The initiative for the plan of an ‘ideal’ New Netherland settlement appears to have come from Pieter Cornelisz van Zierikzee, a man about whom we know surprisingly little. Most standard books assume that he was born in Zierikzee from Mennonite parents and that there, early in life, he became acquainted with a Mennonite leader, Galenus Abrahamsz de Haan (1622-1706), who became one of the key figures of Amsterdam Collegiantism1. According to a hitherto unused source, at one point Plockhoy, possibly in the mid-1650s, had indeed been associated with the Mennonite Church in Middelburg, where Jacob Otto van Halmael, another key figure in Amsterdam Collegiantism, was said to have been one of his followers2. However, whether Plockhoy had actually been born into a Mennonite family, or whether he was born in Zierikzee, remains a mystery, as does whether he knew Galenus Abrahamsz before he went to Amsterdam3. The first datable facts about Plockhoy go back to the summer of 1657, when he was in London to promote his utopian plans4. Apparently Plockhoy wrote two petitions to Oliver Cromwell and on more than one occasion talked to the Lord Protector about his plans5. However, his requests to Oliver Cromwell, and later ones to Richard Cromwell and to Parliament, did not seem to have had any direct results, apart from the two editions of The Way to the Peace and Settlement of These Nations (1659)6.
In The Way to the Peace, Plockhoy urged the authorities not to favour any Sect, or person in particular, to deal equally in matters of Religion towards subjects, not to hinder them from the liberty of speaking freelyand to keep state and church soundly separated, without mingling Pollicy and Religion7. Plockhoy also proposed to introduce a generall way of Church-meeting, for the hearing of Gods word read unaltered and unsophisticated, leaving a freedome for all Sects, and in order to make this possible, to establish in every City and in every County throughout England, Scotland, and Ireland, one general Christian assembling place, in such a form that all people may see one another round about by the help of seats, rising by steps8. This also implied that the only heavenly Teacher is Jesus Christ and no new Articles of faith, over and besides the holy Scriptureshould be taken seriously, so that consequently after the ‘general’ worship, all people should be given freedom to orderly confer together, concerning the Doctrine and Instruction of their Lord and Master Christ9. Moreover, this implicit criticism of the established churches was also aimed at mainstream Protestantism and was steeped in a non-specific anti-Catholic anticlericalism, as he stated that the corruption of the original Apostolic church was caused by the subtilty of the Clergy and as even Protestant Ministers seek rather after Lucre then the truthand would bind people to their opinions10. The idea of a non-dogmatic, tolerant and ‘democratic’ church, often identified with the primitive church, was central to Collegiantism11.
This was also the view of Adam Boreel (1602-1665), who was one of the founders of the Amsterdam College and who ‘converted’ the initially ‘strict’ Mennonite Galenus Abrahamsz to Collegiantism12. Boreel, who had visited England earlier, in 1655 went to London for the Whitehall Conference on the readmission of the Jews, returning to the Dutch Republic sometime before March 1660, which could mean that both men had been there simultaneously13. Boreel was well acquainted with several members of the Hartlib circle, and Plockhoy's plans were certainly known in that group and were perhaps even supported by it14. It all remains circumstantial, but it does not seem implausible that Boreel in one way or another was instrumental in bringing Plockhoy and his ideas to England and to the attention of the Hartlib circle. There are many similarities between Plockhoy's plans and the projects developed in the Hartlib circle: one important point in common must be mentioned here, their concern for social welfare15. In a second English pamphlet, A Way Propounded to Make the poor in these and other Nations happy, Plockhoy's aim is not so much to introduce a more tolerant government in Britain, but rather to sketch a plan for a small ideal society16.
