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The Dutch in the Caribbean and on the Wild Coast 1580-1680
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The Florida and the Caribbean Open Books Series
Goslinga, Cornelis Ch ( Cornelis Christiaan ) ( author )
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1600-1699 ( fast )
Historia Da America -- Politica E Sociedade (Colonia) ( larpcal )
Dutch -- Caribbean ( fssh )
Netherlandish colonies ( fast )
History -- West Indies -- 17th century ( lcsh )
Colonies -- Netherlands -- America ( lcsh )
Antilles -- 17e siècle ( ram )
Colonies -- Pays-Bas -- Amérique ( ram )
History -- West Indies ( fssh )
History -- Suriname ( fssh )
History -- Netherlands Antilles ( fssh )
America ( fast )
West Indies ( fast )
History. ( fast )
bibliography ( marcgt )
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[by] Cornelis Ch. Goslinga.

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Reissued r by LibraryPress@UF on behalf of the University of Florida fis work is licensed under aCreative Commons Attribution-NoncommercialNo Derivative Worksn. Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visithttps:// cr are free to electronically copy, dis tribute, and transmit this work if you attribute authorship.Please contactthe University P ress of Florida ( purchase printeditions of the work. You must attribute the work in the manner specibed by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). For any reuse or distribu tion, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. Any of the above co nditions can be waived if youreceivepermission from the UniversityPress of Florida. Nothing in this license impairs or restricts the authors moral rights. ISBN r--nrr-r(pbk.) ISBN r--nrr-r(ePub) LibraryPress@UF is an imprint of the University of Florida Press. University of Florida Press Northwest th Street Gainesville, FL -r Cover : Map of the West Indies, published in Philadelphia, From the Caribbean Maps collection in the University of Florida Digital Collections at the George A. Smathers Libraries.


The Florida and the Caribbean Open Books SeriesIn the University Press of Florida, in collaboration with the George A. Smathers Libraries of the University of Florida, received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mel lon Foundation, under the Humanities Open Books program, to repub lish books related to Florida and the Caribbean and to make them freely a va ilable through an open access platform. fe resulting list of books is the Florida and the Caribbean Open Books Series published by the Li braryPress@UF in collaboration with the University of Florida Press, an im p rint of the University Press of Florida. A panel of distinguished schol ars has selected the series titles from the UPF list, identibed as essential r e ading for scholars and students. fe s eries is composed of titles that showcase a long, distinguished history of publishing works of Latin American and Caribbean scholar ship that connect through generations and places. fe breadth and depth o f t he list demonstrates Floridas commitment to transnational history and regional studies. Selected reprints include Daniel Brintons A GuideBook of Florida and the South (), Cornelis Goslingas e Dutch in the Caribbean and on the Wild Coast, (r ), and Nelson Blakes Land into WaterWater into Land (). Also of note are titles from the Bicentennial Floridiana Facsimile Series. fe series, published in r in commemoration of Americas bicentenary, comprises twenty-bve books regarded as classics, out-of-print works that needed to be in more librar ies and readers bookcases, including Sidney Laniers Florida: It s S cen ery, C limate, an d History (r) and Silvia Sunshines Petals P lucked from Sunn y Climes (). To days readers will benebt from having free and open access to these works, as they provide unique perspectives on the historical scholarship


on Florida and the Caribbean and serve as a foundation upon which to days researchers can build. V i sit LibraryPress@UF and the Florida and the Caribbean Open Books Series at .Florida and the Caribbean Open Books Series Project Members@ Judith C. Russell Laurie N. Taylor Brian W. Keith Chelsea Dinsmore Haven Hawley r Gary R. Mormino David Colburn Patrick J. Reakes f Meredith M. Babb Linda Bathgate Michele Fiyak-Burkley Romi Gutierrez Larry Leshan Anja Jimenez Marisol Amador Valerie Melina Jane Pollack Danny Duy Nichole Manosh Erika Stevens


fis book is reissued as part of the Humanities Open Books program, funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


xc To my wife


VII CONTENTS LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS ix LIST OF MAPS x PREFACE xi INTRODUCTION xin i THE BEGGARS AND THE BROOM i 2 DREAMERS AND REALISTS 20 3 THE TARDY INTERLOPERS 43 4 THE TRUCE 67 5 THE RISE OF A BRILLIANT STAR 89 6 THE BATTLE FOR SALT 116 7 THE FIRST GREAT DESIGNS 141 8 THE SILVER FLEET 173 9 THE KING'S VEINS 203 10 PIE DE PALO 229 11 THE DUTCH PEARLS 2j8 12 THE YEARS OF CRISIS 284 13 THE DECLINE OF A BRILLIANT STAR 3" 14 BLACK EBONY 339 iS "THAT 'SUPERB' NATION" 37 16 THE WILD COAST 49 17 NEW WALCHEREN 433 18 THE LAST DUTCH STAND 4J7 Appendixes I Report of a Dutch voyage to the coast of Guiana, 1599 ... 48 r II Effects of the West India Company, 1626 489 III Conditions for Colonies, adopted by the West India Company, 1627 49* IV Three documents concerning the Silver Fleet, 1628 and 1629. 496 V Remonstrance of the West India Company against a Peace with Spain, 1633 S00


VIII VI Letter of the Governor of Cartagena to the King of Spain, 1634 C07 VII Letter of Peter Stuyvesant to Governor Ruy Fernandez de Fuenmayor, 1642 ro8 VIII Market quotations of the West India Company, 1628-16C0. C09 IX Orders for the combined Franco-Dutch fleet engaged in the Battle of Nevis, 1667 Jio X Agreement to deliver 4,000 slaves to the Island of Curacao ,1668 r 14 NOTES ji9 BIBLIOGRAPHY C93 INDEX 617


IX LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS i. Peter Stuyvesant Window, designed by the author of this study, in the Butler Library of Columbia University, New York. 2. The Geographer, by Jan Vermeer. Courtesy of the Stadelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt a/Main. 3. Portrait of William Usselinx, by anonymous master. Courtesy of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. 4. View of San Juan de Puerto Rico, 162 c, by Dutch engraver Schenk. Courtesy of the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriquefia. j. The Reconquest of San Juan de Puerto Rico, by Eugenio Caxes. Courtesy of El Prado, Madrid. 6. Portrait of Pieter Pieterszoon Heyn. Courtesy of Atlas van Stolk, Rotterdam. 7. The Capture of the Silver Fleet. Courtesy of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. 8. The Conquest of Sao Paulo de Luanda. Courtesy of Atlas van Stolk, Rotterdam. 9. Portrait of Peter Stuyvesant, by anonymous master. Courtesy of the New York Historical Society, New York City. 10. Portrait of Cornelis Lampsins, by anonymous master. Courtesy of the Provinciale Bibliotheek van Zeeland. 11. Arms of Cornelis Lampsins, Chevalier de PAccolade. From Ch. de Rochefort, Histoire Naturelle et Morale des Isles Antilles de l'Amerique. 12. Portrait of Jacob Binckes, by Nicolaes Maes. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1911. 13. The French attack on Tobago, March, 1677. Courtesy of the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris. 14. Portrait of Cornelis Evertsen the Younger, by Nicolaes Maes. Courtesy of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. 1 j. Portrait of Michiel Adriaenszoon de Ruyter. Courtesy of the Provinciale Bibliotheek van Zeeland.


X LIST OF MAPS 1. Map of the Amazon Delta. From J. A. Williamson, English Colonies in Guiana and the Amazon. 2. Map of the Guianas. From J. A. Williamson, English Colonies in Guiana and on the Amazon. 3. Map of the Caribbean with the Dutch expeditions of 1624-26. From De Laet/ Naber, 1. 4. "Grondt-Teeckening vande Stadt en Kasteel Porto Rico ende Gelegenheyt vande Haven" (map of the town, castle, and port of Puerto Rico). From De Laet/ Naber, 1. $. Map of the Caribbean with the routes of the treasure fleets. 6. Map of the Dutch attack on the New Spain fleet. 7. Map of the Caribbean with the expeditions of Lucifer, Ita, Pater, and Heyn, 1627-1630. From De Laet/Naber, 11. 8. Map of the Caribbean with the Dutch expeditions of 1634-37. From De Laet/ Naber, iv. 9. "Korte Beschrijvinge van het Eylandt Curacao" (Short Description of the Island of Curacao). From M. D. Ozinga, De monumenten ran Curacao in v/ootd en beeld. 10. Map of de Ruyter's route through the Caribbean in i66r. From P. Verhoog and L. Koelmans, De reis ran M. A. de Ruytei in 1664-1665. 11. Map of Jacob Binckes raid, 1676-77. 12. Map of the French attack on Tobago, March 1677. From J. C. de Jonge, Geschiedenis ran het Nederlandsche zeewezen.


XI PREFACE In spite of the important role the Dutch played in the Caribbean during the seventeenth century, no study has ever been published which deals specifically with this topic, not even in the Dutch lan guage. While the Spanish, French, English, and even the Danish activities in that area have been dutifully recorded in well-known scholarly works, accounts of Dutch achievements are not available except in the accounts of their foes; consequently they are seen not only from a particularly hostile point of view, but also to a very limited extent. Numerous wrong notions about their performances were the inevitable result, from statements that their most famous "sailor of fortune" Pieter Pieterszoon Heyn had a wooden leg and was knighted by his merchant-governmenta comparatively small errorto allegations that breathe venomous anti-Dutch sentiments like Robert Southey's assertion that "there is no nation whose colonial history is so inexcusably and inexpiably disgraceful to human nature," an idea still to some degree prevailing in Anglo-Saxon historiography. The achievements of the Dutch in the Caribbean escape denigration only in a few exceptions. The reasons are understandable: because of a language barrier which is hard to overcome, their national point of view never entered the picture. This study is, more than anything else, an attempt to show that there is another side to the case. Thus the importance of the Dutch presence in the Caribbean during the seventeenth century, because of the limited quantity of informa tion, has not yet been fully realized. English and French accounts of contemporaneous chroniclers were, understandably, tainted with hostile feelings. Without claiming to be a paragon of the unbiased approachwho is?-I have tried hard to avoid the pitfalls of chau vinistic exaltation and have made a serious effort to describe the Homeric epic of the Dutch struggle for power against odds which soon proved to be overwhelming. This struggle had a glorious beginning, and yet it meant an unavoidable defeat for the Dutch. It is


XII closely interrelated with the intricacies of the European involvements of the United Netherlands, with the government's evaluation of the Dutch West India Company as a useful and valuable war tool, and with the costs and profits of this institution's possessions on Africa's West coast, in Brazil, on the Wild Coast, and in New Netherland. I have tried to give a cool and balanced account of this contest, which was fought with extreme bitterness on all sides, although with a variation on a seventeenth-century saying, I must add: "Mon coeur etait pour les Hollandais." I am afraid this was inevitable: there is just too much Dutch blood in my veins. The dynamic quality of the Dutch presence in the Spanish mare clausum makes its history extremely fascinating. In my efforts to reconstruct their performances in an era which was their Golden Age, I leaned heavily on documentary information in Dutch and Spanish archives. French, English, and Portuguese sources have also been used, and in a few cases I have had to refresh my rusty knowledge of Latin, especially in the use of pamphlets, for which there were no translations available. For whatever knowledge or information that I have received for bringing this study to completion I am indebted to the many helpful and understanding functionaries in Dutch and Spanish archives and in other institutions for research. To them I give my thanks. Their courtesy, patience, and efficiency will not be forgotten. I wish to acknowledge also my indebtedness to Zuiver Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek at The Hague which provided me with a grant, and to the personnel of the Bancroft Library of the LIniversity of California, Berkeley, for the use of their excellent collection of microfilms. I am also indebted to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the New York Historical Society in New York City, the Atlas van Stolk at Rotterdam, the Rijksmuseum at Amster dam, the Provinciale Bibliotheek van Zeeland, and the El Prado Museum in Madrid for supplying me with photographs of many paintings and engravings together with permission for their repro duction. I am particularly indebted to my daughter Marian who read the rough draft of this study and rewrote large parts of it. It is almost as much her book as it is mine. I freely give my thanks to Dr. Butler H. Waugh of the University of Florida for the delicate task of editing this work. I give my sincere thanks to the Division of Sponsored Research of said University, where the manuscript was typed and made ready for publication. Finally, I thank the University of Florida for its cooperation in making this publication possible, and the Prince Bernhard Foundation, Netherlands Antilles, for including it in its Anjerpublikaties. Cornells Ch. Goslinga


XIII INTRODUCTION There is a legend that Dutch ships, after defeating the fleet of the competing Hanseatic League in the middle of the fifteenth century, returned home carrying a broom in their masts as a symbol that they had swept the sea clean. Their action inaugurated a proud tradition of Dutch victories over competitors and enemies alike in the ensuing two centuries. More importantly, perhaps, that symbol inspired Dutch self-awareness during their long struggle for independence from a tyrannical Spanish rule, a self-consciousness that had been expressed earlier by Celsus: "The use of the sea is free for everyone." This idea was to be more poetically defined by de Buzanval, the French ambassador to The Hague: "The sea is a common element and its use as free as that of the air,"' and it would be crystallized in the sublime philosophical thesis Mare Liberum,2 that eloquent defense of the principle of a free sea composed by Grotius in opposition both to the Spanish and Portuguese thesis of mare clausum3 and to the British arrogance that found its formula in the phrase "Britannia rules the waves." The mare clausum thesis was challenged and ultimately wrecked in i ^8 8 when the mighty Armada was destroyed by storms and cliffs along the Scottish and Irish coasts, and again in 1639 when the Dutch Admiral Maarten Harpertszoon Tromp ruined a second Spanish armada under the very eyes of the British at the Downs. Portuguese claims were swept away when the Dutch, under the aegis of their East India Company, opened up the Indian Oceanformerly a Portuguese seain the first quarter of the seventeenth century. The British premise, which was instigated by the first two weak and vainglorious Stuarts, was comprised of furtive gestures against Dutch fishermen along the British coast, and the challenge was met, though not always successfully for the Dutch, by the first, second, and third Anglo-Dutch wars. Thereafter, the Dutch were finally outnumbered


XIV and driven from the sea by the English, but only then, and that was after 1700. For some hundred years the Dutch broom had kept the sea clean and theoretically free. |j It was a wonderful principlethe free sea. The Spaniards had denied it with the Cross and with the sword, in spite of the insistence of their earliest philosophers in this field, that the Spanish "right to the sea" pretensions were absurd. Even more absurd, however, is that the Dutch really believed that they were defending the principle of an open sea. Grotius explored and elaborated the free sea thesis into a philosophy. The Dutch historian Emanuel van Meteren accepted Grotius' hypothesis, but his narrative also reveals the practical im plications of the thesis: "The United Provinces have gotten a free government; their inhabitants, consequently, can reckon themselves freed from the papal bulls which closed the navigation of the world's sea to all other nations. They are the richest in ships of the whole world."+ Van Meteren's words, written not in Latin but in the vernacular, were easily accepted by Dutch businessmen. Most of them were Calvinists in whose opinion "... the donation of the Pope [was] vain, and against the teachings of Christ and the Christian religion."5 But even Catholic Dutch merchants found favorable results in a free sea and free trade policy. The Dutch colonial empire, built in the first half of the seventeenth century, began with a broom in the mast, i.e., with the principle of a free sea. As soon as the sea was cleaned, howeveras soon as Spanish sea power was no longer a real danger for the Dutchthe latter lost interest in the high principles expounded by their finest philosopher and, not even reluctantly, accepted the Iberian thesis of a mare clausum. Once Dutch supremacy had been established in the formerly Spanish and Portuguese controlled East Indian archipelago, the area proved to be an unhealthy place for Englishmen as well. Intolerance is almost always, sadly enough, victorious over more lenient and humane approaches to problems. As long as the Dutch had to fight, to struggle, and to risk their lives and goods against overwhelming oddsand Spain was Europe's greatest powerthey fought for freedom, for free trade, and for a free sea. This course was in their best interests. They could not have survived without it. When they, in turn, became a world power, i.e. when they could dictate terms, they forgot the ideals that Grotius had defended for them.6 Nor was that all: they went on to use two contending philosophies of business in dealing with their colonies and with other European powers. With others, they continued to uphold commer-


XV cial freedom, unhampered competition, distrust of monopoly, and the free sea principle. Toward the colonies which they established in the East and West, however, their position is illustrated in the two powerful companies which they built on the principle of an exclusively monopolistic policy. Even the great apostle of mare liberum, praised as an ingenium tarn pacatum, became confused and twisted.7 Such weakness of character may be explained by the fact that he was a paid propagandist for the East India Company and a member of several committees charged with negotiating with "the wisest fool in Christianity"as James I of England was called by the French King Henry IV. He thus had to fight the very principles he had once defended. In London Grotius was forced to insist that a free seaand free tradenever be applied to a sale that had already been closed or to a settlement that was already fortified. This argument signified his acceptance of the policies of monopoly and exclusive rights which were to find their finest ex pression in the mercantilism of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The mare clausum doctrine led directly to a refusal to submit to any sea law or to any recognition of rights at seaexcept one's own. As soon as the Dutch felt themselves capable of protecting their navigation and trade, and at the same time saw possibilities to practice a profitable piracy far from home waters, they favored this thesis and made it theirs. It is, however, a fact that until 1609, the year of the Twelve Years' Truce with Spain, Hollanders and Zeelanders both rejected the mare clausum principle. Moreover, the men who carried the Dutch banner to the farthest corners of the earth tried for at least three decades to apply the free sea thesis in practice, and to defend it. Even in 1638, when the Stadhouder Frederick Hendrik laid siege to Antwerp, a Dutch merchant who provided the town with war materials and food shouted presumptiously, "Commerce must be free and acts of war may not interfere with it. "8 The principle was duly honored when it agreed with the interests of the purse. It was, perhaps, impossible to maintain this ideal and at the same time put it into practice. No other power was inclined to honor it; as soon as any one of them dominated an area, it chose to make it exclusive. The Romans had done so with the Mediterranean. Later the Venetians exercised complete control over the Adriatic, and found philosophers to defend their pretensions. The Genoese followed with pretentions to exclusive rights on the Ligurian Sea.


XVI And, too, the growing power of the Netherlanders made the mare liberum principle a useless tool in their diplomacy: guns are more convincing than ideals. But it had given the young nation, in those first three or four decades when it was struggling for its existence, a unifying motive. At least in European waters the Dutch claim for some time kept a balance between the Spanish, French, and English fleets. For a moment the keys to the Sound lay in Amsterdam, and the Dutch sailed up the Thames to show the "merry old king" that they meant business about the free sea principle. The Dutch activities in the Caribbean and the Guianas are only a small part of the far-flung exploits of those years. For a time they held good positions in Brazil and New Netherland, too, but they were never able to dominate the Caribbean and make it their mare clausum. The Dutch West India Company, after an amazing start, soon abandoned her aggressive pose, and the Dutch were compelledin the West Indies at leastto concur with Grotius and Celsus: the Caribbean was indeed a free sea. The history of the Dutch activities in this sea is the subject of this book.


I THE BEGGARS AND THE BROOM Fidele au Roi jusqu'a la besace. "War is the father of all things," wrote Karl von Clausewitz when Napoleon conquered Europe, but the observation applies as fully to the terrible eighty-year struggle which the Dutch undertook against Spain from 1^68 to 1648. It is not our concern whether this revolt against Spanish absolutism and Catholic intolerance began religionis or libertatis causa. The seeds were planted long before the "Prudent King," as Philip II was called, succeeded his more diplomatic, though no more tolerant, father in ISS5Indeed, one can argue that the growing prosperity of the Low Countries, paralleled by the increasing sense of self-confidence, made independence only a matter of time, that it was speeded up by the lack of understanding in the Spanish approach to the problems of these countries. The long years of this war of independence pushed the young nation forward to a Golden Age. War was the father of that age, the father of the Dutch colonial empire in the East and in the West, and of Dutch naval pre-eminence. A Dutch sea-power had existed as early as the fifteenth century when the Hanseatic League was defeated. It was, of course, not the fleet of an independent nation since the Low Countries were then a part of the Burgundian realm and later the "Tenth or Burgundian Circle," a province of the Holy Roman Empire. When, under the Burgundian dukes, a merchant marine came into existence and a code of laws was drawn up to regulate navigation, it meant, at the same time, that a potential war navy was founded. The difference between trading and war vessels, in those days, was almost nil. It is true that a few warships were built; this fleet was supplemented, in time of need, by merchantmen and put under the command of men with the title of admiral. The "merchant shipping act," if we may call the Burgundian navi gation code by this modern term, required that every ship leaving port have a letter of permission. Some of these were called "letters


2 of marque"; the Dutch terminology reveals what these permits really werekaperbrieven, permits for privateering. The Burgundians soon realized that the core of a good navy was experience in sailing and fight ing. Seamanship, then, was still a rare commodity. Piracy provided the much valued experience. The House of Austria succeeded the Burgundians and followed the same policy. An "Admiralty Board" with the purpose of administering naval affairs was created;1 the institution still functioned when the Dutch revolted against Philip. The board provided the prototype for the United Provinces' organization for their war navy with adminis trative sites at Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Zeeland, West Friesland, and Friesland. The Prince of Orange became the admiral, and the mem bers of the various boards took their oaths from him. Although the Dutch admirals commanded the fleets de factothe princes of Orange never sailed with the fleetthey were only lieutenant-admirals. The admiralty boards, despite their decentralized organization and their consequent rivalry, functioned very well in the early years of the revolt. Efforts to centralize this institution were frustrated by the sudden death of William the Silent and were regularly opposed by Zeeland because of her fear of possible domination by Holland. This decentralization, although born out of a strong feeling of provincialism and local autonomy, later prevented fast action and cooperation in cases of emergency and was one cause of the downfall of Dutch sea-power. The organization of these admiralty boards served as models, however, for the organization of the Dutch East and West India Companies. The series of crises which the Low Countries passed through during the course of the sixteenth century culminated in the abjuration of Philip II in i ^81. We have suggested that the tensions already existed under Charles V who, because he was not only sire of the Low Countries but also emperor of the Holy Roman Empire of the German nations and king of Spain, often followed a policy contrary to the interests of the provinces in the northwestern part of his realm and many times involved them in affairs which were not their concern. Warships belonging to the Low Countries, for instance, were used by Charles V against his Turkish and French adversaries. These and other enterprises caused the creation of a small standing fleet which was stationed in the Zeelandian town of Vere. From Vere the warfleets of the Seventeen Provinces which formed the Low Countries mostly transformed trading vesselssailed out under Dutch command. Dissatisfaction with Charles' rule continued to increase, however, and his firm stand on the religious question augmented the unrest.


3 The placard of i $$, described as "one of the most terrible that were ever carried out against heretics, "2 caused more agitation and disap pointment. After all, Charles was born in the Netherlands and the Flemings, Hollanders, and Zeelanders could not understand so much intolerance in a fellow countryman. The placard was even directed against repentants, totally contrary to accepted medieval tradition. In the political field, as in the religious, Charles' policy caused annoyance, even though he succeeded in uniting the Seventeen Provinces into a semi-political reality with a lessened bond of union between the Low Countries and the rest of the Holy Roman Empire. Under his rule national unity began; national feeling, however, grew more slowly. Philip II continued the policy his father had begun. But Charles had made two mistakes. In the first place, he reduced some what the many ties the Low Countries had had with the German Empire, and consequently he brought the provinces into relations with Spain, a power with which there was no common tradition, language, or commercial interest. Secondly, Charles did not realize that his son was the last man in the world to entrust with the Low Countries and their growing sense of independence. Given the character of this prince and his political and religious aims, the personal union with Spain may be certainly called, according to one historian, an "unmixed evil. "3 Much has been written about that intransigent "Catholic Calvin" of the Escorial, and the evaluations vary from the purest white to the deepest black. Spanish and Catholic historians consider Philip II a great king. One of the explanations for his greatness, according to Santiago Nadal, was in his "complete adaptation to the time in which he lived. " He is called an exceptional figure and the most Spanish king of the House of Hapsburg, a man who carried the preservation and maintenance of the Catholic Church on his shoulders.s Admirers see him as a peace-loving and affectionate man who abhorred violence. Against contrary Protestant accusations, a bishop-historian maintained that he "was not the Nero of his century." Did he not write once to his half-sister Margaret: "God knows that I avoid nothing more than the shedding of human blood?"6 Protestant views are different, of course. One Protestant historian calls him "a crowned Inquisitor";? another, milder or perhaps better balanced in his judgment, observes that Philip only followed the example of his father.8 Emanuel van Meteren, certainly not impartial in his evaluation since he had to suffer under Philip and leave his own country, the Southern Netherlands, because of his Protestantism, argues that he could not be


4 compared with his father and was "inclined to melancholy, jealousy, envy and hypocrisy." Perhaps Philip's character was too complex to be analyzed accu rately. There are two aspects, however, which there is no question about: first, Philip did not like the Flemings, as he called the Dutchspeaking N ether lander s; and second, the religious basis of Philip's policy made him completely unable to understand or to respect any religious conviction that differed from his own. He seemed, more over, to have been entirely indifferent to the enormity of human suffering which was caused by his Inquisition.10 He identified op ponents of the Roman Catholic Church as enemies of Christ. The Netherlanders, although still largely Catholic, had little of their king's horror of heresy: their Catholicism, though pure, was colored with humanism, and Erasmus was, in this respect, their prophet. It is certainly true that Philip's policy lay in a direct line of descent from his father's, but he lacked Charles' camouflaging caution. In addition, Philip II was a complete stranger to the inhabitants of the Low Countries, a prince who did not even speak their languagebe it Dutch or French.11 Add to this the horrors of the Spanish In quisition and the outrages against the numerous local privileges and charters. A Spanish historian might see him as the first modern statesman, but he was still completely wrapped up in the medieval concept that diversity in religious convictions would injure the political unity of the state.12 Instead of being adapted to his time, he was a stranger, not only for the Low Countries but also for the entire non-Iberian world: he lived, indeed, in la gran soledad. Could Philip have done differently? Could he have separated his strong religious prejudices from his policy? His rule in Spain was a joint Church-State affair, and he tried to apply the same formula to his northern dependencies. This policy not only caused the decline of his own country and that of the southern part of the Low Countries but also led to successful revolt in the north, an area which became independent. Throughout the Middle Ages Rome had insisted that heresy had to be persecuted; Philip's intransigent Catholicism cer tainly accepted that position. Further, Charles V had no tolerance for heresy, and the dependents in the Netherlands obeyed Charles. In the meantime, however, a religious peace had been concluded at Augsburg which gave northwestern Europe a solution for the problem of dissidents whichalthough not idealwas for some time a workable one. Philip's blindness in this matter was, if possible, only surpassed by his insistence upon confounding political issues with Catholic glory. This and more led the Low Countries to rebellion.


s Calvinism was also an obvious factor in the revolt. Although Calvin's followers in the Netherlands formed only a small minority, they knew how to arouse the majority and it was they who provided the leadership that the rebellion needed. The value of Calvin's teaching in the Low Countries, among a population long unhappy under foreign domination, lay in the fact that it sanctified all human action. Calvin's awestricken consciousness of God carried with it no indifference to mundane matters; it demanded instead the most intense participation in the common affairs of men. Within the limits of reason this teaching meant that commercial policies were as impor tant as prayers; privateering on an enemy who endangered the "true religion"Calvinismas edifying as a Contra Remonstrant sermon. Were not all men's actions always in the Great Taskmaster's eyes?13 This was the point which Philip missed entirely. The theses of the rigid reformer of Geneva became the focus of a rebellion against the roi-bureaucrate and the roi paperassier who, with pathological accuracy, always made his decisions in the huge rooms of the Escorial without regard for the irrevocable facts.1* A new spirit took possession of northwestern Europe, inspired it, and affected even those who thought themselves to be pure Catholic.1' The heretics destroyed the churches, the Catholics did nothing against this, thus all must suffer, a medal struck in 1^68 announced.16 This new spirit did not, of course, appreciate the Dutch Catholic position: "My heart is for Rome, my arm is for liberty."17 It fed itself, instead, if we may use this dangerous metaphor, from three sources: the religious unrest of the Reformation, the change in economic structure, and the beginning of a new national consciousness. The bonds of religious and economic control, characteristic for the Middle Ages and accepted in earlier days, began to gall. Though Calvinism, in its principles, was as intolerant as Roman Catholicism, practice still differed widely. The burning of Michael Servetus in Geneva, Mary Dyer in Boston, and the hanging of some priests in the Dutch town of Brielle were exceptions to a Realpolitik which made the United Provinces of the Northern Netherlands a haven for religious refugees. No Catholic was ever burned there, and although they lacked some of the rights enjoyed by the orthodox Dutch Reformed, life for everybody, no matter what religion they professed, was possible and bearable. The same cannot be said for Spain. The circulation of new ideas was also stimulated by the freedom the Low Countries enjoyed before the Hapsburgs had inherited that area, and this freedom was, at least partly, the result of commercial


6 activities. But the revolt against Philip II occurred not only because of the fact that he wanted absolute religious and political control. In a country of businessmen and merchants, economic problems served to strengthen considerably the intellectual and moral reasons in favor of religious freedom.18 The Spanish king, who did not understand the changing world, could not see that economic, political, and religious monopolies were causing unrest. Instead, he saw in the revolt what his governors Alva and Requesens also saw: a purely political rebellion of the Prince of Orange and his followers. They soon discovered how wrong they were. Philip's too rigid policy, always oriented toward Spanish and Catholic interests, did not have the elasticity to include a diesseits orientation toward the new spirit which was conquering the Germanic world; it was continuously dictated by the king's jenseits convictions. Because of this myopia Philip was the chief cause of Spain's decline as a world power. With these observations the longitude and latitude of the conflict between the King of Spain and his subjects in the Low Countries have been taken. It was the Duke of Alva, "tyrant and bloodhound" as he was called by the Sea-Beggars, "a nobleman of elegant affability" in the words of others,19 burdened with the same concept of the revolution as Philip, who bore the primary responsibility for dealing with people whose recent deeds so clearly expressed their yearnings for freedom. "One has to exterminate them or give in to their fantasy," wrote a historian.20 Alva chose the first solution. His arrival in the Netherlands caused alarm, even terror. Many inhabitants felt guilty, including the Catholics. If one had not listened, once in a while, to the hedge-sermons, one had at least criticized the placards, or the Inquisition, or the reorganization of the Church, or the taxes. In the words of the seventeenth-century Dutch historian Johan van den Sande, no one was so innocent or so Catholic that he could not be accused of the crimen omissionis.21 The heretics, as every one knew, would be punished, and especially those who had partici pated in the image-breaking while yelling Vive les Gueuxl But even those who had remained faithful were likely to feel Alva's fist be cause they had been too tolerant, too moderate, too lenient.22 It was under Alva that a priest was heard to exclaim from the pulpit: "Oh, you Spaniards, you Spaniards, will make us all Beggars." New professions arose out of Alva's terror. Many people, with or without guilty consciences, left the country where they no longer felt safe. One of these was William of Orange, Philip's lieutenant in Holland, Zeeland, and Utrecht, who became the leader. Most of


7 those who fled called themselves BeggarsSea-Beggarsfor, as exiles, the only safe outlet was the sea.23 They pretended to fight for the king against his bad representatives. Dutch historians have rightly pointed out that from the start, in 1^68, Philip's subjects fought against the Spanish in the name of the king. The national anthem written then began: "I have always honored the King of Spain." Not all who called themselves Beggars, however, were criminals, outcasts, fugitives, adventurers, and image-breakers. The best of them, if not most, writes Conrad Busken Huet, were martyrs of the Spanish terror.2+ There were Englishmen, Scots, Germans, too. Dutchmen, however, because of their number and their stronger anti-Catholic and anti-Spanish feelings, became the natural leaders and certainly represented the core of nationalistic consciousnessat that timeif this were already born. Perhaps it was French Admiral Gaspar de Coligny who advised William the Silent to incorporate these men into his program to break away from Spanish rule.25 Although roaming the sea, in those days, was the natural outlet for malcontents, the Prince of Orange seems to have been slow to realize the potential of these Beggars for the cause of freedom. In due time, however, he discovered that they were the only force then resisting Spanish domination which could stand its ground; they would soon grow into his most efficient and formidable force.26 They harrassed the Spanish, of course, but also those in the Low Countries who stayed loyal to the king. And very soon they shook off the pretension of "faithful to the king down to beggary" and accepted a new battle-cry: "Better Turkish than popish." There were pirates and adventurers among them, robbers and mur derers. But the best were more than this: they became champions of freedom, the only ones who continued to fight against Spanish forces when the country lay trampled under Alva's feet. Reinforced after the defeats suffered by the Prince of Orange and his brothers in 1^68 and in the following years, the Beggar-fleet grew continuously and became a formidable force that made the North Sea, already swarming with French and English pirates, even more unsafe. They became the men who gave form to a new, aggressive Dutch fleet. It may be doubted, however, whether there existed, then, a national party." Certainly there was no national army. But a national navy was in the making and its organization became, after 1^70, a cause of real concern for the Prince of Orange. It fell to these "Sea-Beggars," vagabonds, to provide the impetus for the liberation of the Low Countries.


8 Privateering furnished a training ground of experience in seaman ship which was of vital importance to the Dutch as a revolting power. William of Orange gave the Beggars letters of marque with a triple purpose: to create a fleet which would help him in the revolt against Spain; to strengthen his war chest with the revenue from their prizes; and to create, by their piracy, such discontent in the Low Countries that the rebellion would succeed. An incredible and unpardonable carelessness led Alva to neglect the defence of the sea towns. The disdain in which he held the Sea-Beggars may be responsible for this attitude; it became apparent in his name for their cannons: "wooden pumps" he called them. He had no understanding of the war at sea, and he underestimated its importance. It was not the only mistake of this "beloved son of Pius V."z8 None of the important Spanish leaders seemed to realize its role in the rebellion, but then, many were not well-informed. Alva had no such excuse. Another mistake the Spanish governor made was his attempt to use what may be called "total force." It is undoubtedly much better, he wrote, to have, "through a war for God and His Majesty," an impoverished and even ruined country than, without the war, to see it become "a prey of the devil and the heretics, his followers. "29 The revolt, however, did not ruin that part of the Low Countries which was successful and which became independent; the other part, however, which returned to Spanish control, returned to impotence. But Alva's worst mistake was in supposing that his repressive measures would really be effective. They were not. It was an era in which many believed that the Day of the Lord was coming and that Jesus' prediction, made in Matthew 24, was on the point of being fulfilled. The Sea-Beggars were inspired to repay the Anti-Christby whom they meant the pope and the Catholic Churchsevenfold for the hardship they had caused the faithful. The papal impositions and the new taxes had been deeply felt; the common people, too, were deeply offended by the many deaths resulting from Alva's terror. "Their beautiful white bodies were seen floating on the water," says one of the popular Beggar-songs of four housewives who were killed by Alva's hangmen.30 Many were beheaded, strangled, burned, sometimes for political disturbances, sometimes for divergent religious opinions, many times for both. "They will pay dearly for it," Philip had said, "I swear it by the soul of my father. "31 Faith is everything; skepticism does not lead anywhere. The days of philosophical doubt had not yet arrived; the spirit of Bacon and Descartes had not yet been introduced to the world. Calvin and


9 Loyola fought against each other with their respective Christs, and the Christian world saw, with paralyzing stupor, "with the grumbling of the storm, in the glimmer of sinister lightning, two armed Christs, one against the other. "32 Each man had the only true faith and hurled his anathemas against any other; each had the true Christ. Bad omens were seen in the skies that predicted misery and bloodshed. Terrible signs caused Gemma Frisius and his son to publish their predictions based on the appearance of the comet of irc6. Hunger and plague would come, and unusual monsters would be born. They had seen, in a sky red like blood, armies fighting each other; the great flood of i 0 did not come unexpectedly. A new star, seen below the sign of Cassiopea, frightened even Alva. Comets were predicted and seen; it was generally believed that they represented the rod of an approach ing angry God. Cometa venturi Dei virga was the prevalent belief in those days.33 Fiercely and pitilessly Spain carried the war against her rebels; fiercely and pitilessly the Dutch answered it. No quarter was given from either side. The buena guerra of the later years did not yet exist. The accounts of the Sea-Beggars are frightening. It may be true that the best had become Beggars out of their beliefs in the teaching of Calvin, but their appearance was terrifying: raw, wild people, "hardened in the war and in piracy," sang Onno Zwier van Haren, one of the few Dutch poets who composed an epic to their glory.34 Many lacked ears or noses and were branded "carved" or "chopped" by these woundsor in the more poetic description of the contemporary Dutch historian Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft: "their skin was sewn together with scars of endured battles."35 The aggressive power developed by this type of fierce fighters was increased by effective leadership. True, William of Orange, in his first two appointments, picked the wrong men. Fortunately Alva was no more successful with admirals. The prince, however, found in Lumeyan accidental choice in 1^72a man of action, even if he was later to be notorious for his intolerance and cruelty. Lumey knew how to maintain order and discipline among the riff-raff under his command, and he had good lieutenants. One of them was Jan de Moor, from Flushing, the father of a proud family that would soon be known in the West Indies. Another was Blois van Treslong, a Dutch nobleman from Brielle "with his whole soul attached to the cause of freedom." Huguenots from La Rochelle reinforced their ranks, like Odet de Chatillon, older brother of the well-known Admiral de Coligny, who once said mass in the Calvinist rite, dressed in cardinal's purple, in the Cathedral of Beauvais.36


IO There was also the Prince of Orange. Opinions about him differ as greatly as they do about Philip II. Avermaete calls him a "banner used by others to justify all kind of actions and doctrines unknown to him and his time. "37 The Belgian historian Henri Pirenne, while not praising William the Silent too loudly, nevertheless saw two domi nating characteristics in him that were worth observing: "vigor of intelligence" and "stubbornness of the will. "38 In addition, Pirenne admits his "genius," although he was, in that historian's opinion, a Machiavellian politician, compared with whom the diplomacy of Philip "did not seem more than a coarse and naive tactic. "39 Catholic historians, full of praise for the Spanish king, close their eyes to Orange's merits. Dutch historians have, of course, a different approach. Van Meteren calls him "an able instrument of the Al mighty,"40 and Hooft: "No Prince was ever more loved by his subjects than His Illustriousness by the Hollanders and Zeelanders. "4I Even Johan de Witt, the well-known grand pensionary of a century later, and a rabid anti-Orangist, praised William the Silent: "He seems to be free of most shortcomings that predominate in princely houses."42 Although circumstances beyond his control forced Orange into the leadership of the revolt against Spain, the same circumstances were also the main cause of the evolution of a governmental system in which, lacking a kingafter the abjuration of Philip IIthe stadhouder or king's lieutenant remained an anomaly. Between the fanatical, intolerant, and orthodox Calvinists striving after a kind of totalitar ianism, and the tolerant, particularistic, and more liberal groups who formed the ruling class, William and his descendants posed both as advocates of a strongly centralized government and of the tolerance that would soon make the United Provinces famous. The history of an independent Dutch navy really begins only after the Prince of Orange was able to organize the Sea-Beggars under his immediate command. This navy not only cooperated in the liberation of the northern Netherlands but became, de facto, the foundation for that new and independent state. William's procedure in organizing the Sea-Beggars was to limit some activities and to bring discipline to the various separated groups. He issued letters of marque which legalized the robberies and piracies then being committed; he ap pointed an admiral to organize the fleet into a positive asset for the revolt; he forbade privateering on neutrals or friends; and he ordered one-third of all booty claimed set aside to finance the war on land. Careful watch was kept to see to it that good crews were engaged; nobody could enlist who was wanted for some crime or


II who was in general bad repute. Naval chaplains were appointed to maintain a high spirit: they brought the Word of God to the men, persuaded them to prayer, and tried to keep them within the limits of Christian modesty.+3 It was time to keep them under control because their continuous attacks along the coast had aroused the population of those areas, Catholic or not. There was now, moreover, a danger that the revolt would not be popularly supported. The new regulations handed down by William not only provided the nucleus for a very successful war navy but created also a fleet which, after hostilities in the home waters ended, was available to swarm out into the seas of the world and make the Dutch flag known everywhere. The rules of the SeaBeggar fleet became, later, the basis of conduct for the several boards of admiralty and for the great companies in the organization of their fleets. Philip II and his Spanish councillors and governors held the letters of marque given out by William in utter contempt: the Beggars, with or without letters, were to them so many robbers and pirates. But the Spanish would soon learn what their reorganization meant. In the spring of 1^72 the Sea-Beggars made their historic conquest of Brielle, a small Dutch town at the mouth of the river Maas. The town, which surrendered without a fight, was taken "in the name of the Prince of Orange." Flushing soon followed. "No es nada," said Alva contemptuously, "Brielle y Pisselingas es nada." But it was as if the country had been waiting for just such an event. Suddenly, on all sides, rebellion against Spain broke out. The real and successful movement for independence now began. ++ Some Dutch historians maintain that when the Sea-Beggars organ ized as a war navy their identity as Beggars ended.+5 Others do not agree with this opinion, however, and think that this organization meant only a phase in the development of an official fleet. True, their rapacity was moderated. Under the Prince of Orange as admiral, and with the supervision of the sea towns and the commissars of the prince, all their actions were now directed toward one goal: the liberation of the Netherlands. But their story continued. The same men continued to play an im portant role. Now, instead of Calvinist sansculottes, however, they be came the guard "which does not surrender." They fought on the Zuydersea; their cannons thundered over the Haarlemmermeer; they struggled to relieve Leyden; they rescued Flushing, and they isolated Spanish Middelburg. Lumey was replaced by Louis de Boisot, who had, long before, signed the Compromise of the Noblemen which asked for


12 more religious tolerance. He was a brave man who had lost an eye in a battle against the Spanish fleet at Middelburg where his viceadmiral, courageous Jan de Moor, was killed. After the violent Lumey, who died from a dog-bite, and the valiant Boisot, Willem Blois van Treslong from Brielle, "the last of the Sea-Beggars" as he is called, became admiral of their fleet. In those days there were in fact two Sea-Beggar fleets, one of Hollanders and one of Zeelanders. The competition between the two provinces is evident again and again, in their navies, in the Chambers of the West India Company, and in their trade. In 1576 the rebellious provinces concluded the Pacification of Ghent. While negotiations were under way, the Beggars played their role: Treslong sailed up the river Scheldt toward Antwerp to exert pressure, perhaps with the additional intention of attacking the Spanish. The Pacification was confirmed by Alva's second successor, Don Juan of Austria. He was a half-brother of Philip II, the "last of the Crusaders" and the "last of the knights."46 Handsome, elegant, and a fluent orator with great military talents, his arrival in the Netherlands aroused expectations and misgivings. "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John, "47 but he died, perhaps poisoned, before having realized his beautiful dreams. Crushing the Dutch heretics proved more of a problem than crushing the Turks, and his proud words, "In this sign I defeated the Turks, in this sign I will defeat the heretics," died with him. His successor was Alexan der Farnese, the duke of Parma and son of the former governess Margaret. Parma could probably have saved the Low Countries for Spain if Philip had trusted him more and had given him better support. Although he was called Holophernes after the bloody capture of Maastricht, he was not cruel, and he managed to bring the southern provinces back under Spanish rule. "The Low Countries won't submit to a heretic yoke," wrote a priest many years later, but he forgot to add: with the help of the Inquisition and the Spaniards, and only half of the Low Countries. During the governorships of Don Juan and Parma the Beggars were everywhere: in the North to aid Delfzijl against Spanish attacks; in the South, under Treslong, to escort the Duke of Anjou, brother of the French king, called by William of Orange to get French support in the revolt, to Antwerp. The future was dark for the rebels in those years. Philip II had put a price on William's head, and mur derers were hired who tried to kill him. Parma, tough and flexible at the same time, was very successful not only because of his wise states-


13 manship but also because of the excesses of some Calvinist fanatics who, when they had taken hold of Flanders and its most important towns, tried to establish a Calvinist theocracy which manifested all the terror of fanaticism and intolerance.*8 He did not go so far as Alva's immediate successor, Requesens, when during his negotiations with William of Orange, the Spanish governor openheartedly con fessed to the king that "everyone is convinced that the rebels are right,"49 or as Don Juan who wrote: "They all want freedom of conscience," meaning Catholics as well as Parma had, in addition to his rare military qualities, the souplesse du diplomate, and he saw opportunities for negotiations where they escaped the eyes of his predecessors. Instead of continuing a policy which would ruin and depopulate the country by bringing it to the brink of famine and desperation through religious terror, Parma tried to help it back on a road toward normalcy and prosperity through a government of justice, clemency, and goodness, even though, of course, no freedom of religion could be granted. He succeeded in the southern provinces. The North, however, rejected Parma's proposals and concluded the Union of Utrecht. The most important initiator of this treaty was William's well-known brother, John of Nassau. Perhaps those historians are right who accuse Holland and Zeeland of destroying any possibility of uniting the seventeen provinces. s' The fact remains, however, that the Union of Utrecht, which was concluded in 1^79, when the situation for the North was very dark, not only became a document of faith in the future, but also appeared to be an antiCatholic league, perhaps more so than an anti-Spanish one. It was also a defensive union among the signators. Concordia res parvae crescunt became their device, symbolized by a lion with seven arrows in one of its claws and a sword in the other. How dark were those days for those revolutionary Calvinists! They had faith in God, but kept their powder dry. They offered the French king, Henry III, sovereignty over their tiny country. Afraid of mighty Spain, he refused, despite his hatred of Philip, although he sent his brother, the Duke of Anjou. But the latter's intervention ended in the "French fury," a miscarried attack by the duke on Antwerp that brought an end to French influence. It also brought the withdrawal of those Catholics who had joined the Union of Utrecht in hopes of a Catholic sovereign. They returned to Spanish allegiance in preference to being ruled by a Protestant republic. It was just at this moment, when things were darkestin 1 ^84 that the worst happened: William of Orange was killed by a paid assas sin in Spanish service. One after the other of the Flemish rebellious


H towns now fell into Parma's hands. The siege of Antwerp was memorable. Parma succeeded in blockading the Scheldt in spite of attempts by the Sea-Beggar fleet, now under the command of Justinus of Nassau, William's natural son. Zeeland had nothing to gain from an Orangist Antwerp, nor had Amsterdam, and thus their support of the Beggars was weak. The river Scheldt was closed after the fall of the town. Parma gave the Protestants in Antwerp ample time to leave the town; their ministers exhorted the people to leave Babylon rather than give up their faith. Many did leave, some more motivated by commercial interests than by religious convictions, and Antwerp remained a dead city for two centuries. Although the rudder of the ship was gone, the rebellion continued. William's second son Mauritsthe oldest was a prisoner in Spain receiving a Catholic educationwas too young to replace his father. The States General of the rebellious provinces, in its desperation, offered the crown to Elizabeth. She refused, but she made a treaty. English interests would also be served by removing Spain from the North Sea. The queen promised to send help under the Duke of Leicester, who would then serve as governor of the provinces. His appointment was certainly a probleme de femme. The duke, writes Stern, had no other merits than his agreeable face.52 He was ignorant, insolent, inconstant, and vain about talents he did not possess. The Leicester interlude had two advantages: it gave young Maurits time to grow up, and it gave the States General a taste of what foreign help meant. Elizabeth, shrewd and practical, had taken over three important fortresses in the rebellious provinces as a guarantee for the repayment of her expenses: Brielle, Flushing, and Rammekens. When Leicester left, in 1^88, after he had made himself impossible, these towns stayed under English control, leaving England in control of trade and navigation along the two rivers Pvhine and Scheldt. The rebels grouped themselves around Maurits, who soon developed into a military genius. The times were still dark. Philip was building a huge armada; the pope had given England to the Catholic king. The frequent inter ventions of the popes in the political developments of Northwestern Europebulls against Henry of Navarre, against Elizabeth, against William of Orange and the heretics in the Low Countriesare a remarkable proof of the source of information which they had. Philip saw to it that they received only Spanish reports. They could not even get permission to send a nuncio to Brussels, and consequently they saw as Catholic victories what were, in reality, victories of Spanish despotism.


is Spain had many reasons to complain about English activities. The audacity of English pirates, especially Hawkins and Drake, went beyond Spanish limits. They acted as though the Caribbean Sea were not a mare clausum, a gift of the papacy to its faithful servants the Catholic Spanish kings. England was a country of heretics. A crusade against them would bring them back under papal authority. Such a victory would also doom the Dutch attempts for independence. The spirit of Sixtus V brought back to Philip all the intrepidity of his earlier dreams and again encouraged in him the delusion of a divine mission. Parma, more practical and realistic, warned his king, but in vain. He was too far from Madrid to be heard. Indulgences were offered for all who went with the Armada. Drake had the audacity to attack Cadiz and to destroy there a number of Spanish ships which were to participate in the planned expedition against England. What a man! He was worthy of the fame of the Sea-Dogs, worthy too of the Sea-Beggar tradition. Elizabeth made him a knight and Lope de Vega composed a jubilant poem to celebrate his death. For many years small children in the West Indies trembled when they heard this sailor's name, this man who had no use for friars and who spit at the images of the Holy Virgin. Elizabeth, now concerned over the Spanish plans, asked her Par liament for help, and also the States General of the rebels, in accord ance with the treaty of is$SThe States General sent part of their navythe old Sea-Beggar fleetunder Admiral Cornelis Loncq, to assist the English. Another part, supplemented with hired merchant men under the command of Justinus of Nassau, protected the Zeelandian estuaries and controlled the Flemish seaports where Parma was assembling an army that had to be brought over to England by the Armada. There was much fear in England and in the rebellious provinces. Spain was powerful; her fleet had never been defeated. Although the Sea-Beggars operated during this crucial period in several squadrons, cooperation between the rebels and England, under the pressure of necessity, was remarkably smooth. What happened is well known.S3 The Armada approached England with crucifixes on the sterns and relics in the cabins, while England and the United Provinces trembled. Parma, locked in the Flemish ports by the Sea-Beggars, could not move. The Spanish galleons were too big, drew too much water to cross the sand banks and fight with the much smaller ships of the Beggars. Skirmishes with the English, assisted by Loncq's squadron, deterred the Spanish, and their in competent admiral chose to retire in the wrong direction: around Scotland and Ireland where storms and cliffs ruined most of the ships.


i6 Not more than one third saw Spanish ports again. Tu, Deus Magnus, et Magna facis, and Flavit Deus et dissipati sunt exulted the victors.54 "Insolence" was the Spanish comment regarding the medals struck by the English and Dutch. Philip II took the loss stoically, but he continued to face grave problems. Where did God stand? The great rejoicing in England and the Low Countries found its counterpart in the deep consternation that occurred in Spain, and in the scandal that arose when it became known that fifteen hundred Spaniards who had escaped death by drowning and had been stranded on the Irish coast were killed there in cold blood. Forgetting altogether that Spain did not recognize any law at sea and treated English sailors as pirates, the very pro-Spanish and Catholic historian Pfandl wrote: "Thus England treated ship wrecked persons and defenseless enemies in the days of Queen Elizabeth. "5 5 When the remnant of the Armada sailed home, it went to a different Spain. The world had changed. Spain seemed already to have begun her decline. Soon her mare clausum in the East and the West would be invaded systematically and would be opened by the English and Dutch. The latter, their home seas clearedthere the broom had done its workwould now look for a wider horizon. Together with the English, they sailed into Spanish waters, visiting the enemy on his own coasts. After Maurits' many successes on land and the conclusion of an alliance with the French and the English, a combined AngloDutch fleet was sent to Cadiz. The Dutch squadron was under the command of Johan van Duivenvoorde, who grew up in a good SeaBeggar tradition. Many of his captains had also been Beggars or had learned their profession from the Beggars. At Cadiz the combined fleet attacked and sank many of the ships in the harbor and took the town. The United Provinces were not yet strong enough to operate on their own and had to tolerate van Duivenvoorde's subordination to the English admiral. But their fleet carried, for the first time, something new and unknown in Spain: a national banner and a new emblem, the lion with the arrows. The year 1^88 marked a turning point for more than Spain. For the rebellious provinces a new era began, called by a nineteenthcentury Dutch historian "The Ten Years. "s6 The first two decades of the revolt may be defined as the defensive period. Now the Dutch, under the military leadership of Prince Maurits and the political guidance of Johan van Oldenbamevelt, advocate of the States of Holland and of West-Friesland, who acted as a kind of prime minister and secretary of state, took the offensive against Spain, the erf-vijand


17 or hereditary enemy. These ten years were, for the Dutch, extreme ly successful, and culminated in the official recognition of their independence by France and England in the Triple Alliance of 1596. Now, comparatively immune from damaging Spanish naval attack in the North Sea, the Dutch, as a consequence, were ready to expand hostilities against Spain by carrying the war to the home waters of the enemy. It is, however, true that these independent Netherlands were not yet in a position to operate independently from English sea power. They were in debt to Elizabeth, and she controlled considerable Dutch trade and navigation through the towns she occupied. These con ditions dictated continued cooperation, but fear of English domination hampered truly effective joint naval operations. Thus, in 1^97, both countries again fitted out an expedition against Spain, but it failed, defeated by the elements in a great storm. Undeterred, the States General, the executive and legislative power in the United Provinces, decided two years later to fit out another powerful fleet in order to attack the enemy again on his own coasts and in his own seas. It was the first appearance of an independent Dutch fleet outside of home waters, a sure sign that Spain was now on the defensive. Somewhat later she would learn that her guerra defensiva was, in reality, a guerra consumiente, but that realization would come to her the hard way. The secret of the Dutch expedition of 1 $99 was not kept very well. Early in the year the French ambassador, Buzanval, wrote that sixty ships would be outfitted and added: "That whole race of sailors burns with desire to resume their trade." Shortly thereafter Buzanval revised his figures: now there would be eighty ships and eight thousand sailors.57 Later he reported that there would be one hundred and five ships. Fama crescit eundo. There were at least seventy-two ships in that fleet of rebels "hungry for fame." Their admiral was Pieter van der Doesin most Spanish accounts called Bandordues or Wanderdoesson of a famous father who had distinguished himself in the earlier days of the Sea-Beggars when they freed his hometown of Leyden. The son had acquired fame in the battles against the Invincible Armada. Under his red banner was the white of Vice-Admiral Jan Gerbrantsz of Enkhuizen, also a pupil of the Sea-Beggar's school, and the blue banner of Zeelandian Rear-Admiral Cornelis Geleynsz, with the same back ground. It was a mighty fleet under capable command, trained in the Sea-Beggar's fashion, but the Spaniards knew weeks in advance what the Dutch were planning and were well prepared. They sailed from


i8 La Coruna just four days before the arrival of the Dutch fleet which thus encountered its first great disappointment.58 Subsequently, van der Does turned to the Canaries. Perhaps he intended to conquer those islands in order to control Iberian trade to the East and West Indies and Brazil. Arriving there, he attacked the main island. Its fortresses surrendered. The population fled to the woods. But the Dutch soldiers in their reconnoitering ventures fell into an ambush and were defeated. And then, advised by his engineers that the fort was in bad repair and not worth keeping, van der Does decided to withdraw from the islands. Disappointed a second time, the Dutch admiral divided his fleet before continuing the offensive against Spanish possessions. Over thirty-five sails were sent home with booty under Vice-Admiral Gerbrantsz. The admiral himself continued his voyage to the island of Sao Thome, perhaps to see what could be done there to avenge the defeat of Balthazar de Moucheron's audacious expedition of 159sBut fate seemed to be stalking the Dutch fleet. The murderous cli mate killed a thousand men; the plans to continue on to Brazil had to beabandoned. Only some seven ships, under Captain Hartman, crossed the Atlantic and returned later with sugar prizes taken on the Brazilian coast. 59 Despite their inauspicious beginnings, the Dutch assumed their offensive war against Spain in 1606, when they launched two ex peditions under the Zeelandian Admiral William Haultain. The first of these expeditions had some success; the second experienced a defeat because most of the shipsand their commandersfled before a Spanish fleet. Only Vice-Admiral Reynier Claessen held his own valiantly, setting a spark to the tinder after two days of fierce fighting. In those days the Zeelanders also fought bravely in their own waters against Spanish efforts to regain at least some of the lost power in the North. Zeelandian Admiral Legier Pietersz and Vice-Admiral Joos de Moor maintained the glorious tradition of the Sea-Beggars. "The galleys defeated by the ships," exulted a contemporary medal. Before the conclusion of the Twelve Years' Truce with Spainthe negotiation dragged on for some timethe States General authorized one more attack along the Spanish coast to avenge the bad impression left by Haultain. They equipped a fleet under Jacob van Heemskerk, well known for his exploits in the north when the Dutch were seeking another sea route to East India. The Dutch fleet under this fine com mander maintained the best traditions of the Sea-Beggars. Composed of twenty-six ships and two yachts it sailed against the Spanish fleet at Gibraltar in spite of the fact that this fleet was protected by the


19 artillery of the fortresses. "No battlefield ever showed a more terri fying scene," wrote a Dutch naval historian, "than the Bay of Gibraltar at the moment of his attack. Forty-seven warships fought against each other within the narrow bay. The thundering of the guns, the burning of the ships, the exploding of some bottoms, the shouting of the combatants, the wailing of the wounded and dying, the cheering of the victors, resulted in a picture that cannot be described by any pen nor painted in sufficient colors by the most experienced brush. "6o Van Heemskerk was killed, but the attack was a perfect success for the Dutch fleet and the Beggars who led it. That was the last battle at sea against the Spanish before the con clusion of the Truce. It ended a period of fighting in which the Dutch had made a national fleet from the ragged Sea-Beggars' ships, a fleet which made Spain willing to treat with them when they could not be defeated in European waters and the East Indies. Prince Maurits could smile and ask the Spanish negotiators: "So you came to bargain with the Beggars?"61 They came to make a treaty with the Beggars. The seas of Europe already knew their bannerred, white and blueand it was swarming over other seas, in the East and West Indies, and in Brazil, where it made a startling appearance. Brave and self-confidentthe bravado and self-confidence of a young nationthe Dutch were now prepared to carve out an empire that would amaze the world.


2 DREAMERS AND REALISTS Talma sub pondere crescit. "Imagine," wrote Busken Huet, a nineteenth-century Dutch historian, man of letters, and art-critic, a young State that, properly speaking, is a church Its shield is a divine revelation, worded in holy books. The only true doctrine of salvation for this and future time, the only behavior agreeable to God, is clearly written down in those sacred pages. To have this recognized they have taken up arms against their worldly ruler, against the supreme father of the Church. Everything was faced for it: poverty, exile, prison, death. Through a succession of undeserved and transcendent divine blessings they were victorious in that conflict. To the astonishment of Europe little Holland not only tore itself loose from mighty Spain, but succeeded very soon in standing on its own legs. This the Calvinists explained as something that had happened because of the Lord. "And it has been a miracle in our eyes," they added.1 Even if this were an exaggeration, it was nevertheless the prevailing belief. Pieter Bor, a contemporary historian, gave eloquent testimony of it: God has saved and helped these countries always, in their most pressing distress, in their greatest difficulties, when human help was lacking.2 The same disposition caused Prince Maurits, after the victory of Newport, to kneel on the beach and to thank God; it inspired van Oldenbarnevelt to write to the Dutch ambassador in Paris: "We must pray to God, our Lord, and do all our best, to let this all be conducive to His honor and glory and the welfare of our country. "3 The same thought characterizes the writings of the first chronicler of the Dutch West India Company, Ioannes de Laet. It appears in the minutes of the Heren xix, the directors of that company, and in the correspondence of the time. Stubborn Peter Stuyvesant refused to surrender New Amsterdam to the English, even in spite of the overwhelming odds against him, until a minister read Luke 14 : 31-32 to him. He then hoisted the white banner. Pieter Pieterszoon


21 Heyn, after the greatest act of privateering in history, thanked the Almighty humbly for his catch in the Bay of Matanzas. It was not only the peculiarity of the Calvinists to see everything from a theocentric angle. "God," writes Irene Wright, "was invoked from both sides." "Blessed be the Lord who favored our arms," exulted the Spaniards at the reduction of the Zeelandian town of Zierikzee. "God, bring the silver galleons home safely," prayed Philip; and if a storm or enemies interfered with the granting of this prayer, His Catholic Majesty was divided between surprise and resentment. 4 When his desires were granted, he accepted it as an indication of divine favor. It was the language of the century, and it was no empty language. Man was not yet the rational being of later times. Born on the threshold between the Middle Ages and the Modern World, he stood with one foot in the age of religious and commercial revolution, and the other in medieval tradition. In spite of the fact that with Dutch Protestantism, Catholic liturgy had atrophied into sermons highlighted in only a few cases by the beautiful psalms of Petrus Dathenus, and in spite of the fact that their Calvinism rejected the magisterial grace of symbolic action and compelled the faithful to listening and singing, man in the Low Countries was no less sensitive to mysticism. And although very busy with profit and war, he lived under the mystic influence of the Word of God, of election and predestination. His was "the great century of Calvinist orthodoxy" of which Chaunu writes,s and it collided with the great century of Spanish CounterReformation: the century of the Word which had inspired Calvin and Loyola. It was a great century. The people lived close to the principles of the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation. The Word of God was probably nowhere more alive than in the United Provinces. It may be true, as a priest was said to have remarked to William the Silent, "When the Calvinist pot is as long on the fire as the Catholic, it will look as black,"6 but in that century the Calvinist pot still gleamed, thanks to the two thousand Dutch Reformed preachers who taught, held catechism, and defended their doctrines with all the enthusiasm of a young faith and with all the elation inspired by their anti-papism. Many of them certainly had the genius of piety. Their task was to show people the only true road to heaven. In this vocation it was a continuous comfort to know that they were protectedbut also controlledin their divine work by the High and Mighty Lords of the States General of the Seven United Netherlands. It was a century of faith without doubt. Life was a struggle between


22 good and evil, and God had placed man on one side or on the other. The Dutch war for independence proves this spiritual atmosphere. The rebels thought, of course, that they were on the right side, and that the Spaniards were on the wrong one. It was simply a question of election. The Geuzenliedtboeck, a collection of songs of the SeaBeggars, is drenched with this vision of destiny. Election found expression too in the words of the Dutch leaders: Tandem Jit suiculus arbor (the twig finally becomes a tree) was the device of Prince Maurits, while Jan Pieterszoon Coen, of the Dutch East India Com pany, hailed her destiny in that famous slogan: "Something great may be done in the East Indies." Although the Word of God ruled all their lives, the God of Love and Infinite Grace was absent. On the contrary, theirs was a God of revenge, the God of the Maccabees. Retaliation was permitted and even agreeable to that God when the victim was the hereditary enemy, the Spaniard. Piracy and privateering on the enemy were not objec tionable since he had threatened the True Church. For more than a centurythe period in which the Calvinist faith grew and blos someda theological thread twined through the ropes of the Dutch ships that sailed over the seven seas of the world. The history of their explorations all over the globe before, during, and after their war for independence, is one of Homeric alloy. It may be difficult today to remember that in the seventeenth century the Dutch were a great power, that they were the best businessmen in the world, that they out-competed every other nation, and that they had the finest war navy with the most outstanding admirals. Dutch merchants became the organizers of the most daring expedi tions and explorations to the four corners of the earth. Dutch sailorsworthy sons of the Sea-Beggarsfollowed the traces of the Spanish and Portuguese voyages of the previous centuries, and went in all directions. They crossed unbelievable distances, over unknown seas, through stormy straits. They plodded through oceans and hurricanes, and they survived cannibals and treacherous enemies. They performed the most courageous actions, gained the most amazing victories, and suffered the most crushing defeats. These adventurers went through hunger and thirst, and they died like rats. Scurvy decimated them. And in between they founded settlements and baptized diverse areas of the world with the names of their native towns, rivers, and provinces, often, in spite of their rigid Calvinism, sprinkled with Catholic leaven: New Amsterdam, New Holland, New Netherland, Brooklyn, New Walcheren, Staten Island, Oranjestad, Willemstad, Fort Zeelandia, Waaigat, Saint Lawrence Bay


23 (at Nova Zembla), Strait Le Maire, Cape Horn, and many others. The story of their discoveries and adventures has many famous names worthy of the best Sea Beggars' tradition: Jan Pieterszoon Coen, that profound hater of perfidious Albion; Olivier van Noort, who paraded with his crew through Rotterdam in clown outfits just before he set sail to circumnavigate the globe; Simon de Cordes, who in the dangerous Strait of Magellan founded the crazy Brotherhood of the Unchained Lion; Cornelis Corneliszoon Jol, alias "Wood-leg" or "Peg-leg," who dressed his men like monks and priests when he sailed into the port of Santiago de Cuba. Piet Heyn was such a man, a cool organizer and a reckless sailor. To this same daring breed belonged Balthazar de Moucheron, whose ships sailed under his own banner, and that other refugee from the Southern Netherlands, Isaac le Maire, who made a million or more and then lost it: The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, praised be the Lord. All these and many more played a role in a drama which levied heavy tolls; on their expeditions, sometimes less than one-third came back. The Low Countries, in its Golden Age, was full of widows and orphans. The Dutch, who were emerging from their struggle with Spain as the victors, as the elect of God, suddenly seemed to be the most gifted people on earth: a race of Ubermenschen. They founded five universities within one century; their religious tolerance was not only extended to Catholics, but also to Jews, who had come from Spain or Portugal and strongly supported the House of Orange. The material power of these tolerant and freedom-loving bourgeois be came, in the second half of the seventeenth century, an object of jealousy for France and England. Perhaps most amazing of all, the achievements of the Dutch in this century were performed by a mere handful of men.7 It has been estimated that the total population of the United Provinces, at the height of their Golden Age, was not more than one and one-half million people, which was three or four times less than England, and perhaps eight times less than France or Spain. This factor is important in the eventual decline of the Dutch, since the sheer reality of being outnumbered escaped those visionaries and merchants. Long before the rebellion against Spain, Hollanders, Zeelanders, and Frieslanders had signed on Spanish and Portuguese ships bound for Africa, Brazil, and even mysterious India. Though the Spanish and the Portuguese, for understandable reasons, tried to keep their courses secret, it proved impossible, in spite of rigid and strict regulations. In the beginning, the Dutch, nevertheless, had no intention of visiting other continents. They were only interested, in


24 the sixteenth century, in establishing good commercial relations with other European countries, especially with the Iberian peninsula and with the Baltic. The Dutch wanted to act as carriers between them. In a certain way the English had paved the road for the Dutch. Long before the latter appeared, the English had been seen both in the East and West Indies, and far to the north where Willoughby later a well-known name in the Caribbeanhad sought a strait to Cathay. That was long before the famous hibernation of Dutch explorers on Nova Zembla. It was long, too, before van Noort sailed through the Strait of Magellan: Drake had already made the perilous voyage twice before. John Hawkins, Francis Drake, and George Clifford, Duke of Cumberland, were known and feared throughout the West Indies, and they had fought against the Spaniards long before the first Beggars dared to thrust their noses beyond the Channel and into the Atlantic. But soon the Netherlanders were contaminated with the sickness of the century. Discovery and exploration became the passwords of a new generation, one which, though inspired by the Word of God in its Calvinist version, had not suffered the persecution of the Spanish Inquisition, had not experienced the tyranny of Alva, the massacres of towns, and the starvation in besieged cities. This new generation was possessed by a more active vocation sucked in with mother's milk: to fight and damage the hereditary enemy, who was everywhere in the world, for the glory of God and for the prosperity of their country. Especially after 1588, the lust for adventure spread quickly; the Beggars and their heirs swarmed off in all directionsto the untrodden coasts of the Eastern world or to the white beaches of the Western. Or, as Dutch historian Blok says in his more official and less romantic way: "The new roads were in the direction of the Oriental and Occidental Indies."8 Though unwillingly, Philip II actually stimulated this urge among the Dutch by his infamous "arrests." The first of these seizures of Dutch ships in Iberian ports by Spanish authorities occurred in 1^8^. Velius, the well-known historian of West Frisian town Hoorn concluded: "This arrest was the cause for our people to start to seek for new routes, "9 an observation repeated more or less literally after the third arrest of 1 Bor, already quoted, reports that merchants dealing with Spain and Portugal, as a result of the vexations, began to try other far and foreign routes.10 The testimony of contemporaries is unambiguous: since 1 7 the Dutch had lived with the fear of not knowing what Philip might do with their ships when they visited his ports. They continued, however, to drop anchor in Spanish ports.


2 This commerce with the enemy is one of the strangest phenomena in the rebellion. It continued, in spite of regulations against it, and in spite of Philip's repeated arrests. But at the same time, the Dutch had to find some remedy. They did.11 In the United Provinces, geography became the most popular field of study, after religion of course. History and ethnography were a close second and third. Numerous books were published to meet the growing demand, and these, in turn, stimulated imagination and lust for adventure. The nationnot known for its imaginative qualities, although it produced a Rembrandt, but with a good sense of reality, and of phlegmatic characterdigested the truths, half-truths, and outlandish lies published about faraway countries, wild tribes, and unbelievable events. Sailors sailed over the ocean depend ent upon unreliable maps that had been produced by dozens of mapmakers with unlimited fantasy. It would be fair to ask how they ever found their way, since longitude was still a mystery, and there was virtually no information on winds, currents, and reefs. To sail from the Caribbean Antilles to Brazil seamen had to cross the Atlantic twice: first to the African coast and then back again. It was entirely possible, even then, to miss Pernambuco. During the first years of the revolt against Spain, the Dutch had not dared to sail along the Iberian coast, although they had been known in the Mediterranean and in the Levant before the war. In 1^84 a Mirror of Navigation made public all the known facts for navigating along the European coast to Portugal. The author was Lucas Janszoon Wagenaer, a printer in the well-known house of Plantijn at Leyden. There were, of course, sea maps before Wagenaer's publication, but these were hand-sketched.12 Wagenaer's work was, moreover, probably the first in the Dutch vernacular; the earlier Cosmographia Petri Apiani of Gemma Frisius, although much in use between 1560 and 1600, was written in Latin." A second volume concerning the Baltic and Scandinavian waters followed in i^SFive years later a resolution of the States General gave Cornelis Claesz the exclusive six-year publishing patent for another of Wagenaer's books called the Treasure of Navigation. Claesz or Wagenaer had probably acquired the maps through bribery. They were of Portuguese origin, and their export was forbidden by Iberian authorities on pain of death. The new publication included maps and descriptions of the countries and peoples with whom trade could be conducted. Two other works on navigation were not so well known as those above. One was the posthumous Navigation and Teaching of the Whole Eastern and Western Waters by Adriaen Gerritsz of Haarlem in 1 In


26 the same year Nicolaes Pietersz of Deventer and Herman Jansz of Amsterdam obtained a patent from the States General authorizing the publication of a book entitled Globe.1* These, together with some smuggled English, Spanish, and Por tuguese descriptions, were about all Dutch sailors had at their disposal until 1^90. It was not much, and worse, it was unreliable. It was enough, nevertheless, to push the new breed of Dutchmenworthy heirs of the Sea-Beggar traditionout of the home ports and away from their own coasts. This new breed of Dutchmen, however, had not come exclusively from the northern part of the country. When, in 1^8^, Philip joyously exulted that Antwerp was his once moreand with Antwerp, the southern part of the Netherlandshe did not realize that he had won an empty basket. The very pith of the southern provinces was driven out. Given a few years to settle its affairs, the Protestant population just left the town and the country. The most notable citizens, the richest merchants, the most industrious artisans were predominantly Protestant. Many Flemings had taken refuge in the North with the coming of Alva; many more left now. Belgian refugees had been well represented among the Beggars; they now became prominent among the merchants as well, and they were to push the Dutch forward toward a Golden Age. Although most of the refugees from the South left their country for religious reasonsbecause of "popish superstition and Catholic intolerance"many, and especially the businessmen, simply saw more possibilities for their purses in the North.15 Thousands upon thou sands left the South; between is&$ and 1^87 it is said that more than twenty thousand emigrated to the North, a drastic purge of intellect and money from which the southern provinces were not to recover for more than two centuries. They remained Spanish and Catholic, but they paid a high price for it. In Antwerp, five years after its fall to Spain, one-third of the houses were for sale. International firms closed, and either reopened in the North or went bankrupt. Silence prevailed in the once noisy Bourse. In 1648 the building which had heard the babble of every European tongue was transformed into a library. There was no business any longer.16 Clear advantages accrued to the refugees in going to the North rather than to other countries. They shared the same language, and the Pacification of Ghent had guaranteed privileges to all the prov inces which were signatories. The refugees received citizen rights in the North; all official positions stood open to them unless their own provinces prohibited the same openings to Hollanders. But, however


27 tempting it may be to attribute the Golden Age of the North to the forced exodus from the Southand this has been triedit was but a factor. Even before Antwerp fell, Amsterdam had become a growing competitor. Some of the refugees played a crucial role in the early stages of the Golden Agethat age of expansion, discovery, conquest, and knowledge. There was Balthazar de Moucheron, merchant and shipowner; William Usselinx, a fervent Calvinist and planner; Simon de Cordes, who risked his capital and his life in an enterprise around the world; Sebald de Weert, a Latin poet at age thirteen, who was murdered on the island of Ceylon; Petrus Plancius, theologus et mathematicus says the legend on his engraving, one of the few who was not a merchant; Isaac le Maire, eternal recalcitrant against monopolies, whose son found the Strait named after the father; Johan van der Veken, who furnished the money that van Oldenbarnevelt needed to pay James Stuart for the redemption towns; and there were hundreds more. Petrus Plancius, who served Godaccording to Calvin's per suasionfor more than fifty faithful years, came from Flanders and deserves some attention. He was more than a preacher of the Gospel: he had been a student of Gerard Mercator and soon became an expert in geography and astronomy. On Sundays he showed his flock the road toward heaven; during the week he opened the roads to the East and West for sailors. Thanks to his efforts and to the invention of his great teacher, the Dutch soon had more reliable sea maps when they set forth on their expeditions to the East Indies. He was busy, too, with the difficult problem of finding the longitude. Although already Gemma Frisius knew that a time element was the decisive factor, no one had solved the problem. Plancius seems to have made a partial contribution to its solution. His involvement in Dutch achievements in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century cannot be easily evaluated; it was certainly in the mind of the poet who said of him: That great zealot, promotor of God's church, Who died, ten times seven years old, Has caused more damage to the Pope and Spain With his sermons and lessons, than a great army. ..." In the center of Amsterdam's harbor quarterin the Oudezijdschapelhe offered lectures on latitude and longitude, and on currents and winds. He corrected the astrolabe, that primitive predecessor of the sextantalthough he met with much opposition from experts. "What the deuce does a minister know of longitude?" his fellow refugee, the well-known cartographer and geographer Jodocus Hon-


28 dius must have exclaimed. Another expert on navigation, Albert Heyes, stubbornly continued to use the old astrolabe in his lectures. But Plancius received the powerful support of Prince Maurits, and the valuable recommendation of fortress engineer Simon Stevin. In practice his correction of the astrolabe seems to have been of little importance: Jacques Mahu and Simon de Cordes, who used the new instrument during their voyage around the world, discovered some where that they had been drawn more than 2^0 miles off their course. Although it is true that Plancius focused almost all his attention on East Indies, he was also involved in the foundation of the West India Company, though he did not live long enough to see it actually started. He had compiled a rich archive that was later bought by the Amsterdam Chamber of the company. His collaborator, Hessel Gerritsz,18 sketched and engraved the excellent sea maps included in the work of de Laet. These were presumably based on dates given by the theo-geographer or geo-theologian. Gerritsz was rightly called one of the most distinguished mapmakers of his time, and was chosen as the official cartographer of the Dutch East India Company.1' Not only cartography and geography became popular sciences. There were many other bestsellers in those days. It was an age in which adventurous young men left their homes and countries to travel around the world. They came back with stories to delight their fellow countrymen and to stimulate them further to satisfy their own curiosity. Books of travel, published as popular books, were edited by the dozens in the United Provinces. Some were translations from English or from Spanish; many were written in Dutch. Some of the accounts bore the ponderous style of the rhetoricians; many were written in the simple, sometimes clumsy style of sailor's diaries. One of the first travelers whose adventures were published was Dirck Gerritszoon Pomp, also called Dirck China, probably the first Dutchman to visit Japan and China. He was originally from West Friesland, that cradle of famous men, whose towns today are deserted, but whose buildings still recall the glorious past. Lucas Wagenaer had a very high opinion of his work. He interviewed him more than once and incorporated what he learned in the popular Treasure.20 Indeed, the United Provinces were flooded in the 1^90's with travel accounts. A list of those works would not add anything here, but one exampleby Jan Huygen van Linschoten, the forerunner of the modern itinerarywill illustrate the kind of work being pro duced. As were virtually all Dutch adventurers of that era, van Linschoten was mainly concerned with the East. The author was a "plain burgher of West Friesland," the son of a notary-barkeep from


29 Enkhuizen. In his father's tavern, Jan heard sailors' stories and soon took to traveling himself. He learned Spanish and Portuguese and traveled around the world. When he returned he wrote an Itinerario which became an immediate bestseller. The superiority of van Linschoten's work lies in his research. He read everything he could on his subject, and he consulted with a young Leyden professor, Berent ten BroekePaludanus21but like others of his time, he did not always distinguish between fact and fable. The Itinerario included a number of copies of good Portuguese maps, which were obtained from the government on the recommendation of Plancius. Van Linschoten did much more than simply satisfy curiosity. He provided a complete handbook for sailors: the courses they had to take and information about winds and currents. Little wonder that his book inspired the Dutch who were burning with energy. And they understood Linschoten's device Souffrir pour parvenir, to be unafraid to fight for a place in the sunto include the sun of the tropics. "Because of you the Dutch now shine in the Indian skies," wrote an enthusiastic fellow countryman.22 Similar to the itineraries were the numerous ship's journals which soon appeared. Pieter van der Does' True Story, Joris van Spilbergen's Historical Journal, and Hendrick Ottsen's Journal were the best known. They were preceded by the First Navigation of William Lodewijksz, one of the most important ship's journals published at that time.23 They satisfied the curiosity and interest in foreign countries and dangerous voyages while at the same time they stimulated young men to follow in those tracks. Most of these books had little value for anyone interested in the Caribbean area, although they did inspire the adventurous spirit. Van Linschoten included many dates on the Caribbean in his work, but he had never been there and was forced to rely on other works for his figures. The lack represented in his work and in the studies listed above was filled by Dierick Ruyters' Torch of Navigation.2* "Dierick Ruyters," writes a Dutch historian in his introduction to the modern edition of the Torch, "belonged to that rare species of sailors who handled the pen with the same skill as the steering-wheel, the derrick, rapier or musket."" His fame as a soldier has been preserved for posterity in the work of de Laet. He has himself insured his fame as a scientific sailor and navigator and concurrently as a lover of astronomy and mathematics. Ruyters was one of the breed which made the foundation of the Dutch West India Company possible. We know that he actually visited the areas he described. In 1618,


3 for instance, he was a prisoner of the Portuguese in Brazil. He escaped and returned to Zeeland. In 1619 he sailed from that province, probably licensed as a captain, bound for the West Indies. The Torch of Navigation appeared in 1623. The title page explains the scope of the work: it provided information "to sail the coasts south of the Tropic of Cancer." Ruyters supplemented his own observations with Portuguese accounts which make his work highly reliable. For some unknown reason, however, the directors of the West India Company returned to Ruyters the six copies he had sent to them: "any director wishing to read the work should pay for it," or so the minutes of the Heren xix say.26 But it was regarded as a bequaem boeckan efficient book. While a great part of Ruyters' work was concerned with Africa, he devoted some time to Brazil and a few pages to "the great Gulf Occidentalis, formerly the New World and now the West Indies." He made his readers aware of the three possible routes the Spaniards followed to the Caribbean: the first from Cadiz; there ships loaded with textiles and everything that "was necessary for the support of human life" left Spain to cross the Atlantic; the second route started in the Canary Islands from whence wine was brought to the West; the third began on the West coast of Africaespecially the coast of Guineawhere slaves were transported to the Caribbean area. Ruyters gave concise information about navigation along the coast of Venezuela, Colombia, and the passage from Honduras to Santo Domingo; he also discussed the trade in hides between Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico, and Hispaniola, and the trade with New Spain. The records of the early voyages of the West India Company immediately reveal their dependence on Ruyters' information on both sailing and types of cargo. Ruyters chose to publish his work at a most inopportune moment. The Torch of Navigation appeared just shortly before the New World or Description of West India by Ioannes de Laet,27 a director of the West India Company. De Laet combined a commercial spirit with religious zeal and a vast knowledge of many subjects. He was an upright ContraRemonstrant, had been a member of the famous Synod of Dordrecht which had set the record straight concerning the true religion; he was later to become the first chronicler of the West India Company. Thus de Laet's work had a much wider scope than Ruyters. The former had read Jose de Acosta and Antonio de Herrera, together with many other sources. Ruyters was only a sailor who had written a manual for sailors, de Laet was a man of great cultural attainments who even dared to argue with Grotius on the origin of the Indians in America.28


31 He copied the best part of Ruyters' work in his New World, with Ruyters' blessing, but the result was that this work overshadowed the Torch. It is generally understood that de Laet's New World was less cap tivating than Linschoten's Itinerario and de Laet's own later Iaerlijck Verhaelhis account of the first sixteen years of the Dutch West India Company. But the earlier work did not do badly; it appeared in a second edition in 1630 and was soon translated into French and Latin. Like the Itinerario, the New World included many historical dates and the excellent maps of Hessel Gerritsz. The author was praised by Their High Mightinesses for his efforts. On first reading it, though, they had been dismayed that de Laet admitted French and English pretensions to first discoveries in the New World. They later realized, however, that he had only acknowledged French and English allegations, and he was allowed a twelve-year patent for publishing the book in the United Provinces.2 In addition to the dreamers of the eraif thus we may call the ones who wrote books and sailed to foreign lands more for adventure than for profitwe have the merchants, the ones who made money and prayed for more, the ones who risked everything, except their lives, in any enterprise that looked favorable. Two centers were most im portant in these mercantile ventures: Amsterdam, the capital, which enjoyed more business than all the other Dutch towns put together, and the province of Zeeland, with its two important towns, Middelburg and Flushing. Sailors from the latter town, called pichelingues by the Spaniards, were well known and feared by the Iberians.30 Throughout the seventeenth century, Amsterdam played such an important and central part in the history of the United Provinces and Europe that definition of its precise role becomes difficult. Grotius called it "our only Amsterdam, without parallel, without compari son." The town had already begun its rise to fame before Antwerp fell. In the revolt against Spain, Amsterdam had started as proCatholic, and only force drove it to support the rebellion. Its conservative burghers were adverse to anything that smacked of popular rule. The town gained enormously, however, when Antwerp was taken by the Spanish with the consequent exodus of brains and purses that migrated north. After its conversion from pro-Spanish to pro-Calvinista. policy change called the "Alteration"most refugees from the South found a welcoming environment there. But merchants still controlled the destiny of the capital, and they were too motivated by profit to be intolerant. These men were typically realistic, an


32 aspect which has been well captured in their portraits by the best of the Dutch school of painters, and even those by Rembrandt the dreamer. They were businessmen who stood with both feet on solid ground and risked their money where others risked their lives. They were also steady churchgoers; their convictions may be defined as humanistic Calvinist. Some of them, eminent as they were, were too lukewarm to be martyrs, too honest to be hypocrites. Religion was not the only important thing in their lives. There were some men, certainly, with deep religious convictions. Reynier Pauw, for example, was such a man, but he was also one of the most industrious, one of the most plotting and scheming burgomasters of Amsterdam. He was an outstanding businessman and a member of the town council when he was only twenty-seven years old. His passionate ContraRemonstrant convictions and his devotion to the foundation of a West India Company forced him to a seat on the tribunal which convicted Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, the landsadvocate. He was also a director of the East India Company, and one of his sons became a director of the West India Company when that institution was founded.3i Another important businessman of Amsterdam, who was interested in the West Indies, was Pieter van der Haghen. Although he was a textile merchant primarily, he also had business relations with that financial genius so appropriately named Hendrick Anthoniszoon Wissel.32 Like Pauw, van der Haghen did not get along with van Oldenbarnevelt and consequently found himself imprisoned at one time. With Johan van der Veken, Joris Joosten, and Vincent Bayaert, he traded in Brazil; with Wissel he fitted out ships for Hispaniola and Puerto Rico.33 Shrewdly, he and Wissel staffed their fleet with Spanish and Portuguese sailors because they thought they could thus legitimately trade in the Spanish possessions. Their admiral, however, was Dutch: Melchior van den Kerckhove. Van der Haghen seems also to have established some commercial relations on the African coast. It is undoubtedly true that during the sixteenth century Amster dam's main interest was in the Levant and the Mediterranean; later, it shifted to the East Indies and the North. The directors of the East India Company, men like Pieter de Graeff, Johannes Hudde, and Gilles Valckenier, were Amsterdammers. The West Indies, New Netherland, and Brazil attracted fewer men. There was, however, a pro to-West India Company already as early as IJ97, which was started by a merchant of Amsterdam. Another small company with similar interests was founded by a merchant of Enkhuizen. Neither of these companies was important, and both prove the rule that other global regions were subject to more attention. Even the Dutch


33 expeditions to the North had an Eastern orientation since they sought a strait to the East Indies that would afford passage without encoun tering the dangers of the Iberian coast. The situation, however, was quite different in Zeeland. There, as soon as the threat of a Spanish invasion of the islands was eliminated, their merchants looked to the West and especially to the Guianas, the estuaries of the Orinoco and the Amazon, and the West Indies. The divergence of commercial interests represented by Amsterdam and Zeeland should thus be seen within the framework of the constant rivalry between the two most important provinces in the United Netherlands.3* In the first forty years of the war for independence, Zeeland was a frontier territory. Nationally arid religiously it belonged to the northern provinces, but economically and linguistically it could not deny its close relationship with Flanders. If the Zeelanders were obliged to follow the political leadership of The Hague, they were not willing to submit to Amsterdam's commercial supremacy. The resultant tensions appear regularly in the documents of the West India Company and they extend themselves into the West Indies and the Guianas. The rivalry was a constant problem for the directors of the company as well as for Their High Mightinesses, the States General of the United Provinces.35 Well-known Zeelanders with interests in the West were the brothers Adriaen and Cornelis Lampsins. Although they called themselves the "New Beggars," they were in fact wealthy merchants from Flushing. They went as far as to outfit a private war navy of twelve ships and one hundred and eighty pieces of artillery specifically for privateering. Their defeat of the Dunkirk pirates at one point was so decisive that insurance rates dropped from eight to three per cent. Both men were of incorruptible faithfulness to their given word, of great ability, and "burning with zeal to increase the glory and fame of the fatherland."36 In Dutch national history their role in connec tion with Admiral Michiel Adriaenszoon de Ruyter is well known. Another famous Zeelandian house interested in the West was that of de Moor. Vice-Admiral Jan de Moor, founder of this dynasty of explorers and merchants, had also played an important role in the liberation of Zeeland from Spanish oppression. His son further en hanced the reputation of the family in an encounter with the Spanish fleet under Admiral Federigo Spinola. The grandson of the ViceAdmiral, together with Abraham van Pere and Pieter van Rhee, two other Zeelandian merchants, was very interested in a colonization plan for the Guianas and Lesser Antilles. Another Zeelander interested in


34 the West was burgomaster Geleyn ten Haeff of Zeeland's capital, Middelburg. Perhaps the most famous of the Zeelandian businessmen was Balthazar de Moucheron, a man who, in the words of his only biog rapher, "combined the lust for profit of the Dutch merchants with the adventurous spirit of his Norman ancestors. "37 Like many others, and for the same reasons, he had fled the southern provinces for the freedom of the North. According to a Dutch historian, his plans were "more grandiose and broader in concept than those of anyone else." One remarkable tribute to de Moucheron appeared in a van Linschoten publication which honors him as a pioneer of many intrepid Dutch explorations.38 De Moucheron settled in Zeeland's capital, Middelburg, and there worked out the schemes which made him famous. Through him, other merchants were stimulated to cooperation, as was the pen sionary of this province, Christoffel Roeltius, who was very interested in de Moucheron's plans.39 He became a principal instigator of Dutch discovery trips in the North and organized navigation in the Caribbean and along the coast of Africa, where his ships sailed under a personal banner: a Burgundian cross on a green field. And then there was William Usselinx, another refugee from the South, who was full of grandiose dreams and whose strategic im portance in the foundation of the West India Company merits him more attention in this account. Although Usselinx' ostracism, which was imposed on him by narrow-mindedness, prevented his actual participation in the direction of the company, he alone had done the groundwork for it for many years. Jameson rightly calls him its "originator. "40 Born in the Southern Netherlands and soon a refugee, almost nothing is known of his early years. His writings show the antipathy toward Spanish rule and Catholic beliefs which he may well have acquired in his youth. He sought, however, an education in com merce in Spain, Portugal, and the Azores. In Seville he witnessed the arrival of the treasure fleet which made a deep and lasting impression. In Portugal he saw the exports from Brazil arrive: sugar, brazilwood, and many other products. In the Azores he met many of his country men; these islands, en route between East and West, were sometimes called the Flemish Isles. As everyone knew, they were a service depot for the silver fleet. Perhaps Usselinx was there when Grenville sacked the islands in i when Drake seized there a Spanish canaca, or when Cumberland took Fayal. Young William settled in the Low Countries in i r91, and he was


iS already a rich man. He did not return to Antwerp, however, since his Calvinism made that place dangerous. In Amsterdam he found a more tolerant environment and a better audience for his ideas. He was soon respected there, writes van Meteren, as "a man well informed of trade and conditions in the West-Indies," and knew the first families in the capital. He became acquainted with Plancius and knew the councillor of the High Court, Francois Francken, who, from the very start, saw in a West India Company an excellent tool with which to fight Spain in the New World. In 1600, just as the first flourish of Dutch enterprise abroad began, and while the hope of recapturing Flanders still lingered in the hearts of her refugees, Usselinx put into writing what had been in his mind and what he had spoken of to a few of his intimate friends. His plan, it appeared, had two aspects: first, he proposed a colonization program to teach natives the techniques of European agriculture in order to exploit the rich soil in the New World, and, second, he intended their conversion to Calvinism. He hoped to activate this program on the Wild Coast which the Spanish had claimed. Usselinx maintained that Spain was weak in that area because she had no defenses there. The realization of this program, however, required a company, since only a powerful organization, supported by the government, had any hope of successfully attacking Spanish possessions. A company alone could organize immigration on a grand scale in order to divert the war from the homeland to the Spanish king's domains in America. According to the plan, the Dutch colonists would convert the Indians to Calvinism, arm them, teach them the use of horses, and initiate them in the techniques of modern warfare. The plan did not envision the use of slaves or the prospect that colonists would wear themselves out looking for gold and silver. The real treasure of America was its soil according to Usselinx. Agriculture and trade on a barter basis should become the economic bases for these colonies. They might, of course, tap the Spanish stream of gold and silver as a sideline. Usselinx' project lost favor, though, on the unsuccessful return of an expedition under Pieter van Caerden to Brazil. Until van Caerden's failure many merchants had seemed enthusiastic and willing to put up huge sums for the project. He had been sent to Brazil with six ships to build the first Dutch stronghold on the coast. Though he returned with three thousand chests of sugar and some gold and silver, he failed in his primary goal, and the total profit was not enough to sharpen the right appetites. Despite this setback, however, and partly because of the influence of Plancius and Francken, Usselinx' plan was discussed in the July,


36 1606, meeting of the Provincial States of Holland. A committee was appointed to examine the plan more thoroughly and to draft a patent for it. Although Usselinx was a member of this committee, the project which emerged bore little resemblance to his own. Not colonization and trade but war and profit by war were the primary goals developed in the first draft. It was, Usselinx said, "not conceived according to his ideas."42 Even more disastrous to Usselinx' hopes for the realization of his ideas was the fact that peace negotiations with Spain had started. Van Oldenbarnevelt, for one, was anxious that peace come, and he was the political leader of the most important province of the free Netherlands. It would have been contrary to the peace policy he pursued to accept a program which, in the form drafted by the committee, was clearly directed toward war. By that time it became increasingly apparent that there was a strong peace party in the Netherlands and that Usselinx was not a part of it. Van Oldenbarnevelt was its leader. Since he knew how desperately the treasury needed peace, he intended to bring an end to the war. Because he was, therefore, ready to abandon the Southern Netherlands on that point, as he was on the proposed company, the landsadvocate and Usselinx became bitter enemies. But the Flemish refugee found the tide for peace nearly overwhelming. True, van Oldenbarnevelt went to the negotiation table spouting talk about a West India Company but only, as van Meteren observes, "as a bugbear to scare them. "43 This policy dismayed Francken, Usselinx' friend and supporter, to such a degree that he seriously considered resigning and entering the service of Henry IV of France, who was very eager to hire Dutch experience to implement his own plans for a French colo nial empire. Usselinx, however, was not a man who gave up easily. When the peace negotiations focused on the exclusion of the Dutch from the East and West, he sent to the States General a series of pamphlets which pled the cause of free navigation for the Dutch in both the East and West Indies. One of these pamphlets, the Remonstrance, belongs, as Asher rightly observes, to the most remarkable produc tions of that kind of literature.44 All his pamphlets were written in a powerful and convincing style; their effect, however, seemed only to accelerate the conclusion of a truce.4* Usselinx claimed in the Remonstrance that the articles of the Truce permitted his type of companyan agricultural and trading corpora tion with missionary overtones. His voice, in those days, however, was the vox clamantis in desertis. Other problems attracted attention


37 just then. Philosophers, ministers, pamphleteers, and poets vied with each other to bring the new issues before the public eye: predestination or free will, monopoly or free trade. Such famous men as Grotius, Hendrik Boxhorn, Pieter de la Court, and even Spinoza displayed a vivid interest in these burning questions. The most inflammatory of the issues was that of predestination and free will, a dispute which had started between two Leyden professors, Arminius and Gomarus. The entire country took positions in the theological controversy. Curiously, one's decision about it determined one's partisanship on one side or the other in the dispute about the war with Spain. The majority of the population, i.e., the lower classes in the towns, headed by the Dutch Reformed ministers and supported by the Flemish refugees, were strongly orthodox and Gomarian or Contra-Remonstrant. This majority favored predestination and war. Their opponents were the liberals, the Arminians or Remonstrants, who were the rich merchant and regent classes. Although they were a distinct minority, they held the power and the money. The ruling class assumed, as any ruling class, that its interests were the interests of the country. Some years before this same class had decided that the country could best be served by creating a monopolistic institu tion to trade in the East. It then urged the foundation of the East India Company. Now it would oppose a Dutch West India Company because such an institution would imply support for the House of Orange and its war policy. These were the complexities which hindered Usselinx' project for almost two decades.*6 During the Truce, which was concluded in 1609 to last for twelve years, Usselinx continued his propaganda for a company. He became, in those years, what Laspeyres calls "the most energetic representative of the warparty. "47 In spite of the conclusion of the Truce, he was not discouraged, and by 1614 things seemed to be less black. His consultations with important people in Holland and Zeeland began to yield results. Amsterdam, which had always opposed the Truce, had enough influence to bring Usselinx' project before the States of Holland once more. After that hearing Usselinx was told to bring his proposals before the States General. This body discussed the plan at a meeting on August 2, 1614, but the results of the discussion are unknown.*8 Obviously, van Oldenbarnevelt and the East India Company, for quite different reasons, both opposed it, and this opposition may provide some reason for the silence. In 1616 Usselinx once more submitted a request to the States General in which he proposed to prove that:


3 i. The United Provinces, by creating a Dutch West India Company, would be strengthened and secured against the hereditary enemy, the King of Spain. 2. When peace came the Netherlanders would reap as many profits from the Indies as Spain had. 3. If war with Spain were renewed, the Netherlands would gain not only the profits stipulated in Point 2 but also what could be taken from Spain as prizes of war. 4. All the inhabitants of the United Provinces would profit from this company. 49 At the same time Usselinx proposed ways to raise the necessary operating expenses for his plan: ten million guilders raised on a voluntary basis.50 This request became the subject of discussions in the States General meeting of June 24, 1617. A committee, which included van Oldenbarnevelt, was appointed to hear Usselinx. Although Usselinx had a favorable response, generally, van Oldenbarnevelt was once more able to block any progress. Other requests were ignored by Their High Mightinesses on the advice of the landsadvocate. Usselinx' personal situation was now most uncomfortable. He had lost money in bad investments, and his creditors were persecuting him. He was simply in debt for more thousands than he could ever hope to pay. "That bankrupt merchant," van Oldenbarnevelt called him contemptuously. Usselinx' temperament did not make things any easier. He was not a forbearing man; and his fulminations against Catholics and Jewsand against other Protestants not adhering to the Dutch Reformed Churchtogether with his abuse of the Armi-nians, were not calculated to win him much support among the Remonstrant members of the States of Holland.51 It should be mentioned here, however, that there was some reason for his unpleasant outbursts. Usselinx was a Fleming, and he was fiercely proud of it. In his eyes, the North had been insignificant until the Flemish immigrated. In a pamphlet of 1627 he pointed out that before the exodus of 1^67 the northern provinces barely had the funds to keep their dykes intact, while the southern provinces had enjoyed a prosperous trade with Spain and were acquainted with navigation to the East and West Indies, Africa, and the Levant. Of course his point of view was exaggerated; even worse, it was without tact, and it prejudiced warm relations with those authorities whose cooperation was a sine qua non for the realization of his plans. In those years the Arminian-Gomarist dispute reached its climax. In the bitter struggle van Oldenbarnevelt lost and was beheaded. The


39 war party, orthodox and centralist, took over under Maurits: Force was for the Gomarists.52 With the removal of the old landsadvocate, strong opposition to a renewal of hostilities was gone. The States of Holland soon heard once more from Usselinx on the matter of a West India Company. The States General agreed to examine the matter again. A committee appointed by Their High Mightinesses worked so fast that Usselinx, who had to come from Zeeland, did not arrive in The Hague until a draft for a new charter, based on the project of 1606, had already been completed. Usselinx also had prepared a draft of his ideas, but he was not in doubt for long about which plan the States liked better. A compromise committee, which included some directors of the East India Company, then prepared a third draft which was presented to the States General. Nearly a year was spent in discussing the concept. With some changes, the idea of a Dutch West India Company was finally accepted. The official date of its incep tion was set for June 3, 1621, a few weeks after the Truce was to end. For Usselinx, the charter which was approved was a bitter decep tion. His original idea of a missionary-colonizing corporation had been transformed and mutilated into a privateering institution of a semi-dependent character. Although profit was the aim of both plans, it was not the first and exclusive motive for Usselinx. In the final draft, however, profit exclusively and profit through war were the main objectives. Great were the expectations which surrounded the founding of the Dutch West India Company. Everyone now expected much more from the West Indies than from the East. Shrewd merchants like Reynier Pauw, Jacob de Graeff, and Andries Bicker provided the leadership for the new corporation, s 3 They and other Amsterdammers pushed the project into action; the capital dominated the new organi zation as much as it had the Dutch East India Company. Usselinx' ideals, missionary activity, and colonization got only secondary attention in the charter. But these ideals had been the core of his draft, the palpitating heart of it. He had certainly exaggerated, however, knowingly or not, the advantages of trade in America. In his writings, for example, he had pointed out that many Indians had reached the level of culture which made them ready customers for European textiles. But in 1633 the level of culture in the Guianas, the region that Usselinx always had in mind in terms of colonization and trade, was described in a report of the West India Company: "These nations are so barbarous and have so few needs, because they don't dress nor work for their daily bread, that all trade that is possible there can be handled by two or three ships annually."54


40 Usselinx had not been alone in his projects for colonization. In an anonymous pamphlet of 1622 entitled Fin de la Guerre, colonization in the West Indies was highly recommended, though for other reasons than Usselinx had in mind. The pamphlet argued instead that the United Provinces were suffering from overpopulation: "It swarms here with people and the inhabitants in every trade trample on each other's feet. "55 It went on to say that in some towns and villages from oneto two-thirds of the population lived on charity. The coloniza tion which the author had in mind was an asylum pauperum. This little brochure appeared simultaneously with Usselinx' Short Instruction and Admonition to all Patriots to invest liberally in the West India Company and was probably almost unnoticed for that reason.56 If Usselinx exaggerated the cultural level of the Indians and the chance for immediate profits from trade with the American countries, he certainly was right in arguing that colonists would increase trade many times over. As did the author of Fin de la Guerre, he envisioned the poor as colonists and felt that not only Dutch but also German and Scandinavian people should be allowed to settle in Dutch colonies. In Usselinx' project, these settlers would busy themselves with agriculture. Industry was to be prohibited there, and this prohibition showed Usselinx to be a true mercantilist. He opposed slavery in the colonies, not on humanitarian grounds but because he believed that one colonist could do the work of three Negroes once he was ac climatized : since the sun shone directly above him as he worked, he would not be blinded by its rays. Free labor was to be the basis on which the colonies should develop and prosper. As a fervent Calvinist and a hater of Catholicism, and because he also despised anyone who was libertine and malleable, Usselinx required that all the colonists be members of the Dutch Reformed Church. He further anticipated that they would act as missionaries to the natives.57 But Usselinx saw more in a West India Company than a colonizing and missionary project. It was to be a tool of war designed to free the Southern Netherlands from Spanish domination. The company would provide the means to attack Spain in her mare clausum; it would have to send forces and fleets to protect the area. The Spanish King would thus be weakened in Europe and especially in the Southern Netherlands. The company needed warships and soldiers, therefore, as well as colonists. Usselinx knew that Spanish forts along the Wild Coast were not very significant. He also believed that the Indians there could be won over to supporting the Dutch by fair and con siderate treatment, since they already nursed grievances against the Spaniards and Portuguese.


