JOURNAL kept by Adriaen Blaes van der Veer, skipper of the slaver St. Jan

Scanned Document:

Journal kept aboard the ship St. Jan, begun the 4th of March in the year 1659.

The 4th of March  We weighed anchor by order of the honorable lord director Johan Valkenborch and the honorable director Jasper van Heussen[1] in order to continue our voyage to Rio Reael[2] to trade for slaves there on behalf of the honorable Company. 
The 8th ditto.  We arrived with our ship on Saturday before Arda[3] to take on board the surgeon’s mate, and tamarinds as refreshment for the slaves. We set sail the next day to continue our voyage to Rio Reael. 
The 17th ditto.  We arrived in Rio Reael before the village named Bany.[4] We found there the Company’s yacht named De Vrede, which was sent out to assist us in the slave trade. 
The 6th of May.  One of our sailors died whose name was Claes van Dienen from Durgerdam. 
The 22nd ditto  We weighed anchor again and sailed out of the Rio 
The 26th ditto.  On Monday we arrived below the high land of Ambosius in order to seek food for the slaves. We spent seven days there looking but barely obtained enough for the slaves’ daily consumption; therefore, we decided to sail to Rio Cammerones[6] in order to see whether any food could be found there for the slaves. 
The 5th of June.  On Thursday we arrived in Rio Cammerones, and the yacht De Vrede went upriver to look for food for the slaves. On the same day our cooper died whose name was Pieter Claessen van Amsterdam. 
The 29th ditto.  On Sunday we decided to continue our voyage because there was also little food there for the slaves because of the heavy rain which we had daily, and because many slaves were suffering from dysentery caused by the bad food supplied to us from Delmina,[7] among which there were many barrels of groats which were not fit for use. We delivered to the skipper Adriaen Blaes one hundred and ninety five slaves consisting of eighty one men and one hundred and five women, six boys and three girls, for which the manifests were signed and sent with the yacht De Vrede to Delmina, together with an account and the receipts for the remaining goods. 
The 25th of July.  We arrived at Cabo de Loop du Consalvo[8] to take on water and firewood. 
The 27th ditto.  Our surgeon, Martijn de Lonoij, has died of dysentery. 
The 10th of August.  The Company’s ship named Den Swarten Arent arrived. It was coming from Casteel St. George del Mina bound for the fatherland. 
The 11th ditto.  We decided again to continue our voyage to the island of Annibo[9] in order to buy some refreshments for the slaves there. We lay sixteen days at Caap de Loop[10] in order to take on water and firewood. Among the water barrels some forty were taken apart to be repaired because our cooper died in Rio Cammerones; otherwise we had no one who could repair them. 
The 15th ditto.  We arrived at the island of Annibo, where we bought as refreshments for the slaves one hundred halff Keer [11] of small beans, twelve hogs, five thousand cocoa nuts, five thousand sweet oranges together with other refreshments. 
The 17th ditto.  We set sail again to continue our voyage to the island of Curaçao. 
The 21st of September.  The skipper convened the ship’s council and it was decided to run to the island of Tobago and take on water there; otherwise we would have died for want of water because much of ours had leaked out of the water barrels. 
The 24th ditto.  On Friday we arrived at the island of Tobago where we took on water and also bought some bread for our crew because for three weeks they had had no rations. 
The 27th ditto.  We set sail once more to continue our voyage to the island of Curaçao as before. 
The 1st of November.  We lost our ship on the reef of Rocus[12] and our crew fled in the boat immediately. There was no chance to save the slaves because we had to abandon the ship on account of the heavy surf. 
The 4th ditto.  We arrived with the boat at the island of Curaçao. The honorable Governor Beck dispatched two sloops to retrieve the slaves from the shipwreck. One of the sloops was taken by a pirate together with eighty-four slaves. 


There is no note for this end note number 1 at the top of page one.
River in present-day Nigeria which flows by Port Harcourt.
In present-day Dahomey on the slave coast of Africa.
Bonny on the coast of Nigeria, south of Port Harcourt.
River emptying into Gulf of Biafra.
i.e., St. George del Mina, Dutch fortified slave post, today Elmina, Ghana.
Cap de Lope Gonzalves, today Cape Lopez, Gabon just south of Libreville.
i.e., Annabon, island just west of Cape Lopez.
i.e., Cape Lopez.
keer is translated as “tierce” in Voyages of the Slavers St. John and Arms of Amsterdam by E. B. O’Callaghan, Albany: J. Munsell, 1867; 1 tierce - 42 gallons or 1/3 pipe, a measure halfway between a barrel and a hogshead.
Island of Los Roques about 125 miles east of Curaçao.


Translation: Gehring, C., trans./ed., Curaçao Papers, 1640-1665 (New Netherland Research Center and the New Netherland Institute: 2011).A complete copy of this publication is available on the New Netherland Institute website.