The Workers of African Trade by Catherine Coquery-Vidrovitch, Paul E. Lovejoy

By Catherine Coquery-Vidrovitch, Paul E. Lovejoy

The circulate of employees concerned with long-distance alternate in Africa constitutes some of the most old and so much monstrous varieties of labour migration in African heritage. Focusing totally on the latter half the 19th century, the participants to this quantity study a variety of features of long-distance exchange: together with the position of the kin, salary employment, slavery, and the entrepreneur; the associations that mobilized and arranged the workforce; and the employees' remuneration and the buildup of surplus.

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The Workers of African Trade

The stream of staff considering long-distance exchange in Africa constitutes the most historic and so much titanic types of labour migration in African background. Focusing totally on the latter half the 19th century, the members to this quantity learn a variety of facets of long-distance exchange: together with the function of the family members, salary employment, slavery, and the entrepreneur; the associations that mobilized and arranged the workforce; and the staff' remuneration and the buildup of surplus.

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Such unavoidable circumstances, and the refusal of canoemen to work for other reasons, frequently resulted in severe shortages of provisions at the smaller settlements. Thus in December 1757 the factor at Komenda wrote to the governor at Cape Coast: Our supplies are very short, we lack in everything. If the canoemen refuse to work this factory will cease. W. Gulklml 38 of their masters; they must be l`orced to work as informed by the [London] Committee. ' Life was lonely, often desperate, and generally confining for the European residents on the coast.

L` od f roduc‘h° °p°m"°n of merchant capital In Pmhcapuscfntigatedcinothz hands tion with limited surplus products genera y co U v_ 1 fthe ruling classes lends itself to manifestations of violence. to ence arises from conflict between merchant capital and ruling classes over distribution of the surplus product between them. Kwame Arhin (1983: 18) has documented this process of surplus ex— traction in his description of the class system. on the Mina coast, while Daaku (1971: 169) specifies those residents tn the coastal towns who had come to "sell their services [such] as the canoemen" as a new phenomenon: ln the coastal towns like Elmina, Cape Coast, Annantabo, Axim land Accra, there emerged a group of people who owed their new positions to trade.

W. Gutklnd 39 "be discontinued from 23 December 1788, being the Time they refused to get the Canoemen to unload the Storeship. "" We are not told why the bomboys refused to carry out their supervisory duties. As indicated earlier, the canoemen often refused to transpon troops and military supplies, which, during the last part of eighteenth and much of the nineteenth century, arrived in considerable quantities. In 1794 Commander Dod had to use his own long boats, particularly unsuitable for passenger transport through the surf, and expressed his anger at the canoemen.

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