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In addition, in 1662, the Dutch West India Company made Curaçao a centre for the Atlantic slave trade, often bringing slaves here for sale elsewhere in the Caribbean and on the mainland of South America.

Spanish traders took the name over as Curaçao, which was followed by the Dutch.

Another explanation is that Curaçao was the name by which the indigenous peoples of the island identified themselves, their autonym. Early Spanish accounts support this theory, as they refer to the indigenous peoples as Indios Curaçaos, or "healing Indians".

In the 16th and 17th centuries, sailors on long voyages would get scurvy from lack of vitamin C.

According to some accounts, Portuguese sailors who were ill were left at the island now known as Curaçao.

In the 19th century, Curaçaoans such as Manuel Piar and Luis Brión were prominently engaged in the wars of independence of Venezuela and Colombia.

Political refugees from the mainland (such as Simon Bolivar) regrouped in Curaçao.

In the Franco-Dutch War, Count Jean II d'Estrées planned to attack Curaçao.

His fleet — 12 men of war, three fireships, two transports, a hospital ship, and 12 privateers — met with disaster, losing seven men-of-war and two other ships when they struck reefs off the Las Aves archipelago.

The natural harbour of Willemstad proved to be an ideal spot for trade.

Commerce and shipping—and piracy—became Curaçao's most important economic activities.

After a month, the slave owners suppressed the revolt.