WORK OF COMPASSION?
Dutch slavery and slave trade in the
Indian Ocean in the seventeenth century
P. M. Vink
SUNY-College at Fredonia
"It is indisputable that
the purchase of these poor people is a work of compassion
since they would otherwise perish, as happens to those who
are turned down..."
- VOC 1232, OBP 1661,
fl. 383, Miss. gouvr. Laurens Pit en raad van Coromandel
aan H. XVII, 9.8.1660
"Our intention is that the
purchase [of slaves] will occur indiscriminately of both the
elderly and the young, especially when they are members of
a single family as is often the case. If we only accepted
the young and turn down the old, the latter would perish,
which we understand has already occurred often. This would
not conform with Christian compassion, for to accept the children
and leaving the parents to die in their presence, or to accept
the men and turn down the women, would be harsh and, we fear,
unacceptable to the Lord God."
- VOC 884, BUB 1660, fl.
703, Miss. gouvr. genl. en raad aan comms. Van Goens the
"Church members who buy
and sell slaves and trade in such miserable people commit
a sin. For these are people of the same nature as them rather
than mere animals. Even though such slave trade is conducted
by not only Jews, Turks, and Pagans, but so-called Christians,
indeed, Dutchmen, as well. Reformed members should not taint
themselves with such uncompassionate trade. Rather, they should
act fully in fear of the Lord, in order that the money they
make will be a blessing rather than a curse."
Hondius, Swart Register van duysent Sonden. Amsterdam
1679, pp. 363-364 nr. 810.
For most of the seventeenth an eighteenth centuries the
Dutch were active participants in the Atlantic and Indian
Ocean slave trades. For brief spells during the seventeenth
century they even dominated the Atlantic slave trade, while
for nearly two centuries they were "the nexus of an enormous
slave trade, the most expansive of its kind in the history
of Southeast Asia." 1 Whereas the Atlantic slave trade has
been mapped out in relatively great detail in numerous studies,
its Indian Ocean counterpart has remained largely uncharted
territory and overlooked in Asian colonial historiography.
Indeed, the sufferings of the slaves in Asia occurred mainly
in silence, largely ignored, with the exception of the Cape
Colony or "Cape of torments", by both contemporaries and modern
historians. Moreover, if we are to believe one Dutch colonial
historian, Indian Ocean slavery "as a topic will never play
such an important role as it does in the Caribbean." 2
This paper is a first step to "unsilence" the
history of the "world's oldest trade" and to correct
or "re-Orient" the historiographical imbalance by
looking at the arguments surrounding Dutch slavery and slave
trade in the Indian Ocean in the seventeenth century. The
term "Dutch" consists of three components: i) the Dutch East
India Company or VOC (1602-1799) as a semi-official institution
or chartered company with delegated government rights; ii)
Dutch Company officials as private individuals; and: iii)
European settlers or free burghers and Asians in areas under
Dutch jurisdiction. Despite the problematic nature of the
term "slave" in an Indian Ocean context 3, its special characteristics
included property or chattel status and the ensuing potential
of re-isolation, institutionalized coercion and systemic exploitation,
outsider status or essential kinlessness defined as "social
death," and lack of control over physical reproduction
and sexuality. 4
Two basic systems of Indian Ocean slavery can be distinguished.
The "open system" of slavery could be found in the commercialized,
cosmopolitan cities of Southeast Asia and elsewhere where
the boundary between slavery and other forms of bondage was
porous and indistinct and upward mobility possible. In the
"closed systems" of South (and East) Asia, with
some notable exceptions, it was inconceivable for a slave
to be accepted into the kinship systems of their owners as
long as they remained slaves because of the stigma of slavery;
instead they were maintained as separate ethnic groups. The
term slave here includes so-called "true slaves," the recently
captured and sold in "open systems," and those in "closed
systems" of slavery, along with all other forms of bondage
and ties of vertical obligation. 5
Elsewhere I have argued that the Dutch Indian Ocean slave
trade was urban-centered, drawing captive labor from three
interlocking and overlapping circuits or subregions: Africa,
South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Private and Company slaves
served as general laborers and were used in a wide variety
of occupations in the Dutch settlements across the Indian
Ocean Basin. In certain of these slave societies, however,
they also performed specific activities in accordance with
the size of the individual slave household and the particular
position the settlement occupied within the Company's overall
commercial network. The division of slave labor roughly followed
ethnic, gender, and age lines based on colonial taxonomy and
pre-existing indigenous beliefs and practices that characterized
local slave systems. The number of Company and total Dutch
slaves and the accompanying volume of the annual slave trades
fluctuated greatly. In the late seventeenth century, there
were about 4,000 Company slaves and perhaps 60,000 total slaves.
In order to replenish these numbers, 200-400 Company slaves
and 3,200-5,600 total slaves had to be imported each year.
Assuming an average mortality rate en route of 20 per cent,
240-480 Company slaves and 4,476-7,716 total Dutch slaves
had to be exported from their respective catchment areas.
While slave revolt was rare, slave resistance assumed a variety
of forms, especially desertion. 6
Although a real debate over slavery did not begin until
after 1750 7, the seventeenth century did witness
a heated controversy between orthodox and moderate Calvinists
in which the "peculiar institution" played a small, albeit
not insignificant, role. The polemics between majority apologists
and minority opponents occurred in two separate spheres. In
Europe, the intellectual, theoretical argument, involving
Calvinist ministers or "pulpit predikanten," theologians and
jurists, was couched in Christian humanist terms. Whereas
a small, but vociferous minority of orthodox "Voetian" Calvinists
in the Dutch Republic opposed slavery based on biblical references,
the majority of Calvinists accepted the trade in human chattel
using the same source of authority. In addition to the Hebraic
Law, proslavery jurists also harked back to classical antiquity
to produce a specific slaving discourse with a Protestant
face. In Asia, slavery found virtually universal acceptance
among self-righteous religious, military, and civil officials
of the Dutch East India Company using various reasons of state
or pragmatic politics to defend the trade.
The ideological debate in the Dutch Republic: predikanten,
theologians, and jurists
In Europe, the intellectual, theoretical argument, involving
Calvinist ministers or "pulpit predikanten," theologians and
jurists, was couched in Christian humanist terms. In the Dutch
Republic, slavery was part of a larger conflict between orthodox
and moderate Calvinists or Voetians and Cocceians, followers
of Gisbertus Voetius and Johannes Coccejus, respectively.
This conflict bore certain resemblances to the controversy
surrounding Gomarists (Counter Remonstrants) and Arminians
(Remonstrants) one generation earlier and was centered on
Biblical exegesis, individual religious life and practice,
and state-church relations. 8 The first Europeans, however, to seriously discuss the
enslavement of large numbers of indigenous populations were
the Spaniards, epitomized in the famous debate between the
Aristotelian humanist scholar Juan Gin■s de Sepýlveda (1490-1573)
and the conquistador-turned-Dominican-friar Bartolom■ de las
Casas (1470-1566) before a panel off royal judges at Valladolid
The Utrecht professor of theology and predikant Gisbertus
Voetius (1589-1676) was a champion of orthodox Calvinism and
pietism and a representative of the so-called "Second Reformation"
(Nadere Reformatie). Influenced by English and Scottish
Puritanism, Voetius and fellow-believers, such as Festus Hommius,
Cornelis Poudroyen, Georgius de Raad, and Jacobus Hondius,
started from the legalist precept that the Reformed doctrines
were the key to the exegesis or interpretation of the Scriptures.
They rejected Cartesianism and what they perceived to be an
increasingly outward-oriented, rationalized Calvinism. Instead
they emphasized an instinctive, god-fearing, pious conduct
in life (praxis pietatis) through the reform of sins,
and a personal relationship with God. Finally, they preached
the independence of the church free from state interference
or at least a larger role for religion in politics.
Similar to De las Casas 9, Voetians emphasized the natural equality of humans
and rejected the theft of humans, i.e., slavery, based on
the Mosaic Law and other Biblical references (for instance,
Matthew 6:26; 10:24-31; Luke 15; Deuteronomy 24:7; 1 Timothy
1:10; Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 6:5-9; Colossians 3:11). They
strongly believed in both divine predestination and the individual's
responsibility to transform and reorder society in order to
create the Kingdom of God (regnum Christi) in accordance
with Providence. As a result, they vehemently opposed the
subordination of the Reformed church in the Dutch Republic
and the overseas world to secular authorities and the primacy
of material over spiritual considerations. 10
Johannes Cocceius (1603-1669), professor of Eastern languages
at the University of Franeker and (from 1650) professor of
theology at the University of Leiden, rejected the rigid,
legalist interpretation of the Bible and confessional dogmatism
of the Voetians. Cocceius cum sociis instead emphasized
the need to recapture the original meaning of the text and
to regain something of the old evangelical spirit. They were
also more positively inclined towards several new ideas of
the time, including Cartesian philosophy, than their conservative,
orthodox Voetian counterparts. Finally, Cocceians were more
willing than Voetians to accord a larger role of the state
within the church and to submit to secular authority.
Cocceians explained the Decalogue in less concrete terms
in its New Testament form of loving God and one's neighbor
with all one's heart, soul, and reason. Though theft was a
violation of the highest law of compassion, it did not specifically
include the theft of humans and slavery. Biblical references,
such as the curse of Canaan (Genesis 9:25-27) and other passages
mentioning slavery without disapproval (Exodus 21:20-21; Leviticus
25:44-46; 2 Peter 2:19; Philemon 8-22), seemed to justify
or at least condone the practice. The term Cocceian also became
politically charged as Cocceius and co-religionists were more
accepting of the subordination of the church in the Dutch
Republic and the overseas world. 11
The first "pre-Voetian" opponent of slavery was the Leiden
predikant Festus Hommius (1576-1642). A fellow-student
of Gomarus, Hommius was one of the main spokesmen for the
Contra-Remonstrant party prior to the Synod of Dordrecht.
