Form of a contract for importing slaves from Africa

Scanned Document:

Today the ] undersigned director and councilors of New Netherland, authorized thereto by a resolution ] of the chamber at Amsterdam, parties of the first part, and the owners ] of the ship whereof left blank ] is commander ] measuring about left blank ] tons, parties of the second ] part, have agreed and contracted that the aforesaid skipper shall receive a license and the necessary documents enabling him to trade for slaves on the coast of Africa and to profit thereby as he sees fit. Likewise, he shall return to the Manhathans with the aforesaid slaves and such other cargo, provided that the issued license concerning the coast of Africa does not permit him to trade on the Gold Coast, and that he shall not come any further west than Ardre or at the most Popo;[1] under penalty of forfeiting the aforesaid ship and its cargo. For which purpose the director and councilors shall be allowed to place a supercargo on board the aforesaid ship, (whom the skipper shall be obligated to board in the cabin), and if necessary also to administer an appropriate oath to the crew. For which consent and license the aforesaid owners promise to pay promptly upon the return of the aforesaid ship and before its cargo is unloaded, to the aforesaid director and councilors fifteen guilders for each Negro as duty without claiming any exception or compensation thereon, pledging their persons and possessions, nothing excepted, with renunciation of beneficium ordinis, divisionis et excusionis,[2] as having full knowledge thereof.

Done at New Amsterdam this left blank ]


Ardre and Popo are both in Dahome on the slave coast of Africa.
Legal expression denoting a pvilege or right which allows a. surety to require that the creditor first proceed agamst the principal and exhaust his remedy agamst him, before resorting to the surety; and allows one of several co-sureties to insist upon paying only his pro rata share of the debt.


A complete copy of this publication is available on the New Netherland Institute website.