5 Annotations

Jenny Doughty  •  Link

Pepys' casual comment on April 8th 1660, about seeing two merchantmen bound for the East Indies, conceals a wealth of excitement and adventure. The English and the Dutch had fought for decades over the immensely valuable nutmeg trade with these islands. Eventually, the English ceded control of them to the Dutch in return for a valueless piece of land on the other side of the world: Manhattan.

Further details here: http://www.ralphmag.org/nutmegZO.html

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

Sorry Jenny, I am afraid you got this wrong: Manhattan (at that time "Nieuw Amsterdam") was traded for Suriname on the north coast of South America, next to Guyana.

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

Further to the above: the Dutch VOC (East Indian Company - maybe the first Company that could call itself "Limited") started to take the islands of the East Indies in the beginning of the 17th century. The English have disputed the Dutch control over the area but they were chased away time and again. The English concentrated on India instead.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Colony trading

In the 1667 Treaty of Breda, the Dutch ceded the New Netherlands colony to England (including Manhattan), and England ceded BOTH Suriname and the island of Run in the East Indies to the Dutch.

In fact, England even gave Guyana (abutting the western boundary of Suriname) to the Dutch (the English didn't get it back until 1815).

So both Wim and Jenny are right. Really, with so much real estate changing hands, who's to say which colony was traded for which other colony? It was a package deal.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.


  • Apr