12 In the third edition of Het schat-boeck
der verclaringhen over de catechismus (1617), a translation
of the Explicationes Catheticae (1591) by Zacharias
Ursinus, Hommius expanded the interpretation of the Eighth
Commandment regarding theft to include a prohibition of slavery.
Elaborating on the Heidelberg Catechism, Hommius argued that
slavery was a form of theft to be punished by the government.
God had ordained (Exodus 21:16), Hommius asserted, that "Whoever
steals a man, whether he sells him or is found in possession
of him, shall be put to death."
Hommius updated the Schatboeck by increasing the number
of biblical references forbidding the theft of humans (Deuteronomy
24:7 and 1 Timothy 1:10), and further specifying the term
theft of humans. It included, among others, the abduction
of free people and sale of slaves, "thus depriving them of
their most precious possession, which is freedom." This statement
could be interpreted as a principled emphasis on human freedom
and the unacceptability of the slave trade. However, Hommius
did not reject all forms of slave trade, the theft of humans
only involved the theft of free people. Hommius obviously
shared the scientific common opinion (see section on the apologists
ahead) that slavery and slave trade was possible under certain
Hommius' Schatboeck provided a veritable "treasure
trove" or source of inspiration for various Voetian predikanten,
such as Cornelis Poudroyen, Georgius de Raad, and Jacobus
Hondius. The Catechisatie─ over de leere des Christelicken
Catechismi (1662) by the Utrecht predikant Cornelis Poudroyen
(d. 1662) was a polemical treatise calling for radical Christian
action. Point by point, the former student and "ghostwriter"
of Voetius countered the proslavery arguments used by jurists
and others based on the Mosaic Law. Citing the words of his
mentor, Poudroyen denied parents the right to sell their children
into slavery. Children of war captives could also not be kept
as slaves, he argued, while impoverished people offering themselves
for sale should be assisted through charity or compassion
rather than enslavement. The argument that slave labor was
necessary in tropical conditions was invalid, since free men
could and should also perform heavy labor. Slaves were not
to be given tasks deemed unfit for oneself and others, for
"they are your equals and fellow human beings." The overriding
principle for Poudroyen was Christian compassion, concluding
"It is unbefitting for Christians
to engage in this rough, insecure, confusing, dangerous, and
unreasonable trade, adding to a person's troubles and being
an executor of his torments. Instead, if one desires to bring
forth good from that evil, one should purchase him [the slave]
in order to be manumitted and freed from such great servitude
to cruel tyrants, and, if possible, instruct him in the Christian
Poudroyen's appeal to Christian compassion was shared
by Georgius de Raad (c. 1625-1677). In his Bedenckingen
over den Guineschen Slaef-handel (1665), the Vlissingen
predikant and former student of Voetius not surprisingly used
arguments similar to Poudroyen's. Perhaps responding to the
recent indirect acquisition of the asiento contract
by the West India Company in 1662, De Raad dedicated his populist,
anti-papist work to the merchant ■lites of Amsterdam and Rotterdam,
Middelburg, and Vlissingen, and the directors of the East
and West India Companies. Though initially seemingly containing
various elements for a Protestant colonial ideology, step
by step De Raad pressed his case against slavery. Using apocalyptic
imagery, he warned the Reformed for the impending wrath of
God: "Our country is sinking, and this sin, or rather innumerable
injustices, which are occurring daily in the slave trade,
may well be the heaviest ballast which will cause the ship
to go down." 15
De Raad started by merely denouncing the sale of slaves
at the center of the thriving Dutch slave trade in the Caribbean,
the "unblessed Curađao" (also known as the "Golden Rock"),
and elsewhere to "papists." A negro slave sold to Spanish,
French, or Portuguese owners, he argued, was to deliver a
soul to the realm of the devil. A Reformed slave owner should
rather treat his slaves well and instruct them in the True
(Calvinist) Faith. The only reason for the existence of the
owner-slave relation was as part of Divine Providence to lead
the slave from darkness to light. Even the possession of slaves,
however, was questionable since their acquisition had often
been unjust and sinful. De Raad glossed over some of the "innumerable
injustices" associated with the traffic. Sometimes "the poor
pagans" were lured to the ships and kidnapped against their
will. Parents were separated from their children, children
from their parents, husbands from their wives, wives from
their husbands, and so forth. Innocent people were captured
and sold by their own rulers. Aboard the ships "horrible and
notorious sins, and [acts of] heathen, outrageous cruelty"
were being committed. Slaves on the plantations were abused
and few efforts were made to convert the slaves. Even those
who had been converted enjoyed few or no privileges. De Raad
rejected arguments that slaves were commodities and lacked
the intelligence to become Christians. Slaves were fellow-creatures,
he warned, created in the image of God. If they were ignorant,
they should be instructed. If they were slow, they should
be treated with compassion. 16
In his Swart register van duysent sonden (1679),
one of the most famous seventeenth-century registers of sins,
the Hoorn Predikant Jacobus Hondius denounced both Reformed
church members in general and the directors of the West and
East India Companies in particular for their participation
in the slave trade. Slaves were "miserable people" rather
than animals and of the same nature as Church members. Even
though "Jews, Turks, Pagans, and so-called Christians" participated
in the slave trade, "Reformed church members should not taint
themselves with such uncompassionate trade. Rather, they should
act in fear of the Lord, in order that the money they make
will be a blessing rather than a curse." Moreover, Hondius
joined the chorus of predikanten, accusing the directors of
the West and East India Companies of neglecting the conversion
of the "Indians and pagan humans in the East- and West Indies,"
letting material considerations prevail over spiritual ones.
Finally, church members and predikanten disregarding the "praxis
pietatis" were overseas sinners, who through their unchristian
behavior turned others away from the Kingdom of Christ. 17
Despite their high profile and vociferous outcry, Voetian
predikanten and theologians represented a minority antislavery
position ignored by the Calvinist majority. Using the same
sources of authority, Reformed ministers such as Godefridus
Udemans, Johan Picardt, Johannes Cocceius, and Herman Witsius
were apologists defending the "peculiar institution." In his
't Geestelyck Roer van 't Coopmans Schip (1638), the
Zierikzee predikant Godefridus Udemans (c. 1581-1649) argued
that the "spiritual rudder of the merchant ship," or the primary
goal of overseas trade, should be the expansion of the kingdom
of God (regnum Deo). He agreed with the common opinion
that the riches of the Indies were merely a means for the
propagation of the word. Under certain safeguards, however,
slavery was not incompatible with Calvinist principles and
should be considered a life-saving act of Christian charity
and human compassion. Udemans, celebrated for his theological
expertise, founded his conclusion on theories such as the
primacy of spiritual over physical freedom, the curse of Canaan
(Exodus 9:25-27), and God's selection of the Dutch as his
chosen people. He became the founder of a specific slaving
ideology with a Protestant face, with which generations of
predikanten, including even the eighteenth-century former
Gold Coast slave and predikant Jacobus Elisa Johannes Capitein
(1711-1747), legitimized the traffic in human chattel. 18 The so-called "Ham ideology,"
based on the curse of Canaan (Genesis 9:25-27), continued
to serve as the most important biblical justification for
the enslavement of Africans and Asians until the nineteenth-century
Udemans accepted slavery as an institution. Though citing
the Eighth Commandment from Hommius' Schatboeck, his
definition of "the theft of humans" did not include slave
trade. A Christian, he maintained, was allowed to buy slaves
originating from a just war or legitimate sale by their parents.
The emphasis in his work was on the responsibility of the
Christian master to his slave. Christians could not be enslaved,
and Christian slaves could never be sold to pagans, Muslims,
or Roman Catholics. Moreover, pagan slaves had to be instructed
in the Christian faith. Loyal and pious slaves were to be
rewarded properly and released seven years after their conversion
in order to promote the spread of Christianity. Udemans concluded
his expos■ with a statement by St. Augustine. Though intended
to console god-fearing slaves and warn godless masters, it
was used until the nineteenth century to justify slavery:
"A pious man is free, even when a slave; but an evil man is
a slave, even when a king; because he is a slave not of man
alone, but (what is much worse) of as many masters as his
In 1660, the Coevorden predikant and theologian Johan Picardt
(1600-1670) expressed the so-called "Ham ideology," based
on Noah's cursing of Ham's son, Canaan, for pointing his two
other brothers, Shem and Japheth, to the nudity of their drunken
father (Genesis 9:25-27). Picardt argued that the Hamites
(Negroes) had been cursed and sentenced to perpetual servitude
under the Shemites (identified with the Jews) and Japhethites
(identified with the Europeans). Though the exact origins
of this argument are unknown, it would serve as the most important
biblical justification for the enslavement of blacks until
the nineteenth-century emancipation:
"Although Ham and his descendants have become powerful nations,
slavery has ruled amongst them. Have not most Africans as
a rule been slaves of their kings? Are not the majority of
them still slaves of the Turks? Have not the inhabitants of
Congo, Angola, Guinea, Monomopata [kingdom south of the Zambezi
River], and Bagawidri [?] from slave nests─, whence many are
dragged here and there, sold, and used for all forms of servile
labors? These people have been so conditioned, that when freed
or treated lovingly they are no good and do not know how to
behave themselves. But if one constantly applies the cane
to their backs and gives them a sound thrashing without mercy,
then one can expect good services from them for their well-being
consists of enslavement." 21
Johannes Cocceius (1603-1669) seems to have considered
the abominable crime of slavery mostly as a historical issue.
