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BODI

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INTRODUCTION.

I AM not aware that the western shores of Africa have yet been visited by any travellers for the avowed purpose of making discoveries, at least in those parts situated between Cape Palmas and the River Congo; and the few works published relative to these countries, have been written by men (whatever their education or powers of discrimination may have been) who had duties of a higher personal interest to perform, and which left them but little time to make scientific researches. In this part of Africa, therefore, as well as in the interior, there is a wide field for the enlightened traveller to explore; and should these sketches be found serviceable to him, in the pursuit of objects valuable to science, part of the author's intention of laying them before the public, will be answered.

In the selection of a place for colonization in Africa, the members composing the African Institution, it is too well known, have been peculiarly unfortunate. The insalubrity of the air of Sierra Leone is almost become proverbial, and those going there are considered by many as embarking for the next world; it is therefore much to be apprehended, that one of the benevolent purposes for which that settlement was originally founded, will be frustrated. Hence, in the course of these remarks I have endeavoured to point out a place suitable for establishing a colony of the negroes captured on board of contraband slave ships. In fact, there is not along the whole line of coast, extending from Cape Palmas, where these remarks commence, to the River Congo, embracing an extent of five hundred leagues, one place that has under my observation, so peculiarly well adapted for that purpose, as the one to which I allude, and for the reasons adduced in the course of this work.

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The trade in the productions of the soil of Africa, having of late greatly increased, more especially in consequence of the final abolition of the slave trade on the western shores of Africa, north of the equator, I have given, in the appendix, a statement of such articles, both of Indian and European manufacture, as are suitable to barter for gold, ivory, and palmoil; as also the current prices, for which they are generally bought in Europe, and bartered in Africa.

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