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to cape St. Catherine in lat. 2° 20' S. 4. The coast of Congo, sometimes called Lower Guinea and sometimes the coatt of Angola, which takes in all the rest of the country as far as cape Negro m lat. 16° 5' S. where the uninhabited shore commences.
Productions.] There are many fertile and well watered tracts in this country which would yield the sugar cane, cotton, maize, rice, tobacco, and all the tropical fruits in abundance. On the banks of the Senegal grows the Baobab, which frequently attains the circumference of 60 and 70 feet and is the largest tree of the forest. But the principal articles which attract Europeans to this coast are its gum, gold, ivory, and slaves.
Inhabitants.] The inhabitants consist principally of 4 races of negroes. 1. The Mandingocs, whose original abode was in Central Africa near the sources of the Niger, but they have now spread themselves through all the countries on the banks of the Niger, the Senegal, and, above all, of the Gambia, and have become the most numerous of all the races in West Africa. They are a very gentle race, cheerful in their dispositions, inquisitive, credulous, simple and fond of flattery. Theit language is more refined than that of their neighbors, and is the language of commerce through a great extent of country. All the adjoining districts, indeed, are traversed by troops of Mandingo merchants, resembling in their habits and manner? the Arabian caravan traders.
2. The Foulalis are also very widely diffused. Their original seat was near the sources of the Senegal, but they now possess populous and powerful kingdoms on the Niger, the Gambia, and the lower part of the Senegal, besides detached districts in many other places. They are Mahometans, but do not observe the rules of that religion with strictness, and are perfectly tolerant towards those of other sects. Their chief employment is pasturage. They are industrious, hospitable, and humane, and particularly celebrated for the mildness and politeness of their behaviour; so that in many places it is considered infamous to injure a Foulah.
3. The Feloops inhabit an extensive country, situated on the southern side of the Gambia. They are a wild, unsociable race, and have little direct intercourse with Europeans, the trade with them being generally carried on by Mandingo factors. 4. The Jaloffs occupy roost of the country between the lower part of the Gambia and that of the Senegal. They profess the Mahometan religion, but combine with it many of their ancient superstitions. They are the handsomest negroes in this part of Africa, and are considerably cultivated. They excel the Mandingoes in the manufacture of cotton cloth.
European Settlements.] St. Louis, the capital of all the French settlements in Africa, is on a barren, sandy island in the Senegal, about 10 miles from its mouth. The population is estimated at 3,300, consisting of whiles, negroes and mulattoes. The principal article of the trade of this settlement is the gum. known Id commerce by tlie i.aiue of gum Senegal, which is much superior even to that of Arabia, and in some of the art* no other gam cm be u.eil as a »uh»tilule. The foresu of acucia, from H h.cb thio tubstance exudes, grow in a desert tract lyiug north of the Senegal, unci forming pait of the Sahara- There are three great lur«*»l», in the possession of three tribe* of Moon, w ho collect about 5oO,000 pounds of gum anuually, and bring it for tale to the bantu oi the Senegal, at the rime and place appointed by the French.
GatLim is a French settlement on the upper part of the Senegal, established more than u century aeo. with the intention of opening a communication from it with Tomlmctoo, and the other countries on the Nicer in Central Africa; Lot after many fruitless attempts this object has been abandoned. During the flourishing period of the slave trade Galium was the rendezvous for all the slaves brought from the interior, but it* commerce ha* now greatly declined.
liathurtt is a British settlement formed within a few years, on the island of St. Mary's, at the mouth of the Gambia. The object of the establishment is to introduce a regular trade into the Gambia, in the place of the slave trade ; and thus far it has lieen remarkably prosperous. In 1619 the town contained more than 1,000 inhabitants, besides the garrison; and the duties on wax, ivory, gum, gold and hides exported to Great Britain, during the •ame year, amounted to more than £11,000 sterling. In point of commercial importance, this settlement bids fair to become the first British establishment in West Africa.
Goree it a small island, or rather rock, a mile from the south shore of the promontory which forms cape Verde. It is important principally as a military station, the French having made it the bulwark of their possesions in Africa. At the foot of the rock is the town of Goree, containing about 5,000 inhabitants.
