||Christopher (Davis) Davids was a New Netherland settler.|
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Christoffel Davids, also called Kit Davitsz and other name variants, was a native of England who settled in New Netherland, where he was first recorded in 1638. His birth year is calculated to be 1616, based on his statement on 3 September 1658 that he was 42 years of age and was born in England.
In Immigrant Ancestors a List of 2,500 Immigrants to America before 1750, Frederick Adams Virkus called him Capt. Christopher Davis ("Kit") and indicated that he migrated from England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony circa 1636, settled at Fort Orange (Albany) in 1638, and removed to Ulster County, New York in about 1652. The Great Migration Directory indicates that a Christopher Davis, origins unknown, is mentioned in Massachusetts Bay Court Records as having appeared in court in 1636; it is not clear if the man recorded in Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1636 is the same man who later appeared in New Netherland.
Jeremy Kidd notes that the name "Christoffel" is a Dutch equivalent of the English name Christopher and that "Davits" and "Davidts" are Dutch equivalents of the English surnames Davis or Davids. As Christoffel Davids is known to have come from England, his birth name is inferred to be Christopher Davis.
[Marriage & children from import of Davidts-13 profile and need to be cleaned up.]
[Need to complete]
The following is a chronological collection of documented events in the life of Christopher "Kit" Davids. These events were culled from a number of collections of translated Dutch records from the time, as well as some local histories. I have copied the records as they appear in the cited sources, and have also added my (Jeremy Kidd) own comments with further explanation, opinion, and/or interpretation in italicized square brackets like this: [Ed. ]. If the source record contains footnotes, I have marked with a '*' and included the author's footnote below the quote. For convenience, references to Kit in the records are indicated in bold.
I have used the more recent translations by Charles Gehring where available as he uses a more direct translation that some of his predecessors (e.g. Gehring uses 'Rensselaerswijck' as written in the text, where Van Laer's translations from the early 1900's uses the Anglicized 'Rensselaerswyck'.)
Thanks to Michelle Boyd for her transcriptions and biography of Kit, which I have used as a reference and copied in part.
In 1652 considerable difficulty arose at Rensselaerwyck in regard to title and occupancy of land, caused by the patent of the Patroon Van Rensselaer overlapping the occupancy of some settlers. Parties became very violent in their quarrels, which, in a number of cases, led to personal conflicts. Thomas Chambers, an Englishman, Mattys Hendrix, Christopher Davis, and Johan De Hulter, who had settled on the disputed territory, and several of their neighbors, desiring peace and comfort, left for Atkarkarton (Esopus), "an exceedingly beautiful land," and formed a settlement there. Although there is little doubt that Europeans had resided in that vicinity before, still this immigration of Chambers and his neighbors was the first approach to a permanent settlement. (HOK, 5-6)
Jan Dirrixsz van Bremen declares under solemn oath that Jacob Sijmonsz Clomp, bark skipper, lately sold brandy in a kettle to the Indians at Catskill. Furthermore, in the form of an ordinary declaration, that some beavers' worth of brandy was sold by Jacob Clomp to the Indians at the Esopus, according to the complaint made to him by some inhabitants of the Esopus who declared they suffered great annoyance from them in consequence thereof. And as to Katskill*, that the trouble and difficulties which have arisen are the result thereof and are also due to Kit Davidsz. (FOCM, 59)
[Ed. This is a complaint against another settler, Clomp, for selling brandy to Indians which also accuses Kit of selling to the Indians at Katskill. This suggests to me that Kit's selling of brandy to the Indians was well known.]
(From a Land Purchase record)
Johannis Dykman purchased from the Indian a certain parcel of land at or near the Rondout upon the Strand by the Esopus Creek or Kill containing about twelve acres or six Morgens and was by the said Dykman upon the 16th day of August 1653 conveyed to Christopher Davis.
|Christpher Davis to Evert Pels||Deed bearing date the 27th March 1667 for which the said Evert Pels had a new confirmation from Governor Lovelace dated 2nd November 1668|
[Ed. From this record (which goes on to list further transfers of the land to others through to 1748) we know that Kit owned near "the Strand" which I believe was located close to the mouth of the Esopus Creek at the Hudson River. He owned this land for 14 years.]
