West India House / Het West-Indisch Huis

The WIC, West India trading Company was founded in 1621, after VOC (East India Company). In 1623 the headquarters were located at Herenmarkt 99 in Amsterdam. Here the board planned the building of a fortress on Manhattan Island. Peter Stuyvesant was appointed to be the governor of the new colony, New Netherland. WIC occupied the coast of Brazil and the West African fortress Elmina. As income increased, also by looting the Spanish ‘Silver Fleet’ near Cuba, the West India House was extended with two wings. The WIC claimed monopoly on the slave trade, transporting approximately 250.000 enslaved Africans to the Americas. Also many private merchants were active as enslavers illegally to evade taxes.

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