Travels to discover the source of the Nile

Dublin Core

Title

Travels to discover the source of the Nile

Subject

Imperialism

Description

In 1790, Scottish traveler and travel writer James Bruce embarked, at the behest of the King of England, on a five year journey to find the Nile’s source. The Nile is known as one of the world’s largest rivers, a hallmark of African geography and the center of Ancient Egyptian civilization. This is important as Ancient Egypt was one of the few African civilizations that was respected by 18th century Europeans in the same way that Rome or Greece was. Thus the Nile was of great interest to the British. In his introduction, Bruce describes the devolution of British exploration over time into simply conquering, placing greed over the acquisition of knowledge, and how he hopes to bring back a spirit of exploration for exploration’s sake. However, it is interesting to note that this journey did not involve an exploration of African cultures. The only people pictured are from Arabian tribes in the Middle East, as shown in the accompanying image. This is reflective of British attitudes towards Africa and African people at the time, that it was an object of conquest and its people were not worthy of getting to know. Even in exploring Africa its people are overlooked. This is one of the biggest takeaways from Bruce’s Travels, that while the continent of Africa was worth exploring, its people were not. This overlooking of African people tells us about the disregard that British society had for them.

Creator

James Bruce

Source

Travels to discover the source of the Nile, in the years 1768, 1769, 1770, 1771, 1772, and 1773

Publisher

G. G. J. and J. Robinson at Paternoster Row, London

Date

1790

Contributor

Kayden Elmer-Schurr

Rights

USC Libraries, Special Collections, DT377 .B88

Relation

[no text]

Format

[no text]

Language

[no text]

Type

[no text]

Identifier

[no text]

Coverage

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Files

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Citation

James Bruce, “Travels to discover the source of the Nile,” Black Britons in USC Archives & Special Collections, accessed January 21, 2021, https://uscblackbritons.omeka.net/items/show/47.

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