The West African island of Gorée was one of the nodes that connected African trading routes to North Atlantic trade. The varied population included English, French, Portuguese, Manding, Moor, Sereer, and Wolof. The island was notable because many of the categories by which people are identified-gender, race, class-were not strictly defined and did not dictate economic success. At one time, African women constituted the majority of property owners. Whereas many colonial studies focus on urbanism and colonial discourse, this article looks to the domestic sphere. For this inquiry into life on the ground, I cast my net wide and draw on source materials including rental contracts, wills, and probate inventories. My goal is to complicate the perception of how buildings functioned in colonial environments. The primary method is considering a variety of users, including wealthy Europeans, tenants, servants, and those for whom Gorée is most widely known-slaves.

Notes

Notes
1
Box 1 Z 21, Archives Nationales, Dakar, Senegal (hereafter AS), 20 Sept. 1819.
2
Ousmane Sané, Urbanisation, urbanisme et architecture dans l'Île de Gorée aux XVIII et XIX siècles (Dakar, 1972).
3
Eddy Harris, Native Stranger: A Black American's Journey into the Heart of Africa (New York, 1992).
4
Boubacar Barry, Senegambia and the Atlantic Slave Trade (Cambridge, England, 1998)
James Searing, West African Slavery and Atlantic Commerce: The Senegal River Valley, 1100-1860 (Cambridge, England, 1993)
Alain Sinou, Comptoirs et villes coloniales du Sénégal. Saint-Louis, Gorée, Dakar (Paris, 1993).
5
Joseph Roger de Benoist and Abdoulaye Camara discuss the houses of Anne Pépin in their recent Histoire de Gorée (Paris, 2003), 105-8.
6
Martin Klein, Slavery and Colonial Rule in French West Africa (Cambridge, England, 1998), 4.
7
Gayatri Spivak's article "Can the Subaltern Speak?"
Patrick Williams and Laura Chrisman, Colonial Discourse and Post-Colonial Theory: A Reader (New York, 1994), 66-111.
9
Mungo Park, The Journal of a Mission to the Interior of Africa, In the year 1805 (London, 1815).
10
Ibid, 31.
11
Ibid, 31-32.
12
Jean Paul Bourdier and Trinh T. Minh-ha, Drawn from African Dwellings (Bloomington, 1996).
13
François de Paris, "Voyage à la coste d'Afrique dite de Guinée, et aux Isles de l'Amerique fait les années 1680 et 1683," MS, Bibliothèque Méjane, Aix- en-Provence, 34.
14
Park, Journal of a Mission, 483.
15
Peter Mark, "Portuguese" Style and Luso-African Identity: Precolonial Senegambia, Sixteenth—Nineteenth Centuries (Bloomington, 2002).
16
Mary Louise Pratt, "Apocalypse in the Andes" Américas 51 (1999), 39.
18
Park, Journal of a Mission, 295-96.
19
Nicolas Le Camus de Mézières, The Genius of Architecture: Or, the Analogy of that Art with Our Sensations (1780), trans. Robin Middleton (Santa Monica, 1992).
20
Joseph Roger de Benoist and Abdoulaye Camara, Histoire de Gorée (Paris, 2003), 109.
Djibril Samb, ed., Gorée et Vesclavage: Actes du séminaire sur "Gorée dans la traite atlantique. Mythes et réalités" (Dakar, 1997).
22
Pierre Cariou, "La rivale inconnue de Madame de Sabran dans l'Île de Gorée," Notes Africaines 45 Quly 1950), 13-15.
24
Stanislas-Jean de Bouffiers, Correspondance inédité de la comtesse de Sabran et du chevalier de Bouffiers, 1118-1188 (Paris, 1875).
25
Samuel Brunner, Reise nach Senegambien und den Inseln des Grünen Vorgebürges im Jahre 1838 (Bern, 1840), 164.
26
"À la pointe du Nord de la dite Isle," SL-17, Box Z, AS, 8 Nov. 1817.
27
Box 1 Z 26, AS, 29 Nov. 1825.
28
Bouffiers, Correspondance, 186.
29
Ibid.
30
Ibid., 430.
31
Ibid., 407.
32
Michel Adanson, A Voyage to Senegal, the Isle of Gorée and the River Gambia (London, 1759), 638.
34
Brunner, Reise nach Senegambien, 164-65.
35
James Searing, West African Slavery and Atlantic Commerce (Cambridge, England, 1993), 48.
36
Sylvain Meinrad Xavier de Golbéry, Fragments d'un voyage fait en Afrique pendant les années 1785, 1786, 1787 (Paris, 1802).
37
Box 1Z 39, AS, 16 Dec. 1837.
39
Brunner, Reise nach Senegambien.
41
SL-1821, Box Z, AS, 31 Dec. 1821.
42
Brunner, Reise nach Senegambien, 67.
43
"Inventaire après décès de Pierre Turpin," Box 1 Z 29, AS, 8 Oct. 1827.
44
SL-1821, Box Z, AS, 15 July 1822
SL-1822, Box 2, AS, 15 July l822.
46
Box Z, AS, 29 Apr. 1825.
47
"Testament de Madame Anne Pépin," Box 1 Z 26, AS, 29 Nov. 1825
"Testament pour Mme Anne Pépin," Box IZ 39, AS, 9 Oct. 1837
"Levée de scellés et inventaire après le décès de dame Anne Pépin," Box 1 Z 39, AS, 4 Nov. 1837.
49
Marcia Pointon, Strategies for Showing: Women, Possessions, and Representation in English Visual Culture, 1665-1800 (Oxford, 1997).
50
Marian Ashby Johnson's thesis "Black Gold: Goldsmiths, Jewelry, and Women in Senegal" (Ph.D. diss., Stanford University, 1980).
51
Ibrahima Thiaw, "Archaeology and the Public in Senegal: Reflections on Doing Fieldwork at Home," Journal of African Archaeology 1 (2003), 215-25.
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