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Geographical proof that Biafra is a new Calabar

Biafra map

From the mouth of the Forcado, a lat and wooded coast reaches southward upwards of 50 leagues to Cape Formosa. 

It is intersected by many rivers, the principal of which are Ramos, or Zamos, and Dodo.

Cape Formosa is a low point of land shaded with trees, the view of which from the sea is delightful. A few leagues northward are the village and river of Sangama. But Europeans have little trade in those parts.

From Cape Formosa the country of Calbari extends about 60 leagues eastward to Rio Del Rey, or Royal River, and is divided into several provinces.

On the sea-coast, the mouths of seven rivers, or small streams, have been observed by navigators, viz. Rio Non, or Benedicto ; Rio Oddi, or Melfonza ; Filana, or Juan Diaz ; Lempta, or St Nicolas; Rio Man, or Santa Barbara; Rio Trer Hermannos, or St Bartholomew, that falls into the sea near a remarkable hill, and the Sombreito.

Opposite to the mouth of the river last mentioned, the small elevated island of Foco lies, shaded with palm trees.

The river Calbari, or Calabar, originates in the interior part of the country, and, on account of the unequal depth of its channel, is navigable only by small vessels.

The town of that name is situate in a large island formed by the river, upwards of 10 leagues inland, and covered with wood.

The environs of that place are barren; and to the northward lies a considerable marsh that is frequently inundated.

The little-town of Belli, several leagues north of Calbari island, has no trade except in slaves.

Krika, Moka, and Bani, three small districts, are bathed by the western branch of the Calbari. At the mouth of this river, opposite nearly to Foco, is the little island of Ferme.

Panis, an island, is formed by the river Bandi, which, near its mouth, divides into two branches.

A town of that name has a safe and commodious road for ships. Fishing, and trading in ivory and slaves, are the chief employments of its inhabitants.

St. Domingo, a place of little note, on a small bay formed by the sea, or rather by a river of the same name, in a marshy tract sometimes inundated. 

The coast to the eastward is shaded with trees, and bounded by a branch of the Calbari, called Rioconde, or Rio Del Rey, whose banks are marshy but inhabited, and whose mouth forms a deep bay several leagues in extent.

Fish-town and Salt-town are situate on the coast of that bay. 

The inland part of the country is populous; but the names of the towns and villages are unknown. 

The whole coast of Calbari is low, unhealthy and frequently inundated.

The country of the Calbongos and Ambozes, bounded on the north-west by Rio Del Rey, and on the south east by Rio Des Camarones, is elevated and mountainous, lying in 4 1/2 N. latitude, and 29° E. longitude from Greenwich.

The direction of the coast is from north-west to south-east. Various sorts of plants, herbs, and fruits, with few palm trees, are said to be the products of the soil. 

There are three islands of a circular form, rugged in their appearance, but fruitful, separated from the continent by a narrow channel, and inhabited by Negros, who have resolved themselves into a species of republic.

The unexplored country of Biafara is watered by Rio des Camarones, or the Yamur, a large but shallow river, whose source is unknown.

Divided into several branches near the sea-coast, this river forms some islands, in 3 1/2 N. latitude, about 115 leagues north of Cape Lopez Gonsalvo.

In its principal channel lies the island of Buffs, to the westward of which there is tolerable anchorage near the mouth of the river Manoca.

The village of Monambascha-gat, on the east bank of the Yamur, above the Manoca, is a place of some trade.

On its opposite border, and farther inland, is situate the town of Medra, the capital of a small state.

Biafara, a considerable town, is 20 leagues from the sea-coast.

Sogbeye Douglas


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