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CH A P.
57. Buť I believe the principal cause why a trade in African produce has never been encouraged, has been the irre
fistible influence of the East and West Indian interests.
Mr. Norris, one of the Liverpool delegates for fupporting
58. By such means, has the field of commerce been his
quently occur of valuable commodities rotting on the coast,
* Privy Council's Report, Part. I. Article “ Produce" Mr. Norris and his two colleagues enumerated many other valuable productions.
reyed from, Africa. What a strange inversion of natural C H A P.
A N IM A L S.
60. The cattle, in that part of the country of which we Cattle. treat, are smaller than the generality of European cattle, and not so fat as those of England and Holland; but their meat is juicy and palatable, and they give milk in abundance. Their inferior size appeared to me to be the effect of the careless and unskilful management of the negroes. They must be raised on the coast, as foreign cattle do not thrive there. Even those from the Cape de Verd Islands, being accustomed to an uncommonly dry climate, do not well bear a transition to the continent. The horses are of a Horses. middling size, strong, hardy, and spirited. They are used in great numbers, for riding and carrying burdens, in the country between the Senegal and Gambia, and also on some parts lower down the coast; but there they are not numerous, and in some places there are none. Camels, so admir- Camels. ably adapted, by the Creator, to assist the labours of man in hot climates, are not so generally used by the negroes, as could be wifhed. I have not seen many asses; but Affes. there is an excellent breed at the Cape de Verd Islands, from whence great numbers of them, and also of mules and horned cattle, are exported to the West Indies, for the use of the sugar plantations.
The whole coast is abundant. Hogs, sheep,
* On the extreme uncertainty of the West Indian crops, see Beskrivelse over. St. Croix af H. Welt-and the Report of the British Privy Council passim.
CHA P. ly stocked with hogs, sheep, goats and all kinds of poultry,
The most valuable is a species of deer, a very beautiful animal. Of the prodigious shoals, and numerous species of excellent
fish, I could have formed no idea, without having seen them.
passing between Goree and the continent, distant about five
Lower down on the coast, the Portuguese carry on a
formed that the English have lately paid some attention to the
such quantities on the coast, that I have more than once
pretty generally agreed, that it is the excrement of the sper-
maceti whale.-Tortoise-shell may be had in any quantity:
61. The grass is thick, and grows to a great height. The natives are often obliged to burn it, when dry, to prevent the wild beasts from harbouring near their habitations; but it soon springs up again, and affords very luxuriant palturage
Millet, rice, maize, potatoes, yams, and a great variety of C H A P. other excellent roots and vegetables, are cultivated on the coast with little trouble, and often in a profusion perfectly astonishing to an European. There is also an abundance of the most wholesome and delicious fruits; articles not less prized by the natives, than those just mentioned. Such indeed is the plenty which prevails on that division of the country, of which we are speaking, that all the European fhips are victualled, without the smallest inconvenience to the inhabitants; and if the demand were increased, doubtless the production would keep pace with it.
62. It ought to be observed, that two species of rice are Rice of two produced on that part of the coast, and I believe much far- species. ther down; one which, like that of Carolina, grows in fwamps, and another which loves the dry soil of hills and floping grounds. The husk of this last is reddish; but the grain is beautifully white. Though not quite so productive as the common kind, it bears a much higher price, and is every way preferable, as an article of food, not only to the other species, but to every kind of grain I know *.
63. The sugar-cane grows spontaneously in many places, Wild sugarwith a luxuriance which promises great advantages to those cane. who may hereafter undertake it's cultivation. At present the natives, ignorant of it's value, make no other use of it, than by occafionally regaling themselves with it's juice, of which they partake in common with the hogs, cattle and elephants, which are all extremely fond of it.
64. Several species of cotton are also the spontaneous produce of this excellent soil. One of them is naturally of a nan-
* See Dr. Smeathman's Letters to Mr. Knowles, in the Appendix, also the evidence of Captain Hall, in Minutes of Evidence, 1790, page 523,
C HA P. keen colour, and another parts with the seeds so freely, that
it may be spun almost without any preparation. The na-
specimen of it, of so fine a quality, and so good a fabric, that
produced on islands.
quantities, as to be a very troublesome weed, in the rice
* Privy Council's Report, Part I. Article " Produce." See also Chap. X. Ar. cicle “ Bourbon."
+ The first considerable exportation of cotton and indigo, from Africa, as far as I have been able to learn, was made by a Frenchman of Goree, while I was there, in 1787.