Freetown, Sierra Leone, mid-19th cent.

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This record was last updated on 08 Sep 2015

Image Reference

Drawings of Western Africa (University of Virginia Library, Special Collections, MSS 14357, no. 8).

Ink, watercolor and crayon. In the foreground are Euro-American ships, including on the extreme left what appears to be a steamship with sails, and some smaller vessels. Three male figures are standing on a stone wharf in the center. Under the center figure, barely visible, is the hand written label identifying “King Jimmy” (i.e., King Jemmy, the 1790s Temne paramount chief; today the area is known as King Jimmy’s Wharf). A number of the town’s buildings are identified: St. George Cathedral (extreme left; completed ca. 1828); Soldier’s Hospital, Barracks (center); Government Store (right); Liberated Slaves Compound (extreme right; where Africans rescued from slaving vessels were kept for medical attention and until plans could be made for their settlement). 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. The drawing shown here bears a striking resemblance to an engraving of Freetown published in John L. Wilson, Western Africa (New York, 1856), p. 418.