UITGAVE VAN DE
STICHTING NIEUWE WEST-INDISCHE GIDS
Dc uitgave van de 52ste jaargang van de NWIG werd gesubsidieerd door de Neder-
landse Stichling voor Culturele Samenwerking en de Natuurwetenschappelike Studie-
kring voor Suriname en de Nederlandse A ntillen.
INHOUD VAN DE TWEE-EN-VIJFTIGSTE JAARGANG
Beet, Chris de & Sterman, Miriam, Male absentee-
ism and nutrition: factors affecting fertility in
Matawai Bush Negro society (10 afb.) ......... 131-163
Boldewijn, A.C. & Lamur, H.E. & Lamur, R.A.
Life table for Suriname 1964-1970 ............ 51- 57
Debrot, I.C., Dr. W.Ch. de la Try Ellis (1881-1977) 164-166
Donselaar, J. van, Boekbespreking ............. 64- 65
Goslinga, Cornelis Ch., Curacao as a slave-trading
center during the War of the Spanish Succession
(1702-1714) ............................... 1- 50
Groot, Silvia W. de, Boekbespreking ............ 67-169
Altema, Y., St. Eusiatius. A short history of the island and its monu-
ments. 1976 (v.d. Steen) ................. .. ...... .. ....... 66
Mennega. A.M.W. (red.), Fa joe kan tak' mi no moi. Inleiding in de
flora en vegetatie van Suriname. Deel I: Flora, 1976 (v. Donselaar) ... 64- 65
Price, Richard, The Guiana Maroons. A historical and bibliographical
introduction, 1976(de Groot) ................... .............. 167-169
Soesi, Jaap van, Olie als water. De Curacaose economic in de eerste helft
van de twinfigste eeuw (Renkema) .............................. 169-174
NIEUWE WEST-INDISCHE GIDS
wonder redactie van
Dr. Mr. J.H. Adhin, Ir. F.C. Bubberman, Drs. L.H. Daal, Dr.
D.C. Geijskes, Prof. dr. H. Hoetink, Drs. L.J. van der Steen,
Prof. dr. H.U.E. Thoden van Velzen, Dr. J.H. Westermann en
Dr. P. Wagenaar Hummelinck, secretaries en eindredacteur,
Sweelincklaan 84, Bilthoven (tel. 030-782098).
NO 1-2 NOVEMBER 1977 1- 80
NO 3-4 JUNI 1978 81-198
CORNELIS CH. GOSLINGA (
IA ND. EN
CURACAO AS A SLAVE-TRADING CENTER DURING THE
WAR OF THE SPANISH SUCCESSION (1702-1714)
'The War of the Spanish Succession,' wrote Frank Taylor in his
celebrated study on Marlborough, 'is a perfect example of the
vices and defects of a coalition.'l Unity of purpose and harmony
of action were wholly sacrifticed to the selfish and short-sighted
ambitions of the vast confederacy's individual members. The
Emperor's goals differed considerably from those of the Maritime
Powers and the latter, competing savagely with each other in the
East- and West-Indian markets, emerged as rather untrustworthy
allies in the common European cause.
With the advent of the eighteenth century, trade including
the African slave trade provided the cornerstone for the Euro-
pean powers' colonial empires.2 Prevailing over all other conside-
rations, trade came to govern eighteenth century politics and play
a prominent role in that century's first major conflict. Only some
one unaware of its underlying causes, could take this struggle for
a dynastic one. 3 It was neither for this king nor for that emperor
that the European nations drew their swords, but solely to further
their own ambitions and the West Indies were at least for one
of them the most coveted price. In other words, the War of the
Spanish Succession was, far more than any other preceding con-
flict, a war for economic goals. Great Britain wanted the Spanish-
American market, yet fear of competition from the enemy the
French or the ally the Dutch inspired the disingenious
diplomacy for which the country became known as 'perfidious
Britain's claims, as far as the continent was concerned, were,
undoubtedly, less pressing than those of the Netherlands or of
the Emperor. She responded coolly to the Partition Treaty con-
cocted between William III and Louis XIV.4 Charles II's will put
an end to all speculation and scheming and, said to be written
under the influence of the Pope who dreaded the presence of
CORNELIS CH. GOSLINGA
both the Dutch and the English in South America, it convinced
Louis XIV to put himself and France solidly behind his grandson,
the Duke of Anjou.
For the time being, William III seemed willing to recognize the
Duke as King of Spain. But Louis' careless exclamation that the
Pyrenees had ceased to exist certainly did not fail to. irritate Great
Britain. Only too well did she realize that if Louis controlled the
governments of both France and Spain, he would be in a position
to clear the way for a monopoly of French trade, particularly
where Spanish America was concerned. 5 An additional sign poin-
ting ominously in that direction was the treaty of alliance between
Spain and Portugal, concluded at Lisbon inJune, 1701.
Among the commercial advantages France expected to derive
from the accession of the Duke of Anjou to the Spanish throne
was the asiento, the right to import blacks into the Spanish
American colonies. With this in mind she had already helped to
bring about the adjustment of several disputes between the Por-
tuguese African Company and the Spanish government. Soon
afterwards, the French negotiated the concession of the asiento to
their Guinea Company. In September, 1701, King Philip V
signed the agreement bestowing upon the French company the
exclusive right during the next ten consecutive years, beginning
on May 1, 1702, to introduce black slaves into Spanish America.0
England immediately understood that the new arrangement
seriously threatened her West Indian interests. After three wars
with the Dutch the latter, though not yet eliminated in the com-
mercial arena, no longer posed a political challenge to Albion's
arrogance, and the Acts of Navigation kept their competition suf-
ficiently well under control. A combined French-Spanish Crown
might well become a far more serious menace to the English.
Consequently, their first move was to bring the Portuguese over
to their side, and a fleet was dispatched to the mouth of the
Tagus to convince the Portuguese king of the legitimacy of the
English rationale. Should Charles of Austria become King of
Spain instead, the restoration of some Portuguese colonies would
be a just reward for Portugal's support of the Anglo-Dutch-
Britain's next move was to gain control over the West Indian
trade. In return for an Austrian promise not to interfere with
English or Dutch interests in Spanish America, King William III
agreed that the Maritime Powers should conquer the region in the
Emperor's name. This offensive/defensive alliance between Aus-
CURACAO AS A SLAVE-TRADING CENTER 3
tria, Great Britain, the United Provinces, and Portugal, con-
cluded after William's death, was accepted by Queen Anne who,
initially, adhered to William's policy.7 It proposed that an
Anglo-Dutch fleet would attempt to bring Spanish America
under the sway of the Austrian eagle. Charles would then grant
free trade to the English and the Dutch in the newly conquered
colonies under his rule.
With the war going well for the Allied Powers, in 1707, Queen
Anne ventured to approach Charles for the conclusion of a treaty
bearing more specifically on Spanish America. A separate pro-
vision would be to sanction the formation of an Anglo-Spanish
Company governing Spanish American trade or, if this would
prove impractical, give Englishmen the same privileges that the
Spaniards already possessed with respect to this commerce. In this
draft the Dutch were not mentioned. Apparently, Queen Anne
had come to the realization that English and Dutch interests in
the West were too competitive and best kept apart.
Hence it was this West Indian trade which was at the heart of
the constant friction which engulfed the Maritime Powers, and
which ultimately resulted, particularly after 1709, in a paralyzing
stalemate on the European battlefield. It may be true that the
Queen honestly intended to follow in William's footsteps, but
she was a woman uncannily clever in judging the mood of her
people and did not choose to impose her will when the House of
of Commons, freely elected by the landed interests, arduously
pursued a policy of peace after several years of uninterrupted war-
While the Whigs were unable to come up with an alternative to
continuing the war a war by far more vital to both the United
Provinces and the Empire Toryism gained ground. Once the
spectre of a united France and Spain under one crown had faded
away and Gibraltar had been conquered, Queen Anne quickly
lost all interest in the continental power scrambles.
The United Provinces, on the other hand, doggedly continued
the war aiming simultaneously to safeguard her trade in the East
and the West and to protect her undefended southern border.
Great Britain, quite amenable to help her ally achieve the latter
goal, having no territorial designs on the continent herself, in-
stead, concentrated all her efforts on Spanish America, her West
Indian trade, and the asiehto. The fatal mistake of the Dutch lay
not so much in their distrust of an ally whose priorities had
shifted, but in a wrong evaluation of their own priorities subor-
4 CORNELIS CH. GOSLINGA
dinating their West Indian interests to the dubious protection of
a series of barrier fortresses on their southern flank. Great Britain,
well aware of this prevailing attitude, profited from it. On the
other hand, did she really have legitimate grounds to complain
about some of the activities of her maritime ally? 'The Dutch
should do more by sea than of late years they have been used to
do,' wrote Bolingbroke in January, 1711,9 while their conduct
both on the African coast and in the East Indies were 'displeasing
the English authorities to a high degree.'10 However, at this
stage, Queen Anne was probably still desirous to cultivate a har-
monious relationship with the Dutch, although the change from
a Whig to a Tory Cabinet upset the latter to no small degree.
At the same time that Great Britain, without her ally's acquies-
cence, was negotiating the asiento with French and Spanish re-
presentatives, she realized only too well that the Dutch, obsessed
with the fear of their competitor gaining commercial and econo-
mic advantages at their expense, could stealthily conspire to go at
the same goal on their own making, and make the British the
dupes of a peace, as they, by now, felt they had been of the war.
Great Britain was indeed getting tired of the war and the set-
backs she suffered, cumulating in Charles III becoming Emperor
of Austria, were no incentives to continuing ad infinitum. She
felt betrayed by her ally or pretended betrayal -because the
Dutch had 'lessened their proportions in every part of the war,
even in that of Flanders, on the pretense of poverty.' 11 Besides,
by now, she had practically achieved her own goals which were
the obliterating of French (and Spanish) trade in the West Indies,
the acquisition of the asiento, the elimination of Dutch compe-
tition in the slave trade, and the assurance that the crowns of
France and Portugal would remain separated.
The changed British mood became rather obvious and did not
fail to alarm the Dutch ally who, due to the humiliation of the
French at Geertruidenberg, was powerless to react and utterly at
the mercy of the English. Because of the unrealistic demand by
the Dutch that Louis XIV should undertake either to persuade
Philip V or to compel him by means of force to renounce the
Spanish throne, the French king had adamantly refused to ad-
dress himself to the Dutch or to negotiate directly with them. 12
Thereupon, the new Tory leader Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford
- wishing to conceal the French overtures from the ally, asked
the French to submit proposals which the English, in turn, would
lay before the Dutch. This British attitude a French diplomatic
CURACAO AS A SLAVE-TRADING CENTER
victory made any Dutch initiative impossible. Whatever
choices the Dutch would face would be at the discretion of the
British who, of course, were not about to lose sight of their own
interests. In a conference on August 1711, between Great Britain
and France, the British insisted that only their own demands and
not those of their allies were at issue. They probably did not con-
sider this an act of prevarication. 'Whatever occurs to us concern-
ing the common interest will always be nakedly offered to the
Confederacy of the States. Whatever relates to the private inter-
est of Britain, as far as the concurrence of the Dutch is necessary or
reasonable, will also, without any reserve, be communicated.' 13
This statement left, of course, the door wide open for diplomatic
detours and separate negotiations which were soon concluded and
which gave, in September, 1711, the English the coveted asien-
Were the Dutch aware of British duplicity? The evidence is in-
conclusive. At the end of August and again at the beginning of
September, 1711, the Earl of Oxford was informed that the
Dutch 'think you are running away with the trade, and that you
are far advanced and keep them in the dark.' 15 Was Queen Anne
sincere when she gave the Earl of Strafford, her representative in
Utrecht, the following instruction: 'You can assure them that we
have made no stipulation for ourselves which may clash with the
interests of Holland.' 16 Yet, in November, 1711, Oxford clearly
deceived Buys, the extra-ordinary Dutch envoy in London, with
the assurance that Great Britain had not achieved anything
neither in Spain nor in the Spanish West Indies. Great Britain was
determined to deprive the Dutch of any basis for claiming a share
in the asiento or in any other advantage the Spanish American
trade might yield which they, themselves, by now were sure to
obtain from Philip V. 17
The humiliating role of the Dutch in the peace negotiations of
Utrecht is well known. As Acton bluntly puts it: 'France con-
cluded a disastrous war with a triumphant settlement.'18 The
United Provinces, never realizing its inherent weakness, gained
the barrier treaty, an expensive and empty guarantee, but the
Spanish American trade passed her by. 'On traitera de la paix
chez vous, pour vous et sans vous' were the sneering words the
Dutch representatives had to swallow from their French col-
league De Polignac. On the other hand, Great Britain betray-
ed her ally for the sake of mere profit, and allowed herself to be-
come deeper involved in the slave trade.
CORNELIS CH. GOSLINGA
Caribbean aspects of the War
Against this European background the island of Curacao, a small
Dutsch speck in the Caribbean, had tottered along throughout
the disastrous years of the war miraculously surviving the threat of
occupation by France and the bankruptcy of its own shameful
The two European allies, referred to as the Maritime Powers, were
not on such good footing at the other side of the Atlantic as their
role in the first years of the War of the Spanish Succession would
indicate. In the Caribbean constant friction, mutual vilification,
and defamation caused by jealousy and commercial rivalry were
the order of the day. In spite of three Anglo-Dutch wars and a
rigorous application of successive Navigation Laws, the Dutch
managed to survive and, worse, to offer stiff competition to the
British, a fact which caused many a full blooded Englishman to
swell with indignation. Although not reaching the extreme des-
pair of Pepys' exclamation that 'the Devil shit Dutchmen', many
governors of the West Indian plantations voiced their feelings
clearly. 'If the Summer Islands be overtaken by surprise or other-
wise by the French or Dutch, which may be easily done at this
time with 500 men,' wrote Governor Randolph of the Bermudas,
'they will command all the trade in these parts of the world.' 19
English worries with respect to Dutch inroads in their commercial
pretensions played a mayor role in the correspondence of British
West Indian governors with the home government. In this part of
the world the Dutch ally was, henceforth, considered almost an
enemy. A True Account of Several Grand Abuses in Trade and
the Proper Remedy stated that 'the merchants of New York have
gotten their estates by the Curesaw trade' and pointed toward the
excessive intercourse between Barbados and the Dutch West In-
dian settlements.20 A similar heavy traffic existed between the
Bermudas and Curacao 'where they manage to trade with the
Spaniards,' 21 and with most other, if not all British West Indian
islands. It even extended to the continental colonies, from Caroli-
na up to New England. While provisions and slaves were the
main commodities Curacao delivered, it is interesting to itemize
these provisions. With the exception of logwood and salt (and
slaves) which were included in the monopoly of the Dutch West
India Company, the merchants of Curacao imported sugar, pork,
CURACAO AS A SLAVE-TRADING CENTER 7
flour, biscuit, and other dry goods plus tobacco from the British,
French, and Spanish colonies in return for all sorts of lining, man-
ufactured goods, hardware, wines especiallyy claret and Madera),
onions, cabbage, brandy, rum, sugar, tobacco, molasses, flour,
and cacao.22 Of course, most, if not all, of this trade was illegal,
and the smuggling of blacks probably outranked in importance
all items combined.23
Underlying the official complaints about the smuggling and
this illegal inter-island and inter-colonial trade,23 which seemed
to have flourished in spite of all prohibiting regulations, is a good
old dose of envy aimed at the Dutch competitor who seemed to
succeed where the Englishman had failed. 'English trade is very
dull,' is only one example of the type of outcry with which the
Council of Trade and Plantations was deluged.24 This animosity
was further exacerbated by the irritating fact that the Dutch, be-
fore and after 1702, when war broke out, maintained an excellent
relationship with the inhabitants of the Spanish American main-
land though not always with the authorities who exchanged
produce, and silver or gold for blacks.25 Could it be that these
envious English officials had suggested that the mother country
attack Curagao and did the War of the Spanish Succession destroy
that design? 'As for Curagao, if it were sunk under water, it
would be better for England by 5 or 600,000 pound in one year,
expresses quite well the prevailing mood.26 The Governor of the
Bermudas, Edward Randolph, wrote to the Council of Trade and
Plantations inJanuary, 1700 when war was still far from the hori-
zon, that he had sent them a sketch of Curagao 'which shows the
harbour.' This map was certainly not sent for peaceful pur-
This English attitude soured relations with the Dutch in the
Caribbean to no small extent, it also provided the Anglo-Dutch
alliance with an extra dimension. 'The Dutch are notorious for
their illegal trade,'28 'the Dutch will reap the benefit from the
English,'29 'the Acts of Trade and the 4 /2% act encouraged sen-
ding of many millions of pounds of sugar to St. Eustatius, Cura-
gao, and St. Thomas,'30 'the Curacao trade is carried on more
than ever,' 31 and 'all illegal trade is carried on there,'32 are but a
handful of quotes expressing the spiteful feelings of many English
Many Dutchmen equated these remarks with an undisguised
defamation of their national character. In Lord Cornbury's letter
to the Council of Trade and Plantations, it was implied that all
8 CORNELIS CH. GOSLINGA
Dutch were cowards, while the Governor of New York, a city
which at that time still counted a powerful Dutch element among
its inhabitants, refers to the Dutch as 'generally the meanest of
the people, men extremely ignorant of all things.' 33 Did these
and other vilifications have some impact in the home country? It
is difficult to guess their weight, but one thing is certain: there
was in the British Caribbean an undeniable resentment against
the Dutch and a deep-seated fear of their commercial prowess. 34
Within the frame of these two dimensions a European war
with Great Britain as an unreliable ally and the Caribbean stage
presenting a neverending rivalry the Dutch West India Com-
pany made every effort to sustain its main business, the slave
trade. It was not easy. Heinsius, the Grand Pensionary, professed
only a lukewarm interest in West Indian affairs. The end of the
Coymans Asiento dealt a heavy blow to the WIC's slave trade,
from which it, nevertheless, managed to recover to gain posses-
sion of another asiento in 1691.35 Years of rapid growth followed
only to be interrupted by a recession which lasted until 1697,
when a new contract was signed which called for the delivery of
2,500 3,000 blacks per year to Curacao.36 Again the trade flour-
ished and declined. Negotiations next took place with the Portu-
guese African Company which, since 1693, had been in control of
the asiento.37 At the turn of the century trade was at a very low
tide, and when, in 1701, the Portuguese were forced to hand over
their asiento rights to the French, the future for the Dutch com-
pany looked black indeed, in spite of the fact that, as Postma
rightly observes, single nations did no longer completely control
the asiento. When chances were that the Archduke Charles would
be King of Spain namely in 1703 and again in 1706 and 1707
- the Dutch company again exerted itself to gain a privileged
position. In those years the slave trade was doing rather well, and
the only obstacle to stand in the way of the WIC's Board of X was
Sthe uncompromising stand proffered by Great Britain, the ally.
Not fully backed by the Dutch government, the WIC emerged
the loser in this confrontation.
During the War of the Spanish Succession Curacao was pre-
sided over by Nicolaas van Beek (acting governor 1700-1701,
governor 1701-1704), Jacob Beck (1704-1708), his brother Abra-
ham Beck (1708-1710), and Jeremias van Collen (acting governor
1710-1711, governor 1711-1715). Archival research, although far
from completed, is uncovering a revealing picture of Dutch slave
trading in this critical period.
CURACAO AS A SLAVE-TRADING CENTER
Research of Dutch slave trading
Mention should be made here of Johannes Postma's recent doc-
toral thesis The Dutch Participation in the African Slave Trade,
cited above. Postma discusses this trade from the African stand-
point and covers the period from 1675 through 1795. In contrast,
we limit ourselves to a much shorter period, the years of the War
of the Spanish Succession, with the main focus on the island of
Curagao, the receiving end of this trade. Our research will, for the
period mentioned, not only supplement Postma's dates but also
introduce some alternative information and explain, it is hoped,
some apparent contradictions between his findings and ours. This
does not mean that everything related to the subject has been
said. Research in this field as far as the Dutch participation is
concerned has only just been started. Many treatises have ex-
plored the trading exploits of the various European powers along
the African coast, yet, hitherto not much has been written con-
cerning the activities of the Dutch on the other side of the Atlan-
tic. Postma's pioneering study will, we expect, stimulate studies
like ours. We realize, of course, that most conclusions we made
will have to be tentative until after the records of the Dutch West
India Company have been more fully explored.38
The Second or New Dutch West India Company, founded in 1674
succeeded the bankrupt first institution of that name, and was,
during the long century of its existence it was liquidated in
1791 mainly a slave trading company. Although, as men-
tioned, many dates are still lacking and much research remains to
be done, Postma brings substantial new data to light as to its first
25 years. During 1675 1699, for instance, the Caribbean port of
Curacao admitted at least 22 slavers whose cargoes (known in
Dutch as armazoenen) and final destination have been verified.
JThese ships unloaded a total of 9876 blacks,39 while an addi-
tional 7800 blacks were delivered by an unknown number of
ships, to be divided between Curacao and Surinam. It may be
safely assumed that Curacao absorbed half of these. A thorough
examination of Postma's dates which are probably not com-
plete brings the total of blacks disembarked at Willemstad by
the Dutch West India Company to at least 13,500.40 This trade,
although frequently encountering obstacles and interruptions, es-
pecially during the Nine Years' War King William's War -
nevertheless, appears to have survived those crises with minimal
CORNELIS CH. GOSLINGA
Although the War of the Spanish Succession was to deal a
severe blow to the West India Company's slave trade, at the turn
of the century, its prospects were highly propitious. In August,
1700, the slave-trade commissioner Gerard Luls, at Willemstad,
Curacao, wrote the Board of the WIC: 'I can assure you, gentle-
man, that if we had two or three cargoes ot blacks I armazoenen I
we could sell them immediately, and even the non-deliverable
slaves [ the sick ones and the so-called mancquerons, slaves with
some defect] would bring a good price, because there is a dire
need for them.41
For a better understanding of this statement, the following
may serve to clarify. High on the Governor of Curacao's list of
priorities, after the arrival of a slaver from Africa, was a separation
of the blacks. A careful selection was made separating those con-
sidered to be mentally and physically healthy, and consequently
marketable, the so-called Piezas de India, from the unsalable
slaves, the sick ones and those who were too old or had defects,
the mancquerons.42 This discriminatory process was performed
(by a three-men committee, appointed by the governor.43 The
Piezas de India were sold at fixed export rates to foreign clients, at
times via the representatives of the asiento on Curagao. The
mancquerons and sck slAws wtrt immediately disposed of at a
Thus, for instance, when the slaver 't Wapen van Holland
disembarked its remaining 453 blacks from an armazoen of 664
(205 had not survived the mid passage and 6 had died in port) the
selection was made as follows:
141 males Piezas de India 141
70 females (with 2 babies) id. 70
24 boys (between 12 and 15 years) each 213 Pieza de India 16
10 boys (between 8 and 12 years) each 1' Pieza de India 5
8 girls (between 12 and 15 years) 2/3 Pieza de India 5
4 girls (between 8 and 12 years) ' Pieza de India 2
257 heads Piezas de India 239
The unfit blacks were thus described:
73 male mancquerons
44 female id. with 2 babies
30 males sick
37 females sick with 2 babies
CURACAO AS A SLAVE-TRADING CENTER 1
5 boys mancquerons
6 boys sick
1 girl sick
196 mancquerons and sick slaves
In contrast of the Piezas de India who always brought a fixed
price first 100 pesos, later 108 the manquerons were sold at
public auction for as little as one and as much as 99 pesos.44
W.I.C. and lorredraaiers
While on the African coast the price of blacks was constantly in-
flated in the period from 1675 to the Peace of Utrecht Postma
mentions and increase from 25 to 45 guilders the WIC had to
contend not only with the staff competition of other European
nations, especially the English and the French, but also with that
of the so-called lorredraaiers or interlopers, those slavers outfitted
by Dutchmen themselves who tried to dodge the Company's
monopoly. With practically no overhead nor any maintenance
costs for the fortresses that the Company had to staff with gar-
risons and other employees, these lorredraaiers were able to offer
higher prices to the African vendors and sell at lower prices than
the WIC at the other side of the Atlantic. The Company's em-
ployees also had to abide by the Marktbriefor Price Table, which
listed maximum allowable pricesin tiheipurchase of blacks. No
WIC servant was permitted to pay more than the authorized sum,
while, of course, the lorredraaier had much more leeway and
operated without these strangling restrictions. This situation fre-
quently forced the WIC slavers to remain on the African coast for
weeks and even months before they managed to assemble a
worthwhile cargo.45 Another consequence of the competition
and the paralyzing delays was the fact often pointed out by
successive governors of Curacao that the slavers would leave the
coast only partially loaded.46
Problems with Cartagena
But if the African side of the slave trade was beset by many prob-
lems, these were well matched by the troubles which converged
on the Caribbean side. The Graaf van Laarwijk provides an excel-
lent example of a slaver becoming mixed up in local quarrels
without any fault of its captain but to the great detriment of the
CORNELIS CH. GOSLINGA
WIC. Destined for Cartagena, together with another Dutch
slaver, it was prohibited from entering that port as a result of pre-
vailing tensions between the governor and the local asentista,
Don Gaspar de Andrade. Consequently, both ships had to dis-
embark their armazoenen at Playa Grande without receiving any
payment whatsoever.47 These experiences made the Governor of
Curagao extremely wary; they were also broadly discussed in the
spring meeting of the Board of X in 1701. Van Beck's suggestion,
to suspend the trade with the mainland, was approved while the
governor was admonished to keep a watchful eye over events in
the neighboring colony.48 He was further specifically urged to
warn Dutch slavers, passing Curacao on their way to Cartagena
and Porto Bello, of the Spanish attitude. Unfortunately, this
order came too late to save three other slavers.49 A fourth one,
the Vergulde Vrijheid (Gilded Liberty), safely dropped anchor in
Willemstad, unloading almost 700 blacks.