In many ways the aims of the society described in A Way Propounded are comparable with the recommendations he made for society at large: to bring together people of different sects, to resist the deceipt and lies" of the spirituall persons or Clergy-menand to allow liberty [ ] to every one to propound somewhat for mutual edificationafter the reading of the Scriptures in the great meeting place, constructed round about with seates, rising one higher than another, that every one may be seen17. The big difference with the Way to the Peace, is that Plockhoy now also wanted to deal with the problem of poverty, in passing mocking the clergy, who acted as if they could love the soul which they cannot see, and have no compassion on the body, which they see18. The society he envisaged to some degree upholds collectivistic principles - some of the property is shared and every member is expected to work six hours a day for the community - but it certainly is not a purely communistic society, as members shall not be bound to make their goodes Common, although they are encouraged to bring in any thing to increase the Stockand to bring in their own landes for the Common service19. The common stock could then be used to finance a programme of social welfare, involving free education, free medical care and aid to widows, orphans, the sick and unemployed.
Education was to be free for every child of the society, including girls, and was quite versatile: everyone was to be taught natural Arts , Sciences and Languages, and those that were capable would also learn Ciphering, and keeping Books of accompts20. The system of public healthcare would allow the Chyrurgeans or Physitiansof the society to serve the Rich (without the Society) for money, and the poor gratis, although it of course remains unclear whether this meant that all the members of the society and the poor outside it would benefit for free, or whether only the poor in the society would receive free medical treatment21. In any case, the sick in the society would not only be given free medical care, they would also be supported in their loss of income: whenever any by sickness or otherwise become indisposed, the rest (being united as members of one body) shall work for him22. Other categories of people needing help, like the elderly, widows and orphans, would likewise be cared for by Plockhoy's society, which thus in almost all respects prefigured the modern welfare state23. Apart from the very clear socio-political message contained in A Way Propounded, Plockhoy's text also contains a brief description of the form of government of the society, and thus offers us some insight into his political thought. A chief Governour, a man of about 40. yeares of age", was to be chosen, every one giving his voice for him, that he judgeth to be fit24. A term of office would last one year, mainly to prevent abuse of authority, but an outgoing ‘president’ would be eligible for re-election, because by this meanes he that hath a mind to continue in the Government will have an Inducement to rule well25. How the rest of the leadership of the society would work was not explained in A Way Propounded, but it is apparent that apart from the governor, other functionaries were to be appointed, as three of the uppermost in Governmentwould each have one of three keys to unlock the common treasury26. All in all, the political organization of the society was probably intended to be democratic, but it was only briefly and very incompletely sketched out.
Plockhoy was back in the Dutch Republic by November 1661 at the latest, as the first Request to establish a settlement in New Netherland was presented that month to the Amsterdam authorities27. Plockhoy is also mentioned in a few polemical pamphlets written by adversaries of Galenus Abrahamsz in the first half of the 1660s28. As these were directed against the Mennonite faction to which Plockhoy belonged, it is not surprising that they tried to discredit him, for instance by claiming he defended polygamy29. In this particular case, his opponents did not have to make up the whole story, since Jan Zoet's d'Uitsteekenste digt-kunstige werkken includes some poems by Jacob Steendam and Karel Verloove, which clearly show that they also considered Plockhoy to be an advocate of polygamy30. It would seem, however, that neither poet was hostile towards him, as they both contributed some rhymes to the Kort and klaer ontwerp, Plockhoy's version of the New Netherland project31. Among the group of sparring writers specialising in witty attacks on each other who met in Jan Zoet's inn the Zoete Rust (Sweet Rest), there also was a good acquaintance of Van den Enden, his former pupil Pieter Rixtel32. There can be no doubt that Van den Enden acted initially as a spokesperson for Plockhoy and a group of would-be colonists, but it seems that their ways separated, with Plockhoy the only one to succeed in getting a deal with the city of Amsterdam.
