Atlantic History The Dutch Caribbean and Guianas
by
Karwan Fatah-Black
  • LAST MODIFIED: 28 February 2017
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199730414-0211

Introduction

The Dutch ventures into the Caribbean and Guianas coincided with the wave of assaults by northern European countries on the Iberian Atlantic empire beginning in the late 16th century. From those first incursions onward a Dutch presence has been ongoing in the Caribbean and in the Guianas. Most importantly, colonies were founded on Curaçao, Aruba, Bonaire, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, and Saba in the Caribbean, and in Suriname, Essequibo, Demerary, and Berbice on the Guiana coast. Failed or short-lived attempts at colonization took place on Tobago and in Cayenne as well as along the Pomeroon and other rivers. The Dutch failure to hold on to their colony in northern Brazil (1630–1654) looms large over the history of Dutch Guiana and the Caribbean. During the collapse of Dutch power in Brazil, many colonists fled the areas of Dutch control and resettled in the Caribbean and in the Guianas. Dutch rule over the Atlantic domains was formally in the hands of the Dutch West India Company (WIC). However, this company was itself spread across various chambers in different cities, mostly having a regional expertise in the West Indies. Furthermore, a number of subsidiary institutions and private companies governed specific colonies, most notably the Suriname Company (Sociëteit van Suriname), which governed Suriname. The Dutch Caribbean islands were mostly under the direct control of the WIC. Only in the Guianas did a mix of both the WIC and other parties govern. This article privileges English-language works over Dutch ones. If a book is available in English and Dutch, the English title will be referenced here.

General Overviews

The colonies in the Caribbean and in the Guianas were included in the charter of the Dutch West India Company, which covered the entire Atlantic world, including North America and Africa. Thus, general overviews tend to have the entire Dutch Atlantic as their focus rather than only the colonies in the Caribbean and the Guianas. The breadth and scope of Goslinga’s work (Goslinga 1971, Goslinga 1985, Goslinga 1990) does come with many drawbacks regarding the quality of the research and its analytical strength. More recently, a small surge in Atlantic histories has been recorded, which has also resulted in collections of essays offering overviews of new research concerning the Dutch in the Caribbean and the Guianas. In the 20th century, van Lier 1971 marks a watershed in the historiography of Dutch colonies in the Americas by taking a social-historical approach. Sometimes referred to as the “forgotten colonies,” Essequibo, Demarary, and Berbice are in what is now Guyana, formerly British Guiana. Since van der Oest 2003 and Kars 2009 (cited under Slave Resistance) and, more recently, Hoonhout 2013 (cited under Trade and Smuggling) and Oostindie 2012 (cited under Plantation Economy), scholarly interest in these colonies is growing. Although Essequibo (1616) and Berbice (1627) were among the earliest plantation colonies of the Dutch they rose to economic significance only in the late 18th century. In the late 18th century it was predominantly English capital and smuggling that helped to boost the development of the plantation economy. Rights for Jews in Essequibo provided the model for their toleration under English and later Dutch rule in Suriname. In these colonies the indigenous population proved resilient against European incursions and they increased demographically during the 18th century. They also played an important role in offering military services to the colonists.

  • Den Heijer, Henk. Geschiedenis van de WIC: Opkomst, bloei en ondergang. Zutphen, The Netherlands: Walburg Pers, 2013.

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    This work has seen several reprints and improved editions over the years and remains the starting point for studies of the first and second Dutch West India Companies. Den Heijer includes a chapter on the first Dutch forays into the Caribbean as well as one on the governmental institutions in the Caribbean and the Guianas.

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    • Goslinga, Cornelis Ch. The Dutch in the Caribbean and the Wild Coast, 1580–1680. Assen, The Netherlands: Van Gorcum, 1971.

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      The first volume of Goslinga’s trilogy, and arguably the most comprehensive. Goslinga traces the origins of the Dutch incursions into the Caribbean and the Guianas and their relationship to political struggles in the Dutch Republic. The appendixes include a report of one of the earliest Dutch voyages to Guiana in the late 16th century and various legal and political documents relating to questions of war and peace as well as the slave trade.

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      • Goslinga, Cornelis Ch. The Dutch in the Caribbean and in the Guianas, 1680–1791. Assen, The Netherlands: Van Gorcum, 1985.

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        The second volume of the trilogy covers the history of the second Dutch West India Company (1675–1791) as well as the histories of the Antillean islands and the Guiana colonies. Information on the slave trade in the book is generally outdated and scholars should refer to Postma and Enthoven 2003 for more recent and complete figures.

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        • Goslinga, Cornelis Ch. The Dutch in the Caribbean and in Surinam, 1791/5–1942. Assen, The Netherlands: Van Gorcum, 1990.

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          The last volume of the trilogy can serve as a point of departure for many studies of the Dutch in the Caribbean and the Guianas after the dissolution of the WIC and its subsidiary companies.

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          • Lommerse, Hanneke. “Population Figures.” In Dutch Colonialism, Migration and Cultural Heritage. Edited by Gert Oostindie, 315–342. Leiden, The Netherlands: KITLV, 2008.

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            In this chapter Lommerse has collected all population figures for the Dutch Empire in both hemispheres.

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            • Oostindie, Gert. Paradise Overseas: The Dutch Caribbean; Colonialism and Its Transatlantic Legacies. Oxford: Macmillan Caribbean, 2005.

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              This introductory book has seen several reprints and translations and is a good starting point for anyone studying Dutch Caribbean history.

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              • Oostindie, Gert, and Jessica V. Roitman, eds. Dutch Atlantic Connections, 1680–1800. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2014.

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                As a successor to Riches from Atlantic Commerce (see van der Oest 2003), the edited volume on the Dutch Atlantic focuses primarily on inter-imperial connections of trade and shipping in the Atlantic, including the Caribbean and the Guianas. The focus is, however, not only on trade. The volume also contains essays on sexuality, art, and science.

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                • Postma, Johannes, and Victor Enthoven, eds. Riches from Atlantic Commerce: Dutch Transatlantic Trade and Shipping, 1585–1817. The Atlantic World. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2003.

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                  This edited volume collects a range of articles on the main issues regarding the Dutch Atlantic. The volume aims at a reassessment of the importance of the Dutch in the Atlantic world, as well as the economic importance of the Atlantic world for the Netherlands. The volume is an excellent source for trade data of the various colonies in the Caribbean and the Guianas.

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                  • van der Oest, Eric Willem. “The Forgotten Colonies of Essequibo and Demerara, 1700–1814.” In Riches from Atlantic Commerce: Dutch Transatlantic Trade and Shiping, 1585– 1817. Edited by Johannes Postma and Victor Enthoven, 323–361. The Atlantic World. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2003.

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                    This article successfully rescues the “forgotten colonies” from oblivion and serves as a starting point for studies of the Dutch period of these colonies. The article provides shipping figures for Dutch, non-Dutch, and slaving vessels that called in the colonies and figures for the number of plantations in the 18th century.

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                    • van Lier, Rudolf A. J. Frontier Society: A Social Analysis of the History of Surinam. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1971.

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                      This study of Suriname by van Lier is generally regarded as outdated, although his social historical analysis of Suriname’s history continues to be referenced in present-day debates, especially his analysis of the Creoles after slavery and his characterization of modern Suriname as a plural society.

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                      • van Oers, Ron. Dutch Town Planning Overseas during VOC and WIC Rule, 1600–1800. Zutphen, The Netherlands: Walburg Pers, 2000.

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                        This urban history collects and compares a large number of settlements that were run by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and the WIC. It includes planning histories of Dutch settlements and their defensive works in the Caribbean and the Guianas.

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                        Journals

                        Literature on the Dutch in the Caribbean and in the Guianas can be found in Dutch historical journals with a more general orientation. Publications such as BMGN: Low Countries Historical Review have with some regularity paid attention to the history of overseas territories. The same can be said for the Dutch journal for maritime history, Tijdschrift voor Zeegeschiedenis, which includes the overseas history of the Dutch. The Dutch journal OSO publishes studies relating to Suriname for several disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. The international, English-language journals that publish on the Dutch Caribbean and the Guianas are primarily, although not exclusively, the New West Indian Guide/Nieuwe West-Indische Gids, Itinerario, and Slavery & Abolition.

