governmental seat or capital, as well as the metropolis of the province.
The Assembly, the popular branch of the government, consisted of eighteen members, the majority being Dutch. They promptly passed a number of acts, all of which were approved by Dongan and his council. By far the most important, was the special charter of Liberties and Privileges, granted by the duke to the province. By this the right of self-taxation was reserved to the colonists, except that certain specific duties on importations were allowed to the duke and his heirs. The main features of self-government, so long and earnestly desired by the people, were also secured; and entire liberty of conscience and religion was guaranteed to all. This charter was sent over to the duke, by whose suggestion several small amendments were made therein; he then signed and sealed but did not deliver it. Thus it never formally went into effect; yet the government of New York was carried on under its provisions for several years. One of the acts of this first Assembly was well in line with the policy of extreme liberality toward all foreign-born citizens which New York has always consistently followed: it conferred full rights of citizenship upon all white foreigners who should take the oath of allegiance. The especial purpose of passing the act was to benefit the Huguenots, who were being expelled