In his posthumously published Heydelbergensis Catechesis
Religionis Christianae (1671), Coceius argued that apparently
Ancient Israel accepted the legality of the voluntary sale
of destitute people for reasons of necessity as witnessed
by the fate of Joseph and the Israelites in Egypt. One could
therefore sell oneself to another person in return for money.
But, Cocceius added, "God set limits to this servitude and
carefully ordered how beneficial these servants should be
treated." Cocceius and his students, such as Henricus Groenewegen
(c. 1640-1692) and Petrus van der Hagen (1641-1671), never
explicitly treated or condemned contemporary slavery. Approving
of or passing over the institution in silence, these Calvinist
ministers and theologians explicitly or implicitly endorsed
In his De oeconomica foedrum Dei Dei cum hominibus
(1677), one of the most important religious works of the seventeenth
century, the Franeker, Utrecht and Leiden theologian Herman
Witsius (1638-1708) summed up the theological communis opinio:
"Great sins of the parents have to be redeemed by a long succession
of children and grandchildren, for Canaan and his descendants
have been assigned to the Semites and the children of Japheth
as slaves." 23
Cocceius' proslavery position was shared by leading jurists
such as Hugo de Groot or Grotius, Ulrich Huber, and Willem
de Groot. Hugo de Groot or Grotius (1583-1645) was a staunch
advocate of the jus gentium primarum or primary law
of nations. As a typical Northern Renaissance or Christian
humanist scholar, Grotius, apart from the Hebraic Law, also
heavily relied on classical antiquity and customary law to
legitimize slavery. In his De iure belli ac pacis (1625),
the lawyer and statesman duly compiled and cited the opinions
of Greek and Roman authors, arguing that slavery was an ancient
institution to be found in both the Old and New Testament
and Greco-Roman history. Grotius recognized both voluntary
slavery and involuntary slavery. Each individual was entitled
to renounce his freedom, for instance, in order to escape
famine and starvation. An impoverished father, moreover, had
the right to sell his child. Slavery could also be an alternative
to execution: certain criminals had forfeited their freedom
through their actions. Similarly, those conquered in a just
war (bellum iustum) could avoid death because of slavery.
Grotius condoned the institution of slavery, albeit "within
natural limits," including humane treatment, moderate punishment,
and the provision of proper nourishment and other necessities
of life. 24
All prominent jurists from the Republic, including Huber,
Pestel, and De Groot followed Grotius in accepting slavery
and the slave trade. Ulrich Huber (1633-1694) was perhaps
the most important political philosopher in the Dutch Republic
of the last quarter of the seventeenth century. He spent the
greatest part of his life as professor of law at the University
of Franeker. His major work, De jure civitatis libri tres,
was first published in 1672, but did not assume it final form
until 1694. Huber considered captivity in war, criminal conviction,
voluntary renunciation of liberty, and birth from a female
slave legal grounds for slavery. Pestel accepted the institution
under certain safeguards, preventing abuses related to sale
and transport. In his De principis juris naturalis enchiridion
(1667), a manual on the basic principles of the law of nature,
Willem de Groot (1597-1662), a nephew of the more famous Hugo,
argued that captivity in war reduced a free man to slavery.
Apart from classical sources of authority, jurists also
employed the same biblical references as proslavery theologians
to underwrite the institution. In his Hollands Aeloude
Vrijheid (1706), the jurist and anti-Orangist political
writer Emmanuel van der Hoeven (c. 1660-c. 1728) contrasted
the "ancient freedom" of Holland with the biblical justification
of slavery based on Noah's curse of Canaan (Exodus 9:25-27),
which condemned blacks to slavery by descent together with
the associated racial characteristics. Van der Hoeven commented:
"The pride and impudence of Canaan was deserving of the curse,
which it incited. He was foretold to leave behind a servile
people, whose body from the eight day of their birth will
be covered by black paint to distinguish them from the free,
along with their despondent and ungainly facial features."
Van der Hoeven's association of slavery with physical and
racial features, however, was uncharacteristic of his time.
It was not until the nineteenth century that slavery was justified
by "scientific," somatic, rather than religious-humanist arguments.
Identities were first and foremost based on religion, customs,
morality, and loyalties. Although everyone was born into a
certain "nation," Dutchmen overseas could "go native," just
as indigenous peoples could become "white" or "civilized."
Expressed by the Council of Dordt in 1618, Dutch seventeenth-century
Calvinism espoused, in theory if not in practice, the ideal
of assimilation rather than racial segregation or Apartheid.
Pragmatism in Asia: religious, civil, and military Company
Whereas ideological motivations on a theoretical plane
dominated discourse in Europe, in Asia slavery found virtually
universal acceptance among self-righteous religious, military,
and civil officials of the Dutch East India Company. Using
reasons of state or pragmatic politics to defend the trade,
these Company servants rather opportunistically resorted to
a variety of ad hoc arguments in an unsystematic manner. These
arguments included Christian humanitarian compassion ("christelijcke
mededogentheyt"), the need to establish and populate settlement
colonies ("peuplatie"), the right of war and conquest ("oorlogh
ende conqueste"), naturalist, contractual law (pacta sunct
servanda), and financial-budgetary considerations ("mesnagie").
In a sense, Company servants put their mouth where their money
was. Even the overseas church, a potentially independent voice,
was strictly subordinated to the authority of the Dutch East
India Company. Predikanten and their assistants were salaried
officials of the Company, correspondence with Europe was read
and censored, church councils in Asia were attended by lay
officials, and the decisions of these bodies could only be
carried out with the approval and cooperation of Company officials.
The Christian humanitarian argument ("christelijcke mededogentheyt")
was based on the alleged material and spiritual salvation
of the individual slave's body and soul. Christian humanitarian
ideas permeated the slave ordinances of 1622 and 1625, which
were incorporated into the Statutes of Batavia (1642). The
Statutes of Batavia provided general rules for the whole of
Company territories, while alluding to specific conditions
in Batavia. The ordinance of 4 May 1622, derived from strict
Christian principles rather than Roman law, consisted of nine
articles, supplemented with directions for the proper "governance
and upbringing of slaves." It decreed that the "alienation
of male and female slaves" could only be done "for good and
sufficient reasons." Such transactions had to be duly registered
before a magistrate or legal authority. Christians could not
sell or alienate slaves of any sort to "people outside Christendom."
Unbelievers in Company territories could not buy, receive
or hold title to slaves from Christians. In contrast, non-Christians
were permitted to sell slaves to Christians. Christian slaveholders
were to treat all their slaves with "civility, benevolence,
and reasonableness", "to care for them as their own children",
and to raise and instruct them in the Christian religion that
"they might come to receive holy baptism." Non-Christian masters
could not deny their slaves instruction in the Christian religion
and, were they to become Christians, their owners would have
to part with them at a "reasonable price" either to a Christian
or to the Company itself. 29
The next important ordinance on slaves was posted on 16
June 1625, as an "amplification" to the original ordinance
of 1622. It consisted of ten articles, mostly directed at
curtailing the excessively severe and uncontrolled punishment
inflicted on privately owned slaves and at providing a framework
for the obligations of slaves to their masters. Thus, without
the "express consent" of the appropriate Company officer,
no slave owner could impose more than "civil or domestic"
punishment on his or her slaves nor incarcerate a slave or
set a slave in blocks or chains. Slaves requiring more severe
punishment had to be dealt with by an officer or tribunal.
Individuals found guilty of "mishandling" their slaves were
subject to fines, confiscation of their slaves, or other punishments
depending on the severity of the case. Owners who were discovered
to have caused the death of their slaves through abuse were
to be investigated by the magistrate and might themselves
be subject to the death penalty. Slaves had the right to complain
about their mistreatment to the chief officer of the area
in which their master resided, but if these complaints proved
to be unfounded the offending slave would be "severely" beaten
at a public whipping post and returned to his master. 30
Though church meetings and individual clergymen in the
Dutch Republic at times expressed their distaste of slavery,
overseas religious officials of the Company by and large accepted
the institution. In 1628-1629, both Reformed classis most
involved in the overseas world, Amsterdam and Walcheren (Zeeland),
wrote to Batavia, that "it was unchristian to have slaves."
Slavery, they argued, was "unedifying and not permitted among
the Christians in the Indies." The Batavia church council,
however, led by the Predikant Justus Heurnius (1587-1652),
replied that the Reverend brethren in patria were mistaken.
Slavery was justified because of the "servile nature" of Asians,
the likelihood of their defection to Islam once freed, and
the milder treatment by Europeans.
According to Heurnius cum sociis, slavery in itself
could not be condemned. The mistreatment of slaves, moreover,
he reassured his counterparts in patria, had already been
greatly remedied. Company placards and ordinances, such as
those of 1622 and 1625, prescribed rules for decent treatment,
disciplining and punishment. They also promoted the christening
of slaves and protected Christian slaves, for instance, through
the stipulation that non-Christians could not purchase or
possess Christian slaves. Moreover, Heurnius reminded his
Reverend brethren in the Dutch Republic, overseas conditions
should be taken into proper consideration. Though Heurnius,
author of De legatione evangelica (1618), was a zealous
advocate of the conversion of the indigenous peoples and slave
population, the nature of Asians was different:
"As it is seems natural
to our nation to aspire to golden freedom (ad auream libertatem),
so we experience in contrast amongst the ordinary nations
of these countries such a servile character, that their freedom
and self-government apparently are even worse than slavery.
