GRANDPRE, Louis Ohier de. Voyage à la côte occidentale d’Afrique, fait dans les années 1786 et 1787 ; contenant la description des mœurs, usages, lois, gouvernement et commerce des Etats du Congo, fréquentés par les Européens, et un précis de la traite des Noirs, ainsi qu’elle avait lieu avant la Révolution française ; suivi d’un voyage fait au cap de Bonne-Espérance, … Paris, Dentu, 1801.
2 parts in 2 volumes 8vo [189 x 125 mm] of : I/ (2) ll., 32 pp., xxviii, 226, 1 map and 7 folding plates; II/ (2) ll., 320 pp., 1 plan, 1 map and 1 folding plate. Bound in full contemporary marbled boards, flat spines decorated with gilt fillets, red roan lettering pieces, green edges. Contemporary binding.
Sought-after first edition of this account of the captain Louis Ohier de Grandpré’s exeprience as a slave trader on the west coast of Africa in the years 1786-1787. Chadenat 6253; Gay 3014.
At the end of the 18th century, many European slave traders were practicing the slave trade on the « coast of Angola » which refers at that time not only to the actual Angola, in the South of the Zaire River, but also in the North, to the Congo’s Kingdoms: Loango, Kacongo and Ngoyo or Gabinda especially productive. The captives, called ‘Congos’ by the Europeans, come from the periphery of those kingdoms, on an area of approximately 300 km and also arrive, by the river, from more distant regions of the center or south of Africa. The archives of this traffic support travel accounts, sometimes illustrated. Slave trader captain on the « coast of Angola » in 1786-1787, Louis Ohier de Grandpré publishes, in 1801, when the slave trade recovers in France, his slave trader experience.
Louis Ohier, count de Grandpré (1761-1846) is a French sailor and traveler. « Grandpré, who has participated in the slave trade on the west coast of Africa, points out here its abuses, and proposes to abolish it and to replace it by many firms where we would have imported and grown all the colonial productions. Then he tries to exonerate the natives of the cannibalism accusation, which he says is practiced by them only very rarely, and only as a vengeance. This account contains interesting details about the manners, the trade and navigation of the people indicated by the author. » (Nouvelle Biographie générale, 21, 659)
The present work is abundantly illustrated with maps of the Coast of Angola and of the Cape of Good Hope, the plan of the Cape of Good Hope citadel and with 8 folding plates. The illustration comprises « 8 beautiful folded plates representing the natives and manners scenes » (Chadenat). Chadenat announces 12 engravings but all the copies that we studied count 11 plates, like the present copy.
Besides, the first part comprises a very interesting Congo vocabulary from page 156 to 162.
A beautiful copy of this account of an expedition to Africa at the end of the 18th century, preserved in its original boards.