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Book source: Het Korps Zwarte Jagers in Suriname collaboratie en opstand I, Silvia W. de Groot, OSO, jaargang 7, nummer 2, Dec 1988.

Subject: [Mil.Hist.] The Revolt of the Black Rangers


In 1818 the name of the "Black Rangers" was changed to "colonial guides". In 1840 some 50 recruits were purchased in Africa and brought to Suriname. This brought the strength of the colonial guides to 138. No more replacements were sought and the colonial guides eventually ceased to exeist.

The Black Rangers showed their worth when on their first patrol they discovered the below water situated path to fort Buku. The patrol left for Fortress Buku on 22 July 1772 and was 122 men strong and commanded by a white officer Mangold. On the 11th of September a reinforced patrol of 173 men (black rangers and regular military) went back to fortress Buku. On 20 Sept 1772 they succeeded to take Buku.

Prior to the revolt of the Black Rangers in 1805, it was well known that they had an 'esprit de corps' and liked their leaders. The white 'conducteurs' were also very satisfied with their performance. Suriname was a protectorate of England in 1799 until the peace of Amiens in 1802. Suriname was again taken over by the British in 1804 and was a British possession until 1816. These were uncertain years for Suriname. The slaves remained calm during this period. Thus the revolt of the Black Rangers in 1805 shocked the colony.

-Briefly- Thirty Black Rangers of the military posts Imotapi, Orannjebo and Mapane near the Boven-Commewijne river murdered their white officers, stole 30 slaves from a nearby plantation and fled to the Marowijne river. They followed a path to Armina and on their arrival there they also killed some more white officers. Their strength was now 90.

A 60 men patrol was sent after them which included 20 loyal Black Rangers. The patrol was unable to capture or stop the runaways. After the runawyas had reached Armina they destroyed it and disappeared. They attempted a second attack in November of that year but the post was reinforced and the runaway attack was repulsed. One year later in the evening of 31 August and 1 September 1806, the colonial military succeeded to capture 4 runaway Black rangers with the help of an informer. In 1806, four Black Rangers were captured with the help of another Black Ranger who betrayed them. Their interogation to find out what happened are well documented and stored in the archives. The four captured were: Soldier Damon L'Avontuur from the plantation l'Avontuur. He was on temporary duty at Armina under the command of Captain Ox. Soldier Samson Adrichem from the plantation Adrichem. He was on temporary duty at Armina under the command of Captain Ox. He participated in a patrol to Oranjebo where the revolt started. He died in prison before the interogation and trial was completed.

Soldier Mingo Levant was born in Suriname at the plantation Levant. He was a member of Captain Muller's command at Oranjebo but was on temporary duty in Mapane with Lt. Franke.

Soldier Christoffel Chatillon was born in Suriname at the plantation Groot-Chatillon. He was stationed at Imotapi under Captain van der Assen who was present at Oranjebo when the revolt began. The interogation began on 5 September 1806 and was completed on the 22 December 1806. The three were executed on 27 December 1806. The questions the authorities tried to have answered from the interogations were: -Was there a conspiracy -Who had provoked and started the revolt -Who were the guilty -What were their motives -Where were they hiding -Did they have future plans -How much cooperation and support was there from the Ndjukas and Bonis The conclusion was that the revolt at Oranjebo, Imotapi, Mapane and Armina started simultaneously and according to a plan. The plan was to eliminate the much hated Captain Muller but the plan went sour and out of hand and more people were killed than intended.

The revolt of the Black Rangers at Oranjebo, Imotapi, Mapane and Armina was according to a plan. The leader of the revolt was Baron van het Land. On Saturday, 17 Sept. 1805 at 8pm the revolt began at Oranjebo. Captain van der Assen who was visiting was killed by soldier Primo Saxen. Captain Muller was shot and tortured until he died. The revolting rangers went then to plantation Wolfskamp where they killed the owner Wolff and took several slaves with them against their will. They then went to Armina where Captain Ox and a doctor were killed. The rangers went in the direction of French Guiana. The captured Black Rangers insisted during their interogation that they had no contact with the Ndjukas or Bonis. At this time they chose their leaders: Quassie Marowijne, Andries Zonnebloem, Hendrik Brouwerslust, October Jagerswoud and Baron van het Land. Later on they elected Andries Zorgvliet as their supreme leader. The authorities did know that the revolting soldiers did live on Ndjuka territory. They built houses and had garden plots and what they needed they could purchase from the Ndjukas. Chief Bambi of the Ndjukas also had conditions attached to the revolting soldiers staying on his territory such as:
-recognize Bambi as their leader -they could not take any action against the whites without Ndjuka permission -they were not allowed to live in Ndjukas villages -the practise of black magic was forbidden. The authorities offered Bambi a reward of f 1,000 for the killer soldiers of whites and f 500 for all others. Thus the Ndjuka and Black Rangers feared an attack from the authorities. The Black Rangers leader suggested to Bambi a raid of plantation Worsteling Jacobs for guns and ammunition but Bambi rejected the idea.

The four captured Black Rangers were interogated 3 to 4 times in the period of September-November 1806. A.J. Comvalius was a commissioned translator for the four as they did not speak Dutch, Sranan and could not write and signed with an X. On 22 Dec 1806 in accordance with the laws under George III, King of Great Britain and Ireland they were found guilty and executed by hanging on 27 Dec 1806.

Met dank aan Albert Buys

Met dank aan Albert Buys

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