Jan van Riebeeck Biography, Life, Interesting Facts
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Jan van Riebeeck was widely known as the South African Cape Founding Father. His works include instituting Cape Town that is located in South Africa. His career began when he was selected to chair Dutch seat. During his time, Jan managed to travel far and beyond including Japan, Batavia, Tonkin, and Indochina. In all, he was famously known for establishing an opening for white’s in SA in the 1990s. He was also known as a devoted Christian and family man. Even though he passed away at his middle age, his generous persona is still honored across the globe.
Childhood and Early Life
On April 21, 1619, Johnna Anthoniszoon Van Riebeeck was born in the Dutch Republic in Culemborg, Netherlands. Van had one brother called Geertuyd. In 1639 Jan followed his father’s footsteps where he became a renowned surgeon. He grew up in Schiedam where he worked. He served as an assistant surgeon and later became the Council of India.
In the mid of 1639, Jan van Riebeeck teamed up with Dutch East India Company where he was assigned a medical job in Batavia. He was later ranked to manage the company’s trade station that was located in Tonkin Vietnam. He was then fired where he returned to his native land.
Early in 1651, Jan was appointed to run the new Dutch in Africa. After a long journey he came back to Africa with three ships; the Dromedaris, the Reijer, and Goede Hoop. From 1652 to 1662, Jan was commanded to govern the Africa settlement. He later left Canoe for good where he went to serve as the Secretary under Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies. He served here from 1665 to 1677.
Personal Life and Legacy
In 1664 Jan van Riebeeck married Maria de la Quellerie. The couple was blessed with eight children. One of his sons, Abraham followed his father’s footsteps where he became the Governor-General of the East Indies. In the mid of 1667, he married Maria Scipio till his demise. At 58 years old, Jan named several states after himself where he later died in 1677 in Batavia.
He most interesting thing about Jan van Riebeeck is that his first step in SA led to its history. Another thing is that it was easier for others to view his past future, all thanks to his written diaries. The fact remains that history reminds us of who we are: the past and present.
Richard Francis Burton