II. COAST OF SIERRA LEONE.
This coast is distinguished principally for the colony planted there by the Briti-h in I7'J1, lor the purpose of cultivating the productions suited to the climate, and opening a trade with the interior. The first setilers were about 500 in number, princi
Klly blacks, who were increased in 1792 by 1200 free negroes im Nova Scotia. They suffered severely from sickness, and in 1794, the settlement was destroyed by the French, but it was afterwards re-established, and in 1009 contained 1,500 persons; since which it has been very flourishing, and is now the most important English colony in Africa, except that at the cape of Good Hope. The population in 1820 was more than 12,000, and consisted principally of Africans rescued from the holds of slave ships, and who, when they were introduced into the colony, were at the lowest point of mental and moral depression. They now exhibit a very gratifying proof of the susceptibility of the African character for improvement and civilization. From savages ami gro** idolaters, many of them have been converted into enterprising traders, skilful mechanics, and industrious farmers, snpporttr.g themselves and their families incomtort, and performing respectably all the duties of citizens. They present the singular spectacle of a community of black men living in freedom, enjoying the benefits of the Bi itish constitution, regularly attending pubiic worship, and gradually improving, by means of schools and other institutions, in knowledge and civilization. This happy change ha* been effected by the blessing of God on the labors of 1 ngli*h missionaries. The number of missionaries in the colony in 1UI9 was 17, and the number of the children in the schools at the various settlements was 2,104. Freetown, the capital, is on the south side of Sierra Leone river, near its mouth, and contained, ha 1820, 4,785 inhabitants. The lands on the banks of the river for a considerable distance from its mouth are very fertile, producing cotton, rice, sugar, and most of the tropical iruits.
The American Colonization society have just commenced a settlement on this coast near cape Mesurado.
III. COAST OF GUINEA.
This coast is subdivided into the Grain coast, the Ivory coast, the Gold coast, the Slave coast, and tlin kingdoms of Benin and Biafra. Besides these, the kingdoms of Ashantee and Dahomey, situated in the interior, behind the Gold and Slave coasts, are usually included under the hpad of Guinea.
1. The Grain coast, called also the Pepper coast, extends from the river Mesurado to the village of Growa, 10 miles beyond cape Palmas. It yields a coarse species of pepper, but neither gold, ivory, slaves, nor any other valuable article of trade, and has, therefore, been little frequented by Europeans.
2. The Ivory coast extends from the village of Growa to cap* Apollonia in Ion. 3° 10' W. It abounds with ivory, but has never been much frequented, owing to the want of harbors. The shore is low, and runs in a direct line, without bays or inlets, and the sarf is so violent, that only the natives can navigate through it. The usual method ol carrying on trade is by boats, sent from the ships to meet the. canoes at a certain distance from the shore. The inhabitants are said to be more savage than any others on the African coast.
3. The Gold coast extend* from cape Apollonia to the Rio Volta, which discharges itself into the Atlantic under 0° 47' W. European settlements and trade have been carried here to a greater extent than in any other part of Africa. The principal articles of commerce are gold and ivory, which are brought in large quantities from the interior- The trade was formerly in the hands of the Portuguese, and afterwards o/ the Dutch, bat Britain has now a more extensive footing on this coast than any
other nation. Cape Coast castle, the capital of all her settlements in Guinea, is in lon. 1920 W. and contains 8,000 inhabitants. She maintains forts also at all the other important points on the coast. Elmina, the capital of the Dutch settlements in West Asrica, and the most respectable fortress on the Gold coast, is situated on a peninsula, at the mouth of a small river, in lon. 9° 30' W. It contains 15,000 inhabitants. The most numerous and powerful ...}. on the Gold coast are the Fantees, but their power, since 1811, has been almost entirely broken by repeated and formidable invasions of the Ashantees from the interior. 