Choosing Berbice

Council’s declaration

Nr. 5

Declaration on the ship The Unity regarding the entering of the river Berbice, America 1762

We, officers employed by the honorable directors of the Commercie Compagnie of the city of Middelburg, Zeeland, sailing on the ship The Unity, declare as requested by captain Jan Menkenveld

that we arrived at the coast of America on June the 25th. Hence, together with our captain Jan Menkenveld we deliberated and decided to enter the river Berbice in order to sell some of our slaves. The reason for this is that some of our slaves are weak and dying daily, as can be seen from the journal. If this would not have been the case, we would have sailed to Curacao.

We did not consider it a wise idea to enter the Suriname rivers to sell slaves there. We know that in that area slave ships arrive daily who left Africa with or before us and who told us they had Suriname as their destination. Most probably the slaves there are being sold for low prices. However, if it appears that we will not be able to sell all our slaves in the Berbice area, we have decided to sail to Essequebo to sell the remainder there.

We hereby close this declaration, having given reasons for the entering the river Berbice (if need be, under oath).

Actum on board of the ship The Unity, the 25th of June 1762

First mate, Daniël Pruijmelaar

Second mate, J. Schutz

Third mate, Adriaan de Puijt