                        Archives in the Netherlands

                        A good entry for any search is the website The Dutch in the Caribbean World, which offers access to a database of all archives pertaining to the Dutch in the Caribbean and the Guianas. Colonial companies have kept meticulous records for most of the Dutch colonies in the Caribbean and the Guianas. Most records are now kept in the Nationaal Archief in The Hague together with many other records of colonial governments that were brought to the archive in the early 20th century. The decision to sell the archive of the first Oude West Indische Compagnie (OWIC) for recycling in 1821 constitutes a major error that continues to haunt historical research into the Dutch presence in the Caribbean and the Guianas. Further damage was done by a fire in 1844. This means that for the early decades of Dutch colonization only have limited records are available. From the second West Indische Compagnie (1675–1791) many more official company documents have survived. In addition to the WIC several other institutions kept records and some parts of the archive have been recovered because the various chambers kept parallel sets of documents. The local colonial governments have proven to be important sources of archival material. These governments kept records, including minutes of council meetings, tax records, notarial deeds and the records of the military bureaucracy and government-owned plantations and public works. Many of these documents were brought to the Netherlands in the early 20th century. Some of these, like the Berbice Company (Sociëteit van Berbice) and the Suriname Company (Sociëteit van Suriname) were private companies, and their archives have now been deposited in Dutch national or municipal archives. The Suriname archives are so extensive that it is better to begin with the research guide that the archive has produced (Overzicht van de archieven over Suriname). The transport of the Suriname archives to the Netherlands in 1917 included that of the Oud Archief Curaçao, Aruba, Bonaire. In addition to these archives, which are more or less structured along the lines of the erstwhile colonial institutions, a collection of West Indian documents not found in any of the other archival collections are kept in the Verspreide West Indische Stukken. Because of the intimate and long-standing relationships between the cities of the Dutch Republic and the various settlements in the Caribbean and the Guianas, the number of Dutch archives that contain material on the Dutch Caribbean and the Guianas is simply overwhelming. However, two of these are especially noteworthy. First, the Amsterdam municipal archive Stadsarchief includes a research guide for material on Suriname and contains a similarly impressive number of documents on other Dutch settlements in the Caribbean and the Guianas. The province of Zeeland played an important role in the Dutch Empire, and the provincial archives of Zeeland, Zeeuws Archief, contain a wealth of material on especially the early ventures into the Caribbean and the Guianas. For the 18th century the company archive of the Zeeuws Archief is especially relevant.

                        • The Dutch in the Caribbean World.

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                          A valuable research tool that includes three English-language databases relating to the period between 1670 and 1870. The section on archives offers researchers useful material pertaining to their area, period, or research interest in a wide variety of archives. The database on institutions offers a roadmap to many (semi-private) governing institutions, churches, and companies. The database on legislation contains English summaries of by-laws that were passed in the Dutch Caribbean.

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                          • Inventaris van de op Suriname betrekking hebbende stukken in het Stadsarchief Amsterdam.

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                            Research guide to material pertaining to Suriname in various Amsterdam archival collections of several institutions as well as family archives.

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                            • Nationaal Archief. The Hague.

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                              The Nationaal Archief houses the greatest collection of archival documents pertaining to the government of the Dutch settlements in the Caribbean and the Guianas. The archive provides valuable indexes for its archives, especially regarding genealogical data. In the early 20th century many colonial archives were transported to The Hague. The archive website has sections dedicated to Dutch colonial archives and valuable overviews of its archives regarding various settlements, especially Suriname and Curaçao.

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                              • Oud Archief Curaçao, Aruba, Bonaire.

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                                Contains documents on governmental administration and political decisions. Also includes judicial archives.

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                                • Oude West Indische Compagnie.

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                                  The first Dutch West India Company was chartered in 1621 and declared bankruptcy in 1674. It played an important role in colonial expansion in the Caribbean and the Guianas. The archive has been inscribed in the UNESCO world register for the role played by the company in the transatlantic slave trade. The number of documents in the archive is limited due to its partial destruction in the 19th century. The documents of the Zeeland Chamber are the most extensive.

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                                  • Overzicht van de archieven over Suriname.

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                                    The Nationaal Archief research guide for Suriname offers a complete list of all the archives and available indexes on Suriname in the 17th and 18th centuries.

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                                    • Sociëteit van Berbice.

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                                      The Sociëteit van Berbice governed Berbice from 1720 to 1795. The documents pertain to the governance of the colony, including finances and military affairs.

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                                      • Sociëteit van Suriname.

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                                        The Sociëteit van Suriname governed Suriname from 1683 to 1795. The documents pertain to all aspects of the governance of the colony, including legal affairs, trade policy, land ownership and military affairs. The archive is being digitized and will be available online in the coming years.

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                                        • Stadsarchief. Amsterdam.

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                                          The city of Amsterdam was the center of Dutch commerce and colonial expansion in the Early Modern period. For documents on Suriname one can profitably refer to the Inventaris van de op Suriname betrekking hebbende stukken in het Stadsarchief Amsterdam.

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                                          • Verspreide West Indische Stukken.

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                                            The name of the archive literally translates to “scattered West Indian documents” and it contains a wide variety of documents pertaining to the Dutch Atlantic.

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                                            • West Indische Compagnie.

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                                              After the bankruptcy of the first West India Company, the company was refounded in 1674 and continued until its charter was not renewed in 1791. The archive includes documents on the metropolitan side of the organization, including the various chambers in Dutch towns as well as the central body Heeren X. The archive also includes documents on local government of settlements under direct WIC control. These can be found primarily in the section that contains incoming letters from the colonies.

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                                              • Zeeuws Archief. Middelburg, The Netherlands.

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                                                This archive houses the archive of the States of Zeeland, which was active in 17th-century colonization attempts. Zeeuws Archief also includes archives of families who were engaged in the Dutch Caribbean and the Guianas. The archive of the Middelburgse Commercie Compagnie (Middelburgh Trading Company) has been inscribed in the UNESCO world register for its role in the slave trade and contains shipping records for freight and slave shipping to the Caribbean and the Guianas.

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                                                Archives Elsewhere

                                                Since the transport of archives from Suriname and Curaçao to the Netherlands in 1916 the archival material in both places for the Early Modern period is limited. Under the current agreements between the Netherlands and Suriname, however, a project is ongoing to return some of the Suriname archives. It has been agreed that those archives that were produced in the colony for local use are to be returned. The Nationaal Archief Suriname therefore now has a growing collection of material on the early period, although digital copies of the material will be kept in the Netherlands as well. The National Archives of Guyana also holds material on the Dutch period when there were three colonies in what is now Guyana. Archivists have expressed concern over the deteriorating state of the material. Given the entwined histories of the Dutch and the British in the Caribbean and the Guianas, the National Archives in Kew houses several collections with relevant archival material. The most frequently used of these archives are the records of the High Court of Admiralty (HCA) (National Archives). In the HCA researchers can find documentation on Dutch ships caught by British navy or privateering vessels. The collections of (unopened) letters have drawn the interest of several research projects, such as the Sailing Letters project, Brieven als Buit and Gekaapte Brieven, which have all contributed to transcription of the letters found in these archives.

                                                Sailing Letters

                                                The Sailing Letters project constitutes an effort to make an index of the private, official, and business correspondence onboard Dutch ships confiscated by the British during the wars waged with the Netherlands. This correspondence include letters sent to and from settlements in the Dutch Caribbean and the Guianas as well as to and from Dutch people outside Dutch settlements corresponding with business partners in the Dutch Republic. For an example of this specific type of correspondence, see the work by Klarenbeek. Two transcription projects, Brieven als Buit and Gekaapte Brieven, have made their transcriptions available online. Highlights from the collection of sailing letters have been published in a five-volume book series Sailing Letters Journaal.

                                                Cartographic Compendia

                                                In the 17th and 18th centuries cartographers in the Dutch Republic were renowned for their mapmaking skills. The colonies were favored subjects for mapmakers, either to inspire expeditions to lands of fabled riches, such as the mythical golden empire of Guiana, or, as in the maps of De Lavaux, to display the triumph of colonial order over indigenous or maroon enemies. Various efforts have been undertaken to collect the maps of the Dutch colonies. The most recent is the two-volume, bilingual Comprehensive Atlas of the Dutch West India Company (Brommer, et al. 2011; Heijer, et al. 2012) with manuscript maps pertaining to the charter area of the West India Company. Many of these maps are available digitally on the website of the Nationaal Archief (cited under Archives in the Netherlands). This atlas is the Atlantic counterpart to the seven-volume Atlas of the Dutch in Asia. In addition to the compendium of manuscript maps, Bubberman and Koeman 1973 constitutes a comprehensive collection of printed maps for Suriname, which is accompanied by a Bibliography of Printed Maps of Suriname (Koeman 1973). The special collections of the library of the University of Amsterdam have made its Suriname, 1599–1975 collection available online. The library of Leiden University has become a major source for Dutch Colonial Maps after several institutions donated their collections.

