The Land of the Golden Trade (West Africa) (eBook)
by John Lang (Author)
Slave Coast. They are names that raise in our minds visions of bags from whose gaping lips trickle rivulets Of gleaming yellow dust, the dust of gold, Visions Of great elephants' tusks piled in vast mounds, of pirate ships and slavers, of stout fights with Portugals, and with our old enemies the Dutch in the days when De Ruyter upheld the claim of Holland to be a mighty Sea Power. And, again, there is that other name which pertains to the entire coast, a name familiar to us all Guinea. It is common knowledge that the coin best known in the time of our grandfathers (and to which, though it no longer circulates, we still cling in the matter of subscriptions and in the pay ment Of sundry too familiar fees,) received its name because it was originally made of gold brought from the Guinea Coast to England by that African Com pany whose charter, granted by Charles IL, permitted them to coin gold and to display their stamp, an elephant, on the reverse of the coin. The same Company also turned out from the same source £5 gold pieces, like the guinea. This day, says Mr. Samuel Pepys in his Diary, under date 2lst September 1668, also came out first the new five pieces in gold, coined by the Guinny Company, and I did get two pieces from Mr. Holder.