Item #4143 [AFRICA-BRAZIL SLAVE TRADE]. Relaçam da Embayxada, Que o Poderoso Rey de Angome Kiay Chiri Broncom, Senhor Dos Dilatadissimos Sertos de Guiné Mandou ao Illustrissimo e Excellentissimo Senhor D. Luiz Peregrino Ataide, Conde de Antouguia... Vice-Rey do Estado do Brasil (etc.). José Freire Monterroio de Mascarenhas.
[AFRICA-BRAZIL SLAVE TRADE]. Relaçam da Embayxada, Que o Poderoso Rey de Angome Kiay Chiri Broncom, Senhor Dos Dilatadissimos Sertos de Guiné Mandou ao Illustrissimo e Excellentissimo Senhor D. Luiz Peregrino Ataide, Conde de Antouguia... Vice-Rey do Estado do Brasil (etc.)
[AFRICA-BRAZIL SLAVE TRADE]. Relaçam da Embayxada, Que o Poderoso Rey de Angome Kiay Chiri Broncom, Senhor Dos Dilatadissimos Sertos de Guiné Mandou ao Illustrissimo e Excellentissimo Senhor D. Luiz Peregrino Ataide, Conde de Antouguia... Vice-Rey do Estado do Brasil (etc.)
[AFRICA-BRAZIL SLAVE TRADE]. Relaçam da Embayxada, Que o Poderoso Rey de Angome Kiay Chiri Broncom, Senhor Dos Dilatadissimos Sertos de Guiné Mandou ao Illustrissimo e Excellentissimo Senhor D. Luiz Peregrino Ataide, Conde de Antouguia... Vice-Rey do Estado do Brasil (etc.)
[AFRICA-BRAZIL SLAVE TRADE]. Relaçam da Embayxada, Que o Poderoso Rey de Angome Kiay Chiri Broncom, Senhor Dos Dilatadissimos Sertos de Guiné Mandou ao Illustrissimo e Excellentissimo Senhor D. Luiz Peregrino Ataide, Conde de Antouguia... Vice-Rey do Estado do Brasil (etc.)
[AFRICA-BRAZIL SLAVE TRADE]. Relaçam da Embayxada, Que o Poderoso Rey de Angome Kiay Chiri Broncom, Senhor Dos Dilatadissimos Sertos de Guiné Mandou ao Illustrissimo e Excellentissimo Senhor D. Luiz Peregrino Ataide, Conde de Antouguia... Vice-Rey do Estado do Brasil (etc.)
[AFRICA-BRAZIL SLAVE TRADE]. Relaçam da Embayxada, Que o Poderoso Rey de Angome Kiay Chiri Broncom, Senhor Dos Dilatadissimos Sertos de Guiné Mandou ao Illustrissimo e Excellentissimo Senhor D. Luiz Peregrino Ataide, Conde de Antouguia... Vice-Rey do Estado do Brasil (etc.)
[AFRICA-BRAZIL SLAVE TRADE]. Relaçam da Embayxada, Que o Poderoso Rey de Angome Kiay Chiri Broncom, Senhor Dos Dilatadissimos Sertos de Guiné Mandou ao Illustrissimo e Excellentissimo Senhor D. Luiz Peregrino Ataide, Conde de Antouguia... Vice-Rey do Estado do Brasil (etc.)
First African diplomatic mission to Brazil, being an important development in the Transatlantic Slave Trade

[AFRICA-BRAZIL SLAVE TRADE]. Relaçam da Embayxada, Que o Poderoso Rey de Angome Kiay Chiri Broncom, Senhor Dos Dilatadissimos Sertos de Guiné Mandou ao Illustrissimo e Excellentissimo Senhor D. Luiz Peregrino Ataide, Conde de Antouguia... Vice-Rey do Estado do Brasil (etc.)

Lisbon: Na officina de Francisco da Silva, 1751. 8vo. 11 pp., with maritime woodcut vignette on p. [2]. Modern vellum binding, edges untrimmed (light toning, minor staining). In very good antiquarian condition. Very good. Item #4143

THIS IS THE EARLIEST ACCOUNT OF THE FIRST OFFICIAL DIPLOMATIC MISSION TO BRAZIL BY ANY AFRICAN KINGDOM, DESCRIBING KEY ELEMENTS OF THE TRANSATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE, SPECIFICALLY THAT OF THE ANCIENT WEST AFRICAN KINGDOM OF DAHOMEY (PRESENT DAY REPUBLIC OF BENIN). INCREDIBLY, OUR PAMPHLET WAS PUBLISHED IN PORTUGAL ONLY A FEW MONTHS AFTER THE EMBASSY WAS COMPLETED. THIS IMPORTANT MISSION WAS AN EVENT OF DOUBLE SIGNIFICANCE, SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC, THE RESULT OF THE CHANGING GEOPOLITICS OF THE INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN AFRICAN SLAVES.

No copy is listed in Rare Book Hub, which currently has more than 13 million records in the Rare Book Transaction database.

