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Joseph Alexandre Le Brasseur

(220 words)

Author(s): Frederiks, Martha
Date of Birth: About 1741 Place of Birth: Rembouillet (France) Date of Death: 15 June 1794 Place of Death: Paris BiographyJoseph Alexandre Le Brasseur was born in Rembouillet, France, son of Pierre Le Brasseur, who was estate manager to the Duke of Penthiève (a grandson of Louis XIV). Both 1741 and 1745 are suggested as his possible year of birth. Little is known about him before he began his career as a government employee in 1763. Le Brasseur spent most of his life in the French colonies, including Saint Lucia, Î…

 Copie van de brieven van den godvruchtigen religius broeder Pieter Fardé

(1,759 words)

Author(s): Frederiks, Martha
‘Copy of the letters of the pious religious brother Pieter Fardé’ Pieter Fardé Date: Before 1691 Original Language: Flemish Description Copie van de brieven van den godvruchtigen religieus broeder Pieter Fardé, minderbroeder recollect van de Provincie van St. Joseph in ’t Graefschap van Vlaenderen en ander brieven van diversche perzoonen die schryven wat hem overgekomen is al hy voor de tweede mael zoude gaen naer Jerusalem, waerom hy deze reyze aenveirde, en hoe hy gevangen is van de Algiersche zee-roovers enz is a collection of letters that narrate the enslavement of Piet…

 Miʿrāj al-ṣuʿūd ilā nayl ḥukm mujallab al-Sūd

(1,592 words)

Author(s): Frederiks, Martha
Al-kashf wa-l-bayān li-aṣnāf majlūb al-Sūdān‘The ladder of ascent towards grasping the law concerning transported black Africans’‘The exposition and explanation concerning the varieties of transported black Africans’ Abū l-ʿAbbās Aḥmad Bābā ibn Aḥmad ibn al-Ḥājj Aḥmad ibn ʿUmar ibn Muḥammad Aqīt al-Tinbuktī; Aḥmad Bābā al-Masūfī al-Tinbuktī; Aḥmad Bābā Es Sudane; Aḥmad Bābā the Black Date: Late 16th or early 17th century Original Language: Arabic DescriptionAḥmad Bābā’s Miʿrāj is a short treatise (10 pages in print) that discusses the legitimacy of enslaving …

Nicholas Owen

(325 words)

Author(s): Frederiks, Martha
Date of Birth: First part of the 18th century, possibly 1720s or 1730s Place of Birth: Ireland (location unknown) Date of Death: 26 March 1759 Place of Death: Sherbro Estuary, Sierra Leone BiographyNicholas Owen was an Irish trader who, from 1754 until his death in 1759, lived in the Sherbro Estuary (along the Bum-Kittam and Jong rivers), in present-day Sierra Leone. He was raised in a well-to-do Irish family, but left Ireland – possibly in the 1730s or 1740s – after his father lost his fortune (Owen, Journal of a slave-dealer, p. 97). Together with one of his younger brothers, Blayn…

Pieter Fardé

(417 words)

Author(s): Frederiks, Martha
Date of Birth: 9 May 1651 Place of Birth: Ghent, Belgium Date of Death: 16 June 1691 Place of Death: Aachen, Germany Biography Pieter Fardé was a 17th-century Flemish Franciscan Recollect who is believed to have been captured and enslaved by Algerian corsairs. Some scholars infer an association between Fardé’s captivity narrative  Copie van de brieven van den godvruchtigen religieus broeder Pieter Fardé, minderbroeder recollect van de Provincie van St. Joseph in ’t Graefschap van Vlaenderen (1708) and Franciscan missions to Agades and Katsina in the first decade of the 18th century.…

 Travels into the inland parts of Africa

(1,599 words)

Author(s): Frederiks, Martha
- Francis Moore Date: 1738 Original Language: English Description Travels into the inland parts of Africa is an 18th-century travelogue collection. The main part of the book (some 234 pages) consists of a text written by Francis Moore, who worked for the Royal African Company along the Gambia River between 1730 and 1735. Also included are an account of the voyage of Captain Bartholomew Stibbs to the Gambia in 1723 (70 pages) and translations (possibly by Moore) of older travelogues on West Africa (86 pages), amo…

