Cemetery Information Suriname
On Thursday 19 May 2022, a team from the Built Heritage Suriname Foundation (SGES) paid a working visit to the Coronie district to inspect and document some historic graves on the Bellevue plantation. The reason for this is the message from Mrs. M. Vroom, that some old graves on the plantation would have been damaged as a result of rehabilitation work on the East-West connection. The SGES team consisted of Rachel Deekman, Jennifer Scheuerman and Stephen Fokké.
The historic graves at the front of the Salem Church at Clyde Plantation in Coronie were partially documented for the first time, in 2003, by Philip Dikland. Of the 18 graves, 8 had been mapped. Two large brick tombs have no headstone, so it is unknown who is buried there. In 2014, Dikland documented another seven graves together with Max van de Poel.
A few years ago, the historian Mildred Caprino drew the attention of the Suriname Built Heritage Foundation (SGES) to the fact that a tombstone can be found on a plot on the Beter Wonenstraat in Frimangron. Recently we finally went there, where a tombstone was indeed found on an undeveloped lot. The neighbors explained to us that there were actually two tombstones next to each other, one small and one large. However, we only found one, even after an inspection of the site was carried out. The tombstone turned out to be no longer in its original place, as it had been placed on a concrete slab.
The history of a cemetery for Chinese residents of Paramaribo goes back to the late nineteenth century. Just before the turn of the century, the Kong Ngie Tong Association established a final resting place for the Chinese community. People would be buried there for over forty years.
The death rate among Europeans was high in the tropics. The Briton Stedman was employed by the Republic as captain of a corps of volunteers sent to Suriname to quell an uprising of runaway slaves. In 1773 he was in Paramaribo and wrote the following:
Op deezen tijd woedden ‘er veele ziekten onder ons scheepsvolk; bijna elken dag wierden ‘er viif of zes matroozen van de koopvaardij-schepen begraaven. Het lot van deeze soort van mensen is in dit land over het algemeen zeer slegt; […] Zij stillen hunnen honger met enige bananen en pisangs, eeten oranjen en drinken water, hetgeen hen welhaast van alle kwaad verlost, door hen naar de eeuwigheid te zenden. Duizenden worden op deeze wijze in het graf gestort, die, volgens den gewoonen loop hunnes levens, nog veele jaaren zouden hebben kunnen tellen.