Tuesday, February 20, 2007
The third owner of the Groot Constantia wine estate was a free slave woman
ANNA DE KONINGH - FREE SLAVE
Anna de Koningh, herself a free slave, was the daughter of Mooi Ansiela of Bengal a freed slave known as free black in the population register. Anna came to own Groot Constantia after her husband Olaf Bergh died. Bergh was the owner of Groot Constantia after the death of Simon van der Stel.
Klein Constantia was also later to come into the hands of Johannes Colyn, a grandson of the prosperous one time slave, the free black woman Maria Evert who was the first title deed owner of land in Camps Bay. Maria was the daughter of two West African slaves from Benin, Ann and Evert of Guinea. Johannes Colyn descended from African slaves was the most renowned winemaker of the 1700s.
The Free-Black population many of whom had been manumitted slaves were a powerful class in the Cape until the smallpox epidemics ravished the Khoi, Slave and Free-Black population groups.