Contents and Arrangement

Accounts with Pierre Monier, 1775 June 13

1 folder

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information


Consists of correspondence, business and legal records, and other documents of Antoine Guerry Duclaud, a French officer employed by the Dutch West India Company who deserted and settled in Paramaribo in the Dutch colony of Surinam (now the independent Republic of Suriname) in 1771. The papers primarily document Guerry Duclaud's move to Surinam with the intention of starting a plantation, the establishment and furnishing of his residence there, his business renting the labor of enslaved Africans he brought from Guinea, and his return to Europe in 1775 after failing to make a profit in South America. This collection offers insights into Dutch trade, economic conditions, the institution of slavery, and resistance to slavery by maroon communities in Surinam in the 1770s.

Guerry Duclaud's letters home to his sisters in France describe his plans to establish himself as a planter in the Dutch colony of Surinam, as well as his many struggles and ultimate failure. He writes of family matters, acquaintances, money owed to various traders, and the costs involved with maintaining his business operations and financial affairs. The letters also provide a colonist's account of maroon uprisings in Surinam and the frequent violence between Dutch plantation owners and Maroons who had liberated themselves from slavery and regularly returned to attack plantations, assassinate plantation owners, and liberate enslaved laborers. Duclaud's letters relay the tense situation in detail, noting that each colonist's household was required to be armed in order to help patrol the colony; he also attributes many of his financial difficulties to the effects of the maroon insurgency on the colonial economy.

Other materials documenting Guerry Duclaud's time in Surinam include contracts, invoices, merchandise lists, receipts, promissory notes, accounts with Dutch merchants and traders, and other financial and legal documents, including materials related to his involvement in the slave trade. There is also a passport allowing Guerry Duclaud to return to Europe in 1775, as well as a journal and legal document related to his affairs in the 1780s and 1790s after his return to France.

Collection History

Archival Appraisal Information:

No materials were separated during 2017 processing.

Access & Use

Access Restrictions:

Open for research.

Conditions for Reproduction and Use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Credit this material:

Accounts with Pierre Monier; Antoine Guerry Duclaud Papers, C1585, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

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