Journal of Jasper Danckaerts, 1679-1680


E-text prepared by Chuck Greif, Linda Cantoni,
and the Project Online Distributed Proofreading Team


Transcriber’s Note:

Inconsistent spellings of proper names and non-English words have been retained as they appear in the original.

Obvious printer errors have been corrected.



















New York from Brooklyn Heights


From the original drawing by Jasper Danckaerts in the possession of the Long Island Historical Society




Edited by Bartlett Burleigh James and J. Franklin Jameson

Note Axi
Note Bxxvii
Voyage to New Netherland3
Preparations for the Voyage3
Delays in Starting5
On the Way to Texel; a Narrow Escape8
On Board the Charles10
They set Sail and run Aground13
Description of Texel15
Progress of the Voyage18
At Falmouth; the Diarist at Church25
A Visit to Pendennis Castle28
The Market at Penryn30
Again on Board; a Word about the Cat32
Land is Seen; Sandy Hook33
Indians come Aboard; Arrival at New York35
Observations upon the Sea and the Voyage37
Comments upon the Passengers and Crew39
Travels in New Netherland43
In New York; Ministers of New Netherland43
Fort Amsterdam is described45
The First Male born of Europeans in New Netherland47
A Visit to Long Island; through Brooklyn50
At Gowanus; the Najack Indians53
With Jacques Cortelyou at New Utrecht57
Danckaerts makes a Sketch58
A Visit with Jan Theunissen at Flatlands60
Through Flatbush, Brooklyn, and Back in New York62
Manhattan Island Explored; Broadway; the Bowery; New Harlem64
The Labadists make some Calls; Danckaerts acts the Barber67
On Staten Island69
At Oude Dorp and Nieuwe Dorp72
Some Plantations on the Island74
A Visit from Jasper, the Indian76
The Travellers meet Ephraim Herrman80
In Communipaw and Bergen82
Further Experiences86
Preparations for the Journey Southward; the Duke’s Laws89
Journey to the Southward91
The Stop at Woodbridge93
At Piscataway; the Falls of the Delaware94
Matinnaconk Island and Burlington97
Tacony; Tinicum Island described100
The Suit of Madame de la Grange against Madame Papegoia101
A Visit from Some Quakers104
The Episode of Anna Salters105
The Journey Continued107
At Fort Christina; the Stay in Newcastle109
Indented Servants111
St. Augustine’s Manor112
Entry into Maryland; Bohemia Manor; Augustine Herrman’s Map114
Plantations visited116
The Journey to Virginia abandoned; Other Visits120
The Travellers lose their Way124
They stop with Mr. Frisby; Wild Geese126
Transportation of Goods to and from Maryland128
More Plantations visited129
Again in Newcastle131
The Grant of Maryland132
The Tobacco Industry133
Life in Maryland135
The Attack on the Hoere Kill136
Religion in Maryland137
The Labadists hear Domine Tesschenmaker; Christina Kill138
Property Arrangements of Augustine Herrman141
Preparations for the Return to New Netherland142
Description of Newcastle143
Mr. Moll and his Wife144
Some Account of the Herrmans; Peter Alrichs145
At Upland147
At Wicacoa and Burlington148
On the Island of Peter Alrichs149
The Delaware River described150
The Settlement at Hoere Kill; New Sweden152
East New Jersey and West New Jersey established154
The Journey to Millstone Creek; Difficulties in crossing156
A Visit with Some Indians159
