Enslaved Servants to a Planter, Suriname, ca. 1831


Pierre Jacques Benoit, Voyage a Surinam . . . cent dessins pris sur nature par l'auteur (Bruxelles, 1839), plate xxvii, fig.53. (Copy in the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University)


The image shows a planter accompanied by two slaves going to a neighboring plantation. Planters who visit from one plantation to another, Benoit writes, have themselves followed and preceeded by two slaves who carry their provisions and arms(p. 30); the slaves carry cutlasses and one carries the planter's rifle. 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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