Pulicat: Dutch shipped Indian slaves from here

Between 1600 and 1800 the Dutch East Indian Company VOC shipped estimated 50,000 Indian slaves from Pulicat to Indonesia. They mostly went as bonded labourers to work in Dutch factories (trading posts) and plantations to what was then the Dutch Indies.

The Live history India site has a well written post about this rather hidden past of Pulicat and Dutch: https://www.livehistoryindia.com/cover-story/2019/07/28/pulicat-the-forgotten-indian-slave-trade

The earliest reference to European slave trade is in 1510, when the Portuguese sent 24 slaves from Calicut to Lisbon.

Nearly fifteen years VOC service in Bengal: Jan Albert Sichterman

Not much personal information from Dutch life in Bengal or any other of Dutch settlements in India can be found in the VOC archives in the State Archives. The reason for that is that the VOC correspondence only covered official and business information written by VOC employees and shared with the local head office and the central office in The Netherlands, The VOC also censored all letters. An exception can be made for Jan Albert Sichterman (1692-1764), who spent nearly 15 years in Bengal. In 1742 he used his own money to build a church tower near the river in Chinsurah.

That we know a bit more about his and his family’s life is due to a personal history dug up by a descendent in the Sichterman family. Wiet Kühne-van Diggelen.

Wiet wrote the book in Dutch. For my research for the Indian specialists working on the revamp of the Dutch heritage in Chinsurah I summarized her book about Jan Sichterman. See Nearly fifteen years VOC service in Bengal: Jan Albert Sichterman.

My VOC in India bibliography

My annotated collection on VOC in India started in 1988 and comprises nearly 450 titles. I have grouped them on the various regions and on two interesting VOC employees. The last category gives interesting views from esteemed Indian historians about the Dutch presence. They include comparisons between the Portuguese, Dutch and British actions in India.

Bharoch/Surat/Gujarat
Chinsurah/ West Bengal
Cochin/Malabar
Coromandel (Sadras/Pulikat)
Ceylon
General
Haafner
Sichterman
Indian views