The agreement reached between the Amsterdam authorities and Plockhoy's group of colonists is printed in the Kort en klaer ontwerp (Brief and clear design), published in 1662 in Amsterdam33. The agreement was signed on July 9, only fifteen days after Van den Enden had presented his last, very brief, request to the Amsterdam Burgomasters34. Plockhoy committed himself to go with twenty-four other colonists to New Netherland, where they would settle on the banks of the Hoere-kil, otherwise known as Swanen-dal, in the vicinity of the present Lewes, Delaware35. The city allowed the colonists to adopt such rules and orders as they see fit, provided that each member was free "to appeal to the Magistrate there [in New Netherland] or here [Amsterdam]36. Furthermore, the settlers were exempt from taxes for a period of twenty years and each of the male colonists was given a loan of one hundred guilders, to be paid back according to articles 21 and 22 of the city's 1656 Conditions37. The Kort en klaer ontwerp also contained two poems, a ‘Klinck-digt aan de Lief-hebbers van de onderlinge Compagnie’(Sonnet for the Devotees of the mutual Company) by Karel Verloove, and the ‘Prickel-vaersen aen de Lief-hebbers van de Volck-planting’ (Spurring verses to the Devotees of the Settlement) by Jacob Steendam38. The most important part of the pamphlet, however, is the ‘kort en klaer ontwerp’ itself, a six page ‘constitution’, explaining the aims of the society and describing the basic organization of the colony.
In most respects Plockhoy's plans for a settlement in New Netherland resemble those set forth in A Way Propounded. The society was to tolerate people of different religious persuasions and religious fanaticism would be discouraged, by, among other means, teaching the children besides the Holy Scripture, only natural sciences and languages, so that their understanding is not spoiled (by indoctrinating them with some particular opinion) before the first use of reason39. Widows, orphans and the sick would receive a part of the profits made by the society, and all colonists would collectively work for six hours a day, as under one family40. Although a common stock would be provided for, mainly consisting of farmland and cattle, each colonist would also own a private piece of land and would at all times be allowed to leave the society and sell his part of the common property41. In all this the Kort en klaer ontwerp hardly differs from A Way Propounded, but this was not so as far as the political organization was concerned.
Compared with the English project, the way in which the society was to be ruled is described in much greater detail. The Kort en klaer ontwerp instructs that each year a supervisor (Op-siender) will be chosen from the men older than thirty years, but his power will be purely executive, as the Rules and lawswill be made by the whole People42. Everybody would be free to present arguments to change existing laws or add new ones, and a two-thirds majority would be needed to pass any law or amendment43. The general assembly would also serve as a people's tribunal, empowered to ban recidivists by a two-thirds majority, albeit with the provision that expelled members of the society would receive their share in the common property44. Another element that is not found in Plockhoy's A Way Propounded, is the provision for conscientious objectors, clearly aimed at Mennonites, by which they would be exempted from military service in exchange for a financial contribution to the society's defences45. In a rather curious final paragraph, Plockhoy points out that Swearers, Drunks and other evil peoplewill not be allowed in the society and adds that they will not only need farmers, seamen and Masters of good Arts and Sciences, but also craftsmen, listing - somewhat superfluously - sixty-three skilled professions46.
It is doubtful whether many of these skilled artisans joined Plockhoy when he boarded the St. Jacob in May 1663, but the small group of colonists, 41 souls with their baggage and farm-utensils, arrived safely at the Whorekill a few days before July 28, 166347. However, their new settlement did not last very long, as shortly after the English invasion of New Netherland, there was likewise a boate dispatched to the Whorekill and there plundred and tooke possession of all effects belonging to the Citty of Amsterdam, as alsoe what belonged to the Quaking Society of Plockhoy to a very naile48. What exactly happened to the colonists remains a mystery, but it seems that several of them, among whom were a few relatives of Plockhoy, were still living in the vicinity of the Whorekill in later decades49. The story goes that Plockhoy with his wife, almost thirty years later, found his way into the Mennonite settlement at Germantown, where because of his blindness, he was given free citizenship and a small lot with a house to live out his remaining years50. However, the blind man, Cornelis Plockhoy mentioned in the Germantown Rathbuch (court records) was not the author of the Utopian projects discussed above, but rather his blind son, Cornelis Pietersz, who had been living near the Whorekill all this time and who could now enjoy the sort of solidarity that his father had advocated51.
