A daguerreotype from 1846

He is called Johannes Ellis, her name is Maria Louisa de Hart. He is born in 1812 in the Ghanese town Elmina, as the son of the Dutch governor and a Ghanese woman.

She is born in 1826 on the plantation Sardam on the Cotticariver in Surinam. Her father is a Jew from Amsterdam: Mozes Meyer de Hart. The planter has twelve children with the freed slave Carolina Petronella van de Hart. Maria is one of those children.

Maria is pregnant on this picture.
The Ellis couple departs for The Netherlands in 1860.

Their unborn son of the picture, Abraham George Ellis joins the Dutch Navy, fights in Atjeh in the Dutch East Indies, lives a while in South America and becomes Minister of the Navy in the Dutch government from 1902 to 1905.

He died in 1916 and was buried by a big crowd, among which the husband of the Dutch Queen.


The navel of the Netherlands


In 2015 I was in Beek near Nijmegen, where I have lived from 1987 to 1994.

This is the view from a 5 minute walk from my home there.

What you see is the valley where the river Rhine enters the Netherlands.

The low hills on the horizon (North) are the sandy high grounds of the North East of the country, on the extreme Northern tip of which, 200 km away, lies the city of Groningen.

The Romans built a fortress town here at the border of their Empire. In the valley there lived the tribe of the Batavi, who were dedicated soldiers in the Roman army. On the Northern high ground there lived Chamavi and in the North at the coast Chauci. In the marshy areas of the West there lived old Frisians.

The Roman area belonged to the military district of Germania Inferior, which itself was part of the province of Gallia Belgica.
The capital of Germania Inferior was Cologne, which would remain one the largest cities North of the Alps throughout the Middle Ages, and became the Catholic capital of everything up to the North Sea coast.

From the Chamavi and neighbours there would come the Franks, who occupied Germania Inferior, when the Roman legions were gone fighting civil wars. Those Franks took over the border guard for the Roman Empire in Germania Inferior, and when the Roman power broke down further South, they got to rule all of Gallia. They converted to Catholicism to use the literacy of the church to help them govern an empire.

The Germans of the North East that didn’t become Franks formed the Saxons, some of which, mostly from the coast, migrated to Britannia with the Angles where they would form England.

This valley near Beek was the South Western corner of the Saxon lands.
To the South it was Frankish, and to the North West it was Frisian.

Until the 8th century, when the Franks conquered Frisia and Saxony.

Departure Delayed

West Australian, Perth, 18 jun 1946

WestAustralianPerth 18jun1946

Author’s Reunion With Wife

It will come as pleasant news to all those who have read Jan van Apeldoorn’s book “Departure Delayed” to learn that his wife Rita, who shared his adventures in Nazi-occupied Europe and Java, attacked by the Japanese, but whom he had to leave behind at Bandoeng, came safely through the occupation and has been recuperating with her husband in Sydney.

M. Jan van Apeldoorn, whose real name is Jan Nils Vogt, wrote “Departure Delayed” after his arrival in Australia from Java and it was first published in 1943. In it he tells the story of the perilous journey through Europe which he and his wife made together (mostly on a bicycle-built-for-two), to escape the Nazi occupation. The keynote of the book is the companionship with which they shared adventures and discomfort – a companionship which made the sad parting, on which note the book ends, all the more poignant.

When Mr Vogt was ordered out of Java on official business, he did not anticipate that conditions woud be such that his wife’s evacuation would become an impossibility, and he himself at that time expected to return. But the end came in Java soon after he reached Australia, so his book was dedicated to “My brave companion Rita, for whom departure was once too often delayed.” At the time of writing it, , he had no clue to her fate, in fact he concludes by saying, “Ships that escaped from Tjilatjap were heavily bombed … all that is known is that several which left Tjilatjap were sunk, presumably with all hands. Whether Rita was on board one of those ships I do not know. I do not even know whether she got away from Bandoeng.”

Fortunately, perhaps as things turned out, Mrs. Vogt did not get away, but was interned in Batavia and reached Australia safely after the liberation. But once more her departure is to be delayed. Her husband has left on his return to Holland, but she cannot get a ship until next month.


Signed by the author


The route



The author is the son of photographer August Vogt



Under the eye of the Martini


Groningen from the outside, from the South-West to the North-East, around the West, always under the eye of the Martinitoren.

New houses in Eelderwolde, just in the province of Drenthe.


From the Kraanland, (crane land), former marsh, the most Western part of the Gorecht, the jurisdiction around the former King’s court in Groningen, the Martinitoren peaks above the tree line.


Behind the flood fields of the sugar factory, where sediments in process water deposit.


The sugar factory.


City outskirts in the polder De Held in Liewerderwolde, part of the Frisian shire Middag (middle isle).


Silhouette from the North West


This small mound, erected 50 BC alongside a stream, is thought to have been the house place of a headman Liewe, after whom this place was called Liewerd (mound of Liewe), and the former peat moor to the South Liewerderwolde.


Canal crossing with locks and pumping station.


A Groninger tjalk heading for the Wadden Sea


Friendly bull with other cattle





Along the former meanders of the river Hunze under the eye of the Martinitoren, close to the triple country point of Middag, Gorecht, and Ubbega (upper shire).


Water mill in a former river meander that has been lowered by the mediaeval removal of the upper layer of clay for bricks.


Many lines in the province converge on the Martinitoren.


Silhouette from the North.


The following seven church towers have all been photographed from the same point …

… three towers in Bedum. The thick slanted one is the oldest of all, dating from the 11th century AD, when this was the pilgrimage of Saint Walfridus …


… Noordwolde …


… Zuidwolde …


… and Martinitoren and Akerk in Groningen.


Zuidwolde along the canal Boterdiep, which, as the name shows, carried dairy to the market in Groningen.


There is a café over there.

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