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FOR THE YEAR 1809.
Esti non prosaint singula, juncta juvent.,
Printed and published by I. Riley..
DISTRICT OF NEW-YORK, 08.
E IT REMEMBERED, 'That on the twenty-third day of March, in rica, Isaac RILEY, of the said district, hath deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims ás proprietor, in the words and figures following, to wit :
“Collections of the New-York Historical Society. For the year 1809. Volume I. Esti non prosunt singula, juncta juvent."
IN CONFORMITY to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, “An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies " of maps, charts and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, “ during the times therein mentioned ;" and also to an act, entitled, “ An "act, supplementary to an act, entitled, an act for the encouragement of " learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts and books, to the authors “ and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned, and
extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving and " etehing historical and other prints."
Clerk of the District of New York.
CONFORMABLY to one of the profest objects of their institution, the New York Historical Society have compiled the present volume, consisting of several journals connected with the discovery of NewYork, and a few documents relating toits civil and political transactions in the early stages of its settlement.
Events of this nature, so curious and interesting in the annals of every nation, can be traced with less difficulty, and ascertained with more precision, in the history of our country, than in that of almost any other. The first navigators who directed their course across the atlantic, were incited by curiosity to re. mark, and by the hope of renown to record, every circumstance and incident attending their first visit to the unknown coasts, and unexplored bays and rivers of America.
On their return to the countries from which they had sailed, their journals were sought for with eagerness, and the press was employed to preserve and diffuse the account of their discoveries. The journal of Henry Hudson, “who in the first ship, broke the unknown wave” of our wide circling bay and majestic river, has in this manner been fortunately prea served ; and although not so minutely descriptive as our curiosity leads us to expect, yet is nevertheless sufficiently interesting to attract our attention, and certainly deserves to be perpetuated. The collection of In a few years afterwards, however, the Dutch ceased to be a party in this contention, being com. pelled by conquest to resign their territory to the dominion of Great Britain. A new system of government was then introduced by the authority of the Duke of York, to whom King Charles II, had made a grant of the colony, and a new body of laws was thereupon compiled under the direction of Nicolls, the first English governor. This code, it appears, was promulgated in every county, under the name of the “Duke's Laws,” a copy of which, transcribed from the records of Hempstead, on Long-Island, will be found at the close of the present publication. These laws continued in force till the period of the revolution in England, and ceased to have effect in the year 1691, when the general assembly of the province began to exercise a new legislative power under the sovereignty of King William.
The documents contained in this volume are arranged, for the most part, in chronological order. This method, though convenient, and deemed expedient in the present case, is by no means considered as essential, or even important in a compilation, professing to furnish materials for historical composition, rather than connected history. Should the society be enabled by public patronage, to compile a series of volumes like the present, they will consider themselves as at perfect liberty to adhere to this plan, or to disregard it at pleasure.
The publication of the list of the members, and the catalogue of donations, is reserved for the next volume.