Prospect of the European Factorys at Xavier or Sabi

Description

This engraving depicts an overhead view of Savi, including about 50 buildings and locales, which are individually identified and named, including the Portuguese, French, and British slave trading forts, palaces, compounds, courts and other town buildings. Various inhabitants and armed soldiers are milling about. Savi was the capital of the kingdom of Whydah in the Bight of Benin region. In 1727, Whydah was conquered by King Agaja of the kingdom of Dahomey, which helped transform the latter into a significant regional power. According to Robert Harms, "The city of Savi. . . was about four miles in circumference. It was so populous that the throngs of people made it difficult to pass along the streets. . . The daily markets featured all sorts of European and African commodities. Near the European compounds was a square shaded by tall trees where the English, French, Dutch, and Portuguese directors, merchants, and sea captains sat and transacted daily business, much like a European mercantile exchange" (see The Diligent (New York: Basic Books, 2002), p. 156).

Source

"Plate IX" in Thomas Astley (ed.), A New General Collection of Voyages and Travels, vol. 3 (London: Thomas Astley, 1745-1747), facing p. 64.

Creator

Astley, Thomas

Date Created

1745-1747

Language

English
French

Rights

Image is in the public domain. Metadata is available under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International.

Identifier

Astley019

Spatial Coverage

Africa--Bight of Benin--Savi

Citation

"Prospect of the European Factorys at Xavier or Sabi", Slavery Images: A Visual Record of the African Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Early African Diaspora, accessed February 21, 2020, http://www.slaveryimages.org/s/slaveryimages/item/2114
This engraving depicts an overhead view of Savi, including  about 50 buildings and locales, which are individually identified and named, including the Portuguese, French, and British slave trading forts, palaces, compounds, courts and other town buildings. Various inhabitants and armed soldiers are milling about. Savi was the capital of the kingdom of Whydah in the Bight of Benin region. In 1727, Whydah was conquered by King Agaja of the kingdom of Dahomey, which helped transform the latter into a significant regional power. According to Robert Harms, "The city of Savi. . . was about four miles in circumference. It was so populous that the throngs of people made it difficult to pass along the streets. . . The daily markets featured all sorts of European and African commodities. Near the European compounds was a square shaded by tall trees where the English, French, Dutch, and Portuguese directors, merchants, and sea captains sat and transacted daily business, much like a European mercantile exchange" (see The Diligent (New York: Basic Books, 2002), p. 156).
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