4i His project called for several phases to develop in the attack on Spain. At the beginning, no direct attack on Spanish-American territory was planned. Instead, the Dutch were to concentrate on intercepting imports and exports by effectively blockading Spanish ports. In the second phase of the plan, the Dutch were to attempt to seize Spanish ships on their return to Spain. Then the coast of Africa should be blockaded in order to prevent the export of slaves. Usselinx was explicit in emphasizing that the colonies were to be the property of the state and not of a private institution or a semi-private one like the West India Company. The States General should offer help and support, appoint governors and hire soldiers, and build fortresses. In general, the United Provinces was to do everything necessary for the safety of the colonies. He did not comment on what he thought the government in the colonies should be, but in reading the articles of the company's charter one realizes how many of Usselinx' ideas were incorporated in spite of many divergencies from his suggestions. Repeatedly, after the charter of 1621 had been accepted Usselinx tried to get it amended to read the way he wanted. Although Prince Maurits recommended him to the States General several times, it did no good. The West India Company was founded without him. Jame son had rightly pointed out that the first directors opposed Usselinx precisely because they feared that this strong man would dominate them. Disappointed and bitter, Usselinx finally turned his back on the institution for which he had sacrificed the best twenty years of his life. There were some efforts to use him in the company in some advisory position, and he was offered four thousand guilders to place his knowledge and experience at the disposal of the company. He refused the offer. Prince Maurits then admonished the States General to force the ruling board of the West India Company to acknowledge Usselinx' contributions. Although he knew that he was no longer needed, he indignantly refused the Spanish King's offers to enter his service, even though his creditors were constantly after him. He left the United Provinces and settled in Sweden to try once more to realize his plans. He had been far ahead of his time in his ideas about colonization and free government. But his personality, his improvidence, and his inability to win supporters doomed his plans. He also seemed continuously unable to find a propitious moment to introduce his ideas. He never succeeded, even in Sweden, and at the age of 80 he could say with bitterness: "I have been treated in such a way that I do not believe anyone in history can find an example."58


42 He had had a dream that did not come true. But many men had speculated on a grandiose scale in those days and had succeeded. The Dutch colonial empire did not fall because of the narrow-mindedness and shortsightedness of its founders but because the risks that were taken proved to be too great, the burden too heavy. De Moucheron went bankrupt and left the country; le Maire lost his money; Usselinx became poor. Their money and talents had served the general interest of their new fatherland. While they had exerted every effort to make profits and become rich, they had also brought Europe and the world an unknown freedom of thought and hitherto un familiar rights to the common citizen. They were merchants. Usselinx was a merchant, no more and no less. This chapter may be concluded, therefore, by quoting the Dutch historian Bakhuyzen van den Brink: "Do you find something grandiose in them, then say: he was a merchant; do you find some thing to blame, the excuse may be: he was only a merchant! "S9


3 THE TARDY INTERLOPERS Sit oneri, erit Usui. The Caribbean was the setting for what German Arciniegas calls the grandiose drama that was similar to the transition from the third to the fourth day in the story of Creation.1 Space was discovered, as limitless to man of the fifteenth and sixteenth century as our own universe today is to us. The Mediterranean diminished to a lake, and European politics shrunk to local bickerings over religion and suc cession. The horizon widened. Men of vision saw things that no European eye had seen before. More impressive than the gradual elaboration of a route to India along the African coast and around the Cape of Good Hope was the sudden announcement of the existence of a New World. The Spaniards, who had hammered for centuries against the vestiges of Islam in the Iberian peninsula, now extended themselves around the world. Columbus' discovery shifted the center of interest from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean. The Sea of the New World! While the Sea of the Old World began its hibernation, the Caribbean was awakened by the cannons of the first Spanish caravels. Sailors, adventurers, and crusaders followed the Great Admiral on his route to the West, to Paradise and El Dorado. They came to plant the cross among men and women who went naked, with "not one part of their bodies covered." They came to satisfy themselves, drawn by the irresistible enchantment of the native women: "They themselves provoke and importune the men, sleeping with them in hammocks; for they hold it to be an honor to sleep with the Xianos. "2 They came for all reasons. It was, as Stefan Zweig has observed "a time for adventures as the world almost never has known before. "3 A long string of Greater and Lesser Antilles, green pearls in a blue sea, hangs between North and South America and protects the central isthmus of the continent from the tides and forces of the Atlantic.


44 These islands enclose the Caribbean Sea. The tropical heat is tem pered by a cool trade wind which can, however, become a howling gale across the islands to the North. The Indians called such winds hurricanes. But it was believed that when the Host was placed in the churches, Satan's power would collapse and the hurricanes disappear, even though the winds returned the following year. When Columbus discovered and visited many of these islands, their population was Arawak or Carib. The former, peaceful and gentle, had been driven from many of the islands by the more bellicose Caribs, whom the Spanish accused of being cannibals. Fighting a hopeless war against a better organized and equipped enemy, the Indians still preferred death to slavery. In the end, those who escaped the Spanish sword died of illnesses brought by the new masters. Although they could escape into the hills and woods on the mainland, on the islands no escape was possible. Here, the Spanish colonial empire in America began. The first decades of Spanish rule in the West Indies were shocking. When Columbus soon proved his inefficiency as an administrator, he was placed under arrest by the tactless Francisco de Bobadilla. The arrest provoked gossip and speculation, especially on Hispaniola. The island was not yet pacified, and the dogged resistance of the Indians in day-to-day combat was most annoying. Christian blood drenched the soil of the New World: "The coast stained with the blood of those who were among the first to go to the Indies."4 The Spaniards thought they were in India, and India remained the name for the heart of the New World. Because of a capricious turn of coincidence and misunderstanding, however, the whole hemisphere was named for a man whose contributions to discovery and explora tion were minor: Amerigo Vespucci. Murder and homicide followed the discovery and accompanied the conquest, but so did Western civilization and Christianity. Besides men like Pizarro and Pedrarias, who stained the Spanish name with the blood of so many innocents, there were men like Cortes and Bastidas. They all came to the Caribbean, and there the heart of an embryonic Spanish America pulsed loudly. There, in the taverns of Santo Domingo, men cursed and quarreled while the Cathedral resounded with the passionate sermons of Montesinos. There Bartolome de las Casas, rich through the blood and sweat of his many slaves, decided to devote his life to God, the Virgin, and the Indian. The Negroes had to suffer, however, for his convictions. There the struggle for justice aroused the conscience of a few men, and there


4S the young empire solved^its critical labor shortage by importing Negro slaves from Africa. In spite of the Treaty of Tordesillas, Spain soon had a major problem to contend with: the invasion of the Caribbean by foreign intruders. The rivalry of Charles V and Francis I found a theater in the West; the first attacks on the heart of the Spanish-American empire were made by the French who, perhaps as early as 1^19, sailed through the Sea of the New World and touched some of the islands on their way back from Brazil.s Such attacks increased when open war broke out and continued until the Peace of Cateau Cambresis in i. Faced with the problem of defending many little islands, the Spanish soon concentrated their defenses on the Greater Antilles and left the smaller islands almost completely unprotected. The French efforts to open the mare clausum forced the Spanish to adopt a defense system that was to be the forerunner of the armada de la carrera of later years. The Spanish admiral appointed to rout out the piratesas the French intruders were calledhad little success, however. In the same year in which he accepted the command, the French attacked Puerto Rico. They had earlier stationed themselves at Mona Island in the passage between Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. Soon they were reconnoitering all the deserted bays, inlets, and islands, and their intrusions brought terror.6 The Treaty of Cateau Cambresis ended the Valois-Hapsburg quarrel of fifty years and brought some respite for the Spanish from French depredations in the West. This was brief, -however: when the French left off, the English quickly stepped in. They seem to have visited Brazil and the Caribbean as early as ii6, and continuing, if irregular, visits followed. In the second half of the century, English visits became more regular and English pirates and smugglers con centrated on the Antilles and the Wild Coast. Hawkins set the example in 1^63, and he was soon to be followed by many of his fellow countrymen, Drake, Raleigh, and Cumberland. The early attacks were largely aimed at exploring and privateering, but after Elizabeth took the throne, and hostility with Spain increased, adven tures in the Caribbean resembled full-scale military operations. Those ventures had the encouragement of the queen, if not openly then covertly, since her money was invested in them. As early as 1574 she had given a patent to one such voyage "to discover and take possession of all remote and barbarous lands unoccupied by any Christian prince or people. "? This was in territory, to be sure, which Spain had already claimed as her exclusive domain. The irregular English raids thus became more and more numerous.


46 The Sea-Dogs and their heirs"made so many sorties on so many of the islands that Spain could not keep them out. Her defenses in the New World were hampered, moreover, by her military commitments in Europe. As Newton has already pointed out, the Caribbean was only a sideshow in the Spanish national war effort.8 What could Spain do against them? The king regularly heard from his councils that the only hope was a proper system of security to consist primarily of police squadrons of swift, well-armed ships. In 1557 Philip had sent his finest naval expert to the West Indies, Pedro Menendez de Aviles. He was appointed captain general of the armada de la guarda dejlotas de Indias against the pirates.9 Although it was an excellent choice, even Menendez could not do the job without a sufficient naval force. The French and English continued their sacking and privateering without much interruption from Spain. The French quit, at least partly, however, after they had concluded peace with Spain. A few years later, in 1^6^, Menendez was appointed adelantado of Florida, where he eliminated a French Huguenot colony with shocking cruelty.10 Meanwhile, he had sent certain proposals to Spain. In igjS these resulted in the plan for two standing squadrons in the West Indies, one based at Cartagena, the other at Santo Domingo. About seven years later, something like a convoy system went into operation in order to protect the Tierra Firme and the Greater Antilles.11 Menendez, himself, seems to have been the designer of a new and faster ship, the galeoncete, which was built in Cuba. These two squadrons managed to curb threats against Spanish navigation, es pecially against that dream of every corsair: the Spanish treasure fleet, which evaded capture until 1628. Had the squadrons been consistently supplied, they might well have curtailed severely the French, English, and later Dutch intruders in the mare clausum. Menendez did more. Realizing that many of the Antilles lacked an effective defense system, he soon proposed to create a better type of fortification. Unfortunately, his plans could not be fully realized because of the huge costs which Spain had to bear in connection with her troubles in Europe. The Lesser Antilles were thus left to the mercy of the intruders. Menendez managed, however, to have the fortresses at Havana and at other strategic places built as soon as money was available. Such precautions, it should be noted, showed that the Spanish had accepted the hard fact they were on the defensive in their own sea. Organizing this system to secure the mare clausum, Menendez soon realized that Spain was pursuing the impossible in claiming that the


47 Caribbean was a closed sea. He was the first who saw the essential truth that the sea is one. The vital point of defense for the West Indies, he realized, lay not in the Caribbean but in the mouth of the English Channel.12 Consequently he offered to his king in 1^73 a report worthy of a naval genius. In this document he proposed the seizure of the Scilly Islands as a base for a Spanish squadron of fifteen to twenty men-of-war which would be charged with impeding the southern and western routes of the Sea-Dogs and Sea-Beggars. The plan was never carried out. This, then, was the situation in the Caribbean when the Dutch arrived. The Spanish were terrified by the raids of Drake and Cumberland, and by the swelling number of corsairs in the area, the sea from which "receipts of colonial remittancegold, silver, pearls and precious stones"were to come. The threat to Spain's finances was a real one. Despite the protection of the great galleons of the reorganized defense system, the Spanish, at times, had to bottle up the entire treasure fleet in Havana harbor for many months. The effect in Spain, as Irene Wright observes, was financial demoralization. Nor was that all: perhaps Spain was even more hurt financially by the rescatethe illegitimate tradewith the foreigners. This smuggling trade was conducted on a barter basis between rescatadoresSpanish colonists who participatedand corsairs, the foreign traders. After 1600, the latter term became synonymous with pirate. Indeed, the intruders challenged Spain's economic monopoly in the region more than they did her political exclusiveness.13 Comparatively speaking, the Dutch were latecomers in the Carib bean. Before 14 Spanish governors complain only of the presence of French and English pirates; later the jlamencos are mentioned in their reports. Before the rebellion, a growing trade had stimulated the Dutch in their navigation to the Baltic and the Mediterranean. Dutch ships were noticed as early as io8 in the Canaries;1* in 1 2 8, ships from Zeeland visited the Cape Verde Islands, and trade in that westward direction seems to have been growing slowly.1' Although the size of Dutch trade toward the Canaries and the Cape Verde Islands is unknown, we do know that in 1^62, a few years before the revolt, Holland, Zeeland, and Flanders had at least seven hundred fishing boats and kept twenty thousand men occupied in the herring industry. The merchant fleet was not small either. Around 1^60, its numbers were estimated at eight hundred to one thousand ships with thirty thousand sailorsat least double the number of English ships and men involved at the same time.16 But


48 during this period, most Dutch attention was directed toward the Baltic and especially the port of Danzig. The rebellion against Philip curtailed the promising development of Dutch commerce and navigation for at least twenty-five years. The Dutch resumed their upward swing, however, following the defeat of the Armada. It meant a new phase in the rebellion and a new latitude in merchant shipping. In 1^90 the first Dutch ships, after an absence of many years, sailed once more past the Rock of Gibraltar and into the Mediterranean. A few years later the number had reached four hundred. Philip's arrests only briefly interrupted this rapid growth. The general arrests of Philip II and his son Philip III, the first in i^, and again in i and 14:98, were curious acts of the Spanish government which were only carried out after much debate .with the king's councillors. The Spanish vainly hoped to destroy Dutch in centive, but profits were too great. Strangely, the Dutch trade in Spanish ports, in the midst of rebellion in the Low Countries, was really a matter of necessity more than choice. The Spanish needed grain, timber, naval stores, and textiles. Although France and England were not so hostile, they lacked the necessary merchantmen to supply Spanish needs. Philip's alternative was to allow the Dutch or ships from the Hanseatic League to carry the goods. But the Hanseats lacked the bottoms to take the trade away from the Dutch and moreover had to sail through the English Channel in order to reach Spain, a route too close to the Dutch coast. Philip wisely compromised with circumstances. From time to time, the States General tried to prevent such traffic with Spain. The merchants, however, knew how to dodge the irregular placards, and they even devised an argument to serve as an excuse for their search for profits: the forbidden trade impoverishes the Spanish king while it brings great treasures to us. The Spanish money enabled them, they said, to continue the war against the hereditary enemy and to support the Dutch Reformed Church. How deeply they meant any of this is shown by the fact that they had no objection to supporting other Catholic monarchs, as, for example, France and the Doge of Venice, so long as these countries were ene mies of the Spanish king. The first arrest, in 1 j8 j, netted one hundred Dutch ships including thirty salt carriers from Hoorn.17 The immediate result was alarm in the Low Countries and a sharp increase in the price of salt. The increase motivated the Dutch to sail past the Iberian coast to the Cape Verde Islands in the same year. As Sluiter has pointed out, this was


Fig. i. Stuyvesant Window in Butler Library of Columbia University


Fig. 2. The Geographer by Vermeer m .VMCL, mil i


49 the first attempt of the Dutch to dispense with the Iberian peninsula as a source of supply for the commodity.18 It was really Philip II who pushed them into the colonial world by forcing them to take that first difficult step. In i 9 r a second arrest of some four hundred to five hundred Dutch ships occurred in Spanish and Portuguese ports, but the conciliatory diplomacy of the archduke of Austria, Albert, who had just been appointed governor of the Spanish Netherlands, lifted the embargo very soon. The third arrest, which occurred immediately after the death of Philip II, was implemented by his mediocre son Philip III, who wanted to give the rebels quelque goust de son gouvernement. It caught some five hundred ships; half, by bribery or by fighting, managed to regain the sea. The arrests did not initiate Dutch ex pansion so much as accelerate it, especially in the Caribbean area.19 Naturally, after the first arrest, the Dutch, stimulated by so many fervent Spanish-hating refugees from the Southern Netherlands, looked for other ways to continue profitable trade without entering the dangerous Iberian ports. Rumors about the French exploring the regions between the Orinoco and the Amazon had awakened some interest. Blois van Treslong, the famous Sea-Beggar, had tried as early as 1578 to interest merchants in a company designed expressly to conquer the Spanish silver fleet. In those days, however, the war of rebellion was still in a critical stage, and every man was needed at home.20 It was the need for salt that brought the Dutch to unknown seas. Salt had already been found on the Cape Verde Islands by Zeelanders in 1 2 8. Not until after the first arrest, however, when Iberian salt-pans were suddenly closed, did the Dutch really try to exploit the "Salt Islands."21 It was a decisive step forward in shaping their colonial empire of the future. Theodoras Velius, a well-known West-Frisian historian of that century, observes that, after IJ-88, when the Spanish domination of the northern seas suddenly ended, a prosperous adventure in ship building started up. This was so especially in Hoorn, where naval architects had invented a way to make ships longer and thus able to carry larger cargoes. The invention came at a very opportune moment, just at the time when Dutch ships were once again sailing to the Mediterranean. Steven van der Haghen, one of the founders of Dutch navigation to the East Indies, was probably one of the first who dared to sail through the Strait again after 15-88. At that point the new shipcalled flute or jluitwas built at Hoorn, which made navigation


S in the Mediterranean and on Africa's west coast decidedly more profitable. The Strait of Gibraltar was clearly more dangerous for the Dutch than was the Atlantic or the Caribbean. Still, these seas were also perilous because Dutch maps were poor and hurricanes sporadically ravaged the fleets. But the Atlantic was not totally unknown to the Dutch. In conjunction with Portuguese commercial houses, they had traded in Brazil.22 Then, too, Dutch sailors, voluntarily or otherwise, had served on Spanish ships in the East and West. The Dutch had thus acquired some experience in these unknown waters. They knew that the Spanish fleets which were sailing to the Caribbean crossed the Atlantic from the Canaries, following a course before the wind until they reached the Antilles. They never returned by the same route. From Havana they went through the Florida and Bahama Channels until they reached Bermuda, and then east across the Atlantic again. But Dutch acquaintance with Spanish routes was rudimentary and was not put to a test before i ^88. The Spanish were too strong and the Dutch were too busy with their struggle for independence to voyage so far afield before then. The archives of the admiralty board of Amsterdam, the most important of the Dutch admiralty boards, rarely mention any ship or expedition to American waters before 15^88. This, however, changed rapidly after 1^90. The Dutch outward thrust after this year was largely commercial in character and, because of the war, bent on profits from privateering. The Dutch sought the commodities which they had previously been able to get from the Iberian peninsula. The Canaries, Azores, Cape Verde Islands, and Madeira were soon regularly visited by the Dutch, who had only been there incidentally before their rebellion. Those islands happened to be beyond the "line of amity"; there Spain maintained a colonial monopoly. A license to trade was required. With such a Spanish license, it was relatively easy to proceed from those islands to Brazil or to the West Indies, but without a license, there were difficulties. The Dutch, who were already running the risk of arrest in the islands mentioned, were not very apt to receive such licenses. They sailed further south, therefore, to take on badly needed supplies, and on to the African Gold Coast or as far south as Principe or Sao Thome before venturing across the ocean." This route was a detour, of course. Those who sailed that way took more risks and were subject to more illnesses, especially scurvy. Van Linschoten, who spoke from experience, complained of the equitorial heat and warned: "Sometimes there are calms that cause the ships to spend months there before they are able to cross the line."24


Si As noted above, because of their relations with Portuguese firms, the Dutch were actually earlier acquainted with Brazil than with the west coast of Africa. One such expedition by Barent Erikszoon of Medemblik illustrates this.2' After having made several trips to Brazil under Portuguese auspices, Erikszoon had weather trouble on a return voyage and was forced to enter the port of Principe, a Portu guese island in the Gulf of Guinea. He was taken prisoner there and brought to the neighboring island of Sao Thome where, in prison, he became acquainted with two Frenchmen who told him about the wonderful commercial possibilities of the Gold Coast. Back in Enkhuizen in 1^93, he organized a company and was probably re sponsible for opening Dutch trade on Africa's west coast. A close second, however, was another merchant-sailor, Simon Taey.26 The third man to visit those regions in that same year was Dirck Veldmuis, a "renowned captain" of Medemblik, who never returned from the trip. It was learned later that he was killed and that his ship was taken by the French.27 In 1^93 another sailor from Medemblik, Cornells Freeksz Vrijer, returned safely from Angola. More Dutchmen fol lowed.28 Navigation to this and to other parts of the African coast increased rapidly thereafter, and well-known Hollandian and Zeelandian merchants soon became involved in the profitable trade. By 1^98 there were around twenty-five to thirty Dutch merchantmen busy in these waters. In a request of 1607, which protested against the Truce negotiations, it was pointed out that, in fifteen years, more than two hundred ships had visited that coast, with more than ten thousand sailors; that great quantities of textiles had been sold there and that those ships had returned with ivory, gold, hides, and gums in excess of the country's needs. Thus, the Guinea merchants had helped support other branches of trade and industry.29 Company after company was founded, especially after the return of Comelis Houtman from the first exploratory expedition to the East Indies in 1^94. The list is impressive. They were called Compagnieen van VerreCompanies of the Far Countries: the Russian Company, the Guinea Company, several East India Companies, the North Company. Most of them were organized for very limited purposes, sometimes for only one expedition. The so-called Magellan Company, for instance, was organized solely to send an exploratory and priva teering expedition through the Strait of Magellan in order to attack Spain's Pacific coast and the Malay archipelago, an imitation of the previous voyages of Drake and Cavendish.3 A similar company was created by Olivier van Noort in the same year, and he became the first Dutchman to circumnavigate the globe.


51 The "Far Countries" became a contagious sickness. Well-known merchants like van der Haghen, van der Veken, Wissel, Bicker, and others sent their requests to the States General for permission to sail abroad. Many of the early companies, hurt by the mutual competition that developed, merged into a larger organizationespecially those which traded in the East; thus, the Dutch East India Company was born. Zeeland took the lead in the West, and particularly so in the enterprises of Balthazar de Moucheron. He was the outstanding organizer of expeditions in every direction. Soon other Zeelanders followed his example. Their names appear as participants or directors of the Dutch West India Company which was founded a generation later. Indeed, Houtman's expedition had given heart and nerve to the Dutch. They knew now that the world was theirs. In i 8 at least eighty Dutch ships swarmed out of the home ports to sail in all directions: along the African coast, around the Cape of Good Hope, to Brazil, through the Strait of Magellan, and to the Caribbean. Many of them carried sloops or pinnaces which could be put together wherever it became necessary to row up rivers and to explore unknown coasts, bays, and beaches.31 Both the provincial and federal governments understood the importance of this activity. And they supported it by giving exemptions from taxes, freedom from convoy duties, and sometimes by supplying guns and ammunition for the ships. They also set up a prize court in order to regulate priva teering. This court was supervised by the admiralty boards, and it had the authority to inquire into all problems related to this special branch of trade. It guaranteed the rights of the parties involved in acts of privateering, except, of course, for the enemy, and action against him was often cruel. The days of the buena guerra were still far away. Some of the intrepid and courageous enterprises of those early days deserve special attention, especially those of the expeditions fitted out by de Moucheron. The activities of this refugee from the Southern Netherlands, fervent Calvinist and protege of Prince Maurits, seem almost incredible. His interest in the expeditions to the North, his relations in the Moscow trade, his investments in some Guinea enterprises, and his grandiose plans for the East and West Indies, make him, together with Usselinx, one of the two most important founders of the Dutch colonial empire.32 The projects of de Moucheron differed from those of the other merchants and companies. Since he was a man of vision, he would not limit his goals to one or two enterprises, nor even simply to


51 profit. His great dream, it seems, was to interrelate the East and West Indies with a chain of trade through Africa and Brazil. He soon realized the importance of placing a station along the African coast for the burgeoning Dutch activity. Thus, as early as 1^96 he sent two well-armed ships down the African waters to found a stronghold at Sao Jorge da Mina, called by the Dutch the Elmina Castle. When the Negro guides led the expedition into a trap, the plan failed, but that did not stop de Moucheron. Envisioning a marquisate for himself, and supported by the government, he soon outfitted a fleet to seize the island of Principe. The attack was successful, and his flag flew in the tropics. When reinforcements failed to show up, however, the expedition left the island after an occupation of five months.33 In the meantime a more regular trade with Brazil was developing. Its size is difficult to determine. Of the more than one thousand ships with chartering contracts that left the port of Amsterdam between 1^87 and 1602, only a few had Brazil as their final destination. But even those few sailed first to Spain and Portugal, took on wine, grain, or other merchandise, and carried these to Brazil. They were proba bly licensed by Iberian authorities. In 1^87 at least three Dutch vessels visited Brazilian ports; from that year to 1 probably thirty more ships had Brazil as their destination.3* As the resolutions of the States General and the admiralty boards show, the beginning of the new century saw an increasing trade with Brazil. In 1600 the States General advised the boards that any one should be permitted to equip ships for trade in Brazil since that privilege was already enjoyed by Portuguese merchants who resided in the United Provinces, and it would be discriminative to Dutch businessmen to deny them rights granted to foreigners.35 The expedition of Paulus van Caerden is further proof of a growing interest in the New World, and, even more, it indicates the intention of founding settlements on the Brazilian coast. Van Caerden was ordered to build a fort, and he carried the materials for it with him. As is pointed out before, he failed. An expedition of 1606, designed to seize Pernambuco, also failed.36 It was only natural that the Dutch would also enter the Caribbean Sea. Spain drew the very products she sold to the Dutch from the Caribbean islands and the northern coast of South America. The products which most attracted the Dutch were hides, sugar, tobacco, ginger, canafistula, pearls, sarsaparilla, cochineal, indigo, dyewoods, and cacao. The area also offered an abundance of white salt of ex cellent quality in easily accessible pans.


S4There were more reasons, however, for the Dutch to invade the Caribbean. In that sea intercolonial trade was considerable, a fact which had not escaped the attention of shrewd Dutch merchants with an inclination to make a profit through privateering. In addition, many of the Lesser Antilles were undefended by the Spaniards. Per haps most important of all, the Caribbean was the area where the Spanish silver fleets would sail byeasily spied on from the islas inutiles, as the Spanish called the unoccupied and undefended Antil lesand easily attacked if a straggler from the fleet were spotted.37 As was the case in Brazil, the Dutch were already acquainted with the Caribbean. They had been recruited to serve on Spanish galleons before the arrests. Certainly as early as 1^67, moreover, ships from West Friesland and Zeeland had anchored in Havana. In 1572 five ships of the Sea-Beggars appeared off the Isthmus of Panama. Although those visits were incidental, soon the Dutch became, for the Spanish governors in the area, a very large and persistent nuisance. In 1^93 the Spanish captured ten Dutch ships, loaded with dye and other merchandise, along the coast of New Andalusia, 38 which is some indication of how quickly trading activity had increased in the West Indies. Once again, in the Caribbean trade, we meet Balthazar de Moucheron. As early as 15-9 he had obtained exemption from the States of Zeeland of duties on cargo bound for the West Indies.3' In that same year Zeeland also waived payment of export fees on a quantity of "cloth, silks, linen, velvet, and small wares" to be sent to the Indies.40 At least two "flieboats of Middelburgh" were trading that summer at Cumana.41 Once opened, Dutch trade in the West Indies grew constantly. Merchants were not always successful, however: a venture to establish trade with Santo Domingo in 1535, for example, met with a clear rebuff. But efforts continued: trading relations were established with Margarita and other places on the coast, filling those areas "with the cloth of the Netherlands and England. "42 The Dutch stationed themselves where the pearl fishing boats passed and sold their com modities on a barter basis for pearls. As a consequence the gems nearly vanished as a local medium of circulation.43 Two other towns involved in this trade were La Guaira and Caracas. Following the example of the Zeelanders, Pieter van der Haghen of Rotterdam planned an expedition to the West Indies at the end of 1^96. In the fall of that same year ships from Guinea had brought back to Middelburg some Negroes who had probably been caught at


55 sea. Ten Haeff, one of the burgomasters, afraid of the consequences, immediately called a meeting of the Provincial States and urged them to put the Negroes back "in their natural liberty. "** There followed a solemn manumissio vindicta. Some Portuguese pilots had been captured with the slaves, and van der Haghen now asked to have the pilots aid in his proposed voyage to the West Indies. Four ships were outfitted bound for Santo Domingo, Puerto Rico, other parts in the Caribbean, and elsewhere. The shrewd merchant from Rotterdam recruited Spanish and Portuguese crews, and the vessels returned with rich cargoes.*s Requests from other merchants followed. Johan van der Veken got patents to go to Guinea, Peru (the Colombian and New Spain coast), and the West Indies.46 Others followed his example. Unfortunately, the journals for almost all these expeditions are lost. The Dutch traded in the Caribbean under very adverse conditions. They were in enemy territory, and Spain, however much in decline, was still powerful. Besides, the Dutch were not only rebels but heretics. Although the area was also infested with English and French privateers, it was the Dutch who were the most consistently ill-treated and were either hanged or sent to the galleys. But they stubbornly continued to infest the Spanish mare clausum. And they outcompeted their English and French rivals because they delivered the commodi ties for less money and were willing to extend more credit. Political events in Europethe death of Queen Elizabeth and the murder of Henry IVparalyzed their two rivals and, as the seventeenth century opened, assisted Dutch commercial ventures in the Caribbean. The Dutch primarily sought hides, wood, tobacco, and sugar, and secondarily cacao and indigo. Hides were much in demand for Amsterdam's leather trade. Soon a small fleet of twenty ships began annual visits to Cuba and Hispaniola for hides, and their business transaction amounted to some eight hundred thousand guilders an nually. 47 Tobacco was also important. Its main center was the North coast of Venezuela where "every Spaniard was a rescatador and where the Dutch openly and presistently traded. "^ Trade there, as else where, was done on a barter basis: the Dutch brought cloth and hardware and exchanged it for the tobacco. Most Dutch ships, however, were involved in the salt trade. Salt was needed for their herring industry and was transported to the Baltic as well. The presence of large salt pans in the Caribbean was probably known in the Low Countries before the turn of the century. Before long the area was flooded with Dutch salt carriers. These carriers were also illicit traders and privateers, in addition to the fact


*6 that they were invaders of Spanish territory and transporters of a product from which Spain could have made a profit. The Dutch brought home their salt cost free and tax free, and worth one million guilders a year.*' There is little known of the exact size of the Dutch Caribbean trade of those years. By some ingenious calculations, Sluiter estimates that around one hundred and twenty ships a year were Usselinx, in his Remonstrance, reports that the salt and hide trade kept one hundred ships at The same number appears in another publication, but it is limited there to the salt The Wild Coast lies between the Caribbean and Brazil, its southern boundary to the mouth of the Amazon, its northern, the mouth of the Orinoco. The Dutch were early acquainted with the area because they crept along the coast to reach the salt pan of Arayaa short distance beyond the Orinoco. Southey, although not always trust worthy, maintains that the Dutch were already trading in the Guianas in the '70's; Dal ton writes that the Zeelanders had a kind of trade there by 1^80.53 No evidence exists for either allegation. The States General did discuss at some length a proposal for a Captain Butz in connection with developing the Wild Coast, but nothing ever came of the project. Indeed, at that moment, the Dutch had all they could do to keep the Spanish at bay, but from that proposal perhaps stem the legends of early Dutch settlements on the banks of the Orinoco.5* There is no doubt, however, that the physical character of the Wild Coast attracted the foreign intruders, and neither Spain nor Portugal had any strongholds there. The geographical situation made for small native enclaves, which meant that the Indians would be easier to control by limited numbers of colonists or by the crews of ships. Whereas most European settlements in the New World soon took the characteristic form of the large plantation, the terrain of the Wild Coast, in contrast, dictated small foreign settlements, and the factories or trading posts of the area were typical. Raleigh's description of this region, The Discoverie of the Large and Bewtiful Empire of Guiana (1^96), stimulated the Dutch impulse to visit these regions. The inhabitants of Flushing, the pichelingues, especially, were attracted to this part of the New World. Perhaps as early as 1595even before Raleigh's publicationthey had developed a fortified trading post or factory called Fort Orange some twenty miles up the Amazon, and another seven miles further called Fort Nassau. Some of these early expeditions are known to us through documents,


57 and given the limited number of surviving records, we can be sure that many more were fitted out. Certainly from i 9 onwards the Wild Coast was systematically visited and was regularly the scene of an extended battlefield in the war between the Dutch rebels and their intolerant Spanish king. After 1^97, requests for permission to go there were regular: Gerrit Bicker and his company applied to the States General for a commission to send two ships to the coasts of America and to "Peruana"meaning the Wild Coast. Another request from two Amsterdam merchants sought permission to visit the "Kingdom of Guiana, "ss One report of such an expedition has survived, written by A. Cabeljau, a ship's clerk. Unlike the exaggerated nature of Raleigh's de scription, this report gives more realistic information about the explored region. Two ships had been involved, the Zeeriddei (Sea Knight) and the Jonas. They left Brielle December 3, 1^97, but soon separated and did not meet again throughout the voyage. The Zeeridder arrived at Cape North, near the mouth of the Amazon, traded with the Indians for a while, and then visited the whole northern coast between the Amazon and the Orinoco. It also undertook a voyage up the Caroni River where the Dutch tried to find the silver mines that Raleigh described. Then the Zeeridder sailed home by way of Trinidad, and arrived on December 28, 1^98, having discovered "more than twenty-four rivers, many islands in the rivers, and diverse other harbors which have hitherto been unknown in these provinces and not sailed to therefrom"56 (see Appendix 1). Cabeljau gives an account of the excellent relations between the Indians and the Dutch once the former were assured that their blue-eyed visitors were not Spanish. The same friendly treatment was accorded to the Dutch on the Brazilian coast when the Indians learned that they were not Portuguese. Raleigh's account must have been known by Cabeljau and certainly must have impressed him, but the Dutchman disagreed with the Englishman that gold digging was suitable work for merchants. Finally, the report reveals that the Dutch, although at war with Spain in Europe and intending to carry that war to the East and West Indies, were well received by the Spanish at San Tome and Trinidad and were allowed to trade there. At least one phlegmatic Dutchman was influenced by the legend of the Gilded Man and the possibility of easy money. He was mayor Geleyn ten Haeff of Middelburg who, in 1^99, fitted out a ship of three hundred tons "to visit the river called Dorado, situated in America," and who requested exemption of duties for three voyages. The flood of requests, often of dubious character, for government


*8 support for voyages to Brazil, the Wild Coast, and the Caribbean forced the States General to issue general instructions for captains who planned to sail to the East and West Indies. The captains were held responsible for making sure that all prizes captured at sea would be honestly administered and accounted for and that the requisite revenues would be paid. The captains learned, moreover, that only Spanish ships, or ships of Spain's allies, could be attacked. The crews were also to see to it that peaceful relations were maintained with the Indians. In a special instruction, called artikelbrief, rules were given for order and disciplines7 Unlike the Caribbean, where the Dutch were only involved in trade, smuggling, and privateering, the Wild Coast ventures were directed toward settlement. In the beginning, these enclaves had the character of factories or trading posts. The fortresses on the Amazon were also a part of this policy as was the Dutch post on the Essequibo .58 This post, called Fort Ter Hooge, was built in 1^96 on a small island at the junction of the rivers Cayuni and Mazaruni with the Essequibo River. As Spanish records reveal, it was destroyed that same year. After 1^98, the sight of Dutch ships off the Guiana coast was a regular thing. Ships from Middelburg and Flushing were sent to those regions to establish trade connections and to found factories. The trade was carried out by factors who were set up with supplies of barter goods on the various rivers and along the coast. These factors were supplied by ships on their periodic visits to different stations. The English settlements of the area, which were badly supplied by their own people, were served by the Dutch as well. The trade with the Indians was carried on by barter for products desired in the Low Countries. The proceedings of the States General are the best source for tracing the development of Dutch power in this area. The records reveal requests for permission to trade and settle, or to find minerals. They invariably ask for exemption from import and export duties. One such request, presented in 1603, reflects the attention to detail which characterizes the memorials. It primarily concerned coloniza tion in the Guianas but went on to say: "And as for the hope and expectation of finding a rich gold and silver mine, it is well grounded on fact and experience, for a mine has already been found, the vein of which is gold and the surrounding ore silver. There have even been tests which show sixty florins per ton of ore, while other assays gave one-half to forty-five stivers, and even florins per pound of ore." The memorial goes on to point out that further exploration should not be undertaken until the land was well colonized and strengthened


S9 with fortresses, for otherwise "its richness might incline and induce neighboring nations, whether friend or foe, to anticipate us in this undertaking while we here were as yet busily deliberating and plan ning how and by what means this enterprise and scheme might most safely and conveniently be taken up and carried to the desired end." In addition to the mineral prospects in the region, the memorial also notes that the land was productive and yielded "palm and balsam oil, various kinds of gums, white incense or mastix, a fast orange dye called annatto, brazil wood, and other aromatic woods." There were many fine harbors, conveniently deep and navigable rivers, abundant pastures for stock, and fertile soil which was well adapted to raising wheat, wine, oil, sugar, ginger, cotton, pepper, indigo, and various other products.59 The treasures envisioned by the writers of the memorial could only be realized, so they argued, through colonization. The financing for such a venture could only be furnished by a group of merchants, but the project would require the favor and the protection of the govern ment. The feasibility of colonization was enhanced by the fact that the nearest Spanish settlement was two hundred miles from the mine. The area also had some natural defenses: the sea along the coast was shallow and the entrances to the harbors were guarded by shoals, banks, and sand. No attack was anticipated from the Spanish West Indies because the area lay south of the prevailing winds and currents. Yet navigation was possible from the Low Countries at all times of the year. The memorial concludes finally that the Guianas were the most likely spot in the Americas to establish an arsenal and a sedem belli. The last point may not have been well received in 1603 since the States General was then considering peace negotiations with Spain. Their answer was therefore evasive: "As to the required colonization of Guiana, it was declared that the States General can not for the present take action in this matter. "6o The flow of requests to visit the Wild Coast continued, however, in the first years of the seventeenth century. Some well-known Zeelandian merchants involved in the trade were Jan de Moor, the Lampsins brothers, and Pieter van Rhee; merchants from Haarlem and Amsterdam followed. There is even a request from Plancius for exemptions on wares "which shall be brought to this country from the north coast of Brazil and the regions of Guiana. "6l Much trading was conducted openly; where Spanish settlements were visited, this trade was dependent on the good will of the authorities and many times deteriorated into smuggling. To find out the reaction to their arrival the Dutch followed a certain pattern. On


6o dropping anchor in a Spanish settlement the captain would send a messenger to the local authorities requesting permission to trade after paying the required royal duties, if the governor or the alcaldes permitted this official recognition, they were in for trouble from the authorities in Hispaniola or Spain.62 If they refused, however, they were in for trouble from the smuggler, who then became an enemy. Either way the Dutch trader returned home with a profit made by trade or by sacking the community. Under these conditions, the public generally preferred to trade with the smugglers, unofficially. The problem for the Spanish authorities was compounded in most communities by the increasing number of avecindadosmen who had taken out papers of vecindad and became naturalized citizens. Many of them were skilled laborers, carpenters, blacksmiths, and fishermen, and the villages could not do without them; yet sometimes they were also heretics, who distributed heretical literature and jeopardized the salvation of the rustics. Worst of all, the avecindados were much involved in illegal trade with the foreigners. Together with the mass of the population, they were willing to trade freely. They were certainly assets in the phenomenon of the rescate and Spain was unable to curb their activities. The real root of the problem of illegal trade, however, were the alcaldes, a fact regularly reported to the king by his councils and governors. These town officials, Creoles or mestizos, were respon sible for prosecuting the rescatadores. Instead, however they were often the worst smugglers in their community. Spain's attempt to eliminate smuggling and illicit trade came rather late. At last, though, she realized her blunder in leaving undefended the windward rim of the Caribbean and the Wild Coast. Yet, to do something about it would cost money she did not have. The Spanish treasury was already overburdened by her too elaborate foreign policy, and any serious attempt to keep the Caribbean closed in order to prevent access to her shores was impossible. The unprecedented scale of Dutch invasions after 1600, especially at the salt pan of Araya, did not escape the attention of the king and his councillors. Warnings from the governors of Margarita, Cumana, Caracas, Trinidad, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Jamaica, and Cuba came in steadily increasing quantities to Madrid, and they form a litany on the same sad theme. It was that of the enemigos jnglesses, jtancesses y otros piratas who infested the respective domains of the governors. After 1600, moreover, a new nation was added to the list which soon became the worst nuisance of all: olandeses, flamencos, or herejes rebeldes,


6i as the Dutch were variously called. A large number of the complaints came from Diego Suarez de Amaya, the governor of Cumana, since the salt pan of Araya was located in his district. Although we deal with the salt problem in another chapter, it should be pointed out here that the salt carriers far outnumbered the so-called baicos de rescate.63 In 1600 Suarez was already complaining that no Spanish merchantman could provide his part of the coast because of the foreigners and that his relations with neighboring Margarita had to be conducted during the night by Indian canoes. Antonio Osorio, the governor of Santo Domingo, voiced the same complaints. One can feel his disgust when he wrote: "It is hard to have knowledge of so many disembarkations" of the rebellious enemies.64 The situation was similar in Cuba. Governor Juan de Maldonado had tried to arrest the rescatadores in 1^99, but he had failed. He had then come up with a disastrous suggestion: he recommended that the old capital of Cuba, Baracoa, where the evil of the rescate was worst, be depopulated and its inhabitants moved to other areas,65 a drastic action which was not taken. In 1602 Mal donado was succeeded by the vigorous Pedro de Vargas who was determined to end the illicit trade and its drain on the Spanish treasury. Although he failed to receive the necessary funds for his plan from the government, he did get them from local merchants and outfitted some armadillos, small squadrons which he armed to meet the pirate ships and protect the Cuban coasts.66 But Spain did not realize its good fortune in those days: the French, English, and Dutch wanted booty and profit by trade. They did not however, desire one square foot of Spanish soilnot yet at least. The governor's warnings became the subject of many discussions in the Council of the Indies and in the king's War Council, and serious attempts were made to deal with the problems presented. Presumably Maldonado's earlier suggestion was behind the decision to depopulate the north coast of Hispaniola where the rescate was much practiced.67 This drastic plan was enacted despite the better advice of the archbishop of the island, Davila Padilla, who had suggested that Spain might send the desired supplies to that area to foil the pirates, or at least award the area those rights of free trade which were en joyed by settlements within the line of amity. The first cedula on the proposed depopulation was issued in August, 1603, and others soon followed. Three towns had to be depopulated: Yaguana, Puerto Plata, and Bayaha. The cabildo of Santo Domingo protested, but in vain. Osorio had to execute the order. The resultant consternation and confusion were not at all mitigated by


62 the king's promise of amnesty to any Spanish subject guilty of smug gling. The move was made, but the dire predictions of the cabildo came about too. It had claimed that the inhabitants who were to be moved were the gente comun, the poor whites, mestizos, mulattos, and Negroes and that they would not move but instead flee to the mountains beyond the reach of the law. Some of the population did move quietly, but those who fled simply waited for the king's men to leave; then they returned and continued to live in the forbidden areas and to carry on the illicit trade just as before. But some of the northern coastal ports on Hispaniola were abandoned in this action, and they were soon occupied by foreigners. Conditions were set thus for the thriving of the buccaneers, and ultimately for the emer gence of the culturally and linguistically divergent republic of Haiti.68 The strategy of depopulation had not hurt the Dutch, against whom it was directed, nearly so much as it was to ultimately hurt Spain. The warnings from governors continued to disturb the Council of the Indies. The Dutch visited the Caribbean in ever increasing numbers, and credit should be given to Suarez de Amaya for the persistence with which he continued to write to the slow-moving Spanish court. In October, i6o, Philip III was advised by the Council of the Indies that the situation was critical. The urgency of the warning was emphasized by rumors brought from Holland about a huge project being planned against the West Indies. There was some basis for concern: such a plan had been discussed between van Oldenbarnevelt and Prince Maurits, although it had been abandoned as not sufficiently profitable. But the rumor had found its way to Spain.6' Discussion in the council resulted in a decision to organize a special squadron of eight galleons and four advice-boats. This armada de barlovento, designed to protect the Windward Islands, looked wonderful on paper, and it was to be built as quickly as possible. The initial cost, however, was figured at 130,000 ducats, and Spain, as usual, lacked fundsher elaborate European foreign policy drained every cent away. Besides this expense, she had to defend an empire on which the sun never set and which the Dutch were attacking from all directions.70 The equipment of a special squadron was, for the moment anyway, impossible. Spain had to find other means to stop the illegal invasions. Serious discussions continued in the Council of the Indies aimed at solving the problem in a less expensive way. An idea of 1601, to use the jiota to attack the Dutch at Punta de Araya, was reconsidered. It had always been rejected in the past for fear that the fleet would take too much time in a military mission and arrive too late to fulfill


63 its other duties. There were also discussions about inundating the salt pan. Of the two proposals, the former seemed most workable and was accepted. The fleet's success in 1604, when it had sunk two Dutch salt carriers and had captured two others, perhaps persuaded the council to hope for similar or better results.'1 The precious galleons were thus pressed into police duties in addition to a project to depopulate another thriving region of the rescate, Cumanagote. The Spanish appointee for the mission was Luis de Fajardo, a veteran of war and a soldier of recognized ability, proven capable of energetic measures against both pirates and heretics. He left Lisbon in September, I6OJ, in command of a fleet of fourteen galleons and twenty-five hundred men. The Spanish, aware that outfitting such a fleet would lead to speculation about its use, planted the false rumor that the fleet was to be sent to Flanders (see Chapter vi). Walking into this trap, the Dutch made haste to prevent incursions on their home coasts. Meanwhile, Fajardo sailed to the West Indies, and surprised and captured many Dutch salt carriers at Araya. Remaining a month in the neighborhood, he managed to catch other Dutch, English, and French smugglers.72 When word came that a fleet of foreign smugglers was assembling at Manzanillo, Cuba, Fajardo sent his vice-admiral Juan Alvares in command of five or six galleons and some smaller ships to destroy them. The outcome of this encounter was, however, not favorable for the Spanish.73 The Dutch reaction to Fajardo's success at Araya was a further sharpening of the war and an increase in privateering and raiding. Moreover, the blockade of the Iberian coast was intensified.7* Haultain's expeditions and the attack on Gibraltar under Heemskerk must also be seen as results of national indignation over Fajardo's actions. Rumors now reached Spain that the Dutch were also planning a mass retaliation in the West Indies. The Spanish spies, however, confused a Dutch "design against the West Indies" with plans drawn up by the French king for a joint French-Dutch Company." The Dutch blockade of the Iberian coast forced the Spanish to send word to Diez de Armendariz, the general of the New Spain fleet, urging him not to leave Havana until the arrival of the armada that would protect his silver galleons. These instructions said that he could sail only after a certain date. Then, after he had passed through the Bahama Channel, he was to take a prescribed route to Cape Finisterre, which was supposed to be safe. He was to remain at Cape Finisterre until he was advised about the disposition of the Dutch fleet. The Spanish had already developed, evidently, a deep fear of the Dutch threat to the treasure fleet.76


64 Early in 1606, at least 130 privateers left Dutch ports destined to roam the Spanish and Spanish American coasts. Fajardo's cruelty at Araya had precipitated this fearsome outburst of Dutch revenge, and Spai n tried vainly to make the right countermove. The encounter between eight Dutch ships, probably part of the huge fleet mentioned above, and the Honduras galleons served to hasten Spanish defense measures, even though the Dutch failed to capture these richly laden ships. Their commander, Juan de Vergara, defended them with gallantry and success, and the Dutch were forced to retreat.77 By that time Philip III began to tighten his administrative control. A cedula of July, 1605, ordered that all viceroys in the Indies were to execute justice on all captured corsairs without dissimulation, dispensations, or appeal to the Crown, and without awaiting new orders. They were further ordered to impose the statutory penalties established in the kingdom of Castile.78 These orders were executed by Spanish authorities with thoroughness, and they were immediately countered by harsh action on the part of the Dutch. Although neither side seemed to realize it, ferocity bred only further violence. During the first year in office of Sancho de Alquiza, the governor of Venezuela, part of the crew of a Dutch trader was captured when coming ashore and all were hanged in full view of those who had remained on board. Although this Spanish efficiency did in fact curtail Dutch smuggling, it was only at the price of other less happy effects in the colony. In the first place, it stopped the supply of cloth, hardware, and other commodities brought by the Dutch. At the same time, the Spanish colonies lost the stimulating effect of an outlet for their colonial products. Sluiter gives an excellent example of this phenomenon in his account of the tobacco culture of New Andalusia and Venezuela. Early in 1606, the king ordered the depopulation of Nueva Ecija. For ten years, tobacco-growing was to be prohibited in Venezuela, New Andalusia, and the Windward Islands. The cabildo of Caracas and Governor Alquiza, although both in favor of stopping illegal trade, realized that the Crown was cutting the colonial nose to spite the royal face. Even though smuggling would be effectively curbed, it would only be at the expense of the economic development along the whole coast of modern Venezuela.7' The shortsightedness of the Duke of Lerma and his puppet king is well illustrated by the eagerness with which they tried to maintain the mare clausum. Neither was in the least concerned with developing the prosperity of the colonies. The cedulas virtually admitted that Spain could not or would not adequately supply her own colonies.


Fig. 3. William Usselinx by anonymous Dutch painter :,K,.:"x'f.

Fig. 4. Puerto Rico in 1625-


6* Indeed, the governors often requested that sufficient supplies be sent to eliminate the necessity for the smuggling. Alquiza, writing in 1608, for example, lamented that the shortage of supplies was so bad that he had no paper on which to write his letters of complaint.80 The situation was no better on Hispaniola where it was said that a Spanish ship from the mother country had anchored with supplies for the population only once in three years. The majority of the poorer classes soon went naked, and it became necessary to hold mass before dawn so that those who had no clothes could hide themselves in the darkness of the night. In many of the other Antilles and on the coast of the Tierra Firme the situation was just as bad. In those difficult years, Spain was blessed with a number of honest and hardworking colonial officials. Indeed, the remarkable success of her unwise reaction depended entirely on the efficiency of her local administrators. An excellent example of such a functionary was the aforementioned governor of Venezuela. When he arrived at his post in 1606, the colonial society had degenerated to such an extent that virtually every free man in his province was somehow involved in smuggling. The population waited with a certain curiosity to see what the new governor would do about it. They and the captured crew of a Dutch ship learned very quickly. Although Alquiza was tolerant of what had gone on before, he was so only if his regulations were observed now. During the five and one-half years that he was the governor, smuggling on the Venezuelan coast virtually stopped, but, as a result, the population, and the governor, all suffered deprivation. Although it is difficult to generalize, there is sufficient evidence to indicate that most Spanish officials in the Caribbean acted much as Alquiza did, albeit perhaps with somewhat less energy. The typical attitude, obedezco mas no cumplo, had not yet become prevalent. The activities of the Dutch in those years did not result in any great conquest or settlement in the West Indies. Quite contrary to what was going on in the East, the Dutch confined their western activity to raiding, smuggling, and general harrassment. Henry Hudson's explorations in the North led to the foundation of New Netherland. In the South, Brazil was sometimes the target for settlement, but an expedition by van Caerden in 1603 was unsuccessful, and further ventures in 1606 also failed to establish a foothold in Brazil. Meanwhile, negotiations had started for peace with Spain, which resulted in the Twelve Years' Truce. This meant that big plans for the foundation of a West India Company had to be postponed. And


66 the Dutch could no longer send their privateers to the Caribbean without violating the articles of the truce. Consequently, Dutch activity decreased rapidly in the West, at least in the beginning and with the exception of the Wild Coast. The Spanish decided to discontinue the construction of the armada de barlorento. The experience of twenty years in American waters, however, was to become very important for the Dutch. Their sailors received valu able experience, their merchants an incomparable schooling, and, when the Truce was over they were prepared to venture through all the seas of the world. Dutch activity in the Caribbean had not been negligible from an economic point of view either. Their smuggling had netted millions and millions of guilders. The salt carriers had saved other millions in cost and had gained huge revenues. Military efforts in those twenty years had also weakened Spain considerably: she had been forced into a defensive position in her own waters and throughout the world. Sluiter has observed, correctly, that it was precisely Dutch pressure on Spain which made possible the English and French settlement in the Guianas, in the Lesser Antilles, and in North America.81 In the year in which the Truce was concluded, the Dutch had cap tured a powerful position in the East Indies. But the situation in the West was far less favorable for them because of different circum stances. There were no permanent Dutch settlements in the West In dies before the Truce. They had, in those years, nevertheless, far outstripped their English and French rivals and could fairly claim to be the foremost smugglers and privateers in the Indies.


67 4 THE TRUCE Cedant togae aima. At the beginning of the seventeenth century, the question of whether to continue the war against Spain troubled the United Provinces. Although the financial burden of the war was great, the results in recent years had been poor. Van der Does' expedition of i 9 had been a failure from the financial point of view, even though its significance in propaganda value could hardly be underestimated. Neither the victory of Prince Maurits at Newport in 1600 nor the expeditions under Haultain in 1606 had brought any substantial gains. Heemskerk's triumph at Gibraltar had been impressive but had not resulted in any cash. Moreover, the powerful class of regents, especially in the province of Holland, viewed the growing popularity of the Prince of Orange with alarm and feared that a prolongation of the hostilities would only serve to enhance his glory. By now they had gotten a good taste of power and become enamored of a decentralized government in which the provinces were practically autonomous. Holland, of course, had the dominant position. The complicated structure of government in the United Nether lands needs some explanation.1 There were seven provinces: Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelderland, Overijssel, Groningen, and Friesland. Through their own efforts, these provinces had become the freest lands in the world. They were not, of course, democratic in the modern sense of the word, although in some provinces the electorate was quite broad. They were more or less autonomous republics which were ruled by provincial legislatures composed of deputies chosen by local town councils. The real power in the United Provinces thus rested in these latter institutions. The town councils were self-appointing in some cities, and elected by a more or less wide franchise in others. Each town council sent some of its members to the Provincial States to represent it there. Although the delegation from each city varied in number, generally


68 each town had one vote in the Provincial States. The Noble, Great and Mighty Lords of the States of Holland, for instance, was a body composed of nineteen members from eighteen towns, while one member represented the nobility. The Provincial States was assisted, moreover, by a pensionary, and the meetings took place in the provincial capital. The members were not, however, independent representatives of their towns; in important matters they were required to consult their constituentsthe town councils. The seven provinces were virtually independent; they were seven sovereign states which had joined in a loose unionthat of Utrecht in i and had, as their political voice, an assembly well known in European politics: Their High Mightinesses, the States General. This confederation was officially the highest executive and legislative body in the country. In composition, however, it resembled a congress of ambassadors from seven independent states. The members were deputized by the Provincial States to represent them in the deliberations in The Hague about common affairs. Each province represented in this assembly, even mighty Holland, had but a single vote. Important decisions, moreover, had to be made unanimously. The strangest phenomenon in this governmental structure was the House of Orange. William of Orange had originally been appointed by Philip II as stadhouder over Holland, Zeeland, and Utrecht. After Philip's abjuration in ii, the Provincial States assumed the royal prerogative yet maintained the position of stadhouder. No one, in the beginning, realized the anomaly. When William was murdered in i the majority of the provinces appointed his son Maurits to the same position. To compound this curiosity, the northern prov incesGroningen and Frieslandusually appointed another member of the House of Orange to a stadhoudership as well. Thus, during the seventeenth century, there were normally two stadhouders. The most important was usually the stadhouder of Holland (and four other provinces). From 165-2 to 1672, however, there was no stadhouder in the five latter provinces. The stadhouders were appointed by the Provincial States, and their position became increasingly important during the war of independence. They were the head of the seven provincial armies and of the three provincial navies. During the successful conduct of the war in the last twelve years of the sixteenth century, respect for Prince Maurits grew. The people saw in him and in his successors symbols of the union which had no definite legal basis but which had acquired a strong historical tradition. As head of the armies and navies the stadhouder stepped in when decentralizing forces threatened the war


69 effort or the unity of the provinces. Since the House of Orange thus symbolized a centralizing power, the provincial regent class was anti-Orangist. At the beginning of the seventeenth century, two parties emerged in the young nation. They are usually called the "war party" and the "peace party." They were certainly not organized as their modern equivalents, but they were, however, clearly distinguished by their goals. Van Oldenbarnevelt, the landsadvocate or pensionary of the States of Holland, "unscrupulous chessplayer" as he was called,2 became the spokesman of that part of the population that wanted peace. Sometime later, the Prince of Orange, rather reluctantly, agreed to pose as the leader of those who were in favor of a continu ation of the war. Prince Maurits, like his father, was a man of few words. As a military leader, he made decisions with the sword. The war party, however, found an eloquent spokesman in William Usselinx who knew that peace would mean the end of his West Indian dreams. The question of war or peace became a burning issue. The contest between the parties was further enlivened by the inclusion of other disputes, as mentioned before, not the least of which was that of religion. The archduke, always well informed, knew as early as 1607 that "the end of the war with Spain would probably mean the be ginning of a civil war. "3 It is not exact to say that all the ContraRemonstrants were for war, nor all Arminians for peace, although in general terms it may be true. Van Oldenbarnevelt was certainly more an orthodox Calvinist than was the Prince of Orange, but the former led the peace party. The latter supported those in favor of war because they had "helped his father to the seat."4 There is some question about his real motives. The intensity of the dispute is amply illustrated in the number and variety of pamphlets which were published in the period. The United Provinces enjoyed an unprecedented freedom of the press for that era, and although the States General and the Provincial States exercised some censorship, a French ambassador was correct when he wrote, "We are among people who regard as a part of their freedom the freedom of speech, "s In the multitude of pamphlets for and against war, we can see how the free Dutch exercised their rightswe may hear the vox populi of the time. Often, they were inspired by fervent anti-Catholic feelings as well as by deep mistrust of the Spaniards. "Never trust your enemy because as iron always rusts again, so will his wickedness."6 Exceptions to the usual vulgar level of these pamphlets were those written by William Usselinx. While his writings reveal some of the


7 same feeling and the same mistrust, they are far superior in style to the other "peace-negotiation" literature. He composed two eloquent and ingenious appeals against talks with Spain which are referred to as "among the principal documents for the history of political economy," a statement which is probably correct.7 These eloquently written essays are called Considerations and Further Considerations. In the earlier of the two, Usselinx argued convincingly that peace with Spain would undoubtedly bring a decline in the prosperity of the free Netherlands since the refugee Flemings would then return to their southern provinces. The same warning was repeated in the second pamphlet, there buttressed by the prophesy of Nahum: "Thou hast multiplied thy merchants above the skies; now they will spread their wings like locusts and fly away. "8 Usselinx, however, also had other objections to a treaty with Spain: he warned that the archdukes of the Southern Netherlands would not keep promises to heretics "against which the royal agreement will be of as much help as the tinkling of bells against thunder, the sprinkling of holy water against the Devil, or the bulls of the pope against hell."' An essential point, made repeatedly, was, "You cannot trust the Spaniard. You cannot trust Philip III. He follows very ingeniously the footsteps of his father, the anti-Christ of Rome. "10 This last argument was energetically supported by Usselinx' Flemish countrymen, by the ministers of the Dutch Reformed Church, and by the lower classes of the population who not only resented the regent class but also feared unemployment and economic misery if peace were to be concluded. It is, however, difficult to divide the population with regard to war and peace. The regent class wanted peace; it had qualms about the growing centralizing power of the Prince of Orange, but not every regent was so inclined. Merchants involved in the Baltic or in the Mediterranean trade generally wanted peace, but those engaged in privateering or semi-commercial enter prises in the East and West Indies preferred a continuation of hostilities. Flemings, generally, wanted the war to last because it might mean the recapture of Antwerp, but not every Fleming felt that way. The Zeelanders to whom privateering was important urged war; to them, peace was a Trojan horse"Don't trust the horse, Greeks," was Zeeland's cry. Strong opposition to peace also came from the Dutch East India Company. In several pamphlets and in an extensive memorandum, this institution pointed out that it had made many contracts and promises to rulers in the East Indies, and that it could not consider peace without consulting those parties.11


71 The peace party had strong arguments, however, and not the least of these was financial. Van Oldenbarnevelt, the political leader of the most important province, was very much inclined to peace since the war caused a tremendous drain on the treasury. Holland had to pay the largest part of the budgetsome gS per cent-and her finances were in bad shape. Also a few pamphlets, distinctly in the minority, did appear in behalf of peace. One was written by the famous Justus Lipsius, a strong advocate of a treaty. All the pamphlets, however, bear out Laspeyres' statement, "how great the participation was in the question of war and peace and how deep the embitterment of the parties against each other. "I2 These pamphlets generally avoided the two main stumbling blocks in the way of a peace with Spain: navigation in the East and West Indies, and toleration of the Roman Catholics in the North. It was to Usselinx' credit that attention was drawn to the first obstacle in a third pamphlet which has already been mentioned, entitled Remon strance. In this essay he voiced his fears that the Dutch with peace or truce would lose their foothold in the East, where they were extremely successful in carving out a colonial empire, and would not be able to maintain their trade with the West. As always, very con vincingly he pointed to the importance of the West Indian trade, especially in salt and hides, "because it is not gold or silver that constitutes the richness of the country there, but its products."13 What was the Spanish position on peace? Spain's treasury was even more depleted, but more critical, probably, was the fact that Spain lacked the efficient leadership which the rebels seemed to have in abundance. The Duke of Lerma, although a smart courtier, was not an astute politician or an intelligent administrator. He was aware, however, that Spain could not carry on the war much longer. The mediocre king remained enthusiastic, though, especially after the general arrest in 1^98 and his edict on foreign trade in 1603, which was called, because of its originator, "Gauna's placard." It promised free trade to all parts of the Iberian European empire to all subjects of the king, even to Hollanders and Zeelanders "or the other provinces which have separated and subtracted themselves from the obedience of my brother and sister. ":4 But it imposed a high tax of 30 per cent on all commodities. This tax, of course, was secretly designed to ruin Dutch trade and cause frictions between the Dutch and their allies. But it was much too late to accomplish such a goal. A meeting of the Royal Council in January, 1607, realized this failure, and con cluded consequently that peace was Spain's only hope, by admitting that it was "hotly desired."1'


72 Spanish and Dutch mistrust was mutual. "One doubts the ready compliance and unsteadiness of those people"16 was a characteristic attitude of Madrid. But an empty treasury instead of wishful thinking dictated the course which politics had to take. The ruinous attacks on the Iberian empire in the East and the increasing trade and naviga tion of the Dutch on the African coast and in the American waters drove Spain to compromise. In addition, the Spanish entertained fears that the Dutch would arrive at an understanding with the French. Although Henry IV had converted to Catholicism, he had not become pro-Spanish at the same time. Spanish military exploits were not successful either. Certainly Spain rejoiced at the capture of Ostend, after a three-year siege, but the infanta, realizing its emptiness, is reported to have cried at the festivities which celebrated this triumph. Another victory qualified as lamentable was Fajardo's defeat of the Dutch salt carriers at Punta de Araya. Alarming reports also reached Spain that the Prince of Orange had given letters of marque to 120 ships. Moreover, the ominous results of the Dutch blockade of the Iberian coast were clearly felt. Finally, Madrid feared that the Southern Netherlands would defect to the North if the war with the Dutch continued.17 About the time of Heemskerk's destruction of the Spanish fleet at Gibraltar, a temporary truce was arranged between Brussels and The Hague. This lull of eight months was reluctantly accepted by Spain, but Philip III soon realized that the agreement was the lesser of two evils. The alternative seemed to be an alliance between the Dutch and the French.18 Although negotiations continued between the two belligerents, the issues of navigation and religion remained a plague to the negotiators. The able French ambassador Pierre Jeannin performed a difficult and delicate task in these discussions, and his only advantage was that both parties needed and desired peace. Negotiations continued until a satisfactory compromise was finally reached. The Twelve Years' Truce arrived at was silent on the sub ject of religion. The Spanish king accepted this hesitantlyhe had no choicebut recommended that Their High Mightinesses treat their Catholic subjects gently. The question of navigation in the Indies had caused more difficulties. Richardot, the Spanish ambassador, declared that his master would never permit it. If he were to allow this, the French and the English would immediately claim the same privileges. The diplomatic genius of Jeannin finally found a formula which did not mention the Indies specifically, but which, using labored circumlocutions, admitted Dutch navigation in the Portuguese Indies while preventing any


73 intrusions into regions which were in the effective possession of Philip III; of course this meant the West. It may be said that Spain thus sacrificed the Portuguese East in order to safeguard her American colonies.19 The Dutch accepted the diplomatic interpretation of the Truce in spite of Usselinx' eloquent Remonstrance and their own misgivings. Their acceptance can be explained by the fact that, aside from their small foothold on the Wild Coast, they had not yet secured any territory in the West. They did insist, however, on the right to maintain and visit their trading posts in the Guianas and in Africa. "We must pray God our Lord and do all that we can to let the truce be to the honor of God and the prosperity of our country," wrote van Oldenbarnevelt to the Dutch ambassador in Paris.20 Although this was the language of the century, it was also the language of a proud and independent nation. The world was aware of the shift in power which had occurred: Spain's decline was now openly mani fest. A small nation of sailors, fishermen, and merchants was pri marily responsible for establishing this reality. When the Truce was concluded, the Dutch had six thousand boats with sixty thousand men engaged in fishing. More than a hundred thousand seamen were sailing over all the seas of the world, although it must be admitted that the Baltic and the Mediterranean absorbed most Dutch navigation. The African and Indian trades were still in their infancy.21 Jealousy was soon openly aimed at the Dutch. The French and English, who had posed as friends during the Truce negotiations, and who had, indeed, even guaranteed the treaty with promises of assist ance to the Dutch should Spain renew hostilities, now realized the superior position of the Dutch and were alarmed. The sheer rapidity with which the Dutch had established themselves in the East caused concern. Only Henry IV's untimely death prevented trouble with France. The English, who had supported the rebels' cause out of sheer self-interest, were now threatened by Dutch commercial competition.22 Both England and the United Netherlands realized in these years that their future lay on the seas and that naval domination was a sine qua non for their national survival. Since England had not had to fight for existence, she clearly had the advantage. Her charters to trading companies were granted as early as 1579, and these companies were in operation before the Dutch equivalents were organized. Long before the Dutch flag was seen in the Baltic or in the Levant, the English were there. The exploits of Hawkins and Drake were legends before the Dutch were even known in the West.

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74 What really changed Anglo-Dutch relations, however, was the death of "the great queen of the sea." She was succeeded by the "weakhearted" James I,23 and immediately a coolness in those rela tions appeared. The difficulties centered on what were known as the "fishery disputes" and on Anglo-Dutch competition in the East Indies. In the latter area, relations were about as unfavorable as they had been between the Dutch and the Spanish. Fortunately, perhaps, for the Dutch, the early Stuarts were not very ambitious about foreign policy, and the English thus did not provoke trouble with their Protestant neighbors until the reign of Cromwell. The Twelve Years' Truce was characterized by a continuation of Dutch activities and hostilities against Spain in the East Indies and by repeatedly broken and renewed negotiations with England. Gone were the days when the Dutch were willing to sail under an English flag. A more independent course was deliberately adopted. Van Oldenbarnevelt precipitated such independence by his ransom of the cautionary towns for little more than a third of the sum originally asked. In June, 1616, the Dutch commonwealth was fully liberated.2* The redemption of the cautionary towns had a peculiar link with Anglo-Dutch activities on the Wild Coast. It added to the confusion which already existed about the character of many expeditions, since some of their colonizing enterprises were not nationally distinct. And the Spaniards could never differentiate between English and Dutch heretics. The soldiers in the cautionary towns, who were suddenly faced with unemployment, followed the call of adventure in the New World, as did so many men in those years.25 Dutch activities in the East during the Truce form a chain of spectacular episodes. The war there continued, but while Spain remained the enemy, Dutch hostilities were mainly launched against Portuguese settlements. The net result of these attacks was that many of these colonies were lost to the Iberians. At the same time the English failed to maintain their position in the Malay archipelago. Their East India Company was not only utterly outcompeted by the Dutch equivalent, but very soon it was excluded from seas and ports which the Dutch considered theirs. In other words, the Dutch had become very protective over an area they had won at much expense, and they did not want the competitive company "to reap where the English had not sown. "26 The elegant Dutch defense of the mare liberum principle was scuttled when the opposite became more profitable. Along Africa's western coasts, hostilities between the Dutch and Spanish continued. The Dutch had already maintained a very prof-

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75 itable trade here for many years, and they were determined not to give up these profits. Spain discovered this fact as early as 1611 when a fleet of seventeen Spanish sails which was operating in those waters met a Dutch fleet and lost thirteen ships in a crushing defeat. The Dutch, however, lacked strongholds in the area. Before the Truce, it is true, they had made some arrangements with the rulers of Sabou, Fetou, and Commenda, and the Dutch interpretation of Article iv of the Truce permitted them to continue trade with these kings, since they thought the Truce was obviously based on the principle of uti possidetis. The Spanish governor of Sao Jorge da Mina, quite understandably, held to another point of view. Until he was formally advised to the contrary, he felt obligated to continue hostilities against the rebels. For almost a year after the Truce was concluded, therefore, Dutch ships were captured, their crews killed, and their cargoes appropriated by Spanish and Portuguese authorities in West Africa." The consequence of this attitude was indignation in the United Provinces. The Dutch rightly feared the loss of their profitable trade. The Guinea Company, which had been organized specifically for this purpose, soon petitioned Their High Mightinesses for governmental action against the Spanish outrages. The States General accordingly outfitted an expedition whose primary mission was to establish a stronghold at Maure, close to the Elmina Castle. Before the expedition could embark, however, news arrived that the Spaniards had seized and fortified the very site which the Dutch had hoped to claim.28 Discussions in the States General on Article iv of the Truce resulted, however, in the decision to proceed with the plans anyway. This action was extremely successful, and by the end of 1611 the Dutch had established at that African outpostMauretheir first governor of the Gold Coast, Jacob Adriaenszoon Clantius. Within the first few years of Dutch occupation, the terrible heat of the area claimed a thousand lives. But Fort Nassau, as it came to be called, persisted, and became strategically important for Dutch operations both on the west coast of Africa and in the American waters.2' Along the Wild Coast, where the Dutch had made small settlements prior to the Truce, navigation and trade continued, not only because of the Dutch interpretation of Article iv in the Truce, but also because Spain lacked fortifications in that part of the American hemisphere. Indeed, in the years of the Truce, the Dutch expanded their hold on this part of coast by setting up trading posts that sometimes developed into settlements if trade proved to be lucrative and the land fertile enough to make plantations profitable. From the outset the Dutch

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76 attempted to utilize native opposition to the Iberians to their own advantage. In the Guianas, from the start, the Dutch were in competition with the English. The first English colony, sponsored by Charles Leigh and located on the shore of the Wiapoco River, had been founded as early as 1604. This settlement soon faced grave troubles; the competitive Dutch actually managed most of the trade there and may even have had some colonists. Soon, other English colonies in the area, such as the one established by Captain North, also found themselves depend ent on the Dutch. As the colonists remarked bitterly: "The Dutch gave what they wanted and took what they liked."30 Ioannes de Laet, in the words of Edmundson "an unimpeachable authority," provides dependable knowledge about the earliest Dutch trading posts and settlements in the Amazon region. This has been supplemented by Edmundson's own research. Unlike the Portuguese, who used the southern channels, the Dutch and English colonists entered the Amazon delta from the north. According to de Laet, around 1600 there were two Dutch fortresses, Nassau and Orange; situated on the eastern shore of the Xingu River and commanding the maze of the islands, these had been built by colonists from Zeeland. The very existence of these fortified trading stations so far inland, and at that early date, is proof that Flushing merchants were already considering establishing permanent commercial relations with the natives in the interior.31 There is also information available about a Dutch effort at a very early date to put to a practical test Cabeljau's statement about the strength of the Iberians at San Tome, consisting of "about sixty horsemen and one hundred musketeers. "32 In 1602 or 1603 Dutch vessels which had been authorized by the States General attempted to sail up the Orinoco, but the Spaniards prevented them.33 Fort Ter Hooge, a Dutch fortress some twenty miles up the Essequibo, was destroyed, as mentioned before, in 1^96. Sources reveal many enterprises in this area during the Truce. In those years these so-called obscure expeditions began to worry Spanish authorities in San Tome and Trinidad. Since they failed to differentiate between English and Dutch colonists and settlements, however, it is not always clear in which country the expedition originated. The governor of Trinidad, for instance, reported an English settlement at the Wiapoco and the presence in that same area of flamencosthe term for the Zeelanderswho were engaged in the cultivation of tobacco with the help of Indian slaves sold to them by friendly Caribs.3'* A record kept by an English prisoner at Santo Domingo, Captain

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79 Thomas Currey, reveals that around 1610, both the English and the Dutch in the Orinoco region were carrying on a lucrative trade in tobacco. Actual settlements were not recorded. The English ven tures in that area had little support from James I, since this king's matrimonial plans for his son inclined him toward peace with Spain and an unwillingness to trespass on what was admittedly Spanish territory. In 1613 the Dutch went a step further in their efforts to control the exports of the Guianas and to colonize those areas. Their previous method had been to leave factors at various trading posts on the coast and along the various rivers, but now they started to send colonists to settle in the Guianas and provide a guaranteed cargo for the ships returning home. In the year mentioned a few enterprising Zeelandian merchants thus founded a settlement on the Essequibo and, probably later that same year, one on the Corantine. Although energetically supported by Indian allies, these colonies proved to be short-lived destroyed by Spaniards from neighboring Trinidad. The record of the Spanish attack on the Dutch Corantine settlement is quite dramatic. Twelve men from Trinidad, twenty from San Tome, and a priest left Trinidad in August, 1613. Sixty days later they reached their destination. They waited until night, and then called upon the Dutch three times to surrender in the name of the king. The Dutch refused. The attackers succeeded in setting fire to the fort. Because of its palm-thatched roof it was soon ablaze, and all the Dutchmen died in the flames. The number of men in the fort is not known. This action proves the attitude of the Spanish and Portuguese authorities in the neighborhood. They were, of course, far from sympathetic spectators of foreign intrusions in what they considered to be their domain. Thus, from the beginning they were determined to eliminate such intrusions.35 Despite these failures, the Dutch were back in 1615 and founded new settlements at Cayenne, on the Wiapoco, and on the Amazon. In this year a group of 280 colonists under Theodore Claessen of Amster dam settled at Cayenne, but they seemed to have abandoned that place very soon in favor of Surinam. 3 6 Further to the east, Dutch colonies were again under way, while plans for a new effort on the Essequibo were seriously discussed. Here we meet the romantic and somewhat mysterious figure of Captain Groenewegencalled Cromwegle in English, and Llanes (from Adriaen) in Spanish documents.3? Aert Adriaenszoon Groenewegen was a Dutch Catholic from Delft who had been engaged in the service of the Courteen House, an

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8o Anglo-Zeelandian merchant firm (see Chapter xvi). He had later served the Spaniards as a factor on the Orinoco responsible to the authorities of San Tome. Learning of the failure of the Dutch settle ment on the Essequibo, Groenewegen decided to desert his Spanish masters for his countrymen. He went to Zeeland. Here the atmosphere was quite favorable for colonizing experi ments. Zeelandian burgomaster Jan de Moor was one of the deeply interested promo tors. That he, a Zeelander, went to the rival province of Holland in order to raise funds may at first sight seem very strange, but it is not altogether inexplicable. Flushing was a caution ary town; it was, until 1616, under an English commander and a garrison. The town council felt the foreign presence very distinctly; the English supervision did not make the town really independent. In Holland the air was free; besides, this province had become an excellent market for investments, and her merchants were also willing to risk their capital in the kind of enterprises which Jan de Moor was planning. De Moor received the official support of the States of Holland, and soon found help from two men experienced on the Wild Coast. Both were residents of Flushing: Pieter Lodewijksz, ship captain, and his son Jan Pietersz. Both men had just returned from the Guianas where, on the shores of the Wiapoco, they had erected a trading post and had cultivated tobacco.38 The son had sailed up the Amazon for more than one hundred miles, and had brought back dye, tobacco, and different spices. Father and son had made a good profit and told promising stories about much higher gains. With that prospect in mind de Moor's company equipped a small fleet of three ships under the command of Michiel Geleynsse. Pieter Lodewijksz and Jan Pietersz were the captains of the two other ships. Together they succeeded in establishing a colony on the Wiapoco. In the meantime Landsadvocate Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, taking advantage of the pecuniary embarrassments of James I, redeemed the cautionary towns by a cash settlement which freed them henceforth from foreign control. The effect was immediate. Before the end of 1616, two groups of colonists had left the Zeelandian ports for the Wild Coast. Our knowledge of these two expeditions rests mainly on the nar rative of Major John Scott in his description of Guiana.^ The Gouden Haen (Golden Cocq) sailed in 1616 with io men who disembarked on the shores of the Ginipape River. The commander was Pieter Adriaenszoon Ita, perhaps an older brother of the famous Dutch Admiral Michiel Adriaenszoon de Ruyter.40 He was soon to

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8i become famous himself as an admiral of the Dutch West India Com pany. The colonists built a fortone of the first things they had to doon a peninsula and established what Edmundson calls "a fair correspondence" with the Indians whose help they needed in planting tobacco. The Gouden Haen returned the next year with provisions and some additional colonists. On the trip home the ship carried tobacco which had been raised by the earlier colonists and some wood. The colony survived six years.41 The best known member of the other expedition was Groenewegen. This one was also outfitted by Jan de Moor in cooperation with William Courteen. Groenewegen left Flushing in 1616 with one small and two large ships. He founded a settlement twenty miles up the Essequibo River on a small island, taking advantage of an aban doned Portuguese fort, probably at the same spot where, more than twenty years earlier, Dutch settlers had built Fort Ter Hooge. Groenewegen called his fort Kijkoveral, which means "see every where. Because of the excellent way he handled the Indians, they were, for as long as he lived, Dutch alliesa relationship which was strength ened by Groenewegen's marriage to the daughter of an Indian chief. The Dutch were called parana-ghiri by the Indians, meaning "men of the sea. "42 Groenewegen was the head of this colony for almost half a century. He died in 1664 at the age of eighty-three, an extremely wealthy man. The founding of these settlements was very hazardous; long were the lists of those who perished in these regions and short the life span of most colonies. Inexperience and the hostile attitude of the Spanish and Portuguese were important factors in many Dutch as well as French or English failures. In 1615-, for instance, Philip III issued a general order that the coast of the Guianas had to be cleared of any foreign settlement. This order not only gave royal approval to former Spanish actions but also resulted in an expedition from Brazil under the command of Francisco Caldeira de Castello Branco to explore the mouth of the Amazon and to check the trading and colonizing excur sions of the foreign intruders.** This expedition had a lasting result. Caldeira built a fort and laid the foundation for a settlement called Nossa Senhora de Belem. It meant the beginning of the Portuguese dominion on the Amazon. Caldeira also received information from a French refugeein 161 $ a French colony at the Maranhao had been destroyedthat further up the Amazon three Zeeland vessels were trading with the natives. More extensive inquiries told him that the flamencos e olandesesZeelanders and Hollanderscounted 2 jo to 300

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82 men who were protected by two wooden forts. They had two sugar mills, while some i miles upstream, there was another settlement of Dutch who had their wives and children with them. Consequently, Caldeira immediately sent his forces to these sites. Although they succeeded in destroying a large Dutch vessel, they could not take the forts. The Dutch had a free hand for a few more years in their trade on the big river.45 The two forts mentioned above were probably Orange and Nassau. Many of the soldiers were English, former members of the garrisons of the cautionary towns. This explains why they are called Dutch by one author and English by another.46 The identity of the third fort remains unknown. Spanish expeditions sent out from Trinidad to wipe out foreign settlements were undoubtedly very successful. Mention has already been made of such action. It is not clear who bought the tobacco grown by the planters of Trinidad in those years, when Dutch piratas and herejes rebeldes did not dare to drop anchor in their ports. But although Dutch trade and smuggling decreased somewhat in the early years of the Truce, there is evidence that it still continued. A royal cedula of 1610 mentions this fact. The coasts and ports of Venezuela were visited, it said, "by enemies of our holy Catholic faith" who were later specified to be "English, French, Flemish, and other nations."47 Letters from the Spanish ambassador at London to the Duke of Lerma show, in spite of all cedulas, that as early as 1611, ships were arriving there with tobacco from the Wild Coast and Trinidad, and the value of the smallest cargoes was ,000 ducats. Dutch sources reveal little. During the Truce the port of Rotterdam had no record of any tobacco or sugar coming from the West.48 The same is true for the other towns. Amsterdam regulated the sugar freights in 1610 and 1611 with some charters; they reveal the sources of the sugar to be Brazil, Santo Domingo, Sao Thome, the Canaries, and Madeira.49 Not much is known either about Dutch activity in the Caribbean area during the first years of the Truce. Indeed, reports of jlamencos virtually disappear from Spanish records. According to Article iv of the Truce, the Dutch, who had no settlements in the area, could not navigate there. Then, in 1613, Their High Mightinesses again handed out permits to merchants to undertake trade and privateering in the mare clausum. Once more the Prince of Orange signed letters of marque and commissions for captains. Spanish complaints then started all over again. It appears, therefore, that the Truce, for the first years of its application at any rate, had the effect which the Spaniards had hoped

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3 for: it stopped Dutch activities in the West Indies. Although some have argued that the Dutch continued to harass the Spaniards in the Caribbean during the Truce, there is no proof that any Dutch sailors were commissioned to privateer or to trade in that area. While they built their colonial empire in the East with incredible speed, the Caribbean was, at least temporarily, If Spanish reports lack complaints about the flamencos luteranos and herejes rebeldes in those days, they are certainly full of another lament: an increasing shortage of commodities had begun to harass the Iberian colonies, a lack which caused much inconvenience. Then, too, the colonists found troublesome the Spanish injunction against tobacco culture, which had been instituted in order to stop the rescate. Negro pearl fishers of the island of Margarita, for instance, did not work as fast nor as efficiently as they had when they had been given tobacco. It was soon obvious to anyone concerned that the prohibition against tobacco-raising, which was meant to be enforced for ten years, was simply cutting the colonies' throats.51 Thus, although there is no evidence that the Dutch were able to continue their profitable privateering in the Caribbean during the first years of the Truce, it must be admitted that the islands and coasts close to the Guianas enjoyed some illegal trade. But in 1613 the States General, as mentioned before, changed its policy. A year later Their High Mightinesses listened to Usselinx' suggestions and volun teered, through a placard, a trading monopoly for four voyages to anyone who would discover new ports, lands, or localities.52 In this same year the Company of New Netherland applied for a charter. Merchants from Amsterdam and Hoorn had already traded for some time in the northern regions of the American continent, Hudson's discoveries having paved the road for them. Indeed, his explorations had, if possible, aroused in the free Netherlands a still greater zeal for enterprises and explorations in the West. During the Truce Spain was constantly informed of developments through her spies in the United Provinces. The efforts of Usselinx, although frustrated in 1609 but gaining momentum after 1614, were faithfully reported. At that time the Archduke Albert informed His Majesty about Usselinx' renewed efforts for a West India Company. This report, forwarded by the Duke of Lerma to the Council of the Indies, said: The West India Company is likewise being pressed forward by certain merchants, reckless men and enemies of quietness; they are going about through all the towns in Holland and Zeeland to persuade the people to favor it. In no part have they

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84 received greater hopes of carrying out their object than in Zeeland, as it is a matter very consonant to the disposition of that part, and because there they will have need of sailors and employment for ships, of which they have so great a quantity that they are ruining each other. They have cast their eyes on the river Orellana, and a caravel has already been dispatched from Flushing to go up said river as far as possible and make acquaintance with the inhabitants thereof. 53 Many rumors reached Madrid as well. One of them reported that Usselinx, presumably a general with a fleet of twelve men-of-war and six hundred soldiers, was setting out to establish colonies on the borders of three or four rivers in South America and the West Indies. According to the rumor, the colonists were authorized to cultivate rye, cotton, barley, flax, silk, crimson paint, and those things which would destroy the trade of the Canary Islands and bring the West Indies under Dutch control. A similar report advised that Dutch ships of every variety had been commissioned to carry to the new settlements cattle, horses, rabbits, doves, sheep, hogs, and herbs that did not exist in America. These rumors, obviously, envisioned a massive Dutch colonization effort. More disturbing news followed. In November, 1614, the king was informed that the rebellious provinces were equipping a fleet of sixty sails bound for the West Indies. The main goal of this armada was to be Cuba, especially the town of Havana. Information the next year calculated the naval strength of Holland and Zeeland at seventyone men-of-war. Another fifteen ships were being built.54 Puerto Rico was now added as a second goal. At least two thousand pieces of artillery were allegedly being cast in Rotterdam and Amsterdam, with Swedish bronze. The disquieting news then reached Spain that a Dutch fleet was patrolling the Pacific. These rumors were not exactly calculated to reassure the Spaniards about the peaceful in tentions of their former subjects. And they continued. In 1619 it was said that the Zeelanders had been eyeing the Amazon. The Spanish king was so convinced of the truth of this rumor that he ordered the authorities in the New World to keep a special watch in that area. Since the Spaniards had seen Dutch accomplishments in the East, they knew that the United Provinces were only biding time until they could duplicate their achievement in the West. Spain also realized that, in spite of the yearly arrival of the silver fleets, her treasury was chronically empty. Indeed, the once powerful monarchy provided, from a political and economic point of view, a striking example of exploitation and corruption which had neither goals nor stimulation. Spain's intolerant fanaticism and bigoted piety, combined with her mediocre leadership,

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8* had resulted in a foreign policy strangled by "an awkward timidity in thought" inspired by fear.5 5 Rigid governmental control suffocated all initiative. In her colonies, however, Spain continued for some time to be served by some fine governors. But in spite of many honest and incorruptible men, her colonial system was degenerating into whole sale exploitation of silver and gold mines, clear proof that she had lost sight of the real richness of the New World, its natural resources, as Usselinx had pointed out. The country itself had little industry that could supply colonial needs, and its shipping facilities decreased constantly. It is not easy to explain this "structure of the decrease"s6 satisfactorily. Although privateering had hurt the Iberians, it was certainly not the only or most important factor that caused the decline of their peninsula. Perhaps it was the fact that the great forces which had driven them at the outset had simply worn out. When even Seville finally admitted that the West Indies were no longer a Spanish monopoly, Madrid was still planning to fight to maintain it. It is doubtful whether, when the Truce was drawing to a close and Spain realized that it would not be renewed, the prospects derived from this knowledge had something to do with her decline. What Pierre Chaunu calls "the great depression"the years between 1622 and 16^0had begun even before the Truce had expired. A new era opened up for Spain only at the end of the war with the Dutch, and with the conclusion of a naval treaty between the former belligerents against their common foe France.57 By 1620 the Spaniards realized that they could not afford a renewal of hostilities. The country was already involved in the Thirty Years' War, the treasury was empty, and the Portuguese possessions in the Far East were gone with their rich revenues. Out of sheer necessity and desperation Spain set out to obtain a prolongation of the Truce. The king appointed a committee under Ambrosio Spinola to study its possibilities.s8 This committee proposed that His Majesty should insist on an amelioration of the position of Catholics in the United Provinces andmirabile dictuprohibit Dutch intrusion into the West Indies. A somewhat more realistic approach, however, was provided by Philip's Scottish advisor William Semple. As early as December, 1619, he suggested the formation of four squadrons to attack and destroy Dutch shipping in the North Sea, along the Iberian coast, at Gibraltar, and in the Pacific. Semple also suggested that the king authorize his naval commanders to commit privateering on the Dutch, the Hanseats, and the

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86 Action had to be taken quickly. The English had given Raleigh permission to equip an expedition to the Orinoco, and the Dutch were said to be planning an attack on Havana. In 1620 the Council of the Indies sent a memorial to the king which declared: "Given the situa tion in Germany, England, and Holland ... only a small cause will be needed for the Dutch to forget what still is left of the truce, and for the English to end the peace."60 Philip responded by ordering the reinforcement of the garrisons at Santiago de Cuba, Santo Domingo, and San Juan de Puerto Rico, and by equipping a fleet of twenty ships, while reorganizing Spain's military forces in the Southern Netherlands. His hope was that this show of strength would make the northern provinces more reasonable. It did not. The peace party there had lost its spokesman. Contra-Remonstrantism meant orthodoxy and war. A last effort to bring the rebellious provinces back to their "natural princes" was undertaken in 1621 by Archduke Albert, "tottering on his last legs." But the archduke's proposals were intolerable to the North because they threw doubt on the sovereignty of Their High Mightinesses.61 Yet to resume the war was, for the Dutch, a courageous decision. After the death of van Oldenbarnevelt, they no longer enjoyed close relations with France, and England's jealousy was still more depend able than her aid. Then, too, the recent victories of the Catholic League in Germany had strengthened the Spanish position. But the war was resumed. The Dutch Council of State, at the end of the Truce, sent a circular letter to the provincial governments advising them to prepare themselves for a renewal of hostilities.62 All merchants, sailors, and companies were warned at the same time. What now occupied the Dutch was best formulated by de Laet in the introduction to his Yearly Account: "... in what way they could inflict damage on that powerful enemy ... and take away from him the American treasuries, or make them useless to him, with which he has battered for such a long time the whole of Christianity and kept it continuously in unrest. "63 Under this religious and economic banner, the war was renewed. The man in the street was tired of the Truce, the Contra-Remonstrants were against it, and many merchants were opposed to a continuation. Multis utile helium. The Spaniards understood what the renewed war meant to their possessions in the West. Their rebellious subjects would cross the Atlantic en masse, organized under a new and powerful company. They would also have all the necessary information and the requested experience. Their goals would be clearly defined and best expressed

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87 by Usselinx: "to cut the great artery of the King of Spain" and "to enrich all the inhabitants and enlarge the State. "6* Now there was no longer any question about the foundation of a West India Company. Frederick V, known to history as the "Winter King," hoped that the renewal of the war would distract Spain from her efforts in Germany and thus end his exile in The Hague. He advised Their High Mightinesses that "he would like to see the West India Company progress. "65 Usselinx redoubled his influential efforts. In 162o, a year before the Truce would end, the States General gave way to pressures from Zeeland. Dierick Ruyters and others, who were mainly Zeelanders, asked permission "to attack those who at tacked them first, but also those who tried to put obstacles in their navigation and trade in such places in the West Indies where the King of Spain did not possess effective power. "66 Happy with the prospects of profit, Amsterdam joined Zeeland. The West Frisian towns of Hoorn, Enkhuizen, and Medemblik, however, were not pleased. A renewed war would create a monop olistic institution that would threaten their lucrative salt trade.67 The directors of the powerful East India Company worked also against the foundation of the new institution which they could see only as a competitor despite the difference in the areas of operation. But these opponents were in the minority. Clearly, the new company was coming. In March, 1620, a draft for a charter was provisionally approved by the States General.68 A final decision, however, was postponed for some time because of difficulties between Amsterdam and the towns of the Northern Quarter. While the parties argued, the representa tive of Morocco, Joseph Pallacho, arrived with an offer from his sultan to place at the disposal of the Dutch a harbor in his country where much salt was availablea proposition that would settle the salt disputes. But these proposals met with little enthusiasm. The main problem which postponed the foundation of the new company was whether the salt trade was to be included in the monop oly or not. The West Frisian towns were firmly set against it, since salt was their most important revenue. In the end, the decision was placed in the hands of Prince Maurits. He offered a compromise: the salt was to be excluded from the new monopoly for the time being. Thus the West India Company was founded. "Take up your task," said Their High Mightinesses, with the help of God, that has never failed us. The proffered support of the High and Mighty Lords of the States General will always be at your disposal, the advice and succour of Prince Maurits you will always have at hand. Your own experience

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88 will not be of small importance. The knowledge of all kind of things was brought to you generously: yes, even the prophesies of a chronicler in Mexico, that those coun tries will be shortly ruled by people with yellow beards, tall of stature, who, as soon as they will be taken away from the Spaniards, will serve to your advantage.... The Lord may give you good success.6' The renewal of the war against Spain now saw two mighty companies in possession of such immense monopolies that they seemed to have divided the world again, as had happened before at Tordesillas. This time, however, it was not the papal authority that sanctified the partition, but instead the doctrines of John Calvin. For the glory of God and for His elect, the world was now to be divided between the Dutch East and the Dutch West India Companies.

