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Fighting for Freedom in New Amsterdam

These three documents chronicle the efforts of enslaved woman Mayken van Angola to secure her freedom from the Dutch West India Company after thirty-four years of servitude.

Petition

Petition. December 28, 1662. New York State Archives. Translation by Eric Ruijssenaars.

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Petition

Petition. April 19, 1663. New York State Archives. Translation by Eric Ruijssenaars.

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Certificate

Certificate. April 17, 1664. New York State Archives. Translation by Eric Ruijssenaars.

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Document Text

Summary

In the name of and on behalf of the lords Directors of the Dutch West India Company, we permit the negress Mayken to be made free so that she can make her living in an honest way like any free black person . . . The government finally agrees to set Mayken free without any conditions.

Certificate. April 17, 1664. New York State Archives. Translation by Eric Ruijssenaars.

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