Curaçao Unveils Online Slave Register Database


The former Dutch colony of Curaçao has released the online search aid Curaçao: slave register and emancipation registers 1839-1863  which is part of a project, led by Radboud University historian Coen van Galento, to map the effects of slavery and its long-term impact on the generations following the abolition of slavery in 1863.

The database published online consists of the slave register and two emancipation registers. The slave register of Curaçao lists any person who was the property of a private slave owner in Curaçao in the period between 1839 and the abolition of slavery in 1863. For each person, the register lists the first name, year of birth, mother’s name, and name of the slave owner. In addition, the register also lists information about births, deaths, and the sale, import and export of slaves, since Curaçao remained a centre of small-scale international slave trade well into the 19th century.

The emancipation registers list the slaves who were granted freedom on 1 July 1863. The emancipation registers form an important complement to the slave register because they list the last names that people were given in 1863.


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