the schepens' court," "also 
to serve the church in leading the singmg and m readmg, to arrange 
the seats, to ring the bell, and furthermore to hold school, to dig 
graves and to look after everything else that is needful thereto." 
They "raised therefore the sum of 200 guilders yearly,^ of which sum 
the court promises 150 guilders yearly and 50 guilders for the church 

This contract is similar to the Brooklyn agreement with De Beau- 
vois. The pay is the same, and the duties are practically identical. 
While the Fhxtbush people did not petition Stuyvesant for aid in 
maldng up tlie original salary, as did Broolvlyn, nevertheless we find 
them the next spring (March 29, 1661), presenting a petition to the 

1 O'Callaghan, Laws of New Netherland, p. 199. In the Flatbush town records (100: 6) is what puVports 
to be a copy, made in 1670, of a patent given to the village, as follows: 

" The director general and council of Netherland to all those who shall see or hear these presents, greeting: 
Know that we, for the advancement and maintenance of divine worship and the support of the church, 
school, and school service in the town of Midwoud, on Long Island, to the said town and the inhabitants 
thereof who are already there or shall come later, have allowed, granted, and given * * * four lots of 
land in the year 1651, in addition to the other lands laid out for the aforesaid purj-)03e. * * *" 

If there be no error in this date of 16ol, the town was laid out earlier than has been generally supposed; 
and Stuyvesant or the original settlers deserve considerable credit for their early interest in the welfare 
of church and school. 

2 Pratt, op. «"<., pp. 27-28. 

3 Lnc. cit., i, 98^. 

* /bid., i, 99^. 

5 Probably in seawant; if so, at the rate of two for one, this would be equal to $40. 

• Flatbush town records, 103: 24 J. 


director general and council, begging assistance on a church debt of 
190 florins, of which 32 florins is for "our schoolmaster Reinier." 
The response was favorable to the extent of ''one-half of the above 
amount," ''when the treasury has sufficient funds. "^ 

The "cooperation" which the minister and consistory gave to the 
sellout and schepens seems to have amounted practically to a copart- 
nership. The church paid one-fourth of the salary and the court 
three-fourths. The wording of this financial clause seems slightly 
ambiguous, but the church did pay its pro rata of 50 guilders annu- 
ally, as the deacon's accounts show.^ It were much to be desired 
that we knew more about how the court got the 150 guilders wliich it 
was to give. The school lands as yet brought in no revenue (as will 
presently appear). A town levy was regularly made for the ordinary 
village expenses.'' In these villages the excise usually brouglit con- 
siderable income. Probably, then, these two sources supplied the 
town's part of the schoolmaster's salary. The 200 guilders was not 
the whole income of VanGiesen. While no mention is made of tuition 
fees, there is every probability that each child paid these according to 
the scale which was later explicitly fixed in the contract of Van 
Giesen's successor. 

It is a distinct pleasure to read in the deacons' accounts (p. 101*): 
" 1661, 1st of January. Given toMf Reinier for a New Year's present, 
12 guilders." 

This appears, sad to relate, to be the unique case of just this kind 
of appreciation found in the annals of the American Dutch schools. In 
fact, it is even probable that Van Giesen himself later had trouble in 
collecting his salary. The records show that the deacons continued 
to send him small sums for more than a year after he had gone to 
another place.' 

During the latter part of 1663 the town built a schooUiouse. The 
items "expended on the school in the town" as found in the deacons' 
book (p. 102"^) amount to 173 guilders and 2 stivers. Such a sum 
seems rather too small to represent the entire cost of a dwelling for 
the schoolmaster; but we have no other information concerning the 
matter. This interesting note appears on the page giving the 
account of the expenditure: ''These above-mentioned sums shall be 
paid back to the poor fund from the first receipts of the school prop- 
erty." The money in the hands of the deacons was for church 
expenses proper not for building a schoolhouse. To provide this 
was an obUgation resting on the secular authorities. 

1 N. Y. Col. Doc.,xiv, 499. 

2 Loc. n7., pp. 101 ff. Public collections at the Sunday services formed the principal source of income. 

3 O'Callaghan, Laws of New Netherland, p. 184. 

< Flatbush deacons' accounts, i, 102f. It should, however, be said that there is a discrepancy in the 
total sum paid to the total amount apparently due. If we calculate Van Giesen's salary from the date 
of his contract to the date of his successor's contract, this sum falls below what was actually paid him 
(excluding the New Year's present). Several possible explanations present themselves, but we do not 
seem to have the data for a satisfactory decision. 


The reference to the ''first receipts of the school property" is 
apropos of a lease but recently effected by the church masters^ as 
follows : 

The 13th of August in the year 1663. 

By Jan Stryker and Jan Snedeker there was leased to Jan Buys the school land 
with its dependencies and equity for the six next ensuing years and he is to give for the 
first year two hundred guilders, at Christmas, in good strong seawant, and for the next 
five ensuing years two hundred and forty guilders. Furthermore it is stipulated 
that Jan Buys with his neighbors shall plant and improve the land, manm-e the old 
land and make good fences and keep them in repairs, and at the expiration of the 
aforesaid years deliver up the land in good conditions. ' 

There seems no reason to doubt that Van Giesen remained until 
his successor was secured (Oct. 26, 1663). He then went as school- 
master to Bergen, where his further career will be followed. It is 
worthy of remark that the name of Van Giesen does not appear on 
Dr. Strong's list of Flatbush schoohnasters.^ So far as the opinion 
of the writer goes, however, Dr. Strong's list of early schoolmasters at 
Flatbush was made so carelessly as to deserve no serious considera- 
tion. He puts as the first master, Adriaen Hegeman, and ascribes to 
him the period from 1659 to 1671. No evidence has yet appeared 
which would tend to connect tliis Hegeman with the Flatbush school 
at all; and ample evidence places several other masters in the period 
assigned to him by Dr. Strong. 

Pelgrom Clocq, previously of New Amsterdam, succeeded Van 
Giesen on October 26, 1663. His contract gives us a Uttle more 
information than does that of Mr Reinier, though in the main the 
two are identical. The compensation is the same in both cases. The 
court and church duties are expressed in identical words. There is the 
same ''cooperation of minister and consistory" with schout and 
schepens. Clocq pledges himself " to care for and fulfill his duties as an 
honorable man should." He is " to hold school and to receive therefor 
for the A B C's, 2 guilders; for spelhng 2 guilders 10; for reading, 3 
guilders; for writing, 5 guilders each quarter year." He is engaged 
"for one year and the engagement to be released on either side each 

This Clocq had been for quite a while previously a notary in New 
Amsterdam. He had not always met with commendation for the 
manner in which he had discharged his duties. In 1661, on account 
of gross carelessness — if not worse — in drawing papers, he was com- 
manded "not to draw up during six weeks from date any instru- 
ments appertaining to the subaltern court of this city."* Later 
(Apr. 8, 1664), while he was engaged as schoolmaster at Mdwoud, 
one Jacob Vis appeared before the court in New Amsterdam and 

1 Flatbush town records, 106 : 252. 

' Strong, op. cit., p. 109-110. 

' Flatbush town records, 103:145. 

< Records of N. A., iii, 349. Later for a worse case he was fined. Ihid., p. 417. 


demanded "attachment against Pelgrom Clocq and imprisonment 
of his person, whenever found here, complaining that he is slandered 
by him in the highest degree. Burgomasters and schepens granted 
the request." 1 Apparently Clocq took care not to be found in 
New Amsterdam, for he finished out his year in Flatbush.== The 
end of his year carries the account beyond the close of the Dutch 


In this little village of Flatbush, numbering at this time probably 
about 40 families (54 some 10 years later ),^ we have possibly the best 
picture of the Dutch village in America. Nearly all the inhabitants 
were of Dutch stock, or at least spoke the Dutch language.^ All 
attended the Dutch church, and all by legal requirement contributed 
to its expenses,^ though probably not all were members." The min- 
ister was D? Theodorus Polhemus, who had previously served in 
Brazil. The officers of the town were a schout and three schepens.^ 
These court officers were chosen by the director general and council 
from a double number nominated by the outgoing officers.^ Besides 
the officers of the court there were the two church masters and the 
consistory of the church. The former were also selected by the 
director general and council from a double nomination made by the 
court.'' The latter elected their own successors. The consistory, 
which in small places included pastor, elders, and deacons, took an 
active interest in the school, "cooperating" with the court throughout 
this period and long into the next (certainly imtil 1682, probably 
until 1711, and possibly longer). The church masters rented out 
the land belonging to church and school, and cared for the church 
and school buildings. The close interweaving of church and state is 
evident from all that has been said. It was made closer by the fact 
that often the same men held office under both. Of the 11 signatures 
to Van Giesen's contract, 6 are made by three men, each of the three 
signed thus in a dual capacity. Jan Snedeker and Jan Stryker each 
appear to have held at one time the three offices of schepen, church 
master, and member of the consistory. 

From what has been said, it is evident that there was in this Dutch 
village no democracy so far as governing went. But probably it 

' Records of N. A., v. 47. 

2 ilc received }iis salary for exactly one year. See P'latbush deacons' accounts, i, 102^; and Flatbush 
town records, 106 : 252. 

3 Doc. Hist, of N. Y., iv, 97. 

* In 1008, after a full generation of Knglish rule, out of fu; families only 4 were English. Ibid., iii, 89. 
» N. V. Col. Doc, xiv, .370. 

'In Brooklyn, for example, in KiOO, there were 134 persons in 31 families, but only 24 church members, 
Eccl. Hoc, p. 488. 
' O'Callaghan, Laws of N. N., pp. 300-391. 

• No specific reference can be adduced to show this procedure for Flatbush; but its probability Is suffi- 
ciently established from the custom with other villages. Of. New Haerlem, p. 131. 

» N. Y. Col. Doc, xvi, 520. 


approached more nearly an equality of actual life conditions \vith 
greater unity of interests than do our present-day American villages. 

Amersfoort, now called Flatlands, though chartered at the same 
time with JMidwoud (Flatbush), was of slower growth. In 1663 the 
former was just building a church, falling in this respect about five 
years beliind the latter. In 1675 the number of families in the one 
was exactly two-thirds of the number in the other. So far no refer- 
ence to a school here during the Dutch period has been found. If the 
organization of a school followed the building of a church by as much 
in Flatlands as it did in Flatbush, it was not until after the English 
occupation that the to%vn had a school. On the other hand, what 
was done at Bergen, for instance, and the accidental character of our 
knowledge of the first school ^ in that village must prevent any 
certain conclusion that Amersfoort was slow in organizing its school. 

New Castle, Del., called by the Dutch New Anistel, owes its 
origin to an effort on the part of the city of Amsterdam to promote 
the colonization of New Netherland. The city bought the South 
(Delaware) River region and began in 1656-57 the settlement of the 
new colony. The terms offered to prospective settlers were liberal . As 
first proposed the terms were somewhat more explicit than was the form 
fhially adopted. In the fii'st draft the city was to erect ''about the 
market, or in a more convenient place, a building suitable for divine 
service: item a house for a school, which can likewise be occupied 
by the person what will hereafter be sexton, psalmsetter, and school- 
master." It should also ''provisionally provide and pay the salary 
of a minister and schoolmaster."- The second draft said nothing 
of a house, but provided "that the city of Amsterdam shall send 
thither a proper person for schoolmaster, who shaU also read the 
Holy Scriptures and set the psalm.s." The city should also "pro- 
visionally and until further opportunity provide the salary of said 

The minister was not to be sent over until a certam greater popu- 
lation was attamed. We notice here that three offices were united 
in one, voorlezer, voorsanger, and schoolmaster. "The commission- 
ers of the aft'airs of the new colony" arranged tlu-ough the classis 
for "a schoolmaster, who wiH also visit the sick, and publicly read 
God's word and smg the psalms,"'' thus addmg the office of siccken- 
trooster to the three previously named. If only the position of 
sexton had been added, as the fhst draft stipulated, the list would 
have been complete. Possibly this office went without saying. 

The classis m discharge of the duty imposed "sought out, for this 
purpose, a worthy man named Evert Pietersen." They examined 

I See p. 137. 2 N. Y. Col. Doc, i, p. 620. 3/j,i(f., p. 631. < Eccl. Roc, p. 378. 

28311°— 12 9 


him "in all the above-named particulars," with the result that he 
was considered "properly qualified." ^ Pietersen was elected for four 
years, the term of service to exclude the time spent in passage, both 
going and returning.^ Ilis salary was "forty guilders per month."' 
He arrived at the South River April 25, 1657, and shortly after- 
wards began his work.* On August 12 he wrote back to Amsterdam: 
"I am engaged in keeping school, with twenty-five children in it; 
but I have no paper nor pens for tlie use of the children, nor slates and 
pencils," "I must also respectfully request you to go with my wife 
to Van Beeck, and ask him to get the one hundred and fifty guilders 
of my already earned wages * * * This will assist her m maldng 
provision for the winter, by buying meats, bacon, turf, and wood."^ 
Our schoolmaster felt the isolation of so distant a post. In the same 
letter he begs his friend, "write me also of the war between the 
Swedes and Danes, and send a part of the Gazettes, that I may have 
sometlnng else to road." It may be noted that this letter gives the 
earliest known reference to the use of slates in America.*' 

The probabilities are that Pietersen served this school continuously 
until the fall of 1660, when he returned to Amsterdam, leaving the 
work, apparently, to his son Arent. The formal transfer of the 
position from father to son seems, however, not to have been made 
until the spring of 1661.' 

Just one month after Pietersen received his last salary payment for 
work at the South River, "Arent Evertsen, comforter of the sick, 
etc.," received 50 guilders. On the 22d of the following October he 
received 100 guilders,** again as "comforter of the sick, etc." One 
might doubt whether these references would do no more than show 
that the son succeeded to the ecclesiastical duties of the father. But, 
fortunately, a more specific reference is available. On December 
10/20, 1664, "the worthy Arent Evers Molenaer, late schoolmaster, 
])recentor, and comforter of the sick at New Amstel," conveyed to 
one Couseau "the montJily salary and board wages due him from the 

' Eccl. Rec.,p. 378. 

» O'Callaghan, Laws of N. N., p. 272. 

» Eccl. Rec, p. 402. 

«N. Y. Col. Doc.,ii, 17. 

» Eccl. Roc, p. 402. From April 25 to August 10 is three aud a half months which at "forty guilders 
per month" would exactly make one hundred and fifty guilders. Evidently Pietersen received board 
money In addition to his salary. 

" See p. 22;i. 

' Sec N. Y. Col. mc, ii, 179-182; I'ratt, op. cit., pp. 18, 19. 

This family affords an excellent illustration of the Dutch system of names. Evert Pictcrsen's son 
Arent was not called Arent Pietersen, as would now bo done, but "Arent Evertsen," that is, Arent the 
son of Evert; just as the father was Evert the son of Pioter. Thus Pietersen, in the letter above referred 
to, speaks of "my son An^nt Evertsen, a miller," and of "my son Jan Evertsen." Frequently a man's 
occupation was added to his name, from which practice many suriianies in time arose. The word "miller" 
as seen abovi^ is Molenaer; and this elder son is gen(-rally referred to thereafter as "Arent Evertsen Mole- 
naer," even after his occupation had come to be that of school keeping. After the English came, sur- 
names became frefiuiMit. Piiaersen and his sons adopted Keteltas then as their family name. 

• N. Y. Col. Doc, ii, 181. The same records, however, show that buck salary was paid to Pietersen after 
bis resignation. 


worshipful burgomaster of the city of Amsterdam in Europe."^ As 
this was soon after the EngUsh occupation (hence the doubly ex- 
pressed date, Dec. 10/20), it is to be inferred that Molenaer remained 
as schoolmaster untU the colony passed from the control of the Dutch. 

The record of New Amstel in education is thus in many respects the 
best among the Dutch villages. A schoolmaster sailed with the first 
colonists and began his school shortly after they landed. The salary 
of tliis master came from the public funds and was possibly the 
largest given to any elementarv^ master in New Netherland. The 
school continued without interruption — so we may suppose — until a 
hostile nation changed the government. As this colony was the only 
one in New Netherland not under private or semiprivate auspices, it 
may with propriety be taken as the one which most fairly represents 
the general attitude of the Dutch people toward education. 

New Haerlem affords a good illustration of the procedure of the 
Dutch in settling a village. The director general and council in 1658 
announced "a new village or settlement at the end of the island" of 
Manhattan. In order to encourage ''lovers of agriculture," each 
settler was to "receive by lot in full ownership 18, 20, to 24 morgen ^ 
of arable land; 6 to 8 morgen of meadows." "When the aforesaid 
tillage has 20 to 25 families, the director general and council will 
favor it with an Inferior Court of Justice; and for that purpose a 
double number is to be nominated out of the most discrete and proper 
persons for the first time by the inhabitants and afterwards by the 
magistrates and presented amiually to the director general and 
council; to elect a single number therefrom." When the A^llage 
should be ready for the court it was also to be "accommodated with a 
good, pious, orthodox minister, toward whose maintenance the 
director general and council promise to pay haK the salary, the other 
half to be supphed by the inhabitants in the best and easiest manner, 
with the advice of the magistrates of the aforesaid village, at the most 
convenient time."^ It is disappointing to note that no mention is 
made of a school.* 

Two 3^ears later the required number of families were reported, and 
Stuyvesant authorized the Inferior Court of Justice to consist of three 
commissaries,-^ before whom should be brought all questions arising in 
the said village between master and servant, neighbor and neighbor, 

1 Minutes of the Orphan Masters, ii, 4. 

* One morgen is about 2 acres. 

» Hiker's (revised; Xcw Harlem, p. 170. 

* The to'sv-n and church records of this village art no longer available; but Hiker had access to them in 
the preparation of the history of New Haerlem, and quoting from themsofreely that the loss of the records 
is in great degree made good byhis book. We shall, in treating the New Haerlem school, both here and in 
Chapter XI, use Hiker's evident quotations as so much primary material. Such statements of liis as do 
not certainly appear to be based specifically on the original records will be treated as secondary-source 

'■> One of these was Daniel Tourneur who disputed with Curtius about the hog sale. 


buyer and seller, ' ' and other such hke ; also all criminal actions con- 
sisting of misdeeds, threats, fightmg, or wounding." "Any party 
feeling himself aggrieved may appeal to the director general and 
council" "from all judgments exceeding fifty guilders."^ 

By the close of 1G61 there were 32 male adults in the village, of whom 
it is said that 11 were French, 4 Walloon, 7 Dutch, 4 Danish, 3 Swedish, 
and 3 German,^ truly a multinational population for so small a town. 
A word about the degree of ilUteracy of these men may not be 
amiss. As to 12 of them, no data have been found. Of the remain- 
ing 20, 12 ^vrite their signatures, while 8 made their marks. If 
the 12 for whom there are no data preserved the same proportion 
there is an ilhteracy of 40 per cent, wliich, as will later appear, is 
higher than is found at Albany and Flatbush.^ Even if it be supposed 
that all the 12 unknown wrote their names, which is not probable, 
there would still be an ilhteracy of 25 per cent, 

Riker thinks that Michael Ziperus was the first schoolmaster at 
New Haerlem, though no certain proof is given.* The suggestion has, 
however, much probability. This D? Ziperus came to New Neth- 
erland in 1659, "in the hope of there securing a call in one place or 
another."^ About a year later he seems to have been called to 
officiate as minister at New Haerlem, so far as was permitted to one 
who had not been ordained. He had some years before been con- 
nected with " the school at Alckmacr," where "for many wicked acts, 
such as obtaining articles from stores in the name of the rector, and 
taking them to pawnshops," he was "pubhcly chastised before all 
the scholars as an example." Afterwards he was for some time at 
Curasao and preached there, but was "sent away."" Coming to the 
newly settled town wliich stood in need of both minister and school- 
master, and himself compelled to make a hving, he naturally sought to 
fill these positions. But, if his ecclesiastical critics are further to be 
credited, "he behaved most shamefully here, drinldng, cheating, 
forging other people's writings, so that he was forbidden not only to 
preach, but even to keep school."^ This last statement seems to cor- 
roborate the supposition that he did teach in the school at New 

Riker supposes that Willem do la Montagne, brother of Jan de la 
Montague, master of the 1652 "trivial school" at New Amsterdam, 
succccdt>d Ziperus early in 16G3; but offers no documentary proof ,^ 
and ap[)arently feels that his sup])osition is hardly more than sugges- 
tion. The records of December of that year, however, afford some 
definite information. The inhabitants of the little village "ha\dno' 

1 Riker, np. cil., pp. 170-7. « Keel. Rec, p. .514. Letter of the classis 

2 Ibid., pp. 18-23. (o Do Drisius, Dec. 15, IGGl. 

3 See pp. 197,204. ' /6id., p. 555. D? Drisius to the classis, 
* Riker's New Harlem, p. 189. Aug. 5, 1664. 

(* Ibid, pp. 177-8, B Riker, op. cit., pp. 189, 278, 


seen from Sabbath day to Sabbath day the small and insignificant suc- 
cess of the public gatherings, and believing confidently that every- 
thing relating to the public worsliip may be brought in better training 
and all be more properly ordered by the services of a salaried voorlezer 
and schoolmaster, to read God's word and edifying sermons, keep 
school, catechize and visit the sick," sought "to persuade Jan de la 
Montague, a resident of the said place, to undertake such services 
provisionally for the least possible salary." Montague, whom we 
have met before as the rector of the trivial school, was inchned to 
consider the request; but the people "perceiving their present 
inability and incapacity to give in the aforesaid case a full and proper 
salary, and not having been able to collect for his support more than 
24 schepels of grain," ^ applied on December 25 to the director gen- 
eral and council requesting that they "in their usual noble discre- 
tion" would "contribute something towards a decent salary," The 
appeal was not in vain. On January 10, 1664, the director general 
and council decided to "accept and appoint thereto the proposed per- 
son, Johannes la Montague, junior; and in order that he may attend 
to these offices with greater diligence, to him shall be paid annually 
on account of the company the sum of fifty guilders," ^ ^lontagne 
accepted the work under these conditions and served satisfactorily 
until October 23, 1670.^ During this whole time he acted also as 
secretary to the village court. It is of interest here to note that a 
school was provided before the church was fully and independently 
organized, and before the church building had been erected. 

What is now called Kingston was at first Esopus and later Wilt- 
wyck. In the fifties a good many famihes moved into that general 
region. A letter to the classis reported in 1657 that "they held Sun- 
day meetings, and then one of the other of them reads from the Pos- 
tilla." * In 1658 Stuyvesant, on account of dangers from the Indians, 
persuaded the "sixty or seventy Christians" Uving scattered about 
to make a stockade village for protection. About tliis time the 
Lords Directors appointed Andries Van der Sluys voorlezer, but 
Stuyvesant held up the appointment. Accordingly, Van der Sluys 
wrote Stuyvesant (Sept. 28, 1658) to learn what should be done. "I 
need the position very much," Van der Sluys wrote, "the iiiliabitants 
here would Hke to keep me in the office, to proclaim the Lord's gospel 
accorchng to my ability and catecliize the children and teach them 
reading and writing; but because the honorable general has spoken 
to them about a preacher, therefore they dare not and can not engage 
me for several years." ^ There is no record of Stuyvesant's reply; 
but a reference in the Kingston records (Feb. 12, 1664) to Van der 

» About 18 bushela. * Eccl. Rec., p. 398. The Postilla was a book of 

2 Rikcr, op. cil., pp. 207-8. sermons and prepared lessons. 

3 Ibid., p. 2G0. ^ N. Y. Col. Doc., xiii, 91. 


Sluys as the former " voorlezer " ^ makes it reasonably probable that 
he did undertake the work at least temporarily. 

The next man to be considered in connection with tliis school is 
Jacob Joosten, later to be met at Albany and Flatbush. Whatever 
uncertainty may attach to Van der Sluys' s connection with the 
school, there can be none as to Joosten's. The fifth marriage record 
(1662) in the Kingston church records is as follows: 

Jacob Joosten, j. m. [bachelor] of Raagh on the Moesel in Duystant, precentor and 
schoolmaster here, and Arriaentjen Verscheur, of Welpe, in Gelderlant, widow of 
Marckes Leendersen, resid. at Fort Orange. Married at Fort Orange. Banns published 
in Wiltwyck: fa-st, 6 Aug.; second, 13 Aug.; third, 20 Aug.^ 

Joosten had been at Wiltwyck at D? Blom's first communion service, 
December 25, 1660;^ it accordingly was an easy inference that his 
service as master had begun not later than this first communion. 
Some six months later, when the village court was organized, Joosten 
was, at the first meeting (July 12, 1661), appointed messenger for the 
court and church at an annual salary of 200 guilders seawant, the 
appointment subject to Stuyvesant's approval.^ The conjunction of 
court and church duties in this one office, especially as interpreted by 
the subsequent marriage record, is almost proof that he was at this 
time also schoolmaster. 

The charter of Wiltwyck, given May 16, 1661, contains the first dis- 
tinctly educational provision noted in these village charters. The 
court was empowered to adopt, subject to approval by the director 
general and council, ''orders, respecting public roads, inclosure of 
lands, gardens, or orchards, and further, what might concern the 
country and agriculture; so, too, relative to the building of churches, 
schools, and other similar public works, as well as the means from 
which, and in what manner, these shall be regulated."'^ One of the 
Wiltwyck laws promulgated by Stuyvesant at the time of granting 
the charter contains an interesting commentary on tlie times: "No 
one to propose a religious dispute under a penalty of three days in jail 
on bread and water. "^ 

The source of the 200 guilders salary paid to Jacob Joosten as 
messenger of the court and church is probably indicated in a report 
made in 1662 of the village income, which (adapted) reads in part as 
follows : 

From 525 morgens at fl. 2.10 st. per morgeii fl. . 1 312. 10 

The house lots, not ])aying land tax 136 

Tlie excise on wine and beer, farmed out 669. 5. 6 

Th(j revenue is altogether 2 117. 16. 6 ^ 

iHolland Society Year Book, 1887, p. 130. 

s R. I{. IIoe.s, liaptisin ami Marriage Register of the Old Dutch Church of Kingston, p. 500. 

s John ('. 1''. Ilocs, The hirst Ivcforiiiod Protestant Dutch Church of Kingston, p. 2. 

* Sctiooniiiaker's History of Kingston, p. 27. 
6 N. Y. fol. Doc, xiii, 198. 

• Schoonmaker, op. cit., p. 27. 
TN. Y. Col. Doc, xiii, 220. 


On April 25, 1664, the court complained that the requirement that 
the director general and council approve its ordinances worked hardly, 
' ' as during the winter season no news can be obtained from here for 4 
or 5 months;" it therefore prayed that its ordinances might without 
previous executive approval be provisionally enforced concerning, 
among other things, "the building of churches, schools, and such other 
public works and the finding and raising the means thereto required." 
The petition further asked, "as it has been found that the school- 
master is making rather absurd demands for school money from the 
cliildren, which compels many people to keep their children at home, 
that your honorable worship will grant him a fair salary. "* 

The response to this request is not known. Probably Joosten had 
found the 200 guilders insufhcient salary and had sought to raise the 
tuition fees. It appears that he continued for some time afterwards 
to hold the school. Pratt quotes a secondary authority to the effect 
that Joosten taught from the fall of 1660 to 1665, when he was dis- 
missed for disobedience. 2 So far satisfactory verification has not 

An instance of the interest of the West India Company in the village 
appears in the fact that when Domines Blom and Selyns were coming 
over to New Netherland in 1660, the Lord Directors wrote Stuyve- 
sant: "To carry on the service some books are sent over, which your 
honors will hand to them, besides the small psalters, prayers, and 
catechisms to be distributed and used as proper under the community 
in each respective place for teaching."* Whether this means that 
the Lord Directors furnished the initial supply of books for the use of 
the minister both for public service and private teaching; or whether 
the school children used these "small psalters, prayers, and cate- 
chisms," is not very clear. The latter view seems more probable. 

Stuyvesant's Bouwery, the country seat of the director general, 
was situated within the present city of New York, about where the 
church of St. Marks-in-the-Bowery is now. The well-known New 
York street, the Bowery, derives its name from the name applied 
to the little village which sprung up around Stuyvesant's farm or 
bouwery. The interest of the gruff old governor in his bouwery 
extended both to church and school. "V\Tien in 1660 an effort was 
being made to collect an adequate salary for D? Selyns, who was to 
preach principally at Brooklyn, Stuyvesant offered "to pay to the 
company two hundred and fifty guilders yearly towards the salary of 
the said Domine Selyns on condition that the Domine shall preach 

1 N. Y. Col. Doc, xjii, 369-370. 

2 O-p. cit.,-p. 51. 

3 That Joosten remained in Wiltwyck seems Indicated in the following facts: In 1662 he participated in a 
land drawing (N. Y. Col. Doc, xiii, 230); in 1663 a daughter was baptized in the Wiltwyck church (Hoes, 
op. cit., p. 3); and in 1665 he was appointed guardian at Wiltwyck of a child left an orphan there (Holland 
Society yearbook, 1897, p. 124). 

* N. Y. Col. Doc, xiii, 155. 


at his Honor's bouweiy on Manhattan Island on Sunday evenings."* 
There is extant a long letter from D'? Selyns about his new work, 
telling us among other things that "the Bouwery is a place of relaxa- 
tion and pleasure whither people go from Manhattan for the evening 
service. There are there forty negroes * * * besides the 
household families. There is here as yet no consistory * * * at 
least one deacon if not an elder ought to be chosen." ^ 

The coming of Evert Pietersen to the New Amsterdam school 
and the consequent displacement of Hobocken gave Stuyvesant an 
opportunity of providing his bouwery with a schoolmaster. A 
council minute of October 27, 1661, recites that Hobocken sought to 
be employed again in one or another manner in the company's 
service, and he was accordingly made a petty officer in the com- 
pany's troops, and allowed " ten guilders per month, and g. 175 for 
board," about half of what he had previously received from the 
New Amsterdam school. The minute further states that "whereas 
the aforesaid Harman is a person of irreproachable life and conduct, 
so shall he be employed on the bouwery for the director general as 
schoolmaster and voorlezer, with the condition that the director 
general, whenever his service might be wanted for the company as 
soldier, shall replace him by another expert person."^ 

Whether we are to conclude that Hobocken's new appointment 
under the company was purely a sinecure, or whether Stuyvesant 
detailed an officer of the company to act as schoolmaster on his 
private place, or whether some more favorable explanation is to be 
sought, does not now appear. But surely the terms of the appoint- 
ment appear odd. 

That the school continued under Hobocken's care until as late as 
April 28, 1663, appears probable from an acknowledgment before a 
notary of that date, in which there is a reference to "Master Harmen 
van Hobocken as deacon at the bouwery of the Hon'ble Petrus Stuyve- 
sant."* The use of the appellation "master" (three times repeated in 
the document), undoubtedly refers to Hobocken's service as a school- 
master, and probably to contemporaneous service. Several later 
references showed his continued presence in the colony. He was 
either witness at the baptism of children or himself had children 
baptized in 1663 (Dec. 16), 1664, 1666, and 1668.^ In the first and 
last of tliesc he has the "M^" prefixed to his name, which would 
indicate that he was still teaching. We may then easily suppose that 
he continued witli Stuyvesant until the surrender, and possibly for 
several years thereafter. 

One wonders whether the children of those 40 negroes attended 
Hobocken's school. Some have supposed that they did. We may 

> N. Y. Col. Doc., xiv, 479. < Minutes of the Orphan Masters, ii, 44. 

» Ecca. Rco., pp. 4S,S-489. ' N. Y. Gen. and Bio. Soc. Coll., ii, 71, 73, 83, 91. 

* rrall, op. cil., p. 17. 


be fairly sure that Stuyvesant's children did not attend, since it was 
about this time that Aegidius Luyck was brought over as a private 
master. But, however it may have been as to Hobocken's pupils, 
it speaks well for the Dutch in general and for Stuyvesant in particular 
that so small a place should have a regular school. 

Bergen, though now a part of New Jersey, was at the time of settle- 
ment included within New Netherland. It w^as laid out in 1660 by 
Jacques Cortelyou. For the sake of protection the settlers were 
required to concentrate their dwellings. About 30 families moved 
in during the first year. On September 5, 1661, a court was granted 
in which occurs the identical provision relating to churches and 
schools that we saw in the Wiltw^^ck charter. 

Jan Tibout was made court messenger apparently at the organiza- 
tion of the court. ^ Since this sei'vice was frequently joined with the 
office of schoolmaster, and since Jan Tibout afterwards taught for 
many years at Flatbush, Harlem, and Bushwyck, it would seem on 
the face of it quite possible that he was the first master at Bergen. 
As, however, there is no known corroboration, the suggestion must 
remain as a mere possibility. However it may be as to Tibout, 
we know that some time before the expiration of the first year of 
coiporate village life, one of the schepens had appeared before the 
director general and council requesting in behalf of the community 
that "We might have a precentor, who could also keep school for the 
instruction and education of our young children." Their honors 
favored the plan, possibly helping with the salary, and proposed "one 
Engelbert Steenhuysen as a suitable person." The schout and 
schepens "repeated this proposition * * * to the community, 
which resolved to employ him not only as a precentor, but also this 
was expressly stipulated — to keep school. The said Steenhuysen 
accepted this * * * for which he was allowed a salary of 250 
guilders in wampum^ annually and some other enrolments besides 
the school fees, considered fair and proper." 

Were it not that a dispute soon arose over the right of the vil- 
lage to tax the schoolmaster, we should not have learned even of 
the existence of the school during those early days. It seems that 
about 15 months after the school had been in operation, certain 
soldiers were quartered on the town. Each family was to maintain 
one. Steenhuysen, the schoolmaster, declined to receive one, whereat 
the "majority of the community" complained, feelmg that since 
Steenhuysen was the "owner of a house and lot and of a double 
bouwery in the jurisdiction of the village" he should pay his part. 
"This," m the words of the plamtiffs in the suit, "has aggrieved 
the said Englebert Steenhuysen so much that he has resigned liis 

1 Winfleld's Hudson County, p. 85. 

* Worth then about 125 guilders in coin, or 50 dollars. 


oflicc, asserting that a schoolmaster should be exempt from all 
village taxes and burden, as it is customary, he says everywhere in 
Christendom." The schout and schepens demurred to this plea, 
tliinking that it might be valid, "when the precentor has only the 
school lot, but not when a schoolmaster owns a lot and double 
bouwer}'." The plaintiffs further urged that Steenhuysen was 
obligated "also to select himself and provide a fit and convenient 
j)lace to keej) school in", which, they said, "he has faded to do 
untU this day, pretending the community must designate and pro- 
\'ide such a place fit for a schoolhouse". ' Lastly the petitioners 
were of the opinion that Steenhuysen could "not resign his office, 
witlumt giving a notice of six months of intention to do so." The 
director general and councU were, therefore, called upon to settle 
these (piestions. All parties being "summoned before the councd 
and heard, the parties were made to agree after divers debates 
and it was arranged that P^nglebert Steenhuysen should duly serve 
the rest of his term according to contract. " * Whether he was required 
to (|uarter the soldier in his house or furnish the schoolhouse the 
records do not state. At this point ends our knowledge of the 
Bergen school during the Dutch period. 

Tlie town of Bos^v;}^ck, or Bushwick, is now a part of Brooklyn. 
Stuyvesant himself in 1660 selected the site for the village, at the 
request of several French famdies, who wished to settle in that 
general region. A year later, when the town contained 23 famdies, 
there was establisheil a court consisting of three schepens. Adriaen 
liegeman was to act as schout for this as well as for the other Dutch 
tdwns on Long Island. In the same year the church was organized.^ 

On DcciMuher '2S, 1662, "the schepens of Boswyck came before 
the council and represented that they required in their vifiage a 
Huitabhi ])('i-son to act as voorleser and schoolmaster to teach the 
chihh-en." BoU(h>\vyn Manout from Crimpen on the Leek had been 
proposed us such a ])ei-son. They had made an agreement with 
him that he should act as voorleser and also keep a school for the 
"instruct ion of the chihhvn." For these services he was to "receive 
II year salary of lour liimdrcd llorins in wampum and free lodgings." 
They asked (hat the director general and council approve their 
action and that the company "contribute something towards the 
8nlary every year." By vote, the dh-ector general and council 
approved "the engagement and contract made with said Boudewyn 
Manont, on condition (luit the same be first examined by the 
reverend clergy ..f this city and declared fit for the performance 
of {\w said <iuties. " It was further agreed to pay "on behalf of 

' N. V. Col. Doc., xlll, 318-9. 

» Corwiira Miiiiuul of tlie Reformed Church in America (4th ed.), p. 43. 


the company twenty-five florins, heavy money * * * to said 
Boudewyn, to make the payment of the salary more easy."^ 

Unfortunately, the Dutch records of tliis town are only partially 
available, so that little can be added to this meager account. Manout 
remained for a full year, and apparently till the English occupation. ^ 
Two things are worthy of note, the smallness of the place and the 
promptness with which they established a school. The 23 famihes 
of 1661 had increased by 1675 to only 36 families. The school was 
arranged before the village had entered the second year of its corpor- 
ate existence. 

New Utrecht, another Long Island village, was surveyed and 
laid out in 1657 by Jacques Cortelyou. It did not prosper, liaving 
only 12 houses in the beginning of its fourth year, when a cliarter 
was granted. I'or many years it was smaller than Amersfoort and 
about the size of Boswick. No deacon or elder was elected for 
the church until 1677.^ Nothing has been found to indicate whether 
it liad a school durmg the Dutch period. As other small towns 
had applied to the director general and council for help with their 
schools, the absence of any such petition from New Utrecht may 
indicate that there was no effort to organize a school. But one 
can not be sure either that no such petition was made or that an 
inference therefi^om of no school wouhl be proper. 

This ends the list of Dutch towns and villages, 11 chartered towns 
(including New Amsterdam) and one not chartered (Stuyvesant's 
Bouwery village). Of these aU but two, Amersfoort and New 
Utrecht, are known to have had schools during the Dutch rule. 
Whether or no these two had schools then can not now be said. 
The argumentum e silentio must be allowed some weight, but it does 
not give certamty. 

Below appear in one conspectus the facts regarding these villages : 
the date of settlement, the date of charter, the date of the first pub- 
lic school, and the population at the time of the organization of this 
school. ^lany of the data are confessedly uncertain. 

New Amsterdam. Settled 1625; governed from the first directly by director general 
and council; chartered 1652 ; first known public school, 1638; population at that time, 
possibly about 400. 

Beverwyck (Albany). Settled finally about 1630; governed by local court from 
1632;^ chartered by Stuyvesant, 1652; first public school, 1650 or 1651; population 
in 1643, about 100. (Grew rapidly after 1650.) 

Breuckelea. Date of settlement can hardly be assigned; chartered, 1646; first 
public school, 1661; population (1660), 31 householders, 134 people. 

1 N. y. Col. Doe., xiv, 519. 
2Bushwick town record book (16t50-lS24) passim. 
8 Flatbush eon.sistory minutes, p. 93. 
Van Kensselaer-Bowier MSS., p. 208 


Midwoud (Flatbush). Settled about 1G52; chartered, 1654; first known public 
school, 1659; population at that time possibly slightly larger than Brooklyn.' 

