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Traced interlopers, 1674-1730

Cite as:

Paesie, dr. R. (): Traced interlopers, 1674-1730. DANS. http://dx.doi.org/10.17026/dans-z4c-wbxg

2008 Paesie, dr. R. 10.17026/dans-z4c-wbxg

This database contains 85 to 90 percent of the Dutch interlopers between 1674 and 1730. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the word ‘interloper’ (lorrendraaier) generally referred to a smuggler ship, a ship trading goods and slaves out of the monopoly of the West Indian Company. ‘Since interloper activity was illegal, documentation concerning its role is difficult to find, if available at all’ (Postma). About one fifth of the interlopers didn’t fulfil its journey. They were captured by the West Indian Company, were shipwrecked of hijacked by pirates. More on interlopers can be read in the summary of the book ‘Lorrendrayen op Africa’ by Paesie that is added in PDF-format in this database.

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Dutch interlopers, 1674-1730 – R. Paesie

Interlopers

According to ‘wordnetweb.princeton.edu’, an interloper (lorredraaier in Dutch) is someone who intrudes on the privacy or property of another without permission. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the word ‘interloper’ generally referred to a smuggler ship, a ship trading goods and slaves out of the monopoly of the West Indian Company. Until recently, little was known about the illegal trade on West-Africa. To cite Johannes Postma: ‘Since interloper activity was illegal, documentation concerning its role is difficult to find, if available at all’. The Dutch historian Ruud Paesie considered this a great challenge and managed to uncover numerous data on illegal ships. He estimates that his database contains 85 to 90 percent of the Dutch interlopers. About one fifth of the interlopers didn’t fulfil its journey. They were captured by the West Indian Company, were shipwrecked of hijacked by pirates. More on interlopers can be read in the summary of his book ‘Lorrendrayen op Africa’ that is added in PDF-format.

The Slave trade

Interlopers contributed greatly to the slave trade. Between 1674-1730, about 230 of the 850 illegal ships were slave traders. The estimate made for the number of slaves transported by interloper-ships was 60.000.

Content of the file ‘Traced interlopers’

In this file, several columns are included. Most of the columns, like the name of the captain, the place and date of departure, the destination(s) and the date of arrival, speak for themselves but some columns need clarification.

In the column ‘Special features’ information on the course of the journey can be found. Ships could be captured, hijacked, wrecked, plundered or prosecuted.

To ensure a safe passage to Africa and to evade the WIC charter, the captains usually had all the necessary passes. The column ‘pass’ contains information on the kind of pass they had.

The last column contains all information regarding the cargo. For some ships, even the amount of gum, gold, ivory or the number of slaves on board is known.

foto

Frigate from Flushing: the Witte Bijle that was renamed El Porto Prince in 1715. The next few years, the ship was put into action as an interloper on the triangle trade to West-Africa and America. Amerika ingezet. In 1721 the frigate was captured by pirates. Painting made by Cornelis Louw, 1715. (Zeeuws Maritiem MuZEEum Vlissingen).