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Book source: Manumissies in Suriname, Okke ten Hove and Frank Dragtenstein, CLACS & IBS, Utrecht, 1997. ISSN 0922-3630

Subject: [Folkstales, History] A 'Princess' Cora

( Oroonoko is a short novel written by Aphra Behn (1640-89). Its the story of an African prince Oroonoko and a princess Imoinda. A similar story appeared in the 19th century about a princess Acoco. Her slave name was Cora. )


In 1829, a civil servant wrote to the GovGen that he had heard of a slave girl 'Cora' who was placed in the custody by a king or chieftain of a Captain van Zuylen van Nyveld to bring her to Europe for her education.

Captain van Zuylen was commander of a warship 'Ajax' and when the ship stopped off in Suriname the girl was sold to a medical doctor F.A. Kuhn.

At the time of the report she belonged to a Jacobus Goede. Goede had been requested by a person Ruhle to buy her freedom and to return her to her father in Africa. Goede was known to have mistreated the slave girl. Thus according to the writer of the report Cora was unjustly a slave girl.

A government investigation showed that Acoco or Cora was the lawful property of Jacob Ruhle, who lived in Guinea, Africa. In 1817, Ruhle had asked Captain van Zuylen to take Acoco to Holland for her education. The ship stopped in Suriname where she decided that she did not wanted to go to Holland.

Thus, she was handed over to a daughter of Jacob Ruhle. She was married to Jacobus Goede. However, Captain van Zuylen had sold her to F.A. Kuhn. So, when Jacob Ruhle was notified of this, he petitioned the colonial government to register Cora as his property. This request was honored and she was registered as his property.

Only until 1851 did Cora (born in 1802) receive her freedom as well as her daughter Nina. Cora took the name of Amalia Cora Rohle and Nina took the name of Jacoba Wilhelmina Rohle.

Anna's date of her 'manumissie' was 1853. her son Alexander took the name of Frederik Alexander Rohle. -------

Met dank aan Albert Buys

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