A View of Fort Apolonia & the canoe landing the officer thro' the Surf, March 1775 by Gabriel Bray

A View of Fort Apolonia & the canoe landing the officer thro' the Surf, March 1775

Gabriel Bray

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A View of Fort Apolonia & the canoe landing the officer thro' the Surf, March 1775 by Gabriel Bray zoom

A View of Fort Apolonia & the canoe landing the officer thro' the Surf, March 1775

No. 45 of 74 (PAJ1976 - PAJ2049)

Titled and dated as above on a backing sheet, and with a damaged signature, lower right, which was probably originally 'AVprGB' (to the life by Gabriel Bray). It shows a scene in West Africa, on Bray's first 'Pallas' voyage. Having first called at the River Senegal and River Gambia, the 'Pallas' was instructed to to call at Cape Appolonia (spelt this way in the ship's log) where the Africa Company were constructing this fort, 'consequent to an Act of Parliament', before continuing to Cape Coast Castle. The 'Pallas' in fact only only sent a boat with an officer ashore here as they passed on 17 March 1775, while the ship stayed in the offing. The British fort - which was undoubtedly protecting traffic including, if not mainly, the slave trade - is in the centre, flanked on either side by stockades enclosing African huts under the shade of palm trees. The view is from the ship, showing the boat - a local canoe - carrying the officer ashore with a waving figure on the bow and others waving from the shore.

This is one of 73 drawings by Bray (plus one signed 'NF 1782') preserved in a 19th-century album that was purchased for the Museum by the Macpherson Fund of the Society for Nautical Research in April 1991. They have now been separately remounted. Bray (1750-1823), was second lieutenant of the 44-gun 'Pallas' under Captain the Hon. William Cornwallis (1744-1819) - later a well-known admiral - on two voyages (1774-77) to report on British interests in West Africa, including the slave trade.
Gabriel Bray

Original size: 147 mm x 281 mm

  • Image reference: PT2020

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