Bonaire, History, Taking Bonaire, The Company, The Swaluwe and The Ceremony, March 23, 1636

Van Walbeeck did not immediately conquer Aruba and Bonaire. It is uncertain why he waited so long. His fear that the Spanish may attack Curaçao from the neighboring islands eventually drove him to conquer these islands.

At the end of 1635, the WIC ship de Swaluwe, sailing near the coast of Aruba for the second time, encountered and captured a small Spanish boat, about which De Laet reports the following:

Aen Aruba bequamen een Passaet-Barcxken met neghen ghevanghens: uyt de welcke verstonden aen-gaende de toerusthinghe vande vyandt teghen het eylandt [De Laet, 1644, 187].

From Aruba we received a Bark with nine prisoners, from whom we heard about the enemy’s mobilization against the island.

Because he feared Spanish and Catholic influences, Van Walbeeck advised the Heeren XIX that should the WIC decide to colonize these islands (referring primarily to Curaçao), it would be preferable to use either Dutch citizens or slaves from Angola, instead of the native Amerindians:

T’waer na mijn gevoelen de Compagnie geraden, so verre alhier Colonien wilden planten, deselve van onse eijgen natie te nemen, oft anders nieu ofte varsch affgescheepte negros van Angola hier te stellen, die van onse regering ende religie niet vervreemt en syn, als die geen, die langh met de Spagnaerts gehanteert hebben [Van Walbeeck in De Laet IV:305].

I would advise the company, in the case they decide to colonize, to do so with people from either our own nation or new or freshly shipped negro slaves from Angola, who are not indoctrinated against our government and religion like those who stayed with the Spaniards

…Een schip, de Swaluwe werd naar Bonaire gedepecheerd en meldde op 23 mart 1636 dat er nog slechts zes Indianen waren, die bezig waren, blijkbaar in opdracht, het vee op te ruimen. Dit schip (french ship) was gekomen om hout the laden met de schipper waren de Indianen in onderhandeling om hen naarde overwal te voeren. Van Walbeeck besloot hierop, zodra het franse schip vertrokken zou zijn, het eiland Bonaire “met enige ceremoniën voor de Compagnie in bezit te gaan nemen”.

SRC: J. Hartog

©2012 Olivier Douvry/GlobeDivers

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Categorised in: 2012, Artifacts, Bonaire, Library, News, People, Pirates and battles, South-SE

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