Gold Coast, c.1730
The Gold Coast may be regarded as unique among African regions in that it began in the Atlantic slave trade as a slave importer, rather than exporter. The gold mines located in the interior of the coast needed manpower that the region could barely provide. Thus, when the Portuguese first reached the region in the late fifteenth century, they sold slaves from other African regions to the kingdoms situated beyond the Gold Coast rather than to Europe, the Atlantic islands, or the Americas. The image is of a map of the Gold Coast produced by D'Anville in 1729. It shows the names of the ports located along the coast and the African polities situated beyond the coast line. The image is reproduced courtesy of Tracy W. McGregor Library of American History, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library. Permission required to reproduce.