Europeans in West Africa, 1450-1560
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Om Europeans in West Africa
Whilst the greatest effort has been made to ensure the quality of this text, due to the historical nature of this content, in some rare cases there may be minor issues with legibility. Because no such book was written, or at least because none has survived, it is not to be supposed, however, that the Portu gnose either lost interest or gave up their trade and abandoned their forts and factories in Guinea. On the contrary, the reign of King Manuel and the first half of the reign of King John III form a Chapter of primary importance in the history of the West African empire of Portugal. The documents printed in this volume are intended to afford some evidence of the general Situation in West Africa during this strangely neglected period. Those in the first section will, it is hoped, enable the reader to gain some idea of the nature and scope of Portuguese enterprise in West Africa. Furthermore, scarcely any contemporary records have yet been translated into English, bearing upon that remarkable series of Castilian voyages to West Africa Which were under taken during the years from 14 54. To 1480, a period during which the Spaniards were serious competitors with the Portuguese in the race for colonial supremacy. This aspect of the discovery Of Guinea has been almost entirely ignored by English students of the beginnings of European expansion overseas, and it is hoped that the documents assembled in Section II of this volume Will help to arouse interest in a subject which provides a new back ground for the Columbine voyages. Section III contains new documents relating to the early English voyages to Barbary and Guinea. The records of English activity in West Africa between 1480 and 1560, preserved by Richard Hakluyt, have not hither to been edited for the Society. Because these records also throw much light upon the nature and scope of Portuguese activities on the Guinea coast, it was thought doubly fitting to include them.