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2 contemporary dutch painters
Nice gallery of two Dutch artists: oilpainting, watercolor's and drawings. Worth a visit.

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Dutch landscapes and other
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Dutch painter, illustrator
Piet Eggen

photographs from the Netherlands
Gallery of the Netherlands.
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(Dutch role in) slavery and the slave-trade


The Dutch: slavery and the slave-trade

Surinam, one of the the most 'black' pages of all black pages of Dutch history.
In Surinam the Dutch slave-traders became real slave-owners, known worldwide for their cruel behavior.
Total of 550.000 imported slaves throughout the centuries: 22.000 still alive now. The Dutch really must have been cruel masters....and..apart from that we were the latest of all nations to abolish slavery (1863)

Simple timeline Atlantic slave-trade facts
The Atlantic slave-trade was started by the Spaniards and Portuguese the beginning of the 16th century. During this period Dutch merchants , commissioned by the Portuguese, occasionally transported slaves

1619The first (20) Africans arrived in Jamestown on a Dutch ship and were traded for supplies.

1629 The Dutch capture Pernambuco, N.E.Brazil. There's a growing need for slaves on the sugar plantations

1634 Curacao (captured 1634 by the Dutch, Johan van Walbeeck) and St.Eustace colonized by Dutch colonists from the province of Zeeland led by merchant Jan Snouck in 1636, are becoming important illegal trade-stations, harbors of transit and slave-depots


slavestreet recife, brazil

1637 Governor Johan Maurits of New Holland (Brazil) captures Elmina, Gold Coast (Ghana) as a 'loading-berth' for fresh negroes
1641 Sao Paulo de Luanda,Benguela (Angola) and Fort Axim (Gold Coast), other loading-places are captured by the Dutch

1637-1645 40.000 slaves shipped by the Dutch from the Westcoast of Africa to Brazil.

1640 Secession Portugal from Spain: the Spaniards (no longer being able to make use of the Portuguese slave-merchants) start trading -illegally- with the Dutch at Curacao and St.Eustace. Also French and English buy their slaves here for the sugar-plantations on their Caribbean possessions.

1645 Decline of power of the Dutch in N.E. Brazil: Recife is the latest stronghold till 1654

1652 The colony Surinam, founded by the English at the mouth of the Surinam River

1662 Legalization of the Dutch WIC slave-transports to Spanish colonies via Curacao: 2000 slaves every year (increased to 8000 yearly from 1668 on)

1667 Abraham Crijnssen captures fort Willoughby in Surinam during the Second Anglo-Dutch War. At the Peace of Breda the Dutch possession of Surinam and the English possession of Nieuw Nederland is ratified. Jewish and Huguenot planters settle in Surinam. At that moment abt.30-45.000 slaves are present in the colony.*

1689 Curacao is becoming a free haven and stays a place of transit for slaves transported there by the WIC
First part of the 18th century the WIC is still transporting about 9500 slaves yearly

1730 The WIC looses the monopoly on slave-trade: private merchants are allowed to participate in the slave trade. In 1734 it also was allowed to private merchants to buy slaves at the WIC fort Elmina and sell them all along the Guyana coast (Surinam, Demerara, Berbice and Essequibo)
(The 'Middelburgsche Commercie Compagnie' was one of the private companies who transported slaves from the Ivory Coast to Surinam)
The role of the WIC was reduced to the maintenance of the fortresses and the care for a constant supply of 'fresh', new slaves.

1815 (June,15) Royal Decree to forbid slave-trade to Dutch subjects. Illegal Dutch slave-transports, though, did continue

1834 The English abolish slavery

1848 The French abolish slavery

1863 The Dutch abolish slavery

*The Dutch did transport abt. 100.000 slaves in the 17th- and another 400.000 in the 18th century to Suriname (probably even more, since illegal transports are not measured). At the moment of the Dutch abolition of slavery only abt. 22.000 still were alive! You don't need documents about the cruelty of Dutch slave-owners to figure how slaves have been treated...

There's talk of about 15.000.000 slaves transported from Africa to the America's by the French, Dutch, Brittish, Spanes, Portuguese and Swedes.
Mind though that this enormous number is accomplished by mere approximation: it can be (a bit)  lower, it can be (a lot) more]

NB: Due to the organization of the WIC and pre-WIC settlements of Zeeland merchants in the Caribbean area, the region of Zeeland had a dominant position on the Wild Coast (Guyana) and the Windward Isles.

