Dutch Conquest of Elmina, 1637

The fortress factory of Elmina, as St. Jorge da Mina, was constructed by the Portuguese in 1482. An attempt by a Dutch expedition to seize Elmina in 1625 failed.
In 1637 a Dutch squadron of 9 ships and 800 men, commanded by Johan Maurits van Nassau, according to other sources by Hans Koin, supported by over 1,000 African auxiliaries, tried again. They first occupied Santiago hill, where the Portuguese had built a church. There they established their artillery, and from there they shelled Elmina; the fort, defended by only a few dozen men, surrendered on August 26th. Johan Maurits van Nassau was Dutch (W.I.C.) Governor of Brazil (1637-1644).
The Dutch established Elmina as the administrative center of the W.I.C. possessions on the Gold Coast. They held on to Elmina until 1872, when they sold it to the British (Gold Coast Colony).

Elmina, by Ati de Kate, illustrated
Elmina, de laatste Afrikaanse colonie van Nederland (Elmina, the Netherlands' last colony in Africa), by Aad Engelfriet
Article Elmina, from EB 1911
Military Architecture : Testimony to Encounter, from Africa Revisited, UNESCO Exhibition, on Elmina

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on March 12th 2004, last revised on November 19th 2004

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