Observations upon the Windward Coast of Africa, the religion, character, customs, &c. of the natives; with a system upon which they may be civilized, and a knowledge attained of the interior of this extraordinary quarter of the globe; and upon the natural and commercial resources of the country: made in the years 1805 and 1806
G. & W. Nicol. James Asperne.
Travel Writings
Goldsmiths' Library of Economic Literature, University of London. Rhodes House, Oxford. British Library. Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Kongelige Bibliotek, Danmark. Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Nederland. Biblioteca National, Portugal.
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Observations Travel West Africa Customs Slave Trade Sierra Leone Senegal
Addressed to Castlereagh, secretary of state for foreign affairs, this text is intends to promote the commercial interests of Britain against the French, but equally to "diffuse the influence of civilization" (ix) in West Africa through colonisation. Corry made two voyages to the Senegambia coast in 1805-06, stopping at Bance, Goree, the Cap Verde islands etc. His position on slavery is contradictory: although an apologist for the European trade, he declares himself "the zealous advocate of the radical abolition of the slavery of the human kind" (52-53), based on "the feelings of the more refined inhabitants of Europe" (56). Corry is critical of the Sierra Leone project, and his own African colonisation scheme is based on the initial use of slave labour, followed by gradual emancipation and initiation into "the circle of civilized life" (84). Also contains observations on the strategic importance of the colonies of Dutch Guiana to Britain (Corry returned to the UK in 1806-07 via South America and the West Indies).
Appendices include a letter to Lord Howick "on the most simple and ready Mode of gradually and effectually abolishing the Slave Trade" (123), a letter to the Commissioners of the Admiralty, glossaries and vocabulary of African languages and customs.