1. <>
2. Liek Mulder, Gert Gritter and Marion Zijlema, "Atlas van de Nederlandse Geschiedenis" Walvabook, Holten, 2003. ISBN 90 6675 187 8


The Atlantic area
South Africa (The Cape)
Dutch involvement
Dutch slave trade at the Cape
Dutch slave trade 1500-1850
Slavery at the Cape
The First Slave Auction at New Amsterdam
African Burial Ground website of the
GSA's African Burial Ground Project
The African Burial Ground website of the NewYorkPublicLibrary
Dutch Cultural legacy in South Africa
Searchable database of freed slaves and slave-owners on the isle of Curacao (Dutch)
The Gilder Lehrman Center for the study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition
Establishing Slavery In Colonial New York
Chronology of the Dutch possessions in Africa, 1600-1850
Ghana's Java Connection
The Black Dutchmen: Dutch Africans From Java
General Slavery
A Portal for Research & Education

Lest We Forget. Triumph over Slavery
Beautiful and informative site

Chronology on the History of Slavery and Racism1619 to 1789
Very informative site
The Atlantic Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Americas: a Visual Record


Slaves' Stories
The French Slave Trade: and Overview
Breaking the Silence. Learning about the Atlantic Slave Trade. (a very fine designed site. Partly still under construction, but very promising)
An eyewitness describes the slave trade in Guinea
Africa and slavery
Bookreview: 'In place of slavery'
Africa and Slavery: a collection of
educated links
Map African Slave Trade
The Slave Trade
Covering almost all aspects of slavery
Slave Trade: a collection of quality links
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African Slave Trade: countries envolved and the ending of
trade and slavery
Date's are official but in reality not absolute: in many cases trade/slavery continued more or less
Country Remarks Halt to the slave trade Abolition of slavery
Spain 1510 First slaves shipped to Spanish colonies in South America via Spain
1817 Halt to the trade, north of the equator


1886 / 88
Portugal Portugal started trading slaves: in 1444  slaves from Mauritania,Africa were brought to this land and in 1450 the first slaves were brought to the Cape Verde islands.
part of Spain 1580-1641
Gradual abolition of the slave trade in the Southern Atlantic starting 1810
1853 1869
England Main slave trader. Did have important influence on other nations to halt the slave trade and the abolition of slavery. First decisions to gradually  abolition of the slave trade in 1792 1805
buying, selling and transporting slaves illegal)


(with a transitional period of 10 years)

(ownership of slaves illegal)

France 1794 emancipation of all slaves in the French colonies 1848 1848
The Netherlands May 7, 1859 abolition of slavery for Dutch East Indies. In some parts of this colony however the emancipation came later: Bali 1877, and Soembawa 1910. 1814 1862 / 63
Denmark 1792 First attempts to halt the slave trade
1804 1846
Sweden   1813 1846
USA State of Vermont, abolition of slavery 1777 1808 1865
(13th Amendment)
Worldwide Slavery was abolished in Brazil (1888) and Cuba(1886) . New Republics in South America did fight for emancipation during their own struggle for freedom.
Slavery was declared illegal in 1936 in North Nigeria
by 1890
Links specifically concerning Abolition of the slave trade and the end of slavery
Abolition of the Slave Trade Act 1807
Abolition of Slavery Act 1833
World History of Slavery: Abolition and Emancipation
Abolition of the Atlantic Slave Trade in the US
Abolition and Slavery
The abolition of(Dutch) slavery in 1863: the special case of St Maarten
Emancipation and Apprenticeship
Gert Oostindie(ed.), "Fifty years later. Capitalism, modernity, and antislavery in the Dutch orbit", KITLV Press, Leiden, 1995. ISBN 90 6718 096 3

"The Slave Ship", by J.M.W. Turner (Painting)

1807 U.S. Law on Slave Trade

Database of freed slaves and slave owners in Surinam (explanation)
The Database of freed slaves
Chronology of the abolition of slavery
Online Database: Slave Movement During the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
...records of slave ship movement between Africa and the Americas, slave ships of eighteenth century France, slave trade to Rio de Janeiro, Virginia slave trade in the eighteenth century, English slave trade (House of Lords Survey), Angola slave trade in the eighteenth century, internal slave trade to Rio de Janeiro, slave trade to Havana, Cuba, Nantes slave trade in the eighteenth century, and slave trade to Jamaica.
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Black Pages of our East Indies colonial past
Murder of the Chinese on Batavia in 1740 (Dutch East Indies)
Murder of innocent women and children during the 4th Aceh War (1898-1910) under the command of general van Daalen
"No pardon for the natives, and no prisoners."

Jan Pieterszn Coen and the extinction of the population on the Banda islands

The Banda Islands

In Search of Banda's Refugee Villages

Contact and colonialism in the Banda Islands, Maluku, Indonesia

How did the Dutch control the Spice Islands?
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