Tag Archives: sex and slaves in cape town

Slave Sex Scandal

Sex is an awesomely powerful force about which we prefer not to talk. However its force is blatantly obvious. Just look at how many people there are on the planet!

We are pretty accustomed to the historical stories of free white m

embers of society taking sexual advantage of enslaved women. What doesn’t get much airtime are the historical interracial romances which involved willing partners – and there are many of these.

The juiciest bit of scandal that we have so far discovered involved Hester Jansz. She was a Dutch woman married to Gerrit van Ewijck and living on Mauritius , which was a Dutch outpost even before the Cape was settled by the Dutch. Perhaps Gerrit just didn’t do it for her! Or perhaps it’s true that some white women just prefer black men! But whatever the reason, in 1691 Hester had an adulterous relationship with her slave. Imagine the scandal in the outposts in that time when this relationship was uncovered.

We don’t know the name of the slave nor do we know what fate befell him in Mauritius , but Hester van Ewijck was sent to The Cape for judgement and was sentenced to be flogged and to serve five years in chains. The question that must be asked is whether this was a normal sentence for adultery or whether it was more severe because her chosen partner was a slave.

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