Moreover, when freed, they pursue their submission to another
Once manumitted, Heurnius asserted, converted Asians would
immediately attach themselves to a new patron-owner and revert
to Islam in order to secure food and clothing: "They set their
sail according to the wind, have themselves circumcised, following
and practicing the Muslim faith." Heurnius, therefore, considered
slavery as a natural phenomenon inherent to a society with
great social and economic inequalities. Though all people
are equal in the heavenly Kingdom of God, Heurnius claimed,
on this world "one person is higher in standing and order
than the other." This Aristotelianesque distinction between
superior and inferior peoples was given an appropriate Christian
touch, inequality being an expression of God's will. 31
Apart from saving the soul of unbelievers ensnared in
the trappings of the devil, the Christian humanitarian argument
also involved saving people from starvation in instances of
severe famine in the wake of war, droughts, epidemics, poor
harvests, and/or oppressive regimes. Dutch Company officials
eagerly portrayed themselves in the role of saviors, providing
these people, voluntarily selling themselves or their immediate
relatives, with home, family, and employment. In other words,
slavery was presented as some form of "Asian Poor Law."
The invasion of a Bijapuri army, for example, into the
province of Tanjavur in 1658 initiated one in a series of
vicious "famine-slave" cycles along India's Coromandel coast.
One eyewitness account vividly reported the widespread misery:
"The famine has worsened
to such an extent that entire villages, hamlets, and settlements
have been depopulated, leaving hardly anyone. Dead bodies
are laying scattered in dry tanks, along common roads, indeed,
even the streets of the city of Nagapatnam. Those who have
survived until now more resemble lifeless corpses than living
people, crying along the fields and roads for a single meal
to fill their empty stomachs before dying. In short, the miseries
and sufferings are such, that no pen can describe the extremity
of the situation─" 33
Taking advantage of the situation, the Company exported
6,000 slaves from southern Coromandel between 1659 and 1661,
mostly to Ceylon and Batavia. Company officials portrayed
Dutch participation in the traffic as a work of Christian
compassion. As Governor Laurens Pit of Coromandel (1652-1663)
informed the Directors in August 1660: "It is indisputable
that the purchase of these poor people is a work of compassion
since they would otherwise perish, as happens to those who
are turned away─" 34
Elaborating on Pit's Christian humanitarian theme, Governor
General Johan Maetsuycker (1653-1678) and the Council of the
Indies commented in November 1660:
"Our intention is that the
purchase [of slaves] will occur indiscriminately of both the
elderly and the young, especially when they are members of
a single family as is often the case. If we only accepted
the young and turn down the old, the latter would perish,
which we understand has already occurred often. This would
not conform with Christian compassion (christel. mededogentheyt),
for to accept the children and leaving the parents to die
in their presence, or to accept the men and turn down the
women, would be harsh and, we fear, unacceptable to the Lord
In addition to Christian humanitarianism, the right of
war and conquest ("oorlogh ende conqueste") was occasionally
employed as a proslavery argument by self-righteous Company
officials. As a politico-commercial enterprise, the VOC or
"merchant-warrior" considered war and trade to be interchangeable.
Adhering to prevailing mercantilist thought, the Dutch entered
into numerous conflicts with European and Asian rivals in
the Indian Ocean. One of the earliest formulations of
this guiding principle was provided by the hard-liner, "Iron"
Jan Pietersz. Coen (1587-1629). In 1614, the future governor
general unsolicitedly advised the Company Directors or Gentlemen
"By experience [you] should
be well aware that in the Indies trade has to be pursued and
maintained under the protection of one's own arms and that
the weapons must be financed through the profits so earned
by trade. In short, trade without war or war without trade
cannot be maintained." 36
Apart from "just war," the Dutch also purchased slaves
resulting from intercommunal conflicts within non-Muslim microstates
and stateless societies and petty warfare and raiding by Islamic
communities in the Dar al-Harb ("Abode of War"). In
theory, the Company only accepted legally acquired slaves
and rejected those acquired via outright kidnapping and robbery.
In practice, however, the Dutch distinction between legal
means and illegal kidnapping and robbery was as nebulous as
the Muslim differentiation between "true slaves" (Arabic 'abd)
resulting from genuine jihad and ruthless raiding for helpless
human prey. 37
In general, the small numbers of Dutch Company servants
in Asia saw themselves as beset by hordes of enemies, both
European and Asian, eager for any opportunity to deprive them
of the fruits of their honest labor. As all Company servants
were to be Protestant, this paranoid "siege mentality" was
not limited to the economic sphere alone, but also had political
and religious overtones. In consequence of their protracted
war of independence against the Catholic Spanish Habsburg
monarchy, the Dutch in particular were inspired with convictions
of fighting for a righteous cause against the forces of manifest
inequity. Though opposition from Asian (and European) competitors
was often quite real, the Dutch charged these rivalries with
anxieties that were proportional to their own position in
an overwhelming and alien environment. 38
This world view profoundly shaped the Dutch interpretation
of "just war," which was routinely invoked whenever local
Company personnel were attacked or property damaged, agreements
with indigenous rulers violated, and trade impeded by oppressive
Asian officials, always of course without the slightest provocation.
In the words of Coen: "We have been warned by now that we
will be attacked, murdered, and robbed─ Do not despair, do
not spare your enemies. There is no one in the world who should
bother or can stop us for God is on our side─" 39
War captives were considered the lowest class of slaves,
and as chained laborers (kettinggangers) performed
the vilest and hardest forms of labor. The General Instruction
of 1617, for instance, stipulated that "prisoners of the enemy
shall be used as slaves in galleys and in other servile labor
irrespective of quality or condition, either spiritual or
worldly, and they shall be treated as rigorously as shall
be found fit. " 40
The right of war and conquest was deemed the best title
under which slavery could be carried out. In 1626, for instance,
Governor General Jacques de Carpentier (1623-1627) and the
Council of the Indies wrote: "We wish that rather than having
to purchase slaves─ we could acquire them by conquest and
war from places, where we would be justified to get them lawfully
(met goet recht)─" 41
Self-righteous Company officials were quick to point out
the distinction between the "just wars" of the Dutch and the
illegal kidnapping and stealing of their European and Asian
politico-commercial rivals. In 1651, for instance, Governor
General Carel Reniers (1650-1653) and the Council of the Indies
condemned the "not very Christian" practices of the Portuguese
at Nagapatnam. Allegedly they were "stealing slaves from that
country at dead of night or committed open robbery with the
conniving of the indigenous governors and rulers who profit
from it." Seizing on the opportunity to take the moral high
ground, the High Government commented: "We should never imitate
this sin (godtloosheyt), even if we were never to acquire
any more slaves." Along similar lines, Commander Isbrand Godske
of Malabar (1666-1668) in 1668 advised his successor, Lucas
van der Dussen (1668-1670), to carefully examine people offered
for sale to the Company as slaves, "for it has been our experience,
that free men are often seduced by sinister practices, enslaved,
and transported, which can thus be prevented." 42
The Dutch, however, did not always act in accordance to
their preaching. In 1654, for instance, Governor General Maetsuyker
and the Council of the Indies were favorably inclined towards
a petition of the inhabitants of the Sula Islands east of
Sulawesi asking for permission to revert to "stealing people."
The request should be granted, Maetsuyker and the Council
opined, provided that their vessels were furnished with several
Dutchmen in order to prevent the illegal acquisition and "smuggling"
of spices! 43
Next to Christian humanitarianism and the right of war
and conquest, the Dutch also resorted to the argument of settlement
colonization ("peuplatie") by European settlers or "free burghers"
supplemented by slave labor. Though a majority of VOC servants
were skeptical about the creation of a "New Netherlands" in
Asia based on slave labor 44, several high Company officials periodically
advocated the emigration of married couples or families from
the Netherlands as the only means of establishing a reliable
settled Dutch community in areas where the Company exercised
jurisdiction by "right of conquest," such as Batavia, Ceylon,
and the Cape of Good Hope.
Governor General Jan Pietersz. Coen (1619-1623; 1627-1629)
at Batavia was one of the earliest proponents of settlement
colonies. In a treatise presented to the Company directors
in 1623, Coen stressed the need for encouraging good, substantial
burgher-families to emigrate from the Netherlands with their
capital to West Java where there was room for "many hundred
thousands of people" to pursue agricultural professions: "Let
us plough and sow, the Lord will provide for growth." In 1623,
the High Government at Batavia had already intimated to the
"The sweetest violence (soetste
gewelt) to keep our enemies in check without resorting
to open war is to populate the lands with our own people and
fill them to such an extent that we instill respect in our
feigned friends [the English], fear in our enemies, and obedience
in the rebellious. Large numbers of people are the principal
foundation of the Company's state in the Indies, without which
it cannot exist." 45
In 1640, Governor-General Antonio van Diemen (1636-1645)
intimated to the Company Directors that he deemed a settlement
colony "vital and absolutely necessary for reasons of state
security." 46 A more modest scheme for Dutch
colonization based on the Portuguese model was proposed by
Governor Johan Maetsuyker of Ceylon (1646-1650). A professed
admirer of the Portuguese system of the intermarriage of Portuguese
soldiers (casados) and settlers (moradores)
with indigenous women, Maetsuyker suggested the union of white
men to Asian or Eurasian women to promote colonization. The
mixed offspring could establish themselves in Colombo, Galle,
Jaffna, and elsewhere as artisans and farmers. One of Maetsuyker's
successors, Governor Rijkloff van Goens of Ceylon (1662-1663;
1665-1675), was another advocate of Dutch colonization of
the "cinnamon conquest." In the absence of white wives for
the settlers, he was even prepared to tolerate intermarriage
with Sinhalese, Tamil and Eurasian women. The arrival of thousands
of slaves on Ceylon in the wake of a widespread famine in
Southern Coromandel (1658-1661) was perceived by Van
Goens "as the hidden disposition of divine Providence in order
to repopulate the lands here and to support the Company's
In 1717, Captain Dominique Marius Pasques de Chavonnes,
member of the Council of Policy at the Cape of Good Hope,
argued in response to a proposal of the Company directors,
that slaves should be replaced by European settlers. Not only
would the intractable problem of slave escape, the constant
fear of rebellion, and the necessity of punishment be removed,
but money paid as wages would also be spent within the colony,
creating a larger market for Company products. His argument
was based not on moral but on economic grounds, substantiated
with detailed assessments of the relative costs of slave and
free labor. Not surprisingly, the Captain also stressed the
"dangers, expense and troubles, which residents in the country
districts have to endure because of their slaves." 48 ADD: J.K.J. de Jonge,
De opkomst van het Nederlandsch gezag in Oost-Indi´.
