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British Forts and Their CommunitiesArchaeological and Historical Perspectives$
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Christopher R. DeCorse and Zachary J. M. Beier

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780813056753

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813056753.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

Supporting the Fort

Supporting the Fort

Viewing the British Commercial Landscape from James Island, The Gambia

(p.231) 9 Supporting the Fort
British Forts and Their Communities

Liza Gijanto

University Press of Florida

A series of British trading companies attempted to dominate the Gambia River beginning in the seventeenth century. In doing so, they altered the socioeconomic landscape of the region. Central to these efforts was the British fort on James Island. The river’s large amount of natural landing points tied several villages already involved in commerce located in the upper river region to the emerging Atlantic trade. However, the physical nature of the island, including limited space and no fresh water source, made it necessary for the trading companies to maintain nearby support posts. This chapter uses archaeological and documentary records to explore the extended nature of the “fort” in the Gambian context, examining the socioeconomic interactions, access to wealth, and demographic shifts tied to British commerce during the Atlantic era.

Keywords:   James Island, Gambia River, British for, Atlantic trade

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