Map of Cape Verde


This distinctive French map of Cape Verde and the Island of Gorée, Senegal, probably dates from the first half of the 18th century. The Portuguese were the first European settlers in this region, having arrived around 1450. In the 16th century, French and English pirates and merchants asserted increasing influence in Senegal. In 1633, the French established the Senegal Company, which was based on the gum and slave trades. Most prominently featured on this map are structures on the Island of Gorée depicting the renowned "factory" or slave-trading center. The map includes the coastline, coastal features, soundings, shoals, settlements (including Rufisque), and pictorial representation of relief. It also includes a keyed legend indicating various pieces of information. The map is oriented with west at the top. It is part of a collection of materials, possibly commissioned by the Spanish Navy, from the Real Escuela de Navegación, Cadiz, Spain, in the collections of the Library of Congress and purchased from Maggs Brothers, London. Because of its historic role in the Atlantic slave trade, the Island of Gorée was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978.

Date Created

Subject Date


Title in Original Language

Plan du Cap Verd

Additional Subjects

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 pen-and-ink and watercolor manuscript map ; 31 x 33 centimeters


  • Scale approximately 1:100,000

Last updated: March 9, 2015