Description

    The Doomed Colony on the Island of Bulama

    Andrew Johansen. A Geographical and Historical Account of the Island of Bulama, with Observations on Its Climate, Productions, &tc. and an Account of the Formation and Progress of the Bulam Association, and the Colony Itself: to Which Are Added, a Variety of Authentic Documents, and a Descriptive Map of the Island and Adjoining Continent. London: Printed for Martin and Bain, [1794].

    First edition. Octavo. 43 pages. Folding map at rear.

    Modern half red leather binding over marbled paper boards, with gilt rules and lettering to spine. Very minor wear to spine ends and to tips of corners. Printed on laid paper. Some leaves unopened. Pages are slightly toned, but are generally quite clean. Light foxing to new free endpapers. A few minor inked annotations. Bookplate. Near fine.

    Tract written as a prospectus for the purpose of enticing British settlers to the island of Bulama, an uninhabited island off the west coast of Africa, two hundred miles north of Sierra Leone in the Bissagos Archipelago. Painted by its proponents as a utopian "little paradise," most of the colonists who took the bait and emigrated to Bulama soon died of disease, and the rest abandoned the island by 1793. When this propagandistic and highly misleading tract was published in 1794, most in London were unaware that the original colony had collapsed due to death, "nightmarish hardship, disease, and inter-ethnic conflict" (Coleman). Despite the first massive failure, a handful of true believers such as Johansen were still doggedly determined to promote settlement of the doomed Bulama colony in this prospectus issued during the second subscription drive. From the Professor John Ralph Willis Collection of Rare Africana.

    Dierdre Coleman, Romantic Colonization and British Anti-Slavery.


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    Auction Dates
    February, 2010
    11th-12th Thursday-Friday
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