Francis Moore

(430 words)

Author(s): Frederiks, Martha
Date of Birth: Approximately 1708 Place of Birth: Worcester, England Date of Death: May 1770 Place of Death: Feckenham, Worcestershire, England BiographyFrancis Moore was the son of William and Elizabeth Moore. His exact date of birth is unknown, but a record of his baptism on 11 July 1708 in Worcester, England, makes it likely that he was born in that year. Few details of Moore’s life are known. His employment history suggests that he received some kind of formal education. He worked as a clerk in London, and in 1730 was employed by the Royal African Com…

 Détails historiques et politiques

(890 words)

Author(s): Frederiks, Martha
‘Historical and political details’ Joseph Alexandre Le Brasseur Date: 1778 Original Language: French Description Détails historiques et politiques (in full, Détails historiques et politiques sur la religion, les moeurs et le commerce des peuples qui habitent la côte occidentale d’Afrique depuis l’Empire de Maroc jusqu’aux  rivières de Casamance et de Gambie, ‘Historical and political details about the religion, customs and commercial activities of the peoples who inhabit the west coast of Africa, from the Moroccan Empire as far as the coasts o…

 Nouvelle histoire de l’Afrique françoise

(1,202 words)

Author(s): Frederiks, Martha
‘New history of French Africa’ Abbé Jean-Baptiste Demanet Date: 1767 Original Language: French Description Nouvelle histoire de l’Afrique françoise,  enrichie de cartes et d’observations astronomiques et géographiques is a two-volume treatise written by Abbé Jean-Baptiste Demanet, published in Paris in 1767. Totalling some 710 pages, the book is composed of three parts. Part One gives an introduction to the African continent by region. It includes descriptions of African kingdoms, islands and rivers as well as reflection…

Manuel Álvares

(703 words)

Author(s): Frederiks, Martha
Emmanuel Avuares Date of Birth: Unknown (second half of the 16th century) Place of Birth: Portugal Date of Death: 1616 or 1617 Place of Death: Sierra Leone BiographyLittle is known about Manuel Álvares before his arrival in Guinea in 1607. Paul Hair, basing his information on Sommervogel, states that Álvares was born in 1573 in Alter de Chão and entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1590 (Hair, Interim translation, introduction). Tiego Mota, however, maintains that Hair is confusing the Guinea missionary Álvares with a namesake who taught theology and philosophy in E…

 L'histoire du Toubenan

(1,603 words)

Author(s): Frederiks, Martha
‘The history of Toubenan’ Louis Moreau de Chambonneau Date: 1677 Original Language: French Description L’histoire du Toubenan, ou changement de souverains et réforme de relligion desdits nègres, depuis 1673 son origine, jusques en la présente année (‘The history of Toubenan, or the change of rulers and the religious renewal of the said blacks since its origin in 1673 to the present year 1677’), about 15 pages long in print, is part of a manuscript discovered in the mid-20th century in the municipal library of Dieppe, France. The other text in the manuscript is entitled De l’origine des …

Baltasar Barreira

(998 words)

Author(s): Frederiks, Martha
BiographyBaltasar Barreira was born in Lisbon in 1531. At the age of 25, he joined the Society of Jesus and served for a number years in Portugal before being sent abroad as a missionary. Biographers describing his Portuguese ministry especially laud his compassion and care for the sick during the 1569 plague epidemic in Lisbon (‘Barreira, Balthazar’, in Rose (ed.),  A new general biographical dictionary, p. 223).In 1577, Barreira was sent to the kingdoms of Luanda, Angola and Congo, where he worked for 14 years (d’Outreman, ‘Baltasar Barreira’, p. 74). It se…

Introduction: Christians, Muslims and empires in the 16th century

(4,308 words)

Author(s): Frederiks, Martha
Introduction In the 16th century, the Ottoman Empire was at the peak of its power. It had usurped vast territories in central and eastern Europe, conquered large parts of the Middle East and North Africa and consolidated its power around the Black Sea, thus keeping the Persian Safavid dynasty at bay. At sea, due to their rapidly-increasing naval versatility, the Ottomans successfully contested Venice for its strongholds in the Aegean Sea during the Ottoman-Venetian wars and extended their control o…

