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Maarten Janssen, 2014-


1672. Carta de Joshua Nassi e Jacob Nassi para Isaac Semah Ferro.

Autor(es) Joshua Nassi       Jacob Nassi
Destinatario(s) Isaac Semah Ferro      
In English

Private letter from Joshua Nassi and Jacob Nassi to Isaac Semah Ferro.

The two brothers, after requesting favors from various family members and friends living in Europe, in order to ensure that the other messages reach their destination and produce the expected effects, tell the recipient about this matter, so that he can intercede fpr them. Although it is on behalf of both, this letter was written by Jacob Nassi.

Given the suspicion that the Sephardic communities were trafficking goods and information to the detriment of the English Crown, several ships coming from or going to the Netherlands on their behalf were intercepted. In fact, the provisions in the Cromwell Navigation Acts prohibited the commercial contacts of the English colonies with the Netherlands, Spain, France and their overseas possessions. The proceedings that were initiated, under the guard at the Supreme Court of Admiralty, arose in the context of four moments of great tension between those two powers: the 2nd Anglo-Dutch War (1665-1667); the 3rd Anglo-Dutch War (1672-1674); the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763); and, finally, the 4th Anglo-Dutch War (1781-1784). The documentation found on board and preserved in the archive - private correspondence and cargo records - was taken as documentary evidence of the practice of cargo smuggling at sea. The letters described here are also demonstrative of the quality of the relationships within Sephardic families (Jews and converted), with the existence of strategically distributed social networks: on the one side, the settlers positioned below the Equator, more precisely in one area of the West Indies’ Seven Provinces (in the Caribbean), as part of the Dutch overseas territories; on the other, family and business partners, located in the main ports in the North Atlantic, important centers of financial and commercial activities. Incidentally, in some of these letters we may observe the occurrence of loanwords of English and Dutch origin belonging to the lexical-semantic field of trade relations. Examples of this are “ousove” and “azoes”, for the English “hoshead” or the Dutch “okshoofd”, an ancient measure of volume. In the present case, we have a set of letters that were transported on board the Dutch vessels Het witte Zeepaard, Bijenkorf, Fort Zeeland and Gekroonde Prins. They were coming from the port of Paramaribo and bound for an important and strategic port of the Company of the West Indies - Flushing, in North America - through the Caribbean.

HELLER, Reginaldo (2008). Diáspora Atlântica. A Nação Judaica no Caribe, séculos XVII e XVIII. [tese de Doutoramento em História]. Niterói: Universidade Federal Fluminense.

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1672 Amigo e sor Ishak semah ferro serenam 15: setembro

Ao senhor Paulo pinto avizamos nos segure florinz duzentos em Jan andrisemj piter donquer ou em qualquer delez em que se embarcar s lhe faltar a su comfiansa lhe escrevemos se valha de vm ou de nosso prino o senhor Jeosua de faro com que vm se sirvira saber de dito senhor si manda fazer o seguro perquanto he sobre fazenda ja embarcada em falta de o fazer dito senhor se sirvira vm manda lo logo fazer e nos que sigem esperamos remeter Partidaz de mais considrasão dando Deus paz e saude de vm

Intimos Aamigos Jeosuah e Jacob Nassi



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