Guyana's Western Border

From 1689 to 1714

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[6 July 1689]

July 6, 1689

Noble, Honourable, Worthy Lords:

My Lords,

This letter of mine humbly serves to make Your Honours acquainted with what has hap-pened since my last, as to how that we in the River Bourona, have been suddenly attacked and overpowered by 33 French and about 300 Caribs, the one party by water with 10 canoes and 8 corials, and the other party by land out of the wood (since we had no cannon and were but six men strong), to wit, the last day of last April; but I effected my escape, accompanied by some red slaves. The Caribs of the French arty pursued me vigorously, so that I was compelled to hurry through the wood to escape them with my clothes all thrown off, and came at last with great dis-tress into Essequibo to the fort, to give them warning of our miserable experiences. They had on the next day, being the 1st May, taken their departure from there, and had taken, moreover, with them everything that was there, and had used strong threats to the people that they would burn everything, unless they sought me out. Yet seeing that they were unaware in what direction I had taken flight, they left it alone, but if they had caught me they would without doubt have made me seek out the red slaves who had escaped.

The reason why I was obliged to fly was that I had gone with my surgeon to a house standing some 20 paces from the fort for some business. The French had meanwhile approached from below through the sugar-canes without our knowing anything of it, and were 60 feet from me when they all stood up and rushed upon the house in which I was. When we first became aware of them they stood on the path by which I must needs return to the fort, so that I could not reach the fort, but to my vexation was obliged to betake myself to flight.

A few days after this I left again for Pomeroon to inspect what was the state of things, because I thought they would certainly have murdered every one, since they had so many Caribs with them. But I found my people all still alive, and continued my sojourn with my people there, until I received a letter from the Commander of Essequibo, telling how the French were in the River Berbice engaged in hostilities against the other settlements; whereupon I deemed it well to hasten to Essequibo with my people, since we besides had no provisions to live upon. The bread that the Caribs had left standing there in the fields was very little, so that we in a body departed for Essequibo, since the people of Berbice had warned the people of Essequibo that they firmly believed that the French would also make an attack on Essequibo. There are still some red slaves among the Indians (who had fled before the French); all these same I shall seek to get hold of.

We therefore betook ourselves over into the Company's service again in River Essequibo until further orders arrive from Your Honours.

I was thinking of setting out for Surinam with the Company's red slaves, and selling the same there to the Company's profit; but hearing the French with seven Royal ships of war were attacking Berbice, though finally obliged to turn away from there without effecting anything, therefore continue my sojourn here still for a time.

The reason wherefore I have not written more to Your Honours is because my secretary, Cornelis Ter Bergh, has been ill for a long time and unfit for duty, and died on the 20th January last. I was also astonished in sixteen months to have had no letter from Your Honours or from the Chamber of Zeeland, nor to have got any assistance of any kind, so that I have needs been in lack of everything, and since the time does not permit greater length I shall, having made this sacrifice to my bounden duty, remain,

My Lords, your Noblenesses' grateful Servant,


[15 November 1689]

Tuesday, November 15, 1689 (forenoon).

It was further resolved that from the Colony of Pomeroon shall be removed whatever has been brought thither on behalf of the Company, both the employees and the slaves and other chattels, there being left there only three men with a flag for the maintenance of the Company's possession at the aforesaid place, and that the aforesaid employees and chattels be transported to Essequibo, in order there to be employed for the service of the Company

[23 March 1690]

That the Resolution of this meeting of the 15th November last ought still to be adhered to, by which it was decided that there should be left in the previously mentioned Colony of Po-maroon three men with a flag, in order to retain possession.

[8 April 1690]

Island of Trinidad, April 8, 1690.


In the month of March, of the year 1688, I gave your Majesty a report of the spiritual and temporal condition of this Island of Trinidad and City and Castle of Santo Thomé of Guayana in four letters which I sent via New Spain, and in the month of August of the said year 1688, via Caracas, I sent your Majesty a box containing the administration account of my prede-cessor, Colonel Don Diego Suarez Ponce de Leon, and other letters on various points, and certain original Decrees respecting 297 Indians, male and female, whom I proclaimed free in your Maj-esty's Royal name on the 25th July of the said year, in which your Majesty celebrated the glories of your great patron Santiago, these being all who were declared by the citizens of this island up to the said date. A few days afterwards they declared five other Indians, who obtained the same freedom, in accordance with the general application of the Decrees to present and future cases. And having proceeded to Guayana in the month of November of the said year, I found among the seven citizens who, with some soldiers of the Castle, form its population, and the free Indians of the villages of San Pedro de Mariguaca and Santa Maria Magdalena de Caucao, which are in the said territory of Guayana, thirty-two Indians, male and female, who were in slavery, whom I likewise declared free in your Majesty's Royal name, and assigned them to the said two villages.

They amount in all to 334 Indians, male and female, great and small, who were in this city and in Guayana in slavery and servitude under the citizens of those towns, by the name of "Piezas," to cloak under this unknown term the harsh one of slaves. Most of them are women and boys. In accomplishing this I disregarded all the dangers which might befall me from a novelty so great that none of my predecessors dared to carry it out, there being no risk which could hinder me from fulfilling your Majesty's Royal orders.

[23 October 1693]

No slight advantage, moreover, has through you been brought the Company by your having started up in the River of Cuyuni a trade in horses, which cost the Company much money for their purchase here, and occasion heavy expenses for their transportation thither. We are con-fident, too, that the native horses are better used to the nature of the country. You are therefore most urgently recommended and instructed to retain this trade for the Company alone. We give you, however, permission to dispose of them to the private planters at a reasonable profit.

[26 March 1694]


I have, subject to your Honour's approval, again begun to make here a new plantation in the River Cuyuni above the fort, on very good and suitable ground, and have appointed as master planter Abram Baudaart, my former butler, at his old pay, until it shall be your pleasure to send slaves. . .

Most of the red slaves come from the Rivers Barima and Orinoco, which lies under the dominion of the Spaniard.

[6 December 1696]


We have seen what you write of the ships of Jan Overschelde and Jacob de Jonge, who had come from Surinam to trade in Essequibo and buy up slaves among the Indians to the injury of the annatto trade; which matter we have seriously considered, and we have resolved to instruct you hereby and to expressly charge you, that you must in nowise or for any reason whatsoever allow this, whether directly or indirectly, but, on the contrary, employ force to prevent it, and do everything to preserve quiet and peace among the Indians and uphold the interest of the Company.

[1 April 1697]


Respecting what you say in regard to the horses, that I am to write you how much each home would cost us, I cannot state it exactly, since in merchandise it sometimes amounts to 20 guilders and often again to a little less, as you can see from the books. Again, you wish to know at what price I could dispose of them; of this also I cannot inform you, inasmuch as almost all the plantations of the free planters are sufficiently provided with horses, and, if they need any, they have them got from Orinoco, at quite as low a price as is paid for the horses bought for you up in Cuyuni, as permitted and approved, in accordance with the Proclamation of the 15th February, 1696, on the authority of the Company. So that none of the free planters cares for any horses to be paid for at convenience, and my own four horses I had sold long before the aforesaid permit was issued by Proclamation.



Saturday, July 4 - In the afternoon the Postholders Frans Cantenaar and Jan Debbaut ar-rived at the fort from Pomeroon in order to render an account of the last dye supplied, bringing some cattle with them; the old negroes returned to the fort with some spars.

The Commander spoke to the Postholders and the Indians respecting the trade in orange dye, and set out for the plantation Poelwyck. Today the remainder of 119 hogsheads of sugar from the plantation Poelwyck was placed on board, and also some from the plantation "De For-tuijn". . .

July 6 - Some Indians came to the fort with some fish; they were paid for it, and then departed. . .

Tuesday, July 7 - This morning Frans Cantenaar returned to the fort with the Indians, and after they had received some trading wares, and the Commander had spoken to them, they again set out for Wacquepo. . .

Thursday, July 9 - Some Indians came to the fort today with orange dye, and having been paid for the same, again departed. . .

Friday, July 31 - This morning Daniel Henderson came to the fort from Demerary with some Indians in order to go salting up the river, and some trading wares were given them. . .

Monday, August 10 - The negro carpenters are at work at the fort, and are occupied in making oars for the new boat. Jan Debbaut has again set out for Pomeroon in order to obtain some boats there by barter. . .

Friday, August 14 - Jan, the boy, has set out for the Upper Mazaruni in order to obtain some poison wood by barter. . .

Monday, August 17 - This morning a goodly parcel of trading wares was given to the old negro traders so that they may set out for the Upper Cuyuni tomorrow to procure some horses by barter. . .

Tuesday, August 18 - This morning the negro traders set out for the Upper Cuyuni in or-der to procure some horses, &c, by barter. . .

Thursday, August 20 - . . . In the forenoon the Chief Awariwane arrived at the fort from Pomeroon in order to fetch some trading wares for Frans Cantenaar, the Postholder there. . . Tuesday, August 25 - . . . In the afternoon three Caribs came to the fort with some fresh fish, and were paid for the same; they report that their father, the Chief Owl Mackrawacque, died the day before yesterday, and they again departed, after the Commander had urged upon them the con-tinuance, before all else, of the supply of orange dye, etc. . .

Thursday, August 27 - . . . Between four and five bells in the evening the boy Jan An-theunissen arrived at the fort from the Upper Mazaruni with fourteen or fifteen bundles of poison wood…

Wednesday, September 9 - . . . The old negroes have again brought a number of spars; an Indian also came to the fort with some orange dye, and having been paid for the same again de-parted.

Thursday, September 10 - This morning the Indian Correcanne came to the fort with some orange dye and fresh fish, and being paid for the same again departed.

There also arrived at the fort from Demerary the Postholder Amos van Groenewegen, bringing with him about three casks of orange dye, who, after he had received some trading wares and the Commander had spoken to the Indians, again departed. There was also an Indian at the fort with some orange dye, and having been paid therefor he departed. . .