Our pamphlet is central to the ground-breaking 2018 study by José Rivair Macedo, who explains that "In the last decades, researchers interested in studying transatlantic relations during the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries have deepened the debate about the role of Africans not only as captives, but also as agents and partners in the business that involved the slave trade. The study of economic connections, communication networks and political negotiations has revealed new aspects of the functioning of the vast system of transcontinental relations and the role of diplomatic contacts is an essential element in this regard. The practice of negotiations amongst Africans and Europeans was relatively common during the centuries of the Old Regime, in Africa or in Europe. However, not many diplomatic missions took place on Brazilian soil. The first one coming from West Africa began on 09/29/1750, when emissaries from the Guinean Coast were received by the Viceroy of the State of Brazil in Salvador. The event, seen at that time as unusual, drew the attention of the writer José Freire Monterroio Mascarenhas (1670-1760), who described it in detail in the booklet entitled 'Relaçam da embayxada que o poderoso Rey de Angome Kiay Chiri Brocon'" [i.e. THE PRESENT PAMPHLET]."

BACKGROUND: In September 1750, Tegbesu, the King of Dahomey, sent an embassy of good will to the court of the Viceroy of Brazil, Luis Pedro Peregrino de Carvalho e Menezes de Ataíde, Conde de Atouguia (Viceroy 1749-1755). No doubt the King sought to repair the extremely strained Dahomean-Portuguese relations that arose from his incomprehensible decision to sack the Portuguese base in Ouidah, Fort São João Baptista de Ajudá; it was a grave error, the results of which naturally infuriated the Viceroy. Our pamphlet shows the West African King's ambassador brilliantly restored diplomatic relations, and in doing so restored the all-important slave trade between Dahomey and Brazil. According to the present author, the African Ambassador and his attendants caused a sensation at the Viceroy's palace and were entertained magnificently, receiving the protocol previously reserved for the Portuguese Viceroy of India. Borba de Moraes states that "the narrative of this unusual event is written with every minute detail and is very entertaining."

When our pamphlet was written, slaves were Dahomey's greatest export and Brazil's largest import, thus the success of the mission was of the highest interest to the leaders of the two nations. In fact, it was not only successful: it was a triumph. The fort of São João Baptista de Ajudá was promptly rebuilt; diplomacy was restored; and the slave trade to Dahomean-Brazil prospered like never before. Indeed, it has been estimated that of the 551,800 African slaves that were shipped out of the Bay of Benin between 1770 and 1850, more than 60% (or 336,800) were sent for Brazil. As a direct result of the 1750/1751 embassy that is described herein, Tegbesu is believed to have received as compensation approximately £250,000 per annum (more than £60 million today) for the duties he received on "exported" slaves.

The term "slave trade" is an appalling euphemism that dehumanizes living human beings that (i.e. "who") were bought and sold as commodities, like grain or timber (or books). Obviously, trade occurs between actual buyers and actual sellers, and at that time the principle buyers of slaves were European traders who depended on the active and consistent cooperation of various African sellers of same. This fact was emphasized by the famous author of our pamphlet, octogenarian José Freire Monterroio de Mascarenhas (1670-1760). He was the director of the "Gazeta de Notícias" newspaper in Lisbon for forty years, and was one of the most prolific "popular" Portuguese writers of his day. He wrote about almost anything "current" including (but certainly not limited to) politics, war, miracles, apparitions, births, deaths (natural or unnatural), crime, monsters, fires, earthquakes, and phenomena and curiosities that defied description. It is therefore not surprising that Mascarenhas would have found the present -- literally unprecedented -- African embassy to Brazil to be of special interest to his wide readership. While only his initials (J.F.M.M.) appear on our pamphlet, contemporary readers would have known that the author was none other than Mascarenhas.

Two editions of this cheaply printed work were issued by Francisco da Silva in 1751 (priority indeterminate). Ours, like one of the two JCB copies (C751 .M395r), has multiple displaced letters on the title-page ("L" of "Lisboa", the "d" of "na officina de", and the first "1" of "1751"), as well as a woodcut of a ship on the verso. Compare this to the copy at the Biblioteca da Câmara dos Deputados in which the title-page and the entire text was completely reset. Borba de Moraes states that "both editions are very rare."

PRELIMINARY CENSUS of both 1751 editions:

National Library of Portugal, Public Library and Regional Archive of Ponta Delgada (Portugal), Biblioteca da Câmara dos Deputados (Brazil), Brown Univ. (JCB), Univ. of Minnesota (James Ford Bell Library), Yale (Beinecke), Jewish Theological Seminary, NYPL, Newberry, Northwestern, and the University of Florida.

SELECTED REFERENCES: José Rivair Macedo, "The Embassy of Daomé in Salvador (1750): Diplomatic Protocols and the Political Affirmation of a State in Expansion in West Africa" in: Revista Brasileira de Estudos Africanos 3:6 (Dec. 2018). Borba de Moraes, II, p. 535. Sabin 45408. Kirsten Schultz, "News of the Conquests: Narrating the Eighteenth-Century Portuguese Empire" in: Hispanic Review, 86:3 (2018), pp. 329-351 (especially pp. 340-6). Ana Lucia Araujo, "Dahomey, Portugal and Bahia: King Adandozan and the Atlantic Slave Trade" in: Slavery and Abolition 33:1 (March 2012) pp. 1-19. Silvia Hunold Lara, "Uma embaixada africana na América Portuguesa," in: Festa: Cultura e sociabilidade na América Portuguesa (Sao Paulo, 2001) which is dedicated exclusively to the present pamphlet. Not in Robert Bosch, Brasilien-Bibliothek.

Price: $8,500.00