For a long time Governor van Beek remained in the dark as to
the reason for these Spanish actions. As it turned out, the origin
of the trouble centered around the Royal Portuguese African (or
Guinea) Company, and its inability to meet its obligations. To
avoid possible bankruptcy, the Company from its headquar-
ters in Cartagena turned to smuggling. This gave the Governor
of Cartagena the necessary pretext for seizing any slaver in employ
of the Portuguese Company. As it happened, these were mostly
Dutch or English, thus hampering seriously these nations' trade.
This muddy situation was cleared up with the so-called Adjust-
ment Treaty concluded between Spain and Portugal in June,
But the elimination of this Spanish American market robbed
the WIC of many sales and made deep inroads into its profits.
The Board of X, thereupon, advised Van Beek to send the blacks
instead to St. Eustatius, which seemed ideally situated for trade
with the neighboring English and French islands. Van Beek was
far from enthusiastic. Besides its lack of money, he protested, the
island 'will lie in a danger zone as soon as the war, we are expec-
ting, explodes. Most of its planters have already sent away their
sugar, hardware, and slaves to the neutral island of St. Thomas,
and are adopting a wait-and-see attitude.'51
Meanwhile, more slavers continued to arrive. The toerbeurten
(the equipment of slavers with cargazoenen cargoes of commo-
dities for the African coast) had been organized by the Board
of X a year ahead of time when nothing as yet was known about a
CURACAO AS A SLAVE-TRADING CENTER
French asiento. This caused another problem. Now there were
1000 mouths more to feed, a substantial problem on Curagao
where almost all food had to be imported. It would mean extra
expenses for the Company, unless the blacks were sold imme-
diately. Thus Van Beck in spite of his recent deplorable exper-
iences with the Spaniards sent a little barque to the Caracas
coast, hoping it would bring back substantial orders.52 Van
Beck's misgivings to the contrary, all the blacks found ready
Yet worries still nagged at the back of his mind. Rumors, he
wrote, circulated in the Caribbean that Portugal was about to
loose the asiento and that it would pass into French hands. 'I
hope it is not true,' he commented, well aware that this transfer
would deal a crushing blow to the slave trade with the French and
Spanish colonies. The situation was further aggravated by the
constant harassment of lorredraaiers. At the end of February of
that same year, for instance, the:Zaracas coast was visited by a
Zeelandian interloper fitted out by the merchanthouse of Bel-
monte & Sousa. Belmonte, a Zeelandian businessman, and
Sousa, the representative of the Royal Portuguese African Com-
pany in Amsterdam, had joined forces and had become partners
in a venture to outwit the WIC. The lorredraaier was heavily
armed, a dire necessity, because if seized by the WIC, ship and
cargo would be confiscated, and captain and crew sent to the
United Provinces to stand trial. Its armazoen of 400 blacks, pur-
chased in Angola, was sold in Cartagena.53
Due to the political climate speculation ran rife among Cura-
cao's inhabitants. It was hotly debated as to which way the Span-
ish colonies on the mainland would swing. The Board of X, clear-
ly aware of the dilemma, cautioned the Curagao governor and
told him not to show his hand too soon. Under no condition was
he to offend the Spaniards by continuing to issue commissions
against them; in case he had already done so, he should recall the
privateers. Trade with the Spanish colonies was to carry on as long
as possible. Curacao's very life-blood depended on it. He should
keep a careful watch over the Curacao representatives of the asien-
to now that it had changed hands not trust them, and make
an attempt to collect debts still owed to the Company. Rumors
had it, the Board concluded, that the French had acquired the
asiento which, in view of the fact that the United Provinces had
chosen the Austrian side in the emerging conflict, was bad news
14 CORNELIS CH. GOSLINGA
The minutes of the Board of X reval the varying opinions of the
Curagao governor. While a scant six months earlier, in an exhil-
arating mood, he had recommended an increase of toerbeurten
providing for an annual delivery at Willemstad of 2,500 to 3,000
blacks, he now advised against a possible overextension of avail-
able resources. 'In these dubious times the slave trade of this
island has come to an almost complete standstill,' he wrote.
Buyers were turned away unless they paid in cash. Such was the
case of a Frenchman who wanted to purchase 100 blacks; similar-
ly a Spaniard wishing to buy 300 slaves on credit was summarily
dismissed. Deep mistrust of both the French and the Spanish, as
well as uncertainty about the future, inspired this attitude.55 In
addition, the factors of the asiento in Cartagena delayed pay-
ments. 'They act deaf as soon as we attempt to get paid,' Van
Beck complained. But the slave trade's demise was not as com-
plete nor as unconditional as the governor made out to the Board.
Two months after having written that letter he informed the X
that the existing supply of fit slaves had almost totally been sold.
'If peace really prevails. new armazoenen should be sent.' he ad-
vised. 'But the ships should carry larger amounts of blacks.' 56
Peace did not prevail. At the time, Van Beck did not know that
Portugal, through some ingenious manoevering on the part of
Great Britain, had deserted the Franco-Spanish camp. The Dutch
governor, laboring under the assumption that she was still neu-
tral, decided to have slavers carrying their black cargoes to the
mainland under Portuguese flags. This plan had to be shelved,
however, as soon as it became known which side Portugal was
In spite of this set-back, the slave trade continued and sales to
the mainland coast prospered unabatedly. 'I will do my utmost,'
Van Beck had written earlier, 'to sell slaves. I hope that the Al-
mighty grant us a good season.' 58 By now he was informed of the
latest developments and was aware that the French had wrestled
the asiento from Portugal. New French fortresses were built on
the West African coast, and it was rumored that their slavers had
already transported more than 1,000 blacks to the West Indies. 5 9
Peace beyond the line
In Spite of the war, in spite of the change in asiento ownership,
the Dutch West India Company continued to trade with the
Spanish as if nothing had happened. While there was no peace in
Europe between the United Provinces and Spain, there was peace
CURACAO AS A SLAVE-TRADING CENTER 15
'beyond the line.' The Royal Portuguese African Company had
closed its offices in Cartagena, the French had taken over and
trade continued. Louis XIV may have said that the Pyrenees had
stopped to exist, for the Dutch and the French/Spanish asentistas
in Cartagena the war did not exist.60
This beautiful understanding between the enemies was soon
undermined by the envious ally of the Dutch. 'The slave trade,'
complained Van Beck, 'suffered more from the English, their
supposed allies, than from their French and Spanish enemies.61
The English resented the commercial prowess of the Dutch, and
by December, 1702, the Council of Trade and Plantations wrote
bitterly that 'the Dutch from Curacao drive a constant trade with
ithe Spaniards as if there were no war.'62 The British annoyance
led to the accusation that 'they supply the Spaniards as well with
ammunition as with provisions,' and concluded: 'We propose
that directions may be given to H.M.'s Minister at The Hague to
make application to the States General.'63 Constant reference to
this trade which evidently put out the Englishman's eyes, testify
the indignation caused by the nefarious Dutch conduct. Such
attacks as: 'The Dutch at Curacao have called in all their Priv-
ateers and have free and open trade with the Spaniards far greater
than ever,'64 and 'Open trade of the Dutch with the Spaniards is
now greater than in times of peace,'65 left the Dutch behavior
naked before the Council of Trade and Plantations.
The English homilies showed, as usual, certain cockiness. 'It
might be worthy your Lordships' consideration about ye conniv-
ing at a Trade betwixt our people at Jamaica and the Spaniards...
The goods we traffic with are only wearing apparel and Negroes
for their mines...' revealed the crucial weakness of Great Brit-
ain's jealousy.66 All this bickering revolved around the fact that
the WIC and the Curacao merchants did legally and with tacit
consent of the States General what the English could not. Her
Majesty's subjects were officially forbidden in pursuance of the
Declaration of War to carry on any commerce or private corres-
pondence with the Spanish as they previously had done. The gov-
ernors of the British islands were under pressure to enforce these
orders although they realized too well, that this deprived their
colonies of considerable advantages. 'The Dutch have a different
regard to their interest,' was their specific complaint.67
At that time the only way out of the dilemma for the British
authorities was to hand out commissions to privateers to seize
Dutch merchantmen who were trading with the Spaniards along
16 CORNELIS CH. GOSLINGA
the mainland coast and bring their cargoes to Jamaica.68 This
meant naval warfare between the supposed allies and Governor
Van Beek soon felt its pressure. 'The English', he observed,
'threaten to seize everything without any regard of flag or
nation.'69 Moreover, the Dutch not only lost ships but were also
threatened with espionage. 'A few days ago an English privateer
from Root Island [ Rhode Island ] dropped anchor here preten-
ding to keelhaul his ship and to buy food,' wrote Van Beek. 'It
seemed to me, however, that his real intention was to seize Cura-
cao barques trading along the Spanish American coast.' The gov-
ernor sourly added: 'Trade will not flourish unless the English see
a way to profit from it also.'70 It was another version of what the
Duke of Albemarle more bluntly had said four decades earlier:
'What we want is more of the Trade the Dutch now have.'71 It
evoked little consolidation that English privateers in the Leeward
group (in Dutch the Bovenwindse Eilanden) also paralyzed all
trade with Danish St. Thomas.
The English, of course, tried to disguise their role as a righteous
one. The Captain of an English man-of-war wrote to Van Beek: 'I
,am informed that there are two Dutchmen, one of 36 and the
other of 42 guns, lying between Porto Cavallo and Porto Bello
trading with the Spanish; being assured that their High Might-
inesses, the States of Holland, would not give a commission to
any Dutch ship to trade with the enemy, I find myself under the
obligation to take notice of it and to warn you that if you cannot
suppress it yourself I will direct myself to the English admiral and
ask him to send frigates to do the job.' 72
This stout-hearted language exemplified English rectitude but
it compounded Van Beek's difficulties to which were added
serious clashes with some members of the Curacao Raad (Coun-
cil), especially with the slave commissioner Gerard Luls.
In spite of these complications cash and produce from the
Spanish American mainland flowed into the island.73 But fear of
an English interference with Dutch trade flared up when rumors
circulated that the British fleet had left Jamaica. However, noth-
ing happened and the Dutch governor, again composed, assured
the Bord of X that the sale of Piezas de India was going well. His
confidence was bolstered by the arrival of a certain Gaspar Martin.
This Frenchman from Cartagena, sent by the factor-general of the
new French asiento, came to discuss the sale of blacks and their
transportation to that port. The agreement between the French
and Philip V permitted the asiento authorities to turn to their
CURACAO AS A SLAVE-TRADING CENTER 17
Dutch and English enemies and rivals for aid in furnishing them
with slaves that they themselves were unable to provide. 74
Van Beek and the WIC had no objections to selling slaves
to the French asentistas in Cartagena. He consulted the Curagao
representatives of the asiento for their collaboration in circum-
venting British vigilance. Their hostility was reaching a peak. As
early as March, 1704, they had already seized 21 Dutch ships and
barques trading along the mainland coast, and brought them to
Jamaica where they were declared good prizes. 75 In view of these
difficulties the solution was found in procuring a few Danish
passports and sailing the black cargo from Curacao to Cartagena
under the Danish flag. For the time being, this ruse seemed to
Was Van Beek really unaware of the contradictory policy of his
country a policy in which the States General unofficially
backed the WIC -in fighting the French and Spanish in Europe
while trading with them in the Caribbean? Although the English
attitude demonstrated a curious blend of righteousness and hypo-
crisy, the Curacao governor's letters show an ignorance of ele-
mentary principles which feigned or not bordered on inso-
Undoubtedly, the English threat to Dutch trade was a serious
one. If Van Beck wrote humorlessly that they were many times
unsuccessful in seizing Dutch traders, there was no denial of
mounting tensions between the two allies and regular small-scale
naval battles were fought in the area between the Curacao islands
and the mainland coast. The Curagao governor, thus, found him-
self in the line of two fires. From one side the English were doing
their upmost to discredit and disrupt the Dutch trade with the
enemy, while on the other side the Board of X and the Chamber
of Amsterdam of the WIC were sending secret orders to encour-
age the trade with the Spaniards. The prohibition of the Board to
hand out letters of commission against the Spanish proves this
point. Trade should continue, no matter under what political cir-
Confronted with this problem but determined to keep the
trade going, the Curacao governor introduced a 5,000 guilder
security premium for the traders. It was a guarantee against any
hostile Dutch action with regard to the Spaniards, thus avoiding
Sany incentive for reciprocal enmity. Peace beyond the line was the
Dutch policy. Van Beek was assured that this high premium
18 CORNELIS CH. GOSLINGA
would steer the Dutch clear of any conflict with their business
partners and not ruin the Board of X's good intentions. 'My ex-
perience in granting letters of marque,' he wrote, 'has taught me
that only this amount of premium will stop merchants and sailors
exporting ammunition and other war material to the enemy
under the pretext of fair trade.'78 Nevertheless, he seemed per-
plexed by the peculiar situation his island was in. 'I find myself in
an extremely difficult position,' he complained. 'At one side we
are burdened by the complaints of our merchants that they are
ruined and robbed of their profits without getting any satisfac-
tion; at the other side I can not see that the English are complete-
ly wrong, more so because official placards sent to me by the
Chamber of Amsterdam forbid the export of all merchandise
to the enemy and the import of all French and Spanish produce.
As long as the English are not profiting from the situation they
will stubbornly try to stop our trade.'79 The perplexed governor,
therefore, asked explicit orders.
The English position was, of course, a much clearer one. In
answer to a request by Governor van Beck to send back three
Dutch barques taken by an English privateer, Lt.Governor Han-
dasyde ofJamaica, a firm and honest representative of the English
Crown who did not associate with any piratical acts, replied: 'I
thought that the declaration of War a year ago by both the Eng-
lish and the Dutch against the French and the Spanish and their
High Mightinesses' placards forbidding all manner of trade and
commerce... had been notice and caution enough. Eight months
ago... I told you if you would not stop these proceedings I would
be obliged to write to England about it... your sloops and goods
are here condemned by H.M.'s Court of Admiralty to the Crown
I serve and my honour obliges me to detect such underhand prac-
Did this clear language dissolve Van Beek's perplexities? Des-
pite efforts to please both sides, the Board of X was dissatisfied
with the way he handled the complex situation. Moreover, his in-
efficient bookkeeping and the constant quarrels with his subal-
terns and the Raadgave the Board ofX sufficient reason to accuse
him of fraud and corrupt dealings. He was discharged of his office
in 1704; his premonition of this action was evidenced by several
requests for dismissal. He was replaced by Jacob Beck who after a
long and dangerous voyage, arrived on the island at the end of
August of that same year.81
CURACAO AS A SLAVE-TRADING CENTER
Effects of English privateering
The change in governor did not influence the effects of English
privateering. One of their privateers, Reynier van Tongerloo, a
Dutchman with an English commission from Jamaica, had seized
no less than eight Dutch vessels trading along the New Granadian
coast and the Caracas area. Another Dutchman, Adriaan Claver,
with a commission signed by Governor Van Beek, had turned
against his countrymen, seized a richly laden Dutch barque at
Porto Bello, sunk it and carried its cargo to Jamaica. 'It will be
highly necessary,' the new Curacao governor wrote, 'to safeguard
ourselves as much as possible from our friends and allies the Eng-
lish.'82 He should have added: 'And from our landsmen.' His
request to the Jamaica governor to stop any commissions against
Dutch trade was denied. 'The procedure by which patents and
commissions were granted,' the answer said, 'was exceedingly in-
tricate and cumbersome. Each step in the complicated and varied
processes was marked by a document of a particular form,' which
meant, in simple language, that the English were unwilling to
Change in the English attitude
Fortunately, a new load of blacks, arriving with the Vrientschap
from Elmina in August of that same year, 1704, enabled some
profitable sales with the Spaniards, which made the future look
less bleak. Because of the problems involved in the transportation
of those Piezas de India to Cartagena, the new governor, rather
innocently, tried to persuade the Jamaica authorities not to inter-
fere. He even wrote to the admiral of the English fleet there.84
These requests illustrate vividly the decline of Dutch power in
the Caribbean. Even the States General were unable or unwil-
ling to protect Dutch transatlantic navigation. Merchants' re-
quests for armed protection directed to the Admiralty Board of
Amsterdam and to the Provincial States of Holland and West
Friesland were not granted.85 There were no men-of-war avail-
Well aware of their strength the English by means of a careful
balance of privateering and open hostility executed their control
of the Caribbean. The Dutch could hardly vindicate their posi-
tion. The Curacao merchants, quick to scrutinize the unfavorable
situation, directed themselves to the Road, which was powerless.
20 CORNELIS CH. GOSLINGA
Unable to improve the situation, a group of these merchants
finally decided to pay the abovementioned Van Tongerloo 8,000
pesos (20,000 guilders) for a written promise not to molest their
ships. The three representatives of the asiento, questioning
strongly the value of such a promise, did not contribute to this
ransom. Ironically, these Ps.8,000 seemed to have originated
from the seizure of a Dutch barque, the Comercio, seized by Van
Tongerloo, but whose cargo had been graciously returned to their
But the darkest hour heralds the dawn. That crooked governor
but fine psychologist, Nicolaas van Beek, had sounded the Eng-
lish mind fairly well. 'Trade will not flourish until the English see
a way to profit from it also,' he had written at an earlier date.87
The Council of Trade and Plantations was fully aware of the disad-
vantages for the English colonies if there were a complete break in
trade relations with the Spanish enemy. In October, 1703, it
wrote to the Queen regarding the Dutch position, and 'the great
discouragement Her Majesty's subjects in the West Indies and the
home country experienced because of the prohibition.'88 A cir-
cular letter, entitled Reasons Against Prohibiting Trade and
Commerce with Spain in the West Indies made it clear that 'such
prohibition of commerce with the Spaniards would be no less pre-
judicial to Great Britain... That will debar us from vending our
native commodities to them for pieces of eight or other valuable
goods... it will throw our part of the Spanish trade into the
hands of the Dutch who have several Plantations near the Spanish
coast, that although they may have a formal direction of the
States General on whom it is well known, they have little depen-
dence when the interest of Trade prevails in parts so remote as the
West Indies.'89 Thus, the tide was beginning to turn.
In answer to protests made in The Hague by the British envoy,
the States General presented the Queen with a memorandum
pointing out the reasons why the Dutch were allowed to trade
with the Spanish.90 The Queen, upon consideration of the Eng-
lish and Dutch position, thereupon changed her attitude. By now
she thought fit 'to continue the trade and commerce with the
Spaniards in those parts during the war, in all commodities ex-
cepting stores of war and ammunition and such commodities as
are prohibited by law to be carryed from Her Majesty's Planta-
tions directly to any foreign country.'91 The English were now
permitted to carry on this trade and orders were given not to mo-
lest 'any of the Dutch in their trade', except in the case of carry-
CURACAO AS A SLAVE-TRADING CENTER
ing stores or ammunition of war. They were admonished to take
care 'that the French receive no benefit of this indulgence.'92
As a result of this order all hostillities with the Spaniards in
America were ceased. The position of the Dutch was now looked
up to and their policy practised. The Additional Instruction to
Privateerr shows the enormous change in attitude adopted by the
English. 'Whereas we in conjunction with our allies the States
General are willing to encourage our and their intercourse with
such of the Spanish Nation as shall be inclined to acknowledge
the title and sovereignty of Charles III, King of Spain, with whom
we are in friendship and alliance.' At this point the chances of the
Archduke to the Spanish throne seemed excellent, causing Louis
XIV to fear that Charles would rally the Spaniards to his support.
The moment seemed opportune to follow less rigid regula-
This sensational turnaround of Great Britain's trade policy in
the West Indies posed no problem for her governors who were
well aware of the damages caused by the former attitude. Even
that vociferous critic of the Dutch, Governor Thomas Handa-
syde,94 could soon write triumphantly: 'Several of our trading
sloops have already been trading with the Spaniards... they
might have an extra-ordinary trade.'95 This signaled the end of
the English harassment of Dutch trade along the mainland coast.
Now, although the Dutch got rid of the British privateering nuis-
ance, they gained a powerful competitor.
The French challenge
The new English role opened a second phase in the Caribbean,
that of the French challenge. In the three years that followed,
French privateers delivered several blows to the West India Com-
pany bringing it almost to the brim of bankruptcy.
Few slavers had dropped anchor in Curacao during the years of
the English obstruction, but at the end of 1704 two safely arrived
at Willemstad, followed in the beginning of 1705 by a third one.
iThe demand for slaves was great and could not even be satisfied
with 2,000 more blacks, especially if they originated from Ardra.
These were particularly in demand.