A Night with Cornelis van Langevelt near Nassau160
Millstone Creek described161
At Amboy; the Frenchman Le Chaudronnier162
Governor Carteret and the Settlement of Piscataway and Woodbridge164
End of the Journey to the Southward165
In New York166
Visits to Governor Andros and Mayor Rombouts167
Danckaerts follows Sluyter to Najack169
Translations made by Danckaerts170
The Party for Aquackanonck171
Milford; Sandford; Captain Berry’s Plantation173
Conversation with Hans, the Indian174
Aquackanonck is reached175
Another Night with the Indians177
At Gowanus; the Canticoy of the Indians179
Affairs at Esopus; Small Pox among the Indians181
Proclamation of Governor Andros; the Start for Nevesink182
Trip to Nevesink abandoned184
Another Call on the Governor185
The Travellers dispose of their Stock186
The Governor grants Permission to go to Albany187
The Trials and Conversion of Theunis Idenszen190
The Journey to Albany is begun196
The Kaaterskill Falls; Arrival at Albany198
The Falls at Cohoes199
Sluyter becomes ill; Visit to Schenectady201
The Story of Aletta, the Indian201
The Story of Wouter, Aletta’s Nephew205
Interview with Aletta and Wouter210
Wouter goes with the Labadists211
Schenectady is described213
A Visit with Madame van Rensselaer at Rensselaerswyck214
A Visit to Fort Orange; Albany described216
The Child of Luxury217
At Claverack; Danckaerts sketches the Catskills219
At Esopus220
Back in New York; Preparations for Boston222
A Visit to Theunis Idenszen223
North River and the Country through which it flows224
On the Way to Long Island; Visit from Domine van Zuuren228
In Najack; More about Theunis229
Another Meeting with the Governor230
The Experiences of Marie Renard231
Visit with Ephraim Herrman233
Further Arrangements for the Boston Trip; Ascension Day234
A Trip to Walebocht235
The Boston Trip again postponed; Some Visitors237
Leave is taken of Governor Andros238
Military Tactics; Relations between Andros and Carteret239
Trade with Barbados244
Trade Observations246
Conduct of Governor Andros248
The Labadists take leave of their Friends250
Voyage from New Netherland252
The Start for Boston252
Martha’s Vineyard; a Narrow Escape253
Boston is reached255
Description of East River256
Elizabeth Islands; the Sow and Pigs; Cape Cod258
A Call on Governor Bradstreet259
No Word of Wouter; Passage engaged for London260
John Eliot and the Indian Bible263
A Visit to Cambridge; Harvard College266
In Charlestown268
Suspicions concerning the Travellers269
A Second Visit to John Eliot at Roxbury270
A Sham-fight in Boston271
Beginning of the Voyage Home272
The Diarist’s Account of New England273
His Description of Boston275
Progress of the Voyage276
A Reward for the First Sight of Land278
The Orkney Islands are sighted280
Fear of the Turks281
On the Dogger Bank284
Anchor at Yarmouth286
The Landing at London; Whitehall; St. James’s Park288
The Duke of Monmouth is seen; London Tower289
Witchcraft in Boston; at Church in London290
A Glimpse of the Duke of York and Prince Karl291
At Gravesend; the River of Chatham292
At Harwich; Dispute with the Skipper293
At Rotterdam, Delft, and the Hague295
In Amsterdam; a Bible is bought for Ephraim Herrman296
The End of the Journey297


