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Johann Cesar Godeffroy und Sohn (German Shipping Company)

Last modified: 2019-07-20 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: godeffroy u sohn | deutsche handels-plantagen |
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[Johann Cesar Godeffroy und Sohn] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 12 Apr 2007 See also:

Johann Cesar Godeffroy und Sohn

J.C. Godeffroy VI. was born on 1 July 1813 in Kiel and died on 9 February 1885 in Dockenhusen. He was merchant and owner of a dockyard and ships. His family immigrated in the 18th century from La Rochelle. He overtook his fathers company, which dealed with South America trade, in 1842. He managed to establish a branch on the Samoa island of Upolu in 1857 using ships, which were built on his own dockyard "Reiherstieg".
The company traded with copra and nacre shells. Though he had to give up some parts of business after a crisis in 1857, he rised up to be the "Südsee-König" (=King of the South Pacific). He founded plantations at 50 different stations all over the South Pacific. He supported scientists and established a museum.
The company fell into bankruptcy in 1879 but was caught up by a new company supported by banks and trading companies. J.C. Godeffroy VII. became director of this "Deutsche Handels- und Plantagengesellschaft". The "Godeffroy-Empire" finally marked the begin of the German colony of (West-) Samoa.
Source: Franklin Kopitsch; David Tilgner (ed.): Hamburg Lexikon, Hamburg 1999, ISBN 3-9805687-9-2; p.179.

The company used a white flag with a golden dove on blue horizontal bar with golden stripes. The dove shows its back, spreads its wings and wears a ribbon around its neck. Below the bar is a blue inscription: "J.C.G. & S.".
Source: Jürgen Meyer: "Hamburger Segelschiffe von 1795-1945", ISBN 3-89225-400-1; Hamburg 1999; cover inside.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 12 Apr 2007

The Godeffroys were French Huguenots of La Rochelle where the leader of their successful family was mayor of the city. However, in 1737 they were forced to flee France to avoid religious persecution brought about by King Louis XIV's anti-Protestantism. The family sought asylum in Germany and, after a few moves, finally settled in the trading port of Hamburg, which, although predominantly Lutheran, was tolerant of persons of all religions.
Source: this webpage.
Ivan Sache, 12 Apr 2007

Deutsche Handels- und Plantagen Ges. der Südsee Inseln zu Hamburg

[Deutsche Handels- und Plantagen Ges.] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 22 June 2012

The flag was divided by a white bend sinister into black (hoist) and red (fly). The bend sinister contained a black inscription "D.H.&P.G.". The colours are those of German Empire.
Source: Flaggenkarte, Hrsg.: H. Carly, Hamburg, c.1898
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 22 June 2012

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