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Map of the line of march to the villages of the pacified Marrons beyond Auka


Map of the line of march to the villages of the pacified Marrons beyond Auka

Böhm, Johann Gottfried Rabanus

Titel Leupe: Plaan van de Marschroute naede dorpen of verblyfplaetsen der Bevredigten Boschneeger, agter Auka, soo door de Sara Creecq nae de post Kruyspadt als over Tempati nae gen. Post, ook verder van de situatie van gen. Boschneeger Dorpen.

The Marrons were former enslaved people who had fled the plantations and formed new communities in the Surinamese interior. As their numbers swelled in the course of the 18th century, not least because they tended to raid plantations and then incorporate the slaves there into their own ranks, they became an increasing threat to the plantation system. In the 1760s, the colonial government hoped to improve the situation by making peace treaties with the Auka, Saramacca and Matawai. This hope was subsequently proven idle by the Boni Wars in the 1770s. The pursuit of the Marrons as well as the contacts with those groups the colonial government made peace with, did have the effect that increasingly large parts of the thusfar unexplored Surinamese interior were charted.

This expedition map and inset was made by Johann Gottfried Rabanus Böhm, based on a four-year-older original by Johann Friedrich Ferdinand Wollant. The main theme of Wollant’s 1776 map concerns the two alternative routes (the lines of march mentioned in the title) to the area inhabited by the Auka allies, here recorded as the ‘pacified Bush Negroes beyond Auka’. From 1774 to 1776, as assistant head of post and representative of the government, Wollant had lived on Antoe plantation in the Auka heartland, composed of the villages marked on the map by the letters (G), (H), (I), (L), (M), (N) and (O). In December 1775 and January 1776, he and the head of post aided by twenty-seven young Auka plus a few soldiers mounted an expedition against the Boni and a few particulars of this are also indicated on the map. Of special interest are the newly discovered route east of the post Maagdenburg in Tempati, used by the Boni Marrons who had been forced to be constantly on the move by Fourgeoud’s operations (‘weglooperpadt’), and their camp sites (‘weglooperkampen’), marked by the letter (T), they came across along this path.

North is below.

Scale-bars of 8 Hours Journey = [approximately 1 : 364,000] / [inset map] 14 Hours journey = [approximately 1 : 1,127,000].

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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)