Monday, December 28, 2015

Dutch Privateers

17th century Dutch ship
During the autumn of 1619, a ship was dispatched to Newfoundland with a cargo of tobacco in charge of the Cape Merchant, Abraham Piersey, who was then residing in the Colony.  It was to be exchanged for fish.  Then, a dutch privateer ship imported into Virginia the first cargo of negroes.  By the time of the 1622 massacre, private adventurers were constantly reaching the Colony and furnishing the inhabitants with articles such as sweetmeats, sack and strong liquors. Soon thereafter, Governor Wyatt of Virginia prohibited all exchanges with the people of Holland, as this diversion of tobacco from England diminished the volume of the royal customs.  In 1623 when the need of supplies was urgent, Wyatt was thrown into a state of great doubt as to which course to pursue, whether by the information he received from the captain of an English vessel, that a Dutch ship which he had passed at sea had expressed an intention of making a voyage to Virginia to exchange supplies.

Source: Governor and Council of Virginia, Jan. 1622-3; Neill's Virginia Company of London, p. 372; Governor Wyatt to John Ferrer, British State Papers, Colonial, vol. II, No. 26.

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