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H.C. Focke, Neger-Engelsch woordenboek. Leiden, P.H. van den Heuvell (1855).

This book was complete but it’s binding completely loose when I purchased it from an antiquarian bookseller at the Singel in Amsterdam.  A book restaurator in Krommenie used his magic make the book look like new in it’s original binding:  cloth with  blind-stamped with gilt lettering on spine. This was the first ‘Neger-engels – Dutch dictionary. Earlier  C.L. Schumann wrote the Negro Englisches Wörterbuch in 1783, but this was in German. Hendrik Charles Focke (Paramaribo 1802-1856) played an active role in the cultural life in Suriname in first half of the 19th century.  He was sent to for education and study to the Netherlands. He studied Law in Utrecht. Around 1834 he returned to Surinam where he became as a lawyer and later member of the Court of Justice. Moreover he was botanist and music expert. He had been involved in the establishment of the Thalia theatre.  He was also for a number of years editor of the Surinaamsche almanac. Nobody had deeper penetrated in the mysteries of this language, it was said.

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