                                                • Brommer, Bea, Henk den Heijer, and Jaap Jacobs. Grote atlas van de West-Indische Compagnie/Comprehensive Atlas of the Dutch West India Company. Vol. 1, De oude WIC, 1621–1674/The Old WIC, 1621–1674. Voorburg, The Netherlands: Asia Maior, 2011.

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                                                  Along with Heijer, et al. 2012, this large volume contains a wealth of well-documented colored manuscript maps of the Dutch colonies in the Atlantic world. Each colony has a historical introduction. All texts are in Dutch and English. Some of these maps are available online via the website of the Nationaal Archief (cited under Archives in the Netherlands) and in the maps collection of the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University in Providence, RI.

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                                                  • Bubberman, F. C, and C. Koeman. Links with the Past: The History of the Cartography of Suriname, 1500–1971; Schakels met het verleden; De geschiedenis van de kartografie van Suriname, 1500–1971; Eslabones con el pasado; La historia de la catografía de Suriname, 1500–1971. Amsterdam: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, 1973.

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                                                    This folder contains black-and-white facsimile prints of both printed and manuscript maps. It was published together with a comprehensive bibliography of printed maps.

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                                                    • Dutch Colonial Maps. University of Leiden, The Netherlands.

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                                                      Contains maps of the Dutch in the Caribbean and the Guianas. The database and images are accessible via a simple interface.

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                                                      • Heijer, Henk den, P. C. Emmer, and Gijs Boink. Grote Atlas van de West-Indische Compagnie/Comprehensive Atlas of the Dutch West India Company. Vol. 2, De nieuwe WIC, 1674–1791/The New WIC, 1674–1791. Zierikzee, The Netherlands: Asia Maior, 2012.

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                                                        The companion volume to Brommer, et al. 2011.

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                                                        • Koeman, Cornelis. Bibliography of Printed Maps of Suriname, 1671–1971. Amsterdam: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, 1973.

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                                                          The bibliography contains a list of all printed maps with a short description.

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                                                          • Suriname, 1599–1975.

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                                                            The website presents scans of prints, maps, and pictures of Suriname from 1599 to 1975. The images are searchable via several indexes and can be studied in detail using an online tool.

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                                                            Travel Accounts

                                                            Travel accounts by visitors to Dutch Guiana and the Caribbean are a genre with a long history. The accounts were popular in their day, often translated into various European languages. The accounts often include descriptions of indigenous populations and of flora and fauna that were borrowed from earlier works. Given the entwined histories of the Dutch and British in the Caribbean and the Guianas, the travel accounts published by the Hakluyt Society offer several important accounts pertaining to the Dutch presence in the area. Lorimer 2012 as well as Raleigh 2006 are therefore good places to start. The Hakluyt Society has a Dutch pendant in the Linschoten-Vereeniging, which has a shorter, although still quite impressive tradition of publishing annotated travel accounts. The Linschoten publications are, however, quite biased toward successful stories. Den Heijer 2005 lists a series of failed settlements in Guiana. Travel accounts often copied earlier works without giving them credit; thus, it is not advisable to study digital copies of original accounts without consulting modern source publications and the valuable commentaries they provide. A good example of this is van Berkel, et al. 2014, which reconstructs the actual voyage of van Berkel as well as the sources van Berkel used to compile the accounts of his travels. More authentic, and more widely read, is Stedman, et al. 1988. This most masterful of the many editions of Stedman’s narrative is well annotated and rigorously researched. Two websites are important in making these and other travel accounts accessible. The website DBNL: Digitale Bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse Letteren makes available online many early works on Suriname. The weblog Buku: Bibliotheca Surinamica offers a growing bibliography of rare and old works on Suriname, including many travel accounts in German.

                                                            • Buku: Bibliotheca Surinamica.

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                                                              The Buku: Bibliotheca Surinamica website is run by independent scholar and antiquarian Carl Haarnack. It contains a great number of book descriptions and shorter articles on Dutch Caribbean and especially Surinamese (book) history from the 17th to the 20th centuries.

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                                                              • DBNL: Digitale Bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse Letteren. The Hague: Koninklijke Bibliotheek.

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                                                                DBNL offers access to Dutch literature and authors. The section on Suriname contains a valuable collection of fully searchable and freely available books on Suriname, including the 18th-century descriptions of the colony by various authors. For many years from 1789 onward DBNL contains the Suriname Almanacs, as well as works in German and English. For the 19th century, works by Teenstra, van Hoëvell, and Wolbers are available.

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                                                                • Den Heijer, Henk. “‘Over warme en koude landen’: Mislukte Nederlandse volksplantingen op de Wilde Kust in de zeventiende eeuw.” De Zeventiende Eeuw 21.1 (2005): 79–90.

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                                                                  This article contains a valuable overview of many of the failed settlement expeditions to the Guiana coast. Den Heijer was able to find fourteen attempts at settlement and describes their (generally disastrous) outcomes.

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                                                                  • Linschoten-Vereeniging. Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Linschoten-Vereeniging.

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                                                                    List of Dutch travel accounts published by the society Linschoten-Vereeniging.

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                                                                    • Lorimer, Joyce. “‘[T]ouching the State of the Country of Guiana, and Whether It Were Fit to Be Planted by the English’: Sir Robert Cecil, Richard Hakluyt and the Writing of Guiana, 1595–1612.” In Richard Hakluyt and Travel Writing in Early Modern Europe. Edited by Daniel Carey and Claire Jowitt, 105–118. Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2012.

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                                                                      Study of the early travel accounts regarding Guiana should always start with examining the work of Joyce Lorimer. In this article the editorial process that shaped the early travel accounts is discussed.

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                                                                      • Raleigh, Walter. Sir Walter Ralegh’s Discoverie of Guiana. Edited by Joyce Lorimer. Hakluyt Society, 3d ser., 15. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2006.

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                                                                        This famous travel account helped to inspire English and Dutch expeditions to Guiana.

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                                                                        • Stedman, John Gabriel, Richard Price, and Sally Price. Narrative of a Five Years Expedition against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam: Transcribed for the First Time from the Original 1790 Manuscript. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988.

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                                                                          The narrative of John Gabriel Stedman has been published in many different languages and has appeared in many editions over the years. The illustrations by William Blake have become iconic images of Atlantic slavery and have been used in numerous publications. The most comprehensive edition of the Narrative was published by Richard and Sally Price after they had discovered the original manuscript of the book.

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                                                                          • van Berkel, Adriaan, Lodewijk Hulsman, and Martijn van den Bel. The Voyages of Adriaan van Berkel to Guiana: Amerindian-Dutch Relationships in 17th Century Guyana. Leiden, The Netherlands: Sidestone, 2014.

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                                                                            This masterfully delivered source publication contains both the Dutch original and the English translation of the travel account of Adriaan van Berkel, first published in 1695. The authors provide an abundance of contextual information as well as the origins of some of the plagiarized sections of the travel account.

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                                                                            Trade and Smuggling

                                                                            Plantation production and trade are the two main areas of research. In an overview of the economic structure of the Dutch activities in the Atlantic world, Jan de Vries devised a four-way periodization of the Dutch Atlantic economy in the Early Modern period. De Vries 2005 claims that a turn away from territorialism occurred in the last decades of the 17th century, emphasizing the importance of inter-imperial trade. St. Eustatius has long epitomized this image of the Dutch as interlopers and smugglers, although Curaçao in an earlier period also clearly collected its fair share of illicit riches, as Wim Klooster aptly titled his book on the colony’s trade (Klooster 1998). New research in Klarenbeek 2014 has shown that the Dutch also operated as intermediaries outside of Dutch colonial areas in the Caribbean. It has not proved easy to identify the merchants who created these inter-imperial connections, as Schnurmann 1998 shows. In the case of interloping in the slave trade, a topic dealt with in Paesie 2008, captains were purposefully vague about their imperial allegiance. On the peripheries of the empires, mercantilist restrictions were impractical and, as Koot 2011 shows, the implications for Anglo-Dutch trade were far-reaching. The perception of the Dutch as inter-imperial traders has, however, come under increased scrutiny after the publication of the groundbreaking Postma 2003, which treats the inter-imperial trade that connected Suriname to other colonies. Postma shows that not only in trading posts, but also in a plantation colony, many non-Dutch ships arrived. Hoonhout 2013, Hoonhout 2016, and Fatah-Black 2015 have extended Postma’s findings in studying the economic and political implications of this inter-imperial, self-organized trade. These networks of illicit trading, as Rupert 2006 shows for Curaçao, also offered routes for subalterns to carve out economic niches. Studies of merchants and trade remain less numerous. Focus has grown on study of trade diasporas, namely on merchants outside Dutch colonies, and the economic significance of smuggling and contraband trade.

