In 1604, a corporation called the Virginia Company was formed in anticipation of the imminent influx of white Europeans, mostly British at first, into the North American continent. Its main stockholder was King James I and the original charter for the company was completed by April 10th 1606. The Virginia Company owned most of the land of what we now call the USA. The Virginia Company (The British Crown and the bloodline families) had rights to 50%, yes 50%, of all gold and silver mined on its lands, plus percentages of other minerals and raw materials, and 5% of all profits from other ventures. The lands of the Virginia Company were granted to the colonies under a Deed of Trust (on lease) and therefore they could not claim ownership of the land. They could pass on the perpetual use of the land to their heirs or sell the perpetual use, but they could never own it. Ownership was retained by the British Crown.