Map of West African Coastal Areas, mid-19th cent.

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This record was last updated on 09 Sep 2015

Image Reference

Drawings of Western Africa (University of Virginia Library, Special Collections, MSS 14357, no. 2).

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 Ogooué/Ogowé 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, São Tomé). Two large trees (mangroves?) dominate the scene. This is one of 22 works displayed on this website of West African coastal scenes -- out of a total of 32 -- held by University of Virginia Library. None of the works is dated or signed, and they seem to have been done by at least two different persons (perhaps associated with missionary activities in West Africa and/or the American Colonization Society). See also other image references “UVA” on this website.