By Johannes Postma

Proposing a radical research of the Dutch participation within the transatlantic slave alternate, this ebook is predicated upon large learn in Dutch information. The ebook examines the total diversity of Dutch involvement within the Atlantic slave exchange from the start of the 1600s to the 19th century.

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Extra resources for The Dutch in the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1600-1815

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In 1668, the year after the WIC had contracted to become the principal supplier of slaves for the Spanish colonies, there were such serious conflicts between the contracting parties in the asiento that Curasao had stockpiled 3,000 slaves without making deliveries. 27 Despite these problems, the early asiento contracts significantly increased the WIC's slaving activity, even though the deliveries called for in the contracts were rarely if ever fulfilled. According to Binder's tentative findings, more than 4,200 slaves were taken to Curagao annually between the years 1668 and 1674.

38 It was therefore with the acquisition of the settlement in Brazil that the Dutch got involved in the Atlantic slave trade on a systematic basis. And in order to be effective in this they needed to acquire bases on the African coast, where they could purchase slaves on a reliable basis. The Dutch on the African coast In defiance of the Portuguese monopoly, Dutch merchants had actually frequented the West African coast since the 1590s. A Dutch captain from Medemblik in northern Holland, Barent Ericzoon, had been trading with Brazil and on his voyage in 1591 was diverted by a storm to the African island of Principe.

3 Unsuitable for a plantation economy because of its aridity, the WIC utilized Curasao primarily as a naval refurbishing station, for which its natural harbors were ideal. In 1641 the WIC directors established Curasao as a collecting point for slaves captured from foreign vessels. The slaves were then sold on the island, and this may well have been the beginning of the practice of smuggling slaves to the Caracas mainland. 4 A WIC report of 1642 mentioned Curasao as an ideal depot for the slave trade, but the company directors were not immediately persuaded by this suggestion.

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