The detail from an engraving above is from the collections of the New York Public Library. The engraver was Aldert Meijer, and there is another very similar image titled Engelse Quakers en tabak planters aende Barbados which was published later. This copper engraving is believed to be one of the oldest representations of New Amsterdam, ca. 1640. It is part of the Stokes Collection: Citation/reference : Stokes P.1642-43, B-10. You can see the whole engraving under the entry on the status of slaves.
A slave is a status not an occupation. All slaves in New Netherland had occupations, from menial to skilled. See the links below for more information on their importance in the economy and the community.
For more information on Slavery in New Netherland, please see Andrea Mosterman’s digital exhibit for the New Netherland Institute: https://www.newnetherlandinstitute.org/history-and-heritage/digital-exhibitions/slavery-exhibit/
Alternate views are also available here:
http://maap.columbia.edu/place/30.html - See this link for an article on the 'Land of the Blacks'.
http://maap.columbia.edu/place/31.html - See this link for an article on the building of Fort Amsterdam by 'African Bondsmen'.
http://maap.columbia.edu/place/8.html - This this link for an article on The Great Dock.
After about 1642 in N.A., some enslaved people were given their "half-freedom." They were free to work on their own, as long as their master did not require their services. When he needed them, they returned to work for him.
Both slaves and those with half-freedom were paid by their masters for their work. It was the law. The children of those with half-freedom were not free.
In 1644, eleven slaves petitioned the DWIC for their freedom and it was granted. These men and their wives were given farmland in return for payment of an annual quitrent. They would also be required to serve the DWI when needed but would be paid for their labor. Interestingly, the children of these eleven would remain DWIC slaves.