CARICOM Compilation Archive (CCA)

This database started in 2018/19 as a compilation by Hans Fässler, MA Zurich University, historian from St.Gallen (Switzerland), for the attention of the CARICOM Reparations Commission. It was judged by Dr. Klaus Stuckert, researcher and lecturer on Caribbean and Australian literature, «… the most comprehensive compilation of Swiss involvement in Caribbean plantation slavery that I know of …». Now it has turned into an archive of ideally all Swiss involvement in slavery, the slave trade, anti-Black racism and colonialism, in the Caribbean – and beyond.

For an introduction to the archive, its concept and its history, see here.

How to Use the Archive

CARICOM Compilation Archive (CCA) is basically just one single web-page of my website, in order to facilitate research and continuing additions. You can find decimal chapters (e.g. «1.3 Barbados» or «3.1.1 Alabama»), names of individuals (e.g. «Bourcard» or «Guisan»), place-names (e.g. «Berne» or «Berbice»), plantation-names (e.g. «Oberberg» or «De Vriendschap»), names of slave-ships («Pays de Vaud» or «Réparateur»), or products (e.g. «sugar» or «indigo») by a text research: On Apple computers use [cmd] + [f], on Windows computers [STRG] + [f] or [ctrl] + [f].

Table of Content


1.1 Antigua and Barbuda
1.2 Bahamas
1.3 Barbados
1.4 Dominica
1.5 Grenada

1.6 Guyana (Guiana): Dutch/English colonies «Demerara», «Essequibo», and «Berbice»
1.6.1 Berbice
1.6.2 Demerara (Demerrara, Demerary)
1.6.3 Essequibo

1.7 Haiti (colony «Saint-Domingue»)
1.7.1 Economic
1.7.2 Military
1.7.3 Ideological

1.8 Jamaica
1.9 Montserrat
1.10 St. Vincent & The Grenadines
1.11 Suriname
1.12 Trinidad and Tobago


2.1 Cuba
2.2 Netherlands Antilles (colonies «Aruba», «Bonaire», «Curaçao», «St. Eustacius»)
2.3 French West Indies (colonies «Guiana», «Guadeloupe», «Martinique»)
2.4 Danish West Indies (colonies «St. John», «St. Croix», and «St. Thomas»)
2.5 Venezuela
2.6 Florida

3 – – BEYOND THE CARIBBEAN (under construction)

3.1. North America (the Thirteen Colonies and the United States)
3.1.1 Alabama
3.1.2 Arkansas
3.1.3 California
3.1.4 Carolinas
3.1.5 Florida
3.1.6 Georgia
3.1.7 Kentucky
3.1.8 Louisiana
3.1.9 Mississippi
3.1.10 New York
3.1.11 Tennessee
3.1.12 Texas
3.1.13 Virginia

3.2 Brazil (Colonial Brazil, United Kingdom with Portugal, independent empire)
3.3 Southern Africa
3.4 East Indies


4.1 Anti-Black Racism and Ideologies Relevant to Caribbean Economic Space
4.2 Marine Navigation
4.3 African and European Logistics





1.1. Antigua and Barbuda

=> Arthur Thellusson, son of Lord Rendlesham and grandson of Peter Thellusson, born into a Geneva banking family, who had bought the original Brodsworth Hall estate in South Yorkshire (GB) in 1790, married the daughter of Antigua slave owner Sir Christopher Bethell-Codrington.

=> In her book A Small Place (1988), the Antiguan writer Jamaica Kincaid indicts the Antiguan government, the tourist industry and Antigua’s British colonial legacy by saying:

«Have you ever wondered to yourself why it is that all people like me seem to have learned from you is how to imprison and murder each other, how to govern badly, and how to take the wealth of your country and place it in Swiss bank accounts? Have you ever wondered why it is that all we seem to have learned from you is how to corrupt our societies and how to be tyrants? You will have to accept that this is mostly your fault.»

=> Hans Conrad Hottinger (Hottinguer) (1764–1841) from Zurich started in the textile (indiennes) business in Mulhouse, then went into banking, learning his trade with Passavant and de Candolle in Geneva. During the «terror» of the French Revolution, he left Paris for the USA, where he stayed for three years. In 1793, he married Martha Eliza Redwood (1774–1830) from Newport (Rhode Island) and was thus related to a family which had been in the sugar and plantation business between England, New England, Africa, and the Caribbean since the 17th century. Their trading empire began with a sugar plantation called Cassada Garden on Antigua. Jean-Henri Hottinguer (1803-1866) took over his father’s business in Paris, and the «Maison Hottinguer» became one of the most important international commercial enterprises, specialising in trade with cotton and other colonial commodities.

1.2 Bahamas

=> Marx Rütimeyer‏‎ (b. 1647) from Vinelz (Canton of Berne) worked as a goldminer in the Bahamas and died there.

=> In 1718, Captain Woodes Rogers (1679-1732) accompanied 250 Swiss, Huguenot, and German Palatinate farmers on an expedition to settle the Bahamas. Together with 100 foot-soldiers, they sailed from London to New Providence on the 460-ton East Indiaman «Delicia».

1.3 Barbados

=> In 1677, Swiss medical doctor Felix Christian Spoerri (1615-1680) from Zurich wrote a detailed description of Barbados («Americanische Reiss-Beschreibung nach den Caribes Insslen, und Neu-Engelland»), which he had visited in 1661 and 1662, including the slavery economy, which produced sugar, tobacco, cotton, and indigo.

=> In his travelogue «Bericht des Grafen Karl von Zinzendorf über seine handelspolitische Studienreise durch die Schweiz 1764», the Austrian count describes the commercial activities of the Ammann banking and merchant company from Schaffhausen (N Switzerland), which traded in cotton, indigo, sugar, and tobacco. The first quality cotton came from Curaçao and Berbice, but from the latter there were no more imports because «the colony has been ruined». From that cotton, the Toggenburg textile industry (today Canton of St.Gallen) produced muslin fabrics. Curaçao cotton was very rare: a ship that transported 60 bales from Saint Domingue only carried 6 from Curaçao. The second quality variety came from Martinique and Saint-Domingue and was transported to Switzerland via Marseilles, Lyon, Belfort and Basel. The third (and worst) quality cotton came from Barbados. Nearly 1000 bags of cotton were imported by Ammann every year and were processed in the Toggenburg and Glarus area. In the second half of the 18th century, 35% of the cotton it delivered into the Zurich, Berne/Aargau, Toggenburg, and Appenzell areas were from Berbice or Essequibo. The Ammann company did business with such slave trading firms as Schalch & Cie., Hegner, Gier & Cie., Pelloutier, Petitpierres, Tourton & Baur, and Bourcards. From Schalch & Cie alone, Ammann received in six years deliveries of indigo worth 600,000 guilders.  The archive of Johann Jakob Amman (1699–1777) and his son Johann Heinrich (1722–1794) has been handed down to the Frey family and – being a private archive – is still nor accessible. Industrial magnate Hermann Frey (1844–1928) was a board member of the «Bank in Schaffhausen», which merged into the «Schweizerische Bankverein» and later UBS. The banking house «Ammann» was liquidated as late as 1921.

=> 1719-1734, the city state of Berne as well as the Berne-based banking houses of «Malacrida» and «Samuel Müller» held shares in the speculative South Sea Company. With 253,000 £, Berne was the biggest single investor. The South Sea Company had slave deposits on Barbados, and all in all, it shipped 20,000 slaves from Africa to the New World.

=> In 1767, Peter Thelluson (1737-1797), a Swiss banker, entrepreneur and slave-owner from Geneva, acquired a share in the slaver «Liberty», which transported 227 enslaved Africans from West Africa to Barbados. 45 died during the Middle Passage.

=> After 1800, Anton Schulthess from a Zurich merchant and banking family served as captain in the British Royal-African-Corps in Barbados. In 1814, his elder brother, Colonel Paravicin Schulthess (1757-1843), applied to the British ambassador for a death certificate for his brother, who had apparently deceased some years earlier.

1.4 Dominica

=> Jean-Antoine Bertrand (1726-1780) from the City of Geneva became a merchant in Dominica in 1764, his brother Charles (born 1716) followed him in 1775. Together they bought properties in St. Patrick and St. David Parishes, including an estate in Grand Bay which they called «Geneva» after the family’s former home in Switzerland. In 1820, the plantation was co-owned by a Charles Bertrand and Charles Court and had 253 slaves (138 females, 115 males).

1.5 Grenada

=> The Peschiers were Huguenots from the south of France who settled in Geneva. Pierre Peschier (1688–1766) was a pharmacist with links to England. His son Jean (b. 1735) settled in Grenada, possibly as a member of the British military, where he married Rose de Belgens from a family rich plantation owners. His younger brother Henri (b. 1741) joined him later, and, financed by their brother Jean Antoine, who still lived in Geneva, the two Peschier brothers acquired a plantation of 192 acres called Bonne Chance with at least 80 slaves. They paid 12,600 livres for it. The brothers also became merchants in the capital and chief port of St.George’s. Henri (Henry) then decided to emigrate to Trinidad, where he arrived in 1781 with some slaves.

=> Paul Coulon (1731 – 1820) from Neuchâtel (NW Switzerland), together with Jacques Louis Pourtalès (1722–1814) from Neuchâtel and Johann Jakob Thurneysen (1729–1784) from Bâle, owned the plantations Bellair (coffee and cocoa), Mont SaintJean (coffee), La Conférence (sugar), Clavier, and Larcher. Until 1797, they produced sugar, coffee, cocoa, and cotton with about 100 to 200 slaves on each plantation. The plantations were administered by François und Pierre de Meuron from Neuchâtel. One of them married a woman qualified in the racist terminology of the island a «quarteronne», daughter of white father and a mulatto mother and took her home with him to Neuchâtel.

=> François Aimé Louis Dumoulin (1753-1834) from Vevey (Canton of Berne/Vaud) left Switzerland at the age of 20 for the Caribbean and lived on Grenada 1773–1783. He worked as a painter, secretary to the governor of the island, and merchant. In 1778, he was pressed into the English army of Governor MacCartney.

=> Laurenz Vonwiller (1759–1825) from the City of St.Gallen (NE Switzerland) migrated to Grenada around 1790, probably to try and bring back profitability to three plantations owned by the Swiss Johann Jakob Thurneysen and Jacques-Louis Pourtalès since 1770. In Grenada, where he felt very much at home, Vonwiller married twice (1790 and 1797). For his role in the 1795 revolt of the French Creoles against British rule, he was tried for treason and imprisoned 1798–1800 He attempted to go back to St.Gallen with his wife and was said to have been refused entry. He then returned to Grenada, where he died in 1825. His son Georg Ludwig (1793­–1835) moved to Trinidad, where he «imported» a female slave in 1822. He married Gabrielle d’Ey, and they had four children: Georg Heinrich (born 1824 in Grenada), Franz Adolf (b. 1826), Andreas (b. 1833). and Louise Maria Anna (b. 1834).

=> The banking company «Marcuard, Beuther & Cie.» from Berne were creditors of a trading house active on St. Eustacius, Grenada und Saint-Domingue.

=> Jean Henri (1792-1873) worked on St. Eustacius for the merchant house and shipowners of «Fabry & Sugnin». He later returned to Switzerland (Canton of Vaud), from where he continued his St. Eustacius business activities. He cooperated with Samuel Chollet and his cousin Louis Chollet from Moudon (then Berne, today Canton of Vaud).

=> Jean David Fatio and Richard Besanquet from Vevey (Canton of Berne/Vaud, W Switzerland) were owners of coffee and cocoa plantations, including their slaves, on Grenada and transmitted their knowledge of the cocoa and chocolate business to Switzerland.

=> François Aimé Louis Dumoulin (1753-1834) from Vevey (Canton of Berne/Vaud, W Switzerland) was a merchant who went to England in 1772 and from there to Grenada, where he painted and produced plans in the service of the governor.

=> Théophile Cazenove (1708–1760) from a Geneva family of Huguenots settled in London in the mid-eighteenth century with his son Jean Henri, a merchant who was naturalised in 1762. Jean Henri (John Henry) Cazenove (1737– 1817) operated as a merchant dealing with the French and English East India Company, building a large connection to Lisbon, as well as drawing on connections in France and Amsterdam. He became involved in finance at an early stage, dealing in government stock and later securing business on behalf of the US government, distributing dividend payments to English holders of US securities. In 1772, he was involved in supplying bonds to the owner of Bacolet plantation on Grenada, one of the most profitable Grenada sugar estates with over 30 slaves. John Henry Cazenove was a merchant and director of the East India Company, probably in the 1760s.

=> In 1768, Peter Thelluson (1737-1797), a Swiss banker and entrepreneur from Geneva, set up as a merchant banker in London. He acquired a share in the 330 acres sugar estate Conference in Grenada with 155 enslaved people, when the former owner failed to pay his debts. In 1772, he lent money to the owner of Bacolet Estate, a 384 acres sugar plantation, partly secured on 101 enslaved people who lived upon the property. Thelluson amassed a huge fortune, a great part of which came from money related to the slavery economy: He undertook widespread lending of money in the Caribbean, as the Grenadines, Guadeloupe and Martinique. He traded in goods used in the slave trade and in colonial goods as well (slave-produced sugar and coffee). He was involved in slave-trading itself and in close contact with Liverpool slave-traders. He owned the slave ship «Lottery», which in 1765/66 sailed from London to Grenada via the Windward Coast, Cape Mount and Bassa with 211/172 slaves. He was also active in the beads and cowry trade, a commodity often used as currency in the slave trade. Peter Thelluson’s son Peter Isaac Thelluson (1761-1808) was probably brought into the family merchant house at the early age of 15, and he was later a known associate of slavers and global traders. He was a director of the Bank of England (1787–1806).

1.6 Guyana (Guiana): Dutch/English colonies «Demerar, «Essequibo», and «Berbice»

For the chapters on Guyana, especially on the colony of Berbice, I owe a great deal to the profound knowledge and the persistent research activities of Dr. Klaus Stuckert, researcher and former lecturer on Caribbean literature (Wetzikon ZH, Switzerland).

=> In his travelogue «Bericht des Grafen Karl von Zinzendorf über seine handelspolitische Studienreise durch die Schweiz 1764», the Austrian count describes the commercial activities of the Ammann banking and merchant company from Schaffhausen (N Switzerland), which traded in cotton, indigo, sugar, and tobacco. The first quality cotton came from Curaçao and Berbice, but from the latter there were no more imports because «the colony has been ruined». From that cotton, the Toggenburg textile industry (today Canton of St.Gallen) produced muslin fabrics. Curaçao cotton was very rare: a ship that transported 60 bales from Saint Domingue only carried 6 from Curaçao. The second quality variety came from Martinique and Saint-Domingue and was transported to Switzerland via Marseilles, Lyon, Belfort and Basel. The third (and worst) quality cotton came from Barbados. Nearly 1000 bags of cotton were imported by Ammann every year and were processed in the Toggenburg and Glarus area. In the second half of the 18th century, 35% of the cotton delivered into the Zurich, Berne/Aargau, Toggenburg, and Appenzell areas by the Ammann company was from Berbice or Essequibo. The Ammann company did business with such slave trading firms as Schalch & Cie., Hegner, Gier & Cie., Pelloutier, Petitpierres, Tourton & Baur, and Bourcards. From Schalch & Cie alone, Ammann received in six years deliveries of indigo worth 600,000 guilders.  The archive of Johann Jakob Amman (1699–1777) and his son Johann Heinrich (1722–1794) has been handed down to the Frey family and – being a private archive – is still nor accessible. Industrial magnate Hermann Frey (1844–1928) was a board member of the «Bank in Schaffhausen», which merged into the «Schweizerische Bankverein» and later UBS. The banking house «Ammann» was liquidated as late as 1921.

=> During the continental blockade, a large-scale embargo against British trade decreed by Napoleon and valid for Switzerland, too, the Zurich authorities in 1810 published a list of colonial goods which would be subject to this embargo. among them were: long-fibre cotton from Brazil, Guyana, Suriname and Demerara, cotton from the Levant imported across the sea and imported overland.

=> The Faesch family from Bâle held shares in plantations in Essequibo and Demerrara.

Charles-Marc-Louis de Mellet (1759–1811) from Vevey in the Canton of Berne/Vaud (W Switzerland) entered the military service of the Dutch in the Swiss Regiment May in 1780. In 1781, he became ensign in the regiment de Grenier-Wallons, which he left again in 1784. Until 1785, he was co-owner of the plantation Rotterdam (with 15,000 cotton trees) on the Caribbean coast west of the River Demarara. 1795, he was appointed by the governor commander of all the troops in Demerara and Essequibo and leader of the expedition against the revolting runaway slaves on the west bank of the Demerara River. At one point, the situation of the de Mellet expedition became so desperate that they decided to ask for help from Berbice and Suriname. During the counter-offensive, insurgents were mostly shot, woman and children taken prisoner. Resistance was finally broken and the trials began. 13 rebels were broken on the wheel, and the ringleader was burned at the stake while his flesh was pinched out with red-hot tongs. Major Louis de Mellet received a ten-year tax exemption and resigned from his position of again in October. After a stay in Switzerland and Holland, he embarked for Demerara again with the 4th Batallion of Light Infantry, whose lieutenant-colonel he was. He was made prisoner by the British fleet and detained in London until peace was signed in 1803. Back in Holland, he made a steep career in the army and in politics. His brother Jean-Samuel de Mellet (1766–1793) served the French in Saint-Domingue.


1.6.1  Berbice

=> Around 1760, the sugar plantation De Vreede in Berbice was managed by Jan Vincent Mittelholzer from Geneva (probably originally from the Appenzell area). The plantation belonged to (Hendrik) Christiaan Mittelholzer. One «C. Mittelholzer» is mentioned as taking part in the bloody fight against the rebellious slaves of 1763 («But Mittelholzer shouted No! No!, took his sabre and cut off the Negro’s hand.») In 1818, another plantation (St. Lust, 10000 acres) was partly in the hands of one Christoffel Mittelholzer of the company «van Helder en Mittelholzer». Maria Mittelholzer (1780–1830) was probably Christoffel’s sister. She married Willem Helder in 1802. Earlier on, mention is made of one Henrietta Elizabeth Caroline Mittelholzer. From the Mittelholzer family came the famous author Edgar Mittelholzer (1909–1965).

=> David Benjamin Bourgeois (1750-1809, aka «L’Américain») from Lausanne (Canton of Berne/Vaud) emigrated to Berbice in 1770. In 1791, his first child, Jeanne Marie, was born, out of wedlock. His mother was probably a black slave called Sara. In 1800, in the colony of Demerara, he begat another child, again with a black woman. That son was called Louis Henri Bourgeois (1800-1834), who, without his mother, followed his father back to Switzerland, where he first became a member of the cantonal legislature and then of the cantonal government.

=> Jan Frederik (Jean Frédéric) Colier (1711– after 1777) from Neuchâtel was the third governour of the Dutch colony of Berbice («Sociëteit van Berbice») 17491755. His was appointed at the age of 37, and his annual income as governor was 1500 guilders. In 1757, already out of office, he criticised the fact that most of the builders or owners of plantations did not come in person to select and cultivate the farmland, but left it to strange and incompetent people. Before his time in Berbice, he had apparently worked for the Dutch in Suriname for five years, and afterwards he was involved in the provisoning administration of the British Army.

=> Jean Huguenin (1685–1740) from Le Locle (Canton of Neuchâtel) moved to Holland with Swiss troops. His son Jean Roulof Huguenin (1731-1764) became ensign in the regiment Douglas, a military unit which had been sent to Berbice to suppress the slave rising of 1763. Lieutenant Colonel Robert Douglas was a Scotsman at the service of the Dutch army and the second in command in the expedition against the rebellious slaves. Huguenin died in Berbice and is buried in Fort Nassau. 

=> Jean Pierre Galiffe (1767-1847) from a Geneva family of Huguenots (mother Naville, grandmother Thelluson) was First Lieutenant in a Swiss regiment at the service of the French, which belonged to Jacques-André, Marquis Lullin de Châteauvieux (1728 – 1816). Later he served in the Dutch and in the British army. He became captain the 60th Regiment and spent 10 years in the British colonies in the Americas. He took part in the «expedition» to Suriname in 1804. Towards the end of his career, he was military commander of Halifax (Nova Scotia), of the Bermudas (1821–1824), and then of Berbice (British Guyana), before returning to Geneva, where he entered politics. 

=> In 1763, a great slave rebellion broke out in Berbice. It lasted from February to December, and the insurgents managed to keep control of the southern part of the colony for a year. In the spring of 1764, with the help of British and French troops, the rebellion was suppressed.
Louis Henri de Fourgeod (1708-1779) from Bussigny-près-Lausanne (Canton of Berne/Vaud, W-Switzerland), then in the rank of a Dutch captain, took part in the campaign.

=> Jakob Stäheli (1727-1761) from St.Gallen (E Switzerland) was a slave-overseer in Berbice.

=> Andreas Grimm (1709-1744) from Burgdorf (Canton of Berne) was a medical doctor who left Switzerland for Holland in 1731. From there he travelled to Berbice, where in 1736 he was a candidate for the «Raad van Politie en Justitie». Other candidates were the Swiss O. Chaille(t) (probably from Neuchâtel) and J.L. Sellon from St.Gallen. In 1741, Grimm was made manager of plantations Maria (500 acres) and Agnes (500 acres), which were often mentioned as one plantation under the name of Maria Agnes. He owned a town house in Fort Nassau, the hamlet which was Berbice’s capital.

=> Johannes Feer (1716–1756) from Brugg in the Canton of Berne/Aargau was Chirurgyn Major in Fort Nassau in Berbice. He died of malaria.

=> In 1746, one Pieter Davidt from Basel was a soldier in Berbice.

=> One Michael Straub (1730–1758) from a St.Gallen family (with relatives among the Rietmann, Högger and Kunkler families) was born and died in Berbice.

Isaac du Thon (born 1709) from an Yverdon family (Canton of Berne/Vaud) was director of the Dutch Berbice company.

=> In 1771, Conrad Schläpfer, member of the municipal authorities of Trogen (Canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden, NE Switzerland) published a report on Berbice in the annual «Appenzeller Calender», a colony which he had visited in 1769/1770. He described Berbice as a place where many plantations were inhabited by Swiss and German immigrants. To plant coffee and cotton, he went on, «negroes or slaves are used, they are wild black folks taken from Africa and bought there, a male costs 150 to 500 guilders, they are better adapted for work than the original inhabitants, they go about naked, except for their pubic area, their toes and eyes are white, their hair short and black like the wool of sheep.»

=> In 1773, one H. Werndli from Zurich, was employed as a surgeon in Berbice. He sent the Zurich Naturalist Society a collection of reptiles (e.g. the embryo of an armadillo preserved in alcohol) and of «American snakes».

=> In 1748, Jacob de Sollicofre is mentioned as «Edele Heer Raad van Justitie», i.e. part of the administration of the colony.

=> One Anton Zollikofer (1720–1761), son of Georg Leonard Zollikofer (1693–1779) from the Canton of Thurgau, was captain lieutenant of the grenadiers in Berbice, where he died. His son Adrian (born 1738) died in Berbice, too, in 1765.

=> At the beginning of the 18th century, Pierre Antoine Charbon from Treytorrens (Payerne, Canton of Berne/Vaud, W Switzerland) together with his family fled to Holland and later, as «Charbon & Zoon» owned plantations in Suriname and Berbice (coffee plantations De Standvastigheid and Op Hoop van Beter, plantations De Standvastigheid, De Vrouw Johanna, Ruijmzicht, and Bestendigheid).

Johann Ulrich Straub (1746–1785) from a St.Gallen family was a merchant and born in St.Gallen. In 1776, he married Cornelia Johanna Mennes, who was born in the Netherlands and died in 1788 in Berbice. Straub‏‎ was the owner, administrator, and director of plantations Overijssel (also called  De 3 Gezusters) and De Vriendschap in 1781. He died in 1785 in Gais, Canton of Appenzell. In 1771, plantation Roosendaal en Vreedenburg had been registered as having as director one «Urb. Straub».

• On his death in 1760, Michael Schläpfer from Speicher (Canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden, E Switzerland), captain-lieutenant in the Dutch army, left to his five heirs a plantation in Berbice worth 9000 guilders. Master carpenter Johannes Klee from Bühler (Canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden), Konrad Schläpfer, and his son Andreas Schläpfer administered the plantations Oberberg and Flachtal. In 1771, Andreas Schläpfer died and his father returned to Switzerland. In 1779, Johannes Klee returned, too, to his home village of Bühler (AR). In 1781, the plantation, which had fallen into decay because of the British invasion of Berbice, was sold.

=> Paulus Züblin (1709–1760), grandson of the mayor of St.Gallen (E Switzerland), emigrated via Holland to Berbice. On 16 January 1735, Nicolaas Huber (possibly from Walenstadt in the Canton of St.Gallen) and Paulus Zublin each applied to the «Sociëteit van Berbice» for a 500 acres plantation with six slaves. On 24th  Januar 1736, Huber und Züblin were granted the land, and Huber insisted on paying cash for his six slaves. On 11the April 1736, Nicolass Huber und Paulus Zubly  demand that the administrative council of the «Sociëteit van Berbice» adapt the allotment to two plantation each with three slaves each. The council agreed, and Züblin was allotted land for the plantation Zubli’s Lust, which, together with plantation Hubersburg, was surveyed in 1740. Those two plantations belonged with one half each to Paulus Züblin and Nicolaas Huber, who lived in Amsterdan. Züblin was manager of the two plantations, and in 1743, he manumitted his slave Nicolaas, son of his slave woman Anna. In 1747, he became «Edele Heer Raad van de Politie», i.e. part of the colonial administration, and in 1749, he married Cornelia Gertrud Verste(e)r (1733–1800, then 16 years old). He lived in New Amsterdam and was administrator of the sugar plantation de Herstelling (2000 acres), probably the biggest Berbice plantation at the time. In 1766, his widow founded plantation Schepmoed (90 slaves, 40,000 coffee trees), in which Jacob Pool acquired shares and which was then administered and directed by Paulus Züblin’s sickly son Paulus Zubli Jr. (1756–1790). One Abraham Zubli was born on the plantation in 1760.  Ambrosius Zubli fought against an attack by 600 slaves on the De Peereboom plantation in the great slave rebellion of 1763. He was overpowered, and one Abraham Zubli (Sr.) (not the one mentioned above) was killed as well. In 1763, Landlord Caspar Tobias Zollikofer of Altenklingen, on behalf of his wife Elisabetha Zublin and of his sister-in-law Cornelia Gertrud Verste(e)r, Paulus Zublin’s widow living in Rio Berbice, and by virtue of her authorisation of 22 April 1761, renounced all inheritance claims on the house at Brühlgasse St.Gallen, left by the father or the father-in-law respectively of the two women, in favour of Ambrosi Zublin (Jr.), brother or brother-in-law respectively of the said Elisabetha Zublin and Gertrud Verste(e)r.

• In the 1780s, Vincent Conrad (1745-1792) from the Canton of Grisons (SE Switzerland) arrived in Berbice in the middle of the 1770s. He married Helena Johanna Versfelt in 1776. He first worked as plantation manager of ’s Gravenhage, then also became manager of de Bestendigheid. Later, he was an administrator on the coffee plantation Mara en Germania, which belonged to J.V. Pool, and owned 10 adult slaves. He was also, together with one J.A. Schläpfer,  a member of the administrators‘ team of Middelburgs Welvaaren and introduced Johann Conrad Winz to plantation administration.  Together with Claas Nicolay (1748–1799), also from Graubünden, Conrad founded the plantations Grauwbunderland and Zorg doch met Vergenoegen. 2/3 of the two plantations belonged to Claas Nicolay, 1/3 to Vincent Conrad. Conrad died in 1792 on plantation La Prospérité, whose manager he had been. Nicolay had been mentioned for the first time in 1781 as administrator and manager of plantation Cruysburg. He became co-administrator and manager of plantation De Waakzaamheyd, and he served as deacon of the Dutch Calvinist colonial church. In 1818, the British «Slave Returns» documented for the two plantations Grauwbunderland and Zorg doch met Vergenoegen 66 slaves (18 male slaves between ages 12 and 65 fit for work, 28 female slaves between ages 7 and 55 fit for work, 4 slaves unfit for work, 16 slave children; 30 of these were born in Africa, 36 in Berbice). His heir appears to have been one Frederic(k) Nic(h)olay, who owned 27 slaves in 1822. In 1827, he is registered as having purchased slave Francina Frederick from Cruysburg plantation for 500 florin for manumission. Francina had been registered as one of Frerick Nicolay’s slaves already in 1822, and he had probably had a sexual relationship with her. She is noted as a «caboeger» (¾ black / ¼ white). In 1835, he was compensated by Britain for the loss of his «property» (12 slaves) with £ 585 4s 3d.

• In 1781, Louis-Berthélemy Petitmaître from Yverdon (Canton of Berne/Vaud) is mentioned as owner, administrator and manager of plantation Ma Retraite, which was the product of a merger between plantations Zubli’s Lust and Hubertsburg. Petitmaître was also administrator of Prosperiteit, Zion and Rusthoff. In 1790, he is mentioned as owner and administrator of plantation Sara Jacoba (formerly Schermers or Schirmers Lust) and owner, administrator and manager of the large sugar plantation De Vriendschap. In 1794, he is recorded only as owner, administrator and manager of De Vriendschap. In 1796, he is granted the plantations Maria Helena and Lausanne, according to documents, but his death is recorded in 1795, on plantation De Vriendschap.

