Travels in the Interior of Africa

Author: Mungo Park
Newly set type.

Medium: Hi-fidelity Portable Document Format (PDF)
Last Updated: January 3, 2018
Download Size: 50.3 MB
Suggested Donation: US $3.00

Publisher's Commentary: This book is not only a great adventure story worthy of a movie, but a wonderful snapshot of African history. From 1795 to 1797, Mungo Park, a Scottish physician, travelled through modern Gambia, Senegal, and Mali to the Niger river as part of a commercial exploration. Along the way, he is starved, enslaved, and robbed numerous times, but also finds friendship and generosity. He makes special note of the generosity of the African women, who kept him from starvation more than once. He also especially denounces the Moors for their lawlessness and cruelty.

Of special interest to the student of American history is the data that Park provides regarding slavery in Africa. He states that three-fourths of the inhabitants of Africa were slaves, and nearly all of those had been for generations. Remember that his travels were just 13 years before the abolition of the slave trade in the United States (1808), so the bulk of the slave trade had already occurred. He describes coffles of slaves being brought from the inland to the coast to be sold there, none of whom had seen a white man until they met him. This sharply contradicts the modern narrative that racist whites hunted down and enslaved free blacks to be shipped to the Americas. Instead, we see slave traders buying slaves from the blacks who already owned them.


  1. February 28, 2018: First Portage edition posted (Black History Month).

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