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Mastering the NigerJames MacQueen's African Geography and the Struggle over Atlantic Slavery$
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David Lambert

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226078069

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226078236.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

Mastering the Niger

Mastering the Niger

Chapter:
(p.1) Chapter One Mastering the Niger
Source:
Mastering the Niger
Author(s):

David Lambert

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226078236.003.0001

This introductory chapter sets out the central argument that Atlantic slavery – as a practice of subjugation, a source of wealth and a focus of political struggle – was entangled with the production, circulation and reception of geographical knowledge. Three historical contexts for the argument are examined: the struggle between proslavery and antislavery forces over the future of slavery in the British Empire; the intensified interest in West Africa and West African geography, including the effort to explore and map the River Niger; and the emergence and institutionalisation of geography as a distinct discourse and field of knowledge. All three are associated with the period from the 1780s to 1830s. The chapter then goes on to provide a biographical sketch of the life of the geographer, plantation manager, Glasgow merchant and proslavery propagandist, James MacQueen (1778-1870), who is the focus of the book. The chapter ends with a summary of each chapter.

Keywords:   Atlantic slavery, Geographical knowledge, West Africa, African geography, River Niger, James MacQueen, Antislavery, Proslavery

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