Johann Konrad Winz (1757–1828) from Stein am Rhein (Canton of Schaffhausen, N Switzerland) was banished to Berbice for revolutionary activities in 1785. There he was introduced to plantation administration by Paulus Zublin from a St.Gallen family and by Vinzent Conrad. Plans for a plantation of his own did not materialise, but then he was able to take over administration of the coffee plantation Middleburgs Welvaren (80 slaves, 60,000 coffee trees), whose owner Schläpfer from Appenzell Ausserrhoden (E Switzerland) wanted to return home. In 1794, Winz was administrator and manager of plantation Utile & Faisible, which belonged to one Lambert Blair, one of the richest plantation and slave owners of the colony. Winz also speculated in cattle, wine, and slaves. He also served as a church administrator of the Dutch Calvinist colonial church. In 1800, Winz returned to Switzerland a rich man and entered local politics. He married Maria Magdalena von Waldkirch (1782-1852), whose brothers Franz and Johann Conrad were also plantation owners in Berbice. The house «Zum Grüt», which he bought in Schaffhausen, belonged to Laurenz Ziegler (1772-1807), who lived in Surinam at the time of the purchase. The road on which Winz had his mansion «Villa Berbice» built is still called «Berbiceweg» (Neuhausen am Rheinfall, Canton of Schaffhausen). In Berbice, he seems to have left a (coloured?) slaveholding branch of his family: In 1819, one Liseatta Wintz is registered with six, one Joseph Wintz with two slaves, in 1822 one Jacob Wintz with two and one Jannet Wintz with nine slaves. 

• The following members of the patrician Zollikofer (Sollicoffre) family from St.Gallen are mentioned as plantation managers or directors in Berbice. On 12th December 1735, in a meeting of the administrative council of the «Sociëteit van Berbice», Robert Sollicoffre († ca. 1757) applied for 500 acres and 6 slaves from among the next «delivery». On 27th December 1735, he appeared again before the council announcing his withdrawal from the plantation application and asking for it to be transferred to Jacob Boulé, whose director he later became. Robert Sollicoffre managed Engelenburg (granted 1735, surveyed 1739) and Altenklingen (1735, belonging to Jacob Boulé). Later managers of Engelenburg included Germain Sollicoffre (1748) and Jacob de Sollicoffre (1765). Ida en Sabina (also owned by Jacob Boulé) was also managed by Jacob Sollikoffer in 1765. Magdalenenburgh, Amsterdam, and Fransenburgh (owned by Abraham Vernesobre) were all managed in 1735 by Georgie Sollicoffer, who had been allotted 500 acres and three slaves the same year, but who never figuresd as a plantation owner. Roeboth (owned by Pieter Massé ) was managed by Hans Solicoffre in 1767 und 1771. De Nieuwe Vigilantie (belonging to the heirs Hartsinck and A. Frenzel) was managed by J. F. S. de Solicoffre in 1790, 1792, and 1794. De Eenzaamheid (owned by the heirs of Jan Broer) was managed in 1790 by H. F. S. Sollicoffer and de Eendragt boven (owned by Jan Slayeman) was managed by S. F. S. Sollicoffre in 1781. It is possible that the last three are one and the same person made into three persons by difficulties in transcribing handwritten documents.

Laurens Kunckler from a prominent St.Gallen family, sailed to Berbice in 1737, where he got a job on plantation Helvetia, which belonged to a group of St.Gallen businessmen around Jean-Barthélémy Rietmann. Soon he owned and directed plantation De dertien Cantons, together with Leonard Sellon/Schlumpf, co-owner of Helvetia. Later, Kunckler, who was also captain of the local militia and a member of the colonial administration, concentrated on his plantations Goed Land and Goed Fortuyn (originally the two plantations Nimwegen and Realmont). These plantations are registered in 1762 with 5 indigenous women for house work and 23 black slaves. Kunckler had a black concubine. In 1762, together with Willem Nicolas Schoock, and Emanuel Hoschhe bought slaves from the ship «De Eenigheid» at an auction or acted as surety: No 9, a woman, ƒ 280:0, to Kunckler, guarantors: Schook & Stubbeman; No 24, a man, ƒ 295:0, toKunckler, guarantors: Schook & Stubbeman; No 12, a woman and child, ƒ 265:0, to Hosch; No 55, a girl, ƒ 165:0, to Hosch; No 63, a boy, ƒ 120:0, to Hosch; No 4, girl, ƒ 150:0, to Hendrk Meijer, guarantors: Hosch & Maisoneuve; No 7, a boy, ƒ 225:0, toKöhler, guarantors: Hosch & Bocht; No 15, a man, ƒ 355:0, to Schook q.q., guarantors: Hosch & Sollicoffre; No 16, a woman, ƒ 205:0, to idem, guarantors: idem & idem; No 22, a boy, ƒ 165:0, to Dell, guarantors: Hosch & van Staeden; No 28, a boy, ƒ 125:0, to Meijers, guarantors: Hosch & Sollicoffre; No 52, a man, ƒ 210:0, to A. D. Sollicoffre, guarantors: Hosch & Kohler; No 53, a woman, ƒ 210:0, to Mittelholtzer, guarantors: Hosch & Gelskerke. The same year, slaves on his plantations rose in rebellion. 30 of them were killed and the rebellion, which was a prelude to the great rising of 1763, was put down with great brutality. Rebel leader Coffij was executed by tying him to a cross and breaking his bones with iron bars. 

=> Jakob Pool (1700-1771) from Bever (Canton of Grisons, SE Switzerland) took over from his father the flourishing family business in Amsterdam, which had already expanded to the Dutch West Indies in 1710. The company «Westrik & Pool» and members of the Swiss Pool family (Ambrosius, Ambrosius Johannes, Anna Louisa, Jacob Ambrosius, Jan Jacob, Jan Vintzenz, Jan, Louis, Pieter) owned shares in the following plantations on the Berbice River: Engadina (from 1741) Essendam and Sans Souci (150,000 guilders), Julianenburg, Maria Germania (coffee), Middelburgs Welvaren (coffee), Schepmoed (coffee), Zandvoort (coffee), Bellevue (coffee), Sophia (coffee), L’Esperance (sugar), De Grond Engelenburg, De Vrwyheyd, De Grond Ida Sabina, and Mon ReposJan Vintzent Pool held shares in the colonial company Societeit van Berbice. In 1768, 1772, and 1780, «Jacob Ambrosius Pool et Compagnie» in Amsterdam received credits from the Zurich-based bank Leu. Jakob Pool left a fortune of over 240,000 guilders. Practically his whole wealth ended up in the Engadin: a considerable part went to the von Planta family in Samedan, another part to Melchior von Muralt from Zurich (1792-1834), who had married Maria Pool (1788–1863). Their daughters bought the Bever estates into the hands of the Salis-Soglio and von Planta-Reichenau families. The wealth of the Pool, Orlandi and Zamboni families resulted in Bever, the second smallest municipality of the Upper Engadin, becoming the richest community in the whole Engadin before the French Revolution. The company «Westrik & Pool» seems to have been in existence until 1828. The last plantations remained in Pool hands until the abolition of slavery in 1833/34, whereupon they received from the Dutch state £6,437 7s 3d for the 124 slaves of Schepmoed and £8,540 7s 6d for the 160 slaves of Mara and Germania.

=> David Amstein from St.Gallen was granted the 500 acre-plantation Roosenburg (Roozenburgh, Rosenburg) on the River Berbice, divided by the Kimbia Creek, in 1736. It was surveyed in 1738 and its ownership recognized. Amstein lived on the plantation. In 1758, it passed into the hands of the Pool family from Bever (Grisons). In 1738, the neighbouring plantation Mon Repos was granted to a member of a Neuchâtel family, Olivie(r) Chaillé(t), who lived on it. It was surveyed in 1742 and its ownership recognized. The Pool family bought it in 1768, and treated the two plantations as one unit, with one administrator-director

=> In 1743, 1752 and 1755, a document of authorisation was issued  for Jean (Louis) Herrenschwand (possibly from the Canton of Berne) in Berbice, which gave him the right to work as director on several plantations.

=>  In 1770, on the lower Canje River in Berbice, there was a 500 acres plantation called Canton Berne. It belonged to Emanuel Buess, possibly from Aarau in the Canton of Berne. In 1771, the plantation is recorded as belonging to his widowed wife.

=> Théophile Cazenove (1708-1760) from a Geneva family of Huguenot immigrants resident in Geneva since 1686. His father Pierre Cazenove  (1670–1733) was a merchant and a banker, whose network established with his three sons Jean, David and Théophile extended as far as Amsterdam, London, and Nantes. Théophile went to Amsterdam as a young man and became a merchant who traded with Bordeaux, Saint Petersburg, Archangelsk, Stockholm, and the West Indies. In 1735 Théophile Cazenove was granted 500 acres plus 6 slaves, in 1736 500 acres plus 6 slaves again. Later he owned the following plantations on the River Canje in Berbice: Toijras / Thoyras /Toyras (500 acres, from 1741 on), Don Carlos (500 acres, from 1740 on), Nova Caza / Nova Cassa (500 acres, from 1740 on), and Oloron / Oleron (500 acres, from 1742 on, its director was murdered in 1763). In Amsterdam in 1762, Charles and Théophile Cazenove issued a document of power of attorney to P. A. Charbon and Emanuel Hosch, both resident in Berbice. The UK Slave Register 1813–1834 has 280 slaves in the hands of owners named Cazenove, Cazeneuve, Casenave, Casnave, etc. in Grenada, Trinidad, and Mauritus. 

=> Gudains Planta (c 1712) and Elias Tratschin († 1732) from Samedan (Canton of Grisons, SE Switzerland) are recorded as having died «in las Indias», probably in the same area as the Pool plantation empire in Berbice.

=> In 1741, Johann Ulrich Koch from Zurich is registered as a soldier in Berbice. He arrived there on the ship «De Dageraad».

=> From 1732 on, private individuals could apply for plantations in Berbice. In 1733, banker Jan-Barthélémy Rietmann from St.Gallen (E Switzerland) applied for 1500 acres for Jan Leonard Sellon (Schlumpf), also from St.Gallen. They were granted the land plus 9 slaves, and in 1734 another 21 slaves. In 1735, Jan Leonard Sellon became a member of the council. The same year the following slave «deliveries» were registered: 3 times 9 slaves to Jan-Barthélémy Rietman (prices: fl. 2,475, fl. 2,259 , fl. 2,475), 6 slaves to Jacques Sellon (fl. 1,650), and  33 slaves to Jan Leonard Sellon (fl. 8,859). These slaves were needed for clearing the forest for the plantation. In a meeting of the administrative council of the «Sociëteit van Berbice» on 16th January 1736, David Hogguer and David Amsteyn (Amstein) from a St.Gallen family related to the Hogguers, Rietmanns and the Sellon(f)s were allotted 500 acres and six slaves each, but Hogguer never seems to have made use of his land grant. In 1736, Jan Leonard Sellon was appointed Council of Policy and Justice for the colony. In 1736, Jan Bartholomeus Rietmann, René David de Gennes and Jacob Sellon ask for «eenige lappies land bij hunne plantage», which is  granted to them. In 1737, coffee and cotton plantation Helvetia (Helvecia or Hellevesia) was surveyed and was registered as belonging to Jan Bartholomeus Rietman, René David de Gennes, Jacob Sellon and Jan Leonard Sellon, Amsterdam. Its manager was Leonard Sellon. In 1740, Salomé Rietmann, sister of Jan-Barthélémy Rietmann and wife of Daniel Hogguer (de Bignan), who was to be co-owner of the enlarged plantation Helvetia, sold or left her share to the Sellon brothers. In 1744, 292 acres were added to the plantation, whose owners were now Rene David de Gennes, Jacob Sellon, Hogguer de Bignan, and Scherer, Amsterdam. Jan Leonard Sellon also owned plantation God ziet alles (500 acres) from about 1742–1762In 1765, the owners of Helvetia  were the heirs of de Gennes, Jan Leonard Sellon, and Jean Jacques Hogguer de Bignan. In 1802 it was recorded as having 1792 acres and 128 slaves.

=> In 1779, a Berbice plantation called De dertien Cantons («The Thirteen Cantons» was a name for the Swiss Confederation 1513–1798) was mentioned. According to the land title of plantation Henevliet, plantation De dertien Cantons must already have existed in 1741. In 1748, the owners were identified as L. Zellon and  L.(aurenz) Kunckler, who was also the manager.

=> In 1762, the partners or the company «Hosch & Zollikofer» granted the price of a male slave (No. 15, 355 guilder), a female slave (No. 16, 205 guilder) and of a slave boy (No. 28, 125 guilder) in an auction in Berbice. Emmanuel Hosch  probably came from Basel family. During the slave rising, the prevailing disease (probably dysentery) raged worse than ever before and  in the same year claimed the lives of two of the council members Emmanuel Hosch and Charbon and several directors of the societal plantation. Hosch’s widowed wife and her three daughters were spared (just as was one of Mr. Mittelholzer’s nieces and her son). But they had to work, half naked, for the rebels in their vegetable garden. In 1762 was issued in Amsterdam a document of power of attorney by Jan Adam Charbon to Emanuel Hosch and Johannes Mittelholzer in Berbice.

=> In 1737, one Henry Grivel from Bournens in the Canton of Berne/Vaud got married to Constantia Apia. In 1739 he was mentioned in a legal affair concerning an inheritance. In 1740, he owned the 500 acres plantation Switzerland (Zwitserland, Zwitzerland, also called Grivelle). The land was surveyed and the ownership recognised. Later ownership passed to Emmanuel Hosch, originally from Basel. In 1752 there was a slave rising on plantation Switzerland. In 1767, the plantation was registered as in the hands of the heirs of Emmanuel Hosch.

=> In 1762, A. D. Sollicoffre sent two letters of exchange for slaves sold privately in Rio Berbice and Rio Essequibo, addressed to the honorable lord directors of the «Commercie Compagnie in Middelburg Zeeland», the most important Dutch slave-trading company, which had armed the slave-ship «Enigheid». One was to be paid to Dirk Kraaij and satisfied by H. Hooft in Amsterdam (83 guilders), one to Hendrik Jansen Buse and satisfied by Jean Etienne Fizeaux in Amsterdam (121 guilders). The «Enigheid» started its voyage in Zeeland (Holland) in 1761, purchased slaves in Cape Lahou, on the Windward Coast and on the Gold Coast, and began the Middle Passage with 319 slaves, out of which 298 survived. Salves were disembarked in Berbice and Essequibo.

=> In 1818–1822, the «Former British Colonial Dependencies, Slave Registers» contain three slave-holding members of the Swiss Sollicoffre family, originally from St.Gallen/Thurgau: D. Sollicoffre (8 slaves in 1818, 5 in 1819, none in 1822), J. Sollicoffre (18 slaves in 1818, 11 in 1819, none in 1822) and the the «free black woman Mietje Sollicoffre» (7 slaves). Some male slave names were Bonaparten, Bonaparte, Simon, Welkam, David, Aberham, France, some female slave names: Juno, Elisabeth, Antje, La Rose, Dorothea, Vesta, Alida, Augusta.

=> In the 1763 slave rebellion, the insurgents occupied most of Berbice for ten months. Plantations were destroyed, houses burned and sugar mills deactivated. From plantation
Lelienburg, Cuffy and his people attacked the plantations Juliana (Vlissingen), Mon Repos, Essendam, St. Elizabeth, Alexandra and Altenklingen.


1.6.2  Demerara (Demerrara, Demerary)

=> In Demerara, there was a plantation called Geneve on Canal Nr. 1. In 1785, it was a coffee plantation of 250 acres and the property of Swiss called Jourdan, who also owned another plantation (unnamed, Nr. 8) of 250 acres on Canal Nr. 1 North. In 1792, that plantation was still unnamed, but in 1795 it appeared under the name of Basel. Jourdan could have been Jean Philippe Jourdan, who married Margaretha van Dijk in 1781 in Demerary and died 1806 in Paris. In 1812, the plantation Geneve is still mentioned. Geneve had been managed by Robert Ferrier (died 1806, probably English) as a joint plantation Vree-and-Hoop and Geneva. A tax register of 1818 shows that there must have been 337 slaves there. In 1777, the registers of the Durch West Indien Company (WIC) also mention one Jean Pierre Jourdan from Geneva, a medical doctor.  

=> («General») Louis de Saulles (1767-1817) came from a Huguenot family who fled from France to Switzerland. He served with General Lafayette during the American Revolution. In 1806, he was appointed at the City of New York as an «Inspector at Demerara». He was a shopkeeper there, and established an «Academy».  In 1807, he sold three slaves, and in 1808, he paid the colonial tax for his three slaves. In his obituary, it was said that he was born in Switzerland. He died at Mahaica.

=> There are further traces of possibly Swiss plantation ownership in the region: On the eastern banks of the Mahaica River the «Kaart van de rivier en zeekusten van Demerary» (1792) shows a cotton plantation of 175 acres called Berne. Its owner John Tappin also owned half of Plantation 31 (250 acres, cotton) and plantation Beter Hoop. Two plantation owners called Fresen and Jean Cuche are noted as «Swiss or French». Jean Pierre Cuche (born 1768, died before 1807) from La Tour-de-Peilz (Canton of Berne/Vaud) was made ensign of the local militia in 1789, and he owned the plantation L’Inattendu on the Demerara sea coast between Maicouny Creek and Mahaica Creek. In 1807, Cuche’s widowed wife Anne Cathrine Marchand (1758­–1820) must have owned a plantation on the east side of Mahaica Creek. The owner of the plantation Langzaamheid on Wakenaame Island is noted as «Zwitsers». In 1804, Cuche’s wife was mentioned as planning to leave the colony. Her authorised representative was a Swiss called David Pierre Morthier (died before 1812) from Neuchâtel. Morthier seems to have managed Cuche’s estate. He lived on plantation Nooyt Gedagt on the western bank of Mahaica Creek.

=> In 1810, the plantation Neufchatel on the right bank of the Mahaica River in Demerara was offered to the highest bidder, «with all its appurtenances, Negroes, &c. &c.». In 1808, a tax on 58 slaves (slave units, or «Piezas de India»). It is today called Neuchâtel Estate. Next to this plantation there was another called Vevay or Vevey.

=> In 1808, Jeanette Crousaz from Lutry (Canton of Vaud, W Switzerland) from a patrician family, owners of the local castle since 1598 and known for foreign services, among them General Pierre François Crousaz de Corsier (1690-1769) for Holland, lived in the colony of Demerrara, where she married Rudolph Onink (died 1813) from Rio Demerary, a slave owner and trustee and probably the director or administrator of plantation Wittenburg.

=> There are indications that one member of the Sellon family might have owned a plantation in Demerrara. In 1815, the «Royal Gazette» announced that a fugitive slave could be picked up in prison by his owner Sellon.

=> In 1811, Anselme Fleury from Neuchâtel married Aimable de Corbinière, probably from Saint-Domingue, in Demerrara.

=> In 1810, the cantonal authorities of Zurich dealt with a number of complaints from local trading houses on account of the conflict between France and Britain («continental blockade») which led to sequestrations. The goods concerned were, among others, long fiber cotton from Demerara.


1.6.3  Essequibo

=> Beath Rodolph Emmanuel Mottet (1752–1819) possibly from Murten (Canton of Fribourg) married Jeanne Johanna Brunell in 1785. In 1816, he sold to R. Burnthorn his sugar plantation Lust tot Rust situated on «Varken Eiland», Essequibo, which was in future to be called Endeavour, with all the buildings, cultivation, and 11 slaves. In 1836, his widowed wife Johanna Mottet was compensated £231 4s 6d by Britain for the loss of her «property» of 4 slaves. Several other individuals of the name Mottet lived in Essequibo and Demerrara.

=> Francis Amick (born 1780) from Switzerland (according to the «British Guiana Colonists») married Johanna Deborah Fischer in 1818. In 1824, Amick, who was the «deliberating executor of the estate of Peter Laggan» was involved in the auction of a «Negro man named Richard». Scotsman Laggan’s estate was plantation Coffee Grove on the River Essequibo. In 1835, Amick’s widowed wife received a compensation of £65 4s 10d for the loss of one slave.


1.7 Haiti (colony «Saint-Domingue»)

1.7.1 Economic

=> In 1528, merchant and nobleman Hieronymus Sailer (1495-1559) from St. Gallen (E Switzerland), together with Heinrich Ehinger from Konstanz (Germany), received a license issued by the Spanish crown which allowed them to colonise Venezuela and to transport 50 mining workers from Germany to Santo Domingo, from where they would be distributed among the Spanish colonies. Sailer was also granted permission to use the Santo Domingo shipyards.

=> Hans Caspar Zoller (1574–1644) and Hans Felix Escher, sons of wealthy patrician families from Zurich, made their apprenticeships as merchants in Lyon. They travelled to Hollland and Britain, and then signed on a French slaving vessel in Dieppe, with a profit-sharing rate of 0.25 to 0.5 percent. In December 1595, they set sail and via Madeira, Cadonor (Cotonou?), Cap Palmas and Sao Thomé reached Cap Lopez (today Gabun), where they took on board the slaves for Brazil. They then crossed the Atlantic, and in September 1596, they landed at Cabo Branco (Paraíba), where they sold their «freight». For three months they stayed in Bahia before continuing their voyage to Santo Domingo, from where, in 1597, they returned to France via the Azores.

=> Around 1700, the French planters Jean-Joseph du Paty (a former buccaneer) and Julien Raymond employed a Swiss mason, who was sent for from La Rochelle and was responsible for the construction of their plantation house and sugar-cane mill in the Léogâne area.

=> One Daniel Robert (1570–1634) from Sonvillier, Canton of Berne, died at Droit in the Artibonite area.

=> Ignace Ferrety from Switzerland was a master mason in Saint-Domingue and received his naturalisation documents in 1785/1786.

=> On the eve of the Frech Revolution, 31% of the shares of the most important French slave-trading company, the «Compagnie des Indes», were in Swiss hands. Shareholders were Leonhard Meister, Professor of theology from Zurich, silk merchant Andreas Gossweiler, as well Johann Ulrich Geilinger, Jonas Hauser and Jacob Sulzer, all from Winterthur. The «Compagnie des Indes» for a long time held the monopoly for the slave trade to Saint-Domingue.

=> In his travelogue «Bericht des Grafen Karl von Zinzendorf über seine handelspolitische Studienreise durch die Schweiz 1764», the Austrian count describes the commercial activities of the Ammann banking and merchant company from Schaffhausen (N Switzerland), which traded in cotton, indigo, sugar, and tobacco. The first quality cotton came from Curaçao and Berbice, but from the latter there were no more imports because «the colony has been ruined». From that cotton, the Toggenburg textile industry (today Canton of St.Gallen) produced muslin fabrics. Curaçao cotton was very rare: a ship that transported 60 bales from Saint Domingue only carried 6 from Curaçao. The second quality variety came from Martinique and Saint-Domingue and was transported to Switzerland via Marseilles, Lyon, Belfort and Basel. The third (and worst) quality cotton came from Barbados. Nearly 1000 bags of cotton were imported by Ammann every year and were processed in the Toggenburg and Glarus area. In the second half of the 18th century, 35% of the cotton it delivered into the Zurich, Berne/Aargau, Toggenburg, and Appenzell areas were from Berbice or Essequibo. The Ammann company did business with such slave trading firms as Schalch & Cie., Hegner, Gier & Cie., Pelloutier, Petitpierres, Tourton & Baur, and Bourcards. From Schalch & Cie alone, Ammann received in six years deliveries of indigo worth 600,000 guilders.  The archive of Johann Jakob Amman (1699–1777) and his son Johann Heinrich (1722–1794) has been handed down to the Frey family and – being a private archive – is still nor accessible. Industrial magnate Hermann Frey (1844–1928) was a board member of the «Bank in Schaffhausen», which merged into the «Schweizerische Bankverein» and later UBS. The banking house «Ammann» was liquidated as late as 1921.

=> In Lyon, the Zellweger companies were among the most active merchants, and together with the St.Gallen family enterprises of the Sollicoffre (Zollikofer), Scheidlin (Scheitlin), Weguelin (Wegelin) and Councler (Kunkler) exported to the West Indies. The Zellweger companies exported textiles and imported colorants for their linen and cotton industry as well as colonial goods, such as coffee from Saint-Domingue. Focused on the Saint-Doimingue market and therefore oriented towards Bordeaux were «Zellweger et Ougster» (Zellweger & Eugster), «Zellweger frères et Cie », «Scheidlin et Finguerlin», and «Laurent Councler et Cie». In August 1750, «Councler et Cie » exported five bales of cloth to Cap Français.

=> The Mississippi Company (Compagnie de la Louisiane ou d’Occident or Compagnie d’Occident) created by John Law in 1717 absorbed the monopolies and privileges of earlier companies, such as the Compagnie de Saint-Domingue. It attracted shareholders and speculators by the prospect of profits from trade with textiles and bullion, and from the export of slaves to Saint-Domingue. Among the Swiss shareholders was Louis Guiguer (1675–1747) from Bürglen, Canton of Thurgau, who with an investment of 800,000 £ was the fourth largest single shareholder of the company. From the same canton, from Steckborn, came members of the Labhard, Deucher and Füllemann families. From Trogen in the Canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden came the investors Conrad Zellweger-Tanner (1659-1749), Conrad Zellweger-Sulser (1694-1771) and Johannes Zellweger-Sulser (1695-1774). Others included the banker Henri d’Antoine Locher from St.Gallen, the Berne-based bank Malacrida, several citizens from Geneva and several citizens from St.Gallen residing in Lyon.

=> (Jean-Jacques) Meyer & (David) Crom from their company seat in Lyon exported textile goods to Spain and the Spanisch colonies. At one point, even the City of St.Gallen was among the creditors of the St.Gallen based head-office «Meyer & Crommische Credit-Wesen». David Crom (or Kromm) (born 1681?) from St.Gallen established himself in 1716 as secretary to the Swedish ambassador, probably through the intermediary of his fellow citizen Antoine Hogguer. In 1719, the Crom trading house made important investments in the French Compagnie des Indes and at the moment, when the „System“ collapsed, that investement had reached a volume of 830,000 livres. David Crom himself had aquired enough shares to take part in the General Assembly of the Company on 22 February 1720. When the collapse approached, he acted as the Paris representative of the „Nation Suisse“, i.e. the community of Swiss merchants in Lyon. Crom still held this position in the 1740s.

=> The following Swiss are registered to have lived in Saint-Domingue between 1750 and 1800: Gabriel Descombaz (bookshop-stationer, freemason), Mr. Despassier, Jacob Dupan (merchant from Geneva, freemason), Jean Estève (from Coppet, then Canton of Berne), Marie Elisabeth Globesk, Henri-Albert Gosse, Chevalier d’Illens (officer), Jacob Mayer (merchant from the Canton of Berne), Jean Meschinet (from Geneva), François Joseph Mollinger (from Basel), Charles Ravy, Jean Utry Sphey (soldier), Antoine Tournier, David-Philippe-Barthélémy Treytorrens (officer), Joseph Valdony (officer from Poschiavo, Canton of Graubünden, freemason), Henriette Vincent, Adrien Virte (officer of the Swiss Guards).

=> Hans Ulrich Faesch from Basel sailed from Amsterdam to the West Indies in 1770. His last letter, dated May 5, 1774 said that he was intending to go to Saint-Domingue.

=> Plantation owners in Saint-Domingue with Swiss backgrounds:

Louis-Joseph Bloisselier de Carnotte from Geneva, coffee plantation

• the Simon family, indigo plantations (Augustin Simon, son of a Saint-Domingue plantation owner, founded an indiennes manufactory in Nantes and became partner of the company Simon & Roques, which invested in triangular expeditions)

• the Meynadier family from Geneva, coffee plantation Mont-Soucy (Jean-Louis Privat from Geneva, son of Anne-Andrienne Meynadier, was forced to return to Geneva in 1796 because of the slave revolt)

Bertrand brothers, Bertrand père (1781, Artibonite plain)

• members of the Cadusch or Cadouche family from Graubünden (E Switzerland) were influential planters and owners of great sugar plantations

Jean Trembley (1719–1791) from Geneva (1781, Artibonite plain, indigo and cotton, with slaves from Benin, Elmina, the Gold Coast, the Congo, Nigeria and Angola). Trembley also worked as a hydraulic engineer in the region. His project was installed in 1786.

Jean David Ramel from the Canton of Berne/Vaud (W Switzerland), owner, at the age of 45, of a large cotton and indigo plantation on Saint-Domingue in 1795

Jean-Conrad Baron de Spechbach from Miécourt, Prince-Bishopric of Bâle, commander of the Jérémie and the Grande-Anse militia around 1777, officer in the mercenary Regiment «von Hallwyl», and in 1789 owner of a plantation and a sugar refinery

Jean-Louis Robert Coëls from Switzerland

Benoist-Lambert Robert-Coëls from a family with Swiss origins, coffee plantation

Jean-Baptiste-François chevalier de Volant, son of the commander of the Swiss troops in garrison in Saint-Domingue

Anne-Marie-Elisabeth-Marguerite de Nucé, wife of Louis Tousard d’Olbec (1757-1840) from Grône and Saint-Maurice (Canton of Valais), coffee plantation Massacre

Jeanne-Elisabeth Gouin, wife of Louis Sévérin de Costar (b. 1743), officer in the Swiss regiment d’Hallwyl

Maria Jeanne Ducoing, wife of one Mr Comblefort from Geneva (coffee)

Jeanne-Benedictine Ducamp, wife of Boisselier de Carnotte from Geneva

• In 1784, Charles Emmanuel de Rivaz (1753-1830) from Sion in the canton of Valais (SW Switzerland) left for Saint-Domingue to administer the assets of Count Paradès, his brother in law.

• In 1795, through a contract signed in Nyon, Jean-David Ramel (1757-1819) from Château-d’Oex in the Canton of Berne/Vaud (W Switzerland) became the owner of a sugar, indigo and cotton plantation in the Saint-Marc area.

Raymond Marie (1748-1825) from Geneva was a merchant and owned (a) sugar, cotton and indigo plantation(s). In 1791 he was a deputy member of the Assemblée coloniale and a member of the Assemblée provinciale.

