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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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Thomas Fowell Buxton and the Niger Expedition

Thomas Fowell Buxton and the Niger Expedition

Chapter:
(p.176) Chapter Seven Thomas Fowell Buxton and the Niger Expedition
Source:
Mastering the Niger
Author(s):

David Lambert

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226078236.003.0007

This chapter focuses on the realisation of James MacQueen’s Niger scheme, twenty years after it had been proposed, through a surprising collaboration with members of the antislavery movement, particularly Thomas Fowell Buxton. This was the Niger Expedition of 1841-42. By the late 1830s, Buxton had come to share MacQueen’s prescription for ending African slavery by establishing a civilising commercial presence on the River Niger and the two worked closely together on the texts through which government and public support for the expedition was established. After discussing the context in which the expedition was planned, the chapter examines the roles that MacQueen played, as well as his actual influence as evident in his textual, statistical and cartographic presence as in Buxton’s writing. It then goes on to consider the opposition to MacQueen’s role in Buxton’s scheme from other humanitarians and naval commanders with direct experience of West Africa. The consequence was MacQueen’s increasing marginalisation and eventual break from the project.

Keywords:   Thomas Fowell Buxton, Niger Expedition, Antislavery, African slavery, River Niger, Humanitarians, West Africa

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