4. The Slave coast extends from the Rio Volta to the bay and river of Lagos, which separate it from Benin. About 70 years ago, cultivation and the arts were carried to greater perfection on this coast than in any other part of Africa. The agricultural industry, the economy of land, and the density of the population were scarcely surpassed in the most flourishing parts of China. But this prosperity received a fatal blow, about the middle of the last century, by the invasion of the king of Dahomey, who defeated the kings of Widah and Ardra, the former sovereigns of the country, burnt the principal cities, and massacred a large portion of the population. The coast has ever since formed a part of the territory of Dahomey, and is governed by a viceroy; but under this ferocious and military tyranny it can uever prosper. The only object for which Europeans visited this country was slaves, which were procured in great numbers, and the British formerly had extensive slave factories here, but since the abolition of the slave trade they have been withdrawn. 5. Benin extends from the Rio Lagos to the Rio Formosa, which falls into the Atlantic in 5° 20' E. The whole coast presents a succession of estuaries, some of them very broad, and the origin of which has never been explored. These streams, dividing into branches and intersecting the country, form a great number of alluvial islands, and this aspect of the coast has suggested to a recent geographer, that these islands might form the Delta of the Niger or great central river of Africa, the termination of which is involved in so much mystery. The king of Benin is an absolute monarch. The inhabitants are gentle in their manners, and in agricultural industry are superior to most of the African tribes. 6. Biafra lies to the south-east of Benin, and borders upon it, but is almost wholly unknown. 7. The names of Calbongos, Gabon, Gobbi, and Camma appear on the maps, along the coast between Biafra and cape St. Catherine, but they are not to be found in the works of some of the best geographers. 8. Ashantee is an extensive territoy situated immediately behind the states which occupy the Gold coast. This kingdom, the name of which till very lately had scarcely reached Europeans, seems to be indisputably the most powerful, civilized and commercial of any in West Africa. They were first brought under the notice of the Europeans in 1806, by their invasion of the Fantees and other tribes on the Gold coast. Cummazee, the capital, was never visited by Europeans till the year I8T7, when a mission was sent to it by tbe British from Cape Coast castle. The houses are small, but the palace is a magnificent structure, and the population is estimated at 40,000. As this city maintains a constant communication with Tombuctoo, Houssa, and other places on the Niger, it is supposed that it may becom^-an advantageous channel for exploring the interior of Africa.
9. Dahomey is a considerable kingdom situated behind the countries on the Slave coast. It was scarcely known to Europeans till the middle of the last century, when the king extended his dominion to the sea, by the conquest of Widah and Ardra. The government is an absolute despotism of a singular character, being founded not on force or terror, but on a blind and idolatrous veneration for the person of the sovereign. The most extraordinary exercise of this despotism is in the treatment of the female sex, all of whom are considered as the property of the king, and entirely at his disposal. A distribution of wives takes place once a year at a grand festival, when each individual gives in snch a sum as he is able to spare for the purchase, and receives in return snch a wife as the king chuses to bestow. There is no room for discussion or complaint; be she old, ugly or deformed, she mnst be taken. The king himself has about 3.000 wives. They are trained to arms, and compose a regiment of guards for the de fence of his person. War is the delight of the Dahomans, and the ferocity which prevails among them almost surpasses belief. Human skulls form the favorite ornament in the construction of the palaces and temples. The king's sleeping chamber has the floor paved with the skulls, and the roof ornamented with the jaw-bones of chiefs whom he has slain in battle. Every year a grand festival is held, which lasts for several weeks, and during which the king waters the graves of bis ancestors with the blood of human victims.
IV. COAST OF CONGO.
The following are the countries on this coast, arranged in geographical order.
1. Loango, in its widest sense, extends from cape St. Catherine in lat. 2° 20' S. to the river Zaire, a distance of more than 400 miles. The southern part, however, extending from 5° 5' S. lat. to the river Zaire is also called Cacongo. The whole of this coast has been visited by the Portuguese and French almost exclusively for the purchase of slaves. The principal places are, 1. Alaynmba, situated at the bottom of a bay of the same name, in lat. 3° 45' S. The Mayomba negroes are of an inferior quality; their breast is narrow, their fibre soft, and their teeth bad. 2. Ia>ango or Booali, the capital and residence of the king, is sitaated about 3 miles from the bay of the same name in lat. 4° 40' S. It has 15,000 inhabitants and carries on considerable trade- 3. jfa_