Excerpts from Voyages of the Slavers St. John and Arms of Amsterdam, 1659, 1663, documenting the Dutch slave trade to New Netherland.

New Netherland’s last director, Peter Stuyvesant, dramatically expanded New Netherland’s, and specifically New Amsterdam’s, role in the slave trade among Africa, the West Indies, and North America. While slavery in New Netherland was unique in some ways, it was similar to practices elsewhere in the American colonies in that Africans were kidnapped, exported, traded, and sold against their will for the purpose of unpaid labor. Most enslaved Africans in New Netherland belonged to the West India Company and labored to help build and support the colony. (This document uses the long “s,” which looks like an “f.” The Caribbean island of Curaçao was another Dutch West India Company colony.)