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(1) In the earliest literature on Plockhoy, authors such as Hylkema and Quack refrain from speculating on Plockhoy's background. C.B. Hylkema, Reformateurs. Geschiedkundige studiën over de godsdienstige bewegingen uit de nadagen onzer Gouden Eeuw, Haarlem: H.D. Tjeenk Willing & Zoon, 1900 & 1902, vol. II, pp. 100-106 and H.P.G. Quack, Plockhoy's Sociale Plannen, Amsterdam: Johannes Müller, 1892. A second generation of commentators, the Harders and Horst, do cautiously suggest that Plockhoy may have come from a Mennonite background, that early in life he might have known Galenus Abrahamsz, etc. L. Harder, "Plockhoy and his Settlement at Zwaanendael, 1663", Mennonite Quarterly Review, July 1949, pp. 186-199, L. & M. Harder, Plockhoy from Zurik-zee : the study of a Dutch reformer in Puritan England and Colonial America, Newton, KS : Board of Education and Publication, 1952 and I.B. Horst, "Pieter Cornelisz Plockhoy: An Apostle of The Collegiants", Mennonite Quarterly Review, July 1949, pp. 161-185. It seems that as time went by, subsequent authors became more convinced of these biographical essentials, even though the initial evidence was scant and no new information surfaced to confirm this view. See e.g. J. Séguy, Utopie Coopérative et cuménisme. Pieter Cornelisz Plockhoy van Zurik-Zee, 1620-1700, Paris, Mouton & La Haye: Éditions Mouton et École Pratique des Houtes Études, 1968, T. Miller, "Pieter Cornelius Plockhoy and the Beginnings of the American Communal Tradition", in R. Sakolsky & J. Koehnline (eds.), Gone to Croatan. Origins of North American Dropout Culture, New York & Edinburgh: Autonomedia & AK Press, 1993, p. 121, B. Plantenga, "The Mystery of the Plockhoy Settlement in the Valley of Swans." Mennonite Historical Bulletin 62 (April 2001), pp. 4-13 and K.V. Leasa, "Setting the Record Straight on Peter Plockhoy: Delaware's First Mennonite", Mennonite Historical Bulletin, 63 (October 2002), pp. 1-7. That by now this has become the predominant view on Plockhoy's early life, can easily be demonstrated by the recent, and otherwise excellent, article by L. Harder, "Pieter Plockhoy Revisited", Mennonite Life, vol. 60, no. 1 (March 2005) (go there), as well as by my own entry on Plockhoy in W. van Bunge et al. (eds.) The Dictionary of Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Dutch Philosophers, Bristol: Thoemmes Press, 2003, vol. 2, pp. 794-797.
(2) N.N., Recommandatie van't Oogh-water, Amsterdam: Johannes van Someren, 1664, p. 8.
(3) The idea that the name Plockhoy should be associated with Mennonites largely stems from the genealogical details provided by Jacob de Hoop Scheffer to Hendrick Quack, but the few names he mentions are all from the 1660s and can in no way be related to Pieter Cornelisz. At least two men with the name Cornelis Plockhoy could have been the father: one Cornelis Adriaansz Plokhooy living in Sommelsdijk, Zeeland, until his death in 1652 and one Cornelis Jansz Plockhoy, a cartographer from Zeeland, who from 1645 lived on Formosa (Taiwan). There is no evidence that one of these was the father, but the first was a deacon of the Reformed Church and the second married the widow of a Reformed minister. It is possible that one of these men was identical to the Ds. Cornelis Plockoy, born at Zierikzee, whose name was entered in the poorterboek (burgher's book) of Goes on December 1, 1660. The idea that a Collegiant might not be a Mennonite is not unreasonable, as other important Amsterdam Collegiants - among whom even the founders Adam Boreel and Daniel de Breen - were not Mennonites at all, but rather had Remonstrant backgrounds. H.P.G. Quack, "Plockhoy's sociale plannen", Verslagen en Mededeelingen der Koninklijke Akademie van Wetenschappen, Afdeeling Letterkunde, 3de Reeks, Deel IX, p. 97, A.W.E. Dek, Plokhooy & Van Dam: 2 Flakkeese geslachten, Rijswijk: s.n., 1956, J.L. Blussé, W.E. Milde & Ts'ao Yung-ho (eds.), De dagregisters van het kasteel Zeelandia, Taiwan, 1629-1648, Den Haag: Instituut voor Nederlandse Geschiedenis, 1986-2000, vol. III, pp. 360, 362-363, 367-368 & 441, B.v.T.P., "De Friezen op Java, IV", De Indische Navorscher, Old Series, year 1, nr. 6 (September 1934), p. 47 and B. Boogaart, "Het poorterboek te Goes", De Wapenherout, jrg. 7 (1903), Octavo Serie 11, p. 65. I must thank Jaap Jacobs for bringing to my attention the existence of the Cornelis Plockhoy living on Formosa.