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89 5 THE RISE OF A BRILLIANT STAR Herculeas ultra extulit columnas. Ioannes de Laet, with overwhelming enthusiasm, begins his Yearly Account of the activities of the West India Company with the following eulogy: Among all the miraculous virtues that have been performed in our time by the State of these United Provinces in terms of the maintenance of the true religion and the protection of our liberty, directed against the King of Spain, I thought to be very remarkable the performances of the Chartered West India Company, and too, be cause this company, with little power and only a small burden to the State, with money raised by a small number of subjects of this State, has performed so well that the whole world has been awed while Spain's haughtiness has had to give in.1 A mere perusal of the chronicle covering the first sixteen years of operation of the Dutch West India Company will reveal the outlines of an institution far removed from the dreams of William Usselinx. Indeed, what had been created had all the inherent qualities of a bellicose organization. The warlike bias of the company was frank and deliberate, because it was motivated by the exigencies of a long and hazardous struggle with Spain. The charter had been issued only a short two months after the Truce had expired. With its issuance, Contra-Remonstrantism rose like a young David in pursuing an energetic resumption of hostilities against the foreign Goliath. The rationale which had led Their High Mightinesses to support the foundation of an East India Companyto promote unity and regularity in navigation to and trade with those far countries, to prevent quarrels and competition between the mer chants, and to fight the hereditary enemy without the direct involve ment of the governmentprompted recognition of the West India Company as well. Among the motives for its eager acceptance was the expectation that the new company would "remove the resources which Philip IV, King of Spain and Portugal, drew from his American and African possessions. "2

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9 Promoters of the company called it "a beautiful shining star," and it soon became "the pride of the Contra-Remonstrant party. "3 Unlike the East India Company, the new organization did not have any predecessors in its field, nor was its existence the result of the merger of smaller competing units. It is true that two older institutions, the Guinea Company and the New Netherland Company, had worked within the limits set out by the wic charter, but both had been liq uidated well before 16 21. Although many of the shareholders of these two early companies had put their savings into the new company, Dutch possessions previously held in Africa and America were turned over to the wic as a direct result of provisions within the charter itself. According to that document, the territory of the wic was pre scribed as the west coast of Africa from the Tropic of Cancer to the Cape of Good Hope; the east and west coasts of America from Terra Nova (Newfoundland) to the Strait of Magellan, Le Maire, or other straits and passages, the Australian or Southlands which lay between the meridians that touched the Cape of Good Hope in the east and New Guinea in the west. In other, and shorter, words it was all that part of the world which was not specifically included in the charter of the East India Company.* The crucial difference between the two organizations evolved from the fact that the older company was mainly a trading institution. Although it maintained armed forces in order to defend essential strongholds and regions, the EIC had been founded for peaceful trade. The colonial empire it conquered in the course of two centuries did not contradict its main goal, namely, to secure a monopoly and a continuous delivery of raw materials.5 The wic, on the other hand, was designed primarily as an instru ment of war against Spain. This purpose permeated every decision and dictated every action, even when, as in 1623, the company delivered colonists and their families to New Netherland.6 The tache guerrifoetask of waralways came first. That cunning dip lomat and chronicler Lieuwe van Aitzema realized it, and upon the occasion of the company's foundation accurately observed that it had been created "to inflict losses on Spain. "7 Hence, from its very inception, the wic obeyed and duly con formed to the spirit of the times. As Andrews has pointed out already, trade and plunder in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were inseparable aspects of a common cause. The aims of trade were, in many cases, combined with those of privateering. They comprised together the principal occupations of the age, and attracted noblemen

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91 and beggars, rich merchants and criminals.8 In the Low Countries commerce and plunder were gradually adjusted to meet the demands of Protestantism and patriotism to such a degree that they became indistinguishable. It was an identification particularly well suited for the Dutch. It had become evident even before the turn of the sixteenth century. Although the partnership had been briefly absolved during the Truce, it blossomed forth anew when war was resumed. One other reason for the advent of this relationship, and likely to increase its scope, was the element of democracy which is inherent in any definition of privateering per se. The Dutch, especially, were faithful adherents of the doctrine of democracy. Calvinism promoted it in its church organization. In effect, it permitted any man before the mast to aspireand to riseto higher ranks. Even the most exalted posts, those of admiral or governor, were not precluded from the visions of ordinary seamen. The Dutch West India Company was founded upon two bases: the reluctance of the national government to extend the war beyond the line, and the readiness of its merchants to accept the burden of a full-scale combat as a Protestant and patriotic duty. Of course, one should not underestimate the profit-making motive which channeled, indeed legalized, anti-Spanish sentiment, robbery, and raiding. In other words, the wic gave every man a chance to strike at the heredi tary enemy on his own account and to make profits in the process. It also alleviated a heavy burden that had reluctantly been carried by the government up until then. Thus the wic, much more than the sister organization, became a true vehicle for national feeling. A private person, on his own, moreover, would have been no match in a war against Spain. Intervention by the government was thought to be indispensable, not only for financial reasons but also to give the undertaking a respectable, official facade which would keep it from degenerating into sheer piracy. In this context, then, the wic became a tool in the hands of the States General, a pliable instrument for renewing the war without running the added risk of incurring official vulnerability. Although both the East and West India Companies saw profit as their main objects, there was a marked difference in their respective approaches to the fulfillment of this goal. Gains were sought by trade in the East, aided by force if necessary, whereas in the West profit came from privateering. The wic's task, consequently, was the more hazardous one to carry out. In addition to presuming that privateering would net great profit, the company was also faced with the irre concilable premise that an organization which had been founded as a

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92 war instrument could survive peace. As a matter of fact, the wic became an anachronism as soon as peace with Spain was concluded, although this fact was not always apparent until much later.9 In theory, the new company was a constitutional body incorporated by, and under the auspices of, Their High Mightinesses, and it was to be financed through stocks bought and sold on the open market. The corporate structure combined some aspects of the East India Company together with the suggestions which William Usselinx had proposed at an earlier date. Its charter, or constitution, which was entirely in keeping with a still vigorous feudal tradition, carefully enumerated sovereign prerogatives in order to avoid future mis understanding.10 These rights were specified as privileges, licenses, and exemptions. In 1628, a memorial to the States General expressed the company's expectations that a liberal interpretation be made of the rights stipulated in the charter. As a corporate body, the new company was divided into five chambers which were, in order of their importance, Amsterdam, Zeeland, the Maas, the Northern Quarter (the West Frisian towns), and Town and CountryStadt en Lande (the provinces of Groningen and Friesland). Each chamber had its own directors who were ap pointed by the members of the Provincial States or by the official deputies and town councils. In addition, those provinces, districts, or towns which were not represented had a right to purchase a seat in one of the chambers for each 100,000 guilders they invested in the company. Out of the total delegatesthere were seventy-four in 1621an executive board of eighteen directors was picked, Amster dam choosing eight, Zeeland four, and the other three chambers two each. Its nineteenth member was appointed by the States General as its personal representative. Called the Heren xix, or simply the xix, these nineteen directors operated under a mandate from and were directly responsible to their sovereign the States General. Besides furnishing the company with semi-official character, privateering as well as other activities were thus subjected to approval by the highest executive and legislative institution in the United Provinces.11 In order to discuss problems related to the central administration of the wic, the Heren xix were to meet alternately at Amsterdam for six years and at Middelburg (Zeeland's capital) for two. They re ceived no fixed salaryalthough Usselinx had strongly recommended thisbut instead earned 1 per cent on all outgoing and incoming goods except gold and silver from which they received 1/2 per cent. Us selinx had rightly feared that this system would create a fertile soil for corruption, a fact which had been demonstrated by the sad experience

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93 of the Heren xvn in the East India Company. Instead of abrogating the entire scheme, however, restrictions on the personal conduct of the xix were set forth which stipulated that neither trade with nor within the company would be permitted to them. These restrictions were marked improvements over the previous arrangements within the EIC, as time was to show later on. Rather than simply being ad monished to be honest, the wic directors were fully accountable to their respective chambers; their property and belongings, on the other hand, could not be seized for company debts. In the Chamber of Amsterdam, a director was required to have invested at least six thousand guilders in the company; in the other chambers the minimum had been set at four thousand. Although anyone could buy wic shares and thus become a shareholder or participant, only those who had invested the above sums, the so-called head-participants, were eligible to become directors. Tenure of office on the xix extended over six years, after which one-third of its members were forced to resign. The turnover took place every two years thereafter. Openings were filled from a select list prepared by the directors and head-participants in consultation with provincial and municipal authorities. Although this procedure does not appear very democratic by twentieth-century standards, it did seem to provide the adequate check on management that had been so sadly missing in the charter of the East India Company.12 Loose and disjointed as this structure may seem, the organization of the wic to a considerable extent reflected the system of decentral ized rule which was characteristic of the United Provinces, since both were feeble unions of nearly autonomous units. Contrary to Usselinx' original proposals, however, the control of the company was vested in the governing body of the Heren xix, although the wide powers conferred on the directors by the charter ultimately depended on maintaining the goodwill of the States General and of the five chambers. Yet Their High Mightinesses also exercised a considerable degree of supervision through the director whom they nominated to the xix. He had the decisive vote in their meetings, but his association with the official ruling party was even more important. The sovereign still retained certain of the regalia maiora and commanded the subsidies without which, in the waning years after 1630, the company might well have floundered. The original charter issued to the wic had a duration of twenty-four years, for which period the company was granted a monopoly on navigation and trade. The European countries and waters were excluded, as was the salt trade on Punta de Araya, mainly because of

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94 the opposition of the West Frisian towns (see Chapter vi). The charter further authorized the company to make contracts and treaties in the name of the States General with "princes and natives" en countered abroad. The company could also build forts, supply fortifications, appoint governors and other officials, and hire soldiers. In all matters, of course, it was expressly stipulated that the States General be informed of company activities. All appointed civil authorities were required to swear their allegiance both to the company and to the States General; officers and soldiers, moreover, had to take an oath to the Prince of Orange. To alleviate the wic's oppressing financial burden, export and import cargoes carried aboard company ships were exempt from taxation during the first eight years of operation. In addition, the States General agreed to subsidize its tool of war with 200,000 guilders annually for the first five years, or 1,000,000 guilders. The door was left wide open for the government to intervene with even more substantial aid once the company became involved in active combat. Beyond this powerful monetary endorsement, the States General also offered to lend sixteen men-of-war of at least three hundred tons and four yachts of eighty tons, on the condition that the company would provide a matching complement of ships." Even though the States General was the most important stockholder, it was willing, nevertheless, to accept only half of future dividends. As was observed before, the charter of the wic gave the govern mentat least on papera definite measure of influence in the management of the West India Company, a point which had been warmly advocated by Usselinx.1* Unlike their East Indian counter part, the Heren xix always had to reckon with the opinion of the States General, and no decision could be made without previously consulting the governmental echelon. Independent action was vastly discouraged, and all inter-company correspondence had to be sub mitted to the government for official approval. The notorious financial scandals that had rocked the EIC were likewise taken into consider ation in issuing the sister charter since provisions against similar abuses were already provided for. In matters of daily routine, however, the burgher-oligarchy of the xix was, to a considerable extent, un hampered by these theoretical considerations, and it ruled almost supreme. Although the government was thus the instigator of the new organization and delegated to it a major share of the war with Spain, the merchant community in the Low Countries was certainly less than eager to commit itself outright to such an unprecedented task

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9S and, for some time, entertained serious doubts about the advantages and possibilities of the enterprise. As a result of such considerations, it was not until late in 16 2 3two full years after the company shares had been put on the market for the first timethat the necessary minimum investment of seven million guilders seemed realizable. Their High Mightinesses were tireless in their efforts to reach local justices and magistrates asking them "to give the inhabitants of these Low Countries a good example by pledging themselves courageously and liberally. "IS The Provincial States followed this action by sending letters to their subjects which represented the wic as conducive "to considerable service, benefit and decency" of the United Netherlands.16 In the more important towns, campaigns promoted subscriptions; for instance, posters were displayed which urged "all princes, gentlemen an d republicans, noble and private persons, without distinction of quality or condition, living within these United Netherlands or outside" to sign up. Added to this candid advertisement was the subtle inducement that the directors of the company "would be chosen from the most capable, experienced, and subscribing participants."17 In spite of these earnest endeavors, however, the sub scription rate did not proceed as desired, and the period of invest ment, which was originally set to end in July, 1623, was necessarily extended.18 It was, perhaps, a bad time to be asking for money. In the same year in which the wic was incorporated, the East India Company became embroiled in serious trouble because of flaming quarrels between its directors and a group of investors known as the doleerende participanten (complaining participants). The latter especially criti cized the high-handed methods of the Heren xvn, the ruling board of the EIC, their secret resolutions, and their irregular declaration of dividends. A pamphleteering campaign was launched on these and other burning issues which everybody talked about.19 This situation invariably reverberated on the financing of the new company also. It was all very well for Usselinx, the untiring propagandist for the wic, to say that it was the duty of every good Calvinist to bring the true religion to American shores, but the average Dutch investor saw the company as a bad risk. He based his opinion, with justification it seems, on the irresponsibility shown by the earlier corporate ex perience in the East. Furthermore, though there had been some trade with the West Indies and Brazil before the Truce, this kind of com merce had soon degenerated and rendered only minimum profits during the years of temporary peace with Spain. Many people doubted that trade in the West could ever be revived, especially since

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96 war was the avowed object of the wic. In the minds of the conserv ative Dutch, rich profits seemed an unlikely result from privateering. Usselinx, who had already predicted the slow process of monetary pledges, submitted several memorials and requests to the States General. Although he offered to assist in the general fund-raising, for one reason or another, his good intentions were steadfastly ignored.20 Other people, however, did take up his cue as is demon strated by the abundant number of pamphlets written with the special purpose of persuading people to invest, "to encourage the Patriots to a generous contribution to the chartered West India Company." One of these emphasized the obvious advantages and then described in glowing terms the inevitable profits of participation: navigation to the West Indies required only six weeks in contrast to the thirty or forty weeks for the same journey to the East, wic ships, consequently, would be able to make many more trips than EIC ships. Another pamphlet pointed out that Spain had become a world power because of her West Indian possessions, a position which, before long, the United Provinces, in collaboration with the wic, was destined to occupy. Such a pamphlet under the inspiring title Vivid Discussion, and presumably written by "a lover of the Fatherland, "2I drew attention to the following interesting items: on an annual basis, the Guinea coast employed 20 ships and 400 men and netted a profit of 1,200,000 guilders. Punta de Araya was visited yearly by 100 ships and 1,800 men, and it produced 1,000,000 guilders in gold. The hide trade with Cuba and Hispaniola occupied 20 ships and 0 men and netted 800,000 guilders. Lastly, the Brazilian trade provided a yearly average of 40,000 to ,000 chests of sugar, and since each chest was valued at 120 guilders, the total value was at least, therefore, 4,800,000 guilders in gold. Vivid Discussion rightly alleged that the famed riches of the West lay not in gold and silver per se but were to be derived instead from commodities. To convince the Dutch textile manufacturer to invest in the wic, the author of these inflammatory pages also shrewdly suggested that by converting the natives to Christianity, which was, after all, a cause close to the Calvinist's heart, the demand for cloth, to cover the former pagan's shameful nakedness, would undergo some spectacular changes. In this and in many other ways people were sold on the idea of investing in the novel company. Actual contributors, however, continued to be few in number. Despite all these determined efforts to glorify and propagandize the advantages of overseas trade, priva teering, and colonization, much more than words was needed to

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97 separate the cautious Dutchman from his guilders. Even the fact that the States General was pumping one million into the company failed to offer an inducement for investors. This slow progress preoccupied Their High Mightinesses to a considerable degree, as the minutes of their meetings so clearly illustrate. The decision which they finally reached was to stimulate participation and increase investments by increasing the prospect of higher and surer profits. This meant the inclusion in the company's charter of the profitable salt trade of Punta de Araya. Despite much West Frisian objection, the salt trade was included in the wic by an official decree of June, 1622.22 The many difficulties that developed from this decision will be dealt with presently (see Chapter vi). In its initial effect, however, the move did cause a substantial boom in investment money. Among the investing speculators were, first of all, great merchants like Balthazar Cooymans, the brothers Samuel and Daniel Godin, Laurens Reaal, and Pieter de Graeff. Second, many other people, from all classes in life, were now likewise attracted: ministers of the Dutch Reformed Church, accountants, bookkeepers, knifemakers, pharmacists, jewelers, tailors, sheriffs, housewives, and maidservants, anyone, indeed, who was eager for quick gain. Much more so than the East India Company, the wic had suddenly become a popular investment object, especially for the little man. Foreign contributions were also substantial. The sums ranged from the 36,000 guilders put up by the Prince of Anhalt to the many small pledges of not more than go guilders, which were attributable to housewives and maidservants, payable in three installments.23 Even a partial examination of investors reveals at once that the wic was very much a creation of popular Contra-Remonstrantism. While the EIC consisted mainly of a society of wealthy oligarchsthe so-called regent classthe wic had more support at lower levels. Around a small group of responsible members, the head-participants, there was a large and anonymous class of shareholders. Although these investors had no voice in the management of the joint stock enterprise, they were devoted and in many cases active members of the Dutch Reformed Church, and saw the war against Roman Catholicism and Spain as a religious duty by which they could serve both God and the interests of their purses.2* Investments were not always on a purely voluntary basis since pressures of various kinds were occasionally exerted in order to enforce participation. The Utrecht Chapter of the Dutch Reformed Church, for instance, contributed under protest. In Rotterdam, the

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98 chief town in the Chamber of the Maas, there was likewise a con spicuous lack of enthusiasm. The city council there found it necessary to resort to certain devious measures in order to assure the coopera tion of its own directors. A committee of subscription was specifically designated and recruited from among its local members. The names on the list indicate the kind of people who were willing to step forward in the battle for wic funds: Nicolaes Puyck, burgomaster and merchant; Cornelis Corneliszoon Jongeneel, merchant; Dirck Pieterszoon van der Veen, merchant and sailmaker; Joost Adriaenszoon van Coulster, brewer and former skipper in the merchant marine; Jan Franszoon de Vries, merchant; and Jan Gilleszoon Poppe, wine vendor. But in spite of these tentative thrusts, only 4,300,000 guilders of the required 7,000,000 had been received by the end of 1623, when, in 1624, in return for a directorship whose duration was co-extensive with the charter of the company, Francois Aerssen van Sommelsdijk donated a magnificent sum on behalf of the Chamber of the Maas. Other towns like Deventer, Arnhem, and Zwolle, without representa tion themselves, soon followed this stimulating example and in vestedalthough somewhat hesitantlytheir burghers' hard-earned savings.25 Thus the sluggish and phlegmatic attitude of potential investors, which had prevailed until the salt trade of Punta de Araya was incorporated in the charter, dissappeared almost completely, and the new institution found itself finally on a solid financial basis. In Amsterdam, the cradle of the company and the town which was expected to benefit most from the new enterprise, subscriptions proceeded more smoothly. The sole reasons for this exemplary conduct were the eighty-three head-participants who gave the city an important voice in the conduct of company affairs. From among the latter the city-fathers appointed twenty directors, while there were eight Amsterdammers on the Heren xix. From the very start, therefore, Amsterdam played a pivotal role in the company, and unhesitatingly plunged into a venture whose outcome was shrouded in uncertainty, by providing one-third of the initial capital needed.26 Because of this calculated gesture by Amsterdam to gain for itself the upper hand in the new company, an intense rivalry between this chamber and Zeeland was inevitable. It was not long in coming into the open. Since Zeelanders had been the most enthusiastic pioneers of colonization on the Wild Coast, that chamber, operating within the company, jealously guarded its prerogatives in the area from en croachment by the vigorous contender. Fortunately for Zeeland, the Amsterdam Chamber was more interested in North America, although

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99 their respective interests did compete in the Caribbean. The friction between those two chambers was exactly the kind that Usselinx had feared and against which he had warned so unflaggingly. It was also the very reason why he had urged Their High Mightinesses themselves to assume supreme command of the company. The competition between Amsterdam and Zeeland was further exacerbated by the contradictory goals which the company professed to achieve. Although it had willfully taken up the risk of war in African and American waters, it simultaneously desired peaceful settlements in those areas which were claimed by the Spanish king. Article n of the charter, for instance, authorized the company to promote "the population of fertile and uninhabited areas," yet coloni zation was always a secondary consideration despite Zeeland's en thusiasm. It only gained in importance after peace with Spain had been concluded. In addition to the problems of slow subscription and West Frisian opposition to the incorporation of the salt trade into the charter (see Chapter vi), the company encountered many other obstacles. First, the town of Dordrecht clamored for its own chamber, but the charter stipulations made this desire impossible. Then there was trouble between the head-participants and the directors: the former accused the latter of committing irregularities and complained about their lack of influence in the management of the company. The States General, in an arrangement made in February, 1623, tried to straighten this situation out by granting certain rights to unsatisfied head-participants, i.e., a voice in the selection of directors. The concession was an unimportant one, and it came too late to alterat least for five yearsthe terms of office for the present directors; the balance of power within the company had already been set. It was agreed, however, that the first two vacated seats in the Chambers of Amster dam and Zeeland and the first one in the Chamber of the Maas would be occupied by an appointee of the head-participants. It was further conceded that one of the eight directors of Amsterdam, who was also a member of the xix, had to be a head-participant nominee. Another amendment which the States General accepted forbade any individual from being a director in the wic and the EIC at the same time; even close relatives could not serve as directors in the two companies simultaneously.2? Further difficulties with the Chamber of the Maas were the next item on the wic's agenda. Because of the strong influence of Dor drecht in that Chamber, a request was submitted to allow the Maas

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IOO three representatives on the xix, instead of the two hitherto author ized. The charter once again frustrated Dordrecht's hopes. Surviving records of the discussions and deliberations amongst the xix indicate how seriously this issue was taken by both parties. Other problems abounded. Before long, counterfeit shares were dumped on the market, and the wic, with the full support of the States General, had to be protected against them. Many placards against these forgeries were issued from time to time, which is evidence that the evil was never effectively rooted out.28 In 1624, moreover, the government approached the Heren xix with a proposal that it merge with prospective French and English companies with similar aims. Although the idea of combination was not altogether foreign to Dutch experienceat the end of the Truce, for instance, the Dutch and English East India Companies had been united for some timethe answer of the wic was an emphatic "No! "2' Another predicament which harassed the wic was the high costs of the huge preparations undertaken for the Brazilian expeditions in 1623 and 1624. Taken together with the equipment for two smaller expeditions, these costs forced the company to request an increase in capital of 0 per cent. The States General consented to this increase without question. 30 Among the bitternesses which Usselinx had had to bear, un doubtedly the heaviest was the fact that the charter of the wic had so little to say either about the colonization or the Christianization of the regions to be conquered. This omission is even more remarkable when one reflects that the wic was the creation of Contra-Remonstrantism, to be used specifically as a tool against Catholic Spain. Hoorn's protest against the inclusion of the salt trade in the charter was overruled, for instance, purportedly because of the town's sympathies to the Arminian cause. One finds many familiar names among the first wic directors. 31 There was, first of all, Ioannes de Laet, the company's first chronicler and an eyewitness to many important events in those early years. Another notable figure was Samuel Blommaert, who was, like de Laet, from the Southern Netherlands. Blommaert had been in the East Indies, and he knew Africa well. He had also participated in the New Netherland enterprise. Other illustrious personages include the shipowner Samuel Godijn, the merchant Albert Coenraets Burgh, the jeweler Kiliaen van Rensselaer, and Michael Pauw, a member of the city council of Amsterdam. Among the Zeelandian directors, one finds Pieter Boudaen Courteen

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101 of the famous Anglo-Zeelandian Courteen firm, Jan de Moor, the Lampsins brothers, and Joost van der Hooghen, all merchants who had proven their worth many times over. The eminent van Pere family, a scion of which became the founder of a Zeelandian settle ment on the Wild Coast, was also intimately involved in the com pany's affairs. Not to be overlooked was Geleyn tenHaeff, burgomaster of Middelburg and an ardent advocate of colonization in the Guianas. In the Chamber of the Maas Dordrecht was represented by Cornelis van Beveren and Delft by Adriaen van der Goes. A relative of landsadvocate Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, Adriaen van der Dussen, also occupied a directorship. The West Frisian Chamber was represented by burgomasters among whom Boudewijn Hendricksz of Edam was the best known. When the war was renewed in 16 21, the wic became a spearhead in the struggle against Spain, not only on the seas where it earned an exhilarating naval record, but also in the more prosaic field of diplo macy. For all the fighting that soon started, peace talks with Spain opened immediately at the end of the Truce. These were continued intermittently until peace was finally concluded in 1648, and were thoroughly influenced by the two great monopolistic companies. In these negotiations each success and each defeat was weighed on the scale of diplomatic arguments to see whether it contributed to or detracted from the desired goal. Any formal attempt to analyze the interna tional position of the Dutch in the seventeenth century, therefore, cannot underestimate the major role which the Heren xvn and xix played in the diplomatic process. For the West India Company, the obstruction of these negotiations was a matter of survival and for more than twenty years it was successful in its efforts to stimulate a con tinuation of the war. It should never be forgotten that the xix rightly perceived that the end of the war was a threat to their very existence. The wic actually possessed very little of the enormous regions theoretically assigned to it. It controlled a small part of New Netherland, Fort Nassau, and two or three trading posts on the African coast. In the Guianas the Zeelanders had a few settlements, Essequibo being the most important one. These then were the circumstances under which the company decided to pay more than just lip service to the nucleus of its em bryonic empire. It decided to organize a system of government which would allow both a successful continuation of the war against the hereditary enemy and the pursuit of a policy of colonization. To these ends, two alternate but not necessarily mutually exclusive

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102 methods were adopted. In the first instance, the wic decided to provide its prospective settlers with free land overseas on the con dition that they conquer the area, subdue the natives, and raise the Dutch flag over the new territory. Second, the company could also choose to grant private patents to certain meritorious citizens or to corporations of citizens who would act as patrons. The patron system followed the general precedents as set by England and France, stand ards which, in turn, were derived from the Portuguese donatario system. The scheme had, in northern hands, evolved into a "pro prietary patent" whose "patron" was generally a rich merchant, or a group of merchants, organized in a company. The patent system was much like feudalism, i.e., the patron received title to a colony as if it were a fief and he had certain monop olies and political rights. In this way, a hierarchy of government was interposed between the individual subject and the company. The Heren xix or the respective chambers thus became an intermediate source of authority as well as a court of appeal in colonial affairs. All existing and future patronships were brought under the special supervision and jurisdiction of one of the chambers. The colonists were placed under obligation both to the company and to the patron according to a peremptory set of instructions laid down in the patent. An example of such a conditional grant is that given by the company to Abraham van Pere in 1627. He was author ized to occupy that part of the Wild Coast situated at the river Berbice.32 The patent further stipulated that van Pere was to bring sixty colonists to the region. Transportation would be provided by the company which charged the patron a price of fifty guilders for each person over sixteen years and twenty-five for all others. Although the company furnished artillery and munitions, indeed all provisions, the patron had the right to appoint the leader of the enterprise. The appointed head was responsible for all matters of government to gether with the distribution of justice, after his first taskthe construction of a forthad been accomplished. Under the leader's direction, the colonists were allowed to lay out their plantations wherever they wished within the limits of the patent, preferably near the fort. All navigation and trade between the colony and the United Provinces was to be done by the company. No other trade was permitted except with the natives, and all goods produced by the colonists had to be sold to the company at specified low prices. Lastly, the wic enjoyed a fifthcomparable to the quinto in the Spanish American possessionsof the value of any and all minerals discovered in the patent territory.

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*3 For some timeusually a few yearsthe colonists were exempted from any taxes on food or other daily commodities that had to be imported. They were forbidden to do any weavingthis was one instance in which the company consciously sought to protect industry in the Low Countriesbut ordinarily there was little insistence on curtailment of industry in the colonies. In marked contrast to their French and English counterparts, the Dutch settlers in the Guianas, for instance, were in no way prevented from building their own sugar mills. On the contrary, the company even promised to provide the necessary slaves for this industry. A s for the colonists' remaining needs, the patron was required to provide both a "visitor of the sick" and a "Bible reader," whose functions were comparable to a nurse and a teacher of religion. Although the Dutch Reformed religion was the only one originally permitted in the colony, gradually the Jews were quietly allowed to exercise their religion as is proven by several patents made out to Jewish colonists who were emigrating to the Guianas and Curacao. Furthermore, the colonists were expressly warned not to commit adultery with the Indian women since it was "atrocious to God and most hateful to the Indians." In short, the patron was responsible for all the colonial projects that were within the limits of his patent. In genera], the advantages for the patron were many, despite the fact that the wic had the last word. As a middleman, interpolated between the company and the colonists and backed by an exclusive monopoly on overseas trade, he was able to wring vast profits from both parties. The van Pere patent, mentioned before, was an amended edition of the one given to Jan de Moor some time earlier (see Appendix in). Provoked by necessity, the Heren xix had introduced changes specifically in order to promote the colonization of the Wild Coast and to make the venture more attractive to future settlers. The first expedition after 1621 was set up as a patronship under company auspices and was originally scheduled to comprise at least twenty families. The obvious intention was to bring women and children to the Guianas at this time. The article was, however, dropped in 1627. The "Conditions for Colonies adopted by the West India Company" continued to be amended several times but only in minor details. At home, many Dutchmen put all their hopes in these patronships and were doubly assured by the fact that their investments were protected by the highest authority in the land. Although the risks were plentiful, these shrewd merchants were all too willing to have a crack at such a novel kind of profit-making. As a matter of fact, the

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104 van Pere patent soon became so popular that it served as the imme diate precursor for two subsequent undertakings. Dutch colonization in New Netherland was instigated by a patronship as were some colonizing ventures in the Antilles and on the Wild Coast. Amsterdam had been most insistent in colonizing the former area; in the latter case it was the Zeelandian Chamber that had implemented a patronship which had already existed before the foundation of the company and which now was organized under its supervision. Sometimes patrons had ideas contrary to colonization, such as establishing bases for piracy and privateering, but upon discovery, the Heren xix quickly revoked their patents. The weakest link in the patron system soon proved to be the paramount matter of defense. Since neither the Spanish nor the Portuguese could tolerate the presence of others in the territory they solemnly considered to be their birthright, there was bound to be trouble. The Dutch expeditions, therefore, always went accompanied by ample military power, yet, ultimately, the responsibility for defense rested solely on the leader. Although all men above the age of sixteen were compelled to do military servicein those days all colonists were likewise soldiersnevertheless and in spite of elaborate precautions, the system did not always deter Iberian or Indian attacks. The patron, of course expected to collect interest on his investment in short order. Hence, from the outset the colonists were made to realize that it was their duty to develop a productive colony as soon as possible. Ordinarily, the first trip by the company's ships to bring colonists and supplies overseas produced virtually nothing in return cargoes. But by the second year they could be expected to return home laden with products from the farms and fields of the colony. According to an instruction given to the Zeelander Jan van Ryen in 1626, he and his associates would receive one-third of the net profit.33 The remainder found its way into the pockets of the company or its supervising chamber. In the administration of the colony, the leader, who was appointed by the patron with the approval of the chamber under whose auspices the colonizing venture was attempted, received the assistance of a council that was composed of the most prominent and best educated participants. This assembly had certain legislative powers, supervised commercial legislation, and also acted as a court. In the absence of a well-groomed and seasoned system of colonial law, the maritime code in force aboard the ships which brought the colonists to their new residence was temporarily transferred to land in order to cope with the new circumstances and to preserve law and order in the new territory.

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* As soon as the colony became established, the West India Company applied its orders and regulations.3* Although representing the Dutch merchant-oligarch class, the patrons nevertheless many times lacked the prerequisite funds to finance any large-scale enterprise over a long period of time. As a result, their enterprises were customarily fitted out by the wic on an installment plan. The xix levied the amount of money necessary for the venture from each chamber. Not infrequently one of the chambers itself would undertake a private expedition to that region in which it had a special interest. The ties which bound Amsterdam with New Netherland and Zeeland to the Caribbean were of this private nature. The States General supervised the activities of the company scru pulously and often summoned directors to The Hague for a personal report. When the Bay of All Saints was captured, for instance, Their High Mightinesses intervened immediately. On the spot they issued a set of regulations for the Brazilian conquest. Some years later they published an "Order of Government" which was to function as a guide for all regions already or anticipated to be under Dutch control. The right to issue such regulations was part of the regalia maiora which the States General had claimed as its prerogative from the outset. The Portuguese rebellion against Spain, which was launched in 1640, ushered in an era of crisis for the wic. The subsequent loss of Brazil followed by the English conquest of New Netherland made public the fact of the wic's decline. These circumstances sharply curtailed its decision-making power because the States General in creasingly began to interfere in company resolutions and eventually forced the Heren xix to accept a purely subordinate and menial position. No longer did the company equip expeditions except those strictly authorized and financed by the government. After 1640 it deteriorated from a mighty war instrument into an ordinary smuggling and slave-trading organization. Yet these first twenty years were proud years for the company. Virtually on its own, it was able to wage an offensive war against Spain in which the tremendous energy and indefatigable perseverance of its sponsors were well rewarded despite the overwhelming odds. From the outset, Spain had ample cause to fear it and to view the formidable development of its strength with suspicion and alarm. Indeed, even before the wic had commissioned its first ship, rumors of possible attacks in Spain's enormous American domain circulated in Madrid, causing panic in the court and sleepless nights for the king's ministers. They realized only too well the vulnerability and weakness

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io6 of their colonial empire, and they trembled for the safety of the treasure fleets. They were terribly aware that capture of the fleets would be a double calamity, because Spain would be deprived of her lifeblood and her European power position would be paralyzed, while at the same time an enriched West India Company would be a more dreadful opponent than ever. The ambiguity of its goals did not keep the wic from ambitiously aspiring to a major role in international affairs. Despite serious financial setbacks in the thirties, the company continued to expand its colonies and strongholds in Africa and America until 1640, and to maintain its initial vigorous thrust. The high point in this part of its career perhaps came when Peg-leg Jol successfully invaded Sao Paulo de Luanda and Sao Thome. These resounding victories, however, were only a small part of the many hostilities directed against Spain on a scale hitherto unknown in history.35 The Caribbean, which the Dutch salt carriers and smugglers had up to now visited only in a desultory way, became for twenty years the hunting ground for hundreds of Dutch ships, most of which belonged to the wic or were commissioned by one of its chambers. Those Dutchmen who dared to interfere with its monopoly, the so-called interlopers, were threat ened by the government with confiscation and other punishment.36 During the first period of its charter, which lasted until 1647, company revenues were largely derived from privateering; a mere one-third of its profits were traceable to peaceful trade, smuggling, and salt-carrying. In those first years, then, privateering took care of almost all company expenses. For this purpose two sets of books were kept: one accounted for legitimate or illegitimate trade, the other larger one covered the remaining more forcefully tainted entries. Article XLII of the charter carefully prescribed what was to be done when prizes were taken: the company could claim "necessary expenses," the Prince of Orange received his "righteous part" (10 per cent), and the crew of the victorious ship received another righteous part of 1 o per cent of the total net value. The surplus went into the company treasury. Part of this was eventually paid to the stockholders or participants in the company as dividends; the rest was used to outfit other ships and new expeditions, to pay company officials in Africa, America, and at home, and to maintain company trading posts, forts, and garrisons. In case of such an unexpected windfall as Piet Heyn's capture of the Spanish Silver Fleet, extra dividends were paid. Be cause of its one-million-guilder investment, the States General was

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IOJ entitled, as was every other stockholder, to the full dividend paid out by the xix. In Article xxxix, however, it renounced this right in favor of accepting only half of the dividend dueanother means of subsidy. As has been pointed out various times before, the West India Com pany was less a commercial enterprise than its East Indian relative, and peaceful trade never really became important until after the renewal of its charter in 1647, when the company was ushered into what de Laet called "the advantageous trade in Blacks." Doubtless, the fur trade in New Netherland also offered many opportunities, as did the trade in gold and elephant teeth from the Gold Coast. These more conventional possibilities, however, were never fully appreci ated. After the conquest of northern Brazil and during the governor ship of Count Johan Maurits, when the company might have exploited many products from that region, it only showed interest in sugar and brazilwood and evidenced no desire whatsoever in following up the fortuitous chance to develop the new colony. This option would have involved peace and colonization plus the wherewithal to exclude every other country from dealing with the settlements. Based on its experience and that of all colonizing European nations, the wic directors were fully aware that rampant smugglingat the expense of the Dutch this timewould be the inevitable result of such a venture. For this very reason they preferred war and privateering. The company's experience in war and privateering suggests that it used its monopoly in quite a different manner from the EIC. More than the latter, the wic showed no reluctance to license private entrepreneurs for purposes of trade, smuggling, and piracy within the physical limits of its charter. The geographical imperative forced the wic to relinquish certain rights and to loosen the rigorous mainte nance of its monopoly even in the farthest corners of its extended domain. Rather than presenting opportunities for dodging its charter, it allowed private individualsat a so-called recognition feeto trade, smuggle, and privateer in areas not de facto occupied by its settlements, forts, or trading posts.37 Many Amsterdam merchants, especially, profited from this accomodation. A regular and rewarding navigation to the Gulf of Mexico sprang up, instigated by the fact that the area proved to be an extremely valuable market for Dutch linen. The islands of St. Christopher (or St. Kitts) and Tortuga, the latter located north of Hispaniola, were indeed converted into way stations for these private entrepreneurs. After 1640, the Lesser Antilles gradually became almost exclusively dependent on this kind of licensed trader who even built warehouses on many of these islands, before English

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io8 Navigation Laws and Colbert's West India policy tried to suppress the trade. Dutertre mentions a fire on the island of Martinique in which 60 Dutch warehouses were burned with losses to these merchants of more than 200,000 livres. And a declaration of the governor of Barbados, Francis Lord Willoughby, issued in 16 i thanked the Dutch for their past help and assured them that "they may continue if they please, all freedom of commerce and traffic with us." This offers but another example of Dutch activities and the significance of this type of enterprise permitted by the West India Company.38 These licensed traders and privateers did not, of course, always respect the areas which the company reserved for itself, and many commanders of its fleets and squadrons, Jol for instance, complained bitterly about the competition. One particular problem was posed by New Holland or Dutch Brazil, an area which the company strin gently claimed to hold exclusively, but which it regularly failed to provide with essentials. The inhabitants of this settlement tirelessly sent complaint after complaint to the xix and to the States General, and serious discussions were soon heard about whether the company should or should not abrogate its monopoly there. As early as 1630, with the conquest of Pernambuco's Olinda, the States General had indicated its approval of an open policy for Brazil, retaining for the Heren xix the right to extract a "recognition" fee from every merchant eager to encroach upon this trade. But actual free trade did not come until a few years later. In 1632 the Caribbean was thrown open to any Dutchman who was willing to run the risk of an encounter with the Spaniards without the security of governmental endorsement. In addition to providing his ship with proper armament and ammunition, this same merchant was also expected to hand over 20 per cent of his hard-earned net profits.39 It should likewise be mentioned that once this open trade policy came into effect, any and all merchants, Dutch, Portuguese, and Jewish, were allowed to operate under licenses issued by the wic. This "free" enterprise could be carried on, in addition to the pay ment of the "recognition" fee, under the following conditions: the captains had to pledge their word that they would respect the persons and properties of inhabitants of the United Provinces and their allies; they had to pay homage to the officials of the company; and they had to provide aid or bring themselves under the flag of the company's naval commanders when and wherever requested. Further, their cargoes had to be brought to company warehouses and sold there. In order to assure compliance in all these matters, each ship leaving the home ports carried a "super-cargo"an official of the company.40 He

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109 had to be treated with respect and ate his meals in the captain's cabin. To provide additional revenue, the wic was authorized to collect a recognition fee from any Dutch ships which sailed under a foreign flag, yet returned from the Caribbean to a Dutch harbor. After 1637 this regulation applied to all ships, Dutch or otherwise, that sailed from or entered a Dutch port. The wic also collected convoy and license taxes levied on ships sailing within the limits of the company's charter. These taxes had once been a most important source of revenue for the admiralty boards, and their resentment at this so-called wic usurpation was not unnatural. Yet the States General opted in favor of the company. In 1633 trade by private entrepreneurs was expanded to include Pernambuco. Although New Netherland and the west coast of Africa never came under serious consideration for open trade, at least not during the charter of the old company which lasted until 1674, the opening of Africa became a bone of contention for the Heren xix as early as 1642 and again later. Amsterdam was strongly in favor of open trade, and though the original proposal was first rejected, especially because of Zeelandian opposition, free trade was introduced to Brazil. The only exception was the company's fortresses, since it was tacitly understood that the whole coast included those sections still under Iberian control.+1 Not all the chambers agreed about this free trade policy within the company's monopoly. Zeeland, for instance, stubbornly championed a strict monopolistic course, while Amsterdam, on the other hand, stood by the new trend. Both chambers had their reasons dictated, as always, by the imperative of the purse. The Zeelanders realized that once the monopoly was abrogated, they would soon be outstripped by Amsterdam in every respect. The latter city, for exactly the same reason, argued the contrary: "What has made the town of Amsterdam so splendid among so many others? Is it not the multitude of private traders, and these not Netherlanders alone, but likewise those of all nations in the world who can move and trade freely in the town according to their good liking." The argument was spiced because of strong Calvinist feelings and corresponding anti-Catholic sentiment in Zeeland. These sentiments favored continuation of the war against the hereditary enemy, and were also prevalent in the Chambers of the Maas and Stadt en Lande, while the capital was turning toward a less orthodox, less anti-papist, and more liberal view which favored peaceful relations with the Catholic Iberians. No free citizen, argued Amsterdamquite unlike its position of 1621could tolerate the stringent rules artificially imposed by the monopoly. It was "the most

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no hideous thing in the world and the most harmful action."*2 The company, Amsterdam further contended, should be more than satisfied with the receipt of duties and fees. Whil e affirming free trade, Amsterdam unconsciously tread upon a dilemma which the company was never able to solve satisfactorily. The wic, it was alleged, was at one and the same time a subservient enterprise and the sovereign ruling body in the territories under its protective wing. In the former capacity, its duty demanded the maintenance of the highest possible prices; as a system of government, however, its responsibility was to keep them low. Realizing that the company was torn between such conflicting principles, Amsterdam sought to palliate the differences by encouraging plain, ordinary competition which would serve to check monetary inflation. Yet, despite many heated arguments, Zeeland was not won over to the capital's point of view, and the situation did not cease to undermine cooperative relations between the two chambers. The controversy became especially tense as the company continued to consolidate its hold over Brazil. At that point, indeed, the Amsterdam Chamber went so far as to insist guilelessly on free trade between the Lusitanians and their kinsmen in Portugal.*3 During the conquest of New Holland (Dutch Brazil), the States General received endless complaints about the inefficiency of the wic and its shortcomings where the needs of the new colonists were concerned. These did not lessen even with the favorable course the war was taking for the Dutch, notwithstanding the fact that many merchants, with an eye on profit, had clandestinely settled at Recife, Pernambuco's stronghold. The latter were doing a thriving business in that area by exchanging Dutch and European commodities for sugar and other Brazilian products, including wood, which was supposed to be a company monopoly. Word of this illegal activity soon reached the Heren xix and acted as a powerful antidote to arguments for free trade. Only Amsterdam remained obstinate and offered her subsidies with a proviso that the limits of trade would remain undefined in Brazil. Faced with such an ultimatum, the Heren xix had no alternative but to acquiesce to the capital's wishes and to withdraw all commercial restrictions. In an attempt to offset Amsterdam's ascendancy, however, Their High Mightinesses took the precaution of recommending one of their most trusted henchmen to assume the governorship of New Holland: Johan Mauri ts, Count of Nassau-Siegen. Only in this way could they rest assured that their interests would not be ignored and their rights respected. Their recommendation was promptly followed by the count's appointment.

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III During the year 1636 deliberations on free versus closed trade continued to appear on the company agenda. The Heren xix had appeared to agree with Amsterdam the year before, but now had second thoughts about their previous rashness and instead sided with the opposition. The States General adopted a similar stand, not only because of the notorious readiness of the Amsterdammers to trade with the enemy, but also because it was discovered that many of the vrijluiden or free-traders were from Amsterdam or took their orders directly from the capital. This caused alarm, especially in Zeeland, and predisposed the xix to favor the opposite position. Hence, at the close of 1636, the xix and Their High Mightinesses agreed on the steps to be taken. On December 27 of that same year, open trade was abolished and the company's monopoly re-established.++ Although this decision was much applauded in Zeeland, it was not only protested by Amsterdam, but also by the Northern Quarter, which had never forgiven the wic for including the salt trade of Punta de Araya in its monopoly, and by the Portuguese and Brazilian mer chants who were living under Dutch rule. Soon another objection came, this time from Johan Maurits. The latter's dispatch probably changed the official attitude in favor of the free-traders. In an attempt to solve this dilemma once and for all, Their High Mightinesses re solved to settle the matter by vote. It now became apparent that the Amsterdam Chamber itself was openly divided over the issue. Some of its members, for instance, abstained from voting in favor of monopoly for fear that they might meet repercussions in their trade relations from the capital's mighty town council. Eventually the city of Dordrecht declared itself opposed to free trade and sided with Zeeland; she would not concur to any increase of capital unless the matter be banned permanently. Their High Mightinesses' request for a vote brought the opposition of the Chamber of the Northern Quarter out into the open as well. The West Frisian towns, because of their interest in the salt trade, acted accordingly.+5 Despite these contradictory attitudes, the influence for free trade because of the powerful position of the capital proved to be the stronger, and Count Johan Maurits' highly evaluated advice born out of local experience convinced those who still vacillated. The Dutch capture of Breda in 1637 led the Spaniards to renew their requests for peace or at least for truce talks, and their action ultimately tipped the scales in favor of free trade. Late in that same year, a compromise was found: the West Indies were opened subject to a license and the company's ulterior approval; the same arrangement applied to Brazil. The company, however, reserved for itself the trade in slaves, am-

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112 munition, and brazilwood. In other words, although it did not relinquish its rights entirely, it was forced to grant privileges because of circumstances beyond its control. Just as before 1636, participants in the company enjoyed certain preferential trading terms, such as per cent reduction on freight rates.*6 "With these decisions," wrote Watjen, "the States General had created a sound basis for trade and navigation. "47 In time, the same regulations were expanded to cover the colonies in the Caribbean and along the Wild Coast. Essequibo and Berbice, however, which were both Zeelandian patronships, remained outside their scope until late in the eighteenth century. As a self-admitted vehicle of war, the West India Company was consistently against all negotiations with Spain that might produce either a new truce or lead to an end of the war. From the outset, the directors knew that a cessation of hostilities could well mean the folding of the company. The Spaniards, on the contrary, were eager to reach some sort of understanding with the Dutch. Yet Philip IV, ably assisted by the Count-Duke of Olivares, failed to grasp the underlying fundamentals. As an instance of their misconstruction of the facts of their position, it seems particularly well suited to note that on the eve of the great Spanish defeat at Matanzas, the king and his minister were seeking to impose truce conditions upon the United Provinces. Freedom of religion for the Dutch Catholics was demanded; the sovereignty of His Spanish Majesty in the northern Low Countries was to be rec ognized by an annual offering. Thej Spanish military commander Ambrosio Spinola knew full well that this second qualification automatically shut the door on any reasonable negotiations and hesitated to even submit these ridiculous proposals to the Dutch.*8 In 1629 private Spanish overtures to their former subjects became common knowledge, and the influence of England and France com bined to make the Dutch more amenable to peace discussions. Strong opposition, however, especially from Zeeland, prevented these mutual undertakings from bearing any fruit. Meanwhile, even the chances for a possible armistice deteriorated rapidly after the capture of the Spanish Silver Fleet by Piet Heyn.49 That coup had not only greatly "hardened the pride of the Dutch," according to the Infanta Isabel, but had also whetted their appetite for further adventures in the West Indies, so Many contemporary pamphlets are eloquent testimonials of this renewed popular interest. As an inevitable concomitance most were

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Fig. j. Eugenio Caxes: The Reconquest of San Juan de Puerto Rico i> ^

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Fig. 6. Pieter Pieterszoon Heyn r ill i, .' &'" !'. -Z-, VA! 'Av ,ft*ue>. v. -* 4i- ' - ^3?* --w-v :' i 42$/. r

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"3 frankly and manifestly in favor of continuing the war and considered a truce or peace as a "future peril." Some went so far as to repeat the old Zeelandian maxim of twenty years before, Don't trust the horse, Greeks. Most loudly they praised the wic and were unanimous in lauding its past performances. From these general eulogies, it was only one step further to affirm that talk about peace at the time was tantamount to stifling in the bud the company's future Another group not to be overlooked in this verbal skirmish was the Dutch Reformed clergy. In Zeeland, where these virtuous ministers had their largest following, a long memorial was published in defense of the war.52 The most vigorous resistance to talk of peace, however, came as was to be expected from the East and West India Companies. Al though both foresaw more profits from a state of belligerency than could be procured if peace returned, the wic was especially aware that its entire future was at stake. A detailed and eloquent remon strance was presented to the States General entitled "Considerations and Reasons of the Lord Directors of the Chartered West India Company against the actual deliberations on a Truce with the King of Spain "which cleverly defined the company's official position. In this long and tedious account, the wic argued that, since Spain's power had been so drastically depleted in the years since Philip Ill's reign, the wic could not help but benefit immensely from a continuation of the war. This testimony did not fail to emphasize the many glorious achieve ments of the company since its inception. It had given employment to some fifteen thousand people; at sea it could count more than a hundred ships, most of which were men-of-war; the booty and riches which were brought to the Low Countries were recounted in flourishing terms, and the capture of the treasure fleet was especially given as an example which would be well worth repeating. Of course, the damage which had been inflicted upon the King of Spain was likewise alluded to in no uncertain terms, as were also the dire consequences predicted for the Dutch should they incline towards a more pacific attitude: the end of all prosperity, and a boundless opportunity for Spain to recoup her losses and to regain the initiative at will. William Usselinx did not remain silent for very long either, and soon moved to the forefront in the clamor against a Spanish peace. Never one to hide his feelings, he wrote an ardent discourse and sent copies to the States General, the States of Holland, and the States of Zeeland. In his opening remarks, he roundly declared that the only ones interested in a truce were the Spaniards themselves in alliance with the "papist" Dutch and with other enemies of the state. He

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ii4 emphatically stressed the decline of trade during the first truce and concluded that if anyone could prove him in error, he would join without further ado the ranks of those proclaiming, "The truce, the truce, long live the truce!"53 Yet in the long run, Philip's contemptuous attitude struck a strident chord in the hearts of the Dutch, and the odds all seemed to favor a permanent situation of siege. In 1630, moreover, the possibility had come to light that France might well enter the war on the side of the United Provinces. The fortuitous capture of two important towns, 's-Hertogenbosch and Wezel, gave the Dutch another cardinal vantage point. Despite these events, the contact between the two countries was never broken off completely. Philip IV, for one, based on the report submitted to him by his spies, did not give up hope. As a concilatory gesture which was intended to promote a mutual sphere of harmony, the king tried to distract the Dutch from the West Indian salt pans by making Spanish and Portuguese salt available and by authorizing the infanta to issue fifty passports to Dutch carriers.5* When, in 1630, the Dutch captured strategic Pernambuco, Philip became even more concerned about the need to secure a truce notwithstanding his mounting domestic difficulties, not the least of which came from the irate Portuguese. He insolently tried to put his bad luck to work for him by baiting Charles I of England with glowing accounts of Dutch strength and aggressiveness.55 Whenever serious peace talks seemed about to begin, however, the flurry of pamphlets increased, and the Contra-Remonstrant clergy thundered biting sermons from the pulpit. The States of Holland persuasively argued that the wic would not perish should peace come, but the town councils stubbornly resisted the truth: "That the West India Company would be maintained does not convince us of the desirability of peace because the (Spanish) king will use all the power at his disposal to defeat us on land and at sea (and) against the Company to conquer her ... no profits can (therefore) be expected to accrue in the near future, only vast preparations and ultimate ruin. "56 In 1630 the Heren xix also published their opinion in a "Remonstrance against a peace with Spain" which largely duplicated what they had said a year earlier. Diplomatic parleys reached a new impasse in 1633, as a result of which the States General issued an official declaration that a truce was no longer considered appropriate. In addition, it called for general fasting and a day of prayer in behalf of the continuance of the war. The dragging negotiations were renewed a few years later, but by then, in 163 r, the French had entered the Thirty Years' War and had signed a

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II* treaty with the Dutch concerning the partition of the Southern Netherlands. That agreement might well have meant the demise of these provinces except for the fact that the Dutch finally came to perceive their Belgian neighbor as a convenient buffer between them and the French. Now the northern provinces were prompted to write a defense of the war which advocated the wic as a pillar of the state, necessary to the salvation of the fatherland. The publication of this apology at tended the current revival of an old proverb, "II peut bien peu qui ne peut que nuire. "S7 The close relationship between this saying and the activities of the West India Company did not go unnoticed and was obvious to one and all. The loss of Breda in 1637 caused much dissatisfaction in Madrid and eliminated a valuable trump in the peace-or-truce card game. Hence Olivares' earnest and fervent prayer, "May God give us peace so that we may live untroubled and I can die. "s8 In the meantime his country men were betraying this very purpose by simultaneously equipping a grand armada while they were talking peace in the 1638 conference at Cologne. Yet after a few more deplorable encounters with the enemyone at The Downs, the other off the coast of Brazil in which the Spaniards were badly beaten, Philip IV confessed, "The issue of peace with the Low Countries can no longer be avoided. "59 But peace was still years away; in fact an agreement was not finally reached until 1648. The Portuguese rebellion at the end of 1640 changed the entire international picture and diverted the precarious course which Dutch foreign policy had hitherto pursued. Although the further vicissitudes of Dutch-Spanish relations do not concern us here, it nevertheless seems appropriate to indicate that when peace inevitably came, the flickering star of the West India Company was bound to fade. As a body whose directors could not but regard all issues primarily from the standpoint of sheer profit, this vehicle of war, at long last, had outlived its usefulness. But it still was a long time-1674until formal liquidation. Because of its spectacular achievements in Africa, New Netherland, Brazil, the Pacific, and the Caribbean, the West India Company had been the sparkling center of a brilliant firmament of Dutch achieve ments. On the other side of the ledger, however, were the continu ous financial crises that drove the company deeper and deeper into bankruptcy. The sad truth came to light too late that privateering simply did not pay. Its colonizing ventures, moreover, had emerged too late and had found too little support from official and popular consensus to save it from an ignominious death.

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6 THE BATTLE FOR SALT Al is de Sallem schoon, De Haering spant de Kroon.1 Through all the exitement which attended their large and small enterprises to the West, the Dutch never lost sight of an important asset, the significance of which historians have tended to overlook. The battle for salt, which lasted more than sixty years, lacked the glamour of the other activitiesthe glory of the conquest of Bahia and Pernambuco, the excitement at the capture of the Silver Fleetbut was no less bloody, stubborn, and cruel. It had all started with herring. The herring fishery was, as a Dutch saying goes, "the mother of all commerce." "God had made of Holland and the herring business an example of His blessing for all the world," observed Meinert Semeyns, herring historian and lawyer of Enkhuizen, in the seventeenth century.2 Herring brought the Dutch to the North Sea, to Dogger Bank and Spitsbergen, then on to the Catholic areas of Europe where religion provided a profitable market. Salt was needed to preserve the herring, and it was also used in the butter and cheese industry of the country, as well as for curing victuals for use on long voyages. Zeeland did little fishing, but had perfected a process for whitening salt which was in demand all over Europe. The Dutch had found salt of excellent quality on the Iberian coast at Setiibal, often called Saint lives in contemporary histories and chronicles. When this abundant source of supply was cut off, they were forced to feel their way beyond the old boundaries of commerce: the Sound in the North and the Strait in the South. In search of salt, the Dutch ventured south as far as the "Salt Islands" (the Cape Verde Islands) and eventually to the West Indies.3 Any history of the Dutch in the Caribbean, therefore, cannot but emphasize the consequences of the ensuing salt trade. Most Dutch historians of the period give an account of the size of the herring fleet: it grew from i $o ships in i o to more than 4,000 a century later. Already as early as 1555 there was a meeting at

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n7 Enkhuizen to discuss problems of this fleet and "to contrive plans for certain regulations and advantages or profits from this trade. "* Throughout the early years of the rebellion against Spain the Dutch continued to buy salt in Iberian ports. Then came the arrests; the price of salt rose drastically, and the Dutch sought new salt pans. An Enkhuizen skipper luckily hit upon an island pan which supplied him with a shipload of salt within sixteen weeks for the round trip.s The discovery was stimulating, and larger ships were immediately fitted out. Soon salt of good quality was procured from the Cape Verde Islands, and the provincial government of Holland permitted ships to go to these islands even though Amsterdam tried to demand a reopen ing of trade with the Iberian peninsula.6 The salt trade with Spain had meant a double cargoto and from the countryand was there fore far more profitable for the Dutch, but voices which opposed enriching the enemy through commerce and revenue did not long remain silent and could not consistently be ignored. The Cape Verde Islands thus increasingly became the main target for Dutch salt carriers. The most important suppliersIsla de Mayo and Isla de Sal continued to receive a vast influx of Dutch ships until 1598, the year of Philip Ill's first arrest. After that date they began to resort to the newly discovered salt pans in the West Indies along the Venezuelan coast and especially at Punta de Arayaor Punta del Reypans which provided excellent salt in nearly inexhaustible amounts.7 As Laspeyres put it, "The purpose of this navigation was for the Dutch not to find gold or silver as it was for other nations, but in the first place to find salt. "8 It is probable that the Zeelandian expeditions to the Guianas and Tierra Firme after 14 furnished information about these salt pans, although the only extant account of those voyages, that of Cabeljau, does not mention it specifically (see Appendix 1). But shortages which had pushed the Dutch to the Cape Verde Islands now drove them across the Atlantic. Too late their need for salt was used by Philip III as an economic weapon to gain political ends; in a letter to Archduke Albert of the Southern Netherlands, the king pointed to the possibility that the salt shortage might drive the northern provinces to sue for peace. The archduke, on the other hand, informed by Dutch Catholics, sadly reported that the rebels had already landed at Punta de Araya and advised his sovereign of the route taken.9 Before the Dutch arrived on the scene, the salt of Punta de Araya had been little exploited by the Spaniards. The many accessible pans, spread all over the coast and on many of the islands, were more than sufficient to satisfy local needs. Pearls, not salt, had been the main

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n8 attraction in the area for the Iberians; the beds of Margarita were already known in Columbus' time. Although salt was not of any interest at that momentnor for some time to comea governor of Cumana, Diego Fernandez de Serpa, had taken official possession of the salt lagoon of Araya two generations after the pearl beds had been discovered. Not long thereafter the lagoon would make its appearance in world history.10 It is extremely difficult to estimate the size of the Dutch salt trade before 1600. After that year the evidence is sufficient to accept an average of one hundred carriers per year.11 Beginning in March, 1 the resolutions of the States General are filled with requests about privateering commissions for salt ships, whose specific destination was given as Punta de Araya. That summer witnessed at least fourteen Dutch visits, and eight more Dutch ships loaded there in the fall. Soon the place swarmed with Dutch carriers; often there were fifty or more ships simultaneously, many of them from Hoorn. Profits ran high; salt seemed to grow on the bushes, and if the heavily laden ships managed to avoid the hazards of the Atlantic and the vigilance of the Spaniards, the voyage could be completed within sixteen weeks. The Dutch ships were generally described as grueso (huge) in the Spanish accounts. The average carrier amounted to some three hundred tons. This means that the total annual tonnage em ployed by the Dutch in the salt trade was at least thirty thousand tons and probably more. The West Frisian towns of Hoorn, Enkhuizen, and Medemblik were the most active in the salt trade, precisely because of their prosperous fishing industries. As early as 1602, when the navigation to the new pan had just been initiated, a kind of "salt congress" was called at Hoorn, attended by the representatives of West Friesland or the Northern Quarter. The meeting led to a decision to endorse the salt trade on the new lagoon. Because of the dangers involved in this intrusion into the mare clausum, the assembly also heard a petition from Hoorn on protective measures "for ships that would sail to the West Indies in Punto Rey for salt."12 The provisions agreed upon included the following: that the ships would sail jointly under an admiral; that they would carry armaments, artillery, and stone throwers, and that while at the salt pan they were to choose a com mander on the shore who would organize their defense. The respec tive vessels were levied to pay the admiral for his extra duties, and infractions of the rules brought punishment at home. De Laet describes the salt lagoon of Punta de Araya as "a corner of the continent laying around the southern part of the west end of

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H9 Margarita; about five miles from that point a cliff runs into the sea; that is where the salt pan is."13 The description is undeniably vague. De Laet never saw the pan and relied on the testimony of others. A far better description is provided by the Italian military engineer Juan Bautista Antoneli, who was sent by Philip III to investigate the salt pan with a view to inundating, closing, or fortifying it against Dutch intrusions. Antoneli was well acquainted with the Caribbean, for he had designed the fortifications on Puerto Rico, in Havana, and San Juan de Ulua. Of his various reports to the king, the Relation on Punta de Araya is one of the most revealing.14 The lagoon of Araya was situated halfway between the island of Margarita and the town of Cumana, capital of the province of the same name, on a peninsula which stretched toward the west parallel to the coast, forming the northern shore of a long bay where ships could safely anchor protected from the trade winds. The peninsula was fifty miles long and ten wide. Its western tip was called Punta de Araya; the pan lay some five miles to the southeast, less than half a mile inland from the bay. It was a natural salt lagoon and not con nected with the sea in any way. Its salt, moreover, was of high quality, 3 o per cent better than that of the Iberian peninsula. The pan was not a rock salt deposit, but rather a gem salt which came from the brick-colored clay of the surrounding hills.15 The rain, separating the salt from the clay, washed it down from the slopes into the valley, where it formed a salt lake. The constant easterly trade winds, combined with the tropical sun, caused the water to evaporate quickly, leaving thick layers of salt on the lake bottom. This natural process had been going on for centuries. The size of the deposit was graphically described by Governor Diego Suarez de Amaya: "The pan is so fertile that one thousand ships can easily freight there at the same time, and it increases so fast that every twenty days another thousand ships can come and loadand this the whole year around."16 The easy accessibility, at least from the sea, the lack of defenses in the early days, and the fact that its salt was "the finest and the best that existed in the whole world"" made Punta de Araya the invasion cen ter of Dutch salt carriers. The deleterious effects of an uninterrupted throng of hostile ships in this part of the Caribbean was soon felt by the Spaniards. The Dutch, naturally, did not limit themselves to the exclusive exploita tion of the lagoon. Along with the salt carriers came the merchant men, who carried on the rescate while the former went about their business. Nor were the salt ships themselves adverse to a little smuggling on the side. While the huge vessels lay at anchor in the

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120 Bay of Refriegasthe anchor place for Arayathe sloops and pinnaces, brought along for just this purpose, proceeded to prey on Spanish coastal shipping, to raid the pearl fishers, and to trade generally. The results were an increase in smuggling, a serious disruption of the pearl fishery, and a breakdown of Spanish inter colonial communications. Madrid soon received many complaints from its administrators about a situation which was rapidly worsening.18 One of the first complaints came from Pedro de Fajardo, governor of Margarita, who sent a full report to the king. He had visited the pan, considered inundation impossible, and recommended instead that it be fortified. His letter arrived in Spain as the first Dutch salt carriers returned to the Low Countries with the news that Iberian salt could be dispensed with. In Spain they had to pay duties; in Araya they could shovel it free from the shoreand the quality was con siderably better.19 In June, 1600, Diego Suarez de Amaya became New Andalusia's new governor, and his eloquent pleas for help against the Dutch soon reached Madrid. He had placed observers in the neighborhood of the panon a hill named Mauricawhere they could simultaneously observe the lagoon, the islands of Margarita, Cubagua, and Coche, and a wide stretch of the sea. When enemy sails were sighted, the town of Cumana was warned by signal fires to take necessary precautions. Suarez de Amaya saw to it that the king was constantly informed of what was going on, and his reports constitute an accurate picture of Dutch activity in the area. The Dutch carriers, unescorted by warships but armed, sailed in squadrons directly from the Netherlands to the Lesser Antilles on the east side of the Caribbean. There, usually on St. Vincent, they took on wood and water, captured and slaughtered some goats, and pro ceeded to Margarita. From this island they crossed to Punta de Araya. The average crew was fifteen or twenty men, depending on the size of the vessel. The average armament was four to twelve cannon, some muskets and harquebuses. As soon as the ships had dropped anchor in the bay, the men disembarked and sentinels were posted. Some of the crew would dig trenches, and others brought a few cannon to defend themselves against possible Spanish attack. They then turned to building sheds and jetties from wood brought on the ships. These led from the shore to the salt pan. Squads of crew men broke up the salt surface with long iron bars; the chunks of salt were then stacked in wheelbarrows and taken to the little boats which were to carry them to the ships. The work was impossible in the daytime, due to heat and the glare from the salt, and thus was done in

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121 the evening and through the night. Since the salt also ate away leather, the crews worked in wooden shoes. Spanish attacks and heavy work meant regular casualties among the men, and the dead were buried near the lagoon and their graves marked with wooden crosses.20 Lack of fresh water at Araya forced the salt haulers to send their small boats to nearby rivers once a week. The Spaniards often prepared an ambush at the fresh water source, yet their many illcontrived attempts to rout the salt carriers were never effectively executed, and the Dutch continued their activities virtually un checked. Suarez' constant vituperations, during his five years as governor, covered all phases of this activity, and regularly deplored the fact that he had so few men to stop the intrusions. By May, 1600, he requested three galleys to be stationed at the entrance to the lagoon in order to prevent access and to protect Cumana, Margarita, and Caracas. In Madrid a similar idea was expressed in a decision which vouchsafed a squadron of eight galleys and three advice-boats for the protection of Cumana. Later, however, the king, who was of the opinion that this force would be inadequate anyway to face the large number of Dutch ships, canceled the command. Suarez, on the other hand, did not give up and was soon requesting a force of two hundred to three hundred men to conceal themselves in the bay and catch the Dutch unawares. At the same time he suggested that the Spaniards build a fort at Ancon de Refriegas, where the Dutch usually dropped anchor. In Madrid the problem was seriously discussed and four possible remedies emerged: to poison the lagoon, to inundate it, to dam up the lake and cut off communication with the sea, or to construct a fort manned with a permanent garrison. Inclining towards the first proposal, Suarez, in December, 1600, requested that huge quantities of poison be sent; this suggestion, however, was not accepted by Madrid. In May, 1601, Suarez made a personal inspection trip to the salt lake and wrote an extensive report of his findings. He concluded that inundation was impossible, and once again he alluded to the construction of a fort for the area. A certain hill, situated at the entrance to the bay, seemed to him of much strategic value; a fort there could block all traffic.21 Meanwhile, the governor of Margarita suggested that the Spaniards dam the lagoon.22 It was difficult for Madrid to make a decision, yet a solution was increasingly necessary. Suarez' extensive and vociferous protests could no longer be summarily dismissed. Again and again the good governor pointed to the consequences of the Dutch intrusions: the

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122 loss of royal revenue, the loss of prestige, the damage done to inter colonial traffic and to the pearl fishery. In 1601 the Dutch had kidnapped the treasurer of Margarita in broad daylight and had carried off the royal quintosome thirty thousand pesos worth of pearls. A further result of the Dutch infiltration was that the veladores (watch men) of Maurica had to stand watch day and night and, hence, could not cultivate their tobacco fields nor tend to their cattle in the valleys of Cariaco and Cumanacoa.23 According to Suarez' communications, the number of Dutch ships involved was alarming: from June, 1601, to June, 1602, his veladores had counted a total of 96 Dutch ships; in the next year that number rose to 172.24 Don Diego begged the king to consider seriously this invasion of rebeldes luteranos (Lutheran rebels) and to send experts to the lagoon to advise on appropriate measures to impede further use of it by the flamencos. In 1604, Margarita's governor, Fadrique de Career, had made another inspection tour of the salt pan accompanied by two engineers from Cadiz, who thought it should be possible to obstruct the entrance to the lake with stones and earth.25 In the same year the king also sent Juan Bautista Antoneli to Cumana to investigate the situation. Upon the latter's arrival, he was met by an ailing Suarez who, nevertheless, had himself carried to the pan on a litter. There were no Dutch carriers at Araya at the time, and Antoneli was able to go about undisturbed, drawing maps and visiting the nearby fresh water rivers where the Dutch habitually got their drinking supply. The two men next visited the governor of Margarita, who had also fallen sick. The three agreed that something must be done, and soon. Secrecy was presumed impossible because of "the accursed traffic that exists with smuggling boats." The rebels would soon be alerted to what was going on.26 Antoneli's report, written after his visit to Araya, included a careful examination of the possibilities of excluding the Dutch from the salt pan. He rejected damming the area because it was a much too difficult operation: it would take too many men too long and would lead to loss of life because of the heat. The dam would only act as a temporary deterrent, anyway, since the Dutch could easily shovel through the bank at another place. The construction of a fort, which was Suarez' hope, was also discussed by the Italian engineer and approved, although he did not agree with Suarez' location. That solution, as they both knew, was very expensive: it would cost thirty thousand ducats just to build it, and fifty thousand ducats a year to maintain it.27 Because the Spanish treasury was always empty, this plan seemed hardly worth mentioning.

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123 But in the course of his investigation Antoneli had discovered what others had denied: that the sea was at least fifteen feet higher than the salt pan. That discovery dictated the solution: inundation would be the best and most effective way to stop all intrusions by the enemy. Antoneli recommended that a canal, protected at either end by a wooden palisade, be dug from the lagoon to the sea. For his proposal he suggested that the Crown supply four galleons and six hundred men to provide a guard for the laborers. The same purpose was behind a proposal to build a platform for guards to watch the anchorage that the enemy frequently used. The Indians and Negroes, who were to be used for the digging, were to be recruited from the neighborhood; each region was to send a quota. Antoneli, who wanted the work done quickly, also proposed that the laborers be paid for their work"as the people were poor and very needy"and the plan executed before the Dutch learned of it and took countermeasures. To get the job done quickly would mean that more men would have to be recruited than were available, and Antoneli asked to have five hundred Moors brought from Andalucia. In case the king also chose to send Negroes, Antoneli thought it advisable if only bozales (men unused to hard labor) were sent, because these would die and would thus save the extra expense of their return trips. In a letter from Suarez de Amaya to the king about the project the need for secrecy was stressed: if the Dutch found out, they could fortify the pan before the Spaniards got there.28 In addition, the Spaniards were informed in August, i6o, that a huge fleet had left Holland and Zeeland to practice rescate in the West Indies. Earlier in the same year, the Spanish War Council had already heard that four other sizable Dutch ships had entered Gona'ives, on Hispaniola, and captured seventeen ships. Rumor had it that these were part of the larger fleet headed for the Caribbean.2' Immediate action was necessaryto inundate the lagoon would take too much time. The Dutch had already begun to supply arms to the Caribs and set up a blockade of the islands. The Spaniards coun tered by sending an armada to the West Indies. It sailed under Luis de Fajardo in September, i6o, supposedly headed for Flanders (see Chapter m). Unexpected in the Caribbean, it thus managed to reach its destination there without interference. Dutch carriers, in their usual anchorage off Ancon de Refriegas, were taken by surprise. The Spaniards seized eight or nine salt ships and one of the Dutch privateers. Two other privateers escaped. The Dutch crews which had escaped death in the first attack were taken to Cartagena and sent to the galleys.30

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I24 Dutch accounts of the capture, especially the one written by Velius of Hoorn, stressed Spanish cruelty: "They treated skippers and crews very roughly; some were hanged coldbloodedly after they had been prisoners for some time. Some were drowned, some had their legs broken." At least eight of the salt carriers were from Hoorn, and the town sustained a material loss of over 100,000 guilders.31 Deeper than the monetary sacrifice, however, was the legacy of bitterness which the Spaniards wrought by their actions at Punta de Araya. Fajardo remained for a month at the salt coast. Hunting was good that season; he overpowered at least twelve more Dutch ships, and some English and French ones as well. His success led to plans for a squadron of light vessels which were to be designed to guard the coast and the lagoon. That plan, like most others, floundered on the catastrophe of the Spanish treasury.32 The king delayed, but there was no immediate hurry just then. The Dutch were thoroughly intimidated. "The salt trade," wrote Velius, "was totally lost. "33 The States General met the possibility of a sharp increase in the price of salt by refusing to grant licenses for its export to other countries. The Dutch were frightened, but not for long. Soon they recovered and their salt carriers and smugglers returned to the Caribbean. In 1606, Suarez' successor continued the litanies about the Dutch invaders.3* Spanish measures like the relocation of the population, taken in the meantime, had eliminated some of the menace of the rescate, but nothing had been done about preventing the removal of the king's salt. Once more the governor asked that the lagoon be inundated. The Crown, however, enamored of a proposal to dam up the pan, set aside six thousand ducats for the latter project. Within a year the effort came to a standstill because of lack of money. For tunately for the Spaniards, negotiations with the Dutch for a truce were in the making, and the dam project was altogether abandoned.35 When the Truce was concluded in 1609, Dutch activity in the Caribbean slowed down considerably, and the salt carriers became infrequent intruders. The situation was not really due to the Dutch wholeheartedly supporting the articles of the Truce so much as it was due to the availability of salt in Iberian ports. They could now carry this commodity from Setubal at reasonable prices, thus making excursions to the West unprofitable.36 Meanwhile, in the meetings of the States General and the Provincial States of Holland, serious discussions were underway concerning the launching of a Dutch West India Company. The safekeeping and development of the salt trade were pivotal factors in these conferences and determined their final outcome. The West Frisian towns, at

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I2 first, offered stubborn opposition, and were quite unwilling that this trade be incorporated within the monopoly envisioned by the founders. Because of their attitude, the towns were soon accused of being pro-Spanish. The charges were, of course, groundless. The West Frisians had declared their willingness to an amicable relationship as early as 1607,37 and only wanted to secure their ancient privileges from encroachment by the new enterprisers The Truce further delayed the birth of the new company, as well as a solution to the related problem of the salt trade. Van Oldenbarnevelt was likewise opposed to a West India Company, precisely because it threatened to curtail freedom in the salt trade and thus hurt the herring industry. The West Frisian towns were ultimately appeased with a charter which specifically excluded Punta de Araya from the new company's monopoly. Slow subscriptions to the corporation's capital, however, made the directors reconsider the decision about the salt trade. The States General was persuaded that the inclusion of West Indian salt in the company's monopoly was not against the general interest, and nego tiations with the West Frisians were once again opened to amend the charter. Understandably the towns, led by Hoorn, resisted overtures from the company and sought to reason with Their High Mightinesses. The company's response was to request an exclusive monopoly in salt carrying for itself, thus, it was argued, barring the inferior salt of the Cape Verde Islands and the Iberian coasts from competition. These latter sources being eliminated, the company's directors shrewdly envisioned a rise in the price of salt, a factor of paramount importance in their calculations. Usselinx, furious with these monetary pre occupations, wrote two eloquent memorials against these proposals to the States General.39 Their High Mightinesses, on June 10, 1622, voted to include the salt trade of Punta de Araya in the company's charter. They did not, however, forbid the importation of salt from elsewhere. The result of their action was that noncommissioned carriers now set themselves to exploring new sources of salt outside the limits of the company's monopoly. When they found them, the monopolistic price scheme which the company had hoped for was prevented. Furthermore, ever present interlopers in their staked-out territory also upset the directors' grandiose scheme. The West Frisian towns did not relinquish their aims without a stiff fight. The conflict between some of them, especially Hoorn and Edam, and the company was prolonged over many years. Three towns agreed to the company's monopoly so long as there was a guarantee

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126 that the price would not be forced up. Hoorn and Edam, however, because of their particular interests in the salt trade as well as their shipbuilding business, could not accept the monopoly. They refused to publish the decision of the States General conceiving the company's monopoly and continued to outfit and arm vessels for their private ventures. The tensions which resulted from this "cold war" lasted for several years. Usselinx, former foe of the company monopolies, gradually retreated from his earlier rigid viewpoint and ended up by endorsing the inclusion of the salt trade in the company's charter. His pamphlet of November, 1621, Necessary points to have the West India Company continued,*0 stated clearly his position in the matter. He rightly argued that the comprisal of the trade would encourage the investment necessary for the company's survival. While the West Frisian towns were thus divided amongst themselves over the company's realm of influence, the States General, in 162^, decided to intervene and asked Amsterdam, Dordrecht, and Delft to mediate the difficulty. More than a year later the deputies of those neutral towns proposed a compromise: the belligerent towns would be allowed to exploit the Araya lagoon for four years while paying the required duties and "recognition" to the company. This solution was finally accepted, but not without rancor. It did protect the monopoly through a transition phase, and made it easier to resume at the end of the preventive period. After 1632, however, and probably as a result of continuing agitation, the company permitted free trade under certain conditions in the Caribbean.41 No exception was made with respect to the salt trade. Meanwhile the war against Spain had been renewed, and as early as September, 16 21, the governor of Cumana, Diego de Arroyo Daza, learned from the lookouts on the Maurica hill that at least six Dutch ships were anchored at Ancon de Refriegas.*2 The Dutch went about their business as though there had never been an interruption. Arroyo was able, however, to frustrate the Dutch attempts to get fresh water from the Bordones River, and he immediately issued a ban on the rescate. In his letters to the king he pointed out that the navio de registro which should have brought supplies to the colony had not come and that, therefore, he did not really expect the population to obey the published interdict. He also indicated that if His Majesty did not buttress the lagoon immediately, the Dutch would do so and thus threaten to reduce the entire province. Finally, the governor requested that the funds, which still remained from the abandoned dam project, be released for use in constructing a fort.+3 A few days later, ten other Dutch salt carriers arrived. The Span-

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I27 iards were able once more to prevent the Dutch from gaining fresh water, and compelled them to leave the area, forced to abandon their jetties and sheds. In the wake of Spanish destruction, more than twenty Dutchmen were claimed killed in this encounter at Bordones. In a later report to the king, the governor of Margarita corroborated the event and added that the Dutch had since taken the precaution to fortify the lagoon. This was, however, not true. Madrid, finally, came to realize the danger of a Dutch occupation and suggested that the governors of Margarita and Cumana get together with a local engineer to see whether the Dutch fortifications could be completed and used by the Spaniards. At the same time,the king promised to send twenty pieces of artillery, thirty harquebuses, and forty muskets, all of which were to be paid for by the governor of Cartagena. During 1622, two engineers, Cristobal de Roda and Juan Bautista Antoneli, son of the earlier Antoneli, arrived at the pan and drew up a plan for a fort. The governors, too, met at Araya to discuss the fortification. They agreed on a hill, the cerro de Daniel, on which, years before, Fajardo had hanged the Dutch he had caught at the pan together with their leader Daniel de Moucheron. Curiously, a year later, one of the governors, Andres Rodriguez de Villegas of Margarita, wrote to the king and advised him that the Dutch threat had been greatly exag gerated and that the fortifications then being built were an unnecessary expense to the Crown.44 In the interim between meeting and letter, however, the pan was fortified, the artillery put in place, and a gar rison of a hundred men had arrived at Cumana. The garrison was stationed at the fort of Santiago del Arroyo de Araya, a designation which, as Ojer observes, included the location, the patron saint of Spain, and the name of the governor under whose mandate it was to enter history.45 On November 2 7 of that year forty-three Dutch salt carriers made land at Punta de Araya. In spite of the Spanish fort, which must have come as a surprise to the Dutch, they dropped anchor at Ancon de Refriegas, bombarded the fortifications for two days, then disem barked more than a thousand men. Arroyo was on hand for the ensuing battle, and his men had the good fortune to kill the Dutch admiral, the ensign bearer, and four captains. Discouraged by such losses, the intruders retreated to their ships in the midst of a spirited Spanish attack which cost many Dutch lives. The Spaniards continued to fire on the departing ships, but four of the artillery pieces burst, and Spanish accuracy was notoriously absent. More thorough were their Indian archers who harassed the Dutch for a long time. With little

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128 wind and under heavy fire, the Dutch retreated across the bay, out of reach of the Spanish guns. The Spaniards boasted that they had sunk three of the salt carriers.*6 The victory did not end Arroyo's worries, however. On the next day, a fleet of sixteen salt carriers arrived, which joined the remnants of the other fleet then in the bay, and together they sent an ultimatum to the governor: surrender our dead, the prisoners, and the fort. Arroyo declined and waited. A few days later the Dutch sent another letter which was full of dire threats if they were not allowed to take on salt. Again the governor refused, and the Dutch sailed away. They next appeared off the coast of Hispaniola where they caused much alarm but were subsequently dispersed by a heavy storm.*7 A few weeks later, in January, 1623, another fleet of forty-one ships came to the pan. For two days these ships blasted away at the Spanish fort, but in vainthere was no surrender. Indeed, the Spaniards had gained some accuracy in their firing and drove the Dutch back out of range and eventually away from the pan. The fleet visited three other Spanish-held pans but was unable to load salt, and the Dutch returned to Holland empty-handed. By this time 106 vessels had made the trip to the West and returned without cargo. It oc curred to the Dutch that Punta de Araya was lost as a source of salt unless they also seized the lagoon and fortified it. Arroyo Daza had done a great service for his king even if his claim that "I don't know if there has ever been such a great victory in the world" sounds a little exaggerated. 48 The losses in ships and men suffered by the Dutch during these incidents were important, of course, but were not nearly so keenly felt as the decrease in profits and the shortage of salt. The fort had been a highly effective barrier despite Dutch scorn: Kostverloren (loss of expense), as it was nicknamed, had cost the Dutch between one million and two million guilders in cargo.*' Encouraged by his victories, Arroyo requested funds for another, smaller fort to make the pan really impregnable. This request was met with favor. Two ships with three hundred troops and twenty pieces of artillery were dispatched to keep the pan in Spanish hands. The smaller fort, however, was never built. Indeed, in 1628, perhaps because the Dutch threat was no longer imminent, the famed Santiago del Arroyo de Araya was not even finished. This was not accomplished until twenty years after its inception and only at great cost to the Crown.50 But Punta de Araya remained Spanish, and the Dutch never again posed a serious threat. However, a few Dutch interlopers sometimes remained in the area

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Fig. 7. Capture of the Silver fleet

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Fig. 8. The Conquest of Sao Paulo de Luanda rxs S^Lii* i .-,..' .. >:r-~?l el'*.:-\ .<' ttfimrowtitiaagBvSmint! intcKknlibuMtciltKEn. ft J*i*iiBiiydMf7aa*iapio>.SSS.nSS Is" 1"">KI. SCtBtmiFene*), Jmlcfi*ptn tut rJat ktat WMII TCEloSMtftBIOKft* lllllllilsr ss^^^\i!Sli!l!Pf':^&^i^

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I29 and, of course, paid an occasional visit. In 1628, after an unsuccessful attack on San Juan de Puerto Rico and Margarita, the fleet of the West India Company under Boudewijn Hendricksz sailed to the pan to see "if something could be done there."51 The resulting skirmish was brief and inconclusive. The Dutch managed to load a small amount of salt and then departed. Some West Frisian towns tried repeatedly to renew the salt trade there, but always in vain. From a later remonstrance of the company, we know that the visits at Araya virtually ended after the fort was built (see Appendix v). But the closing of Araya did not deter the Dutch from seeking other sources of salt in the Caribbean. At this moment Dierick Ruyters was publishing his Torch of Navigation and de Laet his New World or Description of West India. The latter included information about those Caribbean islands which were known to be rich in salt: ... the Caycos... we did not find salt there but good pans proper to make salt; Anguilla, no fresh water but there is a salt pan with enough salt for two or three ships a year and a beautiful bay; Bekia, no fresh watet, on the north coast there is a salt pan; St. Christopher, at the south-east and there are a few salt pans as some say; St. Martin, no one lives on this island, there is no fresh water but there is a huge salt pan on one side and two smaller ones on the other side... .52 De Laet's practical information was much appreciated by the sailors, who soon identified it with a profitable trade and sought out the islands he mentioned, especially St. Martin, Bonaire, Tortuga (on the Vene zuelan coast), and the Unare River. As early as 1624 three ships returned to the Low Countries laden with the salt of Bonaire.53 The dangers inherent in the salt trade brought frequent requests to the Heren xix for some military protection for the salt carriers. At the same time the company also hired salt carriers to carry troops, ammunition, and supplies to Brazil and allowed them to return with salt, provided that the ships were armed. Some new pans were thus discovered along the Brazilian coast, but the salt was inferior in quality. The search for salt and the pains to acquire it and get it safely home was in those years a constant theme in all contemporary accounts and reached into many phases of Dutch life.54 The company, whose monopoly was quickly blunted by the Spanish success at Araya, now turned its attention elsewhere. In 1627, it sent two ships to inspect the islands of Tortuga and St. Martin, the results of which were reported to the Heren xix, proof that the Dutch were really concerned about finding substitutes for Araya. In 1629, preliminary to a planned Dutch attack on Brazil, the company con ceded to some Amsterdam merchants a patronship of Tortuga and

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130 Fernando de Noronha, but none of the patrons actually took posses sion of the fiefs. In 1631, Tortuga was visited by one of the directors of the Chamber of Amsterdam. 5 5 This reconnaissance had not escaped the attention of the governor of Caracas, Francisco Nunez Melian, who immediately sent complaints to the king together with descriptions of the ships and their armament.5& Neither was the governor amiss in assuming that the Dutch interest was salt; he wrote, for instance, that the pans were large and the salt of good quality, that their location gave easy access to both fresh water and almost in exhaustible supplies of goat and turtle meat. 57 In 1626, the king had sent the younger Antoneli to examine the salt pan on Tortuga and its possibilities for exploitation. The latter's report, based upon close observation, relegated the pan to unimpor tance because it was inundated in the rainy season and not adequate even in dry weather. By 1630, however, the Dutch had made im provements to the extent that Antoneli's measurement of the pan of 3,oo steps in circumference had now been increased to 7,^00. They had also constructed a pier which protruded into the sea for more than a hundred steps, and at the end of which four trapdoors were built through which the ships could load salt at the same time.58 The new pier was connected to the pan by a boardwalk. Unlike Araya salt, the salt of Tortuga derived from the sea. The pan was artificially made and divided into many smaller sections, all at sea level. In the early days the pans were filled by hand; later Dutch ingenuity had devised an irrigation system of small canals. Six pumps propelled the sea water through the canals to the main pan, from there five other pumps fed the smaller pans, and the sun did the rest. From an elevated platform, three cannons stood guard over the sprawling complex. By 1632 this installation allowed thirty to forty ships to load salt at the same time. While at the outset of their experiments the Dutch had returned with thirty thousand cartloads in four ships, their im proved method provided a weekly load of twelve thousand fanegas,59 or about ten times more. In Benito Arias Montano, the governor of Caracas found the man to stop the Dutch intrusions on Tortuga. Born in Spain in the province of Estremadura, Arias had some of the bravado of the conquistadores. His career had begun under Fajardo and by 1632 he could lay claim to twenty-six honorable years in the Spanish navy. When news arrived at Caracas of the Dutch at Tortuga, the solicitous Spaniard offered to go and destroy the Dutch installations at his own expense. After reconnoitering the area thoroughly, moreover, he led an expedition of forty

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I3i Spanish soldiers and one hundred Indian archers against the intrepid foe. Two Dutch ships were anchored in the port close to the pans. Arias launched an attack which cost the Dutch their ships and caused the death of many of their men and the destruction of their salt works on the pan.60 It was a harsh blow to the Dutch, yet the effect was of short dura tion. The very next year the governor of Caracas had to inform the king that the Dutch rebels were once again loading salt at the island. They had not only restored their installations, but had increased their fortifications. Shortly afterward, the governor of Cumana sent a well-equipped proa to Tortuga, and the Dutch equipment was once more destroyed.61 These Spanish measures, however, were not lasting and the Dutch were not intimidated for very long. A year later eighteen Dutch carriers were reported to have loaded salt on Tortuga. Arias, who had just been appointed governor of Cumana, once again drove the Dutch from the island and, in the company of Antoneli, studied the possibility of submerging the pan. The plan, as drawn up by the engineer, called for two canals to be dug which would drown the pan in at least a yard of water. If the Dutch were able to close the duct, it would take at least six months for the water to evaporate, thus making the pan unusable for that time. The Spaniards could maintain the flooded state by sending one proa a year to check on enemy activity and to be sure that the canals stayed open. Antoneli was convinced that with the Dutch excluded from Araya, Tortuga, and St. Martin, the Caribbean would become a showplace of Spanish dexterity.62 With Spain determined to frustrate them, the Dutch problem in finding salt was not small in the thirties. Antoneli's hope that the rebels would leave the Caribbean was soon shattered, however. In fact, the Dutch were back at Tortuga loading salt and building their fortifications in 1638. Once again Arias Montano intervened, seizing a sloop and learning the strength of the enemy. The attack which followed was successful, the Dutch were driven off, and the pan was flooded anew. The eventual outcome of these encounters is unknown, but they probably continued until peace with Spain came in 1648. When trouble developed at Tortuga, the Dutch had turned their attention also to St. Martin, an island of the upper Leeward group. Informed by de Laet about its salt pans, they may have been there as early as 1627, although formal Spanish complaints only began in 1631. In that year some eighty Dutch carriers arrived in two squadrons, each under the protection of three men-of-war, and commenced to load. Rock salt of pure white quality and in great abundance had been

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I32 discovered by the Dutch in three small creeks. "More than four hundred ships," wrote the governor of Puerto Rico to the king in his complaint about this intrusion, "could easily have an annual cargo."63 The source was not kept secret, and St. Martin was soon to become a center of attraction for Dutch ships, as well as for the French and English. The island lacked fresh water, but St. Christopher was well supplied with all the necessities. The eighty ships mentioned above left thirty men with four pieces of artillery to build a fort on the site. The Dutch were, as yet, unaware that the island already had a small colony of fourteen French men. The governor of Puerto Rico, who was much alarmed at the Dutch encampment, wrote his king that "within eight months there will be more than three hundred Hollanders on the island."64 In Madrid, Philip IV had undertaken a policy designed to circum vent the Dutch forays in the Caribbean. He had granted fifty permits to Dutch carriers to load salt in Iberian ports. The king was certain that the quality of the Spanish and Portuguese salt would make the higher tax acceptable to the rebels. The Dutch were not disposed to agree with His Majesty and, without sincere opposition, continued their activities in the West. Philip apparently could not yet be persuaded that his former subjects constituted a permanent menace to Spanish designs in the West Indies. An interesting witness to the Dutch development at St. Martin was William Guine, captain of an English ship who, as a prisoner of the Dutch, had been on St. Martin when the latter were consolidating their position there. He supplied the Spanish authorities in Puerto Rico with many details about the Dutch fortifications, "built," he said, "on a spot of land at the side of the bay protruding into the sea." "The fort itself was in poor condition," Guine said, "made of wooden boards and earthen ramparts, protected at the side by a ditch, with a rain water cistern and barracks for the soldiers." It had thirty-three bronze and iron cannons. With respect to the salt pan, he emphasized its proportions comparing it to Punta de Araya. In 1631 more than ninety ships were said to have loaded there, in 1632 a hundred ships on the same errand, and yet there was still enough salt left for three hundred ships a year. The observing Englishman, no fool where in vestment was concerned, correctly surmised that the Dutch would be forced to give up their position in Brazil only if they lost their arrangements at St. Martin. The island's salt paid for 70 per cent of the 6,000-man garrison at Recife and in Pernambuco, it was said.6s The governor of Puerto Rico now requested that the king outfit an armada to expel the Dutch once and for all from the area.66 Philip IV

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133 was beset with difficulties at the time, and did not know whose sug gestions to follow. He was well served by his agents in the Caribbean, yet the overwhelming corruption characteristic of his slow-moving administration constantly put good government in jeopardy and resulted in endless discussions and needless delay. In a meeting in Madrid on March 6, 1633, which was attended by members of several councils, including the Council of Portugal, a decision was finally reached to banish the Dutch from St. Martin. To accomplish this, it was agreed that eleven ships of the Atlantic fleet would join the galleon fleet of that year. The king, however, re peatedly warned that the silver galleons must not be delayed by the activities of the Atlantic fleet because of the dangers to their cargoes. The ships embarked i,oo to 1,600 soldiers; the expense was born by the merchants of Cadiz and Seville. The secrecy of the mission seems to have been complete: even the admirals were not allowed to open their sealed orders until they were fifty miles out to sea.67 The combined fleet under the command of the Marquis de Cadereyta left Spain May 12, 1633, and sailed via the Canaries to Antigua. From there it proceeded to St. Bartholomew where a dispute arose among some of the pilots, who thought they were at St. Martin. Sailing about the island the Spaniards met five foreign ships, four of which escaped. Eventually the fleet chanced upon St. Martin to the north west. Unfortunately, upon entering the bay, they sighted no Dutch ships, all having been warned in time. The Spanish demand to surren der the fort was refused by the Dutch commander, and thebattlebegan.68 During the night the Spaniards landed a thousand soldiers and three hundred crew members under the command of Lope de Hoces. The assailants took up their positions despite the dense undergrowth, which alarmed the Dutch garrison because they had not expected the enemy to be able to do so. The Spanish position was, nevertheless, gravely threatened by the lack of fresh water and the intense heat, each a more dangerous adversary than the Dutch. Lope de Hoces trusted to the advantage of speed and, as soon as his artillery was in place, opened the attack. The first day the Spaniards were driven back. On the next day, however, the Dutch requested the terms of surrender. Cadereyta had orders to be lenient and to pardon the enemy. "Conditions," the king had said in a cedula of April 12, 1634, "could arise in which it would be more desirable to negotiate than to fight a bloody war." These instructions were in marked contrast to those received earlier: "I bring to your attention that it is no good to fight the pirates and rebels in the Indies with honest means but they must be intimidated in a bloody war. "6

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134 Negotiations between the Spaniards and the Dutchwritten in odd Latin by the latterresulted in an agreement to spare the lives of the defenders and to allow them to leave the island each with a knapsack; the governor could carry off a chest and his sword. Trans portation to Holland was included. Altogether the Spaniards cap tured, besides three Dutch ships which entered the port unaware of the situation, ninety-five soldiers, two women, thirty slaves, and one Indian. They also acquired twenty-four pieces of Dutch artillery.70 At long last the rebels had been conclusively driven from all the main sources of salt in the Caribbean, or so the Spaniards thought. St. Martin remained in Spanish possession for some time, and the Heren xix, confident that their conquest of Curacao could be successful, ruled the island out for the future.71 As a first step the Spaniards repaired the battered defenses with materials brought from a dis mantled Dutch fort on Anguilla. Although inundation of the salt pans was too big a project for the diluted Spanish forces, they did assign 230 men to the new garrison and left another $o engineers, carpenters, and blacksmiths on the island. Also remaining were two Fran ciscans, a lay brother, and provisions for a year. A governor was appointed, and his letters reveal the miserable existence of these hardy souls over the next two years.72 The Dutch need for salt, however, was not lessened, and soon the adventurous northerners became interested in a new pan close to the river Unare, about twenty-four miles west of Cumanagoto on the mainland. At that time Arias Montano was governor of Cumana. As noted elsewhere, he had chased the Dutch from Tortuga and had also played an important part in the conquest of St. Martin. He notified the king in April, 1634, that the Dutch had come with ten ships to the Unare, built a fort on the shore, made an alliance with the Indians, and had been informed of the location of a salt pan similar to the one at Punta de Araya. Rather than acquiesce, Arias had embarked 120 Spanish soldiers and 200 Indians into 16 proas and gone to the Unare. Within ten days Arias had attacked the Dutch, killing twenty-one of the en emy, dismantled the fort, destroyed all installations, and burned their wheelbarrows. But upon learning of a Dutch threat to Tortuga, he had left the Unare with a heavy heart,73 and returned to Cumana. Consequently, he wrote to the king stressing the dangers of allowing the Dutch to set themselves up in the area; in this matter he was inadvertently supported by the bishop of Puerto Rico, who also deplored the perils implicit in an alliance between the heretical rebels and the Indians.7* The pan at the Unare was situated close to the shore and above sea

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l3S level, so that flooding was out of the question. The river provided fresh water, and there was an abundance of food and wood in the immediate area. Although outwitted in 1634, the Dutch soon re turned to use the pan. They were again taught a harsh lesson in August, 1640. At that time eight Dutch carriers, en route from Pernambuco and kept at bay at Punta de Araya, cast their anchors at the mouth of the Unare, and their crews began construction of a wooden fort. They were also able to buy the loyalty of the Indians with knives, axes, and textiles. In this way they reinforced themselves by hundreds of fighting men.75 The Spaniards, well aware of the new threat, had to act quickly. Juan Orpin, the founder and governor of Cumanagoto, a doctor of civil and cannon law, therefore assured himself of the help of the Piritu Indians by promising them exemption from the encomienda, and undertook to repulse the enemy. He approached the fort cautiously but suffered high casualties when he attacked. The Dutch also lost many men, including their commander, so that they surrendered. Their stronghold consisted of little more than a platform on a small elevation, close to the salt pan, protected by a wooden palisade and strengthened with sand. The fact that it had been prefabricated in the United Provinces aroused the frank admiration of the Spaniards.76 Orpin was now in a position to frustrate ensuing Dutch visits, but he knew very well that the only real protection against the Dutch lay in the destruction of the pan. Several plans to accomplish this end were put forth. The bishop of Puerto Rico desired to fill the pan with sod and faggots. Another suggestion was to conduct an arm of the sea through the pan. Orpin himself urged the digging of a canal from the river to the pan and from the pan to the sea, an undertaking which had regularly been turned down by other governors. But he had his way, and sweet water was brought into the pan, though it required three months to dig the ditches. Within two days the salt was washed away, and cattle and horses were to be seen drinking where once Dutchmen and Spaniards had bitterly contested each other's right to the area. Convinced of the project's feasibility, the Spaniards likewise de stroyed all other pans there.77 After the Spanish victory at St. Martin, the Heren xrx realized that they were losing their battle for salt. It became an important "point of deliberation" in their meetings. Debate on the search for a profitable pan soon centered on Curacao and its adjacent dependencies Bonaire and Aruba. These islands were taken in June, 1634, although salt was certainly not the only inducement. As a matter of fact, the Dutch were to be very disappointed with the existing supply. Not

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136 only were the natural pans not sufficient, but their attempts to create an artificial one at the entrance of St. Ann Bay resulted in an absolute failure. To remedy the situation, the Heren xix sent an expert on salt to the island. Although records of his activity in this field are not extant, it is known that salt production on Curacao was always negligible.78 The pans on Bonaire, admittedly, were far more promising. The Dutch built a small fort soon after seizing the island, and stationed a garrison of forty soldiers there to look after their salt trade. The Spaniards were not blind to this, of course, and Ruy Fernandez de Fuenmayor, the governor of Venezuelaa man eager to distinguish himselforganized an expedition of i go soldiers and as many Indians to thrust the enemy out. The allies met at night, but found themselves too far away from the port to surprise the Dutch at daybreak. The latter, however, grossly misinformed about the number of their enemies, burned their fort and set sail for Curacao to inform Governor Stuyvesant of the attack. But the Spaniards, because of sickness among them (they later accused Stuyvesant of having poisoned the water), did not wait for Stuyvesant's attack and evacuated the island (see Chapter xi). The Dutch thus quietly resumed their former activities, although Bonaire never developed into a great center for the salt trade. The supply was probably insufficient, too, which would be substantiated by Stuyvesant's attempt to reconquer St. Martin. The Spanish garrison at this island, as revealed in the letters of successive commanders of the fort, had been deplorably neglected and unsupplied. At one point the men had mutinied against their superior; on another occasion the fort was all but abandoned as de navios de registro consistently failed to show up. Under these chaotic circum stances Peter Stuyvesant and his men appeared in the harbor. The year was 1644. Presumably authorized by the Chamber of Zeeland of the West India Company which had already, in 163^, granted patents for the colonization of the island, Stuyvesant had come with twelve ships and more than one thousand men. He disembarked his troops, placed them on a hill which dominated the fort, and formally demanded surrender; when the demand was refused the attack com menced. The Dutch, in spite of a powerful fleet, were apparently unable to prevent the beleaguered garrison from receiving supplies from Puerto Rico, a factor which enabled the fort to hold out. Yet the Spaniards needed more than supplies to save them from disaster, and the way was opened by an incredible stroke of good luck. Stuyve sant was badly wounded in his leg, and the Dutch reluctantly re treated after four weeks.79 The attack on the island had been a dismal failure.

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137 Nonetheless, in the first months of 1648 the Spaniards bowed to the ulterior motives of European power politics and relinquished their hold over the island.80 The Dutch immediately moved in from St. Eustatius and occupied part of it, leaving the other half to some French deserters who had stayed behind when the Spanish garrison left. The Peace of Munster or Westphalia confirmed the Dutch in the possession of half of St. Martinthe area containing the salt pans. Thus, in 1648, the Dutch possessed outright the salt of St. Martin and Bonaire. In 1633, the West India Company opened its salt monopoly to all ships sailing between the United Provinces and the Wild Coast, the Caribbean and Brazil. The only requirement for carriers was that they pay the imposed recognition to the company. This order was reaffirmed in 1637. Salt was of such importance that its carriers were freed from all other restrictions, such as carrying a super-cargo or company agent on board.81 Although, at the outset, the revolt of Portugal against Spain found strong approval in the United Provinces, some misgivings soon took the place of the enthusiasm. In 1641, the Dutch and the Portuguese signed a ten years' truce, which opened Portuguese ports to Dutch ships for trade in salt and other commodities. This truce came at a propitious moment for the Dutch: almost all the salt pans of the Caribbean were now forbidden to them, except for the poorly en dowed Curacao islands. During the course of the truce, the Dutch retook St. Martin and replaced what would again be lost when the truce lapsed. When the Peace of Munster was signed, the Spaniards, long the hereditary enemy, suddenly became a Dutch ally against the French. Negotiations with Spain included certain provisions dealing with the salt trade: Article xm of the final draft, for instance, regulated the import of Spanish salt into Dutch ports.82 The importance of this article becomes particularly evident in view of mounting tension between the United Provinces and Portugal. But the delicate question of Caribbean salt was not specifically handled in the treaty, although Hid become the subject of further discussion. The Dutch persisted the course of negotiations for the right to exploit the pan at Punta Araya.83 The number of letters dealing with this topic suggests ti t the matter was not going too well for the Dutch. Philip IV was anxious to settle all problems between Spain and his former vassals, but the salt of the Caribbean was a ticklish one. There

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I3 were frequent and serious discussions in the Council of the Indies. In a formal letter the Spaniards were reminded that the Dutch had traditionally laid claim to the Araya lagoon, and challenged "the lords, ambassadors, and plenipotentiaries of His Majesty to order that the above mentioned Company be permitted to carry salt from the men tioned Punta del Rey, just as the subjects of Their High Mightinesses had been permitted to do in the past."84 In the discourses before the Council of the Indies it was pointed out, and rightly, that the subjects of the States General had never been permitted, legally, to navigate in the West Indies, nor to trade there, nor to carry salt from any pan. The Dutch had invaded the Caribbean under conditions of war; their activity there had delayed the Truce of 1609, and had prevented peace in 1632 and 1633 because of the militancy of the West India Company. The council was firmly opposed to granting permission since it would open the possibility that all the other European powers would make the same request. When, two years later, a naval treaty was signed between the two parties, the question of salt was not mentioned, perhaps because Spanish gold had passed into the hands of the Dutch subscribers. For the moment the States General did not press the matter further, but in later negotiations with the Spaniards, especially during the Portuguese-Brazilian rebellion, the salt of Araya was renewed as an object of debate. In March, 165-5-, Luis de Haro, cousin of Olivares, seems to have been approached by the Dutch with this offer: the United Provinces would open hostilities on the Portuguese in the East Indies if the Spaniards would agree to license one hundred salt carriers a year for Punta de Araya.85 In the beginning, this proposal found favor with the Spaniards, for it cost them nothing and supported their plans to reincorporate Portugal into the Spanish domain. The motion was scrutinized by three Spanish councils. In the end, how ever, they turned it down because it gave the Dutch too much op portunity to fortify an island and to prepare a launching site for attacks on Tierra Firme. Further, since the Spanish councils ignored the exact location of Punta de Araya and unhesitatingly identified the Dutch demand with Tortuga, the plan was rejected. The silver gal leons went right past Tortuga upon entering the Caribbean too close for comfort.86 Two years later, with mounting resentment between the United Provinces and Portugal, the Dutch ambassador in Madrid again applied for leave to exploit Araya. His country was both willing and prepared, he argued, to submit to whatever securities Spain demanded. His Spanish colleague in The Hague reported that his country had

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139 professed her willingness to come to terms. In 16^9, with war between Portugal and the United Netherlands well on its way, agents of both governments, Dutch and Spanish, were urged to forget their differences and come to an understanding, and this in spite of the strong opposition of the Council of the Indies.87 It was tacitly recognized that only temporary licenses (given for the duration of the war) could ever hope to meet with Spanish approval. No notable progress was made, however, in the next conference, because of the strong Spanish reluctance to surrender even the smallest part of the integrity of her American domains. Dutch success against the Portuguese in the Far East was countered by the loss of New Holland. The peace treaty, concluded with Portugal in 1661, not only included a special provision for salt from Setubal, but also certified that the indemnification to the Dutch for New Holland would partly be paid in salt.88 Difficulties arose, nego tiations dragged on, and the Dutch were once again requesting rights on Araya from Spainas usual without positive results. In 1670, when deteriorating relations with France led to war among the United Provinces, France, and England, the Dutch appealed to the Spanish Crown once more. The resulting agreement provided that Dutch ships could not carry salt from Araya in groups larger than ten, that the maximum size of the ships was not to exceed forty to fifty tons, that each ship had to be licensed by the Spanish ambassador in The Hague, and that the licenses were for one trip and nontransferable. In addition the ships were not permitted to anchor, nor to take in any additional cargo or provision besides salt in any other Caribbean port; they could only do so in Araya.89 As Ojer observes, Spain maintained with great ardor the monopo listic principle which guided her commercial relations: the small size of the admissable ships ruled out any chance of profit. In May, 1671, even these articles were uniformly condemned by the Council of the Indies.'0 Under the charter of the old West India Company, the final chapter had been written on the Dutch effort to get hold of the salt at Punta de Araya. For almost half a century the salt lagoons of the Caribbean had been the scene of many a savage battle between the Spaniards and the Dutch. Many a time had the pure white salt been reddened by the blood of soldiers and sailors of each side. For another twenty-five years the salt pans remained as a pivotal point of controversy in the relations between the two countries. From the theater of war the contest moved to the diplomatic field, and the Dutch lost. Notwith standing and despite their failure to win any concession from Spain,

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140 in 1674 when the old West India Company charter expired, the Dutch were in firm possession of the Curacao islands as well as St. Martin, besides having access to Spanish and Portuguese salt ports. For a long time to come they were able to furnish their own needs as well as much of Europe's with the salt their ships carried.

