Lt. governor Simon Plats Notebook, 1827


Lt. Governor Simon Plats’ (1773-1827) notebook 

Simon Plats was a Dutch Lt. governor of Aruba who arrived and was installed on February 1st, 1827 on Aruba, and passed away less than 9 months later.  

A small notebook dating back to 1827 was kept by the National Library of Aruba, in the Arubiana Department. However, the notebook been folded, and due to the fragile state of the pages, no one was able to view its contents. Whatever had been written down remained a mystery. 

With the assistance of Mr. Ooft, a volunteer conservator at the National Archives of Aruba, the pages were carefully opened so they could be digitized. After this, the document was made searchable with Handwritten Text Recognition and published online, while the original notebook was restored by Mr. Ooft and Mr. Tromp to ensure its safe storage for future generations. 

The notebook contains orders and instructions given by Commandeur Simon Plats during his time on Aruba, in his capacity of Captain of the regiment at Fort Zoutman. 

Notably, there is a record of the punishment for among others, the soldier Pieter Johannes Dijkhof[f] (1798-1855), who was also the military medic, on March 8th 1827 for partying too loudly. Pieter Johannes Dijkhof[f] is patraich of the Dijkhof[f] family on Aruba. 

The notebook can be viewed here