Why did they leave Europe?
There were many reasons why European colonists chose to settle in New Netherland. Many fled political and religious persecution. Others hoped to improve their condition by owning their own land or by participating in the fur trade. Some came as servants. Reports from New Netherland were so favorable that it seemed worth the risk of sailing to the New World.
Dangers included the possibility of death by disease or due to a storm at sea. Some settlers died as a result of wars between the Dutch and local Indians. And there were other costs. Colonists risked the possibility that they might never be reunited with their families in Europe.
Some of the settlers were officials, soldiers, or employees of the Dutch West India Company, the corporation that governed New Netherland. Others were independent farmers, artisans, traders, or merchants. Some settlers worked for other colonists as contract laborers or indentured servants. Others were brought to New Netherland as slaves.