Stages of the voyage

Further specific instructions – transcription

Further Specific Instructions for captain Jan Menkenveld, commanding the snowship The Unity of the Commercie Compagnie, from this city and destined for the shores of Africa and America.

The directors of the Commercie Compagnie of this city, confirm with this  the already delivered Instructions and Specific Instructions to Your Honor, and bid that Your Honor would fulfill these exactly.  We now further order you that as soon as you have traded a sufficient number of  slaves along the coast of Africa, according to Your Honor’s Instructions, that you will sail with them immediately to the colony of the Berbice in West Indies.  On your arrival there you will address yourself to the auction master Abraham Wijs.  You will consult with his Honorable for the sale which is of most interest to this Compagnie.  Furthermore, you will request his Honorable counsel and assistance insofar as is necessary.

For the sale of the slaves brought there, a public venue is probably best; therefore choose that.  And if you find that the entire human cargo can be sold at once for a reasonable price, you will sell it there as a whole.  However, if you notice that this would decrease the  prices, you will save a suitable remainder of 80 to 100 slaves and sell them in the colony of Essequibo and Demerara.  This will be done via auction and on condition of payment in sugar which will will be loaded on Your Honour’s ship as soon as possible. Otherwise, you can pay in bills of exchange in Berbice, which need to be made or endorsed for payment within  six weeks after  the directors of the Commercie Compagnie of the city of Middelburg in Zeeland have seen them.

If, contrary to expectations, the prices in these two  colonies are so low that it was not worth the journey, the directors leave it to you to sail to Curacao or St. Eustatius, showing seamanship in all respects and keeping the interests of the Compagnie in mind.

You and your officers will have to pass a declaration of the arms supply  which, according to the act of the Council of Admiralty you are permitted to use and which you will have traded and stored on the coast of Africa.

Actum Middelburgh, the 30th of September, 1761.

Directors of the Commercie Compagnie of and from this city
Jacobus Landsheer
Salomon Reijnders


The further specific instructions for captain Jan Menkenveld, dated 30 September 1761, are parts of the Archives of the MCC, access number 20, 375.3.

This transcription has been made by volunteers of the Zeeland Archives, united in the workgroup PaiZ (Palaeography in Zeeland).