Commissary Dijckman, nomine officio, plaintiff, against Lourens Jansz, defendant, to reply to the following interrogatories:
Interrogaties on which this court is to examine Lourens Jansz, burgher and inhabitant of Beverwijck:
|1 How old is he and where born?||Answers, 48 years and born at Hoesem.*|
|2 Whether about four months ago he was not in the Esopus with Commisary Dijckman?||Answers, Yes.|
|3 Whether, when there, he did not understand and hear Christoffel Davits say, in presence of the commissary, that he, Christoffel, had sold to the Indians at one time 22 mutsgens of brandy and afterwards also a half anker of brandy?||Answers, Yes.|
|4 Whether he did not understand and hear Marcelis, the servant of Mr de Hulter say that he, Christoffel Davits, now and then had sold not one, but several ankers of brandy to the Indians, which he, Marcelis, had noticed and seen while he lived there at the house of Christoffel Davits?||Answers, Yes, and that Christoffel Davits himself said that the sackemaas of the savages themselves had been to see him, Kit Davits, and begged him not to sell any more brandy to the Indians, because it caused serious fights and trouble among them.|
Which interrogatories, the questions as well as the answers were sworn by the defendant before the officer.
Johannes Dijckman Rutgers Jacobsz Andries Herbers Jacob Schermehooren Jan Thomasz (FOCM, 74-75)
[Ed. This shows that even the Indian chiefs (or sachems) were asking Kit to stop selling their people brandy. Not only does this speak to Kit's business of selling brandy to the Indians, but also suggests that Kit had strong relations with the Indians as the sachems came to try to reason with him instead of taking violent action against him. This also contains evidence that Marcelis (Jansz van Bommel), who was formerly a servant of Heer (or lord) Johan de Hulter, lived with Kit some time before this date. It is still uncertain whether Marcelis was also a servant of Kit. See 3 Feb 1654.]
Jacob Jansz Schermerhoren, plaintiff, against Merten Herpertsz, defendant, for f247:- which the defendant owes plaintiff, and further for 30 schepels of corn and a mudde of beans which were lost through the defendant's carelessness, as shown by the affadavit of Christoffel Davits. (FOCM, 79)
[Ed. Not much to glean about Kit from this case.]
Interrogatories on which this court is to examine Marcelis Jansz van Bommel, former servant of the honorable Johan de Hulter.
|First, how old he is and where born?||Answers, At Bommel, 25 years of age.|
|Whether, about four months ago, he, together with Commisary Dijckman and Lourens Jansz, did not hear Christoffel Davits say that one time alone he sold 22 mutsgens of brandy to the Indians?||Answers, Yes, and that he, Davits, said so in the presence of still others.|
|Whether from this selling of brandy and drinking of the Indians whether no trouble resulted and arose and whether the sachems of the Indians there did not come to said Davits and in their way forbade him to sell any more brandy to Indians and begged him not to do so, as they got into great trouble and dispute with one another while being drunk?||Answers, Yes, that he himself understood and heard Christoffel Davits say so.|
|Whether he did not see Christoffel Davits now and then sell some brandy to the Indians?||Answers, Yes, but that he does not know the quantity.|
|Whether he knows or has been informed that some trouble among the Christians and the Indians had resulted therefrom, especially with the Christians?||Answers, Yes, especially because the horses of Thomas Clabbort [Ed. Or Clapboard, a nickname for Thomas Chambers] had been in the corn.|
He, Marcelis Jansz, has with uplifted fingers confirmed these answers by oath. (FOCM, 90-1)
[Ed. According to Gehring's glossary in FOCM, a mutsje = 2.15 oz., making 22 "mutsgens" about 1.4 liters. This is a second testimony about Kit's sale of brandy to Indians, this one given by Marcelis Jansz, the former given by Lourens Jansz. This testimony makes specific mention of trouble with the Indians related to Thomas Chambers's horses. See 23 Dec 1653]
The Heer Johan de Hulter, having come into court, has exhibited a certain letter written to Cristoffel Davitsz by the hon. general. It is decided to have the same copied and in addition to notify him, Christoffel Davits, that he must give the aforesaid gentleman peaceful possession (of the land) in response to his complaints and if he sees fit have the case argued by his agents. (FOCM, 165)
[Ed. Apparently there were complaints against Kit (due to selling brandy to the Indians maybe?) and he was ordered by the "hon. general" (likely Petrus Suyvesant) to turn his land over to De Hulter]
[LETTER TO KIT DAVITS FROM THE FORT ORANGE COURT] Kit Davits. What his honor, the lord general, has written to you can be seen in the enclosed copy, which was sent for this purpose: "That you are to allow his honor De Hulter and his [people] to purchase land and to enjoy free possession thereof and other things, and not to incite the Indians against him or his [people] nor let harm come to his property nor do him the least injury; if you do so, we shall proceed against you according to law. Let this serve as a final warning to you, according to which to regulate yourself exactly, so that the aforesaid honorable [De Hulter] may enjoy free possession; and in case you act to the contrary, we shall at once proceed against you according to the law." ["Hereby be warned" is crossed out.]