Thursday, September 17 - This morning an Indian came to the fort with some orange dye, and having been paid for the same he again departed.

Jotte, the old negro, arrived from the Upper Cuyuni, bringing with him two parcels of bread, and having come down for a canoe in which to fetch the remainder of the bread. . .

Friday, September 18 - . . . Jotte, the old negro, has set out for the Upper Mazaruni with the son of the deceased Chief Owl Mackerawacke, in order to bring down four or five slaves, whom the said son has offered to sell. . .

Towards evening Sam, the old negro arrived at the fort from Cuyuni, with eighteen par-cels of the bread which Jotte has purchased. . .

Tuesday, September 22 - . . . In the afternoon Jotte, the old negro, arrived from Maza-runi, together with the son of the deceased Chief Owl Makerawacke, bringing with him four fe-male slaves, two children, and a boy, and the aforementioned son, after having been paid by the Commander, went away satisfied. The old negresses have again been crushing salt.

Wednesday, September 23 - This morning the old negro Jotte again set out for Cuyuni, to fetch the remainder of the purchased bread. . .

Big Jan, the old negro, has gone down the river to look for a free Indian who has run away with a female Indian slave from the fort.

Thursday, September 24 - . . . At eventide the free Indian, who had been out fishing up in the Cuyuni with the female slave whom he had taken away, returned to the fort. . .

Saturday, October 17 - . . . Two Caribs also arrived from the Upper Cuyuni, bringing tidings that the old negro traders, who had set out from the fort on the 17th August for the pur-pose of purchasing horses, had not set out from the dye store until the 20th September, on ac-count of a lack of Indians and having to wait for the bread baking. . .

Tuesday October 27 - . . . Some arrived with orange dye and dried meat and fish, and having been paid again departed. The Dutch carpenter is at work as before upon the deal boards, the negro carpenters upon the tent-boat of the clergyman, and the yacht "Rammekens" has gone down to the River Wayni for the salting of provisions.

Wednesday, October 28 - This morning there arrived here at the fort from Rio Orinoco Joachim Maximilian, the partner of Mr. Christiaen Godlobb Uschner, bringing with him some cocoa, etc., and, after having had some conversation with the Commander, he again set out for his home in Essequibo. . .

Wednesday, November 11 - . . . In the afternoon the yacht "Rammekens" again dropped down stream to go and salt in the River Wayni, as has already been mentioned, in order to obtain provisions, as far as possible, for the maintenance of the garrison, as well as slaves offered for sale. . .

Friday, November 13 - . . . In the afternoon there appears the overseer of the Company's bread plantation, Anthony Garlyn, who, after presenting his report, again departed thither.

Also the negro trader Louis, from the Upper Essequibo, bringing with him 129 pieces of salt fish, 12 calabashes of balsam, 20 logs of letter wood, and four balls of fine dye. . .

Tuesday, November 17 - In the forenoon the Commander, accompanied by Captain Elinck and his son, sailed from the fort to the bread plantation, from thence took a trip to the Cu-yuni, to the sergeant, who is engaged in laying down nets there to catch fresh fish, and came back in the course of the afternoon. . .

Wednesday, November 18 - . . . Dealt out some trading wares to the Chief Manore, in order that he may in a few days' time set out with them for Rio Orinoco for the purchase of a large canoe. . .

Friday, November 20 - Gave some trading wares this morning to the old negro trader Louis, to go and make an expedition for salting purposes to the Upper Essequibo. . .

Towards the evening the negro trader Jan Hoecke arrives from the Upper Essequibo with 140 pieces of salt fish, making together about two casks full. . .

Tuesday, December 15 - . . . In the forenoon there arrives here Johannes de Graef, the runner of the plantation Oosterbeek, who, after a passport had been granted him, set out, with a canoe and some Indians, for Rio Orinoco, in order to purchase some boats. . .

Wednesday, December 16 - . . . There also appears here Jan Broecke, the servant of Mr. Christiaen, with a request for a passport to proceed to Orinoco. . .

[2 January 1700]

And because our barque which we sent to Waini on the 11th November last, in order to salt fish and to trade for victuals, arrived here on the 29th December with a very bad catch, and without having done any trading. . . .

[20 August 1700]


Inasmuch as, when Captain Evertsen came back from Barbados, we could not get him a passport from the Governor there for the yacht "Rammekens," although the said Captain, and our late Secretary as well, had, in our name, repeatedly made the request, but been very politely re-fused, and for the same reasons as by yourselves, we thought it to be to the interest of the Com-pany to let the said yacht make a short cruise to Waini to salt fish, wherein the desired success was not achieved, and with its return thence we resolved again to send it again on a voyage to Rio Orinoco and Trinidad with a goodly quantity of knives, abundant here, and getting rusty, in order to exchange these wares for cocoa. But this also did not turn out as we desired, and pro-duced no results. The current and contrary winds having carried them too far down, they came, on their way home, willy-nilly to Martinique, whence, after being out for more than four months, and suffering poverty, they again arrived here; wherefore we shall not again engage in this or like undertakings, but govern ourselves strictly by your orders, except it be out of necessity, to send the said yacht to Surinam, and in no other case.



Saturday, January 16 - . . . At about one o'clock in the afternoon, "Handsome Claesje," the negro slave who had been sent to Cuyuni, appeared at the fort with the Indians and the corial he had taken with him, and bringing twenty-nine quakes of orange dye and eleven parcels of bread...

Tuesday, January 19 - At about ten o'clock this morning the Commander set out for Cu-yuni in his tent corial in order to inspect the Company's plantation "Nieuw Middelburg." . . .

Thursday, January 21 - Early this morning the Commander, accompanied by Frans Cantenaar, mentioned yesterday, set out for the Company's plantation in Cuyuni, in order to in-troduce the latter there as the new master planter in the place of the deceased Jan Goverts, and with authority to do everything. . .

Saturday, January 23 - At about 10 o'clock this morning the Postholder Jan Debbaut again set out for Wacquepo, and the overseer of the bread plantation reported the death of a Company's negro slave there.

At about 4 o'clock in the afternoon there appeared here some of the Company's horse-kopers with the brother of the free planter Pieter Tollenaar, also licensed, and having been out for that business, reporting that they had obtained for the Honourable Company ten animals, one of which, having broken its leg, they had been obliged to kill and leave behind.

Sunday, January 24 - . . . There, also arrived here from Orinoco Johannes de Graeff, sent out by Monsr. Adriaen Hollander, Director of the free plantation Oosterbeek, in order to give notice of his arrival, according to Regulation and custom. . .

Monday, January 25 - Between 7 and 8 o'clock this morning there appeared here the Carib Chief Owl Away, who, after waiting for a short time, entered into conversation with the Commander, which, being ended, he, fully satisfied, again set out for his home accompanied by the old negro Jotte. . .

Wednesday, January 27 - . . . At about 4 o'clock, there arrived from Mazaruni the old negro Big Jan, who had been sent thither upon the 2nd November last, bringing with him 10 quakes of orange dye, 30 quakes of bread, 8 quakes of pork, and 4 quakes of fish.

The carpenters and smiths, as well as the garrison, have been employed upon the knives, as above; there also appeared here about 5 o'clock two canoes from Rio Berbices, under the command of Samuel Pietersen, desirous of proceeding to Orinoco to trade there with the inhabi-tants.

Thursday, January 28 - At about half past six this morning there appeared here the above-mentioned Big Jan with the Indians, who had performed that journey with him as rowers, for which service they received payment, and were encouraged by the Commander to again al-low themselves to be engaged for that journey, to which they willingly consented, whereupon fresh trading wares having been dealt out to the said trader, they again set out together, as well as the Chief Owl Away, and the old negro Jotte, who had had some conversation with the said gentleman, each for his own destination. . .

Tuesday, February 2 - Early this morning there appeared here the Owl Away, the old negro trader Jotte, and some other Indians; to the said Jotte as well as to the sailor Jan Jansen, some trading wares were delivered, and together therewith instructions were given them to dis-pose of those goods in Orinoco, whither they are setting out, in the best possible manner, and of further purport; this expedition, with two other canoes from Rio Berbices, started at about 10 o'clock. . .

Saturday, February 6 - . . . At about 4 o'clock in the afternoon there appeared here the negro trader named Lieven, who had been sent out to Penony, bringing in return for the trading wares taken with him, three parcels of provisions, twenty-seven baskets of bread, twenty-seven quakes of orange dye, and no more. . .

Monday, February 15 - . . . Shortly afterwards M. Pieter Tollenaer, the free planter, ar-rived here rom Cuyuni, where he had been looking out for the horse-kopers, but after staying there two or three times twenty-four hours and not seeing any signs of them, he had come back, and having reported this to the Commander, he again set out or his plantation. . .

Wednesday, February 17 - At about 7 o'clock this morning the horse-kopers arrived here with four horses for the Honourable Company, and the brother of the Director, Pieter Tollenaer, also with four for the plantation "Hoog en Droogh" the rest having been left behind through lack of men and boats. . .

Thursday, February 18 - This morning the Commander proceeded by water to the Hon-ourable Company's bread plantation, whence he returned about midday, having found everything in good condition, and the negro horse-kopers have given his Honour a report of what befell them on their journey. . .

Saturday, March 6 - In the afternoon there arrived at the fort the old negro traders Jan Swart, and "Handsome Claesje " from Cuyuni, bringing with them one quake of dye, twelve of orange dye, seventeen quakes of bread, and seventeen quakes of salted provisions, with some turtles. . .

Sunday, March 14 - To-day there . . . arrived here from the Upper Cuyuni the Com-pany's old negro traders Anthony and Ceesje, bringing with them three horses, and reporting that one had died on the way, and that the old negro, Samuel Stoffelsen, would not be able to come down for some time yet on account of the drought there.

There also arrived Sam, the negro, from Mazaruni bringing with him twenty parcels of bread, twelve quakes of orange dye, and (?) parcels of pork, etc., sent down by Big Jan. . .