(4) The first petition to Oliver Cromwell, later printed in The Way to the Peace and Settlement, is dated July 4, 1657, on both copies in the Hartlib Papers. HP, 54/23A-26B & 54/27A-30B. Some secondary sources claim that Plockhoy went to Amsterdam in the 1640s, but as far as can be seen there are no original documents that can confirm this view. See for instance L. Harder, "Plockhoy and his Settlement at Zwaanendael, 1663", p.188, L. & M. Harder, Plockhoy from Zurik-zee, p. 12 and J. Séguy, Utopie Coopérative et cuménisme, p. 27.
(5) This is said by Plockhoy in his letter to Richard Cromwell, printed in the second edition of The Way to the Peace. Peter Cornelius van Zurick-Zee, The Way to the Peace and Settlement of these Nations [...], London: Daniel White, 1659, pp. 22-23.
(6) The first edition, which does not include the letter to Richard Cromwell, was printed in 1659 without the place of publication or the name of the publisher. At first sight, the changing of the year 1659 into March 4, 1658, on the title page, probably by George Thomason, seems inconsistent with the date of the letter to Parliament of January 24, 1659. However, the first date is given in Old Style (in which the civil year begins on March 25) and corresponds with March 14, 1659, New Style and is thus perfectly consistent with the date of the letter, given in "Holland stile", that is, New Style.
(7) Peter Cornelius van Zurick-Zee, The Way to the Peace and Settlement of these Nations [...], s.l. [London]: s.n., 1659 (1st ed.), pp. 3, 8, 14 & 25-26.
(8) Peter Cornelius van Zurick-Zee, The Way to the Peace, pp. 8 & 13. The physical description of the proposed meeting place closely resembles the known illustrations of Collegiant meeting places.
(9) Peter Cornelius van Zurick-Zee, The Way to the Peace, pp. 15, 18 & 13.
(10) Peter Cornelius van Zurick-Zee, The Way to the Peace, pp. 1, 20, 22. When speaking of the dogmatic Protestant churches, Plockhoy often used the phrase 'little Antichrists', thus distinguishing them from but at the same time identifying them with the traditional 'Antichrist', that is, the pope and Roman Catholicism.
(11) On Collegiantism, see J.C. van Slee, De Rijnsburger Collegianten, Utrecht: HES Uitgevers, 1980 (1st ed. Haarlem, 1895) and A.C. Fix, Prophecy and Reason. The Dutch Collegiants in the Early Enlightenment, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991.
(12) W. Schneider, Adam Boreel. Sein Leben und seine Schriften, Giessen: Otto Kindt, 1911, p. 54-55 & 63, Hylkema, Reformateurs, vol. I, pp. 12-14 and Van Slee, De Rijnsburger Collegianten, p. 135-141.
(13) Boreel was reported in Amsterdam on March 20, 1660, but it remains unclear how long he stayed in England. Plockhoy was in England from at least early July 1657 and left around October 1660. W. Schneider, Adam Boreel, p. 70 and John Worthington, The Diary and Correspondence of Dr. John Worthington, (ed. J. Crossley), vol. I, 1847, pp. 201-215.
