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Dutch West India Company

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  • Peter Minuit (1580 - 1638)
    Peter Minuit was the Third Director-General of New Netherland. He is credited with purchasing the Island of Manhattan from the Lenape indians on May 24, 1626
  • Wouter van Twiller (1606 - 1654)
    See Wikipedia
  • Peter Stuyvesant (c.1602 - 1682)
    Peter Stuyvesant (c. 1612 – August 1672), served as the last Dutch Director-General of the colony of New Netherland from 1647 until it was ceded provisionally to the English in 1664, after whi...
  • Willem Usselincx (1567 - 1647)
    Willem Usselincx (1567–1647) was a Flemish merchant, investor and diplomat who was instrumental in drawing both Dutch and Swedish attention to the importance of the New World. Usselincx was one ...
  • Willem Kieft (1597 - 1647)
    Willem Kieft was a Dutch merchant and director-general of New Netherland (of which New Amsterdam, later New York City, was the primary settlement), from 1638 until 1647. He formed the council of twelve...

Dutch West India Company (Dutch: Geoctroyeerde Westindische Compagnie or GWIC; English: Chartered West India Company) was a chartered company (known as the "WIC") of Dutch merchants. Among its founding fathers was Willem Usselincx (1567-1647). On June 2, 1621, it was granted a charter for a trade monopoly in the West Indies (meaning the Caribbean) by the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands and given jurisdiction over the African slave trade, Brazil, the Caribbean, and North America. The area where the company could operate consisted of West Africa (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Cape of Good Hope) and the Americas, which included the Pacific Ocean and the eastern part of New Guinea. The intended purpose of the charter was to eliminate competition, particularly Spanish or Portuguese, between the various trading posts established by the merchants. The company became instrumental in the Dutch colonization of the Americas.

List of notable people

  • Samuel Blommaert, Flemish-Dutch merchant and director of the Dutch West India Company
  • Willem Kieft, Dutch merchant and director of New Netherland
  • Willem Usselincx, Flemish merchant, investor and diplomat, one of the founding fathers of the Dutch West India Company