1492. The Jews are expelled from Spain a few months before the discovery of the western continent.
1494. They are prohibited from settling in the new Spanish dominions.
1530. The first Christian in Guiana, southward of Oranogue, was Pedro de Acosta a Spaniard with two small Corvils, 300 men, settled in Paroma, was drave thence by the Indians the same yoare, many slaine and their goods and chatthoe become a booty to the Carribs.
1548. Portuguese Jews transplant the sugar cane from the island of Madeira to Brazil.
1568. The second colony was at Gayan by Gaspor de Sotolle with 126 Families from Spain, expelled by Indians 1573.
1597. After 1597 there is a significant increase in the number of official patents issued by grant to seamen setting out for "Guyana in the Kingdom of Peru". By example the approval given by the States General to the ventures of Gerrit Bicker and Jan Cornelisz Leyn
1599. 3 February by Commissary General Cabeliau, entitled "Verclaringe van de onbekende ende onbeseijide voiage van America beginnende van de Riviere Amasonis tot het Eiland van de Trinidad toe". This document throws valuable light on the beginning of trade between the Netherlands and Guyana. While Cabeliau's ship the "Zeeridder" lay at anchor in the estuary of the Cayenne River and its master was conducting a profitable trade in barter with the natives, a small flotilla arrived from Amsterdam. Two ships, the "Groote Sphera Mundi" and the "Kleyne Sphera Mundi" dropped anchor in the estuary on 3 June 1598. Their captains were, respectively, Jan Cornelisz van Leyen and Adriaen Reyndertssoen. Cabeliau agreed to join forces with them so that they might together explore the whole of the coast as far as the Orinoco "called Reliane by the English and Rio el dorado by the Spaniards". Cabeliau's Journal mentions a number of rivers that are in present day Suriname: the Marawini (Marowijne), the Surinamo (Suriname), the Saramo (Saramacca), the Coupanama (Coppename) and the Curetini (Corantijn).
1604: In the Guianas the Dutch were in competition with the English. The first English colony, sponsored by Charles Leigh and located on the shore of the Wiapoco River, had been founded as early as 1604. This settlement soon faced grave troubles; the competitive Dutch actually managed most of the trade there and may even have had some colonists. Soon, other English colonies in the area, such as the one established by Captain North, also found themselves dependent on the Dutch. As the colonists remarked bitterly: "The Dutch gave what they wanted and took what they liked."
1607. The third colony was at Wiapoca, 3 ships from France with 400 men all cut 1609.
1613. The first Dutch settlement was established in 1613 ; from Spanish sources it seems clear that a colony was set up on the Corantijn River in the June of that year. In a letter of 25 June 1614, Antonio de Muxica, Lieutenant Governor of Santo Thomé de Guiana, reported that the "Flemings" and the Caribs were catching Indians and carrying them off to work on the tobacco plantations in their settlements. More than fifty Dutchmen with their families had established themselves on the Corantijn, he wrote and he felt it was imperative that they should be restrained from enslaving the Indians. In another letter, of 30 May 1614, the end of the colony is recounted. A force of Spanish troops set out from Santo Thomé and arriving at the Corantijn, demanded the surrender of the Dutch fort. When this was refused, they attacked, and all the Dutch settlers perished in the fire when the fort was burnt. By 1613 there must also have been a Dutch trading post on the Suriname River, or so a declaration drawn up in 1617 by a public notary in Amsterdam would suggest. The document dealing with Parmurbo (Paramaribo) on the Surrenant (Suriname) River, reads thus: "Cornelis Jansz. Scheur, seaman, burgher of this city (Amsterdam), having served as second mate on the ship Neptune, Jan Pietersz. Cocx being the skipper, hereby declares it to be true that in the year XVI, C thirteen, in the above vessel, he did reach the river Surrenant at just the right tide, landed and came upon the village of Parmurbo".
The record of the Spanish attack on the Dutch Corantine settlement is quite dramatic. Twelve men from Trinidad, twenty from San Thomé, and a priest left Trinidad in August, 1613. Sixty days later they reached their destination. They waited until night, and then called upon the Dutch three times to surrender in the name of the king. The Dutch refused. The attackers succeeded in setting fire to the fort. Because of its palm-thatched roof it was soon ablaze, and all the Dutchmen died in the flames. The number of men in the fort is not known.
1615. Despite all failures, the Dutch were back in 1615 and founded new settlements at Cayenne, on the Wiapoco, and on the Amazon. In this year a group of 280 colonists under Theodore Claessen of Amsterdam settled at Cayenne, but they seemed to have abandoned that palce very soon in favor of Surinam.
1616. Zeelandian burgomaster Jan de Moor recieved the official support of the States of Holland, and soon found help from two men experienced on the Wild Coast. Both were residents of Flushing: Piter Lodewijksz, ship captain, and his son Jan Petersz. Father and son had made a good profit and told promising stories about much higher gains. De Moor's company equiped a small fleet of three ships under the command of Michiel Geleynsse, father and son the captains of the other ships. Together they succeeded in establishing a colony on the Wiapoco.
1620. About 1620, probably in Recife, a young man was born called Joseph Nunes de Fonseca. Later, when he left (Portuguese) Brazil with a group of Jews, he received the nickname of David (Cohen) Nassy (David the Leader). His other nickname was Christovao de Tabora (or Tavora).
1624. All the American Israelites unite and organise a colony in Brazil. Six hundred of the leading Jews of Holland join them. Jewish settlers became involved in slavery in Holland's colonies, beginning in Brazil. Seized by the Dutch West India Company from Portugal in 1630, Brazil attracted Jewish settlers in relatively substantial numbers. While in Brazil between 1630 and 1654, a few of the Jewish settlers acquired sugar plantations and mills, and it is entirely reasonable to assume that they consequently employed slave labour. However, their contributions to the sugar industry were far more significant when it came to providing capital, exporting sugar, and advancing credit for slaves. As creditors, according to the historian of the Brazilian Jewish community, "they dominated the slave trade".
1628. In those days Richelieu founded his Cape North Company, and sent 370 colonists to the Saramacca River. This settlement managed to hang on for a few years until the inhabitants grew careless, quarreled with the Indians, and were wiped out in a single day.
1634. Captain David Pietersz. de Vries visited the "Wild Coast" in the "Coninck David", intending to start a colony with thirty planters. The "Coninck David" reached Cayenne early in September 1634 and there De Vries put the settlers ashore so that they could start to cultivate tobacco ; he continued along the west coast of Guyana and so sailed into the region which is now Suriname. At the river Sinamari, the Dutch entcountered twelve French settlers under their captain Chambon. On 21 October he penetrated the Marowijne River in his sloop. There was, he noted, a sandbank in the estuary, with navigable channels on either side. Two miles upstream he sighted several islands, and came across a village, inhabited by members of the Araucos tribe.
It was however almost deserted, for all the natives had gone to the Sername (Suriname), leaving behind one of the women to look after the huts. De Vries did however meet other natives, who promised him a ship's load of timber for the following year. On the morning of 24 October he weighed anchor and after sailing along the coast westwards until noon, entered the estuary of the Suriname, where he stopped. "and then we beheld both rivers open before us, to wit the river Sername, which is the westernmost, and the Commawini, which is the easternmost". De Vries was told that a few days before a ship from Flushing had left the anchorage, after spending four months there loading timber. De Vries then sailed in his sloop some sixteen miles upstream to explore the Suriname. In two fortified dwellings he found "An Englishman, Captain Marshall, with sixty English, who wanted to establish a colony here." He described the place "One or two houses, made like a fortress by means of a circle of palisades " Captain Marshall's attempt to found a colony was a failure: it did not however deter others, and the Dutch also tried to colonise the area.
1635. Jacques Ousiel records in his report, written in Tobago, that between 1635 and 1637 the Dutch had set up seven settlements on the Wild Coast, one being on the river Suriname. It seems that the efforts to colonise the Suriname region owed a great deal to Jews who came from Brasil. There is also evidence that by the middle of the seventeenth century there were several Dutch sugar plantations on the Marowijne and Commewijn rivers. The exact fate of all these trading posts and settlements after Lord Willoughby arrived in Guyana is unknown, but it is likely that they were incorporated in Willoughby Land, and thus came under British rule.
1639. The oldest indication in the archives of the Dutch-Portuguese Jews shows that the Jews had already settled in Surinam in this year.
1640. By the middle of the 1640s, approximately fifteen hundred Jewish inhabitants resided in the areas of north-eastern Brazil controlled by the Dutch, where they established two congregations and employed the first rabbi in the Americas.
1643. In any case Captain Marshall was not discouraged and he tried again to settle English colonists on the Suriname, the Saramacca and the Corantijn. It was because of his interest in the early attempts to settle Suriname that Scott records the ventures of Marshall, and he is the only extant source for details of the second of Marshall's attempts. Scott notes "the elleauenth Collonie was one Mr. Marshall with 300 Families of English Imployed by the Earle of Warwick, & cr, who settled Suranam, Suramaca and Curanteen Anno 1643, lived peaceably untill the yeare 1645 at which time they espoused the Quarrell of ye French and were cut of by the natives".
In 1643 the Jews appear to have been sufficiently numerous to warrant the services of a rabbi, for there exists a marriage certificate (Kethubah) of Haham Ishak Meatob and Jehudith, daughter of Jechiel Meatob, under date of the 14th of Elul, 5403 (1643). These early settlers lived in Thorarica, near a plantation called "Waterland". According to the map of 1671, Thorarica was situated near the Surinam river north of the Cassipura Creek, not far from the so-called Joden Savanne (Jewish Savannah) which plays so great a part in the later history of Surinam's Jews.
1644. The Jews, in small numbers, commence to go to Paramaribo.
1650. The Jews establish branch colonies in Cayenne and Curacao. From the mid-seventeenth century to the first quarter of the nineteenth century, around a total of 215,000 slaves were imported to Suriname, all from an area between today's Senegal and Angola. These slaves worked on the seven hundred plantations that were established in Suriname.
1651. In the second half of that year at the initiative of' Willoughby, an expedition left Barbados with three hundred men, under the command of Major Anthony Rowse for Surinam, to establish a colony there. The colonists met there a lonely colonist Jacob Enoch who had already lived there for two years with his family and had not experienced any hostilities from the natives. Rowse, a man of experience and tact, started by assigning the sites of the plantations and by building a fort. Willoughby continued showing interest in the colony of Surinam of which he was the acknowledged founder, notwithstanding the fact that the anti-royalist forces gained influence in the West-Indies in the years after 1650
1652. A second contingent of Jewish settlers came from England, they arrived in Surinam in 1652 with Lord Willoughby of Parham which made a personal tour through the new colony and organized its defence. English Jews accompanied Lorf Willoughby and participated in this settlement. It expanded in 1662, amd again in 1664, when, after the fall of Cayenne, many Dutch-Portuguese-Brazilian Jews under David Nassy took refuge there. In 1663, this settlement boasted a population of four thousend, slaves included, and numbered five hundred plantations. They brought their experience in the cultivation of sugarcane, the marked increase in prosperity.
1654. Rowse departed Suriname and the next governor William Byam arrived. On March 16th. 1654 Cromwell's Council advised to issue to Willoughby and his heirs a charter for a "piece of territory in America, bounded on the East by the Marowijne-river, on the West by the Seramica river and on the South, to form a square by a straight line as many miles as the rivers Eastward and Westward have between them". Shortly after that Willoughby (back again in his home-country) involved in various pro-royalistic intrigues. In spite of the fact that he came off badly on a few occasions he stayed in England until the Restoration, ever actively involved in the case of Charles II.
1655. There were three permanent Dutch settlements (Essequibo, Berbice, and Pomeroon), the English colony at the Surinam, and many trading posts. No French settlements existed in 1655.
1658. In contracts, it is not always clear who, was supposed to deliver the slaves to whom. An agreement of January 25, 1658, with David Nassy, for instance, "in pursuance of which he was to transport to Nova Zeelandia several hundred slaves" would seem to suggest that some party other than the company was involved. The documents in the archives, however, also provide evidence that the company was so charged.
1659. September 12. In a grant to David Nassy and partners, the Jews are permitted to found a colony on the island of Cayenne. In this grant a stipulation appears that "They (the colonists) shall also be given by the Company such number of slaves as may be required from time to time, in accordance with the orders and regulations made or to be made by the XIX." According to the tenor of the 18 articles contained in the Letters Patent of that date, all the land over which they had exercised the right of possession within four years from that date, will become their property; and they will be allowed to administer justice according to the Jewish usage's and customs. Under Nassy's leadership, a fairly large Jewish colony arose on Cayenne, with slightly more than 150 settlers emigrating to it from as far away as Italy. Like the earlier charter for the Wild Coast, Cayenne's made provision for slaves, with leeway for the settlers to engage in a piratical slave trade. Abraham Cohén and Antonio Luis, David Dias Antunes and Abraham Henriques are freighters of the ship De Stadt Hamburgh, and that Isack Drago and Abraham Nunes d'Espinosa, representing David Nassy and Abraham Rodrigues Prado, are also the ship's freighters of the ship Het Landt van Belofte (the Promised Land) and the ship Abraham's Offerande.
