Africans in New Amsterdam/New York

Started by Kenneth Kwame Welsh on Monday, August 22, 2011


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8/22/2011 at 11:51 AM

According to some sources, there were 20,000 or so buried in the African Burial Grounds outside the Wall (Wall Street)1650-1750

Just thinking about normal deaths, thats a lot of people for a city that only had 9,000 around 1674.

8/22/2011 at 12:03 PM

Hmmmmmm, that's just not possible, is it? My own estimate, simply based on 'feeling' with New Amsterdam, is that there were about 500 Africans there in the 17th century. Of course, the slave trade intensified once that the English took over New Amsterdam, but I don't think that number can be right. It really doesn't make any sense when we see how slave trade evolved in New Netherland.
It reminds me, Kwame, that we should really do something with the document I wrote. We need to start and have people collaborate on bringing this picture together.
FYI, over the past weekend, I've been able to identify the profiles of key slave traders from Holland - specifically the Coymans family. There were others, but these were very signifDucicant. Given what I understand now, of their importance in 'old' Amsterdam life, there must be records, somewhere.
Another FYI... we're trying to pull people together to work on the Dutch 'golden age', and the Coymans family is in the focus. I hope that, over time, this will unearth new sources regarding the role of some Dutch and the West Indies Company in the trade.

Private User
8/22/2011 at 2:02 PM

It's such a cognitive dissonance that an era that produced such beauty could also have joined in something so ugly. History is fascinating, isn't it.

8/22/2011 at 2:57 PM

1) The first Africans to arrive in Jamestown were on a Dutch ship in 1619.

2) Even though we are finding out that the New Amsterdam Africans came from Congo and Angola. I had previously researched the Gold Coast (Ghana) origins. Maybe they came in much larger numbers right after the British took over?

Private User
8/22/2011 at 8:05 PM

Didn't the traders work different territories, make alliances with different war lords, slavers, etc.? So sure, maybe Dutch and English were bidding in the same markets. Or more likely, moved to a fresher territory?

8/22/2011 at 9:12 PM

Yes, Erica, you are absolutely right! In some cases, a piece of land might have exchanged hands up to 20 times.

8/24/2011 at 11:37 AM

In the Slave uprisings project, and other places, there were retributions after the riots, but mostly the leaders were killed.

8/24/2011 at 11:50 AM

FYI, I've been concentrating for the past week on Amsterdam's leading families in the 17th century. With a few others, we're trying to structure this approach. Already, this is giving is 7 or 8 totally new connections for New Amsterdam immigrants to the homeland :-)
In addition, I've been able to identify a few of the slave-traders. I haven't connected them to any slave-trading page, yet, because we (I) haven't set it up, yet. However, we now have about 4-5 main Dutch actors of the slave trade in Geni. Interestingly, their origins are not Dutch in the sense of 'Holland', but refugee/merchants coming from Flanders and Wallonia. For instance, the Coymans family had an Antwerp origin. The Godin family came from Valenciennes (currently northern France, but considered Wallonia in the past).
I'm also coming across slave-traders that dealt with moving slaves towards the Far East.
Anyways, by identifying these traders and their families, it might become easier to see where records may be found. Obviously, from a Dutch perspective, it's with the Dutch East Indies and West Indies companies. But, we can now identify the individual businesses they ran. The Dutch Indies companies were sort of cooperatives, and individual businesses would buy shares in these cooperatives. It's the individual business that obtained and operated the Spanish asientos in the beginning of the slave trade.
I'm not focusing on getting this particular issue sorted out right now, but I think I'll have more tangible info by going through the process anyway.

8/24/2011 at 12:01 PM

Maybe we should start a domentation-oriented project-page about EUROPEAN slave-traders ? We start from the Dutch-Documentation-Department and try to make a Consulaat about European affairs. What do you think, DDD-fellow Sjors? For here we have actual discussing about how to collaborate in a European sense, so maybe we can attribute to this discussion by pulling-&-pushing GENI-european collaboration on this subject?

8/24/2011 at 2:31 PM

JMU, I think you are on to something. George, you are so meticulous. Back in the old days, they had slave-holding conferences. Most people don't beleive it, but it was so. They sorted out their agreements and policies at the meetings/conferences. They even waged war on the people that rose up to fight off the slave-holders, for example in the Palmares Republic in Brazil. Dutch armies were used along with 3-4 other European forces.

Private User
8/24/2011 at 2:38 PM

Just like the telephone companies today.

8/24/2011 at 3:28 PM

I looked at my dictionary to know what meticulous means, but I think that's not right. George is vere focusedf to trace ALL the relations between VERY POWERFUL families in Amsterdam, Antwerpen and so on to be accurate about linking and get conclusions about such complicated issues you are discussing about. Wait till everything comes from facts in well-documented profiles as we are working hard to get with the support of our great Dutch curators and other volunteers like me in the Dutch-Flemisch-European-etc. influencing families who's descendants don,'t even know much about. In deⒹutch-◦-Ⓓocumentation-◦-Ⓓepartment project. It just started some days ago, we are trying to get appointments about how to handle all these profiles with wrong information and to be sure that the Dutch, Europeans, whatever, but OUR ancestry is fairly documentated en nice illustrated to be helpful to talk about f.i. slavery, not only in the context of a genealogye-project. I've followed this discussion for some time already, en STOP it now. FIRST there is work to be done to get proper trees and be sure, we are courageous enought to talk about the things Kwame suggested, but why here and why now? To many ancestors abroad made wrong connections already, so please look at that and do what we expect from curators......

8/25/2011 at 10:10 AM

JMU, thanks for your help, and to sort US out... lol

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