The court of Fort Orange and Beverwijck, Fort Orange, 3 December 1654. (FORB, 48-49)
[Ed. This references the same letter from Petrus Stuyvesant in the court records from 2 days prior, and shows more evidence of Kit being involved with the Indians in the area, "inciting" them against his neighbors. In prior cases going back over the previous 12 months, there were numerous instances of Kit selling liquor to Indians, which is presumably what happened here. Kit's continued dealings with the Indians was causing trouble, especially for De Hulter who by now had now clearly had enough and escalated the issue to Stuyvesant. We also know from the letter regarding Kit's estate that by 2 Mar 1657, De Hulter was a neighbor to Kit - he owned the farm next door. De Hulter was also dead by that time (just over 2 years after this incident.)]
P[iete]r Bronk, by virtue of a transfer (of claim) from Christoffel Davidts, plaintiff, against Jacob Gerritsz, defendant, for payment of the sum of f 264:4:-, according to his note, payable in beavers or grain. The defendant admits the debt. The court gives judgment for the plaintiff. (FOCM, 247)
[Ed. Kit was owed money by Gerritsz and transferred the debt to Pieter Bronck, to whom he must have been in debt himself (also see FOCM, 321). This also shows how grain and beaver pelts were used as currency in the New Netherlands colony. According to Gehring (FOCM glossary), a beaver pelt was equal to 8 guilders.]
Gossen Gerritsen, attorney for the widow of Reyer Stoffelsen, plaintiff, against Christoffel Davids, defendant. The plaintiff demands payment of 60 guilders in corn. The defendant admits the debt and promises to pay, on condition that the note which he executed in favor of Reyer Stoffelsen be returned to him; also a silver beaker which he gave to Reyer Stoffelsen, deceased, to have it remodeled in Holland. The parties having been heard, the defendant is ordered by the court to pay the said sum of 60 guilders in corn within the space of six weeks, provided that the note, if there is one, be at the same time returned to him. As to the beaker, he is to corroborate his claim by testimony. (FOCM, 256)
[Ed. It seems from this record that Kit was in debt to Stoffelsen before he died for 60 guilders, and his widow is now wanting to settle the debt. Kit is asking for the note regarding the debt to be returned, presumably to ensure he is not asked again later to settle the debt. It is possible that Kit thought the note that was in possession of the deceased may not have been able to be found, thereby getting Kit out of the debt, though this is speculation.]
Johannes van Twillert, plaintiff, against Christoffel Davidts, defendant.
The plaintiff demands payment of the sum of 564 guilders, 8 stivers, according to the voluntary confession (of the defendant), whereupon judgment was given by the court of Rencelaerswijck and by virtue thereof an attachment secured aginst certain moneys in the custody of Jacob Janssen Stollen* and Tomas Chambert.
The defendant admits the debt and agrees that the plaintiff shall receive from the hands of the aforesaid Jacob Janssen Stollen and Tomas Chambert the moneys attached, up to the amount of his debt due to the aforesaid van Twillert.
The magistrates, having heard the confession and the consent of the defendant, (give judgment for) the aforesaid sum of 564 guilders, 8 stivers and order that the property in the hands of Jacob Janssen Stollen and Tomas Chambert may be levied upon by the plaintiff to the amount of 564 guilders and 8 stivers. (FOCM, 260)
[Ed. According to Gehring (FOCM glossary), a guilder was equal to about a day's earnings by a common laborer, so this is a large sum owed by Kit. Kit readily admits to the debt and seems to have savings on hand to settle, which suggests he had some wealth by this time.]
Jacob Schermerhoorn, plaintiff, against Christoffel Davids, defendant. The plaintiff demands payment of 14 schepels of maize, being the balance of a note executed more than 10 years ago. The defendant denies that he owes the amount, but declares that he is satisfied to pay it if the plaintiff swears to it. The plaintiff having taken the oath, the court orders the defendant to pay the plaintiff two beavers in specie and 10 stivers in seawan. (FOCM, 268)
[Ed. According to the glossary in FOCM, 1 schepel = 0.764 bushels of grain. Seawan (or sewan or sewant) is the word the Dutch used for the beads used by the Indians as decoration and currency; the English colonists called it "wampum." This case implies that Kit was lazy about paying his debts and/or forgetful and/or a lousy record-keeper. In any case, it also suggests that he was a reasonable man as he agreed to pay the debt if the plaintiff swore to it. If Schermerhoorn's claim is true, it also tells us that Kit was in the New Netherlands territory as early as 1646.]