Amersfoort. Settled apparently in the forties; chartered in 1654; no school known 
until after the English occupation; population small, in 1657 consisting apparently of 
17 families,^ in 1675 of 36 families.^ 

Nciv Ainstel. Settled, chartered, provided with a public school all at one time 
(1656-7); population, about 200. 

New Haerlem. Settlement begun, 1658; chartered 1660; first school possibly by 
1660, certainly by 1664; population (1661), 32 male adults; remained for years about 
the same. 

Wiltwych. Settled (as a village), 1658; chartered, 1661; first public school prob- 
ably in 1658, almost certainly, 1660; certainly by 1662; population difficult to estimate; 
D? Blom's membership increased in three years (1660-3) from 16 to 60.^ If proportion 
of members to families was same at Breuckelen, this would mean an increase from 21 
to some 77 families. 

Bergen. Settled, 1660; chartered, 1661; first public school, possibly 1661, certainly 
by 1662; population (1660), "about thirty families," in (1662) apparently 38 families.'' 

Boswyck. Site selected, 1660; chartered, 1661; first public school, 1662-63; popu- 
lation, in 1661, 23 families, in 1675, 36 families. 

New Utrecht. Laid out, 1657; chartered, 1661; no school known to have been 
organized during the Dutch period; population in 1661, "twelve houses," in 1675, 
29 families.^ 

Stuyvesant's Bouwery. Private country seat of Peter Stuyvesant, bought in the 
late forties; never chartered; first known school (whether public or private not clear), 
1661; population (1660), "forty negroes" * * * besides the household families. " ^ 

The schools organized in the chartered villages were all of one 
type. The schoolmaster was also voorlezer and sexton (except for 
a time at Beverwyck), and was besides court messenger or town 
clerk (except at New Amstel). The master received a salary and 
tuition fees, Wliile it is not expressly so stated, except at New 
Amsterdam, we may beUeve that ''the poor and needy who ask to 
bo taught for God's sake" were taught "for nothing." Wliile there 
woi'c no rich, there were, however, few poor in the villages. Besides 
the salary, a free dwelling for the master seems to have been well 
nigh univorsal. The source of the salary varied. At Midwoud the 
iciit from (•(Mlaiii "school lots" in time furnished the whole. In 
oiiiiy days there and at other ])laces throughout the period quite 
likely town rates or subscriptions, more or less compulsory, were 
arranged. 11ie town court, if the village were autonomous, felt 
itself mainly n^sponsible. No instance of a specific school levy has 
nppean^d dnring the Dutch period, though several cases presented 
themselves where a|)piir(>ntly the schoolmaster received part of a 
general levy (or comp ulsory subscription). Quite likely a town 

' Compnro N. Y. Col. Doc, xiv, 379 f. with ibid., ii, 596. 
' N. V. Col. Doc., xiv, 378 f. Compare also ibid., ii, 596. 

• Hoc. Hist, of N. Y., iv, 100. 
Mwl. Rec.,p. 534. 

• N. Y. Col. Doc., xiii, 2,"?2-3. 
« Dot". Hist. N. Y., iv, 102-3. 
'Eccl. Rec., p. 488. 


excise was generally utilized in making up the total village revenue. 
In three cases the company, through the director general and council, 
assisted tlie village with the salary of the schoolmaster. 

Control seems to have been exercised in the autonomous villages 
jointly by church and local court. At New Amstel we may believe 
that the city of Amsterdam, wliich furnished the salary, also directed 
the affairs of the school. At that place only (excluding New Amster- 
dam), and that only in the case of Pietersen, did the classis examine 
and certificate the master. At Boswyck the master was examined 
by the ministers of New Amsterdam, as a prerequisite to receiving 
the company's bounty. Wliere no money was received from the 
company, no sort of control or interference was exercised by the 
central authorities. 

On the whole it appears a just generalization to say that the Dutch 
village in Nev/ Netherland reproduced as nearly as could be the 
parish school of the mother country. The village school of New 
Netherland was an elementary school, open alike to girls and boys, 
and giving instruction in reading, writing, and rehgion.^ Tuition 
was charged, the master receivmg in addition a salary from the 
pubhc. Master and school were alike under the joint control of the 
local magistracy and church. 

1 These statements as to coeducation and as to the curriculum are discussed in Chapter XIV. 


The New Amsterdam city scIioqI was continued throughout the 
first English occupation unchanged, except in respect to the salary 
and its source. Paucity of records forbids a full treatment; the 
principal information chiefly concerns Evert Pietersen and liis effort 
to secure a salary from the city. 

The English took possession on September 8, 1664.2 ^^^q terms of 
capitulation were designed to make the transfer as easy as possible. 
All public houses should contmue for the uses of wliich they had 
hitherto existed. The Dutch were to "enjoy the liberty of their 
consciences m Divine worsliip and church discipline." "All inferior 
civil ofTicers and magistrates" were to continue in office "till the 
customary time of new election." ^ The English governor, Richard 
Nichols (1664-1668), evidently felt it his duty to make the English 
yoke as light as possible to the conquered Dutch. So that by the 
terms of surrender and by subsequent governmental policy the Dutch 
life continued much as before. Their church was subsidized, and was 
in many respects the established rehgion of the city. We shall see 
that the same was substantially true of the school. 

On October 11, 1664, one month after surrender, "Mr. Evert 
Pietersen, schoolmaster of this city" came before the city court, 
asking, "as his allowance from the company is shut off, that burgo- 
masters & schepens shall be pleased to keep him at the same allow- 
ance." The worthy court answered: "Petitioner shall have to be 
patient for the space of eight da3^s, when his petition shall be dis- 
posed of."* At the next weekly session of the court, Pietersen 
attended in order to learn the result of his petition; but was told "to 
wait still a day or two."^ Pietersen, however, was not ruined in 
pocket by tlie failure of the court to vote him a salary, as a contem- 
porary tax list shows. Certain sohUers were to be quartered on the 
city by assessment of the burghers and inhabitants. There were 
254 names in all on the rate list. The highest assessment was 4 florins, 
paid by Hon. Petrus Stuyvcsant and eacli of 12 others. Fifty-two 

I Tho title of this chapter is slightly inexact. AVhen the English toolv New Amsterdam (1664), they 
chnnfjod its name to New York. When the Dutch rrgalncd the city (1073), they chose for it the name of 
New Orange. The cliaptor title ignores the use of the name Now Orange during 1073-74. 

» Ecel. noc. p. .'■.01. 4 Rec. of N. A., v, 137. 

» N. V. Col. Doc, ii, 2.'.(>-3. 6 /j,j(j., p. 142. 


THE NEW YORK CITY SCHOOL, 1664-1674. 143 

names on the list were exempted entirel}^ "Mr. Evert Pieterzen,'' 
residing on Brewer Street, and ^Egidius Luyck, on Winckel Street, 
were each assessed 1 florin. The average rate was about IJ florins, 
while the median was one florin.' Evidently the schoolmasters were 
about of medium wealth and income. 

Over six months affeer Pietersen's first salary petition had gone in, 
he appeared before the court (April 25, 1665) to know what had been 
done; "whereupon he was informed that it with other petitions was 
shown and delivered to the Hon. Governor Nichols, who has post- 
poned the matter until his return."^ More patience was required. 
But Pietersen was equal to the demand. This time he waited for five 
months, when (September 19, 1665) "Mr. Evert Pietersen, school- 
master and precentor of this city" presented a petition, "requesting 
that he may have some proper fixed salarium, as he was heretofore 
paid Ids wages by the Hon'''®. Company, and has been continued in his 
employment from that time to the present." He was told that an 
order was shortly to be made "relative to the salary of the ministers 
of this city, under which the precentorship also comes;" and that 
proper order would then be made on liis petition.^ 

A year had now passed since the Enghsh came. The school had 
been continued as the official city school with the former Dutch 
master as the "schoolmaster and precentor of this city." The Dutch 
church was now recognized as an official church; its ministers and 
voorsanger were now promised grants from the government. But 
patience was yet necessary. This time Pietersen waited five other 
months, until the ministers had been granted their salary; then he 
appeared before the court (February 20, 166f), reminded the magis- 
trates of their promise of "the 19th of T**?"" last," and requested that 
a "suitable allowance be granted to him." "The w. court having 
heard the petition decree absolutely that he shaU receive some satis- 
faction from his service. But whereas the city treasury is at present 
so low, that the said daily expenses can scarcely be met, the petitioner 
is requested to wait yet a while."'* 

A year and a half gone and nothing but promises yet. But Pieter- 
sen was not the only sufferer. "Att a Court held at New York" May 
8, 1666, "Casper Steinmets entering demands payment of a year's 
rent of liis house hired to the city as a city school, due on the first of 
this month; amountmg to the sum of fl. 260." And agam the same 
old response : * ' Petitioner is requested to wait yet a while, as there is 
at present no money in the chest." ^ 

In this bill for rent we see the continuance of the custom begun 
with Hobocken in 1656 of renting at the expense of the city a build- 
ing for the city school. Several times before have wc met the 

» Rec. of N. A., V, 221-3. » /&id., p. 231. ' /&ui., p. 294. * Ibid., p. 340. ^ Ibid., vi, i. 


expression 'Hhe schoolmaster of this city," but, so far as the writer 
has noted, this is the first use of the expression ''city school." 

It was almost two years before Pietersen agam brought up the 
salary question. Of course, there is always the uncertamty as to 
the fulhiess of the records, but the records for tliis period arc appar- 
ently complete. On the -28th of April A" 1668 * * * Mr. 
Evert Pieters appearing, requests the W. Court to allow Inm somc- 
tliino- for the service performed by him as precentor to this date and 
alsolfor the future. The W. Court promise to speak hereof to the 
Hon^i" Governor." 1 Speakmg to the governor apparently did no 
good. Finances were at low ebb. The arrangements made about 
the salaries of the mmisters, previously mentioned, were far from 
satisfactory. D? Samuel Megapolensis wrote a friend in 1668 that 
the maimer in which these were collected was ''unpleasant and 
degrading, and altogether unusual in our Dutch nation. They go 
around from house to house to collect the salary." ^ 

Four years after his first appearance Pietersen came again before 

the court (Feb. 16, 1668-9, delivered an account of his earned salary, 

and requested payment for the past "and further allowance forliis 

future services: If not, he says he will leave." The worm had turned 

at last. The patience of even Mr. Evert Pietersen was exhausted. 

We hope the "Mayor's Court" was duly impressed, and we should 

like to record that they did something. But no, action was not to 

be expected of this body. Perhaps resolving was all they could do; 

at any rate, they "resolved to speak to the Governor hereupon."' 

What the governor did we can not say. But Pietersen did not, at 

all events, leave to^vll. On the contrary, on June 16, 1669, he got 

married.'* Perhaps it was anticipation of increased need for a salary 

that had made him speak so insistently to the court. The school, 

moreover, was continued, for the next year (Apr. 20, 1670) Casper 

Stemmcts again appeared in court asking for "payment of fl. 100 

seawant balance due for rent of the city school." From Steinmets' 

preceding request we learn that this annual rent was due on May 1. 

We should judge, then, that the school had continued to May 1, 

1669, at the least. We may add that the treasurer was "ordered to 

pay Stemmets out of the first incoming monies."^ 

That Pietersen continued in the schoolroom even to the end of 
the period is made probable from the baptismal records of the 
Kcformed Dutch Church of New York, on the pages of which "Mr. 
Evert Pieterszen Keteltas"" or "Mr. Evert Keteltas" appears as 
witness during each of the years from 1667 to 1674, with the single 

> Rec. of N. A., vi, 125. ■• N. Y. Gen. and Bio. Soc. Col ., i, 33. 

' Eccl. Kcc, p. 59.5. 6 Rcc. of N. A., vi, 221. 

8nccofN. A., vi, ir>8. 
' With the coining of the Eiiglisli, surnames liecanie more common among the Dutch. 

THE NEW YORK CITY SCHOOL, 1664-1674. 145 

(probably aocidontal) exception of 1672.^ This use of a title cus- 
tomary with the schoolmasters is hard]}4 to be accounted for on any 
other supposition than that Pietersen was sei-ving contmuously in 
the schoolroom during the time. This supposition finds apparent 
corroboration in a letter written in 1670 by the New York church to 
the classis: "On account of the continued incompacity of Domine 
Drisius * * * the usual prayers, and the word of God and a 
sermon are read by the chorister Evert Pieterse."^ Further cor- 
roboration appears in a minute of the consistory: 

December 16, 1686. In consequence of the advanced age of Evert Pietersen, 
Abraham De La Noy was appointed to act as Clerk, Chorister and Visitor of the 

If, now, Pietorscn continued to serve as voorsanger (chorister) 
during the whole period, as these two records would indicate, it is a 
fair inference — since the offices were closely linked — that ho con- 
tinued also to serve as schoolmaster. The mutual corroboration of 
this consideration and that derived from the title "Mr." makes it 
all hut certam that Pietersen did in fact fill the office of parochial 
schoolmaster during the whole period from 1664 to 1674. 

(3nc wonders whether Pietersen ever finally secured his promised 
salary. Unfortunately, the records do not tell us defuiitely. The 
following minute may throw light upon the question: 

Att a Mayors Court held att New York the 17th day of January 16ff * * * 
Uppon the compP of ^Iv. Evert Pieters, that he cannot receive the money fl. 
350 due unto him from Stoffel van Laer uppon an assignment from the Late 
Mr. Mayor; The Court ordered that the s^ van Laer should make paim* of 
the s'' assignm* within the space of eight days.* 

Why the "Late Mr. Mayor" had assigned an order of fl. 350 to 
"^Ir. Evert Pieters" save on account of his teaching does not appear. 
Of course, the transaction may have been merely one of private 
business between the two men; but the more one tliinks of it the 
more does it seem probable that the assignment was a debt of the 
city against Stoffel van Laer, and that it was given to Pietersen as 
part compensation for teaching service. In this matter, also, Pieter- 
sen was called upon to exercise patience. Stofl'el van Laer did not 
heed the order given him. Pie paid neither in eight days nor yet in 
eight months. "On Xber the 5th, 1671," we find that "Upon the 
Complaint of Mr. Evert Pieters Itt is ordered that the sherif before 
the next court day shall cause the execution w*^'^ the s'^ Evert Pieter- 
sen hath ag®* Stoffel van Laer to be Satisfyed or otherwise that 

1 In all, Pietersen's name appears 25 times in these records during a period extending from 1661 to 1677. 
In one instance he is "Evert Pietersen, schoolmf." (N. Y. Gen. and Bio. Soc. Coll., ii, 02.) The title 
"Mr." is applied 23 times (ibid., pp. 61, 64, 67, 70, 73 (bis), 75, 86, 87, 88, 92, 93, 96 (bis), 97, 100 (bis). 104 (bis), 
105, 115, 126, 127). In one instance only (1673) is there nothing to indicate the office of schoolmaster. (Ibid., 
p. 108.) ••' Dunshee, op. d<., p. 36. 

2 Eccl. Rec, p. 010. * Rec. of N. A., vi, 278. 

28311°— 12 -10 


JO Execution shall be Issued out ag^* the Effects of the vSherif him- 
self e." ^ We may well belic^ve that when the "effects of the Sherii 
himself e" are thus jeopardized the execution would be satisfied. At 
any rate, we hear no more of the matter. 

Before final action was had on the ''assignment" just discussed, 
steps were taken by the church which seems to imply the promise of 
a regular sup])ort for Pietersen. In 1671 "y^ Offic''^ of y« Reformed 
Dutch Church" in New York City petitioned Gov. Lovelace for per- 
mission "to make a Rate or Taxe amongst y^ Inhabitants, and those 
that shall frequent the Church * * * for y« Maintenance of 
their Alinister or Minist", y Clarke, or other Offic" of y« Poore, As 
also for y« reparacon of y« Church." The governor approved the 
plan suggested and granted (Sept. 26) to "y« p^'sent Elders and Dea- 
cons * * * full Power and Authority to make such a Rate or 
Tax, and to Levy the same." - It seems accordingly well-nigh 
certain that beginning possibly about 1672 a rate was levied for the 
maintenance of the church, including the support of "y« Clarke." 
This officer we must understand to be the voorlezer, who was of 
course Evert Pietersen. Whether the rate was levied upon all "y" 
Inliabitants " without (hstinction, or only u])on "those that shall 
frequent y" Church," does not appear certain, but probably the 
latter. We seem to see in this event a transition from city sujjport 
of the school during the Dutch regime to church support of the Eng- 
lish period. 

It may be added, that in spite of every difficulty of salary collec- 
tion Pietersen was by no means reduced to indigence. In 1674 his 
name appears on a list of the 62 "best and most affluent inhabitants" 
of the city, with 2,000 guilders to his credit.^ School-teaching seems 
to liavc l)een relatively more remunerative then than now. 

In as exact detail as the records would permit we have now traced 
the history of the "City School" of New York during the period 
from 1664 to 1674. We saw it maintained by the city of New York 
under Evert Pietersen, the Dutch master, certainly until February, 
1669, and very ]:)robably until the end of second Dutch regime. We 
saw tluit as late as April, 1670, the city was paying "rent for the 
(^ity School." We foimd no absolutely certain proof that the city 
during this decade ever paid its schoolmaster a salary, but the prob- 
abihties inclined us to tliink that either the town or the church by 
assessment did pay something. We seem, in conclusion, warranted 
in supposing that the school begun apparently by Roelantsen in 
1638 was continued without serious intermission as the official school 
of the town from that early beginning to 1674. 

> Rec. of N. A., vl, 347. ? Executive Council Minutes, ii, 617-8, 3 See p. 108, 


NEW YORK CITY, 1674-1776. 

The facts relating to the school of the Reformed Dutch Church 
in New York City during the period under consideration have been 
so fully and — on the whole — so fairly given by Mr. Dunshee^ that 
we need here present only a general survey of the period, with atten- 
tion to certain points not fully discussed in that work. 

The support of the Dutch church after the second Enghsh occu- 
])ation was no longer an object of municipal concern. The Dutch 
school, which from the days of Roelantsen had been closely connected 
with the church, became — durmg the second English period — the con- 
cern of the church solely. ^Vliatever salary the master received besides 
the tuition fees must have come from the church treasury; the con- 
sistory now formed the sole board of control; and the rehgious pur- 
pose of the school seems to have been even more strongly emphasized. 

On account of the fragmentary character of the church records 
for the first half of the period under consideration, we can make few 
specific statements covering those 50 years. Indeed, what has just 
been said is rather from our general knowledge of the subject than 
from specific records. 

The line of reasoning used in the preceding chapter would seem to 
show that Evert Pietersen continued in charge of the parochial school 
possibly until about 1687. The baptismal records give him the title 
of ''Mr." as late as 1677." In December of 1686, when Pietersen's 
health was failing, Abraham De Lanoy was appointed to act in his 
place as "clerk, chorister, and visitor of the sick."^ As these 
offices had, in accordance with the usual Dutch custom, been filled 
by Pietersen while he was acting as schoolmaster, it seems a fair pre- 
sumption that he retained the school likewise until 1686, or at least 
so long as his health permitted; although it is a little strange that 
nothing is said about the school in the minute. 

Some indication of the arrangements made by the church to supply 
the salary formerly given by the civil authorities is seen in a petition 
of De Lanoy, soon after he took Pietersen's place, that he might 
have the "fees for recording baptisms." The consistory, however, 
"resolved that the 3^early allowance of 50 guilders for baptism as 

I Op. cit., pp. 35-59. 2 N. Y. Gen. and Bio. Soc. Coll., ii, 12r3, 127. 3 Dun.shee, op. cit., p. 36. 



fees shall be made until the death of Evert Pietei-sen, hut when he dies 
the fees for recording baptism shall be paid to j)etitioner." ' 

Wliile it was not so suggested by Mr. Dunshee, it seems quite 
probable that this Abraham De Lanoy succeeded Pietcrsen in the 
schoolroom and continued to hold the j)osition until his death in 1 702. 
The argument for this opinion, however, is rather circumstantial 
than direct. In 1668 De Lanoy had been by the mayor and council, 
"admitted as schoolmaster in this city."' His school at that time 
was supposedly a private one. Dankefs and Sluyter refer in their 
diary to a visit made by them to De Lanoy's school in 1670. The 
quotation may prove interesting aside from the ])()int at issue. 

On my return home, the son of our old people asked me if I would udI go to their 
usual catechizing, which was held once a week at the house of Abraham De Lanoy, 
schoolmaster * * *. I accompanied him there and found a company of about 
25 persona, male and female, but mostly young people. It looked like a school, 
as indeed it was, more than an assembly of persons who were seeking after true 
godliness; where the schoolmaster who instructed them handled the subject more 
like a schoolmaster in the midst of his scholars than a person who knew and loved 
God * * •*. They sang some verses from the psalms, made a prayer, and ques- 
tioned from the catechism, al the conclusion of which they prayed and sung some verses 
from the psalms again. It was all performed without respect or reverence, very lit- 
erally, and mixed up with much ol)scurity and error.^ 

During the ])eriod from 1681 to 1691, the ba])tismal records con- 
tain several references to ''Mr. Abraham De Lanoy." ^ As else- 
where in like connection the title "Mr." can hardly mean anything 
else than service in the schoolroom. Finally, his will dated August 3, 
1702, begins "I, Abraham De Lanoy, of the City of New York, 
Schoolmaster."^ If De Lanoy taught thus continuously in the city 
from 1668 to 1702, if he was in 1686 appointed "clerk, chorister, 
and comforter of sick" — duties almost invariably given to the master 
of the school — if, furthermore, he succeeded the schoolmaster Evert 
Pietersen in these offices, the conclusion is easy — if not necessary — 
that he succeeded Pietersen likewise in the schoolroom. If De Lanoy 
was ever placed in charge of the parochial school, there is no known 
reason to doubt that he held the place as long as he taught at all; 
that is, until his death in 1702. 

Should any object that a parocliial school is not to be supposed in 
the absence of positive record showing its existence, the answer 
appears clear. As the Dutch were in the large majority during this 
earlier period, as they held tenaciously to their language well into 

■ Dunshee, op. cit., p. 36. 

2 Ree. of N. A., vi, 115. 

3 LoriR Island Hist. Soc. Coll., i, 134. It may be that De Lanoy had by this time already taken over 
Pietcrsen's school, but the probabilities point to the contrary. The criticisms here directed against De 
Lanoy must be taken cum grano salts. 

* N. Y. Gon. & Bio. Soc. Coll., ii, 152, 176, 192, 204. 

r- N. Y. Hist. Soc. Coll., 1892: 342. On page 225 appears an inventory of De Lanoy's school books 
mrde just after his death in 1702. 


the eighteenth century, as custom and ecclesiastic law alike required 
the churches to provide schools, as the continuous existence of the 
school from 1726, when the records recommence, is abundantly 
shown in the records — in the face of all tliis we can not doubt that 
during the whole period from 1674 to the Revolution the school was 
kept in fairly continuous o[)eration. 

Corroboration of the opinion just expressed is found in the charter 
granted to the New York City church in 1696.i In tliis, privilege 
was granted to the minister and elders and deacons to ''nominate 
and aj)point a clerk, schoolmaster, bell ringer or sexton, and such 
other ofFiccs as they shall stand in need of." The same were further 
"authorized, from time to time, to make rates and assessments upon 
all and every one of the members in communion of the said church 
for the raising of money for the payment of the yearly stipends and 
salaries of the aforesaid officers of the said school." The domine 
wrote the classis shortly thereafter that the contents of the instru- 
ment "in respect to the power * * * of choosing elders, deacons, 
chorister, sexton, etc., and of keeping Dutch schools, [were] all in 
conformity to the Church-Order of the Synod of Dort, Anno, 1619." ^ 

It may be of interest to learn something of the thorouglmess of 
the catechetical instruction of this period. D? Selyns, in 1698, sent 
to the classis a list of 44 boys and 21 girls who "had learned and 
repeated, or were ready to repeat, pubhcly, freely, and without 
missing, all the psalms, hymns, and prayers in rhyme, in the presence 
of" the "consistory and of many church members." Apparently 
there was a contest, for D? Selyns reports that "the girls, although 
fewer in number, had learned and recited more, in proportion, than 
the boys." The average age of the children was 10 years, ranging 
from 7 to 14. The "regular Sunday pra3^er, which is made before 
the sermon, was recited without any mistake, and with energy and 
manly (sic) confidence, by Marycken Popinga, a cliild of five years." 
We need not be surprised that when the congregation repeated the 
prayer after the httle girl, it was "not without tears." The cate- 
chumens were evidently pleased by their feat, for they had a detailed 
report sent, not only to the Classis of Amsterdam, but also to the 
Dutch church of London.^ 

The disproportion in number of boys to girls in tliis contest quite 
possibly is indicative of a similar disproportion in the numbers that 
attended school. We shall see later that the proportion of marks 
made by women to men in affixing names to legal documents is in 
somewhat greater disparity than would be the school attendance 
indicated by these figures. 

About the beginning of the eighteenth century the colonial governor, 
Lord Cornbury (1702-1708), "insisted that neither the ministers or 

' Eccl. Rec, pp. 1136-11G5. 2 Ibid., p. 1172. » Ibid., pp. 1233-1240. 


schoolmasters of the Dutch, although the most nimicrous persuasion 
in the Province, had a right to preach or instruct without liis guber- 
natorial license."^ 

At tliis time (1705) the Dutch church of New York City had no 
schoolmaster. Two Dutch masters, Goelet and Korfbyl, who had 
"by personal petition" sought in vain for a license from Cornbury, 
now turned to the church, urging upon it the charier privilege of 
conducting a school.^ 

There was but one Dutch schoolmaster in the city of New York 
at the time, and the church felt the need of "another and still more 
of greater qualifications." "Our Yoorlezer," so we read, "has made 
request twice in writing for this addition; and others with great 
urgency have insisted on it; but they were not able to secure any- 
thing." Cornbury, in defiance of the provisions of the church charter, 
declined their petition "to be allowed to have one more schoolmaster." 
The church, in apprehension that the congregation might grow less 
"from the decline of nurturing schools," made an earnest appeal 
"for the help and intercession of the rev. classis."^ Nothing, of 
course, could come from that source, but Cornbury's administration 
ended shortly thereafter; and no succeeding governor saw lit to 
repeat his oppressive measures. 

In 1726 the records begin at length to give tolerably fuU accounts 
of the school. On January 5, 1725-6, Mr. Barend de Forest was 
appointed schoohnaster under the supervision of the consistory. 
The school by this time had come to be looked upon as of significance, 
principally, in training the cliildren to take part in the church service. 
Although English was at the time recognized as "the common 
language" of the Province, and although the publication of De For- 
est's appointment before the congregation stated in so many words 
that "there can not but be a general agreement by each and all of 
us that it is very necessary to be versed in this common language, 
in order properly to carry on one's temporal calling;" still it was 
urged that "all who belong to the Dutch Reformed Church and have 
any regard for God, and prefer the worship of the Dutch Reformed 
Church, can not but see and acknowledge that * * * it is equally 
necessary for them to be versed in the language in which God's wor- 
sliip is conducted and exercised." 

De Forest's contract stipulated that the master was "to obey 
strictly all such orders as shall be judged necessary for the advance- 
ment of the youth in the Netherlandish tongue, and in the first 
principles of the Christian religion." The children, "according to 
their ability, " were "to be taught to spell, read, write, and cipher; 
and also the usual prayers in the catechism." "Every Monday" he 
was to appear "with all the children, at the public catecliizing to 

1 Smith's New York, p. 172. a Eecl. Rec, p. 1584. 3 Ibid., pp. 1054, 1700. 


test tlicii- ability and their diligence." On Wednesdays likewise, 
when there was preaching, he was to "attend the service with all 
the children." The school was in operation the year round, except 
on "Festival days" and Wednesday and Saturday afternoons. The 
hours were, "in summer, from 9 to 11 a. m., and from 1 to 4 p. m. 
fn winter, from 9^ to 12^ a. m., and from 1 to 4 p. m." "None but 
edifying and orthodox books," such as the consistory might approve, 
should be used. The consistory paid for the teacliing of "the chil- 
dren of indigent })arents" at the rate of "nine pounds for ten chil- 
dren."' Only children above 7 years of age might take advantage 
of this free tuition.^ 

De Forest continued in charge until December 3, 1732, when mis- 
fortune came upon him. We read that on that date ''there was 
piesented to the consistory a written request from Mr. Barend de 
Forest, cleik in the old church, now a piisoner for debt, that the 
consistory would please become responsible for £50 or £60, and 
continue liim in his office, and * * * take one-half of liis salaiy 
lor debt and pay him the other half for his support." But after 
nuich consideration, the consistory declined the petition; and placed 
Mr. Isaac Stoulenburg, the assistant, in temporary charge '*at the 
rate of £ 1 5 per year. ' ' 

A few months later (March 21) "Mr. Gerrit van'Wagenen (at 
present Foiesinger in the Low Dutch Reformed Congregation at 
Kingstowne) " was named as "clerk and Foresinger" in the "so-called 
old church * * * .^^^^{ .^jgQ ^q j^g, the visitor of the sick for the 
whoU^ congregation, and to keep school in the Dutch language, and 
finally to keep the books" of the church. Of these duties Van Wag- 
enen's ])redecessors in oflice had apparently found that of ^dsitor of 
the sick burdensome, for the third article of the contract sets out that, 
"as each one of the schoolmasters has had the duty of visitor of the 
sick, so you are to make no piteous scruples concerning the service 
(however weighty in itself), but render it as the muiisters shaU orally 
direct you." His salary is stated more expUcitly than was De Forest 's. 
As voorsanger and sieckentrooster he was to receive £15; "for the 
school teacliing of twelve of the cliildren of the poor" £10; "for keepmg 
the books of consistory " £9 ; " four cords of wood ' ' for use in the school 
room; for recordmg baptisms, "at least a half quarter, and as much 
more as the parties shall present you " ; " for the first two years (and 
no longer), six pounds, yearly, New York currency, for his house 
rent." Besides all tliis, the consistory thought if he carried on his 
school "mdustriously," the citizens would send him "such a number 
of chUdren" that altogether his salary would furnish "all adequate 
support" for his family.^ 

1 "A poimd here is equivalent to eight Holland guUders" ($3.20). Ibid., p. 2590. 
a Ibid., pp. 2337-2343. 3 Dunshee, op. cit., pp. 43-4. 


The announcement before the congregation conccrnmg the new 
regime at school expressed the hope "that the Christian congregation 
will be pleased to support the same for the general good for them- 
selves and their cliildren, by assiduously and in good number sendmg 
scholars to Mr. van Wagenen's school of orthodoxy." The rehgious 
function of the school, as expressed in the case of Dc Forest, was 
repeated here. The school was considered "absolutely necessary, 
useful, and salutaiy for the Christian rearing, teaching, and training 
of our youth, in order to gain them, from the earliest period, to the 
language of our church, and to a love for the Dutch reformed 

It is almost pitiable to see the l)lind zeal of tlio churcli leaders in 
resisting the spread of the English language. The closer the touch 
with Holland the blinder and more vehement the zeal. If there had 
been an early willingness to accept the inevitable, to translate the 
church ser\dce into English, and to effect ecclesiastical independence 
from Holland, the numbers and wealth of tliis church at the present 
time would be vastly greater. But all the strength of the Dutcli 
character seemed rooted in opposition. 

In a "further explanation" of Van Wagenen's duties, made just 
before he took up the duties of schoolmaster, occurs the first certain 
specific reference to girls that the writer has found in connection with 
the Dutch schools of America. Certam catechism recitations were 
to be required of "tlie school c-hildren, both boys and girls." It 
seems reasonably sure that girls had been in school all the wliile.^ 
That no earlier reference has been found is, however, certauily 
remarkable. In this "further explanation," it was provided that 
the master should "set none of the children of the poor to writing 
or cyphering, without the conseiit of one of the ministers."^ Wliy 
this should have been stipulated is hard to understand. It would 
seem that the poor were not to be encouraged to go further than 

Gerrit van Wagenen remamed m charge for just 10 years. Upon 
his death Isaac Stoutenburg was appomted provisionally as clerk 
and recorder of baptisms. Possibly Stoutenburg was also school- 
master; but this seems hardly prol)able, as in three months we find 
Huybert van Wagenen, the son of the former master, already for 
some time installed in his father's place as schoolmaster. 

On November 21, 1743, it was decided to provide "another Dutch 
school." Mr. Abraham de Lanoy, second of the name,^ was to be 
paid for teachmg "ten children of poor parents in our congregation, 
who live too far, especially in winter, to come to the school of Mr. 
Huybert van Wagenen." Mr. de Lanoy was to "catecliize the chil- 

i Dunsliee, op. cit., p. 46. 2 See p. 217. s Eccl. Rec., p. 2C26. * See p. 147. 


dien in the new church, and Mr. van Wagenen in the old church."^ 
Abraham de Lanoy continued to teach from 1743 to 1747, when he 
was succeeded })y William van Dalsem, who taught untU 1757. Upon 
his death in that year tliis second school closed.^ Mr. Huybert van 
Wagenen continued to serve as schoolmaster at the old church appar- 
ently until 1749, when Daniel Bratt was called from a similar position 
at CatskOl to be choiister and schoolmaster. 

Master Bratt 's contract was for five years. As chorister he was to 
leceive ''twelve pounds, ten shillings, New York money," besides the 
baptismal fees. As schoolmaster he was to have a dwelling house 
and school, and £12 10s. for teaching ''twelve free scholars, six 
in reading and six in writing." For each scholar he was to 
receive a load of wood, "half nut and half oak."' Later the number 
of "free scholars" was increased to a maximum of 20. Apparently 
Mr. Bratt was not successful, for we find the consistory notifymg him 
13 months in advance that he must retire when his five yeai-s should 
exi^iic* Some of tliis haste may have been due to the resentment 
folt by the consistory that Mr. Bratt should have rented out a portion 
of his house, an act felt by them to be "to the prejudice of the church."^ 

At this point the school history must take account of a long and 
bitter ecclesiastical struggle within the Dutch churches of America. 
One party was anxious to adapt the church more fully to American 
conditions, desiring in particular to secure ecclesiastical independence 
of Holland and to introduce the use of the English language into the 
church services. The other party opposed both innovations with a 
zeal as determined as it now appears blind. Interestingly enough the 
reactionary party was strongest in New York City, with D? Ritzema 
of the old church as its admitted leader. In connection we may 
quote Hamilton, who says, in his famous Itinerarium (p. 107), of the 
Dutch of New York City in 1744: "Now their language and customs 
begin pretty much to wear out, and would very soon die were it not 
for a parcel of Dutch domines here who, in the education of their chil- 
dren, endeavor to preserve the Dutch eustoms as much as possible." 

We have already noted that 25 years before the English hinguage 
had been publicly admitted to be necessary for commercial purposes, 
although the Dutch language had been counted ''absolutely neces- 
sarv" for the church service. Evidently this dualistic arrangement 
could not be permanent in a country where the English language was 
officially established and the English-speaking population w^as being 
so rapidly recruited. The older members of the church, however, 

> Eccl. Rec, p. 2829. It may be noted that about this tune the church owned considerable property 
at the Manor of Fordham, includmg a sehoolhouse, which the consistory felt bound to keep in repair. 
No reference, however, appears to oversight by the consistory of a school kept there. Ibid., p. 2969. 

2 Dunshee, op. cit., pp. xvi, 51. ^Ibid:, p. 3337. 

3 Eccl. Rec, p. 3025. f-Ibid., p. 3357. 


could not recognize the inevitable. Knowing the Dutch language 
themselves, they could not see why the young people should not 
continue in the old paths. Many of the younger Dutch peo})le, on 
their part, not understanding the public services as conducted in 
Dutch, united with English-speaking congregations to the "visible 
decay" of the Dutch churches. 

In 1754 William Livingston issued a series of articles under the title 
of the ''Independent Reflector," in which he especially opposed the 
growing strength of the Episcopal party. In the first number in 
order to rouse the Dutch he discussed the "visible decay" of the 
Dutch churches, and attributed it to "the too long continued use of 
the Dutch language." "The Dutch tongue, once the common dialect 
of this province, is now scarcely understood, except by its more 
ancient inhabitants." "The churches have kept exact pace with the 
language in its retrograde state." To prevent this he admits that the 
greatest pains had not been wanting. "They have had well-regu- 
lated free schools richly supported by their churches, and yet maugre 
their utmost efforts parents have found it in a degree impossible to 
transmit" the language to their children, "To prevent, therefore, 
the ruin of the old Dutch churches, common sense pointed out the ab- 
solute necessity of disuniting them from the language" that was 
dragging them down.^ 

However strongly such a statement might appeal to the unpreju- 
diced, it could only arouse to more determined op])osition such a 
reactionary as D? Kitzema. The schools, he admitted, had failed to 
preserve the old state of affairs; but that was because they had failed 
to do their duty. The fault was with them; they must be made better. 
We accordingly find D? Kitzema writing to Holland in behalf of his 
consistory, saying that they had "long lacked a suitable schoolmaster 
and chorister to the manifest injury of the youth as well as of 
worship." The church had accordingly "finally resolved to incur the 
trouble and expense of sending for one to Holland. "^ 

Tills plan of bringing over a Holland master would not only have 
the merit of adding prestige to the school — no recalcitrant parent 
among the Dutch need hereafter claim that he could not afford to 
patronize the church school, "to the injury" of his children; but 
besides it would secure an ally to the Dutch party. A man who 
knew no English would not surreptitiously spread that commercial 
language, and certainly he would not favor loosening church ties 
with Holland. So determined was Ritzema's party for the plan 
to succeed that they offered "such compensation as almost doubles 
what any one in tliis service has ever before enjoyed." 

' Independent Reflector, January, 1754. In view of these undoubted facts it is interesting to see an adver- 
tisement in the New York Gazette Post-Boy (Apr. 1, 1751) by one KlockhofE, offering to teach "reading 
and writing in Dutch, French, and Latin." 

» Eccl. Rec, p. 3530. 


"The qualifications demanded in such a pereon" were that as a 
chorister he should understand the art of singing, have a voice to be 
heard, and have "the gifts to instruct others in the art;" as a school- 
master he should be "a good reader, writer, and cypherer," and he 
was to be "not under twenty-five nor above thirty-five years of age. " 
"The emoluments offered to such a person" were "a free dwelling, 
new and commodious." In which "besides the large school room 
there is a small parlor, a large kitchen, two chambers above, a cellar 
under the house, and behind the house a kitchen garden, a well 
with a pump, and many other conveniences. This house would 
bring an annual rent of twenty pounds. New York currency."^ In 
addition, he should receive fifteen pounds annually for leading the 
singing; twenty-four pounds for instructing "twenty poor children in 
reading, writing, and cyphering;" "fire wood for these children, six 
pounds yearly;" for keeping the church books, eight pounds; bap- 
tismal fees, at least seven pounds; and "besides these an annual 
salary of twenty pounds." "To this may be added that the school 
is open for the cliildren of all the citizens." "As there is no other 
suitable school of the Holland Dutch in the city," the master might 
expect from this source "at least forty pounds more." ^ The com- 
bined income from all these sources, including house rent, would be 
£140, New York currency, or $350, wliich was much above what most 
schoolmasters received at the time. We may note that the total 
number of pupils contemplated would be about 45, as we may 
reckon from the scale of tuition fees fixed by the consistory.^ 

It took nine montlis to get such a master, but on November 9, 
1755, "JVIr. Johan Nicolas Welp, with liis wife and children, all in good 
health" arrived from Amsterdam. The consistory was pleased with 
liis testimonials and "resolved to pay him eight pounds for his 
freight and waste of goods from New London here, besides the fifteen 
pounds promised for the expenses of his voyage."* Nor was this 
all. "Considering the loss which Mr. Welp suffered in the sale of 
liis goods, in consequence of his removing from Amsterdam at short 
notice, the consistory made up among themselves a present of twenty 
pounds, wliich he ver}- gladly received."^ 

In spite of all this lavishness the effort to stem the oncoming tide 
of Americanizing influence was in vain. From 1743 there had been 
two Dutch schools, but two years after Mr. Welp came, the "ten 
children taught by the late Mr. van Dalsem were allowed to Mr. 

