Captured Africans Taken to the Coast, Nigeria, 1853; (or), Liberia, 1840

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This record was last updated on 29 Nov 2010

Image Reference

Sarah Tucker, Abbeokuta; or, sunrise within the tropics: an outline of the origin and progress of the Yoruba mission (London, 1853), facing p. 66. (Copy in Library Company of Philadelphia; see also, Comments)

Caption, "Slaves on their way to the coast." The author, an anti-slavery missionary, traveled to Nigeria in the early 1850s. In Aboh, a town/village, on the western bank of the Niger river, near the Niger delta and Bight of Benin, in Ibo land, her Ibo interpreter told her how difficult it was to completely stop the slave trade. "He drew a vivid picture of the misery it was even then causing in the Iboe country itself--the desolating wars, the separation of parents and children, the ruined villages, the uncultivated fields . . . . he described the sufferings of himself and two hundred other boys on their way from the interior to the coast; told of many that had died from hunger and fatigue, of others that had been offered up as sacrifices by the king of Bonny, and of some among those poor lads who had committed suicide." He was taken aboard a slave ship, but ultimately liberated by the British Navy and taken to Sierra Leone (p. 66). However, this same image was published two years earlier in an apparently anonymously authored work, "Africa redeemed: or, The means of her relief illustrated by the growth and prospects of Liberia" (London, 1851, facing p. 184). In "Africa Redeemed," the image is captioned "Gatumba drives the captive Deys from Millsburgh"; the reference is to a chief Gatumba and his slave raiding activities in 1840 on the Deys, a people across the border from Liberia in neighboring Sierra Leone (see pp. 183-85). Millsburg [sic] is in western Liberia, not far from Monrovia.