The Dutch claims based on Hudson’s explorations made the entire river basin and coastal areas theirs, but more than half a century elapsed before any Dutch arrived here. The practices of the Dutch West India Company may have contributed to this. A charter of “Privileges and Exemptions” enacted in 1629 gave to the patrons who directed the Company title in perpetuity to enormous land holdings in the valley and virtually made their tenants feudal vassals, discouraging rather than encouraging colonization. Eager to make money, the company directors paid the Native Americans for the land but found few Dutchmen interested in the rigors of frontier life.
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