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Maarten Janssen, 2014-

PSCR1380

[1672]. Carta de Joshua Nassi para o tio Abraão Drago.

Autor(es) Joshua Nassi      
Destinatário(s) Abraão Drago      
In English

Family letter from Joshua Nassi to his oncle Abraão Drago.

The author, committed to the successful conclusion of the works in the construction of a mill, requests the recipient's intervention in relation to a dispute, in order to start its activity.

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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Tio e senhor Abraham drago

De nos Deus paz e saude como todos dezejamos serve Esta não mais que de pedir a Vm que sendo que Vm ache ordem pera o que lhe avizei a Vm nas pasadas porquanto tenho toda a obra acabada e não me faltão mais que as caldeiras com que Vm me fara merse avizar si pode ser ou não pera que veja ainda que seja com mais custo e trabalho Deus no lo tire todos e me goarde a Vm em companhia de toda obrigaõesações os annos de seu dezejo Vesalem muito afecto sobrinho de Vm e no amor mais que filho

Jeosuah Nassi

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