                                                                            • Enthoven, Victor. “‘That Abominable Nest of Pirates’: St. Eustatius and the North Americans, 1680–1780.” Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 10.2 (2012): 239–301.

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                                                                              This chapter-long article collects a wealth of data on St. Eustatius trade and shipping in the 18th century.

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                                                                              • Fatah-Black, Karwan. White Lies and Black Markets: Evading Metropolitan Authority in Colonial Suriname, 1650–1800. Atlantic World: Europe, Africa and the Americas 31. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2015.

                                                                                DOI: 10.1163/9789004283350Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                This book builds on the previous studies of Johannes Postma regarding North American shipping to and from Suriname. Postma views Suriname’s history of colonization as part of the development of the Atlantic world and emphasizes the importance of inter-imperial connections of migration and trade.

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                                                                                • Hoonhout, Bram. “De noodzaak van smokkelhandel in Essequebo en Demerary, 1750–1800.” Tijdschrift voor Zeegeschiedenis 32.2 (2013): 54–70.

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                                                                                  Hoonhout shows how discrepancies in data on the production and the slave trade can be solved by including estimates for illegal trade. The article points to the importance of non-Dutch smugglers supplying the easily accessible colonies in present-day Guyana.

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                                                                                  • Hoonhout, Bram. “Smuggling for Survival: Self-Organized, Cross-Imperial Colony Building in Essequibo and Demerara, 1746–1796.” In Beyond Empires: Global, Self-Organizing, Cross-Imperial Networks, 1500–1800. Edited by Cátia A. P. Antunes and Amelia Polónia, 212–235. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2016.

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                                                                                    The article reveals how colonists were able to expand their colonies by operating independently from the Dutch Republic. Smuggling and self-organized networks led to a great expansion in the number of plantations and a growth in production in the colonies. Available online for purchase.

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                                                                                    • Klarenbeek, Monique. “St. Christopher as a Trade Hub for Dutch Merchants, 1624–1667.” Journal of Early American History 4.2 (9 July 2014): 113–129.

                                                                                      DOI: 10.1163/18770703-00402003Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                      The author uses merchant correspondence to reconstruct the networks of Dutch merchants not based in Dutch colonies.

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                                                                                      • Klooster, Wim. Illicit Riches: The Dutch Trade in the Caribbean, 1648–1795. Leiden, The Netherlands: KITLV, 1998.

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                                                                                        Klooster examines smuggling and the cocoa trade in the 17th century, and especially the 18th century, notably on Curaçao.

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                                                                                        • Koot, Christian J. Empire at the Periphery: British Colonists, Anglo-Dutch Trade, and the Development of the British Atlantic, 1621–1713. New York: New York University Press, 2011.

                                                                                          DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814748831.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                          The book shows how English colonial governors and colonists in the 17th-century Atlantic world responded to the availability of Dutch shipping in the area. Colonization at the time relied on connections across the formally delineated empires and cultural boundaries.

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                                                                                          • Paesie, Rudolf. Lorrendrayen op Africa: De illegale goederen- en slavenhandel op West-Afrika tijdens het achttiende-eeuwse handelsmonopolie van de West-Indische Compagnie, 1700–1734. Amsterdam: De Bataafsche Leeuw, 2008.

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                                                                                            By employing innovative research methods Paesie has been able to recover a large number of smuggling voyages that were undertaken by ships from Zeeland in the Atlantic world. His work has helped in making corrections to the numbers of slaves transported to the New World on Dutch ships and he discusses the role played by smugglers with regard to ports such as St. Eustatius.

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                                                                                            • Postma, Johannes. “Suriname and Its Atlantic Connections, 1667–1795.” In Riches from Atlantic Commerce: Dutch Transatlantic Trade and Shipping, 1585–1817. Edited by Johannes Postma and Victor Enthoven, 287–322. The Atlantic World 1. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2003.

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                                                                                              The article draws on Postma’s collection of shipping records for the Suriname–North America shipping connection in the late 17th and 18th centuries. Postma shows how important this “life line” was for the colony of Suriname and argues that it helped to solve New England’s trade deficit.

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                                                                                              • Rupert, Linda M. “Contraband Trade and the Shaping of Colonial Societies in Curaçao and Tierra Firme.” Itinerario 30.3 (2006): 35–54.

                                                                                                DOI: 10.1017/S016511530001336XSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                Rupert unravels the inter-imperial networks engaged in cocoa smuggling between Tierra Firme and Europe via the port of Curaçao. She finds that subaltern actors played an important role in forging the linkages that made the trade possible.

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                                                                                                • Schnurmann, Claudia. Atlantische Welten: Engländer und Niederländer im amerikanisch-atlantischen Raum, 1648–1713. Cologne: Böhlau Verlag, 1998.

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                                                                                                  A pioneering work on Suriname’s inter-imperial connections based on research in numerous archives. It also examines Curaçao’s early links to English colonies.

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                                                                                                  • Schnurmann, Claudia. “Atlantic Trade and American Identities: The Correlations of Supranational Commerce, Political Opposition, and Colonial Regionalism.” In The Atlantic Economy during the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries: Organization, Operation, Practice, and Personnel. Edited by Peter A. Coclanis, 186–204. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2005.

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                                                                                                    The article explores inter-imperial trade connections relating to the Dutch Atlantic, and specifically Suriname.

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                                                                                                    • Vries, Jan de. “The Dutch Atlantic Economies.” In The Atlantic Economy during the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries: Organization, Operation, Practice, and Personnel. Edited by Peter A. Coclanis, 1–29. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2005.

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                                                                                                      The article presents a periodization of the Dutch presence in the Atlantic world, subdividing the more trade-oriented phases from the initial territorial orientation of the first WIC.

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                                                                                                      Plantation Economy

                                                                                                      Although literature on slavery and on the plantation economy is difficult to separate a number of studies specifically deal with the development of the plantation economy rather than slavery. Oostindie 1993 treats the economic history of Suriname and is still among the most comprehensive pieces that looks at the historiographical trends as well as misconceptions in the economic history of Suriname. One issue of contention has always been the international credit crisis of 1773. Especially in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the 1773 crisis in plantation loans is seeing renewed attention. Emmer 1996 argues that the credit crisis of 1773 proved so catastrophic for the Suriname plantation economy that it never recovered. The author affirms that investors were mistaken in expecting to draw profits from the Suriname plantation economy. In a rebuttal to this, van Stipriaan 1995 shows that investment in the plantation economy did not cease in 1773; rather, it continued. Plantation ownership changed, with more plantations ending up in the hands of fewer owners. Those who were able to sit out the crisis apparently did not fare poorly in financial terms. Also on the topic of financial history, research that investigates national frameworks has been undertaken. Oostindie 2012 finds that British capital played an important role in the boom in plantation production that occurred in Essequibo, Demerary, and Berbice in the late 18th century.

                                                                                                      • Emmer, P. C. “Capitalism Mistaken? The Economic Decline of Surinam and the Plantation Loans, 1773–1850: A Rehabilitation.” Itinerario 20.1 (1996): 11–18.

                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1017/S0165115300021501Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                        The controversial article argues that the credit crisis of 1773 induced economic decline in the Surinamese plantation sector.

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                                                                                                        • Oostindie, Gert. “The Economics of Surinam Slavery.” Economic and Social History in the Netherlands 5 (1993): 1–24.

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                                                                                                          The article discusses the preconceptions that informed the economic history of slavery in Suriname and corrects these based on new research. Although the article is an older piece, it offers one of the clearest introductions into debates on the economic history of Suriname in the age of slavery.

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                                                                                                          • Oostindie, Gert. “‘British Capital, Industry and Perseverance’ versus Dutch ‘Old School’? The Dutch Atlantic and the Takeover of Berbice, Demerara and Essequibo, 1750–1815.” BMGN: Low Countries Historical Review 127.4 (December 2012): 28–55.

                                                                                                            DOI: 10.18352/bmgn-lchr.8226Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                            Oostindie notes that before the British takeover of present-day Guyana, many British planters went to Berbice, Demerary, and Essequibo. Their influx helps to explain the sudden takeoff of the plantation sector in these colonies in the second half of the 18th century.

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                                                                                                            • van Stipriaan, Alex. “Debunking Debts, Image and Reality of a Colonial Crisis: Suriname at the End of the 18th Century.” Itinerario 19.1 (1995): 69–84.

                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1017/S0165115300021185Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                              In a rebuttal to Emmer 1996, van Stipriaan shows that the credit crunch of 1773 did not end investment in the plantation sector, nor did it induce a terminal crisis in plantation productivity.

