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Map of the Cordon of Defence


Map of the Cordon of Defence

Heneman, Johan Christoph van

Titel Leupe: Kaart van opneming der situatien, agter de rivieren Perika en Booven Comewine, van de rits van Poelwyk af tot aan de Peninika Kreek, en van daar te zeggen, regt oover de mond van deze genoemde Kreek, naa de Iode Savaane of het Roode Dorp. Aan de rivier Suriname enz., ter ontdekking waar en hoe best een cordon te formeren.

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, although of Heneman’s series only five sheets and one copy remain. This is one of those sheets. It shows the villages, plantation, trails, forests and creeks at the cordon between the Cottica and Commewijne Rivers.

Scale-bar of 200 chains of 66 Rhineland feet = 120 “strepen”.

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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)