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Page history last edited by Samantha Luceri 12 years, 4 months ago




    Stedman first arrived to the islands on February 2, 1772.  He dropped anchor at the Amsterdam fortress and was quickly overcome with the sights and sounds of Surinam.  According to Stedman, the island abounded with delicious smells – lemon, orange, and shaddocks.   The natives, dressed in loincloths, were somewhat shocking to Stedman at first, and he describes them as “bargemen as naked as when they were born” (17). 


    Stedman describes Surinam as a generally fertile area.  Some places are mountainous, dry, and barren, but the land is ripe with much fertile land.  Surinam enjoys a year-long growing season, with rains and a warm climate.  In some parts Surinam is low and marshy, and crops are grown with a “flooding” method similar to ancient Egypt.  Surinam is also riddled with uncultivated areas.  There are immense forests, mountains (some with valuable minerals), deep marshes, swamps, and even large savannah areas.   Some areas of the coast are inaccessible, tainted with rocks, riverbanks, quicksand, and bogs (23).


    Two rivers are central to the colonies: the Orinoco and the Amazon.  At the time of Stedman’s visit Portuguese lived along the river Amazon and the Spanish along the river Orinoco.  Dutch colonists were spread along the seaside and the French lived in a small settlement known as Cayenne (24).




(All citations refer to page numbers in Stedman's narrative)

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