Tuesday, March 16 - In the afternoon there also arrived from the Upper Essequibo the old negro traders, Jan Hoecke and Louis, bringing with them 663 pieces of salt fish of different kinds, two pigs, eleven logs of letter-wood, and ten balls of fine dye; after the Indians had been paid for bringing down the above, they departed for their homes.

Friday, March 19 - . . . In the afternoon some Caribs arrived with some crabs, and hav-ing been paid for the same, they again departed satisfied. . .

Saturday, March 20 - . . . This morning some Indians arrived with some orange dye, and having been paid for the same, they again departed satisfied.

Some trading wares also dealt out to the old negro Louis, in order to go and purchase some cattle, etc., up in Cuyuni. . .

Between three and four bells in the evening, after the watch had been posted, the Post-holder Francois Kinjaer arrived here from Mahaycony, bringing with him one barrel of salt fish, one cask of bread, eight pairs of fowls, and some trifles, etc. . .

Thursday, March 25 - Occupied the whole day in dealing out to Simon Paulus and Jan Theunissen trading wares for Orinoco, writing some letters to Surinam, &c, upon which said journey to Orinoco the above-mentioned persons set out about midnight, after having taken leave of his Honour the Commander and received his recommendation to take every care. . .

Saturday, March 27 - Rainy weather. In the forenoon there appeared here the Owl [no name given], who for past, and as an encouragement for further, services was, in the name of the Honourable Company, presented by the Commander with a new dress of honour, and after being further regaled, he departed very well satisfied. . .

Saturday, April 10 - Early this morning there arrived here the Commander and Mr. Hol-lander, together with his Honour's son, and at 5 o'clock in the afternoon the old negro trader Big Jan, with his boy Sam, bringing with them from Mazaruni 22 parcels of bread, 22 parcels of pork, and 3 quakes of "paaij," together with some other trifles. . .

Thursday, April 22 - This morning some Indians were paid their paddlers' wages for bringing a canoe from Pomeroon; also for bringing a slave to the fort...

Sunday, April 25 - This morning the usual Divine Service was conducted by the rever-end clergyman, and the usual repetition would have followed in the afternoon had no hindrance taken place through the arrival of the old negro traders Samuel Stoffelsen and Dane from Cu-yuni, the goods which they brought having had to be unloaded, and the Indians who came with them to be [paid], through which occupations the above was prevented. . .

Thursday, June 8 - The grants of land were distributed, and an order issued, according to which all the settlers in this river will be able to act upon the arrival of any enemy, and betake themselves to the places appointed. . .

Saturday, June 26 - . . . It was resolved by the Court to send an expedition to Rio Ori-noco and to appoint four new Councillors, all in conformity with what is set down in the Minute Book…

Wednesday, June 30 - In the afternoon the sergeant, together with the people appointed to accompany him, set out for Rio Orinoco, as also the free planter, M. Pieter Rodrigo, in a canoe for the vessel in Demerary, in order to fetch his brother-in-law Abraham Cousyn, and the Post-holder Francois Cinjaer, after he had received fresh trading wares from Mahaicony. . .

Thursday, July 8 - . . . There also arrived to-day the outrunners from Wacquepo in Pomeroon, bringing with him nine quakes of orange dye, and three corials. . .

Thursday, July 22 -- In the afternoon there arrived here the sergeant and his company from Orinoco, whither he had been sent to settle some differences that had arisen there with the crew of the yacht "Rammekens.". . .

Friday, August 6 - In the afternoon there appears here the Postholder Jan Debbaut from Pomeroon, bringing his Honour the Commander report of the barter he has effected. . .

Sunday, August 15 - . . . There also came some old negro horse-kopers and others, in or-der to speak to the Commander about the journeys they were about to commence; they were put off till the morrow. . .

Monday, August 16 - Early this morning the above-mentioned old negro traders came here again, and trading wares for the purchase of the above-mentioned merchandise were given and dealt out to them. . .

Tuesday, August 17 - This morning the above-mentioned traders came, and after having been recommended by the Commander to take good care of everything, they took their leave and set out on their journey. . .

Monday, October 18 - This morning there came here the old negro traders, Big Jan, Jan Swart, "Handsome Claesje," and Lieven, to each of whom trading wares were dealt out for the purchase of orange dye. As upon former occasions the said Big Jan goes to [place omitted], Jan Swart and "Handsome Klaesje" up to Cuyuni. . .

Friday, October 22 - This morning there appears here the old negro Lourens, to whom some trading wares are dealt out to be exchanged for orange dye, provisions, and other things in Penoeny. . .



Saturday, January 8 - This morning there appears the Company's negro servant, Samuel Stoffelsen, to whom there is dealt out sometrading wares with which to go up in Cuyuni and col-lect some cattle and rare birds. . .

Monday January 31 - . . . There also arrived from the dye store up in Cuyuni the Com-pany's negro trader, "Handsome Klaesje," bringing with him from thence a small quantity of dye. . .

Thursday, March 3 - This morning the Commander, together with Mr. Hendrick van Susteren, again went up into the Cuyuni in order to see what timber had been cut by the negroes, and returned in the afternoon, and trading wares were again dealt out to the Postholder Francois Cingiaar for the purpose of barter in Mahaicony. . .

[14 May 1701]


The trade in horses up in Cuyuni does not go as briskly as it used to; still, the negro trad-ers brought down, on the 24th March of this year, 12 fine ones, 8 head of which I have disposed of to the plantation "de Vrijheid," and inclose the bills of exchange therefor.

[5 July 1701]


The Noble Commander, Samuel Beekman, with the Councillors of the same, charge all inhabitants for the service of the Noble General Chartered West India Company and the com-monweal to observe and bide by the following:

Firstly, be it known to every one that we, to the greater convenience and interest of the inhabitants generally of this growing Colony, in order that the same, in case of buying or selling, should be more readily able to obtain and get from others their fullest rights, have found it good and decreed that in order to cause a certain quantity of goods in the aforenamed Colony to be dealt in and brought into the market, the rix dollar of Holland as well as Zeeland shall from now henceforth be in circulation and have currency in exchange for 3 Caroly gulden the piece, and for all money specie, being in use in the mother country, proportionately at the rate of 20 percent.

Secondly, every planter shall be bound to bring over a sufficient temporary supply of provisions to the fort, each one pro rata, to support the number of men which he will have to contribute among his own slaves in case of attack, or any other emergency.

Thirdly, it has been found good for the general welfare to cause a new powder-house to be made very shortly here at the fort with the slaves who will be used at the new fortifications of the same fort.

Fourthly, no planter shall be allowed to have a larger quantity of gunpowder under his control than 50 lbs., but having more under his control shall be bound to bring the same to the fort to be placed in the hands of the Noble Heer Commander, so that he may be able to avail himself thereof at all times of necessity, yet shall the free plantation, Oosterbeek, be exempt in this because the people up-country are only placed there, so as, in default of sails in store, to pro-tect the place and the up-lying plantations.

Fifthly, every one, as well the Company's military officers as Messieurs the planters shall be bound to take good care that their arms and those of their subordinate servants be at all times in a proper state, so as to be able to make use of the same in evil hap, and should the contrary be found on visitation, each offender shall pay a penalty of 25 Caroly gulden.

Sixthly, if it came to pass that any slave or slaves came to be maimed in the fortifying, or in the same service met with death, such slave or slaves shall be compensated out of the common purse. And whenever certain signal shots shall be made by the outpost guard on the discovery of the enemy, it shall be the duty of every planter likewise to give warning the one to the other by a signal, and to continue such until report be made at the fort, on pain of death and confiscation of goods, and if the enemy came to approach in strength, the aforesaid signal shots shall be made with two consecutive ones, and when there is found to be danger shot on shot on shot be give, and two canoes shall at all times be obliged to be held in readiness, so as with the larger one at once to come to the fort and make report, and with the smaller to give warning to Messieurs the planters of the situation of things; and if any vessels shall come to reconnoitre, it is most ex-pressly forbidden that any one shall go over to such vessel or vessels, except only with all foresight with the view of hailing, so as to learn from whence the same are coming and to dis-cover their design, and at the same time as speedily as possible give information to the Noble Heer Commander. Also at time of attack (which God in His mercy forbid) the women and chil-dren of the whites shall, for their security, betake themselves on the Island Carria, under protec-tion of twelve men, an officer, and four pieces of cannon.

Further, it is resolved and found good while awaiting these disturbances (which God in His mercy forbid) to restrain the granting of passports to sail to the River Orinocque and to the Island Trinidad, so as to forestall all mischief.

Every one shall be obliged, in case of alarm, to transport such a number of his slaves, as well negroes as red men, to the fort for defence as by Resolution of the 18th June, 1700, has been fixed. Mr. Christjaan Godlobb Uschner, not being included in aforesaid Regulation, is to send up also two negroes for the said object; a muster roll showing how and where each one shall be posted in case of attack shall without gainsaying be exactly observed; and no planter or servants of the same shall in this troublous time be allowed to sail up or down useless he is provided with a proper supply of fire-arms and, besides powder, lead for at least six shots, under penalty of 12 Caroly gulden every time an infringement of this shall be found.

The lighthouse shall in future be held by a sergeant and four soldiers, besides the neces-sary complement of slaves and vessels, hounds, etc.

And in order that no one without cause might be alarmed or made uneasy, it is found good that in the future no "santes" or healths, of whomsoever it should chance to be, may be given with the discharging of any fire-arms, unless the Noble Heer Commander be present in person and give his consent to it, under penalty of 50 Caroly gulden. Item, two Commissaries shall every one or two months, or at least four times a year, time undefined, be sent off to go and visit all plantations, and to give instructions to the new planters, to wit, those dwelling in Mase-roene, the plantations lying in the river being the first district: since they find it good to divide the Company's river into two districts: as from the plantation Poelwijk down as far Van Rump's Court. The second district is the River Essequibo, and stretches from the plantation Bosbeek to the plantation New Cortrijk.