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7 THE FIRST GREAT DESIGNS Force m'est trop. As the Twelve Years' Truce drew to its close, both the Spaniards and the Dutch realized that it would neither be renewed nor converted into a peace. Spain had the greater problems: the devastating Thirty Years' War was just beginning and demanded immediate attention; France could not be trusted; and England, under James I, was threat ening war also. In the Low Countries the victory of Contra-Remonstrantism meant a vigorous thrust toward renewed combat. When the West India Company was founded, it was a certain sign that war lay ahead. Advised of Dutch belligerency and fearful of further aggression against his West Indian domain, the Spanish king had sent word that all Caribbean garrisons be reinforced and that the fortresses of San Juan de Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, Santiago de Cuba, and Havana be strengthened.1 Although no formal plan to harry the Caribbean had been developed by the Dutch during the final years of the Truce, hearsay had it that a raid on Havana was in the making. Already in 1619 Philip III had asked the Archduke Albert of the Southern Nether lands to examine certain rumors about imminent attacks on the West Indies and to keep him abreast of the progress in the creation of the West India Company.2 The following year the Spanish War Council had advised that "small occasion will suffice for the Hollanders to disregard what is left of the truce, and for the English to break the peace. "3 A year later the war between Spain and the rebels had been resumed and within a few weeks, on June 3, 1621, the West India Company received its charter. In September the Infanta Isabel sent her brother Philip III a map together with the details of the new company's designs on Havana. To forestall any inimical action by the heavily manned fortress which guarded the town from the sea, the Dutch plan first committed itself only to the seizure of Matanzas Bay. With that

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I42 natural harbor securely in Dutch hands, Havana would lay stripped of its defenses, an easy prey. Needless to say, the proposed enterprise displayed an accurate acquaintance with the local situation and a keen appraisal of the fact that the Spaniards had been notoriously careless about the possibility of a landside attack. The threat of a Dutch naval base that might adjoin Havana became a major Spanish nightmare for years to come. The Dutch correctly surmised that a foothold at Matanzas would allow them to play havoc with Spanish shipping to Havana, most especially with the treasure fleets from Porto Bello, Honduras, and Vera Cruz. The Spaniards, according to all expectations, thought that navigation westward from Matanzas was an insuperable task, but the Dutch relied on their superior yardstick of experience to overcome all obstacles. Whatever basis for truth the plan sent by Isabel may have contained (there is nothing in the Dutch archives to confirm it), the Spaniards were clearly worried. The War Council recommended an immediate survey of Matanzas and urged that a report be submitted on the feasibility of fortifying the bay. In an obscure effort to be on guard against any type of foray, the council also suggested that maps of all other indentations on the Cuban coast be forwarded.5 The Spaniards hoped that the expenses of protecting a base in the midst of enemy territory would overtax the Dutch, as a similar English experience in Virginia and on Bermuda had demonstrated. The Spanish king also relied on the profit-seeking motive behind all Dutch enterprises. A Dutch base on Cuba would be both a needless burden, and an un justifiable expense to the West India Company. The alarm, which had not yet been fully allayed, rose again when Cardinal Alfonso de la Cueva reported from Brussels that three vessels were being fitted out in Zeeland for some enterprise in the West Indies.6 The shadow of Matanzas again darkened the Spanish sky. A former governor of Havana, Gaspar Ruiz de Pereda, although once he had expressed fear of the Dutch at Matanzas, now argued that the roughness of the terrain would make a land attack extremely unlikely. He also indicated that the Spaniards were acclimatized to the area, that the enemy was not, and that sickness would fight for the Spaniards. Havana could muster six hundred men, Pereda added, and the only real danger was that the cimarrones (the escaped slaves) would join the Dutch, due to their desire for freedom and their hatred of their former masters. The governor of Havana, Francisco Venegas, was alerted and replied that he was prepared. Morro Castle was virtually impregnable and the two other forts well garrisoned. He did not believe that the

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143 port would ever be attacked, since he regarded such an attempt as sheer folly. When new evidence of Dutch ambitions for Cuba was brought to the attention of the Crown in August, 1622, Venegas received a second summons.7 Notwithstanding such royal concern, however, Venegas still felt absolutely sure that the Dutch would not risk an attack: "I have sent five ships for four months along the North coast of this island and Hispaniola. They have not met any enemy, nor received any notice of him. "8 Venegas died before he could repent of his excess of confidence and regret his presumptuous dismissal of all royal admonitions. Rumors were persistent. The Zeelandian squadron destined for Matanzas soon grew to twenty ships and two thousand men. Spanish informants had been correct insofar as the equipment of warships was concerned, but they had inadvertently associated these with the activities of the nascent West India Company. The only Dutch ships that frequented the Caribbean at the time were salt carriers and licensed privateers.9 The infant West India Company could not yet assimilate the tre mendous project which was thought to be forthcoming, however much it wanted to. It simply lacked the financial means to do much of anything. All that it could manage in those early years was the issue of wood and salt letters to private entrepreneurs like Jan Jaricks of Stavoren, who must have been one of the first to receive this kind of license. When Jaricks visited the salt pans of St. Martin and Bonaire, he became embroiled with the Spanish governor of the latter island. The Dutchman was put in irons, but the governor changed his mind and gave the Dutch permission to cut wood there. Jaricks returned to his homeland with tobacco, wood, and valuable information.10 As soon as Punta de Araya was included in its charter, however, the company rigidly enforced its prerogatives on all ships that were headed for the Caribbean. In the latter part of 1621, the States General extended a formal invitation to the West India Company to join in a proposed attack on Peru and the Pacific coast "to make big conquests and much booty."" The plan included a complement of 9 ships and 1,600 men under the command of Jacques l'Hermite, former official of the East India Company. A reconnoitering tour of the Spanish colonial defense system was also part of the plan. Prior to the establishment of its sister company, however, the Dutch East India Company had already made substantial investments in the project. De Laet explains why the West India Company declined to participate in this venture: lack of funds and little chance of success.12

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i44 This fleet, the so-called Nassau fleet, sailed in 1623, and Spain immediately assumed that it was headed for the Caribbean. Venegas was once more notified, and debates on viable targets for the Dutch fleet to attack occupied the Spanish War Council for a month. Al though the Spaniards were well acquainted with many details, they were quite deluded about the objective; the Dutch had no design on the Caribbean. They sailed across the Atlantic, appropriated the island of Fernando de Noronha and, following the coast, continued south through the Le Maire Strait on to the Pacific. For some time the fleet cruised along the Pacific coast, but it failed to capture the Peruvian silver ships and proceeded on its course westward to the Malay archipelago. Only two ships completed the round trip. Although they came home with good cargoes, there was still little profit in the venture. The West India Company could congratulate itself that it had not become involved in that expedition. When the company became solvent in 1623, it soon turned to aggressive activity in both African and American waters and took the lead against Spain in the Caribbean. Contrary to general opinion, it was the West India Company far more than the sister company in the East that bore the burden of Dutch warfare outside of European waters. The regions brought under the flag of the United Provinces in the West and in Africa far surpassed those areas captured in the East during the period of the first charter. Further, the company's activities undoubtedly exceeded English enterprises in the West Indies in that same period. Even under Charles I, who followed a more pronounced anti-Spanish policy, and despite the Treaty of Southamp ton which united the two Protestant nations in 162^ against Spain, the English still fought their Spanish war half-heartedly.13 From the outset, therefore, the company was intended to be one arm of the government for circumscribing Spain at sea. In the early years numerous schemes were put forthelaborate plots which invariably floundered on a lack of available funds. By 1624, however, the company was well enough situated to operate three or four fleets simultaneously in American and in African waters. These fleets constantly disturbed the normal course of Spanish traffic and kept the Caribbean in a state of lasting alarm. Indeed, they enforced such a blockade on Cuba that the island was brought to the verge of economic collapse.l* Havana was too important and too strategic a bulwark, however, to permit Dutch activity to go unchecked. Even closer to the Spanish heart were the treasure fleets. Normally there were two fleets: the jiota or New Spain fleet and the galeones to Tierra Firme and Porto

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3. Map of the Caribbean with the Dutch expeditions of 1624-26. From De Laet/ Naber I.

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H* Bello. The Honduras flotilla, consisting of two or three ships, is sometimes referred to casually as a third fleet. The Tierra Firme fleet, although better protected than the JJota and traveling a shorter distance through the enemy-infested Caribbean area, was ordered in 1623 to remain in port until further notice. The New Spain fleet, moreover, was nine months behind schedule. Financially, therefore, Spain was no longer in a position to impose either her will or her gold upon Europe's If the empire was to be spared from impending disaster, the situa tion demanded immediate and positive action. A fourteen-galleon fleet was thus dispatched to the West Indies to guard Havana while the treasure ships were anchored there. This fleet was under the com mand of Admiral To mas de Larraspuru, who, after crossing the Atlantic, made an unexpected raid on Punta de Araya where he captured six Dutch salt carriers. Beforehand, while at anchor in Porto Bello, he sent a scouting unit consisting of four galleons to Jamaica to investigate the presence of some suspicious sails. These ships turned out to be four small Dutch reconnoitering vessels, which had earlier disembarked two hundred men at Sisal on the main coast and burnt that town.16 The Dutch easily escaped the heavier, more cumbersome Spanish galleons. Larraspuru, in the meantime, pro ceeded toward Havana where he picked up the treasure fleets and escorted them to Spain. They arrived there in August, 1624, bearing thirteen million guilders in gold, silver, and other products. Despite this noteworthy achievement, the admiral had been the victim of faulty Spanish information which had led him to the wrong place. A month earlier, the terrible news had reached Spain that the rebellious provinces had successfully attacked Bahia de Todos os Santos (the Bay of All Saints); Larraspuru's actions did nothing to efface this affront. Yet the unharmed treasure lay as a potent ointment on the open wound. A "Great Design" to attack Spain simultaneously in Europe, Africa, and America with three fleets never materialized. The sums needed for the undertaking were simply too enormous. The Heren xix had to satisfy themselves with more realistic projects. Discussions in their meetings centered on various proposals. The West Frisian Chamberthe Northern Quarterwanted to occupy Punta de Araya but could not gain sufficient support. A plan to attack the Peruvian silver fleet in the Pacific was also rejected, and the same outcome awaited a design to capture the Brazilian sugar fleet. The xix were well aware that all these plans required both time and moneytwo luxuries that they could ill afford at this time. In order to obtain the

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146 necessary subscriptions for the company's survival, fast and easy returns were the order of the day and the most immediate exigencies.1? Thus the Heren xix for a time thought of attacking the Portuguese slave trade from Africa to Brazil and the West Indies in order "to stop that spring of the king's best finances." The Dutch had long been interested in Africa and "in that profitable trade in blacks the Portu guese were carrying on there. "l8 The xix were all in favor of wresting this thriving business from the Iberians. Until this time, however, the West India Company had been reluctant to assume responsibility for Fort Nassau, the sole Dutch possession in Africa. It had surrendered it to the deft management of the admiralty board of Amsterdam, mainly because of the expenses involved in its maintenance. But the Heren xix, when they finally realized the strategic value of this stronghold and had sufficient finances at their disposal, now moved to take over. In addition, the company well knew that an African enter prise needed little preparation and would not require expensive equipment or big fleets. It would suffice to destroy the Spanish and Portuguese ships and storehouses in order to transfer as much of the cargoes as possible. It was even conceivable that the Dutch would gain adherents among the local Negro population. The Dutch were well briefed on the several slave-loading ports: Sao Tiago, Sao Thome, Sao Jorge da Mina (Elmina), and Sao Paulo de Luanda.1' Many Dutch sailors had been held prisoner by the Por tuguese garrisons in these settlements and had thus acquired an intimate knowledge of their ground plans. Of the four settlements, Sao Jorge da Mina was the most susceptible to capture. It had a reputation, however, of being impregnable, and therefore the atten tion of the xix was diverted to Sao Paulo de Luanda which presented the least obstacles. Its slaves were cheap and docile, the kind of working stock which would bring a good price in Brazil and the Caribbean. Profits would be assured. For some time, discussions among the xix centered on whether the West India Company should participate in the slave trade itself. The original plan had only called for the destruction of the Iberian trade to the particular detriment of the Spanish king. Soon the second step was taken, to monopolize it for the benefit of the company and its stockholders. To participate in this new venture opened a variety of perspectives. Profits were involved but moral issues were also. To pacify the disturbing voice of conscience, a commission was appointed to reconcile the trade in human beings with the doctrines of Calvinistic Christianity. As is not uncommon, the moral objections which were considered were no match for the tantalizing lure of profit.

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H7 While this commission worked on the theological problem, a small squadron was being fitted out by the Chamber of Amsterdam for the purpose of exploring the West African coast. Under Philip van Zuylen, this unit left for Africa in September, 1623. It carried a few selected commodities for barter, and was sanctioned by explicit privateering instructions. Its commander was specifically ordered to develop friendly relations with the Negro population. The timing of this expedition was highly propitious, since mounting tension between the Portuguese and the Negro princes in the area had already erupted into open warfare. The Portuguese governor of Luanda, Joao Correia de Sousa, had invaded the Congo and massacred its inhabitants. Immediately the Negro ruler of Sonho had enlisted the aid of the Dutch trading post at Mpinda and had even written Prince Maurits for support against the Portuguese. He offered to reimburse the Dutch with ivory, copper, and gold. A Dutch intervention looked profitable, and especially so since a second purge by de Sousa in this guerra preta (black war) caused disgust even among the Portuguese population.20 Van Zuylen's fleet, of course, could do little about this situation, since he was authorized only to contact the Negro princes and to pave the way for a second and larger fleet, nine ships and nine hundred soldiers, that was to follow. The combined Dutch fleet was then to conquer Luanda and to support the Negroes hostile to the Portuguese. It would effectively establish control by the West India Company over that part of the coast. Together with Fort Nassau, an excellent strategic position would be created that would allow the Dutch to hamper seriously Spanish and Portuguese slave trading. Wandering aimlessly in African waters, van Zuylen's hands were tied until the arrival of the promised fleet. The latter ships, however, were still in the preparatory stage and the Dutch commander, mean while, was ordered to lay an effective blockade on Sao Paulo de Luanda's port. Compared to contemporary Dutch exploits in other areas of the globe, van Zuylen seemed pursued by consistent bad luck. He committed one serious blunder after another. Although he was well acquainted with Luanda's excellent port, he failed to seal it off effectively and left a less important southern entrance unguarded. The Portuguese were thus able to build up an adequate defense and to offer a stubborn fight. To make matters worse, the Dutch commander deliberately violated his instructions by lifting the blockade before the other Dutch fleet had joined him. In flagrantly disobeying orders, he sailed to the Congo in hopes of taking some prizes there. His breach of command was to have far-reaching consequences: the other Dutch expedition to Africa was to lose its purpose, and the high hopes

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148 which the xix had entertained with regard to Africa were to be destroyed.21 In the meantime subscriptions had accumulated, and the company could dispose of more cash. Some of the xix were not too impressed with the accomplishments of the summer of 1623 and were probably still reminiscing about the "Great Design" of 1621. One such was BoudewijnHendricksz, who came forward with a new and daring proposal in the September meeting of the board. In imitation of van Zuylen's exploits, he eagerly volunteered to go to the Caribbean under the same conditions. The xix appointed Dierick Ruyters and Frederick I'Hermite to look into Hendricksz' new proposal. Just then, an even more ostentatious project was elicited: the conquest of Brazil.22 The Heren xix did not lose much time with talk. The plan to take Brazil from the Portuguese outweighed all others in its brilliant conception and was accepted with incredible speed. The xix did not intend^ however, to abandon altogether the other projectsfar from it. The reconnoitering mission proposed by Boudewijn Hendricksz was to be carried out at the same time. Although the science of psychology was as yet unheard of, the Heren xix realized only too well the psychological implications of their plan: if it were not the great design of 1621, it was certainly a "Great Design." An unexpected attack on Brazil, concluding in the capture of Bahia, would surprise the Iberians and inevitably hurt their prestige. Two Dutch fleets operating at the same time in African and Caribbean waters would add to the enemy's confusion and fill him with terror. Although the xix, as yet, did not know the outcome of van Zuylen's abortive attempt to impose control over the port of Sao Paulo de Luanda, the African enterprise had been conceived as an intrinsic part of the much larger project. Brazil, Africa, and the Caribbean were suddenly perceived in unison by the empire builders of the United Provinces. Many times classified as grocers and cheesemongers, these seventeenth-century merchants were, in fact, men of vision. The Spaniards failed to fathom this point and dismissed the raids of the jlamencos and olarideses (Zeelanders and Hollanders) as mere piracy ventures. Brazil had now become the main target of the company's activities, however, and a huge expedition was in preparation against one of the main centers of this Portuguese possession: Sao Salvador da Bahia de Todos os Santos. Why Bahia? "Because," writes de Laet, "that bay is so situated that every fleet could enter and leave it easily, while from there also other parts of America could unexpectedly be

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149 assaulted. "23 A pamphlet of 1624, printed in Amsterdam, gives twenty other reasons for singling out Brazil, some of them very persuasive.2* The Dutch certainly relied on the Lusitanians, long enemies of the Spaniards, to join them in their fight against the com mon foe. Besides, the Spaniards habitually regarded the Portuguese colonies as "a foreign possession for which they did not have to use their full strength. "2s The Dutch were no strangers to Brazil. They had been conducting a profitable wood and sugar trade in the area since 15:94. As Engel Sluiter has pointed out, the rebellious Low Countries had also provided a haven for many Portuguese refugees who had retained their commercial and financial connections with Lisbon, Viana, Oporto, and Brazil. After 1621, from ten to fifteen ships were built annually and assigned to the Brazilian trade; between forty thousand and fifty thousand chests of Brazilian sugar entered the Netherlands yearly^ Besides, Spain had never sought to inflict its own obstructive bureauc racy on the possession and had closed her eyes to an otherwise illegitimate trade. All these answers mightsingly or jointlybe posed to the question of "Why Brazil?" For good measure one op timist had also calculated that the colony, in the hands of the Dutch, would yield about 8,000,000 guilders annually whereas the cost of conquest and defense did not exceed 2,500,000 guilders.27 During the Truce it was said that from one-half to two-thirds of the trade between Brazil and Europe was in Dutch or Dutch-Portuguese hands. These estimates are clear proof of how the Portuguese officials in Brazil abjured Spanish monopolistic practices. They indicate, more^ over, the significance of the Dutch interest in Brazil. There were also those who favored Brazil in anticipation of the fact that it would be less well guarded by Spain with respect to her own colonies. This argument was powerfully reinforced when an Anglo-Persian fleet captured Ormuz, a Portuguese trading post in the Persian Gulf. In this case, Spain did no more than send some paper protests.28 Yet Usselinx, for one, was not impressed with any of the arguments and insisted that "The voyage is too long, the expenses are too high." Although "the women at the wash benches and children in the alleys were talking of it lightly," Usselinx thought that Brazil was "not the kind of cat to be handled without gloves." In his judg ment, the strength of the Dutch expeditionary force was totally unequal to the task, and he admonished his fellow countrymen that no matter how much the Portuguese disliked the Spaniards, it would be plain stupidity to expect them to side with heretics against Catholics. Nor, he argued, should any reliance on crypto-Jewish cooperation be

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ISO counted on.2' As was often the case, Usselinx' opinions were disregarded. During the successive meetings of the Heren xix in the late summer and fall of 1623, enthusiasm for the planned enterprises continued to grow. The fleet of nine ships that had originally been earmarked for Africa received a new destination: Brazil. In successive meetings, this force was increased to a total of twenty-three ships and three yachts. Another Caribbean-bound squadron was set at three ships, to be commissioned by the Zeeland Chamber of the company. To mislead Spain, which had her agents everywhere, rumors were spread thJMt a fleet of twelve sails had been equipped for peaceful ventures. In the meantime, however, the recruiting drum had enlisted 3,200 soldiers and sailors. Jacob Willekens of Amsterdam, a former herring merchant who had achieved a considerable degree of success in the service of the Dutch East India Company, was invited to be the com mander of the Brazil-bound fleet. His vice-admiral was Piet Heyn. When Prince Maurits urged that a separate commander for the 1,600 soldiers be appointed, the choice fell on Colonel Jan van Dorth, lord of the manor of Horst and Perch. The artillery for the mission was supplied by the well-known Dutch-Swedish cannon caster Elias Trip.30 Although the difficulties of the venture were not ignored by the Heren xix, they were undoubtedly minimized and underestimated. Sao Salvador was known to be well protected by several forts. Yet the xix were self-assured, anxious to invest most of their funds in the project, and persistent in their requests that the government support them in accordance with Article XL of their charter. By December, 1623, the majority of the fleet's units had left Dutch ports. The ships refreshed at the Cape Verde Islands and proceeded across the Atlantic. They appeared before Sao Salvador on May 8,16 24to the amazement and discomfort of the inhabitants. Since the governor, Diego de Mendonca Furtado, had not been warned until the very last moment, he had very little opportunity to organize his tactics. But then, any attempt to defend Brazil's 800-mile coastline would have been preposterous. The Dutch attack on the Bay of All Saints ended in a resounding victory. But the cowardly behavior of many of the defenders and the panic that circulated among the civilians helped the Dutch cause. Faced by desertions and overwhelming odds, the governor abjectly capitulated. The Dutch suffered a mere fifty casualties and acquired a savory booty in The victors understood, of course, that the conquest of Sao Salvador only meant a beginning. The next step would be to barricade

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II the town and to consolidate their position, followed by the submission of the surrounding regions. Obviously, immediate reinforcements would be necessary. Although news of the Dutch victory did not reach the United Provinces until August, it was already known in Spain in July. The interval gave the Spaniards a precious month in which to plan their counterattack. The minutes of the meetings of the Heren xix in those months are eloquent testimony to the zeal of the board to sustain the initial success, to keep the town in the hands of the company, and to stabilize trade there.32 It was well understood that Spain would do her utmost to retake the place in order to salvage her own prestige and to quiet Portuguese accusations of negligence. Dutch informers soon revealed the measures which the Spanish planned in retaliation. But even before this information had arrived, the xix had already decided to equip another fleet destined for Brazil. A yacht was sent to Willekens to advise him of this. Director Samuel Blommaert, who was mindful of the Dutch plight on the African coast, proposed a slight alteration of the yacht's course so that it could give van Zuylen the good news and inform him of the change in plans.33 This slight modification, however, in turn caused a delay in letting the Dutch at Bahia know that help was on the way. The decision to outfit twelve ships for reinforcing the new strong hold in Brazil was made in March, 1624. In April, the representative of Their High Mightinesses on the board of the xix suggested that this fleet first be tested in a blockade off the Iberian coast, a move which would deny Spain her access to Brazil. The same force was then to be put at the disposal of the Dutch East India fleet for safe conduct home. The Heren xix were unanimously of the opinion that they could not refuse this request by their most important stockholder, and agreed to send that part of their fleet which was ready to sail to Spain.3* In June, 1624, a squadron of four ships and three yachts left the Low Countries. But its contradictory goals resulted in its failure to effect a blockade of the Iberian coast. When news of the victory at Bahia was received in the United Provinces, however, the Heren xix immediately decided to dispatch a second yacht to notify the Dutch leaders in Brazil that help Was coming, even though some of the rescue units had been temporarily detoured to Spain. At about the same time, the xix were informed that the traditional Iberian lethargy had been superseded by an unflinching desire to recapture Bahia. The implications of this change in Spanish response were not lost on the board of the company. Word came that the Spanish king had appointed his finest sailor,

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IP Fadrique de Toledo, to lead the Jornada del Brazil. The Iberians mus tered o ships with 1,200 cannons and 12,000 men. They arrived at Bahia by the end of March, 1625, and found the Dutch much demor alized because of inferior leadership. Van Dorth had been killed in a skirmish, and Admiral Willekens had followed his orders by withdrawing when he thought that the place was adequately fortified. With promised support for van Zuylen in mind, the Heren xix had also ordered Vice-Admiral Piet Heyn to leave Bahia for the west coast of Africa once the Dutch position in Brazil seemed secure. While the town had thus been strengthened and well provisioned for a siege of perhaps three or four months, there were no longer enough ships for a proper defense. The main reason for its forthcoming loss, however, was to be found in the incapable commanders who had succeeded van Dorth. Don Fadrique de Toledo made a smooth entrance. Towards the end of April, after a siege of one month, the Iberians had recouped their prestige and Spain had regained das ihr entrissene Kleinod (the stolen jewel) in a short time and at little cost.35 When Dutch rein forcements showed up a full month later, nothing remained of their former victory. While the young company had worked hard to convert its "Great Design" into an unprecedented success, the Chamber of Amsterdam had, besides its cooperation in the equipment of the bigger fleet, finished the preparation of the other shipsthose which were in tended to come to the rescue of van Zuylen and those charged with the blockade of the Spanish coast. In the meantime, Zeeland had supplied the ships for the exploratory expedition in the Caribbean. The latter three ships were under the able command of Pieter Schoutenwho, on a previous excursion into American waters, had succeeded in generating a mutually harmonious relationship with the natives in the Lesser Antilles. Schouten's sailing orders included a foray into "that part of the Sinum Mexicanum called the Gulf of Honduras" with the stipulation that he capture the two Honduras ships which annually brought their cargo to Havana around June.35 The richly endowed Honduras ships had long been the object of Dutch covetousness. Efforts to capture them had already occurred prior to the Truce. In 1606, for instance, a small Dutch force had attacked the two galleons in their harbor at San Tomas de Castillo. In the succeeding scuffle, which is recorded in Spanish sources, the Dutch lost a ship and scurried off disgracefully. A few days later, they made another futile attempt to get the Spanish treasures.37

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i S3 Schouten's expedition was the first that was organized by the West India Company to the Caribbean. His ships left port with Willekens' fleet but separated from it after refreshing at the Cape Verde Islands. He arrived at Barbados in mid-March and proceeded immediately to the various neighboring islands on exploratory and privateering ventures. Indians living on the islands were invited on board his ships and were cordially received. In return, the Dutch were re warded with much valuable information on Spanish shipping and defenses. As soon as the circumstances permitted, the crews as sembled the small sloops, transported in sections on board the ships, and rowed in close to shore to ascertain the possible location of the salt pans, fresh water, and fruit. From the Lesser Antilles the small squadron leisurely cruised along Tierra Firme into the Gulf of Mexico. It explored that Gulf, sailed on to Haiti's southern coast, reconnoitered Jamaica, added to the consternation in Cuba, and then set course to the northern coast of Yucatan. There the Dutch plundered, raided, and looted wherever they had the opportunity. Of the two small towns on the Yucatan peninsula, Silan and Sisal, the latter was completely destroyed. At one point the squadron ran into a few Spanish ships that were engaged in plying their trade between the colonies. Without much ado, these were overpowered; their cargoes were captured and the prizes burned. After interrogation, the crews were put ashore. Schouten, then sailing north of Havana in July, caught a glimpse of a treasure fleet entering that port. He was too weak to dream of attacking it, however. One of his ships, which had been separated from the other two, met the Honduras flotilla at Cape San Antonio and was so successful that it was able to seize one of the galleons. While towing this glorious prize home, the Dutch ship was wrecked at the Dry Tortugas, and was abandoned by its crew who returned aboard the Honduras ship in September, 1624. Schouten himself sailed home to Zeeland at the end of February, 162^; he arrived in mid-April, rich in booty and information.38 In the interim, one week after Willekens' departure from the Bay of All Saints, Piet Heyn had left alsoaccording to his instructions with the intention of joining van Zuylen's squadron. Together, the two Dutchmen were to seize the Portuguese slave depot of SSo Paulo de Luanda. Heyn hence crossed the Atlantic with 2 ships, 2 yachts, 2 shallops, and crews totaling 2 go men, not a sufficient enough force for the important assignment which he was to perform. As yet un aware of the course of events, Heyn had expected to be reinforced with van Zuylen's three ships. The Heren xix, believing the forti-

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i 4 fications of Luanda to be flimsily guarded, had also taken it for granted that van Zuylen would meanwhile have blockaded its port successfully. He would thus have prevented the arrival of reinforcements and would have cut off the Brazilian slave supply. The move would have paralyzed the sugar mills and weakened the resistance to Dutch conquest. As a joint force, Heyn and van Zuylen were then supposed to occupy the town, to secure for the West India Company the main slave depot in Africa, and to consolidate the Dutch position in Brazil. 3 The xix were overconfident, contemplating the future with whole some optimism and professing the utmost faith in the exhilarating destiny of their country. Absorbed by the many avenues opened to them by superior Dutch naval power and by only latent enemy op position, they envisaged a world contracted by the sprawling arms of Dutch conquest. No one can deny that this "Great Design" was a plan with vision. The Heren xix, whatever their other limitations, could not be accused of narrow politicking. From the outset they had concep tualized the interrelationship between the two Atlantic coasts and had had the foresight to perceive the necessary power bases for an empire. Although the company was ultimately frustrated in this grand scheme, was it really to blame? Bahia fell because the wrong men made the wrong decisions. Although Piet Heyn failed, he was competent and courageous. When van Zuylen declined to obey orders, he thus jeopardized the whole cleverly contrived stratagem. Heyn left Bahia in August, 1624, sallying forth along a route hitherto practically unknown to the Dutch. Accompanying him, however, was Dierick Ruyters, who had earlier described that very course in his Torch of Navigation. Still, it was difficult sailing, and in early October, at a fleet council called by Heyn, it was ascertained that the various captains differed by at least ninety miles in the respective estimates of their positions. The problem was one of longitude, a navigational difficulty as yet unsolved despite Plancius' improvements on the astrolabe. With scurvy and thirst threatening the crews, they sighted the African coast a few weeks later. By late October Heyn arrived at Luanda, but van Zuylen, despairing of the long delay, had left in pursuit of more tangible advantages. The "Great Design" had to be abandoned, at least its African part. Sailing close to the shore, Piet Heyn sighted twenty-five ships anchored close to the fort. At least four of them were well armed. From a Portuguese slave trader, captured in the neighborhood, the Dutch commander found out that there were at least 1,800 soldiers in Luanda together with many thousands of Negro troops to be used

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*ss as auxiliaries. Heyn could not know whether these estimates were exaggerated, and he discussed the possibility of an attack with his captains. Since the circumstances had changed for the worse, a night attack was eventually agreed upon. This plan of action inflicted only a small amount of damage on the Portuguese, and it did not accrue any positive advantages to the Dutch. Heyn consequently decided to carry through the second part of his instructions, and the Dutch fleet sailed south to the Congo River. It joined up there with van Zuylen, but the latter's squadron was badly in need of supplies, and perforce committed to a swift journey home. Heyn proceeded on his own to the Prince of Sonho who, two years before, had appealed to Prince Maurits for help. The Portuguese were not bothering that Negro ruler at the moment, however, and he denied having ever written any letter requesting help from the Dutch. Piet Heyn continued south to Luanga and the island of Annabon, where he arrived in January, 1625-. He refreshed there, and then crossed the Atlantic once more to Brazil.40 Heyn's instructions also extended to Bahia where he was to check if his services were needed there. His landing in Brazil was too far to the south, however, at the small town of Espirito Santo, and he made an inevitable change in strategy, took some prizes, then con tinued north along the coast. He reached Bahia while Fadrique de Toledo had the city Sao Salvador under siege. Heyn's force, weakened as it was by the arduous journey, was powerless to relieve the town. Haphazardly cruising along the coast, he waited until the fall of Bahia was relayed to him. He then sailed to the island of Fernando de Noronha to refresh and give his crews a chance to unbend. Some nine days later he resumed his voyage homeward and arrived in the Low Countries at the end of July, i62j. The first "Great Design" was at an end. Backed by the benefit of hindsight, it is no difficult task to recognize the erroneous supposition that provided the bases for the West India Company's first "Great Design." In the first place, while it was easy enough for the Heren xix to draw up ostentatious blueprints along with appropriate instructions for their execution, once the fleets were at sea they became independent units, subject to all types of adversity, creatures of the wind, current, and other elements. Since information services were nonexistent, there was no way to amend plans once the ships had sailed. The blockade of the Iberian coast, the expedition of Willekens against Bahia, and the two smaller ones under van Zuylen and Schouten were all part of a "Great Design." The plan aimed to paralyze Spain

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1*6 by depriving her of her sugar-producing colony and her slave market, while spreading terror in the Caribbean and gaining valuable in formation for later invasions and attacks on her treasure fleets. Two errors committed by the Dutch were obvious from the start, however sound the overall strategy may have been. The first and main error was to trust the defense of Bahia to insufficient naval support. The second mistake, as Boxer rightly points out, lay in the very dissipation of this strength. The plan to send Heyn to Africa to capture Luanda was excellent, if Willekens had held out until the arrival of the promised fleet. The separation of Heyn was undertaken, writes Boxer, because of a correct appreciation by the Dutch that to retain Brazil, they had to control the principal slave market in Africa. A vehement Iberian reaction, however, should have been a natural premise. In fact, the Heren xix were soon familiar with the vicissi tudes of Spanish national pride, and knew the movements in Iberian ports down to the most intimate details. The yachts sent to Bahia which brought tidings of forthcoming help should have impressed upon Willekens, van Dorth, or their successors the need to wait for their own reinforcing fleet sent to guard the captured stronghold. Fallacious reasoning led not only to the loss of Bahia, but also to a costly and irresponsible undertaking in Africa. Yet, the Heren xix could not have anticipated the cowardly be havior of their fellowmen at Bahia. With magazines stacked full of provisions, plenty of men at their disposal, well equipped behind a strong fortress, and advised that help was on its way, they nevertheless capitulated without a struggle. The xix could not have known, more over, that van Zuylen, thought to be well acquainted with the local situation on the west coast, would do so poorly at Luanda and cause the expedition under Heyn to collapse altogether. The dismal failure of their first "Great Design" was as yet ignored by the Heren xix when plans for a new project, closely related to the first, were canvassed. Emboldened by the triumphal entry into Bahia, these men of action displayed little use for self-conscious eulogies. They energetically tackled a new task. The committee of directors assigned to hatch the new scheme required only four days for the work. It proposed the outfitting of eighteen ships and seven yachts for immediate use as well as the assembly of a supplementary force of thirty-five or thirty-seven ships in which Their High Mightinesses would be offered a half interest. +1 Thus Brazil had become a powerful stimulant in whetting the appetite of the imperturbable Dutch. Discussions by the Heren xix resulted in the resolution to prepare, first of all, a fleet of 2^ ships as suggested and to man these with

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i7 1,700 sailors and some 1,400 soldiers. The choice of admiral fell to Jan Dirckszoon Lam.42 Because of worrisome rumors of Spanish effervescence, the xix hastened the creation of the second fleet. When the States General failed to respond immediately to their request, based on Article XL of the charter, they settled for fourteen ships and two yachts. The arrival of Willekens at the end of December, how ever, brought new information, which was probably influential in the decision to increase the size of this fleet. This decision was detrimental to Lam whose escort was consequently much reduced. The larger fleet, which now consisted of more than thirty ships, was placed under the command of Boudewijn Hendricksz, a burgomaster of the West Frisian town of Edam and a director of the company. Hendricksz received the rank of general, and Lam, as admiral of the smaller fleet, had to obey his orders. No r was that all. Lam was ordered to sail to Africa and to make amends for the van Zuylen fiasco. Once again, while aiming at Brazil, the Heren xix did not neglect its "black mother."43 Recognizing that Lam's flotilla was, by itself, too frail for any large scale operation, the xix voted to equip a third fleet of twelve ships under Admiral Andries Veron who would accompany Hendricksz to Brazil. It would then be released to join Lam for a concerted attack on Africa's west coast. Hendricksz himself was instructed that, once Bahia was in safe hands, he was to sail to the Caribbean in order to raid Puerto Rico and to defy the Spanish silver fleets. The similarities between this project and the original "Great Design" are self-evident. In addition, it might be argued that this second enterprise was really an extension of the first, a necessary and consecutive stage in a fascinating and brilliantly conceived drama. The powerful fleet of Boudewijn Hendrickszthe most ambitious Dutch fleet up to that time ever to have crossed the Atlanticwas designed to consolidate Dutch control over Bahia. Brazil was still the main center of interest as it had been a year earlier. But Africa and the Caribbean also remained as targets of concern. Lam's expedition approximated van Zuylen's enterprise. Despite its lack of political and military success, the Heren xix did not forget that the van Zuylen venture had been highly profitable. The third auxiliary fleet under Veron had instructions which closely resembled those given the first time to Piet Heyn. Hendricksz' ordinances alluded to the surprising success of Schouten and were accordingly expanded. The weaknesses of this second "Great Design" are also obvious. Again there would be a dissipation of forces. This serious error would far outweigh the possible advantages gained from striking Spain in

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i*8 several areas at once and throwing her defenses into complete disarray. As in the first instance, the goals of this second "Design" were much too ambiguous: the third fleet had to accomplish two tasks, first in Brazil and then in Africa. Hendricksz had to protect and strengthen the Dutch position at Bahia before he could proceed on the difficult mission in the Caribbean. Last but not least, the Heren xix could easily project meetings at sea, but under bad weather conditions coupled with the failure to understand longitude, such confluences were almost impossible. The actual encounter between the fleets of Lam and Veron verged on the miraculous. Hendricksz left TexelAmsterdam's seaporton March i, 1625, although some of his ships had already left earlier and others would follow. Adverse weather had kept him at home longer than predicted. In spite of the delay, however, he hoped to arrive in time at Bahia to help in its defense against the Spanish-Portuguese fleet that was expected to arrive there at any time. At the Isle of Wight he met most of the other units of the fleet. From there he sailed south and joined some of Lam's ships to his own. With thirty-three ships at this point, Hendricksz, accompanied by Veron, crossed the Atlantic and sighted the Brazilian coast on May 23.*+ Unknown to either Dutch commander, Piet Heyn was almost simultaneously leaving Fernando de Noronha to return to Holland. The Dutch fleets must have passed within a hundred miles of each other. Had they had modern com munications and been able to merge forces, the Dutch would have comprised an unbeatable armadaeven against Fadrique de Toledo. As noted earlier, Hendricksz arrived too late to save Bahia. When he approached the bay and sighted the fifty or more Iberian ships, he could find no way to entice them into the open sea for battle. For two months the Dutch fleet coasted the Brazilian shore hoping for a change, waiting for the enemy to emerge. Don Fadrique, however, stayed where he was as long as he continued to receive reports on the whereabouts of the Dutch fleet. In July the Dutch general called a meeting of his captains and reluctantly forfeited the watch on Bahia in order to undertake his other commissions. He retained eighteen ships for himself, sent twelve ships under Veron to Africa to join Lam, and dismissed the remainder to go home with the prizes he had taken. When the ships fanned out on August 4, a swift-sailing yacht went ahead to convey the news to the Heren xix. Hendricksz arrived at St. Vincent, one of the Lesser Antilles, at the end of August, and paused there to refresh and to attend his many sick. Two weeks later anchors were lifted and the fleet sailed to the north.

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I 9 It was surprised by a hurricane, not rare at that time of the year, which swept away the main mast of the general's ship, and resulted in considerable additional destruction. Altogether, four ships were lost sight of in this storm; they were reassembled, however, within a few days. The crippled fleet rested and refreshed and then sailed to San Juan de Puerto Rico.45 Juan de Haro, who had participated in the war against the rebellious Netherlands as an officer in the army of the archduke, was at the time governor of Puerto Rico. He had assumed command of the fort of San Juan Felipe del Morro on September i, only to learn that the supplies of powder, weapons, fuses, and food were scarce. The news had reached him that the Dutch, now that Bahia had been recaptured, might sail back through the Caribbean. Nor had that eventuality gone unnoticed in Madrid, and the seriousness of the threat was reflected in the royal decision to warn all the governors in this area against the probability of a Dutch attack. *6 On September 24, 1625, the Dutch fleet was sighted from the Puerto Rican fort. It sailed into the harbor the next day, firing incessantly into the very teeth of the fort's guns, but it could only inflict superficial damage and kill not more than four men. "This was a very courageous deed," wrote de Laet, inspired with awe by Hendricksz' performance.47 The Spaniards were impressed, too. The Dutch ships dropped anchor in the port out of the reach of Haro's artillery. Intimidated by Dutch intrepidity, many Spanish soldiers and almost all the civilians deserted and fled into the woods. The governor had no choice but to retire within the fort. There he wrote two urgent letters to Santo Domingo and Havana, lamenting his predicament and clamoring for help. Because of Haro's communiques, the Dutch attack on Puerto Rico was known in Madrid by November, and the War Council immediately resolved to send help. It arrived, of course, much too late to be effective. Aid also came from Havana but again too late. The Dutch were unable to disembark many men on the day that they entered the harbor because of obstructive shoals. The ensuing delay acted as a reprieve for the inhabitants, and they escaped with their best possessions. The delay also allowed Haro to stock up on supplies. The next day, after an inventory, it was discovered that there were 330 men left to defend the fort, although more than 100 were old and sick. The storekeeper had done so well, moreover, that provisions would last for several weeks. Hendricksz, in the meantime, was about to disembark the rest of his men. The Dutch general, himself, was among the first to set foot

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i6o 4. Grondt-Teeckening vande Stadt en Kasteel Porto Rico ende Gelegenheyt vande Haven" (map ofthe town, castle, and port of Puerto Rico). From De Laet/Naber, 1

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I6I on Puerto Rico's soil, followed by seven hundred to eight hundred soldiers. The abandoned town was soon occupied, and the flag of the Prince of Orange was flown from the platform of the governor's mansion. Very likely, this was the first time a Dutch banner waved over a Caribbean island. From there the Dutch advanced toward the cathedral and smashed the images. A reconnaissance was made of the fort, and a day later trenches were dug on the landside of the castle. Hendricksz relied on his fleet to impede provisioning of the fort by sea. He learned from prisoners that supplies in the castle were dangerously low. The Dutch had soon set up a battery with six pieces of artillery which began firing that same day. The fort answered the fire, and there were casualties on both sides. The shooting continued for several days. At the end of September Hendricksz summoned the garrison to surrender. Haro refused rather tartly: "I have seen in Flanders," he wrote, "the boasts of those people."*8 The siege con tinued, and the Dutch dug in, hoping to starve out the enemy. Small boats from the neighboring regions were sneaking through the Dutch guard, however, and were able to make all kinds of deliveries to the Spaniards. The only positive advantage accruing to the Dutch in this stage was a small deserted fort, called Canuela, situated at the entrance of the bay. Hendricksz posted a ship in the Cano San Antonio to stop infiltrations from the plantations, farms, and cattle ranches east of that area, while his sloops kept the shores of the big harbor under constant vigilance. He could not cut off Haro's supply lines, however. Since the Spanish governor realized very well the strategic location of Canuela, he tried desperately to retake the fort. Occasional sorties followed, and, after three weeks, the Spaniards succeeded. Hen dricksz was never able to recoup this loss. The point had been driven home, and the Dutch general finally realized that the only way to force the main fort to fall was with the help of siege engineers. The situation was far from auspicious for the Dutch: they were in posses sion of the town, but that was all. An expected supply ship did not arrive. They sent a second letter to Haro requesting surrender and threatening the town with fire. Once again the answer was defiantly negative. "Go ahead," was Haro's proud reaction, "we have plenty of wood and other materials in the hills to rebuild it." Hendricksz began to withdraw from the island that same day. Yet, other problems now rose to the surface which required the general's full attention. He still had to leave the harbor, a difficult maneuver because, in the interim, Haro had ordered his artillery to be rearranged to cause the most harm to the Dutch fleet. The town

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162 was set afire on October 2 2; some Spanish ships in the harbor were also burned. The Dutch fleet then began edging out of the port. Haro opened fire immediately and the deadly aim of the Spanish cannon spread fear and havoc among the Dutch. Contrary winds added to Hendricksz' bad luck. Finally, after a week of evasions, trying to stay out of the reach of Haro's guns, Hendricksz could give the final signal for departure. Fate, however, continued to persecute the Dutch. The ship of their vice-admiral ran aground. On November 2, at last, the Dutch said goodbye to Puerto Rico, towing many disabled ships as a reminder of their encounter. Another ship ran aground, and in the end, had to be abandoned. Spanish sources report it to have been a new ship of five hundred tons with forty pieces of artillery. Had they known, the Dutch would have been partly consoled by the fact that in the battle of their departure, the brave governor of the island had been severely wounded. The Dutch occupation of San Juan de Puerto Rico had lasted five weeks. As soon as the successful beginning of Boudewijn Hendricksz' daring exploits had become known in the United Provinces, strong action had been taken by the Heren xix to keep the island. These efforts had very soon been stranded by the gloomy tidings of. the outcome.s It could not be denied that the Dutch had inflicted sub stantial damage: the town had been virtually destroyed and Haro had died shortly after the Dutch withdrawal, but Dutch ambitions had sustained a definite loss. Hendricksz retired his fleet to the Bay of San Francisco, on the northern coast of the island, to survey the destruction wrought by the Spanish holocaust. He had lost many men, perhaps as many as two hundred; one ship had been sunk, while others had either run leaks or lost their masts. Little solace was derived from the possession of the library of San Juan's bishop Bernardo de Balbuena, of whom Lope de Vega says: You had the crozier of Puerto Rico When the fierce Hendrick, Rebel Dutchman, Stole your library... .si For almost a month Hendricksz licked his wounds at San Francisco. Meanwhile, five ships were sent to Santo Domingo on a privateering mission and two others, loaded with booty, returned home. The remaining ships set sail to the west at the end of November. Along the way, the fleet was rejoined by the five privateering ships, which had returned with little profit. Adverse winds drove the Dutch

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i63 backward toward Puerto Rico, however, and at the beginning of January, 1626, Boudewijn Hendricksz once again found himself in the Bay of San Francisco. Governor Haro had learned from captured Dutch prisoners that Hendricksz' intentions were to go to Margarita to try to take that island.52 Warnings were sent to its governor and to Tierra Firme. The Dutch general, in the meantime, had set out for the Lesser Antilles in the face of terrible weather, although no ships were lost. When the fleet soon sailed in tranquil water again, it hopped from island to island, trying to find something worthwhile to attack. On February 2 2, the Dutch entered the port of Pampatar on the island of Margarita.53 The Spanish authorities on that island had been warned, however, and had called up all the colonists and Indians from their ranchos to defend the settlement. As soon as the Dutch fleet was sighted, the governor deployed his men over all the points he considered impor tant. He left twenty men at a watchtower which overlooked the harbor, flanked by two small bastions. It was the only fortification, if this construction merited the name, which defended the port of Pampatar.5 " Hendricksz divided his fleet into two squadrons. One sailed into the harbor firing at the citadel, whose garrison defended itself stoutly for more than an hour and a half. Then the Dutch had a stroke of fortune: one of their shots happened to explode in the mouth of the fort's bronze cannon, which caused headlong flight among the Spanish defenders. Hendricksz, in the meantime, had sailed with the other half of the fleet towards Lance de los Burros, a small inlet used by the Guaiqueri Indians to bring their proas onto the beach for caulking. The site was found to be undefended; the Spanish governor had thought it unworthy of attack, even by the heretic Dutch. Hendricksz landed about five hundred men here. In spite of Spanish resistance, they managed to make their way towards Pampatar. Under the personal command of the general they attacked the stronghold, surprised the fleeing Spaniards, and planted their flag on the tower. The cannons were brought on board the Dutch ships, the fort was razed to the ground, and the little town was burned.55 It may have been Hendricksz' intention to launch a similar raid against the capital Asuncion, two miles distant. Informed by a Negro deserter, however, that the Spaniards had fortified themselves along the main road, the Dutch general decided upon a change of tactics. The fleet parted and the individual ships set sail for distinct ports on the island. Most of them, nevertheless, converged upon Pueblo del

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164 Mar (Porlamar), two miles south of Asuncion. But the Dutch ships had too much draught to come in close to the shore, and the Spaniards lay in wait. Their governor was well prepared for any such emergency and had evacuated his soldiers and some Indian archers to hastily constructed trenches and fortifications. Soon aware of these circum stances, Hendricksz recalled his men and scurried off. In an age in which manifest destiny and personal bravado characterized the Dutch, Puerto Rico and Margarita were humiliating depressions. From Margarita the Dutch fleet sailed to Coche and Cubagua, two small islands south of Margarita, where the dead were buried and a small village was burned. The fleet afterwards coasted Tierra Firme, visiting little ports like Mochima and Santa Fe where soldiers dis embarked to loot and set fire to the neighboring settlements. It also visited the lagoon of Araya and, paying the price of a few men lost, took in a small amount of salt. A yacht was dispatched for home to report what had been accomplished thus farcertainly not much. On Easter, April 10, when the fleet arrived at Bonaire, its crews captured many sheep and cut some wood. The exploratory voyage continued for three more weeks toward the north. It is clear what Hendricksz had in mind. His instructions had been threefold: to relieve and provision Bahia (yet he had arrived too late); to take Puerto Rico (but that mission had also failed); and to catch a treasure fleet. It may be well to emphasize the point here that neither France, England, nor the United Provinces had, at the time, any designs on the treasure galleons of the Tierra Firme fleet. Hendricksz was, therefore, admonished to avoid any such encounter. The Spaniards, on the other hand, had variously ascribed this policy to cowardice. Again it will be recalled that profit and not glory was the all-powerful motive behind persistent Dutch probes into the West Indies. The Tierra Firme fleet, which was guarded by impressive Spanish sea-power, was considered unassailable. The Honduras flotilla and the New Spain fleet were comparatively less protected, and hence became the main targets of Dutch cupidity. The New Spain fleet was not due in Havana until July, as Hen dricksz knew, and he could thus count on at least a month to cruise in the Caribbean and seize whatever came into his hands. Although at times he split the fleet into units of three or four vessels, they fre quently all sailed together. The Dutch were everywhere: south of Hispaniola, around He a Vache and Cape Tiburon, on the coast of Jamaica, south and north of Puerto Rico, and in the Mona Passage. In the latter place two ships coming from the Amazonunder the command of Hendrick Jacobszoon Lucifer who had provisioned a

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i <* Zeelandian colonyjoined Hendricksz' fleet. Reinforced, the Dutch sailed about, encountered and sunk more Spanish ships, and generally spread terror and fear in the Caribbean.55 As early as the spring of 1625-, Madrid had counseled its governors in this part of the New World to take every precaution against the redoubtable menace of a Dutch invasion. 57 It was suggested that the governor of Havana patrol the north coast of Cuba, from Cape San Antonio to the island of Tortuga, and alert the New Spain fleet to any suspicious sails in these waters. At about the same time the viceroy of Peru, convinced that the Dutch were out in force on the Pacific, postponed the conveyance of Peruvian silver to Panama.58 In November, 162^, Cuba became really alarmed when news of the attack on Puerto Rico spread like wildfire over the island. Governor Venegas had died, and no successor had as yet been appointed. Cuba was leaderless. Under pressure of popular fright, though, the provisional government hastened to act by sending two ships to Puerto Rico's governor for information and support. Haro could not assuage their fever since he suspected that the Dutch were somewhere close by. Up to April, 1626, no further report on the activities of the Dutch fleet disturbed Havana. Still, the Spaniards could not alto gether suppress their premonitions and had kept up a constant state of vigilance. Then the news arrived that Hendricksz had sacked Marga rita. A month later more was learned about Dutch privateering. Indeed, the enemy fleet was now reported to be in the vicinity of the Isle of Pines. Having rounded Cape San Antonio, Cuba's extreme western cape, the Dutch fell upon a small Spanish vessel and were told that while neither the Honduras ships nor the New Spain fleet had yet arrived at Havana, they were expected any day. On June 14, the Dutch entered the Bay of Cabanas at 8 o'clock in the morning, if we are to believe the Spanish slave who communicated these tidings to Havana. Within three days Hendricksz left again, after having loaded his ships with oranges, lemons, bananas, pigs, and calvesan impressive booty, according to de Laet. His powerful fleet of at least twenty-three units now set sail for Havana, a move which posed an ominous challenge to Spanish prerogatives. For more than a month the Dutch occupied themselves by keeping a sharp watch over the area hoping to intercept the New Spain treasure fleet.59 Then, without warning, Hendricksz died, "leaving posterity with the name of a gallant, bold, and intrepid naval hero," writes de Laet.60 His successor, a Fleming named Adriaen Claesz, proved unable to maintain the required discipline and failed to keep his men in line.

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166 Only Hendricksz himself had known how to handle the crews and soldiers on the long and tiring voyage. His demise removed the last bar between discontent and mutiny. Sensing the mounting tide of anger, Claesz tried to appease the men by fanning the fires of greed and by dangling the prospect of Spanish booty constantly before their eyes. But the dream of the treasure fleet could not keep the men quiet. The fleet was then sailing close to Cuban shores. The Morro Castle could be seen from the ships, and its impregnability struck the men. Claesz called a meeting of the ship captains. Faced with the prospect of continuous hardship and heavy losses, they decided to go home. There was no alternative.61 The fleet sailed to Matanzas to take in the necessary provisions and to disembark the prisoners. Some of the captured ships were no longer presumed to be seaworthy and were burned. The Dutch next set their course toward the Bahama Channel. They had accomplished almost nothing. Reports from captives mention the Dutch returning home after having lost half of their men. De Laet's account states: "Because of this untimely return of the fleet of General Boudewijn Hendricksz from the regions around Havana, it not only happened that the Company was presented with a beautiful but virtually empty fleet and little compensation, yet had also lost the finest opportunity to inflict losses on the enemy. "6z The full significance of these words is revealed when, ironically, within a month after the Dutch departure the object of their covetousness, the New Spain fleet, sailed safely into Havana. Early in 1626, the Heren xix had decided to outfit another fleet, composed of nine ships and five yachts, to join Hendricksz in the Caribbean.63 Although this was not an impressive power by itself, if it were joined to Hendricksz' ships, a mighty battery would be formed capable of tackling the whole New Spain fleet. The admiral of this potent aggregation was Piet Heyn, by whom the Heren xix had already been served well.6'' Heyn was now ordered to place himself under Hendricksz' command. A yacht was sent in April to advise the latter of Heyn's coming. Meanwhile, the xix had lost track of Hendricksz' exact where abouts and doings. They had received reports of the events at Bahia, Puerto Rico, and probably also Margarita. His fleet was presumed to be somewhere in the Caribbean, north of Cuba, waiting for a chance to strike at the Spanish treasure. To reassure Hendricksz of their full-fledged support, the xix dispatched 14 ships, 1,700 men, and their finest admiral. But the Heren xix, masters in the delivery of instructions with a

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i67 twofold or threefold goal, also had something else in mind for Piet Heyn as he sailed. Once the New Spain fleet had been captured, Heyn was ordered to sail on to Brazil. From the viewpoint of the Heren xix it is difficult to perceive how Heyn, accompanied by a mere fourteen sails, could even hope to accomplish anything in Brazil except to plague the small coastal towns and to harass Iberian shipping in the area. Heyn left Holland in mid-May, 1626. He crossed the Atlantic in less than eight weeks and on July 6 touched at Barbados. He next proceeded to the Mona Passage for a prearranged meeting with the yacht that had been sent earlier to advice Hendricksz of the coming reinforcements. Its mission had been unsuccessful, and nothing was learned of Hendricksz' whereabouts. Following instructions and weakening his fleet, Heyn sent two yachts on an exploratory errand to a mysterious "Green Island." He sailed on to Cape San Antonio himself. Although the Dutch ships kept out of sight of the Spanish lookouts, they nevertheless managed to stay close to the Cuban coast. From a captured Spanish vessel taken at the end of August, Heyn learned about Hendricksz' death and the subsequent departure of the latter's fleet.6* Confronted with the unforeseeable, Heyn hesitated until he received positive information from a Spanish captive that the New Spain fleet had left Vera Cruz a month before and was undoubtedly safe and sound in Havana. He now sailed to the Dry Tortugas, west of Florida, to wait for Spanish stragglers. While there, the entire treasure fleet, consisting of about forty ships, among them thirteen galleons, passed by his gaze. In a hastily called meeting of the fleet's council, Heyn and his captains weighed the chances for a successful attack. This idea was reluctantly thrown overboard, however, because of the small numbers of the Dutch. Thus de Laet's bitterness: if Hendricksz' ships had been present, the Dutch might easily have overpowered all the Spanish ships. Heyn recorded, "If I had found the beforementioned Hendricksz there... I would, with the help of God, have taken the whole fleet. It grieves me that I had to let so beautiful an opportunity slip through my hands only because of a lack of assistance. "66 The forty Spanish ships which the Dutch had counted were indeed the fleets of Tierra Firme, New Spain, and the Honduras flotilla, led by Tomas de Larraspuru. Although Heyn's force did include some large ships, it was simply no match. Contemplating the Dutch pres ence from afar, the Spaniards regarded the latter's weakness as a godsend. The governor of Havana, Lorenzo de Cabrera, however, was not so jubilant since he judged rightly that the reprieve was of

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i68 temporary nature. He was apprehensive lest the Dutch hibernate in some West Indian port, only to redouble their energies in the next summer for "some undertaking with which to offset the many mis fortunes which had befallen them and the thin picking they had found. "67 For the moment his fears were groundless. After realizing the foolhardiness of further deliberation, Piet Heyn devoted all his attention to the second part of his instructionsBrazil. Except for water, he was still well provisioned. His other supplies were more than sufficient and were augmented with those originally laid out for Hendricksz' fleet. His first concern, consequently, was to fill the water barrels. He set forth for the nearest accessible land. In the neighborhood of Cape Canaveral (Cape Kennedy), he succeeded in obtaining much-needed fresh water by having his men dig wells.68 This problem solved, Heyn was now confronted with the difficult task of leading his men through perilous waters to Brazil. The passage was further complicated by the prevailing northeastern trade winds. The only course open to the Dutch was to sail north and to trust in their luck until, at the prescribed latitude, the west winds would carry the fleet to the Azores. The ships could set sail from there for the west coast of Africa and then across the Atlantic to Brazil. It turned out to be a long and troublesome voyage. Arriving at the Azores, a yacht was detached with orders to report home. The rest of the fleet continued the voyage south. At one of the Cape Verde Islands the Dutch refreshed. Many of the men were suffering from scurvy, but they recovered slightly during the respite. Pausing once more at Sierra Leone, the fleet crossed the Atlantic and touched the Brazilian coast early in March, 1627, a month later than was ex pected. Piet Heyn decided almost immediately to attack Bahia, and, in a way this venture was reminiscent of Hendricksz' raid on Puerto Rico. The Dutch fleet sailed into the bay, sank or captured twenty-six Iberian ships, and sustained only minor setbacks. According to de Laet: "This had been one of the bravest acts done by Admiral Pieter Pietersz Heyn for the West India Companyby which happy result this companyby so many proceeding disasters and damages so much weakenedbegan to recover her breath and bounced back on her feet. "6 In July, four richly laden ships were dispatched to the United Provinces. Heyn replaced his own losses with captured Spanish vessels and thus amplified his fleet. After undertaking a very profitable privateering expedition along the Brazilian coast, he again turned to Bahia and seized more Iberian ships. He sailed home in October,

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169 1627, and was received with honor: the Heren xix awarded him a heavy gold chain and a medal.70 Thus the second "Great Design" had failed, not only in its Brazilian project, but also in the Caribbean even though the Dutch admirals had sown terror far and wide. The third goal of this design, which concerned the African coast, was not achieved, and it too succumbed to catastrophe. Lam, the commander of this third wing, must have had some in fluential friends among the xix since his military record was far from promising.71 Although he found part of his fleet usurped by Hendricksz' expedition, he nevertheless enjoyed the full confidence and corroboration of the xix in the execution of his part of their grand scheme. On January 4, 1625, while some of his ships were already under way, Lam himself set forth. He briefly joined Hendricksz before the latter crossed the Atlantic. Perhaps he commanded only as few as four ships when he approached the Guinea coast. His activities there have not been consistently recorded. At least not much is known before October, 1625. In that month he aligned himself with Admiral Veron who had crossed the Atlantic from Brazil for a corporate attack on the Portuguese castle of Elmina. Additional help was forthcoming from Arent Jacobsz of Amersfoort, the Dutch governor on that part of the coast. Together, they considered their forces adequate: at least 16 ships and 1,200 men. Although the Portuguese at the castle were weak, the governor had placed a number of allied Negro troops in ambush. He promised them a reward for each Dutch head they could bring him. The carelessness of the Dutch leaders, in spite of Jacobsz' protests, led to four hundred deaths, including Admiral Veron's. Jacobsz was saved by his own slaves. Lam also escaped and arrived in the United Prov inces in June, 1626. The Dutch would have sustained greater losses if the Negroes had not hankered after European clothes. They forced their captives to strip before beheading them so that the shirts would not be stained with blood. The time involved in selecting their prospective outfits allowed many Dutch to save their hides.72 This was the end of the second "Great Design." Notwithstanding heroic efforts and enormous expenses, the Dutch had not succeeded in depriving the Spanish king of one square foot of his African or American realms. Nor had they been very effective in depleting Spain's treasury. They had interfered with intercolonial trade and caused it to decline drastically, and they had also spread terror and nightmares throughout the Caribbean; but they had only implemented minor goals and fallen short in all their major designs.

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IJO Concern for the large-scale operations of the West India Company during the first years of its existence is too often excessive. This obliterates, almost without a trace, the various smaller expeditions fitted out during this same period. In addition to the parties of van Zuylen and Schouten, which were both intrinsic parts of a "Great Design," several other missions were executed in 1625 and 1626. In terms of information and finances, the results of these smaller ex peditions not uncommonly benefited the larger, more famous enterprises. Late in 162^, for instance, the Amsterdam Chamber fitted out two ships for a privateering venture to Brazil. These ships left Texel in December, 162^. The little squadron was joined by three Zeelandian ships near the Canary Islands. On the Brazilian coast near Pernam-buco, another squadron of five sails was encountered which had also been commissioned by the West India Company. In unison, at times sailing under one command and at others separately, the combined Dutchmen constituted a chafing irritant to Portuguese navigation. After congregating at Fernando de Noronha, most of them proceeded to the Caribbean, where they subsequently refreshed at Grenada, set their prisoners ashore at Margarita, and policed the southern coasts of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola. The privateers returned home in October, 1626, after a very propitious voyage.73 A remainder of this group, led by Commander Thomas Sickes, had an inopportune meeting with a Portuguese fleet of twenty-two sails but was able to elude the persuers, and arrived in the Low Countries in March, 1627. Others, operating on their own, like the yacht "Otter" under Cornells Corneliszoon Jol, embarked upon a profitable career in privateering along the coast of Brazil and in the Caribbean area.7* The accomplishments of the Dutch West India Company in those early years were truly exceptional. If the number of miscarried enterprises were large in the West Indies, Africa, and along the Brazil ian coast, still Piet Heyn's adventure in Brazil was a huge financial success, as were those of Schouten and van Zuylen. The positive aspects of a markedly pecuniary nature more than compensated for the suspension and abrogation of the all-encompassing: but idealistic greater schemes. Spurred by these results, small expeditions were once more outfitted in 1627 by the Chambers of Zeeland and Amster dam. The Zeeland ships of 1627, under the command of Lucifer, trans mitted colonists to their new home on the Wild Coast. They after wards turned their bowsprits towards the Caribbean area and were soon employed in privateering pursuits and exploratory missions.

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i7i Near Coquibocoa, this squadron of three ships chanced a meeting with two yachts, which had been endorsed by the Chamber of Amster dam and which had, in the course of things, lost contact with their admiral. This little fleet roamed the Caribbean together. The maintenance of contact between ships or fleets was a weak link in all Dutch operations. Contact was often made by letters left at a certain prearranged rendezvous. The Amsterdam yachts, for instance, found letters from the Zeelanders at St. Vincent which announced that the latter were anchored at Grenada. The Zeelanders had just left, however, when their compatriots arrived. Both squadrons roamed the Caribbean in search of each other, ransacking Spanish settlements and taking Spanish prizes wherever they could. When they finally met at Coquibocoa, they sailed on together to the southern coast of Cuba. Three of the vessels almost collided there with the two treasure ships from Honduras which were en route to Havana. One of them was captured; the other escaped and limped into Havana port a few days later. The captured ship fetched the handsome gain of 1,200,000 guilders for the company's stockholders; the Dutch admiral Lucifer, however, died of wounds received in the encounter.75 Dirck Simonszoon van Uytgeest's commission of 1627, despite the presumed loss of two of his ships, also evolved into an extremely rewarding undertaking. Along the Brazilian coast and without serious impairment to themselves, the Dutch were responsible for the spoliation of at least eight Spanish or Portuguese ships. Van Uytgeest met Heyn's fleet at Fernando de Noronha, but after a few days the two leaders parted company. All in all, after the Spanish trophies had been carried home, the efficacy of this last mandate had been well assured.75 The failures of the "Great Designs" were thus to some extent offset by the successes of the smaller enterprises. Van Zuylen had stripped, destroyed, or made useless at least twenty-nine Iberian ships and had brought most of their cargo home. In Bahia the Dutch had overtaken eleven ships when they subjugated the town. Schouten had captured at least six, and Piet Heyn the same number. The total number of Dutch spoils in 1624 is impressive: sixty-nine ships, with almost no losses for the Dutch. In 1625eighteen ships were seized, in 1626 another twenty-nine. The year 1627 was especially profitable for the company: no less than fifty-five Spanish or Portuguese ships, most with rich cargoes, fell into Dutch hands. Of these Piet Heyn could claim thirty-eight in Brazil.77 As Andrews rightly observes, the amount of Dutch booty fetched here and there was not too important when compared with the

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172 amount of bullion which ultimately reached Spain.'8 But it is equally true that the cumulative effect on the Spanish economy of recurring and severe shipping losses warranted disaster. Spanish bankers cor rectly interpreted the problem as they staggered from one crisis to the next.79 They became increasingly aware of the pernicious anemia which drained both the government and the commercial system. In the Low Countries bankers and merchants, backed by their govern ment, were just then experimenting with the joint-stock company. The surplus, derived from the worthwhile results of 1627, enabled the Heren xix to equip four new fleets destined for the West Indies in the following year. One of these fleets captured the long desired treasure fleetthe dream of every pirate in that unscrupulous century.

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8 THE SILVER FLEET Piet Heyn, zijn naam is klein, Zijn daden benne groot, Hij heeft gewonnen de zilverrloot...' The West India Company, encouraged by the success of its small ventures in 1627, results which Piet Heyn, that "worthy successor of Heemskerck, "2 had largely provided, continued to plan expansively. Even before Piet Heyn had returned from Brazil, the Heren xix had outlined some additional projects and submitted them to the States General for support. These projects involved three fleets. The first one, composed of twelve ships, was destined for Brazil. It sailed from the home ports early in 16 2 8 to privateer along the enormous Brazilian coastline. Because of the strong winds encountered crossing the Atlantic, this fleet arrived north of Brazil and was forced to cross the ocean twice more before arriving in the neighborhood of Pernambuco. But the success of this venture was notable: it captured at least eleven or twelve Spanish and Portuguese ships, transferred their cargoes into their own, and sailed back home by April of the following year. This very profitable enterprise has been so overshadowed by Piet Heyn's exploit at Matanzas that the story has been almost completely for gotten by the chroniclers of that period except, of course, by de Laet.3 The other projects involved two fleets: one of thirty-six units which was to leave in the spring of 1628 and the other of forty-five ships to leave port in the fall of that same year. The States General was requested to provide the money for supplies for these ventures which were designed specifically to attack the Spanish treasure fleets. The Provincial States of Holland which favored these plans soon passed a resolution to promote them. The States General, however, hesitated, and in the end offered only part of the requested sum for supplies. The Heren xix, modifying their huge plans, accepted the government offer because the situation had changed; privateering, after three or four years of continuous losses, seemed finally to be swinging to the company's advantage.*

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174 Together with the fleet destined for Brazil, the West India Com pany soon had a second fleet of twelve ships operating. It left the Low Countries about the same timeearly in 16 2 8and began operations in the Caribbean after March 15. The expedition was commanded by Pieter Adriaenszoon Ita and soon yielded substantial prizes: within a few weeks it had captured four enemy ships, one with a rich cargo of ginger. Another ship, carrying a cargo of Negro slaves, had been sunk by an unfortunate shot.s Plans were laid to sail into the port of Santiago de Cuba, as Boudewijn Hendricksz had once done at San Juan de Puerto Rico, to capture a ship loaded with copper bound for Havana. This did not materialize because Ita felt that the port lying beneath the fort was too narrow for maneuvers. The ships of this fleet, spread all over the Caribbean, gathered on the orders of the admiral at a rendezvous situated at Cape Tiburon, the extreme western tip of the island of Hispaniola. Thus united, the Dutch embarked to Cape San Antonio and proceeded from there to the Dry Tortugas, Florida's most western outpost, the legendary lookout for all privateers watching for the Spanish treasure fleets. Ita's force, much too small to attack the Tierra Firme fleet from Cartagena or the New Spain fleet from Vera Cruz, cruised in the area, hoping to capture the two Honduras galleons which were then expected at Havana. The Dutch, as shall be seen in the course of this chapter, were well advised about the movements of the Spanish fleets in the Caribbean. Their invasion of the mare clausum with regular fleets produced, as mentioned in the previous chapter, much concern in Havana and throughout the West Indies; it disturbed the Spaniards considerably more than the amateur efforts of earlier years. The invasions had, moreover, lost their incidental character; they now consisted of professionally organized pillagers acting under the auspices of a powerful organization and backed by the High and Mighty Lords of the States General of the United Netherlands.6 The appearance of Ita's fleet, soon known to Spanish authorities, prompted the governor of Havana to dispatch navios de aviso to Vera Cruz, Cartagena, and Porto Bello with a warning not to sail. The brave commander of the Honduras ships, Alvaro de la Cerda, therefore requested and received arms and ammunition from Havana to assist in the defense of his ships. Perhaps the reinforcements convinced Cerda that his strength was now sufficient to risk the crossing by way of the Yucatan Channel, proceeding thus to Havana. The Dutch were waiting for him. Sometime earlier they had captured a ship laden with hides and sarsaparilla from Honduras; they

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l7S were advised that the treasure galleons were following. Indeed, the sails of the two huge ships were seen almost as soon as the smaller ship was.taken. The galleons were formidable; they had crews of two hundred to three hundred men and were armed with twenty cannons. Within two miles of Havana and in sight of the port, the Dutch attacked. Cerda, in panic, tried to escape along the coast into the port, but the faster Dutch shipsthey were smaller, had less draught, and could sail closer to the shoreprevented this maneuver. A terrible fight ensued. The Spaniards enjoyed a preponderance in firepower, but the Dutch had more ships and these were more maneuverable. The brave Spanish defense, carried on in full view of Havana, lasted all through the morning of August i, 1628. In the afternoon of that day, Cerda and his vice-admiral beached their ships and began to disembark their crews. The Dutch continued to fire on the ships, wounding the admiral and nearly causing him to drown. The vice-admiral, still fighting, almost managed to capture one Dutch ship, but Ita came to its rescue and the almiranta was forced to surrender. De Laet reports that half of the Spanish crewmen were killed, not a few by drowning in an attempt to escape from the ships.7 Governor Lorenzo de Cabrera of Havana had not been idle while all this was going on. He had dispatched two well-armed frigates to Cerda's support, but Ita countered with one or two of his ships and the governor's frigates retreated back into the harbor. Thus the Dutch had seized the richly laden Honduras galleons for the third time since the end of the Truce. The captured cargoes consisted of indigo, ginger, silver, hides, and other products of the Honduras region.8 This particular victory, however, was partially unsuccessful because of the inability of the Dutch to free one of the captured ships from the shore and the consequent necessity of burning it. Rumors reached Ita that the Tierra Firme fleet would soon arrive. Since the Dutch admiral knew full well that his twelve ships were no match for this fleet, he decided to evacuate the area north of Havana. Ita's fleet, towing the captured Spanish capitana, left the area, passing so near the fortress at Havana that they were fired on. In the Bahama Channel the Spanish galleon was set afire, presumably because it was too badly damaged to survive the Atlantic crossing. After a thanks giving service on board the ships, the Dutch sailed home, arriving in September, 1628. The departure of Ita's fleet, which was soon known to the Spaniards, led them to make a grave mistake. They did not know that another Dutch fleet, this one commanded by the celebrated Pieter

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176 Pieterszoon Heyn, had already entered the Caribbean. Heyn's secre tive approach to the West Indies, combined with his superb leader ship and able seamanship, permitted him to capture the Spanish Silver Fleetthe one and only time that feat was ever accomplished. "The Chartered West India Company," related de Laet, "having kept her eyes constantly on the fleets of the King of Spain from Tierra Firme and New Spain, now having received the means to do something more than before, and wanting to satisfy the good inhabitants of these countries completely, has thought it expedient to outfit still another powerful fleet, in addition to the two before mentioned fleets, and to send the former to the West Indies under the command of Pieter Pieterszoon Heyn as general." The reason for the choice of Heyn was the fact that he had "rendered so many useful services before."10 This very powerful fleet, "fitted out more first-rate than ever before, both in officers and crews," according to the historian van Wassenaer, was composed of thirty-one ships, most of them more than three hundred tons. The Amsterdam, Heyn's flagship, was a thousand tons; the Hollandtsche Tuyn ("Dutch Garden") of his aide was eight hundred tons. Perhaps as a counterbalance to Heyn's widely known intrepidity, the Heren xix had appointed as his second in command the "prudent" Hendrick Corneliszoon Loncq.11 Pieter Pieterszoon HeynPiet Heyn as he was calledwas born in Delfshaven, near Rotterdam, in 1^77. Almost nothing is known of his parents except that they belonged to the lower class: "He emerged from his parents' modest background because of his courage and the glory of his actions," says the epitaph of Heyn's mausoleum in the Old Church in Delft. In the democratic Netherlands, humble parentage did not necessarily mean that a man must remain poor. And indeed, it is known that Pieter Corneliszoon, alias Heyn, the sea hero's father, was the proprietor of a house in Delft. From the widow's inventory of her husband's possessions we know that in addition to the Bible, the elder Heyn possessed some books on naviga tion and a Dutch translation of Grotius' Mare Liberum. The father was thus probably an intellectually inclined man who, at least shortly before his death, had been a captain of a ship convoy which protected the herring fleet.12 Aitzema, the well-known chronicler of this period, was curiously hostile to the great general, calling him a "sailor of fortune, though risen to the rank of general of a mighty fleet. "' 3 We prefer the ac colade accorded to Heyn by his own local historian: "the neverenough praised sea hero Pieter Pieterszoon Heyn. "'4 Heyn probably began his naval career when he was sixteen in 1593.

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j. Map of the Caribbean with the routes of the treasure fleets.

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177 At the time, the Dutch were just beginning their adventure to the East and the West. Young Pieter soon realized the dangers of that perilous drivehe was taken prisoner by the Spaniards and was forced to serve in the galleys. The experience was not entirely negative, however, for Pieter gained a masterful command of the Spanish language. Minister van Spranckhuysen, a personal friend of Heyn's, reports that Pieter had more than once fallen into the enemy's hands "who often pointed their pikes and rapiers at his chest and throat, but did not do worse because his time had not yet come."" At one time he was also taken prisoner in the West Indies, held at Havana, and served in the galleys of Santa Marta. This is confirmed by some of the Spanish prisoners captured in Heyn's adventure with the Silver Fleet.16 His epitaph was later to read: "He has had India, Spain, and Flanders as witnesses, first of his slavery, then of his freedom and victories." Once Heyn was released in a general exchange of prisoners which took place before or in 1^98; another acquittal might have taken place in 1602. In 1607, the thirty-year-old Heyn sailed in the fleet of Admiral Verhoeff to the East Indies. During this voyage he rose to the rank of skipper, leaving the East in that capacity in 1611. He married soon thereafter. In 1617 he probably made another voyage to the East Indies, returning in 1622. In that year he was made a magistrate of Rotterdam; some opposed his appointment because he was not a burgher of the town, but the opposition was overruled because Heyn "had married a burgher's daughter and had lived at least ten or twelve years in that town, "t? In 1623 Piet Heyn was appointed vice-admiral under Jacob Willekens with the fleet which was destined to take Bahia. His operations in that area against the Portuguese during 16 24 and 16 2 merited his promotion, upon his return to the Low Countries, to admiral of the West India Company. This commission placed all other officers except Boudewijn Hendricksz under his command. Hendricksz had died by the time Heyn arrived in the West Indies late in the summer of 1626. The latter, following instructions, proceeded to Brazil. This was the voyage on which he distinguished himself by sending home some four prizes and by his formidable attack on Bahia where he took twenty-two ships from the Iberians. He returned to the Low Countries from that mission in October, 1627. By this time Heyn's reputation was such that the Heren xix found him the most qualified candidate to entrust with the mission of capturing one of the Spanish silver fleets in the Caribbean The

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i78 Dutch had the advantage of knowing the movements of these fleets. As early as 1561, the Spanish government had attempted to control the annual crossings; from 1596 onwards, subject to small changes, the sailings had become more regularized.18 In addition, since 1623 the Heren xix had made a systematic study of the movements, com position, strength, armament, crews, and cargoes of the annual silver fleets. This knowledge was passed on to Piet Heyn.1' The information, when it reached Heyn, consisted of two parts: a general memorial on the ships which sailed annually from Spain to the New World, including the Tierra Firme fleet, and a second more specific report on those destined for New Spain and Honduras. From San Liicar, the port of Seville, and from Cadiz, both fleets, at different times of the year, sailed to the Canary Islands and from there across the Atlantic to the Lesser Antilles. The Tierra Firme fleet was to sail from the Canaries to the Galleon's Passage between the islands of Tobago and Trinidad and enter the Caribbean in that way. This fleetcalled the galeonesordinarily left Spain in April escorted by eight galleons, six of which belonged to the finest and biggest of the Spanish war navy and were known as the "silver-galleons." They measured more than 600 tons, were armed with 24 to 28 pieces of artillery, had crews of 2^0 to 300 men and, in addition, often had around 100 soldiers. These eight galleons convoyed twenty or more merchantmen to Tierra Firme. The fleet also dispatched boats to notify officials in Margarita, Puerto Cabello, Rio Hacha, and Santa Marta of its forthcoming. Sailing along Tierra Firme it paused at Cartagena to disembark passengers and cargo to be sold in the area. Then it proceeded to Porto Bello, eighty miles west of Cartagena, where it arrived early in June. The remaining passengersSpanish officials, merchants, and colonistsdisembarked there. The fleet next took on the precious metals and other products brought from Lima to Panama by ship and to Porto Bello by mules. It then returned to Cartagena to load more goods. Toward the middle of July, the fleet, now worth an estimated ten million guilders in cargo, sailed through the Yucatan Channel to Havana. It passed Cape San Antonio about August 10, though some times as much as eight days sooner or later than that date. The second fleet, called the jiota or the jlota de San Juan, consisted of four galleons. Two of these were destined for Honduras, two for New Spain. They were part of a convoy of fifteen or more merchant men destined for the Greater Antilles, Honduras, and Mexico. This fleet sailed later in the year and entered the Caribbean between Guadeloupe and Dominica, usually in August. In that neighborhood

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179 it anchored and refreshed. From the Lesser Antilles the jiota set course to Cape San Antonio, sending off dispatch boats to San Juan de Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, Jamaica, Santiago de Cuba, and Campeche. Two of its four galleons sailed then to Trujillo. After the jiota had passed Cuba's west point, it changed course more to the west and proceeded to the fortress of San Juan de Ulua. Once the fleet was in that harbor, it was moored to the iron rings embedded in the fort walls; it would be protected in this way from the northern winds known to sink those vessels not properly anchored. The fleet ordinarily reached San Juan de Ulua in early September. It unloaded its cargo, valued at eight million guilders, and remained there during the winter, not leaving until the following June. During the winter it was laden with gold, silver, cochineal, indigo, hides, tobacco, campechewood, and many other products with an estimated value of fourteen million to fifteen million guilders. In June the Jiota, now sailing without the two of its escort galleons that had been sent to Honduras, proceeded to its next destination, Havana, passing Cape San Antonio for the second time in the first half of July. The two Honduras galleons ordinarily passed Cape San Antonio shortly afterwards. In its wake the Tierra Firme fleet would also pass this strategic outpost. All the ships usually arrived at Havana in this order, although irregularities in this schedule were not uncom mon. From here, under the protection of the twelve galleons, they proceeded at the end of August through the Bahama Channel to the Azores-the route which Columbus had once followed. From the Azores the combined fleet sailed to the port of San Lucar, then up the Guadalquivir River to the Puerto de las Mulas where the officials of the Casa de Contratacion took charge. The instructions of the Heren xix to Piet Hevn included some significant touches. The Heren xix had specifically added: You must take care that you maintain strict discipline. You must incite all who have sailed out for the defense of our so brave Provinces, against the common enemy. This is the fleet which brings to Europe the golden rod which chastizes the whole of Christianity and discourages it, a rod the force of which can be subdued by twentyfour well-armed men-of-war and twelve well-provided dispatch boats armed with guns and ammunition and manned with courageous soldiers whose only wish is to figfit the enemy.20 They pointed out that the size of the fleets often differed, that while the port schedule was fairly regular, no time schedule was reliable because of weather conditions. Another fact which could delay sailings, though it was not specifically pointed out, was the presence

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i8o of privateers. The activities of these foreign intruders were closely watched by the Spanish. If a foreign fleet of any size was hovering in the area, officials immediately sent out warnings. In 1626, while operating in the Caribbean, Heyn had experienced the frustration of witnessing the passage of the combined silver fleet without having the means to attack it. At that time he had written a report of the affair which confirmed the fact that Heyn was well aware of the system of Spanish navigation and vigilance. According to his calculations, the more vulnerable of the two treasure fleets was the one from New Spain, and the most logical place to launch an attack was San Juan de Ulua, despite its fortress. Another possible choice, Havana, was much too impregnable for the Dutch purposes. A third choice was the area between Havana and Cape San Antonio. Heyn had accordingly asked the Heren xix for twenty-eight ships, six yachts, and twelve heavy sloops, which he felt was a sufficient force. In all proba bility, when the Heren xix appointed him as their general over a fleet of more than thirty sails, they had this projected attack in mind. Heyn also had an alternative plan for his venture in the Caribbean. During his previous trip to join Hendricksz' fleet, he had captured a small Spanish yacht and had learned about the Honduras galleons from its crew. These galleons, he had been told, wintered in the virtually undefended Bay of Amatique, west of Trujillo, and sailed from there in June or July to Havana. Heyn was confident that it would be easy enough to capture these two ships if the moment were correctly chosen.21 Heyn's report also mentioned the sine qua non for any attack on a Spanish fleet in the Caribbean: the commander who wishes to succeed must, at all cost, avoid discovery by Spanish officials while he awaits his chance. It is to Heyn's credit that he followed his own advice, and it is undoubtedly due partly to this strategic technique that he prospered in his own attempt at Matanzas. In April, 1628, Piet Heyn received his commission as admiral and captain-general in the service of the West India Company. His formal title was general.22 Second in command was Hendrick Corneliszoon Loncq who, strangely enough, had refused the upper command twice before, in the Bahia expedition of 1624 and as well in the one of Boudewijn Hendricksz of 1626, but now accepted a secondary position under Heyn. The fleet, described heretofore, was equipped with 129 bronze and $50 iron cannon, 2,300 sailors, and 1,000 soldiers. Its extraordinary component was the size of some of the ships: eight hundred and a thousand tons. Vessels of five hundred to six hundred tons were in those days generally the largest used.23

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I8I The fleet left Texel during May, although some ships did not sail before June or July. Some, indeed, barely arrived in time to take part in the capture of the Spanish fleet in September. East of Portland, Heyn paused to impart to his men the provisions of the "ship regulations," as well as to give the stragglers a chance to catch up. Van Spranckhuysen reports that Heyn ordered the Bible read morning and evening, a psalm sung, and did not allow cursing or quarreling aboard. The minister's conclusion reads, a mission which begins that way simply cannot fail for "the righteous man is courageous as a young lion. "2+ As Heyn's fleet lay in wait, five ships drifted away due to a heavy fog. These returned, however, bearing news from an English privateer that the Spaniards were preparing more than a hundred ships in La Corufia. This rumor had probably been spread by the Spaniards themselves in the hope of deferring Dutch fleets from American waters. Heyn did not believe it. He narrowed down the number of ships in the area by sending off those which were not under his command. His hope was to keep his presence unknown to the Spaniards.25 Late in June, Heyn's fleet was sighted sailing south of the Canaries, but it was not known there whether it would sail to Brazil or to the West Indies. After opening his instructions Heyn crossed the Atlantic, refreshing on July 12 at St. Vincent, one of the Windward Islands. He rigidly prevented communication between his crews and the native population. A second stop at Blanquilla supplied the fleet with fresh goat meat. Its departure from the island was postponed for one day because of the disappearance of one young crew member. When the boy was not found, Heyn left but ordered one yacht to remain an extra day in case the boy returned. He did not. The disappearance of this boy, apparently an unimportant loss, proved to have consequences Heyn may well have anticipated. Proceeding with care toward the Greater Antilles, Heyn sailed to the Isle of Pines, south of Cuba, and from there around Cape San Antonio. The Dutch general believed himself to be unobserved. By the beginning of August, he had placed his ships in the best strategic position to await the treasure fleets: the open sea between Havana and Cape San Antonio to the south, the Tortugas Cays-or Dry Tortugas to the north (see map). His fleet was not yet complete; two additional ships joined him on August 3, and Vice-Admiral Joost van Trappen, alias Banckert, arrived five weeks later with another six or seven ships.26 Despite his caution, however, Heyn's presence had been known for

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182 some time to the Spanish authorities. Twenty-seven of the Dutch ships had already been sighted from Morant Point, the extreme southeastern point of Jamaica, and in a letter from Francisco Terril, the island's governor, to Admiral Tomas de Larraspuru, this fact was not only mentioned but details about the size of the ships had also been added. The letter mentioned, moreover, the fact that the fleet was sailing westward and was not the Tierra Firme fleet, which was usually sighted south of Jamaica at this time.2? In another letter to the admiral, written by Domingo Vasquez, governor of Caracas, news came that a Spanish vessel, which had been repeatedly plundered by foreigners, had sighted a fleet of i^o sails stationed in the Caribbean with the obvious purpose of attacking the jiota and the galeones. Some of the information in this letter had come from a young stranded Dutchman at Blanquillathe young crew member Heyn had lost previouslyand who now communicated the disturbing news that more ships were coming.28 Warned by this information, the Tierra Firme fleet did not leave Cartagena, and it thus escaped capture by the Dutch. Meanwhile, other evidence of impending danger reached the Spaniards. The two ships which joined Heyn on August 3 had violated his strict orders about caution and had refreshed at Grenada and St. Christopher. Their crews had been attacked there, and thirty-eight or thirty-nine men had been lost. This incident also gave ill-needed publicity to the Dutch presence in the Caribbean. In addition, Vice-Admiral Banckert had anchored at Tobago where fifty-four of his men, sent to obtain provisions, had been killed by the natives. The presence of the Dutch was thus revealed in that area. Piet Heyn was completely unaware of these instances. In addition, he probably did not know that he had been seen off Cuba's southern coast on July 2 8. But as luck would have it, the Spaniards presumably ignored the fact that there were two Dutch fleets operating in their sea, one under Ita and the other under Heyn. When Ita's fleet was reported leaving the area and sailing home, the Spaniards made the disastrous mistake of concluding that all Dutch ships had left the region. Thus, for almost a month, the Dutch fleet under Heyn sailed un detected in the narrow sea of the Florida Straits, wrestling against the wind and current which were driving the fleet deeper into the Straits. Heyn's problem was to remain relatively in the same spot in order to maintain reconnaissance. For this purpose the fleet council agreed to move the fleet more to the east of Cape San Antonio. This maneuver brought the ships so close to Havana that on August 22 the crew

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i83 could see the Morro Castle and, of course, the fleet could likewise be seen from the castle. Governor Lorenzo de Cabreza, realizing by now that this was an entirely different enemy fleet, immediately dispatched fifteen boats to various ports with warnings. How many of these reached their destination is not known. Nine warnings were sent to the New Spain fleet, supposed to be close to the Dry Tortugas. Not one of the nine boats arrived. Meanwhile, on August 21 Heyn had captured two Spanish dispatch boats which were posing as innocent fishermen and from them he learned that neither the New Spain nor the Tierra Firme fleet had as yet come to Havana. A week later he captured another dispatch boat. He now gathered that his presence was no longer a secret to Spanish officials, but he suspected that neither treasure fleet had as yet been warned and that it was his duty to watch and wait.29 The Dutch general was a born organizer. Immediately after arriving with his fleet in the open sea between Cape San Antonio, Havana, and the Dry Tortugas, he had developed his plan of attack. Dividing his fleet into three lines, one to sail behind the next, he had carefully composed each division into two squadrons. Each squadron consisted of one large ship, one smaller ship, and one or two yachts. The squadrons formed units with defined instructions and a definite goal. As soon as the enemy was sighted, each Dutch officer was to attack his Spanish counterpart. However if a treasure fleet was sighted too late in the evening for such a maneuver, the general was to attack the first galleon, the others were to attack those following in order. A system of signals was developed to warn or inform the other ships; a system of flags was also drawn up. Finally, leaving nothing to chance, Heyn devised a list of punishments in the case of cowardly or treason able neglect of duty, together with a list of remunerations for bravery. A special award, moreover, went to the man who first sighted the treasure fleet. From port to starboard the order of ships was as follows :30 FIRST LINE Second Squadron First Squadron 2 yachts, Adm. Loncq, 1 ship 1 ship, Gen. Heyn, 1 ship SECOND LINE Fourth Squadron Third Squadron 1 yacht, Comm. Root, 1 ship 1 yacht, Vice-Adm. Claesz, 1 ship THIRD LINE Sixth Squadron F\ftn Squadron r ship, 1 ship, 1 ship 1 yacht, Rear-Adm., 1 ship

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184 When, on August 3, the two additional ships had increased the strength of the fleet, Piet Heyn added a fourth line to this order, consisting of one squadron. A few yachts were not included in these lines but performed tasks of information and communication. Trying to keep abreast of the strong current, now east, now west of Havana, the Dutch fleet cruised closer to Havana and tried to keep its ground. The wind continued to be strong, a factor which would become essential to the capture of the Spanish fleet. On September 1, the Dutch fleet was three to four miles west of Morro Castle, four miles from the coast, and struggling to come in closer. It managed to come as near as a swivel-gun's shot and carefully scrutinized the port from that distance. The treasure fleets, Heyn learned with pleasure, had not yet arrived. On September 2, Heyn ordered a yacht to intercept some warning boats leaving Havana and sent a ship to look for Vice-Admiral Banckert who had not yet joined the fleet.31 On September 3, the wind again blew from the west, and, although the Dutch tried desperately to stay close to Havana, they were driven back into the Florida Straits. By September 4, Havana was seen in the southeast; on the next day the ships were pushed eight miles east of that city. The wind blew more from the south on September 6, and the Dutch saw Pan de Matanzasa high mountain having the form of a loaf of breadeight or nine miles to the west. The wind, blowing more and more from the south, caused the Dutchbut also the approaching Spanish fleetto drift away from the coast. On September 7 the wind shifted again and came once more from the west. On that same day Vice-Admiral Banckert joined the fleet with his squadron of six or seven ships. The strong wind then drove the entire Dutch fleet almost to Matanzas, fifty miles east of Havana. Early in the morning of September 8, Piet Heyn heard shots and sent out a yacht to investigate. This yacht learned that a ship of the sixth squadron had captured a vessel of the Spanish fleet, whose captain had mistaken the Dutch ship for one of his own. From the Spaniards, Heyn learned that the main body of the Spanish fleet was on its way. On July 22, 1627, the day of St. Mary Magdalene, the fiota of St. John, under the command of Juan de Benavides, knight of the Order of Santiago and general of the fleet, left Cadiz to convoy a number of merchantmen to Honduras and New Spain. He was a veteran sailor, having served his king for eighteen years, and had made a fortune on various voyages to the West Indies. His admiral on this expedition

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iSS was Juan de Leoz, also an experienced sailor. As scheduled, part of the fleet took off by itself and sailed for Honduras; the remaining ships proceeded to Vera Cruz and arrived there September 16, 1627.32 While Benavides' fleet wintered at Vera Cruz, excitement ran high in the Spanish Court when it became known that the Dutch West India Company had sent Heyn with a huge fleet to the West Indies. Although the Spanish government knew precisely how many ships were involved, curiously, it did not seem to have grasped what Heyn's objective was. It thus delayed warning its Caribbean governors until it was too late. Benavides' fleet left Vera Cruz toward the end of July, 1628. It then consisted of twenty-one or twenty-two ships. Of these ships, only four were of real importance: the flagship, the Santa Gertrudis, the San Juan Bautista, and the Nuestra Senora de la Antigua. They carried treasure, while the other ships carried cargoes and provisions: hides, brazilwood and other products of New Spain. Of the named vessels, only the first two were men-of-war, and all of them were heavily laden with merchandise. All carried passengers; the four or five larger ships, probably because of their size and more comfortable arrangements, were actually crammed with people. The disastrous result was that the pieces of artillery on deck were completely surrounded by tem porary cabins, luggage, and merchandise and proved useless when the attack came. During the fleet's stay in Vera Cruz, many of the crew had deserted in order to try their luck in the New World. They had been replaced by persons who were actually passengers bound for Spain. Reports reveal that the muster and the distribution of arms could only have been superficial. Signals and passwords had not been agreed on, and there was a conspicuous lack of discipline. Witnesses testified, how ever, that conditions on this particular voyage were neither better nor worse than on other occasions. Benavides left San Juan de Ulua on July 21, 1628. Unfortunately, even as it was leaving port, the fleet ran into trouble. The general's flagship ran aground and had to be unloaded in order to refloat her. The Santa Ana Maria was now made the flagship, and it took some eighteen days to put the cargo of the stranded ship in the new capitana. The fleet left Vera Cruz for the second time on August 9. Before the end of the month it was broken up by storm. The Santa Ana Maria, the San Juan, the Santa Gertrudis, the Antigua, and a few other mer chantmen stayed together. The remainder of the fleet, however, was scattered and out of view when those ships approached the Florida

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i86 Straits.33 Most of them, however, sailed together, at not too great a distance west and northwest of the galleons. This was the situation on the morning of September 8. It is not too difficult to reconstruct what happened on that Septem ber morning because Spanish and Dutch sources substantially agree. Piet Heyn, in his report to the xix, mentioned the wind as blowing from the southeast.34 Stated another way, this meant that Dutch sources concur in that a land wind was blowing from the direction of the Cuban coast. In view of the maneuver of the Spanish fleet in its first moment of distress, trying to escape the Dutch, a sea breeze must have blown, at least in the late afternoon. This is confirmed by Spanish witnesses who declare that on the night of September 8 the usual land wind did not rise. Whatever may be true, both sources agree that in the evening there was little or no wind at all. Advised that the Silver Fleet was on its way, Piet Heyn proceeded northeast of Havana and sighted twelve Spanish sails, nine of them at lee, the remainder at windward. This Spanish vanguard had unknow ingly been guided all night by the lights of the Dutch fleet. Indeed, one Dutch ship had even sailed among the Spanish reconnoitering their strength. Heyn immediately seized the nine ships at leeward, although it took him all morning. Since Heyn knew the bigger prey to be somewhere in the vicinity, he did not waste any effort in pursuit of the others, and, consequently, the other ships managed to escape. About noon the Dutch spotted another nine or ten ships. Six of the ships lay to the east at windward. Their size made them easily identifiable: Piet Heyn knew he had found what he had been waiting for. The Dutch and Spanish fleets had apparently crossed each others' lines during the night. Benavides had not paid enough attention to the discovery of a Dutch ship among his own. More important, from his point of view, was the fact that at daybreak he found himself east of Havana and north of Matanzas. His pilots had been following the lights of their vanguard during the night, but the vanguard had sailed in the wake of the Dutch. Benavides now found himself far offshore and at Heyn's mercy. On board two of the galleons, the Antigua and the almirantaand perhaps also on board the capitanaorders were given to clear the decks of all the passengers, sleeping accommodations, and luggage so that the artillery could be used. A huge Dutch fleet was bearing down on the Spanish from the northwest, but Benavides failed to call a fleet council while he might still have done so.35 Instead he called for a meeting of the staff of his own ship, including two members of the audiencia of New Spain who were his passengers aboard. There were

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i87 6. Map of the Dutch attack on the New Spain fleet.

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i88 serious discussions on what to do. In the meantime orders were given to sail back in the direction of Havana. The Spaniards had two alternatives: to strike for Havana, which meant a certain fight with the Dutch, or to attempt to reach the nearer Bay of Matanzas southwest of the fleet. Benavides' pilots as sured their general that they knew that bay. The plan finally agreed on favored the second choice; in addition it was decided to close off the bay by stationing one or more ships at the entrance. An immediate attack would thus be impeded. The next step called for the men to unload the treasures and either carry them off into the hills, or drop them overboard into the bay. The last measure was to set the galleons on fire.36 Between the several sessions of the meeting Benavides decided to call a general fleet council. At the same time, however, his capitana increased sail so that the almiranta and the others lagged behind and could not send any representatives over. Piet Heyn realized that his primary mission was to prevent the Spanish ships from reaching Havana. The enemy fleet had already turned south and was heading for shore. The Dutch sails were faster, however, than the heavily laden Spanish, in spite of the fact that the latter, trapped, had the advantage of the wind. Piet Heyn also knew that short of Havana, the Spanish could escape into the Bay of Matan zasor at least make an attempt. He made his decisions quickly. He immediately dispatched nine ships under Banckertprobably the sixth, seventh, and the Banckert squadronto sail southeast, thus getting in front of the Spanish and obstructing their escape to the east. Together with his remaining squadrons, Heyn sailed southwest to prevent a Spanish effort to escape toward Havana. Thus the Dutch fleet held the Spanish in a vise, or as Benavides was later to testify, "The enemy fleet had divided itself into two squadrons, the one which came behind our fleet, while it tried to take the wind out of our sailsthe wind was blowing east or southeastwhile the other sailed in front of our fleet in such a way that we were closed in. "37 Thus the Spanish were driven to take refuge in the Bay of Matanzasa cul-de-sac. Benavides might still have saved his treasure, even then, had not panic broken out among the men. Because of their anxiety to get out of reach of the enemy's guns, the men refused to obey orders, and the ships ran ashore. As Benavides later complained, everything seemed to lead to his ruin. 38 Worse yet was the fact that the Spanish ships now found themselves unable to direct their artillery toward the entrance of the bay; only the smaller pieces of the stern-posts could be brought

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189 into action, but these could not be fired without endangering their crews. Even darkness did not aid the Spaniards since it was a clear tropical night with an eleven-day-old moon. Benavides tried to execute an orderly plan. A small group of soldiers disembarked, taking the treasures ashore to protect them. By the beat of the drum, it was forbidden for anyone else to leave the ships. But confusion soon broke out. The first Dutch ships appeared at the entrance of the bay, and although they dropped anchor, their presence nevertheless upset the Spaniards to a considerable degree. Night was quickly falling, and the Dutch were awaiting orders. After some time Vice-Admiral Banckert arrived, sailed with his nine ships into the bay, and ordered the others to follow him. With the Dutch so close, Benavides now countermanded his orders and sent word to his captains to disembark their passengers and to set fire to their ships. Explosives were brought out and fires started, while Spanish sloops ran back and forth unloading the terrified pas sengers. Mass confusion soon reigned everywhere. A huge white sail spread out by the Spaniards to protect their munitions and other supplies formed a clearly visible target for the Dutch, who soon directed their heavy guns toward it. They also fired on the sloops, probably in the belief that the Spaniards were unloading their treasures. The Dutch firing was deadly enough and contributed to the general havoc on board the Spanish ships. The latter ventured seven or eight shots and were then quiet. On the beach, the terrified Spaniards ran for cover. The crews refused to return to the galleons even when the general, sword in hand, inter vened personally, loudly declaring that salvation lay in obedience. No one listened. Now Piet Heyn reached the bay. Night had fallen. Heyn ordered a shot fired to halt the ships ahead of him. He then had two fires lighted as seamarks, since he wanted to wait at the bay entrance until his entire fleet had been reassembled. It was probably the Dutch firing that completed the confusion among the Spaniards. Because of the danger, the sailors were unwilling to return to their ships which they now expected to explode at any minute. Many still on board tried to reach shore but drowned in the process. Hundreds waited on the ships in despair, watching the Dutch disembark their men, and asked quarter: "Amigos, amigos, buena guerra." Now Benavides panicked himself and ordered someone to bring him to the governor of Havana. No slaughter took place. It seems that the Dutch hesitated before boarding the Spanish vessels because they expected resistance. Heyn

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190 had to use threats before his men were willing to climb up the ropes hanging from the galleons.39 Even then they held back until a young Dutch boy boarded one of the Spanish ships and whistled a tune which all the Dutch recognized. No one on board the Spanish ships was killed. "Piet Heyn," wrote van Spranckhuysen, "behaved like a Christian captain, mixing the sterness of his fists with the sweetness of his words and promises. "40 The Spaniards surrendered without a fight. The many prisoners taken by the Dutch were immediately put ashore. Among them was Admiral Leoz who, having had a chance to change uniform, had not been immediately recognized by the Dutch. Actually he fared far better than his superior, having tried in vain to organize some sort of resistance.41 The Spaniards, in general, had behaved in a most cow ardly way in this situation.42 While one would not disagree with the designation of Piet Heyn as a "Christian captain," it is certainly clear that he was inspired by more than humane considerations. Although even his enemies the Spaniards praised him for the charitable and kind treatment of his prisoners priests and Jesuits joining in the accoladesthe Dutch general under stood perfectly well that his masters at home were interested in profit, not in glory and blood. Therefore Heyn soon boarded the Spanish ships and investigated each of them for cargo. All Spaniards were escorted ashorein one ship the general found 1 $o menso as to prevent any mishap which might rob him of the precious treasures he had captured. Some of the Spaniards tried to leave with gold and silver hidden on their persons, but it was all largely recovered.43 Once the Spanish ships were in his hands, and the Spaniards re moved to the shores, Heyn had to prevent looting by his own men. He thus ordered the Dutch to return to their own ships and left only guards aboard the captured Spanish vessels. Soon thereafter a thanksgiving service was held by the Dutch.44 After all, they had won this victory with virtually no casualties, although the enemy had lost three hundred men and at least the same number had been wounded.4 s The Dutch general had achieved the dream of the century: the capture of a Spanish treasure fleet. Four huge galleons and two smaller vessels were captured in the Bay of Matanzas; nine Spanish ships had been taken earlier that day. Later a Spanish wine ship was also seized. Of the three ships that had successfully escaped earlier that day, two were later driven ashore where they burst. Only one ship reached Havana, and two or three stragglers of the fleet managed to arrive there also. It was a great victory.

