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Trevor Hall

and his elder son, Diego Columbus (1479?–1526), governor of Hispaniola during the first recorded revolt by enslaved Africans in the Americas, both had significant connections to Africa. The elder Columbus, known as Cristoforo Colombo in Italian and Cristóbal Colón in Spanish, remains a mysterious historic figure, even though, in the twentieth century alone, more than 250 scholarly articles and books were written on his origins (Sale, The Conquest of Paradise). Over a dozen birthdates have been claimed for him as well as at least twenty-five nationalities (Catz, p.83). Most biographers agree, though, that he was born in the Italian port of Genoa, the eldest son of Domenico Colombo, a wool worker and merchant, and Susanna Fontanarossa.

The sources also agree that, from about 1477 to 1485 Columbus and his brother Bartolemeu were mariners in Portugal involved in trade with West Africa Very little has been written ...


Jeremy Rich

known in Portugal as Infante Henrique, duke of Viseu, and a major contributor to Portuguese maritime exploration and Portugal’s ties to Africa, was born in the northern Portuguese city of Oporto on Ash Wednesday, 4 March 1394 Henrique was the third son of King John I of Portugal and his English queen Philippa of Lancaster He later became known in the English speaking world as Henry the Navigator for his promotion of naval exploration of West Africa As a prince Henrique received an extensive education in theology philosophy and the liberal arts Biographer Peter Edward Russell has argued that Henrique s English royal mother inspired him to follow in the footsteps of his Plantagenet aristocratic lineage One hint of this came from his personal motto Instead of using Portuguese Henrique picked as his maxim an Anglo French term talent de bien fere which meant in Middle French a hunger ...


James McCarthy

Sudanese explorer and slave narrative author, was the son of a prosperous farmer, living in the remote Nuba Mountains in what was then Darfur in Sudan. There, he had prospects of becoming not only a landed proprietor but also a courtier at the court of the renowned Muslim kingdom of Taqali. He himself was betrothed at the age of eight. When he was about nine or ten years old he was captured by Arab slavers and taken to the Cairo slave market, after many adventures and horrifying experiences, being passed from one master to another and crossing the feared Bayuda Desert. In Cairo he was purchased by the British commercial consul in Alexandria, Robert Thurburn, and taken back to the family home at Peterculter, near Aberdeen in Scotland, in 1836. He never saw his family or homeland again.

He was put in charge of Thurburn s brother John formerly ...