• In 1736, a member of the Zollikofer (Zollicoffre) family from St.Gallen and also active in Lyon was employed by J.-J. Brossard de La Poupardière on his plantation, which had gone from sugar to indigo in 1733. Brossard de La Poupardière was also trading with Gaspard Councler (from the St.Gallen family of the «Kunkler») in Marseilles.

• In 1748, François Larguier was a merchant in Lyon. He married Jeanne Élisabeth Solicoffre (from the St.Gallen family of the «Zollikofer») and acquired the citizenship of Orbe in the Canton of Berne/Vaud. Larguier was the owner of a coffee plantation at Plymouth in the Jérémie region.

Johann Ulrich Staub (1723–1775) from Sevelen in the Canton of St.Gallen joined the Dutch army in 1742 and was taken prisoner by the French in 1746 during the Siege of Brussels in the context of the War of the Austrian Succession. From France, where several of his ventures failed, he travelled to Saint-Domingue on a slaving-ship, from where he reported to his municipality of Sevelen that, in the Port-de-Paix area, he owned a coffee plantation with 100,000 coffee trees and a surface of «a square hour». The plantation could also be used for sugar and indigo production. 110 slaves had to work for him, he wrote, and if the price of coffee stayed the same, his plantation would bring him an annual revenue of 10,000 francs in 1772. After 30 years, he meant to visit his mother in his home village, but he died at the age of 54 in Saint-Domingue. He held the rank of a captain.

=> The following individuals with Swiss background were compensated or made attempts at compensation by the French government for loss of property, i.e. slaves, in the Haitian Revolution:

Jean Antoine Abeille (1770-1826), died in Lausanne, Canton of Berne/Vaud

Jeanne Madeleine Courlet (1769-1849) from Geneva

Pierre Gautier (1763-1838) from Geneva (coffee business)

Raymond Marie (1748-1825) from Geneva

• 1825-1830, Carl Friedrich Lutsdorf (1785-1835) from Berne, officer in French services, made complaints about the compensations to be paid to his father-in-law, César Rey de la Rousse (born 1775), former colonel in the service of the French in Saint-Domingue.

• In 1827, Joseph-Hubert Franc (1773-1858?) from Monthey in the canton of Valais (SW Switzerland) was informed in a letter (without name of sender) that he could not receive compensation for his plantation slaves, since, in 1789, they had been legally separated from the plantation grounds and could therefore only be considered as moveable objects under the Ordinance of 10th April 1826.

• Swiss officer Abraham-Rodolphe-Henri-Louis de Treytorrens for one third of a sugar plantation as heir to his aunt and sister and of 1/12 of another sugar plantation as heir to his aunt Marie Letort.

=> The following merchants, trading companies, and banks with Swiss backgrounds were active in Saint-Domingue:

• «Louis Nadal & Le Roy», «Roque & Bonnafus», «Marcet et Corneille» from Geneva, based in Cap-Français

Raymond-Marie Duperrier in Port-au-Prince

• members of the Zollikofer family from St.Gallen (E Switzerland)

• the Cuentz brothers from St.Gallen (E Switzerland), speculation on indigo

Sebastian Kunz (1683–1734), whose son died at the age of 12 in Saint-Domingue

• «Marcuard, Beuther & Cie.» from Berne, creditors of a trading house active in Saint-Domingue

• In 1824, Grégoire de Riedmatten (1782-1846), from a prominent patrician family in the canton of Valais (SW Switzerland), officer in several Swiss regiments in the service of France, married Nathalie Taffanel de La Jonquière († Sion, 1862) from a family of colonial administrators (Nouvelle France), Saint-Domingue plantation owners and coffee merchants

V. Gaspard Deonna (1746-1797) from Geneva was a master founder in Saint-Domingue.

Michel Lullin de Châteauvieux (1754–1802), a banker from Geneva, died in Santo Domingo (Los Alcarrizos), where he probably lived as a planter. He had been married to Amélie Christine Pictet, also from Geneva. Their daughter Anne Lullin de Châteauvieux (1793–1868) was born in Lancy (Canton of Geneva) and spent her childhood in Santo-Domingo before returning to Geneva with her widowed mother at the age of 14.

=> Jean-Simon Chaudron (1758-1846) from France was sent to Switzerland at an early age to perfect his watch-making skills. In 1784, he left Paris for Saint-Domingue. In 1791 he got married in Cap Français to Geneviève Melanie Stollenwerck and took over the administration of his father-in-law’s sugar plantation. In 1793, he fled from the slave uprising to Philadelphia, where he associated himself with goldsmith Charles Billon.

=> Charles (Frédéric) Billon (1776–1822) from Le Locle worked as a silversmith 1793. He then moved to Philadelphia, where in 1797 he married Jeanne Charlotte Sophie Stollenwerck, born in 1781 in Cap Français in Saint-Domingue. His father-in-law was Pierre Hubert Stollwerck, watchmaker, coffee planter, slave trader, and merchant, who owned a coffee and indigo plantation on the Champagne River in Upper Plaisance, a parish in the north of Saint-Domingue. Pierre Hubert and his brother Chevalier (killed in the Haitian revolution) are said to have owned hundreds of slaves, some of whom they nursed back to health in a hospital before selling them at good profits.

=> The textile family businesses of the Zellweger in Trogen (Canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden, E Switzerland) imported «cotton de saint domingue».

=> The trading company «J.-R. Wirz & Cie.» was owned to a large degree by Hans-Rudolf Wirz from Basel and supported by the Parisian bank «Dufour, Mallet et Le Royer». Wirz became a great ship-owner and financier in Bordeaux, together with Nantes one of the great centres of the African slave-trade and the most important port for importing Saint-Domingue coffee. The Wirz company owned 13 ships and took part in four triangular expeditions between 1786–1789: two from the Senegal (one of which to Cayenne), one from the Gold Coast, one from Porto Novo, thus «exporting» more than six hundred slaves.

=> In 1791, the French aristocrat and Minister of Finance Louis Auguste Le Tonnelier de Breteuil fled to Switzerland, and in Solothurn he had a leisure walk built through the gorge dedicated to Saint Verena. Le Tonnelier de Breteuil owned sugar and coffee plantations in Saint-Domingue, which he had to sell later.

=> Two members of the Hollard family from Lausanne in the Canton of Berne/Vaud (NE Switzerland), Louis and Charles, in the context of the Haitian «debt of independence» demanded the repayment of 1000 francs from the French banking house «J. Lafitte et Cie.», which was centrally involved in financing the Haitian government of Jean-Pierre Boyer, who was struggling with the «ransom of independence».

=> Rudolf-Emanuel von Haller (1747–1833), banker, merchant, and politician from Berne, learnt from a trading partner that the slave rising had come to a head and that Port-au-Prince had gone up in flames. His trading partner advised him to gather as much sugar and coffee in Marseilles (in order to profit from rising prices later).

=> The Swiss slave-trading company «Solier, Martin et Salavy», whose Marseilles activities are well documented for the years 1781-1787, received investments from Hunziker (Berne/Aarau), de Fellenberg and Manuel Frères (Berne), Deonna, Fazy-Claparede, Lullin, Plantamour, Milliet (Geneva), de Pourtalès (Neuchâtel), Jean-Theodore Rivier, de Charriere, de Severy, de Chandieu, de Gingins, Chavannes, de Constant, d’lllens, Polier (Lausanne), Ferdinand de Roverea (Rolle), de Saussure (Morrens), Jurgla, Perdonnet, Couvreu de Deckersberg (Vevey). Among the documents of the latter family, Couvreu de Deckersberg, a leaflet was found, advertising «the expedition of a vessel of some 400 tons, which will sail for the Guinea Coast to trade 400 to 450 blacks in order to transport them to the French Isle of Saint-Domingue on a Portuguese ship by permission granted by the French court to a company in Lisbon, which undertakes the equipping.»

=> When Christoph Burckhardt-Merian (1740-1812), merchant and bailiff from Bâle, was confronted with fears that the Haitian Revolution could endanger trade and business, he answered that reports now showed a brighter picture. There were, it was true, still armed «negroes» roaming the woods, but Whites and Blacks were already celebrating their reconciliation with great festivities. The statement of account of the slave-ship «Le Conquérant» showed, still according to Burckhardt-Merian, that sales opportunities for «negroes» were favourable. Should unrest in Saint-Domingue continue, he argued, they would have to be sold in Suriname. The price «per negro» was 650-800 guilder, according to their looks.

=> The following slave-ships equipped with Swiss investments or owned and fitted out by Swiss merchants sailed to Saint-Domingue in the context of triangular expeditions:

• In 1774–1775, Abraham Henry (1734–1793) from Neuchâtel and his father-in law Jacques Montet (1715–1784), as «J. Montet, Henry & Cie.» and later as «Montet, Henry et Bellamy», owned and fitted out on five expeditions the four slave-ships «La Vigilante» (Bordeaux => Gold Coast => Cap Français, 250/208 slaves), «Le Vigilant» (Bordeaux => Bight of Benin => Whydah => Badagry/Apa => Princes Island => Cap Français, 412/351), «Union» (1787/88, Bordeaux => West Central Africa => St. Helena => Cap Français, 275/250), 1789/90, Bordeaux => Gambia => Cap Français, 127/113), and «Nestor» (1790, Bordeaux => Gambia => Port-au-Prince, 169/150). The company dealt in «guinéss bleus», a special type of indiennes textiles, produced by «Porchet & Cie.», founded by< a merchant from Neuchâtel.

• In the 1780s, Louis d’lllens (1749-1819) from Lausanne and «Louis d’Illens et Cie», in association with Jacob van Berchem (1736–1794) and Augustin Roguin (1768–1827), imported coffee, indigo, and cotton directly from Martinique. They were also active in the slave trade by outfitting four slave-ships (1790–1792), namely «L’Helvétie» (1791/92, to Havana), «Pays de Vaud» (1790, Marseille => Moçambique => Cap Français, 579/485 slaves), «La Ville de Lausanne» (1790, Marseille => Moçambique => Cap Français, 796/550 slaves) and «Anaz» (1791, Marseille => Moçambique, left home port, then no further information). Jacob van Berchem alone was the organiser of the following slave voyage: «Marie Thérèse» (178384, Nantes => West Central Africa => St.Helena, unknown outcome).

• In 1751, Emmanuel Weis (1712–1780) from Basel, together with six associates, founded the maritime insurance company «Emmanuel Weis et compagnie». It existed until 1756. Together with his brother, he became active in the sugar, indigo and coffee business and speculation with Saint-Domingue as «Emmanuel et Nicolas Weis». In 1770, the company became co-owners (56/120) of the slave-ship «Prince Manuel», which carried out a slaving voyage from La Rochelle via West Central Africa to Cap Français (233 slaves embarked, 212 arrived). They commission two associates in Saint-Marc with collecting 42,000 £ of debts from the sale of the slaves of the expedition of the vessel «Début» to the coast of Angola. In 1774, the company included two sons of Emmanuel (Conrad-Achille and Marc-Jérémie) and became «Emmanuel et Nicolas Weis et fils». Emmanuel, who had at least three of his daughters baptised in Basel, retired from the company and died in 1780. In 1765, one daughter, Anne-Marie, had been married to Jacques-Allard Belin, who later became a merchant in Saint-Domingue. Emmanuel’s brother Nicolas died in 1793, leaving a fortune of 386,078 £. From 1779–1790, the Weis company participated in the following slaving expeditions: «Belle Pauline» (1783/84, Weis as owner, La Rochelle => Malembo => Cap Français, 624/568 slaves), «Suzanne», «Treize-Cantons» (1784, Weis as owner, La Rochelle => Loango => Port-au-Prince, 548/499 slaves; 1786/87, La Rochelle => Porto Novo => Cap Français, 332/283 slaves), «Jolie Henriette de Ribeaucourt» (1784, Trieste => Ile de France => Moçambique => Cap Français, 368/267 slaves) , «Iris» (1783, Weis as owner, La Rochelle => West Central Africa, no further record), «Elise» (1783/4, Weis as owner, La Rochelle => West Central Africa => St. Helena => Port-au-Prince, 386/351 slaves), «Nouvel-Achille» (1783/84, Weis as owner, La Rochelle => Gold Coast => Sao Tome => Cap Français, 414/355 slaves) , «Rochelais», «Réparateur» (1786/87, Weis as owner, La Rochelle => Porto Novo => Sao Tome => Port-au-Prince, 411/410 slaves; 1787/89, Weis as owner, La Rochelle => Porto Novo => Port-au-Prince, 514/512 slaves; 1790/91, Weis as owner, La Rochelle => Gold Coast => Port-au-Prince, 420/360 slaves), «Ville de Basle» (1786/87, Weis as owner, La Rochelle => Porto Novo => Port-au-Prince, 270/236 slaves). In 1788/89, the Weis company insured the triangular expedition of the vessel «Madame» (Nantes => Moçambique => Cape of Good Hope => Port-au-Prince, 586/405). The insurance contract provided that for each invalid slave, the owners of the vessel would be paid 500 £, which – considering a probable sales price of 400–450 £ – made it possible to gain from losses.

• The merchant house Pelloutier, Bourcard & Cie. (originally from Basel, with a Nantes branch) was active in the slave trade and ran the slave ship «Comte de Tréville», which three times transported slaves to Haiti: 1784/85, Nantes => Bight of Benin => Ouidah => Lagos => Princes Island => Saint-Marc, 367/313 slaves; 1786/87, Nantes => Port Novo => Princes Island => Saint-Marc, 411/350 slaves; 1789/90, Nantes => Port Novo => Princes Island => Léogâne (546/465 slaves). From 1770 onwards, Benoît Boucard from a patrician Basel family was a shareholder.

Jean-Louis Baux (1726-1792) from Geneva and Jean-Étienne Balguerie (1756–1831), as the company «Baux, Balguerie & Cie» owned and fitted out the slave-ships.«Le Chasseur» (1789/91, Bordeaux => Moçambique => Ile de France => Cap Français, 434/300) and «Le Nélée» (1789, Bordeaux => Ambriz => Cap Français, 372/339);

Georges Riedy and Benjamin Thurninger from Basel had their main office in Nantes, with branches in Brest and Lorient. 1783–1798 they fitted out ten slave-ships and supplied indiennes textiles for the slave trade. They had a branch on Saint-Domingue, which organised the sale of captured africans to the planters. They owned the following slave-ships: «Affriquain» (1783/84, Nantes => West Central Africa => St.Helena => Cabinda => Cap Français, 530/428 slaves), «Georges» (1788, Nantes => West Central Africa => St.Helena => Les Cayes, 608/553 slaves; 1789/90, Nantes => West Central Africa => St.Helena => Malembo => Cap Français, 484/440 slaves; 1792, Nantes => West Central Africa => St.Helena => Les Cayes, 440/400 slaves) , «Georgette» (1788/89, Nantes => Congo River => Les Cayes, 377/343 slaves; 1790, Nantes => West Central Africa => St. Helena => Cap Français, 305/278 slaves; 1791/1792, Nantes => West Central Africa => St. Helena => Malembo => Congo River => Saint-Marc, 336/306 slaves), «Espiège» (1790/91, Nantes => Gabon => Cap Français => Port-au-Prince, 37/28 slaves), «Jeune Auguste» (1791, Nantes => Gabon => Port-au-Prince, 264/200 slaves), «Passepartout» (1790, Nantes => shipwrecked, no slaves), «Petit Georges» (1791, La Rochelle => Africa => destination unknown, 310/266 slaves). Thurninger also invested in the slave-ship «Le Saint-Clément» (1784, Rochefort => Gold Coast => Cap Français, 175/150 slaves).

Jean-Théodore Rivier from Geneva, as the company «Rivier et Cie.», invested in the slave-ship «L’Adèle», which in 1787/88 sailed from Le Havre via Cabinda to Port-au-Prince (299/272 slaves) and in 1789/90 from Le Havre via West Central Africa, St. Helena, and Loango to Cap Français (440/400). 1788–1790 He also invested in the slave ship «Conquérant» (1790, Le Havre => West Central Africa => St. Helena => Malembo => Rio Dande => Cap Français, 462/420).

Augustin Simon from Bâle, son of a plantation owner in Saint-Domingue, together with Henry Roques, also from Bâle, founded an indiennes production company in Nantes to suplly the slaving-expedition launched from that port. They were active as «Simon & Roques» and were owners of the following slave-ships: «Duc d’Orléan» (1789/90, Nantes => West Central Africa => St. Helena => Léogâne, 332/302 slaves; 1791/92, Nantes => West Central Africa => St. Helena => Léogâne, 249/227), «Superbe» (1790/91, , Nantes => West Central Africa => St. Helena => Cap Français, 523/476 slaves), «Uranie» (1790/91, Nantes => Cabinda => Saint-Marc, 638/600 slaves), «Roi d’Ardres» (1791/1792, Nantes => Lagos => Prince Island => Port-au-Prince, 225/192), «Frasquita» (1791/92, Nantes => West Central Africa => St. Helena => Ambriz => Malembo, 406/405; 1793, Nantes => captured by Portuguese before embarking slaves).

• «La ville de Bâle» (1786) sailed from La Rochelle and was destined to transport part of its 236 slaves to Cap-Français. The Bâle-based company «Weiss et fils» had invested in the expedition.

• «Le Saturne» (1787/88, Nantes => Bight of Benin => Ouidah => Lagos => Saint-Marc, 353/320 slaves). A citizen from Vevey (Canton of Berne/Vaud, W Switzerland) held shares, the ship carried Swiss cheese from the County of Gruyère and indiennes textiles produced by the companies «Pelloutier» and «Bourcard & Cie.», originally from Bâle.

• Vessels with shares held by one of the three Burkhardt companies originally from Bâle («Christoph Burckhardt & Sohn zur Goldenen Müntz», «Christoph Burckhardt & Cie.», «Bourcard Fils & Cie.»): «Bonne Sophie» (1783/84, Honfleur => Malembo => Cap Français, 499/482 slaves), «Petit Mathurin» (1787/1789, Nantes => West Central Africa => St. Helena => Port-au-Prince, 176/160 slaves); «Véronique» (1787/1788, West Central Africa => St. Helena => Saint-Marc, 275/223), «Georges» (1789/90, West Central Africa => St. Helena => Cap Français, 484/440 slaves), «Roy d’Angole» (1789/1790, Le Havre => Malembo => Port-au-Prince, 549/500 slaves), «Neptune» (1791, La Rochelle => West Central Africa => St. Helena => Cap Français, 386/351 slaves), «Georgette» (1788/89, Nantes => Congo River => Les Cayes, 377/343 slaves; 1791/1792, Nantes => West Central Africa => St. Helena => Malembo => Congo River => Saint-Marc, 336/306 slaves), «Réparateur» (1790/91, La Rochelle => Gold Coast => Port-au-Prince, 420/360 slaves), «Necker» (1789/90, Nantes => West Central Africa => St.Helena => Port-au-Prince, 443/403 slaves; 1790, Bordeaux => Saint Louis => Port-au-Prince, 169/150 slaves; 1790/1791, Le Havre => Moçambique => port-au-Prince, 550/380 slaves),

• «Maréchal de Mouchy» (1783, Bodeaux => West Central Africa => St. Helena => Ile de France => Rio Dande => Cap Français, 960/810 slaves), in which expedition the company «Christoph Burckhardt & Sohn» held a share of 20,000£.

1.7.2 Military

=> 1721–1763, the 3rd company (approx. 200 soldiers) of the Swiss mercenary regiment of marine infantry «de Karrer» was stationed on Saint-Domingue as part of the French troops in the service of the «Compagnie des Indes». The 5th company of the Karrer Regiment was raised in 1752 and sent to Saint-Domingue, too. In 1722, soldiers of the regiment are reported to have been stationed in Petit-Goâve, which briefly functioned as the capital of the French colony. They were commanded by Franz Adam Karrer (1672 – 1741) from Solothurn (NW Switzerland). In 1758, soldiers of that company secured the square where the revolutionary slave leader was burnt. Their commander then was Franz Josef von Hallwyl (1719-1785) from Solothurn, and the regiment was called «de Hallwyl» after him. The Swiss military presence was apparently so well known in Saint-Domingue that during the Haitian revolution, a fighting unit composed of free blacks recruited by the free men of colour to fight for pay was called «Les Suisses».

=> The following military personnel from Switzerland served in Saint-Domingue:

David Philippe Legier de Treytorens, captain 1763–1768

Joseph Pertuys, former soldier in the Swiss Regiment d‘Hallwyl, died in Port-au-Prince in 1768

• Lieutnant Meguin, 1763–1764

Jean Nerette, sergeant in 1764

Frédéric Buscalia, captain of a privateer in the service of the French, demanded the post of a prison warden in Cap-Français in 1783

Paul Louis Cadouche, a sergeant in the Swiss Regiment Karrer and a lieutenant of the King in Cap Français in 1737

Antoine Génaud, dit Vagner, ou Wagner, a reformed captain of the gunners-bombardiers of Saint-Domingue 1734–1774

Jean-Samuel de Mellet (1766–1793) from Vevey (Canton of Berne/Vaud) entered the services of the French early. He was sent to Saint-Domingue as commander of a batallion to suppress the slave rising. Shortly after his arrival he was killed by enemy fire in Les Cayes.

=> In the 1780s, there was a «Compagnie des Suisses» at the service of the Comte d’Artois (from 1824 on the French king Charles X) in Saint-Domingue.

=> David-Philippe Treytorrens (1721-1788) from Yverdon (Canton of Berne/Vaud, W Switzerland) became immensely rich in the service of the Dutch West-India Company. As a captain in the Swiss regiment Hallwyl in the service of France, he helped to suppress a slave rebellion in Saint-Domingue. Through his wife, he was related to a family of French plantation owners and politicians. In 1776 he returned to Switzerland with his two slave children François Mida and Pauline Buisson. Pauline was commented on by the German racist theoretician Friedrich Blumenbach as being «a negro woman of perfect beauty» and «an outstanding midwife with solid professional knowledge».

=> In 1800, Marie Joseph Simon Alexis Vonderweidt (1771- 1802) from Fribourg (W Switzerland) became a colonel in the service of the French. He accompanied Leclerc in his 1802 expedition to Saint Domingue, where he was promoted to Brigadier General. He was stationed in Môle Saint-Nicolas and died of yellow fever in August 1802.

=> In 1797, Joseph Mansell, an «able seaman from Switzerland», took part in the bloody mutiny on the Royal Navy frigate «HMS Hermione». The 32-gun vessel had sailed to Jamaica in 1793, served in the West Indies during the early years of the French Revolutionary Wars, and participated in the British attack on Pot-au-Prince in 1794.

=> Maurus Meyer von Schauensee (1765-1802) from Lucerne (central Switzerland) was Chief of Staff of the French invasion troops on Saint-Domingue.

=> The 3rd Helvetian (Swiss) Half-Brigade had been stationed on Corsica in 1802. On account of a capitulation (treaty) with France, 635 soldiers and officers from Switzerland and other European regions (Poland, Austria, Hungary, Piemont) had to board the man-of-war «Le Redoutable» in Ajaccio on 4th February 1803, in order to reinforce the French troops fighting the rebellious slaves in Saint-Domingue. The 1st batallion of the half-brigade under the command of Captain Jean Gaspar (Hans Kaspar) Wipf from the city of Schaffhausen (N Switzerland) arrived in Port-au-Prince on 5th April 1803 and was immediately integrated into the French infantry. In the end, only 11 men survived the yellow fever and the fighting. They were taken prisoners by the British and transferred to Jamaica.

=> Paul de Cadush (Cadosch), son of a Swiss officer from Graubünden (E Switzerland), was a landowner in Quartier-Morin, member of the Saint-Marc Assembly and president of the second Colonial Assembly. He owned half of a 330-acre sugar plantation. In 1791, he asked English settlers and soldiers in Jamaica for help against the rebellious slaves. After the revolution, he fled to Jamaica.

=> In 1757, Joseph Comte, aka L’Eveille, subject of the bishop of Bâle, soldier of the company de Courpon in Saint-Domingue, applied for a leave.

1.7.3 Ideologica

=> In 1803, the Swiss almanac «Le véritable messager boîteux de Berne et Vevey» published an image called «The cruelty of the negroes», which showed four black rebels besetting a white planter with knives, thus clearly apportioning blame in the ongoing Haitian revolution.

=> For Swiss glaciologist and racist Louis Agassiz (1807-1873), the Haitian Revolution was not a beacon a freedom and democracy, but the great ominous historical warning and bugbear. In a letter to his mother, he wrote in 1846: «Be not tempted by false humanity to tie the future of the white race to that of the black. Because then, the result will merely be a recurrence of the scenes of Saint-Domingue.»

=> Swiss neuroanatomist, psychiatrist and eugenicist Auguste Forel (1848–1931) reported from his trip through the Caribbean in 1878 (voyage from Jamaica to Barbados to St. Lucia) that he could no longer stand «the stench of the negroes» in his cabin and that there were a lot of «negroes and mulattoes» from Haiti on the boat, «whose childish chatter (in French) made him break out laughing.»

=> Henri de Saussure (1829-1905), Swiss mineralogist and entomologist from a prominent Geneva family, undertook a research trip through the Caribbean in 1854-1856. With admiration, he commented on the fact that the French consul had managed to make the Haitians resume their payments of the «independence ransom». The letters which he sent home (which were probably meant as the basis for a later publication) show a vicious racism and a marked euro-centricity:

«The negro has no idea what it means to fix something; he never brushes nor cleans anything; if there happens to be a hole somewhere, nobody tries to repair it – one might think that there is no remedy at all for this evil.»

«Nothing is funnier than listening to a senior official in golden galloons, how he speaks the rather limited and naïve language of the negro.»

«If you talk of a Minister or a general in Switzerland, you know what that means. Here, the former is an orang-utan, the latter a capuchin monkey.»

For other members of the de Saussure family, see «3.1 Anti-Black Racism».

1.8 Jamaica

=> 1719-1734, the city state of Berne as well as the Berne-based banking houses of «Malacrida» and «Samuel Müller» held shares in the speculative South Sea Company. With 253,000 £, Berne was the biggest single investor. The South Sea Company had slave deposits on Jamaica, and it shipped 1,230 slaves from Jamaica to America in the first year of its existence. All in all, it shipped 20,000 slaves from Africa. Those that were left in the docks of Jamaica to die were called «refuse slaves».

=> Hans Rudolf Zeller (1639-1700) and Hans Heinrich Hauser (1638-1683) from Zurich were Anglican clergymen in Jamaica. They probably owned slaves and Zeller complained about the Quakers‘ antislavery activities.

=> One Robert Raillard (1660–1691)‏‎ from Bâle died in Jamaica.

=> Medical doctor Jeremias Müller from Bâle owned a few slaves in Jamaica and was killed by one of them in 1670. Before Jamaica he had lived in Virginia and Brazil for 14 years.

=> Augustine Prévost (1723-1786) from Geneva was an officer in Sardinian, Dutch and British services. In 1761, he fought in the sieges of Martinique and Havana. After the Seven Years War, he was stationed in Kingston as Inspector General in the rank of a lieutenant colonel. In 1774, he was promoted to the rank of colonel.

=> Pierre Cottier from Rougement (Canton of Berne/Vaud) was a student of theology in Berne, where the government stated in 1753 that he would be admitted to the clergy on account of his propriety. However, he preferred  emigration to the Americas around 1750. He was said to have died around 1757 on an unknown plantation on Jamaica. 

=> Johann Bernhard Rätzer (born 1726) was a goldsmith. He was in the English services as engineer-captain of the artillery in Jamaica. He was registered as a captain and island engineer in 1774. He may have been the same Bernhard Ratzer who was said to have been «German» and to have been recruited by the Swiss engineer James (Jacques) Prévost into the 60th American Regiment on Foot. He drew the famous «Ratzer Plan» or Map of New York City in 1769.

=> In 1785, the «Appenzeller Calender», an annual publication with astronomical and agricultural information, entertaining texts and national and international news headquartered in Trogen (Canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden, E Switzerland), contained a lengthy «Historical Description of Kingtston, a city in America – in letters». The author, possibly from Lower Saxony in Germany, is rather put off by the wealth and splendor of the colonists and gives a critical rendering of a slave market, organized after the arrival of a French slaver with 550 «humans» from the Guinea Coast. He concludes that the colonists all die young on account of their unhealthy lifestyles and wishes he were home again, eating potatoes rather than pineapples.

=> Of the 635 soldiers and officers from Switzerland and other European countries who fought in Saint-Domingue in 1803 to put down the slave revolution, only about 11 survived. Some of them were taken prisoners of war by the British and transferred to Jamaica: Captain Albert Deflue, Sub-lieutenant Leonard Tremp, and Sub-lieutenant Frederic Rutz.

=> Caspar Landolt von Oehrlingen from the Canton of Zurich entered the British Regiment of York Light Infantry Volunteers stationed in Jamaica. His death there was reported in 1817. Johannes Meister from Andelfingen (also Canton of Zurich) had also served in that regiment.

=> John Campbell, 2nd Marquess of Breadalbane (1796–1862), Scottish nobleman, Liberal politician, and Rector of Glasgow University 1840–1842, was awarded compensation of £6,630 for 379 enslaved people on his family’s Hope estate in St Andrew, Jamaica, on 25 July 1836. He died in Lausanne, Switzerland.

=> Henri de Saussure from Geneva (see 1.5.3) took a trip to Jamaica in 1854. On the boat, he made the acquaintance of a planter from Cuba, who owned 300 slaves. De Saussure thought him «a great and good-natured guy». In Cuba, de Saussure commented on Jamaica and Haiti:

=> Auguste Forel (1848–1931) from Morges in the Canton of Vaud (see 1.5.3) commented on Jamaica during his trip through the Caribbean in 1878: «Order on the island is exemplary, at least externally. But inside, the Negroes are hardly any better than anywhere else.»