The excellent terms of similar contracts induced such men as Otto Keye, an ardent colonist, to advertise the Wild Coast widely. After some calculations that are difficult to follow in his publication of 1659, Keye advises prospective colonists that emigrating to New Netherland will cost them 1,850 guilders. Surinam, however, would be available to those who wish to go for only 611 guilders. Nor does the blandishment end there: for those colonists who start out with five thousand guilders, Keye estimates their net gain for the first few years after their departure. The rosy prospect for making a fortune in Surinam is as follows:
Said colonist must begin by purchasing 30 slaves at 125 guilders each. This means an initial investment of 3750 guilders. Each slave can make fifteen nickels per day for his master, but taking into account other factors the average may be safely set at ten nickels a day—five days a week—and at the end of the first year said colonist has gained a profit of 3900 guilders in tobacco, indigo and cotton.
The master next invests the profit in the purchase of twenty additional slaves. With fifty slaves, at the beginning of the third year he has a profit of 5850 guilders. He now uses this to buy thirty-two more slaves and the equipment with which he can convert to sugar cane.
At the beginning of the fourth year said colonist has netted a profit of 8450 guilders. He uses this to buy an additional forty slaves and to build a sugar mill. At the beginning of the fifth year, with 122 slaves, his profit has risen to 13,910 guilders. The next year will net 21,190 guilders, and the potential continues to rise as each year passes.
1660. One hundred and fifty-two Jews from Livorno settle in Cayenne. The thanksgiving pronounced for their safe arrival may be found in the work of D. Miguel de Barrios.
1661. The foundation of the Portuguese-Jewish Community can be bent on the year 5422 (1661/2) according to the archives.("Livro Político La A anno 5422 f° l".) From the same year we found the oldest register of births, wherein the first circumcises are noted in the month Adar en Nisan 5422 (1662). On the first Tisry 5423 (14 September 1662) the "Heeren Ledemaeten" of this "Holy Congregation" together with the "Parnas" assembled. On the first Kislef of the same year all the menbers of this Congregation are assembled and with consent of Baruch da Costa and Selomoch de Solis get accord.
An intimation of the presence of Jews in the Country we get from a petition to the King of England, dated April 8. 1661. in which Benjamin de Caseres, Henry de Caseres and Jacob Fraso ask permission to "live and trade in Barbados and Surinam". The request is granted, and when we find that in 1662 one Henrico de Caseres is mentioned as a resident of Surinam, it looks like we can identify him with Henry de Caseres. Total population in Suriname around 1000 people.
1662. Lord Willoughby of Parham gets on 2 June permission from Charles II, King of England, to colonize Surinam.He brings with him a number of jewish families who settled on Jodensavanna near Cassipora creek. The Portuguese Jews of Cayenne are given the same privileges as the English colonists. William Byam appointed as Gouverneur.
1663. David Mercato find out a new way to built sugar mills We find a reference, under date of June 22, 1663, to a David de Mercato, as the inventor of a sugar mill and as one who "by his long residence in the West Indies, with much study, charge and expense hath attained to the perfection of making and framing of sugar mills after a new manner". This reference is in connection with a warrant to Francis, Lord Willoughby, and Lawrence Hyde, of the sole right to use this invention in the Barbadoes and Caribby Islands.
1664. May 15.The French take possession of Cayenne. On August 20th 1664, David Nassy left Cayenne, which had been dissolved, with "his" Jews for Suriname and settled in Cassipora. David Nassy's tenure as a colonial entrepreneur did not last long. Jews had been present in nearby Suriname as early as 1630, and it was to that destination that Nassy led his fellow colonists and their slaves. Towards the end of 1664 an epidemic broke out in Surinam, which beginning at Thorarica "spred itselfe in the plantacions adjoyning" and "swept many away". That this epidemic cost a great many lives becomes apparent when Byam writes that "thorough the late heavie visitacion of sickness, one forth part of ye ablest men are swept away". But the colony had also suffered otherwise. The dissatisfaction at the high-handed methods of Willoughby had been the cause that about 200 men had left in various ships in 1665.
1665. August 17 Governor and Assembly issued a grant of privileges, in which the Jews living in Surinam, and those who wished to settle there, were promised freedom to plant and trade, free practice of their religion, exemption from public duties with the exception of military service, a tribunal of their own for the decision of minor suits, and a concession of ten acres of land at Thorarica, the capital to build a synagogue and schools, and to lay out a cemetery. It is the first time in English history that full religious liberty and citizenship were, granted to Jews. The mere handful of Jews in Surinam at the time would not have warranted this sweeping measure. Having the chance of going to other Dutch colonies in the vicinity where they were sure of the protection of the West lndia Company, the Cayenne Jews would not have come to Surinam if they had not been promised the same privileges as accorded to their nation in Dutch settlements. Issued on the 17th of August 1665, the grant is therefore, in our opinion, to be looked upon as an invitation to Jews in general, and the Cayenne Jews in particular. It also places the coming of these settlers in the second half of 1665. The grant reads as follows:
PRIVILEGES GRANTED BY THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT TO THE JEWS OF SURINAM, 1665.
"Whereas it is good and sound policy to encourage as much as possible whatever may tend to the increase of a new colony, and to invite persons of whatsoever country and religion, to come and reside here and traffic with us; and whereas we have found that the Hebrew nation now already resident here, have, with their persons and property proved themselves useful and beneficial to this colony, and being desirous to encourage them to continue their residence, and trade here; we have with the authority of the governor, his council and assembly, passed the following act:
Every person belonging to the Hebrew nation now resident here, or who may come hereafter to reside and trade here, or in any place or district within the limit of this colony, shall possess and enjoy every liberty and privilege possessed by and granted to the citizens and inhabitants of the colony, and shall be considered as English-born, and they and their heirs shall in this manner possess their property, whether real or personal.
It is also hereby declared that they shall not be compelled to serve any public office in this colony, and that we receive them under the protection and safeguard of our government with all the property they now hold or shall hereafter possess, and import from any foreign place or kingdom abroad. We also grant them every liberty and privilege which we enjoy ourselves, whether derived from laws, acts, or customs, either regarding our lands, our persons, or other property, promising them that nothing of what they now possess, or shall hereafter acquire, shall be taken from them or be appropriated among ourselves by any person of whatever rank; but that on the contrary they shall have full liberty to plant, trade, and do whatsoever they may consider conducive to their advantage and profit, on condition that they shall be true subjects of our Sovereign Lord, the King of England, and shall obey all orders already issued by him, or which he may hereafter promulgate. It is, however, to be well understood, that none of these orders shall be contrary to what is herein contained.
It is also hereby granted and permitted, in the most ample manner possible, to the Hebrew nation, to practice and perform all ceremonies and customs of their religion, according to their usages; also those relating to their marriages and last wills or testaments, and that the acts of marriage, made according to their rites and customs, shall be held valid in every respect. It is also hereby declared that they shall not suffer any let or hindrance in the observance of their Sabbath or festivals, and those who shall trouble them on that account shall be considered disturbers of the public peace, and shall be punished accordingly. Also that they shall not be bound to appear on the said days before any court or magistrate, and that all summonses and citations for the said days shall be null and void. Neither shall their refusal of payment of any claim made against them on these days prejudice them in any way, or diminish any claim they may have.
The possession of ten acres of land at Thoxarica is also hereby granted to them that they may build thereon places of worship and schools, and for the burial of their dead.
They shall, moreover, not be compelled to do personal duty, but shall be permitted to send a substitute, except in case of war, when they also shall be bound to come forward with the other inhabitants. Permission is also hereby granted them to have a tribunal of their own; and that in cases so litigated, the deputies of their nation may pronounce sentence in all cases not exceeding ten thousand pounds of sugar.
Upon which sentence pronounced by the said deputies, the judge of our court shall grant execution to issue, and they shall keep registers and records of the same according to custom. When an oath shall be required, it shall be administered according to the custom of the Hebrew nation, and such oath shall be deemed valid, and have all the force and effect of a judicial oath, notwithstanding any law to the contrary.
That all this may be fully known, I have by order of his excellency the governor, his council and assembly, signed the present on the seventh of August, 1665.
Signed, JOHN PARRY, Secretary."
Between the year 1665 and 1671 a wodden Synagoe was build on a cliff near Cassipora cementry on a spot land belonging to the families da Costa and Solis.
1666. A third influx took place in 1666, when a number of Jews, under the leadership of Joseph Nunez de Fonseca known also as David Nassi, came from Cayenne and British Guiana whither they had moved after the French conquest of Cayenne. Most of this third group were Jews who, during the 15th and 16th centuries, had been driven from Europe by the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisition and had gone to live in Brazil. When Brazil came under Dutch rule, and particularly under the wise government of Maurits van Nassau-Siegen (the Brazilian), they reached a status of great wealth. However, after the decline of Dutch power in Brasil, the prosperity of the Jews began to wane and in 1654, after the Portuguese reconquest they were forbidden further stay on Portuguese soil. The majority of the Brazilian Jews were excellent traders and first class agriculturists. They had considerable experience in tropical agriculture, particularly in growing sugar, and established many plantations. They settled at some distance from Thorarica, in the so-called Joden Savanne or Jewish Savannah. They soon attained a certain prosperity and formed a stable element in the Jewish community which has lasted till modern times.
The second Anglo-Dutch war made governor Willoughby to leave Barbados on July 18, 1666 with order to recapture St. Christopher. His fleet was severely battered by a violent hurricane. Only a ew ships reached the safety of the Leeward Antilles. Willoughby's own ship was lost in the storm, and the governor was never seen again.
1667. February 26., 1667, Surinam, then an English colony under the government of Lieut.-General William Byam, surrendered to a Dutch fleet in command of Abraham Crynssens. The following command for surrender was sent to the English governor of this area, William Byam: "Your self, & all ye Inhabitants of ye Country shall absolutely retaine ye Entire property & possession of what they have wth out loss of ye last thing," if they surrendered, but adding: "In case you refuse it I am resolved to attaque you by Sea & Land, wth ye designe of killing all that shall oppose, not giving Quarter to any one." Exactly fifteen minutes were given to the English to make up their minds.
In due time, Byam informed Crijnssen that his honour obliged him to resist. The very next day, the Dutch closed in on the fort, a manoeuvre not expected by Byam. The raiders disembarked. Fighting was intense and the Dutch gunners from aboard the ships were doing their job with deadly accuracy. With his gunpowder supplies nearly exhausted and many of his men killed or wounded, Byam was forced to surrender before long. Crijnssen gave quarter to the garrison and permitted Byam and his soldiers "to march forthwith out of ye said Fort wth all his Officers & Soldiers wth flying colours, light Matches, Drums beating." He then announced that all private property would be respected for those who took an oath of allegiance to the States General of the United Provinces. A great number of English soldiers went over to the Dutch, "some for gain, others for Fear" and "swore Fidelity to ye States." Yet their capitulation was in the main stimulated by rumours about the imminent arrival of a French fleet at Cayenne coupled with the Dutch promise to defend them. Crijnssen's victory was gilded by the capture of an English merchantman which was unaware of the situation and entered unsuspectingly. Fort Willoughby, as it was called by the English, not only changed hands; its name was erased to make way for a reborn Fort Zeelandia.
Although many of the colonists were happy enough to be free of the regal government imposed on them by Francis Lord Willoughby and his brother William, Byam still influenced a significant part of the population with whom he was busily plotting a counterattack from the interior. Crijnssen's position, however, was aided by a feared invasion of Arawak Indians "which will effect such mischief, as will consequently produce ye inevitable ruine of us all." Still at large, Byam soon realised that his defeat was only a matter of time and that he would be able to get better conditions from the Dutch than he would from the French or the Indians. He thus entered into new negotiations with Crijnssen. Their sharpest dispute arose over the oath of allegiance. The problem was ultimately resolved with an agreement to change the wording to allow the colonists to remain neutral in the event of an English attack on Surinam. Subjects of His English Majesty could now take the oath in all honour and conscience.
Further disputes, which were aggravated by a lack of interpreters, concerned a ransom of 500,000 pounds of sugar to be paid to the Dutch. Wrangling brought the figure down to 100,000 pounds with the added guarantee that English subjects would be given equal rights and the permission to sell their property and depart. The treaty was signed on March 6 aboard Crijnssen's ship Zeeland.
In Barbados and England Byam was loudly accused of treason and cowardice. William Lord Willoughby, who had succeeded his brother Francis as governor of Barbados, considered the surrender an infamous act. He wrote to Clarendon, "upon articles to one Crynsen...He received it in the name of the Noble & Mighty States of Zeeland— Brewers & Cheesemongers I presume most of them to be... I thought that Byam would have defended it to the last, but he yielded without a stroke, & still remains there. " But Byam was later vindicated by a court-martial.
An English fleet, with seven sails and 850 troops, proceeded to Paramaribo on October 13, 1667, anchored in full view of Fort Zeelandia, and dispatched an ultimatum to the Dutch commander Maurits de Rame "the which if you refuse to doe, you are to expect noe favour but such as is customary in stormed places." Troops were landed half a mile below the fort, and before dark the entire area was surrounded by the English.
