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São Tomé Island
São Tomé, in addition to other islands in the Bight of Biafra, formed an archipelago that was deeply involved in the transatlantic slave trade. The image is of two maps published by the Portuguese Commander José Joaquim Lopes de Lima in the 1840s. The map on the left shows the entire island of São Tomé, indicating its main rivers, the depth of the sea surrounding the island and its topographical layout. The map on the right shows the bay of Ana de Chaves, where the port and city of São Tomé was actually located. This second map provides details on the depth of the bay and locates the Portuguese forts protecting the bay’s entrance. The illustration inserted above both maps is of a view of the island a league of distance from the city of São Tomé to the north-east. In the 1840s, São Tomé received slaves illegally traded into Atlantic markets as well as freed Africans from the Portuguese possessions located in West-Central Africa. The image is reproduced courtesy of the Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library, Emory University.
J.J. Lopes de Lima, Ensaios sobre a Statística das Possessões Portuguezas... (Lisbon, 1844-62), vol. 2, part 2, p. 3.
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