The 1640 Charter of Freedoms and Exemptions

Disputes between the Company and the patroons continued and, in January 1640, the Dutch parliament sought a final settlement between the Company and the patroons. An entirely new charter, the 1640 Charter of Freedoms and Exemptions, was drafted and approved by the two factions, and enacted by the Dutch parliament on July 19, 1640. This charter vested title to land in anyone who could ensure its immediate cultivation. Smaller patroonships (extending one Dutch mile along a navigable river, or two miles landward) were available to any patroon who brought five people over the age of fifteen to New Netherland. Individual settlers could obtain small parcels of land suitable for a family farm. The only condition imposed by the Dutch parliament was that settlers must take oaths of allegiance to the Dutch West India Company and to the Dutch parliament. In addition to the many families that emigrated to New Netherland from Holland, large numbers of people from New England and Virginia moved to New Netherland and took the required oaths of allegiance.



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