And in order that these Regulations be promptly observed and executed, every planter shall have an authentic copy thereof from the Secretary's Minutes to take and hang up in his ves-tibule for every one's instruction.

Thus done and decreed at our Court's gathering held at Fort Kijkoveral, in River Esse-quibo, on the 5th July, 1701, and signed below.

as Commander and Councillor.
as Councillor and Secretary.
The token ( ) of JAN DE LATOMBE.

[19 November 1701]

Saturday, November 19, 1701.

It was resolved and determined, for the speedier progress of the journey that is being made to Waini so as to inquire what the enemy's designs might be, according to news that had been brought and further current reports, that every planter shall be obliged to furnish for his plantation against Monday, the 21st instant, as follows:

The plantation Oosterbeek -
1 boat.
1 white man.
From the West India Company -
4 Indians.
1 do. from the plantation Westerbeek.
1 do. from 't Hoff van Breda, Mr. Thierens.
1 do. from de Vryheid, Mr. Abraham Cousyns.
1 do. from Batavia, Mr. Jacobus Tournalje.
1 do. from Noorderbeek, Mr. Christjaan Godlobb Uschner.
1 do. from the plantation Hoog en Droog, Mr. Anthonj Tollensar.
1 do. from . . . Mr. Andries Antheunissen.
1 do. from Nieuw Cortrick, Mr. Jan de Latombe.
1 do. from Heerenbeek, Messrs. Goedhart.
1 do. from d'Eendragt, Mr. Johannes de Wilde. 1 do. from 't Boff van Rumpst, Mr. Pieter Taull.

It was further resolved and determined.

[The crew] having set out from here with the canoe as speedily as possible shall, in case it sight any barque or barques or ready sails, at once, without hailing, return as soon as possible, after careful observation, in case it notice no boats as aforesaid, it shall as speedily as is feasible inquire in Wacquepo of the outlier, Jan Dibbaut, what there is of the letter about the French; there being still no change, the aforesaid outlier, Jan Dibbaut, shall, with his interpreter, named Reymer, go by the inland route through Waini, and there further inquire how the matter stands; his other interpreter he shall at once give up to Pieter de Lariviere, who shall at once sail off to-ward the coast, in order also to go round by the outer route to Waini; having reached there, and perceiving nothing of the enemy, they shall at once turn back hitherward, and inquire among the Caribs there how the matter stands, explaining to them, namely, to the Chiefs, that if the enemy's boats try to gain their favour, they must understand that they may expect all the Christians and Arawaks of Surinam, Berbice, and Essequibo upon them, and that the Commander of Essequibo, who has already made peace with them, strives to continue therein; further, it is recommended that all caution be used.

Done in Essequibo, at Fort Kijkoveral, the 19th November 1701.
And was signed -
The mark "L" of JAN DE LATOMBE

Lower there stood:
By order of the aforesaid Commander and Councillors,
Local Secretary.
(Original: Dutch)

[24 January 1703]


Concerning the trade in horses and red slaves we have ere this frequently sent you our orders, to which we refer, and as yet continue to insist that the aforesaid trade must be most strictly prohibited, especially that of red slaves, and for the reasons which you very well re-marked. . .

And, in order to prove that we have the growth and advancement of the aforesaid Col-ony at heart, we have resolved to send you one Guilliame de Bruine of Namur, who is skilled and experienced in the working of quarries and rocks, in order that, in pursuance of the plan of Mr. David Sandra, sub No. 6, he inspect the waterfalls and examine whether it might be possible to remove the cliffs and rocks which obstruct the water there, or at least to make such a channel therein that the water would flow through in such wise as to make the river navigable from above, inasmuch as it is claimed that above the falls is to be found the finest and most fertile land that one could wish, but whereas the aforesaid miner is not well ac-quainted with the nature of that country, and much less with that of the rivers there, it will be well that you proceed thither with him, examine and thoroughly consider everything, and send him back home by the first ship if he can be of no service there; but, if he can be of service, you must keep the aforesaid miner there, and send us at the earliest opportunity a written report of your results.

[10 May 1703]

At Fort Kijkoveral, in River Essequibo, May 10, 1703.

Be it known likewise to your Honours that the Governor of Suriname, Paulus van der Veen, shows himself ill-disposed because his traders here in our district, namely, Essequibo, Baumeron, and Demerary were not permitted to trade. But they were thus forbidden because our traders have no permission to be able to trade in this district, and should the same be generally permitted, then the Oriane (orange dye) trade would in one or two years' time be brought to no price at all, the which, in my judgment would entail great loss to the Noble Company. I have on these grounds judged it really necessary to inform Your Honours of it, because the Governor, Van der Veen, pretends that he will seek permission thereto from high authority. It will further be quite necessary, if Your Honours be pleased to have the goodness, to have in every ship voy-aging hitherwards a good store of clinkers and bricks, since we are here much embarrassed for the same.

Noble, Great, Honourable, my right paramount Sirs,

Your Noblenesses' obedient and Willing Servant,


[27 July 1703]

At Fort Kijkoveral, in River Essequibo, July 27, 1703.

Noble, Great, Honourable Sirs,

My previous despatches to your Honours by the ship "Abraham's Offerhande" and by the ship "De Jonge Jan" were sent on the 10th May and the 9th June last. I hope Your Honours will have received the one safely wherein I have notified the desertion of the lighthouse in this Colony by the former sergeant, Conrad Carsten, of Brunswick, and three other soldiers, named Thomas Janke, of Breda, Jan Parijs and Louis Pieterse, both of Antwerp, as also that I had dis-patched the free planter and Councillor of this Colony, Bernardus Hutman, with a manned canoe to search for the deserters and to seek to take them prisoners.

The aforenamed Heer Hutman has pursued these men with all diligence, and arriving be-fore a creek named Moera, in the River Waynij, being a spot where the deserters assuredly must pass, stayed there for six periods of twenty-four hours, lying by night in the creek and by day outside at drag anchor, when the sixth period of twenty-four hours was expired; then the afore-named Heer Hutman resolved again to go up and sail to meet the deserters, it being impossible for them to have then yet passed, having but a small corrial, but as soon as the drag was out of the ground, one of the Indians cried out, "I see a corrial!" whereupon the aforenamed Heer Hut-man made all the white men and negroes that he had with him sit down low in the canoe, leaving the Indians alone standing up, so as to give no evil suspicions. The aforesaid corrial coming nearer, Heer Hutman perceived that it was the rascals, and allowed the same to come up within a pistol shot, according to his imparted instructions, when he sprang up, crying out, "Rascals! Yield yourselves prisoners," the which caused them such astonishment that the aforenamed sergeant was not in a condition to let off his fire-lock, which he had duly loaded, but turned his course thereupon towards the wood, which Heer Hutman seeing he pursued them in the direction of the shore, when the deserters sprang into the water and swam for the land; but the people of Heer Hutman were too quick for them, and took them all four prisoners, and brought them to the ca-noe, so that Heer Hutman has had the good fortune of delivering up all four here at the fort, whereon, Your Honours, I immediately caused the Council to be summoned, the which being come to the fort, we interrogated the aforenamed sergeant and soldiers, who of their own free will acknowledge everything, as Your Honours in the accompanying confession will be pleased to observe, being subscribed by all four of them.


P.S. - The soldiers last sent, Y. H., have been very bad and incapable. I therefore ear-nestly beg Your Honours, with the next ship coming here, to be pleased to provide me with some brave fellows, and to make up the number of the Company's servants in this Colony to 100 heads, without which these rivers will not be easy to protect against attack or revolt of the ne-groes or Indians.

[25 April 1704]


The Company will take due care that the Governor of Surinam obtains no trade in an-natto in the district situated under our Charter, and therefore you will do well to prevent it, as you have done up to this time, and to take, moreover, such measures that private planters in Rio Essequibo may still less undertake this trade.

[10 August 1704]


At Fort Kijkoveral, August 10, 1704.

I am sorry, Your Honours, that the enlargement and improvement of Fort Kijkoveral is not pleasing to you, seeing that the same is of great advantage, especially the new bastion, which has been made to it along the river, the same being built up with squared stones. The walls of it are full 16 feet high, and between 4 and 5 feet broad, so that, Your Honours can well understand for what purpose the lime should go which I mentioned in my previous despatch; likewise that it is impossible in time of war properly to defend a fort without troops. The lime can easily be made here in case English vessels should chance to arrive here with limestone from Barbadoes.

Inasmuch as the Company's plantation Poelwijk was in need of being transferred to an-other place, because there is no longer any fit ground near it, I have begun to transfer it to above the falls, where there is very good ground; I hope this may be successful and increase the profit of the Company; at least, I shall do my utmost to that end.

[12 August 1704]

What you have been pleased to write as to not yet tolerating that the inhabitants of Rio Suriname carry on any trade at places lying under the Charter of the Company, I shall not fail to take scrupulous care that this do not occur, and shall then await further orders.

[June 1706 - Exact date not clearly shown on the document]


Fort Kijkoveral,

I must also inform Your Honours that on the 28th April last thirteen young negro cre-oles, whom I made use of as traders for the Company and in other ways, have run away up above the falls in Cayuni with two of their women. I have therefore sent after them the sergeant with a well-manned vessel, but he found it impossible to get within sight of them, since there are so many passages in the falls and between the islands. He has, however, been under the great fall, and there learnt from the Caribs that the creoles had been there, and had given out that they were obliged to go right up-country in order to cut planks there by my orders, and that they intended to descend again in fourteen days. I sent then as speedily as possible to the seaside to bring up the three aged Fathers of the same, who were staying there to salt some fish, although it was out of season, who came up quickly, and were very grieved to hear such news of their children. Wherefore I kept Big Jan, who is blind through age, and could not go, at home, and sent up the two others, namely, Old Sam and Dane, to see if they can find the runaways, in order to persuade them with kind words, and so bring them back home. With them I have also sent a free Malack, named Jan Pietersen who is a good interpreter and acquainted with the ways there, having agreed to give him 40 Caroly guldens for his journey. The 12th of this month of June the said Jan Pietersen has again come down, reporting that he has found four of the runaways overland in Penoeny, who said to him their wish was never to come to the fort, but to make their way further into the savannah, since, as they pretend, they are obliged to do too much work, always an excuse of idle fellows; the others have travelled further up the Cayuni, also to the savannah; Old Sam and Dane are still after them, of whom I still expect news later.

