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Map of the Cordon of Defence


Map of the Cordon of Defence

Wollant, Johann Friedrich Ferdinand

Titel Leupe: Kaart van het Cordon.

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.

This overview is a copy version signed for approval by Albert de Milly, Secretary to the Court of Police; the original was probably the unsigned map now kept in the Netherlands National Archives under number VEL2104, which was almost certainly made by Wollant. On both, the final section to the coast has a third variant, according to which the westward turn from Oranje Creek does not follow the Cottica but first goes northwards to the post De Unie and from there to Vredenburg over a sand ridge a bit north of the river.

North is below.

Scale-bars of 1200 chains of 66 Rhineland feet: / 6 hours: / 3 miles: = [approximately 1 : 140,000].

Please contact Nationaal Archief for reuse and copyrights.

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)