A lull in the wind delayed Harman's attack for four days, until October 17 to be precise. A blistering fire was then opened against the fort from the ships which had been brought in as close, to the shore as possible. The Dutch garrison suffered heavy losses, and de Rame, whose men refused to man the cannons, was forced to raise a flag of truce. As he wrote his conditions for surrender, the fort was forcibly entered by some English soldiers who had swum ashore and who decided to act without Harman's leave. De Rame protested vehemently against this unorthodox procedure, but the fort was in English hands and there was not much he could do. Of his original garrison of 250 men, about 200 had survived the gruelling attack. Losses by the assailants were heavy, too. Among the prisoners taken by the English was William Byam, the former governor. Harman and Henry Willoughby now returned to Barbados where they learned that peace had been concluded on July 31, 1667. According to Articles III and VI of the treaty, Cayenne and Surinam had to be accorded to their former owners. Three weeks after the English departed, therefore, a Dutch fleet arrived and demanded the return of Surinam. The Dutch acquired it in exchange for New Netherland, which the English had seized in 1664 and renamed New York. Surinam becomes a Dutch province with the Governor Captain Maurice de Rame. Jews are allowed all the rights of citizens. A number of them, however, left with the English and went to Jamaica. The Dutch take with them a booty of more than 400,000 guilders. Joh. Herman's, (John Harmon) an English Captain, arrives in the Colony in times of peace with 7 men-of-war and plunders many estates, through which the Jews suffered most. Shortly after 1667 the seat of government was moved from Thorarica to the more easily defensible and economically better-situated Paramaribo.
1668. Joseph Nassy was appointed commander of the rivers Sinamery, Iran and Connamawe. In the area Thorarica we find six plantations with 181 slaves, 39 sugar pots and 66 cattle's belonging to 18 Portuguese Jews. In December the new dutch Governor of Surinam, well-known throughout his journeys and discoveries, Capitan Julius Lichtenberg is appointed. In an inventory of the district of Thorarica of the year 1668 many names are mentioned of wealthy planters and slave owners whose descendants have lived in Surinam to this very day. To quote only a few, the names of Alonzo de Fonseca, Da Costa, Da Silva, De Caseres, Mesa and Pereira are repeatedly mentioned. Other men of wealth were Raphael Aboab, Isaac Aries, Isaac Drago, David and Samuel Nassy, Jacob Nunez, and Isaac R. de Pardo. Their qualities as planters and business men made them true pillars of the community.
1669. Governor Capitän Julius Lichtenberg gives a formal promise that they will be allowed the free exercise of their religion and all the other privileges granted by the english. They were largely engaged in agriculture. The chief members of the congregation were: David Nassy, Isaac Pereira, Isaac Arias, Henriques de Caseras, Raphael Aboab, Samuel Nassy, Isaac R. de Prado, Aaron de Silva, Alaus de Fonseca, Isaac Mera, Daniel Mesiah, Jacob Nunez, Isaac Gabay Cid, Isaac da Costa, Isaac Drago, Bento da Costa. About 1669 Joseph Franco of Surinam was a student of the Pinto yesiba in Rotterdam. In 1674 he was a professor at the Ets Haim (Amsterdam) to which rank he had been promoted previously
1670. Most of the Jews who arrived in the Colony with Lord Willoughby, leave same again with the vessels of Henry Willoughby. Two hundred persons in all leave the Colony in this way.
1671. A start was made immediately with the building of some schools and a wooden synagogue at Cassipora. This synagogue was consecrated in 1671 by the "Joodse Burgerwacht Compagnie" (Jewish Civic Guard).The "Joodse Burgerwacht Compagnie" sworn in, in front of the Synagogue was:
Abraham de Castros
Baruch da Costa
David B. Carnasse
F. Henriquez Perrara
Hana Roiz Neto
Isaacq d`Castres Bravo
Isaacq da Costa
Isaacq Joseph Drago
Isaacq d´Fonseca Mesa
Isaacq Mexia Mendosa
Isaacq Jacob Perera
Isaacq Roie de Prado
Jacob B. Benjamin
Jacob Nunes d´Castro
Jacob Nunes Henricq
Jacob Rioz d´Prado
Joseph de Souza Montesinas
Moses B. Louzada
Moses de Castro
Salomon de Solis
Samuel de la Parra
1672. The Jews build the first synagogue built on an elevated spot near the ten acres of land in Thorarica belonging to the Jews da Costa and Soils. There are still 400 tombstones with illegible Hebrew inscriptions.
1674. April. To the daughters of J. Brandon a dowry is shipped to Amsterdam (to each one of them) of 8000 pounds of sugar.
1675. Cranfield's document about the ten families who wants to depart with their slaves to Jamaica reads as follows :
A list of such persons of the Hebrew Nation, willing to depart and transport themselves and Estates to Jamaica, but hindered by the Governor, get hope for, and humbly Request another occasion.
Isaac Perera 40
Jacob Perera 40
David Perera 10
Isaac de Prado 40
Isaac de Mera 70
Aaron de Sylva 74
Isaac Govia 25
Gabriel Antonijs 15
Moses Baruch 06
Benja. Perera 02
There are several other Resolve to goe, when occasion shall present
The ten Jewish families, who, for reasons unknown to us, had expressed their wish to leave Surinam, became one of the pawns in the Anglo-Dutch contest, played out again and again by the English to discredit their Dutch competitors. In the years immediately after 1675 they were repeatedly referred to as English subjects, who had been prevented by the (treacherous) Dutch, for purely selfish reasons, from leaving a country where conditions were so bad that everyone wanted to get out of it, though their right to do so had been expressly stipulated in the Treaty of Breda and again in the Treaty of Westminster. The complaints were obviously meant to represent the Dutch as faithless people, who did not keep covenant. For, what could these ten Jewish families, three of which were evidently very poor (they had only 18 slaves among themselves) have meant to them?
The fact that the names of these ten persons are known, has made their case a concrete one, especially when viewed against the vague and hazy departure of the other Jews. The historians have therefore seized upon it and never fail to mention these “emigrants” with their 322 slaves.
All this has given the case of the ten Jewish families undue prominence, and has made it backbone in this legend of Jewish emigration lending an air of veracity to the unfounded and unproved departure of hundreds of other Jews. For further information's see Appendix 3 with the total information about the struggle between the Dutch Governor Peter Versterre and the British Captains Edward Cranfield and Marcus Brandt.
On August 9, 1675 the english emigrants left Surinam in three ships, the "Hercules", the "America", and the "Henry and Sarah". At the last moment there was again some friction between the Dutch and the English concerning a few Indians, who had served some English settlers as house servants. The English wanted to take them to Jamaica, but the Dutch tried to prevent this. Cranfield wrote in his report to the king: "On the request of the masters of the free Indians the Commissioners protested against the Governor for hindering the free Indians and Jews coming off; the Governor afterwards did the like against the Commissioners for carrying off the free Indians." This passage proves that there were no Jews on board. Still, when perusing Cranfield's three lists of passengers we come across twelve names of (expected) Jews, on board the Hercules: Tho. Abraham,(8 slaves) Mr. Samuell Tare, Elisa Tare, Benjamin Holman (12 slaves) Mr. Aaron de Sylva, Isaac de la Parr, Overseer, and Gabriel de Solis, who left with 33 slaves. The question is explained to us in Cranfield's report: "With much importunity he (namely the Governor) gave way for Signor Aaron de Silvis to send off 33 Slaves under the Conduct of an Overseere being one that was naturalised by Act of Parliament." This "Overseere" is no doubt Isaac de la Parr. On Board of the America: Mr. Elias Ely, Mrs. Jane Ely, Mrs. Sarah Ely, Elias Ely, Sarah Ely with 34 slaves.
Two young girls from Surinam were among the applicants for dowries to the Santa Companhia: 1675 Rachel, daughter of the late Semuel Semah Aboab, 1677 Ribqa, daughter of the late Jacob de Pina. The last-named is probably identical with the poet Jacob, or Manoel, de Pina, who wrote verse with equal facility in Portuguese and Spanish.
1677. An asylum for the education of children is founded "Hets-Haim" (Tree of life) in a house belonging to Captain S. Nassy and afterwards presented to the community by him. Isaac Mesa, Samuel Nassy and Jacob Pereira were made members of the Civil Defence Council.
1678. Samuel Nassy was instructed to "chase, catch and exterminate the rebellious runaway negro-slaves". April, Mr. Johannes Heinfius appointed as Governor. He was murdered in April 1680. Under the Government of Mr. Heinfius an advise commision was appointed with Mr. Commandeur Laurens Verboom in the chair, Mr. Nicolaas Bruynings Wilderlandt, Mr. Isak van Muldert, Mr. Gerrit Womba, Mr. Philip Bregt and Mr. Adriaan Hoogenkamp to prepare the privileges of the Jews. After the murder of Mr. Heinfius, Mr. Verboom was appointed as Governor.
1679. From a letter of H.H.M. we learn that Mr. Fonseca ask the Governor of Barbados to take the colony Surinam under the British Crown. The first hospital was built before 1679, in which year Governor Heinsius noted that he had paid two hundred pounds sugar per month to the hospital in fees for the medical care of military personnel.
1680. May 6. The Jews under Nassy, Meza, and Aboab lodge remonstrance's against certain acts of the Government. 1682. (and not 1680 as F. & G. have it) Samuel Nassy transfers the right of possession of the Jewish Savanna to the Community. Ab. Nunes admitted as a sworn land-surveyor. The Jews were again confirmed in their equal rights with other citizens. About this time Isaac Neto is called as the first Rabbi in Surinam. In 1680 one Isack Meza appears in an official document as a deputy of one of the divisions or districts. This Isack Meza is perhaps no other than Isaac de Mera, one of the ten "emigrants".
1682. Abraham Nunes Henriques obtained the post of surveyor of the Jewish district. Samuel Nassy offers Joden-Savanne as a gift to the Jewish Nation. Three young men were sent from Amsterdam to Surinam : Selomoh Mesiah, Jahacob de Gabriel Nunes and Aharon Uziel Cardozo. Some notes on their families. January 1, 1626, Izaque Mesia [= Messiah], a native of Lisbon, aged twenty-six, married Hester Fonseke [- Fonseca], sixteen years old, in Amsterdam. Jacob Uziel Cardoso belonged to the first minyan formed in Amsterdam.
1683. Ishac Neto, Haham of Surinam was the author of a sermon in Portuguese preached at the dedication of the Portuguese synagogue in Amsterdam in 1675. He was a pupil of the holy brotherhood Abi Yetomim, and president in 1665 of the holy brotherhood Temime Darex. 24. November Mr. Cornelis Arsens van Sommelsdyk is appointed as Governor.
1684. Samuel Nassy called as "Jurator in de Suriname". From the tax list we learn that 232 Jews, 105 man, 58 woman and 69 children are in the Colonie.
For Surinam, New England's main importance lay in its horses and mules. They were needed to work those sugar mills too far from a stream to be water-driven. As early as 1684 Governor van Aersen van Sommelsdijck noted that the Jews were smuggling in horses.
1685. The Savannah congregation (K. K. Beracha Ve Shalom Blessing and Peace) founded. Samuel Nassy donated 25 acres of land around the synagogue on the Savanna (this synagogue was not built in this year, but enlarged and much embellished. The synagogue of Surinam was dedicated by Rabbi David Pardo, who died in the colony in 1713. He was the son of Joseph Pardo, Hazan in Rotterdam, grandson of David Pardo, haham of Amsterdam, and great-grandson of Joseph Pardo, the earliest rabbi of the same city, who, though he came thither from Turkey, belonged to a Spanish family. After having studied in Amsterdam, where he was in 1667 a founder of the holy brotherhood Honen Dalim, David Pardo became Hazan in London. Among his publications was a treatise on the denim (1679), dedicated to that wealthy Israelite, Ishac Nunnes Belmonte, count-palatine, minister-resident of Spain in Holland.
1686. August 9, the Dutch government had announced that the Jews would not be obliged to consider Sunday a day of rest. Nonetheless, Dutch officials now repeatedly tried to force the Jews to abstain from working on Sundays, and it was due solely to the influence of a man like Samuel Nassy that these attempts had been temporarily stopped. Samuel de la Parra "commissaries" for the cleaning of the Cassawinicakreek.
1688. July 19, Captain Nassy is the first to arrive in town with his men after the assault on Governor van Sommelsdyk. The two vessels "Sara" and "Samuel" belonging to said Nassy are manned in order to pursue the riflers. Mr. Laurens Verboom until July 25 Governor, taken over by Mr. Abraham van Vreedenburg.
