Descendant of runaway slaves in Surinam (country in South America, former Dutch colony). Bosnegers founded villages in the forested inlands. They form about 15% of the total Surinam population.
In 1796, John Gabriel Stedman published the memoirs of his five-year voyage to Surinam as part of a military force sent out to subdue bosnegers, former slaves living in the inlands. The book is critical of the treatment of slaves and contains many images by William Blake and Francesco Bartolozzi depicting the cruel treatment of runaway slaves. It became part of a large body of abolitionist literature.
Deriving from the dutch language, it means in literal terms nigger from the woods; a colored person residing in the forest. Another defenition is a forest nigger. A dark person living in the forest or woods.