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                                                                                                              Plantation Slavery

                                                                                                              Slaves in the Dutch Caribbean and the Guianas arrived mostly on Dutch ships, although, as is clear in examining Postma 1990, the trade reached far beyond the Dutch settlements. This book has an almost timeless quality, although Postma was forced to later publish Postma 2003, correcting his earlier estimations. The Dutch slave trade was, of course, not limited to the Atlantic, and Van Welie 2008 examines the long history of Dutch forays in this trade around the world. In-depth studies of the slave trade abound. One relevant to the study of Suriname is Balai 2011, a history of the Leusden, a vessel that undertook multiple voyages to Suriname, two of which had such disastrous outcomes that it might have contributed to the WIC’s decision to stop trading in slaves and leave the trade to private actors. The striking difference between slavery in Suriname and on Curaçao, the two largest slave societies under the Dutch in the Caribbean and the Guianas, has offered material for comparisons and speculations. Slavery was clearly shaped by local conditions rather than national culture. Oostindie and Van Stipriaan 1995 argues that in Suriname, a “hydraulic” slave culture developed, which was very different from Curaçao, a highly urbanized colony where the maritime sector was dominant. Slavery in Suriname has earned a dreadful reputation, although Oostindie 1993 questions the origins of that reputation and asks whether slavery here was really comparatively worse than in other colonies. The abundance of sources has offered ample opportunities to make in-depth studies of slavery in Suriname. Most studies, however, begin mid-18th century. The question of technological advancement and labor productivity under slavery is analyzed in van Stipriaan 1989. Several studies were later published examining in depth various plantation. Beeldsnijder 1994 starts two decades earlier than most studies, during the time when the coffee boom was entering its boom period. Most of these studies combine economy and demography. A good example is the in-depth analysis of the plantation of Vossenburg found in Lamur 1987. Oostindie 1989 offers an in-depth study of a sugar and coffee plantation under the same owner. Van Stipriaan 1993, a more general study, also analyzes both economic and demographic developments.

                                                                                                              • Balai, Leo. Het slavenschipLeusden”: Slavenschepen en de West Indische Compagnie, 1720–1738. Zutphen, The Netherlands: Walburg Pers, 2011.

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                                                                                                                The slave ship Leusden had undertaken multiple disastrous slaving voyages before it sank off the coast of Suriname in what Balai calls the greatest shipwreck in Dutch maritime history. The book, based on Balai’s PhD dissertation, presents the history of the multiple voyages of the Leusden. The Leusden was one of the last WIC-operated slave ships before private companies took over the slaving business. A large section of the book is dedicated to presenting transcribed primary source material.

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                                                                                                                • Beeldsnijder, Ruud. “Om werk van jullie te hebben”: Plantageslaven in Suriname, 1730–1750. Bronnen voor de studie van Afro-Suriname 16. Utrecht, The Netherlands: Universiteit Utrecht, 1994.

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                                                                                                                  A study of the various economic, social, and demographic aspects of slavery in Suriname during a period of intense growth of the plantation sector.

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                                                                                                                  • Lamur, Humphrey E. The Production of Sugar and the Reproduction of Slaves at Vossenburg (Suriname), 1705–1863. Amsterdam: Amsterdam Centre for Caribbean Studies, 1987.

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                                                                                                                    The article investigates the profitability and demographic development of slave plantations in Suriname by studying the archives of two estates for a long period of time.

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                                                                                                                    • Oostindie, Gert. Roosenburg en Mon Bijou: Twee Surinaamse plantages, 1720–1870. Caribbean series/Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 11. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Foris, 1989.

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                                                                                                                      An in-depth study of the workings of two of the plantations, one sugar plantation and one coffee plantation, under the same owner in Suriname. The development of the two plantations is presented in the context of the developments of the plantation sector in the wider Caribbean.

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                                                                                                                      • Oostindie, Gert. “Voltaire, Stedman, and Suriname Slavery.” Slavery & Abolition 14.2 (1993): 1–34.

                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1080/01440399308575095Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                        Oostindie discusses how Suriname slavery received a bad reputation among the slave societies of tropical America (through the writings of Voltaire [Candide] and Stedman [Narrative]) and assesses if that reputation was deserved.

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                                                                                                                        • Oostindie, Gert, and Alex van Stipriaan. “Slavery and Slave Cultures in a Hydraulic Society.” Slave Cultures and the Cultures of Slavery (1995): 78–99.

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                                                                                                                          In a compendium on variations in the cultures of slavery, van Stipriaan and Oostindie note the important role played by the abundance of water for the development of slavery in Suriname. The expansion of plantations into low-lying areas had great repercussions. This expansion made waterpower available to the sugar mills, but also required permanent upkeep of the dykes, canals, and sluices. The article also provides a survey of the cultural importance of water in Afro-Surinamese culture.

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                                                                                                                          • Postma, Johannes. The Dutch in the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1600–1815. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

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                                                                                                                            The most comprehensive history of the Dutch slave trade and the basic trade figures. Some of these figures were revised in Postma 2003.

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                                                                                                                            • Postma, Johannes. “A Reassessment of the Dutch Atlantic Slave Trade.” In Riches from Atlantic Commerce: Dutch Transatlantic Trade and Shipping. Edited by Johannes Postma and Victor Enthoven, 1585–1817. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2003.

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                                                                                                                              The article presents revised figures for the trade, correcting some overestimates Postma made in his earlier work.

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                                                                                                                              • van Stipriaan, Alex. “The Suriname Rat Race: Labour and Technology on Sugar Plantations, 1750–1900.” New West Indian Guide/Nieuwe West-Indische Gids 63.1–2 (1989): 94–117.

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                                                                                                                                The article treats the question of the possibility of technological advancement under slavery and, specifically, the introduction of productivity enhancing innovations in the sugar industry in Suriname in the context of cheaply supplied labor in the age of slavery.

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                                                                                                                                • van Stipriaan, Alex. Surinaams contrast: Roofbouw en overleven in een Caraïbische plantagekolonie, 1750–1863. Leiden, The Netherlands: KITLV, 1993.

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                                                                                                                                  This book offers the most complete overview of the economic and demographic developments in Suriname from the mid-18th century until abolition. It argues that the different plantation sectors adhered to their own dynamics, and were not, as was long thought, decline ridden throughout the 18th century. The book is full of valuable tables. It also includes an overview of available plantation administrations.

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                                                                                                                                  • van Welie, Rik. “Patterns of Slave Trading and Slavery in the Dutch Colonial World, 1596–1863.” In Dutch Colonialism, Migration and Cultural Heritage. Edited by Gert Oostindie, 155–259. Leiden, The Netherlands: KITLV, 2008.

                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1163/9789004253889_006Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                    The chapter reviews the literature regarding the Dutch slave trade, primarily in the Atlantic world, although it contains tentative information on slavery in Asia.

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                                                                                                                                    Urban Slavery and Manumission

                                                                                                                                    A surge in plantation-centered monographs has prompted Rosemary Brana-Shute to accuse scholars of an “agricultural myopia.” In Brana-Shute 1989 she examines the database of manumission records from 1760 to 1828. The following period, from 1832 to 1863, is discussed in ten Hove 1997. Manumission was predominantly an urban phenomenon, and several articles have been written examining the position of free people of color in Paramaribo. Hoogbergen and ten Hove 2001 does this in studying the manumission records, while Hoefte and Vrij 2004 uses an British census of 1811. Some individual people of color have been lauded, most famously the free black woman Elisabeth Samson. Novelist McLeod has not only published a historical novel based on Samson’s life story (McLeod 1997), but she has also published a small book on the facts behind the novel. Slavery in the city of Paramaribo remains a largely unstudied topic. Price 2003 emphasizes the role of the urban space as epitomizing white colonial rule through violent rituals of subjugation that were carried out on the streets of the town. The town was served as a meeting place where situations arose that challenged strict distinctions between white and black and free and unfree. An example of this is discussed in Fatah-Black 2012, a study of dock work in Paramaribo that was undertaken by both African slaves and European sailors. The town’s role as the center of colonial rule is also highlighted in the centrality of the court of justice that resided in town, although, as Davis 2011 argues, multiple parallel legal systems operated in the colony.

                                                                                                                                    • Brana-Shute, Rosemary. “Approaching Freedom: The Manumission of Slaves in Suriname, 1760–1828.” Slavery & Abolition 10.3 (1989): 40–63.

                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1080/01440398908574991Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                      The article reports extensively on the database of manumission records in Suriname, with a specific focus on gender and color in manumission patterns.

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                                                                                                                                      • Davis, Natalie Z. “Judges, Masters, Diviners: Slaves’ Experience of Criminal Justice in Colonial Suriname.” Law and History Review 29.4 (2011): 925–984.