[30 July 1706]


Fort Kijkoveral

That the Company's horses purchased upcountry in Cuyuni should always die, and the horses belonging to private individuals never, is but a false tale of a party of scoundrels, who could never prove it, for I can assure Your Honours it frequently happens in descending the River Cuyuni that the horses of private individuals die as well as those of the Noble Company, there being no trickery in the world towards Your Honours in this matter.

[2 July 1707]


Fort Kijkoveral

Hereby Your Honours will today have sufficient materials for learning that if the indigo succeed the Slave Trade will have a considerable stimulus, since there many slaves must needs work at the same. I cannot but think that Your Honours will have, in accordance with written advice, equipped a vessel; at any rate, I am looking for this with expectation. The planters, also, will not be obliged to make use of the lands along the rivers and creeks, as must be done in the sugar planting, but can go so far in to cultivate the land, as they may wish since the indigo, with slaves or horses, will be able to be carried out in sacks, the which will give a powerful encour-agement to the planters, as well the Company's as the free; and also there is the means to bring any land, whether above or below the falls, under indigo cultivation, since in the transport it is subjected to no tricks like the sugar, and it is more particularly to be noted that it can be stowed into a vessel capable of descending the falls, all which foregoing, Your Honours will be pleased to favour, as tending to the profit and the further building up of this Colony. . .

I have likewise thought, Your Honours, of submitting to you whether it were not right necessary to lay a toll on the traders from Berbice, who traffic on the Orinoco for vessels, balsam, red slaves, and cocoa, in the Rivers Marocco and Pomeroon, viz., for a new canoe, 3 f. [guilders], for a corial 1 f., for a red slave 6 f., for all merchandise that was weighed or measured one-twentieth part, because it is impossible to do without vessels, and nowhere are they to be got but in Orinoco, on which proposal I shall await the opinion of Your Honours

[23 January 1708]


The Company's ship "De Stad Morschouw," which foundered in the neighbourhood of Pomeroon, has markedly strengthened this river with her surviving negroes, yet the successful attempting of sugar-cane demands undeniably greater number of slaves, as Your Honours will be so good as observe from my previous despatch written to Your Honours, also likewise the need of horses, through lack of which much sugar stands spoiling in the fields. . .

As regards the importation of slaves for this river, and as the late Commander Beekman has written about it, I should not yet be able to give Your Honours any special counsel, seeing that in this grievous war-time private individuals have no desire to cumber themselves with more slaves, which would not be advisable, since the enemy can at all times enter the river and set fire to and ruin the greatest part of the plantations, because it is impossible for the fort to protect them, as it is situated too far off. In time, Your Honours, it is my intention to break up the Com-pany's plantation named Westersouburgh so soon as the sugar which now stands in the fields be cleared off, and to distribute the slaves and the animals as well among the other three until such time as I shall come to understand from Your Honours whether I shall make of it a plantation in Cuyuni or Mazaruni, where there is land enough, as then I should be able to have it under my protection. . .

As regards the tolls in Marocco and Pomeroon, of which the Heer Beekman has spoken in his letter, I will reply briefly in order not to detain Your Honours, that such could not be prop-erly carried out, especially the expenses of doing it could not be repaid, so that it is my opinion that the project of Heer Beekman for the profit of Your Honours would have been but imaginary. . .

The enemy being gone, I have consulted with the Council what would be the best course to adopt to make this Colony secure, were it practicable, against the enemy, whereupon the most were of opinion that a stronghold might be made on Stampers Island, others again on Vlaggen Island or even above this on Paepen Island, whereon I then asked whether such a stronghold could be protected by a small number of people. They gave me a negative answer, but added that they were of opinion that this fort should be stripped of its people, and that all should betake themselves thither, to which I have not been able to agree, and am also determined to hold and defend the present Fort Kijkoveral as long as is possible, or until Your Honours should be pleased to give instructions to fortify the river lower down as far as practicable, which, in fact, is highly necessary in this critical conjuncture, because without that I consider the greater number of the lower plantations lost before one can receive the news that the enemy are in the river.

[2 May 1708]

And as for your proposal to lay in the Rivers of Moruca and Pomeroon a toll for the traders to Orinoco - namely, for every new canoe 3 f. [guilders], for a corial 1 f. and 10 stivers, for a red slave 6 f., and for all articles which are weighed or measured the twentieth penny - we can as yet give no positive answer thereto, but you would first have to inform us whether this can just now be properly and lawfully done; furthermore, what that tax might be estimated to pro-duce yearly to the Company; and, still further, what expenses would probably have to be made to lay and collect that toll there; when we have obtained this information we shall submit it to the consideration of the Assembly of Ten, and send you their decision.

[21 November 1708]

To the Provisional Commander, Pieter van der Heyden Resen, in Essequibo.


When, at this present sitting of the Assembly of Ten, we came to the item concerning the Colony of Essequibo, and in that connection read the letters written from there by the late Com-mander, Samuel Beekman, and addressed to the Directors of the Zeeland Chamber in particular, we observed, among other things from the letter of the said Beekman, dated the 11th July of last year, that he had thought of laying a toll, in the Rivers of Moruca and Pomeroon, upon boats, copaiba, red slaves, and cocoa, for the dealers from Berbice who trade to Orinoco - namely, for a new canoe 3 guilders, for a corial l guilder, for a red slave 6 guilders, and for all articles that are weighed or measured the twentieth penny; for the said Beekman was of opinion that those trad-ers cannot do without boats, and that these were nowhere to be had but in Orinoco, and he re-quested our opinion in regard to this proposal.

But, as from the aforesaid passage we are unable to understand exactly in what way and upon what basis the aforesaid matter could be put into execution and carried out to the profit of the Company, we have thought it expedient, before pronouncing a positive decision, to write and instruct you, as we hereby do, that you carefully inquire into the aforesaid matter, and inform us at the earliest opportunity what annual profit the Company might derive from imposing said tolls, whether this can be done conveniently, what burdens and costs the Company would have to bear annually in return therefor, in order that we may be able, after learning all this, to take further steps. However, as regards the red slaves, we would suggest that for their importation at least 6 guilders, or as much more as you might be able to stipulate, ought to be demanded as toll or poll-tax for each slave and paid by the owners. But, if this could not be conveniently done, and if therefrom any difficulties or damage might accrue to the Company, you will please give us your opinion and report, as well in regard to this matter as to the others named above, that we may be able to avail ourselves thereof.

[28 November 1708]

As in our aforesaid missive of the 21st November last we informed you of our consid-erations in regard to the laying of a toll upon the boats, copaiba, etc., for the dealers from Berbice who trade to Orinoco, as contained more fully in the aforesaid missive, we, in addition thereto, hereby instruct you to establish and collect a poll-tax there, namely, 1 rix-dollar from every white person and also from every slave at present in Essequibo, and who shall in future arrive in that Colony, and who is above the age of 12 years; and from those who are between 12 and 6 years old half a rix-dollar per head; while for children below 6 years no poll-tax is to be paid. As regards this poll-tax you will take the necessary measures for having the proceeds carefully col-lected, deposited in the treasury of the Company, and properly entered upon the books, in order that by this and other means the Company may to some extent be relieved of the great damage and losses which for some time past it has been suffering through the capture of the ships coming from Essequibo, as also of the heavy burdens which it has lately borne on behalf of the said Col-ony.

[15 December 1708]


Could I but have the good fortune of personally having a personal conversation with Your Honours I would proceed to make further explanations as to what considerable profits this River Cayuni would be able to return to Your Honours

[6 September 1709]


In the afternoon a Prince's flag* is seen flying on Simirij, whereupon I at once sent Jan Antheunissen thither with a canoe. On his return he brought to the fort the Postholder of Wackepaw, together with about fifty Indians, who reported that on the 24th, in the creek of Warwereijkowrij, they had been busy with the enemy, killed various of them, and by guess wounded some forty, which news, as may be understood, gave great satisfaction to me and other friends. Next day the aforesaid Post-holder, P. de Blaake, returned again with all the Indians, after having enjoyed a reward for their services, to his Post, with orders at the next full moon to report himself with the aforesaid Indians at the fort.

(Note: * The Prince's flag was commonly used by sailors for the national flag, although the Prince's flag was replaced in 1653 by the flag of the States-General. The term "Prince flag" is also used to denote the flag hoisted on captured vessels or "prizes".)

[13 May 1710]


The Colony begins again, God be thanked, to get into a tolerable state, as five factories are in good order and do steady work, namely, that of Your Honours on the plantation Poelwijk, one ditto of Heer Bate on the plantation Westerbeek, one ditto of Mr. P. Tollenaar on the plantation Hoog en Droogh, one ditto of the Heer Jan de Latouche on the plantation Cortrijk, and one dit-toof Mr. Abraham Buisson and Co. on the plantation 't Hot van Holland; and, after the departure of Captain Jacob Volle, a mill is yet to be built on Your Honours' new plantation, named Du-inenburgh, here, right opposite the fort and towards Cuyuni, where the planter is Mr. Frans Can-tenaar; being a pleasant place, which I have expressly had cleared, so as to avoid the unhealthy air in Cuyuni and the accidents the slaves are liable to through the multitude of rocks; and, lastly, in order to have the plantation so much the more under control, in case the slaves wished to cut any capers on hearing of an enemy. I hope Your Honours will approve what I have done. . .

