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Exports from St. Eustatius to the Dutch Republic, 1783-1795.
Jordaan, Dr. H.R.
Jordaan, Dr. H.R.
During the second half of the 18th century St. Eustatius became an important regional trading hub, where European and North American goods and African slaves were exchanged for tropical produce from the neighbouring British, French, Spanish and Danish colonies. The island played an important role in supplying the rebellious British colonies in North America with arms and ammunition during the American War of Independence (1775-1783). In February 1781, within months after the outbreak of the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War (1780-1784), the island was occupied by the British. Although this occupation only lasted for about half a year, it had devastating effects; the British thoroughly looted the island. After the French ally dislodged the British in the fall of 1781, the Statian merchants returned to business. In 1783 a first shipment of tropical produce was sent to the mother country. During the following years St. Eustatius economically recovered. A French occupation in 1795 marked the end of the position of the island as an important freeport. Between 1783 and 1795 180 return shipments of tropical produce were sent to the Dutch Republic. For most of these shipments the cargo lists were preserved in the old archives of St. Eustatius (1781-1828), which are kept in the National Archive in The Hague. The information from these cargo lists or ship's manifests is processed in the database.
Nationaal Archief, The Hague, archief van St. Eustatius tot 1828 (access no. 1.05.13.01), secretarial and notarial deeds, inventory nos. 124-126, 131-141, 143-144; arcief van de Tweede West-Indische Compagnie (access no. 1.05.01.02), returns of ship's manifests, inv. nos. 1310B, 1311A.