> " One pound New York currency is a little more than six guilders and twelve stivers," that is, about 
$2.50 (1755). Eccl. Rec, p. 3531. 

«/6id., p.3530fl". 

3 "Mr. Welp was allowed to claim for his instruction of the children per quarter: For reading only, five 
shillings; for reading and writing, eight shilUngs, and six pence for pen and ink; and ten shilUngs for cypher- 
ing; and six shillings for those who learn singing." Consistory minutes, Nov. 16, 1755. Eccl. Rec, p. 3621. 

■• Consistory minutes. Ibid., pp. 3614, 3641. 

' Letterof Df Ritzema Dec.29, 1755. Eccl. Rec, p. 3642. 


Welj) provisionally."^ Provisional as this was, it marked the last 
of the second school. Later Mr. Welp's salary was reduced to "£16 
above his income" from tuition and other fees.^ In the mcanwliile 
agitation for an English-speaking minister had been successfully 
made, though only against determined opposition.^ 

In a letter of Januaiy 10, 1763, written by the consistory to Hol- 
land asking for an Englisli-speaking minister, the decay of the Dutch 
language is pathetically set forth: ''We have daily the mortification 
to see the offspring of the wealtliiest members of our congregation 
leave our divine worsliip, not being al)le to apprehend what is taught." 
"There is scarce a principal family in tliis city and even in our own 
church whose cliildren clearly understand the Dutch language."' 
In 1765 Mr. Welp came before the consistory and "stated that 
the deacons had decided that they could not continue him on the 
same footing u])oii which he had before stood — receiving from them 
£16 above liis income. He therefore iunnbly asked, inasniucli as 
the Dutch school was so poor, and liis recording the names of bap- 
tized cliildren had also greatly diminished, that the consistory would 
please to provide some other way. This the consistory considered 
favorably, and ordered that inasmuch as he had been appointed cat- 
ecliist and consoler of the sick, the £16 should on this account be 
allowed liim." ■' Even if we do not here admit tliat the ba])tisms had 
in fact fallen of]', evidently the Dutch school was such a failure that 
Welp had to take up the offices of catecliist and siecken-trooster in 
order to make ends meet. 

Not only did the Dutch school fail of its purpose to keep alive the 
Dutch language, but there was strong effort to organize an English 
scliool, of higher grade. "A proposal was made by Mr. Jacobus van 
Zant to establish a Latin and English grammar school under the 
direction of our consistory. * * * This was agreed to b}" the 
majority."" A subscription was begun "to build or lure a suitable 
schoolhouse," but "for important reasons" — unknown to us now — - 
the matter was delayed, and a]:)parently came to nothing. 

In the meanwliile the opponents of Enghsh preacliing had not 
been reconciled. In 1767 they made a lengthy appeal to the colonial 
governor to redress their alleged wrongs, (Among the petitioners was 
Huybert van Wagenen who had previously served as schoolmaster.) 
The seventh grievance alleged in the appeal was "that the Dutch 
school is not taken care of by the rulers to the total ruin of the 

> Consistory minutes, Aug. 22, 1757. — Dunshee. op. cit., p. 51, 

2 Ecel. Rec, p. 3983. 

' It was asserted by the opponents of the English party that "even Rev. Ritzema once avowed that 
rather than allow an English minister to speakln our church he would lay his head upon the block and say 
'('utitolT.' " Eccl. Rec, p. 3880. 

< Tbid., p. 3854. 

•'' Consistory minutes. Mar. 21, 1765. Eccl. Rec., p. 3663. 

« Consistory minutes, July 2'J, 1765. Ibid., p. 3999. 


Dutch education." 1 The answer made Ijv the school authorities to 
tliis sevcntli alleged grievance was "that we have at present and for 
twelve years past have employed Mr. Welp, who was sent for to 
Holland as a schoolmaster and catechist; he keeps a school con- 
stantly open, receives payment from us for teaching the poor chil- 
dren of the congregation to the number of thirty, which number 
never was completed; he is a person very well quahfied to catechise 
and teach school, and we pay him a very handsome salary for his 
service, insomuch that liis place is coveted by others." ^ 

That not 30 poor cliildren cared to avail themselves of free 
education in the Dutch language is sufficient commentary on the 
folly of trying longer to keep up a school exclusively in that tongue. 
The deacons seem to have accepted this aHcw; for we find them 
requesting tJiat the catecliists be discharged because their salaries 
could not be raised ''without injury to the poor." The consistory, 
however, would not agree to the plan. But later they withdrew 
from Mr. Welp the £16 allowed Mm as a catechist and as \4sitor of 
the sick; "for he is not in a condition, owing to bodily infirmity, to 
bear the burden" of these offices.^ This action in the case of an iU 
man seems a little hard; but perhaps we do not know enough to 
judge. When Mr. Welp died, some three years later, the church was 
more liberal. They canceled a debt against his estate of £5, paid 
his funeral expenses, allowed the family to continue in the church 
house for some months without charge, and gave the widow an annual 
pension of 20 pounds.* 

In 1772 there was contributed "a sum of five and seventy pounds, 
eight shillings, as the beginning of a fund for the erection and main- 
tenance of a pubhc school, to be set up by the consistoiy."^ We 
hear nothing more of this prior to the Revolution. Quite hkelj^ the 
example of the Trinity Church School, which was now receiving 
many bequests, incited these members of the Dutch church to Hke 

When the consistory came to elect a successor to Mr. Welp, they 
recosmized, as we have it in their own words, that "the Dutch Ian- 
guage is constantly diminishing and is going out of use." They 
therefore "deemed it proper to call a person who is qualified to 
instruct and educate the cliildren in the English as well as the Dutch 
language." The person selected for tliis was "]\li'. Peter van Steen- 
bergh, at present schoolmaster at Flatbush on Long Island." The 
instructions given are quite similar to those that we have previously 
examined. "For the instruction of 30 poor children" he was to 
receive £60; "firewood for one year, £8;" "books, paper, ink, quills, 
etc., for one year, £5; for the care of certain church chambers, £8." 

1 Doc. Hist, of N. Y., iii, p. 309. < Ihid., pp. 4259, 4262. 

2 Eccl. Rec., p. 4106. 5 Consistory minutes, Apr. 23, 1772. Ibid., p. 4240. 
8 Consistory minutes, Apr. 30, 1770. Eccl. Rec, p. 4184. 


"For your encouragement, you shall have a dwelling house and gar- 
den free, and also a good room for the school." "It shall be allowed 
you to instruct as many other children as may offer themselves to 
you, but not beyond the number of 30, and also to keep an evening 
school." ^ ]\ir. Steenbergh accepted the proffered place and con- 
tinued in charge as "the public schoolmaster of this congregation" 
until "the commencement of the war," when the school suspended 

The consistory at this time decided to build a schoolhouse at a cost 
not exceeding £400.^ ''With its dependencies, however, the final 
cost was £856:15:li."'* Wlion the house was finished, the con- 
sistory adopted some rather interesting rules regarding the free 
scholars : 

1. No boy shall be received under nine, and no girl under eight years of age. 

2. No child so received shall remain in the school longer than three years, so as to 
make room for new ones; yet if no new ones be hindered thereby they may.remain. 

Children of the church members were to be given preference. The 
consistory should make a public visitation to the school every quarter, 
while the elders and deacons should go monthly "to see what progress 
the scholars are making."^ 

The last school reference prior to the Revolution is in a consistory 
minute of March 6, 1774, whicli states that the deacons were ap- 
pointed a standing committee in relation to the poor children who are 
now maintained in the school."" Mr. Dunshee states (p. 94) that 
the school from its origin to 1808 was "under tlie supervision of the 
board of deacons." One hesitates to differ from Mr. Dunshee on a 
point which would seem to lie so peculiarly within the scope of his 
knowledge, but the evidence hardly bears out the assertion. The 
reference just above given is an illustration to the point. The con- 
sistoiy, not the deacons — so far as appears from the records — 
settled eveiy question relating to the school from 1674 to the date of 
the last-quoted reference. It is true that the deacons seem to have 
been pecuharly charged with the care of the church finances, and in 
this capacity we find them making recommendations to the consistory 
touching tlie school. In only one instance — when De Lanoy was asked 
to teach 10 poor children — does it appear that the deacons first 
acted without a special authorization. But in this case they "took 
the first opportunity to make this known to the meeting (of the con- 
sistory), expecting that it would be approved." '' 

1 Eccl. Rec, p. 4201. 

2 Consistory minutes, Sept. 7, 1784. Dunshee, op. cit., p. 65. 

3 Eccl. Rec, p. 4262. 
■» Ibid., p. 4272. 

6 Consistory minutes, Aug. 6, 1773. Ibid., 4264-4260. 

» "bid., p. 427G. 

' Ibid. , Nov. 21, 1743. Ibid., 2S?0. 


We have now traced the history of this the oldest school in New 
York from 1638 to the Revolution. There is no reason to suppose 
that at any time within this period was the continuity of existence 
broken. Wliile it ceased in 1674 to be the official city school, it 
nevertheless retained throughout the whole colonial period of nearly 
a century and a half its connection with the Reformed ]:)utcli duircli 
of the city. 

We may suppose, though the evidence is not abundant, that until 
the early decades of the eighteenth century the school remained 
uniquely the estabhshed elementary^ school for the Dutch-speaking 
population. With the spread of the English language the usefulness 
of the school evidently declined and became more and more a charity 
school, although that name was not applied until after tlie ]^ evolution.' 

We noted the ineffectual effort to use the school to perpetuate the 
Dutch language. The presence of the two languages in New York City 
must have operated to the injury of the cause of education within the 
city. For the greater portion of the period under consideration the 
inliabitants of Dutch descent were in the majority. Their whole 
previous history both in Old and New Netherlands had made the 
ehurch and the municipahty, conjointly, the proper guardians and 
support of public education. In colonial New York, however, these 
two worked at cross purposes. If the municipaht}^ was to su import 
any school, it must be for the teaching of English. The church, how- 
ever, would support only Dutch schools. The great mass of the 
Dutch population could not give exclusive support to an education 
wliicli served one day of the week only, ignoring the economic demands 
of the other six. Nor on the other hand could they, under the leader- 
ship of their ministers, feel cordial interest in a municipal school 
which would not merely ignore the church but would apparently 
wean the youth away from its influence. As a result of these con- 
flicting interests the English apath)^ toward public support of educa- 
tion, instead of the Dutch custom of municipal schools, became the 
estabhshed pohcy of New York City during the colonial period. 

We can never cease to regret that the splendid interest of tlio Dutch 
in education and the powerful force of their customaiy support of 
municipal schools should have been to so great a degree lost through 
the inabihty of their religious leaders to accept the Englisli language 
as an ine\atable necessity. Had the system of municipal schools been 
retained after 1674, giving instruction, however, in both languages, 
the transition from the Dutch to the P^nglish language could have 
been made with greater ease and with far less hurt to the Dutch 
church; and New York City would have gained a full hundred years 
in the development of its school system. 

1 Dunshee, op. cii., p, tj5. 


As we saw in Chapter VIII, Jan de la Montagne was schoolmaster 
in New Haerlem at the beginning of the English occupation. Tliis 
position he held until October 23, 1670,^ when he resigned. What 
his salary was under the new regime, or how it was collected, does 
not appear. To judge from what happened later, voluntary sub- 
scriptions fm-nished the greater part of the salary. The village was 
still small, the church in 1665 consisting of only 23 resident members. 

In 1667 was erected a building primarily for church purposes but 
used also as a schoolhouse, having, moreover, a loft from which 
rent was sometimes collected. This seems so remarkable a com- 
pound of church, school, and finance, that we should doubt the 
statement did not the records plainly assert that the deacons, with 
the consent of the magistrates and community, let at public auction 
"the loft over the church or schoolhouse."" This seems to be one 
case where the schoolmaster did not live in the schoolhouse.^ 

We have said above that Montagne resigned October 23, 1670. 
To be exact, this was the date when liis successor, Hendrick Jansen 
Van der Vin, was elected.^ The term of Van der Vin's service was 
fixed at three years. His salary for services as schoolmaster and 
voorlezer was "f. 400 yearly in seawant or in grain at seawant price," 
and also a dwelling house, with 60 loads of firewood. This last was 
furnished by the inhabitants, three furnishing 12 loads each, and 
four, 6 loads each. The salary was made up principally by sub- 
scri])tion, Montagne, the outgoing master, subscribing 10 florins, 7 
stivers. In order to help with the salary the town lot, garden, and 
meadow were leased for six years at 120 florins a year, in seawant 
or grain at seawant price. ^ 

After one year's trial of the subscription plan, a tax was authorized 
to raise Van der Vin's salary, "calculated 2/3 on the lands and 1/3 
on the erven (town residence lots) ; amounting for each morgen to 
f. 1: 12: 6, and for each erf. f. 6: 7." But, notes Montagne on the 
margin of the court record, "It came to notliing." As yet the 

1 Rikci\ History of Ilarlem, p. 2(19. 

2 Ibid., p. 285. The quotation marks here are Riker's, from which we infer that the quotation itself was 
taken from the now hidden town records. 

^ But sec p. 102. 

* Rikor sunnises (p. 277) that Arent Evertson Molenaer may have served temporarily between Mon- 
tagne and Van der Vin. Apparently there is nc doc'iunentary proof of this. 
6 Ibid., p. 209. This salary (f. 400 seawant) was about equal to 40 dollars. 



people were not read}- for school or chinrli taxes.' ^■or were they 
entirely willing to pay the voluntary subscriptions. "We lind in 1()73 
the court, at the request of the voorlezer, directing the sheriiY to 
collect the salary as per list of "free-will contributors."- What 
success the sheriff found in collecting the salary we do not know. 

On November 1, 1673, Van der Vin reelected for another three 
years on the same terms as before, with the additional stiiniiation 
that the people should keep the house and garden fence in repair. 
The salary was to be paid half-yearly in grain at market value, and 
'^ according to the old list of free-will contributors." Tliis list has 
been preserved. On it are IS names, of whom, however, only 14 
actually subscribed for the 1673-1676 term. The subscriptions 
range from 4 to 30 florins, and average about 16 florins. Besides 
subscriptions, ''the town allotment" was rented for 120 florins 
annually, and ''the meadows" at 35 florins, 1 stiver. The total 
amounted to 406 florins. 

This second contract with Van der Vin was signed during tiic 
short return of the Dutch to power in 1673-74. The transition of 
government had been made easily. The Dutch governor sent the 
vfllage a new charter, bringing back the old couit of schout and 
schepens selected by the double nomination system connnon anion" 
the Dutch. The ninth section of the charter authorized the sellout 
and schepens, "for the peace and tranquiUity of the inhabitants in 
their district, to make any orders" (subject to proper approval) 
respecting liighways, etc., "also for the observance of the Sabbath, 
respecting the building of churches, of schools, and similar pubhc 
works." ^ A report made to the Dutch governor at this time states 
that New Haerlem contained 16 householders, 22 males between 16 
and 60 years of age, and a few males above 60. Of the 22 males of 
mihtary age, 3 were Englishmen and 8 were "young men" (i. e., 
unmarried) .^ 

When the Dutch gave back the colony (Nov. 10, 1674), it was 
apparently judged necessary to renew the contract with Van der Vin. 
The terms were the same as previously. This time IS peojjle sub- 
scribed, of their free wifl, sums ranging from 3 to 38 florins, the 
average being about 15 florins. Two declined to subscribe, claim- 
ing exemption on account of difference of religion. 

In October, 1676, Van der Vin complahied tliat liis house was no 
longer fit to live in. Accordingly the town decided that for lh(> 
winter they would move him into the schoolhouse or church after it 

» Riker, History of Harlem, p. 276. 
i Ibid., p. 2H7. 

3 Ibid., pp. 305-fi. The same charter was sent simultaneously to some 29 other villages in New Nether- 
land. O'Callaghan, Laws of Notherland, p. 470 ff. 
* Riker, op. cit., pp. 286, 301-302. 

28311°— 12 11 


should be repaired and adapted to his purposes, by putting in a bed- 
stead/ chimney and mantel, and making the door and windows tight. 
It was further decided "to repair (vermaeken) the old house the fol- 
lowing spring."- 

We have several times called attention to the ''free will contribu- 
tions" by which the voorlezer was paid. It appears that there was 
in this practice a considerable element of compulsion in spite of the 
descriptive adjective. In 1676 two of the French inhabitants per- 
sisted in a course of not subscribing to the voorlezer's salary; one 
had failed to subscribe for three years and the other for two years. 
The matter was referred to the mayor's court at New York, which had 
jurisdiction, and on November 7 an order was passed that "the Clerk 
of the Parish be continued in his place, and have his pay what is 
behind, and for the future as formerly."^ There is so much indefi- 
niteness in this order as to cause no surprise that the delinquents still 
held out in spite of many formal demands on the part of the local 
court. As the constables hesitated to use force, the matter again 
came before the mayor's court, which on March 6, 1677, issued the 
following order: 

From the City of New York to the Town of narlem: 

The Court order, that Hendrick Jansen Vander Vin, the clerk of the said town be 
continued in his })lace according to former order, and have his pay, what is behind 
and for the future as formerly by the inhabitants; and if they or any of them refuse to 
pay what is due from them for the time past, and for the time to come, then the con- 
stable is hereby ordered to levy the same by distress and sale of the goods, for satis- 
faction of what is or shall hereafter become due to the said clerk.* 

From this distance, even this second order seems vague as to the pre- 
cise question at issue. We might even suppose that the city court 
meant to rule solely as to the salar}^ due Van der Vin in his capacity 
as town clerk, leaving out of account his work as voorlezer and school- 
master. The local court, however, did not take this view of the 
decision; and it does not seem to have occurred to the defendants to 
escape by that precise plea. Wlien the summons for payment was 
issued in accordance with the court ruling, the answer was returned 
that Gov. Lovelace had said, "the French of the Town of New Har- 
lem should be free as to contributing to the Dutch Voorlezer," now 
that they had a French minister. The local court would not accept 
this plea and directed execution against the defendants for the 
amounts due and the costs. After further efforts, one of the defend- 
ants paid up ; but the other proved obdurate. Apparently nothing 
further was done to enforce payment.' 

To use the term "free-will contributions" not only in connection 
with the forced collection of subscriptions already made, but even in 

> Riker says "bedroom," but puts in parentheses "bedstede, " which in Dutch means bedstead. 

2 Riker, op. cit., p. 333. * Ibid., p. 335. 

3 Ibid., p. 334. 6 Ibid., pp. 334-5-6. 


connection with compulsory subscriptions, seems at this day entirely 
anomalous and self-contradictory. But one famihar with the period 
under consideration will recognize in the incident and in the terms 
used a normal stage in the development of public rate support of 
church, school, or poor out of a preexisting true voluntary contribu- 
tion. The evolution has typically gone through three stages, first, a 
voluntary contribution, second, a contribution freely made if possible, 
forced if necessary, and third, a formal rate le\aed equitably upon all 
by the duly constituted pubhc authorities.^ New Haerlem at the 
time under consideration was evidently in the second period of the 
evolution. If events should proceed normally, a purely rate-supported 
school would result. 

On February 7, 1678, the question of salary again came before the 
court. We read: 

Is further resolved and concluded tliat the magistrates shall go about among the 
common inhabitants and see how much each is willing to contribute yearly, to the 
maintenance and salary of the voorlezer, beginning the 23rd of October of the previous 
year, 1677, and following. The voorlezer must have yearly for salary, according to 
agreement entered into the 23rd of October, 1670, the sum of 400 guilders; the magis- 
trates remain held to furnish the money. ^ 

There seems a little suggestion of threat in the closing clause of the 
resolution: If the money were not subscribed a tax levy might be 
made. As a result of the canvas "among the commoji inhabitants" 
20 subscribe, not including the two recalcitrants. The amounts are 
much as formerly, varying from 6 to 40 guilders, with an average of 
about 13 guilders. The rents, however, are hardly more than half, 
so that only 342 guilders were available. When this deficiency was 
duly considered. Van der Vin agreed (May 8, 1678) "to the constable 
and magistrates" to be content with the sum available for that one 
year, provided that "the constable and magistrates shall then make 
a new and reliable assessment for the full sum of 400 guilders yearly 
as salary, according to the first accord of 23d of October, 1670."^ 
The word "assessment" in the resolution seems to indicate that the 
evolution of a tax rate was progressing rapidly, at least in the minds of 
the court. 

Probably part of Van der Vin's willingness to take the reduced sal- 
ary was due to a promise of the court to provide a new house. At 
the same meeting it was "also taken into consideration about the 
rebuilding of the town's house for the voorlezer; it is found good to 
take the work in hand by the first opportunity, as the most necessary 
work to be done by the inhabitants, and thoy haAang leisure to prop- 
erly hew and make ready the timber for the same." The court im- 

I For the evolution of poor support in England, and of church and school support in colonial Ma.s.sachu- 
setts see Jackson, Development of School Support in Colonial Massachusetts, pp. 10-11, W,20, 73, cl passim. 
s Riker, op. cit., p. 348. 
» Ibid., p. 350. 


mediately called into the meeting a car])enter and asked of him an 
estimate. "Demands 200 guilders; whereupon it was not ordered, 
but the magistrates said they would think upon it and inform liim 
when they should be able to have him do it." Four months later 
(September 7), "the constable and magistrates, with the ad^dce of the 
whole community" contracted for the necessary timber for 130 
guilders; "to wit: 5 beams twenty feet long, broad in proportion; 
12 posts ten feet long; 4 sills twenty- two and twenty feet long, 2 raf- 
ters, 2 girders, 1 other spar, all twenty-two feet; also split shingles 
for the roof; all finished to deliver at the stump." ^ Apparently it 
took three or four years to finish the house. There is still in existence 
a detailed account giving many of the expenses, and the rate list by 
wliich the necessary funds were raised.^ Twenty-six landowners were 
assessed amounts varying from o giulders 8 stivers to 104 guilders 
and 19 stivers, the average being about 31 guilders. The 800 guilders 
so raised does not, apparently, represent the whole cost of the house. 
After this, our records grow less definite. Van der Vin died about 
the first of 1685 at the age of 70. Says Riker: 

As he lives in the work of his pen, Van der Yin shows his culture, and incidentally hia 
knowledge of Latin and Spanish. He was remarkable for his accurar}-, very method- 
ical and precise in small as well as greater matters, clerk of the court, Ijoth drafter and 
registrar of deeds, wills and contracts, accountant for the town and church; all these 
added to his specific duties as voorlezer and schoolmaster, it is amusing to find minuted 
in his clear, neat hand, "set hen to brood, 15th July, 1675. "^ 

In the early part of January, 1685, Jan Tibout, who had been dis- 
missed from Flatbush for conduct unbecommg a voorlezer and school- 
master (p. 173), was in^ated to succeed Van der Vin in these offices. 
But by the ecclesiastical comity (if not more positive regidation), he 
could not be admitted to the proffered place until he had been re- 
lieved of the censure laid upon him by the Flatbush church. Tliither 
he accordingly sent his request with a testimonial from D? Selyns 
"minister of N. York and N. Haerlem aforesaid, wherein it was stated 
that during the two years that Jan Thibald had passed under the 
ministry of N. York, nothing was heard of him except what beseemed 
an honorable man." Upon this showing, the Flatbush consistory was 
prevailed upon (Jan. 16) "to remove the said Jan Thibald from cen- 
sure * * * that he may enter upon the ser\dce to which he has 
been called."^ 

On January 20, Tibout accordingly entered upon the duties re- 
cently laid aside by Van der Vin. His salary was 300 guilders; he 
and his family were to occupy "the town's house." ^ The collection 
of Tibout's salary again raised the question of forcmg citizens of an- 
other faith to support the Dutch voorlezer." In 1686, one John Dela- 
vall, a Quaker, was indebted to the town "for stone, timber, lime, and 

1 Rlker, op. cit., p. 351 . ^ /sij^.^ pp. 392-3. 5 Uiier, op. cit., p. 393. 

2 Jhid.f pp. 372-3. * Flatbush consistory minutes, p. 02. 


raorgen money, 23G florins (for the new church) ; for two years salaiy 
of voorlezer, 95 florins; for quit rents, 32 florms." Being a Quaker 
he had conscientious scruples against supporting the faith of the 
Dutch, so the town levied on 61 schepels of wheat belonging io him. 
An early American example of ''passive resistance." ' 

On April 23, 1690, Tibout yielded his position to Guilliam Bertholf, 
who in turn served only about a year and a half, leaving September 
13, 1691.^ Tibout then returned and stayed, so it appears, for six 
or eight years, after which he is said to have gone to Bushwick.^ Ilis 
successor was Adriaen Vermeule, from Missingen. Zeeland, who en- 
tered upon his duties November 4, 1699. Riker says, "judging frorii 
his penmanshi]>, he was a scholar." Upon the coming of Vermeule 
the town built "a new house, as a dwelling for the voorlezer, and as a 
school and a town house." ^ A'ermuele remained for eight yeare, 
when he was ''requested to be voorlezer at Bergen," and was dis- 
missed with commendation on January 1, 1708. 

Following this there is a break in the records of a 'few years, after 
wliich Johannes Amsterdam van Harlmgen, was chosen to act as 
voorlezer, and with his service end our records. lie stayed appar- 
ently for several years. ^ 

We have now traced the school at New Haerlem for a period of over 
50 years. From 1664 to 1708 there was no serious break in its opera- 
tion. The master all this time was supported in major part by means 
of "freewfll contribution," which approximated I'ate assessments. 
We need not doubt that tuition was also charged. The town fur- 
nished a school house and a dwelling for the master. Part of the time 
the master lived and taught in separate houses, and part in the same 
house. During the whole period ^ the schoolmaster was voorlezer in 
the Reformed Dutch Church as well as schoolmaster, and besides 
acted as clerk of the town court. We have no reason to doul)t the 
moral and religious character of any one of the schoolmasters unless 
we except Jan Tibout, and he was said to have reformed. The record 
of New Haerlem, as here given, provokes praise. For the greater 
part of the period under review the village numbered less tlian a score 
of families. But tins smaU group, out of its limited means, moved 
by no external pressure, mamtained a viflnge scliool with unfailing 
regtdarity, paid the schoolmaster a fair salary, and furnished liim 
with a free dwcUing. In no other instance did the Dutch interest in 
education manifest itself more strikingly. 

1 Riker, op. cit., p. 406. 

2 Ibid., p. 407 n. Bertholf had previously been a cooper, and later became a ii'.iuister. Eecl. Kec, 1051, 

3 Riker, op. cit., p. 408 n. Cf. Bushwick towTi record book (lOf-O-lS-T,), pp. 113-9. 
« Riker, op. cit., p. 407 n. 

5/6id., p. 40Sn. 

6 Except possibly the break at 1711-12, when Morris wa.s trying to introluce Episcopaliani.sni. Lccl. 
Rec, pp. 1743, 1949. DLx, op. cii., i, 176-7. 


The records available for Flatbush are fuller than for any other of 
the Dutch villages, affording accordingly the best account that we 
have of any of the village schools. 

The Flatbush school was opened, as we saw. not later than January 
of 1659. The first master is not known. In 1060 Reynier Bastiaen- 
sen van Giesen was elected, and he was succeeded by Pelgrom Clocq, 
who was appointed schoolmaster October 26, 1663, ''for one year and 
the engagement to be released on either side each year." The 
English came in September of 1664, some time before Clocq's first 
and onJy year had expired.^ 

Clocq's successor was ''tlie worthy Arent Evers Molenaer, late 
schoolmaster, precentor, and comforter of the sick at New Amstel," 
although it appears that a slight interim came between the two. 
Since Clocq's salary was paid for exactly one year, it seems probable 
that his time expired October 26, 1664, one year after his contract. 
Molenaer seems to have been iri New Amsterdam after this time, 
since he had a child baptized there on November 9,^ and he sold 
there, on December 10/20, his account against tb.e city of old Amster- 
dam for services at New Amstel.^ We should probably not go far 
wrong to place January 1, 1665, as the beginning of his service at 
Midwoud. In IVfarch of 1665, "Mr. Arent Molenaer" bought a farm 
''in the vicinity of the town of Midwoud."^ On April 3 ''Arent 
Evert Molenaer" witnessed a paper.^ On August 16 of the same 
year the deacons p?id to "Aerent Aeeversen" their share of his first 
year's salary, 50 guilders,* In June of the succeeding year the church 
paid its part of the second year's salary to "Aert Evers."' From 

1 strong (History of Flatbush, p. 109-110) gives a continuous list of masters from 1059 to 1S02. The names 
that he assigns to the seventeenth century are as follows: Adrian Hegemen, 1059-71; Jacob Joosten, 1071-73; 
Francays He Bniynne, 1073-74; Michael llainelle, 1074-75; Jan GerritvanMarckye, 1G75-S0; DerickStorm, 
1680-81; Jan Tibout, 10x1-82; Johannes Nun Eckkellen, 1082-1700. It will be observed that neither Van 
Giesen nor Clocq appear on Strong's list, while no evidence is available that even tends to connect 
Hegemen witli the school. On account of further inaccuracies in the list, it is necessary to pay more atten- 
tion to names and dates than would otherwise be desirable; our resulting list will be very different, so far 
as concerns the seventeenth century. 

2 N. Y. Oen. and Bio. Soc. Coll., ii, 75. 

3 Minutes of the orphan masters, etc., ii, 4. 
* Flatbush town records, 105: 21. 

6 Ibid, p. 25. 

8 Flatbush deacons' accounts, i, 13 ■*. It is assumed that his contract was the same as Clocq's. 
' Ibid, i, 14 ■*. See also Flatl)ush town records, 100: 252, 259, for payments made by the church masters 
from 1 he rent of the school land. 



these two payments of exactly 50 guilders each from the church, it 
seems quite probable that his term of ser\dce extended over exactly 
two years. Tliis finds corroboration in the salary payments of his 

As Molenaer's term was closing (Dec. 15, 16B6), the church masters 
]jaid out ''for plastering the chinmey in the school and the covering 
11 gl., p. 10 st."' As this house was built only three years before 
(see p. 126), it may excite some surprise that it needed covering so 
soon. The use ol thatch rather than shingles is probably tlie explana- 

Molenaer's successor was Jan Tibout, whom we have already met at 
Bergen (p. 137) and in New Haerlem (page 164) and shall meet several 
times in other connections. His contract is tlie first one found at Flat- 
bush after the English occupation. His duties , while more nicely speci- 
fied than were those of Van Giesen and Clocq, are almost the same. He 
was schoolmaster, voorlezer, A'oorsanger, sexton, and court messenger. 
Tuition charges were for A, B, C, and spelling, 2 guilders per quarter; for 
reading and writing, 2 guilders, and for both together, 2 guilders and 
10 stivers. His salary was 300 guilders,^ seawant, in gi'ain, together 
\dth a free house, garden, andliouse lot belonging to the school. The 
service was to begin on December 25, 1066, o. s., and last for one year; 
though it was in fact continued for about four years. Interestingly 
enough this contract was signed by the court officials only, not by 
the consistory.^ What makes this change in the contractuig parties 
the more interesting is that the schoolmaster's church duties are 
minutely prescribed, and that the deacons continued all during his 
term of office to pay the 50 guilders annuaUy on liis salary, just as 
had been done wlien they were parties to the contract. The regular 
salary payments made by the deacons and churchmasters of 50 
guilders and 250 guilders, respectively,'* leave us in no doubt that 
Tibout remained in charge of tlie school until his successor came, 
November 1, 1670. 

The successor to Tibout was Jacob Joosten, whom we have 
previously seen at Kmgston (pp. 134-5). His contract was drawn 
up on August 8, some months in advance of the commencement of 
actual service. It is one of those long itemized school contracts 
which seemed to defight the Dutch sense of order and form. 
This is one of the very best of all the contracts we have, as it gives 
many minute details. Joosten, as contractuig master, on the one 
hand, and the consistory and the towni court, on the other, were 
parties to the contract.' There are 12 articl es, fixing among other 

» Flatbush town records, 100: 259. 

' Some $30 or $35 of our money. 

s Flatbush town records, 105: 87-88. ^ . , 

* Flatbush deacons' accoimts, i, 15^, IT^ 22B; Flatbush town records, 100: 279; Flatbush churchmasters 

accounts, pp. 4, 12. 


things the school hours, the rchgious services of the school, the 
catecliizing, the master's duties as voorlezer, as voorsanger, as 
sexton, and as messenger of the church and court. He was required 
b}' the sixth article "to be modest in Ids demeanor and diligent and 
patient with the children; also always calm and friendly to them." 
His remuneration came from several sources: For providing the 
bowl of water at baptisms " 12st. from the parents or the witnesses," 
for invituig to funerals, preparing the grave, and tolUng the bell, 
"for persons 15 years old or upward, 12 gl.; and under, 8 gl.," with 
more if he went out of the to^\^l to extend the invitations. As court 
messenger there was a regidar schedule of charges. The seventh 
item fixed the tuition charges: "To receive in jiayment of A. B. and 
spelling, 2 gl.; of readbig and writing together, 2 gl., 10 st.: for evenuig 
school, readmg and writing. 3 gl." lie was "to receive, in addition 
an annual salary of oOO gl. in wampum, or grain, to be delivered at the 
ferry; in addition a house free of rent, with a garden and use of lands 
belonging to the school, and annually from each farm one load of 
manure and one load of firewood or the value thereof, and next 
summer a new and proper dwelling house on the school lot." The 
time of service was for one vear beginning November 1, 1670. "All 
done in the meeting of constables and overeeers and consistory of the 
town of Midwoud."* 

Although the English had been masters of New Netherland for 
six years, this contract shows almost identically the same conditions 
as were found in the Dutch days. In certain respects more nearly 
the same than was seen in Tibout's contract of 1666. 

The promise to provide "next summer a new and proper dwelling 
house on the school lot" bore fruit. The church masters contracted 
wdth one Auke Jansz to build "a house according to plan thereof and 
conditions thereof at his own board expense" for the sum of 600 
guilders.- Either the old schoolhouse received at the same time new 
roofuig, or the roof for the new house had not been included in Auke 
Jansz' contract, for 30 guilders were paid out for this purpose with 
15 guilders besides to the hod carrier.^ Either the work on the 
schoolhouse progressed slowly, or some accident befell; for on January 
30, 1672, the church masters spent 15 guilders "for one half barrell 
good beer for setting the school to rights."* The Dutch, as well as 
other of the early colonists, performed such public works more 
willingly, if not more effectively, with the aid of plenty of "good 
beer." A year later some repairing was necessary, for there were 
bought "50 nails for the schoolhouse" at 15 stivers and the roof 
again needed attention, as roofs do.^ 

' Flatbush town records, 105: 207. 

* Flatbush chiireh masters' records, p. 14. On p. 19 of the same this was called the "schoolhouse." 
iIbid.,Tp. 15. 

* Flatbush town records, 106: 283. » Flatbiish church masters' records, pp. 21, 22. 


The question of side occupations of schoolmasters was, as we saw 
in Chapter II, a matter of some concern m Holland. In America 
little was heard of the question. However, one of the items in the 
deacons' accounts seems to indicate that Master Joosten had a side 
occu])ation somewhat unusual. Just after he had given up his 
position in Flatbush the deacons bought for 35 guilders "that httle 
brew house of Jacob Joosten next to the schoolhouse." ^ Ownership 
and ])roximity to his dwelling would seem to substantiate the sugges- 
tion that Joosten added to hi? income by bre^ving, perhaps, that same 
''good beer." 

How Joosten received his pay as schoolmaster will appear from the 
following excerpt from the church masters' report. The reader will 
note the variant spellings of proper names. 
Year 1673, credit — 

Jail Burenaen has delivered to Jackop Joosten 19 schepels peas gl. 76 -0 

also delivered to Jackop Yoosten 9 schepels rye gl. 36 -0 

also to Yackop Yoosten 2 schepels wheat gl. 12 -0 

Van Bereii has also delivered to Yacop Yoosten 3 schepels rye gl. 12 -0 - 

It was about this time that we have the first extant census of Flat- 
bush. In 1673 there were 73 men in the village;^ but ''men" here 
means apparently males of 16 and over. Two years later there were 
54 heads of families.'* , This number fell the next year to 47 f in 1683 
it was 4S,« in 1 698, 66,*^ wliile in 1706 « there were 52 landholders. The 
tdtal population can only be estimated. In 1738 there was a white 
])opulation of 406 in 76 families,^ or about 5J persons to the family. 
The same ratio would give a population of 251 in 1676, 256 in 1683, 
and 352 in 1698 — a relatively fixed population for a village in a new 
and growing country. 

We have seen in Chapter VIII how certain lands were set aside 
during the Dutch period for the use of the Flatbush churcli and school. 
This was done several times again during the English period. In 1668 
there was a division of the Canaryse Valley into eight divisions of six 
lots each. One lot each was reserved for the church, school, parson- 
age, and town.^" In 1701 there was a similar drawing, where the school 
got two lots.^* It is impossible to make any distinction between church 
and school lots. While we read at times of the "cliurch lots" and the 
"school lots," as if they were separate, quite as often they are aU 
included together under the head of "church lots, " and even where a 
distinction of term is made, we find rent from botli going to the school- 
master or to the schoolhouse.^- Both were equally in the charge of the 

1 Flatbush church masters' records, p. 38. « King's County conveyances, liber .3, p. 19.5. 

2 Flatbush town records, 100: 295. » Doc. ITist. of N. Y., iv, 120. Besides the white poi>- 
8 New York Col. Doc, ii, 596. ulation there were 134 negroes. 

* Doc. Hist, of N. Y., iv, 97f!. " Flatbush town records, 105: 141. 

6 Ibid., ii , 2f.9tt . " Ibid., 1 00: 2.^.2 ff . 

8 Ibid., ii, 293-4. '2 Ibid., lOfi: SI . 249, 2.52. 

» Ibid., ill, 89. 


churchmasters. It may be added that according to the 1706 assess- 
ment, the church lots then included 2G2 acres, while the largest single 
private holding was 159 acres, the median holding being 63. In 1663, 
the church and school lands were rented out for six years at 400 
guilders the first j^ears, and 440 guilders each succeeding year.^ In 
1668 and 1669 they were again rented out at about the same rates.^ 
Apparently this was the source of the schoolmaster's salary. 