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igi The Dutch fleet did not linger in the Bay of Matanzas; Heyn well knew that the silver galleons of the Tierra Firme fleet would soon come by and could capture him in his moment of triumph if he delayed. So he made all possible haste in unloading the captured ships and taking over their cargoes. Chests, cases, and bags marked por el Key (for the King) or por su Majestad (for His Majesty), or directed to the Jesuit College in Rome, passed from the Spanish ships into those of the Dutch.*6 The transfer required eight days. In spite of all pre cautions, however, some of the silver and gold was stolen. Heyn called an inspection and recovered part of this "improper booty." A few of his men had acquired at least fourteen pounds of gold. Most of it was returned by the offer of rewards. Nevertheless, when the fleet, on its return journey dropped anchor in Plymouth, some English members of the crews deserted, giving up their pay and promised prizes, a sure indictation that they had already compensated them selves with Spanish gold. Excep t for the four galleons and one other smaller ship, all the captured ships were then burned. Heyn divided his crews to man the salvaged ships. With a few exceptions, the Spanish prisoners were set free and given provisions to survive for three or four days until help could get to them from Havana.47 On September 17, the Dutch general ordered sails hoisted, and the Dutch left Matanzas. In addition to his own ships Heyn now com manded the four Spanish galleons which represented some ninety to a hundred pieces of additional artillery. He wrote his report and dispatched two fast-sailing yachts to the Low Countries to inform the Prince of Orange, the States General, and the Heren xix of the wonderful news. Simultaneously he requested their advice with respect to the situation at Dunkirk where privateers in Spanish service were constantly harassing Dutch merchantmen. The two yachts left Heyn's fleet on September 26. They arrived home with the good tidings around mid-November. Amidst all the rejoicing, however, the Heren xix and the States General did not overlook Heyn's request; indeed, the States General decided to send a squadron to convoy Heyn's fleet through the English Channel. The voyage home was an exciting but tiring experience for the brave and successful general. In a letter written from Falmouth, December 8, 1628, Piet Heyn gave a substantial account of the hap penings during this long crossing of the Atlantic. During the first seven or eight weeks, heavy storms blew continuously. One of the Spanish galleons, the San Juan, ran a leak and could not be kept above water. During the next three days of improved weather it was un-

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192 loaded. The cargohides and campeche woodwas transferred onto some of the other ships, along with its artillery. Then the empty hulk was burned. Another Spanish ship, the Santa Gertrudis, damaged its bow, its bowsprit, and its foremast. These were replaced as efficiently as possible under the circumstances. This same ship then became separated from the main fleet because of bad weather, but was for tunately able to join Heyn after almost a week. Once again the ill-fated ship was lost, and it was not to be seen again until it reached Fal mouth, leaking but safe. Others also were dispersed on the journey home, not always because of bad weather, but simply because they sailed faster. The Santa Ana lost her topmast. One of the Dutch yachts was forced to cut his own mast to create an emergency rig for the damaged Spanish vessel. Nevertheless, and in spite of all adversity, the main body of the fleet reached the Isle of Wight on December 4.*8 Now Heyn learned that some of his ships had already arrived home, but he was also told that many "pirates" were lying in wait for his fleet at Dunkirk. Since contrary winds prevented Heyn from anchoring at Wight, the general, after some hesitation, decided to sail on to Falmouth. He arrived there four days later with eight of his ships. He immediately sent letters to the English ports of Wight and Plymouth to reestablish contact with the lost units of his fleet. While he waited at Falmouth, the Santa Gertrudis, so long lost, limped in, leaking like a sieve. The cargo she carried had to be transferred into the other ships. This meant, however, that some of the Dutch ships were now overladen, which caused more headaches for the general. In addition, the Santa Gertrudis had unloaded three hundred spoiled hides, and the English port officials insisted on collecting the corresponding duties. This demand proved to be the source of some friction. As a result, Heyn mistrusted the English and took steps to have his ships guarded at all times.49 In i62, the Dutch and the English had concluded the Treaty of Southampton which guaranteed free access and departure to and from the ports of each country. .Just at the moment when Heyn needed the friendly cooperation of his hosts, however, the English were riled over certain actions taken by the Dutch East India Com pany, in particular the so-called Ambon atrocities. It was perhaps fortuitous that, although the English fleet arrived home while Heyn was at Falmouth, its ships were badly in need of repair and quite unable to launch an attack. Had they been able to join the Dunkirkers just thenand considering the English and Spanish desire for peace this was not an unreasonable possibilityHeyn could certainly not

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!93 have escaped. Prior to his arrival, there had been rumors that London might delay any Dutch ship which came to an English The States General, aware of Heyn's precarious position, had already sent a squadron to Heyn "for his best security against the Dunkirk 'pirates' as well as otherwise, "si The Prince of Orange, as admiralgeneral of the United Provinces, was authorized to order the squad rons of the various admiralties to watch for the expected fleet. News also came that the Dunkirkers were preparing an attack. Rumor had it that the Spaniards were outfitting sixty ships for the same purpose. Finally, the situation was compounded by the fact that Dutch harbors were filling up with many of their own men-of-war which should have been at sea protecting the fleet of Heyn. This was partly the result of Lieutenant-Admiral van Dorp's in competence, and partly because of the fact that the five admiralty boards simply could not agree upon any concentrated action. Thus Holland's Provincial States met with the Prince of Orange to demand a new lieutenant-admiral. The prince delayed in the matter, claiming he did not know of one capable of filling the positionthe plan to nominate Piet Heyn may already have been forming in his mind. In the impasse created in spite of the Treaty of Southampton, the States General not only sent the aforementioned squadron to assist Heyn against the English, Spanish, or Dunkirk attacks, but, urged by the Heren xix, secured from Charles I a declaration which confirmed the said treaty. Heyn, as yet unaware of the royal pledge, wrote to the Dutch ambassador complaining of his circumstances and defending his actions regarding the aforementioned three hundred hides which he had managed to sell in England. The affair was soon settled to the satisfaction of everybody, and the English made no further trouble for the Dutch.s2 On January 2, Heyn ordered the units of his fleet at Wight and Plymouth to sail; he left Falmouth on January 3. Four days later the Dutch had passed the danger zone near Dunkirk. In another two days the general was home. Since the fleet had been sailing in three or more units, these arrived home at different times. The galleon Santa Ana had managed to run aground off the Irish coast, but the cargo and the crew had been saved. The rest of the fleet also arrived home safely. Losses had been negligible: only i^o men had been killed, although many were ill when the ships finally docked in the Low Countries. Of the four captured galleons, only one reached the Netherlands; the cargoes of the other three, which had been wrecked or so badly damaged that they had had to be abandoned, had been saved.53

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194 Having dropped anchor in the port of Hellevoetsluis, Piet Heyn and his admiral, Loncq, traveled to The Hague. On January 14, 1629, together with four members of the Heren xix, they appeared in a meeting of the States General. Heyn reported on his voyage and chronicled its fantastic success. Both he and Loncq were treated magnificently: fifty cannons were fired, there were fireworks, and the church bells tolled "all to express joy and give honor to the present persons and thanking the Lord in the churches. "S4 Indeed, the whole country was proud of the man who had made true the inscription on his pedestal erected some 2^0 years later: Argentum auro utrumque virtuti cedit.55 From The Hague, Piet Heyn and his admiral proceeded to Leyden, the well-known university town, home of director-historian de Laet. The tumultous welcome there provoked these words from Piet Heyn: "See how the people now rave because I have brought home such a huge treasure, for which I did not do much; but before, when I had fought and did many things much greater than this one, they really did not care and did not notice it."56 From Leyden, the triumphal procession moved on to Haarlem, from there to Amsterdam, where both men were received by the directors of the wic in the West India House. A huge celebration was held in the evening and another one the next day. The Prince of Orange honored the general with a gold chain and a medal, while all over the United Provinces manifestations of joy were given publicly, especially in the border towns so that the enemy would know about the great victory.57 Nor was that all. After Heyn and Loncq had appeared in the States General, Their High Mightinesses presented the general with another gold chain and a medal worth 1,^00 guilders, and gave the admiral a smaller set worth 75-0 guilders. Each carried this glorious inscrip tion: INDICA CLASSE INTERCEPTA, PARTISQUE SINE SANGUINE OPULENTISSIMIS SPOLIIS AD CUBAE PORTEM, HISPANORUM NUNC DAMNIS QUAM OLIM CAEDE NOBILIORUM, FOEDERATAE BELGICO-GERMANIAE PROCERES, E GAZA CAPTIVA MONUMENTUM, CUDI FECERUNT. CIODCXXIX CUM PRIVILEGIO. The other side read: HEINIADES NUPER SENSIT SPOLIATA MATANCA.58

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l9S More medals were struck, all exalting the incredible feat, the courage of the Dutch, and the humiliation of the Spaniards. But they were not the only medium through which popular feeling manifested itself. It also found eloquent expression in the pamphlets or "blue books" which were now published. Van Spranckhuysen wrote a little book under the long title Triumph of the Happy and Over-Rich Victory which the Lord our God September 8 of the Year 1628 has brought to the Fleet of the West India Company under the Command of General Pieter Tieterszoon Heyn. against the Silver Fleet of our Enemy coming from Nova Hispania at the Bay of Matanzas.S9 With the Bible and the classics as his reference, the good minister further rejoiced: "Saul has slain his thousands, but David his ten thousands" and "Let ancient times show off their heroes: those of Troy their Aeneas, those of Macedonia their Alexander, those of Carthage their Hannibal, those of Rome their Julius Caesar." The Dutch now had a hero to rival these ancient giants. Van Spranckhuysen, who called himself "not a merchant, not a soldier, but an ambassador in the Name of Jesus Christ," offered also the following advice to the Heren xix about the disposition of the treasure: "May a good college be built for the education of the alert minds and God-fearing souls in order to propagate through them the true religion in the countries of the West Indies." Another eulogy of the time praised God and welcomed Piet Heyn as "the wise, resolute and brave Sea-hero."60 In still another, the King of Spain was brought onto the scene protesting: What? Must a Monarch, head of the Castilians, Who signs "Yo el Rey," be put on the spot By those Lutherans who are my Rebels?61 Most of the pamphlets, however, confined themselves to the simple voicing of popular mirth: "Welcome, welcome, brave hero, with your treasures, with your silver.... "6z A more pious and learned touch was added in the Latin verse that closed: "You, eternal God, our Victor and Ruler, the Guard and Protector of this Republic, the only one whose help we acknowledge, adore and venerate in this victory. "63 Perhaps this feeling was really at the bottom of popular sentiment. The value of the gold, silver, and merchandise brought home by Piet Heyn was estimated at 11,5-00,000 guilders (see Appendix iv). Another estimate, this one by Witte CorneHszoon de With, captain of PietHeyn's flagship, placed the value at 13,000,000 to 14,000,000 guilders. Net profit, after deduction of expenses, must have been around 7,000,000 guilders; the Prince of Orange as admiral received 10 per cent or 700,000 guilders. The officers, crews, and

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196 soldiers, received a liberal 10 per cent of the total or 17 months of full pay. Piet Heyn himself thus wound up with 7,000 guilders. The total for the entire fleet, including the men who had been killed and whose heirs received the payments, amounted to almost 950,000 guilders.6 Accordin g to Article XXVIII of the charter, the directors themselves together received 70,000 guilders. Many discussions by the Heren xix took place concerning the amount of dividend to be paid to the share holders. The latter, referred to by Aitzema as the happiest people in the country, immediately requested huge payments. There were many voices urging a modest dividend since they wanted the wic to keep most of the money in the company treasury, on the model of the EIC which had always paid low dividends and which had, conse quently, "risen to the power it still has."6s The Heren xix finally decided to please the participants and pay 50 per cent of the net profit or more than 3,500,000 guilders. Together, total payments amounted to almost 5,500,000 guilders, leaving only 1,500,000 guilders in the treasury of the company.66 In addition to this capital, Heyn's success made possible an increase of capital by one-third through new in vestments. Although His Excellency the stadhouder was quite content, the directors pleased, and the participants overjoyed, not everyone was satisfied. The crews which had accomplished the feat were not happy. Riots broke out in Amsterdam, and if we can believe the Dutch poet Joost van den Vondel, the crew members even acquired a cannon to blast their way into the West India House. They asserted that the Heren xix pretended that the booty was smaller than it really was, which cost them three or four months pay. Troops were summoned quickly, the rioters dispersed, and the leaders taken into custody.67 Perhaps Piet Heyn was not entirely satisfied with his share either. It might be true that in those days 7,000 guilders represented a huge sum of money, but it was not much when compared to the 31,000 guilders that had been paid to Heemskerk after he had taken a Portuguese carrdca in the East.68 However, there is no proof for the assertion that Heyn, unhappy about his reward, left the West India Company to become lieutenant-admiral in the service of Their High Mightinessesthe first admiral to serve them who did not belong to the Dutch nobility. The impression which the capture of the Silver Fleet left on the hearts and minds of the Dutch was deep and lasting. Mention has already been made of the many manifestations of noisy but well-meant joy and cordiality with which the general was welcomed everywhere.

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197 Men of letters were also excited. Historians like Barlaeus, Pontanus, and van Wassenaer, as well as many others, composed Latin poems in honor of Heyn. Their themes were taken over by the vernacular. It was, as was stated before, the great century of the Word of God. De Laet thanked Providence for the great victory; the sceptical diplomat Aitzema called it a "singular guidance of God." There was an abundant flow of poetry, most often bombastic, sometimes in stately hexa meters, sometimes with little or no rhythm at all. Proof of the effect of Heyn's triumph is that while it produced a flourish of praise im mediately afterwards, it also remained one of the sources of inspiration for nineteenth-century popular songs. Heyn's fame soon spread beyond the borders of the United Provinces. Some in Europe may have felt a slight tinge of sadness for the Spaniards, who, deprived of their Mexican revenues at the same time that they had allied themselves with the Catholic League, would not be able to consummate their warlike plans against France nor stamp out the heresy of the German countries.69 But many could not hide their joy. The French ambassador in The Hague congratulated Their High Mightinesses, as did the "Winter King" (then residing in the Netherlands), the Ambassador of Venice, and the envoys of England, Denmark, and Sweden. The States General also ordered its am bassadors to communicate the glad tidings to the kings of France and England. In Paris, where the news was received with the greatest interest, even French adherents to the Spanish party at court paid their respects and complimented the Dutch envoy. Richelieu, of course, was strengthened in his anti-Spanish intentions to send his armies into Italy. In London the Dutch ambassador used the Spanish humiliation of Matanzas as a counterweight to the pressure being exerted upon England to sign a peace treaty with Spain. To this possibility the Dutch now were able to add that under no circumstance would they accept conditions for a truce or peace from Spain. Charles I, proSpanish by nature and envious of the Dutch, behaved courteously, making bonne mine a mauvais jeushowing them a happy smileand congratulating them, but as to what went on in his mind, one can only guess. The most curious reaction came from the Vatican. It seems logical that the Church would express deep sorrow and much compassion in this crushing defeat of a Catholic king by heretics and rebels. How ever, the tensions and bad relations between the pope, the Italian Urban VIII, and the Spanish king at that time led the pope to comment

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198 that the news of Piet Heyn's victory was to him as appetizing as the Gospel itself.?0 All of Rome rejoiced and was happy with him. The United Provinces, enriched with a booty of millions, could now open an offensive war against Spain. It laid siege to 's-Hertogenbosch, an important bishopric in Brabant. This extremely difficult military operation was carried out successfully by the young Stadhouder Frederik Hendrik. But soon the delighted country had bad news to consider. Rumors ran that Piet Heyn, who had performed so brilliantly for the West India Company for the previous four or five years, had resigned. This soon proved to be true.71 Certain conditions set by Heyn which concerned improvements in the fleet had not been accepted by the Heren xix. The good relations between Heyn and the stadhouder resulted in his appointment as lieutenantadmiral of the official war-navy of the United Provinces. The wic replaced Heyn with Loncq. Piet Heyn served but a few months in his new capacity. In June, 1629, in an engagement with the Dunkirk pirates, he was killed. Aitzema wrote: Mori nos est turpe, sed turpiter mori.72 Heyn's body was taken to Delft and buried with great ceremony in the Old Church. There lie the mortal remains of the man who was the most dangerous and successful adversary of the Portuguese and Spaniards since the death of Drake. Heyn was, at the same time, one of the most able commanders in the Dutch West India Company, and certainly the most popular. When news of the Dutch victory reached Spainvia the Low Coun tries"it tortured the Court, made the merchants tremble and bewildered everyone."73 The loss of the treasure was bad enough, but worse was the fact that the Spaniards now had to deal with an insult to His Majesty. For the first time in history, in spite of many attacks, an entire fleet had been lost. As soon as Benavides and his admiral reached Spain, they were arrested and put in prison. They had arrived with the Tierra Firme fleet under the command of Tomas de Larraspuru, who, warned by the governor of Havana, had stayed in Cartagena until he was certain the enemy had left the Caribbean. Benavides and Leoz were held in communicado. So blameworthy did the behavior of his general seem to the kingespecially the fact that he had left his ship without putting up a fightthat His Majesty at first refused to allow him to defend himself.7* Philip's early indignation seemed to mean that nothing less than Benavides' head upon a pike would satisfy him. Unfortunately for Benavides, the affair was not to be handled with such dispatch.

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199 After the king's primary reaction, the prisoners were put into the hands of the proper authorities. Juan de Solorzano Pereira of the Council of the Indies was appointed as public prosecutor. He had been a member of the Audiencia in Lima and was considered an excellent jurist. His address to the court on the guilt of Benavides, liberally spiced with numerous Latin and Greek quotations, certainly illustrated his fine erudition if not his objectivity. It took five years to bring Benavides to the scaffold and his admiral to lifelong exile. Many witnesses appeared for the prosecution, few for the defense. When the first main point of the trial came to public attentionthe circumstances in which the catastrophe had taken placeBenavides was already revealed as a man who had followed neither general rules nor specific instructions. The amount of deck cargo which he had permitted and which prevented the effective use of his artillery counted heavily against him. Another point brought up by the prosecution was the accusation that both Benavides and Leoz had been the first to desert their ships. This certainly was not true of the admiral, while in the general's case, his presence ashore was probably more necessary than his presence aboard. What weighed, however, most heavily against Benavides was the fact that he had not called for a fleet council until it was too late. Instead, without con sulting anyone, he had given the order to retreat to Matanzas. Had he called this council at noon, when the Dutch fleet was first dis covered, resistance might have been organized, or so it was claimed, and it would have been possible to reach Havana. The prosecution argued that since Benavides' fleet was nearer to the coast, it would have been dark before the enemy could have met it in battle, thus making good its escape. Not only the testimony of Captain Hernando Guerra, "one of the most experienced men," but that of all others was unanimous in this respect. 75 Benavides' reputation was further damaged by the testimony that he had panicked when he saw the Dutch so near, and that he had not done much to control the confusion. It should have been possible, it was said, to save the treasure, since there had been enough time to throw it into the water, which was only four fathoms deep at that point. The Dutch, it was claimed, had no divers. Benavides himself was charged with an obvious lack of discipline and with the virtual absence of any attempt to save the king's gold. The trial revealed that the Spaniards believed that all would not have been lost had there been adequate leadership. Witnesses testified that the Dutch had hesitated to board the Spanish ships. The Dutch, so it was alleged, were "cowards" and had not dared to climb aboard

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200 even after the ships had been abandoned until Heyn himself had arrived on the scene and threatened them if they did not obey. Spain, it was said, was deeply hurt about losing her beautiful ships and marvelous treasure to "those men in rags, without personality, without dash. "?6 Her greatest calamity, as a nation, was that her reputation as a strong power was decisively undermined by Heyn's venture. "Who can hear of this and not seize high heaven itself in angry hands ? Who, at the risk of a thousand lives, if he had them, would not avenge so agrievous an affront?" asked an angry Spaniard who advocated an immense armada to recover this lost repute. "The Hollander has so degraded us that commonly, in adjacent kingdoms, where formerly they called the Spaniards 'unchained lions' they now call us 'em broidered Marias' with braided hair and padded legs."77 The trial dragged on, but it was clear from the outset that Benavides was a doomed man. He could not provide any satisfactory answers, and the written testimonials which had been received from Havana long before the trial were discredited because it was suggested that they were unduly influenced by Benavides and his friend the governor of Havana. Leoz shared the ill fate of his commander, though to a lesser degree. The most serious accusation against him amounted to negligence and failure to set his ships afire. Solorzano y Pereira summed up his accusation in two tremendous points: first, that even if the accused had not been guilty they should be punished as an example and, second, that such crimes permitted no pardon and had to be dealt with harshly. Benavides was sentenced to death; Leoz was exiled to Africa where he died. Vae victis. On May 18, 1634, Benavides, attired in black with the cross of Santiago in his hand and sitting on a mule also draped in black, covered the last mile to the scaffold. He passed through the most important streets of Seville where the population saw the once so arrogant general humiliated as he proceeded toward the square of San Francisco. He was accompanied by 2^0 monks carrying burning candles. Passing the door of the Royal Audiencia building the public crier announced, "This is the justice that the King our Lord and his Royal Councils ask to carry out on this man for his negligence in the loss of the fleet of New Spain, which the enemy took in the year 1628. Whoever did this, let him pay for it. "78 At the square Benavides was led to the chair in the middle of the scaffold while some officials and priests accompanied him. The general knelt at its side, received absolution, then sat down holding

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201 in his right hand the cross given to him by the bishop of Santiago. Then Benavides asked the executioner to do his duty. The latter tied the general's arms, legs, and body to the chair, and bandaged his eyes. Then, according to custom, he buried a knife three times in Benavides' throat. Onc e again the public crier repeated the proclamation which he had called out before the Royal Audiencia, warning the people not to touch the body. After a few hours the monks of San Francisco took the body and dressed it in a Franciscan robe. Benavides, says the narrator of one moving account, looked like a Saint Paul with his grey beard. The nobility of Seville gave the general a magnificent funeral as an expression of public sentiment, and as a silent protest against the tyrannical cruelty of Olivares who had punished as a crime what had only been, in the public eye, an unfortunate occurrence. The capture of the Silver Fleet was the result of a combination of excellent planning, preparation, order, and strong leadership by the. Dutch. The total absence of leadership on the part of the Spaniards combined with a conspicuous lack of discipline and an amazing negli gence contributed to their crushing defeat. The testimony of many eyewitnesses proves that during this whole expedition, and especially in the confused period while both fleets were in the Bay of Matanzas, Piet Heyn conducted himself as an efficient commander. The same cannot be said of Benavides. Heyn had failed to reach Cape San Antonio unobserved, although he had tried hard to do so. He may not have known about the excel lent spy service maintained by Spain at Brussels and Antwerp and her system of lookouts along the Caribbean islands. He had arrived at the right timeduring July and Augustand at the right place north of Havanawhere the Spanish fleets, once they had left their ports, could not escape him. He had taken excellent care to intercept all warning boats. Even so, Benavides might have avoided him be cause of his long delay at San Juan de Ulua. In addition, the fact that no news reached him from Havana should have aroused his suspicion. There is some evidence that Heyn had made up his mind to go home when, on September 8, his patience was rewarded. The rapidity and exactitude of the maneuver which he executed to enclose the Spanish fleet reflect the determination and perspicacity of a great leader and the fine control he had over his fleet and his men. Spanish and Dutch sources agree that, at Matanzas, Heyn maintained good discipline among his men under circumstances which were both confusing and difficult. He was kind to the prisoners and sent most

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2o2 of them to Havana as soon as possible to prevent disorder. The remaining prisoners were well treated. Pressed for time, he had nevertheless managed to compile a sub stantial inventory of the captured cargo. The governor of Havana, for unknown reasons, had not dared to intervene, and everything had proceeded in order. The fact that he was able to bring his fleet home under the most adverse climatological conditions as well as dangers threatening him from Dunkirk is yet further testimony to his ability. Indeed, in this whole venture the best man had won. It may be well to conclude this chapter with a quote from a letter written by the English ambassador in The Hague to his Home Office: It is the greatest prize that was ever taken from the Spaniards, and being added to the fleet of the Honduras taken in the beginning of August in sight of Havana, and verie many other prizes taken most by the shippes of the West India Company and much by particular Freebooters of Zeland, will amount to above twenty hundred thousand pounds of sterling, all taken within the space of a year. Soe that the losses suffered by the Dunkerkers are well repaired, and the Spaniard of certaine soe impoverished that he was not in worse condition when he begged peace of our late King and of this State. The consequences hereof are many and greate.,,." Meanwhile, even before Heyn's successful mission was known in the Netherlands, the energetic Heren xix had fitted out another fleet with the West Indies as its destination. This fleet was under the command of Admiral Adriaen Janszoon Pater, and it left the Low Countries on August i, 1628.

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9 THE KING'S VEINS In fervore belli. Piet Heyn's spectacular tour de force may have temporarily paralyzed the government in Spain, but His Spanish Majesty could not afford to abstain very long from further activity in the Caribbean. Demands from his governors in that area, requesting reinforcements "for the love of God," were simply too urgent to ignore. Havana needed im mediate help; its garrison of some 2 o men represented only onefourth of its requisite strength. Furthermore, the Cuban governor requested that the situado for that year, which had been lost to the Dutch with the New Spain fleet that had conveyed it, be reimbursed from Crown revenues "for otherwise it will not be possible to maintain the garrison."' Were the king and his councils now alerted to the fact that the West Indies, and indeed their entire American domain, had suddenly been converted into a front in the war between Spain and the rebel lious Low Countries? Certainly Madrid was well informed about future propensities of the Dutch West India Company which had been bolstered in that most fortunate year 1628 to the same degree that Spain had been weakened. Espionage revealed that the Dutch intended to secure a permanent base in the Caribbean, perhaps Jamaica, from which they might wage a continual campaign to thwart Spain's colonial traffic. Rumors regarding the preparation of several powerful fleets poured into Spain; one of these was described as a great armada which was to be unlike any ever built. The Spanish War Council determined to send a fleet, headed by an expert, to the Caribbean. In this connection Antonio de Oquendo's name figured pre-eminently. The Council of the Indies concurred in this idea, but found itself face to face with an empty treasury, a persuasive deterrent. At this juncture the king abandoned his habitual lethargy and encouraged his councils: "This is no time to yield. If the Indies are well cared for this coming year it will compensate for

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204 all the damage and bring our enemies to sue for peace."2 Although Philip IV did not care to admit his own diminishing power nor the corresponding ascendancy of the Dutcha fact well attested by the treaty negotiations of that yearhe certainly roused the councils and inspired his people with new determination at a crucial moment. Rallying to Philip's behest, his ministers sent word to Cabrera, Havana's governor, to lay in supplies of food and water, and if necessary, to call on New Spain for assistance. Admiral de Larraspuru was instructed to leave the equivalent of the lost situado in Havana, deducting it from the Crown revenues aboard the New Spain treasure fleet which he commanded that year. The Duke of Medina-Sidonia was ordered to recruit an additional two hundred men for Havana's depleted garrison. Finally, firearms, powder, fuses, and lead were soon dispatched to the Caribbean. Persistent references to the opponent's growing strength incited the Spaniards to attempt even more vigorous measures, notwith standing a severe financial crisis and a precarious international situa tion. With the West Indies as its destination, a mighty fleet was assembled at San Lucar. It was to be commanded by one of Spain's finest hidalgos, Don Fadrique de Toledo. In a deliberate attempt to mislead the enemy, the news was unobtrusively circulated that the impressive array of force would soon be leaving for Brazil and that it would restrict its activities to policing that area. The Dutch were not Spain's only contenders in the Caribbean. English and French privateering enterprises and colonizing ventures the difference was not always entirely clearwere also abusing the mare clausum. The Lesser Antilles, long neglected by Spain, had be come the intruders' main targets for colonies and naval bases, which were essential way stations for fleets operating so many thousands of miles from home ports. Curiously, the Dutch had not yet expressed much concern or interest in overseas settlements and, except for those located near the salt pans, had only desired to establish colonies and bases after colonizing possibilities had considerably declined. For this reason they had to be content with only a few and these by far the least suitable islands in the Caribbean. In 1625the French under Pierre Belain d'Esnambuc and the English under Sir Thomas Warner came to settle St. Christopheror St. Kittsalmost simultaneously, an occurrence described by Dutertre as "an admirable act of Providence. "3 The problem of the two nations living side by side on the same island was solved only after both leaders had returned to their respective countries. D'Esnambuc received the

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*s support of the "Company of St. Christopher" in 1627; Warner's colony, which originally had been undertaken without royal patent, was soon incorporated into the Carlisle grant. In 1629 Richelieu moved against the English, partly in response to the realistic com plaints of d'Esnambuc about English aggression and in spite of the traite de partage concluded by the two leaders on their return to the island. Undoubtedly intimidated by the threat of a Spanish fleet which had been delegated to expel all foreign intruders from the Caribbean, he decided to lend his official support to the French colony by sending a fleet of nine ships under Francois de Rotondy, Sieur de Cahuzac. De Cahuzac left France in June, 1629, and arrived at St. Christopher near the end of August, to the delight and encouragement of the French colonists. The English were immediately cautioned to retreat to their own quarters. Apparently the latter had chosen to take up residence where, according to the partition treaty, French rights had been reaffirmed. Warner sought to buy time by requesting a three-day pause in order to consider the French demandand to solicit the aid of ten neighboring English ships. But the French granted him only fifteen minutes. De Cahuzac went on to capture six of these vessels, and he thus had the English settlers completely at his mercy. The English had no choice but to retire to their own territory, and the two nationalities once again lived en bonne intelligenceon good terms.4 War of a totally different kind, however, was hovering over the two little colonies, although neither realized it until it was too late. De Cahuzac, having arranged matters on St. Christopher, and after establishing a colony on St. Eustatius5or Statiusprotected by a fort, concluded that since he had received no confirmation about the expected Spanish fleet, his presence on St. Christopher was no longer utterly necessary. Disastrously, therefore, he allowed his captains to roam the Caribbean, and he himself was soon bound for the Gulf of Mexico to try his luck at privateering. This uncalled-for dissipation of the French fleet precipitated the downfall of both the French and English settlements on St. Christopher and Nevis. The Spanish fleet had left the Iberian Peninsula in August, 1629. The strength of the fleet is variously reported by contemporary authors as between seventeen galleons to thirty-eight men-of-war and three provision ships. Its goals: to punish the enemy, French, English, or Dutch, to protect the mainland galleons, and to restore Spanish dominance in the Caribbean. Its destinationpresumed secret, although Richelieu knew where it was boundled observers to believe that Spain, in using such a potent force for such a limited

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2o6 goal, was trying to kill a sparrow with a cannon. To Spain, on the other hand, this display of power was amply justified if only to regain some of her lost prestige. Near the Canary Islands, the Spanish fleet sighted some units of a Dutch fleet which were en route to Brazil. Without chancing an encounter, the Spaniards proceeded to Nevis where they landed on September 16. Eight English ships were taken by complete surprise, and the next day the English colony on the island surrendered. On September 18, Don Fadrique disembarked his troops on the island of St. Christopher. The Spaniards missed de Cahuzac by at most a few days. As often happened, the indentured servants of the colonists, who were regularly mistreated, deserted their masters, swam out to the Spanish ships, and betrayed all that they knew. For a brief time the English and French settlers fought side by side to resist the Spanish effort to subjugate them. In time, some of them escaped, while the rest tried to negotiate with Don Fadrique. The result was the sur render of the island's occupants, the dismantling of their fort, and the destruction of their tobacco warehouses. The labor of four years was thus totally lost.6 Of the colonists whom the Spaniards had managed to capture alive, some two thousand were placed aboard six ships and forcibly returned to England. Others, over eight hundred of them, all Catholics, transferred their allegiance to Spain.7 The former group reached England "all naked and many sick. "8 Those who joined the Spaniards wintered at Cartagena and sailed on to Havana the following spring. Needless to say, the results of this Spanish action were not lasting. The English and French colonists on St. Christopher, those who had fled at the coming of the Spaniards, disregarded the capitulations of their leaders, awaited the departure of the Spanish fleet, and then returned to their properties. Furthermore, some of them emigrated to the nearby islands of Antigua, St. Bartholomew, and Montserrat. As a bizarre coincidence, the Spanish actions had occurred while a substantial French force under de Cahuzac was diverging around the area, and, indeed, under the very nose of a Dutch fleet. A most interesting sequence of events, promoted by the aggressive intrusions in the Caribbean of the Dutch West India Company, unfurled itself before Don Fadrique's eyes while he leisurely hibernated in Cartage na.' While Spain possessed neither lucid nor explicit knowledge about Dutch ambitions, she believed, correctly, that the West India Com pany had many projects in the planning stage. Even before Piet Heyn

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207 had captured the New Spain fleet, the Heren xix had equipped a fleet of eight ships and four yachts, most of which had already left the dock by August is, 1628. This fleet was under the command of Adriaen Janszoon Pater of Edam, a worthy successor of his townsman Hendricksz.10 Instructions first called for him to cross in the neighborhood of the so-called Flemish Islands11 in order to follow up Heyn's mission in the event the latter had no opportunity to ensnare his prey, and to be on the -alert for stragglers from the 1628 treasure fleet. Pater patrolled the area in vain for several weeks, unaware of events which were then occurring in the Caribbean. Tiring of his futile delay, Pater sailed to the Cape Verde Islands, then crossed the Atlantic to Brazil. He was exhorted to reconnoiter the Bay of All Saints and Pernambuco and to relay his observations to the xix who were then formulating a second attack in that region. After an other fruitless search for prizes in the area, the Dutch admiral decided to try his luck in the Caribbean. His instructions were to divide his fleet prior to its entry into the West Indian archipelago. One part was to sail along Tierra Firme, the other north of Puerto Rico, south of Hispaniola, and north of Jamaica. The two squadrons were then to reassemble at Cape San Antonio, to sail together toward Havana, and to bide their time until the passage of the treasure fleets which they were ordered to keep under close surveillance and, if needed, follow to Spain. The entire venture may have been instigated purely as an evasive device to keep Spanish governors unaware of the real nature of Dutch intentions.12 The Heren xix wanted Pater, quite simply, to imitate Piet Heyn and surprise one of the treasure fleets. His original force, of course, was far too small to accomplish such an exalted mission; he was, therefore, constantly receiving reinforcements. The xix's long-range plan was equally guileless: should Pater prove unable to capture one of the Spanish fleets en route to Havana, nevertheless by his very presence in the area, he might still compel the Spaniards to remain in port. Two consecutive years of unremitting hardship, as a result of the failure of the treasure fleets to deliver their precious cargoes, would draw Spain deeper and deeper into a dizzy vortex of financial catastrophe. Approaching Grenada on April 1, Pater opened his secret directive, divided his fleet into two parts, and did as he had been ordered. For more than two months both Dutch squadrons roamed the Caribbean, foraging, sacking, and pillaging the poorly defended enemy towns along the coasts.13 Not only did Pater's presence thus inflict severe hardship upon the Spaniards, but the Dutchmen had also acquired a

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2o8 group of pirates and smugglers who followed in their wake and consummated the "work" begun by the official representatives of the West India Company.1* About mid-June Pater arrived at Cape San Antonio and joined up with the other squadron.15 Prior to this meeting the Dutch ranks had been swelled by two Zeelandian ships which had brought the glad tidings of Heyn's marvelous feat. Heyn's return to the United Provinces had prompted the Heren xix to implement with haste their previous decision to reinforce Pater's fleet. At least thirteen ad ditional ships were equipped; three were larger than five hundred tons. Some had already been sent out in April of 1629; most of these units, however, joined Pater in June and July of that year.16 They were placed under the command of Jan Janszoon van Hoorn who encountered many problems locating Patera case which illustrates the almost unsurmountable handicaps in seventeenth-century com munications.17 The Dutch ships converged as a unit upon the historic site where Piet Heyn had lain in wait the previous year. From some captured Spaniards, it was learned that a large Spanish fleet was due to arrive in the Caribbean at any time, but this information was much too vague to have caused Pater any particular concern. Pater's presence in the Caribbean was soon well known to Spanish authorities, although they were not always fully cognizant of his strength. The Dutch admiral, himself no fool, surmised as much, and assumed that his movements were being vigilantly watched. Spanish prisoners from Santiago de Cuba supplied the information that not a few ships loaded with copper were crowding the harbor, dissuaded from their scheduled departure by the Dutch menace. Other sources told Pater that his presence had been officially reported to Cabrera and that the governor had broadcast a warning to all important Carib bean ports.18 It had thus come about that Fadrique de Toledo had stayed the entire winter at Cartagena. His fleet strengthened to twenty-six or more sails, Pater persisted in traversing the area in which Piet Heyn had met with such incredible luck. The stubborn Dutchman resolutely stood his ground until late in the dreaded hurricane season. His ships did not survive the ordeal unscathed. Yet Pater waited for the evasive enemy in spite of the frightful risk. The Spaniards, meantime, sojourned in safety at Cartagena, Porto Bello, and San Juan de Ulua. They were in no hurry and felt themselves and their treasures well protected under neath the thick walls of these time-honored fortresses. The only tangible gain the Dutch achieved at the time was that their presence thoroughly disrupted Spanish intercolonial navigation and trade.

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j. Map of the Caribbean with the expeditions of Lucifer, Ita, Pater, and Heyn, 1627-1630. From De Laet/Naber, 11.

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209 Admiral Pater, disheartened as his fleet lay immobilized and fast running short of provisions, finally sent nine of his ships home. They carried with them tobacco, sugar, hides, and other products in small quantities. As de Laet commented, however, "This did not mean much against the great expenses of this fleet. "I9 The Dutch admiral was certain that his quarry was wintering in the Caribbean and that it would not sail until the following spring. He informed the Heren xix of his opinion in a letter dated September 13, 1629. In conformity with the spirit of those times, the Heren xix replied, "The Lord has decided the times and places where and when it shall please Him to bless us. We have seen that in spite of all your good work and vigilance you could achieve nothing advantageous for us. "20 They instructed him to remain in the area and promised more reinforcements. For the moment they recommended that he alter nate his course between Cartagena and Porto Bello and keep a sharp lookout for the Tierra Firme fleet. The purpose behind their ordering Pater to stay in the Caribbean was fairly transparent and has already been pointed out: his presence would probably terrorize the Spaniards, cut off their navigation, and disrupt completely their trade in the area. Even more, Pater's fleet had come to be considered an integral part in the latest "Great Design." The company's treasury, filled to the brim after the extremely profitable year 1628, also led the Heren xix to entertain high hopes for accomplishing now what they had failed to do earlier. Once again they were planning to capture one of the Iberian colonies in the New World, while "cutting the king's veins"referring to the treasure fleetsin the Caribbean. They had not entirely relinquished the idea that Pater could still catch one of these fleets, and once again they focused their attention on Brazil.21 Pernambuco instead of Bahia was indicated as the proper target, since it had many unsurpassable advantages. With its capital Olinda and the excellent port of Recife, this site was, as Watjen rightly observed, "a magnificent stronghold for the domination of the southern Atlantic."22 The area was also noted for its fertility: sugarcane sprouted everywhere, and there were many choice and magnificent plantations where all types of fine wood were to be had for the picking. Once a plan for the conquest of this Brazilian province had been developed and voted on, the Heren xix appointed such il lustrious figures as Hendrick Corneliszoon Loncq,23 Pieter Adriaenszoon Ita, Joost van Trappen, alias Banckert,2* and Dierick Ruyters as their representatives. Although the story of this second Brazilian adventure would carry us far beyond the original scope of this text,

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2IO it would be a gross mistake to overlook certain relevant facts that are significant in the Dutch war against Spain in the Caribbean. In the first place, there is the curious circumstance that the West India Company undertook this fourth "Great Design" at a time when truce negotiations between the free Netherlands and Spain had reached a very active stage. The wic's position on the subject of peace with Spain has already been remarked: its remonstrance of November 16, 1629, was explicit. In this protest entitled "Consider ations and Reasons of the Lord Directors of the Chartered West India Company against the actual deliberations on a Truce with the King of Spain" the Heren xix claimed to have confidence that the States Gen eral would not countenance the company's ruin by allowing Spain a breathing spell.2$ The company was persistent in reminding Their High Mightinesses that its efforts had been largely war-directed for the benefit of the country and that it had, for the most part, avoided strictly commercial enterprises. Another interesting aspect of the plan for Brazil was the advice given by the old champion William Usselinx, who had returned to Holland in March, 1629, just as the company was dividing up Heyn's spoils. Usselinx petitioned the States General to be paid for his past endeavors. His letter received nothing more than a recommendation to the Heren xix. Shortly afterwards, Usselinx presented the com pany with the following assessment of its project for Brazil: if the company wanted to avoid defeat, it would be well advised to invite the Portuguese pretender to accompany and collaborate with the Dutch expedition. If Emanuel was recognized as king in Brazil, the colonists would surrender more easily to him than to the heretical Dutch. Perhaps unwisely, Usselinx' counsel went unheeded. Once again he was frustrated and ignored. The fourth "Great Design" soon approached maturity. It was hoped that Loncq could set sail in the autumn of 1629, but at that moment the war with Spain took a decisive turn for the worse. The stadhouder Frederik Hendrik, who had succeeded his brother Maurits in i62, had laid siege to 's-Hertogenbosch south of the Maas River. In order to relieve the beleaguered town, the Spaniards invaded the province of Gelderland and penetrated as far west as Amersfoort. The stadhouder, however, clung tenaciously to his siege.26 The States General, in this moment of distress, appealed to the West India Company to lend the government the soldiers which it had already recruited for the second Brazilian enterprise. The company yielded and willingly postponed its expedition in order to

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211 save the fatherland. It even went so far as to advance Their High Mightinesses a loan of 600,000 guilders from its abundant savings. As a consequence, the Spanish invasion failed miserably, 's-Hertogenbosch surrendered to the Dutch, and the West India Company became a public idol. Not incidentally, of course, the States General now found it rather more difficult to continue the peace negotiations that would destroy this patriotic institution.2? When this alarm had passed, the company was free to pursue its new "Great Design." The number of ships which it employed remains a secret and can only be presumed. This ignorance is explained by the fact that ships left at different times and from different ports in order "to mislead the enemy."28 De Laet lists twenty ships and six yachts, but these were probably already underway when the crisis of the Spanish invasion was instigated. They remained, in the interim, at St. Vincent, one of the Cape Verde Islands. During September and October, many other ships and yachts arrived there to join Loncq, the general of the new fleet. When he finally left the island in De cember, he probably commanded a total of 52 ships and 13 sailing sloops, which were manned with 3,780 sailors and 3,^00 soldiers. "Thus," wrote de Laet, "went a fine and powerful fleet, the like of which has probably never sailed from these countries."29 Pernambuco offered no effective resistance, and the enterprise was a resounding victory. The situation resembled the Dutch attempt at a similar raid on Bahia which occurred six years earlier. Now, however, Spain was in no position to raise a spirited offensive and could only muster a weak protest. Notwithstanding, the Heren xix did not forget the lesson learned in the earlier venture and in November, 1629, commissioned some of the directors to draw up the necessary plans to bolster Loncq's force. Nor were they unmindful of Pater's plight. He was also in dire need of reinforcements if his mission was to be effective and fruitful.30 Once Loncq had raised his country's flag over Pernambuco, therefore, he was ordered to return home via the Caribbean. The sim ilarity to their prior directive to Boudewijn Hendricksz is obvious. Loncq was to find Pater and to join forces with him. Some minor tasks had to be performed also. He was to try to capture some Gre nada natives who posed a powerful threat since they regularly killed members of Dutch crews sent to that island for water and wood. He was to leave all Negro slaves abducted from Spanish prizes on Tobago where the Dutch, since 1628, had been settled. To round off these diversionary tactics, he was next to proceed to Cape Tiburon on the west coast of Haiti and wait for news of Pater. Should the latter be

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212 found, the two fleets were to merge, under Loncq's flag, and, after offering "a fiery penetrating prayer to God Almighty" for His blessing, were to sail boldly into the Bay of Santiago de Cuba, eliminating its defenses and taking the town by storm. Nor was that all that was demanded. If Loncq and Pater defeated their Spanish opponent, they were then reminded to investigate the copper mines in the area, offer the laborers better wages, and under take to exploit the mines themselves. Loncq was cautioned not to mistreat the Indians nor to chafe the Spaniards, although the latter, of course, had to be disarmed. As soon as Santiago was in Dutch hands, he was admonished to entrench himself to withstand a Spanish reprisal. The proposed outcome of this latest grandiose scheme rested upon the supposed reality of an encounter between Loncq and Pater. In the event such a meeting did not transpire, Loncq was left with the option of proceeding to Cartagena and abiding in the area between that port and Porto Bello as Pater had done. He was enjoined not to disembark any men, however, nor to provoke the enemy in any other way until July, when, as the Heren xix reckoned, the silver from Peru would arrive. After he had once again offered a prayer, Loncq might then attack Porto Bello, take as many ships as he could, and destroy the fortress. The xix did not leave much to chance; in case this first attack did not materialize, Loncq was ordered to make his way to the Dry Tortugas in order to ambush the New Spain fleet. Finally, if he learned that the fleet he awaited had not yet left Vera Cruz, and instead had retreated behind the relative safety of San Juan de Ulua, he was authorized to attempt to escalade the fortress, to subdue the town of Vera Cruz, and to make off with whatever else he could lay his hands on." The above summary clearly reveals the aims of the Heren xix with respect to Brazil as well as the Cuban copper and the Spanish treasure fleetscutting the king's veins in the Caribbean. Once a foothold in Brazil had been secured, moreover, Spanish ports in the West Indies would be highly vulnerable to further encroachments by Dutch trespassers. Then, too, from such a vantage point in South America, the Dutch fleets were in a far better position to watch the movements of the treasure fleets. From Pernambuco it was a mere two weeks' sailing to the Lesser Antilles and the copper mines of Cuba. Inter colonial trade would also be at the mercy of the Dutch. The dep redations of Piet Heyn and other Dutch commanders in the South Atlantic had already drastically reduced the amount of Iberian ship ping ; in two years the port of Viana do Castelo alone lost twenty-six out of a total of twenty-nine ships engaged in the Brazilian trade. The

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2I3 situation in the Caribbean was similar; coastal communication vir tually ceased in 1629 and 1630, and Spanish defensive naval power in the area was reduced to zero. With the capture of Pernambuco, the United Netherlands, with its West India Company, was considered the mistress of American waters. The Dutch really believed that they were on the threshold of a Golden Age and depicted their Prince of Orange as the embodiment of their God-speed: Aurea condet saecula.32 The Dutch were soon to learn, however, that the future still held some bitter disappointment. The fourth "Great Design," having achieved its first goal in Brazilwhich was now called New Holland collapsed in the Caribbean. In vain did the Heren xix plan "Great Designs" and hand out excellent instructions to their generals and admirals while remitting during this and the coming year small squadrons of three or four shipsperhaps a total of more than thirty to join Pater. But most of these reinforcements could not locate him. And to no purpose did Pater abide north of Havana; he roamed the area but took only small prey. The one remaining spark of hope was that Spain would be driven to her knees by dire poverty because she received no treasure from the New World. At this juncture it is necessary to follow the movements of each fleet in order to apprehend the reasons behind Pater's ill-fated attempts to meet with other Dutch forces. The admiral, according to his instructions and after having sent part of his fleet home because of the lack of provisions, left the Dry Tortugas region in late September just as Don Fadrique was sailing for Cartagena from St. Christopher and Nevis. The Dutch set their course for Barbados through the Florida Straits to the north, then south of the Bahama Islands to the Lesser Antilles, where they arrived some six weeks later. At that time Barbados was already a prosperous English colony, a settlement enriched by tobacco and other crops. In 1628 it had been invigorated by more pioneers sent out by the Courteen House and now, with 1,600 people, was too strong for the Spaniards to challenge. Pater again divided his fleet investing Commander Jan Janszoon van Hoorn with the task of visiting some of the Leeward Islandsespe cially St. Christopher and Neviswhere he was to inquire about the alleged presence of a sizable Spanish fleet in the area. Van Hoorn, indeed, confirmed this rumor and sent the Heren xix a written account of Spanish depredations supplied with all the gory details.33 Until the end of the year, he continued to dally between St. Christo pher and the Mona Passage. With their twenty sails, Pater and his Vice-Admiral Marten Thijsz had, in the meantime, set course to the south before skirting the

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214 coast eastward and up the Orinoco.34 For three weeks, the strong current and the lack of wind prevented the Dutch from dropping anchor at San Tome. Once they had managed to do so, when the first Dutchman arrived ashore, the native population immediately set fire to its own town. But the settlement was soon surrounded on all sides, the fire extinguished, and everything of value carried off to the ships. En route to Trinidad, Pater sailed westward along the coast. His plan to overrun Punta Galeota had to be relinquished, since the strong current in the Dragon's Mouththe northern exit of the passage between Trinidad and the continental coastwould have impeded a fast getaway. Pater continued his course along the coast and dropped anchor at Blanquilla and Bonaire. On the latter island an entire village was razed to the ground in retaliation against those Spaniards and Indians who had killed one of his men and wounded another. Leaving the scene of their devastation, the Dutch sailed north to Puerto Rico and then to the Mona Passage in order to rendezvous with van Hoorn. Since provisions were not low, Pater determinedin accordance with certain sly hints in his instructionsto raid Santa Marta. The Dutch had found aboard a captured Spanish ship letters from the governor of this town, Geronimo de Quero, to the king in 1626; these contained complaints about the poor defenses of Santa Marta, the lack of war material and the unwillingness of his neighbor the governor of Cartagena to give the necessary assistance. 3$ Thus it was that on February 16, 1630, the Dutch fleet sailed within sight of the seemingly impregnable walls of Santa Marta, dropped anchor, and launched a slashing attack on the fortress. Soldiers were disembarked and their steady advance sent the enemy reeling in retreat. Within a few hours the fortress surrendered, and the Dutch occupied the virtually deserted town.36 They remained here for a week, sowing utter devastation and wanton vandalism, according to the testimony of Spanish officials.3? Dutch sources, incidentally, claim that Pater spared the town in return for a ransom of ,0 reales which were raised by members of the clergy. Although Pater was shrewd enough to grasp the strategic impor tance of the area, he was certainly in no position to effect a permanent conquest. Since he had few men, no specific instructions, and was too near mighty Cartagena, he was deterred from undertaking such a risky occupation. One unanticipated advantage for the town which accrued from the Dutch attack, however, was the final realization by the Crown of the urgent need to improve Santa Marta's flagging defenses.

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21* While Pater was directing the rape of Santa Marta, Fadrique de Toledo and his fleet had left Cartagena for Havana. Quero's letter to his colleague in this city, warning him about the impending Dutch attack, arrived two days after the departure of the Spanish admiral. Don Fadrique remained in Havana until mid-June, 1630. Governor Cabrera, honored by the presence of such an exalted countryman, organized receptions and banquets and expressed his thanks many times over for the arms and ammunitions which the king had awarded freely. The Spanish governor now thought that he would be able to reallocate Havana's defenses and thereby transform the city into an unassailable Spanish bulwark in the Caribbean. Don Fadrique left Havana convoying the Tierra Firme and New Spain fleets, the first time in two years that American treasures were once again hailed in Spain. Needless to say, great sighs of relief were heaved throughout the country when the treasure fleets were escorted to San Lucar without serious mishap. The Spanish title to fame in the Caribbean had been reinstated to some extent, although the results of Fadrique's clearing action in the Lesser Antilles proved to be inconclusive and of short duration. 38 As mentioned before, the Heren xix had resolved late in 1629 to send reinforcements to the Caribbean. Small squadrons left the Low Countries bound to join Pater, but separated in order to confuse the enemy.39 At the same time, the xix undertook to keep Loncq well posted regarding their future intentions. There are indications that he was instructed to consider attacks on Rio de Janeiro, Bahia, and Buenos Aires; his secret instructions are extant, though affirming only the fact that he was to join Pater in the Caribbean and together they were to make a new attempt on the silver fleet.4 Although similar orders were dispatched to Pater, it is doubtful if they ever reached their destination. In any case, when, because of a lack of provisions, Pater left the Caribbean after the sacking of Santa Marta, he apparently knew neither that Loncq nor any other reinforcements were en route. There is some irony in the fact that the Spanish invasion of Gelderland in the attempt to relieve 's-Hertogenbosch, while it did not achieve that goal, nevertheless appears to have shielded the treasure fleets from a second seizure in 1630. It provided the reason for the several months' postponement of the Dutch attack on Pernambuco. This, in turn, upset all prior arrangements and caused the Dutch to sail from Brazil to the Caribbean months behind schedule. A union of the Brazilian squadron with Pater's fleet was thus prevented.

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216 Consequently, Pater decided to abandon the area where, for almost two years, his name had been a byword for holy terror, since he felt too weak to risk a confrontation with the Spaniards alone. About the same time that he left the Caribbean, Loncq ordered Dierick Ruyters to sail to the West Indies. The Dutch squadron under the latter's command left Pernambuco on May 1630. Although it reached the Caribbean two weeks later, the arrival was too late. This mistiming inadvertently brought to a head the Dutch inability to capture one of the silver fleets that year. Ruyters' venture from Brazil, as a prelimi nary to Loncq's visit, was one of the many attempts to locate Pater that year in order to aid him in "cutting the king's veins."'" Pater sailed for home at the end of April. He arrived in the United Provinces in June and was joyously received by the Heren xix, who had sailed out to meet him and to welcome him "magnificently." They accompanied him to Amsterdam and held a reception in the West India House. The crews received a thaler bonus with their pay. The celebrations, however, did not succeed in raising Pater's spirit, since the admiral could not forget that, in spite of all his efforts, he had bungled his primary mission. In two years he had only managed to fill the coffers of his patrons with the barest hint of treasure. The Heren xix, however, realized that circumstances and not inability or bad leadership had caused this failure, and they soon appointed Pater general in a far more ambitious mission than the one from which he had just returned.*2 In July, 1630, a month after Pater, General Loncq arrived in the United Provinces with part of the fleet that had waged the successful campaign at Pernambuco. His victory there had been followed by a violation of his instructions; he had been ordered to sail to the Carib bean to seek out Pater for a combined attack on a treasure fleet. If the meeting did not occur, he was to head for home by the shortest possible route. His arrival, therefore, did not bring out the xix in piano; only four members were commissioned to escort him to Amsterdam. Although he was well treated at the West India House, it was only, perhaps, that the Heren xix dared not indulge in the public abuse of a popular hero.43 There are certain clear indications, however, that the xix were not completely satisfied with the per formance of their general. It had not been Loncq's fault, of course, that the Brazilian expedi tion had been three months overdue. The Heren xix, though, were distressed to hear that Loncq had sent Ruyters to the Caribbean instead of going himself, and even that show of force was too little and came too late. Only six ships and 655 men had left Olinda in Per-

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2I7 nambuco in the beginning of May, while Loncq had been instructed to reinforce Pater at Grenada by mid-April. Loncq seems to have been a stubborn man, disinclined to follow orders, especially those which came from so far and so long ago. Under the circumstances, he undoubtedly felt free to undertake what he thought expedient, frequently in open defiance of his masters' will. Whatever his personal feelings, however, and assuming that his own presence in Pernambuco had been indispensable, Pater and Ruyters still should have been allowed to meet and join forces. Loncq's mysterious and lackadaisical attitude had not only prevented the capture of another Spanish treasure fleet but had also destroyed the plans to keep this fleet in American waters. Although the public adored Loncq for his role in the capture of Olinda, the Heren xix, with their regularly ambitious goals, looked beyond the immediate and were disappointed. Thus the crucial aspect of the fourth "Great Design" had been frustrated. Spain now again had the financial wherewithal to proceed with her expansive European wars. Even though the Dutch conquest of Brazil was a major tangible gain achieved by this "Great Design, it proffered small consolation for what might have been generated. This setback, however, did not deliver the Caribbean from the plague of Dutch intruders. On the contrary, more than ever this sea was to be infested with Dutch ships, especially in the neighborhood of Havana. In the weeks before he left this port Don Fadrique, tired beyond measure of the activities of the Dutch piratas, had sent some of his ships out to seize an enemy vessel and thus frighten the others away. The captured ship's crew revealed that they had left Holland five months earlier and that they had been in the Caribbean two months hoping to get a signal from Admiral Pater's fleet.44 From other sources Don Fadrique learned that there had been seven or eight Dutch ships at St. Vincent which were preparing themselves to sail to Cape San Antonio. He was also informed that there were eight more Dutch vessels on the coast of Hispaniola. Overcoming their vexation, the Heren xix were meanwhile soon engrossed in their fifth "Great Design." This project had already been conceived while Pater was still in American waters in dire need of support. Accordingly, as mentioned before, ships were sent to reinforce his fleet, and he was advised to stand fast. Unfortunately, this message never reached Pater who, unaware of the changed cir cumstances, was on his way home. The fleet which was dispatched from the Low Countries to join him, under the command of Jan

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218 Gijsbertszoon Booneter, reached the Caribbean just as Pater returned. Booneter was carrying further instructions to Pater, which, as before, closely testify to the intentions of the Heren xix. In the first place, reference was made to the possible seizure of the Honduras ships at Trujillo.45 If this plan did not seem feasible, it was suggested that Pater execute the "former design," to wait for the treasure fleets at the Dry Tortugas and, at the same time, keep an eye on Santiago because of the copper mines. A campaign against San Juan de Ulua was part of this plan of action, as well as an attack on the Spanish fort at Punta de Araya.*6 Booneter left home port on May i, 1630, together with eight ships loaded with provisions for Pater. Fortunately, before he entered the Caribbean, he somehow picked up the information that the latter had already left the area. He expected to meet Ruyters, however, for he must have known that the instructions of the xix could hardly apply to himself and his miniature fleet. Undeniably, the year 1630 was a remarkable year in the history of the Caribbean. In the course of that year no less than three fleets equipped by the West India Company appeared in the area. All three soon joined to form a powerful threat to Spanish shipping and to navigation in general, but particularly to the treasure fleets. Ruyters' squadron was operating in the Caribbean when Booneter arrived. Shortly after Ruyters had left Olinda, its Political Council had decided to assist him. Fearing that his fleet was too weak; the council had dispatched Admiral Ita to the West Indies with eight ships and $4.$ men. 47 At Pernambuco seventeen men-of-war remained behind, and this number was soon increased. Ita sent a yacht to advise Ruyters that he was on his way. He managed, as Ruyters had, to reach St. Vincent within fifteen days. He received word there from Ruyters that the latter would wait for him at He a Vache, south of Hispaniola. It is possible that Ruyters, who was finally operating independently after years of sub-commands, was not too anxious to place himself under Ita's command, and for some time played a cat-and-mouse game with his superior officer. Finally, however, Ita found Ruyters at Cape Tiburon and placed him and his ships under one flag.*8 For some time thereafter Ita with his combined fleet and Booneter with his squadron operated separately, unable to locate one another, although each was soon aware of the other's presence. Booneter was under specific orders to find Ruyters, if he did not meet Pater, to place him under his command, and then to undertake the fifth "Great Design." The Heren xix, of course, and Booneter, too, in the begin-

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2I9 ning, did not know of Ita's appearance on the scene. As usual the obstacles of communication were a constantly harassing factor for each side in these encounters. Booneter continued to linger north of Havana, hoping for Ruyters to heave into sight before the treasure fleets could drop anchor in Havana port. His orders provided the possibility of intercepting the situado ship en route to Havana from San Juan de Puerto Rico. He might also, according to instructions, station himself somewhere between Santa Marta and the Rio Magdalena in order to capture Spanish ships sailing from Santo Domingo to Cartagena. These ships usually brought hides and tobacco to the Tierra Firme fleet harbored in Cartagena and would be rich prizes if they could be caught.49 Booneter and Ita thus roamed the Caribbean, each following the traditional procedure of dividing their fleets into several units in order to operate more effectively. They left a trail of plunder in their wake. The prizes which they took were substantial if unspectacular. Late in June, Ita guided his ships to the traditional hunting grounds for the Spanish treasure fleets, north of Cape San Antonio and Havana, while Booneter assumed responsibility for the Spanish watchboats at this cape. From the crew of a small captured Spanish ship, the admiral learned that Don Fadrique had left Havana for Spain with eighty ships two weeks earlier in mid-June, although he had sent eight ships back to Cartagena to await further orders. Notified of Don Fadrique's uneventful journey and safe arrival in Spain, the Heren xix forthwith sent out a yacht to inform Booneter, who was the presumed commander of their fleet in the Caribbean while Ita's whereabouts were still unknown. Admiral de Larraspuru had stayed behind in the Caribbean, and the xix had ascertained that it was his duty to convey the Tierra Firme silver of 1630 safely into Havana. The board dutifully expressed the hope that Booneter reinforced with Ruyters' units would have no difficulty in capturing the eight rich Spanish galleons en route from Cartagena to Havana.50 Some ships belonging to Booneter's small force had already joined the ranks of Ita's fleet, when, finally, on August 17, the commander himself arrived and placed himself under the admiral's command. The combined fleet may then have been as strong as twenty-four sails or even more. It was manned by at least 1,900 sailors and 240 soldiers.51 Together these ships patrolled the area around Havana, and occasion ally ventured within shooting distance of the Spaniards who, angered by their impudence, retaliated with vehement volleys of fire. Ita cruised north and west of Havana until September 2 r, deep into the hurricane season, when, after discussing the state of provisions

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220 with the fleet council, he was urged to return home. He acquiesced and took seventeen ships with him; Booneter, with eight or ten others, remained in the Caribbean. Strictly speaking, another of the company's "Great Designs" had met with visible failure. It is plausible that Ita's decision to yield was also based upon certain knowledge that his quarry had evaded him by returning to Spain along a different, rarely used route. Although de Larraspuru, safe in Cartagena, had been waiting impatiently for the information that the Dutch enemy had evacuated the area, when this news was not forthcoming, the generally level-headed Spaniard decided, against his better judgment, to set sail in August, 1630. While Ita lay in ambush at the Dry Tortugas, Larraspuru left Cartagena behind, promising the "Blessed Souls" an offering of a thousand ducats to preserve his safety, a small amount in light of the fact that his fleet bore some seven million pesos in cargo, much of it in specie and bullion.52 Certain that the Dutch were keeping a close vigil over the normal route to Havana, however, Larraspuru directed his fleet east between Cuba and Hispaniola, leaving the Caribbean area through the Wind ward Channel and the Caicos Passage, Pater's itinerary of a few months earlier. He thus utterly out-maneuvered his enemies.53 Although the silver galleons were brought home safely, Spanish general naviga tion was yet to pay a high price: Dutch privateers, not connected with either Ita's or Booneter's fleet, seized or sunk twenty-three miscel laneous Spanish vessels. The treasure had stolen away unscathed, but Havana had no ships to export its products that year. After Ita had been thus outwitted by the Spaniards, he dejectedly prepared to go home at the end of September, 1630, leaving Booneter to make any possible seizures. Since the latter had carried provisions destined for Pater, he was well supplied and could hold out for some time. Following instructions Booneter penetrated deep into the Florida Straits and the Bahama archipelago.s4 It took him forty-eight days, however, to regain the Leeward Islands (see map). During the ensuing months Booneter's fleet infected the Caribbean, looting and pillaging according to established procedure. In May, 1631, his ships congregated at lie a Vache or, somewhat later, at Cape Tiburon in order to execute a joint offensive against the Honduras galleons that were supposed to arrive in Havana at any time.'5 In a letter from the Heren xix dated February 1 1631, but not received by Booneter until May, the latter was told that, at the time, the West India Company could not reinforce him because of the rumors that Spain had equipped an armada to recapture Pernambuco. However, contradictory to this statement, they did send orders to Brazil to send

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221 a fleet to his support. Because of the threat of an Iberian attack, this fleet was reduced to the size of a squadron, one ship and two yachts under the command of Jonathan de Neckere. One of the sub-com manders was Cornelis Corneliszoon Jol who would one day make himself a name as Pie de Palo, Peg-leg Jol.'6 De Neckere never joined Booneter because of some quirk of fate. On April 26 he left Olinda, early enough to be able to meet Booneter at the place agreed on, and is known to have arrived at Barbados on May 12, 1631. He lost a precious week at St. Vincent, taking his time to refresh, then went on to arrive at He a Vache early in June. He missed Booneter by at least three days. Apparently the latter ignored his coming, since an order would have been posted to relay his whereabouts. It will always remain a mystery why the Brazilian squadron under de Neckere, having missed Booneter so narrowly, did not sail on to the Dry Tortugas, the usual site for watching and waiting. Instead, its commander set sail from He a Vache to Santa Marta. From a purely economic point of view this expedition was quite successful; Captain Jol distinguished himself by capturing several prizes and had the small satisfaction of watching the Tierra Firme galleons pass right under his nose.57 From a strategic point of view, however, de Neckere's failure to join Booneter had a paralyzing effect on the latter's under taking. De Neckere returned to the Low Countries in mid-September, followed by Captain Jol who, with his yacht Otter, arrived in the United Provinces more than half a year later. In Booneter's new instructions from February i, 1631, the Heren xix alluded to Larraspuru's effusive welcome in Spain with the Tierra Firme fleet, but without the ships from New Spaininformation that might already have been gleaned from local sources.58 The board no doubt believed that Booneter's forces had been considerably aug mented with the few Brazilian ships it had ordered to be sent. He was now instructed to watch for the new treasure fleets; the possibility that the commander might not be strong enough to attack was com pletely ignored. If the season passed without success, Booneter was admonished to sail home, taking care, however, not to drop anchor in any English port "because of the peace made between the crowns of Spain and England. "5 Although the Spaniards knew that the Dutch fleet under Ita was gone, they were also aware that other Dutch units were still in the area. In March, 1631, the new governor of Havana, Juan Bitrian, had already been informed of eight Dutch ships skulking along the island's coast, and a month later the same ships were detected near

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222 Havana. They might have been the reinforcements from Holland which Booneter had so urgently demanded but which had failed to locate or join him during all this time. Booneter circled just outside Havana for a month and then moved to Matanzas in order to release some Spanish prisioners. These ad vised the Cuban authorities that Dutch strength consisted of twentysix well-armed ships carrying eight hundred men, a flagrant exaggera tion. On May 20 the ships reappeared on the Havana horizon and by June 4 a tight net had been drawn around the port. Nevertheless, more than twenty Spanish ships managed to slip through to find sanc tuary inside Havana harbor, one indication that the effectiveness of the blockade was limited by the number of available Dutch ships. More prisoners were set free at the end of June, and they repeated the previous hearsay that the enemy was expecting at least eighty ships from home at any time.60 Booneter, meanwhile, lingered north of Havana as summer ap proached. He may or may not have been strong enough to attempt an attack on one of the treasure fleets, but no such fleet appeared; meanwhile his provisions were being depleted and mutiny was threatening. Despairing of any success, he finally returned to the United Provinces and arrived in August, "bringing home for his masters too little to compensate for the expenses lavished on this fleet. "6l The Tierra Firme fleet of that year was once again convoyed across the Atlantic by Larraspuru, although at a very unusual timein February, 1632. The New Spain fleet, which was held up at San Juan de Ulua far beyond its scheduled departure, finally set out for Spain only to meet with terrible weather and to be all but destroyed by a hurricane. Even though these mishaps could ultimately all be blamed on the Dutch, the latter received little palpable comfort from these Spanish misfortunes. The Dutch presence in the Caribbean caused constant alarm among the Spaniards and resulted in definitive military measures being undertaken by the new governor of Cuba. Since his concern was to defend the island at all costs, he created a civilian militia in all Cuban towns. The larger cities, Havana and Santiago, were given companies of nonprofessional soldiers for their local defenses; professional soldiersthe capitanes a guerra or war captainswere commissioned as officers to command these local encampments.62 Steps were also required to restore intercolonial trade in the Carib bean. The new sugar mills that were still in operation were threatened by the lack of available markets for their surplus. Ships which might

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223 have carried sugar and tobacco were blockaded in port by the Dutch dragnet. Exports were not the only exigency, however; imports had also fallen off to virtually nothing, and all kinds of commodities were in urgent demand. Since money was becoming increasingly scarce, a barter system gradually developed which was quick in spreading to neighboring Spanish colonies. This revival of primitive times sharply encouraged illicit tradeespecially with the Dutch, who had them selves instigated the dilemma. Rescate and the rescatador once again returned to badger not only Spanish authorities but rich merchants as well. The latter, who wanted to protect their monopolies from further encroachments by the detested foreigners, organized private armed ships to seek out and seize enemy ships. Hispaniola followed the example of Cuba and took similar precautions. At the time of Booneter's plight, the Heren xix were ready to put into effect a project which had been close to their hearts since its inception. Well aware of the mistakes they had made in the conquest of Bahia six years earlier, they now commissioned the dependable Adriaen Janszoon Pater as general of a fleet bound for the new acquisition and the Caribbean. This fleet left the United Provinces in small units which united in Olinda between January and April, 1631. Sixteen ships, more than half of which were over 300 tons, joined the 900-ton flagship under Pater. His admiral, Marten Thijsz, had arrived in Olinda in December of the previous year in command of some ships, among them an 800-ton man-of-war. Pater's renewed double mission incited the Iberians to act. The Dutch, it was believed, meant to strengthen their garrison in Brazil and consolidate their hold over the northern part of the country. But then they were also destined to try once again to intercept a treasure fleet. In order to thwart these Dutch plans, a strong armada under Antonio de Oquendo left the Iberian Peninsula in May, 1631. It arrived near Pernambuco in September to be met by Pater in an heroic battle that cost the lives of five hundred Dutchmen and many more Spaniards. After Spain's initial advantage of surprise, the encounter quickly degenerated into a duel, albeit a Homeric one, between the two flagships, this despite the fact that Oquendo com manded fifty-six ships and Pater had only sixteen sails. In the end, Pater's ship the Prins Willem ("Prince William") caught fire and had to be abandoned. The general himself, who could not swim, hung from a rope on the prow of his ship until he fell exhausted into the sea and was drowned. Few of his ships survived the encounter, but the human cost was even higher. De Laet admits that it was a Spanish

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2 24 victory and berates the other Dutch captains who did not dare to relieve their commander.63 "Pater lost his life, but not the battle," wrote Watjen.6* The Spaniards claimed the victory, despite their high casualties, and the Dutch fleet was forced to withdraw in order to make way for Oquendo to disembark his men. In Madrid jubilant voices were raised to honor this feat; it was one of the few exciting events to color the otherwise dull reign of Philip IV, and a medal was struck which pictured Samson defying the Dutch lion.6' If it was a victory, it was a pyrrhic one, "A barren victory," wrote Edmundson, "in which the victors lost far more than the vanquished, and in which they entirely failed to loosen the hold of the Netherlanders upon Recife or to prevent their keeping the command of the sea."66 And, perhaps even more telling, Oquendo was unable to prevent Pater's Admiral Marten Thijsz from sailing into the Caribbean to make another attempt at "cutting the king's veins," the sixth "Great Design." Thijsz, however, was to first take an active part in the hostilities against the Iberians, most importantly consolidating RecifeOlinda and disembarking troops north of the capital in a determined attempt to rout Matthias de Albuquerque who, from Pernambuco, continued to put up a stubborn resistance against the Dutch invaders. In April, 1632, after the stabilization of Pernambuco, Thijsz, following instructions, left New Holland with a strong force and arrived in the West Indies during the right season.67 He was ac companied by twenty-two ships; the remainder were left behind under the command of Jan Mast who had earned his laurels in the battle against Oquendo. Between Booneter's departure in June, 1631, and the arrival of Thijsz almost a year later, the Dutch blockade of Cuba had gradually been eased, until the threat to the treasure fleets had all but disap peared. There were still some small Dutch units that patrolled the Caribbean, the de Neckere squadron, for example, and the two yachts left behind by Booneter under the command of Jan van Stapels, but the very smallness of their number made them an unlikely menace to Spanish shipping.68 By the time of Thijsz' arrival at Barbados on May 15, the Tierra Firme fleet had long since reached safety. But the staunch Dutch admiral tried to pursue his ambitious goal despite this bad luck. His fleet of some twenty ships, however, was not even strong enough to risk an encounter with the New Spain fleet. Here again, the ambiguity of the company's goalscolonizing in Brazil and raiding in the Carib-

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22$ beanled to utter frustration. The Heren xix had not dared to weaken further the defense of Pernambuco and had retained a con siderable naval force in New Holland.6' This necessary precaution as well as the fact that the treasure fleets had not followed their routine time schedule doomed the success of the entire scheme. Thijsz presence in the Caribbean was soon known to the Spaniards, partly because some of his ships, while refreshing in a bay on the southern shores of Hispaniola facing the He a Vache, had lost more than twenty men in skirmishes with the natives. Many of the Dutch vessels, including the admiral's own, had also been spotted by coastal watchers who had been posted by the Spaniards throughout their domain. The carelessness about security which seemed to character ize all Thijsz' movements stands in marked contrast to the caution exercised by Heyn just four years earlier. All in all, the latest Dutch operation did not add luster to their fame. Thijsz cruised north of Havana during most of August, vainly hoping for the opportunity to cover himself with glory.70 Early in September he was finally forced to admit that his provisions were too low to risk waiting any longer. The Heren xix did not send him much help. Thus, on September 4, the admiral met with the captains of his ships and reluctantly agreed to return to the Low Countries. The scourge of bad weather was already upon them, and many unexpected hardships further delayed the fleet, yet in November of the same year, most units dropped anchor in the home ports. Thus ended the sixth "Great Design." During each of the four consecutive years after Heyn's triumph, then, all of the West India Company's attempts to repeat his coup were abortive. The consequent drain on its treasury, which was compounded by heavy expenses in Brazil, forced the Heren xix to consider an alternate plan that Heyn had suggested to them some years earlier: a daring raid on Trujillo, the point of departure for the Honduras galleons. Although this goal was obviously more modest than those of previous years, the company could no longer afford to equip the powerful fleets which it normally sent to American waters. The States General had indeed promised to commit itself further with substantial subsidies to the company. The money was slow in coming, however, and was largely absorbed by the Brazilian venture. As early as 1632, the Heren xix, who anticipated the possibility for profit offered by the raid on Trujillo, had instructed Galeyn van Stapels, an able seaman who had an illustrious naval record, to survey the Honduras coast. He was sent to Thijsz as the commander of a

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226 small reinforcement squadron. Van Stapels, who met Thijsz at Bonaire in July, undertook the reconnoitering mission with two yachts. He entered the little-known Gulf of Campeche, sailed along the Yucatan coast, and sacked the small town of Sisal, a prior victim of Schouten. He returned to search in vain for Thijsz. Eventually, surmising the latter's departure, van Stapels also returned home with his valuable information.71 The decision to outfit a small fleet to realize the Trujillo plan had been made, however, before van Stapels dropped anchor in his home port. The Heren xix, in their meeting of November 3, 1632, had already agreed, at the instigation of the Amsterdam Chamber, to divert a small fleet from Brazil to the West Indies. This squadron, which was originally comprised of only two yachts and three sailing sloops,72 grew in size after van Stapels had reported the results of his investigation. It now included four ships, three yachts, three sloops, five hundred sailors, and four hundred soldiers. The command of the Honduras expedition fell to Jan Janszoon van Hoorn, a boon com panion of Pater's and a man thoroughly familiar with the area.73 Van Hoorn left Pernambuco on April 26, 1633, to attack the Portuguese fortress of Ceara, and to advise the commander of St. Martin, at that time the only Dutch possession in the Caribbean, of the results of this foray. He was then to proceed to Trujillo. In flagrant contravention of his official orders, van Hoorn instead chose to adhere to the version as interpreted by the Dutch representatives in Brazil. Consequently, he conducted a tour of inspection of the port of Maranhao and then went directly to Barbados. Although van Hoorn's mission was no outstanding financial success for the West India Company, it did bring about definite military and monetary advantages. He arrived unnoticed at Trujillo on July 15 and battered the town mercilessly. It surrendered within two hours. Seven Dutch lives were lost. Regrettably, there were no galleons at Trujillo. The port had not been used for two years, and no trace of prosperity thus remained to taunt the Dutch. The colonists had apparently set fire to their own homes, and the invaders had to satisfy themselves with what was left: a few bronze and iron cannons, some hides, and the beggarly ransom of twenty pounds of silver.7* After six days, van Hoorn forsook the area of Trujillo and sailed to the village of San Francisco on the Bay of Campeche, a well-known depot for exporting wood. Once again taking the Spanish by surprise, the Dutch doggedly advanced against considerable resistance since the governor enticed his garrison of 3^0 men and an additional 1,000 Indians with subtle promises of rewards. Van Hoorn's superior

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227 guidance prompted de Laet to comment: "For a long time this has been one of the most courageous acts committed by so few people. "75 Spanish tenacity also extended, however, to the payment of ransom for the town. Royal orders, the governor said, proscribed the defrayment of one real. The Dutch, however, did not leave emptyhanded, since there were twenty-two ships in the harbor. Although most of their holds were empty, some were laden with substantial quantities of wood and cacao. Van Hoorn took possession of nine of the best ships and sold four of them back to the Spaniards. The remainder were burnt. After having inflicted negligible damage on the town, since most of the buildings were of stone or brick, the Dutch left San Francisco on August 24. Van Hoorn appeared north of Matanzas three weeks later, but he was unable to explore the area because of contrary winds and currents. Nothing exciting was ascertained about the contents of the Havana harbor, and an attack on the city was naturally out of the question. In the end, it was decided to return home. As a last measure, he sent one of his captains, Cornelis Corneliszoon Jol, to inquire about the disturbing rumors that Spain had retaken St. Martin. Van Hoorn arrived home in November, covered with glory, and displayed at least five captured if half-empty trophies.76 The Spanish treasure fleets of that year left Havana in December, some four months behind their normal time schedule. Jol, sailing west from Matanzas to Cape San Antonio, had to content himself again with the role of an impotent bystander, when he unexpectedly came upon the galleons en route to Havana. Proceeding to Tortuga via the Windward Passage between Cuba and Hispaniola, he learned that the Spanish recapture of St. Martin was indeed an accomplished fact. When he returned on the same routepassing Cape San Antonio on December 3he once more sighted the treasure galleons, now on their way to Spain. A disappointed captain docked in Texel early in June, 1634, even after what was generally considered a not un profitable raiding voyage around the Caribbean." The years from 1629 to 1633 were five years of tremendous activity and vigorous output for the West India Company. The most important consequence of the Dutch invasion of the Caribbean was undoubtedly the crucial destruction of Spanish naval power. A second result which developed from this war of attrition was Spanish inability to stop the occupation of the Lesser Antilles by foreignnon-Spanish nations. The loss of Spanish naval power was to have a tremendous effect on the status of the Dutch war for independence, as might have

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228 been anticipated. The legacy from foreign colonization would radi cally and permanently alter the balance of power in the Caribbean. Thus, the Dutch "Great Designs" of this period, even if they did not accomplish their primary missions, assuredly germinated long-range goals of great significance. Besides, there was the capture of Pernam-buco, which was the culmination of years of patient expectation. But the Dutch never considered Brazil isolated from other areas, West Africa and the Caribbean, where they were increasingly mobile. If no one were able to duplicate Piet Heyn's achievement, they did manage at least to terrorize the West Indies, dislocate intercolonial relations, and drastically alter the carefully maintained routine of the treasure fleets' departures. Pater Ita, Booneter, Thijsz, van Hoorn, van Stapels, and Jol had undoubtedly, as a memorial to the States General in 1633 very point edly stressed, caused the Spanish king great deprivations. It was also admitted, however, that their expeditions had not contributed much to the treasury of the company. The various commanders had together captured almost seventy ships in the Caribbean alone; along the Brazilian coast, the booty was twice as large.78 While this privateering represented a substantial loss to Spain, the truth of the matter was that in the Caribbean, as in Brazil, the company was still operating in the red. Pernambucothis fortuitous gift of Providenceprovided the Dutch with a much-needed base from which to launch successive attacks on Africa's west coast and the Caribbean. However, the odds which should have thus been tipped in their favor were to some extent equalized by the fact that the journey to the Caribbean was strictly a one-way affair. From there it was simply easier to sail straight back to the United Provinces than it was to attempt the hazardous detour twice across the Atlantic in order to land back in Brazil. The Heren xix, fully aware of this dilemma, were plotting solutions. They concluded that they needed a secure port in the Caribbean, and although Hendricksz' attack on Puerto Rico had failed, it had opened their eyes to such an alternative possibility. The possibilities nar rowed to a good port, which was not too strongly defended by the Spaniards, yet still centrally located. Before long a site was fancied, one of the most delectable in Spain's mare clausum.

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IO PIE DE PALO Het klotsen ran zijn stelt Dretmt Aragon in d'ooren Gelyk een donderslagh....' The major role in the continuing pursuits of the West India Company in the Caribbean was played by the man whose nickname serves as a title for this chapter. The dynamic Peg-leg JolPie de Palo to his Spanish contemporarieswas invariably at the center of Dutch action from 1634 until his death in 1641. Born on the coast of the North Sea in the little village of Scheveningen, he became a sailor at an early age and devoted his life to the sea. His last sixteen years were spent largely in the Caribbean or on the Brazilian and African coasts. At the latter site, he met his death on the island of Sao Thome, where his remains were buried in the captured cathedral. When the island was retaken by the Portuguese one year later, Jol's bones were disinterred. The furious Portuguese could not bear to have such an enemy and such a heretic resting within the walls of their main church. Although Piet Heyn, the man who had committed one of the truly great piracies of all time, was frequently called el almhante by his Iberian enemies, Jol, whose actions never matched those of Heyn, was regularly called el pirata. He was certainly a privateer, as were all the Dutch seamen in that era. But Jol lacked some of the qualities which set Heyn apart. Jol was a man of little culture and fewmost of them rawwords, although his bravery was legendary. Barlaeus, the Dutch diplomat-historian of that period, who wrote a well-known account of the Dutch conquest of Brazil, described Jol, whom he did not like, in the following words: ".. .from his early years educated by the sea and the waves, indomitable as the elements which he knew so well, fearless beyond comparison, never holding back, exulting in enterprises at sea, brave without expending many words, courageous in attack, inexhaustible of energy and perfectly trustworthybut tough. "2 De Laet also knew Jol personally and called him the manhafte, an old Dutch term meaning "courageous" which the chronicler often

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230 applied to brave men. Samuel Blommaert, another director of the West India Company, had a more dynamic personality than the philosophical de Laet and thus was more appreciative of Jol's rough character. He called him "an experienced man in the West Indies. "3 The often more reserved Aitzema, whose account of Dutch perfor mances in the Caribbean is very sketchy, described Jol as "a famous captain who has caused incredible damage to the Spaniards at sea."4 Aitzema, however, never specifically mentions Jol's ten expeditions to Brazil, the Caribbean, and the African waters. De Laet describes the first seven; Barlaeus has preserved an account of the other two as well as of the expedition to the west coast of Africa. The crews under Jol's command, his friends, and his enemies knew him as Houtebeen, Pie de Palo, or Peg-leg. While very young he had lost a leg in some unknown battle or accident, probably even before he entered the service of the West India Company. But he never allowed it to become a handicap to him. He walked so well on his wooden leg that many did not suspect the cause of his limp and on board his ships he moved about as nimbly as most of the men of his crew.s In spite of his quick temper, his roughness, and his lack of tact, he was the company's great champion in the thirties and the primary cause of its brief renaissance after the frustrating five years related in the previous chapter. Yet, no historian has ever written his biography; no painting or engraving of him is known to exist.6 In Scheveningen, his native town, there is still a street which bears his name, but no statue adorns the streets or the squares of this famous spa. The average man in the street has never heard of Jol or of his deeds. But far from Scheveningen's beaches and the gray waves of the North Sea, Cornelis Corneliszoon Jol defended his country's honor off Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Cuba, Tierra Firme, Yucatan, on the Magdalena, on the Brazilian coast, and on the west coast of Africa. For his exploits, he became a legend in his own time. The barest hint of his arrival, if but with a single ship, created panic in all Spanish coastal cities. Apparently, he inflicted more damage on Spanish shipping than any other Dutch captain except Piet Heyn. He was involved in the capture of several prizes off the Brazilian coast in 1626; he seized at least three and perhaps four ships in 1628, and in 1629, several more. Sailing under Ita in 1630, he took at least one ship; the following year he captured four, and in 1632 he returned with five more. It is difficult to trace his record in 1633, because in that year he joined a larger fleet, but in 1634 he again operated alone and collected three prizes. In 163^, near the peak of his career, he captured eleven Spanish and Portuguese ships and in the following

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23I year not less than fourteen. He was, indeed, a valuable servant of the West India Company. Jol's first visit to the American hemisphere occurred in 1626. As captain of the Ottera ship whose name was to become as famous and as dreaded as its master'she left Texel in January of that year. His orders were to join three other yachts at St. Vincent and to proceed to Brazil by way of the Cape Verde Islands. The small squadron remained there until May, ambushing several valuable prizes. After six months Jol returned via the Caribbean to Texel. The following year Jol sailed with a fleet of twelve sails under the command of Dirck Symonszoon van Uytgeest. Once more the destina tion was Brazil. Jol again took an important part in the capture of the first three caravels which carried some 1,100 chests of sugar, tobacco, and brazilwood. A fourth ship was seized soon after, and van Uytgeest decided to transfer the captured cargoes to his own ships at the island Fernando de Noronha, which was northeast of Pernambuco. Because wind and current prevented this action, van Uytgeest sent Jol to the Caribbean with four of the Dutch ships and the four captured Iberians. It was the latter's second visit to the West Indies. At some unknown port Jol completed the transfer of cargo, burned the captured vessels, and sailed for home. He arrived at Texel on October 23, 1628.7 A few weeks later he learned of Heyn's spectacular capture of the Spanish treasure fleet. Indeed, he had, unknowingly, nearly been a witness to the coup. It no doubt made a great impression on the young sailor and stimulated his ambition to follow in the footsteps of his fellow countryman from Delft. It was again on the Otter and under van Uytgeest that Jol hoisted anchor on October 20, 1629, to meet with General Loncq at St. Vincent and execute the fourth "Great Design." Jol was the first to notify Loncq that the Spanish invasion of Gelderland had failed and that more Dutch ships were forthcoming. These indeed arrived in December. Loncq then dispatched Jol and another captain to Brazil "to take some ships and prisoners" in order to get more information about the proposed attack.8 As stated elsewhere, Loncq chose to ignore the Heren xix's suggestion that he proceed to the Caribbean to assist in the capture of a treasure fleet. Instead of going himself, he had delegated Dierick Ruyters in his place. Ruyter's squadron included the Otter under the command of Jol. This expedition, led by one who knew the Carib bean as no other, became for Jol an enviable experience and the finest possible introduction to the Kraal.* Ruyters' instructions for this mission emphasized that he and his

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232 men were not to mistreat the Indian population, a warning which was to be repeated time and time again in the company's directives. He was explicitly ordered to find Admiral Pater and to assist him in an attack on Santiago de Cuba. Although the Heren xix, as mentioned before, were primarily interested in the copper mines, they were also possibly considering the merits of the town as a naval base in the Caribbean. With extraordinary ambiguity, Pater was ordered to destroy Santiago, while Ruyters was instructed to leave the town intact and to avoid inflicting injury on the Indian population. Because of Ruyters' failure to locate Pater who had already left the Caribbean, the combined attack did not get off the ground at this time. Somewhat later, a ship under Commander Booneter scouted Santiago, but it took no action. After a series of prolonged delays, Ruyters' squadron finally joined Ita's fleet, and Peg-leg Jol was summoned by Ita to sail near him in the avant-garde of the fleet. This was clear evidence that Jol was beginning to acquire recognition for his courage and seamanship. However, after cruising for a month near Havana without sighting anything of importance, Ita departed for Cape San Antonio and sent small units of his fleet in search of the Spanish treasure fleets. Jol led one of these scouting trips. During this mission he intercepted a Spanish ship laden with cacao but, since he did not realize the value of the cargo, he allowed the ship to continue on.10 Although Ita returned home with seven prizes, Jol's part in their capture is not known. On his next excursion, this time under Jonathan de Neckere, Jol was promoted to vice-commander. His destination was Brazil. The small squadron of one ship and two yachts carried orders for the Dutch authorities there to organize a fleet of twenty-five ships to proceed to the Caribbean.11 But lack of provisions and rumors of an approach ing Iberian armada drastically altered the original plans. De Neckere accordingly sailed with the same squadron from Brazil to the Carib bean, where Jol was able to capture a Spanish slave ship from Guinea. Jol, slightly embarrassed by the tainted cargo he had acquired, let his prey escape.12 Although de Neckere returned home, having lost his chance to find Booneter's fleet, Jol remained in the area and on two occasions caught a glimpse of the Tierra Firme fleet between Car tagena and Porto Bello. His hands were, of course, effectively tied by the enemy's superior force. Trying to escape detection and pos sible onslaught, Jol slipped furtively into the Magdalena River. This maneuver was a great risk to his yacht, not only because of the many reefs and imbedded rocks but also because of hostile shore settlements.

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233 Fortunately no danger was encountered, and after the Spaniards had passed, Jol was able to return to the Caribbean to continue his exploits. Peg-leg realized that the ships he had just seen were not bearing any treasures but had just arrived from Spain. He learned from some prisoners that eleven of them, under Larraspuru, were on their way to Porto Bello to load silver from Peru. In spite of this disappointing information he remained in the neighborhood, and took what prizes he could, standing watch. In October, 1631, an attempt to sail to Porto Bello was frustrated by lack of wind. It was not until late in that same year, that Jol left the area and put in at He a Vache for repair. Reinforced by two additional yachts, he soon set out again and sailed west along Hispaniola. He sacked a small town at the island's western tip, and then sailed on to the Windward Passage and Tortuga. He turned south again to Santa Marta and the Colombian coast, and from there he passed through the Yucatan and Florida Straits home to the Low Countries (see map). His ships arrived in June, 1632, carrying the profits seized from five prizes. In addition to the monetary value of his capturesa sum not to be sneezed atJol had gained considerable experience. His year in the Caribbean had enabled him to learn the enemy's tactics, and he now knew thoroughly the territory of his future exploits. In the fall of 1632, after a respite of four months, the Otter under Jol left the Netherlands once more bound for Brazil. He dropped anchor there in December after having captured in passing a Portu guese prize which carried Madeira wine. From Pernambuco he briefly sailed under van Hoorn to the south, but reached Rio de Janeiro on his own. While in those surroundings he seized a slave ship, but, once again, unable to decide what to do with the black cargo, he allowed it to pursue its course. Jol returned to Olinda in March, 1633, after a largely unprofitable voyage. On April 26 he left Brazil for the Caribbean as a part of van Hoorn's fleet. Although his role in this expedition is not precisely known, the intrepid attacks on Trujillo and San Francisco betray his spirit. After wards, he was dispatched to investigate certain rumors about the Spanish recapture of St. Martin. While returning to Cape San Antonio he witnessed the passage of the treasure fleet en route from Havana to Spain. Jol followed the fleet for five or six days, hoping to catch a straggler. Quite abruptly he came upon a Spanish frigate bound for Puerto Rico. He captured the ship, but, as luck would have it, the frigate was empty. Jol then sailed to the Dry Tortugas, harassed or destroyed several other ships, and returned home, setting foot on

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234 Dutch soil on June 6, 1634. Together with van Hoorn's squadron, Jol had actively participated in the capture or destruction of at least thirty Spanish or Portuguese ships.13 While Jol was at home, the West India Company inaugurated an ambitious plan for the conquest of Curacao and the adjacent islands. This expedition, led by Jan van Walbeeck and Pierre le Grand, was eminently successful, although problems of occupation and mainte nance almost led to the evacuation of the captured islands. When the Dutch decided to remain, Jol once again set sail on Christmas Day, 1634, and his destination was Curacao. He arrived there on February 22, 1635-, with specific orders that the island was not to be abandoned. Although the Heren xix regarded Curacao as "a place well-fitted for obtaining salt, wood, and other products, and for infesting, from this base, the enemy in the West Indies,"1 they had also concluded that Curacao was strategically important, since "ships of the company could refresh there." Its possession by the Dutch would make "in secure for the King of Spain the returns of his fleets from the West Indies because ships from Angola, and other places to New Spain had to pass there. "'5 Plans had already been made by the xix to send a fleet from Pernambuco to the Caribbean that year. Curacao was included as a naval base. Jol was not the man to stay longer than strictly necessary. On March 3 the Otter left Curacao together with another yacht, the Brack, captained by Cornelis Janszoon van Uytgeest. Despite the weakness of his unit, Peg-leg nourished some bold plans. He wished to realize one of the fondest dreams of the West India Company, namely, the conquest of Santiago de Cuba. Jol's audacity is well attested by this adventure. The two yachts, which were adorned with Spanish flags, sailed unmolested into the port. Jol had disguised his crew, which had to be on deck, in the traditional robes of the orders of Christ and Santiago.16 They met no resistance and anchored close to the Spanish fort. Unsuspecting, the governor sent a sloop to greet them, but the officer in charge soon perceived that his "guests" were Dutch and belatedly ordered his men to turn around and make a fast getaway. In the resulting skirmish, the Spanish officer was killed, and his crew surrendered. Now, however, the governor recovered from his error and rallied his men. Jol, sensing the game to be over, opened fire on the fort to give cover to the men sent to plunder the five or six ships which were anchored in the harbor. Unfortunately, they were nearly empty. The copper had already been turned over to the New Spain fleet. The fort, in the meantime, had begun to retaliate with a hail of missiles.