=> When the racist «scientist» Charles Davenport (1866-1944) in his book Race Crossing in Jamaica (1929) tried to prove that «…Whites are relatively swift and accurate, the Blacks are slow but accurate, while the Browns are slow and inaccurate…», he based himself on the authority of Louis Agassiz (1807-1783) from Môtier (Canton of Fribourg, NW Switzerland). The Swiss professor of zoology and geology at Harvard had advocated the same theories of the purportedly fatal consequences of racial mixing in A Journey in Brazil (1868). Davenport in his turn was used as an authority by the Nazi racial hygienists and quoted extensively in their 1936 standard work Menschliche Erblehre und Rassenhygiene (Baur, Fischer, Lenz, 1936).

=> English abolitionist George Thompson (1804-1878), in his three lectures on British and colonial slavery, had this to say on the 1832 slave revolt in Jamaica:

«How do we speak of individuals struggling for liberty all over the world? – of a Tell in Switzerland, – a Byron in Greece, – a Bolivar in Mexico, –a Brutus at Rome, – a Lafayette at Paris? And let me remember, before we answer this question, that the rebels of Jamaica were more enslaved, more brutalised, –had more insults and wrongs to complain of, and were a million times more oppressed than ever were the Swiss, the Greeks, the Mexicans, the Romans, or the French. (Great applaus)»

1.9 Montserrat

=> From 1772 to 1796, Peter Thelluson (1737-1797), a Swiss banker, entrepreneur and slave-owner from Geneva, owned a share in Windmill Estate in Montserrat.

1.10 St. Vincent & The Grenadines

=> David de Duveluz, from Bournens in the Canton of Berne/Vaud, living in London, creditor of Patrick Wilkie, to whom he sold two plantations on the island of Saint-Vincent in 1780.

1.11 Suriname

 For the chapter on Suriname, I owe a great deal to the profound knowledge and the persistent research activities of Dr. Klaus Stuckert, researcher and former lecturer on Caribbean literature (Wetzikon ZH, Switzerland).

=> Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717), from the original Bâle branch of her family, left a few critical remarks on slavery during her stay in Suriname (1699-1701) in her work Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium. However, she never questioned slavery as such, and used indigenous and African slaves for her research and expeditions. She herself enslaved an indigenous woman during her voyage back to Holland in order to obtain first-hand botanical information. The details of this indigenous woman’s life beyond her servile captivity on the journey to Amsterdam were not documented by Merian and are therefore unknown.

=> Marx Friedrich Högger (b. 1733) from St.Gallen died in Suriname. In 1771, he married ‏‎Katharina Spruyt‏‎ in Amsterdam. They had one son, Jeremias Högger (b. 1773 in Amsterdam).

=> In 1770, Judith Coin from Echallens in the Canton of Berne/Vaud (W Switzerland), widow of Vulle Nuhouser, inherited 1000 Dutch guilder from the property of her husband in Suriname.

=> In 1784, Théophilus Cazenove (1740–1811) from a Huguenot Geneva family, son of Théophile Cazenove (1708–1760), was registered as the owner of plantation St Domingo (375 acres) in Suriname. It once belonged to Volkert van Jever (1706-1774), his father-in-law. In 1827, it was just a «houtgrond» and without owner.

=> Around 1792, Lieutenant Rod from the Canton of Berne/Vaud (NW Switzerland) was stationed in Suriname.

=> In the 1790s, Bernhardin Peyer from the Canton of Schaffhausen (N Switzerland), mercenary captain in the service of the Dutch in Suriname, died in Paramaribo. An agreement was reached over his heritage between the families Peyer and von Waldkirch. Two members of the latter, Franz (1771-1813) and Johann Conrad von Waldkirch (1784-1805) from Schaffhausen, were colonists in Surinam. One Johann Heinrich von Waldkirch was in the service of the Dutch Westindian Company and died in Suriname in 1789. One Johannes von Waldkirch from Schaffhausen died in Suriname in 1788.

=> Philippe de Chambrier (1701-1756) from Neuchâtel (NW Switzerland), chief engineer in the rank of a lieutenant-colonel, was given command of the Dutch colony of Suriname in 1742.

=> In 1859, Swiss chocolate factory Maestrani (St.Gallen, E Switzerland) imported cocoa beans from Suriname, where slavery was abolished as late as 1863.

=> An uncle of Auguste-Frédéric de Meuron’s (1789-1852) from Neuchâtel was a merchant in Suriname.

=> Gabriel Gottlieb Jakob Furer (1825–1866)‏‎ from Obersimmental in the Canton of Berne died in Paramaribo. He had been a merchant and a missionary.

=> In 1747, the governor of Suriname, Johan Jacob Mauricius (1692-1768), launched a project of German and Swiss settlers to colonise the territory. In Switzerland, the city of Bâle was chosen for recruitment and the colonists were promised 10 slaves per family. In 1748, ten families or 93 people from Bâle set out for Suriname, but the project by Louis de Bussy, who was a physician from Switzerland in Paramaribo, was a failure and many of the emigrants, who had to create a village called «Carolinenburg», succumbed to maroon attacks or tropical diseases. An 1807 map of Suriname (Christlieb Quandt, Nachricht von Suriname und seinen Einwohnern sonderlich den Arawacken, Warauen und Karaiben, … Goerlitz, 1807) still shows five «Schweizer Dörfer» (Swiss villages) between Carolinenburg on the Suriname River and Post «7 Provinces» on the Saramaka. River.

=> Beat Ludwig Braun of Berne took part in all the expeditions in the West Indies from 1738–1744 under the British Admiral Edward Vernon (1684-1757). This took place in the context of the War of Jenkins‘ Ear (known as Guerra del Asiento), which was a conflict between Britain and Spain over the lucrative slave-trading contracts with the South Sea Company. The campaigns in which Beat Ludwig Braun took part included landing at Port Royal, the British fleets stronghold on Jamaica, the capture of Porto Bello (Panama), the assault on Cartagena de las Indias, and the capture of Guantánamo Bay on Cuba. From 1750-1757, Braun was in Suriname.

=> Nicolas Laurent Robatel (±1751-1817) from Noréaz in the Canton of Fribourg was commander in Paramaribo (Suriname) in the rank of a colonel in the Dutch corps of engineers. He was first married to Elisabeth Dandiran, daughter of David François Dandiran from Geneva (see below).

=> In 1774, Abraham Moiseszoon Perret-Gentil (1747–1824) from Le Locle in the Canton of Neuchâtel (then part of Prussia) joined the Dutch military, became captain of the marine regiment Bentinck and soon left for Suriname. He got married in 1776 in Paramaribo. In 1793, he took over the command of the garrison of Curaçao. In 1797, he was stationed in Saint Domingue for a short time, probably because the Dutch cooperated with the French. At the end of his career, he was brigadier general of the French army. He died in Lyon.

=> Abraham Moiseszoon Perret-Gentil’s son Claude François Frederic Perret-Gentil (1777-1818) was an officier on Curaçao from 1796 on and became the founding father of the Curaçao branch of the Perret gentil family.

=> In 1772, the Dutch lost control over the rebellious maroons after a four-year war. In 1773, Holland sent an armada with 800 men under the command of Colonel Louis Henri Fourgeoud (1708-1779) from Bussigny-près-Lausanne (Canton of Berne/Vaud, W Switzerland) to put down the rebellion. They fought until 1777.

=> In 1775, Swiss captain Meylan from the Vallée de Joux (Canton of Berne/Vaud) led a military patrol against the village of Gabo Saby, which was under the command of Boni, the leader of black resistance in Suriname.

=> In 1777, the «Appenzeller Calender», an annual publication with astronomical and agricultural information, entertaining texts and national and international news headquartered in Trogen (Canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden, E Switzerland), contained a lengthy description of slavery and the slave trade, including information on the triangular trade, investments, living conditions in the West Indies, plantation life expectancy and slave prices in Brazil, Suriname and at the Cape of Good Hope. The «Appenzeller Calender» had been founded by Johannes Tobler from Rehetobel, who in 1736 had emigrated to the Carolinas to become a slave-owner himself. Tobler remained co-editor until 1754.

=> During the continental blockade, a large-scale embargo against British trade decreed by Napoleon and valid for Switzerland, too, the Zurich authorities in 1810 published a list of colonial goods which would be subject to this embargo. among them were: long-fibre cotton from Brazil, Guyana, Suriname and Demerara, cotton from the Levant imported across the sea and imported overland.

=> In 1810, the cantonal authorities of Zurich dealt with a number of complaints from local trading houses on account of the conflict between France and Britain («continental blockade») which led to sequestrations. The goods concerned were, among others, long fiber cotton from Suriname.

=> In his letters, plantation administrator Marc Warnery (1797-1836) from Morges in the Canton of Vaud (see below), mentions a tightly-knit network of Swiss countrymen and -women in the colony of Suriname: Edouard Caliste Cusin (surgeon, member of the court on St. Eustacius 1835–1837, † 1838), the Guignards (Antoine, carpenter, and his wife Charlotte from Payerne VD), the Guigaud family, one Frédéric from Lugano in the Canton of Ticino (captain of an army division), Mr. Jacot from La Chaux-de-Fonds (watchmaker), Mr. Meyer from Aubonne VD (first apothecary, then surgeon), Mr. Perret-Gentil (colonial administrator) and the Bertoud family (with Mr. Berthoud, a cousin of one of the Guigauds, a merchant and plantation owner in Paramaribo, see below).

=> In 1837, Johann Rudolf Passavant from Basel, superintendant of the Moravian mission in Suriname since 1829, reported that slaves in Suriname had become restless because they had heard about slavery emancipation in the British colonies of 1834. At the same time, he was relieved that the slaves did not understand English. The Moravians‘ missionary principles towards the slaves was expressed in 1850 like this: «We do not want to liberate the slaves, who were entrusted to us, from their status nor do we want to make them restless, but our aim is the opposite, which is that they should become more useful, happier and more satisfied with their status determined by God.» In 1836, according to a slave register, Passavant bought two male slaves, Charles and Candase, from Baron van Heeckeren, the governor of Suriname, and sold them again the same day. After the slave rebellion in the Nickerie in 1837, Passavant reported having been asked by the governor to accompany the expedition of 36 troops and 10 «criminals» back to their plantations to teach all the slaves on those plantations to forget «the false worship by which they were seduced» and to teach them the true gospel. Passavant had in vain tried to convert the leader of the rebellion on several visits in prison. In 1844, a mulatto called John Claver stated before a British Judge in a mixed court in Surinam that he had been the slave of Mr. Passavant, who had left him to be sold by the other missionaries when he left the colony.

=> In 1850, Johann Ludwig Gutmann from the Canton of Zurich, was in the service of the 27th Battalion of Infantry stationed in Paramaribo.

=> Between 1791 and 1796, mercenary Captain Bernhardin Peyer from the Canton of Schaffhausen died in Paramaribo.

=> Pierre François Rod (born 1759) from Ropraz (Canton of Berne/Vaud) lived in Paramaribo and married Johanna Henrietta in 1797.

=> In 1846, a settlement was reached between the siblings Sophia and Emil Paravicini from the Canton of Zurich concerning the properties in Surinam of their brother Major General Paravicini.

=> Plantation owners, co-owners, administrators or directors in Suriname with Swiss backgrounds:

• In 1700, Pieter Miville from Switzerland (possibly from Basel) came to Suriname as a carpenter. In 1714, he started the plantation Salzhalen on Commetewanekreek. It had only few slaves. He got married to Maria Jansz in the same year. His wife was a mulatto and a slave from Saint Nevis and had been manumitted in 1713. She was the half-sister of the famous Afro-Surinamese coffee plantation owner Elisabeth Samson (1715—1771). Pieter Miville died in a slave rising, and Salzhalen later became an important coffee plantation. It bordered on the sugar plantation Hoyland (see Faesch family).

Amédée Jaques Sugnens (1737-1773) from Moudon (Canton of Berne/Vaud, W Switzerland), clergyman of the French Church in Paramaribo, together with father and son Jean and Pierre Chevalier from Switzerland, owned the sugar plantations La Liberté and Acaribo (with at least a dozen slaves). In 1770, Sugnens, together with Nicolas David Guisan (appr. 1727-1781, in Suriname since 1759) from the Canton of Berne/Vaud, acquired the coffee plantation Leliëndaal on the Commewjine River (1000 acres, 187 slaves). In 1781 Nicolas David Guisan and Rosa Du Toit-Sugnens, Amédéé’s sister, each owned half of the property of Leliëndaal and La Liberté. In his last will of 1781, decreed that a certain Nanetta Gerarda (ca. 1771-1852), whom he recognized as his legitimate daughter, was to be freed. She was probably the child of a liaison with a slave called Johanna la Liberté, his «housekeeper». Abraham Moiseszoon Perret-Gentil (1747 – 1824) and Elisabeth Jacoba Lijnslager (1744 – 1804) became Nanetta’s foster parents.

• In 1753, Jacques Roux (1717-1780) from a Lausanne Huguenot family (Canton of Berne/Vaud), arrived in Paramaribo. In 1757, he became «Raad van Politie en Crimineele Justitie», i.e. part of the colonial administration, and in 1758 he was co-administrator of the plantations Roosenburg and Mon Bijou. On Tapoeripakreek, he established the plantation Lausanne, and with François Louis Chaillet from Neuchâtel he co-owned the estate Boniface outside Paramaribo, of which he later became the sole proprietor. In 1759, he married Anna Kennedy-Arnout (1723-1770), owner of the coffee plantation Visserszorg. Were present at the wedding: Gouvernor Crommelin and his wife, as well as David Francois Dandiran, plantation owner from Geneva. After the death of his wife in 1770, Roux married Elisabeth Dandiran (1751-1800), daughter of David François Dandiran. In 1772, their son Jacques François was born, and the baptism performed by Minister Heinrich Grob from Zurich saw the presence of church elder Nicolas David Guisan (appr. 1727-1781), plantation owner and administrator from a Swiss family from the Canton of Berne/Vaud. When Roux died in 1780, plantation Visserszorg was registered with 328 slaves. In 1787 Elisabeth Roux-Dandiran married Nicolas Laurent Robatel (±1751-1817) from Noréaz in the Canton of Fribourg, commander in Paramaribo in the rank of a colonel in the Dutch corps of engineers. The couple now owned the four plantations Visserszorg, Lausanne, Rouxgift and Beaulieu. In 1821, Henry Louis Perret-Gentil (1779–1824) figured as administrator of the combined plantation of VisserszorgLausanneRouxgift , and as late as 1850, a member of the Roux family was still registered as co-administrator of Visserszorg, now a sugar plantation with some 300 slaves.

Abraham Moiseszoon Perret-Gentil’s son Henry Louis Perret-Gentil (1779–1824) became owner of the following plantations: Dageraad on the Commewijne (sugar, 3600 acres), La Persévérance on the Paramarica (coffee, 1200 acers), Lust en Rust on the Suriname River (coffee, 800 acres); he also became administrator of the plantations Visserszorg (into which Lausanne and Rouxgift had been integrated) on the Commewijne (sugar, 1000 acres, 260 slaves), Resolutie on the Jonkermannskreek (sugar, 1500 acres), De Resolutie on the Suriname River (sugar, 1500 acres), Standvastighheid on the Tapoeripakreek (cotton, 810 acres), Stolkwijk on the Motkreek (coffee and cotton, 300 acres), Zeewyk on the Motkreek (cotton, 790 acres), Dageraad and Dankbaarheid (cotton, together 1100 acres), Libanon on the Cottica (sugar 1800 acres, 81 slaves in 1834), and Jonge Beyekorf (coffee). He was also a member of the colonial administration («Hof van Policie en Krimineel Justitie») and 1819–1824 commander of the Paramaribo militia in the rank of a lieutenant-colonel. He died on a trip to Europe in Den Haag.

Nicolas David Guisan (appr. 1730-1781) from the Canton of Berne/Vaud, together with François Louis Chaillet from Neuchâtel, was administrator of the sugar plantation Le Mat-Rouge on Perica Creek (2,500 acres, 110 slaves). He also administered for «Clifford & Chevalier» the plantations Le Mat-Rouge on the Perica, Mijn Geluk on the Orleane, La Nouvelle Esperance on the Cottica, and Groot-Chattillon on the Suriname River. In 1772, Nicolas Guisan, together with E. J. Chaillet-Leijnslager, was administrator of the coffee plantations Perou (890 acres, 158 slaves) and Va comme je te pousse (1000 acres, 113 slaves), and of the sugar plantation Libanon (1500 acres, 161 slaves), all three on the Cottica River. In 1781 Nicolas Guisan and Rosa Du Toit-Sugnens, Amédéé Jacques Sugnens‚ sister, owned half of the property.

Jan Daniel Bartholomey was born in 1748 in Neuchâtel (Switzerland). In 1775, he married Anna Catharina Mardorff in Suriname. The Sranan Tongo plantation name Batrome (for Leyderdorp) is derived from his name. In 1793, he was administrator of the following plantations: Charlottenburg (coffee) on the Cottica, Catharinenburg on the Cabbes Kreek, Nimmer door on the Commewijne, Des Tombesburg (sugar, 1800 acres, 188 slaves in 1770)on the Boven-Commewijne, Vlaardingen on the Cottica and Weltevreeden on the Commewijne.

• In 1823, Marc Warnery (1797-1836) from Morges in the Canton of Vaud, sailed to Suriname, where he first became an overseer («blanc-officier») on Beekhuizen and on the sugar plantation Tout-lui-Faut (200 slaves) and later an itinerant administrator of the plantations Goede Vreede (sugar), Kleinslust (coffee), Boksweide (sugar), Hazard (sugar), and Djikveld (sugar). Accompanying him on his trip to Suriname was a carpenter called Guignard from Aubonne in the Canton of Vaud, who also became a slave-owner.

• In 1848, 2/45 of the coffee-plantation Sorgvliet (1000 acres, 93 slaves) on the Commewijne River were in the hands of one Frederique (Frederica) de Paravicini. At emancipation in 1863, she owned the whole plantation together with a community of owners, among them three members of the Brazil branch of the Paravicini family. They received over 23,000.- guilder in compensation for 77 slaves. The Paravicini family were a noble family with branches in the Cantons of Grisons, Glarus and Bâle. Family members were found in the mercenary service of Holland and France. As early as 1692, a «Freikompagnie» (a non-official unit) from the Canton of Glarus was in the service of Holland under the command of a member of the Paravicini family.

Moïse Tissot from Geneva owned a sugar plantation, which on his death in 1692 went to his mother, who lived in Vuillerens (Canton of Berne/Vaud, W Switzerland). Later, François Fatio (1622–1704) of the merchant banking company «Fatio & fils» from Geneva acquired three thirds of the plantation. It was inherited by Jean-Baptiste Fatio after his father’s death. In 1693 there was a litigation over the heritage involving Isaac de Mestral and Gabriel Henri de Mestral (1670-1753) from the Canton of Berne/Vaud. However, the supreme court in Bern deemed Francois Fatio & Son the rightful owners of the two plantations. Fatio & Son – with the aid of Jean Tourton – were able to hold on to the estates.

• In 1688, coming from Suriname, Abel Tissot from the vicinity of Mollens in the Canton of Berne / Vaud appeared off the coast of Tobago and, with an armed band, tried to wrench the island away from the British together with what was left of the original Dutch settlers. Lieutenant Tissot became a member of the colonial administration («raad van policie») and 1677–1678 acting governor of Suriname. In 1681, he was involved in a business transaction concerning 2624 pounds of sugar. Abel Tissot died in Suriname. In 1710, the Bernese government requested its ambassador to Holland, Saint Saphorin, to make inquiries concerning the valuable estate of Abel Tissot (Thysso). In 1711, the Canton of Berne turned to the government of the Netherlands concerning the legacy of Abel and Moïse Tissot. The respective Amsterdam documents also mention an Amsterdam merchant called Jieronymus Huntziger (born 1692 in Aaarau).

Vriendsbeleid en Ouderzorg was a coffee plantation on the Commewijne River in Suriname. It was founded by Abraham Vereul, who came to Suriname in 1714 via Rouen. In 1716 he married Elisabeth Felix, who originally came from Aarau (Canton of Berne/Aargau) in Switzerland.

• At the beginning of the 18th century, Pierre Antoine Charbon from Treytorrens (Payerne, Canton of Berne/Vaud, W Switzerland) together with his family fled to Holland and later owned plantations in Suriname and Berbice. In 1826, the company «Charbon and Son» bought the coffee plantation Crappahoek (1000 acres) on the Nickerie River, which was still in the hands of the Charbon family in 1860. It also owned the coffee plantation Nieuwe Aanleg (1500 acres) on the Nickerie River. In the years of emancipation 1863, the company also owned the sugar plantation Hamburg on the Beneden-Saramacca River.

• In the middle of the 18th century, David François Dandiran (…1774) from Geneva started the coffee plantation Nooytgedacht (later renamed Ellen) on the Cottica River. He also owned the sugar plantation Guineesche Vriendschap on the Suriname River and the plantation Beekvliet on the Cottica. He was a captain in the citizens‘ militia, served in the criminal justice system, and represented the trading company «Jan van der Poll» from Amsterdam. When he died, his plantations were bought by Jean André Tourton from a Geneva family.

• In 1770, François Louis Chaillet from Neuchâtel owned the sugar plantation Rosenburg on the Boven Commewijne Rivier in the Paramaribo area with some 170 slaves. In 1771, he also owned half of the plantation Libanon (capital 150,000 guilders).

• In 1769, Jean Samuel Guisan from Avenches (Canton of Berne/Vaud) emigrated to Paramaribo and from his uncle Nicolas David Guisan took over the administration of the plantations La Liberté and Accaribo (together representing a capital of 700,00 guilders) together with J.G. Tschiffely (Chifféli) from La Neuveville (Canton of Berne), who had been director of these plantations since 1749.

Jean-Zacharie Robin from Geneva owned a coffee and cotton plantation called La Campagne. In 1779, he handed over its administration to a lawyer in Paramaribo and returned to Geneva. On his death in 1783, the plantation passed to his son Chrétien-André, who appointed Charles Pache from Morges (Canton of Berne/Vaud) as administrator. One André-Dominique Robin was born in Paramaribo in 1810 and died in Geneva in 1871. While in Suriname, he was a judicial counselor. La Campagne remained in the hands of the Robin family until 1821.

Alfred Jacques Henri Berthoud (1802-1887) from a noble Neuchâtel family (NW Switzerland) settled in Suriname in 1821. He bought and administered coffee, sugar and cotton plantations including their slaves. He was married to Christiana Esther Weissenbruck, daughter of the governor of Suriname. In 1834, he returned to Switzerland, but remained an absentee landlord. In 1839, he owned: 1/3 of La Prosperité (161 slaves, 3200 acres, wood), Livorno (155 slaves, 1800 acres, sugar), Killenstein (104 slaves, 725 acres, coffee), Boksweide (213 slaves, 900 acres, sugar), Bertaud’s Lust (213 slaves, 903 acres, sugar), 1/3 of Meyndershoop (1000 acres, wood), Rees en Corp (10 slaves, 1000 acres), and 1/3 of Ornamibo (202 slaves, 669 acres, sugar). In 1840, Berthoud returned to Suriname for a year in order to sell his property. His son, Alphonse Henri Berthoud-Coulon (1839–1913), became a banker in London and in 1879 bought the castle of Gorgier (Canton of Neuchâtel), which had once belonged to the de Pourtalès family.

• Charles Joseph Duruz from Estavayer in the Canton of Fribourg must have been in Suriname at least 1823–1840. He started as director of the plantation Dijkveld (sugar, 1000 acres) on the Suriname River, where he also applied for the manumission of Josephina, daughter of the mulatto slave woman Louisa. In 1827, he was director of sugar plantation Houttuin (2300 acres). In 1828 he is mentioned as co-administrator with a member of the German Weissenbruch family, major plantation owners. He then went on a trip to Europe. In 1834, he was back in Suriname as director and co-administrator of sugar plantation De jonge Bijekorf (1000 acres, 92 slaves). In 1836, he appeared fort he first time as co-administrator on Berthoud’s plantations. Berthoud then started doubting Duruz‚ qualities: he had been ill, had recovered but was now devoted to alcohol. In 1840, another manumission was registered for Duruz: For 1000 guilders he bought the freedom of slave children Carel Constant van Duruz and Elisabeth Nanette van Duruz. They were called Duruz because their mother had been manumitted under this name. In 1841, Duruz planned another trip to Europe, this time with Alfred van Duruz, probably a coloured minor.  From there, his traces are lost. In 1852, Charles Constant van Duruz owned three slaves: Wilhelmijntje (born 1829) and her children und Louisa Francina Constantia Duruz and Josephine Cucient Elisabeth van Duruz, who was manumitted in 1855. Duruz seems to have left behind a large (coloured) kinship in Suriname.

• In 1772, Charles Alexandre Dunant from Geneva (from the same family as Henri Dunant (1828-1910), Swiss founder of the Red Cross) owned plantations in Suriname, among them the sugar plantation Boxel on the Suriname River with 124 slaves. In Geneva in 1770, he recruited workers and an overseer for the slaves. Together with his wife Jeanna Dekanter, he travelled to Suriname in 1772. Probably in 1793, they returned to Geneva. En 1801, he entered into an association with Marc Antoine Fazy and Paul Roux, creating a family enterprise «for the export of linen textiles and other articles».

Isaac Vernet (1700-1773), banker in Paris, left to his son Isaac Vernet (Geneva) the sum of 16,000 guilders in 16 bonds of a plantation company in Suriname.

Michel Trollet from Geneva owned plantations in Surinam from 1740-1770. One of them was called Mon Plaisir.

• Protestant clergyman Heinrich Grob from Zurich emigrated to Suriname, where he was employed by the Dutch West India Company (WIC), who paid him with money and slaves. He retired from the pulpit in 1783. In 1803, his widow intervened with the Swiss federal and the Zurich authorities to secure the 500 guilders pension which she had been promised by the Dutch West Indian Company.

• In 1755, Salomé Högger -Rietmann) together with her son Daniel Högger from St.Gallen (E Switzerland) owned the sugar plantation La Liberté on the Suriname River, including its 132 slaves and 45 slave children. The plantation was founded by Pierre Chevalier, whose daughter Sara Chevalier (1702–1751) married Jacques Christoffel Hogguer (1697–1738) from St.Gallen. It probably stayed in St.Gallen hands until the 1770s. The slave-register of 1755 was created with the help of J.G. Chifelli (family from La Neuveville, Berne). Another Daniel Högger, probably Salomé Högger’s grandson and a magistrate in Amsterdam, had high-level connections with the mortgage fund Harman van de Poll & Co, which was among the foremost financiers in Suriname, investing some 4.5 million guilders in 40 plantations.

• On Para Creek in Suriname, there were two plantations called Zwitsergrond and DrieZwitsergrond. This probably goes back to the fact that around the middle of the 18th century, some of the local lands were given to smale-scale farmers from Switzerland. On those plantations, fugitive slaves from the 1733 Berbice rebellion were defeated. In a 1856 plantation list, the two plantations only figure as Zwitserland. Also on Para Creek and close to the two above-mentioned, there was a timber plantation called Munchenstein. It was fist mentioned in 1819. Münchenstein is a village in the canton of Basel-Landschaft (NW Switzerland).

• In the 18th century, members of the Faesch family from Bâle owned, held bonds or shares on the Surinam plantations Herstelling (coffee and cotton), Marienburg (sugar), Voorburg (sugar), Leyerdorp, Weltevreden (coffee), Waterland (sugar), Palmeniribo, Surimombo, Charlottenburg (coffee), Bekenhorst, Egmont, Rhijnbeek, Mon Tresor (coffee) and Hoyland. The sugar plantation Hoyland was owned by the Faesch family as late as 1852. One Nicolaas Faas (Faesch?) held shares in the Societeit van Berbice. On her wedding in 1782, Margarethe Maria Faesch from Bâle received plantations as a dowry from her parents, and out of gratitude christened her country estate near Bâle «Zum kleinen Surinam» (Little Suriname). Until today, a bus-stop in that area is called «Surinam».

• The son of Margarethe Maria Faesch, Johann Rudolf Rhyner, was sent to Suriname to administer his mother’s plantations. With an enslaved woman, he had a son called Jan Harry Rhyiner, whom he recognized as his legitimate offspring. He wanted to buy both the mother’s and the son’s freedom, but slave owner Boedeker only allowed the purchase of Jan Harry. Johann Rudolf then married a mulatto woman called Missi Groenberg. Later he returned to Basel, and when he committed suicide in 1824, he left a fortune of 350,000 Swiss francs.

Pierre Alexandre DuPeyrou (1729–1794) from Neuchâtel (NW Switzerland) owned plantations in Suriname, which he had inherited from his father Pierre. These were the sugar plantations Libanon and La Nouvelle Espérance on the Cottica River, as well as the coffee plantation Pérou and the timber plantation L’Espérance on Para Creek. These plantations generated for Pierre Alexandre DuPeyrou an income of 24,000-40,000 guilders per annum. In 1843, the plantations Libanon and Zuinigheid (with 53 slaves) were still registered as being in the hands of «Erven du Pyrou» (heirs of the DuPeyrou family).

Jacques-Joseph DuPeyrou (1734–1788) from the Neuchâtel family owned the plantations Monserrat on the Cottica River and La Bonne Amitié (sugar) on Para Creek. On the Commewjine River, Jan (or Jean) DuPeyrou (1700–1767) owned the coffee plantation Picardie. His daughter Luzia du Peyrou (1729–1791) was born in Paramaribo. One J. P. Du-Peyrou owned the coffee and cotton plantation Guadeloupe. In 1786, a certificate of baptism registered the birth of an «illegitimate mulatto child» named François Johannes Jacobus Maarb, whose mother was the «free negro» Lucretie van du Peijrou.

• In 1703, a service contract was signed between Jean Tourton, owner of plantations in Suriname, originally from Geneva, and Nicolas Hachen from Reichenbach (Canton of Berne, central Switzerland). Hachen committed himself for two years of work on the plantations owned by Jean Tourton and Jean-Baptiste Fatio from Geneva. In 1706, administration of the Tourton and Fatio plantations passed into the hands of Isaac Tourton and Jean André Guiguer.

