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New Plym.

11 Dec.

bly have been lost upon the Pilgrims; to their value they Chap. IV. had themselves borne testimony, in soliciting encourage

1620. ment to emigrate to New Netherland “under the order and command" of the Prince of Orange and the States General; and when they are found affirming, in New England, some of substantially the same principles as those which they had seen operative in the Dutch republic, and which at that time were developed no where else, it can not be just to monopolize for them the glory of having originated “popular constitutional liberty."*

Several weeks were spent by the emigrants in examining the concave shores behind Cape Cod. At last, a more Landing az advantageous harbor than any they had seen was found outh. on the west side of the bay; and an exploring party land- 29 ed at New Plymouth, on the spot which Block and Smith had visited several years before, and marked on their maps, and which Dermer, just five months previously, though without their knowledge, had indicated as a fitting place for 6 the first plantation.”4. In a few days the Mayflower . Dec. was brought up from the Cape, and the

“band of exiles moored their bark On the wild New England shore." Thus the Puritan pilgrims left their home at Leyden, and sought the New World under the banner of Saint George ; and thus they came to plant on the bleak borders of eastern New England the institutions which it had once been their purpose to cultivate, under the protecting flag of Holland, in the genial regions of New Netherland.

* This subject will be further considered in subsequent chapters. + Morton's Memorial, 56, 57.





The project for a general Dutch West India Company,

which Usselincx had so early and zealously, yet unsuc1621.

cessfully, urged upon the attention of the statesmen of West India Holland, at length obtained its accomplishment. It was incorpora- the age of great monopolies and grasping charters. The

East India Company had, since 1602, pursued a prosperous career; and its success had provoked emulation. The Twelve Years' truce with Spain had expired in the spring of 1621; and the United Provinces were warned to prepare for a renewed struggle with their mighty enemy. The obstacles which had hindered the consummation of Usselincx's views were not only now cleared away, but opposition was succeeded by encouragement; and the long-pending charter was hurried to completion, within three months after the termination of the Spanish truce.

On the third of June, 1621, the States General passed a formal patent under their great seal, declaring that the welfare and happiness of the United Netherlands depended mainly upon their foreign trade and navigation, and that those great interests could be properly encouraged in distant regions only by the combined and united action of a general incorporated company. For these and other reasons, they accordingly ordained that, for the term of twenty-four years from the first of July, 1621, none of the inhabitants of the United Provinces should be permitted to sail thence to the coasts of Africa, between the tropic of

Cancer and the Cape of Good Hope, nor to the coasts of Extent of America or the West Indies, between Newfoundland and

3 June. Charter.



the Straits of Magellan, except in the name or by the con- Chap. V. sent of the West India Company, upon pain of forfeiture

1621. of ships and cargoes. At the same time, it was provided that such parties as had, before the granting of the charter, been engaged in commerce with those countries, “ might continue their trade for the sale of their goods," and make their homeward voyages.

The West India Company was invested with enormous Political powers. In the name of the States General, it might make the Compacontracts and alliances with the princes and natives of the countries comprehended within the limits of its charter; build forts; appoint and discharge governors, soldiers, and public officers; administer justice; and promote trade. It was bound to “advance the peopling of those fruitful and unsettled parts, and do all that the service of those c untries, and the profit and increase of trade shall rèquire." It was obliged to communicate to the States General, from time to time, all the treaties and alliances it might make, and also detailed statements of its forts and settlements. All governors in chief, and the instructions proposed to be given to them, were to be first approved of by the States General, who would then issue formal commissions; and all superior officers were held to take oaths of allegiance to their High Mightinesses, and also to the company

The government of the company was vested in five sep- Chambers. arate chambers of managers; one at Amsterdam, manag. ing four ninth parts; one at Middleburg, in Zealand, two ninth parts; one at Dordrecht, on the Maeze, one ninth part; one in North Holland, one ninth part; and one in Friesland and Groningen, one ninth part. General executive powers for all purposes—except that, in case of a declaration of war, the approbation of the States General was to be asked—were intrusted to a board of NINETEEN dele- College of gates. Of these, eight were to come from the Chamber at Amsterdam, four from Zealand, two from the Maeze, two from North Holland, and two from Friesland and Groningen; while one delegate was to represent the States Gen

the XIX.