The balsam trade is likewise worth full support and cultivation, whereto I will exert my-self to the utmost. I have appointed for this object a certain person, one of Your Honours' oldest servants, named Jan Autheunissen, since he is a trusty and vigilant young man, on whom one can and may rely. . . After the departure of the "Prins van Orangue" he intends going shortly to Ori-noco to see if he can again bargain for a good quantity of balsam oil, as he was lucky enough to do before the arrival of the ships, obtaining over 700 stoops, which are forwarded to Your Hon-ours by Captain Volle.

[6 June 1710]


On the 27th January of this year I had the good fortune that we got to the fort three of the runaway creoles who deserted in the time of Mr. Beekman, their names being Lieven, Adriaan, and Sander. I got hold of them in the following manner:

Having learned through the creole Jan, whom I had sent to Mazaruni to salt for the fort, that these three creoles were up there, I sent thither three other creoles of their friends, and the butler, Reynoud van der Heyde, with a letter of pardon composed by me for that purpose. Having arrived there, they found them, and the aforesaid butler read to them the aforesaid letter of pardon, and he and the other creoles exhorted them to do their duty, whereupon they readily, without hesitation, came along. You may be assured that I have already received great services from them; I do not doubt but with the long dry season I shall get hold of still more, but these are somewhat scattered up in Cuyuni among the Indians, so that this will yet take a little time.

[31 July 1712]


Concerning the 600 to 700 stoops of balsam, of which I spoke in my former despatch that I would have in readiness with this same merchandise, I am obliged, to my vexation, to say that this past year not a single pound has been procured for the Noble Company, since they in Orinoco had all at once prohibited the traffic in it to the Hollanders, these changes having come to pass with the arrival of a new Governor at Trinidad, who, with this object, has caused several manned vessels to cruise in the River Orinoco, so as to confiscate and bring in as good prizes all Dutch vessels who should wish to come thither; that has forced me to put a stop to the journey, since of necessity I dared not hazard and expose to danger on such a journey the Company's car-goes, slaves, vessels, and other goods, which I hope Your Honours, will take well; yet some, however, have undertaken to send thither with small vessels, although at very great risk! But at the present moment the tragic is again free, so that shortly I shall send thither, as before, a proper vessel, and I think that next year I shall have about 600 sloops ready for the Noble Company.

[2 January 1713

Letter from the Company's Postholder in Wacquepo, Pieter de Blaak, to the Commander Pr. Van der Huyden Rezen, being word for word as follows:

To your Honour the Commander Pieter van der Heide Riseere.

I make known to your Honour that at break of day on the morning of the 30th December I received very amiably and under a glorious attack about twenty-five hostile men, both French as well as Spaniards, mulattoes, and red Indians at the House Wacquepo; our force consisted of four men, no more, namely, Pieter de Blacker, Jan van Stralen, Jan Vervis, and Aerens, of Suri-nam, and three times gloriously repelled them through the blessing of God and His strong arm, which faithfully delivered us in these dire straits. For in their last attack we, without having asked for quarter, and commending ourselves to God, waited His mighty deliverance, since they already set fire to the house and to the galley of our fort, but having still extinguished this, and seeing death before us, attacked and fired so valiantly that they all took to flight, and did no other damage than to carry off three corrials; but Pieter de Blacker was severely wounded in the first attack by an arrow in his left shoulder; but we greeted then with more than 300 musket shots, and we heard a great lamentation, and they swam away with the corrials to about beyond range of the guns, but promised to come and keep up New Year with us. Whereupon I fitted out a boat, well manned, and with two whites upon it as a look-out, and we shall await them like trusty men, and at the house there are still forty trusty Indians well provided with arrows; the Lord our God grant us the desired victory, and guard us against more wounded, since there is nothing with which to heal them; but the damage to the Company is about 60 guilders, and mine about 50 guilders; the people's hammocks, their beads and earrings [?] are all gone and burnt; but they did not come and keep up New Year with us according to their promises. They attacked Jan Patist on the 29th December in the Mouth, and chased him as far as into the Moroco, and he therefore arrived at Wacquepo on the 1st January from above the savannahs of Korey, and they took the corrials from all my men of the house whom I had sent to the coast, and drove them into the woods, and cut the boats to pieces. But they all came home without being wounded. Since we are daily exposed to the enemy on this coast, and having no powder, I request your Honour for a flask of powder; but, besides that, I request your Honour to sell me 20 lbs. of powder more and some shot, for which I hope to be able to pay your Honour out of my wages earned, also two dozen musket flints greatly needed, I request of your Honour with favour. I commend your Honour to God and a New Year as greatly desired for soul and body. I request of your Honour three sheets of paper.

(Was signed)

(At the side)

January 2, 1713

[17 April 1713]

Madrid, April 17, 1713.

The Congress which His Majesty has for the treating of the conditions of this peace is for the arrangement between France and Holland and which the Dutch do not wish to conclude unless His Most Christian Majesty binds himself, by a separate Article, that the King will also conclude a Treaty with them in conformity with that stipulated in the Treaty of Münster, relating to trade and navigation, and as was in force before the death of King Charles II; and the same must be understood in the Treaty that is to be concluded between His Majesty and the Dutch.

Separate Article. The Treaties of Peace between His Most Christian Majesty and the States-General of the United Provinces being this day concluded, and His Majesty wishing, moreover to contribute as far as possible to the re-establishment of general peace, and particularly also that between the King of Spain and the States-General, promises and binds himself, and also in the name of His Catholic Majesty engages that peace will also be concluded between His Catholic Majesty and the States-General; and by this Treaty of Peace all the advantages and privileges of trade and navigation, together with the others contained in the Treaty of Münster, will be granted them; and this shall be done in the form of a Treaty as soon as the Spanish Pleni-potentiaries will have arrived at Utrecht.

This separate Article will have the same force as the said Treaty of Peace, and in the same form as if it were inserted in and formed part of the said Treaty; and will be ratified at the same time as the Treaty.

(Archivo de Simancas)

[19 April 1713]


On the 7th January of this year there came two Indians out of Wacquepo to me here, de-livering to me a letter dated the 2nd of the same month, whereby the Company 's Postholder, Pieter de Blake, gives an account of how he was, the 30th December, 1712, attacked at the Post by about twenty-five enemies - French, Spaniards, mulattos, and others - yet that he, with the "whites" he had with him, being four persons strong in all, had three times driven them off and chased them away, whereon they called out that they would keep New Year with him, but have not appeared. The aforenamed persons have in this action acquitted themselves splendidly, and the enemy got several wounded, without our being able to find out how many, since they carried them off' in all haste to their vessel, which the Indians say was a barque, which had remained before the mouth of the River Pomeroon, doing no other damage except burning some Indian houses and destroying or taking with them some canoes. On our aide no one was wounded ex-cept the aforesaid Postholder with a poisoned arrow. . . This is the second time this person has given splendid proofs of good courage.

In pursuance of your order, the prohibition concerning the purchase of red slaves, an-natto dye, and balsam copaiba, issued by me on the 24th July of last year, shall still continue to hold good and to be executed until I receive orders to the contrary. Although this causes great regret among the free, who have several times complained to me about this, urging that they did not intend to trade within the territory of the Company, but only asked for permission to do so on Spanish ground, such as Orinoco, Trinidad, etc., which I refused them. I have also been told that several years ago my predecessor, Mr. Samuel Beekman, had published a certain Edict whereby the free inhabitants here were given permission; whether this is the one now sent is unknown to me; although they claim that in it they were promised free trade, that is to say, outside the jurisdiction of the Company, but I replied that I could not base my action upon that, since I was obliged to follow my orders. I must also briefly inform you that the red slaves have gone up in price fully one-half as compared with what they used to lie bought for here ten or twelve years ago. This has mainly been caused by the Surinam people, who have encroached very seriously among the Indians, paying them as much as they asked, and sometimes even more, trying in this way to get that trade into their hands. This is the reason why at present more wares must be given than formerly the slaves were bought for by the Company.

[May 1713]

High and Mighty Lords,

The Directors of the West India Company of these countries respectfully represent that they cannot dispense themselves from laying before your Mightinesses the grievances which, however much they relate to the said Company, appear to result from the Treaty of Commerce recently entered into between His Imperial Majesty and the King of Spain on the 2nd May [1713] last.

That the grievances are the following:

1. That by Article VIII of the said Treaty, it is allowed to ships of war and of the mer-cantile marine belonging to His Imperial Majesty or his subjects to enter into all the ports of Spain (and even therein comprised those of the West Indies), and to provide themselves with all kinds of refreshments, provisions, and of all they may require, except that alone of commerce.

2. That by Article XXVI it has been still permitted to the subjects of His Imperial Maj-esty to transport all sorts of fruits, produce, and merchandise of the West Indies into the States of the King of Spain, provided they be furnished with a certificate of the Ostend Company ("La Compagnie aux Pais-Bas Autrichiens"), with the like prerogatives and privileges that have been ceded by various Royal Concessions successively to the subjects of this country, and with the express stipulation that the subjects of His Imperial Majesty must generally enjoy all that has been granted to this Republic by the Treaty of the year 1648, as well in regard to the Indies as otherwise.

3. That by Article XLVII it has besides been granted generally, all that has been advan-tageously stipulated in favour of the British nation by the Treaties of Madrid of 1667 and 1670, as well as by the Treat of Peace and Commerce of 1713, and, lastly, by a certain other Treaty be-sides, of which neither the time, place, nor manner have been explained, and, moreover, all that has been granted to the subjects of this country by the Treaties of 1648, 1650, and 1712, having been added thereto, so that in the event of they not being found fully explained, it will only be necessary to conform themselves to whatever has been granted to, and practised, in this regard, by Great Britain and this country.

That these three above-mentioned grievances, according to the opinions of the Directors, are not compatible with the Treaty known by the name of "Münster", seeing that, by Articles V and VI, it has been very seriously declared in favour of your suppliants that the navigation and trade to the Indies shall be kept up according and conformable to the octrois made, or to be made, for that effect, and even that the West India Company of this country shall continue, on the one side, in the possession and trade in Brazil, Africa, and America, and, on the other, that the subjects of all the States of the King of Spain shall abstain from all navigation and trade to those places or ports where the said West India Company of this country may be navigating or trading, and reciprocally on the part of this State that has been desisted from, so that their sub-jects are not permitted to navigate or trade to these places in the Indies where the subjects of Spain frequent.

