Hendric Jansen (Snyder)


Hendric Jansen (Snyder), a tailor by trade, was one of the first settlers along the East River shore–as early as 1639, Jansen occupied a tract of land on the southwest corner of Pearl Street and Maiden Lane shown on the Manatus Map of 1639 as “plantation 25.” On August 26, 1641, Jansen sold the house and barn to Maryn Adriaensen, but retained ownership of the brew-house and garden. William Adriaensen, the cooper, purchased the brewery on November 24, 1642. Jansen’s new home was located on Hanover Square.

From the beginning of the Kieft administration, animosity existed between Jansen and Director Willem Kieft. On May 27, 1638, Jansen was prosecuted by the Schout for slandering the Director, but appears to have escaped liability by claiming that the words were uttered in his sleep. In 1642, at a gathering at Burger Jorissen’s house, Jansen got very drunk and spoke “a highly uncomplimentary and also unprintable reflection upon the Director-General.” The case of Schout Fiscael vs. Hendrick Jansent, tailor, came before the Council on October 30, 1642. The Schout was ordered to place Jansen in irons and imprison him pending further proceedings. On November 18, Jacques Bentyn, Jochem Pietersen (Kuyter), Hendrick van Dyck, and Gysbert Opdyck were commissioned to join Councillor Johannes La Montagne as judges in the Jansen slander trial. Jansen was found guilty and sentenced to declare “with uncovered head before the director’s door after the ringing of the bell, that he had falsely uttered said infamous words, and beg pardon of God and the court.” Jansen refused to comply, and was sentenced to six years banishment and a fine of 300 guilders. However, the sentence does not appear to have been implemented and Jansen remained in the colony.

On August 28, 1641 Jansen was selected as one of the Twelve Men. When Director Kieft was recalled to Amsterdam to answer charges relating to the Indian War, Jansen returned to Holland to present testimony. Both men were on board the Princess Amelia, a Company ship that foundered off the coast of Wales. Hendrick Jansen Snyder died at sea on September 27, 1647.


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