The West India Company’s Charter of Freedoms and Exemptions, 1629.

This document established the land distribution system that the Dutch West India Company used to try to increase settlement in New Netherland. In this system, a patroon was a person who received a piece of land from the West India Company. As part of the deal, the patroon was expected to bring and oversee at least fifty colonists to live and work the land. Most patroons were not very successful in recruiting enough settlers to make the large pieces of land profitable. Rensselaerwyck, located near the present-day Albany, was one of the few successful patroonships.