Encouraged by these profitable prospects the Curacao governor
tried to convince the board of X to fit out more toerbeurten. Not
yet knowing the real reason for the diminishing English raids on
Dutch shipping, he attributed their less aggressive attitude to the
safeguards he had taken to protect his island's trade. These con-
22 CORNELIS CH. GOSLINGA
sisted of specially equipped cruisers for the purpose of shielding
the business relations with the Spanish American mainland. In
order to finance this measure Beck created a special fund, the so-
called kaapvaartkas privateeringg fund), by raising a special duty
of 1 percent on all imports with the explicit object to pay for the
!extra expenses. Not only were the imports from the mother coun-
try taxed but also the merchandise brought into the island by
Dutch, English, or other privateers.96
This fund seemed to fulfill its purpose. Although the end of
English privateering on the Dutch was not a result of the activities
of the Dutch cruisers equipped by the kaapvaartkas, they certain-
ly limited French aggression and performed well even seizing
French corsairs 'with vigor and valor' bringing them to Willem-
stad. Somewhat later, in 1706, the Admiralty Board of Amster-
diam, which previously had refused all help, probably realizing
the seriousness of the French threat, now declared itself willing to
give convoy to the ships of the WIC and the Caribbean navigators
with two men-of-war twice a year. For this service it asked 2 '/ per-
cent as incoming and 3 percent as outgoing duties on cargoes
destined for or leaving the Dutch port.97 In 1707, a first convoy
arrived at Curagao protected by two men-of-war, and since that
year up till the 20th century, with only a few interruptions, Cura-
cao's port always harbored these so-called station-ships.
* At the end of 1705 more slavers arrived. Around that time
Governor Beck also received orders to raise the price of the Piezas
de India from 100 to 108 pesos. The Board had two reasons for
this raise. The blacks at Fida became increasingly scarce, while
also the great demand of the Spanish mainland colonies lured the
Board away from the lower price. However, both Governor Beck
and slave commissioner Luls were concerned that this would turn
prospective buyers toJamaica and St. Thomas where slaves, it was
rumored, could be obtained at prices as low as 80 of 90 pesos a
Pieza de India. Furthermore, the buyer in Curagao who paid in
coined gold or silver would really pay 115 instead of 108 pesos,
due to the scarcity of cash which raised its value around 7 percent.
Aware of this danger, the Board of X authorized the governor to
sell the blacks, if necessary at the more convenient price of 106
pesos, suggesting also a public sale for the Piezas de India. 98
Governor Beck, already opposed to a raise in price, pointed out
that a public auction of the Piezas de India would be effective
only when there was a small quality of superior blacks and plenty
of buyers. Besides having no high quality slaves the buyers were
CURACAO AS A SLAVE-TRADING CENTER 23
mostly Spaniards, the English and French islands being dosed to
Dutch trade. Those Spaniards, Beck wrote with typical nordic
phlegm, were not easy to deal with. Being used to a certain way of
trading they would be disinclined to adapt other methods. He
was sure they would refuse to appear at public sales.99
In 1706, several slavers having miraculously escaped the threat
of French privateering in an expanding war dropped anchor at
Willemstad. Although the price of blacks had gone up consider-
ably, they were sold immediately, Piezas de India, mancquerons,
and sick slaves.
9Besides the French privateers and the interlopers or lorre-
draaiers who hampered the WIC slave trade, the governor was
faced with another irritating though small problem. Many cap-
tains of the Company's slavers constantly tried to smuggle one or
two blacks into Curacao on the pretext that they had received
them as a present from the negro ruler back in Africa. The WIC
repeatedly gave strict orders to confiscate those blacks and sell
them for the Company. The captain of the Son, for instance, in a
request to Governor Beck, tried to keep two slaves, claiming
them, as usual, as a present. He failed and the two youngsters
were confiscated and added to the ship's armazoen.99
While at that time the Allied forces made excellent progress in
Europe and the chances of the Archduke Charles of Austria to
mount the Spanish throne seemed better than ever, the situation
in the Caribbean became considerably more confused. The Gov-
ernor of Curagao was ordered not to hand out any commission
against the Carlista Spanish, but to confiscate all Spanish ships
with a commission signed by Philip, considered 'enemies of the
United Provinces.'100 At the same time the aggravation of the
war caused the WIC heavy losses which dealt severe blows against
its financial stability. Several slavers never arrived, seized or sunk
by the French. No dividend was paid in 1705 and 1706, but in
1707 the Board of X, after much hesitation finally decided to
have a uitdelinghe (dividend), not paid, however, in cash but in
additional stocks amounting to 5 percent of the investment. In
face of the severe setbacks of the Company, this decision probably
was an effort to stimulate the investors' morale and to gain sup-
port from the government in its difficult plight. 101
By the close of 1707 and at the beginning of 1708 more slavers
brought relief, sometimes unloading blacks from the African
24 CORNELIS CH. GOSLINGA
coast, the less desirable ones. Nevertheless, they were all imme-
diately sold, again reflecting the pressing demand. 102
As a result of the scarcity of commodities and blacks some pe-
culiar consequences developed. All European colonies, laced in a
set of rules and regulations, were forbidden any inter-colonial
trade. Now, however, with the irregularity of supplies from their
mother countries contraband activities flourished. Governors and
other officials of the British islands, for instance, admitted that
their own people were involved as heavily as the Dutch in smug-
gling. This complaint became a topic in the correspondence be-
tween the English officials and the Council of Trade and Plan-
tations. 'Curacao is never without Bermuda vessels,' wrote
Lt.Governor Bennett. Another letter gives many details about the
illegal trade between Jamaica, Curacao, and St. Thomas. 103 In
vain governors and proprietors were admonished to take all pre-
cautions to discharge it.
Could it be that the English colonies suffered more from the
effects of the war than the Dutch or the French? Governor
Handasyde of Jamaica often complained about 'the deadness of
our trade to the Spanish coast.' 104 This deadness seemed also to
have reached Barbados. In September, 1708, some merchants
from this island, who had their eyes on the future, petitioned the
Queen to promote the trade with the Spanish West Indies
through acquisition of the asiento which 'may be of such advan-
tage to this Kingdom and to Your Majesty's Plantations.' 105 In-
deed, being excluded from this profitable business made it easier
for Great Britain to dress herself in a cloak of honesty and morali-
ty. But English jealousy was minute compared to previous years,
and thus the Curacao governor and the WIC were not overly con-
cerned. They were faced with another complication which opened
another era in the Curacao slave trade. This was French willing-
ness to open official trade relations, a proposition which caused
some embarrassment and much caution.
The Chourio episode
Late in 1707, the Chamber of Amsterdam received a curious re-
quest from two Jewish merchants, the brothers Louis and Jean
Mendes da Costa, for permission to conclude a contract with the
French Company of Saint Domingue for the delivery of three or
four shiploads of blacks. They offered a cash sum of 30,000 guil-
ders for each shipload (12,000 pesos) while the remaining 30,000
guilders would be paid in commodities and merchandise upon
CURACAO AS A SLAVE-TRADING CENTER 25
delivery. 106 The Board of X, somewhat put out by this request,
postponed a decision to its next meeting. The petition was then
More serious contact was made in early 1708. Arriving from La
Guaira, a certain Monsieur Chourio asked for an audience with
the Curagao governor. He was as Luls, the slave commissioner,
commented the son of the Spanish consul at Amsterdam and
had lived in Martinique, before representing the French asiento
of Cartagena. Beck, somewhat distrustful, requested that two
members of the Raadbe present. 107
Chourio, showing the Dutch officials his commission as asen-
tista for Trinidad, Margarita, Cumani, and Maracaibo, allegedly
signed by Philip V, told them that it granted him the right to buy
slaves for these colonies in Jamaica as well as in Curacao. As al-
ready observed, the French asiento did indeed contain a clause
*permitting these dealings with the enemy. The Frenchman went
even further to reveal the unique possibilities of the asiento
agreement. It could be extremely profitable and feasible, he ex-
plained, to include other commodities in their commercial rela-
tionship. The Spanish colonial mainland was in dire need of
many things. Therefore, he proposed direct and regular commu-
nication between Curacao and Venezuela. The mainland would
pay in cash and produce for blacks and other merchandise. There
was, however, a catch to his offer. It would be necessary for Chou-
rio to establish residency on the island and open an office
there. 108 The number of blacks needed could easily amount to
1000 Piezas de India yearly. The question concerning the trans-
portation of these goods and blacks to the Spanish mainland was
easily solved, although both parties realized that the English
would be very watchful. His licence, Chourio assured Beck, re-
quired that each ship should be manned with at least half French
Regular visits of French and Spanish sailors would, of course,
create a dangerous possibility for espionage and treason. After all,
a war was going on. Who would be able to tell if a sailor was not a
spy in disguise? The feelings of the Raad, called together to dis-
cuss this extra-ordinary proposal, were far from unanimous. No
option was barred from discussion, however, not even that of
French sailors being admitted in Willemstad's port. While the
Raad deliberated, Chourio, proving that he meant business,
bought enough merchandise, partly on credit, to send a sloop to
Maracaibo. Governor Beck, moving effectively to counteract any
26 CORNELIS CH. GOSLINGA
efforts against the French asentista, sold him 65 inferior blacks for
the full price of 108 pesos a piece. At long last the Raad granted
the Frenchman a temporary permit to stay depending on the final
approval of the Board of X. 110
Now the Curacao governor was in bad need of armazoenen.
Luckily, at the end of 1708, two slavers dropped anchor at Wil-
Iemstad unloading almost 650 blacks. Chourio bought more than
200 at the regular price of 108 pesbs. He paid in cash and
cacao.111 Another French buyer, from Saint Domingue, also
bought a number of blacks.
The successful arrival of these two slavers was dampened by the
disappearance of a third one, seized by the French privateers al-
most in sight of Curagao.
The Raadand Chourio
At the end of 1708, Governor Beck asked for his dismissal, and
was replaced by his brother Abraham Beck. Jeremias van Collen,
the commissioner of train en vivres (material and vivres), who had
acted as temporary governor after Van Beek's dismissal now again
functioned as such. When Abraham Beck died in October, 1710,
Van Collen became acting governor for the third time. Descen-
dent of a well known Amsterdam regent family, very influential
in the affairs of the WIC, he was in spite of this background over-
looked two times for the highest position of the island. Finally,
after his third acting governorship the Board appointed him gov-
ernor on December 17, 1711. He served as such until his death in
Van Collen had been strongly in favor of Chourio's proposals
but his hands were tied. He had to wait for the decision of the
' Board of X. It came at the end of May, 1709, while he was still
acting governor, and took half a year to reach his hands,
eloquently illustrating the slow rhythm of communication of
those days. To the great astonishment of the acting governor and
the majority of the Raad, it contained strict orders to forbid
Chourio or his staff to reside on the island. Should they already
have established an office there, he and his aids should be
'arrested, sent back to the mainland, and their belongings in com-
modities, blacks, and cash be confiscated. 113
The Raad member Laurentius Horst, a medical doctor, had al-
ready very outspokenly demonstrated his anti-French feelings.
Clearly, he said, the French were planning to spy on Dutch ship-
ping. The admission, according to Horst, of 'mortal enemies of
CURACAO AS A SLAVE-TRADING CENTER
the United Provinces' could only cause commotion, detriment,
and disaster. 114 Nevertheless, his voice was not heeded until the
French had seized the WIC slaver St. Jago just as it entered Cura-
gao's port. Indignant and upset, the Curagao merchants then
accused Chourio and his staff of having been instrumental in this
seizure with their espionage.
The decision of the Board was not inspired by a lofty effort to
curb the trade with the enemy. Shortly later, during Abraham
Beck's term, the Board issued specific orders to continue the trade
with the mainland and to treat the Spaniards with 'civility.'115
An additional recommendation approved the admission of Span-
ish ships in Curacao's port bringing their produce in exchange for
slaves. 116 Torn between lust for profit and fear of treason the Cu-
racao governor was not always sure which course to follow. But the
continuous losses of Dutch navigation in the Carribbean, as well
as on the African coast, clearly proved the existence of informers.
At that time, in 1709, around 150 Frenchmen of various profes-
sions lived in Curafao. 117
Chourio was in Venezuela at the time the Board's order for his
arrest had arrived. Pending his return his property was seized: a
barque La Royale with 40 blacks, another one, La Diligence, and
a bergantine, Le Postilion, with 25 Piezas de India. Fifty Piezas de
India, purchased but not yet delivered and residing on the WIC
plantation Rooy Canario, were also confiscated. Furthermore, 30
mancquerons and sick slaves kept on the plantation of Gerard
Luls -- probably his reason to permit Chourio on the island -
were taken into custody. 118
Chourio, it soon appeared, was deep in debt most of which he
owed to the WIC which claimed 15,000 pesos, while he owed
another 10,000 pesos to various merchants. Upon his arrival in
Curacao, soon afterwards, he was arrested together with his staff
of 32 members. The arrest was a mild one, the Frenchman being
confined to his quarters in Punda (the walled-in section of Wil-
lemstad). He declared himself innocent of the charge of espion-
age and repeated this in a session of the Raad to which he was
His high debts made it impractical to extradite him immediat-
ely. After long deliberations the Raad finally admitted the
Frenchman again, in flagrant contradiction of the Board's orders.
He endeared himself even more to the commercial interests of the
i island by buying 330 Piezas de India from the Company at the
CORNELIS CH. GOSLINGA
fixed price, and commodities from many Curacao merchants
amounting to 40,000 pesos, claiming that he would have bought
much more had he not suffered huge losses in Maracaibo where
the authorities had confiscated 50,000 pesos worth of proper-
Van Collen's interpretation of the Board's orders was a peculiar
one, but a majority of the Raad supported his views: arrested,
Chourio would be paralyzed and never be able to pay his debts.
IThe prosperity of the Company and many island merchants was at
:stake. When Abraham Beck arrived and was confronted with this
situation, he accepted the official position. It was taken, he wrote
the Board, to give all Chourio's creditors an opportunity to hand
in their claims, to give the Frenchman an opportunity to do busi-
ness and pay his debts, and to gather more information about his
involvement in the seizure of the St. Jago and several other Dutch
With the adhesion of the Raad the French thus were absolved
of any misdemeanors, treason, or damaging correspondence.
Both Van Collen -who even issued a Declaration to this effect -
and Abraham Beck had the support of some Curacao merchants,
in particular of the Curacao asentistas. One of them, David
Senior, was even willing to pay a guarantee of 5,000 pesos in cash
or bonds (bodemenyj brieven) in order to permit Chourio to ex-
port 70 blacks to Maracaibo, offering as security his house in the
Jodenkerkstraat (Punda), together with 20 slaves. 121
But not all Curacao merchants shared this point of view as
proven by a request of many businessmen protesting the admis-
sion of Spanish ships (among them Chourio's of the French asien-
to) into Willemstad's port. The Spanish had been doing this free-
ly ever since the English acquiesced to the Dutch-Spanish trade.
By now, however, these merchants were getting second thoughts
and realized the detrimental effects this admission had on their
own business. The Spanish brought produce from the mainland
at competitive prices, and as a result the governor was now peti-
tioned for restrictions of this free entry. 122
Since Governor Beck was making an inspection tour to Bonaire,
Van Collen presided over the meeting of the Raad in which this
request was discussed together with Chourio's protest against the
confiscation of his barques. Taking an opposite view from earlier
debates he now urged the Raad not to grant Chourio any favors,
to sell all his property in public auction so that his debt to the
Company could be settled. Then he should be extradited.
CURACAO AS A SLAVE-TRADING CENTER
This attitude only took into account the interests of the WIC
and disregarded Chourio's involvement with the Curacao mer-
chants. The slave trade commissioner Luls took their side. The
Road- in which some merchants had seats agreed with Luls
and permitted the Postilion to sell its blacks and other commodi-
ties in Maracaibo. This decision had the strong approval of all of
Chourio's creditors who supported Luls' attitude and the decision
of the Raad'so that he will be able to pay us.' 123
The following balance sheet makes the importance of the
Raad's decision obvious. It shows the involvement of some pro-
minent Curacao merchants and the commodities of Chourio's
CHOURIO & CHAMBER
Schuurman en Moyacrt
David and Isaac Senior
Ferro and Nara
Manuel Alvares Correo
Joan de Nis
Dc Ede Comp.
Brandau and Bundes
David Lopes Dias
Freeze & Otto
David Senior of the security
For a bar gold in cash in custody of the governor
For security of Dd Senior
For 60.000 11 cassave
For barrels of indigo
For 2 barques (Postillon and Royale)
For 34 blacks
For Flemish striped linen
For 108 barrels flour
For the auctioneer
Compt. per saldo of this a shortage of
Ps. 25.502. 3
CORNELIS CH. GOSLINGA
A similar procedure was followed regarding Nicolas Gautier,
the Frenchman from Saint Domingue, whose debts to the Com-
pany amounted to 4212 pesos. His property was also seized after
i it had become apparent that information about Dutch shipping
was leaked to some privateers cruising around Hispaniola. As in
the days of the English harassments, the kaapvaartkas was again
used for the equipment of several armed barques for surveillance
and protection. 125
The Curagao merchants, in the meantime, still apprehensive,
requested to postpone the sailing date of a convoy waiting in St.
Ann Bay. Sure enough, at the end of 1709, news came that the
French had taken St. Eustatius and were cruising between Mona
and Puerto Rico waiting for a Curacao convoy.126
Undisturbed by these rumors, Chourio offered to buy 1500
blacks if the Raad would permit one of his barques into Willem-
stac's port. Strong opposition denied this request and Chourio
was ordered to pay his creditors and leave the island at first not-
ice. But the astute Frenchman, never at the end of his wits, asked
for a hearing and his appearance in the Raad worked wonders. He
assured the members that his three barques if set free would
return from the mainland loaded with food. Because of an extre-
mely dry season and the threatening scarcity of victuals the Raad,
albeit reluctantly, granted the request in spite of strong protest
from many Curacao merchants. The latter were loosing ship after
ship and were far from happy.127
Although there does not appear to be enough concrete basis
for the imputations of the merchants, it is questionable of Gover-
nor Beck followed a wise course in granting Chourio his request.
There was no guarantee that his crews would not sail straight to
Martinique or inform the French privateers swarming around the
island of Dutch shipping schedules. The food situation was, how-
ever, extremely pressing. Food was the island's Achilles heel. Its
desertlike climate did not promote agriculture. Beck had already
'bought 10,000 bushel of corn after cattle started to die. Everyone
knew that the slaves were next in line to feel the squeeze of food
scarcity: break-ins and burglary, mainly in search of food,
became daily occurrences. In August, 1710, a long trial against
two of the most notorious thieves triggered more unrest. Both
were convicted and hanged. The slave population manifested
open hostility, and the placards issued by a frightened governor
reflected the growing official concern. 128
CURACAO AS A SLAVE-TRADING CENTER
In the midst of these tensions the war situation worsened. The
threat of the French enemy and the English ally increased. A
French corsair, for instance, seized 27 blacks on Bonaire without
meeting any resistance. They captured also the slaver Amsterdam
on its way from Fida to Curacao. Its captain had given up only
after a gallant fight of three hours. Beck advised the Board to
send new instructions to the Caribbean navigators that they
should not enter this dangerous area south of Tobago. His advice
was heeded. 129
Great losses in slavers and other ships intensified the economic
and political squeeze Curacao was experimenting. Not before
September 1710, did the first armazoen of that year arrive.
Nothing was known of the slaver Moscow nor of the Africa. The
heavy losses were only partially compensated by the arrival of the
Carolus Secundus but this slaver arrived in a completely desolate
condition, damaged to such a degree that Governor Beck set
10,000 pesos aside for immediate repairs.130
The collapsing prosperity of the island forced the Curacao mer-
chants once again to request the governor to put a close watch on
all foreigners, especially the French. Freedom of movement for
them clearly appeared to be unwise, dangerous, and unrealistic.
Refraining from direct accusations the merchants again hinted
that information had been given out about Dutch shipping
Naturally, the governor and the Raad were sincerely concerned
about these complaints. But trade was declining rapidly, and
more obstacles in its way would result in more deterioration. Un-
willing to remain passive, Chourio had the audacity to reappear
unexpectedly in the midst of this crisis, and proposed a new deal
for the delivery of blacks. If his suggestions were accepted, he
assured the governor, he would take care of the transportation by
using ships under Dutch or Spanish flags, and he would not re-
side on the island. 132
Acting Governor Van Collen, again revising his former attitude
and strongly inclined to improve the bad economic situation, at-
tempted to persuade the Raad to restore the broken relationship
with the French. A majority of votes finally decided in favor of
Chourio's proposals, depending, of course, on the final approval
CORNELIS CH. GOSLINGA
of the Board. He was, however, not allowed to settle on the
island. Consequently, Chourio, renting a brigantine from Philip
Henriques, one of the CuraCao representatives of the French
asiento, sailed to Coro under the Dutch flag returning a few days
later with 40,000 pesos in cash. Boasting that he could use 3000
blacks, he arranged his affairs with the island's firm Freeze &
Otto which committed itself to the delivery of 400 Piezas de India
and received Chourio's power of attorney, while the Frenchman
deposited 6000 pesos as a down payment. The remaining 34,000
were spent on purchases from many Curacao merchants. In this
way the cunning Frenchman endeared himself to the merchants
and involved himself strongly in the island's economy. But hosti-
lity flared again when several French stowaways were discovered in
the ship that had brought Chourio to Curacao. The Raad mem-
bers Rudolphus Horst and Pieter de Senilh captain lieutenant of
the island's militia, openly voiced their mistrust and suspi-
More difficulties for Curafao
In the summer of that same year 1711 Curagao was again faced
with a critical food shortage. Moreover, Van Collen learned that
the French were making preparations for an offensive against Cu-
racao. Luckily, the year passed without a French attack but no
slavers arrived either except for one. Business with Chourio fell
flat. Only the leftover blacks from previous armazoenen were for
sale. Forty were finally sold in exchange for cacao and sent to Ma-
As governors before him, Van Collen threw much of the blame
for the island's declining trade on the activity of French and Eng-
lish privateers. They found, he wrote, a worthy ally in 'a mon-
strous governor' of the Caracas area, who 'was in the service of
Philip V, a descendant of the Moors, very cruel and malicious'
who had already killed more than 20 merchants accused of
trading with the Dutch. 135
At the end of April, 1712, the first slaver in almost a year and a
half, arrived in Willemstad, gladly welcomed with its 570 blacks
of which Chourio purchased 358. By now the sale of 'living
ebony' had become, for a great part, dependent on the French of
the mainland coast and Saint Domingue. Chourio, well aware of
this situation, showed himself no longer very pliable and request-
ed the circumvention of recently set rules, threatening to buy his
blacks in St. Thomas or Jamaica if the Company did not comply.
CURACAO AS A SLAVE-TRADING CENTER
The Board, for instance, had again ordered to sell all blacks, also
the Piezas de India, in public auction, and Chourio refused to
bid. The governor was in a bind between the orders of the Board
and the Frenchman's adamant attitude. He consulted the new
slave trade commissioner, Willem de Bij, the successor of Luls
who had died, and decided to bend the new rules a little. The
Board later approved his decision.136
Such difficulties, if hardly conducive to excessive optimism,
were minor irritants at best. The attack of Jacques Cassard in
February, 1713, made a much deeper impact. It led to the pay-
ment of a ransom of 115,000 pesos 'in cash, commodities, and
slaves.' Fortunately, the blacks of two slavers, which had arrived
before this disaster, had already been sold, thus limiting the share
of the Company in this ransom to 12,000 pesos. While the islan-
ders and the new slave trade commissioner hopefully waited for
the arrival of new slavers to recuperate from the heavy blow the
French had delivered, news arrived that the first one expected had
been wrecked. 137
The English Asiento
(The Peace of Utrecht, concluded in 1713, filled the Board of X
with high hopes for a revival of the slave trade. The asiento agree-
ment rumors said was not yet firmly settled, and existing
Dutch suspicions of deceitful tactics of the ally had not yet as-
sumed a profile of certainty. Somewhat naively, the Board ex-
pected the profits of the slave trade to be just around the corner.
