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1813 Pinkerton Map of Western Africa (Niger Valley - Mountains of Kong)

Western Africa - Main View

1813 Pinkerton Map of Western Africa (Niger Valley - Mountains of Kong)



Western Africa
  1813 (dated)     20.5 x 28 in (52.07 x 71.12 cm)


This fascinating hand colored 1813 map by Edinburgh cartographer John Pinkerton depicts Western Africa. Depicts Africa roughly from the Salve Coast and Gold coast west through the Ivory Coast, Guinea, the Gambia and north past Cape Verde as far as Senegal. Including numerous fascinating Tribal references such as the Kingdom of Brak, the residence of the King of Geba or Cabo, the Foulahs of Guinea, and the Maniana Cannibals, among others. Offers interesting inland detail along the Niger River as far east as Timbuktu (Tombuctoo). The continent is bisected by the dramatic and mythical Mountains of Kong, which, based upon the explorations of Mungo Parks, were presumed to be the southern barrier to the Niger River valley. Much of the rest of the continent is blank and as such 'unknown.' Published in November 1, 1813 by Cadell and Davies for inclusion in Pinkerton's Modern Atlas.


John Pinkerton (February 17, 1758 - March 10, 1826) was an Scottish writer, historian, and cartographer. Pinkerton was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was a studious youth with a passion for the classics. As a young man, he studied at Edinburgh University before apprenticing as a lawyer. Around this time, he began writing, with his first book, Elegy on Craigmillar Castle published in 1776. Pinkerton moved to London in 1781 to pursue his writing career in earnest. He successfully published several works of literature, poetry, and history. Pinkerton proved passionate in his literary and historical writings, but his correspondence with other cartographers has been labeled as aggressive, even insane. In addition to his work as a writer and historian, Pinkerton was one of the leading masters of the Edinburgh school of cartography which flourished from roughly 1800 to 1830. Pinkerton and his contemporaries (Thomson and Cary) redefined European cartography by abandoning typical 18th century decorative elements such as elaborate title cartouches and fantastical beasts in favor of detail and accuracy. Pinkerton's principle work is Pinkerton's Modern Atlas published from 1808 through 1815 with a special American reissue by Dobson and Co. in 1818. Pinkerton relocated to Paris in 1818, where he managed his publishing business until his death in 1826. More by this mapmaker...


Very good condition. Wide clean margins. Blank on verso. Original centerfold.


Rumsey 0732.060. Phillips (Atlases) 724. National Maritime Museum, 409.