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Trade And Science: Reports Of The Voc Expedition By Hendrik Hop From 1761–1762

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Chapter Summary

From a scientific point of view the journals of Simon van der Stel's 1685-1686 expedition and of an expedition headed by "burgher-captain" Hendrik Hop (1716-1771) in 1761-1762 are of greater interest. This chapter examines the double life of the "Dag-verhaal" in detail: firstly, how the text originated in 1765-1762 within the VOC network and secondly how the journal was published in 1778, a few years later, within scholarly circles as the latest scientific knowledge on southern Africa. The link between these two histories is an animal that was still unknown at the time and caught the public attention at the Cape in 1760. The VOC's quest for trading partners ensured that the story of the longhaired, light-skinned people dressed in textiles regularly surfaced in the Cape VOC documents. What was new in the "Relaas" (narrative) of Jacobus Coetsé Jansz, however, was the report about a strange animal.

Keywords: Cape Colony; Dag-verhaal; Hendrik Hop; Jacobus Coetsé Jansz; science; Simon van der Stel; strange animal; trade; VOC expedition; zoological knowledge



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