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Design for a post of the Cordon of Defence


Design for a post of the Cordon of Defence

Wollant, Johann Friedrich Ferdinand

Titel Leupe: Plans van Militaire posten op het Cordon, voor Hoofd en Subalterne Officieren, zoo mede hoe die ingerigt behoorden te wezen.

After 1750 the Marrons, former enslaved people who had fled from the plantations and formed new communities in the Surinamese interior, became increasingly formidable opponents against the plantation owners and the colonial government. Following their unification under the leadership of the famous Boni, whose name they later adopted for themselves as a group, in 1771 a full-scale war broke out, which is now known as the (first) Boni War. This ended in 1776 with the expulsion of the Boni to French Guyana. To contain and defeat the Marrons, the colonial government built the almost 100-kilometre-long Cordon of Defence or Cordon Path. The first designs and surveys for this through patrol road with military posts at regular intervals had been prepared in 1772, but preliminary work on a large scale, in which the military engineers Johan Christoph Heneman and Johann Friedrich Ferdinand Wollant, played a leading role, began only a year later. Both of them produced detail maps of the separate sections of the Cordon path.

Wollant designed three types of general posts in the Cordon which differed mainly in size. He presented a number of variants but it is uncertain whether a uniform plan was actually followed when they were built. Here a variation of the officers’ post is presented with a new arrangement of quarters, the kitchen and the slave quarters. A profile of the walls is visible too.

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Sources and literature

Heijer, H. den, Grote Atlas van de West-Indische Compagnie = Comprehensive Atlas of the Dutch West India Company, II, de nieuwe WIC 1674-1791 = the new WIC 1674-1791 (2012)