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Charter Of Privileges To Patrons
FREEDOMS & EXEMPTIONS [June 7, 1629]

 

GRANTED BY THE BOARD OF THE NINETEEN OF THE INCORPORATED WEST INDIA COMPANY, TO ALL PATROONS, MASTERS OR PRIVATE PERSONS who WILL PLANT COLONIES IN NEW NETHERLAND

III. All such shall be acknowledged Patroons of New Netherland who shall, within the space of four years next after they have given notice to any of the Chambers of the Company here, or to the Commander or Council there, undertake to plant a Colonie there of fifty souls, upwards of fifteen years old; one-fourth part within one year, and within three years after the sending of the first, making together four years, the remainder, to the full number of fifty persons . . .; but it is to be observed that the Company reserve the Island of the Manhattes to themselves.

V. The Patroons, by virtue of their power, shall and may be permitted, at such places as they shall settle their Colonies, to extend their limits four leagues along the shore, that is, on one side of a navigable river, or two leagues on each side of a river, and so far into the country as the situation of the occupiers will permit; provided and conditioned that the Company keep to themselves the lands lying and remaining between the limits of Colonies, to dispose thereof, when and at such time as they shall think proper, in such manner that no person shall be allowed to come within seven or eight leagues of them without their consent, unless the situation of the land there about be such that the Commander and Council, for good reasons, should order otherwise . . .; the command of each bay, river or island, of the first settled Colonie, remaining, moreover, under the supreme jurisdiction of their High Mightinesses the States-General and the Company. ...

VI. They shall forever possess and enjoy all the lands lying within the aforesaid limits, together with the fruits, rights, minerals, rivers and fountains thereof; as also the chief command and lower jurisdictions, fishing, fowling and grinding, to the exclusion of all others, to be holden from the Company as a perpetual inheritance, without it ever devolving again to the Company, and in case it should devolve, to be redeemed and repossessed with twenty guilders per Colonie, to be paid to this Company, at the Chamber here or to their Commander there, within a year and six weeks after the same occurs, each at the Chamber where he originally sailed from; and further, no person or persons whatsoever shall be privileged to fish and hunt but the Patroons and such as they shall permit. And in case any one should in time prosper so much as to found one or more cities, he shall have power and authority to establish officers and magistrates there, and to make use of the title of his Colonie, according to his pleasure and to the quality of the persons.

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X. The Patroons and colonists shall be privileged to send their people and effects thither, in ships belonging to the Company, provided they take the oath, and pay to the Company for bringing over the people, as mentioned in the first article and for freight of the goods, five per cent, ready money, to be reckoned on the primie cost of the goods here, in which is, however, not to be included such cattle and implements as are necessary for the cultivation and improvement of the lands, which the Company are to carry over without any reward, if there is room in their ships....

XII. Inasmuch as it is intended to people the Island of the Manhattes first, all fruits and wares that are produced on the lands situate on the North river, and lying there about, shall, for the present, be brought there before being sent elsewhere, excepting such as are, from their nature, unnecessary there, or such as cannot, without great loss to the owner thereof, be brought there, in
shall consume, such as pitch, tar, weed-ashes, wood, grain, fish, salt, hearthstone and such like things shall be conveyed in the Company's ships, at the rate of eighteen guilders per last....

XVII. For all wares which are not mentioned in the foregoing article, and which are not carried by the last, there shall be paid one dollar for each hundred pounds weight; and for wines, brandies, verjuice and vinegar, there shall be paid eighteen guilders per cask.

XVIII. The Company promises the colonists of the Patroons that they shall be free from customs, taxes, excise, imposts or any other contributions for the space of ten years; and after the expiration of the said ten years, at the highest, such customs as the goods pay here for the present.

XXIII. Whosoever, whether colonists of Patroons for their Patroons, or free persons for themselves, or others for their masters, shall discover any shores, bays or other fit places for erecting fisheries, or the making of salt ponds, they may take possession thereof, and begin to work on them as their own absolute property, to the exclusion of all others. And it is consented to that the Patroons of colonists may send ships along the coast of New Netherland, on the cod fishery, and with the fish they catch, trade to Italy or other neutral countries, paying in such cases to the Company a duty of six guilders per last; and if they should come with their lading hither, they shall be at liberty to proceed to Italy, though they shall not, under pretext of this consent, or leave from the Company, carry any goods there, on pain of arbitrary punishment....

XXIV. In case any of the colonists should, by his industry and diligence, discover any minerals, precious stones, crystals, marbles or such like, or any pearl fishery, the same shall be and remain the property of the Patroon or Patroons of such Colonie, giving and ordering the discoverer such premium as the Patroon shall beforehand have stipulated with such colonist by contract. And the Patroons shall be exempt from the payment of duty to she Company for the term of eight years, and pay only for freight, to bring them over, two per cent, and after the expiration of the aforesaid eight years, for duty and freight, the one eighth part of what the same may be worth.

XXVII. The Patroons and colonists shall in particular, and in the speediest manner, endeavor to find out ways and means whereby they may support a Minister and Schoolmaster, that thus the service of God and zeal for religion may not grow cool and be neglected among them, and they shall, for the first, procure a Comforter of the sick there.

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XXIX. The Colonists shall not be permitted to make any woolen, linen or cotton cloth, nor weave any other stuffs there, on pain of being banished, and as perjurers, to be arbitrarily punished.

XXX. The Company will use their endeavors to supply the colonists with as many Blacks as they conveniently can, on the conditions hereafter to be made, in such manner, however, that they shall not be bound to do it for a longer time than they shall think proper.

XXXI. The Company promise to finish the fort on the Island of the Manhattes, and to put it in a posture of defense without delay.