1689. At the assault of the Frenchman Du Casse the defence of the principal fortress in the Colony (Zeelandia) is entrusted to Captain Nassy with 84 Jewish citizens. Under Samuel Nassy the Jews did good service in beating off the French squadron. In fact, the loyalty of the Surinam Jews to the Netherlands government is unparalleled in American history. In every emergency they were found ready to prove their allegiance to Holland. From 1689 to 1772 they waged constant and desperate warfare against the runaway negro slaves who had formed several settlements in the bush and constituted a grave menace to the peace of the colony. Samuel Nasi, or Nassy, was a scholar and philanthropist. He studied in Amsterdam in the famous yesiba Ets Haim. From unmistakable influence on the further internal affairs of the colony, like on the relationships of their Jewish inhabitants was the work of Samuel (Cohen) Nasi. He is marked as "citizen -captain" and did not only drove back the always again newly breaking in Indians with strong arm, but caused also, that the newly appointed governor Jan (Johann) van Scharphuisen would be recall from his post. Before Scharphuisen landed in Surinam, May 8, Samuel Nasi had left the colony. Nasi could not stand, to see an other man in the position, which he hoped to attain self and which he can do his the country proven service and abilities, with right could claim. He left Surinam and embarked for Amsterdam. Scharphuisen treated the Jewish colonists with fewer kindness and ask them more highly taxes than the remaining inhabitants of the colony.
1690. The slaves on the plantation of M. Machado revolt and kill their master. The Governor, Van Scharphuizen, refuses to assist the Jews.
1691. Samuel Nassy gives again 25 acres of land at Jodensavanne to the Nation. Governor Van Scharphuizen gives with groundletter (12. Sep.) 100 acres land at Jodensavanne to the Nation. Samuel Nassy, with the title Captain, is mentioned as the richest planter in Surinam. In this year, ninety-two Portuguese Jewish families were living in Surinam, together with ten to twelve German Jewish families. In all, there were 570 Jewish persons, owning more than forty plantations with 9,000 slaves. In the next ten years the number of German Jews increased rapidly, so that by the end of 1704 they were half as many as their Portuguese coreligionists.
1693. Josua Servatty Pina nominate to forester and waymaster.
1694. S. Nassy settles in Holland. About this time the number of the Portuguese Jewish families, exclusive of some 50 unmarried persons, number 92, and about 10 or 12 German families (in all about 570 persons). They possess more than 40 estates and 9000 slaves.
1695. Governor van Scherphuisen prohibits the members of the Government of the Jewish Nation calling themselves "Regenten" of the Jewish Nation, but only "Regenten" of the Synagogue. The Sunday laws brought into force against them. But were later repealed after an request dated 19. March 1695 from Emanuel Baron de Belmonte and Samuel C. Nassy to the Directors of the "Societeit".
The Governor of Surinam invited the inhabitants to subscribe for the founding of a hospital at Paramaribo. They contribute as a gift 25,905 pounds of sugar for the hospital and agree to support 12 soldiers and one adjutant. The Jews subscribed as follows :
Abenacar, Jacob 50
Arias, Abraham 710
Arias, Michael Lopez 100
Avilar, Ester de 710
Barrios, Abraham Henriquez de 50
Brandon, Jacob Coronel 100
Bravo, Jacob de Caseres 100
Brito, Ishack de 710
Britto, Joseph de 100
Car, Alexander Moseh 30
Carrillo, David 250
Castro, Abraham Nunez de 500
Chacaon, Jacob Coronel 100
Coronel, Joseph 300
Costa, Jacob y Jedidja da 100
Costa, Moseh da 100
Costa, Ribca de Aharon da 200
Costa, Sara de Abraham da 710
Crespo, Abraham 100
Drago, Jeosuah 710
Drago, Samuel " "
Fonseca, Sara de David de 350
Gabay Sid, Selomoh 710
Henriquez, Daniel Nunez 50
Henriquez, David Lopez 100
Henriquez, Moseh 1200
Isidro, Abraham 300
Israel, Abraham Pizarro 350
Israel, Ishack Ardinez 100
Israel, Ishack de Payva 300
Israel, Ishack Lorencillo 100
Israel, Ishack Moreno 700
Juden, David 50
Matos, Gabriel de 50
Mendez, Moseh 710
Mesquita, Moseh Bueno de 200
Messiah, Daniel 700
Meza, David de 710
Meza, David Mendes 100
Meza, Jacob de 100
Mirandela, Ishack Lopez 100
Monsanto, Jacob Rodriguez 100
Montesinos, David de Moseh 350
Montesinos, Debora de Souza 25
Nassi, Sara de Joseph C. 1000
Nassy, David de Moseh C. 100
Nassy, Jacob Cohen 1400
Nassy, Moseh C. 200
Nassy, Samuel Cohen 2000
Nunez, Abraham Henriquez 100
Nunez, Henriquez Jacob 200
Parra, Samuel de la 710
Peregrino, Joseph 50
Pereira, Aharon 710
Pereira, Isaac Israel 350
Pereyra, Abraham 1000
Pereyra, Isahack de David 200
Pina, Abraham de 200
Pina, Ishack de 50
Pina, Jeosuah Serfati 1000
Pinto, Abraham de Affonseca 300
Prado, Jacob Rodriquez de 1400
Prado, Jacob Rodriquez Jr. De 300
Prado, Moseh Rodriguez de 100
Rodriguez, Selomoh 100
Silva, Sara da 1200
Zamora, Sabatay de 50
Total 25905 lbs.
Governor Scharphuisen was recalled 1695. The new Governor Paulus van der Veen was appointed on October 20. Scharphuisen embarked for Holland; on the way home taken prisoner by the French, he arrived after several months in Amsterdam where he was demanded and forced by Nasi before court.
1696. The "Regenten" are informed that they will have to defend themselves about a letter written by Samuel Nassy and Baron van Belmonte to the Government of the Colony in Holland.
1700. The sugar export increased threefold between 1700 and 1750 only to fall by one-half in the following two decades.
1704. May 3, A decree was published changing the marriage privileges of 1665. No longer could a marriage be contracted solely according to the Mosaic law; it had to be in conformity with the Dutch marriage laws of 1580. This decree was a further attempt to destroy some of the privileges formerly bestowed upon the Jews of Surinam. About this time the German Jews have so increased that they count half the number of the Portuguese Jews.
"Foreign vessels with horses from New England, New Netherlands, and other neighbouring islands and regions" were allowed to trade in Surinam only in condition that they refrain from bringing in any European or East Indian wares. Exportation of sugar was only allowed in Dutch ships.
1706. Governor van der Veen leaves Suriname October 20. Mr. Williem de Gruyter appointed Governor on October 23.
1707. April, Governor de Gruyter was murdered. Mr. Jan de Goyer appointed as Governor April 15. The Jews allow Governor de Goyer 12 capable carpenters to build his house. extracts from a document dated in 1707 relating to a secret expedition from Surinam to the Orinoco in search of a certain treasure. All connected with the expedition were sworn to secrecy, and instructions were issued to give no one any knowledge of it except "Isak Israel Lorenzo, otherwise Isaac the Jew", who was in the service of the Society of Surinam as an interpreter and understood the Carib language.
1709. Jacob Montezinos left Amsterdam for Surinam.
1710. Isaque de Mosseh Moreno and Aharon Touro left Amsterdam for Surinam.
1712. The French, under Cassard, take the Jewish Savanna. The Synagogue is desecrated by them and a pig killed on the "Theba". The Jews again, under Captain Isaac Pinto, do good service in beating off the attack of the French. The "Peace of Utrecht" made an end to the attacks of the French.
1713. Death of Rabbi David Pardo, who had been called from London to Surinam. The colony had 171 sugar plantations.
1715. Governor de Goyer was murdered in December.
Around this year Gerrit Jacobs came to Suriname. He was born in the village Zager by the name Naphtaly Bar Isrel a Cohen. He studied in export business in Libau, a Baltic Port. After some time, this Jew called Naphtaly, went to the Netherlands where he adopted the family name of Gerrit Jacobs and from where he departed to Suriname. Jacobs became storekeeper and planter and became well-off. He established the plantation "Nieuw Meerzorg" and had one hundred slaves working for him. He became an influential person who was also interested in the affairs of the country. Besides the plantation "Nieuw Meerzorg," Gerrit Jacobs possessed two other plantations, namely "Leydenshoop" and "Jacobslust," named in Negro-English "Jakopie," after the owner. Both these plantations were located in the district Commewijne. "Nieuw Meerzorg," situated alongside the river Matappica had an area of 343 hectares. He died on December 8, 1754. His testament became the motive for the adoption of the family-name Surinamer and its variations, Surnamer and Zurnamer his descendants are still to be found in Europe, the United States of America and South Africa.
1716. January 22, Mr. Johan Mahoni appointed as Governor murdered 1717.
1717. Continued trouble of the Jews with the bush-negroes. Abraham M[endes] de Acosta or da Costa left Amsterdam for Surinam.
1718. May 2, 1718 Mr. Jean Coutier appointed as Governor. The bush-negroes destroy the plantation of David Nassy. They are chastised by the Jews under the leadership of Captain Jacob D'Avilar and Abraham de Brito for the murder of Manuel Pereira. David Nassy serves under D'Avilar with distinction. His praises are sung by the Judaeo-Spanish poetess, Benvenida Belmonte. Nevertheless a placard was published, on the 21. November 1718, proclaiming that the Jews would no longer be allowed to work on the Christian day of rest: "to keep in the prohibition to the Jews to open their shops on Sunday, to sell out of the same or along the street, to sit in public in the doors of their houses to sew or knit, or to do any other work that can give annoyance to our religion". Aharon Menasce, Mosseh de Eliau Nahar and Binyamin Oeb left Amsterdam for Surinam.
The coffee crop, first planted in this year, grew even faster from 46.086 pounds in 1725 to more than 3.500.000 by the mid-century, thereafter passing the 10.000.000 pounds mark during the following decades.
1719. Governor Coutier receives a present of two cows and 50 casks of sugar. Commander Raineval receives 10 casks of sugar and 24 slaves. Commander de Vries 24 slaves (1731). New Portuguese synagogue NeVe Shalom consecrate in Paramaribo.
1721. Governor Coutier was murdered. October 1, Mr. Henri Temminck appointed as Governor.
1722. Abraham Jessurun left Amsterdam for Surinam.
1726. The Jews have still further trouble with the bush-negroes. Jehosua Cardozo left Amsterdam for Surinam.
1727. Governor Temminck was murdered.
1728. July 26, Mr. Charles Emilius de Cheusfes appointed Governor.
1729. Ishac Nunes Ferro and Aharon Henriques Fereira or Ferreira left Amsterdam for Surinam.
1730. The Jews still owned 115 sugar plantations (93 on the Suriname river and 22 on the Upper Commewijne and region) out of a total of 401.By the end of the century there were no more than 46 left, two-thirds of which had become little more than struggling timber estates.
1731. Captain Nassy is accused of misconduct on an expedition against the Bush-Negroes, but is acquitted. Abraham Bueno de Mesquita and Daniel Costa Cardozo left Amsterdam for Surinam. Abraham Bueno de Mesquita was borne by important Amsterdam personalities about 1683-1686. Abraham de David Bueno de Mesquita presented a donation to the holy brotherhood Guemilut Hassadim. David de Jacob Bueno de Mesquita, parnass of Amsterdam, was hatan Beresith in 1685. He was also minister-resident of Prussia and agent-general of the duchy of Brunswick in Holland.
1733. Moseh Salas left Amsterdam for Surinam.
1734. Governor Emilius de Cheusfes murdered in February. Mr. J.F.C. de Vries temporary Governor until July 9. Mr. Jacob Alexander Henri de Cheusfes appointed as Governor. The German Jews request to form a separate community, which is allowed. They were, however, prohibited to own any possession on the Jewish Savanna, nor were they allowed to have their own jurisdiction. David Machado de Sequeira expressed thanks to the parnassim of Amsterdam in the dedication of a funeral oration, pronounced in Bordeaux, for having elected him preacher and teacher in Surinam.
1735. Separation of the " Hoogduytsche " (German) Jews from the Portuguese congregation by act of January 5, 1735, before the Governor. The former founded the congregation NeVe Shalom, called after the synagogue of that name, which they obtained from the Portuguese by paying the amount at which it was estimated by a commission of three, appointed by the Governor and the two sections of Jews Resp.; the act is signed: A. Henry de Cheusses (Governor), Samuel Uz. Davilar, Ishak Carrilho, Abm. Pinto Junior, Jehosuach C. Nassy, for the Portuguese Jews; Salomon Joseph Levie, I. Meyer, Wolff, Gerrit Jacobs, Jacob Arons Polak, for the German Jews. The Portuguese thereupon built a new synagogue, Sedek Ve Shalom (Justice and Peace). The German stuck to the Port. minhag, as is rightly mentioned. The statement in the Jewish Encyclopaedia, Vol. I, p. 494, " having two synagogues, one following the Spanish and the other the German rite," is incorrect; there never existed a synagogue with minhag ashkenaz in Surinam. In 1735 and 1741 resolutions were made "for the re-establishing of rest and peace inside the Portuguese Jewish Nation" 1736. Jacob de Eliau Touro departed from Amsterdam to Surinam. Jacob Touro, whose family became famous in the United States, had an ancestor in Surinam, Aharon Touro who left 1710.
July 6, Mr. Jean Ray appointed as Governor.