18 vols. The Hague 1862-1909, VI, pp. v-xvii. For debate on
colonial settlement on Java.
Despite the haphazard efforts of such powerful personalities
as Coen, Maetsuyker, Van Goens, the results achieved by the
end of the seventeenth century were most disappointing. They
showed quite clearly that for various reasons Dutch colonization
in the East on the Portuguese model was a failure. First,
few prospective emigrants (rich or well-to-do families, the
"laboring poor," or time-expired Company servants) could be
found willing to settle permanently in the tropics. The lack
of white masters for settlement colonies ("aenplantinghe van
coloni´n") occasionally even led to a surplus of slaves in
Batavia and elsewhere! In 1626, for instance, Governor General
De Carpentier and the Council of the Indies complained: "Here
are still lacking determined, industrious, and energetic people
to both rule over the slaves and bring the fertile fallow
under cultivation and reasonable production." 49
Second, the free-burghers could not compete effectively
with their Asian counterparts, who were far more familiar
with their compatriots' religions, languages, customs, and
environments. Third, the economic interests of the colonists
often clashed with those of the Company, which jealously reserved
the most lucrative trades for itself. When Governor General
Van Diemen pointed to the narrow economic basis supporting
the Batavian citizenry, the Company Directors replied in 1649:
"We are on the horns of
a dilemma. A Dutch colony is indeed highly useful, nay, indispensable
for the political status of the Company. Experience has shown,
however, that these colonists cannot exist unless freedom
of movement and freedom of trade is permitted to the colonists.
This would certainly have a detrimental effect on the mainstay
of the Company, its trade. Therefore, the stabilization of
a real colony with burghers trading privately cannot be in
the interest of the Company."
Two years later, in October 1651, the Directors stated
their priorities in even less ambiguous terms: "We must remain
the masters of the enterprise, even if that means the disposal
of the Batavian citizenry." 50 The extensive pleas
of the Company Lawyer Pieter van Dam in 1662 for liberalization
of trade and a larger settlement colony went therefore unheard.
In addition to Christian humanitarianism, the right of
war and conquest, and the argument of settlement colonization,
the Dutch attached an enormous importance to the legalist
principle of pacta sunt servanda, that is, treaties
have to be honored under all circumstances. 52 The naturalist doctrine of the inviolability
of contractual agreements was an article of faith in Dutch
correspondence, though they applied double standards when
deemed necessary. In 1653, for example, the High Government
decided to approve a "disadvantageous contract" recently concluded
with the Mughal ruler Shah Jahan (1627-1658), but only "as
long as either the Company trade in those quarters remains
of the same importance as it is nowadays. Otherwise we will
dispose in accordance with the Company's interests." 53
Throughout the Indonesian Archipelago, the Dutch routinely
concluded agreements with local indigenous chiefs and headmen
(orangkayas, penghulus, panglimas, and so forth), who
agreed often under duress to accept Dutch overlordship. In
exchange for protection and military assistance against Asian
and European enemies, these chiefs and headmen promised the
delivery of a specified number of slaves and other commodities
as tribute and expression of their loyalty. Between 1650 and
1675 alone, the Dutch concluded "slave-clause" agreements
with indigenous chiefs on and near the islands of Sumatra,
Timor, New Guinea, and Sulawesi. 54
Asian perceptions of the meaning of an agreement differed
widely from European interpretation. What mattered to Malaysians
and other indigenous peoples, for instance, was not the treaty
with its numerous specific individual clauses, but rather
the generic recognition of friendship and alliance. The Malay
word for agreement or treaty is perjanjian, meaning
literally "promise." Treaty clauses could be adjusted, changed,
or even disregarded as long as the agreement's essential character
was preserved. When a specific clause was considered disadvantageous,
it could be ignored. This behavior was not viewed as evasion
of the contract, but as important steps to prevent endangering
the essence of the agreement, the friendship between two powers.
Though Company officials recognized that these agreements
were often imposed on these indigenous chiefs and headmen
under the threat of armed force and the expression of unequal
exchange, they considered these contracts as basis for legal
political and military retribution: "In case of violation,
we have our pretense and can promote the interests of the
Apart from Christian humanitarianism, the right of war
and conquest, the argument of settlement colonization, and
the legalist principle of pacta sunt servanda, the
Dutch also employed financial-budgetary considerations ("mesnagie")
to justify slavery. Though hard-line, imperialist and "dovish,"
mercantile factions disagreed on the means, Company officials
agreed that making profit was the sine qua non of their respective
policies. The use of slaves was partly a necessity due to
the unreliability of alternative labor supplies, partly a
deliberate choice to cut overhead costs. Free wage labor (Company
servants or Asians) or coerced labor (condemned criminals)
was always insufficiently available, while slaves (especially
those from India) were considered a more tractable and cheaper
option. The almost universal consensus among Company officials
on the desirability and profitability of slave labor stands
in shrill contrast to the heated controversy among historians
over abolition. Whereas the Marxist historian Eric Williams
has placed late eighteenth-century abolition and the end of
slavery in an economic, capitalist context, Seymour Drescher
and others have argued that these humanitarian efforts were
a form of "econocide" or economic suicide, as slavery and
the slave trade still remained vibrant. 57
In 1615 Governor General Gerard Reynst (1614-1615) and
the Council of the Indies argued that slaves were indispensable
to the Company for the construction of fortifications and
other activities involving heavy physical labor under tropical
conditions. Without slaves, the High Government argued, there
would be no fortifications:
"We cannot extract the necessary
labor from our nation in these districts, even if they were
available. The heat is too much and drink too abundant almost
everywhere. I have already experienced, that one slave produces
more work than two or more of our nation. If only I could
get slaves─, I would know how to employ them well in our service."
Economy supplemented necessity. A "good and frugal household"
(goede ende spaersame mesnagie) was considered one
of the most important foundations of the Company's state in
Asia in which the use of slave labor was instrumental. In
1614 Reynst and the Council of the Indies asserted that Ambon,
Banda, Maluku and other places where the Company had fortifications
required "a good number of slaves." Allegedly they could "perform
the daily labors markedly better than our soldiers and sailors,
who have to be paid with good money and are very costly to
the Company." 59
Apart from being employed at the fortifications and other
public works, Company slaves were also used as artisans and
craftsmen along with numerous other occupations and deemed
less expensive than their free white counterparts. Slaves
represented a cheap and expendable source of labor, valued
much less than the Company's European personnel. Following
another explosion in a series of accidents at the gunpowder
mill at Batavia in which several European personnel were killed,
for instance, the High Government in 1662 decided henceforth
to use slaves, "who are not as dear to the Company and can
also produce the gunpowder cheaper than Dutchmen, who enjoy
a high salary and board wages." 60
In 1717, the major concern of the members of the Council
of Policy at the Cape of Good Hope was with costs when asked
by the Company directors whether slaves should continue to
be imported or whether immigration of European laborers should
be encouraged. Almost all members stressed the economic argument
that it was considerably cheaper to obtain and keep slaves
than white laborers; a response that doubtless convinced the
directors. The lonely voice in the desert was Pasques de Chavonnes,
but he was isolated and easily outvoted in the Council. 61
Although a real debate over slavery did not begin until
after 1750, the seventeenth century did witness a heated controversy
between orthodox and moderate Calvinists in which the "peculiar
institution" played a small, albeit not insignificant, role.
The polemics between majority apologists and minority opponents
occurred in two separate spheres. In Europe, the intellectual,
theoretical argument, involving Calvinist ministers or "pulpit
predikanten," theologians and jurists, was couched in typical
Northern Renaissance or Christian humanist terms. In Asia,
slavery found virtually universal acceptance among self-righteous
religious, military, and civil officials of the Dutch East
India Company using various reasons of state or pragmatic
politics to defend the trade. To God-fearing Calvinists in
patria and overseas, the enslavement of African and Asian
peoples did create a serious moral predicament for both opponents
and apologists alike. Torn between gain and godliness,
the "peculiar institution" was carefully circumscribed, permissible
only "for good and sufficient reasons" and "within natural
limits." An uneasy compromise was reached between money and
morality based, among others, on the elevation of spiritual
freedom over worldly slavery. These rather shaky foundations
would support the Dutch Indian Ocean slavery and slave trade
for the next two hundred years.
Johannes Postma argues that the Dutch dominated the Atlantic
slave trade during their control of northeast Brazil (1636-1648)
and their (in)direct acquisition of the asiento contract for
Spanish America (1662-1675 and 1686-1689). See: J.M. Postma,
The Dutch in the Atlantic slave trade, 1600-1815. New
York 1990, especially, pp. 302-303. For the statement on the
Dutch involvement in the Southeast Asian slave trade: J. Fox,
"'For good and sufficient reasons': An examination of early
Dutch East India Company ordinances on slaves and slavery,"
in: A. Reid ed., Slavery, bondage and dependency in Southeast
Asia. New York 1983, p. 247.