Appeared before the court Jan Verbeeck and Evert Wendel, orphan masters of the court, who declared that seeing the bad management of Christoffel Davids in administering the estate left undivided between himself and his children, the heirs of Cornelia de Vos, his deceased wife, they had thought fit for the preservation of the said property and the protection of the children to nominate and propose the persons of Anderies de Vos, the father of the said Cornelia de Vos, and Arent Anderiessen, uncle on his wife's part of the said children,* as curators thereof, for so far as the rights of the minor children are concerned; who, appearing before the court, have voluntarily agreed and promised upon oath to acquit themselves therein to the best of their knowledge and to the best advantage of the estate and the children. Wherefore the court have granted them authority as lawful curators of the said estate and guardians of the aforesaid children, with power to do therein and in all that is connected therewith as they shall jointly see fit for the benefit of the aforesaid estate and children, binding themselves to render an accounting whenever time or necessity shall demand it. Done in court at Fort Orange, the 27th of February Anno 1657. (FOCM, 280)
[Ed. From this record, we know that Kit's first wife, Cornelia de Vos, had died before this date. We also see evidence that Kit was mismanaging his late wife's estate and the affairs of their children. Kit has also lost custody of his and Cornelia's children who from this point were presumably raised by Cornelia's family. Together with other evidence about mismanagement of debts (see 5 Dec 1656) this is further evidence that Kit was not good at managing administrative details, to the point that it got him into trouble. We also know that Kit was now on his own - without a wife or children to care for.]
[COPY OF A LETTER TO THE TRUSTEES OF THE ESTATE OF KIT DAVIDS AND HIS WIFE CORNELIA DE VOS]
Copy of a certain letter given by Jacob Adriaensen to the trustees of the estate of Kit Davids and Cornelia de Vos his late wife, which Jacob Janssen Stol wrote with his own hand.
I, the undersigned Kit Davids, acknowledge that I have in good faith sold to Jacob Janssen Hap these my lands located in the great Esopus, next to the farm of the late Johans de Hulter, with a road passing through the same, provided that he, Kit Davids, deliver to the seller from this date on, being the 17th day of August, to wit in three installments, the first of same payments after timely delivery provided that he, Kit Davids, provides him with a clean transfer from the Indians and moreover a patent from the Hon. Company. Agrees with that from my own hand in the presence of witnesses hereunto called and requested, and that for the sum of 1400 guilders, that is fourteen hundred guilders, without any abatement or haggling. Thus have I as seller signed with my normal signature.
Agrees with the original as far as we could read it. Acknowledged before me, La Montagne, commissary at Fort Orange.
[INVENTORY OF KIT DAVIDTS' ESTATE]
Inventory of the estate of Kit Davidts and of the late Cornelia de Vos.
In a great chest: A pair of red and yellow sleeves A Haerlemer damask under waistcoat, red and blue A red cloth under waistcoat A red cloth under petticoat A Pooyse apron* A black sil damask dress with red lining 13 napkins, hemmed 6 ditto cut, unharmed A pair of curtains with a valence A small table cloth A yellow child's jacket 5 bed sheets 10 pillow cases A piece of fine linen, of 1 1/2 ells 7 cotton swathing cloths A package of child's bed linen 7 night neckerchiefs 5 white bibs 5 tuckers 5 women's handkerchiefs A package of child's bed linen tied in a square linen cloth Also 2 grain sacks and 2 deer skins A bed with its bolster, two pillows, two bedspreads with a coverlet, a sheet.
This inventory was prepared in the presence of Christoffel Davids, Jan Verbeeck, Evert Wendels, orphan masters, at the request of Anderies de Vos, trustee in absence of Arent Anderiessen, co-trustee, by me, Johannes La Montagne as officer of Fort Orange and the village of Beverwijck, who has locked and sealed the same above-mentioned goods in a large chest on the 2nd of March, 1657. Was signed: Jan Verbeeck, Evert Wendels, Anderies de Vos, as orphan fathers.
Acknowledged before me, La Montagne, commissary at Fort Orange (FORA, 40-1)
[Ed. This record tells us that before this time, Kit was living in Esopus (now Kingston) and gives details to where his property was located. We also know what he had as personal possessions that were turned over to his father- and brother-in-law who were taking custody of his and Cornelia's children. This modest list gives us a glimpse into what it might have been like in their home. Gerhring's publication also provides an image of Kit's mark he used to sign this document - a letter D.]