(14) For Boreel's acquaintance with John Dury and other members of the Hartlib circle, see e.g J. van den Berg & E.G.E. van der Wall, Jewish-Christian Relations in the Seventeenth Century. Studies and Documents, Dordrecht, Boston & London: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1988. For Plockhoy's acquaintance with the circle, see Hartlib Papers, HP, 29/8/9B, 54/23A-26B & 54/27A-30B. A curious addition to some editions of A Way Propounded, which cannot be discussed here in detail, is the 'Invitation to the aforementioned Society'. Séguy was able to show that this invitation was actually a translation of Johann Valentin Andreae's Invitatio Fraternitatis Christi (1617), a source that certainly fits in with the intellectual influences that were formative for the Hartlib circle.
(15) For the attention paid to social matters in the Hartlib circle, see i.a. P. Slack, From Reformation to Improvement. Public Welfare in Early Modern England, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999, pp. 77-101. The strongest example of a similar plan in the broader Hartlib circle is probably found in Peter Chamberlain, The Poore Mans Advocate, or Englands Samaritan [...], London: Giles Calvert, s.a. . On Peter Chamberlen, one of several members of the medical family with that name, see e.g. W.L. Craig, The Problem of Divine Foreknowledge and Future Contingents from Aristotle to Suarez, Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 1988, pp. 49-89, J.C. Davis, Utopia and the Ideal Society [ ], Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003, pp. 324-331 and D.S. Katz, Sabbath and Sectarianism in Seventeenth-Century England, Leiden, New York, København & Köln: E.J. Brill, 1988, pp. 48-98.
(16) Peter Cornelius van Zurik-zee, A Way Propounded to Make the poor in these and other Nations happy. By bringing together a fit suitable and well qualified people unto one Household-government, or little-Common-wealth [...] London: G.C. [Giles Calvert], s.a. . The pamphlet was reprinted at least once.
(17) Peter Cornelius van Zurik-zee, A Way Propounded, pp. 3, 4 & 26.
(18) Peter Cornelius van Zurik-zee, A Way Propounded, p. 4.
(19) Peter Cornelius van Zurik-zee, A Way Propounded, pp. 4-5, 11. Furthermore, members that leave the Society "shall not only receive that which they brought, but also a share of the profit which hath been made since they came to the Society".
(20) Respectively Peter Cornelius van Zurik-zee, A Way Propounded, pp. 15 & 8. It remains unclear whether girls were to be taught the same subjects as boys, as it is possible that Plockhoy intended them to only learn handicrafts (p. 10). On the other hand, he never specified in matters of education, and talked about 'children' in general, which seems to suggest he was thinking of girls as well as boys. Furthermore, although education in Plockhoy's plan was always aimed at applicable knowledge and practical skills, it must be noted that this was emphasized more for the children of the poor (p. 11).
(21) Peter Cornelius van Zurik-zee, A Way Propounded, p. 7.
(22) Peter Cornelius van Zurik-zee, A Way Propounded, p. 13.
(23) Peter Cornelius van Zurik-zee, A Way Propounded, p. 13 & 15.
(24) Peter Cornelius van Zurik-zee, A Way Propounded, p. 9.
(25) Peter Cornelius van Zurik-zee, A Way Propounded, p. 9.
(26) Peter Cornelius van Zurik-zee, A Way Propounded, p. 9.
(27) Kort Verhael van Nieuw-Nederland, p. 43. Plockhoy might have arrived considerably earlier, but not before the autumn of 1660, as he left England then.
(28) N.N., Lammerenkrijgh: Anders Mennonisten Kercken-twist [ ],Waerschouw [Amsterdam]: s.n., 1663, f. C2 v and N.N., Recommandatie van't Oogh-water voor de Vlaemsche Gemeynte [ ], Amsterdam: Johannes van Someren, 1664. p. 8.