G.J. Knaap, "Slavery and the Dutch in Southeast Asia," in:
G. Oostindie, Fifty years later: Antislavery, capitalism
and modernity in the Dutch orbit. Pittsburgh 1996, p.
193. The most recent, one may even say the only, standard
work on Dutch slavery in Southeast Asia in general is still:
A. Reid ed., Slavery, bondage and dependency in Southeast
Asia. New York 1983. For slavery in South Asia: S. Arasaratnam,
"Slave trade in the Indian Ocean in the seventeenth century,"
in: K.S. Mathew ed., Mariners, merchants and oceans: Studies
in maritime history. New Delhi 1995, pp. 195-208. In contrast,
the literature on slavery in the Cape Colony is massive: R.
Shell, Children of bondage: A social history of the slave
society at the Cape of Good Hope, 1652-1838. Hanover 1994;
E. Eldredge ed., Slavery in South Africa: Captive labor
on the Dutch frontier. Boulder 1994; N. Worden, The
chains that bind us: A history of slavery at the Cape.
Kenwyn 1996; Idem, Slavery in Dutch South Africa. Cambridge
1985; R. Ross, Cape of torments: Slavery and resistance
in South Africa. London 1983; A.J. Bo´seken, Slaves
and free blacks at the Cape, 1658-1700. Cape Town 1977;
J.C. Armstrong and N. Worden, "The slaves, 1652-1834," in:
R. Elphick and H. Giliomee eds., The shaping of South African
society, 1652-1840. 2nd ed. Middletown, CT, 1988, pp.
109-183. While the overdevelopment of South African colonial
historiography can be attributed to its obvious connections
with the modern system of Apartheid (1948-1994), the underdevelopment
of an Asian colonial historiography on slavery can be attributed
to the relative "benign" character of Indian Ocean slavery
compared to its Atlantic counterpart and a traditional focus
on coerced labor systems of a later period (especially the
Cultivation System on Java and Southeast Sumatra). Studies
of the Company period concentrate on trade, political economy,
and, more recently, urban history. Because slave trade was
in general insignificant in monetary terms, most regional
studies on the Dutch East India Company mention the slave
trade only in passing. They neglect obviously the economic,
social, and cultural importance of slave labor in the Dutch
David Brian Davis observed: "The more we learn about
slavery, the more difficulty we have defining it." Idem,
Slavery and human progress. New Yorek 1984. For the
Indian Ocean: A. Reid, Southeast Asia in the age of commerce,
1450-1680. Volume One: The lands below the winds. New
Haven/London 1988, p. 132; B. Stein, "Slavery and serfdom
in South Asia," in: A.T. Embree ed., Encyclopedia
of Asian history. New York 1988, III, p. 490; U. Chakaravarti,
"Of dasas and karmakaras: Slave labour in ancient India,"
in: U. Panaik and M. Dingawaney eds., Chains of servitude:
Bondage and slavery in India. Madras 1985, pp. 35, 36-37,
and 48; T. Raychaudhuri and I. Habib eds., The Cambridge
economic history of India. Volume I: c. 1200-1750. New
York 1982, pp. 30-32, 92-93, and 530; M.I. Finley, "Between
slavery and freedom," Comparative studies in society
and history 6 (1963-1964), p. 23; J.L. Watson, "Slavery
as an institution: Open and closed systems," in: Idem
ed., Asian and African systems of slavery. Oxford 1980,
pp. 12-13; A. Schottenhammer, "Slavery in Late Imperial
China (17 th/18th to early 20th century)."
Unpublished paper. International Conference on Slavery, Unfree
Labor and Revolt in Asia and the Indian Ocean Region. University
of Avignon, 4-6 October 2001.
Classical statements include: O. Patterson, Slavery and
social death: A comparative study. Cambridge, Mass., 1982;
M.I. Finley, "Slavery," International encyclopedia
of the social sciences 14. New York 1968, pp. 307-313;
H.J. Nieboer, Slavery as an industrial system: Ethnological
researches. 2nd ed. The Hague 1910; Watson, "Slavery
as an institution," pp. 3 and 8; P.E. Lovejoy, Transformations
in slavery: A history of slavery in Africa. New York 1983,
Watson, "Slavery as an institution," pp. 9-13; A.
Reid, "'Closed' and 'open' slave systems in pre-colonial Southeast
Asia," in: Idem ed., Slavery, bondage and dependence in
Southeast Asia, pp. 156-167. The Slavery Convention signed
at Geneva in 1926 (approved by the United Nations by protocol
in 1953) defines slavery as "the status or condition
of a person over whom any or all of the powers attaching to
the right of ownership are exercised." The slave trade
includes "all acts involved in the capture, acquisition
or disposal of a person with intent to reduce him to slavery;
all acts involved in the acquisition of a slave with a view
to selling or exchanging him; all acts of disposal by sale
or exchange of a slave acquired with a view to being sold
or exchanged, and, in general, every act of trade or transport
M.P.M. Vink, "'The world's oldest trade:' The Dutch Indian
Ocean slave trade in the seventeenth century," Journal
of World History 14:2 (2003) (forthcoming)
See especially the discussion centered around Seymour Drescher's
thought-provoking article in: G. Oostindie ed., Fifty years
later: Antislavery, capitalism and modernity in the Dutch
orbit. Pittsburgh 1996.
A good introduction to the Voetian-Cocceian conflict is provided
in: F.G.M. Broeyer and E.G.E. van der Wall eds., Een richtingenstrijd
in de Gereformeerde Kerk: Voetianen en Coccejanen 1650-1750.
Zoetermeer 1994. For the specific debate on slavery: G.J.
Schutte, "Bij het schemerlicht van hun tijd: Zeventiende-eeuwse
gereformeerden en de slavenhandel," in: M. Bruggeman et al.
eds, Mensen van de nieuwe tijd: Een liber amicorum voor
A.Th van Deursen. Amsterdam 1996, pp. 193-217. See also:
W.J. van Asselt, Liever Turks dan Paaps? De visies van
Johannes Coccejus, Gisbertus Voetius en Adrianus Relandus
op de Islam. Zoetermeer 1997.
The similarities of the Voetian arguments with those of Bartolom■
de las Casas (1474-1566) are striking. In his In defense
of the Indians, the Spanish Dominican friar argued: "Again,
if we want to be sons of Christ and followers of the truth
of the gospel, we should consider that, even though these
peoples may be completely barbaric, they are nevertheless
created in God's image. They are not so forsaken by divine
providence that they are incapable of attaining Christ's kingdom.
They are our brothers, redeemed by Christ's most precious
blood─" Bartolom■ de las Casas, In defense of the Indians,
ed. and transl. by S. Poole. DeKalb 1992.
J.A. van Ruler, The crisis of causality: Voetius and Descartes
on God, nature, and change. Ledien/New York 1995; F.A.
van Lieburg, De nadere Reformatie in Utrecht ten tijde
van Voetius: Sporen in de gereformeerde kerkeraadsacta.
Rotterdam 1989; J. van Oort, De onbekende Voetius.
Kampen 1989; H.A. van Andel, De zendingsleer van Gisbertus
Voetius. Kampen 1912; A.C. Duker, Gisbertus Voetius.
4 vols. Leiden 1897-1915.
For the most recent study on Cocceius: W.J. van Asselt, Johannes
Coccejus: Portret van een zeventiende-eeuwse theoloog op oude
en nieuwe wegen. Heerenveen 1997.
An excellent introduction to the theological controversy between
Arminius and Gomarus, and Hommius' role in it is: C. Bang,
Armenius: A study in the Dutch Reformation. 2nd ed.
Grand Rapids 1985. The only biography on Hommius is: P.J.
Wijminga, Festus Hommius. Leiden 1899.
Zacharias Ursinus, Het schat-boeck der verclaringhen over
de catechismus der christelicke religie... by Festus
Hommius. Leiden 1617, pp. 190r-191v; L.J. Joosse, "Scoone
dingen sijn swaere dingen': Een onderzoek naar de motieven
en activiteiten in de Nederlanden tot verbreiding van de gereformeerde
religie gedurende de eerste helft van de zeventiende eeuw.
Leiden 1992, pp. 107-118; G.J. Schutte, "Bij het schemerlicht
van hun tijd," pp. 198 and 202-203.
C. Poudroyen, Catechisatie; Dat is, Een grondige ende eenvoudige
Onderwysinge over de leere des Christelicken Catechismi.
Utrecht 1653, esp. pp. 993-995. Cited in: Schutte, pp. 203-206.
For similar imagery: S. Schama, The embarrassment of riches:
An interpretation of Dutch culture in the Golden Age.
New York 1987.
Bedenckingen over den Guineschen Slaef-handel der Gereformeerden
met de Papisten. Vlissingen 1665, pp. 2-3, 127, 133, 157-158,
and 182; Schutte, pp. 206-208. The imagery used by De Raad
reminds one of Simon Schama's controversial work, The
embarrassment of riches. London 1987.
J. Hondius, Swart register van duysent sonden. Amsterdam
1679, pp. 37 nr. 68, 135 nr. 266, 292 nr. 640, and 363-364
nr. 810; Schutte, "Bij het schemerlicht van hun tijd," pp.
195 and 208.
