West Africa, 1753
West Africa, 1781
This 1781 map shows West African coastal islands and ports from which captifs were shipped to Louisiana: Isle et Fort de St. Louis, Isle Gorée, Isle Bissao, Judah (Whydah, Ouida) and Cabinda.
Coastal Africa, 1787
This map shows Cabinda in the South, where one of the French Colonial slave ships bought captifs to New Orleans.
Coastal Africa, 1743
Bambara Lands, 1827
The lands of the Bambara in West Africa, during the French Colonial period.
The Atlantic Coast of West Africa, 1742
The Coast Around Ile Gorée, 1707 or 1718
Ile Gorée, 1772
Whydah (also called Juda, or Ouidah), Guinée, 1725
This plan includes the European slave compounds and illustrates the African town the French called Juda. The French compound is the large one in the center left of the picture, between the smaller Portugese and English establishments, with a Dutch compound in the right foreground.
Governor Bienville in New Orleans designated Judah as the port for the first French ship sent by the Company of the West from France to purchase slaves for lower Louisiana in 1718. Bambara purchased from their captors, the Mandinga, were taken to the compound to await embarkation to Louisiana. The captifs, are seen in front of their arms-bearing captors, being marched to the compounds.
The Company of the West wrote instructions to the captain of the Aurore, Sieur Herpin. He was to sail from St. Malo and head to the coast of Guinea to carry on the trade in negres there. He was instructed to make landfall between Cape Mount and Cape Mesurade, now the western coast of Liberia, then to continue to Juda, trading for both negres and rice. Along the way Herpin was to trade for negres who knew how to cultivate rice and speak French. Besides trading for three or four hogsheads of rice suitable for planting, he was instructed not to trade for any negre or negresse more than thirty years of age or less than eight.
The vessel was large enough to contain four hundred negres, according to the Company officials. Herpin was also to trade for the corn the negres would need on the voyage. Sieur Herpin, all his officers and the surgeon were directed to take great care of the health of the cargo. Herpin was to find Portuguese vessels on the coast of Guinea, to trade with them for Brazilian tobacco to the amount of two or three hundred pounds. The letter said:
Reference: "Documents Covering the Beginning of the African Slave Trade in Louisiana", 1718, translated at the Library of Congress by Albert Godfrey Sanders and published in The Louisiana Historical Quarterly.
La Balise, 1720
La Balise, where captifs from Senegal were disembarked. Many West Africans served as sailors at this landing site.
La Balise, 1723
Law's Concession, Biloxi, 1720
New Orleans from the West Bank, 1726
Jean Pierre Lassus, "Veüe et Perspective de la Nouvelle Orléans." Archives Nationales d'Outre-mer.