At Curacao, the arrival of the slaver St. Marcus, in January, 1714,
seemed to affirm those blissful expectations. Chourio purchased
511 of its armazoen of 556 surviving blacks, eloquent proof how
much Curacao now depended on the trade with the French.
Highly optimistic, Chourio also made claims on the next arma-
zoen. Little did he know that France, for peace's sake, might
sacrifice the asiento and grant it to the English. The Board of the
WIC worked under the same false assumptions. By the time the
next slaver, the Coninginne Hester (Queen Esther) dropped an-
chor in Willemstad, a dramatic change in the slave trade had
Despite the alarming rumors of an English asiento, Governor
Van Collen refused to see the handwriting on the wall, and was
equally eloquent to denounce the disastrous consequences which
a possible loss of the slave trade would carry for the Company.
I Living under the preposterous assumption that profits still could
CORNELIS CH. GOSLINGA
be reaped from sales to Cartagena, the Porto Bello region and the
Caracas coast, he could not see the cold reality of the facts. The
Dutch, he believed, could still control much of the trade; they
still had a strong position on Africa's West coast, and an excellent
market in the regions mentioned. Strengthening the island's de-
fense system would maintain this grasp on the slaving busi-
The commissioner of the slave trade, De Bij, did not suffer
from such grave misconceptions. The slave trade in the Guianas,
Leeward-, Windward Islands, and Hispaniola had fallen under
the control of the English, he wrote, while the mainland coast
had become the scene of a losing struggle between the interlopers
of many nations. He expressed considerable concern, and the ar-
rival of the Conginne Hester with a very pityful armazoen did not
improve his views. Chourio, well aware that the asiento was slip-
ping away from him, bought only 88 blacks which were sent to La
Guaira where only 17 were sold. The French were finished and
Chourio knew it. He brought the depressing news to Curacao
that the official installation of the English representative of the
asiento would be only a matter of time. 159 It also rung the death-
bell for the Curacao slave trade.
Because of the great distance between the mother country and
the Curacao colony, the subsequent slowness of communication,
and the organization of toerbeurten a year ahead of time, slavers
continued to arrive. The Board of X had equipped at least seven
slavers for the year 1715. Only four arrived at Curacao, the fate of
ithe other three remaining a mystery. These four brought over
1000 blacks, but Chourio had left, and the new asentirtas along
the coast did not want to get involved in trade with the Dutch.
The Curacao slave trade commissioner wrote in July, 1715: 'I
must tell your Lordships to my deep sorrow that we don't have
any buyers for them.' 140
Over 1000 extra blacks to feed this distressing situation on the
desert island was contributed by the Curaao officials mainly to
the English. True, the interlopers had increased their activity and
sold their blacks cheaper, but the English added, as De Bij wrote,
insult to injury by allowing the Spaniards to use English flags to
seize all Dutch traders along the coast. 141
The Peace of Utrecht meant an English victory in the Carib-
\ bean, not so much over the French enemy as over the Dutch ally:
the disastrous end for the Dutch of another Anglo-Dutch war.
'The ruin of the WIC now seemed imminent. What could be done
CURACAO AS A SLAVE-TRADING CENTER 35
to avoid it? Van Collen died in January, 1715, thus escaping the
I misery of a demoralizing catastrophe. The English had the men,
the ships, the power, and the arrogance. After a century of war-
ring against the Dutch, they had finally finished them, and
would soon embark on their next goal: the elimination of French
competition. The Dutch, with the Peace of Utrecht, after having
been a worldpower for almost a century, became provincial and
Van Collen nor the slave trade commissioner De Bii had the
answers to the company's problems. They were at loss. Did the
Board of X know a solution? It was fully aware of the deterior-
ating state of affairs but did it have a clear insight in its causes? At
the beginning of the war, in its session of November 13, 1702, it
had stated that 'the slave trade has always been considered the
leading trade of the Company'.142 In its session of December 5,
1711, extremely troubled about the fate of the Company, its
members listened to a memorandum of one of the directors, Cor-
nelis Bors van Waveren representing the Chamber of Amsterdam,
who 'with regard to the critical constitution of the Chartered
West India Company of these countries' proposed a reorganisa-
tion. Van Waveren attributed the Company's decline to various
causes: the war, the English role in their competition with the
Dutch, but principally the inefficient internal organization which
he considered to be obsolete. 'In the multitude of Chambers con-
sists all mischief,' were his words. Consequently, he suggested the
elimination of the Board of X and all the Company's chambers,
except the Amsterdam one, which owned already 4/9 of the capi-
tal. The hquidated chambers would be integrated in the Amster-
dam chamber which, thus, would acquire a broader basis. A new
presidium of ten directors would head this chamber, four repre-
senting Amsterdam, two Zeeland, and one member for each of
the other liquidated chambers. A tenth member would rotate be-
tween several provinces and cities. The immediate savings in over-
head, Bors van Waveren concluded, amounted to at leastf40,000
Naturally, this proposal irritated the Zeelandian members of
the Board of X. In another meeting, two years later, they reacted
correspondingly. In stead of a reorganization a merger with the
prosperous Dutch East India Company was proposed. Eloquently,
the advantages of such a merger were brought to the attention of
A the Board. 144
As usual no decision was reached and the Company tottered
36 CORNELIS CH. GOSLINGA
forward into a dark future without any sense of direction or
It seems correct to conclude that after 1716 the slave trade of
the WIC went definitely downhill. The War of the Spanish Suc-
cession and the English Asiento delivered the death blow.
CSP Calendar of State Papers. NWIC Nicuwc West-Indische Compagnic.
CTP Council of Trade and Plantations.
1. Frank Taylor, The Wars ofMarlborough, 1702-1709, Oxford, Basil Black-
well, 1921,2 vols., 183
2. Elizabeth Donnan, Documents Illustrative of the History of the Slave Trade
to America, Washington, Carnegie Institution, 1931, 4 vols., II, xiii.
3. Taylor, I, p. 57.
4. John E. Emerich, First Baron Acton, Lectures on Modern History, London,
MacMillan and Co. Ltd., 1906, p. 252.
5. Frances Gardiner Davonport, ed. European Treaties Bearing on the History
of the United States and its Dependencies, Washington, Carnegie Institution,
vol. III, 1934, p. 29.
6. Ibid., p. 51.
7. Georges Scelle, La Traite nigriire aux Indes de Castile, Paris, L. Larose, L.
Tenin, 1906, 2 vols., II, 97.
8. Jonathan Swift, The History of the Four Last Years of the Queen in The
Pruoe Works ofJonathan Swift, Temple Scott ed., London.
9. Henry St. John, Lord Bolingbroke, Letters and Correspondence, G.G. and
J. Robinson, London, 2 vols., I, p. 48.
10. Ibid., I, p. 95.
11. Ibid. 1, p. 118.
12. Davonport, III, p. 141. The French were still negotiating with the Dutch
behind the scene.
CURACAO AS A SLAVE-TRADING CENTER 37
13. Bolingbroke, I, p. 186.
14. Davonport, III, p. 148. Bolingbroke, I, 235.
15. Davonport, III, p. 152.
16. Bolingbroke, I, p. 235.
17. Davonport, III, p. 123.
18. Acton, p. 262.
19. Calendar of State Papers (CSP) XVIII, 1700, p. 656, November 15.
20. CSP XVIII, 1700, p. 106 (190) March 6.
21. CSP XVIII, 1700, p. 658 (936). Gov. Randolph to Council of Trade and
Plantations (CTP), Nov. 15.
22. CSP XVIII, 1700, p. 680 (953); XIX, 1701, p. 128 (251), p. 238 (436);
XXIV, 1708-1709, p. 169 (226), p. 388 (597), etpassim.
23. CSP XXVI, 1711-12, p. 245 (345). Gov. Lord A. Hamilton to CTP, March
24. CSP XXIII, 1706, p. 280 (524). Gov. Handasyde ofJamaica to CTP, June
25. CSP XX, 1702, p. 5 (6). CTP to the Earl of Nottingham.
26. CSP XXIV, 1708-1709, p. 506 (831). Peter Holt to Capt. William Billton,
Oct. 26, 1709.
27. CSP XVIII, 1700, p. 82 (154). Gov. E. Randolph to CTP, April 10. See
also p. 154 (303) and p. 328 (524).
28. CSP XX, 1702, p. 415 (648). Col. Quary in answer to Mr. Penn's com-
29. CSP XX, 1702, p. 402 (634). Paper by Major Gen. Selwyn, later Governor
30. CSP XIX, 1701, p. 327 (600). Gov. Codrington to CTP,June 30.
32. CSP XX, 1702, p. 226 (342). W. Popple to Charlewood Lawton, April 16.
33. CSP XXII, 1704-1705, p. 308 (643). Lord Cornbury to CTP, Nov. 6 and
CSP XX, 1702, p. 611 (999). Lord Cornbury to CTP, Sept. 27.
CORNELIS CH. GOSLINGA
35. Johannes Postma, The Dutch Participation in the African Slave Trade, Mi-
chigan State University, Ph.D., 1970; University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, Mi-
chigan, p. 117.
36. Ibid. p. 118.
37. Ibid. In the WIC documents this company is referred to also as the Royal
Portuguese African Company or the Portuguese Guinea Company.
38. Philip D. Curtin, The African Slave Trade.
39. We put these numbers together from Postma, pp. 231-33.
40. Ibid. These numbers do not take into account the deathratc aboard the
slavers during the mid passage.
41. NWIC 200, fol. 43. Gerard Luls to the Board, Aug. 3, 1700.
42. Cornelis Ch. Goslinga, The Dutch in the Caribbean and on the Wild
Coast 1580-1680, Gainesville, University of Florida Press, p. 362.
43. In 1700 this three-men committee was composed of Lucas Hansen, Jan
Moyaert andJacob Calvo. The representatives of the asiento at Curacao were, at
that time,Johan Goetvriendt, Philip Henriques and David Senior.
44. NWIC 200, fol. 167-68.
45. Postma, pp. 198 and 63.
46 To overcome these obstacles the Board of X decided, October 18, 1701, to
equip a special ship with a cargazoen worth 80,000 guilders to purchase blacks
'like the interlopers'. The experiment failed. See NWIC 1, fol. 56.
47. NWIC 200, fols. 66-67.
49. For the experiences of these ships see NWIC 200, fols. 160-61 and 184
The three slavers were the Croonvogel, the Foam and the West Indiscbe Huis.
Jorge Palacios Preciado, La Trata de Negros por Cartagena de Indias, Tunja,
Fondo Especial de Publicaciones, Ediciones 'LaRana y El Aguila,' 1973, p. 101,
mentions only the Faam (La Fama) with an armazoen of 433 blacks, and the
Croonvogel (El Pdgaro Coronado) with 406 blacks.
50. Davonport, III, p. 40.
51. NWIC 200, fols. 115-16. Van Beck to Board of X,June 21, 1701.
52. NWIC 200, fols. 155 ff.
CURACAO AS A SLAVE-TRADING CENTER 39
53. NWIC 200, fols. 226-27.
54. NWIC 1, fol. 81. Board session of Nov. 7, 1701; and 200, fols. .70-72,
Van Beek to Board of X, April 4, 1702. The asentirtas of Cartagena were over
12,000pesos behind in payments due to the WIC.
55. NWIC 200, fols. 269-72. Van Beek to Board of X, April 4, 1702.
56. NWIC 200, fols. 340 ff. Van Beck to Board of X, June 30, 1702, and fols.
334-37, Van Beck to Board of X, April 24, 1702.
57. NWIC 200, fols. 375 ff. Van Beck to Board of X, Sept. 22, 1702.
58. Ibid., fol. 376.
59. NWIC 200, fols. 462-63. Van Beck to Board of X, March 8, 1703; 201.
fols. 2 ff. Gerard Luls to Board of X, April 6, 1703.
60. Don Gaspar de Andrade, the asentista of the Portuguese Company in Car-
tagena, leaving that port, was caught by Pierre Sirve, a Dutch privateer, and
with 50,000 pesos cash brought to CuraSao. Van Beek sent him, the money, and
his papers to Amsterdam. NWIC 200, fols. 389-91.
61. NWIC 201, fols. 63-64. Van Beck to Board of X, July 4, 1703.
62. CSP XXI, 1702-1703, p. 5 (6), Dec. 2, 1702. CTP to Earl of Nottingham.
64. CSP XXI, 1702-1703, p. 572 (950), Col. Quary to CTP,July 25, 1703.
65. Ibid., p. 646 (1033), Col. Quary to CTP, August 14, 1703.
66. CSP XXI, 1702-1703, p. 779 (1208), CTP to Earl of Nottingham, Aug.
68. CSP XXI, 1702-1703, p. 711 (1119), Lt. Gov. Handasyde to CTP, Oct.
69. NWIC 201, fols. 63-64. Van Beek to Board of X,July 4, 1703.
71. Ch. Wilson, The Dutch Republic, New York, World Univ. Library, 1968,
72. NWIC 201, fols. 83-85. Letter of May 25, 1703.
73. Ibid., fol. 163. Van Beek to Board ofX, Sept. 11, 1703.
40 CORNELIS CH. GOSLINGA
74. Scelle II, pp. 285-293.
75. NWIC 201, fol. 246, Van Beek to Board of X, March 1, 1704. See also CSP
XXI, 1702-1703, p. 839 (1326), Lt.Gov. Handasyde to Earl of Nottingham,
Nov. 27, 1703.
76. NWIC 201, fol. 295.
77. NWIC 201, fol. 247. Van Beck to Board of X, March 1, 1704.
80. NWIC 201, fols. 258-59. Letter of Oct. 26, 1703.
81. NWIC 201, fols. 284 ff. Beck to the Board ofX, Aug. 21, 1704.
82. Ibid. Van Tongerloo was a former captain of the WIC.
83. NWIC 201, fols. 306-307. Van Beek to Gov. of Jamaica, Aug. 8, 1704,
and CSP XXVIII, 1712-14, p. vii.
84. NWIC 201, fols. 306-307. Van Beek to Board of X, Aug. 8, 1704.
85. NWIC 1, fols. 241-42. Session of the Board of X of March 28, 1705.
86. NWIC 201, fols. 373-400. Beck to Board of X, April 11, 1705.
87. Sce note 70.
88. CSP XXI, 1702-1703, p. 779 (1208), Oct. 29, 1703.
89. CSP XXI, 1702-1703, p. 272 (472). Circular letter from the Earl of Not-
tingham to the Governors of Her Majesty's Plantations, March 18, 1703.
90. CSP XXII, 1704-1705, p. 49 (116). W. Popple to Richard Warr, Febr. 18,
93. CSP XXII, 1704-1705, p. 113 (285). May 2, 1704.
94. He was shortly before promoted to governor. See Alan G. Burns, History
ofBritish West Indies, London, George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 2nd ed. 1965, pp.
430-32, and Clinton V. Black, The Story ofJamaica, London, Collins, 1968, pp.
71 and 74.
95. CSP XXII, 1704-1705, p. 251 (566), Gov. Handasyde to CTP, Sept. 17,
CURACAO AS A SLAVE-TRADING CENTER
96. CSP XXII, 1704-1705, p. 251 (566). Gov. Handasyde to CTP, Sept. 17,
96. NWIC 202, fols. 110-11. Res. of the Road, Aug. 11, 1705. This resolution
was approved by the X in its session of April 17, 1706. See NWIC 1, 1706, fol.
97. NWIC 1, fol. 269. Session of Board of X, April 17, 1706. See also J.H.J.
Hamnelberg, De Nederlanders op de West-Indische eilanden, Amsterdam, I,
1901, p. 113.
99. NWIC 202, fol. 216. Beck to Board of X, Dec. 9, 1707.
100. NWIC 1, fol. 323. Session of the Board of X,July 21, 1706.
101. NWIC 201, fol. 240. Session of the Board of X, Dec. 1, 1707.
102. Complaints on this low quality were already earlier voiced. See NWIC 1,
fol. 396. Session of Board of X, Nov. 21, 1707; and 202. fols. 391-92. Beck to
Board of X, May 26, 1708.
103. CSP XXV, 1710-11, pp. 326-28 (567). Letter of Dec. 26, 1710. See also
p. 17 (48-52),Jan. 9, 1710, and pp. 91-98 (228), Gov. Parks of Antigua to CTP,
May 11, 1710.
104. CSP XXIV, 1708-1709, p. 532 (872) CTP to Gov. Handasydc, Nov. 25,
105. CSP XXIV, 1708-1709, p. 95 (134), Earl of Sunderland to CTP, Sept. 14,
106. The French, at that time, seemed to have three African companies: the
Company of Guinea, of Senegal, and of St. Domingue. See Palacios, La Trata
de Negros por Cartagena de Indias, p. 128. See also NWIC 1, tol. 417. Session
of the Board of X, Nov. 30, 1707.
107. NWIC 202, fol. 431. Luls to Board of X, May 25, 1708.
108. NWIC 202, fols. 372-73. Beck to Board of X, May 26, 1708.
110. Ibid. Sessions of the Raadof March 13 and 19, 1708.
111. Gov. Beck trespassed Company's regulation by paying the crews of the
two slavers the Elmina and the Adrichem some wages resp. Ps. 264 and 365 to
buy new clothes to replace their raghs. He was severely reprimanded by the
Board. NWIC 202,fol. 461. Van Collen to Board of X, Jan. 31, 1709.
42 CORNELIS CH. GOSLINGA
112. NWIC 3, fol. 95. See on the Van Collen family Johan E. Elias, Geschie-
denis van her Amsterdamsche Regentenpatriciaat, 's-Gravenhage, 1923.
113. NWIC 2, fol. 48. Session of Board of X, Nov. 15, 1708; 202, fols.
577-78. Van Collen to Board of X,June 8, 1709.
114. NWIC 202, fols. 372 ff. Beck to Board ofX, May 26, 1708.
115. NWIC 2, fol. 197. Session of Board of X, Sept. 19, 1710.
116. NWIC 2, fol. 201. Session of Board of X, Sept. 22, 1710.
117. NWIC 202, fol. 580. Van Collen to Board of X, June 8, 1709.
118. NWIC 202, fol. 583. Res. of Road, June 1 and 2, 1709. Some gold was
also confiscated together with another nine Piezas de India and Ps. 1884 in cash.
119. NWIC 202, fols. 590-99, 601-602.
120. NWIC 203, fols. 1-2. Beck to Board of X,July 13, 1709.
121. NWIC 203, fols. 124-25. Declaration of Van Collen,July 5, 1709.
128. NWIC 203, fol. 513. Minutes of the Read. Placards were issued June 11,
July 9, and July 29, 1710.
129. NWIC 203, fol. 375.
130. NWIC 203, fol. 595. Postma, pp. 234 and 237.
131. NWIC 203, fols. 627-28.
132. NWIC 204, fols. 1-36. Van Collen to Board of X, March, 1711.
133. NWIC 204, fols. 52-53, 56-64 and 150-51. Van Collen to Board of X,
March 17, 1711.
CURACAO AS A SLAVE-TRADING CENTER
134. NWIC 204, fols. 340-43. Van Collen to Board of X, June 30, 1711; and
fol. 465. Van Collen to Board of X, April 12, 1712. The one slaver that arrived
was the Honaart (called by Postma Homert).
135. NWIC 204, fols. 467-69. Van Collen to the Board of X, April 12, 1712.
Van Collen was officially inaugurated as governor, being appointed by the
Board in its session of Dec. 5, 1711. The Venezuelan governor was Jose L. de
Cafias y Merino, born in Africa of Spanish parents and an active persecutor of
the contraband trade. See Luis A. Sucre, Goberadores y capitanes general de
Venezuela, Caracas, 1964, pp. 207-13. Documents in NWIC 204 are missing
from June 30, 1711 to April 12, 1712. Postma's study indicates that no slavers
with destination Curacao left Africa during this period.
136. NWIC 205, fol. 20. Van Collen to Board of X, May 17, 1713. Another
slaver which arrived in this year, the Clara changed its destination Surinam for
Curacao after hearing that the French under Cassard were operating in the Gui-
anas area. See fol. 379. Van Collen to Board ofX, May 18, 1713. Piezas de India
were sold in public auction for a little over Ps. 108.
137. This was the Adrichem. See NWIC 205, fols. 417-26. Van Collen to
Board of X, Febr. 10, 1714.
138. NWIC 205, fols. 585 ff. Van Collen to Board of X,Jan. 18, 1715.
139. NWIC 205, fols. 626-31. De Bij to Board of X, June 12, 1714; fols.
638-40. De Bij to Board of X, Nov. 27, 1714.
140. NWIC 206, fols. 73-76. De Bij to Board of X,July 4, 1715.
141. NWIC 206, fols. 101-102. De Bij to Board of X, Aug. 3, 1715.
142. NWIC 1, fol. 97.
143. NWIC 3, fols. 86-93.
144. NWIC 3, fols. 233-238. Session Nov. 3, 1713.
145. The Curacao slave trade did not end as abruptly as Postma's study indi-
cates. For 1716 Postma gives only one slaver with destination Curagao, the Gel-
derland. In reality four slavers dropped anchor in Willemstad in the course of
that year: the Nieuwe Post with 467 blacks out of 513; the Pida with 241 blacks
out of 257; Vlissings Welvaren with 194 slaves (no deaths!); and the Gelderland
(mentioned by Postma p. 236) with 141 blacks out of 146. In 1717, only one
slaver, the Emmenes, arrived with 449 blacks. Our research ended there.
If we must believe Postma, the ten years, from 1716 to 1725, saw only three
slavers in Willemstad.
prof. dr. C. Ch. Goslinga, Center for Latin American
Studies, University of Florida, Gainsville, Fla. 32601.
CORNELIS CH. GOSIUNGA
The materiel for this article was mainly found in ARA (Algemeen Rijksarchief),
The Hague in the following items:
Nieuwe West Indische Compagnie (New West India Company, NWIC), no.
1,2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, and no. 200, 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206. The first books
contain the minutes of the sessions of the Board of X during the years 1700
through 1716, the second collection of books contain the letters and other infor-
mation sent by the governors and other officials of the WIC in Curacao to the
Board of X over the same period.
Wapen van Holland
Quinira (orjufvrouw Quinira)
Vergulde Son (or Son)
Beurs van Amsterdam
Vergulde Son (or Son)
Beurs van Amsterdam
Coninck van Portugal
Vergulde Son (or Son)
Quinire (orjufaroxuw Quinira)
St. Clara (or Clara)
The Curafao slave trade during the War of the Spanish Succession
Greaf van Laarwiji
West Indisch Huis
Wapen van Holland
Bears van Amsterdam
Fida April 1700
Fida May 1700
Elmina June 1700
Fida Aug. 1700
not in P.
not in P.
not in P.
not in P.
not in P.
not in P.
not in P.
not in P.
not in P
not in P
not in P
ra ure e
ra ure a
Number of blacks
Beurs van Amsterdam
Coninck van Portugal
Son (or Vergulde Son)
1) Postma's date of the CmonvoRel's departure must be wrong. If this ship (also spelled Kroonvogel) left the West African coast in May,
1700, and passed Curacao inJanuary, 1701, the crossing of the Atlantic would have required an incredible eight months. Postma gives an
armazoen of 500 blacks; when it passed Curacao it carried 495 (NWIC 200, fol. 67). It disembarked in Cartagena only 406 (see Palacios,
2) The West Indisch Huis passed Curacao March 4, 1701, on its way to Cartagena.