1737. The new Portuguese synagogue, Sedek Ve Shalom (Justice and Peace) was dedicated. Governor Ray was murdered in September. September 11, Mr. Gerard van den Schepper appointed as Governor. According to Lavaux's map of 1737 there where 436 plantations of sugar, coffee, cocoa, wood, and cotton. The plantations Aboeheranza and Wayamoe were owned by D. de la Parra, Auca was owned by W.S. de la Parra, Florentia by the widow De la Parra and Onobo by A. de la Parra.
1738. Report made of Jac. Jes. Pinto and Ishak the Iman, representative's of the Mahomad, send from the poor families of Surinam in the year 5493 (1733), with a resolution to the Directors of the Society.
1738. Manuel Pereira in Surinam murdered by the bush-negroes of his estate. Isaac Arias (a former officer of the Jewish company), David Nassy and Abram de Brito avenge his death. Six weeks long they chased their enemies without giving news of themselves and nobody knew of them until they returned with 47 prisoners of war and the hands six murdered bush-negroes and were rewarded by the government of the colony.
1741. November, Governor Schepper was murdered.
1742. February 7, Mr. Jan Jacob Mauritius appointed as Governor. Under the administration of Mauricius there were vehement disputes between the regents (Parnassyns) and the citizen-captain Is. Carillo, so that he, under charge of the regents, should be banished from the colony. After he later joint the intrigue against Mauricius, he involved the community in the animosity against the Governor, and that damage the distinction of the community for a long time.
The number of plantations had risen to 500, largely as a result of the new cultivation of coffee around Paramaribo.
1743. David Nassy in Paramaribo, 71 years of age, is successful in more than 30 engagements with the bush-negroes. This time he wants to attack the bush negroes, who took in a very threatening position. At the day of Atonement they moved out. Along the Surinam-river they fell in the inland, pursued the enemy, stuck his cottages in burning, tore out the agricultural crops, killed an amount and dragged forty slaves as prisoners with themselves away. However also the old Nasi prepared this victory the death. One made him believe, that the negroes would have poisoned the fountains, so that he, for lack of provisions, forced the retreat, without awaiting the order the government. This chance used his envy's and opponent, to discredit him at the government and expressed the Guilty over him. He had not expected such ingratitude. The grief gnawed on his heart, threw the old man on the sickbed, by which the death saved him soon. His successor as Captain was Isaac Carvalho, which after some years Naar followed.
The wealth of the congregation was augmented by cases such as the following: Among many other similar documents there is a detailed account of the way in which the money derived from the sale of the plantation Nahamu was invested. In 1743 it sold for fl.30,000 and this money, minus some expenses, was given to the congregation. The congregation invested the money by loaning it out at eight percent.
1744. The Dutch Jews in Paramaribo take possession of the synagogue built there in 1719 by the Portuguese. Kayserling give 14 April, 1775, as the date.
1746. The originary privileges to the Portuguese Jewish Nation are again confirmed through Ph. Camyn, sworn clerk of secretary, on January 24. The starting point is still the English Charter from August 17. 1665.
1747. Is. Carrilho, a very important and influential gentleman, and Captain of the Jewish citizens, joins the enemies of Governor Mauricius. William IV becomes governor-general of the Dutch Indies. The Jews place great hope in his rule. David de Is. C. Nassy was born in February 1747 (7 Adar 5507) in Surinam. His father, Isaac de Joseph Cohen Nassy had been practising there since 1754 as the Sephardi Jews' notary, with the title of "Jurator" of the Jewish Nation. Most Sephardim lived in or near Joden-Savanne, the Jewish settlement on the Surinam River and center of their plantations. In addition, Isaac C Nassy held for some time the post of "adjutante-gabay" with the Sephardi Jewish congregation "Beracha Ve-Shalom" (Blessing and Peace) at Joden Savanne.
1748. Revision of the askamoth. Salomon Machorro departed from Amsterdam to Surinam. Machorro was of a Portuguese family. Diogo Fernandes Machorro was a prisoner of the Inquisition of Evora in December 1581. David Machorro went from Bayonne to Amsterdam in 1632 and, soon thereafter, to Leghorn. Jacob Machorro, known in Portugal as Pedro Rodrigues de Moraes, was charged by the Inquisition of Lisbon with judaizing in Hamburg about 1640. About 1683 there were in Amsterdam the sopher and musician Abraham Machorro, the poet Eliau Machorro who had been in Brazil, and Mosseh Machorro who was an important figure.
1749. Uprising of Auka-negroes, which the Jewish Captain Naar in the union with the colonel Rijsdorp successfully combats. He burnt one their largest villages, captured their chief. For this he is liberally rewarded by the government with a gift of ƒ 150.-an a silver coffee-pot, engrave with the coat of arms of the Colonie. The Jews in Surinam are granted their own judiciary in matters affecting a sum less than 600 guilder.
1750. Isaac Nassy, a very young man, wishes to make an end of the bush-negroes against which his ancestors so triumphantly had fought. He arms twelve of his friends and his slaves and starts out. But he had not reckoned upon meeting so large a number of them. Nasi proved as hero. Through a riffle-bullet he lost the right leg; without paying attention to his pain, he plunged with great courage in the combat. His last effort was in vain, he was seized and murdered in a horrible way. Twenty of his people covered with him the battlefield.
The Goshen plantation was one of the bigger estates along the Surinam river. Covering 1452 acres, with an estimated value of fl. 138.648, it was the property of Joseph Gabay Farro. His son married the daughter of Moseh Cohen Nassy, who was forced a few years later to refuse two legacies. When her father died at Joden Savanne in September1778 Rahel Gabay Farro, "knowing that the estate of her late father was heavily encumbered," repudiated the inheritance. Three years later, in October 1781, she rejected her late husband's inheritance for the same reason. Like original namesake, Joseph Gabay Farro had dwelled in the bountiful and valuable land of Goshen, but the new Goshen had become worthless within a few years.
1751. Serious disputes in the Portuguese Community. Isaac Nassy, de Barrios, and da Costa depart for Holland to protect there the interests of parties. Princess Anna confirms the rights of the Jews in Surinam. May, Governor Mauritius left the Colonie and is replaced by Mr. Baron de Sporcke.
1752. September 7, Governor de Sporcke was murdered and temporary replaced by Mr. Wigbold Crommelin until May 6 1754.
1754. May 6, Mr. Pieter Albert van der Meer appointed as Governor. May 27. The "askamoth" are revised. The askamoth is revised with a letter dated 22. August from the princess governess. Semuel de Selomoh Acohen left Amsterdam for Surinam.
1755. Manuel Vallabrega left Amsterdam for Surinam. The Valabrega family, of Italian origin, apparently did. not come to Amsterdam before the eighteenth century. In this city Rachel, daughter of Jacob Balabrega or, more correctly, Valabrega, was born January 17, 1737.
March 21, 1755, David Mossel Cardozo Baeza is the proprietor of the plantation Mahanaim; the houses and grounds are valued at f.52,137, 32 men slaves f 18,750,21 women slaves f 10,660,10 boy slaves f 2,345, 2 girl slaves f 500, the cattle amounted to 980. The total value of the slaves was f.32,255; the total value of the entire possession f.83,372.
The plantation belonging to the heirs of Aron d'Abraham da Costa, is valued at f.91,178, f.52,203 of which were the value of the houses and the ground; f.38,525, for forty men slaves, forty-two women slaves, seventeen boy slaves and thirteen girl slaves; f.450 for cattle.
1756. August, Governor van der Meer was murdered and Mr. Jean Nepveu is appointed as Governor.
1757. March 2, Governor Nepveu left Surinam. Mr. Wigbold Crommelin appointed as Governor. The colonists in America maintained intimate relations with the Amsterdam community; for example, in 1757 two residents of Surinam were members of the holy brotherhood Mischenet Zequenim. They were Jahacob Henriques de Barios [=Barrios], circumcised at The Hague June 16, 1701, whose son J. H. de Barrios Junior was parnass of Surinam in 1786, and Ishac Henriquez Morao , perhaps identical with Ishac de Aron Henriques Morao, a founder of the holy brotherhood Eben Yecara in Amsterdam in 1733.
1758. Jos. de Sem. C. Nassy, treasurer of the congregation, embezzled money from the Jewish congregation, amounting to 8,835 guilders, during the years 1756-1758. A detailed report of his fraud was drawn up by one Mat. Pereira de Leon. The well known financial difficulties of the renowned De Nassy family may have led to this embezzlement.
1759. Ocean crossings were quite common among Surinam Jews. Partners or relatives attended to affairs in Surinam, while the traveller saw to his in Amsterdam. Often, he also represented others at the same time. Raphael Fernandes was such a man. Between 1759and 1787 he crossed the Atlantic at least five times. Together with his partner, Aaron Jessurun Jr., he imported to Paramaribo several dozen blankets, 306 pairs of shoes of various kinds, 66 dozen mirrors, 87 blue French handkerchiefs, 71 pairs of stockings, two boxes of pipes, 44 boxes of nails, 450 iron pots and 30 bottles of Dutch gin.
Jewish Creoles founded in 1759 on Siva-Plein in Paramaribo a society called Darkhei Jesarim (The Ways of the Righteous). The year 1759 was notable for the number of emigrants from Amsterdam destined for Surinam. The list included: Joseph de David Alascar, David de Daniel Baruh Bueno, Mosseh Falcao or Falcon with his wife, two children and two adopted children, Ishac and Jacob, sons of Mosseh da Fonseca, Joseph Levy Flores, son or grandson of Joseph de Ishac Levi Flores, director of the holy brotherhood Livyat Hen in Amsterdam in 1704, Ishac and Jacob, sons of Joseph Levi Montesinos or Montezinos, Semuel de Jechiel Messias, whose ancestor Selomoh Mesiah had already emigrated to Surinam, as has been noted, Mordehay de Selomoh Molho, brother of David Molcho, born in Amsterdam, November 16, 1737, Eliau de Mosseh Pacheco, whose name reminds us of Aaron Pacheco, married in Amsterdam 1684 to Lea Mendes de Castro, Abraham de Daniel Rodrigues Soldado.
1760. Moseh Pacheco, who departed January 28, 1760, from Amsterdam to Surinam, to join his brother Eliau Pacheco, previously referred to.
1761. The Jews under Sal. de la Parra are very heartily received in the Bush-Negro village.
The first serious challenge to the communal authority occurred during the summer of 1761 as the outcome of a minor conflict about interest payment. Aron Fonseca, who owed Solomon Montel 5000 guilders, was ordered by the Court of Civil Justice in August 1750 to repay the debt with interest. Montel wrote in 1761 directly to Governor Crommelin, claiming religious coercion contrary to the maxims and tenets of the Dutch Republic, but the governor accepted the Mahamad's explanation that Mosaic Law forbade usury. A "turbulent and dangerous" man had no place in the colony. Invoking the first privilege and the Hascamoth they requested Montel's banishment from the colony.
1762. Richest of all was undoubtedly Raphel del Castilho. In1762 , married and the father of two little children, he was f9ull owner of De Goede Vreede (the Good Peace) plantation and co-owner, together with Selomoh de le Parra, of De Soet plantation. The Good Peace streched over 1042 acres on the Surinam river, nestling among several other Sephardi-owned plantations in that area. Castilho's next door neighbours were David Carilho and David Moseh Baeza, and opposite the Good Peace stood the Pintos' large plantation Strella Nova. David Uziel d'Avilar, owner and co-owner of six plantations in 1762 went down during fourteen years from a finta of fl. 422 to fl.6.10.
There were 27 mulatto's on Jodensavanne, of which eight were children under ten. Some established familial relationships with manumitted slaves, such as the free negro Francisco who formed "a family with Simha, a mulatto woman in the service of Isac de Mercado Bomrey. Her master granted her freedom, effective only after his own son had reached the age of six. Her manumission was postponed when her owner's creditors foreclosed on the estate and the court decided the her freedom could only be granted after: "her work to the estate was returned to the said estate or when the estate became solvent." Simha remained with the Mercado Bomrey family for another ten years before joining, together with her daughter Allegre, the free Francisco.
1763. An interesting comment upon the duties, privileges and restrictions of the chief rabbi of Surinam in 1763 is furnished by the following document:
It is a contract between Meyer a Cohan, Amsterdam, the new rabbi, and Ishac Abrabanel Henriques and David Semach Aboab, of Amsterdam representing the parnassim of the Portuguese Jewish Nation in Surinam entitled Beracha Vesalom. The following are some of the interesting points of the contract. The rabbi is not to interfere with the parnassim; he is never to take the part of the congregation; if difficulties arise between the congregation and parnassim he is always to take sides with the parnassim and to help them with advice. He cannot put anyone under the ban without the consent of the parnassim. He is to act as teacher to all members of the congregation; he is to teach "from the books of the Prophets to the Talmud inclusive". He is to be accorded all the dignities attendant upon his office and is to be paid 1500 guilders yearly, in semi-annual payments. He is also to be given a house next to the Synagogue. Besides his salary he is to have all the emoluments derived from weddings and other services. He is to be given 700 guilders to buy the necessities of the voyage for himself, his family, and his servants. Furthermore the travelling expenses for himself, his servants, and his luggage are to be paid.
