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ESTABLISHMENTS IN AFRICA.
ExCLUSIVE TRADE OF PORTUGAL TO AFRICA. — voyag ES OF
wind HAM AND LOK. – SUCCESS OF LOK. — ADw ENTUREs of ANDREW BATTEL.-TAKEN PRISONER BY THE PORTUGUESE. – cArtRIED To ANGoLA, - TRADES FOR THE GOVERNOR. - ATTEMPTS TO ESCAPE.- DETECTED AND IMPRISONED.— SENT To MASSINGANO. - ESCAPES. — HIS JOURNEY. - RETAKEN. — SENT TO ELAMBO. — WOUNDED IN BATTLE. — THE PORTUGUESE TRADE WITH THE GIAGAS. — FOLLOW THEM UP THE count RY. – BATTEL LEFT AS A HOSTAGE, - THREATENED
... witH DEATH. – EscAPES TO THE GIAGAS. - RETURNS To MAssiNga No. — PEACE witH ENGLAND. — BATTEL's DisMISSAL REFUSED.- HE DESERTS THE THIRD TIME.- BETAKES HIMSELF TO THE WOODS. – LAKE KASANSA. - HE BUILDS A BoAT, AND REACHES THE SEA. — PICKED UP. — RETURNs HOME. – MISSION TO THE GIAGAS. - THEIR ATROCITIES. –
- ZINGHA EMBRACES CHRISTIANITY. - ENGLISH SENEGAL COM. PAN.Y. – THOMPSON ASCENDS THE GAMBIA, - HIS DEATH. VOYAGE OF JOBSON. – CONFERENCE WITH BUCKAR S.A.No. ACCOUNTS OF TIMBUCTOO. — THE SILENT TRAFFIC. — FRENCH CoMPANIES. — JANNEQUIN's TRAVELS. - BRUE ASCENDS THE SENEGAL. - RECEIVES INTELLIGENCE OF THE GOLD TRADE. - COMPAGN on WISITS BAMBOUK. - REMISSNESS OF THE PORTUGUESEs
WHILE the Europeans planted their flag and established their power in the New World, and in the remotest countries of the East, they made comparatively little progress nearer home, where, nevertheless, they did not neglect to make pretensions of dominion. African discoveries were not prosecuted with zeal until their difficulty was fully known, and until curiosity was excited by an appearance of inscrutable mystery. The Portuguese, having first discovered the coasts of Africa, asserted, by virtue of the pope's grant, an exclusive right to the trade or dominion of that extensive region. The English, at an early period, attempted to share in this trade. In 1481, two Englishmen were reported to be engaged in equipping a squadron, under the patronage of the duke de Medina Sidonia, to sail to the coast of Guinea. Ambassadors were immediately despatched from the court of Portugal to remonstrate with Edward IV. respecting the invasion of a right sanctioned by the pope, whose authority to dispose of kingdoms was not yet called in question, and to prevail on him to prohibit his subjects from interfering with the Portuguese possessions in Africa. This request was granted; and the English traders were for many years compelled to confine themselves within the narrow limits drawn by bigotry and political usurpation. The chief African possessions of the Portuguese were in the Senegambia, or the country between the rivers Senegal and Gambia, on the Gold Coast, and in Congo. Little is known of their proceedings; and it is even surprising to reflect how little instruction mankind has derived from the unwearied activity of the Portuguese during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The prevalence of their language in the country south of the Gambia proves that their power was there once widely established; and it is thought that even Bambouk at one time owned their sway. Merchants and missionaries were their travellers: the former attentive to nothing besides gain; the latter sunk in blind superstition, and viewing every object with the eyes of narrow-minded bigotry. As the Reformation shook the influence of the pope in England, it effectually broke down the barriers opposed to conquest by the pontifical decrees, and the English felt themselves at full liberty to encroach on rights which were founded upon principles no longer acknowledged or respected. In spite of the remonstrances and threats of the court of Portugal, two ships, well manned and armed, under the command of captain Windham, were despatched to trade on the coast of Guinea in 1553. Windham was accompanied by a Portuguese named Pinteado, who, having fallen into disgrace in his own country, transferred his services to the English merchants. Windham's pride took offence at this appointment of a colleague; and, in consequence, he treated Pinteado with a brutality and contempt which were attended with most disastrous effects to the expedition. When Pinteado advised the commander to exchange his merchandise for gold on the coast of Guinea, and to avoid the unhealthy shores of Benin, Windham, from a spirit of opposition, pursued the very course which he ought to have avoided. Windham and above two thirds of the crew were cut off by the diseases of the climate: Pinteado expired on the voyage home through grief and vexation. The deplorable termination of this voyage, occasioned manifestly by the misconduct of the commander, did not discourage the merchants of London from making a second experiment. In 1554, three vessels sailed for Guinea, under the command of captain John Lok. These vessels met with no accident or interruption in the course of their trading voyage along the coast of Guinea: they brought home above 400 pounds' weight of gold, a large quantity of Guinea pepper, and 250 elephants' teeth of different sizes. Among