In 1676, on the same conditions that obtained in the case of Joosten, 
"constable and overseers witJi the consent of the people," engaged Jan 
Gerritsz Van Maiken "in the place of Jacob Joosten.'' The only dif- 
ference in the terms was that Van Marken should receive no wood and 
manure, but should " receive tlierefor tlie sum of one hundred guldens, 
making the entire about four lumdred guldens in grain at seawant 
price." The sei"vice was to commence ^lay 1, 1676, and last "for 
the time of one year or longer, as is satisfactory to both parties."' 

Van Marken was evidently not an exemplary character. He is said 
to have been expelled from Fort Casimir whither he had gone as a 
merchant.* He went thence to Bever\y\xk and bought the excise 
right .^ After becoming schoolmaster at Flatbush he had the reputa- 
tion of paying "more attention to the tavern than to the school."® 
Finally, a quarrel with D? Van Zuuren of the Flatbush church proved 
his undoing. The domine, being for no sufficient (apparent) cause 
"most irreverently and slanderously abused by the schoolmaster," lie 
"called together our consistory and, as is usual here, invited the mag- 
istrates to meet with them." These "all declared that they had 
long wished for some opportunity to discharge this schoolmaster," ^ 
and thereupon, after due deliberation, "the honorable consistory, in 
the presence of tlie worthy constable and overseers," decided that Van 
Marken was "unsuitable and unfit to have charge of the sei"vice of 
church or school in any Christian congregation," and accordingly 
discharged him, ordering him "to surrender the sclioolhouse and all 
other privileges" of his office " before the 1st of May." ^ The school- 
master was much incensed at the treatment accorded him and fought 
back; "with the uttermost shamelessness, summoning those who 
had condemned his conduct, before the English court at Gravesend 
* * * accusing them of pei-fidy and injustice.' '^ D? Zuuren's 
party retaliated with threat of a slander suit. In fear, however, that 
the English courts might abridge the rights of the Dutch church, both 
sides were prevailed upon to arbitrate the matter. Van Marken, as a 
result, was put under bond to keep the peace; but he forfeited this and 

1 Flatbush town records, 100: pp. 249, 252. « Flatbush consistory minutes, p. 30. 

- Ibid., 105: 117-8. ' Letter of Ds Van Zuuren to the classis, June 25, 

3 Ibid., p. 208. 1081. Eccl. Rec, p. 773 fl. 

4 Pearson, First Settlers of Albany, p. 128. * Flatbush consistory minutes, p. 30. 
6 Bergen, Kings County, p. 345. s Ibid., p. 33. 


was afterwards ''imprisoned for his overbearing conduct."* He did 
not long survive the contest, dying in February of 1683, whether of 
choler or of excessive indulgence in drink is not stated.' 

Van Marken's salary presents a problem. His contract, as we saw, 
was for 400 guilders a year. But the account show that the deacons 
paid him on January 29, 1677, "for his year's salary" 50 guilders. 
This was their pro rata according to what had been done since 1660.=* 
Besides this the churchmasters paid him the same year 500 guilders.'' 
The next year, the deacons (apparently) nothing, while the church- 
masters again paid 500 guilders;^ while for the third year (167S) he 
received only 400 guilders " for one year's salary." " The only explana- 
tion that at present suggests itself is this: That about the time Van 
Marken undertook the work, Dom? Polhemus, the aged ministcM- at 
Flatbush, became too feeble to cany on the work and shortly there- 
after died. It was practically a year and a half that the cJuiicli was 
without a pastor.'^ During this time Van Marken, as voorlezer, would 
almost certainly be called upon to take charge of the church seixices. 
As this coincided wdth the first year and a half of his school sen-ice, 
we can easily believe that the extra 150 guilders his first year and the 
extra 100 guilders the second year were paid him for this extra work. 

The relation of the church and the village municipal authorities in the 
control of the village school has all the while been an invitmg problem. 
Van Marken's career presents several most mteresting phases. Van 
Giesen and Clocq were each engaged by the "schout and schepens with 
the cooperation of mmister and consistory." ^ Tibout's, so far as form 
went, was entirely a matter of the court, the consistory being ignoi-ed." 
Jacob Joosten's contract was arranged in "a meeting of constable 
and overseers and consistory of the town of Midwoud."^" But when 
Van Marken was elected in place of Joosten, it was by the "cojislable 
and overseers with the consent of the people." " The consistory again 
was (apparently) ignored, though probably it was consulted, if not 
formally, at least informally. \Mien now D? Zuuren was wishing to 
get rid of Van Marken, he faced for the first time shico comuig lo 
America the fact of the joint control of the school by the coui-t aii<l 
consistory, with the power of the court hicrenshig. lie seems then 
to have protested to the consistory that this was contrary to the 

> Eccl. Rec, p. 7S6. 

2 riatbush consistory minutes, p. 174: deacons' accounts, i, 57**-. „ - „ 

■ 3 Flatbush deacons' accounts, i, lOlS lOlB, 102-\ 102", n\ U\ 15-^, H^, 22^, 2H^, 32B, SS^. 

< Flatbush churchmasters' accounts, pp. 30, 39. 

^ Ibid., p. 39. , , , 

6 Ibid., p. 49. After the 50 guilders paid by the deacons on Jan. 29, 1077, we find no more re.or.l of 
their paying anything on the schoolmaster's salary (until 1711 possibly). 

I Ecci. Rec, pp. 688, 099. 

8 Flatbush town records, 103: 24-i, 145. 

a Ibid., 105: 87f. 
io/6!(i.,105: 207. 
11 Ibid., 105: 208. 


liberty of the Dutch church. We fuid in the consistory minutes 
(Feb. 16, 1680) a formal paper m the domine's own hand: 

Since the church order of the Synod of Dordrecht, held in the year 1618 &c., 
enjoins that tlie consistories shall have control over the schoolmasters, as is seen in 
article 21,' the minister desired earnestly that they should govern themselves thereby, 
* * * The Dutch congregation ought not so to neglect their liberty. But in 
case they do not assert themselves he protested that he should have no part or guilt 
in these things or their complications. ^ 

Wlien a month later (March 21) Van Marken was dismissed from 
the scliool service the "action was taken in tlie church assembly of 
]\Iidwoud in the preaence o/tlie lionorable majjjist rates, constal)le, and 
overseers;" and similarly the resolution dismissing him was ])asse(l 
by "the lionorable consistory in ilie presence of {\\o worthy (•onstal)le 
and overseers."^ Van Zuuren in writhig the account of this meeting 
to the classis said, "I therefore called together our consistory, and 
as is usual here, invited the magistrates to meet with tliem.''^ It is 
evident from all this that Van Zuuren himself was accustomed in the 
Netherlands to seemg the consistory control exclusively m such mat- 
ters.^ Further, bemg a strong fighter, a jironounced churchman, and 
being, moreover, ready to despise Ameiican customs,® lie was deter- 
mined to keep thmgs m the hands of his consistory as far as possible.^ 
This decade marks the height of the power of the consistory in 
copartnership with the court. The tendency to demociacy in 
America was yet to prove too strong even for such as Doni? Van 

On the 1st of November following Van Marken's dismissal the con- 
sistory and magistrates in meeting assembled were called u])on to 
consider "that since the position of voorlezer and schoolmaster has 
now been vacant for more than half a year and no one has presented 
himself as a candidate for tliis service, whether it would not be appro- 
priate to increase tlie compensation a little." The proposition met 
with approval, and the salary was raised from 850 to 400 gidden of 
grain at seawant value. ''Thereupon, on the 4th of the same month 
Jan Thibald [Tibout] was accepted for this service." This is the 
same Jan Tibout who had previously taught at Flatbush (1667- 
1670). His ser\ace tliis time began on December 18, 1681.* The 
terms of contract were quite similar to those already noticed in the 
case of Jacol) Joosteii. In particular, while the contract was signed 

1 For this article, see Eccl. Piec, p. 4220. 

2 Flatbush consistory minutes, p. Ifi. 

3 Ibid., p. 30. The words are Van Zuuren's own; italics, the ^Titer's. 
< Eccl. Rec, p. 774. 

s See pp. 23 f[, where it is shown that such was not universal and probably not general in the Nether- 

" See his letters to the classis, Eccl. Rec, pp. G99-840, passim. 

' We shall later see (p. 194 n) a similar position taken by Dom? Van Zuuren on the election of church- 
masters by the town. 

8 Flatbush consistory minutes, p. 39. Tliis statement of the size of the former salary is irreconcilable 
with the known facts. It is possible that this action merely rescinds a proposed reduction. 


})y })oth consistory and court, the latter under the former, Xim 
Zuuren's previous phraseology is used: "Done in our assembly of 
Midwoud in the presence of the honorable constable and overseers." ^ 
His school calendar, however, introduced several features not hereto- 
fore seen in the liistoiy of the Dutch schools. Item 4 of the contract 
presents them, reading as follows: 

He shall be bound to hold school nine months in succession, from September to June, 
in case 16 children come to the school. He must be present in person and instruct 
the children and keep them in order. So far as the three summer months are con- 
cerned, he shall be excused from keeping school himself, if the number of school 
children does not reach twenty, in which case his wife may keep the school. Also in 
the event that ten children come or less than ten, these shall make up the school 
money nevertheless to ten.- 

This is the first reference to school keeping by a woman found so 
far in our study among the American Dutch.^ The bearing of these 
figures on the question of the customary attendance at the Flatbush 
school is quite interesting. Apparently we are to judge that during 
the major portion of the year above 16 might be expected, while in 
the summer the attendance might fall even below 10, and probably 
would not go above 20. The diAasion of the year into these two 
j)arts seems to anticipate the present American custom, thougli not 
till long afterwards did our summer vacation become established. 

Jan Tibout proved no more acceptable than had Van Marken. 
Before the first half year was quite passed (June 16) a meeting of 
the consistory was called "to ascertain the truth in regard to the 
rumors which have been spread abroad for some time past concern- 
ing the deportment of our schoolmaster, ^Ir. Jan Tliibaud." The 
women "concerning whom the said schoolmaster is said to have 
behaved himself unseemly" were invited to testify.* They severally 
accused him of "very scandalous and entirely indecent deeds, viz, 
that Jan Tliibaud had approached them with cUshonoral)Ie words 
and acts and that they in self defense had pursued liim wilh blows." 
He, in his turn, attempted a denial, but liis admissions and explana- 
tions only served to fasten liis guilt upon him. The authorities were 
disposed to treat him with consideration, and gave him "one iiiMnih 
to investigate his case and search liis heart to find out tJie truth, and 
to give God the praise." In the meantime, by unanimous vol(«, of 
court and consistory, he was "suspended from service in the climrli 
and deprived of the participation in our Lord's holy su|)|)<'r." 
Whether this carried with it suspension from the school service is not 
clear; but at the expiration of the month (July 30), nothing more 
bemg brought forward m his behalf, "it was decided to remove Jiim 

» Flatbush consistory minutes, p. 41. The actual handwriting is Van Zuuren's ; the itaUt-s again tho 
a Ibid., p. 40. 

» A similar reference at the New Letts of slightly earlier date will be presented on p. 18r. 
< Flatbush consistory minutes, pp. o2S. 


at once from liis school and cluircli service, and ]io was (Mijoinod to 
prepare himself at once to put Jiis ad'airs in order and to leave his 
house at an early date."^ There can h(^ no (piestion that Tibout 
deserved to bo dismissed. By his own confession he was jxrossly 
obscene in addressing the women, and was besides too intoxicated at 
times to know what he was doing or saying. By the explicit testi- 
mony of several women lie had made most inij>ro)ier advances upon 
their persons, and according to one he had been in her presence 
inexpressibly indecent.^ 

Tibout's successor was Johannes van Ekelen, of Albanj', the term 
of service beginning October 1, 1682. It is his contract that has 
been so widely published.^ By this time the schoolmaster was no 
longer court messenger, but instead was usually town clerk. This, 
however, was not a matter of the school contract. Xan Ekelen was 
to be voorlezer, voorsanger, and sexton. The provision for dividing 
the school year into two ])arls, which we saw in the case of Tibout, 
was rei)eated. It was slij)ulatod that when the minister ])reachcd 
elsewhere than at Flatbush the master must "read twice before the 
congregation, from the book comm(»nly used for the ])ur])ose." "The 
cliildren as usual shall recite their (piestions and answers out of the 
catechism on Sunday" "before afternoon service." Tuition fees 
were exacted "from tliosewho attended the day school for a speller 
or reader, three guilders a quarter, and for a writer, four guilders. 
From those who attended evening school, for a speller or reader, four 
guilders, and for a ^vriter, six guilders shall be given." For baptisms 
and funerals the charges were the same as in the case of Joosten, 
"In addition to the above, liis salary shall consist of four hundred 
guilders, in grain, valued in seawant, to be delivered at Brooklyn 
Ferry * * * -with the dwelling house, barn, pasture lot, and 
meadows to the school appertaining."* This is substantially the 
same salaiy as Van ]\Iarken and Tibout received. 

The relationship between court and consistory is the same as was 
observed in the case of Tibout. The contract which was written 
by Van Zuuren was "agreed upon m the consistory in the ])resence 
of the honorable constable and overseers." The preamble states 
that the master was " called and accepted with the advice and con- 
sent of the honorable magistrates." It is evident that Van Zuuren 
was trying to muiimize the part played by the court, wliile the 
members of this, on their part, were not willing to give up active 
participation in the control. 

J Flatbush coasistory minutes, pp. 53 fl. 

2 See p. let, where the consistory removed the ecclesiastical censure from Tibout. 

3 The original la in (he Flatbush consistory minutes, pp. 57--j9. It was first published in translation 
by Strong (op cit., p. UO ft), and may be seen in Pratt (np. cit, p. fio IT) and in Dexter (op cit., p. 5S1 fi). 

* The rate governing wampum at this time was about five to one. This 400 guilders wampum would 
then be about SO guilders Hollands, or $32 (Eccl. Rec, 702). It would be, in grain, .50 bushels of wheat, 
or 75 bushels of rye. Peas were valued at the same rate as rye.— Riker, New Harlem, p. 372, Flatbush 
town records, 106: 295. 


Van Ekelen's contract was at first for only seven months, and 
accordingly was due to expire on May 1, 1683. Before that time 
"it was decided to renew the contract with the aforesaid Van Eck- 
kelen," but with certain expressed conditions. "In particular, that 
regarrling the school service he should regidate himself according to 
the articles of his predecessor, Jan Thibaud, especially m accordance 
with the fourth article, which treats of the tune of holdmg school." 
It is interesting that Van Ekelen at this time had no \\dfe to wliom 
he could entrust the summer school if the attendance should be less 
than 20.* iVre we to infer that so small an attendance was improb- 
able? The emoluments of the master, except the fixed salaiy, were 
increased. The burial fees were practically doubled, and the tuition 
fees for the day school were advanced to equal those of the night 
school: "For a reader or speller, 4 guilders per quarter, and for a 
writer, 6 guilders." ^ 

Johannes van Ekelen, thus established as schoolmaster in 1682, 
continued for some years in the service. During the Leisler rebel- 
lion the Dutch on Long Island and elsewhere were much disturbed. 
"The furor of the common people," says D? Varick, of the Flatbush 
Church, "ran very high, so that everybody who did not escape was 
taken by the throat, or on feigned pretexts thrown into prison. I 
was imprisoned and declared guilty of high treason." ^ wSchoolmas- 
tcr Johannes van Ekelen was a leader in this uprising. Wlien order 
was restored and D? Varick released, he felt that Van Ekelen must 
be dismissed. In a complaint made to Gov. Ingoldsby D? Varick 
says : 

That in the late Rebellion Joannes Van Ecklen, the then clerk and schoolmaster 
of Flatbiitih hath always bin a very great zealot for the faction of Leisler, * * * 
especially the afore 'sd Joanes Van Ekelen hath bin always opposing the minister 
and church councel * * * publicly defaming the afores'd minister, setting the 
common people against him, offering his service to drag him out of his house by 
violence to a pretended court. * * * Upon these considerations and others too 
long to rehearse, besides other complaints as to his ser^dce in the afoi-s'd office, the 
church councel did dismiss the afors'd Joanes Van Ekelen and did forbid him more 
to officiate, but choose in his place one Joannes Schenck a fitter person and well 
affected to the present government. 

But "s** Joanes Van Ekelen" did not mean to let the action of the 
minister and "church councel" stop him from teaching. On the 
contrary, he "clandestinely without any of their knowledge procured 
a license" from the provincial governor; and "in defyance of their 
church and accustomed priviledges," he again set up school. Where- 
fore, continues the domine and his elder, "since it hath not bin 
accustomed to have two schoolmasters in that small towTi heretofore 
y"" petition'rs humbly pray y"" honor that s<^ Joanes Van Ekelen may 

1 He was married on Sept. 3 following this contract.— Flatbush consistory minutes, p. llo. 

2 Flatbush consistory minutes, p. 61. 

? Letter to the classis, Apr. 0, 1003. Eccl. Rec., p. 1048 S. 


bo forbid farther to teach school in Fhitbiish and that y"" honour Avonld 
please to authorize Joanes Schenck to be the only schoolmaster 
there." ' 

"Wliether it was the concludini; jirayer "for y'' hon'i-s health and 
happiness," or the loyalty of the petitionei-s, or the necessity of 
restoring order that availed with the governor, does not now appear; 
but on September 2G, 1691, it was ordered that "s** Schenck be 
admitted the only schoolmaster of Platbush any former oYiVv or 
warrant to any oy"" [other] person whatsoever not^vithstanding."- 

Van Ekelen's ]>arly, however, Avas not disposed to yield. Being in 
the numerical majority, they took the matter to the town meeting am! 
had Auke Jans and Englebert a])j)ointcd a committee to look 
after the interests of the town in the matter. This committee, being 
specifically instructed to choose a schoolmaster, selected, of course, 
Johannes Van Ekelen. Tims the village had two masters, one chosen 
by the consistory and authorized by the g()V(>rnor; the other chosen 
by the town and accordingly rej^resentative of the majority of the 
people. Van Ekelen had retained the key of the sclioolhouse, and 
this gave him an advantage. Justice Josej)h liegeman, who liad 
from the first sided with J)':Varick against the Jjcislerians, issued a 
warrant to the constable directing him to get the key from Van 
Ekelen. When the constable Avent to deliver the warrant, others 
accompanied, including Jan Jansen van Ditmarse, a strong Van 
Ekelen partisan. Van Ekelen uj)on reading the warrant, "delivered 
the key upon the table, whereupon John Johnson van Ditmarse tooke 
up the key & askt if that was not tlie key of the school, and was 
answered yes, then he said he would keep it for the people;"^ which 
he did. 

Justice Hegemen was not to be outdone in this fashion. "John 
Jolmson van Ditmarse" was clearly guilty of "contempt of their 
Maj"®" authority," and was accordingly haled before the court of 
sessions (12 March 1692) to answer for his conduct. Upon being 
examined, ho acknowledged that "ho took away the key of y® school- 
house of Flatbush from th(^ table and that he still had it and that he 
was adAdzed to doe (so) by Ouchy Johnson (Auke Jans), & Englebert 
Lott and the people, and the said Ouchy and Englebert would Justify 
his doing of it being for the privilege of the people."^ Wlien "the 
said Ouchy and Englebert " were examined, they told of their appoint- 
ment by the people "to choose a schoolmaster," complained that 
"the minister and Justice did w* (what) they pleased against the 
privileges of the town" and that "there was another school M"". put 
upon them by the Commp,nd'' in Chief and Council." The court 
having heard them bound them over to answer to the next session 

1 N. Y. Col. MSS., xxxviii, 4 (quoted in Pratt, op. cit., p. 72-3.) 

2 Council Minutes, vi, 55 (quoted in Pratt, op. cit., p. 74.) 

■> Minutes of the court of sessions. Kings County court and road records, i, 5-6. 

t£[E schools of FLATBUSH after 1664. 177 

under a bond of £100. At the next session Van Ditmarsc pleaded 
<i;uilty and was fined. The case against the others was continued 
several times, but finally coming to trial, both men were found guilty 
(1603 May 9) and fined.^ 

This contest is significant in the history of the Flatbush scliool. 
Although the minister and church were victorious in the immediate 
issue, the victory was dearly bought. The spirit of democracy which 
apparently had already set in before D? Van Zuuren's time could not 
be j)ermanently su])pressed. Wliatever else may be true of Leisler's 
"rebellion," on Long Island it was largely an uprising of the people 
against the more centralized management of jniblic aft'airs wliich 
had previously ])revailed. So far as can be judged from incomplete 
records, the ])articipation of minister and consistory in the school 
decreased sensibly from tliis time imtil the Revolution. The to\v'n 
me(>ting, "the ])(>o])le," took over increasingly the direct management 
of all public affaii-s, pushing court and consistory alike aside. 

The service of Johannes Schenck so elected is given exactly in the 
records. The Flatbush churchmasters' accounts contain records of 
annual salaries of 400 florins paid to Schenck for each of the years 
from 1691 to 1691 inclusive.^ On April 2 of the last-named vear 
he is paid besides "for a month's salary" 36 florms 6 stivers.' 
Following this, Schenck's name appears no more for six years. We 
conclude accordingly that his first term ends about the 2d of A])ril, 

Whether Schenck gave up his position voluntarily or whether the 
Van Ekelen party had b}^ this time returned to power can not now 
be said; but the succeeding schoolmaster was none other than 
Johannes van Ekelen himself. The churchmasters' records show 
that he was paid annually 400 guilders for church service from 
August 1, 1694, to December 27, 1699.^ The size of the salary 
taken in connection with all the circumstances is sufficient to show 
that the "church service" is the customary combination of voorlezcr- 
A'oorsanger-schoolmaster duties we have all the while found in the 
Dutch villages. The deacons' accounts contain the following item 
under date of December, 1699: "For a shroud, Johannes V. P^kclen, 
6 gl." ^ Similarly the churchmasters' account gives, under December 
27, 1699, the following: "Paid to Tryntie Van Ekelen for nine 

1 Minutes of the court of sessions. Kings County court and roads records, pp. S, 15, 17. 

2 Op. cit., pp. 121, 120, 134. 
3 /bid., p. 134. 

4 It is stated (P. L. Schenck, Memoirs of Johannes Schenck, p. 3) that Schenck taught in New York 
City during the period 1G98-1700. At any rate, he was in l(i9.S granted the rights of a freeman in New York 
City with privilege of keeping school (X. Y. Hist. Soc. Coll., ISSo: 71), and he ha<l a son l.aptized in the 
church there on Jan. 31, 1097, and on March 20, 1098, he was witness to a baptism there (N. Y. Gen. and 
Bio. Soc. Coll., ii, 242, 250). 

6 Loc. cit., pp. 137, 147, 149, 150. The first of these references is a little doubtful. 

• Loc. cit., 1, 107-*-. 

28311°— 12 12 


months' salary, 300 guilders."^ Evidently, Van Ekelen had died 
during the last year of service. The salary payments for 1695, 1696, 
and 1697 had each read "for a year's salary enduig August 1st." 
That for 169S had simply been silent as to when the year ended. 
Each of these payments was for 400 guilders. Nine months, counting 
from August 1, 1698, would bring us to May 1, as the time of his 
death. Wliether to accept this reckoning or to accept the repeated 
Decembers of the two quotations as the proper date we seem now to 
have no way of deciding. 

Wlien Van Ekelen died, Mr. Johannes Schenck was recalled. The 
first payment in the records is of date April 18, 1700. His salary 
was 436 guilders a year.- How this odd-looking amount came to 
be fixed does not appear. Payments of salary are made to Schenck 
at intervals until May 3, 1711,^ after which his name no more appears 
in the records. The following town meeting minute belongs appar- 
ently here: 

The people of Midwoud assembled together by a warrant from Justice Polhemus 

upon a petition of the consistory to choose two men to call a school master — 

Vote for the two men t(i call a schoolmaster: 

Jan Cornelise 1111111111111 [13] 

Rych Hendrickse 111111 [6] 

Conielis Cornel 1111111111 [10] 

Jacob Hendrickse Ill 

Philippus Nagel 11111111 [8] 

Johannes Symons ; 1 

Mr. Peter Stirker 1111 [4] 

Daniel Remse 1 

Jan Cornelis 1, . , , 

r, ,. ^ „ >being chosen.* 

Cornells Cornell J 

It is interesting to note the different parties engaged in securing a 
new master. The consistory, alert to the needs of the school, peti- 
tioned for a town meeting; the justice of the jieace ajiproved; the 
town in j^ubiic meeting selected a committee, and this in turn called 
the schoolmaster. The struggle of the ioeo]:)le over Van Ekelen seems 
to liave fixed the authority of choosing a master within the town 

Who was chosen schoolmaster to succeed Schenck does not appear. 
Strong says it was Jan Gancel.'^ But the first reference to Cancel 
in any of the records is of date March 28, 1715, leaving thus a break 
of about four years. It may be questioned if any one was effectively 
called. Three suggestions, however, may be made for filling tliis gap, 
Jan Suydam, Isaac Selover, and Daniel Martineau. The first of 
these got an annual salary of 90 guilders for ''church service" paid by 

> r.w. cil., p. mo. 4 Flatbush town records, 100: 104. This minute 

' /')/(/., pp. If)!, 1.58, 100. may possilsly be of a later date, 

' Ihiii., p. 168. 6 Ojj. at., p. 109. 


the chiirchmasters for a period extending from July 23, 1711, to 
March 28, 1715.' Except for the small salar}'- one would naturally 
sa}^ that he filled the interim between Schenck and Gancel. Isaac 
Selover, however, received from the deacons as voorlezer an annual 
salary of (apparently) 120 guilders for the same four years. ^ Again, 
if the salary Avere larger and if one knew nothing of the other pay- 
ments to Jan Suydam, one would not hesitate to say that Isaac 
Selover filled the intermi in question. That he had previously taught 
at Flatlands (see page 208) would help one to acce})t this. As for 
Martineau, no one paid him a salary, so far as is known; but the fol- 
lowing court minute seems to show that he actually taught in Flat- 
bush in 1711: 

Court of sessions held at iBatbush, 8 May, 1711. M'' Daniel Martineau has requested 
of the Court that he may have the liberty of keeping school in the county hall in the 
outermost room for the Education & Instruction of Children; granted; with this 
proviso that any time the Justices sheriff or supervisors have the privilege of s** county 
house upon any jjublique business.^ 

That Martineau had already taught for a number of years at the 
New Lotts (see page 189), that he arranged thus to teach in Flat- 
bush in 1711, and that he was in Flatbush continuously until 17 IS'* 
would make it easy to suppose that he filled the interim under 

The explanation of the two voorlezers is evidently found in the 
fact that during these years the church was rent in twain, one party 
including the old consistory, favored D'^ Antonides for minister; 
the other, which had the town meeting on its side ('and consequently 
the churchmasters) favored D? Freeman.^ The deacons and church- 
masters with their respective funds were, accordingly, on opposite 
sides of the controversy; and each part}' chose its own voorlezer. 
Whether either or neither or both taught school can not be decided 
with the information at hand. From the fact that neither Suydam 
nor Selover is given the title of "M^" in the records, it may well be 
questioned whether either had a school. If this be so, it is the easier 
to understand that Martmeau should set up as a ])rivate master in 
the courthouse, and depend solely on tuition fees for his sahuy. 

The breach was healed at the close of 1714." Selover then with- 
drew, and Suydam was accordingly made voorlezer of the united 
church at a salary of 160 guilders, which position lie held for the next 
four years.'' 

1 Flatbush churchmasters' accounts, pp. 109, 171. 172, 173. The first reference says "for a year's service" 
in Midvvoud. The last sas's "for nine months' church service" as if the term ended on Mar. 28. 

2 Flatbush deacons' accounts, ii,i!B, 3B, 4B, 5b. 

3 Kings County court and road records, i, 105. 

* Flatbush churchmasters' accounts, pp. 166-176, passim. 

6 Eccl. Rec, pp. 19.38 ff., 197.3 fl. 

6 Eccl. Rec., p. 2083 ff. Flatbush town records, ino: 108, 10.3. 

' Flatbush churchmasters' accounts, p. 176; deacons' accouals, ii, 93, lOB. 


This factional fight within the church had the effect of causing the 
Adlhxgo to change the schoohnaster's sahiiy and the manner of j)aying 
it. In the beginning the deacons had paid a portion of the master's 
sahiry out of the weekly church collection account, although this was 
primarily for the poor. The remainder came from the regular funds 
of the village municipal authorities. When the school and church 
lands came to bring in sufficient income, this second part of the school- 
master's salary was paid from the rents through the cluirchmasters; 
but the deacons continued to ])ay 50 guilders annually from their 
funds. This continued until 1G78; after which the churchmasters 
paid the whole amount. The contracts specified the several duties of 
the person paid as schoolmaster, as sexton, as voorlezer, as voor- 
sangei-, as errand man for the consistory, and as grave-digger,^ but 
the salary (i. e., exclusive of the fees incident) was not apportioned 
out among these several duties. Indeed, it is very improbable that 
anyone concerned could have distinguish(>d exactly where one set of 
duties ended and another began. The })aynient of one salaiy for all 
the combined duties continued until this factional disturbance arose 
and showed the ])eople by actual ex])erience what "church service" 
was when separated from the "school service. " The customs of their 
English neighbors doubtless had its eft'ect too. It accordingly appears 
that from 1715 to the end of the period the deacons paid to the voor- 
lezer and voorsangcr for "church services" a fixed salary of 160 
guilders, or (after 1725) its equivalent, £4 currency, equal to about 
10 or 12 dollars. The churchmasters likewise in 1715 began a rule 
which they also maintained to the end of the period of simply fur- 
nishing the schoolmaster with the schoolhouse (which was also his 
dwellmg), the school lot of some 8 acres, ^ some wood land, and a 
meadow. Originally a pasture had gone along with the other school 
lands, but when, after the reconciliation, the ministers of both factions 
were retained, this pasture land (so we may believe) was taken from 
the schoolmaster and given to one of the ministers. And the church- 
masters by way of recompense paid the schoolmaster amiually the 
sum of 120 guilders, or (after 1725) £3 for pasturage, the amount behig 
unchanged until 1702 (apparently) when it was raised to £4. In 1771, 
it was further raised to £4 and 8 shillings.* 

The schoolmaster might be appointed voorlezer and voorsanger and 
so rcc(!ive the 100 guilders "church service," or he might not, accord- 
ing to conditions easily surmised, but not stated to us in the records. 
From 1715 to 1719 the schoolmaster did not receive the salary from 
the deacons. From 1719 to 1755 and possibly to 1758, he acted as 
voorlezer, etc., and accordingly received this salary. From 1758 to 

' Of. Jan Tibout's contract of 1681. 

2Doc. Hist, of N. Y.,iii,113. 

8 Flatbusli churchniastors' accounts, pp. 174, 189, 202, 206, 230, 239, 258, 280, 286, 306, 309, 312. 


1773 one other than the schoohnaster was voorlezer; after wliich time 
the positions were again united in the same man.^ 

Jan Gancel is the first schoolmaster after the factional division 
within the town of 1711-1715. Strong, indeed, assigns Gancel to this 
period as well, saymg that liis term extended from 1711 to 1715 ;2 but 
no evidence whatever has appeared to support the contention so far 
as the period of 171 1-1715 is concerned. The first reference found in 
the records is dated March 2S, 1715, when the churchmasters paid 
"60 guilders for pasturage for M"". Genseling's cattle.^" A similar 
payment on January 18, 1716, of ''60 guilders for half of the pastur- 
age of M^ Genseling's cattle,*" fLxes the annual payment made for 
this purpose at the figures stated in the discussion made above, and 
probably fixes the beginning of Gancel's term of ser\dce as close to 
January 18, 1715. The use of the title "M'"." and the 120 guilders a 
year for pasturage make it practically certam that Jan Gancel was 
in fact schoolmaster for a term beginning in 1715. The end of 
Cancel's service is pretty well fixed by the fact that on April 1, 1718, 
a town meeting met to choose two men "to call a schoolmaster and to 
make terms with him to the best advantage of the town according to 
their best judgment,^ " It seems, however, to have been the latter part 
of the year before the transfer was actually made; for the church- 
masters show on November 5th that they paid 5 guilders and 5 stivei-s 
"to M^ Gancel for the writing of the contract of the schoolmaster.*" 
It is probably no accident that the consistory is not mentioned even 
in the calling of the town meeting to select the committee for securing 
a schoolmaster. The separation of function seems now complete 
between the consistory and the town authorities in the control of the 
school, Eveiything points to more direct management of affairs by 
the people themselves in town meeting, a marked change truly from 
the New Netherland days. 

Adriaen liegeman, second of the name in Flatbush, was Gancel's 
successor. His precise contract is not known. That he served under 
the same conditions as Gancel is wholly probable. The first salary 
payment to him noted in the records was on April 27, 1719, when 
there was "paid to Adriaen the sclioolmaster for pasturage for his 
cattle 120 guilders." The next item gives the rest of his name and 
indicates an auxiliar}" occupation: "also paid to A. liegeman for 
writing in the town m.eeting 15 :0 :0."' The deacons also con- 
tracted with liegeman for the "church service," paying him 160 

1 These statements will be justified in the subsequent detailed study of the several masters. 

2 Flatbush churchmasters' accounts, p. 109. 
^Op. cit., p. 173. 

< Ibid., p. 174. The wrongspelling of the name is butaninstance of what one finds all tlirouj^h thertcords. 

6 Flatbush town records, 106: 136. 

» Op. cit., p. 187. 

' Flatbush churchmaster's records, p. 189. This 15 guilders would be about $1.20 of our money. 


guilders annually.^ Occasionally, the payment is made to the 
voorlezer,^ showing his title in church circles. During Hegeman's 
long career, in about 1725, the use of the Dutch money, guilders and 
stivers, finally gave way in the records to the English pounds, 
shillings, and pence. The ratio at the last was 40 guilders to the 
pound. ^ The pound here used was the New York colonial currency, 
worth at that time about $3 of present American currency.* The 
ratio of ''seawant" to "solid" money had been about the same since 
1679, when Ds Van Zuuren fought so vigorously over the relation of 
the ratio to his salary.^ 

Hegeman remained probably until 1741, some 23 years in all, much 
the longest continuous term of service found at Flatbush.^ His 
successor was Jores Remsen, who served also as voorlezer and town 
clerk.'' His contract seems to have been the same as Hegeman's. 
There was from the churchmasters the same £3 (the equivalent nf 
the original 120 guilders) ''for the field," ^ wliich began with Jan 
Gancel; and from the deacons the same £4 for ''church service."" 

Whether Remsen did not give entire satisfaction, or whether it was 
merely that the contract needed renewal or clianging, does not cer- 
tainly appear from the following town meeting minute of 1750: 

We, the people of Midwoud, have assembled together by a warrant from a justice, 
Jan Verkerek, esq.; and we, the people, have deemed it good that these two men, 
namely, Abraham Lot and Phillipus Nagel, should make an agreement with Jorea 
Remsen how he shall keep school, or with some one else.^" 

Since we find references as late as April 20, 1755, of the £3 "paid 
Jores Remsen for the field," " it seems clear that Lot and Nagel made 
a satisfactory agreement with him. In 1755 there was a "vote for 
two men to engage a schoolmaster in accordance with the old cus- 
tom."" As Remsen, who had previously been town clerk, was no 
longer serving, and as his name appears no more in the salary 
accounts, it is quite probable that he now finally gave up the school. 
It is possible that he did this on account of failing health; for we find 
his will made in 1758 and probated in 1759.^^ 

> Flatbush deacons' accoimts, ii, 13^ ff. 

2 Ibid., pp. 23^^, 20^. 

3 Flatbush churchmasters' records, p. 204. 
« Eccl. Rec, p. 2590. 

''Ibid., p. 711 ff. 

6 Strong (op. cit., p. 110) gives this date as the time when Hegeman left. The last noted specific refer- 
ence to his service was on Apr. 13, 1740 (Flatbush churchmasters' records, p. 23.3). The first specific men- 
tion of his successor was two years later (Apr. 23, 1742, ibid., p. 239). Abundant references testify to the 
continuity of Hegeman's service. 

' Ibid., pp. 241, 204; Flatbush deacons' accounts, ii, 44^, 50^, 61^. 

8 Flatbush churchmasters' record, 270, 279, 280, 282, etc. 

9 Loc. cit., ii, 44", (t passim. 

'« Flatbush town records, 100: 204. 

" Flatbush churchmasters' accounts, pp. 276, 282. 

12 Flatbush town records, 106: 216. 

» "It l3 my will that after my decease my two children, John and Elizabeth Remsen, shall be teached 
at school to lam to read, write and syfer at the charge of my whole estate." N. Y. Hist. Boc. Pub., 1896: 
320 f. 


Who was chosen to succeed Remsen can not now be stated. It 
may have been David Sprong, who was a candidate to succeed Jores 
Remsen as town clerk/ and who was voorlezer from about 1759 to 
1773.^ There was a schoolmaster, as the churchmaster's accounts 
show the regular annual payment "to the schoolmaster for the field 
3 pounds."^ 

On April 17, 1758, the following newspaper advertisement appeared: 


A Person qualified to teach Dutch and English, both Reading and AWiting: 
Any such Person inclining to keep School may meet with good Encouragement 
by applying to Philipus Nagel, and Englebert Lott at Flatbush. 

And also such another Person wanted for the New Lotts in the Township of 
Flatbush; but, if this last be well qualified to teach Reading and \\'riting 
English only, he may have good Encouragement by applying to .John A'ander- 
veer, and Johannes Lott, living in the aforesaid Precinct of Flatbusli.^ 

Probably this marks the introduction of English into the Flatbush 
school, hitherto exclusively Dutch. To carry both languages side by 
side was certainly a wise course during the transition period. That 
such a course was adopted is to be explained by the fact that the town 
and not the church controlled the school. It took the church nearly 
40 years longer to reach a similar conclusion in regard to its own 

Aoain we are in doubt as to who was chosen schoolmaster. The 
churchmasters do not appear to have made any payments "for the 
field" between 1758 and 1762. The deacon's accounts are, if possi- 
ble, more puzzling. No payments appear for 1758 and 1759, but on 
May 26, 1760, they paid "Jan Lefferts 'for church service, £7 17s/"'^ 
and a month later "David Sprong for church service to April, 1760, 
the sum of £6." ^ Since the annual salary for "church service" was 
£4, it may merely be that Lefferts was late in receiving his salary. 
The town records show that Jeremyas Vanderbilt was town clerk from 
1755 to 1761, in which year Petrus Van Steenbergh was chosen." 

It may be accordingly that Van Steenbergh was chosen in answer 
to tliis 1758 advertisement, although the first certain reference to his 
service is of later date. He is referred to as the schoolmaster of 
Flatbush, either by liimself or by others, at intervals from 1 765 to 
1773.' He was, however, never the voorlezer. 

