History of West Africa 1879-1918

Portuguese Guinea before 1879

The coastal area around Bissau was visited by Portuguese traders since 1446. It's primary economic importance for the Portufuese lay in the acquisition of slaves destined to work the sugar plantations and gold mines of Brazil; the Portuguese established trade factories at Cacheu in 1614 and at Bissau in 1753, administratively under Cape Verde. The British attempted to settle freed slaves on the island of Bolama; both attempts were abandoned and in 1830 Portugal claimed the island. An Anglo-Portuguese dispute evolved when Britain claimed the island as part of Sierra Leone colony; the dispute was settled in favour of the Portuguese in 1830. Until 1879 the Portuguese establishments in Portuguese Guinea (CACHEU, BISSAU, BOLAMA) were administrated from the Cape Verde Islands. In 1879, Portuguese Guinea was made a separate colony.

Guinea Bissau, History of, from Infoplease
DOCUMENTS Flag of the Guinea Company, from FOTW

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2001, last revised on March 26th 2005

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