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In the 1840s, Commander José Joaquim Lopes de Lima sailed to the Portuguese possessions overseas and produced one of the most detailed reports about the Portuguese Empire. Attached to these reports, there were several maps of the main ports and regions involved in the Atlantic slave trade. The Portuguese were among the greatest slave traders, so the commander’s maps offer an important opportunity to visualize these ports and regions. The image is of a map of Benguela, in Angola, at West-Central Africa, published in 1846. The map provides navigational instructions for safe entry to the Bay of Santo António, in Benguela, as well as a view of the port from the bay itself. Benguela was a traditional port of slave embarkation on the Angolan coast, and it worked as an alternative point of embarkation to Luanda, the largest port in Angola. In the 1840s, however, Benguela overcame Luanda as a port of slave embarkation, but competed against the ports open to the north of Luanda. The image is reproduced courtesy of the Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library, Emory University.
J.J. Lopes de Lima
J.J. Lopes de Lima, Ensaios sobre a Statística das Possessões Portuguezas... (Lisbon, 1844-62), vol. 3, part 2, between pp. 26-7.
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