Slave Charlotte
10 April 1850

When will we be free?

Dear Mr Van Hoëvell, I’m so delighted to see your forum! I’m 27 years old and I live on the Picardië plantation in Surinam. Mr Rühmann, our master, is hardly ever here. He has no idea how hard my five children and I have to work. I’m doing laundry all day and my children have to help with the harvesting of sugar cane. If they don’t work hard enough they get beaten! We want to be free.




Member of parliament
Van Hoëvell
11 April 1850


I understand how you feel, Charlotte. Hang in there!

Baron Van Hoëvell


plantation owner
W.E. Rühmann
22 April 1850

These Charlotte and Van Hoëvell make it seem like my plantation is a place of misery. That’s nonsense. I own eight plantations with over 800 slaves, so I can’t be everywhere at once. I do know that the negroes are better off with slavery than without. They have never learned to take care of themselves, have they? Thanks to me they have food and a roof over their heads.

W.E. Rühmann


Slave Charlotte 27 April 1850

Watch your back Mr Rühmann! Not everyone is up for a peaceful discussion. There is a pamphlet being distributed amongst the slaves in Surinam. What it says? Revolt! Kill the suppressors, burn their houses and we shall be free! In Haiti the slaves have revolted and they have got their freedom.





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