Caribbean Project: Exploring The Dutch Caribbean

In St. Eustatius, a view of the Slaves' Road from the harbor to the village up above the harbor and bay
St. Eustatius

I’ve continued researching the Dutch Caribbean and have learned a few more interesting things:

(1) It was the Dutch who brought the first black slaves to Jamestown in 1619. I already knew this, but it makes me wonder just who these “Dutch” slavetraders were who introduced slavery to Virginia.

(2) In 1667, the Dutch ceded New Amsterdam (now known as New York) to the British in the Treaty of Breda in order to keep Suriname in northern South America.

I didn’t know this, but it makes sense in light of how the Caribbean colonies, not the North American colonies, used to be the epicenter of European colonialism in the New World.

At the end of the Seven Years’ War, the French ceded Canada to the British in order to retain Guadeloupe and Martinique. During the American Revolution, the British abandoned Philadelphia to the Patriots in order to invade French-held St. Lucia.

(3) Curaçao, Aruba, and Bonaire – the three Dutch islands in the South Caribbean off the coast of Venezuela – have an arid climate and were never race-based plantation societies in the mold of Barbados or Saint-Domingue.

Of these, Jewish-dominated Curaçao was the biggest slave trading entrepôt of the 17th century in the Caribbean, and the slaves who worked on the island mostly grew food for the stream of African slaves pouring through Curaçao on their way to foreign markets in Spanish America and the French and British West Indies.

Aruba and Bonaire were dependencies of Curaçao – in the former, a few slaves harvested dyewood and worked on a failed maize plantation, and in the latter slaves mined salt for export to other Caribbean islands, but these were both marginal islands in the wider Caribbean plantation world.

(4) Jewish-dominated Suriname in northern South America was a full fledged race-based plantation society in the mold of Saint-Domingue. It also had a reputation for being one of the most brutal slave societies in the New World.

(5) In the northern Leeward Islands, the Dutch jointly occupied St. Martin with the French, and they also controlled St. Eustatius and the small island of Saba.

There seem to have been a few sugar plantations on Saba that used slaves. St. Martin also had sugar plantations. Neither of these islands were big enough though to play a major role in the regional sugar industry.

(6) St. Eustatius was the Curaçao of the Leeward Islands: a major regional slave trading entrepôt that illegally catered to the needs of sugar plantations in the British and French West Indies.

According to Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy’s An Empire Divided: The American Revolution and the British Caribbean, there also seem to have been a lot of Sephardic Jews active here working as merchants and using St. Eustatius as a base for participating in the slave trade.

During the American Revolution, the Jews on St. Eustatius sold a lot of weapons to the Yankees, and the island was occupied in 1781 by the British under Admiral Sir George Brydges Rodney who became a hero after defeating the French fleet in 1782 at the Battle of the Saintes which saved Jamaica.

Rodney has been accused of “anti-Semitism” for his actions on St. Eustatius and was harassed by Jewish lawsuits to the end of his life:

“The British government was incensed at this “nest of Spys and Rogues who carry’ed on trade, with the French and Americans – “not properly a colony [but a] … nest of outlaws, or st best Adventurers from every State [selling] … provisions, clothing, and all naval and warlike stores … to the Rebels, and enemies of Great Britain.” The British believed that the French and Americans were only able to sustain “the War in that Quarter of the World” because of “the Supplies they had received from St. Eustatius.”…

The conquest of St. Eustatius was “a day of desolation to the community at large & Jews in particular.” The Jews shared in common “Loss of their Merchandise, their Bills, their Houses, Clothes, [and] Provisions” but they alone suffered the separation of families and the banishment of their men who were not even told the destination of their exile. They “petitioned, intreated, implored, [and] remonstrated against so hard a sentence, but in vain.” They were not allowed to keep their personal possessions, in contrast to the Americans, Dutch, and French. Those found withholding petty cash were set apart for punishment. The 101 adult male Jews were assembled under guard and had the linings of their pockets ripped open and their “clothes torn in pieces in search for concealed money” before thirty of them were “hurried off the island, destitute of everything, to solicit the cold charity of Antigua, and St. Kitts.” The rest were locked in a weighing house for three days; they were released just in time to witness the auction of their holdings.”

The Jews on St. Eustatius were decimated by Admiral Rodney in 1781 just as the slave trade in the British and French West Indies was about to reach its historic peak.