the objects of curiosity found or expected along this strange coast, the elephant seems to have excited the most interest in the English traders. They brought home with them the head of one, so large, that the skull alone, exclusive of the lower jaw and great tusks, weighed above 200 pounds' weight, and was as much as a man could raise from the ground. Yet it may be doubted whether the author of the narrative (who was also the pilot of the voyage) ever saw an elephant; since he thinks fit to inform us, that “ the great teeth, or tusks, grow on the upper jaw downward, and not in the lower jaw upwards, as the painters and arras-workers represent them.” Of the natives he observes, that their princes and noblemen pounce and raise their skins in divers figures, like flowered damask. They expected civility and strict honesty in those who dealt with them, at which the English pilot expresses a rather discreditable surprise. Captain Lok brought VoI, II, Q
home with him some negro slaves, who, he informs us, were tall and strong men, and well pleased with English fare, but somewhat indisposed with the coldness and moisture of the climate. The success of this voyage was so encouraging as to give rise to the establishment of a regular Guinea trade; which was carried on by private adventurers for some years, unattended with any remarkable event, although exposed to the continual hostility of the Portuguese. To the narrative of an English prisoner, however, we owe the first and most interesting accounts of the Portuguese settlements in Congo. Andrew Battel sailed from the Thames in 1589, in a small vessel bound to the La Plata. The pinnace destined for this long voyage was of only fifty tons burden: but the boldness of navigators in that age is not to be estimated merely from the smallness of the vessels with which they ventured across the ocean; they seem also in many instances to have neglected the necessary equipments, and, with the spirit of rovers, to have trusted to fortune or to force to supply them with the necessaries of life. The ship in which Battel was embarked, after suffering much from the want of provisions, anchored at the little island of St. Sebastian, on the coast of Brazil. Here the half-famished crew went ashore, to catch fish or to wander through the woods in search of fruit. In the mean time a canoe full of Indians, from the town of Spiritu Santo, observing what passed, landed on the opposite side of the island, and advancing secretly through the woods, seized five of the company, and Battel among the number, and carried them off to Rio Janeiro. After four months' imprisonment in this place, Battel was sent to Angola, and afterwards to a fort on the Coanza 130 miles up the country. When he had remained here two months, the pilot of the governor's pinnace died, and Battel was commanded to steer her down the river to the town of St. Paul, on the sea-coast, where he fell sick, and continued eight months seriously indisposed; being treated with harshness and neglect as a heretic and an Englishman. He at length recovered, however, and was employed by the governor to trade for him in a small vessel to the river Zaire, and afterwards to Loango. In this task he acquitted himself with ability and success. For one yard of cloth, the Portuguese could purchase from the natives three elephants' teeth weighing 120 pounds. The governor of Angola, finding Battel a valuable servant, promised him his freedom as the reward of his zeal and fidelity. He thus continued for two years and a half to carry on a trade along the coast, from Angola to Loango. At the end of that time a Dutch ship arrived at St. Paul, the master of which promised to give Battel a passage home. Accordingly he stole privately on board; but as the ship was about to weigh anchor, he was betrayed by the Portuguese seamen, and carried back to prison, where he lay for two months in heavy irons, expecting every day to be put to death. But the Portuguese, being engaged in perpetual wars with the natives, were unwilling to sacrifice the life of a white man, to which, in their peculiar situation, an extraordinary value was attached. Battel was banished to Massangano, where he lived six years, bearing the brunt of the warfare with the natives, and with little hope of ever beholding the sea again. In the fort of Massangano he found some Moors and Egyptians, companions in misfortune, kept in slavery by the Portuguese, and employed to enslave others. To one of the Egyptians, Battel ventured to hint that it would be better for them at once to venture their lives for their liberty than to wear away existence in such a miserable servitude. The Egyptian liked the proposal, and others were soon found to join in the conspiracy. Three Egyptians and seven Portuguese, along with Battel; at length stole off. On the night of their escape, they seized the best canoe they could meet with, and descended the river Coanza. When at a considerable distance from the fort, they went ashore with their muskets and ammunition, taking care to sink the canoe,