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Voyages of the WIC, 1674-1740

Cite as:

Heijer, prof. dr. H.J. den (Universiteit Leiden) (): Voyages of the WIC, 1674-1740. DANS. https://doi.org/10.17026/dans-2zc-zuk2

1997 Heijer, prof. dr. H.J. den (Universiteit Leiden) 10.17026/dans-2zc-zuk2

This dataset contains a list of voyages of Dutch WIC-ships. The list is chronologically ordered and contains information regarding the names of the captains, the destinations, the date of departure from the Dutch Republic, the date of arrival and the ship type.

The Columns ‘special features regarding the cargo’ contains information on the value in Dutch guilders of the Cargo for both the way out and the way back.

The Column special features holds information on the course of the journey (some ships were wrecked, hijacked or demolished), whether a ship was hired or if it was an interloper

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Voyages of the WIC, 1674-1740 - H. den Heijer

The establishment of the 2nd WIC:

After the bankruptcy of the First Dutch West Indian Company in September 1674, the States General decided to establish a similar company on the very day the old one disappeared. The States General were convinced that the interest of the Dutch in the Atlantic was best served by a chartered trade company. Like the old company, the new one was based on a federal structure. In the Netherlands, the WIC consisted of five chambers: Amsterdam, Middelburg (Zeeland), Rotterdam, Hoorn and Enkhuizen (West-Friesland) and Groningen.

Trade of the 2nd WIC:

After the WIC had been re-established in 1674, the directors, the so-called Heeren Tien, did almost everything to stimulate the African trade. The prospects were quite positive, at first. Old debts were solved and the Company had enough finances to invest in shipping and trade. Thanks to the fact that it possessed a chain of forts on the Gold Coast and factories elsewhere, the WIC was still the strongest European power in West-Africa. The large demand for gold and ivory in Europe and African slaves in the New World created opportunities of restoring Dutch trade with West Africa. In the Dutch Republic there was an sufficient demand for precious metal to finance the trade with the Baltic and Asia. In addition to the constant need for slaves in the Spanish colonies, there was a rising demand for enslaved Africans in the Caribbean, caused by the fast growing sugar production of the islands. The Dutch colonies in the Guyana’s were still underdeveloped in the 1670s, but the number of plantations steadily increased and consequently also the demand for slaves. After 1738, with the termination of the WIC’s monopoly on the slave trade and the beginning of the so-called free-trade slaving period, the numbers of Dutch free traders involved in the slave trade increased rapidly. The WIC still exported some 6.000 slaves annually between 1744 and 1773.

The demise of the Second WIC

The Dutch seaborne empire declined during the 1780s and 1790s. The Fourth Anglo-Dutch War (1780-1784), during which a large portion of the Dutch fleet was captured, was a financial disaster for the Second WIC. The debts of the WIC amounted to 6 million guilders in 1789. The charter of the WIC was not renewed in 1791, and the company was taken over by the Dutch Republic.

Content of the file Ships WIC, 1674-1740

This dataset contains a list of voyages of Dutch WIC-ships. The list is chronologically ordered and contains information regarding the names of the captains, the destinations, the date of departure from the Dutch Republic, the date of arrival and the ship type.

The Columns ‘special features regarding the cargo’ contains information on the value in Dutch guilders of the Cargo for both the way out and the way back.

The Column special features holds information on the course of the journey (some ships were wrecked, hijacked or demolished), whether a ship was hired or if it was an interloper.

foto

Announcement of the intended purchase of goods for the trade on West-Africa by the directors of the chamber Zeeland. (NA, Den Haag, archive of the second WIC)