J.E.J. Capitein, Staatkundig-godgeleerd onderzoekschrift
over de slavernij, als niet strijdig tegen de christelijke
vrijheid. Leiden 1742. See: A. Eekhof, "De negerpredikant
Jacobus Elize Joannes Capitain, 1717-1747," Nederlandsch
Archief voor de Kerkgeschiedenis, Nieuw serie, 13 (19117),
pp. 138-174, and 209-276; Priester, De Nederlandse houding
ten aanzien van de slavenhandel en slavernij, pp. 43-47
G. Groenhuis, "Zonen van Cham," Kleio
21 (1980), p. 224; G.J. Schutte, "Bij het schemerlicht
van hun tijd: Zeventiende-eeuwse gereformeerden en de slavenhandel,"
in: M. Bruggeman et al. eds., Mensen van de nieuwe tijd:
Een liber amoricum voor A. Th. Van Deursen. Amsterdam
1996, pp. 193-217; P.C. Emmer, De Nederlandse slavenhandel,
1500-1850. Amsterdam/Antwerp 2000, pp. 30-39; L.R. Priester,
De Nederlandse houding ten aanzien van de slavenhandel
en slavernij, 1596-1863: het gedrag van de slavenhandelaren
van de Commercie Compagnie van Middelburg in de 18de eeuw.
Middelburg 1987, pp. 43 and 74 n. 28. See also: S.R. Haynes,
Noah's curse: The Biblical justification of American slavery.
New York 2001; B. Braude, "The sons of Noah and the construction
of ethnic and geographical identities in the medieval and
early modern periods," William and Mary Quarterly,
3rd series, 54 (January 1997), pp. 103-142; W. McKee Evans,
"From the land of Canaan to the land of Guinea or the
strange odyssey of the sons of Ham," American Historical
Review 85:1 (February 1980), pp. 15-43; M. Adhikari, "The
sons of Ham: Slavery and the making of coloured identity,"
South African Historical Journal 27 (1992), pp. 95-112.
For an interesting discussion of the "Ham ideology":
Valentijn, Oud- en nieuw Oost-Indi´n II, pp. 371-372.
G. Udemans, 't Geestelyck Roer van 't Coopmans Schip.
Middelburg 1638; W. FlinkenflŁgel, Nederlandse slavenhandel
(1621-1803). Utrecht/Antwerp 1994, pp. 28-29, 87-97, and
184; Joosse, 'Scoone dingen sijn swaere dingen', pp.
201-205; Schutte, "Bij het schemerlicht van hun tijd," pp.
193 and 201-202. For Udemans, see: A. Vergunst, Godefridus
Cornelisz Udemans en zijn 't geestelijck roer van 't coopmans
schip. s.l., s.a.
Cited in: Groenhuis, "Zonen van Cham," p. 224; Priester, De
Nederlandse houding ten aanzien van de slavenhandel en de
slavernij, pp. 43 and 74 n. 28. See also: W. McKee Evans,
"From the land of Canaan to the land of Guinea or the strange
odyssey of the sons of Ham," American Historical Review
85:1 (February 1980), pp. 15-43; B. Braude, "The sons of Noah
and the construction of ethnic and geographical identities
in the medieval and early modern periods," William and
Mary Quarterly, 3rd Series, 54 (January 1997), pp. 103-142.
J. Coccejus, Heydelbergensis Catechesis Religionis Christianae.
Leiden 1671, p. 190; H. Groenewegen, Betragtingen tot bevordering
van Geloov', en Deugd, volgens den Heydelbergschen Catechismus.
Rotterdam 1672, p. 709; Petrus van der Hagen, De Heydelbergsche
Catechismus, Verklaert in twee-en-vijftigh Predicati´n.
Amsterdam 1684; Schutte, "Bij het schemerlicht van hun tijd,"
Groenhuis, "Zonen van Cham," p. 224; Priester, De nederlandse
houding ten aanzien van de slavenhandel en slavernij,
pp. 43 and 74 n. 29.
H. Grotius, The law of war and peace: De jure belli ac
pacis libri tres. Francis Kelsey transl., J. Brown Scott
ed., Indianapolis/New York 1925, esp. pp. 255-259, 690-691,
718, and 761-769. De Groot's plea was supported by
Willem Usselincx (1567-1647). In a pamphlet, Octroye ofte
Privilege (1627), the Antwerp-born merchant opposed the
slave trade in principle because of the "many abuses." Usselincx,
however, accepted De Groot's classical humanist apologia.
Numerous criminals should consider themselves lucky to become
slaves rather than being executed. Other slaves had been war
captives, who would have been killed by the victors if not
for the hope of financial gain. See: Schutte, "Bij het schemerlicht
van hun tijd," p. 200.
Priester, De Nederlandse houding ten aanzien van de slavenhandel
en slavernij, pp. 39 and 71 n. 8; O. van Rees, Geschiedenis
der koloniale politiek van de Republiek der Verenigde Nederlanden.
Utrecht 1868, pp. 320-325.
E. Van der Hoeven, Hollands Aeloude Vrijheid. Amsterdam
1706, p. 8; Schutte, "Bij het schemerlicht van hun tijd,"
p. 215. For other examples: M. van der Bijl, Idee en interest:
Voorgeschiedenis, verloop en achtergronden van de politieke
twisten in Zeeland, en vooral Middelburg tussen 1702 en 1715.
Groningen 1981, p. 217 n. 58; G. Groenhuis, "De zonen van
Cham," in: Kleio 21 (1980), pp. 221-225. An exception
to the rule is the 1731 reply of the church council of Paramaribo
to the conversion efforts of its progressive Frisian predikant
Johannes Willem Kals among the local slaves: "Well Reverend,
let us convert those who share our skin color and let those
damned children of Canaan go to hell. They have been created
to plant coffee and sugar for us." Cited in: E. Bakker et
al., Geschiedenis van Suriname: Van stam tot staat.
Zutphen 1998, p. 55.
Biewinga, De Kaap de Goede Hoop, pp. 276-278, 281-282.
See also: Niemeijer, Calvinisme. For older views of
so-called "settler historians": I.D. MacCrone, Race attitudes
in South Africa: Historical, experimental, and psychological
studies. Johannesburg 1937, pp. 129-130. In Batavia at
least large numbers of non-whites were member of the Reformed
Pragmatism also dominated the discourse of West India Company
officials overseas. Willem Bosman, for instance, a Dutch trader
stationed on the African coast about 1700, describing the
treatment and the branding of slaves after they were sold
by Africans to the Dutch, defended the institution merely
by stating: "I doubt not but this Trade seems very barbarous
to you, but since it is followed by mere necessity it must
go on; but we yet take all possible care that they are not
burned too hard, especially the Women, who are more tender
than the men." Willem Bosman, A new and accurate description
of the coast of Guinea. New York 1967, pp. 364-365. First
published in Dutch in 1704. Cited in: Postma, The Dutch
in the Atlantic slave trade, p. 7.
J.A. van der Chijs ed., Nederlandsch-Indisch plakaatboek,
1601-1811. 16 vols. Batavia 1885-1897, I [1602-1642],
pp. 96-99. The intention of the ordinance was clearly to maintain
religious separatism and, at the same time, to promote Christianity
among the slaves. As J. Fox has rightly pointed out, however,
the ordinance seems to have had the opposite effect. For non-Christian
owners, conversion represented a threat to control of their
slaves and it was therefore in the owner's interest to see
that his slaves were not tempted in that direction. For Christians,
the conversion of slaves eliminated one distinction between
master and salve and thus contributed to the ambiguity in
status. With some notable exceptions, Christians do not seem
to have been remarkably active in promoting their own religion
among slaves. Fox, '"For good and sufficient reasons'," pp.
252-253. See also: Niemeijer, Calvinisme en koloniale stadscultuur,
Van der Chijs ed., Nederlandsch-Indisch plakaatboek
I, pp. 171-173; Fox, "'For good and sufficient reasons',"
Niemeijer, Calvinisme en koloniale stadscultuur, p.
176. As Anthony Reid has pointed out, labor in Southeast Asia
was performed on the basis of obligation. In the absence of
a "free" wage laborer category to escape to, manumitted slaves
would sell themselves at once into a new vertical relationship
of bondage. See: A. Reid, '"Closed' and 'open' slave systems
in pre-colonial Southeast Asia," in: Idem ed., Slavery,
bondage and dependency in Southeast Asia, p. 168.
British officials similarly pictured themselves in the role
of benefactors. In 1828, for instance, Sir William Jones,
the Sanskrit scholar and judge of the Supreme Court, referred
to his own child slaves as those he had "rescued from death
and misery." One of the British Indian Law Commissioners in
1840 referred to slavery as "the Indian Poor Law." Cited in:
B. Stein, A history of India. Malden, Mass. 1998, pp.
Maetsuyker and Council, 26.1.1661, in: GM III, p. 355. See
also: Maetsuyker and Council, 16.12.1660, in: GM III, p. 315;
and: Maetsuyker and Council, 16.12.1660, in: GM III, pp. 335-336.
VOC 1232, OBP 1661, fl. 383, Miss. gouvr. Laurens Pit en raad
van Coromandel aan H. XVII, 9.8.1660. The purchase of slaves
in exchange for rice earned the Dutch the condemnation of
local members of the Society of Jesus, an active participant
in the Indian Ocean slave trade. In 1662, Antonio de Proenza,
the Jesuit father of the Madurai Mission, observed from the
Nayaka capital of Tiruchirapalli: "But shame, eternal shame
to the Dutch, who had the cruelty to speculate on the misery
of the Indians! They attracted them to the coast by using
abundant nourishment as bait. Then when their numbers were
considerable enough and their strength somewhat reestablished,
they stashed them into their ships and transported them to
other countries to be sold as slaves! Yes, shame to the barbarians!"
