History of the Caribbean islands of St. Thomas, St. Crux, and St. Jan; especially of the negroes and the mission of the Protestant brothers among them. First part: Annotated edition of the complete manuscript of the archive of the 'Evangelische Brüder-Unität Herrnhut'. Vol. I of the Complete edition, edited by Gudrun Meier et al.
Oldendorp's manuscript on his journey to the West Indies (May 22, 1767 to Oct. 23, 1768) - aiming at missionary work for the 'Herrnhuter Brüdergemeinde' - was first published in 1777. It is divided into four books: 1) A physical description of the islands how to reach them and to proceed to other places, and their discovery by Europeans, especially Danes; 2) History, climate, mineralogy, geology, medicine, products, flora and fauna (according to Linné's system); 3) inhabitants, especially whites, and their life style; 4) the black population, slaves and freemen, lifestyle, origin, history, customs and habits, etc. The book includes a bibliography of Oldendorp's works, of secondary literature, and numerous drawings (flora, fauna, landscapes) of the author. His text is preceded by four papers dealing with the origin of the manuscripts and documents, Oldendorp's texts from the perspective of missionary history, the project of this text edition and its history, and the work with the manuscript itself.
Keywords: Herrnhuter Brüdergemeinde, missionaries, Oldendorp, C.G.A., Protestant mission