Colonial Africa in official statistics, 1821-1953

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African Blue Books, 1821-1953

African Blue Books, 1821-1953

The Government Apprentices (late Slaves) who, on account of their age or infirmity, [were] unable to earn a livelihood, were unwilling to be emancipated with the others in 1827
Cape of Good HopeBlue Book 1841; img 69

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What will you discover in these African statistics?

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These statistics cover the history of thirteen colonies across Africa. The date range of statistics for each colony depends on who ran it at the time. Most colonial statistics cover that colony's funds, its population and the names of its officers. Details of which countries each colony was trading with and what they bought or sold were recorded in these books. Public services which were run by the British colonies are also covered by these records. The statistics for Africa told the Colonial Office how the British Empire was performing as a business. Some topics in these books only appear in a few issues: population numbers for slaves would be recorded until the abolition of slavery. However, military spending would only be included at times of war. The imperial statistics in this collection are listed by year for ease of reference.


Colonial Africa in official statistics, 1821-1953...

Containing 144,428 pages belonging to 778 documents housed in 13 volumes...

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Nigeria, 1862-1945

Colonial export records for Nigeria name the small group of countries who bought most of their goods in the early 1860’s and describe the items exported.

Cape of Good Hope (South Africa), 1821-1909

Now a part of South Africa, records for the Cape of Good Hope start during the slave trade. These statistics include a description of how the population reacted to the abolition of slavery.

Kenya, 1901-1946

As a British Colony, Kenya was directly affected by the start of the First World War. Kenya’s involvement is visible in its Military Expenditure accounts from the start of the war.

Gold Coast (Ghana), 1846-1939

In Ghana, then known as the Gold Coast, gathering population data could be a challenge. In the 1850s and 1860s the colonizers responded to this by writing descriptions of the population and their occupations.


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