Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Nieuwhof, Johann Jacob

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NIEUWHOF, Johann Jacob (nyoy-hoff), German navigator, b. in Usen, Westphalia, in 1610; d. on the coast of Malabar, 29 Sept., 1672. He entered the service of the Dutch West India company as supercargo and made several voyages to South America. The Dutch under Prince Maurice of Nassau-Siegen (q. v.) having conquered northern Brazil, Nieuwhof went to that country about 1640, and, being employed to explore the regions between Maranham and San Francisco rivers, made a particular study of the neighborhood of Pernambuco. He left Brazil in 1649 when the Portuguese captured Rio Grande, and passed to the service of the East Indian company. He resided several years in Batavia, was appointed in 1654 steward of the mission to China under Peter van Goyer and Jacob van Keyser, remained in the latter country till 1657, when he became governor of Ceylon. Returning in 1672 to the Indies from Holland, he landed to trade on the Malabar coast, and was not seen again. He was probably murdered by the natives. He left several manuscripts, which were published after his death, including “Zonderlinge reis naar Brazilie over zee en over land” (Amsterdam, 1682), and several works on Chinese history and institutions.