"factorys" (i.e., trading posts) at Savi, Guinea, 1720s.
|From Jean Baptiste
Labat, Voyage du Chevalier des Marchais en Guinée . . .fait en 1725, 1726,
& 1727 (Amsterdam, 1731), vol. 2 , between pp. 40-41, In Thomas Astley
(ed.), A New General Collection of Voyages and Travels (London, 1745-47),
vol. 3, plate 9, facing p. 64. (Copy in Special Collections Department,
University of Virginia Library; also Library of Congress, Prints and
Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-106828)
|Detailed plan or
"prospect of the European factorys" shows surrounding town,
compounds (factories) of Portuguese, French, and English; also, palace
compound and various of its courts and buildings. In Labat (vol. 2, between
pp. 40 and 41), this illustration is titled "Comptoirs des Européens a
Xavier" and about 50 buildings and locales are individually identified
and named--far more detail is given than shown here in the Astley edition.
"The city of Savi . . . was about four miles in circumference. It was so
populous that the throngs of people made it difficult to pass along the
streets . . . . The daily markets featured all sorts of European and African
commodities. Near the European compounds was a square shaded by tall trees
where the English, French, Dutch, and Portuguese directors, merchants, and
sea captains sat and transacted daily business, much like a European
mercantile exchange" (Robert Harms, The Diligent [Basic Books, 2002], p.
156). Savi, the predecessor of the town of Whydah/Ouidah, was the capital of
the Hueda Kingdom, c. 1670-1727.