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Jan Quisthout van der Linde
(? - June 17, 1660) U.S.A.

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New York originally was a Dutch colony, founded in 1613 as Nieuw Nederland. The West India Company, a trading outfit, was given legislative powers. Although the laws generally conformed to those of the Netherlands, the statutes of the Netherlands considered operative in the new colony did not include the criminal laws.

Therefore, any penalty for sodomy had to be based on either a statute of the colony or on natural law. There are three known sodomy prosecutions in New Netherlands.

In 1660, the third case occurred. Jan Quisthout van der Linde (or Linden) from Bruxelles, was charged with, and found guilty of, sodomy on his servant. Jan, a soldier had his sentence carried out, and he was "taken to the place of execution and there stripped of his arms, his sword broken at his feet and he then tied in a sack and cast into the river and drowned until dead".

His servant, who was a young orphan lad from Amsterdam named Hendrick Harmensen, was sentenced "to be privately whipped, and sent to some other place by the first opportunity". On 16 Aug. 1663 Janneken Barents "widow of Jan van der Linden" prays for a writ to enable her to surrender all claim to her late husband's estate in favour of his creditors. She asks to be discharged from her liabilities.


Source: 1660 Council Minutes Vol. IX in Dutch Manuscripts edited by O'Callahan (pages 211, 213) - and: Van der Zee, Sweet and Alien Land, 357.

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