[PURCHASE AGREEMENT OF FRANS BARENTSEN PASTOOR'S GARDEN BY ANDERIES DE VOS AND ARENT ANDERIESSEN] There appeared before me, Johannes La Montagne, in the service of the West India Company, commissary at Fort Orange, village of Beverwijck etc., Anderies de Vos and Arent Anderiessen: of the one side, and the Honorable Frans Barensen Pastoor of the other [side] who [have come to an agreement] with each other in regard to the purchase of the garden which the aforementioned Frans Barensen purchased from Rutger Jacobsen at public auction on 29th of January 1657, which garden thereafter was purchased from the aforementioned Frans Barensen on the 26th of February by Christoffel Davidts at public auction, in this manner, to wit, that the aforesaid Anderies de Vos and Arent Anderiessen, as legally appointed trustees of the estate left by Cornelia de Vos, late wife of the above-mentioned Christoffel Davidts, have obligated themselves by these presents in said capacity as principals to pay them the sum of two hundred, twenty-six guilders to the hon. Rutger Jacobsen, for and in place of the aforenamed Frans Barensen in the same money as the conditions of the said sale made on the 29th of January 1657 mentioned, and moreover to said Frans Barensen the sum of thirty guilders and to the commissary fourteen guilders, six stuivers for auction fees, which obligation the aforesaid Frans Barensen has accepted, the respective parties for observation hereof, their persons and estates, personal and real, present and future.
Done in the village of Beverwijck, the 5th of March 1657, in presence of Jan Verbeeck and Evert Wendels, orphan masters, as witnesses, was signed Anderies de Vos, with the mark of Arent Anderiessen, Frans Barensz Pastoor, Jan Verbeeck, witness, Evert Wendels as witness.
Acknowledged before me, La Montagne, commis at Fort Orange (FORA, 42)
Christoffel Davids, plaintiff, against Jacob Adriaensen Neus, defendant. The plaintiff demands payment of f 423:10:-. The defendant admits the debt but claims that he does not have to pay it until the next month of August, when he promises to pay, binding his house here as security for the payment. Having heard the parties, the court orders the defendant to pay the plaintiff the aforesaid sum promptly in August, according to his offer. (FOCM, 282-283)
[Ed. 'Neus' is Dutch for 'nose' and appears to be a nickname for Jacob Adriaensen. Here Kit is owed 423 guilders, due to him in August.]
Default. Jan van Eeckelen, plaintiff, against Default. Christoffel Davids, defendant. (FOCM, 309)
[Ed. Kit failed to appear in court for a case brought against him by Van Eeckelen, who also failed to appear. 6 days later, they both appear and the case is heard (see 10 Jul 1657).]
[CONVEYANCE OF A GARDEN FROM FRANS BARENTSZ PASTOOR TO CHRISTOPHEL DAVIDS] There appeared before me, J: La Montagne, in the service of the General Chartered West India Company, V. Dir. and commissary at Fort Orange, village of Beverwijck, etc., the Honorable Frans Barentsz Pastoor, who, in the presence of Jacob Schermerhoorn and Philip Pietersz Schuller, magistrates, of this same court, declared that he had granted and conveyed, as by these presents he does grant and convey, to Christophe Davids, resident of the village of Beverwijck, a certain garden located in the aforesaid village next to the lord Rencelaer's, along the river's edge, to the west on the road eight rods and seven feet long, along the river's edge eight rods and one foot, to the north at the lot of Goossen Gerritsen six rods wide, on the south side three and a half rods wide, which lot the aforementioned Christoffel Davids bought at public auction from the aforementioned Frans Barensen on the 26th of February 1657 for the sum of three hundred and thirty guilders with expenses, which sum the said Frans Barensen acknowledges to have paid, promising to free the said lot of all claims or demands, upon pledge of his person and estate, personal and real, present and future. Done at Fort Orange, the 6th of July 1657.
Frans Barentsen Pastoor Jacob Jansen Schermerhooren Philip Pietersen Acknowledged before me, La Montagne, commisary at Fort Orange.
[Ed. From this purchase of a garden in Beverwijck (which is sold by Kit in September 1657), we know that Kit was definitely living in Beverwijck and not Esopus at this time.]
Jan van Eeckelen, plaintiff, against Kit Davidtsen, defendant. The plaintiff demands payment of f 172:16:- in beavers. The defendant admits that he owed plaintiff the aforesaid sum, but maintains that in payment he assigned to him a note for f 152:- due to him by Cornelis Slecht, which the plaintiff accepted, and offers to pay the balance of f 20:16. The court, having heard the parties, order the plaintiff to be satisfied with the note given to him for the sum of f152:, which he accepted, provided that the defendant pay the balance of f 20:16. (FOCM, 312)
[Ed. From this we know that Kit is involved in business dealings with Van Eeckelen and Slecht. In this case, he was owed by Slecht and handed the debt over to Van Eeckelen as payment.]