So far at Flatbush there has appeared no reference to free scliooling, 
even of the poor. We saw in Chapter II that the Holland custom 

1 Flatbush town records, IOC: 214. 

2 Flatbush deacons' accounts, 11, 64 ff. 
a Loc. eit., pp. 284, ff. 

< N. Y. Gazette or Weekly Post-Boy. 
6 Loc. cit., ii, 64^. 
8 Loc. cit., 106: 214 ff, 226, 227. 

' N. Y. Hist. Soc. Pub., 1898: 350, 398; ibid., 1899: 209; Flatbush town records, 107: 61; Eccl. Rec, p. -1261; 
Flatbush church ma.-iter'3 records, p. 301 (Steenbergh was town clerk at this time), 309, 310, 311. 


required the poor to be taught for nothing by the parochial school- 
master, and if the number were excessive the deacons should bear 
the expense.* The same thing appeared in Evert Pietersen's con- 
tract at New Amsterdam in 1661, where it was required that "the 
poor and needy, who ask to be taught for God's sake, he shall teach 
for nothing." Possibly, the Flatbush masters taught "the poor and 
needy * * * foi- notliing," and let not the left hand know what 
the right did, that is, left us no record of it. Certainly, the number 
of the poor was small. But quite likely after 1711, when the salary 
was in great measure withdrawn, and tuition fees accordingly loomed 
bigger before the schoolmaster's eyes, that worthy was not so much 
inclined to leave the door open for any who might claim exemj^tion. 
Bo tliat as it may, it is 1773 ])ef()re any exj)licit record apj)ears on the 
subject. The deacons' accounts, from first to last, are full of refer- 
ences of alms freely bestowed, and most are recorded in such general 
terms that payment of the tuition of the poor might be included; 
but the following school bill tendered by Van Steenbergh is the first 
case noted : 

The deacons of Flatbiisli Church for John Hegeman D' 
To T: Y: Steenbergli 


1772 December 5 To 2^ Quarters schooling for Catharine a 4/0 10// 

1773 March 11 To 4 Ditto for Rem a 4/0 If,,/ 

Jtl// G// 
Received the above Contents iP me 

P: V: Steenbergh.2 

The deacons' accounts dul}^ recorded on May 10, 177.3, "paid for 
a poor man for schooling £1 6s. Od."^ Following this case many 
instances of the same thing are noted in the records, the custom 
lasting apparently until the establishment of free schools in the 
nineteenth centurj'. 

During Van Steenbergh's term of service are found evidences of the 
extension of popular government in the school legislation passed by 
the town ineeting. Thus, in 1767, "it was determined by the people 
of Midwoud (in town meeting assembled) that there should be brought 
for the school for each tln-ee quarters of year for each child one load 
of wood and in like proportion for a longer or shorter time."* More 
to the point, however, are the instructions given to the committee 
appointed in 1773 to secure a successor to Van Steenbergh. The 
town meeting was not willing to allow the committee "to call a school- 
master and to make terms with him to the best advantage of the town 

> See page 27. that any roader will feel himself drawn insensibly to 

2 Flatbush deacons' aecounts, ii, 87. Tills bill, the old master now so long gone. 

attached to the page as given, is the original, written s Loc. cit., ii, 871^. 

by Van Steenbergh himself. It is so neatly done < Flatbush town records, 107: 47. 


according to their best judgment," as had been done in 1718. On the 
contrary, the town gave the committee most minute directions "to 
call the present schoolmaster of Bedfort and to make him the follow- 
ing offer, viz., 5, 6, and 7 shilhngs per quarter. That is to say, 5 shil- 
lings for each Dutch pupil, 6 shillings for each Enghsh pupil, and 7 
sliillings for each pupil who is instructed in arithmetic or the science 
of num})ers. The church service as voorsanger, for which service he 
is to have £4 per year. The burial of the dead, for which he is to 
have as is at present customar3\ Likewise the rent of the Domine's 
field, being £4-8-0, and the possession and use of house, meadow and 
woodland. And if they should not succeed mth the above-named 
schoolmaster, then the said Trustees (i. e., committee) shall advertise 
in the news])aper." ^ 

Evidently the master of Bedfort could not be obtained, for the 
New York Gazette and Weeldy Mercury of July 26, 1773, contains an 
advertisement for a schoolmaster at Flatbush "who is capable of 
teaching the Dutch and Enghsh languages." Van Steenbergh, whose 
departure was thus anticipated, taught until August 5, 1773,^ when 
he left to take charge of the school of the Nev»^ York Reformed Dutch 
Church.-'' Ilis successor was Anthony Welp, son of Johan Nicholas 
Welp, who, as we saw, was called fi'om Holland to the New York 
school in 1755. 

The contract with Anthony Welp is the only one of the eighteenth 
century that has come down to us from Flatbush. It is in many 
respects similar to the 1G81-82 contract of Jan Tibout, though there 
are differences. The school hours and the devotional exercises are 
identical. To the reading and wi-iting of the former curriculum is 
now added "also arithmetic so far as is possible for him, in case such 
is desired of him." As to terms, "the said schoolmaster shall receive 
for the instruction of each child or person in the Low Dutch spelling, 
reading, and ^vl•iting the sum of four shillings, and for teaching English 
spelling, reading, and \ATiting the sum of five shillings; and for teacliing 
arithmetic the sum of six shiUings; these amounts for every tliree 
months' instruction." The Heidelberg catecliism is to be taught to 
the pupils or not "as those placed over them shall desire." The 
salary seems to have been considerably reduced from what it was in 

' Flatbush town records, 107: 59. 

s The following school bill, taken from Vanderbilfs Social Hislory of Flatbush (p. r>l), fixes the date: 
Evert liegeman, Dr. 

To P. V. Steenbergh 
1773 A ugtist 5th 

To schooling from the loth March to this da j' 9s 9d 

For half a load of wood 2 G 

£0 11 11 
Received the full contents: 

P. V. Steenbergh. 
3 Eccl. Rec, p. 426c. 


1682. In addition to "the schoolhouse, with the land, woodland, 
and meadow thereunto belonging," he should receive "four pounds 
and eight shillings for the rent of the school field.' ' " The said school- 
master shall also be paid yearly by the worthy consistory the sum 
of four pounds for taking charge of the church service as voorlezer 
and voorsanger." "For the burial of the dead * * * as much 
as is customary in the said town." In place then of the 400 guilders, 
wampum (worth S32), which Jan Tibout had been promised in 1681, 
Welp was now promised 8 pounds and 8 shillings, New York currency 
($21). On the other hand the later tuition rates are somewhat 
higher than the earlier. An enrollment of 36 pupils would, together 
with the salary, have brought in almost identically the same annual 
income, namely, about $75. The consistory was not a party to this 
agreement. It would seem, however, that the committee had the 
consistory's approval in some form, else the contract could not so 
certainly say, "The said schoolmaster shall also be paid yearly by the 
worthy consistory the sum of four pounds, etc." On the whole, 
immediate direct control by the people even in detail is everywhere 
evident. The church as weU as the school committee appear to be 
instructed by the town meeting. 

Anthony Welp, thus elected, remained in charge until the beginning 
of the Revolution, thus finishing the list of Flatbush masters so far 
as tins account is concerned. There is no reason to doubt that the 
school had been kept continuously from 1659. 

So far reference has been had only to the village of Mid won d proper. 
Within the township was a subordinate village called Oostwoud, or 
the New Lotts, wliich was laid out in 1677. Separate population 
returns are not given; but D? Van Zuuren's church membership list 
of 1680^ shows that then about one-fifth of all were living in the new 
settlement. The rate list of 1683 shows 48 heads of families in the 
whole town.^ There would be then in the New Lotts some 10 families. 
But true to the Dutch tradition they must have a school. Indeed, 
in the very patent itself of 1677 one lot of land was given to Rem 
Remsen, "schoolmaster of the town for the time being." ^ Probably, 
however, this was hardly more than a legal device to set aside a lot 
permanently for school purposes. 

The first definite move for a school was in 1680. In a meeting of 
the consistory it was decided that since the people of Oostwoud had 
increased both in families and children, it was "necessary that such 
means be adopted there for their instruction and education as are 
elsewhere made use of." The consistory therefore "at the request of 

' Flatbush consistory minutes, p. 105 IT. 

2 Doc. hist, of N.Y., ii, 293-4. 

8 This patent is in the Kings County Hall of Records Division of Old Towns Records. 


the people of that place, decided that there shall be chosen there a 
regular pubhc schoolmaster" ''and accordingly on December 14, 
1680, in the presence of the Magistrates, there was chosen therefor the 
person of Dirk Storm." ^ 

The contract made then is similar in many respects to Jan Tibout's 
of the succeeding year. The school year was similarly divided into 
two parts. From November to May, Storm himself must be present 
in person to give instruction; and similarly during the rest of the 
year "if ten or more children come, or if those who do come shall 
make up the tuition fees of ten." But if from May to November 
''six or more children come" his wife was to give the instruction. 
The hours were the same as Tibout's; "and at each session before the 
beginning of the same, the sign shall be given with the horn or drum." 
The compensation was to consist of "one hundred and forty gulden 
in grain at market price, yearly." "The people shall also furnish 
the schoolmaster with a suitable dwelling-house with a well, and 
convenient for holding school therein." The school fees were the 
same as Tibout's and there was the same provision for evening school. 
The frontier character of the place is well shown in the 13th article: 
"above all this the people of Oostwoud promise in particular that 
they will each year clear one morgen [two acres] of land * * * 
and root out the stumps and plough the ground * •" *." The 
term of service was to begin January 5, 1681, and last for three years. 
The contract was signed on the left side by the consistory, on the 
right by the magistrates, below by the deputies of Oostwout. and "on 
the other side by the schoolmaster." ^ 

The proper relationships between the two parts of the townsliip in 
the payment of the school expenses came to be a subject of dispute. 
On the 4th of March succeeding the signing of this contract, the con- 
stable of the town brought suit against certain representatives of 
Oostwoud charging "that the people of Oostwoud are unwilling to 
pay town charges." The defendants answered "that certain of the 
magistrates in conjunction with the church consistory have made a 
contract for a schoolmaster and the building of a schoolhouse and 
that they are willing to contribute therefor, in case the old town also 
helped to bear their burdens." In rendering the decision the jus- 
tices of the peace asserted that "the contract was })roper to be car- 
ried out and that all common expenses which are authorized and 
approved by a majority vote must also be paid by tho people in 
common, each according to his circumstances."^ 

'Flatbush consistory minutes, p. 49. Tlie italics in the last sentence are used to call attention to 
D? Van Zuuren's wish and theory as to the part played by the magistrates in making the contract. 
> Ibid., p. 49 ff. 
s Flatbush town records, 107: 18. 


Tliis is a clear case of town charges for school purposes, for building 
the schoolhouse, and also apparently for the salary, as no reference 
to paying Storm's salary is found in either the deacon's accounts or 
the church master's accounts. The question of paying the charges, 
however, was not yet settled. The following November (24) it was 
''voted by the inhabitants of Midwoud and Oostwoud and approved 
by the constable and overseers that the old town of Middewoud shall 
be held to pay its portion of the town's expenses and the salary of 
the minister; likewise Oostwoud: the latter promises to build a par- 
sonage and school house and keep same in repairs; and to pay the 
teacher's salary (one hundred and forty guilders a year)."' 

When Storm's contract expired it was renewed on much Ihe same 
terms. Only he was not to demand ''any salary in particular * * * 
Nevertheless, all who have plow and draught animals at Oostwoud, 
shall be bound to plow one day for liim * * * or harrow or draw 
loads or work in some other way with horses and draught beasts." 
The contract was to continue at the pleasure of the parties, either to 
give the other a quarter's notice before a change.^ 

Either Storm never received the salary on his original contract or 
he was disposed to claim a salary in spite of the renewal contract, for 
the minutes of the court of sessions (1685) recite that — 

an agreement [was] read between Derick [Dirk] Storm and Joseph liegeman, Cor- 
nelius Berrien, John Stryker, William Guilliamse, and others in behalf of y** town of 
Flatbush, uppon which Storm praj^ed a sallary may be allowed him for serving the town 
as Bchoolmaster to their children. Court Stephens and Symon Jansen to examine y® 
accoimts and agreement between them, and these partya to stand to then* determina- 

It is interesting to note that the case was brought against these men 
as agents acting "in behalf of y® town of Flatbush," no mention being 
made of the church's connection. The same thing is ap])arcnt in the 
statement that Storm had been "serving the town as schoolmaster to 
their children." This may be taken as settling the question— if 
indeed it were a question — as to whether the school was a town or a 
church school. Legally, Storm was a public schoolmaster in the 
employ of the town. How the suit was decided by the commis- 
sioners does not appear. 

This school at New Lotts was maintained continuously from its 
inception in 1680. Wliile the information regarding it is not as full 
as is that respecting the school at Flatbusli proper, there seems abund- 
ant justification for tlie assertion made. The list of schoolmasters can 
not be made out with any fullness. Storm probably taught through 
1686. Jores Van Spyk, of whom nothing else is known, was in 

> Flatbush town records, 101: 200-1. 

2 consistory minutes, p. 52. 

3 Strong, op. cit., p. 37. Both contracts nuist have been read; since some of these names are on one and 
some on the other paper. 


charge in 1687 and 1688, and possibly a part of 1689.* Following him 
was a man whose full name is not even known: 

M' Davit was Voorlezer and schoolmaster of Oostwoud for ten months service in the 
year 16^;} according to the statement of I\P Johannis Mortier's book and amounts to 
f 208-0.2 

This is significant as showing not only this othei-wise unknown 
service, but as indicating that the churchmasters were under obliga- 
tion to this M"" David at the rate of 250 guilders a year. There was 
a schoolmaster the next year, though we do not know his name.^ 
Possibly it was Daniel Martineau, who was the incumbent from 1692 
to 1700, at a salaiy for part of the time of 200 guilders annually and 
afterwards at 250 guilders.* 

So far as appears, the immediate successor of Martineau was Jan 
Langestraat, who was paid a salary of 260 florms a year from 1701 to 
1706, inclusive.^ After this our records are very scattered, being 
mostly confined to repairs made by the churchmasters. In 1712 
the schoolhouse was rented out.'' Tliis could easily mean that some 
resident householder was schoolmaster and taught in his own dwell- 
ing. Jan Suydam was apparently living in the house in "17^f," 
for we find in that year a payment made by the churchmasters ''to 
Jan Suydam for two hinges for a door on the schoolliouse at New 
Lotts." ^ As he was afterwards voorlezer and probably schoolmaster 
at Flatlands,^ and was at this time voorlezer at Flatbush,^ it may be 
that he was schoolmaster at the time that these and other repairs 
were made on the New Lotts schoolliouse. 

But if Suydam was schoolmaster at the New Lotts he did not hold 
the position after 1719, for on September 22 of that year the follow- 
ing interesting item appears in the churchmasters' accounts: "Paid 
to the school dame at Oostwoud for a bottle of rum when the well was 
made, 3 guilders." ^ 

To us the school dame is the most interesting feature of the scene; 
for, apart from the possible summer teaching of the wives of Tibout, 
Storm, and Van Ekelen, this is the first and only instance noted of a 
school dame among the American Dutch. Their wish to find a 
voorlezer and voorsanger in the schoolmaster undoidjtcdly had 
marked effect in making them prefer a master to a mistress. We 
know nothing more of this dame, not even her name. The bottle of 
rum evidently meant that the neighbors were called in to help with 
the well, and some ''good cheer" was useful in helping the cause along. 

Throughout the whole period the churchmasters were making 
repairs on this schoolliouse. In 1736 in particular they seem to have 

> Flatbush deacons' accounts, i, 70^, 75^. 6 Ibid., pp. 154, 158, 102. 

2 Flatbush cliurchmasters' accounts, p. 122. « Ibid., p. 1C9. 

5 Flatbush deacons' accounts, i, SO 2. ' Ibid., p. 1S5. 

* Flatbush churchmasters' accounts, pp. US, s see p. 208. 

125, 128, 138, 147, 149, 15!). ' Loc. cil., p. 192. 


refitted the schoolroom, planks for a table, glass for the windows, 
"an hourglass for the schoolmaster." ^ Wliat a vivid reminder of 
the past is this hourglass, a past that seems entirely gone. It is 
worthy of note that it is '' for the schoolmaster." The dame was not 
a permanent institution. 

After Langestraat in 1706, neither deacons nor churchmasters of 
Flatbush seem to have concerned themselves with financial remunera- 
tion for either vooiiezer or master for the New Lotts. Probably 
they felt that the schoolhouse and lot was sufiicient pay. Quite pos- 
sibly, if we had fuller information, some compensating consideration 
would appear. The public interest is shown in the action of a town 
meethig hi 1740 when it was decided that the surplusage from the 
"interest of the bonds which the church masters have m their posses- 
sion * * * shall be used for the repair of the church and school 
(that is, the Low Dutch schoolhouse in Midwoud) and the schoolhouse 
in the New Lands." ^ The next and last reference so far found has 
already been seen m the newspaper advertisement of 1758: 

Also such another person wan ted for the New Lotts; but if this last be well qualified 
to teach reading and writing Englisli only, he may have good encouragement by 
applying to John Vandeveer and Johannes Lott living in the aforesaid precinct of 

It is mteresting to note that while Flatbush proper was willing to 
have the English language alongside of the Dutch, the people of the 
New Lotts were wiUing to have English alone. It may be that these 
lived more in touch with their English neighbors ; and it may be that 
one who had command of both languages was harder to find. The 
absence of arithmetic from the curriculum is worthy of note. 

The evenmg school must, it seems, be taken as a regular institution 
at Flatbush and probably throughout the American Dutch. Jacob 
Joosten's contract of 1670 included in the schedule of school fees, 
"for evening school, reading, and writmg, 3 gl."'* In 1678 Jan 
Emant, apprenticing his son to learn the smith's trade, stipulated 
that the boy should receive his board, clothing, and instruction in 
the evening school in winter.^ Dirk Storm's contract at the New Lotts 
m 1681, Tibout's contract at Flatbush m 1681, and Van Ekelen's at 
Flatbush in 1682, its renewal of 1683, aU contrast m the schedule of 
tuition charges the rates for day school with those for evenmg school ; 
Van Ekelen's of 1682, saymg, "He shall receive from those who 
attend the day school, for a speUer or reader, three guilders a quarter, 
and for a writer, four guilders. From those who attend evening 
school, for a speller or reader, four guilders, and for a writer, six guilders 
shall be given."® 

In another Flatbush apprenticeship (1695), the master agreed to 
furnish "washing, sleeping, victuals, and drink * * * ^j^gQ (^q) 

> inc. cil., p. 229. 3 See p. 183. 6 Flatbush town records, 101: 32. 

2 Flatbush town records, 106: 113. * See p. 1G8. « Strong, op. cit., p. 113, 


endeavor to instruct said Jonathan in said art anil trade of a sniilli 
* * * also that said Jonathan may have tlie Hberty to go ui niglit 
school m the wmter."i It is worth nothig that both apprentices 
were expected to attend night school m the winter. 

In order to present a fuU discussion of the subject, otlier references 
to evenmg schools may be added. Evert Pietersen, at New Amster- 
dam in 1661, was specifically allowed to charge more tuition in the 
case of pupils coming at night. An evenmg school was kept at King- 
ston certainly m 1668, and apparently as a regular custom.^ An 
apprenticeship arranged by the Flatlands deacons hi 1765 provided 
that the master sliould" teach and Instruct or Cause to be taught or 
Instructed" the apprentice "to Read, write, and two Quarters^'niglit 
schoolmg of Syphermg."3 ^y^en Petrus van Steenbergli took 
charge of the school of the Reformed Dutch Church hi New York 
City m 1773 he was allowed to "keep an evenmg school."* Takuig 
all these references together, and considering that they are Avddely 
separated in time and place, and that nearly every one refers to tlie 
evening school as if it were an established custom, we seem authorized 
to consider that the Dutch of America from the first considered the 
evening school as a normal and proper feature of the village scliool. 

The schoolhouse has been constantl}^ referred to; and it has been 
all the while evident that it was built, owned, and repaired by the 
public; that one building served as a dwefiing for the master aud as 
a house for the school has not been so exphcit. We may therefore 
bring together the references bearing on the subject. In 1670 Joostcn 
was promised that he should have "the next summer a new and ])ro])or 
dwelling on the school lot."^ The contract for erecting this build- 
ing the next year describes it as ''the schoolhouse."" Apparently, 
then, the two terms are used intercliangea])ly. In Storm's contract 
at the New Lotts in 1681 it was stipulated that the ])e()i)lo should 
furnish ''the schoolmaster with a dweUing house * '■^- * con- 
venient for holding school therein." ^ Bricks for an oven for the New 
Lotts schoolhouse m "17||" show that the schoolhouse was then a 
dwelling.* The house at New Lotts might, of course, Ik; of difler- 
ent style from that at Flatbush; but the custom is almost certainly 
shown. When Van Marken was dismissed, ho was ord(;rcd to "sur- 
render the schoolhouse." ^ In a similar situation, Tibout was ordered 
"to put his affairs in order and to leave his house at an early 
date." ^° Both orders evidently contemplated the same situation 
and the same response. So always there is reference to but one 
house; sometimes it is called the schoolhouse; sometimes it is the 

1 Vanderbilt, op cit., p. 261. ^' Flatbush churchmasters accounts, pp. 14, 19. 

' See p. 212. ' Flatbush consi.story minutes, p. r,(). 

3 Flatlands church records. s Flatbush churchmasters' accounts, p ITj. 

< Eccl. Rec., p. 4261. a Flatbush consistory minutes, p. 30, 

» Fiatbush to^vn records, 105: 207. •<> Ibid., p. m. 


dwelling house of the master. Both terms are evidentl}^ used inter- 
changeably. Perhaps the most satisfactory single reference to show 
that at Flatbush there was only one house, which consequently was 
used both as a dwelling and as a school, is found m an itemized 
list of the school property included m a petition for a charter of the 
church in 1711. In this list the various lots of land are mentioned 
in all the detail which legal exactness could require, "allso one 
howse & Lott of ground in the said Town called the School howse 
containing Eight acres." ^ Here it may be taken as certain that 
there is no omission. There was ''one house * * * called the 
schoolhouse." ^ Evidently, then, from a very early date and 
throughout the })eriod there was at Flatbush a schoolhouse in 
which the master also lived. The lot wherein this stood contained 
In 1711 about 8 acres, and u])on it, besides the dwelling house, stood 
a barn (at least part of the time), and there went along with this a 
suital)le pasture lot (rented to the domine after 1715), woodland, 
and salt meadow. As to the dimensions of the schoolhouse, we have 
no knowledge. 

As to the school furniture and supphes, there are few references. 
Tables are a number of times referred to; on one occasion (1694) 
three were bought at once.^ Probably these were used for the writ- 
ing pupils. Benches, of course, were used, and a number of refer- 
ences to them are found.^ In 1736 an hourglass was bought for the 
schoolmaster at New Lotts.^ For calling the pupils into school a 
beU was used at Flatbush — possibly the church bell;" at the New 
Lotts (1681) a ''horn or drum." ^ Apparently, the small schoolboy 
with stones to throw was as omnipresent then as at some later per- 
iods, for putting in glass for the school was one of the commonest 
expenses from 1670 to the close of the period.^ Of all matters per- 
taining to the schoolhouse, the most remarkable purchase or repair 
was in 1681, when the churchmasters paid 12 guilders "for toes and 
teeth made in the schoolhouse."® One stands amazed! 

A brief discussion of the management of public affairs may serve 
to show more exactly the place of the school in the general scheme of 
public admmistration. The Dutch had a village court of schout and 
schepens as the only body of local control, and in the selection of 
these officials the public had no voice. This body united with the 

1 Doc. Hist, of N. Y., iii, US. 

2 Further references bearing on the point are found in the Flatbush town records, lUO: 113; ibid., 107: 
59, 61 (sec. 5). 

3 Flatbush churchmasters' accounts, pp. 137, 181, 229, 238. 
* Ibid., pp. 147, 148, 238. 

'- Ibid., p. 229. 

" Flatbush consistory minutes, p. 39. 
' Ibid., p. 49. 

8 Flatbush churchmasters' accounts, pp. 6, 125, 149, etc. 

s Ibid., p. (ill. The Dutch words are " teen en tander." Most probably it was a colloquial phrase in iise 
among the carpenters. 



consistory to control school affairs. When the Duke's laws were put 
into operation with the coming of tlie English, this court was con- 
tinued with the officers called by their English names of constable 
and overseers, and elected by the people in town meetmg assembled. 
For many years after the passmg of the Dutch regime this village 
court V continued to be the principal body of local control, looking 
after the school as had been done during the Dutch period. All the 
contracts up to and including Van Ekelen's in 1682 were signed con- 
jointly by it and the consistory. With the Liesler insurrection a 
strong democratic movement set in which seems to have lessened 
materially the influence of the village court. 

The towTi meeting, which from this time becomes more important 
in public affairs, was composed of all householders, including even 
women who were heads of families.* The meeting had to be sum- 
moned by "a warrant from a justice," and apparently the purpose of 
the meeting had to be stated in the call. We give a specimen of 
such a summons in the original English, which was then used in 
higher legal processes. It is interestmg to note the schoolhouse as 
the place of gathering : 

Ejngs I 
County j'^'^ 

To the Constable of Flatbush: These. 

You are hereby in his Majesties name required and commanded to give 
warning to all the freeholders and inhabitants of the town of Flatbush afore- 
said to appear at the schoolhouse at Flatbush aforesaid on Wednesday next 
ensuing the date thereof, at tenn of the clock in the morning of the same day 
to conclude with one another about the places and especially concerning the 
charges as the church masters has ben at for getting a new cover upon the 
church of Flatbush aforesaid, etc. Hereof you are not to fail. 

Given under my hand and seal, this ninth day of Febniary, in the sixth 
year of his Majesties Reign, A. D. 173§. 

Rych Suydam.^ 

A town meeting so summoned took care of the general welfare; it 
could sell the public land,^ levy taxes,* and make regulations regard- 
ing public fencing.^ It had considerable authority in what we should 
now call church matters. In 1701, for example, it selected "four 
men from the people ui cooperation with four from tlie consistory to » 
prepare such articles (concerning the church of Midwoud) as they 
shall find good for the benefit of the church and the people and that 
the same shall take effect without any objection on the part of any 
one."^ It had the legal right of electing the minister, and it exer- 
cised the right to a greater or less degree. The minister's salary, and 
the manner of raising it, were also decided by town meeting,' as was 

1 Flatbush town records, 106: 35 ff. 

2 lUd., p. 178. 
3/6!d., p. 167. 
< Ibid., p. 208. 

« Ibid., p. 3. 
'/&!(?., pp. 26, 113. 

28311°— 12- 



the question of selling or renting the church lots.* After 1711 it 
elected the church masters and prescribed their duties. Thus in 
that year it required of the churchmasters that — 

they Bhall with all vigilance and diligence give their attention to the lands over 
which they have jurisdiction to the end that the same may be leased in good order 
and form and the rent guaranteed ; furthermore to have the same oversight over the 
Bchoolhouse and over the church, which is now in bad condition, that suitable repairs 
may be made therein, and whatever other property may belong to the people.^ 

The churchmasters so chosen were commanded at the close of the 
year to "render an accounting of receipts and expenditures to the 
entire body." ^ 

The most interesting function of the town meeting, so far as con- 
cerns our present inquiry, was their selection of a committee to 
choose a schoolmaster. In all, six instances appear where this was 
done, beginning in 1691 and extending to 1773.^ 

The churchmasters and consistory were important factors in the 
administration of public affairs. The former were, as we have seen, 
distinctly the servants of the town. To the quotation from the 
town meeting minutes given above may be added another excerpt to 
show how the church and school funds were public funds and subject 
to explicit direction from the town meeting. The town meeting in 
question (6 May, 1740) had been called "to decide with another 
regarding the calling of minister, how and what he shall be paid." 

We, the people of Midwoud above mentioned, have reached a complete agreement 
regarding the payment of our ministers * * * they shall be paid from the interest 
of the bonds which the churchmasters have in their possession; and also from the rent 
of the church lots; * * * and it is further agreed that the surplus money from the 
interest of aforesaid shall be used for the repair of the church and school (that is, the 
Low Dutch schoolhouse in Midwoud) and the schoolhouse in New Lands. And in 
case there shall still be a surplus remaining of the aforesaid money, the churchmasters 
shall have the power to use the same and to spend it for the best advantage of the 
town of Midwoud. And the church wardens shall be bound each and every year to 
render an accounting to the next chosen church wardens * * * or to the people 
or otherwise, as the people shall deem good.* 

It is evident from. the foregoing that the churchmasters got their 
name from the principal object of their care, and in no true sense 
are to be conceived of as servants of the church. In Flatbush, 

' Flatbush town records, 106: 150. 

2 Ibid., p. 81. 

3 Ibid. Apparently before 1711 the village court had chosen the churchmasters. At any rate that was 
the custom in 1679. At that time D? Van Zuuren was trying to enlarge the powers of the consistory. In 
response to his prodding, the consistory "decreed that the management and lands of the Low Dutch 
Church ought to be entrusted to the consistory of the same," and accordingly requested "the right of 
choosing the churchmasters in conjunction with their Honors the Constable and Overseers." The request 
was granted for the election at hand. The next succeeding churchmaster, however, "was chosen by the 
magistrates without the consistory." For a short time this alternation seems to have prevailed. (Flat- 
bush consistory minutes, pp. 17, 41.) 

* Flatbush town records, 106: 104, 136, 204, 216; ibid., 107: 59; Kings County court and roads records, 
B Flatbush town records, 106: 113, 


after 1711, they were virtually a standing committee of the people 
(town meeting), charged with the care of public property. As such 
they were elected by the people and had to report annually to the 

The consistory, unlike the churclimasters, were the real servants 
of the church. The place of the consistory in the ecclesiastical 
organization had been fixed by the Synod of Dort (1618-19) beyond 
the reach of those democratic influences wliich in time changed so 
much of Dutch fife in America.* In accordance with the enact- 
ment of the synod that the consistory "see to it that eveiywhere 
there were good schoolmasters," ^ ^q fi^d that during the Dutch 
period and for many years thereafter the consistory conjointly with 
the local civil authorities made contracts with schoolmasters. This 
was done uniformly, it appears, in the seventeenth century.^ Fur- 
thermore the consistory thus took part not only in the selection of 
the schoolmaster, but in discharging him from liis office. In the 
cases of Van Marken (1680) and Tibout (1682), it did tliis in con- 
junction with the magistrates, but in the case of Van Ekelen, dis- 
charged in 1691, it is expressly declared that ''the church councel did 
dismiss the aforesaid Joanes Van Ekelen."^ Tliis act of dismissing 
Van Ekelen (1691) seems to have marked the climax of power 
reached by the consistory. Probabl}^ too it hastened the decline 
of that same power. A very strong democratic spirit had by this 
time set in, in which the "common people"^ were arrayed against 
what had hitherto been a ruhng clique. The people distinctly 
resented this action of the consistory in displacing Van Ekelen with 
Schenck, Wliile the paucity of available records forbids a final 
generafization, it seems certain that the school passed more and 
more into the hands of the town meeting. The last ex})licit record 
found of participation by the consistory in school affairs is the case 
where a town meeting in 1711 to choose two men to secure a school- 
master was called "upon the petition of the consistory." Appar- 
ently the consistory lost ground because it was too far removed from 
popular opinion to make its activity acceptable to the "common 
people." Doubtless, too, the unfortunate dissensions within the 
Dutch churches beginning about 1691 tended to weaken the force 
of the church authorities. During the first decade of the eighteenth 
century there were in several of these Long Island Dutch churches 
two rival consistories, each claiming to have the only legal existence.* 

' Eccl. Rec, pp. 4220-1, 4338. 
s Ibid., p. 4220. 

5 In this connection attention should be called to Van Ziiuren's protest, in 1690, to his consistory that 
the civil authorities of right should have no part in the control of the school. (See p. 171.) 

* Pages 172, 173, 175. 

6 To use DeVarick's phrase, Pratt, op. cit., p. 72; Eccl. Rec, p. 1048 ff. 
» Eccl. Rec., pp. 1943, 1944, 2084. 


Under such conditions, control of the school must inevitably fall 
into other hands. 

One further reference to the public consideration of the schools 
must be presented, even though there is nothing available to throw 
light on an otherwise wholly unexpected phase of school supervision. 
In the minutes of the court of sessions of the "West Riding of York- 
shire"^ held at Gravesend on December 21, 1676, is found the 
following item: 

The church affairs as to ministers or readers & schools for children moved to he 
considered. Gravesend noted to be most remiss herein.^ 

One would certainly infer from tliis that the court of sessions 
felt duty bound to pass in review, possibly at stated intervals, the 
various villages within its jurisdiction to see whether they were 
maintaining a certain standard in their support of churches and 
schools. But such an inference, however much warranted in the 
wording of the minute quoted, is utterly at variance with every- 
thing that we have been accustomed to attribute to the English 
control of colony. It is much to be desired that subsequent study 
of this period may throw light upon this act of the court. 

The records of Flatbush furnish excellent data for a study of the 
illiteracy of the Dutch in that village. Seven full lists of the inhabit- 
ants are available, the assessment rolls of the town for 1675, 1676, 
1683, and 1706; the roll of those who took the oath of allegiance, 
1P87, and two census lists for 1698 and 1738.^ The first three assess- 
ment rolls give the names of the heads of families, the number of 
polls in each family (males above 16), the number of cattle of various 
kinds, and the number of morgens of land that each owned. As 
many are included who pay simply on their own polls, we seem 
warranted in supposing that these three rolls contain complete lists of 
the male adults. The 1706 assessment roll includes only land- 
holders. The two census lists appear to be complete. The roll 
of those taking the oath of allegiance seems to include all male 
Dutch inhabitants above 16. For the specific purpose at hand 
all women (widows, heads of families) and all men of non-Dutch 
stock are excluded; the latter (English, etc.) are excluded because 
they probably did not attend the Dutch schools; the women are 
considered separately. 

The standard of illiteracy taken was the inability to write one's 
name to formal papers, or — to state it positively — the making of 
one's mark in signing such papers. The procedure was to hunt 

• Yorkshire was the name given by Gov. Nichols to the region composed of Long Island, Westchester, 
and Staten Island. The West Riding of this included Statcn Island, Kings County, and the town of 
Newtown. Brodhead, op. cit., ii, 03. 

'•f Kings County conveyances, 1. 14. 

» Found respectively in the Doc. hist, of N. Y., iv, 97-9, ii; 2(19-272; ibid., ii, 293-4; Kings County convey- 
ances, liber 3, p. 195; Doc. hist, of N. Y., i, 429; ibid., iii, 89; ibid., iv, 122-4. The dates of the two last-named 
are not certainly those here assigned; but the variation can not be great. 



through the available records for the names on the lists deseribed 
above, and note whether or not the several indivithials wrote their 
names or made their marks. Most of this information was got 
either from the original records or from certified copies. In some 
instances Bergen's statements ^ as to how the various persons signed 
their names have been taken. Bergen is far from being infallible; but 
it is believed that any error introduced in this way is so small as to be 
negligible. Unfortunately not every name could, in the time avail- 
able, be found. After the ilhteracy had been (h'terniincd as far as 
possible by the foregoing plan, the next stoj) was to ascertain whether 
or not each individual had passed the usual school period in Holland 
or in America. With the scanty data available, it is evident that 
only approximate accuracy was here possible. It was necessary 
in this search to use a variety of sources, conclusions being drawn in 
many instances from relatively slight preponderance of probability. 
Verj^ likely the conclusions in not a few particular cases are inconect, 
so that specific figures here found need not be accepted as final, 
but it is beheved that the general tendencies are correctly shown. 
The following table gives the results of both studies: 

Illiteracy at Flatbush, 1675-173S. 





Number of male Dutch on the several lists 

Number of written signatures 

Number of marks made 

Number whose manner of signing was not foimd. 
Per cent of marks to total known ways of signing. 
Number of individuals probably trained in 


Numljer of these who made their marks 

Number of individuals probably trained in 


Number of these who made their marks 

Per cent of Holland trained who made marks 

Per cent of American trained who made marks. . . 

2 47 
2 4 















1 Including some 08 other Flatbush inhabitants not found on the several lists. 

2 Including one undecipherable name. 

3 Number too small to make the per cent significant. 

The higher figures of 16S7 are due to the fact that (a|)j)arently) 
all males above 16 took the oath of allegiance; whereas, an the other 
rolls, youths over 16 living with their parents were not separately 
returned. In the 1706 assessment list, only landholders were in- 
cluded. The last column contains some few names that do not 
appear on any of the preceding published lists. The significant 
results are contained in items 5, 10, and 11. The most interesting 
and gratifying result is seen in item 11, showing the gradual im[)rove- 
ment of the American-bred population as time went on. This 
improvement was probably due to the fact that the fi rst generation 

1 Op. cil., passim. 


of children to grow up after the principal immigration found little 
or no opportunity to attend school, whereas succeeding generations 
of children found well-established schools. Just why the Holland 
bred also should have made an increasingly better showing is not 
easy to explain. Possibly, the earlier immigrants were of a slightly 
lower grade of society than the later ones, so that the illiterates in 
1675 were on the whole older and so died out earlier. The relatively 
better showing of the aggregate American bred (13 per cent) as 
compared with the aggregate Holland bred (26 per cent) is most 
striking. Evidently Flatbush presents an educational experience 
directly counter to that seen in some of the other American colonies 
where succeeding generations were less literate than the original 

The study of the illiteracy of the Flatbush women is not so gratify- 
ing, nor is the same detailed discussion possible. Not only were 
fewer names secured, but it did not prove feasible to distinguish 
these as Holland bred and American bred. Of the 56 names secured, 
24 wrote their names and 32 made their marks, which gives an 
illiteracy for the women of 57 per cent. With numbers so small as 
these, the result is uncertain; but the names found probably represent 
not far from an ''average sampling," Almost the same per cent was 
found from 33 names of Alban}^, although from the rest of the colony 
a larger per cent of illiteracy was obtained — about 66 per cent.^ 
It, however, would not be correct to conclude that only 44 per cent 
of the women went to school. The tuition charges, as we have seen, 
distinguished between those who learned to read and those who 
learned also to write. Quite likely it was frequently counted suffi- 
cient to give the daughter "as much education as to enable her to 
read the Holy Scriptures." ^ Writing, except in business affairs, was 
but little needed. 