3) The Faam passed Curacao March 28, 1701, with 436 blacks out of an armazoen of 505.
4) Information given by Postma in private correspondence.
5) The Africa probably never crossed the Atlantic. Information given by Postma in private correspondence.
6) The Moscow is an error of Postma, p. 237. Information given by Postma in private correspondence.
7) The Axim, P. p. 234 idem.
8) The Honaert (or Honaart) arrived Dec. 7, 1711 and disembarked 584 blacks. Information given by Postma in private correspondence.
9) The Acredam was diverted to Surinam. Idem.
10) The destination of the St. Clara was originally Surinam. Because of French privateering under Cassard it was diverted to Curacao.
11) Postma, p. 236 gives an armazoen of 617 1A .
In the period from 1700 through 1716 56 Dutch slavers crossed the Atlantic with destination Cartagena or Curacao. Of these 56 slavers 20 are
not mentioned by Postma. Five had Cartagena as their destination. Postma mentions only three. Of the 51 with destination Curacao private
correspondence with Postma revealed that four were diverted to the Guianas. Of the 47 slavers left six never dropped anchor in Willemstad. Of
the remaining 41 Postma mentions only 23.
However in private correspondence with Postma the latter revealed that he has completed much additional research (of which some is included
in this article as mentioned above). Consequently his (xeroxed) dissertation will be completely revised and hopefully soon published.
Sales of Slaves in Curacao 1700-1716
Wapen van Holland
Beurs van Amsterdam
Son (or Vergulde Son)
Bears van Amsterdam
Coninch van Portugal
Piczas Amount and sick slaves
263 11 Ps. 26,333.4
2315/6 Ps. 23,783.4
2131/6 Ps. 21,316.8
3055/6 Ps. 30,583.4
2145/6 Ps. 21,483.4
101 Ps. 10,100
412 1/6 Ps. 41,216.8
297 516 Ps. 29,783.4
301 aPs. 100 Ps. 30,183.4
79 a Ps. 108 Ps. 8.622
331 116 Ps. 30,583.4
475 1, Ps. 51.136
120 Ps. 12.960
327 Ps. 35.316
327 Ps. 35.316
Son (or Vergulde Son)
St. Clara (or Clara)
and sick slaves
A.C. BOLDEWIJN & H.E. LAMUR & R.A. LAMUR
LIFE TABLE FOR SURINAME 1964 1970
Between 1923 and 1962, the mortality rate of Surinam fell sharp-
ly from 24.4 to 8.8 per 1000 inhabitants. This downward trend
continued after 1962, although its rate of decline was less pro-
nounced than in the pre-1962 period: the deathrate decreased
from 8.8 per 1000 in 1962 to 6.6 in 1973 (Lamur 1973: 96-98;
1974: 551). The small decline during the 1960s is related to the
fact that as mortality drops, an optimum (saturation point) is
reached. As a result, the rate of the continuing decline dimin-
Table 1 indicates that the mortality decline is observable not only
Countries whose socio-economic structure is roughly similar to
that of Surinam, that is, Guyana and Trinidad, evince a similar
declining trend in their death rates. This is shown by the figures
published in the Demographic Yearbook. Guyana's mortality de-
creased from 28.5 per 1000 in 1923 to 6.8 per 1000 in 1970. The
figures for Trinidad were 20.8 and 6.8 (in 1971). The substantial
decrease in Surinam's death rate is closely connected with the de-
52 A.C. BOLDEWIJN & H.E. LAMUR & R.A. LAMUR
dining importance or contagious and parasitic diseases as mortali-
ty causes and this resulted from measures taken to improve public
health just before and after the Second World War (Lamur 1973:
The relatively low mortality level of Surinam is demonstrated
not only in the low death rates, but can also be derived from other
measurements such as mortality probability and life expectancy.
The purpose of this article is to discuss the changes in these in-
dices between 1964 and 1970. The analysis is based on data col-
lected in 1971 in Surinam.
In discussing the probability of dying and the life expectancy
of Surinam's population, migration has partly been ignored be-
cause of the lack of information that would permit a complete in-
vestigation of the role of this factor. However, this does not mean
that in general this variable may be omitted in studies on life
tables. And since migration to Holland was an important compo-
nent of the population growth of Surinam in the post-1962
period, some remarks on this demographic variable are needed to
gain an insight into the mortality level. Insofar as migration is
concerned in this article the discussion will be confined to two
factors, namely the age structure of the population and the
numerical representation of the ethnic groups.
Finally, it must be pointed out that the 50,000 Surinamers -
Maroons and Amerindians living in tribes are excluded from
the investigation, since the data for these groups have not been
broken down into categories and, in the available material, infor-
mation on age, sex and ethnic group is often omitted.
Probability of dying
The mortality probability and the life expectancy are computed
on the basis of 'a hypothetical cohort, which is taken through all
the ages of life and, at each of the various ages, is subjected to the
mortality conditions observed for real cohorts in the year (or
group of years) studied' (Pressat 1972: 113). For Surinam the
construction of the life table is derived from a cohort of 100,000
The results of the computations show that the mortality proba-
bilities for men exceeded those for women. But for both sexes the
rates remained virtually unchanged between 1964 and 1970.
Life Table for Surinamn, 1964 and 1970, and for Trinidad & Tobago, 1970 (Selected Age Group).
to age X within
at age X
54 A.C. BOLDEWIJN & H.E. LAMUR & R.A. LAMUR
Table 2 also indicates that the risks of mortality for infants de-
creased during the period under review. For boys the rate de-
clined from 43.9 to 38.4 per 1000 live births, while the equivalent
figures for girls were 40.6 and 33.3. This favorable (declining)
effect for infants was partly counterbalanced by a slight increase
of the risks for some of the higher age categories, namely the
brackets 15-19, 60-64 for men, and 45-49, 60-64 for women. In
the case of the high age groups, however, the rise in the mortality
rates is apparently due to the small numbers per category.
The mean length of life at age X is the number of years lived after
attaining that age. Table 3 indicates that life expectancy at birth
was higher for women than for men. In the period under review
the mean yearly discrepancy was roughly 4 points for Surinam as a
whole. For the Hindustani, the Creoles and the Javanese the dif-
ferences amounted to 3, 4, 5 points respectively. The life expec-
tancy at birth remained virtually unchanged between 1964 and
1970, holding at the level of 61.0 years for males, and 65.0 for
females. With the possible exception of the Javanese, this conclu-
sion applies more or less also to the ethnic groups. This trend is
consistent with the fact referred to earlier that the crude death
rate did not change either (Table 1). However, this particular case
of similarity between the measurements of mortality, life expec-
tancy and crude death rate, does not necessarily hold for other
periods of Surinam's demographic history.
As regards the various age groups, it is worth noting that the
mean length of life for the productive age group showed a slight
decline. This tends to indicate that other things remaining
equal the average number of economic-active years available
per member of the productive age category did not change dra-
matically between 1964 and 1970. In other words, the mean
length of time for which the group might continue as members of
the labour force remained unchanged.
Trinidad, which has a socio-economic structure somewhat
similar to that of Surinam has a life expectancy at birth that is 3
points higher on average than Surinam's. For the year 1970 the
LIFE TABLE FOR SURINAME 1964-1970 55
figures were 64.0 years for men and 68.0 for women (Central Stat.
Off. 1973 : 34-35; Popul. Index 1975 : 337). The lower life ex-
pectancy at birth for Surinam as a whole is partly due to the fact
the ethnic groups with a low life expectancy Hindustani and
Javanese form a greater proportion of Surinam's total popula-
tion than is the case in Trinidad and Tobago (see Table 4).
Apparently, the difference between Surinam and Trinidad
concerning the numerical representation of the ethnic groups has
Life expectancy in Surinam at Birth, 1964-1970
Year Creole Hindustani Javanese Surinam
M F M F M F M F
1964 65.0 68.0 60.0 63.0 60.0 62.0 61.0 65.0
1965 64.0 69.0 58.0 63.0 62.0 66.0 62.0 64.0
1966 66.0 70.0 61.0 63.0 63.0 64.0 63.0 67.0
1967 65.0 71.0 60.0 62.0 60.0 64.0 61.0 66.0
1968 65.0 71.0 60.0 62.0 64.0 67.0 62.0 67.0
1969 65.0 70.0 60.0 63.0 61.0 67.0 61.0 67.0
1970 66.0 69.0 60.0 63.0 61.0 65.0 61.0 65.0
Surinam includes small ethnic groups, but excludes tribal groups.
Values are rounded off: over 0.5 becomes 1.0.
Population by Ethnic Group in Surinam and Trinidad, 1960
(includes small ethnic groups, but excludes tribal groups)
Creole Hindustani /javanese Surinam
number % number % number %
102,649 40.0 142,049 55.3 256,526 100.0
(includes small ethnic groups. Source: Harewood 1975)
Creole Indian (= Hindustani) Trinidad
number % number % number %
493,337 59.6 301,946 36.5 827,957 100.0
56 A.C. BOLDEWIJN & H.E. LAMUR & R.A. LAMUR
increased during the 1960s. This growing discrepancy is mainly
caused by the ethnic-selective emigration of Surinamers to Hol-
land. 'Creole overrepresentation is also visible in the emigration
percentages: during this period the average yearly numbers were
17.9 per 1000 population for the Creoles, 4.8 per 1000 for the
Hindustani, and 1.6 for the Javanese. Note, however, that the
differences between the ethnic-specific emigration rates are
steadily declining.' (Lamur 1973: 131-132).
Apart from the numerical positions of ethnic groups, the age-
selective character of emigration may also influence the difference
in life expectancy between Surinam and Trinidad. However, the
migration figures for the two countries did not differ dramatically
during the period under review. As regards Surinam an average of
more than 70% of the net migrants were of working age (15-64
years), while for Trinidad the equivalent rate was 80% (Hare-
wood 1975: 22-23). So it is not likely that this factor can explain
the difference between the two countries.
A third possible cause of the mortality differentials between the
two countries is the growing urbanization of Maroons and Amer-
indians. It has been pointed out earlier in this article that tribal
groups were omitted. However, this proved to be impossible for
members of these groups who had already settled in the capital of
Surinam when the research for this paper began in 1971. Since
these groups have a relatively low mean length of life, their in-
clusion in the sample has contributed to Surinam's low life expec-
tancy as compared with Trinidad, where both Maroons and
Amerindians are absent. The 1964 General Population Census
put the number of Maroons and Amerindians in Surinam at
32,000, while the 1971 census counts 50,000 tribal people. Of
this total at least 8000 members had settled in Paramaribo and
The life table 1964-1970 in this article represents only selected
age groups. The complete table will be used together with the
fertility table for the same period (Lamur & Lamur in prep.) to
carry out demographic projections, both for the total population
and the about force.
The authors are grateful to Rod Aya for his assistance in preparing the English
version of this article.
LIFE TABLE FOR SURINAME 1964-1970
Central Bureau voor de Statistick, 1967. Sterftetafels voor Nederland, afgeleid
uit waarnemingen over de period 1961-1965. 's-Gravenhage, Staatsuitgeverij.
(Life tables for Holland, 1961-1965).
Central Statistical Office, 1973. Population abstract 1960-1970. Port-of-Spain.
Harewood, J., 1975. The population of Trinidad and Tobago. Port-of-Spain,
University of the West Indies.
Lamur, H.E., 1973. The demographic evolution of Surinam. 's-Gravenhage,
Lamur, H.E., 1974. De bevolkingsgroei van Suriname 1964-1973. Internationa-
le Spectator28 (16): 546-552. (Population growth of Surinam, 1964-1973)
Lamur, H.E., in press. Mortality levels in Surinam, 1950, 1964, 1970: the effect
of the age structure.
Lamur, H.E. & Lamur, R.A., in preparation. Family size and class-structure in
Measures of fertility, mortality, and reproduction of female populations. Popu-
lation Index 1975, 41 (2): 336-343.
Pressat, R., 1972. Demographic analysis: methods, results, application. New
United Nations. Demographic Yearbook, 1920-1973. New York, U.N.
Address of authors: Universitcit van Amsterdam,
Antrop.-Sociol. Centrum, Afd. Culturele Antropologic,
t A. Qc~/w
IN MEMORIAL FRATER M. REALINO
Op 22 februari 1977 overleed op 87-jarige leeftijd in het Frater-
huis Johannes Zwijsen te Tilburg Frater M. Realino-Janssen. Hij
was een zo groot en trouw vriend van hen die zich met het weten-
schappelijk onderzoek van de Nederlandse Antillen bezig hiel-
den, en heeft daarbij op Curapao zo veel gedaan om kennis en
liefde voor eigen land te bevorderen, dat het niet onjuist lijkt in
de N.W.I.G. voor zijn even en werken enige aandacht te vragen.
FrederikusJohannes AntoniusJanssen werd op 18 november 1889
te Zwolle geboren. Hij was de oudste zoon van Jacobus Theodo-
rusJanssen (1859-1951) die van zijn 14de tot zijn 28ste jaar als
matroos-zcilmaker vele zecen bevoer en daarbij ook Curanao leer-
Toen Frits op zesjarige leeftijd voor de cerste keer naar school
was geweest waarbij hij de boeken van het hoofd Frater Ful-
gentius Wulfers had mogen dragen zei hij: 'Ik wil 66k frater
worden', en, toen zijn moeder wat aarzelend keek: 'Nu, ik heb
het al lang met frater Fulgentius in orde gemaakt.'
En zo gebeurde hbet ook. Frits going op zijn dertiende jaar naar
de Kweekschool, kreeg op 25 april 1908 zijn onderwijzersbe-
voegdheid, en trad op 31 mei van ditzelfde jaar in de Congregatie
der Fraters van Onze Lieve Vrouw Moeder van Barmhartigheid tc
Tilburg, waarbij hij de kloosternaam Realino ontving.
Van 1 mci 1908 tot 1 februari 1915 stond hij achtercnvolgens
in vier scholen in Tilburg voor de klas, en daarna tot 1 januari
1917 in 's-Hertogenbosch. Drie maanden later vertrok hij naar
Curacao, waar hij tot 19 februari 1960 bleef.
Frater Realino was een studichoofd. Na cen akte Duits L.O. (in
1913) behaalde hij nog een diploma voor Vrije en Ordeoefenin-
gen (1914), de hoofdaktce (1916) en (in 1923, op Curacao) de akte
Op Curacao werd Realino, reeds cen goede maand na aan-
komst, benoemd tot hoofd van het St. Thomas-College, cen
functie welke hij echter slechts tot december 1919 heeft vervuld.
IN MEMORIAL FRATER M. REALINO
In deze tijd toen de ondcrwijsmogelijkheden op Curacao
nog niet zo heel groot warren wist hij zich door zelfstudie zo te
bekwamen dat hij in staat was op wetcnschappelijk gebied twee
leerboeken samen te stellen, special bestemd voor het Antil-
liaanse onderwijs, hetgeecn toen stellig iets bijzonders was. In
1929 verscheen er ceen aardrijkskunde-bockjc over de Nederlandse
Antillen en de overige eilanden van het Caraibische Zee, dat in
1931 en 1938 in nieuwe bewerkingen werd herdrukt. In 1935
volgde ceen Plantkunde van Curajao, dat in 1947 ceen tweede druk
beleefde. Daarbij bouwde hij naarstig voort aan cen bibliotheek
van geschriften met betrekking tot West-Indii, vooral op histo-
risch gebied, in het bijzonder gedurende de laatste tien jaren op
Curapao toen hij als archivaris en bibliothecaris op het St. Tho-
mas-College werkzaam was. (Na de opheffing van het St. Tho-
mas-College in augustus 1970, werd deze 'Westindische Biblio-
theek' als apart cenheid opgenomen in de Ccntrale Bibliotheek
van het Fraterhuis te Tilburg.)
Frater Realino werd reeds in 1945 lid van de ecrder in dat jaar
opgerichte 'Natuurwetenschappelijke Studickring voor Suriname
en de Nederlandse Antillen' en was in 1954 medeoprichter van
de 'Natuurwetenschappelijke Werkgrocp Nederlandse Antillen'.
Vele jaren lang was hij Regent van 'Het Curagaosche Museum.'
Bij dit allies bleef hij een bij uitstek rustige en bescheiden figuur,
zwijgzaam van aard, die zich nimmer op de voorgrond plaatste.
Niemand was dan ook meer verwonderd dan hij, toen hij om
zijn grote verdiensten op onderwijsgebied op 30 april 1949
werd benoemd tot Ridder in de Orde van Oranje-Nassau.
Met zijn grote kennis van planten en dieren was Realino toch
geen veldbioloog; daarvoor zat zijn verlangen naar de studeer-
kamer te diep en was zijn belangstelling voor ook andere zaken te
groot. Van zijn bchocfte om zijn kennis van de cilanden te blij-
ven toetsen aan de ontwikkelingen van de wetenschap getuigen
de herziene uitgaven van zijn beide schoolbocken. Zo werden in
de derde druk van zijn aardrijkskundeboek (wel enigszins ten
koste van de homogeniteit van de inhoud) tal van nieuwe gegc-
vens verwerkt, als resultaat van zijn ontmoeting met de leden van
de Utrechtse geologische excursic, in 1930 door prof. dr. L.M.R.
Rutten naar de Antillen ondernomen.
IN MEMORIAL FRATER M. REALINO
Deze ontmoeting is niet alleen voor Frater Realino van beteke-
nis geweest. Nog vele keren hebben deelnemers aan deze expedi-
tie, bij herhaalde bezocken aan Curapao, de weg naar de koele
ontvangkamer van het Sint Thomascollege weten te vinden, om
te kunnen pratcn over de vele dingen waarin men samen belang-
stelde, wonder het genot van een 'potteke bier' en cen dikke sigaar
van Elisabeth Bas de vrouw die binnen deze muren het meeste
Na zijn terugkeer in Nederland is Frater Realino 'op pension'
gegaan. Hij heeft toen nog korte tijd gewerkt in de administrative
van de central studiebibliotheek. Daarna heeft hij alle foto's van
de Nederlandse Antillen, die op het archief in grote hoeveelheid
aanwezig waren, geordend en beschreven, en vervolgens ook nog
die van Suriname en andere gebieden.
De laatste jaren van zijn even bracht Realino door met stude-
ren. Hij vertaalde veel Spaanse artikelen en maakte daarover mas-
sa's aantekeningen zo'n drichonderd cahiers duidelijk, regel-
matig handschrift in de hoop dat deze later nog ceens van nut
zouden kunncn zijn.
Hoewel moeilijk ter been en gehinderd door ceen toenemende
doofheid, had hij vrede met zijn oude dag, waarin tot zijn
grote vreugde het broken van sigaren hem nimmer werd ont-
Realino's plechtige uitvaart in de Kapel van het Moederhuis in
Tilburg waarbij Mgr. HJ.C.M de Cocq hcet woord voerde -
was een waardig afscheid van iemand die in harmonic met zijn
omgeving lange tijd op Curafao had doorgebracht en daarbij niet
anders dan vrienden had ontmoct.
Het lichaam wcrd begraven op Huize Steenwijk te Vught, 22
IN MEMORIAL FRATER M. REALINO
IUJST VAN PUBLICATIES
in chronologische volgorde
Fr. M. Realino, 1929, Aardrijkskunde. Dc eilanden van Nederlandsch West-In-
die. De overige eilanden van West-lndil. Venezuela en Columbia. Uitgave van
her St. Thomas-College, Curapao. Drukkerij van bet R.K. Jongensweeshuis, Til-
burg; 120 blz. 21 x 14 cm, (69) afb. ('dit schoolboekje is de tweede, vcermeer-
derde druk van: Aardrijkskunde I. Dc kolonie Curapao en de verdere West-In-
dische eilanden. 1926. Her werd in 1926 uitgegeven voor het R.K. Lager Onder-
wijs door Fr. M. Hcrmenigild..., 18 biz. zonder afb.)
Fr. M. Realino, 1931. Onze eilanden in Nederlandsch West-Indi en de overige
eilanden van de Caraibische Zee, Venezuela en Columbia. Tweede hcrzicne
druk. Idem; 170 biz., (107) afb.
(1934). Het stadsdistrict Willemstad. Schaal 1 : 20.000. R.K. Bockhandel St.
Augustinus, Curanao; 2c druk, kaart 22 x 47 cm.
Frater M. Realino, 1934. CuraaoQ (Alpgmcog tahstihuiag Natsyt in Mestsb
54, no. 4-5 (Curagao nummer), blz. 13-17, (3) afb.
Fr. M. Realino, 1935. Plantkunde van Curasao voorM.U.L.O. R.K. Bockhandel
'St. Augustinus', St. Thomas-College, Curacao; 133 blz. 23 x 15 cm, (78) afb.
(foto's van fr. M. Arnoldo-Broeders; verschenen in maart 1936).
Fr. M. Realino, 1936. Vragenboekje bij 'Plantkunde van Curasao...'. Idem; 40
Fr. M. Realino, 1938. De Nederlandse Antillen en de overige eilanden van de
Cararbische Zee, Venezuela en Colombia. Derde herziene druk. Idem; 214
blz., (163 + 1)afb.
Fr. M. Rcalino, 1940. Schoolatlasje beborend bij De Nederlandse Anti/len...
Idem; 32 b1z.
Fr. M. Realino, 1941. Vragenboekje bij 'De Nederlandse Antillen...' 2e druk.
R.K. Boekhandel 'St. Augustinus' Curagao; 26 (+ 6) biz. 20 x 14% cm.
(1943?). MULO-dierkunde. (Curacao), (34 + 28) blz. 18 x 22 cm stencil met afb.
Fr. M. Realino, 1947. Plantkunde van Curamao voor M.U.L.O. Tweede druk.
Idem; 188 blz., 209 afb.
Fr. M. Rcalino, 1948. Vragenboekje bij de tweede druk van Plantkunde...
Idem; 38 biz.
IN MEMORIAL FRATER M. REALINO
Frater Realino, 1948. Het land; flora; fauna. Orange en de zes Cararbische pare-
len, p. 63-70.
Fr. Realino, 1949. Aruba. De Katholieke Encycoplaedie, Tweede druk, deel 3,
kolom 142-150, 2 kaarten, 4 foto's op 2 platen buiten de test.
Fr. M. Realino Janssen, 1961. In memorial Frater M. Radulphus, 1869-1961.
Nieuwe West-Indische Gids 41, blz. 61-64, portret buitcn de tekst.
Bij gelegenheid van Fr. Realino's 86ste verjaardag verscheen er cecn artikel in La
Union (12 Nov. '75). Na zijn overlijden verschenen er stukjes van de hand van
fr. Wibcrtus Rictman in de Bears, de Amigoe (23 febr.) en La Union (2 maart).