=> In 1694, a contract was concluded in Geneva between Jan (Jean) Tourton and the carpenters Claude Braillard from Gourgy (?) in the Canton of Neuchâtel and Nicolas Wis (Wyss?) from Berne.

• At the beginning of the 18th century, Jean-André Guiger (born 1671) from the Canton of Thurgau (NE Switzerland) died in Surinam, where his uncle Jean Tourton had owned the coffee plantation Ellen on the Commewijne River. Jean Tourton had been director of the «Sociëteit van Suriname» from 1698-1706 and had created the coffee plantation Tourtonne near Paramaribo. The «Sociëteit van Suriname» was created in 1683 and was owned ­– one third each – by the City of Amsterdam, the West Indian Company and the Aerssen of Sommerlsdijck family.

• Student of theology Ami Butini (1718-1780) from Geneva inherited the plantation Tulpenburg on a tributary to the Commewijne River. He settled and got married in 1753 in Paramaribo, where he also served as a Dutch legal officer. In 1759, he offered a number of ethnographic objects to the Geneva Library, among them a foetus de nègre. Johanna Magdalena Buttini (1773-1829), born a «redeemed mulatto» (a manumitted child of a white man and a negro woman) in Paramaribo might have been his daughter.

Gédéon Flournois (1639-1684) from Geneva studied theology in 1659, was ordained as minister of the Calvinist State Church and worked as hospital pastor in 1667. He became a plantation owner in Suriname and on his death left his plantations to his son David Flournois. The latter sold his plantations and his house in 1755, and settled as a banker in Paris.

Jean Gallatin (1733-1765) from Geneva left his underage son Albert (the future US Secretary of the Treasury) his share in the plantation Le Mat-Rouge in Surinam. The other half was held by Georges-Alexandre Rolaz (1728-1805), citizen of Geneva and Rolle (Canton of Berne/Vaud), captain in the service of the Dutch army, and by Alphonse Rolaz from Rolle.

1.12 Trinidad and Tobago

=> In 1688, coming from Suriname, Abel Tissot from the vicinity of Mollens in the Canton of Berne / Vaud appeared off the coast of Tobago and, with an armed band, tried to wrench the island away from the British together with what was left of the original Dutch settlers.

=> In 1795, the Faesch family from Bâle held shares in the plantation Vriendschap on Tobago.

=> In 1781, Henry Peschier (1741-1791) from a Geneva Huguenot family landed in Port-of-Spain with his wife, children, brother Jean and his mother-in-law. He received 179 acres of land from the Spanish governor, which through the work of slaves he turned into the sugar plantation Paradise Estate. After his death, the plantation remained the property of his wife Celeste Rose Peschier (1755-1817) until her death. The heirs then sold it to the governor. Henry’s brother Jean and his wife Elizabeth were granted 523 acres of land in Naparima along the river Guaracara, which they turned into a sugar estate. Henry also received land at Point-a-Pierre. The family spread in the early 19th century, and the «Former British Colonial Dependencies, Slave Registers, 1813-1834» record some 600 slaves in the hands of members of the Peschier family.

=> Sir Ralph James Woodford (1784-1828), Peter Thelluson’s nephew and a trustee of his will after the death of his uncle Matthew Woodford, was governor of Trinidad from 1813 to 1828. He was also a strong apologist for the retention of slave labour.

=> Georg Ludwig Vonwiller (1793­–1835) from a St.Gallen family moved to Trinidad, where he «imported» a female slave in 1822. He married Gabrielle d’Ey, and they had four children: Georg Heinrich (born 1824 in Grenada), Franz Adolf (b. 1826), Andreas (b. 1833). and Louise Maria Anna (b. 1834).


2.1 Cuba

=> In 1815, Heinrich Escher (1776-1853), member of the Escher family from Zurich and father of industrialist, politician and railway tycoon Alfred Escher (1819-1882), bought the coffee plantation Buen Retiro southwest of Havanna, including 87 slaves, for his brothers Friedrich Ludwig und Ferdinand Escher, who administered it. Friedrich Ludwig Escher died in 1845, and in 1847, Heinrich Escher inherited the plantation, the slaves and the infrastructure with a total worth of 40,000 pesos, about 800,000 Swiss francs in today’s worth. As has been argued by German historian Michael Zeuske, one of the authorities on slavery in general and Caribbean and Cuban slavery in particular, Federico (Friedrich Ludwig Escher) begat a child with his enslaved washer-woman Serafina, which means that Alfred Escher, the great champion of politics and industry, had a little Afro-Cuban cousin born into slavery.

=> Heinrich Studer (1779-1831) from Winterthur in the Canton of Zurich lived in Matanzas as a plantation owner.

=> Johannes Köhli‏‎ (1773–1814) from Biel in the Canton of Berne worked in Cuba as a merchant and died there.

=> Karl Wilhelm Scherb (1780–1827) from Bischofszell in the Canton of Thurgau emigrated to the USA and then to Cuba, where he lived as a merchant and a manufacturer. He died in Havanna.‏‎

=> Johann Ulrich Zellweger (1804–1871) from the village of Trogen (Canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden, NE Switzerland) migrated to Cuba in 1831, where he was intended to take over the Studer plantation. But Studer had died, and Zellweger started to work for a number of merchant houses founded and owned by members of the Drake family. The original family firm had been founded by James Drake (1763-1838), a shrewd trader from England, who had married into the Cuban aristocracy and become a sugar-plantation owner. In 1840, Zellweger became a member of the executive quartet of Drake Brothers & Co., together with James Drake’s son Charles, proprietor of a sugar plantation with 400 slaves, Alexander Friedrich, Charles Respinger, and José Morales. In 1842, a new partnership was formed with Johann Ulrich Zellweger, Louis Morales, and two other sons of James Drake’s. In the summer of 1845, Zellweger retired from the company and returned to Europe a very wealthy man.

=> In 1850, Jacob Jakob (born 1822) from the village of Trogen (Canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden, E Switzerland)worked as a plantation overseer in Cuba.

=> Around 1850, Philippe Robert-Tissot from Neuchâtel, who had been living in Santiago for a long time, was the owner of a coffee plantation. Until around 1865, the directors of the plantation were Charles Jeanneret (1824–1869), son of a Neuchâtel watchmaker established in Cuba, and his brother-in-law Reymond Robert-Tissot.

=> In his autobiography «Eine Selbstschau», the German-Swiss educationalist and writer Heinrich Zschokke (1771-1848) relates how in 1830, he accompanied the boy Thomas James Emanuel Spengler from Unterseen BE to Le Havre, from where he was to start his voyage to Cuba. That boy was the son of a Swiss planter on Cuba and of a «beautiful negro woman» and had been sent to Switzerland for his early education, where his finances had been laid into Zschokke’s hands. Now his father wanted him back on Cuba, and Zschokke had agreed to organise his trip and his embarkment. Zschokke also mentions the vicious racism with which the «mulatto boy» met on his way to Le Havre.

=> Jean-Théodore Rivier (1750–1821) from Geneva, as the company «Rivier et Cie.», invested in the slave-ship «Conquérant» (1791/92, Le Havre => West Central Africa => St.Helena => Malembo => Havana, 428/361 slaves)

=> In 1825/26, the Swiss indiennes company «Favre et Cie.», family from Couvet, Canton of Neuchâtel, invested in the slave-ship «L’Arthur» (1825/26, Nantes => Africa => Santiago de Cuba, 183/160 slaves).

=> In 1822, the Neuchâtel company of Charles Rossel, «Rossel et Boudet», owned and fitted out the slave-ship «Dauphin», which sailed from Nantes via Africa to Santiago de Cuba (234/192 slaves), and the slave-ship «L’Elise» (Nantes => Africa => Havana, 234/192 slaves)

=> In the 1780s, Louis d’lllens (1749-1819) from Lausanne and «Louis d’Illens et Cie», in association with Jacob van Berchem (1736–1794) and Augustin Roguin (1768–1827), imported coffee, indigo, and cotton directly from Martinique. They owned and fitted out the slave-ship «L’Helvétie» (1791/92, Marseille => Indian Ocean => Moçambique => Cape of Good Hope => Havana, 550/414 slaves).

=> In 1791, the slave-ship «Conquérant» sailed with 428 slaves from Le Havre to West Central Africa and via Malembo in Angola to Havana, where 362 slaves were disembarked. One of the Burckhardt companies from Bâle had invested 9,700 pounds in the expedition. Because of the Haitian revolution, the slaves could not be sold in Saint-Domingue, but were taken to Havana.

2.2 Netherlands Antilles (colonies «Aruba», «Bonaire», «Curaçao», «St. Eustacius», «St. Martin»)

=> Bankers from Geneva helped to finance the Dutch West India Company.

=> Isaak Faesch (1687–1758) from Bâle was a merchant active in the textile trade and a speculator in shares of the French «Compagnie d’Occident». He commanded the Dutch islands of St. Eustacius, Saba, and St. Martin for three years (1737-1740). He was governor of the Netherlands Antilles (Curaçao, Aruba and Bonaire) from 1740 to 1758. In 1745, he reintroduced flogging, branding with red-hot irons and banning to the Bonaire salt facilities as corporal punishment in order to maintain public order. Neveretheless, in 1750, the slaves on the West India Company estate Hato, which Faesch managed, rebelled. The rebellion was defeated, the rebels treated harshly, and 47 Blacks were beheaded. In 1761, Faesch’s plenipotentiary sold the plantation Rustenburg.

=> Johann Rudolf Lauffer (1753-1833) from the town of Zofingen (Canton of Berne/Aargau, N Switzerland), whose mother was from the Chaillet family from Neuchâtel (see 1.7), entered the services of the «Dutch West India Company» (WIC) and arrived in Curaçao in 1776. In 1796, he became governor of Curaçao, and in 1799 governor of Curaçao, Aruba and Bonaire. In 1800, Lauffer bought the plantation Bleinheim. In 1803, he travelled to Europe, accompanied by a young black slave called Theodorus, whom he had manumitted «out of affection». In 1804, he withdrew from public life, and in 1805 returned to Switzerland. In 1806, he returned to Curaçao, where he bought the plantation Eenzaamheid. He died one of the richest inhabitants of the colony, having made his fortune by trade and investments. He left his wife and children (who kept their Swiss citizenships and were active in the trading company «Gebrüder Lauffer», in the army, and in the banking business) the plantations and the slaves of Bleinheim, Eenzaamheid, and Nooitgedacht (aka Heintje Kool, inherited by Lauffer’s second wife). In 1834, the Lauffer Brothers bought the plantation Damasco. Lauffer’s youngest child was called Willem Tell Lauffer (born 1817). His son Rudolph Adriaan Lauffer (born 1801) together with his wife Dorothea Josephina da Costa (1820–1884) owned the plantation Sukasa. Willem Tell Lauffer administered the salt plantation Damasco (or Jan Thiel) of 400 acres with many slaves. His daughter Hermina Geertruida Maria Lauffer later owned Damasco. In 1847, the slave Maria Victorina Duchatel, born in 1828 as daugher of slave Anica Antonia and a white sergeant, was manumitted by the Lauffer Brothers. Shortly afterwards, in 1848, Maria Victorina Duchatel gave birth to Marie Louise. In 1848, Jacob Lauffer (1810-1883) wrote a petition for the abolition of slavery. In 1863, Johann Rudolf Lauffer’s widow and the six Lauffer sons owned 81 slaves. After Jacob Lauffer’s death, Marie Louise and all the children born after her (Samuel Johannes, 1851, and Jacob Jr., 1861, were recognised as his legitimate children. There were ties between the Lauffer and the Marugg families.

=> Edouard Caliste Cusin (originally a surgeon in Suriname) was a member of the court on St. Eustatius 1835–1837. He died back in Suriname in 1838.

=> In 1915, Casper Arturo Perret Gentil (1887–1980) from a family of Caribbean plantation owners (originally from Le Locle) bought Damasco plantation, where he grew and exported oranges, mangos, coconuts, bananas, and other agricultural products to France, Venezuela and Santo Domingo. He also kept cattle and expanded the salt production, which was sold to Cuba and Santo Domingo. Shell was also a major buyer: the company used the salt for refining crude oil from Venezuela.

=> Johann Heinrich Sutermeister (1768–1847) from Zofingen, Canton of Berne/Aargau, was a merchant in Curaçao, later in New York. He followed his uncle Johann Rudolf Lauffer to Curaçao, where in 1800 he first married Johanna Gijsbertha Römer, daughter of a slave-trade commissioner and slave-auctioneer.

=> In 1774, Abraham Perret Gentil (1747–1824) from Le Locle in the Canton of Neuchâtel (then part of Prussia) joined the Dutch military, became captain of the marine regiment Bentinck and soon left for Suriname. He got married in 1776 in Paramaribo. In 1793, he took over the command of the garrison of Curaçao. In 1797, he was stationed in Saint Domingue for a short time, probably because the Dutch cooperated with the French. At the end of his career, he was brigadier general of the French army. He died in Lyon.

=> Johann Jakob Hoffmann from Bâle, together with Isaak Faesch (1687–1758), traded cocoa, sugar, coffee, tobacco, silver, and gold on Curaçao. They were active in the brokerage and insurance business, insuring both regular inter-Caribbean trade and smuggling ventures by Curaçaoan and French West Indian vessels. The crops they traded in included sugar from Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Saint-Domingue, tobacco from Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, and St. Vincent, coffee from Guadeloupe and Martinique, and cacao from Venezuela. Hoffmann, secretary of the Dutch colony of St.Martin, was also a slave-trader on Curaçao, which has been called a hub of the global slave trade. He purchased slaves from the British islands (like St. Christopher) and had them transported to the coast of Venezuela, where they were exchanged with cocoa. Once he planned to evade tax on slaves who arrived in Willemstad by dressing them up as sailors. Hoffmann advised his human-trafficking partners to buy «only young and strong negroes with handsome faces».

=> Isaac Debrot (1771-1854) from Neuchâtel came to Curaçao 1793 as a soldier in Dutch service. He was commander of Bonaire from 1817-1827, i.e. he held the highest job in the administration of the island. In 1863, when slavery was abolished there, five Debrot families owned 71 slaves.

=> Martinus Marugg (1784-1823) was born in Amsterdam to a family originally from Klosters (Canton of Graubünden). His father Caspar Marugg (born 1759) had served the Dutch in the 2nd Battalion of the Grisons Infantry Regiment, had emigrated to Amsterdam and married there in 1782. Martinus reached Curaçao as a naval surgeon in 1802 and was assigned to the 28th Battalion of Westindian Light Infantry. Some years later, he was –by the colonial administration – appointed military surgeon in charge of plantation owners and slaves in the «Westdivisie», an administrative region of Curaçao. As such he was based on the plantation Buitenbosch.

=> In his travelogue «Bericht des Grafen Karl von Zinzendorf über seine handelspolitische Studienreise durch die Schweiz 1764», the Austrian count describes the commercial activities of the Ammann banking and merchant company from Schaffhausen (N Switzerland), which traded in cotton, indigo, sugar, and tobacco. The first quality cotton came from Curaçao and Berbice, but from the latter there were no more imports because «the colony has been ruined». From that cotton, the Toggenburg textile industry (today Canton of St.Gallen) produced muslin fabrics. Curaçao cotton was very rare: a ship that transported 60 bales from Saint Domingue only carried 6 from Curaçao. The second quality variety came from Martinique and Saint-Domingue and was transported to Switzerland via Marseilles, Lyon, Belfort and Basel. The third (and worst) quality cotton came from Barbados. Nearly 1000 bags of cotton were imported by Ammann every year and were processed in the Toggenburg and Glarus area. In the second half of the 18th century, 35% of the cotton it delivered into the Zurich, Berne/Aargau, Toggenburg, and Appenzell areas were from Berbice or Essequibo.

2.3 French West Indies (colonies «Guiana», «Guadeloupe», «Martinique»)

=> Sebastian Högger (1686-1737) from St.Gallen was in the service of the Swedish navy from 1710 on. On behalf of King Charles XII. of Sweden, he travelled to Martinique in 1716.

=> In 1791, the slave-ship «Intrépide» with an investment of 194,000 livres by Burkhardt family company from Bâle sailed from Nantes via Vieux Calabar to Cayenne.

=> In 1826, the Swiss indiennes company «Favre et Cie.» from Neuchâtel invested in the slave-ship «Auguste» (1826, Nantes => Africa => Cayenne, 535/440 slaves).

=> Hans-Ulrich Pelloutier from Bâle owned ands fitted out two slaving vessels: «Astrée» (1817, Nantes => Saint Louis => Basse-Terre (Guadeloupe), 183/160 slaves); «Circée» (1818, Nantes => Africa => Basse-Terre (Guadelopue), 234/192 slaves).

=> Charles Daniel De Meuron (1738-1806) from Saint-Sulpice in the Canton of Neuchâtel gave up his apprenticeship in Strasbourg to enlist in the Hallwyl regiment at the age of 17 and fought in the West Indies during the Seven Years‘ War. He then served in the Regiment Hallwyl 1755–1763, and after the Hallwyl Regiment disbanded in 1765, he served a further 16 years in the Swiss Guards of the Regiment Erlach. In 1779, he received from the French king a licence to exploit the land between the rivers Approuague and Oyapock in Guinana with the help of soldier-colonists and slaves. The project, for which he had offered to raise a Swiss Regiment, did not materialise, and although he was a decorated officer, his prospects of military promotion were restricted because he was a Protestant. His fortunes changed in 1781, when the French minister in Holland, Comte d’Affry, recommended him to the Dutch East India Company, which was in search of a mercenary regiment to protect the Dutch colonies from invasion by the British. De Meuron raised a regiment for the Dutch East India Company and was stationed at the Cape of Good Hope in 1783. After a long military career, de Meuron returned to Neuchâtel a very wealthy man.

=> Ludwig Rudolf Stürler (1760–1797) from Berne was an officer in Austrian, Prussian and British services and died in St. Pierre, Martinique.‏‎

=> Sir Georges Prévost, son of Augustin Prévost from Geneva, was stationed in Guyana, Saint Vincent, Saint Lucia (governor, his amiable ways won him the respect of the French planters), Dominica (governor), and Martinique.

=> One Heinrich Hagenbuch (1801–1858) and his brother Karl Samuel Hagenbuch (1808–1859)‏‎ from Aarau died in Martinique.‏‎

=> In 1815, the slave-ship «Petite Louise» with an investment of 20,000 livres by a Burkhardt family company (copper sheet and indiennes textiles) sailed from Nantes via Cap Lopez (Gabon) to Cayenne. Of the 319 slaves embarked 263 survived the Middle Passage.

=> The company «Simon & Roques», originally from Bâle, fitted out the slave ship «Demoiselle» in Nantes (1791/92, Nantes => Ouidah => Basse Terre => Suriname => Guadeloupe, 238/203).

=> Heinrich „Henri Bourcard“ Burckhardt (1817–1887) of the branch of the Bâle family established since 1770 in Nantes/La Rochelle is noted as «consul» in Martinique.‏‎

=> In 1785, the slave-ship «Bonne Sophie» with an unknown investment by a Burkhardt family company sailed from Honfleur via the Guinea Coast to Guadeloupe.

=> Jean Gressier (ca. 1705-1785) lived in Guadeloupe 1738-1747. The French Gressier family (André father, André son, Jean) had been wealthy sugar plantation owners in the Trois-Rivières area, producing 34,000 lb of sugar p.a. In 1749, Jean Gressier acquired the citizenship of La-Tour-de-Peilz in the Canton of Berne/Vaud (W Switzerland) and bought the local castle.

=> Gaspar-Joël Monod (1717–1783) from Geneva was appointed protestant minister in 1741. The British, who had taken control of the island in 1759 sent him there in the function of chaplain of the governor and minister of the reformed French church. After three and a half years, the French took control again and he had to leave the island for Europe.

=> Jean Platener, a pauper from Switzerland, died in Guadeloupe in 1791.

=> Pierre François Guez lived in Guadeloupe 1767–1782.

=> In 1764, «M. Tronchin», a merchant residing in Saint-Eustache, relative of the famous medical doctor Théodore Tronchin from Geneva, demanded to establish himself on Guadeloupe and to be naturalised. When his demand was refused by the governor, he moved to Saint-Martin, where he worked as an interpreter and was well-known and often seen in public. In 1787, one Bernard Tronchin and children are registered by the commander of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélémy. In 1814, in the cosmopolitan city of Gustavia, Bernard Tronchin announced the establishment of a school for children «of both colours and both sexes».

=> The following Swiss military personnel were stationed on Guadeloupe:

Pierre Penotte from Berne, soldier, died in 1787

Joseph Fribourg from Fribourg, soldier in the Guadeloupe Regiment, died in Basse-Terre 1789

Antoine Legros, fusilier in the Guadeloupe Regiment, died in Basse-Terre in 1789

=> In 1790, the slave-ship «Alexandrine» with an investment of 10,000 livres by a Burkhardt family company sailed from Nantes via Angola to Martinique.

=> 1815–1817, the slave-ship «Cultivateur» with an investment of 5,000 livres by a Burkhardt family and an investment from the Neuchâtel company of Charles Rossel, «Rossel et Boudet», sailed from Nantes via Bonny (Niger Delta) and Rio Dande (Angola) to Martinique (519/507 slaves).

=> Hans-Ulrich Pelloutier of the merchant house Pelloutier, Bourcard & Cie. (originally from Basel, with a Nantes branch) is recorded with two slaving vessels: «Astrée» (1817, Nantes => Saint Louis => Basse-Terre (Guadeloupe), 183/160 slaves); «Circée» (1818, Nantes => Africa => Basse-Terre, 234/192 slaves).

=> Charles Louis de Meuron from Neuchâtel, father of Auguste-Fréderic de Meuron («de Bahia»), was an important indiennes manufacturer, whose commercial activities extended as far as Martinique.

=> The following Swiss military personnel were stationed on Martinique:

Jacques Christophe Amman, commander of a unit of the Swiss Regiment Karrer, stationed in the Martinique garrison in 1750. In Martinique, the second company of the Swiss Regiment Karrer was stationed.

Sergeant Chalon, inhabitant of Martinique, serving in a company of the Swiss Regiment Karrer, garrisoned on the Îles du Vent in 1747

Jacob Klaine, fusilier in a regiment on Martinique, died in 1789 in Sainte-Lucie

Jacques Raymond de Mazoulière, officer in Martinique 1728–1751

=> In his travelogue «Bericht des Grafen Karl von Zinzendorf über seine handelspolitische Studienreise durch die Schweiz 1764», the Austrian count describes the commercial activities of the Ammann banking and merchant company from Schaffhausen (N Switzerland), which traded in cotton, indigo, sugar, and tobacco. The first quality cotton came from Curaçao and Berbice, but from the latter there were no more imports because «the colony has been ruined». From that cotton, the Toggenburg textile industry (today Canton of St.Gallen) produced muslin fabrics. Curaçao cotton was very rare: a ship that transported 60 bales from Saint Domingue only carried 6 from Curaçao. The second quality variety came from Martinique and Saint-Domingue and was transported to Switzerland via Marseilles, Lyon, Belfort and Basel. The third (and worst) quality cotton came from Barbados. Nearly 1000 bags of cotton were imported by Ammann every year and were processed in the Toggenburg and Glarus area. In the second half of the 18th century, 35% of the cotton it delivered into the Zurich, Berne/Aargau, Toggenburg, and Appenzell areas were from Berbice or Essequibo.

=> In the second half of the 18th century, Jacques Solier (1749-1815) from Vevey (Canton of Berne/Vaud, W Switzerland) was first a merchant in Marseille and then part of the profitable enterprise «Cayla, Solier, Cabanes, Jugla et Cie» in Cadiz. He organised triangular expeditions towards the East and the West Indies, among them the slave-ship «La Naz». In 1814, he bought the sugar plantation Clairefontaine on Guadeloupe and in 1833 sold it to his nephew Alfred d’Alaret Solier.

=> Samuel Guisan (1740-1801) from Avenches (Canton of Berne/Vaud, see also 1.7), a direct ancestor of the Swiss WW II general Henri Guisan (1874-1960), after his stay in Suriname, moved to Cayenne, and from 1777-1791 was chief engineer responsible for hydraulic and agricultural projects. With the techniques of polderisation and canal-digging, realized with an enslaved workforce, he aimed at developing the Approuague estuary area. He administered the spices plantation La Gabrielle, which belonged to the King of France. He owned two plantations, Trio and L’Esperance, and for the latter signed a treaty for the «delivery» of 110 slaves per annum from Angola and the Gold Coast. The village of Guisanbourgh on the Approuague River (abandoned today) bears testimony to his presence. He returned to Switzerland in 1791 to become «inspector general for roads and bridges» of the short-lived Helvetian Republic.

=> In 1810, the cantonal authorities of Zurich dealt with a number of complaints from local trading houses on account of the conflict between France and Britain («continental blockade») which led to sequestrations. The goods concerned were, among others, long fiber cotton from Guyana and precious woods («bois satiné») from Cayenne.

=> In 1896, Swiss neuroanatomist, psychiatrist and eugenicist Auguste Forel (1848–1931) took a trip through the Caribbean on the private yacht of a French count. In Martinique he visited the «cruel negro king of Dahomey“ (Béhanzin, the eleventh King of Dahomey, ca. 1845–1906), who was held prisoner there by the French. Forel gave Béhanzin, whom he described as «the fat and somewhat daft looking king», cigars and noticed that the «the fallen ruler from tropical West Africa was accompanied by two very pretty looking negro women».

2.4 Danish West Indies (colonies «St. John», «St. Croix», «St. Eustaches», and «St. Thomas»)

=> The Swiss bank «Leu» from Zurich, which was half private and half statal (it managed the finances of the city state of Zurich) held shares of the French «Compagnie des Indes». In 1760, together with Geneva investors, «Leu» participated in a Danish bond issue which was meant to finance the acquisition of the islands of St. John, St. Croix and St. Thomas. In 1769, «Leu» participated in a plantation business on St. Croix: Reinhard Iselin brokered a loan of 42,000 guilders from the Swiss bank «Leu» from Zurich for the Brown brothers (John and David), for which a plantation was used as collateral. In 1768, 1772, and 1780, Bank Leu gave credits to «Jacob Ambrosius Pool et Compagnie» in Amsterdam.

=> Reinhard Iselin (1714-1781), Swiss-born Danish merchant originally from Bâle and a customer of the Swiss bank «Leu» from Zurich, was a ship-owner and an arms and indiennes manufacturer. In 1749, he founded «Reinhard Iselin & Co.» in Copenhagen. The company completed 65 expeditions to the Danish West Indies, where he operated a large sugar refinery. He was also active in the Danish Africa Company which was founded at the initiative of Count Johann Hartwig Ernst von Bernstorff. He belonged to the circle of merchants that Bernstorff relied on for state loans. His successor was Caspar Hauser (1741–1824), also from Bâle, who became director of the «Danish West India Company».

=> According to the Royal Danish State Archive in Copenhagen, the following Swiss at one time lived in the Danish Virgin Islands: A. Allegrin (citizenship, census 1850); Gerhard Henr. (born Switzerland 1736, died 1813 St. Croix); Christopher Liebesberg (born Switzerland 1688, St. Thomas); Hans Ulrich Passavant (St. Croix); Reinhard Iselin (baron).

=> In 1757, Urbain Roger (1726–1791) from a Huguenot family, became a citizen of Geneva. In 1760, as a banker, he arranged a loan of 1,500,000 pound for the Danish crown (King Frederick V) for the acquisition of the West Indian islands and colonies St. Thomas (best known for its slave market), St. John, and St. Croix. In 1780, he arranged another loan, this time with money chiefly from Zurich and Berne, for the Danish fleet, which was supposed to escort to slave ships. In his 1762 publication «The Present State of Denmark», co-authored with his cousin Élie-Salomon-François Reverdil (1732–1808), who was from Nyon in the Canton of Berne/Vaud, Urbain Roger mentioned «cloths, linen, spices and other merchandise wanted in Africa from Europe» and he praised the commerce of the West Indies as being «extremely advantageous to the Danes».

=> In the 1770s, Reinhard Iselin motivated Salomon Kitt (1744-1825), merchant from Zurich, to establish on St. Thomas and St. Eustaches a company for the import of silk from Zurich and other European textiles. Kitt went to St. Eustaches in 1779, where he founded a company together with Friedrich Rheinwald. In 1781, when the British occupied the island, he moved to St. Thomas, where he cooperated with Johannes Iselin as «Kitt, Iselin & Co.»

=> In 1805, Hans Conrad von Orelli, merchant from Zurich, undertook a trip from Livorno to St. Martin, St. Barthélemy, and St. Thomas to explore the possibilities of the silk and indiennes trade.

=> The Moravian missionaries settled in the Danish West Indies starting in 1732, and established the stations New Herrnhut and Niesky on St. Thomas; Friedensberg, Friedensthal, and Friedensfield on St. Croix; and Bethany and Emmaus on St. John. They became planters and slave owners, based on the biblical words that everyone in the pyramid of society should subject themselves to their masters. On St. Thomas, they obtained a plantation with 9 slaves in 1738. In a register of the Danish Westindian Islands (the Virgin Islands) of 1650– ca. 1825, one Hans Ulrich Passavant is noted as having been married to Louise Dupuget, with children Johannes Paulus (1777), Maria (1780), and Lucas (1780). Hans Ulrich Passvant worked for Frederik Christian Moth, governor of the Danish West Indies from 1770–1772 and son of Frederick Moth (1694–1746), Dano-Norwegian merchant, governor-general of several Danish colonies, governor of the Danish West India Company, and plantation-owner.

=> In 1733, approximately 150 Akwamu slaves staged a rebellion on the island of St. John. The slaves, who outnumbered the colonists at a rate of nearly 5:1, took control of the fort at St. John’s Coral Bay and proceeded to take possession of the plantations. The Danes called the French for help, and among the troops that arrived from Martinique and brutally put down the rebellion were Swiss mercenary soldiers, too.