The transition from the use of the Dutch language to Enghsh may 
properly receive some attention. With the coming into power of 
the English, the higher court proceedings were conducted in English, 
as were most of the communications with the provincial authorities. 
In many ways, commercial interests demanded a knowledge of Eng- 
lish, and the evergrowing ratio of English to Dutch in the Province 
accelerated the movement. Nevertheless the Dutch were tenacious 
of their customs, especially where their religious interests were 
involved. The ministers in the Dutch churches during colonial days 
were almost exclusively natives of the mother country, who had been 
trained in the Dutch universities, and had come to New Netherland 
and colonial New York in the prime of life. With her ministers 
steeped thus in Holland tradition, with her formularies existing only 

1 See p. 229. 

» Words taken from a Dutch will of Ulster County, 1770. N. Y. Hist. Soc. Pub., 1900: 238. 



in the Dutch language/ with that strong conservatism which univer- 
sally surrounds religious practice, the church became the center of 
opposition to the alien influence which was to supplant the old 
language and modify the old custom. The school, filhng as it did 
the double function of preparing for the practical duties of hfe and 
of fitting for intelligent and appreciative participation in church 
service, found itself drawn in both directions. Its double system of 
control at Flatbush gave opportunity for the two tendencies to ex- 
press themselves. Accordingly was found in 1758, the demand for 
a "person qualified to teach Dutch and English." It was at tliis 
very time that the reactionary D? Ritzema of New York in a supreme 
effort to stem the oncoming tide was importing a schoolmaster from 
the old country. In Flatbush, however, where there were no private 
schools, one school must do all the teaching, and meet all the demands. 
Hence the presence of both languages in the curriculum of the school. 
The town meeting even followed much later in the use of English, 
its last record in Dutch being of date April 4, 1775,- the first in English 
a year later. 

The church, as was to be expected, held longer to the Dutch. Dr. 
Strong states,^ and there appears no reason to question the statement, 
that services in-Enghsh were not introduced until 1792, and even tlien 
were confined to the afternoon ser^^ce.* Not until 1805 was English 
the exclusive language of church service. For still many years Dutch 
was used in the privacy of man}'' of the old families.^ 

We gather, then, from the foregoing discussion that the Dutcli 
village of Flatbush kept in continuous operation an elementary 
school from at least as early a date as 1659, while its subordinate 
village of New Lotts maintained one from 1681. These schools were 
under the joint control of church and civil authority, with the people 
in town meeting gradually assuming more and more of direct control. 
It seems proper to call such an institution a pubhc school, because 
its master was chosen and his work directed by the public, partly 
through the town meeting or its committee, partly througli tlie village 
magistracy, partly through the church, wliich was in great measure 
a constituent member of the body pohtic. The school was public, 
furthermore, in that the master received his salary and the school- 
house was kept in repair by the income from lands set aside by the 
pubhc for these and other purposes, wliich properties in turn were 
administered by pubhc officials (churchmasters) elected by the ])eople, 
and answerable to the people. It appears probable, too, that, if 

I They existed also in Walloon French, but this would be no factor In the situation under discussion. 
» Flatbush town records, 107: 65, 66. 
» Oj). cit., p. 94. 
* Ibid., p. 102. 

» Mr. John H. Ditmas, at present living in Flatbush, has told the writer that Dutch was spoken in his 
father's family until after the Civil War. 


necessary, a town rate was laid to supply the necessary school build- 

If this scnool was public, it none the less had peculiar relations 
with the church. The consistory of the church, during the Dutch 
period, and in the early years of English control, was conjointly with 
the civil authorities charged with the care of the school and the selec- 
tion of masters ; although later the power of the consistory declined, 
A further connection of church with school is seen in the fact that 
throughout the period, the schoolmaster was (quasi ex officio) voor- 
lezer and voorsanger in the Dutch church. As such not only had he 
a definite part in the public worship, but in the absence of the min- 
ister he took charge of the service and read a sermon. The most 
intimate phase of this church and school relationship, however, lay 
in the master's duty to teach religion by ha^ang the pupils learn 
prayers, church hymns, the church formulations, and the Heidelberg 
catechism, which they recited publicly before the congregation. 
Doubtless many, perhaps most, felt that the school was principally 
a subordinate agency of the church for giving religious instruction. 

In considering this relationship of church and school, however, it 
ever needs emphasis to the present-day American mind that the 
church during this whole period was among the Dutch not conceived 
of as separate from and opposed to the civil authorities. Rather was 
it an integral part of a general and closely coordinated institutional 
scheme which in its totality contemplated the whole of life. Under 
the English system there was developed an even more intimate inter- 
action among the several parts of this general institutional scheme 
than had obtained under the Dutch regime. The town meeting in 
accordance with the Duke's laws elected the churchmasters, and 
fixed a rate on all for the support of the minister. In time it took 
over practically all direction of the school. Thus by controlling the 
financial support of the church and by electing the minister the 
people in town meeting, whether church members or not, exercised 
all but absolute control over the church.^ 

Under these extreme conditions of democratic control, hardly 
equaled and certainly not surpassed elsewhere in the colonies, the 
Httle township of Flatbush maintained its two vOlage schools. In 
the support of these schools were united the Dutch interest in ele- 
mentary education and the now growing spirit of American democ- 
racy. Both influences agreed in an education of all the children ^ in 
the same school under public auspices. The spirit here seen, multi- 
plied many times in other similar villages, must in large part be the 
explanation of the early interest of New York State in general public 

' Flatbush town records, 107: 12. 

2 Col. Laws of N. Y., i, 2f., f.4; Flatbush town records, 104: 199, 252-3; 106: 16, 26, 81, 113, 150; Eccl. Rec., 
pp. 794, 1503, 1802, 1940, 1944. 
8 For the education of the girls as well as the boys see p. 217. 


The accounts already given of the Harlem and Flat bush schools 
have shown in some detail how typical Dutch villages managed 
their school affairs. It appears more or less certain that Albany, 
Bergen, Bushwyck, Brooklj-n, Flatlands, Kingston, New Utrecht^ 
Schenectady, and probably many other villages more or less exclu- 
sively Dutch in stock and language kept up schools similar to the 
two already studied. It is quite possible that wherever was found a 
village predominantly Dutch in language and of sufficient size to 
maintain a church (but not necessarily a pastor), there— had we tlie 
data — one would find almost invariably a school, public in some 
sense, controlled more or less by the consistory and taught by the 
voorlezer of the Dutch church. 

In 1664 Jans Jurians Becker had, as we saw in Chaplc«i- Mil, a 
"Graunt to keep y^ Dutch school at Albany for y" teaching of youth 
to read and to WTite." This was "allowed and confirmed to him" 
by the fu'st English governor, who remained in charge until 166S. 
In 1670 (May 16) it was brought to the attention of Gov. Lovelace 
that "several others not so capable do undertake y like some ])ar- 
ticular tymes and seasons of y" yeare when they have no otiier Im- 
ployment." The result of this irregular competition proved to be 
that "Y'' scholars removing from schoole to another not onl}' give 
a great discouragement to j" maister who makes it his l)usiness all 
y* yeare but also are hindred and become y^ more backwards in their 
learning." "For the reasons aforesaid," Gov. Lovelace "tlionglit 
fitt that y said Jan Jurians Beecker who is esteemed very caj)al)le 
that way shall be allowed schoolmaster for y instructing of y" 
youth at Albany and partes adjacent he following y" said Imj)loy- 
ment constantly and diligently." It was besides further allowed 
to Beecker that "no other be admitted to interrupt him it being to 
be presumed that y said Beecker for y" j^outh and Jacob Joosten 
who is allowed of for the teachmg of y younger children are sufficient 
for that place. " 2 

' The records of the Dutch villages have been made available only in a moRt fragmentary manner. In 
greater part these records have either been lost or remain as yet hid in the original Dutch MSS. Where 
fairly complete records exist in translation they ha\-e not aa yet been printed. So that the adetjuate treat- 
ment of the schools of the many Dutch villages during the English period is at present imixMHible. 

* Munsell'3 Annals of Albany, iv, 15f. 



Here then we see two teachers at Albany, one for "y* younger 
children" and the other for "y^ youth." Whether they taught in 
one school does not appear; quite possibly they did. They charged 
tuition we know, not only fi'om the general customs, but also from 
the permission granted (1665) to John Shutte to ''bee the only 
English schoolmaster at Albany upon condition that the said 
John Shutte shall not demand any more wages than is given by the 
Dutch to their schoolmasters."^ Probably Becker received a salary 
from the municipality for serving as voorlezer and schoolmaster, 
since we find that, during liis term of office, ''the Charge yearly of 
y^ Towne of Albany" included the item: "To y« Reader 400 guild""* 

Becker and two others were chosen in 1676 to be the only school- 
masters at Albany. How long thereafter he continued to teach is 
not certain; until 1686 according to Peai-son. He died about 1697.' 
Jacob Joosten was, as we saw, at Flatbush on November 1, 1670. 
So that he used the permission here granted for only about six 
months. He had probably come to Albany upon leaving Wiltwyck 
in 1665. 

Gerrit Swart and Adrian Janse Appcl are named by Pearson as 
the other mastoi-s appointed along with Becker in 1676. In spite of 
the permission for these tlu'ee to be the oidy schoolmasters, there 
was appointed during the same year a baker, Luykas Gerritse (Win- 
gaard), "because he was impotent in his hand."^ 

The following council meeting exphiins itself. Its old EngHsh 
style perhaps makes worth while its full reproduction : 

Att a meeting of y® Mayor, Aldermen and Common Coimcil held in y* 
City Hall of Albany, Ye 23d of January Ifff 

The request of Comelis Bogardus by y* mouth of Mr. Will de Meyer to be 
admitted a schoolmaster for y** City is taken into consideration and imani- 
mously doe graunt y*^ same, as also a freeman of this Gitty upon his arrivall.* 

This teacher was the son of D? Bogardus, the second minister of 
New Amsterdam. He stayed at Albany, it is said, only a short while. 
In 1703 "Evert Ridder of the City of Albany" made an "humble 
apphcation to the Mayor, Aldermen and Assistance to be permitted 
to teach school in the City aforesaid," which was granted.* 

• Munsell's Annals of Albany, p. 16. 

2 Executive Council Minutes, i, 82. (See p. 122, where this matter is discussed.) It appears that this 
public support of the voorlezer (and possibly the schoolmaster) continued into the eighteenth century. 
Inl095,"Hend. Roseboom, sen., voorlezer in y chmehof y« citty of Albany" appeared before the mayor's 
court aalcing for the payment of his salary (Munsell, op. cit. , iii, 9). The support of Roseboom was divided 
equally betvveen city and county in 170?, when it was noted in the minutes of tha court of sessions that 
"y« County (excepting y citty and Colony Rensselaerswyck) must be credited for two hundred and fifty 
Gilders wampum value, being half of Roseboom's saliary and Repairing y ^ church yard, which was charged 
in y General County acct" (ibid., iv, 124; see alsoibid., pp. 161, 187). 

3Pratt, op. d^,p. 62. 

* Ibid., pp. 02-3. 

' Munsell, op. cit., iv, 106. 
'Ibid., p.m. 


The spirit of religious proselyting was prevalent throughout the 
period under consideration. The missionary of the Society for the 
Propagation of the Gospel at Albany writes, in 1710, that his "weak 
endeavors" have been so blessed that ''a great many Dutch cliildren" 
who at his coming were "altogether ignorant of the English tongue, 
were now able to distinctly say our catechism and make the responses 
at prayers." " I have used," he writes, "all possible methods to 
engage the children to their duty by giving small presents to the 
most forward and diligent, and by frequently visiting their schools; 
and for encouraging the schoolmasters I give them what charity 
is collected in our churches, obliging them to bring their scholars 
to pubhc prayers."^ We pass with a smile the partial notion of 
the children's "duty" and the unusual direction of the "charity" 
collection; but it is interesting to note the continued use of Dutch 
and the existence of several schools. 

When the Albany church was chartered, in 1720, it was expressly 
stipulated that "it shall and may be lawful to and for the consistory 
of the said church to nominate and appoint a clerk or precentor, 
schoolmaster, sexton, bellringer, and such and so many other officers 
and servants of the same church as they shall think convenient 
and necessary. "2 The natural interpretation of tlds stipulation is, 
of course, that in it an old custom is given the sanction of law. It 
were to be desired that we had more data of the relation of the 
church and city in Albany school matters. Everything we have 
that is very definite is on the side of the city's interest. 

The common council in 1721 in consideration of the fact that it 
was "very requisite and necessary that a fit and able schoolmaster 
settle in this city for teaching and instructing of the youth in si)elling, 
reading, writeing, and cyffering, " and in consideration of the further 
fact that Mr. Johannis Glandorf had "ofi'ered his services to settle 
here and keep a school if reasonably encouraged by the corporation, 
it is therefore Resolved by this commonalty, and they do hereby 
obhge themselves and successors, to give and ])rocure unto y® said 
Johannis Glandorf free house rent for the term of seaven years 
next ensueing. " ^ That tliis man was Dutch and the school was 
Dutch may be accepted as practically certain from the fact that 
the Dutch were so largely in the majority at tliis time. His name 
furnishes some corroboration. It is interesting to note that no salary 
other than house rent is suggested, and also that the church has 
notliing to do with the matter. 

Hamilton, in his trip of 1744, says of Albany: "I went to see tlie 
school in this city, in wliich are about 200 scholars, boys and giris."" 
This number is surprising, far exceedmg that of any other school 

1 Doc. Hist, of N. Y., iii, 540. ' Weiser, Hist, of Albany, p. 287. 

2 Eccl. Rec, p. 2105. * Itinerarium, p. 78. 


known to us among the American Dutch. The coeducation is an 
interesting corroboration of the opinion elsewhere discussed.^ That 
these 200 pupils were Dutch is altogether probable. For example, 
Hamilton elsewhere says of his same trip to Albany: "At ten o'clock 
we went to the English church, where was the meanest congregation 
ever I beheld, there not being above fifteen or twenty in church, 
besides the soldiers of the fort who sat in a gallery. " ^ The size 
of this congregation may be taken as a fair idea of the relative num- 
ber of English in the city. 

With this ends the specific information so far collected that 
certainly concerns Dutch education at Albany, except that in 1789 
it was stated that some seven or eight years previously ' ' a competent 
English teacher was scarcely to be found in Albany." ^ We infer 
from this that the Dutch language, until about the time of the 
Revolution, retained its hold so strongly as to prevent the earlier 
establishment of vigorous or well patronized English schools. It is 
stated that the first English preaching in the Dutch church was 
in 1776 and the first regularly settled English pastor was some 
six years later.* 

An effort was made by the writer to ascertain the degree of 
illiteracy of the early Albany inhabitants, somewhat after the man- 
ner followed at Flatbush. On account of the lack of similar census 
rolls, the study at Albany could not be so satisfactorily done. The 
procedure accordingly was slightly different. Pearson's "Early 
Records of the City and County of Albany and Colony of Rensselaer- 
syck (1656-1675)" was used as a basis of study. All the names 
of those whose manner of signing was given were utilized. Three 
hundred and sixty such names were listed, of which 77 or 21 per cent 
made their marks. The corresponding result at Flatbush we found 
to be 19 per cent. Effort was also made to separate the names 
according as the school period had been passed in Holland or in 
America, but with less satisfactory results than were obtaineil in 
the case of Flatbush. One-fourth of the whole number could not 
be assigned even probably to one place rather than to the other. 
As far as the ascertainable records go, the results are similar to 
those got in the previous study. Of the 231 assigned, certainly or 
probably to Holland, 50, or 22 per cent, made their marks; while 
of the 35 assigned similarly to America, only 4, or 11 per cent made 
their marks. The corresponding per cents at Flatbush were 26 
and 13, respectively. The same tendencies then that were seen 
at Flatbush appear here independently and with striking agreement. 
The results at each place give additional weight to those of the 
other, although the Flatbush figures appear on the whole to be 
much more reliable. 

> See p. 217. 2 Weiser, op. cit., p. 405. The quotation is from Morse's Gazetteer. 

* Itinerarium, p. 82. * Munsell, op. cit., i, 121. 


In the village of Bergen at the close of the Dutch period Kngell>ert 
Steenhuysen was servmg as schoolmaster. His successor a])j)ears to 
have been Eeynier Bastiaensen van Giesen, whom he saw at Flatbusli 
from 1660 to 1663. At any rate Bastia<^nsen took the oath of 
allegiance at Bergen in 1665 ^ and began teaching about tluit time. 
His term of service is uni(|ue among the American Dutch, as tlie 
Bergen church records show: "Ileynier Bastiaensen van (Jicsen 
buried May 15, 1707, after having filled the ollicc of voorl<«z«'r for 
about 42 years at Bergen." ^ 

That service as voorlezer implies service as schoohnaster liai-dly 
needs proof in the case of so small a village as Bergen. But if any 
were needed there is available fairly satisfactory- evidence. In l(>7;j 
as we see in the law case given just below, "j)recentor and school- 
master" and ''schoolmaster" are used interclumgeably as referring 
to one and the same person then serving at Bergen. Moreover, the 
records of the New York City Reformed Dutch Church show that 
"Mr. Reynier van Giesen" was witness at baptisms in 1673, 16!)1, 
and 1694.3 ^j^^ ^j^l^ "Mi-." considered in the light of the Dutch 
custom, of Van Giesen's Flatbush school service and of his known 
connection with the Bergen school in 1673 can hardly be inter|)i('l('d 
othermse than as meaning that voorlezer Van Giesen was acting also 
as schoolmaster Van Giesen certainly as late as 1691 and 1694; and 
if he were schoolmaster so late as this we may easily suppose that 
he continued to teach as long as he acted as voorlezer. 
, In 1668 a new charter was given the town. In tliis "all freeJiold- 
ers" were "deemed and accompted Free men" with "a free voice 
in elections." They were to "choose their own magistrates" and 
"their own minister for the preaching of the word of God." "All 
persons, as well the freeholders as the inhabitants" were to "con- 
tribute according to their estates and proportion of lands for liis 
maintenance, or lay out such a proportion of land for the ministiy, 
and the keeping of a Free school for the education of Youth, as they 
shall tliink fit."'' 

E\adently the town chose to levy the vote rather than "lay out" 
the necessary land; for on the "18th X'*'", 1672," the "Magistrates 
of the town of Bergen" by resolution decreed that "all the said 
inhabitants, without any exception" shall pay "their share towards 
the support of the Precentor and Schoolmaster."^ This action of 
the magistrates was deemed by the inJiabitants of certain dcjx'ndcnl 
callages to bear hardly on them, particularly as it appears tiuit some 
of them were of a different ' 'rehgious persuasion." In the meanwhih; 

1 Winfield, History of Hudson County, p. 103. 

2 The ^vriter is indebted to Mr. Daniel van Winkle, of Jersey City, for this and the two other quotations 
from the Bergen church records used below. 

' N. Y. Gen. and Biog. Soc. Coll., ii, 120, 204, 222. 
* Winfield, op. cit., pp. 107-8. 
s N. Y. Col. Doc., ii, 672. 


the Dutch had again united Bergen with New Netherland. The 
schout and schepens of Bergen accordingly appealed to Gov. Colve 
and his council (Dec. 24, 1673) "requesting that the inhabitants of 
all the settlements dependent on them of what religious persuasion 
so ever they may be, shall be bound to pay their share towards the 
support of Precentor and Schoolmaster." The governor and council 
acceded to the request of the magistrates and made the appropriate 

But still the objectors proved recalcitrant. On the 24th of May 
next, the magistrates complained to the governor that * 'some of the 
inhabitants of their dependent hamlets" "obstinately refused to pay 
their quota to the support of the Precentor and Schoolmaster." The 
governor general and council persisted "in their ])revious mandate" 
and ordered the schout "to proceed to immediate execution against 
all unwilling debtors." ^ The next month (June 15) ' 'the inhabitants 
of Mnagagque and Penirepagh" through their agents requested "to 
be excused from contributing to the support of the schoolmaster at 
Bergen."^ The magistrates of Bergen were ordered to answer the 
petition, which they did on July 5. The governor and council, after 
considering both sides, "resolved and ordered that the inhabitants 
of Penirepagh and Minagagque shall promptly pay their share for the 
support aforesaid, on pain of proceeding against them with immediate 

With this the contest seems to have ended, though it must be 
confessed that the equity in the case is not as evident now as it 
seemed to be to Gov. Colve. This is a clear case of the raising of a 
schoolmaster's salary by a rate upon the township. Kingston (see 
page below) seems to furnish a case of a general property tax, from 
which the schoolmaster was probably paid. New Haerlem also fur- 
nished a case quite analogous in many respects to this at Bergen. 
But so far as the writer has found this is the only absolutely clear 
instance of a specific school tax among the American Dutch. We 
have no sufficient reason to suppose that this school was free. On the 
contrary, every known instance everywhere among the American 
Dutch points to tuition fees. 

Little else is known of the school. Dankers and Sluyter say of the 
village in 1697, "They intend to build a church next summer. For 
the present they have nobody except a voorlezer who performs this 
seridce for them on Sundays in the schoolliouse where they assem- 
ble."^ The church records of 1678 and 1680 refer to repairs on the 
schoolhouse. If it be admitted that the voorlezer of the church was 
always schoolmaster, the following schoolmasters succeeded Van 
Giesen:" Adriaen Vermeulen, 1708-1736; Isaac P. van Benthuysen, 

1 N. Y., Col. Doc, ii, 673. » Ibid., p. 720. » Long Island History Soc. Coll. i, 157. 

2 Ibid., p. 714. * Ibid., p. 730. 6 Taylor, Classis of Bergen, p. 167-8. 


1736-1761; Abraham Sickles, 1761-1789. Tliis Ycrmoiilen is the 
same one that was at Haerlem, 1699-1708. Tlie Bergon church rec- 
ords say with reference to him: "May 11, 1708, Adrian Vermeulen, 
voorlezer at Bergen, laid the corner stone (of the new schoolhouse)."' 
The terms of service here given by Taylor are all so long as to raise 
some suspicions; but as pastor of the Bergen church Mr. Taylor had 
good opportunity to know. We may add that according to Taylor, 
Benthuysen taught in both Enghsh and Dutch, but that the records 
of the church were until 1809 kept still in Dutcli.^ The charter of 
the Bergen church granted in 1771 contained the usual ]:)ro\'ision of 
the Dutch church charters that the consistory may maintain a school. ^ 
We should infer from tliis and all else known that the situation here 
was generally quite similar to that at Flatbush. 

The village of Flatlands appeared in Chapter VIII to have no 
school organized as late as 1664, although the town itself had by that 
time been settled some 15 years and chartered 10 years. The first 
record of the school that has so far appeared is of date 1675. It 
seemed then to be well established, was under the care of the con- 
sistory, and was called "the school of the town." It is stated that 
the deacons for many years furnished or purchased for the pupils the 
books used in the school.^ This seems remarkable, and is probably 
due to a misconception of the record. 

Besides the list of voorlezers (presumably schoolmasters) , httle has 
been found concernmg this school. In 1691 the deacons' records 
contain sundry salary payments "to the schoolmaster."' Appar- 
ently the words schoolmaster and voorleser are here, as elsewhere, 
used mterchangeably. At the close of the century (1694-7) the 
deacons are building a schoolhouse, on which they pay a sum equal 
to $654.40. About the same time (Feb. 3, 1696-7), certain private 
parties sold " all that house and garden spot, as it is now in fence 
lying — in the town of Flatlands — now used and occupied for a school- 
house for said town." It would seem probable that the new school- 
house owned by the church had thrown upon the market a j)rivately 
owned house up to that time used "for a schoolhouse for said town."' 
In the petition for a charter to the church in 1711 we find among the 
land holdings of the church, "And allso the church in said Town and 
one house called the school howse with the Land adjoynuig con tabl- 
ing two acres or thereabouts." * Evidently this is the schoolhouse 
built some 10 or 15 years before. In 1762 a considerable sum was 
spent "for the schoolhouse;" in 1771 a "well for the schoolhouse," 
cost£l lis. 3d.5 

1 Taylor, Classis of Bergen, pp. 101,167. * Doc. hist, of N. Y., iii, 113. 

' Ibid., p. 121. * Stiles, History of Kings County, p. 77. 

* Stiles, History of Kings County, p. 76. 


The following receipt referred by Pratt to Flatlands throws light 
on the early introduction of English into this Dutch school : 

1708. — ^Jacobus Montfort hath been to school from May 4th to July 4th, which is 2 
months now, from the 2d Sept. to the 2d Otob"^ is one month, altogether 3 months. 
Comes to 10 guilders. 

I. Selover 

Schoolmr ^ 

If the point were of greater moment closer scrutiny would be nec- 
essary before basing argument upon a paper no better vouched for; 
but accepting it as it stands, the presumption seems to be that 
Selover was in 1708 already using the English language in his school. 
To the same effect is another receipt in English, found among the 
Flatlands church papers, given in 1733 by Abraham De Lanoy to 
" the Deacons of the church of Flatlands" for the " sum of six pounds, 
being in full for a year's salary." This Abraham De Lanoy is almost 
certainly the one whom we saw (p. 152) teaching in the New York 
school, 1743-7. An apprenticeship contract of 1765 bears testi- 
mony to the existence of a night school, it being stipulated that the 
master ''shall teach and Instruct or Cause to be taught or Instructed" 
the apprentice " to Read, write, and two Quartel-s night schooling of 

The complete list of Flatlands schoolmasters (voorlezers) , accord- 
ing to Rev. Anson Du Bois/ is as follows: 

William Garretse (van Kouwenhoven), 1675-1688; Jan Brouwer, 1688-1691; Pieter 
Tull, 1691-1704; Martin Schenck, 1704-1712 [this date of 1712 is apparently contra- 
dicted by Selover's school bill quoted above]; Isaac Selover, 1712-1715 [these dates 
are contradicted by the Flatbush records of page 179]; Jan Suydam, 1715-29(?); Johan- 
nes van Siggelon, 1729-1733; Abraham de Lanoy, 1733-1742; Johannis Nevius, 1743-4; 
Abraham Voorhees, 1744-7; Lukkas Voorhees, 1748-1752; Derick Remsen, 1752; 
Luykas Voorhees, 1755-68 (?); Abraham Voorhees, 1768-92. 

For some unaccountable reason the town of Brooklyn gives no posi- 
tive evidence regarding a Dutch school after the English occupation. 
It is incredible that no school was maintained; for Brooklyn, in size, 
early forged ahead of the other Dutch towns on Long Island. But 
when in 1711 Brooklyn, Flatbush, and Flatlands petitioned for a 
church charter^ the latter two churches owned schoolhouses, while 
Brooklyn does not include a schoolhouse among the church property.* 

To strengthen the presumption from general considerations that the 
Brooklyn people did not lack educational facilities, certain illiteracy 
records of 1663, 1708, and 1723 may be presented in contrast. At the 
earliest of these dates a petition of 28 inhabitants of the village 
showed 9, or 32 per cent of the whole, who made their mark.^ In 
1708 a similar list of 56 members of the village church shows 52 men, 

1 hoc. cit., pp. 117-118. ■• Doc. hist, of N. Y., iii, 113. 

« Flatlands church records. 6 N. Y. Col. Doc, xiv. 522. 

a Stiles, History of Kings County, p. 70. 


of whom 11, or 21 per cent, make marks. » For 1723 there are simi- 
larly 60 names, of whom 57 are men; of these 1 1, or 19 per cent, make 
marks.2 These figures would indicate an improvement somewhat 
similar to what was found at Flatbush,^ though the record here is not 
so good. 

The httle village of Kinderhook by a fortunate accident got into 
the colonial records in connection with the domineering Gov. Corn- 
bury. In 1702 "one Paulus van Vleck" had been "lately called 
by some of the Inhabitants of Eanderhook to be their clerk without 
any license from his Excellency for so doing." As Van Vicck had 
previously been forbidden by the governor to preach, he was called 
before the governor "to answer his contempt" for presuming to 
act now as clerk." In reply to this demand, certain iidiabitanrs of 
Kinderhook gave a certificate that Van Vleck had, "during the whole 
of the time that he hath resided here and since he was accepted as 
Precentor and schoolmaster of our church," properly deported him- 
self and had not preached "in house or barn."^ It further appears 
in the same paper that "one Hendrich Abclsen before his death" 
had filled the office of Precentor and schoolmaster; that Jogliem Lam- 
ersen had succeeded Abelsen, but had resigned, and that Van Vleck 
had then been called. 

Some seven years later (1709) Van Vleck had "for some years past 
performed a reader's duties" at Kinderhook.^ He was then entering 
the Dutch ministry. Beyond this no tiling is known of the Kinder- 
hook school. It is of interest, however, to note that this little place 
sustained a reader and schoolmaster, and also that Lord Cornbury 
exercised here the right of Hcensing schoolmasters with the same 
determination that he had showTi elsewhere. Of Van Vleck himself 
it is known that in 1710 he joined the Presbytery of Pliiladelphia, but 
later withdrew pending a trial for bigamy, drunkenness, swearing, 

The early history of Poughkeepsie shows us something of the lack 
of schools and the attitude of the church authorities in the matter. 
A letter of D? van Schee written in 1730, shortly after he had taken 
charge at Poughkeepsie and Fishkill, tells us that "it can hardly bo be- 
lieved what trouble and toil a minister has to introduce any civility 
into these places where there never has been a minister l>eforc." 
"Most of these people can neither read nor write." (The records 

1 Kings County Conveyances, iii, 230. 
i Ibid., v,il. 

3 Seep. 197. A paper drawn up at Flatbush under the same circumstances and In the same year as the 
Brooklyn, 1708, paper here quoted, gave an illiteracy of 12 per cent. 
* Doc. hist, of N. Y., iii, 538. 
6 /bid., p. 539. 
« Eccl. Ree.,p. 1709. 
' Records of the Presbyterian Church in the U. S. A. (Philadelphia, 1841), pp. 17, 21, 2.5, 31-2, 35, 37, 39. 


28311°— 12 14 


show that of the two consistories of Poughkeepsie and Fishkill, only- 
one in each made his mark.)* ''Finally in reference to a good school- 
master; although one is very much needed in each of my charges, 
yet the churches are not in a condition to call one. But I live in the 
hope that when the churches, which are yet young and newly organ- 
ized, have grown somewhat, in the course of time, that they will 
then make provision; for there is a good enough chance for this in 
this congregation."^ In reply to this letter, the classis wrote, "We 
hope that your congregation will soon feel itself able to appoint 
schoolmasters, in at least one of your charges, for the instruction of 
the youth. This is a matter of the utmost importance."^ 

No connected history of these two congregations can be given; but 
in 1765, when these churches with New Hackensack and Hopeful 
call a pastor, each church has its own voorlezer,* wliich would possibly 
mean that each now had a schoolmaster. 

Of the village of New Utrecht, the first definite knowledge of the 
school appears in connection with the Leisler rebellion which, as we 
saw, entered likewise into the history of the Flatbush school. When 
"some ill men from New Utrecht" were marching "towards the fort 
ag^* the kings forces," they "then did threaten Joost DeBaane y® 
schoolmaster and reader of said town to tume him out of that Imploy 
because he refused to side with them in theire Rebellion." After- 
wards, when the rebellion had been quelled, "some of those disaf- 
fected persons without any cause given forced the said Joost de Baane 
to forsake the place." 

In view of these facts the minister (the same one that had suffered 
at Flatbush) and the justice of the peace, Jacques Cortelyou (who 
had given "out of his proper estate y® land out of which the school- 
master and reader is maintained"), petitioned the colonial governor 
"in the behalf of the said Joost de Baane" that he might be continued 
"schoolmaster and reader of the said Towne" and that he might be 
allowed his salary from the time when he was "causeless turned 
out."^ The governor took the side of the petitioners and ordered 
(1692) that "A Lysence be granted unto the said Joost De Bane," 
that he receive the salary asked and that the justices "suffer none 
other to officiate in the quality of a schoolmaster in the s^ Towne 
without a Lycense from the Government."^ 

In Flatbush the incumbent had sided with the rebels, and the 
minister had him turned out. Here the incumbent had declined to 
side with the Leislerians, and the town (or consistory?) had turned 
him out. In both cases the minister carried his point against the 
people by an appeal to the governor. Evidently from the foregoing 
there was a regular school, whose master was supported by the rent 
from school lands. 

> Eccl. Rec. , p. 2502. 4 Ibid. , p. 3984. 

» Tm., p. 2590. IS N. Y. Col. MSS., xxxviii, 154. (Quoted in Pratt, op. cit., p. 74.) 

« Ibid., p. 2S94. Council Minutes (MS.), vi, HI. (Quoted in Pratt, op. cit., p. 74.) 


It is nearty a century before our next item. In 176S a public 
subscription of £39 7s. 3d. was taken to repair the school. ^ As the 
town minute of this is in EngUsli. we cannot certain!}^ say that the 
school was a Dutch school. But as the EngUsh is veiy bad English 
and as every name, but one or two, on the subscription list is Dutch, 
it would be easy to suppose that Enghsh was then taught m what 
was in origin and control a Dutch school. Some years later (1777) 
we find that "Jacques Denise birred the Church Land for ten years 
£6-5-0 per year and three acars of (sic) for tlie schoolmaster. Peter 
Muenenbeldt. " 2 While the words are a httle uncertain, it would 
seem that the custom found at Flatbush held here in regard to the 
use of church and school lands for the support of the school. 

The town of Schenectady was settled toward the close of the 
Dutch regime, being surveyed officially for settlement in 1664. Of 
school matters little has been found. In 1681 the " commis.sioners of 
Schaenhechtade " wrote to the classis, "we have always had a voor- 
lezer." ^ We elsewhere learn that the voorlezer at this time was 
Reynier Schaets,* the son of D®. Schacts, of Bevorw^'ck. previously 
mentioned. We should hardly doubt that Schacts was also school- 
master, did not Pearson, the historian of Schenectady, say, appar- 
ently on documentary evidence, that he was a "chyrurgion." •"' It 
is, of course, possible that he was both schoolmaster and surgeon, 
but the combination was unusual and hardly compatible. Dankers 
and Shuyter, those cynical seers, said that tlie village proper consisted 
(1680) of about 30 houses, "having only a homily (postyl) read on 
Sundays;" and that the parish reader (voorlezer van de plaits) "was a 
little conceited." * 

Pearson gives a partial list of the voorlezers; Jan Dellamont, 17.'i5- 
1749, salary £7 to £12; Philip Riley, 1750-1757, salary £8-10 to £14; 
Johannes van Sice, 1756-1766, salary £12; Daniel Price. 1768; 
Pieter van Benthuysen, 1760-1770, salarv £12; Comelis De Groof, 
1771-1800, salary £20.' The first use of English in tlie church was 
in 1794, when an arrangement was made for one sermon in English 
every two weeks. ^ 

After the revolution (1785) there is found in the minutes of the 
consistory an interesting use of school terms. The consistory were 
about this time negotiating with the magistrates for the improve- 
ment of the common schools {triviale schoolen) of the town and for the 

1 New Utrecht town records (MSS.), 200: 219-220. (Brooklyn Hall of Records.) 
2/6i(i.,p. 234. 
3 Eccl. Rec, p. 788. 
</6«f.,p. 830. 

6 Contribution for the genealogies * * * , of Albany, p. 96. 
• Long Island Hist. Soc. Coll., i, 311,315. 
» History of Schenectady Church, pp. 160-1. 
Ibid., p. 120. 


establishment of an lUustre School or academy.^ Here we have a 
double instance of the deterioration of terms, "trivial school" had 
been reduced from its position of a grammar, rhetoric, and logic 
school to one of the three R's, while "illustre school" had siiTiilarly 
been reduced from a university to a secondary school. 

It is probable that when the records of the village of Kingston are 
made available by publication (as surely must be done some day), a 
very interesting school history will be found. So far, however, little 
information is accessible. From some secondary sources ^ it seems 
that Jacob Joosten, who was in Wiltwyck at the close of the Dutch 
period, remained there for about a year after the English occupa- 
tion.^ Perhaps there was an interim after he left. According to the 
same secondary source, Matthys Capito, secretary of the Esopus, 
sued in 1665 one Hester Dousouse for the schooling of her daughter.^ 
Capito, however, could have served only temporarily, for on June 7, 
1666, Willem de la Monta'gne, brother of the trivial schoolmaster of 
1652, was at the request of many residents appointed schoolmaster.^ 
Later, "at an ordinary session of the court at Wiltwyck, September 
6, 1667, Willem La Montague asks by petition for salary because in 
the absence of a pastor he is filling both places, that of forereader and 
foresinger in the church here." He was granted "an annual salary 
of five hundred g'ders light money * over and above his salary as 
foresinger, besides free rent." ^ 

The same day the court gave Montagne permission to "occupy the 
front part of the village house and one-half of the upper floor, the hon. 
court reserving the back portion of the house besides the other half 
of the upper floor and the cellar to its own use." It would seem, 
then, quite probable that the school was held in the "front part of 
the village house." This "village house" was "the Domine's House 
or Town House," built for D^ Blom in 1662 at a cost of 3,000 florins." 
Reference is made in the Executive Council Minutes in 1669 to the 
"frequent use of it both for Religious Dutyes and Civill Affayres." ' 

Cornelius Hoogeboom, on November 17, 1668, petitioned the court 
to be allowed to keep an evening school. His request was denied, 
"because Wilhelmus La Montagne has been appointed, and he does 
it winter and summer, and petitioner is unwilHng to do it in summer. 
Therefore, nobody else (than Montagne) will be permitted to keep 
school in winter." * This seems to be an exact repetition of the 

' Pearson, History of the Schenectady Patent, pp. 433-4. 

2 Pratt, op. c!V.,p. 51. 

3 Holland Society Yearbools:, 1897: 126. 

* That is, wampum; worth then possibly about 3 for 1. The 500 guilders would accordingly be worth 
about $67. 
6 Olde Ulster, 2: 272. 

6 Executive Council Minutes, i, 270-1; N. Y. Col. Doc, xiii, 229 f. This sum would be $1,200. 
' Loc. cit. 
soldo Ulster, 1:237. 


situation which we saw at Albany. Hoogeboom wished to keep 
school during the long ^^'inter evenings, when he had notliing else 
to do. The court felt that tliis would be unjust to Montague, who 
lived solely by liis work in school and church. We need not doubt, 
and indeed it is said to be expressly stated, that Montague taught 
in the day as well as evening.^ Although Hoogeboom was disap- 
pointed in the petition presented in 1668, on October 23, 1671, he 
was elected schoolmaster for two years and was given a portion of 
the village house rent free.^ 

If — as seems liighly probable — this Hoogeboom's salary was a 
part of the "Pubhck Charge of the Towme," we have a case where 
the schoolmaster's salar}^ came in part from a specific tax levy. The 
"Excize" paid in 1672 "the Summe of sixteen hundred Guild"" 
towards the "Publick Charge of the Towne;" but this was not 
sufficient, and accordingly a "Voluntary Contribution," or "Tax" 
(as it is indifferently caUed), was imposed "upon each Morgen of 
their Improved Land, as also upon their "Working Horses and Milch 
Cowes." "The said Voluntary Contribution" was to "bee Collected 
& paid in to ^Mr. Isaak Gaveratt the schout in good Corne."^ The 
"Voluntary Contribution" is in part a repetition of what took place 
at New Haerlem; only here it seems to have been more nearly a mere 
tax rate. 

In 1704 Lord Cornbury licensed Stephen Gracherie "to read the 
service of the Low Dutch Church at Kingstonne * * * until 
you receive further orders from me." The same paper further states 
"You are UkeAnse hereby impowered to and licensed to keep a 
reading and writing school at Kingstonne aforesaid, until you receive 
orders from me to the contrary."* 

It will be recalled that it was Lord Cornbury who interfered in 
New York %\ath the appointment of a schoolmaster by the Diitcii 
church. Tliis license of Gracherie is a part of the general scheme 
either of Lord Cornbury or of the Enghsh Crown to win the Diitcii 
away from their church allegiance.'^ When Dom? Nucella left 
Kingston, in 1704, Cornbury "appointed the Rev. Mr. Ilephuiii to 
preach and to read divine service to them, whereby the Enghsh ^^■ho 
had never a minister among them, have the benc.'fit of public wor- 
sliip, and are good hopes of bringing the Dutch to a conformity."" 
There were at tliis time "not six English families in the place," 
according to the next Dutch minister.^ And Rector Vesey in the 

1 01d« Ulster 1 : 237. 

