Pisania Is A Small Village In The King Of Yany's Dominions,
Established By British Subjects As A Factory For Trade, And
Inhabited Solely By Them And Their Black Servants.
It is situated
on the banks of the Gambia, sixteen miles above Jonkakonda.
white residents, at the time of may arrival there, consisted only of
Dr. Laidley, and two gentlemen who were brothers, of the name of
Ainsley; but their domestics were numerous. They enjoyed perfect
security under the king's protection, and being highly esteemed and
respected by the natives at large, wanted no accommodation or
comfort which the country could supply, and the greatest part of the
trade in slaves, ivory, and gold was in their hands.
Being now settled for some time at my ease, my first object was to
learn the Mandingo tongue, being the language in almost general use
throughout this part of Africa, and without which I was fully
convinced that I never could acquire an extensive knowledge of the
country or its inhabitants. In this pursuit I was greatly assisted
by Dr. Laidley.
In researches of this kind, and in observing the manners and customs
of the natives, in a country so little known to the nations of
Europe, and furnished with so many striking and uncommon objects of
nature, my time passed not unpleasantly, and I began to flatter
myself that I had escaped the fever, or seasoning, to which
Europeans, on their first arrival in hot climates, are generally
subject. But on the 31st of July I imprudently exposed myself to
the night-dew in observing an eclipse of the moon, with a view to
determine the longitude of the place; the next day I found myself
attacked with a smart fever and delirium, and such an illness
followed as confined me to the house during the greatest part of
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