Studies from the International Institute for Asian Studies

A Concise History of Dutch Mauritius, 1598-1710. A Fruitful and Healthy Land

P.J. Moree
In 1598 a fleet of five East India ships from the Nether-lands landed on the uninhabited island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, which they claimed as a Dutch possession. Being rich in food and water and free of diseases, Mauritius became an important station for outward or homeward-bound ships of the Dutch East India Company, who built a fort, garrisoned the island, began cutting the island's ebony forests, and introduced slaves from Madagascar, some of whom succeeded in escaping Dutch rule and lived as refugees in the interior of the island. Even in the seventeenth century, Mauritius had a multiethnic population. This book describes the vicissitudes of the Dutch on Mauritius and examines the commanders of the island, from the successful Adriaen van der Stel to the despotic Isaac Lamotius, from the disastrous George Wreede to the diplomatic but harsh Roelof Diodati. Appendices list ships calling at Mauritius and the first foreign inhabitants of Mauritius.