Harmen Jacobsen, plaintiff, against
|Default.||Abraham Vosburch, Willem Hofmeyer,|
Marten Metselaer, Tjerk Claessen,
Henderick Gerritsen, Stoffel Davids,
Claes Ripsen, Claes Janssen,
Poulus Jurcksz, and Pieter Meesen
Idem Harmen Jacobsen, plaintiff, against Pieter Bronk, defendant. The plaintiff says that he has had the money in the hands of Jan Tomassen, which was attached by the defendant, reattached in the said hands, as the defendant had agreed to take it or accepted it in payment of a certain debt and then by means of a new account, had tried to have the said account, which was to be paid in beavers, serve in payment of his last claim against Kit Davids, leaving the payment of this last claim, which was to be in sewant, to the plaintiff. He produces a deposition of Henderick Bierman and Evert Noldinck, in which they attest that the defendant, Pieter Bronk, after the liquidation of accounts, agreed to demand payment from Kit Davids. The defendant denies that he made any such agreement. The court orders Henderick Bierman and Evert Noldinck to confirm their affidavits by oath in the presence of the court or in the presence of two magistrates. ... Jan Eerhaer, plaintiff, against Kit Davidsen, defendant. The plaintiff demands payment of the sum of f248:-. The defendant admits that he did owe the sum demanded, but says that he paid f 32:- on account and offers to pay the balance within the space of fifteen days. The court orders the defendant to pay the balance within the space promised by him, under penalty of attachment. (FOCM, 320-21)
[Ed. On this date, Kit is involved in several cases. First, Harmen Jacobsen is owed money by Pieter Bronck, who is in turn owed money by Kit (see FOCM, 247). Kit also owes money to Jan Eerhaer. It is a testament to the incosistent recordkeeping of the time, that the same person is referred to with 3 different names in the minutes for this single day.]
[CONVEYANCE OF A GARDEN FROM CHRISTOPHEL DAVIDSZ TO JAN THEUNISZ] There appeared before me, Johannes La Montagne, in the service of the General Chartered West India Company, commissary at Fort Orange and the village of Beverwijck etc., in the presence of Jacob Schermerhoorn and Philippe Pietersz Schuller, Christophle Davidsz, burger and resident of the village of Beverwijck, who declares that he has granted and conveyed, as he hereby does grant and convey, in real and actual possession, for the benefit of Jan Theunisz, also resident of the same village, his heirs or assigns, a certain garden located in the said village of Beverwijck next to lord Renselaer on the river's edge, length on the west side and along the road eight rods and one foot, on the east along the river eight rods and one foot, to the north on the lot of Goosen Gerardtsz six rods wide, on the south side three and a half rods wide, which garden he has received by deed from Frans Barentse Pastor dated the 6th of July 1657, for the sum of three hundred and fifty guilders, of which sum the said Christophle Davids acknowledges to have had satisfaction, promising to free the said garden from all claims and demands which could be against the said garden, upon pledge of his person and estate, personal and real, present and future, submitting the same to all laws and judges.
Done in Fort Orange the 7th day of September 1657.
Acknowledged by me, [left blank] (FORA, 87-8)
[Ed. According to the glossary in FOCM, 1 rod was 12.071 feet, making this wedge-shaped property about 72.5 feet across at the north edge, 42 feet across at the south edge, and 97.5 feet long. Situated between the Hudson river, it seems like prime real estate. This lot was purchased by Kit only in February of this same year (see FORA 6 Jul 1657) for f 330. That's 6% appreciation in just 7 months - not bad. Gerhring's publication also provides an image of Kit's mark he used to sign this document - the letters CD.]
Tomas Janssen Mingael, plaintiff, against Default. Christoffel Davids, defendant.
Tomas Janssen Mingael, plaintiff, against Christoffel Daavids, defendant. The plaintiff says that he settled with the defendant about the rent of the house of Jacob Anderiessen for f 50:-. The defendant admits that he did so, but says that he was drunk. The court refers the case to referees to be chosen by the parties, respectively. (FOCM, 338-39)
[Ed. It seems that Kit was renting a house at some point in 1657, presumably when he was on his own after being separated from his children, and that he was drunk when he agreed to the terms.]
