Piet Pieterszoon Hein and American Indians?

May 2019
429
Earth
According to wikipedia: "While many privateers behaved no better than common pirates, Hein was a strict disciplinarian who discouraged unruly conduct among his crews and had rather enlightened views for the times about "Indian" tribes, slaves and members of other religions."

The claim is unsourced, so I was wondering how much historical truth there is to this? Not saying I don't believe it (I've seen other examples of the Dutch making allies rather than enemies of American Indians, at least when it suited them in their conflicts with Spain and Portugal), I'm just curious to learn some details. What sort of interactions did Hein and his crew have with indigenous peoples in the Americas that showed he had "enlightened" views about them? And which tribes/cultures did he interact with?
 

Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
5,828
Netherlands
According to wikipedia: "While many privateers behaved no better than common pirates, Hein was a strict disciplinarian who discouraged unruly conduct among his crews and had rather enlightened views for the times about "Indian" tribes, slaves and members of other religions."

The claim is unsourced, so I was wondering how much historical truth there is to this? Not saying I don't believe it (I've seen other examples of the Dutch making allies rather than enemies of American Indians, at least when it suited them in their conflicts with Spain and Portugal), I'm just curious to learn some details. What sort of interactions did Hein and his crew have with indigenous peoples in the Americas that showed he had "enlightened" views about them? And which tribes/cultures did he interact with?
Sounds like something that someone put in a book and then it just got repeated. However there is probably some truth to it. You couldn't run a ship let alone a fleet without strict discipline.
As to his enlightened views. He was a galley slave twice, so I think it is save to say he didn't like that. Also because we were at war with Spain he attacked Luanda, which was their biggest slave hub. It is a safe bet that that attack wasn't intended to free the slaves or some such.
I think he went to the west Indies 3 times, so his interactions with Indians must have been rather limited. On the other hand he had been all over the world and had to deal with the locals in order to get one over the Portuguese or Spanish.

One story which also isn't backed up by any sourcing is that when the story broke that he had captured the silver fleet, people went to his old mother to tell her the big news. "I always knew. he wouldn't end up well. He was always a bad boy"
 
  • Like
Reactions: hyuzu