Voyage dans l’intérieur de l’Afrique, aux sources du Sénégal et de la Gambie, fait en 1818, par ordre du gouvernement français
Vve Courcier
Travels in the interior of Africa, to the sources of the Senegal and Gambia ; performed by command of the French government, in the year 1818, by G. Mollien; edited by T.E. Bowdich (London: H. Colburn, 1820). English.
Travel Writings
Bibliothèque Nationale de France. British Library. Kongelige Bibliotek, Danmark. Brotherton Special Collections, University of Leeds.
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Voyage Interior Africa Senegal Gambia French Colonies Exploration Slave Trade
Mollien's Travels in the Interior of Africa were much cited by nineteenth-century abolitionists, including Thomas Fowell Buxton and Victor Schoelcher, influenced by his reports that Africans, especially those living inland, were more "civilised" than was generally believed in Europe, that contact with slave-dealing Europeans had had an enormously negative impact in the coastal areas, and that the European abolition of the slave trade had failed so far to end the enslavement of Africans. He suggests that the transaharan trade had effectively replaced the transatlantic one. Mollien first travelled to Senegal in 1816, on board the shipwrecked Méduse, which was sent to restore French control of the colony after the Napoleonic wars. He began his year-long expedition into the interior, detailed in this book, in January 1818.
Two volumes. Volume II of the second edition (1822) is also available online: http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k842275 Includes maps and views of West Africa, a glossary of African languages such as Wolof and Peul (Fula), and essays explaining the scientific and geographical significance of Mollien's findings.