2 Holland Society yearbook, 1897, p. 123. Evert Nolden Intervened, however, being appoint. ■(] in liHi'J, 
ibid., p. 127. 

3 Executive Council Minutes, i, 159-lGO. 

* Eccl. Rec.,p. 1574. 
6 /bid., p. 1488. 

• Report (1704) on the state of the church," by Will-" Vesey, the rector at Trinity. I)o<'. liist o( N. V., 
iu, 77. 

' Eccl. Rec, p. 1017. 


report above quoted admits that "the Rev. Mr. Hepburn has at 
present small encouragement from the people." A new Dutch 
minister from Holland (D? Henricus Beys) was denied the right to 
preach without Cornbury's license. "He (Cornbury) threatened," 
wrote D? Beys, ' ' that if I presumed to go and preach without it he 
would drive me away and banish me from his Government."* In 
this letter we have the history of the Gracherie license : 

I also learned that the schoolmaster formerly appointed by my consistory had been 
demanded, under oath, who had appointed him to that office and how he had dared 
to accept the position of reader and schoolmaster without hia Lordship's license. He 
was told in the most severe tones and with threats that if he did not ask for and accept 
his Lordship's license, he (the Governor) would know what to do with him. He was 
thus compelled, with the knowledge and consent of the Consistory, to ask for and 
receive such a license.'- 

How Cornbury could expect success from such extraordinary prose- 
lyting is impossible to see. His power, however, was ended by 1708, 
and no sr^^sequent governor interfered in so liigh-handed a manner. 

We note in the last extract that the consistory at Kingston 
appointed Gracherie in the first instance. This may be a full state- 
ment of the case, but more likely the town court had its part in mak- 
ing the contract. Little else has been found concerning this school. 
In 1733, when Gerrit van Wagenen was called to be schoolmaster, 
etc., for the Dutch church in New York, it was said that he is "at 
present Foresinger in the Low Dutch Reformed Congregation at 
Kingstown." Almost certainly he was also schoolmaster. 

So far as the facts are ascertainable we have substantial agreement 
in the management of the school at Kingston with what we saw at 
Flatbush, the same union of secular and religious functions with 
schoolmaster and voorlezer, the same conjunction of civil and eccle- 
siastical authorities in the support and control of the master. 

In concluding the chapter little remains to be said. A few discon- 
nected facts may be added. Daniel Bratt, called to the mastership 
of the Dutch church school in New York (1749), is referred to as 
" chorister at Catskill." ^ Similarly, it was resolved by the consistory 
of New York in 1753, "since the precentor's place in the Old Church 
is now vacant, that the president should write by the first oppor- 
tunity to Mr. Harmanus Van Huyzen, schoolmaster at Tappen, and 
request him to exercise his gifts here."* It was previously seen in 
reference to Hackensack (1693) "that there is a certain cooper from 
Sluys, William Bertholf, who is also schoolmaster and precentor 
there." ^ In the contest over local church government the Holland 
party complained that Frelinghuysen, the opposition leader, permit- 
ted" Jacobus Schuurman to be a schoolmaster among them, in spite 

1 Eccl. Rec, pp. 1615-6. 2 Ibid., p. 1617. 3 Jbict., p. 3025. * Ibid., p. 3409. ^ Ibid., p. 1051. 


of his not only not teaching but even forbidding tJie children to say 
the Lord's prayer." ^ This was at Karitan, in 1725. 

All such references to otherw-ise unknown school situations would 
lead one to believe that only lack of data prevents our sceinir a wide- 
spread system of quasi public schools fairly coextensive with the 
sphere of dominant Dutch influence. In Bergen and All)any the 
interest of the civil authorities in the matter of schools is evident. 
With the exception of the town rate at Bergen, and possibly a some- 
what similar rate at Kingston, no specific taxes are known to have 
been levied for school support. Probably all of the chartered towns 
studied had much the same policy toward the problem of education. 
The municipal court felt, on the whole, responsibility for the school- 
house and the master's salar^^ Tlie church consistory on its part felt 
the responsibility of stirring the civil authorities to action and of 
advising with them in the appointment of schoolmasters. Apj>iir('nt 
deviations from these terms of relationship are to be closely scruti- 
nized and may represent the feeling of the civil or religious reporter, 
as the case may be, that his party was the principal actor. "\VhiU^ the 
original Dutch policy was that of maintaining a harmonious agree- 
ment between the secular and the religious authorities in the manage- 
ment of schools, it is none the less true that on the whole the influcnco 
of the secular arm grew, as time went on, beyond that of tlic church; 
so that in most, if not in all, of the Dutch villages, there was in time the 
normal development of a purely secular public school. The Dutch 
villages in this regard present a marked contrast to what has been 
found in certain other colonial communities whore non-Knghsh 
speaking people have predominated. 

I Eccl. Rec, p. 2257. 


Not even tlie slightest connected account of the mner hfe of the 
Dutch American school has come down to us. If only some school- 
boy had written his experiences to his grandfather back in the 
Netherlands, or if some master had in a long gossipy letter to a 
Holland friend related tlie trials of school keeping in the new coimtry, 
we might be able to present to the reader a more satisfactoiy account 
of the school as master and pupil saw it. In the absence of even 
one picture made on the spot, nothing is left but to piece out an 
account from scattered hints, here a little and there a little, binding 
the whole together with our general knowledge of Holland custom. 

The school hours in Dutch America were almost universally from 
8 to 11 in the forenoon and from 1 to 4 in the afternoon.^ The 
annual calendar, however, is not so simple. Apparently, the school 
was kept through the year, that is, both in summer and in winter.^ 
The specific statements are not so conclusive as might be wished; 
but in the light of the Holland custom we have no difliculty in accept- 
ing the statement as made. The pupils were free " on festival days — 
and according to custom on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons."^ 
This agam was the rule in the HoUand schools. The "festival days" 
probably varied in different places, but quite likely most of the 
children of New Netherland enjoyed St. Nicholas day (December 6), 
Christmas, New Year, Twelfthnight, Easter, Pinkster (Whitsuntide), 
and Kermis.* The Dutch custom both in Holland and America was 
to hold school six days in the week, although by 1773 Flatbush 
had come to the present American practice of "five days in each week.^ 

The schoolhouse presents a most striking contrast to those known 
now to most of America. Almost invariably school was held in the 

1 The only exceptions found were in New Yorl^ church schools, where in 1726 the first morning hour was 
nine in summer and nine-thirty in winter (Ecd. Rec, p. 2338); and in 1733, where the winter morning 
hours were from eight-thirty to eleven-tliirty {Ibid., p. 2026). See minutes of the orphan masters, ii, 115; 
Flatbush town records, 105: 207, 107: 60; Pratt, op. CiV., p. 67; Strong, op. ci/.,p. 110; Flatbush consistory 
minutes, pp. 39, 49. 

2If only there were sufficient pupils at New Lotts (1681) and Flatbush in 1681 and 1682. These are 
interesting cases in that the year was divided into two parts; one more formal in charge of the master, the 
other less formal in charge of his wife (see pp. 173, 187.). On the calendar in general, see N. Y. Col. 
Doc, i, 155; Flatbush town records; 105: 207, 107: fJO; Flatbush town consistory minutes, pp. 40, 49, 61; 
Eccl. Rec, pp. 2338, 2620, 4201. 

sEccl. Rec, p. 2020. 

< Griffls, The Story of New Netherland, p. 150. For the Synod of Dort church days, see Eccl. Rec, p. 

^ Flatbush town records, 107: GO (sec. 4). 



master's residence.^ The size of the schoolhouse appears to us 
ridiculous even for the few pupiJs then to be accommodated. We 
saw that the burgomasters at New Amsterdam petitioned in 1662 
for a school lot 30 by 15 feet, and that the town of New Haerlem in 
1680 built "the townshouse for the voorlezer" 22 feet long and 20 
feet wide.2 The largest schoolliouse noted was the one proposed at 
Beverwyck, 34 by 19 feet.^ When we recall that these measurements 
included possibly one or more living rooms in addition to the school- 
room we can only wonder. As to the internal arrangement of the 
schoolroom and its furnishings we can say but little from American 
data. We may suppose that, following the Holland custom, the 
room contained the master's chair and desk and a number of benches 
probably without backs. The pupils were seated in such a way 
that the oldest were nearest the master, and the girls were farthest 
off, sometimes in a corner. Tables, })resumably for writing, were 
also provided; certamly at Flatbush, if not generally.'' 

We have just said that the girls were probably se])arated from the 
boys. The question has been raised as to wliether girls did in fact 
attend these schools. The answer seems clear. The IIoHand 
custom was most certainly for girls to attend school. The strong 
presumption would then be that the same custom prevailed in New 
Netherland, and only positive evidence to the contrary could make 
us doubt it. Curiously enough there has appeared no explicit 
statement prior to 1733 that girls did attend the Dutch schools of 
America, At that date it was required in the New York school 
that "the school children, both boys and girls," should recite on 
Saturday forenoon the appropriate "Lord's Day."^ An equally 
explicit reference and even more significant, coming as it does from 
a more purely Dutch center, is the testimony of Hamilton in his 
Itinerarium (1744) that in the school in Alban}' there were "about 
200 scholars, boys and girls." ^ But if there be no earlier explicit 
statement, evidence on the question is not lacking. The marriage 
contracts and wills, in particular, contain much pertinent material. 

It was the Dutch law that before a widow or widower, the parent of 
minor children, should remarry, guardians — other tliun tlie contract- 
ing parties — should be appointed for the cliildren, and the affiant i)arties 
should appear before official orphan masters and make formal agree- 
ment regarding the care of the child or chihh-en and of tlio ])roperty 
to them due.^ Quite a number of such marriage contracts are on 

1 The only certain exception noted to the contrary was at New Uaerlem. See p. 161, 

2 Soe pp. 92, 104. 
a See p. 119. 

< See p. 192. 

sEccl. Rec.,p. 2626. 

' Loc. cit.,p. 78. 

1 See Minutes of the Orphan Masters, passim. 


record, and in them we find definite references to the education of 
girls. In 1632 a contract was drawn promising with regard to Resel 
[Rachel] and Jan ''both minor children," *'to keep them at school, 
to teach them a trade. " ^ A boy and a girl are here to be treated alike. 
The same is true of the contract drawn by D? Everardus Bogardus 
and Annitje Jans. The children are Sarah, aged 16 ; Tryntje,' aged 13 ; 
Lytje, aged 11 ; Jan, aged 9; and Annitje, aged 5. The affiants here 
promise ''to keep them at school and let them learn reading, writing, 
and a good trade." ^ In another contract of the same year, the 
cliildren are both girls, Catrina and Johanna, and the promise is to 
"let them learn to read and write and have them taught a trade."* 
The reader will note that even in tliis case, where only girls are con- 
cerned, a trade is none the less to be taught. So of Aelje Claes (1643), 
"to clothe her, to send her to school, to let her learn reading 
and writing and a good trade." ^ Sometimes accomplishments more 
evidently feminine are mentioned; thus, in 1663, "instruct her in 
God's word, let her go to school, have her taught to sew."^ Thus, 
according to the marriage contracts, girls were expected to go to 
school and to learn to read and write. We may add that in no mar- 
riage contract examined has there been found any discrimination 
against girls and in favor of boys, either in the fact or the extent of 
schooling. So far as tliis evidence is concerned the sexes are on an 
equal footing. 

Quite similar testimony appears in the wills of the period, though 
here the evidence is not quite so satisfactory as the foregoing, because 
of the later dates and the consequent uncertainty as to whether we 
have the pure Dutch tradition. However, since the English custom 
discriminated against girls,'' we need not on the score of possible 
Engfish influence discount to any great extent the force of the 
argument. In the will of Christopher Hoogland, of New York (1676), 
it was said of four boys and one girl, " they are to be caused to learn to 
read and write, and a trade by wliicli they may live."* Similarly in 
1680 Cornelius van Bursam, of New York, gave instructions to his 
wife: "She is to maintain my daughter Anna decently, and cause her 

IN. Y. Col. MSS.,i.,6. 

2 Names ending in je are feminine. 

3N. Y. Col. MSS.,ii, 20. 

* Ibid., -p. 22. 

6 Ibid., p. 64. 

6 Minutes of the Orphan Masters, i, 231. Other similar references that refer to the education of girls are: 
N. Y. Col. Mss., iii, 159; Minutes of the Orphan Masters, i, 25, 28; ibid., ii, 20,24; Early Records of Albany, 
327, 34C, 391; Flatbush town records, 105: 68, 180, 184, 185. Contrary to statements sometimes made, not all 
such marriage contracts contained specific educational clauses, e. g., Early Records of Albany, pp. 47-48, 
49-50, 311; Flatbush town records, 105: 85; N. Y. Col. MSS., i, 231, and others. None of these here noted 
are later than 1670. 

' For instance, Thomas Foster, of Jamaica, says in his will of 1663: " My children are to be taught to read 
English well, and my son to write when they doe come of age." N. Y. Hist. See. Coll., 1892: 19. For 
other instances of discrimination, see ibid. , 1900: 174, 301, 309. 

8 N. Y. Hist. Soc. Pub., 1892: 142-3. 


being taught reading and writing and a trade, by which she may hve." ^ 
Jolin Hendrickse van BommeU, of New York, inchidod in his wiU of 
1689: "My daughter Lyntie is to be maintained and put to school 
and learning until she is twenty years of age or is married. "= These 
wills seem to show the same attitude tt)ward the education of girls 
that was found in the marriage contracts. 

While we should have been glad to find in the records of the Dutch 
days some exphcit reference to the school attemlance of girls, still 
the existence of the Holland custom (dating in the case of Utrecht at 
latest from 1583), the desirability, if not the necessity, that tlio girls 
have their religious training in the school, the ami)le corroboration 
afforded by marriage contracts and wiDs, and the exphcit reference 
to girls and boys in the New York school of 1733— all these seem to 
put it beyond a reasonable doubt that in the ordinary Dutch ])aro- 
chial school girls as well as boys attended, at least until they Icarneil 
to read.^ 

Of the schoolmasters not much can be said. Tt would be desirable 
to know the extent of their learning, but httle evidence is available. 
While no indication has been found that any of the parodiial masters 
were university trained, there is no reference which would certainly 
disparage their learning. The few specimens of handwriting seen by 
the writer would indicate, on the whole, formed intellectual habits 
rather than the contrary. Jan Tibout presents tlie only exception.* 
We have noted from time to time what additional duties some of the 
masters carried along with their school duties. Almost univei-sally 
the parish schoolmaster was also voorlezer and voorsanger. The only 
instances to the contrary were one at Albany and two at Flatbush,' 
and these were not aU certain. Somewhat more often was there a 
voorlezer who was not the schoolmaster. vSeveral instances were 
noted at Albany and at Flatbush and possibly one at Schenectady.* 
The instances of later New York where the voorlezer, or catccliist, was 
not also schoolmaster are hardly to be mentioned; since at that time 
there were in New York several churches and but one l^iitch school- 
master. In the small villages the schoolmaster was regularly not 
only voorlezer and voorsanger, but he was also sexton and frcfpiently 
either court messenger or clerk of the town court. We may su]>pose 
that he also drew legal papers. Tliis is so inherently j>robable as hard ly 
to need proof, but there is corroborative evidence in the records. 

1 N. Y. Hist. Soc. Pub., 1892, p. 120-1. 

^Ibid., 1893:417-8. Other Dutch wills that bear on the question of the education of girls are found in 
N. Y. Hist. Soc. Pub., 1892: 161, 297-8, 342, 451; 1893: 275-6, 279, 294; 1900: 191, 259, 313; 1902: 122; 
Flatbush town records, 100: 90. 

« See p. 229 for discussion of the illiteracy of women. 

* See p. 172. 

» See pp. 120f 179, 181, 183. 

•See pp. 120,179,211. 


The curriculum of the school has already been given in part; and 
we may here bring together the scattered statements. What might 
be called the official Dutch program for the colonies was that pro- 
mulgated by the classis in 1636 in the instruction ''for schoolmasters 
going to the East or West Indies": 

He is to instruct the youth — in reading, writing, cyphering, and arithmetic, with 
all zeal and diligence; he is also to implant the fundamental principles of the true 
Christian religion and salvation, by means of catechizing; he is to teach them the 
customary forms of prayers, and also accustom them to pray; he is to give heed to their 
manners and bring these as far as possible to modesty and projiriety.' 

This curriculum we may divide into three parts, the three R's, 
the religious training (the catechism and forms of prayers), and 
manners. The last, so far as appears, was to be taught incidentally; 
and nothing further about it is found in the American records. 

How far this curriculum was actually carri(^(l out needs to be con- 
sidered; for school orders and school practice have not always agreed. 
Out of 30 (distinctly Dutch) marriage contracts studied, 20 specify 
the education to be given, and each of these stipulates reading and 
writing. In no case does reading or writing appear separately, and 
in no case does arithmetic or any other school study appear. (We 
may add that 11 of the 30 specify a trade; and in the case of 2 girls, 
sewing was mentioned). Out of 17 Dutch wills (prior to 1725) which 
refer to education, 9 specify reading and writing, again neither study 
appearing separately. One of these (1683) says arithmetic, and 10 
say a trade. It would appear from this that, on the whole, reading 
and writing were counted necessary, but that arithmetic was not in 
the public consciousness as a required, or even a desirable study. 
To the same effect we may quote the Great Remonstrance that the 
children should be instructed "not only in reading and writing, but 
also in the knowledge and fear of the Lord." Again, the petition for 
a Latin school (1658) says of the youth that they are very numerous 
and " many of them can read and write." ^ Similar statements appear 
in 8 of the 11 curricula of the Dutch villages (outside of New York 
City). In each we find reading and writing (with spelling in several 
instances). In two instances only, Albany in 1721 and Flatbush of 
1773, does arithmetic appear. In the latter instance, the records 
say, "arithmetic, so far as it is possible for him, in case such is 
desired of him"* but this is so near to the Revolution as to constitute 
the exception which proves the rule. In the account of the South 
River school in 1657, as it is given in the Ecclesiastical Records, the 
translator seems to think ciphering was implied, but a sufficient 
reason for this opinion does not appear.^ 

> Eccl. Rec, p. 98. ^Flatbush tovra records, 107: 60. 

2 Rec. of N. A., iii, 15-6. * Eccl. Rec, p. 402. 


So far then very little arithmetic is foiiiul in the schools of Holland 
America. We have, however, yet to examme the formal curriculum 
of New Amsterdam and Dutch New York. Here we fuid an interest- 
ing exception. While the outMng Dutch ^^llages, except conuner- 
cially minded Albany, offer only readuig and writing, New Amsterdam 
(later New York), so far as we can say, always included arithmetic 
in its curriculum. Evert Pietersen's instructions of 1661 mention 
arithmetic specifically.' In the legislation of the director general 
and council (1664) on pubhc catechizing for the New Amsterdam 
school, "reading, writing, and arithmetic" are mentioned. => After 
this no curriculum is given until 1726, but in that and all subsequent 
curricula arithmeric is mcluded. Further, we have the curricula of 
four private schools m New Amsterdam; in two of these we find 
arithmetic.^ Arithmetic was thus a connnercial subject, and ft)rmed 
a part of the curriculum only where the demands of trade made it 

In the foregoing cUscussion we have several times referred to the 
fact that in all the data cited reading and wi"iting ai)pear together if 
at all. In all the ^vrite^'s reading three exceptions to tliis rule were 
found. Each instance treats of a girl's education, and in each reading 
alone is mentioned. The first is the adoption by a father of his 
illegitimate daughter (1643). He promises "to let her learn to read." * 
The next is a case of apprenticesliip by the deacons at Albany in 1710. 
"The master shall teach her, or cause her to be tauglit to read."' 
The third is a \viU of too late a date (1770) to be included in the study 
given above. A daughter is to have "as much education as to 
enable her to read the Hol}^ Scriptures, either in English or Dutch."' 
That the three should be girls is probably significant. They must 
therefore be grouped with that large per cent of women who could not 
write their names. These cases, however, form no excc'ption to the 
statement made above, that nowhere in the literature of the elemen- 
tary Dutch schools has the writer found an instance where, girls and 
boys both being mentioned, the girls were discrimiiialed sj)ecifically 
against. The Enghsh-speaking colonies are full of instances of posi- 
tive discrimination, both as to fact and extent; but no expression of 
such chscrinunation has been found among the Dutch. 

We seem, then, to find that the Dutch of America i'ollowed the 
early seventeenth-century traditions of the fatherland: Reading and 

1 See p. 68. 

2 O'Callaghan, Laws of New Netherland, p. 461. 

3 N. Y. Col. Doc., xiv, 424; Rec. of N. A., ii, 346; Pratt, op. cit., pp. 21, 3:j. 

* Thus in 1712 D? Freeman writing to Amsterdam of an orphan, Girard de PeyHtr>r, of New York, sayn: 
''He has gone through arithmetic in his studies, for he does not know what God may lay u{K)n him to do." 
(Eccl. Rec, p. 1958.) 

5N. Y. Col. MSS.,ii, 4. 

• Munsell, op. cit., vii, 236. 

» N. Y. Hist. Soc. Pub., 1900: 238. 


writing for both girls and boys, with but Httle arithmetic save in the 
more commercial atmosphere of the capital and at Albany. The only 
secular subject other than the three R's found in Holland was the 
Spiegel der Jeugt, a history of Dutch wars used from about 1650. 
The only similar reference in America so far found is in "9 Historical 
school books" which belonged to schoolmaster Abraham de la Noy's 
estate in New York, 1702.i 

The religious part of the program was much stressed. It included 
certain prayers, the catechism, and hymns. If we may piece out our 
knowledge of American procedure by regulations in Holland, the 
daily order was for the pupils to take turn in saying '"the morning 
prayer" at the opening of school; and likewise in the "prayer before 
dinner" on leaving for the noon recess. On reassembling, there was 
the "prayer after dinner," and "the evening prayer" when leaving at 
the close of the day. After the pupils had learned these they were 
taught the Lord's prayer, " the twelve articles of the Christian faith," 
the ten commandments, and afterwards ''the confession of sins" or 
prayer before the sermon. Besides all these, were taught "the small 
and the large [Heidelberg] catechism and the gospel for each Sunday." 
"Before school closes," say Pietersen's instructions, "he shall let the 
pupils sing some verses and a psalm." Van Ekelen's evening school 
at Flatbush was required to "begin with the Lord's prayer and close 
by singing a psalm." There was one public weekday catechising in 
the church. In New Amsterdam this catechising was fixed by the 
director general and council for Wednesdays. Pietersen and his 
assistant "with the children entrusted to their care" were required 
to "appear in the church to examine, after the close of the sermon, 
each of them Ms own scholars, in the presence of the reverend minis- 
ters and elders." ^ At Flatbush (1682) and later in New York (1726) 
this catechising took place on Monday. 

While our information as to the Dutch American Sunday procedure 
is not full, still we may suppose some such program as the following: 
The master would on Sunday morning open the church, ' ' place the stools 
and benches in the church or meeting house in order, " put on the ' ' psalm 
board " the psalms to be sung before the sermon, and ring the first bell. 
Then he would return to the schoolhouse (his home) where the children 
had in the meanwhile assembled, march with them to the church, and 
have the older ones sit about him to assist in the singing. The 
second bell would then be rung, after which he would "read a chapter 
out of the Holf Scriptures." "After the third ringing of the bell he 
shall read the ten commandments and the twelve articles of our faith, 
and then take the lead in the singing." It was the master's duty to 
secure proper behavior and attention during the church services. 

« N. Y. Hist. Soc. Pub., 1892: 313. » Dunshee, op. cit., p. 30. 


After the morning service there was an intermission for diimer. Then 
the pupils assembled in the schoolroom, where the older ones were 
questioned on the morning's sermon, and all on the catodiism. This 
being done they marched to the church for afternoon service.* 

The punishments of the American Dutch school have had Uttle 
mention in the written records. OnU^ Curtius is known to have 
referred to the question, when he complained that some j)arents 
objected to having their boys whipped. We can not doubt, however, 
that ylak and roede came over from Holland with the fu'st master and 
did their share in rearing the sturdy Dutch youngsters. 

The school books have a larger place in the records than have the 
jplak and roede. We saw how the Lords Directors sent over school 
books for the schools of Pietersen and Curtius ; and how these were 
to be charged to their accounts. We also saw that Pietersen when at 
South River bemoaned the lack of paper and ])ens, and slates and 
pencils. The use of slates here seems rather early, but there appears 
no particular reason to doubt the statement. In 1665 at Albany the 
inventory of Rutger Jacobsen's estate shows a "slate with a frame" 
valued at 10 florins and in the item next following "ditto witliout a 
frame" 4 florins. ^ The first certain instance tliat we have of the 
names of textbooks in Dutch America is found in the inventory of 
the estate of Dr. Gysbert van Imbrock, a pliysician at Wiltwyck 
(Kingston). Fift}^ separate titles are hsted of wliich the following 
are specifically classified as "schoolbooks." 

Quartos — 

83 written and printed Histories of Tobias 
8 Histories of David 
3 Last Wills 
7 Hours of Death 

17 Exquisite Proofs of Man's Misery 
3 General Epistles 
Octavos — 

]00 Catechisms 
23 Histories of David 
102 A, B, C Books 
27 Arts of Letters 
19 Succinct Ideas (large) 
9 Steps of Youth 

13 Exquisite Proofs of Human Misery 
8 Books of the Gospels and Epistles 
48 Succinct Ideas, by Jacobus Boistius 
1 Short Way, by Megapolensis 

1 Compars the third article of Van Ekelen's contract; " He shall instruct the chil'lren on nvory Wednes- 
day and Saturday in the common prayers and in the quastions and answers in the caleohLsm, to nnablo 
them to repeat them better on Sunday before the afternoon service, or on Monday when thoy shall be 
catechised before the congregation. Upon all such occasions the schoolmaster shall be present and shall 
require the children to be friendly in their appearance and encourage them to answer tnily and dis- 
tinctly." Strong, op d<., p. HI. 

2 Pearson, Early Records of Albany , p. 834. At the orphan house at Enkhuizen is a gable stone of date 1016 
on which is'caned a picture of a Dutch school. In this is a boy writing on something that looks much like 
a slate. One, however, can not feel certain. A photograph of the stone is seen in Mailer's Onu Ooude 
Eeuw, vol. 2, p. 368. 


To these we may add two arithmetics that were not listed among 
the "schoolbooks", one by Jans Belot Hutteman and the other by 
Sybrand Hansen Cardinael (both octavos); and besides, Sebastiaen 
Frank's World Mirror (a quarto).^ 

Why this physician at Wiltwyck should have so many schoolbooks 
may be explained by the fact that he was a shopkeeper in New Amster- 
dam at least from 1653 to 1655. In the latter year he received formal 
permission from the public authorities "to make a lottery of a certain 
number of Bibles, Testaments and other books. " ^ Apparently these 
schoolbooks were some ' ' dead stock ' ' carried over from his shopkeeping. 
It is easy to conclude that these schoolbooks were those actually used 
in New Amsterdam in the fifties. Some of these are so distinctly 
religious as to suggest that they were to be used in connection with the 
work of the comforter of the sick rather than in the schoolroom.^ As 
such, one should select Hours of Death, Exquisite Proofs of Man's 
Misery, and possibly the Succinct Ideas. The Arts of Letters is a 
well-known ABC book. The Steps of Youth is evidently De Trap 
der Jeugt which we saw in the Utrecht list of 1650, but what kind of 
book it was we did not learn.'' The Short Way, by Megapolensis, is 
probably one of his catechisms, which we have previously discussed. 
The books of the Gospel and Epistles, the Histories of David and the 
Histories of Tobias are the reading books which we saw in use in Hol- 
land. The catechisms we recognize of course, as old friends. Of the 
first-named arithmetic the writer has learned nothing. The second 
is probably the "Het eerste school-boeck van Mr. Sybrand Hansz. 
Cardinael's Arithmetica ofte Reecken-Konst. ^ The Last Wills 
are almost certainly copies of a book by Lowys Porquin." 

Another list of schoolbooks, made up for the East Indies in 1649, 
may be considered almost certainly as being the same books that were 
used in New Netherland: 

25 Bijbels in 4° 
5 Bijbels in 8° 
50 Psalm boecken in 4° 
1,000 Catechismi 

1,000 Historien van David en Tobias 
500 Vraegboeckjens van Aldegonde ^ 

1 Old" Ulster, i: 368-370. 

2 Rec. of N. A., i, 288, 291, 294. 

3 Compare Eccl. Rec., p. 507-508, N. Y. Col. Doc, xiii, 155, and Dunshee, op. cit., p. 28. 
* See page 34. 

6 This book was published at Amsterdam in four parts, each of which appeared in several editions. In 
Mr. G. A. Plimpton's mathematical library (New York) are several copies of the four parts bound, all dating, 
however, a little later than 1055. 

' Den utersten wille van Lowys Porquin. Doorhem by maniere van lieflyck Testament gestelt, tot 
onderwys ende stickenge van zyne kinderen * * * Ln dichte gestelt hy Anthonis Verensis. Amst. by 
Ilerm. Jansz. Muller 1590. (The last will of Lowys Porquin. By him made after the manner of a pleasing 
testament for the instruction and edification of his children * * * done into verses by Anthonis 
Verensis.) Buddingh, op. cit., p. 137. 

' Acta van particuliere Synoden van Zuid-Holland, iii, 266-267. 


The liistory of Tobias lias tliis fuU title: "The liistorv of the chlcr 
Tobias and the ^^ouiiger Tobias, inclucling many fine lessons; how a 
father shall instruct his son and how a God-fearing chUd will be obe- 
dient to his father. Also the history of the great cleverness of the 
noble mdow Judith. " ^ The "question book " of Aldegonde had as 
Its full title: "Summary of the prmcipal heads of the Christian roJi<,non, 
arranged in the form of question and answer for the benefit and lu-ofit 
of the tender raismg of youth and for the edification of all Christians 
ni general. ' ' - These same books, together with the letter-comten (sj^ell- 
mg books) are included on another similar list with liie accompaiiyin"- 
statement that they were common in the schools of the Netherlands!* 
Since the conditions under which the East India Company sent books 
to its colonies were so nearly the conditions that obtained at New 
Netherland, there is hardly room to doubt that these books "common 
in the schools of the Netherlands" were also used in the schools of tlie 
American Dutch. 

Our next and almost only other reference to the actual Dutch- 
American schoolbooks is again gained from the inventory of an 
estate. This time of "Abraham de la Noy of New York, school- 
master." As we saw, he was probably master of the school of the 
New York Keformed Dutch Church from 16S6 to his death in 1702. 
From the inventory we select the following items, which seem un- 
doubtedly to be textbooks used b}- him in liis scliool. 

6 books of Evangelists £2-35 

9 historical schoolbooks 3_ 4 

10 books of Cortimus 3_ g 

14 catechism books 3_ g 

32 song books 4- 6 

13 books of Golden Trumpets •* 2- 6 

The first item was a book of the four gospels used as a reading l)ook, 
probably after the ''groot ABC boeck." The historical school 
book may be "De Spiegel der Jeugt," treated of the Dutch wais. It- 
may, however, be a book of biblical histor3^ If il ))e "De Spiegel 
dor Jeugt," we have in it one of the earliest instances in America 
of the separate teaching of modern history. Of the "Books of Cor- 
timus" nothing has been found. The catechisms books were likely 
the simple Heidelberg catechisms, whicli were luiivcisal in tlie Dutch 
^fliools. The song books were probably metrical jjsahns, quite pos- 
ibly St. Aldergonde's. The "Golden Trumpets" would seem to bo 
n song book. With one book totalh'' unknown, tlie rest with one 
])0ssible exception are distinctly religious. 

' Acta van larticuliere Synoden van Zuid-Uolland, iii, p. 214 (editorial foolnotc). The Iiook was piil>- 
Ushed at Amsterdam in 1017. 

2 Delft, 1590. Ibid., p. 214. The author Mamix van St. Aldegonde was a prominent C^alvlnist, a .soldier 
and litterateur, author of a version of the psalms and one of the founders of modem Ncthorland prose. Ulok, 
Ilistorj' of the Dutch people, iii, 195. 

3 Acta van part, synod, van Zuid-IIolIand, iii, 374. 

4 N. Y. Hist. Soc. Pub., 1892: 313. 

28311°— 12 15 


Leaving these religious books we come next to a book, not only not 
religious, but one actually written by "a crafty freethinker from 
Groningen,"^ the arithmetic of Pieter Venema, a master of mathe- 
matics and writing, here in New York.^ So far as the writer has found, 
this is the only textbook in the Dutch language published in America. 
It seems to be the third arithmetic published in America. Such a 
book would find no place probably in the elementary Dutch schools, 
but would be taught in those private schools, principally commercial 
in character, which were common in New York from before the 
beginning of the eighteenth century.^ 

Putting together the school procedure known to have been followed 
in America and the probable Holland custom, we may in resume 
make an ideal reproduction of the school life of the Holland- American 
village children. 

The child, whether boy or girl, began school at about 7 years of 
age. The school was kept in the largest room of the schoolmaster's 
home, which was near the church. The session opened at 8 o'clock 
in the morning and closed at 4 in the afternoon, with an intermission 
from 11 to 2 for dinner. A bell or a horn or a drum might be used 
to summon the pupils. Six days in the week the year round did the 
children go to school. The holidays were Wednesday and Saturday 
afternoons,* and St. Nicholas Day (December 6), Christmas, New 
Year, Easter, and Pinkster (whitsuntide) , with possibly others. 

The schoolroom had as furniture only the master's desk, and chairs, 
and backless benches for the children, with tables for writing. The 
boys and girls sat in separate parts of the room, the girls furthest 
from the master. The little boys, especially if they were timid, might 
sit with the girls. Each child must be taught his lesson once and 
must recite twice in the forenoon and the same in the afternoon. The 
boys, as soon as they entered the room in the morning, must raise their 
caps to the master and must remove them when they recited; at 
other times the cap was kept on the head. The first thing on the 
opening of school was the morning prayer, led by the older pupils in 
turn. All joined in this if the master so directed. Similar prayers 
opened and closed each half day's session. 

The first book studied was an alphabet book, on the title page of 
which was a large cock. In this the child found the alphabet repeated 

lEccl. Rec.,p. 2756. 

2 Arithmetica | of | CyfEer-Konst, | Volgens de Munten Maten en | Gewigten, te Nieu-York, | gebruyke- 
lyk I Als Mede [ Een kort ontwerp van de | Algebra, | Opgestelt door | Pieter Venema, ] Mr. in de Mathesis 
en Schryf-konst. | Nieu- York | Gedruckt voor Jacob Geolet, by de | Oude-SIip, by J. Peter Zengcr, | 

Arithmetic or the art of ciphering, according to the coins, measures, and weights ased at New York, 
together with a short treatise on algebra drawn up by Pieter Venema, master in mathematics and the art 
of writing. New York, printed for Jacob Goelet, near the Old Slip, by J. Peter Zenger, 1730. 

' Chaplain Sharpe writes in 1713 of New York: "The City is so conveniently Situated for Trade and the 
Genius of the people is inclined to merchandise, that they generally seek no other Education for their chil- 
dren than writing and arithmetic." N. Y. Hist. Soc. Pub., 1880: 341. 

* The Holland schools still have these weekly half holidays. ' 


in different sizes and types, the vowels, syllables siieli as ab. eb, ib, ob, 
lib, the Ten Commandments, the general Christian creed, the Lord's 
prayer, the church formularies for "holy baptism," "holy com- 
munion," and "Christian punishments," toirether with the mornino- 
and evemng prayers and the prayers before and after dinner, the 
prayer of Solomon, and (later) the Dutch counting table. Next 
was a reading book consisting of the evangelists and possibly other 
selections from the New Testament; after this would come Old Tes- 
tament history selections, perhaps the history of David. At the 
close of each half day session, just before the ]uayer, a psalm was 
sung, and for this some book of metrical psalms was necessaiy. 

All of the boys and most of the girls entered the writing class; but 
as the girls by this time were needed at home, many would stop 
before they learned even to write their names. Probably all the 
pupils learned to count and to recognize and. possibh', to make the 
figures; and the ambitious boys learned privately to reckon. Each 
day there was a lesson with the catechism, but Wednesday and wSatur- 
day mornings were especially devoted to this. On Saturday morn- 
ing the last hour was given up to learning the psalms for the next 
day's church service. On Monda}'. or perhaps Wednesday, all the 
children went to the church and there were catechized publicly before 
the ministers and elders and such of their parents as cared to come. 
This was the most important occasion of the whole week. If any 
child missed his lessons or had broken — whether in school or out — 
an}' of the long list of rules posted in the schoohiouse he must be 
punished either on the hand with the fJak, or if especially ])a(l, with 
the dreaded roede. And somehow punishments were frequent. If 
the boy had not by 12 years of age learned as much as seemed neces- 
sary, he was sent to evening school. Each quarter the father paid 
the master the regular tuition or the child could not continue in 

All in all, it was a simple life, hearty enough, and earnest enough. 
There were no rich people and no poor ones, and- few seivants. In 
school the children learned to read and possibly to write, but espe- 
cially how to take part intelligently in the church service. When 
contrasted with the school life of twentieth-century Anierica, the 
picture here given seems simple, indeed. But in the very simplicity 
is an earnestness which commends this school of the irrevocable past. 
Life is now more complex, and preparation for it more difTicult. 
Perhaps the school of Holland-America, standing between the home 
and the church and close to both, fitted the children of that (hiy for 
their life quite as adequately as does its more pretentious successor 
in these days of more difficult adjustment. 


The Dutch control of New Netherland lasted for only about 40 
years; but the original stock held tenaciously to its language and 
customs long after the English took possession. The educational 
institution of the Dutch village during the whole period, even down 
to the American Revolution, was the parochial school, which had been 
fashioned in Holland to meet both secular and religious needs. Dur- 
ing the Dutch regime, the West India Company supplied salaries for 
the New Amsterdam schools — both parochial and Latin — and assisted 
some of the villages in supporting their schoolmasters. In no true 
sense, however, was there a central colonial system in the manage- 
ment of school affairs. Control was in the hands of the local magis- 
tracy and consistory, except that in New Amsterdam a third factor 
was the director general. As in Holland, so in New Netherland, tui- 
tion charges were universal, save for "the poor and needy." The 
expression "free school" was nowhere found among the American 
Dutch.^ Girls attended the school on the same footing as boys, but 
sat apart and recited in different classes. Evening schools seem to 
have been the rule throughout Dutch America. Dame schools were 
very seldom found. The curriculum of the elementary school was 
exactly transferred from HoUand. The parish school taught always 
two of the three R's but offered the third only where commerce made 
reckoning necessary'. A little modern history was taught in Holland 
and possibly at places in America. The religious part of the curricu- 
lum was much stressed. 

