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sandstone. Numerous streams (he adds) flow from
these districts, almost all of which flow over sands
impregnated with gold. The natives, unskilled in
mining operations, have penetrated to very
little depth
in these mountains. Park found the mines of the
Konkadoo hills, which he visited, excessively rich, but
very badly worked. (Chapter on gold, vol. i. pp. 454,
465, 524, and vol. ii. pp. 73, 76.) The gold which
forms the staple commodity of the Gold Coast, is
chiefly brought down from mountains of the interior.
It is said that the whole soil yields gold-dust, and
that small quantities are obtained even in the town of
Cape Coast. There are reported to be mines within
twenty or thirty miles of the shore, but the na-
tives are very jealous of allowing Europeans to see
them.† Dupuis and Bowditch speak of the "solid
lumps of rock gold" which ornament the persons of
the cabooceers in the court of the king of Ashantee,
at Coomassie. Mrs. Lee (late Mrs. Bowditch) says,
that the great men will frequently on state occasions,
so load their wrists with these lumps, that they are
obliged to support them on the head of a boy. The
largest piece she saw at Cape Coast weighed 14 oz.
and was very pure.§ Dupuis, on the authority of
some Mohammedans, says that a great deal of gold
comes from Gaman, and that it is the richest in

*Sierra Leone Report, 1830, p. 87. † Ib. p. 88.
Dupuis' Ashantee, p. 74; Bowditch's Travels, p. 35.
§ "Stories of Strange Lands," p. 66.

Africa.* Gold is said to be discovered in a plain near Houssa; and another writer (Jackson) says"The produce of Soudan, returned by the akkabuahs, consists principally in gold-dust, twisted gold rings of Wangara, gold rings made at Jinnie (which are invariably of pure gold, and some of them of exquisite workmanship) bars of gold,† &c." He also states that gold-dust is the circulating medium at Timbuctoo.

Iron is found in Western Africa. The ore from Sierra Leone is particularly rich, yielding seventynine per cent., according to Mr. M'Cormack, and said to be well adapted to making steel. The iron brought from Upper Senegal, by Mollien, was found to be of a very good quality. Berthier found it to resemble Catalonian.|| Iron is found also near Timbuctoo, and is manufactured by the Arabs.¶ The discovery of this important metal in Africa is of the utmost consequence to its future prosperity, and will greatly facilitate the accomplishment of the object contemplated. Early travellers relate that the mountains of Congo are almost all ferruginous, but that the natives have not been encouraged by Europeans to extract their own treasures. Copper is so abundant in Mayomba, that they gather from the surface of the ground enough for their purposes. ** Sal ammoniac is found in abund

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ance in Dagwumba, and is sold cheap in the Ashantee market; nitre, emery, and trona, a species of alkali, are found on the border of the Desert.* might greatly enlarge this list, from the writings of travellers who have already visited the country, but it will be long before its mineral wealth will be adequately known.

It is not, however, to the mineral treasures of Africa that we chiefly look; we regard the productions of the soil as of infinitely more value, especially those which require industry and skill in their culture. We look to the forests, and the plains, and the valleys, and the rich alluvial deltas, which it would take centuries to exhaust of their fertility aud products.

Fifty miles to the leeward of the colony, of Sierra Leone is a vast extent of fertile ground, forming the delta of the Seeong Boom, Kitiam and Gallinas rivers. This ground may contain from 1,000 to 1,500 square miles of the richest alluvial soil, capable of growing all tropical produce. According to Mr. McCormack, this delta could grow rice enough for the supply of the whole West Indies. At present it produces nothing but the finest description of slaves. ‡

*Bowditch, p. 333.

† Sierra Leone Report, No. 66, p. 64.

There is another large delta, formed by the rivers Nunez, Rio Grande, and Rio Ponga. It is described as very extensive and fertile. The Isles de Loss command the mouths of these rivers. The Rio Nunez runs parallel with the Gambia.-Mr. Laird.

From Cape St. Paul to Cameroons, and from thence to Cape Lopez, extends the richest country that imagination can conceive. Within this space from forty to fifty rivers of all sizes discharge their waters into the ocean, forming vast flats of alluvial soil, to the extent of 180,000 square miles. From this ground at present the greatest amount of our imports from Western Africa is produced, and to it and the banks of the rivers that flow through it, do I look for the greatest and most certain increase of trade. It is a curious feature in the geography of Africa, that so many of its great navigable rivers converge upon this point (Laird). The extent to which the Slave Trade is carried on in the rivers alluded to is immense, and offers the greatest possible obstruction to the fair trader.

With few inconsiderable exceptions, the whole line of coast in Western Africa, accessible to trading vessels, presents immense tracts of land of the most fertile character, which only require the hand of industry and commercial enterprise to turn them into inexhaustible mines of wealth.

But it is not to the coast alone that the merchant may look for the results of his enterprise. The interior is represented as equally fertile with the coast; and it is the opinion of the most recent travellers, as well as of those who preceded them, that if the labourer were allowed to cultivate the soil in security, the list of productions would embrace all

the marketable commodities imported from the East and West Indies.

Between Kacunda and Egga, both large towns on the Niger, the country is described as very fertile, and from Egga to Rabbah, where the river is 3,000 yards wide, the right bank is represented to consist of extensive tracts of cultivated land, with rich and beautiful plains stretching as far as the eye can reach (Laird). The country does not deteriorate as we ascend the river. We have the testimony of Park, corroborated by Denham and Clapperton, in support of this statement, and their remarks embrace both sides of the river. The country surrounding Cape Palmas, the Gambia, the Senegal, the Shary, the Congo, presents to the eye of the traveller unlimited tracts of the most fertile portion of the earth.

The woods of this continent are extremely valuable. Travellers enumerate not less than forty species of timber, which grow in vast abundance, and are easily obtained; such as mahogany, teak, ebony, lignum vitæ, rosewood, &c.

While Colonel Nicolls was stationed at Fernando Po, he gives this account of its timber, in a letter to Mr. Secretary Hay. I extract the passage as a specimen of the nature of African forests. He says that some of the trees are ten feet in diameter, and 120 feet in height." Twenty men have been for a period of eight days cutting down one tree of these dimensions, for the purpose of making a canoe: it

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