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Abraham Johannes / Accra Doura II — 1 reactie

  1. An interesting text on the status of young Africans in late 18th-century Netherlands society. Accra Dourra, bought as a slave in Elmina, Ghana, and brought to the Dutch town of Weesp. After many years freed by his owner, baptised and inducted in the Dutch Reformed church, after which he had to fend for himself. In a state in which (chattel) slavery was illegal on its European territory it is interesting to see that the “owner” is clear in the terminology he uses in an official document: “I, as his Lord and Owner, wished to favour and endow Accra Dourra with his freedom” (“Ik als zijn Heer en Eigenaar, Accra Dourra wilde begunstigen en beschenken met zijne vrijheit”). One would think he made himself liable to prosecution with these words. The minister and other members of the public are more circumspect in their language: “dismissed from his service by his Lord” (“ontslagen van zijnen dienst bij zijnen Heer”), which can be read in social terms also used for an apprentice or a child that was looked after as a ward. It makes one think about how Dutch society dealt with young Africans, both of slave origin and free-born in an era in which slave trade and slavery were becoming the subject of heated social debate.

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