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NOTE: Underlined geographic names are used in the activity described under Perry-Castenada Library Map Collection in Appendix 6.

Late 18th Century

Early 19th Century

c. 1800 Nyamwezi traders from central Tanzania reach the East Coast.
  Mozambique becomes an important source of slaves for Brazil (rising to more than 15,000 per year in the 1820s and 1830s).
  Rising ivory prices in India; Bombay merchants re-export ivory to Britain; price of ivory (1805) is MT$29/frasila at Bombay, MT$39/frasila at London .
1806 Seyyid Said becomes ruler of Oman and Zanzibar; his policies promote foreign trade.
1807 British legislation makes slave trade illegal for all British subjects.
1810s Price of a slave at coastal markets is MT$15-25.
1811 East Coast caravans set out for central Tanzania.
1815 Congress of Vienna settlement: France cedes Mauritius and Seychelles to Britain; British use these islands as bases for naval patrols trying to prevent British subjects from engaging in the slave trade.
  British treaty with Portugal restricts the Portuguese slave-trade (subsequent treaties with stricter limits).
1820s Egypt invades Sudan; Egyptian conquests in the upper Nile Valley open up a vast region to traders looking for slaves and ivory.
  British treaty with Oman bans export of slaves to Christian countries or to non-Muslims; British may appoint agents on coast and search dhows.
  Drop in price of slaves stimulates expansion of clove production on Zanzibar; cloves prices high price on world market.
1823 Price of ivory at Zanzibar is MT$22/frasila.
1825 East Coast caravans reach south-central plateau in Tanzania and soon on to areas beyond Lake Tanganyika.
1829-30 First British steamship travels from Bombay to Suez.
1830s Crews of ocean-going dhows are mostly slaves and freedmen.
1831 East Coast caravans establish base at Ujiji on Lake Tanganyika.
1833 Commercial treaty between Oman and the United States.
1835-45 Zanzibar's clove "boom" (trees come into production); high prices spur investment in plantations; price of cloves (1836) is MT$ 5.25/frasila.
1837 Seyyid Said conquers Mombasa.
1839 British take over Aden, use it as a coal depot and it becomes "one of the busiest ports in the world."

1840 – 1880

1840 Seyyid Said moves the Omani capital to Zanzibar; price of ivory at Zanzibar is nearly MT$30.
1840s Coastal traders, using Ujiji as a base, cross Lake Tanganyika to obtain ivory and slaves in eastern Congo.
  Nyamwezi traders operate in areas west of the corridor between Lake Tanganyika and Lake Malawi.
  Arab traders reach Buganda; expansion of Buganda's fleet of canoes on Lake Victoria.
1844 Commercial treaty between Oman and France.
  Germans establish trading post on Zanzibar; Germans develop export of cowries shells (carrying them by sea to West Africa)
1845 British treaty with Zanzibar bans shipment of slaves beyond Brava (on the coast of Somalia); it does not go into effect until 1847.
1846 Church Missionary Society builds a mission near Mombasa.
1850s Coastal traders establish headquarters at Tabora, in the center of a Nyamwezi chiefdom, and begin to meddle in Nyamwezi politics.
  Msiri (Nyamwezi trader southwest of Lake Mweru) creates a trading and raiding state; he makes contact with Angolans and trades in two directions, exchanging ivory and copper for firearms.
1855 British merchant ships employ 10,000 to 12,000 "lascars" (60% from India, the rest from Malaysia, China, Arabia, and East Africa).
1857 Richard Burton and John Speke follow trade route from Zanzibar to Lake Tanganyika; Speke reaches southern shore of Lake Victoria.
1858 British consul at Zanzibar confiscates 8,000 slaves belonging to British Indian subjects.
1860s Peak of the East African slave trade: 23,000 slaves a year from the East Coast; this is an average that includes inividuals exported from the East Coast who were retained on Zanzibar and inividuals exported directly from Kilwa.
  About 6,000 Indian merchants are living in Zanzibar.
  Tippu Tip establishes himself on upper Lualaba River in eastern Congo; his well-armed bands hunt elephants and raid villages.
  Mirambo (Nyamwezi chief) uses ruga-ruga to dominate the trade route between Tabora and Ujiji, demanding tolls from passing caravans.
1860-63 John Speke and James Grant take western route around Lake Victoria; in Buganda they find the source of the Nile; they follow the Nile downstream through southern Sudan and Egypt.
1862 Sultan Majid of Zanzibar settles internal disputes; he is recognized by Britain and France (France had supported his brother, Barghash.
1866 Sultan Majid begins work on a new port called Dar es Salaam.
1868 Holy Ghost Fathers (Roman Catholic missionaries) establish a settlement for freed slaves at Bagamoyo.
  Price of ivory at Zanzibar is MT$60/frasila.
1869 Opening of the Suez Canal; steamships pass through Red Sea to Indian Ocean; subsequent increase in number of steamships visiting Jidda.
1870 Sultan Majid dies; Barghash, the new sultan, is a close friend of John Kirk (British agent, appointed British Consul in 1873).
  London is now the single largest marketplace for African ivory.
1871 Henry Morton Stanley finds David Livingstone at Ujiji, but cannot persuade him to leave; Livingstone wants to explore the Lualaba (he thinks it's a tributary of Nile, but it's not).
1871-75 Fighting between Mirambo and a coalition of Arabs and Nyamwezi from Tabora seriously disrupts the ivory trade; Sultan Barghash sends large force to Tabora; it cannot not defeat Mirambo.
1872 Hurricane destroys clove trees on Zanzibar; clove prices rise.
  British steamship company (now operating all over the Indian Ocean) sets up a mail service between Zanzibar and Aden.
1873 Price of ivory at Zanzibar is nearly MT$90.
  David Livingstone dies near Lake Bangweulu (far from the Nile).
  Sultan Barghash signs treaty making the slave trade illegal from any part of his dominion; he closes Zanzibar's slave market.
1874-77 Henry Morton Stanley's trip across Africa (from Zanzibar to Buganda, then following the Congo river to the Atlantic coast).
1875 Stanley's famous letter to New York Herald, urging Christian missionaries to come to Buganda (Protestants arrive in 1877, Catholics in 1878).
  Church Missionary Society settlement for freed slaves at Freretown.
1876 Sultan Barghash makes slave caravans illegal; export trade slows to a trickle (last slaving dhow is seized in 1899); raids continue on mainland.
1879 Leopold II of Belgium gives Stanley the task of using the Congo waterway to penetrate the interior of central Africa.