The "Dutch have made slaves of them all, and... they are called Free": Slavery and Khoisan Indentured Servitude in the Eighteenth-century Dutch Cape Colony 公开

Brenner, Ashley T. (2009)

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The "Dutch have made slaves of them all, and... they are called Free":
Slavery and Khoisan Indentured Servitude in the Eighteenth-century Dutch Cape Colony
By Ashley T. Brenner
Throughout much of South Africa's history, coercion has been the primary means
of acquiring labor. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, settlers relied on the
coerced labor of two non-European populations: slaves and Khoisan indentured servants.
The term "slave" referred to people with a specific status under the law, mainly
individuals imported from India, Angola, Mozambique, Madagascar, and the Dutch East
Indies. The term "Khoisan indentured servant" designated people indigenous to South
Africa. This thesis traces the history of the early Cape from its foundation by the Dutch
East India Company in 1652 through 1795, when the British took control of the colony.
It examines the reasons for the settlement of the Cape, the creation of private
landownership, the expansion of the frontier, as well as the consequences these processes
had for the formation of labor systems. Finally, this thesis argues that, during the Dutch
colonial period, European settlers to the Cape gradually formed opinions about slavery
and Khoisan indentured servitude that sharply discriminated between the two forms of
labor. While the status of Khoisan indentured servants certainly resembled that of slaves,
particularly in the tasks performed, Khoisan were nevertheless thought of as separate
from the slave population in a number of key ways. Contemporaries distinguished
between slaves and Khoisan indentured servants based on their status under the law, the
free or slave status they inherited from their mothers, their method of acquisition, their
transferability from one master to another, and the levels of violence that could be
perpetrated upon them. Most importantly, despite their declining position, Khoisan
themselves were able to maintain their free, non-slave status based on a tradition of
Khoisan freedom. These differences between slaves and Khoisan indentured servants
caused settlers to think about these forms of coerced labor as separate institutions, rather
than as related labor processes.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents and Figures
Figure 1: The colony in 1803... 11
Figure 2: Approximate locations of Khoikhoi before contact with Europeans... 18
Figure 3: The route VOC ships followed to Asia... 22
Figure 4: The southwestern Cape, c.1710... 30
Figure 5: Expansion of the frontier, 1703 - 1780... 32
Glossary of Terms... 73
Appendix A: Population figures for the Cape Colony, 1660 - 1820... 74
Appendix B: Number of males and females in the slave population... 75
Appendix C: European immigration to the Cape... 76
Bibliography... 80

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