De schrijver van dit artikel is de beer A.F. Janssen (jongere broer van Fr. Reali-
no) en Fr. Caesario Peters (archivaris van her Fraterhuis in Tilburg) dankbaar
voor het verstrekken van enkele gegevens welke in dit In Memoriam konden
P. WAGENAAR HUMMELINCK
Fa joe kan tak' mi no moi. Inleiding in de flora en vegetarie van Suriname,
wonder redactic van A.M.W. Mennega. Deel 1: Flora (plantenbeschrijvingen),
doorJ.G. Wessels Boer, W.H.A. Hekking enJ.P. Schulz. Natuurgids series B
no. 4, Stinasu, Paramaribo, 1976, p. 1-129 en 130-293, ill. (Sf 16,50; ver-
krijgbaar in Nederland door overschrijving van f 25,- + / 4,- op giro 273185
van mevr. dr. A.M.W. Mennega te Bilthoven wonder vcrmelding 'Wandcl-
Deze twee bockjcs same Surinaamse IVandelflora genoemd bevatten be-
schrijvingen en figure van 234 wilde plantesoorten uit Suriname die door de
gewone burger in het ontsloten decl van dat land kunnen worden waargeno-
men. Die beschrijvingen en ook die figure mogcn zondcr meer uitstckend ge-
noemd worden. Bij het kiezen van de soorren heeft als criterium gegolden dat
iedere Surinaamse plantcnfamilic door fEn of enkele karakteristieke en tevens
algemcen voorkomende soorten vertengenwoordigd most zijn. De aldus tot
stand gekomcn sclcctic is derhalve klein, maar geeft desondanks cen vrij repre-
sentatief beeld van de flora van het bestreken gebied. Hiertoe word nog bijge-
dragen door de meer algemene aantekeningen over de betreffende families,
waarbij vaak bekende maar niet opgenomen soorten (w.o. ook cultuurgewasscn
en ook niet-Surinaamse) worden aangehaald.
Aan de plantebeschrijvingcn gaan twee hoofdstukken vooraf, resp. geheten
'Inleiding' en 'lets over systematiek, vorm en bouw van planten'. Deze twee be-
vatten wat hun titel doct veronderstellen, het tweede bovendien cen duidelijke
uiteenzetting over de rol van de grocne planten in de biosfeer en in hct bijzon-
der over hun betekenis voor de mensen. Achteraan vinden we ceen verklarend re-
gister van termcn en cen register van *plantenamen, beide onmisbare
Het lijkt aannemelijk, dat her met bchulp van deze wandelflora mogelijk is
cen algemeen beeld van de floristische verscheidenheid van het bereikbare deel
van Suriname te vcrkrijgcn. Na cnige oefening zal het de geinteresseerde en
enigszins ontwikkelde leek wellicht in de meeste gevallen gelukken al bladercnd
en lezend een gevonden plant bij de juiste familic thuis te brengen. Daarbij zal
het dan echter veelal moeten blijvcn. De kans dat men toevallig ceen upgenomen
soort tc pakkcn heeft, blijft natuurlijk klein.
Tot zover kan de bespreking van doel, opzet, inhoud en uitvoering van deze
flora lovend zijn. Er is echter ook aanleiding tot enige serieuze kritick.
In taalkundig opzicht laat de flora tc wensen over op cen aantal punten, van
welke ik de voornaamste noemen wil. Het is duidelijk, dat de schrijvers hun best
hebben gedaan zich in hun taalgebruik aan dat van Suriname aan te passcn,
maar ze zijn daarin niet steeds voldoende geslaagd. Bijvoorbeeld: 'ruderaal'
had in het register verklaard moeten worden, 'ruigte' is in Suriname cen vol-
strekt onbekend woord, en men mag zich afvragen hoevcel Surinamers zich iets
kunnen voorstellen bij 'zalmkleurig', 'steenrood' of zelfs 'dakpansgcwijs'.
Bij de volksramen worden dezelfde categorieen onderscheiden als door Os-
tendorf (Nuttige planted en sierplanten in Suriname, 1962), maar bet gebeurt
hier minder nauwkeurig. Vcrder betekent deze overname helaas ook, dat er bij
de Surinaams-Nederlandse en zelfs bij de 'standaard'-Nederlandse name soms
gerept wordt van cen 'feitelijk onjuiste naam'. Hier wordt volkomen ten on-
rechte gesuggerceerd, dat er ccen verband zou bestaan of behoren te bestaan tus-
sen wetcnschappelijke namen en volksnamen. Een voorbeeld: allccn Liliaceae
zouden lelic mogen hetcn; bij cen andere plant met die naam wordt in dcze
flora hct woord lelic tussen aanhalingstckens gczct, dus: Braziliaanse 'lelic',
water-'lIclie', e.d. Zo ook: 'amandel'-boom, bos-'katoen', bos-'druif, bos-
roos', ster-'appel', wilde 'pinda', 'mispel', etc. Soms wordt 't vergeten, bijv.
bij bosananas, matrozenroos en matrozendruif. Dc schrijvers blijkecn warcmpcl
te vinden, dat we dat in Nederland ook zouden mocten doen: zie niet alleen de
al genocmdc watecr-'lclic', die in Nederland evenmin als in Suriname cen Lilia-
cee is, maar ook de water-'hyacint', een puur Nederlandse naam! Stel je voor:
dag-'lelie', ster-'hyacint', Engels 'gras', 'look'-zonder.look, etc., etc., etc.
Nog cen Nederlandse naamkwestic. Het lijkt me, gezien de grote vcrschillcn
gecn goed idee om de Surinaamse tcrrescrische Utricularia's de naam op te plak-
ken van de Nederlandse aquatische, nl. blaasjeskruid.
In de Sranan namen zitten cen paar merkwaardige fouten. Uit de Woorden-
lijst (Bureau Volkslcctuur, 1961) is de drukfout socnsaka voor socrsaka (- zuur-
zak, NB) consequent overgenomen en verder vermelden test an register 'redi
paka' voor Aciotis fragiis, cen plant die bladcren hceft met ccn opvallend rode
achterkant (Sranan: redi baka) en daarom zo hcct. Je zou haast gaan denken,
dat de auteurs gcen van alien ook maar cen flauw idee van het Sranan hebben,
ondanks de titel van de flora (zic bovcn), die de cerste rcgcl is van cen voorin af-
gedrukt gcdicht. Van wic is dat cigenlijk?
Dan nog icts over de achtergrond waartegen deze flora gezien moet wordcn. Uit
het feit, dat de rcdactic bcrust bij dr. Mcnnega, hoewcl zij noch tot dc auteurs
van dit cerste deel, noch tot die van het tweede te schrijvcn door dr. Schulz
en handelcnde over de vcgetatic behoort, zal het een icder duidelijk zijn, dat
de vcrschijning in de cerste plants aan haar ijveren te dankcn is. Her is te begrij-
pen, dat zij, met haar pcnsionering in hct nabije verschict, nu eindelijk wcl cens
cen floristisch werk voor gewone Surinamers het Instiruut voor Systematische
Plantkunde van de Utrechtse universiteit wilde zicn verlatcn. Want diar is dcze
flora toch in elkaar gezet. Zij verdient daarvoor in Suriname grote dankbaar-
heid. Echter, her is 66k daar, dat men al vele, vele jaren geleden Suriname cen
echte zakflora in het vooruitzicht hccft gcstcld. Ecn flora waarmce ille plantcn
van her gebied dat door deze wandelflora bestrckcn word, op naam zullen kun-
nen worden gebracht. Wanneer deze wandelflora de voltooiing van de zakflora
niet zal stimuleren maar nog weer verder op de lange baan zal doen schuiven -
en dat is te vrezen, 'ze hcebben nu toch lets' is het maar zeer de vraag of
Suriname nu wel zo blij moet zijn.
'Wandelflora': cen neologisme en, naar ik vcrmoed, ook cen eufemisme.
Jammer genocg zijn de boekjes zo primitief in elkaar genict, dat men er niet
gauw toe zal komen ze bij zich te steken.Je kunt ze nl. nict open necrelggen, er
zijn twee handen voor nodig om ze open te houden. En her zal ook wel niet
mecvallen om te voorkomen dat de mooic kafcjes er al gauw afgaan.
J. van Donselaar
St. Eustatius. A short history ofthe island and its monuments, door Y. (Ypic)
Attema. De Walburg Pcrs, Zutphen, Nov. 1976, 87 blz., 26 figure op 16
platen buiten de test (f 15,-).
In vergclijking met die voor Curacao is de wetenschappelijke belangstelling voor
St. Eustatius altijd maar goring geweest. Wanneer er al aandacht aan dit eiland
en zijn bevolking werd besteed, dan gebeurde dit altijd in verhandelingcn over
'de Bovcnwindse Eilanden'. Pas in de 70-er jaren kwam daarin verandering. Een
van de cerste belangrijke publikatics was de gestencilde doctoraal-scriptic van
W. van den Bor: Not too bad (Wageningen, 1973); cen andere het hicr te be-
spreken bock van Ypie Attema. Mevrouw Attema was 66n van de vier studenten
die in 1972 op initiative van prof. dr. C.L. Temminck Groll en gesubsidicerd
door Sticusa voor een maand naar St. Eustatius werden uitgezonden om daar
cen inventaris te maken van de historische monumenten. Bij deze inventarisatie
behoorde ook een archiefonderzoek, een en ander met her doel cen goede be-
scherming en cen restauratie van deze monumenten mogelijk te make.
Een van de resultaren van deze uitzending was het in Jrg. 50, no. 1 van dit
tijdschrift besproken Conserveringsplan voor het eiland Sint Eustatius van
H.J.F. de Roy van Zuydewijn (Delft, 1974), een ander hcet bock van Ypic Attc-
ma, dat blijkens de prospectus van de uitgever special samcngesteld werd ter
gelegenheid van de 'bicentennial': her feit dat het in 1976 twcchonderd jaar
geleden was dat de Amerikaanse vlag voor her eerst in her buitcnland met sa-
luutschoten werd begroct. Het is cen fraai en uitcrst lecsbaar werk, met cen En-
gelse en cen (wat kortere) Nederlandse tekst en vele met zorg uitgezochte illus-
Omdat aan deze publication mede archiefonderzoek ten grondslag ligt, her-
haalt de schrijfster gclukkig nict de bekende onjuistheden, zoals over 'het' sa-
luutschot. Ook zet zij helder uiteen dat niet de aanval van Rodney in 1771 de
oorzaak was van hcet verval van de Gqudcn Rots, maar veranderingen in her pa-
troon van de international handel en de vele machtswissclingcn ni Rodney's
overval (met name het Engelse bestuur van 1801-1802), gedurende welk de han-
del geheel tot stilstand kwam.
Aan het einde van haar bock pleit de schrijfster voor heart anmoedigen van
een kleinschalig toerisme (van historisch geinteressecrde bezockers). Een dcrge-
lijke ontwikkeling zou cen verlichting kunnen betekenen voor de nood op dit
arme eiland. Gezien de ongunstige neven-effecten van her tocrisme op vele
plaatsen elders in heart Caraibisch gebied, is het echtger te hopcn dat de nodige
maatregelen worden getroffen om zo'n kleinschaligheid te waarborgen, zodat
hbet ciland nict overwoekerd wordt door ccn tocristcn-industric.
Tcnslotte nog cen enkele opmerking: geen enkcle publikatic wordt gespaard
voor drukfouten zoals relatiatory i.p.v. retaliatory (p. 20); incorrect is echter
governor als vertaling voor gezaghebber (p. 46) en zeker wanneer er staat 'Each
island now has a governor or administrator'. De zin zou mocten luiden '... a
It. governor or an administrator'. De op St. Maarten zetelende functionaries is zo-
wel Gezaghebber van St. Maarten, als van het 'Eilandgebied De Bovenwindse
Eilanden'. Op Saba en St. Eustatius elk word hij vertcgenwoordigd door een
Ecn dergclijk schoonheidsfoutjec daargelaten kan echter gesteld wordcn dat
Ypie Attema velen een dienst heeft bewezen met haar voortreffelijke boek over
L.J. van der Steen
Continued from N. W.I.G. 51, 1976, p. 36-54, and previous lists since 1947. -
Publications not seen by the compiler of this incomplete bibliography are not
included. The existence of a Summary is indicated by a translation of the
Amigoe Rotaprint N. V. 8 Mei 1976. 12 pp. 57 H x 38 % cm, ill. See also:
Feest, Amigoe 8.V.1976.
And the day begins with flamingoes. Bonaire moments, by Allan Pospisil
(prose) & Ronald Keller (drawings). Bonaire Petroleum Corporation N.V.,
1976, vi + 89 pp. 21 x 13% cm, ill.
Association of Island Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean. Twelfth Meeting.
Curacao 22-26 September 1976. Abstracts. Carmabi, Curacao, (Oct. 1976), 62
pp. 29 x 22 cm.
Attema, Y. (Ypie): St. Eustatius. A short history of the island and its monu-
ments. De Walburg Pers, Zutphen, Holland, Nov. 1976, 87 pp. 24 x 16 cm,
26 figs. on 16 pages excl., 2 cover figs.
Baker, RobertJ. & Jones, J. Knox & Carter, Dilford C. (ed.): Biology of bats of
the New World family Phyllostomatidae. Part I. Spec. Publ. Museum Texas
Tech Univ. 10, 1976, 218 pp., ill. (incl. Surinam).
Begroting van de Nederlandse Antillen voor het dienstjaar 1976. Staten van de
Nederlandse Antillen. Zitting 1975-1976-54, iv + 233 pp. 20% x 29 cm.
Bennekom, A.J. van & Tijssen, S.B. & Veen, K. van der & Visser, M.P.: Diep
water langs de noordkust van Zuid-Ameriha. Wet. Rapport 76-13 K.N.M.I.
1976, 11 + (21) pp., 20 figs. (CICAR, mimeogr.)
BerrangE, Jevan P.: A synopsis of the geology ofsouthern Guyana. Institute of
Geological Sciences, Overseas Division, Photogeol. Unit, Report 26, iv + 16 +
(1) pp., 5 figs., 2 loose col. maps. (Geomorph. map 86 x 75 cm; tect./geol.
map 106 x 72 cm, approx. I : 500,000. Incl. discussed Surinam territory.)
Bibliografia actual del Caribe. Current Caribbean bibliography. Vol. 12-14,
1962-64. Biblioteca regional del Caribe, SanJuan, Puerto Rico, 1976, x + 191
Bond,James: Birds of the West Indies. Fourth Edition. Collins, London, 1974,
256 pp. 19 x 12 / cm, 186 figs., 16 col. pis excl. (1st ed. 1960. Cur, Ar. and
Booi, Walter & Kristensen, Ingvar (cd.): Bida den laman. I. Stinapa 10, March
1976, 51 pp, 22 x 16 cm adv. excl., ill.
Bak, R.P.M.: Koral bibo i koral morto, p. 9-11,4 figs.
Hof, T. van 't: Wairu i mata riba nos refnan, p. 12-16, 5 figs.
Kruijf, H.A.M. de: Spons, p. 17-19, 3 figs.
Eys, G.J.M. van: E ta pretu i e ta hinka, p. 20-23, 3 figs.
Corsten, A.J.A. & Corsten, C.J.F.M.: Kuminda den laman, p. 24-28, 5 figs.
Hof, T. van 't: 'Upwclling' loke ta abou ta bini ariba, p. 29-31, 2 figs.
B.A. de Boer: Mira ki kolb ta haci, p. 32-35, 4 figs.
Luckhurst, B.E. & Luckhurst, K.: Gordo ku flaku, p. 36-39, 4 figs.
Kristensen, I.: Kolebranan di awa, p. 40-43, 3 figs.
Nagelkerken, W.: Mi tin dos tata, ta unda mi mama a keda?, p. 44-46, 2 figs.
Short articles on the 'life in the sea', previously published in the Amigoe and
Beurs- en Nieuwsberichten, translated into Papiamento, with captions in Eng-
lish and Dutch.
Brenneker, Paul: Geneeskrachtige kruiden van de Antillen. (Curacao), 1976, 60
pp. 14 x 9cm.
Brokopondo research report, Suriname, Part II. J. van der Heide, in collabo-
ration with P Leentvaar and i. Meyer: Hydrobiology of the man-made Broho-
pondo Lake. Publ. Found. Sci.Res. Suriname and N.A. 90, 95 pp., 35 figs., 18
Bruijne, G.A. de: Paramaribo, Stadsgeografische studies van een ontwikke-
lingsland. Geografische verkenningen 5. Romen (Unieboek b.v.), Bussum,
1976, 335 pp. 21 x 13 cm, ill. (Srad en platteland..., p. 9-142, 4 figs.; De Li-
banezen...; Sociaal-ruimtelijke posities..., p. 181-302, 29 figs.; Bevolkings-
dichtheid en huurwaardehoogte..., 5 figs.; Faktorenanalyse van residenticle
differentiatic..., p. 320-355, 1 fig.
Buisonj6, P.H. de & Zonneveld, J.I.S.: Caracasbaai: a submarine slide of a
huge coastal fragment in Curayao. Publ. Nat. Sci. Study Group N.A. 22;
N. W.I.G. 51, 1976, p. 55-88, 13 figs.
Butter, J.R.: Verslag van een bezoek aan de Bovenwindse Eilanden van 12 tot
en met 20 augustus 1975 in opdracht van her Kabinet voor Surinaamse en Ne-
derlands-Antilliaanse Zaken, (1976), (2) + 11 + (16) pp. mimeogr.
(Agriculture on St. Martin, Saba and St. Eustatius.)
Caldwell, John C.: Let's visit the West Indies. Burke Publ. Comp. London,
1972, new rev. ed., 96 pp., col. ill. (N.Ant. p. 89-93, 4 figs.)
(Calendar) 1975, Lago Oil & Transport Co., Aruba, 12 col. phot., 30 x 21h
Capello, Abram A.: Chispa diPoesia. Curacao, 1976, 24 pp. 20% x 12 cm.
Caraibisch Marien-Biologisch Instituut, see: Stichting Car. Mar. Biol. Inst.
Caribbean Geological Conference, VIIIth -. 8eme Conference Geologique des
Caraibes. 80o Conferencia Gcol6gica del Caribc. 8ste Caraibische Geologische
Conferentie. Curagao 9-24 July 1977. Geologisch Instituut, Amsterdam;
president H.J. Mac Gillavry, secretary D.J. Beets. Abstracts, 250 pp. (+ 12
pp. added); Guide, vi + 120 pp. + 4 loose folding maps; 24 x 17 cm, ill.
Baker, P.E. & Buckley, F. & Padfiels, T.: Petrology of the volcanic rocks of
Beets, D.J. & Mac Gillavry, H.J. & Klaver, G.: Volcanic-sedimentary facies as-
sociations in the Washikemba Formation; p. 13-15, 2 figs.
Beunk, F.F. & Klaver, G.: Geochemistry of the igneous rocks of Bonaire, Aruba
and Curacao; p. 17-18.
Fockc,Jaap W.: Notes on marine 'tidal' erosion of limestone cliffs; notches and
benches; p. 48-49, 1 fig. (Curacao)
Fock & Gebelein, Conrad D.: Rhodolites on the Bermuda for reet slope; p.
50-51, 3 figs.
Helmers, H.: The hooibergites of Aruba; p. 70-71.
Herweijer,J.P.: A more complete picture of Quaternary sea levels from gcomor-
phological evidence on Curacao; p. 72.
Herweijcr: Erosion processes on Curacao; p. 73.
Hunter, V.F.: Foraminiferal correlations of Tertiary mollusc horizons of the
southern Caribbean area; p. 75-76.
Ladd,John W. & Watkins, Joel S.: Compressional features of the northern and
southern margins of the Venezuela Basin...; p. 96-97.
Mac Gillavry: Senonian rudists from Curacao and Bonaire: a typical Antillean
fauna; p. 101-102.
Mac Gillavry & Beets: The Rincon problem or how to confuse the geologist;
Meer Mohr, C.G. van der: The dolomite of Piedra di Bonaire; p. 119-120.
Meer Mohr, van der: The genesis of the carbonate crusts in the salihas di Cai on
Bonaire; p. 121-122.
Priem, H.N.A. & Beets & Boelrijk, N.A.I.M. & Hebeda, E.H. & Verdurmen,
E.A.Th. & Verschure, R.H.: Isotopic dating of the quartz diorite batholith on
Aruba; p. 149-150, 1 fig.
Priem & Andriessen, P.A.M. & Beets & Boelrijk & Hebeda & Verdurmen &
Verschure: Isotopic dating in the crystalline core of Bonaire; p. 151-152, 2 figs.
Priem & Andricssen & Beets & Boelrijk & Hebeda & Verdurmen & Verschure:
Isotopic dating in the crystalline core of Curacao; p. 153-154, 1 fig.
Roobol, M.J. & Smith, A.L.:Pumic eruptions in the Lesser Antilles; p. 166-167
Scatterday, James W.: Mortality of corals in shallow reef biotopes during pro-
longed periods of low water observations off Bonaire; p. 172-173.
Schubert, C. & Szabo, B.J.: Radiometric ages of Pleistocene marine terraces of
La Blanquilla island and Curacao; p. 178-179.
Skerlec, Grant M. & Hardgraves, Robert B.: Tectonic significance of palaco-
magnetic data from the islands of the southern Caribbean boundary and north-
ern Venezuela; p. 190-191.
Smit,J.: Planktonic foraminiferal faunas from the upper part of the Washikem-
ba Formation, Bonaire; p. 192-193, 1 fig.
Wong, Th. E. & Lissa, R.V. van: Preliminary report on the occurrence of Ter-
tiary goldbearing gravels in Suriname; p. 231-232.
Zonneveld,J.I.S.: Presentation of hydrographical maps of the Netherlands An-
tilles; p. 233-235, 4 figs.
Zonneveld: Saba and the Saba-bank; p. 236-237, 1 fig.
Guide to the field excursions on Curafao, Bonaire and Aruba, Netherlands
Beets, DJ. & Mac Gillavry, H.J.: Outline of the Cretaceous and early Tertiary
history of Curacao, Bonaire and Aruba; p. 1-6, fig. 1-2.
Beets: Cretaceous and early Tertiary of Curacao; p. 7-17, fig. 3-7.
Beets & Mac Gillavry & Klaver, G.: Geology of the Cretaceous and early
Tertiary of Bonaire; p. 18-28, fig. 8-9.
Helmers, H. & Beets: Geology of the Cretaceous of Aruba; p. 29-38, diagr. 1.
Herwcijcr,J.P. & Buisonjc, P.H. de & Zonneveld, J.l.S.: Neogene and Quater-
nary geology and geomorphology; p. 39-55, fig. 10-15.
Zonneveld & Buisonjc, de & Hcrweijer: Geomorphology and denudation pro-
cesses; p. 56-68, fig. 16-18.
Field trip ofa general nature to Bonaire; p. 69-75, fig. 19-25.
Meer Mohr, C.G. van der: Field trip to the salifias of Bonaire; p. 76-87, fig.
Field trip of a general nature to Aruba; p. 88-91, fig. 32.
Mac Gillavry: Field trip to the Eocene of the Cer'i Cueba; p. 92-95, fig. 33-35.
Beets: Field trip to late Senonian Knip Group, Zevenbergen, Northwest Cura-
cao; p. 96-99, fig. 36-37.
FockeJ.W.: Field trip to Boca Wandomi, Curacao; p. 100-101, fig. 38.
Field trip of general nature to southeast Curacao; p. 102-108, fig. 39-40.
Field trip of a general nature to northwest Curacao; p. 109-115, fig. 41-44.
Field trip to Washikemba Formation of Bonaire; p. 116-120, fig. 45-47.
Caribbean zooplankton, I & II. Office Naval Res. / NORDA, Bay St. Louis,
Miss. (Gov. Print. Off. Washington), 1976, vi + 712 pp. 26 x 20 cm, ill. -
H.B. Michel & Maria Foyo: Siphonophora, Heteropoda, Copepoda, Euphausia-
cea; Chaetognatha and Salpidae, p. 1-549; D.A. Haagensen: Thecosomata,
Carmabi, see: Stichting Car. Mar. Biol. Inst.