That the said Treaty of Münster has always been interpreted, on the part of both one and the other, that all the coasts of Africa must be ceded to and remain in possession of the West In-dia Company of this country in America. This has been so well observed on the part of Spain that she has never attempted to frequent or to trade on these coasts, as the said Kingdom of Spain had not possession of the least morsel of territory on these coasts either in the year 1648 or after.

That the incompatibility of the said Treaty of Commerce between the Emperor and Spain with that of Münster consist in what follows:

1. That the King of Spain (be it said with all respect) could not cede to another, nor to his subjects, what does not belong to him.

2. That the said King can still less cede the same rights to these States which formerly belonged to his own dominions is clearly understood in the prohibition of the said Articles V and VI.

3. That the reciprocation understood in the Article's V and VI of the said Treaty of Mün-ster, by which this Republic promised not to molest the possessions of he Spaniards in the Indies, on the condition that Spain would not molest those of this country, cannot permit that this State should remain subject to the same restrictions, while Spain gives the right to trade by means of some other in the possessions of the United Provinces in the Indies, or while she gives her con-sent thereto.

4. And, lastly, that the said Articles V and VI are of a nature that (be it said with all re-spect) the before-mentioned King could not renounce but with the concurrence of this State, which, on the contrary, has reason to demand the fulfilment and execution of this Treaty.

That the suppliants are well disposed to acknowledge that the East India Company of this country is more interested in the said Treaty between the Emperor and Spain than those of the Week India Company; but it is also true and incontestable that the consequences which must necessarily follow will greatly concern the suppliants as well as the East India Company of this country.

That at least it is certain that the King of Spain has legalized and recognized by the said Treaty the Ostend Company, besides the privilege that has been given to this Company to enter into of the Spanish Indies, and there provide them with all refreshments of which they may stand in need, exceeds the concession, which has never been given or granted to the East and West In-dia Companies of this country, and it is that which must be rightly considered by a new infrac-tion of the Treaty of Münster.

And as the suppliants are fully justified in demanding the exact fulfilment of the Treaty of Münster against Spain, and insisting on its being wholly observed and carried out, they thus respectfully and seriously request to this end the powerful influence and assistance of your High Mightinesses, and that it may please them to take such resolutions as they may consider necessary according to their judgment.


(Original: French)

(Archivo de Simancas)

[31 May 1713]


What has been said about the annatto might likewise be observed with respect to the bal-sam trade, that is to say, when that trade exists, but for a considerable time it has not been possi-ble to carry it on, because of some dislike which the Spaniards (on whose territory the copaiba is purchased) have taken to our nation. They have also now been cruising after the Dutch boats which go thither, so that I have not dared to risk so greatly the Company's wares and other ef-fects, as I have fully reported to the Zeeland Chamber in my letters of the 31st July, 1712, and the 19th April, 1713. Consequently, there is as yet no stock of it on hand. . .

But as to the balsam oil, that, together with the purchase of red Indian slaves, was pro-hibited by me to the inhabitants of this Colony in pursuance of orders from the Zeeland Chamber so lately as the 24th July of last year, as can be more fully seen from the inclosed copy of my let-ter, upon which subject I wrote at much length to the Chamber at the time. It cannot, therefore, be denied that balsam was ere this sent from here to the mother-country, since this trade was permitted to the free, because it took place outside of the Company's district, and was only car-ried on upon Spanish territory in the River Orinoco, where the inhabitants of the Colonies Ber-bice and Surinam likewise trade; but since the prohibition no balsam oil has to my knowledge been sent, and it shall remain prohibited until I receive counter-orders. This is the only informa-tion about that matter with which I am able to furnish the Assembly of Ten.

[10 August 1713]


Madrid, August 10, 1713.

If the Dutch do not give way, concede and arrange as best you can, but maintain the question of religion.

(Archivo de Simancas)

[6 January 1714]


In the month of September of the past year I received information through an Indian that a certain Christoffel Berkenbosch some little time before had asked for a passport to trade for vessels in Orinoco. There, against the orders given and the prohibition made, he had managed to get ten red slaves and three casks of balsam oil, wherewith he intended to make his way to Surinam, but through severe illness as he was returning had been compelled to land near the River Pomeroon. I immediately sent orders to the Postholder in Wacquepo to arrest the said person and his merchandise, provided they could be got, and to bring them to the fort, which order was promptly carried out. The goods being come into our power have been confiscated to the profit of the Noble Company.

[1 May 1714]


1. He, the Commander, shall commence the plan mentioned in the aforesaid despatch as soon as possible, in the most expedient manner and in all secrecy, using therefore and for the execution of the same honest and fit persons, and such as are as far as possible acquainted with and understand the language of the natives whithersoever they shall go, and shall deliver to the same secret instructions and orders, to which they are to conform, and which instructions us he, the Commander, shall draw up in such a manner as he shall think is required by the necessities of the case, and for which some of the following articles may also be of some use.

2. He shall use for the journey to be performed one or more flat-bottomed boats, in order to proceed with them up the river, and shall place thereupon four, five, or more persons with a captain, who shall have authority over all the others, and which captain will have to maintain good order and discipline, so that no irregularities shall be committed, and due care will have to be taken that all the aforesaid crew are sober men, and not given to drink.

3. He, the Commander, shall place in charge and under the direction of him who shall be appointed captain the whole of the Indian trading wares sent over, or a portion of the same, ac-cording to the size of the boat or boats, and according as he shall think fit, make out an exact ac-count of all such goods, and which shall have to be duly accounted for by the said captain after the performance of the journey, and in like manner the necessary provisions of food and drink for the crew, according to the length of the journey, will also have to be furnished.

4. The aforesaid captain, or the one holding command shall have to keep an accurate journal or daily register bath of the journey out and home, and shall note therein all that happens to them upon that journey, a copy of which journal he, the Commander, shall send hither to the Directors to be seen here.

5. At all places where the aforesaid persons shall arrive and have to stop for the night or otherwise, they shall be circumspect and on their guard, in order not to be surprised and robbed.

6. Upon which occasion they will everywhere have to observe the disposition and char-acter of the natives, and examine as closely as possible the nature of the soil, what it produces, and whether any minerals are to be found there, and keep good note of the same; also whether any dwellings or strongholds could be erected on the way, and whether the same would be ex-posed to any danger of being molested or ruined by the natives, and, if practicable, in what man-ner such could be carried out, and what would be required therefor.

7. The aforesaid persons shall behave in a polite and friendly way towards one and all, wherever they shall come, and shall do no hurt nor offer any insults to the same. And if it should happen that they should meet with any rough or evil treatment, they shall meet the same as far as possible in a peaceful manner, and seek to gain the friendship of the na-tives, in order to be able to attain greater success in this plan.

8. The aforesaid persons, and especially those who have the direction and command, shall at all places at which they arrive have to seek exact information, but in a careful and as guarded a manner as possible, concerning the nature and location of the towns of Lake Parime, and especially also concerning Manoa d'Eldorado, or the Golden City, in what manner it may be reached, of what disposition the people there are, and how the same must be treated, according to which they will be able to regulate their acts as far as possible.

9. When the aforesaid persons shall have arrived at the chief town of Lake Parime, and also at the Golden City, they will have to act with great caution, and the one who is intrusted with the command and direction will have to inquire for the Chief of that place, and endeavour to see and to speak with him, if such may be done, and otherwise address himself to the other great men.

10. And he shall then represent to the same and make them believe that they have come there as friends in order to deal in friendship with those people, and to establish a trade with them, with promises to bring them only such goods as they shall desire, and to that end offer them, as a proof and commencement, the goods which they have brought with them, and if they desire those goods, the same shall be sold to them, or exchanged for gold or silver, and for no other monies than for gold and silver alone, and they shall endeavour to obtain from them as much of that mineral as can be got in a friendly manner.

11. And if, in order to facilitate the aforesaid trade it should be necessary to make some presents or regalia to the Chief or any of the Headmen, such may be made out of the merchan-dise, and the rest of the goods will have to be sold in the most advantageous manner possible.

12.The aforesaid persons shall, if they be admitted into the fortified places, narrowly but covertly take note of the strongholds of those places, and the number of inhabitants, also with what nation or people they carry on trade, and whether they are free men or vassals of others, and if the latter, under whose command they stand.

13. How it will be with their religion, government, and weapons or implements of war, their appearance and dress, and what language they speak among themselves.

14. Whether it would be possible to take possession in their country, and whether it would be possible to keep such possession, and what would be required therefor.

15. The aforesaid persons shall also inquire whether other minerals besides gold and sil-ver are to be found there, and what goods, merchandise, or produce further yields, either by cul-tivation, or by labour, art, or handicraft.

16. What kind of European wares are mostly sought after there, either for the use or pleasure of both men and women.

17. The aforesaid persons shall use their best endeavours, and attempt to obtain permis-sion in the softest manner to be allowed to dig in the ground, and then seek to discover where their treasures are, and what mines are found there.

18. When they have obtained that permission, they shall make an experiment in digging, to which end they shall take with them some materials required therefor, but shall be particularly careful not to ask the natives there to dig or to work with them, endeavouring rather to get them to point out that soil and those places where minerals are found, and they shall then have to do and carry on the work alone, and by such opportunity discover the signs of such soils as are good, in order that it may serve them in the future, and the aforesaid persons shall take with them and bring to Ysekepe [Essequibo] anything that is of any value which they may find whilst digging.

19. The aforesaid plan and work having been carried out and accomplished in the man-ner prescribed, the said persons shall (after having taken friendly leave from the Chiefs and other Headmen, and after having promised them to return again in a short time with more goods, and assured them of a desire to keep on friendly terms with them) again depart with the gold and sil-ver which they have obtained there, and return to Ysekepe, and take good care of the cargoes with them, and upon arriving at Ysekepe, then deliver up the same to the Commander, with a complete list, and also hand to the same the journal or daily register kept by them or by him who has had the command, and in addition to this furnish accurate report of all that has happened to them upon the journey out and home, in order that further measures may be taken in accordance therewith.

