Amplification of the Charter of the Dutch West India Company (1623)
The States General of the United Netherlands, to all who shall see these presents or hear them read, greeting. Be it known, that we, having heard in our meeting on the twenty-fourth of March, in the year sixteen hundred and twenty-two last past, that which on behalf of the Lords the States of Holland and West Friesland was laid before us by certain extraordinary deputies, namely, that for the better promoting the West India Company it was necessary that the salt trade to Puncto del Rey, situated within the limits of the said Company's charter and formerly excepted from it, should be included in the aforesaid charter, and that all other salt trades, situated without the limits of that charter, should be left free and out of it; also that the chief participants of the aforesaid Company might have the nomination of a triple number, out of which the directors should be chosen; further, that the cities in which there are no Chambers, contributing out of their funds in one name one hundred thousand guilders or more, upon nomination as aforesaid, might be entitled to appoint one director for each hundred thousand guilders, in whatever Chamber they should think proper to invest their money; and that they desired that we would amplify the aforesaid charter to the above mentioned West India Company with the aforesaid provisions that the Company might be completed; and this being by us at that.time well and maturely deliberated upon: we declared and consented that the aforesaid salt trade at Puncto del Rey should be included, as we did include it, in the aforesaid charter of the West India Company under the orders and interdictions therein contained. And with respect to the other two provisions, we further declared that, by virtue of the thirteenth article of the aforesaid charter, Holland and West Friesland, and likewise all the other provinces, shall be free as formerly to cause the nomination of directors to be made in the manner which is for the best interest and advancement of the Company. Moreover, we agreed and consented that the cities in which there are no Chambers, upon advancing out of their funds one hundred thousand guilders or more, on proper nomination by the chief participants and for each hundred thousand guilders might appoint a director in whatever Chamber they should think proper to invest their money. Of the which, as we are now desired by the directors of the West India Company to cause a suitable instrument in writing to be properly drawn up, paraphed, subscribed and sealed with our great seal, we have, agreeable to our resolution adopted on the aforesaid twenty-fourth of March, caused these letters to be drawn up for all that is aforesaid; promising to keep them and cause them to be kept, well, firmly and truly and ordaining that all persons govern themselves accordingly. Thus done at our meeting, under our great seal, paraph and the signature of our secretary, in the Hague, the thirteenth of February 1623.
- Paraphed by I. Magnus
- By order of the aforesaid Honorable Lords the States General.
- C. Aerssen
- (Having a seal pendent of red wax, on a cord of white silk.)
- Van Laer, A. J. F. (translator) (1908). Van Rensselaer Bowier Manuscripts. Albany: University of the State of New York. pp. 123–125 (odd pages only; the original Dutch text is on the even pages).