Central Bank van Suriname. Verslag over 1973. Paramaribo, (1976), 99 + (20)
Claassen, A.G.M.: Bevolking en arbeid Aruba. Dienst Econ. Ontw. Aruba,
1974, 29 pp.; 1975, 34 pp. mimeogr.
Croes, Eric La: Sla habri i mi ta sere Aku un slasera. (Curacao, 1977), 20 % x 12
cm. (Proverb: start softly, finish loud; poetry & prose.)
Curasao. Guide to successful investments. Island Government of Curacao,
Dept. for Industrialization and Development, Willemstad, N.A. Nov. 1976, 56
pp. 21 x 17 cm.
Curacao. Stable industrial prospects in the Caribbean. Dept. Industrial. and
Developm. Curacao; Sti. Bevord. Invest. Ned. Ant. 's-Gravenhage, Foto
Fisher, Repro Curacao N.V., (1976), 32 pp. with 61 col. ill. 21 x 27 % cm excl.
Cultureel mozarik van de Nederlandse Antillen. Constanten en varianten door
RenE A. Romer en -. Technisch redacteurJ.W. Benncbroek Gravenhorst (Sti-
cusa). De Walburg Pers Zutphen, 1977, 358 pp. 21 % x 14 cm, 32 pls. (6 in
colour) excl., col. cover.
Romer: Inleiding, p. 7-34, 4 pis.
1 Romer, R.A.: Enkele gebruiken en gewoontecn, p. 35-42.
2 Streefkcrk O.P., C.: Godsdienstige gebruikcn en opvattingcn, p. 43-56.
- 3 Marks, A.F.: Gezinsvormen en gezinscultuur, p. 56-75, 2 pis.
4 Romer, R.G.: De taalsituatic op de Nedcrlandse Antillen, p. 76-95.
5 Dcbrot, N. (Cola): Verworvenheden en leemren van de Antilliaanse litera-
tuur, p. 96-138, 6 pls. incl. 17 portr.
6 Hartog,J.: Bibliotheken n leesgewoontcn, p. 139-152, 2 pls.
7 Hendrikse, N.: De pers, p. 153-166.
8 Palm, E.R.R.: Muziek en dans, p. 167-197, 4 pis.
9 Capricorne, J.M. & Romondt, W.R. van: Beeldende kunsten, p. 198-205,
10 Schouten,J.: Dc musca, p. 206-215, 2 pls.
11 Weeber, Carel: De oude en nicuwe architectuur, p. 216-226, 3 pls.
12 Henriqucz, P.C.: Monumentenzorg en natuurbehccer, p. 227-261, 7 figs.,
13 Timmer, H.: Fotografie, film en bioscoop, p. 262-279, 2 pls.
14 Oosterhof, J.P.C.: Radio en televisic, pionierswerk en gemiste kansen, p.
15 Sprockel, P.T.M.: De evolutic van het onderwijs, p. 293-323.
16 Putten, L.F. (Roy) van: Vrijetijdsbesteding en sportbeoefening, p. 324-334,
17 Romer Henriquez, B.L. (Bunchi): De Antilliaanse keuken, p. 335-349, 2
Hoetink, H.: Tot bcsluit, p. 350-354.
Cultureel mozaiek van Suriname. (Bijdrage tot onderling begrip) wonder rcdactic
van Albert Helman met medewerking van Technische redactieJ.W. Benne-
broek Gravenhorst (Sticusa). Dc Walburg Pers Zutphen, 1977, 448 pp. 21 x
14 cm, 32 in part col. pls. excl., col. cover.
Helman, Albert: Inleiding, p. 7-34.
Lichaam en ziel.
1 Lichrveld, Leonard A.M.: Aniropologische benaderingen, p. 35-41.
2 Praag, S. van: Algcmene gezondhcidstocstand, p. 41-50.
3 Helman: Kleding en opschik, p. 51-59.
4 Bueno de Mcsquita-Bromer, A.M.: Sport cn spcl, p. 60-62.
5 Lichrveld, Lou: Taalverkecr ccn minibabcl, p. 63-81.
6 Helman: Volkswijshcid en orale literatuur, p. 82-115.
1 Helman: De Indianen. Dc ongcrcpten, p. 117-124.
Artist, A.R.: De Indianen. Halfweegs, p. 124-133.
Helman: Dc Indianen. Dc gcavancecrdcn, p. 133-141.
Artist, A.R.: Dc Indianen. Betekenis der Indiaanse cultuur, p. 141-145.
2 Lichtveld: De Bosnegers, p. 146-188.
Her middcnland en overgangsgebied
1 Quintus Bosz, A.J.A. & Lichtveld, Lou: Dc trek noordwaarts uit het Midden-
land, p. 189-192.
2 Quintus Bosz & Lichrveld: Invloed der ontsluiring van her Achter- en Mid-
denland, p. 192-195.
3 Hessclink, G.: Invlocd van de mijnbouw, p. 195-198.
4 Vccen, L.I. van der: Culturle bcinvloeding door industrialisatie, p. 198-202.
5 Lichtveld: Coopcraties, p. 202-204.
Districtsbcwoners en stedelingen
1 Biswamitrc, C.R.: Hindostaans leven, p. 205-226.
2 Wengcn, G.D. van: Javaans Icven, p. 226-239.
3 Gemmink,J.: De Hollandse boercn (Boeroe's), p. 239-243.
4 Buschkcns, W.F.L.: Dc Creoolse bevolking, p. 243-277.
5 Lichtveld: Blijvers, maar in grocpsverband, p. 277-282.
6 Loning, Nic.: Het blank bevolkingsdccl, p. 282-286.
7 Abendanon Hymans, E.: Her stadskind, p. 286-289.
I Raalre,J. van: De Christelijke godsdiensten, p. 291-303.
2 Biswamitre: Het Hindocisme, p. 303-308.
3 Helman, Albert: Dc Islam, p. 309-314.
4 Helman: Dejoodse religic, p. 314-318.
5 Quintus Bosz & Lichtveld: Politieke meningsvorming en partijen, p. 318-325.
6 Campbell, E.E.: Vakvcrenigingslevcn, p. 326-332.
7 Lichtveld, Lou: Alfabctiscring en beroepstraining, p. 332-340.
8 Wolff, S.: Pers, radio, tclcvisic, p. 340-347.
1 Kloos, P.: Indiaanse muzick en Caraibische liedercn, p. 349-359.
2 Lichtveld: Volksmuzick, dans cn lyrick, p. 359-378.
3 Temminck Groll, C.L.: Openbare monumenten, p. 378-379.
4 Mac Nack, E.H.: Architectuur en stedebouwkundige aspecten, p. 379-384.
5 Helman, Albert: Parken en gedenktekens, p. 384-388.
6 Duurvoort, R.: Veelvoudig muzickleven. Ensembles, p. 389-391.
Lichtveld: Veelvoudig muziekleven. Hogere ontwikkeling, p. 391-395.
7 Zoutcndijk, H.: Toned cen wcdcropbloci, p. 395-401.
8 Loning, Nic.: Beeldcnde kunst. Winst- en verliesrekening, p. 402-405.
Chin A Foeng, A.: Bceldcnde kunst. Proefbalans, p. 405-407.
9 Swinkels,J.: Filmkunst, p. 407-412.
10 Pos, H.: Schrijvers en lezers. Dc Surinaamse lettermen, p. 412-426.
Helman: Schrijvers en lezers. Het lezerspubliek, p. 426-428.
11 Nord, Max: Nederlandse hulp en samenwcrking, p. 429-435.
Hoetink, H.: Nabeschouwing, p. 437-439.
De K/ok 35jaar. Nov. 1976, no. 337, 40 pp., ill.
De Nickeriaan. Uitgcgcven door de groep 'Nieuwsblad de Nickeriaan'. Rcdak-
tie Ir. A.D. van Dijk, (jubileumnummer) no. 1586, 12.V.1972, 28 pp., 23 x
24 cm, ill. First numcr of bi-weekly: 15.V.1942.
Dicrcn, Wouter van & Hummelinck, Marius G.W.: Natuur is duur. Over de
economische waarde van de natuur. Wcrcldvenster Baarn, 1977, 229 pp. 21 x
12 cm, ill. (Bonaire, p. 80-85.)
Dijk, A.D. van, see: De Nicheriaan (jubileumnummer), 1972.
Ecury, Nydia: BosdiSanger. Korsow, dd. Feb. 1976, 56 pp. 21 x 13 cm, ill.
cover excl. (Poetry on 25 pp.)
Fajoc kan tak mi no moi. Surinaamse wandelflora, sec: Mcnnega, A.M.W.
Flora of Suriname. Foundation van Eedenfonds, Amsterdam; J. Lanjouw &
A.L. Stoffers e.d.
Vo. V, Part I p. 173-318. 1975
Berg & De Wolf (Moraceac); de Rooij (Urticaccac).
Additions and corrections to Vol. II, part 1-2, 1976, p. 387-709.
Forero & Gorts-van Rijn (Connaraceae); Gorts-van Rijn (Euphorbiaccae, Poly-
galaccae); Gorts-van Rijn & Janssen-Jacobs (Malpighiaccac); Gorts-van Rijn &
Kramer & Lindeman (Papilionaceae); Jansen-Jacobs (Anacardiaceac, Annona-
ceac, Capparaceac, Lauraceac, Menispermaccae, Mimosaceae, Monimiaceae,
Myristicaceac); Kramer (Sapindaceae); Kubitzki (Hernandiaceac); Prance &
G6rts-van Rijn (Chrysobalanaceae).
Gemmink, Job.: De nakomelingschap van een Surinaamse slain 1787-1950.
Socio-dcmografische Studicn. Publicatic IV, Zuidwoldc, Dr., Nov. 1976, 140
pp. 24 x 16 % cm. (The progeny of a Surinam slave, 1787-1950; Summary, p.
67-84. Maria (Amelia) Grootfaam, born 1787 at Copic, Boven-Comme-
Groot, Silvia W. de: From isolation towards integration. The Surinam Maroons
and their colonial rulers. Official documents relating to the Djukas (1845-1863).
Verhandel. Kon. Inst. Taal Land Volkenk. 80; Nijhoff, The Hague, 1977, xii +
113 pp. 24 x 16 cm, 2 maps, ill. dust cover. (English version suppl. and revised
of Van isolate naarintegratie, 1963; transl. Elisabeth Eijbers.)
Guia Etnologiko, see: Juliana, 1976 & 1977.
Guide to the field excursions... 8th Caribbean Geological Conference, see:
Caribbean Geological Conference, Curagao, 1977.
Gulzar, M.A.: Een beknople uiteenzetting over de Ahmadiyah Beweging (Met
betrekking tot de onderlinge verhouding tussen de moslims in Suriname). Suri-
naamse Islamitische Uitgeverij: Het instituut voor Islamitische Studies en Publi-
catics, Paramaribo, 1975, 20 pp. 23 x 17 cm incl. cover.
Heide,J. van der, in coll. with P. Leentvaar & J. Meyer: Brokopondo research
report, Suriname. Part 11. Hydrobiology of the man-made Brohopondo Lake.
Publ. Found. Sci. Res. Surinam and N.A. 90, 1976, 95 pp., 35 fig., 18 pls.
Helman, Albert (ed.), see: Cultureelmoza'ek van Suriname, 1977.
Helman, Albert: Facetten van de Surinaamse samenleving. DC Walburg Pers
Zutphen, 1977, 160 pp. 21% x 14 cm, col. cover. I. De cultus der magic, p.
11-34. II1. Volksgcnccskunst. III. Vocdings- en keukengewoonten, p. 45-50. IV.
Sexus, plexus, nexus. V. Rclatie tot de natuur, p. 71-79. VI. De cultuur der ar-
mocdc. VII. Karakterkenmerken en thick, p. 90-113. VIII. Belccfdhcid en on-
wcllcvendheid. IX. Differentiatic van humor, p. 122-128. X. 'Vies' of
schooln'? XI. Ornamecntick, p. 141-157.
Hooi, Richard (YerbaSeku): Cuba... (Curacao), 1976, (24) pp. ("poetry').
Humfrey, Michael: Sea shells of the West Indies. Collins, London, 1975, 351
pp. 21 % x 13'/ cm, 19 figs., 32 col. pis. cxcl. (Selected number of species,
Jamaican specimens emphasized.)
jaarverslag 1975 Adviesraad voor culturele samenwerking tussen de landen van
bet KoninArijk. 's-Gravenhage, (1976), 80 pp., 1 fig.
Jongh, Gustaaf A. de: Driemaalis scheepsrecht. Publicacion Scorpio, Curacao,
(1975), 92 pp. 20 x 13 cm, facs., ill. cover.
Juliana, Elis: Guia Etnologiko No. 1. Curagao, Dec. 1976, 30 pp. 21% x 14h
cm, (20) figs., cover excl. (Music). Guia Etnologiko No. 2, Kulto di morto.
Curacao,Jan. 1977, 32 pp. 8 figs.
Kok, Michiel: De economische situatie in de Antillen in 1974 en 1975. Augus-
tinus Bockhandcl Curajao, 1977, 44 pp. 21 x 14 cm, 5 figs.
Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen. 65e jaarverslag. 1975. Amsterdam, 1976,
56 (+ 4) pp. 25 x 19 cm. Bijlagc... A. Atcn, De wereld heeft meer voedsel
nodig, 40pp. Ill.
Kristenscn, Ingvar, see: Pollution problemen op Curacao, 1977.
Kristenscn, Ingvar, see: Stichting Carmabi.
Kruijer, G.J.: Suriname. Deproblemen en hun oplossingen. Aula-bockcn 587.
Her Spectrum, Utrecht, 1977, 192 pp. 18 x 10A cm. Compiled by Frank
Kuyp,J.H. van der & Fingal, H.R.: Witboek over de 'Status Aparte'. Departe-
ment Staatkundige Structuur Eilanden, (1975?), Aruba, (54) pp. 30 x 21
cm, mimeogr., cover excl.
Kwartaalstatistiek van het reizigersverheer. 1975. Alg. Bur. Star. Suriname
(1976). le Kwartaal 6 pp. 21 x 33.5 cm; 2e 6 pp.; 3e 6 pp. -Jaarstatistiek van
het reizigersverkeer 1975, 6 pp.
Landbouwproefstation Suriname (Agricultural Experiment Station Surinam)
Jaarverslag 1975 (Annual report for 1975), Bull. 101, 1976 (publ. 1977), 79 pp.,
9 figs. (M. Consen-Kaboord, P. Power & W.G. van Slobbe eds.)
Landsverordening... begroting van de Nederlandse Antill//en voor het dienstjaar
1977. Publicaticblad 1976, 250, 1 + 146 pp. 20 x 29 cm.
Landsverordening houdende regelen ten aanzien van bet onderzoce naar en de
winning van petroleum in of op de Saba Bank. Staten van de Nederlandse An-
tillen, Zitting 1976-1977-36. 12.XI.1976, 13 pp. + 2 pp. (Plaatsbcpaling, I
fig.) (Saba Bank Resources N.V., Saba)
Lebacs, Diana: Kompa Datu ta konta! Skibi i ilustri pa -. Korsow, dd. Nov.
1975,62 pp. 22% x 14'/ cm, 7 figs., ill. cover excl. (7 Tales)
Lekhmala. Verzameling artikelen uit Dharm-Prakash. Jaargang 1. (ul/i 1975 -
juni 1976). Deel 1. Dharm-Prakash, Paramaribo, juli 1976, 160 pp. 23 x 15
Lim, Hanny: De wijze uil van Paradijs. St. Augustinus Bockhandel, Curacao,
1976, 98 pp. 21 x 17 cm, 13 figs. cover excl. (Greek mythology for children).
Mamber, P.A.: Historia dje Brug nobo na Corsow. Curacao, 1973, 60 pp. 18 x
12 cm, 7 figs. cover fig. excl.
Mennega, A.M.W. (ed.): Fajoe kan ak' mi no moi. Inleiding in de flora en ve-
getatie van Suriname (on cover: Surinaamse wandelflora). Deel I Flora (plan-
tenbeschrijvingen) eerste helft (t/m Hyperiacaceac) p. 1-129; tweede be/ft (van-
af Labiatac), p. 130-293, profusely illustrated. Authors J.G. Wessels Boer,
W.H.A. Hekking andJ.P. Schulz. Stinasu Natuurgids Serie No 4, Paramari-
bo, (Nov.) 1976.
Merian, Maria Sibylla: Schmetterlinge, Kdfer und andere Insekten. Facs. edi-
tion of the 'Leningrad book of notes and studies' (from the year 1660 on), ed.
by Wolf-Dietrich Beer; commentaries by Gerrit Friese; Edition Leipzig, (1977);
slip-case with 8 title sheets, 120 col. plates; volume of commentaries 470 pp.
incl. 266 facs. pages, 23.5 x 31.7 cm, in German, English, French and Russian.
- Cf. folder, 8 pp. 27 x 24 cm, 10 col. figs.
Murray Samnalt, Martha: Surinam in pictures. Visual geography series, Sterling
Publ. Comp., New York, 1973, 64 pp., 25 x 17 cm, ill.
Naluurtoerisme en natuurbehoud. Sti. Natuurbehoud Suriname, 11 pp. 28 '
x 20 % cm, col.ill., repr. from Sura/co Magazine 1976-2.
Oedayrajsingh Varma, F.H.R.: Het voorhomen en ontstaan van savannen in Su-
riname. (Een inleidende fysisch geografische verhandeling). (Suriname), 67 pp.
20 x 12% cm, 7 figs, ill. cover.
Ommeren,Jacqueline van: Bevrijdde dommen van bun dombeid. Geluidsthe-
rapie als bulpmiddel om stoornissen in de ontwikkeling en aanpassing te doen
verdwijnen en als voorbereiding van bet tralonderwijs. De Surinaamse Biblio-
theeck, Deel 2, Paramaribo, (1975), 92 pp. 23 x 15 % cm.
Ooft, C.D.: Ontwikkeling van het constitutionele recht van Suriname. Van
Gorcum & Comp. N.V., Assen, 1972, viii + 316 pp. 24 x 15 H cm.
Opinion. Een uitgave van de synode der Protestantse Kerk van de Nederlandse
Antillen. Eindredaktic: Roger F.Snow, 12 pp. March 1976, 43 x 29 cm, ill.
Pa fang. Suriname informative 4, jan. 1977, 1, 16 pp. (pak fang heroine)
Papers Ecology Conference on flamingoes, oil pollution and reefs. Bonaire,
25-28 September 1975. Ed.: E. Alting van Geusau, W. Booi, Ingvar Kristensen,
H.A.M. de Kruijf. Stinapa 11, 1976, 96 pp. 22 h x 16 cm ill.
Rooth,Jan: Ecological aspects of the flamingos on Bonaire, p. 16-33, 18 figs.
Sprunt, IV, Alexander: A new Colombian site for the American Flamingo...,
p. 34-39, 2 figs.
Boer, B. de & Rooth,J.: Notes on a visit to Chichiriviche (Venezuela), p. 40-41,
Kristensen, Ingvar: Discussion on flamingo problems, p. 42-43.
Elgcrshuizen, J.H.B.W. & Kruijf, H.A.M. de: Taxic effects of crude oils and
dispersant to the stony coral, Madracis mirabilis, p. 44-46, 1 fig.
Elgershuizen, Bak, R.P.M. & Kristensen, Ingvar: Oil sediment removal in corals,
p. 47-52, 6 figs.
George, H.S.: Position determination of oil pollution by aerial photography and
its interpretation, p. 53-57, 3 figs.
Giulini, Lorenzo, T.: Marine pollution by oil, p. 58-64.
Canevari, Gerard P.: Some remarks regarding the utility and mechanism of che-
mical dispersants, p. 65-68, 2 figs.
HuntJr., Jesse L. & Araud, Jean: Coral distribution in the Bahia de Patanemo,
Venezuela, p. 69-72, 2 figs.
Gamiochipi, Horacio Gallegos: Parques submarines en el Caribe Mexicano, p.
Noome, Cees & Kristensen, Ingvar: Necessity of conservation of slow growing
organisms like Black Coral, p. 76-80, 4 figs.
Corsten, A. & Corsten-Hulsmans, I. & Kruijf, H.A.M. de: Recolonization ex-
periments of the coral reef fish Gramma loreto, the Royal Gramma, p. 81-83, 3
Hartog, C. den: The role of seagrasses in shallow coastal waters in the Carib-
bean, p. 84-86.
Towle, E.: Reef communities and human interference: A positive view, p. 87.
Stewart, Don: Human participation in reef communities, p. 88-91, 3 figs.
Pollution problemen op Curacao. Stinapa no. 13, 1977, 64 pp., ill. Ingvar Kris-
tensen ed. Chemische verontreiniging, p. 9; Verontreiniging door huis- en
stadsafval, p. 28; Verontreiniging van her radiospcctrum, p. 41; Verstoring van
het biologisch evenwicht in de natuur, p. 49; Bevolkingsgroei en milieuvervui-
ling, p. 59-61. Contributions by E. Alting van Geusau, E. Bakhuis, H.M.
Janssen Steenberg, Lies van der Kar, I. Kristensen, T.A.J. Kroon, H.A.M. de
Kruijf, Q. Richardson, R.J. Rowbottom, R. Scoop, J.L. Suares, C.M. Thomas
and J. van der Velde.
Postage stamps 29.111.1977, see: Rock paintings.
Pospisil & Keller, see: And the day begins with flamingoes, 1976.
Powles, Howard: On the potentialfor small-scale development of marine re-
sources in the Caribbean, with particular reference to aquaculture. Marine
Sciences Centre Manuscript Report 29, Mc Gill Univ., Montreal, 1975, vi + 63
pp. 28 x 21 % cm mimeogr., 3 figs.
Price, Richard: The Guiana Maroons. A historical and bibliographical introduc-
tion. Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, Baltimore and London, March 1977, xii + 184
pp. 23 x 15 cm, 3 figs. A historical framework, p. 1-42. A guide to the
sources, p. 43-69. A bibliography of the Guiana Maroons, 1667-1975, p. 71-
Prijsindexciifers van de gezinsconsumptie (Consumers price indices) Stat. Ber.
Jan.-March & Apr.-June 1976, 6 & 8 pp. 31 x 20' cm.
Prins, F.W.: Latent taaltalent. Over de stiefmoederlijke behandeling van een
moedertaal. Dijkstra's uitg. Zeist, (Jan. 1975), 72 pp. 22 1A x 15 cm.
Publications of the Natural Science Study Group of the Netherlands Antilles,
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Report for the year 1974 of the Centre for Agricultural Research in Surinam.
CELOS bulletins 31, 1976, 36 pp., 4 pls. excl. (J.F. Wienk, dir.)
Rock paintings of the Netherlands Antilles. Pintura den baranka na Antiya Hu-
landes. Folder, 8 pp. 18% x 9 cm. A special issue of stamps of the Postal Ser-
vice of the Netherlands Antilles on March 29, 1977, in the values of 25, 35 and
40 cents, 25 x 36 mm. Designer Nigel Mathew from colour slides by E.H.J.
Boerstra (A 8 16, C 10 n and B 3 44 in Hummelinck's papers on the pictographs
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Romcr, RenC Antonio: Un pueblo na kaminda. Een sociologisch historische stu-
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Slave-society, p. 24; post-emancipation society, p. 65; modern society and con-
cluding remarks, p. 100-192.
