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Number: 3677
Continent: Africa
Region: West
Place Names:
Year of Origin: 1898
Title: [uncertain title, WEST AFRICA ? BOUDARIES AND EUROPEAN OUTPOSTS / IVORY COAST / GHANA / TOGO / BENIN / NIGERIA: MAP OF THE COUNTRIES TO THE WEST OF THE MIDDLE AND LOWER NIGER]
Sub-Title:
Language: English
Publish Origin: London
Height: 41.0
Width: 53.0
Units: centimeters
Size Class.: Medium
Scale:
Color Type: No Color
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Cartographer:
Engraver:
Publisher: British Intelligence Division War Office
The Times of London
Other Contributors:
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Notes: [PENDING PAHOR, COMMONWEALTH] WEST AFRICA ? BOUDARIES AND EUROPEAN OUTPOSTS / IVORY COAST / GHANA / TOGO / BENIN / NIGERIA: MAP OF THE COUNTRIES TO THE WEST OF THE MIDDLE AND LOWER NIGER. A fascinating map of West Africa, the Ivory Coast, Gold Coast (Ghana), Togoland (Togo), Dahomey (Benin) and Nigeria, based on mapping conducted for the Intelligence Division of the British War Office, depicting the on-going competition for control of the interior regions between Britain, France and Germany, depicting dozens of frontier outposts and complex new treaty information, published within the an issue of 'The Times of London' to break this previously classified news to the public. Author: WAR OFFICE, INTELLIGENCE DIVISION / THE TIMES OF LONDON. Place and Year: London: The Times, February 24, 1898. Technique: Newsprint map (Very Good, trimmed to neatline, old folds, minor toning along horizontal centrefold, some tiny tears along margins, newsprint text to verso), 41 x 53 cm (16 x 21 inches). The Berlin Conference (1884-5) was intended to end the 'Scramble for Africa' by dividing the continent between the various European powers. In West Africa, various lands were awarded to Britain (who received Gold Coast and Nigeria), France (Ivory Coast and Dahomey / Benin) and Germany (Togoland / Togo). However, as was the case in many other parts of Africa, the geography inland from the coasts in West Africa was ill-defined; in many cases the lands were completely enigmatic, having never been visited, let alone mapped by Europeans. This led to innumerable border disputes, exacerbated by the fact that much of the disputed lands contained valuable resources. In early to mid-1890s, and climaxing in the summer of 1897, Britain, France and Germany signed a series of bilateral agreements that attempted to clarify the boundaries between the Ivory Coast, Gold Coast, Togoland, Dahomey and Nigeria, by setting rough inland boundaries based on the best existing information, in advance of scientific boundary surveys. These negotiations were cordial, yet intense, as the powers tried their best to squeeze whatever advantages they possessed. In October 1897, the Intelligence Division of the British War Office published a map that featured all of the latest treaty information in West Africa. It bore the same title and depicted the same area and details as the present map, and was done to a large scale of 1:1 900 800. However, this map was printed in only a small number of examples for the exclusive consumption of senior military officers, politicians and civil servants. The British public had a considerable interest in the goings on in West Africa, and so the War Office permitted the Times of London, one of the Britain?s leading dailies, to publish a smaller scale version of the map, albeit featuring all the information contained on the original. The present map depicts West Africa from the central Ivory Coast, in the west, all the way east just past Nigeria?s Niger Delta. The boundaries and European settlements in the coastal regions of Ivory Coast, Gold Coast (Ghana), Togoland (Togo), Dahomey (Benin) and Nigeria are shown to be well defined; however, as one moves into the interior the picture becomes more complex. The map shows an immense number of Europeans outposts, including some far to the north, in areas that were only very loosely under European influence. The ?Reference? in the lower left, describes the symbols used to describe whether outposts are British or French, and the dates by which the ownership of the settlements was recognized by treaties. The intermittent lines delineate the new inter-colonial boundaries in the interior as of the summer of 1897. An interesting detail is the presence of a large square ?Neutral Zone?, created by a March 1888 treaty that straddled parts of the British Gold Coast, German Togoland, and the French Niger territories. The map is fascinating work packed with a vast wealth of information, capturing the scene in West Africa at an especially interesting time. Examples of the present map are separately listed in the catalogues of Oxford University ? Bodleian Library; Cambridge University; University of London Senate House Library and the U.K. National Archives. References: Oxford University ? Bodleian Library: E1:6 (84) ; OCLC: 940386579; U.K. National Archives: FO 925/267; David KIMBLE, A Political History of Ghana (Oxford, 1963), p. 280
Last updated: Apr 28, 2020