A new and accurate description of the coast of Guinea

A new and accurate description of the coast of Guinea divided into the gold, the slave, and the Ivory Coasts containing a geographical, political and natural history of the kingdoms and countries: with a particular account of the rise, progress, and present condition of all the European settlements upon that coast, and the just measures for improving the several branches of the Guinea trade, illustrated with several cuts, 2nd ed.

A native of Utrecht, Bosman sailed to Africa’s Gold Coast in 1688 as a 16 year old apprentice, and through daring and shrewd dealing rose to become the Dutch West India Company’s Chief Merchant for the area, in which he was an active participant in the often violent struggle for primacy with the English. In lieu of the subsequent loss of Dutch power, his book also gives practical advice on how best to restore his country’s influence in the area, at the expense of their rivals.
William Bosman. Printed for J. Knapton, D. Midwinter, B. Lintot, G. Strachan, J Round, and E. Bell, 1721. Layton Collection 12718.

  • An articulate and well observed description of the Coast of Guinea that was seen as authoritative for more than a hundred years, the “A new and accurate Description…” is also a primary source for the destructive Komenda Wars, in which the rivalries of the Dutch, English and African powers boiled over into destructive antagonism.


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