Education

Indenture of Apprenticeship to Learn the Art of Surgery, March 13th/23rd, 1665


Historical Context
In 17th century New Netherlands, barber-surgeons practiced rudimentary forms of medicine that had developed throughout the medieval times. The duties of a surgeon included simple tasks like cutting hair, shaving beards and removing lice. The more complex services included extracting teeth, setting bones, and repairing injuries. Surgeons spent a great deal of time leeching and lancing in an effort to prevent or fight infection.
Surgeons in the 17th century used rudimentary techniques to keep people alive in the face of unknown diseases and life-threatening injuries. People sought the help of surgeons for relief of infections, growths, and injuries. Without the presence of medical schools, future surgeons were trained through apprenticeships which began in their early teen years.
 
Essential Question
How did surgeons contribute to life in a Dutch colony?
 
Check for Understanding
How did this document benefit Gysbert Schuyler, Cornelis Van Dyke, and the colony?
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Indenture of apprenticeship of Gysbert Schuyler to Cornelis Van Dyck to learn the art of surgeon , Other, Gilder_Indenture
Document Description
Indenture of apprenticeship of Gysbert Schuyler to Cornelis Van Ddyck to learn the art of surgury, 13th/23rd, 1665.
Questions
  1. What is the purpose of this document?
Translation
INDENTURE OF APPRENTICESHIP OF GYSBERT SCHUYLER TO CORNELIS VAN DYCK TO LEARN THE ART OF SURGERY
  This day, the 13th/23d of March, [1665], Philip Pietersz Schuyler acknowledged that he had apprenticed and bound out, and Mr. Cornelis van Dyck, chirurgeon, that he had engaged, the son of said Schuyler, named Gysbert Schuyler, aged about thirteen years, to employ the same in his service and to train him in the art of surgery and all that appertains thereto, according to the best of his knowledge and ability, and this for the term of four consecutive years, commencing on the 22d March/1st April, next ensuing, during which aforesaid four years the aforesaid Gysbert Schuyler is to have lodging and reasonable board and free washing and wringing. However, if it should happen that within the aforesaid time, whether in the second, third, or fourth year, the said Philip Schuyler should resolve to depart with his wife and children from here to Holland, then this contract shall cease and expire at that time, provided that notice be given one month or six weeks in advance and that, according to the length of time that has elapsed, payment be made for what is hereinbefore stated and agreed upon.
 Philip Schuyler promised to pay Mr. van Dyck for what is hereinbefore written for the first three years each year one hundred guilders in beavers, but the fourth year he shall [manuscript destroyed]. It is further stipulated that [the aforesaid] Gysbert Schuyler shall in the evening [manuscript destroyed] go to school, without neglecting his master's servic, but at his father's expense.
  Finally, Mr. van Dyck shall be held to train the aforesaid Gysbert Schuyler in all obedience and good morals and to prevent him as little as possible from attending divine service, but on the contrary to press him thereto and furthermore to do all that a good master is bound to do.
  For the performance and fulfillment of these presents the parties on both sides, each as far as he is concerned, bind their persons and properties, without exception, submitting the same to the control of all courts and judges, all in good faith.  Actum in Albany, on the date above written.
                                                                PHILLIP PIETERSZ SCHUYLER
                                                                      CORNELIS VAN DYCK
                                       D. V. SCHELLUYNE, secretary of the colony of Rensselaerswyck
                                                                                                1665