                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1017/S0738248011000502Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                        The enslaved Africans in Suriname had a very different conception of criminal justice and very different methods of obtaining the truth from suspected criminals than the free Europeans. Davis traces the different traditions and how they related to each other in the colony.

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                                                                                                                                        • Fatah-Black, Karwan. “Slaves and Sailors on Suriname’s Rivers.” Itinerario 36.3 (2012): 61–82.

                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1017/S0165115313000053Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                          All transport in Suriname went by water. This article discusses the mobilization of contracted and enslaved labor for work on the docks and on the rivers in the 18th century.

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                                                                                                                                          • Hoefte, Rosemarijn, and Jean Jacques Vrij. “Free Black and Coloured Women in Early-Nineteenth-Century Paramaribo, Suriname.” In Beyond Bondage: Free Women of Color in the Americas. Edited by David Barry Gaspar and Darlene Clark Hine, 145–164. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2004.

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                                                                                                                                            By examining a British census of 1811 the authors reconstruct the occupational structure of Paramaribo in the early 19th century and the place of free people of color within the urban economy.

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                                                                                                                                            • Hoogbergen, Wim, and Okke ten Hove. “De vrije gekleurde en zwarte bevolking van Paramaribo, 1762–1863.” OSO: Tijdschrift voor Surinaamse taalkunde, letterkunde en geschiedenis 20.2 (2001): 306–320.

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                                                                                                                                              Using the data on manumissions in Suriname the authors trace the size of the free population in Suriname and show that some sections of the free colored population were upwardly mobile.

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                                                                                                                                              • McLeod, Cynthia. Elisabeth Samson: Een vrije, zwarte vrouw in het 18e-eeuwse Suriname. Schoorl, The Netherlands: Conserve, 1997.

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                                                                                                                                                The exceptional biography of Elisabeth Samson has stood out in the history of Suriname. The daughter of black parents, she was able to build up an enormous fortune and fame. Doing so brought her into various conflicts with the white planter elite. The book offers the documentary evidence that inspired the author to write a fictional account of Elisabeth’s life published as The Free Negress Elisabeth: Prisoner of Color (London: Arcadia, 2008).

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                                                                                                                                                • Price, Richard. “Violence and Hope in a Space of Death: Paramaribo.” Common Place 3.4 (July 2003).

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                                                                                                                                                  In this article Richard Price shifts his attention from the maroons to the city. It is one of the few articles that treats social control in Paramaribo in the 18th century. The article emphasizes the vertical social control that the colonial government aimed to achieve through public punishment.

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                                                                                                                                                  • ten Hove, Okke. Manumissies in Suriname: 1832–1863. Utrecht: CLACS; Utrecht, The Netherlands, 1997.

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                                                                                                                                                    All manumission requests from the stated period have been included in this volume that includes a general introduction commenting on the major patterns that can be found in the dataset. The data are available online via the website of the Nationaal Archief (cited under Archives in the Netherlands).

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                                                                                                                                                    Slavery on the Islands

                                                                                                                                                    The character of slavery was clearly different on the Caribbean islands; there, as Roitman 2016 shows, working conditions in the salt pans were equally miserable, although the geography allowed for different dynamics especially in the age of abolition. Curaçao played a crucial role in the transshipment of slaves that the Dutch organized when subcontracting for the holders of the Spanish asiento (1662–1713) and it played an important role as a Dutch free port in the Caribbean. Slavery continued on the island after involvement in the asiento trade, although its character was shaped in a major way by the maritime sector, as both Jordaan 2013b and Rupert 2012 argue. In this context the actual administration of justice gives a telling example of the blurring of distinctions between slave and non-white. Whites on the island countered the growing number of free people of color by racist practices in the law court, virtually ignoring the free status of non-whites. The status of non-whites, however, drastically altered in the years after the uprising on Saint-Domingue (Haiti) when they were actively co-opted into the island’s defense, as Jordaan 2013a shows.

                                                                                                                                                    • Jordaan, Han. “Free Blacks and Coloreds and the Administration of Justice in Eighteenth-Century Curaçao.” New West Indian Guide/Nieuwe West-Indische Gids 84.1–2 (2010): 63–86.

                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1163/13822373-90002447Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                      In giving the account of two cases in Curaçao, Jordaan shows how, despite a lack of racist laws, the local law court attempted to defend its racist practices, relegating free blacks to the position of slaves before the court.

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                                                                                                                                                      • Jordaan, Han. “De vrijen en de Curaçaose defensie, 1791–1800.” In Geweld in de West: Een militaire geschiedenis van de Nederlandse Atlantische wereld, 1600–1800. Edited by Victor Enthoven, Henk den Heijer, and Han Jordaan, 109–144. Caribbean Series 33. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2013a.

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                                                                                                                                                        Like Vrij 2013 (cited under Slave Resistance), Jordaan examines defense arrangements on Curaçao and the role of people of color within them. Available online for purchase.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Jordaan, Han. Slavernij en vrijheid op Curaçao: De dynamiek van een achttiende-eeuws Atlantisch handelsknooppunt. Zutphen, The Netherlands: Walburg Pers, 2013b.

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                                                                                                                                                          The position of free black and colored people on Curaçao is closely examined in this book, challenging the view that the free population had no means for economic and social mobility in the trading hub of Willemstad.

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                                                                                                                                                          • Roitman, Jessica Vance. “Land of Hope and Dreams: Slavery and Abolition in the Dutch Leeward Islands, 1825–1865.” Slavery & Abolition 37.2 (March 2016): 1–24.

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                                                                                                                                                            After a long silence on the issue, this article presents a fresh look and valuable new data regarding slavery on the Dutch Leeward islands and the geography of slavery and freedom in the age of abolition. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                            • Rupert, Linda Marguerite. Creolization and Contraband: Curaçao in the Early Modern Atlantic World. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2012.

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                                                                                                                                                              The book firmly places Curaçao in its Atlantic context. It is an indispensable entry for the study of Curaçao’s history in the 17th and 18th centuries.

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                                                                                                                                                              Slave Resistance

                                                                                                                                                              Vrij 2013 shows that the colonial state constantly had to reinvent ways to mobilize free and enslaved sections of the population in numerically strong and trustworthy military units to face revolts and maroon incursions. A striking example of the limited loyalty of the troops is discussed in Kars 2009, which treats the defection of white soldiers that had been sent from Suriname to Berbice to crush a slave revolt. The comparative propensity of soldiers, slaves, and sailors to desert is examined in Fatah-Black 2016. A wave of resistance swept across the Caribbean islands and the Guianas in the late 18th century, including the Dutch settlements. The island of Curaçao was rocked by one of the largest slave revolts during the so-called Age of Revolution. The interconnections between the various revolts as well as broader political unrest in the Dutch Caribbean and its related (non-Dutch) areas is at the core of Klooster and Oostindie 2011. Important material for reexamination of this revolt has been the source collection Paula 1974. After a work stoppage on the Knip plantation, the revolt spread across the island. Revolts were rare on Curaçao where resistance mostly took the form of escape from the island either to the mainland or to one of the other islands. The 1795 revolt intersected with a growing political consciousness among the free black and colored population and drew inspiration from both the events on Saint-Domingue and the occupation of the Netherlands by the armies of the French Revolution. Cain 2009 notes that this revolt lives on more strongly in the cultures of remembrance on Curaçao and among Caribbean Dutch people than does legal abolition.

                                                                                                                                                              • Cain, Artwell. Tula: De slavenopstand van 1795 op Curaçao. The Hague: Amrit, 2009.

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                                                                                                                                                                This commemorative volume includes articles by various authors examining the history and legacy of the revolt and its meaning for the present. The book was simultaneously published in Papiamento.

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                                                                                                                                                                • Fatah-Black, Karwan. “Orangism, Patriotism, and Slavery in Curaçao, 1795–1796.” International Review of Social History 58.S21 (2013): 1–26.

                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1017/S0020859013000473Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                  The article focuses on the maritime aspect of the Curaçao slave revolt and its aftermath, especially how sailors on navy vessels initially participated in suppressing the revolt and later mutinied themselves.

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                                                                                                                                                                  • Fatah-Black, Karwan. “Desertion by Sailors, Slaves and Soldiers in the Dutch Atlantic, c. 1600–1800.” In Desertion in the Early Modern World: A Comparative History. Edited by Matthias Rossum and Jeannette Kamp, 96–124. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2016.

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                                                                                                                                                                    The article compares desertion rates for sailors, soldiers, and slaves in the Dutch Atlantic world.