Rosario, Guillermo E.: Un kAktel pa mi mama. CuraSao, 1976, 16 pp. 21 x
14 % cm, ill. cover excl. (Poetry)
Sedoc-Dahlberg, Betty Nelly: Surinaamse studenten in Nederland. Een onder-
zoek rond de problematiek van de toehomstige intellektuele kadervorming in
Suriname. Thesis, Univ. of Amsterdam, 23.IV.1971, xii + 232 pp. 22% x 15
Shrinivisi: Om de zon. Paramaribo, 1972, 127 pp. 21 x 13% cm, cover
design. Poetry, with introduction by Frank Martinus Arion: Shrini's tour
d'amour, p. 5-7.
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Antillen. Flamboyant/P Rotterdam, 2e gewijzigde druk maart 1976, 104 pp.
20'A x 14 % cm, 12 portr., ill. cover. First impr. March 1975.
Soest,Jaap van: Olie als water. De Curafaose economic in de eerste helft van de
twintigste eeuw. (The Curacao economy in the first part of the 20th century).
Hogeschool van de Nederlandse Antillen, Centraal Historisch Archief; Curacao,
1976; print. Drukkerij de Curacaosche Courant, distr. Van Dorp & Co (N.A.);
766 pp. 24 x 15 cm, 10 graphs., cover ill.-1. 'Eene noodlijdcnde kolonie', p. 5.
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233. 6. Een matige crisis, p. 313. 7. Dc twccdc wclvaartsperiode, p. 358.
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Structuur en conjunctuur, een samenvatting, p. 597-635. Summary, p. 761-
Stichting Caraibisch Marien-Biologisch Institu t, Curacao (Carmabi). Jaarver-
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pp. 1975 (1976), 43 pp. Ingvar Kristensen ed.
Studies on the fauna of Curacao and other Caribbean islands. Publ. Found. Sci.
Research Surinam and Neth. Ant., Utrecht.
Volume XLIX, Publ. 85, Aug. 1976, 256 pp., 169 figs.
Volume L, Publ. 86, Nov. 1976, 119 pp., 32 figs.
Bacon (barnacles), Stock (crustaceans), Schwartz & Rossman (snakes), Fisher (sea
Volume LI, Publ. 87, Feb. 1977, 95 pp., 26 figs., 55 pls.
Wagenaar Hummelinck (marine localities), Stock (crustaceans), Kenny (frogs).
Volume LII, Publ. 88, June 1977, 134 pp. 47 figs., 12 pls.
Marcuzzi (beetles), de Ridder rotiferss).
Volume LIII, Publ. 89, July 1977, 97 pp., 19 figs., 4 pls.
Van Soest (sponges), Schwartz & Carey (iguanas).
Surinaamse vrouwen in Nederland. Suriname informative 4, juni/juli 1977, 4,
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Surinamenummer. Bzzlletin 5, nov. 1976, 40, 64 pp. 29 x 21 cm, ill. Sti.
BZZTOH tcater, Den Haag. In part dedicated to Suriname: p. ly (1) 52
(40): H. Pos (p. 13-15),J. Voorhoeve, E. Cairo (p. 18-19), F. van Wel, P. Kloos
(p. 24-27), C.N. Dubelaar, A. Roemer (p. 31-33), S.W. Wolf; poetry (p.
38-52) of Eugene W. Rellum, Trefossa, Johanna Schouten-Elsenhout, Corly
Verlooghen, Edgar Cairo, Vene, Zamani, R. Dobru, Michael Slory, Shrinivasi,
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Techna, Curacao; ed. A.A.N. da Costa Gomez, E.P. Palm & L.J.M. Rolfast; ill.
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Telefoongids Aruba 1976, xv + 8 + 12 + 7 + 240 + 15 pp. 24 x 15 Lm,
Telephone directory May 1975, Lago Oil & Transport '- Ltd, Aruba, (44) pp.
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H.U.E. THODEN VAN VELZEN
THE ORIGINS OF THE GAAN GADU MOVEMENT
OF THE BUSH NEGROES OF SURINAM
In the early 1890s, the Bush Negroes of Surinam's coastal plain
were restive. From the far-away Tapanahoni, the heartland of
the Djuka Bush Negroes,' word had reached them of the ap-
pearance of a powerful and vindictive God called Gaan Gadu
(Great Deity) or Gaan Tata (Great Father).2 This God, they
were told, would wage unrelenting war on the witches. The
cadavers of such nefarious persons would be dumped into the
undergrowth along certain creeks where carrion birds would
pick out their eyes and caimans tear at their bowels. All posses-
sions of those who, upon their death, were believed to be
witches were to be confiscated by Gaan Gadu's priests and
carried to Santi Goon on the Tapanahoni, the god's sacred
In 1891 the first tidings came almost simultaneously from
two different places. Carpenters building a mission post on the
Cottica river reported that there had been a gathering of
hundreds of Bush Negroes in the nearby village of Moarimbo-
moffo (see fig. 1), where emissaries from the Tapanahoni had
disclosed Gaan Gadu's commandments. These instructions
concerned many spheres of life, from religious worship to ma-
rital relationships (BHW 1892: 142). At Koffiekamp, a small
Christian community near the confluence of Sara creek and
Suriname river, a missionary heard similar news (BHW 1892:
139-141). Here, the messengers from the Tapanahoni warned
the heathen majority of the Djuka, located in the Sara creek
region, that all places of worship should thereafter be dedica-
ted solely to Gaan Gadu. All the old obi or obia were to be
H.U.E. THODEN VAN VELZEN
thrown into the river or burnt in fire, and shrines of the 'false
gods' of the past demolished.
The new movement made rapid headway. By 1893 it had esta-
blished itself as the most powerful cult in Djuka communities
of the coastal plain. Soon it made inroads into the territory of
other tribal groups as well. A few years before the turn of the
century, the new ritual centres on the Tapanahoni drew scores
of believers from Saramaka villages (Spalburg 1869-1900).' In
1893, Gaan Gadu's priests made converts among the Matawai,
no small accomplishment as this had been the first tribal group
to embrace Christianity a few decades earlier. In 1895, in the
far west, even the small and remote group of Kwinti came
under the spell of Gaan Gadu (Kraag 1894-1896).
From the beginning the village of Santigron, with its mixed
population of Djuka, Saramaka and Matawai, was a
stronghold of Gaan Gadu. It was from here that Gaan Gadu's
advocates travelled south to Matawai villages in 1892 and
1893. Its location less than twenty kilometers from Paramari-
bo, the capital of Surinam, made Santigron a place of pil-
grimage for many city Creoles who had heard about the new
god's reputation (De Ziel 1973: 40). Special expeditions were
organized by Christian missions to preach against the 'false
god' and undo the impact of Gaan Gadu's message on their
Matawai following (BHW 1895: 12-42). Despite their efforts
to wipe out the cult from what they considered a Christian pre-
serve, the missionaries were only partly successful; a quarter of
a century later Gaan Gadu was still worshipped in secret in a
few Matawai villages.4
Around 1895, lines of communication had been established
among the various oracles and shrines of Gaan Gadu. Leading
priests at the Tapanahoni centres kept in touch with Saramaka
acolytes in villages on the Suriname river and its tributaries
(NB 1904: 255). Messengers travelled from the Tapanahoni to
the men in charge at the Cottica shrines in the northeastern
part of the country. These priests in turn were in communica-
tion with colleagues in the northwest and west, in places such
as Santigron (NB 1892: 574) and Kriki-Pandasi on the Sara
THE ORIGINS OF THE GAAN GADU MOVEMENT 83
creek (MBB 1893: 181). Even in the 1920s, there were still lines
of communication with Sara creek villagers and with a Sara-
maka village on the Pikin Rio, a tributary of the Suriname
river (Junker 1923).
The organization of the cult was centralized and hierarchical.
Bush Negroes from other rivers visited the ritual centre on the
Tapanahoni. Hegemony was also asserted through the con-
stant flow of tribute to the Tapanahoni shrines. In 1894, every
settlement on the Cottica and Commewijne rivers which
boasted of a headman, had to pay a special tax of 128 florins
(then US $ 51) to the Gaan Gadu priests of the Tapanahoni
(MBB 1895: 53). In 1917, a small Saramaka village paid 320
florins for the right to open a Gaan Gadu shrine, an enormous
sum of money at that time, more than what most labourers in
Paramaribo would earn in a whole year (Junker 1925: 154). A
new religious duty obligated followers to bring the material
legacies of deceased witches to the Tapanahoni shrines (MT
1896: 76). Leerdam (1957: April 23) observed how the effects
of the dead found guilty of witchcraft were transported with
great difficulty from the Sara creek valley to Dritabiki on the
No religious movement of the Bush Negroes ever met with
so much success as the Gaan Gadu cult. For three decades, it
enjoyed great influence in all the Bush Negro regions of the
interior. After 1920, its fortunes began to ebb; what was once a
vigorous regional cult fractured into a number of local congre-
gations (Thoden van Velzen 1977). Lines of communication
were disrupted and the Tapanahoni centre began to lose
control over its various branches in other parts of Surinam.
Yet, decades later, the Gaan Gadu oracles continued to be
paramount in the Tapanahoni region. In the 1960s, parochial,
but thriving Gaan Gadu cults attracted scores of patients and
supplicants. During 1962, the oracle at Dritabiki was consulted
on approximately 125 days regarding a total of 424 cases. Most
of the clientele of the oracle were residents of Tapanahoni vil-
lages, while only a sprinkling came from other Djuka areas or
from the Saramaka and Aluku Bush Negroes.
84 H.U.E. THODEN VAN VELZEN
ORACLES AND SANCTUARIES OF THE
GAAN GADU CULTIc. 9001. SURINAM
Fig. I. Oracles and sanctuaries of the Gaan Gadu cult (c. 1900). Surinam.
THE ORIGINS OF THE GAAN GADU MOVEMENT
In view of the expansion and vigour of the Gaan Gadu cult, it
is not astounding that it received a great deal of attention from
missionaries, civil servants and anthropologists. Today a list of
all publications referring to the movement would be several
pages long. However, there is very little to learn from these
sources about the early history of the movement, its causes and
the events that triggered it. In fact, we are offered contradic-
tory information even about the time of its ascent. Some men-
tion 1879 as the year of its birth (Voorhoeve & van Renselaar
1962: 203), others 1891 (Schneider 1893: 64; Steinberg 1933:
267) or 1890 (Van Panhuys 1908: 38).
The reasons for these unresolved problems are not difficult
to grasp. Very few Europeans visited the remote Tapanahoni
at the end of the 19th century and, of those who did, few cared
to leave written accounts of their sojourns. Gold-diggers
passing through the area were too much in a hurry and had
other aims to pursue. The publications available6 offer a few
interesting clues, but none of them renders a full account of
the beginnings of the cult.
A later generation of writers on Bush Negro society tried
their hand at historical reconstruction. Their theories roughly
fall into two categories. On the one hand, there are those that
stress continuity, explaining events as the outcome of a power
struggle between two Djuka leaders which was compounded by
the intervention of the colonial administration. An opposing
set of interpretations points to a revolutionary break in the reli-
gious history of the Djuka Bush Negroes. I will review both
theories briefly, before presenting new material from archival
and oral sources on the early history of the Gaan Gadu cult.7
The continuity thesis
Willem van Lier opened the discussion in 1919 with his lets
over de Boschnegers in de Boven-MarowUine (Some Facts
about the Bush Negroes of the Upper Maroni), a delightful
little book that covered approximately the half century before
1920. Van Lier employed concepts such as 'aristocrats',
bush negro village
VILLAGES AND SANCTUARIES
Fig. 2. The Tapanahoni villages and sanctuaries (c. 1900).
THE ORIGINS OF THE GAAN GADU MOVEMENT
'plebeians', 'progressives' and 'conservatives' and, although
these distinctions are somewhat artificial, behind his tour de
force is the desire to treat Bush Negro society seriously. The
book is a goldmine for Djuka history, crammed with historical
details, but cast in a mould that reflected the position of one of
the contending factions, that of the paramount chief Oseisie
(1884-1915). Here is Van Lier's version.
Fig. 3. Da Labi Agumasakka
('Sakka') in 1904. From: Franssen Herderschee
S- ^ -:
H.U.E. THODEN VAN VELZEN
In 1882, the old paramount chief (Gaanman) of the Djuka,
Blijmoffo, died. The tribal council of village headmen and
other influential elders picked Oseisie for the succession,
passing over his maternal uncle Da Labi Agumasakka (or
'Sakka' as he was regularly called) who had coveted the posi-
tion for years. Leadership relations were considerably compli-
cated by the circumstance that Sakka was custodian of the
Gaan Gadu shrines and had the benefit of years of training in
the ritual and the sacred lore of the cult. For Van Lier, Gaan
Gadu or Gaan Tata was an old tribal cult dating back to the
war of independence. Whoever commanded at its holy places
could, by virtue of this fact, claim to be recognized as a tribal
leader. That Oseisie was promoted over his head was hard for
Sakka to swallow and he had no intention of forsaking his
The situation worsened when the Dutch began to pursue an
active interest in the southeast corner of Surinam where gold
had been found. With the need for Djuka Bush Negro labour in
mind, they courted Oseisie. In 1891, Oseisie's salary was
boosted from fl. 150 per annum to fl. 1,000 and he received fa-
vours and personal assurances of sympathy and support. Once
Oseisie knew he could count on the backing of the Dutch, he
assumed a more aggressive posture with Sakka. Oseisie
demanded that Sakka accept him as a priest with the same
privileges that Sakka enjoyed. In particular, Oseisie demanded
the right to fabricate the holy cord (gadu tetei), the principal
amulet providing protection against witchcraft. What Oseisie,
in fact, was asking for was 'a piece of the action', a share in the
considerable emoluments that flowed into the coffers of the
Gaan Gadu custodian.
It was the conjunction of these developments that led Sakka
to decide to leave his ancestral village of Dritabiki and found
Granbori (1891), two days upstream by dug-out canoe. It was
here that the new headquarters for Gaan Gadu was
established. Many relatives joined Sakka as did followers from
many other Djuka villages.
For about a decade Oseisie resigned himself to playing sec-
ond fiddle to Sakka. Then he struck back by fabricating his
THE ORIGINS OF THE GAAN GADU MOVEMENT
own Gaan Gadu shrine and oracle. Eventually Sakka choose to
accept that situation and in September 1903' a great feast of
reconciliation was held at Dritabiki. Thereafter, with friction
but never an open schism, two Popes ruled the Gaan Gadu
cult: Sakka at Granbori and Oseisie at Dritabiki. After 1915,
when both men died, the two oracles of Gaan Gadu continued
their independent existence.
The revolutionary break theory
In his manuscript Boschnegeriana, Morssink (1934) expounds
a quite different view, although he starts his argument in a way
similar to Van Lier. Oseisie waited until some time after his in-
auguration in 1888 before laying claim to the Gaan Gadu or
Gaan Tata priesthood. A delicate rift had always existed
between Oseisie and Sakka which now appeared to deepen
dangerously. Then, just in time, a sudden unexpected windfall
prevented outright war between the two men. In the 1880s,
gold had been found in the interior and thousands of treasure
hunters were lured to penetrate ever deeper ir.-o the interior.
For the Bush Negroes, the gold industry brouint with it the
sudden expansion of economic opportunities. Bush Negroes
manned the dug-out canoes that carried the gold-diggers,
their equipment and victuals 200 miles into the jungle to the
players. The transport carriers earned much more money in
their new trade than they had formerly gained in lumber work.
In Morssink's interpretation, the newly earned hundreds of
French francs and Dutch guilders in the hands of younger
tribesmen caused Sakka and Oseisie to forget their squabbles
and cooperate in an effort to skim off some of the money of
these nouveaux riches. But, they needed a powerful bait to lure
the independent boatmen to Dritabiki, somewhat off the
travelled Maroni-Lawa river routes used by the gold-diggers.
The two shrewd men in Morssink's account turned to an
obia that had served their ancestors well in the 18th century
war of independence by helping them find their way through
the jungle and by directing their fighting. Oseisie and Sakka
H.U.E. THODEN VAN VELZEN
knew that the wealthy boatmen dreaded the witches, less fortu-
nate neighbours and kinsmen who, envious of their riches,
were prepared to commit heinous crimes for getting their
share. Sakka and Oseisie dug up the old Gaan Gadu war obia,
buried at the holy place of Santi Goon, and brought a part of it
back triumphantly to Dritabiki. The boatmen were guaranteed
that this obia would give them protection against the witches as
nothing else could. The plan worked. The transport carriers
flocked to the Gaan Gadu shrine at Dritabiki, and Sakka and
Oseisie lined their pockets with the handsome fees that grateful
boat owners brought them. To Morssink's mind, this was the
way in which the older men continued to exploit their sons and
Some years later, the two men fell out again, this time over
the division of spoils. In anger, Sakka left Dritabiki to found
Granbori and he took the Gaan Gadu obia with him. Oseisie
found himself on the ruins of his former estate. He realized he
was deprived of a good part of his income, without the prestige
that is conferred on the custodian of a great obia and without
the power to manipulate public opinion with oracular verdicts.
Oseisie returned to the holy place of Santi Goon, dug up the
old obia and, as Sakka had done before him, fabricated his
own holy bundle by placing a small part of the old war obia in
it. For a few years both shrines competed for the favours of the
faithful. But ill health brought Oseisie to heel and in his
despondency he realized there was only one great medicineman
to turn to: Sakka. With the latter's help Oseisie recovered and
good relationships were restored. A time of respectful coexis-
tence ensued, bolstered up with price agreements for the main
amulets sold and services rendered.
Some of Morssink's gibes are quite unpalatable, as when he
harps on the theme of shrewd old men scheming to keep a hold
over their many wives.9 Another drawback in Morssink's
account is that he exaggerated the conscious manipulation of
religious institutions on the part of both Sakka and Oseisie.
Things were more complicated than that, as I hope to show.
On the other hand, it should be pointed out that Morssink was
the first to grasp the significance of the altering forces of pro-
THE ORIGINS OF THE GAAN GADU MOVEMENT
duction. In the 1880s, within only a few years, the Djuka had
given up lumbering for the much more lucrative business of
transporting gold-diggers. Morssink rightly wished to under-
stand changes in Djuka institutions by placing them against the
backdrop of these alterations.
The new Gaan Tata or Gaan Gadu cults
Both the accounts of Van Lier and Morssink bring valuable
points of view. There certainly was continuity, as suggested by
Van Lier, in the sense that a Gaan Tata cult existed long before
1891. Its major shrine was at Dritabiki, while subsidiary ones
were situated in a few Saramaka villages on the Pikin Rio and
Gaan Rio rivers and probably also at Sophieboeka or Dombi-
kondre on the Suriname river.10 However, the Gaan Tata cult
of the Djuka and Saramaka was not identical with the move-
ment that spread so rapidly through Surinam's interior in
1891, although the latter one was also known as the Gaan Tata
cult. The old Gaan Tata cult simply was absorbed into the new
movement, as happened to a few other Djuka cults. The Gaan
Tata or Gaan Gadu movement that emerged in the 1890s,
contained radically new features and these were visible to
contemporaries. A few opinions from people who lived in
these times and were well acquainted with Bush Negro reli-
gious life follow.
Kersten, a missionary who spent some years at Albina, and
was in daily contact with Bush Negroes, made a trip to Drita-
biki in 1895. 'Seven or eight years ago', he (1896: 185) wrote,
'Oseisie had instituted the Gaan Tata movement at the
prompting of Sakka'. Buck, another missionary of the
Congregation of Moravian Brethren, who was stationed on the
Cottica river from 1892 until 1895, wrote in a similar vein
(1896: 67): 'The supreme God who makes decisions about
everything is Gaan Tata. But his power is of recent date. For-
merly, the God Sweli ruled the Djuka people'.
Of particular importance is the testimony of the Matawai
Bush Negro Johannes King, a prophet and visionary who
m^ 6 "
Fig. 4. Poeketi in 1886. From: Brunetti (1890).
THE ORIGINS OF THE GAAN GADU MOVEMENT
brought the Matawai into the Christian fold. King knew the
Djuka quite well; his father was a Djuka and Johannes King
had visited with his father's relatives on the Tapanahoni in
1865. King maintained contact with Djuka settlers on the lower
Saramacca and other coastal areas. During 1893 and 1894, he
frequently referred in his diaries to 'this false and new God
Gaan Tata' (De Ziel 1973: 121-122).
Those Djuka who actually lived on the Tapanahoni at the
turn of the century were quite convinced that this cult was
something new, as we know from the diaries of the teacher
Spalburg (1896-1900) who had his residence at Dritabiki
during the last years of the preceding century. One entry in his
diary is particularly interesting. In June 1898, thousands of
birds swarmed over the unharvested rice fields of the Djuka. A
few men explained to Spalburg that the swarms of birds visit-
ing them was punishment for Sakka's sins, who had dared to
substitute the worship of the Spirit for the old, time-honoured
A new movement thus, known under many names: Gaan
Tata, Gaan Gadu, Gaan Obia. To distinguish it from its prede-
cessors it will hereafter be called the Gaan Gadu cult. We
should now turn to some new material from archives and oral
history to reconstruct the beginnings of the new cult.
Sakka controls the obia
A digression on the concept of obia is now in order. According
to the Djuka, enormous powers dwell in the universe, most of
these untapped by and in fact even unknown to men. An obia
is that part of these forces that has become available to man-
kind, is beneficial to human beings and has assumed a definite
shape so that it can be distinguished from other such super-
natural forces. An obia may choose any sort of vessel; an
amulet, a bundle and even an human being. The medicines of
the Europeans are also called obia. What sets an obia apart
from other supernatural forces is the beneficial influence it
manifests, with healing of body and soul as the ultimate crite-
H.U.E. THODEN VAN VELZEN
The control by humans over obia varies considerably. On
the one hand, there is the ordinary amulet that brings its bles-
sing almost automatically, though this is contingent upon the
observance of a few rules such as not eating the meat of certain
animals. On the other hand there are those obia that have to be
worked and fought for. Their power can only be briefly
harnessed by adhering strictly to all rules and prescriptions,
performing the required libations and avoiding to give any dis-
pleasure to the obia. Quite often, harmonious relations among
relatives are a necessary condition for the proper functioning
of the obia.
Three obia were particularly relevant to Djuka society in the
1880s. First, there was the Sweli obia, a supernatural force
residing in a small bundle kept in a shrine at Dritabiki.
Humans could come into contact with this obia by drinking its
sacred potion (diingi sweli) while swearing an oath. In 1760,
when Dutch emissaries came to negotiate peace with the
Djuka, they concluded their talks by drinking a potion in
which a few drops of blood from each of the negotiators were
mingled (Hartsinck 1770: 800). They were drinking the Sweli
obia. In the 19th century, Dutch officials and even business-
men who had come to conclude treaties or agreements with the
Djuka also had to take the blood oath; while swearing to up-
hold the conditions of the agreement they drank the potion
(Coster 1866: 3-4). All Djuka adults, males and females, were
obliged to take this oath. One could only become a true and
respected member of the tribal community by taking part in
the ritual. Allegiance was sworn to the Djuka nation and to
one's fellow tribesman (cf. Lenoir 1974).
In later times, the oath came to be interpreted more and
more as an ordeal. Those who had perpetrated acts of witch-
craft would be killed; those who were innocent could expect
protection against the witches by an infusion of power (kaaki-
ti) coming from the sacred potion. At the end of the 19th
century, the oath taking was delegated to the leaders of matri-
lineal kin groups and village headmen and was to be renewed
every three or four years. Additionally, those who had come