Online reconstruction done of slave voyage to Berbice

The Unity (Courtesy the Zeeland Archives)

The Zeeland Archives in the Netherlands, which holds the archives of the MCC, a slave-trading company in the 18th century, has made an online reconstruction of one of the 113 voyages made under the company’s auspices.

The Unity (Courtesy the Zeeland Archives)
The Unity (Courtesy the Zeeland Archives)

This is the voyage of the ship The Unity between the years 1761 and 1763. A communication from Roosanne Goudbeek of the Zeeland Archives says that “For one and a half years the events on board can be followed day by day on a blog. The main players of 252 years ago ‘tell’ us about the events through the authentic archival documents, such as the logbook, the surgeon’s journal, the trade book and the letters of the captain to the directors in Middelburg, the Netherlands.”

The blog can be accessed on www.atlanticslavetrade. org

Stabroek News will keep readers updated about this virtual journey and the arrival of The Unity in Berbice.

Goudbeek writes that the ship Unity left on October 1, 2013 (1761) and has been to Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, and is now crossing the Atlantic Ocean to Berbice, Demerara and Essequibo, where it will arrive on July 6, 2014 (1762). There are 314 enslaved Africans on board. On the route back the ship will put in at Plymouth in Britain.

Goudbeek also said that the Zeeland Archives is in the process of digitizing the entire archives of the MCC and that will be available to the public on the internet. The first set can now be viewed on www.archieven.nl/nl/db/0/toegang/239/20/ (inventory number 1 – 54.14). The final set will be uploaded in 2015.

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