=> In 1842, Swiss merchant Robert Lutz (1823-1843), Jakob Laurenz Gsell’s uncle, owned a domestic slave in St. Thomas.

2.5 Venezuela

=> In 1528, Hieronymus Sailer (1495-1559) from St.Gallen (E Switzerland), together with Heinrich Ehinger from Konstanz, was contractor of the second asiento do negros , i.e. a royal charter authorising the transportation of slaves directly from Africa to the Americas for the sum of 20,000 ducats. The contract with King Charles V of Spain gave him the right to «export» 4000 slaves from Portuguese Guinea to Venezuela, which was to be colonized by the Welser company from Augsburg.

3.    BEYOND THE CARIBBEAN (under construction)

Since this «Caricom Compilation» is more and more developing into a comprehensive description of overall Swiss involvement in colonialism and transatlantic slavery, I am also including some areas beyond the Caribbean in order to facilitate research. Moreover, historians have always pointed out that transatlantic chattel slavery was one single economic system and that there were numerous relationships and links between the core Caribbean and the slave-based economies of North and South America. Thus, Charleston and surrounding areas in South Carolina were first settled with three shiploads of emigrants from Barbados and Bermuda. The «plantation lifestyle» imported from the Caribbean certainly insisted on the use of slavery, and Charleston quickly became the port-of-entry for the majority of all black slaves into the English colonies. How interconnected the slavery-economies of North America, the Caribbean and Brazil were, is also demonstrated by the fact that several Swiss families globalised into more than one space: Zollikofer, Zubly, Escher, HugueninFlournoy, Cazenove (Cazeneuve), Prevost and Fatio (North America and Caribbean), and De Meuron (Caribbean and Brazil).

3.1 North America
(The Thirteen Colonies and the United States)

To be involved in slavery could mean ownership of plantations, ownership of slaves, activities in the slave-trade, profiting from trade with slavery-based commodities, and fighting on the Confederate side in the Civil War (where many Southern officers took their servants, i.e. their slaves with them). Preceding all of this was the displacement, enslavement, or killing of indigenous people in order to win land for settlements and plantations.

3.1.1 Alabama

=> Members of the Ott family from Guttannen (BE) migrated from Orangeburgh to Alabama, where in 1860, they are recorded as owning 46 slaves.

=> John F. Phifer (*1810), grandson of Martin Phifer Jr. (1756–1837) from North Carolina, owned 68 slaves on a cotton plantation in Lowndes, Alabama.

=> Members of the Rumpf family from the Canton of Berne migrated from Orangeburgh to Alabama: Thomas David Rumph in 1823 later James D. Rumph. In 1860, the family was recorded to have owned 229 slaves.

=> Schläppi/Slappy/Slappey from Meiringen, Canton of Berne: In 1860 they are registered among the large slaveholders.

=> Rebsamen/Rebsome/Turnipseed from Turbenthal, Canton of Zurich: Bartholomew Turnipseed (b. 1818) was a son of Jacob Turnipseed, worked as a medical doctor and became the founder of the Alabama branch of his family. One Daniel Turnipseed owned 79 slaves on his estate. In 1860, the family was recorded to have owned 46 slaves.

=> Wettstein/Whetstone from Illnau, Canton of Zurich: Henry Whetstone, descendant of Hans Wettstein, moved from Orangeburgh to Alabama. In 1860, the Whetstone family of Alabama was recorded to have owned 230 slaves.

=> Irvin Holman Zimmermann (1813-1858) from a Zurich family was a wealthy doctor and plantation owner in Alabama. In 1850, 66 slaves were registered on a plantation belonging to Thomas J. Zimmermann and Charles P. Zimmermann.

=> Abraham Maury de Graffenried (1784–1859) from a family originally from Berne was one of the early settlers of Lawrence County, Alabama, where he was a large landholder.

=> According to the 1850 State Census, William Sturkey, who had left South Carolina with his household, owned 6 slaves in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

3.1.2 Arkansas

=> In 1850, one William H. Zollicoffer from a Swiss family originally from St.Gallen/Thurgau owned one 45-year-old male slave in Jefferson, Arkansas.

3.1.3 California

=> Johann August Sutter (1803–1880) was a German-born Swiss immigrant of Mexican and American citizenship, who is well known for establishing his private colony «New Helvetia» ( Sutter’s Fort) in the area that would later become Sacramento, California, the state’s capital. Sutter had enslaved native Americans of the Miwok and Maidu tribes and Hawaiians (Kanakas) to work for him. If native Americans refused work, Sutter responded with violence: He had them whipped in the middle of his fort. He traded in native American slaves, especially children. He kept 600–800 indigenous people in a state of absolute slavery. At night, they were locked up in barren rooms with no beds and no toilet facilities. There are indications by his overseer Heinrich Lienhard (1822–1903), who came from Bilten (Canton of Glarus), that Sutter kept a whole group of indigenous women and girls to be of sexual service to him.

3.1.4 The Carolinas

Between 1732 and 1744, more than a thousand German speaking Swiss emigrated to the Carolinas, motivated by reports of opportunities and wealth. A Swiss immigrant remarked in 1737 that «Carolina looks more like a Negro country than a country settled by white people.» Quite a few of those Swiss immigrants became wealthy and respected planters, making their way into the élite of the South. In Switzerland, the trend towards emigration was so big that people talked about the «Carolina Rabies» or the «Carolina Fever», with some cantons encouraging migration, some advising against or or even prohibiting it. Granting land to these settlers on their arrival (from 40 acres per person upwards) meant displacing, figthing and sometimes enslaving the local indigenous Americans.

=> Christoph von Graffenried (1661–1743) from a Bernese patrician family was influenced by the reports of compatriot Franz Louis Michel (ca. 1680–1714) about prospects in the «New World». Von Graffenried sailed to Carolina in 1710, founded the colony of «New Berne», thus displacing an American Indian town named Chattoka, became a slave-owner, and fought the Tuscaroras in a war that claimed some 400 native lives. He returned to Switzerland in 1714, but his son Christopher DeGraffenried Jr (1691-1742) stayed in British America and became the founder of a widespread family, many of them slaveholders. Tscharner Hobson DeGraffenreid, Christopher de Graffenreid Jr.’s grandson, owned the «opulent» plantation Oakland on Sandy River im Chester County, South Carolina. The 1860 Slave Schedule registered 108 slaves there. His sister Sarah DeGraffenreid married Richard Evans Kennedy (1811-1855), who also owned a plantation in Chester County. In 1860, there were slave 123 slaves registered there. John Baker DeGraffenried (1823-1899) owned Alston-DeGraffenried Plantation with 47 slaves west of Pittsboro in Chatham County, North Carolina. He was married to Delia Alston (1829-1914), daughter of one of the area’s biggest plantation and slave-owners. At the centre of the plantation stood the plantation house, known today as DeGraffenreidt-Johnson House and listed in the National Register of Historic Places as one of the finest examples of the Greek Revival style in the county. Allen deGraffenreid (1794–1844) was a widower and a wealthy planter and slaveholder in Chester County. «Yellow John», a runaway slave of his, murdered him in 1844, and with two other slaves, robbed the house. The three were captured, tried, and executed on the gallows.

=> Pierre Robert (II) (1656–1715) from St Imier, Neuchatel, immigrated to South Carolina with his wife Jeanne Braye and his son Pierre Jr. (1675–1731), who was born in Basel. They settled in the Beaufort Disctrict in 1686, then moved further north to French Santee. They were granted 500 acres of land by the Lord Proprietors, and Pierre Robert became the first Huguenot pastor in South Carolina. Until the Revolutionary the principal occupation of the Huguenot settlers was the culture of rice and indigo. „Long cane“ cotton was introduced in to the province as late as 1770. Jacques (James) Robert (1711-1774), son of Pierre Jr., became wealthy and at one time owned four plantations in Santee, South Carolina. He operated a store at the same time. A year after his death, his widowed wife Sarah (Jaudon) Robert moved with most of her children and other members of her family to Black Swamp, near the Savannah River. There they founded the town of Robertville. Six of her seven children reached maturity, married and left numerous descendants in Virginia, Georgia, Alabama and Arkansas.

=> Heinrich Escher-Zollikofer (1776–1853), father of Swiss industrialist and politician Alfred Escher (1819-1882), travelled to the USA with Hans Conrad Hottinger (17641841) in 1793. He stayed there as agent of «Hottinguer & Cie» until 1806. In 1804 he went to South Carolina, where he traded in cotton, tobacco, rice and coffee, and became immensely rich. 1806-1812 he worked for Hottinger’s company in Paris; 1812-1814 he was back in the USA, where he held a share in «one of the best tobacco plantations» (Escher) on the James River (Virginia). Escher knew Washington and Jefferson personally and corresponded with Secretary of War John Armstrong.

=> Jacob Christopher Zollikofer (1686-1779) from St.Gallen was Justice of the Peace and administrating landlord of the Castle and territories of Altenklingen (TG) and Pfauenmoos (SG). He emigrated to Virginia in 1717, then moved on to Halifax, North Carolina. In the 1760s, there was a rumour that he had died, whereupon several people – among them his son Captain George Zollicoffer from New Berne – testified that the «Switzer» of that name he was alive and well. Jacob Christopher Zollikofer became the founding father of a widespread family in British North America and the USA (Halifax, North Carolina / Maury and Nashville, Tennesse / Lafayette and Attala, Mississippi / Ellis and Hillsboro, Texas / Jefferson, Arkansas) many of them slaveholders. The Slave Census of 1850 lists 63 slaves owned by members of the Zollicoffer family. Moreover, there a numerous black Zollicoffers now in the US.

=> Jean (John) Conrad Zollickoffer (1742–1795) from St.Gallen arrived in America in 1777. He was a captain in the service of the French king and then a merchant in Baltimore. He was a cousin of Jacob Christopher Zollikofer. Before emigrating to America, he was closely associated with Pierre-Frédéric Dobrée, a merchant and shipowner from Nantes who supported the American Revolution, with the companies of «Schweighauser & Dobrée», which imported tobacco, sugar, coffee, tea, and cotton from the colonies, and with Deucher (a prominent banker in Paris, orginally from the Canton of Thurgau) and «Riedy & Cie.» (a large-scale slave-ship owner, orginally from Bâle). Moreover, Zollickoffer belonged to the same loge St-Germain as the slave-trader Prosper Charet and did business with him. Those Nantes connections still worked for Zollickofer after his emigration. In America, Zollickofer corresponded with George Washington.

=> George Bankcroft Zollicoffer (1738–1815) of Halifax County, North Carolina, stated in his will that his estate, i.e. «negroes and stock, household and kitchen furniture, plantation utensils, together with what money is due me in Switzerland» should be divided between his wife Anne Zollicoffer (1753–1827) and his five children John Jacob, George Bankcroft, James, Julius Hieronymus, and Anne. His wife Anne in her will of 1827 stated that «the four negroes Henry, Isham, Virgel and Horris and all my crop of corn, fodder and wheat and all my stock of horses, cattle and hogs» should go to her son James Zollicoffer.

=> Julius Hieronymous Zollicoffer(1786 – ca. 1854) decreed in his will manumission of his slaves Tom, Dick and Lydia with her two children Henry and Ritter, and of the child or children of the girl Ritter due to be born soon. For historians of slavery, manumission of an individual female slave and her children by testament usually points to an illegitimate relationship of whatever kind (rape, tactical relationship, love). Zollicoffer bequeathed his manumitted slaves the sum of 1000 $ for them to be transferred to a free state. His other slaves Horace, Jesse, Julia, Mack and Weldon were to be equally divided between his three children Jerome Bonaparte, Emily Caroline, and George.

=> Johannes Tobler (1696–1765) from Appenzell Ausserrhoden emigrated to South Carolina and founded a colony on the banks of the Savannah River. He became a slave-owner himself and reported back to Switzerland in the Appenzeller Kalender in 1754:

«In South Carolina and its surroundings there is still a lot of good land left, and there are only few inhabitants […]. At the moment you pay for 100 acres of land or for a negro only half a Batz (Swiss currency) of your money. In wartime, the prices might be one third higher.»

=> Members of the following non-aristocratic families emigrated to the Carolinas where they became plantation and slave owners:

Am Acher / Amaker from Meiringen, Canton of Berne: In 1736, Hans Amaker received 300 acres for a plantation in Orangeburgh SC. In 1860, there were 108 Europeans, 16,583 slaves, and 205 free Blacks in Orangeburgh District 8. Descendants of Hans Amaker owned 109 slaves in 1860.

Bachmann/Baughman/Bookman/Bakman from Elgg (Canton of Zurich): Johann Jacob Bachmann (b. 1696) arrived in South Carolina in 1743 and was granted 200 acres in Craven County in 1749. His son William Jacob Bookman (1721–1778) with his wife Anna owned 5 slaves. Daniel, Joseph and Jesse Bookman, were fourth generation Americans and third generation in the Dutch Fork Section of South Carolina. The Bookmans had been there over 100 years, and now they were large slaveowners. In the 1869 Slave Census, members of the Bookman family are registered with 85 slaves.

Bourquin/Bourguin from Switzerland (possibly from Sonceboz, Berne): They came to South Carolina in 1732 with Colonel John Pury and settled in Purysburg (also spelt Purrysburg). Henry François Bourquin (1693–1778) and Dr. Jean (John) Baptiste Bourquin (1691–1784) were probably brothers. John Baptiste was granted 300 acres, and one Mary Bourquin (probably his wife) 100 acres. John Lewis Bourquin Jr. was a merchant and a planter in Purysburg and the leader of the Bourquin community. He inherited from his father, Colonel John Lewis Bourquin, a substantial estate of 26 slaves. Other members oft he family moved to Georgia.

Denzler / Dantzler from Illnau, Canton of Zurich: Via Savannah (Georgia), the family arrived in Orangeburgh SC in 1752 and Hans Ulrich Dantzler received 400 acres for a plantation. Dr. Lewis H. Dantzler (1813 – 1878) was granted 704 acres in 1846 and built a plantation house that can still be seen today. Olin Miller Dantzler (1826–1924), son of Jacob M. Dantzler and a direct descendant of Hans Ulrich, was a rich plantation owner in St. Mathews, Calhoun County, Orangeburgh District. In 1860, he owned 101 slaves. He was a member of the House of Representatives and later of the Senate of South Carolina. He fought in the Civil War on the Confederate side. In 1864 he held the rank of colonel in the 22nd South Carolina Regiment. He was killed in action in 1864. In 1860, the descendants of Hans Ulrich Dantzler were registered as owning a total of 571 slaves. There is still a Dantzler Street in Orangeburgh today.

Felder from Wattwil in the Canton of St.Gallen and possibly also from Zurich: The family of Heinrich Felder (1725 ­–1780) emigrated to the American colonies, arriving about 1735. In later records he was referred to as Captain Henry Felder, planter. Ann Margaret (Felder) Hartzog (1774–1851) owned 22 slaves (1830 Census), 38 slaves (1840 Census), and 44 slaves (1850 Census) in Orangeburgh. Major John Myers Felder (1782–1851), whose grandfather was a native of Switzerland, was a United States politician and a lawyer. When he retired from the legal profession in 1830, he became a prosperous mill owner and planter. The 1850 Slave Census records him with 187 slaves. He owned the cotton plantation Midway. James Addison Felder (1841-1893) of Orangeburgh was a direct descendant in the fifth generation of Swiss immigrants to South Carolina. He served in the Confederate army during the Civil War. Descendants and relatives of the Felder family are also recorded in Georgia, Virginia, Florida, Texas, and Nevada. The 1869 Slave Census records some 1300 slaves belonging to somebody called Felder.

Gallman/Coleman from Mettmenstetten, Canton of Zurich: In 1836, Hans Jacob Gallman received 350 acres for a plantation in Saxe Gotha in Orangeburgh SC. In 1860, his descendants in Newberry SC were registered as owners of 115slaves.

Gyger/Geiger from the Rheintal area (later Canton of St.Gallen): The Geiger families emigrated in 1737 under the leadership of Johann Ulrich Giessendanner. They landed in Charleston in 1737, and 24 members of the extended Geiger family went straight to Saxegotha Township. Hans Jacob Geiger (born 1679) was granted 350 acres in 1742. The family grew and spread, and by 1860 (Slave Census), members of the extended Geiger family owned a total of 305 slaves.

Horger from Guttannen, Canton of Berne: Heinrich Horger (ca. 1671–1760) emigrated with his wife and five children to Orangeburgh SC, and received 350 acres for a plantation. In 1860, his descendant David Horger was registered as owning 83 slaves. Today, there still is a Horger Street in Orangeburgh.

Inäbnit/Inabnet from Grindelwald, Canton of Berne: Hans Inäbnit and his wife Maria with five children emigrated to Oranburgh SC in 1735, with the father dying on the ship «Samuel». The family received 250 acres for a plantation, and the grandchildren Balthasar, Christian, and Peter became plantation owners, too. In 1860, the descendants of the family are recorded as owning 274 slaves.

Gindrat/Gindra/Jindra/Jinright from Tramelan (Canton of Berne): Abraham Gindrat (1713–1767) emigrated to South Carolina. Among his descendants were his son Daniel Henry Gindrat, (1740–1801) and his grandson Abraham Gindrat (1764–1815), born in Purysburg. Later members of the family moved to Georgia. Others (Gindrat, Jinright) are recorded in the 1860 Slave Census in Kentucky, Alabama and Texas, owning 26 slaves.

Keller from Arisdorf, Canton of Basel-Landschaft: Martin Keller received land for a plantation in Orangeburgh SC in 1737. In 1860, the descendants of the family were recorded as owning 159 slaves.

Koller/Culler from the Canton of Berne: Being a bachelor, Benedict Koller only received 50 acres in Orangeburgh in 1735. His descendant Jacob Culler (1780 – 1858) owned 7000 acres cotton, indigo and rice plantation which was destroyed in the Civil War. Culler descendants are registered in the 1860 Slace Census with 70 slaves.

Künzler/Kuntzler/Kinsler from the Canton of St.Gallen): Hans Conrad Kuntzler (christened in St. Margrethen in 1709) was allotted land in the new township Congaree. John Herman Kinsler (1823-1902) owned a plantation and moved his family and 14 slaves to Florida before the Civil War.In the 1860 Slave Census, members of the Kinsler family are recorded as owning 123 slaves.

  Müller/Miller from Bâle: In 1735, the family of Jacob and Catharina Elisabeth Müller were alllocated 100 acres for a plantation in Orangeburgh SC.

Murer/Moorer from the Simmental in the Canton of Berne: Peter Murer (b. 1684) and his family emigrated via Charleston to Orangeburgh, where they were allocated 150 acres for a plantation. In 1860, the descendants of the family were recorded as owning 209 slaves.

Jasper Nail received a land grant in 1737 along with his fellow Swiss. He was the father of three sons, Daniel, Hans Conrad, and Casper, as well as two daughters, whose names are unknown. Daniel Nail, the eldest, inherited his father’s estate and ran a very large-scale farming and blacksmith operation in the New Windsor area. He died in 1772 when his children were young, and left a sizeable estate to his wife, which included 750 acres, 22 slaves, 100 pigs, 62 sheep, 3,150 bushels of Indian corn, 50 pounds of wool, and more. Casper Nail lived the longest and was also a successful planter.

Ott from Guttannen, Canton of Berne: The ship on which Melchior Ott with his family were travelling was captured by the Spanish and they were taken to Havan (Cuba). After two years in prison, they arrived in Orangeburgh in 1746, penniless. In 1751 they were allocated 350 acres for a plantation. In 1860, the descendants of the family were recorded as owning 89 slaves.

Pfeiffer/Phifer from Häfelfingen, Canton of Basel Landschaft: Martin Pfeiffer (1720-1791) emigrated to Philadelphia via Rotterdam in 1736. In the 1750s, Martin Phifer moved to North Carolina, where he moved up in the local militia to the rank of Major and became a member of the the state legislature. He owed his wealth to his three plantations near Concorde and to his grain mill. He left his plantations to his three sons: Red Hill to John (1747–78), an unknown plantation to Caleb (1749–1811) and Cold Water to Martin Jr. (1756–1837). His will mentions 18 slaves, who were left to his wife, to his grandchildren Magret and Paul and to his children. In 1850, the descendants of the family in the Concord area were recorded as owning 94 slaves.

Rebsamen/Rebsome/Turnipseed from Turbenthal, Canton of Zurich: Hans and Beat Rebsamen migrated to South Caroline. In 1751, Hans Rebsome applied for 50 acres for a plantation in the Saxe-Gotha township area. In 1860, the descendants of the family were recorded as owning 132 slaves.

Rickenbacher(Rickenbacker/Rickenbaker from Runenberg (Canton of Basellandschaft): Heinrich Rickenbacher (1690–1739) with his wife Anna Bürgi arrived in Orangeburgh in 1735. They were granted 350 acres, which on his death went to son Heini. One Samuel Rickenbacker (1760–after 1820) appears in the 1820 census as owning 26 slaves. In the 1860 Slave Census, members of the Rickenbacker family are recorded with a total of 19 slaves.

Rumpf/Rumph from the Canton of Berne (possibly from Frutigen): The siblings David, Jacob, Abraham, Peter, and Catherine Rumph received 350 acres of land for as plantation in Orangeburgh SC. Jacob Rumph (1752–1812) became a captain in the American militia fighting the British. Later he was promoted to Brigadier General and became a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives. He lived on Pine Grove Plantation, South Carolina. His son Lewis Rumph (1793–1862) owned a 5000 acre plantation in the Orangeburgh area and was married to one Rachel Amaker. In 1860, the descendants of the family were recorded as owning 117 slaves.

Säli/Salley/ Zaley from Zeglingen, Canton of Basel-Landschaft: Heinrich Säli with his wife Maria emigrated from Sissach (BL) to Orangeburgh, where they were granted 200 acres for a plantation. Their sons Henry and Martin soon owned plantations of their own. In 1860, the descendants of the family were recorded as owning 127 slaves.

Schuler/Shuler from Ferenbalm, Canton of Berne: The families of Hans Jörg Schuler (b. 1691) and his brother Johann Jakob Schuler (b. 1693) migrated to Orangeburgh, where they were allocated 400 acres for a plantation. In 1860, the descendants of the family were recorded as owning 408 slaves in the Orangenburgh district. In 1859, plantation Four Hole Place, St James Goose Creek Parish, Charleston, South Carolina, belonged to the family of Frederick Shuler (1794-1864), who was related to the Dantzler family, together with 117 slaves. In 1860, there were 518 Shuler slaves recorded in the Slave Census.

Sterchi/Sturkie/Sturkey from Interlaken (Canton of Berne): Ulrich Sterchi (baptised 1694) and other members of his family emigrated to Orangeburgh in the 1750s, where they were granted land and became plantation owners. According to the 1820 census, one William Sturkey owned 4 slaves and 5 slaves in 1840. In the 1860 Slave Census, members of the Sturkey family are registered with a total of 21 slaves.

George Straubhaar (Stroubhart, Strobhar) from a Swiss family received 450 acres in Granville County, St. Peter’s Parish, near Purrysburg in 1765. In 1767, one J. Stroubhart was the richest person in Purrysburg: He estate was worth 13,000 £, and he owned 22 slaves.

Strauman/Stroman from Waldenburg, Canton of Basel-Landschaft: Balthasar Straumann with his family and the unmarried Heinrich Straumann arrived in Orangeburgh via Charleston and were granted 300 + 50 acres for two plantations. One Jacob Stroman owned the plantation Rocky Swamp with 150 slaves. In 1860, the descendants of the family were recorded as owning 265 slaves. Captain John Stroman Jennings (1808-1887) of Cedar Grove, a South Edisto River plantation in the Orangeburg District, owned a large lumber and sawmill. He fought for the Confederate troops in the rank of a captain, and he owned 182 slaves in 1860. The 1860 Slave Census records 265 slaves in the hands of members of the Stroman family.

• Jacob Waldburger (died 1770) of St. Peter’s Parish, Granville County, South Carolina, was born in Switzerland. His will was dated January 9, 1769 and probated on March 22, 1770.  He had owned 21 slaves in Purrysburg. In 1767, he announced in the South Carolina Gazette that he was looking for «a middle-sized Negro fellow named George, of the Guinea country», who had «several marks of punishment on his back» and who had late been the property of Mr. Zouberbuhler. Jacob might have been a descendant of Daniel Waldburger from Teufen (Canton of Appenzell Ausserhoden), who had followed   Johannes Tobler to South Carolina to establish a colony. Daniel Waldburger had been a successful businessman and had owned land and slaves.

Wettstein/Whetstone from Illnau, Canton of Zurich: Hans Wettstein (b. 1699) with his family and that of his sister Anna, who was married to Conrad Denzler. migrated to Orangeburgh, where they were allocated 250 acres for a plantation. In 1860, Whetstone family members are recorded with a total of 17 slaves.

Zimmermann from the Canton of Zurich (possibly from Illnau): In 1752, Martin Zimmermann landed in Charleston, South Carolina, on board the «Cunliffe». John Conrad Zimmermann (1802-1987) inherited plantation Rosemount in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, from his uncle and enlarged it. In 1860, 107 slaves were registered there. He also owned «Glendale Mill», a cotton factory. Thomas Holman Zimmermann (1816-1886) inherited Oakland plantation from his father in Orangeburgh County. In 1850, 72 slaves were registered there. In 1850, Russel Zimmerman (1817-1888) owned a plantation with 60 slaves in Orangeburg County. Mary Margaret Holman Zimmermann (1820-1906) married Dr. Lewis Dantzler, a medical doctor and plantation owner. His plantation in Wells, Orangeburgh County, was registered with 89 slaves in 1860. Members of the Zimmermann family were recorded in the 1860 Slave Census as owning a total of 426 slaves.

Züblin/Zubly/Zublin/Zubley/Sibley from St.Gallen: David Zublin Jr. (ca. 1700–1753) emigrated to South Carolina and settled near the Savannah River in 1736. His son Johann Joachim Zubly (1724– 1781) was ordained to the Reformed Church ministry in London in 1744. He then emigrated to South Carolina, too. In 1746, he married Anna Tobler, daughter of Appenzell Ausserrhoden governor and later New Windsor Township founder Johannes Tobler. In 1760, he accepted a call to the Independent Church in Savannah, Georgia. He acquired considerable land in South Carolina and Georgia, and with enslaved workers produced rice and indigo. In 1778, he noted: «Sent my tax list to Sav [Savannah]: 18 Negroes, lands including Plantations possessd by my son & son in Law (1720 Acres + 1350 acres, the Brickhouse now used as a Hospital, trust Lott & wharf contguous to Mr. Clay for Estate of J. W, Say 1250 Acres of Land, a Lott in the Village of St. Gall unimprovd & £2000 at Interest.» David Zubly III (1738 – 1790), another son of David Zublin Jr., was born in Purysburg. He was granted 250 acres in Granville County, New Windsor Township, on the waters of Savannah river in 1765. A mortgage record of 1768 shows that he used the 250 acres as well as slaves as bond. He was also a merchant. John Joachim Zubly’s son David Zubly (1748–1792) was born in Purysburg and became a soldier, public official and landowner. Being a loyalist to the British side, he was arrested in 1776. His father died in 1781 and left him one third of the huge family estate, but in 1782, the victorious Americans banished him and seized his property. David Zubly, who according to the British Record Office owned «16 black adult males, 12 black adult females, and 4 negro children», went to British East Florida, where he was registered as an auctioneer and a schoolmaster in 1783. In 1784, the family left for Nassau in the Bahamas. From there he claimed his father’s 2,500 acres in South Carolina and Georgia (including the 60 acres estate St Gall one mile outside Savannah, where rice was grown on 40 acres). But the rebels had destroyed a lot of his property and taken 11 of his slaves. In the Bahamas, he acquired a plantation, either on Cat Island or San Salvador (Watling Island). In 1785, he advertised in the «Bahama Gazette» for a fugitive, «a certain short stout black Negro Fellow named Robin», to be delivered to him, and offered his services «for the education of youth, in Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic: Also, Latin, Greek, and Geography». In 1788, his three children Helena, John Joachim, and Elizabeth were granted land adjoining the Cat Island plantation.

=> David Huguenin (1672–1735) from Le Locle (Canton of Neuchâtel) emigrated to the Carolinas in 1732 in the context of the foundation of Purrysburg. His son David Huguenin (1724–1796) in 1782 he bought Roseland Plantation in Jasper County (800 acres) and became a rich producer of cotton with many slaves. He also became the «founding father» of an extended family (about 1000 persons), which spread in the South. Members of the family administered the largest rice-plantation on the banks of the Coosawhatchie River. The Huguenins also owned Spring Hill plantation, between Coosawatchie and Ridgeland. Together the family owned more than 25,000 acres in present-day Jasper County. One of the descendants, Julius Gillison Huguenin (1806–1862), owned 329 slaves on a 1900 acres plantation. Captain Thomas Abaraham Huguenin (1839–1897) of the First South Carolina Infantry fought in the Civil War on the side of the Confederacy, like many other members of his family.

=> The first of the De Saussure family from Geneva probably settled in the Beaufort District in South Carolina in the wake of the abortive Purysburg project launched by Jean-Pierre Pury (1675–1736) from Neuchâtel. One Henri de Saussure (1709–1761) from Lausanne in the Canton of Berne/Vaud immigrated to South Carolina in 1730 and died in Coosawhatchie, Jasper, South Carolina. He was the father of Daniel DeSaussure and grandfather of Henry William de Saussure. Horace-Bénédict de Saussure (1740–1799) was a famous geologist, meteorologist, physicist, and mountaineer from Geneva. He was married to the daughter of wealthy banker, was a merchant himself, and and partner in the Geneva bank «De Candolle, Lavit & Cie.», which traded in indiennes textiles, gave credits to shipping expeditions to Asia and cooperated with a company involved in the slave trade from Moçambique. His cousin in America was Henry William de Saussure (1763–1839), whose father Daniel DeSaussure (1736–1798) was a wealthy merchant and landowner in Beaufort and Charleston, trading in rice and indigo. Later, sea-island cotton was king. In 1777, Daniel travelled to Switzerland to meet his cousin and to have his two children registered as Swiss citizens. In the 1860 slave census, the DeSaussure family of South Carolina is recorded as owning 643 slaves.

