Mission from Cape Coast Castle to Ashantee, with a statistical account of that kingdom, and geographical notices of other parts of the interior of Africa.

By: BOWDICH, Thomas Edward (1791?–1824).

Price: $2,500.00

Quantity: 1 available


4to. [iii]-viii, [2], 512 pp. [a1 blank, not present]. Complete with a full set of plates: 2 engraved maps (1 folding frontispiece map: "Discoveries & Improvements in the Geography of Western Africa"), "Arabic Circular," 7 hand-colored aquatint plates (2 folding), wood-engraved "Ichonographical Sketch of Coomassie" [a street map], 2 music sheets (including the 4 page pl.), appendices; some plate offsetting, occasional foxing and stains, three neatly closed tears (gutter of title, plate facing p.275 (upper margin), p. 511-12). Modern gilt-stamped brown half-calf, five raised bands, gilt-stamped light-brown morocco spine label, new endleaves. Very good + in a fine binding. FIRST EDITION. "The work in which he records the results of his Mission from Cape Coast Castle to Ashantee (1819) was received with enthusiasm, and his account of a people hitherto unknown and their 'warlike barbaric splendour' excited widespread interest." "In 1815 the African Company planned a mission to the Asante, and initially contemplated appointing Bowdich to lead it. On reaching Cape Coast Castle the second time, he was judged too young and Frederick James (governor of Fort Accra) was appointed to lead the expedition. In the course of the journey, however, Bowdich superseded his chief (a bold step afterwards sanctioned by the authorities), and, through negotiations which subsequently proved controversial, formed a treaty with the king of the Asante, which promised peace to the British settlements on the Gold Coast in return for commercial and political co-operation. In 1818 he returned to England in poor health, and in the following year published a detailed account of his expedition, A Mission from Cape Coast Castle to Ashantee. This work, with its glowing account of Asante society and culture, attracted considerable interest. Bowdich presented a small collection of African objects and specimens to the British Museum." – Oxford DNB. The Appendices offer: I) Extract from Governor Henry Meredith's account of the Gold Coast, including the origin and history of the Ashantee War (The Colonial Journal, London, vol. 1, Jan.-July, 1816, relates his tragic death, pp. 102-3); II) Translations of a manuscript descriptive of Mungo Park's death (related by Salame and Jackson); III) Routes are recorded, as well are dictionaries of African word comparisons; IV) A list of reptiles; V) Mr. Tedlie's and Hutchinson's thermometer readings; VI) Translations of the numbers from one to ten in as many as 31 African languages. Bowdich, born in Bristol, an excellent linguist, whose "enthusiastic devotion to science cost him his life" due to taking astronomical observations after which he succumbed to a cold, then fever and never fully recovered, passing at just 33 years of age. REFERENCES: Abbey, Travel in Aquatint and Lithography, 1770-1860, 279; A.W. Cardinall, A Bibliography of the Gold Coast, 492; Gay, 2861; Robert L. Hess & Dalvan M. Coger, A Bibliography of Primary Sources for Nineteenth-Century Tropical Africa as Recorded By Explorers, Administrators, Military Men, Adventurers, and Others, Stanford, (1973), 6355; Ray Howgego, Encyclopedia of Exploration 1800-1850, C19 [does not write about Bowdich]; Sara T. Prideaux, Aquatint Engraving; a chapter in the history of book illustration, p. 238; Tooley 95. First Edition.

Title: Mission from Cape Coast Castle to Ashantee, with a statistical account of that kingdom, and geographical notices of other parts of the interior of Africa.

Author Name: BOWDICH, Thomas Edward (1791?–1824).

Categories: Africa,

Publisher: London:, John Murray, 1819.: 1819

lbs: 3.00 lbs

Seller ID: LV1954

Keywords: Africa