A Neglected Source for the History of Little Popo: The Thomas Miles Papers ca. 1789-1796

During the era of the slave trade, Anho (in modern Togo), which was known to Europeans as ‘Little Popo’, was normally marginal to English commercial interest on the West African coast. This lack of interest is reflected in the sources that exist in British archives today. An exception is the papers of Thomas Miles, which document the activity of the ‘Popo Factory’ of the English firm of Messrs Miles & Weuves in the 1790s. These papers comprise a large body of material, including accounts, inventories and commercial and private correspondence. They offer a unique glimpse of Anho and its external trade at a time when the town was at the height of its economic power. The present paper comprises an explanation of the background and a description of the documents, followed by a brief discussion of their special strengths and limitations. It then focuses on the African side of the trade and looks at what the documents tell about Popo society. App., notes, ref.

Title: A Neglected Source for the History of Little Popo: The Thomas Miles Papers ca. 1789-1796
Author: Strickrodt, Silke
Year: 2001
Periodical: History in Africa
Volume: 28
Pages: 293-330
Language: English
Geographic terms: Togo
Great Britain
External link: https://www.jstor.org/stable/3172219
Abstract: During the era of the slave trade, Anho (in modern Togo), which was known to Europeans as ‘Little Popo’, was normally marginal to English commercial interest on the West African coast. This lack of interest is reflected in the sources that exist in British archives today. An exception is the papers of Thomas Miles, which document the activity of the ‘Popo Factory’ of the English firm of Messrs Miles & Weuves in the 1790s. These papers comprise a large body of material, including accounts, inventories and commercial and private correspondence. They offer a unique glimpse of Anho and its external trade at a time when the town was at the height of its economic power. The present paper comprises an explanation of the background and a description of the documents, followed by a brief discussion of their special strengths and limitations. It then focuses on the African side of the trade and looks at what the documents tell about Popo society. App., notes, ref.