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23 Jol, learning that his objective was barren, ceased fire "because it did not give any advantage any longer."17 Instead, he undertook to negotiate with the Spaniards concerning his captives and a ransom for the empty frigates. The governor, although he commanded a mere fourteen men, indignantly refused to discuss the matter and sent the Dutch commander a contemptuous reply. Infuriated, the Dutch next attempted to set fire to the Spanish ships, but they were impeded by continuous enemy fire. Jol thereupon resumed his attack on the fort and the town, which caused panic. As evening fell, the Dutch de parted from the port. At the entrance of the bay they were more fortunate, for they met an in-bound frigate carrying provisions for the town. Without much ado, the vessel changed hands, its cargo was transferred, and the empty hull burnt. Two days later Jol released his prisoners. From Santiago the two Dutch yachts made for Havana. Their exploits at Cuba's former capital were soon common knowledge across the island and the news quickly spread all over the Caribbean. The garrisons at the Isle of Pines and Cape Corrientes were promptly ordered to warn all Spanish ships in the area to be on the lookout.18 The crew of a Spanish barque, which had been lucky to escape the wrath of the irate Dutchman, subsequently gave the alarm that the fearsome Pie de Palo had sworn an oath not to abandon the Caribbean unless he was compensated by a handsome booty in silver, cochineal, and silk.1' But Jol did leave the Havana area in order to try his luck off Tierra Firme. There, near the port of Cartagena, he encountered his former colleague Pieter Janszoon van Domburgh commanding a ship and a yacht on a similar mission, but each continued on his own way. Jol sailed with his two yachts and a recently acquired prize so near to Cartagena that "he saw the town clearly." A few days later, in hot pursuit of two Spanish ships, Jol found himself at the mercy of four enemy frigates which had been dispatched by the governor of Carta gena. Peg-leg, not daring combat, beat a hasty retreat until, by chance, he again caught sight of van Domburgh. Now, with four ships at his command, Jol turned on the Spanish frigates and gave them their hard-earned battle. Although the Spanish vice-admiral's ship was captured, the other three escaped. Jol released his i^o prisoners, and sent a priest to the governor of Cartagena with a pre-emptory demand to reciprocate. The priest returned accompanied by two Dutchmen, a few hens, and some fruit. Jol, not quite ap peased by this exchange, burnt the Spanish ship.20 Peg-leg's presence in Spanish waters caused unabated alarm and

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236 created a state of permanent siege. A letter written by the governor of Havana, Francisco Riafio y Gamboa, reveals some telltale details of the conditions in the area during the summer of 163^. On June 3, a frigate sailed into the port of Santiago after having survived an encounter with the fearsome Hollander in which the Spanish ship had been driven on the beach. On June 26, according to the personal testimony of Bartolome Jaramelo, who had been a witness to the incident, an English hulk was attacked by two Dutch yachts in the waters between Curacao and Santo Domingo. On July 2, Jeronimo Hernandez declared that a Dutch yacht had seized a Spanish frigate, then turned it loose to return to Havana. Baltasar Venegas, a veteran Havana pilot, described one of Jol's recent encounters that had sent an almiranta to the bottom of the sea off Cartagena. Reports came from the Isle of Pines that the Otter had captured two ships. On September 10, Manuel Nunez stated that his ship had been overpow ered by two enemy ships. Eight days later a "dispatch boat" limped into Havana port after having been plundered by Peg-leg Jol. The only bright spot in this dreary record of Dutch activities is the notice, which was conveyed to Havana on September 23, that the Honduras ships would spend the winter in the comparative safety of a friendly port. One other happy note occurred: the Tierra Firme fleet had arrived at Havana safely on September 13.21 It is difficult to determine to what extent the Spanish governor's letter corresponds to de Laet's account of Jol's exploits. De Laet records the Otter's meeting with a yacht from Maracaibo laden with silver and hides. This encounter was followed, a few days later, by a battle between Jol's two yachts and two Spanish ones in which the smaller Spanish vessel, carrying hides, sarsaparilla, and tobacco, was captured. A frigate bearing sugar and salt was the next victim in de Laet's catalog. On the Havana coast in September, while Jol was probably watching for some straggler from the Tierra Firme fleet, he captured a large ship from Cartagena. In the latter encounter, after a contest which had lasted many hours, the Spanish ship was forced to surrender its cargo of tobacco, copper, indigo, and seven thousand reales. The ship, leaking and sinking, was allowed to make good its escape.22 Jol, having fulfilled his boast not to go home without booty, now decided to return. He had amassed more than two thousand hides, five thousand pounds of tobacco, four thousand pounds of sarsaparilla, much silver and other products, and had burned or otherwise de stroyed at least eleven Spanish ships. In sight of home, however, Jol had the misfortune to run into a

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237 band of privateers from Dunkirk led by that group's most notorious captain Jacques Colaert. Although Jol was not a man to give up with out a stiff fight, the ensuing battle was, too much of course, hopelessly lopsided. On November 2, the Otter 'was towed into the privateers' den. "Thus," complains de Laet, "this valuable yacht, which had done so much damage to the Spaniards, and which had come safely home through so many perils, was taken within sight of the Father land. "23 Peg-leg Jol and his crew, promised quarter, were imprisoned in Bourbourg and St. Winoxbergen in the Spanish Netherlands. Jol repeatedly wrote to the directors of the Amsterdam Chamber and the Heren xix of "his sad prison, and that the conditions, promised by the enemy, were not regarded. "z* The wives of the imprisoned men beseeched the xix if "their husbands might be freed, or some thing done, because the mortality rate was high." They also requested the xix to pay their travel expenses to Dunkirk and to send additional food to their husbands.25 For more than six months, from the be ginning of November, 163^, until May, 1636, Jol waited impatiently for help. Although rumors abounded that he would be remanded to Spanish custody on orders of the king,26 he finally gained his freedom in a general exchange of prisoners arranged by the States General. On August 19 of that same year, Peg-leg Jol reported to the Am sterdam Chamber and was given leave to pursue his seventh ex pedition. 2? The Otter was gone. Instead, Jol now commanded the 260-ton Swol and sailed accompanied by two yachts, the Kat, com manded by his brother, and the Jong Otter. His former flagship still lay in Dunkirk and would probably sail again under another name. In charge of this small squadron, Jol headed for Curacao. Van Walbeeck, governor of this youngest possession of the company, had specifically asked the Heren xix for Jol "so that I, having him here and having a very high regard for him, might be assisted with advice and action. "28 The Heren xix, who also held the stouthearted mariner in high esteem, had previously counseled him about the composition of his squadron. Jol had replied that since it was winter and no treasure fleets would be about, one ship and two yachts should suffice to discomfit the enemy and take some prizes.2 Peg-leg, however, did suggest that the xix reinforce him with some well-equipped ships in May of the following year. He pledged that if the promised ships arrived in time in the Caribbean, the summer would be extremely rewarding. Jol's secret instructions, opened en route, advised him to bring all his booty to Curacao, including slave ships.30 As previously noted, the absence of a Dutch port in the Caribbean had regularly paralyzed

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238 any profitable use of human cargo. The xix, anticipating Jol's usual luck, had now provided a depot for his prizes. This decision of the xix initiated the role which Curacao was to play as a slave market, a function which it developed in scope and in importance after Peter Stuyvesant became governor of the island. Jol left Texel on August 30, 1636, and, after a very fortunate passage, sighted the island of St. Bartholomew on October 19. Six days later he dropped anchor at He a Vache, as instructed, to refresh. Within two weeks the Sierra del Cobre of Cuba appeared on the horizon, and Jol was back in his familiar hunting grounds. He cruised here until mid-December but acquired only one small prize. Realizing that "because of that time of the year there was nothing to do at Havana, "31 he decided to sail, through the Bahama Channel and along the north coast of Cuba and Hispaniola to the Lesser Antilles, thus re-entering the Caribbean. This maneuver was completed in twenty days, a feat which left de Laet breathless with admiration.32 Again Jol sailed to He a Vache to take on wood and water. While there he met the Dutch yacht Brack. This ship was under the command of Captain Abraham Michielszoon Roosendael, who had been com missioned by the Heren xix to find Jol in order to join him as second-in-command of the squadron and to patrol the area together. Not incidentally, Roosendael's instructions included a reminder to Jol to transfer his prizes to Curacao. The squadron sailed to the Havana area and hovered about for some time. The Brack was soon dispatched to Curacao with one captured ship. The Jol squadron then returned to the Lesser Antilles along the route used previously, and now completed the journey in only seventeen days. On April 18, 1637, Jol dropped anchor for the third time off lie a Vache to scrape his ships and to refresh. He was occupied there for more than a month, finally departing on June 2. Three weeks later he spotted the Spanish treasure fleet as it left Cartagena en route to load silver at Porto Bello. He remained in the area, hoping, no doubt, to light upon a straggler. Not in frequently he managed to catch the Spaniards unaware, but the effort was seldom justified. On August 3, the Tierra Firme treasure fleet, now twenty-six sails strong, was again flaunted in his face as it set off for Havana.33 Jol's presence was detected on this occasion, and the Spaniards, relying on their superior numbers, decided to crush the Dutch nuisance once and for all. Hampered neither by weight nor by cumbersome sailing tactics, however, Jol sounded the order for a swift retreat and easily outmaneuvered his opponents. Once out of reach of the enemy's massive armament, the Dutch executed a

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239 streamlined volte-face, and within a few hours, joined by seven nearby privateers also hankering after the majestic game, Jol returned to the attack with augmented strength. As one of the Spanish ships fell back, the birds of prey swooped down for the kill, intent upon devouring their victim. But in the ensuing confusion created by the greedy competition between the seven voracious pursuers, each begrudging the others a part of the booty, the Spanish vessel made good its escape. Furthermore, other privateers soon arrived on the scene demanding a share in the booty. Some were armed with commission letters from the Dutch West India Company. No wonder Jol was to complain bitterly of the folly of this senseless competition. 3 4 Despite his inability to get the better of his fellow-countrymen and colleagues, Jol persisted in standing fast off Havana. He knew that the New Spain fleet was bound to arrive soon, and he probably hoped to intercept a straggler from that entourage. His persistence was re warded. On September 6 thefota sailed into view, sixteen merchant men escorted by a bare four men-of-war, leaving Havana. Then, according to de Laet, Jol suffered a remarkable stroke of bad luck. As he surreptitiously approached, weighing his chances, the Tierra Firme fleet, thirty-three sails strong, suddenly struck out brazenly from Havana port also on its way to Spain. Jol was caught between the two fleets, utterly at the mercy of the enemy's guns and beside himself with anger and pent-up frustration. Typically, he maintained his nerve and boldly attacked one of the smaller merchantmen of the windward Tierra Firme fleet. It was a ship from Dunkirk, and its capture despite the ominous threat of the two Spanish galleons which rallied to its supportgave Jol more than usual satisfaction. The ship carried goods from Puerto Rico: ginger, hides, coffee, silk, and wood. But it was small consolation to Jol who, had Director Blommaert's advice been followed, should have already been reinforced and in a condition to do much more with this remarkable opportunity. The captain returned home carrying the cargoes of seventeen ships and nourishing the memories of a great encounter. Before the Heren xix he claimed the treasure fleet had been his for the taking on five different occasions, had he had six good ships with him.3s At least one member of the board took special note of these words. Samuel Blommaert, a merchant from Amsterdam, was a bold planner and a man of vision. He had been a director of the West India Com pany at its inception, and had resigned in 1629 in conformity with the charter. When he returned to the directorship in 1636, he believed that the company had found, in Cornelis Corneliszoon Jol, a true

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240 successor to Piet Heyn. He thought Jol would be the agent for the company's second capture of a treasure fleet. In the midst of his struggle to acquire Swedish participation in the wic and to create a sixth chamber for Gotenburg, ideas which failed to materialize because of a lack of capital in Sweden, Blommaert was busily engaged in mapping out strategy for a renewed effort to ambush one of the treasure fleets. It had been several years since the West India Company had sent a large fleet to the West Indies. The last major attempt to seize Spain's silver ships had been the expedition of Marten Thijsz in 1632. Van Hoorn's contingent in 1633 had been exclusively aimed at the Honduras ships. With matters in Brazil now apparently under control and the company's position on Curacao relatively secure, the Heren xix, inspired by the enthusiasm radiated by Blommaert, determined to have one more fling at the biggest prize of them all. In letters dated September 4 and November 13, 1638, Director Blommaert boasted of the new "Great Design," the expedition of 1638, as his brainchild.36 Its preparation and organization, however, proved a difficult task which consumed more than two years. For some time previously there had been open friction in the company between the Amsterdam and Zeeland Chambers on the issue of free or open trade.37 The official decision to accept Amsterdam's position on free trade infuriated the Zeelanders. The problem was complicated during Blommaert's planning stage by the fact that the meetings were being held in Middelburg, Zeeland's capital. The Chamber of Zeeland, despite the ban of Their High Mightinesses, wanted to reopen the issue and place the question once again on the agenda. All con certed action on the part of the xix, therefore, was virtually paralyzed. The States General, in despair, appointed a commission to begin preparations for the West Indian expedition, a policy which circum vented the melee of petty deliberations. Although Zeeland was invited to send a deputy, she refused, a position which did not prevent her from becoming increasingly irate that company decisions were being made in her absence. Blommaert, of course, was part of the commission to plan the new venture, and he unfolded his project to the delegates. During the previous December, 1637, the Political Council in Brazil and Count Johan Maurits had been approached about the expedition. Blommaert had also consulted with the Prince of Orange. As was usually the case, the Heren xix again combined two ends by endorsing the final proposal: first, the conquest of the Bay of All Saints; second, the capture of a treasure fleet. The leader of the expeditionary force was to be Peg-leg Jol.

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25-GULF OF MEXICO s ^ 7Q N. "s. \ \ S^ ATLANTIC Cay Sal j/Cozumel .t-^'< *.e.O* rnti-n< ids 0<\t* c* Calcos lds '*. Cornells Jot idem Cornells Jo! 1634 1635 Abraham Roosendael 1635/35 1636/37 \ OCEAN s \ \ \ \ N, \ \ \ \ X \ \ \ Cayman 1? ti*' ^>^ -oO* N HONDU RA S C.Gracias a Dios Serranillabank NICARAGUA W** <*V> \ \ \ \ *~"5bO. ,^>a'rbuda *t<^V; VOAn,igua AC^ AO<** 0 Montserrat
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8. Map of the Caribbean with the Dutch expeditions of 1634-37. From De Laet/ Naber, iv.

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241 Blommaert's strong influence convinced the xix that Jol was their man. The latter was thereupon appointed admiral of the expedition and later given approval by the States General.38 It was the fulfillment of Peg-leg's lifelong ambition. All his life he had sought to equal Piet Heyn, and now he was finally offered his chance. Barlaeus condemns the sailor from Scheveningen as a man who would try "to become famous by some memorable action and acquire for himself an immortal fame."3' Even this learned historian, however, had to admit that Jol's crews would follow their leader anywhere. Like them, he was a simple sailor, a man of few pretensions, even though he had climbed to the highest ranks. Because of his alertness and unsurpassed courage, they held him in the highest regard and were prepared to obey his every order unquestioningly. No greater praise can be lavished on a leader of men. Th e Heren xix's original intention to use Jol in an attack on Bahia was never carried off. Count Johan Maurits, governor of New Holland, recovered from a serious illness, and, in anticipation of the outcome of promised reinforcements from the United Provinces, had launched an attack in April, 1638, against Sao Salvador. Leading some 3,600 Dutch and 1,000 Brazilian troops, he had nearly succeeded, only to have to face defeat in the end. The count effected a masterfully conceived withdrawal and returned to Olinda. Had he accomplished his aim, Blommaert's claim "by which conquest the situation of the company in this country would have been sufficiently consolidated" would have been completely realized. The failure to capture the Bay of All Saints had been the count's first real setback in his rule over New Holland. In spite of seemingly insurmountable difficulties, he had hitherto performed excellently. For instance, he had successfully attacked the Portuguese fortress Sao Jorge da Mina, called by the Dutch the Elmina Castle, "although the strength of the old castle Sao Jorge was still regarded as for midable. "+ The foray had achieved its object with remarkable ease, and a regular supply of slaves had been secured for Pernambuco. Rumors hinting of the anticipated arrival of Jol's expedition soon reached Madrid and touched off a new flurry of excitement. Affairs in Spain at the time had reached a disturbing low. In October, 1637, she had lost the town of Breda, at whose surrender in 1625 Velasquez had painted the masterful Las Lanzas. In earlier years, Breda had magnanimously been offered to the Dutch in exchange for Pernambuco. Olivares, for one, had been determined to wrest Brazil from Dutch control and had sought this means to pacify both his country men and the Portuguese. Now, of course, it was too late. At the

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242 same time the Spaniards narrowly missed losing Fuenterrabia. Im pressed by their near brush with disaster, Spain as well as Portugal resolved to close their ranks against the insolent heretic invaders. Before long an Iberian fleet set sail from the Tagus to Brazil. Although Dutch counterespionage agents soon knew of the Spanish attitude, the Heren xix made a serious miscalculation by assuming that Spain was too busy on the European front to be actively concerned about Brazil. The Dutch discovered from intercepted letters, how ever, that Spanish plans for the colony were slow in taking form and that the situation was fast deteriorating in the Portuguese-controlled areas, especially in Bahia. These same letters had already led to Johan Maurits' precipitous attempt on Sao Salvador with the results men tioned earlier. The count advised the xix that he would have succeeded if the promised troops had arrived in time. It was little comfort to him to find, on his return to Olinda, that Peg-leg Jol was safely anchored in the bay.*1 Jol had left Texel on April 14, 1638, with a fleet of ten ships and appeared off Olinda on June 8,42 His instructions, which had been altered to the extent that he was not to become involved in further Bahia projects, disappointed Maurits. He had repeatedly begged for more men and ships, and now he had to be content with promises that a large fleet was being prepared for his needs.43 Nevertheless, he complied with the orders relayed to him by Jol and supplied the latter's force with some additional ships, six hundred men, and provisions. He must have acted with a heavy heart knowing that the gesture was certain to weaken his own delicate position. On June 22, Jol departed at the head of fourteen or fifteen ships, with supplies for seven months. He commanded nine hundred sailors and six hundred soldiers.44 On this, his eighth voyage, his high-rising aspirations were finally to be consummated. Peg-leg definitely understood that fourteen or fifteen ships were simply no match for the silver galleons. Blommaert, however, had vowed that he would send additional recruits from Holland under the command of Roosendael. In hope of establishing contact with these reinforcements as soon as possible, Jol dispatched a yacht to seek out Roosendael, who was presumed to be somewhere in the Carib bean. Jol also wanted to collect information from Spanish captives. No prisoners could be freed.4' The admiral had learned a lesson from Piet Heyn and was trying to keep his movements within the Caribbean strictly secret. The expedition weighed anchor under a bad omen. Jol, while setting out aboard a sloop to take command of his flagship the

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H3 Salamander, injured his one good leg when he was caught between the sloop and the projecting edge of a cannon. Count Johan Maurits reported the misfortune to the Heren xix: "Some say the hip bone is broken, but he, Jol, told us that he could still manage. "*6 "The noise of his stump sounds in the ears of Aragon as a thunder," wrote a Dutch poet,47 alluding to the great expectations that ac companied Jol as he departed for the Caribbean. Both the Heren xix and the Dutch in Brazil were equally enthusiastic. And indeed, Spain was deeply concerned and weary of the great uproar in the North. The king, when he received news of Jol's departure, immediately sent four yachts to the West Indies to caution the coastal towns against Pie de Palo and his fleet.48 But his warning ships failed to impress Don Carlos de Ibarra, the Spanish general, nor did it deter the Tierra Firme fleet. Almost foundering under their heavy load, the treasure ships left Cartagena for Havana in spite of the rumors about the presence of an enemy fleet nearby, probably Roosendael's squadron. The Spanish general considered the danger to be largely illusory and refused to be intimidated by this poca ropa. After entering the Caribbean, Jol cruised directly west. Roosendael joined him, although the exact site of their rendezvous is not known. Without hailing any passing ships, Jol cautiously proceeded to the traditional arena, the Dry Tortugas, north of Havana. He ordered his captains to use every precaution to remain out of sight of the Spanish coastal watches on the Isle of Pines and Cape Corrientes. No one, not even privateers from Holland and Zeeland encountered in the area, had knowledge of the true goal of this enterprise.4' During this voyage, Jol sent various dispatch boats to reconnoiter different areas and to locate the Tierra Firme and New Spain fleets. One of these missions ventured close enough to Havana to conclude that the Tierra Firme fleet was approaching. It consisted of seven galleons and a royal yacht from Margarita convoying six merchantmen. Don Carlos de Ibarra, Viscount of Centenara, the commander of the Spanish fleet, was a veteran and intrepid navigator. His character was quite unlike that of his unfortunate predecessor Juan de Benavides. Ibarra had commanded squadrons and fleets in the Caribbean since 1618. Now, at the close of his career, he would live through the most glamorous episode in his entire naval life. He had cast off from Cadiz on April 28, 1638, and can only have missed Jol's crossing to New Holland by a few days. By June 12, Ibarra had landed at Cartagena. He made a swift voyage to Porto Bello to load the king's silver and returned to Cartagena on August 1. There he learned from Madrid of

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244 Jol's fleet and the latter's bold intentions. He was further notified that Pie de Talo was to be reinforced in the Caribbean. The Spanish authorities expected their general to do his utmost to avoid Jol, but if an encounter came about, Ibarra was to make certain that Jol was defeated. The Spanish commander was forcibly reminded of the state of the treasury, and he was assured that an auxiliary force was underway to join him.50 The Spanish general quickly decided upon a course of action. On August 7, knowing full well that he would undoubtedly meet the Dutch en route, he deliberately set out for Havana. He was not too certain of the strength of the enemy until, at Cape Corrientes, he received word from the governor of Havana that the Dutch fleet which had been sighted off Cuba amounted to no more than seven or eight ships.51 Acting upon suggestions by Blommaert, Jol had meanwhile de ployed his ships so that he prevented the Spaniards from ascertaining his precise strength. The Dutch admiral, with six of his ships, lay in wait off Cape Apalache; five more of his ships were near Matanzas. The other seventeen ships in his fleet were patrolling the area with specific orders to report to Jol at once if the Spaniards were sighted. On August 30, Ibarra's fleet of eight galleons and seven smaller vessels made its first contact with the Dutch.$z The Spaniards dis cerned not seven or eight but seventeen or eighteen enemy sails that first evening. By the next morning several more had come into view the Caribbean indeed was literally swarming with Dutch privateers. Many were not under Jol's command. All had been commissioned by the West India Company, however, and some of them may have placed themselves voluntarily under Jol's orders at this time.53 While converging upon the enemy, Jol held a fleet council to discuss the inevitable clash and to arouse the spirit of his captains. The strategy was thus: Jol, leading two ships, would distract the Spanish capitana; Roosendael and some other ships were to engage the almiranta; Jan Mast, Jol's rear-admiral, was to occupy his Spanish counterpart. The remaining Dutchmen were to choose their respec tive victims and board them. When a precise order of attack was drawn up, each captain was admonished to post a lookout to watch for damaged Dutch ships that might require their assistance. At the fleet council Jol inspired his men with valiant words. He impressed upon them that they were fighting notorious cowards, that Spanish ships carried more loot than arms, and that the treasure could neither protect the Spaniards nor wound the Dutch. He further encouraged them by claiming that the Spanish galleons, although they

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us were huge, carried only gleaming sand and not warriors.5* After he had the captains properly aroused and in high spirits, Jol ordered a prayer said for Dutch victory. The battle was on. A s the opponents veered closer, Carlos de Ibarra hoisted the royal banner and fired a volley. This was the prearranged signal for his captains to assume their specific stations in a battle line. The Spaniards sailed in good order toward the enemy, in accordance with Ibarra's express commands. The same cannot be said for the Dutch. Jol, Roosendael, and Mast and a dozen other captains attacked as had been prearranged. Jol himself opened fire on the capitana and attempted to board the Spanish galleon. Somehow, despite the great disparity in size, Jol maneuvered his Salamander so that he plowed into the side of the Spanish vessel and threw a hook into her. His men gathered on the quarterdeck and climbed on board their prize. The Spaniards hardly expected such enthusiasm nor were they prepared for the ensuing vigorous onslaught. Jol had offered a reward of one thousand guilders to the first men to bring him the banner flying from the enemy's flagship. Ibarra's decks were soon bombarded with a deluge of Dutch grenades clearing the way to the rear. However, at the height of the battle Ibarra resumed his fire on the Salamander, and his admiral, who had managed to elude Roosendael, came to his assistance. It was only after Jol had been forced to beat a hasty retreat that he learned that many of his captains had refused to join in the attack; they "stayed above the wind, looking at the game."35 Hostilities raged on unabatedly for eight hours before the two fleets consented to a brief respite to lick their wounds. Jol was boiling with rage, simply beside himself with frenzy; he had missed taking the silver fleet only because his orders had not been obeyed. He cursed and bitterly reproached his captains for their cowardice and reminded them that on the very same spot Piet Heyn had won immortal fame with no greater odds and no more danger. He very pointedly resuscitated their solemn pledge "that in this affair they even had to sacrifice their lives; that it was a matter of the glory and sal vation of them all." He concluded his sermon with "Let us, with combined power, start the battle again."56 When Barlaeus described the event, he provided his reader with the various excuses submitted by Jol's captains. Yet no explicit mention is made of the most obvious one: that the Dutch captains simply stood in awe of the huge Spanish ships and were afraid to tackle them. Many complained that the odds were overwhelmingly against them and that Jol was leading them to certain doom. Others excused themselves by alleging that they had only been authorized

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246 to attack the New Spain fleet. While no conspiracy was ever un covered to explain the Dutch calamity, most of the captains seemed to have agreed that the encounter could only end disastrously. The privateers not under Jol's command, understandably, had stood idly by as the tide of the battle heaved before their very eyes. During Jol's second attack, which resumed an hour later, some captains remained just as reluctant to engage the enemy. The attempt was therefore abandoned. A temporary lull was declared for two days, although the two fleets were careful not to lose sight of each other. Jol used this time to summon his subordinates, exhort them once again, and entreat them to sign a new oath which would force them to fight to the death at the next opportunity. A new strategy was devised. On September 3, assured of support, the Dutch admiral hoisted his battle flag anew. Now, however, since the Spanish had secured the windward side of the Dutch, approaching them was much more difficult. Jol's captains, despite their new oaths, did no better than they had before. This third attack was likewise abortive. For the next two weeks, while Jol, through dispatch boats, kept informed of the movements of the Spanish fleet, no acts of belligerency flared up. He accidentally overheard the not ungratifying news that many sailors in his fleet were outraged at the cowardice shown by their captains. At a next fleet council, he was able to effect the replacement of five of his subordinates. Now, although it was already September 17, he stubbornly undertook one last attempt at Ibarra's fleet, which had been reported laying off Cuba at Los Organos. But when he reached that site, it was only to learn that the Spanish fleet had already departed. Despite Dutch cowardice during these encounters, the Spaniards had been damaged considerably. There were many casualties. Two of their merchantmen had been abducted by privateers. One of the Spanish galleons, the Carmen, was so heavily damaged that its brave captain Sancho de Urdanivia believed that it would be an almost impossible task to save it. It had been in the thick of the fray in a dramatic rear-guard action. In even the more prosaic accounts of this battle in the official documents, it was described as a highly colorful sea fight. Urdanivia's cargo was transferred from the Carmen to some other galleons, and he was allowed to take his ship to the port of Cabanas.s7 While Jol was reorganizing his fleet, however, Ibarra was also holding a fleet council. At that meeting it was suggested that the Spaniards should make for Vera Cruz instead of Havana. Although

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247 they had so far been able to resist the.Dutch attacks, their cargo was too precious to place it in jeopardy. The Spanish general had as a passenger aboard one of his vessels the important visitador of the Audiencias of Lima and Charcas. He sought the latter's advice, and, after learning that half the munitions supply was gone and that the Dutch had been reinforced, he hesitated. Should the fleet arrive safely in Havana, the harbor would almost inevitably be blockaded until late that winter. The arguments were thus made to retreat to the comparative safety of Vera Cruz and the protection of the fortress of San Juan de Ulua. But Ibarra was a man of inflexible character; indeed, his tenacity and perseverance were simply attributes of the willful obstinacy of the Spanish hidalgo. He and his admiral, Pedro de Ursua, still firmly believed that they should try to reach Havana at all costs. When Ibarra made his determination known, the fleet council adjourned. But in the meantime Jol had, indeed, received his long overdue reinforcements. He now commanded twenty-four or twenty-five ships. When he learned of this, Ursua recognized that the situation had become too adverse for the Spaniards to gamble. He admonished his superior to return to New Spain. Ibarra bowed to the inevitable, therefore, and prepared to reverse his course. When he arrived at Vera Cruz on September 24, he found the New Spain fleet safely at anchor at San Juan de Uliia. Both fleets participated wholeheartedly in the general celebration; the crews rejoiced at having served the king so well by so severely punishing and ridiculing the enemy.58 Spanish casualties had been heavy: 108 men dead, 84 wounded. Ibarra, himself, had also sustained a serious injury. He had grabbed a grenade which had been thrown at his feet, and it had exploded before he could throw it overboard. The Dutch had not escaped the encounter unscathed either: $o dead and 1^0 wounded.59 Among those killed were the brave Jan Mast and the courageous Abraham Roosendael, two of the best exponents of seventeenth-century Dutch maritime expansion. This abortive attempt, called the battle of Los Organos, then, constitutes the final outcome of Jol's major endeavor to capture the Spanish treasure fleet. It had not failed because of a lack of organi zation; Blommaert and his commission had done their work well. It had not faltered through lack of leadership either; the West India Company had placed the task in the most proficient hands at its disposal. It had been a fiasco because of the treachery and cowardice of a handful of incompetent Dutch captains combined with the firm determination of Carlos de Ibarra to fight. Blommaert, when he

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248 learned how nearly Jol had come to bringing off the coup, was utterly dejected and wrote: It would not only have strengthened the company to fight the next year against the King of Spain with more power in the West Indies and elsewhere, but the King of Spain would have been brought to his knees because the war that is fought here in Europe he fights with the huge treasures from the West Indies, and if that root is cut off from him so that he cannot grow any longer, then some peace would come to the whole Christian world and his so-called monarchy would receive a heavy blow.6o Jol resolved to delay no longer in the Caribbean and thus add further to his masters' expenses. He sent part of the fleet back to Brazil and divided the remainder so that one squadron would stay in the area while the rest would accompany him to the Low Countries. When the ships set out for home, they encountered such bad weather that rumors soon abounded both in Spain and in the Netherlands that the entire fleet had been destroyed. Nevertheless, Jol arrived safely home in November and reported at once to the Heren xix and to the States General, where he vehemently denounced the conduct of seven of his captains. Their High Mightinesses thanked their admiral "for his courage and ability in the meeting with the Spanish silver fleet," but these words and the golden medal and chain given to him must have been small comfort to a man of his temper and ambition.61 As admiral, Jol could have court-martialed his cowardly captains while still in the Caribbean. He had deferred prosecution, however, since he had lost Roosendael and Mast, two important members of the fleet court. When the accused captains were arrested in the Low Countries, they, of course, retaliated with countercomplaints about Jol. But Peg-leg enjoyed the confidence of the Heren xix and the States General, and the accusations against him went unheeded. The impeached captains were severely condemned to exile, to confiscation of goods and salaries, or, for the lesser offenders, simply the payment of expenses incurred by the trial. Aitzema, vindicating the relatively light sentences, explains, "They had ships of twenty-three or twentyfour pieces, manned with one hundred or one hundred and ten men, while the Spaniards had galleons."62 Although Ibarra wintered in Vera Cruz, he sent word to Spain so as to relieve the king of worry. Madrid was placated but the court contemplated the future with apprehension. Since the silver had failed to arrive, the treasury would once again be forced to borrow money at high interest rates in order to administer the state; this would burden its already weak credit to its limits. Eight galleons were dispatched to reinforce Ibarra, and all the ships returned to

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249 Spain the following summer without having touched Havana en route. Once again Cuba would experience dire economic problems. Ibarra was received ceremoniously in Spain and given the title Marquis de Caracena.63 Shortly after he was sent with a fleet of fourteen sails to crush the rebellion in Catalonia, after which he died in Barcelona. The unfortunate outcome of Jol's adventure in the Caribbean might easily have turned into a personal debacle, but he continued to be honored and respected by the xix and by the States General. He enjoyed a good reputation until his death, a fact that is borne out by his participation as commander of the fifth Dutch squadron in the celebrated Battle of The Downs in October, 1639. This battle, led by the famous Dutch Lieutenant-Admiral Maarten Harpertszoon Tromp, resulted in the total defeat of the Spanish armada and ended for all time Spanish naval power in the North Atlantic. Another catastrophe soon overtook the Spaniards across the ocean. A huge Spanish fleet under the command of Fernando de Mascarenhas left the Iberian peninsula approximately ten weeks after the disaster at The Downs. Near Itamaraca this fleet unfortunately encountered a Dutch fleet of twenty sails under the command of Willem Corneliszoon Loos. Although Loos was killed the first day of the ensuing four-day engage ment, his second in command, Jacob Huygens, so effectively broke the resistance of the Spanish fleet that the Dutch claimed to have defeated the enemy. Boxer admits that, strategically speaking and in spite of heavy losses on both sides, the advantage in this engagement was wholly on the side of the Dutch.6* The battle did far more than bring the Dutch a strategic advantage in their Brazilian venture. It radically ended the last Spanish effort to take the offensive in the Caribbean. From 1639 onward the proud Spanish navy of the days of Lepanto was no longer a protagonist in the ensuing dramatic struggles among England, France, and the United Provinces in the mare clausum. Jol missed being present at the Battle of Itamaraca. He sailed from Texel on January 17, the final day of the four-day encounter. Count Johan Maurits had repeatedly asked the Heren xix to arm a fleet against the rumored Spanish armada then en route to the Brazilian and Caribbean Dutch colonies. Finally, at the very end of 1639, the xix readied some ships and placed them under the double command of Peg-leg Jol and Jan Corneliszoon Lichthardt. The latter was an accomplished sailor, a man who knew Portuguese fluently since he had lived in Lisbon for many years. He was also thoroughly familiar with the situation in Brazil because he had fought there for his country.65 As usual, Jol's instructions ordered him first to Brazil and then to the Caribbean for another try at the treasure fleet. The West India

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2*0 Company was in dire need of successand cash. Lichthardt would be the first in command in Brazilian waters, Jol in the Caribbean. The expedition was well planned, and the selection of Lichthardt and Jol suggests that Blommaert once again masterminded the project. Spanish rumors, however, had exaggerated the size of the Dutch forces; Madrid believed that Jol commanded sixty vessels and that once in the Caribbean he would take command of all the Dutch vessels already in the area. Although not nearly that strong, Count Johan Maurits must have felt greatly relieved when this fleet arrived at Pernambuco on March 26: "Above all we are very pleased and we have to thank Your Graces very particularly for the heads of the fleet sent to us, Admirals Lichthardt and Cornelis Corneliszoon Jol, men whom we always have kept in the highest regard because of their great talents."66 Jol's raids and exploits on the Brazilian coast fall outside the scope of this study, but would fill interesting pages in the history of New Holland. In all certainty, he was back in Olinda in June preparing for the execution of his second mission, the capture of the treasure fleet. On July 14, 1640, Jol left Pernambuco accompanied by a fleet of 24 sails, 2,000 sailors, and 1,700 soldiers. Just before this date, Jorge de Mascarenhas, the new viceroy of Portuguese-Spanish Brazil, arrived at the Bay of All Saints. Count Johan Maurits, well aware of Mascarenhas' escort, could only hope that Dutch raids would stifle any Portuguese initiative for the time being. Jol's orders from the Heren xix, together with his own insatiable drive, could simply not be circumvented. The count, irritated by the meddling and constant interference of the Heren xix, had already asked to be relieved of his post. Yet, when the xix refused his request, he amended Jol's orders to the extent that Peg-leg had to return to Pernambuco after his exploits in the Caribbean.6? Early in August Jol refreshed at He a Vache. He reached Havana about September 1. Here he was joined by two yachts from Curacao and ten privateers, the latter having been relayed to his command by the Prince of Orange. Jol dispatched some ships to Cape San Antonio and the Dry Tortugas to reconnoiter, and in the meantime he drafted his plan of attack. He divided his fleet into three squadrons of seven ships and four yachts each under himself, Vice-Admiral Lichthardt, and Rear-Admiral Bartel Wouters.68 On September 2, the Dutch captured a small Spanish barque with forty-five persons aboard; these captives were dispersed throughout the fleet. Jol moved about the area stealthily, aiming to keep his presence a secret. He was unaware of the fact that he had long since

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2I been discovered and that the new governor of Havana, Alvaro de Luna Sarmiento, not only knew of his arrival but had taken vigorous steps to cope with the situation. Warnings were speedily sent to Cartagena and Vera Cruz, and coastal guards were doubled everywhere, espe cially at Cape Corrientes. Meanwhile, he did all he could do to strengthen the defenses of Havana and sent a request to the viceroy of New Spain for more money and ammunition. His financial problems were enormous; more than anything else he needed to break the pernicious Dutch blockade off Havana so that the island could return to trade and prosperity.6' On September 3, Sarmiento was notified that a Dutch ship had come in dangerously close to the Morro Castle and had inspected the empty harbor. A day later the entire Dutch fleet of thirty-six sails could be seen from Havana. Sarmiento once again dispatched warning ships to New Spain and Cartagena. The veladores at Cape Corrientes were admonished that the Tierra Firme fleet might already be at sea and should be carefully watched for and cautioned. Jol cruised in the area, absorbed in his watch-and-wait policy. As yet, he was unaware of the mission of the Spanish warning boats and had failed to intercept any of them. Then, on September 11, a hurricane struck the Dutch fleet. The tempest continued for three days, and the Dutch were terror-stricken. So frightened, indeed, was Lichthardt that he is reported to have considered a retreat into Havana, and asked a captive priest aboard his vessels, "Father, if I enter Havana, will they treat me well and save my life?"7" On the fourth day the storm passed. Jol learned, to his dismay, that seven of his ships had disappeared. Four of them had been thrown up on the Cuban coast which provided Sarmiento with at least sixty-five pieces of artillery. Almost 230 of his men were taken captive by the Spaniards on that particular occasion.?i One of the lost ships was later found so badly damaged that Jol permitted it to sail home, where it communicated the sad tidings of natural disaster to the Heren xix.'2 The other three wanderers made it safely into Pernambuco. With his depleted force Jol stubbornly remained near Havana. About one week later Peg-leg Jol sent a sloop with a white flag into Havana to solicit an exchange of prisoners. While he could only boast about forty-five prisoners, he himself readily admitted that the Spanish governor had at least five times more. Although this messenger did not report the exact numbers of Jol's prisoners, Sarmiento politely declined the offer of the exchange and sent his condolences to the Dutch for their losses. He advised the Dutch admiral that Spanish concern for the captives had been so great that the floundered crews

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22 had been quickly brought to Havana in order that they might be more adequately taken care of. With undisguised irony he also assured Jol that he hoped that the Dutch would fare well until the Spanish fleets arrived since the Spanish victory "which we expect from God's hand" would then be all the sweeter.73 The Dutch prisoners, all of whom had indeed been treated well, were eventually returned to Pernambuco. Jol released his Spaniards at the first opportunity. Sarmiento's wish was not fulfilled. Jol hovered about the area until the end of September. Then he withdrew to Matanzas to refresh; he presumed that the treasure fleets had taken cover in other ports for the winter. Once at Matanzas, his men, venting their pentup anger, plundered the farms in the area for supplies. On October 7, Jol left the Caribbean through the Florida Straits and headed for Pernambuco.7'* The last Dutch attempt to capture the treasure fleets was definitely concluded. The Spaniards, learning of his departure, sailed at once for Havana and from there to Spain in the following spring. This was, as observed, the Herenxix's last grand effort to tackle the treasure fleets. Although it had begun auspiciously and enjoyed several spectacular early successes, the West India Company thereafter devoted itself to the same problem that troubled the Spanish mon archy: an empty treasury. Money came in slowly; privateering, after all, was not such a profitable business, and subsidies from the govern ment, repeatedly promised, trickled in even more slowly. The venture was also Jol's last visit to the Caribbean. He arrived in Pernambuco with but sixteen ships and considerable losses in men to learn that the Portuguese had at last severed all ties binding them to their Spanish masters and had proclaimed the Duke of Braganza their king. Although the political consequence of this event will be dealt with in a subsequent chapter, it is significant to note here thatin the very beginningthe Dutch were enthusiastic and sympathetic adherents to the Portuguese cause because they expected the latter to become their natural allies against the hereditary enemy. At Pernambuco Count Johan Maurits held a celebration to commem orate the news of the revolt and the accession of Joao IV. The Portuguese planters of the area were cordially invited to attend. These convivialities, however, masked the count's steadfast intentions to continue the war against the new king's vassals in Brazil and Africa. He politely rejected a Portuguese-Brazilian request for a temporary local truce pending the negotiation of a definitive treaty. For a change the count found his proposals endorsed by the Heren xix and the States General. He was authorized to seize whatever territory he

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23 could until the official proclamation of a truce between Portugal and the United Provinces brought an end to further hostilities. Although the directors expressed their fond desire for the prompt capture of Bahia, Count Johan Maurits, tuned to more strictly local needs, was more in favor of the conquest of a great Portuguese slave depot on Africa's west coast.75 Since slaves were in such urgent demand, slave trading had become extremely profitable. Pernambuco could not long survive without the blacks, and circumstances directed the attention of the Heren xix once again toward Sao Paulo de Luanda, the same site where van Zuylen had once notoriously blundered and where Piet Heyn had been foiled in a frustrated night attack. Capturing this town would give the Dutch access to the most fertile slave area in Africa and would drastically cut the Spanish and Portuguese export of labor for their American mines and plantations.76 Fortunately for the Dutch, the Portuguese delayed ratification of the treaty which they had already concluded. Angola was the prize which the Dutch now wanted. On May 30, 1641, Jol sailed from Pernambuco with 20 ships, 8^0 sailors, and more than 2,000 soldiers.77 Among the latter were some 240 Brazilian Indians. His instructions were simple and concise: he was to seize both Sao Paulo de Luanda and the fortress on the island of Sao Thome. Neither Jol nor his subalterns had any previous experience in Africa and were all aware that the company had failed dismally on three previous adventures in that area. Peg-leg was also informed that the garrison at Luanda amounted to 2, joo men. This figure could be considerably augmented by the adult males of the community and by auxiliary Negro troops.78 Virtually everything else transmitted to Jol turned out to be useless information once he neared his destination. Although he was, for instance, ordered to drop anchor in St. Bras which was described as the only bay in the area, in fact the coastline was dotted with more suitable inlets. The Dutch admiral understood full well that the success of his mission hinged upon whether he could hire able pilots, alive to local pitfalls, to guide him along the coast. The Dutch fleet crossed the Atlantic under adverse circumstances. In normal weather the journey required about four weeks, but wind and current delayed Jol for twice that length of time. The entire fleet, already severely rationed and almost out of water, must have sighed with relief when land was sighted. On the evening of August 9, the fleet dropped anchor in the Bay of Mossamedes, where Jol re freshed and rested his men.?' He dispatched Vice-Admiral Jacob Huygens to Cape St. Bras in search of a reliable guide.80

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254 Luanda, meanwhile, had been informed that treaty negotiations were underway between the United Provinces and Portugal. Its citizens were overjoyed since they had lived for years in dread of attack. In the past Dutch ships had appeared menacingly within sight of the harbor. The news from Brazil and Portugal seemed to indicate that peace between the two countries was simply a matter of formalities. Perhaps the Portuguese, except for their governor, were already anticipating a period of harmonious collaboration with the Dutch, despite the fact that the latter were regarded as heretics and the clergy was firmly opposed to fraternization with enemies of the faith.81 It was the highly lucrative slave trade that was at stake. As hope rode high in Luanda just then, news was circulated that a powerful Dutch fleet was approaching the area. It was August 23, 164.1. Although Jol had not managed to locate a pilot, the lack was no deterrent for the Dutch. Preparations were made to disembark the troops, and Jol admonished them, "Every captain will be required, without exception, to do his utmost duty."82 Soon afterward and quite unexpectedly, Jol had an amazing stroke of luck. One of his ships had captured a small caravel which had an experienced pilot aboard who, for gold, agreed to act as Jol's guide. Luckily this man knew of a path that would bring the Dutch behind the undefended rear of the town.83 Jol took his cue accordingly, and he moved stealthily, on August 2 to the northern entrance of the port. His ships blocked the entrance of the harbor containing fifteen ships. Luanda was in a furor: were the Dutch allies or enemies ? The Portuguese governor, who had had some personal experience with the Dutch in Brazil, Flanders, and Angola, summoned his troops. He placed them along the shore and ordered his batteries to fire at any Dutch attempt to land. Two of the ships in the harbor were sunk near the town to barricade the inner harbor, and reinforcements were sent to assist the ships which were nearest the Dutch blockade. Things looked black for the attacker. But the Portuguese expected the Dutch to concentrate their forces against the two forts at the entrance of the harbor; they were wrong. Jol lowered sloops, manned them, and had them rowed toward the beach between the two forts just beyond the reach of their guns. As soon as the governor realized what the Dutch were aiming at, he knew that Luanda was lost. From the Dutch landing site, a path led through the hills north and from there into the town. Wisely, Jol had decided on the plan that had been suggested to him by his captive pilot. As a final effort the governor of Luanda sent troops to the Dutch disembarkation point, but they arrived too late. The Portuguese,

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*ss caught in merciless fire from the Dutch sloops and the ships blockading the harbor, fled helter-skelter behind the safety of the town walls. The fort's guns were effectively silenced in the afternoon, and in the course of the night the Dutch entered the townfrom both east and west. To their amazement they found the place completely deserted. The ships in the harbor surrendered meekly and troops entering the city encountered little resistance in the streets. The inhabitants and the soldiers had all slipped away on the presumption that the enemy had come only to plunder.8* It had been a comparatively easy victory, one obtained at the cost of few casualties. Exuberantly, Jol wrote to Count Johan Maurits that the mission had been accomplished.8' The governor of Luanda, who soon realized that the Dutch nourished intentions of a more permanent nature, wrote a letter to Jol admonishing the latter that Portugal and the United Provinces were allies and that his military action had been outrageous. Jol, denying all formal knowledge of the existence of a treaty alliance, nevertheless couched his rejoinder in cautious and unprovocative terms.86 Not knowing what party, Spanish or Portuguese, the governor sided with, he had judged it wise not to commit himself irrevocably on the subject. Not his arguments, therefore, but the power of his guns decided the final outcome in this verbal fencing. Jol's victory made the West India Company the proprietor of one of the busiest and most profitable slave ports in Africa. The average annual trade from Luanda amounted to some IJ,OOO slaves and 6,600,000 guilders.87 Not long thereafter, this highly profitable source of revenue was adroitly monopolized under a new company regulation. The loss to the Catholic king could be calculated as close to one million guilders annually. It can be argued that Spain would probably have been deprived of these profits in any event after the successful Portuguese revolt. For the time being, however, both parties lost out and felt aggrieved. Feeling against the Dutch ran high in Lisbon. Jol, on the other hand, had only half completed his task. Just three weeks after his victory, he left Luanda on September 17, with nine ships and five yachts manned by four hundred sailors and six hundred soldiers. His instructions now directed him to the island of Sao Thome. Many years before, the Dutch, under van der Does, had embarked on a similar mission which had ended disastrously (see Chapter 1). Flushed with his recent victory Jol now undertook the project. His main goal was the capture of the fort of Sao Sebastiao, which was situated on a narrow peninsula at the northeast side of the island, close to the capital. With its four bastions and with walls twenty-four

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2*6 feet high, armed with thirty cannons, the fort was considered one of the strongest outposts on Portuguese Africa's west coast. When the Dutch arrived at the island on October 2, they landed their men two miles south of the peninsula. Peg-leg himself assumed command of the troops; his vice-admiral Matheus Jansen was ordered to drop anchor as close as possible to the castle and not to open fire unless the enemy provoked him. The Portuguese acquiesced and soon the battle was raging. After an hour of heavy shooting and fearsome losses on both sides, the initial attack was repulsed. This event signaled the beginning of a two-week period of continuous Dutch assaults and equally stubborn Portuguese resistance. Jol, at last recognizing the futility of this approach, changed tactics and ordered his men to blast the castle with heavy mortar fire. This seemed to produce vastly better results. On October 16, the Portuguese gover nor requested a parley and surrendered Sao Sebastiao. The Portu guese, officers and soldiers alike, were allowed to keep their personal property and were sent home. In the meantime the Dutch had occupied the abandoned town of Sao Thome. Complete annihilation was prevented by the payment of 300,000 pounds of sugar and r,roo cruzados, which represented a total value of 100,000 guilders.88 The main foe in that continent, however, had not yet been beaten. Within a few days after the Dutch had taken possession of the castle, the first men fell sick, and soon hundreds of soldiers and sailors succumbed to the terrible heat. Barlaeus commented: Non in Martis sed Mortis triumphum seivatajuisse viderentur,89 Jol, who had been active day and night without rest, took to his bed on October 25. He continued to give orders for the benefit of the West India Company up to the very last moment, naming Matheus Jansen as his successor and appointing a new vice-admiral. He died on October 31, 1641, and was buried with great pomp in the cathedral of the town, Nossa Senhora da Conceicao.90 He left posterity no personalized account of his exploits; as his secretary shortly thereafter followed him in the grave, no accurate Dutch record of Jol's last deeds survived. One year later the Portuguese recaptured the town, though not the fort. They unceremoniously opened Jol's grave and removed his body. The Dutch were shocked and clamored for restitution; Portu gal arrogantly refused to repudiate the offense: "It is ridiculous that you accuse us of unburying the dead. If you knew correctly the basis of our religion you certainly would not have done so, because this is a question of the clergy and not of secular power. "9I Somewhere, in a forgotten corner of the island, Jol found his final resting place in an unmarked grave.

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2*7 With Cornelis Corneliszoon Jol's death the last of the great ad mirals of the West India Company departed from the scene, and with his demise the company lost its redoutable aggressive potentiality. Although Jol never captured a Spanish treasure fleet, he had earned a reputation as a highly successful privateer. The specter of his presence haunted Spanish officials in the Caribbean for years. A courageous man, an inveterate gambler who risked the very fortune of his country, he persevered in the face of danger and misfortune. Never losing confidence, a stranger to fear and doubt, and impervious to weariness or boredom, "he continuously verged on the abyss of death. "92 Throughout his life he was faithful to his country and to the company which employed and honored him. His crews knew that he was a rough leader and his temper tantrums were legendary, but they followed him willingly. He had been one of them before he rose through sheer talent to the highest rank that the company could bestow, and he remained one of them to the end, avoiding the airs which often undertake rising men of destiny. His passing was deeply mourned. Indeed even Barlaeus, the cultured Latinist who disliked the tough ill-mannered sailor, conceded him the highest praise: "He was not a man to boast nor to habituate elegant courts, but he per sisted in what he started, especially in the destruction of Spain."'3

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11 THE DUTCH PEARLS Nos tera ta baranca.1 Although the Dutch had already established themselves on the Wild Coast and in New Netherland early in the seventeenth century, their expansion into the Caribbean required more time. The Greater Antilles, of course, had been firmly in Spanish hands for more than a century, but the Lesser Antilles had been regarded as islas inutiles useless islandsand had been left to their Indian populations. Soon they were to become tempting bait for the intruders in the mare clausum, and Spain was simply too weak to successfully drive her hardy rivals from their outposts in the West Indies. Too late she realized her error in neglecting these little Caribbean pearls and in ignoring their defacto occupation by foreign powers. The early inducements to overseas settlements have already been demonstrated. The significant difference between the Dutch and other European interlopers, however, was that the latter seemed determined to occupy and to colonize the Caribbean. On the con trary, the Dutch, who were not plagued by problems of religious intolerance or economic unrest at home, were more interested in salt and in trade. Although there are rumors of earlier colonization attempts around 1604, foreign occupation of the Caribbean effectively began in 1625 with the simultaneous settlements of the French and the English on St. Christopheror St. Kitts, as the latter called the island. In 1625 also, English and Dutch colonists appear to have occupied the island of St. Croix, one of the Virgin Islands. Barbados was examined and claimed by Captain John Powell. Nevis, St. Eustatius, St. Martin, and many others of the Lesser Antilles were soon occupied, but it is impossible to trace always which country settled which island and when because so many of these early pioneers were of dubious nation ality or of mixed blood. The confusion surrounding colonization in the Lesser Antilles is

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2 9 also compounded by the fact that the first Stuart, James I, made his grants orally. Although these were later confirmed by his son in written documents, Charles I was obviously confused in his designa tions to the Earl of Carlisle and the Earl of Pembroke. The Dutch firm of the Courteens also appears to have played a part in the general intrigue that renders inscrutable this entire episode. Whatever the legal implications of all this confusion may have been, it is certain that the archipelago between Trinidad and Puerto Rico was very soon occupied by either English or French or both. Dutch privateers had indeed visited the Caribbean before the Truce, but the systematic invasion of the area was the work of the Dutch salt carriers. During the Truce these incursions had stopped for the most part, but after 1621 they were vigorously renewed, and the salt carriers were quickly joined by increased numbers of Dutch privateers in search of profits. More than three years were to pass, however, before an official fleetactually only a squadronbearing the flag of the Dutch West India Company showed itself in the Caribbean. The fleet of Pieter Schouten dropped anchor at St. Martin on October 1624. This island, a barren rock, probably discovered by Columbus on his second voyage together with the islands of Saba and St. Eustatius and some others of the Lesser Antilles, was among the Spanish islas inutiles. Even the Dutch found no solace in its scowling hostility, and after Schouten's search for wood and water had turned out to be futile, he was forced to go on to Dominica to satisfy his needs. The visit of Boudewijn Hendricksz to Bonaire in 1626 has been recounted in an earlier chapter. While anchored there, his crews had captured two hundred sheep. A welcome variation in the sailor's monotonous menu, it was booty enough to cheer the men over the Easter holidays. But Hendricksz left the island after a week, using it only as a depository for some Spanish prisoners he had acquired on his raids. Again in 1626, Piet Heyn sailed within sight of Saba and St. Eustatius, but he did not stop at either island. In the spring of the following year, a squadron under Lucifer passed near Curacao and Aruba after having brought some Zeelanders to settle on the Wild Coastone of the first Dutch colonizing efforts after the termination of the Truce. When van Uytgeest visited St. Martin in April, 1627, he reported to the xix that there was a huge salt pan on the island. He could find no fresh water, however, and left after two days. He later cruised along the coast of Aruba but would not risk a landing there. Piet Heyn's Rear-Admiral Banckert, in the expedition of 1628, dropped anchor at Tobago and lost several men in skirmishes with the

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26o Indian natives of the island. He next proceeded to Bonaire where he spent three weeks cutting brazilwood. Admirals Pater and Thijsz both visited the Curacao area the following year, and Admiral Ita is known to have also been to a deserted Indian village on Bonaire. This cursory review2 shows only the official visits of the Dutch to some of the Lesser Antilles. Unofficially, of course, their privateers and salt carriers had investigated most of the unoccupied islands in the area. Although some of their colonists were among the heterogeneous populations of English and French settlements in the Caribbean, Dutch interest was basically focused on monetary gain instead of colonization. Profit was the goal, profit by privateering against Spain or through trade with English and French colonists. The only exceptions to this general rule were some Amsterdam and Zeeland investments in settlements on the Wild Coast. Although it is possible that a Dutch colony existed on St. Martin as early as 1627 or 1628, the lack of fresh water on the island would seem to have been an insurmountable handicap to settlement. Coloni zation, therefore, could only indicate the desire to control the salt pans. The Zeeland Chamber, while primarily interested in establish ing trade arrangements with the English and French on St. Kitts, may also have sent some pioneers to the island around 1630. The first formal request for settlement dates from that year. Yet as early as 1627 the Heren xix had all available information about the island and its relative distance from Tierra Firme and from the other Lesser Antilles.3 The Zeelandian settlement on Tobago might well have been the result of this information. The punitive expedition of Fadrique de Toledo in 1629 to evict all "trespassers" from Nevis and St. Christopher was only temporarily successful. Within a year a French captain, Giron, had gathered up the scattered colonistsamong them some Dutchand had returned them to their former abodes "as happy as the Jews upon leaving Egypt."+ In 1629 the Zeelanders also managed to resume their commercial relations with the inhabitants of these islands. Hamelberg is probably correct in asserting that this trade was sufficiently im portant to lure the Dutch into establishing trading posts nearby. Before the English and French had settled there, Zeeland had pre viously considered St. Christopher as a prospect. She was now interested in St. Martin, despite its ominous disadvantages. Conse quently, in 1630, the Heren xrx decided to establish a colony on this island and charged the Chamber of Amsterdam with executing the plan. In turn, Amsterdam asked Samuel Blommaert to serve as patron of the settlement.

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26l Since Blommaert was disinterested and did not accept the invita tion, the Amsterdam Chamber was forced to assume the role itself and appointed Jan Claeszoon van Campen as its local representative. Van Campen subsequently became the first Dutch commander of the island. So far as is known there was no actual opposition to Dutch occupation, which makes credible the allegation that the island was deserted. Legal objections, however, were not long in appearing. Founding their case on the Carlisle grant, the English complained to the Dutch ambassador in London who responded that the island had been found "uninhabited and desolate."5 Their High Mightinesses, who were never ones to be very much impressed by Stuart grants, chose to regard the Carlisle grant as an illusory pretension and ignored it. Van Campen, meanwhile, organized some sort of government and began the construction of a fort to guarantee Dutch permanence on the island. In November, 1632, this fort was completed and equipped to hold a garrison of 100 men and 34 pieces of artillery.6 St. Martin was soon a bustling port. The salt carriers especially including many English and French shipsbecame regular and im portant visitors to this hospitable little haven. Some ships laden with products badly needed in the Caribbean favored the island as a general depot for commercial ends; others, especially those Dutch plying their trade between Brazil and Europe, frequented St. Martin to load salt. Indeed, salt was by far the most important single item determining the fate of the island. The truth of this assertion is amply demonstrated by the fact mentioned before that salt revenues paid for some two-thirds of the company's expenses in maintaining its 6,000-man garrison at New Holland. When carriers disembarked their crews to lend a helping hand in preparing crude salt for shipment, they spent the intervening time in search of more lucrative gains, i.e., smuggling and taking Spanish prizes. St. Martin had thus rapidly become an important center both for salt and privateering activities. As reported before, the Spanish under Cadereyta captured the fort in 1633, destroyed the colony, and ended Dutch control of the salt pans. St. Eustatius, too, witnessed a Dutch attempt at settlement. If Dutertre is correct, the French under de Cahusac had already es tablished themselves on this island in 1627 and had built a fort which the Dutch were to use later for their own defense. In December, 1635-, however, Jan Snouck, an enterprising mariner from Flushing and a man destined to play an important role in the history of the Dutch Leeward Islands, received permission from the Zeeland Chamber of

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262 the wic to found a colony on some uninhabited island in the West Indies. 7 The Snouck expedition started for St. Croix, but for some reason probably because the English were already in residence therefound it unacceptable. After dropping anchor off several other islands, fifty colonists led by Pieter van Corselles, the founder of a Dutch colony on Tobago, chose to stay on St. Eustatius. Like St. Martin, this island had also been included in the Carlisle grant, but it was as yet unclaimed when the Dutch went ashore. A fort was soon erected from the ruins of an old French one, and the island was rechristened New Zeeland. Snouck informed his patrons, the well-known Zeelandian merchants Abraham van Pere and Pieter van Rhee, of his actions and the latter requested approval from the Zeeland Chamber of the wic. Recognition was granted and confirmed by the Heren xix. Snouck tried to promote his island by loudly proclaiming the fact that "good tobacco could be planted and vast profits could be reaped. "8 Settlement stipulations for the colonists were probably much like those earlier prescribed for similar ventures. In addition to these general territorial provisions, however, it was further stated that the colonists would be exempt for ten years from duties, except on salt, wood, and other "products delivered by nature itself."9 With the acquiescence of the Zeeland Chamber and the endorsement of the States General, the Heren xix named van Corselles commander of the island. Not long afterward the latter formed a government that was to set a pattern for future Dutch patronships in the Leeward Islands. Elsewhere in the Caribbean, Dutch settlements had a prevailing form of government which largely excluded private citizensmilitary leaders and employees of the company were more acceptable can didates. In the Leeward group, however, thanks to van Corselles, a system evolved which allowed some of the colony's wealthier citizens to attain high positions. This oligarchic structure was soon to become prey to nepotism and feuds since some appointments, notably to the governing council, were for life. In contrast, at Curacao and on the Wild Coast, the governors or commanders of the respective settle ments managed to retain a much greater degree of independent power.10 As might be expected, the English soon accused the Dutch of illegal occupation, but their complaints were ignored and were summarily dismissed. Dutch designs had not escaped notice by the Spaniards, either: the Spanish commander of St. Martin, for instance, advised Madrid that increasing numbers of foreign ships were infesting the mare clausum. The king's War Council was likewise informed that

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263 the Lesser Antilles were "sown with French, English, and Dutch who could levy thirteen thousand armed men,"" but no official reprisal was taken against them. The Dutch colonists on St. Eustatius knew what was expected of them. As soon as their fort was built, they began to cultivate tobacco; within two years their crop could thus be sent home to Flushing. Indian labor was imported to work on the tobacco plantations since the Dutch did not yet possess an African slave port. Indians were in short supply, however, and St. Eustatius was soon notoriously a party to ignominious raids to procure red slaves. These were hunted down from the other islands and from the Guianas where, in 164^, Aert Adriaenszoon Groenewegen was to protest sharply the loss of eighty Indians who had been taken to St. Eustatius by trickery.12 In ensuing years the population of St. Eustatius grew to the dimen sions required for recognition as a patronshipsixty members. In October, 1639, its patrons received a renewal of Snouck's original patent.13 During the next twenty years, the colony did not change much except that its main crop became sugar instead of tobacco. This transformation, in turn, was to lead to a great increase in slaves. Of Saba, the other Dutch outpost, little is known before 1630. Although the island had been claimed by d'Esnambuc for France in 163^, no French had ventured forth to settle there. In 1640, the island was colonized from St. Eustatius, and planters from the parent island occupied the southern coast, built a small fort, and cultivated their habitual crops of cotton, coffee, indigo, and tobacco. Hamelberg also says that Saba soon developed into a shoe storehouse for the West Indies. This should explain why the small village on its eastern coast was called Crispien, in honor of the cobbler's patron saint.1 Spain's strengthening of her defense system in the northern part of the Lesser Antillesas a result of Toledo's and Cadereyta's actions was instrumental in increasing Dutch activity in behalf of a Caribbean port. Eventually, the Curacao group was chosen because of the excellent harbor on the main island, its strategic location off the Venezuelan coast, and the presence of salt pans on Curacao as well as on Bonaire. Dutch relations with these islands dated, as shown else where, from the twenties. Having been discovered, originally, in 1498 by Alonso de Ojeda, it had probably been the latter's first pilot Amerigo Vespucci who first sighted Bonaire and Curacao, calling the latter Isla de los GigantesIsland of the Giantsalthough no real proof exists to support this supposition. The main island eventually came to be called Curacao, perhaps after the first cartographers had mis-

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264 takenly sketched its form as a heart or a corazon. More probable, however, is that all three islands have hispanized Indian names, in which case the Spaniards induced the word Bonaire because of its healthy climate, while Aruba, the third and smallest island, derived its name perhaps from the Indian oruba, or "well located."" The discovery of these islands in 1498 resulted in their being in corporated in the Spanish colonial imperium which, although still embryonic, was nevertheless growing rapidly. The consolidation of the continental coastline, moreover, converted the Caribbean into a real mare nostrumour sea. The waters between the Curacao islands and the mainland came to be called in those first years the Sea of Venezuela, and the rest of the Caribbean, the Sea of Our Lady. The Dutch called the entire area the Kraal. But Spanish interests in these islands was never overwhelming. In 1502, Ojeda was sent to colonize the area, including portions of the mainland, but the venture became a general fiasco. Diego Columbus finally declared them to be islas inutiles because of their lack of pearls and gold. They eventually became favorite hunting grounds for indieroshunters of Indians; for example, a slave raid in ii sent two thousand Indians from these islands to Hispaniola. As a result the islands became practically deserted within a relatively short span. This destructive raiding policy was stopped after 1526, and Juan de Ampues was sent with orders to repopulate the islands. He had some success, primarily because he handled the Indians with consideration, christianized them, and introduced European cattle. In 1 2 8, Ampues also effected an amicable relationship with the mainland cacique Manaure, an alliance which could only be mutually beneficial. Ampues' work was supplemented by the Church's appointment of Rodrigo de Bastidas, son of the conqueror by the same name, who, as Bishop of Coro and Venezuela, organized the Church in the area.16 Although the Curacao islands remained part of the ecclesiastical province of Venezuela for 13^ years, they were not included in the grant given by Charles V in 1 2 8 to the German commercial house of Welser. A Spanish official remained on Curacao to supervise the government and oversee activities of the local cacique. This represen tative, who held the title of factor, was formally appointed by the Audiencia of Santo Domingo. At this time there were some four hundred Indians on the island; although reliable figures for Aruba and Bonaire do not exist, their populations can safely be said to have been much smaller. The Dutch first landed on the islands around 1625-, after their defeat at Punta de Araya led them to seek other salt pans. On Bonaire,

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ie>s as well as on Curacao, they did manage to gather some salt and to cut brazilwood, but in small quantities. When they lost St. Martin in 1633, however, a new salt lagoon became necessary, and the colonizing prospects in Curacao assumed new impetus. Yet the first choice of this island was motivated by more than sheer economics. The Dutch wanted and desperately looked for a port in the Caribbean. Since their position in Pernambuco strengthened daily, they needed a base from which they might perennially infest the West Indies.17 Although de Laet includes some detailed information on Curacao in his New World of 162^, the Heren xix relied largely on the in formation which was provided them by Jan Janszoon Otzen. Otzen had been taken prisoner by the Spaniards at Tortuga. While en route to Santo Domingo, his escort had stopped at Bonaire, where eighteen Spanish ships were anchored, a fleet which he presumed destined for the deliverance of Pernambuco. Along with his fellow captives, he was sent ashore to cut wood, but had tried to escape. He had been caught and transported to Curacao to resume the cutting of wood.18 He was eventually sent to Spain, released, and arrived back in the United Provinces in the spring of 1634.19 Soon thereafter Otzen got in touch with the Heren xix. Pretending to know all about the islands, he undertook to describe them, and took great pains to sketch out the great bay of Curacao which he claimed was immune to enemy attacks. Once Curacao was in Dutch hands, Otzen alleged, it could never be retaken by the Spaniards. Hitherto unheard of benefits would naturally accrue from its posses sion. The pecuniary greed of the directors was further incited by the reminder of the salt pans to be found on the island. Otzen's testimony was substantiated by Cornelis Rijmelandt who had for some time been a prisoner at Cartagena.20 It thus came about that the Amsterdam Chamber introduced the conquest of Curacao as a point of deliberation in the meetings of the Heren xix. The plan was seriously discussed in the meeting of April 16, 1634, and was unanimously approved. Instructions were next written out, and six ships duly readied for immediate departure: the Groot Hoorn, the Eenhoorn ("Unicorn"), the Brack, the Engel Gabriel ("Angel Gabriel"), and two Biscayan sloops. Although this squadron was being equipped by Amsterdam, Zeeland, and the Northern Quarter, all five chambers shared in providing the contingent of 2 2 soldiers. Together with the crews, the expedition could thus count on around four hundred men. Provisions for nine months were also gathered and construction material for a fort. Unaccountably, the quality of arms turned out to be inferior, and the quantity was

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266 insufficient for the number of men involved, but these facts were, woefully, discovered too late. Officers were named: Joannes van Walbeeck, a man of varied background in his early thirties, became head of the enterprise; Pierre le Grand, a professional soldier who had distinguished himself in Brazil, was placed in charge of the military division.21 The official instructions for this expedition, written on April 6, 1634, ordered the small fleet to embark for St. Vincent in the Lesser Antilles, and to wait there for all the ships to assemble. At this point, van Walbeeck was authorized to open the first of his secret orders. He was to make for Bonaire in all haste and to decoy this action by sending one disguised ship on a raid on the Venezuelan coast and especially on La Guaira, the port of Caracas, choosing "a Sunday or the day of a saint" by way of catching the enemy off guard.22 At Bonaire, a second secret missive was to be opened. It ordered van Walbeeck to sail directly to Curacao, to enter the harbor, and to disembark his men. Detailed instructions for this phase of the plan were included. If the general attack were accomplished "with God's help," van Walbeeck was ordered to hold the island against any force that might be launched against him. In addition, he was explicitly forbidden to maltreat the native population in any way. One or more of the ships were then to be laden with salt and wood and sent home; the yachts were to patrol the waters along Tierra Firme and seek out ships engaged in coastal navigation and intercolonial trade. The expedition left the United Provinces on May 4, 1634. On June 23, the Dutch were already at Barbados; the next day they ar rived at St. Vincent where, in accordance with the itinerary, the yacht Brack was dispatched to La Guaira. The other ships surrepti tiously headed for Bonaire where the second part of the secret instruc tions was disclosed. The time had now come for the attack on Curacao. At this juncture the Brack rejoined the fleet with the news that it had sighted many ships along the Venezuelan coast, but had not had an opportunity to seize one. Van Walbeeck now conceived his general strategy and, if we may believe the statement of a Dutch deserter, he offered rewards to those men who captured both the governor and the priest of Curacao.23 The fleet left Bonaire totally dependent on Otzen's pretended familiarity with existing affairs. Backed by wind and current, it arrived near Curacao on July 6, in sight of a big cross at a bay's entrance. Otzen presumed it was to mark the main harbor, but his habitual assurance failed him now and in those moments of hesitation, the ships were driven west making it impossible for them to regain

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267 their former position. Van Walbeeck then proceeded west, following the coast, in search of a bay, but after many disappointments a fleet council was held in which the captains agreed to change their tactics and cruise along the northern coast of Curacao. This maneuver also met with bad luck, and the fleet was ultimately forced to sail for Hispaniola, thence to Bonaire where it anchored on July 26. Excluding the incompetent and overly confident Otzen, the Dutch leaders laid up at this island for three days in order to prepare a new line of attack. Their small force had, meanwhile, been augmented by the capture of a Spanish barque, taken in passing, and by accidentally meeting a Dutch merchantman.2* On July 28, the second assault on Curacao was executed without mishap. One by one the Dutch ships slipped unopposed through the narrow St. Ann Bay into the spacious Schottegat.25 Until 1634 Curacao and its adjacent islands Bonaire and Aruba were part of the province of Venezuela from which they had only been separated during the time of the Welser grant. Spanish authority on the island was represented by Governor Lope Lopez de Morla. The total Spanish population at the time of the Dutch conquest, however, was a mere thirty-two persons including the priest and the governor's twelve children. There were almost five hundred Indians.26 No resistance was offered to the Dutch ships when they gained the harbor. After they had all entered, Lopez de Morla appeared with a flag "to fight or to convene," but he had also taken the extra precaution to station some fifty-two Indians in a trench nearby with orders to wait until the Dutch had made their intentions clear. No actual fighting occurred, however, even though the Spaniards claimed that the Dutch almiianta kept up a continuous fire while entering St. Ann Bay. The standoff was broken on the second day when van Walbeeck disem barked his soldiers in seven sloops. Four of these were unwittingly sent directly toward the entrenched Indians, yet they realized the danger in time and retreated to land elsewhere.2? At this juncture one comes upon a singular and outlandish episode preserved for posterity in Morla's personal account. From the bow of one of the Dutch sloops, a man named Diego de los Reyes, a wellknown privateer, rose and loudly called toward the shore that he wished to speak to a Spaniard. Morla, accompanied by seven of his men, cautiously advanced and asked Reyes what he wanted. The reply was an invitation to the governor to come aboard the Dutch admiral's ship, while two Dutchmen would be put ashore as hostages. Morla declined, feeling that he could not abandon his post right then. At this point it can be supposed the Spaniards fully believed that the

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268 Dutch aim was to defend their share of the rescate. Fear of the Audiencia of Santo Domingo persuaded the Spanish leader to refuse flatly any terms. But talks continued. Morla was slow to realize what was happening; he temporized and delayed, however, hoping to prevent the Dutch from cutting wood or from taking away any that had already been cut by his Indians. Only after van Walbeeck had put ashore his entire military contingent did the Spanish governor understand that the game was over. He had been beaten without even a proper chance to defend himself. In an orgy of frustration, his subjects set fire to their homes and to their wood while Morla ordered the main wells to be polluted with dirt and rotting hides.28 Several miserable days passed before the Dutch discovered the excellent wells on the other side of the bay, around the Schottegat, near which they built their first fortified camp. In the meantime, some men were sent to reconnoiter the eastern side of the island. Occasional skirmishes between these Dutch patrols and native Indians vividly illustrated the disastrously few guns among the Dutch. But there was no real conquest of Curacao. Spanish forces were simply too weak to resist the victorious Dutch push, and they knew it. After only a few days of nerveless opposition, they slowly withdrew toward the west with the enemy close upon their heels. Villages encountered by the advancing Dutch or located by separate contin gents searching the island had been destroyed by retreating Spaniards and Indians. Before long, the Dutch concluded that the capture of the island was a fait accompli and that they would be better off to concen trate on the second part of their task, the defense of their acquisition. As a first step, their camp at the Schottegat was fortified. Van Walbeeck next turned to building a fort at the southeast corner of St. Ann Bay;2' he soon realized that, despite Otzen's glowing ac count, Curacao would be difficult to defend because of the many unprotected bays on its southern coast. At the location indicated, called Pundathe Pointthe Dutch constructed a fort from the material which they had brought, using with it the abundant rocks in the area. Pressed into this work, the soldiers protested, and mutiny was twice only narrowly avoided. The exploration of the island meanwhile continued; Spaniards and Indians were relentlessly hunted down as the Dutch reached into the farthest nooks of the island. Morla's report, for instance, claimed that three Dutch companies0 menhotly pursued him without a moment's rest. Letters to invite surrender were pinned to trees, but to no avail. As the Dutch gradually came to control more and more of the island's

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269 water supply, however, the Spanish governor finally realized his increasingly untenable position. The Dutch cornered him near Ascension, in the western part of the island, and, deserted by his Indians, the humiliated Spaniard was forced to bow to the inevitable negotiations. Van Walbeeck, thereupon, magnanimously agreed to transport all the Spaniards and most of the Indians to Venezuela. Indeed, he did not trust the natives and, except for a few families of laborers, wanted all of them evacuated from the island. Three ships were used to move all the Spaniards and some four hundred Indians; only some seventy-five of the latter were left behind. The forced emigrants were all set ashore about fifteen miles from Coro where an undaunted Morla, who had been dispossessed without so much as a change of clothes, full of chagrin, offered his services to Coro's governor. Expressing a strong desire to take part in any effort designed to recapture his island, even if he had to impersonate the lowliest soldier, Morla pleaded for a chance to participate in a reconquest that never took place. Four weeks after the Dutch had first sailed into the Schottegat, the island was theirs. Van Walbeeck, immediately after the Spanish surrender, had written a detailed account for the Heren xix about his mission and the events thereafter. In this document he painstakingly described the military developments after his arrival on the island and the pact which he had concluded with Lopez de Morla. He also enclosed a geo graphical report that drew attention not only to Otzen's errors about the island's easy defense and the impoverished salt lagoons that the company had built its hopes on, but also to the 750 horses, some cattle, abundant goats, and sheep. In order to provide the island with an adequate garrison, he next requested the xix to send an additional three hundred soldiers to the bays of St. Ann and St. Barbara in order to man the forts which had to be built and to guard the wells.30 Le Grand noted solemnly that there were at least seven inlets on the southern coast that would accommodate the enemy without danger. Both leaders requested that provisions, ammunition, and victuals be sent promptly and abundantly.3l These vivid descriptions did not pass unnoticed at home, even though the Heren xix scarcely needed to be prodded into action. Although the constant threat of an Iberian effort to repossess Pernambuco limited the scope of the xix's effort, the narrow profits in recent years made some aggressive activity mandatory. Late in August, therefore, the Heren xix advised the Political Council in New Holland to equip a squadron of three ships and three yachts for a foray into the Caribbean. Part of this force was to stop at Curacao to advise

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270 van Walbeeck to prepare salt and wood cargoes for later shipment. The remainder was to be dispersed in the area with the obvious purpose of seeking prizes. All were ordered to bring whatever they captured back to Curacao. Finally, the yachts were to be sent to patrol the waters between St. Vincent and Guadeloupe in order to watch for the St. John's fleetthe New Spain treasure fleetand to report its arrival to Curacao. Ships from that island were to take care of the rest.32 Even though this privateering project was never to be implemented, it cannot be doubted that the Heren xix wanted very much to preserve their recent conquest in the Caribbean. Their determination was further encouraged when the Provincial States of Holland made it conspicuously clear that it likewise strongly favored the retention of the island.33 Curacao, it was maintained, promised a good salt supply, had productive agricultural areas with established herds of sheep and horses, and had two excellent harbors. The special committee appointed by the States to study the problem argued, moreover, that the Dutch should not humbly relinquish a perfect launching site for attacks on the Tierra Firme fleet and the Spanish main as well as a safe retreat from Spanish vengeance. About one month later the States General unanimously requested an extraordinary subsidy to sustain the occupation of the island. The amount of 264,000 guilders was subsequently granted for this purpose.34 Only ten days after this request had been submitted, Peg-leg Jol was dispatched forthwith to the Caribbean with specific orders to van Walbeeck to hold Curacao at all costs and with the news that help was on its way. Van Walbeeck had already been informed that the Span iards were planning to take the offensive against Curacao. Six Spanish ships and two frigates were soon to leave Cumana for La Guaira in order to join twenty-four piraguas which had been assembled there, under Benito Arias Montano, governor of Cumana, to re conquer the island. Providing adequate defenses for the island before the Spaniards could mount a counter offensive had become an urgent necessity and a matter of prime concern. The Amsterdam Chamber volunteered to send men-of-war and to provision ships at once. In the spring of 1635-, the Swol and the Bontekoe did indeed leave for the Caribbean. Prince Frederik Hendrik, meanwhile, after he had cautiously contemplated the matter, eventually concurred in the formal decision of the xix that was presented to the States General for its final approval. Having come to a decision at last, the stadhouder now quickly took the initiative in asserting that van Walbeeck be rescued from an

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27I uncertain fate and that reinforcements be sent to assist him without delay. On April 20, 163 c, the Heren xix, convinced of the serious ness of their countrymen's plight, took definite measures to remedy the situation. As a first step, they delegated their authority over the island to the Amsterdam Chamber, which had formerly been a fervent promotor of the conquest and was now an enthusiastic advocate of its defense.35 This meant, of course, that all the expenses for the venture had to be borne by Amsterdam, but all profits would accrue only to this same sponsoring group. The Spaniards soon learned of this new and portentous turn of events since the Curacao islands were too near the Venezuelan coast for anything to pass unnoticed for very long. Even before Morla's official report had been written, the bad news of Dutch occupation had already reached Francisco Nunez Melian, the governor of Coro. A few days later, when Morla's communication arrived, it confirmed the worst. The unfortunate governor' s account was later authenticated and supplemented by Juan Mateo, former justicia mayor and mayor domojudge and mayorof Curacao, a very influential man in the small island community. Mateo estimated that six hundred Dutchmen were on the island and commented that construction of a fort was well advanced.36 Nunez, meanwhile, had already sent a ship in order to follow up the first rumors of the Dutch landing. It returned with little more to report than that the Dutch were determinedly on guard. Hopes to capture a stray Dutchman for questioning came to nothing, however, until a former Curacao cacique, Pedro Ortiz, was able to take a prisoner who divulged much of value to the Spaniards.37 This information was relayed immediately to the Spanish War Council. The council had already met in January, 1635-, when the first reports of the loss of Curacao had reached Madrid. The august body was highly aroused by the emergence of this Dutch dragon's mouth so close to the Tierra Firme fleet routes. The possibilities of reconquest were endlessly discussed. Deliberations ultimately resulted in the advice to the king to send a considerable armada to Curacao as soon as possible. The importance of this matter to the Spanish court is well demonstrated by the creation of a special "Curacao Council" whose highly illustrious membership included the Count-Duke Oli-vares, the Archbishop-Inquisitor-General-Cardinal Zapata, and im portant members of other councils, including that of the Indies. 38 In a meeting of this "Curacao Council" held in Madrid on March 8, 163 c, a proposal was made to convoy the silver galleons that were then ready for embarkation to Tierra Firme. This contingent of six or more ships and three thousand men was also intended to reconquer the

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272 9. "Korte Beschrijvinge van het Eylandt Curacao" (Short Description of the Island of Curacao). From M. D. Ozinga, De monumenten van Curacao in woord en beeld.

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273 island. This plan was largely, although not exclusively, abandoned for financial reasons. The Council instead agreed to divert the fleet that was destined to retrieve Pernambuco to the more immediate purpose of subjugating Curacao. Its general Jeronimo de Sandoval was now authorized to depart with whatever ships were ready, to gather help from various governors in the Caribbean, and to attack the Dutch on Curacao as soon as possible. But the "Curacao Council," dependent as it was on various governmental departments, realized that Spain's beleaguered colonial officials would have little help to spare for the fleet, and the expedition was thus augmented with four hundred veteran soldiers and an additional five or six ships. Finally, the council recommended to the king that Sandoval be ordered to conduct a buena guerraa war in which the lives of prisoners were to be saved. The subtle motive behind this bid for leniency was, of course, that even if the enemy were rebellious and heretic, he could still be expected to respond in future situations according to the way in which he was now to be treated. So long as the king did not send overwhelming forces to the Caribbean in order to protect his coasts, he must necessarily practice moderation. 3 The Spanish reconquest of Curacao never got off the ground, although Nunez did his best to bring the plan to fruition. Carefully gearing his plans to prevailing needs, he cleverly used Indians to spy on the enemy and also enticed some Dutch deserters into betraying needed details about progress on the construction of the forts.40 While scrupulously forwarding such information as he was able to obtain, he was nevertheless forced to sit by helplessly as Dutch ships came and went freely, and Dutch entrenchment proceeded apace. He knew that he could not expect any help from either Cartagena or Santo Domingo, his neighbors, and as the months slowly passed, he even despaired of the king's promise to put a strong military and naval contingent at his disposal. Early in 1636, however, Sandoval arrived in Brazil with a powerful fleet meant to sustain the flagging spirits of the brave governor of Coro whose hopes now soared to an all-time high. According to his orders, Sandoval abstained from any attack on Pernambuco, and he did send north Lope de Hoces y Cordoba, an experienced and valiant sailor, but with a squadron of only three ships instead of the sixteen or eighteen planned. After an unavoidable delay caused by an accidental encounter with a Dutch squadron, a crushed and humiliated Hoces ar rived at Cumana much later than was expected, short of food, men, and able pilots.*1 But at least a gesture to regain Curacao had been mounted, even though misfortune continued to check every Spanish move.

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274 At the end of May, news arrived in Coro that Sancho de Urdanivia, the future hero of a naval battle against Peg-leg Jol in 1638, was in charge of a small fleet carrying additional reinforcements and pro visions. But he had met with bad weather and had lost his ships, even though the men had been rescued. In spite of these unpropitious beginnings, however, the leaders of the various Spanish contingents gathered at Cumana late in May, after the arrival of Urdanivia, in order to discuss the prospects of a Curacao offensive. Nunez sub mitted his reports to this council together with various reconnaissance files. From all these sources, information about the strength of available Spanish soldiers was collected and, if possible, substantiated. But everything pointed to the same obvious conclusion, that Curacao was irrevocably lost. The lack of men and material ruined any chance of successfully defeating the superior forces of the Dutch. Henceforth, the three pearls along the Venezuelan coast were regretfully abandoned to their conquerors. Some Spaniards, nevertheless, did not quite give up hope so easily. These descendants of a proud race were sure that the Dutch would eventually be expelled, and they regularly petitioned the Council of the Indies to take remedial action against this "pernicious ambush. "+2 Soon their plight was compounded by rumors that the Dutch now planned to attack and occupy Dominica, Marie Galante, Guadeloupe, Matalino, and other islands in the Lesser Antilles as well. The Spaniards were quite correct in their estimates of the extent of the calamity, although the rumors never materialized. Their War Council continued to be concerned about developments in the Carib bean and regularly admonished the king on this subject. Not only the Dutch, but the English and French as well were considered dangerous adversaries who had no other aim but to bring Spain to her knees. Yet the protests and warnings with which the council belatedly sought to guard its prerogatives were to no avail, since Spanish power in the Caribbean was slowly evaporating into thin air. In May, 1637, for instance, the council was forced to notify His Majesty that Guade loupe and Martinique had fallen to the French. Not long afterwards, deliberations centered on the English settlement on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) which was fast becoming a point of embarkation for further English encroachments on neighboring islands. The Earl of Warwick, a prominent advocate of English colonization in the Carib bean, was reported to have bought the Pembroke patent. His per spicacity was amply rewarded by the number of additional colonists who now flocked to Tobago and Trinidad. English Puritans had taken over the island of Providence.

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27 Even more alarming for the Spaniards, however, were the activities of the Dutch.43 As early as 1628, the latter had established a colony on Tobago but had to abandon it around 1630 because of persistent attacks by the Caribs from nearby St. Vincent. They returned, how ever, in 1633 and lasted three years before the governor of Trinidad effected their removal. The Dutch had, meanwhile, also grown roots on Trinidad's northern coast but were driven off in 16 3 6 or 16 3 7. They retaliated by raiding San Tome, on the Orinoco, and other Spanish settlements and by offering to buy Providence from the English for seventy thousand pounds.++ Zeelander s had, in 1636, also settled themselves permanently on St. Eustatius. In addition, in 1638 an Anglo-Dutch expedition from Providence under Nathanael Butler raided Trujillo in Honduras and extorted from its inhabitants a ransom of sixteen thousand pesos. From Curacao came the disturbing news that the Dutch were com pleting the construction of a strong fortress as the defense center of a growing town soon proudly called Willemstad after the son of Frederik Hendrik, the later Stadhouder William II. Although these trials and severe hardships were not without reper cussions at home, the existence per se of foreign colonies in their midst was not a primary worry of Spanish authorities in the Caribbean or at home; most of these establishments were too weak to gain much importance as such. In contrast to other foreign settlements, how ever, the Dutch used theirs in the first place as bases for highly re warding and extremely damaging privateering. Colonizing aims in the Curacao conquest, for instance, were of secondary importance. Furthermore, Dutch occupation usually went hand in hand with an increasing volume of trade, not only with other foreign colonies but also with Spanish settlements. Indeed, in all these places, the arrival of the Dutch merchant was eagerly anticipated since the latter sold his commoditiesslaves includedfor less money and with better credit. By force where necessary and by connivance when possible, the Dutch were thus able to expand their illicit traffic and to break Spanish monopolistic aspirations in the Caribbean. By itself, this was what made them such formidable adversaries. Rumors also reached Madrid that the Dutch were laying the ground work for an attack on Havana, just as this city had recovered its breath after a few years of comparative rest. The new governor of Venezuela, Ruy Fernandez de Fuenmayor, wrote to the king in 1638 with enough particulars to cause widespread alarm and consternation.+s Reports from the governor of Puerto Rico about Dutch and French infiltrations in that area also compounded the concern.*6 In every

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276 instance the news showed that the Dutch were cooperating with the English and French; the English seizure of Tortuga (north of Hispani-ola), for instance, was a case in point.*7 Some action was mandatory if Spain were not to lose the very core of her empire in the New World. Some measures had to be taken, and, dispensing with their characteristic apathy, the Spaniards took the bull by its horns, aided by the rumor that Tortuga was alleged to be in danger from an attack by Peg-leg Jol. This information came from none other than an oidor of the Audiencia of Santo Domingo.48 Without delay the Spaniards hurried to protect Tortuga, and the island was reclaimed at the cost of forty thousand reales.w One hundred and ninety-five foreigners, most of them Dutch and French, were killed, and thirty-nine were captured. Shortly thereafter, Fuenmayor, the Spanish commander in this action, began to flood Madrid with reports on Dutch activities on Curacao together with his ideas about how to dislodge the enemy. Energetic and dedicated, he also took it upon himself to provide for adequate defenses before he sought to engage the Dutch in open conflict. His experience with the Tortuga buccaneers now proved to be of invaluable assistance. The Dutch were first prevented from taking salt off the Venezuelan island of Tortuga and then were driven from the salt lagoon at the Unare River where they had begun to build a fort (see Chapter vi). Fuenmayor eventually proposed that with help from Puerto Rico, Cumana, and Margarita, he would be able to evict the Dutch from Curacao once and for His plan found sympathetic adherents in the Spanish War Council, and the active governor was authorized to carry it out. The order was reiterated in royal letter of April 9, 1639.5' Yet Venezuela's spirited leader soon learned, to his chagrin, that none of the other governors in the area could spare a single man for the venture. Imagine his joy upon hearing of the arrival at Cumana of a few units from an armada under Juan de Vega Bazan, which had escaped the onslaught of the battle of Itamaraca where the Dutch had clearly emerged as victors. Bazan promptly offered aid if his ships were first reconditioned. Virtually without food and ammunition, Bazan, however, delayed at Cumana only long enough to complete critical repairs, and then departed. Although he left some ships behind to be used for a possible attack on Curacao, they were in such poor shape that to use them would only risk the success of the venture. Vice-Admiral Francisco Diaz Pimienta was also not inclined to be much more cooperative, and in March, 1640, the sad remainder of the Spanish fleet set sail for home.52

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277 From other parts in the Caribbean the tidings were even less reassuring. Four forts had been built at St. Christopher, one fort had been erected on Matalino, and another built on Guadeloupe. On St. Eustatius, where the Dutch had built Fort Orange, sixteen pieces of artillery had been assembled. On Curacao, Aruba, and Bonaire, the Dutch availed themselves of all possible means to improve their military position. It was now considered impossible to enter the Schottegat without their leave because of the guns which overlooked St. Ann Bay and the chain stretched across the narrow entrance to the harbor. Although van Walbeeck had been forced to work with recalcitrant and reluctant soldiers, he had quickly completed the defense system of the main port on Curacao.53 Although Spanish threats to reconquer the islands never did materialize, they nevertheless had to be reckoned with and especially during the first monthsand even yearsof Dutch occupation. Van Wal beeck certainly took them seriously, and he was therefore forced to disperse his troops in various parts of Curacao in order to guard against a possible invasion. During and even after his difficulties with the near-mutinous soldiers, he continued to have internal problems. A few months after his takeover, for instance, a conspiracy among the Indians was uncovered, and the Dutch governor found himself in something of a predicament. He dared not punish all the Indians involved and consequently incur their hostility for fear that they would assist the Spaniards in driving him away. He had to content himself, therefore, with punishing only the main leaders of the plot.54 However, as the months slowly passed without any sign of Spanish retaliation, the Dutch governor soon felt secure enough to reclaim some men from his outposts on the island and to consolidate his strength. Rumors persisted, of course, and the Indians were never to be trusted, but everything proceeded satisfactorily, and Dutch ships brought colonists and supplies in ever increasing numbers. The island was successfully retained, therefore, primarily because of the influence of the Amsterdam Chamber. The directors of this institution, who were convinced of the colony's potential usefulness, flagrantly overruled Zeeland's objections.55 Both le Grand and van Walbeeck were eventually replaced in their respective functions, but others followed their policies. Communication with the mother country was soon established on a regular basis. In due course, the neighboring islands of Aruba and Bonaire also fell into Dutch hands. The first became a ranch for horse-breeding, and Bonaire supplied the main island with maize and the United Provinces with salt. Al though in 1642 it was restored to Spanish rule, it was not for long.

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278 Van Walbeeck's successor, Jacob Pieterszoon TolckPetertolos to the Spaniards56continued the policies established by his predecessor. The Heren xix were not satisfied with the two-headed form of government under van Walbeeck and le Grand that had resulted in some friction between the two. The military and political leadership were combined and Tolck, consequently, was simultaneously governor of the Curacao islands and head of their military forces.57 Fresh from Brazil, he was, according to the testimony of Jonas Aertsz, the first Dutch Reformed minister on the island, a man of edifying life who kept order and discipline and maintained justice honorably.58 Merging the offices during Tolck's administration belies the en during significance of Curacao as a naval base. In this respect, the Heren xix soon ordered a number of men-of-war for use throughout the Caribbean, these to be permanently stationed in the main harbor of the island. They thus emphasized the authority at their governor's disposal and made him relatively more influential in the administration of his island than, for instance, Count Johan Maurits in New Holland who, at every turn, found himself at odds with the powerful Political Council there. With his enlarged executive powers and backed by a strong fleet, Tolck was anxious to counter Spanish offensive efforts with an offen sive of his own. Since the defenses at Punda were in good condition to guard the entrance of the main harbor, he now ordered two new forts built, one to protect the other large bay of the island, St. Barbara Bay, with the so-called Tolcksburg and another, smaller construction to be erected east of the Schottegat. He reassured himself that these forts would guarantee Dutch possession of the island against any Spanish attempt to retake it. Once this construction had been accomplished, Tolck zealously brought the Spaniards to bay, and the lessons he taught them were not soon forgotten. His men-of-war raided the Venezuelan and Colombian coasts with virtually no opposi tion except for the ineffectual groups that Fuenmayor had organized.59 It was also under Tolck that the first steps were taken to make Curacao a center for the slave trade.60 In 1641, Jan Claeszoon van Campen, a six-year resident of the island, succeeded Tolck as governor. He had formerly been in charge of the government of St. Martin until the Spaniards seized the island in 1633, and he had been sent by the xix to Curacao as a salt expert. His tenure as governor was exceedingly brief, cut short by his un expected death that same year or early in 1642. In his short reign, however, van Campen continued to pursue Tolck's policy of aggres sion against the Spaniards.61 An earthquake along the Venezuelan

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2 79 coast that had done considerable damage to the forts of La Guaira prompted the belief that an attack in that area could not help but be successful. Accordingly, in October, 1641, four Dutch men-of-war together with two sloops advanced along the Venezuelan coast, entered Lake Maracaibo, and laid siege to the fort. After a brief delay the squadron moved on to the village of Gibraltar, and this site, along with two other villages, was raided. The Dutch were primarily interested in tobacco and cacao, and they pretended not to have any hostile intentions. In a letter to the officials of Maracaibo, for ex ample, they asked to open negotiations. The Spanish authorities, of course, politely refused. The Dutch then disembarked four companies at Trujilloat the entrance of the lakeand seized eight thousand anohas of Barinas tobacco, the best in the area, a very valuable prize. On this same voyage several other villages were also bombarded, sacked, and pillaged.62 But Fuenmayor was not a man to let such matters go unanswered. He immediately advised the king about the current state of events. He tacitly reminded His Majesty that the profits reaped by the Dutch in these ventures would only serve to encourage them to redouble their piratical efforts. Although he was pleading for reinforcements in men as well as in provisions, he did not neglect to voice his request through the proper local channels, these being his fellow governors in the area and the Audiencia of Santo Domingo. The Dutch successes, which were graphically described and epically illustrated by Fuen mayor, indeed shamed the Spaniards into action. Before long the governor received all that he had asked for and could move to the offensive. With two companies of soldiers, Fuenmayor embarked for the Cura?ao islands to challenge the enemy on his newly conquered ground. The Spanish forces arrived at Bonaire in October, 1642, about a year after the Dutch raid at Lake Maracaibo.63 Although it was late at night and the sea was rough and boisterous, Fuenmayor decided to disembark the three hundred men, partly Spanish, partly Indian, without delay. He was later to have ample cause to regret this rash decision since many of his men, including himself, very narrowly escaped death by drowning. But the weak Dutch garrison was in timidated by the superior enemy forces and set fire to the fort. They retreated in all haste for Curacao. Bonaire was in the hands of the Spaniards. Unworthy of the responsibility entrusted to him, how ever, Fuenmayor, during the first week of his stay on the island, per mitted a wantonness among his men for which the Dutch revenge was not long forthcoming (see Chapter vi).

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28o A war council held on Bonaire discussed the pros and cons of an attack on Curacao, but there was not much enthusiasm for the plan. The leading Spanish officers reported that their ships were leaking, their provisions low, and their men in no condition to fight. Fuenmayor was highly skeptical of these statements and suspected that his subordinates were not above drilling holes in his flagship in order to prevent him from enforcing his will. But the Spanish commander was eventually brought to his senses by the sobering fact that with less than three hundred men at his disposal, the rest ill or feigning sickness, there was little to do but to abandon all hope of a quick victory. Blaming the high incidence of casualties among his men on the exist ence of poisoned wells, he did send one man to Curacao not only to protest such an unethical procedure but also to spy on the enemy. Subsequently, the Spanish fleet left Bonaire on October 17. En route to La Guaira, Fuenmayor had the bitter satisfaction of lobbing a few shells at the Dutch fort at the entrance of St. Ann Bay. Meanwhile, on Curacao, a new head of government had been appointed, a man who was soon to make his mark in history. This was Peter Stuyvesant whose later career as governor (or director) of New Netherland is well known.6* Born in Friesland in 1611 or 1612, Stuyvesant had come into this world as the son of a Dutch Reformed minister. In his youth he had received a strict education, including some training at Franeker's university. While attending classes at this institution, however, he had become involved in a scandal with his landlord's daughter and had been forced to relinquish his studies. While overcoming this blot on the beginning of his career, Peter developed his notorious steadfastness and singlemindedness of purpose, character traits which sometimes degenerated into obstinacy and sheer stubbornness. Peter Stuyvesant was, to be sure, never a very tactful diplomat, but the Heren xix, for reasons of their own, chose to ignore this aspect of his reputation. He had the obvious leadership qualities they wanted. He was intensely loyal to the company, moreover, and absolutely honest and incorruptible. He was also one of the com pany's better and proven servants. Like van Walbeeck he had served the wic well in Brazil, and was rewarded, in 1638, with the post of clerk of victuals on Curacao. At the time of his appointment to this office, he was twenty-seven years old. After van Campen's death, four years later, Stuyvesant rose to the top as governor. During his tenure in this office on Curacao, another chapter in Dutch-Spanish relations was unfolded, a story which fol lows presently. At the battle of St. Martin (see Chapter vi), Stuyve-

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28l sant was severely wounded and was forced to return to Holland in order to have his leg amputated. While at home the Heren xix, with the consent of the States General, decided on a reorganization of their American possessions; New Netherland and the Curacao islands were to be united under a single governor. Peter Stuyvesant was chosen for this august post.6* As governor of New Netherland, Stuyvesant has become a contro versial figure among historians. The judgments vary from "a brutal tyrant" and "a narrow minded bigot" to "a man of great decisiveness and strength of character, with no inclination to conventional re finements ... thoroughly interested in the welfare of the community about to be entrusted to his care. "66 Yet he curiously shared a certain intolerance with many of his contemporaries. Perhaps Washington Irving comes closest to the truth in describing him as "a tough, valiant, weatherbeaten, mettlesome, obstinate, leathernsided, lion-hearted, generous spirited old governor. "67 Stuyvesant had just become governor of Curacao when Fuenmayor's spy arrived under the pretext of protesting the Dutch poisoning of the wells on Bonaire. This agent, a certain Andres Rodriguez, on orders from Fuenmayor, had sailed into St. Ann Bay under cover of a white flag. When the Dutch had indicated their acknowledgment, Rodriguez had proceeded slowlytaking his time to look around to reconnoiter the fort. He found soldiers placed at the main entrance to the bay and directed his attention to one man standing slightly aloof, whom the Spaniard took to be an officer. He asked that the "general"the governorbe informed of his arrival. The man replied, "Come ashore, Spaniard," and after the spy had done so, added, "I am the general." Rodriguez next handed Stuyvesant Fuenmayor's message, after which he was compelled to wait aboard his sloop. Later that day, he was invited to the governor's home in the fort overlooking the bay to take part in a cordial tete-a-tete. At the time Stuyvesant showed himself a genial host, ordering beer and toasting the King of Spain and the Prince of Orange while Rodriguez duly answered each salute. Conversation followed about the allegations of the poisoned wells, and Stuyvesant's wry allusions to the failure of the Spaniards to mount a serious attack against the Dutch. That evening a bewildered Rodri guez dined with the Dutch governor and his aides-de-camp. Stuyvesant soothed his confusion with, "Don't worry, Spaniard. The Prince of Orange is also a soldier and so am I, as all these captains are too." Thus the spy sat at Stuyvesant's side, ate the roasted goat and the Dutch bacon, and finally joined in the toast to his host. At the point

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282 of leaving, his curiosity was satisfied with a versatile rejoinder in Latin to the Generoso ac nobilissimo generali Rooijs Fernandez which denied the charge as "against all war custom."58 As a token of his appreciation, Rodriguez now decided to reveal what he considered to be possibly secret information, that as he had arrived at the island a huge ship had simultaneously left an eastern bay in his pursuit. This he swore to be true.fi9 Upon hearing this confession, Stuyvesant turned to his staff and smiled benignly. It is the only Stuyvesant smile ever to be recorded.70 Rodriguez returned to his master with the lowdown on everything worth knowing about Curacao. But Fuenmayor was no longer in a position to take advantage of it since his pet expedition had already cost the king some eighty thousand ducats, not including the losses which had been suffered by the inhabitants of his province amounting to another eighty thousand. Then, too, many of the Indian draftees had died, and many of his ships had been irremediably damaged. At that precise moment, moreover, the governor was in a heated dispute with the bishop of Caracas, a controversy which had already resulted in the excommunication of one of Fuenmayor's relatives. The bishop now chose this inopportune moment to write a disparaging and in sinuating letter to the king about the governor. After this Spanish rebuff and under the dynamic and vigorous leadership of Peter Stuyvesant, the Dutch resumed their lead in the feud for Curacao, although originally the stout governor might have had nothing more in mind than to retaliate for Spanish action on Bonaire. The Spaniards, to wit, had been especially wanton with regard to the destruction of cattle the Dutch had been forced to leave behind. And Curacao was dependent to a large extent upon the Bonaire herds for its meat supply. Subsequently, Stuyvesant sent a raiding party to the Venezuelan coast. At the end of November, 1642, the Dutch attacked Puerto Cabello and sunk four ships in the harbor "to revenge the outrageous tyranny" which their enemy had shown on Bonaire.71 The Spaniards, however, under the chivalrous guidance of Joaquin de Belgarra, maestro de campo of Coro, were able to repulse this attack. Stuyvesant sent him a personal message explaining and justifying his raid, adding, for instance, such telltale examples as the fact that the Spaniards had killed seventy horses on Bonaire. He offered to release any prisoners-of-war if Belgarra would only allow the Dutch two days of freedom on the Venezuelan coast in order to load goats. The Spanish leader, for reasons that are no longer clear, offered no objections to this affable offer of exchange. Although the Dutch left

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283 the area with 2,^00 cattle, sheep, and goats, they did not bother to confiscate the valuable Barinas tobacco. As suddenly as they had come, they were gone again. Yet Fuenmayor had not heard the last of Stuyvesant, nor was he saved the crucifying experiences of having to cope with many other Dutchmen who flocked to the tiny pearls of the Lesser Antilles. It was not until 1644, the year in which he was replaced, that his ordeal was over at last. Stuyvesant was soon to leave the area also, headed for other greener pastures. For almost twenty years to come, he was to play an important role as the leader of the Dutch settlement in North America, until its capture by the English in 1664. Meanwhile, the Curacao islands had become a permanent Dutch possession and a festering wound in what was no longer a healthy Spanish body.