(7) In 1863, the Dutch finally abolished slavery in their Caribbean and South American colonies.

11 Comments

  1. Similar story: Dutch fleeing Brazil. Suddenly slavery required.

    survival precarious.”

    basically washed failures scraping a living. Then…

    “Most were impoverished and about half were indentured servants – men or women who had sold their labour for up to ten years with the promise of a small patch of land at the end of the period. Cotton, ginger and indigo were tried, with mixed results. Then in the mid-1640s, helped by Dutchmen fleeing Brazil, a new crop was grown by James Drax, who as an 18-year-old from a humble background had been one of the first settlers and now owned an estate in St George’s parish (astonishingly, the plantation is still owned by the same family, the latest scion of which is now MP for South Dorset, Richard Drax).”

  2. “When Charles, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales succeeds to the throne he needs to immediately dissolve Parliament, nullify by Royal Decree the Bill of Rights of 1689, the Act of Settlement of 1701, and certain elements of the Act of Union of 1800, disinter Cromwell’s head from Sussex College Cambridge (a notorious nest of traitors) and have it pulverized and scattered over the ocean to the four winds.” – Jewdel

    Now, do you see why Romanists are crypto-Jews, (antichrists) and should be thought of us such? Jewdel, even Lynda makes more sense than you!

    Here we are, over five hundred years AFTER the Reformation, and some asshole on an American blog, wishes for the Royal house of “Elizabeth the Useless” to overturn centuries of Anglican England, to make the UK another vassal state of the FUCKING [email protected]?

    “More likely Charles will convert to Islam than do any of that. ” – APA

    APA has it far better than any ‘wet dream’ of Jewdel. A man who would coerce in killing his first wife, is not fit to rule- and even Liz the Useless knows it. Moreover, Charles is so enamoured of his own pride, that only the perverted partriarchalism of Shari’a Law could appeal to him- he certainly can’t submit to just anyone, so why believe in the Christian’s god, anyway?

    Charles has long been a tool of the Deicides (I read that both Harry and William were circumcised by a MOHEL, when they were born? For the Love of GOD, why? Why bring a Christian (albeit Protestant) monarch under the ‘vain rituals’ of a FAILED RELIGION?) and, when it appeared that the retention of the KJV and the 1662 BCP was an ‘issue,’ I thought Chuck might have been a guiding light. But, as others have said, the King/Queen of England today is little more than a rubber stamp for Multiculturalism- so if Chuck wants to rule over misplaced Muslims in Manchester, he’s not worth the vellum his lineage is written on…. and this, from a Monarchist advocate!

    Yet, Judel wants to do all that, and even more, by fantasizing that Charles and Camilla (such ‘models’ of wedded – ugh- bliss) would be ‘good Catholic monarchs’ in a ‘putsch’ for Rome?

    I need to sit down. My mind reels from all the utter stupidity……..

  3. No worries Old Atlantic. Have you ever read letters from african kings asking Europe to keep the slave trade going because that’s all they had to offer? Yes the common misconception is, Whites showed up, raided all over africa and stuck the negros on boats vs the reality of africans selling each other to us. I vaguely recall the UN wanting to stop reparations talks because they worried African nations would get stuck with part of the bill

  4. The fall of Recife (“Dutch Brazil”) looks like a 1600s exodus quickly followed by a spread of industrial scale enslavement.

  5. Mosin- Yes, this series was an eye-opener to me some years ago.

    Which led me to understand why Rome is called the ‘WHORE of Babylon.’
    She opens her arms (and her legs- witness the lesbian nuns and the sodomite priests) to all comers- unlike the Chaste Racial Spouse that is the True Church of the Ecumene.

  6. You make interesting points Fr. John about the Nicene Creed that I had not really given a great deal of thought to before I thank you for raising the issue.

    On the topic of “saving black babies” or the humanity of Africans I was wondering can you point me to some Orthodox resources that deny the blacks are human?

    If they are not human how does this impact the status of black saints like “Moses the Black?”

    http://goo.gl/vYvUh

    http://goo.gl/sgwXU

    Are the Ethiopians and Eastern blacks human while those in West Africa are not?

    What would the spiritual status of mulattos be?

