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The OAC office (left) and the residence of the OAC general manager (right) in Monrovia
± 1895
A Dutch account of the Pepper Coast
in the Seventeenth Century:
Other explorers


Another French traveller, Grandpierre, who visited the River Cestos in 1726 wrote in his book of travels about this place: “My ambition is to be powerful and rich enough to fit out a large fleet, filled with able and intelligent people, to make a conquest of this fine country, and change its nature by introducing the best social laws and religious knowledge.”

Captain Snelgrave, an English slave-trader who visited the Liberian Coast in or about 1730, reported that on the windward or northern part of the coast there was not a European trader left, owing to the hostility of the natives, caused by kidnapping on the part of Dutch and English. English and Spanish pirates infested the northern littoral of Lberia from 1720 to 1740, “the Spanish being the worst offenders.” The Dutch frequented the Liberian Coast at first, mainly for the pepper and ivory. When they took up the trade in slaves they seem to have preferred dealing with their settlements on the Gold Coast – Elmina especially – leaving the Grain Coast tot the attentions of the English, French, and Spaniards. Yet in the nineteenth century, soon after Liberia was formed, the Dutch traders came back, and the Dutch House (The Oost Afrikaanse Compagnie) is now one of the oldest established and most respected commercial agencies in the country.

A Swede named Ulrik Nordenskiold in 1776 proposed Cape Mesurado and Cape Mount as suitable places for colonies which should start sugar plantations. A Dane -  J.Rask - who wrote a description of Guinea in 1754, states on page 46 that a sugar plantation was established in 1707 by the Dutch “about nine miles from the Fort of Boutra.” Nordenskiold also alludes to this sugar planting by the Dutch on the coast of Guinea. “Boutra” may have been on the coast of Liberia or on the Ivory Coast1, at Great or Little Butu. Rask states that “there is plenty of gold in the country above Cape Mount and Cape Mesurado.”


A Dutch account of Liberia in the seventeenth century


















[1] From Nordenskiöld’s allusion it is more likely to have been on the Gold Coast.





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