=> Mary Elizabeth DeSaussure (1747 – 1823), daughter of Henri De Saussure (1709 – 1761) from Lausanne in the Canton of Berne / Vaud and among the first settlers of Purysburg, South Carolina, in 1772 married William Bellinger Kelsall (1740 – 1791), son of John Kelsall, owner of plantation Great Ropers near Beaufort, South Carolina. The Kelsalls had compromised themselves als British loyalists during the War of Indepence (1775–1783) and therefore had to leave South Carolina for the Bahamas. William Bellinger Kelsall with his wife Mary Elizabeth, four daughters and their slaves arrived on Exuma in 1790. In 1791 William Bellinger Kelsall died, his wife entrusted the plantation to a manager and went to live in Nassau and 1798-1802 in London. Because plantation business  was running low, because Cuba was trying to attract white immigrants, and because abolitionists were more and more active on the Bahamas, Mary Elizabeth Kelsall, daughter Henrietta and son-in-law Joseph Eysing moved to Cuba, where Eysing acquired land for a 400-acre sugar plantation on the Cacuyugin River in Holguín. The Bahamas authorities had only allowed the «export» of two slaves per European,  so Mary Elizabeth Kelsall used the trick of signing manumission papers for six of her slaves without informing them. They were used as slave labour for 20 more years, but then abolitionists discovered the scheme and launched a court case which continued for more than six years under the name of the «Kelsall Affair».

=> Louis Daniel DeSaussure (1804–1869, son of Henry William de Saussure) from a family originally from Geneva, was a slave-owner and probably one of the most important slave-auctioneers in the South. In 1852, he offered a «Gang of 25 Sea Island Cotton and Rice Negroes» for sale in an auction in Charleston, S.C., in 1857 «55 Prime Negroes Accustomed to the culture of Rice», and in 1860 «A Prime Gang of 158 Negroes», who were described as «accustomed to working in a rice mill».

=> In 1860, Henry William DeSaussure’s son William Ford DeSaussure (1792–1870) was among the signers of the South Carolina Ordinance of Secession. He was lawyer and a politician: member of the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1846, judge of the chancery court in 1847, and from 1852 on a Democratic US Senator. In 1860, he owned 20 slaves in Richland, South Carolina.

=> Wilmot Gibbes DeSaussure (1822–1886) was a brigadier general in the South Carolina militia and fought in the Civil War. He was a lawyer and a politician: He served five two-year terms in the South Carolina General assembly and also as South Carolina Secretary of the Treasury 1861/1862. The 1860 Slave Census registers four slaves in his ownership.

=> Louis M. DeSaussure (1804–1869) from a Swiss family originally from Geneva was a physician and planter of Beaufort County, S.C., son of Henry W. DeSaussure, longtime state chancellor. He owned a cotton plantation with 59 slaves according to the 1860 Slave Census. In the Civil War, he served as a surgeon with the 8th and 4th South Carolina Infantry regiments, C.S.A.

=> H. W. DeSaussure Jr. owned 53 slaves according to the 1860 Slave Census.

=> Louis McPherson DeSaussure (1804–1870) son of Henry William DeSaussure Sr., owned DeSaussure Plantation in Beaufort County, South Carolina and 76 slaves in 1860. He and his son Charles served as surgeons during the Civil War. DeSaussure’s property was confiscated after the war.

=> John M. DeSaussure owned 291 slaves in 1860.

=> Sarah Jones DeSaussure (1817-1893) married Alexander Hamilton Boykin (1815-1866) in 1835. He was a successful planter in the Kershaw and Sumter districts, where he possessed 5,737 acres at his death. His residential plantation, which he purchased in December 1835, was Plane Hill near Camden. Other of Boykin’s holdings included Hillyard, Carter Hill (700 acres), Millway, Pine Grove, and the Mill plantations on Swift Creek. According to the 1860 federal census, his real and personal estates were valued at $55,000 and $241,000 respectively; the slave schedules for that year listed 189 slaves in Kershaw and 58 slaves in Sumter as his property. He was a politician (South Carolina House of Representatives) and he fought in the Civil War in the rank of a captain. Confederate president Jefferson Davis appointed him judge advocate in 1862. Sarah Jones DeSaussure’s nanny Nancy was an indigenous slave.

3.1.5 Florida

=> The Mississippi Bubble was a financial scheme in France that triggered a speculative frenzy. It was engineered by John Law, Scottish adventurer and financial wizard, and monopolized the French tobacco and African slave trades. In 1719, the vessels «Grand Duc du Maine» and «Aurore» unloaded their human freight in Pensacola (Florida): 500 black slaves. In 1720, Law’s companies ended in financial collapse. Swiss money was invested by:

• the city State of Solothurn (N Switzerland)

les Mississippiens de Steckborn, i.e. Jean-Henri Labhard, Jean and Jean-Georges Deucher, and Jean-Georges Füllemann, all from Steckborn (Canton of Thurgau, NE Switzerland)

• the merchants Conrad Zellweger-Tanner (1659-1749), Conrad Zellweger-Sulser (1694-1771) and Johannes Zellweger-Sulser (1695-1774) from Trogen (Canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden, E-Switzerland)

Louis Guiguer (1675-1747), citizen of Bürglen (Canton of Thurgau, NE Switzerland), with an investment of 800,000 £ the fourth most important shareholder of the «Compagnie des Indes Occidentales»

• a considerable number of citizens of Geneva and citizens of St.Gallen in Lyon (among them banker Henri d’Antoine Locher)

• the banking company «Malacrida» from Berne

=> Francis Philip Fatio (1724–1811) from Vevey (Canton of Berne/Vaud) first was a soldier in the Swiss Guard, then became a merchant in London. In 1769, he invested in plantations in East Florida. In 1771, he moved with his family to East Florida and become the managing partner of «New Castle Plantation», which specialized in producing indigo. In 1774, he moved to another plantation, which he first called «New Switzerland», then «Nueva Suiza». It had a surface of 10,000 acres and, with 86 slaves, produced maize, citrus fruit and cotton for sale. Francis Philipp Fatio became the founding father of the Florida branch of the Fatio family.

=> In 1769, one David Courvoisier, probably from Neuchâtel, bought 700 acres for Fatio’s London company and established the indigo plantation Neufchâtel. In 1771, Francis Philip Fatio became its first director.

=> (Sir) Frederick Haldimand (1718–1791) from Yverdon in the Canton of Berne / Vaud was an army officer and colonial administrator. In 1755, when full-scale war against the French was edging closer, he cooperated with members of the Swiss Prévost family from Geneva (three brothers and a nephew) and with Henry Bouquet (1719–1765) from Rolle in the Canton of Berne / Vaud in the raising of troops among German and Swiss settlers. Bouquet gained lasting infamy during the «French and Indian War» (1754–1763) by organising massacres among the indigenous nations and by pioneering germ warfare: He sent the besieged Delaware two blankets and a handkerchief that had been exposed to smallpox, in an attempt to spread the disease among the Natives. Haldimand, who was stationed in Florida during the war, was appointed to the sinecure of inspector general of the British forces in the West Indies in 1775.

3.1.6 Georgia

=> Henry Bourquin (1755-1819) from a Swiss immigrant family possibly from Sonceboz (Berne), son of Benedict Bourquin (died 1770) and Jane Judith Chatelain Bourquin, was born in the colony of Georgia. The family lived near the Little Ogeechee on a 500 acre plantation named Bern. This adjoined the home place of his uncle, Henry Francois Bourquin, called at that time Bordeaux. In 1755, he asked for another 500 acres of land, having «a wife & four children & 25 negroes». He also asked for a lot of land in Hardwicks, and he was granted both. It is likely he continued to live on Bern with his widowed mother for some years before she died in 1799. In 1787, he owned 9 slaves. In 1769, Henry Bourquin, his nephew, asked for 500 acres for his family and 20 slaves, and was granted the land in St. Philipp’s Parish. The same year, he asked for another 500 acres of land for 20 slaves, which was granted in St. David’s Parish. In 1756, Benedict Bourquin petitioned for 450 acres of land for his family and 17 slaves, and was granted the land between Great Ogeechee and Midway. The Slave Census of 1860 records one Martha Bourquin of Savannah City District, Chatham with 3 slaves, one Benedict Bourguin of Savannah City District, Chatham with 17 slaves, and one Benedict Bourgoine of Ogeechee, Chatham, with 5 slaves.

=> Hans Felder’s son Samuel Felder (1796–1890), from a Swiss family from the Canton of St.Gallen, continued migration into Perry GA. In 1860, his family was registered there with 215 slaves. His son Calvin W. Felder was a captain in the Civil War. He lived in Americus GA, where he has street named after him, and was a slaveholder. Another Samuel Felder (1796–1867) was born in Orangeburgh and then moved to Georgia. In In 1860 he was living in Houston County with a combined real and personal estate valued at $107,152. He was the owner of twenty slaves.

=> Lewis Rumph (1793–1862) sold his plantation to one John M. Felder and moved to Georgia. In 1860, the descendants of the Rumph family were recorded as owning 186 slaves.

=> Schläppi/Slappy/Slappey from Meiringen, Canton of Berne: In 1860 they are registered among the large slaveholders. In 1860, the descendants of the Slappey family were recorded as owning 174 slaves.

=> Edward David Huguenin (1806–1863) from a Swiss family originally from Le Locle (Canton of Neuchâtel) is registered with 185 slaves in Sumter, Georgia, in the 1860 Slave Census. He fought in the Civil War in the rank of a Lieutenant Colonel. The family held the Huguenin plantation in Early County 1836-1862. The Huguenin plantation near Americus, Sumter County, Georgia, was perhaps the largest farm in Georgia (11,000 acres).

=> Abraham Gindrat (1764–1815) from a Swiss family originally from Tramelan (Berne) married Barbara Clark, widow of William Clark, and thus became the owner of White Hall Plantation in Georgia with 57 slaves. Louise Gindrat married Richard James Arnold (1796-1873) from Rhode Island, who invested heavily in White Hall for the cultivation of cotton and in his Cherry Hilland Mulberry tracts further up the Ogeechee River. He became the most prosperous rice planter in the region. By 1860 Arnold was the largest landowner in Bryan County, with over 15,000 acres and 195 slaves.

3.1.7 Kentucky

3.1.8 Louisiana

=> The 4th company of the Swiss Regiment Karrer was stationed in Louisiana at the service of the French 1731–1764.

=> Paulina deGraffenried Pickett (1816–1899) from a family originally from Berne was already one of the richest women in Louisiana, when she married John Belton Pickett, who was the richest man in the state and one of the biggest landowners. They merged their properties. Soon they divorced and Pickett moved to Cuba to become a sugar plantation owner in Cuba, and Paulina married again. In 1859/60, she bought 45 slaves with a value of 35,000 $ from her relative Thomas deGraffenreid (1815–1874) of Chester Disctrict, South Carolina.

=> William Lafayette Degraffenried (1830–1884) from a family originally from Berne was born in Lunenburg County, Virginia. He moved to Alabama and thence to Louisiana, where he became a slave-owner on his plantation Lafita on the Ouachita River in Caldwell Parish, Louisiana.

John Bartow Prevost (1766–1825), whose father (Col.) Jacques Marcus Prevost emigrated from Geneva with his brother (General) Augustine Prevost, became a lawyer and a slave-owner when he lived in New York. In 1804 he was appointed by President Thomas Jefferson as one of the first three judges of the Superior Court of the Territory of Orleans. Prevost bought a plantation with 35 slaves and with large sugar works near New Orlean. According to the 1860. Slave Census, many members of the Prevost family appear to have become slaveholders.

3.1.9 Mississippi

=> Frederick Zollicoffer (1806–1874) Dr., son of John Jacob Zollikofer, a Swiss Baron from a family originally from St.Gallen/Thurgau, born in Maury County, Tenessee, moved to Mississippi, where he became an extensive planter and slave holder. He introduced mule-raising to this section of McVille, Attala County, Mississippi. He died at Kosciusko, Attala County, Mississippi. In 1850, he owned 15 slaves (6 males, 9 females).

3.1.10 New York

=> Jean-Jacques Cart (1748-1813) from Morges, Canton of Berne/Vaud worked in Boston 1769-73 as private teacher of Admiral Hood’s son. He lived in Britain from 1776–1768, where he probably completed his legal studies. He was sent to America in 1793 at the service of the French Ministry of the Navy. After a stay of two years in New York, he settled in 1795 in Rosendale in the Hudson Valley, where, with the help of some Swiss and a large enslaved labour force, he worked a large farm. In 1798, however, he returned home because the French had conquered Switzerland. 

3.1.11. Tennessee

=> A distant relative of Anton, Thomas and Sarah DeGraffenreid (see Carolinas) was Baker Boswell DeGraffenreid (1785-1855) from a family originally from Berne, one of the richest men in Fayette County, Tennessee. 74 slaves were registered on his plantation in 1850. Before he had started giving away slaves to his children in the 1840s, the number had been over 100. In the same district, one Henry Degrafinreid owned 23 slaves in 1860. In Franklin, Williamson County, Tennessee, one Mathew Fountaine DeGraffinreid (1779-1869) owned 44 slaves.

=> Elisabeth Zollicoffer (1812–1854), wife of Dr. Frederick Zollicoffer, from a Swiss family originally from St.Gallen/Thurgau, owned 18 slaves in Maury County, Tennessee, according to the 1850 Slave Census.

3.1.12 Texas

=> In 1845 or 1846, after the death of her husband Samuel Bookman, Sr., Jemima (Junema) Bookman along with three of her sons Daniel E. Bookman, Joseph C. Bookman and Jesse Bookman migrated from South Carolina to Texas. The 1860 Slave Census registered a total of 21 slaves owned by members of the family.

=> Nancy Lindsey Zollicoffer (1821–1918), daughter of George Zollicoffer from Tenessee and from a Swiss family originally from St.Gallen/Thurgau in 1836 married the planter Robert H. Cumby (1825–1881), who had moved with his family from Virginia to Lafayette County, Mississippi. They resided there until 1849, when they moved to Rusk County, Texas. Cumby became a prominent planter, a politician and one of the wealthiest men in the county. In 1860 he owned $22,600 in land and $38,000 in personal property, including thirty slaves. He fought in the Civil War as a Captain with the Texas Cavalry.

=> Gabriel Felder (1797–1868) from a family from the Canton of St.Gallen was born in Orangeburg, South Carolina, and became a judge. He moved first to Mississippi, where he married. In 1851, he moved to Texas with his wife, Ann, and two sons. He settled in Washington County and 1852­–1856 purchased several tracts of land totaling 2,418 acres on the banks of New Year Creek, at a cost of more than $19,000, to be paid as he received money from his property in South Carolina. He had inherited a fourth of the estate of his brother, John M. Felder, of Orangeburg, South Carolina, amounting to $100,000, which included $48,830 in „Negro property,“ or 95 slaves, and $51,000 in money, mules, and horses.

3.1.13 Virginia

=> Christopher DeGraffenreid Jr (1691-1742) from a family originally from Berne owned a town house in Williamsburg, Virginia, and a plantation on the the nearby St. James River. His only son and heir was Anton/Anthony Tscharner DeGraffenreid (1722-1794), who lived in Lunenburg, Virginia. Close by was the plantation owned by a brother of Tscharner Hobson DeGraffenreid, Thomas D. DeGraffenreid (1815-1874). It was called The Baron’s Estate and was even bigger than his brother’s. In the Census of 1840, Thomas deGraffenreid with 109 slaves was, next to Colonel F. W.Davie with 108, Chester’s largest planter. In 1860, 155 slaves were registered there. The plantation was owned earlier on by (1764–1821).

=> Jean Antoine and Antoine Charles Cazenove (1775–1852) from an aristocratic Geneva family of Huguenots had settled in France and left that country after the Revolution (1794). Antoine Charles had worked in London in 1790, in the counting house of James Cazenove & Co. He had also once had Charles a commission in the Swiss body-guard of Louis XVI. Jean-Louis Badollet and Albert Gallatin (both from Geneva, too) together with Jean Antoine Cazonove founded New Geneva in Pennsylvania. Gallatin was later to become the longest-serving US Secretary of the Treasury. In 1799, Antoine Charles Cazenove took up his residence in Alexandria, Virginia, where he passed a long life as a highly respected commission merchant and a banker who traded with textiles, sugar and iron from Calcutta among others. Originally planning to return to Geneva, Antoine Charles Cazenove arranged for all of his children to have citizenship of the city. His descendants are numerous and widely scattered from Massachusetts to Georgia. In 1854, one William G. Cazenove is mentioned in the case of a slave manumission as executor of Anthony Charles Cazenove. In the 1860 US Slave Census, one Wm Cazenove is mentioned as owning six slaves in Alexandria, Virginia.


3.2 Brazil
(Colonial Brazil, United Kingdom with Portugal, independent empire)

=> Nigerian historian Joseph E. Inikori has called Brazil, as far as demographics and production for export are concerned, «an African country until 1872». The following Swiss textile trading houses were active in Brazil in that slavery-relevant period: «Lutz, Honegger & Cia.» and «Lutz & Cia. » (Berne), «Vollenweider & Cia. », «Rosemund, Vollenweider & Cia.», and «Rosemund & Cia.» (Basel), «Billwiller, Gsell & Cia.», «Laquai, David & Cia. », and «David, Huber & Cia.» (St.Gallen), «Daeniker, Wegmann & Cia.», «Daeniker, Ferber & Cia.», «Daeniker & Cia.», «Vogel & Cia.», and «Barth & Cia.» (Zurich). According to Swiss historian Beatrice Ziegler, almost all of these merchants owned plantations, either as an investment or to gain prestige with the local Brazilian aristocracy.

=> Gabriel von May (1791–1870) from Berne (later aka «the Brazilian») served as an officer for the British and the Dutch. He arrived in Brazil in 1819, where he acquired large coffee and tobacco plantations in the Illhéus area south of Salvador de Bahia. He owned the plantation «Vitoria», which he bought from an Englishman in 1823. After his return to Switzerland, he sold his land and the 104 slaves to his nephew Ferdinand Karl Rudolf von Steiger (1825–1887) from Murten (Berne/Fribourg), who had been administrator since 1851.

=> Auguste-Fréderic de Meuron (1789–1852) from a very globalised Neuchâtel family (grandfather and father were indiennes producers, one uncle merchant in Surinam, two uncles merchants and plantation administrators on Grenada) arrived in Bahia in 1817 after an apprenticeship in the coffee, sugar, indigo and cotton trade with «Coulon, Meuron et Cie.» in Paris and after working in Portugal in the company founded by David de Pury. In 1819, he founded a snuff tobacco factory, which very successfully produced «Arèa Preta». In 1826, he moved his factory from Arèa Preta to Solar de Unhão and founded branch establishments in Rio de Janeiro (1832) and Pernambuco (1836). In 1837 he returned to Switzerland a very rich man. In 1855, the Rio factory workforce included 18 slaves.

=> David Schwab (1748–1823) from Biel (Berne) together with François Verdan (1747–1818) from Sugiez/Neuchâtel/Biel administered an indiennes factory in Torres Novas (Lisbon) from 1780 on. Together with Henri de Meuron (1742–1825), Schwab created the company «Schwab & Meuron» to revive the banking and trading towards Brazil (trade in diamonds) which David de Pury (Henri de Meuron’s uncle) had established from Lisbon.

=> The Swiss colony of Nova Friburgo was founded 1819–1821 by a group of emigrants from Fribourg (830), from the Jura and the Bernese Jura region (500), from the Valais (160), from Aargau (143), Lucerne (140), Solothurn (118), Vaud (90), Schwyz (17), Neuchâtel (5) and Geneva (3). Among the conditions to be met by the emigrants was being Catholic, adopting the Portuguese nationality and swearing an oath of allegiance to the king of Portugal. In exchange, they were granted a compensation for the departure, land, cattle and the right to own slaves. According to the census of 1851, there was a population total of 4810, with 1764 of them being slaves.

=> In 1818, German and Swiss emigrants founded the colony Leopoldina. In a short time, it became one of the world’s largest coffee plantations. Merchant Johann Martin or João Martinho Flach (1781–1855) from Schaffhausen, who was for many years secretary, confidant and credit granter of Brazilian empress Leopoldina, owned the plantation Helvécia, as large as 7500 football grounds When he died, the plantation and ist slaves passed into the hands of his son Johannes Flach. When he died, an inventory was made, which recorded 151 slaves. In 1874, Johannes Flach’s widow sold the plantation and returned to Switzerland. Traveller and scientist Johann Jakob von Tschudi (1818–1889), when he visited the plantation in 1866, stressed slavery as a factor for the colony’s success and claimed that «in general», the slaves received «humane treatment» there.

=> Jakob Laurenz Gsell (1815–1896) from St.Gallen was a merchant in Rio de Janeiro 1836–1850. He worked his way up through the companies «Romberg, Schleiden und Töpken» (import of manufactured goods from Germany, export of coffe and sugar), «Thibaud, Boetz u. Compagnie», and «Boy, Goumier and Andrea». He then set up his own company together with fellow countryman Jakob Friedrich Billwiler: «Billwiller, Gsell & Co.» (with partners Reinhold Laquai from St.Gallen and Heinrich David from Basel) in 1840. They imported textiles from Europe and exported cotton and coffee among others goods. The merchants bought, hired, sold, and owned domestic slaves, and Gsell himself resorted to whipping his domestic slave for corporal punishment. His letters demonstrate that he cared much more for business than for the fate of the slaves around him.

=> Lucas Jetzler (1798–1863) from Schaffhausen followed his brother Ferdinand to Brazil, where together with Jean Rudolphe Trümpy from the Canton of Glarus they founded the sugar, coffee, and tobacco merchant house «Jetzler Brothers & Trümpy» in 1829. In 1855, Lucas Jezler withdrew from business in order to trade tobacco in Cachoeira. He was active in the slave trade and when he died, his inventory recorded 13 slaves.

=> Carlos Ferdinand Keller, a Brazilian son of a Swiss who already worked in the area, succeeded «Jezler, Trümpy & Cia.» as «Keller & Cie.». The new company traded in cocoa to Switzerland and lent money and goods to plantation owners. Keller also owned a plantation, and moreover invested in other plantations. He had himself a ship built in order to transport cocoa from southern Bahia directly to France. When Carlos Ferdinand Keller withdrew from business, Emil Wildberger from Schaffhausen and Hermann Braem, a Swiss who came to Brazil in 1880 to work in the largest cocoa buying and exporting company of that time, took over as «Wildberger & Cia.». Emil Wildberger owned ships to carry cocoa to the coast. In the 20th century, the cocoa exporting firm «Wildberger & Cia.» managed to become the largest exporter of cocoa in Brazil, among all other competitors, from the 1930s until the early 1950s.

=> Johann Jakob von Tschudi (1818–1889) from the Canton of Glarus was a Swiss naturalist, explorer and diplomat, who visited Brazil and other South American countries 1857–1859 and who became Swiss ambassador to Brazil in 1860. Tschudi realised that slavery would be abolished in Brazil, but he held racist views on Afro-Brazilians and claimed that with African slaves, a new and «evil element» had entered the Brazilian population. He theorized on the four main races of man: the Caucasia, the Mongolian, the Ethiopian, and the American. According to Tschudi, «any race mixing with negroes» would «move backwards». The mulatto was to him in general «extremely sensuous, wanton, reckless, shirking work, devoted to the game and to drinking, vindictive, artful, and shifty» and tended to become a criminal. On the mulatto woman, he had this to say:

«Even in the face of the most beautiful mulatto woman there is not a trace of nobility to be found. The nose is always broad, the lips more or less bulging, the gaze without spirit, but fiery, sensual and challenging, the complexion yellow-brown and the skin exhales a specifically disgusting smell.»

The slave, according to Tschudi, was unable to make good use of his newly won freedom. Being too proud, he would refused to do the work as a free man which he had done as a slave. When the Swiss government in 1864 was confronted with the question what to do with Swiss citizens who were slaveholders in Brazil, they relied on a report by their special envoy Johann Jakob von Tschudi and came to the conclusion that slavery did not imply a crime and that Swiss merchants, craftsmen and diplomats could not be expected to make a living without the work of slaves. Tschudi is also know for trading a bottle of cognac for the statuette of Ekeko, the Tiwanakan god of abundance and prosperity, in 1858 while traveling in the Andean highlands.

3.3 Southern Africa

=> Between 1652 and 1795, some 450 men (and a few women) arrived at the Cape from Switzerland, more than a third from the Canton of Berne. Half of then were soldiers first, 10% were officers or part of the VOC administration. A considerable number of them became slave-owners.

=> Jan Sausche from Rougemont in the Canton of Berne/Vaud arrivved at the Cape as a corporal. He worked as a blacksmith, acquired citizenship, and in 1751 owned a house-slave.  

=> When Johann Heinrich Studer from Zurich died in 1804, he left his German widow, three sons, two daughters, 2 slaves, 19 trek-oxen and 34 heads of cattle.

=> Hans David Soeblee from the Canton of Berne/Vaud served as a soldier, rose in the administration, received a pension from the VOC and retired to his farm. In 1792, he lived with a khoikhoi woman and had manx children. In his last will, he left everything to his  «Bastard Khoi woman Ester of the Cape» and decreed that his slaves were not to be sold.

=> Nikolaus Laubscher from Fräschels in the Canton fo Fribourg bought land in the Table Valley and was assigned a slave by the VOC council. In 1682, he owned two slaves, 11 heads of cattle, and 50 sheep. Later he owned many slaves from Madagaskar, Moçambique and from the East. One of them, «David of Malabar» allegedly molested his Dutch wife and was whipped and put in chains accordingly. Later, a group of slaves escaped under his leadership. They were caught, and David was sentenced to be broken on the wheel. In 1700, Laubscher owned 12 male and 4 female slaves, in 1719, shortly before his death, 26 male slaves, 2 female slaves, 3 slave boys and 1 slave girl. His sons become walthy farmers, too, and a grandson called «Loubser» was said to be one of the richest farmers of the country with his farm «Groot Rietfontein» on the Berg River.

=> Lieutenant captain Jean-Ulrich Kiburg from Basel bought the «Hottentot’s Holland») after having commanded troops against «indigenous rebels» in Ceylon nachdem er Truppen gegen „eingeborene Aufständische“ on Ceylon. In 1800, he had a farmhand, 18 male and 2 female slaves, 72 horses, 43 heads of cattle, 70 sheep and 18 barrels of wine. 

=> In 1696, Johann Oberholzer from Aa near Wald (Canton of Zurich) came to the Cape as a 16-year-old soldier. Being a butcher by profession, he became wealthy and married into a rich family of Huguenots. Before getting married, he had lived with a coloured woman and had had a number of children with her. He moved to Stellenbosch, took over three farms from his father-in-law, and launched his political and military career. In 1712, he had a wife, two sons, 6 slaves, 11 horses, 81 heads of cattle, 500 sheep and 18,000 vines. 

=> In 1696, Hans Michel Löw from Benken in the Canton of Basel Landschaft arrived at the Cape as a soldier. He soon became master butcher, meat trader and leading member of the local church. When four of his slaves tried to escape and flee back to Madagaskar, they were caught after several murderrs and robberies and punished with great cruelty. In 1709, was a wine producer and  had a farm, a wife, three sons and a daughter, 2 servants, 14 slaves, 4 hourses, 30 heads of cattle, 300 sheep, 2 pigs and 6000 vines. His son Nicolaas became a welathy merchant and commissioner for the slave-trade on Madagascar.

=> From 1753 to 1757, Joseph Anton Grütter from St.Gallen did his military service in the rank of a corporal.

=> Between 1762 and 1781 Jan or Isaak Weiss from Solothurn served as executioner at the Cape. He was always assisted by two black slaves. His performance: eight hangings, five times breaking on the wheel (in one case plus pinching with red-hot pincers),  beheading and paling, chopping off a hand, breaking all the limbs from the feet upwards and then killing with the coup de grace, strangling, thirteen whippings and branding with red-hot iron, four times only whipping, putting in the pillory plus whipping, and one sword-stroke on the head.

=> In 1783, the De Meuron Regiment arrived at the Cape. It had been raised in Switzerland by Charles Daniel de Meuron (1738–1806) from Neuchâtel. His military career: in the service of France and wounded in action in the Hallwyl Regiment in the Caribbean (1755–1765), in the service of the Swiss Guards in Paris (1765–1781), abortive project for Swiss soldier-settlers in French Guyana (1775–1780). He put his regiment of 1100 men, two thirds of which were Swiss protestants, at the service of the VOC to man the garrison at the Cape. In his household, De Meuron had 13 slaves, 11 horses and enormous amounts of furniture, silverware and paintings. The regiment remained until 1788, but its commander Charles Daniel de Meuron had left for Europe in 1786 already, together with two black slaves (or «servants») called Pedro and Vendredi.  

=> Roelof Diodati (1658–1723) from a Geneva family took service at the Dutch East India Company (VOC). He became an accountant at the Cape from 1686 and then a merchant. Between 1686 and 1692, he sold the following slaves: Pieter from Madagascar (aged 17), Orson and Jacob from Madagascar (14 & 15 respectively), Isak from MadagascarAbraham from Madagascar (aged 20), Salomon from Madagascar (aged 16), Willem from Madagascar (aged 17/18), Daniel from Madagascar (aged 14), Aran from the Coast (aged 18/19), David from Madagascar (aged 16/17), David from Madagascar (aged 17/18), Jacob from the Coast (23/24),  Aron from Malabar (aged 23/24), Coridon from Malabar (aged 24/25). In 1692 he bought the slaves Servidor from Bengal (aged 12) and Aron from Malabar (24/25). Diodati was appointed governor of Mauritius 1692–1703. Diodati then moved to Batavia, where he became a merchant and accountant in 1707. In 1709 he married Catharina Zaaiman, born on Dutch Mauritius. Her grandmother had been the «Hottentot First Lady» Eva Meerhoff (c. 1643-1674), a Khoikhoi interpreter for Jan van Riebeek. Diodati became the chief trader at the VOC post at Dejima (Japan) in 1720 and died in Batavia in 1723.

