Isaack de Rasieres

Isaack de Rasieres was born in Middleburg, the Netherlands in 1595 and sailed to New Netherland following his 1626 appointment by the Dutch West India Company as Secretary of New Netherland. On arrival, De Rasieres reported to the Company in Amsterdam that the provisional Director, Willem Verhulst, was overzealous in the infliction of punishment on the colonists. When fiscael irregularities in the Company's accounts were discovered, De Rasieres had a heated confrontation with the Director during a meeting of the New Netherland Council. Verhulst refused to resign and the Council voted to banish him from the colony, placing him under house arrest until a ship was available to return him to Holland. The Dutch West India Company did not question the Council's action, and appointed Peter Minuit, already in the colony, to became the next Director.

De Rasieres organized the processes and procedures of the New Netherland Council, recommending that the Secretary not participate in judicial deliberations but act as a neutral recorder of the proceedings. However, if the Council was engaged in legislation or administrative action, De Rasieres believed that the Secretary should take an active role.

In 1627, Secretary de Rasieres was sent to the English settlement at Plymouth on official business. His long letter to his superiors describing the New England colony survives and was published in New-England's Memorial (1669).

Not long after his visit to Plymouth, factional disputes within New Netherland resulted in De Rasieres' return to Holland. In 1637, the Dutch West India Company appointed him to its colony in Brazil, where he stayed for many years. When the Dutch lost their Brazilian colony to the Portugese, De Rasieres is believed to have moved to Barbados.

SOURCES

Dirk J. Barreveld. From New Amsterdam to New York: The Founding of New York by the Dutch in July 1625 (2001)

John Pory. Three Visitors to Early Plymouth (1997)