About Anna Pieters
From: Gerda Pieterse
Date: 13 April 2007 6:40:18 AM
To: "George \( Mike \) Rushby" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Anna Pieters
Most researchers are adamant that she was a slave belonging to
Alexandrina Maxwell, the wife of lieut. Joannes Coon. She may also have
been the baby born to a slave woman who was pregnant when sold to
Joannes Coon, but no longer preganant when sold onwards. The Coon's
were childless and Alexandrina was known for humanitarian works her
love for children and caring for the women in the slave lodge. A slave
named Anna gave birth to an Elizabeth at roughly the time when Anna
Pieters' child Elizabeth Adriaansz would have been born, with miss
Maxwell as witness, and a woman named Anna Liberta of Miss Maxwell gave birth to a Maria roughly when Maria Adriaansz was born. If this was our Anna, when did she become Liberta (freed)? She may have been taken to Patria, which would have meant instant liberation, but facts are
We have a fairly good estimate of Anna's age from her will.
We assume her father was named Pieter.
She was known as Anna Pieters from Batavia (which ought to imply she
was born there, ruling out the child of the pregnant slave who would
have been 'born at the Cape') Unless of course the Coon's kept the
child and raised her as their own, but on the other hand they were
known to be childless, so a sudden child ought to have raised some
Anna married Lambert Adriaansz after the birth of her daughters, she
was mature and mentioned no parents, just her daughters.
Lambert attests he has no family in the 'upwards or downwards lineage'
(meaning no parents and no offspring) and leaves his half of the estate
to his sister and brother. If he was related to the girls they would
automatically have been legitimised when he married their mother and by
law he would have had to include them in his will. He can therefore be
ruled out as their father.
They were both known as Adriaanse, and it may be that their mother came
to the Cape later, already married to an Adriaan, but then we'd still
need a baptism for the girls, beacuse they were 'jongedochters van de
Kaap' ie born at the Cape.
Slaves received rudimentary education from the company, but certainly
not when Anna was young. Her daughters may have benefitted from the
slave schooling project but would only have been functionally literate.
Yet both Anna and her daughters showed evidence of higher education
with the type of practised handwriting that was on a par with that of
the highborn and wealthy. Maria had a much better signature than her
Years after her sudden death, (probably of smallpox) in 1713, the
effects of Anna's estate are still mentioned in later wills, so that
must have been considerable and not the typical 'slave' estate. She was
witness and sponsor to her son-in-law Jan de Wit when he was became a
member of the Reformed Church.
That's all on the one hand, but freed slave women could and did become
pillars of society and some became extremely wealthy land and slave
The consistent high marriages of the de Wit daughters and son leads me
to believe that there was much more to her than we assume and that we
are missing something really important somewhere. However, hunting for
a child Anna from a father named Pieter is not even a needle in a