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Almada, André Alvares d', fl. 1594, et al. / Brief treatise on the rivers of Guinea
Part II (1984)

[Notes for chapter 16]


16/1 alevantavam os homens -   raised themselves (in the world).

SIERRA LEONE PRAISED      Portuguese early sources were wont to praise
the beauty and productiveness of Sierra Leone, sometimes to an
exaggerated extent.  However, the Cape-Verdean writers, Almada,
Dornelas and Coelho, were no doubt justly comparing Sierra Leone with
the relative barrennessof the Cape Verde Islands.  Almada sums up
his eulogy in 19/1 (cwf. DORNELASff.3v-4,6; ALVARES, part 2, Chapter 1;
COILHO,pp.64-7/ff.54v-57v). Almada states that the Portuguese who
settled in Sierra Leone, and traded there, became prosperous. This
assertion is of interest because settlement and trade in Sierra Leone
were strictly forbidden, at least to the inhabitants of the Cape
Verde Islands, by royal decrees of the early sixteenth century
(BLAKE 1937, p.91; RODNEY,p.75 - the legislation cited clearly deserves
more detailed examination). In the later sixteenth century, these
decrees were apparently relaxed : the complaints against English
pirates drawn up in the 1560s and based on evidence given before
Portuguese courts name individuals who had settled in Sierra Leone
and who were apparently now being given the support of the Portuguese
crown (HAIR 1970,pp.6-8). But until the attempt to found a Captaincy
of Sierra Leone in the 1600s, the Portuguese authorities were
disinclined to admit internally that the decrees were relaxed; and
it may have been Almada's reference to Portuguese activities in Sierra
Leone which led to his work not being published.


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