Map of the Colonies of Suriname and Berbice


This 18th-century map shows the Dutch plantations in Suriname and Berbice. The map is oriented with the north at the bottom. The names ascribed to locations outside the neatly demarcated plantations suggest resistance to Dutch domination by local Indians, indentured servants, and slaves imported from Africa. They include several places marked “rebel villages,” “village of runaways,” and “village of rebel slaves.” The inset map in the upper right gives a detailed view of Paramaribo, the chief city and port of Suriname.  The numbered key lists the main streets, along with the locations of the city hall and main (Dutch Reformed) church, the Lutheran church, and Portuguese and German synagogues. Berbice, located along the Berbice River, was established in 1627 as a Dutch colony under the authority of the Dutch West India Company. In 1814, during the Napoleonic Wars, ownership of the colony passed to the British, who merged it with the neighboring colony of British Guiana. The country gained its independence as Guyana in 1966. Suriname, which bordered Berbice to the east, was seized by Dutch forces from England in 1667, during the Second Anglo-Dutch War (1665–67). It remained a Dutch possession until 1975, when it became an independent country.

Last updated: September 27, 2013