In December 1763 Nassy married, according to the law of Moses and Israel, Esther Abigail Cahanat Nassy, a distant relative. He signed the Hebrew ketuba "David de Is C Nassy," as he would continue to do to distinguish himself from identically named relatives.
1765. Isaac de Joseph Pinto de Fonseca was born in the colony on 26 September. At twenty-five he married the twenty-years-old Rahel de Isaac de Meza. Their first child was born two months after the wedding at Joden Savanna. The marriage lasted eight years, producing six children. The mother did not survive the birth of her last child, by then the only surviving one. All the rest had died between the ages of two to thirty-four month. Half a year after his wife's death, Isaac Pinto de Fonseca remarried. This union resulted in another three children, who also died young. The one surviving daughter from the first marriage had died at thirteen, the second marriage at nineteen. When Isaac Pinto de Fonseca died at the age of fifty-seven, he had buried two wives and nine children.
The three sons of Jacob and Rachel Fernandes Henriques, known as the Scarabajos were sentenced to leave the colony in summer 1765. The threat of deportation caused them to request mercy, they promised to "better themselves", pleading that their "unhappy, old and blind mother" would be left destitute without her three sons.
1766. The medicine expert Steuvesant has lived long time in Suriname. Steuvesant has come in 1766 with his son in this colony to marry Miss van Koperen. After this marriage did not took place he joined with Dr. Moesner directeur from the hospital and together they made medical examinations, for example about the springwater of Jodensavanne.
1767. During the latter half of the 18th cent. this latent anti-Semitism changed into an unmistakably hostile attitude, so that in 1767 it was even proposed - although in vain - that a ghetto be instituted in Paramaribo. The Jews were prohibited from visiting the theatre, and subsequently established one of their own which prospered for many years. Simultaneously, slaves of Jews living outside of Paramaribo were forbidden entrance to the town.
Abraham Gabay Fonseca owed the Kleyn Jalouzie (Little Jealousy) plantation on the western bank of the Surinam River " between the plantations of Jesserun Lobo and Koeman". In 1767 it consisted of 215 acres with several houses and sheds. The main house was valued at fl. 5500, the coffee fields at fl. 30.425, and the twenty-eight slaves who worked the plantation at fl. 11.000. All told, the plantation was worth fl. 63.155. The future of his eldest son Jacob, then about to turn seven, looked misleadingly bright. The finta lists tell a story of deterioration, hardship, and ultimate poverty. Fonseca fell from a 1770 assessment of fl. 240.13 to fl.78.70 eight years later paying by 1781 only fl.39.50. Abraham Gabay Fonseca's will, dated 29. December 1780, is the sad witness of a man desperately trying to salvage some of his property and meet his familial obligations. A few weeks earlier he had sold his wife Abigail seventeen slaves for fl. 1525 in exchange for her dowry. He had kept these slaves free from mortgage for this express purpose "in consideration of her renunciation in favour of the firm of Jan and Theodor van Marelis in Amsterdam."
1768. The intention to build a Ghetto for the Jews in Paramaribo is prohibited.
1769. Mr. Jan Nepveu appointed as Governor. The Dutch warship "The Castor" moored in the harbour of Paramaribo. While Captain Van Hooogwerff and his officers participated in the celebrations for the new governor Nepveu, his crew amused itself in a different manner. Moses Fernandes Henriques "also known as Scharbacho" was arrested for involvement in a brawl with the ship's crew. Whether Moses was deported of left of his own free will is open, but two and a half years later he returned from Amsterdam aboard the ship Hollandia.
When Isac Gradis de Fonseca was cited for lack of respect towards the Mahamad he promptly begged forgiveness. The regents fined him fl. 250.- and the culprit, relieved not to be banned or dispatched, thanked them for their leniency.
1770. In around 1770 there were some 110 sugar and 295 coffee plantations in operation and the colony had a population of some 60,000 slaves, 3,000 free persons, mainly Whites, as well as a further 1,500 soldiers. From that period, the colony entered a gradual economic decline.
In 1770 David de Is C Nassy took the major step that was to influence the future circumstances of his life. Around this time the Amsterdam money market offered the Surinam colony, for the second time, the broad opportunity to obtain land credit. Nassy responded to one of these offers and became a planter. He bought the coffee plantation Tulpenburg on the Surinam River for the approximate amount of 93,000 guilders. After increasing the number of slaves, Nassy had the property valued. The appraisal of the plantation, together with inventory and a house in Paramaribo, came to 187,350 guilders.
Abraham Pardo, proud owner of the Carthago and Bruynendaal plantations paid fl.573 in 1770. The "Gentleman of Carthago", as he was called on the Lavaux map, paid fl.78.50 in 1784. Most dramatic perhaps was the fate of Moseh Levy Ximenes. Assessed in 1770 fl.205.60, three years later he was worth one guilder and forty cents.
David Nassy noted "Monsieur Gootenaar, for example, bought for a very moderate price the plantation Niewe Ster (Stella Nove), and the Messieurs Arland and Baek rented to him the Gelderland, Drie Gebroeders, Descanco, Goosen, Cabo Verde, Caap de Goede Hoop, Guilgal, and Boa Vizinhanca, all which plantations of good and fertile land, fell under the control of Christians. After more than a century the era of the Jewish planters had come to an irrevocable end.
1771. Between 1771 and 1795 a total of 332 Jewish immigrants arrived in Suriname, of whom 171 Ashkenazim and 159 Sephardim. Of these, 283 came from the Netherlands, all except 7 from Amsterdam, 42 from the Caribbean and 7 from North America. In the same period, a similar number of Jews actually left Suriname, namely 311, half going to Amsterdam, a quarter elsewhere in the Caribbean and a quarter to North America. Discussing Jewish migration to Suriname, Cohen notes that "the colony had first been attractive for the rights and privileges it offered and later because it maintained them. Now, increasing poverty and the failure of charitable institutions made Suriname into a dumping ground for the Jewish poor of Amsterdam." Some needy Jews were even given money, like Isac Montesinos, who received one hundred guilders from the Sephardi community in Amsterdam on condition he staved away for at least fifteen years. Cohen refers in this context to "forced migration". The system of passes gave the government not only financial control, but also the opportunity of refusing admittance to undesirables. The Coutinho family arrived in April on a bark from St.Eustatius captained by William Williams. They were returning residents, but they were also unwanted. Protests from the Jewish community had the desired effect, the family was allowed to disembark, two other unnamed Jews were to stay on board. Skipper Williams put them to shore outside Braamspoint and Fishermen brought them to Paramaribo.
1772. In spite of the peace concluded on May 23, 1761, with the bush-negroes, the aid of the mother-country had to be called in. 500 men were sent to put them down. In 1774 forts were erected and a military line drawn from the Savannah of the Jews along the river Commoimber to the sea.
Levy Nathan Prins arrived in Surinam from Amsterdam on November 11, 1772. In 1774 he travelled back and forth to Amsterdam and in 1775 to St. Eustatius.
Raphael Castilho, a rich planter, had paid a tax of fl.10980 in 1772, more than any other person in Paramaribo for his six town properties. Abraham Robles de Medina, assessed fl.9120 for his four properties, ranked fourth on the tax-list. By 1780 Castilho, having lost both his pre-eminence and two of his properties, was relegated to the position of the twenty-fifth richest man in the city with an assessment of fl.4250. Robles de Medina was hit even harder; though he lived until 1790, he never paid another penny in property taxes after 1772. In February 1780 he was still recorded as owing one house, but when the assessors came four month later he had lost even his last property. Abraham Robles de Medina was closely followed by Isak Levi Preeger with six properties and a tax-assessment of fl.7800 and Jacob Juda Polak with three houses assessed fl.6480. No other Ashkenazi could match the wealth of Jacob Juda Polak, the only Jew to appear on all three tax-lists among the ten richest individuals.
The influx of people into Paramaribo, a form of rural-urban migration, had started early in the eighteenth century. The original center, or first quarter, included Port, Zeelandia, Government House, the Court of Civil Justice, and the more prestigious part of the harbour. It was in consequence also the residential quarter of the elite, both merchants and government officials, who valued their proximity to the center of political and economic power.
By 1772 the first quarter contained 121 houses, one-third of them in Jewish hands. The second quarter, bordering on the first's western limits, lacked the residences of high government officials and was therefore somewhat less prestigious. Due to its proximity to the landing stage, the West India Company warehouses, and the coffee weighing-house it was overwhelmingly mercantile in character.
The second quarter also provided services of another kind: here we find the Reformed church "which is at the same time the city hall". The Sephardi synagogue, built between the Herenstraat and the Gravenstraat in 1737, was also in the second quarter. Indeed, the street separating the second from the third quarter was called the Joden Breestraat [the wide street of the Jews). In 1772 the quarter possessed 166 houses, fifty-one of them in Jewish hands.
The third quarter resembled the second in character. It also bordered on the harbour on one side and housed places of worship: the Ashkenazi synagogue and the Lutheran deanery. Contrary to both first and second quarters, though it housed no government functions whatsoever, it did offer many shipping and trade services, such as the timber and fish markets. Smaller than the second quarter, it contained in 1772 125 houses, one-third again being held by Jews.
The fourth quarter was by far the poorest and most populous. While part of the quarter was reserved for the black militia, other free blacks, mulattos, and poor whites lived there. Some of the street-names, such as Drambrandersgracht or Steenbakkerijstraat (Dram-Distillery Canal and Brick-Oven Street) indicate the crafts and petty trades that were the common occupations of the quarter's inhabitants. The Saramaccastraat shops especially were a constant source of amazement to the visitors:
"In one and the same shop one finds the most unlikely assortment of goods, only to be obtained in Europe from a hundred different artists, dealers, or artisans; For one sells in the same shop books, boot-polish, fancy-goods, ham, perfumes, tea, roofing tiles, flour, shoes, clothing, watches, etc. There is nothing in which one and the same merchant does not deal here.
The fourth quarter numbered 399 houses in 1772, one-tenth of them belonging to Jews. Altogether Paramaribo counted 811 taxable properties and above nine or ten thousand souls in that year, the last one before the depression hit Surinam in earnest. The history of Paramaribo houses and their taxation during the subsequent decade reveals the extent and consequences of economic decline.
1773. The bankruptcy of the important commercial firm Deutz of Amsterdam compelled many plantation owners to sell out and move to the capital. Only twenty families remained on the Savanna at the end of the 18th century.
Catastrophe followed that same year and David de Is. C. Nassy was unable to continue the exploitation of the plantation. A terribly high death rate struck the blacks of Tulpenburg. Rumour had it that one of the blacks had poisoned his fellow slaves and the doctor who came to see Nassy found him depressed about the persistent loss of his workers. His plantation, former worth fl. 187.350, realised a forced sale only fl. 40.000.
1775. The German synagogue is build on 14.April. The Jews are forbidden to visit the theatre "Schouwburg" of the Christians.
Luxurious living made room for bleak despair and depression. Salomon Abrahams, a Jewish watchmaker and father of thirteen children with a fourteenth underway applied to the governor for the post of a bell-ringer in the Christian church, finding it impossible to subsist in his trade, "considering the current deplorable circumstances in which the greatest part of the inhabitants have found themselves.
1776. The Jews build their own theatre in Paramaribo. A typical sample of Jewish migration, was taken by skipper Herman Strooyer of the Vreedenburg, from Amsterdam to Surinam. First there were two Ashkenazi bachelors, Joseph Abrahams and the Jew Arons. There were two families aboard: the first one of Asser Samuel Levy with wife and child and the second one of Daniel da Costa Pimentel with his wife and four children. Finally there was the Sephardi bachelor Isac de Abraham Levy Montesinos and the spinster Esther de Moseh da Fonseca. Joseph Abrahams returned two months later to Amsterdam. Isac Montesinos, who had received one hundred guilders to stay away for fifteen years, left three months later for St. Eustatius. The Jew Arons stayed in Paramaribo, and so did Asser Levy and his family. After his wife died he was remarried on 9 August 1778 to Rosa Elias Jacobs. The family of Daniel da Costa Pimentel remained for two and a half years, then left again. Only their daughter Esther remained in Surinam, where she married Jacob Gomes da Costa. Esther Fonseca came to join her brother, Eliau de Moseh Fonseca, who had arrived some two years earlier with his wife and three children. The shortest stay in Surinam was undoubtedly that of Andries Juda, who arrived on January 22, 1776 from Amsterdam, and left again on February 3. Even shorter was the visit of Marcus Hymans intending to leave with the next ship but there is no record of his departure. Moses Abraham Wallach came from Amsterdam to Surinam on 1 November 1776 and a year later he left for Boston.
