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“Evil Disposed Netherlanders”: The Dutch West India Company’s Opposition to Danish Activity on the Gold Coast, 1657–1662

  • Fredrik Hyrum Svensli
Abstract

The aim of this article is to analyse the on-the-spot interaction between agents of the Dutch West India Company and Danish African Company and African rulers on the Gold Coast from 1657 to 1662. The region saw a surge in European activity and rivalry in this period. The Scandinavian trading companies have received less scholarly attention compared to the Dutch and the English. The Danish African Company was an undercover Dutch enterprise, and has traditionally been studied from a purely Dutch or Danish standpoint. However, by combining Dutch and Danish sources and focusing on Dutch opposition to “Danish” activity on the Gold Coast, which incorporated local rulers, the author has challenged nationalistic and Eurocentric approaches in the historiography. Moreover, by concentrating on the forgotten but nonetheless strategically important site of Akong, the author identifies how local dynamics influenced the evolution of the Dutch and Danish maritime empires.

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Fredrik Hyrum Svensli is a PhD candidate at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). His most recent publication is “‘A Fine Flintlock, a Pair of Ditto Pistols and a Hat with a Gold Galloon’: Danish Political and Commercial Strategies on the Gold Coast in the Early 18th Century.” In Ports of Globalisation, Places of Creolisation: Nordic Possessions in the Atlantic World During the Era of the Slave Trade, edited by Holger Weiss, 68–100. Leiden: Brill, 2015.

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Unpublished Primary Sources
Balme Library, University of Ghana, Legon:
- Furley Collection (FC)
The Danish National Archives, Copenhagen (DNA):
- Tyske Kancellis Indenrigske Afdeling (TKIA)
- Tyske Kancellis Udenrigske Afdeling (TKUA)
- Vestindisk-guineisk Kompagni (VgK)
The Dutch National Archives, The Hague (NL-HaNA)
- Archives of the oude West-Indische Compagnie (OWIC)
- Archives of the Staten-Generaal (SG)
- Collectie Aanwinsten Afdeling Kaarten en Tekeningen (AANW)
Stadsarchief Amsterdam (SAA):
- Notarieel Archief (NA)
The Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, Leiden (KITLV):
- Manuscripts H65 and H68
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Itinerario
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