Pruneau de Pommegorge
Antoine Edme
Description de la Nigritie. Par M. P. D. P.
Amsterdam & Paris
Beschreibung von Nigritien (Cuhn: E. W. Sammlung merkwürdiger Reisen, 1790). German.
Travel Writings
Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Kongelige Bibliotek, Danmark. British Library.
click here
Description Black Africa West Senegal Travel Slavery Trade Slave Revolt
This description of Senegal was published by the former governor and commander of a French fort there, in order to encourage French colonial interest in Africa as a focus for mining, agriculture and trading. Pommegorge envisaged West Africa as a potential replacement for the American colonies: closer to Europe, rich, fertile, "more docile and less Republican" (94). The text criticises current European policy on Africa, especially the slave trade, which is reviled as an "odious commerce" (216). He makes reference to the British abolitionists as "protectors of the human race" who had the honour of "setting an example for the other European nations" (218). Pommegorge gives an overview of the inhabitants of Senegal, their customs, agriculture, trading practices etc. This account also contains a rare eye-witness account of a slave revolt in Africa: a chain-gang of 500 slaves on Goree island, being forced to break rocks before being deported to the Americas, were plotting a revolt, which was discovered. When asked if they planned to kill all the whites on the island, the conspirators responded: "dé gue la, dé gue la" (it's true, it's true!) (109).
Includes a dictionary of Wolof phrases, maps of the Niger river and West African coastline, and a plan of the fort at Saint-Louis, Senegal.