The elementary school of New Amsterdam was continued as the 
city school of New York until the second English occupation (1674), 
since which time it has been maintained as the school of the Reformed 
Dutch Church of New York City. Its practically continuous opera- 
tion since ] 638 gives it possibly the priority in America as an elemen- 
tary foundation. The schools in the Dutch villages were continued 
as tlie public schools of those villages until the Revolution, and prob- 
abl}^ Jonger. 

The shoAving of the American Dutch in the matter of illiteracy is 
better than that fourid in some other colonies. At Albany of 360 
men's names examined, covering the years from 1654 to 1675, 21 per 
cent made their nuu'ks. Of 274 men's signatures, at Flatbush, cover- 
ijig a longer period, 19 per cent made their marks. Corresponding 

' Kxwpt at Bergen in 1C08 (see p. 205); where, however, the term is quite likely of English origin. 



figures for other American colonies are available in only a few instances. 
Of the German male immigrants above 16 years of age who came to 
Pennsylvania in the first half of the eighteenth century, 11,823 names 
have been counted, wdth the result of 26 per cent who made then- 
marks.^ Bruce found, by a most painstaking count of the seven- 
teenth-century Virginians, that of 2,165 male adults who signed jury 
lists, 46 per cent made their marks; and of 12,445 male adults who 
signed deeds and depositions, 40 per cent made their marks.' In 
comparison with these last figures, both Dutch and German made a 
much better showing. A further significant result appeared from our 
study of illiteracy, namely, that the male Dutch inhabitants of Flat- 
bush made continuous improvement in this respect, the percentage 
of illiteracy decreasing gradually from 40 per cent in 1675 to about 
6 per cent in 17-38. 

In the case of the Dutch women fewer names were collected, and the 
showing was not so good. At Flatbush the names of onl}' 55 persons 
were secured, of whom 32, or 56 per cent, made marks. Thirty-tliree 
Albany women gave 55 per cent illiteracy. The nearly identical 
results in the two cases would be quite significant had we not a third 
list of 46 Dutch women made up from other portions of the colony, 
which shows an illiteracy of 66 per cent. Putting aU the Dutch 
women together we get, for the figures available, 154, a percentage of 
nHteracy of 60 per cent. Bruce found in Virginia, out of 3,066 women 
signing deeds and depositions an illiteracy of 75 per cent.^ If we can 
accept conclusions from the small numbers, the Dutch on the whole 
make a better showing, the superiority being greater with the men 
than the women. 

By way of comparison with these results a study was made of the 
signatures to deeds, etc., executed in Suffolk County (Boston), Mass., 
for two periods in the seventeenth century a generation apart. Two 
volumes of the published deeds were used;* the first covering the 
period 1653-1656, the other, 1681-1697. The results are as follows: 

Suffolk County {Mass.) 






Number of men's names 





Number of men's marks 


Per cent of men making marks 


Number of women's names 


Number of women's marks 


Per pent of women making marks 


1 The count was made by the writer in an unpublished study of I. D. Rupp's "A collection of * * * 
30,000 names of German * * * and other immigrants in Pennsylvania, 1727 to 1776" (2d ed. Philadel- 
phia, 1898). The year 1750 divides nearly equally theinmiigration. Of 11,201, whocamein the years 1751 to 
1774 (inclusive), 1,638 made marks, which gives the much better showing for the later period of 15 per cent 
illiteracy. The whole number of Germans counted was 23,024. of whom 4,735, or 21 per cent, made marks. 

2 Bruce, Institutional History of Virginia in the 17th Century, 1, 452 ff. (New York, 1910). 
5 Ibid., p. 457. 

< Suffolk Deeds, libers ii and xiv. Boston (1883 and 1906). 


Tlie showing here made for this Massachusetts county presents 
some interesting contrasts with the results of the Flatbush study. 
In the latter there was marked improvement from 1653 to 1697; in 
the former there was improvement only m the case of the women. 
At the early period the Massachusetts men made a much better 
showing than the Flatbush men, while the women are nearly the 
same. For the later period the men of the two regions are about 
the same, while the Massachusetts women have advanced. Of course 
these figures are too small to admit of final comparison with Bruce's 
figures for Virginia; and for two reasons, moreover, are not precisely 
to be compared with those from Flatbush. Signatures taken from 
deeds give a selection in favor of the property class, and conse- 
quently should show less illiteracy; and the presence of Boston 
withm the county of Suffolk would give a somewhat different group- 
ing of men from that which was found in the small farming village of 

That the Dutch schools of America are properly called public 
seems unquestionable. They were open to all the children, were 
controlled by the duly constituted civil authorities, and were both 
housed and supported by the public moneys. It is true that direct 
tax levies for school support were not (as a rule) made, that tuition 
was regularly charged, and that the church had more or less voice 
in the management. There was, therefore, a failure m these results 
to reach the present conception of the American public schools; but 
neither one nor all of the defects can destroy their essential charac- 
ter as public schools. 

The question as to the influence of these schools on the develop- 
ment of the American public education would for a satisfactory 
answer carry us far beyond the scope of this work. Rather has this 
study been planned to supply information regarding the Dutch in 
America that can be used by others in the investigation of such 
c|uestions. The attitude of the English m colonial New York was 
not of a nature to utilize the Dutch interest in education, nor did the 
Dutch seem disposed to seek a basis of helpful cooperation. Public 
education m New York City accordingly did not flourish during the 
century of English control. But with the Dutch villages the case 
was far otherwise. Apparently m each was maintamed a genume 
public, school. It seems, therefore, unthinkable that this deep inter- 
<>st hi public education, which for over a century was extended 
tluougli so much of the colony, should have had no part in early 
conimitthig New York to a strong policy of State public schools. 



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Stiles, Henry R. History of Brooklyn. 3 v. Brooklyn, 1867-70. 

— editor. Civil, political, professional and ecclesiastical history * * * of the 

county of Kings. 2 v. New York, 1884. 

Strong, Thomas M. The history of the town of Flatbush. New York, 1842 (re- 
printed in facsimile, Brooklyn, 1908). 

Taylor, Benjamin C. Annals of the Classis of Bergen. 2d edition. New York, 


Valentine, D. F. Manual of the corporation of the city of New York. New York, 

Vanderbilt, Gertrude Lefferts. The social history of Flatbush, etc. New York, 

Van R.ENSSEI/AER, Mrs. Schuyler. History of the City of New York. 2 v. New 

York, 1909. 
Weise, a. J. History of Albany. Albany, 1884. 
WiNFiELD, Charles H. History of the county of Hudson, N. J. New York, 1874. 

histories of education. 

Beernink, G. Het onderwijs te Nijkerk (Bijdragen en Mededeelingen der Vereenig- 

ing "Gelre, " deel x, pp. 101-118). 
Boeles, W. B. S. Frieslants Hoogeschool on het Rijs Athenaeum te Franeker. 2 v. 

Leenwarden, 1878. 
DouMA, H. Geschiedenia van het lager onderwijs en de schoolopvoeding in Neder- 

land. Amsterdam, 1900. 
Dunshee, Henry W. History of the school of the Collegiate Reformed Dutch Church 

in the City of New York. New York, 1853 (2d edition, 1883). 
References are to second edition unless otherwise stated. 
Jackson, G. L. Development of school support in colonial Massachusetts. New 

York, 1909. 
KuiPER, J. Geschiedenis der wording en ontwikkeling van het Christelijk lager 

onderwijs in Nederland. 's Gravenhage, 1897. 
ScHOTEL, G. D. J. Het oud-Hollandsch huisgezin der zeventiende eeuw (Hoofdstuk 

X, De scholen). Haarlem, 1868. 
Watson, Foster. The English gi-ammar schools to 1660. Cambridge, 1908. 
WoLTJEK, J. Wat is het doel van het Chi-ietelijk Nationaal schoolonderwijs. Ams- 
terdam , 1887. 


CoRwiN, Edward Tanjore. A manual of the Reformed Church in America. 4th 

edition. New York, 1902. 
Dix, Morgan. The parish of Trinity church in the city of New York. 4 v. New 

York, 1898. 
Griffis, William Elliot. The story of New Netherland. Boston, 1909. 
Holland society yearbook for 1897. New York, 1897. 
Innes, J. H. New Amsterdam and its people. New York, 1902. 
Muller, p. L. Onze goude eeuw. 2 v. Leiden, 1908. 
Murphy, Henry C. Anthology of New Netherland. New York, 1865. 
O'Callaghan, E. B. Register of New Netherland, 1626-1674. Albany, 1865. 


Abelsen, Henrich. master at Kinderhook. 209. 

Albany. See Beverwyck. 

Amersfoort (Flatlands), no school known prior to 

1664, 129, 140; school affairs after 1G04, 207-208. 
Appel, Adrian Janse, master at Albany (1676), 202. 
Apprenticeship records, educational provisions, 

190-191, 208. 
Arithmetic. See Curriculum. 
Beauvois, Carel de, licensed as private master in 

New Amsterdam, 124; master at Breuckelen 

(1661-1669), 123-125. 
Becker, Jan Juriacns, master at Albany (1G63), 

117, 122-12.3, 201-202; private master at New 

Amsterdam (1660), 116-119. 
Bequest for school, 157. 
Bergen. schoolaffairs(1661-1664), 137-138, 140; school 

affairs (after 1GG4), 205-207. 
Bertholf, Guilliam, master at New Haerlem (1690- 

91), 165; at Hackensack (1093), 214. 
Beverwyck (now Albany), pubUc support of school, 

120. 122-123, 202n; school affairs (up to 1664), 119- 

123. 139; after 1GG4. 201-204. 
Board money for schoolmasters, 64-65, 67, 81, 101, 

Bogardus, Comelis, master at Albany (1700), 202. 
Books. See Textbooks. 
Boswyck (Bushwick), school affairs (1662-1604), 

138-140, 105. 
Bralt, Daniel, master of the New York R. D. 

Church school (1749-1755), 153. 
Brazil, lack of schools in, 73, 79-80. 
Breuckelen. See Brooklyn. 
Brodhead, John R. fdiscussed), 41-42, 95. 
Brooklyn (Breuckelen), school affairs before 1664, 

123-124, 139; after 1664, 208-209. 
Brouwer, Jan, (probable) master at Flatlands 

Burgomasters and schepens (of New Amsterdam), 

14; control of elementary school, e.>-GG, G9, 79, 

83-84, SG-91; dispute with director general and 

council over the excise, 8(^89; interested in 

Latin school, 100; relationships with private 

masters, 115, 118. 
Burgomasters (of New Amsterdam), 14; control of 

elementary school, 60-C8. 79, 83-86, 91-93; of 

Latin school, 100-104, 106, 109. 
Bushwick. See Boswyck. 
Calendar, school, 28-29, 58-59, 151, 17.3-174, 187, 216, 

Capito, Matthys, (possible) master at Kingston, 212. 
Carelscn, Joost, not a private master, 112. 
Catechizing school children, 19, 26, 35, 6.8-70, 78, 85, 

148-153, 15G-1.57, 1G8, 174, 185, 200, 203, 222-223. 

See also ReUgious instruction. 

Catskill, 1.53. 

Charter of freedom and exemptions of 1029. 12-13, 
79, 119; of 1630-1(35, 79; of 1640, 82; of li;.50. 82. 

Charters, educational provisions, church. 149-1.50, 
161. 203. 207; Dutch villages, 134-135, 137, 205. 

Chorister. See Voorsanger. 

Church and civil authorities in relation to schools, 
141,215; Breuckelen, 123-124; Latin School, 109; 
Midwoud (Flatbush), 125-128, 160-200; Neth- 
erlands, 20-25, 38; New Amstel, 129-1.30; New 
Amsterdam, 62-64, 68-76, 8.3-84, 93-94; New 
Haerlem, 132-133; New Lotts, 186-188; New 
jfork (1664-1674), 142-146; Wiltwyck (Kings- 
ton), 133-134, 214. 

Church and education. See Catechizing of school 
children. Church attendance of pupils, Church 
and civil authorities in relation to school.'. Con- 
sistory, Creed subscription. Religious instruc- 
tion. Supervision of schools by church authori- 

Church attendance of pupils, 35, 222-223. 

Church masters, 60, G2, 66, 76-77; at Midwoud 
(Flatbush), 127, 167-171, 177, 179-182, 189-190, 

Church used as a schoolhouse, 160-162. 

Church wardens. See Chun'h masters. 

CTaessen, Frans, private master at New Amsterdam, 
11.3-114, 118. 

Classis, 15. 

Classis of Amsterdam, 15,39, 45-46,54,57,63,04,71-82, 
88, 93, 98, 107, 129-130, 141, 140-150. 

Clocq, Pelgrom, schoolmaster at Midwoud (106.3-64), 
127-128 1G&-1G7. 

Comforter of the sick. See Sieckentrooster. 

Consistory, Brookl\-n, 124; connection with new 
Amstcidam school, 6.5, 7.3-74, 76-78, 93; Flatbush 
(Midwoud), 125-128, 1G7-181, 180-187, 193, 195, 
200; how chossn, 15; Hudde's request for license 
referred to, 113; Kingston, 214; New York, 145- 
146, 149-151, 153. 15.5-15'-; Schcncctaday, 211. 

Consistory (of Amsterdam), 4.5-17, 71, 76n. 

Control of schools. See Burgomasters, Burgomas- 
ters and .schepsns. Church and civil authorities, 
Classis of Amsterdam, Consistory, Director 
General and council, Latm school, L.censing, 
Lords Directors, Ministers, Nine Tribunes, 
States-General, Supervision by church authori- 
tirs. Synods. ! 

Combury, Lord, demands licenses of Dutch masters, 
149-150, 209, 2i:}-214. 1 

Comelissen, Jan, master at New .\mstrrdam (ciajO), 
61-62, 70. 

Cortelyou, Jacques, private tutor, 110. 

Court of sessions, supervision of schools, 196. 




Creed subscription, 20, 22, 24-26, 28, 36. 

Currency. See Money. 

Curriculum, 32-.38, 60, 68, 72-73, 97-100, 105, 109, 1 lo- 
in, (bis), 127, 133, 141, 150, 155, 107, 168, 174-175, 
183, 185, 190-191, 201, 203, 208, 213, 220-220. 
See also Religious instruction. 

Curtius, Alexander Carolus, Latin master at New 
Amsterdam, 83, 100-104; bad discipline, 104; 
excessive tuition charges, 102-103; lawsuit, 
101-102; objects to paying excise, 102; salary, 

Dames, school, 28, 110-111, 173, 175, 187, ISO. 

Bankers and Sluyter (quoted), 110, 148, 206, 211. 

Davit, master at New Lotts (1689-90), 189. 

De Baano, Joost, master at New Utrecht (cl690) 
turned out by the Leislerians, 210-211. 

De Forest, Barend, master of New York R. D. 
Church school (172(5-1732), 150-151. 

De Groof, Cornells, (probable) master at Schenec- 
tady (1771-lSOO), 211. 

De Lanoy, Abraham (1st), private master in New 
York (1668-1686), 148; probably master of the 
church school till 1702, 148-149, 225; succeeds 
Piotersen (1686), 145, 147. 

De Lanoy, Abraham (2d), master of Flatlands 
school (1733-1742), 208; master of the second 
school of the Now York Reformed Dutch 
Church (1743-1747), 152-153. 

Dellamont, Jan, (probably) master at Schenectady 
(1735-1749), 211. 

Deputati ad Indicas res, 15, 39, 61, 72-75. 

Director general and council, dispute with city over 
the excise, 86-89; Latin school, 99, 102, 104, 105- 
106; New Amsterdam elementary school, 13-14, 
55, 57, 59, 63-64f,67, 77-79, 82-85, 92; private mas- 
ters, 110-118; require Van Corlaer to stop teach- 
ing, 114-116; schools of outlying villages, 123, 
12.5-141, 132-135, 138-139, 141, 206. See also 
Stuyvesant, Pieter. 

Discipline, 32, 38, 68, 104, 223, 227. See also Pun- 
ishment, School rules. 

Drisius, Domine, Latin school duo to, 99. 

Duke'slaws, 17, 193. 

Dunshce, probable indebtedness to Brodhead and 
O'Callaghan, 42; mentioned, 51, 147; responsible 
for 1633 as date of first school, 40. 

English attitude toward public education, 18, 159, 

English language, transition to, 1 50, 1 52-154, 156-157, 
159, 182-183, 185, 190, 198-199, 202-204, 207-208, 

Esopus. See Kingston. 

Evening school, 68, 158, 168,174-175, 190-191, 208, 

Fees, school ( America), 20-27, 58-59, 68, 84f , 93, 106- 
107, 140, 230; Bergen, 137; Bcvcrwyck (Albany), 
121,202; fixed by authorities, 27, 84-85, 102-104; 
Midvvoud (Flatbush), 127, 167-168, 174-175, 
184-185, 187, 190; school of the New York Re- 
formed Dutch ( hurch, 155n. 

Flatbush. See Midwoud. 

Flatlands. Sec Anicrsfoort. 

Fordham schooUiousc, 153n. 

Free instruction of the poor, Dutch villages, 140; 
Flatbush, 183-184; Netherlands, 20-21, 24; New 
Am.slcrdam, OS; school of tlic New York Re- 
formed Dutch Churcli, 151-153, 157-158. 

Free school, 205, 206. 

Free-will contributions. See Voluntary contribu- 
tions for school purposes. 

Cancel, Jan, master at Flatbush (1715-1718), 178, 181. 

Girls, education of, Netherlands, 30-31; Dutch 
America, 149, 152, 203, 217-221 , 227. 

Glandorf, Johannis, master at Albany (1721 ff ), 203. 

Goelct, Dutch schoolmaster in New York (c 1705), 

Grachcrie, Stephen, master at Kingston (1704), 513- 

Great Remonstrance, 14, 60-62, 74-75, 80, 85-*;, 220. 

Hackensack, 214. 

Harlem. See New Hacrlem. 

Hegeman, Adriaen, master at Flatbush (1718-1741), 

Herbarium, 100-101. 

Holidays, school, 29, 151, 216. 

Hoogeboom, Cornelius, master at Kingston (1671), 

Hudde, Andries, application for liceiLse as private 
master, 113, 118. 

Huygen, Jan, not a schoolmaster, 48, 50. 

Hj-podidasculus, use of term, 95n. 

Illiteracy, Albany, 204, 228-229; Brooklyn, 208-209: 
Flatbush, 196-200,228-229; New Haerlem (1661), 
132; Pennsylvania Germans, 229; Pouglikeepsie, 
209-210; Suffolk County, Mass., 229-230; Vir- 
ginians, 329. 

Joosten, Jacob, schoolmaster, at Albany (c 166-5- 
1670), 201-202; at Flatbush (1670-1676), 167-170; 
at Wiltwyck (1660-1665), 134-135, 212. 

Kerfbyl, Dutch schoolmaster in New York (e 1705), 

Kinderhook, school affairs, 209. 

Kingston (called also Esopus and Wiltwyck), school 
affairs (1658-1664), 133-134, 140; (after 1064) 151, 

Kitchen used as schoolroom, 60. 

KrarJccn-bcsoccker. See Siecken-trooster. 

Krol, Bastiaen Jansz., instructions as kranken- 
besoecker, 46; not a schoolmaster, 44-48. 

Lamersen, Joghem, master at Kinderhook (c 1700), .. 

Langestraat, Jan, master at New Lotts (1701-1706), 

Latin schools, Netherlands, 21-22, 24, 26, 35; New 
Amsterdam, 95-109; number of pupils, 101, 103, 
105; support and control of New Amsterdam 
school, 95, 99, 100-101, 104-105, 100, 109; trivial 
school of 1052, 95-99. 

Leicester's school order, 22. 

Licensing of teachers, English regkne, 18, 117, 148- 
150, 175-176, 201-202, 209, 210, 212-214; Nether- 
lands, 22, 25-26, 38; New Netherland, 39-40, 40, 
72, 112, 124, 129-130. 

Lords Directors, 11, 13, 14; elementary New Am- 
sterdam school, 57, 63, 66-67, 69, 72, 74-76., 79, 
81-85, 88-89; Latin .school, 95-96, 99-101, 104-106; 
Wiltwyck, 135. 

Lubbertsen, Jan, private master at New Amster- 
dam, 116, 118. 

Luyck, Aegidius, master of New Amsterdam Latin 
school (1662-1665), 105-107; private tutor to 
Stuyvesjnt, 105, 110, 137; salary, 106; subse- 
quent career, 107-108. 

Manners of school children, 31, 226. 



Manont, Boudewyn, schoolmaster at Boswyck 
(ir/.3-€4), 13S-139; to be examined by clergy, 
Marriage contracts, educational provision in, 49, 

217-21S, 220. 
Martineau, Daniel, master at Flatbush (1711-1715), 

17&-179: at New Lotts (c lGOl-1700), 189. 
Megapolensis, De Johannes, catechism for schools, 

121, 224. 
Midwoud (Flatbush), school affairs up to 1064, 124- 
129; school affairs after 10r,4, 100-200; school 
lands, 125; typical Dutch village, 12S-129; vil- 
lage court, 12S. 
Ministers, interest in schools, 77-78, 113; to examine 

Manout, 138; university graduates, 15. 
Molenaer, Arent Evers, master at Midwoud (1065- 
1669), 100-167; possibly master at New Haerlem 
(1670), IGOn; schoolmaster at New Amstel (1661- 
1664), 130-131. 
Money, varying values of, 16, loin, 174n, 1S2. 
Montagne, Jan Monjaer de la, master at New Haer- 
lem (1664-1070), 133,100; masterof trivial school, 
95, 99. 
Montagne, Willem dc la, master at Kingston (1666- 
cl669), 212-213; (possible) master at New Haer- 
lem (1003), 132. 
Monster-kaart, 26. 

MucncnbeUlt, Peter, master at New Utrecht, 211. 
Names, Dutch system of, 130n. 
Netherlands, education, church interest in, 19fl; 
extent of education, 37; public interest in, 19, 
23-38; relation of church and State in school 
affairs, 21-25, 38. 
NeAaus, JoJiannis, (probable) master at Flatlands 

(1743--11), 20S. 
New Amstel, school affairs (1657-1664), 129-131, 140. 
New Amsterdam, control of city school, 70, 93 (see 
ako Burgomasters, Burgomasters and sche- 
pens); government, 14,80-87; population growth, 
13, 139; revenue, 89; support of city school, 86-93; 
support of Latin school (see Burgomasters). 
lU-vr Castle See New Amstel. 
New Haerlem, school affairs (16C0-1604), 131-133, 140; 

(after lOtVi), 100-105. 
New l/otts (Oostwoud), a subordinate village of 

Flatbush (Midwoud), school affairs, 18:V190. 
New Ncthorland, founded 11; population, 13. 
New Utrecht, no scliool known prior to 1^.04, 139- 

140; scIiool affairs after 1664, 210-211. 
New York City, continuation of the 1(38 school, 147, 
159; scliool of the R. D. Church (1074-1770), 
147-15'.'; under control of consistory, not deacons 
only, 158. 
New York City school (1«^1074), 142-40; con- 
tinuation of the New Amsterdam school, 142, 
346; supported by a rate (1071), 140. 
Night school. See Evening school. 
Nme Tribunes (called also nine men), 59, 79, 83, 
85-80, 112. 
_ Nolden, E\ ert, master at Beverwyck, 120; at Kings- 
ton, 213n. 
0'( allaghan, E. B., (discussed), 41, 53, 55. 
Oosiwoud. See New Lotts. 
I'arochial schools in the Netherlands, 20-25, 38, 71; 

in Dutch America, 93, 141, 148. 
Patroons, 12-13, 119-120. See also Van Rensselaer, 

I'ieterscn, Evert, schoolmaster, at New Amstel 
(1657-1001), 129-130; at New Amsterdam (1001- 
1604), 0(^70, 82, 84, 130; of New York City 
school (1064-1074), 142-140; of Reformed Dutcll 
Church school of New York (1674-clOSO), l''"; 
wealth, 107-10^, 142-143. 
Population, New Amsterdam, 13, 139; Boswyck 
(Bushwyck), 138-140: Brooklyn, 123; Flatbush 
(Midwoud), 140, 109, 186 (New Lotts); Now 
Haerlem, 132, 140, 100-101, 105; New Nether- 
land, 13, 139b; New THrecht, 139-140. 
Pouglikeepsie, school affairs, 209-210. 
Precentor. Stc Voorsunger. 
Price, Daniel, (probable) master at Schenectady 

(17C8), 2U. 
Pri^^lte schoolmasters. New Amsterdam, 110-118; 
private tutors, 110; regulated by director general 
and council, llO-lll; school dames, 110-111; 
Van Corlaer is required to stop tcachuig, 114- 
Provoost, David, private master at New Amster- 
dam, 111-112, 118. 
Psalm-singuig, 34-35, 68, 124, 222. 
Public school, Dutch America, 1S8, 199-200, 230; 
Netherlands, 20-38; New Netheiland, «, 81-94, 
117 (unusual use of term), 139-1 10. 
Punishment, 3-\ 104, 223, 227. 
Pupils, number of, 101, 103, 130, 155, 157-158, 173, 

Reader, 190. See Voorlezer. 
Reformed Dutch Church, 15, 19-20. See also 

Church and education. 
Religious ia^l ruction, 31-35, OS, 72, 78, 93, 123-124, 
168, 222-223, 227. See also Catechizing of school 
Remonstrance, Great. See Great remonstrance. 
Remac-n, Derick, (probable) master at Flatlands 

(1752), 208. 
Rerasen, Jores, master at Flatbush (1741-C1755), 

Remsen, Rem, (possible) master at New Lotts 

(1677), 186. 
Revenue, pubUc, New Amsterdam, 89; villages, 122, 
125-127, 134-13.5, 140-141, 202n; V.esllndia Com- 
pany, 83n. 
Riddcr, Everet, master at Albany (1703), 202. 
Riley, Philip, (probably) master at Schenectady 

(1750-1757), 211. 
Roelantsen, Adam, certification record 40; clpsc of 
• his term, 53-58; deposition of 1638, 41; not an 
oiTicial teat:her prior to 1637, 48-49; opened 
school, 44, 50: private life, 51-53, 55-57. 
Rule of the Dutch schoolmasters. See Valckoogh. 
Salary, schoolmaster's, 140; at Beverw5'ck( Albany), 
120, 122. 202-203: at Boswyck, 138-139; at Brook- 
lyn, 123; at Flatlands, 207-208; at Midwoud 
(Flatbush), 125-127, 100-172, 174, 177-178, ISO- 
181, 185-1S6; at New Amstel, 130; at New Haer- 
lem, 133, 100-101, 11.3-104: at New Lotts, 1S7; at 
New York (school of K. I). Church), 151, 153, 
155, 157-158; at New Utrecht, 210-211; at Schen- 
ectady, 211; at V. iltwyck (Kingston), 134, 212- 
213; in Latin school, 95, 100-101, laJ-KXi; in New 
Amsterdam elementary school, 57, 04-05, 67; in 
the Netherlands, 2tl-27; paid by tlic company, 
57-58, 67, 81, 83-8-1, 86-89; possibly in part by 
the city, 81 , .'■6-92. See aUo Fees, Board money 
for schoolmasters. 



Schaats, Domine Gideon, "schoolmaster for old and 
young" at Beverwyck (lG52ff), 120-121. 

Schcnck, Johannes, master at Flatbush (1691-94, 
1700-1711), 175-17S. 

Schenck, Martin, (probable) master at Flatlands 
(1704-1712), 208. 

Schenectady, school affairs, 211-212. 

Sehepens, 14, 77. Sec alao Burgomasters and sche- 

Scholarchs (Netherlands), 22-2.3, 27, 29, 38. 

School. See Calendar, Curriculum, Education, Holi- 
day, Netherlands, Pimishment, UeUgious in- 

School attendance. See Pupils, number. 

School equipment, 29, 192, 217, 226. 

School hours, 31, 67, 151, 168, 216, 226. 

Schoolhouses, America, 216-217; Bergen, 138, 206- 
207; Beverwyck (Albany), 119-120, 203; Flat- 
lands, 207; Fordham, 1.5.3n; Kingston, 212; Latin 
school, 9.5, 99-100, 104; Midvvoud (Flatbush), 
126-128, 1G7-1G9, 17G-177, 179-180. 185-1S6, 193- 
194; New- Amstel, 129; New Amsterdam, 59-02, 
05-69, 70-77, 81-82, 84-80, 89-92; New Ilaerlem, 
100-10.5; New Lotts, 187, 189-190; New Utrecht, 
211; New York City (school of Reformed Dutch 
Church), 151, 153, 155-156, 158; New York City 
(16(^4-1674), 14.3-144; the Netherlands, 29. 

School lands, at Midwoud (Flatbush), 125-128, 168- 
170, 174, 180-185; at New Ilaerlem, 160-161, 163; 
at New Lotts, 187-lSS; at Bergen, 205; at Flat- 
lands, 207; at New Utrecht, 210-211. 

Schoolmaster (Dutch America), appointment, 40, 
62, 64-66, 72-78, 82, 84, 95, 100, 105-106, 109, 123, 
125, 127-130, 132-134, 136-139, 141, 150-153, 155, 
157, 167-168, 170-176, 178, 181-188, 194-196, 203, 
207, 212; certification by church authorities, 39, 
45, 71, 70n, 77-78, 93, 109, 113, 129, 1.38-139, 141; 
clerk of church, 145, 147, 151-152, 209; clerk of 
court, 133, 140, 162, 164-165, 174, 181-183; com- 
parative wealth, 107-108, 142-143; court messen- 
ger, 123-125, 127, 134, 1.37, 140, 167-168, 174; edu- 
cation of, 164-165, 219; instructions (contract), 
67-08, 72, 84, 102-103, 123, 125, 127, 137-1.38, 150- 
153, 155, 157-158, 107-168, 172-175, 181, 185-188, 
190; term of service, 54, 63-64, 127, 130, 151, 153, 
160-161, 166-168, 170, 175, 187-188, 203; moral 
character, 51, 54-55, 61-63, 66, 69-70, 102-104, 
110-117, 127-129, 1.32, 135, 137-138, 164-165, 171- 
171, 173-175. See also Classis of Amsterdam, 
Licensing, Private schoolmasters. 

Schoolmaster (Netherlands), appointment of, 23-24, 
26; auxiliary occupations, 27-28; qualifications, 
25; remuneration, 2i>-27. See also Creed sul> 

Schoolmasters, a.ssistant, 28, C9-70. 

Schoolmistresses, 28. See also Dames, school. 

School nilcs, 31-32, 104, 227. 

School support. Sec Support of schools. 

Schools, number of, 124, 139-140, 201. 

Schuurman, Jacobus, master at Raritan (1725), 

Seawant. See Money. 

Selover, Lsaac, master at Flat lands (1708), 208; 
voorlezer at Flatbush (1711-5), 178-179. 

Sexton, schoolmaster as, 63, 123-125, 127, 129, 140, 
167-168, 174, 186. 

Shutte, John, English master at Albany (1665), 202. 

Sickles, Abraham, master at Bergen (1701-1789). 207. 

Siecken-trooster (comforter of the sick, seeker of the 
sick, krankenbesoeker), 15, 44-50, 61, 63, 00, 73, 
75-76, 83, 129-130, 133, 145, 147-148, 151. 

Slates, school, 130, 223. 

Sluyter. See Dankers and Sluyter. 

Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, 203. 

Sprong, David, possible schoolmaster at Flatbush 
(C1755-C1758), 1S3. 

States-General of the Netherlands, 11, 14, 35-30, 75, 

Stecnhuyscn, Engelbert, master at Bergen (clC02- 
1664), his dispute with village court, 137-138. 

Stevcnsen, Jan, master at New Amsterdam (1042- 
1648), 54, 57-GO, 70. 

Steyn, Hans, private master at New Amsterdam, 
112-113, lis. 

Storm, Dirk, master at New Lotts (1680-cl68('>), 

Stoutenberg, Isaac, assistant and temporary master 
in New York (Reformed Dutch Church) school 
(C1732), 151-152. 

Strong, Thomas M., discussed, 127, IGCn. 

Stuyvesant, Pieter, 13-14, 50, 59-01, 63, 6&-66, 09, 
73-77, 81-92, 95-96, 99, 105-107, 109-110, 113-111, 

Stuyvesant's Bouwery, school at, 135, 140. 

Super^'ision by church authorities, 20, 22-23, 25. 
See also Ministers, Synods. 

Support of schools, Netherlands, 27; New Amster- 
dam elementary school, 81, 86, 91; New Amster- 
dam Latin,school, 05, 99, 100-101. Seealso Fees, 
School lands. Tax for school purposes, Volun- 
tary subscriptions for school ]iurposes. 

Suydam, Jan, (probable) master at Flatlands 
(1719-C-1729), 208; voorlezer at Flatbush (1711- 
1719), 178-179, 189. 

Swart, Gerrit, master at Albany (1676), 202. 

Synods, interest of, in education, 15, 19-20, 23, 71-74, 
76-77, 97, 172. 

Tappen, 214. 

Tavern not used as schoolhouse, 99. 

Tax for school purposes, Albany, 122, 202n; Bergen 
205-206; Kingston, 213; New Ilaerlem, 160-161 
163; New Lotts, 187f; New York City, 146; pro- 
posal of 1638 rejected by States-General, 80; sel- 
dom found among American Dutch, 140, 215 
See also \'oluntary subscription for school pur 

Textbooks, Flatlands, 207; Latin school, 100, 108- 
109; must be orthodox, 23, 151; New Amstel 
131; Wihwyck, 135. 

Tibout, Jan, court messenger and possible school 
master at Bergen (cl661), 137; his immoral con- 
duct and dismissal, 173-174; schoolmaster at 
Flatbush (1666-1670), 167 (1681-2), 172-173 
schoolmaster at New Ilaerlem (1685-1690, 1691- 
C1698), 164-165. 

Town meeting, 17, 176-178, 181, 182, 184, 187-188 
190, 193-194, 199-200; school committee, 176. 
178, 181-182, 184-185, 194. 

Trivial school, change of meaning (Schenectady) 
211-212; character of trivial school, 96; Nether 
lands, 21, 23, 35-30; New Amsterdam, 95-99 
See also Latin school. 

Tuition. See Fees, school. 



Tull, Pieter, (probable) master at Flatlands (1691- 
1704), 208. 

Tutor, private. See Luyck, Cortelyou. 

Valckoogh, Dirk Adriaensz (quoted), 25, 27, 28, 29, 

Valentine, D. F. (discussed), 43, lUn, 114. 

Van Benthuysen, Isaac P., master at Bergen 
(1736-1760), 206-207; (probable) master at 
Schenectady (1760-1770), 211. 

Van Corlaer, Jacobus, private master at Xew Am- 
sterdam, required to stop teaching, 114-110, 118. 

Van Dalsem, William, master in second school of the 
New York Reformed Dutch Church (1747-1757), 
153, 1.55. 

Van der Linde, Pieter, possibly a master at New 
Amsterdam, 61-62, 70, 73, 78. 

Van der Sluys, Andries, voorlezer and probably 
schoolmaster at Esopus (Kingston), 165S-(9), 

Van der Vin, Hendrick Jansen, master at New 
Ha«rlem (1670-168.5). 160-165 

Van Ekelen, Johannes, dismissed for participation 
inLeisler rebellion, 175-176; master at Flatbush 
(1682-1692), 174-176. 

Van Gelder, Johannes, private master at New Am- 
sterdam, 117-118. 

V;in Giesen.ReynierBastiaensen, master at Bergen 
(1665-1707), 205; master at Midwoud (1660-166:5), 
125-127, 166. 

Van Harlingen, Johannes Amsterdam, master at 
New Haerlem, 165. 

Van Hobocken, Harmen, master at New Amster- 
dam (1655-1661), 65-67, 70, 76, 90-91; master at 
Stuy^"esant's Bouwery, 136-137. 

Van Huyzen, Harmanus, master at Tappen (1753), 

Van Ilpendam, Adriaen Jansz, private master at 
New Amsterdam, 111, 118; public master at 
Beverwyck, 120-122. 

Van Kouwenhoven, WilUam Garretse, (probable) 

master at Flatlands (1675-1688), 208. 
Van Marken, Jan Gerritsz, master at Flatbush 

(1676-1680), 170-173. 
Van Rensselaer, KiUaen, 13, 119-120. 
Van Sice, Johannes, (probable) master at Schenec- 
tady (17.56-1766), 211. 
Van Siggelon, Johannes, (probable) master at Flat- 
lands (1729-1733), 208. 
Van Spyk, Jores, master at New Lotts (cl68&-1669), 

Van Steenbergh, Peter, schoolmaster at Flatbush 
(C175S-1773), 183-185; of school of the New York 
Reformed Dutch Church (1773-1770), 157-158. 

Van Tienhoven, Cornells, statement about school- 
masters "in hired houses," 61, 111, 117. 

Van Vleek, Paulus, master at Kindcrbook (1702- 
1709), 209. 

Van Wagenen, Gerrit, master of the New York Re- 
formed Dutch Church school (1732-1742), 151- 

Van Wagenen, Huybert, master in New York Re- 
fonned Dutch Church school (1742-1749), 152- 
15.3, 156. 

Venema, Pieter, master of mathematics and writing 
in New York (1730), 226. 

Vermeule, Adriaen, master at Bergen (1708-1736), 
206; master at New llaerlem (1699-17as), It'o. 

Ve.stensz, Willeni, master at New .Vmsterdam 
(1650-1655), 02-65, 70, 75-76. 

Villages (Dutch), chartered, 13; government under 
English, 193; municipal government, 14, 192. 

Villages (English), chartered, 13n. 

Voluntary subscriptions for school support, 133, 144, 

Voorhees, Abraham, (probable) master at Flatlands 
(1744-1747, 1768-1792), 208. 

Voorhees, Lukkas, (probable) master at Flatlands 
(1748-17.52, 1755-I7r«), 208. 

Voorlezer (reader, clarke), 16,24, 28,54, 62-63, 6t'>, 73, 
78, 122, 125, 129, 133, 136-138, 140, 147, 151, 
160-168, 174, 177, 180, 182-183, 189, 200, 202-203, 
205-208, 210,-214; not necessarily schoolmaster, 
120-121, 179,219. 

Voorsanger (precentor, chorister), 16,24,28,03-<'i6,73, 
75, 78, 88, 121, 123-125, 129, 137, 143, 145, 147, 151, 
106-168, 174, 177, 180, 185-180, 189, 200, 209, 212, 

Wampum. See Money. , 

Welp, Anthony, master at Flatbush (1773-1776), 

Welp, Johan Nicolas, master of the New York Re- 
formed Dutch Church school (175,5- ), 1.55-157. 
West India Company, 11, 79, 228; sources of income, 

8;3n. See also Lords Directors. 
Wills, educational provisions in, 218-220. 
Wiltwyck. See Kingston. 

Ziperus, Michael, (probably) first master at New 
Uaerlem, his career, 1.32. 




This book is under no circumstances to be 
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form 410