A. de Proenza, missionary of Madurai, to Paul Oliva, general
of the Company of Jesus, Tiruchirapalli, 1662. In: J. Bertrand,
La mission du Madur■ d'apr˙s des documents in■dits.
III, Paris 1848, pp. 124-125. Proenza also refers to the widespread
famine in the region, which he attributed to the vagaries
of war and the failure of the monsoon: "The mortality was
so great that corpses were heaped up in great piles." See:
Idem, III, pp. 129-130; and: A. Sauli˙re, "Madurai and Tanjore,
1659-1666," in: Journal of Indian History 44 (1966),
pp. 777-778. For the Jesuit apologia of the Asian slave trade:
J. Correia-Affonso, The Jesuits in India, pp. 114-118.
VOC 884, BUB 1660, fl. 703, Miss. gouvr. genl. en raad aan
comms. Van Goens te Colombo, 4.11.1660.
G.D. Winius and M.P.M. Vink, The merchant-warrior pacified:
The VOC (Dutch East India Co.) and its changing political
economy in India. Delhi 1991, pp. 30-31.
V. Matheson and M.B. Hooker, "Slavery in the Malay texts:
Categories of dependency and compensation," in: Reid ed.,
Slavery, bondage and dependency, pp. 185, 192-193,
198, 203, and 205; Reid, '"Closed' and 'open' slave
systems in pre-colonial Southeast Asia," in: Idem, pp. 169-170;
K. Endicott, "The effects of slave raiding on the aborigines
of the Malay Peninsula," in: Idem, pp. 216-218; D.J. Steinberg
ed., In search of Southeast Asia: A modern history.
2nd ed. Honolulu 1987, pp. 15-16. In 1669, for instance, the
Pangeran Dipati of Jambi justified the equipping of armed
vessels for a slave raid on Ujang Salangh on the Malaysian
Peninsula, arguing that the inhabitants "were heathens, and
hence [the raiding] could not be considered an injustice."
Maetsuyker and Council, 15.12.1669. In: GM III, p. 710.
J.D. Tracy, "Introduction", in: Idem, The political economy
of merchant empires. New York 1991, pp. 9-13.
Coen to the Directors, 1618. Cited in: L. Bluss■ and J. de
Moor, Nederlanders overzee: De eerste vijftig jaar, 1600-1650.
Franeker 1983, p. 162.
Van der Chijs, Nederlandsch-Indisch Plakaatboek I,
p. 45; Fox, "'For good and sufficient reasons'," pp. 249-250.
De Carpentier and Council, 3.2.1626. In: GM I, p. 186.
Carel Reniers and the Council of the Indies, 10.2.1651. In:
GM II, p. 479; Memorie commr. Godske voor Van der Dussen,
Cochin, 5.1.1668. In: H.K. s'Jacob, De Nederlanders
in Kerala, 1663-1701: De memories en instructies betreffende
het commandement Malabar van de Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie.
The Hague 1976, p. 129. For an attempt to curtail slave raiding
in Sulawesi: Generale missive Maetsuyker and Council, 19.12.1671.
In: GM III, p. 752.
Maetsuyker and Council, 19.1.1654. In: GM II, pp. 678-679.
As one such opponent (Laurens Reael?) remarked: "What honorable
men will break up their homes here [in Holland] to take employment
as executioners and goalers of a herd of slaves, and to range
themselves amongst those free men who by their maltreatment
and massacre of the Indians have made the Dutch notorious
throughout the Indies as the cruelest nation in the world?"
Cited in: F. de Haan, Oud Batavia. Batavia 1922,
I, p. 62; P. Geyl, The Netherlands in the seventeenth century,
1609-1648. London 1961, p. 182; Fox, "'For good and sufficient
reasons'," p. 251.
Pieter de Carpentier and Council of the Indies, 9.7.1621.
In: GM I, pp. 121-123. See also, for instance: De Carpentier
and Council of the Indies, 3.1.1624. In: GM I, p. 141; Idem,
4.3.1624. In: GM I, p. 148; Idem, 27.1.1625. In: GM I, p.
165; Idem, 13.12.1626. In: GM I, p. 217; Cornelis van der
Lijn and Council of the Indies, 9.7.1645. In: GM II, p. 269.
N.P. van den Berg, "Een smeekschrift van de Bataviasche burgerij,"
Tijdschrift voor Indische Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde uitgegeven
door het Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen
23 . Batavia/The Hague 1875, p. 534; Niemeijer, Calvinisme
en koloniale stadscultuur, p. 32.
47 VOC 1234, OBP 1662,
fl. 125v, Miss. comms. Van Goens te Colombo aan Batavia, 5.4.1661.
See also: C.R. Boxer, The Dutch seaborne empire 1600-1800.
New York 1988, pp. 241-250; K.W. Gunawardena, "A New Netherlands
in Ceylon: Dutch attempts to found a colony during the first
quarter century of their power in Ceylon," Ceylon Journal
of Historical and Social Studies 2 (1959), pp. 203-244.
The best way of recreating the Van Goenses' vision is by reading
their letters to the Gentlemen Seventeen, especially between
1670 and 1675, their "memories van overgave" of 1663, 1675,
and 1679, and such policy papers as: Beschrijvinge van de
staat en gelegenheid van het eijlant Ceijlon door Van Goens,
24.9.1675, in: Valentijn, Oud en nieuw Oost-Indi´n
V, pp. 204-245; VOC 1315, OBP 1677, fls. 306-3312, Overgeleverd
advies dir.-genl. Van Goens met betrekking tot de toestand
van Ceijlon, 7.11.1676; VOC 1351, OBP 1680, fls. 2539v-2550r,
Vertoog van den toestand des gouvts Ceijlon door oud-gouvr.
Van Goens de Jonge van Ceijlon, 25.2.1680. See also: P.A.
Leupe, "Vertooch wegens den presenten staet van de generale
Nederlantse Geoctroijeerde Oost-Indische Compe. bij Rijckloff
van Goens, extr. ord. raed van India ende commandeur over
de retourvloot van Ao. 1655─," Bijdragen tot de Taal-,
Land- en Volkenkunde van Nederlandsch-Indi´ 4 (1856),
pp. 141-180. The treatise of Coen can be found in: H.T. Colenbrander
ed., Jan Pietersz. Coen: Bescheiden omtrent zijn bedrijf
in Indi´. 5 vols. The Hague 1919-1923, IV, pp. 577-601.
De Carpentier and Council of the Indies, 3.2.1626. In: GM
I, p. 199. See also: Idem, 27.10.1625, pp. 180-181.
Quoted in: L. Bluss■, Strange Company: Chinese settlers,
mestizo women and the Dutch in Batavia. Dordrecht/Riverton,
J. de Hullu, "Een advies van Mr. Pieter van Dam, advocaat
der Oost-Indische Compagnie, over een gedeeltelijke openstelling
van Compagnie's handel voor particulieren, 1662," Bijdragen
tot de Taal-, Land-, en Volkenkunde van het Koninklijk Instituttu
voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 74(1918), pp. 267-298.
The opposite principle rebus sic stantibus is
the doctrine that agreements are binding only as long as the
fundamental conditions and expectations that existed at the
time of their creation hold.
VOC 674, f. 131, Resolutie gouverneur generaal en raden, 22.8.1653.
See also: VOC 677, f. 68r, Resolutie gouverneur generaal en
19.12.1651. In: GM II, p. 500; 19.1.1654. In: GM II, pp. 678-679;
7.11.1654. In: GM II, pp. 749-750; 16.12.1660. In: GM III,
p. 320; 30.1.1662. In: GM III, p. 384; 30.1.1666. In: GM III,
p. 490; 25.1.1667. In: GM III, p. 529; 6.12.1667. In: GM III,
pp. 602 and 605; 18.10.1668. In: GM III, p. 620; 31.1.1673.
In: GM III, pp. 845-846 and 850; 13.11.1673. In: GM III, p.
L.Y. Andaya, "De VOC en de Maleise wereld in de 17de en 18de
eeuw," in: M.A.P. Meilink-Roelosz et al., De VOC in Azi´.
Bussum 1976, pp. 120-121.
VOC 1144, OBP 1644, fl. 35v, Miss. gouverneur Jeremias van
Vliet van Malakka aan Batavia, 31.12.1643.
E. Williams, Capitalism and slavery. Chapel Hill 1994;
S. Drescher, Econocide: British slavery in the era of abolition.
Pittsburgh 1977; Idem, Capitalism and anti-slavery: British
mobilization in comparative perspective. See also: H.
Cateau and S.H.H. Carrington eds., Capitalism and slavery
fifty years later: Eric Eustace Williams- A reassessment of
the man and his work. New York 2000; B.L. Solow and S.L.
Engerman eds., British capitalism and Caribbean society:
The legacy of Eric Williams. Cambridge/New York 1987.
Reynst and Council of the Indies, 26.10.1615. In: GM I, pp.
Reynst and Council of the Indies, 11.11.1614. In: GM I, p.
44. See also: Council of the Indies, 9.7.1621. In: GM I, pp.
Maetsuyker and Council, 30.1.1662. In: GM III, p. 391. For
the use of slaves as artisans and craftsmen: Idem, 14.12.1658.
In: GM III, p. 240; Idem, 16.12.1660, p. 352.
Merriman ed., Reports of De Chavonnes, pp. 85, 104-105,
121, and 126; Worden, Slavery in Dutch South Africa,
pp. 16-17; Elphick and Giliomee eds., The shaping of South
African society, pp. 142, 157, and 163.
Copyright: ę 2003 by the American Historical
Association. Compiled by Debbie Ann Doyle and Brandon Schneider. Format
by Chris Hale.