August 24, 2011

Africa, with All Its States, Kingdoms, Republics, Regions, Islands, &c

This 1794 map by Solomon Boulton (Bolton) was adapted from one originally published in 1749 by Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d’Anville (1697–1782), the French geographer and cartographer. D’Anville reformed European cartography by rejecting plagiarism and unconfirmed cartography. D’Anville’s maps often had blank spaces in places where earlier maps had been filled with figments of the imagination and features based on hearsay evidence. This map shows gold, silver, and gemstone mines, the hot springs near the settlement of Caledon, and the towns of Stellenbosch and Drakenstein. Also included are legends, text describing Hottentot women, and a long account of the Dutch East India Company (Verenigde Ostindische Compagnie—VOC) at the Cape of Good Hope.

Men, Mines and Animals in South Africa

Lord Randolph Henry Spencer Churchill (1849–95), the father of Prime Minister Winston Churchill, was an important British politician of the late 19th century. First elected to Parliament in 1874, he went on to serve as secretary of state for India, leader of the House of Commons, and Chancellor of the Exchequer. Churchill resigned from the cabinet of Lord Salisbury in December 1886. To recover his health and restore his finances, in 1891 he made a long visit to South Africa, where he hunted, made investments in gold mines, and met with the Dutch (i.e., Afrikaner) and British residents of what was then the British Cape Colony. Churchill’s travels took him through much of present-day South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. He recorded his impressions in a series of letters for the London newspaper The Daily Graphic and later revised these letters for publication in book form. Separate chapters of the work are devoted to diamonds, gold, lions, the trek across Bechuanaland (present-day Botswana), and other topics. Churchill was favorably impressed by the climate, scenery, and mineral wealth of South Africa and called for increased British immigration to the country.

More (Language of the Mossi Tribe) Phrase Book

The Mossi people are the largest ethnic group in Burkina Faso, a landlocked western African nation. The language of the Mossi is Mooré (also known as Moré), which is spoken by about 5 million people in Burkina Faso and by smaller numbers in neighboring Togo and Mali. Burkina Faso is a former French colony, which became the independent state of Upper Volta in 1960. In 1984 the country adopted its present name, meaning “Land of Incorruptible People.” This English–Mooré phrasebook, from the Africa collections of the Library of Congress, was prepared by an American Protestant mission, the Assemblies of God, in Ougadougou in the late 1950s to 1961. Each phrase is given its direct English meaning, the transliterated Mooré equivalent, and the literal English translation of the Mooré. Subjects covered include how to clean a house, making the beds, and gardening. The last three pages are an English–Mooré dictionary of biblical terms.

Cameroon and the German Lake Chad Railway

In 1884 the explorer Gustav Nachtigal signed a treaty with the chiefs of Duala on behalf of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany in which, in return for trade advantages, the chiefs accepted the establishment of a German protectorate. In 1885, the new German colony of Kamerun came into being. A number of influential Germans determined that the colony’s economic potential could be realized only through the construction of a railroad. They established a Cameroon railroad syndicate in 1900, which in 1902 obtained a concession from the German government to build a line that would open the colony’s interior to trade. The syndicate sponsored expeditions in 1902–3 and 1904 to survey the projected route. This 1905 book, by the director of the syndicate, includes an overview of the railroad project and its history, as well as chapters on the land, people, climate, vegetation and animals, and different geographic regions of Cameroon, and illustrations of the subjects covered. Also included is a comparative analysis of railroad construction in Africa in the German, British, French, Belgian, and Portuguese colonies. Three fold-out maps contain information based on the expeditions of 1902–3 and 1904, including the projected route of the railroad from the Atlantic coast at Rio del Rey to Lake Chad in the country’s extreme north.

The Ivory Coast

La Côte d’Ivoire is a comprehensive study of the French colony, published in 1906 in conjunction with the French Colonial Exposition in Marseille. In the years before World War I, France’s global empire, second in size only to Britain’s, was nearing its peak. The exposition was intended to glorify France’s civilizing mission as well as to highlight its profitable trade with the colonies, much of which passed through the port of Marseille. The book consists of four parts. Part one recounts the history and political constitution of the colony. Part two covers the regional subdivisions, or cercles, including their history and descriptions of their natural resources, cultural practices, and political structures and economies. Part three discusses French colonization, the interaction between natives and Europeans, and European use of the colony’s natural resources, including the construction of mines and exploitation of indigenous agriculture. The final part focuses on commerce in the colony, particularly the organization of industry and French methods of industrial management. Included are numerous photographs and statistical tables. Côte d’Ivoire gained its independence in 1960.

A Pilgrimage to My Motherland: An Account of a Journey Among the Egbas and Yorubas of Central Africa, in 1859-60

Robert Campbell (1829–84) was a Jamaican-born printer, journalist, and teacher who, along with Martin Robison Delany (1812–85), made up the Niger Valley Exploring Party of 1859–60, an expedition organized by free African Americans to explore the possibility of colonizing parts of West Africa with black immigrants from America. Campbell traveled first to England in early 1859. He sailed on to Lagos (present-day Nigeria) and traveled northwest to Abeokuta, where he met up with Delany, a journalist, political activist, and graduate of Harvard Medical School. Acting in their capacity as commissioners of the Niger Valley Exploring Party, Delany and Campbell concluded a treaty with the king and chiefs of the Egba giving them the right to establish settlements in the Egba territory. A Pilgrimage to My Motherland: An Account of a Journey Among the Egbas and Yorubas of Central Africa is Campbell’s account of the expedition, and includes descriptions of Abeokuta, ethnographic material, and the text of the treaty he and Delany negotiated. The treaty ran into political resistance among the Egba and was never implemented, but Campbell did immigrate to Africa. With his wife and four children, he settled in Lagos in 1862, where he founded and published the newspaper the Anglo-African and was involved in numerous commercial, civic, and scientific ventures that contributed to the early development of the British colony of Lagos.