The Value Of A Slave In Dollars & Euros

While one cannot put an adequate value on a slave, because labor, pain & suffering are hard to quantify in real money, it is interesting and important to take a look at how the colonial governments valued the slaves.


In the case of Suriname we know that the government bought slaves in the 1700’s for about fl500(500 guilders or florins). By the end of slavery the Government was willing to pay fl300/slave on average.

So in case you are wondering, yes the Dutch paid reparation(herstelbetaling) to slave owners!

So what was the value in today’s currency?

I will use a Dutch historical calculator to find the answer.

Using this calculater gives me the following value: for 1 Dutch Guilder/Florin in 1760 is worth 11 Euros in 2013

For the year 1853 1 Dutch Guilder/Florin is worth about 9.99 Euros in 2013

This means that the Dutch Colonial Government paid around $3384.00(=3000 Euros/slave)

Using these number we can come to a value for the slaves as it relates to the Planters & the colonial government!

The planters were paid reparations of about 3000 Euros/slaves in 1853.

There were an estimated 33000 slaves in Suriname in 1853 which brings the total amount to 99 Million Euros or $111,672,000(USD)



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