3.4 East Indies

This chapter remains to be developed.

=> Théophile Cazenove (1708–1760) from a Geneva family of Huguenots settled in London in the mid-eighteenth century with his son Jean Henri, a merchant who was naturalised in 1762. Jean Henri (John Henry) Cazenove (1737– 1817) operated as a merchant dealing with the French and English East India Company, building a large connection to Lisbon, as well as drawing on connections in France and Amsterdam. He became involved in finance at an early stage, dealing in government stock and later securing business on behalf of the US government, distributing dividend payments to English holders of US securities. In 1772, he was involved in supplying bonds to the owner of Bacolet plantation on Grenada, one of the most profitable Grenada sugar estates with over 30 slaves. John Henry Cazenove was a merchant and director of the East India Company, probably in the 1760s.



Albeit a land-locked country at a great distance from any major colonial port (320 km to Marseilles, 600 km to Nantes, 600 km to Amsterdam, 700 km to London, 1400 km to Cadiz, 750 km to Hamburg), Switzerland has made a number of important structural contributions to the European colonial project. Since they cannot be assigned to one single Caribbean country, they shall be set out in the following chapter.

4.1 Anti-Black Racism and Ideologies Relevant to Caribbean Economic Space

=> Johann Caspar Lavater (1741–1801) from Zurich was an important figure in the development of «racial science». He is known for his contributions to the field of physiognomy, which pretended to assess a person’s character or personality from their outer appearance and thus became a theory of morality and racial superiority. Lavater categorised black Africans as «animal-like» and «limited», and in his books spread ideas of contemporary authors who argued that tribal societies were unable of cultural development, that even without slavery there would be no progress, and that slavery was after all not a very hard fate. Lavater, Swiss popularizer of the physiognomic school, was enthusiastically welcomed in France (nine editions of his L’Art de connaître les hommes par la physionomie in half a century) and in England. He was also in contact with and influenced by Petrus Camper (1722-1789), whose theory of the «facial angle» became one of the stepping stones of anti-black racism. In fact, in volume 4 of his Essays on Physiognomy, Lavater claimed that he had used the facial angle for analysis before Camper. A facial angle of 100° was found with Greek gods, an angle of 80° was typical of humans worthy of that term (such as himself), those with angles of 70° like «the Angolan negro and the Kalmyk» were losing all traces of human likeness. They were followed by orang-utans (58°) and macaques (42°).

=> Isaak Iselin (1728–1782) from Basel, philosopher of history and politics and secretary of the Republic of Basel from 1756 until his death, published his Geschichte der Menschheit (History of Humanity) in 1764, in response to works by Montesquieu and Rousseau. In Book 1 («Psychological Considerations on Man»), Iselin had this to say: «Thus the south is prone to laziness and weakness of the body, limitation and depression of the mind, calm and contentedness. Thus the cold north is characterised by bodily strength, listlessness of the spirit, stubbornness of the mind, restlessness, and dissatisfaction, whereas the benefits of the body and of the mind are manifoldly distributed in the temperate zones. Thus slavery and timidity are the fruits of the south, unrestraint and courage the quality of the north, and freedom and virtue the lot of the temperate lands.» In Book 3 («On the State of Savagery»), he argued that those peoples to whom a mild sky and fertile land had granted a happy organisation had apparently left behind the state of savagery, whereas those stricken by stupidity and living – without restraint – in rough climes and on barren soil would hardly be able to overcome that state.

=> Swiss media of the time reported on the 1763 Berbice slave rebellion (see 1.4) and the indigenous Pontiac’s Rebellion in the Great Lakes area of the same year in a clearly partisan manner, as if it was their own interests (and not those of the British, of the Dutch, or of the American settlers) which were at stake. The following quotes from the Alter und neuer grosser Staats-, Kriegs- und Friedens Appenzeller-Calender published in the Canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden in 1765 betrays the ruling discourse, i.e. the discourse of colonial dominance:

«The Blacks on the island of Berbice, which belongs to the Dutch, rose in rebellion, and it is pitiful to read with what cruelty they killed the Christians.»

«The English in North America were confronted with an even bigger rage from those inhumane brutes. (…) During the siege of Fort Detroit, such atrocities took place as to make mankind tremble: In an attempt to sally out, one of the Indian chieftains was killed. As soon as his father had learnt the news, he took one of the English captains who had been captured and forced him to say his prayers over the dead body of his son. He was massacred thereafter, and his heart was torn from his body and devoured by the Indians; the body of another Englishman was boiled in a cauldron and feasted on; his skin was made into tobacco-bags.»

«The English as well as the Dutch have immediately sent reinforcements in order to resist the rebels and to bring them to heel, and, as we have been informed so far, most colonies have by now been freed from the rebels and again enjoy the desired peace and quiet.»

=> In 1849, Scottish historian and essayist Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881) anonymously published his racist pamphlet Occasional Discourse on the Nigger Question. It propagated the vision of a feudalist, paternalistic society in the West Indies that would treat the now free blacks with sternness and keep them in a state of inferiority similar to serfdom. Carlyle largely drew from the writings of Carl Ludwig von Haller (1768–1854) from Berne, professor for constitutional law and politician, who had argued in 1818 in his Digression on Slavery that slavery was neither morally wrong nor abhorrent nor a crime, but a reasonable system of reciprocal rights and obligations.

=> In his lecture «Über die Menschenraçen» (On the Human Races), held at the annual meeting of the Swiss Natural Scientists in Basel in 1838, Dr. Friedrich Fischer (1801–1853), Professor of Philosophy and Rector of Basel University, started on the assumption that there were four «races»: the Causacian, the Mongolian, the African, and the American. He described the skin of the African as «damp and malodorous» and, by analogy with the animal kingdom, his «slanted skull» as «a reminiscence of stomach formation» in the evolutionary process. The skin of the African with its «malodorous and dampish secretion» reminded Fischer of «the mucous membrane of fish and molluscs». He then treated the peculiarities of character of the four «races» in accordance with the four classes of vertebrates and saw a marked «avidity, namely voraciousness and the sex drive» reflected in the «negro» and the fish (as a «stomach animal»). In contrast, he defined the Caucasian’s character by his «freedom over his own nature and his capacity to develop towards a free intelligence». All other races were denied the ability to enter into a process of history. The meeting of 12–14 September 1838 in Basel’s «Casino» was attended by nearly 200 members and guests from all over Switzerland, who can – without exaggeration – be called the intelligentsia of the day, with most of the major Swiss patrician families holding offices in politics and universities being represented. Nothing is know of a protest against Prof. Fischer’s lecture. The only one to take the floor was Louis Agassiz (see below), who demanded the subject to be taken up again in one of the subcommittees.

=> Swiss scientist Louis Agassiz (1807-1873) from Môtier in the Canton of Fribourg (see also 1.5.3) has been called «the most influential scientific racist of the 19th century» (Alex Marsh). He made a career in Europe as a glaciologist and ichthyologist, and from 1846 until his death he lived and worked in the USA. He divided mankind into races, postulating a clear hierarchy: He defined the «white race» as superior and creative, and described the «black race» as «ape-like», incapable of establishing a culture and not belonging to the same mankind as the whites. He categorically rejected miscegenation, considering it the cause of cultural deterioration. He described mixed race «hybrids» as inferior and wanted to force the state to adopt racial policies, including spatial separation of races as well as quickly getting rid of «hybrids». His ideology influenced Ralph Waldo Emerson in his racist «English Traits» (1856), the thinking of the fascist poet and Mussolini-admirer Ezra Pound, the doings of John Kasper, Ku-Klux-Klan member and militant racist in the fight against the Civil Rights Movement. The thoughts of Louis Agassiz can be traced as far as the Nazi racial hygienists.

=> Adolphe Pictet (1799–1875) from a Geneva Huguenot dynasty of bankers, scientists, and mercenary officers with global networks was greatly admired by Henri de Saussure, mineralogist and entomologist from Geneva. Adolphe Pictet has been called «a hard core exponent of the racism of his day» (Pieter A.M. Seuren). He saw an ascending scale from the ape to the «negro» to the European, and he held that «the negro tends more towards the animal than the European type does“. According to Adolphe Pictet, the «Indo-European race … was destined by Providence to rule one day the entire globe … and was … privileged among all other races by the beauty of its blood, the gift of its intelligence …».

=> Arnold Guyot (1807–1884) from Neuchâtel, a Swiss and American (racial) geographer and a friend of the «scientific racist» Louis Agassiz, outlined his views on race in his books The Earth and Man (1849) and The Biblical Cosmogony in the Light of Modern Science (1884). The former, extremely popular in the USA, argued for Northern intellectual acuity, for European imperialism and imperial occupation of the tropics: «It is reserved for the European race not only to exhibit the most perfect phase of Human Civilisation but to impress that civilisation on other races of the world.» On black Africans he had this to say: «The progress of the Negro would never develop from within, but necessarily be imposed from without.» And the intricate coastline of the northern continents as opposed to that of the southern ones was for him proof that the global north was more appropriate for the development of mankind.

=> Carl Vogt (1817–1895), a friend of Agassiz‚, was originally from Germany and played a part in the 1848 revolution. He then fled to Switzerland where he became professor of Geology in Berne and Zoology in Geneva, where he was the first rector of the reformed university. He was naturalised in 1861 and served as a federal MP 1856–61, 1870–71 and 1878–81. As a polygenist evolutionist, he believed and taught that the «Negro race» was related to the ape and that the «white race» was a separate species to «Negroes». In his Lectures on Man: his place in creation, and in the history of the earth (1863) he argued that the «Germanic type» and the «Negro» stood at the opposite end of human forms. According to Vogt, black and white children developed in parallel intellectually. «But no sooner do they reach the fatal period of puberty than, with the closure of the sutures and the projection of the jaws, the same process takes place as in the apes. The intellectual faculties remain stationary, and the individual – as well as the race – is incapable of further progress.»

=> Members of the cosmopolitan DeSaussure (or de Saussure) family from Geneva, many of whom settled in South Carolina, played important roles in the formation of an anti-black racism that spanned the centuries and the Atlantic. Henry William de Saussure became a lawyer, state legislator and jurist, who defended slave-owners‘ interests and warned of the «ultimate effects of a degrading, calumnating democracy.» He advocated the abolition of the slave trade (but not of slavery) because «…that leaven of barbarism which was heretofore continually infused into the mass…» would now be withheld, which could mean «…that the descendants, born and bred in the country, may gradually become a docile, and in some degree a civilised people.» In the Denmark Vesey trial, however, he was rather critical of the charges of conspiracy. Horace-Bénédict de Saussure’s grandson was Henri de Saussure (1829–1905), mineralogist and entomologist from Geneva, whose letters to his mother and various members of his family (Voyage aux Antilles et au Mexique, 1854-1856) reveal a deep-seated racism and European arrogance (see 1.7.3 Saint Domingue and 1.8 Jamaica). Henri de Saussure met the «scientific racist» Louis Agassiz in Cambridge, Mass., in 1856. In her Old Plantation Days. Being Recollections of Southern Life Before the Civil War (1909), Nancy Bostick De Saussure (1837–1915), a direct descendant of Henry William de Saussure, drew an idyllic picture of the ante-bellum south with a slave-holding family DeSaussure whom she believed to have have treated their slaves with kindness and who were loved by their «darkies» so much that even after emancipation that relationship did not change (when one Louis McPherson DeSaussure acquired Beaufort Plantation, it had a size of 700 acres and an enslaved workforce of 480). However, what the old lady really thought of those slaves is revealed in the following quotation:

«My father and mother inherited most of their negroes, and there was an attachment existing between master and mistress and their slaves which one who had never borne such a relation could never understand.

‚Uncle Tom’s Cabin‘ has set the standard in the North, and it seems useless for those who owned and loved the negroes to say there was any other method used in their management than that of strictest severity; but let me tell you that in one of my rare visits South to my own people, the old-time darkies, our former slaves, walked twenty miles to see «Miss Nancy» and her little daughter, and the latter, your dear mother, would often be surprised, when taken impulsively in their big black arms, and hugged and kissed and cried over «for ol‘ times‘ sake.»

When I would inquire into their welfare and present condition I heard but one refrain, «I’d never known what it was to suffer till freedom came, and we lost our master.» Yes, Dorothy dear, a lot of children unprepared to enjoy the Emancipation Proclamation were suddenly confronted with life’s problems.

I have beside me a letter from a friend, now in South Africa. She says in part: «I am sure you, too, would have thought much on the many problems presented by this black people. It is perfectly appalling when one thinks that they are really human beings! Human beings without any humanity, and not the slightest suggestion that there is any vital spark on which to begin work, for apparently they have no affection for anybody or anything, and it is an insult to a good dog to compare them to animals.»

Such, my dear child, is the African in his native country at the present day, the twentieth century, and such was the imported African before he was Christianized and humanized by the people of the South.»

Henri Léopold de Saussure (1866–1925), son of Henri de Saussure (1829–1905), was born in Creux de Genthod, outside Geneva. He became an officer in the French navy, serving in Indochina, Japan, China (on the gunboat «Aspie» cruising the Yangtze River), and taking part in the Dahomey campaign. He then turned to sinology and ancient Chinese astronomy. De Saussure was a «scientific» racist, who wrote of «unbridgeable divisions between the superior and lower races». Moreover, he was convinced of the superiority of the Indo-European («Aryan») languages over the Semitic ones, including Arabic. He was inspired by the elitist and racist writings of Gustave Le Bon, and influenced by the racism of Joseph Arthur de Gobineau (Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races). Under the Vichy regime, he was praised for his racial supremacism.

=> In 1863, the Swiss federal government was asked in a private member’s bill by MP Wilhelm Joos from Schaffhausen to take legal action against those compatriots in Brazil who bought and sold and owned slaves. The Swiss House of Representatives («Nationalrat») with 64:4 voted against the move. In 1864, Wilhelm Joos again submitted an application asking for the federal government to write a report on the question of slave ownership by Swiss citizens in Brazil. In 1864, the report by Swiss scholar Johann Jakob von Tschudi (1818-1889) was submitted to the House by the federal government. It held that it was neither unreasonable nor illegal nor immoral for Swiss citizens to hold slaves. It was rather beneficial and expedient. A Swiss consul, said the Swiss government, could not be expected to stand in the kitchen and do housework himself. That thought was unbearable, and so it was perfectly acceptable to own slaves. The federal government of today excused their predecessors of 1863 by saying «their reaction had been marked by the predominant norms of the 1860s».

=> In 1860, Adolf Guyer (1839-1899) from Neuthal (Canton of Zurich) travelled to the USA to see where the raw material processed in his father’s cotton mill came from. In his travel diary, he argued that the slaves‘ living conditions were not so bad after all, that slave revolts like the ones in Cuba aimed at eradicating the white man from the face of the earth, that primitive African slaves became civilized on the American plantations, that slavery was a necessary evil, that the great nations of antiquity (the Greeks and the Romans) had already practiced slavery and that, if God had not wanted slavery to exist, HE would have abolished it long ago. The man who held that some were born to rule and some to serve later became a cotton entrepreneur, the founder of a HSBC predecessor bank, a railway tycoon, and a politician.

=> Jacob Burckhardt (1818 – 1897) from Basel was a world-famous Swiss historian of art and culture and an influential figure in historiography. In his university lectures Reflections on History (1868-1871), later published as a book, he took anti-semitic, anti-democratic and racist positions. He differentiated between higher races and «lesser races», «negro peoples», «savages» and «semi-savages». On the latter, he wrote, «For such peoples are from the outset a prey to everlasting fear; their religions do not even give us a standard for the first signs of the birth of the spirit, because among them the spirit is destined never to come to spontaneous birth.» Later he raised the questions (without answering them), «How far are inferior peoples held in their uncivilized condition by their religions of fear? Or do those religions subsist because the race is uncivilizable?» Of Abessynians, he thought very little and claimed, «The Christianity of Abyssinia and other totally degenerate or mentally inferior peoples…»

=> In the context of Jean-David Ramel (1757-1819) from Château-d’Oex in the Canton of Berne/Vaud (W Switzerland), who owned a plantation in Saint-Domingue, local historian R. Campiche wrote in a historical review in 1948 that after the Haitian revolution, the estates of Saint-Domingue fell into ruin, because «the Black, who strives to destroy, does not care to rebuild».

=> In his Geography Textbook for Higher Education of 1876, Johann Jakob Egli, Professor for Geography at Zurich University, wrote: «The intellectual capacities of the negro seem to be inferior to those of other races, and since they have always been considered inferior beings, even the oldest history finds negroes in slavery.»

=> In 1899, Dr. Albert Maag, state grammar school teacher for History and Classical Language in Biel, published «Geschichte der Schweizertruppen in französischen Diensten während der Restauration und Julirevolution (1816—1830)». On pp. 126 ff., he argued that Swiss mercenaries had had a much harder fate than the slaves in the Americas. Whereas the latter were only forced to work, free from danger, and were cared for and fed by their masters at old age, the poor mercenary, after a life full of dangers, was refused financial assistance by the Swiss cantons on his return from foreign service and saw no alternative but suicide.

=> In 2019, Peter Buser, 82-year-old Swiss banker, author, businessman and sponsor of ice-hockey and classical music events, said in a televised interview of his girl-friend from the Dominican Republic: «She has to be in a subservient position, because I am the master (…). She used to be a slave and now she is a subservient woman. (…) 200 years ago they were all slaves in Santo Domingo…».

4.2 Marine Navigation

 Naval expeditions, the triangular trade and maritime commerce in the colonial era set the need for better navigation tools (instruments like the astrolabe, the sextant and precision timepieces). This led to a fierce competition between colonial powers and likewise between scientists including astronomers, mathematicians and finally watchmakers. The following Swiss played a role in this:

=> Ferdinand Berthoud (1727-1807) was a watchmaker and a scientist from Plancemont (Canton of Neuchâtel), whose main credit was the development of a robust marine chronometer for measuring longitude on the high seas. In 1745, he moved to Paris, and in 1753 was made a «Master Watchmaker» by the French king. In 1764, he became an «associate foreign member» of the Royal Society in London. In 1768, the two sea clocks built by Berthoud and financed by the King were tested on the corvette Isis during a voyage from Rochefort to Saint-Domingue and back.In 1770, Berthoud received the title of «Horloger Mécanicien du Roi et de la Marine» and was commissioned by the king of France to produce twenty marine chronometers.

=> Pierre-Louis Berthoud (1754-1813) from Plancemont (Canton of Neuchâtel) together with his uncle Ferdinand manufactured and repaired the sea clocks supplied to the French and Spanish navies.

=> Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747-1823) from Neuchâtel was apprenticed in watchmaking in Neuchâtel and Versailles. In 1775, he set up his watchmaking company in Paris, where he soon became famous for his innovations. In 1814, Breguet became a member of the «Bureau des Longitudes», and in 1815 was appointed as chronometer-maker to the French navy.

=> A number of scientists from Basel (N Switzerland) made important contributions to naval architecture: Johann Bernoulli (1667-1748) and his brother Jacob Bernoulli (1655-1705) worked on the mathematics of ship sails; Leonhard Euler (1707-1783) made a study into ship stability (the best way to place the masts on a ship); Daniel Bernoulli (1700-1782) researched the best shape for a ship’s anchor and created the principle in fluid dynamics named after him and relevant for the movement of ships in open bodies of water.

=> Jost Bürgi (1552-1632) from Lichtensteig in the Canton of St.Gallen (E Switzerland) was a watchmaker, inventor, mathematician and astronomer. By 1586, he was able to calculate sines at arbitrary precision, using several algorithms to calculate tables which were important for navigation at sea. In 1585, he built the first metal sextant.

4.3 African and European Logistics

The Swiss have made a number of contributions to the logistics of slavery in Europe and Africa itself, which cannot be assigned to an individual region in the Americas but whose «front end profiteers» might well have been in the Caribbean.

=> In 1652, Isaac Miville (from Basel or Fribourg) laid the corner-stone for the Swedish slave-castle Cabo Corso (today Cape Coast Castle in Ghana).

=> David de Pury (1709–1786) from Neuchâtel, son of Jean-Pierre de Pury (founder of Purysburg, USA, and slave-owner), was active in the slave trade from London in the 1730s. In 1736, he established himself as a merchant in Lisbon and gained a fortune through a monopoly in the Pernambuco Brazil-wood trade, through financial services and the diamond trade. In 1762, he became the banker of the King of Portugal. He was a shareholder in the «Companhia de Comércio de Pernambuco e Paraíba», established in 1759 and trading slaves from Angola to Brazil.

=> Jan Willem (Baron von) Hogguer (1755-1838) from a St.Gallen family (Högger) who had owned a plantations in Suriname (see under Suriname and Guyana), was the Dutch Ambassador to the Portuguese court in Lisbon from 1783–1790. In this function he had to deal with such affairs as the conflict between France and Portugal over the slave-trade stronghold Fort Cabinda in Angola (1783/84), a ship of the Westindian Company that had stopped a Portuguese ship near Cape Caïre (1785), and the fact that «France had engaged in an exclusive slave trade on the Gold Coast» for six years (1786).

=> During most of the 18th century, the French town of Lyon served as a hub for commercial relations between Switzerland and both Spanish America and the French West Indies (mainly Martinique and Saint Domingue): export of textile products, import of indigo, other natural dyes, and coffee. Swiss merchants (among theme 15 from Berne, 11 from St.Gallen and 10 from Neuchâtel) were organised in the so-called «nation suisse». The following merchant families from St.Gallen were represented in Lyon: Zollikofer (Sollicoffre), Scherer, Schlumpf (Sellonf), Fitler, Locher, Högger (Hogguer), Schobinger, Hochreutener (Horutener), Kunz (Cuentz), Wegelin, Kunkler (Councler), Studer, Scheitlin (Scheidlin), and Fingerlin (Finguerlin). From outside St.Gallen and unhampered by the city’s guild regulations came the families of the Zellweger (Zellweguer) from Trogen AR and the Gonzenbach (Gonzebat) family from Hauptwil. Scheitlin and Fingerlin traded textiles with Cap Français (Saint-Domingue), and in 1750, Councler et Cie. made a deal with a trading house at Cap Français. 1717-1724, Jean Henri Gonzebat, partner in the merchant company «Specht et Gonzebat», traded in textiles (mainly silkwares and cloth) and bullion (piastres) towards the Americas. Their European trading space comprised Paris and Geneva and such port (and triangular trade) cities as Marseilles, Bordeaux, La Rochelle, Nantes, Saint-Malo and Rouen. Jacques Christophe Gonzebat (1734-1777) from the same St.Gallen family became a merchant in Pondichéry (French/British India), where he died at the age of 43. The brothers David and Sébastien Cuentz from St.Gallen started as a textile trading company in 1700. Around 1715, they went into banking, and their financial activities extended from Switzerland to southern Germany, northern Italy, southern France, Spain, and Holland, comprising such cities as Amsterdam, Marseilles, Paris, Saint-Malo, Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon, Seville.

=> François Adolphe Pierre Cottier (1780–1843) from a family established in Rougemont (Canton of Berne/Vaud) and with relationships to other globalised families like the Schérer (St.Gallen) and the Marcuard (Berne) had his formative years in Lyon. He became a merchant, a banker, and one of the administrators of the Banque de France. In 1816, he helped to create the «Compagnie royale d’assurances maritimes». In 1823 and 1825 he communicated his interest in financing the young Haitian Republic, but his suggestions were not considered.

=> For their imperial expansion towards the east (Southeast Asia, Japan, Vietnam, India, Ceylon, and Persia) and towards the west (Africa, North America, the Caribbean, Guyana und Brazil), the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands – contrary to populous nations like France or Britain – was badly in need of foreign manpower: sailors, soldiers and members of the civil professions. The Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC) was founded in 1602, the West-Indische Compagnie (WIC) in 1621, and the Middelburgse Commerzielle Compagnie (MCC) in 1720. The Swiss served in all of them: 2000 were at the service of the VOC from 1670-1794, 300 of which managed to rise into the status of civilian employees. The largest contingent came from Berne (800), 310 were from Geneva, Zurich and Basel contributed 230 each, and 60 came from Schaffhausen. 180 Swiss served in the WIC, which from its beginnings made huge profits from plantation slavery, the sugar and the gold trade. The MCC, which organised 113 triangular slaving expeditions, had 35 Swiss on their payrolls from 1720­–1807.

=> Towards the end of the 18th century, when Transatlantic slavery and the plantation system was in full swing, there were – according to the French legal historian Guy Antonetti – six important European business centres («the big business hexagon»): London, Amsterdam, Geneva, Lyons, Bordeaux, and Nantes. In all these places, Swiss bankers and merchants played important roles.

=> During the time of «prohibition», France’s ban on the manufacture and import of indiennes textiles (1686-1759), the Swiss indiennes industry flourished. French Protestants (Huguenots) who had fled religious persecution emigrated to Switzerland and established companies near the border. Enormous wealth was brought to producers in Geneva and Neuchâtel, from where the industry spread to Berne/Aargau, Zurich, Basel, Appenzell Ausserrhoden and Glarus. Johann Rudolf Wetter (1705–ca. 1767) from Herisau in the Canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden established a large indiennes manufactory in Marseilles, which in the middle of the 18th century employed 700 specialised workers. After his business failed in 1755, he launched a new enterprise in Orange, where 500 workers produced some 17,000 cloth panels in 1762. In 1785, the Fabrique-Neuve factory in Cortaillod NE became the largest producer of indiennes in Europe with an annual production of 160,000 cloth panels. In 1830, there were in Geneva, Neuchâtel and Bienne about 21 indiennes manufactories employing nearly 3000 workers. A considerable proportion of the Swiss indiennes production went into the slave trade, where indiennes panels were considered «l’argent de la traite» (the currency of the the slave trade) by historians of slavery. For example, Swiss fabrics made up 75% of the value of goods in a ship called «Necker». The «Necker» launched its voyage in Nantes in 1789, sailed to West Central Africa and St.Helena and disembarked 403 slaves in Port-au-Prince (out of 443 embarked in Africa). Moreover, indiennes manufactories with their unification of specialised workers (designers, engravers, printers, colourists, assistants, managers, etc.) under one roof were the pioneering enterprises for the industrialisation of Switzerland.

=> David-Henri Gallandat (1732–1782) from Yvonand in the Canton of Berne/Vaud became a marine surgeon on a French commercial vessel and made several voyages to the Guinea Coast and to Surinam in the service of the Dutch. He became the founder of the «Zeeland Scientific Society», and in 1769, he wrote «Noodige onderrichtingen voor de slavenhandelaaren» (Necessary Instructions for the Slave-Traders), which he sent to the municipality of Middelburg, because they were in charge of the slave-trading Middelburgse Commerzielle Compagnie (MCC). Gallandat argued that the slave trade was justified for two reasons: It was founded in the Bible, and it was very profitable. In his study, he made a number of recommendations to captains of slave ships: Firstly, they should buy only healthy young men, secondly the captives should be put in charge of the marine surgeon on board, who would then take the utmost care of them. Proper ventilation systems should be installed in order to provide airing, and slaves should be allowed to dance and sing during their regular stays on deck. Furthermore, cats should be taken on board to control mice and rats, and lastly, the ship’s surgeon should be provided with the best works of medicine and the necessary tools for operations, and he should inform himself both on the local climate and the peculiarities of the indigenous people.

=> Théodore Tronchin (1709–1781) from a Geneva Huguenot family made his career as a medical doctor and researcher, which led him to Leiden, Amsterdam, back to Geneva and then to Paris. His father Jean-Robert Tronchin (1670-1761) had been one of the richest bankers of Lyon and Geneva and was ruined when John Law’s speculation scheme («Mississippi Bubble») collapsed. His son Théodore became a pioneer and major proponent of inoculation for smallpox, and in 1748 inoculated his own son in Amsterdam. However, the first mass medical experiments had already been made in Saint-Domingue («Plaine de Cap») from 1745 onwards. Until the 1760s, inoculation had still not spread beyond Saint-Domingue, but became more popular when Simeon Worlock from Britain inoculated thousands of slaves at the recommendation of the French Minister of the Marine. Thus, the French colony of Saint-Domingue was an ideal experimentation ground for what was later to become common practice in Europe.

=> Benjamin Burlamacchi (1643–1697) from a Geneva family operated a thriving international trading company from Amsterdam. Burlamacchi’s firm traded in a wide variety of goods and enjoyed far-flung commercial links throughout Europe, the Baltic, Russia, India, and Dutch colonies in the East Indies and the Antilles. He died in Bengalen. His daughter Adriana Wilhelmina Burlamachi (1684–1760) was a direct descendent in the female line of the Calandrini & Diodati families: powerful Geneva-based Protestant Italian banking & East Indian trading families from Lucca with trading houses in England, Netherlands, France, Germany & Switzerland. She became famous for her Marcus Lodovicus Antonius Clifford portrait with a black child, married Johan Cornelis d’Ablaing (1663-1721) at the age of sixteen. He left for the Dutch East Indies at a young age. During their marriage he was the regent of a children’s home in Haarlem, acting governor of the Cape of Good Hope, and counsel to the Dutch East Indies in Batavia where he died in 1721. 

=> Johann Viktor Travers von Ortenstein (1721–1776), of a noble family from Tumegl/Domleschg, entered his father’s regiment in Valenciennes. After a military career in the Swiss Guards, he became brigadier-general (1747), marshal (1759) and lieutenant-general (1762), and was ennobled by Louis XVI («comte», 1775). In 1775/1776, he offered to raise a Swiss regiment for the colonies. He acquired the episcopal castle and estate of «Horn» near Constance (Germany), but spend his final years in Paris.


St.Gallen (Switzerland), 3rd October, 2020

To be updated at irregular intervals.