Mirror of Empire

Wooing and Wedding,
page 2 of 12

“Tho: Davidtse promisses to conduct himself well and honorably towards his wife Anneke Schaets, to Love and never neglect her, but faithfully and properly to maintain and support her with her children according to his means, hereby making null and void all questions that have occurred and transpired between them both, never to repeat them, but are entirely reconciled: and for better assurance of his real Intention and good Resolution to observe the same, he requests that two good men be named to oversee his conduct at New York towards his said wife, being entirely disposed and inclined to live honorably and well with her as a Christian man ought, subjecting himself willingly to the rule and censure of the said men. On the other hand his wife Anneke Schaets, promisses also to conduct herself quietly and well and to accompany him to New York with her children and property, not to leave him any more, but to serve and help him and with him to share the sweets and the sours as becomes a Christian spouse: Requesting all differences which had ever existed between them both may be hereby quashed and brought no more to light or cast up, as she on her side is heartily disposed to. Their Worship of the Court Recommend parties on both Sides to observe strictly their Reconciliation now made, and the gentleman at New York will be informed that the matter is so far arranged.”

We can certainly add the profound hope, after all this quarrelling and making up, after all those good promises, that Anneke’s home was no longer “unregulated and poorly kept,” as was told of her by the Labadist travellers during their visit to Albany at that time. The appointing of “two good men” as arbitrators or overseers of conduct was very usual in such cases; thereby public adjustment in open court of such quarrels was avoided.

Tender parents could not unduly shelter a daughter who had left her husband’s bed and board. He could promptly apply to the court for an order for her return to him, and an injunction to her parents against harboring her. It has been plain to see in all such cases which I have chanced upon in colonial records that the Court had a strong leaning towards the husband’s side of the case; perhaps thinking, like Anneke Schaets, that the wife should “share the sweets and the sours like a Christian spouse.”


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