About Rebekka van Malagasy, PROG
Slave woman from Madagascar
In 1807 a year after marrying her daughter Sara, Johannes van der Kemp buys and frees Rebekka and Sara's 4 siblings for the considerable amount of 3250 rix dollars or 750 pounds (from the historical novel Praying Mantis by Andre Brink)
Johannes van der Kemp mentions in a letter that Sara (Rebekka's daughter) is descended from a Muslim priest, in January 1809, Van der Kemp wrote to his nephew that his 'dear wife's father' was a Muslim priest, and Sara had been brought up as a Muslim, but he hoped that God had started bis good work in her. He went on to mention the ransom of 8000 Dutch guilders for her and her family.
We know that between 1654 and 1786 there were 33 Dutch East India Company voyages to Madagascar accounting for about one fifth of the slaves that are identified as Madagascan. The rest of the Madagascar slaves arrived on an array of foreign ships calling in Cape Town. Some slaves were sold officially and others unofficially, with the majority of slaves on board destined for other ports. An insight on the origins of the Madagascar slaves, at least in the early period, can be gleaned from the documented records of the voyage of the ship Leijdsman in 1715. The origins of Madagascar slaves continued to change between this time when it is clearly demonstrated that there was a limit to numbers of Malagasy slaves available and later years when more and more African slaves were brought to Madagascar from the mainland.