Freedoms, as Given by the Council of the Nineteen of the Chartered West India Company to All those who Want to Establish a Colony in New Netherland
The Lords Nineteen, the governing body of the Dutch West India Company, established the patroon system as a way to encourage the settlement of New Netherland, the Dutch colony in North America that covered parts of present-day New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Delaware. Patroons were wealthy Dutchmen who were given extensive tracts of land, powers of local government, and some participation in the fur trade in exchange for settling colonists in New Netherland. In June 1629, the West India Company issued the Charter of Liberties and Exemptions, which declared as patroons of New Netherland all "who shall, within the space of four years . . . . undertake to plant a colony there of fifty souls, upwards of fifteen years old." Patroons were entitled to extend their colonies "four miles along the shore or along one bank of a navigable river (or two miles along both banks of a river), and so far into the country as the situation of the occupiers will permit." The most successful patroonship was Rensselaerswyck, which was granted to the Amsterdam diamond merchant Kiliaen Van Rensselaer in 1629, and which came to extend over a million acres (400,000 hectares) in the area of present-day Albany, New York. This pamphlet, published in Amsterdam in 1630, contains the text of the Charter of Liberties and Exemptions.
Marten Iansz Brant, Madrid, Spain
Title in Original Language
Vryheden By de Vergaderinghe van de Negenthiene vande Geoctroyeerde West-Indische Compagnie vergunt aen allen den ghenen die eenighe Colonien in Nieu-Nederlandt sullen planten
Type of Item
Pamphlet, printed paper, 15 x 20 centimeters
Last updated: September 22, 2014