Tomas Janssen Mingael, plaintiff, against Christoffel Davidts, defendant. The parties having been heard, the court, in accordance with the previous decision, orders each party to choose a referee, which the plaintiff did in our presence, whereupon Tomas Janssen chose Cornelis Teunissen Bosch and the defendant, Christoffel Davids, Willem Brouwer.
Adriaen Appel, plaintiff against Christoffel Davids, defendant. The plaintiff demands payment of f 93:12 per balance due for board and other items. The defendant admits the debt and promises to pay it within the space of six weeks. The court condemns the defendant to pay the aforesaid sum of f 93:12 within six weeks. (FOCM, 344)
[Ed. The first mention of Kit on this date is a continuation of the case v. Janssen (see FOCM, 339), where both parties have selected referees to mediate their dispute over rent owed by Kit to Janssen. The second mention is a separate case against Kit, by Adriael Appel, to whom Kit owes for food and 'other items.' Putting this together the events of the past year, it seems that since the death of his wife and loss of his children, Kit had fallen on hard times.]
Meester van Hamel,* plaintiff, against Christoffel Davids, defendant. The plaintiff complains that the defendant has affronted him, having struck him three times and called him a forger and challenged him to fight, as evidence of which he produces a knife which the defendant surrendered to the plaintiff. The defendant denies that he did so, but admits that the knife, which the plaintiff produces, is his. The court orders the plaintiff to prove his statements on the next court day. (FOCM, 348)
[Ed. Here Kit is accused of starting a fight with Dirck van Hamel, an important citizen in the colony. Given the claim that Kit called Van Hamel a "forger" suggests that Kit was critical of Van Hamel's fulfilment of his office as secretary of the colony. After denying the claim, Van Hamel is ordered to return with proof the following day, which never happens. This accusation may or may not have been true, but it never came up in the records again.]
Jacob Adriaensen, plaintiff, against Cristoffel Davits, defendant. The parties having been heard, it is ordered that the defendant shall submit his answer in writing on the next court day. (FOCM, 369)
[Ed. Not much to be derived from this record, except that Kit was sued by Adriaensen.]
Willem Brouwer, plaintiff, against Christoffel Davids, defendant. The plaintiff demands payment of f 48 and a pair of shoes, together with ten guilders advanced to the defendant for an Indian. The defendant admits the debt of f 48 and a pair of shoes, but denies that he owes the ten guilders given to an Indian. The court orders the defendant to pay the f 48 and a pair of shoes, amounting together to f 54, but orders the plaintiff to prove in six weeks that he advanced f 10 for an Indian.
Jan Martensen, plaintiff, against Christoffel Davids, defendant. The plaintiff demands payment of a certain sum for tavern debt. The defendant denies a part of it. The court condemns the defendant to pay the plaintiff f 25, according to the ordinance that a tavernkeeper may not give credit for more than f 25.* (FOCM, 382)
Christoffel Davids, plaintiff, against Jacob Neus, defendant. The plaintiff says that the defendant overcharges him and asks more than is coming to him. The parties having been heard, the court orders that each party shall choose an arbitrator to dispose of the matter. ...
Dirck Janssen Croon, plaintiff, against Christoffel Davids, defendant. The plaintiff demands payment of four beavers, for which the plaintiff has attached 14 napkins and 12 pewter plates. The defendant admits the debt. The court declares the attachment valid and orders the defendant to pay the sum demanded, or in default thereof to give security for the final liquidation. (FOCM, 390)
[Ed. Neus is Dutch for nose and was likely a nickname, i.e. "Jacob the Nose".]
[TERMS FOR SALE OF CHRISTOFFEL DAVIDS' GOODS] Goods of Christoffel Davids to be paid in beavers within the period of three weeks from this date the 29th of July.
|Willem Brouwer, 6 pewter trenchers and 7 napkins,||f21.0.0|
|Andries Herbertsen, ditto,||f20.10.0|
The honorable officer, plaintiff, against Christoffel Davids, defendant. The plaintiff says that an affidavit from the Esopus has been handed to him, according to which the defendant, coming from the Manhatans in the yacht of Evert Pels and while being in the Highlands*, said to two Indians who came on board that the Sachem, to wit, the honorable general, had killed the Indians at the Manhatans and that the following night he would come to the Esopus and there also break the necks of the Indians, whereupon the Indians of the Esopus took some Christian prisoners and created great outrages. The honorable plaintiff therefore requests that the defendant be examined upon interrogatory.