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                                                                                                                                                                    • Kars, Marjoleine. “Policing and Transgressing Borders: Soldiers and Cross-Cultural Relations in the Berbice Slave Rebellion, 1763–1764.” New West Indian Guide/Nieuwe West-Indische Gids 83.3–4 (2009): 191–218.

                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1163/13822373-90002451Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                      The Berbice slave revolt was among the largest slave revolts in the Atlantic world before the outbreak of the Haitian Revolution. Under the leadership of Coffy the slaves of Berbice were able to grasp power in the colony. Interestingly, a group of soldiers sent from Suriname to suppress the outbreak mutinied and attempted to join the rebel slaves.

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                                                                                                                                                                      • Klooster, Wim, and Gert Oostindie. Curaçao in the Age of Revolutions, 1795–1800. Leiden, The Netherlands: KITLV, 2011.

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                                                                                                                                                                        This edited volume offers a rereading of the Curaçao slave revolt and how it was linked to simultaneous revolts and revolutionary risings in the Caribbean and Venezuela.

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                                                                                                                                                                        • Paula, A. 1795: De slavenopstand op Curacao; Eeen bronnenuitgave van de originele overheidsdocumenten. Willemstad: Curaçao Centraal Historisch Archief, 1974.

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                                                                                                                                                                          This source publication collects a substantial number of documents from the colonial government archive of Curaçao relating to the slave revolt. It includes the report by a priest who attempted to negotiate with the rebels and includes the statements by Tula, the slave army’s general. Reports made by the public prosecutor of the interrogations of suspected rebels and the report by the military commander of the battles that took place on the island are also included.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Vrij, Jean Jacques. “Wapenvolk in een wingewest: De slavenkolonie Suriname, 1667–1799.” In Geweld in de West: Een militaire geschiedenis van de Nederlandse Atlantische wereld, 1600–1800. Edited by Victor Enthoven, Henk den Heijer, and Han Jordaan, 45–74. Caribbean Series. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2013.

                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1163/9789004257184_004Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                            Vrij presents insightful new material on the local militia in Suriname and the role of people of color within it. Available online for purchase.

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                                                                                                                                                                            Abolition and Emancipation

                                                                                                                                                                            Abolition has been more central to academic studies and cultural legacies with respect to Suriname. The economic and demographic impact of abolition on Suriname has been a subject of debate. Klinkers 2009 and Klinkers 1997 deal with the question of how plantation workers, plantation owners, and the colonial state adapted to the prospect of abolition and later abolition itself. A workforce of slaves was replaced by contract laborers from the Dutch and British East Indies. Rosemarijn Hoefte examines the social history of this new workforce in Hoefte 1998. Abolition in 1863 played an important part in the culture of remembrance among the formerly enslaved and their offspring. Abolition and its legacy in cultures of remembrance is the topic of Willemsen 2006. A returning element in discussions about the legacy of slavery is reparations for the harm that has been done. Arman Zunder devised a model to calculate the sum that the Dutch state owes Suriname in Zunder 2012.

                                                                                                                                                                            • Hoefte, Rosemarijn. In Place of Slavery: A Social History of British Indian and Javanese Laborers in Suriname. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1998.

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                                                                                                                                                                              Traces the history of indentured migrants and the plantation economy in Suriname in the years after slavery. Combines an analysis of local politics with social changes and the perceptions of these changes by laborers and planters alike.

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                                                                                                                                                                              • Klinkers, Ellen. Op hoop van vrijheid: Van slavensamenleving naar Creoolse gemeenschap in Suriname, 1830–1880. Bronnen voor de studie van Afro-Suriname 18. Utrecht, The Netherlands: Vakgroep Culturele Antropologie, 1997.

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                                                                                                                                                                                The book studies the change that occurred in slavery in Suriname in the decades preceding abolition, and how the Creole community formed in the wake of abolition. It combines the archives of the colonial state with reports by Moravian missionaries who had been charged with the task of “preparing the slaves for freedom.” Klinkers assesses the applicability of the concept of “proto-peasantry” for the slaves and freed people in the different districts of Suriname.

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                                                                                                                                                                                • Klinkers, Ellen. “The Transformation and Downfall of Plantation Culture in Suriname.” In Migration, Trade, and Slavery in an Expanding World. Edited by Wim Klooster, 289–304. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2009.

                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1163/ej.9789004176201.i-340.65Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                  The end of slavery presented a great challenge for those who sought to continue the plantation economy. The article contributes to the debate on the development of proto-peasantry among the slaves in the decades following abolition. Available online for purchase.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  • Willemsen, Glenn. Dagen van gejuich en gejubel: 1 juli 1863; Afschaffing van de slavernij in Nederland, Suriname en de Nederlandse Antillen. The Hague: Amrit, 2006.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    This book, written by the former director of the National Institute for the History of Dutch Slavery and Its Legacy (NiNsee), describes the abolition of slavery in the Dutch Atlantic colonies and focuses specifically on the abolition day celebrations and the history of the commemorations since then.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    • Zunder, Armand. “A New Look on the Economic History of Suriname: Including a Methodology to Calculate Reparations for Damage Caused by Dutch Colonial Rule.” In New Perspectives on Slavery and Colonialism in the Caribbean. Edited by Marten Schalkwijk and Stephen Small, 149–184. The Hague: Amrit, 2012.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      The article summarizes the author’s Dutch-language work on reparations. Zunder presents calculations for the damages that should be paid by the Dutch state for slavery as well as colonial rule after slavery. The article also includes a more elaborate program for reparations.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      Maroons

                                                                                                                                                                                      With Brazil and Jamaica, Suriname is home to the richest examples of maroon societies in the American tropics. Research on Surinamese maroons has been longstanding and serves as the basis for ample discussions on the culture of the maroons. Price 1979, the introduction to the now-classic volume Maroon Societies, argues maroon culture constituted either a preservation of African culture or the creation of a new phenomenon, Afro-American culture. De Groot 1984 and de Groot 1985 are important contributions to the study of the Suriname maroons, in terms of both ethnographic research and archival material. This combination of archival and ethnographic research characterizes much of the field of Suriname maroon studies. Thoden van Velzen and Hoogbergen 2011 and van Wetering and Thoden van Velzen 2013, a two-volume series, synthesize the career-long interest of three scholars studying the Okanisi maroons, who are also known as the Ndyuka. Marcel van der Linden analyzes the findings of these scholars in an English-language article (van der Linden 2015). The Okanisi were among the first to conclude a lasting peace with the colonial state. This peace came after a long period of intermittent war and counterinsurgency operations, which are described in Dragtenstein 2002. As a result of the peace, members of the Okanisi were free to go to Paramaribo, where their status as victorious runaways directly challenged white slave-holding authority (see Vrij 2007). The rise of the Aluku under the leadership of Boni cut across this alliance of white colonials and maroons, beginning what is now known as the Boni maroon wars in Suriname (Hoogbergen 1990).

                                                                                                                                                                                      • de Groot, Silvia W. “Review Article: The Maroons of Surinam.” Slavery & Abolition 5.2 (September 1984): 169–173.

                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1080/01440398408574872Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                        The review article discusses Dutch and English works on maroons and the history of the study of their societies.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        • de Groot, Silvia W. “A Comparison between the History of Maroon Communities in Surinam and Jamaica.” Slavery & Abolition 6.3 (December 1985): 173–184.

