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The Unfortunate Dutchman is a tale of the many trials and tribulations faced by Jacob van Kal, an employee of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), during this travels to the Far East and his return to Holland at the end of the 18th century.

It tells of his journey together with his family to Batavia, then the seat of the VOC’s power in the East, but only to find that he brought them to their doom as they contracted and died unknown tropical diseases. Unable to break the bond of his employment, he was transferred to a relatively unimportant Dutch colony in Malacca. There, he remarried but he eventually became entwined in tussle with the colony’s governor and it led him to be imprisoned and ultimately dismissed from his employment.

Upon Jacob van Kal’s return to Holland, he initiated legal proceedings and he was granted compensation on what would be an astronomical payout from the Dutch government. Jacob’s curse of misfortunes surpasses the tolerances of the normal man but his tragedy tells an amazing story of his travels and experiences in the East Indies.

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