New York from Brooklyn Heights, 1679. From the original drawing
by Jasper Danckaerts in the possession of the Long Island Historical Society
The Northeast Portion of Augustine Herrman’s Map of Maryland,
1673. From Mr. P.L. Phillips’s facsimile
Part of the Map of New York and New England in Montanus’s
“Nieuwe Weereld
,” 1671. From a copy in the New York Public Library


The present translation is substantially that of Mr. Henry C. Murphy, as presented in his edition of 1867 (see the Introduction, post). Mr. Murphy was an excellent Dutch scholar. Careful comparisons have been made, at various points, between his translation and the original manuscript, of which the Long Island Historical Society, its present possessor, kindly permitted an examination to be made. These comparisons, made partly by the general editor of the series and partly by Mr. S. G. Nissensen of New York (to whom cordial thanks are rendered), showed that Mr. Murphy’s translation was in the main excellent. Some revision and correction of it has been effected by Mr. Nissensen and by the general editor. In particular the spelling of the proper names has been brought into accord with that of the original manuscript, except that certain familiar names, after being once given in the original spelling, have thereafter been put into their modern forms.

Danckaerts’s descriptions of his Atlantic voyages to America and back, especially the former, are excessively long, and at times tedious. It has been found possible to omit some portions of these without impairing the interest or value of the narrative or excluding any useful information.

Of the three illustrations, the frontispiece is a photographic reproduction of one of Danckaerts’s pen-and-ink sketches accompanying the diary. It has never before been photographically reproduced, though lithographed in Mr. Murphy’s book. It represents New York from the southeast, as seen in 1680 from Brooklyn Heights, and is obviously of great interest, being topographically accurate, and drawn with no slight degree of skill. Thanks are due to the Long Island Historical Society for permission to reproduce it, and to the society’s secretary, Miss Emma J. Toedteberg.

That portion of the journal which relates to the Delaware River and northeastern Maryland is illustrated by a photographic reproduction of the northeast corner of the celebrated map of Maryland which Augustine Herrman made for Lord Baltimore, and which was published in 1673 (see infra, p. 114 and p. 297, note 2). The portion reproduced extends from the falls of the Delaware as far down the eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay as our travellers went. It is photographed from the photolithographic copy made from the unique original in the British Museum by Mr. P. Lee Phillips, and published by him in 1912, but is reduced to dimensions about two-thirds of those of the original.

To illustrate the North River journey of the diarist, and the other parts of his narrative centring around New York, a section is presented of the map of 1671 entitled “Novi Belgii, quod nunc Novi Jorck vocatur, Novaeque Angliae et Partis Virginiae Accuratissima et Novissima Delineatio” (Most Accurate and Newest Delineation of New Belgium, now called New York, of New England, and of Part of Virginia). This map appeared both in Montanus’s Nieuwe en Onbekende Weereld (Amsterdam, 1671) and in Ogilby’s America (London, 1671). It is N.J. Visscher’s map of 1655 or 1656 (for which see the volume in this series entitled Narratives of Early Pennsylvania, etc., introductory note, and map opposite p. 170), with slight alterations made in order to adapt it more closely to the date 1671.

For the names of the two Labadist agents, Mr. Murphy adopted the forms Dankers and Sluyter. These he apparently took from references to them by others, for the journal, except once in the case of Sluyter, gives only the assumed names, Schilders and Vorstman, by which alone they were at first known in America. Domine Selyns of New York, in his letter to Willem à Brakel,[1] gives their true names. For the proper spelling of the diarist’s name, it should seem that we should rely on his own signature to his note prefixed to his copy of Eliot’s Indian Old Testament.[2] There the spelling is Danckaerts, and such is the form used by the family, still or till lately extant in Zeeland. But the form Dankers occurs often in contemporary references.

The case of his companion presents no difficulty. The register of students at the University of Leyden, Album Studiosorum Academiae Lugduno-Batavae (Hague, 1875), gives, under date of 1666, “Petrus Sluyter Vesaliensis, 21, T,” i.e., Peter Sluyter of Wesel, 21 years old, student of theology, which no doubt is our traveller, known to have studied theology and, from Labadist sources relating to Herford, to have come originally from Wesel. Our traveller’s will, dated January 20, 1722, the original of which is preserved in the court house of Cecil County at Elkton, Maryland, is signed in autograph, “Petrus Sluyter alias Vorsman,” and it seems that this must be regarded as authoritative. The Maryland family descended from the Labadist leader’s brother used the same spelling. Schluter is found in some contemporary sources, Schluyter and Sluter in others,[3] while on the title-page of a book translated by our traveller from French into Dutch, and printed at Herford in 1672,[4] presumably under his eye, the spelling is Sluiter. But his signature should be conclusive.

The annotations in this volume are by the general editor of the series.


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