Stedman's Surinam

914 words 4 pages
John Stedman provided one of the most detailed and descriptive accounts ever recorded in history about a thriving slave society. The society which he wrote so much about was Surinam. Located on the northwest corner of Brazil, Stedman was sent to Surinam from the Netherlands to help put down a slave revolt that was threatening the existence of the colony. Throughout his stay Stedman wrote about all that he saw. One thing that became a focus of his writings was the issue of slavery. He wrote about specific slaves and Negros he came in contact with, the perception that others had of these people, the treatment of these slaves and the rising tensions and conflicts between the revolting slaves and the colonists. At times he would write in a …show more content…

Stedman had personally been witness to this unforgiving nature of the Negro man. “I never yet saw a Negro forgive another person who had willfully offended him” (Stedman, 266) Using examples from Great Britain, Stedman further solidified his stance on the negative effect that the abolition of slavery would have on the colony of Surinam. “Great Britain is about to lose her West Indies settlements by wishing to make slaves into free people” (Stedman, 92) He saw from example that Britain was in the process of losing her colonies because they tried to free slaves and he did not want the same to happen to Surinam, so slavery was needed for its further existence. Stedman wanted the colony to thrive. While he may have not been fond of all the works of slavery, he realized that if it were ever to be outlawed, Surinam would most likely fall to the Negros as they would revolt out of anger and retaliation.
Stedman wanted Surinam to flourish. He realized that the only way this would happen is through the continuation of slavery. As he is quoted saying he loves the African Negro and through his talks about the treatment of slaves, it is obvious that Stedman believes there can be a modified system of slavery that will serve the colony the same purpose with less “evils”. He does realize