Gideon and the Great Dock


The WIC-chartered ship Gideon arrived in New Amsterdam with 290 enslaved men and women on board from Netherland. Its first stop was Angola, Africa, where they took on board many slaves, along with copper and elephant tusks. The ship then crossed the ocean to the Caribbean, where it delivered slaves and the other “cargo,” before proceeding to New Amsterdam. It arrived at the Great Dock with 291 Africans. To date, this was the largest shipment of enslaved men, women, and children to the Dutch colony. The Dutch West India Company relied on Africans to build homes, fortifications, and even the Great Dock. It was Africans who unloaded the Gideon.Before the Gideon could be loaded again, British warships arrived. The English took possession of a town with a population of about 1,500 whites, 300 slaves, and 75 freedmen. The largest slave owner was the Dutch West India Company, which had granted some of the older Africans a kind of half-freedom and plots of land. The Land of the Blacks was a group of 8-to-12-acre farms north of the town. The British questioned any freedom and landholdings of the black populace of the Netherlands.

Landed, Aug, 1664