Three Rivers
History From America's Most Famous Valleys

Voyages From Holland to American in the Seventeenth Century
by David P. De Vries, published in Holland in 1655 originally
A.D. 1632 to 1644.
Translated From The Dutch
For The New York Historical Society with Introduction and Notes,
By Henry C. Murphy.


To the Noble, Mighty Lords, the Committed Council of the States of West Friesland and the North Quarter.

Together with:the Noble, Very-learned Dirck Van Foreest, Doctor in both laws, and Secretary of the Noble, Mighty Lords, the Committed Council of the States of West Friesland and the North Quarter.

THE Noble, Mighty Lords, the Roman Senate, have always had as a maxim and rule of conduct, les lois ne sont faites quentant son salutaires au peuple ; that is, laws are made only for the welfare of the people, to wit, that the community not only suffer no loss, but flourish and prosper more and more. This lesson and good counsel the excellent and illustrious kings of France, Henry of Valois, the Third of that name, and Henry the Great of Bourbon, the Fourth of that name, of France and Navarre, have followed and observed in great dignity, according to the testimony of the celebrated historian, Pierre Mathieu, who bears witness of this to the praise of their Majesties, and declares, moreover, that all the potentates and republics of Christendom should practise and follow this precept in order to advance and promote the interests of their people in all business and trade by sea and land. Our own old and faithful forefathers, the Lords Regents of our beloved Fatherland, especially, have always had it at heart, and in every way encouraged it to that end, principally in navigation and voyages,by sea, as being the means in and by which the welfare and prosperity of the whole country not a little consist. Now, my most Noble Lords, you Mighty Lords, having no less care therefore at this time than had the old Lords Regents, your predecessors: so it is that I, David Pietersz: de Vries, having from my youth up been trained in that business, and having under the regulation of the Noble, High, and Mighty Lords States-General, and the privileges granted by the same, and by the Council of Nineteen of the West India Company, been the first possessor and patroon of the South River at Swanendael, and at Staten Island in Mauritius, or the North River of New Netherland, and also the first patroon who went there for the purpose of cultivating the same, and to trade and traffic there by special privilege of my Lords, have published my labours in navigation and around the world, as ship-master, as captain and supercargo in the East Indies, as vice-commander of seven ships, and as a patroon who has planted colonies in America,-the first, indeed, who had ever sailed out of Holland or ZeaL'1nd,-and every thing which I had found by my own experience: in order to make known to trading and seafaring persons what trade and profit (accidents excepted) are to be had there, and to point out to them the good havens and roadsteads for securing their ships and goods, and to warn seamen of the rocks, . shoals, and dangerous bars, in order that they may a\1'oid them; showing them also what course they must take at sea, and how they must govern by the wind, sun, moon, and stars. These my humble labours and writings, though not embellished with ornaments of words-as is not to be expected of a person who has passed the most. of his life upon the wild ocean waste,but containing every thing which has appeared to me in my voyages worth relating, I offer this day to you, Noble Lords, and pray you to accept the same, trusting that, being made accessible to the trader and seamen by printing, they will be of service to them. May Almighty God prosper your administration to his praise and glory, and to the best interests of yourselves and of the people. Anno 1655.
Noble Lords,
Your dutiful Ordnance-Master,

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