  7. APA- These are issues that have rarely, if ever, been addressed by the Byzantines, precisely because, for most of their existence, they didn’t HAVE TO deal with Negroes as the West has done- as Hunter has shown time and time again. So, a lack of scripture and verse does NOT mean that the Early Church, or the Byzantine Church was not aware of the White Nature of Christendom- it just was NEVER THOUGHT OF, in terms such as we must, today. That is why it APPEARS, at first sight, that Christendom is a universalist, multi-racial faith; when, in all actuality, it is completely something the opposite!

    I have, on my blog, written about a lot of this stuff, and while it is in no logical order, I will include a few of my posts on this issue, since you raised it here.
    First off, the impossibility of the concept of a “black Madonna” and Jaroslav Pelikan-
    http://thewhitechrist.wordpress.com/2007/12/16/the-theotokos-the-incarnation-and-foolish-self-wounding-pelikans/
    Three witnesses to the racial nature of Adamkind within the N.T.
    http://thewhitechrist.wordpress.com/2008/01/14/the-three-witnesses/
    Adam, Noah, and their seed, with some observations from Orthodox writers:
    http://thewhitechrist.wordpress.com/2009/04/21/where-angels-fear-to-tread…/
    http://thewhitechrist.wordpress.com/2009/05/13/orthodox-ramblings/
    my thoughts on Negroes as possible Elect, prior to the filioquist papacy dominating the world’s ‘discourse’ on who are fit subjects for conversion (that is, capitulation of the Modernists – see Mosin’s video link above- to Rome’s error).
    http://thewhitechrist.wordpress.com/2008/07/21/hey-hey-hey-fat-albert-almost-speaks-sense/

    Lastly, there is the deathbed prophecy of an Orthodox Monarch- which pretty much leaves out our ‘inner-city youfs,’ if it is the ‘Blond Nation’ that will save teh Ecumene/i.e., Christendom:

    “The first day of the Indictus the kingdom of Ishmael… will defeat the race of the Palaeologus; it will conquer the Seven-Hilled City: It will make it his capital; it will conquer many nations…and the multitudes and nations from the West will engage in war against the kingdom of Ishmael by land and sea, and they will defeat Ishmael. But the blond nation along with its allies will utterly defeat the entire Ishmael…” – Tombstone Prophecy, Oracle of Emperor Leo the Philosopher (Byzantine Christian Emperor)

    And as to your question, “What would the spiritual status of mulattos be?” Why do you ask? Does it REALLY matter? Or are you married to one, have children by one, or in some other way, have corrupted your lineage, as they used to say? But, to be fair, here are my thoughts on THAT one, as well.
    http://thewhitechrist.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/singing-to-one’s-own-damnation/

  8. “Or are you married to one, have children by one, or in some other way, have corrupted your lineage, as they used to say?”

    No to all of the above but thanks for asking. 🙂

    The point would be that they would be descendants of Adam then.

    If the Eastern Churches were aware of only whites being descended from Adam in the past, and of course not bothering to mention it, they don’t seem to be aware of it anymore.

    The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I the “first among equals” of Bishops in Eastern Orthodoxy has a copy of a speech he gave in Brussels on his website entitled “Religious Tolerance: Combating Racism and Xenofobia And Unfavorable Discrimination.”

    He also has a letter for an urgent appeal for relief of famine in the Horn of Africa in which he says,

    “Our brothers and sisters in the Horn of Africa are in desperate need of emergency relief to prevent this crisis from repeating itself.”

    http://goo.gl/GAuaz

    http://goo.gl/CD6EM

    Now I have to ask since Bartholomew I has declared the blacks in Africa to be our brothers and sisters why has there been no denunciation from the other Orthodox Bishops over this statement? Is it because they don’t hold the doctrine that only whites are descended from Adam?

    If no Church within Eastern Orthodoxy is teaching this doctrine today doesn’t that mean we are at a “Here I stand” Luther moment if the doctrine is true?

    Confederate General Leonidas Polk and Protestants don’t appear to be the only ones who were interested in saving black babies below is an article from the Serbian Orthodox Church about a mass baptism they had in Johannesburg and a photo of a black kid getting baptized.

    http://goo.gl/9zTB2

    http://goo.gl/2kFB6

    Below is an interesting article on Orthodox missions to the Tartars and to the Alaskan Eskimos long before Darwin.

    http://goo.gl/hLDfp

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