Interest of

Chap. V. eral, for the purpose of “helping to direct the affairs of the

company to the best advantage in the aforesaid meeting, 1621.

The States General likewise promised to defend this comGeneral.pany against every person, in free navigation and traffic,

and assist them with a million of guilders ;' and also, in case of war, to “give them for their assistance” sixteen ships of war of three hundred tons burden, and four yachts of eighty tons, all fully equipped. These vessels, however, were to be manned and supported by the company, which was also obliged to provide and maintain an equal number. The whole fleet was to be under the command of an admiral appointed by the States General. All the inhabitants of the Netherlands, and also of other countries," might become stockholders of the company during the year 1621; after which time no new members were to be admitted.*

Thus the Dutch government, leaving to the East India Company the consolidation of a magnificent empire in Asia, gave to a new mercantile corporation almost boundless

powers to subdue, colonize, and govern the unoccupied reNew Neth- gions of Africa and America. New Netherland, though

not specifically named in the charter, was clearly comprehended within its purview; and though the Dutch government did not formally guarantee any absolute title to the territory, it nevertheless expressly bound the company

to promote the colonization of those “ fruitful and unsettled parts." The charters of Henry for the colonization of Canada, and the patents of James for the settlement of Virginia and New England, were no more favorable to co

lonial freedom than was the grant of the States General to Powers and the West India Company. While that corporation might the compa- conquer provinces, and form alliances with native princes

at its own risk, it was bound to submit the instructions of its governors to the approval of the states; and the paramount authority and appellate jurisdiction of the central government at home was affirmed and maintained by the

erland included within the charter.

duties of


* See charter at length in the Groot Placaatbook, i., 566 ; De Laet's Jaerlyck Verhael ; Hazard, i., 121 ; O'Call., i., 399,

How suc


oath of allegiance to the States General, which was re- CHAP. V. quired from all superior officers of the company.

1621. The leading objects of the incorporation of this armed

Leading obcommercial monopoly were, nevertheless, “ the profit and jucester the increase of trade," and the humbling of the power of Spain and Portugal in Africa and America. cessfully these purposes were accomplished, the annals of the Netherlands proudly tell. Yet triumph eventually led to disaster; and the intoxication of brilliant success was followed, before long, by the mortification of overwhelming bankruptcy. And it was an evil day for New Netherland, when the States General committed to the guardianship of a close and grasping mercantile corporation, the ultimate fortunes of their embryo province in America.

Various impediments, however, delayed for two years Organizathe final organization of the West India Company. The D. W. 1. original charter was twice amplified in some points of detail; and the managers having adopted articles of internal regulation, which were formally approved by the States General on the twenty-first of June, 1623, closed their 1623. books of subscription, and prepared with energy to prosecute their designs.*

In the mean time, the merchants, who had lately formed Private the United New Netherland Association, continued to send to New separate trading ventures to the North and South Rivers. land. Hendrick Eelkens, Adriaen Jansen Engel, and Hans Joris Houten of Amsterdam, who, the year before, had so strenuously opposed the grant of any exclusive privileges to May's ship-owners, obtained from the States General a special license to send their vessel, the - White Dove,” to 1621. “New Virginia,” under the command of Captain Joris 15 Sept. Houten. The next week, Dirck Volckertsen, Doctor Verus, Doctor Carbasius, and others, of Hoorn, in North Holland, some of whom were the owners of May's first ship, the Fortune, obtained a similar permission to send a ves- 24 Sept. sel to trade “in the Virginias.” A few days afterward,

21 June.

ships sent


* De Laet, Jaerlyck Verhael ; Hazard, i., 149, 174, 181: O'Call., i., 408, 411.

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