The Discovery of River Gambra (1623) by Richard Jobson

1st Edition

Richard Jobson, David P. Gamble, P.E.H. Hair

Hakluyt Society
Published September 16, 1999
Reference - 368 Pages
ISBN 9780904180640 - CAT# Y285770
Series: Hakluyt Society, Third Series

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In 1623 Richard Jobson published an account of a 1620-1621 English voyage up River Gambra, during which a party, led by himself, penetrated to a point some 460 miles up-river. The purpose of the voyage was to make contact with the gold trade of the West African interior, but in this there was little success. However, Jobson’s account of the river, its commerce, natural history, peoples, religions and polities, was the earliest to appear in print, in this fullness of detail, in any language. It was also the earliest detailed account of any part of Black Africa, by an Englishman. Jobson’s account, almost entirely original, has special interest in its author’s observations on the African scene, particularly those on the African peoples and individuals encountered. Jobson discusses such topics as local agriculture and trade, the role of Islam, political culture, and the position of women. Despite the limits of his experience, his observations are seemingly accurate and generally perceptive, as well as being (perhaps unexpectedly) often tolerant and even sympathetic.


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