                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1080/01440398508574899Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                          The article concludes that the difference between the communities largely stemmed from their relationship with the colonial administration and the shortage of land in Jamaica as contrasted with a shortage of labor in Suriname.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          • Dragtenstein, Frank. “De ondraaglijke stoutheid der wegloopers”: Marronage en koloniaal beleid in Suriname, 1667–1768. Utrecht, The Netherlands: CLACS, 2002.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            In this book based on the author’s PhD dissertation, Dragtenstein unearths how the colonial state mobilized local and Dutch forces against the maroons. He has counted the number of expeditions that were launched against the maroons and analyzes the reports written during these expeditions.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            • Hoogbergen, Wim S. M. The Boni Maroon Wars in Suriname. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 1990.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              History of the long-drawn-out war of the colonial state with Boni’s Aluku. The Aluku were the last maroon group to threaten the existence of the colony of Suriname.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              • Price, Richard. “Introduction: Maroons and Their Communities.” In Maroon Societies: Rebel Slave Communities in the Americas. Edited by Richard Price, 1–32. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                Price compares maroon societies across the American tropics.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                • Thoden van Velzen, H., and Wim Hoogbergen. Een zwarte vrijstaat in Suriname: De Okaanse samenleving in de achttiende eeuw. Leiden, The Netherlands: KITLV, 2011.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  In this first volume of a two-volume series the authors present forty years of ethnographic and archival research. Ethnographic reports are compared to colonial documentary accounts to reconstruct the history and oral historiography of the Okanisi maroons. The Okanisi are also known as Ndyuka or Aucan maroons and they have been the object of anthropological studies since the early 20th century.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  • van der Linden, Marcel. “The Okanisi: A Surinamese Maroon Community, c. 1712–2010.” International Review of Social History 60.3 (October 2015): 1–28.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1017/S0020859015000383Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Using the material from Thoden van Velzen and Hoogbergen 2011 and van Wetering and Thoden van Velzen 2013, the author analyzes the autonomy and social history of the Okanisi.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    • van Wetering, Wilhelmina, and H. U. E. Thoden van Velzen. Een zwarte vrijstaat in Suriname: De Okaanse samenleving in de negentiende en twintigste eeuw. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2013.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      In this second volume in the series the religious life of the Okanisi is examined. The authors focus specifically on the occasional rise of religious cults among the maroons and the witch hunts that accompany them.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Vrij, Jean Jacques. “Bosheren en konkelaars: Aukaners in Paramaribo, 1760–1780.” In Ik ben een haan met een kroon op mijn hoofd: Pacificatie en verzet in koloniaal en postkoloniaal Suriname: Opstellen voor Wim Hoogbergen. Edited by Peter Meel and Hans Ramsoedh, 19–34. Amsterdam: Bakker, 2007.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        After the first peace treaties with the Okanisi, some of them settled in Paramaribo, initially as ambassadors but later also as craftsmen or traders. The article shows how these former slaves related to the local government and law enforcement given their special status as free people formally under the jurisdiction of their maroon tribe.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        Jews

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Jewish migrants have been part of Dutch settlements from the beginning. The history of the Antillian community is chronicled in Emmanuel and Emmanuel 1970; for the Suriname community scholars can profitably refer to Ben-Ur and Frankel 2012. Jews were drawn to the American colonies as the result of the policies of colonial authorities, who had, as Roitman 2016 shows, widely varying motivations in doing so. Klooster 2009 traces the subsequent paths taken by Jewish migrants, who were often refugees. Jews found a home in Suriname as early as its rule under the English. They gained a form of communal autonomy here that was unprecedented in Europe at the time. Under the leadership of Samuel Cohen Nassy, the community was granted the right to settle its own town, Jooden Savanne, upstream on the Suriname River. The Sephardic community prospered on Curaçao. Both communities have attracted substantial attention from North American scholars. Cohen 1982 offers seven introductory chapters on the history of the community. The identity of “Creole Jews,” as Wieke Vink named them in her study of the history of the communities (Vink 2008), was shaped by the colonial context, which featured racialized slavery as well as communitarian divisions between Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews. This colonial environment is also the main topic of Cohen 1991, a study that traces the decline of the Sephardic community in Suriname in the second half of the 18th century. More recently the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam organized an exhibition dedicated to the history and legacy of Dutch Caribbean Jews. As a result, curator Julie-Marthe Cohen compiled an interesting volume with contributions from a wide range of authors (Cohen 2015).

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Ben-Ur, Aviva. “Purim in the Public Eye: Leisure, Violence, and Cultural Convergence in the Dutch Atlantic.” Jewish Social Studies 20.1 (2013): 32–76.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.2979/jewisocistud.20.1.32Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                          The article deals with the culture of Jewish Suriname in the context of its slave society. Purim was celebrated in a public manner and the court cases that followed transgressions that occurred during the popular masked parades offer an excellent insight into cultural norms and practices.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Ben-Ur, Aviva, and Rachel Frankel. Remnant Stones: The Jewish Cemeteries of Suriname; Essays. Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 2012.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            The volume is an excellent entry into the cultural history of the Jewish community in Suriname.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Cohen, Robert, ed. The Jewish Nation in Surinam: Historical Essays. Amsterdam: S. Emmering, 1982.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              The seven essays in this volume introduce some of the major issues in the history of the Jews in Suriname, including the first colonization attempts, the development of political and legal rights. Bijlsma argues that the Essai Historique was authored by David de Isaac Cohen Nassy.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Cohen, Robert. Jews in Another Environment: Suriname in the Second Half of the Eighteenth Century. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 1991.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Jewish community in Suriname began to falter in the second half of the 18th century. The glory of Jooden Savanne, the Jewish town, began to wane. Cohen studies the wealth of the community and communal politics in the years of decline during which Paramaribo became the center of activity for the colony’s Jews.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Cohen, Julie-Marthe, ed. Joden in de Cariben. Zutphen, The Netherlands: Walburg Pers, 2015.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A richly illustrated volume with contributions from a wide range of experts.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Emmanuel, Isaac S., and Suzanne A. Emmanuel. History of the Jews of the Netherlands Antilles. Cincinnati: American Jewish Archives, 1970.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This classic study of the Jewish community in the Dutch Caribbean remains an excellent starting point into the history of this community.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Klooster, Wim. “Networks of Colonial Entrepreneurs: The Founders of the Jewish Settlements in Dutch America, 1650s and 1660s.” In Atlantic Diasporas: Jews, Conversos, and Crypto-Jews in the Age of Mercantilism. Edited by Richard L. Kagan and Philip D. Morgan, 33–49. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The Dutch Caribbean and the Guianas saw the establishment of successful Jewish communities, most notably in Suriname and on Curaçao. The article traces the routes that the initial Jewish settlers followed to the Dutch colonies and how their attempts at settlement were interconnected.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Roitman, Jessica Vance. “Economics, Empire, Eschatology: The Global Context of Jewish Settlement in the Americas, 1650–70.” In Special Issue: Spiritual Geopolitics in the Early Modern World. Itinerario 40.2 (August 2016): 293–310.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1017/S0165115316000371Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The article traces the migration of European Jews to the New World. The author examines into the information available on which they based their decision and the motivation of European powers in attracting Jews to their settlements.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Vink, Wieke. “Creole Jews: Negotiating Community in Colonial Suriname.” PhD diss., Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, 2008.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A study of Jewish identity formation from the late 17th to the 19th centuries.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Migration

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The main migratory movement of to the Dutch Caribbean and the Guianas was undoubtedly the slave trade. This topic is discussed in more detail in the section Slavery on the Islands. However, literature is available on non-slave migration to Dutch settlements. Much of this literature is discussed in Kruijtzer 2008, which offers a general overview of migration to all Dutch settlements. Migrants were highly sought after, and, as Zijlstra 2014 shows, the competition between colonies to attract migrants could cross imperial boundaries or occur within a single imperial space. Games 2015 affirms that, within colonies, policies were introduced to attempt to attract and retain colonists after new masters had come to rule a particular colony. The migrants to Dutch colonies were not necessarily Dutch. Given the small size of the homeland, Fatah-Black 2013 shows how free migration to the colonies depended on Germans, Swiss, and French as well as other people from outside the Netherlands. In the opposite direction the colonies also saw outward migration, primarily of colonists. However, outward migrants included those who brought their enslaved servants to the Netherlands, which is the focus of Oostindie and Maduro 1986.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Fatah-Black, Karwan. “A Swiss Village in the Dutch Tropics: The Limitations of Empire-Centred Approaches to the Early Modern Atlantic World.” BMGN: Low Countries Historical Review 128.1 (March 2013): 31–52.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.18352/bmgn-lchr.8354Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The author examines inter-imperial migration circuits of Europeans moving to Suriname. Includes a table on movements into and out of Suriname of whites and people of color.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Games, Alison. “Cohabitation, Suriname-Style: English Inhabitants in Dutch Suriname after 1667.” The William and Mary Quarterly 72.2 (2015): 195–242.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.5309/willmaryquar.72.2.0195Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              After the Dutch takeover of Suriname, English colonists remained in the colony and were even included in local government.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Kruijtzer, Gijs. “European Migration in the Dutch Sphere.” In Dutch Colonialism, Migration and Cultural Heritage. Edited by Gert Oostindie, 97–154. Leiden, The Netherlands: KITLV, 2008.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Dutch Republic constituted an important thoroughfare for transmigrants from German-speaking lands into the Atlantic world and Asia. The chapter reviews the available migration figures and discusses the merits of some of the low as well as high estimates that have been made over the years.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Oostindie, Gert, and Emy Maduro. In het land van de overheerser II: Antillianen en Surinamers in Nederland, 1634/1667–1954. Verhandelingen van het Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 100. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Foris, 1986.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The book presents numerical overviews as well as biographies of colonial subjects who migrated or traveled to the Netherlands.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Zijlstra, Suze. “Competing for European Settlers.” Journal of Early American History 4.2 (July 2014): 149–166.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1163/18770703-00402005Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A discussion of the political battles between colonies in their attempts to attract settlers.

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