Elmina Castle and Neighboring Village, Gold Coast, 1731-1732

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This record was last updated on 09 May 2017

Image Reference

Robert Durand, Journal de bord d'un negrier, 1731-1732, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, Gen Mss, vol. 7, p. 38 (slide of drawing, courtesy of Robert Harms).

Durand sailed on a French slaving vessel when he visited the West African coast. He writes that Elmina "is undoubtedly the most handsome and strongest fort of the coast. It is situated on the seashore, and farther up on a mountain is another fort that dominates the one below . . . The village at the foot of the two forts resembles a small city. The streets are well laid out, and there are workers of all professions. The houses are very pretty" (Robert Harms, translation). For Durand's comments on this drawing and its historical context, see Robert Harms, The Diligent: A Voyage through the worlds of the slave trade (Basic Books, 2002), fig. 17.1 pp. 133-135. See also Christopher DeCorse, An Archaeology of Elmina: Africans and Europeans on the Gold Coast, 1400-1900 (Smithsonian Institution Press, 2001).