Plantation Boat, Suriname, ca. 1831


Pierre Jacques Benoit, Voyage a Surinam . . . cent dessins pris sur nature par l'auteur (Bruxelles, 1839), plate xxvii, fig.52. (Copy in the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University)


Each plantation along a river, the author writes, has a canoe which is used by the slaves, as well as ponts which are large flat boats covered with leaves used for work, for the transport of merchandise, etc. (p. 30). In this illustration, slaves are unloading goods, supervised by a European. Benoit (1782-1854), a Belgian artist, visited Suriname around 1831 and apparently stayed for several months. The 100 lithographs in his book (hand colored in the John Carter Brown copy), accompanied by textual descriptions of varying detail, are derived from drawings he made during his visit, which included time in Paramaribo, the capital, as well as trips into the interior visiting Maroons and Amerindians. Forty of his lithographs, with our translations from the French text, are shown on this website.


Benoit, Pierre Jacques

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