The Dutch in the Atlantic World: New Perspectives from the Slave Trade with Particular Reference to the African Origins of the Traffic

TitleThe Dutch in the Atlantic World: New Perspectives from the Slave Trade with Particular Reference to the African Origins of the Traffic
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsVos, J, Richardson, D, Eltis, D
PublisherYale University Press
ISBN Number0300134363; 9780300134360
KeywordsAfrican coast, Dutch slave trade, Dutch vessels, French traffic, history of the Americas, slave traders, Slaves
Abstract

This chapter examines the concept that along with the post-1710 French traffic, the Dutch slave trade was the first to be documented. Overall, it is estimated that a total volume of 554,300 slaves was carried from the African coast in Dutch vessels in 1596–1829. All slave-trading nations drew on a surprisingly small number of individual ports on the African coast, but the Dutch present the most extreme variant of this pattern. Without the 10,000 or so slaves who the Dutch supplied, the development of the French sugar complex would have been seriously delayed. The Dutch contributed to but did not lead the way in the slave trade's rapid expansion beginning in the middle of the seventeenth century. Before 1650, the Dutch slave trade concentrated almost exclusively on Brazil. Dutch slave traders were far more active in the early French Caribbean but were quickly excluded in 1670.