Interrogation of Christoffel Davids, held at the request of the honorable officer before the honorable magistrates of the said court.
||Answers, 42 years and born in the Bishopric in England.|
||Answers, No, but that he said to the Indians who were on board, "I know nothing about that."|
The defendant pleads not guilty and produces two affidavits, one from Henderick v. Dijck and the other from Dirck Janssen, skipper, who attest that while they were in the Highlands two Indians came on board, who asked Christoffel Davids whether the Sachem would come and kill all the savages in the Esopus and the Highlands? Whereupon Christoffel Davids answered: "I know nothing about it." (FOCM, 405-406)
[Ed. It is from this interrogation of Kit that we know he was English and was born in 1615 or 1616. We also see more evidence of Kit's frequent interactions with the Indians near Esopus.]
Sijmon Janssen, plaintiff, against Jan van Eeckelen, defendant. The plaintiff says that the defendant has in his custody some silverware* belonging to Christoffel Davids. The plaintiff, therefore, requests that he may have part of this as security, as he has a note from the aforesaid Christoffel Davids. The defendant says that the aforesaid silverware was given to him by Christoffel Davids as security for a debt, so that he has a prior claim to it. The honorable court orders that the defendant shall prove that the aforesaid silverware was given to him as security for a debt.
* silverwerck: literally "silverwork," which could mean place settings for a table or anything made of silver. (Author's footnote)
The honorable officer, plaintiff, against Hendrick Anderiesen, defendant. The plaintiff demands payment of seventy-one guilders, by balance of account resulting from some excess committed by the defendant. The defendant admits the debt and the excess committed by him, but claims that what he did to Cristoffel Davidts was compounded for with the officer by his brother-in-law, Jacob Jansen Stol, deceased, who promised to pay the sum because the excess was committed on his account. The plaintiff admits that such an agreement was made, but inasmuch as he received no satisfaction, he demands the same from the defendant as the offender in the case. The honorable court having heard the parties, order the defendant to pay the plaintiff the sum of twenty-one guilders. [Decision in] the action of the plaintiff against the defendant for the f 50 is reserved, the court remaining sureties for the money. (FOCM, 478)
Christoffel Davidts, plaintiff, against Willem Jansen, defendant. The plaintiff demands fifty guilders by balance of accounts. The defendant denies that he owes so much. The honorable court orders that this matter be disposed of by referees. (FOCM, 479)
Cristoffel Davidts, plaintiff, against Default. Willem Jansen, defendant.
[CONVEYANCE OF LAND FROM CHRISTOFFEL DAVIDS TO GEERTRUY ANDERIESEN] Appeared before me, Johannes La Montagne, in the service of the general chartered West India Company, admitted vice director and commissary at Fort Orange and the village of Beverwijck by the lord director general and council of New Netherland, in the presence of the honorable Frans Barentsen Pastoor and Evert Janssen Wendel, magistrates of the same court, Christoffel Davids, who declares to convey and cede as he hereby cedes and conveys in real and actual possession to and for the benefit of Geertruy Anderiesen, widow of Jancob Janssen Stoll, deceased, her heirs or assigns, a piece of cleared cultivatable land, lying in the Esopus bounded to the north Madam Ebbinghs and to the south Jurriaen Westvael, lying in two parcels together about thirty-siz morgens in size with a piece of pasture also abut twenty morgens, extending from the woods; for the sum fourteen hundred guilders, of which the aforesaid sum he, grantor, acknowledges to have had satisfaction, except for six hundred guilders in sewant that he conveys and assigns to the honorable Jeremias van Rencelaer by agreement of the aforesaid Geertuy Anderiessen according to the conveyance of the aforesaid Jacob Janssen Stoll, deceased, dated the 13th of July anno 1657, which aforesaid sum of six hundred guilders, from next November, in good winter wheat calculated at four guilders the skipple, and other grains in proportion. He, conveyor, promises to free the aforesaid land of all claims, actions or pretensions that may hereafter arise, pledging his person and estate, movable and immoveable, now and in the future, submitting himself to all courts and judges. Done at Fort Orange, the 15th of August anno 1661.
This is the mark of Christoffel Davids, made with his own hand. This is the mark  of Geertruy Anderiessen, made with her own hand. Frans Barentsen Pastoor Evert Wendel Acknowledged by me, La Montagne, commissary at Fort Orange. (FORB, 204-205)
[Ed. A morgen was a measure of land equal to about 2 acres in size to the total amount of land in this transaction is about 112 acres. We know that Kit was living in Esopus at this time. It's also interesting that this settlement of this purchase includes a futures contract for wheat. Kit signed this document with his mark of "CD".]
Kit sold land he owned in Esopus to Evert Pels. (See land purchase record from 16 Aug 1653.)
These are excerpts from published sources that document Christopher Davis.
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