Maps: Africa, Atlantic, New World, Slave Trade

  • Map, Bights of Benin and Biafra, Gulf of Guinea, 1840s-1850s

    Watercolor, pencil, and ink. This map highlights the Bight of Benin, but it shows much more. Extending east and southeast from the Volta River and Cape St. Paul (Ghana) to Cape Lopez and the Nazareth River (today, the Ogoou/Ogowa River) in present-day Gabon, this roughly drawn map identifies rivers and their estuaries, including the Niger Delta, and shows various geographical locales in the Bights of Benin and Biafra as well as the larger Gulf of Guinea with its offshore islands, e.g., Fernando Po, Prince's Island, St. Thomas (today, Bioko, Principe, Sao Tome). Two large trees (mangroves?) dominate the scene. See other image references UVA on this site. For background to this and other UVA images, see image reference UVA01.
  • Map of Corisco Bay, Equatorial Guinea/Gabon, ca. 1840s-1850s

    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), ItÂndeluku, 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.
  • Destinations of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1451-1870

    This image is a composite of 4 separate maps published in Curtin. The four maps show the numbers of slaves transported from Africa to New World areas over the period 1451-1870; thickness of arrows indicates numbers of enslaved to each major area. Although the numbers in this map would be different in light of research since Curtin's pioneering work was published, the map still gives a graphic idea of the relative intensity of the Atlantic slave trade to New World areas through time.
  • Caribbean, 18th cent.

    Shows major areas involved in importing enslaved Africans. Map placed on website with permission of the William and Mary Quarterly.
  • Major Slaving Regions of West Africa

    Shows major areas of slaving activities and embarkation ports; see caption on map for original source. Map placed on website with permission of the William and Mary Quarterly.
  • Atlantic and Bordering Continental Areas

    Map placed on website with permission of the William and Mary Quarterly; permission from Harvard University Press is pending.
  • West Central Africa, Congo and Angola, 1662

    Title: Regna Congo et Angola. The same map (although with a different cartouche and some minor interior variations) in black and white, was published later in D. O. Dapper, Description de l'Afrique . . . Traduite du Flamand (Amsterdam,1686; 1st ed., 1668); see DAP12 on this website.
  • Western Africa, 1662

    Title: Guinea. Colored engraving, interior and coastal place names with drawings of animals. This map is very similar to one published later in D. O. Dapper, Description de l'Afrique . . . Traduite du Flamand (Amsterdam,1686;1st ed., 1668), facing p. 250; see image reference A003 on this website.
  • European Settlements in North America and Caribbean, 1733

    Identifies British, French, and Spanish colonies.
  • Caribbean, 1662

    Color map, also showing Northern South America, Central America, Mexico, and Florida.
  • Atlantic Ocean with Bordering Continental Areas, 1680

    Enlarged section of original colored map, showing North and South Atlantic, with bordering continental areas in Europe, Africa, North and South America.
  • Africa, Distribution of Ethnic Groups

    This map depicts very rough locations of many major ethno-linguistic groups; it cannot be precise, but gives some graphic indication of the complexity of ethno-linguistic distributions in Africa.
  • West Africa, 1450-1865

    Major regions and slaving areas of West Africa; inset shows major slave ports of the Gold and Slave coasts. Permission to reproduce this image has been given by Harcourt, Inc. which specifies the inclusion of the following copyright credit and warning: This material may not be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher.
  • Africa, 1450-1865

    Outline map of continent, showing major pre-colonial regions and slaving areas. Permission to reproduce this image has been given by Harcourt, Inc. which specifies the inclusion of the following copyright credit and warning: This material may not be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher.
  • West and Central African Slaving Regions

    Line drawing of modern map, showing countries of West Africa; also, coastal slaving regions, e.g., Senegambia, Upper Guinea,Gold Coast, Bight of Biafra.
  • West Africa, late 17th cent.

    Title: Guinea. Black/white engraving, interior and coastal place names with drawings of animals. This map is very similar to, and is probably derived from, Joan Blaeu, [Atlas Major] Geographia, quae est Cosmographia Blaviana . . . (Amsterdam, 1662), vol. 9, between pp. 115 and 116; see image reference blaeu02 on this website. In an informed discussion of Dapper as an historical source, Adam Jones writes there is virtually no evidence that Dapper took much interest in what sort of visual material was to accompany his text, and that it was the publisher, Van Meurs, who probably did all the engraving himself. With respect to the maps, in particular, Jones notes they were evidently made without reference to Dapper's text, but he discusses the sources from which the maps were probably derived (Decompiling Dapper: A Preliminary Search for Evidence, History in Africa [1990], vol. 17, pp. 187-190).
  • West Africa, 1754

    Contains considerable detail, coastal and interior place names and geographical features. Snelgrave voyaged to West Africa as a slave trader from 1704 to 1729-30.
  • West Africa, 1743

    Hand-colored; shows major regions, Aethiopia and Guinea, with many place names; inset shows Africans loading ivory tusks, also various buildings.
  • Gold Coast, 1729

    Titled, A Map of the Gold Coast from Isini to Alampi, by M. D'Anville. April 1729, shows location of coastal forts and towns, as well as political and ethnic groups and their approximate territorial distributions in addition to occasional comments on the political status of various groups, e.g., Fantin country, rich and powerful, Aqua subject to Fantin, Country of Akanni, formerly very powerful and rich in gold, and so forth. At the top of the map is a notation beyond this the country is unknown to Europeans.
  • Gambia River and Surrounding Area, 1732

    A map of the river Gambra [sic] from its mouth to Eropina, identifies many place names and gives other geographical information.
  • Map, Atlantic Ocean, 1815

    Shows north and middle Atlantic with bordering continental areas and islands as well as major ship routes between Europe/Africa and the western hemisphere; the dark area in the center represents the gulf stream flowing from the Senegambia region to Florida.
  • Map, Atlantic Ocean, ca. 1794

    Shows north Atlantic basin with bordering continental areas and islands.
  • Africa, ca. 1687-1690

    One of several maps that John Custis assembled and bound together in atlas format with the title The English Atlas. The atlas, itself is not a publication; the date on the bookplate is 1698. The Overton/Lea map of Africa is one of a series of the four continents. The John Carter Brown Library dates the map at approximately 1687, CW dates it to 1690. (Information, courtesy of M. Martin, Visual Resources Librarian and L.P. Barry, Assistant Curator, Prints, Maps, CW; S. Danforth, Map Librarian, JCB.)
  • Gold Coast and Adjacent Regions, ca. 1730

    Sectional enlargement of map of Africa, showing in detail the Gold Coast and adjacent Ivory and Slave Coasts, with locations of European forts and trading stations. There is no date on this map, but CW dates it ca. 1730.
  • West and West Central Africa, late 17th cent.

    Title: Guinea. Black/white engraving, interior and coastal place names with drawings of animals. This map is very similar to, and is probably derived from, Joan Blaeu, [Atlas Major] Geographia, quae est Cosmographia Blaviana . . . (Amsterdam, 1662), vol. 9, between pp. 115 and 116; see image reference blaeu01 on this website. In an informed discussion of Dapper as an historical source, Adam Jones writes there is virtually no evidence that Dapper took much interest in what sort of visual material was to accompany his text, and that it was the publisher, Van Meurs, who probably did all the engraving himself. With respect to the maps, in particular, Jones notes they were evidently made without reference to Dapper's text, but he discusses the sources from which the maps were probably derived (Decompiling Dapper: A Preliminary Search for Evidence (History in Africa [1990], vol. 17, pp. 187-190).
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