 Ethiópia Menor e descripçao géografica da Província da Serra Leoa

(1,094 words)

Author(s): Frederiks, Martha
‘Ethiopia Minor and a geographical account of the Province of Sierra Leone’ Emmanuel Avuares Date: Around 1615 Original Language: Portuguese Description Ethiópia Menor e descripçao géografica da Província da Serra Leoa is a work of about 90,000 words, divided into two parts. Part I gives a description of ‘the province and kingdom of the Jalofo heathen and other peoples of the coast northwest of Sierra Leone’, while Part II, which is longer, focusses on the ‘province of Sierra Leone’.According to his ‘Prologue to the reader’, Álvares supplemented his personal observations…

 De instauranda Aethiopum salute

(1,913 words)

Author(s): Frederiks, Martha
Naturaleza, policía sagrada i profana, costumbres i ritos, disciplina i catecismo evangélico de todos Etí­opes ‘The natural, the sacred and the profane customs and the rites, discipline and evangelical catechism of all Ethiopians’, ‘How to restore the salvation of the blacks’ Alonso de Sandoval SJ Date: 1627; second expanded edition 1647 Original Language: Spanish Description Naturaleza, policía sagrada i profana, costumbres i ritos, disciplina i catecismo evangélico de todos etíopes (‘The natural, the sacred, and profane customs and the rites, discipline and eva…

 Letters and reports 1604-12

(1,341 words)

Author(s): Frederiks, Martha
- Baltasar Barreira Date: 1604-1612 Original Language: Portuguese DescriptionBaltasar Barreira was a prolific writer of a large number of letters as well as extensive annual reports on the Jesuit mission in the Guinea of Cape Verde. About 20 letters, five annual reports and some other materials have survived. Substantial parts of the reports as well as compilations of Barreira’s letters were published almost immediately after they were despatched. Consequently, some of his writings have been preserved a…

Introduction: Christians, Muslims and empires in the 16th century

(5,865 words)

Author(s): Frederiks, Martha
The fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453 had far-reaching consequences that not only stretched through the rest of the 15th century but also reverberated through the greater part of the 16th century, too. With their power consolidated on the European side of the Bosporus, the Ottomans quickly extended their territory through south-eastern and central Europe, and threatened regions much further west. Their defeat of the Mamluks in 1517 brought the heartlands of Islam under their rule and opened up routes to the In…

Valentim Fernandes

(572 words)

Author(s): Frederiks, Martha
Valentim de Morávia, Valentim Fernandes Alemão Date of Birth: Mid-15th century Place of Birth: Unknown; probably Moravia Date of Death: Between 1518 and May 1519 Place of Death: Unknown; probably in or near Lisbon Biography Valentim Fernandes was a printer and publisher of German descent who lived and worked in Portugal for most of his life. Few details of his early life, including his original name and date of birth, are known. He is thought to have been born to a German family living in Moravia (Schmeller, Ueber Valenti Fernandez Alema, pp. 8-12; Hendrich, Valentim Fernandes, p. 35). Yv…

Abbé Demanet

(572 words)

Author(s): Frederiks, Martha
Abbé Jean-Baptiste Demanet Date of Birth: First half of the 18th century Place of Birth: Unknown; probably France Date of Death: 12 July 1778 Place of Death: West Africa; probably Senegal BiographyJean-Baptiste Demanet was a French secular priest, best known for his two-volume work Nouvelle histoire de l’Afrique françoise, published in 1767. It seems he served for some time as a priest of the diocese of Trèves, but little else is known about him until he was appointed chaplain to the French troops stationed on Gorée Island (off the coast of p…

Introduction: 18th century Africa and the Americas

(6,672 words)

Author(s): Frederiks, Martha
As to his Religion, ‘tis known that he was a Mahometan, but more moderate in his Sentiments than most of that Religion are. He did not believe a sensual Paradise, nor many other ridiculous and vain Traditions, which pass current among the Generality of the Turks. He was very constant in his Devotion to God; but said, he never pray’d to Muhammad, nor did he think it lawful to address any but God himself in Prayer. He was so fix…
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