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12 THE YEARS OF CRISIS Qui trop embrasse, mal etreint. As an instrument of war the West India Company had rendered in estimable services to the United Provinces. Far more than the sister company, the wic had reduced the enemy's trade to a mere trickle, had deprived him of important possessions in Africa and in South America, and had cut some veins through privateering and looting. In the first sixteen years of its existence the company had bought or commissioned the construction of 219 ships: of these 118 cost on the average 2^,000 guilders, and 101 ships cost approximately 10,000 guilders. All these ships had been suitably armed with bronze and iron cannon. In the same amount of time, within the limits of its charter, the company had dispatched 806 ships and 67,000 men at a total investment of almost ,000,000 guilders. Total expenses for the company during these first 16 years had been more than4,ooo,ooo guilders, including 18,000,000 in salaries and wages. Since most of this money had been spent within the United Provinces, it was an important economic asset for the struggling young country. With an initial capital of 7,000,000 guilders, then, the wic had not fared badly. In 1629 and 1630 it had returned 7^ per cent of this capital to investors as dividends; 0 per cent was paid from the net revenue of the Silver Fleet and 2 per cent a year later from income of trade and smuggling. From 1621 through 1636 the total damage to the enemy, as reckoned by de Laet, amounted to 7 ships valued at well over 5,000,000 guilders. Additionally, 62 Spanish ships taken by the Dutch had been utterly destroyed. A detailed scrutiny of losses to His Spanish Majesty, including cargo and supplies liquidated by the Spaniards themselves to prevent their falling into Dutch hands, came to more than 83,000,000 guilders. Other expenditures and barren projects, including a reduction in revenue as well as expenses for outfitting special expeditions, totaled another 28,^00,000 guilders. In summary, according to de Laet's estimate, by 1637 Spain's treas-

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285 ury had been depleted in the amount of 118,000,000 guilders!1 For the first two decades of its existence, the company's record had been unexcelled in the history of the country. It had inflicted vast losses upon the Spanish-Portuguese empire in America and in Africa. It had conquered a huge segment of Brazil, had extended the New Netherland territory, and had captured a stronghold in the Caribbean. Its privateering successes had reached a hitherto unprecedented scale. As everyone fully realized, the tacit fact behind all this exhilaration was that Spain and the United Provinces were at war with each other. Peace would mean the end of the company's main source of revenue. Not so well realized, perhaps, was the fact that the company's goals, defined in its charter as warfare and colonization, were incompatible. The company's founders had simply ignored Usselinx' advice and had failed to realize "the enormous burden that bore down on the shoul ders of the Company. "2 The first twenty years had brought much fame to the company, but some stockholders, interested in profit and not in glory, now refused ambitious proposals for further undertakings. They had begun to sell their shares shortly after the capture of the Silver Fleet when it had become obvious that the Brazil adventure would drain the company's resources without yielding commensurable profits.3 For various reasons the conquest of New Holland revealed one of the important causes for the decline of the company. When peace with Spain occurred in 1648, it was another contributing factor in the decline. The company had survived the constant peace overtures of the thirties by persistently memorializing the States General. Public awareness of the consequences of peace may be abundantly illustrated by the large number of extant pamphlets on the subject.* When it became clear, however, that the Brazilian adventure could only be maintained by government subsidies, the company's protests against peace with Spain were less and less acceptable. It was an undeniable fact, which was evident in the Portuguese rebellion of 1640, that the company had developed into an overt instrument of war, an instru ment which qualitate qua had to oppose any rapprochement with Spain in order to suppress a devastating crisis within its own ranks. The Dutch historian Johan Huizinga posed a challenging question when he asked how it was possible for a small nation like the United Provinces to have aspired to the status of a leading world power. It was certainly not due to advanced economic ideas, because these were essentially the old medieval principles of municipal liberty which had continued to dominate seventeenth century Dutch life. Neither can it be explained as an extraordinary development of a young nation

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286 wholly dependent upon the internal vigor of the community, for this vigor was limited indeed. It was rather the European political muddle which enabled the Netherlanders to make full use of their newly acquired freedom and to develop their inherent capacities. In other words, the strength of the United Provinces in the seventeenth century was inversely proportional to the weakness of other European powers during the same period, s The West India Company could thrust its way forward during its adolescent years notwithstanding the disunity of government and its own decentralized organization. The constellation of Europe allowed it to thrive: Spain was a "broken rod," Portugal a satellite, France had internal troubles with her Huguenots and her restless nobility, England under the first two vainglorious Stuarts was absorbed in problems of Crown and Parliament, and the German nations were engaged in their disastrous Thirty Years' War. All these external political factors worked to the advantage of the Dutch West India Company in spite of the fact that from the economic point of view, it had drawn its first breaths as "a weak vessel, much under the in fluence of ancient provincial and municipal particularism. "6 European power politics favored the company. There were, of course, certain capable men who saw opportunities whether they existed or not and grasped them. For many years Usselinx and other Flemish refugees were particularly important factors in the founding and management of the company. The city of Amsterdam was another crucial determinant in its rise and fall; this does not, however, necessarily imply that the city shared in the company's ups and downs.7 The decline of the company was intimately related to an alteration in the European political situation outlined above. Amster dam sensed this political change, and her subsequent withdrawal from the company was to have momentous consequences. Soon after the foundation of the West India Company, Amsterdam's city council had taken great pride in noting that a majority of the directors of the new institution were natives of the city. One should bear in mind, of course, that in the early seventeenth century, Am sterdam was vigorously Contra-Remonstrant and the refuge of most Flemish exiles. Some sixty-six of the earliest company directors had been from Amsterdam. Forty-six of these had been appointed by the regents of the capital or by the Flemish newcomers. Of the remaining twenty, some may well have been Flemings. The refugees, of course, were rabidly Contra-Remonstrant. It became evident in the 1630's that the political predominance of the Contra-Remonstrants, to whom the company owed its existence,

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287 was declining. A libertine party, which was noted for its conciliatory attitude towards other than orthodox Calvinists and which was markedly anti-Orangist, was steadily growing in importance. The leaders of this new faction, the brothers Andries and Cornelis Bicker, eventually came to dictate the policies of the capital in the 1640*5 and i6o's and thereby controlled the international tendencies in the United Netherlands. The extent to which the West India Company was regarded as a stronghold of Calvinism and of Contra-Remonstrantism is illustrated by Dutch poet Joost van den Vondel's ode of 1629 entitled "On the rescue of Piet Heyn's booty." This poem described an unsuccessful assault by Heyn's discontented crews on the West India House in Amsterdam. Vondel, who was not a friend of orthodox Calvinism and who later became a pious Catholic, took advantage of this opportunity to lampoon the Contra-Remonstrant directors of the company and to identify it with their cause.8 Times were changing, however, in the Town Hall of Amsterdam. Members of the city government, charged with appointing new officers for the Amsterdam chamber of the company in 1626, did not select a single Hollander. The incident passed quietly, but three years later the Amsterdam city council openly complained that northerners were being victimized in favor of the Brabanders, i.e., the refugees from the South. How this internal problem was ultimately resolved is not known. Indeed, the situation persisted, which clearly indicates that the company was still a stronghold of orthodoxy, although this fact had by now become an aggravation to the libertine party. The situation also suggests that there was a growing antithesis between indigenous and immigrant Amsterdammers. The Bicker brothers were natives of the city and were also avid libertines. Whether they dissociated themselves from the wic because of its Contra-Remonstrant identity is difficult to determine. Each was a tough and determined businessman who cared not a whit about the source of his profits. Cornelis Bicker had been a director of the Amsterdam chamber of the company until 1629 when his financial acumenpermitting him to look "a little further than the tip of his nose "spersuaded him to sell his shares and resign his directorship. He turned at once to open competition with the company in its Brazil trade, and took full advantage of his experience as a director in the past. Typically, he was a champion of free trade and a consistent Amsterdam supporter of this doctrine against Zeeland's monopolistic programs. Amsterdam's influence in behalf of free or open trade implied

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288 specifically that the West India Company could not maintain its monopoly to the fullest extent. At the same time the company was not able to bear the full expense of its venture in Brazil. Indeed, the Dutch goals in New Holland were incompatible: "the highest law in terms of Brazil has to be the glory of God and the well-being of the participants."10 The hard realities of life made such a combination almost impossible to achieve. If money were required for the exaltation of God, even more was needed to insure the welfare of the humble authors of that glory, the shareholders of the Dutch West India Company. Whenever capital was involved, moreover, the logical focus for further activity was the richest city in the United Provinces, perhaps in the worldAmsterdam. It was a merchant town, and it knew the basic principles of its trade: to make money and to drive a hard bargain. Amsterdam hedged its contribution to the wic with the important provision that all the provinces should also contribute their requisite share. Unfortunately for the company, the other provinces proved to be less well endowed, and their contributions always lagged behind. The wic had to satisfy itself, therefore, with promises of a less sub stantial nature. The reluctance of Amsterdam to continue to bear the entire financial burden became even more apparent after 1632. In that year, it became obvious to everybody that Brazil was an expensive and noncompensatory gesture, and the town refused to support the project at every turn.11 Nonetheless, aside from a stupendous indebtedness of eighteen million guilders, the West India Company was outwardly at the height of its greatness in 1640. It had conquered an empire which encircled the Atlantic: New Netherland, the Caribbean pearls, New Holland, and the west coast of Africa. Only insiders, such as the Bicker brothers, recognized the feeble basis behind the company's exploits, and chose to withdraw their patronage. Under their in fluence, Amsterdam was ultimately responsible for the loss of Brazil and for the eventual decline of the company.12 A debate in 1649, which was recorded in a pamphlet, shows that burgomaster Bicker took this opportunity to announce that he re garded the company as a lost cause. The question at issue was whether or not to advance further funds. "The money," Bicker dourly observed, "might as well be thrown to the birds." This opinion was evidently shared by one of his colleagues in a rather bizarre way: "I used to sell seven hundred to eight hundred oxen to the company; now it cannot even afford to buy one." Bicker's obvious prejudice against nonnative Amsterdam members of the chamber was reflected in his

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289 exclamation, "Let the Brabanders and Walloons see what they can make of their baronies now.": 3 The company's decline was assured within a very few years after Piet Heyn's great exploit at the Bay of Matanzas. if one compares a memorial dispatched to the States General in 1633 (see Appendix v) with one sent just four years prior, it can no longer be denied that the company, at least financially, was over the hill.1* In each of the two years mentioned, peace negotiations with Spain had reached a fever pitch. In 1633, after Frederik Hendrik's resounding victory at Maastricht, the Spaniards were surprisingly willing to initiate mutual talks. The States General, desirous of a reciprocal detente, approached the subject, however, under the pretense of dealing with the recal citrant southern provinces rather than with Spain herself. Contacts were made in Maastricht and carried through in The Hague. Although the North had to relinquish the fiction of concluding a truce exclusis Hispanis, things were moving along at a promising pace. At this juncture, the wic, which was fully cognizant of the dangers inherent in these negotiations, sent the memorial mentioned above to the States General. The memorial documented its many accomplishments where the hereditary enemy was concerned. The gesture was fervently acclaimed by the Provincial States of Friesland which on this occasion referred to the West India Company as "a pillar of this State" and "a thorn in the foot of the King of Spain" which should not be liquidated since it was in medio victoriarum cursu.1* Indirectly, the States General had already agreed to consult both the East and West India Companies in the ticklish matter of peace with Spain. For the latter more so than for the former organization, it had developed into a desperate struggle for life.16 Four or five of the provinces were inclined towards peace overtures to Spain. Only Friesland and Zeeland remained faithful to the company. The stadhouder, although he was gravitating towards peace, publicly endorsed the wic "because it could do great damage to the Spanish king in foreign parts of the world."" His statement betrayed the exact crux of the prevailing controversy: the position of the East and West India Companies and their activities beyond the line. The official Dutch proposal of twenty-one elaborate articles, later reduced to eighteen, affirmed Article iv of the Truce of 1609 with regard to the East Indies and required the maintenance of the status quo in the West Indies. The recent death of Gustavus Adolphus had somewhat relieved Spain in Germany. Therefore Philip IV's counter proposal imperiously demanded an exchange of Spanish-held Breda for Dutch-controlled Pernambuco. At this point, the States General

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290 requested the advice of the stadhouder. The latter's reply was unequivocal: that the West India Company should be maintained by war or by other expedients with the consent of and in agreement with the company, and that in any case the forts of Recife should never be returned to the Spaniards, not for money nor for other means of exchange.18 The company memorial of 1633 repeated in many instances its claims for consideration which were first made in 1629. It had served the country to the best of its ability and had inflicted great damage upon Spain and the Spanish overseas empire. A difference in tone between the two documents is perceptible, however. In 1629 the company could boast of its capture of the Silver Fleet. In 1633, after five years of bitter frustration with Brazil devouring every profit, its record was not so captivating. The memorial of 1629 stated that the company had equipped one hundred ships annually and employed ten thousand to fifteen thousand men per year. In 1633, it was revealed, this number had declined to only fifty ships and a mere six thousand men. In the latter year it might boast of having captured 204 ships since 1629, while in the five years prior to 16 2 9 it had seized 220, but the difference was in the cargoes. There was, indeed, nothing in 1633 to compare with the proud claim of 1629 that the company had robbed Spain of "a miraculously high number of raw hidestwentysix thousand in that yearsuch an excellent quantity of cochineal as ever had been seen in this country, a huge quantity of tobacco and... a great number of all kinds of precious stones."1' When compared to the magnificent booty of the wic's conquest of Bahia, the victory of Pernambuco only produced two hundred puny chests of sugar which had been saved from destruction. Although the Spanish king may well have estimated his losses at two million ducats, the company gained little in material advantage and had nothing to show for its efforts. Matters had not improved during the last few years. Pater's expedition accrued negligible benefits to the company. Ita's fleet of twenty-five ships returned with only six or seven prizes whose largest cargo contained 323 chests of sugar, ^23 hides, and 27 chests of tobacco. In 1631 the one profitable venture had been de Neckere's capture of six prizes and seven thousand hides. In 1632 only a few Spanish ships were taken; Jol's five captives had disappointing cargoes, and Marten Thijsz did not take one prize. Although Van Hoorn's expedition in 1633 netted twenty-seven ships, the four or five he brought home had meager cargoes. Fleets destined to Brazil had encountered better luck but also had larger expenses. The memorial of 1633 did not neglect to remind the States General

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291 of the West India Company's magnanimous gesture when the Spanish invaded Gelderland, and, indeed, the point was a strong one in its favor. Certain other claims might have been put forward at this time but were not. Wic activity in the Caribbean, for instance, had been a powerful motive behind Spain's belated attempt to provide more ships which further taxed her treasury. Wic vigilance against the treasure fleets had also been instrumental in delaying and rerouting these fleets, a tactic which led to substantial Spanish losses due to weather. Even if these actions had not enriched the company by one cent, though, they had brought about certain political advantages for the United Provinces which could not be dismissed lightly. It was unquestionably true and relevant that the very fact of Spain's acquiescence to nego tiations with her former subjects constituted a tribute to the efforts of the Dutch West India Company. The memorial of 1633 may not have been as illustrious as that of 1629, but it was, nevertheless, to have serious repercussions on the issue of war and peace. The States General were reminded succinctly that peace or truce with Spain would be a tacit approval of an oppor tunity for the enemy to repair his fleets and restore his credit in order to resume the contest with the Low Countries. The company knew that Spain was anxious to recover Pernambuco and was not adverse to paying a sizeable indemnity. Although the wic would thus be rescued from financial difficulty, its patriotic duty was to advocate continuing the war. Its survival depended on prolonging hostilities; without war there would be no future for the company. Yet subsidies were sorely needed. Without these "the government of this State cannot expect any service," its memorial stated. If, the Heren xix maintained, the States General could subsidize foreign rulers for the war against the hereditary enemy, why could Their High Mightinesses not honor their obligations to the company? The money would be spent at home, moreover, and would thus provide double profits. In this respect, a most remarkable argument emerges from the memorial of 1633. For ten years, said the company spokesman, the wic had been "too involved" with the war and neglectful of a coloni zation policy that would have provided it with a profitable trade. The government, so it was asserted, was responsible for this emphasis on war in the company and had so delayed this possible alternative to continuing the war that no remedy could be expected. The Caribbean in 1633 was declared to be closed to colonization.20 The decline inadvertently detailed in these pages was largely due to the record-breaking expenses which were entailed by the Brazilian

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292 conquest. This adventure rapaciously devoured funds by the hundreds of thousands of guilders. The company had exhausted itself, and the government, because of Amsterdam's recalcitrance, was as blind as the capital was to the portentous chances and the boundless opportu nities offered by an empire around the Atlanticparticularly in Brazil. Thus, its lucky star, at zenith in 1628, rapidly declined: shares fell from 134 per cent in 1640 to 76 per cent in 1643 and 36 per cent in 1646. This was far below the value of shares in the East India Com pany. In its year of triumph, when the wic had been so bountifully endowed by Piet Heyn's great victory that it could advance a dejected government 600,000 guilders in cash, it had said to Their High Mightinesses: "We need money, and money can only be recruited in an unremitting war against Spain. "2I Eighteen years later, however, the situation was desperate. The Brazilian investment alone averaged around 300,000 guilders a month. Every year the company debt had continued to accumulate, and its capital of Spanish silver was dwindling away rapidly. The folly of high dividends was soon painfully apparent. Incredible as it may seem, many of the current and former directors of the company were realizing enormous profits in spite of the general atmosphere of despair. Bicker himself, after his resignation, actually pocketed a profit of more than 100,000 guilders from Brazil alone. His example stimulated other directors within the company to follow in his footsteps. Discussions about monopolistic or free trade soon came to involve the very private interests of many directors. When sugar became a profitable crop, the Heren xix seriously considered closing many American ports to free enterprise because this would inevitably increase company as well as personal benefits. They received 1 per cent of all incoming and outgoing merchandise without risking any capital investment except their initial share. The decision to close trade between 1636 and 1638 had thus much to do with sheer private greed and personal cupidity. Their connection with the company made many of the directors privy to special information which guided their selfish investments. Only a few men resisted using this knowledge to their own advantage. Perhaps more serious in the long run, as far as company stability was concerned, was its long-term adherence to unprofitable priva teering. Undoubtedly, some years had not been without result. The company's fleets, squadrons, and single units had, indeed, inflicted vast losses upon Spain, but without always garnering much in the way of profit. On the other hand, its expenses in this field had been exorbitant, namely as mentioned, 4$,000,000 guilders. Netscher, very correctly, writes: "These enormous outlays and the considerable

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293 distributions with which the company yearly regaled its shareholders, made it, in the eyes of the enemy, more awesome than it really was. "22 Indeed, to the archfoe the wic may have appeared indestruct ible in the thirties, but the facade of glory covered a weak structure. Years of crisis would soon reveal its true identity: a colossus on feet of clay. The company's most crucial problem was raising the vast sums required to meet everyday expenses. In 1629, immediately after the news of Heyn's victory and with the fabulous 50 per cent dividend still fresh in everyone's memory, the Heren xix nevertheless requested and received permission to raise its capital by one-third.23 The de mands of the Brazilian conquest as well as the huge fleets sent to the Caribbean soon depleted this additional source of revenue, however, and the company had no other choice but to ask the States General for a subsidy. The basis for this request was provided by Article XLI of the company's charter which promised official aid "in case the com pany should succumb under the heavy burdens of war." The first petition reached the States General in 1632.24 It asked for an immediate grant of 500,000 and an annual continuing grant of 700,000 guilders. The company assured Their High Mightinesses that the support would allow it to persist in its war effort to the continuing distress of the enemy and considerable relief of the United Provinces. The Heren xix included a detailed budget which had as its foremost item, incidentally, the maintenance of thirty-six companies of soldiers in New Holland. The States General, which was evidently seriously concerned about the affairs of the company, wrote to the Provincial States asking for their endorsement. It was not, therefore, the federal so much as the local governments of the United Provinces which ultimately sealed the doom of the flagging company. Each year the several provinces subscribed to their respective subsidies, but these were frequently granted with certain stringent restrictions and almost always with delays. For reasons to be examined later, Friesland refused to con tribute after some time, although the other provinces, at least on paper, continued to be interested and sympathetic. Unfortunately, however, the company could not survive on promises alone. Actual receipts after 1632 can no longer be traced, though some money must have been received during the next few years. Thereafter, from per haps 1636 until 1648, the provinces found themselves confronted with an ever increasing debt to the company which amounted, in the latter year, to 6,500,000 guilders.2' The situation was further com pounded by the fact that the Heren xix, who had acted in good faith,

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294 Could not hope to repay the money borrowed against the delinquent subsidies.26 After 1629 the company repeatedly ventured, moreover, to in crease its operational capital. The consent of the head-participants had to be ensured to accomplish this objective. The permission had to be granted also by the States General, which represented, after all, the major single investor in the company. It took the xix seven or eight years to negotiate an increase of 0 per cent.2? Although Their High Mightinesses were willing, most Provincial States and town councils were not. The latter groups delayed compromising on this urgent matter for many years. It was finally decided to effect the increase by a loan at 6 per cent. This transaction netted the company a sum of almost six million guilders.28 It used this money to sustain a renewed offensive in Brazil as well as pay for Jol's ex peditions to the Caribbean and West Africa. The Heren xix and the States General, at long last, had concluded that privateering was no longer desirable and that they needed to embark on colonization. Coincidentally, old Willem Usselinx, a lifetime advocate of colonization, lived to witness this radical change in policy. Brazil, the foremost preoccupation of the Dutch, did not seem to produce much tangible benefit. Interpreted in this light, the appointment of Count Johan Maurits was good business from a purely practical point of view. His primary responsibility was to develop the nascent productive capacity of the territory, a course which, if successful, would lift the company out of the depths of bankruptcy into which it had been cast by the Brazilian under taking. The Heren xix could hardly have made a better choice, yet from the start the count was given little palpable encouragement and assistance. His inescapable failure, therefore, can be attributed to this and to the Portuguese rebellion which culminated in the fall of New Holland. The loss was exacerbated by the xix because of their complete lack of understanding of the situation. The latter, of course, were not altogether at fault. Their existence, in the final analysis, hinged on the suffrage of the niggardly provinces, on whose budgets the West India Company appeared to be the most dispensable item. Pleas by the company at regular short intervals, which attested to the urgency of its plight, all floundered in a sea of provincial indifference. The crux of the matter, however, was misunderstanding rather than aloofness. It simply was not recognized at the time that the conquest of New Holland signified much more than a mere cross ing of the Atlantic, and that the project was worthy of and entitled to

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*9S full-fledged support. Verzuimd Brazil was a subsequent Dutch inter pretation of this attitude: neglected Brazil. The advantage of hindsight simplifies matters by putting the blame squarely on the men who had converted the United Provinces into a great and powerful nation. Yet, is it completely fair to expect these merchants to see all the inherent possibilities and to have insight into all the intricacies which accompanied their emergence and expansion? It is sometimes alleged that a successful general is one who makes the least mistakes. The same can be said for a merchant. And the men who composed the xix were, in any sense, just that. Although they worked for the glory of their country, they combined it in a rather subtle way with their own profit. But they were handicapped in many ways. Their most salient adversary was the unavoidable need to view everything from a profit angle. This profit motive hampered their communication with overseas agents, and obscured the relevance of the implications of communication, particularly when dealing with sea captains and spies. Finally, profit prejudiced the develop ment of a truly free and objective press which might have played a constructive role in offering criticism and advice. In 1640 the Portuguese, who had been under Spanish rule for sixty years, suddenly and unexpectedly rebelled to shake off the obnoxious yoke. At first, the reaction in the United Provinces was entirely sympathetic to their cause.29 The two countries now found themselves bound by their hatred for the common foe. King Joao IV, for in stance, issued a manifesto which might have been written by a Dutch man.30 The Prince of Orange made no secret of his glee, and immediate measures were taken to support the Portuguese. In January, 1641, private Dutch merchants were expressly authorized to export ammunition to the new allies.31 The Dutch, however, soon had causes for misgivings. In the words of Handelmann, "The Portuguese declaration of independence had drastically altered the relationship between the two nations which, until then, had bitterly contested each other's right to be in Brazil. "32 The Dutch East and West India Companies were not oblivious to the fact that an independent and vigorous Portugal might well reclaim her former colonies in the East and in the West.33 These misgivings were soon confirmed when, in April, 1641, barely four months after the revolt, a Portuguese ambassador, Tristao de Mendonca Furtado, ar rived in The Hague. The Dutch delayed his formal reception until assured that Portuguese envoys had likewise been welcomed at the French and English courts. Upon the occasion, Furtado offered the

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296 States General five proposals, one of which referred to the return of Brazil. At that moment, all enthusiasm for Portugal and ebullience over the revolt dramatically ended, especially among the two great chartered companies. On the popular level, nevertheless, there was continued support for an alliance between the Dutch and the Por tuguesea coercive necessity for the latter.34 For the next few years the West India Company was an almost impotent but deeply interested bystander in the negotiations which gradually defined the affinity between the Dutch and the Portuguese. The company would raise its voice every so often, but the reverbera tions were lost on Their High Mightinesses. Nothing so well illustrates the imminent fall from power as this utter failure to make itself heard. Its position failed to be adopted as a fundamental cornerstone of the Dutch-Portuguese talks. True, the States General did refuse to consider the restitution of New Holland, but only when it became known that Portugal wanted a truce rather than peace. It might be persuasively argued that this factor, in conjunction with never slackening Portuguese ambitions in Brazil, furnished the justification for the sometimes aggressive, sometimes tortuous policy employed by the Dutch in their treaty talks.3s Once Furtado had withdrawn his restitution proposal, however, the States General agreed to a compromise, in spite of the reluctance of Holland and Zeeland.36 The intervention of the stadhouder on behalf of a Portuguese truce prevailed over all the provincial and company resistance. His intervention rendered impertinent the widespread concern which developed when Portuguese Brazil chose the side of the new king and sent the wic's shares plummeting from 128 per cent to 114 per cent.37 A treaty finally emerged on June 12, 1641, which guaranteed a "solid, faithful, and unbreakable truce" and which not only defined the Spaniards as common enemies but also affirmed that the Portuguese and the Dutch would wage a "common war against the Castilian Indies."38 The treaty was to take effect in the East Indies one year, and in the West Indies some eight months, after ratification. The Portuguese explicitly recognized the possession of New HollandDutch Brazilunder the West India Company. A cessation of all hostilities between the signators would extend for ten years after the date of ratification. The States General also committed itself to second any Portuguese naval action with twenty Dutch men-of-war. The most striking element in this arrangement consisted of the fact that it embodied both a military alliance and a cessation of hostilities. These mutually incompatible aspects are ordinarily difficult to in-

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297 corporate in one agreement. The most prominent surviving problems were still the boundary between Portuguese and Dutch Brazil and the enforcement of the truce outside Europe. Furtado's reticence was fully responsible for these major defects. He consistently refused to heed the wic's proposals to settle Dutch-Portuguese differences once and for all in an all-encompassing treaty before proceeding to an alliance.39 The converging influences of France and of the Prince of Orange combined to foster this untenable compact. Troubles between the two new confederates were never far off. Notwithstanding the fervent protestations of friendship which were espoused by the States General and by the stadhouder, and despite all the pro-Portuguese demonstrations in Amsterdam which envisaged a highly profitable liaison with the new rebels, Peg-leg Jol was at the very moment crossing the Atlantic for an assault upon Portuguese West Africa at Sao Paulo de Luanda and the island of Sao Thome. Technically, of course, this surprise attack could not be rigidly de fined as a breach of the truce which was as yet unratified. It was, nevertheless, hardly conducive to healthy and stable Dutch-Portuguese relations.40 Within a year after the Portuguese uprising, the Dutch had considerably strengthened their position on both sides of the Atlantic and had posed an undisguised threat to their allies in Brazil, although this position was not, as Boxer observes, without its grave weaknesses.41 That the Portuguese realized their own precarious footing is evidenced by Father Antonio Vieira's sermon in which he bitterly denounced the Deity for favoring the heretic Dutch at the expense of the Catholic Portuguese and urged God to change His mind before it would be too late.42 The exposure of their military and naval vulnerability forced the Portuguese to rely on the diplomatic probabilities at The Hague as their only alternative. As soon as Count Johan Maurits had been advised that the truce with Portugal promised the new ally twenty ships, he asked to be relieved of his duties. The Heren xix delayed action on his request temporarily, but soon they perceived the inherent advantages of this highly op portune petition. A spirit of vindictiveness based on misinformation attended the company's replacement of the one man who might have saved Brazil for the Dutch and thus retained their status as a world power. In his absence the company, soon learned that, in the cat-andmouse game with Portugal, it was the dupe. A smug Furtado left the United Provinces for Lisbon on a Dutch man-of-war enriched with a tea set valued at six thousand guilders, a present from his grateful hosts the States General, Shortly thereafter the count of Auersperg, an envoy of the Austrian Hapsburgs but also a

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298 Spanish agent, departed from the Low Countries. It had been his mission to foil the Dutch-Portuguese alliance. He had, for the moment at least, been frustrated, and Spain had temporarily aban doned hope of inducing Their High Mightinesses to discuss peace or a truce. The Spaniards did not need to peruse the document to know that all its clauses had been aimed directly at them.43 Suddenly, however, news arrived in Lisbon and Amsterdam that Jol on August 26, 1641, had captured Luanda; next came the word that he had also occupied the fortified island of Sao Thome. Needless to say, the new Portuguese ambassador in The Hague complained, in "a somewhat barbaric Latin" wrote Aitzema.44 The Dutch primly pointed out that the truce had not yet been ratified at the time that Jol had made his conquests, and they emphasized the fact that the official government position backed the West India Company all the way. Restitution was out of the question, said the Dutch, and added that they could adduce some complaints against Portuguese violations of the truce as well. A riot in The Hague, which culminated in the ransacking of the Portuguese embassy, embarrassed the Dutch government but gave a clear picture of the widening gap between Dutch and Portu guese loyalties.45 At that time, Francisco de Andrade Leitao, Furtado's successor, became a frequent caller at Their High Mightinesses' official residence in The Hague. He persistently badgered them with vague accusations and demanded the immediate restitution of the new Dutch-held African territories. The States General referred these awkward jeremiads to the Heren xvn of the East India Company and the Heren xix who, in turn, were not too eager to accommodate the ally.*5 The two companies supposed, as Boxer observes, that they held a whip hand over the Portuguese, and they were not hesitant to crack that whip whenever the States General wanted to curb them.*7 The xix even threatened that if the Portuguese did not withdraw their out rageous demands, the company would proceed to make further con quests at the expense of the Portuguese Crown. King Joao IV was in no position to force the issuers He was, at the time, submerged in mortal combat with Spain and thoroughly alarmed when tentative discussions between the United Provinces and that country were once again initiatedin Westphalia. The appoint ment of a new Portuguese ambassador to The Hague confirmed Portu guese uneasiness. The man who would now shoulder the burden of diplomatic representation was Francisco de Sousa Coutinho, a faithful supporter of the House of Braganza and an adroit emissary.*' His instructions were to gain for Portugal a place at the peace table in

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299 Westphalia and to effect the restoration of the terrain invaded by the Dutch after the conclusion, although before the ratification, of the truce. Should he be unable to find agreement on this second issue, he was authorized to go even further and to offer the West India Com pany two million cruzados for Dutch Brazil.50 Coutinho never really understood that the checks which balked his every step were not Dutch ploys to torment him but were simply the result of government in what the English diplomat William Temple called the "Disunited Provinces." For all his ability, the Portuguese ambassador never managed to inspire confidence and friendship. His only satisfaction, if he but knew it, was that the shares of the wic continued to The company's hold over Brazil had notoriously deteriorated after Count Johan Maurits had left the territory in 1644. It soon became common knowledge that the wic was moving downhill, that it had lost its striking power, and that it was playing a steadily decreasing role as an instrument of war. Peace negotiations with Spain hardly boosted company stock. The Heren xix did not surrender quietly and sent request after request to Their High Mightinesses, but scant response was forthcoming. Even Holland and Zeeland, the two provinces with most to lose as the position held by the wic gradually worsened, were internally divided concerning its support. Although Asher's pen is biased in favor of the West India Company"the province of Holland always excusing itself on the flimsy pretext that the other provinces were still more behind..." $2it cannot be denied that Amsterdam's increasing pacifism was becoming more and more detrimental to the company's welfare. Added to these sorrows the wic was forced, in 1645^, to submit its charter for renewal consideration. Certain of the provinces had been highly critical of the alleged corruption in the company's management and had recommended prolongation only if restrictions were designed to curb abuses by company officials. The problems attendent upon the issuance of new chartersfor the East India Company's was also bound to expirecame under discussion as early as 1642. These problems were closely related to the Portuguese question and the decision about continuing the war against Spain. Late in 1643 a suggestion was made to merge the two monopolies, and this proposal provoked a flurry of debate throughout the country. The Heren xix were solidly in favor of a union; the xvn were diametrically opposed. 53 The question soon became a popular issue. Pamphlets appeared, and one of these, strongly sympathetic to combining the two com panies, provides an even more detailed summary of the wic's con-

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300 tributions to the country than that of de Laet mentioned before.s4 It reports that from 1621 to 1643 the company had sunk or captured more than six hundred Spanish ships and their cargoes. Many people had gained employment as a result of the company's activities: 1,250 ships and yachts had been built in those 23 years, 3,65-3 bronze and 17,485 iron pieces of artillery had been cast, and nearly 100,000 soldiers and sailors had been engaged to fight Spain. The company had expended 54,000,000 guilders within the country and had provided prosperity for all. The pamphlet went on to note that the burden of war had been carried by the company; since 163 7 it had had to support eight thousand men in Brazil alone. The conclusion was obvious: the merger was highly recommended not only because the two com panies would be in a better position to maintain the Dutch effort in Brazil but also since, without great risk to either of them, the King of Spain could be prevented from receiving his treasures from the West Indies. The West India Company believed, with some reason, that union was its only hope. The xvn, however, deliberately delayed sending representatives to The Hague to discuss a combination, although they were not unfamiliar with the dens of despair inhabited by their The wic had more debts than assets and its credit rating had been, for some time, abominable. When it did offer to contribute 3,600,000 guilders to the partnership, the xvn scoffed at the idea and deprecatingly added that the wic had 5,000,000 less than nothing to call its own.56 Government subsidies, all that stood between the wic and total disaster, came in slowly. In March, 1642, for instance, the province of Holland alone was delinquent in its promised subsidies to the company to the extent of almost 900,000 guilders.57 Provincial concern, perhaps to encourage the merger, determined to pay 466,000 guilders to the company, but only 200,000 were actually forthcom ing.58 Persistent requests from the Heren xix drove the States General to intervene, albeit reluctantly, in behalf of combining the companies. The Heren xvn, closing their eyes to the massive corruption which marked their own institution, harped endlessly on discrepancies within the sister organization. Demands were voiced for a general audit. The East India Company spokesman finally arrived in The Hague to discuss the affair and to weigh the reciprocal advantages. After careful consideration, he based his objections entirely on the alleged inability of the ETC to endorse the sister company's vast and pretentious overseas conquests. The Heren xix fought valiantly against the overwhelming refusal. They incessantly argued the merits of the merger; they

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3d pointed out that the nation had sprouted from just union, that the East India Company had begun as a combination of smaller units, and that superior strength would inevitably result. The prosperity of the EIC, as the delegate of its rival pointed out, was in part due to the wic's acceptance of the burden of the war in the major theater of the engagement. This action had left the EIC free to conquer and trade. Finally, the wic argued, the expansion to the West Indies was properly a national enterprise to which end its directors had been merely the servants and executors.59 Could not the representative of the EIC see that the combination of powers could only create more power and thus insure Dutch hegemony and international status?60 Count Johan Maurits, just returned from New Holland, strongly favored the merger, but the now old although tireless Willem Usselinx vehemently protested against it.61 For the man whose efforts had virtually created the wic out of nothing, a union with the sister company could only mean ruin. He who had seen the folly of a war policy at the outset now roundly condemned the wic for its concen tration on military ventures, although he enthusiastically praised the company for its part in the humbling of Spain. Usselinx wanted no part in furthering the pretensions and postures of the EIC and would submit to a merger only if accompanied by a radical alteration in both charters. The final objection of the EIC now came as a meek plea for peace. It claimed to have spent forty years in a unrelentless effort to secure a base in the Malay archipelago. It had no intention now of jeopardizing that situation by being drawn both into an unpopular war and an unjustifiable financial encumbrance of maintaining Brazil: "We are tired of the war and we are tired of its heavy costs. "6z The company lawyer claimed that the EIC would prefer dissolution to an association with the pernicious drain represented by the group "which everyone knew was almost bankrupt. "ft3 The States General were divided on the issue. Although Holland and Zeeland were ready to favor the xvn and their individualistic standpoint, the other provinces inclined toward combination. Frederik Hendrik's contribution to the dilemma was that a joint merger of the two companies could only work if both parties were to ac quiesce. The wic-sponsored expedition of Hendrik Brouwer to Chile and to other regions of South America was advanced by the Heren xix as evidence of their vigor and as visible proof that "God Almighty had granted... apparent advantages. "6* Fearful to see the merger project shatter before their very eyes, they were willing to grasp at any straw. Discussions continued for so long that the States General ultimately

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302 had no choice but to prolong each of the charters provisionally for a limited time. The only area of agreement between the two companies lay in their relations with or toward Portugal. A similar course was pursued here, although neither was free of a certain ambiguity. Officially the United Provinces and Portugal were allies in a common war against Spain. In practice, however, in the East as well as in the West Indies, each of the monopolistic institutions regarded Portugal as no different from Spain and both as enemies. The Portuguese were soon aware of this indiscriminate treatment and were quick in voicing their dismay. Simultaneously, however, they also sharpened their swords. In 1642 they regained the island of Sao Thome, leaving only the fort in Dutch hands. Unknown to the victors, however, the Heren xix had been discussing a withdrawal from Sao Thome for some time, and the Portuguese attack was thus relegated to futility.65 In the summer of 1644, envoys from Spain and from the United Provinces met once more to take up the lingering question of peace. The States General requested that both the Heren xvn and xix send their considerations. The EIC'S position did not favor a continuation of the war but would agree to accept peace if the government would assist the company in restraining the Spanish and Portuguese from the Malay archipelago, soon a Dutch mare clausum. The xix opined that if a merger of the two companies was to be realized, a prolongation of the war would be desirable. If, however, no such combination could be achieved, they felt they could continue, with government support, to function at a profit through trade. In the communique no mention was made of the fact that the Portuguese would assuredly take firm steps to relieve their Brazilian subjects from the cursed yoke of the Dutch. In the meantime, the expired charters were, whenever necessary, extended for short periods. This policy was favored by those who still adhered to a merger and also by others who wanted the EIC to pay a heavy sum for the renewal of its patent. The uncertainty sur rounding the entire matter led some merchants to offer Their High Mightinesses 15,000,000 guilders for the renewal of the EIC charter in 1645, to be payable in yearly terms of 600,000 guilders.66 It seems, however, that this proposal was never seriously considered by the States General, although it may have been the catalyst which moved the States of Zeeland to declare their dissatisfaction with the provisionally prolonged charters. Some other provinces arbitrarily pronounced the charters expired. The States of Holland directed themselves to the stadhouder. In the legalistic ballyhoo which

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33 followed, where the provincial hostility to Holland was clearly demonstrated, the only decision made was that merger of the com panies was for the time being unfeasible. In July, 164^, Holland again opened deliberations on the prolongation of both charters. The EIC, meanwhile, remained firm in its determination not to be sacrificed to its languishing sister. To buttress this position, moreover, it now came out unreservedly for peace. At the same time the rebellion against the Dutch in New Holland became known in the Low Countries. In November, 1645-, an oral report confirmed the perilousness of further encroachments in Brazil. The complicity of the Portuguese government was accepted as a fact, and urgent messages began to arrive daily in The Hague demanding that sacrifices be made to save the situation. The Provincial States of Holland appealed to the States General: "Without Brazil all other conquests of the company will be worthless."67 The Heren xix sent an urgent remonstrance to request immediate support. Holland agreed to pay its share of a suggested 700,000-guilder subsidy, but the other provinces withheld their approval pending the putative possibil ity of forcing the EIC to accept the burden. In this critical moment, the cumbersome governmental structure of the United Provinces proved its inability to make a necessarily quick decision. In the fall of 164^, when the Brazilian crisis required urgent attention, unanimity was beyond reach. A proposal from the States of Holland to loan 500,000 guilders to the wic, to be obtained from the EIC as payment for a renewal of its charter, was doomed because Amsterdam would not acquiesce. When that hurdle was overcome, the other provinces withheld consent until the matter of the wic charter was settled.68 No Dutch orator appeared to remind his fellows of the fate of Saguntum. In November, 1645, when the eyewitness testimony of Balthazar van Voorde was still fresh in everyone's mind, some directors of the wic appeared in a meeting of the States of Holland to make an im passioned plea for men and ships for Brazil.6' No decision was made, although the majority of the states' members were sympathetic and fully aware of the danger. Opposition to assistance was raised by one member who represented the nobility. When this individual was at last won over by the Prince of Orange himself, the States of Holland concurred with the other provinces to provide the wic with a subsidy and to send immediate relief to Brazil in the form of twenty ships and six thousand men to be paid for by the States General. Admiral Witte Corneliszoon de WithDouble Withand his fleet happened to be available, but his departure was unavoidably

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34 delayed by a coincidence of adverse circumstances. Dunkirk privateers and a severe winter were two of the factors which influenced the size as well as the exact date of departure of this expedition. Only a few men-of-war with some transportation ships carrying two thousand soldiers sailed out in the beginning of 1646.70 The circumlocutions of diplomatic intrigue had contrived to render all questionsnegotiations with Portugal, peace with Spain, prolon gation of the charters, the question of a merger, even the equipment of a huge secoursinseparable. Money provided the solution to at least one issue: the charter of the EIC was continued for 21 years upon payment to the wic of 1,,000 guilders.71 The renewal of the EIC charter was complicated by Holland's reluctance to consent until Zeeland had agreed to peace with Spain. Zeelandian opposition had always been vociferous on this point. Amsterdam, speaking for the merchants of Holland, now contrived to buy off Zeeland at the price of supplying aid for Brazil and pro longing the wic charter. The extension of the EIC thus implied that that company underwrite the future of the wic. At the same time, the wic was granted a prolongation of its charter for twenty-four years. The consummation of this protracted operation was accelerated by the fact that, in 1647, peace with Spain loomed certain and imminent. The money and the extended charter, together with a long-overdue secours sent to Brazil, relieved the crisis of the Dutch West India Company.72 It did not, however, solve its main problems. Peace with Spain meant that the days of privateering were nearly over. In order to survive, the wic had to convert its emphasis to tradeincluding smugglingand to colonization. Although colonists and natives in America had little money to buy, they had valuable commodities to exchange: hides, sugar, wood, tobacco, cacao, and red dye. If New Holland could be retained, eventually her sugar would pay for all the expenses of conquest and settlement. The Dutch colonization effort in the Americasin New Netherland and New Hollandmiscarried, but not, as is sometimes suggested, because the Dutch lacked colonizing abilities; the prosperous Cape colony was soon eloquent proof to the contrary. The American colonies failed because the large-scale settlements of the West had been and had remained a second or third choice after privateering and trade. Profit had always been the life spring of the wic under its first charter. It had hoped to achieve this through intermittent privateering and smuggling. After the fallacy of this policy had been reluctantly accepted, every Dutchman gradually became convinced that the company, with its huge debt, should have been dissolved long before

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ss or at the end of its first charter. Its survival was an illogical phenom enon, and can only be explained by Zeeland's stubborn refusal to agree to peace with Spain unless the wic charter was renewed. Zeeland, the cradle of sailors and privateers, restless within her tiny islands torn from the North Sea and deeply involved in the Guianas and the Antilles, remained staunchly committed to the survival of the wic. The art of privateering had lost none of its almost allegorical attractiveness. It was, perhaps, still hoped that under more auspicious circumstances, this occupation could be reinstalled in all its former magnitude. Piracy or its milder alternative privateering, rather than colonization, appeared to the Zeelandians as the only option for restoring part of the company's credit. The Dutch citizen, easily provided with a good life at home, was never a likely candidate for overseas settlement. Religious toleration, the pride of Dutch life, meant that there was no persecution to escape froma common motivation for emigrants from England and France. No Dutch company was ever so distracted from profit as to seek glory or freedom abroad. No Dutch company had any desire to create a new Jerusalem. The wic discovered too late that smuggling paid poorly and privateering hardly at all. Illegal slave trading, which was to become highly lucrative in the future, had only just begun during those critical years of the mid-seventeenth century and would only reach its apogee in later years. The Dutch had managed to provide all the American coloniesSpanish, French, or Englishwith better prod ucts at lower prices. This had even won them a begrudged official toleration from many Spanish, French, and English authorities in America. But this monopoly could not and did not last forever. Once the mother countries themselves were in a position to supply their own colonists' needs, rigorous laws against foreign, i.e., Dutch, trade were passed and enforced. This mercantilistic process was already under way in the crucial years of the wic. The Dutch mer chant was soon to learn that he had smuggled and traded himself right out of the market. Only a few islands, conquered at the last moment, remained to him. Then, too, the United Netherlands in 16^0 numbered a mere 1 ,,000 inhabitants who, during this same period, found themselves completely surrounded and outnumbered by the English at New Netherland, by the English and French in the Caribbean, and by the Portuguese in Brazil. The Dutch, unlike the other European powers involved in the Western hemisphere, had no excess population from which to draw the requisite pioneering families nor did they

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3o6 have the human reservoirs needed to replenish their depleted human forces. While it is true that the Portuguese had limited manpower as well, they were much more familiar with the intricacies of overseas settlement. For one thing, the Iberians always enjoyed better race relations with the subject peoples, as well as a far superior record of adaptation to climate and ethnological differences. The Dutch, as the Anglo-Saxons, had a perfect horror of miscegenation and never produced mixed offspring in huge quantities, a fact which put them at one other marked numerical disadvantage vis-a-vis the Portuguese and their swarm of Lusitanian halfbreeds. In Brazil, at least, the Dutch were never viewed as "liberators" from the Iberian yoke, ifone hesitates to state the Portuguese were ever considered oppressors. Dutch participation in European affairs was another important cause which prevented the concentration on colonizing projects and, specifically, the Brazilian conquest. Peace with Spain in 1648 brought temporary respite, but the Dutch were soon embroiled in the first Anglo-Dutch war, which severely hampered communications. This exhausting involvement made it possible for the Portuguese to reoccupy vast stretches of New Holland territory since Dutch interests were too expansive and too thinly spread to maintain uninterrupted control. There were just not enough people to go around; insufficient military strength at the disposal of the wic was henceforth a primary reason for failure to materialize its grandiose designs. It must also be admitted that the wic was administered by mer chants, not politicians or soldiers, and that a "grocery mentality" is not conducive to successful enterprises which depend on military backing. Watjen comments, "This hard judgment hits the nail."73 Although true in its more general aspects, this statement lacks something of the essential truth. The Dutch colonial empire in the West collapsed not only because of political miscalculations, but also because its designs proved too immense for its available potential in human and economic resources. In the seventeenth century the Dutch undoubtedly wit nessed a remarkable growth, numerically as well as economically, but France and England did so at an even more accelerated pace. Contributing influences to the crisis and to the ultimate decline of the West India Company have to be weighed also. Internal quarrels between Holland and Zeeland, which were intensified by financial worries, did increasing damage to the prestige of the wic. The two provinces were at odds about New Netherland, New Holland, free trade, the abandonment of Curacao, and many other problems. The controversy between Amsterdam and Zeeland, for instance, became almost a religious dogma. Add to this the flagrant disloyalty of some

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37 of the directors, who traded in open competition with the company, and some idea is gained of what the company had to face internally. One example of the latter abuse is instructive: Samuel Blommaert, noted above for his active role in the Jol expeditions, occupied a directorship in the company and, at the same time, was a prominent agent of the Swedish African Company and an advisor to Oxenstierna. The Swedish African Company, of course, was in open competition with the wic on the African coast, and was kept informed on all the latter's activities by one of the wic's most trusted men. Another contributing factor to the crisis of the wic was the studied and deliberate opposition of the East India Company. The EIC feared that a prosperous New Holland would detract from its Asiatic trade and would be to its ultimate disadvantage. Politically, in its own interests, therefore, the EIC allied itself with the radical anti-Orangist party which, in the coming two decades, was to dominate the United Provinces thoroughly. The East India Company, which from the out set had kept aloof and detached from the States General and had enshrined this policy in its charter, managed by this political maneuver to retain for itself a certain freedom of action in the political realm. The telling influence of the EIC hinged upon its intimate connections with Amsterdam. The Dutch West India Company had witnessed the passage of a number of opportunities for greatness: New Holland, under the eminent leadership of Count Johan Maurits; Curacao with her excellent harbor and strategic location; New Netherland, a prosperous settlement which could have been used as an arm to fend off English expansion and keep it at a minimum; Africa with its unlimited slave reservoirs, all provide even the most casual observer with an adequate understanding of the company's potential as a global force. Why was it then that the many illustrious projects so brilliantly conceived by the company's spokesmen never progressed beyond the initially successful stages? Insufficient funds, compounded by the folly which followed Heyn's seizure of the silver fleet, condemned the wic to crisis and to the ultimate failure from which it was never to recover. Lately, it had not even been able to finance its privateering satisfactorily. What real hope was there for colonization? The two tasks that the com pany had set itself, privateering and colonization, far surpassed its financial capacity. Ultimately, Zeeland secured the much sought-after renewal of the wic charter and the EIC made a substantial, although enforced, donation to its treasury, but this only prolonged the com pany's tottering existence until 1674, when it was faced with even more insurmountable difficulties.

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308 The six years of crisis, dating from the Portuguese rebellion to the renewal of the charter, actually had little effect on the company's Caribbean interests, although, of course, there was no longer any effort to seize a Spanish treasure fleet. The only strong man who played a role there in the forties, Peter Stuyvesant, after the disastrous episode at St. Martin in 1644, was soon appointed governor of New Netherland, to which the Curacao islands were added, and departed with his bride, via Curacao, for New Amsterdam. His historical importance is to be sought in connection with this new office. Excep t for a brief respite en route to his new governorship, Stuyve sant never saw Curacao again. A vice-governor was appointed for the island as well as for the adjacent ones. During the next seventeen yearsfrom 1647 to 1664Stuyvesant governed the Caribbean territory along the Venezuelan coast from New Amsterdam. Under his guidance, a change in governmental organization was inaugurated which was followed for many years. The revisions, which applied specifically to the Curacao islands, marked the realization of the eventual loss of New Holland in the policy of the Heren xix. After the conquest of the Bay of All Saints in 1624, the States General had drawn up certain elaborate governmental regulations regarding the intricacies of colonial administration. Even before the victory at Pernambuco, these official rules had been amended and expanded into a general policy for all of Netherlands America under the title "Order of Government in Police as well as in Justice in the Places conquered or to be conquered in West India. "7* These regulations were consistently adhered to by the wic wherever this institution was organizing a government in conquered territory. Prior to the capture of Curacao the States General had added a "Rule for Colonization" to the 1629 policy. This code, together with a pre scription for the newly established government of New Holland, became the leading principle or rule to be meticulously adhered to in any territory. The regulations of 1629 made a clear distinction between the so-called low and high governments. The latter, functioning in New Holland, was composed of a Board of Councils for the West Indies, in the service of the xix but required to take an oath of loyalty to the States General and the Prince of Orange. This Board of Councils served to unite under its jurisdiction the highest authority in the fields of justice, police, war, trade, religion, internal affairs, and finances. The Curacao islands were to be administered by a governor who, aided by several subordinate councils, constituted the mainstay of a "low" government. This system, initiated with the administration

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309 of van Walbeeck, was ultimately dependent on the government of New Holland. The close relationship between Curacao and Dutch Brazil was continued all through the rule of van Walbeeck's successors, Tolck and van Campen. After the appointment of Stuyvesant, the latter advised the Heren xix to abandon the Curacao islands as unprofitable and suggested that, in case the xix were not inclined to do so, the islands be politically united with New Netherland. The xix concurred with the second suggestion, although the ties between Curacao and New Holland were not immediately broken. Thus Stuyvesant's memorial to the xix on a reorganization of government was, in many aspects, well received. It did not provide, however, a solution to the ticklish problem compounded by a Dutch naval base in the midst of the Caribbean, the existence of which might very well prove detrimental to the gradually evolving peace talks with Spain. One obvious alternative to this dilemma was ac cepted when Curacao became a slave dump, a locally well-known marketplace for the black merchandise. Apparently the plan to unite Curacao with New Netherland was well conceived and one based on complementary needs. The North American colony supplied the islands with food; the latter responded with horses, salt, and blacks. These slaves were known as mancarrons, only useful as domestics and therefore not of prime quality. Upon his departure for New Amsterdam, Stuyvesant had appointed in his place as vice-governor Lucas Rodenburch, who was soon to be succeeded by Matthias Beck. Stuyvesant's instructions to Beck be came the basic guide for governors of the Curacao islands until the end of the eighteenth century. ?s Beck was the highest company authority on the islands, but he ruled together with a Board of Coun cils composed of the commander of the armed forces and chosen members of the civil and military employees of the company who were active on the islands. All executive, legislative, and judicial powers were vested in the vice-governor and the board. An important sub-official was the clerk of victuals, provisions, and trade, an office which had once been held by Peter Stuyvesant. The position of vice-governor was characterized, however, by certain inherent peculiarities. It was nominally under the control of the governors of New Netherland, but the authorities of New Holland also had their say in the matter. Beck, for instance, had copies made of all his correspondence, one to be sent to New Amsterdam, the other to New Holland. This situation persisted until Dutch Brazil was lost in 165-4. At that time the Curacao islands reverted to the control of New Netherland until that colony fell to the English in

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3! 1664. Thereafter, the Curacao islands were governed by their own separate governor under the immediate supervision of the Chamber of Amsterdam. 7 6 The development of Curacao as a slave depot received its main impetus under the governorship of Stuyvesant and was both reinforced and accentuated with the demise of New Holland, when the traffic in "black ebony" became the most important means of exchange between the Dutch and the colonies of Spain, France, and England. It may well be that the character and extent of the slave trade, by which Curacao was soon identified, became instrumental in her retention by the Dutch. Elsewhere in the Caribbean on those islands held or claimed by the Dutch, one encounters a history of repeated flagchanging, from which Curacao was saved. In this respect the history of St. Martin is illustrative. The Dutch, driven from the island in 1633, never really relinquished their claims. After the Spanish left, early in 1648, the Dutch commander of St. Eustatius, assuming that the island was uninhabited, organized several migrating ventures under the auspices of his patrons the de Moors of Flushing. The French were likewise interested and may have sent some colonists at the same time. They established a claim to the island based on the notion that after the Spanish action of 1629, French settlers had moved to and occupied that area of the island which today is still French. Although these notions were dropped during the Spanish reconquest, the governor-general of the French Antilles, Philippe de Lonvilliers de Poincy, steadfastedly duplicated the efforts of the Dutch commander of St. Eustatius. The two parties met on the island and ultimately decided to co operate. Thus its territory was divided between them. The mere fact that there would be two different nationalities on one island was not a unicum; the same had precariously occurred on St. Christopher, while later a similar situation developed on Tobago. On St. Martin the French and Dutch agreed to the following arrangement: the representative of each group would set off from a designated point on the island and walk along the coast until both met again. This proce dure allotted the French the biggest part of the island, while the Dutch acquired the smaller but more profitable segment.77 Dutertre gives a different but more plausible story of the island's division. According to his version, four or five Frenchmen escaped the Spanish abandonment of 1648 and hid in the woods. So did five Dutchmen after the Spanish had left. Both parties informed their respective leaders on the neighboring islands. This motivated the commander of St. Eustatius to action. He dispatched some men to

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3" prevent de Poincy's thirty men from disembarking. But the French soon returned with three hundred men "to take possession of the said island in order to protect the king's interest."78 The Dutch realized the French strength and expressed a desire to negotiate. The bar gaining took place on a small hill located between the Dutch and French camps, and a formal agreement was reached in March, 1648. It confirmed the division of the island into a Dutch and a French sec tion. Until 1672 the colonists of both nations lived in peaceful harmony. The Dutch colonization of the Lesser Antilles forms only a small and relatively insignificant part of the history of the Caribbean. As pointed out before on several occasions, the Hollanders and Zeelanders were primarily interested in trade; they were more anxious to secure markets than to establish colonies. In those years commerce was steadily rising in importance and large numbers of Dutch vessels called regularly at French, English, and Spanish settlements in order to sell provisions and manufactured articles while loading themselves at the same time with indigenous products. Early attempts to exclude them from this trade were totally unsuccessful. English tariff laws as proclaimed as early as 1634 were aimed at separating the Dutch from profit, but these and other measures pressed heavily on the colonists and were, consequently, circumvented. Unfortunately for the Dutch West India Company this extralegal situation could not last forever. Eventually French and English colonies, yielding to strong legislation of the mother countries, did refuse to buy or sell, and the Dutch were left without markets. Much too late they came to the conclusion that they had been negligent in providing themselves with enough colonies abroad to keep themselves in business, and that this very negligence in setting up stable overseas settlements forced them, ultimately, to rely upon a foreign market, a market which at any time might turn its back upon the erstwhile suppliers and transform them overnight into clandestine interlopers or, worse, salesmen without buyers.79

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*3 THE DECLINE OF A BRILLIANT STAR C'est ainsi que par la Jaiblesse, l'incapacite &. la lachete de deux ou trois hommes et par le peu de soin et de moyens que Von avoit en Hollande de les secourir, l'Estat &, la Compagnie des Indes Occidentales perdirent ce gran St, beau Pays.I Following the years of crisis, which ended with the renewal of its charter, it became obvious that the semi-bankrupt West India Com pany was incapable of coping with the Portuguese-Brazilian rebellion. Only massive financial aid could save it from disaster. That the States General was aware of the situation is demonstrated by its resolutions. In the spring of 1647, Zeeland, after having won the extension of the company's charter, pushed for immediate and effective support in the Brazilian problem. At Munster in Westphalia, meanwhile, peace negotiations between most of Europe's nations were drawing to a close. Fearful of what peace with Spain would bring to their institution, the Heren xix continued to plague the States General with memorials. Yet their efforts were to no avail. Zeeland, although reluctantly agreeing to peace, continued to plead for a continuation of the war. Amsterdam, however, was more interested in trade and thus supported a cessation of hostilities. Its merchants were deeply involved in the gold trade on the Guinea coast, in the slave trade from Guinea and Angola (fifteen thousand to twenty thousand blacks a year), and in general commerce with the Iberian peninsula. In the end its influence outweighed that of the pichelingues, the Zeelandian privateers. Indeed, it was to Amsterdam's advantage to ruin the company, since an end of the charter would have made the city the chief recipient of the company's monopolies. As noted earlier, the Arminian, anti-Orangist, libertine party was at that time steadily gaining power in Amsterdam. It was a slow process, of course, to undermine the position of the stadhouder whose status, because of the long war, had gradually and imperceptibly been transformed into a near-monarchy. A clash was inevitable, and matters took a turn for the worse under Frederik Hendrik's talented but restless son William II. With an army, he marched to Amsterdam and forcibly removed from the city council those members of the

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313 Bicker clique who then dominated city affairs. Nevertheless, the sudden death of the young stadhouder that same year (16^0) enabled Amsterdam to revert to its former anti-company position. Amsterdam had to compromise, however, with Zeeland on the issue of peace by agreeing to equip a huge secours for Brazil. Fortunate ly, both the East and West India Companies had directed their attacks against Portuguese possessions, and this circumstance facilitated the conciliatory negotiations between Spain and the United Provinces. As a result, peace with Philip IV could be concluded without dis turbing any of the influential circles in the United Provinces. The treaty, which was signed on January 30, 1648, ended the eighty-year struggle for Dutch independence. From the standpoint of the EIC and the wic, the most important provisions of the treaty were Articles v and vi. The former stated that, in conformity with charters already given to both companies, navigation and commerce could continue in the East and West Indies to all places actually possessed by the United Provinces. Traffic with Spain would be open to the inhabitants of the independent Netherlands, although it was explicitly stated that Spanish possessions in the East Indies were closed to Dutch traders. Curiously enough, the West Indies were not specifically mentioned in this respect, but Article vi further stipulated: ... the subjects and inhabitants of the kingdoms, provinces and countries of the fore said King and States General respectively, shall restrain themselves from navigation and trade in all the ports and places occupied and possessed by the other party with forts, trading-posts or fortresses: i.e. the subjects of the foresaid King will not navigate and trade in the ports and places that are kept by the foresaid States General, while the subjects of the latter will not do so in places kept by the foresaid King. And among the places that the foresaid States General will possess are included those places taken from the Portuguese, excluding those places taken by the Portuguese since 1641 and still in Portuguese possession. These two articles formed the extremes that limited Dutch trade and navigation to both Indies. Twenty years earlier, Spain had offered peace on terms which excluded the Caribbean and which had de manded restitution of all territory gained by the Dutch in the American hemisphere. In 1648, she relinquished a great deal to her former subjects. Despite the concessions, however, the wic was left with the problem of how to provide for the defense of New Holland. It was unable to solve this dilemma alone, because, as Wicquefort surmised, the situation there was "in such poor shape" as it had never been before.2 The Portuguese were united; ambition and avarice devoured and ruined the Dutch. Nor could the company turn the tide

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3 H of decline into one of renaissance. Gone were the days when its influence could tip the scales of war and peace. Conclusions were now reached and decisions made without and in spite of the company. The renewed charter, dated March 22, 1647, committed the West India Company to a protracted death struggle. The first charter period had witnessed the capture and the loss of the Bay of All Saints, Piet Heyn's venture, the conquest of Pernambuco, the exploits of Pater, Ita, Thijsz, and the exciting career of Peg-leg Jol. On the other hand, the second charter reveals only decline and defeat: the loss of New Holland, of New Netherland, and of some of the West African acquisitions. Such highlights as there were under the new extension were rendered under official orders of the States General or of the Provincial States of Holland or Zeeland: the raids of Michiel Adriaenszoon de Ruyter, of Abraham Crijnssen, of Cornelis Evertsen, and the heroic adventures of Jacob Binckes. All the offensive power of the second quarter-century of the company's history was, therefore, the work of the federal or provincial governments of the United Provinces. These governments now became deeply involved in all overseas action, and they endorsed this involvement by sending powerful fleets to Brazil, the Caribbean, and New Netherland. The company itself received no credit for these victories, and reaped profits only from the slave trade. At the end of the second charter, in 1674, although the West India Company controlled the slave mar ket, it no longer had any offensive power nor a trade monopoly in the Caribbean. There, England had become a dangerous competitor. The true heart of the problem for the wic was always financial. Provincial subsidies continued to remain delinquent. Friesland, once a fervent supporter, was frustrated in its attempt to establish a Frisian East India Company. This province, therefore, with only one or two exceptions throughout the entire second term of the charter, ab stained from supporting the wic. The Frisians also refused to take part in any venture which was undertaken by the company. They even declined to attend meetings of the xix or their own chamber. The period of the second charter continued the debacle of the years of crisis, and the official archives of this period are full of requests, petitions, and anguished cries for assistance. The States General took the position in 1647 that it was obligated to come to the support of the company in Brazil. Allegations con cerning the motives of the gentlemen in government render their support something less than disinterested. Even with this consider ation, however, the federal assembly could reach no agreement on how help was to be supplied. 3

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3*5 The Brazilian adventure had reached its zenith with Jol's conquests of the newly independent Portuguese in Africa. These acquisitions were particularly valuable with respect to the slave trade. A year later the Dutch lost the island, although not the fort, of Sao Thome. In 1647, Salvador de Sa left Lisbon for Rio de Janeiro, and, in 1648, accompanied by thirty ships, made his way back across the Atlantic with specific instructions to conquer Luanda. A smiling Portuguese ambassador communicated this fact to Their High Mightinesses with visible satisfaction. + The Portuguese, at this juncture, offered to exchange for Luanda such territory as they had reclaimed from the Dutch in Brazil. This seemed to the Dutch positive proof that the Portuguese king had been instrumental in the overseas activity of his subjects in Brazil. It was a further breach of the truce, and the maneuver seemed to be a delaying tactic to provide the Portuguese with an opportunity to regain all their former West African and Brazilian possessions. The xix's response to the restitution offer was a demand for the indemnification of damages which had been sustained by the Dutch in Brazil. The resulting deadlock doomed the success of an agreement. The Portuguese had initiated the discussion with the expectation that mighty Amsterdam wanted an understanding. The States General, however, strongly influenced by the new Stadhouder William II, had already committed itself to assist the wic in Brazil. The Dutch govern ment thus replied to the Portuguese ambassador that restitution of all parts of Dutch Brazil now under control of the Portuguese together with what was lost by the Dutch on Africa's west coast had to be the basis for any rapprochement. Coutinho, despite lavish bribes, failed to dispossess the wic even after offering to buy these territories for eight million cruzados, a sum equal to sixteen million guilders. But even this huge sum would not have been sufficient to pay the company's debts. Although ignored at Westphalia, the Portuguese found the Dutch determined to assist the wic in Brazil.5 The departure of Count Johan Maurits had left New Holland in incompetent hands. Delinquent contributions to the wic treasury had delayed help which might have saved its precious jewel. The Heren xix were in no position, however, to enforce payment. Tired of waiting and postponing, they declared their treasury empty. A balance sheet, which had been made up some time earlier, showed some alarming figures: the expenditures for New Holland had alone exceeded 3,000,000 guilders a year.6 Although in open accord that aid should be sent Brazil, the States General had bogged down in discussions about which provinces should pay.

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3i6 In November, 1646, it was agreed to send seventeen ships and six thousand men, partially paid for by the company, under the command of Admiral Witte Corneliszoon de With, one of the outstanding members of the group of Dutch fighting admirals.7 This expedition was intended to follow up any accomplishments by the smaller secours mentioned in the previous chapter. Although Coutinho did his utmost to delay the departure of this huge fleet, the usual governmental inefficiency plus a very severe winter were what ultimately detained the fleet until the beginning of 1648. Admiral de With was to spend the next two years cruising along the Brazilian coast. He was unable, however, to restrain the inspired and wisely led Portuguese from their reconquest of Brazil.8 Negotiations with Portugal, meanwhile, proceeded at home. It was clearly to Portugal's advantage to keep them dragging. She succeeded. When news reached the United Provinces in January, 1649, that Luanda had fallen, war sentiment increased. Pamphlets appeared in quantity, and they indicated that all the Dutch, except the Amsterdammers, favored an open break with Portugal. Just at this time, Spain proposed to join the Dutch against the Portuguese. The Spaniards offered to bear two-thirds of the financial burden of war and to be content with one-third of the collective gains. When the issue was turned over to the Provincial States, it was hotly contended. Zeeland wanted war, as usual; Amsterdam remained predictably conciliatory. At this juncture the Dutch were thus irrevocably divided. The loss of Luanda caused five provinces to court war. Friesland abstained while Holland tried to moderate. In the course of January, 1649, the Heren xvn and xix were both authorized by the States General to disburse letters of marque and reprisal. A list of redresses for the West India Company was drawn up, and shareholders were forced to make contributions to the company.' All these signs pointed to an immediate outbreak of hostilities. But it was destined to be a cold war. Mighty Amsterdam, playing directly into Portuguese hands, paralyzed efforts to effectuate war measures. Zeeland continued to demand more preparations, Friesland refused to become involved, and all the other provinces vacillated. Although some historians credit this inability to get organized to the wiles and intrigues of Coutinho, it was probably more attributable to the normal inefficiency and rivalry of the Dutch provincial govern ments with their peculiar intransigent local automatons. In the end New Holland was neglected, and the Dutch suffered defeat after defeat. Even at sea their traditional stronghold was crum-

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317 bling. In 1649 the once so powerful West India Company did not have one capital ship at its disposal. De With's fleet, ineffectual at best, was a government fleet, and it was the only one available at that particular moment. The admiral's quarrels with the Political Council at Pernambuco, moreover, were compounding the tragedy being enacted there. Privateering was also thoroughly frustrated by the fact that the Portuguese had established a Companhia geral do Estado do Biasil. They now sailed only in heavily armed convoys. When word reached The Hague that Portugal was preparing a vast armada, the States General stirred from indecision and approved a new secours for New Holland. Since the West India Company was now totally insolvent, any attempt to save Dutch Brazil was entirely up to the government. A blockade of the Portuguese coast was also decided upon, although no war had as yet been declared. But talk of an alliance between the United Provinces and Spain filled the air, and pamphleteers from both sides bombarded the public with "blue books." Once again, Amsterdam's opposition crippled decisive action; nothing came of the decisions. Aitzema could indeed write truthfully, "The affairs of the company again plummeted downhill. "I0 Nothing was accomplished. At the end of 1649, de With re turned from Brazil without authorization and claimed rightly that the Dutch position there was beyond hope. While battles raged fiercely in Brazil, a strange "cold war" im mobilized the combatants in Europe. As negotiations dragged on, both parties were swept up in the vicious circle of unrealistic demands. Coutinho's position was certainly not to be envied. At one point he was recalled for his failure to achieve all of Portugal's demands. When this punitive action was reversed, Coutinho advised his king that there were only two choices: either accept the Dutch conditions or embark upon war against the Hollanders in Brazil, the Far East, and Europe. Popular feeling in the United Netherlands again expressed itself rather rashly when the riff-raff of The Hague attacked the Portuguese embassy. This attack signaled the end of Coutinho's political fortunes there. As Wicquefort observes, "the way he acted," on account of which "l'on avoit traitte de ridicule en elle mesme"11 in The Hague resulted in his departure without the usual pomp meriting his rank.12 A slight reprieve for the Dutch position in Brazil was gained when a fleet of modest size, six ships and six yachts carrying 2,800 men, left the Low Countries at the end of 1649. But the situation in Brazil had become even more desperate with de With's "French leave." Only massive measures could effectively hope to alter the obvious collapse

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3i8 of the colony. Portuguese inability to strike a final and telling blowwas due to an adverse international situation. Portugal was still at war with Spain and unable to find allies against her peninsular foe. The element of chanceand timenow seemed to be on the side of the Dutch. In an era when, to all appearances, the Dutch should have been able to bring the tiny Iberian nation to her knees, nothing of the kind occurred. Some explanation of this phenomenon is required. It must be sought in connection with internal and international problems with which the United Provinces had to cope. The war party had lost its major advocate when the Stadhouder William II died suddenly of smallpox in i6ro at the age of twenty-four. Playing upon Dutch fears of losing the Setubal salt trade, the resurgent libertines were able to postpone an open break with Portugal. This delaying tactic lost its force, however, as the wic regained control of St. Martin. Coutinho had definitely been correct in his estimation that the Dutch were more interested in salt for their herring industry than in possible profits from the slave trade. This policy, however, was changing rapidly now that St. Martin salt had become again available, and the trade in "black ebony" was gaining in momentum. Discussions in the Low Countries proceeded about further help to Dutch Brazil, and encouragement was given to both the East and the West India Companies in their privateering against Portugal. The new Portuguese ambassador Antonio de Sousa Macedo arrived at this same time to resume negotiations. The States General, still enraged at the tactics of his predecessor, took a firmer stand now that the opportunity seemed to offer itself. Their High Mightinesses ignored the new ambassador for half a year. Not before March, 16^1when difficulties with England clouded the Dutch political skywas he received by this august body. But his eloquent opening address: Tandem aliquando... "At last, Your High Mightinesses, the right of nations triumphs, reason is heard and justice sits on her throne" failed to command respect from the levelheaded Dutch. His offers of vast concessions in exchange for the return of Dutch Brazil were inspired by Portugal's feeling of isolation. The offers were met with silence or with polite rejections. A memorial from the Heren xix at this time may be partly responsible for the government's intractable attitude: the company's losses in Brazil because of the PortugueseBrazilian rebellion impressed the Dutch politicians far more than the dramatic rhetoric of the new Portuguese ambassador.13 Eventually and in spite of the offers of the Swedish queen to mediate, all relations between the United Provinces and Portugal were severed.

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319 Open war with the late ally now seemed only to be a matter of time. Despite Macedo's initial jubilanceSum parvus homo sed habeo magnum cor1*he had failed. Soon afterwards he left the country. Negotia tions with Spain were renewed, and the wic magnanimously offered to surrender the southern part of Brazilthose regions never con quered by the Dutchto the Spaniards. The Dutch were to keep the northern portion after the territory had been taken from the Portuguese. Panic hit Lisbon when the nature of these procedures became known, and the grand inquisitor, long opposed to restitution to heretics, now claimed that the king "would sin if he did not con clude peace, even on such terms as the Dutch desired. "js The Portuguese were spared humiliation by none other than Oliver Cromwell. The United Provinces now refused to enter into an alliance with the English, one which had been designed to strengthen the Protestant cause as well as Cromwell's own position. Faced with Dutch obstinacy, his compliant parliament had vented its anger and procured a set of Navigation Laws calculated to end Dutch trading competition. Increasing tensions with England thus led the Dutch to tread gently with Portugal. This was especially so while King Joao seemed inclined to remain accomodating. Adapting itself to the realities of the situation and listening to new offers from the Portu guese, over the vigorous disapproval of the Heren xix, the States General agreed to settle the Brazilian problem on the condition that the Dutch retain Pernambuco and receive an indemnity. Negotiations on this basis were interrupted by the startling news that Cromwell had dispatched a powerful fleet against royalist Barbados. The mission had miscarried, but the English had overpowered twenty-four Dutch traders in one of the island's ports.16 They justified this action on the pretext of carrying letters of reprisal, an excuse which allowed them to seize outright all ships trading on British islands in violation of the new Navigation Laws. This instance was the test case for the new laws in the Caribbean. The Dutch were well aware that war with England was imminent and unavoidable. "We know the nature of that 'superb' nation, so help us God, only too well," wrote the Heren xix to the States General," and they were no doubt voicing popular sentiment. Disturbing news from the East Indies and renewed English complaints ad nauseamabout the alleged "Ambon atrocities" contrived to distract attention from Portugal altogether. In the States General, emergency measures were legislated for o ships and long-range plans for a fleet of i^o ships "to make the seas safe and to preserve the navigation and the commerce of these United Provinces. "l8

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320 The ensuing first Anglo-Dutch war, which was lost by the Dutch, took place almost exclusively in that area arrogantly referred to by the English as the "British Seas." Except for some unauthorized privateering, New Holland, the Caribbean, and New Netherland remained outside the scope of hostilities. The Dutch were chiefly concerned about New Netherland which was surrounded by the English. Zeeland, though, at one time, insisted that help for Dutch possessions in the Caribbean and the Guianas be delegated at once.19 In the meantime, the Brazilian situation continued to deteriorate rapidly and was soon beyond repair. The States General knew that the position there was critical and made various desperate attempts to win Frisian approval of concerted aid to the area. A unanimous vote was required for action. But that province persisted in its refusal and announced that the resolutions of Their High Mightinesses were not binding unless its own provincial assembly concurred.20 The one acceptable alternative was to send envoys to Lisbon. These diplomats were dispatched in the course of 16^3 and carried new offers having to do with Brazil. By now, however, positions on the political chessboard had dramatically shifted. The future had con siderably brightened for the Portuguese while the Dutch were now pressed by adverse circumstances. Thus, the Portuguese looked on as interested spectators in the Anglo-Dutch conflict, since they realized that they could only benefit from the situation. Besides, the States General's demands were totally unrealistic since Dutch power in Brazil had by now been reduced to a defense of their capital. No help was apt to be forthcoming, moreover, from the Low Countries while the nation was at war with England. The Portuguese did concede their willingness to surrender some part of Dutch Brazil in return for the unconditional restitution of their East Indian possessions. But the Heren xvu were entirely unsympathetic to that idea, and the Dutch envoys returned home with nothing to show for their efforts.21 The Anglo-Dutch war provided King Joao with what he considered to be his golden opportunity to end the stalemate in Brazil. He had prevented, heretofore, a direct attack on Recife, the fortified outpost of the last Dutch stronghold in Pernambuco. At last he ordered an all-out siege on the city by land as well as by sea. On December 20, 1&S3* 63 well-armed Portuguese ships dropped anchor in that harbor, while troops simultaneously advanced toward the Dutch positions from the opposite side. Although the Dutch had provisions for a year, they lacked the will to fight. On January 2 5, 16 54, negotiations began, and twelve days later Portuguese-Brazilian troops occupied the area. New Holland belonged to the past.22

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321 A deep stir of emotion over the loss of Dutch Brazil swept through the United Provinces, but it was soon lost among the other pressing problems facing the country. Although a stream of refugees continued for some time to pour into the humiliated Netherlands, they could occasion little more than a display of superficial sympathy. The days of a dynamic West India Company were gone forever. There were desultory discussions about reconquest which were followed by the sober realization that this was impossible.*3 The States General undertook to compensate for the financial loss that had been suffered by the company under the guise of official demands for restitution from the Portuguese. The end of the Anglo-Dutch war and the death of King Joao in 16^6 eventually furnished the Dutch with a chance to take the offensive against Portugal, and a fleet of fourteen sails was speedily equipped to blockade the Portuguese coast. It was well known that the rich sugar fleet from Brazil was expected in May or June, and the purpose of the expedition was to intercept this valuable prey. Amsterdam had at long last stopped its opposition and seemed willing to cooperate. Only Friesland continued to abstain. This meant, of course, that war had become only a matter of formal declaration. France sought to mediate, but her motives were im mediately suspected by the Dutch. The latter, although defeated in Brazil, had achieved considerable gains in the East Indies, and thought they held the trump cards in the bargaining game. The Portuguese, moreover, were in a conciliatory mood since they were still at war with Spain and threatened by the Dutch in India. But the proposals submitted to the Portuguese queen by the Dutch envoys who arrived at Lisbon with the blockading fleet were too high-handed. They were too bitter a pill for the Portuguese to swallow unprotestingly. In summary, the proposals demanded restitution of all territory con quered by the Portuguese since 1641. The impossible position taken by the Dutch resulted in a new stalemate. The Dutch representatives left Lisbon after a proclamation of war had been officially handed to the Portuguese.2* Actual fighting, however, did not take place since England and France brought pressure to bear on both parties. Despite the fact that a state of war had been formally declared, Amsterdam continued handing out passports and permits for trade with Portugal. Negotia tions were once more resumed, and a new Portuguese ambassador appeared before Their High Mightinesses in July, 1658, accompanied by offers of indemnification. No specific mention was made of resti tution, and the Dutch remained cool to the ambassador's proposals

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3*2 despite the fact that Portugal by now could count on both French and English support. News that French and other privateers were operat ing with Portuguese commissions intensified Dutch suspicions of these "good neighbors, "2s and the increasingly tempting offers of the Portuguese ambassador continued to be ignored. Portugal benefited this time from Dutch involvement in the Baltic war. Her ambassador now published a manifesto damning the Dutch in general and the wic in particular for faithlessness and for atrocities. The Netherlanders retaliated by again issuing letters of reprisal against the Portuguese as a warning. When the Baltic war had reached the stage where it was obvious to all that the Dutch were clearly winning, the Portuguese ambassador thought it opportune to initiate concilia tory talks once again. It was 1661, however, before real provisions for a treaty were written down and submitted to the Provincial States for approval. Five provinces were in favor of peace; only Zeeland and Gelderland were opposed. Disregarding the provisions of the Union of Utrecht which had stipulated that every province was to concur in such mattersHolland, led by the Grand Pensionary Johan de Witt, pushed the treaty through. The final draft did not mention restitution for any territory taken by the Portuguese from the West India Company. It did provide, however, for an indemnity of eight million guilders to be paid partly in gold, partly in sugar, salt, and other commodities.26 For many years to come, recurrent quarrels about the prices and delivery of these products were not infrequent, yet both sides were too desirous of peace to consider them seriously. Although the money put the treasury of the company back on its feet for a short while, it was small compensation for the sacrifices which had been made in verzuimd (neglected) Brazil. The treaty sealed the fate of the company. Amsterdam and the triumphant East India Company had safeguarded their interests in the Malay Archipelago and in India and had used the West India Company's precious jewel New Holland as bait to protect the colonies the EIC had seized from Portugal in the Far East. The Heren xix realized that this peace meant the end. Portugal had not defeated them, but their own capital together with its mighty monopolistic institution had. On the agenda of their meeting shortly afterward, the statement was made that the company had been rendered "weak and powerless."27 It was a moderate statement. Its impotence was now no secret to anyone and its implications were soon realized by another seapower fast growing in importance, England. The English, consequently, suddenly became very much interested in relieving the Dutch of their

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323 possessions in the African and American hemisphere. It was precisely this rivalry that precipitated the second Anglo-Dutch war, the first colonial war in the Caribbean. Unable to take care of its own defense, the West India Company desperately needed government assistance. But the States General, although not opposed to help, could no longer provide it under the auspices of the company. The Dutch fleets which crossed the Atlantic in this and in the third Anglo-Dutch conflict sailed under the red-white-blue banner of the United Provinces. The rise of the Dutch West India Company had been brief but glorious. Its decline, almost imperceptible in the thirties, more obvious in the forties, and manifest in the fifties, spans a period of thirty years. This extended death struggle was protracted unnecessarily by the company's lengthy fight to regain New Holland and by its un realistic approach to the problem. Deeply involved in the matter, the States General was constantly faced with the question of how best to reconcile the company or, as it was euphemistically phrased at the time, how to "redress" the company. It appears that it continued to cling tenaciously to the idea that the wic could survive in spite of the loss of Brazil. In this connection, the surrender of New Netherland a brief ten years after the fall of Pernambuco should have provided conclusive evidence to the contrary. The Portuguese victory in Brazil, although counterweigh ted by great losses in the Far East, thoroughly alarmed the Dutch people, since it was executed by a European state which was widely held to be impotent. Nothing "did more damage to the honor and reputation of the Republic" than this defeat by a nation known to be one of the weakest of all Europe.28 Although the United Provinces' commit ments in European affairs suffice to explain the defeat, they do not justify it. An objective analysis would reveal that the West India Company paid the price of Dutch existence as a world power in the seventeenth century. New Holland's loss marks the real beginning of the bankruptcy of the company. From a "Summary Report"2" of 1648 it appears that in the previous year the company's Brazilian expenses had been 1,100,000 to 1,200,000 guilders; on the other hand its income was estimated at only 400,000 guilders "from which," the report con cluded, "the total ruin and decline of the company is to be expected." In the years which followed Count Johan Maurits' departure, a marked decline in revenue became noticeable. The incompetent management which succeeded him was unable to reverse this trend. Quite literally the company bled itself to death in order to defend

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324 and maintain its pretentious colony. As was often the case, Usselinx' prediction was proven correct: the conquest and defense of Brazil would cost ten million guilders and would require ten thousand men. At no time in the company's history were such funds and such man power freely available. Although the wic's financial problem was undeniably complicated by mismanagement within the directorate, the real source of difficulty must be sought in connection with undisguised provincial rivalry con cerning the company, especially between Holland and Zeeland. This jealousy is particularly well reflected in the voluminous and vitupera tive pamphlets of the era. On the other hand, the xvn virtually escaped criticism of this type for a century and a half after 1623. In the early thirties, the company tried to retrieve the 600,000 guilders that it had loaned to the government during the Gelderland crisis. Its difficulties in this respect should have warned its adminis trators against trusting the provinces. Although perhaps without too much choice, the Heren xix instead borrowed in good faith against the promised 700,000-guilder annual subsidy which had been voted by the States General in 1632. They were soon to learn that these com mitments made by the federal government were not too assiduously honored at the provincial level. Evidence of this local deferment is apparent in the following account dated 1649.30 General account of what the respective provinces owe to the wic in the matter of subsidies for the period since 1635: The Province of Gelderland: Debit f 589,617 : 3 : 10J Paid f 142,999 : 12 : 8 Remains in debt for f 446,617 : 11 : 2J The Province of Holland: Debit /f.8i8,J36 : 11 : 8| Paid ^"2,348,238 : 16 : 12 Remains in debt for fSA70>297 l4- 12$ The Province of Zeeland: Debit / 9if,iJ3 Si Paid / 336,541 : 13 : 8 Remains in debt for f 578,611 : 14 : 13 J The Province of Utrecht Debit / 615,308 : 13 : 2J Paid / 208,605 : 16 : 8 Remains in debt for J 406,702 : 16 : iof

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325 The Province of Friesland: Debit /i,357"3 : 6 : 4 Paid / 230,098 : 2:12 Remains in debt for J" 1,127,015 : 3 : 8 The Province of Overijssel: Debit / 397.J38 = 8 : io| Paid f 94.H3 : 4 = Remains in debt for J 3>295 : 4: 2i The Province of Groningen: Debit / 334.449 : n : i$ Paid / 27.452 : 8 : o Remains in debt for J 306,997 : 3 : iff The collector Doublet debit on the remaining since the closed account, 1635: J 5,753 : 16 : 7 Landscape Drente paid: f 2,000 / 7.753 : 16 : 7 TOTAL DUE wic: /6,647,291 : ^ : 8j Financial adversities continued to be a deliberative item on the agendathe so-called poincten van beschrijvingheof the Heren xix. The resolutions of the States General, however, provide eloquent testimony of the persistence and optimism of the xix. Ample evidence of the cumbersome system of administration of the United Provinces, the resolutions show the virtual impotence of the federal government when confronted by provincial autonomy. Before the continuation of the charter had been granted, the Province of Gelderlandthe first in rank, although not in importance, since it had been a duchy while all the others were countieshad proposed to ask the East India Company how its sister company might be compensated for its losses.31 This proposal implied that prolonga tion of the wic charter would require a program of restoration for the company. The Heren xix, who met in Middelburg in 1646, inspired by this request, drew up and submitted a balance sheet that was accompanied by suggestions for their own survival. Included also, of course, was a request for assistance. This fervent plea, dated February 6, 1647, or prior to the renewal of the charter, admitted that "with a longer delay of the final and effective resolution of Your High Might inesses we have no means nor do we know how to get the means to defend our conquests in the future or keep our affairs at home out of confusion. "" Other petitions followed, regularly pleading with the

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326 States General to urge, cajole, or force the provinces to meet their obligations. The EIC charter was renewed on the condition that this company should pay i ,,000 guilders into the wic treasury. The latter insti tution then requested permission to borrow 100,000 guilders against the promised subsidy. The States General offered no objection, in undated as it was at that moment by reports from West Africa that testified to the fact that the company's position there was deteriorating almost as quickly as it was in Brazil.33 Desperate men are reduced to desperate means. The xix were soon to learn, however, that stopgap measures provided no adequate solution to their dilemma. Once the charter had been renewed, the Heren xix immediately requested 600,000 guilders for Brazil.34 This plea differed from preceding ones because of its urgency. Thereafter, during all of 1647, attention was increasingly concentrated on Brazil which left little time to consider a redress for the company. A special committee was selected from members of the States General, however, to work on this problem with the Heren xix.35 It released the Summary Report already mentioned on the general issue of reparations which examined the condition of the company and offered the opinions of the five cham bers upon the matter. 36 The statistics of this document made it clear that total collapse of the company was imminent unless prompt provisions were made for its restoration. In the Brazil matter alone the company's 1647 budget showed a deficit of two-thirds. The report presumed, rather whimsi cally, that funds would be forthcoming and that New Holland would be saved. The committee thus considered seriously such illusory problems as the future defense and maintenance of the colony. Diverse responsible ideas for a reduction of expenses were also included: the elimination of the annual allowances to the eighty-eight directors and their attendants, the discharge of many useless servants in New Hol land, and a special clause which made company employees at all levels accountable for their respective offices to the company's Chamber of Accounts. Improvement in the company's financial situation was confidently predicted as a result of a recently passed regulation that was designed to promote trade to the Caribbean islands. A special fund for redress, which had been suggested in a 1637 resolution of the States General, was urged also. Finally, the report solemnly recommended federal and provincial support for the company's ventures in Angola, the Guinea coast, New Holland, New Netherland, and the Caribbean for the furtherance of national pride and for sheer profit.37 Specific

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327 financial remedies were also mentioned. The company ought to be allowed to raise a 500,000-guilder installment from its stockholders against debts in arrears. It was argued elsewhere that the Dutch envoys at Munster be empowered to negotiate, on behalf of the company, a guarantee for the salt trade on Punta de Araya. Spain drew no salt from this deposit, and great profits were expected for the company through this monopoly. Almost as an afterthought, the committee for the restoration and redress of the company advised that cultivation in the company's territorial acquisitions ought to be advanced. Immigration was to be encouraged. After Their High Mightinesses had solemnly thanked all those who had participated in this special report, they submitted copies to the provincial assemblies and urged their prompt response. In an "Address on the present distress of the West India Company" in the Chamber of the Northern Quarter, the comment was made that a thousand suggestions for rehabiliation were possible. But if the Provincial States persisted in their delinquencies, the only conceivable outcome for the wic was a slow and certain death.38 The Heren xix supple mented the record with an attractive proposition to their stockholders that money henceforward invested in the company would only be used for purposes of trade in Guinea, S.o Thome, and elsewhere in Africa. Nothing ever came of the grandiose promises that were made by this official proclamation. Some time later, just as news of the fall of Luanda trickled home, Gelderland again submitted a declaration to the States General for the sustenance and maintenance of the wic.39 This appears to have been the first of the "quick responses" asked for by Their High Might inesses. The "Declaration of Gelderland" vigorously endorsed the position that the provinces should support the company in Brazil and in other ways. Such assistance, it claimed, should be forthcoming as soon as possible. Four or five of the other provinces acquiesced in this statement. After a few weeks, the States General reopened the general question of redress. An account was made of overdue indebtedness, and proposals were made to have these debts paid off in installments.* Participants were requested to subscribe for 12 per cent of their shares. As the largest investor, the States General was to furnish an example. But, some months later, discussions about the installment proposal failed to achieve concrete results. The return of de With renewed the debate which led to making in casu accomodations for free trade in New Holland and in the Caribbean, severe salary cuts for directors and Brazilian employees, as well as the dispatch of an actual secours

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328 although smaller than originally plannedto New Holland. That any decision was reached, at this stage and after so long a time, bor dered on the miraculous. The market quotations from 1628 to 1674 further clarify the com pany's desperate straits. In November, 1628, before Heyn's capture of the Silver Fleet, the stocks of the company were steady at a modest 11 per cent. When Heyn arrived home two months later, they had jumped to 206 per cent. The collapse to 61 per cent in Feburary, 1633, was occasionally relieved by temporary "ups" as good news reached home. But no expedition really altered the decline in the percentage. Jol's exploits in 1638 and 1640 must explain the re surgence of the price of shares to 134 per cent in May of the latter year. Thereafter the decline was slow but steady. Stocks hit 16 per cent in i6ro. In i6rr they were down to 10 per cent. From 1660 to the end of 1673 they stood around 3 per cent with an "up" to 9 or 1 o per cent in 1664 because of the expectations raised by de Ruyter's mission. Without lengthy and superfluous details, the chart succinctly reveals the decline of the Dutch West India Company.*1 In 16^0, a new petition was received by the States General from some of the head-participants of the company,*2 proposing complete reorganization. This document is remarkable because the company's decline was not blamed on the success of the Portuguese nor on the failure of provincial support. Instead, the directors were openly accused of bad management in financial affairs, in military matters, and in trade regulations. This vituperative denunciation was soon followed by other pamphlets bitterly attacking the company's directors. It was demanded that all their salaries should cease immediately and that offenders be excluded from the advantages, bonuses, freedoms, and privileges which they had enjoyed since the founding of the wic. The 16^0 proposal also included certain positive steps for the rejuvenation of the company. The States General was asked to appoint a new Board of Directors to be called the "Council of the Indies." This council was to have seventeen members: four from Holland, three from Zeeland, and two from each of the other provinces. Acting under the immediate supervision of the States General, the council would be in charge of general management but would not have the accompanying duties of administering capital, revenues, expenditures, equipping fleets, or purchasing supplies. It was also suggested that the government in New Holland be reorganized to make its governor directly responsible to the company when he returneda process comparable to the Spanish residencia. Three ideas were advanced to bring about the political change: peace with

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3*9 1630 1635 1640 1645 1650 1655 Market quotations of the West India Company, 1628-1674 Portugal based on restitution, exemption from taxes for New Holland for a stipulated period, and simplification of the navigation regulation for the Caribbean. This documentary evidence may well have been the cause of the vehement criticism of company management which soon flourished. A pamphlet entitled "The Amsterdam ferry-man to Middelburgh" argued against the directors, using the device of a conversation among travelers.*3 Aitzema and van der Capellen report that some attempts were made to correct the bad management and administration,** but there is no proof that more than minor reforms were actually under taken, despite the articulate and hostile reviews of the time. The directors unflinchingly sent their usual request for aid to the States General in 1651 .*' Groningen, in particular, was deeply moved by "the desolate condition of the West India Company," as revealed in this request.*6 Notwithstanding this support, in January, i6c2, the States General again came to the reluctant conclusion that New Holland was a hopeless cause.*? This did not, however, prevent its members from voting a subsidy to the company. An immediate sum of 310,000 guilders was proposed lest the company go bankrupt and the prestige of the United Provinces be damaged. Discussions on this latter proposal had just begun when the first Anglo-Dutch war broke out. Although the Dutch lost this encounter, they remained dangerous competitors to the English. The war was briefless than two yearsand ended in the Caribbean with a situation that was roughly the status quo ante helium. Each combatant had suffered undeniable losses in trade. The enforcement of the Navigation Laws of 16ri, however, contributed directly to the decline of Dutch commerce in the Caribbean. Consequently, the

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33 States General appealed to the "Caribbean navigators" for ways to protect their trade in the area. The response from these commercial agents contained some remarkable suggestions for a redress of the wic. They may be considered the last real program for rehabilitating the company.*8 The merchants who traded in the Caribbean concluded that the wic could no longer protect Dutch interests in that area. The States General, therefore, was advised to take such matters into its own hands, to outfit a fleet for the capture of Barbados, and to anticipate future problems by expanding quickly to other English-held islands. They also suggested that a mission be sent to capture the rich tobacco land of Virginia. Furthermore, in order to maintain and protect trade under the auspices of the company, whose charter and rights were fully recognized, they proposed the creation within the company of a Caribbean corporation which would be placed under the direction of the Chambers of Amsterdam and Zeeland. This "Caribbean Com pany" would direct all trade in the area and enlist colonists for inhabited islands.w The recommendations closed with the insistence that the first requisite for the Caribbean was a new governmentsponsored fleet. As might be expected, nothing ever came of these admonitions. When the war with England ended, much of the threat was removed. The project had proved to be purely academic. The West India Company did manage to survive both the first Anglo-Dutch war and the loss of Brazil. Immediately after the war, in 16$, certain creditors attempted to seize company property. After all, the shares were down to 10 per cent. But the States General stepped in and prevented that action. Thereafter, all discussions for the redress and restoration of the company disappear from the minutes of the States General, the Provincial States of Holland, and even from the meetings of the Heren xix. Since everyone seemed to have accepted the fact that the company was beyond repair, it was simply allowed to sink into limbo without comment. In 1667, some debates were held about the sale of the company's charter to the highest bidder in order to pay the Financial support from the States General, however, and some advantages granted by the treaty with Portugal in 1669i.e., the aforementioned eight million guildersenabled the company to limp through the next few years. In the seventies, the company was generally assumed to have reached its lowest point. The effects of the second and third Anglo-Dutch wars on the Carib bean area were much more dramatic than those of the first conflict. The prolongation of the last war into a bitter Franco-Dutch conflict

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33i caused especially severe losses from which the Dutch never recovered. As a war instrument the West India Company had vanished. The States Generalor more correctly the provinces of Holland and Zeelandhad taken over the company's role and had waged the wars in the Caribbean. One of the consequences of this situation was to revive somewhat the lethargic Heren xix and to make them appraise their current predicament. English depradations in Africa were troublesome, of course, but there was also friction with Sweden. Most important of all, as the 1660's were drawing to a close, the company was faced once more with the problem of renewing its charter. Anticipating the apathy which would meet any request to prolong the charter, the xix had submitted a "concept for redress" to the States General in 1668, three years before the second term of the charter was to Their High Mightinesses appointed a special committee to investigate and study the concept.52 This committee, however, had already worked out answers to any charter renewal petition before really studying the company's projects. Its memorial to the States General was negative. The company countered with a new proposal which requested an extension, the payment of promised subsidies that were in arrears, and help in the matter of collecting from the Portuguese the monies awarded to the company by the treaty between the two countries.'3 Difficulties between the directors of the company and the headparticipants added to the problems which the company had to con template in those years. Even after the "amplification" of June, 1622, the latter had never had much voice in the management or in the direction of the company. Yet the head-participants increasingly became the directors' most vocal critics in these years of decline. The program for redress which they now submitted to the States General reviewed changes and offered alterations in the company's charter, while it proposed a "trade fund" that was designed to promote commerce, s Although little was done about the various draft proposals handed to Their High Mightinesses, the charter.of the company was provi sionally renewed on the condition that the head-participants would supply a capital of one million Since, quite naturally, the latter were loath to invest money in an institution whose books were closed to them, they complained to the government. A new "memo rial of grievances" was drawn up.. The company's financial records, they claimed, were so hopelessly behind that no audit would make a fair accounting of the wic available in time for the scheduled renewal. s6 Discussions on prolonging the charter were resumed in December,

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332 1671. They resulted in a decision to grant the wic another year to give the Heren xix time to realize some of the hints and recommenda tions about the company and to bring their books up to date. No account of revenues, profits, and losses had been made since 166^. No wonder that the memorial stated, "There is no hope in the world that at the end of this charter an account or financial statement will be ready." But early the following year when the United Provinces became embroiled in war with France and England, company problems were relegated to the background. For some months the international situation looked very black indeed for the Dutch. But victories at sea by de Ruyter and a good defense on land by the young and vigorous William III, who was called to the post formerly held by his father, soon swung the pendulum of war to the advantage of the United Provinces. The States General now felt assured enough to renew provisionally the wic charter for eight months starting in August, 1672. In February, 1673, the problem of the wic charter once again appeared on the official agenda. The heavy financial burden of the war had moved the Dutch to enforce a "capital loan" on all those whose annual incomes exceeded four hundred guilders. By the same legislation, all corporation and business had been compelled to submit a complete statement of their stocks and bonds. The West India Company's exemption from this obligation is eloquent testimony of its desolate condition. Deputies from the five chambers of the company met in The Hague in March, 1673, to consider the future of their institution. They agreed that the provision for prolongation, mentioned above, could not be met. It was decided, nevertheless, to request a new continu ation. On March 30mirabile dictuit was granted until the end of the year. In December, the States General authorized an additional extension until April, 1674.57 Before the initiation of this reprieve the company had submitted a request for renewal together with a proposal to provide the necessary one million guilders.58 The in genuity of the plan suggested at this time may have been the deciding factor in a new prolongation of three months. The company's actual plight was no secret to anyoneleast of all to the States General. In April, 1674, Their High Mightinesses determined to dissolve the West India Company. Although they believed that a monopolistic organization was still the best way to handle navigation and trade in American waters, their project now was to create a new and different institution in order to accomplish these ends. The new charter drawn up by the government differed

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333 in so many ways from the charter of 1621 that it entailed the creation of an entirely new company. The novel organizationcalled the New West India Company to distinguish it from its predecessorwas provided with capital through incorporating the participants of the old company and by recognizing their earlier investment if they would invest in the new institution. The old debts were brought back to 30 per cent and converted into stocks, while creditors were required to pay an extra 8 per cent if they wished their claims to be heeded. These manipulations furnished the new company with an initial capital of 120,000 guilders.59 The end of the old wic had come. Started fifty-three years earlier with excellent prospects and with inspired leadership, the company had performed excellently for one decade and reasonably well for the second. In its declining years, its only notable activity occurred in the development of Curacao as a slave depot, and even then it had encountered determined competition from the English at Jamaica. The demise of the wic, moreover, also signaled the close of the Dutch "Golden Age." The West India Company had been a manifestation of that age, both an outgrowth and a contributor to the brief period of Dutch grandeur. Indeed, the passing of the old wic was the end of an era. There was much popular feeling about why the company had failed. One pamphlet, Glorified Netherland by the Restored Navigation, criticized such defects in the company as its unwillingness to colonize, its unbearable tax system, and its curious inability to govern efficiently abroad.60 It urged that colonists be allowed to name their own officials, even their own governors. All such ideas and suggestions, of course, came too late to save the company. Long before 1674 it had been forced to admit that it had attempted a task beyond its strength. It had also been compelled to face the fact that the other countries of Europe, notably France and England, were determined to prevent a Dutch monopolistic position in Africa and America. Hannay rightly observes that the magnificent dream of the Dutch West India Com pany was dispelled in the melee of international rivalry.61 During the years of the company's decline, great changes had occurred in the Caribbean area. Sugarcane, which had been introduced in the West Indies by Columbus a century and a half earlier, was under cultivation on most of the islands prior to 16^0. The English and French, however, had not known how to convert the cane into sugar, molasses, and rum. Dutch refugees from Brazil, who poured into the area after 1654, brought with them the techniques of sugar cultivation

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334 and manufacture. Furthermore, Dutch capital helped the French and English planters purchase the necessary equipment on a credit basis. Dutch control of the slave markets in Africa secured the necessary labor. Dutch ships bought up the sugar crops and provided the colonies with food, hardware, and other needed commodities throughout that period of English civil strife when the London govern ment could do little to help them. The Dutch did the same for the French. Burns observes that the Dutch would not have had this opportunity to trade with foreign colonies under normal circumstances, since contemporary mercantile policies reserved colonial commerce for the mother country.62 France, with the rebellion of the Fronde on her hands, and England, engaged in a bitter civil war, were simply unable to enforce their mercantile authority and prevent this new form of rescate. The colonists, needless to say, entirely supported the Dutch trade that was so absolutely essential to their survival. The Englishand to a considerable extent the Frenchcolonies had thus come to depend on Dutch shipping and on the Dutch slave supply. The passage of the first of the Navigation Laws, "for the increase of the shipping and the encouragement of the navigation of this nation which, under good providence and the protection of God, is so great a means of the welfare and safety of this Commonwealth, "fi3 was, in the English Antilles, viewed as a mortal blow to their very existence. More than any other consideration these regulations drove the English colonists to take a stand against the mother country. Francis Lord Willoughby of Barbados, together with his legislature, issued a "spirited declaration" which denounced the Parliament "in which we have no representative" and assured the Dutch that "they might continue, if they please, all freedom of commerce and traffic with us."6* It was not long, however, before Parliament had re-established complete control over the English settlements in the Caribbean, in spite of a royalist attempt under Prince Rupert to reach the islands before they had surrendered to Commonwealth forces under Ayscue. Although Cromwell's "Western design" did fail, he managed to bring Jamaica under the English flag. The result was a strict enforcement of the Navigation Laws which brought about the utter collapse of Dutch trade with English bases. Nor did the Restoration of Charles II bring a revocation of the restrictive laws, much to the dismay of both the colonists and the Dutch. Indeed, soon after Charles regained his father's throne, he added to the laws of 16^1 the well-known "enumeration clause," a provision which made cotton, sugar, tobacco,

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33J and other named products from the colonies exportable only to England or to another English colony. Dissatisfaction continued to mount in the English overseas territories. Soon smuggling developed to circumvent the most unfavorable aspects of the legislation. Yet with a few minor changes, the spirit of the Navigation Laws dominated English colonial trade for almost two centuries. Backed by close policing, the English eventually ended all Dutch trade in their settlements. The Dutch were left to face the bitter irony that their skill, enterprise, and money had created the sugar islands and had made them successful enough to produce a closed market against their former benefactors. A similar situation evolved in the French Antilles, although of a less disruptive nature. Richelieu's Compagnie des Isles de 1' Amerique, charged with responsibility for the French islands in the Caribbean, never achieved a very powerful position against the Dutch because of a habitual lack of capital. In 16^0 this company sqld its colonies to seigneurs,, thus creating a French equivalent to the English and Dutch patronships. 6s In this same year Martinique and its dependent islands became such a seigneurie. A year later Philippe de Lonvilliers, Sieur de Poincy, one of the influential members of the Maltese Order, brought St. Chris topher and some other islandsincluding the French part of St. Martinunder his order. De Poincy himself furnished 120,000 francs, and it was agreed that he should act as governor until his death, At that date the French Antilles were reorganized by Colbert under the Compagnie des Indes Occidentales, and stricter laws to exclude foreign trade were more rigidly applied. The Dutch islands in the Leeward group, as noted before, were patronships. After the death of Jan de Moor, the patron of St. Martin, his heirs sold their rights to the Lampsins brothers. The patent in question, which was identical to that of Tobago, was similar to all wic patents for colonization in the American hemisphere. It was granted in 1648 for six years and was renewed in i6^. The Dutch colony on St. Martin probably contained some three hundred men. The patent specifically excluded the colonists from the profitable salt trade, a business which the company reserved for itself. De Rochefort, practically the only source for this period, adds that the emi grants, while trying to cultivate tobacco, were forced to build great cisterns because of the lack of fresh water. He also reports that they employed many slaves and that the island provided an attractive hunt ing ground for sea turtles, wild boars, doves, and parakeets. On St. Eustatius the Dutch colonists initially concentrated upon

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336 the cultivation of tobacco and cotton. Somewhat later they changed to sugar and anil. In the fifties the colony was thriving. Nearby Saba, as mentioned earlier, became the shoe supplier of the Caribbean islandsat least for the Dutch. Other settlers on this small island made their living by fishing. In all these places, the earliest slave labor consisted of Indians who were supplied clandes tinely by indieros or Indian hunters. After 1650, however, Negro slaves replaced the Indians almost entirely. Throughout the Caribbean the changes of flag which accompanied the furious European rivalry of England, France, and the United Provinces during the second half of the seventeenth century provides a bewildering spectacle. With the exception of the Curacao islands, which always remained firmly in Dutch hands, all the others changed masters rapidly in a wild display of international power politics. The island of St. Martin, Spanish from 1633 to 1648, remained Dutch until 1672 when the French settlers of the island seized control. The next year Commander Jacob Binckes reconquered the island briefly, but it was soon in French hands again. In 1676, Binckes occupied the island once more, but it became French again for the next fourteen years after he left. The developments on St. Eustatius were even more hectic. It became English in 1665, French in 1666, and was returned to the Dutch in 1667. During the third Anglo-Dutch war, the island was again captured by the English in June, 1672 ; the Dutch reconquered it a year later, but could only hold it for ten days, after which it became English again. The second Peace of Westminster, in 1674, returned the island to Dutch control. The Dutch did not take pos session of it, however, for fear that the French would seize it before peace was established between France and the United Provinces. The fate of Saba followed a similar course. It remained in Dutch hands until lost to the English. Although the Dutch regained the island with the Peace of Breda in 1667, the English recaptured it during the third Anglo-Dutch conflict. Once again the Dutch retook it through peace negotiations with England, but as with St. Eustatius, they actually took possession only after peace with France had been concluded in 1678. The history of the three Dutch Leeward islands occupies only a minor phase in the history of the Dutch in the Caribbean. But today, with the Curacao islands and Surinam, these outposts are the last remnants of the great Dutch empire which was built around the Atlantic in the seventeenth century. The brief history outlined above reveals that from the Peace of Munster in 1648 until the outbreak of the second Anglo-Dutch

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Fig. 9. Governor Peter Stuyvesant (1^92-1672) by anonymous master J* *t *fe %

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Fig. io. Cornelis Lampsins % l*** ii SfJr*

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337 conflict in 166^, the islands enjoyed a long era of peace and its consequent prosperity.65 This ended abruptly with the new war, which was not limited to European waters but carried over to Africa, the Caribbean, and New Netherland. In spite of British assertions to the contrary, there is no doubt that the so-called Dutch provocations were exaggerated by Albion, and that England initiated the hostilities in West Africa as well as in the West Indies and New Netherland. The response of Their High Mightinesses to English raids is told in another chapter (see Chapter xvi). The Curacao islands, however, escaped most of the commotion of the conflict, and Willemstad continued to develop as a slave-trading center. Although after 1678 Jamaica gradually became a more important slave depot, Curacao had more advantages as a strategic staging area against enemy navigation. The proximity of Tierra Firme made smuggling highly profitable, and Curacao enjoyed a brisk and active illegal trade. Ships which sailed from the island were engaged in privateering and in the recovery of other Dutch territory in the Caribbean. Several French efforts against Curacaoin 1673 and 1678met with complete failure (see Chapter xvm). As mentioned earlier, Curacao was, politically speaking, united to New Netherland. After the fall of the latter colony in 1664, however, the Curacao group became a colonial unit supervised directly by the Amsterdam Chamber of the wic. It received a governor with headquarters in the capital Willemstad, while the two adjacent islands were governed by commanders. The governorship of Curacao was coveted by some of the more important personages of the company. After 1674, Curacao and the other islands were all incorporated into the charter of the new company. At Curacao the governor and his Raad (council) formed the main government of the islands. The military was also represented in this ruling body, because some of its members held their seats ex officio. During the seventeenth century, the merchants and planters of the island also gained admission to this body. Members of this council were appointed by the governor with the approval of the xix. In 1673, Jan Doncker was named governor of the Curacao islands. A merchant with connections in New Holland and in the Leeward Islands as well as a member of the council, he had earned the gover norship when the French, under Jean Charles de Baas, disembarked their troops on the island. The Dutch were virtually leaderless be cause of the death of Doncker's predecessor Dirck Otterinck, but the French attempt to conquer the island was nevertheless ill-fated. Doncker was provisionally appointed by the council as Otterinck's

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338 successoran appointment which was later confirmed by the Cham ber of Amsterdam and by the Heren xix. He inspired his men with confidence, and the defense of Curacao was well provided for. Doncker remained in command for the next six years and was highly instrumental in promoting agricultural pursuits in his domain. During the troubled years of this period, Dutch supply ships had not been able to keep the island provided, and Doncker was undoubtedly moved to his agricultural program by necessity.67 He also completed the fortifications of the island. In 1675, partly because of recurring trouble with Spain over the asiento, the States General declared the harbor at Curacao to be a free port, open to all nations. Slaves and other commodities could be sold without restrictions at Willemstad. Although no consequent prosperity on the island is recorded from the period, this unprec edented step did serve as a break with the generally mercantilistic climate of the seventeenth century. In addition to the slave trade, Curacao and Bonaire also supplied the Dutch with much-needed salt. A record from 1672 reveals that the amount of Curacao salt (from Bonaire) which was in storage at the West India House in Amsterdam was worth 100,000 guilders. It is certainly true that the directors used every means at their disposal in order to encourage this salt trade. Although the Dutch reformed religion was the official creed of the Dutch settlements, its adherence was never rigorously enforced, and, in fact, there was much tolerance. Priests could say mass but could not wear their frocks in public, and Jews were soon numerous and among the most highly assessed families on the island's tax rolls. The Dutch Antilles, six small islands, were of little actual value during the seventeenth century. Even their strategic importance declined after the peace with Spain in 1648 and as England and France began to dominate the Caribbean. Curacao remained an important slave market for some decades to come, but the other islands were too small to be of any significance. They were all that remained of the Dutch-American colonial empire, a tiny remnant of the domain of the once haughty West India Company. Ironically, perhaps, they became, with Surinam, the only permanent part of the far-flung Dutch possessions which had been acquired and maintained during the Dutch Golden Age.