1779. February 27, Governor Jan Nepveu was murdered. Mr. Bernhard Texier appointed as Governor.
Surinamese Jewish merchants realised the potential of St. Eustatius. Many had their own representatives on the island, while others sailed back and forth between the two colonies. Isaac Abraham de Vries made a round trip between April and July 1779. Others used family connections to establish warehouses on St. Eustatius, as did the Abendanones, who had representatives in both places. Among other family members, Moses Abendanone travelled back and forth, leaving Surinam for St. Eustatius in November and returning four months later. Some families even moved to the island lock, stock and barrel, as did Raphael Acohen, who left Surinam for St. Eustatius with his wife, two children and a black servant named Judy. Eleven years later they returned with two more children but without the servant.
1780. The German synagogue in Paramaribo is enlarged in order to meet the wants of the growing German community. This seems to be the synagogue mentioned above (1744). Two burial-grounds were procured.
The richest man in Paramaribo, Jewish or Christian, was still a Sephardi Jew, Raphael Fernandes. In 1780 he had owned seven properties assessed fl.10.150, and in 1782 six, taxed fl.6000. He was a merchant, active in international trade and importing luxury goods to Surinam.
In March 1780 Moses Fernandes Henriques and his two brothers were finally banished from the colony. The Scarabajos, together with their brother-in law Salamon la Motta and his children, were accused of crimes that caused "the name of Jew to be disgrace".
1781. Dr. d'Anavia, a zealous member of the Society for the promotion of Natural History, deceased.
1782. Jacob Emanuels left for New London in August he returned from Amsterdam four years later. The twenty-two years old Benjamin de Isac Semah Serano was dispatched from Amsterdam to Surinam on 24 November 1782. Because of the war with England he only arrived in July 1783 after an adventurous journey via Barbados. Seven months later he married Abigail Suarez Fonseca, his junior by two years. The marriage was short-lived, for Serano died in August 1785, two years after his arrival.
In 1782 Nassy's property was inventoried. He possessed 433 books, arranged according to size: folio, quarto, octavo, etc.
1783. September 25, Governor Texier was murdered. Mr. Wolfert Jacob Beeldsnyder Matroos appointed as Governor provisional until December 23, 1784. J. C. Nassy and others write "Essai Historique sur la Colonie de Surinam, avec l'histoire de la nation juive y etablie" Paramaribo. This is the date given by Visscher, but the Catalogue of da Costa, and Kohler, give 1788. Kayserling gives the same date upon the authority of Joat.
1784. December 23, Mr Jan Gerard Wichers appointed as Governor. The Jewish Theatre enlarged and embellished. The community in Surinam adopts a Rabbinical code (Ascamot) sent from the motherland.
A.S. Levy with his wife and four children left for Halifax in 1784.
1785. David Nassy must have been a person of considerable influence. On February 16, 1785, he signed a prospectus for the foundation of a college of letters in Surinam under the patronage of the Governor-Generaal J. Q. Wichers.
2 June. S. J. Rudelsom composed a "Lof-zang" in honour of Jan Gerhard Wichers, governor-general of Surinam. It was recited in the synagogue "Neve Salom" by the Hazzan, Juda Machiel de Vries. The MS. has the title "Lof-Zang op den Bleyde Dag der Inhuldiging van zyn Webedle Gestrenge Den Heere & Mr. Jan Gerhard Wichers". The "Regenten der hoogduijtsche Joodsche Natie" mentioned are Benjamin Jacobs, Machiel Jacob de Vries and Solomon Jacob Sanches.
On October 12 the centennial celebration of the founding of the congregation Berachah Weshalom in the Savannah of Surinam was held. The memorial sermon was preached by Joseph Wallach. The Parnasim were : J. C. Nassy, D. N. Monsanto, J. de Barrios Jr., S. H. Brandon, M. de León, S. H. de la Parra and J. de la Parra. A description of this ceremony was published in Amsterdam, 1786, under the title: "Beschryvíng van de, plechtigheden nevens de lofdichten en gebeden, etc., etc". A copy of this book is in the library of Columbia College.
The Literary Society "Docendo Docemur" (We are taught by teaching) was established by Sephardi Jews on 17.September. They met on "Sundays and Wednesdays from six o'clock in the afternoon until nine o'clock" at the house of Salomon de Montel, who "offered gratis an apartment in his house and the entire use of his library, filled with rare and classical books in which there can be found ideas on nearly all subjects.
Gracia Sigala, widow of Daniel Mendoza, spend the summer of 1785 in Amsterdam to obtain release from a levirate marriage and to arrange a new one.
1786. Moses Gonsales and his family left for Connecticut in 1786 and never came back. Benoit states "Examples of old are not rare. Willem Petrus died at hundred and thirty-five. Blanca de Britto reached the age of one hundred and fifteen, Sara de Vries one hundred and five, a certain Goedman lived to be ninety-five years old and others also reached this age, among them even whites."
According to Nassy, only 80 or 90 of the existent plantations still had resident owners, and by 1800 von Sack noted that almost all plantation owners lived outside the colony.
1787. A new Ascamoth is appointed through the Junta and approved by the governor-general, but gets no confirm from the Netherlands.
David Nassy counted in 1787 834 souls in the Sephardi population. In Paramaribo he counts 1119 houses. He also specified that "of the total of these houses, the Portuguese Jews possess in full ownership the number of 127 houses of all qualities and degrees, the German Jews similarly have 86. Another six houses belonging to the Jewish community were used as residences for the poor.
Joseph Haim Ferares and his wife Esther Gabay Isidro left Amsterdam in May with three children, two of whose names are known: Judith, nine years old and Moses, who was seventeen at the time of the crossing. Judith married at sixteen in Paramaribo, gave birth to six children and died at the age of seventy-four. Her brother, who took his mother's family name, married a cousin when he reached twenty-seven, but died fairly soon in 1806, at the age of thirty-six.
Isac Jacob Goedman arrived from Amsterdam in January with his wife and two daughters. His brother Meyer Jacob came with them, and married within months of arrival a local girl, Marianne Joost Moses. Isac Jacob had been born in Kurland, but had spent some time in Rhode Island, where his daughters were born. The family stayed in Surinam, where the girls married and their mother died. But Isac Jacob Goedman continued his travels. Eight months after arrival he left for Amsterdam, and in September 1790 he returned from New London, Connecticut. In 1795 he remarried a local woman, Esther Abrahams, aged 23. Aron Lopez Fonseca, Abraham Moses Levy and Isaac de Jacob Pinto left for Newburyport in 1787 and stayed away from the Caribbean for good.
1788. Five Regents and Representatives of the Port. Jewish Nation wrote the history of the colony Suriname named "Essai Historique sur la colony de Surinam, avec l'histoire de la Nation Juive Portuguaise et Allemande y Etablie, leurs Privileges, immunites et franchises: leur Etat politique et moral, tant ancien que moderne: La part qu'ils ont eu dans la défense et dans le progrès de la Colonie". It was published by Hendrik Gartman, an Amsterdam book-dealer. The work appeared anonymously but with a dedication, signed by the parnassim, to the directors of the colony of Surinam in Amsterdam. In March 1790 the first consignment arrived in Surinam and it became known that David de Is C Nassy was the author.
Paramaribo had 1,119 houses, large and small, of which 219 were owned by Jews, 127 belonging to Portuguese Jews, 86 to Ashkenazi Jews and 6 houses maintained by both communities to shelter the Jewish poor.
Haim Abendanone arrived in Surinam from St. Eustatius on 10 December and left for Rhode Island on 24 January 1789. Abraham da Costa Pimentel sailed from Texel on 24 June 1788, arriving in Surinam in November of that year. Exactly one year later he was buried in Paramaribo.
During these years the merchant Raphael Fernandes had become the richest living individual in the Sephardi community, not because he had amassed a fortune in trade, but rather because he had not lost it. He had neither joined the plantation-buying rush nor lived on borrowed money. His foresight, which had made him invest in mercantile activities and eschew planting, elevated him to the position of the wealthiest man in Paramaribo.
1789. Isaac Lopez, Salomon Baruch Louzada, and Isaac Lialtad arrived in Surinam from Barbados in July. All three of them left two weeks later for Newfoundland.
Salomon Vidal and Abraham de Moseh Bueno de Mesquita, two youngsters belonging to long established families were charged with "dees against the common good". Governor Wichers ask the parnassim to show clemency if they be willing to repent and promise to behave well. They remain but three years later, for the same reason, the parnassim asked again for deportation. The new governor, Friderici, had no choice but to agree.
1790. A plantation director around 1790 says: "A certain Jew, Van Seca (Da Fonseca,) was my supplier he lived between Joode Savanne, and Post Gelderland; he had once been a man of property, and (had) had a timber estate, but now that all his slaves have run away to join the Bush Negroes, he has become old and poor, together with his housewife and his delightful daughter he now works a small plot of land for his own subsistence."
In April 1790 a dispute between the Jewish community and the Jewish mulattos concerned the status of the latter within the community framework. It was to determine the function of a process, establish the membership of the Jewish community. It all started innocently enough when Joseph de David Cohen Nassy died. He was not one of the more famous Nassy's. He was poor, he was Jewish and he was black.
The regents request to expel David Raphael Robles.
July 29 the Governor's log mentioned: "Detained at Fort Zeelandia, a Jew named Noach Isak van Coerland, who first badly hit a slave of his and subsequently, carried away by fury, delivered several stabs with a knife in a murderous manner, so that she died immediately." At ten o'clock in the morning Dr. G.W. Schilling and the surgeon-major of the military hospital were called to the house of Noach Isak at the Waagstraat to view the body of the negress Fenicia. All in all, there were thirteen wounds on the head, the arms and hands, some of them severing the arteries. In June 1791 almost a year after the crime, the Raad-fiscaal turned to the court again, to have Noach Isak banished from the colony. On 25 June 1791 the accused was put aboard the ship Ephrata, bound for Holland, to leave the colony for ever.
1791. The Portuguese Jews number 834 and the German Jews 477, besides 100 Jewish mulattos, constituting in all more than one-third of the white population of the Colony. They possess 46 of the 600 plantations in the colony. The "Geschiedenis der Kolonie, van Suriname ... op Nieuw Samengesteld door een gezelschap van geleerde Joodische Mannen aldar, is published in Amsterdam. The men were: M. P. de León, S. H. de la Parra, D. C. Nassy and S. W. Brandon. A second edition was published in Amsterdam, 1802: "Geschied en handelk Tafereel van der Bataafsche West-Ind. colonien, bijzonderlijk van Suriname. The system of passes was not foolproof. There were certainly passengers who left or arrived without having been registered. Matathias Della Bella, for example, left Amsterdam in September 1791 to go to Surinam, but there is no registration of his arrival. Nevertheless, he undoubtedly did arrive, for in 1798 he married in Surinam and thirty-six years later he was buried there.
1792. After the death of his wife in November 1789, David de Is C Nassy once again entered a critical period. His business in Paramaribo declined through loss of clients and insolvency of debtors, and his health remained precarious. He therefore decided to leave the colony and, in the spring of 1792, he sailed with his daughter for North America. His departure was a great loss for the Sephardi community.
1793. A group of coloured Jews get the right to be member of the community.
1795. On February 6, a club with the motto "Felix libértate", most of the members of which were Jews, was established.
David de Is C Nassy was not destined to stay abroad long. He returned to Surinam before the end of 1795. The inhabitants of the colony learned of his arrival from an advertisement in the Surinaamsche Courant. David Nassy, coming from Philadelphia and the island of Saint Thomas, made an offer of all kinds of articles for sale: soft goods, shoes, razors, dry and wet victuals, etc.
1796. Some portuguese Jews subscribe for an amount of ƒ 58.930.— for an education house for poor children from all communities.
The Sephardi Isac Ledesma Meatob was arrested and imprisoned for insulting and disobeying the Mahamad.
1797. Nassy drafted another plan for the foundation of a college of letters, this time at Joden Savanna. It was claimed to be open to "children of all ranks and classes without exemption of Nation and religion."
1798. David de Is C Nassy publishes "Lettre politico-theologico-morale sur les Juives", Paramaribo. The dedication of the book to the "Gouverneur-Generaal of Surinam and dependent Districts" is dated Surinam, Paramaribo, 10th December, 1798. Nassy wrote it in the French language, and it was translated and published by A. Soulage.
1799. At that time, there were also several successful Jewish immigrants, and not just from the Netherlands. For example, when the British took over Suriname between 1799 and 1816, they settled a considerable number of British colonists in the territory, some of whom were Jews. One appears to have been a certain Levy Bixby, who established a flourishing trading company in Paramaribo and died in 1858 the owner of at least five plantations. In 1799 the fifty-two-year-old David de Is. C. Nassy remarried the twenty-four-year-old Ribca de David de la Parra. They were the first bride and bridegroom whose ketuba was written in Dutch and not, as was customary, in Hebrew or Portuguese.
1800. The church of the coloured Jews at Siva-Plein was demolish.
1802. According to documents in the archives of the Portuguese community of Amsterdam, the last emigrant who left for Surinam was Moses Gomes Carvalho Junior, who received his ticket November 14, 1802.
1804. Juda Machiel de Vries, Hazzan of the congregation Neve Shalom in Surinam. "Plechtigheden, Vreugde gesangen en gebeeden in de Hoogd. Joodsche Synagogue Neve Salom, to Surinam, on d. dag d. in-huldig. van Sir Charles Green, Gouverneur Generaal over Suriname, opgesteld en gezongen d. J. M. de Vries, Voorzanger".
