European Trading Posts at Savi, 1720s

Click on the image to open a larger version in a new window.
previous image return to thumbnails next image

If you are interested in using this image, please consult Acknowledging the Website.

This record was last updated on 19 Feb 2016

Image Reference

Jean Baptiste Labat, Voyage du Chevalier des Marchais en Guinée . . .fait en 1725, 1726, & 1727 (Amsterdam, 1731), vol. 2 , between pp. 40-41, In Thomas Astley (ed.), A New General Collection of Voyages and Travels (London, 1745-47), vol. 3, plate 9, facing p. 64.

Detailed plan or "prospect of the European factorys" shows surrounding town, compounds (factories) of Portuguese, French, and English; also, palace compound and various of its courts and buildings. In Labat (vol. 2, between pp. 40 and 41), this illustration is titled "Comptoirs des Européens a Xavier" and about 50 buildings and locales are individually identified and named--far more detail is given than shown here in the Astley edition. "The city of Savi . . . was about four miles in circumference. It was so populous that the throngs of people made it difficult to pass along the streets . . . . The daily markets featured all sorts of European and African commodities. Near the European compounds was a square shaded by tall trees where the English, French, Dutch, and Portuguese directors, merchants, and sea captains sat and transacted daily business, much like a European mercantile exchange" (Robert Harms, The Diligent [Basic Books, 2002], p. 156). Savi, the predecessor of the town of Whydah (Ouidah), was the capital of the Hueda Kingdom, c. 1670-1727.