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l4 BLACK EBONY Onmenschelyck gebruyck! Godloose schelmerij, Dat men de menschen rent tot paertsche slarernij. Bredero The slave trade is a benefit to be encouraged by public premiums. Bolingbroke1 Slavery became an evident necessity in the New World within ten years of its discovery. The instructions given to Nicolas de Ovando, the first administrator of the Spanish American empire, permitted the introduction of Negroes into the Western hemisphere.2 From the outset Spain tried to organize the importation of Negro slaves through official channels; such intentions are obvious in the first asientos granted by Charles V to Lorenzo de Gomenot, the governor of Bresa.3 De Gomenot was licensed to import four thousand Negroesa fact which reflects the influence of Las Casasyet these were far too few to solve the labor problem. After 1^80, when Spain controlled the main sources of black mer chandise within her realm, her government concluded these asientos on a much more regular basis. As a majority of the slave centers were located in West Africa, the Portuguese asentistas were the only people of that nation who willingly accepted Spanish domination. One of the best known asientos given by Philip II and concerned with the Caribbean was granted to the Portuguese Pedro Gomez Reynal in IS9SThis agreement called for an annual delivery of 4,2 jo slaves over a period of nine years; these were destined for the Antilles, New Spain, Honduras, Rio Hacha, Margarita, and Venezuela,4 perhaps also for Brazil, Gomez paid the Crown 900,000 ducats for this concession. But the Caribbean proved to be such an insatiable market for Negro slaves that many other asientos soon followed. Edward G. Bourne estimates that the legal importation of slaves in iSS was three thousand per year, plus five hundred illegal imports. Another contemporary estimate suggests an annual importation of two thousand: two-thirds was believed to be illicit traffic.5 The value of slaves continued to rise with their numbers. In 1SSS the price of a healthy Negro in the Antilles was approximately 100 ducats; the same Negro would bring 140 ducats in Tierra Firme.

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340 Ten years later such a slave would bring up to 178 ducats in Venezuela. The ratio of Negro slaves to the total population continued to increase as well: in Venezuela alone there were approximately j,ooo slaves in 1550, less than 2 per cent of the population; 100 years later their numbers had risen to 30,000 or 8 per cent, and in 1787 they amounted to 53,000 or i^| per cent.6 Although numerous historians have pointed out that colonial slavery grew with the developing sugar economy, it is also true that it increased in other areas of the economy as well. The regularly quoted numbers of imported slaves does not include the many blacks clandestinely introduced into the area by English, French, and Dutch slave traders. That this illicit trafficking was increasing and perhaps assuming even vaster proportions than was the legal trade is tentatively suggested by the fact that in 1678 the governor of Puerto Rico appointed a special official to put a stop to the contraband in slaves between Jamaica, Curacao, and his own island. His plan was frustrated, however, by the failure to find anyone willing and able to accept the post. The popular consensus was strictly in favor of a continuation of the illegal commerce.7 The limited statistics about the actual importations of slaves are supplemented by the letters to the Crown from Spanish officials in the Caribbean area. These invariably ask for more black laborers. On occasion such letters reveal a new and significant dimension in this all-compelling need for slaves; in 1600, for instance, the governor of Cumana appealed to the king for more slaves since his Spanish rancheros were abandoning the area in large numbers and the province would soon be totally undefended.8 The Dutch had recently made their appearance in this area, and the governor was properly concerned about maintaining his colony. The earliest Dutch involvement in the slave trade has yet to be investigated. The contract between the Spanish government and the commercial Welser House in 1528 has caused some confusion because Donnan referred to the Germans as "Flemings." The Dutch certainly had no connection with the black trade at this early date. Fort Nassau, the first Dutch fortress in Africa, was built in 1611, according to official documents, to protect only the trade in gold, elephant tusks, and camlet.9 One well-known Dutch story concerns the arrival of some Africans in Middelburg in 1596. An enterprising Dutch privateer had acquired them together with the crew of a Portuguese ship and had brought them to Zeeland. Soon afterwards, Burgomaster ten Haeff appeared in a meeting of the Provincial States of Zeeland and argued "that

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34i [those Negroes] could not be kept by anyone as slaves and sold as such, but had to be put in their natural freedom without anyone pretending [to have] rights to them as his property. "I0 The assembly completely agreed and the hundred Negroes were given their liberty. This decision established an important precedent, however, since it spared the United Provinces from creating a slave market such as seems to have developed in Antwerp in the sixteenth century.11 An expedition in i, which was designed to thwart Zeeland's determination on this matter, failed when its commander Melchior van den Kerckhove was imprisoned in Angola.12 Eight years later, however, Dutch merchants are known to have accepted an order from Spanish planters on Trinidad for five hundred slaves to be delivered in the following year. The illegality of this agreement is evident; only the Spanish government through official asientos could provide their colonies with black laborers. The stipulations of the contract were met with captives from Angola, probably taken at sea, and possibly the first Negroes from that part of Africa to reach the Caribbean. The whole transaction was exceptional; in the future, whenever the Dutch succeeded in capturing a slave ship, they were regularly faced with the dilemma over disposing of the human cargo. The point made here is also illustrated by de Laet's repeated statements that when his countrymen took a Spanish slave ship, the ship was turned over to the Negroes." That these Negroes, who were, of course, ignorant of navigating, were helpless, and in all probability were soon recaptured by Spaniards might not have occurred to the Dutch. If it had, it did not make the slightest difference.1* If the Dutch took a ship that they wished to keep, they released the Negroes on the nearest land. It is unlikely, however, that the Dutch were long unaware of the value of slaves. The actions reported above were, of course, due to their lack of markets for Negroes. Prior to the founding of the West India Company, the Dutch had only a few settlements along the Wild Coast. Their inhabitants did not require slaves at that time, since their needs were supplied, probably, by Indian slaves or by free laborers. The same can be said for the new and tiny English and French colonial establishments in the Caribbean. Since all intercourse with Spanish colonies was regarded as smugglingthe rescatethere are no figures available concerning potential markets for slaves. It is also true and relevant that until the founding of the wic, public sentiment in the United Provinces was decisively opposed to slave trade. Ten Haeff's ideas were not singular. Popular views are

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342 also reflected in the following lines from a comedy written by the Dutch poet Bredero in 161 : Inhuman practice, godless rascality, That human beings are peddled like animals... It may be fair, then, to conclude that, until the third decade of the seventeenth century, the Dutch were not involved in the slave trade. The Dutch "man of warre" which sold slaves in Virginia in 1619 un doubtedly represented a quirk of fate and certainly must have captured the Negroes at sea.15 Ruyters' Torch of Navigation, published in 1623, mentions the Spanish trade in blacks but does not refer to Dutch participation in the business. Ruyters, however, does note that Indians seemed to have been found quite useful as slaves. Karl Marx observed, correctly, that with the progress of capitalistic production, the public consciences of Europeans rapidly lost such idealism as ten Haeff and Bredero had expressed earlier. Indeed, the Dutch were possibly the most profit-conscious nation in all Europe. Since profit was the vital artery of the wic, even in the earliest discussions of the Heren xix the pros and cons of the slave trade were aired. Only the lack of markets detained the directors from pursuing that objective. When the capture of the Bay of All Saints in 1624 provided a market, Lam's and Veron's attack on the Elmina Castle and Van Zuylen's and Heyn's expeditions against Luanda must all be interpreted as parts of a deliberate plan of the wic to capture Portu guese slave stations on the West African coast. But since both of these missions failed and Bahia was soon lost, the slave market was once again closed. Even before the Dutch conquered Pernambuco and thereby es tablished a new outlet for slaves, there had already been official mention of the slave trade under the auspices of the wic. In 1626 the Zeeland Chamber decided to provide a ship for the express pur pose of transporting slaves from Angola to its colonies on the Amazon and the Wild Coast.16 The plan was soon copied by others, and licenses were given to various patrons of the Zeelandian settlements at Berbice and Tobago. In 1629, the same chamber also took upon itself the obligation to provide New Netherland with slaves. After the capture of Pernambuco, Zeeland concentrated on the new Bra zilian demand, and it was ultimately this area, rather than the Carib bean islands, which captured the major interest of Dutch slave traders. In 1634 the Dutch took possession of Curacao. The first director, Johan van Walbeeck, who was acquainted with Negro slavery because

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343 of his long years of experience in Brazil, wrote to the Heren xix and emphasized the urgent need for "a good prize with Negroes, to use them for all kinds of labor on the land."1 Captured slave ships, however, were not plentiful, and the xix became increasingly aware that the only way to guarantee a continuous supply of slaves to their Antilles was to take steps to secure some portion of Africa's west coast. Van Walbeeck was not yet envisioning Curacao as a slave depot; his only concern was with labor for the islands. Since he was very distrustful of the Indians, and not without reason, he wanted them replaced as soon as possible. After van Zuylen's, Lam's, and Heyn's abortive landings in Africa, the Dutch had abandoned for some years all further notions of occupying that region. But in 1633, Abraham van Pere, the merchantpatron of Berbice, hoping to meet the demands of his colonists for slaves, again proposed to the Heren xix a joint mission to conquer the island of Arguin in Senegal. Although van Pere was to have a sevenyear monopoly at first, the wic would enjoy all rights on the island after that. One year later, van Pere's son did capture the fort and became the first Dutch commander of Arguin.18 Some time after wards, the island duly reverted to the company's custody and was placed under the control of the Chamber of Zeeland. There is no information about the actual number of slaves that van Pere was able to acquire there and bring to his colony on the Wild Coast. In addition to the comparatively lower demand for slaves in the Caribbean and in the Guianas, the need for slaves in New Holland, after the consolidation and expansion of the Dutch position there, continued to grow at a dazzling pace. Meeting records of the Heren xix for October, 163^, report that since New Holland was continu ously clamoring for black labor the Heren xix were determined "to lay hands on a great number of slaves as soon as possible. "I9 For that express purpose, a ship was fitted out for Angola in July, 1636. Soon thereafter the most influential members of the Zeeland Chamber petitioned their directors to urge the xix to initiate and sponsor the trade in blacks since the plantations in the Guianas and the Antilles could no longer function "because of a lack of slaves. "20 In January, 1637, an employee of the company was appointed to take charge of the slave trade in Angola. This official, in turn, hired two assistants; one could "write Portuguese and Dutch" and the other "had traded in blacks." Additional evidence of a growing interest in the slave trade was the equipment of a Zeeland ship with iron bars and beads to barter for slaves in Africa.21 Nevertheless, none of these measures managed to bolster sufficiently the slave supply to

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344 the Dutch colonies in the New World. Other and more permanent means were obviously required in order to satisfy the demand. In 16 3 the Heren xix had already received a report from the Dutch official stationed on the Gold Coast; it surveyed extensively the existing situation and contained special information about the Por tuguese stronghold at Elmina.22 This communication got oral con firmation from the official's predecessor who happened to be in the Low Countries at that time. On the basis of this knowledge the Heren xix determined to attack the fort. The Dutch official on the Gold Coast and Count Johan Maurits in New Holland received certain specific instructions regarding the nature of the planned attack which was to proceed from Pernambuco. Although the count was straining for action, he had to temper his enthusiasm when an unforseen delay occurred following the death of the official in Africa. But the latter's successor soon let it be known that everything was ready and, at the same time, described some of the major weaknesses of the Portuguese garrison. He advocated prompt action. Although the initiative for the military move was provided by the xix, the execution of the operation was in the capable hands of Count Johan Maurits. On June 2, 1637, a fleet of nine ships, with four hundred sailors and eight hundred soldiers, crossed the Atlantic headed for the Elmina Castle. Anchor was dropped close to the fort two months later, and hostilities began immediately. The Dutch expedition, which involved some Brazilian Indians, achieved its goal quite easily. Although an attack by pro-Portuguese Negroes against their vanguard temporarily threatened the Dutch with a repeat of the catastrophe which struck Lam and Veron twelve years earlier, they soon re covered and repelled their assailants with heavy losses. Arriving at their immediate destination, they took the Portuguese by surprise with their new weapon, the mortar. This recent invention was able to launch grenades into the castle and thoroughly demoralized its defenders. The unexpected happened: the Portuguese, with thirty bronze cannons and many provisions at their disposal, surrendered abjectly after only a brief show of force. The current Dutch official from the Gold Coast, van Yperen, moved his seat of government from Fort Nassau to the Elmina Castle. There he opened strategic nego tiations with the Negroes whose collaboration was necessary for the success of the company's new undertaking. Van Yperen's successors managed to bring other Portuguese settlements along the coast under the control of the wic, and the fort itself remained in Dutch hands until 1872. Dutch status and prestige in Africa was noticeably heightened by

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345 this victory. In the first instance, the slave trade was perceptibly stimulated, although not in the expected degree. The number of slaves imported from Elmina into New Holland in 1636 was about 1,000; in 1637, after the capture of the castle, the annual number rose to 1, But Count JohanMaurits' optimism in calling Elmina the "key to the Gold Coast" was never really justified. It was soon discovered that slaves acquired in that particular district were not very strong, so "that most of them were used for domestic services and to serve at the table. "23 In contrast, praise for the Negroes from Angola and Cape Verde was virtually unanimous; these were indeed "the best and strongest of them all."2* Although the Dutch continued for some time to purchase the majority of their black labor from Guineaand Elmina was ideally located to facilitate that tradethe newly conquered castle never did become the headquarters for their slave trade. In the second quarter of the seventeenth century, the main slave center shifted from Guinea to Angola and the Congo, regions farther south. Slaves from these territories soon commanded much higher prices in the international market for they were found to be more tractable and more easily domesticated than other blacks. In addition, slave shipments from Africa's southern regions were vastly more dependable because they missed the calms that delayed the Guinea ships.2' The Dutch were quickly aware that they had been taken in by a second-class slave market in the Guinea enterprise. A contemporary wic memorial points out that better slaves were to be acquired else where and successively evaluates the various stations: "the Gulf of Guinea provides twenty-five hundred to three thousand slaves per year; the Rio Benin delivers Negroes for the textile industry; at Rio Calvary the Negroes are cross and stubborn and prone to suicide, and none of the potential buyers in the Caribbean are very eager to buy this particular group of slaves; Angola can supply three thousand slaves annually."26 Although this document dates from 1670, the information can be assumed to have been common knowledge for some time. The Dutch laid their plans accordingly. Prior to 1640, the slave trade had not yet become the company's main source of profit, although the Heren xix clearly kept a close watch over its potential advantages. The Portuguese rebellion drove them to new action, and Peg-leg Jol's capture of Luanda and Sao Thome was the result. These moves secured for the Dutch the main centers for the trade in black ebony. Soon all the Portuguese holdings along the western coast of Africa were controlled by the Dutch: Luanga, Mpinda, and Calumbo.2? These conquests solidified the

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346 short-lived but important Atlantic empire which the Dutch put to gether in the middle years of the seventeenth century. The conglom eration was largely financed by revenues from the slave labor which kept the New Holland and Caribbean sugar mills in operation. Winning from the Portuguese was one thing, but competing with the English was quite another. In this respect, the company resorted to a practice called claddinghe, a term that can be compared to our "dumping." When an English ship arrived off the African coast, the Dutch would make every attempt to discover its contents. Good relations with the Negroes of the area helped secure much information when other sources failed. Once advised of the nature of the cargo, the Dutch would immediately cut prices on all products carried by the English. The result was that the latter, finding no buyers for their goods, realized no profit and were forced to return home without the usual purchases of gold, ivory, or camlet. English settlements or trading posts in the area made desperate attempts to get hold of this trade by imitating textiles and other products of Dutch industry. They even hired former wic employees in efforts to discover the secrets of the Dutch success in Africa. None of these measures were effective. The Dutch secured themselves by stationing ships and yachts at strategic points of the coast and added to their good reputa tion by offering Negro rulers advantageous treaties. As Donnan observes, these tactics gave the Negroes some sort of assurance against attack, something they did not get from either the Portuguese or the English. Such guaranteed continuous and harmonious trade rela tions accomplished the ends of the West India Company in West Africa. z8 The empire created by the Dutch on both sides of the Atlantic had its economic basisas the Heren xix had hopedin the profits from the slave trade as well as in the products obtained with slave labor in the American dependencies of the company. In 1641, Jol's capture of Luanda and SHo Thome had helped such a profitable ar rangement, although the great toll illness took of the victors led the Dutch to refer to similar ventures in the future as santome enterprises. By adopting the Portuguese slave-acquisition procedures, which have been vividly described by Boxer, the Dutch came to depend on loyal Negroes to hunt down and enslave the blacks of the interior. The captured slaves were then marched to the coast in flying columns to be guarded in large buildings pending their embarkation. They would usually arrive in poor physical condition because of the hundreds of miles that they had been forced to travel with little food or rest. This state of affairs did not alter when the Dutch supplanted the Portuguese

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347 in one fort or trading post after another: the Elmina Castle, Axem, Luanda, Benguela, Sao Thome, and Anstrom. Life in these coastal settlements was difficult for everyone. Dutch journals from the period reveal how wic employees struggled against tropical diseases, the unaccustomed heat, and unfriendly competitors. The never-satiated greed of the Negro chiefs was a constant complaint, along with the need to undercut English, Swedish, and Danish companies. Other problems arose from the blackmail practices directed against the Portuguese planters of Sao Thome, the troubles with Negro tribes, the cruel disciplinary punishments meted out to their own soldiers, plus the usual drunkeness, prostitution, and consequently outraged sermons of Dutch Reformed preachers.2' However uncomfortable it may have been for the Dutch, their complaints fade into nothingness when compared to the situation of the blacks awaiting shipment to colonies in the New World. Although well fed, because they brought better prices if they looked healthy, they were confused and afraid and often victims of suicide on board the ships. Soon the "midpassage" had become notorious, since the ships were without exception overcrowded, and the average death rate by suicide and sickness was extremely high. A few authors have outdone each other in describing the wretched journey, with its cramped quartersless than the space in a coffin for each slaveand heartless treatment. The fact that agents of the Royal African Company were permitted to purchase slaves on their own account, transport them in their own ships, and then market them privately abroad further aggravated the already apallingly high mortality rate at sea.30 The Dutch West India Company, which charged captains according to the size of their shipsnot the number of slaves each carrieddid nothing to relieve the plight of the transported Negro either. Dutch trade on the West African coast was conducted with ships of three hundred to four hundred tons, which were especially fitted out for these kinds of transactions.31 Various types were usedfrigates, flyboats, snows, barks, and othersand all were provided with guns as were merchantmen. Indeed, guns were essential equipment aboard the slave ships since there was always a chance of rebellion. Many such ships made triangle voyages. They brought trinkets, the so-called cargazoenen, from the United Provinces to Africa's slave markets and traded for Negroes. The slave cargoes, the so-called armazoenen, were then carried across the Atlantic and sold in Brazil or in the Caribbean for local products on a barter basis: sugar, tobacco, hides, coffee, cacao, and wood. In turn, they sailed back to Europe, where these cargoes were sold for hard cash.

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348 The first stop on such a voyage from the Low Countries was usually the Elmina Castle. Ships spent some eight to ten weeks in the vicinity, cruising along the neighboring coast where they unloaded cargoes, disembarked soldiers and other personnel destined for the settlements and trading posts, and refreshed. They then took aboard slaves, soldiers whose tour of duty had expired, and passengers en route to the New World or to Europe. Dropping anchor at the second African stop, Sao Thome or Sao Paulo de Luanda, the ship would receive another precious load of living cargo, sometimes together with sugar or cotton. At other times, the ship would wait for slaves at several trading posts on the Angola coast. If the ship's captain did not have specific instructions, he was free to proceed to New Holland or to the Caribbean. Besides buying slaves, the colony at Pernambuco provided a valuable return cargo of sugar or wood. The route back from Brazil was generally made in convoy with other ships which thus afforded some opportunity to avoid attacks by the Dunkirk privateers. The same was true for the Caribbean. Needless to say, the ships engaged in smugglingthe lescatewhenever and wherever possible. Generally, vessels of the size used to transport slaves were too large to come in very close to shore. For this purpose, the Dutch used canoes, sloops, and yachts which were especially built to ac comodate their cargoes and could carry up to two hundred Negroes. Sailing up the coast until signaled from shore, these small vessels would anchor and wait for the native canoes to reach them. If the Dutch liked the proffered articlesslaves, elephant tusks, and some times goldthe haggling started. Brandy and tobacco rendered good service in this stage of the game. The Negro chiefs who conducted this trade were the so-called acanists and pombeiros. The former were independent traders and shrewd merchants. They tried to play off the Dutch against the English, although they usually preferred to deal with the former. The pombeiros were contemptuously referred to as servants of the Portuguese. The slaves all had to be bartered for, since prices were subject to great fluctuations. Other merchandise was usually traded for gold; at Sao Thome the coin of the realm was sugar. Gradually, the Dutch familiarized themselves with those products the chiefs wanted most. The following list of commoditiesjbrmulieren van cargazoenenoffers some interesting illustrations.32 Bars of copper were preferred ex change items in every instance. In addition, slaves were sold at Sao Thome for 1,2 to 1, 0 pounds of sugar the price of which in the United Provinces was 380 to 4^0 guilders.33 The items shipped to

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349 Ardra in 1638 to barter for slaves reveal the variety of goods that tempted the Negro chiefs: 80 rolls of Indian damask of different colors at 40 gld. a roll jo rolls of colored textiles at 10 gld. ro rolls of striped textiles at 1 o gld. 3 o rolls of slechte doers* at 1 o gld. 12 rolls of colored satin at 60 gld. 100 ells of sloers intertwined with gold 100 ells of sloers intertwined with silver jo rolls of checkered cotton, fine quality, at 10 gld. 2000 ells of fine Dutch linen at 1 gld. 800 pieces of white cloth at \\ gld. apiece 1 ro ells of napkin clothes at 12 nickels 400 pieces of Cyprian cloth at 4 gld. 10,000 pieces of copper bracelets at j nickels 1 jo ells of gold leather on a red and green front at 4 gld. 2 jo pounds of fine beads at 20 gld. 60 ounces of round, fine beads of finest quality at 6 gld. an ounce 200 pounds of cornelian, ground, at 10 gld. 600 pounds of burned beads at 1 j nickels a pound 80,000 pieces of Portuguese bracelets at 4 nickels apiece 2joo pounds of red copper bars at 6j cents a pound slechte sloers: coarse Dutch linen. In the thirties and forties of the seventeenth century, slave prices in Guinea varied from twelve to seventy-five guilders. In Angola the amount fluctuated between thirty-eight and fifty-five guilders. Of course, since barter was the mode of trade, the Negro agent was paid for his merchandise with articles that equaled this money value. For a male slave the following was an average price: 100 bracelets 20-40 pounds of beads 9 iron bars 4 pairs of multi-colored socks 7 j knives 24 cans of oil 1 jo ells of linen 2 j pounds of copper 1 pipe of Spanish wine 6 pieces of coarse sheetings* Differences in prices were common. On the Gold Coast, around 164^, an average male slave brought twenty-three copper bars, a female eighteen, boys sixteen, and girls fourteen. At other places prices for a healthy young Negress might variously be four iron bars, ninety bracelets, or twenty-three copper bars; for a boy four iron bars, eighty bracelets, or twenty pounds of copper. A popular item in this trade was the iron bar of thirty to thirty-one pounds. An adult male slave was worth up to ten such bars, a female up to eight. Gains must have been considerable. Since records of Dutch trade

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35 on the African coast have been lost, however, it has become almost impossible now to allocate profits. From a balance sheet of seven Dutch ships trading on the coast in 1640 and 1641, the Amsterdam Chamber calculated a loss of 16 o o o guilders, but the Zeeland Chamber estimated a profit of more than 800,000 guilders. This descrepancy cannot be explained since both accounts failed to depreciate ships and buildings, or to deduct the costs of provisions and salaries. The Dutch historian Ratelband, thoroughly familiar with the slave trade, con cludes that the slave traffic on the African coast provided benefits but that all of them disappeared into the bottomless pit of Brazil.35 It is to the wic's credit that, once involved in the slave trade, it meticulously insisted upon good treatment for the Negroes, although it is equally true that healthy, robust slaves were worth good money. The "good treatment" began as soon as slaves came on board the ships, three hundred to four hundred at a time, and is described for posterity in the "Instruction for the Skippers in the Service of the West India Company sailing in the Slave Trade. "3* Typically, Article iv of this guide orders the captain to provide religious exercises for his human cargo. In this respect it is observed caustically that all participating in the slave trade always valued a good footing in heaven. The com pany also prescribed that the slaves be well fed: the regular diet of rice, bananas, and coconuts was supplemented with beans and groats, and scurvy was curbed by a daily ration of lemon juice. Meat and bacon were also daily additions to the menu. The "Instruction" even contained prohibitions against using dirty copper kettles. Article xv regulated hygiene for the slave quarters: the sprinkling of vinegar in the area, fumigating, or cleaning with juniper berries and incense. After the slaves were disembarked, their quarters were washed down with sea water. Every precaution was taken to isolate sick Negroes and to doctor them: "In terms of the sick he [the captain] shall do whatever the illness requires him to do in a proper way, showing them all love and compassion; he shall immediately separate them from the healthy ones, to prevent all kinds of discomfort." Article xxxin strictly forbade the crew "to mix with the Negro women."37 In addition to requiring compulsory physical exercise at regular intervals, the company was also concerned with the mental health of the slaves. Wooden drums were carried aboard in order to keep the slaves in buoyant spirits and to de-emphasize the sorrowful nature of their bondage. Father Rinchon reports that Negroes danced and sang after their meals "in order to prevent them from giving way to melancholy. "38 The slaves were also encouraged or forced to perform certain tasks aboard ship.

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3i The need for slaves in the Dutch settlements in the Caribbean was never as great as the demand in New Holland before 164^. In the Caribbean, the demand did increase rapidly, however, following the change from a tobacco to a sugar economy, especially because of the many needs of the French, English, and Spanish colonies in the area. But Brazil was the main market for slaves in the years of Dutch oc cupation. After the conquest of the Angola ports, Count Johan Maurits reported to Their High Mightinesses that Brazil alone could absorb fifteen thousand slaves annually, at a profit to the company of more than two million guilders. The Dutch directors on the West Coast estimated unrealistically, however, that the benefits would be even higher at six million guilders. A proposed account of what the company was expected to net in the slave trade after the capture of Luanda is provided in the following example: Purchase of 15,000 Negroes at J 50 each J 750,000 Victuals for 6 months at J" 5 per month f 405,000 30 ships for transportation atf 10,000 f 300,000 Possible losses: 1000 blacks at J 300 ea. J 300,000 J'i,7SJ.o 1500 men, soldiers, ammunition, etc. J 582,000 jl, 337,000 Sold at J 3 00 apiece ^"4,500,000 Net gain for the company J1,163,00039 Although many figures for the slave trade from Angola are no longer extant, Watjen mentions that from 1636 to 164^ some 23,163 slaves were sold at Pernambuco for a total of 6,71 ,000 guilders.40 As Boxer observes, these amounts represent an enormous windfall on paper, since these slaves were purchased for trifling goods worth only twelve to seventy-five guilders per man. Yet these same slaves were later sold for two hundred to eight hundred guilders each.41 They were needed on the sugar plantations, and planters paid for themon creditwith pledges against the next sugar harvest. Un fortunately, however, the figures fail to account for the large number of creditor defaults and consequent losses to the company. An esti mate from 1644 claims that the company realized 840,000 guilders annually in the slave trade, but Boxer, correctly, doubts the reliability of the figure. Meanwhile, the cry for slave labor swelled even more mightily in the Caribbean. Van Walbeeck encouraged the importation of Negroes to Curacao. A request of 1639 to allow some slaves who had been

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3P delivered to this island to be transferred to St. Christopher may be regarded as the first attempt to supply slaves to the Caribbean from Curasao.*2 By this time, too, the agenda of the Heren xix begins to be marked by frequent references to the slave tradede slaeffsche handelas an item of discussion. The deliberations concerned "how this trade could be maintained for the best service of the company and to the exclusion of all foreign nations. "43 Tolck, van Walbeeck's successor, continued to encourage the delivery of Negroes to Curacao. Perhaps his suggestions led the Chamber of Zeeland to its decision in 1641 "concerning the capture of blacks in the West Indies which had to be brought to Curasao. "4+ Its resolution provided that each company-commissioned Dutch captain in the Caribbean was required to deposit all his captured slaves on Curasao and to sell them to the government for sixty-five guilders. Under no circumstances could a sale be made to anyone else. Payment was made in Amsterdam two months after the Zeeland Chamber received confirmation of purchases from the Curacao director. The idea of making Curasao into a slave depot was also evident in a memorial to the xix in 1642 that discussed "how and in what way the trade of Negroes from Luanda to Curasao should be directed. "45 Considerable interest was expressed in making Curasao the chief provider of black laborers for the entire Caribbean. This suggestion was acted on by Peter Stuyvesant despite the xix's reluctance and Zeeland's curt remark that Brazil was the place for Angola's slaves and that "the island of Curasao was totally unsuited. "+6 A request to the xix at that time for the delivery of two hundred to three hundred slaves to St. Eustatius and St. Croix was given to the commissioners for the slave trade, but its results are not known. A remarkable report from a virtual unknown, Arnout van Liebergen, had much to do with enhancing Curasao's importance in this respect. Van Liebergen, with or without having lived on Africa's west coast, claimed after a visit to New Netherland in 1642 that Curasao was the natural site for the sale of slaves to all the countries which operated in the Caribbean.47 Resistance to this plan arose from the satisfaction with the triangle trade that provided sugar and brazil wood as return cargoes from Brazil. Making Curasao a slave depot, some argued, was also tantamount to asking Spain to mount a con certed effort to recapture the island. Van Liebergen, however, predicted the correct outcome of the matter; because the Spaniards needed slaves, they made overtures to the Dutch at Curasao to supply this black ebony. Furthermore, the soon-to-be-critical situation in Brazil only contributed to the reality of van Liebergen's suggestions.

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Fig. 11. Arms of Cornelis Lampsins i* Histomi Httsillll. Chap.* J3MI

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Fig. 12. Jacob Binckes by Nicolaes Maes

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3S3 The Dutch had wrestled the West African coast from the Portuguese precisely for slaves. And they maintained a successful competition against the English in the trade, and continued to resist the infringe ments of Englishmen, Danes, and Swedes. When the situation turned critical in Brazil, moreover, the wic possessions in Africa became correspondingly more important. And, if peace with Spain were a foreseeable certainty, the slave trade stood out as the one secure source of revenue still at the disposal of the wic. A "point of delibera tion" from a meeting of the Heren xix in 164^ regarded the slave trade as "the soul of the Company" and its decline would cause "the ruin of the Company." This statement was made five years after the wic's last effort to capture a Spanish treasure fleet. The realization had finally come that privateering did not pay. Since slave trading did, however, a transition in emphasis soon took place within the com pany. But before this change was complete, the slave trade became an issue in discussions over free trade and monopoly which racked the company in the late 1630's. In October, 1639, Zeeland professed herself aghast at the possibility of removing the slave trade monopoly. Four years later, two directors of the Amsterdam Chamberone of whom was Ioannes de Laetalluded to a possible expansion of the trade in blacks. But Dutch officials in Africa steadfastedly opposed breaking their monopoly and were ardent supporters of Zeeland's unflinching stand in this matter.48 In March, 1644, when rumors circulated that the Amsterdam Chamber had permitted private merchants in Angola to deal in slaves, the Zeelanders carried a motion that such trade should not be allowed to take root outside the com pany. 49 The issue, however, was far from settled, and it continued to plague the meetings of the xix for years to come. Even as late as 1662, just prior to the granting of an asiento to Grillo and Lomelino, the opening or closing of the slaeffsche handel appeared on the agenda.50 The large profits which were secured under the mentioned asiento decided the company once again in favor of maintaining the monopoly. The fall of Luanda to the Portuguese in 1648, and the loss of New Holland in 16^4, led the xix to delay no longer in establishing Curacao as a slave depot. A proposal to use this colony "for the pursuance of the slave trade met with quick approval. s' The island' s brisk business in slaves now increased as Dutch refugees from Brazil settled in the Caribbean and transformed the Lesser Antilles into sugar-producing islands. The major result was that for the last two decades of its existence, the wic was almost exclusively a slave-trading operation.

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3 4 Very soon, however, the company had to face determined com petition from British Jamaica. For some time, despite this rivalry, the Dutch had been able to meet the demand for slaves at better prices. Difficulties were intensified, however, as some English governors attempted to enforce the Navigation Laws. Stuyvesant tried, in vain, to effect the release of eight captured Dutch ships and even paid a personal visit to the governor of Barbados. But all the while, the Dutch were busily engaged in supplying slaves to all the English colonies. In 1640 Barbados only had a few hundred slaves; by 16^1 when the Navigation Laws were issued, these had grown to twenty thousand. The eleven-year increase must be attributed mainly to the Dutch. By 1666 there were more than fifty thousand Negro slaves on the island, but by then the Dutch were no longer the sole and probably not even the chief supplier.52 The same developments, although on a smaller scale, occurred in the other English Antilles and also in the French islands. At this point it should not be forgotten that slavery was never limited to the Negro race. There were also white slaves on English islands, the so-called indentured servants and many transported Irish after Cromwell's drastic purges. Burns cites an instance in which the Dutch sold as slaves in Barbados fifty Portuguese who had been cap tured in Brazil. These men were released, however, by the governor who was shocked by the sale of white, Christian men. About that same time, 1643, Count Johan Maurits ordered the arrest of Jan Maxvelt who had "brought... a few Brazilians from the Maranhao and sold them as slaves on the islands."53 Maxvelt was shipped to the Low Countries, bound over the Zeeland Chamber, and held for prosecution. In the early years of their involvement in the slave trade, moreover, the Dutch lured Indians from the Greater and Lesser Antilles aboard their boats for the express purpose of selling them as slaves. When word of this practice spread, the Dutch soon found their Indian allies alarmed and suspicious. Peter Stuyvesant, not long after he was appointed governor of the Curacao islands, complained to the Zeeland Chamber of the company "that some tradesmen had made the Wild Coast very unfree and were making the Indiansby force and moles tation which they inflictvery adverse from sympathizing with us. "54 It may have been this charge that prompted the Zeeland Chamber to adopt a resolution which forbade the unauthorized seizure of Indians and requested that the xix take measures to prevent such actions as "not only unchristian but also to the great disadvantage of the com-

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3SS pany."55 Similar decisions followed in 164^ when the commander of St. Eustatius was reported to be commissioning ships in order to capture Indians on the Wild Coast for his personal gain. Allowing such action to be repeated would, it was stated, "make the aforesaid coast so unfree that no one would dare to come aboard any more, "s6 In addition, coastal trade with the Indians had also suffered. It also appears that the English governor of St. Christopher, Sir Thomas Warner, was not altogether innocent of Indian hunting. A resolution of the Zeeland Chamber of February 2, 164^, mentions a commission to a Dutch captain written in English that authorized the bearer to seize Indians for sale as slaves. This permit stipulated that such captives were to be taken under the Dutch flag.57 The position taken by the xix against Indian slavery, however, seems to have been sufficiently severe to discourage any such further activity. Although Spain and the United Provinces remained at war until 1648, trade between the combatants continued to be conducted through the usual channels. With Curacao as a base, the Dutch soon became the major suppliers of slaves to Tierra Firme; indeed, after 1640, slaves were the most important item of the rescate. The Dutch ex changed them for hides, tobacco, cacao, and wood. Figures on this illicit trade are, of course, not available, but it is well known that after 1648 there was a noteworthy increase. The Spanish colonists cooperated fully in the illicit traffic, as is illustrated by a letter written by the Spanish ambassador in The Hague to the Council of the Indies; it included a copy of an agreement between a named Spaniard and four Dutchmen for the delivery of eight hundred Negro slaves. This Dutch instrusion into Spanish exclusivism, which was hardly a novelty, was not allowed to pass unnoticed, and the governors of Tierra Firme were soon alerted.58 But the Crown's impotence against the rescate is evident in the very plethora of prescriptions against it. On the whole, Spanish policy continued to be unrealistic. After the Portuguese had won their political independenceand lost their asientosthe Spanish colonists in the Caribbean had either to rely on foreign traders or else witness the decline and subsequent ruin of their sugar industry. Spain could not provide them with slaves. Her officials, high and low, recognized this fact, and it made them more willing to accept foreign bribes. They were thus steadily corrupted by the "winepots" of the Dutch when each new royal cedula against the rescate met with a new rain of Dutch gold. These were the circumstances that explain how Matthias Beck could so openly discuss with Stuyvesant his dealings for the

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3*6 regulation of trade between Curacao and Venezuela. Although the governor of the Spanish colony lacked the courage to make a formal treaty, he did agree to an unofficial arrangement. The only future problem was that Curacao could never quite meet Venezuela's de mands for provisions and slaves. As negotiations for peace with Spain reached the final stages in Westphalia, the xix sent a "Short Remonstrance"59 to the States General asking that they stipulate a free slave trade to the Spanish Indies. They also suggested that the diplomats at Munster require Spain to turn over Puerto Rico to the Dutch as a second depot for the slave trade. Puerto Rico, the company claimed, was of little value to the Spanish, but an "inestimable treasure" to the Dutch; its fertility exceeded that of Surinam, and it would be easy to colonize. The island could also supply slaves to all the Greater as well as the Lesser Antilles. Surely Boudewijn Hendricksz rejoiced in his Edam grave at this outrageous request. So far as is known, however, the question was never posed at Munster since the Dutch diplomats there had more sense than the Heren xix. The traffic between Curacao and the Tierra Firme was conducted mostly in ships under the Spanish flag. Partly, of course, this was done to save appearances, but it was largely due to the fact that the sailing was done by Spaniards, albeit under Dutch sponsors. During the 1660's, when the English represented the greatest danger and the Spaniards had already acquiesced in their dependence on the Dutch for slaves, Spanish authorities in the area requested that the wic conduct the trade under the Dutch flag.60 Generally speaking, the Dutch and the Spaniards cooperated very closely in these ventures. But again no figures exist on the extent of this trade nor on the precise amount of Dutch profit. Nevertheless, in this period in which no official asiento was granted, no Spanish colonists are known to have complained about a lack of slaves until Grillo and Lomelino took over. After that, the outcries are easily understood since these two Genoese intended to purchase slaves only from English and Dutch sources, which added a link in the trade chain, increased prices, and complicated the entire matter. The Dutch-Portuguese war of the 16^0's was actually more of a contest between each country's commissioned privateers than one fought by the respective parties' armed forces. As a patriotic gesture, the xix agreed to open Curacao to Dutch privateers who had captured Portuguese prizes with slaves aboard. The captured Negroes were to be sold on the island at a price of i o guilders for each man or woman between the ages of fifteen and thirty-five. Those who were

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3S7 younger and older than the desired ages would be gotten rid of at the bargain rate of three for the price of two. The attractive part of this concession for the privateer was that the governor of Curacao was authorized to pay hard cash for the slaves so long as his funds lasted. Otherwise, the privateers could always present their bills, as usual, in Amsterdam.61 The prices which were offered at Curacao under this emergency measure were, incidentally, much lower than the actual market value of slaves. In 165-9 a wic ship that was carrying slaves to Curacao was stranded on one of the Roque reefs. An English frigate, cruising in the neighborhood, was able to capture the cargo of forty-eight Negroes, and swiftly made for the home colonies. Dutch merchants claimed a loss of 84,000 guilders, or 175 guilders for each of the lost slaves.52 On the other hand a letter from Peter Stuyvesant to the xix reveals that New Netherland buyers were only spending 140 to 150 guilders for each slave, but that these were deficient Negroes, the so-called mancarrons.63 Although Beck continued to send Stuyvesant these inferior slaves in order that the fortifications of New Amsterdam might be completed, the mancarrons did not save the town. It sur rendered to the English in 1664. In its arrangements with colonial patrons, the wic ordinarily undertook to furnish the necessary slaves for agricultural cultivation. In the patent of Abraham van Pere, for instance, the following state ment occurs: "The Company shall take pains to provide the colonists with as many Negroes as shall be possible, on condition that it receive therefore as above, namely, two and one-half fares [?] without its being required to clothe them after having delivered them over."64 Al though the company could not always meet these obligations, it continued to contract for them. In another grant, to David Nassy and partners dated September 12, 1659, the stipulation appears that "They [the colonists] shall also be given by the Company such number of slaves as may be required from time to time, in accordance with the orders and regulations made or to be made by the xix."6s While not much is known about the actual delivery of slaves to colonists, we do have access to the text of an original contract that was, no doubt, repeated again and again between different parties with only minor changes. This "Rule in What Manner and Condition the Negroes shall Bee Delivered in the Wilde Coast" is sufficiently curious to be reproduced here: 1. That there shall be delivered in the said cust soe many negroes as each shall have occasion for, The which shall be paide heere, shewing the Receipt, in ready money at one hundred and fifty guilders for each man or woman.

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3 2. Children from eight to twelve years thei shall counte two for one piece, under the eight years three for one the breeding goeth with the mother. 3. Hee that shall advance the Paiment beefore the Receipt comes shall enjoy the discounte of Tenn cent. 4. To all them that shall Paye and buy for Ready mony if thei will thei shall have sutch number of negroes Trusted to Pay within five years and after them shall Pay for each man, whoman or child as above the sume of two hundred and fifty and he that shall advance the Payment shall have discount of Tenn Per Cent a yeare and them shall buy for ready money shall bee ingaged for the Paiment of the others.66 In such contracts, it is not always clear who was supposed to deliver the slaves to whom. An agreement of January 2r, i6r8, with David Nassy, for instance, "in pursuance of which he was to transport to Nova Zeelandia several hundred slaves"6? would seem to suggest that some party other than the company was involved. The documents in the archives, however, also provide evidence that the company was so charged. One thing is certainly clear: Nassy never delivered a single slave to the colonists. The excellent terms of the above and similar contracts induced such men as Otto Keye, an ardent colonist, to advertise the Wild Coast wide ly. After some calculations that are difficult to follow in his publication of 16 rg, Keye advises prospective colonists that emigrating to New Netherland will cost them i,8ro guilders. Surinam, however, would be available to those who wish to go for only 611 guilders. Nor does the blandishment end there: for those colonists who start out with five thousand guilders, Keye estimates their net gain for the first few years after their departure. The rosy prospect for making a fortune in Surinam is as follows: Said colonist must begin by purchasing 30 slaves at 12$ guilders each. This means an initial investment of 37JO guilders. Each slave can make fifteen nickels per day for his master, but taking into account other factors the average may be safely set at ten nickels a dayfive days a weekand at the end of the first year said colonist has gained a profit of 3900 guilders in tobacco, indigo and cotton. The master next invests the profit in the purchase of twenty additional slaves. With fifty slaves, at the beginning of the third year he has a profit of j8$0 guilders. He now uses this to buy thirty-two more slaves and the equipment with which he can convert to sugar cane. At the beginning of the fourth year said colonist has netted a profit of 8450 guilders. He uses this to buy an additional forty slaves and to build a sugar mill. At the be ginning of the fifth year, with 122 slaves, his profit has risen to 13,910 guilders. The next year will net 21,190 guilders, and the potential continues to rise as each year passes.68

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3S9 Unfortunately for all concerned, the realities of life on the Wild Coast were never so good. About the middle of the seventeenth century, slavery gained momentum in the Caribbean as the area was transformed from tobacco to sugar production. Although this was true for all colonies, the Dutch first realized the importance of slavery to the new economy, and were prepared to deliver slaves on demand and at better prices. There are simply no extant figures on the number of slaves transported and sold. What does remain, however, are some ideas and facts about Dutch commercial practice. In the 16jo's they supplied slaves and other commodities on credit and were willing to wait for payment until harvest time. In the sixties and seventies they discovered to their dismay that they had sown for others to reap. In the Caribbean, the Dutch had English competition to face, of course, but they also encountered rivalry from companies that had been founded in other countries but operated with Dutch capital, ships, sailors, and experience. One remarkable case in point was the Swedish company, one of the wic's greatest trials on the Guinea coast. The creation of this institution had been inspired by William Usselinx during his voluntary exile. Although the Netherlands had ignored him and denied him a seat on the xix, the court of Gustavus Adolphus honored and heeded him. The Dutch were in the unenviable position of wishing, on the one hand, to maintain good relations with the nation which had been at one point the foremost defender of Protestantism in the seventeenth century. On the other hand they also wanted to forestall Swedish activity in Africa. An endless cor respondence between the officials of the Dutch and Swedish com panies is testimony to the wic's dilemma. Danes also appeared on the African coast where, in 1642, they established themselves by force. They were soon to be joined by the French. Richelieu and Mazarin had revived Henry IV's colonial policy while compromising French strength in their titanic struggle with the House of Hapsburg. There was also the English Guinea or African Company, which had been organized in 1630. All of these competi tors were sources of consternation for the Dutch, although none of them was really a particular danger except for the Royal African Company in the sixties. By that time, however, the wic was in such financial straits that it could no longer adequately defend itself, let alone drive off competitors. Far more harmful to the company, indeed, even in its years of power, were the so-called lorredraaiersthe Dutch interlopers on the company's monopoly. These men sailed and traded from Africa to

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360 America with impunityi.e., in slavesand they never, of course, paid the wic its "recognitions," the fees which had been granted to the company in its charter. Violations of these provisions were reported to the xixand through them to the States Generalas early as 16 24. In the ensuing fifty years this illicit traffic never abated. The company repeatedly indicated that piracy against Spain was one thing, piracy against the wic was something altogether different. Yet such dodging was difficult to prove and thus went largely unchecked. Dutch participation in the slave trade presented Spain with a curious dilemma. Slaves were urgently necessary in Spanish America, yet slaves could be had in satisfactory quantities only through the cooper ation of the wicback of which stood the government of the United Provinces. Spain's problem was to prevent squabbles between asentistas and the West India Company from becoming questions of state between Spain and the United Provinces, the latter a country which was now too powerful to be safely irritated. The Council of the Indies undertook to solve the dilemma.69 In 1662 an asiento was concluded with the Genoese commercial house of Domingo Grillo and Ambrosio Lomelino. The agreement caused considerable dissatisfaction in Spanish America when it became known that the new concessionaires had no intentions of getting slaves from Africa. They fully intended to buy slaves from Dutch and English sources and simply resell them. For this purpose an agent was soon established in Curacao. In this instance, contrary to normal Spanish practice, the firm of Grillo and Lomelino had won for itself the exclusive right to procure and sell slaves in the Spanish colonies in America. The Council of the Indies had hoped to limit smuggling in this way, but, of course, nothing of the sort happened. In fact, the asiento limited the number of ships that could be used, and thus curtailed the transport of other commodities to the Spanish colonists. Fewer ships also meant that the slaves were crowded even more than they had been heretofore. As anticipated, the delivery of the slaves was actually undertaken by the wic and the Royal African Company. The latter had been re organized to supply slaves to the English colonies, but its regular financial crises drove it to consort with Grillo and Lomelino. Charles II, who was a shareholder, in order to make an agreement easier for the Spaniards, permitted a dispensation of the Navigation Laws for Spanish ships in the Caribbean whose purpose was to purchase slaves. This measure met with no success. Spain needed neither Jamaica nor the English to supply her colonies with black laborers "being so

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36i plentifully and cheaply supplied with Negroes by the Genoese who had contracted to supply them with twenty-four thousand Negroes in seven years. "70 These 24,000 slaves were first delivered by the Dutch to Curacao "on which cursed little barren island they have now 1 joo or 2000. "7i Th e Dutch were blessed with the lion's share of the slave business in Spanish America. The Spanish government, however, which was deluged with protests over the prices charged for slaves by Grillo and Lomelino, tried in vain to force the asentista to procure his slaves directly from Africa. Such insistence was understandably ignored, and Curacao remained for many years to come the main source of supply for the Caribbean area. In 1667 Charles II again vainly attempted to get a share of the business for himself. In 1668 Grillo and Lomelino contracted to supply 3,^00 slaves annually to the Caribbean. At the same time, they subcontracted with the wic for the delivery of two thousand slaves at Curacao. This arrangement guaranteed the wic a secure position in the slave trade with the Spanish colonies. The following year the contract was renewed, and the number raised to four thousand slaves. The Spanish government continued to protest against the asentista's purchase of slaves from the island and created difficulties-although the documents do not reveal of what characterthat seemed to have jeopardized the slave trade via Curacao. In 1670, because of the gradual insolvency of Grillo and Lomelino, the asiento was awarded to a Portuguese, Antonio Garcia, whose contract called for the delivery of four thousand slaves per year for five years. He was, of course, fully expected to procure slaves from the Portuguese colonies in Africa. But Garcia, contrary to all ex pectations, bought them instead at Curacao from the wic.?2 Although he lost his concession temporarily to Grillo and Lomelino, two years later it was renewed, and the wily Portuguese resumed his purchases from the Dutch. Indeed, so dependent was he upon Curacao and the wic that his new asiento stipulated relief by half of his obligation should Spain go to war with the United Provinces. Despite the complex war situation in those years, the wic promised and fulfilled its annual slave quota. Dutch influence is particularly apparent during the Garcia asiento. While throughout the Genoese tenure, a Portuguese agent had been residing in Amsterdam, under the Garcia concession two Amsterdam merchants, Balthasar and Joseph Cooymans, acted as bankers and representatives of the asiento for the Portuguese principal. Because of the fact that Balthasar Cooymans was later able to overcome Spanish

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362 reluctance and win the asiento for himself, there is even reason to believe that the Garcia concession of 167^ was financed by Dutch capital and that the asiento actually came into Dutch hands this same yearGarcia simply posing as the concessionaire. The acquisition of the asiento placed the Dutch first in the slave trade, and from that time on, both the Portuguese and the English shrank in importance as competitors.73 Curacao thus became the most important slave depot and the principal market for slaves throughout the Caribbean. A warehouse for the black ebony was built there which, by 1668, housed three thousand Negroes for immediate delivery. After that the wic was virtually reduced to a slave trade organization, "by curtailment and reduction of which [the slave trade] the ruin of the company was caused. "74 Some evidence for the development of this trade, and its impor tance to the company, appears in the 1669 and 1670 agreements to provide 9,000 slaves for a promised 2,400,000 guilders.75 It was, of course, not purely profit. Besides, the slaves had to be fed during their stay at Curacao, which required considerable sums. To care for these expenses, the asentista, Grillo and Lomelino at that time, placed several thousand guilders in trust at Willemstad. The continuing importance of the trade is also illustrated by a contract of 1683; in this case, the wic guaranteed the provision of eighteen thousand slaves over the ensuing six years. At Curacao only 600 slaves were employed in agriculture, and 1,800 in domestic services. The bulk of those arriving at the island were for sale to non-Dutch markets in the Caribbean. At Willemstad on Curacao, an "agent-general" of the asiento, as he styled himself, soon became a well-known figure. His main task was to function as a middle-man between the asentista and the xix. Balthasar Beck, the lieutenant-governor of the island under Stuyvesant, was such an agent, as were many directors of the colony in later years. No better evidence is needed to prove that there was no official opposition to the slave trade nor any attempt to discredit such an enterprise as beneath the company's dignity. Any ship involved in the slave trade, however, had to have a license. Under no circumstance was the company going to abridge its monop oly on black ebony, and even after the loss of Luanda, there was no change in policy. Its officials there simply moved their headquarters to the island of Annabon. Slave traders filled out and signed the following form in order to qualify for a license:

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363 In the way and on the conditions explained hereafter, the commissioned Directors of the Chartered West India Company on one side and on the other side have agreed and pacted that the said Directors accept to have ready the ship named on which is Skipper to send this, with the first favorable weather and wind to the coast of Africa; with special promise and agreement that if it arrives safely there, to permit the Skipper, the Clerk or other officials of the wic to purchase and embark in said ship the quantity of Negroes from Ardra, Boche or Angola, men and women, young or as old as can be purchased; with which quantity of Negroes said ship will sail away (but will be allowed to touch and drop anchor at any place as might be judged necessary and expedient for refreshment) to Curacao where, having arrived, the Skipper or Clerk will acknowledge his arrival to 76 who have agreed to said contract to have them (the Negroes) received or taken over from said Skipper or Clerk of the said ship within a period of i r days after their arrival, under penalty of laying each day thereafter one piece of eight daily for every deliverable Negro brought with the aforesaid ship.77 A slave ship was authorized by this form to transport commodities to Africa and trade them for slaves. In an account given by the direc tor-general at Ardra similar to the one given before, it is possible to extract the main kinds of commodities used in this exchange, largely those which have been mentioned earlier. Also evident is the amount the wic paid in the sixties for its slaves, an average of thirty-seven guilders and eighteen cents. A contract made by the Zeeland Chamber calls for a price per slave of forty-four to forty-eight guilders. There is some evidence, moreover, that on occasion, the rate dropped to thirty guilders.78 The contracts between the wic and the asentistas stipulated a price of 107^ pieces of eight for a mentally and physically healthy slave between the ages of fifteen and thirty-six. By estimating a piece of eight at 5-0 nickels and a guilder at 20, the price per slave becomes approximately 270 guilders. When compared with the purchase costs just mentioned, an enormous profit seems certain, even if one takes into account that the slaves had to be fed, that crews had to be paid, and that ships had to be purchased. From the expense account of a particular vessel destined for Ardra with a crew of twenty-seven men one can obtain the following figures:7' Purchase of 450 slaves f 14, joo Supplies for 27 men for 15 months J" 2971,16 Expenses for barrels, casks, etc. f i8y, 4 / 3'J7 Supplies for 4 jo Negroes for 3 months J" 2 640 Expenses for barrels, casks, etc. ^"2308, 4 Labor f 101,16

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364 Various expenses, medicine, fire wood, etc. J" 1300 Two months pay in advance for crews f 1070 / 7420 /2J7 If this trip from the United Provinces via Ardra to Curacao and back occupied all of i months, additional pay for the crew of 6,9^ guilders would have to be included. Total expenses for buying and delivering of 450 slaves, then, would come to around 32,000 guilders, or less than 73 guilders per slave. To this one would have to add such over head and fixed costs as ships, buildings, and fortresses with their garrisons. This would raise the cost per slave to at least one hundred guilders. On paper, this figure still would leave the company a net gain of 170 or more guilders per slave, although loss of life in "midpassage" regularly reduced the profit by 2 per cent. By considering the company's expenditures in Africa and Curacao, the amount per slave is further reduced to such an extent that one might well question whether any profit was realized. Company shares in i6roat the low level of 15 per centspeak more eloquently to this question than do any other statistics. More over, slave ships occasionally became floating coffins. On one ship ment in 1664, 471 slaves were originally purchased; of these, 419 never reached Curacao because of illness during the Atlantic crossing.80 Although such drastic figures are not common, they cannot be disregarded. Before the second Anglo-Dutch war, it appears that some English slave traders also brought their black cargo to Curacao. The xix, however, had some misgivings about this kind of cooperation with a probable enemy, and as tensions mounted between the two countries, the directors advised Beck to disallow English slave ships in the port. This instruction was presumably also directed against some others; in 1657, on behalf of the Swedish Africa Company, Laurens de Geer had contracted with three Amsterdam merchants to transport five hundred to six hundred slaves from Guinea to Curacao. This kind of arrangement may also have been ended by the letter to Beck, but on the other hand, it may have been tolerated by the monopolistic wic since so large a part of Swedish trade was in Dutch hands and was financed by Dutch capital. The island of Curacao, as noted earlier, was under the special

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36* direction of the Amsterdam Chamber. It was this chamber, therefore, that concluded contracts with the asentistas. Africa, however, which provided the slaves, was under the executive control of the xix who thus had to be consulted on all matters concerning the slave trade. But evidence of mutual concord is provided by the first contract with Grillo and Lomelino which stipulated, "The Directors who signed acted not only as members of the Chamber of Amsterdam but men tioned at the same time that this Chamber was authorized by the xix to conclude said contract. "8l Contracts which were made before 1674, when the old company ended its existence, reveal many important changes over the years. The first of these, concluded in 1662, shows the directors' emphatic pledge to deliver one thousand slaves. In later contracts, however, the promises become more circumspect; they only mention the release of a sufficient number of ships to purchase and transport the four thousand slaves of the contract. If there were no Negroes avail able for purchase on the African coast, therefore, the company was protected. In the earlier contract, it was obligated to pay compensation in every instance. All slaves to be put on the market had to be leverbaardeliverable which meant that they had to be physically and mentally fit. In 1662, when the Dutch were ignorant of many details of the trade, leverbaar had simply implied that the slave could not be blind or mutilated and had to be able to walk on board without help. In later contracts, this leverbaar concept was narrowed to exclude any "considerable defect" and there were specific proscriptions against slaves from Rio Calabary, Rio del Rey, and Rio Cameronis because of their poor quality. Health stipulations continued to grow even more strict; Willem Bosman in his Accurate Description of the Gold, Ivory and Slave coasts of Guinea observes "that slaves that had grey hair, missed a tooth or suffered from chronic diseases were 'non-deliverable.' "82 One agreement with the asentistas provided that all slaves "older than forty years, sick, blind, lame or paralyzed, or that have another considerable deficiency" would be considered mancarrons and thus purchasable at a lower rate.83 Over the years, the ratio between male and female changed also. In the seventeenth century, it was usually stipulated that a delivery of slaves should be composed of j$ per cent males. Frequently, an extra premium for additional males was included in the contract. Women slaves were paid for at the same or at a slightly lower rate than men, since Negro fertility was generally thought to be high. The infant was always included with the mother at no extra price, no real bargain

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366 since the mortality rate for children below three was too high to risk money on them (see Appendix x). At Curacao the slaves were interned on two plantations until such time as they could be examined and removed by the agents of the asentistas. This procedure sometimes took several days or weeks, during which interval the company would put the Negroes to work. If the asentista delayed too long, the company reserved the right to sell the slaves to other buyers, although this provision, which violated the monopoly of the asiento, was rarely exercised. To further discourage infringements on the asiento, ship captains were not allowed to drop anchor in the Caribbean except in case of emergency. Yet none of these comprehensive regulations could stop the illicit traffic in slaves. Ultimately, the company resorted to branding Negroes in the pos session of the inhabitants of Curasao.8* All slaves without a branded mark were to be confiscated and turned over to wic officials. Punish ments in the form of flogging were meted out to those who attempted to counterfeit a brand. In 1668 bills of lading were introduced; these made the captains responsible for delivery under penalty of their wages, ships, and a percentage of the cargo.85 All these rules and precepts, unknown in 1662 but widely accepted in 1668, illustrate the difficulties experienced by the asentistas in implementing the monopoly which they had supposedly achieved on paper. The company, too, had its share of problems; in 1672, how ever, these were somewhat alleviated when the asentista was forced to declare the number of ships which he would have available to transport slaves from Curacao to his markets in the Caribbean, and to promise that a said number of ships would constantly be available. Ships of the wic were often needed to fulfill his agreements. Zeelandian ships were permitted to land slaves on Curacao despite the rivalry at home between the Chambers of Zeeland and Amsterdam. Although the capital administered the island, the slave trade was financed until 1671 by a special fund, which was provided by the company shareholders. The profits from the trade made through these reserves were divided one-third for the participants and twothirds for the company. Apparently a one-third profit margin was a sufficient enough lure to entice shareholders to investment. The two-thirds share, however, was not enough to save the old company from bankruptcy. The terms of payment in the contract of 1662 stipulated that the asentista had to pay fifty thousand pieces of eight upon signing. The pre-payment arrangement betrays the probable need of the company for cash to execute the provisions of the contract. The asentista also

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367 had to guarantee the restitution of any company ship lost en route to and from Africa. In the early days the wic's credit rating was so poor that its director's personal signatures were required in order to formalize a contract. By 1668, with the slave trade booming and a special slave fund operating, no such advances on signatures were required. Much can be said about the treatment of slaves in Dutch colonies. Slaves were important and valuable property, and their general state of health and mental attitude were consequently matters of some concern. A slave, however, was also a possession, a res, not a person. A special tax, the poll tax, was soon levied on all those who owned a slave, which pertained also to import and export duties. It even became possible to mortgage slaves. Furthermore, the master was required to provide food, clothing, and shelter for his slaves. His financial position, of course, determined how well he did this and how well his slaves lived. Indeed, many times the latter's needs were the last item on the master's budget. In times of war, moreover, when food was scarce for all, the poor slave suffered first, and he was relieved last when the company's ships arrived with fresh supplies. The Dutch almost never had equivalents to the English "indentured servants" or to the French engages; color, therefore, remained the major status item in Dutch Caribbean society. A mulatto group certainly appeared, however, even in color-conscious Dutch colonies. Although there is a variety of Dutch names for such offspring,86 a child who was born of a slave remained a slave notwithstanding the father's position. On the other hand, it is true that mulatto children received preferential treatment from their masters and were almost never used for heavy labor in the fields. From the moment of his arrival on Dutch soil, the slave also enjoyed some rights. Primitive as it may seem today, certain legislation did exist for the slave's protection. Although few of its provisions reflect a modern social conscience, the code penal for whites was not much milder. The essentially pragmatic Dutch mentality is nowhere better illustrated than in a letter from the Chamber of Amsterdam to the Director of Curacao concerning the punishment of four Negroes who had been condemned to hanging, the loss of a hand, and internment in the gallows. The Amsterdam Chamber stoically observed in its reply: "That it would have been more convenient to inflict another punishment, not because the penalty was not in proportion to the committed offense, but because a slave, by this chastisement [of losing his right hand] was totally disabled for any service, for which purpose he is held captive and it thus becomes a burden to support him."87

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368 In case circumstances demanded action that was not specifically foreseen in national legislation, company officials reverted to Roman law. This usually meant that a delinquent slave was turned over to the whims of his master. Because of the absence of any legal per sonality or status, moreover, a slave was always wrong vis-a-vis a white. In seventeenth-century courts, a slave could not be called upon to testify against a white even though he may have been a witness to a crime. His word had weight only against another slave. In the early days of slavery, a master could kill his slave and not fear the law. Although this discriminatory situation did change in due course, it nevertheless remains a fact that the master, when he infringed the rules, was never more than lightly punished, usually with a fine. Bodily chastisement of slaves, ordinarily in the form of a beating with a bull's pizzle, was legally unrestricted, although it was usually re served for crimes only. A further refinement on this measure was to have the slave appear naked for his punishment and to endure the whip from his fellow slaves' hands. No real horror stories have come down to us about the Dutch colonies; no instruments of torture like the Spanish stool are documented for this area, but the fact cannot be overlooked that, even according to the yardstick of the age, the future for an erring slave looked pretty grim. From a purely expedient standpoint, the company strove to control excesses in the treatment of slaves. It undertook although never full-heartedly to have slaves converted to Protestantism, supplied medical help, and founded hospitals. The humanity of the slaves, however, was always ignored, if not denied altogether. To complete the parallel of treating Negroes like cattle, the slaves who were branded at Curacao carried lifelong monograms, adding letters or numbers in the case of a company slave, and a cloverleaf for others. Dutch occupation in the Caribbean and the Guianas inevitably brought in its train the Dutch Reformed religion. In 1635, a year after Curacao's conquest, a candidate for the ministry arrived. By 1638 an instruction for ministers was drawn up which admonished "that all pains will be taken by them to instruct the Portuguese, Spaniards, and their children in the fundamentals of the Christian religion, and also the blacks and Indians." In fact, little Negro con version occurs in the documents of the company, as though it is repeatedly urged "that the poor and blind pagans on Curacao should be led to the knowledge of God and their salvation." Formal counsel aside, however, the laziness and inefficiency of the clergy, combined with the prejudice of the masters at having their slaves conversant with their religion, resulted in minimal religious training for slaves.

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369 Hamelberg writes, "The prevailing opinions on slaves were totally contrary to the idea of considering them as brothers in the Lord." What the company slurred over, few of its servants bothered them selves about. The Dutch all-consuming desire for profit left no room for any other concern. In this very respect Thomas Lynch, governor of Jamaica, concluded the case when he wrote that on Curacao "Jesus Christ was good, but trade was better. "88 In the Spanish colonies the Roman Catholic faith had always been an inseparable arm of the secular government. After the conquest of the Antilles and in the Guianas, the wic disavowed this religion for the Indian populations. When increasing numbers of black slaves came to the area, however, the directors of the company, who were concerned about the fact that a huge anti-white and religiously ignorant mass was being formed, put a program of conversion into operation. The only actual religious training in this effort, though, was provided by Catholic priests. The Dutch, who generally considered the public exercise of Catholicism to be "an offense to the glory of God," were yet extremely negligent in enforcing those rules of the xix that might have curtailed the priesthood. It is certainly true that, especially on Curacao, there was more tolerance of Catholics than Protestants ex perienced in Spanish and French colonies. Commercial interest, undoubtedly, had something to do with this attitude. The permissive atmosphere placed the Dutch colonies in an ex ceptional position. There were many rich Catholic merchants on the the islands as well as in the Netherlands. So long as the priests could be safely ignored, however, Dutch officials were satisfied to leave them in peace. The company and Their High Mightinesses even allowed the Roman Catholic clergy to work among the slaves and to baptize their children. Priests, however, could not solemnize marriage vows between slaves, a practice which stood in sharp contrast to Spanish tradition and legislation. Clandestine marriages were soon introduced, but, although performed in the presence of a priest, they still had no legal validity before civil authorities. A kind of labor code was soon in existence also. A briefing from the States General to the high and low governments of the wic contained a clause insisting "that the Negroes and slaves must be well-treated and sent at proper times, when it was the hour for church, to be admitted to the public exercise of religion and not burdened with labor on the holidays."89 This provision was never enforced except by the Jews. Living, at the time, very closely to the letter of the law, they did not allow their slaves to work on the Sabbath in accordance with the third commandment.90

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37 The real flowering of the Dutch slave trade occurred in the decades following the Peace of Nijmegen when Balthasar Cooymans obtained the asiento from Seville. Spanish squeamishness about the heretical Cooymans faltered and fell before the fact that the latter paid more in cash. This blustering Dutchman went so far as to agree to carry Ro man Catholic missionaries to Africa to provide religious training to the slaves before they were transported to the Americas. The story of this asiento, however, colorful as it is, properly falls outside the scope of the present work.

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l5 "THAT 'SUPERB' NATION" The English always stay English and a change in government does not change their mood. Johan de Witt1 The relations between the United Provinces and England, which had been far from cordial since the Stuarts had mounted the Tudor throne, deteriorated rapidly after Oliver Cromwell became the leader of the island republic. Sincere or otherwise, the Protector's attempts to effect closer political and economic ties with the Dutch, his "shortcut to prosperity," failed miserably.2 The Navigation Laws that were born out of his miscalculation were the proximate cause of the first AngloDutch war, an encounter which the Dutch lost. At the same time Cromwell initiated his great "Western Design" which was a grandiose scheme to attack Spain in the Caribbean, but which collapsed with the capture of Jamaica. In i6^, this island became the chief English stronghold in the Caribbean. Although the loss was a heavy, albeit not fatal, blow to Spain, it was also detrimental to the Dutch position in the West Indies. In the United Provinces it was generally feared that the long-stand ing Dutch trade with English colonies in the Lesser Antilles, and especially with Barbados, could now be more effectively checked. On the other hand, Dutch hopes rested on the fact that some of these English islands remained royalist and thus deeply dependent on Dutch good will and support. The faithful governors of those territories made public pronouncements about their gratitude for Dutch help, and the Dutch provided them with arms and ammunition in exchange for sugar. The English planters gave assurance that the trade would continue and claimed not to believe "our number so contemptible nor our resolution so weake to be forced or persuaded to so ignoble a submission" which meant, of course, acquiescence in Cromwell's Commonwealth. 3 For a long time, Francis Lord Willoughby, ardent royalist governor of Barbados, resisted Cromwell's attempt on his island. He had five thousand men to use against the one thousand sent from England on

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372 seven men-of-war under Sir George Ayscue. One coup, however, turned the course of events against the Barbadians: a Commonwealth mission comprised of three ships succeeded in surprising and appro priating twelve Dutch ships at Carlisle Bay; the English claimed that they were violating the Navigation Laws. The Commonwealth's capture of these vessels cut off supplies to the island and, within a few months, Willoughby was forced to discuss surrender terms. His capitulation led the other royalist islands to surrender also. It should, however, be conceded that this Commonwealth victory did not exclude Dutch trade from the islands. On the contrary, the new laws were disregarded as much as possible, and this general attitude made their enforcement extremely difficult. Admiral William Perm's fleet, which arrived at Barbados in 1655 just after the first Anglo-Dutch conflict, found several Dutch ships conducting trade there.4 The conquest and consolidation of Jamaica, although it fell short of Cromwell's pretentious plans, did eventually result in England's determination to control commerce to and from English colonies. Jamaica was to become the spearhead of competition with the Dutch in the Caribbean. Although this fierce mercantile process took more than half a century, it did succeed in the end. English intentions were already clear in Cromwell's instructions to Penn. The admiral was authorized to seize any and all foreign ships that arrived to trade with the English colonies.5 What Cromwell failed to understand was that the islands, in the throes of transforming themselves from tobacco to sugar production, desperately needed Dutch machinery and African slaves in order to survive. Further attempts to curtail Dutch trade resulted in the latter gaining surreptitious commissions as "English ships" from colonial sympathizers in the British Isles.6 Cromwell's shortcut to prosperity was an engaging project that required Dutch cooperation. But it floundered on the States General's reluctance to make the United Provinces a sloop behind the English man-of-war. Although the Protector's successors, the restored Stuarts, tried once more to effect the same goal, their efforts were quite different from Cromwell's. The primary authors in this new bid to dislodge the Dutch from their advantageous and strategic positions on Africa's west coast, in the Caribbean, and in New Netherland were Charles II, his crypto-Catholic brother James, Duke of York, and their cousin Rupert, son of the "Winter King." All three had every reason to be grateful to the government of the United Netherlands for their long and comfortable exile in that country. None of them, however, once he had risen to power in England, deigned to cooperate with his former benefactor.7 Years of experience

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373 had merely confirmed the belief that the United Provinces would endure a great deal politically so long as their profitable trade was not encroached upon. A s early as 1630 a British Guinea Company had been granted certain rights by the English government in the principle slave area of Africa. This company failed, however, largely through Dutch "dumping" practices combined with the latter's strong position on Africa's west coast. In the 16jo's, when the English Antilles converted to sugar production and the need for slaves grew by leaps and bounds, the English Navigation Laws closed the islands in the Caribbean to Dutch slave traders. This maneuver satisfied no one except Cromwell, since it deprived the Dutch of profits and the English colonists of an ade quate supply of labor. Consequently soon after the Restoration, the three royal adventurers, Charles II, James, and Rupert, founded the Royal African Company to supply English colonies with slaves at the modest rate of one black for one ton of sugar.8 Unfortunately for the English, the tenacious Dutch causedthrough their policythe Royal African Company to raise its price to two tons of sugar per slave.9 In addition, the company had to put up with heavy losses since its monopoly made it prey to precisely the same risks as the wicinter lopers, corruption, and collusion among its own agents. Finally, the RAC was specifically interdicted by the Spanish because the latter preferred the Dutch. The English were thus restricted in their slave trade to their own limited market. At the command of the three royal biasseurs d'affaires, however, were the inestimable services of George Downing, the British minister in The Hague. There is little disagreement about this man; Boxer calls him "unscrupulous," and a contemporary French ambassador referred to him as "a very disagreeable person. "I0 Downing combined in his person a high degree of perfidy with a conspicuous lack of conscience. It is not difficult to imagine what this Royal African Company agent was charged with in his sensitive position in the United Provinces. The exalted trio were very interested in New Netherland and the West African coast. Both of these areas were under the control of the Dutch West India Company, a joint stock company chartered by Their High Mightinesses. The wic was hence, as pointed out before, a semi-official institutionnot exactly identical with the government of the United Provinces though closely identified with it. This dualism offered unlimited prospects to the unscrupulous. Here was a perfect way to impede the prosperity of the free Netherlands through at tacking a private institution without risking the kind of official action

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374 which might lead to war between nations. It would simply be one private company, the Royal African Company, against another, the wic. The English assumed that the States General would vigorously protest action taken against the wic yet could be counted upon to stop short of war. Th e contestor as the directors of the West India Company called it in a letter to Their High Mightinesses, the "frivolous practices"11 of the three English adventurers began in 1661 with an attack on the Dutch position at Cape Verde. The Dutch clerk in charge of that settlement, a man named Cop, was summarily advised by the com mander of an English squadron, Sir Robert Holmes, that England held a trade monopoly on the African coast from Cape Verde to the Cape of Good Hope. All Dutchmen were to evacuate that territory at once. Needless to say, Cop refused even to discuss such a proposal. The English then occupied the Dutch fort at Gambia.12 Notice of this outright breach of international relations reached the United Provinces and aroused great indignation and ill-feeling. The Heren xix immediately presented a memorial to the States General. Their High Mightinesses responded by dispatching a letter to His British Majesty which asked Charles to prohibit his subjects from encroaching on the prerogatives of the wic in Africa. Charles, through his envoy at The Hague, apologized profusely and assured the Dutch that henceforth their rights would be respected and that future offenders would be severly punished. Holmes was, in fact, brought to trial when he returned home, in a noisy public display of deference to Dutch claims. Meanwhile, the English moved swiftly in a countercomplaint against the wic and Johan van Valckenburg. They charged that the latter called himself "Director-General of the Coast of North Africa" and that, in the name of the States General and of the Dutch West India Company, he had published a "remonstrance" or "me morial" in which "he pretends for said company the whole coast of Guinea, called the Gold Coast, and the places appurtenant to it with all their trade... to the entire exclusion of all other nations.": 3 This, said the English, was a provocation of their rights and an insult to their national pride. They began systematically moving against Dutch trade and fisheries; at The Hague, Downing, in the meantime, explained away the actions of Holmes in Africa. As the English probably hoped, the complexity of all this led to an impasse. At that point, with no admission of Dutch claims, the two governments entered into a treaty. It stipulated that earlier grievances would be forgotten and that isolated incidents between their respective subjects would not constitute cause for hostilities in Europe. The

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37$ Dutch leader of international relations during this period, the Grand Pensionary Johan de Witt, fully realized the English game, but he assumed that the alternative to such a treaty would be war. As a result of their experiences in the turbulent fifties in which successively England, Sweden, and Portugal had been the national enemy, the government officials realized that a growing Orangist party would be enhanced by a new war. Reluctantly and dejectedly, de Witt danced to George Downing's tune. The theme of the English composition was to keep the Dutch occupied with talking and other diplomatic subterfuges. The British public, meanwhile, was entertained with horror stories about Dutch aggression against English territories and people.1* In these instances, both the great Dutch monopolistic companies were charged with insolence and treachery against the innocent English. The propaganda worked very well indeed; after a short time the English public was thoroughly incited and wanted action. The Dutch, meanwhile, were busy explaining and protesting as the English adventurers simultaneously moved to the offensive in Africa, the East and West Indies, and North America. In the case of New Netherland, its immediate future was roughly similar to what had happened in Africa. A royal charter of 1662 permitted New England to extend itself to the Delaware River, which was interpreted to mean, incidently, that it could annex the Dutch region in between. The Dutch considered this charter a violation of their prerogatives, which had been established in 1614 but which now were conveniently ignored by Charles II. False rumors were spread to the effect that the Dutch were planning to move against New England and Virginia. In a generous mood, Charles II donated the disputed area between the two English colonies to his brother James, together with four thousand pounds to be used in its occupation and defense. James did not delay, and on September 8, 1664, before any war had been declared between the two countries, New Amsterdam was taken and renamed New York. As Commander Richard Nicolls, who had been instructed by Charles as early as April, 1664, put it to Peter Stuyvesant, "The right and title of His Majesty to these parts of America is indisputable."1' But in order to have a better understanding of such events, it will be necessary to take a step or two backwards. Another unmistakably anti-Dutch action had already been perpetrated by the English in 1663 when, under the guise of a mission of the Royal African Company, Commander Holmes was dispatched once again to the West African coast. This time the pretext involved some highly dubious English

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376 claims of interference in their trade. A "protest" from the RAC charged that the Dutch had endeavored to drive the English company from the coast, had followed her ships from port to port and hindered her coming nigh the shore to trade; they had persuaded the Negroes to destroy her agents and to capture her forts; they had seized her boats and goods, violently taken possession of Cape Coast, and aimed to shoot at His Majesty's royal flag.16 Holmes, who might or might not have been ordered to assume the offensive, reported that he had found the Dutch so hostile and their influence over the Negro chiefs so inimical to English interests that he had no choice but to take action. A year before war was officially declared early in 1664, he forcibly occupied Dutch trading posts at Goree, Cape Verde, Cape Coast, and elsewhere and ambushed the wic slave ships visiting the area.17 From the Caribbean came similar news. English activity there made it plain that the Dutch were to be driven from the West Indies. English ships in the vicinity of Curacao announced that they had been commissioned by James to stop and overpower ships with Spanish goods aboard. A look at past events reveals how odd this assertion was. The English were no more at war with Spain than they were with the United Provinces. The ruse was probably designed to provide a legal basis for attacking the Dutch and to establish a pretext for confiscating both their ships and cargo. In short, Charles, James, and Rupertassisted by the ever intriguing Downing whose patriot ism may have been boosted by his ownership of RAC shareswere everywhere courting aggression without actually going to war. Johan de Witt's policy finds its justification in this English display. Indeed, from the Dutch point of view, de Witt acted adroitly as well as honestly, notwithstanding loud English cries of "foul play." Downing continued to press simultaneously claims of Dutch bellicosity along with protestations of the undying fellowship Albion felt for the Dutch. But the government of the United Provinces, spurred on by continuing reports of English militancy and Zeelandian determination, now agreed to use armed forces to redress and repair the wic's losses in Africa.18 The boards of admiralty were ordered to equip a fleet with all haste and unobstrusiveness so as not to alert the opponents. It was to be sent to Vice-Admiral de Ruyter in the Mediterranean. This bold decision was made a few days after Downing had boasted to Their High Mightinesses that force would be met with force.1' French offers to mediate the imminent conflagration were rebuffed by the Dutch. In spite of a treaty of alliance with the United Provinces, Louis XIV had not only closed the French Antilles to Dutch

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377 trade but had also dispatched a fleet to Cayenne. The subsequent fall of that fort and settlement both upset and angered the Dutch. A caustic memorial was forthwith dispatched to Louis advising him that Cayenne had been Dutch since 165-6 and harbored not a single French subject.20 But in spite of the Dutch-French treaty of 1662, which forfended all hostilities between the two countries, Louis XIV would neither call his men back nor condemn their actions. The Dutch soon realized that their newly authorized fleet would take too long to prepare. Forewarned by their informer Downing, the English would have ample time to make even deeper inroads into what were hitherto Dutch spheres of influence. Acceleration was mandatory. De Witt, who was to all appearances counseled by Hiob de Wildt, then secretary to the Amsterdam admiralty board, secretly manipulated an influential committee of members of the States General known as the Secreete Besogne. This committee ordered de Ruyter from the Mediterranean to the west coast of Africa to consult with van Valckenburg and to reconquer all forts, trading posts, and other possessions lost by the West India Company.21 A special rider to this effect on the general resolution was read, passed by vote, and signed by Their High Mightinesses as though it were a routine matter, yet it was well understood by the few who were informed that de Ruyter's mission was synonymous with war. No one knew what had transpired at this meeting of the States General except, of course, for de Witt and his Secreete Besogne. By some adroit maneuvering, the entire project even escaped detection by Downing's intricate spy network. Yet rumor of some secret mission did reach Downing not long afterward, inducing him to seek out the grand pensionary at once in order to inquire whether "the States of Holland had ordered any official action on Africa's West coast." The phrasing of Downing's question allowed de Witt to reply, "I can assure you that the States of Holland has not given de Ruyter any order about which your Master the King, needs to worry; and as far as the States General is concerned, I do not have to tell you anything; is it not true that nothing there happens without your immediate knowledge?"" Fully satisfied with this official retort, Downing wrote his king that de Ruyter had not been sent to Guinea. Despite his intimate ac quaintance with the complex government of the United Provinces, the Englishman had been deceived. It was precisely Downing who had written his king, "You have infinite advantages upon the account of the form of government of this country [the United Provinces], which is such a shattered and divided thing."23 It is ironic that this otherwise

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378 astute observer could so have stated his question to de Witt as to narrow the implementive body to the States of Holland. It was not the latter but the States General that had the final say in a measure of such far-reaching national consequences. The extremely competent and worthy de Ruyter had, in the meantime, however, received his orders on September i, 1664, while at Malaga. The courier's arrival had aroused a notable flurry of excitement, but de Ruyter had been forced to pacify his staff with the news that the instructions he had received contained no official war orders. It was to be hoped, de Ruyter had added, that the ex isting differences with England and the United Provinces could eventually be settled peacefully. The expedition de Ruyter was ordered to undertake involved only the possessions of the wic on the Guinea coast. At the same time, the admiral was explicitly advised to avoid all English ships. After a brief delay to take on stores, his fleet left the Mediterranean only to be met off Malaga by an English fleet of eleven ships. The meeting of the two fleets was friendly. The Dutch saluted with a gun shot and lowered their flag; the English returned this first greeting but kept their flags up because the encounter had taken place in an area haughtily referred to as "British waters." Both fleets were to meet occasionally again, but always on a cordial basis. By the time of the third meeting, however, the element of chance had disappeared since Sir Thomas Allin, the new English commander, was under specific orders to keep track of de Ruyter's fleet. Yet responses continued to be marked by an imperturbable air of politeness as both leaders literally outdid each other in amicability. Allin wrote in his diary, "He [de Ruyter] came under our sterne and asked me how I did, and saluted me with seven guns and drank to me."2* Each man fully realized the other's role in the drama that was unfolding. Three days after the Dutch fleet left Cadiz, sailing westward in order to mislead the English and Spanish in the area, de Ruyter called a council of war. Only at this time did he reveal to his staff the full contents of his secret instructions, i.e., to repair the losses suffered by the wic at the hands of the English on the African coast. The men were aware that war was the probable outcome of their venture, but all were satisfied and were particularly pleased at the prospect of booty to be gained at the expense of the Royal African Company. The fleet proceeded cautiously toward the Canary Islands, and near Gran Canaria all flags were lowered to avoid recognition. Meanwhile, preparations were being made for future action. The first goal was to be Goree, a small island close to Cape Verde. The Dutch arrived

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379 there on October 22. A spark of fire set off hostilities on both sides, an encounter which was described by a contemporary British horror propagandist as "De Ruyter's barbarities in Guinea in i664."2s Whe n the Dutch appeared in the offing there were eight English merchantmen and one man-of-war in the port basking in the protec tion offered by the flag of the Royal African Company which hovered over the two fortresses. De Ruyter ordered his fleet to attack, and his ships formed a semicircle around the English ships. The English governor Sir George Abercrombie thereupon sent two deputies to ask what was going on. Were not England and the United Provinces still at peace? De Ruyter answered drily that this was true; the United Provinces were at peace with England, but not with the Royal African Company. At this point, the captain of the English man-of-war, excusing himself with all delicacy from the fray, tried to leave the port, but a shot across his bow encouraged him to remain. De Ruyter now demanded surrender and gave the governor twenty-four hours to consider his terms instead of the ten days the latter had requested. On October 24 the English yielded, and the Dutch flag once more flew over Forts Nassau and Orange. The English ships were temporarily detained, their cargoes expropriated, and their captains taken into custody. The smallest ship was dispatched with a load of hides to Holland. Sometime later the English man-of-war was allowed to go free on condition that it would leave the area (de Ruyter would meet it again in the West Indies). The merchantmen also received per mission to go after promising never again to visit the African coast. The Dutch admiral, with Goree newly under the auspices of the wic, left behind a garrison of 130 men and proceeded south along the coast. Sierra Leone, the next station, surrendered without a struggle. Its warehouses were emptied of the merchandise belonging to the wic. The fleet next moved on to Tacorary. The English commander there refused to negotiate, but after a brief fight he capitulated. Following the suggestions of van Valckenburg, who had been informed by de Ruyter, the Dutch dismantled and destroyed the fort. On January 7, 1665, de Ruyter set foot at Elmina, which was the official residence of Director-General Johan van Valckenburg, and one of the few points along the African coast that the Dutch had managed to retain during Holmes' raids. Here the admiral received new instructions from home which authorized him to seize all English men-of-war and merchantmen so long as the king delayed satisfaction for English hostilities in Africa and elsewhere. The States

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380 General let it be known that although an English fleet of eight ships and ten armed merchantmen was en route to Africa, twelve Dutch ships under Jan van Campen were also on their way to reinforce de Ruyter. Following his orders to the letter, the admiral now set out to attack the fort of Cormantine. On February 7, 166^, he disembarked nine hundred to one thousand Dutch and as many Negroes. He was, however, forestalled in this project by the loyalty of John Cabessa, a Negro chief who was more devoted to Charles II than many of that sovereign's own subjects. De Ruyter, instead, had to satisfy himself with taking the small island of Annabon, where he blew up the fort, and secured the help of the anti-English Fan tine Negroes. On his way back he attacked Cormantine again and defeated its garrison without great difficulty. The Dutch gave quarter to the English; Cabessa cut his own throat, and the Fantines were turned loose to commit atrocities among the pro-English Negroes. The Dutch left a few men behind and returned to Elmina.26 At the castle, the Dutch admiral received further instructions from the States General. Since the English fleet under Prince Rupert had not sailed to Africa after all, Their High Mightinesses had temporarily decided to keep van Campen at home. A second letter, twenty days later, informed de Ruyter and van Valckenburg that English ships were now indiscriminately seizing Dutch vessels in the so-called British waterswhich meant all around Europe. De Ruyter was instructed to capture all the English forts he could, anywhere he wished, as a means of retaliation. His new mission was "to cause all possible damage and injury, be it at Barbados, New Netherland, Terreneuf [New foundland] or other islands and places, "27 culminating in the fleet's returning to the United Provinces. The letter was also probably the first news de Ruyter had received about the English conquest of New Amsterdam. The English government, which pretended not to know anything about Nicolls' deed, referred all claims to the Royal African Company. It denied its responsibility for the actions of a private institution. De Ruyter's new orders brought him face to face with the problem of pacifying his men whose home voyage would now have to be postponed for many long months. The admiral determined to keep silent and not tell them at this time what lay ahead. Together with van Valckenburg, he discussed an attack on the English base at Cape Corso, but both men agreed that since Negro allies in that area were not entirely dependable, de Ruyter would be better off to cross the Atlantic and try his luck in the West Indies. He would have the element of surprise to his advantage, moreover, and any action taken

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38i there would have a better chance of success. Consequently, the fleet, now fourteen ships strong, left Africa on February 27, 166^. De Ruyter's departure from the Mediterranean did not remain a secret very long.28 The English reaction to the Dutch admiral's mis sion is mirrored in the diary of Samuel Pepys: "For newes, all say de Ruyter is gone to Guinny before us," wrote Pepys in October, 1664. About two weeks later he added, "All the talke is that de Ruyter is come over-land home with six or eight of his captaines to command here at home, and their ships kept abroad in the Straights [of Gibral tar] ; which sounds as if they had a mind to do something with us." In December, Pepys knew war could no longer be avoided; eighteen or twenty merchantmen from the Dutch Bordeaux fleet had been brought into English ports. Many more soon followed and all were to be confiscated once war was declared. At this juncture Pepys laconically remarked: ".. .so that the war is begun; God give a good end to it. "29 At the same time, the States General concluded that "the main issue at stake will be disputed with arms."30 Pepys' diary, of course, provides us with a personal insight into current events, an advantage almost totally missing in the dehumanized, more formal minutes of the meetings of the States General. London's most popular street rumors found their way into the diary: "I hear fully the news of our being beaten to dirt at Guinny by de Ruyter with his fleete... it being most wholly to the utter ruine of our Royall Company, and reproach and shame to the whole nation, as well as justification to them [the Dutch] in their doing wrong to no man as to his private [property], only taking whatever is found to belong to the [West Indian] Company and nothing else." Pepys was also much concerned about the great cost of a new war, for the last one had cost England 1,623,000 pounds a year. As time went on, however, Pepys' commendable impartiality was badly shattered by the terror propaganda that labeled Dutch actions "atrocities" and "barbarities." In February, 166^, the Englishman wrote, "I hear the most horrid and astonishing newes that ever was yet told in my memory, that de Ruyter, with his fleete in Guinny... taking forts, goods, and ships... tied our men back to back and thrown them all into the sea, even women and children also." Four days later he entered, "The late newes of the Dutch, their drowning our men at Guinny." To these comments he later added in justification: "What I fear is that he [de Ruyter] was informed (which he was not before) of some of Holmes' dealings with his countrymen, and so his anger was mitigated. "31 The truth about the situation in Africa, which the

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382 celebrated English diarist may have gleaned afterwards, was too complex and so entangled in the foils of international politics as to confuse the noblest mind. As an example of diplomatic duplicity, the English Governor of Cormantine himself assisted at the farewell dinner for de Ruyter's fleet at Elmina. The gap between the known and the expected was filled in those days, as it is today, with rumors. In those days, however, it was much wider. The ships that brought the sad tidings of the conquest of New Netherland to Amsterdam also circulated the controversial news that two English ships had departed for Curacao. Since there was general concern for the Caribbean possessions, this sort of hearsay easily became current "news." The English were undeniably considering the entire Caribbean area a new theater of war, even though they were more interested in Tobago than in Curacao. The Dutch were not ignorant of their preference. In August, 1664, the Lampsins brothers, who were the patrons of Tobago, had informed the States General that Charles II had signed a secret compact "to start, under some pretext, an unprovoked action on a certain island of the Caribbean, earlier named Tobago and now New Walcheren. "32 A month later the States of Zeeland warned the federal government that an attack on Tobago seemed imminent. Not until then, however, did the States General authorize Zeeland to send her contingent of van Campen's fleetthree men-of-warto the aid of New Walcheren. Unknown to any of the Dutch at the time was a secret arrangement that had been concluded between Charles II and Duke Jakob of Courland. In November, 1664, with utter disregard for the Dutch title to the island, the Stuart king had granted to the duke and his heirsbecause he saw Jakob as a possible ally against the Dutchthe island of Tobago, which had already been granted by his father and grandfather to the Courland dukes, on the condition that settlement of that island be confined to colonists from the two countries. Al though denial of Dutch claims everywhere was, at the time, a general policy of the royal adventurers, the Dutch also, it must be admitted, shared this peculiarly convenient point of view and were quite willing to ignore English pretensions. Although the exact story may never be known, since English designs on Tobago were artfully concealed beneath the flag of the Duke of Courland, the Dutch historian Japikse is undoubtedly correct in his belief that the second Anglo-Dutch war had its prelude in Africa, New Netherland, and the Caribbean. Protected by a treaty which fore swore hostilities in Europe over antagonism abroad, England felt particularly advantaged and refused to negotiate on Africa and New

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383 Amsterdam. De Ruyter's success merely confirmed her intransigence. Indeed, as Clarendon addressed Downing after the English humiliation in Africa, the States General had provoked the king and "fighting was thought the better husbandry. "3 3 Downing's task, to continue his insistence on the right of his king to retain the regions conquered by the English, was seriously compromised by Dutch victories: "Guinea is lost, what can we do now more with the Dutch?"3* He charged that the Dutch had pretensions to a mare clausum in African and East Indian waters, while he managed to forget English conceit in regard to the so-called British waters.3 5 The royal trio, severely chastised in Africa, now muttered darkly about the perfidious Dutch and im minent retaliation. Awar e that war was not far off, the Dutch were peculiarly ex hilarated. Wic shares rose from c, to almost io per cent. Groningen and Utrecht, besides Holland and Zeeland, immediately agreed on the subsidy which financed de Ruyter's expedition, arid even Friesland did not stand apart. Talks concerning the colonial claims of the two antagonists con tinued, but to little avail. Dutch claims were said to be insufficient; England's claims were held to be extravagant. Each country could and did pretend that accusations against the nation were misdirected because only private companies were actually involved. Charges and countercharges were filed, and each believed that the other had begun the violations. A new offer of France to mediate an exchange of possessions was refused, since it came too late and was clearly disadvantageous to the Dutch. The English had agreed to cede the not insignificant island of Pulau Run in the Malay Archipelago in return for all it had or would conquer of Dutch possessions in Africa and America. The xix declined this curiously impertinent offer.3& Mistrust of France, of course, grew deeper with this episode. Backed by strong popular feeling, the Dutch were ready to accept the English challenge. On the other hand, were they familiar with Charles II's efforts to maintain a friendly co-existence situation with the French king?3? Louis' hesitation to enter into such an alliance was all that delayed Charles' declaration of