20. Lastly, the said Commander Van der Heyden shall be able to alter, augment, or di-minish the instructions of the persons who shall be employed for this work in such manner as he, according to the circumstances of the case, and from his own knowledge, shall deem to be best for this plan and the execution of the same, which is left intrusted, to his prudent management.

[1 May 1714]

To the Commander Pieter van der Heyden Resen, at Ysekepe.



Whereas we have seen and observed from the maps that in the River of Ysekepe there is situated a river or water which traverses the interior and extends without any obstacles to the Lake of Parime, also called Rupowini, being very famous for its richness in gold, and near which Lake of Parime, not far off, there is also situated the so-called place Manoa, or El Dorado, or the Golden City, where, as in the whole region of Guiana through which the aforesaid river runs, there are very many gold and silver mines, and a considerable quantity of those materials and minerals may be found, we are of opinion that an attempt or an experiment might be made to proceed down the aforesaid river, which we are confident may well be done, since the same ap-pears to us to be navigable and sufficiently deep, at least to get through with flat-bottomed boats, and in order further to ascertain whether at the aforesaid places, either by establishing trade or business with the owners or natives of those places in goods and merchandise or even by obtaining some possession there, no conquests and profits might be made and found for the Company, which we imagine may well be done in one way or another, wherefore we have desired to inform you in all secrecy of this, our intention, with a recommendation to put into execution this idea of ours in the most expedient manner, to which end and in order that you may be as fully enlightened as possible concerning the same we have hereunto added an instruction or information concerning the execution of the aforesaid plan, to which you will be able to conform as far as circumstances permit; we, however, desire to leave you free to make such changes therein as you shall deem expedient, according to circumstances and for the better prosecution of this work, all of which we shall leave recommended to your prudent discretion and knowledge, since we are in the certain expectation and perfectly convinced that you being an upright and honest man, will indeed take to heart and further the interests and advantage of the Company with all zeal, vigilance, and industry, and we may also assure you that if the before-mentioned plan have good results and success, as we indeed hope, you will receive a full and sufficient reward for the trouble taken, as we shall also (if there be good results) bestow rich rewards upon those persons who shall be employed by you in this matter and shall have conducted themselves honestly.

And since for the prosecution of the aforesaid plan and under pretext of desiring to enter into trade and commerce with the natives of that land some goods and merchandise will be nec-essary and required, and in order that by this means all evil suspicions may be removed from those people, we have thought it well to send you with that object some Indian trading wares, which we believe will be useful and proper for the aforesaid trade. Of what kinds of goods the same consist and what quantity of each kind is sent you by this vessel you will be able to learn more fully and specifically from the notice or invoice sent herewith to which we refer; concerning all of which aforesaid goods we must recommend you to barter and exchange the same for nought else than for gold or silver, and to take no other wares for them, which shall have to be seriously inculcated upon the good behaviour of those who shall be intrusted with those negotia-tions, and in case any presents may have to be made to the Chiefs or other persons there to facili-tate admission to the aforesaid places and to render the trade easier, such may be taken from the aforesaid wares in such manner and quantity as circumstances may demand, and if it should hap-pen that either by the permission or even by the connivance of the natives there our men should be allowed and permitted to examine the ground and to dig therein and so to experiment with the same whether any good minerals might be found therein, we also send herewith such materials as we think are proper and required for that purpose, and are also specified upon the aforesaid notice or invoice.

We have said above that we communicate this matter to you in all secrecy, which we must again repeat here, and we may further tell you for your information that this matter has only been discussed by the Directors to whom secret matters are especially committed and who are very few in number, without any of the other Directors having for the present any knowledge thereof, wherefore you will have to exercise as much care as in you lies that the aforesaid plan is also kept secret on your side and that nothing concerning it is written hither and discovered. You will consequently have to address your letters touching these matters only to the Directors of the General Chartered West India Company in charge of secret matters and place, the said letter be-ing closed in another envelope addressed to Den Heer Joan Althusius, Advocate of the General Company in Amsterdam.

In reply to this we shall expect to hear from you how and in what manner this plan will be put into execution, and of what effect it will have been, what advantages the Company will have gained from it, and what success it may hope for in the future, and in case trade with or at the aforesaid places might be continued and carried on we shall take care that the goods and merchandise required for the same, and such as you shall deem to be desirable and necessary and shall set down in a list or schedule, shall be sent you without delay and as soon as possible, as we shall also be pleased to hear at the earliest opportunity what profits have been made upon the goods sent, what sum has accrued from them, and by what ship you will send those moneys or minerals hither, in order to serve for our information, with which, recommending you to the pro-tection of God, we remain your friends, the Directors of the General Chartered West India Com-pany in charge of secret matters.


Amsterdam, May 1, 1714

P.S. - The vessel "De Twee Juffrouwen Catharina," skipper Christiaan Brand, with which this letter is sent, being on the point of departure, and the time, therefore, now too short to be able to send you the goods mentioned in the inclosed list, we have, however, thought proper and necessary to send you this letter and inclosures, so that you may be informed of our intentions in this matter, upon which we shall also expect your reply, and since you will certainly be praised there with most of the aforesaid goods, you will be able (if necessary) to make use of those pro-visionally. You will also be able to learn from the old inhabitants there whether this plan was not already put into execution and undertaken in former years (as we have been informed), what happened to those people who did so, what they did in the matter, and what success they had, in conformity with which you will then be able to take the necessary measures, concerning all of which, as has been said, we look forward to your reply and confirmation. The ship "De Twee Juffrouwen Catharina," with which we intended to send this letter, having put out to sea, we have thought it best to send this via Surinam and to address it to the clerks of the Company there, recommending them to forward it to you in the safest [manner] as being of importance, which we doubt not will be duly July carried out by them. *

Annex: Instructions or information for Peter van der Hyden Resen, Commander in Rio Ysekepe, belonging to the secret despatch from the Directors of the general chartered West India Company, in charge of secret matters, 1 May 1714. [Document 213 above]

[14 May 1714]


To Pieter van der Heijden Resen, Commander in the Colony of Rio Essequibo, May 14, 1714.

We leave it still most urgently recommended to you that you strictly maintain the prohi-bition of trade in red slaves, annatto dye, and balsam copaiba, since the Company desires, as heretofore, to keep that trade exclusively for itself, in order thereby in a measure to provide for the costs and heavy expense of keeping up that Colony, and we can therefore give no heed to the complaints of the inhabitants in this matter. And, as for their protestations that they are not going to trade within the territory of the Company, that is absurd indeed; for, although Orinoco, Trini-dad, etc., is [sic] under the power of the Spaniards, still it also lies within the Charter of the Company, where nobody has the right to trade except the Company and those to whom the Company gives permission to do so, so that it all is the territory of the Company, although we have no forts there. And it is an untruth that authority was ever published making that trade free; but the contrary is clearly enough to be seen in the resolution of the Assembly of Ten. This has, therefore, crept in there only through neglect; for which reason you are instructed, as above stated, to see closely to it that the Company suffer no injury herein. . .

And, inasmuch as we also see that the Company's Postholder, Pieter de Bloke, has twice borne himself very manfully and doughtily in two hostile attacks, we would gladly see him pro-moted according to his ability, or, in case he can be of most service to the Company in his present position, then give him, for the wound he has sustained, a sum of 30 fl. [guilders] as an en-couragement. . .

[26 June 1714]


X. The Treaty of Münster of the thirtieth of January, one thousand six hundred and forty-eight, made between the late King Philip IV and the Lords the States-General, shall serve as a basis for the present Treaty, and shall hold good in all its parts so far as it is not altered by the following Articles, and so far as it is applicable. And with regard to Articles five and sixteen of the said Peace of Münster, they shall hold good only so far as they concern the said two High Contracting Powers and their subjects. . .

XXXI. His Catholic Majesty promises not to allow any foreign nation whatsoever, for any reason or under any possible pretext, to send vessels to or to go and trade in the Spanish In-dies, but, on the contrary, His Majesty engages to re-establish and to subsequently maintain navigation and commerce in those Indies on the same footing upon which all that stood during the reign of the late King Charles the Second, and in conformity with the fundamental laws of Spain, which absolutely forbid all foreign nations to enter or to trade in those Indies, reserving solely to Spaniards, the subjects of His said Catholic Majesty, the right to do either; and for the observance of this Article the Lords the States-General also promise to lend their aid to His Catholic Majesty, it being well understood that this regulation will not prejudice the contents of the contract of the "Assiento " of the Negroes, recently entered into with Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain. . .

XXXIII. And in order to render trade and navigation on both sides still more free and secure, it is agreed to confirm the Naval Treaty made at the Hague on the seventeenth of Decem-ber, one thousand six hundred and fifty, between the late King Philip IV and the Lords the States-General, and that the said Treaty shall be observed and executed in all its parts, as if it were inserted here word for word, except that the prohibition comprised in the third and fourth Articles of that Treaty shall not hold good. . .

XXXIV. Although in several of the preceding Articles it is said that the subjects of both sides shall be freely permitted to visit, frequent, inhabit, navigate, and trade in or upon the coun-tries, lands, cities, ports, places and rivers of either of the High Contracting Parties, it is never-theless understood that the said subjects shall only enjoy that liberty in the States of the one and the other in Europe, since it is expressly agreed that with regard to the Spanish Indies, trade and commerce will only be carried on there in conformity with Article XXXI of this Treaty, and that in both the East and West Indies under the dominion of the Lords the States-General, trade and navigation will be carried on as they have hitherto been carried on there, and that with regard to the Canary Islands, trade and navigation will be carried on there by the subjects of the Lords States upon the same footing as in the reign of the late King Charles the Second.

(Original: French)

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