(29) The accusation is first found in the Lammerenkrijgh and was later repeated in Lambert Bidloo's Onbepaalde verdraagzaamheyd and in Herman Schyn's Aanmerkinge op het formulier, both published in 1701 (quoted in Hylkema, Reformateurs, p. 100).
(30) Jan Zoet, d'Uitsteekenste digt-kunstige werkken [ ], Amsterdam: Jan Klaasz. ten Hoorn, 1675, pp. 378-381.
(31) See note 33.
(32) On Jan Zoet and his poetical circle, see e.g. G. Kalff, Geschiedenis der Nederlandsche letterkunde, deel IV, Groningen: J.B. Wolters, 1909, pp. 459-467. Pieter Rixtel dedicated poems to Franciscus van den Enden, to two of his daughters and to his play Philedonius.
(33) Pieter Cornelisz. Plockhoy van Zierck-zee, Kort en klaer ontwerp, dienende tot een onderling Accoort, om den arbeyd, onrust en moeye-lijckheyt, van Alderley-hand-wercx-luyden te verlichten door een onderlinge Compagnie ofte Volck-planting (onder de protectie vande H: Mo: Heeren Staten Generael der vereenigde Neder-landen; en bysonder onder het gunstig gesag van de Achtbare Magistraten der Stad Amstelredam) aen de Zuyt-revier in Nieu-neder-land op te rechten; Bestaende in Land bouwers, Zee-varende Personen, Alderhande noodige Ambachts-luyden, en Meesters van goede konsten en wetenschappen. Steunende op de voor-rechten van hare Achtbaerheden (als hier na volgt) tot dien eynde verleent. t'Amsterdam: gedruckt by Otto Barentsz. Smient, Anno 1662.
(34) Kort Verhael van Nieuw-Nederland, p. 67 and Pieter Cornelisz. Plockhoy van Zierck-zee, Kort en klaer ontwerp, ff. Aij r - aiij r. The last letter in the Brief Account is dated May 25, 1662, but according to a city council resolution of April 20, 1662, Plockhoy had by then already obtained permission and financial support to settle in New Netherland.
(35) Pieter Cornelisz. Plockhoy van Zierck-zee, Kort en klaer ontwerp, f. Aij r.
(36) Pieter Cornelisz. Plockhoy van Zierck-zee, Kort en klaer ontwerp, f. Aij v.
(37) Pieter Cornelisz. Plockhoy van Zierck-zee, Kort en klaer ontwerp, f. Aij v. However, how the loan has to be paid back is not specified in articles 21 and 22, but in article 24. Conditien, die door de Heeren Bvrgemeesteren der Stadt Amstelredam [ ] gepresenteert werden aen alle de gene, die als Coloniers na Nieuw-Nederlandt willen vertrecken, &c, Amsterdam: Jan Banning, 1656, ff. A4 r-v.
(38) Pieter Cornelisz. Plockhoy van Zierck-zee, Kort en klaer ontwerp, ff. Aiij v & Biij r- Biiij v. On Steendam's 'American' poetry, see H.C. Murphy, Jacob Steendam, noch vaster. A Memoir of the First Poet in New Netherland with his Poems Descriptive of the Colony, The Hague: The Brothers Giunta d'Albani, 1861.
(39) Pieter Cornelisz. Plockhoy van Zierck-zee, Kort en klaer ontwerp, f. Bi v.
(40) Pieter Cornelisz. Plockhoy van Zierck-zee, Kort en klaer ontwerp, ff. Aiiij r-v & Bi r.
(41) Pieter Cornelisz. Plockhoy van Zierck-zee, Kort en klaer ontwerp, ff. Aiiij v & Bij r. A colonist who was not able to repay his debt to the City of Amsterdam and to pay his fare home was not allowed to sell his part in the common property.
(42) Pieter Cornelisz. Plockhoy van Zierck-zee, Kort en klaer ontwerp, f. Aiiij v. Apart from the supervisor, two accountants were to be chosen to keep the books of the society, and the common treasury was to have three locks, so that it could only be opened when all three officials were present.