1806. David de Is. C. Nassy died in March 1806. He was buried at the cemetery of Joden Savanne surrounded by the ashes of his fathers.
1810. "Plechtig gebed voor de Hoogd. Joodsche gemeente te Suriname, te gelegenheid d. dank-, vast- en bededag, op den 22 Aug. opgestelt in de Hebr. taal en in 't Nederd. overgebr. d. Juda Machiel de Vries, (Now in the library of Columbia College).
1811. S. de la Parra owned Caramawapibo (timber, 20 slaves) and Reynsberg (timber, 63 slaves); M. de la Parra owned the coffee plantations Concordia (37 slaves) and Egmond (73 slaves) and the timber estate Onobo (13 slaves); Jos. de la Parra owned the timber estates La Diligence (69 slaves), Florentia (14 slaves) and Windsor Forest (11 slaves), while his son owned Sarahs Hoop (5 slaves);
1817. Lammens gave the number of Sephardi in Surinam at 691 people.
1819. To the general decline of Surinam there had in no small way contributed the abolition of the slave trade from the Americas in this year.
1820. Salomon de la Parra (he was married to Rachel de David Raphael de Meza) and his brother managed in this period to build on the basis of the property the De la Parras had owned for generations, and to create a more solid foundation for his plantation business. He was so successful that in the 1820s he was Suriname's biggest planter. By then he owned, mainly in partnership with his brother Samuel Haim de la Parra, five sugar plantations, four coffee and/or cotton plantations and two timber estates. He administered all these estates together with another five of which he was not the owner. De la Parra therefore managed no less than sixteen plantations, of which twelve were producing for export. In fact, the timber trade must have been lucrative too: towards the end of the 1820s he spent a total of 135,500 Suriname guilders buying the timber estates Hanover, Overtoom, Vreeland and Indigoveld, all on Para Creek originally started as sugar plantations. These were sizeable concerns with a joint acreage of thousands of hectares and around three hundred slaves.
1822. December 23. the "Hoogduitsche" community had built another synagogue. This congregation now numbered 719 persons, and exceeded the Portuguese community by thirty-five members. "Plechtige Vreugdezangen en gebeden, verricht in de Hoogd. Isr. Synagoge Neve Salom te Suriname op d. dag d. inhuldiging van Abr. de Veer, Gouverneur Generaal, gezongen door den Eerwarden Herr Philip Gompert Heilbron, Voorzanger dezer gemeente . . . op gestelt d. Tobias Tall.
1824. S. and S.H. de la Parra were joint owners of sugar plantations Laarwijk, Concordia, Crawassibo, and Rustenburg, the coffee and/or cotton plantations Anna's Rust, de Onderneming, Bleyenhoop & Bleyenrust, and Hulshof, and the timber estates Reynsberg and Nimmerrust. All these were administered by S. de la Parra. He actually owned the sugar plantation Guineesche Vriendschap and administered Nieuwstar and De Drie Gebroeders (sugar). Rees En Crop (cotton) and the timber estates La Diligence and Voorgrond. In addition, S.H. de la Parra was sole owner of the timber estates Courcabo and Onobo. Some of these plantations had been in the De la Parra family for more than a century, but most appear to have been acquired by Salomon and his brother in the nineteenth century. Samuel Haim died in the early 1830s, Salomon in 1855. A year later his plantation, Guineesche Vriendschap, was sold for ƒ 30,000, which indicates something of the size of his fortune (the director of comparable plantation would, for example, have earned 1,500 - 2,000 guilders a year in that period)
1825. June 20, all special privileges granted to the Jews in former times were discarded: as Dutch citizens they enjoyed full equality of rights and duties with all other subjects of the Netherlands crown. Three years afterward they were, furthermore, given the right to occupy public positions. Gradually the use of the Dutch language had become more and more widespread, and in 1837 it was officially stipulated that henceforth all official minutes of the Jewish community be composed in Dutch, not Portuguese.
1826. Salomon de la Parra's daughter Gratia (born 1804) married a promising young man, a Jew from Amsterdam called Egbert (or Elias) van Emden (1799-1864), who had arrived in 1818. She died not long after the birth of their son and a year later Van Emden remarried to Abigael de la Parra, daughter of Joseph de la Parra and Ribca de Mordequay de la Parra, with whom he had a further sixteen children.
1827. The Synagogue at Joden Savanne is rebuild and improved. Under pressure from the British, the import of African slaves was finally abandoned in 1827 and some forty years later, in 1863, slavery itself was abolished, as Britain and France had already done some 15 to 30 years previously. In the Netherlands, years went by as the debate dragged on about the level of compensation to be paid to the owners of the 36,000 slaves who, due to the chronic death-rate, were all that remained in 1863 and who were eventually to be freed. By then there were only around 160 plantations producing for the European market.
1828. A civic register of births, marriages and deaths was introduced in Suriname. The first marriage to be recorded was that of Mozes Bueno de Mesquita, "young man", 53 years old, "of the Portuguese Jewish Community" and Johanna Cornelia Westmaas, "young daughter", 50 years old, "of the Dutch Reformed community, both born and resident here." At the registration they submitted a resolution from the governor "giving the appearers dispensation from the law concerning the ban on marriages between Christians and Jews." At the same time, they registered their five children as their legal heirs. A new government-regulation allows Jews to serve a public post.
1830. We hear of one Coenraad Benedictus "Oud Practicus Chirurgijn en Moei te Suriname" who published: "Examen voor den nieuw aan te nemen Moel of besnijder der Israel. Kinderen. Hierbij gedeeltelijk het mannelijk lid ontleed, ook leerzame beschrijving der Besnijdenis en Circum Cisione operatie etc. in vragen en antwoorden [Paramaribo]".
1832. On the 10th of September, 1832, the village of Joden Savanne was almost entirely destroyed by a fire, started by some malicious persons, and the most prominent houses and buildings became a prey of the flames. The fire originated in an uninhabited house of the sexton, Mr de la Parra, which stood right opposite the synagogue, and soon reached the adjacent large house of the Ex-Captain of militia of the Division of Upper Surinam, Mr Jacob de Meza, which together with the house of the late Josua de la Parra, (died in December, 1832) and two other houses, were totally destroyed, whereby the hamlet went out of existence, since the few remaining inhabitants are too poor to think of rebuilding.
1836. New "Hoogduitsche of Nederlandsche" Synagogue in Paramaribo consecrated with much pomp. The synagogue, which had been built in 1719 and enlarged in 1780, had become inadequate for the needs of the community. The architect of the new building was J. F. Halfhide. In July, 1835, Prince William Frederick Henry had put the first stroke to the new building.
In 1836 the economic power of Salomon de la Para was translated into political terms and he became the first Jew to be appointed to the highest colonial administrative organ, the Colonial Council.
The community of Dutch Jews at Paramaribo numbers 719 souls. The Jewish community following the Portuguese rite counts 684 persons.
1837. Instead of the Portuguese is the Netherland language used on the minutes.
1838. December 9. B. G. Carrilon preaches his first sermon as Rabbi of the Dutch Portuguese community at Paramaribo. They circulate a list of subscription for the rebuild of the houses at Joden Savanne.
1846. Whether what enabled Elias van Emden to rise to such eminence and influence in Suriname's colonial society was that he had renounced his Jewish faith in 1846 and become a Christian is hard to tell. It was probably not this, since he continued to be known as the "former Jew".
1850. Elias van Emden was the joint owner of one of the most productive sugar plantations in Suriname and manager of eleven other plantations on which a total of at least 1,650 slaves were working. He lived in a house on Paramaribo's prestigious Waterkant, where he kept a domestic staff of forty slaves.
1851. Portuguese synagogue in Paramaribo repaired.
1852. The proposal of a fusion of the Portuguese and the German Jewish community was rejected.
1853. Jews in judicial and other positions of trust.
1854. Consecration of the rebuild Synagogue of the Ned. Port. Isr. Community of Paramaribo.
1857. New statute of Netherl. Portuguese Israelit. Community for the board of charity.
1858. January 22. M. J. Lewenstein preaches his inaugural sermon as Chief Rabbi of the two congregations in Paramaribo. A copy of this sermon is in the library of Columbia College.
1860. In the 1860s, people in Suriname spoke of the rule of the Van Emden family. Together with De la Parra they formed the vanguard of Jewish emancipation and integration, forcing a way into the highest echelons of society in nineteenth-century Suriname.
1861. April 7, by resolution No.7, the Dutch government in The Hague resolved that the archives of the former Jewish Court of the Joden Savanne would be considered government property and placed in the Surinam Colonial Library. It was not until 1916 that all the archives of the Netherlands, Portuguese Israelite Community, the name which had been given to the Portuguese congregation in 1835, were transferred to the State Archives at The Hague, where they underwent a thorough reclassification.
1863. Many members of the Jewish community owned not only plantations, but large mercantile houses as well. Together with high-ranking officials from the Netherlands, prominent Jews constituted a ruling elite. Their strongest hold was on the judicial system. Because of this, they obtained influence in the political field. The emancipation of the Surinam negroes followed in 1863, whereupon large numbers of the escaped negro slaves gave up their guerrilla warfare from the bush and returned to the plains. When sugar ceased to be the important export article it had been for several generations, Surinam began to experience new difficulties. Its soil covering a solid granite base, proved to possess only a small decree of fertility.
1864. October 29. Chief Rabbi Lewenstein dies in Paramaribo, aged 35 years.
1865. Until this year there were still divine service in Joden Savanne.
1889. With the appointment in 1889 of M. A. de Savornin Lohman as governor of the colony, a political dispute between the governor and the Staten began. The Jewish community in Surinam faced his appointment with anxiety. Due to his articles in the Netherlands on the Talmud, he was looked upon as an anti-Semite.
1890. Jews in Surinam number 1500 souls; have two synagogues, one the Spanish and the other the German, but both follow the Portuguese Minhag. The German synagogue is one of the finest buildings in the colony. No spiritual chief has been appointed since the death of Lewenstein, though the Dutch Government allows some £300 for that purpose. The Jews occupy an honourable position and hold the principal property in the colony. Many years ago they held larger interests, and Jews Savannah is a place still remembered, though no more. So "fin de siecle" are things in Surinam that even anti-Semitism has penetrated here. De Volksbode was published in 1890. This newspaper was meant for the lower black class. It supported the policy of the governor in a variety of ways. It had to counterbalance De Westindier which was regarded as the mouthpiece of the Staten and the Jewish group. The articles in De Volksbode often had an anti-Semitic character.
1891. The Dutch government intervened when in 1891 the governor came into conflict with the Procurator-General, who, according, to the governor acted too energetically against anti-Semitism. For three days, the capital Paramaribo was the scene of destruction and looting. Particularly the Jews were victims. The governor, through his attitude, reinforced the revolt. Thus he ordered the military not to take armed action against the rebels. The Staten pressed the Minister of Colonial Affairs to intervene. Not until the governor had handed over his powers to the Procurator-General, the peace and quiet could be restored.
The anti-Jewish climate in the days of governor De Savornin Lohman had important repercussions on the colony. Between 1891 and 1910 the Jewish influence in Surinam decreased visibly. This was partly connected with the emancipation of Jews in Europe as a result of which many Surinamese-Jewish families left for the Netherlands. The manifest anti-Semitic climate after 1889 may be considered one of the causes of this emigration.
1900. At the beginning of the 20th cent. approximately 1,500 Jewish citizens were living in Surinam, occupying honourable positions and controlling the principal property of the colony. Yet their number gradually declined, and in 1923, according to Harry S. Linfield's "Statistics of the Jews" (1930), there were only 818 Jews left in Surinam.
1906. J. J. Roos, rabbi of the community of Paramaribo, started upon the arduous task of putting the ruins of the synagogue and the burial places in some sort of order. At the exhumation of several tombs important documents were discovered relating to the first settlement early in the 17th cent.
1907. The 50 year existence of the fund for the poor celebrated with a feast.
1916. The archives of the Ned. Port. Jewish community till 1864 is transported to the "Rijksarchief" at the Hague.
1926. The consistory of the Ned. Port. Jewish community made public that the Joden Savanne without a written permission my not be visited. Mr. Fred. Oudschans Dentz, from 's-Gravenhage set up a commision, to collect money to restore the Synagogue and the graveyards at Joden Savanne.
1940. With the Nazi occupation of The Netherlands in Europe (1940) and the fall of the Netherlands East Indies to the Japanese (1942), Surinam - together with the colony of Curacao - became the only free Dutch soil under the rule of Queen Wilhelmina and her government in London. On November 23, 1941 a contingent of American troops moved into the colony to cooperate in the defence of the bauxite mines at Moengo which furnish upwards of 60 per cent of the requirements of the United States aluminium industry.
1942. At the close of 1942 a comparatively small number of Jewish refugees from The Netherlands and elsewhere had found a temporary home in Surinam which, under the influence of the much increased volume of bauxite mining, was going through a period of renewed prosperity.