A petition was presented by the inhabitants of Albany regarding the trade, in haec verba;
To the honorable commissaries of Albany, colony of Renselaerswyck and Schinnectady, etc.
Shew and make known with due reverence that we, burghers and inhabitants of Albany, notice the [sorry] state of the trade here with the Indians caused by various practices to take away one another's trade, resulting from the fact that the Indians arrange to come daily in groups of 4 or 5 or a few more for whom all the inhabitants lie in wait, and that the latter seek to take away one another's trade by making great promises of gifts and presents, which tends to the great prejudice and loss of all the inhabitants and creates a great hatred and bitterness among such traders.
We, therefore, humbly pray your honors that suitable and effective means may be employed to induce the Indians to come here in the summer in large numbers, that a definite price may be fixed for the goods and that the giving of all presents whatsoever may be forbitten, which would be a great satisfaction to all the inhabitants, as the Indians go away with the profits and hardly any of us reap any advantage.
It is also to be noted that the Indians make no effort at all to catch any beavers, as 4 or 5 beavers sufficiently supply their needs, because the goods are given to them scandalously cheap, which causes a considerable loss in revenue to our Sovereign Lord, the King.
Which doing, etc., we remain your honor's subjects,
Printed in Court Minutes of Albany, volume 3, pp. 143-44. All but two of the 27 names of these fur traders were found among the 147 names on the census of householders taken in March 1679.
first posted: 3/10/04