(43) Pieter Cornelisz. Plockhoy van Zierck-zee, Kort en klaer ontwerp, f. Aiiij r.
(44) Pieter Cornelisz. Plockhoy van Zierck-zee, Kort en klaer ontwerp, f. Bij r.
(45) Pieter Cornelisz. Plockhoy van Zierck-zee, Kort en klaer ontwerp, f. Bi v.
(46) Pieter Cornelisz. Plockhoy van Zierck-zee, Kort en klaer ontwerp, f. Bij v.
(47) It is probably no coincidence that a shipment of goods for Niclaes de Ring, who is mentioned in the Brief Account as an oral source on New Netherland, was transported by the same ship that carried Plockhoy and his fellow colonists across the Atlantic. B. Fernow (ed.), Documents Relating to the History of the Dutch and Swedish Settlements on the Delaware River, Translated and Compiled from Original Manuscripts in the Office of the Secretary of State, at Albany, and in the Royal Archives, at Stockholm, Albany: Argus, 1877. (Vol. XII of NYCD), p. 436.
(48) This is said in the statement by Gerrit van Sweeringen of May 12, 1684. E.B. O'Callaghan (ed.), Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New-York; Procured in Holland, England and France. Vol. III, Albany: Weed, Parsons & co., 1853, p. 346. The often heard claim that the colonists were sold as slaves in Virginia is wrong, but can be explained by a conflation with Van Sweeringen's statement that the soldiers of New Amstel were taken away to be sold as slaves in Virginia. The story of the supposed enslavement can be found in i.a. I.B. Horst, "Pieter Cornelisz Plockhoy: An Apostle of The Collegiants", p. 177 and L. & M. Harder, Plockhoy from Zurik-zee, p. 63.
(49) Several names mentioned in Craig's analysis of the 1671 census of the Delaware can be reasonably assumed to have been members of Plockhoy's colony. Helmanus Fredricksen Wiltbanck (c. 1641-1683/4) married a sister of Pieter Cornelisz Plockhoy, Janneken Cornelis, who later married Thomas Hodgkins. William Clasen married the unnamed widow of Pieter Cornelisz Plockhoy and thus became the stepfather of Cornelis Pietersz (?-post-1700). Harmen Cornelisen (?-1684/5) might have been a brother of Pieter Cornelisz, although in that case it is odd he - unlike his brother - was an illiterate (he signed documents with a mark). No documents have been found to support Craig's claim that this man had under the name of Harmen Spycker served as a soldier in the fort on the Whorekill and should be considered as the anonymous source of a description of the Whorekill given in the Brief Account. P.S. Craig, 1671 Census of the Delaware, Philadelphia: Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, 1999, pp. 75-77 & 80-81, nos. 166, 169 & 175 and Leon deValinger, "The Burning of the Whorekill", 1673", Pennsylvania Magazine of History & Biography, no. 74 (Oct. 1950), pp. 473-487, p. 480.
(50) The quote is taken from Horst, but similar accounts can be found in just about any publication on Plockhoy. I.B. Horst, "Pieter Cornelisz Plockhoy: An Apostle of The Collegiants", p. 178.
(51) It would seem that the Dutch practice of using patronymics has confused several scholars into believing the father Cornelis Pietersz to be identical with the son Pieter Cornelisz, but nevertheless all the sources mentioning Plockhoy in America are clearly talking about the son, Cornelis Pietersz Plockhoy, whereas the authors assume that they are talking about the father, the Utopian author. See e.g. the naturalization of Cornelis Pietersz Plockhoy on May 27, 1683, and the petition by John Hill, a friend of Cornelis Pietersz's mother, in which he is called 'the blind man'. C.H.B. Turner (ed.), Some Records of Sussex County, Delaware, Philadelphia: Allen, Lane & Scott, 1909, p. 97 and C.W. Horle, Records of Sussex County Delaware 1677 - 1710, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991, p. 197.
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