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The Suriname River: 1630 - 1664

The first mention of Jewish colonists arriving in Suriname goes back to the beginning of the seventeenth century in the 1630s, but clearly confirmed is that Jews came to Suriname in the 1650s from Barbados with the English Governor-General for the West Indies Lord Francis Willoughby of Parham. Some sources note that Willoughby invited most of them to strengthen the plantation economy. Jews might also have come to Suriname from the Pomeroon settlement, which was the Dutch colony of Essequibo (today, the Republic of Guyana). While the exact demographic make-up of the Jews who settled Suriname may be debated, it is certain they were not a homogenous group

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