Map of Corisco Bay, Equatorial Guinea/Gabon, ca. 1840s-1850s

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This record was last updated on 27 Jun 2017

Image Reference

Drawings of Western Africa (University of Virginia Library, Special Collections, MSS 14357, no. 3).

Pencil and crayon. Captioned by the artist "Corisco Bay & its surroundings 40 miles from North to South. 20 miles from East to West." A rough map of Corisco Bay from Cape Esterias and the Gabon River in the south to Cape St. John and Batanga Bay in the north. Corisco Island (today part of Equatorial Guinea, formerly called Rio Muni) is in the center of the bay, between Cape St. John and Cape Esterias, with the two Elobi (Alobi,Elobey, Eloby) islets about 11 miles to the northeast. A French fort (established in 1842 or 1843) and a Presbyterian mission station, identified as ABCFM (i.e., American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions), established in 1842 among the Mpongwe people, are shown on Cape Esterias, at the northern estuary of the Gabon River; by present-day Libreville. An inset drawing in the lower left gives a view of Corisco Island, as seen from the west. Several mission stations are identified: from left to right, Alingo (Alongo, Elongo), Itåndeluku, and Evangasimba; the small island of Laval is located approximately a mile distant. In 1850, the American Presbyterian Church (Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions) established a mission on Corisco Island in the belief that the island would be safer from disease than the mainland. Its first station was at Evangasimba, on the island's western side; this was followed not long after by Ugobi, two miles away toward the southern end, and then Elongo, three miles distant on the island's northern end. Sources: Historical Sketches of the Missions under the Care of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church (Philadelphia, 1891), pp. 20-21; Mary Kingsley,Travels in West Africa (London, 1897), pp. pp. 384-409; Robert H. Nassau, A History of the Presbytery of the Corisco (Trenton, N.J., 1888), pp. 5-11); Robert H. Nassau, Corisco Days: The First Thirty Years of the West Africa Mission (Philadelphia, 1910); John L. Wilson, Western Africa (New York, 1856), chapter 5. See other image references “UVA” on this site. For background to this and other UVA images, see image reference UVA01.