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Trade, Coasters, and Conflict in the Rio Pongo from 1790 to 1808

Bruce L. Mouser
The Journal of African History
Vol. 14, No. 1 (1973), pp. 45-64
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/180776
Page Count: 20
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Trade, Coasters, and Conflict in the Rio Pongo from 1790 to 1808
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Abstract

The movement from ship to shore and to merchant stores occurred prior to 1790 in the Rio Pongo, where an indigenous trading system between the coastal Baga and the Fula of the interior had long existed. Between 1790 and 1808 contact with the interior improved. A vibrant European and Eurafrican trading community developed at the mouth of the river and coalesced to oppose an attempt by the Sierra Leone Company to capture control of the river's commerce. More significant than the threat of monopolistic control was the company's opposition to slave trading. This study of trade, coasters, and conflict in the Rio Pongo outlines the importance of the landlord-stranger relationship, the interaction of slaving and legitimate commerce, the influence of long-distance African traders upon littoral trade and politics, and the manner in which traders and chiefs cooperated to forestall company success.

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