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Travels in the Timannee, Kooranko, and Soolina Countries, in Western Africa
London: John Murray, 1825 Book. Very Good. Leather Bound. 1st Edition. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. London: John Murray, 1825. First Edition. Octavo. x, [ii], 465pp. With seven aquatint plates and one folding engraved map. Period brown gilt tooled half calf with marbled boards. Recased using the original spine, otherwise a very good copy. In this book Laing describes his expedition in 1822, during which he explored regions which had only been known by name up to then. He went to Falaba, the capital of the Sulima, where he was prevented from going on by the war of the Ashanti. During his next expedition he was the first European to reach Timbuktu but was killed on his further journey. "In 1821 the government decided that there were commercial and political advantages to be gained by establishing contact with some of the peoples of the interior, and at the end of the year the governor of Sierra Leone, Sir Charles McCarthy, proposed a mission to Kambia and the Mandingo Country. Laing was chosen to lead the expedition and set out in January 1822, proceeding first to Malacouri, a Mandingo town on the river Malageea. There he learned that Sannassee, the chief of the district of Malageea and a friend of the British government, had been captured by Amara, the king of the Soolimas, and was about to be put to death. Laing therefore resolved to go to the Soolima camp and interced for the life of Sannassee. He crossed the Malageea near its source, reached the camp, negotiated the release of Sannassee, then returned to the coast"(Howgego 1800-1850, L5)." "His Travels, published in 1825, give a lively account of his adventures, including not only observations on the customs of the peoples he encountered, illustrated with his own rather amateurish drawings and a good map, but also an oral history of Solima Yalunka back to the seventeenth century, useful to later historians. Laing was transferred to the Gold Coast in 1823 and edited the first newspaper to be published there. Then, stationed on the frontier, he participated in some skirmishes with the Asante army before the disastrous battle of Nsamanko, in which MacCarthy and almost all his men were killed"(Oxford DNB)..
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Last Found On: 2013-07-20           Check availability:      Biblio    

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