Private slave trade in the Dutch Indian Ocean world: A study into the networks and backgrounds of the slavers and the enslaved in South Asia and South Africa

Linda Mbeki*, Matthias van Rossum

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This article explores the local and intercontinental networks that underpinned the private trade in slaves and the transportation of the enslaved in the VOC seaborne empire during the eighteenth century. We rely on two sets of complementary VOC records, with their respective shortcomings, to reveal information about those who were involved in this trade as sellers, buyers and traded. Our focus is on the Cape of Good Hope as a node with a high demand for slaves, and Cochin from where slaves were traded and transported to all regions of the empire, including the Cape. It is apparent from these sources that high ranking VOC officials, the Company rank and file, free citizens and Asians under VOC jurisdiction partook in this lucrative trade. Analyses of regions of origin, age, gender, and caste are provided, giving the reader a rare glimpse into the identity of the enslaved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-116
Number of pages22
JournalSlavery and Abolition
Volume38
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2017

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